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Archive for the ‘Leonard Sweet’ Category

(revised 01/30/15)

I feel privileged to be Facebook Friends with John Henderson, a member of the “anti-Emergent” Facebook Group Concerned Nazarenes. This Facebook Group is attempting to confront and warn members primarily of The Church of the Nazarene denomination.

I, John, and many others are concerned about the doctrinal falling away of many evangelical churches and entire evangelical denominations. Most of these churches are falling away from biblically sound doctrine into the postmodern heresies of Brian McLaren, Tony Campolo, Richard Foster, Dan Kimball, Leonard Sweet, etc. etc.

Interestingly, all of the above individuals have spoken and/or taught at the heretical George Fox University and/or George Fox Evangelical Seminary, schools in the Evangelical Friends Church International (EFCI) denomination. The EFCI was once (relatively) biblically sound.  But, in recent decades, all the Regions of the EFCI (including the once very biblically sound, Wesleyan Holiness EFC-ER) have begun trending quickly into postmodern “progressive evangelical” apostasy.

By the way, John – like myself – is Wesleyan Holiness in doctrine. We hold to the Wesleyan-Arminian position that a born again Christian can turn his or her back on God, walking away into apostasy and “losing” his or her salvation. Technically, we believe in “conditional eternal security”.

So why exactly is the EFCI (and many other evangelical denominations) falling away? There are many factors I’m sure – factors which I will not attempt to enumerate here. But I did find the following post by my friend John Henderson very pertinent. Click here for the original source of this post. Note: I am inserting comments [in brackets] and emphasizing certain points by bolding.

Point of No Return
By John Henderson
12/14/14

This is one of those things where I would welcome, would embrace, having someone tell me I was wrong and showing me how so. It has to do when a person or a group has gone so far in the wrong direction, making wrong choices, and ignoring and neglecting God that they will never return to their better days outside of a divine miracle of intervention.

It happened first in the Garden of Eden. God made it clear to Adam and Eve what the limits were and what would happen if they went beyond them. They went past them and, in the day they sinned, they died spiritually on the spot and physically a few years later. Not only were those the consequences to them but they brought sin and damnation upon all of their descendants that only the Cross of Christ could overcome.

One might argue that God’s creation was perfect and it was impossible for man to undo what God had done. That is a good argument but it was not what happened. Salvation is perfect but man can still trample the perfect redemption.

That is how it is. There is a point where a person can go beyond the possibility of repentance—not because God is powerless but because his or her conscience is so seared by unbelief and rebellion that they cannot come to repentance. Someone has likened it to no longer hearing God’s call because the heart is so filled with animosity to the things of God and the attractions of the world that His call is drowned out by the din of those things. The call has not diminished. The hearing has ignored it so long that it is as though there is no call.

We have a grandfather clock in our hallway. It chimes the Westminster chimes every 15 minutes. Frankly, I do not notice them very often because I am accustomed to ignoring them. A visitor sleeping in a nearby room will often remind me of them. I try to remember to silence the chimes when we have overnight guests.

For this reason, I think a backslider who once followed Christ faithfully is less likely to return than would be a reprobate who has never received Christ. I think of the man who wrote that great song, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” who apparently never made it back. There are statics [sic] that say younger people are more likely to receive Christ than are older people. I often wonder if I would have ever turned to Christ had I put it off at the age of 15 until a later time; had I decided to taste of the world a bit before considering Christ.

There are many sad stories of people who put off salvation so long until all opportunities are gone. I do not like to hear of them but they are out there. Many of them I knew personally.

That same thing is true of once-great churches. I have yet to learn of a backslidden church or denomination that ever returned to its original level of spiritual life, activity, and influence after having started down the road of compromise. The slide was always gradual and hardly noticeable in the beginning. After a while, people started to notice something was wrong and eventually there were those who began to warn about it. There were occasional turnabouts, but not many and not often. Once the fatal drift took hold, it was too late. The cancer of sin had eaten away too much for there to be a recovery. If there ever was to be a cure, it had to be divine, but usually God had been so excluded that He was no longer considered that relevant and His call was no longer being heard.

The good news is that it does not have to turn out like that. There is still that clarion call and most can still hear it. Some will turn to Christ who seemed beyond the call.

