Joel Osteen’s other gospel

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http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=262469

By Tom Flannery

Are we all born basically good, children of God by birth?

If you listen to the hugely popular happy-talk preacher Joel Osteen, the answer is yes. But if you read the Bible, it’s a definitive “No!”

During a recent interview on CNN with Piers Morgan (he’s the new Larry King), Osteen assured a worldwide audience that we’re all born children of God, so we’re all basically good in our nature.

This includes Adolf Hitler, by the way, a man personally responsible for the Holocaust where millions were systematically murdered and World War II where tens of millions more perished.

Osteen told Piers that he couldn’t explain Hitler’s monstrous evil, but he’s sure he wasn’t born that way. And if Hitler was born good, then so too were Stalin, Mao and all of history’s other mass murderers, ethnic cleansers, serial killers, child rapists … well, everyone.

Yet the Word of God tells us the exact opposite is true. The Bible declares that all of us have sinned throughout our past and continue falling short of God’s standard of righteousness in our present (Romans 3:23). Isaiah 53 reveals that we have all gone astray like wayward sheep and have “turned, every one, to his own way.”

Therefore, Psalm 53 says God looks at all mankind and declares: “Every one of them has turned aside; they have all together become corrupt. There is none who does good; no, not even one” (emphasis mine).

Indeed, when the rich young ruler called Jesus “good,” He responded: “No one is good but God” (Luke 18:19). The young man didn’t have the spiritual insight to understand that Jesus is God, so the exchange ended there. Still, Jesus made it clear that only God is good, and no human being meets that lofty standard.

Jesus told us that we must be perfect, even as God is (Matthew 5:48). This is God’s standard of goodness – absolute perfection. This has been called Plan A for salvation. As someone once remarked: “Thank God for Plan B,” which is salvation by God’s grace through faith alone in Christ’s finished redemptive work on the cross for us (Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5, etc.).

We consider ourselves good because we compare ourselves to other people, and we can always find someone worse than we are. Scripture describes those who “commend themselves” (for their goodness, good works, etc.) as being the ones who “measuring themselves by themselves are not wise” (2 Corinthians 10:12).

That’s because Charles Manson is not the standard by which we’re measured. Neither is the guy down the street who gets drunk and beats his wife. Nor any other person. The One we’re being measured by is Christ Himself, who is good because He lived a perfectly sinless life – in His actions, words and thoughts. Anything less than that is unacceptable to a perfectly holy, perfectly just God who cannot tolerate sin (Habakkuk 1:13). He can only punish sin.

Of course, as Piers pointed out in questioning Osteen about his elusive views on homosexuality, the perpetually smiling preacher doesn’t have a whole lot to say about sin. In fact, hardly anything at all. Nor does he like to delve into such issues as eternal judgment or the reality of hell. They’re “too negative.” They bring people down.

Yet these are the very issues God most wants us thinking about and dealing with, for the Bible says His Spirit is in the world with the express purpose of convicting all mankind “of sin, righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8). Sin because it’s our sin that separates us from God; righteousness because there’s a righteous standard we all fall infinitely short of meeting but which Christ has attained for us, and offers us as a free gift when we trust in Him alone for salvation (John 3:16, 3:36, etc.); and judgment because apart from trusting in Christ alone, we have nothing to look forward to but eternal judgment.

This doctrine of original sin (for which the whole world already stands condemned before God) lies at the heart of the gospel message Christ said should be proclaimed by His servants throughout the world until He returns.

But if we’re all children of God from birth, then why bother with such dour material? That’s clearly Osteen’s position, although here again, God’s Word says something completely different.

According to the Bible, none of us is born a child of God. Instead, we must be adopted into His family (Romans 8:14-15, Galatians 4:4-7, Ephesians 1:5-6) by trusting Christ. Scripture explains that believers are “all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26); we “become children of God” when we accept Christ by faith alone (John 1:12, emphases mine).

Because the scourge of sin entered mankind through the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden, we all have a sin nature. This means we are born separated from God and can only be saved by means of a second (spiritual) birth (1 Peter 1:23). As Jesus put it: “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. … You must be born again” (John 3).

