Pluralism, Compromise and Apostasy
In my eleven some years at 107.9 Life[less] FM (1993 – 2004) hosting the Sounds of Sunday program I would very often state: “Unity that comes at the cost of the truth is a unity not worth having”. I will never waiver from that assertion. And while I was not muzzled for stating something so patently obvious back then [because the management of that era still held to some semblance of fundamental faith], the same cannot be said of it today. It is fair however to note that the management of Life[less] FM are not alone in their obsessive capitulation to the powers that be in the name of ‘unity’ and ‘popularity’. Perhaps many again need reminding of what the Word of God says happens when people begin to cry out “Peace, Peace”. A cynic however might wonder if it would make any difference.
‘… For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, just as labour pains upon the woman that is pregnant, and they shall by no means escape’. [1 Thes 5:3] CEV
Even the Saviour Himself confirmed it …
"Do not suppose that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. [Matthew 10:34] CEV – Emphasis mine.
By virtue of its founder’s own proclamation that the ONLY way to the Heavenly Father was through Him and through or by NO OTHER, the Body of Christ (Moshiach) must remain foundational and firm despite the taunts of the capitulisers. To compromise on that point alone is to deny the faith all together. And yet that is what we see. People denying the faith by embracing the global tenets of Pluralism in the name of ‘unity’ and ‘popularity’. Former CEO of Life[less] FM Wendy Rush didn’t get it; current CEO of the same Timothy Millar doesn’t get it; Charismatic, Interfaith leaders, teachers and preachers far and wide don’t get it.
The Word of God is clear when it proclaims that believers who have taken up their cross to follow the Messiah will be persecuted not celebrated – hated and despised not loved and embraced. So a discerning person should readily see that a ‘denomination’ of any persuasion gaining the accolades of the world BELONG to the world.
They who seek after the world’s acceptance and favour are worse than whores the Word of God declares:
‘ … You are so clever at finding lovers that you could give lessons to a prostitute’. [Jeremiah 2:33] CEV
Worse still it is a flagrant demonstration of hatred toward God:
‘Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world is constituted an enemy of God. (James 4:4) CEV
Albert Barnes Commentary on the Bible notes:
Ye adulterers and adulteresses - These words are frequently used to denote those who are faithless towards God, and are frequently applied to those who forsake God for idols, Hos_3:1; Isa_57:3, Isa_57:7; Ezek. 16; 23. It is not necessary to suppose that the apostle meant that those to whom he wrote were literally guilty of the sins here referred to; but he rather refers to those who were unfaithful to their covenant with God by neglecting their duty to him, and yielding themselves to the indulgence of their own lusts and passions. The idea is, “You have in effect broken your marriage covenant with God by loving the world more than him; and, by the indulgence of your carnal inclinations, you have violated those obligations to self-mortification and self-denial to which you were bound by your religious engagements.” To convince them of the evil of this, the apostle shows them what was the true nature of that friendship of the world which they sought. It may be remarked here, that no terms could have been found which would have shown more decidedly the nature of the sin of forgetting the covenant vows of religion for the pleasures of the world, than those which the apostle uses here. It is a deeper crime to be unfaithful to God than to any created being; and it will yet be seen that even the violation of the marriage contract, great as is the sin, is a slight offence compared with unfaithfulness toward God.
not that the friendship of the world - Compare 1Jo_2:15. The term world here is to be
understood not of the physical world as God made it, for we could not well
speak of the “friendship” of that, but of the community, or people, called “the
world,” in contradistinction from the people of God. Compare Joh_12:31; 1Co_1:20;
1Co_3:19; Gal_4:3; Col_2:8. The “friendship of the world”
(φιλία τοῦ κόσμου philia tou kosmou) is the love of that
world; of the maxims which govern it, the principles which reign there, the
ends that are sought, the amusements and gratifications which characterize it
as distinguished from the
Is enmity with God - Is in fact hostility against God, since that world is arrayed against him. It neither obeys his laws, submits to his claims, nor seeks to honor him. To love that world is, therefore, to be arrayed against God; and the spirit which would lead us to this is, in fact, a spirit of hostility to God.
Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world - “Whoever” he may be, whether in the church or out of it. The fact of being a member of the church makes no difference in this respect, for it is as easy to be a friend of the world in the church as out of it. The phrase “whosoever will” (βούληθῇ boulēthē) implies “purpose, intention, design.” It supposes that the heart is set on it; or that there is a deliberate purpose to seek the friendship of the world. It refers to that strong desire which often exists, even among professing Christians, to secure the friendship of the world; to copy its fashions and vanities; to enjoy its pleasures; and to share its pastimes and its friendships. Wherever there is a manifested purpose to find our chosen friends and associates there rather than among Christians; wherever there is a greater desire to enjoy the smiles and approbation of the world than there is to enjoy the approbation of God and the blessings of a good conscience; and wherever there is more conscious pain because we have failed to win the applause of the world, or have offended its votaries, and have sunk ourselves in its estimation, than there is because we have neglected our duty to our Saviour, and have lost the enjoyment of religion, there is the clearest proof that the heart wills or desires to be the “friend of the world.”
Is the enemy of God - This is a most solemn declaration, and one of fearful import in its bearing on many who are members of the church. It settles the point that anyone, no matter what his professions, who is characteristically a friend of the world, cannot be a true Christian. In regard to the meaning of this important verse, then, it may be remarked:
(1) that there is a sense in which the love of this world, or of the physical universe, is not wrong. That kind of love for it as the work of God, which perceives the evidence of his wisdom and goodness and power in the various objects of beauty, usefulness, and grandeur, spread around us, is not evil. The world as such - the physical structure of the earth, of the mountains, forests flowers, seas, lakes, and vales - is full of illustrations of the divine character, and it cannot be wrong to contemplate those things with interest, or with warm affection toward their Creator.
(2) when that world, however, becomes our portion; when we study it only as a matter of science, without “looking through nature up to nature’s God;” when we seek the wealth which it has to confer, or endeavour to appropriate as our supreme portion its lands, its minerals, its fruits; when we are satisfied with what it yields, and when in the possession or pursuit of these things, our thoughts never rise to God; and when we partake of the spirit which rules in the hearts of those who avowedly seek this world as their portion, though we profess religion, then the love of the world becomes evil, and comes in direct conflict with the spirit of true religion.
(3) the statement in this verse is, therefore, one of most fearful import for many professors of religion. There are many in the church who, so far as human judgment can go, are characteristically lovers of the world. This is shown:
(a) by their conformity to it in all in which the world is distinguished from the church as such;
(b) in their seeking the friendship of the world, or their finding their friends there rather than among Christians;
(c) in preferring the amusements of the world to the scenes where spiritually-minded Christians find their chief happiness;
(d) in pursuing the same pleasures that the people of the world do, with the same expense, the same extravagance, the same luxury;
(e) in making their worldly interests the great object of living, and everything else subordinate to that.
This spirit exists in all cases where no worldly interest is sacrificed for religion; where everything that religion peculiarly requires is sacrificed for the world. If this be so, then there are many professing Christians who are the “enemies of God.” See the notes at Phi_3:18. They have never known what is true friendship for him, and by their lives they show that they can be ranked only among his foes. It becomes every professing Christian, therefore, to examine himself with the deepest earnestness to determine whether he is characteristically a friend of the world or of God; whether he is living for this life only, or is animated by the high and pure principles of those who are the friends of God. The great Searcher of hearts cannot be deceived, and soon our appropriate place will be assigned us, and our final Judge will determine to which class of the two great divisions of the human family we belong - to those who are the friends of the world, or to those who are the friends of God.
The following article from Berit Kjos of Kjos Ministries exposes a disturbing yet expected trend of compromise and capitulation within the professing Christian church confirming once again that it is indeed in the throws of the long prophesied apostasy.
Trading Truth for Solidarity
From Pentecost to Pluralism
By Berit Kjos
[Pentecost, May 27] progressive Christian churches around the
"It’s not just tolerance, it’s to go beyond tolerance, to principle pluralism. The fundamentalists have a pessimistic view of future, and they have this perception... that there’s an unbridgeable divide between the believer and the unbeliever.... We don’t believe that." Richard Cizik, National Association of Evangelicals
"This is the New Spirituality’s false gospel of Oneness: 'We are all one. Ours is not a better way, ours is merely another way." Tamara Hartzell, In the Name of Purpose - Sacrificing Truth on the Altar of Unity
It's no secret that the today's world system is driven by a vision of global solidarity and spiritual pluralism. We don't know God's precise schedule, but He warned us long ago to prepare for a time of "falling away," when people with "itching ears" would trade truth for myth and reject the "sound doctrine" needed to guard against deception. Do those signs describe our times?
