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Barna study - Baptists, others adrift in doctrinal beliefs: "The study's findings identify an alarmingly high number of church members whose beliefs fall far short of orthodox Christianity. For example, 41 percent of all adults surveyed believed in the total accuracy of the Bible. Catholics had the lowest percentage (23 percent) who believed the Bible to be accurate, while 81 percent of those attending Pentecostal churches held to the same belief. Only 40 percent of those surveyed believed Christ was sinless, while 27 percent believed Satan to be real.

       "The study determined that evangelicals are scarce. Barna defines "evangelicals" as a subset of "born again" believers -- those who say their faith is very important in their lives, believe they have a responsibility to witness to non- Christians, acknowledge the existence of Satan, contend that eternal salvation is possible only through God's grace and not good deeds, believe that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth and describe God as the all-knowing, all- powerful, perfect deity who created the universe and still rules it today. Those who fit in such a category include only 8 percent of adults." See Statistics for the Changing Church 

 

Baptists, others adrift in doctrinal beliefs: "The Barna report is a credible perspective on the state of Christian conviction in America today," said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. "The report is a striking indictment of the loss of doctrinal confidence and the erosion of biblical beliefs that marks American Christianity." Deut 6:6-7 and Psalm 1:1-6

 

Women of Faith - An Outreach of the U.N.? "Women of Faith founder, Steve Arterburn, was previously a partner with Frank Minirth and Paul Meier of Minirth-Meier Clinics. In 1995, there was a separation with a charge of adultery on the part of Arterburn, who in turn filed a lawsuit against Frank Minirth for libel. Arterburn continues to purvey the Freudian psychology of Minerth-Meier through his New Life Clinics and Women of Faith Conferences. (Please see Biblical Discernment Ministries for various critical analyses of the general teachings and activities of Minirth and Meier.)  Steve Arterburn sees the Women of Faith conferences as a good patient recruiting tool for psychological counseling: “At Women of Faith events, New Life and their Remuda clinics are on hand to provide information about their counseling services.” 

        I am a little uncomfortable with this article, but I ask you to read it prayerfully, taking its warnings to heart. Then review two earlier comments about the Women of Faith movement. Just scroll to the 4th and 5th items in Church.

 

Uniting America Series  Matters of Faith: Religion in American Public Life: "On March 23, 2000, fifty-seven men and women from government, business, labor, law, academia, non-profit organizations, the media, and different religious faiths and faith-based organizations gathered at Arden House, Harriman, New York, for the Ninety-sixth American Assembly entitled "Religion in Public Life." For three days the participants worked together to define policies and actions concerning the role of religion in American public life. This was the second in a new American Assembly series entitled Uniting America: Toward Common Purpose, which is designed to help reverse some of the most difficult and divisive forces in our society."  The consensus process again? Please see The Freedom Forum - Twisting Truth by Group Consensus

 

Sojourners shapes religion/politics debate: "Being 'prophetic' is central to Sojourners' mission. It dates to the early 1970s, when the magazine's founders believed middle-class, white evangelicals had not been sufficiently involved in justice and peace issues....  Mr. Wallis' voice rises with excitement when he describes the network's growth. He believes Sojourners and others are 'on the edge of a movement for social justice that is led by people of faith.' What was once not talked about, he says, has become the focal point of a national conversation." See Conforming the Church to the New Millennium and Faith-Based Compromise

July 2001

DIALECTIC, PRAXIS and the ALPHA COURSE: "The Alpha Course, which originated in Brompton UK, has spread around the world, involving hundreds of thousands of churchgoers. Alpha is ecumenical in nature, the majority of churches in Australia are becoming part of Alpha, which was started by a man called Nicky Gumble.....

      "In our training program for forming Alpha groups we were taught that there should be no prayers that were more than a mere sentence prayer, that the only songs should be simple ones that expressed that God was the Creator, not many Bible verses or explanations to be given - but there should be listening to the unbelievers! Lots of this! They should be allowed to express themselves on 'what do you feel about God? What do you think about life?' and so on.

     "Why would Christians be expected to opt out in this way? With-holding proper teaching and preaching, prayer and hymns from the unsaved in their midst? The reasons given by the advisers of the Alpha team [trained people who have been programmed from Brompton UK] were pathetically inept! They said this strange way of acting was to give the unsaved a listening ear for once, because they never had anyone to listen to them respectfully, out there in the world. But the real reason I would suggest is a hidden one, the reason is to teach Christians the 'art' of dialogue, to teach them to respect other people's views, to make them shift their own positions, to lead them into 'tolerance' with other's belief systems, to bring the churches into a less 'absolute' way of presenting their 'religious' beliefs."
 

Changing [the Presbyterian] Church: An important list of articles and quotes on the new "consensus" in the Presbyterian Church. Other churches are following the same path while many fight the reinterpretaion of God's Word and ways. 

Godsmission.commUNITY 2001: "Can you, with the help of the Lord, change the course of history? ...We believe there are two things that will enable us to turn those trends around with the Lord's help. First we need, 'To listen to God in community, discovering together new pathways for collaborative global ministry.' The second thing that could change the course of history is to systematically harvest and implement the ideals, values, vision, competencies, and commitments of you, His children." 

         Sounds good, doesn't it? But it illustrates the tempting deceptions behind UNESCO-based education. The call for "collaborative" solutions to today's social problem hides a trap. It would ensnare churches in the growing web of government control and politically correct consensus. Don't be deceived! See The Global Church, Reinventing the World and Molding Human Resources for a Global Workforce. They all fit together.

 

Celtic Spirituality. In this article posted on the popular Women of Faith website, Lois Rabey shares her appreciation for Celtic Spirituality. She seems to be pointing to monastic Catholicism, not the Celtic witchcraft which preceded and later blended with Roman Catholicism and mysticism in Celtic lands. She writes, "I hope you will be intrigued enough to investigate Celtic spirituality further on your own" and suggests her readers follow a link to celtic.com. This page offers many options, including "Celtic Traditions" (in the box titled Celtic Websites). A click here brings a new list of choices, including Society of Celtic Shamans at http://www.faeryshaman.org

           Too long a stretch? Pleaser remember that for ancient Israel, the journey from the God who loved to them to the enticing gods of their pagan neighbors took less than a generation. With today's high tech media, the time is shortened. But the beginning of apostasy remains the same: we rebel against God's guidelines, ignore His Word, re-imagine God as permissive and delighted with our human feelings (a god more like us), and inflate our view of self.  Please pray for God's direction and protection before visiting this overtly pagan site. May He help us understand the nature of the current revival of Celtic spirituality and witchcraft. Psalm 50:21, 1 Sam 15:22-23 and Deut 18:9-12 You can also read about the infamous re-imagining conference funded by primarily by Presbyterian, Lutheran and Methodist churches in A Twist of Faith - Chapter 2.

 

Women of Faith: Traveling conference caters food for the soul: "It's been called a 'spa for the spirit,' a 'spiritual makeover' and a gigantic Christian slumber party. The Women of Faith conference drew more than 11,000 women from a dozen states to Gaylord Entertainment Center Friday and yesterday for two days of music, prayer and a humorous look at the challenges women face.  " ...there is a man behind all those Women of Faith. Stephen Arterburn, a former Promise Keepers... founder of New Life Clinics, a chain of Christian mental health clinics."  

