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Section 10A .. The Contemporary Church /
Shepherds or Wolves

003white  Section 10A   The Contemporary Church

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Shepherds or Wolves

Carol Brooks

 But Evil Men and Impostors Shall Wax Worse And Worse, Deceiving And Being Deceived. 2 Timothy 3:13.

Introduction
The Christian world today is awash with mega-churches that cater to the America’s insatiable quest to be entertained, and popular and charismatic leaders who collectively present a plethora of viewpoints all under the banner of 'Christianity'. The problem is that popularity is neither an indication of Biblical accuracy nor spiritual reliability. Rank heresy is often delivered well sprinkled with Biblical verses, carefully chosen to make it appear that that the teaching is Scriptural. These authors/speakers/leaders are not Christians, but wolves in sheep's clothing who lead people away from salvation and life.

Sadly, a very gullible Christian community rarely, if ever, bothers to take into consideration 'the whole counsel of God' and thoroughly investigate passages in Scripture that may disagree with, or even completely contradict what is being claimed. As long as it sounds reasonable, and said spiritual leader/pastor/author can pull out a few ‘proof texts’ that appear to substantiate their theories, the hearer/reader remains perfectly content. This is one of the factors that has led to false and dangerous doctrines become not only accepted and embraced, but spread like  particularly deadly viruses.
 

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Wealthy Celebrity Pastors and Their Shallow Self-serving Theology Who Have Made Entertainment The New Way of Doing Church HERE
Welcome to the new breed of wealthy, charismatic, dynamic, and very convincing celebrity preachers who pastor mile wide and inch deep flashy mega- churches. Capitalizing on Christianity has proved to be far more lucrative than starting a new religion especially when they get countless millions to support their lavish lifestyle by preaching...


The Prosperity and Word of Faith Gospels HERE
The Prosperity Doctrine is the belief subscribed to by millions of Christians that although Christians should keep one eye on Heaven, God doesn't want His people to wait until then to have the best of everything. God wants believers to be healthy, wealthy, and happy in this life. A shallow, self-serving and completely erroneous interpretation of certain passages have led to this conclusion.

However, the Word-Faith movement has added a very dangerous dimension to this belief. Word of Faith teachers go the extra mile teaching that words themselves have 'creative power', thus what a person believes and says determines his future. It is deeply alarming that most Christians seem to be blissfully unaware of the fact that this teaching being trumpeted from pulpits across the land, not only stems from the same occult sources as the spiritual movement known as New Thought, but uses exactly the same terminology and techniques. The only difference being that the Word-Faith movement has sprinkled in a few Christian terms to keep it believable. This is a not an honest doctrinal difference among orthodox believers, but a confrontation between the gospel preached by the Lord Jesus Christ and another gospel.
 

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Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, Brennan Manning, and Thomas Keating HERE
  are four influential and very popular teachers of contemplative prayer who fraternized with Eastern mystics, embraced the spiritual philosophies and religious practices of Buddhism, Hinduism etc. even incorporating them into Christianity. They also endorsed various pagan 'spiritual' books that flatly contradict the Bible. Yet, multiple thousands of people all over the world, including many well known church leaders, have seen fit to suspend all common sense, ignore the many, many warnings in Scripture, and blindly follow the teachings of these wolves who could not even see through Rome’s foundational heresies. So why are we not insisting that our teachers at least be Christians?


Rick Warren and The Purpose Driven Life HERE
Judging by how many copies it sold, The Purpose Driven Life was immensely popular. However, after more than a decade, I presumed that the church must have long moved on to the next new thing therefore, needed no time wasted on it. I couldn't have been more wrong. It was recently brought to my attention that, in January 2011, Thomas Nelson announced that The Purpose-Driven Life was 16th on their list of 100 Best-selling Christian Books. Although Rick Warren apparently believes that "The Purpose Driven paradigm is the Intel chip for the 21st century church and the Windows system of the 21st century church", it has much going against it. The non believer will be given little or no information as to how he, or she, can be included in the coming kingdom, and will certainly not be told anything about the necessity of repentance from sin and holiness. The reader, both Christian and non-Christian alike, will be introduced to a wide variety of, potentially, very dangerous people, ideas, and practices. And since they have been told, in no uncertain terms, that the most important thing is “unity”, they will never hear a word about discerning between true and false teachings, nor how the Bible instructs them to deal with those who practice and teach untruths. Both below.


  The Emergent Church - An Overview
The emerging/emergent church is a faith movement that questions many of the beliefs of traditional Christianity, while radically redoing centuries-old worship practices. The movement started in the late 20th and early 21st century and partially due to apostate leaders like Brian McClaren seems to have gained a lot of traction in recent years. It was born due to the fact that so many people are far from satisfied with the organized church (and rightly so). However, rather than going back to the Scriptures to find out where we have deviated, they attempt to reinvent the church from within. In doing so they have strayed even further from Biblical truths - many member barely distinguishable from the secular society they live in.

Brian McLaren
Brian McLaren, founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in Spencerville, Maryland was listed by Time magazine as one of American's 25 most influential evangelicals. He is a prominent Christian pastor, author, and speaker (who has assisted in the development of several new churches), a popular conference speaker, and a frequent guest on television, radio, and news media programs. His work has been covered in Christianity Today, Christian Century, the Washington Post, Huffington Post etc. Yet, he teaches that Christians have been "brainwashed" to read Genesis through Greco-Roman bifocals, but "these stories aren't intended to be taken literally". Salvation emphatically does not automatically mean "save from hell" and “eternal life” means does not mean life without end. God's “will” actually means the “dream” God has for this world.  The message of Jesus was good news- not just for Christians, but also for people of other religions, including New Agers, agnostics, and atheists (In other words, unbelievers and pagans can be saved without explicit faith in Christ).  (Also See The Message of the Bible and  Salvation

Rob Bell 
Emerging Church Leader or Fully Emerged Apostate?