I was told that when news got out that I had been saved, there were some who found it unbelievable about me. One person reportedly expressed such disbelief as to say: “Not him! Not that Henderson boy! Anybody but him could be saved!” I am glad that the Holy Spirit thought differently. God may have had to reach a little farther for me but He did. The stain of sin may have penetrated deeply even at my young age, but the Blood of Jesus went deeper than the stain had gone.

I have often thought that my own point of no return was very near then. An accident that should have been fatal convinced me of that. I had come to Christ shortly before the accident—maybe a week, two at the most—and believe I would have perished in the accident if I had put off salvation. I broke my neck in three places in a diving accident and walked away with no permanent damage of any sort.

Genuine revival is still possible. Maybe it won’t look like we used to know or expect, but it can be every bit as real and far-reaching as ever. As long as the Holy Spirit is still with and in us, everything pertaining to the preaching of the gospel is still just as possible as it was in the beginning. That will not change or diminish until Jesus comes again.

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Back in 2010, I came across the Concerned Nazarenes Facebook Group. It was through this Group that I ended up corresponding with Aaron Wright. Aaron, along with his brother Adam and their dad Troy, have a discernment ministry called Foundations Research Group.

Interestingly, Aaron, Adam and Troy had been attending the Evangelical Friends church in which I grew up. This church (as well as many churches in the Evangelical Friends denomination) is increasingly following the postmodern/ Emerging/Emergent teachings of heretics Tony Campolo, Richard Foster, Dan Kimball, Brian McLaren, Leonard Sweet, etc. etc. Aaron, Adam and Troy attempted to “wake people up” in this Evangelical Friends church. Unfortunately, their efforts failed.

Aaron, Adam and Troy now attend a Grace Brethren Church in North Canton, Ohio along with their families. Eric Barger’s 2010 seminar was held at this church.

Troy has written various discernment articles. My Concerned Nazarene friend Manny Silva posted one of these – an article by Troy entitled “Falling Away”. Click here for the original posting of this article. I have emphasized certain points by bolding, and inserted comments in [brackets].

Falling Away
March 29, 2012 by reformednazarene

[Introductory comments by Manny Silva (reformednazarene)]:
The following is from a brother in the Lord, Troy Wright, of Foundations Research Group.  With his sons Aaron and Adam, they work diligently at providing information, as well as teaching, about the many dangers that have come into the evangelical church.  I met them finally last year at an Eric Barger conference in Canton, Ohio.  If you are in Ohio and you need resources or any kind of help in dealing with false teaching, please contact them.

Falling Away
(Troy Wright)

But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. (2 Peter 2: 1-2)

The Bible predicts a “Great falling away from the faith” in the last days shortly before the return of Christ to earth to establish His earthly kingdom. Foundations Research Group is an apologetics/discernment ministry of under-shepherds (sheepdogs) committed to the protection and guarding of the sheep. We seek to support local pastors (shepherds) by providing research and support tools that time prohibits them from gathering on their own.

Our prayer is that you will allow the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and heart to the apostasy that is prophetically sweeping over the church in these last days. May He give you unashamed courage to stand up for Biblical truth in your own church and to expose these false teachings wherever they pop up.

Do not be naïve about the reception you will encounter. You would think that in light of Paul’s instructions throughout his letters to call out and expose deceivers and Christ’s example with the religious leaders during His ministry, committed Christians would have unashamedly cried out the truth long before these teachings established their footholds in our churches. But in the name of Christian unity, love, and meekness the silence has been deafening. But let one small voice boldly speak truth in the face of the deception and suddenly all the Christians grow vocal chords and are emboldened with courage to shout their disapproval…….not at the false teachings……..but at their Christian brother for voicing his “mean-spirited” judgment and stirring up dissension in the church. Thanks to the “seeker friendly” mentality they don’t want to offend anyone by disagreeing openly and suggesting absolute truth. That would appear too “narrow” and would be disrespectful to the heretics……….and we are talking about heresy. The teachers of these apostate movements attack the very foundations of historic, apostolic Christianity as recorded in the Holy Scriptures.

Those of us who have been serving Christ for a generation or more remember when the Bible was revered as the very Words of God Himself throughout the pulpits all across America. We knew that a day was soon coming when the world would forsake the God of the Bible and swear their allegiance to a one-world ecumenical religious system. We recognized through Bible prophesy that we were living in the last days of men’s rebellion against their creator and that the soon return of Christ for His church was right at the door. We assumed that the “great apostasy” preceding His return referred to all those liberal churches of the last 2 centuries and of course Roman Catholicism. Because of the Biblical foundation of our faith, it was easy to discern false doctrine and heresy.

