Archive for the 'PD/SS' Category

Both CRN and slice are up in arms once again over Rick Warren’s peace plan.  As expected, this global movement towards ending hunger, AIDS and poverty is getting lots of attention from many media outlets.  These ODMs cannot understand why a Christian would ever want to partner with someone of a different faith or sexuality to end such a horrendous problem in the world.  I wonder why the ODMs did not protest churches working alongside non-believers to help clean up Katrina or bring aid to the tsunami victims.  Surely, they too were advocating universalism.  Or could it be that simply because Rick Warren is behind this movement, it must be inherently heretical?

Recently CRN boiled down Warren’s message to this

Global Crisis Requires Global Spiritual Unity for Global Good

This could not be further from the truth.  Spiritual Unity implies that we all need to be unified in our faith to combat this crisis.  I challenge any ODM to find where Warren has said that we all must share the same spirituality to combat this.  Never once has he called for spiritual unity, but for people of all faiths to work together, which does not require spiritual unity.  You see, this is not a spiritual issue, this is a human issue that we are facing.  Christians, Muslims or Hindus are not dying everyday , humans are dying everyday.  The phrase should be altered to say

Global Crisis Requires Global Human Unity for Global Good

I truly believe that most ODMs have a hard time not seeing people in one of two categories:  the non-elect and the elect.  They cannot simply see people as human.  I mean, this issue should appeal to our basic human compassion.  Almost every culture in the world agrees that certain actions, such as murder, poverty and disease epidemics, are horrible atrocities.  But, this is why you will hardly ever see an article on CRN that addresses the suffering of HUMANS in Africa, or the genocide that is taking place in Darfur.  If it doesn’t have a “Christian” label and theology attached to it, it is worthless.

Now, I will say this, because I know the rebuttal is coming, our primary message is to preach the gospel.  However, a hefty portion of Jesus’ teachings were on feeding the hungry, caring for widows and praying for the sick.  It is not an either/or situation;  It is a both/and.  I challenge the ODMS today.  Are you against Warren’s peace plan because he is truly calling for a “Global Spiritual Unity”, or are you against it because it is simply Rick Warren?

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The ODMs seem to be the kings of illogical connections (I am sure there is some fancy term for that).  Recently Slice of Laodicea immediately connected a pastor to the emerging movement, simply because he was a little too involved with witchcraft.  Now, being one of the guys labeled “emerging”, I can tell you as an expert, I know NO “emerging” pastor that is involved with witchcraft.  The closest I get is watching the scene from Beauty and the Beast where the old hag casts a spell on the beast.

This latest connection leaves me a bit confuzzled as well.

This story from San Francisco Chronicle gives you a peek at the very heart of the faulty premise behind the Church Growth Movement which birthed man-centered postevangelicalism and the emerging church:

What is the story that will show us the faulty premise behind the Church Growth Movement?  I am glad you asked.  Designer bibles.  Yep.  Apparently the Christian Research is irrefutable..Those cute little bibles with two-tone leather are obviously conspiring with the big, bad church growth movement.  I am sure that Zondervan had a secret meeting with Robert Schuller, who had a diabolical meeting with his mentor Rick Warren, who consulted with Bill Hybels and his self-proclaimed disciple Rupert Murdoch — and they all came up with the same answer!  Finely Fashioned Bibles!  I am still not to sure how the cover of a bible sold down the street has anything to do with Church Growth, but I am sure these guys did do their Christian Research to find out.

Once again, we see that the exterior is much more important than the heart.

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It’s been twelve years or so since Ted Kaczynski, aka “the unibomber”, was finally caught and brought to justice. One of the quirks of the case was Kaczynski’s anonymous letters to authorities, insisting that they publish his unaltered ‘manifesto’, Industrial Society and its Future, in a reputable, public newspaper. In the interest of public safety and with the hopes that someone might recognize the writing and identify the bomber, the FBI allowed New York Times and the Washington Post to publish the document.

I remember picking up a copy of that document and trying to wade through it, to see what kind of person was behind such senseless violence. As I sifted through the manifesto, it became pretty obvious that, with its conspiracy-saturated ramblings, esoteric terminology, paranoid delusions and apocalyptic visions of doom, the author was completely off his rocker. It was hard to imagine that I’d ever see a document quite so off-kilter and swimmingly delusional, attempting to document a worldwide conspiracy.

Apparently, I was wrong.

In looking for boogeymen within the church – with conspiracy, esoterica and innuendo to tie them all together – this piece (referenced today here), with a tinfoil-hat-fairy-tale version here, seems to be wanting to give Ted a bit of competition. [Please note that this is not, in any way, to infer that the author of this piece is an anarchtic terrorist, but rather, I was making a comparison of tone, timbre, function and pathos.]  In the end analysis, the unibomber’s document likely contains more truth than the other, which is a sad commentary in itself.
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All comparisons aside, this is a rather sad document, in which the author arrogantly places huge swaths of God’s kingdom under the umbrella of Beelzabub:

So I have very good reason why I “lump” the Purpose Driven Church, the Emerging Church and the Word Faith Church together as they are pureed in Beelzebub’s blender into today’s Christianity Lite.

