Rob Bell And His “Christian Universalism”

“Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds” (2 Cor. 11:14-15)

My friends, do not stay silent, do not compromise the truth in any way, not even for the sake of family and friends.  We continue to expose all the elements of the APOSTASY MOVEMENT* and its’ false ‘angels of light’ who are deceiving our youth, many long time Christians, and even pastors and leaders.  It is obvious some are heeding the warnings, others are not.  Our duty as Christians is to warn, and to continue exposing these false teachers uncompromisingly, and let God work in people’s lives.  Do not be discouraged.  Do not back down down one bit on such serious matters.  We have to call out these people for what they are!

So here is Rob Bell for the third time in two weeks, following right on the heels of his ill-advised visit to Point Loma Nazarene University to “minister” to Nazarene pastors, many who nodded approvingly at his words.  This three minute video promoting Bell’s new book, Love Wins, comes via a post on Lighthouse Trails Research, which was alerted by Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries.    One of the main techniques of these modern day false teachers is that they will often ‘suggest’ something might be true, or cast doubt on a truth statement by “asking questions”, causing confusion and doubt in the minds of many Christians. Certainly his slickly packaged videos and “cool way” of talking are a magnet for young people.  That’s why he is so dangerous.  Yet when I saw this video, there were so many areas where my biblical red flags went up and told me, this man right now is a servant of satan!  Again and again. Yet I marvel at how pastors and Christian college leaders with much more Bible knowledge than many of us let this wolf into the midst of the sheep pen unguarded!

I’m curious as to how those who brought Rob Bell to Point Loma last week will defend this latest piece of “wisdom” from a supposed Christian pastor who last week “ministered to” who knows how many Nazarene pastors.  Who is responsible?  Will the President of PLNU, or the theology department, or the pastor who hosted Bell at his church, now see what kind of teaching this man brings?  You have the opportunity to say something and do something, but what will it be? Will other Nazarene schools wake up to this now, or will they now get on the bandwagon and sign up Rob Bell so more ears can be tickled?

For those of you trying to keep this false teacher from indoctrinating your youth, file this one as an example of this dangerous man’s deception.  Yet, although we must not hesitate to refute his false teaching at every turn, we must pray for Rob Bell to repent, renounce man’s religion, and proclaim the name of Jesus boldly as the only way to God.  If he does not repent, he must be exposed as the false teacher that he is, and I guarantee that you will not be popular for doing so.  But expose him and the others that are poisoning the minds of our youth, we must.  We have no choice if we wish to obey God.

A brother in Christ, Tim Martin, says it well here:

Rob Bell has been taken captive by the adversary.  He comes across as a nice guy and critical thinker, but do not be fooled by the twisted perverted pseudo gospel of these enemies of the cross of Jesus Christ. Bell is one of several that are continuously creating doubts and straw man type questions about the plain teaching and understanding of the Word of God.  Bell, like others, have embraced a long standing mandate issued by the powers of darkness to attack the Words of God that began long ago with Eve and the serpent in the garden.  God and Jesus Christ are being seriously misrepresented by “Bell” to multitudes of people, and this kind of deception always leads to destruction and death.


Somebody needs to remind “Bell” that GOD IS HOLY AND JUST ALSO!!!!!  According to Bell, the standard and means of getting into heaven is open for discussion among men and then determined and presented in the context of universal liberty and access to heaven. Bell has been crafting a pseudo gospel message in a very deceitful way that leads others to believe it comes from the Bible, yet he presents it in ways foreign and contrary to what God has CLEARLY communicated to mankind.  Bell and others like him are dangerous to those that celebrate their evil works.


3 minute video by Rob Bell: LOVE WINS

Rob Bell Comes Out of the Closet for Universalism – Yet Speaks at Nazarene University

February 25th, 2011 | Author: Lighthouse Trails Editors

Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries has alerted Lighthouse Trails to a promotional video clip of Rob Bell’s upcoming book, Love Wins (March 29th, HarperOne). Silva states:

[W]e are seeing within mainstream evangelicalism a reimagined version of just about every piece of antibiblical theology i.e. doctrines of demons that seducing spirits have ever attempted to bring with them as they slither into the Christian Church. One that is being openly promoted now is so-called Christian Universalism.(source)

Silva adds: “Rob Bell embraces a form of universalism. For the person willing to be objective, the video promo below for his new book dispels any doubt that Bell is teaching this heresy” (source).

In the promotional video, Bell tells viewers that a loving God would not send billions to hell. He suggests that God would not place a criteria (even being born again, Bell says) on people to bring them to Heaven.

Bell clearly showed his resonance with the New Age in his book Velvet Elvis,where he tells readers to study a book by New Ager, tantric sex advocate Ken Wilber for three months for a “mind-blowing” experience (p. 192).

You may be thinking that what Rob Bell believes and teaches has nothing to do with you or your church, but what about your children and grandchildren? What about their youth groups, Christian high schools,  colleges, and seminaries? Bell may be there, either with his Nooma films or Velvet Elvis. And now Love Wins? Or he may have even spoken at their schools. For instance, a week ago, Bell spoke at Point Loma Nazarene University at their annual Pastor’s Day event. This isn’t too much of a surprise to Lighthouse Trails though. Nazarene universities have become a playing field for the emerging church. One year ago, we reported that a Buddhist/universalist sympathizing speaker addressed students at a Nazarene university in Idaho (“Buddhist/Universalist Sympathizer Woos Nazarene Students at NNU”) .

Once you watch this promotional video below, we hope you realize the implications of this. Mainstream evangelical Christianity is going universalistic! Right before our very eyes.

