Connecting the Dots – Kundalini to New Evangelicalism

We have spent a great deal of time in the past addressing issues that are greatly affecting true, biblical Christianity. The problem today is that more and more people are being duped into believing that a myriad of wolves are preaching and teaching the truth.

Children love to play connect the dots. Connecting the dots allows them to see a picture take place by counting each number in sequence. If the numbers are not put together correctly, then the picture will be nothing more than a jumbled mess. In similar fashion, it is not hard to see the dots that are now connecting the false religions of the world with so-called Christianity. Let’s look at how these dots are not only connected, but still being connected on the stages of churches and church conferences.

Let’s look at the first dot on the page. Kundalini is a mystical power that has often been called the Hindu’s version of the Holy Spirit. Kundalini is purely demonic. There are many videos that can be found on the dangers of this system which also includes the use of yoga and the encouragement to followers to allow their minds to be emptied in order for peace to fill them.

Any true minister would point out the heresy of such a religious system!

The second dot makes a radical jump from the blatant heresy of Hinduism to charismatic churches. The connection of the second dot actually produces a sordid picture because it allowed the first vestiges of eastern religion into mainstream religious circles.

This second dot produced the same type of power and manifestations as found in Hinduism but was now connected with people like Rodney Howard Browne, Oral & Richard Roberts, the Toronto Movement, and the events from 2008 in Lakeland, Florida spearheaded by Todd Bentley and openly promoted by GodTV. Many others within the Word of Faith movement bought into the heresy in various ways which then opened up the door to further invasions of demonic activity. These individuals included Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyers, TD Jakes, Rick Joyner, John Crowder and others. In the meantime, people continue to be duped into believing that these crazy, demonic acts are somehow from God.

Any true minister would point out the heresy of such a religious system!

The third dot took things like Toronto Blessing and the Holy Laughter Movement and made slight and subtle changes so as to be included in a wider array of preachers and churches. This third dot saw a continuing growth of churches spring to life in a way that has been unparalleled in recent history. This growth produced a wide impact and sought to point out that these great visitations from God were also to be found outside of charismatic circles. This included groups like IHOP in Kansas City, Bethel Church in Redding, CA, Perry Noble of NewSpring Church, and Ed Young of Fellowship Church. Of course, experience became more valuable than doctrine and anybody that believed to the contrary was considered a judgmental evangelical.

Any true minister would point out the heresy of such a religious system!

The fourth dot that comes to light is that when doctrine is taken out of preaching, it is normally superseded not just by experiences but also by music which normally drives much of what is found in the vast majority of the mega-churches today. Because people are coming for the music or the experiences, they also want their ears to be tickled into believing that somehow they are “best buds” with God who will accept them the way they are and not demand any change. When experience becomes the vital entity in church, then churches will begin to hold hands with anybody else who holds to the same thing – all for the sake of the kingdom, of course! This then was further compounded by groups like Promise Keepers who held hands with ANYBODY. ALL were accepted in the name of love including Mormons, Roman Catholics, and all mainline denominations. And more swallowed the Kool-Aid. You see, this dot allows the inclusion of people like Louie Giglio and Mark Driscoll, and bands like Jesus Culture and David Crowder.

Any true minister would point out the heresy of such a religious system!

The fifth dot is the one that is probably the scariest. Discernment ministries have been pointing out the coming apostasy for a few decades and few took notice because they did not believe it would ever affect them. After all, that was only the kind of thing that happened in charismatic circles. The fifth dot made the connection to evangelical circles. The problem being that experience was becoming so important that even those within what would have been termed sound evangelicalism began jumping on board. Southern Baptists were soon swallowing the poison with ease by the likes of Beth Moore and Henry Blackaby, both of whom have crossed the line of sound doctrine into an acceptance of “whatever floats your boat works for me as well because we won’t judge what Jesus accepts or does not accept!”

People who just a few decades ago would never have listened or permitted a woman to speak have now crossed the line of full acceptance. These people who stand to preach now are pushing an agenda that comes right out of the pits of hell. Can we not see that the devil is not concerned about those who live a life of debauchery for he already has them in his grip? He is concerned with doctrine for this is what drives a church towards purity. If the devil can get the focus OFF of doctrine and onto music or experiences or unity in love, then he will see the vast introduction of further heresies into the church at large.

