Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tim Keller's Redeemer Presbyterian Church Goes Emergent: Contemplative Spirituality/Eastery Mysticism Now Taught

More Easteryn Mysticism/Contemplative Spirituality at Tim Keller's Redeemer Presbyterian Church: quote:

Susan Castillo will be teaching "The Way of the Monk" at Tim Keller's Redeemer Presbyterian Church. This is NOT just for women, but open for men and women (she's currently getting her M.A. at Westminister Theological Seminary). As I have demonstrated already in another post, Keller believes women can and should teach men spiritual things as long as its not in the "office" of "elder".

Here's what Redeemer says for the class on their webpage (bold, my emphasis):

The Way of the Monk (April 28, May 5 & 12)

Do you long for the great theology in your head to be more real to your heart? Come discover age-old methods of contemplative prayer and worship that can help you encounter Christ in a more intimate, experiential way. In this hands-on workshop, you will experience the ancient art of chanting the Psalms (they were meant to be sung!), embark on a practice of authentic Christian meditation, discover how a simple, time-honored tool can help unleash the prayer warrior in you, learn what a typical monastic day is like and how you can make your own, private retreat at a monastery, and much more!

Note: This workshop will be of added benefit to fellowship group leaders who wish to cultivate greater variety and depth in their group’s time of worship.

Schedule: Tuesdays, April 28, May 5 & 12 from 7:00PM to 9:00PM.

Location: Redeemer Offices, 11th Floor Conference Room (1359 Broadway, 11th Floor, btw. 36 & 37).

The Way of the Monk (April 28, May 5 & 12)

Apr 28 7:00PM - 9:00PM

Centering Prayer

In this session, we will focus on Centering Prayer, an age-old practice of authentic Christian meditation. We will cover history, technique, obstacles, and how to overcome them. We will also devote ample time to actual practice and Q &A. We will learn how to properly prepare by grounding ourselves in God’s Word. As a prelude, we will consider the purpose, power, and biblical precedent for silence, solitude, and contemplative practice.

May 5 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Prayer Rope

Finally…help for fidgety hands and distracted minds! In this session, we will focus on the use of a prayer rope, a practice of prayer that engages the whole person. We’ll begin by viewing a brief video that demonstrates the “Chaplet of the Divine Mercy,” a particular method of using a prayer rope. We will then do our own investigation of Scripture to determine the meaning and power of God’s “mercy” and the resulting implications for rich, yet highly accessible intercessory prayer. We’ll also cover history, purpose, technique, and devote ample time to actual practice and Q &A.

May 12 7:00PM - 9:00PM
The Divine Office/ Liturgy of the Hours

In this session, we will peek at an actual monastic schedule and focus on the mainstay of their daily life, known as the "Divine Office" or "Liturgy of the Hours." At the cornerstone of the Divine Office is the prayerful, sung recitation or "chanting" of the Psalms; we will consider how we can rightly appropriate the Psalms as our own prayer. We will then learn and practice Compline, the final service or "office" of the monastic day.

Location: Redeemer Church Offices (directions) 11th Floor Conference Room


Susan Castillo
Susan Castillo is currently on Redeemer staff in the Fellowship Group department and is pursuing an MA in Biblical Counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary. She wholly espouses Reformed Presbyterian theology while continuing to embrace her “inner monk.” Sometimes referred to as “The Retreat Lady,” she has been fleeing to monasteries to “honeymoon with Jesus” for over ten years.

End quote.

In addition Redeemer Presbyterian Church has a Spiritual Formation department. This is a heavily used term by Emergents/Contemplative Spirituality followers.

***NOTE***Let's not forget that Tim Keller has endorsed Eastern Mystic feminist Adele Calhoun's "Spiritual Disciplines Handbook" book, also endorsed by mystic Ruth Halye Barton, back in 2005:

Reviews & Endorsements

"I have long profited from Adele Ahlberg Calhoun's gifts in the field of spiritual development, and I am delighted that she has compiled her experience with spiritual disciplines into book form. I highly recommend it and I look forward to using it as a resource at our church." —Dr. Timothy Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, NYC

"I love this book! Adele has provided a treasure trove of spiritual
disciplines that will nourish your soul, striking a delicate balance between accessibility and depth that comes from her own faithful practice. Read it, engage the disciplines, and allow God to transform you in the deepest levels of your being." —Ruth Haley Barton, cofounder, The Transforming Center, and author of Sacred Rhythms and Invitation to Solitude and Silence

In addition, Redeemer Presbyterian church lists Villiage Church as a church affliation (their pastor sat under the ministry of Tim Keller during th 1990's):

"The Village Church lives to revolutionize Greenwich Village, through word and deed, into the pre-eminent expression of urban eternal life, by bridging those who don’t believe to the church, dancing believer with believer, and uniting all to Christ."

Don't worry if that hardly made any sense. Its Emergentese. It only continues.... :

"We spend a lot of our energy to accomplish nothing! Individually and in our 11:00 a.m. gathering each Sunday, we celebrate Jesus Christ as our connection to the Divine. Through celebrating His birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension, we inhale His grace and exhale our appreciation. This respiration of worship, with joy and reverence, is vital to who we are, an exhibition of excitement about knowing and walking with God.

The Village Church brings the Ancient forward to today. We find the historic Christian faith to be the means of navigating the turbulent choices of city life. We are creedal, sacramental and confessional in the Presbyterian tradition (PCA). The ministry of Word and Sacrament, Praise and Prayer, are means of grace we use weekly to proclaim both God’s transcendence and Christ’s invitation to immanence, in an eclectic style indigenous to Greenwich Village. We hail the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, working constantly to reform the faith in our contemporary setting."

