Why are Churches Still Using Bethel and Hillsong Music?!?!?

Despite Controversies, Worship Leaders Keep On Choosing Hillsong and Bethel Songs

BY

SEE: https://protestia.com/2023/07/13/despite-controversies-worship-leaders-keep-on-choosing-hillsong-and-bethel-songs/;

Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

Despite the storm of scandals and controversies swirling around the bruised and battered Hillsong Church in Australia and the Bethel Church in California, worship leaders are not shying away from incorporating songs from these two megachurches into their worship sessions. 

recent study unveiled this week shows that worship leaders gravitate towards these songs not because they top the worship charts but because they have a personal connection with them, often discovered online, at conferences, or through friends’ recommendations. According to the study:

“The most influential factors in discovering a new worship song are peer endorsements and personal experiences. Worship leaders mainly trust their friends and fellow church leaders to provide them with song recommendations.”

The study draws on responses from over 400 worship leaders across the U.S. and Canada, seeking their insights on music production and their song selection process for worship. 

Demonstrating a woeful lack of discernment, a mere 16% of worship leaders admitted to being less inclined to choose a song associated with Hillsong. In comparison, 27% expressed a similar hesitancy towards songs linked to Bethel. 

On the other hand, a significant 62% confessed they were likely to pick songs from Hillsong, with a slightly lesser 48% saying they would likely opt for songs associated with Bethel. 

Three months ago, Worship Leader Research reported that four megachurches were responsible for producing and releasing nearly all the top worship songs released in the last decade, with Hillsong and Bethel being two of them. 


Top 10 Weirdest Things Hillsong Leaders Expensed to the Church  
Top 10 Most Expensive Meals Brian and Bobbie Houston Expensed to the Church 
Top 10 Luxury Hotels Hillsong Leaders Expensed to the Church (Spoiler: The Cheapest is $8457.42)

Nun whose body shows little decay since 2019 death draws hundreds to rural Missouri

THE WORK OF GOD, SATAN, OR THE MORTICIAN?

INSERTED INTO THE GLASS CASE LIKE A MUMMIFICATION

Sister Wilhelmina's body was reinterred in a glass display case inside the church of the Abbey of Our Lady of Ephesus in Gower, Missouri, on May 29, 2023. Joe Bukuras/CNA

RACIST POPE FRANCIS IS LIKELY TO DECLARE HER A SAINT TO GENERATE MORE CONVERSIONS; MEANWHILE, HIS PROPAGANDA IS BEING BROADCAST AT THE SAME TIME THE SUPREME COURT IS DECLARING AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AT COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES AS REPEALED.

BIBLE QUOTES:

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 ESV For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

Matthew 24:24 ESV  For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.

2 Corinthians 11:3 ESV  But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

1 John 4:1 ESV  Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

2 Peter 2:1-3-False Teachers and Their Destruction

1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.
2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.
3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with feigned words and making merchandise of you. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
WAS BURIED  IN THE GROUND FOR FOUR YEARS

 

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS

SEE: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/nun-whose-body-shows-little-decay-2019-death-draws-hundreds-rural-miss-rcna87080;

Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

Some say it’s a sign of holiness in Catholicism, while others say the lack of decomposition may not be as rare as people think.

Pictured is Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster's incorrupt body on display at a chapel in Gower, Missouri

Pictured is the nun, who died in 2019 and was exhumed on May 18

Pictured is one person who was among those flocking to Gower to see the nun's body

People pray over the body of Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster at the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles abbey near Gower, Mo., on Sunday.Charlie Riedel / AP

The abbess of the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles speaks with reporter Catherine Hadro about Sister Wilhelmina’s life and her experience when the foundresses’ remains were exhumed.

Hundreds of people flocked to a small town in Missouri this week and last to see a nun whose body has barely decomposed since 2019. Some say it’s a sign of holiness in Catholicism, while others say the lack of decomposition may not be as rare as people think.

Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster was exhumed in April, according to a statement from the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, in Gower, Missouri.

The nuns had been preparing for the addition of a St. Joseph shrine, and that involved “the reinterment of the remains of our beloved foundress, Sister Wilhelmina,” the statement said.

When they exhumed Lancaster, they were told to expect only bones, since she had been buried in a simple wooden coffin without any embalming four years ago.

May 31, 202301:34

Hannity hosts heated interview with NEW AGER Marianne Williamson, FAILED IN 2020 RUN, NOW ALLEGED “2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE”~BELIEVES IN MANDATES & GENOCIDE OF “RESISTERS” ENFORCED BY FEDERAL “PEACE DEPARTMENT”

MARIANNE WILLIAMSON FOR PRESIDENT? THINK TWICE!~EXPOUNDS A REVOLUTIONARY PARADIGM OF LOVE & PEACE, BUT BELIEVES IN MANDATES & GENOCIDE OF “RESISTERS” ENFORCED BY FEDERAL “PEACE DEPARTMENT”

SEDUCTRESS/TEMPTRESS WORSHIPS A UNIVERSALIST “GOD”; WILL DESTROY AMERICA UNDER THE GUISE OF BEING SPIRITUAL

HERE IS AN EXTENSIVE COLLECTION OF OUR POSTS ABOUT WILLIAMSON, SHOWING SHE IS DANGEROUS ON MANY LEVELS: https://ratherexposethem.org/?s=MARIANNE+WILLIAMSON

PHOTOS & VIDEOS RELATIVE TO THE ABOVE POSTS:

 

Nebraska Democrat With Transgender Son in Hysterical Rant Against Republicans Trying to Protect Children

Megan Hunt becomes the first openly LGBTQ person elected to the legislature

FOUR YEARS AGO:

Freedom From Religion Foundation Co-President Dan Barker and Director of Governmental Affairs Mark Dann speak with Nebraska state Sen. Megan Hunt. Hunt is openly atheist and bisexual and was the first openly LGBTQ person elected to the Nebraska legislature.

Nebraska Needs Comprehensive Sex Education

QUOTE: "My testimony at the State Board of Education hearing on the framework for K-12 health education in our state. The second draft of the standards was released in July and is a complete departure from what medical experts, education professionals, and decades of research clearly demonstrate is effective health education. The second draft significantly weakens the inclusion of medically accurate and age-appropriate essential elements—STD and pregnancy prevention, sexual orientation, gender identity, consent, and diverse family structures—resulting in a complete departure from what medical experts and decades of research clearly demonstrate is effective health education. By removing these topics, the second draft fails to align with not only best practices in the health education field but also the State Board of Education’s own Nondiscrimination and Equitable Educational Opportunities in Schools Position Statement, which states that all students should be “known, heard and supported.” The opposition wants us to teach values, but just their values. However, that is not the role of a public school system, and we have 304,000 children to keep safe, alive, and thriving. Research shows that medically and scientifically accurate sex education decreases the number of teen pregnancies, decreases the incidence of abortion, and delays the average age when students begin engaging in sexual activity."

Interview with Freedom From Religion Foundation

Megan Hunt: Champion of the First Amendment Awardee by FFRF

Ban Religious Indoctrination Camps! Senator Megan Hunt on the attacks on LGBTQ, Drag Queens & Trans

Ban Religious Indoctrination Camps! Senator Megan Hunt on the attacks on LGBTQ, Drag Queens & Trans Why did Nebraska State Senator Megan Hunt amend a bill to ban children from attending “religious indoctrination” camps? Amber gets the chance to ask her! You won't what to miss what she has to say on this subject. Senator Megan Hunt is a small business owner, community activist, and mother first elected to the Nebraska State Legislature in 2018 and re-elected in 2022 to represent District 8; becoming the first LGBTQ+ person ever elected to the Legislature, and the first woman ever from the district. A sixth-generation Nebraskan, Megan has lived and worked in the district for the past 18 years. Megan founded Hello Holiday, a community-facing boutique and e-commerce company in 2012. Today, she is the owner of a stationary shop in Benson. Senator Hunt currently sits on five committees in the Legislature; Business and Labor, Urban Affairs, Government, Military and Veterans Affairs, Committee on Committees, and State-Tribal Relations. The opportunity for public service through elective office opened for her in 2015 when Hunt’s public school district was considering a new comprehensive sex education curriculum to educate students about sexual health, consent, and healthy relationships. Since then, she has remained committed to uplifting the voices of the marginalized and forgotten. Megan is passionate about public education, reproductive justice and gender equity, workforce development, and reducing the brain drain in the Midwest. Since taking office, she has worked with other senators from across the state to tackle food stamp reform, tenants’ rights, access to healthcare, and affordable housing in Nebraska. Megan has introduced 45 bills and cosponsored 131 bills, 46 of which passed with bipartisan support and were signed by the Governor. Megan is the founder and Vice President of Safe Space Nebraska, a 501(c)3 working to end harassment and assault in nightlife establishments. She is a trustee of the Business Ethics Alliance and has served on the boards of Charles Drew Health Center, Friends of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Friends of the Nebraska AIDS Project, and Omaha Area Youth Orchestras. Megan’s work and impact have been featured in dozens of publications including Forbes, INC, The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, and others. In acknowledgment of her legislative efforts, she has been awarded the Henry Toll Fellowship, David Bohnett Leaders Fellowship, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance Leadership Award, and CSG’s Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development Fellowship, among others. As a business owner, community leader, and parent, Megan has worked with commitment and discipline to help people from all walks of life prosper in our state. Her track record stems from her belief that the more everyday Nebraskans are empowered and supported to improve their quality of life, the easier it is for all of us to live the good life in the Cornhusker State.

