“Let God be true, and every man a liar.” – Rom 3:4a
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit,
after the tradition of men,
after the rudiments of the world,
and not after Christ.” _ Col 2:8
Evil is obvious in its undiluted form. Evangelical Christians can easily identify the devil when he shows up wearing a red suit, horns, and an arrow-head tail – or even red clerical robes and mitres. But when he’s wearing a crafty disguise, such as a suit and tie or Hawaiian shirt with skinny jeans, believers drop their guard.
But the Apostle Paul warned the Ephesians not to be “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.”[i] The devil is crafty and his agents creep in unnoticed.
Yet when watchmen in the church sound the trumpet to warn about those evil workers among us, all hell breaks loose. Such was the response this month to the Catholic critics of the Amazon Synod[ii] in Rome. The modern-day Martin Luthers that dared nail their theses to the proverbial cathedral door have found themselves tarred and feathered by the Catholic establishment.
“Brazilian ‘Archbishop Orlando Brandes said in a Sunday homily that critics of the Amazonia Synod are not only “violent” and “unjust” but possessed by the “dragon of traditionalism” …Brandes said, adding, “The right is violent, it is unjust, and firing on the Pope…It seems that we do not want life, the Second Vatican Council, the gospel, because none of us doubts that this is the great reason for the synod.’”[iii]
And Pope Francis recently called all opposition to his leftist agenda, Pharisees.
Or as they would say in the Evangelical world, “Touch not God’s anointed,” “You heresy-hunters,” “Judge not!” And so, the devil silences all opposition to his plans.
Yet what happened in the Catholic Church began millennia ago. The devil’s strategy for them, is the same for all branches of Christianity. i.e. Demote the Bible; replace reliance on God’s Word with tradition and subjective experience; counterfeit spiritual gifts with mysticism; and his most diabolical scheme: redefine the nature and work of Christ Jesus.
When we see ‘Christian’ conferences with such titles as, ‘Rethinking Christianity” – ‘Re-Imagining Church’ – ‘Interfaith Summit’ – we know the devil’s in the details.
What should be reconsidered is how the perception of the Church and Christianity has evolved from its pure beginnings and get back to the Bible. Ever since the Apostle Paul first warned the Ephesian elders that wicked men would infiltrate and raise up disciples after themselves, evil workers have put down roots in the establishment church..
In part one[iv] we saw how the pope and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church have come full circle in their paganization of the faith. Now they openly embrace the far left social Marxist and cultural norms of this generation. It was recently reported that Pope Francis now denies that Jesus was fully divine while on the earth.[v] Many Christians can see the obvious transformation of Rome, but fail to recognize the paradigm shift in the Evangelical Church.
The marks of the new paradigm false church are a bit more subtle – ecumenism with Rome; worldliness, rejection of the inerrancy of the Bible, westernized mysticism (influences from the east), downplaying of Bible prophecy, compromising with sin, lording it over one another, psychology replacing theology, hatred for the fundamentals of the faith, etc.
Much of where the professing Christians got off track is in their desire to be acceptable to non-believers. Making the faith palatable to the world is a useless endeavor. But that doesn’t mean that we can brow-beat people with Bible verses and win them over. Nor can we go along with them in their sinful pursuits or adapt our theology to keep the peace. The extremes can be exemplified by Joel Osteen on the left and Westboro Baptist Church’s Fred Phelps on the right. It’s a fine line, this narrow road.
The Devil in Dallas
As a Christian investigative writer for over thirty years, I recognize the hissing of the serpent when it rears its forked-tongued head. Scripture tells us we must not be ignorant of his schemes.[vi] And staying in God’s Word trains us to recognize the voice of the Master Jesus. Does that mean, I am fool-proof? Certainly not – but all of us must keep our spiritual armor on – especially during these evil days. “Keep on the alert!”
I heard that unmistakable hiss recently. It really grabbed my attention.
I moved to Texas recently and thought it might be a good idea to take advantage of an opportunity to audit a class from Dallas Theology Seminary. It cost me all of $30 – with my senior discount. The class was mostly on-line, but the professor taught a week-end at the extension campus in Austin. The class is ST101 – Theological Method and Bibliography – a required course for all DTS students.
Professor Glenn Kreider, a DTS grad, was one of the most condescending teachers I’ve ever seen – and that’s saying a lot since I’ve attended nine universities in five decades. The entire first month of online classes were all introduction. He used most of that time to talk about himself and drop names of his favorite theologians.[vii] I suppose he wanted to connect with his young subordinates, so as an introduction to theology, he played entire songs by contemporary secular musicians with lyrics that he thought were significant to the study. One artist he featured was Sinead O’Connor – he pointed out that she was famous for tearing a picture of the pope in half on a live broadcast of Saturday Night Live. He played a song called ‘33’ from her “Theology” album.
