The No Goofy Zone Discernment Ministry

The No Goofy Zone is a discernment ministry for saved born again Christians and all who are seeking the truth.We expose non-biblical trends in the church. We are making material available to advance understanding of issue's which endanger Christianity. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit.

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Location: Piqua, Ohio, United States

Former drummer for Gary Lewis and The Playboys and The Coasters. Tim has also played with Paul Baloche, Lincoln Brewster, Darlene Zscech and Hillsongs, Jeff Fenholt, SteveCamp among others. Tim founded The Simply Agape Project in 2001 to get free Christian music to the troops. Recordings have been made with Tim, and friends Alex Acuna, Abe Laboriel SR, Justo Almario,Steve Camp , Jared Ming and some wonderful Independant Christian artists.The Somebody Brave CD also features words of encouragment to the soldiers from Pastors, Moms, Dads, and Lt Col Brian Birdwell a Pentegon 9/11 survivor Tim is married to Donna Wirth and has four children Alan 25,Steven 23, Brittany 22, Bethany 21. Tim has played in numerous churchs as well as shows on TBN. Tim has also performed on JCTV on the show Generation Worship featuring worship leader Jared Ming. Tim has a book published worldwide titled "Pass The Plate And Let Us Prey" (My Search For Black and White Christianity in a Gray Nation)

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Hot off The Press

Benny Hinn: A Simple Over-Sight, Perhaps?
'Sometimes, it's the small stuff that makes a big difference'

An Observation by Bud Press
January 31, 2007

While watching Benny Hinn's January 26, 2007 This Is Your Day telecast (Archive Shows, London, England), I couldn't help but notice the small stuff, which can be easily overlooked during the emotional drama of Hinn's "healing" crusades.

At 5min-57sec into the telecast, the first person shown to claim a healing was a woman who had suffered from multiple injuries during an auto accident. As the woman stood on-stage with Benny Hinn, she explained that her injuries were to her back, neck, head, and shoulder. Also, the woman said she had suffered from arthritis for the last 14 years, resulting in the loss of use of her shoulder for the past year.

The woman's husband, who accompianied her on the stage, also suffered from arthritis, and had been under the care of chiropractors.

Benny Hinn placed his hands on the pair and they fell backwards, into the arms of Hinn's body-catchers, of course.

At 7min-20sec into the telecast, two women walked onto the stage side-by-side. One woman, in particular, suffered from arthritis in her shoulder, and believed God had healed her. Hinn placed his hands on both of the women, and they fell backwards into the waiting arms of Hinn's body-catchers.

At 9min-19sec into the telecast, a woman who had suffered from eye problems; "fluttering" and "swelling" of the eyes for five years, came on stage to claim her healing. Hinn walked past the woman and introduced Pastor Zach from Orlando, Florida, then laid hands on the woman and gave praise to to Jesus.

At 10:00 into the telecast, another woman walked on stage to claim a healing for "numbness in her right knee." Again, Hinn's body-catchers caught her falling backwards after Hinn laid hands on her.

At 10min-12sec into the telecast, Steve Brock announced that the pain a woman was suffering from in her hips had left her during the crusade. As the elderly woman walked towards Hinn, she began lifting her legs and gyrating her waist round-and-around, like a hula dancer. Of course, Hinn laid hands on her too, and she fell backwards into the ever-present arms of the body-catchers.

At 14min-23sec into the telecast, as the background announcer sings the praises of Benny Hinn and the miracles performed during the service, a woman is seen on stage talking with Hinn. The announcer informs the viewer that the Holy Spirit began giving Benny Hinn "words of knowledge" concerning those who had not yet come on stage to claim their healing.

At 14min-34sec into the telecast, Pastor Zach escorted a woman across the stage, and informed Benny Hinn that she had experienced problems with her left side and left arm for six months. Hinn walked up to the woman, placed his hands on her ears and said, "You have pressure right here. You have pressure right here. Yeah. From what?" The woman said she didn't know, so Hinn gently pushed her backwards into the, yes, you guessed it, the waiting arms of his body-catchers. Then Hinn said, "You know, that gift is just working now. Let's move quickly, quickly, quickly!"

"Gift"? What gift? The woman said she didn't know about the "pressure" in her ears. So much for Hinn's word of knowledge.

At 16min-20sec into the telecast, Hinn talks to a woman with a heart-murmur. She, too, ended up in the vigilant arms of Hinn's body-catchers.

So, what's your point? you ask. Take a look at this picture of Jesse Duplantis, Benny Hinn, and John Hagee at . Did you notice the eyeglasses resting on Benny Hinn's nose?

My point is, all of the above-cited individuals who appeared on-stage to claim their healing had at least one thing in common: they wore eyeglasses.

Isn't it amazing how many of Benny Hinn's followers claim to be "healed" of all-types of diseases, ailments, pains, and disorders (such as AIDS, cancer, arthritis, leg and back problems, diabetes, eye problems, etc.), yet they walk on and off the stage still wearing their eyeglasses? They seem oblivious to the fact that their visual impairment was not healed along with the ailments they claim to be healed of.

You would think that someone would say, Uh, Benny, what about my eyes? Can I throw my glasses away now?

People wear eyeglasses for different reasons. Most often, eyeglasses are worn to correct a vision impairment, unless the person is making a fashion statement, that is.

On a personal note, I have worn eyeglasses since the 6th grade. In the early 1990's, I experienced a detached retina in both eyes, and underwent numerous painful treatments and operations to save my eyesight. While my doctors did their best, the result was the total loss of eyesight in one eye (no sympathy please). In fact, if my left eye could talk it would say, Gee, it's dark in here! or Who turned out the lights?!

No fashion statement resting on my nose.

Nevertheless, if Benny Hinn wasn't a false teacher and false prophet, and if he had the true gift of healing--as demonstrated by the apostles in the New Testament--then I would have attended one of his "healing" crusades a long time ago.

But, you see, Benny Hinn doesn't have the New Testament gift of healing. This is why people leave his "healing" crusades the same way they came in--sick, dying, in wheelchairs and, wearing their eyeglasses.

So, is the fact that the same people who claim their healings, but leave the crusades wearing their eyeglasses, a simple over-sight on Benny Hinn's part, perhaps? The answer is just as plain as the eyeglasses on Benny Hinn's nose.

Do we really believe that if people wore eyeglasses 2,000 years ago, they would walk away from Jesus Christ visually impaired?

And large crowds came to Him, bringing with them those who were lame, crippled, blind, mute, and many others, and they laid them down at His feet; and He healed them (Matthew 15:30).

The blind, whose sight was restored by Jesus, walked away with 20/20 vision.

Someone once said, Sometimes, it's the small stuff that makes a big difference. How true that is...

Christian Research Service is a discernment ministry that provides information, documentation and referral on a wide variety of issues to the body of Christ and the Christian news media worldwide.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

New from Paul Proctor


By Paul Proctor
January 31, 2007
OK, escort your kids out of the room - lock the door - sit back down at your computer and go to: Christian Heritage Bookstore
Now, brace yourself and type the word "X-Rated" into their website's search engine and click on the word "search."
Get the picture?
Ever think you'd see that on a Christian website?
That's right - "Christian Heritage Bookstore"
Want to know what their Mission Statement is?
How about their Statement of Faith?
No problem…
About Us
Next - notice, if you will, at the bottom of the front page, it says: "Sponsored by Christian Book Network."
Go ahead - Click on their link too - and when the page comes up, click on "Shop CBN" - up near the top right-hand corner of the page - and when that page appears, try the same search again on "All Products."
Lovely, huh?
Friends, we've got a serious problem in the online Christian bookstore industry. In fact, someone really needs to ask the question:
Just what is a Christian Bookstore?
You would think that a Christian bookstore is a place where only biblically sound materials are sold. If you take the scriptures literally, like for instance: "Abstain from all appearance of evil." - 1st Thessalonians 5:22 - and in your heart, believe them to be the inspired and inerrant Word of God, then anything that contradicts it cannot legitimately be considered "Christian." But, that doesn't seem to matter anymore, does it?
"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds" - 2nd John 1: 9-11
Unfortunately, many bookstore owners today believe it is perfectly acceptable to call their online stores "Christian" or imply that they are such, while offering for sale some of the most unchristian merchandise produced. How they justify it before their conscience, their customers and their Christ is beyond me.
By calling their businesses "Christian bookstores," are they trying to convince us that all they sell is Christian books or that the people who work there are all Christians? Maybe they're just Christian-owned; or maybe it's a semantic game they're playing with us. Maybe they're actually operating a secular bookstore where only Christians come to shop. Is that it? Technically, any of these could be called "Christian bookstores." But, doesn't it seem at least a little deceptive when online bookstores represent themselves as being "Christian" while continually offering the very same junk secular bookstores offer?
I know I'm dating myself here, but it kind of reminds of the old public drinking fountains back in the 1950s and early 60s when signs hung over many of them with racial designations of either "Whites Only" or "Colored." I doubt anyone would have raised a stink back then if a white man drank from a "Colored" fountain; but I'm not so sure a black man or woman would have gone unnoticed or even unpunished for drinking out of the "White's Only" fountain. It does seem a little silly though when you consider that the water both fountains dispensed came from the same pipe, and that there was absolutely no difference in the porcelain sinks or metal spigots. So, what made the White fountain white and the Colored fountain colored? That's right - the silly signs hanging over them.
Well, isn't it just as silly when bookstores hang a "Christian" sign over their door or a banner at the top of their webpage and then offer the same worldly merchandise as all the other mainstream bookstores? It's funny though - I've yet to hear of a single instance where Barns & Noble, Borders, Davis Kidd, or Half Price Books publicly referred to themselves as "Secular Bookstores," but then I've purchased religious materials from them numerous times; so I guess they're just being honest, aren't they?
How's that for irony?
One of my best friends and associates from days gone by was a well-known tight wad. Everyone used to tease him unmercifully for it too. He was good-natured about it though. Well, one day he was caught with a water hose filling up one of those gigantic plastic bottles that sat atop a dispenser he had in the lunchroom of his business. It belonged to a drinking water delivery service that replaced his empties each month with full bottles - for a fee, of course. Well, when somebody asked him why he was filling that bottle up with plain old tap water, he replied with a sheepish grin: "Ah, they won't know the difference."