 

Joel Osteen and other so-called “prosperity preachers” are directly contradicting God’s Word on the fundamental tenets of the faith, opting instead to preach a message of worldly riches and continual temporal blessings. They have forsaken the one true gospel to proclaim a false message, a “different gospel which is really no gospel at all” (Galatians 1:6).

This “other” gospel won’t save you, but it does make preachers filthy rich, tickles the ears of their followers and fills football stadiums with people willing to give until it hurts (so they, too, can cash in, you see).

It’s a far cry from the One who said: “My kingdom is not of this world.” But when there’s so much money to be made in this life, who wants to wait for eternal blessings and rewards in heaven?

That would be such a total downer!

Is the Lord preparing to set you in a broad place?

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I called on the LORD in distress; The LORD answered me and set me in a broad place. — Psalm 118:4-6 —

He also brought me out into a broad place;He delivered me because He delighted in me. –2 Samuel 22:20 —

Anyone who has been visiting this blog for some time, know by now what I’ve been about. You’ve known I have hated lies, deceptions, darkness, etc. — both within the church and in political/social matters.

So much so, that it has greatly vexed my soul at times to see and know what all is going on in these areas. I stopped watching all news network well over a year ago. I’ve gotten my news sources online for the most part. Day after day, week after week, month after month, for a couple of years now, I have witnessed nothing but debauchery and deception in what is called “the church” and in the social/political arenas. It had made my soul sick.

Blessedly, the Lord spoke through a dear sister a little while back telling me: “you spend a lot of time exposing things with a negative slant. You should take a step back, because it affects the way you see even the good things going on.”

I was not offended. I know her heart for me is for good and not of evil. I took her words as coming from God to speak to something in me. So I did as she said: I backed off for a bit.

By doing so, I was able to see that the vileness of the things I hate had actually become part of me. Yes, it is right to hate evil. Yes, it is right to speak the truth at all times. Yes, it is right to never compromise. May God help me to always stand for what is right now and forever —  both publicly and in my personal life. However — as an ambassador of God — I have failed miserably in presenting the truth at times. Perhaps, I have hurt a little lost sheep in search of truth. For that I am sorry. Truly sorry. I never want to hurt the sheep.

(Don’t misunderstand me: I still believe there are times to kick devil butt when he comes as a deceiver. And I just do not see that changing in me. So I am sorry if any have gotten your hopes up in creating an image of me that is not exactly accurate.)

Maybe there are others who have just had it with all they see and hear going on in areas of life. Maybe the drama of family members have gotten you down so much you don’t know if you are coming or going. Maybe you have fretted over this or that, day after day, week after week — even unto years and you are just worn out. You feel like you may be reaching the end, yet something on you keeps telling you “hang on.” Hang on to what? Hang on to a hope that things may get better? Friend, it may never get better. It may get worse. So why hang on? Even hanging on, can be a form of works.

Jesus said, “Come unto Me, all you who are heavy laden. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” I don’t believe He ever once said, “hang on” did He? (If I’m wrong, someone correct me, please.)

No, we are to be still and know He is God. The moment we let the Lord make us still, is the moment God begins to change things. He may not change that circumstance; that loved one that gives you fits — still may give you fits, that job you are wanting — you may never get, that house payment still may be late, that unsaved family member still may walk in outright rebellion toward God. Whatever these things may be for each and every one of us, they may never change. BUT, God’s desire is to bring us into a broad place away from those things.

I believe He prepares us to bring us into such a place. Because if we knew He was going to do it, no doubt a lot of us would go kicking and screaming yelling, “No, no, I don’t want to go, Lord! Don’t you see how hard I’m trying?! Why all the empty space over there, it’s too much God. There ain’t one thing going on over there that interests me, don’t you know?!” That is probably what I would have said. However, in my case, I didn’t see it coming. His preparation was merely letting me get so sick and tired of everything. I saw myself with the enemies of my soul on every side. How I abhored it. And there was not one thing I could do about it. Not one thing.

