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Posts Tagged ‘Ecumenicalism’

I am sick to my stomach right now. I mean I am pretty upset. I’m supposed to be studying for my lesson on Sunday morning but as I was taking a break surfing youtube for some video regarding what this post was SUPPOSED to be about, I instead found this:

That’s my favorite Christian band (and one of the only ones I have truly liked) playing for the Pope earlier this year in New York. I know I’m Johnny-come-lately on this one, but when I saw this my heart sank.

I took my wife and kids to the Nebraska State Fair last night. I don’t really care for the fair, but $5 wristbands for the kids and a free Third Day show and I’m sold. The kids got pretty restless just a few songs into the show as it was late and hot, but we stayed just long enough to head their song “Creed” which is basically the Apostle’s Creed. This by the way is the song played in the clip above. Privately this song brings tears to my eyes because the live version features an arena full of people shouting in affirmation of the Truth.

At the end of the live version of the song, Mac Powell sings out “Do you believe it?” and the crowd roars in affirmation. Hearing this song performed live again inspired me to blog on how much I look forward to worship in heaven.

I CAN’T believe it. They played it for the pope. The pope’s people have historically suppressed the Truth and even tortured and killed those who proclaimed it. The Catholic Church makes a habit of obscuring Truth, and standing in the doorway of heaven, pretending to be the gate. My heart is low.

I think I’m the most upset because the creeds of the early church were largely devised as a means of affirming truth over against incursions of false teaching. Creeds helped early Christians systematize what they believed and memorize the major points. Creeds were never meant to be all inclusive, but specifically tailored to the error of the day. To hear it offered on the behalf of the pope tuns my stomach.

Now I know that third Day has an ecumenical bent, hence the album title “Come Together”, but I was still caught totally off guard by this. Do I have to be willfully ignorant of the artist’s beliefs to whom I listen? I can deal with divergent beliefs, but I reject fellowship with antagonists of Christ’s church.

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Way to go, mainline evangelicalism!

Seems that the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormon’s are among the few religious groups left who believe their message is exclusively true. In this major study just released by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, most major “Christian” groups (in name, anyway)  believe there is more than one way to heaven. Their findings are disturbing but not surprising.

To remedy this alarming finding, I’d like to suggest everyone actually start reading their Bibles. Try starting at Acts 4:12, speaking of Jesus:

“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

The exclusivity of the gospel is a bedrock doctrine whose abandonment betrays the dead, rotting corpse that is the visible church here in the US. I could wish that people would think through the implications of ecumenicalism. Ecumenicalism ultimately destroys truth and we depend on truth for even the universe itself to hold together. We don’t want to live in a world where truth is relative. That’s why we have prisons. We are sinners and have to be protected from others who would violate our pursuit of life in the name of their own preferences.

That’s a discussion for another day. Then again, I’ve had it with myself already. Read about it here.

As a side note, while many who have reviewed this poll find it fascinating that many atheists leave room for some kind of universal spirit, I think the issue is simply that many who call themselves atheists don’t know the difference between atheism and agnosticism. Calm down, everyone.

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Please check this out

For those of you new to Ikonograph, there only a few blogs I read regularly and even fewer that I link to. Pyromaniacs just put up this link about the Emergent Church that you need to read. Follow the PDF link and read the LA Times piece. It requires a degree of familiarity with the Emergent Church (see here).

It is often the case that major movements in the church at large have some rather sinister roots and its beginnings have been afoot long before they register on the public radar. The Emergent Church is no different. Just as important is the end-game of the movement. Take notice, as these folks will have a lot to say about what the visible church looks like in the future.

Given the fact that when Jesus returns, his feet will touch down first on the Mount of Olives, it gives me no pleasure to say that I think one of the first places His “boot” will touch down will be Fuller Seminary.

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Preach it ML-J!

