Monday, February 28, 2011

Heads Up, Christian Parents: Rob Bell Is Teaching "Universal Reconciliation" to Youth Group Kids

LOVE WINS. from Rob Bell on Vimeo.

Time magazine has designated Rob Bell a "rock star in the church world." The Church Report Magazine (, ranked Bell #10 on their list of "The 50 Most Influential Christians in America." Bell's books and NOOMA videos sell by the thousands. The Chicago Sun Times wrote an article comparing Bell's influence to that of Billy Graham ("The Next Billy Graham?").

Heads up, Christian parents: even if you have never heard of Rob Bell before, just ask your kids. Because I can almost guarantee you that even if they haven't read his books or watched his NOOMA videos, their friends have. And why is this frightening? Because Rob Bell is a big, big, BIG leader in a new movement sweeping through our young people today called "Christian Universalism." Yes, you read that right, and yes, "Christian Universalism" is an oxymoron (like "jumbo shrimp" or "virtual reality").  But nonetheless, with leaders like Rob Bell leading the way, many of today's church-going youth have slowly been seduced into believing this false teaching, usually using Colossians 1:19-20 (out of context, of course) as their "proof-text." To complicate matters further, the particular "flavor" of Universalism that Rob Bell is dishing up is called "Universal Reconciliation." Universal Reconciliation is an odd twist on straight up Universalism ("All paths lead to God"), in that it is a belief which is "opposed to ideas such as everlasting torment in Hell, but may also include a period of finite punishment similar to a state of purgatory."

Here is a transcript of Rob Bell's speaking in his promotional video for his new book:
"Several years ago we had an art show at our church and people brought in all kinds of sculptures and paintings and we put them on display. And there was this one piece that had a quote from Gandhi in it and lots of people found this piece compelling. They would stop and sort of stare at it and take it in and reflect on it. But not everybody found it that compelling. Somewhere in the course of the art show, somebody attached a handwritten note to the piece. And on the note they had written "Reality check, he's in Hell."
Gandhi's in Hell? He is? And someone knows this for sure? And felt the need to let the rest of us know? Will only a few select people make it to Heaven? And will billions and billions of people burn forever in Hell? And if that's the case how do you become one of the few? Is it what you believe or what you say or what you do or who you know? Or something that happens in your heart or do you need to be initiated or baptized or take a class or converted or being born again? How does one become one of these few? And then there is the question behind the questions. The real question; what is God like? Because millions and millions were taught that the primary message, the center of the Gospel of Jesus is that God is going to send you to Hell unless you believe in Jesus. And so what gets subtly sort of caught and taught is that Jesus rescues you from God. But what kind of God is that that we would need to be rescued from this God? How could that God ever be good? How could that God ever be trusted? And how could that ever be "Good News?"
This is why lots of people want nothing to do with the Christian faith. They see it has an endless list of absurdities and inconsistencies and they say why would I ever want to be a part of that? You see what we believe about Heaven and Hell is incredibly important because it exposes what we believe about who God is and what God is like. What you discover in the Bible is so surprising and unexpected and beautiful that whatever we've been told or taught, the Good News is actually better than that, better than we could ever imagine. The Good News is that Love Wins."
The release date for Bell's book is March 29, 2011. I guess this will all be more clear in about a month, right?  As for me, I'm glad the emergents are coming clean that their beliefs are so completely and utterly heretical.  But then again, it's a bit weird for them to cut the caginess, and be so straightforward.  Makes me think they have come to the realization that today's churchgoers are so biblically illiterate that they can be served any old heresy and won't know the difference. This particular lie, you see, is one that goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden:
"The serpent said to the woman, 'You surely will not die!'" (Genesis 3:4)

 Additional Resources 

"Love Wins?" A Critique of Rob Bell's New Book

Rob Bell Answers His Critics....But Don't Be Fooled

Two Thoughts on the Rob Bell Brouhaha

What Is A Christian Universalist (Besides An Oxymoron)?

What Is the "Wider Mercy" Doctrine?