It was the mercy of God that reached out to me, when one day, I finally saw that in spite of the rotteness going on that I hate, I was not in the middle of it anymore! It even felt empty all around me. As if there were miles and miles between the things that vexed my soul and me.

I believe with all my heart God is wanting to prepare His remnant by getting us away from the things that vex our soul. Not to say that we will never have to deal with things — because we will alway have to deal with life. But it does not have to have a stronghold on us.

See, it is His desire to deliver us. He delights in us, even though we think/know/feel we have failed. He loves us so much He has ways of operating on us even when we don’t know it! How cool is that?! –that the awesome God of the universe can go where no man can go and do what no man can do?!

So precious Bride of Christ, if you are finding you are getting sick and tired, do not hang on. Take the Lord’s hand and let Him lead you to that broad place where there is freedom. He cares for you!

He who the Son sets free is free indeed!

Who is your covering?

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This pearl was found here:

http://annointing.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/who-is-your-covering.pdf

It was refreshing to see someone has gotten it right on authority. Please go give his blog a look. Something tells me it is going to be a place of refreshing. 

There is a popular teaching coming from the pulpits of many apostate churches today which claims that Christians must have a “spiritual covering”. This teaching as it is presented in today’s church is a far cry from what Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 11.

The covering taught by most pastors today is the idea that a Christian must be a member of a church and must be spiritually submitted to a particular pastor. Many will tell you that if you are not submitted to a church hierarchy you are out of the will of God and are under the influence of Satan. All of this is evidence of the Nicolaitan error Jesus spoke of in Revelation 2:6

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 1Cor 11:3

Notice that Paul does not say the head of every man is his pastor, or an apostle, or any other church official. The head of every man is Christ. Period!

Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 1 Cor 11:4-5

Paul is not talking here about wearing a hat or a prayer shawl or the length of ones hair. What he is saying is this. Every man who covers his head by submitting himself to another man dishonors his true head which is Christ. And any woman who worships without the covering of her husband dishonors her husband.

There is no higher authority in the body of Christ than the individual believer. All Christians are seen by God as kings and priests. All are called saints. All who do the will of God are counted as sons of God. Every man will be accountable by himself for his own actions or inactions vis-à-vis his relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Your pastor or apostle to whom you’ve submitted yourself will not
be there to speak for you.

Some will point to Hebrews 13:17 as a reason we should spiritually submit to men. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. Heb 13:17

The Greek word which is translated them that have the rule is the word hegeomai {hayg-eh’-om-ahee} which means to lead or to go before. Our misunderstanding of this principle stems from our conformity to the world and the way leadership is exercised in this earthly realm.

But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Mat 20:25-27

We see here that leadership in the Kingdom of God consists of servanthood. Those who God has called to the five fold ministry are placed there to be your servant not your master. You are not called to serve them. So those who have rule over us must be those who give of themselves to see that we are conformed to the image of Christ. What they will give account of is how well they performed their role as servant.

Unfortunately, just as Paul prophesied in Acts 20:29, grievous wolves have entered into the church intent on drawing away disciples unto themselves. One way they do this is to intimidate people into following them. It is amazing the amount of fear and guilt these supposed shepherds put on the unsuspecting sheep.

I’ve heard one pastor tell his congregation that all their prosperity is due to his faith. He talks often about people who have left his church and are now poor and sick. The people who sit under him are afraid to leave.

I listened once to Clarence McClendon tell a congregation that God put them under their pastor and that if they ever left that pastor they were in rebellion to God. People were whoopin and hollerin and cheering him on. He went on and on getting all worked up until he finally said: “I know you have Jesus but Jesus is not enough!” A stunned silence filled the auditorium. McClendon got a funny look on his face as if he himself was surprised that those words had come out of his mouth. After a moment he composed himself and began to tap dance and back track trying to explain what he really meant. But I knew what he meant. Jesus said out of the
abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). That was the spirit of antichrist (in place of Christ) talking out of that man’s mouth. What is really sad is that not one person got up and left. After a couple of awkward minutes they were back whoopin and hollerin for this wolf in sheep’s clothing.