Here are some timely words from one of my favorite saints of recent Christianity: Martyn Lloyd-Jones:

It is being said the chief need of the Church today is to repent because of its lack of unity…We would suggest that before she repents of her disunity, she must repent of her apostasy.” (Quoted by Arturo Azurdia III in his book “Spirit Empowered Preaching”)

In light of the recent visit of Luis Palau to our metro area, I came across these words and found them to summarize my feelings very well. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones fought against a spirit of undiscerning, false unity some 50 years ago at a time when our modern day dilemma was just getting going. Lloyd-Jones resisted and even personally confronted Billy Graham as a major supporter of the early ecumenical movement. He was ignored by Graham, but I still find his courage inspirational.

Preach it ML-J!

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Open wolf’s mouth, insert head.

After reading an article in today’s paper, I came away with the conviction that the Catholic Church is a wolf, sometimes in sheep’s clothing, and Luis Palau wants to invite the wolf over for lunch.

Here in Omaha, we are bracing for Luis Palau’s traveling show to touch down this weekend, the 14th-15th at the Qwest Center. In my previous post “Let’s get together…or not.” I was critical of Palau for welcoming Catholics. They teach a false gospel, based on works and governed by the Church. It has been opposed to the death for centuries by the Reformers and their theological offspring. Yet Palau invites them to come, offers them space to distribute literature, and now I learn that Palau welcomes local archbishop Elden Curtiss to give the opening prayer. Curtiss gave a glowing reccomendation to Palau some time ago, so now it seems that they will partner directly.

In today’s paper there was an article in which the current pope, Benedict XVI, confirmed the official position of the Catholic Church regarding Protestants: that they are at best second-class Christians and that anything we do that is correct is essentially on loan from them. Protestants, to the Church, are red-headed step-children.

I already knew this to be the Cotholic Church’s official position, but it kindles my ire that Luis Palau is so willing to hold hands with the wolf. Did he learn nothing from ECT (Evangelicals and Catholics Together)? During that process, initiated by evangelicals to find common ground with Catholics, the Catholic Church conceded ZERO doctrinal issues. The evangelicals, however, made the wording of many of their doctrinal positions vague so as to be more inclusive, to smear the line of division.

Wolf eat sheep.

Wolves do not compromise. Sheep bring the knife and fork.

Catholics should laugh at evangelicals for what a mess we have made of ourselves since the Reformation. Luis Palau, you are providing them with more material.

Though they are wrong, at least they have stuck to their convictions while they watch the rebellion spin out of control. What Luis Palau is doing is the natural extension of error that started with Billy Graham. Graham compromised the distictives of the gospel in order to reach a larger audience. Soon he saw Catholics as partners rather than partners in evangelism. In the end, Graham’s theology followed his message. he is now unwilling to say for sure that ANYONE (Muslims, for example) will go to Hell.

Palau barely preaches the gospel, by his own profession. He says he is most interested in getting people to go to church. Any church, I guess. He should be ashamed that one man I know loves Him to death, says he loves Jesus, and yet refuses to discuss SCRIPTURE when he’s asked who this Jesus is. This is directly a product of Palau’s making. He will not tell this man who Jesus is, any further than he already knows (or doesn’t know), and Palau is comfortable with that.

So if you are intending to attend this weekend, I hope that you will have your ears tuned for discernment. Listen not only to what is said, but what is NOT said. I pray that the wolf will not have its day.

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Agree to disagree?…I insist!

I’m not quite 33 years old, I am current as well as refined in my musical and pop culture interests, but I am seriously getting old. I saw Pirates of the Caribbean 3 last night, took my kids to the zoo this morning,listed to The White Stripes, Plain White T’s, Bach, Copeland, and Irish super-group Lunasa today, and yet I am becoming very predictable.

I cannot read the Saturday installment of the “Living” section in the Omaha World Herald without getting upset.

On Saturdays they run articles of religion. Most of it doesn’t phase me. They had an article about religious literacy, you know, how we should brush up on other religions for some reason. I suppose this is so we can make better conversation.

