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Wednesday, 23 November 2011

New Calvinism. Explaining And Exposing This Latest Ecumenical and Apostate Movement Which Is Taking The Church By Storm



Introduction
I was asked to investigate what reformed theology teach. During my investigations on the subject, it led me to something much bigger than I imagined, opening up a massive "can of worms". I discovered   the newest fad which is taking Christianity by storm.



The last paradigm shift was the “emerging church” which was a call for Christians to return to vintage (Roman Catholic style) Christianity. NOW there is the NEW CALVINISM aka new reformation. What I read disturbs me a lot. Therefore, I feel led to write an article on my findings.

 New Calvinism is on the rise and taking the church by storm, especially amongst young believers (the future of the church).  This new movement is causing much concern for discerning Christians because of its ecumenical, worldly nature and because it embraces “dominion” theology.

At first glance it seemed to come out of the “seeker sensitive” movement because of its methodology of trying to appeal to the carnal nature of mankind. Therefore, I sensed it was vitally important to investigate this whole thing by seeking answers to the general questions I had, such as how everything fits together and how it fits into the ecumenical dominion apostate global scheme of things.

Introductory Information About The Dominionism and Ecumenism Of New Calvinism
For a background to this article (to get things into perspective) please reread my older article entitled:
"Why Dominion and Kingdom Now Theology Leads The Church Down The Same Road To Apostasy As Pursued By Rome" click here to read it

During my investigations I discovered another vital ingredient behind the “dominion” apostasy of the 20th-21st Century church.  My previous articles on the subject didn’t cover it because I was not previously aware of the dominionism (inspired by “a-millennial” theology and later “post-millennial”) behind Calvinism and the subsequent “reformed theology”.

From what I now understand, the New Calvinist movement has links with the New Apostolic Reformation both embracing Dominionism and both hold (generally) to a reformed theological position.

My previous article on “dominionism” showed how its history began within the Catholic church of the dark ages. I showed how Dominion theology was Catholic and those protestant/evangelical denominations/organisations who embrace its teachings are worldly or have been influenced or infiltrated by the Catholic Organisation through ecumenism in the form of disguised Jesuits and Illuminati/freemasons.

It has NOW come to my attention that new reformed theology also embraces the exact same things. This article will now demonstrate the evidence AND will show that new Calvinism is the same as old Calvinism BUT is much more dangerous and leads to a global ecumenically united, dominion apostate religion.

I used to think that Calvinism was harmless because it emphasised great truths like the eternal security of all “born-again” believers and emphasised salvation by grace and not by works and opposition to the paganised Catholic church and therefore would not embrace the ecumenism that this blog preaches against.

I think that most believers would think in this same way about Calvinism without knowing the actual truth and not realising that AT ITS ROOT Calvinism has ACTUALLY some very sinister elements to it.  Actually even most Calvinists do not know its “dark” background.  The “dark” background could all be explained by its extra biblical, allegorical “spiritualised” version of  the church and its “a-millennial” stance.

In fact any teaching, be it a-millennial or post-millennial, which preaches that Jesus will not return until the church reigns for a thousand years first (1000 years could be taken figuratively to mean a LONG period of time or a literal 1000 years) becomes part of the false/dangerous idea of “kingdom now” or “dominionistic” theology which teaches that the Church is responsible for setting up a global kingdom on Earth. This is the biggest concern behind the New Calvinists teaching – more so than the other reformed teachings which also contain unscriptural theology.

By understanding the background (I will try to describe it within this article) you will discover WHY New Calvinism embraces Dominionism and ecumenism?  In fact, could it be
 that this new movement is actually another work of Jesuits or some other Catholic counter-reformation influence, to weaken the position of protestant Christianity and therefore bring them back into the submission to Rome? For example, John Piper (one of the leaders of this movement is heavily involved in the VERY Catholic influenced ecumenical Lausanne Movement.



This article will now seek to bring answers to my various specific questions:
What Is New Calvinism?
Who Are The Players?
What Does It Teach?
Why Is It Dangerous?
Is it Apostasy?
How Does it fit into the Ecumenical, Rushdoony and NAR Dominion scheme of things?
How Is It Ecumenical?
What is The History And Origin Behind The Reformed Theology Of New Calvinism?
How/Why Was CalvinisticTheology developed?
Was it Biblical or Man’s Theory?

As well as answering these questions it will also show us:

How the Calvinistic Approach to Theology is the WRONG approach to studying The Bible Compared To The Correct way
Why reformed theology is Not Biblical Theology
How It Produces A Defamation Of God’s Character
How It Misrepresents The God of The Bible And His Teachings
The Problems and Heresy It Therefore Produces

What Is New Calvinism?

New Calvinism (aka new reformation) is recycled Calvinism (ie reformed theology) but with many extras. It retains its links with older "reformed theology" but also joins forces with the New Apostolic Reformation" (NAR), ecumenism, worldliness and the “Dominion” mandate.  From first appearances it seems to be supportive of the seeker sensitive approach to evangelism and has joined forces with the emerging church.  Although it holds the name “Calvinist” it is rather loosely held by most of those associated with this movement.  Today’s leaders are extremely enthusiastic in reaching out to the younger generation with an attractive style of preaching the message which appeals to the youth of today and gets them motivated into action. Francis Chan is one such person with a dynamic personality who is getting a big following.

There are wide ranging new Calvinists. Not all of them hold to one specific area of Calvinism.  This section will not debate the Calvinist view of election, pre-destination etc. because there is a MUCH bigger area of concern which is mainly why this article is being written. It is in the area of their “DOMINION” teachings which is ultimately ecumenical in practice.

Many New Calvinists lean towards the Dominion teachings of global conquest of the planet. Some take the “spiritual” conquest view that the Church is/should be reigning now spiritually (which ultimately will result in a physical reality) and some take on a much more active participation in the Rushdoony’s more visible physical reign on Earth scheme. Both of these are a-millennial view which effectively means that they do not believe in a literal thousand years but a “figurative” long period of time in which the Church reigns BEFORE Jesus returns to Earth.

Some NC’s join in with the New Apostolic Reformation’s (NAR), global dominion approach (which has major similarities with Rushdoony). They take on the post-millennial position of a literal thousand years which is similar to a-millennial because they both preach that Christ will not return until AFTER the “millennium” is completed.  

Peter Masters of London Metropolitan Tabernacle (Charles Spurgeon’s old church) who is a staunch Calvinist (reformed theologian) is of the opinion that most neo-Calvinists are not dominionists.  I would have to disagree with him because reformed theology (including Spurgeon, Whitfield etc) has always previously stated to be of the a-millennial camp WHICH IS Dominionistic in nature (although they may not use that word) and because many ARE following Rushdoony Dominionism .  Of course Masters would be biased towards the “purity” of his theology so will inevitably defend Calvinism against criticism.

Anyway, even Masters has criticised the New Calvinism movement (ie criticism of the movement – not Calvinism), but for different reasons than because of “dominionism”. You can read what he says here: Worldly Calvinism

He also wrote these words to me (by email):
 “do not treat the new Calvinism as a cohesive movement, for it is not. Although certain prominent names regularly share platforms with each other, they do not surrender their distinctives. As far as I know most ‘new Calvinists’ are opposed to Dominion theology, even if some of them have spoken at their conferences. Certainly most new Calvinists are very strongly opposed to Catholic teaching and ecumenism, even though John Piper speaks at deeply compromised Lausanne. New Calvinism has no adequate separation from worldliness, no Lord’s Day, and a number of other deficiencies, mostly in the areas of Christian worship and conduct. There appears to be a huge gulf between doctrine and conduct.”.

The rest of this article will go on to show that (according to much evidence) Peter Masters is wrong in his assertion that Calvinists are opposed to “dominionism” and opposed to the Catholic church and ecumenism. In reality there is much Catholic influence amongst Calvinists. There always has been!  The reformation was never about pulling away from the Catholic church. It was all about trying to reform the Catholic church back to the Catholic  Augustine’s theology. More on this later.

Emerging Church Connection
I have found that New Calvinism (although may have had some influence before the “emerging church” came on the scene) has joined forces with/through the rise of the emerging church. The whole crux of emerging Christianity was an appeal to return back to vintage Christianity (ie Catholic) and was all about the “experiential” using our 5 senses to experience God. Emerging Christianity was basically trying to get us to return to Babylonic pagan worship (Catholic Gnosticism aka new age). Emerging Christianity has emerged still further.  It appears that some “emergents” wanted to go back to vintage Calvinism or Augustinian Christianity rather than “dark ages” Catholicism.

It has been said that Emerging church theology (basically Catholic) was failing to achieve what it wanted. Why? Maybe because the warning had been declared about its Catholic links. How could they be more successful? I guess they felt that they needed to change their name and disguise it somewhat. I notice that most false Christian groups are doing this like Latter Rain. They have changed their name many times and are now called New Apostolic Reformation. However, they have many networks with many different names. This hides these groups from the public of who they really are. So, New Calvinism is an attempt to win Reformed Christians (because of their name) into the Catholic influenced/infiltrated "emerging church".  So how has Emerging church emerged?

So,  New Calvinism has spread out of the Emerging Church probably as an emerging church tactic to attract a greater number of young believers.  It is very difficult to see how it resembles old Calvinism because it is ALL embracing, ecumenical and very worldly.

It still has links with the emerging church and has as one of its leaders John Piper who is also a major player (being a council member and preacher) within the ecumenical "Lausanne Movement" which is heavily influenced and supported by the Vatican.

Can you see how all the parts of the Dominionists (protestants and Catholics plus) are coming together to become one united whole as the whore of Babylon?

Emerging Church’s New Calvinism


I have found out some information on the above. This new movement has "emerged" as one of 4 roads branching from the emerging church. It seems to be extremely popular (especially amongst the youth) and is led by leaders like Mark Driscoll and John Piper.  Although called new Calvinism it is a very liberal version of Calvinism. It is ecumenical and extremely worldly.  This is what Mark Driscoll  of New Calvinism (former Emerging Church Pastor) has to say.

“It has four lanes.

The First Lane - Emerging Reformers (New Calvinists):
Generally people like myself who are young (35 and under) and who are more or less Reformed.  I am a classical Reformed Christian, I subscribe to the WCF and the Regulative Principles of Worship, while the ER loves Luther, Calvin, the Puritans, ect. they are usually 4 point Calvinists who are uncomfortable with Limited Atonement.  They are also generally more for the Normative Principles of Worship.

I love the Emerging Reformers, we have our disagreements but you will not find a new movement within the Church that loves and promotes Monergism and a generally Reformed Christian Worldview than them.

The Second Lane - Emerging House Church:

The Third Lane - Emerging Evangelical:
This movement has pretty much died out.  It was pretty much a movement to look for new ways of doing "Church".  They were generally evangelical, believed in the basics and were chased and scared out by the extreme and heretical views of the fourth lane below.

The Fourth Lane - Emergent Church (formerly Emerging Left”

For more on what others say about New Calvinism, please click on the links below:

Who Are The Players

If you asked a group of New Calvinists you might get slightly different lists, but here is one that most might agree see as representing a broad appeal: 


John Piper of Desiring God Ministries
Albert Mohler of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Mark Dever of 9Marks Ministries
John MacArthur of Grace Community Church
RC Sproul of Ligonier Ministries
CJ Mahaney of Sovereign Grace Ministries
Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church and Acts 29 Ministries
Ligon Duncan of First Presbyterian Church—Jackson, MI
Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian
Phillip Ryken of Wheaton College and Tenth Presbyterian of Philadelphia
Michael Horton of Westminster Seminary, CA and the White Horse Inn
DA Carson of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Online source)


The above list was obtained from another blog article entitled "New Calvinisms Personality Driven Life". You can see the same list presented there by clicking this shortcut link:  New Calvinist Leaders List


Others:
Francis Chan of Cornerstone and founder of Eternity Bible College


Paul Washer? Not sure if he should belong on this list as a NC (certainly his message is not typical NC, although, it is said that PW preaches Lordship Salvation and is a hyper Calvinist and ministers to the youth)

Note: I think John McArthur has been included on that list because of his associations with John Piper, especially because he participates at John Piper's "Desiring God" conferences.




What Does New CalvinismTeach


The biggest cause for concern is their emphasis on “a-millennialism” (rushdoony) and “post-millennialism” (NAR) because its roots are basically Catholic and therefore ecumenical and will eventually turn into a dominionised united global apostate church – even uniting with ALL religions.

The bottom line is that they are primarily based on Calvin's theology. By understanding that reformed theology comes from out of Calvinism, we can then understand why they follow their present doctrines.

It seems that  everything they do/believe  mostly emanates under the 5 main points of Calvinism = TULIP.  Here is a simplified version, so that you can see that it is a theology based on theory (Augustinian theory) and NOT based on the overwhelming  teachings of the WHOLE Bible. Although it includes much truth and uses scripture passages, it deliberately twists the majority of scripture verses to FIT IN this theology into the Bible, i.e. they superimpose this theology into the Bible rather than determine their theology based upon the Bible direct.

