Friday, March 31, 2006

Indications of Transition

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

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

6 Possible Indications of TRANSITION:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Truth:

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

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Are you in the throes of TRANSITION?

"And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD.
And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?"
(1 Samuel 15:13-14)

Today’s Herescope post refers back to the March 9th post entitled “Are you in the throes of Transformation?” Herescope was asked by several readers to expound on the topic of Transition which leads to total Transformation.

People and churches do not typically become “transformed” to this new worldview overnight. Transformation is a process. There is a noticeable, and sometimes quite lengthy, Transition stage before full-blown Transformation. To recap Transition, on March 24th Herescope wrote:

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

From the very second chapter in Genesis, the Bible is filled with stories of people who stepped outside the narrow way. To better understand the subtleties of this Transformational process from a solid biblical perspective, Herescope recommends a cassette tape by Dean Gotcher of the Institute for Authority Research entitled “The Dialectic Garden of Eden.” This tape is $5.00 from the Institute for Authority Research, PO Box 233, Herndon, KS 67739.

Nobody likes to think that they are in the Transition stage. But that is a terrible reality of our sinful human nature, as yesterday’s Herescope quotation from Solzhenitsyn so aptly described. Life is filled with choices, but it all boils down to two – 1) to stay on the narrow way or 2) to move out onto new ground.

He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.” (Proverbs 4, 25-27)

The Evolutionary Nature of Transition

The process of Transition is actually quite easy to explain, but people don’t like to hear it. If the Bible says “don’t do something” and a person does it anyway, this is a sin. If the Bible says "do something" and the person ignores this command, it is sin. Either act of disobedience immediately puts a person in a transitional stage, moving away from the Truth of God’s Word. It is human nature to want to rationalize or justify our sin. But the Gospel is about Jesus Christ -- the Way, the Truth and the Life: “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). Because of the blood that Jesus shed for our sins on the cross, we can turn back (repent) to the Truth. “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Rev. 1:5a).

The sad fact about human nature is that Transformation is accomplished when someone attains full-blown hardness of heart. Hardness of heart is a result of repeated indifference to, deception by, or acceptance of a pattern of sin in one’s life. A study in Strong's Concordance on the word heart is a profitable exercise and instructive lesson. Hebrews 3:12-13 warns: “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”

“Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” (Proverbs 3:7-8)

Social/Cultural TRANSITION
As the social mores and customs change with the degradation of culture around us, the standards of believers begin to deteriorate and crumble. Transition might be as simple as comparing what you believed and practiced thirty years ago to how you live now. If you live with more lax standards, less fundamental beliefs, more compromises with worldliness or ungodliness, and looser morals, this is an indication you have moved into Transition.

Many people in Transition seek to prop up the old way -- through church activities, mission projects, political activism, or charitable endeavors -- without experiencing the more difficult inner transformation (the real Romans 12:1-2 meaning) of the heart. Others in Transition seek to mollify the effects of prolonged sin in their lives by running to counselors, therapies, self-help books, and support groups. In contrast, the normative, biblical Traditional Christian life shows evidence of progressive sanctification -- living a holier life, walking closer to Jesus, evidencing a tender heart towards God, changing personal behaviors to conform to Scripture, shifting attitudes and beliefs to correspond to the Bible, and maturing through study of God’s Word.

"A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet.
The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” (Proverbs 29:5, 25; 30: 5-6)

Modern evangelicalism has been shaped by two important historical events: 1) As the new doctrines of the neoevangelicals rose to the forefront in the past 60 years, evangelicalism began to shift away from any last vestiges of fundamentalism; 2) As the new beliefs, philosophies and practices of New Age mysticism entered society at large, few stood in the gate to bar its entry into the Church. As a consequence, there have been observable alterations in Christian theology – soteriology, ecclesiology, eschatology, etc. The individual believer has gradually felt the effects of these various leavens as they permeated the church at-large. Nowhere is this more evident than in the rise of new vocabulary, language and terminologies. The presence of these new words in a believer’s lexicon is an indication of entering into the Transition phase. Worse, many false teachers use the old words, but give them deceptively new meanings.

“He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.
Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit: but the upright shall have good things in possession.
He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.”
(Proverbs 28:9, 10, 13, 14)

Methodological TRANSITION
The Church Growth movement, the Mission agencies, the Self-Help psychology advocates, the mystics, and political activists have brought new methods of conducting “Christianity” into the Church. These entities use sophisticated psycho-social techniques which are designed to move believers away from Traditional Christianity into a Transitional phase. These techniques include marketing, assessment testing, statistical research, group consensus, facilitation, assorted therapeutic measures, coaching, mentoring, rites of initiation, occult spiritual exercises, etc. The justification given for bringing these new “tools” into the Church includes their purported effectiveness and efficiency: “the end justifies the means.” These tools and programs keep believers very busy at doing things that seem "spiritual." They claim to produce better "results." Or, worse, they promise that if one "buys into" a certain technique or tool, that the world (or the "kingdom") will become more "biblical."

“All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.
By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.
The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.
There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
(Proverbs 16: 2, 6, 9, 17, 25)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Transitional Worldview

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20)

Herescope has been asked to write further about the process of Transition that leads to Transformation, a topic which we have been covering in the past month. How does one enter the Transition process, we were asked, and how does one end up in Transformation? Before we launch into the technical descriptions of this process, we thought today’s post would be exceptionally illuminating.

One of the best descriptions of the process by which a human being is transformed is found in Chapter 4 of Volume 1 of Alexandr Solzhenitsyn’s monumental work The Gulag Archipelago, a history of the Soviet concentration camp system. This chapter, entitled simply “The Bluecaps,” describes the hated secret police. Solzhenitsyn chose not to hate them, however. Rather, he wrote a soul-searching chapter in which he pondered the fateful question: “If my life had turned out differently, might I myself not have become just such an executioner?”

To answer this “dreadful question” honestly, Solzhenitsyn reflected back on his life. He proposed that it was first “inner intuition” that “prompted our refusal to enter the NKVD [Soviet secret police, 1934-1946, ed.] schools, which “dangled before us special rations and double or triple pay.” He said that “inside your breast there is a sense of revulsion, repudiation. I don’t want to. It makes me feel sick. . . I want no part of it.”

But as he thought back on his stint as a military officer he realized that “my power soon convinced me that I was a superior human being.” He wrote: “Pride grows in the human heart like lard on a pig.” Leadership went to his head, even after the initial humiliating experiences of becoming a prisoner. After a brutal self-examination he reached the conclusion that “I had been thoroughly prepared to be an executioner.” Solzhenitsyn philosophized,

“If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?

