Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Good To Infiltrate Heretical Territory - Or Not?

Ran across a blog called Slaughter of the Sheep. There is an interesting conversation going on between myself and Ken Silva in the "Robert Schuller, Ravi Zacharias and the Rethink Conference 2009" thread.

After you read the post at the above link, you will notice several really good comments. For this post, I am re-posting just the ones between Ken Silva and I (so far):



I know for a FACT that Miles McPherson is attending to share the Biblical Truth to all who will be there. He did the same thing last year. He does not water down the true Gospel message for ANYONE.

Perhaps Ravi Z. is doing the same? Just a thought.

Perhaps it is necessary in this day and age of heresy and apostasy to infiltrate the heretics and apostates in order to steer them back in the right direction?

If they don’t, THAT’S when the Sola Scriptura Bible-based leaders may have to eventually “shake the dust off their sandals.”

By: Christinewjc on September 15, 2008
at 4:31 pm


Ken's reply:


“Perhaps it is necessary in this day and age of heresy and apostasy to infiltrate the heretics and apostates in order to steer them back in the right direction?”

Or maybe this day and age of heresy and apostasy is a judgment from God ala 1 Peter 4:17 because we’ve allowed the infiltration of these heretics and apostates who refused to be steered back in the right direction?
By: Ken Silva on September 15, 2008
at 8:02 pm



Very true, Ken. However, I’d like to know your opinion of Pastor Miles’ attempts to share the truth at their heretical get-togethers?

Speaking of “refusal to be steered back”, the “gay christian” movement is a perfect example of those who refuse to be steered back in the right direction. Several other bloggers and I have posted biblical evidence of their heresy - but they don’t care - AT ALL. What matters most is their “feelings.”

When do we “shake the dust off our sandals” in such a case? I’m not sure - are you?

I, and many others, keep trying to reach them. Sometimes we just need to pray from them.
By: Christinewjc on September 15, 2008
at 8:33 pm



Christine,


Please know I say this gently, k. I’ve not been impressed with what I’ve seen from McPherson as yet. The Adam and Eve “blinged out” opening of the new venue was not right.

That said, in a setting like ReThink he’d be dealing with a language barrier. By that I mean, as with Ray Comfort at the Word Faith conference, these people reinterpret Christian terminology.

For example to Rob ert Schuller “sin” is “negative self-esteem” so unless one very specifically defines their terms those to whom they “witness” to simply think they agree. The speakers there would all claim to be Christians anyway.
By: Ken Silva on September 15, 2008
at 9:30 pm



Oops…need to correct my last sentence. Meant to write:

“I, and many others, keep trying to reach them. Sometimes we just need to pray for them.”

Ken,

I am disappointed to hear that you are not “impressed” with Miles McPherson, but that is certainly your right.

I am not sure where you got this from:

The Adam and Eve “blinged out” opening of the new venue was not right.


Oftentimes, Pastor Miles says things with the kind of verbiage that young people can identify with. It is not meant to mock or replace the truth of God’s Word on the subject at hand.

I’m learning not to be too picayune about such things. As long as the RESULTS do not compromise the Gospel message or what is contained in God’s Word, then using terms that I’m not personally familiar with doesn’t bother me.

I will admit to you that I had the same reservations about Miles’ appearance(s) at both the “ReThink” conference and (especially!!) “The Secret” conference. However, when I listened to his presentation (and saw the results of people who attended that were searching for SOMETHING - but not knowing that they needed Jesus Christ) and then found out that out of all of the speakers, they saw the truth being shared by Miles - I had a different perspective on why he attended.

By: Christinewjc on September 16, 2008
at 12:57 pm

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

One more brief point. When Miles was backstage, the previous speaker at The Secret conference was Tony Robbins. He told Pastor Miles (paraphrased here), ‘None of us believe in this “Secret bull****.’ Glad you are here to share the truth.’