Sadly, this is reminiscent of an incident recorded in the Gospels:

Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”

So Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can rob his house. I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.”

He said this because they were saying, “He has an evil spirit.”

While it is commanded of us in scripture to “test” what is being taught, what this particular bit of screed does goes far beyond ‘testing’ and into the realm of slander and quite possibly blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

That, unlike the ramblings of a mad-bomber, is a serious thing to consider…

Are there churches that use “Purpose Driven” methods which have been taken to extremes and watered down the gospel?  Certainly.  Are there churches that use PD methods in a thought-out, balanced fashion, which produce spiritual fruit? Certainly, as well.

Are there “Emergent” churches which have jettisoned scripture and embraced liberal ideology?  Certainly.  Are there ECM churches that hold scripture in high regard and are living examples of salt and light in the world?  Most certainly.

Are there “Reformed” churches which are bastions of legalism, clinging onto systems and traditions as if they were biblical doctrine, all the while being functionally dead to the world?  Certainly.  Are there “Reformed” churches where orthodoxy and orthopraxy are in good balance?  Certainly, as well.

Is there “false teaching” (i.e. teaching a different gospel, apart from grace, that is sending people to hell – here and in the afterlife) going on in the church as a whole?  Certainly.  Is it as wide-spread and ingrained as the ODM’s would like you to think?  Highly doubtful.
There are aspects of most every denomination/tradition in modern Christianity which are either on the wrong track or are being poorly executed. Some are more guilty than others – but every one of them is made up of individuals – indivduals who are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Even if we hold differences where doctrinal unity would be unwise or unteneble, relational unity is still important to hold within the church, as a whole. Attempting to toss millions of faceless Christians under the bus as products of “Beelzabub’s blender” is an unordained, fruitless, loveless exercise with a very real danger of hellfire…

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I found it a bit ironic that C?N recently posted an article with a film that criticizes Warren’s publishing relationship with Zondervan/Murdoch.  I will be waiting for a film criticizing MacArthur’s publishing relationship with Zondervan/Murdoch.

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The ODMs try alot of schemes to try to trap Rick Warren. Most are ridiculously far-fetched and incredibly illogical. This one is borderline sinful. The title of this post (found both on the author’s website and C?N) is False Teaching: Rick Warren Encourages Lying to Children. They took a letter from Warren to pastors explaining how to deal with staff members who have fallen. They overlook the entire letter, and focus on this statement

Children have a fragile faith and often idolize their leaders. Parents should be careful not to talk about fallen staff in front of children so they don’t lose heart. If asked, you should simply say “They resigned,” That’s all children need to know.

They claim that he is telling parents to lie to their kids with this statement. Can someone point out the lying here? Or maybe this author is suggesting that we should tell our children, “He looked at naked ladies in a strip bar and had sex with them.” Telling a kid that a staff member resigned is far from lying, in any sense of the word. Now, there are two options here. Either Ginger Taylor is just incredibly ignorant and unscrupulous in her dealings with children, or she has an agenda that needs to be proven. My guess is a mixture of the two.

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I want to address this once and for all.  In this article, Willow Creek & the New Monasticism, the author writes

In October 2007, Bill Hybels announced “We made a mistake” regarding the seeker sensitive approach to “doing” church.

I challenge Ken Silva, the general editor of this article, to show the world where Willow Creek said that they made a mistake in their seeker sensitive approach to doing church.  They never have made that statement, nor anything close to it.  What they did say was they they made a mistake in their assumption that church-based programs are the way to disciple believers.  They found that they were not doing a great job of teaching believers to feed themselves, and take care of themselves spiritually.  Rather than creating more discipleship programs, they are creating personalized growth plans to help people take the reigns in their own walk with Christ.  

I know that the ODMs do not have any type of remorse or need for apology in their own DNA (they are above flaw or wrong-doing).  So, it is understandable why they would twist this confession to fit their agenda.  Sorry guys, while Willow is open about their mistakes, they have not committed the sins that you claim they have.

Also… check out the video.  I tried really hard to see the controversy.  I just couldn’t find it there.      

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They’re still trying to get Warren in a trap. I must admit, that when I read this short clip from Slice, I thought “oh man, Rick. What have you done now?” Joseph Farah was saying that Rick was making comments that gave comfort to the enemy of Christians and criticizing the U.S. However, Farah opens his hit piece up with this explanation of Warren’s inappropriate comments

Rick Warren loves to apologize for things he didn’t do, for things other people did that weren’t wrong, even for things that occurred hundreds of years before he was born.

For instance, he recently apologized to Muslims worldwide for atrocities committed against their ancestors during the Crusades.

He also recently apologized for American “excesses in the war on terrorism.”

And he has apologized for the church because it hasn’t done enough about the spread of AIDS and problems like global warming.