Experience is still driving the crayon across the page as the dots continue to be connected. This now brings us to the next connection which some may vehemently decry, but it is necessary to help in completing a picture for the true Berean Christian.

Any true minister would point out the heresy of such a religious system!

The sixth dot though helps us to see the truth of Paul’s writings when he tells us that in the last days, there will be a falling away. Those who are falling away are IN the church. They are not on the periphery, but are actually sitting in their cushioned chairs sipping their lattes listening with rapt attention to the drivel that falls from the lips of so-many so-called preachers of the gospel. The gospel being preached is devoid of truth, devoid of the biblical Jesus, is devoid of repentance, is devoid of the mention of sin, and is devoid of anything that would connect it with a Bride who is making herself ready for the return of the Bridegroom.

This dot, while scary, is actually the logical continuance of the fifth dot. What is scary though is those who have perpetuated the lie that there is no connection from themselves to the heresy that is damning the souls of millions to hell. Those in this dot are those who stand in front of tens of thousands and would openly endorse the teachings and heresies of those found under some of the other dots. A true minister continues to take a stand against heresy and will preach the truth no matter where he may be. He will not be concerned about book sales or larger followings for his megachurch. He will remain a SLAVE of Jesus Christ and will teach truth NO MATTER THE COST!

The problem we face with this sixth dot though is that there seem to be many who are jumping into this particular arena, and with a straight face, seek to convince their people that unity is vital and that “we will never compromise the truth.” However, when the error surfaces, the truth is spoken with a finely polished veneer that says “I will not condemn my brother or sister in the Lord!” Or, the truth will be spoken but with just enough double-speak to ensure that anybody in the audience can find approval with what is said. The hearer is given the opportunity to twist the Scriptures to mean whatever they want it to mean so that they can find endorsement for their sin before God.

This was recently seen at Passion 2013 when John Piper and Francis Chan refused to openly condemn heresy. This was seen by their sharing and enjoying the stage with those who preach a different gospel. Their message may have been truth at its core, but their refusal to take a stand poisoned the message to the point where any and all could come away feeling good about themselves or could come away thinking they had a good relationship with Jesus Christ.

Sadly, within the confines of the sixth dot are men who have been preaching the gospel and yet have failed miserably in standing for the truth. They willingly share the stage with proponents of everything ranging from those teaching slight error to heretics, who then share the stage with those who are openly heretics and opposed to Jesus Christ and biblical truth, who in turn then share the stage with the false religions of the world.

In this camp, the world sees John Piper preach one thing but live another. They see him holding hands with the Mark Driscolls and the Rick Warrens and the Louie Giglios and the Beth Moores of the church. They then see these people endorsing people even further afield to include Roman Catholicism and the New Age Mysticism that is so prevalent.

And the church wonders why we do not see true revival?????

The world connects the dots better than the church is doing. They see Roman Catholics holding hands with Presbyterians who are holding hands with Baptists who are holding hands with New Evangelicals who are holding hands with Word of Faith proponents who are holding hands with the demonic activities that are identical to what is found in Hinduism and who are in turn holding hands with Roman Catholicism. They see nothing different – just a different name.

The devil laughs while the church-at-large looks at the dots and thinks it portrays the kingdom of God. God looks at the dots and sees the rank apostasy that is being openly permitted – a rank apostasy that would never have been permitted just a handful of years ago.

So to summarize the picture that is appearing. It is not even subtle anymore, but is out in the open.

Dot 1 – Hinduism – Kundalini
Dot 2 – Charismania
Dot 3 – Church growth gurus promote numbers over truth
Dot 4 – Doctrine begins to disappear for the sake of “love”
Dot 5 – Experience trumps doctrine in new evangelical circles
Dot 6 – Evangelicals fall all over each other in order to line up with the wolves in the pulpits of the world.

Any true minister would point out the heresy of such a religious system!

A few final questions to ponder – Will Berean Christians swallow the bait? Will we allow ourselves to be duped into thinking that we can all just get along? Will we one day come to the point where the crucifixion cannot even be mentioned because that would be to condemn those who believe there are many roads to heaven? Will we continue to endorse those in Dot 6 because of who they are or will we refuse to follow their error knowing and realizing that the dots that connect one connect to each other and they all in turn – connect to hell from where the heresy all originally starts?

CONNECT THE DOTS!

