Wednesday, January 30, 2008

God's Relationship to Everything

With Lesson 29 you begin to appreciate the ubiquity of God: the notion that He is everywhere and is in everything. As you bring more love to everything you do, you begin to see the love that is everywhere. If God is in everything you see, then every aspect of your life becomes part of your spiritual journey.

God is in everything I see.

The idea for today explains why you can see all purpose in anything.

--A Course in Miracles, Lesson 29, Marianne Williamson on Oprah's XM Satellite Radio yesterday (1/29/08)

"God is everywhere and He is in everything."
--Marianne Williamson, Everyday Grace, p. 216.

"[God] . . . is everywhere and is in everything."
--Rick Warren, The Purpose-Driven Life, 2002, p. 88.

Yesterday's lesson by Marianne Williamson on Oprah Winfrey's XM Satellite Radio was Lesson 29 from A Course on Miracles. This lesson introduces the idea that God is "in" everything. For example, the listener/reader is supposed to rehearse this list:

  • God is in this coat hanger.
  • God is in this magazine.
  • God is in this finger.
  • God is in this lamp.
  • God is in that body.
  • God is in that door.
  • God is in that waste basket.

This teaching -- that God is IN everything -- is at the heart of the emerging syncretism of global spirituality. It is a key doctrine of New Age spirituality, and increasingly shows up in the evangelical world.

Warren Smith, an ex-New Ager, noticed that Rick Warren and Robert Schuller appeared to be teaching this doctrine, and devoted an entire chapter about it in his 2004 book Deceived on Purpose: The New Age Implications of the Purpose-Driven Church. Smith commented that

"Rick Warren's implication and Robert Schuller's contention that God is 'in' every person is at the very heart of all New Age thinking. The Bible does not teach this. The New Century Version that Rick Warren quotes is dangerously mistaken in its translation of Ephesians 4:6. The only books I had ever seen that taught that God was 'in' everything had nothing to do with biblical Christianity. In fact, it didn't take me long to find this same unbiblical teaching in A Course in Miracles." (p. 81)

Smith then proceeds to illustrate his point by quoting from Lesson 29 of A Course in Miracles -- the very same lesson that Marianne Williamson was going through in her radio show yesterday!

What is wrong with this teaching?

Pastor Larry DeBruyn, author of the new book Church on the Rise: Why I am not a "Purpose-Driven" Pastor, which we mentioned in yesterday's post, also expresses concern about Rick Warren's use of the New Century Version translation for Ephesians 4:6. Pastor DeBruyn takes note of the fact that Rick Warren uses this rendition of the verse in the context of practicing the "presence" of God, which is closely connected to the idea of contemplation (see p. 88 of The Purpose-Driven Life). This usage is strikingly similar to how Lesson 29 of A Course in Miracles treats this same concept -- the Course student is told:

"At least once or twice you should experience a sense of restfulness as you do this."

The following excerpt from Church on the Rise (pp. 78-81) clarifies the errors of this teaching:

Pantheism and Panentheism

We should note that God is not everything. To believe that God is everything is pantheism. God is not the mosquito that bites me on a camping trip. Neither is God in everything, which is panentheism. God is not in the big landscape rock that decorates my neighbor’s front yard. To believe that God is everything, or in everything, contradicts the biblical theology that God is holy and personal.(1) God is a person who is transcendent above, and separate from, His creation. For Christians to remain Christian, it must never be said of them that, “they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.” (Romans 1:25; See verses 18-25.). It is pagan thinking to believe that God is His creation or that God permeates His creation. No. God is separate from His creation and His creation is separate from Him (Genesis 1:1-31).

Theological Error

Rick Warren’s quotation of the New Century Version of Ephesians 4:6b contains serious theological error. The NCV quotation is a poor choice. Therefore, his surrounding commentary on generic spirituality is misleading. From Warren’s citation of the verse, crossover spiritualists may justifiably deduce that because God is in everything (panentheism), he is thereby present in everyone. I know Warren does not state that God’s indwelling is universal amongst all humanity, but that is what a crossover reader might infer from the NCV paraphrase of Ephesians 4:6b. On this point the question becomes, is God immanent in everything, which implies He is present in everyone? If so, this is an eastern religious and New Age mystical assumption that is so much the vogue of pop spirituality in America today.

Some Christians are concerned about the NCV version of Ephesians 4:6 which Warren quotes and employs to discuss “practicing the presence of God.” The controversy caused spiritual counterfeits author Richard Abanes to defend Rick Warren’s use of that NCV text as a basis for practicing the presence of God. Abanes explained that all Warren meant to teach was the immanence of God, that God is present “not only above and beyond the universe, but also throughout it (His omnipresence).”
(2) To accept Abanes’ apologetic that Warren is not a pantheist, several issues need to be resolved. First, the NCV translation of Ephesians 4:6 directly states that God is “in everything.” That may not be what Warren believes, or meant to communicate, but that is what that version states. Though the version may not directly infer a pantheistic way of viewing God, at minimal, it gives a panentheistic impression of God. Though Abanes disclaims that Rick Warren is a pantheist, and did not mean to promote such a concept of God, Warren chose to quote a modern paraphrase that infers such a view of God.

Second, in the context of Ephesians 4, Paul did not affirm the immanence and omnipresence of God in the universe. What he did state is truth regarding the church universal, the Body of Christ (vv. 1-16). In Ephesians chapter 4, Paul sets forth teaching that being a UNITY (vv. 1-6) and consisting of a DIVERSITY (vv. 7-13a), the church ought to grow together into MATURITY (vv. 13b-16). The basis for such UNITY amidst DIVERSITY is that throughout the church universal there is “One God and Father of all, who
is above all, and through all, and in you all” (v. 6b, KJV). Being in the Father and Son, and united by the Spirit, the Body of Christ is permeated by the “one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:6b, NKJV; Compare John 17:20-23.). In this majestic statement, Paul affirms God’s presence in and lordship over the church. Though God is present in the farthest and darkest recesses of the universe (Psalm 139:7), Paul was not stating that in this context. He is teaching that though God is universally present throughout the cosmos, He is particularly present in and throughout the believing and regenerate church.

Third, if by his NCV citation of Ephesians 4:6b we assume that Warren meant to teach that the immanence/omnipresence of God is the basis upon which persons are to practice God’s presence, Warren’s invitation to practice God’s presence is inter-religious. Because God is everywhere, all persons, no matter what their religion, are invited to practice God’s presence. By quoting the NCV, Warren provides a basis for ecumenical spirituality, a practicing of the presence of a generic God by all persons, no matter what their religious persuasion might be. Because God is everywhere, everyone can practice the divine presence.