Sounds like New Age Eastern Mystic stuff.

Here are some articles to show you the dangers of Contemplative Spirituality and why it is unbiblical:

Contemplative Spirituality:

Contemplative Prayer:

Contemplative Terms:


Welcome to Obamaland

Venezuelans fighting dictator over free press:

Thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets holding separate protests to support and condemn private TV station Globovision, which leftist President Hugo Chavez has threatened to shut down.
Protesters aligned with the opposition called for "defending access to information" and denounced "the persecution against Globovision that seeks to close it permanently" in a statement read after their march.

In May, Chavez's United Socialist Party accused Globovision of "media terrorism" for getting ahead of the government in reporting about an earthquake.

The government has also lambasted the channel for broadcasting comments by a journalist who said Chavez, a close ally of Cuba's communist regime, would end his days like former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, "hung with his head down."

The firebrand leftist leader has threatened Globovision with the same fate that befell RCT (Radio Caracas Television), the oldest and most popular television network in the country.
The government refused to renew RCTV's license in May 2007 because of its critical news coverage. Although off the air, RCTV continues to be seen in Venezuela from Miami via cable and satellite systems.

End quote.

Obama is turning ABC News into Another Barrack Channel. He has made it his own offical news channel from which to manipulate Americans.

This is called a State-Run TV station folks. While Venezuelans are fighting it, Barrack is pushing it! The media used to be (in a democracy/republic) a way to hold politicans in check, by questioning and exposing corruption and wrong ideas. The requirement for journalists used to be that they were unbiased. That's gone.

Now with Obama taking over an entire news network by bringing it into the Whitehouse to sell his socialist agenda without the opposing views also being aired alongside it, we've delved deeper into the socialist dictatorship of Obama.

Are you willing to fight against this like the Venezuelans?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The SBC: The Titanic Of Christianity Today

The Southern Baptist Convention:

"The victories of faith in the life of the convention did not happen because men and women loved doctrine," Chapman, president of the Executive Committee, said during the morning report June 23. "They happened because they loved Jesus."

"The convention has hit troubled waters before, Chapman said, as Southern Baptists debated their identity."But while the controversy raged and theologians were arguing about Baptist identity, Lottie Moon was boarding a boat to the distant shores of East Asia," Chapman said to applause. Early believers were a missionary people before they were anything else, he said, and Southern Baptists launched the Cooperative Program as a tool to keep the convention focused on the Gospel "rather than on the budgets and buildings and bureaucracy."

My thoughts:

Chapman and the SBC denies then, the sovereignty of God which he just gave lip service to. Jesus taught this very thing in John 6 and He "lost" most of his "disciples" who never followed Him again (v. 66). I guess in the eyes of today's wimpy and man-coddling SBC, Jesus wanted to argue over doctrine and should've just talked about "evangelism" (whatever THAT means anymore). Chapman's obviously part of the problem...and Founders (those in the SBC which want to go back to its biblical roots of Doctrines of Grace) are on a sinking ship.

The SBC has just declared doctrine is hardly the issue, but "loving Jesus ". By making such a tiresome and worthless statement, they have just renounced any clear distinction of biblical Christianity from all other religions.

God says doctrine matters. It matters because the Gospel TEACHES ("doctrine") the truth about God, Man, Salvation, Sin, Hell, Death, Heaven, Grace, Eternal Security, God's Wrath, Faith.

Without doctrine, people believe in any gospel and any Jesus. Without doctrine those "converts" will be nothing more than reformed pagans without eternal life.

Pro 14:15 The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps.

1Ti 1:8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that THE LAW IS not laid down for the just BUT FOR THE LAWLESS and disobedient, FOR THE UNGODLY AND SINNERS, for the UNHOLY AND PROFANE, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 IN ACCORADANCE WITH THE GOSPEL of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.

Gal. 1: 6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!

Here we see God puting the Gospel and Salvation together in Doctrine. The SBC rather ignore such pesky commands of God.

It seems that the SBC is really just concerned about their numbers, because lately that's all they seem to talk about--that and lowering the bar of Truth. "The number of people baptized in Southern Baptist churches fell for the third straight year in 2007 to the convention's lowest level since 1987."(Source)

The subtlety of the SBC's error can be seen if one is well aquainted with Scripture. While giving lip service to the sovereignty of God, they turn around and reject it. They rather have no distinction as Baptists (more on this in a moment) which is to say, as Biblical Christians, but instead want more numbers, income, and influence.

Let's look at what Robert Morey says about such subtley:

The main problem is that many religious leaders today say one thing and teach another. If you ask Gregory Boyd or the other “Open View of God” heretics if they believe in the “omniscience” of God, they will say, “Yes.” Dumb Christians are satisfied at this point and go their merry way deceived and hoodwinked. But if you force them to define the term “omniscience,” they end up denying that God knows all things! They claim that God does not and cannot know the future.

Just because someone says, “I believe in sola scriptura,” does not mean he really believes in it. If he elsewhere says that the Bible is not the final authority in faith and practice, he has denied in substance what he supposedly affirmed as a slogan. Heretics have always done this. What they affirm with the right hand is what they deny with the left hand. It does not matter what doctrine is at stake.

In the early 1980s, those who denied the inerrancy of Scripture did not begin by openly denying it. They redefined it until the term “inerrancy” meant errors!

