Friday, April 17, 2015

The Mental Health Church

Kay Warren & Ed Stetzer of Leadership Network
Leading the Charge!


"Mental Illness Will Affect Families in YOUR Church in 2015.  Are You Prepared?"
Leadership Network e-mail, April 2, 2015
Ever since Kay Warren's husband, the famous Rick Warren of "purpose-driven" fame, launched his "Daniel Plan" a few years ago there have been concerns that his "health" agenda for the church would expand into "mental health." It appears from the above promotion that this is indeed happening. What role does Warren envision for the church in promoting "mental health"? It is more than meets the eye.

This blog, along with our research friends Warren Smith[1] and Berit Kjos,[2] previously published articles exposing how Rick Warren was relying on openly New Age doctors to tell Christians how to become mentally, spiritually and physically “healthy.” Review the following articles we posted at the time:

Warren Smith's booklet is downloadable file HERE
HERE
or purchase at Amazon HERE.
Thus the Daniel Plan was always intended to be much more than just a mere diet plan. It was a comprehensive mental, physical and spiritual "health" program. Warren Smith described the New Age spirituality inherent in Rick Warren's healthcare model in his booklet Rick Warren's Daniel Plan:

Who would have believed it? Occult/New Age doctors being invited into the church to teach Christians how to be healthy? Charles Spurgeon must be rolling over in his grave. On January 15, 2011 a fifty-two week health and wellness program—the Daniel Plan—was initiated at Rick Warren's Saddleback Church. More than six thousand people attended the well promoted and carefully staged event. Warren took the opportunity to announce that his own personal goal was to lose 90 pounds in 2011. The Daniel Plan website states that "the Daniel Plan envisions starting a movement so the result is better physical and spiritual health for current and future generations." It describes how Rick Warren recruited three best-selling authors to create and oversee the Daniel Plan Curriculum—Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Daniel Amen, and Dr. Mark Hyman. Although these three physicians are all involved with New Age teachings, they describe themselves respectively as a Muslim, a Christian, and a Jew.[3]

"Mental Health and the Church"
It is noteworthy that this "Mental Health and the Church" summit was a Leadership Network event. Leadership Network is the premier organization committed to peddling psycho-social transformation in the church. It was launched over a generation ago by Peter Drucker and Bob Buford to train pastors and leaders in state-of-the-art methods of marketing and social change.[4] In our initial review of Rick Warren's Daniel Plan, titled "3-Legged 'Health' Care," we made the following connections:

With Rick Warren at the helm, the CHURCH is now in the BUSINESS of health care REFORM. This is the 3-legged stool. It is the integration of church/state/corporate that business guru Peter Drucker (Rick Warren's mentor) proposed as the method for restructuring Society.[2] In this model the Church assumes a powerful new role as Change Agent Provocateur, a cheerleader for change and transformation in Society.... [5]

Mental health needs to be defined
Just what is "mental health"? In our postmodern society "mental health" is rapidly being recast into aligning one's personality and behavior to politically and spiritually correct norms — norms which are rapidly changing as society's Christian base erodes. Thus those who hold to old-fashioned or biblical opinions, beliefs, attitudes, values and mores may soon find themselves labeled mentally UN-healthy. 

Increasingly, we are hearing a drumbeat from the global elite calling for societal "mental health" standards. This push is facilitated by the mainstream press which hypes each new "mental health" disaster (such as the recent tragic Germanwings air crash incident). Indeed, this whole agenda comprises much more than simple mental health. It includes a global plan for developing "community" and attaining "sustainable living." In the "3-Legged 'Health' Care" we cited an eyewitness account of the launching of the Daniel Plan at Rick Warren's Saddleback Church:

Researcher Jennifer Pekich wrote an account of her personal experience at the Saddleback Health and Fitness Seminar. Her report on Rick Warren's new Daniel Plan revealed that the real agenda is not about healthy parishioners. It is about radical community transformation. She writes:
By the time I settled into listening more intently, the second speaker, Mark Hyman, began. It didn't take too long to figure out what the basis of his message was. We "need to heal with community" (he termed this "accompaniment"), "we're here for the sake of each other," this plan "is our way out," this plan "saved me," and in fact will "change the world." Saddleback was being told they were a "test community" to show the world how to live "healthy and sustainably."
Jennifer continues her report:
I about fell off my chair when Dr. Hyman stated, "The key to the success of the "Daniel Plan" is "group living"..."individuals" will not succeed, our only hope lies in "community." And with that, it was announced that the "Saddleback community" would be an example of "sustainable living" and would set the course to "change this world"...and the crowd went wild!
When the CHURCH becomes the CHEERLEADER for mental health screening — as is evidenced in this Leadership Network event — then a significant voice of conscience in society is either blunted or shut down. The church is that voice that should by all rights be opposing the injustice of "messing with" people's souls (Gk. psyche, i.e., psychological mental health). Yet with Rick Warren's wife Kay leading the cheers, the church is becoming complicit, even furthering this agenda along. The Warren's own personal family tragedy, losing a son to suicide, is what gives Kay Warren a platform upon which to be promoted as an "expert" on mental health. After this sad event, in a 9/18/13 article titled "Rick Warren Tells Story of Son's Suicide on CNN," Christianity Today reported that

When he returned to the pulpit at Saddleback Church six weeks ago, Rick Warren launched a sermon series on grief and a campaign to help churches address mental illness. "There's no shame when any other organ in your body fails, so why do we feel shame if our brain is broken?" he asked.

While superficially seeming to sympathize with mental health issues, this public stance is also a tactical maneuver. The Leadership Network elites (Ed Stetzer and Rick Warren's wife Kay) are advancing a cherished agenda to "transform" the church. In fact, this may do more harm to people. And it will likely advance the church further into the bullying tactics we observed in the recent Mars Hill debacles.[6] After all, it is Leadership Network that originally set up the church as a high-demand "organization" with performance-driven standards for achieving "measurable results." It is not a stretch to take this to the next level which is church-based assessment of spiritual, physical and mental health. What will happen to certain members of the local body (elderly, handicapped, infirm, disabled, sleep-deprived young mothers, or others simply having a "bad hair day") who cannot attain the goals of "mental health" assessments? Meet physical health attributes? Perform spiritual health objectives? Will there be punitive measures put in place?