But the basis upon which Christians are conscious of God’s presence is not that of
divine immanence, but divine indwelling which the Bible states is not common to everyone everywhere. Jesus told his disciples that “the world cannot receive” the Holy Spirit “because it does not behold Him or know Him.” He then issues a qualifier to the disciples saying, “but you know Him because He abides with you” (John 14:17). And Jesus further states to the disciples that for reason of the coming Spirit baptism (Acts 2; 1 Corinthians 12:13), the Holy Spirit “will be in you” (John 14:17b).

Richard Abanes’ apologetic on behalf of Rick Warren does not adequately answer concerns regarding the accusation of panentheism. Warren’s NCV citation of Ephesians 4:6b was a terrible choice. Further, it is theologically misleading, and leaves the door open for ecumenical spirituality. It would have been better if both Abanes and Warren would have admitted that the NCV is a bad paraphrase, and that the author had inconsiderately quoted it. But for whatever the reason, they did not. To the point that God resides in everything, Warren’s quotation of Ephesians 4:6b is unqualified and therefore misleading. It does not follow that what is true of the church (the called out ones) is necessarily true of all God’s creatures and creation.

Saints and "Ain'ts"

Though all human beings possess a life-force, a soul, which marks them out to be bearers of the divine image, their soul is without God in the world. Clearly Jesus did not view that God resided in all persons (John 8:44). Neither did Paul. The apostle stated, "But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him" (Romans 8:9b). Spiritually, Paul divided the world of people into two groups. He said there is one group called "saints," those within whom the Spirit of Christ dwells; and he implied there is another group we'll call "ain'ts," those within whom the Spirit of Christ does not dwell. Now the condition by which the Spirit of Christ enters and lives within a person is faith in Jesus (Ephesians 1:13), and at that juncture it becomes impossible to see how the Spirit of Christ can dwell in Jews or Muslims who deny that Jesus is God, gave His life as the atonement for their sins, and was raised from the dead. According to the New Age spiritual paradigm, some sort of "Christ-spirit" (logos) is common to and dwells within all humanity. However, that is not the teaching of New Testament Christianity. . . .

Based on Warren's unqualified words, crossover readers might be led to assume that God lives within them when in fact, He does not. Only Christian believers have the right to personalize these words of Jesus: "I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20). Only believers can affirm Christ's spiritual presence, "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27).

The Truth:

Listen to Warren Smith on a radio interview last week with Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel addressing the topics like this one. Listen to Chuck's comments on this interview the following day.

"In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise." (Ephesians 1:13)

"One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." (Ephesians 4:6 KJV)

1. The worldview that can be inferred from Warren’s citation of the NCV paraphrase of Ephesians 4:6b is panentheism. This worldview holds that while God is present in the material universe, he is separate from it much as a human soul is differentiated from the human body. Materially, God is immanent in creation while at the same time he is spiritually transcendent above it. Such a worldview is not what Paul either teaches or infers. What is true of the spiritual Body of Christ (i.e., the church and its members), that God thoroughly resides in them together wherever they might be in the world, is not true of his material creation.
2. Richard Abanes, Rick Warren and the Purpose that Drives Him (Eugene: Harvest House Publishers, 2005) 95.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

News of Interest

Regular readers of Herescope will want to know about the following items of interest:

WARREN SMITH at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa last week

Listen to Warren Smith's talk on The New Age and The Emerging Church at the the Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa last week online here. Simply click on the link to his speech.

We've been astonished to find that Warren's previous Herescope posts about Oprah Winfrey, Marianne Williamson and the Course in Miracles have taken on a life of their own in cyberspace. Many people around the country have been sending these posts to family and friends and their loops. Praise the Lord for this important warning getting out.

For people desiring more information about the false gospel in A Course in Miracles, Warren Smith's first book The Light That Was Dark contains his fascinating testimony about his personal experiences with this Course.

"The Roots and Fruits of the New Apostolic Reformation"

Pastor Bob DeWaay has done an excellent job of describing the history, personnel and doctrines of what is now called the New Apostolic Reformation in his latest Critical Issues Commentary. The article begins:

This article explores the idea of apostles in the church throughout church history. In it I will show that the restoration/Latter Rain idea that fuels the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is unbiblical and dangerous to the well-being of Christians who become part of it. First we will review how the early church understood apostles in church history.

Then we will examine the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching about apostolic authority. From there we will examine the ideas of a 17th-century mystic given new life in the Latter Rain movement, and now the NAR. At a 1996 Fuller Seminary conference hosted by C. Peter Wagner, a movement that Wagner previously labeled “post-denominational” became the New Apostolic Reformation.1 Besides Wagner himself is another person prominent in the movement—Bill Hamon—who is strongly endorsed by Wagner. Hamon is important, as we will see, because his ministry goes all the way back to the early 1950’s and began on the heels of the Latter Rain Movement.

Read the rest of his article here. For those of you who want a good summary paper that would explain this growing evangelical movement, Pastor DeWaay's paper is a great printable handout that summarizes the important details. You should feel comfortable giving this to your pastor and friends. It is exceptionally well done.

A good companion piece for this article would be Jewel Grewe's Joel's Army booklet, which is available online at the Discernment Ministries website, and also in booklet form. Joel's Army describes that pivotal period of time when the leaders of the "Kansas City Prophets" connected with C. Peter Wagner and John Wimber to form what became the New Apostolic Reformation.


This is the subtitle to a new book just released by Pastor Larry DeBruyn titled Church on the Rise. The book's stunning cover graphic depicts a dark, creepy, gurgling, leavened church rising up.

This book fills a void in the critical books that have been written about Rick Warren and his purpose-driven structure and agenda. It is kindly written from the heart of a long-time pastor, who simply desires other pastors to humbly love their flocks and remain true to the Gospel in these perilous times. It is well-documented and an easy read.

One of the themes of the book is "P & P" -- the "positivity and possibility formula that has become central to preaching" (p. 42) in the evangelical church. A good history of "New Thought" connects it to the teachings of Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, and Joel Osteen.

The book isn't just about purpose-driven. It encompasses the emerging/emergent church as well. Chapter five is about "Contemporary Music and Evangelicalism: Suffocating the Word." Others will appreciate Chapter 6, "Contemplative Mysticism and Evangelicalism: Subverting the Word." Both chapters contain useful information from a fresh perspective.

