SUE MONK KIDD, GUIDEPOSTS & NORMAN VINCENT PEALE

Manny Silva of Stand for Truth Ministries reveals the occultic, interfaith and ecumenical nature of Guideposts in the following article reposted in its entirety below the Ray Yungen video about Sue Monk Kidd




Sue Monk Kidd, Guideposts and Its Founder Norman Vincent Peale


Apostasy is spreading everywhere throughout the “Christian” world, and the command by God’s Holy word to “test all things” has never been more appropriate as is now.  No resource, organization, or person, no matter what reputation it has had through the years, should be exempt from scrutiny.  I have found that to be the case with Guideposts, and wish to issue a serious warning for Christians to avoid anything produced by this organization which, when examined, is NOT really a Christian organization. Guideposts produces daily devotionals and other material that has been popular for many years with Christians.  I have never been a regular reader, but have from time to time read some of its devotionals, and it seemed okay to me.  (Rick Warren’s error-filled Purpose Driven Life book also seemed okay to me at first).  On Guidepost’s website, it says: 

“…We’ll bring you true stories of hope, faith, personal growth and positive thinking, plus inspiring quotes, daily devotionals and prayers for every need. A little inspiration…it can change your day, even your life.”

Seems good, but all is not what it seems, which is the reason for writing this.  If you are a Bible believing Christian, my advice to you is to:

Stay away from Guideposts devotionals and any other material;
Get rid of what you have and stop subscribing;
Do not offer Guideposts to anyone;  
Warn others of its true origins and its interfaith, ecumenical and occultic underpinnings and purpose.

How Did Guideposts Start?

Guideposts was founded years ago by the late Norman Vincent Peale, known for his Power of Positive Thinking ideology, which is a philosophy he had in common with Robert Schuller, another guru of positive or possibility thinking.  Few know that he was a 33 degree Mason.  But Peale was also a universalist and denied various critical tenets of the Christian faith, including the exclusivity of Jesus Christ as the only way of salvation.  In a 1984 interview on the Phil Donahue Show, he said: 

It’s not necessary to be born again. You have your way to God; I have mine. I found eternal peace in a Shinto shrine. … I’ve been to the Shinto shrines, and God is everywhere.”  Donahue exclaimed, “But you’re a Christian minister; you’re supposed to tell me that Christ is the Way and the Truth and the Life, aren’t you?” Peale replied, “Christ is one of the waysGod is everywhere.”

Regarding his Freemason roots, here is a quote from the Masonic Magazine in 1993:


My grandfather was a Mason for 50 years, my father for 50 years, and I have been a Mason for over 60 years.  Freemasonry does not promote any one religious creed. All Masons believe in the Deity without reservation. However, Masonry makes no demands as to how a member thinks of the Great Architect of the Universe. … men of different religions meet in fellowship and brotherhood under the fatherhood of God.


His teaching emphasized the power of your own mind, a power that turns the wishes of your mind into reality if it is strong enough.  The theme in his most famous book was one of ‘belief in yourself… in your abilities’, rather than trust in the Lord.  After reading about much of his teaching, I find it unbelievable that he still finds credibility within Christian circles, and was even recommended by Billy Graham.  By his own fruits and his words, he was not a Christian.  Peale’s source of knowledge has more to do with heretical teachings linked to the word-faith movement, positive thinking, and also occultic sources, such as visualization, as seen in the December 1998 issue of Guideposts.  Peale endorsed the bookThe Jesus Letters by Jane Palzere and Anna Brown. “What a wonderful gift to all of us from you is your book. You will bless many by this truly inspired book.” This was a book communicated through a process known as automatic writing by a spirit who called himself Jesus. (1)  This is pure occultism.


Guideposts sells numerous books on angel sightings, near death experiences, pets in heaven, and other experience based stories with much content that contradicts Scripture. Guideposts also promotes false teachers such as Joel Osteen (prosperity gospel), Henry Blackaby (contemplative spirituality) and St. Therese of Lisieux (contemplative mystic), and Sue Monk Kidd (contemplative spirituality).  Guideposts is strongly ecumenical and interfaith based, with much material written by Peale still being offered, and thus is a source of introducing occultic ideologies to many unsuspecting non-believers, and many Christians.  Contrary to the claims on the website, the “power of positive thinking” is not based on Holy Scripture, but on Peale’s New Age ideas.  He has also endorsed many New Age/occultic teachers, such as Bernie Siegal and Eric Butterworth.

When one reads Norman Vincent Peale, it is obvious that he never tells anyone that they must come to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ before they can become a child of God, born again and indwelt by His Spirit. Instead the assumption is that everyone is already a child of God and can access the Power through using certain principles and techniques. (2)


So Who is Sue Monk Kidd?

This Christmas, my wife received a Guideposts planner from a Christian friend.  As she was going through the pages, she came over to me and said, “look at the name here.”  I was shocked to see that the name of the person who wrote that particular day’s devotional was Sue Monk Kidd.  I was even more shocked when I found many more devotionals written by her, roughly a third of all the devotionals in the book.


Sue Monk Kidd is a former Baptist Sunday School teacher.  One day after church a co-worker gave her a book by Thomas Merton.  In short, after reading this book, Sue Monk Kidd was hooked by the idea of contemplative spirituality as a way of getting to know God “better”, and the rest is history.  Because much of what she writes is “good”, her books are very popular now with many well-meaning Christians, including The Secret Life of Bees which was made into a movie.  But many do not know that Sue Monk Kidd’s ‘Jesus’ is not the Jesus of true Christianity.  She is now a major player in the promotion of the false movement of contemplative prayer (aka contemplative spirituality or contemplative mysticism).  She is to be marked and avoided as instructed by Holy Scripture.

The following is from Ray Yungen’s book exposing mysticism in the church, A Time of Departing:


Monk Kidd’s spirituality is spelled out clearly in her book When the Heart Waits. She explains:

There’s a bulb of truth buried in the human soul [not just Christian] that’s “only God” … the soul is more than something to win or save. It’s the seat and repository of the inner Divine, the God-image, the truest part of us. (emphasis mine)

Sue Monk Kidd, an introspective woman, gives a revealing description of her spiritual transformation in her book God’s Joyful Surprise: Finding Yourself Loved. She shares how she suffered a deep hollowness and spiritual hunger for many years even though she was very active in her Baptist church. She sums up her feelings:

Maybe we sense we’re disconnected from God somehow. He becomes superfluous to the business at hand. He lives on the periphery so long we begin to think that is where He belongs. Anything else seems unsophisticated or fanatical.

Ironically, a Sunday school co-worker handed her a book by Thomas Merton, telling her she needed to read it. Once Monk Kidd read it, her life changed dramatically. What happened next completely reoriented Sue Monk Kidd’s worldview and belief system. She started down the contemplative prayer road with bliss, reading numerous books and repeating the sacred word methods taught in her readings. She ultimately came to the mystical realization that:

I am speaking of recognizing the hidden truth that we are one with all people. We are part of them and they are part of us …
When we encounter another person, … we should walk as if we were upon holy ground. We should respond as if God dwells there.
(A Time of Departing, 2nd Ed., pp.134-135

It is sad to know that a once solid Baptist Sunday School teacher can be deceived so easily, yet it is no surprise.  It is also sad to see that a supposedly Christian organization is not really a Christian organization, and is promoting mysticism to millins of Christians through Sue Monk Kidd.  From her book Dance of the Dissident Daughter, Monk Kidd clearly rejects Holy Scripture as the authority for Christians in exchange for something else:

“I remember a feeling rising up from a place about two inches below my navel. … It was the purest inner knowing I had experienced, and it was shouting in me no, no, no! The ultimate authority of my life is not the Bible; it is not confined between the covers of a book. It is not something written by men and frozen in time. It is not from a source outside myself. My ultimate authority is the divine voice in my own soul. Period. … That day sitting in church, I believed the voice in my belly. … The voice in my belly was the voice of the wise old woman. It was my female soul talking. And it had challenged the assumption that the Baptist Church would get me where I needed to go” (The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, pp. 76, 77, 78).

The following by Dwayna Litz (who has a great evangelistic outreach ministry called LightingThe Way Worldwide, shows that Kidd was being promoted at least since 2006:


Guidepost Magazine No Longer Christian? 

A friend of mine sent me a recent Guidepost magazine, outraged by an endorsement they were making in the November, 2006 issue. I looked over it, and I was also taken aback by their promotion of theological feminism and decided to give them a call.
I picked up the phone and called Guidepost magazine. I kept my voice calm and low and spoke to someone to make a comment. I said:

“I was under the impression that Guidepost is a Christian magazine. Is that true?”

She said, “No, it is not true. It is a spiritual magazine to reach out to people in all faiths.”

I said, “Oh, ok, so that would explain why you are promoting someone who walks with the turtles to get the spirit of the turtle and who makes a shrine to the Mother-god and who is offended by patriarchal language of the Bible.”

She didn’t say anything.

I continued, “I am talking about your endorsement of Sue Monk Kidd and promotion of her books. That is atrocious from a Christian standpoint.”

She calmly answered, “Ok,” to acquiesce cordially to me as a “customer.”

I said, “I have a Christian ministry, and I will be letting people know about this.”

She said, “Ok,” and we hung up.

The conversation lasted for about two minutes. I just wanted to let everyone know that the November 2006 issue of Guidepost is now promoting Sue Monk Kidd, and, by their own admission, the magazine is not Christian but “spiritual” to “reach people of all faiths.”


Dwayna Litz


Obviously Guideposts still promotes Sue Monk Kidd, as well as Joel Osteen and other unbiblical resources.  Even though there is much which Guideposts recommends that is good, there is a whole lot of New Age leaven and other false teachings being sown that disqualifies Guideposts as a sound Christian resource.

Beware of Guideposts.

(1) http://www.letusreason.org/Poptea2.htm (Let Us Reason Ministries)
(2) Norman Vincent Peale: http://www.watchman.org/reltop/peale.htm


For more on Norman Vincent Peale, Sue Monk Kidd, and Guideposts Magazine:

Sue Monk Kidd’s Spirituality: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLGeEG2J55I&feature=youtu.be

Guideposts Magazine: Christian or New Age? (http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/guidepo/mag.htm
Manny Silva
Stand For Truth Ministries

“The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.” Psalm 119:160


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CLUB/COFFEEHOUSE CHURCHES-“REFORMED” & LEADERSHIP NETWORK APPLAUD

From New York Times via Christian News in its entirety, describing the “new paradigm” of doing church is below:
coffee cup pdAn article released this week by the New York Times outlines that coffeehouse churches and other non-traditional settings are becoming the new wave across the nation as many pastors and emergent congregations are attempting to reinnovate the church in order to reach a culture that is increasingly turning against God.

“The cool thing is church planting,” said Warren Bird of the Leadership Network. “The uncool thing is to go into the established church. Why that has taken over may speak to the entrepreneurialism and innovation that today’s generation represents.”
Therefore, many new pastors are deciding to meet inside of coffee shops, theaters, warehouses and even bars to attract those that are turned off to Christianity.
“It’s pretty low risk to wander into a bar or movie theater or hotel,” stated Professor Scott Thumma of the Hartford Institute for Religion Research. “It ends up delivering the message of relevance: we’re just like you, we’re struggling, we might have a beer together — and our faith is also relevant.”
Many churches that continue to meet in a conventional church building are also now deciding to add a coffee hour before or after the services in order to utilize the idea, in hopes that it might draw new people for the sake of community. “Coffee hour: 9:30, worship: 10:30″ announce some signs on church properties nationwide.
“Already several people have discovered the freedom of coming into a safe place to experience God without the formality of a church sanctuary setting,” said Pastor Leon Fikse of Bethany Reformed Church of Redland, California, who recently created a coffeehouse atmosphere at his church, complete with drinks and refreshments. “We encourage those who think this is worth a try to come and to see for themselves how this works for them.”
Others work to make the services into more of a club atmosphere with flashy stage lighting, smoke machines, an edgy band, and modern dances and dramas performed by the youth group. Woodlands Church near Houston, Texas, which has over 15,000 members on four campuses, utilizes more of the concert atmosphere, and Stevens Creek Church in Augusta, Georgia, has a similar feel with a large worship band that includes electric guitars and several backup singers. One Woodlands servicefeatured online shows the worship team performing U2 and Eminem songs on stage for the congregation.