After I read that, my first response was, “Are you serious?” You are actually saying that killing innocent Muslims, being incredibly racist and using racial profiling when it comes to the war on terror and not caring about the AIDS crisis is not wrong? We must be reading two different gospels. I missed the part where the scriptures say to kill your enemies and ignore those who are suffering. We wouldn’t want to do anything that messed up the whole “perfect Christianity” vibe we have going for us. I loved how Farah feels it necessary to hold Syria accountable for killing Christians, but doesn’t find it necessary to hold ourselves accountable for killing Muslims.

There is a lot of bantering back and forth in this article about a video that was filmed, and if it did or did not hold strong political statements made by Warren. That situation does seem a bit suspicious. However, once again it is important to note how much these guys meddle into the life and ministry of Warren. Is it really their responsibility to relegate Warren’s political statements, confirm if he knew about a tape, find out if Arab statements in newspapers are valid, make sure Warren wasn’t lying when he says he wasn’t, and check if his political statements are kosher? Farah has no idea about the agreements Warren made, the conditions he was under for filming, or even the contents of the tapes. It is absolutely rediculous how far these guys will go to get some inkling of a story. In my opinion, Warren is innocent until proven guilty, rather than having guilt assumed.

In conclusion, it seems like many of the ODMs would disagree with “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.” Their version would read “Therefore go and make disciples of those nations who America currently agrees with, and make sure not to make any political statements that would damage our country or the history of Christianity.” It’s sad that we begin to pick and chose which people group we are willing to connect and share the gospel with based on the latest news out of Washington.

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I knew that the ODMs were going to scramble when I read this interview with Rick Warren, especially since he addresses the lies of the online blogs. Sure enough, it has made all of them start to type, and type frantically. Chris Chris Rosebrough of ExtremeTheology.com has made a feeble attempt to tie Warren with Schuller. At best he loosely proves that Warren was influenced by Schuller’s thoughts on church growth nearly 18 years ago. Ken Silva at apprising.org dragged out all of his old and deflated hit pieces on Warren, proving that he really has nothing new to say. And then there is Ingrid at sliceoflaodicea.com, with her crass name calling and worn-out accusations. The ODMs are busy over this one.

I just sit back and laugh. These guys gotta keep everyone believing that they are right. We wouldn’t want to actually let Warren set the record straight, now would we?

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Once again, Old Truth doesn’t necessarily mean good truth. In this article, the author’s cynicism and god-complex is in plain sight. Oak Leaf Church celebrated 39 people coming to Christ in their service. The exact line reads

“39 people decided to follow Jesus! 39 people who are now Christians! It’s cool when you run out of counselors.

to this, Jim replies

“Aside from the fact that salvation is not due to human will and decision (Romans 9:16, John 1:12-13, etc), Michael’s remarks beg the question – how does he know they are now Christians? We all know how angry people get if someone questions the salvation of another professed believer. Questions start flying like “how do you know that person is not saved?”. Just turn that question around 180 degrees and ask pastors like Michael “how do you know 39 ARE saved?”

First off, ladies and gentlemen, this is what we in the theological community like to call hyper-Calvinism. When the scriptures say if you confess with your mouth and believe with your heart, you will be saved — it really means that if the holy spirit takes over your bodily functions, and God himself mutters the words for you, then you will be saved. There is no responsibility on the human to make the decision to make Jesus Lord of their life.

Second, why could Jim not just be happy for this church, instead of messing with semantics and playing God. Maybe we should put all 39 of those people in a room with Jim, so he can judge their hearts and be the final word on IF they are saved. It’s rediculous to make those statements when someone is sharing that several people came to faith. I am all for looking for fruits in new converts, but to make these comments about a church service that you were not at is juvenile at best. In fact, Jim closes the article with this

“When I see posts like this, I can’t help but wonder if these pastors are simply engaging in self-promotion, ie: “look at what we’ve done HERE at OUR church?”. Praise God for any true converts that may be in the bunch of 39″

I usually hear statements like this (about self-promotion and boasting) about other pastors from Christians who are not leading people to Christ themselves. I guess If you can’t do the work, just criticize those that are attempting to.

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more lies spewed out from the twisted keyboard of Ken Silva. He posts this quote from and article by Tim Brown. It begins with the preamble to the document seeking peace between Muslims and Christians.

Before we “shake your hand” in responding to your letter, we ask forgiveness of the All-Merciful One and of the Muslim community around the world.” (emphasis theirs)

Wanna guess who the “All-Merciful One” is? It isn’t Jesus. It is Allah, the false God of Islam.

Where does the quote say that Warren in praying to Allah? Oh, it doesn’t. And, since Warren has a really good trach record of praying to the God of the Christian faith, one must naturally assume that he is continuing that practice here. On top of all that, This is not a document excursively signed or distributed by Warren. It was signed by over 300 leaders seeking to make peace. To attribute this solely to him shows theit agenda in all its glory. Therefore, Ken’s opening line that Rick Warren is hoping to become Islam’s megapastor is absurd at best. It is amazing what these guys will do for web hits.

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