“It is Difficult to Rise Above One’s TIme”

There is only a handful of men who have rocked the western theological world over the past 2000 years. Some have been a Godly influence, such as Augustine, Luther and Calvin. Others have been instrumental in the apostasy of the Church. Chief among these is Frederich Schleiermacher.

Frederich Schleiermacher

Today, few have ever heard his name. But in many respects, we are living in a Schleiermacher-shaped world, thinking that this is the way things have always been. To one degree or another, our thought patterns and paradigms are molded by his long arm. His teachings are ever-so-delightful to the unbelieving world; and they are a pernicious influence on those of us who claim the name ‘Christian’.

So, here’s a brief look at the fundamental shift in theology that he was able to accomplish.

Let’s start by defining the Bible. What, really, is it? In one respect, it is the collection of 66 ‘books’ written over a period of 1400 years, but assembled together because of a unifying factor. The Old Testament was assembled by the Jews as each new book was recognized that it belonged; then New Testament was collated and added to the Old by the Church.

What is that unifying factor? The orthodox stance is that every one of these ‘books’ is ‘God-breathed’. The writers were superintended by the Holy Spirit in such a way that they produced works without error in factual data, and contain information that explains the origin, purpose and destiny of mankind. It reveals things about God and man that can be found no where else. For those who believe it, it is the authority for morals and ethics. It provides the guide for faith and practice, giving assurance for the forgiveness of sins. For those who reject it — either in whole or in part — it will be used as the indictment when men are called to give an account of their lives.

The path to understanding the Bible is no different than the path to understanding any other writing. It is apprehended by applying the intellectual faculties of the mind which can organize and systematize the information in a logical fashion. Once done, it satisfies man’s innate drive for rationality and coherence.

Before Schleiermacher, these things about study and learning were well-understood. It was considered self-evident. Bible study gave rise to creeds, catechisms, doctrinal statements, confessions of faith, commentaries, and scores of other types of works. All were done to expound truth and to persuade people to conform. As the Bible puts it, doctrinal truth is built in the minds of men ‘line by line, precept upon precept.’

Now comes Schleiermacher’s shift. For him, truth is not apprehended through intellectual processes of the mind. Rather, it is apprehended through ‘feeling’; that is, through the emotional inclinations of man. Bible is not the authority that past generations believed it to be. Now, we have entered into a new era, where religious feelings, or affections, are source of truth. For him, the ‘feeling of dependence’ upon God was the key. Man’s emotions would now rule the day, and trusting those emotions would be the guide to faith and practice. No longer is it ‘precept upon precept’; now it is ‘feeling upon feeling’.

This is the heart of Liberalism.

The wise man has said, ‘It it difficult to rise above one’s time’. To that degree and only to that degree, one or all are now liberals.

More to come on Mr. Schleiermacher…

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The Father of Liberalism

Modern Liberalism has shaped our world more than any other movement in the past 200 years — and particularly the past 100 years in America.

Frederich Schleiermacher

My grandfather, being a staunch Libertarian, detested FDR for his New Deal in the 1930′s. And my father, being a WWII veteran and imbued with an entrepreneurial spirit, was disgusted with LBJ’s Great Society in the 1960′s. And now, the very fabric of our society is being torn apart as the current crop of liberals exert their political power over the western world.

Yet, you may be surprised to learn that the philosophical basis of liberalism is not political — it is religious. It all started as a deviation from orthodox Christianity.

It was begun in Germany in the early 1800’s by a protestant theologian who fundamentally altered the historic Christian faith. He altered it so significantly that great Presbyterian theologian Gresham Machen, a hundred years later, was forced to write a book “Christianity and Liberalism”. In that work, he makes the argument that Liberalism is a completely different religion, devoid of any of the basic tenants necessary to call itself ‘Christian’. Yet Liberals continue to claim the name of Christian while denying the set of beliefs that comprise Christianity. How is that possible?