Connect with Christian News

“For us, it’s all about being interactive,” Pastor Paul Wirth of Relevant Church in Tampa, Florida told the New York Times. The publication reports that one Sunday, Wirth took his innovations even further and decided to dress in a rabbit suit and surprise the congregation by loading them all onto chartered buses, where he took them to the local park.
However, there are some pastors across America that do not endorse attempts to transform the church in order to be accepted by the culture. They lament that the focus has now shifted in many churches to where man is the center instead of Christ.

Pastor Scott Brown

Pastor Scott Brown

“The Church wants something cooler than God,” Pastor Scott Brown, the director of the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches and elder at Hope Baptist Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina, told Christian News Network. “They want something cooler than the New Testament Church, so they invent a new church for a new generation because they fear losing the next generation.”
“The huge mistake is that it gives people themselves instead of what they really need,” he continued. “People need God. They don’t need more of themselves and they definitely don’t need more of the culture.”
Pastor David Whitney of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Pasadena, Maryland agreed.
“The purpose of worship is to honor and glorify God,” he said. “Christianity is about experiencing God, not experiencing a rock concert.”
Whitney said that in Biblical times, people didn’t take well to Christianity either, and we should not expect a different response today.
“Paul said that his preaching was often despised,” he outlined. “He said that the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those that are perishing. … People turned away when Jesus’ message turned particular and difficult. … It’s not something that’s going to be attractive to the lost.”
Brown outlined that trying to reach the unsaved by humanistic means produces a bottomless pit of continuing to feed people with humanism.
“If you win them with coffee, then you’re going to have to keep them with coffee. If you win them with clowns, you’re going to have to keep giving them clowns,” he explained. “But, if you win them with God, then you give them God, and that’s what they need the very most.”
“It’s humanism that gives birth to entertainment-focused churches,” he added. “It’s an idolization of coolness rather than holiness. … [However,] the Church of God is defined by the holiness of God, not the coolness of man.”

Pastor David Whitney

Pastor David Whitney

“Jesus did not say, ‘Take up your La-Z Boy recliner and follow Me.’ He said, ‘Take up your cross and follow Me,’” Whitney stated. “That way is a lot less glamorous and a lot less popular.”
But the men assert that Christianity is not about being popular or accepted by the culture. It’s about honoring, obeying and worshiping God.
“If you’re really about what Jesus said regarding success, it’s about being baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost and obeying all that He commanded them,” Whitney said. “The message that’s first and foremost is ‘Repent.’ How can you repent unless you know you’re a sinner? There’s no message of repentance [in most churches today]. There’s no message of sin. Most pulpits will never mention Hell. … We are not called to make converts, we are called to make disciples.”
“When the objective has become [connecting] people with people, then people become the defining focus of the church. And when your objective is connecting people with God, that becomes your defining focus,” Brown stated. “And so the question is, what are we connecting people with? [Is it] with one another, with the culture or are you trying to connect people with God?”
They stated that the early church never tried to use worldly means to reach the lost. Instead, gatherings were for the purpose of building up believers in the faith, and church meetings were never used for evangelism. Rather, the people went out to preach and teach, rather than changing the church so that people would come to them.
“The early church was persecuted and hated and pounded,” Whitney explained. “They were hated because they preached the truth; they preached repentance; they preached that there is only one God. … It was considered intolerant.”
“The early church got together and they prayed and sang. They read the Scriptures, and they experienced the preaching of the word of God. They celebrated the Lord’s Supper,” Brown outlined.
Brown stated that at his church in North Carolina, he aims to keep Christ at the center with no distractions.
“If you came to our church, … I pray that what you would find is that we gather around God as the central focus on the church,” he said. “[That we gather] around the word of God and the preaching of it and the reading of it, singing praises to God and celebrating the Lord’s Supper, and that we would pray. Jesus said, ‘My House shall be called a house of prayer.’ And so, we limit ourselves to these things.”
“We want our people to be satisfied with God and what He has commanded,” Brown continued. “It might be cooler and hipper to show video clips of hot movies or things like that, but what we would say is, ‘No, be satisfied with God.’ God has called us to gather and pray and read and listen to the preaching of the word of God, and we ought to be humble people ready to do what God commanded us to do.”
Whitney said that just because coffeehouse and club atmospheres may attract new people, doesn’t mean that men are being made into disciples.
“It looks like growth, but cancer grows, too,” he said.
“Rather than relating with people by becoming like people, the church is to present the glory of God,” Brown exhorted. “When people come into the church, they should see a completely new kingdom, a completely new community. They should see how different God is than they are and how much more wonderful He is, and how His ways are much more beautiful than their ways.”
“Churches can meet in fields. Churches can meet in catacombs. Churches can meet in a traditional church building,” he noted. “But when the church starts identifying with a coffeehouse rather than the imagery that God has provided, then the Church has really departed from historic Christianity.”

AMENDED: SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION-CAULDRON OF COMPROMISE & CORRUPTION

The two previous posts of this blog which dealt with the Southern Baptist Convention in particular, included:
1) Ralph Ovadal of Pilgrims Covenant Church, Monroe, Wisconsin, http://www.pccmonroe.org, has two great  sermons on the SBC which demonstrates its ecumenism, etc. Visit Sermon Audio, “Heart of the Matter”:
http://www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?sourceonly=true&currSection=sermonssource&keyword=hom&subsetcat=series&subsetitem=Southern+Baptist+Convention.
AND:
2) David Cloud of Way of Life www.wayoflife.org explains reasons for not being a Southern Baptist at: http://www.wayoflife.org/database/whynotsbc.html. In summary the reasons are as follows:

(1) THE DENOMINATIONAL SYSTEM ITSELF IS UNSCRIPTURAL
(2) THE SBC IS ECUMENICAL
(3) THE SBC HAS REFUSED TO DISCIPLINE BILLY GRAHAM. 
(4) SBC CHURCHES ARE NOT GOVERNED SCRIPTURALLY. 
(5) WORLDLINESS IS RAMPANT IN SBC CHURCHES AND SCHOOLS.
(6) SHAMEFUL POLITICS IS PRACTICED BY SBC CONSERVATIVE LEADERS.
(7) WOMEN ARE ALLOWED TO HOLD LEADERSHIP ROLES IN THE SBC. 
(8) THE CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT IS GROWING WITHIN THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION. 
(9) THE SBC IS PERMEATED WITH THEOLOGICAL MODERNISM. (See below)
(10) THE SBC IS FILLED WITH MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE YOKED WITH PAGAN ANTI-CHRIST ORGANIZATIONS SUCH AS THE MASONIC LODGE AND THE EASTERN STAR. 
(11) THE VAST MAJORITY OF SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONGREGATIONS REFUSE TO EXERCISE CHURCH DISCIPLINE, AND IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE A BIBLICALLY PURE CHURCH WITHOUT DISCIPLINE.
(12) SOUTHERN BAPTISTS ARE AT THE FOREFRONT OF PROMOTING THE CHURCH GROWTH PHILOSOPHIES THAT WEAKEN THE CHURCHES BY TURNING THE CHURCH’S MISSION AWAY FROM THE COMMITMENT TO THE WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD, WHICH IS THE MISSION AND PURPOSE THAT JESUS CHRIST DELIVERED TO THE CHURCH (MATT. 28:19-20), TO A CAPSULATED, WATERED-DOWN, MAN-MADE “PURPOSE.” THE CHURCH GROWTH MOVEMENT PROMOTES THE USE OF WORLDLY MUSIC AND DRESS TO ATTRACT LARGE CROWDS. (See below)
(13) THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION IS NEW EVANGELICAL AND REJECTS BIBLICAL SEPARATION. 
    There is a compelling need to update the progression within the SBC of it growing ecumenism, adoption of Catholic contemplative mysticism and lectio divina, worldliness, and carnality. 
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
January 24, 2013 UPDATES as follows:
    David Cloud’s Way of Life includes articles on the SBC below, some of which are lengthy, but thoroughly researched:
1) “The Treacherous Waters of the Southern Baptist Convention”, subtitled “The Path From Independent Baptist to the Shack, Rome and Beyond” at: http://www.wayoflife.org/index_files/4bcc0a35627aa9ca8a003c7bda7fb4f1-817.html, with free E-Book at: http://www.wayoflife.org/thepath/index.html.
2) “The Southern Baptist Convention and the Baptist World Alliance” chronicles the SBC support and funding of the BWA, an ecumenical group of worldwide Baptist denominations. The article is here:
http://www.wayoflife.org/index_files/494e34b5df8fdaacc17d64ecb1727b26-160.html.
3) “Why Most Fundamental Baptist Churches Will Be Emerging Within Two Decades” catalogs Baptist churches, schools and universities that are ecumenical, Catholic sympathizing, paracticing mysticism and yoga, here: http://www.wayoflife.org/index_files/7bdd7479b0b53f964472624cb421c69c-949.html.
4) “A Visit to a Southern Baptist Seminary” here: http://www.wayoflife.org/database/southernbaptistseminary.html.
    Ken Silva, presently still affiliated with the SBC as far as we know, runs Apprising.org where he has excellent articles, some of which are these:
1) “Southern Baptist Convention Using More Counter Reformation Contemplative Spirituality” here:
http://apprising.org/2011/12/27/southern-baptist-convention-using-more-counter-reformation-contemplative-spirituality/.
2) “Lifeway (SBC publishing house) Encouraging Southern Baptists to Practice Lectio Divina”, here:
http://apprising.org/2011/07/25/lifeway-encouraging-southern-baptists-to-practice-lectio-divina/.
3) “Southern Baptist David Jeremiah Praises ‘Vision God’ Gave To TBN’s Paul Crouch” here:
http://apprising.org/2012/05/16/southern-baptist-david-jeremiah-praises-vision-god-gave-to-tbns-paul-crouch/.
4) “Alabama Baptist Convention (SBC) Encourages You To Learn Lectio Divina from Apostate Tony Jones” here: http://apprising.org/2011/07/16/alabama-baptist-convention-sbc-encourages-you-to-learn-lectio-divina-from-apostate-tony-jones/.
5) “Southern Baptists Assist the Roman Catholic Church to Infiltrate Evangelicalism” here:
http://apprising.org/2012/05/06/southern-baptists-assist-the-roman-catholic-church-to-infiltrate-evangelicalism/.
    The following list of emergents were found on Liberty University’s YouTube Channel, and have spoken at the university’s “Convocation” in the last couple of years. It should be noted that none of these appear to have been to Liberty to speak more than approximately three years ago. Liberty has not protected the youth there from all the modern apostasies, or even bothered to warn them. Apparently, Falwell’s sons, Al Mohler, etc, have no problem with these folks and offering them speaking engagements. Liberty is surely not the same independent Baptist school it once was when Jerry Falwell was alive. However, Jerry did decide to affiliate the school with the SBC, thereby declaring that he and the school repudiated biblical separation”. Liberty’s YouTube Channel portrays the school’s image as an entertainment complex in Lynchburg, Virginia with a showtime lineup.
    Among many others are: Mark Driscoll, Steven Furtick, Franklin Graham, Christine Caine, Jentezen Franklin, Louie Giglio, David Jeremiah, James Robison, Francis Chan, Rick Warren, Ed Stetzer, etc.
   As if this wasn’t enough evidence to convince Christians to abandon the SBC, there is the persistent problem of Freemasons being allowed to join SBC churches and they number over 1,100,000. The following sites clearly show the connections.
From Freemasonry Watch is this article: http://freemasonrywatch.org/holly.html.
From Saints Alive is this article: http://saintsalive.com/resourcelibrary/freemasonry/freemasonry-and-the-southern-baptist-church
    Still need more evidence that is incontrovertable? Just know that God hates Christians being involved with the occult just as much as He hates our man-centered “other gospels” being presented to the next generation of young Christians. 