What is so alarming to all of us is that in just three short decades or so, we have watched one Bible-believing church after another fall into disbelief and even paganism until now it’s difficult to find anyone who is willing to stand up for truth in our pulpits. Our fundamental denominations are caving in to ecumenical pressures as their seminaries are filled with liberal professors and new age thought. Due to the feel-good-gospel and the you-can-have-it-now message, our churches are full of false converts who are oblivious to Bible truth and are offended when they hear it. Since they are clueless about Bible prophesy and what’s really going on around them, anyone who sounds a warning is considered a nut, not to mention politically incorrect and socially despicable.

Our war is with the lies of the enemy of our souls. We aren’t directly fighting the wolves who are attacking the flock with their false teachings and books. Our main battles in this war are with the goats……..those church members and leadership who God has permitted to live among us until he separates us at the rapture. They sit in our pews with us and sing our songs. They like hanging out with sheep. Though never really surrendered or regenerated, they intellectually and logically ascent to the same beliefs as we do. They do all the same stuff as sheep but without a life or death commitment to Biblical truth. They actually think they are sheep because of the great works they do…..sheep stuff. They even try to convince the Lord at the resurrection that they are sheep but He tells them “I never knew you.”

Because goats have not surrendered lordship over to Jesus, they are very possessive of their environments. They don’t want anyone messing with their territory. If you try to spiritually take a goat where he doesn’t want to go he will buck you. Goats aren’t concerned about the welfare of the flock but only with the comfort of their own stall. Doctrine is of no importance to goats. You see, sheep eat sheep food…….the pure milk of the gospel of truth. They feed from the hand of the Good Shepherd. They know His voice and eat of The Word. Goats, “on the other hand,” will eat anything. They even eat garbage. They don’t care where it comes from or how clean it is. If they can get it down, they will eat it. Goats especially like goat’s milk. Goat’s milk is that watered-down, low-fat gospel fit for goats who are lactose “intolerant” of the nutritious, pure milk of the gospel. When a pastor offers sheep food from the pulpit, he will fill his church with sheep. If he offers goat’s milk he will fill his church with goats.

I cannot stress enough how lonely this battle is for most people. Most of your friends and relatives will encourage you to keep quiet if you disagree with the church’s new teaching and simply leave the church without a controversy. They always bring up Matthew 18:15-17 instructing you to go to the person privately and not to bring reproach on the church. This scripture is for a brother in sin or for someone personally offended and is out of context when used for false teachers in the church. We are never instructed to be quiet or understanding toward wolves attacking the flock in scripture. As Paul, we are to lovingly and with all truthfulness expose, correct, call out by name, print, and warn the other churches about unrepentant heretics as his letters did in the early church and were passed around to the entire body of Christ. God’s Word is offensive to all who love not the truth whether in the church or out and THEY WILL LET YOU KNOW IT.

Make no mistake about it, these movements have leaked into every seminary and every church to some degree in the form of books, videos, study courses, worship seminars, pastoral retreats, small groups and  youth leaders.

Don’t be discouraged. There are thousands of Christians in churches all over the country fighting this same truth war with these last-days false teachers. We and many other good ministries across America have lots of materials available for you. You can contact us by internet through our e-mail at frgsheepdogs@hotmail.com. The scriptures warn us to “come out of her” in Revelation 18 referring to the apostate church. If you don’t feel equipped to fight this battle, find another church that stands for Biblical truth. But first find a warrior in your church who you can share this material with who feels compelled to stay and fight for the flock. Pray, pray, pray for our pastors and leaders in these last days. Behold….He comes quickly!

Troy Wright
co-researcher / Foundations Research Group
Canton, Ohio
on FaceBook

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(revised 10/13/14)

I’ve thought a great deal about the message every church should be preaching regularly, that relatively few do nowadays: the “bloody” message of salvation through Christ’s atonement on the cross of Calvary.

In the early 1960s we sang gospel hymns like this in Evangelical Friends (EFCI) churches in Ohio, at every service:

“The Old Rugged Cross”
“Power in the Blood”
“There is a Fountain Filled With Blood”

… and so on. No longer – now EFCI churches in Ohio and elsewhere (like churches in many other evangelical denominations) are becoming more and more postmodern (Emerging/ Emergent).

