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Archive for the ‘Apostasy’ Category

from Stand Up for The Truth:

I guess I don’t really expect musicians in Christian rock bands to be theological leaders. We follow them for their music, not their biblical literacy. Although at some point we do expect them to act like Christains, especially since they claim in their marketing to be one of us.

So when Jars of Clay frontman Dan Haseltine tweeted support of gay marriage yesterday, fans who expressed disappointment were called haters. In tweet after tweet these past two days, Haseltine doubled-down on his position:

Metro Weekly reported the story this morning, which quickly went viral:

“Not meaning to stir things up BUT… is there a non-speculative or non ‘slippery slope’ reason why gays shouldn’t marry? I don’t hear one.” He went on to write “I’m trying to make sense of the conservative argument. But it doesn’t hold up to basic scrutiny. Feels akin to women’s suffrage. I just don’t see a negative effect to allowing gay marriage. No societal breakdown, no war on traditional marriage. ?? Anyone?”

For many fans, this is all quite new and upsetting. Dan Haseltine is a Christian who has a Christian band playing for Christian churches and youth groups, so naturally we are heartbroken that he is shaking his fist in Jesus’ face. When did Dan depart from truth? Apparently he has been “out” about his beliefs – or rather about walking away from them – for quite a while. In ablog he wrote about his new album two summers ago, he’s pretty clear about what he no longer believes:

…since the themes of the record are very far from evangelical Christianity, the church community will most likely not embrace this record.  Which, on one hand, is a relief.  I am pretty weary from years of pretending to be more of something than I am.  I am tired of carrying evangelical expectations on my shoulders.  I have never been so sure of my faith that I was able to find a true home in the church communities where we played most of our shows.

Our particular style of writing and the perspective that we have written from has not been an easy fit into an artistic community that has such a massive agenda and only a single idea of how that agenda gets accomplished.  I don’t fit there.  I may have at one point.  I did grow up as a youth group kid wearing a t-shirt with a picture of Jesus on it.  I did drive a car with a “Christian” bumper sticker on it.  And at one point, I was sure of who God was, and how God operated.  But I am not that way now.  And so it is impossible to write from that old version of myself. I am in the middle space.          SOURCE

Here is the story that first alerted most people to Dan’s departure from Christianity. We need to be praying for this man, that he confesses and repents, and finds forgiveness through the shed blood of the One he mocks. . . .

Read full article here.

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from lighthouse trails research:

By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times, International

In February of 2013, Understand The Times published a commentary on our website titledWhat’s Next For Rick Warren.

In this commentary, we provided evidence to show that Warren and Tony Blair were partnering together with the Roman Catholic Church in the formation of a P.E.A.C.E. Plan that leads towards the formation of a global religion in the name of Christ for the cause of peace. Documentation for this premise can be supported by numerous statements that both Warren and Blair have made publically from messages they have given or articles that have been written explaining their ideas.

While many who read that commentary doubted or denied such a Warren-Rome connection, a new YouTube interview with Rick Warren and Raymond Arroyo of EWTN (published and posted on Apr 11, 2014), reveals the statements we made about the Warren-Rome partnership were accurate prophetic warnings with regard to what would happen in the future.

The YouTube description of the interview with Warren and Arroyo states:

“Part II of our exclusive interview RICK WARREN, pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California. Rick talks about the expansion of his ministry abroad, the Vatican delegation that recently came to Orange County to study his church’s style of evangelization, and which television channel he finds himself watching most often and the show that draws him.”

We highly recommend you watch the entire 30-minute interview, which was done at Saddleback Church at some date previous to the publishing date of April 11, 2-14. The interview is loaded with information that provides further insight into Rick Warren’s pathway to Rome that he has actually been supporting for quite some time. For instance, in 2005, Warren created the Purpose Driven Life Catholics program as you can see from the image below (which is taken from Rick Warren’s website). (To continue reading this article, click here.)

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from Now The End Begins:

UPDATE MARCH 29/2014: This story caused an impact heard ’round the world, and within 24 hours it forced Hillsong United pastor Brian Houston to issue the standard quickie denial of the things he said in the video clip below. In interest of fairness, click here to read the full context his denial of Chrislam. You can make up your own mind if he is sincere or not, and if he meant what he originally said or not. We take it at his word and believe he meant what he said in the video segment below. The story stands.