In order to understand, let me introduce you to Frederick Schleiermacher, the acknowledged Father of Liberalism. To know Schleiermacher and his work is the first step to understanding our present hour.

Schleiermacher was born and raised in Prussia in the later 1700’s as the son of an army Chaplain. His parents raised him in a Christian home, where the Bible was the presumed Word of God. The basis for his parent’s ethics and morality was rooted in the authority of the Scriptures. Yet young Frederich came to a crossroads in his own beliefs when he was a teenager, as he could not accept the historicity of the Bible. In a letter to his father, Frederich wrote:

“Faith is the regalia of the Godhead, you say. Alas! dearest father, if you believe that without this faith no one can attain to salvation in the next world, nor to tranquility in this — and such, I know, is your belief — oh! then pray to God to grant it to me, for to me it is now lost. I cannot believe that he who called himself the Son of Man was the true, eternal God; I cannot believe that his death was a vicarious atonement.”

In one short confession, Frederich pierced the heart of his father. For in it, he denied the essence of Christianity — the person and work of Jesus Christ. No clearer statement of unbelief could there have been. Yet, Frederich was not willing to walk away from the religious realm. If he had done so, it would have been better for him as well as the rest of us. But no. He applied his great intellect to search for a way to justify himself before God in his unbelieving heart. Through that effort, he invented a new religion that salved his conscience. And we have been suffering ever since.

Liberal Christianity was born.

In my next article I will explore the nature of this new religion and its enormous influence on our culture.

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The Great Waldo Canyon Fire

In the aftermath of the Waldo Canyon fire and the resulting loss of hundreds of homes in Colorado Springs, comments abound about the age-old question about God’s sovereignty and His goodness.

Waldo Fire Hits Colorado Springs

Thousands of professing Christians were praying that this fire would not destroy homes, yet their prayers were not answered. Why, they ask, did God not intervene? Was he not able, or worse, not willing to act to prevent this?

One answer put forth was that God has turned this world over to Satan, and that, in affect, ‘the devil did it’. This seems to relieve God of any culpability in the matter. However, this does not square with the Bible, nor with the God who inspired the Bible.

While the Bible does say that Satan is the ‘god of this world’, this refers to his dominion over the spiritual condition of men’s souls. Everyone is born into this world with the corrupted sinful nature, and as a result, a slave to sin and to Satan. But this is not to say that Satan is without bounds. He, in fact, has no authority to exercise his will beyond God’s sovereign will. So from time to time God overrules Satan by reaching down to certain individuals, granting them the gifts of faith and repentance and frees them from this slavery. Satan has no power to prevent this from happening.

But what about the power over nature? Who’s in control of those things?

On Tuesday June 26th, the fire seemed to be well-defended, as the officials had established two separate lines with crews in place should the fire encroach the city. As the officials in charge were holding a 4PM news conference on the status of their efforts, an unexpected and powerful wind swooped down from the west, blowing the fire past both lines. They immediately ordered a complete evacuation of the area. The much-feared firestorm was on.

2000 years ago, there was another fierce wind that caused much anguish. On the sea of Galilee, Jesus and the disciples were in a fishing boat when a ‘furious squall came up’. Waves broke over the boat and the men were fearing for their lives…well, except for Jesus. He was sound asleep. The disciples woke Him up in a panic. “Don’t you care if we drown?”

Standing up, Jesus rebuked the wind and waves, saying “be still!”  Immediately, the winds died down and the sea became completely calm. And the disciples became even more fearful. “Who is this? Even the wind and waves obey Him!”

Jesus, the God-Man, has power over nature. This demonstration of power was performed in part to validate His claim as the prophesied Messiah. Combined with Jesus’ demonstrations of power over disease, over demons, over blindness, even over death, Jesus proved that He was God in the flesh, and omnipotent over all creation.