Below is a very revealing article on how Emergents present a message vastly different than the gospel message of “the Blood and the Cross.” Click here for the original source of this article, at the Let Us Reason Ministries website. Note – two of the heretical Emergents quoted below are Brian McLaren and Leonard Sweet. McLaren and Sweet have taught at George Fox University (GFU) and/or George Fox Evangelical Seminary (GFES),  in Northwest Yearly Meeting (NWYM), the most liberal Region in the EFCI. Other Emerging/Emergents who have taught at GFU and GFES are Tony Campolo, Richard Foster, Dan Kimball, etc. (some as adjunct professors.)

Now on to the article. I have emphasized certain points by bolding, and inserted comments in [brackets]…

“Does the Emergent Church movement preach the gospel that saves?”
by Let Us Reason Ministries

An appeal to pursuers of the new church movements

We have a duty to be keepers, protectors and proclaimers of the gospel, it is to be the same message that was given to the apostles nearly 2,000 years ago. What has saved us is to save others.

This gospel can be changed from applying new innovations. Even Brian McLaren admits the way that emerging church presents the message can be changing the gospel:

“It has been fashionable among the innovative [emerging] pastors I know to say, “We’re not changing the message; we’re only changing the medium.” This claim is probably less than honest … in the new church we must realize how medium and message are intertwined. When we change the medium, the message that’s received is changed, however subtly, as well. We might as well get beyond our naivete or denial about this.”

This is one of the rare times I can agree with him. The method of presenting the Gospel can adopt change in its presentation when necessary; but the content of the message cannot, when it does we have another gospel. And if we are not careful the message can be changed by the method. And the message HAS already changed for many inside these progressive type movements, one of them is the emergent church movement. Without the cross as central to our lives and our preaching for salvation, church becomes just another religion with wonderful teachings about a man named Jesus. Salvation does not come from just believing in God, but in Jesus Christ and his work on the cross – this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ one is to believe and continue in. We all get saved the same way, by the message of gospel. Yet in the emergent movement they entertain and pursue other religious practices for their spirituality. Why would one do this if they have found what makes peace with God? This proves that they have not personally experienced nor possess the power of the gospel in their personal life. Paul warned about another gospel and preaching a different Jesus in Gal.1:6-9.

What kind of Jesus allows other religions teachings and practices to be taught in his church to those who are to supposed to be following Him as “the way the truth the life.”

“Is our religion the only one that understands the true meaning of life? Or does God place his truth in others too? … The gospel is not our gospel, but the gospel of the kingdom of God, and what belongs to the kingdom of God cannot be hijacked by Christianity” (Brian McLaren, An Emergent Manifesto p. 194)

Actually it was introduced by Jesus who happens to be truth incarnate, so the answer is, NO. God has not placed his truth in other religions that worship false gods. Common sense alone should tell people this fact.

This is not to say that everyone in the Emergent church holds to the new views of the gospel but whether it is done purposely or by indifference there are many of its leaders that do, and influence its adherents that seek a church to be real. Using humanistic concepts, worldly business practices, or other religious ways to adjust the gospel to reach the various cultures, they avoid the real intent; exposing the darkness in the human heart. This can only be done by Christ being preached, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7)

The changing of the gospel message and its application come in many forms, Emergent leader Leonard Sweet explains it “Postmodern missions must have a geomantic imagination and geomantic design. What I am calling a geomantic style of evangelization will ensure harmonious habitation patterns as the gospel interconnects and interacts with all life-and landforms” (Quantum Spirituality p.168).

This changing the gospel to be relative to the environment has no basis from Scripture and is the imagination of ones heart that is conducive to the trends of our day. Earth based spirituality has nothing to do with the gospel that was preached by Paul and the apostles whose intent was to deal with sin in humanity (1 Cor.15:1-4).

If one does not understand the gospel and the requirement for our sin then they will mock the crucifixion.

Emergent Church leaders consistently, repeatedly denigrate sin, the savior, and salvation via the cross of Christ. “If the cross is a personal act of violence perpetrated by God towards humankind but borne by his Son, then it makes a mockery of Jesus’ own teaching to love your enemies and to refuse to repay evil with evil” (Steve Chalke and Alan Mann, The Lost Message of Jesus, pp. 182-183.)

