Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Decline of a Nation


Doomsayers for many years have been predicting the decline and fall of this country. And while many of these short-term predictions have proved inaccurate, there is some truth to the prevailing belief that this nation will fall like every great nation before it. Apart from revival and reformation, this nation is destined to decline.

The problem with many of these doomsayers is that while their prognosis is right, their diagnosis is wrong. Yes, the future is bleak. But our problem is not ultimately political, economic, or social, as these doomsayers would have us believe. The decline of this nation (just as the decline of every other nation) is due to spiritual factors. The political, economic, and social problems we encounter are the symptoms of the spiritual deterioration of a nation.

Just as there are spiritual principles that influence the life of an individual, so there are political-spiritual principles that govern the life of a nation. And though we may feel that these are obscure and difficult to discern, in reality they are visible to anyone willing to look at the record of history.

Our problem is that we don't really learn from history. George Santayana said that "those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it." The philosopher Hegel said, "What experience and history teach us is this: that people and government never have learned anything from history or acted on principles deduced from it." Or as Winston Churchill said, "The one thing we have learned from history is that we don't learn from history."

The refrains that are often heard are: "It can't happen here," or "Our country is different." But the reality is that nations are born and die just like individuals. Their longevity may exceed the average person's lifespan. But the reality is that nations also die.

History has shown that the average age of the great civilizations is around two hundred years. Countries like Great Britain exceed the average while other countries like the United States are just now reaching the average age.

Each of the great civilizations in the world passed through a series of stages from their birth to their decline to their death. Historians have listed these in ten stages.

The first stage moves from bondage to spiritual faith.

The second from spiritual faith to great courage.

The third stage moves from great courage to liberty.

The fourth stage moves from liberty to abundance.

The fifth stage moves from abundance to selfishness.

The sixth stage moves from selfishness to complacency.

The seventh stage moves from complacency to apathy.

The eighth stage moves from apathy to moral decay.

The ninth stage moves from moral decay to dependence.

And the tenth and last stage moves from dependence to bondage.

These are the ten stages through which the great civilizations have gone. Notice the progression from bondage to liberty back to bondage. The first generation throws off the shackles of bondage only to have a later generation through apathy and indifference allow itself to once again be enslaved.

This is the direction this and every other country is headed. The book of Judges shows that the nation of Israel passed through these same stages. And this country will do the same unless revival and reformation break out and reverse the inexorable decline of this nation.

The Cycle of Nations

In his book The End of Christendom, Malcolm Muggeridge makes this powerful observation. He says:

I conclude that civilizations, like every other human creation, wax and wane. By the nature of the case there can never be a lasting civilization anymore than there can be a lasting spring or lasting happiness in an individual life or a lasting stability in a society. It's in the nature of man and of all that he constructs to perish, and it must ever be so. The world is full of the debris of past civilizations and others are known to have existed which have not left any debris behind them but have just disappeared.

He goes on to say that

...whatever their ideology may be, from the Garden of Eden onwards such dreams of lasting felicity have cropped up and no doubt always will. But the realization is impossible for the simple reason that a fallen creature like man though capable of conceiving perfection and aspiring after it, is in himself and in his works forever imperfect. Thus he is fated to exist in the no man's land between the perfection he can conceive and the imperfection that characterizes his own nature and everything he does.

Nations rise and nations fall. Every nation has followed this progression from bondage to bondage.

The nations of this century will be no different. But let us not accept the Marxist notion that these are fixed and intractable laws of history. Christians can point to unusual times when revival has redirected the inexorable decline of a civilization. In the Old Testament, Jonah saw revival postpone God's judgment of Nineveh. In the sixteenth century, Martin Luther and John Calvin saw a Protestant Reformation transform Europe. And even in the history of the United States the First and Second Great Awakenings changed individuals and our society.

But apart from God's intervention, nations will decline and eventually pass off the scene. Much of the Old Testament records the history of the nation of Israel. It passed through these same stages and so will every country in the world.

As Christians we must recognize that nations will rise and fall just as individuals will be born and die. Our civilization will not last indefinitely, but will eventually pass off the scene. Only God's Word endures forever. We should not put our trust in the things of this world for they are destined for destruction. Instead, we should put our faith in God and His word.

The Decline of the Family

Nations most often fall from within, and this fall is usually due to a decline in the moral and spiritual values in the family. As families go, so goes a nation.

This has been the main premise of thinkers from British historian J. D. Unwin to Russian sociologist Pitirim Sorokin who have studied civilizations that have collapsed. In his book Our Dance Has Turned to Death, Carl Wilson identifies the common pattern of family decline in ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. Notice how these seven stages parallel what is happening in our nation today. In the first stage, men ceased to lead their families in worship. Spiritual and moral development became secondary. Their view of God became naturalistic, mathematical, and mechanical.

In the second stage, men selfishly neglected care of their wives and children to pursue material wealth, political and military power, and cultural development. Material values began to dominate thought, and the man began to exalt his own role as an individual. The third stage involved a change in men's sexual values. Men who were preoccupied with business or war either neglected their wives sexually or became involved with lower-class women or with homosexuality. Ultimately, a double standard of morality developed.

The fourth stage affected women. The role of women at home and with children lost value and status. Women were neglected and their roles devalued. Soon they revolted to gain access to material wealth and also freedom for sex outside marriage. Women also began to minimize having sex relations to conceive children, and the emphasis became sex for pleasure. Marriage laws were changed to make divorce easy.

In the fifth stage, husbands and wives competed against each other for money, home leadership, and the affection of their children. This resulted in hostility and frustration and possible homosexuality in the children. Many marriages ended in separation and divorce.

Many children were unwanted, aborted, abandoned, molested, and undisciplined. The more undisciplined children became, the more social pressure there was not to have children. The breakdown of the home produced anarchy.

In the sixth stage, selfish individualism grew and carried over into society, fragmenting it into smaller and smaller group loyalties. The nation was thus weakened by internal conflict. The decrease in the birthrate produced an older population that had less ability to defend itself and less will to do so, making the nation more vulnerable to its enemies.

Finally, unbelief in God became more complete, parental authority diminished, and ethical and moral principles disappeared, affecting the economy and government. Thus, by internal weakness and fragmentation the societies came apart. There was no way to save them except by a dictator who arose from within or by barbarians who invaded from without.

Although this is an ancient pattern of decline found in Greece and Rome, it is relevant today. Families are the foundation of a nation. When the family crumbles, the nation falls because nations are built upon family units. They are the true driving social force. A nation will not be strong unless the family is strong. That was true in the ancient world and it is true today.

Social commentator Michael Novak, writing on the importance of the family, said:

One unforgettable law has been learned through all the disasters and injustices of the last thousand years: If things go well with the family, life is worth living; when the family falters, life falls apart.

The Decline of Values

There are many factors in the decline of a nation. Certainly a major one is the breakdown of the family. But another potent but less perceptible force is the power of ideas.

False ideas are bringing about the decline of western culture. Carl F. H. Henry, in his book Twilight of a Great Civilization, says:

There is a new barbarism. This barbarism has embraced a new pagan mentality . . . not simply rejecting the legacy of the West, but embracing a new pagan mentality where there is no fixed truth.

Today we live in a world where biblical absolutes are ignored, and unless we return to these biblical truths, our nation will continue to decline.

To understand how we have arrived at this appalling situation, we need to go back a century and look at the influence of five intellectual leaders who still profoundly affect the modern world. The first person is Charles Darwin (1809-1882). In 1859 he published The Origin of Species and later published The Descent of Man. His writings blurred the distinction between humans and animals since he taught that we are merely part of an evolutionary progression from lower forms of life. Darwinism, as it came to be called, not only affected the field of biology, but became the foundation for the fields of anthropology, sociology, and psychology.

The second person is Karl Marx (1818-1883). He and Friedrich Engels published the Communist Manifesto around 1850, and Marx devoted his life to writing about the demise of capitalism and coming of communism. He understood the importance of ideas. Marx once wrote: "Give me twenty-six lead soldiers and I will conquer the world." The twenty-six lead soldiers are the keys on a typewriter. The pervasive influence of communism in the world today is testimony to the truthfulness of his statement.

The third person is Julius Wellhausen (1844-1918). Although he may not be as well known as the other two men mentioned, his influence was just as profound. He was a German Bible scholar whose theory on the dating of the Pentateuch completely transformed Old Testament studies.

