Friday, April 17, 2009

HOLY RELICS

The American Heritage College Dictionary defines "relic" as the following:


"Something that has survived the passage of time, especially an object or custom whose original culture has interest. Something cherished for its age or historic interest. An object kept for its association with the past; a momento. An object of religious veneration, especially a piece of the body, or a personal item of a saint. From the Latin "relinquere" - to leave behind."

Interesting . . .

We Christians are perceived in two different ways by two different kinds of people.

God is a Person who sees us as holy for we have been purchased with the blood of Christ, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit having been born again as a result of receiving Christ and His atoning death on the cross.

Certain other people, Christian pastors, leaders, those who even disparage the name of 'Christian', that prefer to call themselves "Christ Followers" (even though they most assuredly are not) see us saints of the Most High as relics from an age gone by, whose time of influence existed before the Age of Modernism (a philosophical system whereby truth is ascertainable and achieved by human rationalism, reasoning and intellect, and that God is no longer necessary as a source of truth).

These so-called Christ Followers, are more accurately labeled as the Emergent Church Movement and they claim that their time has come and for traditional Christians to step aside if they are unwilling to change (its a "change or die" motif among these ECM leaders!) in this post-Modern era (a philosophical belief system that disparages any who claim to know truth; rather, this system aspires to question, to explore and discover personal truth which varies from one to another. It also summarily rejects any notion of absolutism and objective truth) in which views long held by the church, the body of Christ are frowned upon, ignored or, in their eyes, invalidated.

They disregard biblical truth regarding:

-The Blood Atonement
-Spiritual rebirth resulting from receiving Christ Jesus and His atoning work.
-The Deity of Christ
-The Last Days and The Second Coming as well as all eschatological prophecies of the scriptures.
-The very idea Scripture being the absolute Truth and Word of God, and Scripture in their totality being inspired by God.
-The Kingdom of God as something yet future and ushered in by Christ Jesus Himself at His Second Advent.

What amazes me about these people is that they deny the quintessential fundamentals of the Scripture, the very heart and bedrock of Christian theology and teachings, and yet still claim to represent the truth of Jesus: who He is, and what He represents! They have the audacity to presume that they themselves are prolific teachers and leaders for the church, in total denial of Christ Jesus and His Word!

If they choose to disregard so much of Christian doctrine, why do they even desire to claim to be 'Christ-Followers'?? Why don't they become Buddhists, Hindus, Scientologists or New Agers?!

Answer: Infiltration! That is their goal! They desire to infiltrate and pervert (like "leaven" or yeast; MATT. 16:6,11-13)) the Christian body with their theologically erroneous dogmas and practices! I suspect that once fully infiltrated that they will then assimilate these evangelical, Bible-based churches into a global religion, spearheaded by the church of Rome which has long sought leadership among various churches, denominations and world religions.

Is the body of Christ is too weak to repel this 'disease'? There seems to be among many Christians a lack of desire for the pure milk and meat of the Word and godly exercise; they are anemic, anorexic, and susceptible.

It behooves all of us that love the LORD Jesus Christ, that we earnestly contend for the faith, that we stand up for righteousness, that we not compromise the Word that's been entrusted to us, that we do indeed genuinely love the sinner, hate the sin (not the other way around as some might practice), and to faithfully herald the gospel that our LORD commissioned us with.

Prayerfully seeking God's will, searching and studying the scriptures, getting involved in some personal research on this broad issue by reading good books on the subject (Trojan Church by Greg Reid, Faith Undone by Roger Oakland; A Time Of Departing, For Many Shall Come In My Name by Ray Yungen; also books by Warren Smith such as Reinventing Jesus, Deceived on Purpose, and A Wonderful Deception) are all helpful methods and means by which we can effectively repel these heretical suppositions and warn others who may not be aware of these teachings and those that teach them (a partial list of names of those who are ECM leaders will be included at the end of this entry).

So if you will indulge me, I'd like to examine these biblically relevant issues and show what these ECM leaders say, and provide a counter by biblical response.

