Is It Time for the American Church to Grow Up?

BY LINCOLN BROWN

SEE: https://pjmedia.com/culture/lincolnbrown/2021/09/26/is-it-time-for-the-american-church-to-grow-up-n1481436;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

Christmas is just around the corner. I know this because Halloween is a month off and around these parts, the Christmas decorations go up after the last trick-or-treater has gone home for the night. The arrival of the season (which wouldn’t surprise me if it starts this Tuesday) will come with the usual protests. Articles will be written about the War on Christmas. Facebook posts will go up about keeping Christ in Christmas, and spleens will be vented over changing school Christmas pageants to “Holiday Pageants.” And yes, we should keep Christ in Christmas. I’m not here to argue that. However, I am here to argue that perhaps for too long, American Christians have been taking their faith for granted.

It probably went under your radar, but the administration of the Putnam County School District in Tennessee announced that teachers and coaches were prohibited from leading their students and teams in prayer. This came on the heels of a letter from the Americans United for Separation of Church and State alleging “prayer and proselytizing” in the schools. This has been going on for years. An atheist group takes issue with something, threatens the school district, which caves to avoid a lawsuit.

In response, following a recent football game between Upperman and Stone Memorial high schools, the players led everyone in prayer. One person wrote on Facebook, “Satan’s power was defeated tonight, as the threat of a legal action to forbid prayer after the game was overwhelmed by player-led prayer supported by parents and fans in solidarity on Overall Field. God bless the Baxter and Stone players for their faith and courage.” While the incident makes for a good news story, I’m not sure that it constitutes a victory over Satan.

Chances are, especially in light of the church-state COVID clashes in the U.S. and in particular Canada, things like this will become more commonplace.  And perhaps, American Christians could use a little tempering with fire.

I used to volunteer for a non-profit that supported persecuted Christians. As part of my volunteer duties, I would visit churches and deliver presentations about persecution and hand out information. The idea was to raise awareness about the problem among U.S. Christians who are often blissfully or even willfully unaware of it. At one church, my presentation replaced the Sunday sermon. The service opened with the usual 30-minute worship concert of current and recurrent CCM songs. The young woman in front of me jumped up as soon as the music started and contorted herself into what I guess was a posture of praise: bent sideways at the waist, head cocked the other way, and one hand thrust into the air. Much to my amazement, she managed to stay that way for the entire time. When it was my turn to speak, she glared at me like I was offering adult magazines and bong hits. To be fair, while most of the congregation remained stoic, they did clean me out of my literature and several signed up as volunteers. But the young lady disappeared as soon as church was over after giving me one last withering look. Perhaps I ruined what she expected to be another good day at church. At another church, people cried copiously during my presentation but blew me off after the service to eat a donut and have a cup of coffee. Or make a break for the local breakfast buffet.

I have often encountered a nervous avoidance among Christians when it comes to the subject of persecution. I suppose that may be because stories of persecution are at odds with the moral-therapeutic deism that has replaced theology in so many places. The idea runs counter that the notion of a “good, good father” who has a plan for your life. It isn’t the easy Christianity of “doing life together,” “boyfriend Jesus,” and the latest hits from your local Christian radio station. It isn’t a sermon that could just as easily be a motivational speech for an MLM.

But as it turns out, Christians in other parts of the world carry actual burdens. Serious ones.

While I was a volunteer I made the acquaintance of Sarah Liu, a Chinese Christian who was the editor of an underground newspaper. She was arrested one night in her pajamas, which was not unusual for her. But this time, they took her to a secret location. They tied her to a chair and whipped her feet with a hanger and put cigarettes out on her skin. Shackled to a post in a warehouse, she was made to walk in a circle all night. In the morning she realized that she had circled the post so many times that she was walking in a trail of her own blood. She was imprisoned and forced to make Christmas lights to sell in America. Think about that when you are decorating this year. Sarah remains one of the gentlest, sweetest souls and one of the most committed believers I have ever met.