Is Rob Bell right that being born-again is unnecessary to enter the kingdom of God? The Bible says a resounding no to that: “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Can we enter Heaven through any door at all? Once again, the Bible gives the answer:

Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.  John 10: 7-11

But in the mindset of Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, and other emerging spirituality leaders, there are no “thieves and robbers,” and every door is a door to God. All paths lead to God. If that were the case, then it would have been God’s biggest mistake to send His Son to die on the Cross for the atonement of man’s sins. But Scripture is clear on this also. A sacrifice had to be made for sin: “[W]ithout shedding of blood is no remission [of sins]” (Hebrews 9:22).

If emerging figures would stop and think about it, the Bible is a complete antithesis of what they teach. Jesus Christ of the Bible would definitely not fit into the emerging definition of “Jesus.” The Jesus of the Bible shed His blood and suffered, taking our place, so we could be saved if we believe on Him and receive Him as Lord and Savior.

[Jesus Christ] Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (Romans 3:25-26)

[Jesus said] And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. ( Matthew 10:14)

To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. (Acts 10:43)


LOVE WINS. from Rob Bell on Vimeo.


Related Information:

Rob Bell: Universalist?

Christian Leaders Celebrate Easter But Promote Atonement Deniers – Makes No Sense

Buddhist/Universalist Sympathizer Woos Nazarene Students at NNU

Biblical Atonement or New Age At-One-Ment?

The Shack Author Says: “The God of Evangelical Christianity is a Monster.”


*APOSTASY MOVEMENT : emergent church, mysticism, ecumenism, social justice gospel, environmental gospel, word of faith, New Apostolic Reformation, …

Report On Rob Bell’s Pastor’s Day Appearance at PLNU

The following was contributed by a PLNU alumnus following Rob Bell’s visit to PLNU and his appearance at Pastor’s Day hosted at San Diego First Church of the Nazarene. I encourage everyone concerned, especially alums of PLNU, to write the leadership at PLNU- write to the university president, with copies to the board of trustees, spiritual development director, chapel director, and dean of theology, regarding all the aberrant theology being taught there, and the undiscerning choices of speakers. I recommend that you also archive this report to serve as a good summary of Rob Bell for reference.

(By a PLNU Alumnus)

 

I am a PLNU alumnus, therefore I have very valid reasons to speak about the university and my concerns. There is a lot to be concerned about. I have listened to many, many sermons by Rob Bell, read his books and viewed most of his DVDs. His messages are not based on biblical Christianity.

 

Assessment Of Rob Bell’s Weekend With The Pastors

 

I heard Rob Bell speak this weekend at the chapel service, at the Pastor’s Luncheon and at the Writer’s Symposium. He was true to his unbiblical beliefs at every talk. I heard him compare what Jesus did on the cross (when He, the perfect, sinless sacrifice, gave himself for our sins) to what ordinary people do when we pour ourselves out for our passions. I listened to him discuss ego-centric, tribal-centric, global-centric philosophy at the luncheon for Nazarene pastors and wondered how many of those nodding, affirming pastors knew that this was a reference to the Buddhist philosophy of Ken Wilber who believes that Christianity is fourth on a continuum of nine stages of spiritual development and will soon be replaced by more “enlightened” methods of spirituality? Ken Wilber is one of Rob Bell’s favorite authors. I listened at the Writer’s Symposium as Bell said that this planet is not going to burn (see 2 Pet. 3:10).  He also said excitedly that in the next 10 years, the church will rush to the ancient mystics, and I wondered, “How about a rush to the Word of God?” The ancient mystics gathered many of their practices from Buddhism and Hinduism. They were not rooted and grounded in the words and practices of Jesus, the Apostles or the early church, but they are heroes to Rob Bell.

 

I firmly believe that Bell’s teachings contribute greatly to what is wrong in our churches and universities today. I think he believes and teaches a false gospel, which I’ve described below. I’ve also included some quotes by Rob Bell at the end. Please read the quotes, taking into account that in all of my studies and hours of listening to him in his own words, I have never read about or heard him say anything regarding the need for repentance of sins or that Jesus died in our place to take the punishment for our sins.

 

Even in Bell’s church’s statement of belief, there is no mention of Christ’s substitutionary atonement or of heaven or hell. One sentence says, “God created us to be relational as well and marked us with an identity as his image bearers and a missional calling to serve, care for, and cultivate the earth,” yet there is no call in the statement to evangelize the lost. Having read the New Testament, I don’t think the Apostles viewed caring for the earth as their primary calling. There is no mention of this theme that we find throughout the New Testament: “(A)nd He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” (1 Pet. 2:24)

 

A Simplified Version of the New “Gospel”

 

The new “gospel” below, which I believe accounts for Rob Bell’s theology, explains virtually every concern in the letter we sent about the new provost including the promotion and teaching of open theism, process theology, monastic mystic practices, Darwinian evolution, the tolerance of homosexuality and the maximization of social justice concerns, environmentalism and pacifism versus the minimization of the biblical gospel’s emphasis on sin, the atonement of Christ on the cross, repentance, forgiveness and eternal life either with God in heaven or apart from God in hell.

 

The theology of this false gospel is based on the theories of Buddhist philosophers, Ken Wilber, the worldviews of Stanley Grenz, Wolfhart Pannenberg, LeRon Shults and in German theologian Jurgen Moltmann’s “theology of hope”, developed from the philosophy of Friedrich Hegel, Karl Barth and Rudolph Bultman.