Those who deny the bodily resurrection of Christ often pretend to believe in it by tricky words and double talk. Believe me; I have heard some slick theologians in my day!

Apostasy in Scripture is of two kinds: doctrinal and moral.

A heretic can be a good person who is very moral. Yet, he can also be an anti-Christ. The monk Pelagius was according to all a good man, morally speaking. Thus when I point out some teacher as a heretic, evanjellyfish usually respond, “But he is sooo nice! He is a good man. How dare you attack him!”

They assume that heretics are always mean and vile. A nice heretic who says that right phrases and theological clichés cannot be a heretic in their mind.

The problem with heretics who are “nice” is that we tend to let them get away with the most outrageous teaching because they seem to be so nice.

End quote.

It sounds nice to say we need to love Jesus and evangelize. But when one goes deeper with the SBC we see that they mean to put aside doctrinal differences and raise their numbers. Their manner of evangelism (entertaining the goats via martial arts, for example, or feeding people) is their attempt to lure the God-haters into Christ Jesus without telling them the HARD TRUTHS OF THE GOSPEL (deny yourselves, count the cost, acknowledge you have NO GOOD in you AT ALL, Jesus is MASTER over you, etc.).

The distancing of the SBC from doctrine (as if doctrine is somehow lesser than love...but a look at Scripture reveals true love LOVES Truth, because God IS True and His Word IS TRUE) reveals the Down Grade has already occurred. Doctrine matters in "making disciples".

Chapman and the SBC want to avoid all kinds of doctrine, trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator of the gospel. This is heinousness. This is NOT what Jesus did. What did Jesus say in the Great Commission which Chapman gives mere lip service to?

Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Gotherefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the HolySpirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end ofthe age."

"Make disciples" and "Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" necessitates doctrine. Doctrine means "teaching". There IS no Gospel without doctrine! And one's doctrine absolutely dictates the gospel he proclaims and the manner in which he proclaims it!

Doctrine starts in the Gospel proclaimed, as we just saw in Gal. 1. We see it throughout Scripture: John 1, Col. 1, 1Cor. 15. Jesus' biggest question is "Who do you say that I am?"

1Tim. 1: 3As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine

2Tim. 4: . 3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

Joh 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Jas 1:18 Of His own will He brought us forth by THE WORD OF TRUTH, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of HIS creatures.

Col 1:5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have HEARD BEFORE IN THE WORD OF TRUTH, THE GOSPEL, 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing--as it also does among you, since the day you HEARD IT UNDERSTOOD the grace of God in truth,

Did Jesus "agree to disagree" with any doctrine, ever? Is the Gospel without doctrine? Is biblical doctrine optional? The answer to all of these questions is NO!

I wonder if the SBC is really just concerned about their numbers, because lately that's all they seem to talk about--that and lowering the bar of Truth. "The number of people baptized in Southern Baptist churches fell for the third straight year in 2007 to the convention's lowest level since 1987." (Source)

SBC's weak doctrine shows in their evangelism (and therefore they can't complain about low numbers or worldliness of their "converts"): "Today, because of this food drop, people are going to come to Jesus -- people whose names we do not know," Hammond said. "On behalf of the North American Mission Board we are delighted to be in a partnership with Feed The Children, the Kentucky Baptist Convention, the Long Run Association and Bethlehem Baptist to meet these folks' human and spiritual needs." Hunt told the crowd: "We're never more like Jesus than when we're giving. The Bible says actions speak louder than words. It's time for people to see what Baptists are doing." (Source) They had a Tae Kwon Do demonstration in their "Crossover '09" which is nothing but man-centered distractions from The Gospel.

Let's look at what AW Pink said about modern day evangelism:

Excerpts from Arthur Pink's "Present Day Evangelism""The glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me." 1 Timothy 1:11

Most of the so-called evangelism of our day is a grief to genuine Christians, for they feel that it lacks any scriptural warrant, that it is dishonoring unto God, and that it is filling the churches with empty professors! They are shocked that so much frothy superficiality, fleshly excitement and worldly allurement should be associated with the holy name of the Lord Jesus Christ. They deplore the cheapening of the Gospel, the beguiling of unwary souls, and the carnalizing and commercializing of what is to them, ineffably sacred. It requires little spiritual discernment to perceive that the evangelistic activities of Christendom during the last century have steadily deteriorated from bad to worse—yet few appear to realize the root from which this evil has sprung. It will now be our endeavor to expose the same. Its aim was wrong, and therefore its fruit faulty.

If the evangelist fails to make the glory of God his paramount and constant aim, he is certain to go wrong, and all his efforts will be more or less a beating of the air. When he makes an end of anything less than that, he is sure to fall into error, for he no longer gives God His proper place. Once we fix on ends of our own, we are ready to adopt means of our own. It was at this very point, that evangelism failed two or three generations ago, and from that point it has farther and farther departed. Evangelism made "the winning of souls" its goal, its summum bonum, and everything else was made to serve and pay tribute to the same. Though the glory of God was not actually denied, yet it was lost sight of, crowded out, and made secondary. Further, let it be remembered that God is honored in exact proportion as the preacher cleaves to His Word, and faithfully proclaims "all His counsel," and not merely those portions which appeal to him.

Legh Richmond, "Domestic Portraiture" January 6, 1825 :

For the most part, we are a nation of Christians by profession--and a nation of heathens in practice. There is to be found in the religious world--what may be termed--a pretty, cultured sort of evangelism, which too well combines luxurious ease, and serving of the world, and the flesh--not to say of the devil also. But such kind of religion will not prepare the soul for sickness, death, and eternity. At best, it will leave the soul a prey to the most fearful delusions of false peace.

