Friday, April 29, 2011

An Interview About Rob Bell's Book "Love Wins"

Thank you to my friend Andy Olson of Echo Zoe Radio for having me on his show again recently.  We did this program as something of a follow-up to our first talk, which was about my background as a New Ager, and how, as a born again believer in Christ, I had slowly come to realize that many of the same New Age practices and beliefs that I had once held to as a Universalist New Ager were now flowing into the church, of all places.

As providence would have it, shortly after this first interview, Rob Bell, who is a very popular author, pastor and leader in the rapidly growing Emergent Church Movement, released a controversial new book entitled "Love Wins." In one interview about this book, Bell made the claim that his book was the beginning of a new reformation "of thought" that is coming into today's church. But the "Reformation" that Rob Bell wants to bring into the church is away from biblical truth, and toward an easygoing all inclusiveness, with nothing of the biblical concepts of the narrow path (Matthew 7:13) and the exclusivity of Christ (John 14:6). In fact, my view is that Rob Bell, either knowingly or unknowingly, is working as a kind of "change agent" from within the church to bring his beliefs about Universal Salvation (which is the core theology of the New Age Movement) into the church.

My interview with Andy was very in-depth, and we covered a lot of ground in just an hour, including the following:
➤ The origins of Universalism and a brief history of both Universalism and a very popular new movement among churchgoing youth today that is known as "Christian Universalism." 
➤ The rise of Universalism in the 19th Century, influenced heavily by the German philosophers of the day. 
➤ The Five Fundamentals, developed as a response to early 20th Century Liberalism:
● The Deity of Christ
● The Virgin Birth
● The Blood Atonement
● The Bodily Resurrection
● The Inerrancy of Scripture 
➤ The rise of the “Seeker Sensitive” movement as a reaction to the perceived problems with “fundamentalism” and Conservative Christianity. 
➤ The influence of Rob Bell on today’s Church, especially among youth
➤ The promotional video released by Rob Bell for his new book, and how it provocatively hinted at his belief in Universal Salvation for all......even though he and his supporters loudly protested to the contrary.
➤ The influence of mysticism, the monastic “Desert Fathers” and “Contemplative Prayer” on Rob Bell. 
➤ Rob Bell’s response to his critics. We played the audio of Rob Bell giving an orthodox sounding pseudo-creed that uses Christian terms, but which carries redefined meaning.
We concluded our discussion of Rob Bell by emphasizing the importance of good teaching, and listed several good ministries that we can recommend.

The Echo Zoe interview can be listened to in its entirety here.

 Additional Resources 

Echo Zoe Radio

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

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

The Greatest Royal Wedding To Come

Posted by Christine Pack

I have nothing at all against the beautiful Royal Wedding we saw today between the future King of England (Prince William) and the young woman who has come to be known as "the commoner" (Kate Middleton).

In fact, I love weddings because I think one of the reasons that God gave us the institution of marriage is that even in this depraved day and age we live in, we can still look at a wedding as something lovely and pure and sacred.  But all of the weddings of today and centuries past are but mere shadows of the Greatest Royal Wedding to come, when the King of Kings, the Prince of Peace, will wed his Bride and his Beloved, the Church.

We think there is a discrepancy between the Royal Prince William and "the commoner" Kate Middleton? That is nothing compared to the vast difference between the Prince of all Princes (Jesus) and his "commoner" Bride (the Church). And yet, God in his mercy deigned to reach down into this sin sick world and take a Bride for himself.

Glory to God!

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: 
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear.” 
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) 
Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” 
(Revelation 19:6-9) 

photo credit: Defence Images via photopin cc

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Why We Worry

"Do not be anxious about your life." (Matthew 6:25)

"Why do we worry? Because we don't believe. We're not really convinced the same Jesus who can keep a sparrow in the air knows where our lost luggage is, or how we'll pay that car repair bill. Or if we believe he can deliver us through our difficulties, we doubt if he will. We let Satan sow seeds of doubt in our minds about God's love and care for us.

The great antidote to anxiety is to come to God in prayer about everything. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7). Nothing's too big for him to handle or too small to escape his attention. Paul said we're to come to God "with thanksgiving." We should thank him for his past faithfulness in delivering us from troubles. We should thank him for the fact that he's in control of every circumstance of our lives and that nothing can touch us that he doesn't allow. We should thank him that in his infinite wisdom he's able to work in this circumstance for our good. We can thank him that he won't allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13).

The promised result is not deliverance, but the peace of God. One of the reasons we don't find this peace is that all too often we won't settle for anything other than deliverance from the trouble. But God, through Paul, promises us peace, a peace that is unexplainable. It will guard our hearts and minds against the anxiety to which you and I are so prone."

- Jerry Bridges, Holiness Day By Day

Friday, April 22, 2011

It's Friday.......But Sunday's Coming

Posted by Christine Pack

Our family just finished eating our version of a Passover meal on this Good Friday, and when I say "our version," I mean not a traditional Seder that is Done Just So, but rather a Passover meal that is a rather laid back version of a true Seder, but which still highlights the key elements, and draws our attention to that somber day more than two thousand years ago.

