God’s Story

God’s Story  Gods Story

A review by Stuart Brogden

 

This book is subtitled, A Student’s Guide to Church History. As one who has greatly benefited from studying church history, I was most eager to read this book as I think all Christians would learn much that is helpful by such a study. In the introduction, Brian Cosby says “knowing church history helps explain our identity … helps explain the present … guards us from repeating mistakes … testifies to God’s powerful working as HIS STORY.” Studying church history done well will have much in common with the historical narratives in Scripture – showing the brute truth about God’s people: redeemed sinners who still struggle with sin and obey with less than perfection.

 

In chapters 2 – 10, our author provides a quick overview of the history of God’s people from Genesis through the Great Awakening, giving details that should whet the appetite of any young – or older Christian – to discover more about the providential care for His people in all ages.

 

The last couple of chapters provide a warning to all who might be drawn aside from the study of the Scriptures. Church history shows that those who do not cling to the Bible as the Word of God inevitably drift to using human wisdom to determine eternal outcomes. In the 11th chapter (they are not numbered), Cosby details four categories of abandonment of Scriptures as the rule for life and godliness, with shipwrecks of faith being the inevitable outcome. First, he describes revivalism, headlined by Charles Finney – who gave us altar calls and myriad “new measures”. Dispensationalism arrived at about the same time. Second, Cosby tells us about liberalism – which denies the inerrancy and inspiration of Scripture. This leads professing Christians to deny the virgin birth, the creation account, and pretty much anything essential to the Christian faith. He names people so we will recognize them when we read other documents, so we are properly warned. Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834) is known as the “Father of Modern Liberal Theology” and had many followers, including Henry Ward Beecher, Adolf von Harnack, Albrecht Ritschl, Harry Emerson Fosdick, Rudolf Bultmann, Paul Tillich, John Hick, and John Shelby Spong.

 

The third abandonment of Scripture is cults, which are typified by the Latter Day Saints and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Both of these cults have a heretical view of Jesus and the trinity, each has their own twisted version of the Bible. These factual departures from the Word of God does not stop millions of people from following these cults and leading many to a certain doom apart from Christ. The fourth and last category is evolution. I was happy to see this listed, as I have come to see this view as particularly incompatible with Christianity, yet accepted by many Christians who are too impressed by what men call science. There is no evidence of any evolutionary change in kinds – from non-dog to dog, etc. All the “proof experiments” document that environmental adaptation (known as micro-evolution) is common. Change in kind (macro-evolution) has never been documented, much less has evolution been shown to be the cause for the origin of any species.

 

The last chapter is a review of four influences in the 20th century that have encouraged or derailed many Christians: fundamentalism (reaffirming the essentials of the Christian faith), neo-orthodoxy (the Bible becomes the Word of God when used by God to draw a sinner to faith), Pentecostalism (a focus on experience rather than Truth), and evangelicalism (emphasizing the historic Protestant theological convictions). This last also brought a mixture of revivalism and new measures as churches experimented with different forms of entertainment worship.

 

This excellent book finishes with an exhortation from the author that should encourage every Christian, young or old:

 

As we look back through the history of the Christian church, we see God’s faithfulness to preserve his people in spite of their sin and rebellion against his truth. We see a great cloud of witnesses, generations of those who have embraced Christ by faith, beckoning us onward as we will one day be translated from the Church Militant to the Church Triumphant. And until that day comes, we pray, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus!”

 

I say amen!

 

This is a very good book, easy to grab hold of. Parents should put this in front of their children, read it with them and discuss the attributes of God and the sinfulness of man that are always on display. This latter ought remind that none but Jesus does helpless sinners good. Flee to Him. This book shows us the way.

BE STILL: CONTEMPLATIVE OR LISTENING PRAYER 7 PSALM 46:10

By Larry DeBruyn.

Bible Interpretation 101 teaches that every text without a context is pretext. Extracting Psalm 46:10 to be an endorsement of meditative-listening prayer is just such a pretext. Here’s why.