T    stands for Total depravity.  The theory that man CANNOT and will not choose God because of his/her total depravity and incapacity to do so. We are warped  and DEAD in trespasses and sins, i.e.  only God raises the dead, so it is impossible for us to come to God in repentance unless God has chosen us.

U    stands for Unconditional election.  This follows on from Total depravity. It is the theory that God chooses who will be saved BEFORE the world was made and nothing of human will can change that.

L    stands for Limited atonement.  This follows in sequence. The theory that BECAUSE God chose the elect it means that Jesus could only have died for the elect alone because all others will reject His gift of salvation

I    stands for Irresistible grace. The theory that the chosen/elect WILL choose God because of the work HE does alone changing us from within to love Him which is by irresistible grace.

P    stands for Perseverance of the saints.  The theory that the perseverance of the saints UNTIL THE END proves that they are the Elect. They take the verse “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion”  to mean that God works in the elect until the very end, i.e. those who fall away proves that they were not of the elect 



Why Is Calvin’s Teaching Dangerous


From the above description of TULIP it is clear that there is much error in their thinking which is theoretical rather than Biblical. I will go on to ONLY focus on the more serious issues of their heresy (which tends to lead to ecumenism) without getting caught up on the minors.

The problem with Calvinists is that they work enthusiastically and tirelessly trying to prove that Calvin’s teachings are scriptural by applying convenient scripture passages to their preconceived theology without letting the Bible teach them BIBLICAL THEOLOGY. Instead of letting the Bible change their thinking they change the bible to fit in by allegorising or spiritualising the conflicting texts. Bearing in mind the way Calvinists approach the Bible, it will become clearer (later) why they are dangerous to the TRUE church of God as they introduce “replacementism” and “dominionism”.

Through intense research looking into reformed theology, I  have discovered that even the root of replacementism (the church totally replacing Israel and taking on all of Israel’s blessings and promises)  lies at the door of Martin Luther and then John Calvin. Those like Stephen Sizer (of today’s church, who are Calvinists or Reformists) are heavily influenced by reformed theology. These people have been brainwashed into Calvin's systematic theology carrying preconceived ideas into their bible studies. Therefore, it is incredibly difficult for such people to be open to changing their minds because they are so totally convinced in Calvinist theology, so will fight to uphold IT rather than being humble enough to earnestly build their own BIBLICAL theology with an open heart and mind.


Augustinian Influence In Calvinism
I have also been reading up on Calvin's history from many sources, in which Calvin states that his teachings were basically the same as Augustine’s.  In the reformation he tried to show the Catholic leadership that his ideas came straight from Augustine (who was highly awed by them).

So what about Augustine? I read up on Augustine  that  he got his ideas from gnostics like Plato and used them in his biblical theology. It is said that his ideas like election and predestination etc. came from these gnostic beliefs and that Calvin simply reintroduced them into the Catholic church seeking to reform/restore the Catholic church to old truths.

During the Reformation,  the Bible was now available to the common man, Calvin was able to show the old theology in the bible but by superimposing it within the bible rather than being honest enough to develop theology DIRECTLY from the Bible. In fact (as it is told) the Ana-Baptists developed their theology based on the Bible (and not on preconceived Augustine/Calvin theology) which exposed Calvin’s false theology.  Therefore, Calvin and his followers persecuted the Ana-Baptists and put many to death.

Doesn’t this history/origins of Calvinism put into serious doubt the reliability of reformed theology? There is much more to follow which puts it into much greater doubt.


Basic reformed Theology Explained and Exposed


Here is an excellent book which exposes reformed theology as false: (if you have any difficulties opening it, please email me and I will send it to you as a pdf attachment)
I have meticulously read/evaluated what the author said. I try to be a good Berean checking up what people say and see if it aligns with the whole context of the Bible.

I always thought I was primarily Calvinistic (without knowing the full extent of Calvin's teachings) simply because I could see the overwhelming evidence in scripture of eternal security "once saved always saved". However, that was as far as my understanding of Calvinism  went.

I have always avoided taking any specific line of systematic theology because I DID NOT WANT any specific theology to give me preconceived man's ideas of what the Bible actually teaches. I develop my theology DIRECT from the Bible (without reading books). I was always discouraged reading books because they seemed so empty compared with reading the Bible first hand.

I found using a concordance excellent in helping me to study. My approach was always to read through the Bible slowly digesting everything I read. I used a concordance to help me find other bible passages that spoke on the same topic and comparing them to get things into the right context of meaning. I used the method of asking questions about the passage and then through prayer seeking for the answers, such as who, what, why, where, which, when etc. More on my Biblical approach in the section “Why The  Calvinistic Method Of CollectingTheology Is Wrong Compared To The Biblically Correct Way”

Therefore, from this position of biblical overview I cannot see how Calvinism can be scriptural.

For example, if God is full of love, compassion, mercy, just. "He who did not SPARE His own Son" why would He (out of a nature of love) create humans  for the sole purpose of (effectively)  sending them to an eternal hell? To me that is a defamation of God's character. If some people have no chance of repenting because they are not of the elect, if they are incapable of choosing God because they are DEAD, then EFFECTIVELY God has created souls to be tormented for eternity. How can God be a God of Love and also be Righteous and Just if He did such things?  How can you trust a God like that? No wonder Atheism has taken on in a massive way because "how can you believe in a God like that?" No, I cannot believe in a God like that because that is NOT His nature, according to the Scriptures.

I still believe in eternal security because the SCRIPTURES say so, not because Calvin says so.



Why Is Dominion Teaching Dangerous

The biggest names behind latter day Dominionism  are  Latter Rain (includes all their offshoots over the last 60 years like Restoration, Third Wave, NAR etc.) and Word of Faith groups. (To see the extent in which WoF is involved in "dominionism"   Click Here  which takes you to an excellent dialogue - comments section from an ex WoFer).


However, during the process of putting this article together, I also came across Rushdoony in the process. He was the forerunner of the "reconstructionist" version of Dominionism which also the NAR super apostle Peter Wagner is promoting.  The differences between Rushdoony and NAR are only superficial. Where Rushdoony followers are looking to a Dominionised  Christian world  controlled by “reconstructed”  Mosaic Law, NAR are seeking to “restore” all things, ie restoration movement. Both seek the church to have dominion over all the Earth BEFORE Jesus returns.

Here is a good link which gives reasons to reject Dominionism:

Also
Dominionism is unscriptural (Jesus said "my kingdom is not of this world" and many other teachings like "do not set up treasures on Earth" and "set your affections on those things above, not on Earth" and "our citizenship is in heaven") and it DOESN'T work as was proved by the Dominionism of the Catholic church through the Dark Ages. "All have sinned and fallen SHORT of the glory of God". Even as Spirit filled believers we STILL sin and fall short of God's standard and we tend to live "fleshly" lives at times.

This is why Paul encouraged us to "walk in the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh" because it is clear that at times we fail!!! The Catholic Institution exercised Dominionism. Just consider how quickly it turned into the flesh. It became something satanically inspired.

John warned us that the "whole world (ie world system) lay under the control of the evil one" This means that THIS AGE (before Jesus returns) has governments influenced and controlled by demons. This is why we pray for Governments so that the influence of satan will be weakened somewhat. However, our main prayer should be "maranatha" because ONLY then will the kingdoms of this world belong to Christ AND NOT UNTIL THEN!

Jesus NEVER stated that the role of the church was to have dominion. He simply stated that we should preach the gospel and making disciples throughout the Earth.

The whole doctrine of Dominionism is taken from a few isolated and vague verses (out of context). For example in Genesis it is referring to ruling over the animal kingdom and taking care of the planet. Then Jesus said to "make disciples of all nations". It is really making excessively great leaps to suggest Jesus meant ruling the World. Again the context would show it means we should make disciples FROM the nations.

The danger of Rushdoony and NAR is that TOGETHER the ultimate result is exactly the same i.e. an attempt to set up God's kingdom rule throughout the Earth which is contrary to our real purpose. Philippians 2 tells us that our attitude should be the same as Christ "although He was in the form of God did not count equality as SOMETHING TO BE GRASPED but EMPTIED HIMSELF and took on the form of a SERVANT ....." We are told to do the same thing!  HUMILITY and servitude is the bottom line, until Jesus returns!!! Our role is simply (in humility and love) to preach the gospel throughout the World seeking to save PEOPLE (not nations or governments) from their sins

Here is an interesting article showing the roots behind how Latter Rain Dominionism  (now known as NAR) came into being as a DANGEROUS movement:





How Does New Calvinism fit into the Ecumenical, Rushdoony and NAR Dominion scheme of things



Firstly, here is a link which is a good description of dominionism:

New Calvinism fits into the Ecumenical, Rushdoony, NAR dominion scheme of things because of who their leaders are, who they associate with and because of their agenda.  For example, John Piper (one of their prime leaders) is on the "council of reference" of the VERY  Vatican influenced  “Lausanne Movement”.

He has ecumenical leanings and has recently had strong associations with the ecumenical "New Apostolic Reformation" inviting Rick Warren  (who is also on the LM council) to speak at his "Desiring God" conference 2010. He also has invited C Peter Wagner (Main “super” apostle of NAR) to speak at meetings.

The fact that those who participate in New Calvinism are linking themselves to NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) leaders, is quite telling. There is overwhelming proof and evidence to prove that NAR are working with the Vatican to bring about their ecumenical mandate of the 1960’s. I have also written a number of articles showing how apostate and ecumenical the NAR are. Therefore, if New Calvinist leaders are working together with the NAR then it means they are also ecumenical.

There are some who say that Rushdoony Dominionism is completely different from NAR’s version.  I have checked out what they are saying and the links they give. However, I have to disagree with them.

From what I have read they have MANY similarities. The differences are only superficial. The deep underlying doctrines are actually from the same ilk of age-old Catholic dominionism, i.e. that Jesus will not return until the Church reigns on Earth. It carries the belief that we are actually now in the "allegorised" Millennium and therefore have the authority to reign.


How Is New Calvinism Ecumenical?


New Calvinism is ecumenical because many of the main leaders are associated with ecumenical groups and promote Catholic ecumenism.
For example John Piper is linked with NAR and emerging church i.e. with leaders like Rick Warren and Peter Wagner and is strongly part of the Catholic influenced ecumenical organisation (founded by Billy Graham) “Lausanne Movement”.

On the Lausanne Movement site you will see much that is ecumenical and linked with Rome. For example:www.lausanne.org/docs/lau1docs/0872.pdf  There is no doubt in my mind from all that I have read that they are heavily steeped in unity with Rome. So any organisation signing an agreement with LM indicates an ecumenical group. New Calvinists are linked to many such ecumenical organisations!

A New Calvinist “kid on the block” Francis Chan who is the founder of “Eternity Bible College” is training new leaders. But,  into what?

Francis is heavily steeped into emerging church’s new age (gnostic) “contemplative spirituality” methods. He was trained at John McArthur’s, Masters College and so brings into his own college hyper Calvinistic theology and has also appointed mostly  Masters College graduates. Note: Francis is part of John Maxwell’s “Catalyst” organisation.

John Maxwell graduated at the ecumenically compromised Fullers Seminary which is a College geared towards raising the major church leaders of recent times including names graduated or on the faculty like Peter Wagner, John Piper, Rick Warren, Richard Foster, Rob Bell. Most of the graduates became “emerging church” leaders. John Maxwell’s purpose for “Catalyst” is to raise up vibrant Christian preachers (under the age of 40) who will be the leaders of the new generation. It is clear that John Maxwell is passing on his training at Fullers onto the new generation. As John Maxwell is ecumenical it will mean that Catalyst must also be ecumenical.  So you can see how Francis (one of these new vibrant preachers) has been influenced.

I could labour this point but I think this information is sufficient to make the point. I have many other articles on my blog which shows how some of these New Calvinist leaders are ecumenically linked.


How New Calvinism’s Theological Approach Will Inevitably Lead To Ecumenism


I had (many years ago) spent some time reading up on some of the teachings of Calvinism, especially as presented from Romans 8.  If we read Romans 8 in isolation from the rest of the Bible it would be easy to conclude that Calvinists are correct. However, we need to compare the whole Bible with Romans 8 to get the correct context of that chapter.  If we take Romans 8 in isolation we would come to the conclusion of "fatalism". I mean, if man does not have freewill and God DOES EVERYTHING and "all things work out together for the good" for the elect, then it stands to reason that Toronto Blessing. Lakeland, Pensacola  etc.  MUST be of God and ecumenism is okay because God is Sovereign!  In the Calvinists thinking, nothing happens without God planning it or because He permits it.  Bear in mind that the background of reformed theology comes from the Catholic Augustine and much of RT comes from vasts amount of older Catholic teaching. Therefore, this fatalistic thinking WILL lead to a re-uniting with the Catholic Church and accepting all sorts of error.

If conflicting scriptures show areas of Calvinism to be wrong, they merely "spiritualise" these verses. Therefore, Dominionism and reconstructionism is inevitable because Calvin teaches "Covenant" theology i.e. the new covenant is totally fulfilled by the church and that it will be glorious (numerically and spiritually) before Jesus returns - there will be NO rapture and no literal 7 year Great Tribulation. If that was true then inevitably it would need an amalgamating together of all forms of Christianity and maybe including all religions under a “Christ”.