Do you like the horror that is taking place on the page? Will you remain blind because you prefer the easy route? We do not need any more dots to see the dangers found in the picture. We need godly men and women who will stand for truth no matter what it takes or what it costs! The future of your church and mine depends on it.

CONNECT THE DOTS!

Gospel, Discernment, and Passion 2013!

It is my prayer that this post will prove to be a connection between the matters of presenting the gospel and that of the area of discernment among the body of Christ.

First, I note that each contributor has a different set of giftings for which I am very thankful. When The Pilgrim was the primary owner of the blog, we were blessed in the addition of good men who I believe continue to take Defending Contending in a solidly, biblical direction. Chris, who took over from The Pilgrim, has a huge heart for evangelism and outreach as does Bill Phillips. Manfred, Fourpointer, and Abiding Through Grace have helped to bring a solid reformed perspective to this part of the blogosphere. The Pilgrim and I set a tone for world missions and also the need of discernment in the Body of Christ.

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Yet, each contributor is only human. We make mistakes, and further, we all have areas of sin that the Holy Spirit has to work to correct in our lives. None of us have arrived, nor would we ever want to portray such a picture. As our long-time readers will remember, there are times that we have each had to ask forgiveness for something we wrote, maybe that was in haste or in anger. Through all of this we continue to move forward and desire to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ.

For the record, we are not always in agreement with our thought processes, nor with a particular point of doctrine that we seek to understand. However, there is no question that we all love the Savior and desire truth in the inward parts of our heart and soul. My fellow contributors may not even be in full agreement with this post, but I believe I can safely assert that we all have the same desires – purity in the church and a church that is fervent about spreading the gospel message!

Recently, both Chris and I have posted a few articles that have dealt with two areas that are not diametrically opposed to each other. Conversely, they are actually a very necessary part of how we are to operate within the confines of a local church setting. His approach and strong desire for the presentation of the gospel has been matched by my own desire to have a spirit of discernment as we present our case before the thousands of readers we see come to DefCon every week.

In the midst of this, some have questioned our decisions either to bring a spotlight on a pastor, or in not going far enough in our condemnation. This is my main reason for writing this, especially in light of what we are seeing take place at Passion 2013 right now in Atlanta, Georgia.

From a gospel perspective, I believe that if more people were being presented with a Christ-centered message versus a man-centered message that there would be far fewer who were in attendance. The problem with Passion 2013 is that those in attendance are being driven by emotion. Further, they are seeing this event being openly endorsed by men such as David Platt and Justin Taylor. This event is not only being endorsed by well-known ministers, but men who should know better are also involved in preaching there such as John Piper.

The question we are faced with is, “Does such an endorsement automatically place men like Piper, Platt, or Taylor under such a cloud that we have the right to call their salvation into question and classify them as unbelievers?”

This is where the discernment perspective must come in. There are wolves who have always sought to infiltrate the church of the spotless Lamb of God. There will always be wolves. There can be no doubt that the salvation of a person is a matter that ultimately can only be known between that individual and the Sovereign God of the Universe. However, the Scriptures make it abundantly clear that we can be fruit inspectors and that by the works of others we can have a clearer picture as to their spiritual condition or lack thereof.

Taking this to another level, we must also consider discipline as found in Matthew 18. First, we must recognize that discipline is to be practiced between fellow believers, but that some aspects can only be effected in a local church setting. As an example, if I have offended another brother contributor, I have the responsibility before God to make that right. However, should things heat up and we have a falling out, neither my church, nor the church where the fellow contributor is in fellowship, have the right to bring another under discipline if they are not a member or in fellowship with that particular assembly.

Therefore, for those who lack in discernment in evangelical circles, we at DefCon can only bring warnings to others. We cannot bring ultimate judgment against another. Further, many seek to use Matthew 18 to make the point that if we have not taken our grievances to that person in question that we have no right to make public our concerns. This also comes from a poor understanding of this passage. The level of discipline is first to be enacted and finalized at the level to which it is either private or public knowledge. For example, if a brother contributor and I have a disagreement and we resolve the matter without it going public in any form or fashion, it goes no further. Restoration has taken place.

However, a person who has a public ministry and has openly stated where he stands or is showing a lack of discernment has taken the matter to a public level. There is no more private conversations necessary for the testimony at stake is no longer just a personal one, but is a dispersion against the Bride of Christ before a lost world.

