Thursday, January 29, 2009
In fact, most people prefer that we shoot straight with them in the first place. We need to show them the Law and then the Grace. If they don't get the bad news first, they may not understand that the good news is the Good News. -Chris
To learn more on Law and Grace go to The Way of the Master website.
For more information on this topic, see archives.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Post modernist: "There is no such thing as truth"
Our answer: "Is that true?"
Monday, January 19, 2009
The apostle Paul went to great lengths to warn the Corinthians not to be deceived by a "Jesus" that wasn't Jesus Christ the Son of God, a spirit that wasn't the Holy Spirit and a gospel that was not the true biblical Gospel (2 Corinthians 11:4). Throughout the New Testament, believers are continually warned not to be deceived by spiritual teachings and experiences that are not from God. Jesus Christ specifically warned his disciples that spiritual deception would be a sign of the end (Matthew 24:3-4).
Today it is very sad to see so many believers falling under the influence of the same spirit that influenced me when I was in the "new age." This spirit says that it is a time for "breakthroughs" and for the fulfillment of our "destiny"; that there is something "new" and exciting in the wind. This teaching claims that we are in the midst of a great "transition" that will result in a "paradigm shift," and that through "new revelation" and "personal experience" God is in the process of taking the church to a "new dimension" and to a whole "new level." Many Christian leaders these days are so sure that what they are hearing and experiencing is from God, they are rarely testing the spirits, or even considering the possibility that they are being deceived.
The first century Bereans tested their leaders and tested their teachings as they "searched the scriptures daily" to see "whether those things were so" (Acts 17:11). Apostles, prophets, pastors, and teachers were always subject to God's holy Word. "New revelation" never nullified nor superseded scripture. The Bereans were not impressed by supernatural power and spiritual experiences that had not been tested by the Word of God. They did not depend on signs and wonders and miracles. They depended on the authority and reliability and trustworthiness of Scripture:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16)Paul taught that if he or anyone else preached any other gospel--"new revelation" or otherwise--that person should be completely disregarded (Galatians 1:8). The Bible warns over and over again that we should not allow ourselves to be influenced or intimidated by teachings that originate not from God but from the spirit world and from the hearts of men. "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils" (1 Timothy 4:1). "Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Mark 7:7).
What had been called "new age" is now being presented as "new gospel." These "new gospel" teachings are not new and have actually been around for centuries in one form or another. Whether it was ancient gnosticism, the occultic teachings of Helena Blavatsky (1831-1891) and Alice A. Bailey (1880-1949), or the present day "new gospel" channelings, the bottom line has always been the same--everyone is a part of God.
According to the "new gospel," Christ is not a person. It is an office. The "new gospel" teaches that while Jesus of Nazareth occupied the office during His active ministry, He no longer holds that same position. Today the office of "Christ" is occupied by someone else. And this "someone else" is presently in the process of establishing contact with humanity.
This "Christ" intimates that he is already in the world awaiting mankind's call. "Concerned" that humanity is in peril and facing possible extinction, this "Christ" explains that his "new gospel" will unify the world's major religions and bring peace to the world. He has communicated these "new gospel" teachings to his designated teachers, who in turn are now conveying these same teachings to the rest of the world.
This "reinvented" Christ of the "new gospel" teaches that all of humanity is the body of Christ. He, as the "Christ," is the head. This "Christ" states humanity's dilemma is that we have forgotten who we are. We are not "sinners" separate from God. We are all part of the one body of Christ and the one body of God. Salvation does not come by grace from accepting Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Rather it is achieved--when we accept ourselves as Christ and when we accept ourselves as God.
The "new gospel" teaches that when humanity collectively accepts and experiences itself as being a part of Christ and a part of God, we not only save ourselves, we save our world. The "Christ" of the "new gospel" warns that the hour is late. Peace must come. He will help. He has a plan. But everyone must play their part.