MARIOLOGY, IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, IDOLATRY

Doug Harris of Simply the Truth (Reachout Trust- http://www.reachouttrust.org), hosted a debate on Mariology between Cecil Andrews of Take Heed Ministries and Catholic Jesuit priest Keith McMillan:

Richard Bennett of Berean Beacon http://www.bereanbeacon.org, examines the “Immaculate Conception” of Mary in the video below. He also has a print articles titled “The Biblical Mary and Tradition” and “Pope Benedict XVI at Lourdes: A Descent Into Darkness” at: http://www.bereanbeacon.org/articles/sorted/01_On_Catholicism/The_Biblical_Mary_and_Tradition.pdf and http://www.bereanbeacon.org/articles/sorted/01_On_Catholicism/Pope_Benedict_XVI_at_Lourdes.pdf

Reformed Baptist apologist/debater James White from Alpha & Omega Ministries http://aomin.org, discusses the apparitions of Mary (even in window smudges):

PCA REPORT ON FREEMASONRY 1987

    The 20 page report dated 1987 in the PCA Digest on Freemasonry within the Presbyterian Church in America is here for your inspection: http://www.pcahistory.org/pca/2-300.pdf.
    It references several other denominations which have published statements regarding the incompatibility of Freemasonry with Christianity and that those who are involved in Freemasonry while claiming to be Christian should repent by terminating their membership in the Masonic Lodge or affiliated female or youth focused Masonic organizations.

BEEKE YOKED TO REFO500, ETS AND WRF

Ralph Ovadal of Pilgrims Covenant Church, Monroe, Wisconsin, http://www.pccmonroe.org, has backed up his article in print “What a Difference Six Months Does Not Make” previously referred to in this blog, with an audio sermon to complement at http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=14131031143. Ovadal exposes Beeke’s associations with organizations and persons that are clearly ecumenical, apostate, heretical and Catholic. It is well worth reading Ovadal’s two written articles and then listening to the audio sermon, since it is a rare pastor who will dare to uncover and expose the unbiblical lack of separation of those who claim to be “reformed”, but who are in fact traitors to the historic Protestant Christian faith by their words, writings, affiliations and associations. It is full time that these charlatans be exposed as the compromisers they are.

LOUIS GIGLIO’S PASSION 2013

Opening night at Passion 2013:

Chris Rosebrough of Fighting for the Faith describes the Passion 2013 event, making reference to Erin Benziger’s thorough and revealing article at Do Not Be Surprised, titled “Jesus Culture and Judah Smith to Join Piper, Moore, Chan and Others at Giglio’s Passion 2013”: http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2013/01/jesus-culture-and-judah-smith-to-join.html

Who is Louis Giglio? Pastor of “Passion City Church” in Atlanta, Georgia. Let him preach tolerance to you here at Passion 2012 with John Piper approving:

And Giglio at the Liberty University Convocation Nov. 2, 2012 where he promoted Passion 2013 and his goal of seeing “spiritual awakening” come to college campuses worldwide:

PASSION 2012-13: “SIGNS” THAT MAKE YOU “WONDER”???

    The following is a rather mixed bag of what’s happening in the emerging church, incorporating Catholic contemplative mysticism, mind-emptying meditation, with a heavy emphasis on “experiencing God” and where this all leads. “Passion” is not the passion of Christ in these venues. The idea is we can all have unity if we are strictly non-dogmatic and non-doctrinal.
    Here the alleged “Glory Cloud” (small glitter flakes) descends and floats down around the crowd at Bethel Church, Redding, California. This is what is called “camping around the presence”, i.e., “the presence over the Word”.

At other times the alleged “Glory Cloud” has allegedly floated up from the floor!

Close examination of the phony “Glory Cloud” glitter:
The great “reformed” John Piper leading Catholic contemplative “Lectio Divina” at Passion 2012:
Beth Moore also leading the mystical “Lectio Divina”

“Jesus Culture” live in Chicago, now at Passion 2013 to give a giant boost to everyone’s “spirit”:

Compare this with the multisensory E.P.I.C. (experiential, participatory, image-rich, and connected/communal) Worship coined by Leonard Sweet, postmodern New Age, “Christian” mystic, in his book “The Gospel According to Starbuck’s”. For example Martha Munizzi sells EPIC here:

Followed by a “prophetic interlude” (false gospel) for you sinners that is devoid of Jesus Christ, repentance, etc, but filled with feelings and experience, as is typical with all the emergents:

DIET EMAN-WWII DUTCH RESISTANCE & RELATIONSHIP TO CORRIE TEN BOOM

A one hour video is below of Diet Eman, age 92, who was and is a “righteous” person for saving many Jews and resisting the Nazis. She is a concentration camp survivor as well. Here is her personal story and testimony:

In addition, Lighthouse Trails Research has an excellent article about her and her book “Things We Couldn’t Say” at: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=10128. Included in this article is a video of Hitler in 1935 at the “Reichsparteitag” stressing unity of industry, state and church, Peter Drucker style (three legged stool). The video is titled: “Speech During a Reichsparteitag (Reich Party Day rally) to the Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth)”. Wait for the 3:05 minute mark for the translation of Hitler’s speech. Hitler said: “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future”. Do you know a leader like this today? Beware these unaccountable ALL POWERFUL LEADERS (FUHRERS), whether in churches or in government!

LONNIE FRISBEE INFLUENCED CHUCK SMITH OF CALVARY CHAPEL & JOHN WIMBER OF VINEYARD CHURCH

The rotten charismatic/pentecostal/”signs and wonders” fruit of Lonnie Frisbee is still corrupting to this day. The search for the so-called “radical middle” between fundamentalism and pentecostalism, otherwise known as “power evangelism” (along with the necessary display of questionable “gifts of the Holy Spirit) is typical of Calvary Chapel, founded by Chuck Smith, the Vineyard Church founded by John Wimber, and Sovereign Grace Ministries, founded by  C.J. Mahaney, who were ultimately influenced by the Jesus People of the sixties and Lonnie Frisbee as you will see in the Wikipedia articles here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lonnie_Frisbee, here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Smith_(pastor), and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wimber. SGM, however, has morphed away from pentecostal displays of these gifts toward a more refined or “reformed” Calvinist stance. All three regardless, have had their issues, their corruption, and their own particular problems. The overarching similarities are the authoritarianism, powerful leadership, and members signing covenants agreeing to be submissive, non-judgmental, and non-divisive, and especially not discerning.
A very good description of the “spiritual formation” thrust in the Vineyard movement is in this: http://www.sgm.org.nz/Research%20Papers/Buried%20Seed-Spiritual%20Direction%20and%20the%20Vineyard%20Movement.pdf and Lighthouse Trails Research’s article, “The Vineyard Movement Grabs Hold of Contemplative Spirituality” at: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=7137.
More to come.

CALVARY CHAPEL ALLEGED SEX ABUSE OF MINORS LAWSUIT

Here is the link to the 23 page lawsuit filed against various defendants associated with the Calvary Chapel churches: http://calvarychapelabuse.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/larabee-et-al-v.-costa-mesa-et-al.pdf. That plus at least a second lawsuit also filed as per the article here: http://calvarychapelabuse.com/wordpress/?paged=2. The last known activity has been a request for dismissal of the first suit sometime in 2012.

SOVEREIGN GRACE & GETTY-TOWNEND MUSIC EXAMINED

At Proclaim and Defend, there is a three (3) part article examining Sovereign Grace Music from Sovereign Grace Ministries compared with Getty-Townend Music at:
http://www.proclaimanddefend.org/2012/12/11/an-examination-of-sovereign-grace-ministries-and-getty-townend-for-use-in-fundamental-christian-churches-1/
http://www.proclaimanddefend.org/2012/12/19/an-examination-of-sovereign-grace-ministries-and-getty-townend-for-use-in-fundamental-christian-churches-2/
http://www.proclaimanddefend.org/2012/12/27/an-examination-of-sovereign-grace-ministries-and-getty-townend-for-use-in-fundamental-christian-churches-3/
Followed by David Cloud’s, http://www.wayoflife.org, reviews here in the free e-book below, wherein the Gettys (page 139-140) and Townend (page 360) are reviewed with a similar but somewhat different take. Unfortunately, Cloud has nothing to say about SGM (yet). Knowing Cloud, he will soon enough have good reason to take them on too.
http://www.wayoflife.org/free_ebooks/downloads/Directory_of_Contemporary_Worship_Musicians.pdf

MARY QUITE CONTRARY

This is an article from Mike Gendron, a former Catholic, of Proclaiming the Gospel, exposing the false doctrines of the harlot church of Revelation, the Roman Catholic Church. http://proclaimingthegospel.org/

Mary Quite Contrary

mary

Roman Catholicism continues to pervert the true Mary of Scripture in ways that defy the imagination. The Catholic Mary, as described in the 1994 edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, is a satanic diversion that leads Catholics away from a pure devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 11:3). Rome attributes to Mary many of the divine attributes that are unique to the Lord Jesus. The end result is a counterfeit version of Mary whom Catholics venerate and trust as the channel of all grace. Rome says both Jesus and Mary were immaculately conceived, born without sin, lived sinless lives and now intercede as our advocates. Jesus ascended into heaven, the Catholic Mary was bodily assumed into heaven; Jesus is the second Adam, Mary is the second Eve; Jesus is the King of kings, Mary is the Queen of heaven and earth; Jesus is the mediator, Mary is the co-mediatrix and Jesus is the redeemer, Mary is the co-redeemer. Catholics have also declared that it is Mary, not Jesus, that crushes the head of Satan, the serpent. This blasphemous error originated from the mistranslation of Genesis 3:15 from Jerome’s Latin Vulgate to the Douay-Rheims English translation. The lie continues today when Catholics celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Catholics are commanded, under the penalty of sin, to accept these myths about Mary as divine truth.  
Now according to Carl Anderson, the head of the Knights of Columbus, Mary is the best evangelist. “She is the evangelist par excellence, in part because she enters the world…from the beatific vision, a state of supreme closeness to God,” he said Dec. 10 at the Ecclesia in America Conference in Rome. “Her example and continued motherhood of all peoples is a sure path today for the new evangelization.” Read more. 
Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles is calling for Catholics to “turn to Mary in a new way.” He described Advent (a season historically observed as a time of preparing for the coming of Jesus) as “a season of Mary.” He recommended that Catholics try to set aside time every day to think about the Virgin Mary or to look at a picture of her. “Talk to her as her child. Tell her everything that’s on your mind.” Read more.
Of all the heresies concerning Mary which are embraced by Roman Catholics, her perpetual virginity may be the most bizarre. Historically, Christians have always recognized Mary had four sons and at least two daughters after Jesus was born. This quizzical and outlandish tradition declares Mary’s virginal integrity was not violated when she gave birth to Jesus. According to para. 499 of the Catechism, “The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary’s real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. In fact, Christ’s birth “did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it.”
In the Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Dr. Ludwig Ott states, “In the power of the grace of Redemption merited by Christ, Mary, by her spiritual entering into the sacrifice of her Divine Son for men, madeatonement for the sins of men, and merited the application of the redemptive grace of Christ. In this manner she co-operates in the subjective redemption of mankind” (page 213). Here the Catholic Church is claiming that Mary made atonement for the sins of men!  
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches “Mary did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation” (para. 969). “The Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death” (para. 966). Mary, “by special grace of God, committed no sin of any kind during her whole earthly life” (para. 411). She “was the cause of salvation for herself and the whole human race” (para. 494). Those who seek Mary’s protection will be saved for all eternity. These doctrines have robbed God of His glory and have resulted in Catholics showing greater devotion to Mary than to Christ.  
It is our prayer that Catholics would spend more time in the inspired Word of God instead of believing the uninspired words of men. When a crowd told Jesus that His mother was looking for Him, He gave this profound response, “For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother” (Mark 3:32-25).