The book is worth getting for the rich appendices and essays included in the back. These vignettes utilize Scripture to refute the errors of contemplative mysticism and Emergent church heresies. These are handy little tools. The titles for the fifteen essays are listed below:

  • Be Still
  • Contemplative Prayer
  • Should We Wait in Silence?
  • Let All the Earth Keep Silence
  • A Still Small Voice
  • Who Goes There?
  • When You Pray, Say . . .
  • No Pass for Campolo's Impasse
  • Breath Prayers
  • Sensory Religion
  • Posture to Apostasy
  • Essence Within: Divinity or Depravity?
  • Did Jesus Teach the Deity of Humanity?
  • David's New Song
  • Sway Hallelujah!--Dance and Grace

For a sample of Pastor DeBruyn's writing, see "B.B. Warfield and Contemplative-Mystical Spirituality," which is Appendix 4 in this book. Note: A few might find his use of newer Bible translations and quotations from non-Christian sources to be disturbing. Others may find tidbits here and there to quibble about. But there are great nuggets in the book, such as the quote below:

"The Purpose-Driven philosophy seems to feed off the fear of a dying church. But failing to cultivate spiritual health by returning to the Word, churches are only embracing methods of temporary life support. However, being separated from the life of the Word and the Spirit, churches will inevitably be forced to pull the plug, and die. Purpose-Driven would have us believe that life can be sustained by adopting new methods. Jesus and the apostles would tell us that life can only be sustained by returning to the old message. For churches cut off from their Gospel roots, no new method is going to bring them real spiritual life. Pragmatism possesses no power to resurrect the dead. Only the Word and the Spirit can do that (Romans 1:16; Revelation 3:3a)." (p. 163)

Like so many other books that dare to criticize the modern evangelical movements, this book had to be self-published. The book costs $14.95 and is available from

The Truth:

"Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus." (2 Timothy 1:13)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Rick Warren & Brian McLaren at DAVOS

Davos Surprise: Rick Warren

The biggest surprise of Davos so far for me? Rick Warren. Being a cosmopolitan atheist type, I'd heard of him, of course, but thought he was, well, author of a bestselling self-help book and pastor of a megachurch somewhere. What I didn't realise was that he's been coming to Davos for years, and that he can work his magic on Masters of the Universe - and cynical hacks - just as much as he can on his congregation at home.

"If you're a global leader, you have to realise that the future of the world is not secularism," he said at a panel on faith and modernity moderated by Tony Blair. "There is going to be more religion, not less. You may not like it, but that's the way it is." [Read the full post

Brian McLaren at Davos

Brian McLaren is asked by Sierra Club radio to talk about the environment and theology from a Christian and evangelical viewpoint. Listen here.

Brian speaks really well and its a good intro to his book called Everything Must Change, which outlines a plan to tackle the spiraling threat of a dysfunctional economical system.
Brian will be speaking at DAVOS World Economic Forum in Switzerland this week and will be rubbing shoulders with some of the world's top leaders in their fields. I hope he is able to bring God's agenda to the table. [Read the full post, with links, here]

Two evangelical leaders, Rick Warren and Brian McLaren, who recently signed the common faith agreement Loving God and Neighbor Together, which called for Christian and Islamic leaders to work together, showed up in Davos, Switzerland, this week at the World Economic Forum.

This is quite significant. Davos featured a "West-Islamic World Dialogue" with a "Council of 100 Leaders (C-100) Promoting dialogue and cooperation between the Western and Islamic worlds." According to one report, the purpose of the C-100 is sustain "In-depth Dialogue and Discourse" and leverage "Global Cooperative Action" with a network designed to:

  • Catalyse change and make progress in one of the most pressing global issues of our time
  • Advance thought leadership to shape and guide the agenda of West–Islam dialogue
  • Participate in the discourse among members of a network of influential leaders with eminent knowledge
To underscore the increasingly spiritual nature of the WEF's economic focus, note the "Ancient Wisdom on Modern Questions" webpage link. This is truly a global interfaith movement.

Rick Warren attended Davos last year. You can see a clip of him doing an interview at Davos this year here. According to Warren's bio posted at the World Economic Forum website, he is still a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. WorldNetDaily has previously reported on Warren's prevarications regarding this issue.

Brian McLaren of Emergent Church fame also attended Davos. He is set to go on a book tour for his new book Everything Must Change. He, like the New Apostolic Reformation leaders, is calling for a paradigm shift -- not unlike James Rutz's Megashift -- called Deep Shift to "engage in personal formation and theological reformulation for global transformation." One of his sponsors is Faith at Work, part of the marketplace transformation movement, which is eerily similar to the WEF's global business development.

While Robert Schuller was hosting his Rethink Conference this past weekend, these other evangelical leaders were actively engaged in this "theological reformulation for global transformation" with the power elite in global economics. It is no coincidence that the "apostles" of the New Apostolic Reformation are calling for a radical redistribution of the planet's wealth, often referred to as the "kingdom economy" or the "transfer of wealth."

To see the shape of the evangelical church to come, study the "theological reformulation for global transformation" embedded in this TransformWorld covenant document. Our previous post discussed Transform World's vision.

The Truth:

"Thine enemies roar in the midst of thy congregations, they set up their ensigns for signs." (Psalm 74:4)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

How to "Conquer the 7 Spheres"

Q: How can this and the next generation conquer the seven spheres? What can this generation do?

For this generation presently, it’s one of the most exciting generations. They’re about 26 and below. Some call them the “media” generation, or the “millennial” generation, or they call them “y” generation, but whatever, they are the most exciting group. . . . They’re also global in their thinking, and they don’t think of just their own nation. And because of this, and their connectivity because of the media through IT, through the various forms of the Internet and so on, they are really connected around the world. Now when they are sparked by God, and see that God has the answers through them, to change the nations, and find out, “hey, we can do it in the category God’s already given us a gifting and a calling to”. . . . And so, if they’re called into business, or called into education or called into missions and the church or whatever the category is, they can see God coming in and make a change, because we don’t have to use old paradigms, we can use the new. . . . There’s no limit now through the internet. . . . To give one-hundred percent to their mountain of achievement--the mountain they’re claming [sic] for God, and their sphere that they’re going to fill with the glory of God, . . . He can shine into every one of the spheres onto every mountain that needs to be climbed and brought into the kingdom of God.
So we have the challenge for this generation that just fits perfectly and I think it’s like dry kindling ready to be set afire, and it’s going be spread about like a wildfire in a hurry and across the nations and across the internet in every form, texting and you name it, blogging and on youtube and a lot of other tubes that are coming out, like God-tube, and there’s Yahweh, and there’s others that are coming out to give their testimony of what God is doing and then through that, beginning to effect their sphere of life.

-- "Theology of Reclaiming 7 Mountains," Os Hillman's interview with Loren Cunningham, 11/19/07 [emphasis added].

