I have major issues with what is known as the religious Left. Some people object and feel that their social gospel efforts are needed so I should keep quiet. But the underlying issues are so troubling that I really cannot stay silent. So here goes.
This past weekend I was joined on air by Dr. David Noebel from Summit Ministries. He is just as troubled by this movement also known as "evangelical progressivism" or "the evangelical Left." But there is nothing about them that rings of evangelicalism. That word has been destroyed in the 21st century.
Some who fit into the mold of the religious Left include Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo, most all Emergent Church leaders including Brian McLaren, the National and World Council of Churches, and others too lengthy to list. I will focus on primarily one - Jim Wallis. He is the most troubling because he is Barack Obama's "spiritual advisor."
Jim Wallis is an admitted Socialist and Communist. How's that for being very up front with you? He was a part of the radical Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in the 1960s. That organization was always in a rampage and assaulted the police with their Communist agenda.
Dr. Noebel has written a brilliant article about Jim Wallis in World Net Daily. He says,
"Wallis and his Sojourners' community of fellow travelers believe Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega, and the other revolutionary forces are the Communist paradises the U.S. needs to emulate in order to establish 'social justice.' Wallis, together with Jeremiah Wright, rallied support for the Communist Nicaraguan regime and protested actions by the U.S. which supported the anti-Communist Contra rebels."
Ronald Nash writes in his book, Why the Left Is Not Right
"Over the years, Wallis has been pro-Vietcong and he gloried in America's defeat in Vietnam. He said, 'I don't know how else to express the quiet emotion that rushed through me when the news reports showed that the United States had finally been defeated in Vietnam.'" He also said nothing about the bloodbath that ensued in both Vietnam and Cambodia. Nash concludes, "For Wallis, a good Christian is someone who is pro-Communist and pro-Socialist."
Jim Wallis gets standing ovations at Christian colleges, seminaries, and some churches. He got one at my school, Bethel University in St. Paul, MN. In recent days, he spoke at Denver Seminary. He does not share spiritual values at these destinations; rather, he encourages his audience to drop the typical conservative issues of abortion and same-sex marriage and embrace poverty, AIDS, and global warming (even though it was 27 degrees just north of the Twin Cities this past weekend!)
Mark Tooley, President of the Washington-based Institute on Religion & Democracy says,
"Clearly (these clergy) are a part of an evangelical Left crowd who are strategically attempting to shift evangelicals away from conservative social issues to liberal economic and foreign policy issues..."
Tooley rightfully argues that this so-called evangelical Left is...
"indistinguishable from the secular Left. Christians of all traditions are called to transform the culture - not conform to it. But the evangelical Left repeats arguments from The New York Times' editorial page and seems to think such cultural conformity will win applause. History shows that accommodationist Christians are ultimately irrelevant Christians."
The causes of the religious Left are big government, socialized medicine, higher taxes, global warming, etc. They don't understand that big government isn't the answer to the world's problems. Jesus Christ is the answer. But as Mark Tooley says,
"Why do so many (Leftist) church officials support unrestricted big government, sometimes equating the welfare state with the Kingdom of God?"
Back to Jim Wallis. As Barack Obama's spiritual advisor, what do you suppose they are going to talk about and how spiritually productive do you think the conversations will be? Don't get your hopes up.
Where is the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) in all of this? At a fall planning session they will be addressed by Barack Obama. The NAE came along in the 1940s to preach the true gospel, not a social gospel. I am equally troubled that on their agenda will be more environmental messages, immigration issues, poverty, and nuclear terrorism. I don't think that the founders of the NAE had this in mind decades ago.
Who is out there totally committed to just preaching the saving gospel of Jesus Christ and not how to control greenhouse gases?
Biblical focus: "When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Ps. 11:3) "But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord" (Micah 7:7).
America is at a crossroads. Many are asking if she can be saved, or, has God abandoned America? What a pitiful conclusion, if so, for a nation that has been a beacon of hope for the suppressed of the world. How often has America banded to fight off aggression or traveled to the ends of the earth to aid the less fortunate? How many missionaries has she provided saving an untold number of lost souls?
Some say America must be punished for her sins, but are they really that much more grave than other wealthy nations? Luke 12:48 reminds us that from those given a great deal will be required much more. Have we used our God-given assets properly? The meaning of the verse is that when a person, church, organization, nation, etc. has been given a great deal, much more is expected.