JOEL BEEKE, REFO 500 AND THE “NEW” REFORMATION

Ralph Ovadal of Pilgrims Covenant Church, Monroe, Wisconsin has an article about corrupt Neo-Reformed/Neo-Calvinist activity, involving Joel Beeke, president of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, at: http://www.pccmonroe.org/2013/01.03.htm. After reading Ovadal’s prior article, “Of Ducks and New Calvinists” at http://www.pccmonroe.org/2012/06.25.htm, then read the follow-up article released today in its entirety below:


Pilgrims Covenant Church <[email protected]> Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at 5:48 PM


What a Difference Six Months Does Not Make!
Joel Beeke’s Involvement with Refo500, ETS, and WRF
by Ralph Ovadal, pastor of Pilgrims Covenant Church, Monroe, Wisconsin
January 3, 2013

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Ephesians 5:11
As I take pen in hand to write this article, I do it with the fervent hope that it will be the last time I address the issue which is the subject of this report. I write now only because circumstances dictate that to not write would be to leave a duty partially undone, given certain developments of the last six months. What follows is anything but a “hit piece.” Rather, it is a simple setting forth of very public information which is of very great importance to the spiritual welfare of the Lord’s own people. The facts shared in this report are as they were meticulously documented at the time this article was written.
On the May 20, 2011 edition of the Heart of the Matter program, my guest Rev. Ivan Foster and I voiced our concerns about the very influential Dr. Joel Beeke yoking in preaching fellowship with the charismatic, deeply compromised John Piper as a guest speaker at Piper’s 2011 “Conference for Pastors.” Then on the June 15, 2012 edition of HOM, I did a report on a Roman Catholic-Protestant ecumenical consortium called Refo500. And when I say “Protestant,” I am using the term in the broadest way imaginable! For instance, as I reported in the course of that HOM program, Refo500 partner organizations which are apostate Protestant include, among others, Fuller Theological Seminary (Richard Mouw, president), Beeson Divinity School (Timothy George, dean), and the Remonstrant Church which openly denies essential doctrines of the true faith and just as openly boasts of being “the first church in the world to open marriage for same-sex couples” and “one of the first churches in the Netherlands to ordain women as ministers.” During the course of that June 15, 2012 HOM report, I documented the deep involvement of two Reformed ministers, Dr. Albert Mohler and Dr. Joel Beeke, in Refo500.
Next, on this past June 25, Rev. Foster and I published a written warning concerning Dr. Beeke’s blatant disregard of the Scripture’s commands on separation from those brethren teaching and practicing error, not to mention even false teachers; and we documented also the horrible mixture of truth and error, in some cases even heresy, being merchandised by Reformation Heritage Books (RHB) under the leadership of editorial director Joel Beeke. The name of that article is “Of Ducks and New Calvinists.” Mr. Foster and I followed up that article with a July 6, 2012 Heart of the Matter discussion on our article and also Dr. Beeke’s involvement in Refo500.
In fact, I would strongly urge those who decide to read the rest of this report to first read our “Of Ducks and New Calvinists” article since it is my intent in this present article not to republish the information in that well-documented earlier report but to only give a brief update (relatively speaking!) on that article which was packed with very specific information as far as names, dates, organizations, and so forth. Sadly, this new article will contain documentation of Dr. Beeke’s continuing deep involvement in Refo500 and also his involvement with two grossly ecumenical organizations we were not aware of at the time of those HOM programs and that article just mentioned. One of those organizations is the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) which, practically speaking, is a mishmash of Protestants, Roman Catholics, the Orthodox, Seventh Day Adventists, and, I suppose one could almost say, who knows what? The World Reformed Fellowship (WRF) is the other organization this article will profile since Dr. Beeke is a member of it. The WRF is also an organization no faithful Christian should have any part in, especially a minister of Christ! The word of God very forcefully and clearly forbids the Lord’s people from all worship, ministry, and spiritual/religious fellowship with false religions and religionists. I have preached, spoken, and written on that topic many times. But the focus of this factual report is to further document the extreme, persistent, open—one could almost say proud—ministry entanglements of Dr. Beeke with false religions and false teachers.
Now, in all of those reports I mentioned earlier, we dealt only with information made very public by Dr. Beeke and his ministry and by ministry organizations closely connected with Dr. Beeke. We certainly avoided anything personal, and such will be the case with what you are now reading. In the “Ducks” article, Rev. Foster and I closed with this statement: “We are not interested in ‘smearing’ in any way Dr. Beeke. Our prayer is that he will repent and return to ‘the old paths, where is the good way.’ Our great concern is for the glory and honor of Christ Jesus and His blood-bought church. It is that heartfelt concern and heartfelt conviction that prompted us to write this warning.”
Within a few days after the “Ducks” warning was published, we received several reports which prompted us to issue a short P.S. to the warning. The impetus for the P.S. is summed up by this excerpt from it: “. . . this week, we have been informed by a minister close to Dr. Beeke that he has just agreed to sever all ministry connections to Refo500.” Six months later, I am now sorry to have to report, as will be irrefutably shown, that this has most certainly not happened!
Now, earlier I urged those reading this article to first read the article this one only updates. Also, since this report, like all previous ones oral and written, delves into a very deep, broad situation which defies anything close to an exhaustive documentation and explanation, it would be most helpful if the truly concerned reader—or as far as that goes, the skeptical reader—could find the time to access the links given in this update article and the previous “Ducks” article as well. All the information contained in the two articles was, at the time each was written, very carefully checked and documented to assure accuracy.
But, in the interest of orderliness, let us approach this update one issue at a time. Now, what has become of Joel Beeke’s entanglement with the various organizations and ministries we specifically mentioned in the “Ducks” article, other than Refo500? Concerning the ones mentioned—and our list was definitely not exhaustive—the answer as far as we can see is “absolutely no change.” By way of just several “for instances,” Dr. Beeke is slated to speak at the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals (ACE) March 15-17 and April 19-21, 2013 conferences titled In the Beginning: God, Adam, and You. The ACE council and executive staff roll is loaded with New Calvinists, such as Piper, Mohler, Mahaney, Begg, Dever, Duncan, Sproul, MacArthur, etc., etc.
Dr. Beeke is also currently scheduled to speak at the October 31-November 2, 2013 National Center for Family-Integrated Churches’ The Worship of God Conference.
Dr. Beeke is scheduled to give an optional session at New Calvinist R.C. Sproul’s Ligonier National Conference in February, 2013. At that conference, Dr. Beeke will labor in the word with several other New Calvinists as well as Cal Thomas and Ravi Zacharias. The latter’s various claims to dubious fame include joining with leaders of the Mormon church as well as apostate “evangelical” Richard Mouw to preach and worship “God” with a congregation of Mormons and evangelicals in the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. Believe it or not, the theme of the Ligonier National Conference this year is “No Compromise: Standing for the Truth of God’s Word.”
But again, the reader who wants a better understanding of Dr. Beeke’s ministry relationships with various ministries such as the three just mentioned would do well to read the “Of Ducks and New Calvinists” article. This article will only focus on three very large organizations Dr. Beeke is involved with on an ongoing basis.
Still Together: Dr. Beeke and Refo500
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” 2 Corinthians 6:17
So, in the past six months, what has become of Joel Beeke’s entanglement in Refo500? Well, after our article came out this past June 25, 2012, Dr. Beeke was personally confronted with the information it contained while he was in the UK for several speaking engagements. We were informed by more than one minister with close ties to Dr. Beeke that upon being confronted, he made comments to the effect he would sever all ties to Refo500. And, within several days, the logos of Reformation Heritage Books (Joel Beeke, editorial director) and Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (Joel Beeke, president) were removed from the Refo500 list of partnering organizations and ministries. The RHB blog is also cleared of Refo500 links and promos.
But Joel Beeke certainly has not severed his relationship with Refo500! There still are two videos of Beeke on the Refo500 site, one in which he promotes Refo500. Reformation Heritage books, including ones authored by Beeke, are still available through Refo500. On the English Refo500 site, there appear forty-nine items for sale; twenty-five are from Reformation Heritage Books. It is also very curious that while Reformation Heritage Books and Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary are NOT listed on the “Sponsors and Partners” page, they ARE both listed on a page titled “Who Where What” which includes this description: “Find here the locations and contact details for all the worldwide partners and sponsors of Refo500. The map shows the locations for all the partners, sponsors, and the reformation cities who are connected with Refo500. You can sort by all all [sic] partners and sponsors and by city.”
On Dr. Beeke’s blog, he openly speaks of his ongoing involvement with Refo500. Consider, for instance, this excerpt from November 9, 2012: “Let me invite you to two opportunities to make use of its historic 450th anniversary to enrich yourself personally and spiritually. This winter, on January 18-19, 2013, Canadian Reformed Seminary in Hamilton, Ontario will host a special conference on the Heidelberg Catechism. Lyle Bierma, Herman Selderhuis, Jason van Vliet, and I will speak about the rich heritage we have in the catechism.” This “special conference” is titled Your Only Comfort Conference. So, what does this have to do with Joel Beeke and Refo500? The answer is, plenty. The Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary is an official Refo500 partner; Herman Selderhuis is the director of the Refo500 Foundation; and the PDF schedule the seminary provides for this upcoming conference carries the Refo500 logo. Lastly, the Your Only Comfort Conference is also being promoted on the Refo500 web site.
And then there is the second of the opportunities Dr. Beeke promoted on just that one particular blog post: “This summer, on July 11-19, 2013, Dr. Van Vliet and I will lead The Legacy of the Reformation Tourthrough Germany and the Netherlands. In addition to learning more about the history and doctrines of the Reformation, you will enjoy delightful scenic excursions to the Het Loo palace and gardens, the Bad Bentheim castle, the Gothic Dom church in Cologne, a cruise on the Rhine River, and, of course, Heidelberg Castle. Those interested may also register for the Heidelberg Conference on Reformed Theology from July 18-21, 2013. It will be a fitting way to cap off our tour through Europe to Heidelberg. Speakers include Lyle Bierma, Michael Horton, Jason Van Vliet, Jon Payne, Victor d’Assonville, Sebastian Heck, and myself.” The link to the tour promotion Dr. Beeke provides in this blog goes directly to the official Refo500 web site. In that link to the tour info, one can see that Dr. Selderhuis is also scheduled to preach during the tour on Sunday morning, July 14. By the way, Joel Beeke also waxed eloquent about the tour in that promotion, stating that he looks forward to “playing an active role in enjoying fellowship.”
I should mention here that Dr. Beeke himself provided the links contained in the two blog excerpts just quoted as well as the links in another blog entry dated August 30, 2012 in which Dr. Beeke also enthusiastically promotes The Legacy of the Reformation Tour, ending his comments with “Check out this summary, and a 10-page, detailed brochure. I’d love to have you along, God willing. Send in your reservation today!” This Legacy of the Reformation Tour is a Refo500 event, involving Refo500 personnel; and even the travel agency handling trip details is an official Refo500 partner!
Now, for those uninformed readers who may be charmed by the very phrase Reformation Tour, I would again encourage them to go back to the article Mr. Foster and I published on June 25. Read what is written and view the links provided. The deeply ecumenical Refo500 is nothing less than a manifestation of Rome’s Vatican II strategy, desensitizing unwary evangelicals to Romish idolatry, blasphemy, and heresy by ecumenical relationships and dialogue. Very clearly, Joel Beeke is giving that process a very influential helping hand by urging Christians to follow him to Refo500 events.
I mentioned that Joel Beeke and Dr. Herman Selderhuis will be joining each other in speaking at some upcoming events. Dr. Selderhuis is not only the director of the Refo500 Foundation; he is also chairman of the Refo500 Reformation Research Consortium. 2012 interview with Acton Institute for their Religion and Liberty publication. The particular question was on the state of Christianity in Europe. “. . . Christianity as a way of life and a way of faith has a future and there are developments among young people. A perfect example is the young Catholic convention in Spain and the Pope attended the event there and hundreds of thousands of young people attended that Mass, and they were enthusiastic about it…. . . . now who will give us straight talk? Who tells us what way to go? There is a need for that and the Pope is preaching a clear message and young people are attracted to that.”
Now, there is more that could be said concerning Dr. Beeke and his ongoing relationship with Refo500. But taking into account the information provided in this update, the previous oft-mentioned June 25, 2012 article, and the Heart of the Matter programs, those who have a sincere concern for the glory of the Lord, the good of His church, and even for Dr. Beeke have been given enough information to draw the logical conclusion that Dr. Beeke is and remains active and entangled with Refo500. Given the breadth of his ministry and the extent of his influence, all faithful Christians ought to be grieved and concerned by that plain, undeniable truth.
They Must Mean “Ecumenical” Theological Society.
“If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” 2 John 1:10-11
We come now to the subject of Joel Beeke and his involvement—in fact, since at least 2002—with the Evangelical Theological Society (henceforth ETS). Of course, the ETS web site provides much information on the organization, including this summary: “Founded in 1949, the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) is a group of scholars, teachers, pastors, students, and others dedicated to the oral exchange and written expression of theological thought and research. The ETS is devoted to the inerrancy and inspiration of the Scriptures and the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Society publishes a quarterly journal, the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (JETS), an academic periodical featuring peer reviewed articles, as well as extended book reviews, in the biblical and theological disciplines. The ETS also holds national and regional meetings across the United States.” Under the purpose statement of the ETS is this: “The Evangelical Theological Society was formed in 1949 to accomplish the following purpose: ‘To foster conservative Biblical scholarship by providing a medium for the oral exchange and written expression of thought and research in the general field of the theological disciplines as centered in the Scriptures.’ (Constitution, Article II.).”
Well, that all sounds pretty good. But, as is so often the case in these days of confusion and deception, when it comes to the ETS, the devil is found in the details. Under “Affiliated Societies” on the ETS web site is this: “The following organizations are affiliated academic and scholarly societies who currently meet with the Evangelical Theological Society in its Annual Meeting. Evangelical Philosophical Society, Near East Archaeological Society, Adventist Theological Society.” A link provided to the Adventist Theological Society takes one to their web site, on which it is stated, “A Theological Resource for the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.” I will assume the reader knows enough about the Seventh-Day Adventist Church to know it is a counterfeit Christian church. We have not taken the time to check out the Near East Archaeological Society.
As for the Evangelical Philosophical Society, those who think wisdom can be had from the likes of Thomas Aquinas, C.S. Lewis, Søren Kierkegaard, and Aristotle will be right at home at the Evangelical (so-called) Philosophical Society. And, for the record, the EPS folks do more than talk, talk, talk and issue papers about the mental meanderings and mutterings of deep-thinking dead men now in hell; one can also access the “wisdom” of living philosophers. But, this is one of those “you have to see it to believe it” situations. So, here is the link to the EPS: www.epsociety.org.
Those who access that link will find things such as an interview with Chad Meister, professor of philosophy at Bethel College (Indiana) and book review editor for Philosophia Christi, the journal of the Evangelical Philosophical Society. In the interview, Meister makes such comments as “I have been engaged with the works of philosophers of religion from across religious and philosophical spectrums. It has been a most enlightening experience working with atheists, pluralists, feminists, Continental philosophers, and Hindu, Buddhist, and Islamic scholars. I have leaned [sic] much from them and am deeply indebted to them, and this dialogue has enriched my own thinking about a number of issues.” To reiterate, the Evangelical Philosophical Society is an affiliated society with the Evangelical Theological Society.
To say the Evangelical Theological Society is grossly ecumenical is on par with saying the pope is Roman Catholic. The individuals involved with Joel Beeke in the ETS include apostate Protestants and New Evangelicals (including charismatics) as well as Romanists, Orthodox, and Seventh-Day Adventists—and, with a view to the information I just shared in the past couple of paragraphs, my apologies to anyone I may have left out.