While attention is focused on Robert Schuller's Rethink Conference this weekend, next weekend's Reclaiming the 7 Mountains Conference scheduled in Atlanta, Georgia, puts wheels on the global agenda to "reclaim the 7 mountains of culture." And they are even launching a new theology along with it, which requires evangelicals to "rethink." It is a big deal. As of yesterday, an e-mail promoting this live-webcast conference proclaims that "Next week, we are expecting nearly 500 from 30 states and 21 nations!"

If the term "spheres" wasn't in your evangelical lexicon before, it will be from now on. The Reclaiming 7 Mountains Conference is set to make "spheres" a household word. From henceforth you will be prepped and prodded to discard your previous theologies. That is what "rethink" means.

Previously on this blog we have discussed how the original Schuller Rethink Conference used the "spheres" terminology. This was no accident, but we noted it was pulled and the website was changed. Perhaps this was because "spheres" has everything to do with governments, global institutions, international agendas, transforming culture, and building some sort of a literal/physical "kingdom" on earth. No wonder Schuller invited such a big line-up of major movers and shakers. Using prestigious "speakers at the top of their spheres of influence" is a psycho-social marketing strategy that is supposed to influence you to change how you think about the world, your faith, and the future. As you can see from the quotation at the top of the page, viral marketing (Pyro-Marketing?) is supposed to kindle the flames for this global movement.

This quotation originated from an interview done by marketplace transformation "apostle" Os Hillman with Loren Cunningham, founder of Youth With a Mission (YWAM), who claims to have had a vision of 7 "spheres" of society conjointly with Bill Bright of Campus Crusade. In a previous post we challenged the credibility of this story, believing it to be revisionist history. One area of marketing emphasis is clearly youth. Another focus is the workplace.

Make no mistake about it. The agenda described here is to transform nations, however that comes to be defined. In this interview with Os Hillman, Loren Cunningham described this process in "rethinking" terms, saying that people need to "shift" their "world-view." Note the Dominionist theology inherent in this new worldview:

“Nations” is not individual, that’s corporate. And that’s where we have to see the seven spheres or the seven mountains, and see them as a corporate change of even the worldview that they are presently having to shift them into a world-view that will allow the nations to receive all that God has for them in salvation and in all the other blessings beyond salvation, and especially in discipling them to disciple the nations. And He said, “baptizing them, in the name of the son, of the father, and the Holy Ghost.” How do you baptise a whole nation? They have to die to the world-view they’re in. If it’s a Buddhist world-view, or a Hindu world-view, and be resurrected to the world-view of the Biblical, and that which is of Jesus’ world-view. . . . so that we can multiply the kingdom of God in every sphere of life. [emphases added]

How does one baptize a whole nation? And how can an entire nation can have their worldview shifted? Can it be by the simple powers of persuasion? As we've already seen in America, the psycho-social tools of manipulation are indeed effective at shifting people's theologies. But what other "tools" will be used to "shift them into a worldview. . . to "receive all that God has for them. . . ."? And how has "discipling" come to be re-defined?

Answers to these questions may be found at the Transform World website, which published a 2-part article entitled "What Is A Transformed Nation?" in October and November of 2007, in which it is stated at the outset that "God's agenda is to restore every nation to Himself through Christ." Transform World is a premier "catalyst" for Dominionism by networking mission agencies and groups for the purposes of "transformation" that becomes "a unifying vision for the church's mission in the twenty-first century." As you read the excerpts below, ask yourself HOW these goals could possibly be achieved. (Warning: your answers could be quite unsettling.)

  • a nation transformed is seen when a nation is built on the principles of God's Word and infused by God's presence. For a nation to be great it needs the Spirit of God and the law of God.
  • a nation transformed is visible when, "a nation where both the people and institutions have been overrun by the Kingdom of God," George Otis, Jr., Sentinel Group.
  • The Kingdom to which the Bible testifies involves a proclamation and a realization of a total salvation, on which covers the whole range of human needs and destroys every pocket of evil and grief affecting humankind. . . . The Kingdom of God is that new order of affairs begun in Christ which, when finally completed by Him, will involve a proper restoration not only of human's relationship to God but also of those between sexes, generations, races, and even between [humans] and nature….
  • a nation transformed is revealed through behavioral changes, as a result of understanding and committing to a biblical worldview.
  • a nation transformed comes to the forefront when the people of a nation apply the principles of the Bible in all spheres of society. [emphases added]

In Part 2 of the same article, you will read a series of utopian statements about what a "Transformed Nation" will look like once it has been "transformed and always transforming," which is defined as a "process." In our previous blog post, we noted where Dominionism has now been defined as an evolutionary "process." The utopian nature of this "transformation" includes reversing the effects of the Fall, a doctrinal theme that is prevalent throughout Dominionism. "A transformed nation" is described, in part, as:

  • Where Satan and his angels have been bound and disempowered.
  • Where the Lord Jesus is exalted, and lifted up, and where every knee bows and every tongue confesses his Lordship.
  • Where the curse upon the land issued at the fall of man has been lifted.
  • Where the land has been healed and plants and the trees yield their fruit in season (Ps. 104).[emphasis added]

But, there is far more to this "transformation" than deviant theology. This plan is also Orwellian. Imagine how the following indicators of a "transformed nation" in this utopian list below could be fulfilled. How would you measure these? How would they be assessed? By what criteria? By whose standards? What happens to those nations that do not perform up to par? Who will enforce the "laws" of this "kingdom"?

  • Where children are healthy and free from dangerous illness.
  • Where every child born lives expecting to die only at the end of a long, fruitful and useful life.
  • Where mothers live through safe pregnancies and deliver their babies without complications.
  • Where children are brought up in loving caring families and nurtured and taught the 'way they must go' as they grow.
  • Where wages are fair and just.
  • Where the council of elders in each village and community is able to resolve all disputes justly at their own level.
  • Where those in authority are concerned and care for the welfare of those in their charge and are continuously planning for their betterment. [link added]
These indicators of transformation resemble the "Mental Health, Education and Social Control" ideas of the international globalists, as referenced by Dr. Dennis Cuddy in his NewsWithViews article series (and books) on this topic -- a fact which raises many more questions about the nature of this global transformation/Reformation/new order.

The Truth:

It isn't time to RE-think! It is time to think -- with sanity, with wisdom!

One might pause for a quiet reflection on the nonsensical nature of all of this. Consider God's sovereignty, and Who Jesus is according to Scripture. Why would Jesus Christ, Son of God, who died on the cross and rose again that we might be saved, NEED all of these psycho-social, man-mechanized, mountain/sphere transformation contrivances?

