Monday, September 11, 2006

Where I was On 9-11-01

Five years ago today I was awakened at 7 a.m. by a phone call from my sister telling me what had just happened. I sat in utter shock watching airplanes crash into the World Trade Center. At the time, two of my daughters were 8 and 4 years old.

But as we sat in disbelief, the news came in that there was another plane still in the air. That was Flight 93. Hostages were of course, on board.

That's when my oldest daughter and I stopped and prayed for those people.

Who would've thought it was God's plan to have so many in an airplane being held hostage, while His children down below praying for them? Its amazing how God works.

We saw the Lord's answer in part that day. Later we saw much more of what took place: heroes who stood against evil men that day, Americans fighting for other Americans, ready for battle in the face of the death they knew was imminent. The call to arms: Let's roll!

They did. We prayed. God answered.

Of all the things I remember about 9-11, the fact that God called me and my daughter to pray for those on Flight 93, is what stands out the most.

The rest of that day my oldest daughter played a song by Twila Paris, "God Is In Control" which speaks of God's faithfulness to His children. It was quite appropriate for her to choose that song, this little 8 year old girl. She knew who to go to, who to trust. She got it right that day.

We serve a sovereign God. His ways are not our ways; His thoughts, His plans, are not our's. We must trust Him not only for eternal life, but in the events of life--both little and big.

Out of His grace, the Lord has told us the end of human history: the return of the Lord Jesus Christ as Judge and Victor. Sin, death, the Devil, hell....will all be destroyed utterly. The Lake of Fire will be full for eternity. He WILL have His way. He WILL do away with His enemy and our's. And we will worship Him as we one day see all His glory.

I hope as we think about what happened 5 years ago, and what has happened since, and what will happen in the future, we turn to Christ for truth, eternal life, forgiveness of our wicked sin, peace, and hope. May we repent of our sin, recognizing that as individuals and as a nation, without true faith and trust in Christ Jesus, our hopes are vain, our strength is weak, our lives are fleeting, and our best efforts and intentions are full of sin, and we offend a holy God.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Emergent/Contemplative Spirituality Coming to Mainstream T.V.

Sue Monk Kidd, author and Contemplative Mystic, has her book "The Mermaid Chair" coming to the small screen Saturday, September 9, 2006 on Lifetime channel.

The movie/book is about (what else?) a married women who must deal with various issues in her life (lonliness, questioning where she is now in her life, etc. etc.--same old complaints) and ends up falling in love with (surprise, surprise) a Bendict monk.

Full synopsis from Lifetime's website:

"I think a woman wants love and freedom at the same time. When I was writing the book, I was exploring that concept. I think a lot of women can relate to it."— Author Sue Monk Kidd

"Take a journey of mystery, passion and self-discovery with Academy Award® winning actress Kim Basinger in a powerful story based on the best-seller "The Mermaid Chair." The movie follows married mom Jessie, who just sent her daughter off to school and now feels alone and listless in her 20-year marriage. When this restless wife gets a disturbing phone call, she must return to her childhood home on a beautiful Southern island to deal with the shocking behavior of her mentally unstable mother. During this visit, she finds herself undeniably attracted to a Benedictine monk. While struggling with this temptation and delving into her family's secretive past, Jessie undergoes a spiritual, artistic and erotic awakening. Her experiences on the island lead Jessie to discover her true self and what she really wants from her life. "

Yes folks, its all about Self. This is the rebellion and sin of Satan and then of Adam and Eve. Feminism. Sadly being a mother , wife, and daughter isn't enough, even though for godly women it is.

Feminism is not only worldly, its pagan. Its founding is in Gnosticism.

John MacArthur says:

If you read ancient Gnostic literature you will see that they attack the Creator God, they mock Him, they disdain Him with a disdain that even has components of hatred in it. They hate the Creator God who made matter because to them matter was evil, and it becomes the prison of the free floating spirit.

According to one recently discovered Gnostic text, God the Creator is presented as, "Blind, ignorant, arrogant, the source of envy, and they call him the 'Father of Death.'" Gnostics believe that this fake god somehow (and they have to believe this or their whole thing would fall apart)--this fake god somehow, when he created the universe, accidentally infused into humanity some spark of divine life. They would have to say that or they would have no way to fan the spark of divine life that they want to believe that is in them. So that man is divine: there is a little component of divinity in him which he needs to fan until it just consumes him and he becomes fully divine. But here is this man with the divine spark, or this woman with a divine spark imprisoned in evil matter, and he has to find, or she has to find, a way to escape.