The principle of His sovereignty over nature holds over all time periods and in all circumstances. This should put to rest any questions about God’s power over the Waldo fire — and the wind that blew it beyond the fire lines.

So, what about God’s goodness and His mercy? If He has the power, why did he not exercise it to prevent the destruction of hundreds of homes, not to mention those who lost their lives? This is a serious charge leveled at the Almighty.

It may be helpful to remember that entire created order has been subjected to God’s curse, due to one man’s rebellious act. Adam sinned, despite God’s warning that in that day of sin ‘you will surely die’. And we were all ‘in’ Adam, so in a very real sense, we all sinned with Adam. We now inherit his sinful nature and come into this world under God’s judicial review.

So death is a supernatural judgment of God. It is not ‘natural‘ — because in the beginning it was not so.

At one point during Jesus’ ministry, a question arose among the Israelites about a disaster that had occurred in Jerusalem. Eighteen people had been killed when a tower collapsed, killing those that happened to be walking by. What was it about these people that God allowed this to happen? Were they particularly sinful, to the point that God ended their lives?

Here was Jesus’ response. “Do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

This was not the answer that his followers expected. Rather, Jesus explained the universal condition of mankind — we are all culprits. We all face the looming judgment of God for our hostile acts that flow from our rebellious nature. Apart from God’s saving mercy on those who believe in the person and works of Jesus, and repent from their sins, none will escape God’s perfect judgment.

In the Waldo Canyon fire, there was much mercy of God evident. The powerful wind that caused the firestorm did not occur until three days after the fire began. During this time, fire officials had time to amass the men and equipment to defend the city. This mobilization took that amount of time to stage up. Once the fire breached those lines, fire fighters fell back to Centennial Boulevard. There they made their stand, knowing that if the fire breached that line, much of the city would have been lost. They had hundreds of men and a massive amount of equipment at their disposal — because they had three days to prepare. Without that time, much of Colorado Springs would have been lost.

So God did show His mercy in the midst of the fire fight. The city is now safe again. But what will be the response of us citizens. Shall we take heed? Shall we make use of this brief reprieve? Shall we repent and believe?

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Next Big Thing?

(The following is republished by permission from the author)

The brilliant religion commentator for the New York Times, Ross Douthat, in Bad Religion(2012) concludes that while postmodernism has produced an exhausting “relativism and rootlessness that has weakened the church,” a revival of Christianity can be envisaged. Reviewer Tim Keller states that Douthat sees no “next big thing” on the horizon to oppose Christianity. I must differ from Douthat and with all who fail to see the power of the contemporary revival of apostate “Christian” liberalism, revitalized by a natural alliance with the progressive spiritual neo-paganism now dominating our culture.

Diana Butler Bass, in Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening (2012), triumphantly announces the advent of “the Fourth Great Awakening.” Emergent activist Shane Claibourne hails this as “new life budding from the compost of Christendom.” For Brian McLaren, Bass’s prophetic voice is “provocative, inspiring…a sage guidance for the future.” Does the term “Great Awakening” indicate a reclaiming of 18th century Gospel orthodoxy? Not a chance!

For Bass “religionless Christianity” is the elimination of creeds and dogmas, of authority structures and inhibiting moral codes, of a propositional, inerrant Bible. She hails a movement borne along on the breath of an undefined “Spirit” into an age of pure inner experience. This Awakening has nothing to do with historic Christianity. Bass notes that “Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists have been undergoing similar revitalizations” and concludes that “the next great awakening will have to be an interfaith awakening” because “the 1970s were…the first stirrings of a new spiritual awakening, consisting of the encounter of Western and Eastern religions and …[the incorporation] of each other’s practices into their respective faiths.”

Such an “interfaith” One-ist view of the Spirit involves a radical redefinition of God that ditches “submitting to a transcendent—and often distant-God” in favor of “finding one’s self in God and find[ing] God in one’s self.” This involves praying to God as “our Mother”  and seeing the godhead “in less dualistic [Two-ist] terms,…less in terms of an absolutist, sin-hating, death-dealing ‘almighty Father in Heaven’ and more in terms of…the nourishing spirit of mother earth.”

