Monday, July 31, 2006

PSEUDO-MISSION: How the Camel Got Its Nose Under the Tent

How did evangelicalism get to the point where its leaders are openly bragging about transforming nations? How did we get to the point where the term "mission" has now been broadened to include marketplace (commerce) and changing the governments of nations? When did "mission" quit meaning evangelism, i.e., sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ from the Written Word of the Bible? When did it start meaning social action of the most dominionist kind?

Today's post is a critical snapshot in time which will help to answer these questions.

In 1981, C. Peter Wagner (who is now the recognized leader of the New Apostolic Reformation) wrote a book called Church Growth and the Whole Gospel: A Biblical Mandate (Harper & Row, San Francisco). A significant section of this book tells how it happened that neoevangelical leaders began to embrace the very social gospel ethic which they had formerly condemned in the more liberal denominations.

Wagner explains this critical transition in chapter 5, “Holistic Mission Versus Holistic Evangelism,” in a subsection entitled “Changing the Classical Definition of Mission.”

"During our century, a change in this classical understanding of mission has been taking place. Sydney E. Mead traces the roots of this change to the last quarter of the nineteenth century and the opening years of the twentieth, when 'real belief in the all-sufficiency of this king of missions declined.' He associates it with the impact the social gospel movement was having on churches at that time. The result was that 'missions were metamorphosed from the simple task of winning converts… to the complex task of participating actively in social betterment and reconstruction.'(4) The strongest expression of this new view of missions came in 1932 with the publication of Hocking’s Re-Thinking Missions, the result of the 'layman’s inquiry.' It began a process which later, as we will see, drastically eroded the place of the evangelistic mandate in the mission of the church.

"In the classical period, the word missions was sufficient to describe the task of spreading the faith in foreign countries. But with the broadening of the concept, a change from missions (plural) to mission (singular) also took place. For example, the ecumenically oriented journal International Review of Missons changed its name in April, 1969, to International Review of Mission. In technical usage today, mission means the task of the church, while missions means the agencies and activities implementing the task, although they are inter changed somewhat in popular usage.

"Notice that the period of time in which the concept of mission was undergoing a change was the same period in which evangelicals were building defenses against the social gospel, as I described in Chapter 1. Evangelicals were in the 'Great Reversal.´ They had eclipsed the concept of the kingdom of God among other things. For evangelicals throughout this period, mission continued to mean evangelism. To allow the cultural mandate to creep into the technical definition of mission would have been interpreted as a capitulation to the enemy. Evangelicals maintained the classical definition of mission long after the ecumenical camp had abandoned it.

"A change in evangelical thinking began in the 1960s. Two events significant to evangelicals took place in 1966, the Congress on the Church’s Worldwide Mission held in Wheaton, Illinois, and the World Congress on Evangelism held in Berlin. In the Wheaton Congress a plenary address was given by Horace L. Fenton on 'Mission – and Social Concern.' In it, Fenton suggested that it was unbiblical to separate evangelism and social concern in the mission of the church.(5) The Wheaton Declaration was still somewhat tentative on this, but it pledged to 'demonstrate anew God’s concern for social justice and human welfare,' and to urge 'all evangelicals to stand openly and firmly for racial equality, human freedom, and all forms of social justice throughout the world.'(6)

"The Berlin Congress, by and large, held to the classical definition of mission. Arthur Johnston of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, in The Battle for World Evangelism, the most comprehensive treatment of these concepts to date, observes that 'Berlin gave little more than token theological consideration to the social pressures of the 1960s.' Berlin did not develop a view of mission that would embrace the cultural mandate. 'It stood firm on proclamation evangelism as the mission of the Church.'(7)

"Lausanne and Holistic Mission

"The period between the Berlin Congress of 1966 and its successor, The International Congress on World Evangelization, held in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1974, was a time of transition in evangelical thinking on the definition of mission. Arthur Johnston says, 'The crisis of Christianity during the period between Berlin 1966 and Lausanne 1974 may be summarized theologically as the definition of the mission of the church.'(8) The “Great Reversal” was coming to an end. The 'young evangelicals' were on the rise with civil rights demonstrations and draft card burning. Radical discipleship movements began with their communes and magazines. The cultural mandate was being stressed. A collective social conscience was beginning to develop among evangelicals in general. By the time of the Lausanne Congress, a significant number of evangelical leaders were ready to go public with a revised definition of mission.

"Key to this was a person whom God had raised up to assume a strong, influential position in the shaping of evangelical thought, John R. W. Stott, Rector of All Souls Church, Langham Place, London. In Berlin, Stott had presented three plenary session Bible studies on the Great Commission. There he held to the classical definition of mission. He argued that 'the commission of the church is not to reform society, but to preach the Gospel.'(9) Stott himself affirms that this was his thinking in 1966.(10)

“'Today, however,' Stott says, 'I would express myself differently.'(11) Stott was one of the chief authors of the Lausanne Covenant, which states: 'We affirm that evangelism and sociopolitical involvement are both part of our Christian duty'(Art. 5). While the word 'duty' appears here instead of 'mission,' most post-Lausanne interpreters have considered them synonymous. Stott himself says, 'The word "mission"…includes evangelism and social responsibility, since both are authentic expressions of love which longs to serve man in his need.'(12) By the time of Lausanne, then, a significant group of missiologically oriented evangelicals had accepted the position that ecumenicals had embraced decades earlier, namely that the mission of the church includes both the cultural and the evangelistic mandates. They have not, however, allowed this to carry them to the unbiblical conclusions of the ecumenical group."(p. 89-91)*

This brief excerpt explains how C. Peter Wagner can forge ahead with new doctrines claiming that ekklesia (Gk: church) can be broadly applied to marketplace commerce activities (see previous Herescope posts on this topic). It explains how come Rick Warren can work to cure AIDS with Bill Gates and Bono, and use the church as a vehicle to implement the UN Millennium Develpment Goals -- all via a pseudo-mission global P.E.A.C.E. plan. It explains how the evangelical leaders can comfortably collaborate with the Aspen elites on international governance agendas (see previous posts).

The camel got its nose under the tent earlier in the past century -- and no wonder the tent is getting stinky now!

The Truth:

"The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace." (Isaiah 59:8)

Quoted in Sydney E. Mead, “Denominationalism: The Shape of Protestantism in America,” in Denominationalism, ed. Russell E. Richey (Nashville: Abingdon, 1977), pp. 86-87.
Horace L. Fenton, Jr., “Mission – and Social Concern,” in The Church’s Worldwide Mission, ed. Harold Lindsell (Waco: Word Books, 1966), pp. 193-203
“Wheaton Declaration,” in Lindsell, The Church’s Worldwide Mission, p 235.
Arthur Johnston, The Battle for World Evangelization (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 1978), p. 221
Ibid., p. 227
John R.W. Stott, “The Great Commission,” in One Race, One Gospel, One Task, ed. Carl F.H. Henry and W. Stanley Mooneyham (Minneapolis: World Wide Publications, 1967). Vol. 1, p. 50.
John R. W. Stott, Christian Mission in the Modern World (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1975), p. 23.
Ibid, p. 35.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Dialectic of War and P.E.A.C.E.

The ironic thing about the New Apostolic Reformation is that it uses the motifs of both WAR and PEACE to further its ambitions to build a "kingdom of God" on earth. Some leaders put forth the idea of war -- a hyper-spiritualized (and potentially real) Joel's Army that goes out as a conquering force taking the lands. Other leaders advocate the idea of peace -- a conquest of the "spheres" of society via marketplace, economic, government, commerce, education, media, environment, and health care "transformation."

