Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
Yale Professor of Religion Finally Figures Out What Christians Already Knew Years Ago: Oprah Sells Religion
Its funny this is "news". Its not new, its old. I knew about Oprah's high priestess status years ago. Not only has she had a cult following, including "Christian" women, but she pushes and pushes hard New Age religion (Marianne Williamson, Dr. Oz, and Eckhard Tolle are three examples of who she enjoys touting). Moreover she blatantly and repeatedly denies the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Here she even states, "God isn't something to believe, God "is". And God is a feeling experience, not a belief experience... If God for you is about a belief, then its not truly God."
Now to an excerpt of the report from the New York Post:
The power of Oprah is hard to deny -- but is she really her own religion now?
A Yale professor who claims to have studied nearly every episode of her show from the last 12 years says the talk show queen's success is due to one thing -- she has transformed herself into the equivalent of a religious icon.
By using the techniques of a preacher, Oprah has been able to create a new "gospel" that goes beyond just being a simple daytime TV show, Yale religion professor Kathryn Lofton writes in her new book.
"Gospel is a word that means 'good news,' " Lofton says. "Oprah says that the good news is 'you.' "The idea that Oprah's fans follow her with the fervor of a religion is not new. What is new about Lofton's book ("Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon") is the theory that Oprah, herself, built that following by using the language and trappings of traditional religion to get her message across.
Read more here.
Friday, April 08, 2011
Piper opines in part in “Burning the Qur’an and Crucifying Christ”:
Walls draws our attention to the fact that one of the differences between Islam and Christianity is how translatable Christianity is by its incarnational nature, and how resistant Islam is to translation:
“Christian faith must go on being translated, must continuously enter into vernacular culture and interact with it, or it withers and fades…
Much misunderstanding between Christians and Muslims has arisen from the assumption that the Qur’an is for Muslims what the Bible is for Christians.
It would be truer to say that the Qur’an is for Muslims what is for Christians.”
The giving of the Qur’an is in Islam what the incarnation of Christ is to Christianity.
If this is so, then Qur’an-burning is parallel to Christ-crucifying.
So the Qur’an has been burned and the Christ has been crucified—and continues to be crucified.
The test is in the response.
Remember, this is John Piper, who got a degree in philosophy (which is against the mandate of Scripture),the one who is entrenched in the Lausanne Congress; who's mentor was Ralph Winter (the inter-faith man who believed its possible to be a Muslim Christian. Piper and Rick Warren both gave tribute to Winter at his memorial service), the man who finds truth in the Roman Catholic philosopher, GK Chesterton.
Besides being heavily philosophical in his Post-modern nonsense, there's a lot wrong with Piper's view.
1) "Incarnational" is a word heavily used by the Emergent Church Movement. This should be a red flag to anyone who's familiar with the truth about that movement and how it speaks and acts.
2) The Emergent view of Christian needing to change with the times to relate to the modern culture is also very Emergent/Post-Modern. Biblical Christianity (notice I said "Biblical") is timeless because its based on the timeless truths of Scripture and the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. This too, is a red flag.
3) I see no "misunderstanding" arising "from the assumption that what the quran is for Muslims, the Bible is for Christians." What's to misunderstand? The quran is the foundation of Islam, along with the Haddith. The quran gives the command to Muslims to go and slaughter all non-Muslims, particularly the Jews and the Christians ("the People of the Book"). In fact, not 11 years after our Independance (1786) did Islam start terrorizing America:
America's two main diplomats at the time were John Adams in London and Jefferson in Paris.Together they called upon Ambassador Abdrahaman, the envoy of Tripoli in London, in March 1786. This dignitary mentioned a tariff of three payments--for the ransom of slaves and hostages, for cheap terms of temporary peace and for more costly terms of "perpetual peace." He did not forget to add his own commission as a percentage. Adams and Jefferson asked to know by what right he was exacting these levies. The U.S. had never menaced or quarreled with any of the Muslim powers. As Jefferson later reported to the State Department and Congress, "The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners."
~ Christopher Hitches in “Time Magazine”
This statement is an example of how the quran is authoritative for behavior. Scripture is the sole authority for all things pertaining to life and godliness for biblical Christians (2Peter 2:1; 2Tim. 3:16-17).
4) "The giving of the Qur’an is in Islam what the incarnation of Christ is to Christianity."
