God's word teaches that the church is not called to meet and cater to the spiritual expectations of any nation, culture or competing worldview. The church is called to boldly proclaim repentance and the forgiveness of sins in Jesus Name to all nations (Luke 24:46-47). This bold and certain proclamation that Jesus is THE way, THE truth and THE life (John 14:6) flies directly in the face of the epistemological assumptions of postmodernity; particularly that objective truth is unknowable and that there is no ultimate spiritual authority.
Therefore, the church must call postmoderns just like every other lost human tribe to repentance of not only of their sins but also of their false epistemology and worldview. (2 Cor. 10:5) Biblical Christians must struggle to release postmoderns from the fog of uncertainty (Heb.11:1-2) and the mistaken belief that truth is a plurality and call them into the brilliance and glory of the singular and certain truth that Jesus Christ, the one true God (Isaiah 43:10-11) in human flesh (John 1:14) died on the cross for their sins (1 Cor. 15:3-6). He died to propitiate the wrath of God (Rom 3:23-26, Heb. 2:17) which is soon to be revealed (Rom. 2:5) and He rose again for their justification (Rom. 4:25). The proclamation of this good news, the true Biblical Gospel once and for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3), requires unwavering trust and such courage of conviction that you'd rather face Caesar's lions in the sands of coliseum than deny it (Matt. 10:33).
This bitting satirical article lays bare the absurd and unbiblical liberal hermeneutic that led the ELCA and other liberal denominations astray regarding homosexuality. Below are the opening few paragraphs of this brilliant piece.
Temple prostitution: a modest proposal
by Peter Speckhard, associate editor
November 2009 Forum Letter
Every now and then a new way of looking at things not only solves a problem but opens up unexpected opportunities for that one solution to lead to a whole host of related solutions. The recent decisions of the ELCA regarding homosexuality solved the problem faced by gay couples seeking church weddings. But even better, the new way of looking at the issue could solve several more perennial problems in the church with one grand innovation.
Facing our problems
What are the biggest problems, practical and theological, that Lutheran churches in America face today? I would submit the following:
—Inability to retain or reach out to young, single people, especially men. Think about it—on a typical Sunday in a typical Lutheran church, how many 28-year-old single men are sitting in the pews? How might we draw them in? What are their felt needs?
—Failure to use the gifts of the laity. Sure, it is easy to use the gifts of creative, educated, energetic, talented people. But many Christians are none of those things. Like the Little Drummer Boy, they have not much to offer. But if they sincerely, humbly, and faithfully offer whatever gifts they’ve been given, shouldn’t they expect their offering to meet the approval of their God?
—Declining revenue. Especially in a tough economy, we need new and creative ways to raise money if we’re adequately going to fund critical ministries such as feeding the hungry or blanketing Africa with condoms.
—Legalism. We can’t be a gospel-centered church with a do-this, don’t-do-that mentality. Legalism, a focus on rules and moralistic preaching have always threatened the freedom of the gospel.
—Biblicism. Too often we use selective proof-texts merely to maintain traditional opinions rather than really listening to the Spirit.
—Irrelevance. We need to address the real social needs in and of the world as it exists around us, not as it supposedly was in the 1950’s or how we might wish it were. We must face the joyful challenges of today.
—Worship without impact. Too often our worship is only a matter of words and music rather than an expression of radical freedom that encompasses the whole person.
Now imagine all those problems solved with one simple innovation. The answer: temple prostitution.
I know, I know. Outrageous and offensive. I can hear readers already dismissing the idea out of hand. And I admit that we may not be ready for it quite yet. But please hear me out on this.
First off, let’s address the common objections. Sure, there are a handful of Bible verses that might seem to condemn the practice. But all the condemnation of temple prostitution involves pagan practices or worship of false gods. The objectionable thing is the idolatry, not the physical act itself. Sanctified, faithful prostitution in service of the true God is a new thing. The Biblical writers never foresaw or contemplated sanctified, faithful, God-pleasing prostitution in the churches and thus never wrote about it. Attempts to find a Biblical injunction against the practice therefore fall short.
Secondly, let’s not cherry-pick verses selectively. We don’t stone disobedient children to death. We don’t refrain from pork or sodomy merely because this or that verse says we should. We have to look at the whole Biblical witness in light of the freedom we have in Christ. For example, God ordered Hosea to marry a prostitute. Such Biblical precedent offers interpretive nuance to seemingly black-and-white prohibitions.