Exposing the dark forces behind this spiritual revolution, Tamara Hartzell quotes occultist Alice Bailey, whose main source of "insight" was her spirit guide, Djwhal Khul:
“The day is dawning when all religions will be regarded as emanating from one great spiritual source; all will be seen as unitedly providing the one root out of which the universal world religion will inevitably emerge. Then there will be neither Christian nor heathen, neither Jew nor Gentile, but simply one great body of believers, gathered out of all the current religions. They will accept the same truths, not as theological concepts but as essential to spiritual living…. Such a world religion is no idle dream but something which is definitely forming today.”
That prediction was dictated by Bailey's demonic mentor in 1947, before the telltale signs of social transformation were noticeable. But the next three decades brought radical changes. Humanistic psychology, multicultural education, the dialectic process, and countless other transformational schemes had been sown and began to bear fruit through institutions and "educational laboratories" across America. Together with data tracking technology, they evolved into increasingly sophisticated programs for manipulating minds, changing values, and undermining Biblical truth. [See Brainwashing in America]
along with universities
embraced the new way of thinking, and soon the revolution swept through churches as
rejected the truth and values that had shaped
Hostility toward unbending Biblical Christianity is rising fast, exposing today's double-minded guides who bend the truth to please people and broaden their influence. Ponder these statements by three trusted models of Christian leadership. Are they teaching God's Truth -- or promoting a more popular postmodern distortion?
1. Billy Graham made this statement during a 1997 interview with Robert Schuller:
"I think everybody that loves Christ, or knows Christ, whether they're conscious of it or not, they're members of the Body of Christ. ...He's calling people out of the world for His name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world or the non-believing world, they are members of the Body of Christ because they've been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don't have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think that they are saved, and that they're going to be with us in heaven."
But God said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel" (Mark ). Faith must be grounded in Truth -- the reality of the crucified and risen Jesus. "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:10-12)
"You may be Catholic or Protestant or Buddhist or Baptist or Muslim or Mormon or Jewish or Jain, or you have no religion at all. I’m not interested in your religious background. Because God did not create the universe for us to have religion. He came for us to have a relationship with him.”
“I have known many people who believe in the Messiah of Jesus, regardless of what religion they are, because they believe in him. It’s about a relationship, not a religion."
3. President George W. Bush fits right in. He, too, has made countless head-scratching comments that turn God's Truth into pluralist proclamations. Do you wonder, as I do, if he really believes what he says? Or is he just trying to please his Christian constituents without offending others?
"In an exclusive interview with ABC News' Charles Gibson, Bush said he believes that both Christians and Muslims worship the same God. 'I think we do. We have different routes of getting to the Almighty,' Bush said."
"The same Creator who names the stars also knows the names of
the seven souls we mourn today," Bush added. "The crew of the shuttle
"Americans of many faiths and traditions share a common belief that God [which God?] hears the prayers of His children and shows grace to those who seek Him. ... There is a power in these prayers [to diverse gods].... I ask the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, each according to his or her own faith, for the freedoms and blessings we have received and for God's continued guidance, comfort, and protection."
Has he forgotten that Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6)?
"I have found my own faith not threatened, but broadened and deepened by the study of Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, and Sikh traditions of faith. And I have found that only as a Christian pluralist could I be faithful to the mystery and the presence of the one I call God.... We believe that God is no way constricted or limited by the traditions, doctrines, dogma, or texts of any one religious tradition.... Through it all, we are connected to the same infinite Source and we are all unified by the same all-inclusive Spirit. For us, Pentecost Sunday will be Pluralism Sunday."
Those misleading statements remind me of a sobering Old Testament warning that we would be wise to heed:
"...you cried out to Me, and I delivered you from their hand. Yet you have forsaken Me and served other gods. Therefore I will deliver you no more. Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen; let them deliver you in your time of distress." Judges 10:12-14
The wonder of Pentecost
Like Diana Eck, the Interfaith
Center at the Presidio promotes the new version of Pentecost:
This interfaith feast is sponsored by Center for Progressive Christianity (CPC). It doesn't claim to be Biblical, but it does present itself as a more accommodating version of Christianity. And it gives us another sobering glimpse of the direction the world is headed. Remember, what seems absurd today may seem "normal" tomorrow. What has been "right" to Christians may soon be reviled -- even in churches:
Pluralism Sunday progressive Christian churches around the
"We don’t claim that our religion is superior to all others.... Pluralism Sunday spreads good news: there is a way to be Christian without making this prideful claim, which has been the cause of so much inter-religious division and misunderstanding.
