Posts Tagged ‘gnosticism’

Praise and Worship for the Modern Age vs Church Growth

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A Surprising Liberal Source

Ironically, political liberalism found its original American roots in the Christian theological liberalism that rose up in the late 19th Century under the umbrella of Modernism. Modernism is a departure from historic Christian beliefs in order to submit to the will of rationalism as proposed by the Enlightenment. According to The Church in History, “. .the Modernists place the mind of man above the Bible, and they place reason above faith.” Because they denied the supernatural world, these materialists forsook the belief in the virgin birth or deity of Christ, miracles, and special revelation or the infallibility of Scriptures.

In an attempt to “relate to society” modernists sought to adapt Christianity to evolution. It was Charles Darwin who led these liberals to deny the truth of Scripture. Yet according to Peter Jones in Spirit Wars, ultimately the Darwinian evolutionary base of secular humanism that the entire Modernist movement was founded on collapsed. Even thought it is still being propagated in the schools, evolution among serious scientists has been discredited for the sham that it always was.

In the mean time, without a belief in the authority of Scripture, the modernists were left with nothing to talk about. As a result secular humanism eventually destroyed the liberal church that, while once experiencing growth during the ‘50s and ‘60s, found its congregations fleeing from its midst. And so the modernists lost interest in their liberal interpretations of the Bible. It was in the midst of this weakened church that the counterculture movement rose up to challenge the church that had departed from its first love.

The liberal church needed some where to go from there. Rather than returning to God they sunk to new lows as they turned to the hippies to “get religion.” But this was not a return to the biblical doctrine that they departed from. “Once associated with a religious rationalism and social gospel activism,” Jones writes, “the Religious Left has discovered spirituality, not the spirituality of the Bible but that of paganism.” In order to push their way back to the forefront these liberals discovered the wonders of New Age spirituality to save the planet and to meet the needs of a new post ‘60s culture thirsting after Hinduism. In this vein left-wing scholar Steven Davies wrote, “Those seeking the place where Jesus is ought not to seek Jesus Himself, but will find what they seek in themselves.” “Classical liberalism,” wrote Jones, “denied the truth claims of Christian orthodoxy. Today’s liberalism simply relativizes Christianity as one religious option among many so that it can participate in the coming unification of the planet and of religion, advancing mankind along its evolutionary path.”

In order to propagate ‘60s Eastern Mysticism in the church, liberal religious groups such as the Jesus Seminar promote Gnosticism, which the church fathers of the first centuries fought against. While claiming that Gnosticism was an alternate, authentic expression of Christianity, they have dug up ancient Gnostic texts from that era to justify the creation of a new Gnostic bible.

The fact that the body of Christ was purged of Gnosticism in Early Church times is utilized as proof that Gnosticism is right. Therefore Robert Miller wrote: “Of course history is written by the victors, in this case, by the orthodox fathers of the church. From an objective historical perspective, however, ‘heresy’ is labeled for the rival religious currents that lost; they (the Gnostics) eventually ceased to be politically, socially, or intellectually sustainable alternatives to mainstream Christianity.” Today, as in the early church, we see ourselves in the middle of, not only a struggle for the soul of America, but the future of orthodox Christianity itself.

As America departed from the truth of the Bible these new liberals ran from the American culture that orthodox Christianity had created. As a result they forwarded liberal political policies that flew in the face of everything that America stood for.

Therefore, in true pagan fashion, the liberal church of today has turned to envision a Brave New World where distinctions between the sexes, between right and wrong, between true and false are blurred. A tolerance for all with the exception of evangelicals has been instituted. Satan does not exist. Fundamentalist outsiders who deserve to be scorned have simply drummed him up. Hence we have the culture wars today that find the political left and right on opposite sides of the fence.

Stay tuned for more!

The preceeding blog is an exerpt from Don Wigton’s book “Holy Wars.” Click here to purchase: http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/BookDetail.aspx?Book=267348

For free praise music, charts and study helps go to the Wigtune Praise and Worship Sitehttp//www.praisesong.net

Praise and Worship for the Modern Age vs Church Growth
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Secrets for a Price

 

The Church Growth Movement is nothing other than a fad. But slowly and surely, as pastors delve deeper into Church Growth Commercialism, we see the church losing its 2000-year identity. In the mean time pastors who heed the call for immediate success for a price find themselves casting common sense along with the heritage of the church aside for the sake of making their churches marketable. In order to popularize religion, hymns are tossed away as faddish pop ditties take over the worship life of the church. Pop theology replaces the biblical expositions of the great theologians who speak to us from the past. The attitude of the sixties rebellion against everything old supercedes time honored traditions.

The multitude of pastors today who fail to wait on the Lord are so intent on getting it done as soon as possible that no matter how hard you try, you cannot convince them that they have been led astray. While enticed by the pursuit of money and the promise of success they become so caught up in get growth quick schemes that changing their course doesn’t even cross their minds.

One pastor had hired advisors to help the church raise money for a building project. A lot of manipulative devises were being employed as a result. After it was revealed to the pastor that the whole affair was like Abraham failing to wait for the promised son to bear a child through Hagar rather than his wife Sarah, the pastor became passionate and defensive while asking, “How could you call these fine consultants Hagar?” The answer was: “Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal 3:3 MKJV)

Another pastor was just as adamant even after the advice of his consultant had resulted in years of failure. So there he was years later still drawing projections on the board depicting the timeline for the success that would occur within months. To him the promised growth was always just around the corner. But it never occurred as his advisor had assured. The pastor had only bought a bottle full of false hopes.

Once this same pastor was putting together a church leadership program. For the first leadership meeting he was planning on bringing in his consultant to kick the whole year off. Ironically the pastor’s mentor had just written a book. With that in mind the consultant’s advice was to allow him to push his ideas in front of the congregation in order to attract people to the leadership meeting. He could also have copies of books ready to purchase in the back of the sanctuary. Then during the leadership meeting that immediately followed, the consultant wanted about 45 minutes to talk to the group. “If I talk to them first,” he explained, “then they will purchase more books.

So this exercise really was not about training at all. It was all about money – selling his book. In spite of the obvious intention of the consultant, the pastor bought into the plan hook line and sinker. After one church leader had not attended the meeting the pastor later expressed his disappointment with the fact that he was not there. The subordinate replied, “I did not want to buy is book.” And so Jesus proclaims to the church today: “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” (Jn2:16MKJV)

You have to understand here that for many in the Church Growth industry, the primary interest is the profits that an association with churches will generate. After they are done, they head out of town to search for more pastors who are willing to pay a whole lot of money for nothing new under the sun.

There is nothing new about peddling secrets for a price. During the days of the Early Church, Irenaeus fought against the influx of the pagan mystery religions into Christianity in the form of Gnosticism, which promised to reveal the mysteries of God for money. Therefore he wrote that “they (are) unwilling to teach these things to all in public but only to those who are able to pay a large sum for such mysteries! . . . they are abstruse and portentous and profound mysteries, acquired with much toil by lovers of falsehood.” And so we see in history how the pursuit of money so easily leads unsuspecting Christians away from biblical truth. But we have been called to a better way.

“’He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.’” (I Pet3:10-12 MKVJ)

 

Stay tuned for more!

The preceeding blog is an exerpt from Don Wigton’s book “Holy Wars.” Click here to purchase: http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/BookDetail.aspx?Book=267348

For free praise music, charts and study helps go to the Wigtune Praise and Worship Sitehttp//www.praisesong.net