Gnostics taught that there is no such thing as sin, because there is no such thing as right and wrong in the human realm; therefore, there is no need for a Savior, there is no need for a death on the cross, there is no need for an atonement. What they needed to do to be saved was (listen to this) "Throw off the God of the Old Testament--this evil God." Throw off the God of the New Testament with all of His laws and all of His threats, and all of His so-called punishment. Throw off the whole Old and the whole New Testament and free yourself from the encumbering of this subgod, this bungling creator who did what he never should have done and created a prison for us in doing it.

So you can see that the first tenet of their system was a blasphemy against God--calling God evil, bungling, ignorant. The system also included (listen to this) lies that elevated women.

Ancient Gnosticism focused on women, this is what it said, for example, "Eve was a spirit endowed woman who saved Adam." They said, "Final salvation for the whole world from the imprisonment of matter will come through female power, and the key is female self-actualization, self-realization, self-knowledge, in which a woman becomes so fully in tune with herself and so well knows herself, and actualizes, and realizes and fulfills herself that she becomes fully divine, and as she becomes divine she will rescue the rest of these lame men just like Eve, fully divine, rescued poor Adam."

In fact, convoluting the creation account, Gnostic texts tell us that Dame Wisdom was the heavenly Eve. There was a mystical heavenly woman named "The Heavenly Eve" who is the same as Dame Wisdom (she is the source of all wisdom). She entered the snake in the garden, and she taught both Adam and Eve the true way of salvation. The snake then is not called the "Tempter," the snake in Gnostic literature is the "Instructor." The snake is ultimate wisdom, the snake was wiser than anybody else. The snake, it says in Gnostic literature, is the redeemer because the snake is the incarnated woman who comes to heavenly Eve and teaches the truth about self-realization, which is self-fulfillment, which is making yourself divine, which delivers you from being encumbered by matter.

"Though caught in matter," they say, the Gnostics, "humanity once again can become part of the universal whole by a process of self-realization." They say in the Book of Genesis, "The lack of self-realization is really the problem that man has." The Bible says that man's problem is sin--sin! And the root of his sin is his self-preoccupation, so they flip that completely around.

So the heart and core of Gnostic religion then is the "consubstantiality of self with God;" you make yourself into God. You are the only God that exists: you get in tune with yourself, you elevate yourself--self-esteem, self-knowledge, self-actualization, self-realization, self-fulfillment; whatever your self wants that's how you become God--you just give complete sway to your own self-desire.

End quote.

MacArthur shares a few quotes with us from the Feminist leaders which are right in line with the gnostic lies:

The "Declaration of Feminism" goes back to November of 1971 when they laid out their agenda and this is what it says, "The end of the institution of marriage is necessary for the liberation of women; therefore, it is important for us to encourage women to leave their husbands and not live individually with men. All of history must be rewritten in terms of oppression of women. We must go back to ancient female religions like witchcraft!" Mark that, "We must go back to ancient female religions like witchcraft!"

Anne Lori Gaylor writing an article called "Feminist Salvation" in the "Humanist" in 1988 says, "Let's forget about the mythical Jesus and look for encouragement, solace, and inspiration from real women. 2,000 years of patriarchal rule under the shadow of the cross ought to be enough to turn women towards the feminist salvation of the world."

End quote.

Back to Sue Monk Kidd:

Lighthousetrailsresearch says:

"[Sue] Monk Kidd's spirituality is spelled out clearly in her book, When the Heart Waits. She explains: There's a bulb of truth buried in the human soul [everyone] that's only God ... the soul is more than something to win or save. It's the seat and repository of the inner Divine, the God-image, the truest part of us"—Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing, 2nd ed., p. 134

"Her most powerful awakening, however, still lay ahead of her ... Sue's explorations and study took an unexpected turn into feminist theology. The result was The Dance of the Dissident Daughter."

The Dance of the Dissident Daughter"Sue Monk was a "conventionally religious, churchgoing woman, a traditional wife and mother" with a thriving career as a Christian writer until she began to question her role as a woman in her culture, her family, and her church. From a jarring encounter with sexism in a suburban drugstore to monastery retreats and rituals in the caves of Crete, Kidd takes readers through the fear, anger, healing, and transformation of her awakening."—From the Back Cover

This feminist is hailed by David Jeremiah (thought by many to be a mainstream, "solid" Bible teacher, and now Kidd's book is coming to t.v. to hook more women into her pagan religion.

Scripture clearly states that all mankind is born in hostility toward God, dead in sins and transgressions (Rom. 3:10-18; Eph. 2:1-4; Rom. 8:7). No one has any "good" in them. All are in desperate need of the Savior. Without trusting in Christ Jesus as the only way, truth and life, no one will go to heaven and to the Father, and God's wrath will continue to abide on him. The way to eternal life, Jesus said, is narrow and few that find it. Destruction's way is broad and many will go there.