The way that leads to eternal life is much more narrow than many of our modern professors are aware of--the gate is too straight to allow all their trifling, and self-will, and worldliness, and carnal-mindedness, to press through it. "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Matthew 7:13-14 ~Grace Gems

It is clear that the SBC is the Titanic of "Christianity" and is going down fast. Realizing its dying, they think by playing down, even disassociating with biblical, baptistic doctrine, they can somehow garner more numbers. If doctrine doesn't matter, then they need to rip "Baptist" off the title of their club.

If Baptist distinctives are not grounded in Scripture, then it is merely opinion and should not matter. But if it is (and it can be proven it is), then its not only optional, its worthy to die on the hill for:

What Is An Historic Baptist?

Are Baptists Protestants?

Baptist churches in all Ages

Its high time the SBC learn the actual history of Historic Baptists!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ricky Warren To Push Inter-faith Relations With Islam Again

Ricky Warren is going to be a guest speaker at the Plainfield-based Islamic Society of North America conference. They're hoping Obama shows up, but I doubt it. Ricky can do his missionary dirty work for him.

The Indy Star reports:

"We are living in a pluralist country. It is critical for us to have positive relationships with people of other faiths," said Sayyid Syeed, a longtime leader with the Islamic Society who focuses on building the organization's interfaith ties. "(Warren) realizes that it is equally critical for him to work with people of other faiths."

Syeed invited Warren during a gathering they attended last year at the White House. Since then, the Islamic Society has introduced Warren to Muslim groups in California, where his 20,000-member church is based."

"ISNA is very interested in extending their connections with Protestant groups," said Rafia Zakaria, an Indiana lawyer and associate editor at, a Web site that looks at Muslim issues. "Having a figure as high profile as him gives them legitimacy to extend those kinds of alliances with church groups that have a significant amount of power in the United States."

In the past two years, the Islamic Society has forged friendships with the Union of Reform Judaism and the American Baptist Churches, USA.

Warren has conducted workshops with Jewish rabbis, Lee said, offering tips on how to build their congregations, and established ties with the gay rights community in California. He also was unafraid to endure criticism from conservatives about his role in the Obama inauguration.

"He is not a typical isolationist evangelical," Lee said. "He is more of a post-modern leader who is willing to look at new terrain to see how he can extend his leadership and his influence." That such a high-profile evangelist is willing to take risks, Lee said, marks an important moment in American religion.

"ISNA has faced a lot of challenges in recent years," Zakaria said. "It is crucial to them to have these alliances with other faith-based groups."

End quote.

Here's the dirty little secret Liberals are too dense to get: Islam isn't peaceful, it isn't tolerant, it isn't pluralistic nor generous. Islam is violent, single-minded, demanding world dominance, and demonic. But they will set out their best "liberal" Muslims to lie to foolish Americans who actually buy that junk, suck them in to accept Islam, and then use them as Western spokespersons for Islam in order to gain a foothold in every country they can.

In an excellent article, Cecil Andrews deals with the reality of Islam. The questions Andrews raises for Obama, should be asked of Warren:

Would a true convert and faithful disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ state that America and Islam share values for justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings?

Would a true convert to and faithful disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ give credence to any story that reduces Him to the level of a mere ‘prophet among prophets’, elevates a mere creature to a level greatly above Him and in a spiritual context declares non-Christians to be children of Abraham?

Andrews continues:


Robert Spencer , one of the bravest and most informed writers on Islam, edited a large book called ‘The Myth of Islamic Tolerance’, a compilation of 58 articles by various other equally informed authors. In one of his own contributions entitled ‘Islamic Tolerance: Myth and Reality’ Mr Spencer wrote on pages 36-44 -

The almost universal prevalence of the myth of Islamic tolerance today has led to a strange phenomenon: non-Muslims hastening to assure the public that the Islam of the terrorists is not the “true Islam” which is they maintain a benign and tolerant thing [The view expressed by Mr Obama in Cairo] … Even stranger are instances when Western non-Muslims have taken it upon themselves to lecture radical Muslims about their supposed misuse of their faith [There are good examples of this by Tony Blair, George Bush and Bill Clinton in the DVD ‘Islam: What the West Needs to Know’]. In November 2003, two American converts to Islam, Jeffrey Leon Battle and Patrice Lumumba Ford, were sentenced to eighteen years in prison for trying to join the Taliban and wage jihad against their fellow Americans. At the sentencing, US district judge Robert Jones scolded Ford: “You do not represent the Muslim faith. Muslims do not engage in the activities you engaged in. You are an insult to that faith”. Such assumptions of course mesh perfectly with the image that many Muslims try to create for themselves in the eyes of the West… no amount of evidence seems to shake the power of the myth of Islamic tolerance in Western public discourse… A typical example came when Bill Graham, Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, called for building bridges of understanding to Muslims as a response to terrorists “exploiting Islam as a pretext for violence”… However the preponderance of Qur’anic [Koranic] testimony favours not tolerance and harmony between Muslims and non-Muslims, but just the opposite… All this leads to the Qur’an’s notorious verses of jihad… In the end, it is the will of Allah that Islam will triumph over all other religions… This is tantamount to a declaration of war, and its spirit pervades the entire Muslim holy book. So far is the Qur’an from modern notions of tolerance and peaceful coexistence that it even warns [as has already been quoted from the Koran] Muslims not to befriend Jews and Christians… This is the Qur’an that pious Muslims cherish and memorise in its entirety… It is nothing short of staggering that the myth of Islamic tolerance could have gained such currency in the teeth of the Qur’an’s open contempt and hatred for Jews and Christians and incitements of violence against them – and a testimony to the ease with which one can convince himself of the truth of something in which one wants to believe, regardless of evidence to the contrary’.