Rob Bell Praises New Age Author Huston Smith

Rob Bell and Shane Hipps: Blood on Their Hands

Quantum Science Proves 'Everything Is Spiritual?' Not So Fast, Says Quantum Physicist Dr. Frank Stootman

Quantum Science Proves 'Everything Is Spiritual?' Not So Fast, Says Quantum Physicist Dr. Frank Stootman

Note from Sola Sisters: In light of Rob Bell's new upcoming book "Love Wins," we are reposting an article we wrote in October 2010 that documents Rob Bell's panentheistic view of God.  In this view, in which God is "in" everything, there is no need for an atonement because God is already "in" us, no matter what religion we are. From the publisher's description on the back of this book:

“Fans flock to his Facebook page, his NOOMA videos have been viewed by millions, and his Sunday sermons are attended by 10,000 parishioners—with a downloadable podcast reaching 50,000 more. An electrifying, unconventional pastor whom Time magazine calls “a singular rock star in the church world,” Rob Bell is the most vibrant, central religious leader of the millennial generation. Now, in Love Wins: Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, Bell addresses one of the most controversial issues of faith—the afterlife—arguing that a loving God would never sentence human souls to eternal suffering. With searing insight, Bell puts hell on trial, and his message is decidedly optimistic—eternal life doesn’t start when we die; it starts right now. And ultimately, Love Wins.”

Please remember that in New Age panentheistic theology (such as professing Christian Rob Bell espouses), the only one who cannot and will not be tolerated who is the "intolerant" Christian who makes exclusive truth claims about: the way of salvation being through Christ alone, the Virgin Birth, the Inerrancy of Scripture, etc. Both of us here at Sola Sisters have already lived through the futility of those beliefs.....only we did it as New Agers, not Christians.  This is NOT orthodox Christian thought. Below is our original post in its entirety.

October 27, 2010

Emergent Church leader and pastor Rob Bell has recently released a DVD titled "Everything Is Spiritual" that attempts to use quantum science to prove the idea that God is "in" everything.  Why is this disturbing?  Because Rob Bell, who is a pastor and professing Christian, is teaching something that is not the Christian view of God, but is in fact, the eastern view of the universe.  And this view, at its core, reduces the transcendent God of the Bible to a kind of impersonal essence, vibration, or energy....much more in alignment with Buddhist thought than Christian thought.  And exactly WHERE are the Emergents going with this God-as-impersonal-energy view they are teaching and attempting to prove with science?  This "God" is much more in alignment with the non-threatening, interfaith "God" that is much more acceptable in today's culture of religious pluralism.

“ Facts are stubborn things.  
"Facts are stubborn things," said former U.S. President John Adams.  Which leads us to perhaps the biggest question in all this: is what Rob Bell teaching even true?  Not according to Dr. Frank Stootman, a quantum physics professor in Australia who has written a paper scientifically refuting Rob Bell's attempt to make panentheism seem scientific. Dr. Stootman's paper states that Rob Bell's "science" is weak at best, and does not support his argument.  Try as they might, the Emergent Church leaders cannot "scientifically" prove their case that God is an impersonal vibration or energy that permeates the universe - the panentheistic view - and a view they would vastly prefer. Vibration? Energy? Those are just natural laws - and require no response because they are, in essence, "neutral." But a God who is sovereign and transcendent over His creation does require a response: either repent of sin and come to him on his terms (through the blood of Christ)......or remain alienated from him, dead in sins, and under his wrath.  This response of rejecting God as He has revealed himself in the Bible will result in eternal damnation.

But oh how the Emergents shrink back in horror from this definitive view of a God who speaks authoritatively through his Word, and commands all men everywhere to repent.  It seems the Emergents will bend over backwards - and even conjure up theories comprised of faulty science - in order to "craft" a "God" that is more desirable to them.

 Additional Resources 

Dr. Frank Quantum lectures on the spiritualized aspects of quantum physics

Rob Bell and Shane Hipps: Blood On Their Hands

Emergent Church Pastor Rob Bell Praises New Age Author Huston Smith

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Resisting the Green Dragon

“For 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)
David Wheaton of The Christian Worldview radio show recently had Cal Beisner, founder of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation as his guest to discuss today's environmental movement:
"The environmentalism so prevalent and popular around the world today, even within the church, is one that goes far beyond the stewardship of creation to which God called man in the first chapter of Genesis. 
The worldview of this kind of environmentalism and its ramifications must be clearly understood by Christians so that we can protect ourselves and especially our children from the unbiblical brainwash that permeates our schools, media, popular culture, and yes, our churches. 
The best organization that I know of that devotes itself to upholding a biblical worldview on environmental issues is the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.  They have just produced a DVD series entitled “Resisting the Green Dragon” which is made up of twelve, 30-minute sessions covering all aspects of the environmental movement as well as the biblical framework for Christian stewardship of the earth.  This would be an excellent study series for your family, Christian school, Bible study group, or church."
 Additional Resources 