One by one, the huge mega-churches with their 5,000+ member congregations are beginning to reveal their true agenda. The Emergent Church, powered by the Rick Warren machine, is a huge promoter of Chrislam, the demonic hybrid of Christianity and Islam. Now Hillsong United in Australia has thrown their hat into the same ring.

Listen to the word of Hillsong United leader Brian Houston:

“How do you view God? In a desert there’s two types of birds: there’s vultures and there’s hummingbirds. One lives off dead carcasses, rotting meat. The other lives off the beautiful, sweet nectar in a particular flower on a particular desert plant. In the same desert, they both find what they’re looking for.

Do you know – take it all the way back into the Old Testament and the Muslim and youwe actually serve the same God. Allah to a Muslim, to us Abba Father God. And of course through history, those views have changed greatly. But lets make sure that we view God through the eyes of Jesus, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the beauty of a Saviour, the loving open inclusive arms of a loving God. And that way we’ll lead out of that and you’ll be purposeful about your leadership and you’ll draw people just like the Lord Jesus always does through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Chrislam is a LIE, and it can damn your soul to Hell if you believe it. The God of the Bible and the god of Islam have nothing in common. One is real, and the other is fake. Obviously, Brian Houston cannot tell the difference.

Anyone who tries to tell you that God and Allah are the same is a liar, and you should run from that false teaching as fast as you can.

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Humanist ideology looks at the story of Noah as just another cultural myth story, on a par with ALL other cultural myth stories from ALL other “religions” or belief systems.

They lump all of them together as attempts by each culture to impart some common “wisdom” in their own individual cultural context.

This is why it is so horrible that a supposed preacher of the Gospel would encourage members of their “flock” to go see the movie and even worse promote such an abomination!

As that is what this movie is, an abomination that is not even accurate to the original story, and the makers of the movie do not believe that they have to be accurate, as they are humanists as well, and they have the right to retell the story in their own contrived context to create a NEW myth story that fits in with their own goals!

from TruthKeepers:

I watched a portion of a church service in Birmingham, Alabama where the pastor declared that he was excited about the Noah movie and encouraged people to go see it. That church was promoting the movie with large background of the movie poster behind the stage and a series of teachings on the story of Noah. Although there are few leading professing Christians lending their support to it, I believe that Christians will still flock to see it. A precedent was set with the Christian promotion of the Son of God movie. There is no moral authority left for discouraging professing Christians from watching the Noah movie. But some people are wondering where are all the reviews and warnings from people like me about the Noah movie. After all, a lot of time and effort was spent on trying to warn Christians about the New Age Son of God movie. I will tell you why I haven’t spent as much time on the Noah movie as I did on the Son of God movie.

My first reason is simply because it would be completely fruitless. Professing Christians that would go to the Son of God movie in spite of all the evidence that it portrayed a New Age Jesus will go to see the Noah movie. Nothing can now stop them from doing whatever their flesh dictates in regard to religious Hollywood movies.

Second, there is nothing to expose about the producer or his intent in making the movie. The movie Noah was produced by an atheist that bragged about the fact that he avoided following the biblical script. Therefore, his true colors and agenda do not have to be pried out of the data about his past.

Third, the previews from people that have read the script or watched the movie were all consistent that it was indeed not a biblical movie. Some the reviews that were released today stated that Christians who were sticklers for biblical accuracy (uh, that would be me) would be disappointed in the movie. So why should I spend the time and effort attempting to expose what is already clearly exposed?

Therefore, I confess that I have nothing to say about the Noah movie that has not already been said. But I do have a few questions for the professing Christians that supported the Son of God movie. For the ones who supported the Christless Son of God movie, I wonder if they are going to support the Godless Noah movie as well. If not, why not? It’s a given that Noah is not as important to the integrity of Gospel as the Christ Jesus. Oh, I get it. With the Son of God movie, they were willing to accept a percentage of error that included distortion of the true Son of God. But now they have their limits as to how much distortion of the truth they will tolerate in Noah’s story. There were those of us that were not willing to tolerate any distortion of God’s Son, our Lord and Savior. They mocked and chastised us for sticking to our limit.  To be fair, they should practice what they preached.  They should violate their standard as they demanded of us.

