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Heresy in high places

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May 2014

Treason in the Church: Trading Truth for a "Social Gospel": "Called "Father of the Social Gospel," Walter Rauschenbusch (1861-1918), grew up in a German Lutheran immigrant family in New York. He studied theology at the University of Rochester, one of hundreds of educational and 'Christian' institutions funded by John D. Rockefeller.  ...he joined the faculty at Rochester Theological Seminary -- also funded by Rockefeller. In 1902 he became its Professor of Church History. From this prominent platform, he wrote books such as 'Christianizing the Social Order' and 'A Theology for the Social Gospel.'[4] 

       "Rauschenbusch introduced Jesus 'not as one who would come to save sinners from their sins but as one who had a 'social passion' for society.' ... Their plan.... called for political reform, ecumenical unity, 'Social Justice' and global peace. To justify its place in 'Christian" theology, words like redemption and regeneration were redefined to fit their socialist ideals." See Breaking Out of the Box

December 2013

UK's favourite churches - picked by a Muslim, two atheists and leading Christians: "Baroness Warsi, minister for faith and communities, and a Muslim, named Dewsbury Minster, within her home town of Dewsbury in West Yorkshire, as her favourite church. She said: 'This beautiful church is well loved by Dewsbury people of all faiths, including my own Muslim community, and I pray that it continues to prosper for another 1,400 years and more." See Re-Inventing the Church - Part 2

July 2012

Christian prof says Jesus was Muslim: "A professor at...[Luther] college [Iowa] says... that Jesus was a Muslim. ...Robert F. Shedinger, who wrote 'Was Jesus a Muslim?' said his research convinced him of Jesus as aligning in thought with Islam....'I had to rethink what Islam is,' Shedinger said... 'I came to the conclusion that it was a social justice movement and I think that’s who Jesus was in the first century so I conclude Jesus is more like a Muslim.' ...school officials at Luther were happy with Shedinger’s work. ...The school website identifies Shedinger as department head." See Heresy in high places

March 2012

"Converge Worldwide (Baptist General Conference)... push questionable doctrinal practices: "Recently, Bethel University, a Converge Worldwide school, promoted an Interreligious Symposium on November 3 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The three main speakers included Buddhist monk Witiyala Seewalie, Buddhist layman Ted Meissner, and Paul Reasoner, a Bethel professor who studied the 'Christian Zen' movement....

     "Jan Markell, President of Olive Tree Ministries and a Bethel graduate, stated, 'I wasn't prepared for what I was about to hear. The Interreligious Symposium was promoting some kind of 'common ground' between Buddhism and Christianity. A panel concluded there was a 'common ground' when it came to 'meditation.' ...According to the Lighthouse Trails Research Project's website, spiritual formation 'is a movement that has provided a platform and a channel through which Contemplative Prayer is entering the church."

February 2012

Pope says uniting Christianity requires conversion: "Ecumenism, the Pope stated, is not an optional extra for Catholics but is 'the responsibility of the entire Church and of all the baptized.' Christians, he said, must make praying for unity an 'integral part' of their prayer life, 'especially when people from different traditions come together to work for victory in Christ over sin, evil, injustice and the violation of human dignity.' Pope Benedict then touched on the lack of unity in the Christian community, which he said 'hinders the effective announcement of the Gospel..." Marching toward Global Solidarity


March 2007

Biola University -- Blasphemy 101? [Scroll down to title]: "Dr. Craig Hazen, Director of the M.A. Program in Christian Apologetics at Biola University is currently a candidate for the Presidency of Biola [A "Christian college"]. ... In November, 2004, Dr. Hazen was one of several Christian leaders who participated in a Mormon/Christian worship service held at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. The standing room only crowd listened as Dr. Richard Mouw (President, Fuller Theological Seminary) apologized to Mormons everywhere for Christians bearing 'false witness' against them. He then suggested everyone celebrate Joseph Smith’s birthday.

    "Dr. Hazen closed this meeting with a public prayer:'I really don’t want this to end; in fact, I’d like to make this an annual event.... Let us pray. Our Heavenly Father... Solomon asked for wisdom and you gave in abundance. Your servant James taught us that God will give wisdom generously to all who ask him for this precious gift. The Mormon Scriptures tell us that Joseph Smith Jr. likewise sought wisdom at a crucial time in his life.... So, in a common voice, we ask you to give us divine wisdom, wisdom from above, and the truth about you, about your Son, about your Holy Word, and about the path to salvation."

