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Trading Truth for Solidarity - Part 1

From Pentecost to Pluralism
 

By Berit Kjos - May 2007

 

See also Marching toward Global Solidarity

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emphasis added below


Resources to aid your Understanding

"On Pluralism Sunday [Pentecost, May 27] progressive Christian churches around the US will explore and experience other religious traditions.... We grow closer to God, grow deeper in compassion, and understand our own tradition better by honoring and exploring the world’s religions."[1]

 

"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."[2] 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."[3] 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.[4]  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.”[5]

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]

Seminaries along with universities embraced the new way of thinking, and soon the revolution swept through churches as well. Postmodernism rejected the truth and values that had shaped America -- and pluralism is replacing them. The unthinkable is becoming the norm!

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."[6]

 

But God said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel" (Mark 16:15). 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)

2. "America's pastor" Rick Warren gives a similar twist to the uncompromising Scriptures. Dismissing the Biblical "foundation" for our relationship with Jesus, he cheered his UN audience and CNN listeners with these false assurances:

"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.”[7]

“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."[8]

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."[9]

 

"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 Columbia did not return safely to Earth; yet we can pray that all are safely home."[10]

"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."[11]

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)?

Diana Eck, founder of Pluralism Project at Harvard, is not a "trusted model" of Christianity. Yet, in her promotion of Pluralism Sunday, she echoes the above sentiments:

"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."[12]

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: "On Pentecost Sunday, May 27, 2007, Christian churches across the United States and beyond will dedicate their worship to a celebration of our interfaith world."[13]

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:  

"On Pluralism Sunday progressive Christian churches around the US will explore and experience other religious traditions.... Participating congregations will benefit by being included in national and regional publicity.... creating a special 'evangelism' opportunity to reach out to people who seek open-minded, open-hearted churches....

"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.

"Acts chapter 2 in the Bible recounts the powerful legend of Pentecost. When Jesus’ disciples gathered in Jerusalem, the 'curse of Babel' was reversed, and suddenly people who spoke different languages could understand each other."[1]

God had good reasons for disrupting the Babel building project. He saw the arrogance of ambitious visionaries who sought to control the world through human unity and ingenuity. Now, with UN treaties and global technology, mankind is establishing a far more sophisticated monument to human strength and solidarity. And God, who is "slow to anger," will not be patient with us forever.

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....

"Then 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... visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.'” Acts 2:1-13

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."[13]

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...."[14]

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


Why hate crimes laws would ban Biblical Christianity

Ban truth - Reap Tyranny | Warren's P.E.A.C.E. Plan and UN Goals

Who defines the Kingdom of God?


Endnotes:

1. Center for Progressive Christianity at www.tcpc.org/news/item.cfm?news_id=79

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/

4. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4; 2 Timothy 4:3; Matthew 24:25, 42-44; 25:13; Luke 21:34; 1 Corinthians 16:13.

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 December 2, 2005, Transcript, http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0512/02/lkl.01.html. Cited by Tamara Hartzell.

9. Bush on Religion and God at http://www.biblebb.com/files/tonyqa/tc00-105.htm

10. Comforting Words As a Matter of Faith at www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A16539-2003Feb2&notFound=true

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

12. Diana Eck, Pluralism Sunday at http://suncath.org/sunburst/index.htm#bookmark03 (accessed 5-16-07) and http://allison.zaadz.com/blog/2007/4/celebrate_pluralism_sunday_on_may_27.

13. Interfaith Center at the Presidio at www.interfaith-presidio.org/icpnewsevents.cfm  (Scroll down to "Progressive Christians Celebrate Pluralism Sunday")

14. Al Gore, Earth in the Balance; Ecology and the Human Spirit (Houghton Mifflin, 1992), pages 258-259.


Provided by Berit Kjos

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