Monday, December 22, 2008

Watch & Pray!

Good Morning...I hope you will read the following article and take heed!

Something Evil This Way Comes – Again
By Ron Graham

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come, For men shall be lovers of their own selves...Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God...Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof...Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth,” 2 Timothy 3:1, 2, 4, 5, & 7.

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you,” Matthew 24:4. Jesus was very concerned about His future Church becoming deceived. With so many statements made by the writers of the Bible under God’s inspiration that speak of being deceived, why are so many not taking heed?

Ask your pastor or Bible teachers about the Emerging Church and you will probably get a host of different answers concerning that movement. Some say “it’s not yet definable” or “let’s wait to see just where they are going”, (currently 40 million strong just here in America ). Some say it’s the young people who want something different; they don’t want to follow the old Christianity of their parents (which has been quite sufficient for the last two-thousand years). They want much more than just to attend a Church service on Sunday mornings. Others say it’s a short term movement and it will run its course and fall by the wayside. To those individuals I say, “Look again”.

The proponents of the Emergent Church movement claim Christianity must be re-defined to adapt it to the post modern crowd. It’s Satan’s business to disrupt the fellowship of believers any way he can. Doctrinal differences are wide and in many cases satanic in origin. That’s how the enemy works. Division among God’s saints is his greatest achievement. The Emergent Church movement is just one more in a long line of divisions initiated by God’s greatest enemy. “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;” 1 Corinthians 15:1. When we exchange the truth of the Gospel of Christ for a lie, a perversion we will certainly reap as we harvest what we sow.

The Emergent Churches precepts are certainly not anything new to the Church of God . In the Apostle John’s three epistles he gives us a look at the heresy known as Gnosticism. Gnosticism takes a different and deceptive path than that of true Christian doctrine. The Gnostics didn’t believe Jesus’ death on the cross was a true event. They promoted the idea that a substitute was placed on the cross while Jesus made his escape. The Gnostics believed that we must obtain knowledge, a special secret knowledge to achieve Heaven’s reward. The Gnostics also denied the deity of Jesus Christ. Today there are many who deny that Jesus Christ is God Almighty. Sadly, they are all totally deceived.

The Emerging Church movement has become most popular with the younger crowd, but it’s also making huge inroads into our established Christian Churches . I’m including some of the most popular names connected with this movement as well as some who are connected to the New Age movement: Brian McLaren, Dan Merchant, Dan Kimball, Tony Campolo, J.P. Moreland, Brennan Manning, William Shannon, Henri Nouwen, Rob Bell, Ken Weber. These names should be posted on our refrigerators as people to stay away from at all cost. There are many others who have signed on to this heresy; is a great resource for information giving the warning signs about the Emergent Church/Contemplative Spirituality (EC/CS), as well as a host of other perversions. Here’s a small sample of a warning that came through my e-mail recently from Lighthouse Trails.
Dan Merchant is the author of a new book titled “Lord Save Us From Your Followers”. Merchant's book, published by Thomas Nelson, is similar in nature to Dan Kimball's “They Like Jesus But Not the Church” .The message in Merchant's book is basically that since the world doesn't like Christians, it must be the fault of Christians who spend too much time "preaching" the Gospel as opposed to just listening and befriending unbelievers without trying to convert them. The subtitle on Merchant's book is “Why is the Gospel of Love Dividing America ?” suggesting that a "true" gospel message would not be dividing but rather uniting people.
Also, J.P. Moreland, in a Christianity Today article, says that Christians are too committed to the Bible:“
In the actual practices of the Evangelical community in North America , there is an over-commitment to Scripture in a way that is false, irrational, and harmful to the cause of Christ.”
Lighthouse Trails says this is a very typical outlook by contemplative/emergent advocates. Contemplative figure Brennan Manning calls this over-commitment "bibliolatry"(Bible Idolatry):
“I am deeply distressed by what I only can call in our Christian culture the idolatry of the Scriptures. For many Christians, the Bible is not a pointer to God but God himself. In a word--bibliolatry. God cannot be confined within the covers of a leather-bound book. I develop a nasty rash around people who speak as if mere scrutiny of its pages will reveal precisely how God thinks and precisely what God wants.”

--Brennan Manning, The Signature of Jesus, pp. 188-189
Keep in mind that Manning rejects the idea that God the Father sent His son to die a violent death on the Cross for the sins of mankind. "[That God] does not exist," Manning states in his book, Above All, actually copying verbatim Eastern mysticism proponent William Shannon (from Silence on Fire).