     But God has already given us those truths in His Word! Why seek it again -- in "common voice" with those of another religion?" See Charts: Five Types of Religious Expressions

February 2007

New organization aims to unite five Christian 'families': "Christian Churches Together in the USA' launches Wednesday with 36 denominations and more than 100 million churchgoers represented....The group ... represents the broadest ecumenical fellowship ever formed in this country.

      "Recognizing that historical divisions have fostered misperceptions and even hostility, and that this has weakened Christian influence, the CCT seeks better understanding and a common voice on important societal issues....

     "Ecumenism has a lengthy history in the United States. The National Council of Churches was founded in 1950 (a forerunner in 1908).... 'There's almost a holistic sense of who we are as people and how we are in the world, so we have to deal with poverty, injustice, and the environment.'... 'Yet it's not a surprise that some Evangelical or charismatic groups aren't there, because many determine who's in and who's out on doctrinal issues. They stick to themselves.'" See Creating Community... through a New Way of Thinking

 

New organization aims to unite five Christian 'families': "Christian Churches Together in the USA' launches Wednesday with 36 denominations and more than 100 million churchgoers represented....The group involves churches from all five Christian 'families' – Catholics, Evangelicals and Pentecostals, Mainline Protestants, Orthodox, and racial or ethnic churches – and represents the broadest ecumenical fellowship ever formed in this country.

      "...the CCT seeks better understanding and a common voice on important societal issues. ... 'There's a large group of Evangelical and 'midway Christian' groups that are understanding we can't simply deal with what we used to call spiritual issues," says the Rev. Kurt Fredrickson, associate professor of ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary.... 'Yet it's not a surprise that some Evangelical or charismatic groups aren't there, because many determine who's in and who's out on doctrinal issues. They stick to themselves." See The power of the crowd

 

New organization aims to unite five Christian 'families': "Christian Churches Together in the USA' launches Wednesday with 36 denominations and more than 100 million churchgoers represented....The group involves churches from all five Christian 'families' – Catholics, Evangelicals and Pentecostals, Mainline Protestants, Orthodox, and racial or ethnic churches – and represents the broadest ecumenical fellowship ever formed in this country.

      "Recognizing that historical divisions have fostered misperceptions and even hostility, and that this has weakened Christian influence, the CCT seeks better understanding and a common voice on important societal issues. ... 'There is a strong realization that if we as Christians are to be effective in the world we need to be a common voice,' says Bishop Stephen Blaire of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Stockton, Calif. "And addressing poverty is integral to the work and witness of being a Christian."

     "Ecumenism has a lengthy history in the United States. The National Council of Churches was founded in 1950 (a forerunner in 1908).... But the Catholics never joined, and Evangelicals opted for their own National Association of Evangelicals (NAE)... The NCC has emphasized social justice issues....

    "There's a large group of Evangelical and 'midway Christian' groups that are understanding we can't simply deal with what we used to call spiritual issues," says the Rev. Kurt Fredrickson, associate professor of ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary... 'There's almost a holistic sense of who we are as people and how we are in the world, so we have to deal with poverty, injustice, and the environment.'... 'Yet it's not a surprise that some Evangelical or charismatic groups aren't there, because many determine who's in and who's out on doctrinal issues. They stick to themselves.'...

    "The Rev. William Shaw is president of the... National Baptist Convention, USA Inc., which also belongs to NCC and the Baptist World Alliance. '...I'm hopeful this group will be a strong voice for the unity of the church, but also a strong voice for human rights....'"

April 2006

Pope: Unity and peace for all (Vatican City, 4-20-05): Pope Benedict XVI said, "I pray God for the unity and peace of the whole human family and ensure that all catholics are ready to contribute to a real social development which shows respect for the dignity of every human being.... I won't spare efforts to carry on the fruitful dialogue started by my great predecessors with other civilizations and cultures because mutual understanding leads to a better future for everyone."

   But a large part of that "whole human family" rejects God and despise His absolute truth! While we share God's love and gospel with unbelievers, we must also remember that there can be no true unity between those who love God and those who scorn Him. The purpose of today's "social development" is to produce an illusion of oneness and tolerance in the world. Such pluralism clashes with God's guidelines for oneness in Christ. See Biblical Unity

 

Pope Stresses Inter-Faith Dialogue: "He also appeared to be committed to the reconciliatory stance adopted by his predecessor to engage in dialogue with all religions and cultures as already urged by Muslim and Jewish leaders. 'I will spare no effort and commitment to continue the promising dialogue with other civilizations that was started by my venerable predecessors,' he said. 'I welcome everybody with simplicity and love to assure them that the Church wants to continue in open and sincere dialogue with them, in search of true good of man and society.'"