David Wheaton's Interview with Cal Beisner

The Christian Worldview

Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation

Friday, February 18, 2011

On Arresting the Temper

by Jeremy Clarke, Legacy Baptist Church, NW Arkansas

I shared a conversation recently with a fellow saint regarding a very instructive verse in Psalm 36:  Verses 1-2 of that chapter state “Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart…it flatters him in his own eyes, concerning the discovery of his iniquity and the hatred of it.”  This text reveals to us the diabolical means by which the principal of evil residing in a man seeks to perpetuate vice, and enslave a man in his sin.  You see it is the very nature of the sin nature to invoke self-flattery and excuse, as a means of concealing your iniquity, and therefore suppress any potential for self-abhorrence and repentance.  That means to say that our propensity is to justify vice, rather than to acknowledge it and confess it for what it is….and subsequently repent of it.

Now there are many vices that we deceitfully attempt to excuse as legitimate.  But the one vice in particular that seems to consistently invoke self-flattery and excuse is the destructive vice of anger.  What danger lurks in the heart of the un-resisted temper!  We should never think that arresting this wicked vice is of little importance, beloved.  An inflamed, wrathful, angry, resentful professor of Christ does nothing to promote the gospel…and, in fact, teaches a person to hate it more effectively than a liar or even a thief.  And yet the same Authority that condemns these vices also forbids the fleshly fruit of a harsh temper no less vehemently.  Therefore, it is as much the responsibility of the Christian to subdue an unruly temper as it is to mortify the most offensive immoral behavior.

To that end, the Word of God pointedly admonishes against the temper and repeatedly impresses the mild disposition of meekness and gentleness. “Cease from anger and forsake wrath” (Ps 37); “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice” (Eph 4); “And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” (Col 3); “Be kind to one another; tenderhearted” (Eph 4); “The fruit of the Spirit is peace, gentleness, meekness” (Gal 5).

There is no lack of clarity in Scripture concerning the importance of suppressing the temper, nor of nurturing meekness and gentleness.  So, if the authority of the Word of God has any value to you….here are His clear commands: Cease from one….and cherish the other!  If you intend to walk worthy of your calling during your brief sojourn on earth, it must be a walk characterized by lowliness and meekness.  God loves this quiet, mild disposition in the expression of the lives of His children.  So precious, in fact, are these qualities in the child of God that Scripture declares they are like an “adorning ornament” “....which is, in the sight of God, of great price” (1 Ptr. 3).

Listen, the very testimony of your faith (and the happiness of others) weighs greatly upon your daily, moment-by-moment exercise of arresting the flesh, and nurturing…in those critical moments…the gentle, quiet spirit that exudes total trust, peace, and confidence in God.  Such was the testimony of the very life of the Lord Jesus.  His was a pristine life of meekness throughout…even when unjustly condemned by men.  And will you, a wretch, attempt to flatter and excuse your anger in the midst of circumstances infinitely less severe?  When the Jews were about to stone Him, Christ remarks were simply, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of them do you stone me?” (Jn. 10)  During His mock, illegal trial before Caiaphas, after having been given “a blow” by one of the officers, Jesus calmly replied “If I have spoken wrongly, bear witness of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you strike Me?” (Jn. 18)

If you are to be a radiant testimony for the gospel….if you are to “adorn the faith”, then watch and pray with all devotion for meekness….in yourself and for those who are sojourners with you.  Do not flatter and excuse your anger…but rather, bow your head at the moment of temptation and ask the Spirit of grace to bring every soft word to bear in turning away wrath.  Yield to the resident Helper within, and never relax in your diligence to arrest the carnal dispositions of the flesh until your temper is brought into full obedience to Christ.  Discipline and prepare yourself to “Make the most of every opportunity” (Eph 5) to display the splendid virtues of Christ.  The days are evil, beloved…..what greater setting for children of light to abound in righteousness?

photo credit: where paths meet via photopin cc

 Additional Resources 

Discontentment Is A Sin

For the Christian: "I Will Never Leave You Nor Forsake You"