          The speakers I heard in 1999 often drew laughter by making husbands and children the target of their jokes. The balance was overwhelmingly in favor of fun, freedom (from traditional boundaries--Biblical as well as cultural) and feel-good affirmations rather than faith and faithfulness. Humor is great -- but not when it mocks God's ways or demeans the people He has put in our lives. 1 Peter 3:4 

Worship must emphasize God, not entertainment, leaders say: "'Arts will be integrated in worship' so that the liturgy tutors worshippers about being in right relationship with God, said Marcia McFee, a worship consultant who is pursuing a doctorate in liturgical studies and ethics. 'Liturgy that embodies right relationship is inclusive,' she commented. 'It needs everybody.' To be inclusive, she urged worship planners to use diverse imagery in describing the ways God loves, and to use diverse forms and styles because people learn differently.' ... Liturgy should be imaginative and never boring, she emphasized. 'To visit the kingdom requires imagination.' All styles of worship can be boring if they are unimaginative, she said. 'We must use vivid imagery.'   [Sounds like an OBE strategy for teaching students new global values, doesn't it?] 

        "The Rev. Terry MacArthur, a United Methodist missionary with three ministries in Geneva, Switzerland, urged an inclusiveness and sensitivity that incorporate global awareness. For 12 years, he worked as a worship consultant with the World Council of Churches, an organization of 350 churches from around the world.

       "The Rev. William McClain noted that in 2000, the Catholics, Baptists and United Methodists all confessed publicly the sin of racism, but he suggested the churches ought to be confessing the sin of having privilege also. McClain, who teaches preaching and worship at Wesley Theological Seminary, chaired the committee that produced the Songs of Zion hymnal.  'Part of doing justice is that we have to practice what he preach,' he said. 'We cannot be in community with each other ... unless we are open to people who are different than we are.'"  How different? How far can we reach outside God's wise boundaries?  2 Cor 6:12-18  and  Changing the Presbyterian Church

Church Spends Day Serving Versus Pew-sitting: "A church in Southern California truly put their faith to work yesterday as the largely youthful congregation of about 600 members spent the day serving instead of attending services.... 'This is what we need to do more, stepping out of your comfort zone with your family and friends and going out into the community." 

Catch the Vision! Out of the Comfort Zone: "Christ IS my 'comfort zone' and stepping out of Sunday worship to be an eco-friendly social worker on the Lord's day is not 'vision' it's blindness!" Psalm 18:1-3

Consensus Process: Are we listening to the Hip-Hop Generation? "Without question, many church going youth contribute to the wealth and popularity of these rap artists, though some argue that the very life-blood of rap music thrives on negativity. That is, some say, if you remove the exploitation of women, machismo violence, and materialist yearnings from rap music, the art will die. Others say, to remove the harsh lyrics would be an infringement on artist freedom, suggesting that rappers are only reflecting in rap what they experience in life -- it's their story and they should have the right to tell it.  ...it's important for Christians to engage in these cultural discussions. When you bring together wealthy youth, media exposure, social, economic, political power and influence, we all should be paying attention to such an enormous captivator of youth culture." No, we shouldn't. See Rom 12:2-9 

 

Religious Breath and Stale Perfume: "...a terrific five-part series in the Washington Times... explores the church-institution and new ideas for attracting newcomers - not to church, but to Jesus. And maybe that's the sum of all the problems associated with white America's church institution of the last hundred years: as whole, the system has put church ahead of God. It's time to return our focus to the object of our worship. And with God's help, future historians may look back on these next few years, remembering a great revival in America, where Catholics, Protestants, Anglicans and others collaborated in a new Reformation: an age of worship." It sounds good, doesn't it? But many who determine to return "to Jesus" don't know who He really is. They have turned their backs to the Bible as well as church. And God will not bless a nation where the people re-imagine a permissive, feel-good God of their own liking. Psalm 50:21    

Study Shows High Percentage of Abortions Performed on Evangelicals: "Abortion may not be the only topic about which Christians appear to be apathetic. A new survey by the Barna Research Group finds that most Protestants do not tell others about Jesus." Mark 8-38 

Eco-clerics biblically off-base: "The Evangelical Environmental Network cites Hosea ("The land mourns, and all who live in it waste away") to make its point. Again, this verse has nothing to do with stewardship. It describes the consequences of Israel's sins, such as following false gods. Earth Day clerics have idols of their own." Ezek 14:15

Evangelicals, Catholics to issue joint statement in Kuala Lumpur: "Vatican and World Evangelical Fellowship (WEF) officials expect to issue a joint statement in February next year following a series of international theological consultations that began in 1993.... The discussions are sponsored by the World Evangelical Fellowship's Theological Commission and the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity." But Jesus warned us against an illusion of unity in the name of peace: Luke 12:51-3   

The World We Want (from Our globe and how to reach it, David Barrett..., 1997): "If we are to have any impact on the complex world revealed by our diagrams and statistics, we must target and focus on a small number of sharply-defined, reasonably-achievable, concrete goals." In addition to Biblical goals that encourage spreading the gospel, the GEM suggests the goals below which match the UN agenda ( see Local Agenda 21- The U.N. Plan for Your Community):

 

16. Pursue systematic region-by-region dialogue with the world's organized atheists, agnostics, nonbelievers, and nonreligious, as well as with the great non-Christian world religions.... [See The People's Church and  Twisting Truth by Classroom Consensus]

20. List all negative factors holding up world evangelization, target them, and make it increasingly difficult for them to continue....

29. Abolish the global state of absolute poverty.... through massive redistribution everywhere of national and international wealth, certainly by all Christian denominations and agencies, also by secular organizations persuaded by Christian activists within them. 

33. Aid bodies working for reduction in rates of fossil fuel use to reverse global warming..... [See Saving the Earth]

34. Support WHO goal "Global Health for All by the Year 2000." [See The UN Plan for Your Mental Health

39. Aid UNICEF establish a child's bill of rights.... [See Trading U.S. Rights for UN Rules

58. Initiate computer modeling for monitoring all factors relating to world evangelization. [See The UN Plan for Your Mental Health

59. Throw the whole weight of Christian motivation behind the environmentalist goal of halting global warming.... [emphasis added above]

Global Evangelization Movement: "David Barrett and his team at GEM... give us provocative information which the Holy Spirit can use to help us reshape the mental and spiritual contours of our universe." Gen 11:4-9  

To please and persuade the world, this planned ecumenical unity has to minimize God's moral guidelines and dismiss His "narrow gate." Matt 24:12  Pray that the true gospel be shared around the world -- but never through compromise with the world's illusions or by conformity to its controlling ways.  Rom 12:2

Global Diagram 21. Today's Megapriorities for World Missions. Compare these "priorities" with the goals of U.S. mayors below. Notice that all but one of the  first seven match the UN agenda [Two UN Summits]: "31 Long-Term Megapriorities for the Christian World"

  • Solving world hunger.

  • Abolishing global poverty.

  • Readying disaster aid and relief.

  • Redistributing/sharing wealth worldwide.

  • Neutralizing structures of sin.

  • Saving the environment (desertification, destruction of species)

  • Upholding human rights [See Trading U.S. Rights for UN Rules

Global Management System. The United States Conference of Mayors 2001 Adopted Resolutions. In this Table of Contents, scroll down to Energy and Environment. The first item is Endorsement of Earth Charter. Ponder this portion of the plan our U.S. mayors have endorsed: "...WHEREAS, the Earth Charter sets forth an integrated approach to community development which addresses respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, social and economic justice, and democracy, non-violence and peace; and WHEREAS, the Earth Charter offers principles which will be helpful to cities in addressing pressing issues and challenges: ...III. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE:

  • Eradicate poverty as an ethical, social, and environmental imperative.

