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.
Until recently in this country, we Christian Americans can be very thankful that the plague of mysticism that can become so deeply embedded into a culture - and in the churches - has really not been too much of a problem here. While there has always been interest in the general population in the occult, this has mostly remained somewhat on the fringes. Seances. Madam Blavatsky. Theosophy. These are terms that typically have no meaning for the average Christian. Because of solid preaching and the systematic training up of our children in proper doctrine that has gone on for generations in this country, we have been trained to be discerning, and have taken admonitions on this from Scripture very seriously:
Christianity Today online says that vampires are hot stuff right now even for Christians. Visit a Christian bookstore or publishing house Web site and you might be surprised how many vampire-themed books you will see. What's wrong with the picture? Legions of people will tell you that nothing is wrong. They are, in fact, trying to sanctify vampirism.
Updated December 10, 2009
It is no secret that the ability of believers to present the authentic Christian faith is under attack on many fronts today. However, the free speech and liberty American Christians have long enjoyed to evangelize, give a biblical defense of the faith (apologetics) and to expose false beliefs (polemics) could very possibly soon be hampered as never before since the founding of the republic 200+ years ago.
Going to church this Sunday? Look around.The chances are that one in five of the people there find "spiritual energy" in mountains or trees, and one in six believe in the "evil eye," that certain people can cast curses with a look beliefs your Christian pastor doesn't preach.
In a Catholic church, chances are that one in five members believe in reincarnation in a way never taught in catechism class that you'll be reborn in this world again and again.
Leaders of replacement theology churches, ministries and preterists/amillennialist do not acknowledge the biblical and prophetic significance of what is unfolding in Israel and the world today.
Below are examples from a commentary and sermons from Chuck Colson, Dr. Joseph (Skip) Ryan and Dr. John Piper on Israel, Jews and the covenant land.
These men are very influential and are major voices throughout America. Colson has an excellent relationship with President Bush and his top staff. His Prison Fellowship Ministry will be a financial benefactor of the president's faith-based initiative program. Skip Ryan of Dallas is the pastor of one of President Bush's closest friends whom we have spoken to about Israel for two years. John Piper is a Minneapolis pastor with a national radio ministry and a new best selling book "The Passion of Jesus Christ."
"Eye to Eye" is a tool that is being used to show specific examples of the seriousness and consequences of endangering the 'apple of God's eye' and dividing His land. We encourage you to get "Eye to Eye," read the book, and then give it to another person to read. Pray that the Spirit of God will open their 'eyes and ears' to what the Spirit is saying about God's special relationship with Israel.
Mystical pragmatism is growing particularly fast through various New Age healing techniques. One such procedure is called Reiki (pronounced ray-key), a Japanese word that translates universal life energy or God energy. It has also been referred to as the Radiance Technique. Reiki is an ancient Tibetan Buddhist healing system, rediscovered by a Japanese man in the 1800s and only recently has come to the West.
The Reiki technique consists of placing the hands on the recipient and then activating the energy to flow through the practitioner and into the recipient. One practitioner described the experience in the following way:
When doing it, I become a channel through which this force, this juice of the universe, comes pouring from my palms into the body of the person I am touching, sometimes lightly, almost imperceptibly, sometimes in famished sucking drafts. I get it even as I'm giving it. It surrounds the two of us, patient and practitioner.
The church today finds itself assaulted without--and even within--by a culture and worldview of untruth, anti-truth, and postmodern irrationality. In fact, researchers increasingly report that a majority of evangelicals themselves reject the notion of absolute or objective truth. The seductive lure of postmodern relativism has pervaded many evangelical pulpits and countless evangelical pews, often couched as humility, sensitivity, or sophistication. The culture has us in its grip, and many feel no discomfort.
The absence of doctrinal precision and biblical preaching marks the current evangelical age. Doctrine is considered outdated by some and divisive by others. The confessional heritage of the church is neglected and, in some cases, seems even to be an embarrassment to updated evangelicals. Expository preaching--once the hallmark and distinction of the evangelical pulpit--has been replaced in many churches by motivational messages, therapeutic massaging of the self, and formulas for health, prosperity, personal integration, and celestial harmony.
Almost a century ago, J.C. Ryle, the great evangelical bishop, warned of such diversions from truth: "I am afraid of an inward disease which appears to be growing and spreading in all the Churches of Christ throughout the world. That disease is a disposition on the part of ministers to abstain from all sharply-cut doctrine, and a distaste on the part of professing Christians for all distinct statements of dogmatic truth."