A dialectic is at work. Some neoevangelical leaders wear the white hat of peace, coming in under the banner of "soft" warfare techniques that have been forged by several generations of American corporate and intelligence executives. Other neoevangelical leaders ride in under the banner of aggression and militancy. The leadership training in marketing techniques carefully crafts either a theme of war or peace depending on the targeted audience in the various strata of evangelicalism.

When evangelical leaders cavort openly with the world powers-that-be, the global internationalists at the various Aspen Institutes -- as discussed on previous Herescope postings this past week -- this fact indicates they have been brought in as "partners" to build an international world governing system. This is not a new thing. It was first developed by the Council on Foreign Relations leaders between the two world wars.

In 1936 Dr. Joseph H. Oldham, the Secretary of the Commission of Research of the Universal Christian Council asked John Foster Dulles, who was intimately involved in the liberal Federal Council of Churches and who was an international statesman, to write a paper on the topic of a peace. What follows is an historical account of how "peace" was used as a mechanism to mold and shape the Protestant world at the time to forge progress towards building an international government. This was sold to the Protestant churches as "building the kingdom of God on earth."

"Dr. Oldham saw in John Foster Dulles qualities of character and intellect which would be of immeasurable value to his work in organising the World Conference of Life and Work in Oxford, 1937. Yet not even he could imagine the progress which would be accomplished in formulating the Church's position on world order and peace as a result of Dulles' presence at Oxford. Unknown to both men at the time, the meeting which ensued marked the beginning of a remarkable collaboration in the ecumenical movement. They aspired to capture the imagination of the Christian public with a grand ideal, transcending narrow-minded national self-interest, the ideal of a unified world society living in peace and justice. To educate the churches, and through them the society at large, about international co-operation was seen by both men as the primary antidote of war. It was regarded as essential in preventing a repetition of the fiasco which had followed America's refusal to join the League of Nations in 1920.

"Dulles hearily agreed to write a paper on his favourite topic of peaceful change in preparation of the Oxford Conference.…

"In 'The Problem of Peace in a Dynamic World', Dulles outlined the basic concepts of peaceful change and attacked what he regarded to be an unhealthy and obsolete concept of national sovereignty. He cautioned against becoming too quickly disheartened at the slow progress of eliminating war. Advances in overcoming the main obstacles to peace, created by pride and selfishness, did not keep pace with enlightened expectations. Human egotism could only be offset, he asserted, by superseding it with some sentiment more dominant and gripping and which would contain in it the elements of universality…."

Note the parallels here between the rhetoric of Rick Joyner, discussed on yesterday's Herescope post, with this assertion that the major obstacle to peace (i.e., building the kingdom of God on earth) was "created by pride and selfishness" and "human egotism." Continuing the quote:

"No other organization would be as uniquely qualified to accomplish this task as the Church because 'in the eyes of God, all men are equal and their welfare is of equal moment….' Dulles idealised the Christian Church as an exemplary community which had demonstrated the ability to transcend the limitations of the nation state…."

This statement bears a profound similarity to Rick Warren's global P.E.A.C.E. Plan, and his comments (which were cited previously on this blog) about the church becoming the global distribution vehicle. Dulles would go on to become an architect of the United Nations. And today the UN has found a chief ally in Rick Warren, who is working to further the UN Millennium Development Goals around the world.

"By using the ecumenical movement as the preferred vehicle to express his opinions, Dulles chose, as his primary target group, the Christian public in the English-speaking world. His goal was to motivate the churches to become actively involved in building a global society.…

"Advocating the need for a unified world with unrelenting fervour in Church circles from the late 1930s to the mid 1940s he elevated the issue of a world federation to the status of a religious concern of first importance. At the end of the Second World War he would explicitly state: 'To create the moral foundation for world order was… the foremost task of the churches.' Based on that 'moral foundation' a social structure would emanate which would be characterised by peace, justice, and equality."

This "moral foundation" may help to explain why Rick Warren has forged a partnership with Chuck Colson to create a Worldview curriculum. Worldview curricula and testing constitute a fabricated moral ethic which can function parallel and as a counterfeit to true Christianity. On the surface it may appear to be Christian because of the goodness it seems to espouse. But it is a neutralized and neutered faith which embraces a "worldview" rather than a true saving faith.

These remarkable quotations above were taken from Martin Erdmann's excellent book Building the Kingdom of God on Earth: The Churches' Contribution to Marshall Public Support for World Order and Peace, 1919-1945 (Wipf & Stock, 2005). This book is available by special request from Discernment Ministries. For those who wish to understand the earlier attempts to build this "kingdom of God" on earth, this book is must reading.

The Truth:

"I will also choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not." (Isaiah 66:4)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Marshalling Christians for the Coming "Conflict"

Rick Joyner, whom we have quoted often on the Herescope blog because of his malignant and extreme dominionism, just issued an announcement that "THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS RIGHT NOW INVADING THE EARTH" (7/26/06) where he said that:

"The kingdoms of this world, the kingdoms of men, and the Kingdom of God, are on a collision course, and the conflict between them will steadily increase.…

"There is a Kingdom in the midst of the kingdoms of this earth, which will grow from a stone until it is a mountain or a government, and then it will keep growing until it covers the whole earth.…

"We tend to think of governments just in their political form, but spiritual governments are realms of power and influence. This includes entities such as the media, industries, economic institutions, educational institutions, etc.

"A Stone is coming to strike the systems of this world, and those who do not bow the knee to the King will be like chaff before the wind. It is now being determined who will be a part of the Stone, and who will be a part of the chaff.… [emphasis in original]

"How we choose today can help determine whether we will be a part of the Stone that will strike the feet of all of man's kingdoms, or the chaff.…"

This "kingdom" agenda comes with a new eschatology that teaches that the world's kingdoms must be overridden by "the Lord's" kingdom. A thorough read of Joyner's posting indicates that, just as troops are pumped up for battle by their commanders beforehand, these apostolic leaders are now pumping up their troops by promising them that if they want to be "true disciples--they lay down their own lives every day to do the will of the Lord. They do not live for themselves, but they live for Him." This quasi-religious military language, promising rewards and even martyrdom, is rampant throughout the New Apostolic Reformation.

In any other context, these words below from Rick Joyner would have to do with standing firm on biblical conviction and dying to self, meaning one's sin. However, in the context of Joyner's message, this is a message to die to human egoism and sacrfice all for the greater cause of building the "kingdom" of God on earth:

"Every day we are given the choice of whom we live for--ourselves or Him. Every day we can count on at least one opportunity to take up our own cross, to die to our own will or ambitions, to stand for His truth, and to serve Him instead of seeking to please men. How are we choosing? This is a primary factor that will determine which Kingdom we are a part of, and which Kingdom we will be standing with at the end." [emphasis in original]

Marshalling Christians for this coming "conflict" is given a hyper-spiritual connotation in Joyner's world. But he begins to put legs on this "conflict" with the references to taking over institutions such as "the media, industries, economic institutions, educational institutions, etc." How this might be accomplished may not be through open violence -- at least not yet -- but rather by the marketplace transformation movement which is being financed by the philanthropic "apostles." Some inklings for how this could occur can be found in yesterday's post and previous posts pertaining to this issue. The book cited in yesterday's post, Thy Will Be Done, reveals how easily the ideal to "advance the Kingdom of God" becomes mingled with corporate commercial "warfare" (p. 87-88), which in turn has the economic power to change governments and societies.