Serving One Another in Love

On Christmas Dispositions

Legacy Baptist Church, Northwest Arkansas

Attempted Crashing of "Date Night" at Christian Creation Museum

reprinted in its entirety from Answers in Genesis' original post
What Really Happened
As Answers in Genesis (AiG) representatives have stated many times in response to media interviews and other inquiries, the Creation Museum welcomes all visitors—regardless of their beliefs. Because the museum unapologetically presents a biblical worldview that is largely excluded from public schools, secular museums, and the media, we truly hope that people will be open-minded enough to consider coming to a unique museum and learn about an alternative perspective that is largely discriminated against in society.1 At the same time, any person who comes with the intent to bait or test museum staff, such as the male couple who declared their pre-meditated intent to attend a museum-sponsored Date Night dinner in order to act “flamboyantly gay” (the words posted by one of them on a blog last month) and provoke an incident that would disrupt the other guests, is entirely another matter.
Many weeks before the February 11 “Date Night at the Creation Museum,” ministry leadership became aware that Mr. Joe Sonka, a fervent museum opponent, was planning to crash a museum dinner where couples would hear a special talk by Ken Ham on marriage principles from the book of Genesis. In a January posting on his website, Mr. Sonka announced his strategy to send a same-sex couple to the event, stating: “Let’s get to work doing a fundraiser so we can send the most flamboyantly gay couple imaginable to this dinner” (
[Editor’s Note: We caution our readers that the above link contains vulgar language. Read at your own discretion.]