For a very up-to-date, typical overview of whom Dr. Beeke religiously, spiritually yokes with through ETS and at ETS conferences, we could take a glance at the ETS annual meeting, Caring for Creation, held November 14-16, 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. One of Dr. Beeke’s yokefellows at that event was flaming “Christian” feminist Mimi Haddad (pp. 33, 43), longtime president of Christians for Biblical Equality. Herbiography on the CBE web site includes this: “She is a founding member of the Evangelicals and Gender Study Group at the Evangelical Theological Society.” Another of Dr. Beeke’s conference co-laborers was N.T. Wright (p. 51), a key leader of the New Perspective on Paul movement. Dr. Beeke apparently enjoyed not only the ministry fellowship of the conference but the social fellowship as well, having posted on one of his blog entries a picture of the event’s banquet.
The Orthodox Church was also on hand at that ETS conference in Milwaukee in the person of one “Father” Wilbur Ellsworth (p. 24) whose presentation had an interesting title: “Why I Had to Leave Evangelicalism to Find ‘Something More.’” A number of Roman Catholics delivered papers as well. One such Romanist who spoke—in fact, twice and also appeared as a panelist—was Francis J. Beckwith (pp. 24, 40, 61), professor at Baylor University and the author of a number of books, including Return to Rome: Confessions of an Evangelical Catholic. The title of one of Beckwith’s papers was “From Catholic to Evangelical and Back Again: Reflections of a Revert Five Years Later.” In a subsequent article which he wrote about that ETS conference, Beckwith closes with this concerning his many ecumenical friends he fellowshipped with at that event: “I continue to hope and pray with our Lord, ‘Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.’” That article can be found at The Catholic Thing. Its title is “Evangelicals, Catholics, and the Ecumenism of Conviction.”
By the way, a paper given right after one of Dr. Beeke’s was titled “Confessing before Barmen: Karl Barth’s Early Lectures on the Reformed Confessions” (p. 52). Karl Barth was, simply put, a modernist heretic. This particular session of the conference was constructed by the ETS Reformation Studies Steering Committee. Dr. Beeke is on the Reformation Studies Steering Committee as well as another ETS steering committee.
Another Roman Catholic who spoke at the Milwaukee ETS conference Dr. Beeke took part in is Priest Robert Sirico of Acton Institute. He teamed up with Dr. Timothy George of Beeson Divinity School, chairman of the board for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, for a presentation titled “The Life and Legacy of Charles W. Colson” (pp. 12, 88). In the “Of Ducks and New Calvinists” article, we included some background information on Timothy George. To add to that brief summary of the man’s “accomplishments,” I would just mention that George recently attended and spoke at the 13th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, October 7-28, in Rome where he addressed the assembly thus: “Dear Holy Father, Venerable Fathers of the Synod, brothers and sisters in the Lord.” By the way, books with contributions by Timothy George can still be purchased from Reformation Heritage Books.
This might be a good place to mention that the ETS conference in question also featured a panel discussion on purgatory (p. 61). The three-member panel included Romanist Beckwith and two Protestants. Rest assured, such panel discussions at ETS events are not the equivalent of Luther v. Eck! Rather, it is Vatican II in action. It is the friendly “ecumenical dialogue” which “serves to transform modes of thought and behavior and the daily life” of the “separated brethren” for the purpose of “preparing the way for their unity of faith in the bosom of a Church one and visible” (Vatican Council II Doc. 42, Sect. II).
The more one delves into the ETS—or for that matter, Refo500—the more he feels as if he is staring at a horrific theological car wreck, a tangled mass of truth and error which to the faithful Christian reeks of destruction and death. For instance, consider this statement from a presentation given by Chris Castaldo titled “Crossing the Tiber: Reasons for Conversion at the Catholic/Protestant Intersection” (p. 56) which was given at the ETS conference in Milwaukee: “One becomes a Catholic when he recognizes the sacramental presence of Christ embodied in an institutional church, receiving from it sanctifying grace that leads to salvation. On the other hand, one is an evangelical Protestant when he has embraced Scripture as the supreme authority, coupled with a born again experience that appropriates justifying grace by faith alone.” Castaldo is the director of the Ministry of Gospel Renewal for the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College. In his presentation, Castaldo spoke of the conversion of John Henry Newman to Romanism and Peter Martyr Vermigli to Protestantism. Those who read the paper he presented will find that Castaldo equates conversion in either direction to be moral, spiritual equivalents.
This then should give the reader at least a very brief insight into the Evangelical Theological Society Joel Beeke is tangled up with. As for the particular ETS Milwaukee event which I have just spoken of and which Dr. Beeke attended and spoke at, it certainly would be remiss of me not to mention that each day began with a time of corporate worship and prayer (pp. 9, 18). This daily time was thusly described by conference organizers: “Let your day of theology flow from doxology in a service of corporate worship. Join us for a simple worship service of Scripture and Prayer.” In addition, a worship service (p. 48) was held on the Thursday afternoon of the conference. Speaking of that service, the event schedule states, “All are invited for a time of corporate worship including Scripture reading, singing, and prayer. Join us as we glorify God together and pray for the work of ETS, the ministries of her members, and the church as a whole.”
As I mentioned earlier, ETS truly resembles “a horrific theological car wreck,” and there is almost no end to what could be said to prove just how horrible a wreck it is. Did I mention that the 2012 ETS conference also featured a presentation titled “A Biblical Worldview and an Ancient Earth” (p. 30) by theistic evolution champion Gregg Davidson, University of Mississippi? But no, we must leave it there and move on to another organization, the World Reformed Fellowship.
Dr. Beeke and the Stunningly Corrupted World Reformed Fellowship
“Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” Romans 12:9
Joel Beeke is a member of the World Reformed Fellowship (WRF) and has been since at least 2007. The WRF is a “Reformed, evangelical, worldwide fellowship” with individual, church, and ministry members all around the globe. A survey of the World Reformed Fellowship Statement of Faith reveals a mixture of sound doctrine and gross error. WRF individual, church, and ministry members include not only the deeply compromised—including many New Calvinists and New Evangelicals, that is, Arminian brand—but also the outright apostate. As an example of the latter, I refer the reader to St. Francis Anglican Church (Dallas, Texas, USA). The picture at the top of that church’s web site is labeled “Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata.” The following is part of a welcome message on the same church’s web site: “May Our Lady, Blessed Francis and All the Saints pray for you. May Holy Michael and All the Angels watch over you. And the blessing of God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost be upon you. Amen. Fr. Allen.”
The WRF also includes a fair number of Pentecostal and charismatic churches and ministries. The WRF appears to run the full theological spectrum, including the theology-of-ecology types, such as Dr. Sam Logan. A paper by Dr. Logan, the international director of the World Reformed Fellowship, is posted on the WRF web site and titled “Evangelical, Reformed approach to environmental issues.” I offer this one excerpt from Logan’s article: “Alternatively, one can recognize in the Creator a commitment to his original purposes for man and the earth. Eden sees man in harmony with the land as its ruler and guardian, the fall involves alienation between man and the land, redemption brings substantial healing of man’s attitude towards his environment and the restoration at the consummation is a renewal of Eden. As I outline a biblical theology of land moving from creation to new creation I will seek to establish that care for the earth is a central concern of the kingdom.”
It is worth noting that Dr. Beeke’s Reformation Heritage Books carries Confronting Kingdom Challenges, which contains the writings of a “diverse group of contributors” and is edited by Dr. Sam Logan. Suffice it to say, concerning those contributors, I personally would not want to be in any way responsible for spreading their teachings. The contents of this book were actually the messages of the 2006 General Assembly of the World Reformed Fellowship.
As just one more example of the organizations Dr. Beeke has joined himself to in the World Reformed Fellowship, I offer the International Peacemaking Church of Christ. That organization’s web site states: “We are preparing our students to collaborate with people of all faiths interested in the theology of human rights and development. . . . We work together with all Christian Denominational and Non-denominational Churches or Ministries ‘to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.’ (Ephesians 4:12-13) We are Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Wesleyans, Puritans, Baptists, Mennonites, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, and more.” The International Peacemaking Church of Christ links include United Nations, Roman Catholic, and Liberation Theology web sites. There is much, much more that could be said about this one World Reformed Fellowship member organization or of any number of other individuals, churches, or ministry members of the WRF. Those wanting to know more about the WRF of which Joel Beeke is a member can do so at wrfnet.org.
A Polluted Well: Reformation Heritage Books
“Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!” Luke 17:1
Now then, six months after Mr. Foster and I published the well-read “Of Ducks and New Calvinists” article, what is the situation at Reformation Heritage Books? Summed up, it is only worse. Of the authors we spoke of in the article, only Mark Driscoll is gone, although book endorsements by Driscoll can still be found at RHB. In addition, RHB also does offer books written by ministers involved in Driscoll’s Acts 29 Network.
As to the other authors we warned of in the article, authors whose works are for sale at RHB, in about half of the cases, the number of books by those men and women has increased! How bad is it? Quite frankly, you will simply have to read the “Ducks” article to get a detailed list of the veritable rogues gallery of deeply compromised, church-corrupting, evangelical—in some cases, apostate—authors whose books RHB is currently promoting and selling to the body of Christ. In truth, one can even find books which include and positively recommend the writings of Roman Catholics. That is not to say our report on such RHB offerings, shocking as it is, comes even close to being exhaustive. And the list is constantly expanding. For instance, to give one example of authors found at RHB, we could make such additions as Maarten Wisse who teaches systematic theology at the Roman Catholic KU Leuven university.
Of specific books we mentioned in last summer’s article, these two only have been removed: The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World and Pages from Church History. But since our June article, RHB has added books such as Shapers of Christian Orthodoxy: Engaging with Early and Medieval Theologians, a series of essays by various authors, edited by Bradley G. Green. Here is an excerpt from the RHB promotion:“These essays examine eight key theologians, from Irenaeus to Aquinas, and suggest how to view and appropriate their insights.” On the web site for InterVarsity Press, which publishes this book, it lists the following as the theologians examined: Irenaeus, Tertullian, Origen, Athanasius, The Cappadocians, Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas. Without getting into a discussion on each of the theologians listed, it should be enough to point out that Origen was a rank heretic while Thomas Aquinas was a Thirteenth Century Roman Catholic priest, and among the claims to fame of that great Doctor of Popery is being the father of modern-day “Liberation Theology.” In his History of Protestantism, the faithful J.A. Wylie likened the writings of Aquinas to a polluted fountain. Apparently, Joel Beeke and RHB have a different opinion on that.
The book just mentioned has plenty of company—simply put, books of a similar nature—at RHB. By way of examples, I offer the following three book listings.
Sweet Communion by Arie de Reuver“. . . Sweet Communion examines the quality, form, and roots of this period’s spirituality. De Reuver determines that each of the Further Reformation authors promotes a spirituality in which the heart experiences communion with God by the Word and Spirit. In examining the roots of this spirituality, de Reuver reaches back to the Middle Ages and the spirituality of Thomas à Kempis and Bernard of Clairvaux.”
Of course, the two men mentioned were Roman Catholic monks. This is another of many books which has Joel Beeke’s personal endorsement, as does the next book.
Soul Recreation: The Contemplative-Mystical Piety of Puritanism by Tom Schwanda
“. . . This book provides a distinctively Protestant foundation for recovering the contemplative life while recognizing the significant contributions of the Western Catholic tradition.”
The Medieval Church by Carl A. Volz
“Why does one’s concept of the medieval church have a direct bearing on one’s attitude toward ecumenism? . . . What common practices of public worship and personal piety have their roots in the medieval church? The Medieval Church: From the Dawn of the Middle Ages to the Eve of the Reformation addresses these questions and many more to demonstrate the pervasive influence of the past on modern piety, practice, and beliefs. For many years the Medieval period of church history has been ignored or denigrated as being the ‘dark ages,’ an attitude fostered by Enlightenment assumptions. . . . The Medieval Church, written in an easily accessible style, introduces the reader to the fascinating interplay of authority and dissent, the birth and development of doctrinal beliefs, the spirituality of the common person, and the enduring allure of Christian mysticism.”
I obviously whittled down the RHB descriptions of the just mentioned books for the sake of space. The reader can easily access the full descriptions at RHB.
It is very relevant I should mention that RHB also offers three books by Herman Selderhuis and three books with endorsements by him, including one actually published by RHB. As I stated earlier, Mr. Selderhuis, a friend and ministry associate of Dr. Beeke, is the director of the Refo500 Foundation and chairman of the Reformation Research Consortium of Refo500.
Without going back over the detailed documentation of our June 25 article, I would simply stress there are also many, many other additional books at RHB which are anything but beneficial for the spiritual growth and sanctification of the Lord’s people, including because of who wrote them. In this article and the last, we have only provided a sampling of such books. As for the various book endorsements which can be found at RHB, endorsements by men and women who are anything but sound and uncompromised, the examples we mentioned still remain. In fact, many more examples could be mentioned, such as from Notre Dame University professor Mark Noll and from Roman Catholic Francis J. Beckwith.
I also cannot help but mention that, at the time I am writing this, RHB has posted on its web site an endorsement from “Alice Cooper, Rock Star” for the book No Ordinary Marriage: Together for God’s Glory. Yes, for those who are wondering, “Alice” Cooper is still doing on stage just what he has always been doing, dressed and made up just as he always has been. The “Christianity” of Alice Cooper is a subject in itself. But Dr. Joel Beeke’s friend and sometimes co-laborer R.C. Sproul has stamped his imprimatur on Cooper’s testimony while at the same time Dr. Beeke’s RHB presents Cooper as a Christian.
In the “Ducks” article, it was mentioned that RHB offers a good many books—in fact, an increasing number of books—written by women Bible teachers, for instance, such women as Joni Eareckson TadaNancy Leigh DeMossJoanne Jung (associate professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Biola University); and, as declared at RHB, seasoned Bible teacher Nancy Guthrie. If a recent RHB endorsement posted for a Nancy Guthrie book is any indication, the biblical ban on women from the office of “teacher” carries little weight in the multi-ministry complex under Dr. Beeke’s leadership. The endorsement is by David Murray, Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology of the Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary of which Dr. Joel Beeke is president. Murray’s endorsement is as follows: “I love Nancy’s infectious passion for teaching the Old Testament in a relevant, practical, spiritual, and Christ-centered way. I’m confident that this book will ignite that same passion in many others – transforming lives, families, churches, and communities.”
By the way, RHB also carries a Liz Curtis Higgs endorsement of a Guthrie book and also of a book by a different author. According to RHB, Higgs is the New York Times best-selling author of Mine Is the Night andBad Girls of the Bible. For those with strong stomachs, here is a link to the web site of “Bad Girls” Higgs.
But with that, I draw to a close. The “leaven” rule set forth in the Scriptures is plainly manifested in the ministry of Dr. Joel Beeke. Given the great gifts and very great influence the man has, we can only grieve the damage he is inflicting on the cause and body of Christ. To those who say I should mind my own business, I answer, as a minister of Christ, this is my business! Dr. Beeke, by his bold anti-scriptural compromises and by his corrupted ministries, is dishonoring the Lord Jesus whom I serve and doing injury to His blood-bought flock. Having once been shown the grave seriousness of this matter concerning Dr. Beeke and then being urged by certain faithful brethren to speak out, I felt a great burden to “contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” In all of this, I fervently hope that I have acted with integrity, including towards Dr. Beeke. As I said at the start of this report, it is my fervent hope that I have now fulfilled my duty in this matter.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
2 Corinthians 6:14-18
Read and endorsed by Ivan Foster

