Friday, December 29, 2006

A Back-Channel for P.E.A.C.E.

“I'm always happy to be a back channel for peace.”
Rick Warren, CNN, 12/15/06 [emphasis added]

“I will go anywhere in the world if I'm allowed to preach the gospel without hindrance. I'd go to Iran; I'd go to Syria; I'd go to North Korea. A lot of the criticisms have come from people who politicize the Christian faith. To them, politics is more important than winning people to Christ. In fact, I think one of the greatest damages to the church in the last 20 years has been the politicization of the church. I'm also tired of the church being known simply as a political tool and being co-opted by politicians.”
Rick Warren interview in Christianity Today, 12/27/06 [emphasis added]

This is curious. This terminology “back channel” isn’t something that people use in their everyday conversation. What does it mean when Rick Warren says he is a “back channel for peace”?

To answer this question start out at Wikipedia and look up the term back-channel. This term has specialized meanings in telecommunications, linguistics, diplomacy and business. The latter two meanings seem to be most relevant to Rick Warren’s usage of the term:

“In Diplomacy: A back channel in the language of diplomacy is an unofficial channel of communication between states or other political entities, used to supplement official channels, often for the purposes of discussing highly sensitive policy issues. See also Track II diplomacy.”

“In Business: In business, back-channeling is an inappropriate organizational practice that involves bypassing recognized or official communication processes, usually by sharing information anonymously up the reporting structure at least two levels, in order to create vulnerability at the level(s) skipped. It is a means by which lower-level members can manipulate perceived power differentials with a superior through a more senior accommodating manager in the organization. It is generally considered unethical and unhealthy for relationships within the organization.”

Why would Warren be seemingly working in secret when Jesus calls Christians to openly declare His Gospel?

Another definition comes from

Back channel - an alternative to the regular channels of communication that is used when agreements must be made secretly (especially in diplomacy or government); ‘they negotiated via a back channel.’”

This term “back channel” – most often associated with international diplomatic missions – raises some perplexing questions about precisely what Rick Warren was recently doing in Syria, what he was supposed to do in North Korea, and, of course, what he is currently doing in Africa with his Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan. Whatever does this "back-channeling" have to do with the spread of the Gospel message of salvation in Jesus Christ? It is notable that Rick Warren characteristically refrains from presenting the Gospel message of salvation in his public appearances, other than perhaps a brief passing nod to it.

Perhaps relevant to this inquiry, note the transformation of the letter “P” in the acronym for P.E.A.C.E. Originally the term meant “Plant churches” – a solidly evangelistic idea that traditionally has to do with the spread of the Gospel message. But that letter soon began to have the additional meaning of “Partner with congregations.” Then it was expanded to the idea of partnering with other entities. Finally, a new meaning of the "P" in P.E.A.C.E. came out on the Fox channel’s Saddleback Christmas Eve service: “Provide hope.” This change may also reflect Rick Warren's emerging new role as an international ambassador for "peace."

Track II Diplomacy for P.E.A.C.E.?

To answer the questions about back-channeling requires following the links. Back channeling is connected to the idea of Track II diplomacy. According to Wikipedia:

“Track II diplomacy is a specific kind of informal diplomacy, in which non-officials (academic scholars, retired civil and military officials, public figures, and social activists) engage in dialogue, with the aim of conflict resolution, or confidence-building.[1] This sort of diplomacy is especially useful after events which can be interpreted in a number of different ways, both parties recognize this fact, and neither side wants to escalate or involve third parties for fear of the situation spiraling out of control. For example, a Chinese general recently commented that atomic bombs are not out of the question if the PRC and the United States should engage in low-level conflict over the Taiwan question. If the US immediately responded with heavy press coverage and speeches by major officials, the PRC would then be forced to take either of two stances: (1) admission that the general was incorrect, which would inflame the Chinese population and cause grassroots ire and anti-American feeling, or (2) claim that the general was correct, which would be deterimental to world peace and diplomatic relations. Instead, the US would engage in Track II diplomacy to try to understand whether the initial threat was as serious as it seemed to be. Dialogue would be deliberately invited in order to determine the stance of the PRC without creating a confrontational atmosphere.

“Although Track II diplomacy may seem less important than Track I (the work of actual diplomats at their embassies), it is many times far more important. Indeed its informal nature often reflects the fact that the issues in question are of deadly seriousness. In the above situation, the United States would at least ask that the other side clearly demonstrate their understanding that they were the ones to make the initial threat, even if no apology was eventually deemed necessary by either side.”

This definition raises many questions about the emerging new role of Rick Warren as a “back channel for peace” in world affairs. To do further research on Track II diplomacy follow the links. Follow the link at the bottom of the Track II diplomacy Wikipedia definition to: "Track II (Citizen) Diplomacy" posted at The Beyond Intractability Knowledge Base Project. There one can learn the answers to the question: “Who are Track Two Intermediaries and Diplomats?" This article should be read in its entirety, including its many interesting links. Below are a few key excerpts:

“The term ‘intermediary’ refers to people who become involved ‘in the middle’ of a conflict. They are not disputants, but rather people who try to work with the disputants to resolve the conflict or transform it to make it less destructive.…

“At the inter-group or international level, the term encompasses a number of different terms: ‘track two diplomacy,’ citizen diplomacy, ‘multi-track diplomacy’" supplemental diplomacy, pre-negotiation, consultation, interactive conflict resolution, back-channel diplomacy, facilitated joint brainstorming, coexistence work. While differing in emphasis, agenda, and theoretical approach, these initiatives share many common goals. They attempt to provide an environment that is low-key, non-judgmental, non-coercive, and safe, and to create a process in which participants feel free to share perceptions, fears and needs, and to explore ideas for resolution, free of the constraints of government positions. The process is designed to encourage the development of mutual understanding of differing perceptions and needs, the creation of new ideas, and strong problem-solving relationships.

“Normally, informal intermediaries are non-governmental actors, such as religious institutions, academics, former government officials, non-governmental organizations, humanitarian organizations, and think tanks, among others.…” [emphasis added]

This article further goes on to describe the functions of these “Informal Intermediaries” in the role of global peace. Note the graphic diagram in this article. It is fairly easy to place Rick Warren’s recent trip to Syria in this Track II diplomacy context. Particularly note the references to the international “peace” process. The focus here is on building relationships between two warring parties. This goal may seem commendable on the surface, but dig deeper into the articles on this website and one begins to learn some disturbing information about how this “peace” process is conducted. These descriptions place Track II diplomacy solidly in the arena of conflict resolution, common ground and the dialectic process.