Or consider the 21 Coptic Christians beheaded by ISIS on the beach in 2015 for refusing to renounce their faith. One particularly odious discernment blogger said that as members of the Coptic Church, they were not actually Christian. Well, let’s see: They were given the option of denying Christ or having their heads cut off. They chose to die. They sound like committed Christians to me, despite them not adhering to the blogger’s preferred version of faith. How many of us would offer our necks if given a similar choice?

I could keep you here all day with stories of Christians who have been shot, scalped, burned alive, sold into slavery, and mutilated in persecuting countries. Or even shoved into ovens to be cooked alive. In some countries, people are not even considered mature Christians until they have been arrested at least once.

When James and John asked Jesus if they could sit at his right and left in the coming kingdom, Jesus said, “You don’t know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” The members of the persecuted church are drinking deep.

Are we in the USA guilty of idolatry? In the contemporary church, people equate idolatry with putting other things before God like video games, NASCAR, a home business, or a favorite sports team. But as it was originally understood in the Ancient Near East, idolatry was the practice of creating a physical idol and coaxing the god of your choice to literally come down and live in it. The god would then be pampered with the expectation that the worshipper’s needs and demands would be met. Have we tried to make God in our own image? Have we created a system that we expect God to inhabit with the expectation of Him serving us, rather than us serving him? Have we made an idol out of church?

Beyond the name-it-and-claim-it prosperity gospel heresy, one wonders what is becoming of the church. Have worship and sacrifice been replaced with vision-casting and worship teams? Is the sacred space nothing more than a concert venue? Has the biblical instruction of our children been usurped by pizza and games? And what place have we made for God in all of this?

I suspect that the American Church has made itself into an idol that it expects God to inhabit. Back when I was going to seminary online, I was deep into the Christian lifestyle and was listening to a famous national Christian radio network. During a pledge drive, a woman called in and gushed about how the radio station had changed her husband’s life and that now he was saved because of the jocks and their playlist. Apparently, Jesus had nothing to do with that. A church I used to attend now tosses beachballs into the congregation and sings Disney and country music songs in an effort to be attractional and get the numbers. This, as the big-business church model, is burning down. Even as empires like Hillsong are starting to crack.

Perhaps American Christians have come to see faith as a moneymaker in some cases. I used to work in a Christian bookstore and we sold boxed Bible studies by a very famous Christian celebrity. The cost for one of her Bible studies was $199 at the time. You got a box with a leader’s guide, a participant guide, and a DVD. It probably cost around $10 to make. $199 to learn more about a man who was happy to share his wisdom for free.

For others, it may be convenient. A place where people can feel warm and fuzzy, and cuddle with a God who will give them everything they ask for. A place where they can talk about their beards or tattoos and be secure in their salvation and the superiority of their biblical knowledge and doctrine. American Christians have never been made to even count the cost, let alone pay it. Ask for a Dietrich Bonhoeffer and you may well find a money changer. As Sarah Liu once said in a speech, “Everyone wants Jesus, but no one wants the cross.”

The time may be coming for the church in America to grow up.

Vatican Invites Abortion Advocate Chelsea Clinton To Talk About ‘Health’ And The ‘Soul’

Vatican Invites Abortion Advocate Chelsea Clinton To Talk About ‘Health’ And The ‘Soul’

BY EVITA DUFFY

SEE: https://thefederalist.com/2021/04/16/vatican-invites-abortion-advocate-chelsea-clinton-to-talk-about-health-and-the-soul/

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture is set to host Chelsea Clinton, Anthony Fauci, Deepak Chopra, and others for a May conference to explore the “mind, body, and soul” and its role in health care.

The Vatican Council for Culture and the Cura Foundation and the Science and Faith (STOQ) Foundation are partnering together to host “the world’s leading physicians, scientists, leaders of faith, ethicists, patient advocates, policymakers, philanthropists and influencers to engage in powerful conversations on the latest breakthroughs in medicine, health care delivery and prevention.”