Nebraska Legislature: Sen. Megan Hunt speaks about gender-affirming care

Sen. Megan Hunt addresses a would-be ban on gender-affirming care for minors in Nebraska. She revealed on the floor that her son is transgender and plans to filibuster the bill and other bills to keep it from passing.

We Cannot Codify Hate in Our State Laws

QUOTE: "LB574, introduced by Senator Kathleen Kauth, represents an extreme government intrusion into the private lives of families. Lawmakers have no place in legislating healthcare or discriminating against LGBTQ+ youth. We cannot enshrine this lack of safety into our laws which will only contribute to higher levels of suicide, substance abuse, and physical abuse."

BY RICK MORAN

SEE: https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/rick-moran/2023/03/25/nebraska-democrat-with-trans-son-in-hysterical-rant-against-republicans-trying-to-protect-children-n1681392;

Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

Nebraska Democratic state Sen. Megan Hunt is on a crusade. And she wants everyone to know it.

Hunt has decided to filibuster the last two and a half months of the Nebraska legislative session to block the passage of a bill that would prevent “gender-affirming care” for minors. Listening to Hunt, who has a transgender “son,” you might think the GOP was planning mass murder.

The bill would ban gender surgeries and the prescription of hormones to minors. But for Hunt and other Nebraska Democrats, the bill is going to murder children.

“I will burn the session to the ground over this bill,” warned state Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh.

Hunt and her colleagues were just getting warmed up.

“If this bill passes, all your bills are on the chopping block, and the bridge is burned,” Hunt warned the chamber.

“We have made it clear that this is the line in the sand,” Hunt said to lawmakers on Thursday.

“People have said, ‘What if we go after your bills? What if we put a bunch of bills introduced by progressives up on the agenda? Are you going to filibuster those, too?’ Yes, because we’re not like you,” Hunt explained. “We have a principle and a value that actually matters that much to us that we’re willing to stand up for.”

Related: Rachel Levine Says That Medically Changing Children’s Gender Will Soon Be Normalized

Are we allowed to look at such nobility, such greatness in the eye? Perhaps we should have the Republicans in the Nebraska legislature knee-walk into the chamber while averting their gaze?

Apparently not.

“Don’t say hi to me in the hall, don’t ask me how my weekend was, don’t walk by my desk and ask me anything. Don’t send me Christmas cards ― take me off the list,” Hunt warned. “No one in the world holds a grudge like me, and no one in the world cares less about being petty than me. I don’t care. I don’t like you.”

Oh, sure. I’ll take her name off my Christmas card list right away, you bet.

The topper may have come when another Democratic female legislator broke down in tears after reading a letter from a psychologist.

Salon:

On Wednesday, Day cried in the chamber while reading a letter from a psychologist who said the bill “will result in the deaths of transgender and gender diverse adolescents, likely before the end of the school year.”

“I want all of you to go into the rotunda and look into the eyes of those parents and tell them that you’re voting for this bill knowing that it could potentially kill their child,” Day said with tears.

Sen. John Fredrickson, the first openly gay man elected to the Nebraska Legislature, also cried in the chamber before reading a letter from a constituent who said that without gender-affirming care, her son would likely have taken his own life as a teenager.

Just as an aside: there is no evidence that “gender-affirming care” improves the mental health of children. Teens are usually suffering from comorbidities unrelated to gender dysphoria and are still at risk even if they receive treatment.

But inconvenient facts like that can be ignored in service to the greater good. The fact is, Megan Hunt is a new kind of radical nutcase. A small-minded, bitter, closed-off white woman. If I were the Nebraska child services, I would investigate her to determine how much she influenced her “son’s” gender dysphoria.

This is a woman looking for a cause, and she has apparently found it.

Why Are Churches Celebrating Sin?

Affirming sin is not the same as forgiving it.

BY SCOTT HOGENSON

SEE: https://www.frontpagemag.com/why-are-churches-celebrating-sin/;

Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

There’s a lot to celebrate in Christian worship services. Singing hymns, prayers, and learning God’s Word are all part of corporate worship, and I happily participate in that. I also participate in confession.

The Protestant tradition involves both a public and silent confession of sins. It’s an acknowledgment that we are sinful by nature, and have sinned by thought, word, and deed. Through this confession and our earnest repentance, we seek and receive forgiveness through God’s grace.

I sin every single day. I don’t like that I sin but as a member of the human race, it is an inescapable truth with which we’re stuck. As the apostle Paul wrote to Christians in Rome, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” That includes me.

Rational people can agree that sin is bad, and I do not embrace my sin; I confess it and seek forgiveness. Jesus Christ said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him,” so I reject any celebration of my sin.

But not all sins are treated equally. Increasingly, Protestant churches are celebrating sin through the installation of ministers whose behavior promotes LGBTQ ideology.

Consider this February 15th report whose headline heralds the “First openly transgender pastor called to guide Lutheran church in North Dakota.”

The pastor’s installation was unanimously approved by the congregation of the church, which has reportedly hosted town hall meetings to discuss, among other things, whether people should be forced to deny reality by calling women men, and vice versa; and whether children should be protected from genital mutilation. One can only speculate as to how those discussions will be steered.

The article goes on to quote the new pastor saying “Historically the church hasn’t been kind to transgender people. A lot of churches still aren’t kind to transgender people.” I do not know how the pastor defines what is kind or unkind but I do know that historically, the church has believed in the word of God as written in the Bible. A lot of churches still believe what is written in the Bible.

The behavior that defines LGBTQ ideology is sinful. That’s not my assessment, that’s what Christ said. He laid it out in the Gospel of Mark when He said, “Out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

Affirming and celebrating the behavior of LGBTQ adherents raises a question for Christians: If we’re going to celebrate this sin, what other sins are we prepared to celebrate? That’s a scary proposition and it’s already happening.

The sin of murder is celebrated through the increase of euthanasia. The sin of theft is celebrated through prosecutors who have decriminalized it through their failure to prosecute. The sins of coveting, envy, and deceit are celebrated through Critical Race Theory. The sin of slander is celebrated hourly on cable news channels.

Components of Critical Race Theory are even creeping into conservative parishes today. Whether this portends churches celebrating the sins of CRT’s advocacy for race hatred or its alignment with Marxist ideology remains to be seen.

We all sin, and through confession, repentance, and grace, God forgives us. We are also called to forgive those who sin against us. Whether these are sins of sexual immorality, envy, theft, or anything else, our duty is to forgive others as God forgives us.

But forgiving sin is not the same as affirming it.

The Bible instructs us to love one another but it also tells us to abhor that which is evil. None of my sins should be celebrated; they should be abhorred. If any pastor in the pulpit affirmed or celebrated my sins, I would walk out in the middle of that sermon and find a better church. But more churches are celebrating more sins, and it’s a colossal moral and civic hazard.

If the North Dakota pastor has been harassed, threatened, assaulted, or otherwise treated unkindly, that is flat-out wrong. Likewise, the pastor is entitled to the full enjoyment of and participation in American civic life, and I would demand that any effort to prevent the free exercise of these rights be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

But it is not unkind to believe what the Bible says. It is not unkind to call a sin a sin. It is not unkind to notice reality and natural law. These are normal behaviors. Just as I reject any affirmation of my sin, I reject any attempt to deny that which is normal and in accordance with Scripture.

In many cultures across time and space, the church has provided the moral bedrock of society. When churches celebrate sin, that bedrock crumbles and over time, so do the societies built upon it.

Inside Bethel’s Insanity: Interview with Bart McCurdy & Mike Clark of Bethel Church & Christianity

Wonder If Bethel Is A False Church? Wonder No More

Ex Bethel Student Tells All - Jesse Westwood’s Testimony

Jesse graduated from the 3-year Bethel Supernatural Ministry School, where he was knighted by false prophet Kris Vallotton. Jesse walked away from Bethel’s teachings when he discovered the similarities of charismatic teachings and Mormonism. Now, he calls out false prophecies and points people to study the Bible. Jesse’s videos which describe his time at Bethel Redding are at https://youtube.com/@thewestwoodhome Jesse will be featured in the upcoming American Gospel 3 docuseries at http://www.americangospelfilm.com

Bethel and Bill Johnson’s Bridge to the New Age and Spiritual Fakery

I have been wanting to make this video for quite a while. It's based on the teaching in the book The Physics of Heaven, which is very much a "Bethel book". It is sold in their bookstore, it's endorsed by their leaders, it's written by people from Bethel, including their two lead pastors, Bill Johnson and Beni Johnson. The book is a very open appeal to Christians to embrace New Age beliefs and practices. I truly wish I was exaggerating. In today's video I'm going to share quotes from the book to demonstrate the problems with it's teachings and show it's dangers. I'll address the way they misuse Scripture to support these teachings. I'll also be sharing content from a physicist who has weighed in to demonstrate how fake the "science" of the book is. Finally, I'll share some shocking details about the deceptions in the book related to the supposed credentials of the "quantum physicist" who they lean on as an expert. Spoiler, he's not. Bethel Church in Redding California has presented itself to the worldwide body of Christ as a guide for deeper and more miraculous spiritual experiences. Since they have such a wide impact and reach and their teachings on these issues are, I am sad to say, not only reckless but dangerous and unbiblical, I feel this video is worth making.