So I say to Matthew Hagee, Rick Warren, and the rest, go ahead and support the Noah movie. After all, why be judgmental, tale bearers, demonic, and let’s see, what else was it that they called us? Oh, I remember now; haters and resisters of God’s kingdom work. After all, why should they hate on the kindly atheist “doing God’s kingdom work” producing the Noah movie when they defended the New Age heretics that produced the Son of God movie?

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a little compromise here, a little compromise there!

from NBC News:

The prominent Christian relief agency World Vision said Monday it will hire Christians who are in same-sex marriages, a dramatic policy change on one of the most divisive social issues facing religious groups.

Richard Stearns, president of the international humanitarian relief group, announced the hiring change for the United States in a letter to staff. Stearns said the World Vision board had prayed for years about how to handle the issue as Christian denominations took different stands on recognizing same-sex relationships.

The board and I wanted to prevent this divisive issue from tearing World Vision apart and potentially crippling our ability to accomplish our vital kingdom mission of living and serving the poorest of the poor in the name of Christ,” Stearns wrote in the letter.

The agency’s new hiring policy was first reported by Christianity Today magazine.

Based in Washington state and started by evangelicals, World Vision now has an international operating budget of nearly $1 billion and conducts economic development and emergency relief projects around the world. Last year, the charity reported receiving 18 percent of its annual funding from the federal government.

Federal agencies have for several years faced pressure to require any group that receives federal funding to end any hiring restrictions on gays and lesbians. Stearns insisted the humanitarian relief group wasn’t responding to any outside lobbying or concerns about government funding.

“I want to be clear that we have not endorsed same-sex marriage, but we have chosen to defer to the authority of local churches on this issue,” Stearns said.

World Vision requires employees to affirm, through the agency’s statement of faith or the Apostle’s Creed, that they follow Christ. Stearns said the agency will continue to follow that policy, including requiring employees to remain celibate outside of marriage. World Vision says it hires staff from dozens of denominations with different views of gay relationships.

“I want to reassure you that we are not sliding down some slippery slope of compromise, nor are we diminishing the authority of Scripture in our work,” Stearns wrote. “We are the same World Vision you have always believed in.”

A few other conservative religious charities have tried to take similar steps, prompting controversy and a drop in donations, but World Vision is the largest and most prominent by far to do so.

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from Worldview Weekend:

Recent decades have given way to many theologians arguing against the necessity of repentance in conversion and gospel preaching. People might not talk about it but please ask yourself, do they call people to repentance from sin when presenting the gospel in your local church? The evidence is in the silence. Hillsong have been guilty of this for years – they are even guilty according to their own doctrine statement. Brian Houston avoids the subject like the plague and is even willing to change Bible translations to avoid mentioning the word (as he did during his recent visit to Rick Warren’s fellowship).

The wholesale abandonment of repentance preaching really took root at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) in the 70’s. It has created a sub-culture of professing Christians who live lives that look no different to the world. It has been a mission field catastrophe and created mass confusion as to why people claim to be Christians and yet persist in bringing reproach on the body of Christ through their lives of perpetual unrepentant sin. The Bible has a name for this kind of Christian – non-Christians!

Without a doubt, Zane Hodges from DTS was one of the leading voices in spreading this poison. He wrote:

One of the most striking facts about the doctrine of repentance in the Bible is that this doctrine is totally absent from John’s gospel. There is not even so much as one reference to it in John’s twenty-one chapters… Since John’s Gospel does omit the message of repentance, are we to conclude that its gospel is not the biblical gospel after all? The very idea carries its own refutation. The fourth evangelist explicitly claims to be doing evangelism( John 20:30-31 ). It is not the theology of the gospel of John that is deficient; it is the theology found in lordship salvation.

This post has been written in order to respond to Hodges beliefs, which are still very influential on the global mission field. I stand with John MacArthur in my assessment that this is one of the defining theological issues of our time and must be fought with unyielding resolve. This article is designed to show that it is the gospel Zane Hodges advocates that is deficient and not even a Christian gospel at all. Following is a list of ten reasons that Hodges assertion is wrong regarding the absence of repentance in the gospel of John.

1. This is a Very Easy Game to Play
I can easily play the same game with Zane Hodges. The word love makes no appearance in the book of Acts. Therefore we should ignore the importance of love in fulfilling the Great Commission and make sure we don’t make it a necessary part of our preaching. A little closer to the issue at hand, I could also argue that Jesus never mentions grace in John’s gospel and therefore we should also avoid preaching or insisting upon God’s grace. Though my comments are sarcastic, these ludicrous ideas reveal a major deficiency in Hodges’ argument.

