Archive for the ‘Rick Warren’ Category
LTRP Note: On September 18th, a new movie will hit the theaters, Captive. The film is the story about Ashley Smith, the young woman who was held captive by an escaped murderer and how she convinced him to give himself up. When the incident happened in 2005, it came out in news reports that the woman had read excerpts from The Purpose Driven Life to her captor. Free-lance journalist Paul Proctor wrote three stories about this that year. Because the movie is coming out, we decided to re-post these insightful articles by Paul Proctor (two of the articles are links below the first article). We agree with Proctor, who said while he was “thrilled that Ashley escaped with her life and that no one else was killed,” he was sorry to see the incident turned into a marketing extravaganza for Rick Warren and The Purpose Driven Life. No doubt, the new movie will be another big plug for “America’s Pastor” and his “New” Spirituality-promoting Purpose Driven movement.
By Paul Proctor
March 26, 2005—A friend called me on my cell phone a couple of weeks ago to share some amazing quotes from the Purpose Driven hostage shortly after her story broke and shot to the top of the human-interest charts. Before he could even finish reading the pertinent excerpts from the article he found, we both agreed that those who stood to benefit the most from this “miracle of God” would exploit it to the very limits of believability and in doing so, further legitimize Rick Warren and his Purpose Driven products, now captivating and confusing the spiritually lame, biblically ignorant and ecclesiastically ambitious around the world.
Of course we all know that nothing sells books, tickets, movies, merchandise, programs, popcorn, cotton candy and Kleenex like a life and death drama with a happy ending. That’s why so many victims and perpetrators who come out of obscurity to suddenly find themselves before the TV cameras end up in some carnivalesque corner of the entertainment industry trying to capitalize on their newfound notoriety and turn it into a cash-producing and/or agenda-advancing career.
If history has taught us anything, it is that pop culture products, performances and personalities don’t have to be good, credible, accurate or even real as long as they stimulate and motivate the masses. That’s why the most popular household appliance sold in America today is not the dishwasher or the clothes washer, but the brainwasher; that big screen fantasy machine that talks you through the highs and lows of life each day like an electronic psychiatrist, while you recline on the couch for hours on end.
When you consider that five corporations control today’s mainstream media, it’s much easier to understand how a nation and even the world can be controlled into thinking, speaking and doing whatever the architects of illusion desire.
Things just don’t happen by chance, they happen by design; and the powers-that-be have carefully planned your future and mine from cradle to grave. By way of seduction and suggestion we are steered deeper into a socialized slavery each day while laughing and crying our way through the facts, feelings and fantasies of a perceived reality called “television.” Their slogan may be: “you decide” but rest assured, they’ve already decided FOR YOU what will and won’t be seen on TV and what commentary and captions will accompany the compelling images they provide.
I’d wager to say that very few, if any, Purpose Driven puppets ever really heard or understood what was being taught them in Ashley Smith’s emotionally charged interview as recorded by CNN. Most, I suspect, were just elated to learn that the “People’s Pastor” had finally been validated in secular society by a Purpose Driven “miracle.”
But, now that the euphoria has subsided somewhat, look again and reconsider carefully what she actually said:
SMITH: “We went to my room. And I asked him if I could read. He said, ‘What do you want to read?’ ‘Well, I have a book in my room.’ So I went and got it. I got my Bible. And I got a book called The Purpose-Driven Life. I turned it to the chapter that I was on that day. It was Chapter 33. And I started to read the first paragraph of it. After I read it, he said, ‘Stop, will you read it again?’ I said, ‘Yeah. I’ll read it again.’ So I read it again to him. It mentioned something about what you thought your purpose in life was. What were you—what talents were you given? What gifts were you given to use? And I asked him what he thought. And he said, ‘I think it was to talk to people and tell them about you.’”
You see, Ashley made a significant choice that day between the Word of God and the words of Warren. Like millions of others who keep Bibles around the house for a second opinion, she chose to read to her captor from Warren’s book instead of God’s Word. And because she made that choice and is still alive today, Ashley is now a hero in the eyes of a nation; and the media has proudly declared hers to be a salvation story and a miracle of deliverance from Almighty God.
I dare say if she had read something Jesus Christ had said, quoting Scripture to Mr. Nichols from her Bible and lived to tell about it, the networks wouldn’t have even allowed her on the air, much less made a big deal out of it. What was the subtle message the architects were teaching us?
Be a hero! – Be Purpose Driven!
No wonder sales of the PDL book spiked! Who wouldn’t want to be a TV hero and a media darling?
When Brian Nichols told Ashley that he thought his purpose was “to talk to people and tell them about you,” I’m sure that made her feel very special; but the absurd implication of that statement seemed to escape most teary-eyed Christians I know; that God had four people shot dead at the courthouse that day in Atlanta just so Nichols could spend the rest of his life telling everyone about Ashley Smith. If it hasn’t registered yet, that’s horizontal worship, aka: idolatry; and THAT, my friends, is what the church growth movement is all about; worshiping one another and our collective achievements in the name of Jesus. That’s why the emphasis is always on relationships rather than righteousness.
SMITH: “But after we began to talk, he said he thought that I was an angel sent from God. And that I was his sister and he was my brother in Christ. And that he was lost and God led him right to me to tell him that he had hurt a lot of people.”
Well, in spite of Brian Nichols’ thoughts and feelings, Ashley is not “an angel sent from God.” She is quite human and has, as Warren admitted on Larry King Live, a less than angelic past. In addition, Mr. Nichols might consider himself to be a “lost brother in Christ,” but I assure you; THERE IS NO SUCH THING. He is either lost OR he is a brother in Christ. He cannot be both simultaneously. Furthermore, a brother in Christ does not gun down innocent people in a court of law, flee for his life, take hostages and threaten to kill them.
SMITH: “I said, ‘Do you believe in miracles? Because if you don’t believe in miracles—you are here for a reason. You’re here in my apartment for some reason. You got out of that courthouse with police everywhere, and you don’t think that’s a miracle? You don’t think you’re supposed to be sitting right here in front of me listening to me tell you, you know, your reason here?’ I said, ‘You know, your miracle could be that you need to—you need to be caught for this,’ Smith continued. ‘You need to go to prison and you need to share the Word of God with them, with all the prisoners there.'”
This is not the Gospel of Christ being shared, friends; this is a frightened woman appealing to a desperate man through his ego, using anything she can think of including God, sympathy, flattery, family, food and friendship to win his trust and just stay alive. Under the circumstances, I don’t fault her for any of this; but let’s just call it what it is. I also don’t fault either of them for their confusion about God, His miracles and His purpose for their lives, considering their obvious lack of biblical knowledge, discernment and understanding.
I do, however, find it absolutely outrageous that a degree-holding, seminary educated, mega-church pastor like Rick Warren would take advantage of this terrible tragedy and the gross ignorance and confusion of those involved and twist it into something he can use to plug his book, his programs, and his upcoming faith-based global socialist P.E.A.C.E. Plan! That is unacceptable behavior, and he ought to be ashamed!