This whole agenda extends far beyond the parameters of the church. In Leadership Network's plan of action, the church is supposed to be the cheerleader for global transformation! Note the following exhibit taken from a book by Leadership Network author and leader, Eric Swanson:
This illustration is a graphic representation of what this post is concerned about. It comes from Eric Swanson's book To Transform A City: Whole Church, Whole Gospel, Whole City (Zondervan, 2010), Figure 2 in the Foreword, p. 11. This is a visual chart of the "7 domains of culture," of which Healthcare is the 7th. The Church in this diagram is seen encompassing the other 6 secular "domains." Swanson explains, "The missional church sees itself as the people of God... already deployed across all domains of culture." This is a disturbing visual of the Dominionist church model, illustrating the 7 mountains of culture[7],  which Swanson prefers to call "domains." Swanson acknowledges Bob Buford of Leadership Network on p. 13. To put this chart in a larger context, listen to Eric Swanson's new version of the "gospel" at his YouTube video discussing his "Externally Focused Churches" which is also posted as an exhibit in the context of an article "What Is Dominionism?"
Watch Swanson speak HERE or HERE.
Swanson's model explains the reason why the elite church leaders of Leadership Network see their "leadership" role as pivotal in society, overarching across the secular spectrum, and superimposing the CHURCH on top of every other major institution — and for what purpose? To be salt and light? Or to rule and reign over the 6 other societal structures? Will this mixture of church and state effectually supersede representative government through collaborations toward a new form of "governance"? In this Swanson image, Peter Drucker's original 3-legged stool now looks like a 7-headed hydra, with the church optimistically placed as the center of orchestrating change. This brings to mind Tim Keller's "Center Church," which is the global model, but this is a topic for a future article.    
(Source) (See Keller's Center Church book HERE)
Meditative Mental Health
A news article today (4/17/15) reports that "a group of top doctors" were demanding that "TV celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz" be removed from his faculty position at Columbia University, "citing his 'egregious lack of integrity' for promoting what they call 'quack treatments.'"

"Dr. Oz has repeatedly shown disdain for science and for evidence-based medicine," said a letter the 10 physicians sent to a Columbia dean earlier this week. They say he's pushing "miracle" weight-loss supplements with no scientific proof that they work....

The doctors wrote that Oz, for years a world-class Columbia cardiothoracic surgeon, "has manifested an egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain." They said he has "misled and endangered" the public.[8]
(Source)
While many readers (the authors included) may agree with Dr. Oz's advocacy of a healthful lifestyle and nutritious eating, and while it is evident that his critics may have less-than-stellar motives, the fact remains that Dr. Oz is an occult New Age doctor. Yet Dr. Oz has found a comfortable station in the church as a top doctor for Rick Warren's healthcare plan. We observed the New Age connections between health and mental health in our original article:

This New Age blueprint for health care reform altered the very meaning of the term "health." In modern American society today the word "health" now connotes the entire "body-mind-spirit" connection. Three decades after Ferguson's book came out, the evangelical world has comfortably adopted the "body-mind-spirit" worldview of the New Agers.[6] Many eastern mystical "holistic health" ideas were simply re-written into biblical terminology and passed off to evangelicals as higher forms of spirituality. Today, meditation, contemplation, drumming, etc. are becoming commonplace. This is the face of the seeker-sensitive church. By accommodating itself to the eastern worldview, the Church fools itself into thinking it is more "culturally relevant." So the next step in the seeker-sensitive journey is for the Church to become an "agent" of "cultural renewal."[9]

Thus it is likely that in the future that "mental health" may come to be associated with meditation and contemplation. In other words, those who "meditate" may perform better on the performance-based assessments with their predetermined "mental health" criteria. Those who practice contemplation could be said to be more mentally healthy than those who don't. Those who think esoterically may be evaluated as more spiritually mature. The list could go on and on.

Keep in mind that the agenda to re-define mental health is many decades old and it impacts many of the "domains" of society, especially education, government and healthcare. The eradication of conscience and morality was the stated intent:

During 1948 ALGER HISS, who would later be convicted of spying for the Soviet Union, wrote the preface to Gen. Brock Chisholm’s lecture, “The Psychiatry of Enduring Peace and Social Progress,” which was re-published in International Conciliation (No. 437, March, 1948, p. 109). Alger Hiss was at that time president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the publisher of International Conciliation. The preface to Chisholm’s lecture (Feb. 21, 1948), redefined the word “health”:
Defining health as a “state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity,” it includes not only the more conventional fields of activity but also mental health, housing, nutrition, economic or working conditions, and administrative and social techniques affecting public health. In no other field is international cooperation more essential and in no other field has it been more effective and political difference less apparent.[10][emphasis added] 
General Brock Chisholm, a Canadian psychiatrist and friend of Soviet agent Alger Hiss.... asserted that
The reinterpretation and eventually eradication of the concept of right and wrong… these are the belated objectives of practically all effective psychotherapy.[emphasis added]
Brock Chisholm went on to recommend that teachers all over the world be trained in “no right/no wrong” psychotherapeutic techniques found in the schools today.[11]
The Truth
Ex-New Ager Warren Smith, after reviewing Rick Warren's Daniel Plan, concluded:

One can only wonder if the prophet Daniel's vision of the end days included a look at Rick Warren's Daniel Plan — a compromised pastor and three New Age doctors with their psychics, spirit guides, tantric sex, necromancy, yoga, Reiki, Transcendental and Kundalini "sa ta na ma" meditations and more — all in Daniel's name. If so, it is no wonder that the Bible records that he "fainted" and became "sick" for a number of days (Daniel 8:27).[12] 

In our critique of Rick Warren's Daniel Plan, we warned:

So while Rick Warren activates the Church leg of the stool, other pressures are being brought to bear on the Corporate and State legs to bring all into conformance with global consciousness and standards. And thanks to Rick Warren's Daniel Plan, we are provided with an obvious clue that these standards will be managed and monitored by the New Age/New Spirituality model of health care reform.

