It has been announced that Anne Rice is leaving Christianity. Really? Wow, that is surprising...NOT. Did she really embrace true Christianity? That really was the quetion I asked myself when she announced she was a Christian. And of course, many evangelical leaders got on her bandwagon "using" her. This isn't a criticism of her....it's basically a critique of the evangelical church that just is not getting the true message of the cross through at all.
Those Christians that have replaced the center of Christianity with the social gospel, especially those who are tending toward universal salvation for all, hate God. That is a strong comment I know, but I am getting more and more convinced this is what is really at the root of it. When you hate God's ways (Is. 55:8,9), isn't it a small step to actually hating God? God didn't set up the social justice system as the center; He set up the sacrifice system of an unblemished lamb to cover sins. In the New Covenant (Testament) the Unblemished Lamb, God's Son Himself, took away sins. But several passages in the NT make it very clear that only those who receive this covenant in their hearts with confession through their mouths will be in the convenant peoples--not everyone and his brother.sster/father/mother/aunt/uncle, et. al. (i.e. the entire chapter 5 of I John, espcially vs. 11,12--note Paul did NOT write this).
Six (6) years ago I started this blog to warn about what I considered the false Third Wave Charismatic movement ala Toronto, Brownssville, etc. After a few years it soon changed to warnings about the emergent movement which I now consider 10 times worse than even the Third Wavers, whose movement is dying, thankfully. I've recently written several times that most of our Christian leaders are selling us out. This was also true of the Third Wave leaders. Why? For the Third Wavers, it was just a matter of a complete lack of discernment. For others I believe it is power and money--that is, if they don't keep the young adults in their churches--well, you figure it out.
Andrew Strom, who IMO was pretty much fooled by Toronto at first but recently has wised up, has written a book on something called the Kundalini spirit. You can see where he is going with this in the UTube clip link below. It's interesting that he too says the Apostolic Third Wave leaders have failed us. I think this clip is worth watching and it certainly sums up the foundational problem with that so-called "revival." I would add that the main problem with the "revivals" was the complete lack of Jesus, and His mediatorial work on the cross for us, as its center, or in most cases even mentioned (the exception was Brownsville, but the craziness that went on there makes one wonder). I'm not sure how people can get born again when the cross isn't even mentioned or played down.
For the last week of June and the first 2 1/2 weeks of July I served on a federal jury in a health fraud case. Something has really hit me after serving on this jury. We had to convict 6 defendants, even though many of us didn't wish to and really didn't think they were that much a part of the fraud. BUT, the way the law is WRITTEN we had to find them guilty. What if laws were passed narrowing down freedom of religion and what the First Amendment means. A jury would HAVE to find defendants guilty IF the law was worded quite narrowly, EVEN IF the jury thought it might be unconstitutional. The jury could not decide the constitutional validity of the law; they just would have to deliver the verdict(s) within the limits and confines of that law. The courts would need to define the constutionality of the law on appeal.
I bet you know where I am going with this. Lately, there have been many interpretations of laws that we Christians consider rather narrow. But, a jury would have no authority to change the law. And I would imagine a jury couldn't even interpret it in a much wider sense than it would be written in the jury instructions.
In our two-day deliberations, our jury spent at least 50-60% of our time trying to understand the applicable law and terms contained therein. When nurses' aides hardly know what is going on, are they "aiding and abetting" in a conspiracy? They were according to the terms, "aiding and abetting," and "conspiracy" and "fraud" according to the government and the judges instructions to the jury. So, the six defendants may be going to jail for as long as 20 years. And here is the rub. Some of the people in the office who perpetuated this may not get much jail time as they plead guilty and cooperated with the government. However, they do have to pay exorbitant fines (one person has to pay a million dollars back). It seems to me that something is terribly wrong here.
This is why I'm thinking about this situation lately. Regarding Christians in the future--how the law reads is how one will be tried by a jury that may not even agree with the law or think it is constitutional.
For the past 15 years I've been in at least one Christian chat room in the years since, but the best one was and is my senior 55+ one. One of our "roomies" died last night (July 22, 2010). I could describe her but this post by one of our other roomies does it better than I ever good...just to say..."sleep well, dear Shirlee and enjoy your new heavenly home." She was 81.
