Cultural Collapse in America – Christian Leaders Partly to Blame for Abandoning the Gospel

From 2010: The following are excerpts from a June 2010 interview between VCY America Ingrid Schlueter and Herescope author and researcher Sarah Leslie
(used with permission). Please refer to our article “CrossTalk on WorldNetDaily Article – Challenge to Dominionist Leaders – The Gospel Should Come First! where you can also listen to the full interview.”

INGRID: I want to say this. We have a group of leaders who are horrified with the moral collapse in this country. I am horrified with the cultural collapse in this country. We have a problem in identifying and discerning why our culture is collapsing. What we are seeing around us is not fruit of Christians not caring. It’s fruit of Christians abandoning the gospel. And if we’re not going to define the gospel along biblical terms, and we’re going to allow false teachers in among us, and we’re going to link arms with said false teachers, and we’re going to work with them who are preaching another gospel, who are teaching lies, if we’re going to link arms with them to save the culture, we are not only engaged in a futile effort, but God is going to, in turn, judge that conduct. Because judgment, Scripture tells us, begins at the house of God. (quote by Ingrid Schlueter in radio interview last week with Sarah Leslie (Discernment Ministries)) .

INGRID: Janet [Porter’s] piece accuses Discernment Ministries of being cultural Nazis who could care less about the dying children, about gay marriage, about our country’s cultural collapse. And we were just pointing out before the break that Sarah Leslie of Discernment Ministries, the quote—slanderer—according to Janet Porter, has been very active in the pro-life movement, head of the Iowa Right to Life in the ‘80s. And knows firsthand the cost that it is to stand for human life. God redirected her ministry and she is a part of [Jewel Grewe’s] Discernment Ministries which carries all kinds of articles at Herescope about some of these trends, the Emergent church, the mysticism that’s coming into the church. Oh, there’s so many things and they take the time to carefully footnote each and every piece. Sarah has a Master’s degree. She is a good scholar. She’s faithful to write things in a careful manner, so for her to be labeled a slander site [and a cultural Nazi] is somewhat jaw-dropping and heartbreaking to see.” Sarah, we were just—let’s go back to what you were saying earlier. You understand the culture wars firsthand.

SARAH LESLIE: I do. I was in them. I was a home school leader during the decade of the ‘90s. And actually our family’s testimony is posted on the internet. If you google my name, Sarah Leslie with the words home schooling under fire, you’ll probably come up with Berit Kjos’ website Crossroad.to and home schooling under fire is the story of our family’s persecution and how our home became ground zero for the home school activism in Iowa during an extremely dangerous and turbulent time. So, I think I cut my teeth on the Christian Right activism in this country. But I part company with Janet Porter and where she’s going. And that’s a very serious thing.

INGRID: It is indeed. And let’s revisit. I want to go back for those that missed the New Apostolic Reformation program. Dominionism was the concern. There are people who have a very different viewpoint, a very different spiritual agenda. However, they use the same terminology, the same language and familiar themes and cadences in their speech, but they believe something very wrong….

But first of all, the NAR, give us a thumbnail. Tell us about their teachings how God lost control of Planet Earth in the Garden of Eden and how we have to wrestle it back from the demons and all that.

SARAH: Well, the New Apostolic Reformation is a term that was coined by C. Peter Wagner back in the 1990s. And it has to do with an emerging group of men who see themselves as apostles and prophets with a capital A and a capital P like unto Old Testament prophets and New Testament apostles who will rule the world. And they have a—They’ve been around for a long time. They’ve been writing doctrines for a long time. And I really mean it. They are actually concocting doctrines. But their teaching is basically that we, as the church, are to build the kingdom of God here on earth. And they have given this the name in recent years of seven mountains, or seven spheres, or seven gates. They’ve got a bunch of different names for it. But the most prevalent is seven mountains. And this seven mountain teaching teaches that we can take over these spheres of society like family, government, economics, media, that type of thing.

