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Archive for May, 2013

This is part of a series by The Fuel Project.

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Some have said the emerging church is dead. Some say it always has been dead. Do not be fooled. It has simply been growing cells in the petri dish of the experimental spiritual laboratory, and is about to re-emerge transformed into something even more unrecognizable and different than true Christianity (with the usual shades of truth mixed with spiritually toxic muddy water). The emerging church is not ‘dead’, it simply continues to mutate so it can spread spiritual death. Like a virus.

One reason we know that the emerging church is twitching is that last week one of its gurus, Brian McLaren, began pitching for large money donations towards his newest and latest ‘mystery’ project.

“He explains that his calling as a “movement person” has been supporting broad-based movements that embody a “Christ-like ethos and leads to Christ-like action for the good of the world.” But he leaves out the part where he denies the substitutionary atonement of the cross and what Christ did to fully pardon our sins.”
BRIAN MCLAREN ASKS FOR SIGNIFICANT CASH FOR MYSTERY PROJECT
standupforthetruth.com/2013/05/brian-mclaren-asks-for-significant-cash-for-mystery-project/

Are these pleas for assistance merely the unsightly death throes of the new kind of Christianity? Or is this the birth of something with more muscle beneath its slithery scales? McLaren and friends have clearly denied that Christ’s ‘action for the good of the world’ was that He gave His life as a substitutionary atonement for our sin, so that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Any money sown into this new project will only be watering the seeds of death.

More here:

DONATION PLEA: BRIAN MCLAREN RESPONDS
http://standupforthetruth.com/2013/05/donation-plea-brian-mclaren-responds/

FOLLOW UP on Brian McLaren’s Plea for Money – Wants to Re-Organize the Emerging Church Movement
http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=11772

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A story from Stand Up For The Truth that is happening in mainline churches everywhere but few are bold enough to take a stand.

LETTER: ELDER FORCED TO LEAVE FOR STANDING AGAINST SPIRITUAL FORMATION

Would you take a stand against a dangerous practice in your church?
John from Ohio wrote to us a few days ago to share that he had to resign his longtime position as elder of his mainline Evangelical church because of the Spiritual Formation/Transformation movement that had not just crept into his church, but had infiltrated every aspect of ministries there, including the youth ministries. His story is heartbreaking and will cut to the quick of anyone who has ever tried to help his or her church understand why this movement is so unbiblical and dangerous. John has given us permission to share his story:

Read his story here:
http://standupforthetruth.com/2013/05/letter-elder-forced-to-leave-for-standing-against-spiritual-formation/

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Shalem-Trained Contemplative Fil Anderson Member of Samaritan’s Purse “Spiritual Care Team

Fil Anderson is a name Lighthouse Trails has been acquainted with for several years because of his book Running on Empty: Contemplative Spirituality for Overachievers and his involvement with organizations such as Youth Specialties and Young Life (Anderson had been in Young Life leadership for many years and is still involved with the organization). Anderson also speaks with Richard Foster’s organization, Renovare.

To say Anderson’s book is contemplative would be an understatement. The book is filled with contemplative names such as Brennan Manning, Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, Evelyn Underhill, and John Cassian. Also favorably named in the book are: Thomas Merton, Soren Kierkegaard, Sue Monk Kidd, Tilden Edwards, Gerald May, and several others who fall into the panentheistic mystical camp. Contemplative prayer is clearly the theme of the book…

Read more here:

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=11677

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Here is something to consider…

MUSLIM STUDENTS CLASH WITH SPEAKER WHO FORSOOK ISLAM
CAIR intervening in complaint against former terrorist Walid Shoebat

When two Muslim foreign-exchange students in rural Minnesota heard that a well-known critic of Islam was coming to town to speak, they armed themselves with information and showed up at the Assembly of God church venue, apparently prepared for a confrontation.

The speaker, Walid Shoebat, is a Palestinian former Muslim who converted to Christianity and now devotes himself to exposing the infiltration of supremacist Islam in the U.S.

Read what happened next here:
http://www.wnd.com/2013/03/muslim-students-clash-with-speaker-who-forsook-islam/#PTRAHrue3eJFObyb.99

What ensued in the Q&A time in the Assembly of God church was a disruptive shouting match of long statements and insults from the students, who were then asked to leave. They now claim they were unjustly kicked out and are getting help from CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations, front group of the Muslim Brotherhood), which has charged that the two students were “kicked out” because they were “questioning the anti-Islam bigotry of the speaker.”