Speakers for the virtual conference are the world’s elites. Those picked to lecture on health and the soul include CEOs of large pharmaceutical companies, including Moderna and Pfizer, and former supermodel Cindy Crawford, English primatologist Jane Goodall, Aerosmith lead guitarist Joe Perry, and CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Speaker Chelsea Clinton is a high-profile abortion advocate, like her mother and father, Hillary and Bill Clinton. Chelsea labels the pro-life movement as an “anti-choice movement,” and is an outspoken supporter of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the U.S.

In 2018, Chelsea spoke at a “Rise up for Roe” event in New York City, a meeting organized by the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League and Planned Parenthood to oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. During her address, she glowingly credited legal abortion for adding trillions of dollars to the U.S. economy.

“American women entering the labor force from 1973 to 2009 added three and a half trillion dollars to our economy,” Clinton stated. “The net, new entrance of women — that is not disconnected from the fact that Roe became the law of the land in January of 1973.”

Chelsea is also Vice President of the Clinton Foundation, an organization riddled with controversy and corruption, and a supporter of global pro-abortion initiatives.

The Catholic Church publicly professes that life begins at conception and abortion is a case of direct killing of an innocent human being — a violation of the rights of the youngest members of our society and the human family.”

In fact, the Catholic Church has been a leading advocate for the right to life for hundreds of years. “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law,” reads the Catholic Catechism.

There is no mention of Clinton’s anti-life stance on the Vatican’s website, she is simply identified as “vice chair, Clinton Foundation.” The Church is actively elevating Clinton, who vocally advocates for a practice that harms mothers and kills innocent children, as an authority on the “mind, body, and soul.”

The conference will take place May 6-8, and “will be moderated by renowned journalists, who will explore the role of religion, faith and spirituality, and the interplay of the mind, body, and soul – and, ultimately, search for areas of convergence between the humanities and the natural sciences.”

The “renowned” journalists include Katie Couric, Richard Lui, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Amy Robach, Robin Roberts, and Meredith Vieira.

“Together we will focus on advances in medical innovation and the creation of healthier communities and seek to catalyze new, interdisciplinary approaches and partnerships to improve health and wellbeing, as well as understand human uniqueness,” the Vatican said.

The State of the Church: An Interview with John MacArthur

MELISSA DOUGHERTY: NEW AGE AFFIRMATIONS ARE UNBIBLICAL NEW AGE PRACTICES THAT DISAPPOINT~JACK CANFIELD REFUTED & EXPOSED AS A CHARLATAN

Are Affirmations Biblical? My Thoughts.

REFUTING NEW AGE PAGAN PRACTICES WITH THE WORD OF GOD

I Am Worthy of making more money. I am full of positive love and positive energy. I am loved, loving, and loveable. I am becoming the best version of myself . I am enough. These are only some of the affirmations I made when I practiced the Law of Attraction as a new ager. What’s wrong with these statements? Are self-affirmations like this really new age? Why? Is it wrong to say or think positive things about myself now? Am I supposed to walk around thinking what a terrible person I am because saying positive things about myself is ‘new age’? These are some of the common questions I asked myself when I left the new age, and many have asked me similar questions. Honestly, many ex new agers struggle with this. In this video, I’m going to share Three main ideas that will help illustrate this and give biblical support to show you what I mean. **FYI- I did have some audio/visual issues while filming this video. Towards the middle of the video, you'll notice a slight lag. I always strive to put out the best quality image and audio I can for you guys. I was a little frustrated while editing it because it was difficult to fix and debated not posting the video at all. But I thought the content was good and fixed what I could, and overall, I think it came together okay. Further research: Talking about the Word of Faith Movement on Cultish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVixv... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKOBw... How the New age Movement Misuses Bible Verses: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3NVJ... My Social Media: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NewAgeToChri... Instagram: @melissadougherty77 If you are led, please consider contributing: https://paypal.me/MelissaDougherty77