chapter 2 in the Bible recounts the powerful legend of
Pentecost. When Jesus’ disciples gathered in
God had good reasons for disrupting the
The actual Pentecost was no "legend." An historical event, its wonders were documented by eyewitnesses and ancient historians. On that momentous day, God sent His Holy Spirit to equip His true Church with the life, strength, wisdom and love needed to serve Him anywhere in the world. But only those who believed in Jesus Christ received His Spirit -- the miraculous gift that would transform poor, uneducated fishermen into faithful preachers with the courage to face torture and death in the name of Jesus.
"When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they [disciples and other believers] were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance....
they ["the multitudes"] were all amazed and marveled,
saying to one another, 'Look, are not all these who speak 'Galileans? 'And how is it that we hear, each in our own 'language
in which we were born? Parthians and Medes...
Peter, the humbled disciple who had thrice denied Jesus, stood up to explain. Knowing the joy of divine forgiveness, he shared the good news of Christ's victory through His death, burial, and resurrection. The people were amazed.
"What shall we do?” they asked.
"Repent," answered Peter, "and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.... Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them." Acts 2:38-41
The "enemy" to man's global vision
"...no one religion rightly can claim superiority over all others," says Rev. Jim Burklo, the Presbyterian coordinator of Pluralism Sunday. "More and more people have been exposed to the insight and wisdom in spiritual traditions other than their own. Many folks see the damage that religious chauvinism is doing in the world today, and have turned away from Christianity."
Do those words sound familiar? It might, if you have read our article on Al Gore's "panreligious perspective." Compare Rev. Burklo's views with Mr. Gore's statement Earth in the Balance. Notice his attitude toward those who refuse to compromise their faith:
"The richness and diversity of our religious tradition throughout history is a spiritual resource long ignored by people of faith, who are often afraid to open their minds to teachings first offered outside their own system of belief. But the emergence of a civilization in which knowledge moves freely and almost instantaneously throughout the world has... spurred a renewed investigation of the wisdom distilled by all faiths...."
Postmodern pluralism sounds tempting to the world. Few mention the devastating consequences: spiritual blindness, moral corruption, cultural decay, bondage to lust and cravings, an epidemic of depression and hopelessness, and a growing hatred for uncompromising Christians.
While the Bible warned us it would happen, it also offers wonderful hope:
"...in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! ...all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned..." 2 Timothy 3:1-14
"If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31-32
2. Richard Cizik, representing the National Association of Evangelicals during a panel discussion at Clinton Global Initiative: Mitigating Religious and Ethnic Conflict.
3. Tamara Hartzell, In the Name of Purpose - Sacrificing Truth on the Altar of Unity, Chapter 18. Available online at http://www.inthenameofpurpose.org/
5. Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul, Problems of Humanity, Chapter V - The Problem of the Churches, III. The Essential Truths, 1947. http://bernie.cncfamily.com/spi/bailey/ab_the_new_world_religion.htm. Also quoted in The World Goodwill Newsletter, 1993, No.4. http://www.reachouttrust.org/articles/newage/lucis_pf.htm
6. Billy Graham interviewed by Robert Schuller in 1997. Transcription posted on Pastor John McArthur's website: Billy Graham Believes Catholic Doctrine of Salvation Without Bible, Gospel, or Name of Christ at http://www.biblebb.com/files/tonyqa/tc00-105.htm
7. United Nations, Interfaith Prayer Breakfast, September 2005, transcribed from the audio of Rick Warren’s message available at Lighthouse Trails Research Project, “The New Missiology—Keep Your Own Religion, Just Add Jesus” at http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/newmissiology.htm; below Rick Warren’s quote -- “Listen to entire transcript.” Cited by Tamara Hartzell.
8. Interview with Rick Warren, CNN Larry King Live, Aired
11. National Day of Prayer, 2007: A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America http://www.ndptf.org/press_room/Index.cfm?Entity=4&Department=4&Dept_Order=1&This_TopicOrder=8&This_SubtopicOrder=1#3
Eck, Pluralism Sunday at http://suncath.org/sunburst/index.htm#bookmark03