“SEEKER SENSITIVE, ATTRACTIONAL OR MISSIONAL CHURCH”-WHICH IS YOUR’S?

Joel Taylor of 5 Pt. Salthttp://5ptsalt.com, has an excellent article, tiltled “The Missional Church: An Attempt to Combine the Great Commission with Unbiblical Ideas” at http://5ptsalt.com/2011/02/21/the-missional-church-an-attempt-to-combine-the-great-commission-with-unbiblical-ideas/. In it Mr. Taylor refers to a 26 page pdf article of “Reformed” Tim Keller on the subject of the “missional” church titled “Contextual and Missional” at http://lcm.endisinsight.com/Publisher/File.aspx?ID=39597. Keller can be seen and heard trying to differentiate between “seeker sensitive” (a/k/a “attractional”) and “missional” churches here:

And Keller trying to differentiate between an evangelistic church and a “missional” church at:

And Keller describes how a “missional” church is not offensive or confusing to the unbeliever:

Taylor also links to an article on the website Modern Reformation by Michael Horton titled “Missional Church or New Monasticism?” at http://www.modernreformation.org/default.php?page=articledisplay&var1=ArtRead&var2=1215&var3=main&var4=Home.
    Perhaps “unbiblical ideas” is too kind an attribution for this new paradigm of “doing church”. A better characterization would include the words “worldly, carnal, apostate, compromised”. All in the name of this so-called neo-reformation/neo-Calvinism!

SUMMARY OUTLINE OF “TOXIC FAITH”

This is B. Jackson’s summary of the book “Toxic Faith” by Arterburn & Felton, located at:
http://www.philosophy-religion.org/criticism/toxicfaith.htm


Toxic Faith (a summary by B. Jackson)
1. INTRODUCTION
A. The following is a summary of the book Toxic Faith by Stephen Arterburn & Jack Felton (Oliver-Nelson, 1991)
B. I wrote this during the most trying time of my life when the issues raised by Arterburn and Felton came as a godsend to me. They apply the insights of family systems theory and religious addiction to life in the church. I helped to father a church in Indianapolis that had aspects of toxicity and these principles and truths enabled me to understand and explain much of my history in both my family of origin and the church

2. INTRODUCTORY ISSUES
A. Religious addiction
1. Def. of addiction: when a person is excessively/compulsively devoted (sacrificing family, job, economic security, relationship with God, their bodies or mental health) to a substance, relationship or behavior
2. When people suffer from not knowing they are secure and significant, things which should be learned from one’s family of origin and ultimately from a relationship with God in Christ, they have a vacuum in their soul that demands to be filled
3. The pain in our souls was intended to drive us to God who, alone, can meet the deep longings of the heart.

