By Paul Proctor
I walked through the doors of the First Baptist Church in the spring of 1995 after having been somewhat of a prodigal son for roughly 10 years. I had recently rededicated my life to Christ and wanted to once again be a part of a loving church family. As I entered and sat down to the joyful noise of a magnificent choir and orchestra praising God in song, my heart and soul were filled with wonder, excitement and great expectation. I was truly being prepared for worship.
When the preacher finished his sermon, I was spiritually refreshed and energized for the week ahead. His message had been clear, powerful, convicting, biblical and full of the Holy Spirit. Over time I grew to love this brother in Christ because of his faithfulness and passion for the gospel. After visiting the church for some months, I knew I had found a church home.
A couple years later, the pastor invited me to lunch at a nearby country club he frequented where he mentioned in passing his desire to eventually do away with the First Baptist Church name and simply call it “The People’s Church,” claiming “that’s what everyone called it anyway.” Still taken by the man’s persona, I smiled and nodded in approval as he told me of wanting to take the church in “a new direction,” away from the Southern Baptist stigma that he felt had somehow hindered us in the past and move on greater things. Unfortunately, he didn’t elaborate on what that “new direction” was, and I mistakenly assumed he meant toward a non-denominational identity.
In the coming weeks and months a new message began emanating from his pulpit not unlike what had been coming from, of all places, the presidential podium of Bill Clinton during the height of his scandals. A re-occurring theme of “tolerance, diversity and unity” seemed to permeate almost every sermon. It became increasingly clear to me that the pastor’s “new direction” was worldly and that he was now being guided by someone or something other than God. Friction grew between the two of us over the course of time as his sermons turned away from the Gospel that leads to repentance and faith in Christ to the social psychology of get-alongism. Sure, the Bible calls us to live in peace with one another, to keep and maintain healthy relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ, but not at the expense of God. The pastor I once held in such high regard began reciting “group-think” platitudes like: “You can’t be right with God and at odds with everyone else,” meaning it was now time for us all to compromise our conscience and convictions for the collective. This is the “Consensus Process” at work, a 200 year-old socialist brainwashing technique known by social psychologists the world over as the “Hegelian Dialectic,” developed by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel in the late 1700s that involves the practice of compromise to achieve social harmony between opposing groups and/or belief systems. The Hegelian Dialectic is especially damaging to those of the faith who are compelled by the process to accept the unacceptable in order to gain the approval of the group. It is the herd mentality of humanist thinking and an abomination before God.
You see the Bible is full of godly men who stood alone and died fighting the heresy of the herd mentality, including Jesus Himself. Being “at odds with everyone else” is exactly what got Him nailed to a cross! He said: “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). This certainly doesn’t bode well for pastors whose primary agenda is church growth and big numbers.
It was not a tolerant Jesus who cleared the temple in Jerusalem of moneychangers with a whip or a tolerant John the Baptist who publicly railed against King Herod for marrying his brother’s wife or a tolerant Paul that stood up against Peter for alienating uncircumcised believers or tolerance that got most of the disciples beheaded or crucified in the early days of the church. Yet, here we are today as a re-invented church of tolerance, diversity, and unity. As the doors are all thrown open to anyone and anything, I ask you, is the church affecting the culture or is the culture infecting the church? Who is proselytizing whom here? Look around and tell me what you see.
It wasn’t long before a vulgar campaign for cash began at The People’s Church as if someone was running for political office, complete with banquets, dinners, awards, lots of flattering speech, testimonials, presentations, private meetings and special attention given to the church’s “big givers,” (their term, not mine) all to benefit a massive new building program that would put us in a high-tech “worship center” and twelve million dollars in debt.
When I walked into that entertainment complex where a sanctuary used to be, I saw a lot of cushioned movie theater seats where pews used to be; a big multi-media projection screen where a wooden cross used to be; a half dozen choreographed entertainers performing to applause where a choir used to be; a jazz/rock band playing solos where an orchestra used to be; a young female singer leading simplistic chants before a confused audience where a music minister used to lead great hymns of worship and praise to God and where a charming “facilitator” in a golf shirt preaches that we should all “go along to get along” where a once humble man of God used to courageously proclaim the Word of God.
I was once listening to a radio program on the Internet where a former teacher and expert on European history and philosophy by the name of Dean Gotcher was being interviewed about the Hegelian Dialectic or “Consensus Process” and how it has successfully been integrated into the government, the media, the military, law enforcement, public education, colleges, seminaries and even the church to centralize everything and unify us all into the socialist mindset of global governance. The global-socialist goal is and always has been a one-world government and a one-world religion. They have used the Hegelian Dialectic for centuries to control large populations around the world and steer them toward a “New World Order.” Near the end of the hour-long program, the man casually mentioned a couple of Christian organizations that were known for seducing churches into this Consensus Process with “progressive” church-growth programs where compromising brings in big numbers. The temptation of such worldly fruit is obviously hard to resist, even among the most faithful of pastors. Nonetheless, doing unholy things in the name of Christ does not make them holy.
When Dean Gotcher mentioned one of those organizations as being The Willow Creek Association, bells began ringing, lights began flashing, and all of a sudden five years of confusion, contention, and controversy between my pastor and me were instantly brought into complete clarity. Of course! The People’s Church belonged to the Willow Creek Association! Once my eyes were opened to their carnal ways through additional research, combined with all I had learned over the years about global-socialism, I became convinced that we, (the church) had been brought into the Consensus Process by way of a socialistic humanist organization posing as a Christian ministry, complete with “change-agents” and “facilitators” (wolves in sheep’s clothing) that I myself had encountered personally from Sunday School to Sunday worship. Apparently, this was the pastor’s “new direction” for The First Baptist Church. It came as no surprise to later discover that Willow Creek’s founder Bill Hybels was a dear friend and personal minister to the nation’s most renown socialist and “facilitator” at the time, Bill Clinton. Now I knew why my pastor began sounding so “Clintonesque” in his Sunday morning sermons.
As I went on to research The Willow Creek Association, I discovered that thousands upon thousands of established churches around the country were being transformed into sensory driven “seeker churches” exactly like ours under the guidance and direction of this organization, all with the same tolerance, diversity, and unity theme, liberal worship format, scripturally shallow teaching, heavy on the comfort and light on the conscience, equipped with huge multi-media projection screens, large sound systems, exotic music, no choir, female ministers, feelings-motivated skits, dance interpretations, and heavily burdened with millions of dollars of debt from building state-of-the-art entertainment venues they call “worship centers.” The revolving disco ball sparkling overhead at the dedication service was a real poignant moment for me personally.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever. (1st John 2:15-17)
(Paul Proctor is a former free-lance writer. This article is used with his permission.)
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