"You see, if we have a new world, we will need a new church. We won't need a new religion per se, but a new frame work for our theology. Not a new Spirit, but a new spirituality. Not a new Christ, but a new Christian. Not a new denomination, but a new kind of church in every denomination." - Brian McLaren.
Note: McLaren speaks of "a new spirituality" which is a newer term for what was formerly known as the New Age movement; the preferred term in today's world is a New Spirituality!

Why? Why would we need a new church in a new world (this is still the same old world governed by the same old sin nature and the same old Satan, doing the same old sinful, rebellious practices)?

Has the formation of this so-called new world taken God by surprise? In His omniscience and omnipresence has He somehow over looked this paradigm shift and fumbled the ball in not providing the church with equipment necessary to take on this 'new' challenge? Will we have to come up with our own answers here in the church since God must have forgotten to provide them for us?

The scriptures were granted to us by God, giving us all the equipment we need to meet the needs of EVERY generation of fallen mankind which God. In His foreknowledge He determined beforehand by inspiring the writers of the Word to record all that mankind would need answers to, whether it's the 2nd Century, 12th Century, 20th Century, or the 23rd Century! Granted that with the passage of time, different approaches may be utilized to convey the Gospel, but not at the expense of drastically changing (which Brian McLaren ADMITS to!) and gutting the integral Truth of the message as these ECM leaders are doing!

2 PETER 1:3,20-21
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost
.

2 TIM 3:16-17
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect (that is 'complete'), thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

God didn't give us a partial store of spiritual equipment, but has thoroughly equipped us and has given us ALL things via His infinite knowledge and foresight. We're not in need of any new kind of church, or frame work, or new spirituality (How is it one would need a 'new spirituality' when we don't require a new Spirit, since our spirituality is derivative of the Spirit of God?).

Here's what one ECM leader had to say about being born again:

"...my mother, a convert to Evangelical Christianity. . . hoped I would have one of those dramatic "born again" experiences. That was the way she had come into a personal relationship with Christ. . . But it never worked for me. It took me quite some time to realize that entering into a personal relationship with Christ does not always happen that way. In my case, intimacy with Christ developed . . . primarily through 'centering prayer' . . . say[ing] his name over and over again. Jesus is my mantra. . ." - Letters To A Young Evangelical by Tony Campolo

This hardly needs a response, so suffice it to say that any relationship with Jesus must be predicated upon those terms that Jesus Christ Himself established, and He unequivocally stated that one "must be born again to see" and "enter into the Kingdom of God. (JOHN 1:12-13; 3:3-5; 1 PET 1:23)" This is the way that Jesus taught, and there IS no other way other than the LORD Jesus Himself: He makes the rules!

This is the primary methodology of the ECM to create a substitute for being born again of God's Spirit; since receiving Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior and being infused by the Holy Spirit is out of the question for practical ECM dogma, a substitute to mimic godly spirituality is required; this is found in mysticism, specifically in something called Contemplative Prayer (from various Desert Catholic fathers of the Third Century and on, as well as Buddhist and New Age methods [are all acceptable]). Subjective phenomenon via such meditative practices will evoke experiences that will determine truth for the ECM.

This is absolutely no different than what is found in the occult: experience determines truth. However, biblical truth differentiates experiences, whether they are valid or not. We are to test the spirits, we are to test any teachings, with the Word of God, our ultimate authority for Truth.

JOHN 4:1
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 

ACTS 17:11

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Regarding the Second Coming of Christ, Brian McLaren had this to say,

"The book of Revelation is an example of popular literary genre of ancient Judaism. . . instead of being a book about the distant future, it becomes a way of talking about challenges of the immediate present."

And also: "Other readers will be thinking of long passages in the Gospels that seem to be full of prognostication from the lips of Jesus Himself, relat[ing] to the end of the world. What are we to make of these passages, such as MATT 24th and 25th Chapters. . . Since Jewish apocalyptic was a popular genre in Jesus' day, we would expect him to be influenced by it and use its language and metaphors[:] destruction of the world, "the moon will turn to blood" or "the stars will fall from the sky - are actually rather typical stock phrases in Jewish apocalyptic. They are no more to be taken literally than phrases we might read in the paper today."