The real travesty that day was this: The Gospel of Christ was not proclaimed, no one repented, and no one was saved; at least not spiritually, which would have been a miracle indeed. According to the reports and interviews I’ve read, Smith and Nichols discussed a lot of heartwarming things in their lives but not Jesus Christ, the cross, His death, burial, resurrection, shed blood or redemptive plan for mankind. From what I can ascertain, their focus was, like Warren’s, on a Purpose Driven Life, not eternal life in Christ.
Nichols did not surrender to Jesus Christ or anyone else for that matter; he was turned in to the authorities by his hostage and taken into custody without incident a short time later.
It just blows my mind that the church today thinks they have a monopoly on kindness and generosity; that displaying such things to strangers somehow MEANS you’re an official “child of God! This is the counterfeit Christianity that the world is just wild about today; the new paradigm for the postmodern church: a religion of relationships, social service, and psychology, offered up in the name of our Homeboy, Jesus.
This kind of Christianity doesn’t even need a Divine Savior or the Word of God, and is replacing both at church with what amounts to religious volunteerism—a politically correct value system and service organization comprised of smiley-faced worker bees that embrace no real doctrine, theology or belief beyond a luv for fellow man.
For a kind word and a drink, you can get THAT at any bar in town! One of the most loyal, unpretentious, unselfish people I know in this life is an atheist. He would give you or me the shirt off his back and do almost anything for anyone, yet he claims no God exists. When is the dumbed-down church of horizontal worship and service going to wake up from this Purpose Driven delusion and realize that our good deeds and human relationships mean nothing without a knowledge of, belief in, and obedience to, the Word of God?
Larry King mentioned during his interview the other night with Warren that a copy of The Purpose Driven Life was found in the back seat of [wife-murderer] Scott Peterson’s car. They concluded that, in light of the outcome, he must not have read it. Here we have support from the LIBERAL media and its premier talk show host, an agnostic! That right there ought to tell you something’s askew! How do we know Scott Peterson DIDN’T read it? Maybe the absence of tears and remorse the media and their expert psychologists condemned him for was really Scott gracefully accepting his newfound purpose in life on death row? That killing his wife and unborn son is what made it all possible. Same logic.
Anyway, call the Purpose Driven hostage outcome anything you want; but it was not a miracle. It was only reported as such because the book she chose to read from that day is published by a subsidiary of one of those big five corporations I mentioned earlier. They have a vested interest in Warren’s success and none in Jesus Christ’s.
I am thrilled that Ashley escaped with her life and that no one else was killed, including Mr. Nichols; but don’t let the media hype this into something it was not. If I’ve learned anything about the “wide gate and the broad way,” it’s that the crowd is ALWAYS wrong.
I wish only the best for Ms. Smith and her little girl and sincerely hope that Brian Nichols confesses, repents, and surrenders to the One who works REAL miracles and doesn’t end up a Purpose Driven hostage himself.
Used with permission from Paul Proctor.
The other articles Paul Proctor wrote about the Purpose Driven hostage story:
Pope Francis, Rick Warren, and That 2014 Catholic Interview No One Thought Important? Reminder of Its Revealing Facts About “America’s Pastor”
In May of 2014, Roger Oakland wrote a five-part series addressing Rick Warren’s television interview with Catholic TV host Raymond Arroyo. The facts that Roger uncovered should have sent shock waves throughout the evangelical church . . . but they didn’t. In fact, leaders and most pastors in the Christian church didn’t seem to care at all. And now, Rick Warren will be joining Pope Francis (at the Papacy’s invitation) when the Catholic pope comes to the United States this month. Warren is scheduled to be a keynote speaker at one of the events. For discerning Christians who do care about what is happening to the church, including the current ecumenical move to bring the “lost brethren” back to the Mother Church (and ultimately form a unified global religious body as the Bible states will happen), we’d like to bring to your attention these five articles by Roger Oakland and ask that you pray that many eyes will be opened to what is happening. And much of this taking place within evangelicalism, if not most of it, can be attributed to the actions of leaders such as Rick Warren, Beth Moore, the late Chuck Colson, and many others, who have escalated this dangerous ecumenism that is changing the face of mainstream Christianity today.
Here are the links to those five articles from the special 2014 series written by Roger Oakland of Understand The Times, with some brief notes on each. There are also links to the actual interview between Warren and Arroyo.
a. 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.
b. Rick Warren starts the Purpose Driven Catholics program in 2005
c. Rick Warren admits he is in favor of the Roman Catholic New Evangelization program (set up to win the “lost brethren” back to the Mother Church).
a. There is no room for doubt: Warren’s march towards ecumenical unity with Rome is becoming clearer and bolder as time passes.
b. His own words confirm that Roman Catholic mystics and their writings have been a strong influence on him personally and his ministry.
c. The authors and the books mentioned by Warren are more than revealing. They clearly show where his theology is founded.
(See part 1 and 2 of the interview between Rick Warren and Raymond Arroyo, click here.)
a. Rick Warren may have a plan laid away for the future of promoting a “religious liberty movement” that will be the equivalent of the “civil liberties movement” of the past.
b. It is possible that a so-called “religious liberty” movement championed by America’s Pastor, who is willing to go to jail for standing up for the religious rights of all religions, could be a stepping-stone to something else. Especially when it is so obvious this would be another important way to join evangelicals and Catholics together, a common trend of our day.
c. Warren could be a major spokesperson for persuading evangelicals to join together with Roman Catholics.
(See part 3 of the interview between Rick Warren and Raymond Arroyo, click here.)
a. If Rick Warren and his followers represent the direction many former “Protestants” are headed, it is only a matter of time for the coming One World Ecumenical Religion to be established. The Jesuit plan to bring the “separated brethren Home to Rome” will have been accomplished.
b. Warren admits that he has a “spiritual director” at the retreat center at Saddleback who was trained by the Catholic contemplative figure Jean Vanier.
c. Vanier is a contemplative mystic who promotes interspiritual and interfaith beliefs, calling the Hindu Mahatma Gandhi “one of the greatest prophets of our times” and “a man sent by God.” In the book Essential Writings, Vanier talks about “opening doors to other religions” and helping people develop their own faiths be it Hinduism, Christianity, or Islam. The book also describes how Vanier read Thomas Merton and practiced and was influenced by the spiritual exercises of the Jesuit founder and mystic St. Ignatius.