“During the life of any heart this line keeps changing place; sometimes it is squeezed one way by exuberant evil and sometimes it shifts to allow enough space for good to flourish. . . .

“Confronted by the pit into which we are about to toss those who have done us harm, we halt, stricken dumb: it is after all only because of the way things worked out that they were the executioners and we weren’t. . . .”

Solzhenitsyn pondered the downhill slide into evil of several acquaintances. There were memorable situations in which evil people did acts of good. And there were unforgettable episodes where good people turned evil. After reciting one particularly black episode in the Russian camps, he raised the questions: “Just how are we to understand that? As the act of an evildoer? What sort of behavior is it? Do such people really exist?”

“We would prefer to say that such people cannot exist, that there aren’t any. It is permissible to portray evildoers in a story for children, so as to keep the picture simple. But when the great world literature of the past – Shakespeare, Schiller, Dickens – inflates and inflates images of evildoers of the blackest shades, it seems somewhat farcical and clumsy to our contemporary perception. The trouble lies in the way these classic evildoers are pictured. They recognize themselves as evildoers, and they know their souls are black. And they reason: ‘I cannot live unless I do evil. So I’ll set my father against my brother! I’ll drink the victim’s sufferings until I’m drunk with them!” Iago very precisely identifies his purposes and his motives as being black and born of hate.

“But no; that’s not the way it is! To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good, or else that it’s a well-considered act in conformity with natural law. Fortunately, it is in the nature of the human being to seek a justification for his actions.

“Macbeth’s self-justifications were feeble – and his conscience devoured him. Yes, even Iago was a little lamb too. The imagination and the spiritual strength of Shakespeare’s evildoers stopped short at a dozen corpses. Because they had no ideology.

“Ideology – that is what gives evildoing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination. That is the social theory which helps to make his acts seem good instead of bad in his own and others’ eyes, so that he won’t hear reproaches and curses but will receive praise and honors. That was how the agents of the Inquisition fortified their wills: by invoking Christianity; the conquerors of foreign lands, by extolling the grandeur of their Motherland; the colonizers, by civilization; the Nazis, by race; and the Jacobins (early and late), by equality, brotherhood, and the happiness of future generations.

“Thanks to ideology, the twentieth century was fated to experience evildoing on a scale calculated in the millions. This cannot be denied, nor passed over, nor suppressed. How, then, do we dare insist that evildoers do not exist? And who was it that destroyed these millions? Without evildoers there would have been no Archipelago.”

Solzhenitsyn then disclosed a horrible episode in which camp prisoners were fed to zoo animals. He asked, “Wasn’t it expedient?” and then concluded that this was “the precise line the Shakespearean evildoer could not cross. But the evildoer with ideology does cross it, and his eyes remain dry and clear.”

Borrowing from his background in physics, Solzhenitsyn explained scientific phenomena which can occur only at “threshold magnitudes, which do not exist at all until a certain “threshold encoded by and known to nature has been crossed.” Likewise, he observed,

“Evidently evildoing also has a threshold magnitude. Yes, a human being hesitates and bobs back and forth between good and evil all his life. He slips, falls back, clambers up, repents, things begin to darken again. But just so long as the threshold of evildoing is not crossed, the possibility of returning remains, and he himself is still within reach of our hope. But when, through the density of evil actions, the result either of their own extreme degree or of the absoluteness of his power, he suddenly crosses that threshold, he has left humanity behind, and without, perhaps, the possibility of return.”

[Alexandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation I-II, translated from the Russian by Thomas P. Whitney (Harper & Row, 1973), pp. 160-175]

The Truth:

“All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.
By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.” (Proverbs 16:2, 6)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Dominionism Worldview: Prophets Declare War

Several recent posts from New Apostolic Reformation leaders have come through "The Elijah List" in the past several days. These posts represent the extreme form of hyper-spiritual dominionism that is rising. This Dominionism Worldview is a total doctrinal upheaval. The new doctrines taught by the new global "apostles" and "prophets" are a mixture of occult mysticism with evangelicalism. This new hybrid teaching is specifically geared toward the cause of building a "kingdom" on Earth.

So far, these proclamations from the prophets are soft-core dominionism, but the intensity of military rhetoric is escalating. "Spiritual warfare" is a perfect cover for dominionism activities worldwide. Spiritual warfare desensitizes people by 1) engaging them in the rhetoric, 2) programming them to believe the new doctrines, and 3) engaging them in spiritual warfare exercises. These hyper-spiritual activities seem harmless on the surface, but they are preparing a generation to wield the "rod" of "kingdom authority" on Earth.


The first example comes from [specifically,] , "Four Keys for Entering Into Warfare Worship," a "word" by Dean Mitchum posted by "Bishop" Bill Hamon, dated March 22, 2006.

"The prophets and apostles have been proclaiming that this is a season of war, so we need to prepare (Joel 3:9). [emphasis added]

"This is why we war--to establish a new Kingdom. When we enter into warfare praise, the focus of praise changes from an altar of redemption to the throne room of the King. The picture of a throne room carries a more powerful, majestic sense of the King of the universe who rules in the midst of our praise and then ministers through us. (Psalms 22:3) states that God is enthroned in our praises. This is an actual setting up of His throne on earth. Jesus taught us to pray, 'Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.' (Matthew 6:10). The words 'in Heaven' speak of the Kingdom of God being immovable and unshakable. 'On earth' actually speaks of a superimposing of God's Kingdom on the earth." [emphasis added]

Note the doctrinal shift from redemption to setting up this "kingdom." There is also a significant re-definition of Matthew 6:10, which is the popular "new understanding" that Christ's Kingdom must be built on Earth by the Church prior to His Second Coming.

Mitchum's quotation also espouses the heresy that people can "proclaim," "decree" or "praise" into existence heavenly things onto the Earth. This is a potent spiritual activity -- whether real or imaginary -- which has its roots in occult mystical doctrines that teach that the formative spiritual forces of creation can be harnessed and dispensed on Earth. Mitchum elaborates on this point below:

"So, by praising, not only is God enthroned in our praises, we also 'superimpose' His Kingdom on the earth--His presence, His will, His way, His Word. . . . In superimposing the Kingdom on the earth, we repeat the words of Heaven through our prophetic voices, and then we mirror on earth what God is saying in Heaven." [emphasis added]


Also put out on "The Elijah List" was Rick Joyner's latest prophecy, "Taking The Land--The Spiritual Versus The Natural," Mar 26, 2006 []. "Taking the land" refers to hyper-spiritual warfare activities, laying a foundation for actual dominion.