It might just be me, but I haven't noticed any "challenges of the immediate present" that involves 150 lb. hail stones, or a million man army marching through Europe wreaking havoc along the way, or an outpouring the demonic hosts resembling locusts, covering the Earth and tormenting mankind for months on end, or angels pouring out vials of judgment and wrath.

How Brian comes to these conclusions logically, I haven't got a clue!

And to suggest that Jesus was "influenced" by the language of Jewish apocalyptic is outlandish; one gets the idea that if not for such language, and influences Jesus would have omitted such statements and thus had been absent from New Testament text!

However these statements are not Jewish apocalyptic utilized in popular genre. Brian trivializes the importance of Old Testament canon and prophecies as contained in Joel, Daniel, Isaiah and elsewhere. Jesus validated these statements and verified that they are indeed the Word of God, and warned us that these things are actual events that would transpire on the Earth:

LUKE 21:28
And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."

MATT 24:15-21

When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

That sounds like literal events yet to occur in our future horizon to me, rather than "a way of talking about present day challenges" (as if these were socio-economic and political issues to be resolved by social interaction by a church who will help solve these problems by lending a hand)!

Tony Campolo has stated that Christians who "make a big thing of their claims that we are now living in the final stages of church history prior to the second coming of Christ have been the cause of "extremely detrimental" consequences. They discount the Sermon on the Mount, they don't care about the needy, and they have such a negative 'impact on geopolitics' which Campolo says "can only lead to war" (???).

Likewise Rick Warren of 'Purpose Driven Life' fame blatantly states that these types of Christian fundamentalists are "one of the biggest enemies of the 21st century" and likens them to Islamic fundamentalists!

Campolo, Warren, McLaren and other ECM leaders desire to negate any such talk or hopes for Christ Jesus physical return to Earth to establish His righteous reign for a social gospel of helps that would make this world our home, and by our own blood, sweat and tears construct the Kingdom of God here and now.

The response from Scripture however is incontestable:

COL 3:1-4
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

2 PET 3:1-4
This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.


LUKE 12:31-38

But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.
Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.
And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.


MARK 13:31-37
Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

1 PET 2:11-12
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation."

JOHN 17:14-16
I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."

The Blood Atonement Of Christ Jesus Is Now A Slaughter House Religion?!

"Jesus suffered as a substitute for us" because of our sins "is a pre-civilized barbarity." And also:

"Too many theories of the atonement assume that by one single high priestly act of self-sacrifice Christ saved the world. These legalistic theories of the atonement are in my judgment a theological disgrace." Harry Emerson Fosdick, pastor of Riverside Church, NYC

Once again, from Brian McLaren:

". . . the kingdom of God doesn't come . . . by inflicting violence and coercing people [but] through suffering and willing, voluntary sacrifice. But the doctrine of hell says no, that's not really true. That in the end, God gets His way through coercion and violence and intimidation and domination, just like every other kingdom does. The cross isn't the center then. The cross is almost a distraction and false advertising for God."

McLaren's reasoning of the cross is that God can't forgive in the same manner as He commands us, His followers, to do. God must punish someone else before He can forgive us, but we don't ourselves forgive those who offend us, and then go kick the dog instead.

Here is something from Alan Jones, Episcopal priest and author of the book Reimagining Christianity:

"The Church's fixation on the death of Jesus as the universal saving act must end, and the place of the cross must be re-imagined in Christian faith. Why? Because of the cult of suffering and the vindictive God behind it.
"The other thread of just criticism addresses the suggestion implicit in the cross that Jesus' sacrifice was to appease an angry God. Penal substitution [the cross] was the name of this vile doctrine. (emphasis mine)"

Just one more: this time from William Shannon -

" . . . He is the God who exacts the last drop of blood from His Son, so that His just anger, evoked by sin, may be appeased. This God whose moods alternate between graciousness and fierce anger . . . this God does not exist."

Mr. Fosdick is incorrect in his assertion that the blood atonement is merely a theological theory. When theologians make conjecture based on scriptural observation, that can certainly be considered theory and this would include musings and surmise on the part of such liberal theologians as Mr. Fosdick himself.