Right now America is torn in two and the more Obama pushes the division of Israel, the more division there will be in our country. It has far surpassed the clever little red state-blue state illustration of a few years ago. Now it is hard-core secular humanist liberalism vs. traditional values and biblical values people butting heads. Just this rampant division in our country is judgment. We cannot all get along! The chasm of division grows more each day!
Recently Homeland Security declared millions of good people 'right-wing extremists.' Janet Napolitano has now pulled that position paper due to the outcry. Nonetheless, very good people were called evil with overtones of Isaiah 5:20 at play. Let's be honest and say this kind of labeling was going on long before the Obama administration came to power but now it is on fast-forward.
Dr. James Dobson stated that "America is awash in evil." He also stated in World Net Daily on May 14, 2009, 'There is utter evil coming out of the U.S. Congress." Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) has been reporting on the 'pedophile protection act' coming out of Congress. He states, "If we don't have another awakening, I'm not sure what's left (of America)." Dobson concurs and says that the threat to religious rights "keeps me awake at night."
Thankfully some Christian leaders and pastors are speaking up and risking all, but for the most part, the church is asleep. A nation is only as strong as her churches. A passage was given to Israel that can be applied to our day reads, "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, then turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land" (II Chronicles 7:14). The verse is not directed at the devil's crowd! The responsibility for turning the direction of a country is up to the church. Again, while many state this verse is only for the nation of Israel, other world powers, including the U.S., can still learn from it and heed the warning and exhortation.
Unfortunately many churches today don't want to preach about judgment. They are spiritually anesthetized. They have not been taught to fear the Lord but rather, that God is all about love because that makes people come to church. Many pastors and ministry leaders would never put a big part of the blame on America's demise onto the church! They're into church-growth and don't make waves or people won't return next week. Praise needs to be extended to pastors and church leaders who are holding to truth, who are telling the truth, and who are warning of serious judgment to come.
We have reached a point where we can only pray that God would have mercy in His judgment on America and that He would send out a pouring of His Spirit to help beat back the rampant evil of our times. And just perhaps right now our only focus should be on evangelism before the Ark door shuts once again. Maybe it is too late for petitions and pleading with Congress to do things right. Maybe our focus should be eternal, not earthly. But once an individual or a nation give up, the slide can be at rapid-pace and no one wants to see that. Thus I would exhort you to press on and speak up for righteousness, for Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people (Proverbs 14:34).
Just stop to consider for one moment what it would mean if God has or will abandon America. John MacArthur has a series of teaching on this available at his Web site. It means we would have diminished protection and more chaos; our economy will tank even further; Americans would be introduced to a lifestyle they have never experienced. Fear could even grip many Americans. We could be 'under a cloud' of oppression as we see this once-great nation and her people suffer.
Hear my very articulate guest, John McTernan, talk about judgment on America posted to 'radio archives,' at my Web site,www.olivetreeviews.org . The date is May 16, 2009, hour one.
Speaking of radio guests, thank you for your kind comments when I have Jack Kinsella on air with me. Jack's uniqueness is that I can select just about any issue in current events related to the Bible and he tackles it with great insight.
No matter how you cut it, I am an outcast. To the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), I am a right-wing extremist. I am suspect because I am pro-life, pro-family, anti-illegal immigration, pro-U.S. sovereignty, study the end-times and thus might be part of the militia movement, and I trust returning war vets. Thankfully, DHS head, Janet Napolitano, gave a partial apology to the last mentioned.
But now I fall into another guilty category: I am a friend of Israel, also known as a Christian Zionist. Church of England priest Stephen Sizer has written another vitriolic book, this time titled, Zion's Christian Soldiers. Suggesting we are like the Crusaders, Sizer warns that pro-Israel U.S. evangelicals have monstrously distorted the Middle East by aligning America with Israel. Sizer states, "In its worst forms, Christian Zionism uses the Bible to justify racial superiority, land expropriation, colonial settlements, the denial of international law, and the dehumanization of Arabs."
Unfortunately Sizer represents a more conservative wing of the Church of England and thus has a platform in places he should not. One such platform is the radio program of the so-called "Bible Answerman" Hank Hanegraaff. Hank is adept in some areas of apologetics and has a radio audience in the millions. Christians who call his daily program remind him that he has revolutionized their spiritual life. I am not sure we want this kind of revolution as he echoes Sizer's sentiments. Additionally, Hanegraaff is a Preterist, believing all end-time prophecy happened in 70 AD and Nero was the antichrist. That theology puts my brain in a pretzel as I don't want to look at prophecy in a rear-view mirror!
