Monday, December 15, 2014

"The Secret" Unveiled

I only heard about this book 'The Secret' on The Oprah Winfrey show back in 2009 - and I immediately bought a copy of it - believing that it can help me get what I want - and what I want was money, and lots of them. I was an unbeliever then. I really thought that this little book could actually be my ticket to a life of comfort and ease - but I was dead wrong. I was neither dirt poor, nor a rich man. But just the thought of having an unspeakable amount of money in your hands that you could spend on whatever and whenever you want was so enticing - but it's doubly frustrating and depressing because you just don't have it. That is where the enemy comes in - by deceiving you that you can get the prosperity you want by way of this book. In all reality, you are committing a great sin against God. 

A lot of Bible illiterate Christians today read this New Age book - not knowing that they are being deceived, being lead by seducing spirits. Last year during my exhortation in a prayer meeting at my former church, I was carrying this book as a teaching tool - to point out the demonic nature of it. I didn't know that a fellow church member also had a copy of this book. We talked it over and I advised him not to read the book anymore and that he should throw it away.

What is it all about?
'The Secret' is just one of the many New Age books that Oprah Winfrey promotes - along with 'A Course in Miracles' and 'A New Earth' on her show. This book is simply about getting what you want by using the law of attraction, or the power of positive thinking by way of visualization, declaration and positive confession. There are three easy steps (the book says) to get what you want: Ask, Believe and Receive. This is the reason why a lot of Christians are attracted into reading this demonically-inspired book - because it is so easy to follow the instruction, yet it claims to give you tremendous reward. But the question is, who are you asking it from?  On page 48 of the book we get the answer.

"This is really fun. It's like having the Universe as your catalogue. 
You flip through it and say, "I'd like to have these experience and 
I'd like to have that product and I'd like to have a person like that." 
It is You placing your order with the Universe. It's really that easy."

So, it's the Universe you will ask from, not our Lord God. I believe that the 'Universe' the book is talking about here is actually Satan, just in different name. After all, the Scriptures refer to him as the god of this world and thus fully capable to grant one's wishes at the expense of that individual's soul. We can see this in Matthew 4:8-9, where Satan tempted Jesus to give Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor - but in exchange Jesus should fall down on His knee and worship him. 'The Secret' will cause you to sin against God, just like what Balaam did to the nation of Israel. He can not curse them, and so by teaching Balak what to do, he let Israel curse themselves in a way. (You can read the full story of Balaam in Numbers chapter 22 through 25. This account is also recorded in Revelation 2:14.)

Name it, Claim it.
The New Age teaching such as the "power of positive thinking" and the "law of attraction" has slowly but surely infiltrated mainstream Christianity through megachurch prosperity gospel preachers like Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Robert Schuller, T.D. Jakes, Creflo Dollar, to name a few, and who are nothing more than motivational speakers. They just repackaged this by calling it a different name. The "Name it, Claim it" doctrine, is a prosperity gospel, it teaches that you can have everything your heart desires, just simply ask it and you'll have it, twisting Mark 11:24 which says, "...What things soever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them.". It is of the Word of Faith Movement which teaches that Christians can access the power of faith and fear through speech. The basic doctrine being preached by this movement is that of wealth and health through positive confession. A lot of Christians have been deceived by these prosperity gospel preachers, believing that God really wants us to be rich and comfortable in this life while we await our place in heaven. They forget that with much tribulation we will enter the Kingdom of God (Acts 14:22) - not with overflowing material blessings that we usually hear from TV preachers.