This is in error. I don't know where Walls gets this from. No source is cited. Why he comes to that idea is beyond me. In doing some research myself, I don't see this comparison at all. Instead, its very similar: the quran is their book of authority as the Bible is for the Biblical Christian. Jesus Christ is the founder of Christianity. Muhammad is their founder and prophet whom they uphold in greatest esteem, without which there would be no Islam. There's a reason why they used to call Islam "Muhammadanism".
"Muslims refer to the Qur'an and the Sunnah of Muhammad as the basis for their religion. The Qur'an instructs Muslims to pattern their lives after Muhammad because he is thought to be the perfect pattern of conduct. To accomplish this task, Muslims study many volumes of the hadiths, because these books contain his sayings and behavior (Sunnah).
The prophet of Islam is considered by Muslims to have been the most perfect of men, in fact the most noble and perfect of all of Allah's creation, ashraf al-makhluqat. Allah bestowed upon him all the virtues and all the perfections which the human state is capable of possessing. As the Noble Qur'an states, he did not acquire the state of prophethood by himself but was chosen by Allah; furthermore, all of the virtues became perfectly actualized in him.
In fact, Muslims obey Muhammad as if they were obeying Allah. This shows the elevated place that Muhammad occupies: 'He who obeys the Messenger, obeys Allah. Sura An-Nisa 4:80' "
So you see, without Muhammad there is no Islam. Without Christ Jesus there is no Christianity. (Hebrews 12 says HE is the Author and Finisher of our faith.) Christianity follows Christ; moreover the biblical Christian worships Christ Jesus because He is eternally God the Son and deserves all worship.
A cartoon of Muhammad and the Muslim world riots for days which ends in death. But when the cross is placed in a jar of urine at an art gallery, its protected as "art" and no riots or worldwide threats of violence break out.
5) "If this is so, then Qur’an-burning is parallel to Christ-crucifying. So the Qur’an has been burned and the Christ has been crucified—and continues to be crucified." ~ Piper
The problem here is that the parallel is not accurate, as I have shown. Ironically for Halls, Noll, and Piper, its the quran that actually denies the crucifixion of Christ Jesus the resurrected Lord (Surah 4:157)!
Do I have to even state the obvious? To try to make any parallel between quaran burning and the Crucifixion of Christ is absolutely unfathomable. Jesus Christ IS God; the quran is a demonic book from Hell. Its to make the wrong assertion that the quran's importance to the Muslims is equivilant to the importance of Christ's crucifixion to Christians. Not only does it not make sense, its not even consistant with Islam and the Muslim world. Why not compare (if you really think you have to), apples to apples: the quran to the Bible; Muhammad to Christ; Jehovah to Allah?
6) Piper makes the comparison of the offense of Muslims at the burning of the quran to the crucifixion of Jesus. So I need to ask: How many Western "Christians" really are horrified at the Crucifixion of Christ? Muslims of course, are highly offended at the burning of their book or even a cartoon of Muhammad. But mindset of "Christians" regarding the Cross is: “Jesus loved me so much, He stretched out His hands…and died”. They see the Cross as about love; Scripture first portrays it as about the WRATH OF GOD (Is. 53; Matt. 27:45-46 for instance). Only when we see the real horror of the Cross, can we then get a glimpse into the price He paid and the love of Christ toward those He chose to purchase on that Cross. The Cross shows how HORRIFIC WE AND OUR SIN ARE, not how loveable, how valuable we are! So I don't see the comparison of the rage at the quran burning, to that of the crucifixion.
Lastly, I'm not against the burning of the quran. To burn that book just to raise the ire of the Muslims is unnecessary: one can just pass around a cartoon of Muhammad to do that. Of course, raising the ire of the Muslims deliberately by either action is unnecessary: proclamation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and the thrice Holy Triune God is offensive enough to them. But let me show you something:
Act 19:18 Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. 19 And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.
Those who CAME OUT of the occult/magic arts had such holy wrath against that which was idolatry and rebellion against the true God of creation, that they would have absolutely NOTHING to do with their old pagan religions. Moreover, they wanted to make a public display of their loyalty to the King who ransomed them, showing they'd rather give up the world and its religion and money, for the cause of the One Who died for them. That kind of quran burning would be acceptable, I believe; those saved OUT OF Islam should burn their qurans and haddiths and prayer rugs.