(See part 4 of the interview between Rick Warren and Raymond Arroyo, click here.)
a. When a Christian leader publically makes statements or endorsements by saying or doing things that contradict the Bible, the leader needs to be addressed in a public manner so those who have been influenced can be put back on track.
b. Warren’s main reason for watching the Roman Catholic Eternal Word Television Network is to gain a knowledge and understanding of Christian history, then there is no question he is getting a biased one-sided view.
c. In Warren’s own words: “One of my favorite shows, which you repeat often is the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, which I love. And when I’ve had a very stressful day, I’ll come home, I’ve got it taped and Kay and I will both, we’ll listen. We’ll put it on and just sit back, relax and worship. And in the time of reflection, meditation and quietness I find myself renewed and restored. So thank you for continuing to play the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.”
d. “The Chaplet of the Divine Mercy is . . . based on the visions of Jesus reported by Saint Mary Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938), known as ‘the Apostle of Mercy.’ . . . Faustina stated that she received the prayer through visions and conversations with Jesus, who made specific promises regarding the recitation of the prayers. . . . the chaplet is often said as a rosary-based prayer with the same set of rosary beads used for reciting the Holy Rosary or the Chaplet of Holy Wounds, in the Roman Catholic Church. . . . The chaplet may also be said without beads, usually by counting prayers on the fingertips, and may be accompanied by the veneration of the Divine Mercy image.”
(See part 5 of the interview between Rick Warren and Raymond Arroyo, click here.)
Pope Francis U.S. Visit 2015 Schedule and Dates: Pontiff Invites Rick Warren To Speak at Philadelphia Conference on Family
LTRP Note: Posted for informational and research purposes.
Courtesy Understand the Times
By Leah Marieann Klett
The Gospel Herald Ministries
Rick Warren, senior pastor of Saddleback Church, has announced he will be speaking in Philadelphia later this month at the World Meeting of Families event to commence Pope Francis’ highly anticipated visit to the United States. Warren announced his plans to attend the event during the Sunday morning worship service at the Lake Forest, CA church.
“Next month, Pope Francis is coming to America for a world gathering on families,” he told the congregation.”I’m not a Catholic, and we have many differences with Catholics. But they love the Lord and we have much in common with that – we believe in the Bible, and the Trinity, and in Jesus and the resurrection.” “There are probably going to be a million people in Philadelphia at this final event with Pope Francis, and he’s asked me to be the final speaker,” the Purpose Driven Life author continued amid cheering and applause. Click here to continue reading.
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
I was wondering if you have any info on Bethke’s latest book, Jesus > Religion, or know of anyone who has done a review on it? All I need to know is that Mark Driscoll endorsed it but I have a friend who will want more info… J.C.
Our Comment: The book has been out for a while, and yes, we do have a book review on it. This is one book that sure does have an agenda! Here is the book review we wrote in 2013 on Jesus > Religion.
“Anti-Religion Jeff Bethke Hits the News Again – New Book, Same Message: “Imagine No Religion” (From 2013 by LT Editors)
Not only are there political quests being achieved through the indoctrination of these young people, but these young followers are becoming convinced that a socialistic religion-killing society is the only solution for man.
Jeff Bethke, the 24-year-old man who did the anti-religion YouTube video in 2012, is back in the news again. This time, he has a book about his subject matter. His video, Why I Hate Religion, went viral and to date over 26 million people have viewed it. That video is partially responsible for our writing the Booklet Tract They Hate Christianity But Love (Another) Jesus – How Conservative Christians Are Being Manipulated and Ridiculed, Especially During Election Years (yes, Bethke’s video came out not too long before the nation voted for Obama). You can read our full booklet tract by clicking here, and we hope you do. It may give you a different perspective than what seems to meet the eye. Kind of like when George Barna and Frank Viola came out with their book Pagan Christianity, and untold numbers thought their book was fantastic, when in reality, it was more of a smoke screen to what was REALLY happening in Christianity today (see our article, “Pagan Christianity by Viola and Barna – A Perfect Example of ‘Missing the Point.’” They said a big pagan problem with Christians was that they sat in pews, went to Sunday School, and listened to sermons. But sadly, no mention of the REAL problems happening in the church today (contemplative spirituality, for example).
Here is a portion of our They Hate Christianity But Love (Another) Jesus that gives some background information on Jeff Bethke:
In January of 2012, another election year, a young man, Jefferson (Jeff) Bethke, who attends contemplative advocate Mark Driscoll’s church, Mars Hill in Washington state, posted a video on YouTube called “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus.” Within hours, the video had over 100,000 hits. Soon it reached over 14 million hits, according to the Washington Post, one of the major media that has spotlighted the Bethke video (hits as of May 2013 are over 25 million).
The Bethke video is a poem Bethke wrote and recites in a rap-like fashion his thoughts and beliefs about the pitfalls of what he calls “religion” but what is indicated to be Christianity. While we are not saying at this time that Bethke is an emerging figure, and while some of the lyrics in his poem are true statements, it is interesting that emerging spirituality figures seem to be resonating with Bethke’s message. They are looking for anything that will give them ammunition against traditional biblical Christianity. They have found some in Bethke’s poem. Like so many in the emerging camp say, Bethke’s poem suggests that Christians don’t take care of the poor and needy. While believers in Christ have been caring for the needy for centuries, emerging figures use this ploy to win conservative Christians (through guilt) over to a liberal social justice “gospel.” Emerging church journalist Jim Wallis (founder of Sojourners) is one who picked up on Bethke’s video. In an article on Wallis’ blog, it states:
“Bethke’s work challenges his listeners to second guess their preconceived notions about what it means to be a Christian. He challenges us to turn away from the superficial trappings of “religion,” and instead lead a missional life in Christ.”
Back when we wrote that article, we went pretty easy on Bethke, almost giving him the benefit of the doubt. But Bethke’s new book, Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough (Thomas Nelson, 2013) presents Bethke’s views more clearly. For one, he has a recommended reading list at the back of the book that contains a number of contemplative and emerging advocates such as Mark Driscoll, Brennan Manning, John Piper, Timothy Keller, Brother Lawrence, and John Ortberg. Also on the list are emerging “progressives” like Andy Stanley and N.T. Wright (a figure touted by the emerging church extensively). On a website, Bethke is quoted as saying that Wright is one of his “heroes.”
Interestingly, one of the books Bethke recommends is Beth Moore’s When Godly People Do Ungodly Things. That book is Moore’s declarative statement promoting Brennan Manning, saying that his contribution to “our generation of believers may be a gift without parallel” (p. 72) and that his book Ragamuffin Gospel is “one of the most remarkable books” (p. 290) she has ever read (Bethke obviously thinks so too – Ragamuffin Gospel is one of his recommended books too). But in the back of Ragamuffin Gospel, Manning makes reference to panentheist mystic Basil Pennington saying that Pennington’s methods will provide us with “a way of praying that leads to a deep living relationship with God.” However, Pennington’s methods of prayer draw from Eastern religions as you can see by this statement by Pennington:
We should not hesitate to take the fruit of the age-old wisdom of the East and “capture” it for Christ. Indeed, those of us who are in ministry should make the necessary effort to acquaint ourselves with as many of these Eastern techniques as possible. Many Christians who take their prayer life seriously have been greatly helped by Yoga, Zen, TM and similar practices. (from A Time of Departing, 2nd ed., p.64)
Manning also cites Carl Jung in Ragamuffin Gospel as well as interspiritualists and contemplatives, Anthony De Mello, Marcus Borg (who denies the virgin birth and deity of Christ), Morton Kelsey, Gerald May, Henri Nouwen, Alan Jones (who calls the atonement vile), Eugene Peterson, and Sue Monk Kidd (who says God is in everything, even human waste and believes in the goddess who offers us the “holiness of everything”). All of these names in Ragamuffin Gospel. It is more than safe to assume that both Moore and Bethke have read (and resonate with) Ragamuffin Gospel. And we know from years of research that Manning was trying to set up the church to become what Karl Rahner “prophesied”: “The Christian of the future will be a mystic or he or she will not exist at all.”
