Thoughts on the Opening Ceremony

It was not as bizarre as I thought it was going to be. I thought it was a technological and artistic marvel; very beautiful and impressive visually. It was spectacular and amazing. My daughter and I enjoyed discussing historical and cultural references, since we studied China a bit this last year. We loved the costumes, the choreography, the colors and the children.

Of course we could not help but notice the obligatory education in the “we are one world” paradigm which the Olympics heavily promotes. After celebrating China, the opening show ends with the “world” coming up out of the stage floor with a duet on top singing about how we are all one world. Screens and hand held posters show hundreds of children’s faces from all around the globe: “all the nations coming together as one world.” Cosmic Humanism is celebrated. Even as they project pictures of God’s creation: the earth, the planets, the sun, moon and stars, sea creatures and humans, God is completely ignored. Man, his diversity and accomplishments, is exalted and celebrated. Nothing has changed with the man-exalting “world system” since the ancient times of the Greek Empire, the tower of Babel and the Flood. And this continues, until the Day of the Lord.

But I was actually encouraged. I loved watching the parade of nations and seeing the faces and national costumes of many different people groups that God has created. It is pretty exciting to look at the parade, with the celebrating and excitement; it reminds us of how God will have His own version of this someday, when His redeemed from every ethnos worships and rejoices before the throne and exalts our Redeeming, Creator God, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I wouldn’t want to miss that for the world.

Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the first born from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us, and released us from our sins by His blood…to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him… Rev. 1:5-7

All nations whom Thou hast made shall come and worship before Thee, O Lord; and they shall glorify Thy name. Ps.86:9

Worthy art Thou….for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. Rev.5:9

And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped……Rev.5:13-14.

Out of Town

Please pray for us, dear friends; we are heading to San Francisco (a 15 minute trip for me) to spend the week doing street evangelism. Folks from all over will be joining together to bring the gospel to The City by the Bay during peak tourist season. There will be open air preaching, gospel literature and tract distribution, and witnessing one on one. I’ll write about it next week when I get back, Lord willing. Please pray for love and unity in the team, witnessing conversations and preaching that honors the Lord and gives Him glory, for seeds to be planted in ready hearts, and for His sheep to be brought into His fold by His grace.

Evangelicals and Everyone Together

In light of the recent “Evangelical Manifesto“, which was approved by Deepak Chopra, this humorous list by John Piper is a welcome diversion from all the insanity currently taking place in the Modern Evangelical church. Here’s a few I really like:

3. They believe that truth really matters.
6. They have backbone and are not prone to compromise principle.
7. They put obedience to Jesus above the approval of man.

Can you guess what #20 is?

Read: 20 Reasons Why I Don’t Take Potshots at Fundamentalists…..

Here are a couple interesting quotes from the Evangelical Manifesto:

“We call on all citizens of goodwill and believers of all faiths and none to join us in working for a civil public square and the restoration of a tough-minded civility that is in the interests of all. ”

“As the global public square emerges, we warn of two equal and opposite errors: coercive secularism and religious extremism. We also repudiate the two other positions. First, those who believe their way is the only way and the way for everyone, and are therefore prepared to coerce them. This position leads inevitably to conflict. ”

“…we are also troubled by the fact that the advance of globalization and the emergence of a global public square finds no matching vision of how we are to live freely, justly, and peacefully with our deepest differences on the global stage.”

“We urge adherents of other faiths around the world to understand that we respect your right to believe what you believe according to the dictates of conscience, and invite you to follow the golden rule and extend the same rights and respect to us and to the adherents of all other faiths, so that together we may make religious liberty practical and religious persecution rarer, so that in turn human diversity may complement rather than contradict human well-being. ”

“…we reach out to people of all other faiths with love, hope, and humility. With God’s help, we stand ready with you to face the challenges of our time and to work together for a greater human flourishing.”

What does all this sound like to you?