Gently being asked to leave is not even remotely comparable to the violence last year when we watched …

“…a small number of Christians who gathered holding Christian signs at the 2012 Dearbor, Michigan Arab festival being assaulted by Muslims with bottles, stones, and other objects. The police do not protect the Christians or take action against the perpetrators; in the end, they reprimand the Christians and instruct them to leave. Ever since, there has been no coverage of this outrageous event in our media. Nor has CAIR or any other Muslim organization denounced the Muslims who abused the Christians.

American Muslims Stone Christians in Dearborn, Michigan
http://frontpagemag.com/2012/jamie-glazov/american-muslims-stone-christians-in-dearborn-michigan-1/

So then, which one is the religion of peace?

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This May 10th, in the name of tolerance, common ground, peace, and learning from eachother, a church labeling itself as a Calvary Chapel brought in some pro-Palestinian speakers. These were Sami Awad, Lynne Hybels, and Mae Cannon. Some who attended the evening said the presentations were heavily slanted toward the Palestinian view that the “occupation” is responsible for Palestinian suffering.

Learn more by reading the following:

Calvary Chapel Breached

Further Implications of Calvary Chapel North Coast Event – Lynne Hybels Presence Shows Serious Move Toward Apostasy

Calvary Chapel Rebukes Palestinian Event

My Post on Calvary Chapel North Coast FB Deleted – Surprise, Surprise

This has caused a stir because Calvary Chapel has always been pro-Israel due to their verse by verse faithful Bible teaching. Some say they should remove their Calvary Chapel label. How could this be? Where did North Coast Calvary Chapel of Carlsbad, California go astray?

Jumping back a few years to 2007, it was already apparent that North Coast Calvary Chapel openly identified themselves with Bill Hybels’ Willow Creek seeker-friendly church growth movement, even though the Calvary Chapel model is the farthest thing from seeker friendly church growth movement tactics. Pastor Mark Foreman also seemed to be identifying with emerging church/contemplative prayer advocates.[1] To add to the muddy mixture, NCCC has also been hosting Celebrate Recovery, a program that began in Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church and influenced by AA.[2] This is also not a method used by other Calvary Chapels.

In November of 2009, North Coast Calvary Chapel’s Women’s Conference Soul at Rest featured as their speaker author Tricia McCary Rhodes, a contemplative advocate.[3]

Even before this, in November of 2008, pastor Mark Foreman of NCCC published a book called Wholly Jesus. His sons, of the popular Christian band Switchfoot, wrote the forewords. The book contained quotes by contemplatives and mystics such as Dallas Willard, Morton Kelsey, and St. Teresa of Avila. Surprisingly, Foreman mentioned in the book how he thought it was okay to use the Hindu greeting Namaste (“I honor the god in you”) to others in recognition that they are made in the image of God.

While disturbing enough, there’s more. The issue at hand is far bigger than NCCC simply identifying with church growth methods or advocating contemplative spirituality. Surprisingly, the introduction in pastor Foreman’s book was written by Gabe Lyons, founder of The Fermi Project, an ‘experiment’ in shifting the consciousness of the church by finding the good in our culture and reshaping it through global awareness and environmentally sustainable practices. This is definitely not Calvary Chapel terminology, but here is where the water gets real muddy.

Last month at North Coast Calvary Chapel, Mark Foreman’s wife Jan hosted “Freefall to Fly” – An Evening with Rebekah Lyons. Rebekah happens to be the wife of Gabe Lyons, who was just mentioned above. They are the cofounders of QIdeas, an organization that “helps leaders winsomely engage culture.”

In 2003 Gabe and Rebekah Lyons founded The Fermi Project

Fermi’s main influence is exerted in “Q” conferences, which invite world leaders from a variety of areas to share “ideas that create a better world.” Conference presenters have included people like authors Donald Miller, Rob Bell, Scot McKnight and Rick Warren,..
… Fermi and its projects have made national headlines when they asked Eboo Patel, a Muslim leader and thinker, to present to their ambitious Christian audience

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_Project

Who is Eboo Patel? He is the founder and executive director of Chicago-based Interfaith Youth Core. He is also listed as one of 15 “Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow” on the website for the American Society for Muslim Advancement, which is led by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf of the Cordoba Initiative.[4]

Has Fermi founder Gabe Lyon’s mis-perceptions of Islam influenced pastor Mark Foreman? Has this got anything to do with why the recent misguided pro-Palestinian speakers were invited in to NCCC this May 10th?