We were surprised to see the name Bede Griffith in Bethke’s new book in the endnote section (p. 208). He didn’t necessarily reference him favorably (or unfavorably, for that matter) but the fact that someone like Griffith would be benignly mentioned in a “Jesus” loving book is hard to ignore. The Catholic monk and mystic Bede Griffith, like Thomas Merton, “explored ways in which Eastern religions could deepen his prayer.” (Credence Cassettes, Winter/Lent 1985 Catalog, p. 14, cited in ATOD) Griffith also saw the “growing importance of Eastern religions . . . bringing the church to a new vitality.”(Ibid.) Griffith’s autobiography, The Golden String, expresses his belief that God (the golden string) flows through all things (panentheism).
In reading Bethke’s book, one can see that Mark Driscoll may have rubbed off on him. And one of Bethke’s recommended books is Driscoll’s Vintage Jesus. We wrote a little about that book a number of years ago; we even contacted the late Chuck Smith (founder of Calvary Chapel) and warned him about Driscoll’s book because some Calvary Chapel pastors were trying to bring it in to CC; in Vintage Jesus, Driscoll calls homeschooling “dumb,” mocks the rapture and Armageddon, and says Christians are “little Christs.” Bethke echoes Driscoll’s distain, like in his chapter titled “Religion Points to a Dim Future/Jesus Points to a Bright Future.” He puts down the kind of believers who see a dismal future for earth (according to Scripture) and says things like:
“God actually cares about the earth, but we seem to think it’s going to burn. God actually cares about creating good art, but we seem to think it’s reserved for salvation messages.” (Kindle Locations 2107-2109, Thomas Nelson).
And just to prove that when Bethke says “religion,” he means biblical Christianity, what other religion is there that “points to a dim future” for planet earth and its inhabitants? Biblical Christianity is the only one that says that the world is heading for judgement because of man’s rebellion against God and because of God’s plan to destroy the devil and his minions. Jesus does point to a “bright future,” but the Bible is very clear that this will not come before He returns; rather He promises a blessed eternal life to “whosoever” believeth on Him. The Jesus Christ of the Bible did not promise a bright future for those who reject Him (and even says that the road to destruction is broad – Matthew 7:13); in fact, Scripture says Jesus Himself was a man of sorrows rejected and despised (Isaiah 53:3). He knew what awaited Him, and He knew what was in the heart of man. But across the board, emergents reject such a message of doom and teach that the kingdom of God will be established as humanity realizes its oneness and its divinity. And they will accomplish this through meditation. In Brennan Manning’s book The Signature of Jesus, he said that “the first step in faith is to stop thinking about God at the time of prayer” (p. 212). Then the next step, he says, is to choose a sacred word and “repeat the sacred word [or phrase] inwardly, slowly, and often” (p. 218).
Bethke’s book goes after the usual suspects. For instance, he belittles street preachers sharing the Gospel in his chapter called “Fundies, Fakes, and Other So-Called Christians.” He says:
Whenever I walk by the street preachers, I laugh under my breath, picturing just how uncomfortable they are going to be in heaven when everyone else is partying it up. (p. 43)
Many of those street preachers are the ones responsible for untold numbers ending up in heaven and “partying it up.” It is faithful preachers and evangelists of the Gospel who have tirelessly cried out repent and be saved that will be the reason why some make it to heaven. But it is very typical for emergents to mock and condemn such evangelistic efforts. And if they are reading Ragamuffin Gospel, it’s no wonder they have a strong aversion to evangelism and a call to repentance. For example, in Ragamuffin Gospel, Manning says that God understands a woman having to become a prostitute in order to support her two- year old son, and He will not condemn her. So, in other words, it really doesn’t matter what we do, as long as we have a good reason for doing it. A relaxed view of sin and a harsh view of evangelism go hand in hand in the emerging church.
And like just about every other emergent-type book, Bethke’s gives a good scolding to Christians who reject our present society’s embracing of homosexuality. He says he believes homosexuality is not God’s perfect plan for man, but can’t we all just have meaningful conversations and get along with each other and stop talking about homosexuality? (pp. 63-69) He actually compares the apostle Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” to being “gay” (p. 69)!
Bethke’s book reminds us somewhat of Mike Erre’s book Death by Church or Dan Kimball’s book, They Like Jesus But Not the Church in the scorning way it portrays conservative Bible-believing Christians and in the way it twists and manipulates Scriptures and biblical ideas, equating them with sinister and evil actions. Like this quote from Bethke:
When people come to us in the midst of their pain, how dare we flippantly quote some Bible verses as if that alone would help? How dare we think we can just send them some balloons? How dare we overspiritualize or be like the mom who told her daughter the rape was her fault? (p. 125)
What he just did there was equate sharing Bible verses with a hurting person to a mom telling her daughter it was her fault she got raped. This constant barrage of attack against biblical Christianity never seems to relent. Remember when Brennan Manning and J.P. Moreland1 used the term “bibliolatry” to say that Christians who put too much focus on the Bible are committing idolatry. And remember when Rick Warren twisted Scripture to tell his readers (in The Purpose Driven Life) that those who think too much about Bible prophecy and the Lord’s return were “not fit for the kingdom of God.”2 We could give example after example of this attack on believers in Christian faith by those who profess to be Christian from one side of their mouth but seek to destroy it from the other side. Erwin McManus is another example: He said that it was his “goal to destroy Christianity”:
My goal is to destroy Christianity as a world religion and be a recatalyst for the movement of Jesus Christ. . . . Some people are upset with me because it sounds like I’m anti-Christian. I think they might be right.3
And on and on it goes. Christians who adhere to biblical beliefs are being beat down and made to look like there is something really wrong with them and they better get with the program.
It’s interesting that in Bethke’s new book, he quotes Rob Bell talking about “the cross” (p. 125). Interesting because Rob Bell doesn’t believe in the biblical atonement through the Cross. He believes that everyone is going to be saved regardless of their acceptance or rejection of the Cross. So it seems like a strange choice from Bethke; his book just came out this year – surely he has heard of Rob Bell’s beliefs on hell and salvation.