Sizer suggests that the reason Britain and America have become the focus of so much hatred from the Islamic world is because these two nations perpetrate "the most influential and destructive movement among Christians today: Christian Zionism." I wonder why this movement is ridiculed when there is a commandment in the Bible to "pray for the peace of Jerusalem" (Psalm 122:6)?
A previous book by Sizer is titled, Christian Zionism: Road Map to Armageddon. The mantra is the same: Friends of Israel will lead the world into total doom.
Who else is on this vitriolic bandwagon? None other than some Emergent Church leaders including Brian McLaren and his followers in the religious Left. In Jim Wallis' April edition of Sojourners Magazine, McLaren states that Christians like me are "terrible," "deadly," and "distorted." He likens my belief system to the racism of the 1950s and 1960s. McLaren is outraged that Israel might be a special nation to the Lord. Both McLaren and Jim Wallis are "advisors" to Barack Obama, who will likely throw Israel under the bus when he meets with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu next week. Keep this important meeting in prayer. Israeli intelligence admits, in writing, "Under Obama's policies, we are irrelevant. We have become an obstacle." How will Bibi deal with this?
We can't leave out Tony Campolo who says in his book Speaking My Mind that the good people who follow a ministry like mine are "rigid" and are "the real problem for the whole world." Those who look at the last days, which include a heavy emphasis on Israel, "are to blame for wars and a host of other evils." Campolo was one of Bill Clinton's "advisors." We are dealing with high profile people here, not obscure folks who can be easily marginalized and ignored.
Also among this critical legion includes a pastor in my hometown of Minneapolis. He is Pastor John Piper, lauded for his many books and mushrooming churches in this area. His sentiment is quite well known. He does not believe the Jews even deserve their land due to their unbelief. He states in a sermon from March 2004, "The promises made to Abraham, including the promise of the land, will be inherited as an everlasting gift only by true, spiritual Israel, not disobedient, unbelieving Israel. Being born Jewish does not make one an heir of the promise -- neither the promise of the land nor any other promise."
Ezekiel makes this pretty clear in chapter 37: The Jews return to the land in unbelief and then God begins a spiritual work in their hearts. What is so complicated about that?
I'll stand by Israel because our Messiah is Jewish, the writers of our blessed book called the Bible were Jewish, and "salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22). The roots of Christianity are Jewish, thus the olive tree (Romans 9-10-11). Her critics are in the millions. Her friends are a tiny minority, scoffed at by the intellectuals and scolded by the religious Left and other liberals of all persuasion. I wish we did, indeed, have the power they claim we have.
If you find yourself in this tiny club, welcome aboard. Our crimes are praying for Israel, attending a "Bless Israel" rally now and then, spending our tourist dollars there, and educating the church that her roots come from the Jews. For this we are vilified. Yet at least 10% of my e-mail list will unsubscribe because I have touched their anointed one. I have a reputation for telling the inconvenient truth, but it is the truth.
So, I confess: I am a terrorist after all. I'm a right-wing extemist with no apologies. I'm a Christian Zionist capable of bringing on Armageddon and the end of the world. And I can't make this stuff up. This is truly what many people believe today!
Visit our Israel category at the Web site for articles and films that are uplifting and educational.
This office has been receiving communications in the last few months revealing that some Christians 1) Are discouraged by the level of struggle they are facing; 2) Are tired of bad news and don't wish to hear or read anything negative; 3) Feel they are being tested beyond what they can endure; 4) Feel a sense of hopelessness in many areas from finances, to relationships, to grief over the dismantling of America. Some express fear along with grief and anxiety.
Christians can shoot their wounded, so I hope no one considers these people to be lesser Christians who need chastisement. They need encouragement. Nobody said it would be easy to be born for such a time as this.
Ministries like this one could compromise as many churches have. We could switch and present "feel good" articles and "happy talk" radio. We could stop sharing the inconvenient truth. Well, we will not.
The Bible says that when unrighteous people rule a nation, the people groan (Prov. 29:2). Thus, many in America are literally groaning and weeping. It would be better to be down on your knees, praying without ceasing for our great nation. As stated above in point 4, many are grieving at the loss of the America we once knew.
One of our "Understanding the Times 2009" speakers is Gary Kah. In his spring hard copy newsletter that you can order here, Gary says,
"Thankfully, for Christians who have placed their hope and trust in Jesus Christ, the road does not end here. The turbulence and trials of life should only heighten our dependence on the Lord. We must put less of our faith in the material things of this world, while placing more and more of our confidence and trust in Jesus who loves us and has an eternal purpose for each of us.