Here is a quote from Gabe Lyons:

Can you imagine a future where Muslims and Christians would work alongside one another in our communities to fight for justice, care for the poor, and offer hope to those in need? What if this controversy provoked each of us to consider having more thoughtful and engaging conversations with Muslims who might be interested in the same end? Could Christians be part of the solution to a moderate, peaceful Islam emerging in the West?
The Muslim-Christian Debate: What We’re Missing
http://www.qideas.org/blog/the-muslimchristian-debate-what-were-missing.aspx

That all sounds nice, but are we as Christians to work alongside unbelievers to bring peace to this fallen world, or are we to tell them the good news about the Prince of Peace who will save their eternal souls?

Gabe Lyon’s dreamy considerations led him to invite Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf of the Cordoba Initiative to a discussion on the future for faith relations in the West.[5]

For those who don’t know, the Cordoba Initiative claims they are a Muslim group trying to build an interfaith bridge between Islam and non-Muslim faiths, but the very name “Cordoba” is a picture of Islam supremacy.[6] The only common ground under that bridge is Islam.

Brigitte Gabriel (ACT for America) and the author of They Must Be Stopped and Because They Hate, recently mentioned Lyon’s friend Rauf on the Sean Hannity show:

“Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has said publicly that the September 11th attack was not perpetrated by Muslims. He said publicly on CNN that the United States was an accessory to the crime and that Osama bin Laden was made in the United States.”
Exclusive: The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far…
http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/pub_detail.asp?id=6239

Here is Dr. Jim Garlow on the Cordoba Initiative:

So what’s the connection?

Awad, whose family is well-known in certain circles, has been partnering with American evangelical friends Lynne Hybels, Todd Deatherage, and now Gabe Lyons to promote what he describes as a “non-violent” approach to peacemaking. In brief, Awad and his friends portray Israel as a lamentable occupier of Palestinian land and the usual narrative also includes discussion of the big “open-air prison” forced on the downtrodden Palestinians by Israel’s “apartheid wall” (security fence to realists).

-Jim Fletcher, Calvary Chapel Breached, May 6, 2013

Fletcher also says these activists all appear sincere but “they have their talking points, passed from folks like Naim Ateek and Alex Awad, down to Sami Awad, to Lynne Hybels, Gabe Lyons, etc.”[7]

Perhaps Gabe Lyons and his friend pastor Mark Foreman of West Coast Calvary Chapel should reconsider tickling ears with tales and ask the perscecuted Christians in Muslim countries to explain how they feel about this so called moderate peaceful Islam they preach. Or Raymond Ibrahim.

Please pray that instead of in the name of tolerance, common ground, peace, and learning from eachother, the leaders of North Coast Calvary Chapel, and all evangelical churches who are falling into the same error[8], will call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and repent for any damage they may have done by not having loved the truth.

And God bless Jim Fletcher for revealing the truth.

Endnotes:

[1] Source: Scroll down to read FISHY CALVARY CHAPEL here:
http://www.apostasyalert.org/REFLECTIONS/fish.htm
[2] See: “A Way Which Seemeth Right…” http://www.thebereancall.org/node/2568
[3] See: Contemplative Connects to Calvary Chapel
http://mkayla.wordpress.com/2009/10/17/contemplative-connects-to-calvary-chapel/
[4] See: http://www.wnd.com/2010/07/181865/
[5] See: Imam Feisal: The Future of Muslim and Christian Relations in the West @ http://vimeo.com/28716668
[6] See: Why I am against the GZM @ http://www.israpundit.com/archives/28744
[7] Jim Fletcher, In Arabic Please, Mar 18, 2013
[8] Texas Mega-Church Welcomes Islamists to ‘Global Faith Forum’
http://frontpagemag.com/2013/ryan-mauro/texas-mega-church-welcomes-islamists-to-global-faith-forum/

Note: Incidentally, this year pastor Mark Foreman of North Coast Calvary Chapel and his wife Jan will both be speakers at “Catalyst West” along with Andy Stanley, Jim Collins, Matt Chandler, John Eldredge, Nancy Ortberg, while Gabe Lyons and Lynne Hybels both spoke at “Catalyst East” in Atlanta in October (see: ‘New evangelicals’ abandoning Israel @ http://onenewsnow.com/perspectives/miscellaneous/2013/01/29/‘new-evangelicals’-abandoning-israel).