The Truth:

"They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD saith: and the LORD hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word." (Ezekiel 13:6)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

"The Peaceful Conquest of the World"* Circa 1929

“The business of philanthropy is thinking through the way to change something. It’s just this simple: You have some money, and you have some things you’d like to see different.”
(Bill Gates, Sr., at a reception at the recent Aspen Institute gatherings,
quoted in Bob Buford's recent newsletter)

To understand the significance of this year's Aspen Institutes which were attended by evangelical leaders (see Herescope post 7/21/06), view this webpage from last year when Rick Warren attended. This is a world of elite thinkers, political strategists, corporate executives, bankers and philanthropists. (Note a photo of Bob Buford of the Leadership Network and his wife on the opening page.)

Truly there is "no new thing under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:9). The foundation for religious leaders interlocking arms with the pillars of the corporate/philanthropic world was actually laid several generations ago. What follows is a brief but eye-opening history.

With the rise of the 20th Century there was a new entity in the world -- the Corporation. This new era was characterized by excesses, abuses, and monopolies. The rich families controlling the burgeoning corporations soon learned that their money could be used in creative ways to amplify their profit-making goals. They began to put their family fortunes into philanthropic activities. In turn these philanthropic activites would benefit their financial goals, and further the extension of their empires.

The Carnegies, Rockefellers, DuPonts, Fords, Morgans, etc. all began to put their money into charitable operations that would extend their political, corporate, social and ideological goals. For the Rockefeller family especially this included the funding of missionary pursuits.

The following historical account is taken from Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil by Gerard Colby and Charlotte Dennett (HarperCollins, 1995, pp. 32-34). As you read this, note the stunning parallels to the current activities of marketplace "apostolic" transformation, Bill Gates, Rick Warren, mission dominionists and the New Apostolic Reformation.

"In December 1929, Junior [John D. Rockefeller, Jr., ed.] received an urgent letter from one of his more trusted envoys. John Mott had just returned from a tour of Protestant missions in Asia, and he was quite agitated. Mott was a millenarian who hoped to hasten the Second Coming by evangelizing the world 'in this generation.' But he was not a Fundamentalist; he believed that science was the probing of God's mind, and the student proselytizing he had witnessed among Fundamentalist missionaries in China deeply worried him. Unless more tolerance and social concern were shown by American missionaries throughout the Third World, the missionaries would find themselves facing the same kind of angry nationalistic reaction he just witnessed.

"After popular revolutions had broken out in both Mexico and China in 1910, Junior sent Mott to set up a China Medical Board to blend medical science and religion into a powerful new institution, the Peking Union Medical College. 'If we wait until China becomes stable,' Mott told the members of Junior's China Medical Board at the board's first meeting, 'we lose the greatest opportunity that we shall ever have.' Mott understood that the Rockefeller fortune could shape the political future of the world's most populous nation. 'That nation will have only one first generation in its modern era,' he wrote after the proclamation of the Chinese Republic in 1911. 'The first wave of students to receive the modern training… will set the standards and the pace.'

"To realize his vision, Mott becamse a shrewd fund-raiser among rich men like the Rockefellers. He incorporated the sales pitch of a Wall Street broker. 'To ask money of a man for the purposes of the world-wide Kingdom of God is not to ask him a favor,' he once wrote. 'It is to give him a superb opportunity of investing his personality in eternal shares.' Money was 'so much stored-up personality,' he argued, accumulated days of human labor that survived its owners and therefore could be used after death to extend the owner's life on earth.

This concept of the transubstantiation of money into an immortal soul bore a striking resemblance to the family's rationale for a perpetual Rockefeller Foundation; indeed, Standard Oil was Mott's organizational model. He incorporated the culture and methods of corporations into the missionary movement. Over the years, millions of Rockefeller dollars poured into Mott's pursuit of a streamlined, efficient evangelism.

"Two significant factors lured Mott into locking himself firmly within the Rockefeller orbit. One was the global vision of Senior's [John D. Rockefeller, Sr., ed.] closest adviser, Baptist minister Frederick Gates. The other was China and its huge potential harvest of souls, which had obsessed the mind of American Protestantism since its first missionaries boarded the clipper ships of the China trade sailing out of New England's harbors.

"Gates had been captivated by the thought of the family fortune moving into foreign markets. With Standard Oil taking the lead, he argued that the advance of the American corporation represented the Will of God. Standard Oil's kerosene had literally lit the lamps of China since the 1890s, inspiring the company to commit its own form of blasphemy by lifting its product's slogan from the New Testament: 'the Light of the World.'

"To Gates, the growing cultural interdependence of the global market and the accompanying spread of 'English-speaking' Protestant missions bore evidence of 'one great, preconceived plan.' A 'study of the map of the world' disclosed to the cleric that the different missions were really a single 'invading army,' whose 'masterfulness of strategy and tactics… [was] controlled and directed by one master mind," God.

"If Senior was put off by this unreconstructed Calvinist doctrine of predestination, Gates's empahsis on the relationship between missionary efforts and commercial conquest had a more practical saving grace:

"'Quite apart from the question of persons converted, the mere commercial results of missionary efforts to our own land is worth, I had almost said, a thousand-fold every year of what is spent on missions….

"'Missionaries and missionary schools are introducing the application of modern science, steam and electric power, modern agricultural machinery and modern manufacture into foreign lands. The result will be eventually to multiply the productive power of foreign countries many times. This will enrich them as buyers of American products and enrich us as importers of theirproducts. We are only in the very dawn of commerce, and we owe that down, with all its promise to the channels opened up by Christian missionaries…. The effect of the missionary enterprise of the English speaking peoples will be to bring them the peaceful conquest of the world.'" [all emphases added]

The Truth:

"Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter." (Isaiah 56:11)

*actual subtitle of this excerpted section from Thy Will Be Done.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Willis Harman's "Global Mind Change" Worldview

Willis Harman, a leading Theosophist futurist who impacted a group of evangelical leaders back in the late 1970s, has been a frequent topic on this blog. If one wishes to search out the other posts on this New Age leader, simply type in his name in the search box on the upper lefthand corner of this blog and all of the blog posts mentioning this name will pop up.

Willis Harman wrote a book entitled Global Mind Change in 1988. The full original title of the book was Global Mind Change: The New Age Revolution in the Way We Think, and it was copyrighted by the Institute of Noetic Sciences and published by Warner Books. Notice the use of the phrase "New Age Revolution" in the subtitle. At the top of the front cover of this book is an endorsement from the San Francisco Chronicle that says:

"There never has been a more lucid interpretation of New Age consciousness and what it promises for the future than the works of Willis Harman." [emphasis added]

The second edition of this book came out ten years later and was published by The Institute of Noetic Sciences and Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. The full title was changed to something slightly more bland: Global mind change: The Promise Of The 21st Century. The endorsement by the San Francisco Chronicle about a "New Age consciousness" had disappared off the front cover.

But these cosmetic changes didn't mean that the book's content was any less heretical. The new edition of Harman's book included a section subtitled "The Worldview Challenge." Harman described this futurist worldview:

"For the past three decades there have been ample indications of a change in values emphasis, and indeed of a shifting underlying picture of reality, among an expanding fraction of the populace. Similar changes have been noted in most of the modernized countries in the world. It would be premature to attempt to say with certainty what this means; that will be the task of some future historical analyst. However, among the elements of this paradigm change that seem evident are the following three:

"1. Increased emphsis on the connectedness of everything to everything--not only the 'things of the outer world, but also our inner, subjective experience. This element tends to be increasingly central in the ecological, feminist, holistic health, 'new spirituality,' and other social movements.

"2. A shift in the locus of authority from external to internal. Whether in religion, politics, or science, we see growing disenchantment with external authorities and increasing reliance on intuitive, inner wisdom and authority. Perhaps this shift is most apparent in emphasis on intuition and the assumption of inner divinity in transpersonal psychology and other forms of the 'new spirituality.'