2. John is Not the Only Book in the Bible This is simple but it is true. John’s gospel is not the entire Bible. The true theologian has to deal with the subject of repentance as it is dealt with within the entirety of Scripture. The 66 books of the Old and New Testaments comprise one canon – not 66 canons!

3. John Wrote More Than One Book John’s gospel is not the only book he wrote. In fact, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Revelation were all probably written later as well.

The word, repent, features prominently in the book of Revelation. It is used to describe wicked sinners who refuse to repent (Rev 9:20, 9:21, 16:9, 16:11). Their refusal to metanoia<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[2]<!–[endif]–> means much more than a change of mind because the context in these passages reveals their unrepentance by their continuation in their sinful practices. Jesus also commanded five of the seven churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 to repent – Ephesus (Rev 2:5), Pergamum (Rev 2:16), Thyatira (Rev 2:21-22), Sardis (Rev 3:3), and Laodicea (Rev 3:19). John’s context is clear here that the repentance demanded requires outward action – “repent and do the works you did at first” (Rev 2:5).

Although the word repent is not used in John’s three epistles, the concept is both dominant and clearly portrayed. He who perseveres in disobedience and wicked works is described as someone who “does not have God” (2 John 1:9). Those who do good are from God and those who do evil have “not seen God” (3 John 1:11). In his first epistle, John goes so far as to say that God’s children are those who practice righteousness and the Devil’s children are those who continue in their sinful ways (1 John 3:4-10). Repentance was clearly not a concept that was foreign to John, nor was it a subject he treated as anything less than a matter of eternal importance.

4. True Biblical Repentance Has a True Biblical Context As mentioned previously, when Jesus tells the church in Ephesus to repent, He elaborates on His point by telling them to do the works they had been doing previously (Rev 2:5).

5. True Biblical Repentance Results in a Change of Mind that Results in a Change of Action
When John the Baptist preached repentance he commanded his sinful audience to bear fruits in keeping with repentance. He was asked by the crowds:

“What then shall we do?” And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages” (Luke 3:10-14).

6. True Biblical Repentance is Tangible and Humanly Quantifiable
Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him (Luke 17:3-4).

Jesus is clearly implying, in these verses, that repentance is measurable to humans. His command to the offended party is based on the repentance of the guilty party. The offended party has to be able to determine if repentance is forthcoming – it must be something more than a change of mind because it is only the outward change in behavior that is discernable to a human observer.

7. True Biblical Repentance is Inseparable From Saving Faith
Jesus’ death for sins was an act of salvation. To receive God’s gracious gift Scripture explicitly teaches that:

Truly, then, God overlooking the times of ignorance, now He strictly commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day in which He is going to judge the world in righteousness by a Man whom He appointed, having given proof to all by raising Him from the dead (Acts 17:30-31).

The Apostle Paul said that; “Godly grief produces repentance that leads to salvation” (2 Cor 7:10a). This repentance from sin and turning away from it is also a turning to Christ in saving faith in order to receive salvation:

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). And that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem (Luke 24:47).

And how I kept back nothing that was profitable, but have shown you and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:20-21).

Some people claim that “faith alone” in Ephesians 2:8 negates the need to repent. But we must remember this hermeneutical rule: Scripture cannot contradict itself – therefore in understanding it rightly, it must harmonize with the rest of Scripture. As we harmonize all of Scripture we can clearly see that sometimes only faith or belief is mentioned, sometimes only repentance is mentioned, and sometimes both are mentioned (refer to the verses above).

By harmonizing all of these (rather than focusing on a single verse) we can see that the salvation call is a call to turn away from sin in repentance and a turning to Christ in faith – trusting Him alone to save us. The turning to Christ (faith) necessitates a turning away from our carnal affections (repentance). Man cannot serve two masters.

8. True Biblical Repentance is a Work of God
This salvation is ultimately a work of God. Both repentance (Acts 11:18) and faith (Eph 2:8) are works of God. We cannot come to God unless the Spirit draws us (John 6:44). We are not saved by praying a prayer or walking down to the front of a church. It is God who saves. It is God who gives us a love for His law and a desire to live in holiness. It does not mean we stop sinning but it does mean we have a new relationship with sin manifest in a love for God’s law and a desire to obey it:

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules (Ezek 36:25-27).