Related:

Evangelical Left Voices and Israel
http://www.thejerusalemconnection.us/blog/2013/02/28/evangelical-left-voices-and-israel.html

*Read some good news on Jim Fletcher’s update page here:
http://www.raptureready.com/rap15.html

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A good shepherd leads his sheep to clean water and makes them lie down in safety. The Bible says that we are to be wary of false shepherds that wear sheep’s clothing. Today, many shepherds in God’s flock are leading their sheep in the footsteps of such false shepherds, giving them materials and courses written by well know, famous pastors and church leaders who say they love God. For example, many churches have adopted the Purpose Driven mandate and are following America’s beloved pastor. But has America’s most loved pastor been “testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21)?

When Rick Warren endorsed Catholics Come Home 2013, a book on the Roman Catholic new evangelization program to bring back the “lost [Protestant] brethren” back home to Rome, was he actually ignorant of the false gospel of Catholicism?

“The mission of Tom Peterson and Catholics Come Home to bring souls home to Jesus and the church is critically important during this challenging time in our history. I fully support this new evangelization project.”
—Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life

This March when the new pope was being selected, on Twitter he called on Christians to join him in “fasting and prayer for the 115 Cardinals seeking God’s Will in a new leader.” Warren then welcomed the first Jesuit Pope (see Rick Warren, Tell Catholics the Truth).

This compromise seems to have slipped past the many churches who have become Purpose Driven, as did Warren’s alarmingly watered down gospel to the Jews. In June 2005, Rick Warren met with the Synagogue 3000 Leadership Network (Jewish synagogue leaders) to discuss “the challenges and strategies of building a compelling spiritual community”. (Please see In The Name Of Purpose, The Spiritual Transformation of Today’s Christianity by Tamara Hartzell.)

‘Megachurch pastor Rick Warren attended a large Reform Jewish gathering last week to share tips on how to build a community. Warren – who saw his church expand from seven people meeting in his house to 22,000 people worshipping in an expansive treasure island-like campus – said the key to holding onto visitors is involving them in a small group… “We don’t really feel like people are in the congregation until they’re in small groups.” The “Purpose-Driven” pastor spoke to thousands of Jewish leaders Thursday night at the Union for Reform Judaism’s biennial convention in San Diego… “There are some principles that apply regardless of our faith, if it’s Jewish or Christian,” he said at the convention. One of his principles: “Just be nice to people. Smile.” After Warren spoke a few minutes at the podium, he sat alongside two popular Southern California rabbis for a casual talk about strengthening congregational life. Other advice given by Warren included looking at everything from an outsider’s viewpoint, such as simplifying worship terms, making strangers feel welcome, and encouraging interaction.

-Rick Warren Counsels Jews on Recruiting Congregants http://www.christianpost.com/news/rick-warren-counsels-jews-on-recruiting-congregants-30531/

Cecil Andrews commented further on this at ‘Take Heed’ Ministries, Jan. 2008.

But perhaps the most shocking of Warren’s compromising error is his gospel to Muslims. (See: Falling Short – Rick Warren by Mark Mullins.) Warren is a signatory on the misleading and compromising document “Loving God and Neighbor Together: A Christian Response to a Common Word Between us and You” that claims to “seek peace” with Islam by accepting that Islam and Christianity worship the same God at the core. (See: I CAN’T SIGN THE LETTER: Peace at the cost of absolute truth is conciliation with a lie by Eric Barger.)

Last year Rick Warren was involved in another Muslim bridge building in a document that encourages Christians and Muslims to “appreciate the similarities of our faiths.” (See: RICK WARREN PRESENTS HISTORIC “KING’S WAY” INTERFAITH DOCUMENT )

While his gospel to the Jews and Muslims is watered down, to the world he offers an even more shallow version of the gospel, as demonstrated when he spoke at TED (technology, education, design) about what makes God happy. TED’s past speakers have included Bill Gates, and Richard Dawkins, and is attended by the worlds most influential thinkers in science, philosophy,and music. Here is how Rick Warren siezed this wonderful opportunity to share the gospel to unbelievers and atheists:

“Did you know that God smiles when you be you. Some people have the misguided idea that God only gets excited when you’re doing “spiritual things” like going to church or helping the poor or confessing or doing something like that. The bottom line is that God gets pleasure watching you be you. Why? He made you. And when you do what you were made to do He says ‘That’s my boy!’, ‘That’s my girl!’ You’re using the talent and ability that I gave you… So my advice to you is look at what is in your hand, your identity, your influence, your income, and say its not about me, its about making the world a better place.” Source: Rick warren teaching man centered mythology at TED 2006 http://apprising.org/2012/06/19/rick-warren-teaching-man-centered-mythology/