Anyway, based on the above study, I can now see how even the "pure in heart" true disciples can still preach reformed theology because they simply HAVE to defend their theological position which they sincerely believe to be right.

Why Is it Apostate


Before I state why New Calvinism is apostate, I will just give some important reflections:

I have now discovered that original Calvinism was actually seeking to reform the Catholic church and NOT set up a separation from it. Therefore, actually Calvinism is still very Catholic in its outlook. I had always been taught that the Reformation brought Christianity out of the dark ages and was the starting point of true Christian revival. I now find that this was not strictly the case. Yes, the Bible became available to the common man around this time, but very few seemed to trust themselves to study it directly, but had people like Calvin and Arminius (who is said to have been a Jesuit seeking to bring about a counter-reformation by surreptitiously re-introducing a works based salvation) to formulate their doctrine for them.

Maybe because of the oppressive/domineering tactics of Rome (throughout the previous centuries) the common person felt incapable of  studying the Bible for themselves. Bear in mind that they were taught that only the “enlightened” could understand the “hidden (ie gnostic) truths in the Bible. Maybe this thinking was still very rampant. I just wonder how many people actually really came out of the bondage of the Roman church?

It seems that we are all trapped into so much preconceived systematic theologies which influence the way we study/understand biblical doctrine. This seems to be a human trait "First impressions last longer" and very difficult to shake off. Maybe that is why it took such a long time for REAL revival to take place.

My Reasoning


God has gradually awakened the church out of the dark ages and exposed error by providing the Bible to us all. Because Romany so entrenched everything it became extremely difficult to escape from the affects. Although Luther, Calvin, Arminias etc. were still confessed Catholics, God used them as a starting point to expose SOME serious errors. In time God brought newer revelation through those awakened by God, to restore old truths long ignored by Rome. Wesley (although still influenced by old Catholic ideas including a "works" theology of Arminias) was shown further revelations.

If the above were not true, it would make me ask the question "when did God bring back REAL restoration of true biblical Christianity to the church? Has it ever been properly restored?"  I would also ask if the apostate Christianity in the 21st Century is actually any greater than the apostasy of the dark ages and is it any different/worse than what it was in Calvin's time, Wesleys time or at any other time since the Dark ages?

If apostate Christianity in the 20th and 21st centuries is not as bad (at present) as it was during the dark ages, then Paul and John would surely not have been talking about our time. What they were discussing was a time period worse than at any other time in history. Therefore, if they were not referring to the Dark ages, then they must have been referring to something far worse than the Dark ages for our day. Clearly that has not yet happened, has it?

Having said all these things, I believe that what we are now seeing with Purpose Driven (PD), Seeker Sensitive (SS), Emerging Church, NEW CALVINISM, Dominionism etc is a gradual coming together of all branches of  evangelicalism, charismania, protestantism and Catholics (and all other faiths) into an ecumenical powerful force known as the whore called Babylon the Great, which will become fully grown by the time of the Great Tribulation and the antichrist and WILL become worse than the Dark Ages.  We are FAST approaching that situation NOW.



Here is an excerpt taken from  Jacob Prasch Report


“The pre-Nicean Church Fathers (for all of their faults) maintained the contention the Apostolic tradition was pre-millennial. the spiritualization of the Millennial Reign of Christ is the invention of Augustine of Hippo and his ilk (who copied the influences of the Alexandrian Gnostics in his hermeneutics) when they needed to Hellenize the church away from its biblical Judaic root (Romans 11:18 ) in order to accommodate Constantine’s making it a state religion and state church which of course laid the foundation for Roman Catholicism and the Roman papacy. Like most people deceived into the errors of Calvinism, they are simply too ignorant to realize it.
Jesus’ kingdom “was not of this world”‘ and “the meek shall inherit the earth” needed to be redefined once Christendom became the religion of the state. Now, in their thinking, they inherited it. Instead of restoring the church to its biblical heritage, Calvin and his followers simply replaced the papal abomination with a Reformed one – complete with infant baptism, burning at the stake those who disagreed with them, Erastianism, a state church, and a rejection of the Millennium. Calvin even followed the Latin Vulgate and appealed to the same Augustine as Rome. Anyone who thinks Satan is bound needs their head examined.”



Why The  Calvinistic Method Of CollectingTheology Is Wrong Compared To The Biblically Correct Way

Calvinists Way
Calvinists build up a systematic approach to theology. They use the gnostic method of interpreting Bible passages/verses. They use hermeneutics. Hermes was the gnostic’s god of reason, hermeneutics is basically a method of interpreting hidden meaning of a text. Allegorising/spiritualising a text is basically the same as the gnostics method of revealing hidden truth. Its origins are pagan! Therefore, Reformists use pagan methods to find hidden truth in the Bible. This is unscriptural because the bible tells us that God REVEALS (does not hide) truth clearly to his people, but He only hides truth from the ungodly. For example: Matthew 11:25:
“You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants”.
Deut 29:29:
The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us
The idea of hidden meanings began in the garden of Eden and is fully occultic in origin. God states that the hidden “secret” things belong to Him, i.e if hidden it cannot be correctly understood by gnosticism.

Many say they use  (their own idea of) a systematic theology but actually start from a preconceived position by already having been conditioned to think/study in a certain way by their mentors. The expression "first impressions are long lasting" comes to mind.  Therefore, they may take a position for example "the church has replaced Israel" and have a systematic study of superimposing this theology, to prove this. They will therefore, be blinded to whole sections of scripture that disprove their theology because they are already convinced what they believe and are closed minded. They will either avoid conflicting passages or "spiritualise" or "allegorise" it away.

Example Of  Error
For example,  Calvinism teach that we do not have freewill. But what about  "it is not God's Will that any should perish but that ALL should come to repentance".  If we do not have free will and cannot choose God (unless He chooses us) then everyone would be saved because it is not His Will that any should perish. However, we know that the Bible teaches that many are on the wide road of destruction and many will not go to Heaven. Therefore, something does not add up. We know that the Bible is inerrant, but systematic theology is fallible. Therefore Calvin must be wrong regarding free will or He is defaming the character of God by teaching that God lies.

Conclusion re Election


The scriptures are clear (to me) that those God saves are eternally kept by Him, so I cannot agree with Arminianism either. The conclusion SURELY must be that God HAS given us free will to choose or reject Him, but if we choose Him, He then enables us to receive Him and then empowers us to be kept by Him eternally. When the bible discusses predestination and election I understand it to mean that God knew in advance who would receive or reject Him. He knew from the very beginning of time! Therefore, effectively the elect are predestined, chosen because God sees the end from the beginning.

What we need is leaders who are humble enough to be teachable and willing to modify their theological position (by opening their hearts, minds, eyes and ears) whenever any passages of scripture disprove their present position

A BIBLICAL Approach


"I use a systematic approach by studying the WHOLE Bible to understand the whole counsel and eternal plan of God with all its micro and macro parts BEFORE I formulate my theology.  First I formulate FROM SCRIPTURE the essential starting points of my position

For example, that  the Bible is the inspired Word of God, effectively written by God therefore  is fully true and can be trusted.  God  exists and consists  in 3 persons as a Godhead, that He is eternal, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent (all of these are clearly taught in Scripture).  That man is a sinner who needs to be saved and Jesus died to save us from our sins. Then, what the Bible tells us about God’s Character, eg He is Holy, Perfect, Righteous and Just and  is LOVE. He is faithful and His plans and purposes are irrevocable (of course these are just a few examples of many certainties).

These certainties are the foundation for interpreting all other scripture. We must always bear these things in mind.  Regarding the various theologies like Calvinism , Arminianism etc., they go beyond these things and  assume other things to be true (gnostic philosophies) BEFOREHAND and then go about proving it from scripture.

The right approach should be to formulate theology from the starting position of the Biblical certainties and then continuously modify and re-evaluate the overall theological position as we go along, whenever we are proved right or wrong by scripture. My overall position had already been determined by many years of studying the Bible, so I systematically examine, re-evaluate and modify this position in the light of newer scriptural revelation. For example, I constantly readjust my eschatological position and thereby am able to learn SO MUCH MORE regarding the end times

When I use the term macro I mean the external general outworkings and by micro I mean its individual specific internal working and how it can be applied to us specifically. As an example, macro could refer to "the eternal redemptive plan of God" including "once saved always saved" whereas micro could refer to "all things work together for our good" or  "we are being changed from one degree of glory to another".

I believe the value of my approach is that I am open enough to remain teachable by the Holy Spirit and humble enough to adjust my theology. My approach enables me to examine EVERY word in the Bible and NOT ignore anything".

I personally do NOT rigidly FOREVER hold on to a dogmatic view on any specific areas of theology. I am neither Calvinist nor Arminian. I am simply a Bible believer



Why Is Reformed Theology  Not  Biblical Theology

Here is some information regarding the origins of reformed theology and why it is Catholic in essence.

I have some further information on the subject and am reading through an excellent pdf book    Basic Reformed Theology Explained and Exposed     which someone gave to me. This book exposes reformed theology as unbiblical and contrived. It is a real "eye opener" and helps us to understand that this theology (which is the main cause of the great apostasy in our churches) is possibly the greatest smoke screen method used by the RC in their counter- reformation activities. Let us consider that the RC's false religion was being exposed by the Reformation and specifically by the Bible (now available to the common man). They cannot refute what the Bible says but they could build up a false theology based on false interpretations to weaken the movement and keep it still within Catholic constraints (to a certain extent). The fact that Calvin incorporated Augustine's catholic systematic theology into his own theology should be a clue.

Remember,  the Calvinists were only just learning about the LOST truths as found in the Bible. Therefore, Calvinism still carries much of old Catholic ideas. Hyper Calvinism is as much “works” theology as is Arminianism. Although Calvinism carries a lot of truth about God’s sovereign GRACE it also carries much false teaching. This false teaching has been corrected over the last 400 years as more and more of the truths in scripture have been revealed to us all by those who recognised the false teachings of Catholic inspired Calvin, like Wesley and Darby.



Defamation Of God’s Character


The Bible teaches us that God is full of Love, Compassion, Mercy, He is Just and Righteous in all His ways. Calvinism’s reformed theology defames God’s character by (effectively) teaching that God creates some humans for the sole purpose of sending them to an eternal torment of hell. This actually teaches something about God which is NOT true!
The scriptures teach that "He who did not SPARE His own Son". Why would He (out of a nature of love) create humans for the sole purpose of (effectively) sending them to an eternal hell? That would be the case, if (as they teach) some have no chance of repenting because they are not of the elect.  If they are incapable of choosing God because they are DEAD, then EFFECTIVELY God has created souls to be tormented for eternity. How can God be a God of Love and also be Righteous and Just if He did such things?  How can you trust a God like that? No wonder Atheism has taken on in a massive way because "how can you believe in a God like that?" No, I cannot believe in a God like that because that is NOT His nature.

Re: Election


Regarding election, I believe that means that God knows the end from the beginning, so He knows in advance ALL those who will choose Him. They are therefore all (pre) destined to become children of God and therefore effectively are the elect. In the same way that God foreknew "before the foundation of the Earth" of His redemption plan in Jesus. "the lamb that was slain before the foundation of the Earth", i.e. He knew the end from the very beginning



History and Information Behind Dominionism Within Reformed Theology

The Reformation Beginnings


The Reformation started as a "protest" against the "indulgencies" within the Catholic Organisation. The indulgencies were "payments" to absolve sins. Rome became very rich because of these indulgencies. Basically they were teaching that you could pay to be absolved for doing specific sins, basically you can sin as much as you like as long as you pay for it. Luther was the first to appeal against this around 1515 (16th century). He did not appeal against most of the other false pagan teaching and practices - only this idea of payment and hence "works" salvation. Calvin (soon after Luther) took the teaching of "grace" further and brought in Augustine’s theology of election. Calvin also introduced the unbiblical doctrines of TULIP.

Anyway, remember that the Bible was not available to the common man until the 16th Century. The Bible was (up until then) monopolised by the Catholic clergy. They sought to control the people by preaching a Dominionistic, controlling, works theology which had been influenced by the gnostics (now known as new age) from Babylon origins.

Most of the common people (laity) from the 16th Century onwards trusted the protestant bible teachers for their systematic theology of the Bible. Calvin was one such person that the people trusted. However, he actually stated that his teachings came from Augustine as if it was  Augustine writing through him. So this means the teachings of Calvin were still very much Catholic in origin. Augustine was a gnostic before he became a Catholic and brought gnosticism into the church but with "christian" names. Basically Babylon religion taking over the Catholic church.

How can we trust Calvin if he taught from a gnostic Catholic?

The Progress Of The Reformation


Anyway, as the laity were still for centuries later (in most part) trusting the leaders for their theology (which included the “dominion”  teaching of “a-millennialism”), rather than studying the Bible direct for their own theology, it took a long time for the old truths of the Bible to be restored to the church. The Anabaptists were such a group who DID read the Bible for themselves and were put to death by the Calvinists because they disagreed with Calvinism.

JN Darby was just one man (amongst others) who opened up the long lost truths that the early church knew about and practiced, such as the rapture and “pre-millennial” return of Jesus. The rapture is a CLEAR truth within the scriptures for those who read it.

