Topical index

Emerging "Christianity"

Visitors' Comments

Emerging, Global & Postmodern Churches

Including Mysticism, Gnosticism, Paganism


See also  From Gnostic Roots to Occult Revival


New Mask for an Ancient Secret

The Purpose Driven Church

From CJ:

I have read your Kjos ministries website, and you mention the "emerging church". Well here in New Zealand I attended church this morning and the minister (a genial chap) stood in the pulpit and began to preach about "emerging christianity".  Of late there has been considerable preaching of "a new faith for the 21st century".
Good-bye to traditional Christianity and hullo to emerging christianity!  It is, apparently, all about a relationship with God based on love whereby we can have "eternity" now; and where such a relationship can set us free re possibilities to make the most of life.  It is all about a "new understanding of the bible".
It has all to do, according to the minister, with monumental shifts in theological thinking over the past 100 years. In essence the minister was claiming the bible is to be understood in the context of our changing times. Therefore what was written 2000 years ago should not be taken too literally by believers of today.

True understanding  has been a product of its time.  The bible is now to be looked upon with a theme of not so much taking it as truth of miracles  (Jesus walking on water? Ha!), but from the viewpoint "what is it saying to me?"

In one sermon we had definitions as to the focus of the New Faith:
1. Basic human attributes - the choices we make or ignore etc
2. Human dignity and human potential
3. The energies of renewal...
4. A life that is healthy...
5.  The spirit of inclusiveness, compassion and kindness.
6. the awareness of forces that can send us forward or backward
7. A faith...relevant to people in the 21st century.
There is a heavy emphasis on "love" and the "here and now".  There seems to be much emphasis on scientific psychology.
Incidentally, in the world today, are we seeing just another apostasy or the great apostasy?  Do you think things are leading up to some kind of global climactic this century?
P.S.  After the service, I asked a 22 year old female if she understood what was being said in the sermon.  She replied "not really". 

From Berit: Thank you for sharing these insights. I thank God for your discernment and concern!

It's hard to see how any Christian can make sense of such a subjective, sociological and psychology-based sermon. Yet this "emerging" message is now heard in churches around the world. Most people seem to just accept it with their emotions and ignore its conflict with God's Word. The new attitude seems to be: It it feels good and fits today's culture, run with it!

Few dare question the new focus on group dialogue and collective community service ("social justice"). It seems so good to help the poor and to carefully avoid speaking Biblical truths that might offend anyone. The emphasis is on fellowship and oneness -- but it's not the Biblical unity that true Christians have in Christ through the cross.

We are certainly seeing apostasy! There have been many such tempting departure from God's Word in the last 2000 years, so it's hard to say whether or not this will be the last "great apostasy." Perhaps it is the beginning of that end time departure from faith, which would initiate the start of the final judgments.

I tend to believe that's the case. That's why I posted our recent article on The School of Joyful Endurance. Those who love our Lord and His Word would be wise to train in the kind of endurance that will keep us full of faith and close to Him no matter what happens!

Yes, we seem to be headed for a socialist /communitarian global management system. Traditional Western freedom would become history, and Christians would face increasing hostility and persecution. The big questions is how long this initial period will last. Remember, in Old Testament days, the Babylonian exile didn't happen in a week. Years went by before Israel faced the full judgment for their idolatry, depravity and contempt for our true and holy God.

You may want to read this articles: Who defines the Kingdom of God? and  Emerging "Christianity" - Part 1: Breaking Out of the box

From David of Lake Forest: This [Calvary Chapel's compromise] has been a nightmare concern for me, and it truly breaks my heart. There is a right way, and a wrong way, based solely upon the Word Of God, as influenced by The Holy Spirit. Calvary Chapel Pastors are human, and they are therefore subject to temptation.  I question the rationalized motives  of Pastors who think and feel that 'A NEW WAY' is both good and necessary for the Church to survive and to GROW. 

I see the results of the leavening that corrupts our Lord's Church.  It is like an insidious cancer that spreads among the members, promoted mostly by irresponsible ignorance, worldly avarice, personal pridefulness, authoritarian arrogance, and a sense of gamesmanship and competitiveness.  Slick marketing techniques and the application of humanistic psychology are all employed to put "GOD" in a fancy box and use Jesus Christ as the "Poster Child" to sell it.

Sometimes it starts with the Pastor, and sometimes it starts with the "New" Elders, or with members of The Church Board or Administration, or sometimes it starts at the roots, in Small Groups, but the result is the same. A Deviate Spiritual Organism is created, and it will eventually take over and consume the original Host Body we call The Church. That Deviate Spiritual Organism serves not our Lord Jesus Christ, but will inevitably serve the Anti-Christ as the End Times Church Of Apostasy.

The only thing that we can do, when we find this corruption in our midst, is to cut it off, excise it, and put as much distance between ourselves and the contamination as is physically and spiritually possible.  We need to stop eating, and socializing, and networking, and cooperating with the Enemy.

I believe that Rick Warren and ALL of his Cronies are Liars and Deceivers, and that the Calvary Chapel Distinctives, which I claim to be Fundamentally Christian by their very nature, are under attack.  It is way past time, over   due in fact, that Every Calvary Chapel Pastor must receive a working understanding of the Enemy from without, so that they may recognize the Enemy from within, as they infiltrate the Calvary Chapel Churches. 

I once heard Rick Warren tell his congregation that: "Resistance is futile, You will be Assimilated." My prayer is that every Calvary Chapel Pastor, Church Board Member, Elder, Usher, and Congregation Member will be fully educated to gain the necessary discernment to detect and identify this vile corruption while it is still in the incipient stage, before it metastasizes and Destroys one of the finest and most faithful Churches I have ever seen.

When I read the following article, my initial response was both emotional and physical. I had instant, angina type, pains in my chest, surrounding my heart, and I had to struggle to keep from vomiting. I pray the information within this article will demand your attention, as it did mine, and that you will share it widely, and with haste, because there are wolves among the flocks.

Rick Warren is not the "Martin Luther Like Reformer Of This Age", as he claims to be, and ALL Calvary Chapel Churches must declare him and his cronies to be Anathema. Pray the congregations of Warren and of all of his associates will have their eyes, ears, and hearts opened to the TRUTH, and that they will defect, as I and my family once did. Having been a tithing member of Saddleback Church for 5 years, and a "Trained Facilitator", as a Small Group Leader, I am well aware of the "Programming", Peer Pressure, and guilt that this Humanistic, Kingdom Now, Cult employs to manipulate their members. Please pray for Paul Smith, and Chuck Smith, and all of the Calvary Chapels, as those prayers are urgently needed. 