  • Ensure that economic activities and institutions at all levels promote human development in an equitable and sustainable manner.

  • Affirm gender equality and equity as prerequisites to sustainable development..... 

  • Uphold the right of all, without discrimination, to a natural and social environment supportive of human dignity, bodily health, and spiritual well-being.... 

Evangelism vs. Evangelization: "The idea that the world can be turned to Jesus Christ is a fabrication of the dominionist mindset of the World Christian Movement's leadership. And, again, it is nullified by the Lord's own words." See Matt 7:13-14

Kaleidoscopic Global Action Plan (very long): "The document given here was compiled from the writings, statements, positions, conversations, discussions, suggestions, proposals, ideas, and interactions of the members of a Working Group on A Kaleidoscopic Global Plan that was formally commissioned by the GCOWE (Global Consultation on World Evangelization) 2000 conveners in September 1988." The "Working Group" included David B. Barrett, Todd M. Johnson and Jay E. Gary. To understand the compromise involved, read Conforming the Church to the New Millennium and The Global Church. Ponder the partnerships shown in these excerpts:

"Offer the hand of friendship, respect, cooperation, love, compassion, understanding, and dialogue to our fellow human beings and fellow religionists in the great world religions of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Sikhism, Baha'i, Shinto, and numerous others." Remember 2 Cor 6:12

"Initiate a Christian equivalent to the Worldwatch Institute to monitor and measure all secular, individual, corporate, religious, and Christian indicators of the quality of life of all people on Earth...." 

"Monitor closely the many existing secular plans and goals for AD 2000. ... Many crucial goals of great concern to Christians and often with their involvement through Christian social programs, have long been announced: safe drinking water for every soul on Earth by 2000, health care for all by 2000, adequate food and shelter for all, literacy for all by 2000.... A concrete example is the "Global Health for All by the Year 2000" strategy adopted by the 34th World Health Assembly in 1981." Read about the World Health Organization in  The UN Plan for Your Mental Health.

"Christians need to examine carefully what we can learn from the numerous master global plans that exist today to grapple with secular problems at the world level. One thinks of the 1984 UN 'World Population Plan of Action.' Examples of organizations with such plans are these from a single city, Geneva, Switzerland: GATT, ICRC (Red Cross), ILO, ITU, LRCS, UN, UNCTAD, UNDRO, UNHCR, UNRISD, WHO [World Health Organization], WIPO, WMO.... Christians and their churches need to actively support positive elements in these secular plans as the best available instruments for justice, peace, and development." See UN Agencies and Abbreviations and The U.N. Plan for Your Community.

In the midst of this confusion, we can count on God's wisdom, strength and faithfulness.  "Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ...." 2 Cor 2-14

Court Says the Church Must Pay for Condoms: "...people who work in Catholic hospitals and universities would have contraception and abortifacient drugs included in their health coverage provided by the Church.... The problem is that the Church becomes a material cooperator in these activities if the Church is funding them through its health coverage. In most other states, these laws include a conscience clause which would exempt religious groups from such requirements." 

'New Breed' Pastors Focus on Experience not Seminary:  'A lot of seminary training is academic,' said Brad Smith, 42, president of the Leadership Network. Formed in Dallas in 1984, the nonprofit group calls itself a "network of innovative church leaders," offering mailings, publications and advice from 'outside-the-box preachers ... Learning Hebrew and Greek doesn't fit real-life needs.' ... ''There's too much information for people to know,' [says associate pastor Brad Cecil]. 'So what you really know is your experience and who you relate to.'" Watch out! Those who trade truth and facts for "experience" and feel-good promises have no mental anchor nor any resistance to popular movements and pleasing visions. Gal 1:9-10

Christian music a hit: "'Jesus Rocks! Christian Entertainment Makes a Joyful Noise' ...The massive Newsweek report says "alternative rock is just one pillar in the gigantic cathedral of Christian entertainment." It spans from the popular 'Left Behind' novels, which sold 28.8 million copies, to the Grammy-winning singer Steven Curtis Chapman, who helped pack in 50,000 at the Freedom Live festival.... 'This gospel-fueled fun is now a booming business and a cornerstone of American culture." See Left Behind: New Age Imagery Helps Popularize Prophecy

Marketing the Church, God, and the Gospel -- Why the Church Must Stop Selling Jesus : "...the problem with a growing number of churches is that they have bowed to the gods of marketing and consumerism.  Some churches view those in the pews as 'consumers' to which they must market and sell their 'product' which is the Gospel.  This has resulted in a distorted view of God and of the Christian faith and life." 2 Cor 2:17

Christian music a hit: "...contemporary Christian music, or CCM, is 'now the hottest genre in the entire music industry'.... The cover story – featuring the headline, "Jesus Rocks! Christian Entertainment Makes a Joyful Noise" – says 'with big best sellers, new movies and religious rock, the $3 billion Christian entertainment industry is exploding.' ...'the subculture of Christian rock, with its marketing strategies, ecclesiastical messages and devoted fans, sheds light on a fascinating sector of American life.'"  But Jesus warns, "Woe to you when all men think well of you...." 1 Pet 4:3-4

"As Pulpit Goes, So Goes Nation" by Chuck Baldwin (7-10): "America is in trouble. All indicators point to the fact that our country is facing moral and spiritual bankruptcy. While myriad institutions greatly contribute to the current calamitous condition, none are more to blame than America's pulpits. Many recent studies reveal that the present generation of preachers is sick and getting sicker." Statistics for the Changing Church and Deut 8:10-20

Green religion on the increase:  "At Earth Ministry, that means working with about 16 mainline Catholic and Protestant congregations in the Puget Sound area to... 'heal the relationship' between people and the natural world. A 'Greening Congregation' program includes initiatives as simple as advocating prayers and sermons that reflect a relationship with the environment." Col 2:8 and  Saving the Earth

'New breed' preachers defy traditions: "It used to be that churches employed a senior pastor a youth pastor and a children's worker.... Now you have people on staff who... do marketing."

         "The 21st-century seeker is overwhelmed with information and data, says the Rev. Brad Cecil, 43.... The scientific understanding of life is fading in our culture, whereas the mystical, experiential understanding is growing. Today, people don't just learn through teaching. There's too much information for people to know. So what you really know is your experience and who you relate to."

         "The pastors of 'new paradigm' churches tend to be extremely bright, close to the age and experience of their boomer congregations and unfettered by seminary educations that instruct them on how to run a church," Professor Donald Miller writes in his study, 'Reinventing Protestantism.' Mainline churches are too bureaucratic, he says, while 'their message is ambiguous, lacking authority, and their worship is anemic.'"  God's people need Truth that feeds the regenerated heart, not marketing that feeds the flesh (human nature). Rom 8:1-8

Pax Christi USA "strives to create a world that reflects the Peace of Christ by exploring, articulating, and witnessing to the call of Christian nonviolence. This work begins in personal life and extends to communities of reflection and action to transform structures of society." This is only one of countless NGOs working in the global arena to change the church, America and the world. To them, personal freedom is out, global socialism is in. See The Global Church and Reinventing the World.     