After reading Ephesians 1:15-23 (lectio divina, i.e. Latin for reading sacred things) at the Passion 2012 conference, and while standing on stage with the other keynote speakers beneath a giant screen reading Jesus, speak to me,
Beth Moore tells the audience:
Without any comment please, let’s pause and be still,
and ask Jesus to speak His word to us.
Held in Atlanta, GA, last January 1-3, at the Georgia Dome, and attended by over 42,000 college age youth, one can observe Lecrae (a converted rap and Hip Hop artist), Francis Chan, Louie Giglio and John Piper, along with thousands of youth, participating in the mystical practice of contemplative or “listening” prayer at Moore’s behest, and this despite the fact that Scripture provides no instruction or any illustration for engaging in such a “spiritual” activity.[1] 
“Be still, and know that I am God . . .” (Psalm 46:10)

Those promoting contemplative or “listening” prayer refer to this Scripture as a biblical endorsement for pursuing this spiritual discipline. As a precondition for experiencing Soul-to-soul communication from God, contemplative Christians advocate cultivating quietude for the purpose of creating a spiritual tabula rasa(i.e., Latin for blank slate) in which personal communication from God can be received. Influential Christian leaders and spiritual directors encourage listening prayer (praying without words) as a means to experience ”God’s guidance in everyday life.” At face value, Psalm 46 verse 10 appears to endorse this increasingly popular but ancient and mystical way to pray.

Read the rest of the article here.

BETH MOORE AND JOHN PIPER LEAD LECTIO DIVINA-LITE AT PASSION 2012

BETH MOORE AND JOHN PIPER LEAD LECTIO DIVINA-LITE AT PASSION 2012

By on Jan 6, 2012 in AM Missives, Current Issues, Features, Southern Baptist Convention Note: videos that should make you weep are on Ken’s web site at the link above.

Apprising Ministries has been warning for years concerning the evil effects of the neo-liberal in the Emerging Church aka the Emergent Church.

It’s an incontrovertible fact that right from its hatching in hell corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), such as that taught by Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster along with his spiritual twin and Southern Baptist minister Dallas Willard, was a core doctrine.

Spreading as a spiritual cancer throughout apostatizing evangelicalism, we even see that it’s slithered all the way into the New Calvinst neo-reformed camp e.g. as in Acts 29 Network And Reformed Counter Reformation Spirituality? One of the fruits of CSM is a blurring of doctrinal lines, which is particularly dangerous in this time of postmodernism and growing spiritual blindness.

It’s also giving rise to a rebirth of Pietism; this isn’t surprising when you consider that CSM flowered in the antibiblical monastic traditions of apostate Roman Catholicism. As the evangelical fad of CSM expands there’s a decided charismania also developing, which is producing a syncretism where Word Faith heretics like Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes are essentially considered mainstream now. With all of this has come more and more people claiming to have direct experience with God.

The end result is making the climate more condusive for things like Beth Moore Recommending “Jesus Calling” Book Claiming Direct Divine Revelation. This is the backdrop upon which to better see what’s happening as you watch the video clips to follow below from the Passion 2012 Conference. This conference has been going on in Atlanta, and was largely aimed at young adults and students.

Hosted by Louis Giglio, pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, Passion featured an interesting lineup of speakers such Francis Chan, Beth Moore and New Calvinist mentor John Piper. Not surpisingly the conference had a distinctive charismatic and even contemplative flair; e.g. prayer walking. After one session the crowd was urged to break into “love groups” and go out to pray and “take back the city of Atlanta.”

Years of emerging bombardment of pro-CSM propaganda aimed at younger sectors of the Christian community fired right out of evangelical publishing houses has also had much effect upon the broader culture of the more charismatic/emotion-driven side of the church visible as well. To serve as an illustration, below we have SBC Lifeway-sponsored Beth Moore praising an apostate (at best) Roman Catholic mystic and the crown jewel of CSM.

If you didn’t know, this is a form of meditation in an altered state of consciousness commonly known as Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP):

Moore’s admitted practice of some form of CCP, which is actually divination, has opened her up to even receive direct revelation and visions from God. Below from a 2002 series called Believing God, available right now at Lifeway’s website, Moore describes a vision God gave her concerning His Church.

Sounding not too unlike Word Faith wingnuts she tells us God took her into some kind of dimension where she was able to see the Body of Christ as Jesus sees it:

Apparently the Protestant Reformation was really some sort of horrible mistake because Moore’s Jesus sees the Roman Catholic Church as another Christian denomination. This becomes clear below as Moore demonstrates what she saw in her vision from God:

Yet despite this obviously false vision ten years ago, there was Beth Moore preaching to thousands alongside New Calvinists John Piper and Francis Chan. I guess we really should expect this because Piper has told us before: “I’m Happy To Learn From Beth Moore.”

