Things That Matter – Unity above Doctrine?

Thursday 5/25/2017 – Brian Brodersen brought Mark Foreman of North Coast Calvary in to promote his ecumenical “One Church” initiative, on his “Things that Matter” program – entitled: “on the Importance of Working with Churches from Different Evangelical Traditions“.

The following is edited from Calvarychapel.com’s 21 min. video posted on 5/25/2017:

See https://calvarychapel.com/resources/article/view/things-that-matter-mark-foreman-on-the-importance-of-working-with-churches-from-different-evangelical-traditions/#.WSeztG7c88Q.facebook  and see: https://vimeo.com/219026292

The description on the Vimeo vid says it, “focuses on the importance of pastors recognizing that we are all part of one church and cultivating love and unity in the larger body of Christ.”

At the 16 minute mark, Foreman explains: When you move beyond doctrine, and you find out that we’re 99% the same and you realize, they love Jesus and this is my blood brother. So, I would say that that’s step one, Step two is to actually believe the New testament (like it says to join with apostates?) …All of our statements of faith have nothing about unity… To actually believe that two are better than one… The amount of leverage (in the world, on social issues) we have when we begin to join hands…”

There appears to be no information publicly available on the “One Church” group in San Diego, but it seems to be very similar to Holland Davis’ “Pastor’s Together” ecumenical affair, which   I reported on here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjC3oDNDswU

Foreman’s history: Foreman has been of the forefront of the emergent/ contemplative wave sweeping into Calvary Chapel churches. With his degree in Theology from the apostate Fuller Seminary, Foreman is touted as “an internationally renown speaker.”

Some of Foreman’s highlights are:

Featured speaker at the 2013 Catalyst West, alongside contemplative guru Dallas Willard.

2015 – Foreman’s NCCC Promotes Roma Downey’s “A.D. The Bible” miniseries on his FB.

NCCC Winter Women’s Book club featured Brennan Manning’s Ragamuffin Gospel. 2015 – CCNC Women’s Ministry hosted contemplative author Jill Briscoe, and have used the contemplative book “Sacred Chaos” by Tricia Rhodes, in the group (2015)

NCCC’s bookstore features numerous contemplative authors, inc: Brennan Manning, Dallas Willard, Tricia Rhodes, Ann Voskamp, and others.

Foreman’s NCCC has hosted events with:

Willow Creek’s Lynn Hybels, Contemplative author Jill Briscoe, and

Sami Awad of the ‘Holy Land Trust and other questionable chararters.

Foreman’s 2008 book, “Wholly Jesus” attempts to apply a “holistic” theology to Jesus Christ – And that Jesus “Came to redeem humanity physically, mentally, spiritually and culturally.” It proposes that “A fresh understanding of [NOTE] THE *HOLISTIC REDEEMER provides a roadmap to the wholeness that many people seek”, etc. The book is also replete with citations by the top contemplative gurus.

 

For more on Foreman and his NCCC See: Jim Fletcher’s article: “CC Breached”: http://www.worldviewweekend.com/news/article/calvary-chapel-breached

May 8, 2013 LTR blog – http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=11597

May 10, 2013 – http://www.spiritual-research-network.com/north-coast-calvary-chapel-breached-indeed.html

The fact that Brodersen felt is necessary to bring in Foreman and attempt to legitimatize his ministry, again shows that Brian is coming out of the closet for ecumenical and emergent/ contemplative doctrines and practices. Apparently, what is not on the list of “Things that Matter”, is genuine biblical doctrine.

 

See the EmergentWatch archive for more on Calvary Chapel and Brian Brodersen.

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The Shack Movie – On Shaky Ground

As there have been many good reviews of the movie (and the book) The Shack – it is not my intent here to do another. Rather, I have done a satirical Photoshop hack of The Shack movie poster, that I believe, adequately expresses my sentiments on the subject.

For a well balance review of the movie, please see Lighthouse Trails/ Warren B. Smith’s article: Before Watching The Shack Movie, Read This – The “Inspiration” Behind the Movie and Eugene Peterson’s Connection

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=22067

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Calvary (Chapel) Distribution selling book by Nick Hall – Organizer/ Promoter of the Ecumenical “Together 2016”!

Calvary Costa Mesa linked book distribution arm – Calvary Distribution – is now selling, and thus promoting “Reset: Jesus Changes Everything”, by Nick Hall – the organizer and promoter of the coming ecumenical aberration “Together 2016” – aka “RESET 2016”. Nick Hall directly partners with with the heretical teacher Lou Engle, and many other false teachers and groups!