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him."
(James 1:5)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Seven Spheres of Influence

The 3rd Annual Restore America Conference will address more than 2000 registrants and will focus around the Seven Spheres of Influence that shape and manage our communities and our nation’s culture.
- Promotion for The Restore America Conference scheduled for 2/28/08 [emphasis added]

Kingdom Government of God
The government of God will become a new wineskin for the future move of God (see Matthew 6:10). Reformation back to the original design of Genesis will be a major focus and God's creative anointing will be on those who move in this direction.

- C. Peter Wagner, Cindy Jacobs, and many others: Word of the Lord for 2008 and Beyond,
The Elijah List, 1/10/08 [link added to quote]

This blog has focused many posts on C. Peter Wagner's agenda, as part of the New Apostolic Reformation, to influence the 7 spheres or 7 mountains of culture, by actually changing nations and governments, cultural and social structures, in the name of "building the kingdom of God on earth." In C. Peter Wagner's "prophecy" above, he says that 2008 will have "The anointing for dominion" where "[e]ach sector of society will begin to be touched by the power of God in new fresh ways from government, education, the medical fields, media, the arts and other areas."

It is interesting that the Patriotic movement to "restore America" has now embraced the same number - seven - for the "spheres of influence" that they want to use to "shape and manage our communities and our nation's culture." This may signal a more public unity among Dominionist leaders.

The number 7 is a boiled-down version of the original 17 spheres that were delineated in "worldview" documents prepared by the Coalition on Revival in the 1980s, when COR served as a "melting pot for Charismatic Dominionists and Reconstructionists." These worldview documents, described in detail in Al Dager's book Vengeance Is Ours (Sword, 1990), contained theological and political positions that were "mandatory for all Christians to implement . . . in society."

The Restore America organization appears to be carrying on the mantle of the Coalition on Revival's themes by focusing exclusively (for now) on America by:

Restoring the 'Vision'
The Vision of our Forefathers to create a nation "Under God" must be restored to the Body of Christ if God's people are to fulfill their 'salt and light' responsibility in the preservation of the Republic and the Gospel of Christ.

This patriotic "vision" has widespread appeal among evangelicals who are concerned about the decay of American society, rampant immorality, the deterioration of our Constitutional rights, etc. This is the bait which lures so many into political action. But political action quickly becomes fused with the Dominionist ideal of building the kingdom of God on earth. There is an active network of organizations devoted to furthering the dominion of the "spheres" in American society. Many former leaders of the Coalition on Revival remain on active duty to further this cause.

Patriotic Dominionists hearken back to an idealist vision of America which denies the ugly sides of its history. Revisionist history is being pumped out at amazing speeds -- much of it very appealing to conservative and traditional family, church and nation ideals -- and this presidential campaign year is seen as a prime opportunity to further indoctrinate the evangelical masses. Many only see this through myopic lens of an utopian American vision.

But there is a much broader issue involved here; i.e., the definition of the Kingdom of God. The COR position paper on the subject of the kingdom of God* states:

"We deny that the Church must await the second coming of Christ for the Kingdom of God to be inaugurated on earth in time-space reality and in power. [page 3]"

We deny that the restoration of man's God-ordained dominion (a) lies outside the scope of Christ's redeeming work as mediator on the Cross, or (b) awaits the physical presence of the returned Christ for its inauguration and expansion."

We affirm. . . [that Jesus] is bringing all things into submission under His feet, exercising His authority ever more widely and fully on earth as the gospel spreads and people are converted to Him;. . . " [red emphasis added]

Make no mistake - this heresy promotes the idea of an evolving Kingdom of God, which is ever expanding in power and authority and dominion -- on earth! This isn't just about the spread of the Gospel message. It is about building structures, influencing spheres, and changing nations, and prescribing and enforcing the Gospel (as they define it). In this evolutionary kingdom worldview, the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross is deemed incomplete. Perhaps it isn't always said that way, but the role of the Church on earth is greatly expanded from its basic mission to spread the Truth of the Gospel. Dominionism teaches that the Church in this present age must spread its "influence" by taking over the institutions of this world. One key document, "Theology of Reclaiming 7 Mountains" by Mark Pfeifer explains this aberrant theology:

The purpose of the church, therefore, is to prepare for the triumphant return of the King by completing the dominion mandate. This assignment will successfully increase throughout the world in the last days as God’s kingdom rule is extended in the hearts and lives of countless disciples in great number and in those who have headship in the main cultural spheres of influence throughout the nations of the earth. [bold in original, red added]

Note that this evolutionary theology is referred to as "The Dominion Process":

The term, Dominion Process describes the process by which God uses mankind to extend His kingdom rule on the earth and take dominion of it. It is a two-fold process. First, God creates and redeems a blessed seed. Then He uses His blessed seed to extend His kingdom rule on the earth when they take dominion of it. [italics in original, bold added]

The reference above to "blessed seed" above refers to the Manifest Son of God heresy that a "new breed," a super-spiritual race of end-time believers will be "overcomers" to ultimately drive out Satan from the earth. Most patriotic Americans aren't taught this Gnostic doctrine - yet. But it lurks just beneath the surface (see Dager's Vengeance Is Ours).

A core tenet teaches that the Church can't go it alone with only the Gospel message. The Church must take over the spheres of society and enlist the State in this effort to transform/reform the nations of the world. The Coalition on Revival's Article 20 explains:

"We deny that God and His truth should ever be separated from the State; that absolute separation of Church and State is either right or possible; and that Christians should ever be silent in the face of evil."

While this statement may appeal to many sincere patriotic evangelicals, who have been taught for the past 25 years that America is a "Christian" nation, it is an ominous statement when considered historically. Over the course of 2000 years the efforts at linking Church and State to enforce Dominion were full of bloodshed. Ironically, the very thing that appeals to patriotic Americans - freedom - is what is lost when Dominionism becomes enforced, coerced, prescribed and dictated. The New Apostolic Reformation teaches that its prophets and apostles hold a primary role enforcing these allegiances, as documented on many prior posts on this blog.