Who knows, perhaps he even shares Moore’s view that men like John MacArthur are guilty of teaching extreme error in the Body of Christ:

By the way, the other extreme teaching in the Body of Christ that Beth Moore sees is what she calls “sensationalism.” Something I personally think she’s now become involved in. The CSM being dabbled with now in mainstream evangelicalism is producing a rebirth of Pietism; an emotional, sentimental, emotion-driven form of worship. What you saw at Passion 2012.

Christian apologist Bob DeWaay is dead-on-target as he explains:

Pietism is difficult to define because it can be taught and practiced in an unlimited number of ways. Some versions appear to be innocuous while others are so radical that most people would see that something is wrong. I now know that no version of pietism is actually innocuous. If a teaching is called pietism but teaches no more than what God has always used to sanctify Christians, then it is not really pietism. Real pietism always harms those who embrace it.

The essence of pietism is this: It is a practice designed to lead to an experience that purports to give one an elite or special status compared to ordinary Christians. The Bible addresses this error in the book of Colossians. The false teachers in Colossae claimed to have the secret to a superior Christian experience that would cause people to rise above the bad “fate” they feared. Paul went on to explain that they already had everything they needed through Christ and His work on the cross. Another way of stating this is: If after having fully trusted Christ’s finished work on the cross, you are told that you are still lacking something, you are being taught pietism.

Church history is littered with misguided pietistic movements. Many of them are linked with mysticism… Pietism can be practiced many ways including enforced solitude, asceticism of various forms, man made religious practices, legalism, submission to human authorities who claim special status, and many other practices and teachings.
(Online source)

In closing this, for now, I’ll show you something that gives us real cause for concern in the seeming dangerous drift of Beth Moore and John Piper. Following are clips from Session 5 of Passion 2012 where we were to enter into the silence to let God speak to us, not only through Scripture, but directly inside of us as well. However, this is language actually straight out of CSM and can also refer to the TM-lite of CCP.

Beth Moore, John Piper et al each took turns reading from the Book of Ephesians; then they each would ask for silence and say something along the lines of: “Be still and let Jesus speak to you.” This is Beth Moore:

Now John Piper:

Finally, here’s Louis Giglio closing out Session 5. Any doubt about what’s been going on in the silence is dispelled at :20 below. To all but the most naive it will become clear to you that, contra the proper Christian spirituality of sola Scriptura, Giglio is talking about direct encounters with God in addition to Holy Scriptura:

“How many of you heard the voice of God speak specifically, clearly, directly, and personally, to you? Can you just put a hand up? I’d like you to share it. Can you put a hand up for a minute?

Just want you to look around; that’s people saying, “God Almighty (pause) the Maker of heaven (pause) the one Who’s sitting on the only throne (pause) that’s not under threat (long pause, audience cheers)—He spoke to me. He spoke to me.”

“God spoke to me.” (long pause) Don’t let the voice of the darkness, tell you that you are not (pause) worth (pause) that God would not speak to you. (pause) Don’t let him tell you, you don’t matter. (pause) God spoke to you.

Perhaps this is why more and more in the charismatic camp have been embracing the Roman Catholic Church as another Christian denomination; like Rome, they now also have the Bible…plus…

 

See also:

THE PUSH FOR A ROMAN CATHOLIC DENOMINATION AND THE SBC’S RUSSELL MOORE

CHARLES SPURGEON: THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH IS THE MASTERPIECE OF SATAN AND THE QUEEN OF INIQUITY

LET’S LOOK AT THE GOSPEL

New Age vs Christianity

New Age vs Christianity

 

Naturalism

New Age

Christianity

God God does not exist; belief in God results from superstition Pantheism: God is impersonal; is above good and evil; everything is God God is the triune, eternal, personal, almighty, sovereign, all-knowing, loving, just and holy Creator
Metaphysics The natural order is eternal, self-sufficient and uncreated. It is ultimately matter/energy The world is divine The world was created by God
Epistemology Human sense experience; the scientific method Truth lies within every human; it is attained through states and mystical consciousness Truth has objective standing; it is independent of human desire; functional view of truth is false. Humans can know because God created them as rational creatures
Ethics Ethics is relative Ethics is relative Ethics is not relative. The moral law grounded in the being of God
Humans Humans are highly evolved animals Humans are spiritual beings who are gods Humans are creatures made in the image of God
Basic Human Problems Superstition and ignorance Ignorance of our true human potential Sinners in rebellion against God
Solution to the Human Problem Scientific advancement and technology Transformation of consciousness Salvation by faith in the finished work of Christ
Death The end of human existence An illusion; the entrance to the next life The end of our earthly life; eternal life for the believer and eternal wrath for the unbeliever
Jesus Christ A merely human teacher One of many gurus or master teachers from history The unique incarnation of God; the only Lord and Savior

 

Taken from Worldviews in Conflict by Ronald H., Nash, pages 139 & 140; slightly modified.