You can see the similarities and influences of the new age teaching on the power of positive thinking and law of attraction from these prosperity gospel preachers through the books they authored. Here are some of titles:
  • Joel Osteen - "Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential" (2004), "Living in Favor, Abundance and Joy" (2010), "I Declare: 31 Promises To Speak Over Your Life" (2013).
  • Robert Schuller - "Move Ahead With Possibility Thinking" (1967), "Self Love" (1975), "Living Positively One Day at a Time" (1986).
  • Creflo Dollar - "8 Steps To Create The Life You Want", "Total Life Prosperity", "You're Supposed To Be Wealthy".
  • Joyce Meyer - "Me and My Big Mouth: Your Answer is Right Under Your Nose" (2002), "The Secret Power of Speaking God's Word" (2004), "Change Your Words, Change Your Life: Understanding the Power of Every Word You Speak" (2012).
  • T.D. Jakes"Positioning Yourself To Prosper", "The Greatest Investment", "Life Overflowing: Six Pillars of Abundant Living" among others.
  • Kenneth Copeland - "Prosperity: The Choice is Yours" (1992), "The Laws of Prosperity" (1995), "Prayer: Your Foundation For Success" (1999).
  • Rick Warren - "The Power To Change Your Life", "Daniel Plan: 40 Days To a  Healthier Life", "Purpose Driven Life".
  • Paula White - "Birthing Your Dreams: God's Plan For Living Victoriously" (2003), "Daily Treasures (Words of Wisdom for a Power-Filled Life" (2004), "The Ten Commandments of Health and Wellness" (2007), "You're All That!" (2007).
  • Clarence McClendon - "And When You Pray: The Key to Accessing the Presence of God" (2002), "Unlocking Dream Dimension: The Principle of First Fruit" (2003), "Beyond Personal Power: Experiencing the "God Kind of Faith"" (2003).
  • Kenneth Hagin - "Words" (1979), "How God Taught Me About Prosperity" (1985), "You Can Have What You Say" (1988).
  • Leroy Thompson Sr. - "Money Cometh: To The Body of Christ" (1999), "Money Thou Art Loosed" (1999), "Money With A Mission" (2000).

Watch this video of Leroy Thompson teaching his congregation how to attract money (wealth and prosperity) into their lives by way of the power of attraction and through positive confession. "Money, cometh to me now!" is their Mantra. A good example of Mammon worship.

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, 
and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. 
You cannot serve God and mammon. ~ Matthew 6:24 (AKJV)

Norman Vincent PealeHe's a minister and author of the book "The Power of Positive Thinking". He influenced and mentored TV evangelists like Robert H. Schuller and Rick Warren, and Rev. Billy Graham, who said at the National Council of Churches on June 12,1966 that, "I don't know of anyone who had done more for the kingdom of God than Norman and Ruth Peale or have meant anymore in my life for the encouragement they have given me."

I am God!/Little gods
In the New Age theology, they believe that with right meditation, we can receive enlightenment and will come to the realization that we are all gods, attaining the "Christ Consciousness", just like what Jesus had. In page 164 of the book, The Secret, says,

You are God in a physical body. You are Spirit in the flesh. 
You are Eternal life expressing itself as You. You are a cosmic being. 
You are all power. You are all wisdom. You are all intelligence. 
You are perfection. You are magnificence. You are the creator, 
and you are creating the creation of You on this planet. 

The lie that says we can all be gods goes back from the garden of Eden - when Adam and Eve was deceived to eat the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil - by the most cunning creature of all in the garden: the Serpent - the father of lies himself Lucifer.  In Genesis 3: 3-5 we read:

But of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, 
God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. 
And the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die: 
For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, 
and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

The "I am God" new age doctrine is not new to Christianity, and is based solely on pride. In fact, many of the Word of Faith Movement teachers and prosperity gospel preachers like Joyce Meyer, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Paula White and even the late TBN founder Paul crouch Sr. all believe that they are "little gods". They argue that since God is our Father, and we are the sons of God, therefore we must also be gods, or little gods. Incidentally, most false religions like Islam and Mormonism also believe that if they do good in this present life - when they die, they will either be like gods or be gods themselves. The Lord Yahweh says in Isaiah 45:5, "I Am the LORD, and there's none else, there is no God beside me..." , and in Revelation 22: 13, Jesus Christ says, I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last." 