It is time to cut the heads off of snakes who wish to do The Body harm. Resist with all of your heart, your soul, your spirit, your will, your strength, and your FAITH.  May GOD bless and protect us one and all, which we humbly ask in our Lord Jesus Christ's name. AMEN.  

From George Cancilla: [RE: Rethinking Robert Schuller] "The gospel exposes us as sinners so that we will realize we are without hope unless we receive Christ. But unless we see the Truth about ourselves, we will NEVER think we need a Savior. We cannot value what Christ has done for us unless we see our own spiritual poverty and lost condition. In short, it is absolutely impossible for you and I to repent of sin unless we see we are sinners. It is absolutely impossible for you and I to embrace Jesus Christ with saving faith unless we first see we are DEAD in trespasses and sins.


Schuller, and those on the conference list that embrace him, leave that part of the gospel out, or at least play it down. When they do this they are not preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, but are preaching heresy. They deny the very core of the gospel – the Cross of Jesus Christ. We can never have 'Our Best Life Now' in Adam. We cannot circumvent the Cross of Christ to have God's will for us in Christ. Most people don't want to hear this, and send money to these ministries like Schuller's, somehow thinking that they can have God's blessing without having to die to self. Pray that so many would not be so deceived.


From Kim N. Stager: I just happened upon this article [The Paganization of Biblical Studies by Dr. Peter Jones] from your website. I especially like the following quote:

"[NB. I use the terms 'Gnosticism' and 'paganism' virtually interchangeably. Paganism is the general religious belief in the divinity of Nature; Gnosticism is a specific and somewhat rarified application of that general belief that becomes associated with the early Christian movement. I thus agree with the early church fathers, who, according to modern scholarship, falsely described Gnosticism as a 'relapse in heathenism.' If paganism is monistic, Gnosticism is, to quote Kurt Rudolf, dualism on a monistic background]."

I guess I like this quote particularly because I believe Gnosticism is the "religion" of the Lucifer from the beginning. His Babylonian religion so well revealed in biblical Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. And so well summarized in Revelation 12.

The Devil is always creating false dichotomies to deceive, distract, and wile away the time of humanity and then providing the syntheses in which opposites are unified into a new theses, ad infinitum. The so-called "Law of Synthesis". Creating all manner of cognitive dissonance, sin, and suffering that manifests itself in many ways in societies all around the globe. Thus deceiving humanity from choosing Christ. At least until Christ returns in the clouds with great glory.



From George Cancilla: [RE: Identificational Repentance] Either the Blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from ALL sin, or it doesn’t. And if it does, then any so-called generational curse was broken when we were born again, of a new creation in Christ Jesus. If you doubt that, then what you are saying is that the NEW CREATION in Christ Jesus continues to carry the generational curses of the old creation in Adam. That is a denial of the Cross.

The fact is, if you are truly IN CHRIST, you are a new creature, and no generational curse that belongs to the Adam creature you were, or which was upon the family into which you were born through natural birth, has any power over you.

Once we allow this generational curse mentality into our lives, we will never be finished digging for, "secret causes," for our sins, unbelief, depression, or relationship problems.  It can become a new kind of legalism, and create out of us paranoid people, looking for a demon behind everything.

We need to believe! We do not need to be delivered from Egypt over and over again, any more than Jesus needs to die over and over again. It does not matter what is our past, or what is our ancestry. The Cross of Jesus Christ is sufficient to cut off all the power of those things. Period. We don’t need deliverance from what has already died in Christ. We need FAITH to embrace the Truth.

From Harold Ferguson: [RE: Identificational Repentance] You are dead-on correct about John Dawson of New Zealand, now California, and his identificational repentance. I heard him speak at a Promise Keepers meeting many years ago in San Diego and came away from that presentation both bewildered and angry. He makes White Europeans guilty of the sins of the world in a nutshell – that I as a White European Male am personally guilty for having committed atrocities against other peoples. He suggested that we as Christians should apologize to Mexico, for example, in taking the southwest away from them.


Never mind that Mexico was ruled by an Antichrist (Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna) who took down statues of Jesus and the saints in Mexico City and replaced them with his own, a man who called himself “The Napoleon of the West” and boasted he could have taken his mighty army all the way to Washington DC had he been so inclined. I wanted to yell out at the top of my voice “I’LL APOLOGIZE TO MEXICO WHEN YOU PEOPLE APOLOGIZE TO THE MAORI!!!” He also stated that “Israel was a multi-cultural society” and several other mis-statements (I could call them lies but that’s uncharitable). By his way of thinking, you need to personally apologize to the people of England and ask forgiveness for what your Scandinavian Viking ancestors did in their many raids, attacks, and conquests – that you personally share in that guilt and sin!!!

The thing that makes Dawson so dangerous is not his Leftist view of revisionist history, but precisely this: what his teaching does to Christians, by trying to force upon us the sins of the fathers, so to speak, that I am somehow personally and directly accountable for what my ancestors did and that I must personally apologize for and ask forgiveness for these actions. As Dawson himself said at the conference, “I was out one night in LA, confessing the sin of murder...” – and that he apologized for and asked forgiveness for RAPE to a group of women who had been so barbarously treated – that just being a man he had wronged them, and was guilty of this horrible sin and crime just because he was MALE -- this you will not find anywhere in Scripture.


I am responsible for MY sins, MY actions, MY inaction, MY thoughts, etc. At the Last Judgment all be judged on the basis of THEIR OWN works, not the deeds of others. This teaching, to me, mocks grace and tells me there is something more I must do to REALLY be right with God. In Galatians 1:10 Paul calls that another gospel and I will leave the rest where it is.


Second note from Harold Ferguson: In keeping with globalist ideas, Dawson’s identificational repentance carries with it – subtly – that we who need to apologize and ask forgiveness –because we committed these atrocities and sins, are also inherently INFERIOR to the ones we wronged – that there is something endemically wrong with the White European “race” as a whole and that Native Peoples are superior – you can see this in everything from the film DANCES WITH WOLVES to YWAM’s Missiology. And, of course, where this will lead is to the notion that the “religion” that is most closely associated with this bothersome White European “race” – Christianity in its traditional, Bible-believing form, is also inferior and needs to be either discarded or “improved” – reinvented – using ideas and terminology borrowed from Native cultures. And this in turn will eventually bring us to a Jesus who is no Jesus and a gospel which is no gospel – or perhaps I should say, “another Jesus” and “another gospel” of which Paul warns us to be wary. It all fits, and this is precisely what the Enemy intends, for he is father of lies, including this one!


