Jesus said on the Mount of Olives (Matt. 24) that deception would be the primary cultural sign of the last days. Even some of God’s “elect” might be deceived by false theologies. “Good would be called evil and evil good” (Isaiah 5:20). Men would substitute light for darkness and darkness for light. Apostasy would consume churches and denominations that were once solid.
Religious deception and hucksterism is certainly not a new phenomenon. From Sinclair Lewis' Elmer Gantry to televangelist Jim Bakker to some proponents of the Prosperity Gospel, fictional and real life examples abound. So the revelation that Kevin Malarkey fabricated his six-year old son's account of his near-death experience (NDE) in "The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven" is not shocking. In response to a letter by the now 16-year-old Alex, its publisher, Tyndale House, has announced it will no longer market the book, which has reportedly sold more than one million copies.
Yet, emerging leaders like Warren, Bill Hybels and others not only welcomed the attention, they embraced it. Thus was born the non-biblical "church growth" model for doing church. A key component of the model is consensus building. In other words, everyone from leadership to laity gets onboard with the leader's "vision" of how things should be. Over time, those dissenters who call into question the methods are quietly but rudely shown the door.
Russell Moore, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Saddleback megachurch leader Rick Warren will team up with Roman Catholic Pontiff Francis later this month for an interfaith Vatican conference on marriage and family.
Victoria Osteen, wife of megachurch speaker and author Joel Osteen, is standing by her controversial remarks that called upon congregants at Lakewood Church to "do good for your own self" because obedience, the church and worship are not for God as much as for self-happiness.
As previously reported, Osteen caused an online uproar in recent weeks when a video surfaced of the "co-pastor" and author of the book Love Your Life explaining to the thousands present the personal benefits that they would receive in doing good, which would make God happy.
Oprah part of team to portray God as elderly, black woman
Hollywood insiders report the next major leap for the message in William Paul Young's million-selling book "The Shack" is a first-run movie featuring the talents of Oprah Winfrey, Idris Elba and Forest Whitaker.
According to an Indiewire report, Whitaker will direct and star in the Summit Entertainment film based on a book that has become iconic among evangelicals but also has drawn strong criticism for its theology.
One of the chief critics of "The Shack," James B. De Young, is a former neighbor and colleague of Young who authored a response, "Burning Down 'The Shack.'"
In this commentary, we provided evidence to show that Warren and Tony Blair were partnering together with the Roman Catholic Church in the formation of a P.E.A.C.E. Plan that leads towards the formation of a global religion in the name of Christ for the cause of peace. Documentation for this premise can be supported by numerous statements that both Warren and Blair have made publically from messages they have given or articles that have been written explaining their ideas.
While many who read that commentary doubted or denied such a Warren-Rome connection, a new YouTube interview with Rick Warren and Raymond Arroyo of EWTN (published and posted on Apr 11, 2014), reveals the statements we made about the Warren-Rome partnership were accurate prophetic warnings with regard to what would happen in the future.
The YouTube description of the interview with Warren and Arroyo states:
NOTE: SINNERS ARE NOT MADE INTO SAINTS BY READING NOUWEN, WILLARD, OR RICHARD FOSTER. THIS MINISTRY MAINTAINS THAT THESE MEN ARE WOLVES LEADING THE SHEEP ASTRAY.
Over the past 35 years or so, evangelical interest in the classical spiritual disciplines has grown exponentially, thanks to the groundbreaking work of writers like Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, and Henri Nouwen. We increasingly understand, as Nouwen expressed it, that the spiritual life "involves human effort," a disciplined embrace of such concrete means of grace as prayer, silence, worship, simplicity, and service to others.
NOTE: THIS MINISTRY DISAGREES WITH THIS ANALYSIS. WE HAVE DONE RADIO ON THIS FILM AND ANALYZED IT THOROUGHLY. THERE IS NOTHING REDEEMING ABOUT IT. -- OTM
Too often, Christians are in knee-jerk reaction mode when it comes to popular culture. If the world made it, we are against it, and can provide the list to tell you why. This is especially true with Hollywood. While there may be much to critique about Tinsel Town, it is more fair (and more Christian) to put the movie in context and to acknowledge its positive characteristics—before we launch a broadside attack. Here are five commendable facts about Noah:
Isolation – When the leader begins to avoid others, something is wrong. Leadership involves people. Not all leaders are overly communicative, but when the leader tries to avoid people who need the leader’s attention, something is wrong. Some leaders begin to question people around them. They struggle with mistrust or fear that others are talking about them, questioning them, or out to get them.
A recent meeting of ministers associated with the prosperity-preaching Word of Faith branch of charismatic Christianity received a surprise announcement: Pope Francis had sent a message to the conference. It was something of a historic moment.