So it might be questioned, should Bible believers, like Daniel of old, choose not to defile themselves by partaking in the Daniel Plan with its obvious New Age and One World overtones and control mechanisms? How much better it would be for Christians to choose to satisfy their spiritual appetite by feeding on Him who is the Bread of Life.
[13]

"For my people have committed two evils;
they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters,
and hewed them out cisterns,
broken cisterns, that can hold no water." 
(Jeremiah 2:13)

"But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty,
not walking in craftiness,
nor handling the word of God deceitfully;
but by manifestation of the truth
commending ourselves to every man's conscience
in the sight of God.
But if our Gospel be hid,
it is hid to them that are lost:
In whom the god of this world hath blinded
the minds of them which believe not,
lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ,
Who is the image of God, should shine unto them." 
(2 Corinthians 4:2-4)


Endnotes:
1. Warren Smith's booklet is downloadable file HERE, HERE or purchase at Amazon HERE.
2. See the articles by Sarah Leslie and Berit Kjos:
Part 1: Rick Warren’s New Age Health Gurus
Part 2: Reiki "Power"
Part 3: The “WOO” Factor
Part 4: Changing Science, Changing Mind 

Part 5: The Aquarian Conspiracy
3. Warren Smith's booklet is downloadable file HERE, HERE or purchase at Amazon HERE.
4. For further reading on these topics, read: The Pied Pipers of Purpose and Dominionism and the Rise of Christian Imperialism
5. "3-Legged "Health" Care," Herescope, 2/10/11, http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/02/3-legged-health-care.html
6. See the multi-part series we wrote about Mars Hill and the influence of Leadership Network on the "bullying" culture:
Part 1: "We Are Not ABANDONED"
Part 2: "Under the Bus" and "Off the Map" - The Out-of-Control Bus That Runs Over Sheep
Part 3: The MegaChurch Transit Authority and How it Operates

Part 4: The "Visionpath" Bus Route: The Road Most Traveled 
7. Read the following posts, and follow the many links to other articles: 
Seven Mountains Set To Go Viral
The "7-M Mandate"
Building the 7 Mountains
Seven Spheres of Influence
Seven Apostolic Spheres
May Day Prayers: What Repentance?
Who Invented Dominionism?
Mainstreaming Dominionism
Denying Dominionism
8. "Physicians demand removal of 'Dr. Oz' from Columbia University faculty," 4/17/15, http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2015/04/17/physicians-demand-removal-dr-oz-from-columbia-university-faculty/
9. http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/02/3-legged-health-care.html. Note that the footnote embedded in the quotation cites Marilyn Ferguson's book The Aquarian Conspiracy that launched the New Age movement. We wrote: One of the subheadings in Ferguson's chapter on "Healing Ourselves" is "Health and Transformation." Transformation and reform are words used interchangeably when she discussed the emergence of the holistic health care model. It is important to note that Ferguson emphasizes the role of "spirit" in healing, but this has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit. This is not unlike psychic healing, which she says "may prove a useful adjunct to medicine in the future." (p. 276)
10. This quote is cited in the article "Common Core "Mental Health": The Death of the Conscience," http://abcsofdumbdown.blogspot.com/2014/11/common-core-mental-health.html, and the quotation is excerpted from pages 42-43 of the deliberate dumbing down of america by Charlotte T. Iserbyt. 
11. Ibid, edited slightly, and excerpted from the deliberate dumbing down of america, pp. 27-28.
12. Warren Smith's booklet is downloadable file HERE, HERE or purchase at Amazon HERE.
13. http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/02/3-legged-health-care.html

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Bad Vibes

Part 7: The Physics of Heaven
A Serial Book Review & Theological Interaction


Read Part 1: "The Physics of Heaven"
Read Part 2: "The Power of the Zero-Point Field"
Read Sidebar: "Jesus' Lesser Works"
Read Part 3: "Extracting the Precious From the Worthless"
Read Part 4: "Vibrating in Harmony With God"
Read Part 5: BILL JOHNSON: Squandering Our Spiritual Inheritance

Read Part 6: Unsagacious Seers

Review of Chapter 6: “Good Vibrations” by Ellyn Davis[1]

 Prophets have long recognized that their words carry a force or power that is more than just words, but is like an energy that empowers what they prophesy. Some Christian leaders have also found that they have a “resonance” themselves that helps people move deeper into God.
—Ellyn Davis, The Physics of Heaven, p. 53, emphasis added 

“Good Vibrations”—the chapter’s title is taken from the song written and engineered by Brian Wilson (1942-    ), sung by the Beach Boys (1966), and which became a #1 song in the United States and other countries. Rolling Stone called it the sixth greatest song in rock ’n roll history. It is considered Wilson’s crowning musical achievement. But inherent with the song, a fact which escaped many of us who were more affected by the sensations of the music, was the message Wilson tried to communicate—a cosmic worldview with a New Age spiritual component. Reflecting the direction the 60s California culture was moving in, Brian Wilson’s life experiences influenced the production of Good Vibrations.

The music, Wilson explained, was rooted in childhood memories that included an abusive father (“bad vibrations”) and a clairsentient mother who “had talked to him about vibrations—invisible forces that filled the air.”[2] She explained that dogs did not like certain people because of negative sensations they detected emanating from certain people (auric effect?). As the learning website Shmoop informs, “The whole thing terrified Brian; invisible currents floating around the cosmos and sending out messages to people and animals was spooky stuff.”[3] So the song Good Vibrations represents his attempt to musically bring “what’s out there down here,” to translate the psychic into the ecstatic. Though scientific evidence remains inconclusive, “Sound vibrations are believed to play a mysterious part in the production of psychic phenomena.”[4]


To discover and experience the “invisible forces that filled the air,” Brian Wilson experimented with hallucinatory drugs. One psychedelic experience—whether into “inner” or “outer” space, who knows?—proved ecstatic. (The aftermath of others left him depressed, deranged and almost dysfunctional.) This enamoring experience caused Wilson to experiment with cutting-edge sound technology as he tried to reproduce the sights and sounds of that good “trip” in his music. His studio became his laboratory. He spent countless hours and conducted numbers of experiments to recreate the euphoric sensations of that good psychedelic experience. Good Vibrations resulted. About that song Wilson testified that it was, “the summation of my musical vision, a harmonic convergence of imagination and talent, production values and craft, songwriting and spirituality.”[5]