It makes me wonder if this could be the reason many owners and operators of so called "Christian bookstores" secretly offer books and materials they know are unbiblical and spiritually dangerous to their unsuspecting customers - because they won't know the difference.

But, you know, I think they're going about it all wrong. Instead of spending all their precious time, money and manpower promoting themselves as being "Christian," only to waste more time, money and manpower deleting countless unchristian books and materials from their websites because of critics like me, why not just simply delete the word "Christian" from their name and be done with it? At least that would be more accurate…and honest. Then they could proudly peddle their poison to the whole world and nobody would care.
Come to think of it, I'm not sure anybody cares now…
Do you?
"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit."- Matthew 7:16-17
Related Articles:
1. Beware of 'Christian' Bookstores! 2. Dear Mr. Wildmon3, Beware of Christian Bookstore Hypocrisy4, Gay-Friendly Authors Populate SBC's LifeWay Site
© 2007 Paul Proctor - All Rights Reserved

From Lighthouse Trails-Kay Arthur/ Josh McDowell Share Platform with Contemplative Camplo

From my sis in the Lord -Deb Dombrowski

Kay Arthur/Josh McDowell Share Platform with Contemplative Campolo

This past weekend, the Break Forth Conference took place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Emergent/contemplative Tony Campolo shared the speaking platform with Kay Arthur, Josh McDowell, and Jack Hayford. (see poster) It is our hope that Kay Arthur and Josh McDowell warned those who attended that they should steer clear of contemplative and emergent spirituality, which might have been presented at the conference if Tony Campolo's recent book, Letters to a Young Evangelical, is any indication. In the book, which is a collection of letters to young believers, Campolo states: "[T]he West had severed itself from an ancient, magical form of religiosity and replaced it with a modern worldview in which religion was reduced to that which is rational and ethical (p.10)." He adds that he is seeking to become an "actualized Christian" where:
"[I] ntimacy with Christ has developed gradually over the years, primarily through what Catholic mystics call "centering prayer." Each morning, as soon as I wake up, I take time--sometimes as much as a half hour--to center myself on Jesus. I say his name over and over again to drive back the 101 things that begin to clutter up my mind the minute I open my eyes. Jesus is my mantra, as some would say. The constant repetition of his name clears my head of everything but the awareness of his presence. By driving back all other concerns, I am able to create what the ancient Celtic Christians called "the thin place."... After a while, an inner stillness pervades (p. 26)."
He later reiterates: "Having an intimate relationship with Christ is at the core of being an Evangelical." He explains there are three things to consider: 1. "Centering prayer," 2. "Contemplative Bible study" (lectio divina), and 3. "spiritual disciplines." Campolo says he "learned about this way of having a born-again experience from reading the Catholic mystics, especially The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola" who developed "a 'oneness' with God," through contemplative practices. Campolo says that when the Reformation took place, we "left too much behind (p. 31)" and that "some Catholic saints" helped to deepen his prayer life. As with other contemplatives, Campolo had deep mystical experiences from practicing this mantra-style prayer:
"When I rise after engaging in this centering kind of prayer, I sense a fullness in my soul (p.31)" and "something happens to me that is strange and blessed" (p. 33).
In Campolo's book, Speaking My Mind, he suggests that the bond between Christianity and Islam is a mystical state. This idea is actually at the very heart of the New Age that teaches that all things are connected together and the realization that universal oneness comes through practicing meditation. If Josh McDowell and Kay Arthur are going to be doing "Christian" conferences with Tony Campolo, we hope they will tell the conference attendees that contemplative spirituality does not truly make one more intimate with God, regardless of the high feelings and emotions it may produce.

Monday, January 29, 2007

New series coming soon

I will be writing about stewardship and compromise soon. I have beed researching some topics for a couple weeks now and will have some article come out soon. I will also be commenting on this AFA article and the trouble being caused by some in the name of discernment. Its really sad to see people being sucked into money, fame and popularity.
For the record I just went to the AFA website American Family Resource Center
Put in the name Benny Hinn-
41 different books for sale.
Dan Kimballs new book is for sale there as well "I like Jesus but not the...
Kenneth Copeland
22 books for sale
Tony Jones
9 books
Rick Warren
108 items to sell.
Joel Osteen
20 items
Joyce Meyer
115 items


No wonder there is so much confusion in the camp.
But if people stopped selling false teachers materials they would have to close up shop.
Because this is all that is selling on such a big scale.
So its ok to profit from false teachers as long as we speak out against them??

Articles coming soon.

Hot Off The Press

An Open Rebuttal to Tim Wildmon's Response to His Critics
Is the American Family Association Purposely Promoting Heresy?

January 26, 2007

Tim Wildmon, President
American Family Association
PO Drawer 2440
Tupelo MS 38803
P: (662) 844-5036
F: (622) 842-7798

Dear Tim:

I have read your January 15, 2007 response to your critics carefully and prayerfully, and offer the following rebuttal for your consideration. This rebuttal includes your response in its entirety, which has been arranged in short paragraphs and bold print. My rebuttal appears immediately after each paragraph.

The truth behind an accusation rests on the facts of the issue and irrefutable documentation. If the accuser fails in his or her attempt to state and document facts correctly, then the accuser's motives should be called into question and judged accordingly. The same applies to the one being accused.

Instead of accepting something carte blanche, Christians should investigate what is being said, weigh the evidence carefully and objectively, then rely on God's word for their final authority. Truth will stand up to investigation.

It is important to note that Christians are under the Scriptural command to test all things (1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 John 4:1), guard the flock (Acts 20:27-31); defend the faith (Jude 3); and expose the unfruitful works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11-12; 2 Corinthians 4:4). Once the truth is revealed it is to be shared in love (Ephesians 4:14-15).

With that in mind, you have gone on record stating that you and AFA do not endorse the Contemplative and Emerging Church movements:

"'As president of the American Family Association I am stating, for the record, that we do not endorse the contemplative prayer movement or the so-called emerging church movement'" (Tim Wildmon's response to his critics, January 15, 2007,; emp. added).

While your statements may sound valid to AFA's supporters, Brannon Howse and his audience, and those who are unaware of the issue, there is another side to the issue you failed to address; that being that Contemplative and Emerging Church authors and books continue to be promoted within AFA's Family Resource Center.

Case in point: As of this writing, there are at least 55 Contemplative Prayer and Emerging Church authors within AFA's Family Resource Center. Add to this the number of cultic, heretical, New Age, New Apostolic Movement, and Word-Faith authors now present within AFA's bookstore, and the number would increase dramatically!

Concerning your knowledge about Contemplative Prayer and Emerging Church movements, Brannon Howse wrote the following in a public e-mail over four months ago:

"Tim has spent hours with me on the phone learning about the dangers of the Emergent Church, learning about Contemplative Prayer and other issues. Tim and I host a radio program together on his 225 stations. Tim and I have done countless shows against the Emergent Church, Greg Boyd, Contemplative Prayer, Robert Schuller, Joel Olsteen, Tony Compolo and others" (September 11, 2006, e-mail on file).

By the way, along with the above-mentioned Contemplative Prayer and Emerging Church authors, Greg Boyd, Robert Schuller, Joel Osteen, and Tony Campolo continue to be promoted within AFA's bookstore.

Another case in point: On January 21, 2004, AFA's Buddy Smith informed me that he had spoken to Don Wildmon, and that Benny Hinn's books had been removed from AFA's bookstore. Yet, as of this writing, "41" of Hinn's "items" continue to spoil the cyber-shelves of AFA's bookstore.

Think about it, Tim. Despite the irrefutable evidence, Benny Hinn (the world's most prolific false prophet and false teacher), continues to be advertised and promoted within AFA's online Christian bookstore. What kind of message does this send to apologists, cult-evangelists, and Benny Hinn's former followers? Compromise? Double-standard? Hypocrisy? More concern for money from sales than the spiritual welfare of Christians? Disobedience to the Lord?

Both AFA and AFR Radio have been provided with the Master List, of which includes a lengthy category on the Contemplative Prayer and Emerging Church movements. This was done with the hope and prayer that AFA would use the information to make positive changes, and establish permanent safeguards to protect the body of Christ.

Unfortunately, the revolving door of non-Christian authors and books continue to haunt AFA's bookstore. Thus, AFA's failure to monitor their own bookstores over the years is not due to their lack of knowledge. AFA has been informed over and over and over again, to the point of saturation.

Consequently, if a grading system existed for online Christian bookstores, then CRS would grade AFA's Family Resource Center an "F".