When the world listens to Rick Warren, one cannot help but think of 1 John 4:5 which says, “They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them.” Some argue that Warren’s message to the church is meatier. Is it? During the Daniel Project at Saddleback church, which was based on physical health (not biblical truth), Warren gave his platform to three health experts, introducing his flock to their teaching and websites. These were doctors who teach and promote Eastern religion, Buddhist based mystical meditation, hypnotism and energy-based Reiki. Even so, Warren said:

‘The Bible says that God wants us to be as healthy physically as you are spiritually,’ Warren said… ‘This is God’s prescription for your health.” – Rick Warren

Also see: Rick Warren’s “Daniel Plan” Doctor Recommends TM [UPDATED]

Besides these concerns, there are other problems with Rick Warren’s gospel. Moriel’s recent Be Alert update explains a few more reasons:

2nd – Rick Warren’s ‘Global Peace Plan’ calling for partnering with worshippers of other gods (whom Moses and Paul both identified in God’s Word as demons) in order to usher in global peace is the anti christ agenda for a false, Christ-less peace that scriptural prophecy predicts and warns against in the last days. It is a public shame and a disgrace for any Christian leader to lend credence to the architect of such a blatantly satanic agenda.
3rd – Rick Warren’s downplay of repentance in his Purpose Driven model is a false gospel. In any New Testament model of the true gospel, repentance is central, not peripheral and a condition of regeneration, not only a post salvation sanctification. The marketing psychology based strategy Rick Warren borrowed from secular marketing entrepreneur, Peter Drucker and various figures involved in New Age “New Thought” drives this point even further.
4th – Rick Warren’s instruction to ignore end time prophecy as a diversion directly contradicts the unambiguous commands of the Lord Jesus in The Olivet Discourse to Be Alert for the signs of His Second Coming. Worse still is Rick Warren’s “cut and paste” style of eisegesis translocating verses between New Testament books to make the text appear to state things it does not is cultic and heretical.
Moriel Be Alert, Mar 31, 2013 Rick Warren

All of the above are valid, biblical reasons why any resources from Rick Warren should be avoided.

Recently Rick Warren revealed more of his purpose driven confidence when he dropped in live and unannounced (uninvited?) on Calvary Chapel’s KWVE radio show, twenty minutes into the Feb 26th Pastor’s Perspective. Chuck Smith was gracious enough to allow to him stay on air where Warren made himself right at home and later went on to brag tweet about it. (See: STUDIO SURPRISE? RICK WARREN POPS IN ON PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE and CC, Chuck Smith, Rick Warren – Radio Show)

Some say that we should not be so quick to say that this likeable teddy bear pastor is not a Christian brother. They say we should not name him as a false teacher. Some also say that he has repented recently and that he is now “okay”. Is that so? Where? Of what? Has he renounced any of his compromise of the purity of the gospel of Jesus Christ? What about the best selling Purpose Driven Life book that misrepresents and distorts the gospel and misrepresents scripture? (See HERE.) What about Celebrate Recovery’s mixture of biblical teaching and ungodly psychobabble counsel which began at Saddleback Church and is incorporated into more than 3,500 churches today? (See: “A Way Which Seemeth Right…”.) Has he repented for promoting contemplative spiritual formation? Any current search for spiritual formation books promoted on Saddleback’s website will confirm that he has not. If Rick Warren has ‘repented’ of his errors in any of these and/or the church marketing ways (of his mentors Peter Drucker and Robert Schuller), where is the evidence? If he has repented of his past compromise, why will he be sharing the platform with Trinity denier Bishop T.D Jakes and false positive teacher Joel Osteen at the 2013 Hillsong Conference in Sydney Australia (where adults can attend for only $299 each)?

Rick Warren may not be a heretic, but is he a good shepherd? Is it beneficial for churches to follow in his footsteps by using his materials and programs to further spread an impure and muddy gospel? Is it wise for churches to model themselves after the successful marketing and church growth model of a pastor/teacher who continues to join hands with heretics and the world? Is he preaching about the peace that can only come through Jesus Christ, or a mixture of Christianity and his own P.E.A.C.E. Plan (which is eerily similar to the humanistic U.N. Millennial Goals of this world)?

Rick Warren says don’t bother with prophecy. The Bible says that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10). What does the Spirit say to the churches? Who has an ear to hear?

Related: Rick Warren’s Deception Strikes Widely http://www.bibleguidance.co.za/Engarticles/RickWarren.htm

Purpose-Driven Deception on a Global Scale
http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/006/pd-deception.htm

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