Wellhausen argued that the early books of the Bible were not put together by Moses but were gathered together many centuries later by several different men called redactors who wove various strands together. He and his disciples established an anti-supernatural approach to the scriptures which is influential in most denominational seminaries today.

The fourth person is Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). He merely took the logical implications of what Darwin was doing in biology and applied them to what today is known as psychology and psychiatry. Freud argued that humans are basically autonomous and therefore do not need to know God. Instead, we need to know and understand ourselves since our problems stem from those secret things that have evolved in our lives from our past.

A fifth person is John Dewey (1859-1952). He is the founder of modern education and published his first work, The School and Society, in 1899. John Dewey was also one of the co-signers of the Humanist Manifesto in 1933.

Dewey, like Darwin and Freud, believed that humans are autonomous. They don't need to have an authority above them but can evolve their our own system of education. Thus the very foundation of modern education is anti-supernatural.

Ideas have consequences, and false ideas can bring down a nation. The theories of these five men are having devastating consequences in our nation and world. Unless we return to biblical absolutes, our nation will continue its decline.
Spiritual Decline

The decline and fall of nations is usually due to internal factors rather than external threats. Even though some may have fallen to barbarians, their demise ultimately came because of moral and spiritual weakness which manifested itself as military weakness. Historians have listed the stages in the decline of a nation. These should not be too surprising to any student of the Old Testament. The stages of decline parallel the stages through which the nation of Israel passed.

But neither should they surprise a student of the New Testament. In the opening chapter of the Apostle Paul's letter to the church in Rome, he traces a similar progression. In fact, Romans 1 shows the decline of a civilization from a societal perspective. Looking at the Hellenistic world of his time, he reflects on the progression of sin in a nation.

The first stage is when people turn from God to idolatry. Although God has revealed Himself in nature to all men so that they are without excuse, they nevertheless worship the creation instead of the Creator. This is idolatry. In the past, this took the form of actual idol worship. In our day, it takes the form of the worship of money or the worship of self. In either case, it is idolatry. A further example of this is a general lack of thankfulness. Although they have been prospered by God, they are ungrateful. And when they are no longer looking to God for wisdom and guidance, they become vain and futile and empty in their imaginations. They no longer honor God, so their foolish hearts become darkened. In professing to be wise, they have become fools.

The second stage is when men and women exchange their natural use of sex for unnatural uses. Here the Apostle Paul says those four sobering words, "God gave them over." In a society where lust- driven sensuality and sexual perversion dominate, God gives them over to their degrading passions and unnatural desires.

The third stage is anarchy. Once a society has rejected God's revelation, it is on its own. Moral and social anarchy is the natural result. At this point God has given the sinners over to a depraved mind and so they do things which are not proper. This results in a society which is without understanding,untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful.

The final stage is judgment. God's judgment rightly falls upon those who practice idolatry and immorality. Certainly an eternal judgment awaits those who are guilty, but a social judgment occurs when God gives a nation over to its sinful practices.

Notice that this progression is not unique to the Hellenistic world the Apostle Paul was living in. The progression from idolatry to sexual perversion to anarchy to judgment is found throughout history.

In the times of Noah and Lot, there was the idolatry of greed, there was sexual perversion and promiscuity, there was anarchy and violence, and finally there was judgment. Throughout the history of the nation of Israel there was idolatry, sexual perversion, anarchy (in which each person did what was right in his own eyes), and finally judgment.

This progression happened throughout the Bible and to Greece, to Persia, to Babylon, and to Rome. And if it happened to these nations, then it can happen today. Unless we return to God's principles, decline and destruction are inevitable.


Friday, October 20, 2006

Dan Kimball-Point Man for the Emergent Church

Because of what has happened in this last week I am putting my new series On Domionism and Reconstructionist off for a couple days to do an expose on Dan Kimball. Dan comes across has a very nice guy.

And well that’s nice.

Dan has a way of showing up at discernment sites trying to further the agenda of the Emergent Church. Often acting as a hurt individual who asks why are Christians so mean. In my opinion this is all some kind of cat and mouse bait and switch game played by Dan. I’ve had an interesting exchange in the past as well with Dan who seems to monitor discernment websites for an opportunity to romance the naive into starting up a dialog with him.

In the past he has came into Ingrid's Slice of Laodecia website and pretty much been put off. Now via Steve Camp Dan is back in their with his nice, hurt puppy dog ways of course just to dialog. Campi also gave Mark Driscoll (the cussing pastor a pass as well)

Is there anything wrong with this? Dan’s theology seems to be more solid than most of the other Emergent leaders such as Leonard Sweet and Brian Mclaren. Let’s start with my exchange through email with Dan where I asked Dan to repent and turn from the New Age rituals such as the labyrinth.

(Me)- Do you think Jesus is the only way to God?

(Dan)- I sent you the PDF file of what we taught and gave out as a handout in our church when we teach on it. Yes, we believe that Jesus is the only way of salvation.

(Me)- And if you do believe Jesus is the only way why even hang with people like Tony Campolo etc... And I’m not sure that even Brian McLaren knows what he believes his statements are very confusing and contradict each other.

(Dan)- I have never heard Tony or Brian say that they don’t believe Jesus is the only way of salvation. On a recent document talking to critics of emergent, that Brian was part of writing it, it clearly says he believes Jesus is the way of salvation.

(Me)- My biggest problem with guys like you and Tony Jones is the ritual prayer you teach. Jesus never promoted it either does the Bible.

(Dan)- lectio divina is only meditating on Scripture. At least the way we practice it. we read some verses and then leave the Scriptures on the screens and have a time of quiet. It is no different than if you were to be reading your bible, stopped at a verse and pondered and prayed about it. we don’t do; centering prayer in our church.

(Me)- Maybe you believe Buddhist and Hindu roots are ok for something because in your PDF it states.”there are great teachings in other faiths."

(Dan)- the great teachings in other faiths, is where they also say treat your neighbor as yourself etc. but then I distinguish when you go past that, there are extreme differences showing that all roads do not lead to the same mountaintop, so they cannot all be true. I have written an entire chapter on this topic in a book I am finishing up for zondervan.

(Me)- Let me sum it up with this. I think your teaching allows the individual to come to their own conclusion instead of you folks being the preacher and stating” This is the truth now you decide what you want to believe." Statements like "Jesus claimed He was the only way." Which is a true statement but as a teacher where do you stand on the truth.

(Dan)- when I teach, we look to what Jesus said. So when we taught Jesus said He is the only way, then that is what we follow. We follow the teachings of Jesus.

OK- hope this helps.

Dan: end of email

Pleasant exchange Dan is a gentleman and a very nice guy but so what. Doesn’t the Bible state even the devil can come as an angel of light.

Could he come as a nice guy?

If Dan was really as solid a Christian as he seems to be why would he promote, endorse and associate with heretics like New Age teacher Leonard Sweet ( and I’ve read much of Leonard’s work such as Quantum Spirituality) as well as Brian Mclaren. And that’s just the short list.For some solid commentary on what Dan is really all about please check this link. http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/dankimball.htm

I believe that the Emergent Church Movement is not of God but of the enemy because of all the New Age, Ancient Catholic and occult rituals that they have embraced in their services.

Why would any solid biblical Christian associate with such folk or engage them in dialog?

What does the Bible teach about this?1 Corinthians 5:11 "But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner‚–not even to eat with such a person." This verse is talking about sin.

Is false doctrine and practicing the occult sin? Of course it is.

Romans 16:17-18 "Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them."

For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.Gal 1:6-7 "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ", to a different gospel, not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are confusing you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. Galatians pretty much sums up the agenda of the Emergent Church. And if this is indeed a Mars Hill debate you had better know that Paul in the Mars Hill debate in Acts 17 was not talking to believers but to unbelievers.

This again makes my point and so as far as dialog or debate goes refer to the verses I quoted from scripture.

I looked at the replies on Steve Camps website and no one is really asking Dan any hard questions like why he promotes occult and new Age teachers and their rituals.

Instead its just bunch of pseudo intellectual banter.2 Timothy 3:7"always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." Dan still endorses the labyrinth which is an occult mystical experience.Here is a link to Dan’s endorsements http://www.vintagefaith.com/links.html

Its a shame that so many including discernment ministries have fallen for Dan’s charm and given him a platform to advance his Emergent agenda but the Bible does state-1 Timothy 4:1 "Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the later times some will desert the faith and occupy themselves with deceiving spirits and demonic teachings, influenced by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared.” So when the point man shows up at your website of course pray for him.