The proponents of this movement say they succeed because God is behind them. Interestingly they remove Jesus Christ from the path laid out in the Bible as our only way to salvation and replace Him with a “more spiritual” way of attaining forgiveness. I can promise you this: God is not behind this movement, but His enemy most certainly is.

“Every modern erroneous cult is some ancient satanic heresy revived. Every “new” heresy has been anticipated by the Holy Spirit. Satan has nothing new to offer. We live in a day when religious toleration is interpreted to mean “one religion is as good as another.” Many people try to take the best from various religions and fabricate their own. To them Christ is only one of several great religious teachers, with no more authority than they have. He may be prominent, but certainly not preeminent.

When we make Jesus Christ and the Bible only a part of a total religious system or philosophy, we cease to give Him preeminence. When we strive for “spiritual perfection” or “fullness” by means of formulas, disciplines, or rituals, we go backward rather than forward. We must beware of mixing our Christian faith with such alluring things as yoga, transcendental meditation, Oriental mysticism, and the like. We must also beware of the “deeper life” teachers who offer a system for victory and fullness that bypasses devotion to Jesus Christ. In all things, He must have preeminence!

No one familiar with the teaching of Colossians will ever be misled by the specious sophistries of the various occult systems now being foisted upon a credulous public, such as Theosophy, or Spiritualism; or be deluded by the revived Gnostic religions of Eddyism, Unity School of Christianity, or other branches of misnamed New Thought or New Age.”

Dr. Chuck Missler –
On the surface, this EC/CS movement may actually seem to be an awesome magnet, successfully drawing millions into its fold. But in all actuality its agenda is to supplant God’s word. Their leaders are young, energetic, deceived men and women aiming to bring about a new Christianity steeped in eastern mysticism and spiritualism. Using deceptions and non-biblical concepts of who God is, they determine we can achieve “a form of godliness” beyond what the Bible teaches.

The main overwhelming heresy that should trigger a warning light in front of the eyes of those who attend these meetings is Jesus Christ has been removed from the foundation of their belief system. Gnosticism is back and in full vigor. It really never left the world scene but has always been lurking in the shadows. Without Jesus Christ as the foundation of the Church we have no Church.

Remember this. Satan’s main goal is to get people to look at Jesus as just another good teacher in a line of many good teachers, who, along with all the others, did His fair share to help the downtrodden of this world. If humanity is to look to Jesus Christ at all, Satan wants us to see Him only as some sort of a prophet, never as the Savior of the world. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me,” John 14:6. To all who can read, Jesus’ statement here is crystal clear.

The promoters of the EC/CS movement claim it’s a new world and we must embrace new concepts of Christianity for proclaiming a new message that will lead to a healthier and more peaceful future for mankind; lots of feel good tripe but no substance, nothing that gives us the true way to salvation. Satan has many tricks up his sleeve and this is just another in a long line of deceptions. Sadly, millions are falling for this new movement with all its promises of a better world. The Bible tells us things will get worse, not better, as the end draws nearer. Jesus said “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many,” Matthew 24:11.

There are many scriptures in the Bible which point out that there will be a perverted apostasy promoted as the norm in the last days. How then are leaders like these who promote this EC/CS movement and others able to be so completely deceived? It’s actually quite simple. They don’t really believe what the Bible says or they allegorize scriptures that should be taken literally. As President Bush stated recently, “I don’t take the Bible literally, I’m not a literalist”. When he meets Jesus face to face, he will be.

Oh sure, these deceived leaders speak as with great scriptural knowledge and authority, very eloquently, but they are actually harboring satanic deceptions. Christian leaders who embrace this new spirituality are leading multitudes astray, all because they refuse to follow God's word. They are heading right down the path that their leader has set for them. He’s a wily old fox and a deceitful lying serpent.

“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time,” 1 John 2:18. A very strong delusion has arrived on the Christian scene in force and millions of gullible folks are already deeply involved in that deception. “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us,” 1 John 2:19. Of those high profile evangelicals who are now so deceived, many actually began their journey in the ministry with very good intentions. They started well but have been seduced by listening to Satan who convinced them to join his team. And, of course, they are so deluded they don’t even realize it.

“Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son,” 1 John 2:22. Many evangelicals are now beginning to align themselves with other faiths, such as those who embrace the Muslim faith. They’ve begun to meet together with the leaders of those false religions in order to promote universal ecumenicalism. But Islam denies Jesus is the Christ. How can evangelicals promote a unified body with Islam? Be careful folks! Something evil this way comes!

There is a huge deception currently being promoted by some evangelicals that a great revival is coming. Supposedly, it will be so pervasive that all evil will be eradicated from the face of the earth. Only then will Christ’s Second Advent be ushered in. This sounds good, but the Bible tells us something different. God’s word tells us that the true believing Church will become quite weak in the end times, almost pathetic in its existence. Jesus told His Apostle John to write, “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write... ‘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,” Revelation 3:7a, & 8. Jesus says the Church at the end, just before His return, will have a little strength, not that they would be some huge worldwide conglomeration of believers eliminating evil from the world.

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world,” 1 John 4:1-3. John says try the spirits; don’t just fall for any old lie that begins to gain prominence. Remember, the Gnostics did not believe that Christ came in the flesh and this is the spirit of antichrist. Don’t fall for it! Adherence to this lie will do just one thing for your future - condemn you to the same place Satan is condemned to. Jesus said “Watch therefore:” Matthew 24:42.

Watch therefore! Watch out for the books these silver-tongued false teachers are promoting. They can be found in most big-named secular bookstores, as well as in most Christian bookstores. Do not invite them into your homes as many have already done. Their words will infiltrate your mind, corrupt your beliefs, and confound your faith in Christ. They carry the spirit of antichrist between their pages, ready to mislead you.

How do we avoid the same traps as those who have already been consumed by this perverse delusion? First of all, study your Bibles and learn God’s truth for yourselves. Secondly, never listen to anyone who doesn’t believe Jesus Christ is God. The Holy Spirit, sent to us from God, will never deceive us. His main purpose is to point us to Christ. That’s the Spirit we should be listening to, especially now as we move into the last of the last days here on earth.

Always be alert to the evil that surrounds us. Jesus Christ has not changed and we don’t need a new spirituality, or some demonic spirit guide to lead us around by the nose. God’s word is unchanging; read it, study it. That’s your revival. Instead of Christians conforming to God’s Word, many are trying to conform God’s Word to us. "It’s cultural", they say. “We’ve changed." That’s just another buzzword to confound the weak-minded. It’s not cultural.

We are the body of Christ; it’s His Church and always has been. Charles Spurgeon wrote “A church should be a camp of soldiers, not a hospital of invalids.” How true. Sadly though, the latter is what we see in many of our Christian Churches today.

Just because we see this world falling into step with end time’s Biblical prophecy, doesn’t mean we should give up or look for some new spiritual concept. Christianity has endured for almost two-thousand years and will continue to do so until God calls an end to all things. The Emerging Church/Contemplative Spirituality movements are heresies and should be shunned by all believing Christians and by all Christian Churches. Let it be known. A choice made to embrace these two movements will strike a devastating blow to the body of Christ!

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever,” Hebrews 13:8. The next time someone tells you we need to re-define Christianity, quote the above verse to them and then Jesus’ admonition to Peter, “Get thee behind me, Satan”.

God bless you all,
Ron Graham


It's not about me. said...

JP Moreland is not an "emerging church" sympathizer, nor a "new ager". He believes in the authority and inerrancy of the Bible; the Emerging Church does not. He did receive criticism for that comment but explained in a followup paper the intent of the comment and that the paper was not intended for a general audience who might misinterpret the comment.

Moreland's position is that one can learn from observation of ants and nature, for example, in addition to the Bible. "The heavens declare the Glory of God". He, in no way dismisses anything in the Bible.

Do you find the concepts of "General" and "Special" revelation unbiblical? I am curious because I haven't heard this questioned before.

Moreland is part of the Vinyard Church, a spinoff of Calvary Chappel. They expect the Holy Spirit to show up in life on a regular basis. Even if one is a cessationist, I don't think the Vinyard Church deserves to be put into the same catagory as the Emerging Church or with the New Age movement.

Mike Yarbrough said...

I find the concept of Special Revelation and General Revelation to be Biblically supported theological truths...I am dismayed with anyone who might claim that we place too much emphasis on the Bible because it is the Word of God...inerrant and unfallible and without it we would be lost because it tells us how we are to be saved and redeemed back to God...thanks for reading!