Some of us are being tested even now, being refined so that we will be more effective and loyal to Christ in the days ahead. I can tell you personally that the last few months have been among the most challenging of my life. Satan has come against our efforts from seemingly every angle to stop this message from getting out. He has not succeeded, but we have paid the price for what we are doing. It has not been easy.
A growing number of Christians are becoming discouraged by the increasing level of difficulties they are facing. Some believe that God may be punishing them for some reason when, in reality, it is Satan who is coming against them because of their obedience to God."
I agree with Gary's summation, and I, too, can be overwhelmed with the challenges of life and ministry. If you are in turmoil, you are not alone. In fact, you might be troubling the enemy and be doing something right.
Can you focus on some hopeful verses of the Bible?
• "Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord" (Psalm 31:24).
• "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is in the Lord" (Jeremiah 17:7).
• "Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God" (Psalm 43:5).
Not all reading this may hold to this theology, but many are comforted by it. We have a great and glorious God who is returning. We are "Looking for that blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13).
The marginalization of Christians has only just begun, and how much persecution we must endure, we do not know. (Hear my May 2 programming about this at "Radio Archives" - hour 2.) Without being argumentative and without dividing from those who believe differently, I am clinging to the promises in I Thessalonians 4:13-18. There we read that the church is removed before the worst comes upon this aching planet.
Read those verses then follow verse 18 and "comfort one another." And so shall we ever be with the Lord.
You can also find this article of Jan's posted at Bible Prophecy Today.
Thank you for your prayers for the TV filming by Jewish Voice Broadcasts International in Phoenix last week. Three half-hour programs were taped featuring prophecy teachers/writers Dr. Mark Hitchcock, Jack Kinsella, Steve Spillman, and me. Dr. J. Randall Price was not able to make it at the last minute. Jonathan Bernis, director of the ministry, moderated the discussion for the prophecy panel. I will alert you to the airings, which will run between May 17 and early June. You can watch the programs on their Web site if you can't access them on TV.
While the panel was discussing the rapidly escalating "signs of the times," it occurred to me that messages are being sent today to the unregenerated (unsaved) and regenerated (saved) world. Both are getting a targeted message that is biblically based. But the two have entirely different worldviews.
I saw a recent newspaper headline that read, "Everything Is Spinning Out of Control." I hear talk show hosts saying the same thing as well as Web site writers. There is always an attempt to pin the tail on some of the worst issues going on today. Some acknowledge that in this "pinning the tail on the donkeys," there may not be enough donkey tails! Some will even admit that the can-do, bootstrap approach embedded in the American psyche may be slipping. Eroding it is a powerlessness that is chipping away at the country's sturdy conviction that man and government can alter destiny, right wrongs, and set the planet on a new course.
Yes, the world got infected with a campaign slogan of "Yes, we can!" when, in fact, we can do nothing without God's guidance, mercy, and blessing.
So, "no we can't" stop the birth-pang signs that are supposedly "spinning out of control." That's why nobody said it would be easy to be born for such a time as this! So now we have a potential global pandemic. This doomsday scenario will create in some great anxiety (and new legislation may be passed since the new administration says we should never waste a crisis).
From pandemics to loose nukes, human government is trying to do the supernatural. The results would be humorous were they not so pathetic. All of the efforts to "save the earth" by spending trillions of dollars will be dashed because that is not in God's plan.
The unbelieving world is being steered by secular humanists who have great faith in man and none in God. They believe all things are possible with the right human leaders. They are opening themselves up to receive a supernatural man, likely in the near future, known in the Bible as the Antichrist. He will appear as a man-with-a-plan and perfect "Mr. Fix-it." And he will have a legion of issues to fix!
These people do not have the light of the Holy Spirit in them, and thus they cannot connect the dots that the time is short and that they are deluded. Please share your faith with them! If you wondered why you may have been born for such a time as this, here is one major reason. God is bringing people into your life who need to hear the gospel and whose soul needs saving. Many of you have been placed on the planet to do this while there is still time. Ignore the gospel of global warming and focus on the gospel of Jesus Christ, His soon return, and the need for your loved ones to come to saving faith in Him.
The world of the believer is being sent a message as well. Human government has been and always will be a failure. Unregenerated man will act only in self-serving ways, pretending to "serve the people" but in realty, only serving self.
