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Spiritual Deception

Spiritual DecptionSpiritual DecpetionJesus 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.

When someone believes social justice is more of a biblical priority than social issues, chances are their faith is based on the politics of man rather than the inspiration of God’s Word. Founded by Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo, Red Letter Christians are one such group of liberal progressives whose purpose is to counter the influences of the conservative Christian movement and traditional evangelicals.

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Mocked and derided across the cultural spectrum, the message of “health and wealth” enjoys wider support than one might imagine.

Prosperity-oriented teachers (including Roberts, the Bakkers, and Tilton) climbed to the top of the televangelist heap and suffered heavily during the "Pearlygate" scandals of the late '80s. But even from the ashes of scandal, the Prosperity message rose again and gained new momentum. Bowler notes two major changes that extended its longevity. First, the ascent of a smoother, more sophisticated "soft prosperity" message—touted by more relaxed, corporate figures like Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, and Paula White—replaced the more theologically-explicit "hard prosperity" teachings of an earlier generation.

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The following is an excerpt from the book, ERADICATE: BLOTTING OUT GOD IN AMERICA, chapter 13 – Counterfeit Christianity. Olive Tree carries this in our "store" online. Find it here.

Author, televangelist, and senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, Joel Osteen seems like a very likeable and well-meaning Christian man. His ministry reaches about seven million people every week in countries around the world through radio and television. Prior to October 3, 1999, Osteen produced the church’s television program for seventeen years. With no biblical education or experience, Joel Osteen succeeded his father. Prior to his father’s death, Joel had only preached once in his entire life and had no theological training.

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The millennial generation's much-talked-about departure from church might lead those of us over 30 to conclude that they have little interest in Jesus. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Unfortunately, their spiritual coming of age has coincided with many Protestant pastors relying on a consumer business model to grow and sustain their churches. This template for doing church and the millennials' hunger for authenticity has caused an ideological collision.

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In his interview, McLaren concerned himself with modernism, a “colonized…European form of Christianity.” He blamed European missionaries and settlers for asserting to natives, “You all have a story; we have a system [that is universal].” “We’re probably at our worst when we present our faith not as a story but a system,” he surmised. The emergent guru finds solace in a postmodern Christianity, which rejects both a nationalism with a post-colonialist perspective and “this crazy European idea of monoreligious cultures…a Christian country” thanks to post-Holocaust concerns.

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NOTE: This ministry has called on evangelicals to stick to gospel preaching and teaching for a decade and stop the social gospel train. We are delighted to see that not all evangelicals are responding to the NAE-driven agenda for immigration, global warming, social justice, etc.

Merritt notes that some prominent officials of evangelical groups, often working through the Evangelical Immigration Table, have toiled strenuously for immigration legislation. But they have failed to excite their constituency:

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Religion is the root of any culture, and environmentalism has become a full-fledged religion in its own right. It is the most comprehensive substitute in the world today for Christianity so far as world view, theology, ethics, politics, economics, and science are concerned, and you need to understand it in order to counter it effectively, from presuppositions to policies, from classroom to movie theater, from evening network news to Internet and local newspaper.

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Wednesday, 24 July 2013 12:03

What would Jesus have you do?

Lights, camera, action!

To boost the mood for the Praise and Worship segment of the service, a large number of churches feature a worship leader and several backup singers accompanied by a live band. I've been in services where the Praise Band could be the opening act for Switchfoot!

To help spice up worship, a team of want-to-be actors treat the audience to a short skit that ties in with the message (sermon). As the lights dim and the actors scurry off stage, a hip cool pastor wearing skinny jeans, a logo T-shirt, and a five o'clock shadow ambles out to preach the "new" Good News. Hip cool pastors aren't your average run of the mill ministers.

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Tickle will speak on two of her books, "The Great Emergence" and "Emergence Christianity: What It Is, Where It Is Going and Why It Matters." She will offer extended question and answer periods and encourage small group conversations on the implications of what participants are hearing.

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Today we are seeing the mystical type of contemplative practices that date back to the eastern practices of Buddhists and Hindus, including a type of mantra-style breath prayer that many say can bring us to a higher consciousness to experience God.

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