"Our Promised Land is nothing less than bringing the Kingdom of God to the earth. We are preparing the way for this now. His Kingdom is coming, not just to take control of the earth again, but to restore it." [emphasis added]

This reference to "restoration" pertains to the Genesis 1 reinterpretation that paradise can be restored on Earth. Joyner, in his typical neo-Gnostic manner, explains how this kingdom-building is to take place:

". . .there must be a bridging and a free interchange between the natural and spiritual realms. This bridging of the realms will be through men who have transcended the original creation man to become the 'new creation,' which we become when we are born again by God's Spirit. For those who are born again and go on to maturity, they will become at home in both realms, . . ." [emphasis added]

"Maturity" in Joyner's way of thinking, is the perfected "God-man" characteristic of the Latter Rain, Manifested Sons of God cult doctrines. Joyner also teaches the heresy that believers can access heaven and bring things back to Earth, i.e., building the "kingdom" on Earth.

"The messengers of God are to ascend and descend upon the Son of Man, Christ Jesus, entering Heaven and then bringing back to the earth practical evidence of Heaven's reality. When we preach the Gospel of the Kingdom, it should be in demonstration of the authority of Heaven over the conditions on earth." [emphasis added]

Underscoring this Dominionist Worldview, Joyner reiterates: "We must keep in mind that the restoration of the earth, or the natural realm, requires a bridge to the spiritual realm, the Kingdom of Heaven. It is not either one or the other, but both." [emphasis added]

The use of the term "bridge" is particularly intriguing. "Bridging" has an occult meaning. One definition states:

"When the purified lower nature (natural) corresponds ["aligns," ed.] with the higher nature (spiritual), then union of higher and lower is effected, and the higher mind (rainbow bridge) appears in the consciousness. The 'regenerate men' are the souls who have attained liberation from the cycle of births and deaths." [emphasis added]

Note the remarkable similarity to Joyner's statement that "we need to understand that for the work of restoration, the bridge between the natural and spiritual realms must be completed." Is this nirvana-type doctrine of "liberation from the cycle of births and deaths" the same as the new Genesis 1 restoration of Paradise heresy? According to this same dictionary reference, the "bridge of manas" must appear to effect the soul's escape from its lower nature. (G.A. Gaskell, Dictionary of All Scriptures & Myths [The Julian Press, 1960], p. 610).

What is this "manas"? And what does it have to do with "bridging" the spiritual and natural worlds? The answer is startlingly similar to Joyner's "prophecy" about "bridging." It brings to mind the NAR teachings about "vision-casting," "proclamations" or "decrees." The definition reads:

MANAS (Mah-nas) Sanskrit, "power of mental picturing." In Theosophy, the fifth principle or next faculty to ripen in human evolution: the capacity to imagine what is true, rather than rely solely on sensorial evidence; the cocreative power of IMAGINATION. In short, creative imagination -- not only the capacity to imagine what is real and true, but to generate it. (John Lash, The Seeker's Handbook [Harmony Books, 1990), p. 317) [emphasis added]

The so-called prophecies of these two men have much more to do with the occult than with Scripture. Which then leads to the most obvious questions: Just whose kingdom are these men building?

The Truth:

"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;" (Isaiah 14:12-17)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Business Worldview: Who Said This?

Today's post is a quiz.

Which business guru wrote this?

[Answer posted below. No peeking or Internet searches. . . . Just read and guess!]

"Productivity is vital to your success and that of your organization. The minute your organization ceases to progress, it will start to fall back. . . .

"How is your people's productivity? Do they move from one task to the next in an efficient manner, or are they doing a lot of churning without producing much butter? If your people's productivity level could use a little boost, remember these simple keys to help them effectively get things done and become valuable players on your team:

Experts cite that 89% of what people learn comes by way of their visual sense. In other words, the first step toward completing a task is picturing it completed. When you delegate a task to your people, make a point to help them capture your vision for what the completed task will look like.

The number one motivational principle is that people do what people see. Whitley David said, "A good supervisor is a catalyst, not a drill sergeant. He creates an atmosphere where intelligent people are willing to follow him. He doesn't command; he convinces." . . .

. . . People learn quickly what gets applauded and what does not in your organization. Create an environment for your people that openly rewards personal achievement. Take time to pass the praise around on a regular basis.

. . . Hold your people accountable to a measurable standard of excellence, and make consequences a part of enforcing the standard. When the standard is met and exceeded, reward them for their work.

One of the best ways to increase the performance of your people is by giving them ownership of projects. . . . In other words, ownership means giving your people full responsibility for the completion of specific tasks and the prospect of sharing in the rewards that result.

." . . Before you hand out your next project, make sure you've done your best to set your people up to succeed by empowering them to maximize their productivity. "

The Answer:

John Maxwell, "Increasing Your People's Productivity," March 21, 2006, posted at John Maxwell is a highly influential evangelical leader who wears many hats with his many organizations. He is associated with Rick Warren and Bruce Wilkinson in the Africa "transformation" movement, particularly the "change agent" leadership training.

What was this gobbledegook posted above all about? This is an example of the new mindset of CHURCH and MISSION work. Were you able to wrap your brain around this one? Or did you get bogged down after the first few sentences?

Were you exhausted just thinking about trying to conform to the demands and expectations of this list? How much work it all is! How manipulative it all is!

The Business Worldview has taken hold of the leaders and pastors of the neo-evangelical church. This is a completely different mindset that reads like another language. This list above represents a formula for "productivity" but it is not about the Gospel.

This Business Worldview is founded upon a new Pragmatic Worldview, which includes an unhealthy dose of eastern mysticism (see point 1 above -- "vision").

What is wrong with pragmatism? An excellent two-part article analyzing Bill Hybels' Willow Creek model is posted at and In this article, Dr. Martin Erdmann, writing for a European audience, explains the rise in pragmatism in the American evangelical church:

"The philosophy of pragmatism rules Western society. If it works, we are told, it must be right. But let us remember that the Bible warns us against accepting too readily things that may be only temporary.

"Of the stony-ground hearer, Jesus said: ‘Yet he has no [firm] root in himself, but is [only] temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away’ (Matthew 13:21).

". . . Pragmatism is the notion that ideas may be judged by their practical consequences. A pragmatist concludes that a course of action or concept is right if it brings good results, wrong if it does not seem to work.

"The late Chinese statesman, Deng Xiao Ping, defined pragmatism in an original way: ‘It makes no difference whether a cat is black or white. If it catches mice, it is a good cat!’. . .