With "new revelation," often accompanied by direct personal spiritual experience, people are being taught that because they are a part of God they are actually "at-one" with God and all creation. This "new gospel" teaches when people have what is described as their "God potential" or "Christ within" supernaturally "activated," they actually experience themselves as a part of the "one body" of God which is all mankind. As these same people unite and join together in remembering and experiencing their "oneness" with God and with each other, they feel they are doing the "work" that is necessary to prepare the way for Christ's return. (from Reinventing Jesus Christ, by Warren Smith)
****Please check out Warren Smiths FREE online book Reinventing Jesus by clicking here. It's amazing to see some of the things going on in the name of "Christianity" that is ignored in the name of unity. This book along with "Deceived on Purpose" really opened my eyes to the dangers of the New Age mind set. For more on Warren Smith's ministry check out the Lighthouse trails website.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Here is a video from their site of John Piper preaching his heart out (as he always does), that being a Christian is not a bed of roses (as some would want us to believe), in fact it can be marked with suffering. That's not to say there won't be joy and peace, but if we're living for Him, and not for the world, there will be some form of persecution and in that we should rejoice.
Are you living for Him or trying to impress the world? I know I'm guilty..... Will you join me in 2009 and pray that we are a better witness for the One who redeemed those of us who have repented of our sins and trusted in Him for our salvation. And if you haven't fully trusted Him.....why not? -Chris
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Please see previous article below that ties into this video.
Oprah, Oprah, Oprah.... Where to start?
Have you heard of Oprahanity? Oprah's church has the largest congregation in America. Millions of women (and some men) tune in daily to her show which hosts New Age guests on a regular basis, she has a popular New Age magazine, she has a hudge audience for her brainwashing New Age podcasts featuring creepy mystic gurus like Eckhart Tolle and Marianne Williamson, and is soon to have her own network (all Oprah-all the time). Just great isn't it?
She is slowly and systematically opening up America to NewAge terms and ideas and yet claiming to be a Christian. There is so much out there on Oprah that exposes her false doctrine, but this article by Marsha West sum's her up pretty good in this article from newswithviews.com
I will also post a video to follow it up with Oprah in her own words. Then if I can get caught up, I will post a great article on the church and the New age and what we as Evangelicals need to be looking out for in our churches. Believe me it's there and it's hiding in small group "book studies" and other unsuspecting places.
PS: Please forgive Marsha for her opening jab at Star Wars.....(although there is truth to her statement). Does that mean I have to quit playing Jonathan's Star Wars Leggo game for the Wii?
Surely not... : )
OPRAH SHIFTS TO THE DARK SIDE
By Marsha West
May 3, 2008
Notorious New Ager George Lucas's wildly popular Star Wars movies abound with occult themes. In Return of the Jedi, dissident Jedi warrior Anakin Skywalker fell to the dark side of the Force and became the evil Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader. Likewise, Oprah Winfrey has fully shifted to the dark side and is a full-fledged New Age spiritual leader and occultist. Make no mistake about it: as with Vader, Oprah is fully aware that she has made The Shift.
As I pointed out in my article, Emergent Church Spreading Spiritual Cancer:
"In 1987 she read the late Eric Butterworth's book 'Discover the Power Within You.' His book changed how Oprah looked at life and religion. She was convinced that Jesus didn't come to teach us about His divinity, as the Bible teaches, but to teach us about our divinity!…She recommended Butterworth's book to her audience and sales soon skyrocketed."
In 1992 Oprah began her promotion of A Course in Miracles. She was so taken by the book's decidedly occult message that she bought a thousand copies and distributed them to her friends and others. The Course, as it is called, has undermined Christianity more than just about any other published work. Shockingly thousands of study groups have utilized the Course in churches around the globe.
Who wrote A Course In Miracles?
Dr. Helen Schucman, an atheist and psychologist, wrote the Course under the direction of an "inner voice" that purported to be Jesus. The Voice spoke to her one day and said, "This is a course in miracles. Please take notes." The inner dictation came mentally and clearly. Almost daily she listened to the voice and took shorthand dictation. At every new session she was able to continue exactly where she left off. She admitted that the strange phenomenon made her uncomfortable, yet she chose to continue the dictation for seven years. You will not be surprised to learn that Dr. Schucman dabbled in New Thought metaphysics and the occult.