In addition to that, God's high calling for women is to be wives and mothers; to learn to love their husbands and submit to them, and to learn to love their children, to be busy at home, to minister to their familes first and foremost, then to other women and children within the local church. Titus 2 isn't an option.

Don't be fooled, folks. Kidd is a false teacher and is NOT teaching biblical truths whatsoever.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Marilyn Hickey Promotes Unbelievers

Doing a some research yesterday, I found that false pastor and teacher, Marilyn Hickey and her daughter, Sarah Bowling, promote unbelievers to teach their audience about Christ:

Famous Christians in History is a chance to study the lives of renowned believers who made a difference in their world. You will be encouraged as you discover how God uses ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things.
Includes:• Accounts of their struggles, triumphs, and failures• Looks into their private lives • Stories of how they defended our faith or became famous living it out• Timeline to help you relate their lives to world events

Among those they promote are: Madam Guyon, Roman Catholic mystic; and William Braham, who was an anti-Trinitiarian.

What is disturbing is the encouragement of professing Christians to read Madam Guyon (Jeanne Marie Bouvier De La Motte, 1648-1717). She was a Roman Catholic mystic and studied as well as taught the Eastern mystical contemplative spirituality. She is highly recommended by many in the Emergent Church Movement/Contemplative Spirituality circles. Christianity Today endorses her. As well, she is recommended on the dvd "Be Still".

Here are two her quotes, found from Lighthousetrailsresearch:

"Here [the contemplative state] everything is God. God is everywhere and in all things."

This is a pantheistic, perhaps even panentheistic, view of God, hardly biblical whatsoever. God is not everything, rather He is the Creator, unlike all He creator. He is unique, set apart:

Isa 40:18 To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him?

Revelation proclaims the destruction of unbelievers, Satan, the Beast, death,and hell (Rev. 19:20; 20:10,14,15). This is incompatable with "all is in God and God is in all" view.

She also taught, "May I hasten to say that the kind of prayer I am speaking of is not a prayer that comes from YOUR MIND. It is a prayer that begins in THE HEART.... PRAYER THAT COMES FROM THE HEART IS NOT INTERRUPTED BY THINKING!"[Experiencing The Depths of Jesus Christ p. 4]

1Cor. 14: 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.

According to Richard Fisher, "The school of mysticism that Guyon adhered to, sometimes called Quietism, was an extreme form of Roman Catholic mysticism that emphasized the cleansing of one’s inner life and included the belief that one could see Christ visibly."

"She taught that we can know of God by “passing forward into God,”7 going into a mindless, meditative state where we can get in touch with the Christ within the self, merge with that Christ and be lifted into ecstasy."

To their shame, Moody Press published her autobiography. Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL) offers her book online as well. If CCEL offers it for research purposes, they need to boldly designate it as such. Otherwise it can been seen as an endorsement.

Whitaker House now publishes the book, which given their line of heretical books (Mary K. Baxter, E. W. Kenyon, Rebecca Brown) is much more understandable (one wonders why they promote their fictional book, "Winds of Evil" by Sharon Gilbert as "Be afraid of things that go bump in the night". Christians are not to be fearful nor be anxious about anything--but I digress).

For a thorough treatment of what Guyon taught, read Fisher's article here.

Lastly, Marilyn Hickey and her daughter Sarah promote William Brahman to their readers.

Branham said, "...not one place in the Bible is trinity ever mentioned...It's Catholic error and you Protestants bow to it" (Conduct, Order, Doctrine Q and A, p. 182). "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is offices of one God. He was the Father; He was the Son; He is the Holy Ghost. It's three offices or three dispensations,..." (Ibid., p. 392). This view of the Godhead is called Modalism and is a false and heretical view of God.

Branham explained, "There never was a person baptized in the name of `Father, Son, Holy Ghost' until early Catholicc church" (Ibid., p. 178)....Branham attempted to explain the distinction, "You see, you misunderstand it then. It's one God in three dispensations....

The Trinity, however is not a Roman Catholic doctrine. Rather its biblical. The Trinity is defined as: One God, and within that one God there exists three co-equal and co-eternal persons, namely the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father is not the Son, nor is the Holy Spirit the Father or the Son. They are distinct from one another, having a loving relationship between them, communication between them, the giving of gifts between them, and submission (the Spirit to the Son, and the Son to the Father).

Interestingly, Robert Bowman says:

Oneness accuses the Church of being tied with Rome with the Trinity being of pagan origin. History shows the doctrine of the Trinity was there long before Constantine’s time when the Church in Rome became a center for Christianity after it was legal to be a Christian.