Calvin re-introduced Augustine’s gnostic ideas of Covenant theology and election. The reformed church became brainwashed into this theology. They were so brainwashed that it was extremely difficult to notice what the Bible ACTUALLY taught.

The Calvinists George Whitfield (born 1714) and Spurgeon (19th Century) came on the scene much later. Therefore, for both of them Calvinism and reformed theology had developed a long way by their time. Wesley was around at exactly the same time as Whitfield.

Hyper Calvinism is the extreme teaching of Calvin, i.e. the strict observance of the 5 points included in TULIP and everything else that emanates from his teaching. All Reformists are actually 5 pointers but they don't know it. They may claim to be anything from 1 to 5 pointers but are actually ignorant because it is impossible to hold onto even one point without eventually succumbing to all 5. On the other hand, those who choose to reject any point of TULIP MUST reject all the points because they are intricately intertwined. If you reject one point, all the other 4 points come tumbling down.

Dominionism In The Reformation?


I haven't found any article that specifically stated Spurgeon or Whitfield rejected Dominionism (if you can find it please show me).  In reality Dominionism (it appears) was not a doctrine specifically taught until recent times. It may well have been implied and practiced but not specifically taught (at least, not like it is today). In fact, Whitfield illustrated his “dominion” viewpoint in practice, through his pro slavery activities. Please check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Whitefield which includes a section entitled Advocacy of slavery in which it says:

"In the early 18th century, slavery was outlawed in Georgia. In 1749, George Whitefield campaigned for its legalisation, claiming that the territory would never be prosperous unless farms were able to use slave labour".  Why would he campaign for slavery unless he had a dominion theology?

Gnosticism (which Calvin brought into reformed theology) carried the theory that the material world was not important, therefore there COULD NOT BE a later Millennial reign of Christ ON EARTH. They theorised that the only thing which mattered was the spiritual, therefore any reference to the physical (in the Bible) must be an allegory with a "spiritual" meaning - not literal. Therefore, it was easy to "PROVE" their theories correct (within the Bible) because all they needed to do was "spiritualise" conflicting verses.

Therefore, the theory/teaching of:
a-millennialism developed into the belief that Jesus NOW reigns on Earth through the church. This would mean that their idea of dominionism is a spiritual version i.e. that the church has all authority on Earth NOW. This inevitably would later give rise to implications that the church needs to take control NOW.

A-millennialism and Post-Millennialism


As far as I can tell, post-millennialism developed much later AFTER the Reformation, which is a belief that the church has responsibility NOW to set up God's kingdom and work tirelessly to prepare the church as a glorious "dominionistic" bride (reigning through a thousand years - or long time) who would usher in the return of Jesus.

The a-millennial view was rampant throughout the Dark ages and at the beginning of the Reformation. Augustine, the Catholic church and Calvinism (reformed theology) rejected the pre-millennial view as it didn't fit in with their "spiritualised" ideas or their preconceived theories of election, predestination, the Sovereignty of God, Kingdom NOW ideas. The Catholic Church therefore developed their thinking into a global conquest. This is probably why the Catholic church went out on a mission to take dominion over the world.  Note: both a-millennialism and post-millennialism are both dominionistic in different ways, but actually lead to the same result of holding onto a position of Dominion authority, whether it be a "spiritualised" version or a "literal" physical version.

Regarding Whitfield, Spurgeon etc., they were very ardent strict teachers of Calvinistic reformed theology, which would mean they probably followed the a-millennial position or possibly the post-millennial one.

Remember these men were preconditioned to accept the ROMAN infected teachings of Augustine re gnosticism and election etc. Although these "men of God" may have had sincere an open hearts to God, their bible studies could STILL have been infected by those preconceived, preconditioned teachings they received from the Calvinist or Arminian camp. The Wesleys were in the Arminian camp but Whitfield and Spurgeon were DEFINITELY within the reformed camp.

Actually, from what I can tell, eschatology was not a big area within Whitfield and Spurgeons teaching because their focus was in the "now". I think if they were post-millennial they would have taught on eschatology because of the future/present literal implications of dominionism. It doesn't seem that they focussed on dominionism, therefore I assume them to have taken on John Calvin's a-millennial views.

68 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi there. I see that you have included John MacArthur in your list of Calvinists (not sure if you are indicating him as New or Old Calvinist). Anyway, although I think you are rightly classifying him as Calvinist, I think if you check his eschatology, he holds to a pre-trib, pre-millenial, non-Replacement Theology position. I do agree that many of the theological streams are merging into the prophesied one-world religion, but I think its too broad a stroke to include most Calvinists as soon-to-be dominionists who are on the road to merger with Vatican Catholicism. I think this is far from the case. I think the more common thread is the embracing of mysticism/meditation which essentially moves people away from the bible as the only source of Truth by adding personal spiritual experience. The New Calvinists are heavily into the mystical via spiritual disciplines/formation etc. This same practice is laced through most of Catholicism, Charistmatics, Pentecostals, etc.
~Anonymous9449

John Chingford said...

Hi Anonymous9449

Thanks for your observations.

The list is ONLY of NEW Calvinists.

I obtained that list from another source. I should have shown the source but could not remember where I found it. I have now found it and now added it within the article. You can find it within:

http://firstthings.com/blogs/evangel/2010/04/the-new-calvinism%E2%80%99s-personality-driven-life/

I have also made a comment why I think John McArthur was included.

Whether JM is typical New Calvinist or not, I don't know, but he certainly moves amongst the same crowd of New Calvinists.

Arguably he is the most vocal on reformed theology of today and promotes Lordship Salvation (as I understand it). It is said that JM teaches that you cannot be saved until Jesus becomes LORD of your life.

Those who are more "read up" about LS teaching say that it requires works to be saved and continue to be saved and it removes the assurance of our salvation because NO-ONE has ever yielded EVERYTHING totally to the Lord, therefore how can anyone be certain that they are saved?

The truth is that our salvation is NOT based upon what we can do but on what Jesus has done. Lordship of our lives does not come immediately. It is a life time committment by JESUS (not us) to change us. All we need to do is believe in Jesus, trust in Him, choose Him, have a willing spirit and offer ourselves upon God's mercy to change us day by day.

RomaLynn said...

Thank you John for all of your work, I am also recently concerned regarding this issue as it has come up from many areas of people in my life. I will be reviewing this one again after today, with anything more. One thing I came to with this was as far as I can tell, much the same as you.
Thanks again for all of your work on this issue, and God bless.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your response John. I am not well versed on the Lordship Salvation controversy, although I have heard of it. Guess I will have to study up on that a bit. I thought LS was more about repentance toward God (vs remorse for sin's consequence or no remorse at all) and the willingness to make Jesus Lord (i.e. intention to surrender/willingness to die to self) than the actual doing of it which is accomplished through the actual sanctification over time as you stated. But I would have to do more study on the subject. Truly our justification is solely by God's grace through faith in Christ's finished work alone...not of ourselves. Anything that changes that message is clearly a different gospel. :) ~anonymous9449

John Chingford said...

Hi Anon9449

I try not to get caught up in the LS controversy or even to study it, because (as Londoners say) "it does my head in". It seems that the opponents tend to exaggerate what LS preachers teach, but there DOES seem to be much truth in their objections too. I tried to figure if the criticisms were true or not but got confused because there seems to be so many different opinions about it.

I like to take the good and reject the bad. The good is that LS preachers DO stir us up to get more serious with God, but the downside is that it tends to lean too much towards "works" and give the impression that a "true" believer is not really saved. For the latter reason, I would rather avoid LS preachers because they can upset the faith and peace of those in Christ.

John Chingford said...

Hi "BL" and "Deceived No More"

It has come to my attention that Word of Faith hold to a pre-Millennial position. Is this true?

I always assumed they were post-Millennial because of their Dominionistic Kingdom Now teachings. If it is true that they are pre-Millennial then how do they fit that in with a Dominion and ecumenical mandate for NOW? Do they believe that the church will reign on Earth BEFORE the rapture, then the 7 year Tribulation followed by the thousand year reign of Christ?

If so, what is their justification (from scriptures) for the church reigning now BEFORE the Tribulation, if the Bible references of a glorious time of peace on Earth all refer to the thousand year reign of Christ AFTER the Millennium, I mean if they are pre-Millennial then why do they believe the church reigns now too?

My reason for believing they are of the same ilk as Latter Rain's NAR is because their teachings are very similar. They both talk much about weird angelic conversations, spirit guides, little gods, becoming like God etc. They both subscribe to being slain in the spirit, both are friends with Rome etc etc. Both are influenced by men like William Branham and use hypnotic suggestibility methods over congregations i.e kudolini spirit. There is so many similarities and history behind both to suggest they are definitely of the same ilk.

However (as I understand it) NAR are post-Millennial. Therefore, as they seem so very much on the same page, why would they be pre-Millennial? How does it all fit together?

I look forward to hearing your reply

Deceived No More said...

Hi John,
Great question. Not all Word-Faith teachers are Dominionists.

Consider WoF teacher Perry Stone. He is pre-Mill, yet he has no problem quoting Latter-Rain heretic William Branham. Perry Stone is most definitely WoF, because he considers Kenneth Hagin a great teacher. You and I would consider Branham and Hagin heretics, obviously.

Having said this, using Stone as an example, not all WoF people are into the Kingdom Now, NAR, Latter-Rain, etc. Just as a tiger has many stripes, heretics come in many different shapes and sizes.

I know Perry Stone very well, (not personally), because he used to preach at my former WoF church 2-3 times per year. Some WoF people try to distance themselves from the fringes of the NAR, etc. But some have no problem freely associating publicly with them.

The WoF brand I was a part of generally tried to go mainstream with their teaching with more favorable associations, such as James Dobson, Chuck Colson, et al. Yet, I personally consider the above mentioned men not to be solid bible teachers.

Most WoF people try to have it both ways. While they want to appear mainstream and fit in with their seeker movement counterparts, they, at times, take a swerve and make associations with John Bevere (big WoF Dominionist) and others of the same ilk. Many mainstream WoF teachers keep their audience guessing.

My former WoF preacher had no problem bashing Joel Osteen, yet had no problem considering TD Jakes and Jesse Duplantis great teachers. As the wind blows, so does their teachings and associations.

Having said this I believe all Dominionists are Word-Faith theologically, except for their end-times views. They seem to graduate from the WoF and advance into dominionism. From there, some go into the Hebrew Roots heresy (the Galatian Heresy. seen this first hand.)

But not all WoF are dominionists. Though they may all seem the same, they only have similarities. My former WoF preacher was pre-Mill, rapture, 7 year trib. etc. as many WoF teachers are.

If you'd like more specifics let me know. Hope this helps. Have a great day!

John Chingford said...

Hmm, that confuses me more.

Surely ALL WoF leaders and followers preach the prosperity doctrine? The prosperity gospel is dominion (Kingdom now) in nature, because it declares that we have authority in Christ to reign and be prosperous. NOW e.g. "your best life NOW". WoF is all about our rights to possess the land etc. How can they preach these things without being dominionistic?

By the way, there is another form of dominion that is separate from the NAR, WoF camp it is the reformed Rushdoony group. So not all dominionists hold to a WoF theology or originated in WoF, unless Rushdoony has his origins in WoF?

Am I right to say ALL WoFers preach the prosperity doctrine? If so doesn't that make them ALL Kingdom Now or Dominionists?

God bless
John

Deceived No More said...

Yep, the Rushdoony (reconstructionist crowd) group probably are not Word-Faith. I didn't think of them as I wrote my comment.

Another thing to keep in mind: all word faith people are not charismatic. Many Southern Baptist types are jumping on the word-faith bandwagon blindly by following such heretics as Zig Ziglar and TD Jakes. Ed Young Jr. is an avid follower of Jakes.

I do believe all Word-Faith adherents believe in the prosperity gospel. My friend Dr. Bruce Barron fully fleshes out this fact in one of his books entitled, The Health and Wealth Gospel. A good read, but a little dated if you could find a copy. He also wrote a book about Kingdom Now theology. I actually picked Barron up from the Atlanta airport so he could interview Earl Paulk in the late '80s. The book is titled, Heaven on Earth? Barron was an early pioneer in unravelling Kingdom Now theology.

He also wrote extensively about Rushdoony and the reconstructionist movement. You could possibly find copies of these books on Amazon.

I said all this to simply say, There is a difference. My ex-Wof pastor used to blast Earl Paulk for his Kingdom Now heresy. And then turn around and preach the prosperity gospel, etc. Though there are many similarities, there is a difference in escatology. That would probably be the main dividing line. But the line seems to becoming more blurry each passing day as both groups find more common ground.

A common thing both (Wof/NAR) groups hold together is mysticism. All WoF people I've ever met are highly mystical, but the NAR people are probably more off the deep end. I've known some NAR people who gave me the creeps. Real strange.
It's funny that one of the early proponents of word-faith teaching, E.W. Kenyon was not a pentecostal or charismatic. And yet, most Wofers fall in this crowd.
Here is one thing to keep in mind: Word-Faith teaching comes in degrees.