One of the ironies of this issue is that Brannon Howse has been provided with irrefutable documentation and information on AFA's bookstores on at least five different occasions. He was reminded of that in my September 13, 2006 letter, of which you received a copy.

So, Tim, the question is, When did AFA stop endorsing the Contemplative Prayer and Emerging Church movements, specifically within its online Christian bookstore? The answer is simple, They haven't!

Furthermore, you and Brannon Howse can write and speak-out publicly against the Contemplative and Emerging movements until you are blue-in-the-face. But as long as these movements are knowingly allowed to exist and incubate within AFA's bookstore, according to God's word, both you and Howse are double-minded:

For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways (James 1:7-8).

Continuing, you stated that:

"'AFA has an on-line bookstore that is computer generated and run by an outside company that services other Christian ministries as well. I have personally asked this company to block the words ‘contemplative prayer’ and ‘emerging church’ as subjects to search on our bookstore. In addition, we have also blocked certain authors'" (Ibid.).

AFA's "computer generated" bookstore is no different than other online bookstores, in that AFA's computers are manned and programmed by human webmasters--all of whom have the ability and capability to permanently block and remove authors from AFA's bookstore database.

For the record, on numerous occasions I have suggested to AFA and AFA's bookstore provider, Innovative, Inc., that if they remove and permanently block the author from their databases, both the author and book will disappear.

I have also suggested that AFA and Innovative, Inc. contact their distributor, such as Spring Arbor, and request that a permanent block be placed on authors. It can be done. I know, because I have communicated with Spring Arbor and all of the major Christian bookstore distributors.

Yes, AFA has removed and blocked authors in the past, such as homosexual and lesbian activists, and New Agers. But in many cases the authors have returned. This is due to the fact that AFA and Innovative, Inc. have failed to monitor their bookstore databases on an everyday basis.

This is precisely why AFA's online bookstore suffers from an acute case of A.R.D.S. (Author Revolving Door Syndrome). Sadly, in the majority of cases, the only time something is done about it is when Christians voice their concerns.

While computer technology plays a role in the presence of non-Christian authors and books within the online Christian bookstores, that same technology can be used to prevent A.R.D.S., remove non-Christian authors permanently, and stop the revolving door of deception in its tracks.

Continuing, you stated that:

"'Hundreds of new books, tapes, CD’s and DVD’s are added to the bookstore library every week so this is a task to keep up with. However, the only products people really buy from our on-line bookstore are products promoted by American Family Association or American Family Radio'" (Ibid.).

Tim, everyone agrees that operating an online Christian bookstore is a tremendous responsibility. But it is a responsibility that AFA has taken upon itself. Whether AFA's bookstore consists of 10 or 10,000 books, AFA is responsible for the materials they provide to their fellow Christians, and those who are searching for a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Indeed, an online Christian bookstore can be either a blessing or a curse. Therefore, if AFA's online bookstore cannot be operated within the strict guidelines of Scripture, then it is time to protect the body of Christ and shut it down. To lose everything for the sake of Jesus Christ is to lose nothing and gain everything.

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ (Philippians 3:7).

You stated that:

"'The only people who come to our website looking for books on contemplative prayer or the emerging church--because AFA doesn’t promote these movements-- are people who are trying to see if they can find some ‘dirt’ on AFA and then put out misleading reports on their websites'" (Ibid.).

This broad-brush accusation is simply ridiculous, untrue, and another attempt from AFA to perform damage-control on a problematic issue that has existed for years. How obnoxious your statement must be to AFA's bookstore customers, as well as those who speak-up and warn against these movements. While you may have won some tee-hee-hee's and points from your supporters, when people read that "AFA doesn't promote" the Contemplative Prayer and Emerging Church--then go to AFA's online bookstore and see the Contemplative and Emerging authors and books--you may be playing a different tune on your damage control violin.

I am not aware of any Christian researcher who is out to find "dirt" on AFA. Needless to say, if "dirt" doesn't exist then "dirt" will not be found. Simply remove the "dirt" so Christians won't find it, even by accident, as I did with the homosexual and lesbian authors (see this Press Release and Contact Alert and Praise Report ).

And speaking of "misleading reports" on websites, since you failed to elaborate and name the guilty parties, please show me one "misleading" report on my website. And while you are at it, please show me where I and my colleagues have purposely fabricated, lied, or misled our fellow Christians.

Regardless of whether AFA will ever admit it or not, simply carrying Contemplative and Emerging authors and books within AFA's online Christian bookstore is promoting it. And, since AFA believes in holding people and companies accountable, please don't get upset when Christians hold AFA accountable.

"We believe in holding accountable the companies which sponsor programs attacking traditional family values. We also believe in commending those companies which act responsibly regarding programs they support" ("Who is AFA?").

Continuing, you stated that:

"'Some of this false reporting that AFA was supporting contemplative prayer came as a result of an article promoting a contemplative prayer book that mistakenly ran on Agape Press, a news agency owned by AFA, in the fall of 2006. This was one article that appeared for only a few hours which I personally had removed once I learned of it from a phone call from Worldview Weekend president Brannon Howse who has done as much as anyone to sound the alarm on the dangers of these New Age practices that are becoming more mainstream in today’s churches'" (Ibid.).

Tim, it is interesting that you "personally" removed a book supporting Contemplative Prayer from Agape Press, then issued the following retraction:

"'On August 28, 2006, AgapePress, a news division of American Family Association, carried a positive review of the book Sacred Listening. The author of the book is James L. Wakefield. The person who reviewed the book is a contributing writer and not a staff person of AFA or AgapePress. AFA and AgapePress have received a number of e-mails from AgapePress readers and AFA supporters who believe this book promotes New Age practices and teachings. AgapePress and AFA regret running this review -- and, while AFA works with many religious groups on matters of public policy, it maintains a traditional evangelical position with respect to theology and Christian doctrine'" (Agape Press, August 28, 2006, ).

Again, in his letter of September 11, 2006, Brannon Howse stated:

"When the article went out last week from Agape Press endorsing a book that was on Contemplative Prayer, I called Tim at his home at 10:30pm. Tim did not know this had happen. The next morning Tim pulled the article and posted a retraction. Tim called an emergency staff meeting with 100 employees to explain why this was wrong and to set up a system that would keep this from happening again."

You see, Tim, by your own admission, it is possible to remove materials that promote false teachings. It is also possible to "set up a system" with your AFA staff to prevent non-Christian materials from entering the public arena, whether in the form of articles, or authors and books within AFA's bookstore.

It is also interesting that Howse cited your "emergency staff meeting with 100 employees." As a suggestion, why not do the same with Innovative, Inc. and Spring Arbor Distributors, and "set up a system" within AFA's bookstore that would protect the spiritual welfare of your customers?

Finally, you stated:

"'In addition, Brannon and I co-host a radio program each week on AFR called Christian Worldview this Week and we have had many guests and authorities who have exposed what both contemplative prayer and the emerging church are all about. AFA also sponsors the Worldview Weekend conferences that educate attendees about these problems and AFR News has reported many times about them.'"

Tim, you and Brannon Howse can use whatever public format you choose to interview all of the guests and authorities in the world on the dangers of Contemplative Prayer and Emerging Church. It may sound good and sincere, but as long as there are non-Christian skeletons in AFA's bookstore closet, the problems will continue, and compromise and hypocrisy will reign.

Even Brannon Howse admitted that there are problems with AFA's online bookstore:

"AFA does have a bookstore that contains some really bad books. This bookstore is run by a third party...Thus, this online store is full of junk. However, Tim agreed last week to block books and even entire authors if I and Ingrid [Schlueter] would give him a list. Many of these have already been blocked" (Ibid., September 11, 2006, e-mail on file).

Both Brannon Howse and Ingrid Schlueter have been informed about the research on AFA's bookstore and the Master List. Therefore, Tim, the logical question to you and AFA is: If you do not "endorse" or "promote" the Contemplative and Emerging movements as you claim, why do you continue to advertise and promote Contemplative and Emerging authors and books within your own Family Resource Center?

For example, if a Christian truly believes that beer and whiskey destroys lives and families, then why offer-for-sale a tee-shirt that endorses or promotes booze on a Christian website?

Being uninformed is one thing. But to knowingly carry non-Christian authors and materials within a Christian bookstore--after being informed--is purposely promoting deception and endangering the spiritual welfare of Christians.

Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes! (Matthew 18:7).

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap (Galatians 6:7).

In conclusion, "The American Family Association believes that God has communicated absolute truth to man through the Bible, and that all men everywhere at all times are subject to the authority of God's Word" (AFA's "Philosophical Statement").

Tim, if you and AFA really believe the above statement, then I strongly encourage you to submit yourselves to the authority of God's word, heed the commands of Scripture, repent, and make immediate changes in AFA's online bookstore.

Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin (James 4:17).

Thank you, Tim. I look forward to your reply regarding this important issue.