In this final hour, when the enemy does not rest to deceive all humanity into believing that God has planned for all of us to prosper with so much material blessings - we better be warned. Jesus was crystal clear in His admonition to the disciples that whoever would want to follow Him should take up his cross daily and share in His sufferings so that he too may be worthy to share in His glory. But most Christians today have different ideas - they love to twist Scriptures to tickle their itching ears and readily claim promises of abundant life that Jesus had promised in John 10;10. The Bible says that whoever lacks wisdom should ask God who gives it freely to those who desire it (James 1:15). With God's wisdom and discernment from the Spirit you can never go wrong in your walk with Him.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Oprah, Rob Bell, T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen et al: Lethal Combination

Who doesn't like Oprah Winfrey? She is a poster girl for hard work, compassion and spirituality. When she speaks, the world listens. Critics may try but fail to succeed in putting her down. After all, she radiates positivity that this world desperately needs. Her words offer up wisdom - deep sense of spirituality and inclusiveness - regardless of anyone's race, creed and religion. If you listen to her, chances are you'll be seeing yourself in a company of legions who admire and adore her. That is what encompasses the name Oprah. Now, that is very easy to see why megachurch pastors come in a beeline to share a platform with her. 

A year ago, Oprah had successfully enlisted some notable pastors to her program MegaFest, aimed at reaching out to hurting communities that needed emotional, psychological and spiritual healing. She could not go wrong aligning herself with popular celebrity pastors such as T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar and Rick Warren who lead congregations in their tens of thousands among them. Given the blockbuster lineup she had gathered, the program needless to say was a massive success. As if that was not enough, Oprah recently hired another (former) megapastor Rob Bell into her fold to launch him into yet another stardom. Rob Bell, the former founder of another megachurch in Michigan who is famous for not believing in a literal hell will debut in his launching program 'The Rob Bell Show' on December 21 this year. This heretic will have another powerful platform to spread lies in exchange for financial gain and media is abuzz heaping praise on this 'new milestone'.

Prosperity gospel
With social media emerging as a very powerful tool to connect the world today, the likes of T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar and Rick Warren are but some famous names in the Christian community to have emerged as having the greatest fan base. Their respective congregations number to tens of thousands. These pastors are also multi-millionaires and labelled megapastors for obvious reasons. So what's their secret for being so 'successful'?

It's no secret that people naturally tend to gravitate towards a feel-good message especially when one's life is saddled with so many troubles. When pastors preach about "God being obsessed with us people and that He desires to give the best life that we could ever have", who would dare resist hearing such comforting and satisfying words? That is in effect very true - that God desperately wants to put us under His wings to enjoy His presence and the security and peace that only He could give in this troubled world. But the issue is that the gospel presented here is being sugar-coated so that people think they have no accountability for their sins because God is too loving to punish us for our sins. People in these congregations are being spoon-fed to believe that God has been itching to pour out so much blessings to them and that it does not bother Him a bit that these people live in sin. After all, "He is only about love, forgiveness and generosity". 

Mega pastors and what they're known for:
T.D. Jakes in one of his interviews pertaining to gay marriage while hosting  Oprah's Life Class, famously said that the Bible affirms "that marriage should be between man and a woman. I'm not particularly political. I'm not particularly denominational. I'm not worried about any of that. I'm not anti-gay, I'm not anti-anything. I don't want to even be known by what I'm against." So, it's quite clear T.D. Jakes doesn't want anyone to know that God abhors same-sex relationship. He does know that it is an abomination to God but he would rather keep it to himself and would not tell the tens of thousands in his congregation.

Well, we know the man Joel Osteen in his famous  interview with Larry King was a confused Christian. All he said was "I don't know Larry I don't know", when asked if atheists won't go to heaven without Jesus. He insists he is not called to preach condemnation but to announce only the message of hope. So, that explains why we see multitudes upon multitudes stampede into his church on Sundays eager to hear his message of hope, prosperity and promotion without even mentioning that 'sometimes' God can get disappointed with their 'little sins'.

And in case you don't know Creflo Dollar, this megachurch pastor is known for his teaching that God wants His faithful (tithers) to be rich. He is also known for defending his friend Bishop Eddie Long who is a child molester. And what's new with Rick Warren the man known as 'America's pastor'? His brave and well-applauded  endeavor to bring together various faiths in unity certainly did not escape Oprah. So he comes as a natural choice to join Oprah in promoting her New Age agenda feigned as a noble endeavor.