With the song Good Vibrations, Brian Wilson had synched the invisible forces of the cosmos with his ecstatic psychedelic experience. By “tripping out” in his mind, he “tuned in” to the universe. As they too were enamored by the feelings the new sound aroused in them, Wilson’s music affected the hearts of millions of listeners. Now a generation later, what was “spooky stuff” to Brian Wilson then, stuff he tried to musically capture and express by combining visionary psychedelics with vibrating technology, has emerged to become “spiritual and scientific stuff” among apostles and prophets of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR).
(Source)
The Physics of Heaven
In her chapter—Good Vibrations—Ellyn Davis draws upon the song’s memory to introduce and present “A Basic Science Lesson About Vibrations,” a kind of crash course on sound, light and energy. (TPOH, 54-63) Her introductory and interesting presentation of the science of energy needs no interaction on the part of this reviewer because it is what it is. Much modern technology based upon wave-particle theory—medical and otherwise—serves as an immense help to humanity’s health and convenience. How many of us use cell phones, computers, microwave ovens or have had X-rays or MRIs taken to diagnose illnesses, and much more? Technology based upon wave or particle observation, calculation and application seems to be everywhere!

It can be argued that these benefits and conveniences can be derived from nature because God originally powered it up. “Let there be light” God said, “and there was light” records Moses (Genesis 1:3). Energy derives from God and therefore existentially and ontologically points observers and users to Him, or at least it should. This is not up for debate among believers (Romans 1:20; Psalm 19:1-6). But this observation does not therefore endow light—the thing in itself which secular scientists believe is the essence of the universe—to be divine, though there resides in the human heart the temptation to spiritualize nature and make “It” divine (i.e., pantheism). Energy does not explain God. Only God explains God. Even though God is light (1 John 1:5), the light we experience is separate from Him because He created it separate from Himself (Genesis 1:3-4). Though throughout history the temptation has existed to deify and worship light, light itself is not God. However, some quantum spiritualists would have it otherwise.


Quantum Bible Verse?
To biblically validate that some Christian leaders resonate with the force of nature by which they lead others deeper into God, author Davis quotes Romans 1, verse 20, which reads:

For since the creation of the world God’s [NASB, His] invisible attributes—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from [NASB, through] what has been made. (Emphasis added, TPOH, 54)

Based upon this verse, she asks, “What if there are ‘good vibrations’ that God has imbedded into everything He created and we just need to be open to experiencing them?”(TPOH, 54) To question her question, it should be asked: Does Paul’s statement endorse, even theoretically, linking Christian experience to nature’s quantum energy? For a number of reasons the answer is, “No.”

First, the obvious subject of the paragraph concerns the evidence for and knowledge of God in man revealed by the “wrath of God... against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18).  Second, what makes evident the existence of God and human accountability to Him are “His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature” as “clearly seen [and] understood through what has been made” by God (Romans 1:20). So the power of God as revealed in the working of the universe makes any observer accountable to God (including the most renowned physicists). Third, though God’s eternal power and divine nature are evidenced in the universe’s mechanical working, the majority of humankind suppresses the inference that God is. Instead, they develop natural or spiritual explanations (like evolution and pantheism) to explain creation; and this to dismiss any idea of personal accountability to the Creator who “just might” hold them responsible and accountable for their unrighteousness, which sin contributes both to their misery and those around them. And fourth, rejecting the obvious places God-deniers between a “Rock” and “a hard place.” The Rock: “Is there any God besides Me, or is there any other Rock?” (Isaiah 44:8b). The hard place: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘No God’!” (Psalm 14:1).

Regardless of the quandary they find themselves in and choosing to remain oblivious to the obvious, God deniers choose to exist in the “hard place” where their souls find no rest. But because their hearts will not let them deny, they must believe in something, even if it’s anything, or everything. So they choose to worship the creature(s) rather than the Creator. Of this choice Paul states that, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22). Incredibly, humans exchange worship of the “incorruptible God” to worship corruptible nature—birds, animals, bugs and above all else, even themselves (Romans 1:23). As a T-shirt messages it, “I was an atheist until I found out ‘I’ was God!”

The point: While Romans 1, verse 20 has everything to do with natural or general revelation (i.e., there’s enough evidence in nature to make every person accountable to God), it has nothing to say about tapping into nature’s vibrations to experience power.[6] This verse Davis cites to support her theory that vibrations exist by which believers can power-up their ministry is misguided. The verse concerns revelation not resonations. One endorser of The Physics of Heaven, himself a prominent quantum spiritualist, claims that there’s an “amazing convergence between the insights of quantum physics and biblical revelation!”(Phil Mason, TPOH, Endorsements) Though this may be true as regards God’s revelation of Himself in nature, it becomes a quantum leap to believe that Christians can get into super-nature by tapping into the energies in that realm. Such a quantum leap Scripture does not support. But new prophets take the leap anyway.


Quantum Prophesying: the New Prophets
Taking her cue from the vibrations within the universe (something she ably introduces and explains), Ellyn Davis hitchhikes on this force (input source) to, in an algorithmic, mechanistic and pantheistic way, assign supernatural power to oracles spoken by mediators and mediatrixes, modern prophets and prophetesses (output devices). Though technically all speech vibrates (theoretically ad infinitum), Davis tells readers that the speech of contemporary prophets especially does so. She informs:

Prophets have long recognized that their words carry a force or power that is more than just the words, but is like an “energy” that empowers what they prophesy. (Emphases added, TPOH, 53)

In the above statement Davis makes a sort of Freudian slip. Note her assertion: “Prophets have long recognized that their words” pack power. Based upon her assertion, questions need to be asked, the ministry of the biblical prophets understood, and the implication of her statement addressed.    

"The Force" in Star Wars

Questions
Where does the force come from? Does the residing energy in the universe some how amp-up their words in a megaphonic way? Do their words exceptionally vibrate because as prophets, they speak them? Or do they pack power because the words are God’s? To understand the power source of the true prophetic word of God, we look at the Old Testament prophets.

The Biblical Prophets Understood: the Lord’s Servants
The designation “prophet” denotes an individual who speaks for God. The Hebrew word nabiy’ means “spokesman.” The New Testament Greek word prophetes means “to speak for.” Though the analogy does not fit on all points, the prophet’s function might be compared with that of the President’s Press Secretary. At news conferences held in the White House, the secretary briefs the press corps regarding issues of the President’s administration. The Press Secretary speaks, sometimes misleadingly, for the President. In similar way, the divinely inspired prophets of the Bible spoke, not misleadingly, for God to the nation of Israel and later in the early church. But in their communications, Scripture is careful to point out that the biblical prophets did not speak “their” word, but the Lord’s.