Sincerely in Christ,
Bud Press, Director
Christian Research Service
Jude 3

Beware Of Christian Bookstore Hypocrisy by Paul Proctor


By Paul Proctor
January 26, 2007
Last fall I wrote a couple of articles on the troublesome Christian Bookstore industry, the first of which was entitled Beware of Christian Bookstores!
It began this way:
"Want a shock? Go to your favorite Christian website, more specifically, to the page where they sell books. Type the names of known heretics and false teachers into the site's search engine; names of authors from the church growth movement, emerging church movement, Word Faith movement and even the New Age and see what pops up on the screen for sale. Brace yourself though, because you're probably going to be surprised. Believe it or not, some Christian bookstores are even selling the published works of homosexuals, pagans and occultists! But that's not all."
In a follow-up column, I published an open letter to American Family Association's, Tim Wildmon, questioning some rather disturbing contradictions between what he publicly opposes and what AFA offers for sale in their American Family Resource Center online. In the open letter article entitled, Dear Mr. Wildmon, one of my questions to him was:
"Why do you interview authors like Brian Flynn on your Worldview Weekend radio program about the dangers of new age mystical practices like Contemplative Prayer, as if you oppose it, when you've been selling the books of New Age and Contemplative authors from your American Family Resource Center all along?"
After apparently taking some heat for it over the last few months, Wildmon rationalized it all away in a brief yet revealing response published by his dear friend and loyal associate, Brannon Howse, over at
Tim Wildmon, President of the American Family Association Responds
Now, there's this little pious piece from the Southern Baptist Convention's own Baptist Press, criticizing Wal-Mart for selling pro-homosexual books over the internet - informing their readers that entering words like "gay" into Wal-Mart's online bookstore search engine would reveal problematic authors and titles:
Wal-Mart still dabbling in support of homosexual agenda
In all their righteous indignation, the Baptist Press had this to say:
"By offering book selections that cater to the gay and lesbian crowd, America's top discount retailer is demonstrating a desire to satisfy a vocal minority at the expense of losing the support of a large demographic that helped make Wal-Mart the successful business it has been for years…
But across the country, Southern Baptists are hard at work spreading the word about Wal-Mart's behavior. Donna Garner, a retired English teacher, is an example of a leader in the grassroots effort to help Wal-Mart live up to the family friendly description the company gives itself.
'I think we've done a pretty good job in our country of letting Wal-Mart know we've not been pleased at all with their decision to back the homosexual agenda,' Garner, a member of Highland Baptist Church in Waco, Texas, told Baptist Press.
Garner is part of a vast network of Christian women who use e-mail to monitor cultural developments such as Wal-Mart's initiatives toward improving its service to homosexuals…
'I just think it's very sneaky of Wal-Mart and really unnecessary to carry those books on the Internet,' Skeet Workman, a member of Garner's e-mail network and a Texas Baptist leader, said. 'They present one face in the store and yet they cater to another group online.'"
So, what's wrong with that, you ask?

Well, if you go to the website, click on the Master List, scroll down to the section subtitled, Homosexual/Lesbian/ Transgendered/Pro-gay, and enter each of the names listed there into the Southern Baptist Convention's search engine, (select keyword: "author,") you will find numerous examples of the double-standard that continues unabated in the online Christian bookstore industry.

"Woe unto you…hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness." - Matthew 23:27
Related Articles and Websites:
1. Beware of Christian Bookstores!2. Dear Mr. Wildmon3, Tim Wildmon, President of the American Family Association Responds4, Wal-Mart still dabbling in support of homosexual agenda5, Christian Research Service6, The Master List7, LifeWay Christian Stores8, American Family Resource Center
© 2007 Paul Proctor - All Rights Reserved

Thursday, January 25, 2007

from Anton Bosch and Herescope

Discernment Ministries gets quite a bit of e-mail on today's topic. Many people are disturbed by the easy-believism "gospel" message that so many churches are teaching. The message of the Cross, and of repentance from sin, and conversion are missing! Today's post is a brief message by Anton Bosch on this important subject.

False Hope

Many people live in false hope. It is on false hope that every casino makes its dirty money and that every crook uses to lure his victims to invest in questionable schemes. The sad thing is that the victim is as much to blame as the con-artist. While it is terrible to see people live in the false hope that their ten dollars are suddenly going to become ten million, it is even worse to see people gamble with their souls and eternity. People who put their trust, hope and confidence in a religion that cannot save them are to be pitied. But the men who assure people that everything is well, when it is not, are to be condemned.

Most of us have probably been to funerals where the preacher assured everyone that the departed has gone to “a better place.” Many of us have also known deep down in our hearts that it is more likely that many of the poor departed have gone to hell because of the evidence of their lives. (I know that God alone is the judge, but the Bible also teaches that we will know men by their fruit.) No matter how much the preacher wants to comfort the grieving family, to lie about such a serious thing is inexcusable, especially when those preachers are also implying that the living can continue in their sin, and in the end we will all go to heaven – together with our dogs and cats.

But an even greater crime is the thousands of preachers of all denominations that see it as their mission to give people some “assurance of salvation” when there is no evidence that the poor individual is actually born-again. I clearly remember as a young preacher, how my elders taught me to point people to certain pet verses in the Bible (like John 1:12) that will give them an assurance of salvation. Many Bibles that contain lists of Scriptures appropriate for different circumstances also contain a list of verses that will give the reader assurance of salvation. It seems every preacher has in his arsenal a bunch of sermons that will assure people that they are saved.

The typical conversation with someone who is uncertain usually goes something like this:

Inquirer: “I don’t feel I’m saved.”

Counselor: “We don’t go by feelings but by faith. Did you ask Jesus into your heart/pray the sinner’s prayer/respond to the appeal?”

Inquirer: “Yes.”

Counselor: “Then you are most certainly born-again – just believe it and quote John 1:12.”

I’m sure this conversation takes place many times every day in every part of the world. But is this the truth?

No, it is a pack of lies. How can anyone assure someone they are saved when the sinner has not truly come to salvation? Is our job to make people feel comfortable and secure or is it to snatch souls from the flames and to make absolutely sure that people have been truly born again by the Spirit of God? (By the way, the same thing happens when people are assured they are filled with the Spirit when the evidence says that they are powerless and unchanged, if they are even saved!)

I know these are strong words and that a few dozen readers have stopped reading and are unsubscribing from this mailing list right now. But are we interested in the truth or our Evangelical traditions? The truth is that many of the criteria that counselors use to judge whether an individual is born again or not, are thoroughly unbiblical and false.

Where does it say that we are born again because we asked Jesus into our heart, prayed the sinner’s prayer, slipped our hand up or responded to the altar call? It may be written in evangelism manuals but it is not in the Bible. And before you rush to remind me that John 1:12 says: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God” and that this surely covers inviting Jesus into your heart – The fact is that “receiving Him” and “asking Jesus into your heart” are two totally different things. By “receiving Him” John means we receive Him as our Savior, Lord and Master and that we submit to all the claims He may make on us. I very much doubt that most of those who asked Jesus into their lives ever meant that they would accept His Lordship and that they would be obedient to Him - no matter what. In fact, the next verse says: “who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:13). This clearly says that to be born again is not something we can do for ourselves but it is something that God has to do. Where on earth did we get the idea that it was something that was totally dependent on what I have done?

The New Testament does not give glib, easy assurances of salvation but rather instructs us to “examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.” (2Corinthians 13:5). And “let each one examine his own work” (Galatians 6:4). And “since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it” (Hebrews 4:1). And “looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God” (Hebrews 12:15).

Can we not know for sure that we are saved? Yes we can. Paul says “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2Timothy 1:12). John says “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life” (1John 5:13). BUT, that assurance has to come from two things:

First, there needs to be an inner witness of God’s Spirit that we are indeed His. Romans 8:16 says: “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” 1John 5:10 says: “He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself.” How dare we tell people they are born again when God does not bear witness to that fact? The problem is that there are far too many people running around claiming they have the witness of God simply because they have been brainwashed into believing a lie.

Second, there needs to be external evidence (fruit) of the fact that we are born again. Let me make it simple: If your life has not changed – you are not saved. How difficult is that to understand? Being born again will be evidenced by new desires, new habits, new lifestyles, new values, new language, new friends, new thought patterns, etc. If the fruit is rotten, the tree is rotten, simple as that. You can tell a rock as many times as you like that it is a child of God, it does not change the facts.

Are we then to leave people in a state of uncertainty? Yes – until they find their assurance from the only One who has the right to give that assurance! I know that this means people may need to spend time on their knees and in the Bible. Since when is seeking God’s face and wrestling with eternal issues bad?

True Hope

"For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith." (Galatians 5:5)"We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:" (Colossians 1:3-6)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

From the Berean Call

This post from my friends and brothers and sisters in the Lord at The Berean Call is near and dear to my heart.
Its always confounded me those who post here somtimes that have stated that the Bible is full or errors.
And then they want to argue scripture.
If you dont believe the Bible is true and without error, sorry pal you have no right to argue scripture.
Here is the post enjoy-

TBC: Sam Harris' "Letter to a Christian Nation" is one of the latest attempts to attack biblical Christianity. The book contains a number of zingers which are getting wide exposure. Here is one: "[M]ore than half the American population believes that the entire cosmos was created 6,000 years ago. This is, incidentally, about a thousand years after the Sumerians invented glue." Harris has a problem. His proof is based upon an assumption rather than hard science. It is instructive, however, to illustrate how quickly atheists abandon science if it suits their purpose. Consider the following remarks by Dr. Randall Price.]

Archaeology has demonstrated that the Sumerians, who lived in southern Mesopotamia (Sumer), existed during the third and early second millennia B.C. (i.e., 3,000 -2,500 B.C.). This date has been determined in part from the recovery of cuneiform tablets which shows that "Sumerian" was the earliest real writing system in the world (appearing around 3,200 B.C.). It was this writing system that half a century later was adapted to Semitic languages like Akkadian and eventually for many others (Elamite, Hurrian, Uratian, Hittite). The age of this writing system (cuneiform) was derived by epigraphists through a comparison with other writing systems which have revealed a dependent development of the alphabetic script. Based on this it was possible to construct a hierarchical (therefore chronological) relationship for the culture that produced them.