I am sorry. These statements are pure pagan One-ism. The union of Nature with the divine jettisons the transcendent God of the Bible and removes any need for a divine Savior, so Bass’s “Christology” becomes pagan Gnosticism.  In the biblical Gospels, Jesus’ question, “Whom do you say that I am?” gives rise to the heavenly revelation of his divine nature. For Bass, the question “plunges Jesus’ friends into …the self-query, ‘And who am I?’” This question, not in the biblical text, is precisely where the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, goes. “Jesus” tells Thomas not to call him Lord because he and Thomas are of equal status. Knowledge of the self as divine is true salvation. Bass shows this by citing the Gnostic Book of Thomas the Contender:  “…he who has known himself has already understood the depth of all things.”

Such a Christology empties the Gospel of all biblical content. As Bass puts it, “Salvation is not…escaping some dreadful fate of judgment…at the hands of a wrathful God; rather, it is being saved to ourselves.” She leaves no place for the cross or the atonement. The “Spirit” now at work since the Sixties is “a romantic spirit…[with] an ethic of self-realization.” Such moral-ism is salvation by works for the creation of “a global common good.” This “Awakening is actually something we can do”—delivering people from the “fear of women, Islam, pluralism, environmentalism, and homosexuality.”

Bass’s new faith is paraphrased by the title of a recent Unitarian sermon, “Hindu and Unitarian Universalist Encounter and Transformation on the Way toward a New Universalism”; her kind of thinking allows Oprah Winfrey to call herself a Christian while assiduously following the Hindu mysticism of Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle; her vision is the very content of the present day revival of religious paganism, animated since the turn of the 20th century by the occult vision of Madame Blavatsky who saw in the joining of the East and the West the final achievement of spiritual One-ism.

So in this time of emerging “new universalism,” when it is becoming illegal to teach from certain Bible texts, how many “believers” will find their way into the suffocating arms of religionless Gospel-less Christianity? How many of our theologically-starved rising generation of young Christians, under the enormous influence of Emergent leaders who love Bass, will be lost to the only Faith that can save them?

In light of this “next big thing” we do need a revival—of biblical Truth, but it will not be easy. Pray that the Lord will revive his church by courageous preaching of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, the only power of God unto salvation.

About the author: Dr. Peter Jones is Director of truthXchange, and Adjunct Professor of New Testament, as well as Scholar in Residence, at Westminster Seminary California. He has written The Gnostic Empire Strikes Back (1992), Spirit Wars (1997), Gospel Truth/Pagan Lies (1999), Capturing the Pagan Mind (2003), Cracking DaVinci’s Code (2004, co-author, James Garlow), Stolen Identity (2006) and The God of Sex (2006). Peter Jones is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America, and is married to Rebecca Clowney Jones. They have seven children and twelve grandchildren. For recreation, Dr. Jones enjoys playing jazz piano and golf.

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Deeds, Not Creeds: The Slogan for Unbelief

You may have heard this latest catch-phrase being bantered about by various people — both in support and in opposition to the concept. This slogan effectively communicates in three short words a whole body of religious thought. It was a phrase first adopted by the Unitarian Universalists, but now has found its way into New Evangelical churches as well. For example, the Washington Post reported the following:

Emperor Constantine (center) and the Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea of 325 as holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381

Rick Warren, a megachurch pastor and philanthropist who is courted by political leaders worldwide, says he thinks Christianity needs a “second Reformation” that would steer the church away from divisive politics and be “about deeds, not creeds.”

This slogan fits every-so-nicely into a growing Gnostic worldview — a worldview that erases all distinctions which, in this case, creeds effectively created. The ancient creeds, such as the Apostles Creed, Nicene Creed and the Chalcedon Creed were all written to battle Gnostic teachings that were propagated to undermine and destroy the Christian faith as articulated by the Apostles themselves.