I really hopes Dan repents of the New Age/Occult agenda he is part.But don’t give him a platform.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Spiritual fusion - East comes West

Where does the church go to get the answers? There is a host of new speakers and books today that are trying to feed the spiritual hunger of seekers of a spiritual life. But they are not leading them to Jesus Christ (and His Word- the way it was written) but to a convergence, a synthesis of religious practices. We need to know what the people’s books we read are about and listen carefully to what they are teaching, and watch how they practice their spiritual life to know what they to actually believe. A synthesis of other spiritual practices borrowed from other religions was unacceptable by the apostles and the early church. This Emerging movement is not a return to renew our pure devotion to Christ or apostolic teaching but a “smoothie Christianity,” where they are taking the ingredients of other religions and putting it into a blender to invent a new drink-which some believe is refreshing, drinking it to quench their thirst.

Consider these new statistics “A strange god indeed, as it turns out. In his book, Third Millennium Teens, Barna revealed this stunning fact: 63 percent of church-going, supposedly Christian teens said they believed "Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Jews and all other people pray to the same God, even though they use different names for their god... ...However, the sad fact is that very few of the nation's youth appear to be Bible-believing Christians... Barna found that only 4 percent of U.S. teens can be considered evangelicals. More distressingly, that number is actually trending in the wrong direction. That 4 percent figure "is a far cry from the 10 percent measured in 1995," he said. How could teenagers who go to church so often know so little -- or at least believe so little -- of the historic Christian faith? And whose fault is it?” (A Strange Faith -- Are Church-Going Kids Christian?

We should not be second guessing where these ideas are being generated, from the leadership that is soliciting the youth.

Brian McClaren wants us to learn more about “ meditative practices, about which Zen Buddhism has said much. To talk about different things is not to contradict one another; it is, rather, to have much to offer one another” (A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 255.) Can Zen Buddhism have something to offer that would improve a Christian’s spiritual life when the Bible teaches us that we are already partakers of Christ Jesus’ divine nature? (2 Peter 1:3-11) McLaren cites contemplative meditation promoter Richard Foster as one of the key mentors for the Emergent movement.

Contemplative Prayer that has become an accepted practice of the emergent movement it also has a direct link to Buddhism and other eastern religious practices. Richard Foster considered Thomas Merton’s book Contemplative Prayer “a must book” . . . and credits his [Merton’s] books as being “priceless wisdom for all Christians who long to go deeper in the spiritual life.” Merton wrote “I see no contradiction between Buddhism and Christianity. . . . I intend to become as good a Buddhist as I can” (A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen (published by Lighthouse Trails Publishing), p. 75.) Thomas Merton commended Hindu - Buddhist, and other mystics as those who had experienced "' union with the God of truth and love.”

The late M. Scott Peck who is popularly read by Christians said, “While I continue to make use of what I have learned from Buddhism, there are aspects of Buddhism [like reincarnation] that I am agnostic about. That means I don't disbelieve it and I don't believe it; I just don't know. On the other hand, I find distasteful the traditional idea of Christianity which preaches the resurrection of the body” (Further Along the Road Less Traveled, pp. 168-169; M. Scott Peck) emphasis mine.

Despite the diametrical differences in the religious beliefs Christianity has always taught in a personal God and the resurrection of the dead; Buddhism rejects this. We have those borrowing Buddhist practices because they believe it will enhance their spiritual living and bring them closer to God. Ken Blanchard of the ministry “Lead like Jesus” sees much can be gained from Buddhism and other religious practices, so he endorses books that promote other religious practices

A new world religion is being birthed right before our eyes? Few had considered those inside the church would be a midwife to this process. But not Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, who said, “The fate of mankind, as well as of religion, depends upon the emergence of a new faith in the future.” Futurist Pierre Teilhard does not leave us guessing what he means, “a 'religion of the future' (definable as a 'religion of evolution') cannot fail to appear before long: a new mysticism, the germ of which (as it happens when anything is born) must be recognizable somewhere in our environment here and now. (p. 240 Jesuit priest Teilhard de Chardin, Christianity and Evolution)


“... I can be saved only by becoming one with the universe. Thereby, too, my deepest 'pantheist' aspirations it was especially the image of God which Teilhard saw in need of urgent redefinition. Modern man has not yet found the God he can adore, a God commensurate to the newly discovered dimensions of the universe” (Ursala King, Towards a New Mysticism- Tielhard de Chardin and eastern religions, p.172)
Benjamin Creme who is the harbinger for the new Christ of this age (they believe there is a different christed individual for different times) says, The Master Jesus is going to reform the Christian churches” (Benjamin Creme, Reappearance of the Christ, p. 85).
Jesus speaking to Barbara Hubbard said, “Behold, I am writing anew, through scribes on Earth who are willing to listen to me again with new ears, in the light of the present crises on planet Earth” (Barbara Hubbard, The Revelation p. 265).

New age promoter David Spangler writes, “The New Age is here now and the Christ is functioning within the inner realms of the earth, both in his ascended state from the depths of his past ministry and in his greater state of Aquarian Revelation” (David Spangler, Revelation p.144).

This is at least one of the answers on who or what is behind changing the church- a church that should be holding fast to the word in these last days. It is the spirit of the (new) age that is initiating this change; not the Holy Spirit who leads us into the word in the Bible, and has us understand the person of Jesus- who is the eternal living word. This new paradigm introduces us to pantheism, a mystical interconnectedness and interdependence on creation. A new openness to other spiritual beliefs, convincing us that we need more than what was delivered through Jesus Christ. This process of change has begun and the uninformed, those not grounded in the faith and the naïve are at their mercy. What we see today are men who know about Christianity but are willing to intentionally combine it with other religious /spiritual practices. Whatever the reason, even with good intentions, they are exposing the church to things we should not have anything to do with.

Rick Warren has stated that we can find truth in other religions; “There’s truth in every religion, Christians believe there’s truth in every religion. But we just believe there is one savior. We believe we can learn truth from, I believe I’ve have learned a lot of truth from different religions. Because they all have a portion of the truth. I just believe there’s one savior Jesus Christ” (Nov.22, 2004 Larry King live) emphasis mine

How is it possible that other religions have spiritual truth unless God revealed himself to them! Any moral/ethical truth found in another religion can always be found in Christ. These religions cannot add one thing to the full and complete revelation we have in Jesus Christ. What truth can one learn from Islam that denies Jesus is God come in the flesh, or Buddhism that does not believe there is a God and there is reincarnation, or Hinduism that believes there are millions of Gods? To believe this is a spirit of error-not truth. To be a representative of Christ and say this to the public discredits what Christians actually believe. It influences others to be open to this kind of thinking.

According to Rosicrucian’s, all religions have possession of truth in part. In a Rosicrucian Digest article titled “Lessons From the Past” the AMORC Imperator explains the fundamental universalism as found in ancient Mesopotamia cults, Egyptology, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Zoroaster’s, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. The AMORC Imperator who wrote the article explained that all these religions should be looked upon as a beacon; “Let them become light which further pierces the shadows of the unknown” (Rosicrucian Digest article titled “Lessons From the Past”, February 1984, p.4)

The central idea of Universalism teaches that all religions hold elements of the truth and that no religion or religious teacher is fully right or wrong. This is one of the ways to build bridges to other religions, and make them united.