Either way, at no point, does Matthew 18 give us the freedom to state to the world that the person who is offending others is an unbeliever. We are told and given the right by Christ that if such a person goes all the way to the final step of discipline that they are to be placed outside of the protection of the local church. They are then to be TREATED as one who is an unbeliever. The entire process is to continue giving forth the message to them and seek to provide restoration. This was a primary purpose for the writing of 1 and 2 Corinthians. Matthew 18 was fully enacted, but 2 Corinthians was necessary for the church to see their error in not admitting the brother back into fellowship. In this case, the man in question was in grievous sin that was not even found among the amoral society of Romans. Yet, at no point in either book does Paul question this man’s salvation!

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So, let us look further at the events currently unfolding at Passion 2013. There are some there who are teaching another gospel and are openly teaching or practicing or promoting heresy. This, in my estimation, includes Louie Giglio. It also includes groups or individuals that are practicing doctrines of demons. This group would include David Crowder, Christy Nockels and the band Jesus Culture.

A thorough expose on these groups can be found at Apprising.Org, and I highly recommend any person with questions to go and read my Christian brother’s blog posts before making any negative comments about my inclusion of these groups or individuals. Suffice it to say for now that these music artists are highly charismatic and further give evidence that Jesus is merely a byword, not a Person Who has changed their way of life. For further information, I would highly recommend reading the following post as well on the connections of those leading Passion 2013.

In addition, you have a woman, Beth Moore, who is clearly in contradiction to the teaching of God’s Word. She is considered an elder, teaches and preaches to men, but further is openly involved in the Roman Catholic teaching of contemplative mysticism. This type of meditation and mindless repetitious prayers were openly condemned by our Savior during His earthly ministry. Beth continues to refuse to be corrected and has continued a slide further into the acceptance of Roman Catholics as being on the same road to heaven as Christianity.

The Bible makes it clear that there is only one way to heaven, and what the Roman Catholic system teaches is not salvation by faith through grace alone. Beth is no longer just endorsing religions such as Roman Catholicism. Her teaching shows that she is promoting a completely different gospel. While we would pray and hope that she will see the error of her ways, we can only conclude at this point with the words of the apostle Paul in Galatians 1 – if anybody, even an angel, preach ANY OTHER gospel than what we have preached to you, then let them be accursed. This is not my words, nor is it my decision. Her actions and words bring condemnation upon her and her ministry.

So what about John Piper? Personally, I have learned much from several of his earlier books with the exception of his teaching of “Christian” hedonism. A very poor choice of terminology and shaky theology at best is at play here. However, in more recent times, there have been growing questions about his connections, his endorsements, and I am convinced that this has produced questions about where his theology is changing to from books such as “Future Grace.”

His endorsements are wrong, and I have not seen one thing that convinces me that he is preaching at Passion 2013 with the intention of bringing biblical clarity to the thousands who are gathered. Actually, he now openly endorses the ungodliness that is in place, holds hands with Beth Moore, and has even been captured on video practicing contemplative mysticism! This certainly does bring him into question and at this time, I believe we are only left with two conclusions. First, his lack of discernment continues to drive him down the road towards full-blown apostasy at the expense of biblical truth. Second, while I am not prepared to question whether he has ever come to a point of saving faith, I am prepared to learn from the words of John MacArthur, who has in the past noted that a person who evidences no change, has no fruit, and continues in full-blown apostasy must be concerned as to whether they were ever saved to begin with.

Sadly, the problem is compounded by the inclusion of heretics like Judah Smith, who co-pastors a church with his wife in Washington. His connection includes preaching at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church and Mark Driscoll fully endorsed this event. Yes, this is the same Driscoll and Warren that are so openly welcomed and share pulpits with John Piper. These men all have the same thing in common – they are students of humanist authors like Peter Drucker, who died as a heathen pagan – without Christ.

My prayer is that those who like Chan, Piper, Platt, and Taylor, who have preached and taught the truth will wake up and see the truth. The truth is that they are being sucked into the whirlpool of expediency, the whirlpool that says numbers are more important than truth, the whirlpool that produces ever-increasing numbers of false conversions, and the whirlpool of apostasy that threatens to swallow all the other whirlpools like the black holes of space. Soon no spiritual light will shine forth from their ministries for error, heresy, and the doctrines of demons will swallow any glimmer from view, or it will ultimately prove that there was no light to begin with.

nouturn For now, I would share the words from the apostle Paul as seen in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.”