"Pragmatism, therefore, does not judge things according to overarching principles, but solely according to their functionality. Pragmatism operates in terms of fulfilling a purpose." [emphasis added]

The Truth:

"Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." (Matthew 10:16)

Friday, March 24, 2006

Worldview & Vision: Part 4: A Global Worldview

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

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

Are You Being Manipulated?

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

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

Moore writes:

"Functions of Vision

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

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

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

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

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

Moore concludes this section with a remarkable statement:

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

Think Globally -- Act Locally

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Truth:

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

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

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

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Worldview & Vision: Part 3: Congregational Development

"An equipper is a leader who actively sets goals for a congregation according to the will of God, obtains goal ownership from the people, and sees that each member is properly motivated and equipped to do his or her part in accomplishing the goals."
[C. Peter Wagner, Leading Your Church to Growth (Glendale, Calif: Regal, 1984), p. 79]

The Church Growth Movement is a Transitional structure. As you can see from the quote above, it has been around for a few decades. Church Development is based upon the business world's Organizational Development (OD) model. This OD model has been thoroughly integrated and infused throughout evangelicaldom. Organizational Development is a method of bringing psychology, anthropology, sociology, and a good dose of New Age mysticism into churches.

Church Development process is engaged in the business of changing congregational Worldview, one church at a time. In the business world, the OD gurus developed the concept of "visioning" to facilitate this type of change. "Visioning" is a highly effective tool to lure people away from the simplicity of the Scriptures, and move them towards a Transformational Worldview. "Visioning" is now part of the Church Growth Movement's toolkit to transform individuals and churches. Pastors and leaders routinely go on retreats to hash out the Mission, Vision and Values of their church.

This OD definition of "visioning" is exactly what T.M. Moore was writing about in the Spring 2004 issue of Findings, a publication of the Chuck Colson ministries. What T.M. Moore was proposing went beyond the scope of the local church. He wrote about how to change the Worldview of evangelical Christians in a corporate/global sense, in order to bring in "a new era of revival and renewal."

The Worldview of Organizational Development

Moore's article on the necessity of creating a Vision for a new evangelical Worldview, "Toward a Future Different from the Present" (see yesterday's post for the urls), is particularly disturbing because it is clear that his Worldview is totally immersed in Organizational Development theory. In other words, his own worldview is not biblical! Rather, his article exemplifies how this "other gospel" has become part of modern evangelical culture.

Moore surveyed the role of "Vision in Business and Organizational Leadership" in Part 1. He writes, "In successful organizations shared visions create purpose, community, and energy. They uplift people’s aspirations. Work becomes part of pursuing a larger purpose embodied in the organization’s products or services. . . ."

What follows are some key excerpts from Part 2 of Moore's article, which explain in great detail how a church can be transformed by this "visioning" process.

"A statement of vision. . . is an attempt to describe a future scenario of how we believe reality will unfold, what shape it will take, or what it will be like, in the light of how we understand the present reality of which we are a part. A statement of vision thus constitutes a kind of confession of faith about reality as it is and as we believe it will be."

"A statement of mission or purpose is so important to the successful functioning of vision that, together with the statement of vision, the two should really be regarded as part of the same process of reshaping an organization's or movement's present toward a more desirable future state."

"Vision and mission give rise to values, commitments, and operating systems, including strategies and goals, which define the parameters and protocols of the organization as it pursues its vision. The core values or commitments are translated into practices, or, agreed-upon behaviors for day-to-day operation."

"Those practices are organized according to certain operating systems, which include ways of determining strategies, setting goals, assessing progress, maintaining accountability, communicating results, and so forth. . . Such systems help to ensure the consistent performance of the core practices and keep the organization's resources directed toward the pursuit of its mission and the realization of its vision." [all emphases above are added]

This "operating system" is being applied to churches! This terminology comes from the New Age business gurus, who are cited in many footnotes in this article. These gurus hold to a "systems" view of the world, in which there are "feedback mechanisms" (assessments) to ascertain progress, measure results, maintain accountability and demonstrate performance. This "system" is odious on its face. It is works-oriented and results-driven. General Systems Theory, from which this "systems" thinking is derived, originates from some very pagan sources.

So . . . is the evangelical church at-large supposed to embrace without question this outcome-based methodology and esoteric ideology as part of defining its Corporate/Global Worldview?

The Truth:

Worldview is always a mix of truth and error. Those entangled in this worldly thinking of "Worldview" can run back to God's Word to find Truth.

"Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.

Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.

They also do no inquity: they walk in his ways.

Thou has commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.

O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!

Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.

I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.

I will keep thy statues: O forsake me not utterly." (Psalm 119:1-8)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Worldview & Vision: Part 2: A Volatile Combination

The popular "visioning" process that churches are going through these days is actually a way to transform the "worldview" of the people in the pews.

Herescope noted in yesterday's post that "Worldview" is a tool by which the Church can be put through a Transition process -- with the ultimate goal of attaining total Transformation. Today's post is very important for understanding precisely how this process works. If you happen to believe that "worldview" is simply a benign word that has to do with a person's viewpoint on the Bible, politics, Republicans and the religious Right in America -- read on. . . .

Yesterday's Herescope examined Part 1 of an article by T.M. Moore of the Wilberforce Forum division of Chuck Colson's ministries. Today's post begins a review of Part 2 [;].

Part 2 of Moore's article begins by examining the Worldview present in modern American education and the fine arts. This section of the article few evangelicals would disagree with, in that a "crisis" with these two areas of society is stated in fairly factual terms from a Christian Right perspective. The solution to these crises, however, is that church leaders must develop a comprehensive and unified "vision" for the future. This "vision" encompasses not only the Church but all of Society.

How "Vision" is used to facilitate Transition

Moore acknowledges that the "concept of vision" has a "role in personal and institutional development. . . in shaping the future." Moore believes that it is necessary to define this term for "maximum benefit among evangelical churches." His definition of Vision is:

"By vision we may understand a view of reality as it is and as we believe it will be. A vision is normally described in a vision statement, which becomes the basis for establishing the mission, practices, and operating systems that are necessary for vision realization within an organization." [emphasis added]

Note that this definition of Vision hinges upon what people believe to be reality. This in itself automatically throws the entire Worldview formation process into Transition. "What is reality" is up for grabs. This isn't a biblical question; one has just left the position of Absolute Truth. What is "real" to you may not be "real" to me. This is subjective.