Look at it on a scale from 1 to 10. Take one as the casual observer. Take 5 as a follower of Joyce Meyer only, mixed with a few solid teachers. Take #10 as a person who follows TBN, Kenneth Copeland, Hagin, Creflo Dollar and the rest of these heretics full blown.

Now, take the 1-5 person. This individual probably doesn't realize that word of faith doctrine includes: Little Gods, Jesus Died Spiritually, Possitive Confession and so forth. The 6-10 person fully knows and accepts these teachings as normal.

Yes, you are right to say that all Wof and NAR people teach the prosperity heresy. No doubt. What I've seen is people graduate from the WoF to the NAR and leave the pre-Mill teachings behind. Therefore, there is a difference between the two and that would be their escatology. But the further one goes into the Word-Faith teaching, the NAR is probably their next step.

Earl Paulk used to teach pre-Mill, the rapture and 7 yr trib. before he jumped into dominionism, Latter-Rain and the prophetic movement. This could show the difference between the two. It could also show how one leaves one movement and joins another. This is documented in Barron's book, Heaven on Earth?

Hope this brings more clarity to the subject. If not, let me know.

John Chingford said...

Thanks "Deceived No More"

Great explanation. Certainly clearer.

BL said...

Hi John,

You are correct in that Dominionists are post-Millennial. They have to be in light of what they believe. I have rechecked on this.

Tommy Ice does say that not all Doms believe exactly the same, but pretrib (part of pre-millennialism) would negate their basic fundamental position on establishing the Kingdom in preparation for Christ’s return.

Now on the other hand, the Word Faith, Blab It & Grab It crowd are more diverse. I haven’t double-checked on this, but I am pretty sure John Hagee is pretrib and he is WordFaith. Joyce Meyer is pretrib. And it appears so is Creflo Dollar and Perry Stone. Jack VanImpe, Paul Crouch, are all pretrib. You know what they say about a broken clock – it tells the correct time twice a day. Many false teachers are pretrib and that fact is driving some discerners to throw out the baby out with the bath.

Now to your other question about WofF being Dominionst. Well, obviously those who hold pretrib aren’t gong to be Dominionst. There may be some areas of overlap but this can’t be one of them.

I think we are going to see more and more confusion as times goes on and blurring of the lines. How one keeps all that straight I am at loss to say.

John Chingford said...

Thanks BL for your contribution

That helps to confirm what "DNM" said.

Myfanwy said...

Hi John, Roma and brothers and sisters,

This was a really good piece of work from you John, I know you have worked very hard on it, and it has been time consuming to say the least. I applaud you my brother.

On the subject of the Word of Faith and Domionists, as you know John, I have family that are Reformed Christians..they are definitely Domionists and Calvinists, and very tied up with the Chalcedon Foundation and Rushdoony. In fact I was speaking to that family member today, and she was telling me that her church and minister, got involved with Rushdoony, through the home schooling side of things. This is because that friend of hers,who I told you about John, was trained by Rushdoony himself, and has been advocating and training women to do homeschooling, for the last twenty years odd. So the whole home schooling thing is very tied up with Dominionism, and very much American in birth. From what I have heard from her, they are not involved with the Word of Faith directly. If you looked at her pastor's site that I told you about John, you can see that he is quite strong, almost scary, in his teaching.

It is very confusing, as I have said many times, you have to dig deep, and you can find many blurred lines in theology from different groups, and also much intergration.

Thanks again John and God bless.

Myfanwy said...

Hi John,

I was just thinking and pondering over all this now. It is all very well us discovering all this information, but WHAT do we say to folk that are involved, as with my family? How do we speak to them without provoking or offending them? Does anyone have any ideas?

John Chingford said...

Hi Myfanwy

Good point.

Obviously (as in all cases) we should always speak the truth in love. As Paul said to Timothy "let your gentleness be evident to all" and Paul also said "let your speech be gracious and seasoned with salt, so that you will know how to answer everybody".

Many are so afraid of offending or afraid of arguments developing that they say nothing. They say we should be diplomatic. Actually their diplomacy is nothing short of compromising the truth and watering down the Word of God.

Jesus, Paul,m Peter and John were never afraid of speaking the truth EVEN if it offended. In fact by not speaking the truth we are not acting in love because we are letting then continue in darkness.

Our responsibility (out of love) is to show the light of the truth. Paul said that we should expose the darkness.

Others say "well I don't want to put them off the gospel or Christianity and cause animosity between us because it may close their minds and hearts forever".

I DO understand the sentiment. However, always remember that it is NEVER us who convicts a person of righteousness, sin and of judgement. It is always the Holy Spirit. It is never us who opens the eyes of the blind or give light/life to dead minds. It is always God who does this.

Jesus said that "all who the Father calls WILL come" It is always the work of the Holy Spirit to change people. We are simply tools in His hand, we are His mouthpiece. We can NEVER put people off if GOD is bringing them to Himself or leading them to repentance.

If they reject what we are saying it is not us they are rejecting - it is God. Whether we offend them or not IT IS IN THE LORD's HANDS! and He will turn things round IN HIS TIME!

We must always speak out IF the Holy Spirit is prompting us, but do it in the right spirit and attitude, i.e in love, kindness, gentleness, humility.

I hope that helps.

John Chingford said...

One other thought.

Paul said that we should not be argumentative and certainly not get heated over issues that do not matter. I would say that the timing of the rapture (for example) is not a topic we should get in an argument over. There are many other "secondary" doctrines in the Bible which DO NOT affect our salvation or the foundations of our faith. We should not get too caught up in pressing these minor viewpoints to the extent of it becoming heated.

However, we should "earnestly CONTEND for the faith that was once handed down to us" if individuals are following clear heretical teachings which effectively deny our Lord of who He is and if they teach against the very foundation of our faith.

When it comes to reformed theology we need to be careful because there are elements of the teaching that are heretical and there is much that is scriptural. Just focus on the CLEAR heresies and show calmly and clearly what the heresies are and why they are heresies.

For example, the passage that talks about the temple of demons in 2 Cor 6 which was referring to the continued pagan practices of Babylonic religion, i.e. that we should "come out from them" and that we should NEVER attach ourselves to the Babylonic practices of Rome.

This is what Calvinists need to know that (because their roots lie in the Babylonic, Catholic teachings of Augustine) they should reconsider the roots of Calvinistic teaching and "come out of Babylon"

Paul was very serious on that whole issue, therefore reformed Christians should also take it very seriously.

Myfanwy said...

Hi John,

Yes thanks, your comments are helpful. Strangely enough, I have had that said to me before, that we might turn someone away from the Lord forever.

I just find it a bit complex to work out if what I am saying to someone IS judgmental (or just sounds judgmental)..but at the same time..like you say, I do not wish to keep silent on important matters. I do find that the minute you say something, you are accused of judging and all the verses about judging get thrown at you!

I confess, I have made the mistake of getting into an argument over things not worth arguing over, and I had to be humble and apologise. I find it hard because, as a person, I am very strong, I do not get offended easily or easily upset.. I am very straightforward, but I do not intend to wound.
So I am having to try and find the right balance without compromising either.

Oh, I wanted to say that even Spurgeon has a quote from 'The Sword and Trowell', which said 'No peace with Rome'. He also had a strong stance on not celebrating Christmas. What I find interesting, is that when I quote these things he wrote to Reformers/ Calvinists, they are silent on the matters.

I think as you say John, I am going to do my homework on the important heretical issues like the Babylonic roots, and then I can talk on that.

God bless.

John Chingford said...

Yes. like you, I get frustrated every time people misquote (out of context) the judgemental passages from the Bible. For that very reason I wrote an article on that subject to settle the issue once and for all on:

http://watchmanforjesus.blogspot.com/2011/03/do-not-judge-but-watch-out-for-false.html

My wife and I are praying that God will give you wisdom and the words to speak and that God will take control for the Glory of His Name and for the extension of His Kingdom and that "all things will work out together for your (and their) good"

Remember Isaiah 55:11

"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

John Chingford said...

I need to correct an error I made above re my comment on 26 Nov 6:16pm

I mentioned that Paul told Timothy "let you gentleness be evident to all". Actually Paul told this to the WHOLE Ephesian church in Eph 4:5.

This means it is even more applicable because it is for ALL of us.

Burning Lamp (BL) said...

Sorry I have been away and just now catching up on the thread. Yes, John MacArthur is pretrib rapture. I share the misery of the Londoners and the doing in of their heads! What a convuluted mess! And we know who the author of confusion is!

I do think that eschatology although it is not a matter of salvation is critically important to the beliver considering how close we are to the midnight hour and how vigorously the pretrib rapture is under attack and many are abandoning the Blessed Hope.
It certainly can be a point of discussion as long as it is fruitful and edifying to the concerned parties. Jesus spoke much about the last days as did the Apostle Paul. Dispensational theology is under attack and it is next to impossible to rightly divide the Word and properly understand eschatology without understanding the concept of the dispensations.

That being said, what really and truly matters is the uncompromised Gospel. There is not one "petal" of the TULIP that is true and biblical, not even Perseverance of the Saints. The Reformed version is based on a false premise.

The issue is the Gospel and Calvinism distorts and in fact destroys the true Gospel. That is the major concern and should be the crux of any attempt to minister to those who are blinded to the truth. All other topics are peripheral. To the poster who asked how to minister to family or friends, start with the Gospel which is the foundation. And always do so in love, not to prove a point.

Thanks John for having the courage to open this can of worms and try to sort out this mess and get a handle on it. It is like chasing a stray pea around the plate. And thanks for all your dedicated research and hard work to put this together. IMHO I think this is like a mutating organism, a cancer that morphs and takes on different forms and is hard to nail down perfectly. But we have to do the best we can and so much has been revealed here.

Myfanwy said...

Hi John and BL..

BL it was me who posted about ministering to my family, who are all Reformed Christians. That is the problem, they know the Gospel very well indeed..and as John has said, you have to be very careful how you put things to them as there are parts of their theology and beliefs that are correct. They have all been with the same church for many many years..it is not easy to steer them in a different direction now! However, I know the Lord will be with me, to strengthen and to guide me.

John Chingford said...

Hi Guys

Please pray for Myfanwy that the Lord will give her the words, wisdom and success for the Glory of His Name.

Sister be assured of our prayers.

BL said...

Dear Myfanwy,



Cear sister, if I may be so bold, if your family subscribes to Calvinist/Reformed Theology and TULIP they do not know the true Gospel because TULIP is a false Gospel. That does not mean that they are not saved, but it does mean that they are operating from a false premise and are deceived. Only God knows the heart, but TULIP presents a false God and a false Christ and a false view of salvation. There is not one ounce of truth in TULIP.

Of course you cannot confront them with this at the onset and the Lord will have to guide you as to planting seeds and of course bathing any interaction with prayer. But it is important for YOU to have the proper mindset and have your thinking crystal clear on the topic. TULIP is a tool of the enemy and is deceiving your loved ones.

This may sound very strong, but we are in a battle, a spiritual battle and we have to know the enemy and their tactics. John has done a good job of exposing Calvinism/Reformed and there are other sources available as well. It is one of the most insidious doctrines because it guts the precious Gospel of Christ.

I pray dear sister that you will arm yourself with the truth and the Sword of the Lord and that the Lord will use you mightily. But I know it can be difficult to reach one's family and it may take someone else to come across their path and will be better able to reach them as an "outsider".

Grace and peace to you!!

John Chingford said...

Hi BL

I understand what you are saying about TULIP. However, I am not sure that Calvinists are presenting a false God and a false Christ. I personally would rather say that they are misrepresenting God with their false teachings about Him. I do believe they preach the true Jesus, but teach error concerning His nature, plan and purposes.

What I mean is that the teachings are FALSE not the God they/we worship as false. Can you see the distinction I am making?

So slightly changing your statement my view would be as follows:

"TULIP presents a false teaching about God's nature, plan and purpose and a false presentation of Christ's salvation"

God bless

BL said...

Hi John,

Correction accepted. I guess my comments come out of an extreme aversion to the doctrine that is so insulting to the character of God our Savior and so harmful. I have seen the damage done to those who fall into the trap of Calvinism because it is widely accepted as truth and commonly opposed to Roman Catholicism when in fact it is a false doctrine itself. In fact the opposition to Rome serves as a cloak to cover the false teaching to the unwary.


I see little difference between whether a gospel message is blatantly false as in Romism or whether it is based on a false premise as is Calvinism. Both are false. One is just more cleverly concealed and contains less poison.

You are absolutely correct, the Christ of Calvinism is the true Christ but misrepresented, while the Christ of Rome is counterfeit.

What I truly do hate about Calvinism is that it destroys the true Gospel and how it is shared and teaches that precious souls for whom Christ bled and died are in fact lost from the moment of birth with no hope of being redeemed. That is a lie from the pit of hell. Calvinism is given a pass by many who realize the errors of Rome. It is devious and dangerous. I have seen it spread like a cancer because it was presented by those who know their Bibles and are very convincing.

In my remarks to the sister my intent was for her to develop a mindset of how evil the doctrine is as she seemed to take a somewhat benevolent attitude toward it. Every aspect of TULIP is a lie and distorts the truth.