December 2005

Plans for 'Christian Churches Together in the U.S.A.' Move from Vision Toward Reality: "A vision for the most inclusive Christian organization ever in the United States advanced dramatically when a diverse group of 46 national church leaders agreed Jan. 29, 2003, on a concrete proposal to take back to their church bodies for consideration. The proposal-for what is provisionally called Christian Churches Together in the U.S.A. (CCT) builds on more than two years of behind-the-scenes work by church leaders....

    Over the next few years, the proposal will be placed before the top decision-making bodies of many denominations (or communions as some bodies are called) and other Christian organizations....The proposal calls for a fellowship that is committed 'to grow closer together in Christ' in order to strengthen its 'Christian witness in the world.'" See Oneness, deception & Conforming the Church to the New Millennium

November

Evangelical preaches at Salt Lake Tabernacle: With Evangelicals and Latter-day Saints sitting together in the Salt Lake Tabernacle for an "Evening of Friendship," internationally renowned Christian philosopher Ravi Zacharias told them Sunday night that Jesus Christ's unique claim upon humanity is that he embodied truth and sacrificed himself for a world that often does not recognize him. ...Mouw noted the 200th anniversary of Joseph Smith's birthday next December and several scholarly events planned to celebrate during the coming year. "I hope many in the evangelical community will take part in those events," he said. .... The fact that the LDS Church opened its signature pulpit to Zacharias — the first such invitation in more than a century — has had some in both faith camps talking about the motives of Standing Together Ministries and the Richard L. Evans Chair of Religious Understanding at Brigham Young University, who organized the event.

March 2004

Europe's Christian Movements to Gather: "More than 150 Christian movements -- Catholic, Orthodox, evangelical and Anglican -- will meet May 8 to help add a spiritual dimension to the building of the new Europe. The meeting is expected to attract at least 22 Catholic bishops, in addition to 22 bishops of Christian denominations.... More than 10,000 people are expected to attend the event in Stuttgart, Germany. At least 141 cities will be linked by satellite to join in the event....  'For the first time, Catholic, evangelical, Orthodox and Anglican ecclesial movements will meet to show the spiritual riches of Europe which is moving toward unity.'" 1 Pet 4:3-4

July 2003

 

500 Leaders From Major Religions to Meet in Germany: "The meeting, whose motto is 'Between War and Peace: Religions and Cultures Meet,' is the 17th world conference on 'Men and Religions.'" See Luke 12:51-3 and United Nations'Millennium Goal

August 2002

 

The Jew's Messiah Now Kosher: "A 210-page document titled 'The Jewish People and the Holy Scriptures in the Christian Bible,' by the Pontifical Biblical Commission and authorized by the Vatican’s top theologian, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, reportedly... says Jews and Christians share their wait for the Messiah, although Jews are waiting for the first coming and Christians for the second. The new document also reportedly contains an apology to the Jewish people for anti-Semitic passages contained in the New Testament, and also stresses the continuing importance of the Torah for Christians.

      "The book comes to light as anti-Semitism appears to be increasing around the world from Christian and Muslim sources. ...In Rome, Vatican officials denied they tried to hide the document fearing criticism from right-wing Catholics who oppose theological change." What it means to be a Christian

June

The Reconciliation Walk Reaches Its Conclusion: "Lynn Green [part of the YWAM leadership] began by reminding the assembly: 'The Reconciliation Walk began as a simple step of obedience to God....Westerners and Easterners have found their prejudices, opinions, and fears of each other challenged and changed by spending time together.'...

      "Since religious and ethnic antagonism has dominated the city of Jerusalem, the participants did not pray against anyone or anything, but rather they prayed for people: for peace and reconciliation between all ethnic groups in the city for trust between religious leaders for friendships to flourish across ethnic and religious lines that people, each of whom are created in God's image, are more sacred than land and territory." See What it means to be a Christian. How could there be true Christian unity apart from the cross -- apart from personal confession of sin, separation and need for redemption?  Biblical faith and regeneration, not 'spending time together' brings Biblical oneness in Christ. The first three items on The Postmodern Church page will give a clearer picture of the pluralism in the global church network. See also Conforming the Church to the New Millennium and Col 2:8.

 

Young Leader Alliance: "One key to completing the Great Commission is to see young Christian leaders emerge to key roles that influence all walks of life and professions. Dream with us for a moment. Imagine that every young leader in all of America's 350,000 churches is connected with the right people, resources, and training experiences needed to fulfill his or her leadership destiny with excellence. Imagine the impact Christian young leaders will make in all categories of society - the marketplace, the church world, in media, education, entertainment, government…and beyond! ...