Yet the blood atonement is a deeply biblical doctrine that is stated in repleted fashion throughout the Bible. 'Atonement' occurs 81 times in 70 distinct verses in the KJV.

EXODUS 29:36; 32:30; LEVITICUS 4:20; 6:7; NUMBERS 6:11; 15:25-28

ROM 5:11

And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

EPH 2:13; HEB 9:14; 1 PET 1:2; 1 JOHN 1:7

REV 1:5
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood


What McLaren fails to realize is that God is not a human being, who for the sake of Christ forgives others (a wife in his example) in the light of Christ's forgiveness for His sin. God is sinless, Holy, righteous, and He is not only our Creator, but also our Judge (even a superficial reading of the Psalms paints an accurate portrayal of God as a just God and Judge).

As a Holy Judge, bound by Truth and Divine Integrity, He must judge sin, and can't simply overlook it. God is indeed Love, and desires a relationship with all, but our sin stands in the way of such a relationship. God can't partake of sin. Yet desiring to partake in intimate fellowship with us, His creation, He sent His Son to take our penalty of sin.

However hell is not a punitive action taken upon all who refuse God's gift of grace and love. It's not at all like God said to human beings, "You either receive Christ Jesus and His sacrifice for your salvation or ELSE I will consign you to the flames of hell!"

Scripture is quite plain about this:

JOHN 3:18-19
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.


The condemnation to hell had already been established for every sinner who is outside of the grace of God at the fall of Adam, and its only by reaching out and receiving this salvation that one is spared from eternal hell.

Its as though the entire human race is racing down a mighty rapids, gushing towards destruction, and God throws us a life line. Whether that life line was thrown or not, we would have inevitably gone over the edge to our deaths had we not reached out and accepted God's offer of salvation!

God the Son freely of His own accord laid down His life for us and took the just punishment from the Father, so that we would be liberated from the eternal result of our sin and corruption. It isn't that God would condemn them to go over those falls if they didn't accept the line; it would simply be a matter of course for sin is indeed eternal separation from God.

Alan Jones statements are so reprehensible in regards to God's grace exhibited by the cross of Christ that had they issued forth from Satan's own mouth, I would not find the phenomena incongruous in the least. What he calls vile, we call 'blessed'.

GAL 6:14
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

It seems quite evident that Alan Jones and his colleagues collectively represent a particular group that scripture describes most aptly:

PHIL 3:18 - 20
(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.). For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ

ACTS 20:28-31
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.


The Word of God Is Not God's Word, Nor Is The Resurrected Christ the Divine Subject

Marcus Borg, mentor of Rob Bell and ECM leader:

"I let go of the notion that the Bible is a divine product. I learned that it is a human cultural product, the product of two ancient communities, biblical Israel and the early Christianity. As such it contained their understandings and affirmations, not statements coming directly or somewhat directly from God . . . I realized that whatever "divine revelation" and the "inspiration of the Bible" meant (if they meant anything), that they did not mean that the Bible was a divine product with divine authority."

"Jesus almost certainly was not born of a virgin, did not think of himself as the Son of God, and did not see his purpose as dying for the sins of the world."

"To think that the central meaning of Easter (resurrection) depends on something spectacular happening to Jesus' corpse misses the point pf the Easter message and risks trivializing the story. To link Easter primarily to an afterlife. as if our post-death existence depends on God having transformed the corpse of Jesus, is to reduce the story to a politically domesticated yearning for our survival beyond death."

Enough scripture has pointed out here that the Bible is indeed God's Word; and its demonstrably provable to any who do the research. It has proven itself by numerous external and internal proofs, and there are countless numbers of excellent apologetic works that demonstrate these, among them, Evidence That Demands A Verdict Vol. I and II by Josh McDowell.

Jesus continuously made statements like

JOHN 8:58
Before Abraham was I am and

JOHN 10:30
I and the Father are one. and

JOHN 14:9
If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father

And scripture is drenched with testimony to the truth that Jesus is indeed God made flesh, most notably JOHN 1:1-3 and 1 TIM 3:16.