Rick Warren did an audio seminar with Leonard Sweet called The Tides of Change (1995). Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox at
www.pastors.com endorses Sweet. Soul Tsunami: Sink or Swim in New Millennium Culture (his endorsement is on the front cover.) Leonard Sweet teaches that we have an organic integration with those in the past.
In his book Quantum Spirituality: Under the topic of Sevening (On the seventh day [God] rested and drew breath.) he gives some 10 deep breathing exercises. “1. Get in touch with your lungs by closing your eyes. Visualize in your mind a tennis court” 8.“Hold your Bible and breathe meditatively. The breathtaking, nay, breath giving truth of aliveness is more than Methuselean in its span: Part of your body right now was once actually, literally part of the body of Abraham, Sarah, Noah, Esther, David, Abigail, Moses, Ruth, Matthew, Mary, Like, Martha, John, Priscilla, Paul... and Jesus. 9. Keep breathing quietly while holding your Bible. You have within you not just the powers of goodness resident in the great spiritual leaders like Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Lao Tzu You also have within you the forces of evil and destruction.” Resident in each breath you take is the body of angels like Joan of Arc and devils like Gilles de Rais, Genghis Khan, Judas Iscariot, Herod, Hitler, Stalin and all the other destructive spirits throughout history” (Quantum Spirituality p.300-301)

On the 7th day- did God need to breathe? So while Sweet promotes visualization (Guided imagery), breath (contemplative?) prayers, he slides in the belief of the interconnectedness of life and a synthesis of religions, presenting the founders of these other religions as co-equal in their spiritual teachings with Jesus Christ because of the goodness within them. Like the Bahai’s, and Rosicrucian’s Jesus is then demoted to one of the many in a great line of spiritual leaders. Why have your Bible in your hand doing this spirit exercise unless you read it to see that what Sweet is leading you into is some pantheistic metaphysical process. So we are so interconnected that we breathe in both good and bad angels, all the dead people in history along with the fumes of cars. Sweet needs to take time to breathe some fresh air. What does this have to do with the Bibles teaching??? Nothing. But it has much to do with new age concepts.

This is what the emergence is about, as mystic Wayne Teasdale states “The rise of community among cultures and religious traditions ... makes possible what we can call 'inter-spirituality': the assimilation of insights, values, and spiritual practices from the various religions and their application to one's own inner life and development (Monk Wayne Teasdale)

It all goes back to the source of Alice Bailey, who said, “The great theme of the new world religion will be the recognition of, the many divine approaches and the continuity of revelation which each of them conveyed.”

How much can you change the church and still have it be part of the Christianity that began with the apostles. These men may consider themselves innovators and think deeply about the future but it seems that do not know when to stop philosophizing and read the Bible to see if their direction they are going is the right direction. Yet we are reminded by the wisest man who ever lived (beside Jesus), there “Is nothing new under the sun.” The early church saw the Gnostics and Mystics within their ranks and were willing to oppose them, we see those of the same pursuit among us today, but what will we do? Our decision today will affect our tomorrow, our future. Do we return to the ancient path or pursue what is new?

The Old Transformed into the New

AS THE NEW AGE TEACHES- YOU CAN’T EMBRACE THE NEW WITHOUT LETTING GO OF THE OLD. One enters the new age paradigm by being transformed by an experience. The new way to transform the church- through practices found in eastern religions, giving them a Christian identity. Society, culture and even the church are transitioned over easily with the help of the change agents inside. CHANGE AGENTS: is a term commonly known in New Age literature, referring to teachers, social workers educators, etc. that are there to bring about transformation in the areas of social life, education and the church.

“... [T]he Christian faith also has served its purpose; its Founder seeks to bring a new Gospel and a new message that will enlighten all men everywhere” (Rays of Initiation Alice Bailey, p. 754). Bailey was in contact with a different Jesus who was the driving force behind the messages.

Neale Donald Walsch who wrote the book conversations with God states, “There is only one message that can change the course of human history forever, end the torture, and bring you back to God. That message is the New Gospel: WE ARE ALL ONE.”
Discovering our unity replaces Jesus dying for men's sins. The world has changed and is in denial of their condition. Those who participate in spiritual lifestyles are looking everywhere they can to avoid the real problem, separation from God because of their sinful condition. In the same manner there are Christians that do not give God's cure and instead want the church to keep instep with the changing world.

In his book Soul Tsunami, Leonard Sweet recommends for the church to change. Quoting a book on 'change management' theory ..."Postmodern culture is a change-or-be changed world," he continues. "Reinvent yourself for the 21st century or die. Some would rather die than change” (Leonard Sweet, Soul Tsunami, pages 17, 34, 74-75.)

If the church was disobedient to living by the instructions in the Bible I can understand the admonition to change and be brought back under the apostles instructions, but this is not what these men are addressing. I think we would be better off to stay the course Christ has told us to or we will die by changing to be as the world. Do we really need to listen to those who charm you into something different than the Scripture?

In the second foreword to Dan Kimball's book about the Emergent church Brian McLaren writes “Our understandings of the gospel constantly change as we engage in mission in our complex dynamic world, as we discover that the gospel has a rich kaleidoscope of meaning to offer, yielding unexplored layers of depth, revealing uncounted facets of insight and relevance. No doubt as we look back and see ways in which our modern understandings of the gospel were limited or flawed” (emphasis mine)

If we have offered the unsaved the same gospel that the apostles preached then how can it be limited or flawed? Here is the gospel Paul preached: 1 Cor 15:1-4 “This is the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you-- unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures”

This is the same Gospel all the apostles preached. Paul went on to say in 1 Cor 1:17-18 “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” this is what Paul stated- the gospel is has the message of the cross in it.”
How can one change this or adopt it to the culture or the culture into it? Paul did not include any work into the message for SALVATION, not even the Biblical command to be baptized.

In Rom 1:1-4 “Paul tells us the gospel was promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Here to we have the other element, He died and then rose from the dead by the power of God.

Are we to change this or adopt it to the changing culture? Not one time did this gospel change no matter who preached it- Paul- Peter- Barnabas, it was always the same message and its intent was always the same, to save men from sin.

Yet the idea of change appeals to those who are not stabilized in the gospel (in which we stand) and trusting in it ALONE to carry them to their eternal destination. So they opt for new ways to reach out to people.

The challenge to change its content is no less serious today then it was in the early church. Here are some excerpts from what Thomas Hohstadt writes “To begin, our “thinking”--or, more to the point, the way we think--is changing. And--as a result--the way we believe is changing. That belief, of course, is not a different “Word,” it's a different understanding of the Word. For spirituality is converting to new sympathies. Faith is transmuting to new sensitivities. And this Spirit-birthed age is birthing new spirit!”

In other words, we're rapidly approaching a time when the church--as we know it--cannot continue. We are arriving at a moment from which the illusions of the present can never return. We are facing an “essential strangeness” beyond which this era will end.”
“It is the end of something and the beginning of something totally other--a transformation of spirituality--a creative mutation driven by God” (Thomas Hohstadt, future church website) emphasis mine

Totally Other! A Mutation! Is that God driven? Birthing a new spirit. This can transform our spirituality to something totally different than what has been delivered.
It’s time to see this for what it is- The church is under attack from within by those who think the Holy Spirit and Bible are nor longer sufficient for our spiritual life and Growth. They are more than willing to use what is not written then what is written. In fact, they challenge the literal written word by changing its interpretation to be something very different, more hip to our time. Its application is often an introduction to something the Bible never intended.

Just as in Christianity- you are either a missionary or a mission field - in the new age you are either pupil or a teacher. It’s time for us to question why these men want to bring Yoga, meditation or Mantras into the church. Do we not have union with Christ Jesus through His Spirit already? Mysticism always claims to give a spiritual experience that one cannot receive another way. It doesn’t matter if one is a Christian or not, nor does it matter whether the mystical experience comes from anyone of these sources- drugs, yoga, meditation, channeling or a near death experience; in the end the results are often the same: the gospel, the person of Jesus Christ are altered.

Benjamin Creme stated "Times as you know are changing and the changing times bring new personalities indifferent ways into the world of all conceptions of the bible story and the gospel and so on have to change, the people that will find it probably hardest of all to accept Maitreya are the leaders of the Christian and Jewish organizations. ..They had the same problem 2,000 years ago with Jesus, Jesus was there among them and they didn’t recognize him." (Art Bell broadcast, July 10, 1998).

Change and evolution seem to go hand in hand in the new mysticism. What does God say in the Bible? “I the Lord do not change.” So what is influencing this change?
"God is not dead-, but HE CHANGES." In a letter to a friend, he referred to "the transformation... of the 'God of the Gospel' into the 'God of Evolution (Ursala King towards a new mysticism Teilhard de Chardin and eastern religions p.172)

A New Order of Spirituality

The old order is passing but not without some struggles and challenges. Bailey said, “This Inherent fanaticism (found ever in reactionary groups) will fight against the appearance of the coming, world religion ... (Externalization of the Hierarchy, p. 453)
They are aware that many who KNOW Jesus (the real one), truly know Him and will resist this fog that is indiscriminately blanketing the land.

Benjamin Crème says there must be no pessimism as to the future of mankind or distress over the disappearance of the old order” (Reappearance of the Christ, p. 179)

The New age movements promoters want to see the old order gone (Christianity) for the new world and the new man and religion to come forth. The new spirituality is the goal and there are many ways to arrive at it.