June 2001

Religious Beliefs Vary Widely: "In the land of tolerance and diversity, it turns out that there is very considerable diversity within the Christian community regarding core beliefs.... The Christian body in America is immersed in a crisis of biblical illiteracy." Psalm 119:11  No wonder, considering the attitude below:

CBF teenager challenges the apostle Paul. "I believe women should listen to what God says and not Paul," the girl said to a wave of laughter from the crowd.... The Baptist Faith and Message was simply wrong, she contended, since "a woman can do almost anything a man can." Can you listen to God while rejecting His Word? Does God base His perfect plan for each of us on our human strength or on His wisdom and grace? 2 Tim 4:3-4, Col 2:8, 2 Cor 12:9-10 and Prov 12:15

Salvation, homosexuality rock Presbyterian confab. Ponder these comments from the General Assembly: "The very essence of Christianity was debated at the annual denominational conference as some delegates proclaimed Jesus is one way to salvation – but not the only way."  ''Everything in the life of the church has become so politicized that it has become difficult to find agreement even on the most basic of issues." "We join together in giving thanks to God for this action of the General Assembly that paves the way for the ordination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Presbyterians." "This is the end of the church as we know it." "Think about what we're saying. We're a church who questions the deity of Jesus and now has approved homosexual unions so that the rest of the world's just laughing at us. It just diminishes our witness, and I think the witness of Christianity overall." "The amazing thing is that the Lord still loves us." See Prov 1:7

The Silence of the Shepherds: Over the course of the past couple of years I have had my eyes opened to the anti-Christian/anti-evangelical bigotry prevalent and growing in America. Some of my commentaries are posted on national and international web-sites resulting in a nearly unmanageable e-mail deluge....  twenty-five percent is not just unkind, it is vulgar and contemptible. ... one third comes from furious and disgusted clergy (half of which are "enlightened" and "progressive" angry with my conservatism and the other half of which are ultra-conservative and angry that I do not go as far as they want me to)." We can identify with this hostility. Just take a look at the Harry Potter comments. Luke 6:22-23

New president resigns from evangelicals: "The new president of the National Association of Evangelicals... Bishop Kevin Mannoia, a leader in the Free Methodist Church, resigned during a Washington board meeting last week after two years in office.  In that time, he moved the association headquarters from Wheaton, Ill., to Azusa, Calif., reached out to megachurch leaders like Robert Schuller, changed the bylaws so members could relate to liberal ecumenical groups, and failed to keep up fund raising."  Rom 12:2-9

A tale of two prayers: "Reading the words of the prayer of Jabez (and Wilkinson's commentary on it) alongside the covenant prayer presents starkly contrasting visions of the Christian life: one is about self-fulfillment, the other self-denial; one is about changing God's mind, the other about submitting to God's purpose; one is personal, the other is corporate; one is in harmony with a culture of acquisition and consumption, the other is in conflict with expanding markets and egos." Matt 16:21-25

U.S. Churches Call for Real Commitment to Fight HIV/AIDS: The National Council of Churches "calls for a declaration that supports the human rights of persons living with HIV/AIDS and takes steps to protect vulnerable groups. The group also calls for a sustained commitment to $10 billion per year in multilateral resources to reverse the pandemic."  Should AIDS spending be such an overwhelming priority -- far above the medical needs of children and adults with other incurable diseases? With the political protection offered the homosexual community and with the unwillingness to even acknowledge the destructive, promiscuous lifestyles, can the AIDS epidemic be stopped without the proposed but dreaded universal AIDS vaccine? Would we want to help fund an vaccination that might actually cause AIDS -- one that might be forced on every child in the name of healthy prevention? Is the AIDS epidemic being used to further government partnerships and control? See See See Reinventing the World

The Travesty of Tolerance - A Global Gospel: "'Tolerance', as it is most commonly used today, is nothing more than a warm and fuzzy buzzword that was shrewdly employed by globalists to confuse and disarm believers, undermine the Church and contradict everything the bible teaches about sin from Genesis to Revelation. 'Tolerance' was never meant to replace love, righteousness, forgiveness or redemption. It is STILL the will of God that sin be exposed, confessed, repented-of, forgiven or judged....not tolerated for the sake of peace and unity. (Ephesians 5:11) 'Tolerance' is not the Gospel of Christ but rather the tactical tool of ambitious men who dream of separating us from our Anchor Stone so we will drift away from 'the peace of God which passeth all understanding'...." Col 2:-8

'Cheers! God loves you!': "When some of the congregation at the Trent Vineyard in Nottingham [England] decided they wanted to break down people's traditional view of the church, they began visiting pubs in the city and offering regulars a free drink.... 'It opens up conversations about God's extravagant grace. It's been very effective, but it's been slightly controversial, even for England.'" But how does their human perception of "God's extravagant grace" view sin and personal salvation? Could it be another ploy to make the church pleasing to a consumer-oriented world? Or is it a genuine Biblical mission to the lost and hurting? See The Global Church which is still far from finished.

Kentucky Church Decides 'More Light' Movement is Wrong Move:  "A church in western Kentucky has reversed its plan to be part of a movement in its denomination in which congregations openly accept homosexual members and consider them for leadership positions. Instead, the church council has recommended the pastor be dismissed.... [The More Light Presbyterians movement] also funds proactive work in passing legislation "that eradicates homophobia and injustice" in the denomination and society in general." 2 Cor 6:12-18

Homosexual ordination vote widens gap between Presbyterian factions: "A representative of a pro-homosexual faction within the denomination applauded the action, saying, 'We're not going to buy into a homophobic culture.'"  Romans 1:22-32

Five Lessons for the "Church" Tribe from TV's Survivor:  Another mega-church using the Survivor theme: "If there is one thing the TV show Survivor teaches, it's adaptability. And according to Rick Warren, that's exactly what churches will need to survive in the 21st Century."  Is it really? Does he assume everyone in his church -- and in the other churches he influences -- watch Survivor? What if Christians don't want to see or think about such a mockery of morality? Seems like a strange model for Christian living -- but perhaps that's why it's considered a model of adapting to the global culture. Rom 12:2

Christian concert to include rock and punk. This page of daily news included this interesting announcement yesterday.: "Music of a variety of styles, but all with a Christian theme, will be presented from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday at North Cape Festival at North Cape Lutheran Church... Other planned activities include sumo wrestling, a dunk tank, basketball, volleyball and concessions. Music styles to be presented include rock, pop, jazz and punk." (Racine Journal Times, 6-19-01)  How far will the church go to please the world? Pagan behavior and music cloaked in Christian words becomes more deceptive, not more pleasing to GodThe Church Walking with the World and Popular Music with Pagan Roots

Presbyterian Church votes to allow gay clergy: "'I never thought I would see this day,' said the Rev. Tammy Lindahl of Minneapolis, who came out in 1990 and left the ministry. 'But now, for the first time, I feel that I might be able to return to my call to ministry.' The gay clergy dispute centers on a provision in the church's constitution, inserted in 1996, calling for church officers to live "either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness." Romans 1:22-32

Nearly 1/3 of Presbyterian Church (USA) Delegates Reject Lordship of Christ: "In what may be a significant sign of the times, the Presbyterian Church (USA) held a debate yesterday to decide whether Jesus Christ is Lord." 2 Thes 2:1-7

Conviction: "We seem to have come to a point in the Church that anyone who speaks anything about anyone that is deemed to be "unkind" is chastised for their "judgmentalism" or lack of Christ-like love. It is really quite frightening. It is nothing more than the ancient belief that mankind can create our own Utopia." 2 Tim 4:3-4

God on a Grand Scale" Mega-Churches Grow Bigger and Bigger... 'I think they really do resonate with who we are as a large, mass society,' says Scott Thumma, a professor at the Hartford Seminary in Connecticut. 'As long as we idolize Britney Spears and go to major rock concerts, we're going to appreciate that sort of 'quality worship.'