From Doug W.: I am sure that you and others see that the increasing mystical movements throughout the world especially within the church are preparing the world to accept the Antichrist. However, I have often thought that as the mainline "church" moves in the mystical direction, it is also moving full steam forward as a social and political force with people like Rick Warren who drive Christians into the mold of the New World Order. 


I can't help thinking that once this comes to fruition, it will be the "Christians" that will bring the Antichrist into power with all his mystical powers. Maybe I am wrong, but it's just a thought. 

From Loretta: The Emergent Manifesto belittles personal, one on one relationship with the Lord and insists that it is a collective salvation that really matters. The goal of this cooperative movement is to participate in "the healing of our world" and to "collaborate with our Maker in the fulfillment of God's reign on Earth." (p. 30)

The Manifesto makes clear that followers of this new, collective religion should not be concerned about saving "people from the jaws of hell," but should rather be "motivated ... to be in relationship with people who in many ways are different" (p. 35). The focus should not be on conversion as much as "cultivation of relationships."...

Reminds me of when I heard the pastor exclaim "imagine if millions of people around the world said yes to God collectively......."

"... into a faith of collaborative mission. ...this kind of emergence must lead to a convergence... a convergence of postconservatives and postliberals into what Hans Frei and Stanley Grenz termed a new "generous orthodoxy."

A "convergence!" well, that is another way of saying, universalism, or interfaith, or blended theology (whatever term that is).
truly frightening.


From Lynn Stuter: [RE: “The Secret”--Christianity or New Age]  I watched “The Secret.”  First impressions are always important and what I saw first and heard first reminded me very much of the dirges or chants of the Druids that permeated pagan England and Ireland.  I visited the Druid grounds that surround Blarney Castle when I was in Ireland.  I have never felt the presence of such evil in my entire life. 

Next, I noted not the light of joy or the colors of inspiration but rather the colors of darkness, of secretiveness, of mysticism, throughout the movie.  When you want to inspire you don’t use black or red as was used in “The Secret”, you use pastels.

My first impression was then reinforced by the music which was also dark, occult, ritualistic; very much the dirge of Satanism; the chant of Druidism.  Accompanying this was the visuals that were very much occult.

All of this overpowered any positive message intended.  I’m not sure how anyone could watch that and not come away with an overwhelming sense of Satanism. This movie was made in the shadow of Satan whose hand and presence were very evident to me.



From Kim N. Stager: [New Mask for an Ancient Secret]  Thanks again for another great article on the coming -- rather now present -- apostate church. The only thing left is the rapture of the true believers for this church to take its place in prophesy in the ushering in of the Antichrist by its False Prophet and Mark of the Beast.

As usual, as time draws nigh, we can see how the Devil, within God's providence of course, is accomplishing prophesy. Just a few short years ago--nay, months ago--I still wondered how all God's prophesy was going to come about in terms of its specifics. But as these last few months--maybe as long ago as 9/11--I have been seeing Matthew 24 in more full technicolor view.

Though I fully expected to see the false church arise these last few months or years. And as this process has accelerated at an accelerating rate. The idea America could become full blown pagan, though I was watching for it, was still a wonder. But as time has passed, paganism has come to fruition before our very eyes. With Americans--even professing Christians--mostly unaware of this transformation. Most even denying this is taking place. And mocking those who say so to them. Clearly, only Spiritual-Biblical answers to this transformation are valid and revealing.

And as we are clearly seeing--the first subtle, now in your face pagan--false Christanity is sweeping America and the world these last few years. As the true pagan is shedding light for all to see who will that the professing Christian church is just as pagan. Thougth by its very sinister nature it is more efficacious at deceiving the whole world. Even the elect if it were possible. Praise God it is not. But what a shame for the deceived!

God's gospel in Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit is the only Way.

From Gloria C.: Did Akiane see God?

John 1:18 "No man has seen God at any time."
Exodus 33:20 "Thou can't see my face: for there shall be no man see me and live."

The Holy Scripture contradicts Akiane's vision in which she claimed to go to heaven and see God. I will choose God's word over her experience. Beware of false prophets. I studied guided visualization, a type of demon inspired, Eastern religious experience and , that is what Akiane is describing below. Pray for her. She is using automatic writings from a demon, in my opinion. I don't rely on experiences, I rely on God's word. Also, if so many secular humanists, such as Oprah are promoting her, that is a real red flag to me.

I agree what she has produced is exceptional, but I have to use God's word, to show this is NOT from God. See the quote below from


"I was with God again, and He told me to pray continually. He showed me where He lived. I was climbing transparent stairs; underneath I saw gushing waterfalls, and as I was approaching Him, His body was pure and intense light. What impressed me the most was His hands -- they were gigantic! I saw no bones, or veins, no skin or blood, but maps and events. Then He told me to memorize thousands upon thousands of wisdom words on a scroll that did not look like paper, but more like intense light. And in a few seconds I got somehow filled up. From now on I will get up early to paint. I hope one day I'd be able to paint what I was shown."

That link certainly leads to a revealing New Age website, Gloria. And the quote sounds very similar to other New Age visions that focus on strange and intense light. No wonder Satan is called Lucifer. From the beginning of her fame, Akiane's poems and paintings have suggested a counterfeit god and a New Age spirituality.

From Kim: [RE: Conversations With Satan] As the time grows shorter for the return of Christ, we will see apostasy increasing at an increasing rate and social breakdown of all manner and variety as the Bible reveals. And the ascendance of in-your-face Satanic manifestation in all areas of life. Simple paganism writ large in the world, without apology of any kind. Just pure promotion with pride. What a shame!

Though I agree with the exposing of such apostasy, I would carry the arguments of "Discernment Group" further on the one hand and less on the other. On the one hand, then, we need to keep in mind God's word speaks clearly on the subject of deception, idolatry, throughout Scripture because He does not want us to be ignorant of the wiles of the Devil and his minions in both the spiritual and the material realms. And since God clearly tells us there is no Truth in Satan, then there is no Truth in him. None! He does not even use Truth.

I agree with you. The Bible warns us that Satan will deceptivey quote Scriptures, but his distortions and unbiblical contexts always twists the truth into a tempting lie.

For the only Truth in us is the result of the work of the indwelling Spirit of God. And so Satan and all unbelievers are none of His. So we must preach the gospel of God to the world that whosoever will might be Saved. Humans only, of course. Not demons, Satan, or so-called hybrid demon-humans of pagan myth.


As well, just because Satan can accurately quote portions of Scripture, such is not the same as Truth of God's word by the Holy Spirit. Certainly all false religions have this type of so called truth whether they use similar words or the same words as biblical Scripture. Or even if they use a similar meaning or the same meaning when speaking or writing.