Believers, on the other hand, are being sent a reminder that only a theocracy will ever work and the Bible talks about only one such forthcoming Kingdom. It is Jesus ruling out of Jerusalem for 1,000 years. He will not rule out of Washington, Cairo, or London. Only Jerusalem -- historically rich but poor in natural resources. King Jesus will make right the world that has gone haywire, driven by greed and power.
The most powerful leader in the world always resides in Washington, D.C. That makes that real estate the most important in the world. But someday soon, it is going to be dwarfed into irrelevance as the King of kings rules the world with perfect government from literal Jerusalem.
Somebody get excited about it!
Yom HaShoah is the annual day to remember the slain six million Jews who perished under the crush of the Third Reich. This year the date falls on April 21. More than Jews perished. Hitler wanted to do away with his enemies and anyone who didn't have blue eyes and blond hair. During the Carter administration, America officially recognized this important day as well. Many non-Jews attend memorial services in their area.
Let me take you to Israel for just a moment and relate the scenario on Yom HaShoah. The land literally comes to a halt, at least for two minutes! At precisely 8 AM each year, a two-minute siren is sounded throughout the land. Everyone in Israel freezes in their tracks. Rowdy teens grind to a halt. Children climb off their toys and stand at attention next to teachers or parents. All vehicles stop, forming a line of paralyzed transportation. Many drivers stand by their cars and trucks in solemn silence.
Some say the two minutes seems like eternity. In their hearts, every Jew in Israel is saying, "Never again; no never again!" But now Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he plans on doing it again! He'd also like to perpetrate a Holocaust on Americans.
There is something unprecedented about the European Holocaust. For the first time in the bloodstained history of the human race, a decision was birthed in a modern state, in the midst of a civilized continent, to track down, register, mark, isolate, dispossess, humiliate, concentrate, transport, and murder every single person of an ethnic group as defined by the perpetrators --and for purely ideological reasons.
This was targeted at an ethnic group who so generously contributed to the culture of the world; to a people who have borne the brunt of enmity towards them basically because they dared to be different and dared to insist on their difference. To the Christian, another perspective enters, for our Messiah, Jesus, was a Jew.
Israel doesn't want the world to forget, nor do they want us to buy into the devilish lies of "historical revisionists" who insist it either didn't happen or that the number of six million is grossly exaggerated. They believe that what mankind forgets, he tends to repeat.
Israel has memorialized the Gentiles who helped them during WWII, and particularly at Yad Vashem, the memorial to the Holocaust in Israel. There were many Corrie ten Booms but not all the stories became public.
In 1979 I wrote a true story of Holocaust survivor Anita Dittman. It is ironic that back then both Bethany House and Tyndale House were vying for the manuscript. Today the major publishing houses have no interest in this kind of inspiration, truth, and history, and I am thankful that Lighthouse Trails polished up the book's image in 2005 and republished it. It is now titled Trapped in Hitler's Hell. It will change your life if you will read it, and I am not trying to make a sale. Anita's story has been read or heard by tens of thousands and all would say their life was impacted in some way. God's protective hand on Anita and her mother in Nazi Germany, in the concentration camps, in the escape, and many more scenarios, is gripping. Readers will never forget the story.
Anita lived in a Romans 8:28 world. No matter what atrocity she faced, she claimed that "all things worked together for good." That plays out in every chapter. She spread her supernatural faith amidst disorganized chaos almost daily. Anita and her mother were Jewish believers.
Show your love for the Jewish people by participating in local Yom HaShoah activity. Many who went along with Hitler were members of a church. Some were pastors who put Hitler's picture in place of a cross. The Nazis had a cross on the belts or one was worn around their neck. These images have kept deep wounds in the hearts of Jews for 70 years.
They would love to hear you say, "Never again!" as well.
From Sydney, Australia, to San Francisco, nearly 4,000 cities in 88 countries turned off their lights this past weekend for "Earth Hour." The campaign was designed to highlight the threat of climate change. If people want to spend their weekends this way that is fine; however, I have a real problem with the root of their thinking which would be that man is causing a climate catastrophe, and that man is at the root of global warming. So in light of my sentiment, I kept my lights on and chose not to dine by candlelight.
In spite of the attempts of Al Gore, I have yet to be shown absolute scientific proof that man is at the root of the global climate "catastrophe." I suspect the sun is somehow involved; however, visit my home state of Minnesota just about any January and you would actually wish that Gore's fake science would come true.
This rather secular cause has made its way into the heart of many Christians! What fuels it? First we have many churches that belong to the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) who make it a primary issue.