Comments from Friday’s Romantic Dinner

“Fantastic presentation on marriage. A blessed evening.”
“Enjoyed Christian fellowship and meeting new friends.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed tonight. I enjoyed being in a Christian environment, and everything ‘was just right.’”
– Comments from guests at Friday date night
Mr. Sonka was aware that Answers in Genesis/Creation Museum accepts the Bible’s teaching in Genesis regarding God’s plan for the institution of marriage, as one man, one woman—for life. (According to his blog, he has visited the museum at least twice before.) Like many other Bible-upholding ministries, we do not hide the fact that we oppose redefinition of marriage or the altering of the biblical stance on relationships between men and women. Knowing the ministry/museum position on these issues, Mr. Sonka deliberately wanted to manufacture a scene at our special event by being “flamboyantly” disruptive. His obvious purpose was to gain attention and generate news coverage, not to enjoy the evening’s pro-marriage message based in Genesis. In the process of stirring up trouble, he hoped to create a news spectacle and provide fodder for his blog. Curiously, though Mr. Sonka was the instigator of the party-crashing scheme, he was reluctant to pay for the two tickets himself, extending his stunt by creating a public auction to pay for the tickets and cover his expenses to get to the museum (
After the museum had closed to the general public on the evening of February 11, two males and one female arrived inside the museum’s portico to check in for the after-hours dinner and talk. They were met by two museum safety officers, who noticed the party consisted of three individuals, not four, and the officers asked them if another person was going to be joining them for the dinner. To their affirmative response, one of the officers inquired about the type of vehicle “she” would be driving and asked for “her” name so the museum staff could alert the front gate, which is closed after museum hours, to allow her entry. One of the two men, who identified himself as Brandon, volunteered that it was a “he” who was coming to dinner. Brandon was asked whether the individual who was running late was, in fact, his partner for the evening, to which he replied, “Yes.” He further confirmed his name was Joe (Sonka), which is what we had suspected for weeks since learning of his set-up plans. The safety officer explained to him that according to Date Night advertisements and ministry website announcements,2 this event was being held in a Christian environment (e.g., where guests would hear a message about “the biblical view of marriage.”), further stating that it appeared that Brandon and Joe Sonka were coming with disruptive intentions to make some kind of a statement.
The officers politely informed Brandon that he would not be allowed to attend the dinner and that he would have to leave the premises. The following words were verbally shared with him from a script (again, we anticipated the party-crashers) that included the following phrase: “It seems that you may have come tonight with either wrong intentions or to make a statement of sorts.”
Brandon waited in the portico as his companions, the male/female couple, entered the event. About one-half hour later, Mr. Sonka drove up to the front entrance—but never left his car—as Brandon exited the portico and entered Mr. Sonka’s vehicle before they drove off the property together.
As a part of their manufactured deception, we should point out that at least one of the two men has since acknowledged that he is not even a homosexual. So this was not a “gay” couple at all but a part of their act. It reveals yet one more thing about their deceit.
Museum Sign
Since the museum is on private property, we have the right to require appropriate, respectful behavior from our guests, and not “flamboyant” behavior. Accordingly, we have signs posted on the complex that declare: “The Creation Museum is private property, a Christian environment . . . Guests at the museum are expected to conduct themselves in a polite, respectful manner at all times;“ conduct “offensive to other guests or to the staff will be subject to removal from the premises.” We have every right to remove people from our private property who engage—or have expressed the intent to engage—in behavior that disrupts the experience of other guests, including those individuals who want to act in an ostentatious manner to call attention to themselves and be disrespectful towards people who might take offense at their disruptive actions.
Mr. Sonka, the main offender in this intentional and strategic set up, has a history of writing hateful articles against AiG and the museum. For example, on December 26 he wrote on his blog that we commit intellectual “child abuse.”
With his blog “report” on Friday’s Date Night that appeared over the weekend, Mr. Sonka wrote of the incident as if he was personally engaged by the safety officers He contended: “I rushed back from DC to my old Kentucky home last night to attend the spectacular ‘Date Night at the Creation Museum,’ where my date and I were to take in a nice dinner and listen to Ken Ham explain what makes a good relationship work. Unfortunately, we were told at the door that we would not be allowed entry. They explained to us that the Creation Museum Date Night was a ‘Christian environment.’” ( Contrary to what Mr. Sonka claims, he was not told at the door that he would be denied entry—he simply was not even there! Nothing was “explained” to him, since he never arrived. (Our videos confirm that since Mr. Sonka could not, with integrity, give a first-person or even personal account of what transpired in the portico, as he never entered the museum nor did he ever speak to the officers who engaged his companion, Brandon.)
Because Mr. Sonka’s “report,” now widely circulated on the Internet, was not based on anything he had materially witnessed, his blog “testimony” should be dismissed out-of-hand as hearsay. Anyone who purports to be a serious citizen-journalist should have acknowledged this. Further, Mr. Sonka cannot be viewed as an objective blogger because of several hateful blogs he has posted against AiG (sometimes using vulgar language). His intended crashing of the dinner was not a “one-off” thing regarding his disdain of the museum.3
Mr. Sonka is accurate on one detail in his blog: that he was denied entry to this event. But his report conveniently omitted mentioning his real purpose in coming.
By the way, the heterosexual couple who were waiting in the portico was clearly aware of the intentions of Brandon and Mr. Sonka. Yet they were not asked to leave, and they did attend the dinner. We discovered later that the man was Mr. Jonathan Meador, a writer for LEO, an alternative weekly newspaper in Louisville, which has also been harsh towards the Creation Museum (e.g., But because there was no prior intent (of which we were aware) that Mr. Meador and his date would be disruptive, we welcomed them, and they were respectful. Even if we knew ahead of time that Mr. Meador was with a newspaper that had attacked the Creation Museum, we would still have gladly welcomed him and his guest.
We wish to note that just as a sports fan who is ejected from or asked to leave a sporting event on account of his or her behavior does not usually get a ticket refund, the Creation Museum may similarly use its discretion about whether or not to issue a refund. Because the food prepared for the couple went to waste due to their own actions, the ministry does not intend to pay for their well-prepared, elegant meals and desserts, as collateral damage from their subterfuge and no fault of our own. In addition, the $35.95 per ticket also paid for the musician we hired for the evening, as well as additional hard costs, such as our housekeeping staff who worked extra hours to clean up after the event.
The Creation Museum is proud of the professionalism of our highly trained officers in their polite, yet firm interaction with Brandon, Jonathan Meador, and his guest (and Mr. Sonka, who had already publicly expressed a goal to make an ostentatious scene at the dinner). The officers’ restraint is highly commendable, given the deception and intent to be disruptive by Mr. Sonka, a man known to be hateful and intolerant towards AiG and the Creation Museum.
In the past, our staff has observed what they believed to be “gay” couples walking through the museum, and these guests were not approached (except in the rare instance where they were deemed to be acting in a disruptive manner). The Creation Museum has always welcomed individuals and groups who do not necessarily share our views; we want all people to be exposed to the biblical truths presented in the museum, which are not generally being seen or heard in a society that is increasingly intolerant of Christianity.
The thwarting of an attempted event-crashing last Friday evening is yet another sad example of our times when a hateful, intolerant, politically correct person with a contrarian agenda publicly declares that he will engage in flamboyant, disruptive behavior on the private property of a ministry, after which he and like-minded anti-Christian bloggers malign the officials of the Christian facility for our beliefs and actions. Museum officials acted to ensure that the other 96 dinner guests would be able to enjoy their dinner, music, and a special message on Genesis and marriage without disruption. These bloggers are not only revealing their intolerance of Christianity and the museum’s views, but they are condoning the inappropriate, deceitful behavior of two people who intended to spoil a special dinner event by making a scene. It’s another example of intolerant anti-Christians who manufacture their own situation so that at the end they hope to pound on their chest and cry “victimhood.”
It is a shame, too, that the LEO newspaper reporter, Mr. Meador, who attended the Date Night dinner, did not ask us for background on the event before writing his anti-museum piece. If Mr. Meador had simply called us before he posted his article, he would have learned that two people in his party were trying to set us up and he would have discovered that they had announced their plot a few weeks ago. If he had done his homework, perhaps Mr. Meador would not have been so supportive of the efforts of Mr. Sonka and Brandon to undermine the event and this ministry.4
Help keep these daily articles coming. Support AiG.