But, again, God's Truth is only known to born again believers by the Holy Spirit as we know and consider the whole council of God. Not just snippets here and there for the purposes of dialectic. For God's word is perfectly interwoven, non-superfluous Truth. If even one deception is introduced to Scripture, then all of Scripture is deceived if such one deception remains accepted as Truth when it is a lie. Just as the Bible tells us. Are not all cults manifested in this way? The Truth about deception in Scripture is apart of this interwoven, non-superfluous Truth of God's word and does not contradict what I said about the nature of God's word. For there is either Truth about God's Truth, or Truth about deception. For any free will not submitted to God's results in deception of God's Truth. There is no other option to God's absolute Truth.

So let us not be led astray in the midst of the growing apostasy all around us. Let us not let the apostates set our agenda or our speaking the Truth in love God's way. We also need not partake of their dialectics. Instead, we need to, by the Holy Spirit--like Jesus when He was tempted by the Devil--approach any response to deceptive argumentation from the point of discernment of the intent of Satan, and not give legitimacy to his objective statements. For this is his method to entrap us and make us ineffectual. By getting us to pursue rabbit trails with him. The Socratic method, if you will. See the books of Timothy, etc.

Let us be holy as God is holy. So let us not mix our fleshly worldly intellectual thinking with Godly reasoning and logic of God. For they are not the same and do not mix. Truth in the world has allot to do with factual accuracy, reasonable human reason and logic so-called, and the so-called scientific method of testing the material world for effects we postulate. Be they social or natural effects. Though we might, by God's permissive will and providence, be able to manipulate the material world to our purposes--we think--such is not the same as Truth.

As an example, the notion that the universe is constrained by so-called immutable laws of physics is not Truth. Science may test such laws but they also know they are not immutable. Science also knows these laws were not in existence before or during the so-called Big Bang. Etc.
Besides, the Bible clearly tells us Jesus the Christ holds all things together. And that He created the material universe we know from nothing. So neither is so-called science Truth, nor is it accurate factually in totality. Only in part for our manipulation for our purposes. However, then, such is no Truth at all. It is not even factually accurate in totality. Nor often in part either. That is why when we manipulate the world, we cause so-called unintended effects. That is why even medicines are not really effective. Only for a time is all. Let us not be deceived by worldly knowledge or its derived truths or accurate facts so-called. Etc. For we are to be in the world but not of it.

God's word reveals God and His offered Salvation in His Son by the Holy Spirit. So we must see from God's perspective as to what Truth is. For idolatry, deception, makes God a lie and the lie--idols with demons back of them--gods or god in the case of Satan. Instead, we need always contextualize all worldly knowledge within the Bible. Not the other way around. For the other way around is deception. For we are called to be not conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Praise God!


From Rebecca: This incident happened last year sometime and I have only recently been made aware of it. First let me say I live in the south, and I am finding there is a lot of superstition, occultic beliefs (old wives tales), ie; talking the fire out, spinning a pencil on a string to know whether one is having a boy or girl.


I heard a couple of ladies talking about going to haunted houses and reading Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I had to get up from the table and just walk away, I was so dumbfounded. One of these ladies leads the choir.

My grandson is 10 yrs. old and the other day I was playing trucks, etc. with him and he has a Hess truck that has lights and sounds that he was rolling around on the floor. Anyway, he said, yeah, Nan Ms.------- said she has a Hess helicopter and one night the lights came on in the middle of the night and it was the ghost of her dead daddy. This lady has been a Sunday school teacher for years and is around 70 yrs. old. She is very knowledgeable about Bible history and has been in this church forever. I've been there about 3 yrs.

My grandson said it was probably a short circuit or something and I said yeah probably, but that night he left the Hess truck under the couch. My daughter and I haven't taken him to Deut. 18 yet, but we will. Even though she does not teach children now, I did tell my pastor about it, and I don't know what I thought he should do, but he did nothing. When I spoke to him about the occultic stuff, he did mention things people believe that are superstitions, but didn't name them. Who knows why, I don't. Do these things fall under the things mentioned in Deut. 18?

Yes, Rebecca. Several practices mentioned in Deut 18 could apply to the occult interests of these “Christians” women. Of course, the writings of Stephen King includes would provide virtual or imagined experiences of the other “abominations” listed in that Scripture. The disinterest of so many of today's pastors saddens me.

From George: (RE: A Cardboard Christ) With all due respect to God’s holiness, some people are so fast asleep, they need more than just an alarm clock to wake them up. They may need artificial resuscitation. These kids with “Cardboard Jesus” are protesting the complacency of the general public and their general disregard for the God that makes it possible for them to walk in that mall, or even breathe the air that sustains them.

If we believers wish to put such stern constraints on our children as to not allow them to exercise some creativity for their witness, then we may be guilty of provoking them to anger; thus driving them further from the Truth. Making jokes about the blasphemous nature of the Cardboard Jesus being a graven image, will accomplish nothing except to put more distance between the general public and God. I believe God is now calling for his remnant to practice civil disobedience to further the cause of His kingdom on earth.

We have an opportunity in the 2008 elections to support the Constitution Party whose platform is 100 per cent Godly. It is you and I who have done these children a gross disservice with our Artificial Steeples and Artificial peoples, and we have all practically become artificially real. Be like the Levites and keep your holiness in the inner court. But also come into the outer court and help people, especially the children, recapture and reform the kingdom here on earth: the Church Militant. The one that now lies dead in streets of that Great City Babylon. (Revelation 11:8).

"I am in derision daily; everyone mocks me. For when I spoke, I cried out; I shouted, 'Violence and plunder!' Because the word of the Lord was made to me a reproach and a derision daily. Then I said, 'I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name.' But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not." (Jeremiah 20:7-9).

I truly think God will honor our efforts, and we can thank Him for it in Jesus’ name.


From a concerned Christian parent: Many parents of our youth were successful in getting rid of a book our youth pastor wanted to teach, "A Dangerous Wonder" by Mike Yanconelli of Youth Specialties. Our youth pastor's praise of this book makes me believe he is taken in by the Emerging Church movement. Just because we were able to get the book tossed does not mean that his influence and that of whatever he seems to be following will not remain. Last Sunday there was a post that the youth would be going on a retreat read as follows:

"Twenty-four hours spent living, learning and serving in inner-city Minneapolis. Issues of poverty, justice and homelessness will be explored through various debriefing and service components. Students will be challenged to realign their perspectives, passions and pursuits with those of Christ. Church groups will be housed at local churches in Minneapolis."