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WHAT JACK CANFIELD PROPAGANDIZES: 

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DOREEN VIRTUE: PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIANITY IS NEW AGE

Doreen Virtue

Repenting to plants? Jesus was just a good moral human teacher? The Bible is a metaphor written by men, to pick and choose from? These are among the shockingly heretical Progressive Christian beliefs and practices that Allyson Rossborough grew up in. When God opened her eyes to the truth of Who Jesus is, Allyson began studying the Bible and learning from solid teachers. She realized how twisted the false progressive/liberal teachings were. Now, Allyson helps others to deconstruct progressive beliefs, and compare them to Scripture. You can contact Allyson at Instagram.com/AllysonRossborough Allyson’s blog about the 8 heretical points of progressive Christianity is at https://www.manifoldministries.com/fr... Here are three recommended videos on the issues with the progressive movement: Alisa Childers: https://youtu.be/FwyJk1G_Dm0 and https://youtu.be/mxg4wHywv-s Allie Beth Stuckey: https://youtu.be/Kie9r89naF0

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BLOG 20 - 8 POINTS OF PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIANITY

BY Allyson Rossborough

SEE: https://www.manifoldministries.com/freedom-and-truth/8-points-of-progressive-christianity;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

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About a month ago I discerned through the 8 points of Progressive Christianity on my Instagram.  These 8 points are up on the Progressive Christianity website found here.

My heart in doing this to help Bible believing Christians understand where Progressive Christians are coming from and what the implications are for following their teachings.  I also want to show that Progressive Christianity is not following the true God of the Bible. 

Before you read, please understand that not all Progressive Christians believe all of these 8 points.  The major belief they all have in common though is that the Bible is not their authority.  Experience and feeling tend to be the authority of a Progressive Christian. 


1. “Believe that following the path of the teacher Jesus can lead to healing and wholeness, a mystical connection to “God,” as well as an awareness and experience of not only the Sacred, but the Oneness and Unity of all life;"

This is the first point from progressive christianity.org. Within the first line we can see that Progressive Christians deny that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. They reduce Christ to a human teacher. Such that if they follow what this good teacher taught, they will find healing wholeness in their souls, and they will have a connection with god.

This is very subtle and speaks straight to our flesh. We naturally want to show how "good" we are by ascribing to a list of things to prove to ourselves and others that we aren't bad people. That we are better than others, since we do all these great things. In the PC mind set, by following teacher jesus, they are given a set of rules to show themselves and others they are good Christians. Thus, this will give them healing and wholeness, or in other words, life fulfillment. Then through their goodness, they will achieve a connection with what they call god. 

Next, once this connection is achieved they will understand the secrets of the Universe… this is new age rhetoric. And very unbiblical. 

The only way to know God is through Jesus Christ. If we believe that all we have to do is follow a good teacher to be fulfilled and then know the secrets of the universe, then we believe in a system of works designed to put us in bondage, build our pride, and feed our sin nature; ultimately sending us to Hell. 

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

John 3:36 ESV


2. "Affirm that the teachings of Jesus provide but one of many ways to experience “God,” the Sacredness, Oneness and Unity of life, and that we can draw from diverse sources of wisdom, including Earth, in our spiritual journey;"

This is the second point of the 8 points of Progressive Christianity found on their website. If you reduce Jesus Christ down to a good moral teacher, it makes so much sense that his teachings are one of many ways to god. Since most Progressive Christians believe in universalism, that Christ died for all regardless of what people believe about Him, there is no need to be exclusive. Because everyone means all religions too.

I would argue that most if not all Progressive Christians want some sort of relationship with God but since they keep denying their sin it's not possible. And since the jesus they follow is all about following a set of rules to be a good, moral, and spiritual person, they look to other religions or the new age to find their experience of god. 