I just love it when someone deconstructs the emergent deconstructionists. The emergents ask a lot of "What IF" questions, which isn't bad at all. But it does get bad when the answers are whacked. Here is someone who asks the right "What If" questions....at the Better Than Sacrifice blog.
What if…there exists a truth which is absolute?
What if…it is true that there is a God?
What if…this God made the heavens and the earth?
What if…He made humankind in His own image?
What if…the first man and woman rebelled against God?
What if…they died spiritually and became by nature children of God’s wrath?
What if…you are their descendent?
What if…you too are a rebel against God?
What if…you, a child of spiritually dead parents, are dead in your sins?
What if…God still loved the world? So much that He sent His Son, Jesus?
What if…Jesus calls everyone to turn away from their rebellion and toward God?
What if…Jesus bore the punishment for your hatred of God by dying on a Roman execution cross?
What if…He proved that He is God by raising Himself from the dead?
What if…He is coming back to judge the living and the dead?
What if…He offers you forgiveness, and freedom from your sin? And His righteousness put to your account?
What if…instead of slavery to sin, you could have a life of service to the One who gave His life for you?
What if…God caused all of these things to be written in a book? So that you could know them?
What if…this is absolute truth:
Christ Jesus. Crucified for sinners. Raised from the dead. According to the Scriptures.
For months I've been looking for a blog post somewhere...anywhere....that tells, in a capsule, what is really happening in our Christian colleges, seminaries and in many churches, especially in the youth and young adult groups. Well, I've found a site!
Sorry I haven't written lately. During the entire month of July I am on a federal jury for a trial. But please do check in once in a while as I will try to write at least twice a week during July, and then step it up in August.
I've been reading about liberation theology because I have read so much about it oozing into evangelical theology lately. You'll recognize it in evangelicalism by it's "We've gotta help The Poor" mantra. It was interesting to me to find out that one of the founders of that theology, Peruvian Gustavo Gutierrez, along with most of the other major [Latin American] liberation theologians, think that practice should come first and that is what defines salvation, not the theology itself. I also thought it was interesting that while they don't think Marxism is far from perfect, they've decided it's their choice of an economic system since they believe it's the best system to bring social justice to the poor and disenfranchised. They absolutely loathe capitalism.
As I reflected on this, here are some thoughts that came to me. Is there any reason that capitalism cannot work well in Latin America? Yes, because of the wealth in the hands of the few and the United States often helping to keep these few people in power. Can those two things be changed without [Marxist-type] revolution? This is a really difficult question. Assuming there is a revolution, could it bring in another type of capitalism not known too much in Latin America instead of Marxism? I think it could, although I'm not a big fan of revolutions. The capitalism that should be brought in would be basically what we've seen in Africa and Asia through micro-finance programs. But what I think should really happen is lots of evangelism, especially reaching the higher echelons so that the future leaders will effect these changes voluntarily without pressure from America or from [Roman Catholic] church and poor revolutionaries. 35 years of liberation Marxist thinking has NOT helped the poor in Latin America at all. In fact, it has betrayed them. Yet the liberation theologians' ideas are not only alive and well in Latin America, but sadly are gaining traction thoughout Europe and North America in the evangelical churches through the younger generations. For examle, when you read some of the emergents you get the feeling they've been reading Gutierrez. Perhaps they need to really look at the results of this theology in Latin America.
37 years ago I began to go to a very good church. It was there I was really discipled and learned the Bible much better than I had in other churches. Fast forward to 2009, last summer, when a friend and I visted the same church. And what did we hear there? Of course I'm sure you can guess. The Poooooor and The Homeless. The entire sermon was about a homeless woman who was living on the boulevard in the church's city. The pastor decided to help her and so he did----for one day. Recently, a year later, I was driving down this boulevard, and guess what? The same homeless lady is still in the same spot she was in last year. And guess what else? She is still homeless. Gasp! So much for helping the poor. I am telling you people that most of this stuff is just talk and little do for long lasting results. The main purpose IMO of this switch to a "help the poor (especially in Africa) center is to get off of the cross and what Jesus did there (and no, it wasn't to bring soical justice to groups). It is just so easy to get our Christian leaders way off track.