Moore continues:

". . . [V]ision provides a view of reality as it is. It seeks to give an account of the way things are, to provide “insight into the way the world works.” [16] Statements of vision should be regarded as attempts to describe a model of reality. [17] Visions can thus be disruptive, as they tend to challenge people’s cherished assumptions about the way things are to help them see reality more clearly and according to a different framework." [emphasis added]

This is another Transitional statement. Moore states that these "Visions" are going to "challenge people's cherished assumptions." "Vision" statements are usually concocted in orchestrated consensus meetings, in which foregone conclusions move people from Tradition towards Transition. During the Transition process, people normally are challenged to leave Tradition. Their "cherished assumptions" are supposed to be abandoned in order to acquire new ideas, beliefs, opinions, attitudes and values. The footnotes in the paragraph quoted above have been left in because footnote 17 is a reference to Thomas Kuhn's book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions which was explained yesterday (and in previous Herescope posts).

It isn't just Thomas Kuhn that Moore cites authoritatively, without any qualifying statements, in his article and his footnotes. A quick run-down of the footnotes in this article, outside of the expected neoconservative and evangelical Right sources, includes a few names of note:

1. Peter Senge, the New Age business guru who wrote The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization;

2. Michio Kaku (who was quoted in yesterday's Herescope excerpt), a New Age physicist with theories so wacky that he has appeared on Art Bell's radio show and shown up at conferences that included Barbara Marx Hubbard;

3. Jim Collins, another business guru who is very popular in evangelical leadership circles, who has authored Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies.

Moore continues to assert that this Vision must be grounded "in ardent passion, present need or opportunity, a sense of urgency or necessity, or the good intentions of a charismatic leader is not likely to persuade people to alter their own perceptions about the way things are." [emphasis added] Again, it is quite clear that this Worldview "Vision" process relies upon the social scientists' formula for creating a crisis (need) and then proposing a solution that requires a change in perception (viewing, vision).

Stop and ask the obvious ethical questions: Why is it necessary for a charismatic leader to persuade people to alter their perceptions? Why must passion, need, opportunity, necessity or urgency be invoked in order for a Christian to determine his or her Worldview? Obviously these things are designed to evoke emotive responses, which then shifts people into a Transition mode. Elsewhere Moore indicates that this job belongs to leaders: "leaders begin the work of fashioning or refashioning vision statements."

Moore's Worldview includes a "vision of a renewed social order." Moore says that in a "vision of a renewed social order, the vision must seek to encompass everything from the nature of humankind and the way knowledge is acquired and disseminated, to the social processes, traditions, and institutions by which a society defines itself, to the symbols used to reinforce and transmit that self-understanding to other societies and to future generations." [emphasis added]

This is obviously all-encompassing. It isn't just about church. This "vision" is about re-shaping Society.

Moore also indicates that this Worldview must be futuristic. Earlier Herescopes have focused on the role of futurists in influencing key evangelical leaders. The futurists believe that they can envision "alternative" future scenarios for the planet, and thereby create them. Likewise, evangelical futurists believe that they can create (envision) alternative biblical scenarios by creating new eschatologies that bypass end-time prophecies. This next quotation indicates how pervasive this futurist mindset (worldview!) has now become in evangelical leadership circles today:

"Visions are necessarily focused on the future. A vision “is a clear mental image of a preferable future.” It seeks to tell “stories about the way the world might turn out,” to describe “the way things could or should be in the days ahead”, or to create “an emerging consensus” concerning the future state of things. As Peter Schwartz puts it, using the language of “scenarios,” “The purpose of scenarios is to help yourself change your view of reality—to match it more and more closely with reality as it is, and reality as it is going to be.” [emphasis added, footnotes deleted]

What startling admissions can be found in this paragraph just quoted! Once again, it is clear that this "Worldview Vision" is based upon orchestrating "scenarios." The futurists are big on using this technique. These scenarios are designed to shift one from the Biblical foundation to a Transformational Worldview.

The Truth:

The following verse is a favorite of the "vision" leaders. You've heard the first part quoted often, but seldom is the second part tacked on. Below is the full verse:

"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." (Prov. 29:18)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Worldview & Vision: Part 1

Herescope has been looking into the topic of Worldview. We have previously noted Chuck Colson's recent partnership with Rick Warren to package and market their particular "brand" of Worldview education to the rest of the world. This new partnership is illustrative the convergence of the three main branches of evangelicaldom around the doctrines and practices of dominionism.

Worldview is a tool to move individuals and churches through the Transition process towards Transformation. There is a rapid rise in articles, projects, activities, programs and ministries devoted to changing the Worldview. Aside from a surprising amount of doctrinal unity about what Transformation will look like, these diverse groups also all agree on two key points --

1) It is necessary to change the Worldview of not only Christians, but also the entire planet. In the future everyone will need to share a Kingdom Worldview;

2) It is necessary to change the integral structures of society to fit into this comprehensive, holistic, Kingdom Worldview. This is dominionism.

It is therefore important to understand what Colson's ministry means when it speaks about "worldview." A series of articles were published by the Wilberforce Forum (Colson's Worldview ministry) in Findings, Spring of 2004. As a matter of overview, David Dockery wrote in 'Toward a Foundational Worldview" that:

"What is needed is a comprehensive life system that seeks to answer the basic questions of life for individuals, families, Church, government, and society. A Christian worldview is not just one's personal faith expression, not just a theory. It is an all-consuming way of life, applicable to all spheres of life." [emphasis added]

Visions & Paradigm Shifts

In a lengthy article entitled "Toward a Future Different from the Present," by T.M. Moore [], an outline of this future Worldview is presented. In this key article, Moore discusses the importance of "vision" in transforming the evangelical church. Moore takes this one step further, however, to a "Vision Beyond the Evangelical Church." Developing a new "vision" is connected with acquiring a new "worldview." Moore states,

"Discussion of vision and its role in human and institutional development is currently not limited to evangelical theologians, church leaders, and ecclesiastical theorists. A growing body of literature is appearing on the importance of vision in such areas as social order, the sciences, business and organizational leadership, education, and the arts." [emphasis added]

Moore continues by describing the potency of these social visions in transforming society.

