The Bible is a Historical and Theological Primary Source

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Not too long ago a person identified as Drena (@vadess40 commented on a post entitled The Heretical Tsunami Coming to a Church Near You where an experience was shared of what took place in a local Mennonite Brethren church. 

After receiving the comment from Drena, I took a look around the internet and discovered that Drena referred to herself as a young theologian taking an MA on a Twitter feed which has now been removed from public viewing for whatever reason. It is this discovery along with her comment that has prompted me to write this post.

The comment lends credence to the viewpoint that some christian educational institutions have deviated so far from christian orthodoxy that they are embracing the emergent movementRather than turning directly to the Bible to substantiate doctrine, christian educators are turning to historical church movements to educate and articulate christian doctrine as though they are foundational to the premise of the judeo-christian faith without considering that a movement or doctrine may not even stand up to Biblical scrutiny. As such the students coming out of these educational institutions are ill-equipped to argue true Bible based theology.

As Drena stated in a comment:

“mysticism has been a part of the Christian faith since at least the dawn of the monastic movement, and has continued on through centuries”.

She further stated:

“Some theologians, such as Tyron Inbody, that mysticism is a part of evangelical salvation theology in its stressing of having a personal experience/connection/relationship with God through Jesus”. 

To get an idea of the source that Drena is relying on, I have included an excerpt from a book authored by Tyron Inbody entitled Faith of the Christian Church which is located page on 236.

“ there are other faiths, but the truth of other faiths is established by Christ and measured by him as the norm. Salvation outside the church is included within the efficaciousness of Christ’s work. Exclusivists’ hold to the ontological necessity for the work of Christ for salvation (no one can be saved without him), but question the epistemological necessity of it (awareness of his work in order to benefit from him). Saved non-Christians participate in the one salvation constituted by Jesus Christ. Saving grace is a universally effective power of Christ through the Holy Spirit who touches individuals through some mystical awareness, moral consciousness, or knowledge of the truth by following their own conscience or by following faithfully the practices of their own religion”.

Drena continued:

“Also, perhaps you should understand the theology and history behind certain practices before immediately writing them off as heresy”

On the contrary, her argument shows that within christian educational institutions, church movements are indeed being elevated above scripture which she herself utilized as a tool to quantify her argument. Instead of turning to scripture (Old and New Testament), historical archaeology or historians of the day (of which there are many) to dismantle what I had to say, she simply turned to another theologian who apparently attributes mysticism to being part of “evangelical salvation theology”.

With that in mind, the bible is considered a primary source which is acknowledged by many secular historians. Many of the events in the Bible can be backed up by corroborating sources or archaeological evidence. Should not someone who calls him or herself a “young theologian” try to articulate an argument by utilizing the primary source which expounds on the very foundation of the christian faith which existed long, long before the monastic movement?

Does an inspiring theologian consider that the premise of the monastic movement might be erroneous or heretical? Should not the monastic movement be put to the test against scripture? Can the monastic movement be quantified or established by turning to the original primary source which is the Bible? Or should the texts of history and faith and sin and redemption be sidestepped?

In terms of education, it is incumbent upon everyone who goes to an educational institution to test and examine what they are being taught.

In terms of the emerging movement, it is just that, a movement. Be aware.

Original comment from Drena:

“Drena (@vadess40)

Actually mysticism has been a part of the Christian faith since at least the dawn of the monastic movement, and has continued on through centuries. Some theologians, such as Tyron Inbody, that mysticism is a part of evangelical salvation theology in its stressing of having a personal experience/connection/relationship with God through Jesus. Perhaps you should read more into the emerging church movement instead of jumping to conclusions based on one experience? Also, perhaps you should understand the theology and history behind certain practices before immediately writing them off as heresy”

Opinions on this blog are those of the blogger.

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Spiritual vortex – Mennonite – Mega Church Leader Connection

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They come across as casually dressed, intellectual free thinkers who have embraced Christianity. They have the Christian jargon down. They are from Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul Minnesota. Leaders who seem to embrace just about any deception that comes down the pike where they mold it, shape it and call it Christian.

Greg Boyd, a prolific writer, theologian, adjunct professor and  Senior Pastor of Woodland Hills mega church was named one of The 20 Most influential Christian Scholars in 2011 on SuperScholar.

Boyd wrote the forward to the book The Naked Annabaptist: The Bare Essentials of a Radical Faith  as explained in Menno Media an agency of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA.