PAGAN STATUE, SYMBOLISM OF A Woman Rises In New York City~THE IDOLATRY OF ABORTION PROMOTER RUTH BADER GINSBURG

‘IMAGE OF THE BEAST’: Satanic Horned Statue Honoring Abortion and RGB Invades the Streets Of NYC!

SEE: https://nextnewsnetwork.com/2023/01/27/image-of-the-beast-satanic-horned-statue-honoring-abortion-and-rgb-invades-the-streets-of-nyc/

Image

Civic Center, Manhattan, NYC

Ruth Bader Ginsburg released from hospital after cancer surgery

Words cannot adequately describe the shock and horror of witnessing a demonic, horned beast statue erected at a New York City courthouse in honor of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and abortion. This disturbing image is a testament to the lengths some will go to defend these practices, no matter what common decency dictates. While opinions may vary on the morality of abortion and Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s legacy, many are left speechless at such an overt display of support for them both. No doubt this eerie monument will be the source of much conversation for years to come.

Shahzia Sikander has stirred controversy among citizens in New York City with the recent unveiling of her sculpture, “NOW”. The statue atop the courthouse features a horned, demonic figure – interpreted as a celebration of abortion and homage to former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg by the artist – which is notably reminiscent of pagan gods Nefertem, Vishnu and Brahma, as well as Hindu goddess of destruction Shiva outside the CERN facility in Geneva. At the neckline hangs Justice Ginsburg’s distinctive trademark collar of lace, prompting an eruption of debates among political figures and religious groups. With her iconic piece provoking vastly different reactions in its audiences, the underlying message behind Sikander’s art remains ambiguous.

The Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade was a monumental event, one that undoubtedly saved countless unborn children from being terminated. After the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the chances of the decision being overturned seemed increasingly likely, and this became reality in July 2020. Surprisingly, conservative commentators have had to point out that overturning Roe does not mean that abortion has been outlawed everywhere– indeed, it merely means that the decision will revert back to individual states to decide for themselves whether or not abortion should be permitted there. As noted by Breitbart in a report on Sikander’s words, though, it is clear that any overturn would be seen as a setback for women and those fighting for equality; thus the battle will continue against anti-abortion forces across the nation.

Pagan imagery can be seen in multiple locations, both worldwide and domestically. Within the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) facility lies a statue of Shiva the Hindu goddess of destruction.

In the United States, an infamous satanic figure of Baphomet was unveiled in Detroit in 2015 and later made an appearance at the Arkansas Capitol building. The iconographic representation of Baphomet included a prominent pentagram and two young children standing near it.

A similar unveiling caused controversy in Detroit in 2015.

These instances demonstrate a shift away from traditional Christian religious symbols towards paganism artifacts that have gained traction in recent years.

In recent days and weeks, we have seen a stark visual display showing just how far some will go to defend abortion as a “right.” In many cases, this includes utilization of pagan imagery, taking us away from traditional religious symbols in favor of an often-demonized source. The surprise horned statue located at a NYC courthouse for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is certainly not an isolated incident – it serves as a reminder that people are increasingly likely to use potentially offensive visual representations to further a cause. This is truly stunning, and serves as an important reminder just how far America has fallen away from God which further emboldens us to stand our ground for The Faith..

 

Lighthouse Trails Research: Letter to the Editor-Our Son Might Go to Grace College in Winoka Lake, Indiana -Why Is LT Warning About It?

To Lighthouse Trails Editors:

Are you able to tell me the evidence that you gained by putting Grace College and Theological Seminary on your page of colleges you warn about? Our son is considering this college, and this was disappointing to see.

C.

Dear C.,

The school is on our list because they have incorporated Spiritual Formation into their school and the lives of their students. From 20 years of research, we have learned that if a school has a Spiritual Formation program (or Spiritual Formation courses), it always comes along with a spirituality that is unbiblical and rooted in the mystics. We will give you a few links to Grace where you can see some of this:

In Grace’s Biblical Studies course BBL3090 – Spiritual Formation (an undergraduate class), they are using books by three contemplative authors as textbooks: Larry CrabbDallas WillardPete Scazzero (all three of these can be found on our research site with documentation). This alone shows what the school’s definition of Spiritual Formation is. Willard and Scazzero are heavy hitters in the contemplative prayer movement.

In the Bible course 3220 – Principles and Practice of Prayer at Grace, emergent author Ann Voskamp’s book is being used (see our article https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=6604). This course is also using a book by C.J. Mahaney, a Calvinist/Reformed author and pastor. It’s very common to find both Calvinism and Contemplative at the same school. The same course is also using a textbook by Nancy DeMoss. You can read our article here https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=11137 showing our concerns.) The course also has as a textbook a book called Prayer by Hallesby with a foreword by contemplative pioneer Richard Foster.

If we look at just these two courses at Grace, it is plain to see that the school is incorporating into their students’ “education” contemplative spirituality, and remember, the fruit of contemplative is miles away from biblical Christianity (as we have documented extensively).

To give other examples: In the undergraduate course PHI3000 C, one of the textbooks is written by Peter Kreeft. Kreeft is a strong promoter of the Catholic Church (https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=1604). As we show in other articles, Kreeft is also an advocate for contemplative prayer. His teachings don’t belong in any evangelical Christian college.

In Grace’s BIB2140, textbooks are by emergent/ Catholic-leaning Francis Chan and emergent Calvinist J.D. Greear. (In one LT article/booklet, we refer to Greear because of his advocacy for Critical Race Theory.)

Clearly, this school doesn’t have discernment and are throwing a hodge-podge of false teachings at their students. A parent will be lucky if he or she recognizes his or her child’s faith in one or two semesters. We can guarantee that if a brief perusal through the school’s classes shows this much, it’s integrated throughout the school (e.g., chapel, church, missions, etc.).

We are sorry we are the bearers of bad news.

The Editors at Lighthouse Trails


Related Articles:

Want Your Child to Become an Atheist? – Send Him to LeTourneau University in Texas (or Any Other Contemplative/Emergent School For That Matter)

SPECIAL REPORT: “Epidemic of Apostasy – How Christian Colleges Must Incorporate “Spiritual Formation” to Become Accredited 2022 2nd Edition

“Is Your Church Doing “Spiritual Formation”? (Important Reasons Why They Shouldn’t)

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission; design by LT)

Lighthouse Trails Research Newsletter Selected Articles 1 of 2

Top 10 Ways America Is Being Groomed to Normalize Pedophilia
LTRP Note: For nearly the full existence of Lighthouse Trails (20+ years), we have covered the topic of child sexual abuse and child endangerment. We have published a number of books, articles, and booklets by various authors to help bring awareness to and equip parents, grandparents, and guardians. The following article shows the continued danger that children in this country are facing.

By Linda Harvey

Respectable pedophilia. Are you ready for this?

I’m not and I will be screaming against it until the last breath. But it’s coming unless a massive parent brigade shows up in both schools and in another venue that must be deployed to overcome this depravity: churches.

The truth of God, proclaimed by His saints and confirmed in the power, blood and resurrection of Jesus Christ, fueled by the conviction of the Holy Spirit can prevail over the tragedy of child corruption. We can do this.

But first we must face how we are all being groomed, as child sexuality is being packaged and sold to America, even as the latest fashion trend (e.g., Balenciaga).

We must refuse to be enablers and then take steps to end this diabolical trend.

Here are the top 10 ways that child sexualization is being normalized in America.

1. Child empowerment and consent.  How long before we allow children to make their own decisions about health care, counseling, and then the choice of a sexual partner? Over thirty years ago, a child’s right to “freedom of association” showed up in a revised United Nations document, “The Convention on the Rights of the Child.” That document has not been ratified by all countries, including the United States. But it remains a cherished goal of global leftists. Click here to continue reading.


Related Resources on child abuse and protecting children from Lighthouse Trails

Articles:

Horowitz: “The Medical Field’s Immoral War on Children”

Boy Scouts of America File for Bankruptcy Amid Sexual Abuse, Homosexual, and Transgender Allowances

Child Sexual Abuse Scandal at Matt Chandler’s Popular Village Church Raises Concerns Over How Churches Handle Abuse

California School District Teachings on Pedophilia Reminder of Child Sexual Abuse Epidemic and Cover-Ups

Efforts to Eliminate “Stigma” Against Pedophilia and Call it “Normal” Are Underway

A Special Commentary: Recent Events Show America’s Children in Grave Increased Danger of Sexual Abuse

Sex Before 8 – Or It’s Too Late

(Photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission; design by Lighthouse Trails)

Letters to the Editor: Author of The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, John Mark Comer, Bringing “Renewed” Contemplative Spirituality Into the Churches
LTRP Note: Please see editors notes below this letter.

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

Today my neighbor who’s in an emergent church . . . told me his church started a sermon series called “The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry.” Hmm . . . I’ve left enough emergent churches to know a sermon series probably has a book. So, I did a search and found this disturbing link of trailers by this guy. . . .

This book (The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry), written by John Mark Comer, teaches readers to do breath prayers, mindfulness meditation, and various other contemplative-type exercises.

So, I just wanted to bring this to your attention as I see out there on vimeo and YouTube that Comer’s contemplative message is circulating in the churches.

This is such a burden as I left the Catholic Church many years ago.  I don’t even know what else to say about this. Do you think I should calmly approach the pastor in the neighborhood? Do I just pretend to not know any of this to get along?