Looking at all the world religions and the new age we can see that all of them, except Biblical Christianity, are set up for people to follow a set of rules to achieve something or to get into heaven or to get god. Or in other words to show they are good people.   

This statement by PC is also a way of saying we "respect" your experience of god. Since your religion, experience, and philosophy has the same outcome as ours, to be a good person, all religions and ideas must be the same. 

Jesus Christ was very clear when He said in John 14:6. "... 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'" There is no way around that my friend. My professors at the PC seminary I went to couldn't even refute that claim. 

Keep your eyes open to words like interfaith, unity, and ecumenicalism. These are buzz words in PC. When you hear these words, start asking questions. Most likely, it's to promote the second point of Progressive Christianity.


3. "Seek and create community that is inclusive of ALL people, including but not limited to:

Conventional Christians and questioning skeptics,

Believers and agnostics,

Those of all races, cultures, and nationalities

Those of all sexual orientations and all gender identities,

Those of all classes and abilities,

Those historically marginalized,

All creatures and plant life;"

First, what is Biblical love? Biblical love is about laying our lives down for those around us, putting their best interest over our own best interest. Jesus showed us this love by dying for us, by taking our place and paying the price for our sin.  He came to die for our best interest so we could be free from sin and live with God forever. Biblical love points people to Christ and the Gospel so that they can be saved from the wrath of God. 

In the third point of Progressive Christianity, their definition of inclusion reveals what they truly believe love is. Love is acceptance of every person, including acceptance of all of their sin. 

If everyone is striving to follow this teacher jesus and everyone else in other religions around the world are doing the same thing, they must be accepting of sin. Because everyone is trying to make themselves a better person. By accepting everyone and their sin, they have loved like they think their jesus did. 

We all know this standard is impossible to live by. How many families are falling apart? We can't even accept our own families let alone everyone we meet. But if you fail at this type of love, they say just keep trying. 

This is what makes PC so binding. It either puts you in bondage or builds your pride. But most importantly, it keeps you a slave to your sin. 

This type of all inclusive love is a lie from hell and evil. By not pointing people to Christ and the Gospel, there is no hope for them and leaving them to God's eternal judgment is one of the most unloving things we can do. 


4. “Know that the way we behave towards one another and Earth is the fullest expression of what we believe, therefore we vow to walk as Jesus might have walked in this world with radical compassion, inclusion, and bravery to confront and positively change the injustices we experience as well as those we see others experiencing;"

One of the things we need to remember is that Progressive Christians do not submit themselves to the authority of the Bible. Because they don't believe it was divinely-inspired they don't use a Biblical understanding of the words "compassion" and "justice" as examples. They look to the world or their own experience to interpret those terms and apply them in a non-Biblical way. 

The fourth point of Progressive Christianity really breaks down what it means to follow their moral teacher jesus. Here we have a tangible list of rules so they know they are following him the correct way and thus they know they are "good" Christians. The language used leaves it up to the reader on how to interpret and implement each rule. 

This, I believe, is the point where well meaning Biblical Christians can get deceived by PC.  Christ tells us to have compassion, and empathy for the downtrodden and oppressed. The Bible is very clear on how to do these things. The issue within PC is that what Jesus says is filtered through a misinterpretation of love, that I mentioned yesterday, and the misunderstanding of Who Jesus Christ truly is. And that all comes from the lack of authority they ascribe to Scripture.  

As Christians, we can not trust everything or anyone who claims to be Christian.  We must check everything with scripture. Just because it sounds good or sounds Christian doesn't mean it is. This is why it is so important to renew our minds daily with the Word of God. That way we can spot the Truth from lies and know what is good and evil. 

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5. "Find grace in the search for understanding and believe there is more value in questioning with an open mind and open heart, than in absolutes or dogma;"

Progressive Christians believe it is more humble to question everything and claim that it is not possible to know God's will; better for everyone to have questions and doubts but never really seek to find the true answers. 