I know that there are rebellious people in the body of Christ who refuse to submit to any authority. This is not what I am counseling. I have no problem submitting to Godly authority when I see it. I must say that Godly authority is a rare thing in the church today but it does exist.

The people to whom you should submit are those who have gone before you. Those who know more than you do. No single individual, be it pastor, teacher, apostle prophet, or evangelist has all the answers for every situation you will face in life. We are all only parts of the body. No single person is the complete body except Christ. That is why you should submit to Him. If Christ leads you to an individual for a time of instruction then sit and learn from that person. But understand that it is the gift in them to which Christ has led you, not the person.

So, the lesson here is this. Submit yourself to Christ. He is your head. Allow him to be your teacher. If he sends you to a person for a season fine, learn from that servant . But you should never allow that person to exercise rulership over you in the earthly sense. If you are born again and filled with the Holy Ghost, you are perfectly capable of hearing from God yourself. You are perfectly capable of understanding the bible yourself. You are perfectly capable of obeying God yourself.

Why is China building eerie ‘ghost cities’?

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Image of “ghost cities” below. My thoughts on the matter are depopulation/One World/New Age.

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=260645

Google Earth photographs reveal towns completely devoid of people

Why is China constructing large, well-designed “ghost cities” that are completely devoid of people?

Google Earth photographs of China depict city after city of vast complexes consisting of office skyscrapers, government buildings, apartment buildings, residential towers and homes, all connected by networks of empty roads – with some of the cities located in China’s truly most inhospitable locations.

Images of these “ghost cities” – after countless billions of dollars have been spent on the towns’ design and construction – reveal nobody lives in them.

“The photographs look like giant movie sets prepared to film apocalyptic motion pictures in which some sort of a neutron war or bizarre natural disaster has eliminated people from the face of the earth while leaving the skyscrapers, sports stadiums, parks and roads perfectly intact,” Corsi noted. “One of China’s ghost cities is actually built in the middle of a desert in Inner Mongolia.”

Business Insider ran a series of photos of these Chinese ghost cities. One showed no cars in the city except for approximately 100 parked in largely empty lots clustered around a government building, and another showed a beautiful wetland park with people added using Photoshop.

China now has an estimated inventory of 64 million vacant homes. It is building up to 20 new ghost cities a year on the country’s “vast swathes of free land.”

Essentials For False Leaders

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I dare say that if you see the following in your own church, chances are you are sitting under a hireling. You may want to leave. Contrary to what some of you may believe, I am NOT seeing how many people I can get to flee from their churches. I am trying to protect you from dangerous influences. 

Jesus did not come to bring peace — but division, seperating truth from lies. If you choose to stay under these influences, then you are at a great risk of being deceived.

Wonderful article by Todd Tomasella found here:

http://bewarefalseprophets.blogspot.com/2010/11/essentials-for-false-leaders.html

Essentials For False Leaders
The Unspoken Creed of Modern Hirelings
(this is some of the evil learned from their church growth marketing industry gurus)

Cardinal Rule #1: Thou shalt not obey Jesus Christ and preach repentance. This is what He prescribed in order that He might grow His true Church as He wills. Ignore the severe truths of the Bible because it won’t make you successful in men’s eyes and maximize your monetary earning potential in this life. Instead, seek out popular men who can tell you how to be a good church growth student and farm your community to grow your church business.

Cardinal Rule #2: Thou shalt not teach people that God is holy, that sin separates men from Him, and that without exception He requires all who will be eternally saved to “be ye holy for I am holy.”

Cardinal Rule #3: Thou shalt tend only to the light fanfare of fun things like coping, financial prosperity, physical healing, getting blessed, pop psychology, and light things catering to building up the self life which Jesus commanded men to “deny.”
Cardinal Rule #4: Thou shalt entertain sinful goats who think they are saved and not feed sheep. Only say things that make the largest segment of society feel comfortable at all costs. This is how you will be able to build a large church business. Never ever, ever tell the people that Jesus Christ requires them to deny themselves, take up their cross daily and really and truly follow Him are they are not His.