Jane

LT Editors’ Notes:

The Letter to the Editor above was sent to us this past May, but we had not posted it yet. Yesterday, we received the following from another reader:

. . . I was wondering if you have done any research on John Mark Comer. He is the founding pastor of Bridgetown church in Portland, OR. He seems to have a big influence on pastors of other churches. He has written and promoted something called “Practicing the Way.” I’m not sure what that all is about but am concerned this may not be in line with Scripture. He has also written several books. Some of the teachings he has on YouTube are also a concern.—Debbie

In between receiving these two letters from the two LT readers, one of our authors began doing research on John Mark Comer and Tyler Staton (Staton, “lead pastor” at Bridgetown Church in Portland, is author of a new book titled Praying Like Monks, Living Like Fools). Comer and Staton have worked together on various projects and interviews (such as this one on YouTube), and Comer’s endorsement of Staton’s book is inside the front cover. Both Praying Like Monks and The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry are heavily contemplative books.

The contemplative prayer movement (via Spiritual Formation) largely entered the church in 1978 when Richard Foster’s book, Celebration of Discipline was released (Foster was a self-proclaimed type protege of Catholic mystic Thomas Merton). The CP movement simmered for a couple decades but was heating up as figures like Rick Warren began promoting it (even as far back as the 1990s). But still, most Christians had not heard of it (even though their pastors were reading Celebration of Discipline unbeknownst to their congregations; and as we documented in our special reporEpidemic of Apostasy, many pastors had been introduced to contemplative spirituality in their Christian universities and seminaries).

Today, long after Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, and Brennan Manning (three pioneering Catholic contemplative mystics) are gone, a new generation of young “hip” pastors and leaders are rising up with a renewed energy to spread the contemplative message. Catholic mystic, Richard Rohr (who Ray Yungen said was today’s Thomas Merton) has provided the fodder and guidance for many of these new contemplatives. That’s easily proveable: One of Richard Rohr’s publishers told him that his biggest readership was young evangelical men [1] (e.g., today’s young pastors, two of which are Comer and Staton).

In his book, A Time of Departing, Ray Yungen explained, dissected, and exposed the contemplative issue in a way that is easy to understand and is incredibly well documented with source material (making his proclamations and warnings irrefutable—you know what we mean if you have read the book). If there is anyone reading this post who has not yet read A Time of Departing, we beseech you to read it. If you do not have a copy and are struggling to get one, we will send anyone who asks us a free copy of the book. Write to us at editors@lighthousetrails.com and give us your name and mailing address (we will keep those confidential). You see, it’s not about the money for Lighthouse Trails. It never has been. If you haven’t read our story of how we began this ministry, you can read it here. It began because of the contemplative prayer movement, and we have been compelled all these years to continue with this warning even though many pastors and church figures have belittled, mocked, and rejected our findings. If you read our story, we think you will begin to understand the urgency and continuation of our warnings.

What’s at stake here? The future of your churches and the faith of your children and grandchildren.

In A Time of Departing, Yungen exhorts us:

Contemplative advocates propose that there has been something vital and important missing from the church for centuries. The insinuation is that Christians have been lacking something necessary for their spiritual vitality; but that would mean the Holy Spirit has not been fully effective for hundreds of years and only now the secret key has been found that unlocks God’s full power to know Him. These proponents believe that Christianity has been seriously crippled without this extra ingredient. This kind of thinking leads one to believe that traditional, biblical Christianity is merely a philosophy without the contemplative prayer element. Contemplatives are making a distinction between studying and meditating on the Word of God versus experiencing Him, suggesting that we cannot hear Him or really know Him simply by studying His Word or even through normal prayer—we must be contemplative to accomplish this. But the Bible makes it clear that the Word of God is living and active, and has always been that way, and it is in filling our minds with it that we come to love Him, not through a mystical practice of stopping the flow of thought (the stillness) that is never once mentioned in the Bible, except in warnings against vain repetitions. . . .

Evangelical Christianity is being invited, perhaps even catapulted into seeing God with the “new eyes” of contemplative prayer. The question must be asked, is Thomas Merton’s silence, Henri Nouwen’s space, and Richard Foster’s contemplative prayer [which is rooted in panentheism and interspirituality] the way in which we can know and be close to God? Or is this actually a spiritual belief system contrary to the true message that the Bible so absolutely defines—that there is only one way to God and that is through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, whose sacrifice on the Cross obtained our full salvation?

If indeed my concerns for the future actually come to fruition, then we will truly enter a time of departing. My prayer is that you will not turn away from the faith to follow a different gospel and a different Jesus but will rather stay the course and finish the race, so that after having done all you can, you will stand.

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13)

When we consider the serious ramifications of the contemplative prayer movement and then also recognize that three of the major influences in the lives of millions of Christians—The Shack, Jesus Calling, and The Chosen—all have ties to the contemplative prayer movement, it is not difficult to conclude that millions of Christians are not wearing the “armour of God” and may, therefore, not “be able to withstand in the evil day.”


Endnote:

  1. The Liturgists Podcast (“The Cosmic Christ With Richard Rohr,” April 11, 2016, https://theliturgists.com/the-cosmic-christ-with-richard-rohr-podcast-page/)

 

 

 

Posts From Lighthouse Trails Research Newsletter

Kamala Harris Defends Killing Babies in Abortions: It’s About “Freedom, Liberty, and Self-Determination”

NO FREEDOM TO MURDER THE UNBORN AND/OR THE BORN GRANTED BY GOD AND/OR THE CONSTITUTION:

Harris Avoids Mentioning the words God & Abortion At Apostate 'Faith Leaders' Meeting

Rarely at a loss for words, at a June 6 “Roundtable Discussion” on what Kamala Harris and her PR-team call “Reproductive Healthcare,” and with people the VP labels ”Faith Leaders,” Harris found it impossible, or prohibitively inconvenient, to mention the words “God” and “abortion.”

https://www.mrctv.org/blog/harris-avo...

Kamala Harris holds abortion roundtable with religious leaders: 'We need faith'

SEE: https://www.christianpost.com/news/kamala-harris-holds-abortion-roundtable-with-faith-leaders.html

Biden set to announce migration pact with Western Hemisphere leaders ...

BY Micaiah Bilger 

SEE: https://www.lifenews.com/2022/06/14/kamala-harris-defends-killing-babies-in-abortions-its-about-freedom-liberty-and-self-determination/;

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

Kamala Harris held another meeting with abortion activists Tuesday to discuss ways to prepare for the potential end of Roe v. Wade this summer.

Harris welcomed legal and technology experts who support abortion to a roundtable meeting, signaling the Biden administration’s continued commitment to legalized abortion on demand. It is her third meeting with abortion activists since news broke in May about a leaked draft ruling showing the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe and allowing states to protect unborn babies from abortion again.

“I think we all believe and know that our nation was founded on certain principles that we hold dear: principles of freedom, liberty, and self-determination,” Harris said in her opening statement. “And I do believe that all of those principles are at stake when we look at the leaked draft opinion about what this decision may end up being.”

A White House spokesperson told The Hill that the focus of the meeting was the practical impact of overturning Roe on issues like privacy, contraception, and in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Those invited to attend included New York University School of Law professors Peggy Cooper Davis and Melissa Murray, Harvard Law School professor Glenn Cohen, UC Irvine School of Law professor Michele Bratcher Goodwin, University of Michigan Law School professor Leah Litman, leaders with the Brennan Center for Justice, and Ms. Magazine writer Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, according to the report.

A White House official told CNN that the Biden administration wants to build a strong coalition of abortion supporters to work together in response to the likely ruling.

Click here to sign up for pro-life news alerts from LifeNews.com

“What’s important to keep in mind here is that some of the vice president’s goals really have been around ensuring that people in this country have an understanding of what is at stake here,” the official said. “And that does take some work in terms of building out who is the coalition of people that are affected by this, that are interested in having their voices be heard.”

These meetings also appear to be an attempt to draw positive attention to Harris, who is widely unpopular with Americans. According to CNN, “Tuesday’s event, an official told CNN, will draw on Harris’ ability to bring people from wide-ranging backgrounds together to work on specific issues.”

Last week, Harris held a meeting with pro-abortion religious leaders and, in mid-May, with abortion workers to talk about ways to keep abortions legal and available if the Supreme Court allows states to protect unborn babies from abortion again.

Harris said the Biden administration supports “unfettered” abortion – meaning the killing of unborn babies for any reason up to birth, paid for by taxpayers. She also made the baseless claim that overturning Roe would lead to banning same-sex marriage and contraception in the near future.

To Harris, unborn babies’ lives do not matter as much as “self-determination.” Harris also has claimed that aborting an unborn baby is about the “right to live and love.”

Harris’s position on abortion is radical and out of touch with most Americans. A former U.S. senator, she co-sponsored a bill that would have forced states to legalize the killing of unborn babies in abortions for basically any reason up to birth, even if Roe is overturned, and forced taxpayers to pay for them.

Since Roe in 1973, more than 63 million unborn babies and hundreds of mothers have died in supposedly “safe, legal” abortions.

It appears the Supreme Court likely will overturn Roe this summer after a leaked draft shows the justices ruling against the 1973 decision in the Mississippi case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. If that happens, states will be allowed to protect unborn babies again, and experts predict as many as 26 will do so. This would result in hundreds of thousands of unborn babies being saved from abortions every year.