The “new” Christianity that is being propagated by Bethke, Bell, and countless other voices is not going away. Rather, it is helping to bring about strong delusion and a great falling away. Millions of young people, both Christian and non-Christian, are listening to these voices and following the beat of this drum. They are throwing out the faith of their youth and exchanging it for a “new” spirituality that will produce within them a mindset that rejects the message of the Cross. Not only are there political quests being achieved through the indoctrination of these young people, but these young followers are becoming convinced that a socialistic religion-killing society is the only solution for man. (Remember, Karl Marx said, “religion is the opiate of the masses” and John Lennon of The Beatles said, imagine no religion). And, tragically, the masses will continue to race down a broad road to deception through the multitude of false teachers.
Let us remember that before Jesus departed to heaven He commissioned His followers to proclaim the Gospel. The proclamation of the Cross is God’s hope for mankind.The Word of God has been likened to a blacksmith’s anvil; though many a hammer may be broken over the years pounding on that anvil, the anvil will hold its strength and integrity. It is ironic that emergents find comfort in attacking the Gospel and Bible-believing Christians. They say they love Jesus instead. What makes this so very ironic is that the apostle John is referred to in Scripture as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 21:20). Perhaps it would do emergents good to listen to some of the things John had to say – as it seems like his first epistle was written especially for them. Addressing the idea of loving Jesus (or God) but hating Christianity, John had this to say:
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. (1 John 4: 20-21)
Now, if we look at the context of the chapter from which these verses were taken, it becomes evident that John is writing about solid doctrinal Christianity. And he is saying that when we hate and reject these things, and the people who adhere to them, we are hating and rejecting God. When they say they love Jesus but hate the church (i.e., Christianity), they aren’t talking about hating buildings; they are talking about hating people. As for the teaching of the Cross, John makes it exceptionally clear in this epistle that “he is the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:2):
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:9-10)
When we talk about love, we should really be talking about the Cross as this was and is God’s ultimate expression of His love toward us that makes it possible to spend eternity with Him when we receive this gift of love, by faith.
As we look into John’s life more carefully, it becomes apparent that he was not like an emergent at all. While the emergent figures of today seek to be hip and popular and mimic what each other has to say, John stood for the truth regardless of what the masses were saying or wanted to hear. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs records that even though he was the only apostle to escape a violent death, he was cast into a cauldron of boiling oil. And though he escaped miraculously, he was afterward banished to the Isle of Patmos (p. 27, LT edition).
If you are a young person reading this, remember that popularity in the world’s eyes is not a sign of being in God’s favor but is rather an indicator that something may be wrong (see 1 John 4: 5-6). Nor does partying with friends, even if they call themselves lovers of Jesus, offer assurance of eternal life. No, it is through the Cross alone that the offer of eternal life has been extended. And that is the truth!
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
I thought you might want to know that Rick Warren is going to co-preach the Keynote Address with a priest for Pope Francis’ visit in September 2015. Here is the link to the documentation on that meeting: http://www.worldmeeting2015.org/about-the-event/adult-congress-sessions-thursday-friday/
Thank you for continuing to warn about Rick Warren’s ecumenism, particularly with his joining hands with the current Pope and Catholicism. Thank you for informing your readers that on Nov.19, 2014, “a delegation of Catholic bishops sought ‘wisdom’ from Saddleback on how to use Purpose-Driven methods to propagate their ‘new evangelization,’ which is really no true biblical evangelization at all!” (See link: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=16405).
In your Nov.19, 2014 blog post, it asked: “Did Rick Warren play a role in getting the Pope to the US, and will Rick Warren play a role in the Pope’s visit to the US. in 2015?”
The answer apparently is: “Yes!” as to whether Rick Warren is going to play a role in the Pope’s visit to the U.S. in September 2015.
Also in your same Nov.2014 blog post, it said that earlier in 2014, a “delegation of Catholic bishops visited Rick Warren and Saddleback to gain some ‘wisdom’ on how to accelerate the Catholic New Evangelization program using Purpose Driven methods.” That same blog also stated: “Perhaps the Pope will make a stop at Saddleback”…
Considering how most hyper-charismatics and heretical groups seem to be convinced a “global revival” will start in California, maybe the Pope might just stop by Saddleback . . . Perhaps a Papal visit to California might deceive more Christians into jumping on the spiritual bandwagon of this “revival” that supposedly will begin in California, as Bethel Church, Jesus Culture, the Sacramento pastors, etc. all have been pushing this false, ecumenical revival idea for quite a while already…
Be Still and Know That You are Not God!—God is Not “in” Everyone and Everything by Warren B. Smith is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract. The Booklet Tract is 16 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklet Tracts are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Be Still and Know That You are Not God!—God is Not “in” Everyone and Everything,” click here.
Be Still and Know That You are Not God!—God is Not “in” Everyone and Everything
Our Spiritual Adversary would have everyone believe that we are all “one” because God is “in” everyone and everything. Using every promotional means possible—including a creative and ingenious perversion of quantum physics—he is attempting to convince the world and the church that while Jesus was Christ, so is everyone. And while Jesus was God, so is everyone else. To underscore this heretical New Age doctrine of God and Christ “in” everyone, he would have us further believe that nothing of any significance happened on the Cross of Calvary. However, the Bible makes it very clear that something extremely wonderful and overwhelmingly significant did happen on the Cross of Calvary. For it was on that Cross that Jesus Christ died to save the world as He defeated sin (1 John 2:2), death (2 Timothy 1:10), and the Devil himself (Hebrews 2:14). As the one and only Christ, He is our Rock (1 Corinthians 10:1-4), He is our Foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11), and in every sense of the word He is the Saviour of the world (1 John 4:14).
Christ Our Savior
The apostle Paul proclaimed that all he needed to know was Christ and Christ crucified:
For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:2)
Yet Paul also said we should not be “ignorant” of Satan’s “devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11).
Paul further stated it is “a shame” we have to talk about “the unfruitful works of darkness,” but we must “reprove” them—expose them—by bringing them into the “light”:
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. (Ephesians 5:11-13)
At the same time, Paul reminds us that there is a “simplicity” in Christ:
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3)
Just as there is a “simplicity” in Christ, there is a simplicity in the deception. Satan’s deceptive scenario presents a false “God” and a false “Christ” who are allegedly “in” everyone and everything—thus providing the false foundation of a false one-world religion.
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (Matthew 24:4-5)
For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. (2 Corinthians 11:4)
But what if the true foundations are destroyed by a New Worldview that presents itself as a New Spirituality for a New Age?