My analysis is in the comment section, and here is an article by Berit Kjos:

Article: An Evangelical Manifesto for an Interfaith World.

Natural Disasters

The Burma cyclone and the China earthquake: tens of thousands are dead. There have also been earthquakes in India, Pakistan and Iran. The Indonesia tsunami is still in mind. What if something like that were to happen here?

We know God is in control and that He will work all things for our good and for His glory. We do not fear and we do not despair: we hope in God. We know we are safe in His hands and nothing can harm us spiritually whether we live or die. If we remain, our job is to continue serving Him here. When we are done with our work here, He will take us home.

What would we say to people around us in the aftermath of such a situation? In Luke 13:4-5, Jesus did not explain to the people why the tower in Siloam fell and killed those men, He just warned that unless they repent they will all likewise perish. God is just; He is the judge. Those who do not repent will perish. The message, given boldly but gently in love, is clear: fear God and repent. God will judge the earth in righteousness, and He will judge people individually by the Man He has appointed: the Lord Jesus Christ. The message would be that now is the time to humble yourself, repent of sins against God and turn by faith to Christ.

Ready to Share the Gospel

Being ready to use current events to share the gospel. Several witnessing conversations I’ve had were the result of someone asking me directly about some current event. After 911, I had neighbors literally coming to my door to ask me what was happening, if God “did that”, etc. They were afraid and they wanted answers. In those cases I told them that this was not “God making that happen to us”, but was the act of evil men. But I told them that this was now the time to hear what God is trying to tell you. Then I went into the gospel with them. I shared about how we can only be “safe” in Christ. They listened. The same thing happened with Katrina and the South East Asia tsunami. The same thing is happening now.

Right now we have government billboards asking us, “READY?”(it begs the question!), we have weird things going on with money, food, gas, markets, jobs, weather……..then there’s America slowly uniting with Canada and Mexico…………and lots more. I’m sure you could add to the list.

About a month ago I was in a store, and I heard a group of businessmen talking about the economy, about recession, and they had tinges of panic and fear in their voices. They were seriously asking each other what was going to happen. I often hear people in public, discussing their fear regarding current events. As things change and events happen, people are bewildered and frankly, afraid. Many times people will openly speak to you about how they feel. We need to be ready to lovingly direct people from these world events to dealing with the ultimate issues of God’s righteousness, justice, love, mercy, and the cross of Christ. We need to be ready to share the gospel.

Change Agents in Your Church?

In April, Rick Warren is scheduled to speak at a preaching conference on “how to use the pulpit to address political, social and cultural issues”. What exactly will he tell pastors to teach their congregations? An article by abpnews.com states,

Warren has set a precedent for using his pulpit to speak about global warming and HIV/AIDS and has invited several prominent political figures — including presidential contenders Senators Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) — to speak in his church.

Political, social and cultural issues aren’t what they used to be. Things have been changing. Change agents are hard at work within the church, transforming churches from Christ centered, Spirit-led, Word focused, Gospel proclaiming, called out (from the world) assemblies, into what they would like them to be: communitarian social service distribution centers. The plan involves recruiting Christian churches to work in unity with other religions, the government, and corporations, to solve the world’s social, economic and physical problems.

According to the bible, the church exists to worship the Lord corporately, for fellowship (based on spiritual unity), to train and edify the saints, and to proclaim the gospel message of salvation through Jesus Christ. According to the change agents, the church exists to help supply volunteer labor for the global programs that government and business oversee.

This “three legged stool” cooperation of government, corporate, and “church” does not allow for participating churches or individual Christians to share the gospel in the course of the social work. In addition, “church”, in this communitarian plan, means any “faith based” group of any religion.