Instead of getting the message, we pridefully fight relying on God alone to meet our needs. We avoid listening to the pain by playing self-protective games

Along the way, we often find patterns of behavior that dull the pain, thus making it easier to live with. These pain medications can be virtually any substance, relationship or behavior that provides relief. When a person develops a pathological (abnormal) relationship to a mood-altering experience or substance that has life-damaging consequences, addiction exists

4. Addictions can be divided into three basic types: substance addiction (e.g., alcohol), emotional addiction (letting an emotion run your life e.g., depression), process addiction (e.g., work, religion)
5. Addiction is ultimately idolatry, that is, the worship of a relationship, substance or behavior instead of God
6. Religion becomes unhealthy when our attendance and service flows, not out of faith in God who has loved us in Christ and given us opportunities to serve out of that place of rest, but out of a need to be loved and find worth. Religious addiction is hard to spot because it has to do with motive. Two people could be serving side by side and one is doing it by faith in God for an eternal reward (gold, silver and precious stones; 1 Cor 3.12) while the other is doing it by faith in the behavior for a temporal reward with no eternal dividends (wood, hay and straw). Religious addicts are also usually the best workers in the church so their dysfunction is not only overlooked but rewarded. Meanwhile, their lives head for disaster.

B. 21 erroneous beliefs that can fuel toxic faith (various forms and degrees of unhealthy Christianity)1. Security and significance with God depend on my behavior
2. When tragedy strikes, true believers should have a real peace about it
3. If you had real faith, God would heal you or the one you are praying for
4. All ministers are men and women of God and can be trusted
5. Material blessings are a sign of spiritual strength
6. The more money you give to God, the more money he will give to you
7. I can work my way to heaven
8. Problems in your life result from some particular sin
9. I must not stop meetings other’s needs
10. I must always submit to authority
11. God only uses spiritual giants
12. Having true faith means waiting for God to help me and doing nothing until he does
13. If it’s not in the Bible, it isn’t relevant (all truth is in the Bible)
14. God will find me a perfect mate
15. Everything that happens to me is good
16. A strong faith will protect me from problems and pain
17. God hates sinners, is angry with me, and wants to punish me
18. Christ was merely a great teacher
19. God is too big to care about me
20. More than anything else, God wants me to be happy (free from pain)
21. You can become God

C. 7 irrational thinking patterns common in religious addiction1. Thinking in extremes: driven by an all or nothing, black or white mentality (no gray; my way or the highway) that causes the addict to be very hard on himself/herself and others
2. Drawing invalid conclusions, not based in reality; global thinking i.e., using words like “never, always.”
3. Filtering out the positive and distorting reality. These people selectively hear only the negative and are consequently negative about everything, especially themselves; in response to positive input they say, “yes, but…”
4. Filtering out the negative and distorting reality. These people selectively hear only the positive to shield their already low self worth. They allow in themselves what they would condemn in others. A lot of relational wreckage; the weight of restitution can be crushing when they finally see it
5. Thinking with the heart; feelings become the basis for reality because I think my perception is “certainly accurate.”
6. “Should, ought” thinking; constant self condemnation of not being able to measure up
7. Codependency; egocentric feeling of being responsible for everything; must be in control; eyes always on the needs of others at the expense of their own

3. TOXIC RELIGIOUS SYSTEMS
A. 11 Characteristics of a toxic faith system
1. Religious addiction is developed in a toxic faith system. The following characteristics differentiate it from systems, churches, and ministries committed to growing people in faith and developing their relationship with God
2. “Special” claims

a. The leaders of toxic faith systems claim a special pipeline to God which places them at a level above all the others in the church which creates an atmosphere of unapproachability. The leader can use this superiority to manipulate the followers who either believe and obey or suffer the consequences

b. In the toxic system, the minister will set him/herself up as having a special destiny or mission that can be performed by no one else. This special anointing or calling many times is nothing more than the pathological need to be valued or esteemed. He/she can also posture special powers from God like the ability to supernaturally heal

c. The victimized followers, seeking a closer relationship with God but focusing more on the addicted leader than on God, lose contact with God and often fall away from faith permanently. Misguided loyalty allows the delusions of the leader to grow and destroys the faith of the loyal

The only hope for everyone involved is for the leader who claims to be God’s special officer to be forced into accountability or dethroned to protect other potential victims.
3. Authoritarianism

a. Churches and ministries are started and grown through the vision of a strong leader. The authoritarian leader comes to power because a driven personality accompanies talent and charisma. A toxic system arises when that leader moves into a free rein style with no real accountability. Often, this ministry is the first experience of authority for the leader

b. Those who work in this setting find themselves either agreeing with the direction of the ministry or leaving. There is no room for compromise since the dictatorial leader believes that everyone should submit to his rule without question. Those who fear for their jobs or feel they may not be able to find similar jobs will comply with the leader rather than challenge certain decisions or actions that appear to be wrong. The leader and the people, therefore, mutually deny their accountability structures and wave the option of having safeguards in the system

4. An “Us Versus Them” Mentality

a. Religious addicts are at war with the world to protect their terrain and establish themselves as godly persons who can’t be compared to other persons. They see themselves in the cutting-edge ministry and other people need to come into the light

b. Those in the exclusive society believe they are serving God but they are serving a person, and that person’s concept of what should be and should not be

c. Any scrutiny of the ministry is seen to be an attack from the enemy

5. Punitive in Nature

a. The minister addicted to power punishes and purges the system of anybody who would upset the status quo

b. To outsiders, the whole ministry appears negative and punitive, out of balance, and distorted from the love, acceptance, and forgiveness freely given by God and his Son

6. Overwhelming Service People get burned out by the service demands of the system which feeds on compulsive personalities
7. Followers in Pain Many religious addicts in the system are physically ill, emotionally distraught, and spiritually dead because they are looking to the leader and ministry to give them what only God can give
8. Closed Communication

a. Communication is from the top down or from the inside out. Those at the top no longer hear the perceptions and needs of the people. The addicts on the inside no longer care about the needs of the people on the outside

b. Someone in the system has the job of shielding the leader from the truth by placating those who disagree and satisfying those who want a direct voice to the leader. The lieutenant is never to tell the leader anything but what he/she wants to hear

c. The organization eventually becomes ineffective because it loses touch with the people it is designed to serve, just like a father loses touch with his children

9. Legalism What you do is more important than who you are. Performance is everything.
10. No Objective Accountability

a. This is the key to a toxic faith system. If religious addicts were in healthy, accountable relationships with others, toxic faith would not be allowed to flourish

b. A person accountable only to God is a person out of control

11. Labeling

a. Labeling attempts to dehumanize persons so that dismissing them or their opinions is much easier. Rather than say that John Doe has made a negative comment, the addict proclaims that they are “traitors” or have a “critical spirit.” The labels become rallying points under which the other followers can be moved to action to squelch a revolt. Once the label is in place, it becomes more difficult to see that person as a human with real needs and the potential for good judgment

b. Because it is difficult to rally against rational, thinking people who have different views, labels must be used to polarize the opponents and energize the followers to fight against those opponents. The enemy is “shot” so the underlying issues that need to be considered can be avoided

B. The Roles of Toxic FaithIntroduction
a. A healthy system is made up of individuals with a full range of emotions, intellect, free will and the ability to function independently. In a dysfunctional system, each individual plays out a role needed for the system to function. Since individuals lack the ability to function independently, they depend on one another to play out their roles and allow the system to continue. Those roles have to be played so that those in the system can remain in their denial and avoid the overwhelming fear of insignificance
b. In a dysfunctional system, roles evolve to support the system. Each person must be willing to play the roles which become more keenly defined as the addiction intensifies. Individuals become trapped in predictable behaviors that remove God and faith, replacing them with a dependency on a set of rules. As a person’s behavior lines up with one of these predictable roles, any deviation from that role is a sign of rebellion from the system and is dealt with quickly through shaming and rejection. Although each role is difficult to maintain, it is even more difficult to leave the safety and predictability of the role and act independently. A person who takes this step back toward reality becomes an outcast of the system
c. In a toxic faith system, be it family, church or ministry, the person with the role of persecutor heads the group. The persecutor is supported by coconspirators, enablers, and victims. These people have one primary function: allow the persecutor to function, insulated from reality. Each person in each role believes the organization must continue, and it is each person’s job to distort, manipulate, hide, or deny reality so the toxic system can go on. Each person in a different way protects the persecutor from outside disruptions that could stop the achievement of the persecutor’s vision
d. These people create a false reality by distancing and isolating the persecutor from contact with the real world. As they grow more committed to the persecutor and the toxic ministry, they become addicted to the behaviors of the role and the feelings derived from participating in the false reality of the toxic system. Once they stop supporting the false reality that allows the persecutor and the ministry to continue, they are no longer needed by the system and are thrown out

The roles

a. The Persecutor The persecutor plays the role of the father in the family. In the church this person is the one with the vision that es the organization must continue, and it is each person’s job to distort, manipulate, when they were younger and, therefore, don’t want to risk rejection as an adult. Rather than trust God and risk being rejected or betrayed by God, they focus on what they do in the name of God and what they perceive are the instant rewards sent from God. In this way they lose all faith in God and rely on their own abilities to find God’s favor. The fulfillment of the mission becomes everything for the wrong reason and they surround themselves with people willing to say that the progress toward the goal is outstanding

b. The Coconspirator For every persecutor, there is at least one coconspirator who manipulates, plots, and plans to keep the persecutor in power and position. The persecutor and coconspirator work as a unit; they operate as one. Both are addicted to religion as the means by which they es person is the one with the vision that he/she and the others find meaning in fulfilling. Persecutors have often been rejected Several work together to form a team of “yes-men” that will do anything to protect and defend the persecutor. They feed into the persecutor’s ego and further blind him/her from reality. When there is conflict, they usually find a way to agree with the persecutor and support his/her position. They are loyal in every way. In a toxic faith system, these are the most dangerous followers because of their proactive commitment to keeping the system intact. Their undying faith in the persecutor is the reason so many will continue to support that person when trouble, rumor, or admission of wrong surfaces

c. The Enabler While the coconspirator actively connives to keep the persecutor in power, the enabler’s role is more passive. They allow, more than promote, victimization. They are not active in the decision-making of the organization but willingly support those decisions made at the top. They know something fishy is going on but they don’t want to rock the boat by calling attention to it. They are getting their worth serving something “significant,” therefore, they purposely don’t “see things,” thus justifying their enabling activities

The fearful enabler will wait until someone else intervenes. They hope for but are afraid to work for change. Instead, they work like beasts of burden because they feel responsible for everything

d. The Victims place their complete trust in the leaders of the toxic faith system and become silent victims of something they don’t understand. They fear rejection and abandonment so much that they would rather be exploited members of something than be on their own and be part of nothing. Theirs is a blind allegiance

e. The Outcast This is the only role in the toxic system that is not driven by addiction. In any toxic system, there is usually someone who can see the problem and confronts it. In a healthy system, individuals serving in that organization have respect for the person and position of leadership. For it to remain healthy, there must also be respect for the workers. When there is no respect, the “hired hands” are not allowed to disagree. If they don’t like something, they are labeled complainers, negative thinkers, and not team players. The toxic system has no place for anyone who challenges the integrity or disagrees with the methods of the leader. The person who is unwilling to play the games of the persecutors and coconspirators, becomes the outcast. They lose their friends and church because they stood for their convictions

C. 10 Rules of a Toxic Faith System1. The leader must be in control of every aspect at all times
2. When problems arise, find a guilty party to blame immediately
3. Don’t make mistakes
4. Never point out the reality of a situation
5. Never express your feelings unless they are positive
6. Don’t ask questions, especially if they are tough ones
7. Don’t do anything outside your role
8. Don’t trust anyone
9. Nothing is more important than giving money to the organization
10. At all costs, keep up the image of the organization or the family