Also, Creeds were created to affirm certain crucial historical events and the sovereign God who directed those events to occur. They summarized the facts of history, and as such, were not an affirmation of religious feelings or sentiments. They were affirming historical realities. So, when the Nicene Creed begins by stating ‘We believe’, one was affirming the reality of historic events.

We Christians like to talk about ‘preaching the gospel’, yet we miss the original meaning of the word, ‘gospel’. This word was used by the Roman world in a journalistic sense. It was a word to describe a very positive and noteworthy event. If the Roman army had successfully and decisively won a battle, the general would send a messenger back to Rome with a ‘gospel’ — that is, a report of the good news. This is why today, we sometimes say the ‘good news of the gospel’. Technically, this is redundant, because ‘gospel’ means ‘a good news report’. All of this is to make the point that the Christian Gospel is declaring to the world some very good news of certain historical events.

So, New Evangelicalism and the Emerging Church movements, who are moving the so-called Christian church toward ‘deeds, not creeds’, is really seeking to negate the importance of history — and specifically, the history related to Jesus Christ. Deeds cannot, and will not, ever, supplant the importance of the ‘gospel’ of Jesus Christ. We must always insist on belief in those historical events, as has been accurately and completely reported by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Deeds do not, in themselves, lead anyone to eternal life. In fact, they lead to eternal destruction. Creeds, to the extent they represent Biblical events (which the aforementioned creeds do), will indeed lead one to eternal life — if someone will merely BELIEVE them. And, that belief will result in deeds. Deeds must flow out of Creeds — otherwise, deeds are worthless.

So, I urge you to flee from New Evangelicalism and the Emerging Church. They are the modern-day expressions of Gnosticism. These settings will destroy you and your family.

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Friday Night Fights

My wife and I went to the movies last night which we haven’t done for some time. We both had had a long week and thought it’d be relaxing to go to the theater.

When we sat down, the young woman sitting immediately behind me decided to brace her feet on the back of my chair. I realized something was messed up, as I couldn’t recline back. As I fidgeted around, she ripped into me with a string of expletives. Apparently, she was entitled to have two seats — and I was taking one. At this point, my lovely wife came to my defense, and the argument was on.

All this reminded me of the article I read this week about the events in Great Britain over the course of the last few weeks. Perhaps you have seen the images of the looting, burning and general mayhem in the streets of their cities. What a scene it was to see!

But why? What’s this all about? The answer lies in the astute article written by Melanie Phillips in the Daily Mail. She correctly accuses liberalism as the root cause which has been fostering the corruption of their society for decades. You really need to read this article, because this is a portent of things to come to the USA. The youth of our two cultures have been raising themselves without any moral absolutes. So, we’re witnessing a real-life ‘Lord of the Flies’.

Ms. Phillips asks the rhetorical question, ‘Anyone heard from the Archbishop of Canterbury about the riots? Anyone care to guess what he will eventually say about them?’ Her point being that Britain’s Christian voices have stopped preaching from the Bible and become ‘soft-headed social workers’.

This sounds all too familiar. Here in Colorado Springs, Sovereign Grace sponsored a meaty seminar on the corruption of the American churches, and advertised it extensively. The response was total, deafening silence. The churches of Colorado Springs couldn’t care less. They’re way too busy being therapeutic to concern themselves with theology.

So, we’re headed to the same end as Britain. It’s only a matter of time before America’s  youth burn our cities to the ground. They have no conscience, and liberalism’s agenda is to blame. My experience at the theater is a small foretaste of things to come.

Here’s Ms Phillip’s article….