       "To draw people, they use an inviting, informal approach, with well-produced dramatic shows, sermons relevant to their congregants' lives, and catchy jazz and pop music. When it was founded in the early 1970s, Willow Creek set out explicitly to research what people did and didn't like about going to church, and tailored their services accordingly." ...

       "We have lost members in our congregation to mega-churches in our town," says pastor Randy Hammer, who "thinks the medium takes precedence over the message."  "Their worship services are more productions than services," he says.  "See The People's Church 

 

Forget seeker-sensitive churches, Lee tells Baptist evangelists: "I've heard 'seeker-sensitivism' until I [have had it] up to here. We ought to be Savior-sensitive churches, not seeker-sensitive churches," said Lee, founder and pastor of First Redeemer Church in Cumming, Ga. "We've become so indoctrinated with the philosophy of church growth in this nation that we've forgotten what God says...."   "If you'll pray and you'll prepare and you'll give the invitation, God will save people." Amen!

Homosexuality is divinely ordered, says catechism: "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!" (Isaiah 5:20-21)Please read  Conforming the Church to the New Millennium

Megachurch to start satellite services: "Willow Creek Community Church, one of the leading lights of the megachurch movement, is planning to start a cluster of "overflow" congregations. The Chicago-suburb church hopes to open up a dozen satellite churches in the next decade that will link to the main South Barrington campus via giant video screens for the sermon." See The People's Church and today's entry in The Changing Church.

Southern Baptist leaders respond to author's arguments for women pastors: "J. Lee Grady, editor of Charisma magazine... claims that Southern Baptists prohibit women from ministries that range from leading a home Bible study to preaching in a local church. Among the 'lies' that Grady believes churches tell women are that they are not equipped to assume leadership roles.... 

         "Grady calls on Merritt and all Southern Baptists to release women to exercise the spiritual gifts God has given them. At a time when a national spiritual awakening is needed, Grady contends that the roadblock to women must be removed 'in order to provide every available servant of Jesus Christ to be on the front lines in this crucial hour.'"

        God's Word tells us that we are all equal before Him, but He does assign different roles to men and women in His Church. If we try to revise or improve God's wise guidelines according to our own nice-sounding but finite human wisdom, we cannot count on His victory in our battles.  1 Cor 1:20  Notice also the  feminizing of the faith using feelings instead of facts.

 

Back to the Future of Missions: "So the time is ripe for a 'sea change' in the way we do missions. A 'sea change' is an entire shift in our thinking and our methodology towards missions. Without this change, we risk the temptation to retreat into our cultural Christian ghetto surrounded by our spiritual walls of the fear of compromise, suspicion of technology and reluctance to risk."

       How can "compromise" be part of the Christian walk? Rom 12:2  When church leaders and managers use phrases such as "entire shift in our thinking" and "reluctance to take risk," one might believe that they refer to the human development program that globalist educators are promoting. The new church leadership networks are implementing "structures" or systems that are identical to the world's TQM systems.  See  Reinventing the World. All manipulate groups through the consensus process and emphasize relationships more than truth or facts. See Brainwashing in America and our new (but still unfinished) article: The Global Church. We welcome your comments and corrections.

Behold the Harlot!  "Every day I see more and more evidence of a new church emerging...a worldly creature with floating values that leans on the wealth, power, advise and influence of politicians, occultists, consultants, analysts and marketers. It is an ugly and unholy thing...vulgar in every way, desperately trying to seduce the Bride of Christ with skills, strategies and techniques guaranteed to fill her plates and pews." Rom 12:2-9

Evangelism and church growth in the midst of poverty explored"If United Methodists are to share the Gospel effectively with poor people, they must drop theoretical language and learn to address an oral and electronic culture, said the Rev. Tex Sample, coordinator of the Network for the Study of U.S. Lifestyles. The retired seminary professor observed that anyone who expects to minister to the poor must talk about "believing and feeling" in contrast to "thinking and knowing." 

        "Encouraging participants to use media to reach the poor, Sample showed a video of a Tina Turner concert that included pyrotechnics and audience participation. "Reminds you of the lectionary reading for the third Sunday in Kingdomtide doesn't it?" Sample joked.

         "...the poor engage in festivals and acts of resistance against the powerful. He encouraged the church leaders to join the resistance and to participate in parties designed to 'thumb our noses at power.'" This is socialist propaganda -- Brainwashing in the church. 2 Tim 4:3-4

 

The Call - A Review of Rick Joiner's Writings Contrasted by the Word of God: "The last decade has seen a tremendous explosion of self-proclaimed 'prophets', who have claimed such fantastic experiences as journeys to heaven, trips to hell, and lengthy, intimate dialogue with the risen Lord Jesus....  Purported dreams and visions have grabbed center stage, enthralling multitudes of sincere Christians to the point where even common sense is overridden in favor of the sensational." Matt 24:11

Evangelicals Aim to Extend Reach of Global Alliance: "The World Evangelical Fellowship (WEF) announced a plan to develop fellowships in an additional 20 countries.... Nearly 700 evangelical leaders from 93 countries met for the last time this century to discuss shared goals and strategies." WEF international director Agustin B. Vencer, Jr. said that evangelicals can play a strategic role to "transform nations for Jesus Christ." This requires a "'holistic' biblical view of mission that encompasses economic sufficiency, social peace, public justice, and national righteousness, as well as Christian presence," according to this 1997 article. Sounds like UNESCO's plan for socializing the world, doesn't it? Please read  Conforming the Church to the New Millennium  and  Reinventing the World

Behold the Harlot!  "Every day I see more and more evidence of a new church emerging...a worldly creature with floating values that leans on the wealth, power, advise and influence of politicians, occultists, consultants, analysts and marketers. It is an ugly and unholy thing...vulgar in every way, desperately trying to seduce the Bride of Christ with skills, strategies and techniques guaranteed to fill her plates and pews." Rom 12:2-9

Surviving Life: Another church using the Survivor theme as a lure for sharing truth. 

 

Culture. Survivor T-shirts marketing Christianity. Trivializing truth? 2 Cor 2:17

 

Interview with George Barna, Part 2: "I think what makes more sense is that churches be organized around the particular vision that God has entrusted to the leaders, and that the church remain true to that vision.... Individuals, particularly younger generations, are saying, 'you know what, it's got to be genuine. It's got to be authentic. It has to reflect who I am, what I need, where I'm going.' So you are going to see all these other models: the house church; the cyber church; the boutique churches; faith communes; eschatological forums; marketplace affinity groups and so forth." These changes will be explained in our unfinished article: The Global Church

       Barna continued, "I don't think that Christ died on the cross to create a stable institution. He died on the cross to help us understand that the world is a wicked place and we are wicked individuals at our bottom level. We have to be transformed and there is only one way of that happening, but that is not happening in America today." 

        Actually, Jesus died to cleanse and free us from that wickedness in ourselves -- not simply to understand it. This transformation -- a spiritual rebirth -- is happening in America and around the world today as His faithful disciples reach out with the true gospel to hearts prepared by the Holy Spirit to hear and accept His truth about His eternal love, peace and salvation.  See  What it means to be a Christian.