"Whenever. . . accepted practices are challenged, cherished presuppositions become threatened, social tensions increase, and the possibility of a change in a society’s vision is introduced. During such times of challenge and tension, social theorists engage in the work of reconstructing social reality or articulating a new vision for society. And, while this work may take place only among a relatively few social theorists, the consequences of a change in vision will ultimately affect every member of the society. . . . " [emphasis added]

Continuing this discussion, Moore describes quite accurately how this social change is maneuvered and manipulated:

"Changes of vision are accomplished in some cases by force; however, more durable and far-ranging changes of vision are achieved through various forms of discourse, including, myth, ritual, and ideology. As challenges to accepted practices come to be deemed less threatening, and more the new norm, the presuppositions undergirding those practices are regarded as less controversial and coalesce to provide the outlines of a new vision of society. New social visions, thus achieved, provide a new sense of social identity, foster new values and practices, spawn new rituals and myths, and establish new boundaries for legitimacy within the social order." [emphasis added]

This reference to "rituals and myths" parallels the Outcomes article Herescope reviewed several weeks ago (Feb. 28), "Paradigm Change: More Magic than Logic" by John C. Hillary. Of note here is that religion and/or spirituality are apparently a springboard for social scientists to shift paradigms/worldviews. The nature of man is such that he is vulnerable to such manipulations. "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." (2 Cor. 11:3)

Moore describes the "transition" of American society during the 1950s through the 1980s, particularly in values and practices, and notes that even the evangelical churches went through this same transition from modern to postmodern. Moore observes:

". . . [I]t is precisely this transition that has brought about the current sense of urgency for the renewal of vision among evangelical churches.

"In recent decades, evangelical social theorists have also tried to introduce a vision of social order more in keeping with their understanding of the teaching of Scripture and, thus, to affect the vision of what constitutes the good society and to reshape the social consensus on matters of morality and social justice. . . . To date, that effort has been only marginally influential; further, there has been no concerted effort to bring together the vision of evangelical social theorists and evangelical church leaders into a larger, all-encompassing, cogent, and persuasive whole."

Who are/were these "evangelical social theorists" and how have they tried to "reshape the social consensus"? And why did they fail? Moore's article describes a new strategy that may be more effective for their use in the future -- the use of Vision.

In laying the necessary groundwork, Moore explores the area of "Vision in the Sciences." Moore cites Thomas Kuhn's "landmark and controversial book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions." Moore gives legitimacy to Kuhn's "Paradigm Shift" theory which has been applied outside of hard science to theories of social change:

"Since the 1970s Kuhn’s book has been debated and discussed throughout the scientific community and beyond; his basic premise, however, seems to have been received, at least tacitly, by all, for the work of identifying a new vision for science is accelerating and expanding . . . . Michio Kaku writes concerning the scientific endeavor today: 'Clearly, we are on the threshold of yet another revolution. . . . But these rapid, bewildering changes are not just quantitative. They mark the birth pangs of a new era. . . .' Kaku predicts a powerful new age for the work of science, in which the visions now being promoted at the extremes coalesce into a new, all-comprehending vision of science and society, unlocking new powers within and producing new benefits from the enterprise." [emphasis added]

This reference to the term "paradigm shift" is indicative of how frequently that term is used interchangeably with the word "worldview." The two words are frequently used together in the same context. An Internet dictionary comments on this phenomenon:

"Probably the most common use of the word paradigm is in the sense of weltanschauung. For example, in social science, the term is used to describe the set of experiences, beliefs and values that affect the way an individual perceives reality and responds to that perception. Social scientists have adopted the Khunian phrase "paradigm shift" to denote a particular social phenomena rather than what was originally meant by Khun's study on the practices and development of science. Even occultists, notably chaos magicians, use the term - to describe a shift in personal belief systems concerning magic (magic theory). Some language purists feel that among "business philosophers" and advocates of any type of change whatsoever, the term paradigm is so widely abused that it bears no meaning whatsoever. " []

In Part 2 we will examine this concept of Vision and how it is to be used to shift the Worldview Paradigm.

The Truth:

"But we renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God." (2 Corinthians 4:2)

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Apostolic Transformation Worldview

On the topic of Worldview, and how this term is being used as a lever to orchestrate Transformation, take a look at one of the newest models -- Ed Silvoso's Apostolic Transformation Network (ATN).

The text below is a good example of the full extent to which this Transformation Worldview intends to go, particularly in terms of exercising dominion. Ed Silvoso has been able to maneuver with ease between both the prayer-warfare dominionism sect and also the mission sect. He appears to be placed in a key global leadership position as the top "apostle" for transforming the structures of nations via marketplace transformation. Keep in mind as you read this that much of the language is coded; e.g., the phrase "discipling nations" means making nations (corporately) disciples, with an emphasis on the word "making." Elsewhere Silvoso's writings confirm this veiled meaning.

The excerpts below are from [bold is in original, italics are emphasis added]:

"The Apostolic Transformation Network (ATN) is an intentional association of Christian leaders comprised of both pulpit and marketplace ministers who are laying down a foundation for transformation in their areas of influence toward the final objective of discipling nations in fulfillment of the Great Commission."

"The Apostolic Transformation Network is coming alongside leaders in Argentina to produce a prototype for nation transformation that can be duplicated in other places. Just as Resistencia, Argentina, became a such a prototype for city reaching, so Argentina will be a model for the transformation of nations. " . . .

"The ATN embraces the existence of modern-day apostles. An apostle is a leader anointed and sent by God who receives a celestial revelation and establishes a foundation on earth for that revelation for others to build upon to take the kingdom of God to the lost in such a way that the kingdom of darkness together with its most tangible manifestation, poverty, is transformed into a kingdom of light. . . .

"The ATN is committed to transformation - cooperating with the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, so that 'all that was lost' (Lk. 19:10) will be restored by His redeeming power, and the will of God will be done on earth as it is done in Heaven.

"The ATN is persuing nation transformation - influencing and discipling national leadership so that they will know and learn how to operate according to the will and the power of God and as a result have the blessing of God.

"The ATN is dedicated to establishing prototypes - tangible, reproducible models that will provide hope for the nations of the world." . . .

The hard questions need to be asked. Who ARE these marketplace leaders? Small businessmen or large multi-national corporations? Just how do they intend to wield "influence" over the "national leadership" to "operate" according to the supposed "will" and "power of God"?

Many scenarios come to mind, and they are not pretty. Will economic levers -- incentives and penalties -- be applied to individuals, government leaders, cities, and businesses in order to "transform" the nation? When "marketplace transformation" leaders come together, as described in more detail below (and at the website posting) will they pool their efforts and resources together in order to make or break individuals, governments, leaders, cities, and businesses?

Hard questions need to be asked which delve into areas of national sovereignty, Christian doctrine, and the ethics behind these newly forming entities -- such as Ed Silvoso's Apostolic Transformation Network -- to achieve this form of dominion. Bear in mind that these activities are being done in the name of Jesus Christ, and by people who claim to be His representatives implementing His dominion on earth!