God’s Word, not theirs
Throughout the prophetic Old Testament writings there’s a recurrent designation, with slight variation, for what the prophets spoke. Either the Lord, in speaking to the prophets, or the prophets, in speaking to the people, designated what they spoke as the Lord’s Word, not theirs. The designation appears like this:
  • “My word”—Isaiah 55:11; Jeremiah 1:12; 23:28; Ezekiel 14:9
  • “My words”—Isaiah 59:21; Jeremiah 1:9; 23:22; Ezekiel 3:4
  • “the word of the Lord”—Isaiah 1:10; Jeremiah 2:11; Ezekiel 1:3
  • “His holy words”—Jeremiah 23:9
Star Wars "May the Force be with you."
As reflected in this Old Testament sampling and unlike the modern-day prophets referred to by Davis, the Lord’s prophets are careful to designate that they did not originate or own the words they spoke. Rather, they spoke “the word of [from or belonging to] the Lord.” As Dr. René Pache (1904-1979) summarized:

The prophets, in a peculiarly exact way, identified their . . . message with the word of God: ‘Hear the word of Jehovah. The word of Jehovah was addressed to me in these words. The mouth of Jehovah hath spoken. Jehovah spake unto me. Thus hath Jehovah said unto me,’ etc. We find such expressions in Isaiah 120 times, Jeremiah 430 times, Ezekiel 329 times, Amos 53 times, Haggai 27 times (in 38 verses) and Zechariah 53 times.[7] 

God’s Power, not theirs
Furthermore, the Lord told Jeremiah that the power of the Word spoken by the prophet was His. “‘Is not My word like fire?’ declares the Lord, ‘and like a hammer which shatters a rock?’’ (Jeremiah 23:29). By stating that these modern-day prophets have long recognized that their words carry force, does the author thereby betray that these self-proclaimed prophets really are speaking words which are, “Not from the mouth of the Lord”? (Jeremiah 23:16) After all, Davis specifically states the words of these prophets are theirs.

Implication: New Apostles, New Prophets, New Authority
In that the new prophets recognize the resonating power of their words (Remember, the words are theirs.), what does this imply as regards the absolute authority of Scripture? Some of these prophets claim that their word is on a par with with Holy Scripture (In other words, there is no real separation between what they speak and what stands written.). One of them, perhaps “speaking for’’ others, has stated: “The same biblical principles about the attitude that we are to have toward the written word, the logos, should be applied to the rhema that is declared prophetically.”[8] The new prophets and apostles therefore believe, given their authority, that the innovative word they speak can either supplement, even supersede, the written Word of Scripture. After all they recognize their words contain a force or power that goes beyond normal speech. 

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Yoda
Quantum “Resonating”: The New Prophets
Regarding science’s discovery of, research into and experimenting with the universe’s quantum reality over the last few generations, Davis observes that, “In recent years, God has been opening the eyes of some of His people to the mysteries of sound, color and light, and vibrations and energy.”(TPOH, 53) [Ed. Note: The esoteric exclusivity denoted by the designation some of His people, suggesting that average Christians like me and perhaps most of you, just don’t get it.] She also has previously affirmed that, “other prophets are finding that sound, color, and light have healing frequencies to them.”(TPOH, 54) So the resident energy in the quantum world causes these new prophet-apostles to theorize that they can plug in to the surrounding energy to amp up their “spirituality” and “ministry.” In other words, by tuning in to the frequencies of the surrounding forces, “good vibrations” can become “god vibrations.” “What if there are ‘good vibrations’ that God has imbedded into everything He created” Davis asks, “and we just need to be open to experiencing them.”(TPOH, 54, 55) Though no machine has been invented to capture the universe’s perpetual motion and put it to constructive use, many Charismatic Christians are coming to believe that they can tap into and minister in the power of these powers. As Davis writes, “we just need to be open to experiencing them.”(TPOH, 54, 55)

So let “experience” be the guide. By experience these new prophets are, according to Davis, turned on with because they are tuned in to nature’s vibrations. Not only have these new prophets discovered “that sound, color, and light have healing frequencies to them,” but also “that they have a ‘resonance’ themselves that helps people move deeper into God.”[9](TPOH, 53) Christian leaders (likely referring to NAR apostles and prophets) are able to channel the universe’s quantum energy to heal and help others move deeper into God. Note the claim: Some Christian leaders “have a ‘resonance’ themselves.” From this statement questions arise. First, do some Christian leaders possess a resonance themselves? And second, can this resonance move people deeper into God?

If this is the case, it must be asked, whatever happened to the ministry of the Holy Spirit? Do people move deeper into God by auric resonations emanating from certain Christian leaders? Or, do Christians move deeper into God by His revelation of Himself through Christ in Scripture as born witness to by the person and power of the Holy Spirit? The biblical answer is obvious.

By His manifold workings (i.e., convicting, regeneration, baptism, sealing, filling, etc.), the Third Person of the Holy Trinity first attracts people to Christ (John 16:8), then escorts them into union with Christ (Acts 1:5; Colossians 1:27), and later over time, moves them into deeper communion with Christ (Galatians 5:16). About moving deeper into God, Paul wrote to the Corinthians,
Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but just as it is written,
Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.

For to us God revealed them through the Spirit [Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard]; for the Spirit searches all things [Things . . . which have not entered the heart of man], even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God.
(emphasis added, 1 Corinthians 2:6-12)
Based upon this passage of Scripture, I ask one question: Who moves people “deeper into God”? The answer is not a cadre of Christian leaders who carry about a quantum “resonance” within them—whatever that is—but the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit leads all believers in to the “deeper life,” and furthermore through the Holy Spirit every believer is a “partaker of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4).[10] Though we may cultivate life in the Spirit, we neither originate it nor activate it!

The Holy Spirit: Person or Resonance?