The one that bugs me is the article celebrating the 30th anniversary of the original Star Wars by digging up some local professor who’s made a name for himself commenting on religion is film. Seems he made into a documentary on one of the Star Wars DVD’s (which I probably own).

Seems we should be impressed that Star Wars shares many themes with Christianity. Themes like good vs. evil, redemption, good winning out, a foretold cataclysm, and it turns out that Luke Skywalker is a messiah figure.

Wow. Hope he doesn’t get paid to come up with that.

Don’t get me wrong. I am a huge Star Wars fan, and I can quote many of you into the ground. I don’t collect Star Wars stuff but I have Star Wards Trivial Pursuit and I WILL grind you into submission.

But seriously! Do these generic comparisons warrant printing anything? First of all, I’ll submit that these themes are not special to Star Wars but common because we are sinners and Biblical themes centered around redemption are etched into our brains. Second, I’ll assert that these comparisons make it to print and support the career of a man educated at Yale and the University of Chicago (both no small shakes) because of the prevailing mood of ecumenicalism.

Let’s review a few critical differences between Star Wars and the Bible. Lessee….dualism, universalism, animism, no God, truth is discovered and not revealed, there is no God, blahb, blah, blah. Why will I never read about this on Saturday?

This latest assault of Christianity tries to bury everything that is distinctive and unique and authoritative about Christianity under a pile of common threads. In context, Christianity has no common threads, but ripped from context in world that makes religion its slave, people look for the lowest common ground and call it agreement.

Truth is sacrificed on the altar of unity (someone else famous said that, I know, and many have taken credit).

We want to shake hands just because we all believe in God. Well, you’ve just gotten into bed with demons (James 2:19).

That which saves us is founded in that which is unique about Christianity. The self-existent I AM, creator and sovereign Lord God, sent His Son to live and die in our place and raise from the dead. We are saved not by our own inherent goodness, but despite our sin, and by His mercy and grace.

Christianity is the only “religion” in the world that claims that the path to eternal life lies outside of our ability and desire. That God must save us despite ourselves is totally unique, and contrary to the understanding of the world. That truth must be revealed and not discovered is also unique. That life, the universe and everything in it is for God’s glory, and that our salvation is but a fringe benefit of His pursuit of His glory is further evidence of Christianities transcendent uniqueness.

That, my friends, is worth disagreeing about.

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Warren pushes blogger over the edge.

Rick Warren: How can you let yourself be used like a cheap pair of sunglasses?

For some time I have been reserved in my opinions about Rick Warren and the doctrinally -thin-yet-wildly-popular “Purpose Driven Life,” but I recently learned something that has absolutely pushed me over the edge. On December 1st, this year, Barack Obama will be addressing Warren’s church at their AIDS conference on World AIDS Day.

This is the error of the ecumenical movement at its finest: unity at the expense of the Truth. Because both parties agree that there must be something done about AIDS, Warren will allow a politician who supports legalized abortion and same sex marriage to share his pulpit.

HIS PULPIT!

As if that weren’t bad enough, anyone who follows contemporary politics knows that the Democratic Party is gagging for the vote of the Christian right and is constantly maneuvering to accomplish this. Partnering with such a major figure in Christian culture maut be seen as a major coup and a prelude to a broader move.

Warren is either naive or doesn’t care. Probably it is the latter, and that is far worse. Deciding how to work with the world is decidedly tricky, but pairing with a pro-abortion Obama is for too much for me to stomach.

You know, a long time ago the pulpit was used mostly for PREACHING THE WORD! (1 Tim 2:4). Imagine that.

I hope that at least before he goes forward with his unholy union, rick Warren will manage to clearly convey the gospel to this man, which is more that he could manage in “Purpose Driven Life.” But based on what I have personally heard, and the reports of those I know who have attended his church, this is unlikely to happen.

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