Note the emphasis below on the assessment process to ensure that attitudes and relationships have been changed.

Contributions of Unofficial Interventions
Assessing the impact of unofficial intermediation in intractable conflicts is difficult. These initiatives are generally not designed to achieve the goals of traditional diplomacy; they are not designed to produce agreements, nor to affect major shifts in policy in the short term. Rather, they seek to affect more intangible factors of intractability, such as attitudes and relationships that are more difficult to measure, and whose contribution to change in the broader conflict environment is difficult to assess. Even when the impact of the interventions on participants' attitudes and relationships can be measured, the significance of these ‘micro’ level achievements for the larger conflict resolution process is often not clear.”…

Changed Perceptions of the Conflict

“Unofficial intermediation also addresses the psychological and social dimensions of the conflict. Participants identify underlying needs, values, and interests that are compatible and that can form the basis for a new definition of a common problem that the two sides share an interest in solving. As a result of deeper understanding of the other side's needs, they also develop a greater openness to abandoning previous non-negotiable positions.” [emphasis under subheadings added]

This “peace” process entails strengthening the voices of moderates” and, at the same time, building “social networks” as an “infrastructure for peace.” In this context, it becomes necessary to ameliorate the extremes. And, according to some definitions, fundamentalist Christians could be considered to be extremists. There is a link to an article “Dealing With Extremists” which raises some deeply disturbing issues. It should also be read in its entirety. Again, notice the emphasis on beliefs and attitudes:

Defining Extremism

“Extremism is a complex phenomenon, although its complexity is often hard to see. Most simply, it can be defined as activities (beliefs, attitudes, feelings, actions, strategies) of a person or group far removed from the ordinary.” [emphasis added]

Particularly note that those who hold end-time eschatological views are considered to be “extremists.” Note also that “extremists” are considered to be mentally ill:

“Extremism emerges from apocalyptic, eschatological (end-of-life) ideologies. Extremist activities are often committed and valued because they are consistent with broader myths or systems of meaning.…

“Extremism is a pathological illness. This perspective views extremism as a disease and a way of life where people look to violence to provide a feeling of aliveness. Greun (2003) writes, ‘The lack of identity associated with extremists is the result of self-destructive self-hatred that leads to feelings of revenge toward life itself, and a compulsion to kill one's own humanness.’[2] Thus extremism is seen as not a tactic, nor an ideology, but as a pathological illness, which feeds on the destruction of life.” [emphasis under subheadings added]

Notice also that those holding “extreme” beliefs are characterized as potentially violent. There is no provision for Christians who hold to fundamental beliefs, who non-violently (i.e., with non-resistance) peaceably live out their faith in conscience and conviction (“non-negotiables”).

Of relevance to this discussion is the section of this article that describes how to deal with extremists. These are strategies that many will recognize in the microcosm of problems they experienced while in purpose-driven churches. These strategies include: elimination, divide and conquer, isolation, intergroup cooperation against extremism, expanding the middle, covert negotiation chains, contradictory strategies, intragroup work, overt engagement, and Peace building.

That last link to Peace-building is also an interesting article. Perhaps readers will draw some further parallels. In these contexts, Rick Warren’s Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan begins to plug it into the notches of “back-channeling” and “Track II diplomacy” to the point where there are some exact fits. Perhaps all of this clarifies the new role of the churches as a “distribution network” across the globe. It may also provide a few answers to the many questions raised about what he was doing in Syria. This is not what evangelical Christianity has been about -- that is up until now. Despite Rick Warren's protestations in the second opening quotation about how the church shouldn't be a "political tool," this activity is "politicization" on a global scale.

This isn't about evangelism.

The Truth:

"Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:26-28)

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Social Gospel 7.0

“I’m always willing to be a back channel for peace.”
[Rick Warren, CNN, 12/15/06)

International peace must become an aspiration, a religion, before it will become a reality.”
[Samuel Z. Batten,
The New World Order (1919)]

The CFR and the Social Gospel: Part 4

The concept of “peace” was re-defined so that it contained the added meaning of an international new world order by the architects of the United Nations, many of whom were leaders in the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). John Foster Dulles led the way in this effort, writing a concept paper entitled “The Problem of Peace in a Dynamic World” presented to the World Conference of Life and Work at Oxford in 1937.

According to historian and theologian Dr. Martin Erdmann in his landmark book Building the Kingdom of God on Earth (Wipf & Stock, 2005), Dulles foresaw the pivotal role that churches could play in creating a spiritual ethic of world peace. And the Oxford Conference would be a watershed event:

“…[T]he meeting which ensued marked the beginning of a remarkable collaboration in the ecumenical movement. [John Foster Dulles] aspired to capture the imagination of the Christian public with a grand ideal, transcending narrow-minded national self-interest, the ideal of a unified world society living in peace and justice. To educate the churches, and through them society at large, about international co-operation was seen… as the primary antidote of war.

“…Dulles idealized the Christian Church as an exemplary community which had demonstrated the ability to transcend the limitations of the nation state….” (p. 84-85

“…Dulles… stated that he looked to Church leaders in particular to guide the world into a peaceful future.” (p. 86)

“…[H]e challenged a new generation of pastors to guide their future congregations into the unfamiliar terrain of a new world order as the only sure hope of peace.” (p. 88) [emphases added]

These CFR leaders contrived to manipulate a new Christian ethic and era of “peace” by creating a new doctrinal ideal – that of building the kingdom of God on earth. This doctrine would serve as the foundation upon which international peace could be built.

Philip Kerr (Lord Lothian), one of the original Round Table Group (from which emanated the Council on Foreign Relations), also presented a paper at the Oxford Conference – “The Demonic Influence of National Sovereignty and the World of Nations” - which called for the creation of a world federation for peace. Dr. Erdmann observed:

“In the final section of his paper, Kerr outlined the specific role of the churches in facilitating the ‘federation of nations into a single world commonwealth’.… Christianity would provide humankind with a common loyalty, not to a political entity, but to God.… In conclusion, Kerr encouraged the Christian churches to build the Kingdom of God on earth.” (p. 111) [emphasis added]

40 Days of P.E.A.C.E.

The new Social Gospel of P.E.A.C.E. is set to go into high gear in the coming year. In an interview with CNN, “The Situation Room,” which aired on December 15, 2006, Rick Warren stated that he was a “back channel for peace.” The context of these remarks was international relations.

“MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, as you said Rick Warren wrote ‘The Purpose-Driven Life,’ and his messages from that book are part of his ministry teachings around the globe. Some say Warren’s influence is not only growing, but changing the relationship between evangelicals and the right.…

“SNOW (voice over): Pastor Rick Warren’s latest mission brought him to Washington for the White House summit on malaria. Wiping out pandemic diseases has become one of the cornerstones of the lessons he preaches. Lessons that have made him one of the most influential pastors in America.

“E.J. DIONNE, THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: I think what you're seeing with Rick Warren is almost a new version, a 2006 version, of Billy Graham.

"SNOW: But unlike Graham, who's always seen in suits, Warren is often dressed in Hawaiian shirts ….

“He's taken his message around the globe, even traveling to controversial countries like Syria. This past summer he tried unsuccessfully to enter North Korea.

“PASTOR RICK WARREN, AUTHOR, 'THE PURPOSE-DRIVEN LIFE': I'm always happy to be a back channel for peace.” [emphasis added]

Rick Warren's Social Gospel of P.E.A.C.E. is elaborated on in a Christianity Today article, "Rick Warren to Share Meaning of Christmas with 800,000 US Troops Worldwide: Pastor Rick Warren of 'Purpose Driven' fame is to broadcast his Christmas message with 800,000 US troops stationed across 177 countries with the help of the Armed Services Television Network," by Maria Mackay. In this article, Rick Warren unveils a new rendition of an old Bible verse:

"Christmas is the celebration of an invasion when God came to earth 2,000 years ago, and the world has never been the same since," said Pastor Warren. "It is a time for celebration – 'don't be afraid for I bring you good news of great joy;' salvation – 'for unto you is born a Saviour;' and reconciliation – ‘peace on earth, good will toward men.'

“‘Christmas is also a time of coming together, and we need reconciliation in so many areas – in families, in communities and between nations,’ added Pastor Warren. ‘Many times when families get together over the holidays, there is a lot of brokenness, dysfunction, hurt and heartache. That's why this message of reconciliation, – peace with God, of God and with each other – is one that will ring true in a lot of hearts.’”

This is a new twist to the old Social Gospel message of “peace on earth.” In this new version is included the psychobabble element of “reconciliation” which is applied not only interpersonally but to the concept of international peace.

A generation ago in the evangelical churches a bad memory lingered of the old mainline demoninational churches and the Social Gospel. In fact, many evangelicals left these churches because the Bible was no longer being taught. But the Social Gospel of neo-evangelicalism today is an updated version. This new Social Gospel is more sophisticated. It includes more biblical-sounding terminology, a nod to evangelism (albeit an incomplete Gospel message), and a warm-fuzzy approach using the latest tricks of marketing and psycho-social methodologies. It sounds kinder/gentler -- more compassionate.

The new Social Gospel also includes all the elements of the old Social Gospel, many of which are mentioned in parts 1-3 of this series. And it particularly contains elements of dominionism the same old CFR-inspired idea that the church can build the Kingdom of God on earth.

This new/old Social Gospel concept of “peace” isn’t going to go away. In fact, the evangelical push for a new Social Gospel of peace is only beginning. In an article posted today at Christianity Today article, entitled “Three Purposes of Christmas: Saddleback's Warren to address global audience over holiday weekend,” Timothy C. Morgan asked Rick Warren the following question: What is on your ministry horizon?" to which Warren responded:

“Saddleback is going to be doing this fall: 40 Days of Vision. I'm taking The Purpose-Driven Church, and I'm going back into writing mode on January 1. I'm going to revise that book, including what have I learned in the past 11 years. I wrote that in 1995. I wrote the first book for pastors. This one I'm going to write for every Christian. What is my role in the church, because I'm committed to the local church. What is my role, and what is God's purpose for me in my local church? I'm going to put it in the 40-day format. The next wave is going to be huge, and it's going to be next fall. The fourth one is 40 Days of Peace. That's moving people into the last campaign, which is deployment.” [emphasis added]

The Truth:

The only way to counter the Social Gospel message of peace/P.E.A.C.E. is to become familiar with what the Word of God says about peace. Using a concordance look up the biblical meanings of this word, particularly in the New Testament. You may appreciate the Old Gospel meaning of “peace” in the words to the hymn “Peace, Perfect Peace.”

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee." (Isaiah 26:3)

"To give knowledge of Salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins, Through the tender Mercy of our God; whereby the Dayspring from on high has visited us, To give light to them who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." (Luke 1:77-79)

"Therefore being Justified by Faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:" (Romans 5:1)

"And, having made peace through the Blood of His Cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in Heaven. And you, who were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now has He reconciled In the body of His flesh through death, to present you Holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight." (Colossians 2:20-22)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Collectively Bearing the Sins of the World

The CFR and the Social Gospel: Part 3

“We may legitimately expect that the collective mind of the nation will be equal to the intellectual and administrative tasks involved, especially under the stress of critical social conditions, if the moral qualities required are in sufficient power. What our people lack is neither material resources nor technical skills – these we have in abundance – but a dedication to the common good, a courage and an unselfishness greater than are now manifest in American life. The tasks are beyond us and their accomplishment will be indefinitely delayed or frustrated, unless there be a nationwide spiritual awakening which has social gains. Our supreme social need is spiritual awakening. In our extremity arising out of harrowing social conditions throughout the world, we therefore turn anew to Christ; for the faith of great endeavour, for an overwhelming disclosure of God in the life of humanity, for the dedication of innumerable individuals to the creation of a more Christian social order, and for the assurance that what needs to be done, with God’s help can be done.”
[The Social Creed of 1932, Federal Council of Churches, Federal Council Bulletin 16, No. 1 (January 1933), New York, 9. Emphases added. Cited in Building the Kingdom of God on Earth, Martin Erdmann (Wipf & Stock, 2005), p. 182]