“O’Connor has apologized to the Pope,” Kreider assured the class. “She met with him; said she has returned to her Catholic faith. Now I have to tell you that her Christianity is a little different than yours and mine. I don’t think Sinead O’Connor can teach at Dallas Seminary. Her syncretism with Wiccan and certain other stuff would be a bit of a problem.” Ya think?
Not everything Kreider taught was off-putting. I’m not saying he is not a brother – even the Apostle Peter was rebuked – Jesus said, “Get thee behind me Satan.” But he is part of the trend in the apostasy of the church that denigrates Scripture and elevates nature, experience, and human reason. Syncretism and ecumenism are nothing new – unfortunately it has become the status-quo of the 21st Century organizational church. In most mega-churches today, Scripture is a mere afterthought in motivational messages masquerading as sermons. The blame can be laid upon the seminaries where pastors are trained for the business of religion.
This year DTS featured emergent pastor Andy Stanley in their chapel,[viii] where attendance is a requirement for all students – in other words, a captive audience. He underscored the world-view he wanted all graduates to have when entering their Christian ministry. He said he learned his attitude right there in chapel when he was a student at DTS:
“My purpose today is to inspire you and try to convince you, in your preaching and your teaching and your writing to tether the faith of the next generation… to the event of the resurrection rather than the inspiration, infallibility, or authority of the Bible… or even inerrancy. Okay, no lightening! (he says glibly).”
He goes on to tell a story of a famous atheist who, in his opinion, had an easy time disproving the validity of the Bible. He concluded:
“He ties the credibility of the Bible to the Christian faith and as the Bible goes, so goes the Christian faith. If something in the Bible isn’t true, then the Bible isn’t true… in the minds of just about everybody, then good-bye Christianity. That has to change. And your generation of Church leaders needs to change it… This is what I want you to focus your mind on. This assumption is absolutely false. (Pans to audience with some very troubled and sad looks on the students’ faces.) The church has not adjusted at all. We used to teach that if the Bible says it, that settles it… but that is an assumption we must not only need to abandon, we have to decide where we’re going to place our faith… It’s not anything new. It’s what the first century Christians knew all along. I mean, come on, there wasn’t a Bible the way we think of it for four hundred years… the church survived without the B-I-B-L-E… The foundation of our faith isn’t a book… the foundation of our faith is an event.”[ix]
That is quite a bit of historic revisionism. The gospels and epistles of the apostles contained the story of the resurrection and were hand copied and distributed wherever churches were planted for the elders to read to the gatherings. The hearers of the Word latched onto what Scripture they had access to and thereby many were converted as the Holy Spirit convicted their hearts. Andy Stanley’s words fly in the face of John 20:31: “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” In Stanley’s mind, he has no need for “the full counsel of God.”[x]
Professor Kreider sang the same heretical tune. But the big name he dropped was Jack Deere whose book, Surprised by the Voice of God, is required reading in his class. Deere is one of his heroes. In fact, the class notes I took were indistinguishable from the lines I highlighted in Deere’s Voice.
KREIDER: “We end up worshiping the Bible… there’s a danger of elevating the Bible to the godhead.”[xi]
DEERE: “Bible deists preach and teach the Bible rather than Christ.”[xii]
KREIDER: You are incapable of interpreting Scripture – you need a DD or ThM to do so – (my loose paraphrase).
DEERE: “Although the Bible deist loudly proclaims the sufficiency of Scripture, in reality, he is proclaiming the sufficiency of his own interpretation of the Scripture.”[xiii]
KREIDER: “The Bible doesn’t answer most of your questions or you end up in goofy-land.”
DEERE: “People who have a passion to know the Bible are capable of doing a great deal of harm to the church.”
KREIDER: “We don’t capitalize the pronouns for God cause that’s just weird. Unless you do, and I’ll think you’re weird. Nobody does that anymore.”
DEERE: “Bible deists’ highest goal is the impartation of biblical knowledge… Actually, they use the adjectives ‘biblical’ and ‘scriptural’ more often than the proper noun ‘Jesus’ in their everyday speech.”[xiv]
Jack Deere became the apologist for the Kansas City Prophets back in the 1980s.[xv] These false prophets left behind them a wake of injured saints whose faith were shaken when the personal prophecies uttered over them did not pan out. John Wimber, of the Vineyard Church fame, had to be brought in to cover for them. He did so by teaching that prophets are messy with a success rate of about 50-50, and just need to grow in prophetic maturity. Two of the most deviant of the group were Bob Jones, who used his so-called prophetic office to get women to strip naked for him; and Paul Cain, who supposedly could travel into the heavens at will but hoped the heavens looked the other way when he indulged in homosexual activities.