Of course she cannot approach her family with unbridled zeal, but will need much wisdom and words bathed in prayer that the Holy Spirit will open eyes. In one sense, Romisn can be much more easily exposed.I have had experience with both and this has proven to be the case.

If one reads the testimony of those who have been delivered from the error of Calvinism they describe it as night and day. I didn't mean to belabor the point and hopefully I have not wielded the hammer of truth into a clanging cymbal, but it is hard to contain my zeal against this assault on God's precious gift to mankind.

Thanks and God bless.

John Chingford said...

Hi BL and thanks.

I DO understand what you are saying and CAN understand your passion on the subject. Your clarification sounds spot on to me.

However, I would slightly disagree on one point. I do not believe Calvinism is entirely opposed to Catholcism (even if that is what they portray to us).

The forefathers of Calvinism and many of the followers may say they protest against Catholics. The truth is that this is not true.

As my article has revealed Calvinists ONLY protested against certain aspects of Catholic teaching/practices. Much of Catholic teaching was not opposed and indeed they continued practicing/teaching the Catholic faith trying to reform Catholocism - not set up independant churches.

The truth of Calvinism is that it is very absorbed in Catholic teaching. For Calvinists to say that Calvinism is opposed to the Catholic organisation is to deny the truth and actually presents a "smoke-screen" to reality.

Of course MOST sincere "born-again" Christians who follow Calvins reformed theology, including their leaders (of today) have been "downloaded" with this lie from generation to generation and may not be aware of how PRO Catholic its origins are.

As the article states, the true believers (at the time of the Reformation) served Christ underground and were persecuted by the Catholics and subsequently by the Calvinists, ie the Ana Baptists. They should speak volumes about Calvinism.

Further evidence of Calvinists affinity with Catholicism is that many of them (especially NEW Calvinists) are ecumenical and striving for reuniting with Rome.

Btw, Myfanwy was the one who inspired me to write the article because of her grave concerns over what she had read about reformed theology. She is very definitely on the same page.

God bless as always and PLEASE keep contributing. I am blessed and encouraged with your participation.

RomaLynn said...

Thanks to all who posted here about this. I see this as the bit of leaven which Paul spoke of, it does not take much. And as well am very concerned as I see this gaining more and more ground in the church everywhere, as many are impressed by the preaching of some of these new calvinists. Again a little leaven is all it takes according to the Apostle Paul.
However, if we speak the truth in love, which is exactly the word as it is written without making up all these false doctrines of the TULIP or even partial parts of that some may listen. So that is all that we can do. And pray for those caught up in the deceit.

Myfanwy said...

Hi John, Roma and fellow brothers and sisters,

I am extremely burdened for my family, those who are Reformed, and those who are unsaved. It grieves my spirit deeply. But there is something the Lord has placed upon my heart, and I would like to share this with you...He has shown me that sometimes, there is more to be said in quietness, than in words. And when words are needed and appropriate, they should be kind, calm, well thought through.. words that come from a loving heart, with no malice, anger or pride; words that do not intend to wound or discourage, words that do not humiliate, and are not tinged with scorn.

I believe we have to speak out for the Lord, but how often do we speak out for ourselves, and not Him? Do we speak from a heart that desires to bring others to His saving grace, or do we speak words that are motivated by our ego, and desire to be 'right'?.

We need to seek God's wisdom in these dark and difficult days...we need to humble ourselves, in all we say and do, in order that we might exalt our blessed Lord.

John Chingford said...

I sometimes contribute and receive comments to/from another specific blog because we often write on the same subject matter and are often in agreement over these subjects (not always).

He has written an excellent article (on his blog) which beautifully supplements this article of mine.

You can find it on:

http://livingwatersministiescyprus.blogspot.com/2011/11/false-dominionist-kingdom-now-teachings.html

Anonymous said...

can someone tell me if r c sproul jr. is part of the domonion theology thinking?

John Chingford said...

Hi Anonymous

I didn't know there were 2 RC Sproul's (Jnr and Snr). We have to be careful, therefore, in distinguishing between the two. Jnr's name is Robert Craig and Snr's name is Robert Charles

Seeings you ask specifically about RC Sproul JNR then I will respond about him.

There is a lot about him on the internet with many ministries speaking out against his teachings.

He appears to be of the Rushdoony dominion theology, which is a reconstructionist dominionism seeking to impose Noahic Law on the Nations. Here is something written by RC Sproul Jnr:

http://www.ligonier.org/blog/what-reconstructionism-what-theonomy/

It is interesting that there are those who started off as reconstructionists and ended up in the Catholic church. Actually, as this blog has shown, there is little difference in Roman dominionism and protestant dominionism. Well ..... of course not because the Roman Organisation are the ones who started it.

Check out this link which is a Rushdoony video. In this video he shows where he gets his theological views from - the Catholic church. He says the church set up courts of law to judge the church AND those outside. What church is he talking about? He is referring to the church just before Constantine i.e, the church that was fast becoming apostate which became known as the RC.

Here is the video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZhpSmsTm70&feature=player_embedded

Luis Castillo said...

Dear brother John chingford, only the Lord knows how much of a blessing you have been to my life with your ministry and how God has used you to open the eyes of so many people including myself. That is why, I need to share this with you.

You mentioned that Eternal Security as taught by most once saved always saved OSAS baptists as "Great Truths" is NOT biblical. There is not a single passage in the scriptures to support this teaching.

Luis Castillo

John Chingford said...

Thanks Luis for your comments.

I am so happy to be of assistance. I have edited your comments somewhat because of the reasons listed in the conditions within "leave your comment".

I do not want to get into a debate within this article re "eternal security". Actually, the scriptures are full of examples which DO support the teaching of eternal security. In this respect the Calvinists have got something right. If you read my article on url:

http://watchmanforjesus.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/why-true-believers-are-eternally-secure.html

you will see just some of the many scriptures PROVING eternal security.

BL said...

John,

I used to think that I could agree with the Calvinists on one thing, but no more. They do not have a scriptural view on eternal security. Since they start with the false premise that God handpicks those who will believe and that Jesus only died for those select ones and that by Irresistable Grace causes them to believe, then their fate is sealed because if God selected them, they cannot possibly lose their salvation.

Of course we believe that by grace we are saved through faith and that once a person believes they are sealed for redemption by the Holy Spirit. Two fundamentally different premises, one biblical, the other not.

So there is not one petal on the TULIP that I can embrace.

I know you didn’t want this to turn into a debate on ET, but it is tied in with the topic of Calvinism.

Blessings,
BL

John Chingford said...

Hi BL

I agree completely with you. Of course, our position on eternal security is not the same as the Calvinists. Of course our eternal security "once saved always saved" is based on the premise you mentioned.

Ann Marie said...

John,
I'm glad I found this blog. I'm struggling finding a church after realizing for the last few years my church was starting down the path of spiritual mysticism (Richard Foster / Dallas Willard) and so I ventured to a new church only to get what appears to be very excellent teaching but somewhat 'harsh'. I started reading up on this church to find out that the Pastor was trained with MacArthur and just seems to come across rather strict, harsh, slight arrogance. After listening to his sermons online and attending 3 times I started to doubt if I was saved and started to feel like I needed to 'do' more.

I now wonder where to even go. My brother who is a Pastor but leaves quite a ways away recommended a website (9 marks) however that is what lead me to the church with the MacArthur style. One bit of advice he gave me is to eat the fish and throw out the bones,

It is very hard to find a church these days!

Blessings,
Ann

BL said...

Dear Ann Marie,

My heart goes out to you.

There are many brothers and sisters in Christ who cannot find a local church that preaches solid doctrine. They may have a portion of the truth, but it only serves as a cloak for the error and the undiscerning will get drawn in.

In fact, a little drop of poison is just as lethal. As far as the advice you were given to chew up the meat and spit out the bones, this is dangerous advice and is given in the best interest of shielding false teachers and in fact allowing them to prosper.

Scripture says "a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." (1 Cor 5:6-7) (Gal 5:7-9) No one is perfect, but if a pastor gets off track and is approached about it and rejects the exhortation, that is a sign to run, not walk away from that church. Where leaven is left to multiply, it soon takes over.

This is a lonely time for believers who care about truth, but hang in there and ask the Lord to give you fellowship and lead you to others who are on the same page.

John Chingford said...

Hi Ann Marie

Welcome!

I agree with BL that chewing the meat and spitting out the bones is very dangerous. I mean, the bones could get stuck inside you and cause you to choke lol. Seriously, it is not a scriptural idea to do so. As BL stated it says "a little leaven, leavens the whole lump" meaning that if you accept the whole thing we (as humans) will also swallow the poison or "leaven" and are mosty likely to digest the whole thing not realising truth from error and therefore being (inadvertantly and ignorantly) infected with the error too.

I have advised throughout this blog to be a Berean, i.e study zealously and serioiusly the Scriptures yourself NOT relying on ANY human teacher but always being willing to be taught by the Holy Spirit, checking out for yourself regarding what any human preacher is saying.

Studying the scriptures means comparing scripture with scripture ensuring that all passages of scripture are in unity without contradiction.

There is NO contradiction in the scriptures if interpreted correctly. That is the test of your interpretation. Does it hold true throughout the whole bible? If it does, then your interpretation could be valid, if not, then your interpretation is in error. Please read my article on "how to study the bible".

John Chingford said...

I meant to mention that there is one scripture text which many misquote which is "test all things, hold onto what is good and throw out what is bad"

It is taken from 1 Thes 5:21-22 but they do not quote the context which includes verse 20 which is "Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil."

The context is NOT discussing the teachings of preachers but talking about "prophecies" and the key word is "test all things" and "ABSTAIN from every form of evil". That is not the same as the "throw out what is bad" which is a false quote. To abstain is to keep well clear of it in the first place.

If a preacher is teaching error then ABSTAIN from him, don't digest anything he says because you could be digesting something which could ultimately damage you, which could take years to heal.

BL said...

John, thank you so much for this clarification. You are absolutely correct - and I had never thought of this verse application.

Truth plus error = evil. Anyone can make a misstep, but if it is called to attention and the response is to defend the error, one must abstain.

The problem is that many don't have their guard up and don't examine teachings to tell truth from error or they don't listen to those who are trying to alert them. Or they are enamored with a teacher and are willing to overlook error or they do not want to offend or they are laboring under the false belief that they are not to judge. We ARE instructed to judge by God's righteous criteria, not our own fleshly abilities.

Oftentimes the error is subtle at first and then when that slides by they are emboldened to be more blatant. And if they sheep are asleep and just grazing blindly, they ingest the deadly mixture.

I have had to turn to those who have finished their course and gone to their reward to find trusted expositors of the Word who honor truth and their labors are not subject to leaven creeping in. They are what they are. I still depend upon the Holy Spirit to be the Teacher and alert me to any diviation from truth.

I so appreciate your diligence in the study of the Word and bringing forth truth. I do believe that God raises up pastors and teachers and gifts them, but He also raises up watchpeople within the Church and if their voices are silenced, it is an invitation for wolves to enter.

This is Satan's turf and he has the upperhand.......for now. We have to realize that we live in perilous times as the Word warns us and the Church and the world look too much alike these days. It is confusing, especially for new believers who are prime targets of the enemy and who is there to properly disciple and ground them in the faith?

My heart cries for the return of the Lord Jesus to take us home and complete His plan for this world. There is nothing in this world other than my loved ones and the salvation of the lost for whom Jesus died that matters anymore.

One can only wonder when we will reach critical mass and the Lord will call an end to the Dispensation of Grace. Only His compassion for lost souls which is beyond our understanding and the knowledge that some will still be saved must be holding back His righteous judgment and wrath. His timing is perfect and we must keep trusting and abiding in Him for strength to press on.

Anonymous said...

what a shock for me to see that David Reagan of Lamb and Lion (good videos) has NO problem with Rick Warren other than his opine that prophecy is a waste of time. WHAT about his false teachings I say!!! Then it turns out that Reagan, like Rick Warren is LATTER RAIN! He says its been falling since 1948.Thats not all, he also teaches loss of salvation. Do you know about the TABERNACLE OF DAVID? He's into that as well, it sounds well dodgy like replacement stuff.I shan't be watching his stuff again - no way! whatever next, I can't take it all in.
Bren

John Chingford said...

Hi Bren

at least they focus on the "pretrib" rapture of the church. Are you sure Lamb and Lion are Latter Rain? Latter rain do not teach the pretrib and preach dominionism replacementism. So, Lamb and Lion are maybe loosely Latter Rain. In any case, any links with Latter rain AT ALL is of concern.

I had dealings with Lamb and Lion but withdrew because of some issues. I had good and bad experiences whilst with them. What you are saying sort of makes more sense to me, regarding the bad experiences. Thanks for letting me know.

God bless

John Chingford said...

I forgot to answer your question regarding Tabernacle of David.

I wasn't aware of it - so just looked it up.

Am I right to say it is to do with Mike Bickle>

If so, then I advise all readers to avoid it. Mike Bickle belongs to Latter Rain and runs the IHOP organisation ( so called "International House of Prayer"). I t would appear that Tabernacle of David is part of IHOP.