“We believe that we see the goal and we believe that men can get hold of that power to move on to that goal. That goal is the Kingdom of God on earth. The Kingdom of God is a new order standing at the door of the lower order. The higher order, founded on love, justice, goodwill, brotherhood and redemption, stands confronting this lower order founded on selfishness, exploitation, unbrotherliness, with its resultant clash and conclusions… it [the higher order] will finally replace this lower order, for it is God’s order. We shall present Christ as the open door to that era. We shall unfold the possibilities of that era both within the individual and the collective will."
[E. Stanley Jones, Federal Council of Churches, Federal Council Bulletin 19, No. 8 (October 1936), New York, 5. Emphases added. Cited in Erdmann, ibid, p. 183)

The leaders of the original Social Gospel movement realized that several things were important to pull off the “building the kingdom of God on earth” scam. They recognized that they needed to create a sense of corporate guilt – a collective sense of responsibility for the ills of mankind. This often had a strong emotive component designed to tug at heart strings. They also borrowed from the politico-socio-psycho techniques of collectivism, substituting a group conscience for individual conviction. As much as it was important to turn on the heart, it was also equally necessary to turn off the brain. Serious thinking was substituted by slogans, formulas and social action. Raising penetrating questions about the nature of this collective guilt and/or the proposed solutions was viewed with suspicion – it was seen as a hallmark of selfishness and separateness. Redemption was accomplished by fixing the sins of Society.

Writing about Walter Rauschenbusch, considered by many to be the father of the Social Gospel movement, one historian remarked:

“In writing his last book [A Theology for The Social Gospel in 1917, ed.] Professor Rauschenbusch made a final effort to commit Christians to the social gospel.… Yet the social gospel… was not…secure…. Rauschenbusch, however, was no more of an optimist than he was a millenarian; nor was he even remotely a pessimist. Rather he was a man of sufficient faith to have hope – faith in the religious power of man, hope for his social redemption. What was needed, he declared, was a theology which would advance beyond the old doctrine of the sin of Adam’s fall and of individual men to encourage a recognition of and repentance for the sins of society.” [emphasis added]

CFR leader John Foster Dulles argued in his book War, Peace and Change (1939) that there was a need to overcome man’s basic human selfishness. His proposed solution was sociological, not theological. He suggested an ethical transformation that could take place on the small-group level that would emphasize interrelatedness and interdependence. He believed this process would eventually destroy isolationism and extreme nationalism and create an international mindset. According to historian and theologian Dr. Erdmann, who chronicled the role of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in setting up the original Social Gospel movement, John Foster Dulles had observed how easily humans could be psychologically manipulated by groups into receptivity to new ethical solutions:

“In only a small segment of our lives are our acts dictated by reason. In the main we act unthinkingly under the impulses of emotional and physical desires or in accordance with tradition or the customs of the social group of which we happen to form a part.” (War, Peace and Change, p. 52, cited in Erdmann, Building the Kingdom of God on Earth, p. 202 [emphasis added])

How to Enhance Collective Blame

The current AIDS push by Rick Warren, through the vehicle of his Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan is an example of the New Social Gospel. It includes the same ingredients as the original Social Gospel movement – corporate blame, collective guilt, communal responsibility and redemption via social action. And it is built upon an updated, more sophisticated edifice of small group dynamics. What follows are some key examples of how this process works:

1. TAKE THE TEST: To break down natural barriers of inhibitions, everyone is being asked to take an HIV/AIDS test. In fact, it may be a “rite of passage” – a requirement before any volunteer work can begin. This is a cognitive dissonance-producing, “guilty until proven innocent” exercise which may trouble faithful and pure Christians. But one of its purposes is so that everyone can personally experience the collective shame and guilt.

“Rick Warren welcomes Obama, Brownback to Saddleback’s AIDS summit By Kelli Cottrell, 12/4/06

“Kay Warren explained the steps that churches and other organizations can take to crawl, walk and run in their ministry to HIV victims.

“A crawl step would be to send cards to HIV patients, she explained. A walk step would be to start an HIV/AIDS support group and a run step would be to have testing on your campus or go as a group together and take the test.

“’When the church is involved, we have hope,’ Kay Warren said. ‘We grieve for those who have died, but we have hope.’” [emphasis added]

2. EMPHASIZE COMPASSION: A kinder-gentler aura is produced by propping up sweet-sounding women like Kay Warren, or in the case of the recent White House Summit On Malaria, Laura Bush. Emphasizing compassion also acts as a decoy, helping to ensure that nobody asks the hard questions about money streams, power structures, partnerships, hidden agendas, etc. An interview with the Rick and Kay Warren from Family Life Today exemplifies this tactic:

“Seeing the AIDS Crisis Through God's Eyes,” 12/07/06

Kay: Oh, at the International AIDS Conference in Toronto this year, the closing session had a very dynamic speaker who went through and listed all the different takeaways of this five-day conference, and as he was listing them, people were standing up and cheering and shouting as their different ones that they really related to, and it was interesting to me – it caught my attention really early on, is he had these 15 things he was listing. So I started keeping score, if you will, on my piece of paper, an applause meter. I wanted to see what people were reacting to the most enthusiastically.

“And so issues about women and gender violence and how that was affecting the AIDS pandemic – people were standing up and cheering, and women having rights over their bodies, people standing up and cheering, and then the next one of the points was, "and children with HIV," and the applause kind of got to a medium level, and he talked about orphans that were left abandoned and alone, and there was silence in the room – silence.

Rick: Nobody clapped.

Kay: Nobody clapped. And then he moved on to other things, and the applause built again to this thunderous applause at the end where he again spoke about women.

“And my friend and I who were there, looked at each other. She broke into tears, and I sat there with my mouth open, stunned, and we just looked at each other and said, ‘They don't care. They don't care. How can they not care?

“It's shocking, it's stunning, when children and orphans are on your radar screen. They truly are the most vulnerable – the most vulnerable person on the planet – it is a girl child. Children, as a class, are the most vulnerable, and then you move it to girl children – they are the most vulnerable to abuse, to exploitation, and to HIV.

Dennis: And the thing that excites me about what you two are doing is – and we're doing the same thing – is you're calling the church to step up and do something that is so clear biblically.” [emphasis added]

3. CREATE A FALSE DICHOTOMY: In the quote below one can read that “mission-minded disciples” are becoming “world-class Christians.” Any opposition to this is portrayed as “selfishness.” This approach is virtually a re-hash of the Social Gospel tactics described in the quotes at the beginning of today’s post.