As for Oprah's newest recruit Rob Bell, he is a resigned pastor from the one he founded in Michigan and now busying himself up rubbing elbows with Hollywood celebrities. As we mentioned above, the man does not believe in a literal hell and is a staunch supporter of same-sex marriage. So there you are. No explanation needed.

Lethal combination
It's not a real surprise when Oprah has aligned herself with these megachurch pastors and vice-versa. Their common denominator is obvious and that is to send a message of love, acceptance, tolerance and inclusiveness. In Oprah's Life Class with T.D. Jakes, topics that are commonly talked about is how to gain your self-esteem back, acceptance of one's self, and being at peace with everyone in your environment - and guide a person to his or her spirituality. The show has been proven to be a hit and has gained massive following through the years. Oprah articulates that this program does not tackle religion or any particular faith but about spirituality. That to me sounds very New Age philosophy.

Oprah's New Age belief
The world has heard when Oprah in one of her program episodes declared that all faiths lead to God and that there must be over a hundred ways to God other than Jesus. Everyone in the audience seemed to nod in agreement save for one lady who stood up and schooled Oprah on Jesus' claim that He alone is the way to the Father. In that terse and edgy conversation, Oprah seemed to look annoyed at the preaching of that biblical truth and even insisted that a man's compassion and generosity toward a fellow human being should not be ignored. She insisted in her own view that good works should be credited to a person when entering  the so-called higher consciousness.

Oprah has confessed her belief that the biblical Jesus  must not be the only way. That is painful for her to admit that there is only One way and that is Jesus. Her insistence that good works can also be a man's ticket to heaven is proof that Oprah does not believe in the Bible. If we are to look at her background, Oprah was brought up in a Baptist church in her early years. But when she found fame and became very successful, she seemed to have repudiated all the things she learned from her formative years in church. She would go on to question why would God be jealous of her based on what the Bible says that 'God is a jealous god'? Her belief of God and His attributes seems very vague to her if not unrealistic. While she professes to be a Christian, she still insists on not talking about religion or faith - rather she would love to welcome the topic of spirituality which to her is more appropriate for its inclusive tone, devoid of any religious color.

Blinded Christians
Despite Oprah's hair-raising confession of her New Age belief, many Christians are prepared to be up in arms to defend her. To them that does not take anything away from her 'Christian faith'  even if she habitually invites Deepak Chopra and other notable New Agers to her show and ask viewers to listen intently to the 'wisdom and spirituality' from her perennial speakers on her show. Whether they are in town promoting their New Age books and speaking about 'higher consciousness', Oprah has only had wonderful words to say about the wisdom she has learned from them that has "helped her tremendously in her own quest for higher consciousness".

So, what's with the alliance?
When Oprah announced that she will join with megachurch pastors for a MegaFest last year, no one had doubted the intent of the celebration. It's surely meant to help the community, bring healing to wounded families and reaching out to those who are hurting. The names T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen and Rick Warren and Creflo Dollar had emerged to be joining forces with Oprah for the said purpose -all formidable names and all superstars in their own right. Others may have heaped praises for it but I call it very unholy and demonic alliance. In what manner shall one reach out to the hurting if there is no Jesus in the equation? Remember that whatever problem this life brings, only God and God alone is the answer. The root of every trouble in this world is sin. So if you take out sin when witnessing to the wounded how does it bring about healing? 

Witnessing in love to someone in a lifestyle contrary to Scriptures is one thing - aligning forces and mixing together with that someone is quite another. New Age teachers have no place ministering in the church. That spirit comes upon the congregation. Perhaps she is seeking God. Perhaps she has some interest in the things of the Lord. That does not constitute placing even a regenerated disciple in the pulpit. Church leaders have a responsibility to place God fearing men and women who teach the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the hungry, the weary and the hurting. Mixing the truth with half-truth is most dangerous. New age philosophy is being spoon-fed to believers. We must be aware that the enemy of our souls will deceive even the elect if possible. This is proving to be one way to do just that. The church must stand for the truth and be wary of such practices.