Who is the Anti-Christ?

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” II Thessalonians 2:3 & 4

“The Pope is of so great dignity, and so exalted that he is not a mere man, but as it were God, and the vicar of God.” Ferraris Ecclesiastical dictionary 

“All names which in the Scriptures are applied to Christ, by virtue of which it is established that He is over the church, all the same names are applied to the Pope.”
On the Authority of the Councils, book 2, chapter 17

“The Pope and God are the same, so he has all power in Heaven and earth.” Pope Pius V, quoted in Barclay, Chapter XXVII, p. 218, “Cities Petrus Bertanous”.

“…the Pope is as it were God on earth, sole sovereign of the faithful of Christ, chief of kings, having plenitude of power.” Lucius Ferraris

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” II Corinthians 11:13-15

“The Pope takes the place of Jesus Christ on earth…by divine right the Pope has supreme and full power in faith, in morals over each and every pastor and his flock. He is the true vicar, the head of the entire church, the father and teacher of all Christians. He is the infallible ruler, the founder of dogmas, the author of and the judge of councils; the universal ruler of truth, the arbiter of the world, the supreme judge of heaven and earth, the judge of all, being judged by no one, God himself on earth.” Quoted in the New York Catechism.

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8

These words are written in the Roman Canon Law 1685: “To believe that our Lord God the Pope has not the power to decree as he is decreed, is to be deemed heretical.”

‘Father’ A. Pereira says: “It is quite certain that Popes have never approved or rejected this title ‘Lord God the Pope,’ for the passage in the gloss referred to appears in the edition of the Canon Law published in Rome in 1580 by Gregory XIII.”

And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.” Revelation 13:6

Writers on the Canon Law say, “The Pope and God are the same, so he has all power in heaven and earth.”

“The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, he is Jesus Christ himself, hidden under the veil of flesh.” Catholic National, July 1895

This is but a ‘drop in the bucket’ as to what information is out there that confirms the prophetic scriptures, that the ‘little horn’, the ‘beast’, the ‘man of sin’, the ‘son of perdition’ and the ‘Antichrist’ are none other than the Pope of Rome (a successive reign) throughout history.

Behold the ‘mystery of iniquity’ which has clouded the minds of the entire world, that Almighty God’s worst enemy upon the earth is lauded, praised and venerated [worshipped] by secular and ‘Christian’ leaders alike!

(posted by Bill Hoffmann, Belize, Central America on an Arminian blog)

Quotes (861)

“Anything that partakes of the nature of swamping our personality out of our control is never of God. Do we ever find a time in the life of our Lord when He was carried beyond His control? Never once. Do we ever find Him in a spiritual panic, crediting God with it? Never once; and the one great marvel of the work of the Holy Ghost is that the sanity of Jesus Christ is stamped on every bit of it.”

[...]

“Nowadays, people seem to have an idea that these ecstatic, visionary, excitable, lunatic moments glorify God; they do not, they give an opportunity to the devil. The one thing Jesus Christ did when He came in contact with lunacy was to heal it, and the greatest work of the devil is that he is producing lunacy in the name of God all over the world in the spiritual realm, making people who knew God go off on tangents…Beware of being carried off into any kind of spiritual ecstasy either in private or in public. There is nothing about ecstasy in these verses: ‘Thou shalt love the Lord they God with all thy heart.'”

Oswald Chambers
1874-1917

Quotes (814)

“The whole strength of the personal life, the personal spirit, is to be so gripped by the Spirit of God that we begin to comprehend His meaning. It is always risky to use a phrase with a fringe, a phrase that has a kernel of definite meaning but a fringe of something that is not definite. The way we get off on the fringe is by ecstasy, and ecstasies may mean anything from the devil to God. An ecstasy is something that takes us clear beyond our own control and we do not know what we are doing, whether we are being inspired by God or the devil, whether we are jabbering with angels’ tongues or demons’.

When you come to the words of Our Lord or of the apostle Paul the one great safeguard is the absolute sanity of the whole thing. “…that ye may be able to comprehend…and to know”–there is no ecstasy there, no being carried out of yourself into a swoon, no danger of what the mystics of the Middle Ages called ‘Quietism’, no dangers of losing the conditions of morality.”

Oswald Chambers
1874-1917