The Truth:

Paul Shirk, in his excellent book refuting Dominionism, entitled Come Out of Her My People, wrote:

There is nothing in Scripture to indicate that Christ's direct civil rule over the nations of this world (even though He now sits at the right hand of God) will occur before He returns as Lord of Lords and King of Kings. He is now calling men in His Kingdom through the gospel, and those who are called and chosen will be joint heirs together with Him when He returns. Those who have suffered with Him will also reign with Him. (p. 189)

Revelation 2:26,27 includes a promise to overcomers that they will rule the nations with a rod of iron, even as Christ has received this privilege from His Father. This is a promise that finds fulfillment after the end; that is, the end of time as we presently know it. There is no such promise granted to believers in this age, that if they overcome they will rule the nations with a rod of iron. It is a promise that finds fulfillment when Christ Himself comes to rule the nations of this world, as recorded in Revelation 19:15. Our reign over the nations of this world is concurrent with Christ's rule and not with man's rule. The rule of Christ over the nations in a literal sense occurs at His physical reappearing, and at this time all those who have suffered with Him shall also reign with Him. (pp. 200-201)

"For though I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel!"

(I Corinthians 9:16)

*[COR statements and analysis can be found in Al Dager's Vengeance Is Ours]

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sickles Ready to Reap Nations

Sickles are Swinging Over the Nations

For 2008, prophetically, I hear "sickles." They are swinging over nations, and they are set to reap. But what will the harvest be--national revival or national judgment? The Bible (see Revelation 14:14; Joel 3:13) speaks of two types of sickles. One is a sickle of salvation to reap the ripe harvest of the earth. The other is a sickle for grapes--a sickle bringing judgment and the wrath of God. What if the sickle that swings widest over a nation could be determined by the Church of that nation?

Like a giant chessboard, the world is taking shape for the war for the souls of men.

- Stacey Campbell, "For 2008, Prophetically, I Hear SICKLES--God is Preparing to REAP NATIONS," The Elijah List, 1/1/08. [bold in original, red added]

Every year the leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation release their "prophecies" for the coming year. This year's prophecies are even more bold about proclaiming that the "church" will "judge" the nations.

On January 1st, the Elijah List, chief organ for communication of these supposed new moves of God, issued a prophecy by Stacey Campbell that set the tone for the year, reviving an old Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God prophecy about the filling of stadiums:

. . . stadiums will fill with massive gatherings of fasting and prayer, the generation prepared with signs and wonders will, like the apostles in the book of Acts, be released to preach to receptive ears. . . .

In a 1996 article by discernment researcher Ed Tarkowski, entitled "The Significance of Filled Stadiums," he detailed the origins of this prophecy. It was first suggested by Paul Cain of the Kansas City Prophets in November 1988, who said on a Grace Ministries tape that stadiums would be the training ground for the Latter Rain's Joel's Army:

"Joel's Army [is] now in training. . . . I believe one day soon Joel's Army will be in training ...until it graduates into the stadium. . . . "

Tarkowski's report continued:

Paul Cain claimed this was the plan of God for this generation - everybody - all denominations - because it is the plan of God for the `last of the last days.' On a Grace Ministries tape of a talk given by Cain some years ago in Missouri, he told his audience,

"I had a vision of you people coming from ...a circle of maybe a hundred miles and I saw people coming from every major city within that circumference and a great conclave was taking place, and it was the training of Joel's Army...I believe that people are going to come together by the thousands and train for the Army of the Lord. Wouldn't that be wonderful? I mean, that's long overdue."

When enough pastors and other leaders are trained, for the Army of the Lord, he expects the greatest revival of all time to result.

The current version of this Latter Rain stadium prophecy connects the idea more to prayer, which seems quite harmless on the surface, until one reads the purpose for this prayer gathering:

Prayer is the tipping point. Prayer will release both the judgments of God (see Revelation 8:3-13), and create the climate for people to call upon the Lord (see Judges 2:11-22; 3:9, 15; 4:3; 6:6, etc). The scene is being set. If there ever was a time that a nation could "be saved in a day," now is the time. The wealth transfer has begun, the miracles are happening, the leadership has crossed over and stadiums are already being filled with tens of thousands of believers who are gathering in solemn assemblies of fasting and prayer. . . . who are consumed with passion to see a resting place for the Lord established. . . .

As I said, in my spirit, I hear sickles. God is preparing to reap nations. Will they be saved--or judged? . . . . [bold in original, red emphasis added]

Note that the Latter Rain concept of "harvest" is connected with "judgment" in Campbell's statements below:

Prayer--massive gatherings of fasting and prayer (concerted, fervent prayer) will determine which sickle swings widest over America and the other nations of the world. When the prayer bowls fill in Heaven, the result on earth is the acceleration of harvest and judgment. . . . [bold in original, red emphasis added]

But who is in charge of this sickle of judgment over nations? According to Latter Rain (New Apostolic Reformation) false doctrine, the CHURCH wields the sickle and is in charge of the harvest as an agent of "God" on earth. This rapidly accelerating (emerging) church will begin applying judgment on those nations (and individuals) who don't conform to their kingdom-building activities on earth. This is also known as Dominionism.

A Discernment Ministries newsletter from 1996 explained how this end-time doctrine is supposed to be implemented:

The basic message of Latter Rain/Restorationists today is: Christians must release the Spirit of God into the kingdoms of this world through prayer, which will cause these Satanic kingdoms to crumble. Then, as the earth faces certain ruin, Christians should be ready with solutions to the World's problems. The Body of Christ, as it becomes united in the truth that Jesus is Lord, will overcome the power of Satan and subdue the world, bringing the times of restoration spoken of in the book of Acts. Until the Body of Christ is in perfect unity, and has restored all the earth to its original state, Jesus is said to be 'held in the heavens.' The doctrine of the rapture is absurd to these folk. Instead of waiting for the heaven, to part and the trumpet to sound, the church is urged to prepare for a spiritual battle and get ready to overcome the world. [bold emphasis added]

This heresy teaches that Satan was not defeated at the Cross when Jesus shed His blood for our sins. The Church is supposed to finish Christ's work by defeating "Satan" (however that comes to be defined), which requires the Church to become militant and at war. In order to achieve this, the church requires more "power" ("anointing"), some of which comes from being properly "aligned" by setting up apostolic networks. This same Discernment newsletter, which provides good background information, quotes from one of the original apostolic networks which explained:

We live in a critical hour. There needs to be a demonstration in this generation of the ministry of the apostle with miraculous, prophetic power and world-changing productivity. When the apostles begin to arise by the thousands, we will be able to take the nations for Jesus Christ. The harvest cannot be brought in apart from this foundational office. In an answer to the Spirit's cry to "restore!", we are seeing the Father raise up a new generation of apostles and apostolic people to take their place in the earth and make their invaluable contribution to the work of God. This requires a fresh anointing and people who are willing to embrace something new while building on and cleaving to the landmarks and foundations of yesterday. It will require experienced men of anointing and integrity to set the pace for dominion in this hour. . . apostolic-prophetic pacesetters nationwide are uniting to plant and strengthen churches through this Network of covenant relationships. A Global Network, Antioch Churches & Ministries.[bold emphasis added]

Stacy Campbell's prophecy concludes by stating:

If we take the principle of first binding the strongman through national assemblies of fasting and prayer, and then loosing the harvesters (marketplace apostles, fiery end-time preachers, mercy evangelists, and miracle workers), we can take nations. . . . . [emphasis added]

Notice that missionary activity is no longer about the Gospel message of salvation. Rather it is inextricably connected to the idea of "transformation" and the Dominionist goal to "take the nations." The 1996 Discernment newsletter explains that this is a Manifest Sons of God cult doctrine, and that these people believe they are the "Elect Generation" and a "New Breed" who will achieve "immortality" by actually becoming "Christ." They teach that the church will become a

mighty end-time army made up of 'anointed' prophets and apostles who will lead the church into a militant form of evangelism. They will destroy all opposition. . . .