If Mr Obama is a Christian, and on the evidence it is very debatable, he is not one who honours the God of Heaven, Father, Son and Holy Spirit by linking the Lord Jesus Christ to Mohammed and the religion of Islam that he founded, in which His deity and death are denied. John wrote, “The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world” [1st John 4:14] – Mohammed and Islam deny this truth. The Lord Jesus said in John 5:23, “He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father who hath sent him” – Mohammed and Islam do not ‘honour’ the Biblical Lord Jesus Christ and His Heavenly Father.

Islam is not tolerant of any view that challenges their teaching on their god, Allah, and it sanctions violence against any who do challenge it. Likewise the one true God of Christianity, whilst He does not tolerate any view that challenges His uniqueness and glory [see Isaiah 42:8] does specifically forbid any violence against those who oppose Him as we have already seen from Matthew 5:43-44. No faithful follower of Christ would ever then seek to align Christianity with Islam as that would represent a gross betrayal of God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ and this is precisely what Mr Obama did in Cairo.

End quote.

Muslims are allowed to lie to gain converts. Its called "Taqiyya". This is on top of the fact that Islam was founded by the Father of Lies, Satan himself. Muhammad was a liar as is Allah ("the greatest of deceivers", the quran says). So its no surprise they lie to dense Westerners that they are willing to open their arms to any and all, when in fact their quran says:

Let not the unbelievers think that they will ever get away. They have not the power to do so. Muster against them all the men and cavalry at your command, so that you may strike terror into the enemy of God and your enemy’ [Sura 8:60]. ‘Make war on them: [Non Muslims] God will chastise them at your hands and humble them’ [Sura 9:14]. ‘I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, strike off the very tips of their fingers’ [Sura 8:12].

Andrews rightly points out:

Do we really find such ‘shared common principles’ prevailing in the Muslim areas of the world? In one simple word the answer is a resounding ‘No!’ The over fourteen hundred-year history of Islam attests to a virtually continuous violent campaign to Islamise the whole world and this campaign continues today. ‘Infidels’ [Non Muslims] are viewed as ‘lesser beings’ and the Koran positively sanctions unfriendly attitudes towards in particular Jews and Christians – ‘Believers, Take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends. They are friends with one another. Whoever of you seeks their friendship shall become one of their number. God does not guide the wrongdoers’ [Sura 5:5]

As for the ‘tolerance and the dignity of all human beings’ not only does Islam deny these to ‘Infidels’ it also denies ‘dignity’ to their own Muslim women. On a very basic level, not I hasten to add that I’m in any way approving of polygamy, Muslim men can have up to four wives but a Muslim woman can only have one husband. A Muslim man can divorce a wife by simply making a verbal statement to that effect – a Muslim woman has no such right of divorce. Sexually speaking, Muslim wives are regarded as no better than a ‘field to be ploughed’ whenever or however the husband wishes – ‘Women are your fields: go then, into your fields whence you please’ [Sura 2:223].

As well as the Koran, Muslims also rely heavily on the Hadith, a record of Mohammed’s words and deeds recorded by various Muslim authorities. One such highly respected source is the nine volumes by Sahih Al-Bukhari. In Volumes 1, 2 & 7 we learn how Mohammed said, ‘I was shown hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers are women’. In Volume 2 we are told Mohammed said to women, ‘I have not seen any one more deficient in intelligence and religion than you’. In Volume 3 we are told that Mohammed asked some women ‘Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half that of a man?’ The women said “yes”. Mohammed said, ‘This is because of the deficiency of the woman’s mind’. [Source for quotes ‘Islam Unveiled’ (p 31-32) by Abdullah Al-Araby].

End quote.

Contrary to Timothy George, Imad Shehadeh, Bill Barrick, Ricky Warren, Robert Schuller, Bill Hybels, George W. Bush, Condelezza Rice, and a host of other professing "Christians", there is absolutely NOTHING in Islam that has any common ground with Christianity whatsoever. There is no commonality between the demon called "Allah" and YAHWEH either. Rather, Scripture proclaims:

2Co 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
2Co 6:15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?
2Co 6:16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, "I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
2Co 6:17 Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you,
2Co 6:18 and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty."

2Jn 1:9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

DNC: The Real Party Of Slavery

Here's a little history.

Roger Hedgecock's excellent commentary in part says:

The U.S. Senate voted unanimously last week to adopt a resolution apologizing for slavery.

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, lead sponsor of the resolution, said, "You wonder why we didn't do it 100 years ago. It is important to have a collective response to a collective injustice."

Only after decades of public education ignoring and distorting U.S. history can such a huge lie be said with a straight face.

Senator, you didn't do it 100 years ago because 100 years ago you Democrats were enforcing Jim Crow segregation laws, poll taxes to keep blacks from voting, and riding around in sheets and pointy hats just in case blacks didn't get the message.

You say "It's important to have a collective response" because you want to bury the origins, purposes, and historical practices of your own party.

The worst part is, Republicans in the Senate let you get away with it.