Cardinal Rule #5: Thou shalt make people feel like they are apart of a community. Make them feel like they belong and that they are accepted without question or exception and that God okays them in their sins whether they repent or not.
Cardinal Rule #6: Thou shalt be friendly and sensitive to seekers while ignoring the need to fear God and preach the undiluted full-counsel of His Word. Oh, make sure you use one of the many artificial, corrupt new versions of the Bible that are supposedly easier to read and have removed and distorted the central doctrines of the Christian faith. Beware because using the real English Bible (KJV) would convict people of sin and might actually cause people to have to learn new English words, increasing their vocabulary and making them smarter and wiser and able to discern who you really are (Ps. 19:7; 119:99-100).

Cardinal Rule #7: Thou shalt not preach on the vivid reality of hell and eternal judgment to come and how Jesus spoke more about hell than Heaven. This might make people feel uncomfortable in their sins and not patronize or pay you to continue to lead them astray.

Cardinal Rule #8: Thou shalt purposely ignore and dodge all the myriad of Scriptures that deal with crucifying the self life, denying sinful pleasure in this life and truly following Jesus. This would offend and alienate people from your cause.

Cardinal Rule #9: Thou shalt not preach any convicting word that brings shame on sinful consciences. If so you would run some off and they would no longer help you build your local church business.

Cardinal Rule #10: Thou shalt act as if you believe the Bible is God’s Word and yet don’t really spend much time getting directly into it. Rather, bring in fad books written by best selling authors who do not exalt Jesus Christ by declaring His Word – undiluted. If you want to grow your own financial portfolio, do not preach the full-counsel of God’s Word – holiness, repentance, being born again, hell, denial of self, judgment to come, etc. Make sure you do not make one of God’s 66 glorious divinely-inspired books the text book for smaller group studies. People might get convicted of their sins, repent, and begin to personally learn God’s Word for themselves and won’t allow you to continue to mislead them and will not see the need for you (“Pastor Wonderful”) to tell them what to believe.

Cardinal Rule #11: Remember that your whole goal is to look successful in the eyes of men and to grow your congregation numerically and not spiritually. Thou shalt not specifically and by name preach on sin and call men to repent of their life of iniquity. The blessed and ancient altar call must be removed. Since you won’t be preaching repentance from sin before a just and holy God and Judge, you will not need an altar call. Obeying Christ by calling men to repent is not conducive to your own personal cause and popularity among men and may cause people to get truly saved and begin serving Christ and having an eternal perspective and not buying in to your selfish interests to build your entertainment club disguised as a church. Be careful to remember that people who truly know and fear God do not support false prophets and if you truly preach the Word some will repent and see who you really are and leave your circus act.

Cardinal Rule #12: Thou shalt completely ignore the New Testament book of Acts and the baptism in the Holy Ghost which would empower and make His disciples true witnesses of the KING of all kings and draw their allegiance to Jesus and advancing His eternal kingdom which would take away their heart affections and energies from your own self-serving program and cause.

Cardinal Rule #13: Thou shalt not truly and ceaselessly preach the Word of God since that would make true disciples. If so they might realize they really don’t need you but rather the nail-scarred risen Savior and LORD and go forth doing His bidding ministry – building up the saints and winning the lost – which would lessen your own importance and position.

Cardinal Rule #14: Only deal with surface issues like self-esteem, relationships, coping, and things pertaining to selfish interests. Make sure those in your little bless me club are comforted in their sin and believe they are eternally secure no matter what filth and wickedness they get into after their initial profession of faith. This will tickle their ears and embolden them to continue to live in sin and enjoy being led to believe that God will still accept them into His holy Heaven. This is another good way to get people to feel good and continue to come and give their money to your little entertainment club. Do not preach God’s Word as Paul told Timothy to do. Most people want to be told ear-tickling lies and so in order to have a large following, you must be selective about what you preach.