This date, however, is only about half that given by Sam Harris. He must be using some source that postulates the origin of the Sumerians as going back into the paleolithic times. It should be understood that the farther back in time we go with a civilization the less data we have for it. There are a number of reasons for this, but the chief one is that there simply has not been good preservation for the most ancient (paleolitihic) remains. With respect to Sumer, which is thought to be the first great civilization in the Middle East, there is significant debate as to origins, and we do not have archaeological data, such as human remains, to provide such extreme dating.

For the sake of accuracy I have cited below the pertinent facts concerning the question of origins from the entry on the Sumerians in the standard reference: The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East (Oxford University Press, 1997) prepared under the auspices of the American Schools of Oriental Research and edited by Eric M. Meyers. The citation is from volume 5, page 96 under the subtitle "Origins":

The origins of the "Sumerians" have been widely debated, and there is little consensus on the issue. Much depends on how one phrases the question. Although evidence for human presence exists in western Asia far back into paleolithic times, the first such evidence in southern Iraq is relatively late for there are no archaeological remains preceding the sixth millennium (5,000 B.C.) . . . . The earliest-known settlement in Sumer has been excavated at the small site Tell el-Oueli. The lowest levels of this hamlet are earlier than the hitherto attested phases of the Ubaid culture, which is attested in northern Mesopotamia, in Sumer, and on the shores of the Persian Gulf . . . however, those resemblences do not mean that these people migrated from other areas. Although the earliest level at Oueili is unique, the later archaeological levels can be linked to developments at other southern sites such as Eridu and Ur and from this time on there is an unbroken series of related archaeological cultures in southern Mesopotamia. Archaeological cultures are modern constructs and cannot be easily linked with ethnic, linguistic, or political units; nonetheless, for almost a century scholars have attempted to find a break in this development attributable to a possible invasion of a new people -- the Sumerians. This search has largely been abandoned in recent times . . .Attempts to identify physical characteristics of the occupants of Sumer have not been successful because few skeletal remains of the early inhabitants have been found and subjected to modern morphological analysis. Even if such remains were found, we would learn little about the identity of these people as the very notion of race in the physical sense is an imaginary category. (Randall Price, World of the Bible Ministries, 1/3/07)

Just Whos Using Whom For What In North Korea

This is a very good article from my friend and brother in the Lord-Paul Proctor.

I would like to hear what you think.

As you read this or any article by Rick Warren consider this quote from Rick himself.

Question to Rick Warren

Does it help to have an accountability group?

Ricks answer.

I think accountability is overrated. It works only if you want it to. If I don't really want you to know the truth, you're not going to know the truth. The guy I just quoted had an accountability group.


By Paul Proctor
July 12, 2006
"A collective gasp arose from the worshippers. Then, claps and cheers," reported Sarah Price Brown in the June 27th issue of Religion News Service.
"Evangelical pastor Rick Warren has been invited to preach this summer to some 15,000 Christians in North Korea, a communist country infamous not only for its nuclear threats but also for its religious persecution.
Warren, author of the bestselling book, "The Purpose-Driven Life," said he would make the trip as part of a nearly 40-day journey to meet with the leaders of 13 foreign countries."
Ah yes, of course; "40 Days," the Purpose Driven lucky bible code number for all godly ventures. I wonder what the number "13" represents?
The article continues with Pastor Rick breaking the news to his infatuated flock a couple of days prior to the story's release:
"'I want to ask you to pray for me,' Warren told about 5,000 worshippers at his Saddleback Church on Sunday (June 25). He said he would be embarking on a 'grueling' tour, meeting with presidents, business leaders and pastors in countries such as Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Rwanda and South Korea, where he would preach at the world's largest church."
Have you ever wondered why he never brags about preaching in small churches and meeting with unknown people who've never heard of him or his book in out-of-the-way and unimpressive places? Every story he tells about himself always seems to include some person, place or thing, whether exotic, famous, infamous, controversial, sensational or dangerous, to make him somehow look more important, courageous, sacrificial, special, successful or spiritual than everyone else, which in turn teaches his audience, by example, to go and do the same. What a contrast to the humility of Jesus Christ, the Humble Shepherd he claims to follow.
"And he [Jesus] said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God." - Luke 16:15
Last year Rick addressed the Pew Forum's biannual Faith Angle conference on religion, politics and public life about three foundations he established and something he calls "reverse tithing:"
"…my wife and I made five decisions…we set up three different foundations. One is called Equipping the Church, which we use to train pastors in third-world countries. The other is called Acts of Mercy, which we use to help those infected with AIDS. And another one is called The Global PEACE Plan, which I'll share in just a second…The fifth thing we did was become reverse tithers…We give away 90 percent and we live on 10." (Underscore added for emphasis)
In fact, in one televised interview I witnessed, he point-blank stated that the money he received from book sales goes to his foundations. Well, as far I'm concerned, what he does with his money is his business, whether he tithes 10% or 90%; that is until he starts using it to deceive others and exalt himself in the process.
If indeed HIS 90% goes to HIS foundations for HIM to use as HE sees fit, wouldn't this kind of "reverse tithing" actually mean he's giving his millions back to himself to fund his own Purpose Driven programs, agenda, expenses and ego under tax exempt status, rendering the money held on account "for charitable causes" still under HIS control either directly or indirectly?
Why does the story of Ananias and Sapphira come to mind in Acts, Chapter 5?
"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." - 1st Timothy 6:10
Did Jesus tell the rich young ruler to take his wealth and establish benevolent organizations to help the poor and impress people with his generosity? No; because the rich young ruler was relying on the power of money, rather than the power of God, he needed to get rid of it to get rid of his ego, not just find a clever way of using it to glorify himself under a guise of godliness. Jesus' primary objective for telling him to sell all that he had and give it to the poor was not to see that the poor got financial aid, it was to free the rich young ruler of that which ensnared him. And, whether Warren knows it or not, his highly-acclaimed offerings still pale alongside the poor widow's mites.
So, if Pastor Warren is going to continue to use this "reverse tithing" shtick for the cameras and crowds, he should probably explain it in a little more detail; because as long as the money remains under HIS supervision and direction, it's still HIS money even if he calls it a 90% tithe.
Furthermore, he would do well to revisit the scriptures where Jesus warned about doing "your alms before men, to be seen of them," which includes, not only tithing but good works, as well; because he seems to think the Lord has no objection to him boasting of that which is "highly-esteemed among men;" particularly those things that keep him in the headlines and keep reporters, camera crews and satellite hookups standing by to broadcast poignant segments of his "grueling tours" around the world for all to see?
"Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly." - Matthew 6:1-4
One of the perils of pragmatism is believing that the Risen Lord and the fallen world think and act alike.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." - Isaiah 55:9
Meanwhile, back at the Saddleback ranch, Warren continues his big announcement:
"And then, he told the crowd, 'I've received another invitation.' Warren said North Korea would allow him to preach in a stadium seating 15,000, but that he could preach in a larger venue if he could fill the seats."
According to the RNS reporter, this is when the gasping and applauding broke out. Church growth gurus, you see, LOVE gaspers and clappers as much as they do large venues and big crowds. They picked up this part of their value system from the folks over in nearby Hollywood; and since they don't yet sell tickets at Saddleback to get a box office tally of their triumphs, they've made THIS their principal measure of success. It means they've made an emotional impact on the world around them, which, in their view, translates into life-changing experiences, great spiritual victories and "revival;" all part of Warren's Global P.E.A.C.E. plan to build "God's Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven," something Jesus never commissioned us to do.
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." - 1st John 2:15-17
And isn't it interesting how the criterion for both the communist regime THERE in North Korea and the church growth movement HERE in America are strikingly similar in that preachers should never offend their hosts or audience by proclaiming something biblical that convicts the conscience, challenges the consensus or shames the stalwarts of the secular status quo - just "fill the seats?" If my memory serves me, Jesus often offended, even chastised the very people that invited Him to dinner, many of whom were leaders in their communities. I guess He failed to appreciate the more expedient aspects of effective church growth during His earthly ministry.
"'God's using Rick Warren as a vessel for peace,' said Sue Foley, a photographer for the church.'"
Well, I don't know about Christianity's God using Rick as a "vessel of peace" but it sure looks like North Korea's god might well be...
Think about; what better way to get a "Christian" president and his "Christian" constituency whose "Christian" country you've been threatening with nuclear attack, to at least temporarily "turn the other cheek," (CGM translation: Look the other way) while you spitefully launch a half dozen or more test missiles into the sky, than to cordially invite their most celebrated pastor to come over and preach his "P.E.A.C.E. plan" the following year? Somebody's buying time here friends.
Has it worked? You tell me. When was the last time you heard the White House talk tough with North Korea? The comments have been awfully calm and conciliatory of late from the Oval office considering the unsettling events of recent days; and because the tentative date for Warren's "preaching" isn't until 2007, it means North Korea can keep "testing" missiles without so much as a Purpose Driven peep from America's president. Pretty slick, huh?
Yeah, I would say Warren's being used by Kim Jong II alright; and probably in more ways than one.
In a related Agape Press article, Jody Brown quoted North Korean activist Suzanee Scholte, chairman of the North Korea Freedom Coalition, as saying this about the trip:
"'This is a Satanic regime,' says Scholte, 'and to go in there and believe that you could actually preach freely is an illusion. It won't do anything to help the church. It will only put the true church at risk, and it will be used as a propaganda piece by the Kim Jong Il regime.' And the Coalition leader wonders what Warren will be able to preach. 'Kim Jong Il has set himself up as a god. Is [Rick Warren] going to say, Kim Jong Il is not your god - God is God?' she asks. 'They are raised to believe Kim Jong Il is god and that the God we worship doesn't exist. And so, what is he going to preach?' Scholte says she fears that after the event is over, anyone who is perceived to be a real Christian will be 'rounded up and sent to a political prison camp."
So, this would suggest Satan too has something to gain from Warren's visit to North Korea and might also be using him for his own spiritual purposes there, like skillfully retaining for eternity, all those lost souls who will gather to hear the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ preached in 2007 only to be presented with a politically palatable Purpose Driven pep talk, thanks to the PDL pastor's "savvy message tailoring."
At least that's what Rob Eshman, Editor-in-Chief of The Jewish Journal called it when Pastor Warren recently addressed Jews at the Sinai Temple in Los Angeles:
"Warren managed to speak for the entire evening without once mentioning Jesus - a testament to his savvy message-tailoring."
But I guess as long as their synagogues become Purpose Driven, that's really all that matters, huh? It's OK to reject Jesus Christ as long as they accept Rick Warren.
"But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." - Matthew 10:33
Eshman also noted THIS about Warren in his subsequent editorial:
"As I sat listening to him speak at Sinai Temple's Friday Night Live Shabbat services last week, I thought of the only other person I'd met with Warren's eloquence, charisma, and passion - but Bill Clinton carries a certain amount of baggage that Warren doesn't."
How about, same persona, different baggage?
In a July 5th Associated Baptist Press article by Hannah Elliott, Christian radio host and columnist Ingrid Schlueter summed up Warren's upcoming visit to North Korea this way:
"…Warren won't 'call the communist faithful to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ' because he preaches a 'man-centered, counterfeit gospel.'
'Not for a moment do these leaders worry that they will have a Christian revival on their hands by letting Mr. Warren speak,' she said. 'Rick Warren is loved and feted because his message is absent the cross and Christ's call to die. That's why he is popular and politically useful.'"
Elliott added:
"Warren acknowledged his trip could be used by the Korean government for propaganda or further persecution but said it is worth the risks.
'I know they're going to use me, so I'm going to use them,' he said.'"
Well, isn't that courageous? Pastor Warren is ready and willing to sacrifice the health, safety and wellbeing of every Christian in North Korea to plant his Purpose Driven flag on communist soil where everyone EXCEPT the Church of Jesus Christ has something to gain, unless of course you consider intimidation, persecution, imprisonment, suffering, torture and martyrdom to be "gain."
Now, I don't know about Rick using the North Korean government, but he sure seems to have no problem using North Korean Christians; but then again, in the church growth movement, "the end justifies the means;" so I guess we should all just Praise The Lord and pass the body bags, is that it?