After Lincoln's assassination (by a Democrat), the Republican-led Congress (over the objections of the Democratic Party minority) amended the Constitution to confirm the liberation of the slaves (13th Amendment: slavery abolished), and the 14th Amendment (freed slaves are citizens equal to all citizens) and the 15th Amendment (right to vote guaranteed to freed slaves).
Southern Democrats spent the next 100 years trying to keep freed slaves down with segregation laws, poll taxes to deny the right to vote, and lynching to enforce the social order. The KKK was formed by a Democrat; no Republican has ever been a member of the KKK. This is the heritage of the Democratic Party.

In fact, the Democratic Party was formed in the first place to defend and expand slavery.
In 1840, the very first national nominating convention of the Democratic Party adopted a platform which read in part:

Resolved, That Congress has no power ... to interfere with or control the
domestic institutions of the several states ... that all efforts by abolitionists ... made to induce Congress to interfere with questions of slavery ... are calculated ... to diminish the happiness of the people, and endanger the stability and permanency of the union.

Got that, Sen. Harkin? Your party was born defending slavery as necessary for the happiness of the people and threatening secession and war if slavery were challenged.

But the Democrats weren't through. In 1868, Sen. Harkin's party condemned the Republican Party in its party platform as the "Radical Party," and condemned Reconstruction in these unforgettable words:

"Instead of restoring the Union, it (the Radical Party) has dissolved it, and subjected ten states (the former Confederate states) ... to military despotism and negro supremacy."

End quote.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Face Of Today's Calvinism

The Merger of Calvinism with Worldliness
from Sword & Trowel 2009, No. 1 by Dr Peter Masters

Excellent. Here are some excerpts:

But now, it appears, there is a new Calvinism, with new Calvinists, which has swept the old objectives aside. A recent book, Young, Restless, Reformed, by Collin Hansen tells the story of how a so-called Calvinistic resurgence has captured the imaginations of thousands of young people in the USA, and this book has been reviewed with great enthusiasm in well-known magazines in the UK, such as Banner of Truth, Evangelical Times, and Reformation Today.

The new Calvinists constantly extol the Puritans, but they do not want to worship or live as they did. One of the vaunted new conferences is called Resolved, after Jonathan Edwards’ famous youthful Resolutions (seventy searching undertakings). But the culture of this conference would unquestionably have met with the outright condemnation of that great theologian.

Resolved is the brainchild of a member of Dr John MacArthur’s pastoral staff, gathering thousands of young people annually, and featuring the usual mix of Calvinism and extreme charismatic-style worship. Young people are encouraged to feel the very same sensational nervous impact of loud rhythmic music on the body that they would experience in a large, worldly pop concert, complete with replicated lighting and atmosphere. At the same time they reflect on predestination and election. Worldly culture provides the bodily, emotional feelings, into which Christian thoughts are infused and floated. Biblical sentiments are harnessed to carnal entertainment. (Pictures of this conference on their website betray the totally worldly, showbusiness atmosphere created by the organisers.) [go here to see examples]

In times of disobedience the Jews of old syncretised by going to the Temple or the synagogue on the sabbath, and to idol temples on weekdays, but the new Calvinism has found a way of uniting spiritually incompatible things at the same time, in the same meeting.

C J Mahaney is a preacher highly applauded in this book. Charismatic in belief and practice, he appears to be wholly accepted by the other big names who feature at the ‘new Calvinist’ conferences, such as John Piper, John MacArthur, Mark Dever, and Al Mohler. Evidently an extremely personable, friendly man, C J Mahaney is the founder of a group of churches blending Calvinism with charismatic ideas, and is reputed to have influenced many Calvinists to throw aside cessationist views.

New Calvinists do not hesitate to override the instinctual Christian conscience, counselling people to become friends of the world.

One thinks of the tremendous response the unique oratory of Francis Schaeffer secured on university campuses in the 1960s, and no doubt some young people were truly saved and established, but very many more turned aside. Gripped by the superiority of a biblical worldview, they momentarily despised the illogical, flaccid ideas of this world, but the impression in numerous cases was natural rather than spiritual. The present new, heady Calvinism, shorn of practical obedience will certainly prove to be ephemeral, leaving the cause compromised and scarred.

Has this form of Calvinism come to Britain yet? Alas, yes; one only has to look at the ‘blogs’ of some younger reformed pastors who put themselves forward as mentors and advisers of others. When you look at their ‘favourite films’, and ‘favourite music’ you find them unashamedly naming the leading groups, tracks and entertainment of debased culture, and it is clear that the world is still in their hearts. Years ago, such brethren would not have been baptised until they were clear of the world, but now you can go to seminary, no questions asked, and take up a pastorate, with unfought and unsurrendered idols in the throne room of your life. What hope is there for churches that have under-shepherds whose loyalties are so divided and distorted?

The new Calvinism is not a resurgence but an entirely novel formula which strips the doctrine of its historic practice, and unites it with the world.

A final sad spectacle reported with enthusiasm in the book is the Together for the Gospel conference, running from 2006. A more adult affair convened by respected Calvinists, this nevertheless brings together cessationists and non-cessationists, traditional and contemporary worship exponents, and while maintaining sound preaching, it conditions all who attend to relax on these controversial matters, and learn to accept every point of view. In other words, the ministry of warning is killed off, so that every -error of the new scene may race ahead unchecked. These are tragic days for authentic spiritual faithfulness, worship and piety.

End quote.