If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3)
For biblical Christians, the true foundations can never be destroyed because we have “a sure foundation”:
Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. (Isaiah 28:16)
And that foundation is our Rock—Jesus Christ:
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:11)
Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:1-4)
While many in this world build upon foundations that crumble, we, as believers in Christ, have built upon a foundation that will never falter:
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. (Luke 6:46-48)
These other foundations bring ruin:
But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great. (Luke 6:49)
“Oneness” is the foundational lie of the New Age/New Spirituality. New Age leader Neale Donald Walsch claims to have had literal “conversations” with “God.” He says God told him that “Oneness”—“God” in everyone and everything—is the “Foundational Truth” of a New Spirituality that can save the world. In regards to this “immanent,” “panentheistic,” and heretical worldview, Walsch writes:
[W]e see God in everyone and everything. Including our divine selves.1
Oneness is the message.2
It is the Foundational Truth of the New Spirituality.3
The following chronologically selected quotes are just some of the many ways this false foundational principle of “Oneness”—God “in” everything—has gradually worked its way into the world—and into the church—over the last sixty to seventy years.
The God “in” Everything Lie Through the Years
(1935) The Two Listeners in God Calling—Two anonymous English women claimed to receive special messages from “The Living Christ” in the 1930s. Their messages were first released in 1935 and were later turned into a best-selling book that is still popular today. Their “Christ” delivered new revelation that included the new “truth” that God is “in” everyone:
Wherever the soul is, I am. Man has rarely understood this. I am actually at the centre of every man’s being.4
I see as no man can see the God in you.5
(1948) Alice Bailey in The Reappearance of the Christ—New Age matriarch Alice Bailey and her spirit guide Djwhal Khul describe how the path to God will be based on an “immanent” God that is “within every form of life”:
. . . a fresh orientation to divinity and to the acceptance of the fact of God Transcendent and of God Immanent within every form of life. These are the foundational truths upon which the world religion of the future will rest.6
(1952) Norman Vincent Peale in The Power of Positive Thinking—In his mega best-selling book, Peale teaches the foundational belief of the New Age/New Spirituality that God is “in” everyone. On page 40, Peale tells his millions of readers:
God is in you.7
(1971) Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in Christianity and Evolution—Teilhard de Chardin, the “Father” of the New Age Movement and frequently quoted by undiscerning Christian leaders, wrote:
I can be saved only by becoming one with the universe.8
What I am proposing to do is to narrow the gap between Pantheism and Christianity by bringing out what one might call the Christian soul of pantheism or the pantheistic aspect of Christianity.9
(1975) The Channeled “Jesus” in A Course in Miracles—Oprah Winfrey stated that the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles—allegedly new revelation from Jesus Christ—could “change the world.” The Course’s “Jesus” teaches that “God” is in everyone and everything—therefore all is “one”:
The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself.10
The oneness of the Creator and the creation is your wholeness, your sanity and your limitless power.11
(1978) M. Scott Peck in The Road Less Traveled—The late mystical, pre-emergent, best-selling author and professing “Christian” wrote:
If you want to know the closest place to look for grace, it is within yourself. If you desire wisdom greater than your own, you can find it inside you. To put it plainly, our unconscious is God. God within us. We were part of God all the time.12
(1980) Marilyn Ferguson in The Aquarian Conspiracy—The late New Age author wrote that God was within everyone and everything. God was described as the universal “ground of being.” What heretofore had been perceived as heresy—the “immanent” notion of God “in” everything—was presented by Ferguson as new truth. She introduced this as “a great heretical idea”13 that could save mankind:
GOD WITHIN: THE OLDEST SPIRITUAL HERESY—In the emergent spiritual tradition God is not the personage of our Sunday-school mentality. God is experienced as flow, wholeness . . . the ground of being.14
(1980) Maitreya in Messages from Maitreya the Christ—On page 88 in this channeled New Age book, false New Age Christ Maitreya states he is the Christ and is already here on earth waiting for humanity to call him forth. He teaches that “God” is “within” every person:
My friends. God is nearer to you than you can imagine. God is yourself. God is within you and all around you.15
(1980) Benjamin Creme in The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom—New Age channeler Benjamin Creme—still speaking today on behalf of Maitreya—states on page 88 of his book that the New-World Religion will be based on the proposition that “Christ” is “immanent”—“in man and all creation”:
But eventually a new world religion will be inaugurated which will be a fusion and synthesis of the approach of the East and the approach of the West. The Christ will bring together, not simply Christianity and Buddhism, but the concept of God transcendent—outside of His creation—and also the concept of God immanent in all creation—in man and all creation.16
(1983) Shirley MacLaine in Out on a Limb—Using her celebrity status, MacLaine was one of the first people to bring occult/New Age teachings out of the closet into mainstream society. In her best-selling book Out on a Limb, she and her friend David converse about the idea that everyone is God:
“The simple truth,” he said, “of knowing yourself. And to know yourself is to know God.”
“You mean that is the Big Truth?”
“That’s it. The point, Shirley, is that it is simple.”17
(1987) The Oprah Winfrey Show—On a September 18, 1987 program titled “The New Age Movement,” Winfrey praised New Age minister Eric Butterworth’s book Discover the Power Within You. This New Age book mentions the divinity of man over one hundred times in its pages. On this particular Oprah program about the New Age Movement, Winfrey used Butterworth to present her own New Age belief in the divinity of man. She stated:
One of the most important books I think I’ve read in my life was a book by Eric Butterworth. . . . Discover the Power Within You. And what Eric Butterworth said in that book is that Jesus didn’t come to teach us how divine he was, but came to teach that there is divinity within us.18
(1991) David Spangler in Reimagination of the World—Pioneering New Age leader David Spangler introduced the idea of “God within” as a “universal presence” and as the “ground of all being.” He wrote:
There is nothing new about saying “I am God.” . . . However, in the Judeo-Christian-Moslem world, God is usually not popularly understood as a universal presence, the ground of all being.19
(1991) Leonard Sweet in Quantum Spirituality—Sweet, like other New Age sympathizers in the emergent church, tries to use quantum physics to demonstrate that God is “in” everything. He makes his quantum meaning clear when he introduces the “radical” and heretical “God within” doctrine by stating that God is embodied in the “substance of creation.”
