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Archive for the ‘Apostasy’ Category

From Answers in Genesis:

by Ken Ham on October 20, 2015

In the latest issue of World magazine, Bart Campolo, son of well-known speaker, author, sociologist, pastor, and social activist Tony Campolo, gives frank answers about his walk away from Christianity and his new job as a “humanist chaplain” at a secular university in California. You can read the interview for yourself.

I would like to make two comments about Bart Campolo’s statements given to World magazine:

  1. When asked the question, “What spiritual nurturing would someone who doesn’t believe in a spiritual life need?,” Campolo answered, “It’s interesting that you should ask, because here’s the thing. If somebody came to the conclusion, as I did a number of years ago, ‘I think this life is all there is. I think that when I die I’ll be dead,’ the most immediate question that came to me was, if this is it, how do you make the most of it? I have this wonderful opportunity to be a sentient human being, to be able to think and feel and understand and fall in love and have relationships.” He goes on to talk about helping others who don’t believe in God to have a fulfilling life.

    But Campolo believes that once he dies, and when others (including the people he supposedly helps have a fulfilling life) also die, then that will be the end of them! They won’t even know they ever existed. So for all his fluffy talk about living a full life and falling in love, and so on, ultimately life is all totally pointless! All he is doing is leading others to a purposeless, meaningless life—on their way to eternal separation from God in a place the Bible calls hell.

    From other statements Campolo made to the magazine, it seems that the issues of why there is suffering and death in the world had an effect on whether he could believe in a loving God. However, unless you take a stand on a literal Genesis (which his father, by the way does not), you cannot understand that we are living in a fallen world (Genesis 3)—we are not in the original “very good” world God created.

  2. Over the years, I have seen that when there’s compromise on God’s Word in one generation, often there is much more of a rejection of God’s Word in the next. Tony Campolo, who from all accounts is a genial man (though terribly wrong theologically in many areas), is often called a founder of the “Christian left” and was a spiritual advisor to former President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. Even his recent statement on gay “marriage” tells us where he stands on the authority of Scripture: “It has taken countless hours of prayer, study, conversation and emotional turmoil to bring me to the place where I am finally ready to call for the full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the Church.” I personally believe his slide into liberalism (both theological and political) had a significant effect on his son. (A few years ago a couple of our staff members talked to his son, who used to live in our area, and heard him speak about social issues; Bart appeared to be in alignment with his father on many issues.)

    What happened here with Bart Campolo should be another reminder to parents to be diligent in training their children to stand uncompromisingly on the Word of God and in equipping them to defend the Christian faith. Knowing what his father believed and taught, Bart did not grow up in a household where the Word of God was authoritative and accurate from Genesis to Revelation. Yes, we’re seeing more and more young people walking away from the church. The statistics are frightening, and I want to challenge you to help us bring back the lost generation. Know the statistics, know the problem, and be a part of the solution.

I encourage you to equip yourself, your family, your friends, your pastor, and your church with key resources to train your youth: Already Gone, Already Compromised, and Ready to Return. The foundation of our Christian doctrines is in the book of Genesis, where the gospel begins.

Please join me in genuine prayer for the Campolo family, and for our church’s young people who are the next generation.

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from Got Questions:

In the prosperity gospel, also known as the “Word of Faith,” the believer is told to use God, whereas the truth of biblical Christianity is just the opposite—God uses the believer. Word of Faith or prosperity theology sees the Holy Spirit as a power to be put to use for whatever the believer wills. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is a Person who enables the believer to do God’s will. The prosperity gospel movement closely resembles some of the destructive greed sects that infiltrated the early church. Paul and the other apostles were not accommodating to or conciliatory with the false teachers who propagated such heresy. They identified them as dangerous false teachers and urged Christians to avoid them.

Paul warned Timothy about such men in 1 Timothy 6:5, 9-11. These men of “corrupt mind” supposed godliness was a means of gain and their desire for riches was a trap that brought them “into ruin and destruction” (v. 9). The pursuit of wealth is a dangerous path for Christians and one which God warns about: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (v. 10). If riches were a reasonable goal for the godly, Jesus would have pursued it. But He did not, preferring instead to have no place to lay His head (Matthew 8:20) and teaching His disciples to do the same. It should also be remembered that the only disciple concerned with wealth was Judas.

Paul said covetousness is idolatry (Ephesians 5:5) and instructed the Ephesians to avoid anyone who brought a message of immorality or covetousness (Ephesians 5:6-7). Prosperity teaching prohibits God from working on His own, meaning that God is not Lord of all because He cannot work until we release Him to do so. Faith, according to the Word of Faith doctrine, is not submissive trust in God; faith is a formula by which we manipulate the spiritual laws that prosperity teachers believe govern the universe. As the name “Word of Faith” implies, this movement teaches that faith is a matter of what we say more than whom we trust or what truths we embrace and affirm in our hearts.