      "Mission America is a coalition of virtually every national Christian leader in America. Currently 411 para-church organizations and 84 denominations have formed nearly 70 national ministry networks. Mission America is a true conglomerate of the entire body of Christ in America - an excellent platform to launch a widespread endeavor such as this new Young Leader Alliance. This two-day gathering will be fast-paced, well structured, and highly relational." See Re-Inventing the Church

March 2002

Survey Reveals Americans' Muddled Religious Beliefs: "Although church attendance has dropped back to normal levels after a post-9/11 spike, the terrorist attacks have had a long-term effect on religious belief in America -- in some surprising ways. Americans have a more favorable view of Muslims than they did a year ago, and while most call themselves Christians, they also overwhelmingly believe that many religions lead to eternal life. ... President Bush's expressions of support for Muslim Americans and heavy media coverage of Islam were believed to be largely responsible for the change....

      "Eighty-two percent of those questioned identified themselves as Christians, of whom 43 percent said that they were 'born again' or evangelical.... Yet 75 percent of all those interviewed said that they believed many religions could lead to eternal life, including 61 percent of those who said they had a high personal religious commitment. Only 18 percent of the total survey -- which noted 'strong expressions of religious inclusiveness'-- thought their own religion was the 'one true faith.'" See John 14:6 and What it means to be a Christian

October 2001

The next four items compare two ecumenical movements that shape churches around the world. They overlap more than the authors admit. Perhaps they will encourage us to see God's Word and His life in us as the basis for our oneness -- not a vision for a public unity that would silence personal and "divisive" convictions that clash with the new "Christian" consensus.

 

 The New Ecumenism and Christian Witness to Society: "What I am calling the old ecumenism begins in 1948 with the launching of the World Council of Churches at Amsterdam, in the same year the United Nations was created. ...  [It] became increasingly tempted toward neo-pagan, shamanist, and animist primitivism as supposed alternatives for ecumenical rejuvenation. ... 

       "Meanwhile the new ecumenism has been quietly rediscovering ancient Christian ecumenism.... It already has produced a vast literature. It is emerging world wide. ... We already have corporate manifestations of parachurch movements and embryonic unity movements such as the Lausanne Movement and the World Evangelical Fellowship...  The instruments of this unity all over the world are seen in... such vital ministries as Prison Fellowship, World Relief, World Vision, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and Samaritan’s Purse. These must be brought closer to Catholic and Orthodox prayers and hopes for unity." The Global Church

Response to the above message: Ms. Despina Prassis, World Council of Churches: "There have been long discussions at World Council of Churches meetings where the issue of 'the unity we seek' arises. Even though these discussions have helped to articulate the shape this unity should not take, attempts at clearly defining this unity have been difficult." See Conforming the Church to the New Millennium

Response: Dr. Philip Turner, Berkeley Divinity School: "...The old ecumenism, at least as it is represented by the WCC, has indeed lost its way....  My own view is that, in its hands, Christianity has, in large measure, ceased to be a religion of salvation and become in stead a form of moralism coated with a religious veneer and dedicated to social and political projects that have no clear Christian warrant." Psalm 119:11

Response: Commissioner John Busby, the Salvation Army: "Dr. Oden’s paper gives witness to a hunger for the creation of something new; something that includes not only mainline Protestants, but also Catholics, Orthodox and Evangelicals.

       "...in spite of Dr. Oden’s reference describing the two forms of ecumenism as two competing alleged universals, we might ask if there is any place for an evangelical witness within the NCC and WCC. After all, Dr. Oden has stated that the old and new ecumenisms do not differ absolutely. ...
       "The tragedy that we have experienced clearly illustrates the appropriateness of coming together, not just in rhetoric, but in reality. America has changed. The world has changed. And, some of the change moves us toward our destiny of being partners and co-laborers together...." But God's uncompromising gospel must remain the same.
See What it means to be a Christian

 

 

"...there are now two kinds of evangelical.... The old is the authentic, biblical position. The new is far off the track, not in its basic view of salvation, but in its readiness to compromise with doctrinal error and worldly ways. The new is selling the faith for earthly respect and recognition... and churches are being ruined."[1]   Dr. Peter Masters, minister of the Metropolitan Tabernacle in central London. Click on  Are We Fundamentalists? to find more insights from this British pastor who follows in the steps of C. H. Spurgeon.