Our aim
We write articles like this with the objective of warning Christians of the deception that has infiltrated the Body of Christ. The Bible has no shortage of warnings and reminders of the coming deception that others have fallen prey to such. And we feel it is our Christian duty to let others know of the wiles of the enemy, especially those who do not take time to search the Scriptures but only have Sunday sermons of their pastors for their spiritual food. Nowadays, even pastors are greatly deceived en masse. Most of them refuse to acknowledge that their 'mentors' have gone heretical and that they stick to their teachings no matter what. Let us be reminded that it is Jesus who died for our sins, not our pastors or our mentors. Warn your brother or sister if he or she loves to watch Oprah, T.D. Jakes or Joel Osteen, and Creflo Dollar, Rob Bell or Rick Warren. These false teachers should be called as they are: false teachers - and they are leading millions to hell. And it's a company you certainly would not enjoy to be with. Nevertheless, we cease not to pray for Oprah, these false teachers and all our brethren who are being deceived. While the grace of God still beckons its door, we do hope and pray that these people will still be snatched from the fire, that is if they are willing to repent.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Matthew 7:1: The Most Misunderstood Bible Verse

Perhaps one of the most shared verses from the Bible on Facebook is Matthew 7:1 which says, "Judge not, that you be not judged". The verse is fair game to those unwilling to cast judgment on others and I can see why it is one of all-time favorites. At first glance, everyone can easily relate to this - especially Christians who try to avoid getting labelled as hypocrites. Even pastors behind pulpits are quick to pull this verse off their sleeves  concerning proper conduct towards fellow believers. And we wonder why this verse is also quite popular among unbelievers - even atheists love to quote this, and use to counter Christians - it's because it is widely misinterpreted  and misused. But what does the Bible really say about judging others?

A text taken out of context, becomes a pretext

Many Christians today just take one verse out of the Bible without even poring over its whole context - and at times not going through the whole story. This practice is tantamount to isolating the taken text from its co-text. It's imperative for readers to read the whole chapter and the succeeding verses - not just one verse - for us to get what the Bible really wants to convey to us.

Matthew 7: 1-5 says;

(1) Judge not, that you be not judged. (2) For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again. (3) And why behold you the mote that is in your brother's eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye? (4) or how will you say to your brother, Let me pull out the mote out of your eye; and, behold, a beam is in your own eye? (5)You hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of your own eye; and then shall you see clearly to cast out the mote out of your brother's eye.

In verse 5, we can clearly see that the Bible is actually teaching us not 'not to judge' - but 'how to judge righteously'. It says that, for us not to be called hypocrites, we must cast out first the beam that is in our own eye before we cast the mote out of our brother's eye. So you see, it's fairly easy for Christians to take this out of context - most especially if their intentions were to be in a safe side by not pointing at a brother's smudge. To stay silent about a brother or a sister engaging in fornication or adultery because you too are 'not sin-less' is ignorance of the Word - but staying silent about the same because you yourself are a fugitive murderer is another thing. The Bible actually encourages believers to judge - but rather in a righteous manner - it's just that we should be very careful when judging others. It tells us that we should not judge them if we ourselves are of the same league as them - and that is sheer hypocrisy.

What does the Bible really say about judging?

Many Christians today find themselves in a dilemma when the topic of judging surfaces in a conversation. The fear of being labelled as hypocrite is one reason why we cease to talk about our brethren getting entangled in worldly affairs. "Who am I to judge anyway" comes handy as our convenient excuse - quite petrified that the log stuck in our eye will be exposed. Seriously, it is the scenario when one still lives in darkness. But what does the Bible really say about judging? Does it say not to judge at all - or does it explicitly say that we can judge but in a manner of righteous judgment?

The following are Bible verses that show us a righteous man (one who does not conform to the world any longer) can actually make righteous judgment:

Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy - Proverbs 31:9
The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of judgment. - Psalm 37:30  
With my lips I have declared all the judgments of your mouth. - Psalm 119:13
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. - John 7:24
But he that is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?But we have the mind of Christ. - 1 Corinthians 2: 15,16
Do you not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judge by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know you not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life? - 1 Corinthians 6:2,3

In 2 Timothy 4:2, Paul tells us to "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine." The question is, how can we reprove and rebuke someone if we are not going to judge them first? That would be impossible.