In this “gospel”, the universe is a part of God (panentheism) or is God (pantheism) and is continually evolving into better forms. God, who contains the universe and everything in it, also evolves and stands in the future pulling everything toward Himself. He is immanently involved in the present world creating and causing it to move toward the future world. As all things (both physical and spiritual) evolve, the universe will continue to improve until a sort of utopia is finally achieved. Humans further this evolution toward God and this utopia by doing two things:

1. Good works – helping to eradicate poverty and suffering, working to restore the environment, calling for an end to war, etc.

2. Engaging in contemplative, mystical experiences that “connect” one to God in higher ways than the intellect will allow.

 

Thus, everyone who adheres to these practices achieves salvation by working together to help the world and everything in it evolve. In this theology, Scripture does not convey a fixed meaning determined by Holy Spirit-inspired authors. Instead, spiritual experiences become the true source of meaning for individuals and groups of people. Therefore, God’s commands are no longer universally binding. Christ was crucified not because he was the sacrifice for our sins but because the world rejected His message of love. According to this view, the resurrection is merely a view of history with a hopeful future. Hell and heaven are not experienced in the hereafter but are part of the human condition in this life. There is no need for repentance of sins and no future judgment. Christ may be the best way to God, but He is not the only way. Everyone will eventually be saved and live together on this present earth in peace and unity.

 

 

Ken Wilber And Marcus Borg Endorsed by Rob Bell

 

Velvet Elvis, p. 192: “For a mind-blowing introduction to emergence theory and divine creativity, set aside three months and read Ken Wilber’s A Brief History of Everything. Rob Bell.

 

If you had a book club, what would it be reading?

A Brief History of Everything by Ken Wilber — I really do think this book is about everything. You can’t help but discuss this book.

 

Ken Wilber: Buddhist

 

Mark Driscoll wrote a great article called “Navigating the Emergent Church Highway.” (If you read Blue Like Jazz, Mark Driscoll is Donald Miller’s “cussing pastor”.  I think he is right on in his thoughts about this movement, though.) In the article he writes, “To learn more about Wilber I contacted author Peter Jones of TruthXChange (the author of One or Two: Seeing a World of Difference), who is perhaps the leading Christian expert on paganism and the new spirituality. In a personal e-mail, he told me, “The arch pagan philosopher is Ken Wilber.”

 

Jones went on to say that Ken Wilber is a practicing Mahayana Buddhist who believes that reality is ultimately a non-dual union of emptiness and form. He speaks of “unitary non-dual (monistic) consciousness,” what some call “the dharma of non-dual enlightenment,” he is a promoter of the Perennial Philosophy (…a name for the religion of esoteric paganism) and the “great chain of being.” Wilber promotes yoga, Zen, Kabbalah, [and] tantric Yoga (Hindu sex techniques). His think tank, Integral Institute, includes such luminaries as Deepak Chopra, Michael Murphy (of Esalen and a key figure in the Human Potential movement), Jon Kabat-Zin, Buddhist healer and professor of medicine at UMass, [and] Francisco Varela, a Chilean biologist and Tibetan Buddhist.”

 

Jones went on to explain that according to Wilber in A Theory of Everything, Christianity is fourth among the nine levels of human evolutionary spiritual consciousness and will be outgrown and replaced with more enlightened understandings of God and the world, such as green egalitarianism, ultimately culminating in the integration of varying religions and ideologies into a global utopia of a sort—all without Jesus.

 

 

Marcus Borg

 

Also in Velvet Elvis, Bell endorses Marcus Borg, a fellow of the Jesus Seminar who has said of Jesus: “We’re making him a Buddha-like figure, not just another philosopher but a really big one,” and “I find it literally incredible that the God of the whole universe has chosen to be known by one religious tradition.”

Borg is also against the atonement and the doctrine of the cross.

 

Rob Bell’s Mysticism

 

On March 19, 2006, Bell invited a Dominican sister to speak at his church. He said as he introduced her, “I have a friend who has taught me so much about resting in the presence of God.” During the service, Bell and the sister led the congregation in various meditative exercises. The sister who spoke at Mars Hill during that service is from the Dominican Center at Marywood in Michigan where a wide variety of contemplative/mystical practices are used and taught. One of the practices at the Center is Reiki. The belief behind Reiki is that everything in the universe is united together through energy. In Japan, the word reiki is the standard term for the occult (or ghost energy). It is ghost energy because when Reiki is practiced, spirit guides are reached. William Lee Rand, the head of the International Center for Reiki Training, states:

“There are higher sources of help you can call on. Angels, beings of light and Reiki spirit guides as well as your own enlightened self are available to help you…. The more you can open to the true nature of Reiki which is to have an unselfish heart centered desire to help others, then the more the Reiki spirit guides can help you.”

 

 

Conclusion: Here is The Biblical Gospel Compared To Rob Bell’s Version

 

In the biblical Gospel, God interacts with His creation, but it is not part of Him. He is fully independent of and separate from it. He existed before time and is not trapped within it or limited by it. The Bible tells us the world is not getting better; it is getting worse due to the fall of man. This planet will pass away and be replaced by a new earth. The horrible consequences of sin, which separate us from God, are played out in the here and now as well as in the hereafter. Sin must come under God’s judgment, which either falls upon Christ who is God and who was the perfect, sinless sacrifice in our place, or it will fall on unredeemed humans who refuse to repent and believe the gospel. God raised Jesus from the dead to show His power over death and sin and as proof to all men that Jesus will judge the world, making them accountable. Through the death of Jesus on the cross and through the gift of the Holy Spirit, God provides those who repent and believe, Christians, with a new nature that follows His commands joyfully. Christians study God’s Word, the Bible, attempting to understand the meaning the Author of the Bible wished to convey and to apply it to their lives. Good works are a by-product of salvation, but they do not in any way contribute to it. Those who repent and believe will spend eternity with God, but those who don’t will suffer future judgment apart from God in hell. (Isaiah 46:9, 10; 1 Cor. 15:1-5; Acts 17, 31-32; Matt. 7:13-14; 2 Thess. 1:5-10; 1 Cor. 15:21-26, 54-55; Col. 2:13-14; 1 Pet. 2:24; Psalm 119:89-91; Psalm 115:3; John 18:36; John 14:1-3)