CalDist sells Reset by Nick Hall 6.17.16

Endorsements of Hall’s book include Jesus Culture’s Lead Pastor, and others.

Reset Endorsements1

Nick Hall’s organization, “Pulse” is linked to these speakers:

Hall LX2 Engle

Pulse “Partners” also include the contemplative group “Alpha”, and others.

Pulse Partners

 

Practicing the Presence: An Unholy Spirit

A Presbyterian church pamphlet I recently found at a local library entitled “Enjoying the Presence of God” states: “It isn’t a matter of achieving God’s presence , but of surrendering to that presence that is already within…” The pamphlet also quotes Russian mystic Theophan the Recluse: “To pray is to descend with the mind into the heart, and there to stand before the face of the Lord, ever-present, all-seeing, withing you.”

Contemplative prayer is essentially occultic prayer. One of the chief exponents says: “Prayer is standing in the presence of God with the mind in the heart; at that point of our being where there are no divisions or distinctions and where we are totally one. There God’s Spirit dwells and there the great encounter takes place… before the face of the Lord, all-seeing, within us. – Henri Nouwen, The Way of the Heart, [p. 73-74]

This concept of prayer is NOT based on the Biblical model – wherein Jesus instructs us to pray “IN THIS MANNER – Our Father WHO IS IN HEAVEN…”. This is addressed to the Heavenly Father; to the God who is outside our bodies and far above and beyond us.

Occultic contemplative “prayer” is turned inward, allegedly toward “God within”. This inward prayer for the Christian “believer” is said to be to “the Holy Spirit”, BUT NOWHERE in Scripture are we told to pray to the holy Spirit, or to any “god within”! Strangely even non-believers are encouraged to practice this.

Jesus gives many NT references to the “Heavenly Father” – NONE to any kind of “god within”. Of The Spirit He says: “The Spirit of truth… He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you!” – John 16:13-14. God’s Holy Spirit never draws attention to Himself and we are never encouraged to worship or pray to God as the Holy Spirit.

The concept of the “God within” comes from Hinduism – specifically the Vedic Bramanic texts. The god Brahma (or “Shiva”, depending on the sect) is said to pervade and indwell everything. In the panthestic “Advaita” schools this is the known as Brahman, with which devotees seek to “merge”. In the schools that purport to worship a personal God, the same concept [of Brahman] is used but alleged to be the Paramatma, or “super-soul”, an all pervading form of “Vishnu”. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paramatman.

No matter the “school” followed, the Hindu concepts are all foundationally pantheistic/ impersonalist and much of New Age occultism is built on these concepts. Wiccans describe occult meditation as “The spiritual practice of mental concentration upon (or openness to) the Divine… to consciously connect with our real Self, and the Divine… to reach your full spiritual potential, meditating is the golden road. It has a lot to offer your Wicca practice.” – fr: http://www.wicca-spirituality.com/meditation.html

People are being sold a bill of goods that promises a “Deeper” spirituality and “intimacy” with God, and in their quest for spiritual experiences, they are being deceived en mass. To practice this contemplative “meditation”, and “Descending with the mind into the heart”, and there, “Surrendering to that presence”, is nothing short of an open invitation to demonic influence or worse.

Jesus warned: “A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah!” – Matthew 16:4; And “…the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him!” – John 4:23

Who’s Minding The Store

New Age author Marilyn Ferguson, in her book, The Aquarian Conspiracy (1980) describes a loose federation of people from almost every discipline – “conspirators” that are now in high places – serving as doctors, lawyers, even university professors. What has taken place with this “conspiracy” parallels what happened to many of the 60’s radicals, who learned that it is easier to infiltrate the system and change it from within, than to try to oppose it outwardly.

Just as many collage radicals went back to school, got their degrees and are now university professors – (credentialed teachers feeding their students a rich diet of neo-marxism) – We have witnessed a similar phenomena with our theological seminaries and Bible colleges – where radicals have infiltrated and corrupted the institutions that train our church pastors and school teachers. Repackaged, “Christianized” new age doctrines and practices, combined with the leftist propaganda of “social justice” (etc.) is the toxic mix that pours forth from the institutions that are supplying the majority of Christian churches with their leadership. These men are also writing and developing the curriculum for church schools, all over America.