Now, after reading "Spiritual Junk Food" by Cathy Mickels and Audrey McKeever, this sounds a lot like humanistic philosophy and the eradication of social injustice which Christians are not called. This seems like "service" by using group dynamics and assimilation. I know that my 15-year-old is not ready to "explore" poverty and homelessness this way (how about "exploring" the Bible?). My daughter hardly knows the Bible well enough to be able to effectively witness the gospel and I don't even see that that is going to take place. My daughter struggles with obedience to parents, authority, making friends and loving the elderly. It seems to me that those kinds of things should be what our youth groups should be encouraging. 


The buzz word "debriefing" is quite suspicious to me, as well as "revamp" and "realign" as if Christianity has not been effective enough in the past so we have to "reinvent" "re-imagine" and "rethink" God's Word in light of the world, instead of the world "rethinking" or "repenting" in their relationship to God.

There is something that gives my spirit a check on this. My husband and I have already decided that our own 2 children will not be going to this, but I would like to effectively give a warning to other parents in the church. It seems like a good thing and so many parents don't want to make waves any more, but these are our children, not test pilots or lab rats for someone's idea of a cool way to learn new environments and check off that "service project" box.

We left another Baptist church about 4 years ago because of the youth pastor's successful start of an emerging church and the spiritual formation week we had warned the elders and pastors of, which included lecto divina techniques, visualization in the sanctuary, contemplative prayer and various other new age influences. All this while our youth room set up prayer stations, icons, candles and promoted on-line labyrinth prayers. So we have already been there and seem to be coming to another crossroads at this church.

Those techniques are more deceptive when promoted through churches, especially since they are cloaked in Christian words and twisted or reinterpreted Scriptures.

Many Christians refuse to believe that their trusted pastors and leaders could be so deceived -- or deceptive. And many are afraid of offending anyone by ignoring new social values such as pluralistic tolerance and compromise for the sake unity.

As under socialist regimes, America and its churches are now training children in loyalty to a new set of leaders. Today's change agents teach our children, not to be obedient or loyal to their families, but to reject parental values as obsolete and divisive. Biblical obedience is out. Feel good compromise, "fun" group conformity, collective community service (or rather, the strategic program of "service learning") are in.

I am so glad God has given you discernment and courage to follow Him in a world that demands continual compromise.

From Kim N. Stager: [RE: "Only when Christendom dies, it can bear fruit"] This is just another deceptive variant on the theme of Kingdom Now types and their so-called biblical theology for the present age--just before the fruition of the Babylonian rule of the Antichrist, the False Prophet, and the Mark of the Beast of the Dragon. As born again Christians are being put out of the professing church and the new so-called Christendom--the old one they refer to in their dialectical argumentation being no more Christ's Church either--as they are also being marginalized in the world unto persecution as Revelation Chapter 12 summarizes.

While seeming to reject what he sees in America as a more overt play for a role in the coming one world Revived Roman Empire, religion and economy, this author instead takes a dialectical antithesis position to the American thesis. But his outcome--synthesis--is nonetheless the same. Just another example of how the Devil plays both ends against the middle/Middle Who is Christ Jesus and His invisible Church in the world but not of it. And not unlike the false dichotomous argumentation between the so-called Conservatives and Liberals in America, et. al, ad infinitum.

This author also uses the oft cited and misunderstood and misapplied verses John 3:6-7 by the Kingdom Now types, such as he is also however he doth protest. This, so he and they can bring to the forefront a deceived, worldly view of Christ's Kingdom. Taking it out of the realm of the Spirit.

For Christ's Kingdom is not of this world but is a Spiritual Kingdom of born again believers with the Holy Spirit indwelling--Christ's Kingdom of Heaven on earth He came to establish (Matthew 13). Something the Kingdom Now folks downplay so they can play up their unbiblical view of Jesus' Kingdom to fit their fancy of worldly dominion and salvation--with such proponents playing a prominent role in the administration of this world they are helping to usher in either wittingly or unwittingly.

Addressing all the elements of this author's biblical doctrinal and Spiritual errors would take much time and argumentation and be less powerful, I believe, than Divinely inspired Scripture which is sharper than a two edged sword, to the dividing of soul and spirit. For I have found upon meditating on God's word by the Holy Spirit that God's word and Holy Spirit together reveal God's unequivocal absolute Truth with such specificity that God's word can not be disputed with Spiritual integrity. As such, so 1 Corinthians 4; along with Revelation 3:14-19; and Revelation 3:7-13, 20-22.
First, shall we see what God's word has to say about the coming apostate professing church:

"Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

     "And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.

     "For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.

     "We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. ...Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.... But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power {of the Spirit of God}."

We each must decide each day to walk with Him, to pick up our cross and follow Him, Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior (Colossians 1:9-3:17; Galatians 2:15-21, etc.). So be not as the Corinthians as Paul speaks of them above, nor as the Laodiceans:

"14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see {the Truth by the Holy Spirit unto born again by the Spirit of God}. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent."

So be instead as the Church of Philadelphia:

"7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; 8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. 9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee {Isaiah 49:23}. 10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. 12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. 13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."

I pray thee who would be deceived and apart of the Kingdom Now dominionists, come out of her sayeth the Lord God of the Bible, Creator of Heaven and earth {Revelation 18:4}. That you might be Saved and persevere unto the end. In the Name of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus: Jehovah Elohim-Kurios Theos. Praise God!

George: The whole idea of a church group that would promote silence and clearing the mind to let the imagination declare the Word of God apart from reading or actually teaching the Scripture itself, smacks of laziness and rebellion; but then so does the use of cartoons and other movies or gimmicks to present God's Holy Word. The Bible was good enough for God, then it should be good enough for us.

Idle minds are the devil's workshop. If we are not continually dying to self and increasing in Christ, then we are letting the devil get a foothold to increase in us. But we can not initiate the dying process. The Holy Spirit will bring us into situations that will give us the opportunity to get more revelation. We cannot use our Adam minds to create or jump ahead of His leading.  We cannot imagine ourselves into heaven, as John Lennon would have liked.

This is not to say that we wouldn't have silence in our individual prayer closets, which should be a part of our daily Christian life. But this time is closely connected with God's Word.

From George [RE: Reinventing Jesus Christ: The New Gospel]:  I am going to throw something out here that may seem a little far-fetched, but then again, maybe not as far-fetched as we might initially think.  The whole experience of these folks who are having some of these visions in meditation and hearing voices they think are God or Jesus, strike me as the same kind of hallucinations I used to get years ago when I used LSD.  What even brings it to mind now, is the fact that I still know some young people who use it, and claim that it is readily available yet today.  The other thing that brings it to mind, is the fact that at the kick off of Rick Warren's PEACE plan, his praise band played the song "Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix while Rick sang several lines from the song.  In this song, the "purple haze" refers to LSD (at least that was common knowledge back then).  The drug LSD is virtually undetectable by any known means of physical drug testing (whether it be blood, urine, or hair follicle).