Culture. Anti-SUV query: "What would Jesus drive?"  "Are Americans ready for their car-lot consumerism to reach theological heights?" Trivializing the character and mind of God will bring corruption of truth, not solutions to practical problems. Psalm 50:21

 

Southern professor underscores biblical basis of worship: "True worship involves reverential human acts of submission and homage before the divine Sovereign in response to the gracious revelation of Himself and in accordance with His will," says Professor Daniel I. Block. But he beliefs that evangelicals have "traded this biblically informed God-centeredness for pragmatism and a performance orientation."

        "'The most pressing problem is pragmatism and the drive for obvious success -- the assumption that a successful church is a big church, a full building,' Block said. 'And so the genre of the worship experience is governed more by what people enjoy than by what the Scriptures teach.' Today's worship involves more ostentation than awe and more egocentrism than reverence before God, he explained. This entertainment focus often transcends biblical teaching and creates a form of self-idolatry....  People need to hear God and worship Christ, not see a show.... 'Worship is not about satisfying the worshiper. Worship is the response to God who satisfies us.'" (HALLELUJAH...Somebody gets it !!!)

A Survival Guide by Rick White. Survivor game theme is also used to popularize church and God's truth. How might such a link between church and culture affect our view of Scriptures?  2 Cor 2:17  For background information, see The People's Church.

  Robert Schuller: "He began to see his church as a mission, a place where non-Christians would feel comfortable enough to come in and then later 'accept Jesus.' How would he do this? By preaching only positive things! Schuller credits close friend Norman Vincent Peale "with fine tuning his own positive faith and laying the foundation for his own Possibility Thinking that was to come.... Schuller reinterprets the doctrines of the Word of God to conform with his self-esteem philosophy. His Christ is a Jesus who provides men with self-esteem.... no need for one to recognize his own personal sin, no need for repentance, and no need for the crucifixion...." See Gal 1:6-10

May 2001

What will the Church be next? Scroll to "What will the Church in the New Millennium have to look like?" by Church Growth professor Eddie Gibbs who "suggests nine areas in which most churches will need to change." He writes, "While new ways of being church have sprung up in recent years, they have their strengths and limitations." His nine areas include: "From living in the past to engaging with the present.... From market driven to mission oriented.... From living in the past to engaging with the present...." 

        This transformation will be described in an article titled, The Global Church. We had posted the beginning of it this morning but decided to delete it until we have had time to add the Scriptures needed to show where global visions clash with Biblical truth. God willing, we will post the revision on Monday. See also Reinventing the World

Churches Seek 'Climate Justice': "The gathering of 350 Protestant and Orthodox church workers at the "Environmental Justice" conference also held a rally on Capitol Hill Tuesday and visited 200 congressional offices... 'We hope to bring a moral voice to environmental issues,' said the Rev. Richard Killmer, director of the eco-justice unit of the National Council of Churches, which sponsored the conference." See Conforming the Church to the New Millennium

 

Interview with George Barna, Part I: "... there is an entirely different world that young people today are being raised in… People today are raised in a world of images. People of the old world were raised in a time when gaining access to information was a big deal. That’s no longer a big deal in our culture. The big issue today isn’t access, it’s interpretation." Rev 2:4 

Missionaries Tell of High Cost of Spreading the Gospel: James "Bowers said that he had an easy answer for those who would question what kind of God would take a baby's life. "Even though I don't understand most of what God does...real life isn't here on earth. There's going to be billions of years where that's real life. [My daughter] had her little seven months on earth, and now she is in eternity, in perfection." See  The Story of Roni Bowers

The Prayer of Jabez' devotional book atop best-seller list & changing lives: "... it has the number-one best-seller on the prestigious New York Times list and at all Barnes and Noble stores. Publishers Weekly religion editor Lynn Garrett predicts it will become the year's hardcover best-seller with 3.5 million copies sold already." However, it is not on the NYT bestseller list today. See The Prayer of Jabez unfinished

 

'Erotic' pictures to bring Bible back into fashion: "A glossy magazine-style version of the Old Testament, featuring leading models pictured by the world's leading fashion photographers, will be unveiled later this year." Models are "expected to portray Eve and Adam in a project designed to attract young people who rarely read the bible."  [Using a carnal mechanism of sensual gratification for Christian evangelism?]

        Other comments: "Most of the models, who will earn up to £10,000 a day, will have their clothes on, but there will be some nudity because the Bible is very sensual and we are going to exploit that. We want to take the Bible off the dusty back shelf and put it on coffee tables." "We had the idea to contemporise the Bible and make it accessible to 15- to 30-year olds."  "Anything that enlivens people's interest in what a good read the Bible is, is good. But it needs doing with taste." [Whose taste or opinion? Based on God's guidelines or general consensus of people in a corrupt world?]   Rom 12:2  

Groups wary of faith-based funds : "...one pastor's comment: "With the shekels come the shackles." The paperwork "is insane," the Rev. Ricci Hausley of Germantown said... "It's much too cumbersome for the average religious congregation...We backed away." See Faith-Based Compromise

 

Don't confuse 'purpose driven' with seeker sensitive, Warren counsels. ""It doesn't matter whether your worship style is liturgical, traditional, contemporary, country, charismatic, multi-sensory or casual," Warren said. "What matters is that your style matches the people you are seeking to reach."." Could Rick Warren be trying to distance himself and his organization from the growing criticism surrounding Willow Creek? As soon as we finish the articles on the Dalai Lama and the Prayer of Jabez, we plan to post a glossary and chart explaining the words that identify the global church growth movement. 

Christian Rock - The Rhythm of a Dying World. "...1978 I began writing jazz/rock tunes that combined that exotic taste in music with my Christian experience and testimony. I sang hard driving, adrenaline pumping, flesh-pleasing numbers that were more about ME, MYSELF and I than the Suffering Servant I claimed to love. Being ignorant and immature in my faith I failed to see the contradiction and hypocrisy of using a carnal mechanism of sensual gratification for Christian evangelism. Only now do I understand that music and rhythm have a message all their own... regardless of the lyrics." Judges 21:25

 

Unchurched Youths Pay to Attend Outreach of Illinois Church: "More than 400 young people have been attending Xtreme CafÈ, a Friday night youth service of the New Testament Fellowship Church in Alton, which uses skateboarding, a dance club environment with a cappuccino bar, strobe lights and secular music as tools to present the gospel. Midway through each Xtreme event, there is a 30-minute church service called "Half-Time," which includes two worship songs, a brief biblical message and an altar call." Could this kind of marketing be summarized by Paul Proctor's statement in Christian Rock, "It's a sensual and seductive voice that whispers' THE END JUSTIFIES THE MEANS'." Rom 8:1-8

Lessons from fishing apply to evangelism, Warren says. "If you want to be a successful fisherman, you don't look for the most comfortable spot on the lake, said Rick Warren, senior pastor of Saddleback Valley Community Church in Lake Forest, Calif. Instead, you go to where the fish are and you make it as easy and attractive as possible for the fish to swallow your hook." Not if the lure or attraction means conforming to the world! Jesus taught His disciples to trust Him, use their  humble boats and cast their net where He indicated -- even where there had been no bites earlier. Psalm 1:1-6

 