"Purpose Driven in Rwanda: Rick Warren’s sweeping plan to defeat poverty” by Timothy C. Morgan in Kigali, Rwanda 09/23/05

“Warren hopes to enlist 1 billion individuals through their congregations and small groups for mission projects. This mobilization of church and small-group members will walk them through three steps: personal PEACE, local PEACE, and global PEACE.…

“Once an individual church adopts the Purpose Driven model, there are many more moves to make. They describe those steps as moving around a baseball diamond. The goal is mission-minded disciples. Warren says, ‘You can't get the church to jump from total selfishness, where they want all the sermons about 'How do I avoid stress,' to caring about Angola.’

“’How do you get them to become a world-class Christian?’” [emphasis added]

4. EMPHASIZE THE COLLECTIVE: Peter Drucker, Rick Warren’s business-guru mentor, discussed his 3-legged stool concept of Society at a Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Non-Profit Management conference held in 2000. In Drucker’s model, “separateness” is the sin which must be repented of for the sake of community and partnerships.

WISDOM FROM PETER DRUCKER...his four greatest lessons and going beyond the walls,” EXPLORER...field notes for the emerging church, Leadership Network No. 23, 11/6/06

"Another thing I heard is a way to talk to church people. They still see themselves as a separate island, and so do the universities. Only now are they beginning to say, 'We are a part of the community.' We are all elements of society beyond the walls. We are doing the social job and everyone has a stake...the government and the individual. We need partnerships and they are a two way street.’

"The last thing was nothing new but also overwhelming. Despite the diversity of values and purpose, we have something in common. The nonprofit is not what we have in common, but that we lead with community and that is foundational to society. This is different from ten years ago and accepted not only on the nonprofit side but the profit side as well."

5. RESTRUCTURE THE CHURCH: The early Social Gospel proponents had strong ties with Communism and Socialism and they emphasized restructuring Society into a collective model (see previous post). The New Social Gospel proponents also borrow from the communist cell model, revamping it into modern small groups. But the purposes remain the same. The following article is very illuminating on this topic.

The Cellular Church: Letter From Saddleback: How Rick Warren built his ministry,” by Malcolm Gladwell, New Yorker, 9/12/05

“Churches, like any large voluntary organization, have at their core a contradiction. In order to attract newcomers, they must have low barriers to entry. They must be unintimidating, friendly, and compatible with the culture they are a part of. In order to retain their membership, however, they need to have an identity distinct from that culture. They need to give their followers a sense of community—and community, exclusivity, a distinct identity are all, inevitably, casualties of growth. As an economist would say, the bigger an organization becomes, the greater a free-rider problem it has. If I go to a church with five hundred members, in a magnificent cathedral, with spectacular services and music, why should I volunteer or donate any substantial share of my money? What kind of peer pressure is there in a congregation that large? If the barriers to entry become too low—and the ties among members become increasingly tenuous—then a church as it grows bigger becomes weaker.

“One solution to the problem is simply not to grow, and, historically, churches have sacrificed size for community. But there is another approach: to create a church out of a network of lots of little church cells—exclusive, tightly knit groups of six or seven who meet in one another's homes during the week to worship and pray. The small group as an instrument of community is initially how Communism spread, and in the postwar years Alcoholics Anonymous and its twelve-step progeny perfected the small-group technique. The small group did not have a designated leader who stood at the front of the room. Members sat in a circle. The focus was on discussion and interaction—not one person teaching and the others listening—and the remarkable thing about these groups was their power. An alcoholic could lose his job and his family, he could be hospitalized, he could be warned by half a dozen doctors—and go on drinking. But put him in a room of his peers once a week—make him share the burdens of others and have his burdens shared by others—and he could do something that once seemed impossible.

“When churches—in particular, the megachurches that became the engine of the evangelical movement, in the nineteen-seventies and eighties—began to adopt the cellular model, they found out the same thing. The small group was an extraordinary vehicle of commitment. It was personal and flexible. It cost nothing. It was convenient, and every worshipper was able to find a small group that precisely matched his or her interests. Today, at least forty million Americans are in a religiously based small group, and the growing ranks of small-group membership have caused a profound shift in the nature of the American religious experience.…

“In the past twenty years, as the enthusiasm for publicly supported welfare has waned, churches have quietly and steadily stepped in to fill the gaps. And who are the churchgoers donating all that time and money? People in small groups. Membership in a small group is a better predictor of whether people volunteer or give money than how often they attend church, whether they pray, whether they've had a deep religious experience, or whether they were raised in a Christian home. Social action is not a consequence of belief, in other words. I don't give because I believe in religious charity. I give because I belong to a social structure that enforces an ethic of giving. ‘Small groups are networks,’ the Princeton sociologist Robert Wuthnow, who has studied the phenomenon closely, says. ‘They create bonds among people. Expose people to needs, provide opportunities for volunteering, and put people in harm's way of being asked to volunteer. That's not to say that being there for worship is not important. But, even in earlier research, I was finding that if people say all the right things about being a believer but aren't involved in some kind of physical social setting that generates interaction, they are just not as likely to volunteer.’ [emphasis added]

The Truth:

The Social Gospel always seeks to replace the biblical Gospel message. It de-emphasizes God’s Word. And, as has been shown in the past three posts, the Social Gospel has an insidious agenda that runs contrary to biblical Christianity.

When you oppose the Social Gospel you will be attacked with the “false dichotomy” tactic for supposedly lacking compassion or charity. You will be told that you are selfish.

But true Christian acts of charity and compassion are always accompanied by the saving Gospel message. And the Gospel message is a proclamation of liberty from sin and guilt. It gives light to those in spiritual darkness.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” (Luke 4:18)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Emergent Social Gospel

The CFR and the Social Gospel: Part 2

In a recent radio interview posted at , "Seeing the AIDS Crisis Through God's Eyes," Rick Warren answered a question about the Social Gospel:

Let me ask all three of you – there are some who would look at this emphasis and say, 'You know, 50, 60 years ago, the church got distracted with what became known as
the 'social gospel,' and forgot evangelism, forgot the spiritual needs of people. Are we in danger of doing that again?