A favorite term in the Word of Faith movement is “positive confession.” This refers to the teaching that words themselves have creative power. What you say, Word of Faith teachers claim, determines everything that happens to you. Your confessions, especially the favors you demand of God, must all be stated positively and without wavering. Then God is required to answer (as though man could require anything of God!). Thus, God’s ability to bless us supposedly hangs on our faith. James 4:13-16 clearly contradicts this teaching: “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Far from speaking things into existence in the future, we do not even know what tomorrow will bring or even whether we will be alive.

Instead of stressing the importance of wealth, the Bible warns against pursuing it. Believers, especially leaders in the church (1 Timothy 3:3), are to be free from the love of money (Hebrews 13:5). The love of money leads to all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). Jesus warned, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15). In sharp contrast to the Word of Faith emphasis on gaining money and possessions in this life, Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19). The irreconcilable contradictions between prosperity teaching and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is best summed up in the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:24, “You cannot serve both God and money.”

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A tragedy born of Ignorance?

from Fox 8 News:

A counseling session on the spiritual state of two brothers turned physical at Word of Life Christian Church in New Hartford, New York, resulting in the death of a young man and serious injuries to his brother, New Hartford Police Chief Michael Inserra said Wednesday.

Their parents, Bruce T. Leonard, 65, and Deborah R. Leonard, 59, each face one count of first-degree manslaughter, a Class B felony. The Leonards were each ordered held on $100,000 bail at their arraignment Wednesday. Four other church members were charged with second-degree assault, also a felony.

Family members took Lucas Leonard, 19, by car Monday afternoon to a hospital in nearby Utica. New Hartford police said Leonard was injured during an assault and was pronounced dead Monday at the hospital.

Leonard’s 17-year-old brother, Christopher, was hospitalized in serious condition after suffering blunt force trauma injuries also, police said.

The assaults occurred after a Sunday night service at the church, which is located about 250 miles north of New York City. The congregation held what Inserra called a “counseling session” for the two brothers.

But the session became violent, the police chief said.

“Both brothers were continually subjected to physical punishment over the course of several hours in the hopes that each would confess to prior sins and ask for forgiveness,” he said.

On Monday, Lucas Leonard was taken to the hospital after church members found he wasn’t breathing, Inserra said. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

An autopsy showed Leonard suffered multiple contusions from blunt force trauma to the torso and extremities, Inserra said.

“It was determined that the combination of injuries and the duration of assault contributed to his death,” Inserra said, adding that the cause of death was pending further examination.

Police were originally called to the hospital and told that Leonard had been shot. Inserra said the shooting report was unfounded. Police learned of the assaults after interviewing church members.

Authorities found several children in the church and called in child protective services.

‘I don’t believe there was any intent’

Don Gerace, attorney for Bruce Leonard, has entered a not guilty plea on behalf of his client, whom he said has no criminal history and has lived in the community more than two decades. Leonard has been a church member for eight years.

“In the state of New York he is charged with manslaughter in the first degree, which requires intent to cause serious bodily injury and I do not believe there was any intent,” Gerace said.

Deborah Leonard’s attorney, Devin Garramone, said his client had a stent put in due to a heart condition and requires constant medical attention.

“I cannot imagine my client had anything to do with these injuries, especially in the condition she is in,” he said.

Bail for the other four church members was set Wednesday at $50,000 each.

Inserra identified them as as Joseph Irwin, David Morey, Linda Morey and Sarah Ferguson.

‘Quite a shock’

A former Word of Life church member, who asked not to be identified, said she used to babysit the teenage brothers. The allegations are shocking, she said.

The church, which began in 1984, has about five families, or about 35 members, including children, according to the former member. She described the congregation as a “makeshift family” that had been together for 25 years.

“We weren’t originally isolated from the community,” she said.

Over time, there was friction between the church and a neighboring community, she said.

“We put up the hedges,” she said.

“Then the neighbors got angry because they couldn’t see what’s going on anymore.”

But the ex-member denied reports the church is a cult.

“I realize this situation makes it look like this,” she said, “but if you listen to the teachings, they are accurate to the Bible.”

Responding to a reporter’s question, Inserra said he had no information about whether the group is a cult.

Utica School District has employed Bruce Leonard as a teaching assistant since 2007, Proctor High School principal Steven Falchi told CNN. He has been at Proctor High School in Utica since 2010, Falchi said.

Leonard works with a certified teacher and other teaching assistants in the special education department, Falchi said. He works with “severely and profoundly disabled students,” Falchi said.

“We were very shocked to learn the news,” said Falchi, adding he was not aware of previous complaints or disciplinary action against Leonard. “He was a hard worker and was exceptionally compassionate about his work with our students. It came as quite a shock.”

