More Militant Rhetoric
In a recent article in Christianity Today (7/10/06) entitled "The Lure of Theocracy," Philip Yancey discussed a few fundamental differences between Christianity and Islam, and noted Islam's theocratic culture. At the conclusion of his brief article he posed an interesting warning:
"Hearing firsthand about Islamic culture increased my understanding, but it also made me nervous about my own society. The very things we resist in Islam, some Christians find tempting. We, too, seek political power and a legal code that reflects revealed morality. We, too, share a concern about raising our children in a climate of moral decadence. We, too, tend to see others (including Muslims) as a stereotyped community, rather than as individuals. Will we turn toward our own version of the harsh fundamentalism sweeping Islan today?" [emphasis added]
Despite this analytical and astute observation, Christianity Today and other evangelical media seem oblivious to the new forms of extremism coming out of the New Apostolic Reformation. Regardless of the many possible reasons for avoiding exposing the fanatic fringes of neoevangelicalism, there is no excuse for ignoring the rapid increase of militant rhetoric.
Yesterday's Herescope post is a chilling example of this very point. Today's post contains a few more examples.
In 2001 Chuck Pierce announced a "seven-year war season" for the church. He recently wrote,
"We are now in the 5th year of this seven-year season.… We have two more years of intense conflict with old cycles….
"The next Hebrew year that we will enter in October 2006 will be the Year of the SWORD. Violent worship must become even more violent. We, a people of God, will take the earth by force. Violent worship overcomes violence in the natural because the atmosphere around us changes. The Dichotomy of GOOD and EVIL will be defined in a new way over the next several months.
"Heaven and Earth are aligning. New councils of rulership are being formed in the earth. These councils are developing strategies to bring in the Harvest. These councils will know how to decree a thing and watch it happen. That is why decrees about the transfer of wealth are so important. …" [emphases in original]
Rick Joyner recently (6/27/06) wrote "The Warrior Nation--The New Sound of The Church," in which he said that "the sound of the trumpet is now being heard, and the gathering of the last-day army is now taking place." He describes believers as "freedom fighters," and of the church he states:
"…as the church begins to take on this resolve, they will start to be thought of more as military bases, and they will begin to take on the characteristics of military bases for training, equipping, and deploying effective spiritual forces. In time, the church will actually be organized more as a military force with an army, navy, air force, etc. These, too, will all learn to function together in harmony, protecting one another and helping each other exploit opportunities. Like these, we will begin to organize more around function and purpose, than the doctrinal emphases that now often characterize movements and groups within the church." [emphasis added]
Note the disparagement of doctrine in that last sentence. Continuing on this theme, Joyner then describes the "Transition" of the church:
"Leaders are starting to gather around common purpose and function, rather than just doctrinal emphases. As this happens, doctrines that once seemed to conflict with each other will begin to be seen as complementary. For those who keep the higher purpose of the Kingdom in their hearts and motives, this transition will be easy." [emphasis added]
And in a more ominous note, Joyner adds, "For others, it will not be quite as easy, but it will be done.…"
Jill Austin of Master Potter Ministries, one of the female leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation, is sponsoring a conference in San Diego on August 2-5 called "Sword of the Lord" conference. For traditionally-minded Christians who think of the two-edged sword of Hebrews 4:12, this conference is not about the Word of God. Rather, this conference is described as "a governmental call to holy war." The conference promotion claims that Jesus is:
"releasing a living SWORD… to mobilize and activate the troops of the Lord to move not only inside but outside the walls of the church into every arena of life.
"This is a governmental gathering of the troops. We're asking God for open heavens and visitations to give new marching orders and awaken destinies for such a time as this. Officers in the Lord's armies, come forth and legislate from the councils of God as Heaven invades earth.…"
"The Kingdom of God is taken with passionate violence - radical lovers of the Lord! The rumbling of the flaming chariots of fire and war horses are breaking through the heavens in this hour of war. The ancient angels of the most High God are advancing as the Lion of Judah roars! Come reignite your heart with fresh fire!" [emphases added]
Perhaps if Philip Yancey is concerned about the theocratic culture within Christianity, he should spend more time investigating, exposing and condemning the rapid rise in venomous doctrines and militant rhetoric coming out of the upper ranks of neoevangelicalism.
It is obvious from the quotations above that the only way to "transition" the church to this new "hour of war" -- whatever that may portend -- can only be accomplished by a restructuring of doctrine.
"But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;… For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;" (2 Timothy 3:14; 4:3a)