 

 

Addendum: Some Rob Bell Quotes

 

“Well, for our community, this [living an environmentally conscious life] isn’t rooted in the fact that it’s gaining steam in popular culture. It’s always been rooted in the very nature of God. The central Hebrew prayer, Deuteronomy 6, says, “Hear O Israel the Lord your God, the Lord is One’, so we live with awareness that all of reality is one. We are connected with all things everywhere, and I would argue that in the last couple hundred years, disconnection has been the dominant way people have understood reality. And the Church has contributed to that disconnection by preaching horrible messages about being left behind and that this place is going to burn-–absolutely toxic messages that are against the teachings of Scripture, which state that we are connected to God, we are connected to the earth, we are connected to each other. When any of those connections fracture, the whole thing starts to fall apart. Your relationship with God is tied into your relationship with the soil. Go back to Genesis.” –Rob Bell (Relevant Magazine, “Rob Bell Tells it like it is,” January/February edition, 2008)

 

Interviewer: “Let me ask you, do you believe in a literal hell that is defined simply as eternal separation from God?”

Rob Bell: “I don’t know why as a Christian you would have to make such declarative statements. Like your friend, does he want there to be a literal hell? I am a bit skeptical of somebody who argues that passionately for a literal hell, why would you be on that side? Like if you are going to pick causes, if you’re literally going to say these are the lines in the sand, I’ve got to know that people are going to burn forever, this is one of the things that you drive your stake in the ground on. I don’t understand that.” http://seeingclearly.wordpress.com/2007/07/22/rob-bell-and-hell-ooze-interview/

 

“This is not just the same old message with new methods,” Rob says. “We’re rediscovering Christianity as an Eastern religion, as a way of life…. “(The Bible is a) human product…rather than the product of divine fiat.”—Rob Bell, “The Emergent Mystique”, Christianity Today

 

“It’s interesting how many traditions (pause) When you read the great enlightened ones; meditation, centering prayer, reflection—in every tradition you can find the mystics—and what’s always at the heart of the spiritual lives, the everyday lives of the great ones was always a period of time. Whether it’s prayers, chanting, meditation, reflection, study—whatever you call it—what is it essentially; it’s taking time to breathe. Because when you’ve been breathing, (slight pause) in a proper sort of way, you’re far better equipped to handle what life throws your way.”

Excerpts from an interview in Christianity Today, Apr. 2009 http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/article_print.html?id=81195 :

 

Interviewer: “How would you present this gospel on Twitter?”

Rob Bell: “I would say that history is headed somewhere. The thousands of little ways in which you are tempted to believe that hope might actually be a legitimate response to the insanity of the world actually can be trusted. And the Christian story is that a tomb is empty, and a movement has actually begun that has been present in a sense all along in creation. And all those times when your cynicism was at odds with an impulse within you that said that this little thing might be about something bigger—those tiny little slivers may in fact be connected to something really, really big.” –Rob Bell, Christianity Today, 5/09

 

Interviewer: “You say, ‘Jesus is leading all creation out of the land of violence, sin, and death.” You’ve added the word violence to the Pauline “sin and death.’ Why?”

Rob Bell: “The myth of redemptive violence—Caesar, peace, and victory—is in people’s bones so deeply, we aren’t even aware of it. You crush the opposition, that’s how we bring peace.”

 

Interviewer: “You say, ‘Jesus wants to save us from making the Good News about another world and not this one.’ What do you mean?”

Rob Bell: “The story is about God’s intentions to bring about a new heaven and a new earth, and the story begins here with shalom—shalom between each other and with our Maker and with the earth. The story line is that God intends to bring about a new creation, this place, this new heaven and earth here. And that Jesus’ resurrection is the beginning, essentially, of the future; this great Resurrection has rushed into the present. The evacuation theology that says, “figure out the ticket, say the right prayer, get the right formula, and then we’ll go somewhere else” is lethal to Jesus, who endlessly speaks of the renewal of all things.”

 

Interviewer: “You’re essentially reframing the gospel—at least the gospel you inherited, the gospel we have known as the gospel in North America for the last couple hundred years.

Rob Bell: “I am leery of people who have very clear ideas of what they’re doing from outside of themselves: ‘You have to understand that I’m doing this and doing this.’ I would say that for 10 years, I have tried to invite people to trust Jesus. You can trust this Jesus. You can trust him past, present, future; sins, mistakes, money, sexuality. I think this Jesus can be trusted. I often put it this way: If there is a God, some sort of Divine Being, Mind, Spirit, and all of this is not just some random chance thing, and history has some sort of movement to it, and you have a connection with Whatever—that is awesome. Hard and awesome and creative and challenging and provoking. And there is this group of people who say that whoever that being is came up among us and took on flesh and blood—Andrew Sullivan talks about this immense occasion the world could not bear. So a church would be this odd blend of swagger—an open tomb, come on—and humility and mystery. The Resurrection accounts are jumbled and don’t really line up with each other—I really relate to that. Yet something momentous has burst forth in the middle of history. You just have to have faith, and you get caught up in something. I like to say that I practice militant mysticism. I’m really absolutely sure of some things that I don’t quite know.”