Cardinal Rule #15: Jesus told you that you must lose your life in this world to gain it. If you were to obey what He said, you would then lay it all down and truly be Christ’s and serve Him and no longer be a “deceitful worker” and pawn of Satan (2 Cor. 11:12-15; Phil. 3:17-19). Also, be aware that if you truly repent you will no longer be a hireling wolf who preys upon people, using them as a means to your own selfish end. If you were to really get right with the LORD you may lose the riches of this fleeting world and begin laying up eternal treasure.

Joyce Green: Finding my place

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This woman and her husband (who since have gone to be with the Lord) have blessed me with the truth more than any other over the years.

Come join me for church this morning by watching the videos. 🙂

I know some of you will hear exactly what you have been needing. I know I have.

My prayer to those who take the time to watch and listen: Father in heaven, You see Your many children who feel they have no place. They struggle with the desire to belong and be accepted. They are the ones who will not compromise the truth for the sake of acceptance either within the world or with those in teaching lies. My prayer for each and every one is that we come to know and realize we are accepted in the Beloved and that is more than enough. I pray that each finds their place hidden in You. Bring healing to all those who have been hurt. Break the chains of unforgiveness, the chains of bitterness, the chains of anger. Lord, bring the gift of repentance to all those who desire to call upon You with a pure heart. Release us from our any idols we may have set up through vain imaginations. Help us to be children of light in the darkness to come. Light bearers for truth. Jesus, may You set the captives free today! God bless each and every one with Your truth and Your truth alone. Help us to pick up our cross –whatever that is for each of us –and die to self so that You may live through us.

bfamonlinevideos:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Purpose Driven Resisters – Must Leave or Die

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Article below sent to me by a friend. It appears to have been written in 2006. 

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/resistersdieorleave.htm

Those who oppose the “program” are called leaders from hell.

I will interject something here: The leaders from hell, are men like Rick Warren who is pushing this New Age gospel and jesus.

The phone calls and emails started coming in about three years ago. Sometimes the caller was in his mid-eighties, sometimes the caller was crying. But all of them had the same kind of story to tell – when their churches decided to get involved with 40 Days of Purpose, everything began changing and when they questioned these changes, they each soon found themselves silenced, ostracized and eventually without a church to attend. Now today, nearly five years after Purpose Driven Life was released, thousands of believers are scattered throughout the world, having been ridiculed and demoralized for even just the slightest questioning of the Purpose Driven program. In one email we received, the young man was handed a letter from his pastor. The letter had been written by a Saddleback field representative who told the pastor to do what he had to do to get rid of those opposing the new program.

According to Rick Warren, these people are resisters and are standing in the way of Purpose Driven progress. In a June 14th article written by Rick Warren on his website (What Do You Do When Your Church Hits a Plateau? ), Warren told pastors and church leaders not to be discouraged about slow change in their churches. He told them it would take time … and in many cases it would take these resisters either leaving the church or simply dying. Warren stated:

“If your church has been plateaued for six months, it might take six months to get it going again. If it’s been plateaued a year, it might take a year. If it’s been plateaued for 20 years, you’ve got to set in for the duration! I’m saying some people are going to have to die or leave.

Moses had to wander around the desert for 40 years while God killed off a million people before he let them go into the Promised Land. That may be brutally blunt, but it’s true. There may be people in your church who love God sincerely, but who will never, ever change.”

For Warren to couple his statement about dying or leaving with a statement about God killing off a million people is ignorant at best, subliminal at least. Coupled with his mention of 40 years in the desert and Warren’s teaching that God always did good things in numbers of 40, Warren’s intention in this statement seems obvious. In addition, the concept of get with the program, change or die is very common in New Age circles, that those who don’t get on board (or ride the wave as Leonard Sweet puts it), will have to die. Listen to the words of renown New Ager Barbara Marx Hubbard:

“Christ-consciousness and Christ-abilities are the natural inheritance of every human being on Earth. When the word of this hope has reached the nations, the end of this phase of evolution shall come. All will know their choice. All will be required to choose…. All who choose not to evolve will die off.” (See The Plan)

Furthermore, Leonard Sweet, in his book, Soul Tsunami, says that:

“A sea change of transitions and transformations is birthing a whole new world and a whole new set of ways of making our way in the world…. It is time for a Postmodern Reformation … Reinvent yourself for the 21st century or die. Some would rather die than change.” (pp. 17, 75).