9. True Biblical Repentance is the True Biblical Fruit of True Biblical Conversion
The regenerative work described in Ezekiel 36:25-27 produces the repentance described in verse 31:

Then you will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominations (Ezek 36:31).

Within its context, this repentance is brought about by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit. As we have seen earlier in John’s epistles, a lifestyle of repentance is the fruit and sign of a truly regenerate Christian.

10. True Biblical Repentance is in the Gospel of John
There is so much that can be said here, I could take up a great number of pages in discussion of this one point. For the sake of brevity I will point out some of the big ones:

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God (John 3:19-21).

Repentance is clearly included by implication in these verses that follow right on the heels of John 3:16.

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him (John 3:36).

Notice here that the opposite of belief is disobedience. The belief John describes is clearly a repentant belief. Turning to Christ means turning away from sin.

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you (John 14:15-17).

John MacArthur drives the whole issue home:

To say that John called for a faith that excluded repentance is to grossly misconstrue the apostle’s concept of what it means to be a believer. Although John never uses repent as a verb, the verbs he does employ are even stronger. He teaches that all true believers love the light (3:19), come to the light (3:20-21), obey the Son (3:36), practice the truth (3:21), worship in spirit and truth (4:23-24), honor God (5:22-24), do good deeds (5:29), eat Jesus’ flesh and drink His blood (6:48-66), love God (8:42 , cf. 1 John 2:15), follow Jesus (10:26-28), and keep Jesus’ commandments (14:15). Those ideas hardly concur with no-lordship salvation! All of them presuppose repentance, commitment, and a desire to obey.

Thomas Watson responded to this 20th Century invention 300 years earlier:

“He commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). Repentance is not arbitrary. It is not left to our choice whether or not we will repent, but it is an indispensable command. God has enacted a law in the High Court of heaven that no sinner shall be saved except the repenting sinner, and He will not break His own law. Though all the angels should stand before God and beg the life of an unrepenting person, God would not grant it. “The Lord God, merciful and gracious, keeping mercy for thousands, and that will by no means clear the guilty” (Exod 34:6-7). Though God is more full of mercy than the sun is full of light, yet He will not forgive a sinner while he goes on in his guilt: “He will by no means clear the guilty.

Repentance Properly Defined and Applied
Repentance is clearly important to God. The Old Testament prophets, John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, and Jesus Himself all began their ministries with a call to repentance. Jesus made it very clear when He spoke about a natural disaster of His time where eighteen people died. He said that although they did not die because they were more sinful than others, “unless you repent, you too will all perish” (Luke 13:3).

What is repentance? Perhaps it is better to initially state what it is not. repentance is not reformation. Repentance is not remorse. Repentance is not regret. Wayne Grudem defines repentance as “a heartfelt sorrow for sin, a renouncing of it, and a sincere commitment to forsake it and walk in obedience to Christ.” Repentance is genuine sorrow for offending God that changes us to be more like Jesus.

Jesus said “there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 just persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15:7). Our repentance starts a celebration in heaven. It is repentance that sets us truly free. Free from the fear of being found out. Free from condemnation. Free from the facades that we live behind. Free from guilt. Repentance should not be a one-off event but a lifestyle practice. We all need to live this way because we are all sinners. The Bible makes it clear that we are all sinners (Romans 6:23) therefore we’ve all got stuff we need to repent of. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9).

Heavenly Father, Maker of heaven and earth, Your ways are so much higher than our ways. All that You do is perfect and all of Your ways are just and right. I come to You in the name of Jesus Christ knowing that I cannot stand in Your presence in any other way. I have sinned against You and have no excuse. You know all the thoughts and intents of my heart. I confess them to You. I am not sorry because of the consequences but because it damages my relationship with You. I repent of it, turn away from it, and plead Your forgiveness. I put all of my trust in Your promise that You will immediately totally cleanse me of all my unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Thank You Lord for the greatest act of love in history by dying for my sins so that I can have right standing with You and eternal life instead of hell. In Jesus name amen.

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Those in the “Emerging Church”movement do not have or see a problem with playing “fast and loose” with the Word of God!  They tend to treat those who have reverence for the Word of God as legalistic and  refer to them as modern “Pharisee’s”

The problem with this is that the one’s who hold fast to the Word of God and have reverence for what it says do not do it so they can put a yoke around people’s necks to try and get others to do what they want irregardless of what the Word Of  God says!