    In the early days of the Fillmore West in San Francisco, LSD was often put in punch bowls of kool aid, while attendants to the concerts could help themselves to the punch and "groove" on the music.  LSD is very intense mentally.  The drug LSD is probably more responsible than any other factor in bringing about the peace and love wave of the late 60's and early 70s.  We know the confusion that resulted from that era.  What most people don't know, is that LSD was developed in United States government labs as part of the MK Ultra program.  There is some evidence that the drug LSD was distributed initially by federal agents to a group of "hippies" calling themselves the "Merry Pranksters," who followed the band the "Grateful Dead" around the country on their tours.  I personally, can testify that LSD was handed out at these concerts.

    If you wish, I can paint a more detailed picture.  Suffice it to say, that LSD is a mind altering drug, and may have some correlation to Bible altering forms of worship.

I would like you to paint a more detailed picture with documentation, George. Thank you.

Second letter from George:  In my last letter I alluded to substance abuse as being a factor in post modern Christian deception.  Statistics have shown that substance abuse in the U.S. is practiced by well over 50 percent of the population.  I singled out LSD as a hallucinogenic deceiver of powerful proportions, but I would rate home made amphetamines, commonly called "meth" or "crank," as equal to LSD in its devastating deception.  It causes users to "run to and fro" while accomplishing very little.
    However, none of this should be a surprise to mature Christians.  Bible prophecy speaks very directly to these matters:

"And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee:  for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived."  (Revelation 18:23).

"But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children [abortion?], and widowhood:  they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments.  For thou has trusted in thy wickedness:  thou has said, None seeth me.  Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it has perverted thee; and thou has said in thy heart, I am, and none else beside me."  (Isaiah 47:9-10).

Third letter from George: Here is more information: Most of this can be verified by doing a Google search.

In the summer of 1964, novelist Ken Kesey (author of "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"), poet Allen Ginsberg, and Grateful Dead lyricist, Robert Hunter; had been subjects of an MK-ULTRA (CIA) test of the effects of LSD, conducted at Stanford University in California. Shortly thereafter, Kesey launched a year long cross country trip in a day-glow painted school bus filled with friends called the "Merry Pranksters." They distributed thousands of doses of LSD along the way, which had been supplied to them by Ronald Stark, a CIA operative. The hallucinogenic drug, LSD (Lysergic acid dithalymide), was first developed in federal government labs, even though its discovery is attributed to Leary and Owsley, who both worked for the government initially. More information is available in the book, "Drugging America," by Rodney Stitch, a former federal investigator.

One of the Grateful Dead songs entitled, "U.S. Blues," contains the line: "I'm Uncle Sam. That's who I am. Been hidin' out in a rock and roll band." Was Robert Hunter just being facetious when he wrote those lines, or did he know something more?

The effect of LSD on the body have never been scientifically observed as far as what goes on with the bio-chemistry of the body. A literal microscopic amount of LSD, once ingested, snorted, or even touching the skin, becomes undetectable after combining with body fluids. Yet this tiny amount can cause solid objects to appear as if they are liquid and in motion; sounds take on varying degrees of loud and soft and distortion that isn't really there; and when a ball is tossed in the air from one hand to another, the eye perceives a "trail" of the ball's flight from beginning to end. These are some of the effects of LSD on a person.

We often hear about "crank" (home made amphetamines, "speed," etc.), cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, and heroine; and how the governing authorities are working to stop those kinds of drug traffic. However, very little is spoken of anymore about LSD, yet it is just as abundant as ever. The widespread home production of "crank" was practically non-existent before the federal government made it illegal for professional pharmaceutical companies to manufacture amphetamines that were "clean" and available only by a doctor's prescription. There is a great deal of evidence showing government officials directly involved in international drug trafficking.

I am suggesting that people under the influence of LSD are highly susceptible to hypnotic suggestion. It has been my first hand experience that when I have been in the midst of others using the drug, I have been caught up in the intensity of their activity, even though I had not used the drug at that particular time. When using LSD, I discovered that I was quite good at "conning" people, ie. deceiving them, or making them believe a lie. In spite of the "weird" side effects of using LSD, it does not render the user to be dysfunctional as would too much alcohol or heroine. Taking doses of LSD in close proximity requires larger and larger doses to achieve the same affects.

Having said all that, I will now say that I would not be surprised if the MK-ULTRA government program was never closed down, but rather went more underground.

God said He would send strong delusion to those who would want to believe a lie. See 2 Thessalonians 2:11 cf.

From Dale Norland: I regret to inform you that since my e-mail I found out that Beth Moore apparently DEFENDED her involvement with the DVD "be still" on her own ministry website.
What a shame ! on the website called"
Emerget NO " the article called "update on Beth Moore and contemplative prayer" says it all. I don't believe you can be yoked with the likes of Richard Foster and claim innocence !

My wife and I recently left a PD [Purpose Driven] church that we had high hopes for as an EVANGELICAL church.They went PD and wouldn't listen to concerns we raised about the Elders who were novices and who defended teachers like William Barclay,( who denies the virgin birth as a literal event). Concerns over "worship" music that is more entertainment than worship, and teaching a watered down "gospel" of R.W., after talking with the pastor and several Elders we were getting the run-around.

We were told, "we're working on it," and when I asked the Elder who brought the PD material to our church if we were going to do Purpose Driven Community this fall, he asked "what's that?" The church secretary told several teachers to "wrap up" their lessons before September for the PD Community which was to begin then.

From John: You need to learn something about the HISTORY of the church, brother, and ask God for a good dose of humbleness.
Better still, learn a bit about humility from the prophetic voices of Borg and McLaren! Yours in faith...

Thanks for taking time to write us, John. But could you be more specific? To correct a problem, I need to know where I have misrepresented historical facts.

Anonymous: 2 Corinthians 6:14-16 sounds so UN-God-like to me.To put such a rift between people does not make any logical sense.

What does make sense is the Labyrinth in bringing people together. If it is done unconditionally, which I believe God is, it can become a healing tool for this world.
The "Message" is the "Key" not the messengers.

It all depends on what God you know and follow. If you seek the God who revealed Himself through the Bible, you will love Him and His ways. If you seek the world's many feel-good gods who offer temporary thrills rather than eternal fellowship with Jesus, you will despise or revise His guidelines.

