Sunday, November 28, 2010
God's Prophecy Leads Us ... 2
With Absolute Certainty
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him....And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
1 John 2:15-17
Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11
This post is a continuation of God's Prophecy Leads Us … be sure to read it first to understand the proper context.
Certainly the world is all about solving its problems without the God of the Bible. Yet many professing Christians are rushing to remedy the world's troubles in ways that are without the support of Scripture, some even in contradiction to what the Scriptures teach. Rick Warren's global P.E.A.C.E. plan is one of many programs and teachings that, for the most part, cannot be reconciled with God's prophetic Word. It is Warren's "50-year plan" to cure global issues such as "pandemic diseases, extreme poverty, illiteracy, corruption, global warming, [and] spiritual emptiness" (see www.thebereancall.org). He claims that his social-works agenda developed from his reading of the Gospels--that Jesus gave him the model that was the antidote to the five biggest problems on the planet. Warren subsequently expanded that model from an exclusive endeavor of Christianity to one requiring the support of all religions. The "P" in his P.E.A.C.E. plan originally stood for "Planting Churches" as the key antidote for curing the world's ills. Later, however, before a panel and audience of representatives of the world's religions, he changed the "P" from "Planting Churches" to "Promoting Reconciliation".
Warren announced unequivocally that the universal problems cannot be solved "without including people of faith and their religious institutions". He told his audience at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland (1/24/08) that the various houses of worship are needed for distribution centers of resources to help eradicate global problems. His shift, however, to an ecumenical program that includes Islamic mosques, Hindu temples, Jewish synagogues, and other religious establishments as participants in meeting social needs may impress the world, but it is contrary to what God says in His Word. The God of the Bible is an exclusive God: "I am the Lord, and there is none else, and there is no God beside me" Isaiah 45:5. There is to be no participation with the purveyors of false gods. The Apostle Paul tells us we are not to be "unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?" 2 Corinthians 6:14-15.
Rick Warren's "ill-curing" ecumenical agenda is illogical as well as unbiblical. How can his game plan for remedying "spiritual emptiness" work with those who promote a false spirituality? Peter tells us, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name [Jesus Christ] under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Jesus himself declared, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" John 14:6. If there is no other true God but the God revealed in the Bible, and if salvation comes only through Jesus Christ-as the Scriptures declare-then all other gods and all other ways of salvation are false, with no hope for their followers. Yet Warren told his Davos religious audience that he was not concerned about their motivation in doing good, "as long as you do good." Tragically, he reinforced the very lie that keeps billions of religious people blinded to the truth and from turning to Jesus Christ: works salvation.
The influence of this fix-the-earth program is staggering. Warren's best-selling Purpose Driven Life (30 million copies- plus sold worldwide) introduced his "50- year" global P.E.A.C.E Plan and has been translated into 52 languages. According to his website, more than 500,000 evangelical churches are partnering with him in his unbiblical ecumenical effort.
Although Warren's attempt to solve the world's problems is more than misguided, it's not the only prophecy-denying, earthbound enterprise that's gaining followers today. Rob Bell, in his book Velvet Elvis, reflects the "fix the earth" eschatology of nearly all Emerging Church leaders: "Salvation is the entire universe being brought back into harmony with its maker....But we can join a movement that is as wide and as big as the universe itself. Rocks and trees and birds and swamps and ecosystems....God's desire is to restore all of it....The goal isn't escaping this world but making this world the kind of place God can come to. And God is remaking us into the kind of people who can do this kind of work."
Brian McLaren, arguably the best-known emergent leader, has a low, if not distorted, view of biblical prophecy, as do most of his peers in the Emerging Church Movement. He regards the Book of Revelation as "literature of the oppressed" to inspire "each generation," rather than God's warning of future events and judgments to come upon mankind.
Those future events and judgments are clearly at odds with the agenda of solving the world's problems and turning it into a paradise. McLaren declares: "In this light, [that is, removing the prophetic aspect of the Book of Revelation] Revelation becomes a powerful book about the kingdom of God here and now, available to all." He believes, as does Rick Warren (who also has a low view of prophecy), that it is necessary for all the religions of the world to work together for the greater good of society: "I think our future will also require us to join humbly and charitably with people of other faiths--Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, secularists, and others--in pursuit of peace, environmental stewardship, and justice for all people, things that matter greatly to the heart of God." That sentiment, although pleasing to the flesh, is far removed from the "heart of God" and His Word.