So this is not just going and voting. This is saying, how can we take this over? . . . [T]hey teach that Jesus did not defeat Satan at the cross and that we need to go back and restore what was lost. We, the church, and we need to finish Jesus’ job. And we have to go restore paradise on earth and build this kingdom, quote, unquote. This is being done through all sorts of things. Especially they are using very sophisticated cultural, psychological and sociological tools, marketing tools even. They believe they can use anything at their disposal to do this.

And this is the same group, as you and I said on the earlier show, these group that is headed up by C. Peter Wagner*[see end of article], these apostles, is the same group that brought us the Toronto laughing quote unquote revival. It’s the group that brought us Todd Bentley in Lakeland, Florida….

“The sad fact is that great opportunities to present the message of the gospel of salvation are being lost. Precious time is being wasted on these esoteric prayer shenanigans, while those who need to hear the message of the cross are dying in their sins. Those who truly need to hear a message of repentance, salvation and hope aren’t being witnessed to. Discipleship isn’t happening. Rather, all of these prayer antics and hullabaloos, decrees, declarations, marches and meditations and covenants and manifestos are clogging up the works, taking up precious time and resources of the church and fooling people into thinking they’re doing something spiritual. It is a false gospel that preaches that the culture nation can be changed rather than focusing on the lost who will perish in hell if they do not repent.

INGRID: So there’s this shift in the air. And in fact, I want to make this point. Janet made the fatal mistake of linking to Herescope when it is our prayer that what the enemy meant for evil, God intends for good. Because a lot of people are going to learn things that they get to Herescope about how all of this is tying in with the emerging church. The NAR is merging with many of the teachers in the Emergent church and their teachings. Which really makes a lot of sense because mysticism is a key part of the emerging church teachings and it is also key, of course, here with all of the esoteric experiences, manifestations, signs, wonders promoted by the NAR. So that’s why we are so tremendously concerned.

INGRID READING FROM HERESCOPE ARTICLE“The sad fact is that great opportunities to present the message of the gospel of salvation are being lost. Precious time is being wasted on these esoteric prayer shenanigans, while those who need to hear the message of the cross are dying in their sins. Those who truly need to hear a message of repentance, salvation and hope aren’t being witnessed to. Discipleship isn’t happening. Rather, all of these prayer antics and hullabaloos, decrees, declarations, marches and meditations and covenants and manifestos are clogging up the works, taking up precious time and resources of the church and fooling people into thinking they’re doing something spiritual. It is a false gospel that preaches that the culture nation can be changed rather than focusing on the lost who will perish in hell if they do not repent.

“The message of Jesus is salvation. And this message is for the individual believer. It is only by ministering the Word and the preaching the message of the gospel of salvation of Christ’s atoning death for our sins on the cross that we will reach those who are perishing. And when the lost are truly saved and born again, their lives will change and this is when the miracles begin to happen and when the culture around them begins to be positively impacted by the salt and light of their changed lives.”

INGRID: And the verse is 1 John 4:5 and 6.  And I encourage people to read that. That’s the core issue.  And I want to say this. I want to say this, folks. Janet [Porter] has chosen to use name calling. Calling us cultural Nazis. Calling Discernment Ministries slanderers. I had Sarah on today because I want to publically stand with her and those who work at the Herescope blog and Discernment Ministries and thank them for the importance they have placed, the crucial importance they have placed on gospel integrity–the purity of the gospel message, untainted with other people’s agendas and false doctrines that they have concocted at their apostles’ meeting or barking like dogs and laughing and all of this foolishness. Seeking the sensation. Seeking the sign. Trying to get something new, something special, some great anointing, when God has told us, Christ gave us His commission to share the gospel with every creature and the culture will change.