This is what the original Scribes and Pharisee’s did. They abused the fact that the common man of their day could not read or understand what the Torah said! So they reinterpreted the Torah into a set of verbal and written traditions to fit their own political goals!

The ironic thing today, is that the ones who are the actual Pharisee’s of today are those in the “Emerging Church” who are twisting God’s Word to suit their own political goals! NOT the ones who hold to the Truth of God’s Word and have reverence for it!

If you read up on those who make Motion Pictures, they are not overly concerned about sticking to a strict interpretation of an original story, no they want to manipulate it to make it more exciting and fit the goal that they have, it is pure subjectivity on the part of the person who wrote the Movie and the one who directs it!

from Stand Up For The Truth:

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. ~Eph 5:11

Not surprisingly the movie “Son of God” has created quite a stir in the Christian community.  Before I gave the theater my money I read several reviews, blog posts, Facebook comments and viewed TV interviews of husband and wife team Mark Burnett and Roma Downey promoting their film.  Roma is a familiar face to many and is best-known for her role on the successful TV show “Touched by An Angel.”  Mark Burnett is the executive producer of a string of hit TV shows such as “Survivor,” “The Voice, “Celebrity Apprentice,” “Shark Tank,” and he has won several Emmys.

When I first heard that another full-length feature film about the life of Christ was coming to the silver screen, I was skeptical for several reasons.  First, Mark and Roma are Catholic and I was concerned that the movie would be produced from this perspective; a perspective that in many cases I disagree with.

Second, I learned that Roma earned a degree in “spiritual psychology” from the University of Santa Monica, a private graduate school founded by New Age spiritual and self-help quack John-Roger.   P.J. Miller is not being flippant when he asks:

What do you call someone who is a student of new age psychology and spiritualism? Do you call them new agers? Do you call them seekers? Would you dare call them Christian? Well, if you’re Roma Downey, then yes, you would call yourself all the above. (Source)

Third, a movie trailer shows Jesus asking Peter to follow Him. Peter looks skeptical and asks Jesus what they’re going to do.  Jesus grins and replies “Change the world.”  Well, no.  Jesus never said those words to Peter!  Here’s what Jesus actually said:

While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. (Mat 4:18-20)

Jesus commanded  – Peter and Andrew dropped what they were doing to follow Him.  (More on this in a moment.)  Another clip shows a woman sitting in a boat on the Sea of Galilee with Jesus and the apostles during the storm where Jesus walks on water.  But according to Scripture there was no woman in the boat:

Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.  (Mat 14:22)   

In the movie Mary was the woman in the boat.  But why would they have a woman in the boat when Matthew informs us that the disciples/apostles got into the boat.  Mary wasn’t one of the twelve disciples/apostles – no woman was!

Finally, S. Michael Houdmann revealed in his review of the movie that, “the reason for Jesus’ death and the meaning of His resurrection are completely missing. The fact that Jesus’ death is the atoning sacrifice for sin is not mentioned at all (1 John 2:2).”

As I said, “Son of God” has elicited a great deal of controversy as did Mark and Roma’s “The Bible” miniseries produced by LightWorkers Media, a company owned by them. This “heretical and blasphemous” program aired on the History Channel last year. “We knew when we were shooting,” said Downey, “that the Jesus portion of our ‘Bible’ series was special and we shot much more footage and we’ve re-edited many more scenes into a stand-alone feature film called ‘Son of God.’”   I don’t have the space to tackle the “The Bible” brouhaha.  I will say, though, that several highly controversial pastors sat on the Board of Advisors. They include Rick WarrenJoel OsteenT.D. JakesRichard Mouw and Samuel Rodriguez.  (For more on “The Bible” go to Resources below)

The Son of God?

“Son of God” opened on February 28, so by now a lot of folks have had the opportunity to view it in theatres and many more will have it streaming into their living rooms in a few months.  Naturally, reviews were quickly written, some good, some not so good.  (You’ll find links to the reviews at the end of this piece.) Suffice to say that in a short amount of time a lot has been said about the film.

Many of you won’t be surprised to learn that Mark and Roma asked Saddleback Church founder Rick Warren to help spread their version of the “good news.”   He happily agreed.  “I’ve seen most of the films produced about Jesus in the past 50 years,” said the pastor, “and ‘Son of God’ is the best.  We’re excited Jesus is back on the big screen, and we’re going to fill the theaters. I want every other faith leader in America to do the same.”