Restoring or preserving this planet as a rallying cause in the church has far exceeded the biblical principle of stewardship today and has become an earthbound mindset. Scripture is quite clear that any abuse of what God has provided for mankind is sin. Yet some are using the Bible erroneously to support their unbiblical agendas. Eugene Peterson, in his 10-million-bestselling The Message Bible, has no qualms about distorting the Scriptures for "the cause." He translates John 3:17 to say that Jesus "came to help, to put the world right again," rather than "that the world through Him might be saved" (meaning the salvation of souls-KJV). He then promotes the ecological Green Movement by adding the adjective "green" to Romans 15:13: "Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy...."
Marketing Bibles is big business today, and where there's a "cause," there's usually an attempt to come up with a Bible that implies that the agenda is supported in Scripture. The Green Bible is just one example. It is presented in conjunction with the Sierra Club, The Humane Society, and the National Council of Churches' Eco-Justice Program. It features an introduction by arch-heretic Archbishop Desmond Tutu and contributions by emergent leader Brian McLaren and theologian N. T. Wright, both of whom preach "redeeming the earth." Sales promotions claim that because the Bible mentions the earth twice as often as "heaven" and "love," it "carries a powerful message for the earth." That rationale is both delusionary and deceptive. The "powerful message" of the Bible is the "good news" of what God has accomplished to reconcile man to Himself that we might spend life everlasting with Him. This present earth plays a very minute part in God's eternal plan.
Sadly, increasing numbers of believers are attempting to secure their lifeboats to our Titanic -- like earth for the purpose of redeeming it. Instead, our "agenda" needs to line up with the biblical mandate of evangelist and soul winner John Harper (read An Unlikely Hero)
There is no redemption for this earth--only for its people.
Lord, give us that same love for the perishing that You gave to Your servant John Harper, and, by Your grace, use us according to Your Word.
... excerpted from The Temporal Delusion, part 2 by Dave Hunt and T.A. McMahon The Berean Call
Where does this all lead when we carry this logic it to it's end? Well recently an advocate of the social justice gospel, and the emerging church legalistically judged me, questioning my Christianity because I did not support, and often speak out against Obamacare. This Christian member of Rick Warren's church quoted Jesus' parable of the sheep and the goats out of context (I might ad) and implied that I was a goat, and would be dealt with accordingly when I stand before Christ. I am waiting for him to question my salvation in a similar way due to my stand against the global warming hoax.
Eugene Peterson's ignorant distortion of God's word, and his use of the term "the God of green hope" shows how far these paraphrases have twisted the truth to fit personal agendas. Also the fact that they would create a green bible shows how desperate the environmentalists are to promote their false religion disguised as a bible.
Regarding Rick Warren's Plan: I have been an admirer and student of Pastor Rick Warren for over 25 years. As a result, I thought long and hard before posting this article. But I am afraid he has stepped away from his churche's founding principles of 1. the great commission and 2. the greatest commandment. I truly respect what Rick Warren and Saddleback have accomplished for the cause of Christ, and his heart for the Lord. But on this issue, I am convinced that he has confused his priorities to the detriment of God's Word, and is leading committed Christians down the wrong path. If you doubt the validity of this conclusion ... read for yourself the Pew/Warren interview where pastor Warren discusses these specific issues and more. Warren/Pew interview. In the interview he explains his exit strategy from Saddleback Church and his new plan which has already begun. He refers to himself as a liberal. His negative description of Conservative Christian Fundamentalists as “having stopped listening” ... and he lumps us together with Islamists, atheists and other false religions (apparently meant as an insult), and to tickle his liberal audience; but in reality it is a compliment ... since to stop listening to unbiblical worldly counsel is actually what the Bible teaches Biblical Christians to do. "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2
His plan to use churches worldwide as clinics during the week to heal the sick is brilliant, from a worldly human perspective; and IF there were many true gods who created the universe and multiple valid religions and paths to eternal life ... I would say this makes sense spiritually. But the Bible is clear. According to the God that Pastor Warren has committed his life to serve; most of these other religions he is lining up with to fulfill his plan are false religions, worshiping false gods. To join together with them is clearly contrary to what the Bible teaches; as noted in the above scriptures.
BOTTOM LINE: The end ... clearly WILL NEVER NEVER EVER ... justify the means.
What will the Islamists do when our medical missionaries lovingly witness to sick and lost Muslims … cut off the Christian’s heads, or stone them to death? Our mission of sharing the gospel and planting churches is a thousand times more important than promoting reconciliation of false religions; or showing false religions and atheists how to heal the sick. We must pray for Pastor Rick Warren that God will make the truth of His Word clear to him. Bob
“If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. “But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. John 15: 19-21
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Mathew 28:18-20
These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
We cannot have heaven on earth by minimizing Christ and His plan. Following plans that blend false religions with Christianity for the "common good" and "environmental stewardship" are not plans from Jesus Christ ... this is clearly a scheme of the false god of this world.
God Bless you my friends, Bob