 

“When people use the word hell, what do they mean? They mean a place, an event, a situation absent of how God desires things to be. Famine, debt, oppression, loneliness, despair, death, slaughter–they are all hell on earth. Jesus’ desire for his followers is that they live in such a way that they bring heaven to earth. What’s disturbing is when people talk more about hell after this life than they do about hell here and now. As a Christian, I want to do what I can to resist hell coming to earth. He (Jesus) talked very little of the life beyond this one…” Velvet Elvis, p. 148

 

“So this reality, this forgiveness, this reconciliation, is true for everybody. Paul insisted that when Jesus died on the cross he was reconciling ‘all things, in heaven and on earth, to God. This reality then isn’t something we make true about ourselves by doing something. It is already true. Our choice is to live in this new reality or cling to a reality of our own making.” p. 83

 

“I don’t follow Jesus because I think Christianity is the best religion. I follow Jesus because he leads me into ultimate reality. He teaches me to live in tune with how reality is. When Jesus said, ‘No one comes to the Father except through me’, he was saying that his way, his words, his life is our connection to how things truly are at the deepest levels of existence. For Jesus then, the point of religion is to help us connect with ultimate reality, God.” –Velvet Elvis, p. 139

 

“What if tomorrow someone digs up definitive proof that Jesus had a real, earthly, biological father named Larry, and archeologists find Larry’s tomb and do DNA samples and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the virgin birth was really just a bit of mythologizing the Gospel writers threw in to appeal to the followers of the Mithra and Dionysian religious cults that were hugely popular at the time of Jesus, whose gods had virgin births?” –Velvet Elvis, p. 146

 

“This is part of the problem with continually insisting that one of the absolutes of the Christian faith must be a belief that “Scripture alone” is our guide. It sounds nice, but it is not true… When people say that all we need is the Bible it is simply not true.” – p. 68

 

“Maybe, sometimes, it takes suffering to get the other stuff out of the way, so you can get at the greatness that’s inside you…” (Drops Like Stars Tour, Apr. 2009)

 

END POST

Pray For The M11 Conference And Obedience To God’s Word

John 14:21 “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.”

Monday is the start of the Church of the Nazarene’s M11 Conference, in Louisville, KY.  Here is the description from the conference website:

M11 is the successor to the highly effective Mid-quadrennial conferences on mission and evangelism. You will benefit from exciting services, meetings, and workshops. Connect with district superintendents, pastors, the General Board as well as NMI, NYI, and SDMI leaders from the USA and Canada. Once again, we are anticipating the power, presence and glory of God upon us. We hope the theme of: Igniting Our Passion for Making Christlike Disciples will energize you.

There are five key strategies that the leadership of the church has identified:

* Intentional Leadership Development – Recognize, develop, train and release passionate leaders with a Wesleyan-Arminian focus.

* Vibrant Church Renewal – Help each local church discover new missional life.

* Clear and Coherent Theological Identity – Facilitate communication and collaboration between GMC, educational regions, educational institutions, ministers and laity through print, electronic media, civil conversation and clear preaching.

* Passionate Missional Outreach – Release and encourage our people to embrace with open arms and hearts both the needy and the new people groups among us.

* Multi-faceted New Church Development – Foster an environment and enthusiasm for starting new churches through districts and local churches.

I don’t know what is behind all these strategies.  You can get the workshop schedule here.  Quite a few of the sessions have already raised questions for me, and some of the speakers are the same ones who spoke at the M7 conference and General Assembly and promoted emergent church ideology.  Will this be the same thing all over again?  Is the Nazarene church on a direction that has already been determined by many in leadership, and which has filtered into practically all the universities and seminaries, and into many of the churches.  That remains to be seen, and I wish I could be there to listen, take notes, and perhaps ask questions.  However, others will be there who will try to get answers.

My friends, I ask each and every one of you who is committed to full obedience to God (and obedience, not words, is the true measure of our love for God) to pray for God’s Holy Spirit to speak and move all who are attending.  What happens at this conference could indicate a great revival and turning back to biblical standards, or it could very well signal a further decline of a once strong holiness denomination, of which I have been a part of all my life.  I personally believe the Nazarene denomination, as a whole, is no longer a strong group of people.  Oh, perhaps it has grown in numbers, and in membership.  Perhaps its bank account has grown, or perhaps more churches than ever have been built across the world.  But are those indicators of a strong God fearing people who love God?  No, because according to scripture, those who truly love God are those who obey His commandments.

It has been nearly two years since the General Assembly in June of 2009.  I, along with several other Nazarenes, descended into Orlando in a less than shy and welcomed fashion.  We distributed over 6,000 DVDs to warn fellow Christians about the dangers of the emergent church, and of mysticism, and of Nazarene pastors and leaders who teach a very low view of scripture.  We warned of false teachers like Rob Bell, who recently spoke at Point Loma- not just to students- but for Pastor’s Day!  We spoke with as many people as we could.  Some were alarmed and genuinely concerned as we were.  Others looked at us as troublemakers, and we remember being ushered away from the premises by the General Secretary, and urged to stay as far away as possible.  We confronted a leader in the church at one of the seminars, and his answer to us indicated that the emergent church agenda was no problem and would go on, and that dissenting voices would not be allowed to speak out.  So much for being allowed into the “Big Tent.”