See Pink on this very issue. He says in part:

"Most of the so-called evangelism of our day is a grief to genuine Christians, for they feel that it lacks any scriptural warrant, that it is dishonoring unto God, and that it is filling the churches with empty professors! They are shocked that so much frothy superficiality, fleshly excitement and worldly allurement should be associated with the holy name of the Lord Jesus Christ. They deplore the cheapening of the Gospel, the beguiling of unwary souls, and the carnalizing and commercializing of what is to them, ineffably sacred. It requires little spiritual discernment to perceive that the evangelistic activities of Christendom during the last century have steadily deteriorated from bad to worse—yet few appear to realize the root from which this evil has sprung. It will now be our endeavor to expose the same. Its aim was wrong, and therefore its fruit faulty." See the full article. Very well stated.

Spurgeon said:

"I believe that one reason why the church at this present moment has so little influence over the world, is because the world has so much influence over the church! Nowadays, we hear professors pleading that they may do this, and do that--that they may live like worldlings. My sad answer to them, when they crave this liberty is, "Do it if you dare. It may not cost you much hurt, for you are so bad already. Your cravings show how rotten your hearts are. If you are hungering after such dogs food--go dogs, and eat the garbage!"

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Out Of The Heart The Mouth Speaks

I read this today, after posting last night on John MacArthur rightly dealing publically with Driscoll, Piper, and Mahaney, as well as the two videos dealing with professing Christians. This is truly well timed by the Lord. Its very convicting.

Letters of John Newton

There is, perhaps, no one test or proof of the reality of a work of grace upon the heart, more simple, clear and infallible--than the general tenor of our speech; for our Lord's aphorism is of certain and universal application, that "out of the abundance of the heart--the mouth speaks."

To the same purpose, the apostle James proposes to all who make a profession of the gospel, a searching criterion of their sincerity, when he says, "If anyone considers himself religious, and yet does not keep a tight bridle on his tongue--he deceives himself and his religion is worthless!" James supposes that the grace of God in a true believer will check the evils of the heart, and prevent them from breaking out by the tongue.

The grace of God will necessarily influence and govern the tongues of those who partake of it, in what they say when they speak of God, of themselves, and of or to their fellow-creatures.

Having seen a glimpse of the holiness and majesty, the glory and the grace, of the great God with whom they have to do--their hearts are impressed with reverence, and therefore there is a seriousness in their language. They cannot speak lightly of God, or of His ways. One would suppose that no person, who even but seems to be pious, can directly and expressly profane His glorious name. But there is a careless and flippant manner of speaking of the great God, which is very disgusting and very suspicious. Likewise, the hearts of believers teach their mouths to speak honorably of God under all their afflictions and crosses, acknowledging the wisdom and the mercy of His painful dispensations. And, if an impatient word escapes them--it grieves and humbles them, as quite unfitting to their situation as His creatures, and especially as sinful creatures, who have always reason to acknowledge, that it is of the Lord's mercy alone--that they are not wholly consumed.

When they speak of themselves, their tongues are bridled, and restrained from boasting. They speak as befits poor, unworthy creatures--because they feel themselves to be such! In what they say, either of their comforts or of their sorrows, sincerity dictates a simplicity which cannot be easily counterfeited.

In what they say of or to others, the tongues of believers are bridled by a heart-felt regard to truth, love and purity.

Where saving grace is in the heart--the tongue will be bridled by the law of TRUTH. It is grievous to see how nearly and readily some professors will venture upon the borders of a lie; either . . . to defend their own conduct, to avoid some inconvenience, to procure a supposed advantage, or sometimes merely to embellish a story!

Where instances of this kind are frequent, I hardly know a fouler blot in profession, or which can give a more just warrant to fear that such professors know nothing aright, either of God or themselves! The Lord is a God of truth; and He teaches His servants to hate and abhor lying, and to speak the truth from their hearts. I may add likewise, with regard to promises--that the person, whose simple word may not be safely depended upon--scarcely deserves the name of a Christian!

Where grace is in the heart, the tongue will likewise be bridled by the law of LOVE. If we love our neighbor--can we lightly speak evil of him, magnify his failings, or use provoking or insulting language to him? Love thinks no evil--but bears, hopes and endures. Love acts by the golden rule, to "Do unto others--what you would like them to do unto you." Those who are under the influence of Christian love, will be gentle and compassionate, disposed to make the most favorable allowances, and of course their tongues will be restrained from the language of malevolence, harsh censure, and slander--which are as familiar to us as our mother tongue--until we are made partakers of the grace of God.

The tongue is also bridled by a regard to PURITY, agreeable to the precepts, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths!" "Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking!" Ephesians 4:29, 5:4. Grace has taught believers to hate these things! How then can their tongues speak of them?

There are false professors, indeed, who can suit their language to their company. When with the people of God--they call talk very seriously. But at other times, they are well pleased to join in vain, frothy and evil conversation. But this double-mindedness is of itself, sufficient to discredit all their pretenses to a pious character.

Upon the whole, though perfection is not to be expected, though true believers may, on some occasions, speak rashly, and have great cause for humiliation, watchfulness, and prayer, with respect to the government of their tongues; yet Scripture authorizes this conclusion: That, if the tongue is frequently without a bridle; if it may be observed, that a person often speaks . . . lightly of God and of divine things, proudly of himself, and harshly of his fellow-creatures; if he is a liar, a talebearer, a railer, a flatterer or a jester--then, whatever other good qualities he may seem to possess--his speech betrays him! He deceives himself, and his religion is worthless!

Let us think of these things, and entreat the Lord to cast the salt of His grace into the fountain of our hearts--that the streams of our conversation may be wholesome.

