Friday, March 24, 2006

Worldview & Vision: Part 4: A Global Worldview

". . .[P]astors who regard their churches as expressions of the Kingdom of God, and their members as citizens therein, will prepare them to rule, both now and forever (Rev. 5:10). The saints in Heaven rejoiced to think of the saints on earth ruling in the name of King Jesus amid the affairs of men. To rule is to execute authority for the sake of establishing a particular order. Saints are to rule as vice-regents of Jesus, laboring to bring the righteousness, peace, and joy of the Holy Spirit to expression on earth, as it is in Heaven. . . ." [emphasis added]
[T.M. Moore, "Stewards of the Kingdom: Re-thinking the Image of the Church," BreakPoint, June 2005,]

The goal of shifting the Worldview of the people in the pews isn't just for local church transformation. The plan is to create a paradigm shift -- a massive change in Worldview -- across evangelicaldom. "Visioning" proves to be an effective vehicle to transform the church. The reason this method is so successful is because it first concentrates its attention on LEADERSHIP. As pastors and leaders are trained by the business gurus in this new methodology, they also get a good dose of NEW DOCTRINE.

Are You Being Manipulated?

T.M. Moore outlines five "Functions of Vision" in his article which we have been critiquing all week (see previous Herescope posts for citations). As you read this excerpted section of Moore's article below, note the focus on emotions, affections, hopes and motivations. This is how the people in the pews are being enticed into the Transformation process.

NOTE: The Transition stage leading to Transformation works diligently to create emotive responses from people. Transition is like a snake oil salesman -- it puts the words into your mind, "Yea, hath God said. . . " (Gen. 3:1). Transition is looking for your hot buttons, pet issues, senses, beliefs, opinions, desires, lusts -- any place where you are vulnerable, any doubts or fears, any hook where you can be enticed into participation. Transition will even appeal to a higher cause, a greater good, a wonderful idea, an excellent effort. But. . . the process of Transition will cajole you to make a move towards CHANGE. And Transition is always a MIXTURE of truth and error.

Moore writes:

"Functions of Vision

1. ". . . a clear and compelling statement of vision serves to create aspirations and hopes. That is, it holds out promises that the future will be different from the present in ways sufficiently desirable to motivate all concerned to whatever exertions will be necessary to achieve those aspirations and hopes. A vision thus engages the affections, creating emotional excitement and energy."

2. ". . . because a statement of vision describes a future scenario that creates hopes and aspirations for a group of people in a common venture or endeavor, it can also serve to create community, that is, to generate a shared sense purpose, shared values, common practices, and so forth."

3. " . . . a vision can generate energy -- intellectual, emotional, and physical -- toward the fulfillment of the organization's mission. When they are led by a clear and compelling vision, people can be motivated to work harder, work smarter, work longer, and make sacrifices they might not otherwise make."

4. " . . . a clear and compelling vision can serve to focus and coordinate effort. It is a means of creating organizational efficiency and effectiveness, of ensuring maximum use of resources and time, and of leading to better problem-solving. The statement of vision, with its reifying statement of mission, provides a framework and focal point for determining activities, allocating resources, marshaling effort, and coordinating activities."

5. " . . . a clear and compelling statement of vision allows the members of the endeavor to realize progress, thus providing a cumulative record of reinforcing results. Visions give rise to goals and objectives, which the organization pursues through its practices and operating system. Achieved goals, in turn, serve further to solidify the vision, strengthen the hopes and aspirations, firm up the practices, maximize the operating systems, and generate even bolder goals in pursuit of that which progress indicates is actually within reach." [all emphases above are added]

Moore concludes this section with a remarkable statement:

"Because statements of vision can perform so many useful functions, it would be irresponsible of evangelical church leaders not to be exercised about this concept." [emphasis added]

Think Globally -- Act Locally

What is this "Evangelical Vision"? It is a comprehensive, corporate vision about transforming the global church and all aspects of culture and society. Moore states:

"As individuals, and as a community, evangelicals are thus bearing witness to the belief that a truly evangelical vision must be as comprehensive as the evangel itself.

"A proper understanding of the Gospel requires that evangelicals address the question of vision according to a broad range of interests. These include the personal, communal, cultural, social, and historical dimensions of life, and require a statement of evangelical vision that describes reality as it is and as it is coming to be according to each of these categories. Such a vision will be necessarily eschatological and ascetic. That is, it will speak to realities personal, communal, cultural, social, and historical according to the broad parameters of the Kingdom of God as evangelicals understand that reality to have come, as well as according to what they believe it shall be when it is fully realized." [bold added in paragraphs above]

The final sentence in the paragraph above reveals the dominionist Worldview lurking behind this "Visioning" exercise. There are two key areas that dominionists have concentrated on: 1) eschatology (end-time scenarios) and 2) ecclesiology (definition of a church). Moore explains:

"Therefore, evangelical vision will be necessarily eschatological. It will provide a description of the life of faith and the community of believers in progressive and culminating terms. But such a vision will also be ascetic in that it will explain the various disciplines by which the progress of the Gospel, and of the kingdom of God, comes to be more fully realized in the present, and of the culminating state of all reality as it will be when that kingdom has fully come." [bold added]

"Finally, evangelical vision must be ecclesiastical. That is, it must be developed in, by, and for the work of building the Church of Christ. It must engage local pastors and lay leaders and engender in them renewed hope and vision for their own congregations. It must be capable of being translated into action at the local level, to lead churches in mission and in working for the advance of God's kingdom."

This new ecclesiastical structure is described in a companion article by Doug Banister, published in the same Spring 2004 issue of Findings, entitled "The New City Church: Renewing the Vision and Practice." [] Astute readers will recognize in this article the same ecclesiastical structure being promulgated by the New Apostolic Reformation leaders.

Finally, Moore's concluding remarks shed light on the rationale behind the recent partnership between Chuck Colson and Rick Warren to create a Global Worldview program:

"While many evangelicals are offering visions for various aspects of experience, it is the leaders of evangelical churches whom we should expect to have the most impact on the evangelical community as a whole. . . . As the vision these church leaders embrace comes to inform their preaching, guide the development of their ministries, and shape the direction of their churches, the evangelical community as a whole will be affected, more than by evangelical visionaries in any other discipline, and will enter into a future different from the present. Those who are working on the crisis of vision in evangelical churches must work hard to bring together visionaries from all disciplines to talk about how what God is showing them can help to revitalize local churches, inspire church members, and lead the evangelical out of his present morass into a new era of revival and renewal."

This is the top-down leadership rhetoric of the global futurists, many of whom are also business gurus. For over three decades they have been working on constructing alternative future scenarios. The New Age futurists -- who may be these "visionaries from all disciplines" that Moore references -- have their own version of the future and it is not traditional biblical eschatology.

The Truth:

"All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:8-9)

". . .[T]here are many things in the world troublesome and vexatious to men's senses and minds, so even those things which are comfortable and acceptable to them are not satisfactory, but men are constantly desiring some longer continuance or fuller enjoyment of them, or variety in them, and they never say, It is enough. I desire no more."

"There is nothing in the world but a continued and tiresome repetition of the same things. The nature and course of the beings and affairs of this world, and the tempers of men's minds, are generally the same that they ever were and shall ever be; and therefore because no man ever yet received satisfaction from any worldly things, it is a vain and foolish thing for any person hereafter to expect it." (A Commentary on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole, Vol. 2, p. 280)