What does the Course teach?
"The Course simultaneously indoctrinates its students in Eastern metaphysics and human potential psychicism, while it specifically insulates them against biblical revelation and true Christianity. In achieving this end, its manipulation of psychological and emotional states is impressive, it offers carefully thought-out spiritual exercises, one for every day of the year."
Marianne Williamson, prominent New Ager and senior pastor of Church of Today in Warren, Michigan, began teaching the Course on "Oprah and Friends" on XM Radio, January 1, 2008 and will cover 365 lessons. You might say it's a devotional for New Agers. Former New Ager and author Warren Smith provides the following examples of what you'll find in the lessons: "Lesson #29 asks you to go through your day affirming that 'God is in everything I see.' Lesson #61 tells each person to repeat the affirmation 'I am the light of the world.' Lesson #70 teaches the student to say and believe 'My salvation comes from me.'"Click here for complete article
Sunday, January 11, 2009
- Galatians 5:9
The Shack is being described as a “Christian” novel and is currently ranked number one on the New York Times bestseller list for paperback fiction. Many believers are buying multiple copies and giving them to friends and family. The Shack reads as a true story, but is obviously allegorical fiction. The book conveys postmodern spiritual ideas and teachings that challenge biblical Christianity – all in the name of “God” and “Jesus” and the “Holy Spirit.” Author William P. Young’s alternative presentation of traditional Christianity has both inspired and outraged his many readers. All the while his book continues to fly off the shelves of local bookstores.
Much like New Age author James Redfield’s book The Celestine Prophecy, The Shack is a fictional vehicle for upending certain religious concepts and presenting contrary spiritual scenarios. Allegorical novels can be a clever way to present truth. They can also be used to present things that seem to be true but really are not. Some books like The Shack do both.
I was drawn into the New Age Movement years ago by books and lectures containing parabolic stories that were not unlike The Shack. They felt spiritually uplifting as they tackled tough issues and talked about God’s love and forgiveness. They seemed to provide me with what I spiritually needed as they gave me much needed hope and promise. Building on the credibility they achieved through their inspirational and emotive writings, my New Age authors and teachers would then go on to tell me that “God” was “in” everyone and everything.
I discovered that author William P. Young does exactly the same thing in The Shack. He moves through his very engaging and emotional story to eventually present this same New Age teaching that God is “in” everything.
But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me first provide some background material concerning this key New Age doctrine that “God is in everything.” A good place to start is with Eugene Peterson, the author of the controversial Bible paraphrase The Message. After all, Peterson’s enthusiastic endorsement of The Shack is featured right under the author’s name on the front cover.
Please click here for entire article.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
There are several good articles that review the Shack, but I think this one by by Norman L. Geisler and Bill Roach lays it out in pithy paragraphs that gives us a great understanding of the problems with the Shack in light of Scripture.
I will also provide extra links to more in depth articles on this and other books soon, including the New Age language and implications that are hidden in this story. -Chris
Which reminds me, I want to give a shout out to Danny Turner at http://youngreformedtheologian.blogspot.com/
This young man is only eighteen years old and he get's it. Check out his blog where he has his own critique of the Shack (Danny-I have not read it all and will, but what I have read, you're right on).
I also want to say hello to Wayne Dawg at http://dawgonthelawn.blogspot.com/ This is a blog I have started following as of today! I didn't need long to realize that we have a lot in common. It is loaded and I look forward to checking out the archives. I recommend the "Are you ready?" video Wayne has and check out the Fish with Trish link. Thanks Wayne! Okay, back to the Shack......if we must. : )
The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity by William P. Young (Wind Blown Media, 2007, 264 pp) is a New York Times best seller with well over a million copies in print. Literally hundreds of thousands have been blessed by its message, but its message is precisely what calls for scrutiny. Responses to The Shack range from eulogy to heresy. Eugene Peterson, author of The Message predicted that The Shack “has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress did for his. It’s that good!” Emmy Award Winning Producer of ABC Patrick M. Roddy declares that “it is a one of a kind invitation to journey to the very heart of God. Through my tears and cheers, I have been indeed transformed by the tender mercy with which William Paul Young opened the veil that too often separated me from God and from myself.” (http://theshackbook.com/endorsements.html). People from all walks of life are raving about this book by unknown author “Willie” Young, son of a pastor/missionary, and born in Canada. He is a graduate of Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon.