  1. That’s why we were happy to learn that nearly300 atheists/agnostics had pre-registered to visit the museum as a group in 2009. Although there were a few in the group who occasionally disrupted the 2,000 other guests that day, we would definitely welcome them back as long as there would be promises of no disruptive behavior. Back
  2. Back
  3. Mr. Sonka summarizes the main activities of his life as “blogging and rabble rousing,” boasting that he specializes in “vulgarity and humor.” Back
  4. Mr. Meador admitted to us over the phone on Monday that he was unaware of Mr. Sonka’s public comment, “Let’s get to work doing a fundraiser so we can send the most flamboyantly gay couple imaginable to this dinner.”

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thoughts on Seeing God in Nature - Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“It appears to me that those who would forbear the study of nature, or shun the observation of its beauties, are conscious of the weakness of their own spirituality. When the hermits and monks shut themselves out from the temptations of life, foolish persons said, “These are strong in grace.” Not so, they were so weak in grace that they were afraid to have their graces tried. They ran away from the battle like the cowards they were, and shut themselves up because they knew their swords were not of the true Jerusalem metal, and they were not men who could resist valiantly. Monasticism was the confession of a weakness which they endeavored to cover with the vain show of humility, and the presence of superior sanctity.

If my graces are strong, I can look upon the outward world, and draw forth its good without feeling its evil, if evil there be; but if my religion is mainly fictitious, then hypocrisy dictates to me the affectation of unusual spirituality, or at any rate I have not grace enough to rise from a contemplation of the works of God to a nearer fellowship with God himself. It cannot be that nature of itself debases me, or diverts me from God; I ought to suspect a deficiency in my self when I find that the Creator’s handiworks have not a good effect upon my soul. Moreover, rest assured brethren, that he who wrote the Bible, the second and clearest revelation of his divine mind, wrote also the first book, the book of nature; and who are we that we should derogate from the worth of the first because we esteem the second.

Milton’s “Paradise Regained” is certainly inferior to his “Paradise Lost,” but the Eternal God has no inferior productions, all his works are master-pieces. There is no quarrel between nature and revelation, fools only think so: to wise men the one illustrates and establishes the other. Walking in the fields at eventide, as Isaac did, I see in the ripening harvest the same God of whom I read in the word that he covenanted that seed-time and harvest should not cease. Surveying the midnight skies, I remember him who, while he calls the stars by their names, also bindeth up the broken in heart. Who will may neglect the volume of creation, or the volume of revelation, I shall delight in them both as long as I live.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled"Lessons From Nature," delivered August 13, 1871.

 Sola Sisters Commentary 

This commentary actually flows out of something that a very Godly friend of mine said to me, which was that monasticism is a form of hiding. After all, rubbing shoulders with other sinners on a daily, ongoing basis, is one of the chief ways, I'm convinced, that God uses to sanctify us. And I don't mean only in the church, but in our dealings outside the church as well. God uses personal relationships both in and outside of the church to grow us, sanctify us, and conform us to the image of Christ (Rom 8:29, 1 Cor 15:49), and above all, to reveal his glory. If a person is separated out from the world, and in essence separated from all temptations, how is God glorified in that? It is in our sometimes difficult personal relationships that, by God's grace, we are dying to self (Gal 5:16), crucifying our flesh (Gal 2:20), speaking the truth but in love and not harshly (Eph 4:15), and thinking more of others than ourselves (Phil 2:3) that God is most glorified (Phil 2:15-16).

photo credit: Jose Luis Mieza Photography  via photopin cc

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tapping - The Next Big Thing in "Alternative Medicine"

Be on the lookout, my friends, for something called "Tapping."