So after nearly two years, what have we seen, and what have we heard?  We have seen more and more condescension and vilification towards those who wish to voice their concerns even more.  We have seen statements by our leaders that only result in more head scratching and wondering where they really stand?  We have seen the supposed “understanding ones” dig in, call in reinforcements, and continue onward with their apostate movement which is emerging and morphing into an unrecognizable social justice and environmental loving agenda at the expense of the true gospel of Jesus Christ being preached.  We have seen the “educated ones” lording it over those of us who have no degrees, forgetting themselves that unless their eyes are opened and directed by God’s Holy Spirit, 10 theology degrees do not matter a hill of beans.  We have seen many of the “young ones” at our schools sadly being duped, their faith in God replaced with a faith in rituals and mysticism, their understanding of scripture twisted and revised into another gospel.

Even the word of God is not being spared in this assault, as it is being viewed by many pastors in our own denomination as only a product of man that “contains” the word of God.  Yes, they no longer are able to speak the words “the Bible IS the word of God.”  They no longer trust God’s written historical record, and instead tell us that somehow, they know they parts of the Bible that are true, and the parts that are not.  Instead, this “missional” movement, or whatever they call it now, this Big Tent, only truly embraces those who go along with the new program, the new religion according to man.  And while all this new revelation of fresh new ways to worship and serve God is being expounded in fancy and often confusing words that have new meanings (incarnational, missional, community, Christ follower ), those who call this movement blasphemous and apostate are fired or asked to leave- quietly if possible.

I believe that the window of opportunity is closing.  God can do anything that He wants to do, but He does not force people to do things.  He does not need us to accomplish anything he wants, but He does want our obedience.  And through our obedience… man, will he bless us beyond anything we imagined!  But through our disobedience, make no mistake, judgment will come- sooner or later, it will come. It will come in God’s time, and in God’s way.

So what will come about from M11 this week?  There are those who are attending who want to be a voice in opposition to what is going on.  How will they be received?  Will their voices be drowned by those who are clearly on the agenda of emergent/missional /environmental/social justice religion?  Will the Big Tent philosophy embrace these dissenters, these concerned Nazarenes?  Will leadership listen more closely to the people, and give more serious thought and prayer to what is slowly killing a holiness denomination, and which I fear is daily damaging the spiritual health and even salvation of so many young people in our “Christian” universities.

What we can do is pray- and then pray some more.  Do not cease praying, no matter what happens, no matter what direction this goes.  But also, keep warning.  Both these things are our duties as Christians.

Point Loma Nazarene University Brings Heretic Rob Bell To Speak To Pastors

Matthew 7:15-20 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

“What should a Christian do in the face of clear evidence that a school that calls itself “Christian”, gets off the “narrow way” and enters the broad road to destruction?”  Especially if that Christian has children who may go to that school, or who is sending some of his money to this school?

Would you want a “pastor” to come speak to your congregation who DOES NOT believes the following?

- That “scripture alone” is our guide,
- There is a literal hell,
- The Bible is a product of divine inspiration,
- The doctrine of original sin,
- The virgin birth.

Apparently, Point Loma Nazarene University has no problem with that.  It would be difficult for me to say that they are ignorant or unawares of this kind of teaching.  Let’s see who I am talking about (I only touched on a small portion of his heresies).  I have forwarded this email to the Board of General Superintendents to let them be aware of the following serious issue.  I recommend anyone else concerned with this to address that concern to our leadership.

Pastor’s Day With Rob Bell

False prophet and so-called “pastor”, Rob  Bell, will be the main speaker at Pastor’s Day at San Diego First Church of the Nazarene on Feb. 18, sponsored by Point Loma Nazarene University.  Perhaps the pastors who will attend this event may want to heed the words of Jesus, and inspect the fruit produced by Rob Bell.  If it is rotten to the core, there is no choice but to cut that tree down, in other words, reject Rob Bell as anything other than a false teacher.

It seems that PLNU is working very hard to become known as one of the top schools to send your child so he can be indoctrinated with the “best” of the apostasy movement within the Nazarene denomination and practically all evangelical denominations now.  I call it the apostasy movement now because it not only includes emergent ideology, but also a rise in Dominion theology, the Alpha Course, soaking prayer and other experiential phenomena, social justice, extreme environmentalism, ecumenism, universalism, evolutionism, to name a few.

So now it is pastors who are being introduced openly to the heretical and dangerous viewpoints of Rob  Bell.  One of the biggest promoters of process theology, Dr. Michael Lodahl of Point Loma, is a Sunday School teacher at SD First.  (Process theology teaches that God makes mistakes and learns from them, and therefore this heresy rejects the sovereignty of God).  Point Loma also is home to Dr. Darrel Falk, one of the foremost proponents of the heretical teaching of theistic evolution, which rejects the truth of the Genesis account of creation.

I will not spend a lot of time here on Bell’s theology, his promotion of mystical practices, or his rejection of the authority and inerrancy of scripture.  It has been widely documented, and I have written some posts on him, including this one (Rob Bell: A Modern Day Gnostic).  I have attached other links at the end for further reading.  He is a danger particularly to young people and new Christians, many of whom do not have the maturity and discernment to spot such a deceiver.

It is truly sad to report the kinds of things Point Loma Nazarene University is doing, because I am sure not everyone attending or working at this school goes along with it.  Yet, what should one do when a “Christian” school insists on continuing down the road of apostasy.  (Apostasy comes from the Greek word apostasia,  and means “a defiance of an established system or authority; a rebellion; an abandonment or breach of faith”).  In this case, it is an abandonment of clear scriptural teachings to stay away from and reject false teachers.  There is no doubt anymore what Point Loma has become.  So what should a Christian do in the face of clear evidence that a school working under the banner of a Christian school, gets off the “narrow way” and enters the broad road to destruction?

