March 23, 2017 at 7:04 am #385
I have become very troubled by this emerging fad of using various popular “Christian” books for the purpose of Bible studies. Has anyone else noticed this trend?
-“The Circle Maker” (an alleged book on prayer)
-“The Shack” (full of occultic/new age references)
Other possibly harmless studies: “The Story,” Beth Meyers’ studies.
It is like suddenly we are unable to study the Bible without some guide, or book. If we are going to use other books, how about some books that teach us HOW to study the Bible?
Has anyone heard of a series called, “Freeway?” It is supposed combo of sermon series and group counseling program masquarading as a “study.” I was in one of these “studies,” and the book had absolutely NO scripture in it, asked all sorts of prying personal questions that we were supposed to discuss in group setting. The entire structure of it was nearly identical to group counseling programs. But the author was not transparent about what exactly the program was. I tried to research the author. But disturbingly, i could find almost nothing about him. Usually, the blurb on the back of a book will list some info about the author: His or her credentials, their education, if a pastor, the church they pastor, etc. Any affiliation with a seminary, etc. But there was nothing on the author of “Freeway.” I searched extensively online and found nothing about him. I found the entire package to be deeply deceptive and falsely marketed to churches with a lack of transparency as exactly what the “series” really was. I have become the “naysayer” at my church about these books. I am afraid that most people just find my complaints “negative,” since many other people seem to have no problem with this sort of thing.
A year ago, I sent my pastor a video link about Peter Drucker, Rick Warren and communitarianism after he quoted from “A Purpose Driven Life” in a sermon. He was not happy with me for sharing the video, refused to watch it, saying that it was “negative” and that though he didn’t agree with Rick Warren about everything, he “did have some good stuff.” I pointed out that there is much that is unscriptural in Warren’s teaching, and his quoting from Warren’s book could be considered an endorsement, and that new believers could pick up Warren’s book and be misled by its contents. I didn’t have a problem with the particular quote, but rather its source and his seeming inadvertant endorsement.
I am becoming increasingly wary of “Christian” books, particularly when they are introduced in Church as a “study.” I have concluded from personal experience that possibly one of the most spiritually dangerous places for a Christian is a “Christian” bookstore.
March 23, 2017 at 4:11 pm #387
In His Steps by Charles Sheldon is 100 years old and still deceiving people today. It was the “bible” of the Social Gospel and is well suited for this politically correct world we live in today.
“I don’t agree with everything he says but some things he says are good”. I heard a pastor in a conservative bible church make that comment a year ago about Norman Vincent Peale. And then he read a lengthy passage from one of Peales books. He was using Peale as an example of developing an intimate relationship with God. Truth mixed with error is still error. Its like eating a jar full of M&M’s and one is laced with arsenic.
There are some things we can err on and it does not affect our spiritual status. But the fundamentals of the faith cannot be compromised. All of these people and books mentioned compromise the deity of Christ.
March 24, 2017 at 2:15 pm #404
Joel and JV
The use of these books make it possible to move the trends into the mainstream. Purpose Driven is the biggest success ever but others like the Shack, The Circle Maker.
These journey to heaven testimonies all come in because of marketing. The Christian marketplace has a well researched and heavily organized strategy to sell books – but it is more. Look at Lifeway as one example. It has a Research arm as well as its retail and other operation.
Ed Stetzer, who helped bring about many of the Church Planting Warren style trends is a Peter Drucker disciple. He is now in the Billy Graham Chair at Wheaton. Very influential trend setter and tracking. What sells moves the marketplace.
April 3, 2017 at 11:42 pm #522
I really like your poisoned M&M metaphor. A very good description I will use the next time I hear a Christian or pastor say something like that.
I watched the video about Lifeway. Very sad. I could hardly believe that part about a “crown” and something to celebrate. I also looked up the ministries at Saddleback. Something that stood out to me was the “sports ministry” (really?). One of the sports offerings was “prayer and stretching.” It looked like a “Christianized yoga.”
Thank you for sharing that information. Sadly, it is becoming unsurprising.
March 24, 2017 at 12:01 am #390
I think the plethora of books on the Christian scene has replaced personal reading and study of the Word of God. Many pseudo-Christian books are written by authors for the purpose of introducing the reader to false teachings, especially occult doctrine cloaked in Biblical terminology. For example, Max Lucado’s Cosmic Christmas promotes mysticism and a false Christ. Leonard Sweet’s Jesus Manifesto promotes Roman Catholic mysticism, Gnosticism, universalism, and quotes false teachers.
Also, ecumenical and political agendas, not to mention false interpretations of Bible prophecy, are promoted in many pseudo-Christian books, for example Jonathan Cahn’s The Harbinger. D. James Kennedy promoted astrology and a false Christ in The Real Meaning of the Zodiac. Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life promoted pantheism and his Drucker-inspired sociopolical agenda. Charles Sheldon’s book, In His Steps, introduced his readers to not only the Social Gospel, but to the ideas of other clergymen who were involved in Higher Criticism and seriously heretical in their doctrine.