"3. A shift in the perception of cause from external to internal. The weak meaning of a statement like 'We create our own reality' is that the we perceive the world around us (and ourselves) is affected by the contents of our unconscious and preconscious minds. The stronger meaning of such statements (and the assertion that there are no coincidences, and that behind apparently accidental events may lie hidden meanings and patterns) is that we are indeed co-creators of that world and that ultimate cause is to be sought not in the physical, but in mind, or consciousness." [bold emphases added]

Reading the quoted material above gives an indication of just how far neoevangelicalism has gone towards this Theosophical worldview. The shift in authority from the Word of God to an "intuitive, inner wisdom and authority" can be seen all around us. The focus in neoevangelicaldom has shifted to Harman's search for the "hidden meanings and patterns" in experiences. Not unlike Rick Warren's assertion in The Purpose-Driven Life that "It is no accident that you are holding this book."

And note Harman's philosophy that we are "co-creators" of our world. This is a heresy which is increasingly touted by mission organizations who are focusing on building the kingdom of God on Earth.

The Truth:

"But draw ye hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore. Against whom do ye sport yourselves? against whom make ye a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood, Enflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys under the clifts of the rocks?

"…For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." (Isaiah 57:3-4; 15)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Aspen Revisited -- Philanthropy & Ideas

Neoevangelical leaders are fraternizing in the highest echelons of intellectual and global political societies these days. Last year this Aspen Ideas Festival became known among evangelicals because Saddleback pastor Rick Warren was invited to attend.

Bob Buford of the Leadership Network, who has been closely connected with both Peter Drucker (the management guru) and Rick Warren, wrote of his recent trip to Aspen, Colorado to hobnob with the global elites. Keep in mind as you read Buford's description, that this is the man who has trained an entire generation of Christian pastors and leaders in the Drucker 3-legged stool of Society model:

"As some of you know, Linda and I set aside six weeks each year in Aspen.…

"Under the direction of Walter Isaacson, The Aspen Institute is doing a remarkable job of being bipartisan and essentially creating a civil, new center in American political thought. The Aspen Ideas Festival is the most remarkable buffet of current big thinkers. Almost 200 speakers are offered across the period of a week, with sessions running from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. – more than anyone could conceivably consume. Just on the luminary side, one could hear two U.S. Supreme Court justices (Sandra Day O’Connor and Stephen Breyer), the last two and the current secretaries of state ( Colin Powell , Madeleine Albright, and Condoleezza Rice ). In economics, there was Alan Greenspan and Larry Summers, the just deposed president of Harvard, who had been Bill Clinton’s secretary of the treasury, along with a batch of very savvy investment bankers and money people. Walter Isaacson is working hard to spice this mix with current evangelical Christian religious superstars – Rick Warren last year and T.D. Jakes and Ted Haggard, head of the National Association of Evangelicals, this year." [emphasis added]

Bob Buford mentions in his letter that he also attended another seminar, the Aspen Institute Seminar on International Philanthropy:

"A couple of days after the Ideas Festival, I attended an Aspen Institute Seminar on International Philanthropy. It was small and cozy by comparison with the massive Ideas Festival and the philanthropists came from Columbia, Costa Rica, London, and around the United States. One of my favorite, but seldom seen friends, the peripatetic Mort Meyerson, was one of a small group of twenty. He’s a prophet and genuine wise man. So I got to look at things from his perspective as well as my own. The first evening gathering featured an intimate reception and Q&A with Bill Gates, Sr. Of all the speakers I heard, he somehow was the most impressive…." [emphasis added]

To read more about these Aspen events see the following urls: [must sign up to read]

The Aspen Institute Seminar on International Philanthropy [] is described as:

"Donors seeking to bring about lasting social change through philanthropy must be creative and strategic. More than ever before, donors have an opportunity to play the role of catalyst, harnessing the power of individuals, governments, businesses and civil society to work together to address the world’s most pressing problems.

"The Aspen Institute Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy Program and the Global Philanthropy Forum of the World Affairs Council of Northern California have designed The Aspen Institute/Global Philanthropy Forum Seminar for International Donors, a Seminar for both new and experienced philanthropists using philanthropy as a tool for social change. The Seminar invites the participation of philanthropists engaged in or hoping to become engaged in international philanthropy. Philanthropists who have committed significantly to international causes and are looking to achieve strategic impact are encouraged to participate. Participants will explore the roots of social change, through classical readings as well as candid, informal dialogue with leaders and peers." [emphases added]

For more information on the Global Philanthropy Forum which co-sponsored this Aspen Institute Seminar on International Philanthropy, see:

A list of Aspens Ideas Festivals Presenters [] included evangelical notables such as Jim Collins, Ted Haggard, T.D. Jakes, Richard Land and Jim Wallis. This is a prominent list of wealthy elites, education reform experts, corporate leaders, political leaders. Reporting cynically on several of the evangelical keynote speakers was Ross Douthat on a blog, entitled "God, Kitsch, and Crisis," which gives a peek into the evangelical speeches:

"This morning I dropped in on two discussions - a panel on American evangelicals with Richard Land, Ted Haggard, Peter Gomes, and Jim Wallis, and a smaller, irresistibly-titled presentation on "Kitsch and the Crisis of the West," by the Dutch thinker Rob Riemen. If you follow debates over religion and politics, there weren't that many surprises to be found at the evangelical jaw-jaw. Wallis argued (as he has for years) that Christians should worry more about poverty than about abortion; Land and Haggard advanced the usual evangelical "there's more to us than most secular elites think" line, while pointing out that they do care about poverty, thank you very much; Gomes was Gomesish (that is, charming, erudite, and faintly slippery); everybody agreed that the Da Vinci Code is hokum . . . and a good time was had by all, except the fellow sitting near me who said afterward that he wanted to throw something at the panelists. (I don't think there are many evangelicals, or evangelical-sympathizers, among the festival-goers.) And it's a little wearying how the same old chestnuts get trotted out year after year in the religion-and-politics debate, whether it's Land referencing (doubtless for the thousandth time) the Washington Post reporter who called evangelicals "poor, uneducated, and easily led" about fifteen years ago, or Wallis unburdening himself of the well-worn and rather dubious line that if you're an unborn child, you should stay in the womb, because religious conservatives won't care about you when you're out." [emphasis added]

For further reading on the significance of the Aspen Institute, see an important historical paper by Judy McLemore posted at .

The Truth:

Rick Warren and neoevangelical leaders are working on "advancing" a global kingdom for Christ and are aggressively and rapidly moving forward in the arenas of philanthropy. Philanthropy has historically been a useful vehicle to transform societies, leveraging change via funding mechanisms and machinations of social change. The apostles and prophets of the New Apostolic Reformation have been predicting a great outpouring of wealth to assist them in their kingdom-building endeavors. This report on the two Aspen seminars sheds considerable light on how neoevangelical leaders are being groomed to fit into the international global order scheme.

"Better is a handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit." (Ecclesiastes 4:6)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Futurist Worldview

The most recent Discernment Ministries newsletter contains an article entitled "The Manipulations of Dominionism," which explains the paradigm shift to a "futuristic" worldview that has taken place in the neoevangelical church.* The newsletter begins:

"Dominionism is a form of futurism. Futurism is the belief that man can create his own future. This belief requires that man manipulate things in the present.

"For the past half century various groups of elite philosophers, scientists, sociologists, psychologists, economists, pastors, businessmen, and government leaders have met together and publicly discussed the future of planet Earth. All predicted dire scenarios for the future based on their calculations, speculations and political agendas. To solve this perceived crisis these leaders embarked upon a mind-boggling number of focus groups, councils, conventions, strategic planning sessions, and other futurist planning devices – all intended to reinvent, create, envision, or fashion a new future for mankind. The plans originating from each of these groups were remarkably similar. They were translated into a myriad of social policies, government programs, strategic plans, and vision statements.