Do you prefer to do what scripture tells you to, which is to expose the false teachers and the enablers of these false teachers?  First and foremost, if you do this, you will have obeyed the very commands of Jesus Christ and the apostles, and obedience as a Christian to all that scripture commands is not an option when it involves any clear teaching.

The only other alternative for us as Christians is to keep quiet and say nothing.  Those with that attitude perhaps believe that God will sort it all out, and take care of things in due time.  And so perhaps with that excuse, they can escape the inevitable result of speaking out.  That result would be to become unpopular, to be labeled a hateful person, and lose friends and colleagues, or be shunned by their church as a divisive person.

Point Loma leadership ought to be held accountable for the many poor decisions they have been making over the last few years.  I have documented some of these, as well as have others.  They have embraced false teacher Richard Foster, including hosting a retreat sponsored by his Renovaré organization.   They hosted a bizarre conference called Nurturing The Prophetic Imagination, as reported by Rev. Peter Migner.  I have listened to a chapel message in which the chaplain promoted mysticism.  They have consistently promoted contemplative mysticism.  Students have even publicized on their school blog about their dabbling into attempts to contact the spirit world. It seems there is not much that can be frowned on at the school anymore.

Recommendations:

  1. Do not send your child to this Point Loma Nazarene University.
  2. Write or call the leadership including the board of directors and ask why are they continuing down this road.
  3. Write or call our Board of General Superintendents and ask their opinion on whether Rob Bell conforms to orthodox biblical teaching, and offer to send them documented evidence of his unbiblical ideology.
  4. Suggest that withholding funds to the school, either from private donations or from your local church or even your District, is a serious possibility.
  5. Pray that if nothing else works, that God will shut down this school rather than let it continue deceiving students, and apparently, pastors as well.

As far as I know, the leadership of this school has not been responding seriously to anyone’s concerns.  The time for political correctness and politeness is long past due for Point Loma and many other Nazarene schools, and those of other denominations.  As I have stated before, I would prefer a millstone be hung around my neck and be thrown into the sea, than to negligently allow one young student at these schools to stumble.

What about you?

Does The Bible “Become” The Word of God?

Do you believe that the Bible- all of it- is truly the inspired inerrant word of God? What does your church leadership say the Bible is? Do you believe it IS the word of God, or that it only CONTAINS the word of God.  You see, words do matter, as J.R. Bjerke of Gospel of Christ Ministries point out in this post.

Does The Bible “Become” The Word of God?

By  J.R. Bjerke of Gospel of Christ Ministries

February 7, 2011

One new teaching that has crept into the church today is that the Bible becomes the Word of God as it is read. This is seen in a statement released by a mainstream Christian denomination which stated that “the Bible becomes the infallible Word of God, the authoritative rule of faith and practice in the Church.” This statement affirms that biblical inspiration occurs as the Bible is being read, and becomes the infallible Word of God for faith and practice.

There are two issues at the heart of this statement. First, the issue of the Bible becoming the Word of God when we read it. The Bible cannot become the Word of God because it is the Word of God. The Bible is the Word of God regardless if anyone reads it

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. - Hebrews 4:12

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness – 2 Timothy 3:16

These two verses clearly state that the Word of God is living, and all Scripture is inspired. These verses do not say that the Word of God or that Scripture becomes anything.

Second, by affirming that the Bible becomes the Word of God creates a relativistic environment consistent with neo-orthodox theology. In this environment, what becomes the “Word of God’ for you does not necessarily have to become the “Word of God” for someone else. This leads to a weak view of sin, as what one person might consider sin another person would not consider sin. This results in everyone doing what they “feel” is right. The Bible has some very strong words about this,

In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. – Judges 1:25

The Bible teaches that there is a great danger in doing what we think is right.

There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. - Proverbs 14:12

While it may not be the popular position we must purpose in our hearts to affirm that the Bible is the Word of God, and must live our lives accordingly.

Grace and Peace


Symptoms Of A Great Apostasy In Our Christian Schools And Seminaries

Acts 20:28-31 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.

There are still some good Christian colleges out there, you just need to search hard, find them, and verify what they profess to stand for.  You cannot simply trust the fact that a school labels itself Christian anymore.  This has been obvious to me in my last two years of investigation, and the facts are appalling and shameful.  We need to stop being a little less polite or politically corrent, and be more honest and upfront about the dangers facing our youth today.  Souls are at risk!

I just cannot see myself sending my son to a “Christian” university someday simply because it claims to be a Christian school.  Some folks say that they would rather send their child to any “Christian” school rather than a secular school. Imagine the horror, however, if your child goes to a “Christian” school, and after four years, comes home having learned and incorporated all sorts of pagan practices and unbiblical ideas into his life, or doubting the truthfulness of the Bible, after you entrusted him into the hands of supposedly solid Christian teachers and administrators.  My friends, many of these schools are all marching down the road of one-worldism, and ecumenical false unity, and an the incorporation of personal mystical experiences over the sufficiency of the word of God. And I have noticed over the last few years that many Christians are either not aware of, or just don’t care about, the signs of a great apostasy invading our Christian schools.

There is hardly a Christian university around anymore that can be trusted with your son or daughter’s spiritual well-being.  It is getting harder to recommend a school that you can be confident has a strong biblical foundation.  With the usual lame excuse of offering a “healthy liberal arts education”, this problem is showing up in all denominations, and in my particular denomination, the Nazarenes, it is a horrendous problem that I never dreamed would happen.  But it is, and it is a nightmare of “biblical proportions.”  And many Nazarenes are still stubbornly refusing to acknowledge this problem and deal with it according to scripture.  But deal with it we must.