Perhaps like those who willingly went to the flames rather than to denounce the truth? Those whom the world is not worthy of.

Rick Warren (whose endorsement sits on both the front and back covers of Sweet’s book) says that Soul Tsunami “shows us why these are the greatest days for evangelism since the first century.” In an audio set done by Rick Warren and Leonard Sweet called Tides of Change, the two men elaborate on this and make it clear that those who don’t ride this new wave will not make it.

One of the tools Rick Warren uses to help churches become Purpose Driven is a book called Transitioning: Leading Your Church Through Change. The book is sold on Rick Warren’s website and is written by Dan Southerland. According to pastors.com (Rick Warren’s website to pastors), Southerland is the director of “Church Transitions Inc., an organization that trains pastors and church leaders to effectively manage major transitions. Southerland … is the leading expert on implementing the Purpose Driven paradigm in existing churches.”

Chapter six of Transitioning is called “Dealing with Opposition” and is just one of many ways Rick Warren tries to convey the fact that those who oppose him are less than desirable. Southerland states:

“We have experienced two major sources of criticism during our transitions. The first is Christians from more traditional backgrounds…. Not all of our traditional backgrounded Christians have been critical – just the ornery ones. Our second source of criticism is traditional church pastors. Again, not all traditional church pastors – just the meaner ones.” (p. 116).

I have to say, I guess I’m one of those ornery ones. Because I will NEVER back down from these apostates.

Southerland tells readers that “some folks are going to get very angry.” He goes so far as to liken opposers of Purpose Driven to “leader[s] from hell.” He says:

“If you have read Nehemiah recently, you will remember that Sanballat is Nehemiah’s greatest critic and number one enemy. Let me put it plainer than that. Sanballat is a leader from hell. We all have some Sanballats in our churches. This is the guy who opposes whatever you propose…. You cannot call this guy a leader from hell to his face – but you could call him Sanballat.” (p. 115).

In 2003, during Saddleback’s 25th anniversary, Rick Warren recited, along with 30,000 participants, the Purpose Driven Covenant. In that covenant he stated that he would do “whatever it takes” to accomplish his goals. For us at Lighthouse Trails it has become increasingly evident that he wasn’t kidding when he said that. Last year, as some of you may remember, we issued a press release that showed the connection between Rick Warren and Ken Blanchard. In Warren’s own words, he acknowledged that Blanchard, a New Age sympathizer, had “signed on” to help implement Warren’s global P.E.A.C.E. plan. Warren stated this at a Saddleback service as well as at the 2003 Lead Like Jesus conference in Alabama. However, a month after we issued the press release, Lighthouse Trails received an email from Rick Warren. The email was sent in the middle of the night, and by the following morning, Warren had given permission to a colleague to post his email online. We contacted Saddleback and confirmed this. Needless to say, countless people found out about this email. However, what most who read his email did not realize was that the majority of the statements in his email were not true. We posted a public response but knew that most people would either only read Warren’s email to us or refuse to believe that America’s pastor was lying and we were speaking the truth.

Lighthouse Trails learned of Rick Warren’s connection to Ken Blanchard through a book called A Life With Purpose, written by Hollywood biographer, George Mair. Ray Yungen discusses this in his book, A Time of Departing:

In the spring of 2005, someone handed me a book called A Life with Purpose by George Mair. The book is written as a positive account of Rick Warren’s life. In fact, the subtitle on the front cover reads: America’s Most Inspiring Pastor. It is clear that the author had a great admiration for Warren. While Mair wrote the book, he spent many Sunday mornings at Saddleback church services, listening to Rick Warren and donating financially. However, after Rick Warren found out about the book, he publicly criticized it. In addition, Saddleback church sent out emails to an undisclosed number of people, discrediting Mair’s book.