“The new spirituality does not reject the earlier patterns of the great universal religions. Priest and church will not disappear; they will not be forced out of existence in the New Age, they will be ABSORBED INTO THE EXISTENCE OF THE NEW AGE.” (William Thompson, in the Introduction of David Spangler, Revelation: The Birth of the New Ag). We should note that Leonard Sweet states he has corresponded with David Spangler and quotes him several times favorably in his book Quantum Spirituality. Sweet says in his footnotes #86. I am grateful to David Spangler for his help in formulating this “new cell” understanding of New Light leadership.”

David Spangler who Sweet favorably quotes also speaks of Lucifer as: “The true light of this great being can only be recognized when one's own eyes can see with the light of the Christ, the light of the inner sun. Lucifer works within each of us to bring us to wholeness, and as we move into the New Age, which is the age of man's wholeness, each of us is brought to that point which I term the Luciferic Initiation, the particular doorway through which the individual must pass if he is to come fully into the presence of his light and his wholeness.

Lucifer comes to give us the final gift of wholeness. If we accept it, then he is free and we are free, that is the Luciferic Initiation. It is one that many people now, and in the days ahead, will be facing, for it is an initiation into the New Age. (David Spangler, Reflections on the Christ, Findhorn Lecture Series, 3rd ed., 1981; p. 45)

Why any Christian would quote someone who is so against the Jesus Christ of the Bible is beyond me. How can any Christian who loves the lord and the truth in His word receive understanding from a man who thinks the way to Christ is through a Luciferic initiation! The implications are more than just being wrong, for Spangler is pointing to the one who opposes God and His church.

Have you been experienced?

The initiation into the realm of darkness (occult) involves an experience of light, Lucifer is the giver of this spiritual light and he has fooled many into thinking it is Christ (Jesus). New Age adherents talk of an experience of light (revelation) that binds them together. Once they are “experienced” they see nearly everything including the New Testament in a different light. It has been called by them a paradigm shift of consciousness.

It can be a flash, a revelation, an impression that can deceive even the most sincere and noble of people. A sense of oneness is almost always tied to nature and/or self- realization. Consider Forrest Shaklee who started the Shaklee vitamin company, born with Tuberculosis he was not expected to live. His parents moved to more fresh air, from a coal mine to a farm. The fresh food and air and family folk remedies attributed to his health improving. It was there on the farm as a very young man that he learned to tune in to what he called the creative intelligence of nature” (audio of Shaklee's leader banquet Minneapolis in 1971). I was still young chap and the folks still lived on the farm and I came home upon Easter vacation and Easter Sunday afternoon. I walked out into the fields out into the meadows of the hay lands where they hay had been freshly cut. And climbed up upon to a stack of hay lying there flat on my back breathing watching the wildlife the swan the crane the geese the ducks all winding there way to the northland for their home breeding ground. I remember the thought came to me what guides those birds back to the same place their parents had deposited the eggs from they came. What is it that will cause them in the fall to come back to the wintry quarters? There was a question in my mind. Has man lost something that the birds have? From that moment on I began to think and feel and endeavor to interpret the meaning of nature. It became a part of me I began to realize that I was a part of nature. Not something … set apart on the mountain the high spot to judge the rest of the animals of the earth. For I too was product of nature perhaps no better than the old cow on the hillside. Being a product of nature it behooved me to cooperate with nature.”

Forrest Shaklee had a mystical type of experience of oneness that changed his worldview and his place in it. His vantage point changed and is similar to many who have journeyed into mysticism and came to the same realization.

Frank B. Robinson (of the Psychiana movement) went into his room and closed the door. Lamenting “O God,” he exclaimed, if I have to go to hell, I'll go with the consciousness that I went there earnestly trying to find you!"

“As the moments passed he stood perfectly still, hopefully waiting for he knew not what. Then he fell to his knees, closed his yes, and heard himself say, "The spirit within me is the Spirit of God, the same spirit that has moved in the lives of all great men. I have confessed this Spirit for many years, but I have also suppressed it. I want to express it from this moment on-fully, completely, perfectly.”

Kneeling there, he felt his mind cleansed of every thought save the thought of the presence of God. His eyes filled with tears and he found himself breathing deeply, repeating with very inhalation words which seemed to have been whispered to him, "I believe in the Power of the Living God!"

He had the vivid feeling that he was not alone in the room. He could sense the Presence of something or someone, although lie could see no one nor hear anything but the words he so earnestly repeated. Yet something had drawn aside a curtain deep within him and he seemed to be standing face to face with the Power that is life. No longer, he said later, did he feel a limiting consciousness; he felt only a single, specific sense of complete unity with God. In that gashing moment of insight, he realized as never before that he was the inner counterpart of a divine creative power. From then on he was convinced that he was the personalized activity of cosmic force. Those who have experienced something similar call it conversion. Others refer to it as a religious experience, or the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Robinson called it "talking with God" and after that Sunday afternoon he was a changed man.” (P.159 Strange Sects and Curious Cults by Marcus Bach, Dodd, Mean & Company, New York 1962)

There are many who claim to hear a soft voice, see a light or are enraptured in an experience of beauty and believe it to be God. Despite the feeling they received or the knowledge gained, if it is not related to the Bible and tested they have been deceived by the master of all deceptions.

Richard Foster says he read 300 books on prayer in a few months, Classical books. “I have read everything I could lay my hands on about formation prayer and covenant prayer adoration prayer and sacramental prayer and centering prayer and meditative prayer, intercessory prayer healing prayer authoritative prayer and so much more.” Foster has become a major influence behind the scenes in this Emergent church movement.
On his audio set Richard Foster tells a story of Paddy Chayefsky, a play writers experience with what Foster believes is God. Foster prefaces this with “Who lived his life as if God did not exist ...total self centerness using people.”

One night while he was writing in his Park Avenue apartment the living God came roaring into Paddy Chayefsky’s life with hurricane force and experience with both his head and his heart the wild passionate pursuing love of God for him… He was caught up in an ecstasy of Joy. God loved him just the way he was.

He tore up what he was writing, wrote a new play that ran on Broadway for 2 years called Gideon. Chayefsky projects himself into the lead character Gideon his own decisive encounter with God.

Gideon has a life of abusing and using other people for his own selfish pleasure. Gideon cannot think of one single action in his life where he ever tried to be kind, or loving or caring or thoughtful. But that night out on the desert the God who made the Pleiades and Orion come tearing into Gideon's life and Gideon experiences the unconditional love of Jesus Christ for him personally that he loves him just the way he is, not the way he is supposed to be… that he loves him beyond fidelity and infidelity…

Gideon cannot sleep all night. “I want to take you into my tent wrap you up and keep you all to myself. God will you tell me again that you love me. God answers “I love you Gideon”. Say again to me God, “I love you Gideon”. Finally Gideon scratches his head, “I don’t understand God- why, why do you love me?” “God scratches his head and answers I really don’t know” (Foster laughs) And then God adds- Gideon sometimes passion isn’t reasonable, sometimes my Gideon passion is unreasonable” (Richard Foster- Prayer- Finding the Hearts True Home, audio, Zondervan publishing 1992)
Does God not know something; especially why He loves us? Does he not tell us the why He sent His Son to die for us! This God did not know anymore than Gideon.
I looked up Paddy Chayefsky on the web to see if there was ever a hint of his converting to Christ from Judaism. There was none. Believing in God is not the same thing as knowing Christ through the gospel. One can invent their own view-point of whom they want God to be. It was stated- Only one of the members of Chayefsky's minyan-Hirschman, the venerable Cabbalist-openly professes belief in God...

His play on Gideon was described as a dramatization of the biblical story of Gideon, Chayefsky arranges a philosophical debate between the reluctant Gideon and God over issues of free will, obedience, and self-sacrifice.

I also found this in the Commentary Digital Archive- 398. “God save us from people who do the morally right thing. It's always the rest of us who get broken in half. 21. I don't know what's good, or bad, or true. I let God worry about truth. I just want to know the momentary fact of things. Life isn't good, or bad, or true. It's merely factual. It's sensual. It's alive!”