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Back to the Books

Today, I’d like to put in a plug for Trinity Bible Institute which is direct ministry of Sovereign Grace Chapel. Classes will once again convene on Monday evening, September 5th. (For complete info, click here)

The Institute teaches Bible in full accordance to the doctrinal position of the SGC. This is an important point because any spiritual work that anyone undertakes must be under the direction and control of a church or a group of churches. The Lord Jesus established only one entity to carry out the work of Christianity, and that entity called ‘the Church’. Therefore, Bible institutes, seminaries, missionaries, and every other endeavor that goes forward under the banner of Christianity must be legitimized by the ‘Church’. Trinity Bible Institute was therefore established with this in mind.

This flies in the face of our current culture of para-church organizations, such as the Navigators, Youth for Christ, Young Life, Focus on the Family, Summit Ministries, Fuller Seminary and hundreds of others. If you look carefully, none of these ‘ministries’ are submissive to any church. They operate under the auspices of boards of directors, not boards of Elders. As a result, they are all illegitimate. I am convinced that God will not bless these works. This is why they all have lost their way, and are having zero impact on our world.

Submission to the church is one reason I believe in TBI and it’s mission.

TBI is a unique opportunity to learn the Bible in all it’s teachings. TBI approaches the Bible from the standpoint of inerrancy, as we are convinced that inerrancy must be the bedrock of any inquiry into the Scriptures. Any other approach is grievously in error and demonstrates a total lack of piety.

Approaching the Bible as an inerrant work is another reason I believe in TBI.

TBI is a twelve year program and is designed so that the student may start at any point and begin his/her study. While twelve years may sound like a long time, we believe that it takes that amount of time cover a survey of all the information that every Christian needs to know. Furthermore, it takes that amount of time for someone to assimilate the information and allow it to shape and guide one’s life. It is our hope that at this end of the program, people will have absolute confidence in the Bible and in the God who gave it.

Getting an exposure to the entire field of knowledge pertaining to Christianity is yet another reason why I believe in TBI.

I have been attending TBI for almost 20 years, both as a student and as an instructor. I continue to attend and re-take courses because I always gain insight into things that I never saw before. The depth and riches of this type of study is incalculable, and I am living proof of it. I am now prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks about the reason for the hope that lies within.

Please consider attending this fall. I assure you, it will nourish your soul and cause you to grow beyond your expectations. Don’t let the token cost deceive you — others have paid tens of thousands of dollars to get what we almost give away. (For complete info, click here)

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The End of the Age

On Saturday, July 9th, Dr. Peter Jones joined Roger Evans, Dr. James Kirby and Carmen Rizzo in a day-long seminar on Gnosticism. What is Gnosticism, and who cares? Well, judging by our attendance, not many.

Our world is being destroyed around us — our political institutions, our culture, our national borders, our wealth. You name it, and it’s being attacked. And we spend a day on an ancient and long-forgotten religion. Are we crazy? Is this what Christianity has to offer — boring discussions about things that have no meaning? Couldn’t we find something more relevant to talk about?

But we believe that Gnosticism is at the heart of the problem. It is the elephant in the room. It’s the key to understanding the destruction of Western Civilization. It’s the key to understanding why Eastern Civilization has never really progressed.

You see, there’s real history and there’s fake history. True, orthodox Christianity is real history. It, and it alone, accurately reports history as is really happened — all the way back to the very beginning. Within that framework, comes the Gospel. ‘Gospel’ means nothing more that a favorable news report. It is a way of reporting actual events as they really happened, and that the events being reported are really good news.

Gnosticism is an imagined history. It distorts and perverts true history because of unrighteous motives. It redacts history. It interprets history in a false way, either by ignoring events, concocting events, exaggerating events, or down-playing events. This is what Liberalism does in our current day. And whenever people distort history, they impoverish themselves because they refuse to face reality.

Of course, within this framework comes a distorted and perverted view of God. You cannot talk about history without talking about a deity or deities. Only true Christianity (I always have to say ‘true’, because there’s Gnostic versions of Christianity) presents God as He truly is. Any deviation from this view is, in essence, Gnostic.

