Undertaker, Come Quickly. . .
. . . Neo Evan Christianis Has Died
How the mindset of accommodation grows and expands....
For the evangelical accommodation to the world of our age
represents the removal of the last barrier
against the breakdown of our culture.
And with the final removal of this barrier
will come social chaos and the rise of authoritarianism
in some form to restore order.
~ Dr. Francis Schaeffer
The Neo (New) Evangelical Christian experiment has failed. It reminds me of the Titanic. This unsinkable ship left England amid cheers and high festivity. For many it represented the latest in human achievement. But, alas! It was not to be. On the high seas amid the turbulence of the seas and surrounding icebergs its underwater hull was ripped open and seawater was pouring in. But on board gala and gaity was in full swing. Only a few noticed a minor listing of the mighty ship. But the band played on even while the water compartments were taking on water from the sea.
The Neo-Evangelical Gospel ship was also launched with great promise. This was to be the beginning of prominence for the American and International Evangelical movement. They openly wanted a recognition by the religious academia and to dialogue with culture. In no time Neo-Evangelicalism was birthed, led by Harold Ockenga, Carl Henry, Billy Graham and the Fuller Seminary personnel. In due time Christianity Today became its publishing oracle and Carl Henry its editor. The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) became its constituency and Fuller seminary its training ground.
In what seemed like no time the new movement quickly built schools and institutions. But the next generation, and the generations following, gradually were swallowed up by the surrounding culture. And rather than maintaining its biblical stance, they, in very small ways at first, began to become what the reformers would have called Sola Cultura rather than Sola Scriptura (only the Bible). Others have used this term previously but here is our definition:
- Culture alone—in contrast to the Reformation, which set forth the doctrine of Sola Scriptura (the Bible alone) as the basis for spiritual authority. Social experience and cultural norms as modern evangelicalism's basis for final authority.
- An abandonment of the twin doctrines of separation and non-conformity, i.e., "come out from among them, and be ye separate" (2 Cor. 6:17) and "be not conformed to this world" (Rom. 12:2)
- Giving undue credence to peer pressure and group consensus, now especially via social media, by heeding the winds and shifting trends of popular culture.
- Comfortably adapting oneself to ever-changing societal norms, adopting the most current fashions, fads, worldviews and fantasies.
- Accepting cultural norms over reason, rational thought or biblical Truth. Placing sole or final authority in knowledge gleaned from the current cultural paradigm.
- Placing sole or final authority in the ever-evolving views of spiritual and global leaders, famous speakers and authors, popular TV and movie stars, trending politicians and pundits, and other celebrities (whether real or fictional).
From its inception new evangelicalism has been determined to impress the world with its intellect. It has craved the respect of academia. It has determined to earn the plaudits at the fountainheads of secular learning. Why should this be a goal for the Christian?…
The goal was to be published by publishers that the world respected…. [T]his craving for acceptance shows itself…in the desire to make the gospel more palatable to the natural man…. New evangelicalism made it acceptable to water down the gospel.
|Ted Haggard (Source)|
"Evangelical scholar" Mark Noll transferred himself over to the Catholic University of Notre Dame. And J.P. Moreland abandoned the Bible and became a leading spokesperson for common ground and Sola Cultura, complaining in 2007 that those who were "over-committed" to Sola Scriptura were "irrational, harmful" and exhibiting "mean-spiritedness":
“In the actual practices of the Evangelical community in North America, there is an over-commitment to Scripture in a way that is false, irrational, and harmful to the cause of Christ.... And it has produced a mean-spiritedness among the over-committed that is a grotesque and often ignorant distortion of discipleship unto the Lord Jesus.
[The problem is] "the idea that the Bible is the sole source of knowledge of God, morality, and a host of related important items. Accordingly, the Bible is taken to be the sole authority for faith and practice.”
There were ever so many small steps toward Sola Cultura. But the pace of this diminishing of biblical doctrine and the inclusion of purely cultural expressions gradually took on speed. Just slow enough that most of the people in the pews could and did adjust. Our leaders and intellectuals must, after all, be right?
Post Modernism Arrives
At about this time the wider culture recognized that the Enlightenment worldview had morphed into what was given the name of Post Modernism. Supposedly we no longer had to contend for biblical Truth, for the Post Modern culture just shrugged and said everyone's truth is right for each individual. How well I remember a youth pastor with glee saying now we can do our own thing and we don't have to always be proving it. But Post Modernism was no gift but rather a curse to the church. Perhaps it could be better stated as Post Mortem-ism (i.e., "relating to examination of the body after death"). It well describes the effects of the new cultural dependence of the Neo Evan movement.