Admittedly, it takes a very strong Christian pastor, leader and apologist to go into “heresy territory” and share the Gospel Truth. I, and the thousands who attend The Rock Church see this unique ability in Pastor Miles.
By: Christinewjc on September 16, 2008
at 1:02 pm

Your comment is awaiting moderation.



Note that my last two comments are awaiting moderation.

What do you think of this exchange?

As a born-again, Bible-believing Christian, what are your thoughts about "infiltrating" heretical groups and conferences and sharing the Gospel Truth with the audiences there?

Do you think that this type of action just might be badly needed in this day and age?

Or, do you think that showing up for such conferences damages the credibility of any born-again, Bible believing and teaching pastor/speaker/evangelist?

HT: Slaughtering the Sheep blog

P.S. Opinions among Christians on this are probably all over the place, so don't hesitate to write just because you disagree with mine.

13 comments:

Ken Silva said...

Hi Christine,

Please know that I am not arguing with you per se nor am I trying to denigrate McPherson. The issue of when one should be advertised publicly as sharing a platform with heretics like Robert Schuller is one which the Church needs to address.

I pray your post here will stimulate a healthy discussion. As far as the "blinged out" comment I personally watched the video done by the local news crew that covered the opening of the new venue.

It was linked in a short post I had done but unfortunately the video is no longer available. The part I transcribed was where McPherson said that at the opening:

"We’re going to have Adam and Even in a hummer and blinged out driving through the garden of Eden. And so [the audience] will be able to watch that on the screen. There’s no blueprint in the Bible about what church should be; man has created some traditions."

"And if you walked with God in the Old Te–in the Bible–and you saw Him walk on water, someone might say, 'He’s showing off.' Or if He raised a dead person, they would say, 'He’s showing off.' Well you know, we serve a very big and exciting God."

This is what I meant when I said I wasn't impressed and that it was over the top. Again, I'm not attempting to change anyone's mind.

Matt W. said...

Christine,
I think that going into these places is actually a good thing, as long as one is well prepared, and if I know anything about Ravi Z. it's that he's always well prepared. I'm sure that even he doesn't expect to have much of an influence over the committed believers in these heresies, but perhaps those that are there seeking the truth can still be pulled out of the lies and back to the truth. I would think it important to have the truth presented in such a circumstance, and while I don't know anything about Robert Schuller, I am quite familiar with Ravi Zacharias' work, and I'm not worried about him, but I do think we should pray for men of God when they go into these places.

Christinewjc said...

Hi Ken,

Thanks for coming over here and explaining your position a bit further.

What you described sounds a bit familiar, but I was unable to find the sermon in the archives of the church messages.

If I recall correctly, I think that what you mentioned was used as an attention-getter for the audience. It wasn't meant to be taken as a biblically accurate "message"; but portrayed what many people think happiness in this world brings.

The "showing off" statements were designed to portray the attitudes of non-Christians towards Christian truth claim. If I recall correctly, Pastor Miles was attempting to get across the point that this is what some people think of Christians who claim that Jesus is the only way to God.

I'm not sure where or how much of the video you saw, but if it was a portion from a news show, I doubt that they covered the gospel message shared at the end.

Like you, I hope that we can have a good discussion about this topic. I think that it is an important one.

I posed this question over at Bill Muehlenberg's blog because he had a similar topic called The Bitter Fruit of Apostasy. He had a great answer.

Christinewjc said...

Hi Matt,

I agree that pastors/preachers/apologists who enter into such venues need to be ready and prayed up for such an endeavor!

I'm so glad that you know a lot about Ravi Z. I was really impressed with his contributions during The Truth Project.

It's probably a good thing that you don't know much about Schuller! As Ken Silva mentioned at the "Sheep" blog:

"For example to Robert Schuller “sin” is “negative self-esteem” "

I don't think that Jesus died on the cross for our "negative self-esteem"! Such a statement and belief is definitely heretical!

Sosthenes said...