One of the nightmares for instance is occurring at Point Loma Nazarene University.  I do not advise parents to send their children there at all. Point Loma proudly welcomed heretical emergent leader Brian McLaren- again- to speak there in February of 2009.  McLaren is a false teacher who considers the Cross like false advertising for God; who as a pastor does not understand what scripture clearly teaches about homosexuality; who cannot come to say that Jesus Christ is the only way to God.  Yet, Point Loma’s leaders either have no clue, or have bought into the lies and are deceived.  Students are being led like lambs to the slaughter, spiritually, at this school.  And having heard from alumni and concerned parents, these leaders have done nothing as of yet, as far as I know.

Point Loma has been promoting mysticism for a while now.  They have no problem bringing in Richard Foster to their school, to teach our young people the ways of occultic mysticism.  And they have shown their continued lack of discernment by hosting a bizarre conference called Nurturing The Prophetic Imagination.  Here, in this video, Dr. Peter Jones describes this conference as well as the school’s connection with Madame Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society, an occultic organization.  Dr. Jones also mentions how several feminist professors at Point Loma are promoting a radical blurring of male-female roles that is unbiblical, as well as the radical social justice that is plaguing many Nazarene colleges.  One of their professors, Dennis Bratcher, teaches process theology, a heresy that says that God learns from His mistakes.  And Professor Darrel Falk is a leading member of BioLogos and is a promoter of evolution as being compatible with the Bible.

Then there is Northwest Nazarene University, which is just about as bad as Point Loma. I would also strongly advise against sending your child to this school without investigating.  The classic example I have on my blog is the horrendously pagan lecture given by Dr. Jay McDaniel in front of NNU students, with the approval of leadership and faculty, including Dr. Tom Oord.  What a disturbing display of pagan and universalistic thinking that was indoctrinating our college Christian students, with not a word of protest from those who are teachers of our young people.  To this day, we have heard only excuses and pitiful explanations for this sad exhibition.  And there’s more of course, as NNU also hosted Brian McLaren and his ridiculous worship of mother earth and mis-translation of John 3:16 as meaning that Jesus came to save planet earth (see Eric Barger’s video).  Their theology curriculums are filled with books by mystics and emergent heretical authors.  Many (not all) of their teachers reject the Bible as the infallible word of God, and consider much of it as only myths.

Trevecca Nazarene University is in bad shape as well.  They have been going on field trips every year now to the Abby of Gethsemane, home to the late mystic Thomas Merton.  They have been indulging in the pagan practice of the prayer labyrinth, and when they were exposed, they changed the name of this practice to “prayer walk.”  They promote books by emergent church leaders, heretical mystics and contemplative spirituality proponents to their students.  In practice, this school is rejecting solid biblical principles by bringing in the ways of Roman Catholic monastic mysticism and emergent church heresy.

My own alma mater, Eastern Nazarene College, is exhibiting many signs of poor judgment.  The school is now also getting onto the social justice bandwagon.  They have a new social justice program with connections to a Marxist.  Can we also remember the hosting of Tony Campolo, in spite of my warnings to the leadership a few months before?  Campolo did not fail us in our expectations, as he promoted his occultic mysticism to a chapel full of young students, and perhaps more sadly, to also a good number of Nazarene pastors and leaders that day.  How sad that as far as I know, none have spoken out against this travesty. ENC is also home to Karl Giberson, a professor who does not believe the entire Bible, but insists that we came from evolutionary processes.  And he also promotes the heresy of open theism (God cannot know the future).  Their bookstore is full of books by heretical emergent leaders, and also promotes Roman Catholic bibles, including one with a prayer rosary inside.  In February, they will be hosting a speaker, Rachel Held Evans, who will be taking part in the Big Tent Christianity Conference and apparently has no problem associating with heretical speakers such as Marcus Borg and Brian McLaren.    A quote of her latest blog post gives us some insight into her thinking (emphasis mine) :  My tradition teaches that all non-Christians will be damned to hell for eternity, which can be supported with some interpretations of Scripture, but which violates every compassionate instinct God gave me as a human being and follower of Jesus.”

It seems that discernment has disappeared at my old school.  I would not recommend it at this time for any discerning parent to send their child.

Just because I did not mention the other Nazarene schools, does not necessarily mean they don’t have problems.  Nazarene Theological Seminary is frankly no better.  It is shamelessly promoting mysticism, including a Spring course taught by Dr. Doug Hardy called Celtic Spirituality, an occultic belief system that is nothing but paganism pretending to be Christian!  They have even promoted mystical and Roman Catholic practices to our young children of middle school age!  I dread to think of what future pastors will be preaching and promoting, as many of them buy into the unbiblical teachings that are being taught at our top seminary.

Oh, there are others schools besides Nazarene.  You will need to do some serious homework and ask some hard questions while demanding clear answers, before deciding where to send your child.  There are many universities once trusted for years, but no longer.  Fuller Theological Seminary is more aptly now called a cemetery.  Baylor University, Biola University (known for its apologetics!); Dallas Theological Seminary, George Fox University, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and many more, are delving into contemplative spirituality, emergent church ideology, social justice tinged with Marxism, worship of the creation, and post-modern theological ramblings that go nowhere but to confuse already confused young people.

Am I crazy that I don’t want my son to go to a “Christian” school where the theology professors don’t even believe in the inerrant, infallible word of God?  Am I crazy that I don’t want my son to be taught that you can have “an experience” with God, unlike anything taught in the Bible?  Or that he is going to have a social justice ideology rammed down his throat at the expense of solid biblical foundations?  Or that he is being introduced to Roman Catholic mysticism, prayer beads, and mantra style prayer?

Apostasy is here in our Christian universities and seminaries.  Some of us just need to stop being in denial.