Scripture likewise points out in prophecy and documentation via the Gospels that Jesus was the Son of God, only begotten, and that He indeed was born of the virgin Mary, having no earthly father, for had that been the case, Jesus would be a typical human being with a typical sinful nature and thus ineligible as a sacrifice for our sins. ISAIAH 7:14 and the accounts in Luke suffice to support this.

Jesus didn't see His purpose as dying for the sins of the world? Really . . .

JOHN 12:27
Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.

MATT 20:28

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

MARK 10:45

For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

When Christ was about to give up the Ghost, He proclaimed, "IT IS FINISHED" or in the Greek, tetelestoi, meaning "paid in full" an accountants term for a debt being met. Jesus Himself declared that the debt of sin for all mankind had then been paid and entirely satisfied, and any statements suggesting that Christ did not come to die for the sins of the world is nothing more than satanic obfuscation.

As for the assertion that the preaching of the Resurrection misses the message, well . . .

1 COR 15:1-4; 13-22
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how 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:
"But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive
.


So then we who believe in the Bible, who believe that Christ Jesus is God made flesh, that He who came the first time is coming a second time to establish His reign, and all else that the church had held as sacred for centuries may indeed be considered relics by the ECM but in God's eyes we are holy, righteous and sanctified.

More on these issues of holiness and sanctification in a later entry!

In closing, here is a partial list of ECM leaders, speakers, and affiliates; please be advised that these people are not all involved in Emergent Theology to the same depth and degree: some are dabbling, others are dedicated -

UPDATE: 8/03/11
Here is an article that expounds upon the many pastors and teachers who are increasingly supportive of and even participating in contemplative prayer from the Spiritual Formation movement, something that the EMERGENT CHURCH embraces enthusiastically!

CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER and EASTERN MYSTICISM are the SAME THING:


Here is a growing list of names to beware of, comprised of EMERGENT as well as LIBERAL Advocates and Leaders: 


Leith Anderson,
Rob Bell, Ken Blanchard, Marcus Borg, Walter Bruggemann, Martin Buber, Bob Buford, Spencer Burke,
Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, Tony Campolo, Chuck Colson, Larry Crabb,

Dale Dirksen, Mark Driscoll, Peter Drucker*,
Meister Eckhart, Tilden Edwards, John Eldredge,

Harry Fosdick, Richard Foster, Matthew Fox,
Jon Gordon, Marcus Grodi,

Herbert Hoefer, Bill Hybels,
Alan Jones, Laurie Beth Jones, Tony Jones,

Thomas Keating, Dan Kimball,
Brother Lawrence,

Johan Malan, Brennan Manning, Carl McColman, Brian McLaren, Erwin McManus, Thomas Merton, Donald Miller, J.P. Moreland,

Henri Nouwen, John Ortberg, Doug Pagitt, Basil Pennington, Eugene Peterson,
Richard Rohr, Wayne Rice,

Pete Scazzero, Chris Seay, Samir Selmanovic, William Shannon, Don Southerland, Lee Stroebel, Leonard Sweet,

Mother Teresa, Gary Thomas, Phyllis Tickle, Evelyn Underhill,
Donald Neale Walsh, Rick Warren, Ken Wilber, Dallas Willard.

* Peter Drucker was foundational in establishing Christian Leadership Network, a forerunner to the Emergent Church movement. Members of the CLN are today's most prolific Emergent leaders. Peter Drucker began the work to establish the CLN back in the late 1950's!

Here is a list of Christians that would appear, from their writings and statements to be sympathetic to Emergent/Contemplative teachings and practices:

Charles (Chuck) Swindoll, David Jeremiah, Josh McDowell, Beth Moore, Charles Stanley, Max Lucado

Here is a list of New Age/Spiritualist (Hindu and Buddhist as well) leaders that readily admit (as do Emergent Leaders) that there is essentially no difference between Contemplative Prayer and Mantra Meditation:

Sue Monk Kidd, Ken Blanchard, Laurie Beth Jones, Jon Gordon, Dalai Lama, meditator Daniel Goleman, Thich Nhat Hanh, Marilyn Ferguson and Wayne Dyer, Carl McColman, Vijay Eswaran’s, Caroline Myss

May the LORD Jesus keep you in His grace, peace, mercy and agape love!