Lucas Leonard and his younger brother were home-schooled, according to Ronald Wheelock, superintendent for Sauquoit Valley Central School District.

The school district’s involvement with the teens was limited, with the parents sending the district curriculum proposals at the beginning of the year, Wheelock said.

‘Not a mainline church’

The pastor of a nearby Catholic Church told CNN that little is known about his neighbors.

“I really don’t know much about the place. They keep to themselves,” the Rev. Abraham Esper of St. Patrick’s-St. Anthony’s Church said. “I don’t know of any regular services that they have. They are certainly not a mainline church.”

Esper said a locked gate obscures a parking lot behind the Word of Life church. He said he’s never seen people coming or going in to church.

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from Life Site News:

More than a dozen religious leaders from a variety of denominations gathered last week to support abortion and “bless” a Cleveland abortion facility.

The “blessing” of the Preterm facility was initiated and coordinated by Rev. Laura Young, a Methodist priestess and the executive director of The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice’s (RCRC) Ohio chapter.

“Bless this building,” prayed Rev. Tracey Lind, Dean of Cleveland’s Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, at the abortion facility. “May its walls stand strong against the onslaught of shame thrown at it. May it be a beacon of hope for those who need its services.”

RCRC is based in Washington, D.C. Its national president, Rev. Harry Knox, participated in the Cleveland demonstration as well, and told the Columbus Dispatch, “I’m here today standing alongside my fellow clergymen and clergywomen to say, thank God for abortion providers.”

Knox is a “married” homosexual who has also spearheaded same-sex “marriage” efforts in Georgia and Florida.

The group held signs that said to be pro-abortion is to be “pro-family” and “pro-faith.”  Other signs read, “Good women have abortions.”

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it’s called removing the Offense of the Cross!

“Dear brothers and sisters, if I were still preaching that you must be circumcised–as some say I do–why am I still being persecuted? If I were no longer preaching salvation through the cross of Christ, no one would be offended.” Galatians 5:11

from Jihad Watch:

Bishop Eva Brunne has proposed to remove the Christian symbols of the Seamen’s Church in Freeport to make it more inviting for visiting sailors from other religions.

The bishop wants to temporarily make the Seamen’s Church available to all, for example by marking the direction of Mecca and removing Christian symbols, as is already done in common prayer rooms at airports and in some hospital chapel.

“Making a room available for people of other faiths does not mean that we are not defenders of our own faith. Priests are called to proclaim Christ. We do that every day and in every meeting with people. But that does not mean that we are stingy toward people of other faiths,” writes Bishop Eva Brunne…

Has aroused protests

The proposal has triggered protests. Patrik Pettersson, priest of the Oscars parish in Stockholm, thinks that the proposal is noteworthy and writes on his blog:

“The church chapel can not reasonably be equated with prayer rooms at airports and hospital chapels anyway. The Christian churches and chapels are not public areas at any time.”

And Seamen’s Mission Director Kiki Wetterberg does not agree with the bishop.

“I have no problem with Muslim or Hindu sailors coming here and praying. But I believe that we are a Christian church, so we keep the symbols. If I visit a mosque, I do not ask them to take down their symbols. It’s my choice to go in there,” she says to the newspaper Dagen.

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This statement from the Pope basically lays out why the Roman Catholic Church could never be mistaken as a genuine expression of the Christian Faith! The Pope is basically saying that God cannot operate via his own will and work through people independent of the Roman Catholic Church!

To say that God would hand his will and his Divine guidance over to a man made organization and then ALLOW that man made organization to reinterpret God however that man made organization chooses is a clear refutation of every word in the Bible!

Jesus own words give direct examples of how man made organizations twist, turn and redefine Truth to fit their own goals and agendas and those always end up being contrary to God’s Truth and rejecting God’s guidance!

“Pope Francis described as “dangerous” the temptation to believe that one can have “a personal, direct, immediate relationship with Jesus Christ without communion with and the mediation of the church.”

From National Catholic Reporter:

VATICAN CITY- Christians are not made in a laboratory, but in a community called the church, Pope Francis said.

At his weekly general audience Wednesday, Pope Francis continued his series of audience talks about the church, telling an estimated 33,000 people that there is no such thing as “do-it-yourself” Christians or “free agents” when it comes to faith.

Every Christian, he said, can trace his or her faith back to parents, grandparents, teachers or friends. “I always remember the nun who taught me catechism. I know she’s in heaven because she was a holy woman,” he said.

In the Old Testament, the pope said, God called Abraham and began to form a people that would become a blessing for the world. “With great patience — and God has a lot of it — he prepared the people of the ancient covenant and in Jesus Christ constituted them as a sign and instrument of the union of humanity with God and unity with one another.”

Pope Francis described as “dangerous” the temptation to believe that one can have “a personal, direct, immediate relationship with Jesus Christ without communion with and the mediation of the church.”