The Background of the Book
The Shack is Christian fiction, a fast-growing genre in the contemporary Christian culture. It communicates a message in a casual, easy-to-read, non-abrasive manner. From his personal experience, Young attempts to answer some of life’s biggest questions: Who is God? Who is Jesus? What is the Trinity? What is salvation? Is Jesus the only way to Heaven? If God, then why evil? What happens after I die?
In the final section of the book titled “The Story behind THE SHACK,” he reveals that the motivation for this story comes from his own struggle to answer many of the difficult questions of life. He claims that his seminary training just did not provide answers to many of his pressing questions. Then one day in 2005, he felt God whisper in his ear that this year was going to be his year of Jubilee and restoration. Out of that experience he felt lead to write The Shack. According to Young, much of the book was formed around personal conversations he had with God, family, and friends (258-259). He tells the readers that the main character “Mack” is not a real person, but a fictional character used to communicate the message in the book. However, he admits that his children would “recognize that Mack is mostly me, that Nan is a lot like Kim, that Missy and Kate and the other characters often resemble our family members and friends” (259).
The Basic Story of the Book
The story centers around a note that Mack, the husband and father in the story, received from “Papa,” who is supposed to be God the Father. It reads, “Mackenzie, It’s been a while. I’ve missed you. I’ll be at the shack next weekend if you want to get together” (19). From this, the story moves through the personal struggles Mack has with such questions as: Why would someone send me this letter? Does God really speak through letters? How would my seminary training respond to this interaction between God and man? The story takes a turn when Mack’s son almost drowns while canoeing. During the chaos his daughter is abducted and eventually killed. This is what caused Mack to fall into what the book calls “The Great Sadness.” This time period is supposed to reflect his spiritual condition after the death of his daughter and the questions he has been asking for many years.
Grieved with the death of his daughter and the possibility that the note might be from God, Mack packs his bags and heads for the shack. The point of this journey is to suggest that his traditional teaching, Sunday prayers, hymns, and approach to Christianity were all wrong. He comes to the conclusion that “cloistered spirituality seemed to change nothing in the lives of people he knew, except maybe Nan [his wife]” (63). In spite of being an unlikely encounter with God, Young uses this fictional encounter as a vehicle for Mack’s spiritual journey and encounter at the shack.
While at the shack, Mack discovers that God is not what we expect Him to be. In fact, God the Father is a “large beaming African-American woman,” Jesus appeared to be “Middle Eastern and was dressed like a laborer, complete with tool belt and gloves,” and the Holy Spirit is named Sarayu, “a small, distinctively Asian woman.” The book identifies these three people as the Trinity (80-82). After trying to reconcile his seminary training with this new encounter with God, he concludes that what he had learned was of no help.
Click here for entire article.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
I only wish I had more time to comment on this, but work is waiting. I can only say...For the time is coming........... or should I say- For the time is here....mmmm, now I'm contemplating a name change for the blog.
www.forthetimeishere.blogspot.com Probably not, but it does make sense, the things posted are the here and now....just like scripture said it would. Amazing isn't it.
Please click on title for more heretical items at the A little Leaven blog.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
Please take the time and go to Apprising ministries and listen to the year in review that pastor Ken Siva has up from the Pirate Christian radio. It is really eye opening. Click on the above title for link. -Chris
In this edition of the Fighting for the Faith radio program Chris Rosebrough, who is also a writer with Christian Research Network, itself an outreach of Apprising Ministries, takes us through the highlights (maybe they should be called low lights) of the sad state of the apostate Christian church in America.
This is a sobering look at Christianity in America and at the end of the program Rosebrough offers us the one solution that can turn things around. Please take the time to listen and share this important program.