We here at CrossTalk believe in alerting people to the facts going on around us, the news that means something to us. But we are under no illusions – what is going to change this country ultimately is the gospel and that is what distinguishes CrossTalk from a lot of other issue programs. And we’ve clearly made enemies because of that.  But it is the gospel first. The gospel over America, yes. We are a country that, like every nation on earth, rises up to greatness and then falls down into the dustbin of history. We are no different. And if we think that somehow America is special, we are, if we turn our backs on God, the same things in the Scripture that God promises will happen to countries that turn their backs on God, will happen to us. And what’s most important that we uphold the truth of Scripture. Churches have abandoned that.

I see Christians, literally bumping into each other, going opposite directions, and anathematizing each other and declaring this and that. We need to—Let’s look to the Lord and His Word which does not change. Let’s look there and there alone.

Sarah, I did a lot of talking and I have a lot of passion about this in my heart today. But I wanted to give you a chance before we go to the phones, to say anything. I don’t know if you had some point you wanted to make. I would just like to give you a chance.

SARAH: Oh, thank you. I think you just made my point for me. That’s the burden of my heart. You know, it’s not—I wish it was easy. If you could just go up and people change. You know, but we can’t make people change unless we want to coerce them. It’s got to be—We’ve got to be born again. We have to have that change in our heart. We have to come to the conviction. And the Word of God, the Bible is what teaches us and instructs us. I mean, I worked in the Right to Life movement. I saw, as people got born again, our phones would ring in the Right to Life office because these women would suddenly go, “Oh, my goodness. I aborted my baby!” And they would be grief stricken and suddenly they would have a conscience. And suddenly they would be convicted and they would be in tears. That’s what the cross does, is it changes lives from hardened people to soft hearts. I came out of the hippie movement. I was involved in the New Age. I was involved in that whole drug culture. And how did I get born again? It was somebody preaching the Word of God to me and it changed my heart.

And I am afraid that those like Janet Porter, who are looking at the symptoms of the problem and saying, “Let’s stop the symptoms. Stop the abortion. Stop that.” They are missing the heart of the problem. The heart of the problem is the church has abandoned the true preaching of the gospel and the forgiveness of sins found in Christ. We have turned our churches into circuses. If we want to see change in our country we’re going to have to begin with the preaching of the gospel. The change is only going to occur, as Herescope pointed out, when individual lives are changed and transformed by the living Christ. And no amount of coalescing with false teachers, no amount of coalescing with false teachers under the guise of changing, or with the premise of changing our culture is going to make a difference ultimately. It is vain. It is futile.  

 

INGRID: Nicholas Ridley [and] Hugh Latimer died in flames in England. Burned at the stake over the authority of Scripture. And we act like we can toss that doctrine aside, Scripture alone aside, and act like it no longer matters in our day and age because we’re going to save America. No, we’re not! If those martyrs died over issues like the authority of Scripture and the access to Scripture like the translator that was thrown into the river after being burned at the stake. The hatred, the satanic hatred poured out on that man. But we have our Bibles, our English Bibles today because of that man’s faithfulness. And how dare we, how dare we compromise on these issues and act like they don’t matter. And I will stand to Janet Porter frontally and I will stand there broken hearted that we have come to this in Christianity, that we have to oppose frontally these kind of people who say that sound doctrine no longer matters. Eternity hangs in the balance. We have no business minimizing these issues.

 * C. Peter Wagner was Rick Warren’s dissertation mentor in graduate school (see below – taken from Deception in the Church website)
Title: NEW CHURCHES FOR A NEW GENERATION: CHURCH PLANTING TO REACH BABY BOOMERS. A CASE STUDY: THE SADDLEBACK VALLEY COMMUNITY CHURCH (CALIFORNIA)
Author(s): WARREN, RICHARD DUANE
Degree: D.MIN.
Year: 1993
Pages: 00413
Institution: FULLER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, DOCTOR OF MINISTRY PROGRAM; 0790
Advisor: Mentor: C. PETER WAGNER
Source: DAI, 54, no. 03A, (1993): 0967
SUBJECT(S)
Descriptor: RELIGION, CLERGY
EDUCATION, RELIGIOUS
THEOLOGY
Accession No: AAG9320131
Database: Dissertations

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