"Rick: No, we're not in danger of doing that, and I think that's a great question, though. It was even earlier than that, at the beginning of the 20th century, Protestantism split into two wings, and there were certain theologians who came out that said, 'We don't have to worry about redemption anymore. We don't have to worry about the cross and the atonement and personal salvation. What we need to do is redeem the social structures of society' and, basically, all it was was Marxism in Christian clothing. That's really what it was.

"Well, what happened is the liberals took the social justice issues – racism, injustice, poverty, things like that – and the conservatives, Bible believers, took the personal issues of morality – family, homosexuality, personal morality, and salvation.

"Well, who was right?
I actually happen to believe they're both right – that Jesus cared about both the body and society. He cared about the spirit. He wanted people saved, but He also wanted us to act different in society. And, honestly, I would love to see a new reformation that brings those two back together that says, 'Jesus cares about the poor, the sick, the lame, the hurting' – He clearly did – the orphans, the widows, without watering down the fact. And you know, in my heart, as an evangelist, everything I do has the motivation of sharing the good news." [emphases added]

And in a BPNews follow-up interview to the Saddleback AIDS conference, where Senators Barack Obama and Sam Brownback were invited speakers,
Warren reiterated:

"'Right wing, left wing. I’m for the whole bird,' said Warren, smiling, on the last day of the conference, which featured Obama and Sen. Sam Brownback, R.-Kan., on World AIDS Day, Dec. 1.

"'You have to have two wings to fly.'"

The Original Social Gospel Movement

Evangelical leaders are hoping that the current generation of believers do not know the church history of the past century. If they did, they might recognize the regurgitated Social Gospel decked out in new clothing.

What is the Social Gospel? One simple definition on-line states:

"The Social Gospel movement is a Protestant Christian intellectual movement that was most prominent in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Social Gospel principles continue to inspire newer movements such as Christians Against Poverty. The movement applies Christian principles to social problems, especially poverty, liquor, drugs, crime, racial tensions, slums, bad hygiene, poor schools, and the danger of war. Theologically, the Social Gospel leaders were overwhelmingly post-millennialist. That is they believed the Second Coming could not happen until humankind rid itself of social evils by human effort. For the most part, they rejected pre-millennialist theology (which was predominant in the Southern United States), according to which the Second Coming of Christ was imminent, and Christians should devote their energies to preparing for it rather than addressing the issue of social evils. Their millennial views are very similar to those shared by Christian Reconstructionists. However Social Gospel leaders are predominently liberal politically and religiously, whereas Reconstructionists tend to hold politically liberatarian and religiously fundamentalist views."

The original Social Gospel movement was characterized by the lack of a biblical Gospel message. It grew and flourished in the early 20th century when the Protestant churches had been overtaken by higher criticism. The denudated Gospel was supplanted by the idea of a "brotherhood of all mankind" ethos. Great waves of social action accompanied the Social Gospel, but it was truncated - it was human activity devoid of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.

In the quotations above, Rick Warren is talking about a new Social Gospel message - a "new reformation that brings those two back together;" i.e., wedding the Social Gospel activism with the biblical Gospel. This is being marketed to the evangelical world as a more compassionate way. But it is, in reality, a new synthesis. And Synthesis is, by definition, a watering down of the Thesis by pulling in elements of Antithesis - thereby corrupting biblical TRUTH.

The new-and-improved Social Gospel bears all of the characteristics of your great-grandpa's Social Gospel, but with a few interesting twists:

1. The same conductors, next generation. The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) involvement in assisting the creation of the original Social Gospel movement is chronicled in Building the Kingdom of God on Earth by Dr. Martin Erdmann (Wipf & Stock, 2005). This fact is important because Rick Warren recently claimed that he was a member of the CFR.

2. A "War Against _____" (fill in the blank). The original Social Gospel flourished in the era between the two world wars. The "War to End All Wars" had not ended successfully with the creation of a League of Nations. John Foster Dulles and his CFR cohorts thereupon orchestrated a campaign for "peace" - using the Social Gospel as a maneuver to set up an institution for world government (the United Nations). Dr. Erdmann summarized Dulles' endeavors:

"Convinced that the root case of war was the division of the world in numerous sovereign nation-states, [John Foster] Dulles and his associates proposed a new system in which the affairs of humankind would be directed by an international organisation endowed with sufficient authority to guarantee perpetual peace. In all his efforts, Dulles tried to persuade the churches to embrace this vision of a unified world. It was clear to him that such a proposition would be readily accepted by the general public, if it had first gripped the imagination of the Christian community in America." (p. 308) [emphases added]

Likewise, Rick Warren's Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan is set up as a War Against AIDS, etc., according to Senator Obama at a "Call to Renewal Keynote Address" on 6/28/06:

"Pastors, friends of mine like Rick Warren and T.D. Jakes are wielding their enormous influences to confront AIDS, Third World debt relief, and the genocide in Darfur. Religious thinkers and activists like our good friend Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo are lifting up the Biblical injunction to help the poor as a means of mobilizing Christians against budget cuts to social programs and growing inequality."

3. Collectivism. According to Dr. Erdmann in Building the Kingdom of God on Earth,

"At the Indianapolis quadrennial in 1932 the Federal Council of Churches presented its revised version of the Social Creed of 1908. The new Creed outlined the Council's program for transforming American society into a Christian collectivism. By applying the principles of socialism, as expounded by Walter Rauschenbusch, the kingdom of God on earth would be set up according to the ecumenical ideal. A unified Church would represent collectivist Protestantism modelled on a pattern of the medieval guild system." (pp. 306-307) [emphasis added]

Spearheading this effort was CFR leader John Foster Dulles, who "predicted that the social structure of a just world society would be modelled on the prototypes of totalitarian countries like Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany." (p. 88)

Similarly, the Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan is being accomplished via the small group ("collective") structure, which facilitates the "social" nature of the Social Gospel.

4. Ecumenism & Unity. According to this ideal, due to the urgency of the hour and the crises in the world, the churches must unite. What Rick Warren refers to as the "Second Reformation" is not a new idea. According to Dr. Erdmann, in 1935 the Christian Century published two articles calling for a "comprehensive restructuring of Protestantism." In one article, E. Stanley Jones "called upon the creedal churches… to surrender the heritage of the Reformation. Loyalty to biblical theology was to bow to loyalty to unity for the sake of unity" (p. 147-48). Jones' plan was particularly relevant because it kept intact denominational structures while at the same time forging a new consensus.