They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1John 4:5, 6)
It is my deep conviction that anybody can be won to Christ if you discover the key to his or her heart. . . . It may take some time to identify it. But the most likely place to start is with the person's felt needs.1 (Rick Warren)
...the Apostle John... says that the world will not listen to a true, unsullied Christian message. Rick Warren says that anybody can be won to Christ if we discover a message that will interest them through promising to meet their felt needs. These concepts are contradictory. The Biblical idea is that we must speak God's unchanging message of the gospel whether the world hates us or not:
If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (John 15:19).
The Church Growth idea is that we must study man (using the latest sociological, psychological, and anthropological insights) to determine how to create a church that will grow and a message that will be popular through appealing to a target audience. Someone is wrong here....
by John MacArthur
"Stop looking too far into things and ruining it for the youth. ... Stop casting judgment on symbols.... I am a Satanist, but don't judge me as a Satan worshipper. I have no guilt of what I do. It is Christians who should feel guilt." Jasyn, a visitor to our website
"I believe in GOD. I go to church, I pray. I love Harry Potter. It's a fun movie, and in NO way promotes 'evil' witchcraft. That is why the characters are 'good' characters." Laura, a visitor to our website.
"I play Dungeons & Dragons, read comic books, watch Star Wars, play video games, and believe in one of God's great mysteries: evolution. I am also a Christian. These things are not mutually exclusive. Stories are a gift He gave us to entertain, explain, and educate. By telling and glorifying something like magic, we don't teach that it is right. We teach that it is fun." Louis, a visitor to our website
"...the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light...." John 3:19
Have you heard about that Dominion Theology, that's a new label, for a new kind of theology, and there are always new theologies. Dominion Theology comes in a lot of forms, but I think what you are probably talking about is John Wimber, who is now advocating a new kind of Dominion. Let me give you this very simply, ok?
Dominion Theology, espoused primarily by John Wimber, who is networked through a group of churches called "The Vineyard Churches," basically is saying, "That as believers, we are to take power over Satan and demons, we are to exercise dominion over them." There is another kind of theology, that is existing today, that is called "Liberation Theology." It is a form of theology that says, "That the Church is to take dominion over the institutions of the world." That's another form of Dominion Theology, or Kingdom Theology.
And what it basically says is that the Church's mandate is to take over the institutions of the world, that's the Liberation Theology side. What Dominion Theology says is that we are to take over the Powers of Darkness; we are to take over the demons; and we are to take over the spirits; and we are to dominate Satan. We are to take dominion, and that's why they talk about "Power Evangelism" and "Power Healing." In other words, he trains people, supposedly, to invade the Satanic World and take dominion over demons.
That we as Christians, by living in the natural world, and by just moving around in the visible world, have failed to exercise the power that we have, to literally take over the Satanic World. You hear them talk about, "Binding Satan," have you heard that? "Binding demons; Pleading the Blood on demons; Pleading the Blood on Satan; Taking dominion over, not only demons, but all of the institutions of the world, that are infiltrated and influenced by demons.
And they believe that whatever people's problems are, tend to be demon in?duced. And it gets extreme, no matter what it is, it?s a demon, and you have to take dominion over these demons. And that is why they talk about Power Evangelism. They say that you cannot evangelize without signs and wonders. You have to overpower the demonic world, and demonstrate your divine power to the lost, in order for them to be saved. Power Healing, break the bondage of demons and so forth.
It is unbiblical. We are never told, never told, to take dominion over demons. We are told by James, "Resist the devil and he will" what? "Flee from you." We are never told to bind Satan. We are never told to bind demons. We are never told to plead the Blood on Satan and demons. Listen to Jude 9, "Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you.'" Even Michael, who is "superan?gel," did not dare rebuke Satan. But rather said, "Lord, you take care of him." And if Michael, as a holy angel, does not take to himself the exercise of authority over fallen angels, where would we find a mandate to do that?
The Bible simply tells us, that if you want to deal with the enemy, you put on the whole armor of God, right? You put on the whole armor of God, and you'll be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. We are not called to take dominion over the institutions of this world. We are not called to take dominion over demons and over the devil. We are called to get on our spiritual armor, to resist that demonic world and trust in the power of God, who does take care of them.