For any readers wondering who IHOP are, you only have to watch the blasphemous God channel to see them appearing on it often - usually at night time's on British TV.

IHOP is part of the weird,wacky, nasty, heretical and blasphemous world of Latter Rain aka New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). This blog explains why they can be called those names.

IHOP is the "so called" spiritual warfare arm of NAR. I have watchem them in action - NOTHING LIKE what the Bible describes as prayer and intercession. Mostly they have weird music playing most of the time. It seems more like a witches coven than a Christian prayer meeting.

John Chingford said...

Hi Bren

I received and read your latest comment but have not published it because I am assuming (based on something you said) that you probably don't want me to publish it. However, if I am wrong please let me know and I will then post it.

I have done as you asked me and looked up that link. Here is what I found:

R Reagan is believing that the church has been experiencing the Latter Rain since 1948 (since Israel became a Nation again) believing that Israel being a Nation holds the key of revival for the church. He believes in a pretrib rapture but not until the latter rain brings global revival - something similar to dominionism theology. The only difference is that the kingdom will be handed to Jesus first after the Latter Rain takes place and THEN the rapture comes in before the Tribulation and God's wrath.

I have also seen much evidence that R Reagan's Lamb and Lion are ecumenical and will not expose ecumenists. In fact, Nathan Jones (R Reagan's associate) has signed the Manhattan Declaration stating his belief that it is not ecumenical but political.

I have a number of issues with the above.

The context of Scripture passages is that the Latter Rain is for unregenerate Israel (not the church or gentiles) after they say "blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord" and comes AFTER the rapture takes place.

My reasoning:

I find it hard to accept that a latter rain outpouring is required for those already filled with the Holy Spirit or for those about to be raptured.

On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was outpoured on unbelievers after hearing Peter's message - not on those already filled with the Holy Spirit. Even the 120 freshly filled with the Holy Spirit, had been told to wait until the outpouring BEFORE they could be WITNESSES.

So the outpouring is for the purpose of salvation and mission. What would be the point of a latter rain for believers who would then be whisked away immediately before they had the opportunity of mission? It doesn't add up! Or why would the rapture take place if the whole world was in revival?

Surely the purpose of the rapture is to rescue the Godly from the coming wrath due to the wickedness on Earth?

Therefore, the Latter Rain MUST be for the Jews AFTER the rapture as per Zechariah 12-14.

Nathan states that there is much evidence of a mighty outpouring since 1948 with many signs and wonders. I would like to ask where he gets his information from. The false claims of NAR (formerly Latter Rain) and Word of Faith have been well documented. Has Nathan got his data from them?

What we actually see is a great outpouring of deception, false revivals and "temporary" miracles which seemed to have come and gone.

The Word of Faith and NAR HAVE to come up with such claims to authenticate their belief systems in a Latter Rain revival BEFORE Jesus is allowed to return. (allowed?????) Actually, that is tantamount to blasphemy. Why can they not simply in humility accept that they could be wrong and adjust their theology according to the Bible? But instead they prefer to manipulate the circumstances by whatever means to PROVE thety are right.

John Chingford said...

More ......

The Dominionists (aka Kingdom Now) believe that Jesus will not return until the church has done its job.
That effectively means that the church sets the agenda and not Jesus.

In other words, the dependence is on the "activities" of Christians with their own methods in their own strengths (effectively) rather than on the guidance, leading and power of the Holy Spirit.

This is why Dominionists are so very active manufacturing and manipulating events. What they are ACTUALLY doing is counterfeiting the Holy Spirit.

Anonymous said...

Well thanks so much for checking that out. To be honest it sounds freakier now you have seen it not just me. Its hard to take in, they are such nice guys and their videos are really good. That’s what I like. Its been said that their claim of an any moment rapture is impossible with that latter rain thing ,and im sorry but I do think that is true. Also that Doc R says he follows a literal interpretation, but he bypasses that when he spiritulises the Joel prophecy. It was said it was a double fulfilment but it seems that’s not true, it’s a bad mistake as it was said that a prophecy has got only just one meaning. That’s a hard one, but it really seems as if they are playing both sides of the field by crafty play. I don’t mind if you want to print my comment as long as you think I am not being unfair to them. Now I want to find a big hole and get away from it all, it is all depressed me with errors sneaking up on me. It’s a nasty feeling to me. No place seems safe. Thanks for your help, I didnt know much of that stuff .

Bren

John Chingford said...

Glad to help Bren

I found another site that seems to be excellent. I started writing there and was received well but have not had time to write there again, for a while. Most prophecy sites seem too emotional and "touchy" reacting and overreacting in a less than humble way. However, I haven't found the same thing with this new site.

Why not try them out? As a taster please check out a topic I conbtributed to and notice the humble attitude they showed towards me on

http://www.rap-con.com/forum/the-missing-piece-babylon-and-the-nwo

They are a pre trib rapture site but are open to discuss most other subjects. It seema that most contributors are quite clued up regarding discernment issues.

But first please refer to my article entitled "A Warning Against Some Dangerous Internet Prophetic Fellowships" on http://www.watchmanforjesus.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/warning-against-superficial-holy.html

I wrote that because of the bad experiences I had on three prophecy sites (2 of which I thought I could trust).

Please keep in touch and let me know how you get on.

God bless

Rita Redeemed said...

Bren, I so relate to the pain you have and the consternation concerning certain public ministries that have so cleverly mixed truth with error. You are wise to pick up on this as most don’t. Incredibly, many excuse false teachers who mix truth with error, by saying no one is perfect. This is a cop out! Sincere ministries will be on guard and ferret out error instead of continuing in it. Any error should be very minor and certainly not involve ecumenism and compromise.

Any public ministry is open to public scrutiny and not subject to biblical guidelines in settling matters on a local and private level. And in most cases public ministries deflect or ignore anyone who questions them and it is a waste of time. The Bible says to “mark and avoid” false teachers, it doesn’t say to contact them first before issuing a warning. Romans 16:17

LL is one example of a ministry that can’t afford NOT to be ecumenical because if you narrow the scope too far the donations won’t come in and the conferences won’t be attended and the books and DVDs won’t sell. This doesn’t make them evil people, just not willing to count the cost and tell the truth and nothing but the truth as we are instructed to do in the Word of God. Compromise is the modus operandi of the enemy, twisting the Word ever since the Garden when he deceived Eve and now in this final hour we are seeing it come to full fruition in unexpected places.

You will find that most “discernment” ministries have certain lines they will not cross and certain teachers that are “untouchable”. They form a network of sorts and that network has boundaries. They feed off each other and their loyalty is to the network over loyalty to God and His Word. Just like the people they expose, some discernment ministries, NOT all, have books to sell and if they are of any size they depend upon donations

I have been a believer for a very long time and over the years I see deception and think it could not get worse, but it does and has. I have seen formerly solid ministries subtly become ecumenical, some blatantly and some more covert. There is so much confusion/deception in the Body of Christ right now that I think it must have reached critical mass and our Lord’s return for His Church must be at any moment. The early Church believed in the imminent return of our Lord for His Bride, and the Word of God, if rightly divided teaches this

John Chingford said...

Thanks Rita

Well put!

Over here in UK we have witnessed the same things> Organisations like Premier Christian Radio, Spring Harvest, Evangelical Alliance etc have succumbe in a very big way to ecumenism because groups like the RC and Word of Faith seem to give the biggest donations. They only survive because of such donations.

I have written to them telling them that it would be better to cease in their operations (through a lack of donations) than to compromise with Babylon because their message is losing whatever power it once had.

In fact, I encourage all my readers to stop sending them donations because you would be helping them to exist and spread their poison.

Anonymous said...

That was a lot of help to me Rita R, like a dose of good motherly advise. It has been weighing on my mind because they say they are imminancy Rapture. They have had it pointed out to them, you know, how it doesn’t hang right, with latter rain stuff, but they wont have any of it. Did I say before that they said they have no problem with Rick Warren and his books on the purpose of life? It gets me down when they say we can do a sin that will lose our salvation, I cant bear it to hear that, it makes the future fearful because no one can feel secure at all. That’s a real bad vibe to me, I hate feeling it as for all they know they are saved today, but tomorrow they could lose it forever with no going back. (Idon’t believe that view) That makes God sound cruel, and he isn’t, he is fair and wont take away the gift of life , not any gift for that matter! I did look in at that link John, but it seemed false to me, just not my style I guess- sorry, but then I am feeling bruised and sore so a bit touchy I think. Im going no where for a while, just me and Jesus and the Bible to get built up again and lose this bad feeling.

Jesus is coming, not much longer now!!!!!!!!!!
Bren

Rita R. said...

Bren, you are wise to pick up on these things.

I wasn't aware that LL does not teach eternal security of the believer. You are right, if one is TRULY saved, one cannot KEEP one's salvation any more than we can EARN it! At salvation God forgives ALL your sins, past present AND future. As Christians we do sin, but the Holy Spirit convicts us and we are not comfortable in that sin. Also, God our Father will discipline us because we are His children and He loves us. This is a precious Bible truth that many miss to their ultimate misery and often faith is shipwrecked by failure to realize this.

LL and other ministries cannot find fault with Rick Warren or other similar ecumenical groups/teachers because they need to walk a wide path and not rattle too many cages. In the process the truth is discarded or watered-down and the sheep suffer from "malnutrition". The broad path is appealing to the flesh and the world, but it is not the way of the Lord.

Keep on exercising discernment and keep plugging into this site which has very good information to inform and encourage you. But most importantly, always confirm everything by the Word.

There are SO many pitfalls out there and it is a minefield! The Bible says the only way to be truly safe in this environment is to stay close to the Shepherd and don't lose sight of Him. There are a multitude of voices that try to imitate the voice of the Lord but they are imposters.

One thing to remember is that Satan knows the Bible well and he doesn't hesitate to quote a verse here and there to deceive. That is exactly what he did with Eve and that is exactly how he tried to tempt our Lord Jesus. Just because someone has a few nuggets of truth in their messages does not make it true. Mixing truth and error ALWAYS results in error.

May the Lord richly bless you and use you to bless and inform others. Don't be discouraged if they don't receive what you have to say, most won't. It is the LORD Who must change hearts and open eyes. Our part is to be obedient and press on until He comes.

And like you say, I think that will be SOON as we see the FLOOD of false teaching and the falling away of those once trusted. It is sad to see, but God knew it would happen. Most don't realize that we are seeing the "falling away" that the Bible says will occur at this very moment, not at some future time. Those with eyes to see can see it happening just as the Lord said it would.

God ALWAYS has a remnant and it is so in our day. Those who see clearly through the smoke and mirrors and discern the truth. It is not a pride thing, but a grievous and humbling place in which to be. We must sound the warning to any who would heed it and as it says in Jude, snatch some from the fire.

Redeem the time, share the Gospel,and disciple as we eagerly await King Jesus to come for us.

Colin said...

I agree with everything that Rita said in her 21st June posting (apart from the very last sentence).

Ecumenism is wickedness.

These so-called 'discernment' ministries all share platforms (they market each other's books DVDs etc) and are therefore reticent to criticise/expose each other. So logically they walk the broad way. All ecumenical roads lead to Rome. Most of the 'error' they 'expose' is obvious to anyone that spends any quality time in the Word.

I wrote to Alan Franklin about LL, and Ariel Ministries and the short answer was 'Buy my books and DVDs etc!' He is speaking at LL soon I believe. Also if you say anything negative against 'the big boys like ecumenical Frutchtenbaum (member of Lausanne), Reagan etc, you will just be ignored.

I believe 'The Ministry' becomes the Idol!

In fact when you think about it they nearly ALL are just salesmen! They always have their books, DVDs etc on offer.

Bren, God is NOT fair, fairness is a humanistic doctrine. God is RIGHTEOUS; read Matthew 20 about the 'Parable of the vineyard'.

John Chingford said...

Thanks Rita and Colin

Colin, you state you disagree with the following from Rita "The early Church believed in the imminent return of our Lord for His Bride, and the Word of God, if rightly divided teaches this"

I know that you do not believe in the pretrib rapture, but as you know I am now firmly convinced (and agree with Rita) in what she says here.

But as stated in earlier articles I do not want to get sidetracked into that debate within articles which are not related to that subject.

Therefore, I thank you that you only made a fleeting comment on it.

It is good, however, that you do recognise the evils of ecumenism and have contributed some good points here.

Bless you brother.

Myfanwy said...

Hi John, Roma, BL...and friends in Christ,

I have not commented on here for ages, but as usual I follow all posts.

I have been going through a very bad time in my life, and my internet was also down for quite a while too. I praise the Lord for His goodness and mercy for helping me through the bad times. I know that satan has been trying very hard to keep me from this blog,my research, and my Christian friends.

All the posts have been interesting to read, and I welcome those that are new to this blog. I also thank you John for your selflessness in keeping the blog up to date, and your continuing work to keep the truth from being hidden in these dark days.

I sympathise with those that are finding it hard to cope with the scope of the onslaught of satan's lies on this world. So many Christians that I know have fallen for the deceit, and they just do not want to hear the truth. Their eyes are truly blinded. My heart is breaking for my own unsaved family, and also for those that have been deceived by false teachers of dominionism.