I see this point being born out of a legalistic approach to Biblical Christianity. Many Progressive Christians have been hurt by the church and the hypocrisy they may have seen in other people's lives. If they were taught that to be a Christian requires following all of the rules in the Bible perfectly, but everyone, including themselves, are failing at it, of course they will reject what they were taught. 

What fills that gap?  They will tend to look at true Christians as very arrogant people. However, by not seeking out answers to their questions, they will become deeply proud of how "humble" they are. All while still being slaves to sin and closing themselves off to hearing the True Gospel.

And those who want to have the Christian label without submitting to Christ will gladly take this point to heart. If questioning without finding true answers makes them humble people, then it's a check mark off the list of virtues that prove them righteous and a 'good' person.  Which all goes back to the first point of following the good moral teacher jesus. 

Things to look out for with this point are  phrases like "Is that what God really meant?" Or "It is impossible to know God's will." These phrases and others like them are used by the enemy to plant doubt in our hearts when it comes to the Word of God. 


6. "Work toward peace and justice among all people and all life on Earth;"

In Progressive Christianity most believe in a type of universalism; that Christ died to save everyone regardless of what they believe about Him. And if this is true, it makes sense that they would work towards these things to make the world a better place. 

This is another tangible way Progressive Christians follow the moral teacher jesus. They are usually very active in societal issues and charity work. The work is done in a worldly way, taking no consideration of what Biblical peace and justice look like.  They are helping people but doing it in vain. They neglect to share the true Gospel of Jesus Christ with those they are helping and just make them comfortable with their sin. 

Peace and justice are Biblical principles that must be seen through the eyes of the Gospel in order to be done in a godly way that glorifies God. We must look to Scripture and study it diligently to understand and apply it's truths.  

This is another point where Biblical Christians can be deceived by PC. Jesus does call us to do this type of work; we should all be serving. But again, PC does not believe that Scripture is authoritative so they are looking to worldly ideas and structures to fix a spiritual problem. Many Christians don't know that and get deceived by what PC claims. By exploring their honest and compassionate desire to help, the enemy leads them into his trap.


7. "Protect and restore the integrity of our Earth and all of Creation;"

I listened to a story once about a group of PC seminarians who wrote down their sins to a plant. They confessed to it and vowed to do better in protecting the environment. This was at a prominent seminary in the U.S. that has sadly turned from Jesus Christ.

Point seven is another way Progressive Christians attempt to follow moral teacher jesus. And it usually turns into an idol; worshipping creation. This is another way those who follow PC can make themselves feel like a good person.  

This can be extreme, where like in the story above, they become overly apologetic to the environment, seeking to make reparations for their environmental sins; an ideology known as Eco-justice. Or it can be small things like buying reusable straws or bags. But all of this boils down to checking another virtue off the list defining a righteous person. 

As Christians we are called to be good stewards of creation. God has given us the earth to treat well for His glory. But we also must understand that creation is under a curse because of our sin. This earth will never be perfect. It will be when Jesus Christ returns and those who are His join Him for eternity on the new earth where there will be no more sin.


8. "Commit to a path of life-long learning, compassion, and selfless love on this journey toward a personally authentic and meaningful faith."

We have come to our last point of Progressive Christianity. We can see that they want to continually educate themselves to be better people according to the standards of this world. They believe following Christ means following a moral teacher jesus; who is only one of many ways to god. The more they can learn, the more they can prove to themselves they are good enough for Heaven. The more they can check off their list of virtues. 

Biblically, we know even our good and righteous deeds are sinful and as filthy rags to our Holy God. We have all fallen short of God's glory. It will never be possible to be compassionate enough, or love others enough to earn God's favor. 

At the root of all of this is pride. Progressive Christians and others like them refuse to acknowledge their sin of self righteousness, or in other words,  pride.  They reject the True Gospel of Jesus Christ, instead believing they are morally superior and can earn utopia by their works. If we can never admit we are sick, we can never be healed. 

And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

Luke 5:31-32