I served roasted leg of lamb, roasted vegetables, a salad of greens and herbs (one of them "bitter"), unleavened bread and wine.  As we were having our dinner, we listened to an audio teaching about the Passover meal, and then we watched a very powerful video (which my husband found earlier today on Wretched Radio's Facebook page).  The video is below.

Enjoy, and blessings to all my brothers and sisters in Christ on this Good Friday.

A Little Something For Earth Day....the High Holy Day of Paganism

Posted by Christine Pack

I love this guy, Lord Monckton. For those who don't know who he is, Lord Monckton is a renowned climate change skeptic who speaks often on this topic, with the aim of helping people recognize that there is an underlying agenda to the global warming movement (that is to say, an agenda beyond the obvious goals of forcing people to install toilets that don't flush and use lightbulbs that require hazmat procedures in the event that one breaks).

Sustainable development is apparently big business, and more than that, has at its heart the goal of the U.S. ceding its sovereignty to the Copenhagen Treaty, a United Nations climate change treaty that was signed in November 2009. According to an article in The Washington Examiner, the Copenhagen Treaty:
"mandates a massive transfer of wealth from the U.S. and Europe to pay our 'Climate Debt' to the Third World, and creates a new enforcement mechanism to make it all happen." (my emphasis)
As you can hear in the above video, Lord Monckton uses something of a shock tactic by comparing these global warming protesters to the brownshirts of Nazi Germany. To the best of my understanding, several of these young people had apparently gained access to a meeting at which Lord Monckton was speaking and had made a disturbance over the issue of global warming.

As eyebrow raising as it is to hear someone invoke the brownshirts of Nazi Germany, please understand that what Lord Monckton is doing is using the shock value of this phrase to help these young people (who have been trained from a young age to embrace the ideals of the Environment Movement) to see how they are simply pawns in a game much bigger than they, that they are being used as "useful idiots," to implement a global treaty with profound implications. In somewhat the same way, the brownshirts of Nazi Germany were children who were also trained from a young age to embrace the ideals of the Nazi party, and were the youthful, glowing "face" of the Nazi party.  The young people in the above video have obviously been brainwashed by today's "science" that supposedly "has been settled," as the young man states, and which "proves" global warming.  But I'm sure Hitler also gave his brownshirters "science" that "had been settled" as well, and which "proved" the "problems" with the Jews.....and why they must be exterminated.

Could it be that the Copenhagen Treaty, at its essence a massive, global wealth-redistribution program, ends up being far more dangerous than anyone could have imagined? Sure, the idea of sustainable development might look good on paper, especially to its noble-minded young supporters on board, all rosy cheeked and earnest. But let me ask you this: when have massive wealth-redistribution programs (think Karl Marx, Mao Tse Tung, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, etc.) ever "worked" for anyone but the few in power?  Think on this: the best, the absolute best, that secular man can come up with is somehow creating a Utopia on earth. Isn't that what all political theory is about....coming up with ways for man to create Utopia, or literally, "heaven on earth?" Where people live in harmony and have all their needs met, there is no more war, the earth is "restored" to its pristine state, and every house is equipped with CFL lightbulbs?
"Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?" (1 Cor 1:20)
But as Christians, we ought to be able to look at history and grasp that ideas like sustainable development, social justice, wealth redistribution, Utopia, etc. are very, very small ideas. And not only that, but there will never be a Utopia, a "heaven on earth," until Jesus returns to rule and reign.  Never. Why is that? It is because the world is inhabited by unregenerated men and women who are born into sin and who choose to sin.  The unregenerated are, as I've heard it said, sinful sinners who sin, and who will continue to sin, acting out of the depraved heart they are born with, and thus will always end up destroying themselves, their relationships and the world around them, no matter how lofty their ideals and hopes and dreams are for the world and for themselves.  The ultimate problem is that man thinks that perfection can be achieved outside of himself - and apart from God - when in fact, perfection will never be achieved in this world because of the sinful heart of unregenerated man.

The unregenerated don't need a new treaty to push the world along toward sustainable development and going green.....they need forgiveness for their sins committed against a high and holy God. They need to bend the knee to their sovereign Creator God, the God who made them and who has a righteous claim on their lives, the One to whom all men are beholden, whether they recognize it or not, and whether they submit to it or not.

Additional Resources

EPA Procedure For Cleaning up a Broken Fluorescent Bulb

Paul Washer on the Foolishness of Political Theory and Man-Created Utopias

The Copenhagen Treaty

The Kingdom of God Won't Come Through Big Government

Are We On a Slippery Slope To Fascism?

"Red Letter Christians" - Neo-Marxists in the Church?


President Obama's Speech to the U.N. On Climate Change - Sept 2009

Lord Monckton's Speech in which he destroys the "science" of global warming

The Grave Influence of Karl Marx

Why Christianity and Marxism/Social Justice are Not Compatible