And if you think the United States government is going to sit idly by while the President's prominent PDL pal pops in on the "axis of evil" to help them find their purpose beneath the rockets red glare, you need to turn the TV off and get a clue. If things don't work out to his "divine" satisfaction, I'm sure Kim Jong II would have no qualms about sending the good reverend home aboard a Taepodong-2; so, Bush and company had better be VERY seeker-sensitive about how THEY use "The People's Pastor" over there in North Korea.

But I suppose, in the final analysis, when all is said and done, the Lord, in His own Sovereign and mysterious way, will ultimately take this mess called mankind and somehow manage to use us ALL for His glory and purpose - and yes, believe it or not, even Rick Warren and Kim Jong II.
"The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil." - Proverbs 16:4
Related Articles:
1. Rick Warren to Preach in Communist North Korea2. Myths of the Modern Mega-Church3. North Korean Activist Objects to Warren Visit4. Jesus' Man Has a Plan5. Crazy Kim Jong II of North Korea and Rick Warren Working Together For What Purpose?6. Baptist Pastor, author Rick Warren invited to speak in North Korea7. Purpose Driven Pastor To Preach In North Korea
© 2006 Paul Proctor - All Rights Reserved
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Paul Proctor, a rural resident of the Volunteer state and seasoned veteran of the country music industry, retired from showbiz in the late 1990's to dedicate himself to addressing important social issues from a distinctly biblical perspective. As a freelance writer and regular columnist for, he extols the wisdom and truths of scripture through commentary and insight on cultural trends and current events. His articles appear regularly on a variety of news and opinion sites across the internet and in print.

from Lighthouse Trails

There have always been attempts to silence truth. It happened in the Old Testament days when God's prophets were killed. It happened to the disciples after the resurrection and then to a long line of courageous believers throughout history who stood for the gospel message of Jesus Christ.

In a lesser way (I mean not yet with our lives), believers in the Western world are also being silenced when they attempt to defend the Christian faith in the midst of heretical teachings and false doctrines. We hear the stories every week. One evangelist told us that when he showed up at a conference (as one of the speakers), he was told, "Talk about anything you want, but don't say anything negative about Rick Warren." Another person told us that their pastor held up a copy of Ray Yungen's book to his congregation and said, "Do not read this book - it is a dangerous book." Again, another incident took place just this week with a Christian newspaper that lost the support of a long-standing mega-church when the publisher of the paper ran our story (Christian or Christ-Follower? ) warning about contemplative spirituality.

For us here at Lighthouse Trails, threats are issued (warning us to stop), untrue statements are posted on blogs and websites, and rumors of lawsuits find their way to our office. When we ask these people to show us where our documentation is faulty, there is silence. The facts speak for themselves, and thus we continue (by the grace of God) to make them available for others to see. And we know that many of you are working hard also to warn, beseech, and plead with those for whom you care. May God strengthen you in your efforts, and may we remember those who have gone before us and paid a much higher price than we have had to pay - they paid with their lives. May we as Christians in this century stand in the strength of the Lord, according to His power and grace.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Disarming “Shoot First” Apologetics by Jill Martin Rische

I found this article on Berit Kjos website.

It is well worth taking the time to read.

It is a sad fact of Church History that Christians spend a great deal of time arguing with each other. A recent example of this is Dr. Richard Mouw, President of Fuller Theological Seminary and his dispute with the late Dr. Walter Martin. In his article, published by Christianity Today (November, 2006), Mouw implies that Walter Martin practiced “Shoot First” Apologetics (a polemic title)—and that he knew better—after being warned against it by his good friend and mentor, Donald Grey Barnhouse.
To support his point, Mouw quotes an illustration on bluebirds and grackles given to Walter Martin by Donald Barnhouse. Apparently, the two men had been talking out at the Barnhouse farm, where Barnhouse walked the grounds shooting pesky grackles [aggressive blackbirds], and Barnhouse gave an Martin an object lesson on how one must be careful (when aiming at birds and people) to shoot only the grackles.
But there is a logical fallacy in Richard Mouw’s argument that is surprising, considering his place in academia. Mouw chose to set up a Straw Man argument, a caricature of Walter Martin and his approach to apologetics, instead of representing him fairly. The birds Barnhouse shot on his farm were far away; Walter Martin’s meticulous research brought him up close to the grackles. He aimed precisely. It seems as if Mouw never read a footnote in any of Walter Martin’s work. Martin quoted primary source material—he meticulously identified his targets using their own intelligence.
Two more serious errors Mouw makes are these: First, ignorance of his two subjects, Walter Martin and Donald Barnhouse. If Richard Mouw knew Walter Martin at all, he would be familiar with the story he always told about his friend, Rocky Marciano, the Heavyweight Champion of the World. In it, Marciano gives a great sermon illustration with his “peek-a-boo” style of boxing: “If I was fighting a guy like you, Walt,” he said,
“And you could hit anywhere near as hard as I could, you would annihilate me. I’d never get close enough to hit you. I learned that long ago, so I developed a style: Cover-up, peek-a-boo. I took the blows on my arms, my shoulders, and sometimes on my face—five, six, seven, eight to one—because I knew if I could get in close enough, I could take them out with one shot.”
My father loved this illustration. Get in close with the Word of God, whatever it takes: this accurately describes the apologetic style of Walter Martin. He never advocated aiming in ignorance from far away.
It seems as if Richard Mouw did not know Donald Barnhouse, either. In academic research, context is everything, but Mouw chose to leave out the historical context surrounding this story. He left out the fact that Barnhouse loved and supported Walter Martin—and my father loved and respected him. This close relationship meant that Barnhouse would have rebuked my father privately and publicly if he truly believed Walter Martin used “Shoot First” Apologetics. He also left out the fact that Donald Barnhouse did not shy away from confrontation. He believed quite strongly in the power of Negative Thinking. The proof of this lies in another story my father told about Barnhouse:
“I’ll never forget the time when my teacher, Donald Grey Barnhouse, told me of a luncheon he had with Norman Vincent Peale—who was then riding the crest of the wave on the power of positive thinking. They had chatted for a few minutes when Peale unexpectedly remarked, “I’d like a candid answer, Donald. I know you’ll give me one. What do you really think of what I’ve written on the power of positive thought?”
Donald Barnhouse was quiet for a moment before replying, “Well, I can only tell you what a great many clergymen have said to me.”
“And what is that?” asked Peale.
“Paul is appealing, but Peale is appalling,” said Barnhouse, irrepressible as ever. “You have forgotten the most important thing. Before anyone can think positively, they must think negatively.”
“What do you mean by that?” Peale asked.
“Look,” said Barnhouse, “I am a sinner. Negative or positive?”
“I am a lost sinner. Negative or positive?”
“I am going to eternal judgment. Negative or positive.”
Dr. Barnhouse smiled, “Those are three negative propositions, without which, you cannot think positively. ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved’ (Acts 16:31). But if you don’t think the first three, you’ll never get to the fourth.”
“I never thought of it quite that way before,” answered Dr. Peale, rather disturbed.
“You must write a new book,” said Dr. Barnhouse, “The Power of Negative Thinking.”
“I can’t do that; it would ruin me!”
“Get out the truth,” said Barnhouse. “The Lord will take care of it.”
He never wrote the book, but Dr. Peale was told what he should do. The truth of the matter is this: Whatever the cost—tell the truth. This is what we must do. Speak the truth in love, but for the sake of Christ, let’s speak it!”

