Monday, January 02, 2006

Christian Imperialism: Update #5 Group Salvation

The new gospel of dominionism is part and parcel of Rick Warren's purpose-driven movement, and is particularly manifesting itself in the emphasis on small groups. Not only are these small groups (i.e., cells) for the purpose of peer pressure, but they are also training grounds for the new doctrines.

This new gospel of dominionism has been teaching, at least since the mid 1970s, the principle of group conversion. According to this theology, small groups can agree by consensus to become "saved." This concept was popularized and widely disseminated as a direct result of missionary training using the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement curriculum, developed at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Al Dager reports on the history of this theology in his book The World Christian Movement (Sword Pub., 2001) explains:

"It is the consensus of the World Christian Movement that, in order to win the nations to Christ, it is first necessary to win all people groups within the nations to Christ, not as individuals, but as whole people groups." (p. 31) [emphasis added]

At one can read a Lifetogether article by Brett Eastman, whose curriculum is utilized by Rick Warren's small groups. The article is aptly titled, "The Movement to Change Society: God is up to big things through small groups." In this excerpt below one finds a "new conversion" -- one not found in the Bible. Also, note the extraordinary "promises" that will supposedly happen if everyone jumps on the small group bandwagon. These "promises" of miracles are frequently found in the "transformational" evangelical literature -- an advanced version of the old 'name it and claim it' doctrines. What is shocking is that nobody seems to challenge these outrageous claims!

"There are two kinds of conversions: a spiritual conversion, which every person must have—and a small groups conversion—which every pastor or church leader must have: A Christian conversion and Community conversion. Small groups are not just another program in a suite of church offerings. Small groups are the church—it's the primary way people get transformed—life on life.

"Small groups, however, are not the end, they are the means. Lifetogether is a worldwide movement that seeks to transform society through community. How will we know when society has been transformed?

"When the divorce rate drops, poverty levels drop, the crime rate drops, the teen suicide rate drops … family values go up, spiritual renewal goes up, reformation in our churches go up, and fruits of the Spirit are visible with the human eye." [emphasis added]

The Truth:

Al Dager is one of the few who challenges this new doctrine by asking the hard questions:

"Did Jesus command us to 'make all nations his disciples,' or to make disciples of all nations? There is a vast difference in how this is phrased.

"The Gospel has always been for individuals, to bring them to faith in Christ. So why do the 'World Christians' insist upon converting entire nations? . . . We will find that those within the World Christian Movement use biblical terms, but their definition is contrary to the clear teaching of Scripture. Thus their convoluted application of Matthew 28:19-20." (Ibid, p. 32)

"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." (Matthew 16:24)