Man is God Theology
By proposing that people lead other people deeper into God raises some genuine theological concerns. First, claiming that certain Christian leaders possess “resonance themselves” infers that “manifest sons of God” possess power to influence other persons. So in believing they possess such “resonating,” it becomes a small step for them to assert themselves to be little gods, and in doing so, they in effect become usurpers of Jesus.

Heresy
In addition to the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit is the powerful Third Person within the triune Godhead (Genesis 1:2; Matthew 12:28, 31-32; 28:19; Acts 1:8). To claim that certain leaders possess “resonance themselves” asserts independence from the Holy Spirit. After all, they have “resonance themselves.” Such “resonance” teaching depersonalizes the Holy Spirit into raw power (“The Force?”) thereby contradicting the biblical teaching on the Trinity; that God is not only eternal, but personal. Two anti-Trinitarian heresies, Arianism (4th Century) and Socinianism (16th Century), emphasized the power of the divine spirit to the denial of the Spirit’s personality. For example,

Arius regarded the Spirit not only as a creature, but as created by Christ, ktisma ktismatos, the creature of a creature. Sometime afterward, his [ed., the Spirit’s] personality was wholly denied by the Arians, and he [the Holy Spirit] was considered as the exerted energy of God.[11]

As a rationalist movement after the Reformation, Socinianism, which led to the emergence of modern day Unitarianism, also viewed the Spirit of God to be the energy of God. Theologian W. G. T. Shedd (1820-1894) informed that, “Socinians deny the distinct personality of the Holy Spirit; they concede eternity, because they regard the Spirit as the influence or effluence of the eternal God.”[12]

With this quantum emphasis upon “resonating” Christian leaders, it becomes interesting to see how faith in the distinct person, power and ministry of the Holy Spirit is being reduced, even ignored. The irony of it all is that this is happening within a movement that owes its origin to the Pentecostalism which once-upon-a-time (at the turn of the last century) placed a premium upon the Holy Spirit’s ministry (i.e., the baptism of the Holy Spirit authenticated by speaking in tongues, and a revival of the spiritual gifts). Thus, these new apostles and prophets reveal themselves to be apostates from their Pentecostal heritage.

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Yoda
Quantum Rapturing: the New Prophets
Heavenly tourism (going to Heaven and coming back to earth again), whether on the part of children or adults, has become a publicized experience among Charismatic Christians, and this despite Jesus having told the Jews, “where I am going, you cannot come” (John 8:21), and His promise to His disciples, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also (Emphasis added, John 14:3). Nevertheless, Ellyn Davis states regarding her co-authoress of The Physics of Heaven,

Judy Franklin has found that people who have a hard time “going to heaven” by themselves can do more easily do it if they are around her; so she carries some sort of energy that helps them. (TPOH, 53)

In light of Jesus being the arbiter of when and how people get and go to Heaven, this mediator claim is outlandish (i.e., that like Mary, she can help people get to heaven). The idea that for reason of being exposed to Judy Franklin’s auric energy, people can more easily take an inter-dimensional trip to Heaven (and presumably back again) imposes upon, even usurps, the promise, prerogative and the ministry which belongs to Jesus Christ alone; that is, if His incarnation, death, resurrection, ascension and promised return mean anything. This teaching suggests that for traveling to Heaven temporarily, certain Christians might need Judy more than Jesus.

Quantum Gifting: the New Prophets
Further, Davis claims a “spiritual-gift aura” surrounds Larry Randolph, a NAR prophet. Of his teaching, she explains—again usurping the ministry of the Spirit—that Randolph “has always taught that proximity to someone who already operates in a particular gifting is crucial when learning to operate in that spiritual gift.”(TPOH, 53-54) This claim is asserted despite the Apostle Paul’s teaching that, “there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:4). Then after listing a number of spiritual gifts, Paul goes on to say, “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills” (1 Corinthians 12:11). Spiritual gifts are given according to the will of the Holy Spirit. They are “gifts.” Believers cannot buy them. They cannot earn them. We can only receive them, and their reception and refinement comes not by human influence, but by the sovereign Spirit’s endowment and discipleship.

Conclusion
Natural Theology
In her chapter “Good Vibrations,” Ellyn Davis asks, “Could it be that there are things that we can better understand about God through things He has made such as vibrations and frequencies?”(TPOH, 54, Sidebar, 55) This question is premised upon natural theology; that humans can discover God via the inferences that can be made about Him from nature. The ancient Hebrew writings, Apostle Paul, Church Fathers, theologians, and even some scientists would answer her question in the affirmative. There is a sense that, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands” (Psalm 19:1).

Natural theology, that is, insights about God based upon observing the order and functioning of the natural universe, can but does not necessarily—as Romans 1:18-23 teaches—lead observers to believe that a highest power originated and rules the natural order of things. But what natural theology cannot do, in and by itself, is prove the existence of the Christian God, even though Scripture declares the Lord Jesus Christ to be the Originator of it all (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2). Any faith in Jesus depends upon special divine revelation; that is, the historical witness to Jesus’ exceptional incarnation, vicarious death and atonement for our sin, victorious physical/material resurrection from the dead, and personal return to this planet in the future, all of which the Holy Scriptures inspired by the Holy Spirit bear witness to (John 15:26; 2 Peter 1:19-21). While natural theology can lead to the proposition God is, that same theology does not necessitate the proposition Jesus is God. To that end, special revelation must have been given and then accepted. Absent the intervention of special revelation in Christ and Scripture in history, inferences from natural theology become dead end streets in the human quest to know and experience God.[13]

So it must be concluded that Ellyn Davis’ theory that connecting with the nature’s vibrations will somehow empower Christians to live more supernaturally is a wishful fiction, even spiritually dangerous because the Apostle Paul calls demons “rulers (archas) . . . powers (exousias) . . . world forces (kosmokratoras) of this darkness . . . spiritual forces (pneumatika) of wickedness” (Ephesians 6:12). Upon reading the Apostle’s description of the powers belonging to demons, believers must be impressed that the new quantum-power spirituality being peddled by the new prophets and prophetesses might well be a seductive “scheme of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11; Compare Colossians 2:8). [14] Connect the dots: quantum light, colors, sounds, energy, vibrations . . . the devil’s powers, forces, spiritualities. One point is certain, being rooted in nature, quantum-nature spirituality does not communicate the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

(Source)
April Fools!
At the beginning of the month, a number of websites issued their April fools jokes. The website of CERN (i.e., European Council for Energy Research) showed pictures of scientists claiming to have discovered the Force (i.e., the mysterious energy field used by the Jedi in Star Wars) and using it in everyday life—driverless pizza delivery, thought-powered web searching, etc. It was reported about CERN’s claim on its website,

“The Force is what gives a particle physicist his powers,” said Cern scientist Ben Kenobi of the University of Mos Eisley, Tatooine in a press release. Many scientists at the centre were already using The Force, said the release, to communicate over long distances, influence minds and for “lifting heavy things out of swamps”.[15]

Of course, the whole thing was a spoof. It’s interesting that what is “spoof” to CERN scientists (an April Fools Day gag) has become spirituality to modern day prophets. Need any more comparison or comment be made, other than to say Satan is a master masquerader?