______________________________________________________________

Today, Vice President Kamala Harris held a roundtable in Los Angeles, California with faith leaders to discuss some of the most urgent challenges facing our communities, including protecting reproductive rights and addressing the epidemic of hate that is gripping our nation.
 
Attendees discussed the importance of protecting access to reproductive health care, preserving the right to self-determination for individuals and families, and working together to chart the path forward. The Vice President affirmed the key role faith leaders play in bringing people together to move our country in the direction of justice, and she highlighted the constitutional rights affirmed in Roe, including the right to privacy, which protects the right to use contraception, and the freedom to marry the person you love.
 
Participants underscored the importance of ensuring that health care decisions are made by women without government interference, and the need to work together as a coalition to safeguard this right. The Vice President raised that the Louisiana legislature passed a bill that would ban abortion even in cases of rape and incest, saying the bill illustrates that there is a clear and imminent threat to the shared principle of allowing women to make decisions about their own bodies.
 
During the conversation, the Vice President also raised the issue of gun violence that has been plaguing our nation. The Vice President thanked the faith leaders for the important role they play in working toward healing, hope, and unity in their congregations and communities.
 
The Vice President affirmed that faith leaders are essential partners to the Administration and that she looks forward to continuing to work with them to build coalitions across faiths.

Participants included:

  • Pastor Demetries Edwards, Pastor, 23rd Avenue Church of God (Oakland, CA)
  • Rabbi Dara Frimmer, Senior Rabbi, Temple Isaiah (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Rev. Edgar Boyd, Senior Minister, First AME Church (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Nitasha Kaur Sawhney, Sikh civil rights advocate, and lawyer (La Cañada, CA)
  • Edina Lekovic, UCLA Community Scholar in Residence, Islamic Studies Program (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Claire Lipschultz, VP of Board of Directors, National Council of Jewish Women (Sacramento, CA)
  • Rev. Dr. Amos Brown, Pastor, Third Baptist Church (San Francisco, CA)
  • Jackie Dupont Walker, Director, Social Action Commission, AME Church (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Reverend Dr. Young Lee Hertig, Executive Director, Innovative Space for Asian American Christianity (Los Angeles, CA).
  • Rev. Najuma Smith-Pollard, Assistant Director of Community and Public Engagement, USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture (Los Angeles, CA).

The Vice President was also joined by:

  • Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA)
  • Representative Jimmy Gomez (D-CA-34)
  • Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis
  • Mayor Eric Garcetti

Dan Ball With Kirk Cameron: ‘The Homeschool Awakening’ a movie produced by an apostate heretic you should avoid if you intend to homeschool

MATTHEW 7:13-"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it."

WE SUPPORT HOMESCHOOLING, BUT SOME CONSERVATIVES ARE DECEIVED BY THE PROPAGANDA COMING FROM APOSTATE TRINITY BROADCASTING NETWORK

The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) is the flagship of the
Pentecostal-Charismatic-NAR multimedia empire. Started by Paul and Jan
Crouch, affiliated with the Assemblies of God, in 1973. Since then, they
have become known primarily for lascivious living, outrageous
lifestyles, larger-than-life makeup, and putting heretics on a 24/7
parade.

John MacArthur: OUR SATANIC LEADERS

Takeaways with Kirk Cameron - Watch TBN - Trinity Broadcasting Network

SEE THIS LINK: https://watch.tbn.org/takeaways-with-kirk-cameron

Dan Ball failed to investigate who Kirk Cameron is; a heretic. Is this the person you think should be a role model for homeschooling, among other things he pretends to be? I would compare him to Hunter Biden. DON'T BE FOOLED! THIS FALSE TEACHER/DOMINIONIST IS NO FRIEND OF YOURS OR YOUR CHILDREN. USE DISCERNMENT!

SEE THE PROOF HERE: https://ratherexposethem.org/?s=tbn

AND MORE PROOF HERE: https://ratherexposethem.org/?s=kirk+cameron

CAMERON'S SELF-PROPAGANDA IS EXTENSIVE IN YOUTUBE: BE CAREFUL!

Conservative Alex Newman of the New American: The Benefits of Homeschooling Kirk Cameron on TBN

Conservative Allie Beth Stuckey: The Benefits of Christian Homeschooling | Guest: @Kirk Cameron on TBN

Kirk Cameron Breaks Down Where Public Schools Have ‘Failed,’ Unveils ‘Homeschool Awakening’

Kirk Cameron: "Leftist politics" are forcing more children to be homeschooled

KIRK CAMERON Talks the RISE of HOMESCHOOLING Following CRT, Grooming & Gender Ideology in Schools

YOU are the curriculum! Kirk Cameron on the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast

 

 

PA. GOVERNOR WOLF: ‘Churches Paid To Push The Shots’ with Dr. Peterson Pierre~CHURCHES ARE RECEIVING FEDERAL GRANT FUNDS TO PROMOTE COVID SHOTS; NOT ONLY IN PA.

World Economic Forum believes people are “useless eaters,” and views their “brains and bodies” as product that can be hacked, controlled and discarded

The Easiest People to Manipulate Are People That Believe In Free Will

God Is Dead It Just Takes a while to Get Rid of His Body

"We Don't Need to Wait for Jesus Christ" In Order to Overcome Death

BY LANCE D. JOHNSON

SEE: https://www.naturalnews.com/2022-05-02-world-economic-forum-believes-people-useless-eaters.html;

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

(Natural News) One of the brains behind The World Economic Forum (WEF), is the self-proclaimed prophet, Yuval Noah Harari. He believes in the Great Reset, transhumanism, culling the population, and using a global government to control humanity at the bio-metric level. He is praised by Bill Gates, Barack Obama Mark Zuckerberg, and Klaus Schwab, leader of the WEF.

Harari talks about “useless human beings” who do not have meaning or purpose. He said the greatest fake news is the Bible. He said Christianity is wrong, that humans are here on Earth for “nothing.” “Jesus Christ is fake news,” be balked. He believes there is “no great cosmic plan” that humans have a role to play in. Instead, he views humans as “useless eaters” who can be hacked and manipulated using digital surveillance under their skin.

He also believes in culling the population. “What do we need so many humans for?” he is quoted as saying while promoting his latest book.

Meet Yuval Noah Harari, a trans-humanist who wants to hack and manipulate human populations

In a recent interview, Harari said the world is entering a new industrial revolution, but the products will not be physical goods. Harari said science, technology, and industry’s greatest challenge of the 21st century will be “to try to gain control of the world inside us, to learn how to engineer and produce bodies and brains and minds.” He says these are likely to be the “main products” of the 21st-century economy.

He said, “Once you know how to produce bodies and brains and minds so cheap labor in Africa and South Asia, it simply counts for nothing.”
“The biggest question in maybe economics and politics of the coming decades will be what to do with all these useless people,” he said with a straight face. He said technology will ensure that everyone is fed, so “food is not the problem.”

“The problem is more boredom, and what to do with them, and how will they find some sense of meaning in life, when they are basically meaningless, worthless.” He prescribed drugs and computer games as solutions to entertain “useless” people’s brains.

He said a global government will collect and use data on every person to learn how to engineer bodies, brains, and minds. He says data and biometrics will be used to hack human beings and re-engineer the future of human life itself. He said, “intelligent design” never existed and any notion of a Creator God will be driven out of society, as humans become hackable, programmable. Harari even claims that the laws of natural selection and organic biochemistry will be eliminated and replaced by a trans-humanist future, where humans become hackable animals, manipulated and controlled.

“We have the technology to hack humans on a massive scale,” he said. He added crises should be exploited to implement more surveillance throughout society so “elites” can monitor, collect data, and engineer the future trajectory of human life. Much of this surveillance will “come under the skin” as biometric data become a pathway to manipulate human populations. Harari said we already have the ability to go under the skin and collect biometric data, allowing “elites” the power to re-engineer life itself. “We are upgrading humans into gods,” he said.

He said in an emergency, people trust the “scientists.” He used the example of priests and ministers shutting down their churches worldwide in 2020 to prove that God is dead. Going forward, people will put their faith in the scientific elite and global government, he balked. “Even the religious leaders trust the scientists,” he said.

This video is provided by Free 2 Shine on Brighteon.com

Sources include:

Lifesitenews.com

Brighteon.com

Josh Buice Explains the Need to Separate From the Southern baptist convention

Josh Buice explains what brought him to a conclusion to lead his church to separate from the SBC. You can read his full explanation here: https://g3min.org/why-we-are-no-longe...

Justin Peters' Interview with Dr. Josh Buice on Leaving the SBC

Prays Mill Baptist Church https://praysmill.com

G3 Ministries https://g3min.org

Founders Documentary: By What Standard https://founders.org/cinedoc/

McLean Bible Church Teaching Jesus had "Body Dysphoria" https://reformationcharlotte.org/2022...

My video on Homosexuality and Universalism in the SBC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgSw_...

My Videos on Ed Litton's Plagiarism and Sin in the SBC

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNdrU...

Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hirAE...

Why We Are No Longer an SBC Church: A Statement by Josh Buice

SEE: https://g3min.org/why-we-are-no-longer-sbc-a-statement-by-josh-buice/;

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

One of the great joys of my life has been serving as the pastor of three different churches that have been affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. I currently serve the church where my wife and I grew up as children on the west side of Atlanta—Pray’s Mill Baptist Church. Although our church is 180 years old and predates the SBC, our congregation has maintained a longtime affiliation within the SBC. However, in recent days we came to the conclusion that there was no profitable path forward for us within the SBC and we made the decision to officially separate.