The Neo Evan Marketers Take Over
Next the old simple Gospel needed a makeover in order to be sold to the cultural customers. The customers (biblical unbelieving sinners) liked entertainment so the church provided it. Our pastors became corporate officers, and they quickly realized that too much talk of sin and the atonement needed to be diminished. Oh! Not rejected outright, but simply not emphasized.
Next pragmatic church growth appeared. If we are going to have sell the revamped gospel (small "g") we are in competition with other gospel salesman. So evangelicalism subtly became a race to adjust to the culture and gain more converts (customers). This New Evangelism became "how do reach unchurched Harry," rather than announcing to the world that we are all helpless sinners and Jesus came not sell something but came to buy something -- namely sinners with His blood ("the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood," Acts 20:28). The Gospel of Salvation morphed into a therapeutic pill, like the snake oil advertised on TV. The new gospel is marketed as a cure for your disappointing life-experiences in the culture, rather that the blood of Jesus Christ that washes us clean and prepares for us a place in heaven.
In the process, the marketers produced the Mega Church movement. Now every little church was challenged not only to sell the the glossy new gospel but to grow thereby into a Mega Church or at least a Mini Mega Church. In all this salesmanship of the re-fabricated gospel (not primarily biblical evangelism) the local little churches were willing to do their best, and many did. Maybe they didn't sell much, but they became ecumenized by the effort.
Ecumenical Mergers Became the Next Answer
We can't keep competing with one another so let's just join them. If we want to roll back abortion and compete with international Islam, then the culture must see us a force to be reckoned with. But this requires negotiation.... In the process of this sort of ecumenical negotiation sacrifices in the message had be made. So the Neo Evans arising out of the 1950's must now be willing to join with other quasi-religious groups. This is so that Christianity represents a larger piece of the cultural pie, politically and otherwise. Sola Cultura. We must all become subsidiary offices of an even larger cultural expression of the broad-based christian (small "c") umbrella. This all seems to be the current strategy.
Now the Christians still have to sell their wares to the public but they have to become related to a larger parent company as well. But all this requires serious negotiation and collaboration and, finally, change. The usually involves our biblical distinctives. They have to be less distinctive. Now if Christianity was just another company, so what? But the original product of the Gospel has to be soft-pedaled for the good of the larger interests of the new corporation, which in this case is just cultural christianity, i.e., Sola Cultura.
We have moved so far in the adaptation for the "greater good" that we have to make room for those who are only quasi-quasi christian (small "c") and even to those who historically have heard no true Gospel of Salvation message. So under the Sola Cultura we can say that unrepentants, eastern mystics, Buddhists, and whoever else, can come under the cultural umbrella. In this big tent christianity denominations are dying and are losing their importance yearly. This evangelical denominational decline, however, has only begun.
As stated above this broadening ecumenical negotiation phase was first started by the Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT). The first negotiations were with Roman Catholics. In fact, Chuck Colson, in charge of this endeavor, believed that “Redeeming the culture is the never ending mission of the church." Colson also stated his view about the new mission of the church under the new guiding light of Sola Cultura as Dominionism:
All of life is under the lordship of Christ, and therefore, we have been given two commissions: the Great Commission, to make disciples, baptize them, and teach them all Jesus has taught us; and the Cultural Commission, to be fruitful, multiply, take dominion, and restore a fallen creation.
|Leadership Network's Ed Stetzer (Source)|
But the culture is moving on much faster now. Post Mortem Evangelical culture began to call for an ancient but future church (notice not a biblical church). So suddenly medieval candles were in and Emergent or Emerging Evans could now insert any non-biblical mystical experiences they personally liked. Hell didn't fit, so Bob Bell and and the New Age Oprah just eliminated it. This caused a little ripple but it is a part of church history now.
A Post Modern Post Mortem
A few examples exhibit the depth of the ecumenical abyss we are in. Surprisingly only a handful on the Internet, and a still too few pastors, seem to realize where we have landed. These examples below should illustrate the ecumenical landscape that seems acceptable. The pace and speed of Sola Cultura is going further and faster.
|(Source and YouTube Source)|
1. Hillsong songwriter Darlene Zschech a former Autralian Roman Catholic has affected the Neo Evan worldwide by her new Post Modern Music. She and Don Moen, also a famous pop christian (small "c") worship leader, recently attended a world gathering on worship. Indeed the new Pope came and gave them a pep talk. Zschech's music is used in surely every Neo Evan church in the world including the RC church. As a former pastor I know that every use of her music commands a royalty for them to produce even more music. Indeed Zschech and Moen and others are promoting international music for purely religious consumption. She attributes this to the Holy Spirit, but doesn't the Holy Spirit lead us out of apostasy and not into it?