So, we’re about to lose our freedoms, our national heritage, our Constitution, and our foundation of the family unit. This is because our nation has snubbed Christianity and the God of reality. So, as He has done in times past to other peoples, God is giving us a taste of the godless life. He’s going to rub our noses in Paganism, and it’s not going to be pretty. And Gnostic Christianity is going to get a snoot full as well.

This time around is going to be worse, though. We’re coming to the long-predicted end of the church age. We are witnessing the staging for the cataclysmic judgments of God that were revealed to the Apostle John and to Daniel of the Old Testament. John wrote things that were unfathomable in his time. He wrote about a one-world economy (no man may buy or sell without the mark of the beast), a one-world government (the rise of the antichrist), and a one-world religion (the harlot sitting on many waters). If I am interpreting history correctly, these correspond to the current banking takeover of the world’s economies, the U.N.’s Agenda 21 (and all its other efforts), and the merging of all religions into one entity by the ecumenical movement. All three elements are an orchestrated and coordinated effort.  These correlations are too obvious and too striking to miss.

Therefore, I do not believe there’s any turning back. We’ve always known these things would take place. Our hope and salvation lie in faith and repentance. We must believe that news report that came out of Jerusalem two thousand years ago. We must believe it, and we must change our lives in light of it. It’s the most profound news report of all time, and it must be interpreted correctly. Do not believe the Gnostic version of these events, else you fall under the same divine wrath that the Pagan is about to receive. But to everyone who believes it, they will escape the wrath to come. Simple faith — that’s all the Almighty requires.

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Gnosticism in Art — The Cherry Creek Arts Festival

'Removing the stones of Folly' by Tonja Doskova. A prime example of Pagan and Gnostic concepts

I have a great sense of urgency about The Trojan Horse in the Church Seminar we are hosting on July 9th.  I cannot think of a more important topic to discuss than that of the imminent destruction of Christianity.  The topic for discussion that day will be Gnosticism, that Pagan-corrupting influence on the people who profess to be believers.  These concerns were cemented in my mind this weekend when my wife and I attended the annual Cherry Creek Arts Festival.

 

 

We have come to this for several years, so we have a perspective on the types of works we would see.  It is a highly prized honor for artists to be invited to display and sell their art at this annual event. But things have really changed over the years — and not for the better.

Let me start by saying quite emphatically that the quality of the artists — the creativity, the talent and the artistic skill is as good, if not better than it has ever been.  These men and women are at the top of the art world.  Of that, I have no doubt.  But that’s not the issue.  The issue is that their Pagan worldview is busting out on their canvases, and its not a pretty sight.

To make my point, I must digress for a moment.  A couple of weeks ago, I had a real ‘ah-ha’ moment when I was reading Dr. Peter Jones’ book ‘One or Two’.  (By the way, he’s speaking at our seminar July 9th — you really don’t want to miss this opportunity!)  He codified something for me that I hadn’t considered before, and it’s really been an eye-opener for me.  If you can grasp this one concept  about Gnosticism, you’ll be miles ahead of the pack.  It’ll change the way you look at the Pagan world around you.

So, here it is.  The God whom we have come to know through the pages of Scripture is a God of distinctions.  First of all, He distinguishes Himself from His created universe.  He had no need to create it, but did so for His own good pleasure.  Although He is present in the world, He is separate and distinct from the world.

Within His created world, He continued with a series of very significant distinctions.  When He created man, He made him His crowning glory of creation.  Still man is not God and God is not man.  They are very distinct.  Then he made a distinction between man and woman — man is not woman and woman is not man.  They are distinct.

Then he made distinctions in real estate.  He established nations and national borders.  Israel’s land and borders were to be distinct from every other nation’s land and borders.  He established distinctions between good and evil, right and wrong, mercy and justice, heaven and hell, mankind and animal-kind, life and death, saved and unsaved, love and hate, Jew and Gentile, the Church and the World, the narrow path and the broad road.  Distinctions, distinctions, distinctions.  They are everywhere if you just look for them.  This is the ‘two’ of Dr. Jones’ Book title.