6 comments:

barbie said...

Not to correct you or anything but if you search in Genesis you see the first blood atonement when God himself covered Adam and Eve in the lamb's skin. The only way to obtain a skin is to sacrifice the lamb. When God covered Adam and Eve with the skin of the lamb then he most assuredly performed the first sacrifice for man and again performed the last sacrifice for man through His Son Jesus Christ of Nazareth!

Loved the article, very well written and I greatly enjoyed reading it and learned a few things!

When we become unteachable, we become unreachable!

A.Kisly said...

You wrote:

They disregard biblical truth regarding:

-The Blood Atonement

-Spiritual rebirth resulting from receiving Christ Jesus and His atoning work.

-The Deity of Christ

-The Last Days and The Second Coming as well as all eschatological prophecies of the scriptures.

-The very idea Scripture being the absolute Truth and Word of God, and Scripture in their totality being inspired by God.

-The Kingdom of God as something yet future and ushered in by Christ Jesus Himself at His Second Advent.


I find it so incredible that the above truths are even in question, that I am sickened and grieved.

A few months ago, I received a letter in the mail from a neighbor who was inviting me to her church. She and her husband are Jehovah Witnesses. I was amazed to have received a personalized handwritten letter instead of the customary visit to my door. I must say that I was compelled to reply. I spent weeks studying their doctrines, and comparing them with the Word of God so that I might give an intelligent answer based on Biblical Truth!

Now here we are discussing many of our “Evangelical” friends, and I find that the same disregard that’s found in what the Church regards as “Cults” is now the disregards of the “Church”. HOW CAN THIS BE?

THEY KNOW NOT THE WORD AND THE WORD IS NOT IN THEM!

A.Kisly said...

Regarding the Second Coming of Christ, for those who believe that the any book of the Bible is just a literary genre of ancient Judaism, and mere metaphors or nice stories, I say PLEASE READ IT AGAIN! The Holy Spirit cannot tell you what the Bible means until you know what the Bible says. The Bible is the inspired, Spirit breathed, Word of Almighty God. It is spiritually discerned…not metaphorically guessed.

Arthur E. Bloomfield wrote a study of Revelation in the book “All Things New”.
He gives a wonderful definition of Bible Prophecy and what the book of Revelation is about and who it is for:

“Prophecy is more than history written in advance; it is the completion of a story. The Bible deals with time – ALL TIME, beginning with the creation as recorded in Genesis and ending with the new heaven and the new earth which includes the Holy City that comes down out of heaven from God, the “long awaited home” of the saints.

The story of time had to be written in the middle of that time; therefore, some of it would have to be written before events took place. This is prophecy.

The book of Daniel completes the story of the nations.
The book of Ezekiel completes the story of the Jews.
The book of Revelation completes the story of the Church.

Revelation is a continuation of the book of Acts. It continues the story of the Church throughout the ages of its earthly history, into heaven at the Resurrection, returning with Christ to reign for a thousand years; then finally receiving the many mansions prepared in the Holy city. REVELATION IS A COMPLETION OF THE STORY OF THE CHURCH.

Revelation is FOR the Church. It was sent to show unto His servants the things which must shortly be done. It is directed to the seven churches and it has seven times repeated command “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22.

A blessing is pronounced to those who read it.

We are commanded to hear.

The Lord pleads with us to take it to heart. “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify unto you these things in the Churches.” The churches should study the other books; they must study Revelation.


Revelation is not only for the Church, it is about the Church. This is probably the most important thing we could say. It has been said that Revelation is for the Church but about the Jews. However, the Jews are not once mentioned in the book, except the 144,000 who have become Christians. The churches are mention in Chapters 1, 2 and 3 and the last chapter. The saints are mentioned or referred to by some means in EVERY chapter.

The “Church” is an earthly name for the organization of the saints of God. The name is not applied to the saints after the Rapture. Other names are used to indicate the particular work that the saints will do at the time: such names as Elders, Living Ones, Horsemen, Angels, Bride of Christ, Kings and Priests. Most of the confusion in the interpretation of Revelation has been caused by a failure to recognize the saints in their heavenly organization and work.”