Footnotes:
[1] Ellyn Davis, Chapter 6: “Good Vibrations,” The Physics of Heaven: Exploring God’s Mysteries of Sound, Light, Energy, Vibrations and Quantum Physics, by Judy Franklin & Ellyn Davis (Crossville, TN: Double Portion Publishing, 2012): 53-63.
[2] Brian Wilson, “Good Vibrations: Meaning,” Shmoop (http://www.shmoop.com/good-vibrations/meaning.html).
[3] Ibid.
[4] “Vibrations,” Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology, Volume Two M-Z, Edited by Leslie Shepherd (Detroit, MI: Gale Research Inc., 1991, Third Edition): 1772. To this point, it should be noted that trance music, as well as other Eastern religious or New Age meditative music stimulates positive experiences in the human soul. See Larry DeBruyn, “Getting High on God: Inner Opiates and the Genius of the Megachurch Experience,” Guarding His Flock Ministries, September 6, 2012 (http://guardinghisflock.com/2012/09/06/getting-high-on-god/#more-2212). See also “Trance Music,” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trance_music).
[5] Brian Wilson, “Good Vibrations: Lyrics,” Shmoop (http://www.shmoop.com/good-vibrations/lyrics.html).
[6] According to the physical laws of thermodynamics, the Force or energy is dissipating anyway (See 2 Peter 3:11-13; Isaiah 51:6). When used, energy use results in friction loss. In other words, the sun will burn out eventually. So why would anyone want to tap into an energy that’s temporal?
[7] René Pache, The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture, Translated by Helen Needham (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1969): 81-82.
[8] Bill Hamon, “The Fulfillment of Your Personal Prophecy,” in Héctor Torres, The Restoration of the Apostles and Prophets: How It Will Revolutionize Ministry in the 21st Century, Foreward by C. Peter Wagner (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001): 82. See Sarah Leslie, “The Return of the Warrior-Prophets, Networking the Church: Part 4,” Herescope, March 8, 2007 (http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/03/return-of-warrior-prophets.html).
[9] In physics, resonance refers to the, “Enhancement of the response of an electric or mechanical system to a periodic driving force when the driving frequency is equal to the natural undamped frequency of the system.” See Webster’s II: New College Dictionary (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995): 944.
[10] Pastor Larry DeBruyn, “On Theosis, Or Divinization: What does it mean to be “partakers of the divine nature”? Guarding His Flock Ministries, January 11, 2012 (http://guardinghisflock.com/2012/01/11/on-theosis-or-divination/#more-1989).
[11] Emphasis added, Richard Watson, Theological Institutes: A View of the Evidences, Doctrines, Morals and Institutions of Christianity, Volume I (New York, NY: T. Mason and G. Lane, 1836): 630.
[12] Emphasis added, William G.T. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, Volume I (New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1888): 328.
[13] “This is because it [natural theology] distracts from the comprehensiveness and exclusiveness of Christ as the revelation of God. For Barth (Karl Barth, 1886-1968) there is [was] no other source of the knowledge of God than Jesus Christ as he is witnessed to in the Scriptures.” See T.H.L. Parker, “Natural Theology,” Baker’s Dictionary of Theology, Everett F. Harrison, Editor-in-Chief (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1960): 372.
[14] Larry DeBruyn, “The Supreme Supremacy of the Lord Jesus Christ: Christ before Cosmos,” Guarding His Flock Ministries, August 13, 2013 (http://guardinghisflock.com/2013/08/13/the-supreme-supremacy-of-the-lord-jesus-christ/#more-2442).
[15] “Tech sites lead on April Fools gags,” BBC News, April 1, 2015 (http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-32145885). Those of us who are not “Trekkers” need to aware that Mos Eisley is a spaceport on the planet of Tatooine in the imaginary Star Wars universe. Obviously, there’s no CERN or university there. Obi-Wan Kenobi (The April Fools Day “Professor” Kenobi played by Alec Guinness) describes Mos Eisley as a “wretched hive of scum and villainy.” See “Mos Eisley,” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mos_Eisley).


The graphic at the top of this post is a Herescope original, combined from an image of Darth Sidius from Star Wars HERE and Michelangelo's "The Creation of Adam" HERE.

This blog has many other articles published about the new Quantum Spirituality movement coming into  the church world. Just a few of these articles from a sampling of various series we've run includes the following:
Quantum Physics and the New Spirituality:FROM COSMOS, TO CHAOS, TO CONSCIOUSNESS: Part 1
The “Uncertainty Principle” Part 2
A Quantum Cosmic Christ: COSMS, CODES, AND CRYPTOLOGIES,  Part 8 
Evolution, Quantum Physics: & New Age/New Spirituality
QUANTUM MYSTICISM IN THE CHURCH
Quantum Eschatology: Part 7: The Emerging Church - Circa 1970*

Friday, April 03, 2015

Persecution at the Door

Are You Prepared?

Kenya attack, April 2, 2015, CNN report
 By Pastor Anton Bosch*
While reviewing church history recently I was reminded of some of the things we should learn from history. But before I share those with you, I want to remind you that what normally passes for church history is the history of the apostate church (lower case “c”). The history of the true Church is not normally taught in Bible schools and seminaries except for a passing mention to the little groups of true believers that were a thorn in the side of the institutional churches.