On Judging and Discerning

If only to be enlightened further about the relation between judging and  discerning, I recently commented in an article in Stand Up For the Truth entitled,  'A Pastor Explains Why Discernment Has Disappeared' by Pastor Randy White (not to be confused with the other Randy White of Without Walls International Church, and ex- husband of Paula White). It's about exactly what the title suggests - Why discernment has disappeared to most Christians?

My comment goes: I know that discerning and judging are kinda same. Could it be that one of the reasons why most Christians do not have discernment is that they are afraid to 'JUDGE' (taking Matthew 7:1 out of context)? or because the Bible says we are all sinners and they don't want to sound hypocrite if they judge others?

Here are two of the replies that pretty much answered my question:

Commenter Robyn said:

When we discern truth from error we are not judging people but rather "judging" what they say when compared to what the Bible says. Very important to make the distinction, we are not to judge the person but we are told to inspect the fruit. Seems like many Christians know the verse "Judge not lest you be judged" but very few know we are also told to "test all things".

Commenter victoriadiagnello said:

There has been so much misinformation (false teaching) given to the church by the wolves that actually discourages them from any type of discerning, simply because they twist verses around like these. We are told to judge in many places of the bible. We are just not to judge as a self righteous hypocrite, they like to look down on others as it makes them feel more elevated, and condemn them before God had a chance. There is a difference, but the wolves make it look like any judgment is 'unloving', which of course, is dead wrong, we are to judge and discern just as the bible dictates. They spread this deception because it advances their own agendas of further deception and apostasy and their other 'goals.

Final thoughts

The Devil is the father of lies and he is good at deception and twisting Scripture. If we want to avoid misinterpretation of the Word of God, we must not just read, but also study the Bible carefully - praying to God for wisdom and understanding. Discernment is what very few Christians pray for and  the lack of it leads to a dangerous path in these end times. Hosea 4:6 tells us that God laments for "My people perish for lack of knowledge". Judging and discerning are two inseparable entities that are essential to everyday Christian living. I agree with Paul Washer when he said and I quote, "People tell me, 'Judge not lest ye be judged.' I always tell them, Twist not Scripture, lest ye be like Satan.". 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Rick Warren Declares "Other Religions Love Jesus"

"We all love Jesus!" is the marked declaration by Pastor Rick Warren that reverberates across  four corners of the room when speaking at an inter-religious conference hosted by the Vatican.

On 17th to 19th of November this year, Pope Francis hosted at the Vatican the Humanum Conference with a theme: An Inter-religious Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman. The said conference gathered faith leaders from the world's major religions such as Islam, Judaism, Sikh, Hindu, Buddhism, Taoist, Mormons, Southern Baptists led by Russel Moore, and of course the Evangelicals who were proudly represented by the popular and well-loved Pastor Rick Warren.

This endeavor by the Vatican to gather different religious minds and get them to speak to a worldwide audience was aimed at knowing and understanding every faith's stance on marriage and how it can still facilitate unity and respect amid 'little differences' in one another's doctrine. Well, to a natural man that sounds pretty noble and awesome to hear, that is if wisdom is not applied here.

But why in the world is Pastor Rick Warren in attendance and 'representing' the Evangelicals? For starters, Pastor Rick is widely considered as "America's pastor". The man is incredibly famous - his exploits are already sealed in the annals of world history due to his world-renowned peace, unity, understanding, and reaching-out-to-other-religions no-nonsense initiatives that make him constant fixtures in global forums. Given the weight of his resume, Rick Warren understandably was a popular choice to represent Evangelicals or the Bible-believing believers in general.

Since attendance to the said conference is by invitation-only status, his presence did not come as a surprise. To be representing the entire Bible-believing community in the world stage carries as much of a responsibility as well as opportunity to preach Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. It's incumbent of every true Christian to proclaim his faith and what he believes just like an Imam who you would find assertive of his proclamation that Mohammed is the last messenger of Allah - to a captive audience. 

