Brian McLaren

Who is Influencing Whom?

The Church should be full of salt, preserving culture, providing flavor, and being a positive influence in secular society.  Instead, by any measurable standard, immorality is increasing and secular culture is infiltrating and influencing the church in part by creating division and deceiving many.  Whether out of ignorance, fear, or heartfelt but compassion, more congregants as well as church leaders are embracing secular principles and beliefs in the hopes of attracting the world.

Today, Mike and David look at several news stories addressing this subject, including the ongoing controversy at Willow Creek Church as it prepares for its Global Leadership Summit. We also discuss a survey revealing the majority of Christians think God wants them to prosper financially, and the author of ‘The Shack’ claims unbelievers can still be saved even after they die.

 

ARTICLES

Willow Creek Teaching Pastor Resigns over New Allegations against Bill Hybels

New allegations surfaced Sunday against Bill Hybels, founding pastor of Willow Creek Church, leading his successor to announce his resignation. Steve Carter, teaching pastor at the Chicago-based megachurch, announced his resignation on his blog, saying that he can no longer lead the church in light of its earlier responses to the allegations against Hybels.

Hybels stepped down earlier this year after multiple women reported instances of sexual harassment and misconduct. Carter said in his resignation, “The new facts and allegations that came to light this morning are horrifying,”

He went on to explain that he was troubled by the initial response of the church’s elders. Then, their ongoing response did not align with what he believed the church should do. After many conversations with them, he was that there was a “fundamental difference” between his perception of how the church should handle the allegations and that of the elders.

Heather Larson continues to serve as the executive pastor at Willow Creek.

God and his ‘cash back’ bonus

According to a survey conducted by LifeWay Research last year, nearly seven in ten Protestant church attenders (69%) believe God wants them to prosper financially. Nearly four in ten (38%) say their church teaches that God will return blessings to them if they give more money to their church or other charities. A solid one-fourth (26%) agree that to receive material blessings from God, they “have to do something for God.”

…Christian apologist and lecturer Dr. Alex McFarland says that’s not what the Bible says. In fact, he argues it’s a heretical teaching that focuses the Christian’s attention on the gift, not the giver.

“If there’s anything that is very often an obstacle to holiness and to being conformed to the image of Christ, it’s money,” he observes, then asks: “Why would God want to make sure every Christian’s life is filled with that thing that may be the most serious obstacle to Christ-likeness?”

Worship the same deity? Don’t believe it, says American Pastors Network

The APN leader [Sam Rohrer] says it cannot be overstated that the Church must not be complicit in this concerted effort to undermine and make irrelevant the Christian faith and an unwavering belief and truth in Christ Jesus. Toward that end, he’s spearheading an effort to educate Christians about the rise of Islam in America – and that includes answering questions he contends many believers may be fearful or too intimidated to ask.

“Americans generally do not know what Islam is really all about,” he explains. “It’s a political system; it’s a way of life that happens to hijack on the back of a faith. They don’t know that. And most people – and the church in America, in particular – are asleep relative to how Islam and those who promoting it are finding its way into the Church in America.”


Culture Collapse: the Dismantling of Truth & Church

When God is abandoned, truth ignored, and moral relativism accepted, any culture or society suffers as a result. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s happening in America. There are many factors involved including the falling away from traditional biblical doctrines and the past silence of Christians, but what we are seeing today is open rebellion against God as Creator and against the lordship of Jesus Christ. 

Rather than being part of the solution to our nation’s growing immorality, American Christianity has often been part of the problem! Rather than being separate from the pattern of this world, too many professing believers have conformed to culture and then end up justifying their actions and lifestyles. Many have failed to build a solid foundation on Truth, and the end result is compromise or deception. Is the true Gospel preached and understood in your local church or are essential elements missing in action? This is the heart of the issue.

We’re blessed to have Eric Barger of Take a Stand Ministries back on the program today. He is one of many authors included in a brand new book, Deceivers: Exposing Evil Seducers & Their Last Days Deception.

We cover much SO much ground today as we catch up with Eric. We touch on the unprecedented level of media bias, political correctness, and hatred toward President Trump; the LGBTQ agenda advancing full speed ahead, and how well-meaning Christians have practically embraced false teachings.

From the Emergent Church and men (wolves) whose teachings we should avoid, to the sugary sweet preaching we often hear in many American churches, we discuss the importance of context, doctrine, and the lack of depth in the evangelical church today.

Eric Barger says the new evangelicals “have replaced salt with syrup,” adding: “Make no mistake; the postmodern penchant to hear only what they want and to reject the breadth of doctrine may sound sweet to their ears but results in spiritual sickness with incalculable costs.”

More from Eric: the New, Truly Confused Evangelicals, video – “What Do We Do Now?”

SCRIPTURES

Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority. Colossians 2:6-10

Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. 4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Jude 1:3-4

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

ARTICLES

Transgender Role Model, Jazz Jennings: Normalizing An Unnatural Ideology

Robert DeNiro Says ‘F— Trump,’ Gets Standing Ovation from Hollywood

Peter Fonda: ‘Put Barron Trump in a Cage with Pedophiles’ 

Andy Stanley’s Twisted View of Scripture – Eric Barger video

The Damage and Influence of the Progressive ‘Emergent Church’

But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Tim. 3:13-17