Friday, June 19, 2009

MacArthur: Dealing With Driscoll Is Way Past Time; Dealing With Public Teachers

**UPDATE*** CAUTION for Driscoll defenders or those ambivalent to his garbage:

Baptist Press reports:

[A picture shows] Speaking in Scotland, Mark Driscoll dramatizes how he counseled a (new Christian) woman to pull down her husband's trousers and perform oral sex on her unbelieving mate – because she was a "repentant woman" who is "supposed to be a biblical wife."

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BP)--One of America's largest Christian radio networks interrupted one of its programs in mid-show because it featured the controversial Seattle, Wash., pastor Mark Driscoll.The Bott Radio Network then cancelled another interview with Driscoll that had been scheduled. The Bott network provides conservative Bible teaching, news and information to a potential audience of more than 40 million people in 10 states.

Driscoll went on to tell an anecdote about a wife who he said won her husband to Christ by performing oral sex on him. Driscoll said he told her that giving him oral sex would be following the admonition of Scripture. A transcript of the sermon quotes Driscoll saying he told her, "1 Peter 3 says if your husband is an unbeliever to serve him with deeds of kindness," referring to oral sex. Verses 1 and 2 of that chapter, however, tell wives it is their "pure and reverent" conduct that will win their unbelieving husbands.

End quote.

Eph 4:19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!--
Eph 4:21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,


The Truth

On how John MacArthur dealt with Driscoll, Piper, and Mahaney regarding Driscoll's course language, topics, and demands of the women in his gathering:

Quote (bold, mine):

In the sermon that prompted this series, Mark Driscoll (speaking specifically to wives in the congregation) made several comments that were far, far worse than the seamiest sex challenges. Furthermore, Driscoll's edicts to married women were not mere "challenges" but directives buttressed with the claim that "Jesus Christ commands you to do [this]." That material has been online and freely circulated for more than a year. But you’ll be hard pressed to find even a single Web forum where anyone has demanded that Driscoll explain why he feels free to say such things publicly.

I am pointing out something that should not be the least bit controversial: pastors are not free to talk like that. In response, a flood of angry young men, including several pastors and seminary students—not one of whom has ever attempted a private conversation with me about this topic—have felt free to post insults and public rebukes in a public forum, declaring emphatically (with no obvious awareness of the irony) that they don’t believe such things should be handled in public forums.

(To be clear: I’m not suggesting that anyone needs to contact me privately about public remarks I have made. Quite the contrary. But those who insist such disagreements should be handled privately reveal the hypocrisy of that claim when they use a public forum to berate and accuse a pastor whom they disagree with.)

When 1 Timothy 5:20 says, “Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all,” it is talking about elders in particular. Those in public ministry must be rebuked publicly when their sin is repeated, and public, and confirmed by multiple witnesses.

Nevertheless, I have written Mark privately with my concerns. He rejected my counsel. As a matter of fact, he preached the sermon I have been quoting from seven weeks after receiving my private letter encouraging him to take seriously the standard of holiness Scripture holds pastors to. Here is a small selection from the six-page letter I sent him:

"[Y]ou can[not] make a biblical case for Christians to embrace worldly fads—especially when those fads are diametrically at odds with the wholesome speech, pure mind, and chaste behavior that God calls us to display. At its core, this is about ideology. No matter how culture changes, the truth never does. But the more the church accommodates the baser elements of the culture, the more she will inevitably compromise her message. We must not betray our words through our actions; we must be in the world but not of it. . . . . It's vital that you not send one message about the importance of sound doctrine and a totally different message about the importance of sound speech and irreproachable pure-mindedness. "

Mark Driscoll’s response to that admonition and the things he has said since have only magnified my concern.

Mark did indeed express regret a few years ago over the reputation his tongue has earned him. Yet no substantive change is observable. Just a few weeks ago, in an angry diatribe leveled at men in his congregation, Driscoll once again threw in a totally unnecessary expletive. A few weeks before that, he made a public mockery of Ecclesiastes 9:10 (something he has done repeatedly), by making a joke of it on national television. So here are two more inappropriate Driscoll videos being passed around by young people and college students for whom I bear some pastoral responsibility. In their immaturity, they typically think it’s wonderfully cool and transparent for a pastor to talk like that. And they feel free to curse and joke in a similar manner in more casual settings.

It is past time for the issue to be dealt with publicly.

Finally, it seriously overstates the involvement of John Piper and C. J. Mahaney to say they are “discipling” Mark Driscoll. In the first place, the idea that a grown man already in public ministry and constantly in the national spotlight needs space to be “mentored” before it’s fair to subject his public actions to biblical scrutiny seems to put the whole process backward. These problems have been talked about in both public and private contexts for at least three or four years. At some point the plea that this is a maturity issue and Mark Driscoll just needs time to mature wears thin. In the meantime, the media is having a field day writing stories that suggest trashy talk is one of the hallmarks of the “New Calvinism;” and countless students whom I love and am personally acquainted with are being led into similar carnal behavior by imitating Mark Driscoll’s speech and lifestyle. Enough is enough.

Yes, I did inform John Piper and C. J. Mahaney of my concerns about this material several weeks ago. I itemized all of these issues in much more thorough detail than I have written about them here, and I expressly told them I was preparing this series of articles for the blog.

To those asking why pastors Piper and Mahaney (and others in positions of key leadership) haven't publicly expressed similar concerns of their own, that is not a question for me. I hope you will write and ask them.

End quote.

For Christians - Are You Sure You Are Saved?

Are You Really Saved or you just think you are? AKA "The Fire" (Is God your treasure?) with Nate Pfeil *I don't know much about this guy other than this presentation, so always proceed with caution. This is excellent, though"