Being in this select group of 'like-minded' faith leaders pursuing a unified goal to 'put definition to and restore the sanctity of marriage', you do not expect Pastor Rick Warren to be in violent disagreement with other faith leaders. The essence of this gathering was to 'solve minor differences' in order to advance the cause of healthy family life. Of course, a seeker of truth finding himself struggling to connect the dots would naturally be in a dilemma when the definition of marriage is being juxtaposed in the contexts of both Muslims and Christians. The former will have nothing against the latter, that's for sure. But will Pastor Rick Warren readily concur to a Mohammedan assertion that a 4-wife limit still falling into a 'sanctified marriage' category? 

Interestingly enough, here's what Pastor Rick Warren had to say in his speech:
"It's great to be with leaders from different streams of Christianity from all over the world. Although we have some differences, we all love Jesus Christ and we all want marriages and families to be healthy and strong."

And there you have it! but the last time we did some fact-checkings:
1. not everyone in attendance belongs to a 'stream of Christianity',
2. I still have to find a Taoist, a Hindu or a Buddhist among others, that love the Lord Jesus Christ,
3. that 'little differences' to Pastor Rick is but 'negligible' compared to the sovereign truth of the gospel,
4. or perhaps Pastor Rick suffers from confusion about his audience?

As if 'America's pastor' has been feeling sick and tired to the perception towards the Christian religion in general that he has had enough, hence self-deprecating by announcing to the world that, "as Christians, we seem to be known more for what is against than what we're for; and I want to change that". Such is the unpopularity of Christians that he is hell-bent to change that in order to blend in for the 'common good'.

Unfortunately for him, we are yet to find Bible verses that states Jesus wanted to be popular so that he made friends with sadducees and pharisees, high-fived with Caiaphas and thumbs-upped those traders at the temple. Jesus did talk to prostitutes to show them the Way to His Father; He ate with sinners to lead them to Himself. But Jesus never did as Rick Warren does:  blending together false religions with Christianity, and never blending the lies with truth. If Pastor Rick believes he ought to be popular, by all means, but Jesus clearly warned His disciples in Luke 21:17 "and you shall be hated of all men for my name's sake". In John 15:18 He also added, " if the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you".

While Jesus made himself clear about the world ultimately hating us Christians because of Him and His message, some famous evangelicals on the other hand are in a frenzy to win approval and admiration from those who do not acknowledge Jesus. Key to this is the safe assumption that every religion strives for man's well being by advocating peace and harmony. This is not the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ!

"But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!" ~ (Galatians 1:8,9)

"Jesus said: I am the way, the truth and the life; no man comes to the Father but by me." (John 14:6)

"He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathers not with me scatters abroad." ~ (Matthew 12:30)

So how can all these false religions agree with Rick Warren's assumption that 'they also love Jesus'? Which Jesus is he referring to?

Here's a very interesting subject central to the conference according to facilitators:
"Religious scholars will examine how this relationship is lived in cultures and societies of Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, Taoists, Muslims and Jews.

The focus is on the meaning of marriage around the globe, and God's plan, as understood by religions around the globe.

"God's plan, as understood by religions around the globe." Really? So, when did God's plan become subject to the interpretations of men? Whether or not these faith leaders  have different concept of marriage as opposed to the biblical marriage between a man and woman only, is totally irrelevant. Whether the Catholic's centuries-old doctrine on conventional marriage has evolved and is subject for fresh interpretation to accommodate deviants is totally irrelevant. God's plain command, plain and simple, that was given to men, totally immutable in nature - is one that should matter. What can these false religions say then at the authority of the Bible when they themselves ironically are being dragged under a broad umbrella of those who 'love Jesus Christ'?

Central to the issue of marriage, and central to social ills, is the gospel of Jesus Christ, the true Lord and Savior. And here's what the Bible emphatically decrees: that unless a person has been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ, it does not matter how brightly his morals shine, he nevertheless dwells in darkness.

It does not take this conference alone to expose Rick Warren and other false teachers from the evangelical mainstream (there are a lot of them), for the Lord Jesus Christ will always see to it that His true bride is being adequately warned and continued to be sanctified by truth. 

"Why he said, Awake you that sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light. See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise. Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." ~ Ephesians 5: 14-16

More "James White on Rick Warren's Capitulation to Rome" at Do Not Be Surprised.
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