So – why would the man who is affectionately called “America’s Pastor” agree to promote a film that its critics describe as outright unbiblical?

Not only did Warren endorse the film, according to the Baptist Standard staff report :

Pastor and author Rick Warren partnered with LifeWay Christian Resources to release a Bible study related to the Son of God movie from 20th Century Fox, which hits theaters Feb. 28.

The small-group curriculum resource by Warren, Son of God: The Life of Jesus in You, is a companion piece to the movie produced by husband-and-wife team Mark Burnett and Roma Downey.

The six-session study features video clips from the movie and videos from Warren explaining Jesus’ teachings and their impact on people’s lives. Topics include baptism, temptation, suffering, death, resurrection and ministry. (Source)

As a Southern Baptist preacher, Rick Warren knows perfectly well that the Roman Catholic Church holds to the view that it is the one true Church.  Thus, any church outside the RCC is anathematized (excommunicated, cursed or damned). The Protestant Reformers held the view that the RCC’s gospel is not a gospel that saves; therefore the RCC is apostate.  Anyone who rejects the true gospel – we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone – is an unbeliever.  Period.  Warren also knows what the Bible teaches regarding believers going into partnerships with unbelievers:

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness. (2 Corinthians 6:14)

Here’s the thing.  Not everyone who professes the name of Christ has a true saving faith.  What about Mark Burnett and Roma Downey?  Do they have a true saving faith?  Let’s examine the fruit.

Endorsements

Popular pastor and author Mark Driscoll’s church bought out 3,500 seats.  In 2013 he and his wife shared a stage with Mark and Roma at Resurgence 13.  Driscoll later remarked:

We watched the world premier trailer for The Son of God at the conference, and the footage choked me up as I thought of the millions of people who will hear about Jesus through this project. I am so encouraged by God’s work through this couple. (Source) 

God’s work?

The connection between the Passover sacrifice (Exodus 12) and Jesus as the Lamb of God (John 1:29) is not made. The fact that Jesus’ resurrection proves His victory over death and sin and guarantees a resurrected eternal life for all who believe in Him (1 Corinthians 15) is nowhere to be found.  — S. Michael Houdmann

Another endorser of the film was “Social Justice Christian” Rev. Jim Wallis.  In my column Liberalism created the culture of evil and death, part 3 I wrote:

This man wears many hats.  He is the founder of Sojourner’s Magazine, speaker, author and activist.  He’s also President Obama’s “spiritual advisor.”  This alone speaks volumes.  Rev. Wallis insists that he’s an evangelical Christian even though he has abandoned the biblical gospel for the “social gospel.”  He believes he’s on a mission from God to assist the poor and oppressed to bring forth the Kingdom of God on earth. 

When this purveyor of the false social justice gospel was asked for advice by the couple, he gladly gave it to them:

What won me over to the whole series was the clip about Jesus meeting Peter, the fisherman. In a Washington, D.C., premiere of “The Bible” series a few weeks ago, I had wonderful conversations with Mark and Roma. Mark asked me if they were right to have Jesus say that he wanted to change the world. Those words are not literally in the scriptures, but it seemed to him and Roma that’s exactly what Jesus was talking about. Absolutely correct, I told them both. And we went through the first few chapters of Mathew which demonstrate that truth. I love the clarity and courage of the statement from Jesus in “The Bible.”

Sunny Shell disagrees:

Christ came into the world to save sinners from the righteous wrath of God, which is the just penalty for our sins. He never said He came to change the world. He said He came to transform people by giving them new hearts and new minds through repentance and faith in Christ alone. (Source)

The Examiner listed the names of churches and organizations that distributed tickets for a so-called “Theater Take-Over”:

Joel Osteen, pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Tex., who is distributing 8,000 tickets donated by an anonymous donor; Jerry Falwell, Jr., of Liberty University which has more than 12,000 students; Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch which has 18 campuses in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma; Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles with over four million members and Miles McPherson of the Rock Church with weekly attendance of more than 10,000 in San Diego, Calif. (Emphasis in original – source)

In an article that appeared on Fox News, Mark and Roma wrote:

In all our combined years in the entertainment industry, we’ve never seen anything like this kind of grass-roots support for a project. It is truly miraculous. 