Today, we MUST have the true gospel of Jesus Christ being preached to the world. The church has an awesome responsibility to reach out to the world and share in love the truth of God’s Word. The world must hear that there is ONLY one way to heaven and that is through the finished work of Jesus Christ.

However, preachers, pastors and ministers of the gospel must not only practice spiritual discernment, but they must also teach their people how to discern between what is right and what is wrong. Conferences like Passion 2013 are filled with thousands who are either not saved, or they fall under the category of being let down by the men who were entrusted with their spiritual well-being.

Pastors who have not stood up to this nonsense should repent for putting their people in harm’s way. Parents who have allowed their children to attend such a conference should also repent for putting their children, whom they were given to protect, in the way of the forces of hell that seek to blind the minds of their precious gifts. Men like Francis Chan, David Platt, Justin Taylor, and John Piper have a responsibility to take a stand no matter what it costs in the way of book sales, or affiliations, or even the numbers of followers they have garnered. If there is a time for men like these to take a stand and apologize for their lack of discernment and for misleading the body of Christ around the world by their open endorsements of heresy, charismania, and yes, even the doctrines of demons being openly endorsed by people like Beth Moore, Mark Driscoll, Louie Giglio and others.

But then again, Paul warned us in 2 Thessalonians that there would come a time before the return of the Lord that apostasy would take place within the church. Maybe this is what we are seeing. I fear for those who have failed in their calling and with their testimony. I fear for what they will face when they stand before the Lord in judgment.

May we not pride ourselves on who we are, nor that we have not fallen ourselves! Brothers and sisters, may our thoughts remain on the Author and Finisher of our faith. May we remember that but for the grace of God, we could be the ones that are where these others now find themselves.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Mark – TJM

Scott Hodge and his hodge-podge of Roman Catholic meditative monastic heresy.

Chris Rosebrough is tackling an unbelievable issue that has crept into the church: The continued march backward into Romanism by supposed Evangelicals (some of which are the golden calves of Americanized Christianity) through the use of monastic meditation practices. He addresses this in his post Purpose-Driven Roman Catholic Monastic Mysticism (which is where I obtained the quotes below).

Roman Catholic Monastic Mysticism is becoming all the rage among innovative post-modern purpose-driven pastors. Practices developed by Roman Catholic Monks such as the Lectio Divina, The Practice of the Presence of God and the Prayer Examen which was created by on [sic] of the arch enemies of the Protestant Reformation, Ignatius Loyola are openly being promoted by an alarming number of seeker-driven / Purpose-Driven pastors. These so-called ’spiritual disciplines’ are being featured at Willow Creek, Saddleback, and Mars Hill to name just a few.

Rosebrough examines an absolutely astonishing sermon from seeker-sensitive pastor Scott Hodge who teaches his whole congregation that practicing the mystical Lecito Divina (like eating at a five-star restaurant) is somehow better than reading the Scriptures for yourself without the magical formula (like eating McDonalds). This is unbelievable when you consider Hodge is considered an evangelical protestant. What in the world did Luther break from Romanism for if this guy is directing his people to place the yoke back upon their necks and return to the bondage of Rome’s dead religion?

Let me be clear here, Pastor Scot Hodge is not promoting meditative practices similar to Lecito Divina, he’s promoting Lecito Divina itself. He spends the overwhelming majority of his sermon singing its praises and he even walks his whole congregation through a Lecito Divina session that will make your hair stand on end (for those familiar with Eastern mysticism and New Age practices).

To hear this unbelievable “sermon” and Rosebrough’s commentary with it, you can download it by right clicking here. It starts at 1:08:08 into the podcast.

While listening to this sermon, keep in mind that this Roman Catholic mystical practice was developed by men who did not believe in salvation by grace alone through faith alone by Christ’s work alone. These monks were trying to earn their salvation through their monkery. These practices are not taught in the scriptures. Neither Jesus, his disciples, the prophets nor the patriarchs practiced Lectio Divina. This Roman Catholic practice is pure monastic mythology and spiritual fantasy and rather than helping you experience God, it is more likely that you will experience self deception or demonic spirits.

For those unfamiliar with Scott Hodge, DefCon dealt with him back in 2007 when his video mocking the sacred ordinance of baptism was making its rounds on the internet. You can check out our previous post on Scott Hodge in the post Narcissism Gone Wild.