The NAE was birthed in the 1940s to be an instrument to counter the more liberal National and World Council of Churches that never met a social cause behind which they didn't rally. The NAE for decades focused like a laser beam on gospel preaching, missions, evangelism, Bible memorization, and more.
If you visit their Web site, http://www.nae.net/, you are hit with propaganda such as this: "What do you personally do to take care of God's creation?" "Evangelical" leaders and pastors respond by talking about recycling, picking up (garbage) after others, and purchasing used furniture. One person polled proudly stated that his goal was to fill just one garbage can a month! How about a call to win one lost soul to Jesus a month? But this is the new NAE!
Moving on to a similar example, now we have The Green Bible. This Bible is trying to make gardeners out of all of us. It is put out by Harper Collins, and it calls attention to more than 1,000 verses related to nature. It is printed in forest green and on soy paper. As much as I love the nature that surrounds my townhouse complex, if I am looking for a new Bible, it will be one that has 1,000 verses highlighted about winning lost souls.
The Green Bible furthers the cause of "creation care" by containing supplementary writings by Desmond Tutu, Emergent leader Brian McLaren, and others who are not sound in their theology. Some contributors to this Bible suggest that eco-neglect violates Jesus' call to care for the least among us. In other words, a tree is now the "least among us." How tragic things have gone this far off course.
Southern Baptist leader Richard Land says,
"Sure it is important (to take care of the earth), but when Jesus was asked what was the most important issue, He said, 'Love your God, and love your neighbor as yourself.' He didn't say a word about eco-neglect."
I wonder if churches, including so-called "evangelical churches" that are printing their Sunday bulletin on eco-friendly paper, have the same zeal for witnessing to the lost because the time is short?
The magazine Christianity Today, normally pretty friendly to left-leaning causes, is critical of The Green Bible because...
"its aim is to orient readers to the Bible's concern for the natural world along with its call for social justice and poverty relief."
Christianity Today goes on to point out that this Bible includes...
"tips for getting started in Christian environmentalism, which looks basically like secular environmentalism along with a list of secular organizations devoted to the environment."
Yes, we are commanded in the Bible to take care of the earth. It sickens me every time I hear of another species that has become extinct. The reckless targeting of whales and dolphins is deplorable. Man has a responsibility to the earth and the creatures and elements over which we have been given authority to rule. But fighting the pollution and global warming wars will lead to only one thing: One-world globalism. The source of our ecological problem is man's fallen nature. He has set himself at the center of the universe. In the absolute extreme, some of the eco-efforts going on, even in the church, can lead ultimately to "mother earth" worship.
The Bible says, "For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs" (Romans 8:20-22) as it waits for earth's real liberation -- the return of Christ. The Green Bible and a form of Christianized Sierra Club activity are not what the church is called to today. Souls are eternal and plant life is not! Preaching the good news of Jesus Christ and using a Bible that most effectively aids in that should be our focus when selecting a Bible.
Please walk past the aisle, and keep moving, when you spot The Green Bible, and why don't you remind the NAE of its roots? They have nothing to do with recycling.
Russia has an evil intent, and she is going to be seriously wounded when she perpetrates it. Russia is regaining her old aggressiveness and brutality. White House correspondent Bill Koenig and I discussed it on air Saturday, March 21, on my live broadcast. We know this for sure: The Russian invasion of Israel has not yet happened. It is a future event but we don't know how future. It is often called the Gog-Magog War. According to Josephus, the ancient Scythians inhabited the land of Magog that is now Russia.
Here's what else we know from Ezekiel 38. Many Islamic nations will participate (verse 5). It is in the "latter days" (verses 8 and 16). Israel is "living securely" (verse 8). A major motive will be to seize Israel's wealth (verse 12). Many nations will object but will not get involved (verse 13). God is angry because forces are invading His land (verse 16). God raises severe judgment on the invaders (verse 22). Many nations are awed at this and recognize that He is Lord (verse 23).
The scenario in chapter 39 states that the devastation of the enemy will be great (verse 4). God will send fire upon the lands of some of those involved in this invasion of Israel (verse 6). God's holy name is made known in Israel, and they will know He is the Holy One of Israel (verse 7). Israel will burn weapons for seven years, which may indicate this is a Tribulation war (verse 9). Russia and her allies will be buried in Israel for seven months (verse 12). Israel will know that the Lord God of Israel orchestrated this. His glory is set among the nations and in Israel (verse 21). Israel will have some kind of spiritual awakening (verse 22). God will not hide His face from them any longer for He will pour out His Spirit on the house of Israel (verse 29). This should not be confused with "all Israel saved" at the Second Coming.