Why would Foster use this story about Paddy Chayefsky as if it was an authentic experience with God in his prayer series? The answer is simple- Richard J. Foster is a Quaker minister who is into mysticism and experiences. Foster has made himself acquainted with medieval mystics which he refers to as “masters of the interior life,” he is convincing many to believe this way. Foster quotes numerous mystics - Teilhard de Chardin, Meister Eckhart (a Dominican monk who lived in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries who ranks among the great Roman Catholic mystics.) Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, the order of the Jesuits. Teresa of Ávila, John Woolman, George Fox, and St. John of the Cross, Agnes Sanford and others.

Foster teaches the techniques found in the New Age such as quietism, centering, Buddhism, Yoga, mantras. In his book Celebration of discipline foster endorses the rosary and prayer wheel use (p. 64); promotes Roman Catholic practices such as use of “spiritual directors,” confession, and penance (pp. 146-150, 156, 185).

Foster says, “Christian meditation is an attempt to empty the mind in order to fill it.” Foster is educated enough to know the difference. Emptying the mind in eastern thought gives one leeway to the spirit world and brings on counterfeit (mystical) experiences. Christian meditation is thinking and pondering on the Scripture, the very opposite.
Foster is convinced of other methods, that use imagination, visualization, dreamwork, centering, and breathing can all be useful by Christians for spiritual growth. He cites their use in church history (Christian mystical traditions). Foster encourages centering exercises and concentrating on one's breath, also a common Eastern technique: Another meditation aimed at centering oneself begins by concentrating on breathing. Having seated yourself comfortably, slowly become conscious of your breathing. This will help you to get in touch with your body and indicate to you the level of tension within. Inhale deeply, slowly tilting your head back as far as it will go. Then exhale, allowing your head slowly to come forward until your chin nearly rests on your chest. Do this for several moments, praying inwardly something like this: "Lord, I exhale my fear over my geometry exam, I inhale your peace. I exhale my spiritual apathy, I inhale your light and life." Then, as before, become silent outwardly and inwardly. Be attentive to the inward living Christ” (193:25, Celebration of Discipline. reference “Can you trust your Doctor by Ankerberg and Weldon)

This is right in line with new age disciplines of meditation. Nowhere does the Bible instruct us to do this type of exercise, neither does it teach that we receive peace in this way.

Foster Explains his view of celebration: “We of the New Age can risk going against the tide. Let us with abandon...see visions and dream dreams....The imagination can release a flood of creative ideas [and] be lots of fun.” (Celebration of Discipline, Harper & Row, 1978, p. 170)

We of the new age! A revealing a statement. Numerous books and speakers have gained access to the church, introducing strange and mystical practices to our young and old. These men are using new revelations, new methodologies to achieve a spiritual life, maturity and experiences. None of which are spoken of in the Scripture. We should heed the words of Paul who tells us not to exceed what is written.

Many of the emergent movement’s leaders look to Foster for a spiritual influence for their direction. What Foster is teaching opens up one's belief to accept things outside the faith delivered to the saints. Why would any Christian recommend practices or books that are not from Christian teaching in the Bible.

As Christians (those who believe and follow Christ as our life) we should be careful to avoid the use of practices found in other religions. We should even avoid if possible the same language used in the occult and mystics, lest we be misconstrued as approving these practices or be identified with them.


Friday, October 13, 2006

Picketing Sin and Boycotting Moral Failure ...when the gospel is reduced to political protest

Several years ago, many in the media and in the church were in an uproar that Madonna had done it again going too far with her book release, SEX, and her companion album, EROTICA. The "Queen of Sensual Shock" had consumers talking, governments banning, educators clamoring, librarians shuffling and, yes, evangelical leaders boycotting. What Madonna had actually done, in an ingenuous sort of way, is to bring to light what our world around us is wrestling with everyday; mainly a self-absorbed, narcissistic, hedonistic belief system absent of moral restraint. Biblically, it is what Judges 17:6 so succinctly states "...every man is doing what is right in his own eyes." That statement sums up the "Oprah Winfrey School of Theology" impeccably. But something more profound was being communicated as well... Madonna is more sold out to her sin, than many Christians are to their Lord.


What originally prompted the writing of this article had been the call to boycott Time-Warner and its many subsidiaries by leading Christian psychologist, author and radio talk show host, Dr. James Dobson, because of Madonna’s book and album release. I do understand it is a normal reaction to rise and sound a clarion call for moral leadership and accountability when one is faced with the open sensuality displayed in Madonna's book. I also truly believe that Dr. Dobson's motive was not self-serving nor incendiary when he had attempted to do so. But one has to ask him the obvious question, "how do you expect her to live apart from regeneration in Christ?" By her own confession, she is living as an unbeliever in Christ.

I ask you... why do we in the church constantly become outraged when we see non-Christians living like non-Christians? Why do we require that unbelievers live in some sort of comfortable legalistic righteous bubble before they come to salvation through Christ? Have we forgotten what we were like before we tasted the kindness of God in Christ for our salvation? Have we forgotten how we were slaves to various lusts and passions of our hearts? Have we forgotten how sinful we were apart from God's grace? Have we forgotten how depraved we were and to what depth of disobedience we plummeted? How dare we hold any non-believer in derision and set ourselves above them thinking we now as Christians could not ever succomb to the depth of sin they might be in. What arrogance; what self-righteousness; what non-Christlikeness. Oh may we remember beloved: "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23).

One of the great reformational truths and Pauline doctrines in the New Testament is the sinful nature and depravity of man. We are conceived in sin (Psalm 51:5); by nature children of wrath (Ephesians 2:1); dead in trespass and sin (Ibid.); utterly unable to save ourselves (Romans 3:19-25); and our own righteousness being valued only as dirty, filthy rags...(Isaiah 64:6).

However, under God's common grace, depraved people are still capable of doing acts of kindness and gestures of good will to their fellow man--though they have no eternal benefit. In other words, though we are totally depraved, we are not living out that depravity to the absolute fullest extent of its ugly condition. Man is created in the image of a holy God and therefore morally and spiritually responsible to his Creator for his actions. But at the same time, unregenerate people - though able to do acts of kindness and goodness to their neighbor - are completely incapable of living a life pleasing to and for the glory of God (Titus 1:15-16). That is why this "legislation of morality" is an effort in futility. At best, it is the "white-washing of the tomb" though inside is nothing but the stench of dead men's bones. Beloved, we should not be outraged when the world is living like the world; we should be outraged when the church fails to live like Christ (1 Corinthians 5:9-13).


Though we may applaud Mr. Dobson's sense of moral purity, the only relevant question on this or any other issue facing us in society today should be, what does the Word of God clearly say? Are we reacting from a "moral majority like" social consciousness or from a biblical worldview? How should we as Christians respond to the mandates and ethics of a fallen world? Is this a first amendment issue, as some have suggested, or is there a "higher law" at jeopardy? What does Scripture say in regards to civil disobedience? Can we cure the moral maladies by the political legislative process? When someone's ideology differs from the churches is the solution to heed the call by evangelical leaders to apply an economic squeeze on their financial enterprises until they comply with our pragmatic, spiritual agenda? In short, ladies and gentlemen, what do we do with Madonna?

I firmly believe, as I am sure Dr. Dobson does, that as Christians we must not be given over to situational ethics but to truth; and specifically to the truth contained in the Word of God. It alone can bring clarity for all things pertaining to life and godliness (John 17:17; 2 Peter 1:3-4). Therefore, let us endeavor to search the Scriptures and extract its principles that can shed light and provide meaningful dialogue and direction as to how we are to respond as Christians in the face of an ungodly generation.

It's easy to be outraged today. Whether you are from the liberal left, the conservative right, the moderate middle, Christian or atheist, people are promulgating for their rights while abdicating others freedom. This conflict for individual rights whether it be family values, sexual purity or sexual preference, religious freedom, the sanctity of human life or morality is thundering across America today. The flames of these issues are burning white hot against the dark standardless times facing this nation.