Thirdly, Jesus himself seemed to have a soft spot for prostitutes. Many reputable scholars today think he may have been married to one. And Jesus showed radical inclusivit
Why are Rick Warren and a growing gaggle of Purpose-Driven and Seeker-Driven pastors embracing and promoting Roman Catholic Monastic Mysticism? In a previous post, I said that I would answer this question. It's now time to do so.
There is one reason and one reason only why innovative market-driven pastors are promoting Roman Catholic Monastic Mysticism. The simple answer is MARKETING.
Since the mid-90's market survey's and data have been pointing market-driven pastors to the fact that the spiritual market in America was undergoing a change and would soon be embracing spirituality and expect mystical spiritual experiences from their church.
Therefore, the market-driven church in a pragmatic attempt to make the church more appealing to pagans, who expect to have spiritual experiences, have reached back in time to find some vaguely "Christian" form of spirituality that they could promote in order to meet the felt needs of pagans and thereby grow their churches. This is growth for growth's sake with absolutely no concern for the truth and sound Biblical doctrine!
Leith Anderson (Doug Pagitt's Pastor at the time) said this at Leadership Network's 1995 Re-Tooling the Church Summit:
We are living in a time unprecedented for its change, a time when “the rules of yesterday have been replaced.” Three specific shifts that are impacting the church in North America are: (1) the entry point being a relationship, not a program; (2) the quest for experience before understanding and the desire for connection to God as expressed in the increasing interest in spirituality and the supernatural; and (3) the rise of non-denominationalism in favor of people’s desire for essential Biblical Christianity regardless of the denominational label. Churches that reach people in the 21st century will have four characteristics: (1) spiritually focused; (2) “socially permeable,” that is, they must be open, rather than closed to newcomers; (3) culturally relevant; and (4) outreach oriented. (emphasis added)
Barna's market research also identified this change in the spiritual market back in the mid 1990's. According to Barna there were going to be several key issues in regard to the significance of church and culture in America. Some of these issues include:
(1) the rejection of absolute truth vs. the ascendancy of moral relativism; (2) the demise of Christian orthodoxy vs. the rise of synthetic spirituality; (3) ineffective confrontational evangelism vs. Socratic evangelism; (4) academic education for clergy vs. practical training for church leaders; (emphasis added)
Put plainly, these market-saavvy church leaders via their connections with Leadership Network, the Purpose-Driven Community, the Willow Creek Association and the Emergent Church through their market data saw these changes coming in the culture and they adapted the church, its message and its practices in order to conform to the world's expectations. They sold the truth out in order to make the church more appealing to pagan spiritual sympathies and expectations. This is the epitomy of what the Apostle Paul warned about in 2 Tim. 4:1-4. The Apostle Paul warned that “the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”
The Lectio Divina, Ignatius Loyola's Prayer Examen, Brother Lawrence's Practice of the Presence of God are all practices that claim that IF you follow the steps created by these Roman Catholic Monks then you will have a "spiritual experience". Yet all of these practices are Monastic Myths and Spiritual Fantasies created by men who were trying to earn their way to heaven through their asceticism, harsh treatment of the body, hair shirts, self-whippings, long prayers, and mysticism.
Again the Apostle the Paul warns us about these Monks and their false piety and spiritism. Said Paul, "Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God." (Colossians 2:18–19)
Rather than heed the warnings of the scriptures and abiding in Christ and holding fast to His word and sound Biblical Doctrine, these market-driven churches, in their harlot like pursuit of growth at all costs have sold their souls to the spirit of the age and as a result have forsaken the Biblical Gospel itself. For men do not come to God on their own terms but can only come to God on God's terms and God has said that no one can come to the Father except through Jesus Christ and through the proclamation of repentance and the forgiveness of sins in Jesus' name. It is this gospel and this gospel alone that God uses to regenerate lost sinners and grant them life and salvation.(John 14:6, Luke 24:46-47, Rom. 10:17, 1 Cor. 2:1-2)
Rick Warren's upcoming Radicalis Conference will feature Pete Scazzero. In case you're not familiar with Pete Scazzero, he could easily be described as Protestant/Roman Catholic Mystic. He spends one week per year in a Trappist Monastery practicing Monkery and he's recently re-packaged the Roman Catholic Mysticism that he's been learning in order to make it more marketable to Purpose-Driven / Seeker-Driven Churches.
I recently reviewed some of Pete Scazzero's work on my radio program including his repackaging of Roman Catholic Mystic, Brother Lawrence's Practice of the Presence of God. These Roman Catholic practices contradict the clear teaching of the word of God and are incompatible with Biblical Christianity. I'd like Rick Warren and Saddleback church to answer some basic questions:
• Why on earth are is Rick Warren allowing these Roman Catholic Mystical Monastic practices to be taught to other pastors at the upcoming Radicalis Conference?