Obviously, he said, it is not always easy to walk the path of faith with other people. “Sometimes it’s tiring. It can happen that a brother or sister creates problems for us or scandalizes us, but the Lord entrusted his message of salvation to human beings, to us, to witnesses,” he said.

“It is through our brothers and sisters with their gifts and their limits,” the pope said, “that he comes to us and makes himself known. This is what belonging to the church means. Remember: Being Christian means belonging to the church. If your first name is Christian, your last name is Member of the Church.”

At the end of his talk, the pope asked people to join him in praying that they would never “give into the temptation of thinking you can do without others, without the church, that you can save yourself, of thinking you can be a laboratory Christian.”

Christians, he said, are not manufactured in isolation, but belong to a long line of believers who handed on the faith and challenged one another to live it fully.

The audience was the last the pope was scheduled to hold before beginning a reduced summer schedule.

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One World Religion!

From the Wall Street Journal:

Buddhist, Protestant, Greek Orthodox, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh leaders to join pope at National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

It is called a multireligious service, but for those who have been asked to offer prayers alongside Pope Francis this month, a humble moment is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

About a dozen religious leaders, including representatives from Buddhist, Protestant, Greek Orthodox, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh faiths, will join the pope on Sept. 25 at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Part of Pope Francis’ two-day visit to New York City, the service will include prayers from all of them honoring those who died on 9/11.

According to Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove of Park Avenue Synagogue, it will be “a holy and wholly unique event in the religious life of New York.”

“The pope understands the power of faith or religion as an instrument of peace, as opposed to division or strife,” said Rabbi Cosgrove. “To participate in an interreligious gathering which affirms that, whatever our differences may be, we are children of the same God, is an extraordinary statement.”

Multireligious gatherings between the pope and other faith leaders are essentially a modern practice, experts say, formalized in 1965 with Pope Paul VI and the Second Vatican Council’s declaration for “sincere reverence” of other religions.

That declaration opened the door for meetings between the pope and other religious leaders, said the Rev. Jean-Pierre Ruiz, associate professor of theology and religious studies at St. John’s University in Queens.

Another watershed moment for interfaith meetings came in 1986 when Pope John Paul IIgathered dozens of religious leaders at a World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi, Italy. The image of all of them together “sent an important message to the world,” said Rev. Ruiz.

Pope Benedict continued the tradition of interfaith meetings during his 2008 trip to the U.S. He visited Park East Synagogue in New York and participated in several events in Washington, D.C., including an interreligious meeting. In 2011, he marked the 25th anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Peace with another event in Assisi.

But what separates Pope Francis from his predecessors is his deliberate inclusion of other religions, especially members of the Jewish and Muslim faiths, Rev. Ruiz said. Some of those leaders are to play an active role in the Sept. 25 event.

It will begin with an invocation by Rabbi Cosgrove and Imam Khalid Latif, executive director of the Islamic Center at New York University. During the brief program, Pope Francis will offer a prayer and speak. Other religious leaders will then offer prayers, with translators, before an audience of hundreds. Sarah Sayeed, an adviser to Mayor Bill de Blasio, will read a translation from Arabic for the event, according to a spokeswoman for the mayor

One of the participants, Uma Mysorekar, president of the Hindu Temple Society of North America, said she was honored to be included and excited for her faith, and others, to be recognized on the world stage.

“This pope has been so vocal and so broad-minded,” said Dr. Mysorekar. “We’re all able to chant prayers to that same divinity in our own different ways. It ultimately means that all of us collectively stand there and pray in whatever way we want to, but ultimately asking for peace in this world.”

Yasuko Niwano, a leader of the Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhist Center of New York, said she felt a mixture of honor, nerves and excitement about sharing the stage with Pope Francis. She saw the moment as a way to connect with the pontiff on the subject of openness and inclusiveness, she said.

“He doesn’t have any boundaries,” she said. “In Buddhism, we don’t have any boundary, we welcome anybody.”

The Rev. A.R. Bernard of Brooklyn’s Christian Cultural Center said he would be reflecting on the Beatitudes, eight blessings at the core of Jesus’ teachings, for his segment of the interreligious service.

Though the city’s religious leaders often get together around common issues of concern, the service with the pope is “a very, very special time, because it’s consistent with the climate in our city with regard to religious tolerance, and interfaith communication and working together,” he said.

“This is not a platform we experience every day,” Rev. Bernard said.

Satpal Singh, a leader of the Sikh community who is based in Buffalo, is hoping to use the moment on Sept. 25 as a way to educate the wider public about the Sikh faith. His prayer would reflect the point that “our actions speak,” he said.

“God expects all of us to love each other irrespective of what our outward beliefs and what our affiliations are,” Dr. Singh said. “That’s the important message that has to come through this forum.”

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