2. Newly Elected Southern Baptist president, Ronnie Floyd, opens the door to the false church of "Shock and Awe" at this year's IHOP "OneThing" conference. This also opens the door as well to the New Apostolic Reformation, Bill Johnson's Bethel, and the laughing Toronto-ites, etc.
More of Floyd's expectation's for a general religious American revival can be found on the Internet. But his first attempt to lead his church, and especially America, back from the brink is to endorse the IHOP conference called "OneThing" in December 2015. This does not bode well for the future of Southern Baptists. But this also opens the door to the "Shock and Awe" tactics of Mike Bickle's IHOP, including the bizarre theologies and activities of the NAR and their cohorts. The Bethel musicians will be there at OneThing, especially including Misty Edwards. A worship leader from the Pope's visit will lead worship. From this date Southern Baptist young people from the former southern Bible belt will be invited to feel the intoxication of all of the extra biblical "stuff" that IHOP has to offer. Sola Experientia! Sola Mystica!
|Ronnie Floyd on the IHOPKC website promoting the OneThing conference 2015 |
|Francis Chan with Mike Bickle at OneThing 2013|
Yes, Ronnie wants an American revival, but this is a foolhardy action to share the stage with Latter Rain cult leader Mike Bickle, who leads teens and youths into his extreme warfare doctrines and practices. This association will give credence to every other religious mystical experience America has to offer.
In this bid for popularity Floyd seems to following Rick Warren. Warren is yet another Southern Baptist who promotes his purpose driven material to Muslims, Catholic and New Agers. Warren's associates include Dr. Mehmet Oz, a Swedenborgian cult follower, and Dr. Daniel Amen, a promoter of eastern tantric sex. And Warren promotes mystical contemplative activities. Hey! They work and produce church "growth", so quit your quibbling....
3. The cell phone conversation from Pope Francis to Word Faith pastors. In my Plumbline Newletter titled "Who is Winning the Infiltration Battle?" I examine the spiritual union with Rome and reported Kenneth Copeland's and James Robison's responses to the Pope's cell appeal:
More recently the New Pontiff Francis was able to call for and get a remarkable response from Evangelicals. Bishop Tony Palmer was able to organize a cell phone visible connection from Pope Francis with Kenneth Copeland at his annual pastors convention in Fort Worth. Tony Palmer, a former worker for Kenneth Copeland in South Africa, later was ordained a bishop in a quasi Catholic convergence movement seeking to combine evangelical Christianity with Rome. Palmer later befriended Cardinal Jorge Bergogio, later to become Pope Francis, in Argentina. Bishop Palmer then became the conduit for an appeal for spiritual unity with American Charismatics. Surely, with Copeland's knowledge, Bishop Palmer showed Copeland and hundreds of Word/Faith pastors via a cell phone camera the Pope's tearful plea for unity with Charismatics. Kenneth Copeland promptly prayed in tongues for guidance and then responded back by cell phone to Francis at the Vatican. An elated Copeland announced, "Heaven is thrilled over this." Copeland's assembled pastors burst into applause. A week later James Robison invited Bishop Palmer to his TV program Life Today. After hearing the Pope's same cell phone plea, Robison, a longtime Southern Baptist evangelist/politican/Charismatic, responded, "In Christ we are brothers." Then on national TV Pope Francis's plea was played for a national audience. Bishop Palmer then arranged for Robison and Copeland to visit the Vatican. Surprisingly, Palmer was shortly killed in a motorcycle accident in the UK. Pope Francis insisted that Palmer be buried with full Catholic rites.
|Henri Nouwen (Source)|
4. The Roman desert fathers once fathered a Catholic revival of mystical prayer and everybody. Now everyone is into mysticism. Sarah Young publishes books widely that purport to be new words from Jesus. Dozens of others have written about their visits to heaven. The apocalyptic prophecy teachers are now touting a space alien invasion rather than the return of Jesus Christ. I mean everybody is into the new mysticism! The Dutch Catholic priest Henri Nouwen is now the devotional choice of huge numbers of Neo Evans, and no person or christian (small "c") college even swallows hard. In fact, one can readily find his books in even the most conservative college bookstores. All of this mysticism is the new approved devotional recipe for "revival".