D. Characteristics of Healthy Faith1. Focusing on a personal relationship with God in Christ, not religion
2. Looking to God to meet the needs for security and significance
3. Growing in faith as evidenced by walking into pain
4. Respect for the personhood of others
5. Serving others for their sake
6. Being vulnerable
7. A trusting atmosphere
8. Celebrating uniqueness by recognizing people’s spiritual gifts
9. Relationships being the heart of everything
10. People being taught to think
11. Balanced thinking rather than extremes in black and white
12. Non defensive
13. Non judgmental
14. Reality based
15. Able to embrace our emotions
16. Able to embrace our humanity as evidenced in the ability to allow for mistakes
17. The ability to laugh

4. MY RESPONSE
A. I think that each of the toxic roles is actually a counterfeit for genuine gifts and roles in the kingdom of God:
a. A person receives a vision from God to start a certain type of ministry, be it church or Sunday school. They articulate that vision and impart it to a group of people who partner with them to fulfill it, not to gain identity but as an outflow of the gifts of the Spirit exercised in faith. The difference between the persecutor and the true godly leader is motive and degree of control. The true leader obeys by faith and is secure enough to not be controlling. He/she does not lay down in front of the people and do what they say because of being afraid of them (cf. 1 Sam. 15.24), nor do they lord it over those they lead. The leader definitely leads but as a servant and an example to the flock
b. True leaders gladly submit themselves to a group of people with whom they can know and be known. They trust their council and value relationship with them above pursuit of the vision. They wait for them so they can walk together
1. The persecutor is the counterfeit for the real gift of leadership which God gives to a man or woman by the Holy Spirit
2. The coconspirator is the counterfeit for true eldership and government

a. Leaders need an accountability and decision-making structure around them. They (leader and eldership) function together as coequals with different functions based on giftedness. Those who serve the leader who is serving them do so as those who already have an identity in God and are merely walking out their response to God’s grace according to the measure of their faith. They are “elding” for the right reason

b. They are not “yes men” but neither are they of an interdependent spirit. They recognize the leadership gifting on the point person and trust in what God has put on him/her. They also trust that the leader understands how the elders complement that leadership and know that he/she will listen and heed their council. While the leader leads by giving direction and going first, they govern the church together

3. The enablers are the counterfeit for the true servant workforce in the church

a. Jesus told us to pray for laborers in the harvest, for the harvest was plentiful but the workers were few. Nehemiah saw to it that it was the people’s job to build the wall around Jerusalem, not his. He saw to it that they had whatever they needed, training, supplies, etc.

b. The true workforce of the church is serving according to their spiritual gifts by faith and not for a sense of belonging and worth. They are not passive codependents who would enable the sickness of leadership because they need the sick system for their pain medication. They know they are not gifted in government so they trust that gifting on the eldership. But they also know that if they had a question, even a hard one, that the leaders would be open to their concern and make proper adjustments when necessary. They serve God, not the leader or vision, with joy in their hearts

4. The victims are the counterfeit for the godfearer fringe

a. These are those that attend the larger meetings and are trying to decide if they want to give themselves to the local church. Many are Christians who have had bad experiences in the church and are hesitant; some are frightened “pew sitters” who need to be loved into the family and joyful service, others are non Christians who are checking out the faith

b. Whichever category, they are the fishing pond out of which disciples are made. Jesus chose 12 then 70 out of the crowd that followed him. What makes the difference whether these people become disciples or victims? Everything depends on the actions and motives of the group they are walking among. Is it healthy, glorifying Jesus and honoring personhood or is it toxic, glorifying the leader and denying personhood? Motive is everything

5. Outcasts are the courageous detractors in the toxic system who are trying to bring health to something sick
Just as God will try to heal something that is sick, Satan will try to destroy something that is healthy. In the healthy system will be found both rebels and wolves

a. Rebels are Christians who for whatever reasons have enough wounding to create problems for members in the flock because of their sin. They are good people who are just not conscious of what they are doing and why. They may be caught in a sin and need to be restored gently (Gal. 6.1). They may be acting out congregational pain that they have not been able to understand. Whatever the case, the flock is called to a process of lovingly winning these rebels through ardent pursuit outlined in Matthew 18. This passage begins by talking about true shepherds who make lost sheep their priority. It then says we are to go to our brother who is in sin and try to win him. We are to offer numerous opportunities for repentance, each with a higher relational price. If losing relationship is worth something to the rebel (this is what separates rebels from wolves), then he/she will eventually repent and have a genuine heart change. The key to this process is love. The parable of the unmerciful servant which follows in the text highlights how the atmosphere needs to be permeated with forgiveness

b. There is a difference between the rebel and the wolf. Rebels are good people with wounds who need to be loved back to health. Wolves are divisive people with hardened hearts who the enemy has planted with a strategy to destroy the fellowship. Titus says, “Warn a divisive person once, then twice, then have nothing to do with him” (3.10). Paul told the Corinthians to expel a wicked man from their midst (1 Cor. 5.13). Discerning rebels from wolves and treating them accordingly is one of the jobs of eldership (even wolves are to be treated lovingly and with respect as human beings!). The difference is in the heart and the heart must be discerned

B. Conclusion1. If Jim Jones was a 10 and totally healthy is a 0 then most families and churches would fall somewhere on the spectrum. Healthy would go from few to some toxic behaviours, unhealthy from frequent to compulsive toxic behaviours. How toxic we were is a matter of debate. There is no question that I/we had dysfunction. How much is (in my opinion) a fruitless sidetrack. Whether it is one cancer cell or a thousand, let’s call it cancer and ask God to root it out
2. This book was extremely helpful to me because it gave me crucial insight into what was happening to us. If we understand what toxic faith is and what drives it, we can recognise it and choose never to walk in it in any degree

Condensed by Bill Jackson

NAMASTE: DIVINE SPARKS ARE FLYING EVEN IN NYC

The Hindu greeting “Namaste” allegedly recognizes the “divine spark” in everyone, even on the streets of NYC, don’t you know? These divine sparks are just about everywhere, but without the recognition of a sin sick world in need of the redeemer, Jesus Christ, who alone can give us the Holy Spirit, when and if we admit we are sinners and accept Jesus as Savior. Then the Holy Spirit (the Paraclete) can be our guide into a transformed, Christ-like life. Until that happens, we walk in sin and depravity.

DIVINE SPARK IN YOGA, QUAKERISM, ZOE LIFE, EMERGENT CHURCH

    As you saw in a previous post on this blog December 16, 2012, Sue Monk Kidd is into the Divine Spark concept of the latent divine presence in ALL of mankind and creation, really panentheism. This was the video:

    Likewise, Max Lucado refers to the Divine Spark in his book “Cure for the Common Life”, reviewed at Lighthouse Trails Research here: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=9232. Take note that Lucado quotes from a number of mystics in this book, including Thomas Merton, a Catholic/Buddhist monk, which is further expanded on at Way of Life at:http://www.wayoflife.org/database/thomasmerton.html. His book promo video has him sitting in the vicinity of what appears to be a rather large liquor assortment:

    Apprising Ministries has articles on Divine Spark:
http://apprising.org/2008/09/21/the-emergent-one/
and Richard Foster, Quaker mystic on “Zoe Life”:
http://apprising.org/2012/04/18/richard-foster-says-bible-reliable-guide-despite-inconsistencies/
and http://apprising.org/2008/08/30/understanding-the-new-spirituality-god-indwells-mankind-2/
and Shane Hipps Exposed: http://apprising.org/2009/09/30/shane-hipps-exposed/
and http://apprising.org/2009/10/01/shane-hipps-exposed-ii/
    Further examples of the penetration of this concept across Christianity and into various other religions is:
CBN’s article: http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/Devotions/plemmons_divineSpark.aspx
and at Got Questions: http://gotquestions.org/divine-spark.html
    Even our own President:

    And not to leave out the Quakers (or Friends), those peace loving, non-dogmatic, ecumenical, get along with everybody and every religion folks, except those practicing genuine Christianity represented by the offensive, narrow minded Jesus who claimed he was THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE, who they quickly silence. Apprising.org has these articles: http://apprising.org/2008/08/25/contemplating-the-inner-light-of-the-quakers/, and http://apprising.org/2008/10/22/richard-foster-and-quaker-beliefs/ where the connection between Quakerism and the emerging crowd is shown.
    The Bible says differently, that we are in need of a Savior: Romans 3:10-“As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one”. Obviously, this crowd believes that you have no need of a Savior, that you are not depraved. This is a false gospel if there ever was one.

 

“GAME CHANGERS” HEADING YOUR CHURCH?

    Lynn and Sarah Leslies’ article “The Shepherding Movement Comes of Age” (2002-2003), http://erwm.com/ShepherdingMovement_L_S_Leslie.pdf, gives a clear picture of the abuses of the 1970s’ “shepherding movement” being resurrected in the 21st century by the fact of the more recent use of membership agreements, constitutions, bylaws, confessions, pledges, vows, oaths and assorted “spiritual commitments”, which prospective members of a church are required to sign, or current members annually affirm. The result as previously seen in the 1970s, is more bondage and binding of consciences for the typical Christian church member.
The Scriptures are clearly opposed then as now in:
James 5:12But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
Matt 5:33-37-But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation. But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
    As per the Leslies: “Across the country, parishioners are now being challenged to take oaths, perform vows and sign covenants.”
    What in the world is going on?
    Do pastors learn this way of “doing” church from their seminary training? In part, yes. The other source is perhaps Rick Warren via Peter Drucker. Another would be the church growth methods of the “Leadership Network” http://www.leadnet.org/ for so-called “next generation pastors” running multi-site church “campuses” into change agents (facilitators) as described in:

    To quote the Leslies again: “Drucker has dedicated much effort into bringing the church into conformance with the “systems” model of governance, which is known as Total Quality Management in the corporate world.””In this model, parishioners are “customers.” “The focus shifts to “outcomes” which means that people will have to be held “accountable” for “performance.”” “Peter Drucker grew up under the influence of the German philosophies of the 1800s.” “The Corporate and the Church subsume their identities and comfortably merge with State into one comprehensive “system” of governance for mankind.”
    The following will demonstrate how, in the further words of the Leslies and supported by history that:

“Wherever the nationally established Christian religions have taken root they have tried to use religious oaths as a means to bind the wills and consciences of men to their own expediency and have used various methods to argue that Christ never meant what he plainly said concerning the taking of oaths.” 
    Dr. Robert Klenck, orthopedist/apologist, speaks of this “new covenant agenda” which uses the diaprax method of incremental change by mixing truth and error, in the video below (2HR/43MIN):

Two examples of the influence of Leadership Network are the following videos of two well known emergent church pastors who attribute their successes to Leadership Network:
Steven Furtick: http://leadnet.org/resources/video/steven_furtick_find_your_rocks
Mark Driscoll: http://leadnet.org/resources/video/mark_driscoll_two_sparrows_in_a_hurricane
    Followed by videos of the merger of church and state in Hitler’s Nazi (National Socialist) Germany:

Let’s not allow this to be repeated again!


EFFECTS OF SPIRITUAL ABUSE ON WOMEN

“The Effects of Spiritual Abuse on Women” by Richard Damiani at Recovering From Spiritual Abuse website is below. The effects on women are devastating and sometimes long lasting. If married, a husband may feel he is unaffected by the abuse in a cult-like church and/or he can withstand it or “live with it”, not realizing or taking into account the damages to his wife’s spirit, soul and body. Read and learn:
 http://recoveringfromspiritualabuse.wikispot.org/The_Effects_of_Spiritual_Abuse_on_Women

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