So, too, is the unprecedented depth and breadth of those who have endorsed the film. Pastors like Rick, as well as scholars and faith organizations, have graciously supported our effort to share this story of our Savior – though they belong to different denominations, adhere to varying theological doctrine, worship God in their own unique ways.  

Bishop T.D. Jakes of The Potter’s House in Dallas said “the audience will be enthralled, encouraged and inspired.”  

S. Michael Houdmann was not enthralled by the movie.  In his review he writes:

The Son of God presents a Jewish Messiah who is crucified, dies, comes back to life, and commissions His followers to spread the word. But why did He have to die? What is the meaning of the resurrection? What is the message the apostles were supposed to proclaim, and why was it worth dying for? 

More from the Fox News article…

Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church in Houston called it “an epic work that touches the heart.” 

The Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles Jose Gomez says it’s “a very important movie because it gives us the opportunity to realize God’s presence in our own lives.” (Source)

Certainly there are by now “Church leaders” that are sincerely shocked to find out that they endorsed a movie produced by New Age Catholics.  Here’s more proof from a 2010 article Roma Downey Happy Out of the Spotlight that shows she’s an advocate of New Age/New Thought spirituality:

Says Roma, who lives in Malibu, ‘My kids go to school about a 40-minute drive away. I’m open to the group’s opinion about what we listen to on the way there. On the way back, I get my own selections — books on tape by Eckhart Tolle, Tony Robbins…My husband says I’m so self-realized I’m practically levitating.’

For those who are unfamiliar with Eckhart Tolle, he’s a New Ager.  A few years ago Tolle paired up with Oprah Winfrey to do 10 online classes on XM Satellite radio on his blockbuster book “A New Earth: Are You Ready to Be Awakened.”  Oprah and Tolle took participants through his book chapter by chapter.  Regrettably, a large number of professing Christians took the class!

Human Potential guru and “coach for success” Anthony Robbins once said: “My definition of success is to live your life in a way that causes you to feel tons of pleasure and very little pain.”  Evidently no pain is experienced after completing a barefoot firewalk, a self-empower technique Robbins’ teaches to get an otherwise sane person to walk on a bed of burning hot coals during his “Unleash The Power Within” seminar.  On this video you’ll hear the sound of drums beating and the crowd chanting “YES! YES! YES!” as Robbins whips them into a frenzy in preparation for the firewalk.

More…

Roma appeared on “psychic medium” John Edward’s TV show and allegedly spoke to her deceased mother.  What does the Bible have to say about consulting a medium?

And he burned his son as an offering and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. (2 Kings 21:6)

Well, it’s apparent that Roma, who says she loves the Bible, is unaware—or doesn’t care–that God says consulting a medium is evil.

Later she collaborated with Edwards by providing a CD to accompany a book he wrote:

Roma prays the entire rosary on the beautiful CD that comes along with this book. It’s quite lovely and gives you the special opportunity and a unique spiritual closeness to Roma to be able to pray right along with her as if she was right there at your side.” (Source)

So now you know a bit about two New Age gurus Roma Downey looks forward to listening to each day and an occultist she collaborated with.  The worldview of these men is as far from Christianity as the Earth is from Pluto.

P.J. Miller sat listening to Jim Bakker introduce Mark and Roma on Bakker’s TV show and recalled “their previous work on the History Channel’s The Bible and how they managed to literally re-write the Bible itself, and presented another gospel message altogether. I was captured by their … aggressive but subtle attempt to portray themselves as ‘believers’.  The sappy spiritual love fest that permeated on set showed me that something was indeed changing within Christianity, and that something was another Jesus being introduced to the masses.” 

Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. (Mat/ 24: 23-24) 

After several weeks of due diligence I’ve decided that “Son of God” is not a film I wish to see.  In addition to the concerns I have included in this article, my research has turned up many more  – way too many to incorporate here.  Most troubling is the astonishing lack of discernment shown by some of our so-called Christian leaders.  The Son of God I serve is best described in the Bible which is the inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God.  Inspired means that God moved through the writers to convey to those who read it the words He wanted us to hear.  So to change the words that Christ spoke is prideful and wicked.

It’s unfortunate that those who are unfamiliar with the biblical Jesus and see this film will not come away with a clear understanding of His mission here on Earth.

He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (1John 2:2) 

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