Despite the accusation's of the Roman Church inventing and promoting the Trinity we find the Church in Rome falling prey to numerous falsehoods that they tried to keep out, one of which was Oneness. Almost 125 years before Constantine conflict arose with what is classified as modalism (Oneness Pentecostalism). This teaching found support with two early Bishops of Rome, Zephyrinus and Callistus. Zephyrinus was the head Bishop at the time and was attracted to the Modalistic view. Caught between two major factions trying to keep the peace, he was advised by his soon to be successor Callistus on how to keep both sides satisfied. After Zephyrinus died in 217 A.D. Callistus kept his policy and Modalism became the official theory in Rome for almost a generation. He also was determined to excommunicate both Sabellius ( who promoted Modalism) as well as Hippolytus (who promoted the Trinity) who he accused of promoting two Gods. He devised a formulae that would satisfy the contention of both parties to keep the peace, since he considered himself the Pope.

Only the Christian God is triune, and consequently, to deny the Trinity is to say that, historically, Judaism and Islam have been right about the being of God, while Christianity has been wrong. Oneness writers have said as much.

--Robert Bowman Jr.

For an outline of verses that show the Trinity, go here and here.

Branham also taught that Eve had sex with the Serpent in the Garden,with Cain as the product of that union:

"Here is what actually happened in the Garden of Eden. The Word says that Eve was beguiled by the serpent. She was actually seduced by the serpent. He was as close to being a human that his seed could, and did mingle with that of the woman and cause her to conceive" (The Original Sin, pp. 2, 3).

For a detailed article dealing with the life and doctrine of Branham, go to Watchman apologetic website*. I found excellent quotes there for this article.

Of course Gen. 4:1 says: Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, "I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD."

Scripture attributes the birth of Cain to Adam and God. Not the devil. This is so clear that a child can understand it.

Claiming to be the forerunner endtime prophet to Jesus' return (move over John the Baptist!), he tried to predict that America would be destroyed in 1977 (The Seven Church Ages, p. 322)., but as you know, we're all still here. This proves he was a false prophet in addition to being a false teacher and false pastor.

One wonders if either Marilyn or Sarah have ever bothered to read Branham's material or do research on him, because had they done so, they would not offer him as an influence Christian man. As far as I know, Hicky claims to be a Trinitarian. Supporting Branham would go against that doctrine. Perhaps, like other "Christians" we see on TBN, the doctrine of the Trinity doesn't matter to them. This is to their shame.

As you can see, Marilyn Hickey and her daughter prove Paul's words to be true:

1Tim. 2: 11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.

These two are decieved themselves and are disobedient to clear commands of Scripture. They should not be listened to.

*A cautionary note: on the page on Braham at Watchman, they offer Greg Boyd's "Oneness Pentecostals & The Trinity" for further reading on Oneness Pentecostals, but Boyd, once a Oneness Pentecostal himself, has since continued in heresy, the latest of which is the Open View of God--that God doesn't know all things and has limited understanding.

Fruit of the Spirit Candles

I love candles, but this is getting downright silly.

I first came across religious (not biblical Christian) candles about a year ago, with "His Essence" candles. Yup, candles that bring Jesus' very presence into your home. But first you have to light the candle to call Him forth. You also need to set the right mood. Ugh. Is this the romantic notion that is spreading through many churches today---that Jesus is my boyfriend whom I keep falling in love with?? Perish the thought. What nonesense. Where's the reverence for the Lord?

Now I've stumbled across "Fruit of the Spirit" candles.

Want to know what Self-control SMELLS like? According to one distributor, "The sweet notes of blackberry are blended with dewfruit, osmanthus, rose, and Canadian fir to create this refreshing scent."

Patience: "Sweet melon notes are blended with herbal notes of lavender and topped with just a hint of smooth, creamy vanilla."

One wonders what the fruit of the flesh smells like.

Not to be outdone, the Jesus candles now have a line of lotions, so you wear His presence throughout the day.

I don't understand this thinking. Clearly this is competition with the Yankee type candles, but with a religious twist. Do these creators really think we can invoke a special presence of God or bring the fruit of the Spirit by lighting wax? I need to pay to get closer to the Lord? This seems Roman Catholic to me. Its quite far from what the Word says. Candles have nothing to do with the fruit of the Spirit nor the presence of God (we are children of Light, and Christ is the Light--Ephesians 5:8). Rather, being indwelled with the Holy Spirit and having Him conform us to the image of Christ Jesus is what brings fruit of the Spirit (Romans 8:29). The Word of God is what also helps us grow in maturity, love, and knowledge of truth.

The best thing we can do in our relationship with God is to study His Word, feed upon it, carefully consider it, pray about it, and obey it (Ps. 119).

Lighting a bunch of smelly wax just won't do that.

Whatever the motive (sincere as they might be) this is hardly biblical. More than that, it seems they are trying a gimmick to make money off the Lord and our relationship with Him. True Christians should consider this and refrain from feeding the monster.