The fact that seeker-driven and Purpose-Driven pastors are adopting Roman Catholic Monastic practices in droves proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that chasing after relevance has caused them to abandon Biblical truth and they are now being blown about by every wind of false doctrine. (Eph. 4:7-19) Sadly, this is what happens when you try to marry the church to the ’spirit of the age’.

A glimpse into the theology of the man Mark Driscoll calls “brother.”

Robert Schuller

The recent video released of Mark Driscoll preaching at Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral contained this exchange between the two:

SCHULLER: God loves you; so do I.

(Audience applause while Driscoll extends hand for handshake.)

DRISCOLL: I appreciate that, thank you brother.

So who is Robert Schuller, the man Mark Driscoll not only openly endorses but considers to be a brother in the Lord? He is none other than a long time rank heretic tied to the New Age movement as clearly noted in Warren Smith’s book Deceived on Purpose. In the book, former New Ager himself Smith, not only exposes Schuller as the disciple of Norman Vincent Peale, but Smith also details Schuller’s blatant New Age theology. Smith also reveals the little known fact that Rick Warren is a disciple of Robert Schuller; proof the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.

I digress.

For those not familiar with Robert Schuller, let’s take a moment to examine some of the teachings of the man that Mark Driscoll calls “brother.”

The following exchange took place during an interview on The White Horse Inn hosted by Michael Horton (you can read more from the interview here).

RS: I believe in heaven. I believe in hell. But I don’t know what happens there. I don’t take it literally that it’s a fire that never stops burning.
MH: As Jesus said it was?
RS: Jesus was not literal. See, now this is where you have differences of interpretation. I went to a different theological school than you did. And there are different denominations, like about four hundred in the United States of America, and we don’t belong to the same denomination. In my denomination, Jesus stood outside Gehenna, the city dump, and said that’s outside the walls, that’s hell. And in the dump there were always worms, and there were fires….

And here’s another exchange between Horton and Schuller:

MH: Dr. Schuller, how could the cross as you write, “sanctify the ego trip,” and make us proud, in the light of passages that say, “I hate pride and arrogance (Prov. 8:13), “Pride goes before destruction” (Prov. 16:18),”The Lord detests all the proud” (Prov. 16:5), “Do not be proud”(Rom. 12:16), “Love does not boast it is not proud” (1Cor 13:4). In fact Paul warns Timothy that in the last days men “will be lovers of themselves” (2Tim 3:2). Why should we as Christian ministers, myself included, why should we do anything to encourage people to become “lovers of themselves” if Paul in fact warned others that that would be the state of godlessness in the last days?
RS: I hope you don’t preach this, I hope you don’t preach this!
MH: What, the texts?
RS: No, what you just spoke into the microphone right now. I hope you don’t because you could do a lot of damage to a lot of beautiful people. But maybe if you preach it, maybe you will demonstrate your knowledge of human relationships and maybe you’ll demonstrate a sensitivity of caring about these pathetic, pathetic people that are so lost in pain and suffering because of their sinful condition, and I think you’d want to save them. I think you’d want to bring them to Jesus. And so if you preach that text, oh man, I sure hope you give it the kind of interpretation that I do or, I’ll tell you, you’ll drive them farther away and they’ll be madder than hell at you and they’ll turn the Bible off, and they’ll switch you off, and they’ll turn on the rock music and Madonna. Just because it’s in the Bible doesn’t mean you should preach it.

Can someone please explain to me how Mark Driscoll can not only preach in Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral (as he did five years earlier in 2004), but also how he can call the man “brother?”

DoctrineTomb

But wait, there’s more. The following quotes from Driscoll’s brother, Robert Schuller, are found in his book Self-Esteem: The New Reformation as cited in this article from RapidNet and this article from CrossRoad:

Christ is the Ideal One, for he was Self-Esteem Incarnate.

Every human being must be treated with respect; self-esteem is his sacred right.

Classical theology has erred in its insistence that theology be God-centered, not man-centered.

What we need is a theology of salvation that begins and ends with a recognition of every person’s hunger for glory.

The Cross sanctifies the ego trip. For the Cross protected our Lord’s perfect self-esteem from turning into sinful pride.

For once a person believes he is an “unworthy sinner,” it is doubtful if he can really honestly accept the saving grace God offers in Jesus Christ.