So the Neo Evangelical Post Modern experiment is hastening its own Post Mortem. It is obviously over even if most are not yet aware of its passing. What happens next? Well the Sola Cultura has just expanded the product line and there will be more to come. But what remains for the true biblical Jesus? Not that there are no children of Jesus in the Neo Evan mixed soup, but they are in dangerous territory. Nevertheless there are still many of the pastors of true church simmering in the Neo Evan cultural stew.
Sustained by the Word
What is a body to do? This is current Evangelicalism, right? You will look far and travel far to find a church body who see what is going on. Nevertheless, Jesus the True shepherd knows each one of His own and will protect them. He is the true shepherd of His sheepfold. The majority of the Neo Evans have come too far and would never go back go back to purely biblical Christianity. Especially now. There is money to be made, fame and stardom, popularity and pizzazz to be found, by aligning with Sola Cultura.
The sheepfold of the biblical Jesus is the only safe place left. The true Shepherd of God described in Scripture. He calls his own sheep. There He guards them and keeps watch at the gates entrance of His sheepfold. At the decision of the Shepherd and his Father His sheepfold will be taken to heaven. So for true believers that is the only place of safety and solace.
America is falling apart. Donald Trump cannot save us, nor Hillary, nor whoever. If the Shepherd calls you He will make you righteous before His father by His blood. And if He is for us who can be against us, be it Muslim or whoever.
As Pastor Larry DeBruyn reminded us in his article "Accommodating the Culture,"
Reformation by Regeneration
Is is not time to go back to God’s formula; to the biblical basic of evangelizing to achieve reformation by regeneration? Is not that what the word evangelical means, one who believes in the power of the Gospel to change a person’s life, something neither dominionist legalism nor emergent libertarianism can do? Christian laws, however valuable they might be to live under for the common good, do not in the end, make Christians. Neither will the denial of law serve as a basis for the common good. Who wants to live in anarchy, which is where this society and nation, absent any absolutes, are headed. A long time ago Jesus told a man that in order to see the kingdom of God persons must be born from the outside in, or from the upside down. Jesus told Nicodemus that in order to see the kingdom of God, to experience the reign of God in his heart, that he had to be born from above (John 3:3, 7). If God truly rules within us then He can rule among us. But His rule will come neither by Christian subjugation nor accommodation. In part, God’s reign will only arrive as persons are regenerated by the Holy Spirit (In popular parlance, it’s call being “born again.”). And then if enough persons experience God’s rule inside them, their number might reach critical mass and society will experience relative transformation, though that will still fall far short of the one that will accompany Christ when He comes to establish His kingdom in the world (See Isaiah 9:6-7; 11:1-9; Matthew 19:28; Revelation 20:4-6). Only as people’s constitutions are changed will change occur around us. That’s the message of the biblical prophets; that is of “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).
A truly compassionate response to those in sinful bondage is to tell them about Jesus Christ and His salvation. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit,
as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it,
and knew the grace of God in Truth....”
Colossians 1:5-6, KJV
1. Schaeffer, “The Great Evangelical Disaster,” The Complete Works of Francis A Schaeffer: A Christian Worldview, Volume 4, Second Edition (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1985): 401. Bold added.
2. Read Paul Smith's book New Evangelicalism: The New World Order, reviewed at this Herescope post: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/04/new-evangelicalism-new-world-order.html and available for purchase from Discernment Ministries at http://home.etcable.net/hestervanboven/products.htm
3. For further research see: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2012/01/sola-experientia.html
4. John Ashbrook, New Neutralism II: Exposing the Gray of Compromise (Here I Stand, 1992), p. 8, 10. For more description of this see the Herescope post: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2012/12/postmodern-infiltration.html
5. See "To Be a Christian College," http://www.firstthings.com/article/2006/04/to-be-a-christian-college
6. The Deception in the Church website has archived much of this history. See: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/newprophetssuperstition.html and scroll down to the Ted Haggard subheading here: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/endtimes.html
8. Bio: http://www.jpmoreland.com/about/bio/. J.P. Moreland was also a key signer of the Evangelical Manifesto: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2009/02/manifestos-declarations-and-covenants.html
9. J.P.Moreland quoted in "Postcard from San Diego: Fighting 'Bibliolatry' at the Evangelical Theological Society," by Ted Olsen, Christianity Today, 11/14/07. This quote can also be found in a previous Herescope post titled "Dumping Sola Scriptura," http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/11/dumping-sola-scriptura.html