The following are the central truths we learn from Church history:
  • Even in the darkest hours of the last 2000 years there have always been true believers and true Churches in this world. 
  • The real Church has always been small in numbers and poor in political power, finances and popularity. 
  • True churches and believers have always been persecuted. 
It is on this third point I want to dwell. Persecution has come from many different sources, even though the ultimate origin is Satan and his forces. 
Kenya attack, April 2, 2015, CNN report
The Jews, initially under the leadership of Saul of Tarsus, persecuted and killed believers beginning with Stephen. Of course Jesus was the first “Christian martyr,” and before the New Testament era many prophets were also brutally killed by Israel because of their message.

The Roman government persecuted and brutally martyred Christian believers for almost 300 years until Constantine in 312 AD.

Immediately after 312 the Roman church took over from the Roman government and began to persecute believers who did not submit to their authority. Persecution under the Church of Rome continued for the next 1700 years right up to the present, reaching its peak during the Inquisition (c. 1200 to c. 1600). It is very difficult to find an accurate estimate of the numbers of people killed by the Roman church, but the best studies indicate a number of around 80 million Christians, in addition to witches and others, killed by Rome![1]

Even while Rome was killing Protestants, the Reformation leaders were torturing and killing Anabaptists and other believers who disagreed with them. Just one of many to die at the hand of the Reformers was Michael Sattler, a true believer. “He was shamefully mutilated in different parts of the town, then brought to the gate, and what remained of him thrown on the fire, His wife and some other Christian women were drowned, and a number of brethren who were with him in prison were beheaded.”[2] Most of the Protestant leaders, including Luther and Zwingli, engaged in the most severe and cruel torture and murder of anyone who disagreed with them. But the most vicious of all was Calvin. In Geneva, Switzerland, he institutionalized torture and death as a legitimate means to change people’s views and purge the “church” of dissenters.
Libya beheadings of Coptic Christians, UK Daily Mail, 2/15/15

There have been massive persecutions of Christians all across the world, many still ongoing, by Muslims, Chinese governments, Communists, and all sorts of other unbelievers. Just recently I was shocked to hear that a friend and former colleague, as well as two women, were brutally killed and mutilated by Satanists in South Africa, making them (as far as I know) the first martyrs to die for the faith in South Africa. It is estimated that today[3] more Christians in the world are being persecuted than are free to worship the true God. A comprehensive Pew Forum study found that Christians are persecuted in 131 countries containing 70 percent of the world’s population. Other studies indicate that between 100,000 and 200,000 Christians are being martyred for their faith every year,[4] and that around 200 million Christians are denied fundamental human rights because of their faith.

All this should not come as a surprise since the New Testament is replete with statements that persecution would be the norm for Christians. In Jesus’ first mention about the Church He spoke of the war that would be brought against His Church: “…[O]n this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). Paul said: “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). And Peter said “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you” (1 Peter 4:12).

In spite of the evidence of history, and the plain teaching of the Bible, the vast majority of Christians in the so-called “Free World” still believe that it is the right of Christians to be popular, fairly treated and respected, and that a “happy” life should be the norm for believers. 
CNN report, 2/16/15
As I have been reminded how most true Christians have been mistreated, and how they lived as vagabonds and fugitives throughout the last two millennia, I began to think about my own life and how easily I complain about the relatively minor inconveniences and rejection I experience because of the Gospel. I feel ashamed that I dare complain when thousands, right now, are experiencing the most extreme physical pain, emotional anguish, and death for the sake of the Gospel of Salvation. Who am I to grumble when I am free to come and go, live in relative comfort, and enjoy the company of my wife, while others are in prison, being tortured and killed?

But I also thought about how easily many stay away from the gathering of believers because it is too hot, too cold, or they are too tired because of watching TV or partying too late on Saturday night. I struggle to reconcile this picture with the one of men and women being torn apart by dogs, their limbs pulled from their bodies on the rack, and the smell of burning human flesh on the fires of the persecutors. I struggle to understand how some are unwilling to give up their sinful pleasures when millions have to give up their very lives. 
NBC report on Coptic Christian beheadings, 2/15/15
I struggle to understand how the pleasure-centered and self-centered “Christian” of the West can claim to share a common faith with the martyrs. I struggle to understand how preachers who preach a gospel of happiness, prosperity and popularity believe that their message is the same message that was preached by the faithful minority of the last 2000 years – believers who, like the prophets of old, “…had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented – of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth” (Hebrews 11:36-38). 

Can the faith that results in persecution, torture, and death be the same faith that promises carnal happiness, a new Mercedes and popularity? Can the faith that pursues pleasure, comfort and earthly happiness be the same faith that counts it a privilege to suffer for His name?

Will the hedonist[5] and the martyr share the same heaven?

Endnotes:
1. David A Plaisted. Estimates of the Number Killed by the Papacy in the Middle Ages and Later. 2006. 
2. E. H. Broadbent. The Pilgrim Church. Gospel Folio Press. Grand Rapids, MI. 1999. p182. 
3. October 2012 
4. David B. Barrett, Todd M. Johnson, and Peter F. Crossing in their 2009 report in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research (Vol. 33, No. 1: 32) say the figure is about 200,000 per year and rising. 
5. Hedonist = a person whose life is devoted to the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. 

*Adapted from Pastor Anton Bosch's article titled "Hedonists and Martyrs," originally published in the Discernment Newsletter, Nov.-Dec 2012: http://www.discernment-ministries.org/Newsletters/NL2012NovDec.pdf. This article will be included in a forthcoming book of devotionals by Pastor Bosch. Stay tuned to Herescope for details.  

BE PREPARED! For additional encouragement, see our article series from January 2010, "Preparations for Sufferings," where we reviewed John Flavel's dissertation titled "Preparations for Suffering, or The Best Work in the Worst Times" (Volume 6), pages 3-83, found in the Works of John Flavel, Banner of Truth Trust (1820, 1968), ISBN 0-85151-060-4.

Part 1: Preparations for Sufferings
Part 2: Are You Prepared?
Part 3: Unanticipated Benefits of Sufferings
Part 4: Prodigious Sottishness
Part 5: Why God Warns

Part 6: Rest in the Day of Evil
Part 7: People-Lovers or God-Pleasers?
Part 8: The Necessity of Foresight
Part 9: The 6 Habits of Readiness  
Part 10: Fool's Gold & Fairweather Faith
Part 11: Sufficient Grace
Part 12: Faith Enough