National Council of Churches reaches out: "The greatest challenge facing the nation's largest ecumenical agency is not getting along with U.S. Muslims.... Conservative evangelicals and liberal Protestants have been trying to start a conversation since 1996, when former National Association of Evangelicals president Don Argue addressed the National Council of Churches' General Assembly meeting in Chicago. That upset some of the evangelical group's more conservative members, who have since made it clear that they want nothing to do with the National Council of Churches. ...Disputes over homosexuality, the ordination of women, biblical interpretation and church government are just a few of the obstacles that face those working toward greater Christian cooperation." See The Global Church

 

New Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance Targets Peace Issues (12/12/00, old but still important):  "The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, which is holding its founding meeting in Geneva from December 7 to 9, brings together 45 representatives from a wide range of organizations, including the World Council of Churches, regional ecumenical organizations from all parts of the world, and international ecumenical bodies. The alliance is intended to promote joint action by its members 'to influence the policies and practices of governments, international institutions and the corporate sector,' according to a background document produced about the network.... 

        "Celine Monteiro, vice-president of the board of directors of Franciscans International...said: "Forget our differences, and build on what we have to strengthen our collaboration and unity."  The launch of the alliance was also welcomed by a senior United Nations official. Bertrand Ramcharan, the U.N. deputy high commissioner for human rights, told the meeting: 'It is important for you to be a voice of the people in a globalizing world … to be an advocate of minimum standards of economic, social and cultural rights, as well as civil and political rights, in a world where social safety nets are disappearing.'" See Conforming the Church to the New Millennium
 

Radical Methodist Church Ends Marriage Ceremonies in Pro-Homosexual Protest: “Park Slope United Methodist Church (UMC) in Brooklyn announced last month that the church would no longer conduct legal marriages in its sanctuary nor would its pastor, the Rev. Elizabeth Braddon, perform marriages or holy union ceremonies anywhere. The action by the church is in protest of United Methodist policy that prohibits homosexual unions in UMC sanctuaries....

      “In describing its peculiar theology, church policy states, ‘People in the congregation are in a wide range of stages of seeking God. …We have created rituals in the worship that reflect the spiritual diversity of our members: lighting candles in memory of loved ones; a baptism and naming ceremony for infants which includes Native American chanting; foot washing; drumming; traditional songs; public sharing of joys and sorrows; a Caribbean Harvest festival; and an open communion service which includes all the children.”

       " ...In addition to merging Christianity with 'other sacred texts' and Native American spirituality, Rev. Braddon has introduced 'goddess worship' into her congregation. In a 1998 sermon titled 'Mother God,' she portrayed God in the female image with the rhetoric espoused by radical feminist theologians....

       "The United Methodist Church appears paralyzed and powerless to respond to attempts by members of its clergy to introduce heretical theology into Methodist doctrine.”  That’s understandable. When God’s guidelines are dismissed, there is no trusted standard for sorting through the myriad of personal opinions and political agendas. Please read Chapter 1 in A Twist of Faith and Earth Day Joins Easter

 

 

Global Church Management. Historic Evangelical Congress Next Year In Budapest: "HOPE.21 is initiated by 'Hope for Europe', an umbrella of networks, alliances and partnerships, co-sponsored by the EEA, the Lausanne Movement in Europe, and the Coalition for the Evangelisation of Europe (CEE), an informal grouping of evangelical organisations including Agape Europe, Youth With A Mission, Greater Europe Mission, Scripture Union, Operation Mobilisation, Janz Team and others. ...
       "These consultations are aimed to promote relationships and cooperation among workers in specific fields across the continent. Such fields include apologetics, the arts, broadcasting, church planting, church renewal, urban ministry, education, health care workers, politics, evangelism, leadership development....
      "...we want to take our shared responsibilities for God's whole world seriously as Europeans."
See The Global Church and Are We Fundamentalists?

Church or Religion? Spirituality of communion for Ecumenism of the Third Millennium - The irreversible journey of the 'Dialogue of Life' towards full unity: ''We lived as one Christian people.' 'I have come to see that unity is possible.'  'The rich variety of our multiplicity merged into a very deep communion.' These are some impressions from an Italian Lutheran Deacon, Denecke, from a young Greek-Orthodox from Athens, and from a group of Lutherans from Leipzig.    They express what dialogue brought about at the Focolare Movement’s International Ecumenical Meeting." See Twisting Truth through Group Consensus

The New Ecumenism and Christian Witness to Society - Part One: "The irony of the new ecumenism is that it is much older (by a millennium) than what we are here calling the old ecumenism. So by old we mean old modern, by new we mean new classic. The old ecumenism is focused on new structures of organic unity. The new ecumenism is seeking to restore classic Christian verities within and despite the old divisions. The old ecumenism is moribund..."  Col 2:8


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