A current example of this new Social Gospel call for unity is illustrated by a blog post by Jim Wallis giving a radio address on behalf of the Democratic Party. Wallis has been a leader of the evangelical Left for three decades and has recently been supporting Rick Warren:

"It is time to find common ground by moving to higher ground.

Because we have lost a commitment to the common good, politics is failing to solve the deepest crises of our time. Real solutions will require our best thinking and dialogue, but also call us to transformation and renewal.

"We need a new politics inspired by our deepest held values. We must summon the best in the American people, and unite to solve some of the moral issues of our time. Americans are much less concerned about what is liberal or conservative, what is Democrat or Republican. Rather, we care about what is right and what works."

Read this address in its totality and compare it to the agenda of the Social Creeds of 1908 and 1932. The old worn-out Social Gospel is being refitted and retooled for this generation. The CFR evidently learned some lessons from the past. There is a kindness of heart that drives Christians to do social deeds of charity. But this "passion" for "compassion" can be harnessed and directed. The new Social Gospel will encounter less resistance if there is a veneer of "biblical" and "Gospel" pasted on top the new world order agenda.

To be continued…

The Truth:

"Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them." (Ezekiel 22:26)

Monday, December 04, 2006

The CFR and the Social Gospel: Part 1

“Our goal has been to put people together who normally won't even speak to each other. We do not expect all participants in the Summit discussion to agree with all of our Evangelical beliefs. However, the HIV/AIDS pandemic cannot be fought by Evangelicals alone. It will take the cooperation of all – government, business, NGOs and the church. That is the purpose of this Summit – to marshal the policy of the government; the finances of business; the expertise of the health organizations; and the compassion, volunteerism and reach of the church in order to care for the sick and save lives.”
[Statement by Saddleback Valley Community Church Regarding Senator Barack Obama as One of Nearly 60 Featured Speakers at the Second Annual Global Summit on AIDS and the Church, Contact: Larry Ross.]

The above press release “Statement” pertaining to the recent controversial AIDS conference at Saddleback is indicative of the new Social Gospel rapidly gaining prominence in evangelical circles. This Social Gospel is a re-hash of the old mainline denomination Social Gospel of the past century but it includes more partners – e.g., the corporate (business), NGOs, parachurch and mission groups. The new Social Gospel also comes in the slick new package of a global AIDS crisis – and tragically so.

The Social Gospel was, in part, the creation of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). And the CFR was chiefly behind the propagation and widespread dissemination of the Social Gospel. These historical facts are exceptionally well-documented in Dr. Erdmann’s groundbreaking book Building the Kingdom of God on Earth: The Churches’ Contribution to Marshall Public Support for World Order and Peace, 1919-1945 (Wipf and Stock, 2005). This fact gains new significance with Rick Warren’s recent revelation that he is a member of this internationalist organization.

The original CFR plan to create a Social Gospel was hatched as part of a massive operation to change public opinion favorably towards world government. The crisis at that time was World War I and its aftermath. Dr. Erdmann notes that as a consequence of the failures of the Versailles Peace Conference after WWI, John Foster Dulles, as one of the chief architects and propagators of this Social Gospel movement, “became convinced that the use of propaganda was essential in shifting public opinion in America from its traditional isolationist stance to a new policy of interdependence.” In the ensuing highly-orchestrated campaign to change public opinion, Dulles and other CFR moguls worked to transform the ideology of the churches.

What role does the CFR play in today's new Social Gospel push? What follows are some startling parallels between the public relations campaign for the original Social Gospel movement driven by John Foster Dulles and the current evangelical Social Gospel movement. [Quotations and excerpts are derived from Building the Kingdom of God on Earth, emphases added.]


"Peace” became a central rallying cry. John Foster Dulles used “peace” as a useful theme for furthering CFR objectives. The crises that ensued between the world wars, and then during WWII, were viewed as public relations opportunities. These crises would serve to underscore the “necessity” of forming a world governing structure. Dulles authored an essay that was published in several key publications entitled “The Problem of Peace in a Dynamic World.” Commenting on this, Dr. Erdmann writes:

“Dulles outlined the basic concepts of peaceful change and attacked what he regarded to be an unhealthy and obsolete concept of national sovereignty.… Human egotism could only be offset, he asserted, by superseding it with ‘some sentiment more dominant and gripping which would contain it the elements of universality as against particularity.’ No other organization would be as uniquely qualified to accomplish this task as the Church…. Dulles idealized the Christian Church as an exemplary community which had demonstrated the ability to transcend the limitations of the nation state…. (p. 84-85)

“By using the ecumenical movement as the preferred vehicle to express his opinions, Dulles chose, as his primary target group, the Christian public in the English-speaking world. His goal was to motivate the churches to become actively involved in building a global society.” (p. 87)

[Note the similarity to comments made by Rick Warren [] :

“Churches constitute the largest distribution center in the world, says Warren. The vast network of churches is the only solution to ‘universal distribution,’ a problem that's plagued global health initiatives.”]


Global missions strategies were particularly a way to further world government objectives. At the Oxford Conference on Church, Community and State held in 1937, several prominent members of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (the British side of the CFR) were in attendance. A position paper authored by John Foster Dulles on “The Universal Church and the World of Nations” credited the missionary movement as being a great catalyst for ecumenicity leading to a new world order, particularly through the doctrinal idea of the brotherhood of all mankind. The missionary outreach was also a primary vehicle to creating an international mindset among parishioners. (p. 103-104)

[Note that the five “giant” crises and the solution (the 3-legged stool) are based on this same brotherhood of mankind ideal in Rick Warren’s comments below. In the name of “mission,” social action will take precedence:

“There are five giant problems in the world... Spiritual emptiness is the No. 1 problem, egocentric or corrupt leadership is the second biggest problem. No. 3 is poverty. Half the world lives on less than US$2 a day, one billion people live on less than a dollar a day. Fourth is disease—all kinds of diseases. Five hundred million people will get malaria this year. And fifth is illiteracy—half the world cannot read or write! Even if we have the Internet and we have the world wired, if you cannot read or write, you’re left out. There is just no hope for you in the 21st century.

