Followup To Point Loma Chapel Service of Oct. 28, 2011

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.  2 Cor. 11:3

In my recent post Blind Guides, I alerted you to the Jesus Prayer Retreat at Point Loma Nazarene University, conducted by Frederica Matthewes-Greene of the Orthodox Church.  I made the case that teaching anyone to pray repetitive prayers such as what Frederica teaches is clearly against anything that the Lord taught regarding how we are to pray.  True prayer is simply direct and conscious communication with God, presenting our praise, needs and concerns to Him.  That is how we are taught in Scripture.  We are not taught to pray with vain repetitions.  We are not taught to pray in rote formulaic prayers over and over.  We do not need prayer ropes or beads, as Frederica advocates using.  We are nowhere taught to pray to the dead, or to venerate or kiss icons. We are also not taught “silent” prayer, (emptying the mind) because there is no such thing taught to us.  These are idolatry, mysticism, and disobedience to God’s word, and yet the Nazarene denomination and practically all evangelical denominations are experiencing this in its universities and churches.

I was not able to get notes from the retreat, but I did listen to the chapel message.  I have a link to it now at my blog, on a new page which will eventually have other chapel messages and speeches from universities that are embracing contemplative mysticism and emergent heresies, as Point Loma clearly is doing.  Here is the link: Chapel Messages At Various Christian Schools.  You may listen to it and get your own conclusions as to what Frederica was trying to accomplish.  One of my conclusions was that this was a subtle way to indoctrinate the students to be open to even more forms of contemplative spirituality and to teach them a works-based gospel of salvation.  Frederica was very good at drawing the students in with her humor and illustrations, and then leading them into new ideas about icons (images), and their use in Christian life.  I believe she was teaching error to them, yet the errors at Point Loma have been multiplying like rabbits.  The administration ought to publicly disclose what their justification is for allowing these practices to be taught.  I will soon be posting profiles of the many false teachers that have been welcomed over the last ten years at Point Loma to indoctrinate students.  (Below is one reader’s review of the chapel message).

Review of Frederica Matthewes-Greene’s Chapel Message

It would take too long and too much space to deal with the entire message. So, I would like to address WHO this woman is, WHAT her life-in-brief represents and HOW she starts this message. However, it seems her message is congruent with WHO and WHAT she represents, et al. (This is my opinion based on the limited information gleaned from this one speech and biographic information found on Wikipedia.)

I would not give her or her speech another thought had it not been given to a captive audience of college students at PLNU.

I suspect that this is the Frederica Mathewes-Green (born 1952) who is an Eastern Orthodox author and noted as a speaker on the subjects of religion and abortion.

Mathewes-Green is reputed to be strongly pro-life and writes and speaks against abortion, but, she is also critical of the more extreme elements of the pro-life movement.

She supports and promotes more dialogue with pro-choice advocates.

She is also a past vice-president of Feminists for Life of America

Her bio suggests Christians have some common ground with her. However, her bio also suggests that she loves the “middle ground” or to ride the fence on some very important issues. This is not the type of thought, discourse or practice that God tolerates in those who profess to believe and follow Him. (Revelation 3:16)

At any rate, Frederica Matthews-Greene starts her talk by referring to pictures or ‘icons’. She even quotes a scripture verse, Genesis 1:26 by saying “we are made in the ‘icon’ of god’. And ‘icon’ just means image.”

Having set the stage she deftly draws the listener further into her subject by suggesting we all have a favorite picture we love – so much that we would like to kiss it. “Go ahead and admit it. It’s OK”, she says.

This is a smartly used speaking technique: emotional seduction.

The listener is now ready and she moves them, almost hypnotically, to the subject of christian icons – ‘which of course are just another name for pictures’.

This reminds me of another verse or two from Genesis:

< Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?  Gen. 3:1>

Satan sure came close in his quoting God, and it sure sounded like he said was right.

But it was a lie.

Frederica Matthews-Greene starts her talk quoting scripture, Genesis 1:26 saying “we are made in the ‘icon’ of god’ and icon just means image.”

But is that the truth? Let’s take a closer look:

Genesis 1:27 (with Strong’s concordance numbers) God created man in His own image , in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

image: 06754 םלצ tselem tseh’ lem

from an unused root meaning to shade; n m; {See TWOT on 1923 @@ “1923a”}

AV-image 16, vain shew 1; 17

1) image
1a) images (of tumors, mice, heathen gods)
1b) image, likeness (of resemblance)
1c) mere, empty, image, semblance (fig.)

NOTE: It does NOT mean ‘icon’ or a picture.

In fact, there is no use of this word “image” that suggests anything very useful, very substantial or lasting. It is not endearing, it is not lovely and most likely no one in their right mind would want to kiss a “tselem”.

The word “image” from Genesis 1:26, fact it, refers to a ‘mere, empty image’; a mere shadow of something else (God, in this instance).

It does not mean icon. Fredrica Mathewes-Green comes very close and it sounds right.

But, it is a lie.

Is this important or am I just picking? Just wrestling with semantics?

It is important. It is a matter of life and death. Both now and eternal. (I don’t feel I am overstating my case).

Satan lied to his audience (Eve) and it lead to disastrous consequences, not only for Eve, but for her family (Adam and later her children) and subsequently for the entire human race.

We – you and I – are still dealing with the fallout of Satan’s lies.

As a listener, I would be very careful when a speaker, purporting to be speaking on behalf of God, the Church or the Bible, starts by misstating, misquoting or misrepresenting facts. In this case facts about what the bible says on certain verifiable matters:

Our created image in relationship to God.

In this case she changes the meaning of a key verse to make a point from her own point of view. It is not biblical. It is not the truth.

Yes. It is important. It is a matter of life and death.

Mike Young

One response to “Followup To Point Loma Chapel Service of Oct. 28, 2011

  1. Excellent points, All those who wish to worship as Frederica teaches needs to read what Christ had to say about vain repetition. Matthew [6:7] “And when you pray, do not use vain repetition as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.” Jesus makes it clear that vain repetition is clearly a heathen practice. And who wants to worship like the heathen, and take the chance that Jesus will not hear your prayer offered in that manner, not me?

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