"All of these future scenarios shared the common ideal that humans can forge consensus where none has existed, that harmony and unity will emerge if everyone 'collaborates' on these plans, and that only Christian fundamentalists stand in the way of creating a 21st Century Utopian Society. The goal, then, becomes one of identifying and targeting these fundamentalists for a 'global mind change.'"

The newsletter article details some key ways in which neoevangelical leaders have borrowed the rhetoric and techniques of the global futurists. This type of "futurism" is described by Wikipedia as "attempts to predict and analyze what might occur in the future of human history." However, there is more to it than that. A key concept in futurism is the idea that "alternative futures" can be shaped and that humans practicing "foresight" and "visioning" can create new futures -- both in a pragmatic and esoteric sense.

Researcher and author Marilyn Ferguson who publicly launched the modern Theosophical New Age movement onto the popular scene with her groundbreaking book The Aquarian Conspiracy: Personal and Social Transformation in the 1980s (J. P. Tarcher, Inc., 1980) wrote that there were "legions of conspirators" who have become "revolutionaries" to "change society." And quoting from "philosopher Beatrice Bruteau" in chapter 1, Ferguson wrote:

"We cannot wait for the world to turn,… for times to change that we might change with them, for the revolution to come and carry us around in its new course. We ourselves are the future. We are the revolution."(p. 24-26)

This futurist worldview is expressed by Ferguson in several key paragraphs:

"For the first time in history, humankind has come upon the control panel of change -- and understanding of how transformation occurs. We are living in the change of change, the time in which we can intentionally align ourselves with nature for rapid remaking of ourselves and our collapsing institutions.

"The paradigm of the Aquarian Conspiracy sees humankind embedded in nature. It promotes the autonomous individual in a decentralized society. It sees us as stewards of all our resources, inner and outer. It says that we are not victims, not pawns, not limited by conditions or conditioning. Heirs to evolutionary riches, we are capable of imagination, invention, and experiences we have only glimpsed.

"Human nature is neither good nor bad but open to continuous transformation and transcendence. It has only to discover itself. The new perspective respects the ecology of everything: birth, death, learning, health, family, work, science, spirituality, the arts, the community, relationships, politics." (p. 29)

Later in the same chapter Ferguson described a "1979 symposium on the future of humanity" which "said in its announcement:

'Our first great challenge is to create a consensus that fundamental change is possible -- to create a climate, a framework, which can integrally organize and coordinate the forces which are today striving for growth along seemingly separate paths. We will create an irresistably vibrant vision, a new paradigm for constructive humanistic action…. Until we have created that master context, all talk of strategy is meaningless.'" (p. 40)

The Truth:

It is quite obvious that this mystical worldview of futurism is not biblical. Several foundational beliefs expressed in Ferguson's paragraphs quoted above teach the unbiblical concepts that:

1) man can override the sovereignty of God
2) man can create his own future/destiny
3) man can remake civilization on earth
4) man is basically good
5) man is "embedded in nature"
6) that man can evolve or transcend his current physical and spiritual limitations

Early Herescope blog posts from last September contain relevant historical information about meetings that took place between neoevangelical and Theosophical New Age futurist leaders back in the late 1970s. For nearly 30 years, these influential and respected neoevangelical leaders have been accepting the basic tenets of this futurism and openly cavorting with these Theosophical futurists.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD." (Isaiah 55:8)

*This usage of the term futurism is not to be confused with a theological term "futurism" which has to do with an eschatological debate.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

More Militant Rhetoric

In a recent article in Christianity Today (7/10/06) entitled "The Lure of Theocracy," Philip Yancey discussed a few fundamental differences between Christianity and Islam, and noted Islam's theocratic culture. At the conclusion of his brief article he posed an interesting warning:

"Hearing firsthand about Islamic culture increased my understanding, but it also made me nervous about my own society. The very things we resist in Islam, some Christians find tempting. We, too, seek political power and a legal code that reflects revealed morality. We, too, share a concern about raising our children in a climate of moral decadence. We, too, tend to see others (including Muslims) as a stereotyped community, rather than as individuals. Will we turn toward our own version of the harsh fundamentalism sweeping Islan today?" [emphasis added]

Despite this analytical and astute observation, Christianity Today and other evangelical media seem oblivious to the new forms of extremism coming out of the New Apostolic Reformation. Regardless of the many possible reasons for avoiding exposing the fanatic fringes of neoevangelicalism, there is no excuse for ignoring the rapid increase of militant rhetoric.

Yesterday's Herescope post is a chilling example of this very point. Today's post contains a few more examples.

Chuck Pierce:
In 2001 Chuck Pierce announced a "seven-year war season" for the church. He recently wrote,

"We are now in the 5th year of this seven-year season.… We have two more years of intense conflict with old cycles….

"The next Hebrew year that we will enter in October 2006 will be the Year of the SWORD. Violent worship must become even more violent. We, a people of God, will take the earth by force. Violent worship overcomes violence in the natural because the atmosphere around us changes. The Dichotomy of GOOD and EVIL will be defined in a new way over the next several months.

"Heaven and Earth are aligning. New councils of rulership are being formed in the earth. These councils are developing strategies to bring in the Harvest. These councils will know how to decree a thing and watch it happen. That is why decrees about the transfer of wealth are so important. …" [emphases in original]

Rick Joyner:
Rick Joyner recently (6/27/06) wrote "The Warrior Nation--The New Sound of The Church," in which he said that "the sound of the trumpet is now being heard, and the gathering of the last-day army is now taking place." He describes believers as "freedom fighters," and of the church he states:

"…as the church begins to take on this resolve, they will start to be thought of more as military bases, and they will begin to take on the characteristics of military bases for training, equipping, and deploying effective spiritual forces. In time, the church will actually be organized more as a military force with an army, navy, air force, etc. These, too, will all learn to function together in harmony, protecting one another and helping each other exploit opportunities. Like these, we will begin to organize more around function and purpose, than the doctrinal emphases that now often characterize movements and groups within the church." [emphasis added]

Note the disparagement of doctrine in that last sentence. Continuing on this theme, Joyner then describes the "Transition" of the church:

"Leaders are starting to gather around common purpose and function, rather than just doctrinal emphases. As this happens, doctrines that once seemed to conflict with each other will begin to be seen as complementary. For those who keep the higher purpose of the Kingdom in their hearts and motives, this transition will be easy." [emphasis added]

And in a more ominous note, Joyner adds, "For others, it will not be quite as easy, but it will be done.…"

Jill Austin:
Jill Austin of Master Potter Ministries, one of the female leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation, is sponsoring a conference in San Diego on August 2-5 called "Sword of the Lord" conference. For traditionally-minded Christians who think of the two-edged sword of Hebrews 4:12, this conference is not about the Word of God. Rather, this conference is described as "a governmental call to holy war." The conference promotion claims that Jesus is:

"releasing a living SWORD… to mobilize and activate the troops of the Lord to move not only inside but outside the walls of the church into every arena of life.

"This is a governmental gathering of the troops. We're asking God for open heavens and visitations to give new marching orders and awaken destinies for such a time as this. Officers in the Lord's armies, come forth and legislate from the councils of God as Heaven invades earth.…"

"The Kingdom of God is taken with passionate violence - radical lovers of the Lord! The rumbling of the flaming chariots of fire and war horses are breaking through the heavens in this hour of war. The ancient angels of the most High God are advancing as the Lion of Judah roars! Come reignite your heart with fresh fire!" [emphases added]

Perhaps if Philip Yancey is concerned about the theocratic culture within Christianity, he should spend more time investigating, exposing and condemning the rapid rise in venomous doctrines and militant rhetoric coming out of the upper ranks of neoevangelicalism.