"These problems are so big, everybody has failed [to solve them]. The United States has failed, the United Nations has failed. Nobody has solved these five problems because [the solution needs] a three-legged stool. For the stability of a nation, you must have strong healthy government, strong healthy businesses, and strong healthy churches.

"A three-legged stool will have stability. So I’m going from country to country teaching business its role, teaching church its role, and teaching government leaders their role—you’ve got to work together! We cannot solve the problem in your country or in the world if we won’t work together."


In 1932 the Federal Council of Churches, closely interconnected with the CFR, issued a Social Creed which set the foundation for a Social Gospel for generations to come in the Protestant denominations. The radical ideas of this report called for a reorganization of wealth in society and widespread social planning controls. Note the marketing approach described:

“During the 1930s the Federal Council Bulletin urged its audience to propagate the social gospel. It exhorted its readers to reject any notion that there was a basic conflict between the preaching of the gospel as such and the need to make known the Social Creed of the FCC. The Federal Council knew that unless it could secure a deep dedication to the ethical principles of the Gospel, and a deep commitment to the Jesus who was presented as the living embodiment of these ethical ideals, there would be no motivating power for Christians to struggle for the realization of the kingdom of God in the national life. Without adhering to basic Scriptural concepts, therefore, the Council’s social appeals were couched in biblical terminology. Although mentioning the sin problem frequently, it was usually in the context of sins against society rather than sins against God. Regeneration was masterfully redefined as a new social awareness. The substitutionary atonement of Christ upon the cross was deemed insignificant and was rarely if ever mentioned. The Reformation dictum, that humankind can find peace with God only by being justified by faith, was simply ignored as without relevance.” (pp. 154-155)

[Compare this ideology to “Religious Leaders Stand Up for Rick Warren, Barack Obama: An open letter to pastors across the country” from evangelical Social Gospel supporters of Rick Warren:

“AIDS has claimed the lives of 25 million people since 1981. Forty million people across the globe, including 2 million children, live with this wretched disease. And nearly 7 million people are now in desperate need of life-saving drugs, without which they will die. In the face of this crisis, it boggles our minds and offends our God-given sense of justice that these groups would choose to attack Senator Obama and Reverend Warren – Christians both – for working together to stamp out AIDS.”

“It is time for believers to unite under the banner of truth and work to address our society's most pressing problems. The time for scare tactics and divisiveness is over. As leaders in the Christian community, we will not stand silent in the face of these attacks, but will instead serve as voices for equality, fairness, and justice for all people.”]


In 1940 John Foster Dulles was asked to chair a study committee “The Commission to Study the Bases of a Just and Durable Peace” for the newly forming World Council of Churches. In this position, as one biographer observed, Dulles was able to align the purpose of the Federal Council’s Commission on a Just and Durable Peace with that of the Council on Foreign Relations. (p. 194-195)

In 1942 Dulles’s Commission convened a National Study Conference on the Churches and a Just and Durable Peace. Dulles submitted thirteen Guiding Principles for “peace” that furthered progressive internationalism.

“The underlying premise of the peace settlement is the reality of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of mankind. Principle One proclaims that there was, in fact, a ‘moral law’ that ‘undergirds the world’. According to Principle Two, ‘the sickness and suffering which afflict our present society are proof of indifference to, as well as direct violation of, the moral law.’ Furthermore, ‘all share in responsibility for the present evils. There is none who does not need forgiveness. A mood of genuine penitence is therefore demanded of us – individuals and nations alike.’” (p. 243-244)

“After the conference, Dulles sent copies of the Guiding Principles to the White House, the State Department, and to numerous other government agencies. The Commission embarked on an ‘evangelistic campaign’ … to educate local churches about world order issues.” (p. 245)

[Compare this to Kay Warren’s statement in an interview that the church has been “absent”:

“We believe the church has been the missing leg of a three-legged stool. Governments are doing things. Private sector businesses are doing things, trying to go after global giants, but the church has been absent. We have been trying to bring the church back to the table and say ‘It’s going to take all three.’ The main reason is that the church has the widest distribution center. The church exists in places where there is nothing else. To utilize the distribution channels for care and compassion and teaching and training. It’s the way to go. It’s smart!”]


In October, 1942, in the midst of WWII, the Commission on a Just and Durable Peace published a booklet entitled A Righteous Faith for A Just and Durable Peace. The authors formulated general propositions of peace which were in line with the Social Gospel. Note especially point six, that the Church was to be used to further the aims of world government by proclaiming the Social Gospel tenet of "enduring moral principles":

“(1) The American people need now to be imbued with a righteous faith; (2) In time of war the spiritual task of the churches becomes one of peculiar urgency; (3) The ecumenical (world-wide) character of the Church enables it and its members to make a unique contribution toward world order; (4) Christian motivation supplies an essential prerequisite to effective action; (5) Christians must seek the cooperation of other faiths; (6) the churches do not have primary responsibility to devise the details of world order. But they must proclaim the enduring moral principles by which human plans are constantly to be tested.” (p. 24 7-248)

[Compare this to the current rhetoric of the AIDS crisis, particularly Senator Barack Obama’s comments about his controversial appearance at the Saddleback AIDS conference this past weekend:

“Obama declined an interview request. But in a statement, he said while he respects differing views on abortion, he hopes for unity ‘to honor the entirety of Christ's teachings by working to eradicate the scourge of AIDS, poverty and other challenges we all can agree must be met.’

"’It is that spirit which has allowed me to work together -- and pray together -- with some of my conservative colleagues in the Senate to make progress on a range of key issues facing America,’ Obama's said.”]


It is an interesting dialectic game that has gone on in evangelicaldom the past twenty years. The neoevangelical culture spawned the glitz, glitter and glamour prosperity excesses, the name-it-and-claim-it gospel, and the pomposity of televangelist and self-esteem empires. Self-centeredness and affluence ruled the day. Sins abounded with cheap grace and easy-believism.

The pendulum is now swinging back, but not back to the Gospel of the Bible. It is swinging WAY over to the 3-legged stool Social Gospel of purpose-driven works theology.

Is the global AIDS crisis just a cruel mechanism for the world powers-that-be to orchestrate yet another push for world governance by using the church as the world’s largest volunteer “army” of “one billion foot soldiers” to implement a global “peace” plan?
[For more reading on this topic, see:

"And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven." (Col. 1:20)
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:" (Romans 5:1)