Churches Faulted for Bible Belt's High Divorce Rates: "The level of marriage breakdown is "a scalding indictment of what isn't being said behind the pulpit," according to Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating. "Seventy percent of our people go to church once a week or more." But its often a  feminized church with feel-good themes and sensory driven spectacles that feed human nature, not obedience to God or love for His Word. See The People's Church 

New pool, stadium, arena position Baptist colleges for winning edge: "Maybe it's just me, but I find it sadly revealing that the name of Jesus never once appears amid all the excitement of this article about a Baptist College."  See The People's Church 

Building Bridges: "Congregations ignore differences, unite for service, fellowship.... In the coming months, members from each congregation will join one of three 'link' teams. These teams – which will focus on faith, community or service – will decide what projects the alliance will undertake." See Conforming the Church to the New Millennium

Touch. Feel. Create. Connect: "They will meet in an upstairs room, write their sins in a pot of sand and wipe them away. They'll dip bread in a cup of juice, say ancient words and light a candle as a symbol of forgiveness for their iniquity.... This is not a church, its founders say, even though it is housed and supported by Gaston Oaks Baptist Church in Dallas. It is a Holistic Missional Christian Community.... Conversion is downplayed in favor of community." Exodus 23:32

I Take Offense to That!  The story of David and Goliath "is a blueprint for victory that focuses on conscience and commitment. In the unsanitized biblical version the story begins with a loudmouthed brute who spews insults and vulgarity at the Lord's army and ends with his own decapitation. The plight of the Church today bears a striking similarity to the army of Israel and her so-called warriors. As Goliath shouts curses, obscenities, and insults at the army of Israel for 40 days not one Hebrew warrior could muster the courage and/or conviction to even address him...." Psalm 27:1-3

Blessings in simple 'Prayer': "Although it´s only seven chapters and 92 pages long, The Prayer of Jabez is the hottest religious fad since the 'What Would Jesus Do' bracelets of a few years back.... 'The book appeals to the typical American perception of blessing as health, wealth and prosperity, while it might be sacrifice for God,'" explained Professor Doug Groothuis. "I wonder what a Christian in China, in an underground church there, might make of a book like this."

The New Face of Christianity: "When leaders from the World Evangelical Fellowship (WEF) gather today in Kuala Lumpur, they will mirror the changing face of Christianity. "This year's General Assembly is truly a microcosm of the world," says Dwight Gibson, the North American director for WEF." To understand how the "changing face of Christianity" fits into the network of global management systems, see Reinventing the World and Links to international Church Growth networks. We are trying to understand these new alliances, which are joining God's faithful envangelists, the new church management system and the United Nations with its loyal networks. How does this worldwide movement toward unity and control fit into Biblical prophecy? 

The Great Commission Roundtable: "Three international movements have dominated the landscape of global mission in the last decade--the Lausanne Committee on World Evangelization, the AD2000 Movement and the World Evangelical Fellowship.... The dream of the GCR is to become an international community of networks, an energizing force for world evangelism: geographically inclusive, welcoming, coalescing around shared values, connecting existing networks through bridge-building, cooperating with shared vision, interdependent, integrated, flexible, building relationship and trust...." What if the "shared values" are confused by unbiblical views and practices? Would Biblical correction be ignored for sake of  "cooperation" and "relationship." See Reinventing the World and  2 Tim 3-16

DAWN Church Planting: "The Youth Culture is a global culture, based on music, cinema, fashion and technology. The Internet is their medium.... More and more leaders start building radically new churches for a coming generation." [Would Jesus conform His ways to this global youth culture?] John 15:20-21

Postdenominationalism: "It is a vast, scattered movement of many distinct and separate protests, revolts, schisms, secessions, rebellions, independencies, reformations, and renewals. Today it includes over 20,000 movements, networks, or new denominations.... These new groups unilaterally adopt a markedly different church lifestyle from that of their parent bodies, rejecting the authority of existing parent denominations and many established aspects of denominationalist faith and life, and putting in their place new authority, new structures, new names, new beliefs, new solutions, and new forms of church life." Emphasis added
     The above page belongs to the Dawn International Network, one of many partners in this massive worldwide movement of church growth and managed change. To better understand its influence within the global management system, read Reinventing the World and The People's Church. 

World Evangelical Fellowship Reflects New Face of Christianity: "When leaders from the World Evangelical Fellowship (WEF) gather today in
Kuala Lumpur, they will mirror the changing face of Christianity. 'This
year's General Assembly is truly a microcosm of the world,' says Dwight
Gibson, the North American director for WEF" which "has observer status
at the United Nations." [What is this "New Face of Christianity"? Could it be a reflection of the new global management system cloaked in Christian words? Some of it partners and terminology suggest such a compromise. We hope to find some answers to share with you this week.]
See Reinventing the World.

Young Christians like living in sin: "A THIRD of young evangelical Christians believe in living together with a partner before marriage.... The figures present church leaders with a dilemma. Either they emphasize biblical teaching on sexual morality, which risks driving even more young people away, or they compromise their traditional teaching, which may alienate the older generations." Most "seeker-friendly" churches have made their choice: compromise!  Rom 12:2-9 and  The Church Walking with the World.

What's Wrong with a little Church Growth? In the list of sermon notes on this page, click on "29 April" and read a well-researched outline and summary of the problems with the new church management systems. See also  Reinventing the World.

Global Celebration for women: "Celebrate who God is and what He has done for women! Rejoice in women's contributions to the Kingdom." Something seems out of line here. Could it be the emphasis on personal greatness, self-sufficiency and human accomplishment? Or the lack of humility? The absence of any reference to a woman's traditional roles as wife and mother? Could it be a form of feminism cloaked in Christian terms and noble sentiments?  Phil 2:3-13

Theologian Warns Popular Evangelism Course May Lead Believers Astray. We have other reasons for concern about the popular Alpha Course: the emphasis on group dialogue, ecumenical unity and a feel-good, non-threatening environment. These are explained in Paul Proctor's excellent article: The People's Church and What’s Wrong with the 21st Century Church?

New Age Danger Infiltrates the Church. Actually, New Age and feminist spirituality have been transforming churches for decades. Few noticed it at first because (1) most "Christians" no longer studied God's Word and (2) the enticing feminist ideals sounded more Christian than the Bible itself. Please read  A Twist of Faith and see illustrations, evidence and solutions.

Bishop says, 'stop focusing on conversions': "An official in the United Methodist Church has encouraged missionaries to minimize the importance of converting people to Christ and instead "focus on what it means to live with others in peace."  Matt 24:11

Disillusioned Churchgoers Contribute to Rise of Home Worship. Ezek 34:2-16

Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats -- a timely sermon from the beloved 19th Century pastor Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Ecumenical Coalition on Women and Society: "Working with and through women in mainline, evangelical, Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, ECWS works to organize biblically orthodox women within denominations as a grassroots voice for reasoned faith and responsible freedom." This well-meaning group illustrates how today's church is blending feminist ideals and Biblical truth -- which distorts the latter. 

Faith-Based Plan Gets Boost From Hundreds of Pastors. See also Faith-Based Compromise.

Association for Church Renewal: This may sound good, but it seems to put human consensus above Biblical truth in its quest for ecumenical unity. See What’s Wrong with the 21st Century Church? and Biblical versus Cultural Christianity.