• Does Warren even remotely care about sound Biblical doctrine or has he become so pragmatic in his thinking that he's abandoned any pretense of teaching & defending the truth?
• Isn't Warren supposed to be a Protestant Southern Baptist Pastor?
• Does the Southern Baptist Convention have a formal process for bringing a pastor up on charges of false doctrine? (it may be time to file them because Rick Warren's promotion of Roman Catholic Monastic Mysticism contracts the established doctrines of the SBC and has no business being taught at any church, especially one officially affiliated with the SBC.)
You can listen to my review of Pete Scazzero's Monastic Mysticsm below.
Click on the Menu button on the player above and you can embed this radio segment on your blog or website.
Why on earth are Roman Catholic Mysticism and practices developed in monasteries by men who rejected the gospel of salvation by grace alone through faith alone by Christ's work alone being promoted in supposedly Protestant churches?
Scott Hodge of The Orchard is an up and coming innovative leader in the seeker-driven ranks who also promotes and practices Monastic Mysticism.
And the list of supposedly Protestant pastors who are teaching and practicing various forms of contemplative monastic mysticism is growing and growing. Fact is, Roman Catholic Monastic Mysticism is becoming all the rage in today's post-modern, cutting edge, innovative market-driven churches.
But, despite what these men may tell you, these practices are not Biblical, were not practiced by Jesus or any of His disciples and rather than connecting you with the Holy Spirit of the Bible, will instead connect you with the demonic realm.
But even worse, as you'll hear in my interview with Christine Pack of the Solasisters, these practices contradict the scriptures by teaching that we can experience God apart from Christ and His Cross. If the claims of those promoting these Roman Catholic practices were true then Jesus was lying when he said that no one can come to the father except through him. (John 14:6).
Truth be told, I know exactly why Rick Warren and others in the Purpose-Driven community as well as the Willow Creek Association are promoting and adopting the use of these Roman Catholic Monastic practices. However, I will save that answer for a forth coming post.
First, I would like for you to hear from someone that Christ rescued out of the mire of mysticism. Here is my interview with Christine Pack from yesterday's edition of Fighting for the Faith.
A Fair & Provocative Question: Since these pastors have so little Biblical discernment as demonstrated by their promotion of these Roman Catholic Monastic practices, how long will it be before Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Shane Hipps, Pete Scazzero and others begin promoting prayers TO the Blessed Virgin Mary? [Ironically, the exact same Biblical Doctrines come into play.]
Click on the Menu button on the player above and you can embed this radio segment on your blog or website.
During the program I hinted at the fact that in the interview Doug revealed the incorrect assumption of many in the Emergent movement and that this incorrect assumption explains why were seeing the theological distortions and the false gospel that have become the hallmark of the Emergent Church.
I want to highlight this incorrect assumption for you. Therefore, I've created a short soundbite montage that may sound a bit obnoxious because of the repetition of certain phrases in it. But, I am using repetition in this montage to really drive home and highlight the incorrect assumption that these 'innovative leaders' have been working from.
Now compare this assumption about changing the actually meaning of the gospel to make it appeal to post-modern culture to what Jesus instructed the apostles to do in Luke 24:46-48
“and [Jesus] said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his nameto all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.” (Luke 24:46–48)
Jesus wanted a VERY SPECIFIC message to be proclaimed to ALL NATIONS. The message itself was NOT changeable. The strategy of preaching the Gospel NEVER included altering the message to make it more appealing to different cultures in different nations. Yet from the earliest days of the Emergent Church they assumed that the actual gospel message had to be changed in order to appeal the emerging post-modern culture and THEIR expectations about what the church should be and THEIR expectations about the spirituality that the church should convey.
Yet scripture could not be clearer, the Gospel message cannot be changed or altered. The consequences of changing the gospel message is that a distorted gospel will be proclaimed in its place that is no gospel at all and that distorted gospel will ultimately eternally condemn those believing and proclaiming it.
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:6–9)
Now that you know that from the beginning, the Emergent Church was working with a fatally incorrect assumption, listen to this montage that highlights the fact that the primary thing that was trully at the heart of the Emergent movement was INNOVATION, INNOVATION, INNOVATION. Yet the scriptural call for the church is FIDELITY, FIDELITY, FIDELITY to the gospel message as handed down in the scriptures.