My conclusion after years of reading many spiritually dead and deadly pseudo-Christian books: Nothing can replace reading through the Bible alone and allowing the Holy Spirit to teach you what God actually said and to speak to you personally.
March 24, 2017 at 3:16 am #399
Can you tell me more about the Harbinger? I haven’t actually read it, just read about it. My mother believes it is true and won’t listen to any objections. I have read about it and am highly skeptical, but am not entirely certain what it is about the book that is false teaching. I would like to know so that I can warn others. From what little I have heard and read, Harbinger claims that a prophecy in Isaiah applies to the U.S. and supposedly has been fulfilled throughout our history. It sounds more like this “everything in the Bible applies to the U.S.” and the whole “support Israel at all cost” sort of thing. But that is as deep as my knowledge of it goes. I’ve been hearing about a lot of Christians reading it and believing it is true. I guess the whole Jeremiah Johnson prophecy about President Trump is a whole other topic thread……..
It is like many Christians have lost any sense of discernment, or at least skepticism or caution. i find that frightening. I learned my lesson a few years ago as a new Christian with spiritual warfare books. I was really into them, until I found the Watch Unto Prayer website and learned more about their authors. I was appalled. Since then, I have been very leery of Christian books. When I read them, mostly try to stick to classics.
Thank you for mentioning the other books. Except for Purpose Driven Life, I had not heard of them before.
March 24, 2017 at 1:59 pm #403
Warren is 100% Drucker oriented. He works with the UN, With Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (at one time the second largest funder of Planned Parenthood globally). Sadly his influence is very broad. At his Pastors.com website you can find updates on the Purpose Driven work. It boasts over 400,000 churches involved world wide. Rwanda is the first “Purpose Driven Nation” placing medical clinics and other social services in over 700 churches partnering with the Government, corporations and the church/non profits. He calls it after Peter Drucker’s “the Three Legged Stool”. This is centralized under the government’s control, again exploits the churches resources and distorts its mission.
Warren is bringing this model home as of last year to all his Saddleback churches.
Scroll to the bottom and click on the various services being offered on campus – all social programs and funded by Grants – from government, private foundations, corporations (just as left politically) and the church. One Atlanta pastor doing this admits they use church giving as matching funds for the Government and corporate grants.
March 24, 2017 at 5:08 pm #406
Yes, when I first learned about Warren and his Drucker/Gates connection, i was absolutely sickened, which was why I tried to warn my pastor. However, I did realize that it had so thoroughly infected nations in Africa. That is horrible. So,the Gates Foundation is spreading this error and deception to African nations, to people who are desperate?
I had not thought about the books testifying of experiencing heaven as being part of this. What heretical message, if any, do you think those books are intended to convey? I thought they were probably harmless.
Very disappointed to hear about Lifeway. I thought that Lifeway was a better publisher and outlet, as they seemed to have sounder material in their stores. I had to stop purchasing from another Christian bookstore because over 75% of books on their shelves were full of false doctrine and outright garbage. I had not been to Lifeway often in the last few years, but I believed they had different standards.
March 25, 2017 at 4:21 am #413
JV, The Harbinger is basically a false prophecy that God has entered into judgment of the USA as He did Israel, because we have broken the covenant which the Founding Fathers, all Christians, made with God. This false premise and false prophecy is derived from a misinterpretation of Isaiah 10:9 discovered in the “mystical Hebrew writings” of the rabbinic sages. (pp. 240) Rabbi Cahn has denied that he is referring to the Zohar, the premier book of the Kabbalah, which is Jewish occultism, however, he does teach the Zohar to his Messianic Jewish congregation, Beth Israel Worship Center, aka the Jerusalem Center.
The Harbinger approaches the Bible like a mystery to be solved rather than God’s revelation to mankind. Instead of a literal interpretation of Scripture it is a fictional narrative which delves into a prophetic mystery with signs and omens and secret codes and hidden meanings of which the main character (Cahn) has been given understanding and is chosen to reveal to the church at this time. This is one of a myriad of books churned out by modern Judaizers to promote the heretical and blasphemous writings of unbelieving Jewish rabbis whose sole objective was and still is to undermine the Word of God, prevent belief in Jesus Christ and prepare mankind for a false messiah.
This book is so wrong on so many levels it’s hard to believe that so many Christians are deceived by it. I guess what resonates with Christians is the theme that judgment is coming to America. But Cahn assigns blame to the victims of an occult establishment that have seized power and legalized and promoted abominations which have corrupted its citizenry, especially the youth, in order to destroy their nation and assimilate it into a pagan new world order. Just another piece of political propaganda to divert attention from the criminal activities of the power elites to the bewildered masses who have little choice in elections or influence on the decisions made by government officials.