Quantum Spirituality bonds us to all creation as well as to other members of the human family. . . . This entails a radical doctrine of embodiment of God in the very substance of creation.20
(1992) Betty Eadie in Embraced by the Light—Mormon/New Age author Betty Eadie’s best-selling book was extremely popular with countless undiscerning Christian readers. In describing a part of her alleged near-death experience, she writes:
I felt God in the plant, in me, his love pouring into us. We were all one.21
(1992) Sue Monk Kidd in The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman’s Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine—Kidd, a former Southern Baptist Sunday School teacher and now a best-selling New Age mystic, falsely teaches the “immanence” of “God” in everything:
Restoring the feminine symbol of Deity means that divinity will no longer be only heavenly, other, out there, up there, beyond time and space, beyond body and death. It will also be right here, right now, in me, in the earth, in this river and this rock, in excrement and roses alike.22
(1992) New Age Journal Editors in As Above, So Below—In this New Age book written by the editors of the New Age Journal, the authors discuss “transcendence” and “immanence” in regard to “oneness” and the idea of God being “in” everyone:
Thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt, the great master alchemist Hermes Trismegistus, believed to be a contemporary of the Hebrew prophet Abraham, proclaimed this fundamental truth about the universe: “As above, so below: as below, so above.” This maxim implies that the transcendent God beyond the physical universe and the immanent God within ourselves are one. Heaven and Earth, spirit and matter, the invisible and the visible worlds form a unity to which we are intimately linked.23
(1993) Eugene Peterson in The Message—Eugene Peterson not only uses the occult phrase “as above, so below,” but he puts these New Age words in the mouth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Instead of “in earth as it is in heaven,” Peterson has Jesus proclaiming this mystical, magical, New Age phrase right in the middle of the Lord’s Prayer. Also, in his Message “translation” of Ephesians 4:6, after erroneously translating that God is “present in all,” he introduces “Oneness”:
You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.24
(1993) Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen in Chicken Soup for the Soul—On page 69 of the very first Chicken Soup for the Soul book, in his personally penned story titled “The Golden Buddha,” New Age author/leader Jack Canfield writes:
. . . underneath each of us is a “golden Buddha,” a “golden Christ” or “a golden essence,” which is our real self.25
(1994) Catechism of the Catholic Church—The 1994 Catechism is the official source for Roman Catholic doctrine. The following quotes are taken straight from the Catechism:
Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself. Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God’s grace toward us? Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ. (#795)26
For the Son of God became man so that we might become God. (#460)27
The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods. (#460)28
(1996) Neale Donald Walsch in Conversations with God: Book 1—The New Age “God,” speaking through Walsch, tells everyone:
You are already a God. You simply don’t know it.29
(1997) Henri Nouwen in Here and Now—Henri Nouwen, the late Catholic mystic, is frequently quoted by undiscerning pastors and Christian leaders. In his book, Here and Now, Nouwen writes:
The God who dwells in our inner sanctuary is also the God who dwells in the inner sanctuary of every human being.30
(1999) Leonard Sweet in SoulTsunami—With a front cover endorsement by Rick Warren, New Age sympathizer/church figure Leonard Sweet introduces the New Age concept of “immanence” after suggesting that Christians “learn to speak out of both sides of the mouth”:
To survive in the postmodern culture, one has to learn to speak out of both sides of the mouth . . . Biblical theological is not circular with a fixed center, but elliptical, revolving around the double foci of God’s immanence and God’s transcendence.31
(2002) Rick Warren in The Purpose-Driven Life—On page 88 of The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren quotes Ephesians 4:6 from a New Century Bible translation, which erroneously states that God is “in” everything:
Because God is with you all the time, no place is any closer to God than the place where you are right now. The Bible says, “He rules everything and is everywhere and is in everything.”32
(2003) Robert Schuller in an Hour of Power Sermon—On November 9, 2003, using the same overlapping New Age term of “immanence,” Robert Schuller told his international television audience that God was an “immanent God” because he was “in every single human being”:
The immanence of God means here, in me, around me, in society, in the world, this God here, in the humanities, in the science, in the arts, sociology, in politics—the immanence of God. . . . Yes, God is alive and he is in every single human being.33
(2003) Tom Holliday and Kay Warren in their Saddleback Church Foundations Participants Guide—Invoking the same overlapping concept of “immanence,” the Foundations Participants Guide states:
The fact that God stands above and beyond his creation does not mean he stands outside his creation. He is both transcendent (above and beyond his creation) and immanent (within and throughout his creation).34
(2004) Sarah Young in Jesus Calling—The July 8th message on page 199 that Sarah Young says she received from “Jesus” states that He is “in” everything:
I am above all as well as in all.35
(2006) Rhonda Byrne in The Secret—This New Age author prominently features the occult/New Age phrase “as above, so below” at the front of her book. On page 164, she later defines what she means by the term:
You are God in a physical body.36
(2006) What the Bleep Do We Know!?—This popular New Age movie featured in theaters across the country, tried to use quantum physics to convince people that God is “in” everyone and everything. New Age channeler J.Z. Knight appears in the film and channels an ancient “spirit guide” named Ramtha. This spirit guide proclaims that quantum physics proves that we are all “God.”
We have the epitome of a great science . . . quantum physics . . . Everyone is God.37
(2006) Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love—In this best-selling New Age book, Gilbert frequently references the idea that God is “in” everyone:
God dwells within you as yourself, exactly the way you are. . . . To know God, you need only to renounce one thing—your sense of division from God.38
(2007) William Paul Young in The Shack—Like many New Age proponents, author Paul Young uses the term ground of being. In this book that was enthusiastically read by millions of Christians, Young’s “Jesus” uses the phrase to underline his heretical statement that God is “in all things”:
“God” who is the ground of all being, dwells in, around, and through all things.”39
(2011) Glenn Beck in The Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life—Mormon author and radio personality Glenn Beck openly acknowledges his New Age sympathies in this book. He writes:
If God is everything and everywhere and inside everyone, then I figured He had to be inside me, too.40
I wasn’t here by accident. I was part of God’s plan and I had to respect that plan, or at least not resent it. I had to respect myself, as part of Him.41
My father’s granola-hippie-New Age spirituality (which I actually really agree with) . . .42
Scripture makes it clear that God is not an immanent/quantum/panentheistic force or “ground of all being” that interpenetrates His creation. Scripture exhorts believers to lay up “a good foundation”—the true Jesus Christ—for the challenging days ahead. It also warns us to beware of a false foundation that purports to be scientifically proven—like the quantum/New Age/New Spirituality. God is our creator, but He is not “quantum-ly” embedded in His creation. He is not “in” everyone and everything.
Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen. (1Timothy 6:19-21)
Scriptural References to Show God is Not “in” Man
Thou shalt have none other gods before me. (Deuteronomy 5:7)
Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. (Psalm 9:20)
. . . verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. (Psalm 39:5)
I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another. (Isaiah 42:8)
I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. (Isaiah 45:5-6)
Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods? (Jeremiah 16:20)
Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord God; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God. (Ezekiel 28:2)
I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city. (Hosea 11:9)
And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. (Matthew 23:12)
But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. (John 2:24-25)
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things . . . .Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. (Romans 1:21-23, 25)
And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men. (1 Corinthians 3:20-21)
. . . that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. (1 Corinthians 4:6)
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. (2 Corinthians 4:5)
It has been rightly said that God is God and we are not. However, tremendous pressure is being continually mounted to convince everyone there is a New Age/New Spirituality/New Worldview that can save the world from its present problems. We are being told that if we accept the new revelation that “we are all one” because “God is in everyone and everything” then world peace can happen. But we know from Scripture that a false Christ—Antichrist—“shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice” and “by peace shall destroy many” (Daniel 8:25). The Bible warns that what will appear to be a wonderful “peace and safety” will suddenly turn into terrible “destruction” (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
Universal “oneness”—God “in” everyone and everything—is obviously a broad way. The true Christ—Jesus Christ—warns that “broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction” (Matthew 7:13). He also warns that “narrow is the way that leadeth to life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14). He later states there will come a time when Satan, working through Antichrist, will deceive “the whole world” (Revelation 12:9). Jesus explained that “because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:12).
