Thursday, March 16, 2006

Becoming "Transformed Transforming Transformers"

[T]he church growth movement has its own ambiguous language and terms; so as to protect those who would deceive us with familiar words and phrases so they can quickly jump from one definition to another, if need be, to cover their embarrassing indiscretions, quiet their critics, advance their agenda and shield their marketable image, . . .
("Rick Warren - Fundamentalist or Finagler?" Paul Proctor, 3/15/06,

Below is a classic example of what Paul Proctor was talking about. This comes from the Wilberforce Forum, the Worldview division of Chuck Colson's Prison Fellowship ministries. Chuck Colson and Rick Warren have recently formed a new partnership to further their Worldview agenda (see this week's Herescope posts). Note the clever usage of words, which hops back and forth between a Traditional, Transitional and Transformational meaning:

"The Wilberforce Forum’s New Mission and Vision Statements:

"Our Mission: To seek the transformation of believers as they apply biblical thinking to all of life, enabling them to transform their communities through the grace and truth of Jesus Christ.

"Our Vision: That Jesus Christ’s transforming grace and truth be manifested in the lives of believers, enabling the Church to influence every arena of life, advancing truth, justice, love, goodness, and beauty."

In this same article (no current url), entitled "New Creations Re-Creating" by Michael Snyder, we read that:

"God has blessed us with the new vision and mission statements above. The theme of transformation leaps out from them. We seek to be and help others to become 'transformed transforming transformers,' advancing the kingdom of God 'on earth as it is in heaven.' We focus on the renewing of the mind and working together in community to infuse kingdom values and principles into our respective God-given spheres of influence."

Note carefully the use of language in the paragraph above. Starting with a Biblical definition of the word "transformation," which would traditionally apply to believers' sanctification in Romans 12:1-2 ("renewing of the mind"), these statements immediately launch into a full-fledged Transformative Worldview.

This "advancing the kingdom of God" statement is pure dominionism. To underscore this point, note the references to "spheres" in the last sentence. This is a reference to the agenda to transform the "spheres" of society of the Coalition on Revival. Chuck Colson has been closely connected to COR leaders and its agenda since its inception. According to Al Dager, in Vengeance Is Ours (Sword, 1990), "COR has determined that it is mandatory for all Christians to implement [their] worldview in society, particularly as it applies to the dominionist interpretation of the Great Commission."(p. 235-6)

Snyder's article continues. . . .

"Transformation occurs to some degree when we fix what is broken or improve what is not. For example, we help reconcile broken relationships between man and God and between man and all of God’s creation, including God’s image-bearers—the human family. We right wrongs. We strive for just social institutions, laws, policies, and judicial decisions grounded in natural law that seek to achieve the common good, balancing personal freedom, individual moral responsibility, and the merciful consideration of individual circumstances."

In this statement, once again there is a leap from Tradition to Transformation. Note the sentence "reconciling broken relationships . . . between man and all of God's creation." This focus on "creation" is a reference to the Genesis 1 "mandate" to restore paradise on Earth -- the ultimate goal in the global kingdom Transformation agenda.

Note also the political Communitarianism evident in the last sentence. This is a key tenet of both Neo-conservatives and Neo-evangelicals, whose top leadership is intricately intermingled for the purposes of achieving dominionism. Achieving the "common good" in Communitarianism means giving up individual rights to the State, which in turns prescribes individual responsibilities.

Synder continues:

"These are honorable tasks for kingdom-builders. Yet they do not adequately convey the enormity and wonderment of the transformation project in which our King has us engaged with Him. Indeed, we are much more than fixers, tweakers, and protectors. We are His Body doing His work in His world—making all things new by building His Church and seeking human flourishing in accord with His design. We call this shalom.

"This project entails transformation of both souls and systems through the grace and truth of Jesus Christ. It requires all of God’s transformed—and still transforming—believers to engage intentionally in God’s work of transforming others. And it requires us to transform the world around us through the practical application of biblical truth to every sphere of life, including our family, local church, workplace, neighborhood, professional association, service organization, etc."

Nowhere in the Bible does it talk about transforming SYSTEMS. Yet this is the goal of both the New Age and the New Apostolic Reformation. Based upon an evolutionary model of the universe called General Systems Theory, this Worldview teaches that man can perfect himself on Earth by setting everything (every sphere of man) into an Amway-style hierarchical pyramid structure, forging "organic" unity, and developing a "cosmic consciousness." These esoteric New Age beliefs have been Christianized, packaged and marketed to an unsuspecting Christian public via Leadership Network, the false apostles and prophets, Cell/Shepherding model advocates, and Coalition on Revival political dominionists.

Just in case you thought the last paragraph of analysis might have been too extreme, read on. . . .

Co-Creators Re-Creating?

"In Christ we are “new creations”. As part of His Body, we must hear and heed the Head. This means we ought to be about His business, the Holy Spirit-led re-creation business. In short, we are to be new creations re-creating.

". . . It energizes us to be as creative and resourceful as possible as we pursue the mission of helping unbelievers become new creations and making society new. . . ." [all emphases in above quotations are added]

Co-creation is a key doctrine of the New Age. Yes, we are a new creation in Christ. That is the Traditional doctrine that hooks in the readers. Did you bite? It sounded so good! But read on. . . The Transformation Worldview teaches that we are co-creators in creation. The heresy is, of course, that we (as the body of Christ) assume the ongoing role of Christ as creator on Earth! Once again, this article jumps from a biblical foundation straight off the cliff into Transformation.

Read the following definitions and decide if what you just read is orthodox Christianity or New Age. Co-creation, according to The Seeker's Handbook (a New Age dictionary) is:

"Collaboration by humanity in the ongoing process of creation, taking it as an event that remains to be completed rather than as an event over and done by the time humanity wakes up and looks around. The supreme aim of spiritual development in the ancient Mysteries, where the entrants were prepared to assume the responsibility of fulfilling the design of evolution, taking up where the Gods left off. An idea inherent to alchemy. . ., rediscovered by the Romantics. . ., and currently discussed as a key theme, or perhaps the key theme of the New Age. . . . "

Co-evolution is, "The aspect of co-creation that involves working directly with the processes of nature, to assist or advance them. . . ." (The Seekers Handbook, Harmony Books, 1990, p. 249) [all emphases added]

The Truth:

"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." (2 Peter 3:3-4)