April 3, 2017 at 11:44 pm #523
Thank you for explaining more about The Harbinger. I looked up more about Rabbi Cahn. He teaches the Zohar and Kabbalah in his Christian church.
March 25, 2017 at 9:47 pm #418
Warren’s work in Rwanda was a template used soon after on most of the continent. Here is a video that gives a five minute overview of the “First Purpose Driven Nation”
Imagine Global Health partnerships with the UN, National Governments, Gates Foundation and local and Western churches!
March 25, 2017 at 10:03 pm #419
On the subject of Lifeway watch this video interview by Ed Stetzer and Trevin Wax who co-developed the popular Lifeway Curriculum The Gospel Project. The topic is “the future of evangelicalism ” and the other two participants are journalists for the liberal / secular Religious News Service.
They discuss how the church views topics like homosexuality and abortion as they speak of current cultural trends. Around minute 18 you can see their perspective that the church- “once considered homosexuality as a curse – now it is thought of as a cross to be borne – perhaps one day it will be considered a crown and be celebrated.” Also, evangelicals need to understand that “these issues are like unbaked cookies needing to be placed back in the oven for 3-5 years and taken out to see where we are.” It has now been 3 years since this video was filmed. These Lifeway employees are giving a platform for these ideas among conservative churches and ministers who buy their products and curriculum.
Ed Stetzer is now head of the Billy Graham Chair at Wheaton. Stetzer is a Drucker disciple and one of the most highly regarded researchers of church trends and growth strategy. The young journalist Merritt is son of a two term Southern Baptist president who was outed having a gay relationship while a writer for Christianity Today. He is now an activist journalist and Lifeway here is endorsing his new (at the time) book.
April 1, 2017 at 9:39 pm #450
I’ve noticed that the pastors (wolves) who defended “The Shack” would be quick to point out to its critics that it was “just a work of fiction” with the implication that Christians shouldn’t be so alarmed by its heresy. So labeling these books as fictional perhaps also serves to disarm or to lower the discernment of the Christian reader.
Regarding Rick Warren and the UN, it’s been shown that Warren’s PEACE plan is the same as the UN’s Millenial Development Goals. Warren is also been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. According to his Wiki page, “He has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) since 2005. Though he is most likely a CFR member today, I notice that his name has recently been deleted from the CFR’s membership roster. David Rockefeller, the CFR’s Honorary Chairman, just died at 101.
The CFR’s goal is to create a one world government and religion. With that in mind I find it of interest that the ERLC’s president prior to Moore, Richard Land, is also a CFR member. Unlike Warren, Land’s name hasn’t been deleted from the CFR’s membership roster (see here). I recall also that Richard land during his time as the ERLC’s president was dedicated to “building bridges to Muslims.”
April 3, 2017 at 4:50 pm #515
Mixing politics and faith has always produced some odd bed fellows no doubt. I tis interesting to me that we are called to be salt and light in this world but by very definition – the church is “Called Out” to be separate – in the world but not of it.
I am thankful God does at times call some of His own like a Daniel or a Joseph to play a key role in Kingdom purposes. But to align the mission of the church with the vision of lost and worldly minded people like those driving global policies -takes a special kind of delusion. Can believers find “common Ground ” with Atheist ? Marxist? Humanist? If and when God uses such people and their systems for His greater purposes it is still not yoking to lost kings.
April 3, 2017 at 11:35 pm #521
Have you heard of a lady named Rosaria Butterfield? She has a powerful response to the current trend in the churches toward LGBTQ.
April 4, 2017 at 4:18 pm #525
A lot of people like Rosaria Butterfields approach MORE than the “Gay Christian or SSA (same sex attracted ) Christian – but celibate” speakers. She clearly does not endorse the same point of view as others brought into the conservative church discussion on LGBTQ. However there are some issues. She is a liberal academic and still a social liberal in many of her views as shown in her book “An Unlikely Convert” . The view of her as “lesbian activist to home school mom” is a bit distorted in my opinion. She was brought to the evangelical circles by the highly compromised ERLC head Russell Moore as were the SSA but celibate “Gay Christians”. They were all part of the 2014 conference on homosexuality and the future of marriage ERLC conference. She is listed in her bio as “a homeschool mother an author and speaker”. The bigger issue would be with who is promoting her in my opinion. I think they are message shopping.
April 4, 2017 at 5:14 pm #526
Is it possible she is not aware that Moore is compromised?
April 5, 2017 at 4:05 pm #532
It is very possible because she is not from those circles in the Southern Baptist progressives. This is a long time liberal academic, she should recognize the issues if she indeed has moved to a conservative Christian view of homosexuality. Also my concern is that the SBC guys who use her are parading her like a trophy in their camp like “we have this convert from the left” yet are involving Rosaria in scripting their politically driven talking points for the SBC and Gospel Coalition and other conservative believers. Is this good for her faith and family and what could otherwise be a great ministry to people IN homosexuality and Lesbianism instead of being used as a talking head for Baptists who want into Government /tax payer money?
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