I was disappointed over the Youtube video where Ravi was answering "Is it possible to be a Gay Christian?"

I emailed Ravi and I don't expect him to be physically able to give everyone a response but I felt that he was a salesman because he prefaced his remarks with manners or politeness by giving respect for people's sexuality (by saying it was sacred), then he compromised, gave a story to console the listeners and basically gave a two part answer where the Christians get their message and the Homosexuals get the message they want to hear.

Ravi based salvation on Ephesians 2:8-9 but grace is based on the absence of pride where God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5, James 4:6) and the sin of Sodom (Homosexuality) is pride (Ezekiel 16: 49, 56; Romans 1:30).

http://gcmwatch.wordpress.com/2008/08/12/ravi-zacharias-on-being-a-gay-christian/

Sosthenes

Sosthenes said...

2 Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

"Feigned" means "feigned sympathy" which is a false comfort or console. Other translations give the meaning as false words or made up stories. It is "plastos" or moulded and if I sold you a statue, what would happen is you would get it out in the sun and then the nose would melt because (Romans 12:9) the stone carver probably broke its nose when he was working on it and he put it on with wax.

"Without Hypocrisy" means without wax and it is found in several places of the Bible.

I'm afraid these teachers are giving people a false comfort and you couldn't have a discussion at colleges without being thrown out unless you were hypocritical and lied to someone by saying it was alright to be homosexual, there is some kind of loophole or that sin wasn't sin because it is self-esteem.

The other problem is that Ravi also met with the Mormons and did about the same thing.

Christinewjc said...

Thanks so much for sharing all of this Sosthenes! I need to run out this morning, but when I return, I want to include your comments, the verses you had listed, and the link to the gcmwatch video of Ravi Z., and a portion of a book called, "The Homosexual Agenda" in a new post over at my Protect Biblical Marriage blog.

My questions. Is it just compromise that we are seeing in the Evangelical ranks or would it also be considered enabling? Maybe both? Possibly, even more than just heresy?

Christinewjc said...

FYI - my dashboard says there is a comment in the moderation box. But when I click on it, it's not there.

If you recently wrote a comment, you many need to re-post it.

Sosthenes said...

Christine,

I don't know what conclusion to have about Ravi because "..he that is not against us is on our part" (Mark 9:40) but one of my Pastors wants to have Ravi talk about the emergent church and the problem is the kind of answer that he has already given. I watched the video "Whose Image is on You?" by Dr. Ravi Zacharias which I first heard on Focus on the Family and I said really loudly in my car "that is bold" because Ravi was answering what Jesus would have said and I reasoned, "Well..that is Ravi" so I decided to check it out and one of my pastor friends emailed me back because he had a theological problem with it. And he wrote:

"Excellent thought, BUT ONE NOTE.... GOD could not have been in them because Christ had not died and no one had the Holy Spirit in them and the temple was still there...... Hmmmmm"

And then I said something smart back to him asking my pastor friend whether Jesus was God or not.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBxh75P8y50

Ravi must be very busy as he travels, writes books, teaches and does things but can anyone study the Bible enough when they are as busy as he is?

Eph. 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:

If grace is through faith then how do Homosexuals get grace if God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble? If the sin of Homosexuality is pride then can Ravi truly give an Ephesians 2:8-9 answer? And do we want him going around the world if he doesn't have enough time to study and give correct answers? What is the Homosexual man in the video going to say to God? "Ravi told me" or Romans 1:18?

I was doing a search on churches and there are approximately 6,050 Churches that I found on a 130 page list which follow the Seeker Sensitive Model.

Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, "I will build my church..." and other people are choosing what to say about the foundation because they want to build on a different foundation.

1 Cor. 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

1 Cor. 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

1 Cor. 3:13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

What will be revealed by fire if a homosexual goes to hell because he listened to Ravi? What happens if you build on another man's foundation?


Philippians 1:10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;

Aproskopos is the word "offence" and I'm looking for the verse which should mean "without wax".