This is where Gnosticism comes into play. Fundamentally, it is a Satanically-inspired attack on God, God’s people and God’s creation.  And what is its tactic?  Simple.  It seeks to destroy these very distinctions.  It wants to erase them, obscure them, merge them, confuse them or deny them.  And mankind is all too willing to go along.

Back to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival.  What we saw there were various forms of Gnostic distortions of God’s distinctions.  You have images of man confused with animals, man merged into a woman, the earth exalted as God, man elevated to Godhood, ugly merged with beauty, the sacred confused with the profane, death confused with life, and on and on.  The result is an art festival that impressed us as cold, stark, desolate, colorless, profane and altogether uninspiring.   Welcome to Paganism.

So, think about the healthy and wholesome distinctions that God established in the world.  There’s lots more than those I mentioned above.  And wherever you see a blurring of those distinctions, think Gnosticism!

This is where we’re headed as a culture unless the Christian church regains its senses and wages a holy war against the Trojan Horse.  The confusion of distinctions is everywhere in the Church.   Let’s begin by attending our seminar on July 9th.  These issues are way too important to ignore.  Please come.

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A Wild Goose Chase

Everyone knows what a wild goose chase is– running after something on the exact wrong road. Well then, consider the Wild Goose Festival going on in North Carolina as I write these words. This particular get-together is Gnosticism on steroids; it’s representative of where ‘Christianity’ is headed lest the Lord grants massive repentance. This ‘festival’ is a full-orbed example of the very thing our July 9th seminar is designed to confront – The Trojan Horse in the Church.

The purpose of the Wild Goose Festival is to ‘create a space for justice, spirituality, music and art’. If you take a look at the list of speakers, you’ll see a seemingly eclectic group — some environmentalists, some globalists, some theologians, some social activists, pastors, academics, film makers, and who-knows-what-else. But upon further examination, you’ll discover the common thread — they’re all Gnostics. As such, they are all very hostile to the historic, orthodox Christian faith.

To illustrate my point, let me highlight one of the speakers who provides a clear illustration that there’s two ‘Faiths’, two ‘Christs’, and two ‘Spirits’. Consider Frank Schaeffer.

To discuss Frank Schaeffer, one must back up first and discuss his father, Francis Schaeffer. Francis was one of Christianity’s great thinkers of the 20th century. He was a prodigious writer, pastor and founder of L’Abri in Switzerland, a community of Christian thought and living. He was a staunch defender of the historic Christian Faith. His seminal work is ‘How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture.‘ Any Christian who has not read this work (or watched the video) is really missing something special. Francis Schaeffer was a remarkable man and made many valuable and lasting contributions to the Church.

What sad commentary it is that his son Frank has rejected the faith of his own father. In Frank’s own words, he’s a ‘surviver of Fundamentalism’. He has repudiated everything his father believed, and has struck out on an opposite path. How grieved his father would be to see where his son is today — on a wild goose chase. Frank fits in nicely with the others at this festival — he’s embraced the Gnostic Jesus.

You could’ve gone to this festival to pursue social justice and to commune with the god within. You might have found a place to help promote global peace and to fight global warming. You could have found common ground with all the other pilgrims on the many paths that lead to God. But, at the end of the day, you would discover that this is truly a wild goose chase.

However, there’s still an opportunity to attend Sovereign Grace Chapel’s seminar on the ‘Trojan Horse in the Church’. We intend to demonstrate to you quite clearly the stark contrast between the two ‘faiths’. The one we embrace is revealed in the pages of Scripture; the one the Gnostics embrace is found in the depths of the human heart. Which one do you want to trust for your eternal destiny? Could there be a more important seminar for you to attend?

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