"The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness." 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

From JB: (Re: Slandering Jesus) I appreciate this latest article because this has had to be the most attacked Holy week I have every experienced. Everything from Dan Brown, gospel of Judas, Jesus didn't walk on water but ice, Mary Magdalene's gospel, various Mary blasphemes, two evolutionary finds, someone resurrecting the swoon theory in a new format and on and on.... To ad nauseam.


From Tesa Becica: (Re: Slandering Jesus) I found this to be an excellent article, with one exception. In your comments by contemporary "Bible scholars," you list Fr. Gregor Wurst. His comments are not supportive of the Gnostic text. As a scholar who specializes in Gnostic studies, he simply says (your quote) "If the Gospel of Judas... can be convincingly identified as being a Coptic translation of the original Greek Gospel of Judas that Bishop Ireneaus mentioned around A.D. 180 in his book, Against Heresies, it will be an important step in the study of ancient Gnosticism."


That is not the same as endorsing it as a viable new gospel. In fact, his mentioning St. Ireaneaus makes him credible as a non-supporter of its contents as containing “truth.”

Thanks for the correction, Tesa. You are right; the quote I used does not prove that Fr. Wurst endorsed the "Gospel of Judah." Although I didn't say he endorsed it, how I might have implied he did so. Therefore I made some changes and included some additional insights into his work and background.

From a Christian friend: Mysticism is a deadly deception. And it seems to be cementing the coming one-world-religion. It crosses boundaries that we never thought could have been crossed.


There is something else that is contributing to a one-world culture, and that is Harry Potter. Christian children, Jewish children, Muslim children, Hindu children, Buddhist children, animist children -- they all read Harry Potter, by the millions. It is in so many languages, and in most countries. These children share the same frame of reference. It is a mixture of culture and religion. It is a shared experience. It is something that they share with other children from all over the world.


And it is something that most adults do not share with them. Many don't read the books or watch the movies. And if they do, adults were educated in a time when people understood reason and facts and truth, will respond differently to Harry Potter than a child who is taught in today's New Age schools. The only adults who will REALLY share that world strongly with kids is Wiccan, New Age, and pagan adults. 

From Steve Muse: This is a link to an article about a labyrinth at located in a United Methodist Church:  The article goes on to an interview with someone from "Sophia's Portico" about the history and spiritual significance of the labyrinth. What caught my eye was the reference to Sophia and I was immediately taken to your book, A Twist of Faith.

Thanks, Steve. I hope our visitors read your article on the labyrinth: The Labyrinth

From Jeff Wallace: When Brian McLaren speaks critically of local churches stating the following..."Thus Christians are warehoused as merchandise for heaven, kept safe in a protected space to prevent spillage, leakage, damage, or loss until their delivery ..did he perhaps overlook these words of Jesus below. (We all know of course the Bible tells us we are citizens of heaven and not of this world) but here are other scriptures Mr. McLaren might have not seen when he made that comment.

Matthew 5:11-12. "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."


Matthew 6:19-21. "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."


2Co 5:2. "For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven."


Philippians 3:20. "For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ."


Colossians 1:5 "For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;"


Hebrews 10:34. "For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance." 

From a concerned Christian: I was just browsing your website and was both encouraged and troubled in reading several articles about the postmodern church. I was encouraged to see that I am not alone in my concerns about how postmodernism is influencing conservative evangelicalism, but at the same time, worried because my nagging doubts were confirmed.

I have been attending an emergent church for quite awhile and was unaware that it was actually a kind of fledgling movement. I was attracted to it because the church was aware of the need to engage our postmodern culture, but instead of exposing the incoherence of that worldview, they seem to be trying to "redeem" it by incorporating it into their theology, hermeneutics, and worship. All of the statements in their vision for the church had entirely different meanings than I first thought. I appreciate any advice you have to offer and I thank you already for your ministry on the Web.

It's interesting that you mentioned "the different meanings." Giving new meanings to old words and familiar statements seems to be part of the process used by today's transformational leaders -- whether in churches, government or corporations. It works well! Since they need the approval of the people they lead in order to produce change without losing too many followers, many church leaders simply use the old gospel phrases to state their beliefs, mission and vision. But since their meanings (definitions are no longer popular) differ, the leaders assume a mandate or "go-ahead" that was not intended.


See NEW AGE terms in the church, Sets of Meanings for Education Buzzwords and Semantic Infiltration and How to Combat It

From Cameron Holder, Youth Pastor, South Africa: I read your article entitled Harry Potter and the Post-modern church and I must say I was a bit surprised by some of your comments. I was particularly disturbed by your comments on the post-modern church. Firstly you speak about postmodernism denying absolute truth. True, but don't assume then that the post-modern church does the same. Granted it does say that there are very few absolute truths, far less then modernists would say there are. But the important ones are still there: God is love; God is good; God loves me enough to send His Son to die for me... interestingly enough the only absolutes left all have to do with God. All of them.


You criticize post-modern thinkers for looking for fresh new truths without acknowledging the need for them. The world looks nothing like it did when the Bible was written. Does this mean that the Bible is irrelevant? No, it means that there is truth hidden in it that we have yet to discover that applies to this time. I don't need to know what to do when my ox gouges my neighbours ox, but I do need to learn how to think on God in the information age when I read the Bible in the midst of 25 pages of other stuff a day, news reports, advertising etc so that the words I read in the Bible are not drowned.

Thank you for taking time to write us, Cameron. I appreciate your concern about all these issues.


Jesus fulfilled the old sacrifical laws. He was the ultimate, once-for-all sacrifice for sin. The New Testament makes that clear. It shows us that, while we no longer have to follow those Levitical laws, we must still (by His life in us) follow God's moral laws. They fit our times -- now and always. Of course, in corrupt cultures such as ours, it's more difficult and costly to obey God's moral standards. But, by His Spirit, it is more than possible.

You argument about Rick Warren using paraphrases of the Bible is only admissible if you only read the Bible in it's original Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic to your congregation. Anything else is a paraphrase, we may call it a translation but practically the line between the two is fine and often blurred. I invite you to challenge your spirituality and see what is eternal and what is modern bias, because there is one. For example your comment on the church denying personal salvation for a more collective salvation. Obviously personal salvation is paramount, but what about the early church belief that salvation is impossible outside of the church. Surely we have taken the truth and narrowed it, it is time to explore the wider truth again. I agree with you that it is time to take a stand about Biblical truth. I just think that you are using that statement to say 'what I believe is Biblical truth and if you disagree with me then what you believe isn't' So I question whether what you believe is Biblical truth (I'm sure the overwhelming majority is). Maybe 300 years from now the church will have grown and will look back at the church over the last 100 years (even your web page maybe) and say on some issues 'How could they have got it so wrong'. We all have traditions and bias that has thrown us off course. I don't always agree with the postmodernists but I admire their courage for acknowledging that fact.