Over the last few years, there has been a great deal of transition and change within the Southern Baptist Convention. That’s a nice way of describing the devious deconstruction plan that has been at work for many years behind the scenes. Along the way, we have witnessed scandals, controversies, and divisions. It is not my desire in this article to add fuel to the fire, however, as a lifelong SBC member and pastor, I believe it’s necessary to provide a reason for our church’s decision to officially separate from the SBC effective on January 1st, 2022.

The Commendable

What I will say in this article should not be seen as a denial of the fact that there are many good and gifted professors who are serving in the SBC entities and doing a good job of training men for the pulpit and church planting. When I look back on my time at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, I am grateful for many of the professors who invested in me and helped prepare me for the work of gospel ministry.

Alongside professors are many good pastors and local churches who have been healthy and profitable in supporting Christian education and church planting for many years within this network that we know as the SBC. Therefore, we can be thankful for these gifted individuals and churches who have sacrificed much to accomplish much for the glory of God.

But, all is not well within evangelicalism and that also includes the SBC. In recent years, we’ve witnessed quite a transformation take place within the once-beloved SBC that has necessitated separation for what I believe is far more than preference matters.

The Downgrade

Over the past decade or more, things began to shift with the SBC leadership that moved the once theologically conservative denomination in a leftward direction. The biggest catalyst to this leftward movement undoubtedly was the acceptance of the social justice agenda which has resulted in the greatest downgrade in our modern era of church history. Any denial of this downgrade is simply a refusal to report the facts about where the SBC is today, where the SBC was yesterday, and where the SBC is moving tomorrow.

While this shift did not take place overnight, it began to pick up the pace drastically over the last 4-5 years. Back in 2018, I was part of a group that assembled in Dallas, Texas for a meeting regarding the problems of social justice. As we assembled, I was concerned but hopeful. Little did I know that our meeting and subsequent Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel would not only serve as a means of confirming what was already in motion beneath the radar, but it would expose many people and institutions within the SBC and their involvement in this devious movement.

Sadly, the top-tier SBC leaders continue to double down on their positions. They have sought to deflect charges of theological capitulation and rigorously work to protect their positions through cultural virtue signals and theological word salads.

During this downgrade, we have witnessed once trusted voices and institutions accept the ideologies of the social justice movement and platform notable voices within their hallways, classrooms, and conference circuits. They came together under the banner of the gospel only to embrace a social justice gospel that resulted in confusion, division, and in some cases—a complete derailing altogether. This must not be overlooked. If left unchecked, the social justice agenda will leave an indelible mark upon preachers who will be sent out into local churches to serve as pastors.

The SBC once fought a war on the inerrancy of Scripture during what has become known as the “Conservative Resurgence.” After claiming a victory over the “Battle for the Bible” the SBC has moved into a new era where this once theologically conservative denomination has adopted the controversial “Resolution 9” at the 2019 SBC in Birmingham. How could the SBC openly champions inerrancy, at the same time adopt a resolution stating that we need to employ Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality (CRT/I) as “analytical tools” for gospel ministry? This was done, in all reality, without much public debate, and through sly political schemes.

Moving beyond the 2019 SBC, after a break in 2020 due to COVID-19, the SBC reconvened in Nashville in the summer of 2021 to discuss business and make decisions as a group of churches. During the meeting, there were multiple attempts from the floor to call upon the SBC to openly renounce the teachings of CRT/I. At each juncture, all of these attempts were rejected and generic language was adopted in place of specific language that openly rejected CRT/I.

One must ask the honest question as to why there was such an open refusal from the SBC leaders at this point? In the past, the SBC openly challenged Disney and eventually boycotted Disney in 1997. One must ask why the SBC was willing to boycott the gospel according to Disney but failed to boycott the gospel according to social justice? Why are theologians, pastors, and professors unwilling to reject CRT/I when concerned unconverted soccer moms are flooding school board meetings demanding that their local schools refuse to teach such ideologies to their children? It appears that unconverted soccer moms are more concerned about their local schools than SBC leaders are about local churches.

One must ask why the SBC was willing to boycott the gospel according to Disney but failed to boycott the gospel according to social justice?

During this downgrade, we have also witnessed a progressive attack upon the pulpit within the SBC. A movement in recent years has focused on dividing the office and function of the pastor in the life of the local church. As the progressive winds continue to blow through evangelical circles, it seems that in order to continue to maintain the big tent approach to evangelicalism, the SBC must allow for women to preach so long as they are not ordained to the office of elder. We have watched the rise of popular figures like Beth Moore continue to weave this methodology into the fabric of the SBC through the years.

This downgrade has not been a sudden explosion. It’s the result of what might be considered a crock-pot approach to compromise and failure. The SBC celebrated victory on the subject of inerrancy but never entered the battlefield to address the issue of biblical sufficiency. As a result, the slow cook of pragmatism has led the SBC to embrace theological error in order to become culturally relevant which has been quite evident through the virtue signaling of major SBC leaders in the wake of tragedies like George Floyd and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. Pragmatism demands that you do whatever works and provides the best results. Standing for biblical justice as opposed to social justice is the unpopular and narrow road that is not culturally acceptable.

When the SBC is willing to cancel Walt Disney but unwilling to cancel Derrick Bell or Kimberlé Crenshaw, we have serious problems.

Allow me to be crystal clear at this point. This is not merely a personal conviction or preference matter. The present downgrade that has encompassed the SBC is one of both methodological and theological errors. When the SBC is willing to cancel Walt Disney but unwilling to cancel Derrick Bell or Kimberlé Crenshaw, we have serious problems. To be clear, the social justice movement is not purely Marxist, but it has roots in a postmodern attempt at deconstruction, and such a dialectic will be catastrophic if not corrected. J. Gresham Machen described this theological compromise as “the modern hostility to doctrine.” 1

This downgrade involves compromise on theological levels such as complementarianism (roles of men and women in the church), ecclesiology (the office and function of elder), and most important of all is the gospel (the social justice movement has replaced theology with victimology—resulting in the rise of a new religion).

For that reason, our church which is 180 years old and predates the SBC by three years, has determined by a 100% congregational vote led by the elders who voted in a 100% eldership vote to lead the church away from the SBC due to such compromise. The SBC has failed. The leaders have compromised. The SBC must know that local churches do not need the SBC, but the SBC does need local churches—both large and small.

We as elders determined that it would be a violation of our conscience and a misuse of money to invest in a system that has clearly rejected all forms of correction in private and public settings. Therefore, we are no longer an SBC church, but we are Baptist and will continue to cooperate with other like-minded churches and pastors for the work of missions and theological education for the glory of God.

The Final Straw

As I attended what would be my final SBC in Nashville in 2021, the final straw was apparent through the election of Ed Litton as the president of the SBC. To watch leaders of SBC seminaries like Danny Akin take to Twitter to encourage the messengers of the SBC churches to vote for Ed Litton in the runoff was quite revealing. Danny Akin is entrusted with millions of SBC dollars to train pastors for the pulpit and he sent the signal that Ed Litton is a proper example for SBC pastors and future pastors to follow.  

Following the SBC annual meeting in June of 2021, the plagiarism scandal (which is being referenced as “Sermon Gate”) surfaced which further exposed the failures of Ed Litton’s pulpit practices. Rather than calling for his resignation, the 11th Commandment of the SBC appears to be in full force as the SBC elites not only enable his capitulation, but they celebrate him as a faithful leader. This was put on vivid display as Adam Greenway, who serves as the president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, extended an invitation to Ed Litton to address the student body.  Rather than preaching, they held a Q&A session where Greenway asked Litton to respond to allegations of plagiarism and then accepted his answer and applauded him.

As the pulpit goes, so goes the church. This was the final straw for me and for our local church. We refuse to be associated with a group of churches that elect and support leaders who will not be held accountable for sin.

As the pulpit goes, so goes the church.

As the final word on the matter, it is not my desire to cast stones at a sinking ship. I find no pleasure in separating from the SBC. In logical terms, when we reached the conclusion that we can no longer support the educational entities or the church planting agencies of the SBC (the very reason the SBC exists), it only made sense that we should invest our time and energy elsewhere.

A couple of years ago as we gathered together with our local church for a meeting to discuss the problems within the SBC after the adoption of Resolution 9, one wise elderly woman in our church stood and made a simple, yet profound statement. She said, “Pastor Josh, if it is true and we must eventually leave the SBC, it will not be that we left the SBC but that the SBC left us.” That accurately describes the current scenario that many SBC churches are experiencing.

As we came to a close in our congregational members’ meeting where we voted on December 26th to separate from the SBC, we closed by praying for the SBC churches and leaders. It would be our earnest desire to see the SBC repent and change direction, but since there is no evidence of such a change of direction from the leaders within the SBC, we must exit this aging battleship and move onward in this fight of the faith.

As a local church pastor and president of G3 Ministries, I find myself very committed to a high view of the local church. While this decision has been a long time in the making, I have had to come to the place where I see my commitment to the local church as far superior to any organizational or denominational relationship. At whatever point the network or denomination fails to hold to biblical positions, we must make the hard decision to separate. In so doing, I walk away from the SBC without shame. I involved myself in the SBC, attended the meetings, and sought to do my little part in the work of the SBC causes. Now as I walk away, I do so without regret knowing that this decision was not merely a reactionary decision made in haste. The decision was made for the glory of God and the health of our local church for which I do not apologize.