Classical theology defines sin as “rebellion against God.” The answer is not incorrect as much as it is shallow and insulting to the human being.

To be born again means that we must be changed from a negative to a positive self-image — from inferiority to self-esteem, from fear to love, from doubt to trust.

Jesus never called a person a sinner…. Rather he reserved his righteous rebuke for those who used their religious authority to generate guilt and caused people to lose their ability to taste and enjoy their right to dignity.

I found myself immediately attracted to Pope John Paul II when, upon his election to the Papacy, his published speeches invariably called attention to the need for recognizing the dignity of the human being as a child of God.

The core of original sin, then is LOT — Lack of Trust. Or, it could be considered an innate inability to adequately value ourselves. Label it a “negative self-image,” but do not say that the central core of the human soul is wickedness…. Positive Christianity does not hold to human depravity, but to human inability.

One classical role of the pulpit in Protestantism has been to “preach sermons” which imply indoctrination more than education. Within this from of communication, there is an inherent, intrinsic inclination to intimidate, manipulate, and, hence, offend the person’s most prized quality of humanness — his dignity.

“My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?” was Christ’s encounter with hell. In that ‘hellish’ death our Lord experienced the ultimate horror-humiliation, shame, and loss of pride as a human being. A person is in hell when he has lost his self-esteem. Can you imagine any condition more tragic than to live life and eternity in shame?

Driscoll and Schuller

When the news of Driscoll’s scheduled appearance at the Crystal Cathedral broke, and the question of why he would join ranks with a heretic was raised, the Driscollites quickly came out in force to defend their golden calf.

Defenders of Driscoll never once denied Schuller’s abhorrent theology, and some even admitted that Schuller was a heretic (something we could finally agree on). So what was their hastily devised defense for their man Driscoll? They claimed that Driscoll had to go to the Crystal Cathedral to preach the true gospel to those who have been deceived under Schuller’s ministry.

This would have been a noble endeavor had it been true. The only problem was that–although this was the Driscoll defenders’ reason for Driscoll going–they didn’t foresee that this was apparently not Driscoll’s reason for going (evidenced by him identifying Schuller as his brother).

So instead of going to the Crystal Cathedral to show the Schullerites that they’ve swallowed a false gospel–and in turn preach the true gospel–all Mark Driscoll did was validate and legitimize Schuller and his teachings, and preach about a Jesus Christ that the audience believes is the same Jesus Christ that Schuller’s been talking about for years because, after all, Driscoll identified Schuller as his brother in Christ.

In a NutshellSo here’s the big problem in a nutshell for Driscoll defenders:

If they concede that Schuller teaches heresy, then they must explain how Driscoll can call the man brother (for what does light have to do with darkness let alone call it brother?). But if they say that Schuller’s teachings are sound and are consistent with 2,000 years of historic Christianity, then they’ve just opened a whole new Pandora’s Box of problems for Mark Driscoll and those who sit under his teaching.

The size of the problem cannot be understated when one considers that it is Driscoll’s “orthodoxy” that his defenders consistently point to as their greatest defense to excuse his foul mouth, his blasphemies, and his irreverent depiction of the Savior.

Now we know the die-hard Driscoll fans will just come up with one more weak excuse to place atop their crumbling deck of cards, and it will be interesting to see the spin doctors in full swing with this conundrum. This fork-in-the-road moment has proven to be a monumental problem for the never-say-die Drisollites; a problem that–since the airing of the video–they have yet to address.

But what about you, the Driscoll fan who genuinely seeks after truth first and foremost? Where do you stand today? Either choice leaves you at a crossroads with a big decision to make. Do you finally acknowledge that Mark Driscoll is not all that he’s been purported to be, or do you continue to stick your head in the proverbial sand and ignore all that is before you? Your decision will reveal your loyalty either to the truth of the gospel or to the adoration of a man.

When Mark Driscoll calls Rick Warren a “brother in Christ,” calls Joel Osteen his “Christian brother,” and gleefully shakes the hand of Robert Schuller while calling him “brother” too, this all begs the question, “What version of ‘Christianity’ does Mark Driscoll identify with?”

When Driscoll’s faith includes (and is comfortable with) the likes of Warren, Osteen, and Schuller, one has to wonder who or what is actually excluded in Driscoll’s “Christianity” (besides those critical of him of course). With “brothers” like Warren, Osteen, and Schuller, who needs enemies of the cross?