1) having nothing to strike against, not causing to stumble

a) of a smooth road

b) metaph. of not leading others to sin by one's mode of life

2) not striking against or stumbling

a) metaph. not led into sin, blameless

3) without offense, not troubled by a consciousness of sin

And then when I search the web, I read different perspectives as to Ravi's visit to the Mormon Tabernacle:

http://www.christianresearchservice.com/RaviZacharias5.htm

http://www.mormoninfo.org/news-info/discussion/ravi-zacharias-coming-and-effect-utah

http://godandculture.wordpress.com/2007/07/25/ravi-zacharias-on-a-mormon-in-the-white-house/

And then what am I supposed to think in one sitting?

The search words I plugged into google were:

ravi mormonism

Carlotta said...

Christine, the first time I heard of Pastor Miles going to these heretical conferences my first thought "we are losing our pastor - he's a heretic!" But then to discover that Miles was just being Miles and preaching God's word unaltered and unashamedly, then I could only smile and say "thank you Lord! Those folks needed him there!"

Miles could care less about his reputation and credibility being damaged as long someone is sharing the gospel and bring lost souls to the real truth of God!

Eventually these conferences will stop asking him to come if he begins to be too controversial, or they'll just keep on using him to bring in the money!

I would only start to be concerned if Pastor Miles starts watering down the gospel and join the heretics in their teachings! But I just can't see that happening at all!

Christinewjc said...

Hi All,

Thank you for your additional post, Sosthenes, and thank you Carlotta for your thoughts regarding Pastor Miles!

I have been out most of the day and returned late this evening. I will post more tomorrow.

Carlotta,

You really hit the nail on the head with this:

But then to discover that Miles was just being Miles and preaching God's word unaltered and unashamedly, then I could only smile and say "thank you Lord! Those folks needed him there!"

Miles could care less about his reputation and credibility being damaged as long someone is sharing the gospel and bring lost souls to the real truth of God!


Exactly!! And, AMEN!

I heard that Miles was encouraged NOT to end his prayer at the RNC with "in Jesus name we pray." HE DID IT ANYWAY! He's our "maverick" Pastor! heh heh!

Sosthenes,

You have provided a LOT of information, Bible verses, and links for all of us to peruse and think about. THANK YOU SO MUCH for your excellent research! I plan to read it all and watch the videos tomorrow. I still have a post in mind that will link nicely with what is being shared here. Thanks again for your hard work and research - really appreciate it!

'Night all!

Christine

Sosthenes said...

Rev 2:24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

Whatare the depths (bathos) of Satan? What does solving this problem involve? What division would it cause? What is the pricetag on both fronts?

I was watching this quote on the fighter Bruce Lee as he adopted "Using no way as way":

The Chinese characters around the Taijitu symbol indicate: "Using no way as way" & "Having no limitation as limitation" The arrows represent the endless interaction between yang and yin.[1]

These doctrines that we feel are defeatable have their way of coming back to life because while we see "no way" of things happening, a fighter sees "no way as way".

It is interesting that you called this topic "infiltration" as I see the emergent church or should I say, "divergent church" as infiltration or what Paul called perils of false brethren because the mutilators of the flesh crept in unawares and were teaching circumcision and you needed to be circumcised to be saved.

We can get into a doctrinal fight but what will happen?

Quote:
While practicing European wrestling, Lee was once pinned by an opponent, who asked what Lee would do if he found himself in the situation in a real fight. Lee replied, "Well, I'd bite you, of course". One of the theories of JKD is that a fighter should do whatever is necessary to defend himself, regardless of where the techniques used come from.
Endquote

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeet_Kune_Do

Sosthenes said...

The name of Richard Mouw of Fuller Theological Seminary comes up because Mouw also signed the Evangelicals and Catholics Together document and it seems what comes around goes around because Dr. Ravi Zacharias spoke at the Mormon Tabernacle.