The recent webpost by Silvoso continues:

"The Argentina prototype is connecting the time-proven principles of prayer evangelism and marketplace transformation by linking the spiritual wealth resident in the leaders Church with the governmental, social and economic wealth found in the professionals in the marketplace This is a hand-in-hand project with Argentine leaders carried out through the following structures and activities for implementation.

"National Advisory Board for Implementation: This national working Board is comprised of pulpit and marketplace ministers representing each of Argentina's 24 Provinces along with Harvest Evangelism leadership to provide on-going stimulus and direction to the project.

"Argentine Christian Chamber for Businesspeople, Entrepreneurs, Professionals, and Executives: This national Chamber has a three-fold purpose:

"*To promote the personal transformation of its members so that they become agents for transformation within the marketplace of their cities and provinces.

"*To synergize commercial and professional efforts within the nation. The focus is on raising up small- and medium-sized businesses and being creative catalysts for internal, self-sustaining initiatives in a climate of justice and mercy.

"*To provide a secure and stable connection to the international community for trade and professional interchange with the objective of the kingdom of God to the nation. . . .

"City reaching efforts: The Church in every city is being encouraged to systematically implement the principles of prayer evangelism as a lifestyle to continuously minister to the city at every level and sector of influence. By blessing, having fellowship with and ministering to the felt needs of the people, they are being discipled in how to know and respond to the will and the ways of God in both the personal and public areas of their lives.

"Focus and Alignment: The apostolic leadership of Ed Silvoso and the Harvest Evangelism team provides consistent focus to which Network members align in the vision for nation transformation.

"Synergy: The relational connections within the ATN serve to synergize the anointing and wisdom coming from what members are already doing in their business, city, region, and/or nation.

"Serving one another: The strength of the Network is in the strength of its members. For that reason, the ATN leadership prioritizes serving each member to the best of their ability to achieve the goal of discipling nations together. . . "

Ed Silvoso has written and spoken widely on this topic of marketplace transformation. He served, along with C. Peter Wagner and Graham Power ("Transform Africa") on the Transform World MarketPlace focus group. Silvoso also served with Luis Bush on the Global Interest Group. Luis Bush has written about the vision for "kingdom" Transformation of the planet. See "What is Transformation" at the Transform World website by Luis Bush, for a more thorough understanding of the dominionism inherent in this theology. [] For more information about Ed Silvoso and his marketplace transformation agenda, and how it fits into the entire dominionist mandate, see "Dominionism and the Rise of Christian Imperialism" article posted at

The Truth:

"There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand." (Proverbs 19:21)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Becoming "Transformed Transforming Transformers"

[T]he church growth movement has its own ambiguous language and terms; so as to protect those who would deceive us with familiar words and phrases so they can quickly jump from one definition to another, if need be, to cover their embarrassing indiscretions, quiet their critics, advance their agenda and shield their marketable image, . . .
("Rick Warren - Fundamentalist or Finagler?" Paul Proctor, 3/15/06,

Below is a classic example of what Paul Proctor was talking about. This comes from the Wilberforce Forum, the Worldview division of Chuck Colson's Prison Fellowship ministries. Chuck Colson and Rick Warren have recently formed a new partnership to further their Worldview agenda (see this week's Herescope posts). Note the clever usage of words, which hops back and forth between a Traditional, Transitional and Transformational meaning:

"The Wilberforce Forum’s New Mission and Vision Statements:

"Our Mission: To seek the transformation of believers as they apply biblical thinking to all of life, enabling them to transform their communities through the grace and truth of Jesus Christ.

"Our Vision: That Jesus Christ’s transforming grace and truth be manifested in the lives of believers, enabling the Church to influence every arena of life, advancing truth, justice, love, goodness, and beauty."

In this same article (no current url), entitled "New Creations Re-Creating" by Michael Snyder, we read that:

"God has blessed us with the new vision and mission statements above. The theme of transformation leaps out from them. We seek to be and help others to become 'transformed transforming transformers,' advancing the kingdom of God 'on earth as it is in heaven.' We focus on the renewing of the mind and working together in community to infuse kingdom values and principles into our respective God-given spheres of influence."

Note carefully the use of language in the paragraph above. Starting with a Biblical definition of the word "transformation," which would traditionally apply to believers' sanctification in Romans 12:1-2 ("renewing of the mind"), these statements immediately launch into a full-fledged Transformative Worldview.

This "advancing the kingdom of God" statement is pure dominionism. To underscore this point, note the references to "spheres" in the last sentence. This is a reference to the agenda to transform the "spheres" of society of the Coalition on Revival. Chuck Colson has been closely connected to COR leaders and its agenda since its inception. According to Al Dager, in Vengeance Is Ours (Sword, 1990), "COR has determined that it is mandatory for all Christians to implement [their] worldview in society, particularly as it applies to the dominionist interpretation of the Great Commission."(p. 235-6)

Snyder's article continues. . . .

"Transformation occurs to some degree when we fix what is broken or improve what is not. For example, we help reconcile broken relationships between man and God and between man and all of God’s creation, including God’s image-bearers—the human family. We right wrongs. We strive for just social institutions, laws, policies, and judicial decisions grounded in natural law that seek to achieve the common good, balancing personal freedom, individual moral responsibility, and the merciful consideration of individual circumstances."

In this statement, once again there is a leap from Tradition to Transformation. Note the sentence "reconciling broken relationships . . . between man and all of God's creation." This focus on "creation" is a reference to the Genesis 1 "mandate" to restore paradise on Earth -- the ultimate goal in the global kingdom Transformation agenda.

Note also the political Communitarianism evident in the last sentence. This is a key tenet of both Neo-conservatives and Neo-evangelicals, whose top leadership is intricately intermingled for the purposes of achieving dominionism. Achieving the "common good" in Communitarianism means giving up individual rights to the State, which in turns prescribes individual responsibilities.

Synder continues:

"These are honorable tasks for kingdom-builders. Yet they do not adequately convey the enormity and wonderment of the transformation project in which our King has us engaged with Him. Indeed, we are much more than fixers, tweakers, and protectors. We are His Body doing His work in His world—making all things new by building His Church and seeking human flourishing in accord with His design. We call this shalom.

"This project entails transformation of both souls and systems through the grace and truth of Jesus Christ. It requires all of God’s transformed—and still transforming—believers to engage intentionally in God’s work of transforming others. And it requires us to transform the world around us through the practical application of biblical truth to every sphere of life, including our family, local church, workplace, neighborhood, professional association, service organization, etc."