The Tapping World Summit 2011 is underway right now, and it is promoting and teaching a new "Alternative Medicine" technique called "Tapping." Tapping is something that a trained practitioner would do, and has to do with, literally, "tapping" along the "meridian lines" of the body.  These are the same "meridian lines" as in acupuncture/acupressure. This theory of meridians in the body (supposedly energy centers that run through every human body) is based on the pantheist, Taoist belief that the body being interconnected with the energy of the "Divine."  But this is not a biblical concept.
pantheism noun \ˈpan(t)-thē-ˌi-zəm\  - a doctrine that equates God with the forces and laws of the universe.
Chinese Taoist "medicine" is based on the belief that the body has "innate wisdom" and knows how to heal itself. Taoists believe this because, in their pantheistic view, they believe that everything in the world and and in the universe is made up of energy and is interconnected ("Universal Energy").  And thus, the body being a little part of the greater Divine whole, it already has within it all knowledge and all just has to access it.

As a side note, Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung had a similar parallel theory that he was credited with developing, and which greatly influenced the realm of psychology, and that was the idea of the Collective Unconscious.

The Collective Unconscious was supposedly this vast pool of perfect knowledge and wisdom that could be accessed by anyone who would take the time to get rid of emotional blockages through psychotherapy and/or with the use of psychiatric drugs.

But Who does the Bible tell us has All Wisdom?
Psalm 147:4-5 He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite. 
Acts 15:18 Known to God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

And Who is our Great Healer?

It is Jehovah-Rapha - "The LORD is your Healer"
Exodus 15:26:  And He said, "If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the LORD (Jehovah-Rapha), am your healer."
For me, as a former New Ager and pantheist, the question I keep circling back to is this: since these supposed "medicines" are based on pantheist, Taoist philosophy, how "good" could they really be?

See also:

"Universal Energy" the Key to Health?

Problems with Alternative Medicine

Friday, February 4, 2011

Saddleback's "Daniel Plan" Doctor Will Lead Mass Hypnosis

Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in southern California, has just kicked off a 52-week program called "The Daniel Plan"aimed at teaching Christians how to have healthier lifestyles.

The problem with the program, however, is that Warren has partnered with three men who are well known not only for their medical knowledge (which they are), but are also well known to be proponents of New Age Spirituality.  One of the doctors, the handsome and charming Dr. Mehmet Oz, first became popular through his many appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show, which led to him having his own health and wellness TV program.

Attached is an article where you may read more about the mind-emptying hypnosis exercise that Dr. Oz plans to perform on Monday, February 7.

You may also listen to Dr. Oz in his own words extol the virtues of the occultic practice of hypnosis.

 Additional Resources 

Rick Warren Teams Up with Swedenborg Cult Follower Dr. Oz

Rick Warren Wants You To Develop Your "Ultramind"

Rick Warren Driven By Destiny?

Why is Rick Warren Quoting Universalist Henri Nouwen?

An Open Letter To John Piper

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Christians and the Potential Dangers of Social Media

Posted by Christine Pack

Recently on my Facebook page I posed this question:
Which of these scenarios would be MOST likely to harden the heart of a lost person peering into our Christian camp, and observing our inner workings:
(1) A Joel Osteen feel good sermon?
(2) Rick Warren's works righteousness?
(3) The Emergent Church's antinomianism?
(4) A Doctrinally Precise Blogger who publicly interacts with other Christians with malice and bitterness, and yet refuses to be reconciled?
The comments in response to this question proved to be very thought-provoking, and I will go further here and state that the reason I posed this question is because, while navigating the waters of Facebook, I have run into an issue I had not anticipated.  I'll get to that, but let me do a little background work first.

I will be the first to say that right doctrine about God is a wonderful thing.  The reason that "right doctrine" about God matters is that all people have doctrine about God (except for atheists), but only right doctrine about God actually has saving power.
doc·trine, noun, \ˈdäk-trən\ - a codified set of beliefs accepted as authoritative by some group 
Let me explain.  I had doctrine about "God" as a Hindu, as a Buddhist, and as a pagan (the three flavors of false religion that I kept circling back to as a lost person wandering the world seeking truth).  I believed all my beliefs very sincerely, but I was very sincerely wrong.  I was very sincerely deceived.  And on the Day of Judgment, I would have been standing there with my mouth hanging open, dumbfounded that what I had held to so dearly had been a lie, and that I was headed to hell.