Deere appeared on TBN’s Behind the Scenes program in the late 90s with Paul Cain. Paul Crouch had asked Deere to bring “prophet” Cain on. Since the heresy-hunters trashed him so much, Crouch said he had to meet him and shake his hand. Deere dedicated Surprised by the Voice of God to Cain:
“For Paul Cain,
Who has endured rejection like a true prophet,
loving enemies, doing good to those who hate…
A mentor who is like his Master…
I thank my God every time I remember you.”
Sadly, today’s young people weren’t around during the days of these ‘prophets’ who were proven to be false. Many of them are making a come-back now, having never repented of their past sins against the Body of Christ. Convicted televangelist Jim Bakker, whose adultery and money scamming were once front-page news, is again all over television. He has built a Tribulation compound in the Ozarks where he has his TV studio and accumulated prepper goods. He is now building another studio, asking Christians to send in money to build what he calls, The Voice of the Prophets Network,[xvi] in alliance with his mentor, false prophet Rick Joyner. A recent guest, Paula White (spiritual advisor to the President) told Bakker’s audience that there was a millionaire watching and he’d better send a million dollars in to Jim Bakker or else God wouldn’t bless him.
Change Agents in Charge
“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD,
When I will send a famine on the land,
Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water,
But rather for hearing the words of the LORD.”
— Amos 8:11
What the devil has accomplished in the Catholic Church reveals what he is doing in all of Christendom. His MO hasn’t changed much over the millennia. In the Garden of Eden, he seduced Eve by telling her if she disobeyed God she would become like Him, knowing good and evil. On the Mount of Temptation, he quoted Scripture out of context to try and outwit Jesus. He beguiled Judas to betray Christ for a price. He’s still at it and by all appearances he seems to be winning. Today’s biblical illiteracy gives him the upper hand. His masterpiece is just about set up: Mystery Babylon.
“We have seen – by scores of examples – that a mixture of paganism and Christianity produced the Roman Catholic Church…. Catholic scholars recognize that their church developed from such a mixture. But from their point of view, these things were triumphs for Christianity, because the church was able to Christianize pagan practices.”[xvii]
Now we’ve seen the Roman church come full circle and now openly embraces the goddess Pachamama and the worship of Mother Earth. It happened incrementally over time. But now time is on hyper-drive.
They are our example of what not to do, if we hope to maintain the faith undefiled by the world, the flesh, and the devil. But the Protestant church is on the same trajectory – just a little bit behind. Popular and progressive ideas have become popular today:
- Red Letter Christianity[xviii] – A movement headed by apostate leaders Tony Campolo and Shane Claiborne, whose doctrinal statement says, “We embrace and work alongside people of different faiths, erasing the lines of ‘us vs. them.’” Excluding the Epistles from their focus, allows them to avoid what they call “clobber verses” that exclude active homosexuals and liberal church members.
- The Emergent Church – Led by leaders who teach false doctrines such as ‘Universalism,’ the belief that there is no hell and everyone goes to heaven; the Bible is seen as containing the words of God, but is not inerrant or authoritative; Jesus’ death on the cross was not for atonement for our sins or that would be cosmic child abuse, etc.
- The John 17 Movement – Endorsed by leaders such as James Robison and Jack Hayford, who say all Christians must be as one under the pope as its spokesperson – those who don’t go along are sinning against the Lord’s desire that we all would be one.[xix]
- NAR: New Apostolic Reformation – Where experience is considered the best way to form one’s theology and follow so-called mystics in Catholic history by adapting their spiritual exercises such as mindfulness, induced altered states of consciousness, and channeling spirits.
- Purpose Driven Christianity – invented by Rick Warren, whose 3-Legged Stool seeks to unite the world with his P.E.A.C.E. Plan – His advice to accomplish this: Ignore Bible prophecy, saying the details of Christ’s return is none of our business.[xx]
- The Prosperity Gospel – another gospel, that is unfortunately embraced by President Donald Trump and his spiritual advisor, Paula White. Jesus warns them in His letters to the churches that because they say: ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” that He will spew them out of His mouth. (Rev. 3)
All of these movements cross-pollinate with each other and have leavened the collective attitude in today’s new church. We must be on the side of the infallible Word of God: “Let God be true but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4). All truth is NOT God’s truth. Jesus said, “I am the Truth.” And the only source of that Truth is from the Logos Himself – Who gave us His Word.
Jesus love me, this I know:
a. For the Bible tells me so.
b. For reason tells me so.
c. For nature tells me so.
d. e. For the pope tells me so.
