By Marsha West
March 19, 2011
The real danger to traditional Christianity is not from without, but from within its own ranks. Millions of professing Christians have conformed to the world and have been taken in “through philosophy” and “the tradition of men” and are “not after Christ.” (Col. 2:8) Not that this is anything new. The attempt to blend Christianity with paganism has been going on since the days of the early church. And here we are 2 millennia later, still fighting some of the same battles.
One of the major problems Christendom is combating is pagan spirituality. The pace at which unbiblical pagan beliefs are seeping into evangelical churches is dramatically quickening. Many of the orthodoxy have been sounding the alarm, but few have been listening.
Liberalism, with its false social justice gospel, has also reared its ugly head in the Church of Jesus Christ. The liberal “social justice Christian” sees traditionalists as out of touch with the times. Their clarion call is: The Church must change! The next generation of Purpose Driven pastor’s accuse traditionalists who speak out against change agents of being “haters.” Purpose Driven/charismatic pastor Steven Furtick rapped his disdain for outspoken traditionalists in Hey Haters. “Fall back! It’s a new day!” he rebuked. The orthodoxy’s “day is done.” They are “haters…nit-pickers…black and white…full of opinions, low on the Spirit.” Steven seemed angry, even, well, low on the Spirit. I saw no love emanating from this pastor’s eyes, what I saw was arrogance.
False teaching has made inroads through the blending of religions. It’s called syncretism. Syncretism in Protestantism occurred when elements of other religious beliefs were integrated into mainstream denominations. As syncretism takes place fundamental beliefs change. This can occur when:
a culture is conquered, and the conquerors bring their religious beliefs with them, but do not succeed in entirely eradicating the old beliefs or, especially, practices. When the Roman Catholics conquered South America people were baptized massively without them receiving the gospel and names of their idols were replaced with that of saints through whom they could pray. (1)
Satan uses syncretism to separate God from His people. God loathes syncretism:
When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. (Deuteronomy 12:29-31)
Grievous wolves (Acts 20:29) masquerading as evangelicals introduced false religious beliefs (abominations) into mainline churches. Many of them are forthcoming about what they’re doing, others not so much. Their main goal is as I stated above, change. The plan (yes, they have a plan) is to dismantle historic orthodox Christianity and usher in a “new paradigm,” a “new kind of Christianity.”
Wolves are skillful at drawing people in. They’ve learned how to use TV, radio, the Worldwide Web, human potential seminars, psycho-therapeutic counseling, so-called Christian entertainment that includes movies, DVDs, books and music. Some believers are drawn in through political groups. As you can see, a whole host of lures are used to bait the hook.
Many professing Christians have accepted the blending of religious beliefs with no questions asked. They sit in churches where they’re not taught the truth but are fed a steady diet of half truths and outright lies! Jesus wanted those who believe in Him to read and understand the Word. “Sanctify them through thy truth,” He prayed. “Thy Word is truth!” (John 17:17)
"Any of it [teaching] that is good is in the Word of God,” proclaimed A.W. Tozier, “and any that is not in the Word of God is not good. I am a Bible Christian and if an archangel with a wingspread as broad as a constellation shining like the sun were to come and offer me some new truth, I'd ask him for a reference. If he could not show me where it is found in the Bible, I would bow him out and say, 'I'm awfully sorry, you don't bring any references with you.'"
Simmer for several decades, then gradually turn up the heat and add an abundance of ‘isms’:
Bring to a rapid boil. (For added flavor sprinkle in gimmyism, meism and voyeurism.)
While the isms boil, toss in a whole lotta movements, phenomena, and worldly practices:
New Apostolic Reformation/Kingdom Now/Dominionism
Progressive (social justice)
Signs & wonders
Word of Faith (health & wealth)
Turn down the heat and simmer until the flavor of historic biblical Christianity completely disappears.
Serve to the sheep.
LIBERALS LULLING CHRISTIANS INTO LA LA LAND
Where were the faithful followers of Jesus when liberals were serving up platefuls of Christian stew? Followers of Jesus Christ are commanded to contend for the faith! Listen to what Jude 1:3, 4 says:
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ that was once for all entrusted to the saints.
According to Clark’s commentary:
The meaning of the apostle seems to be this: ‘Beloved brethren, when I saw it necessary to write to you concerning the common salvation, my mind being deeply affected with the dangers to which the Church is exposed from the false teachers that are gone out into the world, I found it extremely necessary to write and exhort you to hold fast the truth which you had received, and strenuously to contend for that only faith which, by our Lord and his apostles, has been delivered to the Christians.’
Most believers have been too busy with everyday life to sweat the small stuff, like paying attention to what’s been going on inside the hallowed sanctuaries of local churches. Even Christians who recognized aberrant teaching have done little or nothing to challenge it. They just let it slide…and slide it has…down into a pit of moral relativism! The result is "Whatever” Christianity. This is based on the notion of whatever works. Pragmatism. This humanistic philosophy says “whatever it takes” or whatever floats your boat…whatever makes you happy…whatever feels right to you. Another way of putting it is “The end justifies the means.” Bad or immoral methods can be used as long as something good is accomplished.
The view that Christian churches must become culturally relevant was born out of pragmatism. Pastors/leaders came to believe that the only way to grow their churches was to sell her soul on the altar of cultural relevance. To attract the unchurched, Christians must become like them… cool, hip, hot, “in.” This philosophy of “doing church” brought about the Church Growth movement a.k.a the Purpose Driven Church.