When Charles Spurgeon was addressing the compromise among Baptists in England, he penned “The Downgrade in the Churches” where he wrote the following:

A chasm is opening between the men who believe their Bibles and those who are prepared for an advance upon the Scripture. . .The house is being robbed, its very walls are being digged down, but the good people who are in bed are too fond of the warmth. . .to go downstairs to meet the burglars

It appears that Spurgeon’s words could be applied to the present downgrade within the SBC. We must remember the words of Paul as he penned a letter to the church in the city of Colossae. He wrote, “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ” (Col. 2:8). When you’ve done all within your power to stand—sometimes the only option that remains is to separate.

California Pushes Kids to Worship Aztec Gods

California Pushes Kids to Worship Aztec Gods

Welcome to the enlightenment of "Ethnic Studies."

Kids Chant To Aztec Gods In New California Curriculum

MARCH 17, 2021: Government-school students in California will soon be asking the barbarous Aztec gods of human sacrifice and cannibalism for help in pursuing a counter-genocide against “white Christians,” at least if a proposed new “ethnic studies” curriculum is formally approved this week. Yes, seriously. Full Story: https://bit.ly/3cFSx4B

PARENTS FILED LAWSUIT

BY MATTHEW VADUM

SEE: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/01/california-has-kids-worshiping-aztec-gods-matthew-vadum/;

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

California’s long-running descent into madness continues as its bizarre Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC) now encourages public school students to pray to bloodthirsty Aztec deities.

The California State Board of Education approved the almost 900-page ESMC in March 2021, saying teaching children about the systemic racism that supposedly plagues America has never been more urgent, as Fox News reported at the time.

“The curriculum’s unequivocal promotion of five Aztec gods or deities through repetitive chanting and affirmation of their symbolic principles constitutes an unlawful government preference toward a particular religious practice,” Frank Xu, president of Californians for Equal Rights Foundation, said months ago as his organization filed a lawsuit against the state.

“This public endorsement of the Aztec religion fundamentally erodes equal education rights and irresponsibly glorifies anthropomorphic, male deities whose religious rituals involved gruesome human sacrifice and human dismemberment.”

The legal action, Californians for Equal Rights Foundation v. State of California, was filed Sept. 3, 2021, in the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego, by attorneys from the Thomas More Society, a national public interest law firm focusing on religious freedom. The foundation is a non-profit civil rights organization headquartered in San Diego.

Golden State officials say this is the first statewide ethnic studies model curriculum in the country. Oregon is developing ethnic studies standards for its social studies curriculum, while Connecticut will require its high schools to offer courses in black and Latino studies by autumn this year.

“We are reminded daily that racism is not only a legacy of the past but a clear and present danger,” said California State Board of Education president Linda Darling-Hammond, a leftist who headed the Biden-Harris regime’s education transition team. “We must understand this history if we are finally to end it.”

The California curriculum is intended to educate high school students about the travails of “historically marginalized peoples which are often untold in U.S. history courses.” It reportedly focuses on the four groups examined in college-level ethnic studies courses: African Americans, Chicano/Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Somehow this leads to the Aztec religion, complete with its cast of characters one might expect to find in a Tobe Hooper movie.

The ESMC includes a section on “Affirmation, Chants, and Energizers,” among which is the “In Lak Ech Affirmation,” an invocation of five Aztec deities. This pagan prayer recognizes the cosmic beings as sources of power and knowledge, seeks their assistance, and gives them thanks.

The five beings are Tezkatlipoka, Quetzalkoatl, Huitzilopochtli, Xipe Totek, and Hunab Ku.

Tezcatlipoca is “an omnipresent god capable of shapeshifting into a jaguar,” according to Mythopedia. In Nahuatl, an American Indian language of the Uto-Aztecan family that is still spoken in central and western Mexico, Tezcatlipoca means “smoking mirror,” a reference to the obsidian mirrors Aztecs used in ceremonies. He was often depicted as having one of his feet replaced with an obsidian mirror. Two of his many alternative names, Titlacauan and Ipalnemoani, attest to his status among the gods, meaning “we are his slaves” and “he by whom we live,” respectively.

Tezcatlipoca was celebrated annually during Toxcatl, the fifth month of the Aztec calendar.

“Every year, a young man—typically a prisoner of war—was chosen to represent Tezcatlipoca … and [this] ixiptla, or impersonator … was treated with great respect and trained to speak in a courtly style. He was also taught to play the flute, the sound of which was thought to be the voice of Tezcatlipoca. A month prior to the festival of Toxcatl, he would be wed to four young women impersonating the four goddess wives of Tezcatlipoca: Xochiquetzal, Xilonen, Atlatonan and Huixtocihuatl.”

The high point of the festival was when the ixiptla walked up the steps of a pyramid and his heart was cut out with an obsidian knife. When the next’s year impersonator was chosen, he was given his predecessor’s skin to wear as a cloak.

Quetzalcoatl, known to the Mayans as Kukulcan, was initially depicted as a feathered snake. Portrayed as both the morning and evening star, Quetzalcoatl became a symbol of death and resurrection. Accompanied by his loyal companion, the dog-headed god Xolotl, he descended to hell to collect the bones of the ancient dead, and poured his own blood on them, thereby creating the people who live in the present universe. Quetzalcoatl sacrificed snakes, butterflies, and birds, but never humans.

Huitzilopochtli was the Aztec god of war, Mythopedia reports. His mother’s other 400 children were unhappy about his approaching birth and according to various versions of the story: a) they killed her; b) they tried to kill her, or c) they tried to kill Huitzilopochtli before he was born. In what must have been challenging childbirth, somehow Huitzilopochtli escaped the womb while fully armored and promptly defeated his siblings. Sacrifices, including human sacrifices, were made to him after every military victory and defeat.

Xipe Totec, meaning “Our Lord the Flayed One,” had a diverse set of responsibilities, according to Mythopedia. He was the Aztec god of agriculture, seasons, disease, and goldsmiths. Xipe Totec “was often depicted wearing a suit of flayed skin, and his associated ceremonies emphasized his choice of attire. Such rituals usually culminated in a fresh skin suit being made and worn by either a statue of Xipe Totec or one of his priests.”

Hunab Ku, meaning “One-God,” was a creator deity worshiped by Aztecs and some Mayans but thought to have Aztec origins.

“The Aztecs regularly performed gruesome and horrific acts for the sole purpose of pacifying and appeasing the very beings that the prayers from the curriculum invoke,” said Paul Jonna, a partner at LiMandri & Jonna LLP and Thomas More Society Special Counsel.

“The human sacrifice, cutting out of human hearts, flaying of victims and wearing their skin, are a matter of historical record, along with sacrifices of war prisoners, and other repulsive acts and ceremonies the Aztecs conducted to honor their deities,” Jonna said.

“Any form of prayer and glorification of these bloodthirsty beings in whose name horrible atrocities were performed is repulsive to any reasonably informed observer.”

Yet the ESMC is now a reality.

It came about after the board of education named R. Tolteka Cuauhtin, a co-author of the 2019 book Rethinking Ethnic Studies, to head a committee tasked with developing it. In his book, Cuauhtin “demonstrates an animus towards Christianity and Catholicism—claiming that Christians committed ‘theocide’ (i.e., killing gods) against indigenous tribes,” according to court documents.

In March 2021, the board approved the ESMC, also including the “Ashe Affirmation,” which “invokes the divine forces of the Yoruba religion four times—honoring this divine force and seeking assistance for the school day.” Yoruba is “an ancient philosophical concept that is the root of many pagan religions, including Santeria and Haitian Vodou or voodoo,” according to the Thomas More Society. It reportedly has 100 million believers worldwide in West Africa, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guyana, and various Caribbean nations.

How the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum, with its invocation of witch doctors and Aztec gods like Xipe Totec, who wears suits made of flayed human skin, will enlighten California schoolchildren has never been explained.

Maybe enlightenment isn’t the goal.

KARA MCKINNEY INTERVIEWS Libby Emmons: Saving Souls From Satan’s Clutches

TWO CATHOLIC WOMEN DISCUSS "SAVING SOULS", BUT OMIT THROUGH THE BIBLE AND/OR JESUS CHRIST ALONE

FROM: https://www.listal.com/libby-emmons#:

"Description: Creator of Li88yinc blog about "writing plays, motherhood, making art, and balancing it all on the head of a pin." Graduated Sarah Lawrence College and obtained Masters degree from Columbia University's theater program. Writer and producer of many plays and former theatre critic for the New York Theatre Review. She began freelance writing for political publications like Quillette Magazine and The Federalist, and in 2020 became Senior Editor for the Post Millennial (online publication). After being born in Massachusetts, Libby spent considerable time in New York after her parents divorced and her mother moved. Libby ... (more)"

SEE ALSO: https://thepostmillennial.com/must-watch-critical-race-theory-infiltrates-the-catholic-church

AND: https://thepostmillennial.com/bring-back-latin-mass/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Etub18axBcQ

OAN: Hope of Christmas with “Pastor” Paula White

Rumble — Paula White Cain, president of Paula White Ministries, gives us "The Real Story" on her hope and prayer during Christmas. Don't be fooled by this one, like Trump was!