Donald Barnhouse did not mince words. If he told Norman Vincent Peale his opinion of his book, he would have warned the evangelical world against Walter Martin if he thought he was in error. Instead, he named him “The Bible Answer Man” and helped pay for his Master’s degree.
A final mistake Richard Mouw makes is a mix up in weapons. Any familiarity with Walter Martin’s work would reveal that his weapon was the Sword of the Spirit—the Word of God—not a hair-trigger, Ad Hominem gun. Guns kill, and Walter Martin never aimed to kill. He loved people, and the only thing he wanted to kill was the false doctrine that would send them to Hell. My father’s weapon was the Bible, and it is a precision instrument: “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
What kind of apologetics did Walter Martin practice? I think he said it best:
“I love Mormons. I love Jehovah's Witnesses. I love the people in the cults. I care. I'm fighting for their lives; for their souls. That's love. Love isn't this sickly, gooey, syrupy garbage that flows out; where people are forever saying with this plastic evangelical smile plastered to their faces, 'Jesus loves you. Jesus loves you. We want you to be born again.' Butter wouldn't melt in their mouths! In the name of God, people are dying in their sins. You have to tell them more than 'Jesus loves you.' You have to tell them Jesus is going to judge them! If they are not going to receive love, they're going to receive justice. As long as we do not tell the whole story the world will tolerate us. But if we tell the world the whole truth, it will hate us as it hated him. Controversy is part and parcel of the Christian heritage. You cannot escape it if you truly want to serve Jesus Christ.”
Richard Mouw, the man who told Christians they had “sinned against” Mormons and suggested they celebrate Joseph Smith’s birthday, did not write his article from a neutral perspective. I suppose we can all be thankful he acknowledges that grackles do exist in the world today, but it is interesting that in misrepresenting Walter Martin and firing in ignorance from far away, Mouw hit a bluebird instead of a grackle—demonstrating for all to see the essence of “Shoot First” Apologetics.

Jill Martin Rische received her Bachelor’s Degree in Old Testament Literature with an emphasis on the Hebrew language from Oral Roberts University. She is currently completing her Master’s degree in Humanities/History at California State University. Jill is Dr. Walter Martin’s eldest daughter and the author of the inspirational book, Through the Windows of Heaven, 100 Powerful Stories and Teachings from Walter Martin, the Original Bible Answer Man (Broadman & Holman, 1999) and Jack Star and the Secret Door (Kingdom, 2003) a youth fantasy adventure in the tradition of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Kevin Rische and Jill Martin Rische are the Managing Editors on the 2003 edition of The Kingdom of the Cults (Bethany House) working with Dr. Ravi Zacharias as the General Editor. The Risches are also the founders of Walter Martin Ministries and the producers of the nationwide radio program Essential Christianity, featuring Dr. Walter Martin as "The Original Bible Answer Man".

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Honest Sinners and Phony Christians

Great article from my friend and brother in the Lord Paul Proctor-


By Paul Proctor
December 20, 2006
I don't know about you but I'd rather be around an honest sinner than a phony Christian any day. I don't like faux anything. I have almost no tolerance for liars in general and even less for lying Christians. And much to the chagrin of my critics, I unashamedly accept the fact that my writings echo that, week in and week out. Lies are not compassionate - they are cowardly, crooked and void of any confidence in God and have been at the heart of every wicked act since Eve took of the forbidden fruit.
A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a lady in Australia who, after thanking me for my latest article on Rick Warren - a piece in which I pointed out his "penchant for duplicity and doubletalk" - chided me for my "condemning words:"
"Paul, don't you see that your 'tongue' has an unchristian sting? I can accept that you want to have your opinion to be heard on top of the truthful warnings you express in your letters. But why, oh why, do you use condemning words such as 'escapades, infatuated flock, wily ways, wink and wiggle tactics, calamitous, fake humility, egocentric nature, penchant for duplicity and doubletalk, shameless and self-absorbed behavior'…I do like your letters and they are important but I want to share them with others also. Some of my friends, though interested in your reports of dangers, are put off by your throwing of condemning words."
Well, I responded with the following:
"Did Jesus' words have an 'unchristian sting,' as well?
'Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.' - Matthew 23:27
'Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?' - Matthew 23:33
'O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?' - Matthew 3:7b
'O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.' - Matthew 12:34
And how about Stephen's words in Acts before they stoned him to death?
'Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.' - Acts 7:51-53
The point is this: Jesus had zero tolerance for liars and phonies Himself - and His language reflected that. In fact, His harshest words were always directed toward the devoutly disingenuous - religious rogues and professional pretenders who empowered and esteemed themselves by misleading the masses and keeping them in the dark and out of the Kingdom of God for the bounty and benefits of an earthy kingdom over which they, in some degree, reigned.
"Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully…" - Jeremiah 48:10
If I've learned anything over the years about our fallen nature, it's that truth is almost always considered harsh to the unrepentant, regardless of the words that are used to convey it. I dare say the impenitent are more afraid of truth than anything in this life; and more often than not, will accuse their accuser as a diversionary tactic by charging them with being "unloving" and "unchristian," when in reality, they mean intolerant.
You see, after the dialectic church successfully redefined "love" as "tolerance," it became evil to criticize any brother or sister in Christ for their sinful behavior - especially an errant pastor, preacher or church leader - which is precisely why the church is in the sorry state it's in. But as I've said many times before, telling someone the truth is the most loving thing you can do for them, even when they end up scolding you, shunning you, slandering you and turning others against you for doing so. That's why sinners nailed Jesus to a cross, stoned Stephen to death and beheaded John the Baptist - for telling the truth.
Sadly, few Christians today would dare risk their ministry, career, finances, family or friendships, much less their lives, to tell the truth. In fact, I would go so far as to say pastors and preachers are among the worst. Of course many will talk among themselves about another errant clergy member, but typically in private and always off the record. It's like they were required to swear a secret oath back in Seminary to never challenge or criticize a fellow minister publicly for his erroneous teachings or shameful conduct. Instead of making our pulpits profound places of proclamation and poignancy, pastors hide behind them now in a perceived piety that makes the word "Christian" appear synonymous with coward.
"Speaking the truth in love," from Ephesians 4:15, means your remarks are fair and accurate with a dedicated desire to not only warn the unwary of danger and deception but also to see repentance and righteousness from its perpetrators. In spite of the disgraceful example being set by many of those pastoring churches today, love does not answer evil with false flattery and flowery fluff in hopes of being rewarded later with cooperation and camaraderie. (Results & Relationship)
"Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful."- Proverbs 27:6
Unfortunately, the church has been beguiled into believing that withholding the truth is "love," which is why the vast majority of faith-based news agencies, magazines, articles and editorials, both in print and online, are much like today's seeker sermons - little more than cotton candy commentary designed to keep Christians congenially compliant to the corrupt collective by unseen hands that steer society's religious rudder toward a one world religion of peace and unity. (Results & Relationships)

Oh, they delight in chiding the non-compliant for their brazen behavior from the safety of the high-minded herd, especially when it garners them praise and profits from followers; but rarely will today's laodicean leaders or laymen risk anything dear to them by stepping out of the "Christian" crowd to rebuke one of their own for blatant and unrepentant sin, because peace and unity always trumps truth in the business of ministry. You see, it's not about purity anymore - it's about progress and personalities. (Results & Relationships)

And so I conclude another year and another column citing the same quotes I ended my response to the lady from Australia with, in hopes that all of us - sinners on both sides of God's grace - will be more honest in the coming year about ourselves and others and less phony about our faith in Jesus Christ:
"One cannot be the 'salt of the earth' without occasionally stinging the open sores of sin."
"Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men." - Matthew 5:13

A Back- Channel for Peace?