They also teach that

"taking the kingdom" must be done by a revolutionary church. The
kingdoms of the world including government, finance, arts, sports, medicine, science and education [Ed. Note: these are the "spheres" or "7 mountains"] must begin to realize that the Church has the solutions for all the problems. The church must become the Overcomer! The world will see Jesus in the flesh when He manifests Himself through thousands of saints simultaneously around the world. Bill Britton [explains this Manifest Sons of God doctrine when he] said:

Beloved, it is people in human, flesh bodies who shall conquer this world and defeat Satan. . . Jesus defeated Satan and overcame him for us and put all of hell's forces to an open shame. And He did this in a flesh body. Since He is the Head of the Body, it is now in order for the Body to follow in the pattern which He has set for us. . . This Body of Christ, the Overcomer, shall come forth in mighty power to manifest the fullness of Christ in the earth. They are known as the Manifested Sons of God, and this place they occupy is the High Calling of God
in Christ Jesus" (Jesus, the Pattern Son, pp. 36-40). [bold emphasis added]

Considering, then, what these heresies actually teach, this latest prophecy about the sickles being readied for the harvest, is an ominous development. These "overcomers" who believe they have the authority to wield the sickle of judgment on earth have the gall to refer to it as a "harvest," but this is not to be confused with the biblical harvest. And the Church is never charged in Scripture with wielding sickles.

Matthew Poole wrote in his Commentary on Matthew 9:37-38 that "The inclination and desire of multitudes to hear Divine truth is God's harvest" and that "God is the Lord of the harvest." Concerning Matthew 13:24-30, he wrote that this harvest is "concerning the gospel church and the dispensation of the gospel" where the Lord "instructs us what we are to expect as to the mixture of persons in it while it is in this world." A few verses later in Matthew 13:39, Jesus states that "the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels." This harvest is described in Revelation 14:14-20, and referenced in the Old Testament book of Joel 3:13.

A presentation of the Gospel should never be accompanied by force, coercion or compulsion in any manner. The Kingdom of God (Mark 4:26-29) is about sowing the seed of the Gospel and planting the message of Truth in the ears of the hearers. The church is not charged with separating the wheat from the tares, nor harvesting with a sickle, nor taking dominion over "spheres" of society, nor building an earthly kingdom.

For more information on this topic, be sure to follow the links in today's post. There are also helpful archives at the Discernment Ministries website, including back newsletters, which chronicle the rise of this current movement and explains more about these new doctrines and why they are heresy.

The Truth:

"There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who are thou that judgest another?" (James 4:12)

Monday, January 07, 2008

It's All Happening at the ZOO

"Concentrate on the positive.
If you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and take him into your life,
you'll never have to worry about the devil."

Robert Schuller
Discover Your Possibilities (p. 61)

"It helps to know that Satan is entirely predictable."
Rick Warren
The Purpose-Driven Life (p. 203)

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil,
as a roaring lion, walketh about,
seeking whom he may devour."

1 Peter 5:8

On Christmas Day, a Siberian tiger at the San Francisco Zoo scaled the retaining wall that was supposed to protect the public. The tiger attacked and killed one young man while seriously injuring two others. Zoo officials could not understand how Tatiana the tiger had gotten loose. It was soon discovered that the wall retaining the animal was 4 feet short of the height recommended for tigers. According to the experts, if it had been erected "by the book" the wall would have protected those three young men. They had relied on the wisdom of zoo management for their safety and they had been disastrously let down.

Unfortunately, a sad parallel is occurring in many of today's churches. Pastors are neglecting the clear admonition of Scripture to be "sober" and "vigilant" regarding our Adversary the devil - thereby failing to provide an adequate hedge of protection or retaining wall for their flocks. In neglecting to go by the book - the Holy Bible - many of today's pastors are no different than those zoo officials whose neglect permitted a caged feline to get loose. As a result, our spiritual Adversary is permitted, just like that San Francisco Siberian tiger, to "walketh as a roaring lion" in many of our churches "seeking whom he may devour."

One theory about the attacks blames the victims for taunting the tiger.

However uncertain the preceding circumstances, the facts of the assault are clearer: Just before the zoo's closing time, the 4-year-old tiger named Tatiana escaped her pen and attacked the older of the Dhaliwal brothers, then turned on and killed Sousa, who was apparently trying to save his friend by distracting the animal. She then made her way 300 yards to the zoo café, following a trail of blood left by the first injured man who had fled with his brother. It was there she attacked her third victim, the younger Dhaliwal, and was shot dead by police officers — 20 minutes after they had received the call that the tiger was loose.

So, what exactly was Tatiana's motive? It may well be that she, despite being born into captivity and identified with a human name, was simply being a tiger — acting as any other predator would in nature. It's no surprise that tigers can be aggressive. But is it possible that Tatiana may have remembered the three men — who may have taunted her — and set out for them specifically? Was she, in other words, holding a grudge?

Is it possible that many evangelical leaders are actually taunting the "roaring lion" as they spread misinformation about his basic nature?

What is particularly amazing is that Tatiana had a "history of violence" - an "assault just over a year ago on a zookeeper during a feeding." It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that one must seek to avoid a close encounter with a large, cantankerous feline! So why is it that many evangelical leaders tell believers to ignore the prowling Adversary as if he were no more dangerous than a purring, cuddly house cat?!

Just as people depend on zoo officials to keep them safe from animals, believers should be able to depend on their pastor/shepherds to protect them through accurate scriptural counsel. For spiritual leaders to minimize and ignore the warnings in Scripture plays right into our Adversary's hands. Just as the San Francisco Zoo officials did not appear to factor in Tatiana's previous violent history and basic cat nature, and thus take precautions to build up their retaining wall accurately, pastors are not taking Satan seriously anymore, nor can we trust their statements about our spiritual Adversary to be accurate.