Since Bible prophecy is in a fast-forward mode, we need to be paying attention to major events taking place. One of the issues that those with their eye on the sky have wondered about is what is the wealth Israel possesses that is so vital that Gog (Russia) and her allies are willing to invade Israel to seize it. A story many seem to think significant is the fact that Israel has just discovered five trillion feet of natural gas off the shore of Haifa. And that is just for starters. It is believed there is much more soon to be tapped into, as well as oil not yet discovered in various parts of the country. Oil may be a speculation but the natural gas is a reality.
Russia needs natural gas! That was, in part, her reason for invading the former Soviet state of Georgia. Additionally, Russia is building seaports in Syria and Libya. Libya is one of the participants in this forthcoming war. Another participant -- Turkey -- is now more aligned with Russia than ever before. A primary participant in the Gog-Magog war is Iran who is always strengthening her ties with Russia.
As for other items of wealth or a "spoil" in Israel, we should include her Dead Sea assets and technological wealth. But it is the natural gas find that everyone should keep an eye on. This was the missing piece of the puzzle! And hardly anyone is paying attention to it. The media just says this will be a great asset for Israel as they are clueless about the Ezekiel 38-39 passage and how this find might apply to biblical prophecy.
Returning to the theme of the rapid escalation of events today, Dr. Thomas Ice says,
"Things are moving so fast in the last six months that stage-setting events are happening at a speed no one person can keep up with. Prophecy is on fast-forward!"
Dr. Ice also says,
"God's plan for history always moves forward in relation to what He is doing with Israel. Thus, the fact that Israel has been and continues to be reconstituted as a nation is prophetically significant, so significant that it makes Israel God's 'super-sign' of the end-times. Were Israel not a nation again it would be impossible for events of the end-time to occur since so many of them take place in that tiny country or in reference to her. But she has returned and so it is that all other aspects of Bible prophecy are also being prepared for the grand finale of history."
Yes, it is a tragedy that the church today does not care about this topic, but the Bible predicted scoffers near the end (II Peter 3:4). Too bad much of the scoffing is coming from church pulpits. And it grieves many of us that once-solid denominations and churches now embrace Replacement Theology that says the church is the new Israel. Nonetheless, in this dark day, keep looking up -- even if you get a stiff neck. Keep listening for the sound of a glorious trumpet! Stage-setting signs have never been so prolific! Not everyone has this blessed hope!
A not-so-funny thing happened on the way to the 21st century. In the late 20th century, certain leaders came out stating that we needed a "new way of doing church." That old time religion wasn't good enough. So in came new gimmicks replacing the solid gospel. We have seen the rise of the "seeker-sensitive" church movement that offends no one. The "religious left" has become more prominent promoting their social gospel. And then there is the Emergent Church (that also stresses the social gospel.)
If you ask nine out of ten Christians just what is this Emergent or Emerging Church, they will likely be clueless! Nonetheless, it is devouring entire denominations and churches that were once solid.
So what is this phenomenon all about? First, it is "mystical." It draws upon things that the "ancient desert fathers" embraced such as contemplative prayer, breath prayers, walking the maize known as the labyrinth, Yoga -- all to get closer to God. Some of these practices send one into an altered state of consciousness. The Emergent Church really is not interested in doctrine; rather, they want things you can feel, touch, and smell such as incense and icons.
This movement reinvents Christianity by taking eyes off of the cross and onto experience. Scripture is no longer the authority. There are no absolutes, not even in the Bible. They will state that in order to take the world and church forward, we must go backward in church history and embrace Catholic beliefs. Their doctrine is actually closer to Buddhism, Hinduism, and "New Age" than it is to traditional Christianity.
Hell, sin, and repentance are downplayed so no one is offended. Besides, they will tell you there aren't enough absolutes to even talk about hell, sin, and Heaven.
They are trying to provide "meaning for this generation." What does that mean? In the late 20th century there arose a burden to reach the postmodern generation. Get to know the term postmodern! It's the under age 30 generation and in order to reach them, old traditions must be tossed! To the postmoderns, a solid gospel message is too dogmatic and arrogant. Emergents would say that a more moderate gospel had to be invented to be accepted by the masses within this younger generation.
Unfortunately, the "gimmicks" they chose to do this are more in line with divination than anything else!
Their emphasis is on the Kingdom of God now and not on the warnings of Scripture about the imminent return of Christ and a coming judgment in the future.