A Back-Channel for P.E.A.C.E.
By Discernment Group
Posted January 1, 2007

“I'm always happy to be a back channel for peace.” Rick Warren, CNN, 12/15/06 [emphasis added]“I will go anywhere in the world if I'm allowed to preach the gospel without hindrance. I'd go to Iran; I'd go to Syria; I'd go to North Korea. A lot of the criticisms have come from people who politicize the Christian faith. To them, politics is more important than winning people to Christ. In fact, I think one of the greatest damages to the church in the last 20 years has been the politicization of the church. I'm also tired of the church being known simply as a political tool and being co-opted by politicians.” Rick Warren interview in Christianity Today, 12/27/06 [emphasis added]
This is curious. This terminology “back channel” isn’t something that people use in their everyday conversation. What does it mean when Rick Warren says he is a “back channel for peace”?To answer this question start out at Wikipedia and look up the term back-channel. This term has specialized meanings in telecommunications, linguistics, diplomacy and business. The latter two meanings seem to be most relevant to Rick Warren’s usage of the term:
“In Diplomacy: A back channel in the language of diplomacy is an unofficial channel of communication between states or other political entities, used to supplement official channels, often for the purposes of discussing highly sensitive policy issues. See also Track II diplomacy.”“In Business: In business, back-channeling is an inappropriate organizational practice that involves bypassing recognized or official communication processes, usually by sharing information anonymously up the reporting structure at least two levels, in order to create vulnerability at the level(s) skipped. It is a means by which lower-level members can manipulate perceived power differentials with a superior through a more senior accommodating manager in the organization. It is generally considered unethical and unhealthy for relationships within the organization.”
Why would Warren be seemingly working in secret when Jesus calls Christians to openly declare His Gospel?Another definition comes from
“Back channel - an alternative to the regular channels of communication that is used when agreements must be made secretly (especially in diplomacy or government); ‘they negotiated via a back channel.’”
This term “back channel” – most often associated with international diplomatic missions – raises some perplexing questions about precisely what Rick Warren was recently doing in Syria, what he was supposed to do in North Korea, and, of course, what he is currently doing in Africa with his Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan. Whatever does this "back-channeling" have to do with the spread of the Gospel message of salvation in Jesus Christ? It is notable that Rick Warren characteristically refrains from presenting the Gospel message of salvation in his public appearances, other than perhaps a brief passing nod to it.Perhaps relevant to this inquiry, note the transformation of the letter “P” in the acronym for P.E.A.C.E. Originally the term meant “Plant churches” – a solidly evangelistic idea that traditionally has to do with the spread of the Gospel message. But that letter soon began to have the additional meaning of “Partner with congregations.” Then it was expanded to the idea of partnering with other entities. Finally, a new meaning of the "P" in P.E.A.C.E. came out on the Fox channel’s Saddleback Christmas Eve service: “Provide hope.” This change may also reflect Rick Warren's emerging new role as an international ambassador for "peace."Track II Diplomacy for P.E.A.C.E.?To answer the questions about back-channeling requires following the links. Back channeling is connected to the idea of Track II diplomacy. According to Wikipedia:
“Track II diplomacy is a specific kind of informal diplomacy, in which non-officials (academic scholars, retired civil and military officials, public figures, and social activists) engage in dialogue, with the aim of conflict resolution, or confidence-building.[1] This sort of diplomacy is especially useful after events which can be interpreted in a number of different ways, both parties recognize this fact, and neither side wants to escalate or involve third parties for fear of the situation spiraling out of control. For example, a Chinese general recently commented that atomic bombs are not out of the question if the PRC and the United States should engage in low-level conflict over the Taiwan question. If the US immediately responded with heavy press coverage and speeches by major officials, the PRC would then be forced to take either of two stances: (1) admission that the general was incorrect, which would inflame the Chinese population and cause grassroots ire and anti-American feeling, or (2) claim that the general was correct, which would be detrimental to world peace and diplomatic relations. Instead, the US would engage in Track II diplomacy to try to understand whether the initial threat was as serious as it seemed to be. Dialogue would be deliberately invited in order to determine the stance of the PRC without creating a confrontational atmosphere.“Although Track II diplomacy may seem less important than Track I (the work of actual diplomats at their embassies), it is many times far more important. Indeed its informal nature often reflects the fact that the issues in question are of deadly seriousness. In the above situation, the United States would at least ask that the other side clearly demonstrate their understanding that they were the ones to make the initial threat, even if no apology was eventually deemed necessary by either side.”
This definition raises many questions about the emerging new role of Rick Warren as a “back channel for peace” in world affairs. To do further research on Track II diplomacy follow the links. Follow the link at the bottom of the Track II diplomacy Wikipedia definition to: "Track II (Citizen) Diplomacy" posted at The Beyond Intractability Knowledge Base Project. There one can learn the answers to the question: “Who are Track Two Intermediaries and Diplomats?" This article should be read in its entirety, including its many interesting links. Below are a few key excerpts:
“The term ‘intermediary’ refers to people who become involved ‘in the middle’ of a conflict. They are not disputants, but rather people who try to work with the disputants to resolve the conflict or transform it to make it less destructive.…“At the inter-group or international level, the term encompasses a number of different terms: ‘track two diplomacy,’ citizen diplomacy, ‘multi-track diplomacy’" supplemental diplomacy, pre-negotiation, consultation, interactive conflict resolution, back-channel diplomacy, facilitated joint brainstorming, coexistence work. While differing in emphasis, agenda, and theoretical approach, these initiatives share many common goals. They attempt to provide an environment that is low-key, non-judgmental, non-coercive, and safe, and to create a process in which participants feel free to share perceptions, fears and needs, and to explore ideas for resolution, free of the constraints of government positions. The process is designed to encourage the development of mutual understanding of differing perceptions and needs, the creation of new ideas, and strong problem-solving relationships.“Normally, informal intermediaries are non-governmental actors, such as religious institutions, academics, former government officials, non-governmental organizations, humanitarian organizations, and think tanks, among others.…” [emphasis added]
This article further goes on to describe the functions of these “Informal Intermediaries” in the role of global peace. Note the graphic diagram in this article. It is fairly easy to place Rick Warren’s recent trip to Syria in this Track II diplomacy context. Particularly note the references to the international “peace” process. The focus here is on building relationships between two warring parties. This goal may seem commendable on the surface, but dig deeper into the articles on this website and one begins to learn some disturbing information about how this “peace” process is conducted. These descriptions place Track II diplomacy solidly in the arena of conflict resolution, common ground and the dialectic process.Note the emphasis below on the assessment process to ensure that attitudes and relationships have been changed.
“Contributions of Unofficial Interventions
“Assessing the impact of unofficial intermediation in intractable conflicts is difficult. These initiatives are generally not designed to achieve the goals of traditional diplomacy; they are not designed to produce agreements, nor to affect major shifts in policy in the short term. Rather, they seek to affect more intangible factors of intractability, such as attitudes and relationships that are more difficult to measure, and whose contribution to change in the broader conflict environment is difficult to assess. Even when the impact of the interventions on participants' attitudes and relationships can be measured, the significance of these ‘micro’ level achievements for the larger conflict resolution process is often not clear.”…“Changed Perceptions of the Conflict“Unofficial intermediation also addresses the psychological and social dimensions of the conflict. Participants identify underlying needs, values, and interests that are compatible and that can form the basis for a new definition of a common problem that the two sides share an interest in solving. As a result of deeper understanding of the other side's needs, they also develop a greater openness to abandoning previous non-negotiable positions.” [emphasis under subheadings added]
This “peace” process entails strengthening the voices of moderates” and, at the same time, building “social networks” as an “infrastructure for peace.” In this context, it becomes necessary to ameliorate the extremes. And, according to some definitions, fundamentalist Christians could be considered to be extremists. There is a link to an article “Dealing With Extremists” which raises some deeply disturbing issues. It should also be read in its entirety. Again, notice the emphasis on beliefs and attitudes:
“Defining Extremism“Extremism is a complex phenomenon, although its complexity is often hard to see. Most simply, it can be defined as activities (beliefs, attitudes, feelings, actions, strategies) of a person or group far removed from the ordinary.” [emphasis added]
Particularly note that those who hold end-time eschatological views are considered to be “extremists.” Note also that “extremists” are considered to be mentally ill:
“Extremism emerges from apocalyptic, eschatological (end-of-life) ideologies. Extremist activities are often committed and valued because they are consistent with broader myths or systems of meaning.…“Extremism is a pathological illness. This perspective views extremism as a disease and a way of life where people look to violence to provide a feeling of aliveness. Greun (2003) writes, ‘The lack of identity associated with extremists is the result of self-destructive self-hatred that leads to feelings of revenge toward life itself, and a compulsion to kill one's own humanness.’[2] Thus extremism is seen as not a tactic, nor an ideology, but as a pathological illness, which feeds on the destruction of life.” [emphasis under subheadings added]
Notice also that those holding “extreme” beliefs are characterized as potentially violent. There is no provision for Christians who hold to fundamental beliefs, who non-violently (i.e., with non-resistance) peaceably live out their faith in conscience and conviction (“non-negotiables”).Of relevance to this discussion is the section of this article that describes how to deal with extremists. These are strategies that many will recognize in the microcosm of problems they experienced while in purpose-driven churches. These strategies include: elimination, divide and conquer, isolation, intergroup cooperation against extremism, expanding the middle, covert negotiation chains, contradictory strategies, intragroup work, overt engagement, and Peace building.That last link to Peace-building is also an interesting article. Perhaps readers will draw some further parallels. In these contexts, Rick Warren’s Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan begins to plug it into the notches of “back-channeling” and “Track II diplomacy” to the point where there are some exact fits. Perhaps all of this clarifies the new role of the churches as a “distribution network” across the globe. It may also provide a few answers to the many questions raised about what he was doing in Syria. This is not what evangelical Christianity has been about -- that is up until now. Despite Rick Warren's protestations in the second opening quotation about how the church shouldn't be a "political tool," this activity is "politicization" on a global scale.This isn't about evangelism.The Truth:
"Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:26-28)
© 2007 by Discernment Group

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