The Truth:

It is obvious from the quotations above that the only way to "transition" the church to this new "hour of war" -- whatever that may portend -- can only be accomplished by a restructuring of doctrine.

"But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;… For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;" (2 Timothy 3:14; 4:3a)

Monday, July 17, 2006

More Than Reformation: Purification of the Planet

The previous Herescope post cited Ron McGatlin of, another apostolic leader who has been working on a more openly virulent form of dominionism. Ron McGatlin links to C. Peter Wagner and other New Apostolic Reformation leaders on his website, although there are some differences of opinion about how to tweak things.

In the Digest of June 6, 2006, Ron McGatlin wrote a startling article entitled "More Than Reformation" in which he articulates how this movement is a "restoration" is "beyond reformation" and a "major shift" which will begin with the "purification of the people and eventually the planet."

What does McGatlin mean by "purification"? He begins by explaining that this "purification" will return the earth to a pre-Fall condition:

"It begins with the purification of the 'ekklesia,' the called-out assembly of the people of God. It is a return to the fullness of the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven, as it was before the fall of Adam. It is a shift from the thousands of years of man ruling the world by the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It is the return to the ruling by Christ the King through the Holy Spirit from the tree of life. It is the beginning of the end of the man-focused church age and the beginning of the age of the kingdom of God. The shift from church to kingdom requires a major cleansing of the land before the new 'City of God' can be fully established.

"The completion of this shift may take thousands of years or a few centuries or only decades. Yet, it is the plan and purpose of God and has now come into view and will come to pass. The glory of God will cover the earth and every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. The kingdom of God shall reign on earth and the will of God will be done on earth as it is in heaven. The mature Sons of God will rule and reign with Him and the now groaning creation will rejoice in the salvation of our God." [emphases added]

This is pure Manifest Sons of God/Latter Rain/Joel's Army heretical doctrine, which is being applied to the concept of a New Apostolic/Second Reformation.

McGatlin continues with a stunning description of the "purification" that must take place:

"Those who will not come and will not be purified will not enter the holy city of God, the New Jerusalem. There will be no place found for those who come another way by another god or a religion. The people who name the name of Jesus and claim His blood bought salvation as a covering for their continued walking in the lust of the eyes and the pride of life will have no part in the New-Jerusalem lifestyle in the kingdom age. Eventually billions of people across the earth must be purified or removed that the earth may be purified for the kingdom of God to fully reign on earth as it is in heaven. The glory of God shall fill the whole earth."[emphases added]

Of course, in the New Apostolic Paradigm, it is necessary for so-called prophets and apostles to be set up in a hierarchical position of governance. McGatlin describes their role in this "purification":

"Now in the re-establishment of the kingdom of God on earth the powerful ministry of humble apostles is again being sent forth to do the work of massive change. … Powerful, humble apostles are required to bring forth the return to the foundations of the kingdom of God concept." [emphasis added]

McGatlin then explains that the old Bible must be "washed away" and replaces by a new "word," which presumably these self-anointed, self-appointed apostles will claim to have from God.

Much of the church-age religious doctrines must be washed away and replaced with the word of the kingdom that cannot be received in a heart-soil filled with the religious rocks and hardened soil of previous convictions. The faithful church member that adheres to their religious doctrines cannot receive the word of the kingdom and grow it to fruition. The soil of the heart must be cleared and healed for the kingdom seed to grow. This level of significant and sometimes traumatic change requires the gifting of the apostles to see first and bring forth revelation that is not yet visible to others. The foundational changes are first in the apostles and then passes to the prophets, shepherds, evangelists, and teachers. This is not a superiority; it is only an area of gifting for service." [emphases added]

These quotations speak of an incredible evil. They are never, ever to be mistaken for the pure Word of God or true Christianity! If you are reading this column and flirting with the doctrines of dominionism, we plead with you to flee this heresy. For the end conclusion of dominionism, which has just been explained in this candid description by Ron McGatlin, is brutal and horrific.

These words approximate the sinister "selection process" (i.e., "purification") described by Barbara Marx Hubbard and other Theosophical New Age leaders. The only difference is that McGatlin doesn't use the word "evolution." He uses the term "progressive reformation" instead. Hubbard has stated in her book The Revelation (Nataraj Publishing, 1995) that:

"After the selection process, you will be born to the next stage of evolution. There will be a New Heaven, a New Earth, a new body and a new consciousness for all who survive." (p. 261)

"By your acts you shall judged as to whether you can evolve, or must be 'cast into the lake of fire,' which is the second death.' (p. 254)

The Truth:

"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." (1 Corinthians 15:50)

"But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." (2 Peter 3:7)

"Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness." ( 2 Peter 3:17)

Friday, July 14, 2006

What is Structural Revival?

Rick Warren began his famous book The Purpose-Driven Life (Zondervan, 2002) by stating his philosophy that

"The Bible is clear that God considers 40 days a spiritually significant time period. Whenever God wanted to prepare someone for his purposes, he took 40 days:… "(p. 9)

It is therefore significant that Warren's most recent trip to the far east is patterned after the 40-day model. A June 27 BeliefNet article by Sarah Price Brown, "Rick Warren to Preach in Communist North Korea," explained:

"Warren, author of the bestselling book, "The Purpose-Driven Life," said he would make the trip as part of a nearly 40-day journey to meet with the leaders of 13 foreign countries.

"'I want to ask you to pray for me,' Warren told about 5,000 worshippers at his Saddleback Church on Sunday (June 25). He said he would be embarking on a 'grueling' tour, meeting with presidents, business leaders and pastors in countries such as Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Rwanda and South Korea, where he would preach at the world's largest church.

"And then, he told the crowd, 'I've received another invitation.' Warren said North Korea would allow him to preach in a stadium seating 15,000, but that he could preach in a larger venue if he could fill the seats." [emphasis added]

Reporting on his trip, the Christian Post said yesterday, in an article by Lillian Kwon entitled "Rick Warren Kicks Off Purpose Driven Conference in South Korea," that:

"In his first lecture, 'Raise a Purpose Driven Church, at this week's conference at Yoido, Warren emphasized that a church must become purpose-driven to grow healthy. He further explained four phases for a revival to occur – personal revival, relational revival, revival with a purpose and structural revival. Among those, many churches get stuck at the third phase – revival with a purpose – and therefore cannot grow."

"There are five biblical mandates Warren extracted from the Bible. They include service, ministry, evangelism, fellowship and training. The Church does not only serve as a place for worshipping and building friendships, but it exists to change the world, Warren continued. He said that only churches that experience revival with a purpose can accomplish structural revival and thus grow to be healthy churches." [emphases added]

What is this structural revival that Rick Warren is talking about?

Structural revival is connected with the New Apostolic Reformation/2nd Reformation agenda. Structural revival may be interchangeably used with the phrase structural reformation and structural transformation. It has to do with the transformation of church structures into a globally networked, hierarchical, apostolic entity -- a cellular structure based on apostles who are positioned in authority over regions of the world and areas (spheres) of influence.

Structural revival also has to do with the concept of transforming nations, the dominionist ideal that the kindgom of God must be built on earth. Rick Warren's statement that the church "exists to change the world" fits into this context.