I personally believe Warren’s effort to debunk the book was an attempt to conceal some of its observations. What George Mair didn’t realize was that in his candid account of Warren, and in his efforts to offer this testament of praise, some things were revealed about the pastor that might have gone undetected by the average person. For instance, Mair explains how New Age prophet Norman Vincent Peale was at the foundation of the church-growth movement and furthermore “many of Peale’s uplifting affirmations originated with an ‘obscure teacher of occult science’ named Florence Scovel Shinn.” Referring to many of the methods that Peale taught and his “unification of psychology and religion,” Mair says, “Saddleback distinctly bears the stamp of Reverend Norman Vincent Peale.”

In November of 2003, Rick Warren announced to his Saddleback congregation his global P.E.A.C.E. Plan. In the same sermon, Warren introduced the congregation to Ken Blanchard, playing a video clip of Blanchard’s visit to Saddleback a few days earlier. Warren informed his large congregation that Blanchard had:”… signed on to help with the P.E.A.C.E. Plan, and he’s going to be helping train us in leadership and in how to train others to be leaders all around the world.”

In light of the fact that Ken Blanchard has promoted Buddhism and Eastern style meditation for over 20 years, it became very alarming to know that Rick Warren was using Blanchard to train leaders around the world.

The weeks following Rick Warren’s email to us, we received phone calls and emails from different men from Saddleback, one of them telling us to stop “lobbing dead cats [and grenades] over the wall.” It was confirmed also that an email was sent out from Saddleback to an unknown number of people, discussing the Blanchard issue. That email stated that Lighthouse Trails had lied and they should not be listened to.

And then in December of 2005 a very strange thing happened – a woman sent us an email she had received from Rick Warren’s personal email address, which stated:

“The website you refer to [Lighthouse Trails] below is well-known for publishing lies, which can easily be proven false…. The Bible says “Satan is the father of lies”, so those who intentionally spread them are doing Satan’s work for him. That is evil. We suggest you avoid listening to evil people who have a habit of lying about ministers of the Gospel. Study the Scriptures every day and flee from those who make their reputation by lying.”

We contacted Saddleback about the email, and we received the following reply, suggesting that the email had been written by a computer hacker: “We are sorry that this public mailbox has been shut down due to vandalism and stolen identity. Federal enforcement officers are tracking down the source in either Africa or the Pacific Northwest.” At first, we thought this was a joke because we (who live in the Pacific Northwest) had recently issued a press release about an evangelist in Africa who had been opposing Purpose Driven. Hearing that Federal officers had narrowed down an investigation to either our location or the evangelist’s location seemed preposterous. We contacted Saddleback by phone requesting the names of these Federal agents because of the threatening nature of the “anonymous” email. A few days later a Saddleback staff member called and told us that Federal agents were doing an investigation on their web server being broken into and that Saddleback suspected Lighthouse Trails. We again asked for the names of the Federal agents as well as the Saddleback communications director that was handling the case. However, we were told they would not give us any names. We have not heard anything from Saddleback since.

We testify of these things, not to distract you from the issues at hand (of exposing contemplative and emerging spirituality within the church), but rather to show that Rick Warren, as well as other leaders, will go to great lengths to preserve their status and to complete their tasks, even to the point of lying, threatening, discrediting and deceiving. While we have postponed releasing this information for several months, because of Rick Warren’s continuous brazen remarks against the body of Christ and because Purpose Driven is an avenue through which the New Age is entering the church, we believe it is of utmost importance to relay this documentation to believers who are working so diligently to defend the gospel message of Jesus Christ in a time when a great falling away appears to be at hand.

The question we must ask is just how far will Rick Warren go to help rid churches of those they consider “leader[s] from hell,” who in reality may be part of the very Bride of Christ.

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Special Note: Recently the Calvary Chapel movement (founded by Chuck Smith, Sr.) made a bold declaration when they decided to reject the emerging and contemplative prayer movements and to discontinue their support and use of all Purpose Driven materials. Many applaud this bold and sacrificial action.

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