So pray unceasingly for each other, and for all the lost in the world and in the church. Continue to ask the Lord to strengthen and guide us. Prayer is truly a powerful weapon, I need your prayers too.

May God bless and keep you all.

BL said...

Myfanwy, you are truly missed. Remember that everything we go through, the Lord has allowed for a purpose.

Thank you for checking in and letting us know you are okay but in need of prayer.

We love you dear sister!

Anonymous said...

Ive come out of hiding to ask what does LCJE stand for?
And has any heard of Dr Ouwar who has all the hall marks of being another false prophet big time. (I think he is related to Presi Obama?) He said it would rain (in Africa) and there was a huge down pour and other things of doom. Its amazing to me how sometimes the long range weather forcasts can be spot on! Any which way, Im as sure as I can be that its part of ‘Latter Rain’ and the ‘Holiness’ movement that Lamb & Lion are into – possibly? . He also teaches a partial rapture, only holy ones will go. Oh and by the way, god told him time has ended… My clocks still ticking so maybe his needs a new battery?

Bren

John Chingford said...

Hi Bren

I had a feeling that someone was going to ask what LCJE stands for. It stands for "Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism". It is an organisation bringing together all the Jewish Messianic fellowships who have signed on to Billy Graham's Lausanne (ecumenical) Movement (LM). The organisation gives its allegiance to the LM, therefore putting all these Jewish fellowships under the LM.

The LM is an initiative to bring about unity of all protestant churches back under the umbrella of Rome. If you check out its objectives you will see that Catholic influence is immense. Particularly interesting is the following report which seeks to elevate Rome (eg www.lausanne.org/docs/lau1docs/0872.pdf).

What that report seems to be either unaware or deliberately ignore is Rome's instructions to its generals like the Jesuit priests to infiltrate protestant churches spreading the false message that the RC has changed. They are instructed to tell the people what they want to hear becoming friends and even pretending to be protestants, but the objective is NOT to change the RC but to change protestants back to Rome in whatever means are necessary.

For evidence of this please check out the Jesuit oath http://www.reformation.org/jesuit-oath.html and http://www.lutherquest.org/walther/articles/jmc00101.htm

It appears that LM is a stepping stone to bring about the Vatican II ecumenical mandate (of the 1960's) regarding the counter reformation, into fruition.

Sorry, Bren, but I haven't heard of Dr Ouwar. I do not have time at present to investigate it, but maybe one of my informed readers can reply to your question? If not, I will take a look when I have time.

Heather Z. said...

Hi,

I am wondering why you believe that once saved always saved is taught in the Bible. The Bereans searched the OT scriptures to see if the things Paul taught were so. Knowing this, I am curious as to where exactly the OT teaches once saved always saved as far as Ezek. 18 and 33 are concerned.

Also, what are your thoughts on the use of Suzerainty covenants and Parity covenants in the Bible and their bearing on OSAS? Meaning, God fellowships with men based on covenants. If God only uses Suzerainty covenants, then why do Christians insist OSAS is feasible?

Thanks,

Heather Z.

John Chingford said...

Thanks Heather

For those wondering what a
Suzerainty covenant is, it is explained as:

"There were two types of covenants in ancient times. One was a parity covenant. This was where two parties who were equal bound themselves together in a contract. The other covenant was the suzerainty covenant. This was an agreement between a strong party and a weak party. For example, a strong nation might overpower a weak nation. The victors would agree to protect the weaker nation if the weaker nation would keep certain rules.

God had this type of covenant with Israel. In Exodus 19:4-6 we read, "Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, the ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people"

Before I reply to this (on the next comment) please refer to my articles AND the comments on the following links, which show why we are no longer under Law and why we CANNOT lose our salvation even if we (as a new creation born into God's kingdom as a child of the kingdom - i.e you cannot be unborn, once born)are tempted into sin:

http://watchmanforjesus.blogspot.co.uk/2010/01/no-longer-under-law-but-under-grace.html

and (regarding OSAS) please look at:

http://watchmanforjesus.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/why-true-believers-are-eternally-secure.html

John Chingford said...

Part 2

Heather

You have an interesting question regarding the Bereans. It is true that they looked into the OT to check that what Paul was saying was consistent to the OT. They probably ONLY had the OT at that point.

However, let us consider what it was they were doing.

They were checking up whether Paul was accurate in his preaching that Jesus was the Messiah.

Was Paul preaching about keeping the law in order to obtain God's favour? NO! He was simply proving that Jesus was the Messiah according to the OT.

The book of Hebrews shows us very clearly HOW Jesus fulfilled the OT and how He is represented on virtually every page in the OT, even in the priestly garments and the Tabernacle.

In fact, some of Paul's opponents said that Paul was preaching against the Law.

Even if Paul did preach against the Law, there is OT scripture to back it up in Jeremiah 31:31-34 talks about the New Covenant which is not based upon the external law nor based on obedience but ONLY upon grace.

In fact, there are many passages in the OT that talk about how the Messiah (Jesus) would usher in a time of grace.

These are the things Paul preached about and they COULD be verified in the OT.

It is clear, from all the writings in the NT that the authors ALL understood that the OT spoke of grace. Paul spent 3 years in the wilderness learning from God (after his conversion) much like how Moses spent time in God's holy presence for 80 days. God showed Paul many things about how the new covenant was so much different from the old.

The evidence of that is in the mysteries/revelations unravelled to Paul, that he gave to the church.

Here is the proof of my statement:

Paul wrote in Eph 3:4-5

"Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;"

John Chingford said...

Regarding Ezekiel 18 "the one who sins will die".

Have you not forgotten that Jesus died ONCE FOR ALL so that the soul who sins no longer needs to die because they receive eternal forgiveness?

Ezekiel 33 is referring to the OT covenant. In the OT a righteous person was one who (mostly)obeyed the Law. If that one then failed, their earlier righteousness would no longer be acceptable.

In the book of Romans, Paul makes it clear that no-one can be righteous by obeying the law because no-one can keep it. "For ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God".

Romans 3:10 (referring to psalm 53) says "there are none that are righteous, not even one" and Isaiah 64:6 says "all our righteousness is as filthy rags".

Therefore, Ezekiel 33 is referring to the consequences of the Old Covenant, but PRAISE GOD we are now under a new covenant of grace.

John Chingford said...

Hi Bren

If you are still reading this blog, please let me know how you are. How have things developed with you over the last 2 years? If you would rather contact me by email, please do so. I do not have your email address so cannot contact you in any other way than here. My email address is quite easy to find on my home page.

Gary said...

Here is my story: I grew up fundamentalist Baptist. I repented of all my sins and accepted Jesus Christ into my heart to be my Lord and Savior at age nine…and again in my early teens…just to be sure. In my early 20’s my family moved to another state where we attended a non-denominational, evangelical mega-church (which taught Baptist doctrine) for several years. In my mid to late 20’s I stopped going to church because I didn’t “feel” God inside me and he didn’t seem to listen when I prayed.

I remained unchurched until I was married in my forties. I started attending liberal churches. When we had children, I started looking again at more conservative/fundamentalist churches, something closer to what I had believed as a child and teenager. We joined a conservative, orthodox Lutheran church. I became very involved in the church. I was happy and content in my orthodox Christian belief system. I read the Bible and prayed regularly.

One day I was surfing the internet and came across an atheist’s website. He was a former fundamentalist Baptist/evangelical pastor! I was shocked! I started to engage him in conversation, and also tried to bring him back to the Faith, to belief in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.

However, this man pointed out to me some very big assumptions in my Christian belief system which I had never thought of, such as:

1. Just because there is evidence for a Creator does not mean that the Creator is the Christian God, Yahweh.

2. Our current Bibles contain thousands of scribe alterations, most of them inconsequential, but a couple of them are shocking. Why did God allow scribes copying the original Scriptures to change, delete, add, or alter his inerrant, Holy, Word?

3. How do we know that the books of the New Testament are the Word of God? Is there a verse that tells us? Did Jesus give us a list? Did Paul?

4. Do we really have any verifiable eyewitness testimony for the Resurrection or is it all hearsay and legend?

5. Modern archaeology proves that the Captivity in Egypt, the Exodus, the forty years in the Sinai, the Conquest of Canaan, and the great kingdoms of David and Solomon are only ancient Hebrew fables.

At first I fought him tooth and nail. I fought him for four months. At the very end I had to admit that there are no verifiable eyewitness accounts of the Resurrection of Jesus in the Bible or anywhere else. All we have are four anonymous first century texts full of discrepancies and contradictions. The only thing I had left to attach my faith to was the testimony of the Apostle Paul: why would a devout Jewish rabbi convert to a religion he so hated unless he really saw a resurrected dead man on the Damascus Road?

But after studying the five Bible passages that discuss Paul’s conversion, I had to admit that Paul never says he saw a resurrected body. All Paul says is that he saw a light…and that this event occurred in a “heavenly vision”. Visions are not reality...not in the 21st century nor in the 1st.

And as for the improbability that a Jewish rabbi would convert to a hated religion, there is a Muslim cleric in Israel today who not too many years ago was an ardent Zionist Jewish settler and rabbi, intent on ridding the Muslims from Jewish land.

Strange conversions occur. They do not prove that the new religion is true and inerrant.

I was broken-hearted, but I saw my Christian Faith was nothing more than an ancient superstition that had been modified in the first century by Jesus, a good man, but a dead man. There is zero evidence that this first century Jew is alive and the Ruler of the Universe.

John Chingford said...

Hi Gary

Those atheistic criticisms are not new and have often been debunked. With respect, they are weak arguments. Most of them are not true, inaccurate and greatly exaggerated by twisting the facts.

It is definitely not true that there are loads of discrepancies in the bible. There may appear (at first glance, without proper study) to be many contradictions, but virtually all "so called" contradictions have now been explained due to latter day findings and putting things in context. I know not of any that still cannot be explained.

This is actually a big subject. At present I do not have time to tackle all the points your atheist mate brought up. I could answer them one by one, as/when I have time. However, I am keen that you not be left in that feeling of limbo.

Therefore, I can give you some suggestions to help you for now. Hopefully my readers will write in their answers to the arguments used by your friend.

Firstly, please read through this article

"How The Bible Was Put Together and Proving Why It IS The Inspired Inerrant Word Of God" on: http://watchmanforjesus.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/proving-why-bible-is-inspired-inerrant.html

That article addresses all 5 points, but maybe not all the other points you made at the end.

Also, as a supplement to that article to restrengthen your faith, please use this link:

http://watchmanforjesus.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Against%20Faulty%20Evolutionary%20Thinking%20and%20evidence%20for%20creation

which throws up a pile of articles (on the right hand side) on appropriate topics which debunk atheism.

If these do not supply answers to all your questions, then please let me know and I will address those.

I am convinced that you will find strong arguments to support your faith by reading those articles.

Regarding Paul's encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus; I will address that after you have read those articles.

This is a request to my readers; would you please address the closing comments made by Gary, in the meanwhile, i.e.

1. "I had to admit that Paul never says he saw a resurrected body. All Paul says is that he saw a light…and that this event occurred in a “heavenly vision”. Visions are not reality"

My question: Did Paul call it a vision or was it a reality?

2. "There is zero evidence that this first century Jew is alive and the Ruler of the Universe."

John Chingford said...

Hi Gary

I will give a quick answer to your question on Paul's conversion, to help you for now and set the scene for others to elaborate on.

Paul did not call it a vision. In other scripture passages he clearly states that his experience was a very real reality. Here is what he says in other verses:

1 Corinthians 15:5-8 says "and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also"

Galatians 1:11-12 says "I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ"

Paul gave an address to King Aggrippa giving an account of his experience. This is what he said in Acts 26:13-16:

" I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you.

Notice the parts in bold.

Paul stated that Jesus appeared to him. It wasn't a vision but was a very real encounter with Jesus in HIS glorified resurrected body which was encircled in glorious light.

Anonymous said...

"There is zero evidence that this first century jew is alive and the Ruler of the Universe."

Here is a good answer to refute that statement

http://www.gotquestions.org/why-believe-resurrection.html

John Chingford said...

Thanks Anon

That appears to be a good applicable article.

dp4 said...

I have noticed you use a lot of references to gotquestions.org
Their position is predominately a mild/modified version of Reformed Theology (Calvinism),

Although I disagree with your position on Reformed theology, there are indeed issues/concerns with some (Rick Warren is an obvious example), that sort of have slipped past the radar; in particular their conduct.
(Although you claim not to be Arminian you still hold to the Arminian view of election of God seeing who would choose him etc.)

Several general comments need to be made:
[1] Technically speaking, covenant theology is not 'replacement theology' and this arises from a misunderstanding from dispensationalists.
[2] From where I am from, a typological approach is taken rather than allegorical or literal approach to the fulfillment of the Old (Mosaic) covenant; and also stresses evangelism. I am more inclined to look a biblical theology rather than systematic, and a good book I recommend is 'According to Plan' by G. Goldsworthy, if you wish to know what that looks like.
[3] Concerning the 'TULIP' - it is a terrible way to summarise what they actually believe.

continued in next reply...