Make sure your hedge of protection is measured accurately. Measure everything by Scripture - not by the unreliable words of undiscerning spiritual leaders.

The Truth:

"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." (Ephesians 6:11)

"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us, For we are not ignorant of his devices." (2 Corinthians 2:11)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy New Year from the New Age "Christ"!

UPDATE on Oprah Winfrey, Marianne Williamson
A Course in Miracles*

"Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world,
according to the prince of the power of the air,
the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:"
(Ephesians 2:2)

“For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus,
whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit,
which ye have not received, or another gospel,
which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”
(2 Corinthians 11:4)

On New Year’s Day, New Age leader Marianne Williamson got the new year off to a rousing start on Oprah & Friends XM Radio as she began to systematically teach the New Age principles of A Course in Miracles. While most of the Christian world was relaxing, Williamson was hard at work teaching A Course in Miracles on her radio show. Her program, which now airs each weekday for an hour, is completely devoted to teaching A Course in Miracles. Both Oprah Winfrey and Marianne Williamson have openly stated that they believe the principles of A Course in Miracles can change the world.(1)

As previously posted on this site, A Course in Miracles is reputedly “new revelation” from “Jesus,” channeled through a university professor in New York City by the name of Helen Schucman. A Course in Miracles is actually the Bible turned upside-down, as it teaches that “a slain Christ has no meaning” and that “the journey to the cross should be the last useless journey.” Its teachings state that “there is no sin” and that “the recognition of God is the recognition of yourself.”

Kicking off the new year in high gear, Williamson cleverly avoided any direct reference to biblical Christianity when she stated that over the coming months on her program she would be methodically “dismantling a thought system based on fear.” She emphasized that the dismantled thought system would be replaced by “a thought system based on love” – a thought system that would be inspired by the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles.

In introducing A Course in Miracles to her Oprah & Friends listeners, Williamson was careful not to alienate anyone as she skillfully avoided discussing the origin of A Course in Miracles: how it was dictated to Helen Schucman from an “inner voice” claiming to be "Jesus.” Nor did Williamson describe how the ambivalent Schucman never fully believed in the teachings she channeled. Schucman confessed, “I resented the material I was taking down, and was strongly impelled to attack it and prove it wrong” and “I do not understand the events that led up to the writing. I do not understand the process and I certainly don’t understand the authorship.(2)

Most faith-contending Christians are familiar with Jesus’ warnings in the Bible that describe how a powerful end-times deception will arise from false prophets and false christs that come in Jesus’ name and shall deceive many:

And many false prophets shall rise,
and shall deceive many.
(Matthew 24:11)

Take heed that no man deceive you.
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ;
and shall deceive many.
(Matthew 24:4-5)

Unfortunately, Marianne Williamson and Oprah Winfrey are either unaware of, or choose to disregard, Jesus’ warnings in the Bible. They also overlook other scriptures like 2 Corinthians 11:4 that warn about spiritual imposters who call themselves “Jesus,” yet teach “another gospel” and have “another spirit.” Williamson and Winfrey apparently do not know or take seriously the 1 Timothy 4:1 warning that in the last days “seducing spirits” will introduce false doctrines – like A Course in Miracles – that are described as “doctrines of devils.”

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. (1 Timothy 4:1)

When Marianne Williamson stated on her New Year’s Day program that the chief purpose of A Course in Miracles “is the dismantling of a thought system based on fear,” she was clearly referring to dismantling the traditional teachings of biblical Christianity. According to A Course in Miracles and the New Age/New Spirituality, the Bible is a fear-based thought system because it preaches an “angry" and "wrathful God.” Also, in the upside-down worldview of the New Age, it is “fearful” and “unloving” to deny the divinity of humanity and to not see everyone as “God” and “Christ.”

But, while the Bible states that we are to always love and forgive others, it also states that God is God and we are not Him or a part of Him. The recognition of God is not the recognition of yourself. Contrary to the teachings of the New Age and A Course in Miracles – and even some Christian leaders – God is not “in” everything.

Besides authoring books and hosting a radio program for Oprah Winfrey, Marianne Williamson also co-founded the Global Renaissance Alliance with Conversations with God author Neale Donald Walsch – a man who claims he has had direct communications from “God.” Their former organization of New Age leaders is now called the Peace Alliance. Walsch indirectly stated that the only thing hindering the “paradigm shift” to their New Age worldview and the attainment of world peace are those people still subscribing to a fear-based worldview. Walsch’s “God” states that this fear-based thought system is humanity’s “greatest enemy.” Cleverly avoiding the use of anything directly denoting Christian believers, Walsch’s “God” defines “fear” as the thought system of those who collectively oppose his New Age concepts:

But the paradigm shift will take great wisdom, great courage, and massive determination. For Fear will strike at the heart of these concepts and call them false. Fear will eat at the core of these magnificent truths and make them appear hollow. Fear will distort, disdain, destroy. And so Fear will be your greatest enemy.(3)

As Marianne Williamson uses A Course in Miracles to teach her Oprah & Friends listeners how to systematically dismantle the supposedly fear-based worldview of biblical Christianity in 2008, the big question is this: will Christian leaders contend for their faith as passionately as Marianne Williamson, Oprah Winfrey, and other New Age leaders are contending for their New Age beliefs? With Marianne Williamson and Oprah & Friends widely trumpeting the teachings of A Course in Miracles, the New Age has laid down its gauntlet for the new year. Isn’t it about time for Christian leaders to move out of their denial concerning the New Age? Isn't it about time for Christian leaders to start contending for the faith?

In the meantime, put on the whole armour of God and stand fast in the truth as you defend your faith in what promises to be a challenging new year.

The Truth:

"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." (Jude 3)

*Today's post is authored by Warren Smith. For more information on the topics covered in today's post, see Warren Smith's book Deceived on Purpose, especially chapter 8, which explains the errors of the New Age doctrine that God is "in" everything. For a better understanding of the dangers of the teachings of A Course in Miracles, read about Warren Smith's experiences while studying the Course in his personal testimony The Light that was Dark. For background information on Oprah Winfrey, Marianne Williamson, A Course in Miracles, their New Age friends and global PEACE agendas, be sure to read Reinventing Jesus Christ which is posted online.

1. The Oprah Winfrey Show, February 4, 1992, "My Life is Driving Me Crazy"; and Marianne Williamson, The Gift of Change: Spiritual Guidance for a Radically New Life, page 5.
2. Robert Skutch, Journey Without Distance: The Story Behind “A Course in Miracles” (Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts, 1984), pp. 134-135.
3. Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: Book 2, page 242.