I was in the bookstore today and was looking through Everything Must Change, by Brian McLaren. He was basically saying this very thing: traditional Christianity is about man being under the judgment of God and bound for hell, the necessity for substitutionary atonement, and salvation through Jesus for forgiveness of sins to make us right with God. In contrast, he said the emergent view of Christianity is that man has messed up things pretty bad, and must work together to change society and the world, and thus we will find redemption, and we will have the kingdom of God on earth. McLaren re-imagines Jesus and the Gospel, and makes it all about working for a social Utopia. Salvation is not personal redemption, but saving the world through global socialism. That is exactly what Rick Warren was promoting in the Faith and Modernization panel at the World Economic Forum.

Well there you go. What we’ve suspected all along: the Kingdom Now, Purpose Driven and Emergent movements are all related and working for the same thing.

The church is being stripped of it’s power, the Word of God, and the Gospel. It is being recruited to serve the world system, which denies Christ.

Let us resist the change agents, rejecting the invitation to join the world system, doing good to those who have need of help, while never ceasing to boldly proclaim the Gospel, in love.

For more on change agents in the church, visit Crossroad.to, and Herescope; also see ONE Faith for All, pt.3. and Educate Me, which is about replacing Christianity with Humanistic Psychology.

ONE Faith For All, Pt.3

The Davos World Economic Forum not only discusses economics, but many topics related to the globalization of the world, or, phrased differently, the new re-ordered world system.

The Open Forum panel on “Faith and Modernization”, hosted by Tony Blair, consisted of Muslims, Jews and Catholics, and (Protestant) Christianity. Christianity was being represented by Rick Warren, who claims to be a Baptist Evangelical Christian.

The message communicated by the Muslim, Jewish, and Catholic leaders was basically that religions must coexist, common ground must be found, proselytism must stop, extremism, the source of all the problems, must be stopped, and extremists must be faced and controlled. They declared that all believers (adherents to all religions) must work together in unity for world peace, and that it is in “our hands” to change the world.

Mike Gendron, in his article, The Remarkable Formation of the One World Religion, writes that there are two kinds of unity:

Doctrine is what divides the true church from the emerging world religion. The Bible condemns any unity that is not founded in God’s word. False unity is based upon man’s ambitions and is always independent of God (Gen.11:1-9). This type of unity will be a tool of the Antichrist (Rev. 17-18). On the other hand, biblical unity is based on apostolic truth and is a work of the Holy Spirit, not of man (Eph. 4:3,13; 1Cor.12:13)

When Rick Warren spoke, he stated that the future of the world is religious pluralism, and that the world is becoming more religious, not less. He said “we” cannot solve the ‘Five Giants’ (from the P.E.A.C.E. plan) without involving ‘people of faith’ and their religious institutions. In saying this, he implied people of all faiths, and all religious institutions. He boasted of his membership in the Council on Foreign Relations and promoted the philosophy of the three legged stool of government, business and the ‘faith’ sector working together. He explained that this last leg consists of churches, mosques, synagogues and (Buddhist) temples. He talked about how every village in the world has a church, and by church, he meant any house of worship, of any religion. He said the ‘church’ is the only truly global organization, with the largest pool of committed manpower (volunteer laborers).

Warren said that the ‘church’ has local credibility. This he defines as the local imam, pastor, priest, or rabbi. He asked if we (all houses of worship) can work together with business, government and the U.N. to build the three legged stool. He proposed using houses of worship as community social service distribution centers (managed and funded by government and business). He later admits that the ‘purpose’ of the Purpose Driven Life, is to participate as a volunteer in this interfaith plan to change the world. He challenged the audience with “Can we not all get along?”

Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 1Jn.2:22.

and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. 1Jn.4:3.

Who will build the One World Religion? Those who deny the Lord Jesus Christ.

Towards the end the prime minister of Malaysia said that we have “one faith, one faith that all of us believe in!”

Eventually the world will officially declare: “ONE faith for all!”

Sunday Night

There is a gathering tonight of various local churches to praise and worship God. We are meeting at 6pm at Grace Bible church, 2225 Euclid, Redwood City. Come and enjoy the blessing of fellowship.