Tony Campolo
Imitating Paul, Tony Campolo has written a new book entitled Letters to a Young Evangelical. The danger is very real that an unsuspecting person will take Campolo’s words and equate them with God’s Word, which would be disastrous.

Dan Kimball
Labyrinths and Mysticism
 

Also See

Ken Blanchard
There is a wealth of evidence that shows that Ken Blanchard sits on the New Age/mystical/contemplative bandwagon, has no trouble associating himself with Napoleon Hill’s “unseen watchers” and few, if any, qualms about borrowing from Buddhism and New Age ‘spirituality’. Jon Gordon’s popular book The Energy Bus largely flowed from the occult work.. The Secret. Yet, the foreword was written by Blanchard

C. Peter Wagner
Charles Peter Wagner was a radical Pentecostal/Charismatic who authored 80 books, served for 30 years (1971 to 2001) as Professor of Church Growth at the Fuller Theological Seminary's School of World Missions. He was also the founding president of Global Harvest Ministries and founder and chancellor emeritus of Wagner Leadership Institute (now Wagner University), which trains revivalists and reformers to bring about a global movement of transformation. Transformation?  As part of his networking plan, Wagner founded the idea of the "New Apostolic Reformation" where apostles and prophets would rise up to take control of the Church .He proclaimed himself "presiding apostle" of a coalition of 200 "true" apostles by forming the "International Coalition of Apostles." Their mandate? - to build and usher in the Kingdom of God.
Wagner and his apostolic brethren purport to speak for our Lord and they claim to hold the greatest authority over the direction of the Church and the lives of God's people.
 

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Also See Section Doctrines of Demons HERE
Remember the verses in Scripture that speak of The “Falling Away” when some will give “Heed to Deceiving Spirits And Doctrines Of Demons? Well THAT DAY IS ALREADY HERE. We have lost all rights to call ourselves Christians by our wholesale adoption of doctrines and practices DIRECTLY derived from the occult - Tongues, Word of Faith, Labyrinths, Contemplative Prayer, Slain In The Spirit and Santa Claus. which means the man of sin isn’t far behind. May God, in His mercy send us a Nathan to accuse, a Jonah to warn, and an Elijah to threaten before it is too late.

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The Fad-Driven Church
The dictionary defines a fad as "a practice or interest followed for a time with exaggerated zeal." This could just as well be a description of congregational life of many Christian churches today. There is a new book, a new program or a new emphasis every year or so. It's all anyone can talk about; it's all the preacher preaches about - for a while. Then, as quickly as it came, it's gone. As eagerly as it was received, it's abandoned and forgotten. As Leonard Ravenhill very aptly said concerning one of the new “movements” in the church ... “There’s also a stir when the circus comes to town.”

Why Christians Are Deceived
There are numerous reasons so many modern day Christians are deceived. Too many of them believe they should be "united", and that they have been commanded to "love". Most do not want to be accused of quenching the spirit, labeled "heresy hunters" or found guilty of 'touching' the Lord's anointed etc. etc. Besides which, Christians seem to be very addicted to 'spiritual highs'. However, the reason deception is so rampant in the church can be primarily attributed to just one underlying fact ... The vast majority of Christians today are Biblically illiterate.

 The Four Most Common Mistakes Made by Christians
1) Believe That We, Or Our Pastor/Denomination/Spiritual Leader, Cannot Be Fooled. 2) Attribute Every Personal Testimony and "Sign" as Being From, God. 3) Take Bible Verses Out of Context. 4) Believe That We, As Christians Are Not To Judge Anything Or Anyone

How the Bible Instructs Us to Deal With Those Who Practice and Teach Untruths.
It is a two step process. The heresy has to be actively confronted and, if not repented of, has to be shunned. The bounden duty of a true believer towards men who profess to be Christians, and yet deny the Word of the Lord, is to come out from among them. Leaving, or separating oneself from apostasy and heresy is not optional, but commanded. It is an integral part of the holiness without which none of us will see God.

True and False Unity
Although doctrine has often been allowed to divide people in disgraceful ways, division is not something that can be avoided. In fact, what passes for "unity" is often nothing but compromise of the truth. What few realize is that Christians are commanded to separate themselves from those that believe and teach false doctrine. They are to refuse to have fellowship with those who cross over the line. It is far better to be divided by truth than united in error

The Anointing
It would be difficult to find a charismatic/evangelical service/program/tract/book that is not liberally sprinkled with the word 'Anointed, which has become arguably the most overused, overworked, misunderstood, misinterpreted term in the Pentecostal and Charismatic arenas. In fact, many Charismatic celebrities today often issue stern warnings of “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit” and “touch not the Lord’s anointed”   to anyone who opposes their unscriptural doctrine and practice. These warnings often have a residual effect upon their devotees.  So the question is what exactly does the Bible mean when it says not to touch God’s anointed? [Section]

 False Prophecy
The Bible tells us that if a prophet presumes to speak a word in God’s name, which God has not commanded him to speak, that prophet shall die... That false prophets are ferocious wolves in sheep’s clothing. (Matthew 7:15) Yet false prophets abound and thrive in the Christian world.

 Index To The Contemporary Church

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