One of the most recent "social causes" that Christians seem to find themselves in is the ongoing fight for a constitutional ammendment defining marriage and family as "one-man, one-woman" against the trend these days to legitimize same sex marriage. While I totally agree with the conviction that same sex marriage is wrong and sin against God, it saddens me that one evangelical leader, a faithful-godly pastor, has said that he will spend the remainder of his earthly days, "until his last breath is taken", to get a constitutional ammendment passed that biblically defines what family and marriage according to God's Word should be. Again, at face-value this looks like a noble battle. But I appeal to you beloved to be thinking biblical Christians not reacting to social ills but proactively responding out of the truth of God's Word. What people need is not the constitutionalizing of moral standards contained in God's Word, but the call to repent of their sin and turn to God by faith and through grace in Christ Jesus in order to have the forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life. How sad it would be if that particular pastor was reduced to being a political voice fighting for a constitutional ammendment on marriage, rather than being a herald of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We are like drunks in a fog staggering without clarity of mind trying to find a place of sobriety and rehabilitation from the addicting and intoxicating ills that plague our lives and land. Each side has drawn their battle lines in the sand and by doing so; each side has drawn their weapons. The concern for us as Christians should be that many in the church are trying to use carnal weapons to fight spiritual battles. So how are we to act as believers in a fallen world to issues like the one being addressed above? Let's look at what the Word of God says.


First, our strength as Christians stems not from having access to the White House, rallying millions of born again believers in a moral majority, obtaining influence in the political/socio-economic realm, massing large scale petition drives, or organizing city wide marches down the corridors of main street U.S.A. Our power is solely found in the Lord. In the sixth chapter of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul gives us what William Gurnall calls "the Christian in complete armor". The armor is our feet shod with the gospel of peace; the belt of truth; the breast plate of righteousness; the helmet of salvation; the shield of faith; the sword of the Spirit. Out of the six pieces of armor listed take note that not one piece deals with human institutions, ingenuity, ability or means. Only spiritual ones. That is why it is called the armor of God!

The foe we face, beloved, is not made of flesh and blood, like Madonna, "but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places" (v.12). We are to "be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might" (v.10), as well as, to "put on the full armor of God that [we] may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil" (v.11).

The strength to fight spiritual battles is not found in us, but only in Christ the Lord. In other words folks, brace yourselves, we are inconsequential and impotent when it comes to using human means to execute spiritual warfare! 2 Cor. 3:5 removes all doubt when Paul says, "Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God."


Secondly, the weapons we should use are not carnal but divine! It concerns me that when the church confronts sin in the world today, that our first thoughts are to picket, protest, march, boycott, generate publicity, lobby politicians, etc. Certainly the prophets of old had reason to protest the evils propagated against captive Israel. But Jeremiah says, "And seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare" (Jer. 29:7).

Paul had ample opportunity to wage a revolt against the Roman populace and government for the utter filth and degradation that filled the streets of Rome. But he didn't. What about the temple prostitutes at Corinth and the occult practices and genocide that Nero practiced? No uprising ever occurred in the Biblical record. Even our Lord had just reason for leading a people out of the horrific moral and political climate He encountered. But instead, Jesus said these amazing words to Pilate before He went to the cross, "....if My kingdom were of this world my disciples would be fighting..." (John 18:36). Do we think that we are more capable, sophisticated, wise, equipped, intelligent, perceptive, holy people than the prophets, the apostles, and even our Lord Himself? Truly we have made "flesh our arm" (Jer. 17:5) and are reaping the benefits of our lowly labor.

The Church in America has lost its impact, insight, and identity because it has lost its identification with the head of the Church, Jesus Christ. We are more associated with the political process - Republicans, Democrats, Independents and Christians than with the work of Jesus Christ. We have sought and become a political-economic force rather than a spiritual one. Why is it that we can assemble five thousand Christians to champion a cause or boycott an artists public display of sensuality, but at that same time its virtually impossible to gather five hundred Christians for prayer meeting? The problem with the world is not the world, ladies and gentlemen. The problem with the world are Christians trying to sneak into heaven incognito.


We have two weapons in the body of Christ: Prayer (1 Timothy 2:1-4; Ephesians 6:19-21), and the Word of God (Luke 4:1-12; Hebrews 4:12-13; Ephesians 6:18; Psalm 19:7-10; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). Though they are few in number they are tremendously powerful.

Listen to the Apostle Paul as he describes the omnipotence of these weapons. "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful [literally powered by God] for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:3-5). "Every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God" - like pornography? Yes. "Taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" - like Madonna's book distributed to libraries? Yes. When we may accomplish all that through divine means to the glory of God, why would we ever resort to the foolish, fleshly, carnal human efforts of boycott?

I know that it sounds tremendously heroic and courageous to call for such action as a boycott, but is it more a sign of spiritual weakness that we do not trust the Lord to bring justice in His time, by His standard, in His way. I am not saying do nothing; don't get involved. But what I am saying is... do it God's way. Would we not rather see lives changed for eternity through the gospel than give ourselves over to economic-political evangelical manipulation?

Civil disobedience is only allowed Biblically under two strict circumstances: 1.) When the government commands us to do something that God prohibits; and 2.) When the government prohibits us from doing something God commands! Therefore, since our government has not mandated for every citizen of this country to buy, study, memorize Madonna's book and causing many to lust, covet, etc. and violate God's standard of holiness, the issue cannot be won through the legislative process. According to our country's laws she has the right to release her art and we have the right not to buy it. It's that simple.

That brings us to the private sector. Certainly, no one would ask Dr. Dobson to withdraw all of his books from the same stores that sell Madonna's books (as he had said he would do-but hasn't); it would also be unreasonable for Dr. Dobson to organize and publicly insite a boycott of every bookstore that carries non-Christian objectionable material; every movie theater that shows an PG-13, R, and X rated movies; every magazine stand that displays all soft and hard pornography; every kind of venue that carries product unacceptable to the Christian ethic including Madonna's. If we take his line of thought to its logical conclusion, we would constantly be in a state of protest, boycott, banning, ostracizing and civil upheaval within the church. We would be paralyzed from doing what we should have been doing all along and that is proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world.

Let's turn the tables a bit. Years ago, Barbra Streisand called for a boycott on Colorado because they did not affirm her own ideology involving gay rights. Are we now going to boycott all her albums and films? Picket her rare concert appearances? Cease to rent her videos? Are we going to again use carnal weapons to fight spiritual battles?

We are asking Madonna to live a standard of righteousness that she is incapable of living. Romans 6:20 says, "For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness." She is not a Christian by her own admission. What people like Madonna need is not our protest, but to hear of the gospel of grace; salvation through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. "If any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creation. All the old things pass away - behold all things become new" (2 Cor. 5:17). Wouldn't it be great to see Madonna become a new creation in Christ and to be our sister in the Lord!

The problems that plague our society are not political, economic, or even moral at their core - they are spiritual. We cannot fight spiritual problems with carnal weapons. May the world find us doing what our Lord has instructed us to do - not marching in the streets but on our knees; not protesting nonbelievers, but proclaiming the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ which is the power of God unto salvation. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Madonna saw thousands of Christians praying for her and proclaiming the gospel of grace rather than evangelical leaders calling for a boycott of her? Remember, Jesus Christ our Lord was known as a "friend of sinners", not a socio-economic political agitator.

In closing, may we all heed these four great truths that Paul gives to Titus as to how we are to live in a fallen world:

Recognize Your Duty
"Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be uncontentious, gentle, showing every consideration for all men" (Titus 3:1-2).

Remember your Depravity
"For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another" (Titus 3:3).

Rejoice in your Deliverance
But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:5-7).

Render Good Deeds
"This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men" (Titus 3:8)


Friday, October 06, 2006

The UN Plan for Global Migration
Part 1
by Berit Kjos - June 4, 2006

"The implications for state sovereignty are also complex.... All states should establish coherent national migration policies that are ... consistent with international treaty law."[1] UN's Global Commission on International Migration

"Why, oh why, is Bush so stubbornly rejecting the advice of his supporters even though that advice is consistent with the thunderous message from public opinion surveys?"[2] Phyllis Schlafly

A borderless world! Social solidarity! Economic equality! Housing and health for all! The feel-good togetherness of serving the greater whole.... The list of utopian promises stretches the imagination. How can this dream be fulfilled? What will it cost? Why is migration vital to this process? How free is our president to block this transformational plan?

This dream of a New World Order was born long before socialist visionaries (including Franklin Roosevelt and the leaders of the Federal Council of Churches) enthroned Communist Alger Hiss as the first head of the United Nations.[3] [See The Revolutionary Roots of the UN] Hiss was the primary author of The UN Charter, which summarized its vision in noble terms that few could criticize. "WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS," it began,

"DETERMINED to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war... to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained... and for these ends to practice tolerance and... to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all.... Accordingly, our respective Governments, through representatives assembled in the city of San Francisco... do hereby establish an international organization to be known as the United Nations."[4]

It took the Second World War to make the new system acceptable to the people. In the wake of that useful crisis, the masses willingly embraced the UN promise of "economic and social advancement of all" under the guiding hand of the new "international machinery."