Thursday, April 07, 2011
he may be new to the pastorate, he is not new to ministry. Prior to
becoming a pastor Ray was the Professor of Old Testament and Semitic
Languages at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School alongside Mars Hill
Church’s good friend, Dr. D.A. Carson. Mars Hill Church members may know
him better as the man who wrote the notes for the book of Isaiah in the
ESV Study Bible."
Is there at least some danger that what is being advocated is not so much a new kind of Christian in a new Emergent Church, but a church that is so submerging itself in the culture that it risks hopeless compromise?
Even to ask the question will strike some as impertinence at best, or a tired appeal to the old-fashioned at worst. I mean it to be neither. Most movements have both good and bad in them, and in the book from which this article is taken I highlight some of the things I find encouraging and helpful in the Emergent Church movement. I find that I am more critical of the movement because my "take" on contemporary culture is a bit removed from theirs, partly because the solutions I think are required are somewhat different from theirs, partly because I worry about (unwitting) drift from Scripture, and partly because this movement feels like an exercise in pendulum swinging, where the law of unintended consequences can do a lot of damage before the pendulum comes to rest.
This is why I guess I'm not that surprised that Carson has jumped into the Acts 29 circle.
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Also, this is AFTER John MacArthur warned John Piper and other "Charismatic Reformers) (that's an oxymoron!) both at the closing of the conference and in the last chapter of his book Strange Fire, to turn from promoting such strange demonic fire and stay loyal to Christ.
Because of Piper's defiant defense of false teacher Rick Warren both prior to and at the end of his Desiring (I don't know what kind of) god Conference a few years ago, plus his ongoing walk into darkness (he now denies the necessity of believing in the doctrine of Imputation (Justification) in order to be saved, that I'm not surprised at all. In fact, just a week or so after the conference and MacArthur's call and "rebuke" (it was softer than that) Piper. Piper went out of his way to show himself in locked-step with Sam Storms (a Charismatic named at the Strange Fire Conference), and corrected MacArthur's portrayal of Piper as an "anomaly". In other words, his loyalty was made clear. As it is yet again.
This is more of Piper's in-your-face-John behavior. He doesn't give a rip.
Piper states that denial of Justification by Faith alone and/or holding to a gospel of works doesn't necessarily condemn a soul. This is an out right lie since Scripture clearly states it does indeed damn a soul to Hell.
*Updates at the end of this article*
Note:There are many reasons why John Piper is dangerous to Christians, having several articles in regard to Piper, I decided it would be easier to put them here in one article.
I'll begin with Scripture and a challenge.
John 7:24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment."
Are you willing to give up a once beloved author/speaker if he fails the test of Scripture for faithfully holding and teaching to the pure milk of the Word? Or is he your "paper pope" who could never be in grave error? Are you willing to be loyal to Christ and the Word at all costs, or are you one who sees "truth in everything" and think its possible, even noble to pick out of the leavened loaf that which is unleaven (Matt. 16:6)?
Gal 4:16 So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?
Where "hedonism" came from:
" was the (daimona) of pleasure, enjoyment and delight. As a daughter of Eros (Love) she was associated more specifically with sensual pleasure. Her opposite number were the (Pains). The Romans named her Voluptas."
Marry a word with that history and connotation (even to this day) to "Christian" and what do you get? What would you expect to get? Biblical Christianity? Or worldly Christianity? And would that be pleasing to the HOLY HOLY HOLY God Who rejects such a marriage between paganism and worship of Him?
Piper quotes liberals in a favorable way:
As Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries writes:
Piper's church offers Quaker Mystic Richard Foster.
“[Children] often say, “Do it again”; and the grown up person does it again till he is nearly dead. For grown up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps, God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes each daisy separately, but never got tired of making them. It may be that he has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.” - G.K. Chesterton as quoted in Piper's "When I Don't Desire God" p. 197
Piper and Warren promote praying for God's choice of a new pope.
Piper's "clarification" on his pope tweet which gives even MORE concern in regard to Piper and the Gospel. This is probably one of the strongest reasons to reject Piper.
Piper, Warren, and Keller all promote Contemplative praying.
And as listed above: Piper's The Bethlehem Institute Promoting Roman Catholic CS Lewis and Federal Vision Heretic Doug Wilson
Piper and Islam
Piper said the burning of the quran is parallel to the crucifixion of Christ Jesus.