 

Catholic church alarmed that priesthood is becoming a 'gay profession': "Taken together, all this suggests that a gay subculture is emerging in some seminaries, similar to that which has developed in the United States, where it has been suggested that as many as a quarter of American priests are gay. It was reported last year that the number of priests who had died of Aids was proportionally four times that of the general population. (American seminaries now demand an Aids test before ordination.) Ez 34:2-16

April 2001

Towards a Common Understanding and Vision of the World Council of Churches. But the inter-faith vision of the WCC has little to do with Biblical truth. Read Conforming the Church to the New Millennium and see its roots in global socialism. 

Boy's Letter Supporting Abortion of Disabled Babies Wins in Lutheran Contest:  "An eighth-grade boy who wrote a letter advocating parents’ rights to abort their potentially disabled unborn babies has been singled out for a trip to Washington by a Christian organization." Rom 1:22-32

Consensus process. Scholars call for recovery of meaning of 'tolerance': "Tolerance has been given a bad name, according to a panel of scholars urging Christians to recover the word's original meaning...." Rom 12:2.  See also Conforming the Church to the New Millennium and Mind Control

Welcome to the Dialog on 'the Covenental Nature of Health Care': "Evangelicals, therefore, call on society  to forge a new national covenant around the issue of affordable access to necessary health care for all people....  The covenantal role of government should be to protect the right to receive necessary health care...." This unbiblical "covenant" may sound good to the church leaders, but it mocks the believer's covenant relationship with our heavenly Father. While His eternal covenant guarantees His strength and sufficiency to those whose put their faith in Him, this covenant turns our faith to socialist institutions. See Faith-Based Compromise and Ex 23:32-33.

Boy's Letter Supporting Abortion of Disabled Babies Wins in Lutheran Contest:  "An eighth-grade boy who wrote a letter advocating parents’ rights to abort their potentially disabled unborn babies has been singled out for a trip to Washington by a Christian organization." Rom 1:22-32

Conference Challenges Churches to Break With Tax Status: "...many churches feel gagged from speaking out on "politically incorrect" issues for fear of losing their tax-exempt status."

Conservatives Rally Around Bush Religion Plan. Please read Faith-Based Compromise.  

Megachurches Fail to Grow Disciples: "Megachurches in America may be growing numerically, but the pastors of the big congregations often fall short of growing people into a Christlike life."

Chinese village undergoes a life-changing 2 monthsMark 13:10-11

Latinos Exchanging Guns for Bibles: "Although there is little political or social peace in Colombia, there is hope in Jesus Christ. An indigenous ministry here is taking the gospel to the most dangerous areas in the country, spreading the good news and planting churches.... Their strategy is simple: to plant churches where there is no testimony for the Lord, regardless of the risk." Mark 13:10-11

Churches Begin to Tackle Internal Problem: Addiction to Porn. See also Church Walking with the World  Romans 1-22-32.

Willow Creek (Part VI) - Sifting the Saints: "It focuses on 'felt needs' instead of spiritual needs. So, rather than equipping saints to go out into the world to rescue the lost from a culture of death, they employ the culture's own singers, celebrities and salesmen to seduce them into their apostasy by marketing a gospel of gratification." Matthew 24:11

Bible Club Returns to High School Campus

March 2001

Bush faith initiative meeting roadblocks

Groups release guidelines on churches using tax funds

Churches called on to resurrect plague hymn   Matt 24-7

We would prefer to avoid public discussion of the following topic. Yet, we need to know what is happening around us from God's perspective. (See also Church Walking with the World)

The “Gaying” of America

'Our Whole Lives' Sex education program bares all. No topic off limits: Church's program shocks many for frank approach. 

February 2001

Ministers get hip to lure young -- They gear message to those turned off to old-style worship: "There is some showbiz," said the Rev. John Saliba, religion professor at University of Detroit Mercy. "We are an age of showbiz. If you use some showbiz in the proper context to deliver a message, it might be effective." 

The Amsterdam Declaration: A Charter for evangelism in the 21st century. This Declaration -- as important today as when written last summer --   "has been reviewed by Christian leaders and evangelists from around the world. It is commended to God's people everywhere as an expression of evangelical commitment...."  Please read it prayerfully in the light of God's Word.  Most paragraphs sounds wonderful, but do you see reason for concern? Might Christians interpret words such as justice, unity, and partnerships according to their new meanings  in today's politically correct global culture? 

Relief Ministry Accused Of "Blurring" Church-State Line

Drilling the Evangelists on the Evangel. Toward the end of the above  conference (summer 2000), "discussion of cooperation was no longer taboo. 'One of the most distinctive things about this conference is that most of us here tonight are willing to recognize Christ in each other,' Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey told the evangelists." See also Conforming the Church to the New Millennium

Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives Opens "and guess who was standing first in line?" 

High court to hear religious club's case: Free speech, church-and-state issues raised

IRS Church Seizure is a Tragedy for Religious Liberty

Time to Kiss and Make Up? The financially strapped NCC reaches out to evangelicals and Roman Catholics.

Fundamentalism, Modernism and New-Evangelism

The President’s Source of Faith

In today's climate of Biblical illiteracy and self-made spirituality, this book is finding its way into some churches: Hello, God?' `Conversations' Author Walsch Discusses His Spiritual Journey. See also Conversations with a god on our Quotes & Excerpts page.

The Structure & Strategy of a Purpose-Driven Pure CellChurch System. Scroll down to "Our CellChurch System" and see the first and last PowerPoint presentations. It is slow to open, but it illustrates the international TQM system cloaked in church language. Its goal is transformation -- a paradigm shift -- just as in education, mental health and government. To reach the discussion forum, click on www.delphi.com/cellchurch. You may want to click on "enter as a Guest" and take the tour it offers. Remember, the "Delphi Technique" is the dialectic process -- a diverse group dialoguing to consensus. (See chapter 3 in Brave New Schools)

Miracle Teen Program Launched

Judge Orders Home-Schooled Teen to Public School or mom goes to jail.

Good News Bad News Very Bad News
In the last four years, " there has been a rise in the proportion of adults who read the Bible..." "... Christians spend seven times as much time on entertainment as they do on spiritual activities." Although 2/3 of all teenagers say they know all the basic teachings... of the Christian faith, 2/3 reject the existence of Satan, 3/5 reject the existence of the Holy Spirit, and 1/2 believe that Jesus sinned....
"Among adults who are lay leaders in their church, more than nine out of ten prioritize their faith in their life goals." "Desiring to have a close, personal relationship with God ranks just sixth among the 21 life goals tested, trailing such desires as 'living a comfortable lifestyle.'" "A minority of born again adults (44%) and an even smaller proportion of born again teenagers (9%) are certain of the existence of absolute moral truth.
"Half of all unchurched and non-Christian adults admit that they are seeking meaning and purpose in their life - providing a meaningful entry point for evangelizers." "In a representative nationwide survey among born again adults, none of the individuals interviewed said that the single, most important goal in their life is to be a committed follower of Jesus Christ." "Large proportions of the lay leaders in Christian churches hold a range of unbiblical religious views regarding the holiness of Christ, the reality of Satan, the existence of the Holy Spirit, the reality of the resurrection, and the means to salvation."

Parents balk at S&M info given teens

Whatever Happened to God? 

Internet Christianity: A Success Story. But how many are truly Christians?

Promise Keepers: A Militant Unity?

January 2001

Growing Congregations Spur Church Construction Boom. Notice the last paragraph, then read the first two reports on the 21st Century Church by Dr. Robert Klenck: The 21st Century Church


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