Ron & Barbara McGatlin of write more openly than any other of the self-proclaimed apostles about what will be involved in building the kingdom of God on earth. Although they have some public differences with C. Peter Wagner and his crowd they continue to promote him and his NAR. They are notable for preaching a particularly virulent form of dominionism. In their IRN News Digest of 08-27-05, they cover the topic of Revival/Reformation. In an article by David Orton, "The New Reformation - Its Spirit & Structure, Part 2" he explains that "the crux of the current reformation" must be:

"The spiritual unveiling of Christ as Priest triggered revolutionary structural reformation, likewise the revelation of Christ as King. Christ revealed as Priest cut off the human priesthood at the knees, and so the revelation of Christ as King will cut off the human kingship at the neck." [emphasis added]

The International Christian Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) is a dominionist-oriented organization which works closely with many marketplace transformation initiatives. The ICCC "Market Calling" newsletter (June 2004, page 4) stated:

"Can a nation be changed? Absolutely! This is the task for which we have been commissioned by the Lord Himself: to disciple all nations. (Matthew 28:18-20) Changing nations involves the same dynamics required to transform a person: a change of heart that translates into structural transformation." [emphasis added]

Rick Warren's highly-touted 40-day trip is apparently launching a new phase of his ministry -- a structural revival -- one that is dominionist in its impact. It is beyond the scope of this discernment blog to investigate how this pertains to his foray into global politics, particularly the visit to North Korea. But by patterning his trip after the previous global diplomacy junkets of Billy Graham, Rick Warren is clearly attempting to set himself up as a global man of "peace." And his scary dominionist agenda, of which the media seems oblivious, is far removed from traditional biblical Christianity.

The Truth:

"Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity." (Isaiah 40:21-23)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Must Read!

We couldn't have said it better ourselves. Don't miss this insightful analysis of Rick Warren's upcoming trip to North Korea.

Who's Using Whom For What In North Korea? by Paul Proctor

Monday, July 10, 2006


The following material was researched and compiled by Bud Press, Director of the Christian Research Service,, 7/9/06. This is must reading!

Deception in the Databases

About three years ago, Christian Research Service (hereinafter CRS) began what turned out to be a large-scale, time-consuming project to research, document, and inform the Christian bookstore industry about the non-Christian authors and materials that had infiltrated both walk-in and online Christian bookstores worldwide.

What began as a small handful of authors, eventually developed into a MASTER LIST, which has now expanded to approximately 15 pages of documentation (now in PDF). Every author and book contained on the list is from an online or walk-in Christian bookstore--or both. Not one author or book has been compiled from a secular bookstore.

As proof, one online Christian bookstore, Books for Christians, is a one-stop shopping mega-center for the New Age Movement, Spirit Guides, Channeling, ESP, Tarot Cards, Witchcraft, Zen Buddhism, Lesbian Studies, homosexuality, yoga, Buddhism, Shamanism, and more.

Then, there is, "the online home of Christian Book Distributors," whose "basic goals and principles" are to "offer customers the very best in Christian products at the best prices and with the best service around" (Company Profile).

But along with "the very best in Christian products," advertises and promotes the very best in non-Christian products, such as:

False Prophet/False Teacher
More False Prophets/False Teachers
Contemplative Prayer/Spirituality
Feminism and Kabbalah
New Age Movement
Homosexuality ("Openly homosexual Rev. Peter J. Gomes, the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard University, also insists on reinterpreting the Sodom and Gomorrah story. In The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Heart and Mind, which argues for Christianity’s acceptance of homosexuality, Gomes says that even Jesus 'was under the impression that Sodom was destroyed because it lacked hospitality.'" Refer to "Sodom's solemn warning," AFA Journal, Nov/Dec 2003).
You Can Do! (includes yoga video)
Advanced Yoga, DVD
10 Minute Solution DVD (includes yoga)
Ultimate Senior Fitness Collection DVD (includes yoga)
The Firm: Power Yoga, DVD
Yoga for Christians
Mindful Moments for Stressful Days (includes information on yoga, aromatherapy, and feng shui)
Aromatherapy Massage from Head to Toe
Upanisads, Translated (Hindu scriptures)
The Rig Veda (Sanskrit hymns)
Encyclopedia of Buddhism

Indeed, it's enough to make one's skin crawl.

Over the years, CRS has contacted and provided documented information to Books for Christians and, as well as major distributors, publishers, presidents and representatives, owners, managers, and employees of other major online and walk-in Christian bookstores worldwide. Officials within the Christian Booksellers Association and National Religious Broadcasters were also contacted and provided with the information.

Most were polite and complementary, and gave assurances that major changes would take place. However, while changes have taken place, the MASTER LIST continues to grow, with additional names and books added on a regular basis.

But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22).

Because of the research and documentation that has been made available to the Christian bookstore industry and to the body of Christ, CRS has been asked numerous times, Are there any online Christian bookstores that CRS recommends? The answer is No. This is due to the fact that once-removed authors and their materials have a way of returning to haunt the online bookstores and their databases. Therefore, CRS does not and cannot recommend any online Christian bookstore, or the expensive "Affiliate Program" that many of them offer.

He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it (Titus 1:9).

For example, once they were informed, most of the major online Christian bookstores wasted no time in removing certain authors and books from their websites, but allowed other like-minded authors and books to remain. Of course, an author's popularity and sales contributes to the "bottom line" and survival of a bookstore--even at the sacrifice of solid Biblical teachings and the welfare of Christians and those sincerely searching for the real Jesus Christ.

This is a sad, tragic legacy to those who, when presented with the facts, continue to openly and defiantly advertise, promote, and sell books written by the false prophets and false teachers of our day. They follow the tune of a different drummer, and boldly resist the clear-cut commands and warnings of Scripture:

If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain (1 Timothy 6:3-5).

And people scratch their heads, shrug their shoulders, and wonder if God is executing righteous judgement upon the Christian bookstore industry, by allowing it to self-destruct within its own self-absorbed world of compromise.

He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day (John 12:48).

But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world (1 Corinthians 11:32).

This is what happens when Christians compromise the faith, and open the doors of their Christian bookstores to the heretics, false prophets, cultists, occultists, lesbians, and homosexuals.

Christian bookstores are frequented by individuals from all walks of life--every race, religion, creed, and color--all of whom Jesus Christ suffered and died for. With a mission-field at their doorsteps, Christian bookstores have a wonderful opportunity to be light in the midst of darkness; truth in the midst of deception; and love and compassion in the midst of violence and hatred.

But when was the last time you walked into a Christian bookstore and had an employee ask if you know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? When was the last time an employee demonstrated more concern about your spiritual welfare than selling a book, an item of jewelry, a statue of "Jesus" holding a lamb, or the latest album from a heavy metal/hard rock band?

Where is the real emphasis? The appearance of the bookstore? Marketing? Sales and service? Bottom line? Or, is the emphasis on Jesus Christ, the truth of His word, and defending the faith? While many would be quick to say, Jesus Christ, the ongoing trend seems to place emphasis on everything except Jesus Christ.

For example, the International Christian Retail Show 2006 is billed as the "largest Christian retail event of the year," and is scheduled to be held on July 9-13 in Denver, Colorado. The ICRS 2006 is promoted by the Christian Booksellers Association, and will include Training and Workshops for the estimated "thousands of aspiring professional Christian retailers and hundreds of leading suppliers" expected to attend (Ibid.).

But after a close look at the ICRS 2006 Training and Workshop page, apparently, not one Training session or Workshop is devoted to:

* teaching Christian bookstore owners, managers, and employees the importance of putting books and materials to the Biblical test, and not compromising God's holy word under any circumstances;

* encouraging those within the Christian bookstore industry not to compromise the faith by catering to authors and books that promote non-Christian beliefs and religions;

* to deny authors, books, and materials that are in opposition to God's word from entering their stores;

* apologetics, cult-evangelism, guarding the spiritual welfare of the believer, and defending the faith;

* witnessing to the lost, and gaining discernment through the study of God's word;

* placing emphasis on the salvation of the lost, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, repentance, Bible study, and that there is a real hell and eternal separation from God.