Doug Wilson teaching again at DGC (2012) and again at pastor's conference (2012), and again with interview with Wilson in 2013.
Piper's Defiant Defense of Mark Driscoll, the X-rated "Pastor"
Mark Driscoll, author of "Porn Again". Some of his information on his church website has a warning: "Warning: MH- 17. Under 17 requires permission" and let's just say that its not appropriate to even mention here what he talks about. Even his casual dress reflects his casual attitude about Jesus Christ.
Piper's defense of having Driscoll speak at the 2006 DG conference.
John Piper and Desiring God: cussing and the influence of others. Also here.
Piper Promotes Rick Warren:
If Rick Warren teaches a “gospel” that makes man the center and not Christ…and he does
If Warren is promoting Easter Mysticism…and he does
If Rick Warren promotes Roman Catholicism…and he does
If Rick Warren shares the platform with homosexuals and their organizations…and he does
If Rick Warren shares the pulpit with Word of Faith heretics…and he does
If Rick Warren promotes the Emergent Church Movement…and he does
If Rick Warren lied about his Syrian trip…and he did
If Rick Warren approves of women pastors…and he has
If Rick Warren steers his followers away from studying Scripture…and he does
If Rick Warren distorts and twists Bible verses taking them out of context and misapplying them…and he does
...then the man is a false teacher. 2 Peter 3: 16b “ There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.”
Is. 8 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.
Piper says we slammed Warren, even after Warren's own Pelagian teaching at DGC.
I saw a man with character and with simple, childlike dependence on Christ.An unbelievable communicator with incredible application. Be encouraged and relax with who you are, and give it all to Jesus while learning all you can from Rick.I would say that everyone here is a thinker. Non-thinking is not possible. If they think they’re a non-thinker, then they’re a walking contradiction.There are people in here who love to think and there are others who don’t like to think. This conference is a pain in the rear end to them. They’re just here to see Warren and Piper fight. Here’s how I would say the question: What do you have to say to people who don’t want to think?
Spurgeon on "Fraternizing With Heretics".
This timely article by A.W. Pink is challenging and also very encouraging on taking heed of what you not only hear, but read.
If only one passage shows why Piper should be rejected, its this one:
2Jn 1:9 Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; 11 for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.
Many of the teachers that Piper endorses are false teachers. That alone finds him guilty of the same evil deeds as those false teachers, according to God.
1Kings 18:21 Elijah came near to all the people and said, "How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." But the people did not answer him a word.
I pray INTO the situation, NAME the situation, PRAY AGAINST IT, and
just if you like CUT OFF The CORDS that are HOLDING THEM BOUND
~ Tobe Koleoso , point 8:02
This is classic Charismaticism/Word of Faithism and cannot be supported by Scripture. Those in Christ are sealed by the Holy Spirit. We do see in Acts16 where a woman who was possessed by a spirit of divination who harassed Paul and his companions by following them for many days. He eventually commanded the demon to come out of her. In that situation, while there was a harassment, but the demon could not bind the slaves of Christ Jesus. Jesus, in Matt. 12 is the One who binds the strongman (Satan) and takes all his possessions. That has to do with salvation, and its Jesus Who does it the binding and removing of Satan in the life of an unbeliever, and takes them and the Spirit places that person into the kingdom of God. In the parallel passage of Mark 3:27 MacArthur notes:
"3:27 enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods. One must be stronger than Satan in order to enter his domain (“strong man’s house”), bind him (restrain his action), and free (“plunder”) people (“his goods”) from his control. Only Jesus had such power over the devil. Cf. Rom. 16:20; Heb. 2:14, 15."
Rom 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
That said, we do see Christians who get caught in a sin (Gal. 6:1, Heb. 12:1) which must be dealt with. John Gill says of Eph. 4:27 about not giving any opportunity to the devil:
Sin is always a spiritual issue that must be dealt with and a believer never has a demon because Jesus has removed us from the kingdom of Satan into His kingdom, we are sealed by the Holy Spirit, and we are IN CHRIST JESUS. We are also kept in the hand of both the Father and Jesus, so there is no way that Satan can overcome the power of the Trinity.
There is absolutely no indication of demons binding up Christians.
Piper continues to promote Romanist Anglican CS Lewis here (September 2013 conference on Lewis) and here ((his book on Lewis). Here are two articles on the false teachings of Lewis and why he cannot be considered a Christian: here and here.