Now we get to a major problem. These people are called "evangelicals." As a matter of fact, Time magazine called Emergent leader Brian McLaren one of the top 25 evangelicals influencing the world. One of McLaren's most recent books is titledEverything Must Change. So there you have it from a leader himself: The church must change to conform to the modern day culture. Old ways must be discarded.
Another prominent leader is Rob Bell. He is turning up in all sorts of evangelical churches with his DVDs. He has become a hot topic, one that church Bible studies gather around to examine and embrace as a cool 21st century Christian with new ideas. The problem is, one of his many outrageous statements is, "This is not just the same old message with new methods. We're rediscovering Christianity as an Eastern religion." In another, he promotes the feminine side of God.
Other prominent Emergent Church leaders include Doug Pagitt, Dan Kimball, Tony Jones, Dallas Willard, and Robert Webber. There are more and the list is long.
In a nutshell, social action trumps eternal issues and subjective feelings are over absolute truth. Experience trumps reason and sound doctrine.
Now you have just some of the basics before you. Spread the word that a relatively new movement is seducing millions and that it is unsound, unbiblical, and alarming. This Emergent Church just might submerge yours!
You can't say you weren't warned.
The "New Age Movement" (NAM) has been around since the days of literal Babylon. It gained new strength in the late 1800s and even more in the 1960s, which was the "Age of Aquarius." While all participants are not occultists, they all do love the supernatural and experiential. They have many "gods." And they believe the delusion that mankind is getting better and better. Because they believe such a myriad of ideas, some call these misguided seekers "cosmic soup."
In the 1980s, I gave seminars on this "new spirituality," which it has been renamed in the 21st century. I studied it then and knew it almost as well as those who were enjoying their altered states of consciousness. Thankfully, I wasn't.
In more recent years, the cause has been furthered by the woman who never met a false teaching she didn't love -- Oprah Winfrey. She has paraded one guru after another on her many platforms and made most of them wildly successful.
In 1982, I chuckled at who I thought was just another deluded crackpot, Benjamin Cr?me, who was taking out full-page ads in multiple newspapers announcing the soon-arrival of Lord Maitraya. This superhero was to come on the scene for the benefit of all religions and belief-systems. He was to be the new "messiah." And while these deceived followers of mystical enlightenment fully believed he could save the world, I wondered if he was just a fantasy in the esoteric minds of Cr?me -- a John the Baptist type -- and many NAM idealistic dreamers.
But now 25 years later, TV commercials are airing about Lord Maitraya! Why was I a doubter? One such commercial can be found here. As a matter of fact, Benjamin Cr?me and references to Maitraya are found all over the Internet's favorite pastime, YouTube. In the minds of Maitraya's followers, he is just over the horizon ready to appear in his mystical, Eastern glory. Another is here.
Once again we see the foundation for the one-world religious system forming. As Chuck Missler said on my radio program this past weekend (February 28), to be posted late Monday, the apparitions of Mary, which are all over the world now, will be a uniter of religions because so many respect her, including Islam. We carry both a book and a DVD of this found here. The Vatican, in fact, may become the infrastructure for the one-world religion.
Clearly this "New Age Movement" or "new spirituality" will play a prominent role in the global religion. The antichrist will allow the "false prophet" to have a lying-signs-and-wonders party for 3 ? years and that's it. From then on, only "Mr. Fix-it" can have all the glory. Only the "man-with-a-plan" will have the spotlight after that.
In my study for my seminars some years ago, I learned quickly that almost all who are a part of the cults and false religious systems are like sheep without a shepherd. They are desperate, primed for deception, jumping from one costly therapy, seminar, technique, or group, all seeking the ever-illusive "higher self" and the "god within."
They would see themselves as "spiritual" people. They even refer to "the christ within" but it is a counter-christ. They may be shocked when they stand before the Lord and He says to them, "Not everyone who calls out to me, 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who do the will of my Father in Heaven will enter" (Matthew 7:21-23).
While there is time, share the gospel with them. Some have a Christian background and have twisted the terms you and I know. They will say they believe in God but it is the "god within." They will flaunt their "Christ consciousness."
This is just more end-time deception and delusion but souls are involved so don't write these people off without offering them new life! You are not responsible for their decision. And if you see the Lord Maitraya commercial on TV, use it as a reminder to pray without ceasing for the deception that abounds today.
It is also a reminder of the many "false christs" the Bible predicts for the last days. Whether or not there is any credibility in Creme and Maitraya really isn't the point. The point is that many are looking for false saviors today.