So right doctrine about God is crucial. It is imperative for people to understand that there is a holy, sovereign creator God who made them, and to whom they are beholden.  This God is holy and perfect in every way, and because of this, sinful man cannot be in his presence without being consumed in flames, destroyed by God's holy wrath against sin. And right there is the great problem that all of mankind faces: how to find a way to enter into the presence of this holy God when there is a burden of sin that cannot be gotten rid of.  And what exactly is sin? We only need to look at the Ten Commandments to understand what sin is:
Honor God above all things (#1 & #2)
Do not bear false witness (#9)
Do not steal (#8)
Do not murder (which Jesus more fully defined as anger in one's heart toward another) (#6)
These are laws that, if we are honest with ourselves, we have broken, not once or twice, but many, many times throughout our lives.  This is the sin debt that, unpaid, will cause us to be consumed in the presence of God.  But God in his infinite mercy made a way for wretched sinners to be reconciled to  a high and holy God.  He sent his Son Jesus, the God man who was born of a virgin, to live the perfect life that we could not live ourselves, and to then offer his own life up as a ransom for many (Matt 20:28, Eph 5:2).  He was tortured and crucified on a cross as a sacrifice for all who would repent and believe.  And the proof that this sacrifice was acceptable and pleasing to God was that Jesus rose from the dead after three days.  You see, He had done what none of us could do.  We've broken God's laws, and "the wages of sin is death" (Rom 6:23).  But because Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life, death could not hold him (Acts 2:24):
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Cor 15:55)
For all those who humbly bend the knee and confess their sinfulness and need of a Savior, the Lord will graciously save and pardon.  And not only that, neither will death have victory over us. God promises to bring to heaven all those who have been reconciled to him through Jesus's sacrifice to live with him forever in heaven (1 Thess 5:10). This is amazing good news!  And these are the doctrines that are precious, true and life-giving.  Without knowing and understanding and bending the knee to these truths, people are doomed.

Which brings me back to the peculiar problem I have encountered on that infamous social media network known as Facebook.  I'll admit it, I went onto Facebook perhaps a bit naïve.  You see, I was found and "friended" by people on Facebook (if you're on FB, you know how it works) who made all the right "professions"and so I clicked "Confirm!" "Confirm!" "Confirm!" with great abandon.  How wonderful, I thought, to find such precious Christian fellowship...and on a social network, of all places!

But some of these newfound "friends," who at first blush appeared to be brothers and sisters in Christ began to do very confusing things.  Their "confessions of faith" were right.....but something was off.  They had every doctrinal i dotted and t crossed, but when they would show up on threads concerning doctrinal issues, they often proved to be contentious and mean-spirited. This shocked me!  And I wasn't quite sure how to handle it.  But more importantly, I knew this was not in keeping with the higher standard that Christians are called to:
"I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and gentle as doves." (Matt 10:16)
As someone who became a born-again Christian relatively late in life, I have many friends from my past who are dear to me and who I know are not saved. I have therefore purposefully made contact through Facebook with family members and old friends, MANY of whom are lost. And one of my reasons for doing this is so that I might be a witness to them, because I dearly love them and desire for them to be saved. I often post things that are clearly intended to provoke people into thinking through perhaps preconceived notions about Christianity, and hopefully, to start asking questions.

So, what happens when they start asking questions? I have to say that I have been deeply dismayed to have some of these FB friends who are professing Christians - and who have surgically precise doctrine -  show up with guns blazing, taking people apart with their words, when often, people are just asking questions.

This is why I wrote this note on Facebook, because this issue is near and dear to me.

Can we not contend for the faith with a loving and gentle spirit - even over doctrinal issues?

Yes, doctrine is important - critically important. But love is important also - critically important.
"We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church." (Eph 4:15)
"If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless." (James 1:26)
"Do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature." (Gal 5:13)
"As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." (Eph 4:1-3)
"Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other." (Gal 5:24-26)
"I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." (Eph 4:1-3)
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16) 
"Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us." (1 Peter 2:12) 
"Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life." (Philippians 2:14-16a) 
photo credit: benstein via photopin cc
photo credit: AlicePopkorn ( off /on ) via photopin cc

 Additional Resources 

"Sincerity" The Most Important Thing?

A Word of Caution to Fire Starters