It is the poisonous fruit of these corrupt false teachings that is distilled into books – books (and DVDs) that are now SOMEHOW making their way into the church bookstores of even seemingly solid, Biblically based churches. Books on everything from humanistic psychology to occultic “contemplative” meditation and “Christian” yoga. Many of these same books can also be found in your local new age bookstore. This situation is causing great harm to the God’s people and to the witness of the church. It is confusing and disorienting believers and others who may be seeking God’s truth and guidance, but stumble upon these books in church bookstores.

Stumbling The Little Ones?

HOW MANY people have gone into church bookstores at reputable churches and bought books they assumed are Biblical and safe, simply because that church carries it? How many Christians have left churches – not because Johnny couldn’t be in choir, or because they thought the worship band was too loud – but because their valid concerns about the influence of the emerging church were not addressed, and they were thus branded “trouble makers”?

How many pastors are failing – not only to warn about false teachers – but failing to protect their own flock by not even taking the time to monitor what is on the bookstore shelves? Is it not a primary duty of the pastor (& the elders) to protect the flock?

Many Christians, even when shown evidence, simply do not want to believe that their church leadership is failing in i’s responsibilities, or that they may even be teaching errors. And, even if they do see and understand the issues, many Christians are afraid to speak up for fear of being ostracized or “marked” as supposedly “causing division” (etc.). More often than not, these believers quietly leave that Church in search of a Biblical one.

To bring valid concerns about doctrine or practices to the attention of the leadership – in accordance with scripture [Matt. 18:15-17] is not “causing divisions”. Read Romans 16:17 “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.” If the leadership has failed in their responsibility to feed and protect the flock, and/ or has departed from the teaching of The Bible – it is they who have caused the division in the body of Christ – teaching contrary to Biblical doctrine and by not protecting their flocks from false teachings.

 “Pastors” Are Shepherds – Shepherds Are Protectors?

Sheep need a protective shepherd in order to survive. Christians likewise need protection from error and those who spread it. Pastors are to guard their sheep from going astray and defend them against the wolves that would ravage them. Paul admonished the pastors at Ephesus to stay alert and to protect the churches under their care:

Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them” – Acts 20:28-30

A good shepherd makes sure his flock has a safe, well-maintained environment. He knows the dangers that threaten his flock. Likewise a true pastor is aware of the dangers that threaten God’s people and strives to provide a protected atmosphere for the congregation. A faithful shepherd won’t let his sheep feed next to a poisoned well, but will diligently labor to maintain a safe and secure fold. There should be a proactive, diligent guard on the part of the pastor and elders against false teachers and against those who would fleece the flock.

When pastors fail to protect the flock, then what?

Now if a pastor has been approached using the biblical criteria of Matt. 18:15-17 and has not responded or addressed the issues, does it not say to then “Tell it to the church”, and what does this entail? As a lay-person does not have access to the pulpit, what recourse do they have? Here we can thank The Lord for the many good discernment ministries that have been sounding the alarm about the “emergent church” and the “Contemplative” catastrophe.

It may be one thing if some obscure anonymous blog is crying wolf, but it is quite another when – as we now have – dozens if not hundreds of websites and blogs all saying the same thing, and trying to alert people to the dangers, and the extent of the infiltration of the emergent doctrines and practices into mainstream evangelical churches.

WHO Is Really Minding The Store?

EmergentWatch has taken the initiative and surveyed some of the prominent theological seminary and Christian church bookstores. Using a master list of the popular emergent and contemplative teachers, the number of books by an author at a particular bookstore was noted. What was found is shocking – but it is documented via screen captures. As mentioned earlier – many Christians, even when shown evidence, will simply not want to believe that their church leadership is not protecting the flock. Yet the evidence speaks for itself.

Naming Names?

It is inexcusable, Biblically, for a pastor not to be aware and on guard that false teachings can creep into his church through unbiblical books in the church bookstore. Here the truth must be told – that most of the leadership of the churches included in the survey have been repeatedly approached and admonished to renounce any association with the emergent and contemplative teachers and their books. The truth must also be told – that those who have tried to warn the church leadership have been ostracized, threatened, fired from churches and discredited. To date, the EC infection is spreading unabated and threatens to destroy the church as an institution. The issues are very real and very serious.

In the course of the survey, pastors and other leaders will be named. This is NOT unbiblical. The Apostle Paul repeatedly warned in his epistles of men who he specifically named that were false teachers. [2 Tim. 4:14-15; Acts 13:7-8, etc] ><> The hope is that if enough people are alerted, pray and move out in faith – hopefully as a united front – confronting the leadership, that they will repent and address the issues. Pray, church pray! ><>