Nowhere in the Bible does it talk about transforming SYSTEMS. Yet this is the goal of both the New Age and the New Apostolic Reformation. Based upon an evolutionary model of the universe called General Systems Theory, this Worldview teaches that man can perfect himself on Earth by setting everything (every sphere of man) into an Amway-style hierarchical pyramid structure, forging "organic" unity, and developing a "cosmic consciousness." These esoteric New Age beliefs have been Christianized, packaged and marketed to an unsuspecting Christian public via Leadership Network, the false apostles and prophets, Cell/Shepherding model advocates, and Coalition on Revival political dominionists.

Just in case you thought the last paragraph of analysis might have been too extreme, read on. . . .

Co-Creators Re-Creating?

"In Christ we are “new creations”. As part of His Body, we must hear and heed the Head. This means we ought to be about His business, the Holy Spirit-led re-creation business. In short, we are to be new creations re-creating.

". . . It energizes us to be as creative and resourceful as possible as we pursue the mission of helping unbelievers become new creations and making society new. . . ." [all emphases in above quotations are added]

Co-creation is a key doctrine of the New Age. Yes, we are a new creation in Christ. That is the Traditional doctrine that hooks in the readers. Did you bite? It sounded so good! But read on. . . The Transformation Worldview teaches that we are co-creators in creation. The heresy is, of course, that we (as the body of Christ) assume the ongoing role of Christ as creator on Earth! Once again, this article jumps from a biblical foundation straight off the cliff into Transformation.

Read the following definitions and decide if what you just read is orthodox Christianity or New Age. Co-creation, according to The Seeker's Handbook (a New Age dictionary) is:

"Collaboration by humanity in the ongoing process of creation, taking it as an event that remains to be completed rather than as an event over and done by the time humanity wakes up and looks around. The supreme aim of spiritual development in the ancient Mysteries, where the entrants were prepared to assume the responsibility of fulfilling the design of evolution, taking up where the Gods left off. An idea inherent to alchemy. . ., rediscovered by the Romantics. . ., and currently discussed as a key theme, or perhaps the key theme of the New Age. . . . "

Co-evolution is, "The aspect of co-creation that involves working directly with the processes of nature, to assist or advance them. . . ." (The Seekers Handbook, Harmony Books, 1990, p. 249) [all emphases added]

The Truth:

"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." (2 Peter 3:3-4)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Worldview Wizardry

"I define a 'worldview' as the sum-total of answers that a person gives to life's most important questions. A worldview can have either a powerful, positive influence on us or a negative one. A worldview, even when it is functioning subconsciously, shapes, determines, and influences the way we think and act. . . . all truth is God's truth."
("Thought-provoking: Your worldview governs how you live. Analyze it.", Ronald Nash talks to Peter Hastie, Australian Presbyterian, Feb. 2004,

"Worldview" can act as an agent of change. "Worldview" works in the realm of cognition and feeling -- including beliefs, opinions, attitudes, values. It purports to deal with the spiritual, but much of what passes for "worldview" in today's Christian world is a mixture of philosophy, sociology, anthropology, and psychology.

When the terms "biblical worldview" or "Christian worldview" are used, they could potentially mean:

1. political viewpoints
2. personal opinions
3. attitudes
4. various doctrinal beliefs
5. cultural values
6. economic views
7. religious philosophies
8. education styles
8. social issues
9. personality type
10. group norms or mores
11. lifestyle preferences
12. mindsets
13. presuppositions & assumptions
14. ethnolinguistics
15. demographics

As you can see, each of these items (and this is not an inclusive list) cannot be claimed as Absolute Truth. Rather, these are positions that people take. These are all potentially part of the Transition sequence of Church Transformation. Each one of these items could be used as a springboard to maneuver people into a mode where what they think or feel supercedes God's Word. It is also employed as a way to implement groupthink -- whatever the group thinks or feels can supercede God's Word.

These 15 points represent a "mixture" with biblical Truth. This mixture brings in truth and error, man's opinion with God's Word. As such, it is open to the manipulations and machinations of whatever agenda might be in vogue. Currently in Christendom the dominionist agenda is in full-swing, and it is here that most worldview assessments and curricula can be found operating.

The purveyors of Worldview believe the axiom "All truth is God's truth." This justifies bringing in the mixture. In particular, it opens the door for psychological and sociological influences to "shape" and "determine" and "influence" people's worldviews. Promoters of Worldview seek to examine the internal workings of people by opening up "dialogues." It attempts to supercede the work of the Holy Spirit by engineering Worldview shifts in people.

Monitoring your Worldview for Results

Worldview training is integrated into leadership training for pastors and church leaders. It is part of the overall "change agent" for Transformation training. It is also part of Christian education programs and various church and mission endeavors. Worldview training is coming in to the Church through many agencies and sources, which will be examined more fully in future Herescope posts. But, first, it is important to understand a key point:

Worldview advocates do not stop at training! Worldview training is outcome-based and results-driven.

This is because Worldview is part of the overall shift to a psycho-social education model, which was known as outcome-based education in the 1990s. Outcome-based education integrated a child's attitudes, feelings, opinions, beliefs, motives, temperaments and behaviors into the so-called academic assessments. Worldview assessments also measure these attitudinal things (see the list of 15 points above, for example).

Based upon this model, everyone's Worldview must be measured, assessed and monitored.

Worldview assessments are particularly at the forefront of Church Transformation. These are psychological tests that fall under the category of attitudinal assessments. They purport to measure a person's "biblical worldview." In reality they are instruments devised to monitor people on the emerging spiritually-correct (and politically-correct) dominionist Worldview. Those who need remediation can be put through Worldview classes and curricula designed to re-shape their Worldview to the more correct "biblical" one.

Many of the 15 elements listed above are incorporated into Worldview training, assessment and curricula. This fact alone indicates that the "biblical worldview" is not about Scripture.

The Truth:

For a more complete understanding of the significance of Worldview assessment testing and how it fits into the dominionist agenda, see "Peering Into the PEERS" by Lynn and Sarah Leslie at . This article provides detailed (and scholarly) evidence that Worldview assessments are psychological in nature. The article also explores the history and beliefs of the dominionist leaders who are utilizing these tests to further their agenda. The contents of a particular Worldview curriculum used by the Nehemiah Institute is also dissected.

In the days to come, these psychological Worldview assessments will routinely be employed to gauge how well Christians in the pews are fitting into the "mindset" of the New World/Church Order. Become familiar with them now, before family and friends become seduced by these world-oriented Worldview assessments and curricula.

"My son, fear thou the Lord and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change." (Prov. 24:21)

Matthew Poole's Commentary notes that "meddle not" means, in the Hebrew, "mix not thyself with them, either in their counsels and practices, or in familiar conversation."

"And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

"That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Tim. 3:15-17)