11. See http://web.archive.org/web/19981205233654/http://incolor.inetnebr.com/mdavis/evandcat.shtml and also: http://web.archive.org/web/20001208233500/http://www.reachingcatholics.org/seduction.html Also read: http://www.wayoflife.org/database/hegelian_dialectics_devils_winning_tool.html
12. Herescope has published 4 articles specifically detailing some of these covenants and their agendas:
Part 1 "The New Global Civility"
Part 2 "Manifestos, Declarations and Covenants"
Part 3 "The Manhattan Declaration: Another Dominionist Covenant"
Part 4 "A Covenant for Civility"
13. See the articles cited in footnote 9. This quote is attributed to Chuck Colson, Breakpoint, Jan.2, 05, KLHT, by Mike Oppenheimer in his article "The Global Transformation of Redeeming Cultures," http://www.letusreason.org/Ecumen13.htm,. bold added. See the Herescope post "Redeeming Cultures" for more quotes concerning Colson's agenda: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/07/redeeming-cultures.html
14. Colson wrote an article for Rick Warren's "Ministry Toolbox" (Issue #248) titled "Why worldview matters," bold added. This and other quotes are detailed at the Herescope post "Marketing the Global Worldview," May 31, 2006, http://herescope.blogspot.com/2006/05/marketing-global-worldview.html, emphasis added. To understand how this "restoration of creation" agenda fits into the entire Sola Cultura worldview, read the article "What Is Dominionism?" posted at the late Pastor Ken Silva's website http://apprising.org/2011/01/26/what-is-dominionism/ and be sure to watch the Eric Swanson video where he eschews the Gospel of Salvation. Read also this Herescope post that describes the Cultural Mandate: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/07/cultural-mandate.html
15. Read "Love Loses," http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/05/love-loses.html Also see: http://guardinghisflock.com/2013/03/25/accommodating-the-culture/
16. Read "Emergent MIND Change," http://herescope.blogspot.com/2008/04/emergent-mind-change.html
17. Documentation for this paragraph can be found in the following articles such as "Hillsong’s Darlene Zschech Condemns Christians and aligns herself to Roman Catholicism," and others posted at this webpage: http://hillsongchurchwatch.com/tag/darlene-zschech/; and view the YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQGdxnBP1mM
18. See pre-conference reports posted at http://mywordlikefire.com/2015/11/19/ihop-kcs-mike-bickle-on-fake-and-genuine-holy-spirit-manifestations/ and also at http://www.psalm12outreach.com/2015/11/is-ronnie-floyd-trying-to-unite-the-sbc-with-mike-bickles-ihop.html.
19. Read the article "The Passion of the Presence and the Purpose of the Passion" on Herescope. This is the first in a 6 part series that details the heretical teachings of Mike Bickle and his IHOP movement: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-passion-of-presence.html. The reference to Toronto is to the laughing phenomena of the 1990s. Start reading Part 1 of Ed Tarkowski's multi-part series at: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/Laugh1.html
20. For more on Mark Batterson and his circles, as well as other personnel in the NAR and connected with Bill Johnson and Bethel, see: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2013/03/imagine-that.html
21. See: http://www.ihopkc.org/onething/speakers-worship-leaders/ and read: http://apprising.org/2013/01/04/friends-of-bethel-church-home-of-jesus-culture/
22. Sola Experientia:
23. Soia Mystica:
24. Read: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-significance-of-youth-filled.html and also http://herescope.blogspot.com/2014/09/stage-managed-ecumenism.html
25. This graphic was designed by the late Pastor Ken Silva and is posted at his Apprising Ministries website: http://apprising.org/2014/01/02/francis-chan-declares-i-love-mike-bickle-of-ihop/ See also: http://apprising.org/2014/01/03/francis-chan-has-endorsed-new-apostolic-teacher-mike-bickle/
26. For more information on these doctors and Rick Warren's health and mental health agenda, see the following articles:
The Mental Health Church: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-mental-health-church.html
Part 1: Rick Warren’s New Age Health Gurus
Part 2: Reiki "Power"
Part 3: The “WOO” Factor
Part 4: Changing Science, Changing Mind
Part 5: The Aquarian Conspiracy
Also see: "Emanuel Swedenborg's Occultic Beliefs" and the compilation of articles posted at: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?tag=dr-amen
27. http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/orrel61.pdf For more on Palmer, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QD3wR68Udyw and for fun also see Chris Rosebrough's analaysis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3h-KfsD_iw. Also: http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/blog/?p=23566
28. See the previous Herescope post: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2015/12/merry-christmas-from-sarah-youngs-false.html and an earlier one: http://herescope.blogspot.ca/2013/11/another-jesus-calling.html
29. For example, read: http://apprising.org/2012/12/07/mark-galli-of-ct-interviews-mary-neal-on-her-visit-to-heaven/