Cameron, may I ask you to explain this paragraph: "I invite you to challenge your spirituality and see what is eternal and what is modern bias, because there is one. For example your comment on the church denying personal salvation for a more collective salvation. Obviously personal salvation is paramount, but what about the early church belief that salvation is impossible outside of the church. Surely we have taken the truth and narrowed it, it is time to explore the wider truth again."


If I actually said somewhere that the church is denying personal salvation, I am wrong. I didn’t intend to write that. Could you please tell me where (which page) you saw that? And where in the Bible does it say mention “the early church belief that salvation is impossible outside of the church?” Would you like me to post your observations in our comments section?

Second letter from Cameron Holder, Youth Pastor, South Africa: Thank you for your reply. What I was trying to say is that we assume we come from a place where we are natural (or balanced) and develop our theology from there. But no one comes from an unbiased position. Individuality is an example of a modern bias (there are many more). The term was only coined about 150 years ago to explain the strange culture that was developing in the US. Has Individualism affected the church? Absolutely.


I'm a bit of a church history buff so while the attitude of 'you cannot be saved outside of the church' isn't so much in the Bible as it is documented early church tradition. You will find hints of it in verses like Acts 2:44-45. The community aspect of church was so strong that it's actually fairly difficult to build a strong teaching on why you should become a member of a church because in those days nobody would even question the need to be part of a church, so the church writers never really had to address it. It's our individualistic bias that asks the question.


And the same bias makes it very hard for the church today to understand what Acts 2:44-45 would have been like. I was responding to your line where you said: "That's why the old emphasis on an individual's relationship with Jesus Christ as Savoir and Lord is being replaced with a more global emphasis on one's relationship to the collective, a greater whole which reaches far beyond the boundaries of old Biblical "box."


What I was trying to show you is that a relationship with a collective is only out of the modernist's 'old Biblical box'. For the large part of church history is was very natural. People like Brian McLaren are not so much searching for new truths as they are discovering old, pre-reformation truths that were actually truth, but were thrown out accidentally with the many untruths that pre-modern church carried. Look carefully at what they are saying and you will see that the only freshness is what they do to the truth to make it understandable in today's context.


In a sense truth is the same, the packaging changed. It's easy to criticise them because they pose things that are unfamiliar and even sometimes threatening to our beliefs. But it may just be that we are listening to a Luther, through whom God is saying 'The church is not quite on course, it's time to adjust the direction'. Or maybe he's wrong. But I respect him because he's thinking about it. I hope this clarifies my comments, you are welcome to post them and thank you for listening.

Cameron, here is what the Word tells us through Acts 2:44-45: "Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need."


That Scripture illustrates the wonderful fellowship we have in Christ, but it doesn't deal with the issue of salvation. God's promises concerning salvation are listed in Scriptures such as the ones below. Those are true for individuals who come to Christ in places where there is no organized church as well as those who immediately become part of a congregation.


One example of a solitary new Christian is found in Acts 8:26-39, where we meet the Ethiopian leader who -- by God's grace -- sought the truth and was taught by Phillip. But either way -- whether alone or in a church -- the new believer becomes part of the Body of Christ, the true Church, which has no geographical boundary. And the only condition for salvation is saving faith, not membership in a local church:

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. ” John 6:47

"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36

...this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."  John 17:3

“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. " Luke 8:11-15

Jesus therefore answered and said to them, '...No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.'" John 6:43-44

“... if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. '” Romans 10:8-13

Let me respond to another of your comments as well. You said, "You argument about Rick Warren using paraphrases of the Bible is only admissible if you only read the Bible in it's original Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic to your congregation. Anything else is a paraphrase, we may call it a translation but practically the line between the two is fine and often blurred."


Yes, the line between a paraphrase and a translation is becoming increasingly blurred -- for two reason: First, our words (such as "paraphrase" and "church") are being redefined by those who are attempting to change both cultures and churches.


Second, there is a growing desire among "change agents" and Christian publishers to popularize the Bible by stretching the translations as far a possible toward a paraphrase. But the difference between the two is very clear. The Bible translation is an attempt to translate the exact words and phrases in the ancient documents into as similar words and phrases in today's language as possible.


In contrast, a paraphrase is a subjective attempt to rephrase the original meaning and put the message into today's cultural context. Such intentional subjectiveness tends to produce a result that is far more politically correct and pleasing to our human nature than was the original. See What kind of message is The Message

From Fabienne: Having read the foreword, the editor's Introduction, and the first four chapters is claimed to be Matthew's Gospel in the so-called "As Good as New " version of the bible, I hardly know what to think. The first word that came to mind was "blasphemy". I remembered the words of the serpent in the Garden, "Has God really said...?" and it occurred to me that the same voice is speaking here. Oh, do take care reading more of it as you prepare to review it. I tremble for the young people who might be encouraged to read it, because it will appeal to those trained in our age's thinking.



Good as New: "This 'radical retelling' of the New Testament drew widespread attention in England when it appeared in June 2004, mainly because it contained a forward written by the Archbishop of Canterbury.... A brief review published in the Times of London pointed out that apparently one goal of the version was to eliminate biblical strictures against homosexual and other illicit sex.... The version's chief editor, John Henson [a retired Baptist minister]... asserted that the Good as New version eliminated nothing, but was merely 'less homophobically translated' than the old 'slanted translations' which have 'notoriously and shamefully used by the Church in times past.'

      "...the version also offended the public by departing from the traditional canon of Scripture, omitting several of the Epistles... and the Revelation of John. In their stead, Henson substitutes an ancient Gnostic tractate known as the 'Gospel of Thomas,' a favorite text of the neo-Gnostic 'New Age' spiritual movement....

     "The method employed in this version is comparable to Eugene Peterson's way of treating the Bible in The Message (1993). It is much too interpretive to be called a translation, and it can only be called an imaginative paraphrase."


I can think of some young people I know who could well be seduced by this perversion. May the Lord protect them, keep their eyes open, and help them "think critically" -- in the true sense of that much-abused phrase.As one trained in the principles and methods of Bible translation, I shuddered as I read Mr. Henson's description of how this travesty was carried out. Derrida would certainly have applauded him -- "deconstruction" is a better word for what he has done than "translation"! According to the publisher's website, the aim of the "translation" is "clarity for the ordinary person." It is abundantly clear that the aim was not to be faithful to God nor to honour Him!One cannot help wondering who the Archbishop of Canterbury thinks he's serving by endorsing such a travesty..."How long, O Lord, how long?" May Jesus Christ come back quickly! In Jesus Christ our precious Lord and Redeemer.

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