EXCERPT FROM: https://firebrandmag.com/articles/neocharismatic-christianity-and-the-rise-of-the-new-apostolic-reformation:

"When Paula White called angels from Africa and South America to wage spiritual warfare in the aftermath of the presidential election, she was tapping into the notion of territorial spirits associated with the emergence of what Peter Wagner has called the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). Wagner coined the phrase to describe a novel kind of independent charismatic Christianity led by apostles and organized into relational networks. Many of the prophecies associated with Trump’s rise and re-election came from persons associated with these networks. Some like Kris Vallotton of Bethel Church apologized while others such as Lance Wallnau doubled down. Regardless, much of the public support for Trump came from Christians connected to this new form of charismatic Christianity, even though it has largely remained unexplored by most journalists and historians."  

SEE THE COMMENTS BELOW:

jackieQuilts, 9 hours ago

1 Cor 11 But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 1 Tim 2 11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety. 1 Corinthians 7:17 17 But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so, I ordain in all the churches. Ephesians 4 11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, Women can teach, but don't have authority over the Church.... Christ is the Authority over the Church. Christ chose the 12 Apostles, it's God that gives the gifts not men.

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ZeroCarbChick, 23 hours ago

Paula White is NOT a pastor. Can we all just cut the crap. She needs to read her Bible and stop being wicked.

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BlueAero, 1 day ago

Paula White is a demon-filled false prophet. Part of NAR and supporter of antichrist. OAN - sorry- having to unsubscribe with your false promotion of the demonic dominionists.

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chesval, just now

Paula White Cain's apostate history has influenced Trump in a negative way, what with her "Word of Faith" charismatic, dominionist, ecumenical, interfaith, universalist, astral projection heresies. Plus her multiple divorces & re-marriages. Just see these posts for proof:

  • https://ratherexposethem.org/2021/07/04/john-macarthur-a-bad-sign-paula-white-at-donald-trumps-inauguration-and-other-prosperity-gospel-false-teachers-like-joel-osteen/
  • https://ratherexposethem.org/2020/09/26/prosperity-preachers-are-total-liars/
  • https://ratherexposethem.org/2020/03/13/southern-baptist-robert-jeffress-has/
  • https://ratherexposethem.org/2019/11/02/word-of-faith-prosperity-preacher-paula/
  • https://ratherexposethem.org/2019/10/23/chris-rosebrough-of-fighting-for-faith-2/
  • https://ratherexposethem.org/2019/07/12/fighting-for-faith-apostate-paula/
  • https://ratherexposethem.org/2019/05/14/paula-white-transfers-church-leadership/
  • https://ratherexposethem.org/2018/08/06/trumps-dear-friend-spiritual-adviser/
  • https://ratherexposethem.org/2018/05/18/paula-white-taking-care-of-trumps-soul/
  • https://ratherexposethem.org/2018/01/09/first-fruits-twistedapostasy-alert/
  • https://ratherexposethem.org/2015/05/16/paula-white-marries-for-third-time/

How Did Evangelicalism Turn into a Circus… Literally?

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.

MIKE GENDRON, PROCLAIMING THE GOSPEL: IS THE POPE CATHOLIC?

News from Ex-Catholic & Evangelist Mike Gendron 

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

Pope Francis has become the most controversial pope in the last 300 years. He has made numerous contentious and disputable statements that not only go against historic Roman Catholicism, but they also violate the infallible Word of God. Tragically, his fatal lies often go unchecked and are leading millions of people down the wide road to destruction (Matthew 7:13). As the first Jesuit pope, he rules over 1.3 billion Roman Catholics, who have been indoctrinated to believe that any man who wears the papal crown is holy and infallible when he speaks ex-cathedra. We must warn Catholics with the sobering words of Christ, "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves" (Mat. 7:15).
Is the Pope Humble?
Pope Francis is loved by many because of the “humility” portrayed by his foot-washings and self-described humble lifestyle. However, can he really be humble when he usurps the honor and authority of the Lord Jesus by stealing His title as the Head of His Church? Francis never suffered the physical torment, the spiritual abandonment and a sacrificial death to save the Church. That he would consider himself to be the Head of the Church is unconscionable. Yet, his arrogance does not end there. He has also usurped the title “Holy Father” from the one and only Holy Father who is the Father of Jesus and all born-again Christians (John 17:11).
Is the Pope a Universalist?
In spite of the clear teaching of Christ and His Word, Pope Francis believes God’s will is to save all people. During a message in St. Peter’s Square, he said, God “wants His children to overcome all particularism in order to be open to the universality of salvation” (CNA, 11/15/19). Years earlier, Pope Francis declared: “The Lord has redeemed all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone…even the atheists. Everyone! The Blood of Christ has redeemed us all” (RNS, 5/22/13). The pope’s belief that everyone will be saved is not only opposed to the teachings of his church but also to the very words of Christ. The Lord Jesus made it clear that very few will enter Heaven, and the greater majority will end up in a place of destruction. He said we must “enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
Is the Pope a Denier of Hell?
Not only has Pope Francis said everyone will eventually be in Heaven, but he also stated, “There is no hell where sinners suffer for eternity.” He added to his heresy by saying: “After death, those who do not repent cannot be pardoned, and they disappear.” Then he declared, “Hell does not exist but what does exist is the disappearance of sinful souls.” One can only conclude that the pope is calling Jesus a liar because He spoke of hell more than thirty times in the New Testament. God’s Word describes hell as a place of torment where unbelievers suffer pain and thirst from a burning fire. The horror and hopelessness is so great that they want to warn their loved ones who are still alive. The punishment for their sins is irreversible; there is no second chance and no escape (Luke 16:19-31). The pope’s denial of hell also opposes Roman Catholicism, which affirms the existence of an eternal fire in hell where sinners suffer (Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 1035).
Is the Pope Against the Sanctity of Marriage?
The recent endorsement of same-sex civil unions by Pope Francis has been criticized by conservative Catholics throughout the world. God's timeless Word reveals His holy intentions for marriage, family and sexuality as well as His clear condemnations for those who violate His intentions. No one, not even a pope, has the authority to redefine marriage, family and sexuality. The first family consisted of a male husband and a female wife, along with their children. 
Is the Pope Ever Right?
Pope Francis was wrong again when he said, “All of us are God's children.” The Lord Jesus exposes the pope’s lie by revealing some people are children of the devil. To the apostate religious leaders He said, “You are of your father the devil” (John 8:44). Later, the apostle John wrote: “It is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother" (1 John 3:10). The pope was also wrong biblically when he declared Mary is the one mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5). He said, "Mary is not only the bridge joining us to God; she is more. She is the road that God traveled to reach us, and the road that we must travel in order to reach Him. 
Pope Francis blasphemed God by attributing the work of Jesus Christ to Satan when he declared that the “Division [among evangelicals and Catholics] is the work of the Father of Lies who does everything possible to keep us divided.” The pope's statement opposed and denigrated God's infallible Word. The Lord Jesus is the One who divides believers from unbelievers by the truth of His Word (Luke 12:51-53). 
The pope also blasphemed God by saying He is going to destroy the world again because of global warming. He said this time the Genesis flood won't be mythical, (like he seems to believe of the Genesis flood); it will be real. His distortion of Genesis continues with his statement: “The Big Bang Theory does not contradict the role of God as the divine creator.” He said, “God is not a divine being or a magician, but the Creator who brought everything to life."
Is There Anything Christians Can Do?
Pope Francis has become the most influential and dangerous false teacher in the world today. It is my prayer that Christians will recognize the Roman Catholic religion is a huge mission field and rescue Catholics from Pope Francis. Only the truth of God's Word can set Catholics free from the bondage of religious deception (John 8:31-32). We must speak the truth in love and pray for the salvation of these precious souls!
Some Will Come and Preach Another Jesus
Christians will often tell us they know a Catholic is saved because they love Jesus. However, which Jesus do they love? The Jesus of the Bible is gloriously revealed as the all-sufficient Savior who finished the work of redemption (Heb. 7:25, 9:12). The Eucharistic Jesus does not save sinners completely and forever, but instead continues the work of redemption on an altar (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], para. 1405, 1471). The true Jesus paid the complete punishment for sin and canceled the eternal debt for sin (Col. 2:13-14). The false Christ of Rome did not pay the complete punishment for sin as Catholics are taught they must suffer temporal punishment for sin in purgatory (CCC, 1471).
The Bible tells us Jesus offered Himself once for all sin for all time and there are no more offerings for sin (Heb. 10:12,14,18). The counterfeit Christ of Roman Catholicism is offered 200,000 times each day on altars throughout the world as a sacrificial "victim" for past sins (CCC, 1367). God's Word tells us Jesus will return a second time the same way He left, after the tribulation in wondrous glory (Acts 1:11; Mat. 24:27-30; Heb. 9:28). The Catholic Jesus returns every day at the command of a priest who transubstantiates wafers into his body and blood, soul and divinity (CCC, 1374). The Catholic Church robs Christ of His glory as the only sinless mediator (1 Tim. 2:5) by declaring Mary holds the same glorious position.
When Catholics worship and trust the false Christ of the Eucharist, they are committing the most serious sin of idolatry and must be warned. Furthermore, another Jesus always leads to another gospel which has no power to save (Rom. 1:16; Gal. 1:6-9). It is because of our love for Catholics we have published a Gospel tract, Which Jesus Do you Trust? Order them here.

 

The State of the Church: An Interview with John MacArthur

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