PREPARING FOR THE CHURCH RUMMAGE SALE
Toss the cross
Eliminate essential doctrine
Chuck the creeds
Shred sound teaching
Throw out tradition
Give Bibles the boot
Scrap stained glass
Out with the organ
Purge the pews
Cart away conservative clothing
Once the old ways are abolished, the Church is on her way to becoming culturally relevant! What’s next?
TWELVE-STEP PLAN TO ACHIEVE RELEVANCE
1. Relevant churches must be all-inclusive, non-judgmental and tolerant.
2. Change the atmosphere. (Offer coffee and donuts -- espresso bars keep the consumer-seeker coming back!)
3. Give the church the look and feel of an auditorium. (The consumer-seeker prefers churches in a plain brown wrapper.)
4. Install a smokin’ sound system and a humongous Power Point screen.
5. Have a “worship team” and a live band on stage during worship. (Music must be loud! People want to feel the music.)
6. Play mostly contemporary music. (Whenever possible substitute personal pronouns in place of God and Jesus.)
7. Casual clothing is a must for clergy. (Think: Hawaiian shirt, cargo shorts, flip flops – and consider growing a goatee.)
8. Design the sermon message to please everyone. The “felt needs” of the consumer-seeker must be addressed otherwise you’ll lose ‘em.
9. Abandon teaching on God’s wrath, His judgment, sin, repentance, hell, and keep the focus on God’s love for all mankind. (Do not say anything negative or divisive!)
10. Keep the message to a minimum. (People tune out after 28 minutes.)
11. Have a couple of parking spaces close to the entry for first time visitors.
12. Wow 'em to keep ‘em!
Have I hit a nerve?
Before you haul off and send me an angry email, I am not saying that having some of the “Twelve Steps” incorporated into your church service is necessarily a bad thing. What I am saying is that clergy/deacons/elders, etc. incorporate some of these things in order to be relevant.
HAGELIAN DIALECTIC = UNITY
Most people are unfamiliar with the Hegelian Dialectic and what it means. In a nutshell the goal is uniting opposing positions in the hope of reaching a consensus of understanding by focusing not on each other's differences but on each other's similarities and common ground. The process was developed by a Marxist named Georg William Friedreich Hegel. This is a system of “group-think” or the “herd mentality.” Some key words are unity, tolerance, diversity, feelings, fellowship, loyalty (to the group), conformity…control. This should strike a chord with many Christians. Ever wonder why contemporary churches want everyone involved in a small group? [Now, don't you just love this?! WHERE DOES LOYALTY TO GOD FIT?]
Berit Kjos has written extensively on the Hegelian Dialectic process. Space does not permit me to explain it all here so I urge you to visit Berit’s website and read her essays. (Links below)
I’ll end part 1 with a quote from Berit’s 2003 article Spirit-Led or Purpose-Driven? Part 1:
Why…would [pastors] focus on the felt needs of unbelievers rather than the true needs of God's family? Doesn't this strategy turn God's principles upside down?
Yes, but it also attracts the spiritual diversity needed for the dialectic process -- the heart of today's transformation in churches as well as in business, education, government and other organizations. Dr. Robert Klenck summarizes it in his report on "The 21st Century Church:"
"...in this movement, it is imperative that unbelievers are brought into the church; otherwise, the process of continual change cannot begin. There must be an antithesis (unbelievers) present to oppose the thesis (believers), in order to move towards consensus (compromise), and move the believers away from their moral absolutism (resistance to change). If all members of the church stand firm on the Word of God, and its final authority in all doctrine and tradition, then the church cannot and will not change. This is common faith. Soon, we will see why these “change agents” are pushing so hard for change to occur in the church." (2) [This in DIRECT OPPOSITION to the word of God, which COMMANDS WE NOT DEAL with unbelievers!
14Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
18And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.]
Look for Part 2 soon!
1. The Effect of Syncretism on Christian Spirituality-- Rev(Dr) P.H. Bamaiyi
2. Part 1: Spirit Led or Purpose Driven –By Berit Kjos
I urge you to read parts 2-6:
Part 2: Unity and Community
Part 3: Small Groups and the Dialectic Process
Part 4: Dealing with Resisters
Part 5: Spiritual Gifts
Part 6: Social Change
1- A Biblical View of Social Justice--By John Wheaton
2- Willow Creek: Hegelian Dialectic and the New World Order—By Paul Proctor
3- Communitarianism – A Three Level Con Job--By Niki Raapana
4- A Brief Dictionary of New Age Terminology
© 2011 Marsha West - All Rights Reserved
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Marsha West is the Founder and Editor of Email Brigade News Report, an online news service for conservative people of faith. Marsha is a freelance writer whose main focus is on religious and cultural issues. She is a regular contributor to NewsWithViews.com; TheConservativevoice; RenewAmerica; Christianworldviewnetwork; Webcommentary and other popular websites. Her writings have also appeared on WorldnetDaily; Canadafreepress; AmericanDaily and several Christian periodicals.
Marsha loves to write fiction for the younger generation. She is currently writing a series of books about an average Christian family and the cultural issues they face. Her books equip kids to defend their faith and live for Christ.
Marsha can be reached through her website, Email Brigade News Report
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