Despite the fact that the Christian bookstore industry has seen its better days, it is slowly but surely dying. Much of the emphasis seems to be on motivating bookstore owners to produce more sales through new and improved/sure-fire marketing techniques. In other words, the survival of the industry and the overall "bottom line" (the financial aspect) is foremost.

But instead of putting a band-aid on a deadly wound, Christians' within the Christian bookstore industry need to return to their first love, Jesus Christ, Who said:

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine,
you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit,
for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned
(John 15:4-6).

Returning to Christ, repenting, and following His teachings and commands of Scripture is the true "bottom line," because the time will come when every Christian will kneel before Jesus Christ, and give an account of what he or she did as a Christian:

But the real "bottom line" is this:

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences (2 Corinthians 5:10-11).

Every Christian will kneel before Jesus Christ, and give an account of what they did as a Christian. This will not be the time for excuses, and placing blame on others. We can fool each other, but we can't fool God.

But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you (Galatians 2:4-5).

There is a counterfeit Jesus, counterfeit gospel, counterfeit spirit, and savage wolves roaming the shelves and databases of the Christian bookstore industry (2 Corinthians 11:3-4; Galatians 1:6-9; Acts 20:27-31). But the good news is that Christians serve the Almighty God, and we don't have to yield in subjection to them, not for one hour, one minute, or even one second.

For further information, articles, letters, and news releases concerning the Christian bookstore industry, go to Christian Research Service's "Christian Bookstores?" page at .

Researched & Compiled by:
Bud Press, Director
Christian Research Service
Jude 3

Friday, July 07, 2006

Part 3: The Myth of a Laity-Driven Movement

"Central to Rick Warren's strategy is the involvement of the local church. Pastor Warren understands that the solution to Africa's plight rests in bottom-up rather than top-down change. Accordingly, Warren calls for the local church to channel and export expertise to African communities to help them set up and operate clinics, businesses, churches, and schools."
(Regis Nicoll, "The Challenge of Africa," 7/6/06

The local church is going to be used as a "delivery system" for worldwide social, political, economic, religious and marketplace transformation. This delivery system will function much like a mutli-level networking organization. As in any other pyramid operation it is hierarchical, operating from the top and filtering down through grassroots agencies. This is the cellular structure of the New Apostolic Reformation.

Rick Warren is organizing one of the world’s largest volunteer “armies” of “one billion foot soldiers” to implement his global P.E.A.C.E. Plan. In an article on the topic entitled "The Church -- the greatest force on earth" dated Dec. 19, 2005, Warren explained the logistics of how and why the church would be the perfect vehicle. In a section subtitled "The Church provides for the widest distribution," Warren explains:

"The Church is everywhere in the world. There are villages that have little else, but they do have a church. You could visit millions of villages around the world that don't have a school, a clinic, a hospital, a fire department or a post office. They don't have any businesses. But they do have a church. The Church is more widely spread -- more widely distributed -- than any business franchise in the world."

Professor Johan Malan from South Africa, commented on this ambitious plan:

"Warren bases his ambitious plan on the capacity of the Christian church to change the world. He says: 'I personally believe that the terrible problems of Africa are not solvable by governments. I believe that only the church can solve them, because only the church has the most distribution channels in the world. There are churches in villages where you don’t have schools or clinics or hospitals. We also have the biggest army. We’ve got a billion foot soldiers and we have the promise of the power of God. We have the biblical mandate and the command of God and we have the moral authority to do it.'

"… How…does Rick get to the figure of one billion foot soldiers that are available for mobilisation to advance the Christian cause in Africa and the rest of the world? Who are they and what are their real convictions and objectives?"

This use of the church as a global distribution agency is particularly interesting in light of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Rwanda, the nation in Africa which is the first "purpose-driven nation," is also noted for having "one of the best MDG achievement records on the continent." However, a key facet to the implementation of the MGDs across the earth is a new definition of decentralization which means that local governments bypass state and national authorities to work with a global entity. In other words, the top-down control is now shifting to a global operation.

A revealing "Interview with Carol Welch, US Coordinator for the Millennium Campaign, UN Habitat, World Urban Forum 3" is posted on-line, which sheds more light on how this operation will work. Welch stated:

"The Millennium Campaign where I work and where Eveline [Herfkens] works in a UN initiative to promote the Millennium Development Goals. We primarily work with citizen based movements like churches and United Nations associations and groups. Youth organizations like the scouts are quite active in some countries and now also increasingly as you see here more local authorities like mayors and heads of regional government and things like that. Uh, in their efforts to hold their own governments accountable to the Millennium Development Goals most of the policy changes that need to happen to meet the goals will happen at a national level but our premise is that the national level actions doesn’t happen unless citizens at the grassroots get involved if you want to see change."

The "ONE Campaign: To Make Poverty History," which Rick Warren has endorsed, links directly to the international effort to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals. The fact is that many evangelical mission groups are now connected to this agenda. Mission Frontiers, a missionary publication which has been on the cutting edge of reinventing Christianity for the past several decades -- particularly dominionism -- published an article in July/August 2005 by Darrell Dorr entitles "Who Cares about the Millennium Development Goals?" Dorr explained the overall context in which churches and mission groups can work to implement these Goals:

"…[T]he UN and others are appealing to non-governmental organizations or 'civil society organizations' (CSOs) -- which include mission structures -- to not remain aloof from the MDGs, but to take their place as necessary partners in dialogue and development, even if only through vigorous critiques. For example, the Millennium Project 'how-to' plan of January 2005 notes, 'Within countries, CSOs can contribute to MDG-based poverty reduction strategies in at least four ways: publicly advocating for pressing development concerns, helping design strategies to meet each target, working with governments to implement scaled-up investment programs, and monitoring and evaluating efforts to achieve the Goals. Internationally, CSOs can also mobilize and build public awareness around the Goals, share best practices and technical expertise with governments, and deliver services directly."

Obviously, this article makes it quite clear that this not a laity-driven movement. But it is important to read on. There is another agenda at work here, too -- one which has everything to do with dominionism:

"In addition, mission structures can utilize the MDG processes to clarify their distinctive perspectives on the roots and fruits of international development. The Millennium Project report observes, 'The Goals constitute a minimum set of objectives that the global community has agreed to. In several country contexts, they can provide the basis for more ambitious national objectives. Strategies to achieve them may also require a broader set of inputs than specified by the MDG targets and indicators…. (emphasis mine). For example, the MDGs lean heavily on the vital prerequisite of 'good governance' in developing societies. Don't evangelical mission structures have much to say about where good governance originates and what it looks like -- and where personal and social transformation originate and what expressions they can be expected to take?… Frontier mission sows the seeds of far-reaching transformation, not merely incremental development.

During September 12-15 the Evangelical Fellowship of Mission Agencies [EFMA, ed.], the Association of Evangelical Relief and Development Organizations, and the International Society of Frontier Missiology are conducting joint deliberations in Denver on 'Synergistic Kingdom Advance Among the Least and the Lost.'" (pp. 14-15) [bold emphases added]

The suggestion that mission groups might sow the "seeds of far-reaching transformation," particularly in a publication that first launched the mission dominionism movement, is especially disquieting. Mission Frontiers is inextricably interconnected with the New Apostolic Reformation, and in fact has served as the vanguard intellectual organ of this movement for decades.

The question must be asked: What possible unity is there with the dominionist "Synergistic Kingdom Advance" agenda and the UN Millennium Development Goals?

The Truth:

"Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." (Jude 21-23)