If your pastor graduated from DTS or other Evangelical seminaries in the past 25 years or so, post-modernism is probably his world-view – unless, or course, he was a non-conformist. Reformed scholar Dr. Robert Morey was one among other Christian academics who resisted the flood of new thought coming into seminaries. He cited several in his book about Natural Theology.
- Biola University – Uses a textbook, Handbook of Christian Apologetics, written by a Catholic, Peter Kreeft. “Kreeft states, an ‘explicit knowledge of the incarnate Jesus is not necessary for salvation.’ In his book, Ecumenical Jihad, he states that he had an out-of-body experience, during which he saw Muhammad, Buddha, Confucius, and other pagans in heaven worshiping at the feet of Mary. She (not Jesus) is the unifying force in heaven.[xxii]
- As “Evangelical” schools, such as Wheaton, Baylor, Biola, Azusa, Messiah, Regent University, Dallas Seminary, etc. hired Jesuit-trained theologians and philosophers, they changed from their original Bible-centered education to a new curriculum that was based on Catholic Natural theology, Law, philosophy, and apologetics.[xxiii]
“Scripture commands us to ‘be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.’ (Romans 12:2). But the emergents are leading followers in the opposite direction, teaching that the Word of God needs to be conformed to people and cultures instead of allowing it to conform lives through Jesus Christ… reimagining Christianity allows a dangerous kind of freedom; like cutting the suspension ropes on a hot air balloon, the free fall may be exhilarating but the results catastrophic.”[xxiv]
The next step for the spirit of antichrist is to solidify his hold on the New Babylonian Church of Mother Earth and after the Restrainer is removed, jump on the back of that scarlet-colored beast, uniting “Church and State.”
It’s not like we weren’t warned. Author Dave Hunt saw the warning signs and wrote his book, The Seduction of Christianity, in 1985. Many Christians were awakened to the workings of the devil after reading it and were inoculated against deception. But the backlash of professing Christian leaders was unprecedented. Entire books and anthologies were published to refute Seduction. But history has proven him out. Those who wouldn’t listen are now the ones fully initiated into Mystery Babylon.
“The church needs to recognize that cults are only part of a much larger and more seductive deception known as the New Age movement. This is a broad coalition of networking groups all working for world unity based upon religious experiences and beliefs that have their roots in Eastern mysticism. Yet many Christian leaders have expressed the same reluctance about becoming ‘overly negative’ toward the New Age movement as they once did about the cults…. We are referring to the ‘great delusion’ that the Bible warns will sweep the world in the ‘last days’ and cause humanity to worship the Antichrist.”[xxv]
All the players are on the stage for the Final Act.
[For further insights, see Jackie Alnor’s 3-part series, “Metamorphosis of the Universal Church in Our Time” — https://christiansentinel.com/2018/09/28/metamorphosis-universal-church-time-jackie-alnor/ ]
[i] Ephesians 4:14
[ii] See part one of this series for details
[iii]Brazilian archbishop says critics of Amazon synod are ‘violent’ and ‘unjust’ right-wingers, Oct 17, 2019, LifeSite News
[vi] 2 Cor. 2:11
[vii] He name-dropped false teachers in a favorable way, including Rich Mullins, Brennan Manning, Henri Nouwen, Eugene Peterson, etc.
[x] Acts 20:27
[xi] Glenn Kreider, ST-101AU class, Dallas Theological Seminary, October, 2019
[xii] Deere, Jack, Surprised by the Power of the Spirit/Voice of God, in one volume, @1996, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids pg. 252
[xiv] Deere, Voice, pg. 252
[xv] For more details: See Jackie Alnor’s 4-part series, Competing New World Orders, at https://www.rapturereadyradio.com/blog/date/2017-02
[xvii] Woodrow, Ralph Edward, Babylon Mystery Religion: Ancient and Modern, @1966, Ralph Woodrow Evangelistic Assoc., pg.148
[xix] See this author’s report of the Summit gathering at Regent University in 2014: http://scatteredsheepreport.blogspot.com/2015/11/the-king-and-queen-of-new-religious.html
[xx] Oakland, Roger, Faith Undone, @2007, Lighthouse Trails, Silverton, Oregon, pg 202
[xxi] Morey, Robert A., The Bible, Natural Theology and Natural Law: Conflict or Compromise? @2010, Christian Scholars Press, pg. vi.
[xxii] Ibid., pg 355.
[xxiii] Ibid., pg. 311
[xxiv] Oakland, Roger, Faith Undone, @2007, Lighthouse Trails, Silverton, Oregon, pgs. 51-52
[xxv] Hunt, Dave, The Seduction of Christianity, @1985, Harvest House, pg. 7