It is our responsibility to study the book, know what it says, and lean hard upon the Holy Spirit for understanding. For the book of Revelation is a message direct from Jesus Christ to HIS CHURCH. How could anyone neglect and again, discard His Word or worse, pervert the Holy Scriptures leading countless others away from God’s Truth.

James J. Fire said...

Hello Barbie!

I quite agree, that in sacrificing animals in order to cover Adam and Eve in their nakedness is a type of the Supreme sacrifice to come via the LORD Jesus Christ. Can you imagine the look of horror on the faces of our First parents, as God slew an animal, seeing for the first time blood being poured out, resulting in death!
In fact the Bible is drenched with types, and examples of sacrifices that foreshadow the Lamb of God and His Ultimate Sacrifice for the sins of the world!
Most notably the first passage where "love" is mentioned (Law of First mention is very important according the Hermaneutics): "take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest, and offer him up to Me..." And when Abraham offered up Isaac, it was a type of John 3:16 "For God so LOVED the world that HE gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" GLORY to GOD!
Thank you for your kind words and comments Barbie! May the LORD Jesus bless you WAY TOO MUCH!

James J. Fire said...

A. Kisley, I am likewise grieved and heart broken over the deplorable condition of the church, the BODY of Christ. It reminds me very much of Isaiah chapter one: Isa 1:4-6

"Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
"Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
"From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment."

Much of this apostacy, I'm convinced is due to the watering down of the Word of God; every modern translation, as you know, comes from the Wescott and Hort text, and these men likewise denied THE VERY SAME THINGS that were listed (and you quoted) in HOLY RELICS!
You mentioned a letter sent to you by a Jehovah's Witness; not many are aware of the fact that The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, the Bible JW's use and study from is ALSO based on Westcott and Hort's text!

If the Word of God is our foundation, then that which was laid by Westcott and Hort will result in the demise of any church that rests upon it rather than the Bibles that stem from the Textus Receptus (KJV, NKJ).

I can foresee a time ahead where the KJV will be outlawed in this nation (because it states God's Truth!); where only anemic, blasphemous 'Bibles' like The Message, Renovare, and others will be allowed!

James J. Fire said...

Hey A. Kisley!

Off the top of my (pointed?) head, I recall that the two witnesses are probably Jewish, and that the nation of Israel is mentioned as being pursued by the red dragon (remember when the earth opens up and swallows the flood issued by the dragon?).
The church is visible for the first 3 chapters, chapter 4 is transitional, and from ch. 5 to the end of 19, it deals with Israel (while not specifically named) as 'saints' but the tribulation saints are also mentioned in this parenthetical time between the rapture and the Second Coming. The church is visible once again in Ch. 20.

Nevertheless the distinction you've pointed out is very important! 'Saints' are those who are 'sanctified' (its the same root word in the Greek) and these are any that are called out of the world (followers of God prior to the establishment of Israel: Abel, Noah, Enoch, Methuselah, etc.; Israel, the church, the two witnesses, the 144,000, the tribulation saints, saints that follow the LORD during the Millennium) and into special relationship with the LORD.

I think that's one reason why many post-trib Christians think we are going through Daniels 70th week, because the term 'saint' is in evidence in Revelation, as well as Daniel.

Rev 13:7 "And it was given unto him to make war with the SAINTS, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations."

Yet in Matthew's gospel it states: Mat 16:18 " . . . and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

Of course, 'gates' in those days of walled in cities was the location of the heads of state, and where those who ruled the political affairs of that city officiated. Obviously Satan is the head of "the gates of hell" and yet he shall not prevail against the CHURCH.

How can the Beast "make war with the saints" and "overcome them"? if the LORD promised that the Authority of hell would not prevail (same word used in the Greek OT: Septuagint for
"overcome" and "prevail" in Mt. 16:18) against the church?
Answer: the church is indeed a special classification of saints that is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, thus born again. All saints are saved; only the church is spiritually regenerated and indwelt by God's Spirit while on this Earth.

I shall have to look for Arthur E. Bloomfield's book "All Things New"!