Woodland Hills has posted a number of videos on You Tube which I feel are a must watch. Below I have put single links to specific video’s that clearly illustrate that the teaching in this church is in my opinion an aberration of sound doctrine. Given the fact that the Mennonite Church of Canada and the US is willing to draw attention to the leader of this church, understanding what is going on within it is very relevant to those who want to preserve sound doctrine in the Mennonite denomination.

Each link is highlighted in green below. 

Woodland Hills Church view on  Carl Jung  -The You Tube Q & A video

Woodland Hills Church  opinion on Eckhart Toll –  The You Tube Q & A video

Woodland Hills Church opinion on Emergent Church  – The You Tube Q & A video 

A spiritual tsunami of deception is here.

God Bless the Dissedent Voice of Truth

A couple of the greatest causes for a church to propel towards sliding into mysticism are congregants who sit in the pews, knowing something is wrong but say nothing or those who will actually call church leaders out on what is tantamount to idolatry in the form of emergent worship or doctrine, but will not walk completely away once the concern has been voiced and ultimately ignored by church leaders, further empowering the leaders to stay the damnable course they are on. 

It is a lack of an appropriate and firm stance against the emergent/mystical movement that has had a large part to play in how it has gained ground. After all, if there is no push back, what is there to stop it?

What if everyone who had a concern about this heretical movement found their voice and bucked the mystical trend? What if there was a concerted effort on the part of those who see orthodox Christianity being reduced to a footnote in church history to come together and stand up for the purity of the Gospel once again?

There are those who are capitalizing on the new emergent/mystical movement that is gaining ground. Every book purchased that is in support of the emergent/mystical movement propels it forward. Every retreat attended propels the movement forward. Every time a concert of those who are involved in this movement is attended propels it forward. Don’t be part of the heretical tsunami. Rather, be an unmovable force that holds it back by standing your ground and bucking the trend.

Silence, Idolatry, the Divine and Divination

What does it mean to preach the word and uphold the name of Jesus in the church today?

Does it mean to uphold and actively support the practice of self-indulgent silent Contemplative Prayers with more vigor than preaching the Gospel?

Is it written anywhere in the entire Bible that it is OK to practice idolatry or that any act of idolatry is under the covering of grace

Such things do not represent the Gospel, the Good News as preached by the apostles.They do not point believer or unbeliever alike to the cross of Jesus. His death and resurrection have become nothing more than a footnote in some church circles today.

Rather than coming together in prayer as a body of believers in church, we now have silent-retreats to fulfill self-indulgent needs where private chanting and silent prayers are said for the purpose of invoking the Spirit of God to tell these seekers what THEY WANT TO HEAR!

There are now spiritual guides/directors who come along side and act like conduits between the one who is praying and God for the purpose of interpreting and guiding the seeker to understand what voice or vision they have received meant. These conduit spiritual guides take on the role of an interpreter. However, instead of interpreting another language, they interpret faint voices or feelings of the seeker thus acting as mystics. Contrary to this, the Bible says that it is the Holy Spirit who will guide us into all truth and that the Holy Spirit (third person of the Triune Godhead) will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness.Therefore anyone suggesting that you need a spiritual guide and an intermediary to hear from God is telling you a falsehood.

In fact, the only need for interpretation spoken of in the New Testament is from the Apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians 14 where he states that if a tongue is spoken it needs to be interpreted otherwise it does not edify. This is the only gifting that is spoken about to be interpreted. Therefore, other than interpreting a tongue, a third person as an intermediary is not called for whatsoever.

Beyond that, Joseph interpreted dreams in the Old Testament, Daniel had an angelic visitation from the Archangel Michael who interpreted his dreams for what was to take place far into the future. As such, these were not common place experiences. And certainly those who had those experiences did not have to PAY or have a FEE WAIVED in order for these God appointed timely experiences to occur.

To be clear, the practice and promotion of idolatry and divination is forbidden in the Old and New Testament.

Is it so difficult to say the name of the one who died for you, the one who redeemed you rather referring to Jesus as “the divine”? Does it feel better to seek out those to interpret voices rather than praying and seeking the face of Jesus through the Holy Spirit in intimate prayer alone while at home or within a church body?

As Christians we are to be the salt of the earth. If the salt loses its flavor, it is good for nothing but to be trampled under foot. We need to turn to the scriptures and seek the face of Jesus, not with chanting and vacuous minded prayers, but with purposeful, requests before the Lord Jesus, lest we become deceived where we can no longer discern truth from error in doctrine and then turn to have our ears tickled and pay attention to doctrines of demons. Make no mistake about it, Satan seeks to kill, steel and destroy and he will present himself as an angel of light. Be AWARE!