Rewriting Acts – A Relevant Perspective

In light of all the editions and revisions being made to the Word of God in recent years, we understand much of this has been done to suit the belief system of the editors. With that in mind as well as recent events such as Ravi at the Mormon Tabernacle and Driscoll at the Crystal Cathedral, we recommend the following changes. We are certain these will be much more in keeping with the issue of relevancy and contextualization. In addition, it will ensure that people like all those meanies, judgmental Pharisee-types here at DefCon will have to close shop for they will no longer have a Biblical leg to stand on.

In each example, we will start with the original and then put in the suggested revision to match what we are seeing and hearing today.

Let’s start with Acts 2:22, 23, 36, 37 – “22 Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know– 23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?'”

REWRITE – “22 Hey dudes, listen up: Jesus of Nazareth, who claimed to be God did some really cool things that some people might call miracles and then told us that God did it through Him. Well, you guys are smart enough to figure out for yourselves whether that was the case or not. 23 At any rate, you guys have heard about Him before, if nothing else, you use His name all the time at the workplace. Well, the Romans put Him on a cross because He was like, well, um, you know, He was making the kind-hearted, very religious, good-upright Jews unhappy and He even tried to start a few riots. 36 Well, this same Man Who got crucified also claimed to be both Lord and the Christ. We want all you guys to follow Him because after all when you reach the end of your current journey, He will be there to greet all of us with open arms. 37 So when the multitude heard the nice things that the apostles said, they decided to invite them back again to the next Jerusalem conference knowing they could trust these men not to confuse the issues. They knew that these men were not going to rock the boat and demand they do nasty things like repentance. They knew they wouldn’t call them down for their sins but would instead seek to lift up their self-esteem. 42 Because of the really cool programs, and the worldly music they offered at the First Church of Jerusalem, and the contextualized messages that encouraged their depravity such as “Biblical Sex for 40 Days Except the Sabbath” the church grew exponentially and was featured on all the late-night talk shows from Jerusalem to Asia Minor.”

Example 2 – Acts 7:51-55, “51 You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. 52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, 53 who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.” 54 When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.”

REWRITE – Example 2 – Acts 7:51-55, “51 Listen up fellows. I am not here to offend you in anyway, but you know we have all done a few things we shouldn’t have done in our lives, and I’m sure there are times we all ignore what the Holy Spirit is trying to get us to do, but hey, after all, we are only human and God understands this. 52 There are some people who didn’t treat the old preachers very well, but I’m sure it wasn’t any of you guys or your ancestors. In fact, history tells us that some people just didn’t understand the prophets and tried to get rid of them, but some of the prophets just weren’t with the program anyway. Well, one or two of those old guys told us that Jesus was coming, and He came. He was a really good guy and hung out with really cool guys like our friend Peter. 53 Jesus told us that we have to just learn to love each other and don’t judge, so who am I to tell you what you need to do. 54 When the gathered nice group of people heard these wonderful things they invited Stephen to be the new president of the Jerusalem Ministerial Association. He was then able to go about preaching more of the great news that “Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” 55 When Stephen saw how much everybody liked him, he cut a lucrative book deal with Jerusalem Christian Bookpress entitled, “49 Days of Learning to Become a Better Religious You.” His ministry expanded to both Europe and Asia, and he was able to walk about with his head held high knowing that he was accepted in every major religious establishment.”

AUTHOR’S NOTE — Personally, I think it will be a best seller and rewriting church history will be the best thing that could happen for Western Christianity Religiosity. Sadly, there are a few downfalls. True Bible believing Christians will reject it as false, but they are in the minority and it won’t affect book sales as most who claim to be Christians are unlearned when it comes to true doctrine anyway. Secondly, this material probably won’t go over to well with the church members that are being persecuted for their faith. However, I’m sure somebody will find a way to make it culturally accepted and the church will probably expand and still be able to get along with the local governments when they stop being so particular about what they will preach. After all, no government could have an issue with Christians preaching the new message of “love yourself”, “build your self-esteem”, and “We never condemn anybody for God wants you just as you are and we don’t care if you stay that way because that is between you and God.”

PS – Not sure how we can rewrite the persecuting parts of Acts like Paul and Silas in prison, but I’m sure any number of modern preachers could help so that it makes us all look better in the end.

PS2 – Stay tuned for the rewrite for the Health, Wealth, and Prosperity Gospel edition.