Describing the coming apostasy, the apostle Paul said that people “received not the love of the truth that they might be saved” and “believed not the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12). Thus, with “itching ears,” humanity will “turn away their ears from the truth” as they turn toward things like a New Age/New Spirituality that teaches we are all “one” because God is “in” everyone and everything.
God is not impressed with deceptive devices like worldly “oneness” and neither should anyone who reads and believes the Bible. Genesis 11:6 records what the Lord has to say about worldly “oneness”:
Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
Scripture records that God was so displeased with their contrived “oneness” that He confounded their language and scattered them all over the face of the Earth (Genesis 11:7-8). Contrast this with Galatians 3:26-28 where the apostle Paul says to those who are actual believers, “Ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” He does not say that Christ is “in” everyone. Rather, He says that everyone who believes in Christ is “one” in Christ. In Ephesians 4:6, Paul tells believers at the church in Ephesus and the “faithful in Christ Jesus” that God is in “you all” solely by virtue of their belief. God does not naturally reside in everyone and everything. Thus, there is a big difference between the mistaken notion of universal worldly “oneness” and believers who become “one” in Christ through their belief in the true Jesus Christ.
Acts 17:26 affirms that all of humanity is “one blood” because we come from an original set of parents—Adam and Eve. But “that which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). That is why Jesus said—“Ye must be born again” (John 3:7). It is only after conversion to the true Jesus Christ that the Holy Spirit is sent to believers. As a result of that commitment and conversion, it can be said that God is now “in” those believers. But those believers are not God. And most certainly, God is not “in” everyone and everything. Years ago, people claiming to be God were considered delusional. The way things are going, it may not be long before those who deny they are God will be the ones who are considered to be delusional.
It has been said that when a big lie is told often enough and convincingly enough over time, it will eventually be perceived as truth. Because most Christians are not contending for the faith, the big lie that “God is in everyone and everything” is fast becoming the new spiritual norm. Consequently, it is easy to see how evil may soon rule the world—just as the Bible said it would one day. And the way things are going it may be sooner than most people would ever imagine.
So may God have mercy on us all as we race with ever increasing speed toward this inevitable prophesied conclusion. Ironically, in humanity’s effort to avoid this, they actually bring it on with “new truths” that are no truths at all—like God “in” everyone and everything. In the meantime, we rest in our relationship with the Lord, knowing that these things must come to pass at such a time as this.
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ and shall deceive many. (Matthew 24:3-5)
To order copies of Be Still and Know That You are Not God!—God is Not “in” Everyone and Everything,” click here.
1. Neale Donald Walsch, Happier than God: Turn Ordinary Life into an Extraordinary Experience (Ashland, OR: Emnin Books, 2008), p. 207.
2. Neale Donald Walsch, Tomorrow’s God: Our Greatest Spiritual Challenge (New York, NY: Atria Books, 2004), p. 167.
3. Ibid., p. 167.
4. Two Listeners, Edited by A. J. Russell, God Calling (Grand Rapids, MI: A Spire Book published by Jove Publications Inc., for Fleming H. Revell, 2005), p. 55.
5. Ibid., p. 88.
6. Alice A, Bailey, The Reappearance of the Christ (New York, NY: Lucis Publishing Company, Lucis Press, Ltd., 1948), 1996, p. 150.
7. Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking (New York, NY, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Sixteenth Printing, 1955), p. 40.
8. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Christianity and Evolution (New York, NY, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1971), p. 128.
9. Ibid., p. 56.
10. A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume (Glen Ellen, California: Foundation for Inner Peace, 1975), (Text), p. 147.
11. Ibid., p. 125.
12. M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1978), p. 281.
13. Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy: Personal and Social Transformation in the 1970s (Los Angeles, CA: J.P. Tarcher, Inc., 1980), p. 27.
14. Ibid., p. 382.
15. Messages from Maitreya the Christ: One Hundred Forty Messages (Los Angeles, CA: Share International Foundation, 1980), p. 88.
16. Benjamin Creme, The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom (London, England; The Tara Press, 1980), p. 88.
17. Shirley MacLaine, Out on a Limb (New York, NY: Bantam Books, 1983), p. 317.
18. The Oprah Winfrey Show # W265, “The New Age Movement,” Air Date: September 18, 1987.
19. David Spangler and William Irwin Thompson, Reimagination of the World: A Critique of the New Age, Science, and Popular Culture (Santa Fe, NM: Bear & Company Publishing, 1991), p. 148.
20. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality: A Postmodern Apologetic (Dayton, OH: Whaleprints for SpiritVenture Ministries, Inc., 1991, 1994), p. 125.
21. Betty J. Eadie, Embraced by the Light (Placerville, CA: Gold Leaf Press, 1992), p. 81.
22. Sue Monk Kidd, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman’s Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine (New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers Inc.,1992), p. 160.
23. Ronald S. Miller and the Editors of New Age Journal, As Above, So Below: Paths to Spiritual Renewal in Daily Life (Los Angeles, CA: Jeremy P. Tarcher Inc., 1992), p. xi.
24. Eugene Peterson, The Message: The New Testament in Contemporary Language (Colorado Springs, Colorado: Nav Press, 1993, 2003), p. 21-22.
25. Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit (Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc., 1993), p. 69.
26. Catechism of the Catholic Church (New York, NY: Doubleday, 1995), p. 228.
27. Ibid., p. 129.
29. Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God an uncommon dialogue Book 1 (New York: NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, Hardcover Edition, 1996), p. 202.
30. Henri Nouwen, Here and Now (New York, NY: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1997 edition), p. 22.
31. Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami: Sink or Swim in the New Millennium Culture (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1999), p. 28.
32. Rick Warren, The Purpose-Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here For? (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2002), p. 88.
33. Hour of Power, Robert H. Schuller, Program # 1762, “God’s Word: Rebuild, Renew, Restore,” November 9, 2003, (http://www.hourofpower.org/bookletdetail.cfm?ArticleID=2107), p. 5.
34. Tom Holliday and Kay Warren, Foundations Participant’s Guide: 11 Core Truths To Build Your Life On (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2003), p. 46.
35. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2004), p. 199.
36. Rhonda Byrne, The Secret (New York, NY: Atria Books, 2006), p. 164.
37. What the Bleep Do We know!? (20th Century Fox, 2004, http://www.whatthebleep.com) transcribed by author.
38. Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia (New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2006), p. 192.
39. William P. Young, The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity (Newbury Park, CA: Windblown Media, 2007), p. 112.
40. Glenn Beck and Dr. Keith Ablow, The Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life (New York, NY: Threshold Editions-Mercury Radio Arts, A division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2011) p. 58.
42. Ibid., p. 24.
To order copies of Be Still and Know That You are Not God!—God is Not “in” Everyone and Everything,” click here.