In the decades that followed, most people seemed to dismiss UN treaties and declarations as "soft laws" and policies with little effect on national sovereignty. They didn't know the many ways UN declarations would permeate national laws and policies. [See Trading U.S. Rights for UN Rules] The mainstream media didn't tell us. So when the The Global Commission on International Migration was launched by the United Nations Secretary-General and a number of governments on December 9, 2003, few saw the red lights.[5]

But America is awakening. An immigrant-friendly nation, it has welcomed grateful immigrants from around the world into its system. Now, it faces something something new. The word immigration implies people moving across a national border into another country. In contrast, migration simply means people moving. No border! It supports the vision of a borderless global society, and it intentionally clashes with national sovereignty, laws and independence. Thomas Sowell summarizes some of its current problems:

"Under affirmative action, combined with amnesty, [illegals] would have preferences in jobs and other benefits. Those who set up their own businesses would be entitled to preferences in getting government contracts. Their children would be able to get into college ahead of the children of American citizens with better academic qualifications. ... [I]f an illegal alien gets stopped for going through a red light... in many communities the cop is forbidden to arrest him.... Under a provision recently passed by the Senate, illegal aliens who forged Social Security cards not only get a pass, they get to collect Social Security benefits. ... We have seen what havoc such notions and practices have created after mass immigration under 'guest worker' programs in Europe...."[6]

This legalized lawlessness fuels the "crisis" needed to persuade the masses to accept mass surveillance, universal data collection, and other intrusive strategies for worldwide control. And it gets worse:
"Based on a one-year in-depth study, a researcher estimates there are about 240,000 illegal immigrant sex offenders in the United States who have had an average of four victims each."

"The immigration reform bill now under congressional consideration would grant amnesty to some 10 million illegal immigrants.... CIRA would transform the United States socially, economically and politically. Within two decades, the character of the nation would differ dramatically from what exists today."

"When Sept. 11 hijackers Hani Hanjour and Khalid Almihdhar needed help getting fraudulent government-issued photo IDs before embarking on their suicide mission, they hopped into a van and headed to the parking lot of a 7-Eleven store in Falls Church, Va. That's where scores of illegal alien day laborers ply bogus identity documents to other illegal aliens from around the world.... Nearly five years later, illegal alien day laborers like the ones who unwittingly assisted the 9/11 hijackers have virtually no fear of being arrested."

A web of secrecy and a flood of misleading propaganda hides the truth from taxpayers who cover the costs. For example, the title of the "Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America" may sound good, but it actually undermines both security and prosperity for ordinary citizens. Wondering why their elected leaders ignore their pleas, many face rising lawlessness, unthinkable litter, lost jobs, and continual fear of violence.[10]

The reasons are simple. International regulations have already bound nations around the world to regional as well as global laws and policies. To understand their aims, let's look at the United Nation's Report of the Global Commission on International Migration [GCIM]. Chapter 6 warns us that "international migration is a complex phenomenon," and most states (nations)

"recognize the importance of international migration and seek to address it in a way that enables them to respect their international obligations."[1] What does that mean? Might the word "respect" actually imply "obedience" to international guidelines?

An illusion of national sovereignty

The subtle language in many UN documents hides the assault on national sovereignty. While sounding affirmative, it undermines any "sovereign" action that might oppose UN policies. The UN Declaration on Human Rights illustrates this manipulative language well. Its Article 18 upholds "the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion..." Article 19 affirms "the right to freedom of opinion and expression...."

But Article 29 states that "these rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations." In other words, its promise of "human rights" does not apply to those who would criticize the UN or its policies. Nor does it apply to Christians who cling to God's "offensive" truths -- or refuse to follow UNESCO's Declaration on the Role of Religion.[11]

The migration issue shifts national sovereignty onto the same slippery ground. In the numbered items below, notice the GCIM's promising assurance -- followed by a clear denial of traditional sovereignty:

"8. First, state sovereignty is the very basis for international cooperation....

"9. Second, with sovereignty comes responsibility. As the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (2001) has observed, recent years have witnessed a reorientation 'from sovereignty as control to sovereignty as responsibility in both internal functions and external duties.' Sovereignty as responsibility has become the minimum content of good international citizenship. Just as individuals have rights and responsibilities as citizens of states, so states have rights and responsibilities as members of the international community. [Note: That responsibility falls primarily on the "rich" developed nations considered capable of hosting, funding and managing the world's migrating human resources.]

"10. ...The European Union (EU) can be viewed as an example of a group of states that have retained their sovereignty [Have they?]...

"11. ...States establish international bodies when certain issues – or ‘common goods’ – warrant a more formal and collective form of governance."[1]

The following points show some of the ways nations must cooperate with regional and global policies:

"15. If states are to address the issue of international migration in a coherent manner, they must have... criteria for the entry and residents of non-citizens that are consistent with international law. ... [T]hey should at minimum address the following issues:
• family reunion, asylum, refugee protection and

• the prevention of irregular migration and the promotion of regular migration [The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act (CIRA) would add an extra 84 million legal immigrants to the nation's population];[8]

• integration, including the rights and obligations of migrants, citizens and the state...
"17. All states should adopt a coherent approach to international migration that is consistent with international law and other relevant norms....

"21. ...This in turn requires effective data collection, policy analysis, research, monitoring and evaluation....

"23. ... develop an infrastructure that provides social, educational and legal assistance to migrants, and that helps the host society adapt to the presence of migrants;• ensure that resident foreign nationals are effectively represented by migrant associations... [A partnership between U.S. and Mexico provides such legal protection of "human rights" for illegal immigrants in the U.S. Small wonder it's hard for U.S. courts to deal with foreign criminals] [12]• build up a capacity for data collection and analysis, research, monitoring and evaluation."[1]

Regional integration

Regional integration, such as the European Union (EU), was planned long ago as a stepping stone toward global governance. Since the regulations for regionalism are established at the UN level, this initial merger of nations -- such as Canada, United States and Mexico -- redefines sovereignty and submits everyone to international controls. Ashley Mote, an independent member of the European Parliament, explains how this revolutionary system would swallow up any representative form of government:

"Even the EU's public face - the unelected commission - is part of the charade. Power does not lie with them. It lies with the senior staff running their departments, entrenched by some 3000 working groups and committees on which no elected MEP sits.... We do not know what their budgets are, how they are financed, or who approves their costs. Indeed, we do not even know what powers they have been given, nor by whom. And we cannot get rid of them....

"The EU would no longer be the servant of the member states. It would have become their master. Every previous treaty was a small step along that road.... The other 24 commissioners, each appointed by the other member states... are figure-heads. They take the flak in the public arena, and make announcements decided for them by their senior staff, with the guidance of the secret committees.

"...officially above the commission sits a Council of Ministers.... But the council is just more of the same elaborate illusion of accountable government. ... The European Parliament sits below this vast superstructure... designed to create an illusion of accountable democracy. A condescending pat on the head for voters held in contempt.

"...the EU’s parliament... is the repository of an unspoken agreement between the left and the multinationals. ... In effect, the left has said to the multinationals: you can have your markets stitched up for you, if we can indulge ourselves in endless social engineering. Big business has agreed. The result is a largely supportive parliament both from the left and right of the political divide."[13]

Today's euphemistic propaganda for regional governance continues to mislead the public. These statements by
GCIM show only the positive side of the issue:

34. In the EU, for example, citizens of member states can move with relative ease from one country to another, enjoying the benefits of a common labour market....

35. Efforts have also been made to establish various types of economic integration and related freedom of movement agreements in other regions of the world, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)....

The Commission commends in particular the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), which aims to establish an integrated socio-economic development framework for Africa."[1]

In Parts 2 and 3, we will look more closely at how the beliefs, cultural values, poverty and lawlessness inherent to the migration crisis create a public mindset that welcomes other UN goals: universal surveillance, universal data tracking, a new kind of "human settlement," and collective participation in the dialectic process. With the Canadian, anti-Christian UN leader, Maurice Strong, as one of the guiding lights behind this revolution, my biggest concern might be the UN "laws" that ban Biblical outreach to this new "mission field" in our midst.

Meanwhile, study this chart [www.crossroad.to/charts/paradigm_shift.html] and remember God's promise to His people:

"...in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39