Friday, March 31, 2006

Indications of Transition

Herescope was requested to do a series of posts explaining the process of Transition leading to Transformation. The past several days we have covered this topic. Today is the last post in this series.

On March 9, Herescope listed 6 potential indications of the Transformation process. Below are just a few of the signs and symptoms of the Transition phase in these same six areas. This is not an inclusive list. It is offered for purposes of illustration:

6 Possible Indications of TRANSITION:

New Language
1. Have you been gradually adopting the new terms of the New Apostolic Reformation?
2. Have you started speaking of advancing the “kingdom” instead of “advancing the Gospel”?
3. Have you been incorporating the spiritual vocabulary of the New Age movement into your speech?
4. Have you recently signed an oath, covenant, pledge or promise to an organization, church, group, cause, method, etc.?
5. Are you becoming convinced that that the Written Word isn't as effective as pictures or parables in conveying the Gospel message?
6. Have you integrated the terminology of pop-culture and psychology into your speech?
7. Have you begun to (or continued to) use slang, curses, minced oaths, etc. in normal conversation?
8. Have you begun using new Bible translations and paraphrases?
9. Is your language oriented around self – feelings, opinions, attitudes, beliefs?
10. Have you been incorporating the technical language of the business leadership experts into Christian vocabulary?

New Worldview/Paradigm
1. Have you become desensitizated to certain sins, practices, habits, customs, etc.? Do certain things no longer offend or bother you?
2. Have you been practicing tunnel vision with your discernment? Are you choosing to not look at all of the questionable facts or disturbing evidence about a ministry or leader?
3. Do you find that you are reluctant to examine roots or fruits?
4. Are you developing an apathy to the Scriptures?
5. Have you begun to believe that having the proper politico-religio worldview "advances" God's kingdom on earth?
6. Have you chosen the route of pragmatism: believing and practicing “the end justifies the means”?
7. Are you choosing to not obey God’s Word in an area of your life? Are you ignoring His commands? (James 4:17: "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.")
8. Have you left your first love (Rev. 2:4)? Is your heart still tender towards God and His Word?
9. Have you started to believe that man is basically good and just needs a little help with his unmet needs for self-esteem, significance, and self-actualization?
10. Are you engaging in collaboration and partnering ecumenically? Do you share the belief that Christians coming together in unity are empowered synergistically to build the kingdom of God on earth?

New Structure
1. Are you feeling pressured to perform or produce results in your Christian walk? Are you keeping too busy in church/mission/volunteer activities?
2. Are you developing a fondness for the seeker-friendly style church?
3. Are you still carrying your Bible to church?
4. Have you participated in prayer walking, meditation, spiritual formation, confronting the powers, ecumenical activities, marches, etc.?
5. Do you believe that God is "doing a new thing" that requires that the Church transform its structure for a five-fold ministry?
6. Have you discontinued your daily devotions in the Word of God?
7. Have you developed a fondness for very modern Christian rock music? Do you ever sing the old hymns?
8. Have you experienced a reluctance to leave a church gone bad?
9. Do you believe that Church can be integrated with with society, workplace or State?
10. Have you been involved in implementing cell groups?

New Mission/Vision
1. Do you find yourself believing that anything “spiritual” must be okay without exercising discernment?
2. Is it becoming easier for you to tolerate error?
3. Are you finding that it is more difficult to stand up under the pressure to conform to your church group -- new expectations, requirements, standards, etc.?
4. Have some of your former biblical convictions now become “preferences” which are negotiable and optional?
5. Have you been cultivating a lifestyle that easily adapts and accommodates to the changing culture, especially in acquiring new mores and embracing new fads?
6. Are you living hypocritically (worldly) and justifying it by “being all things to all people”?
7. Have you embraced the new teaching that one can become "saved" by moral or character transformation, independent of (or leading to) true spiritual regeneration?
8. Have you begun to believe (or practice) that one can envision, invoke, or declare spiritual (heavenly) things into reality?
9. Do you have a practice of carefully tending and caring for your bitter roots rather than repenting of them?
10. Have you begun to accept the idea that all Christians should become change-agents, culture-shapers, consensus-makers, and kingdom-leaders?

New Values
1. Are you beginning to tolerate “a little bit of leaven” because the rest of what the pastor/leader preaches/teaches is “so good”? Are you excusing the error?
2. Have you begun to tolerate “a little bit of leaven” because everything else that group, church, cause or organization does is “so good”? Are you rationalizing your involvement?
3. Have you been tolerating “a little bit of leaven” for financial, political, personal or social benefit? Are you profiting from being associated with compromise?
4. Are you seeking to avoid being called a “fundamentalist” at all costs? Do you run from that term? Do you have negative stereotypes about it?
5. Do you find that you are reluctant to obey all of Eph. 5:11?
6. Do you enjoy living as close to the edge of the “narrow way” as possible?
7. Have you joined with an organization, leader, mission, ideology, cause, political party, issue, or agenda that has "a little bit of leaven" because they "do such good things"?
8. Have you begun to believe that as Society evolves, our "understanding" of God’s Word evolves? That the Church is coming into a "new thing"?
9. Do you believe that “all truth is God’s truth”? Are you integrating secular and/or occult ideology and practices into Christianity? Have you become convinced that this is for a "greater" or "common" good?
10. Have you been tolerating "a little bit of leaven" because it "feels good" or "meets my needs"?

New Methods
1. Do you find that you prefer dialogue to engaging in debate?
2. Do you prefer to agree, rather than to disagree, even when a Scriptural principle is at stake?
3. Have you submitted to spiritual inventories, psychological tests or worldview assessments?
4. Are you vulnerable to peer pressure and group conformity (in contrast to Rom. 12:1-2)?
5. Do you engage in flattery, marketing techniques, statistical methods, psychological assessments, and other mechanisms of manipulating men?
6. Have you been engaging in facilitating, coaching, mentoring, or otherwise no longer engaging in didactic teaching?
7. Have you been working to find common ground, consensus, or dialogue with those of other faiths?
8. Do you believe in a holistic Gospel that can be contextualized to fit pagan or unchristian beliefs and practices?
9. Have you begun participating in mind-altering techniques such as guided imagery, meditation, yoga, labyrinths, vision-casting, drumming, etc.?
10. Have you participated in leadership training seminars or retreats which introduce secular, psychological, sociological and/or occultic practices and ideas?

New Doctrines
1. Do you still believe that the whole Bible is God’s Word?
2. Do you find yourself attracted to anything new – music, ideas, teachings, activities, books, methods, systems, authors, leaders, fads, etc.?
3. Does your personal walk conform to Scripture?
4. Are you finding it easier to justify compromising behavior?
5. Do you believe that the doctrine of Hell is no longer an important part of the Gospel message?
6. Do you believe that Christianity is coming into a new era with new understandings and that God is doing a new thing?
7. Have you developed a lackadaisical attitude about fundamentals of the faith and doctrine?
8. Are you acquiring help from sources outside of Scripture for answers to your life's problems?
9. Have you begun to believe that occult rituals or secular practices can be borrowed, "redeemed," and used by Christians?
10. Have you embraced the teaching that heavenly things can become manifest on earth by utilizing "spiritual" methods and activities?

The Truth:

"Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?
Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.
Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts."
(Proverbs 20:9,17,24; 21:2)