Remember “Jesus is Lord”.

Note: This blog contains personal opinions of the blogger.

Rent in Two

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Idolatry from a Christian perspective can be anything that is put on par, added to or exalted above the message of the cross as a means to come before Jesus. You would think for anyone who realizes that Jesus died for our sins and made the way into the Holy of Holies that any method or practice of human design is unnecessary and in fact an insult to his ultimate sacrifice.

Jesus said on the cross, “It is finished”. As stated in the Bible, the moment he died the curtain (veil) in the temple leading into the “Holy of Holies” was rent in two from top to bottom. The very place where only the high priest could enter once a year on the Day of Atonement to offer the blood of sacrifice before the Lord.

Considering this, should we be so unbelieving that we feel compelled to add to the sacrifice that Jesus made by participating in silent retreats, contemplative prayer or walking labyrinths as though such earthly-fleshly methods will bring us into the presence of God? Do those who practice and promote such things actually feel that they can CONTRIBUTE to the work of the cross IN ANY WAY to invoke the Holy Spirit to communicate with them in some heavenly way that misdirects them from believing in the sacrifice of Jesus alone as the only way into the heavenly realm?

The point must be emphasized again and again that any man made practice is idolatry.

Since the ascension of Jesus the Christ and his Spirit being poured out on the Day of Pentecost, fifty days after his ascension, no building, structure, tent, alter, labyrinth or any other man made item can bring us into the presence of God. NOTHING. In fact, there is only one tent, an earthly tent where the Spirit of God lives and that is in the body every true believer. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and wherever we are he is present. This is a cornerstone point to our faith. But this point is being overlooked by anyone adding to a way to enter into the presence of God.

Note: This blog contains personal opinions of the blogger.

Convergence of Events

What has transpired today with the brokering of a nuclear deal with Iran is simply too big to not take note of.

While Mennonites (and other denominations) are off being seduced into mysticism and chanting in so-called sacred spaces, real world events are unfolding that are potentially in line with the biblical narrative.

Specifically, what is happening in the Middle East, how Pope Francis is setting a new tone for Catholicism, and how the Emergent Church is taking over Protestantism. While each of these subjects are weighty and cannot be summed up in a blog post, a brief overview and the timing of these issues intersecting at this point in time should not be overlooked.

First the deal that was brokered today in Geneva which will allow Iran to enrich uranium to a level making it usable as nuclear fuel should be cause for concern. This preliminary deal will be 6 months in duration where the intention will be to move it on to a next stage. As an article on the CNN  website states, this deal has broken through a 3-decade” long gridlock.  

This has taken place in light of the “red line rhetoric of President Obama over Syria using chemical weapons on its own people where Syria is ultimately under the control of Iran. But, the deal was pressed forward in spite of this fact and overlooking the perception that Iran has a  long-term goal to “wipe Israel off the map.”

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Quote from Netanyahu today, the Prime Minister of Israel

“Today the world became a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world made a significant step in obtaining the most dangerous weapons in the world,” Netanyahu told his Cabinet on Sunday, calling the deal a “historic mistake.”

Combine the brokering of this deal with the direction that Pope Francis is steering the Catholic churcheven moving to hold a worldwide survey on; marital issues, abortion and contraception should give every believer in Jesus Christ and the Bible pause to consider the significance of such a move by Pope Francis.

Then you have the Emergent Church movement sweeping through Christendom in general, where some of the church leaders are even denying the deity of Jesus. In the mean time, mysticism is overtaking the church. Either the convergence of these events is merely coincidental or something is playing out here along the biblical narrative. I suspect its the latter.  

Note: This blog contains personal opinions of the blogger.

Chants Replacing The Lord’s Prayer?

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As the saying goes a picture is worth a thousand words and sometimes a video is worth ten thousand words! Have a look at the video link below and you will get an eyeful. It is a little over 7 minutes long, but a MUST WATCH for anyone who wants to know what is really behind the Meditative Contemplative Prayer  movement that is sweeping through the Mennonite Brethren church.

The video is of John Philip Newell an adherent and leading teacher of Celtic Christianity and Eastern Mysticism and his clear instructions on how to turn the HinduOM  into a meditative christian mantra.

 WATCH VIDEO

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDCqagvRBgM

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Note: This blog contains personal opinions of the blogger.