But it was love that brought Jesus to the cross. There was no other way. Christ shows us how God loves his enemies- love is the heart of the gospel. “While we were yet enemies, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8, 10). The Bible declares that those who bring the gospel are the ones who bring peace (Rom. 10)

Harry Emerson Fosdick was a famous liberal pastor of the Riverside Church in New York City, (1878-1969), who denied the doctrine of the atonement, “Jesus suffered as a substitute for us”

In Fosdick’s book Dear Mr. Brown, he states: Too many theories of the atonement assume that by one single high priestly act of self-sacrifice Christ saved the world.’ Fosdick ends that statement with a pronounced—’No!” He insists, “These legalistic theories of the atonement are in my judgment a theological disgrace.”‘ Fosdick considered the idea that God would actually send His Son to die on a Cross to take our place to be the basis for a violent and bloody religion. He rejected the biblical message of an atonement and substitutionary sacrifice.

‘In an interview, Brian McLaren questioned the idea of God sending His Son to a violent death, calling it “false advertising for God”:

[O]ne of the huge problems is the traditional understanding of hell. Because if the cross is in line with Jesus’ teaching then—I won’t say, the only, and I certainly won’t say even the primary—but a primary meaning of the cross is that the kingdom of God doesn’t come like the kingdoms of this world, by inflicting violence and coercing people. But that the kingdom of God comes through suffering and willing, voluntary sacrifice. But in an ironic way, the doctrine of hell basically says, no, that’s not really true. That in the end, God gets His way through coercion and violence and intimidation and domination, just like every other kingdom does. The cross isn’t the center then. The cross is almost a distraction and false advertising for God. (emphasis added)’ (quoted in Faith Undone by Roger Oakland p.192)

The Emergent movement wants to a re-imaginine [sic] things. the way things are going as they remove words and sayings from books you should not be surprised by a company removing the crucifixion from the Bible because it is offensive. After all the book of Urantia [see this link](which I suspect some may be reading) says it was not God’s plan for Jesus.

Brian McLaren endorsed Alan Jones’ book, “Reimagining Christianity: Reconnect Your Spirit without Disconnecting Your Mind.” McLaren had this to say: “Alan Jones is a pioneer in reimagining a Christian faith that emerges from authentic spirituality. His work stimulates and encourages me deeply.”

If this is authentic spirituality then the Bible has become obsolete in his view. Jones, an Episcopal priest,  holds a a similar view to the outspoken liberal Fosdick.

 Jones is the Dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco that promotes the labyrinth. He is a promoter of inter-spirituality, He is also a member of the Living Spiritual Teachers Project which is a group of about twenty-five that include Zen and Buddhist monks, New Agers and even Marianne Williamson (who promotes a Course in Miracles, a book that denies almost every authentic Bible teaching of Jesus Christ.)

Jones rejects the Gospel message in no uncertain terms. “The other thread of just criticism addresses the suggestion implicit in the cross that Jesus’ sacrifice was to appease an angry god. Penal substitution [Christ’s death on the Cross] was the name of this vile doctrine.” (Alan Jones, Reimagining Christianity: Reconnect Your Spirit without Disconnecting Your Mind (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2005 p. 168)

The Church’s fixation on the death of Jesus as the universal saving act must end, and the place of the cross must be reimagined in Christian faith. Why? Because of the cult of suffering and the vindictive God behind it.”(ibid. p. 132)

Jones goes on to say, “Penal substitution was the name of this vile doctrine.” Alan Jones, p. 168

The apostle Paul said “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified”(1 Corinthians 2:1-2). Paul preached “Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 1:18,23). The book of Acts tells us that the apostles preached Christ crucified. Jesus even told us to pick our cross to follow him. McLaren is recommending a book that holds this to scorn. The very core of Christianity is Christ crucified by which we have our salvation.

What we are seeing are men without the Spirit of Christ leading people into an pseudo intellectual – philosophical movement that offers a new spiritual openness in the place of the Holy Spirit indwelling us. Without the preaching of the cross it neglects the true spiritual condition and need of mankind. This is not leading people to the truth of their sin by a confrontation of the gospel for salvation but instead offering a substitute without the purpose of God becoming man as Jesus. It is opening the door to thousands to go another way. This new message is integrated in the church to reach the post- modern generation that does not see any one way more valid than another. All this leads to is interfaith – accompanied with universalism.

Brian McLaren, “The Christian faith, I am proposing, should become (in the name of Jesus Christ) a welcome friend to other religions of the world, not a threat” (A Generous Orthodoxy, McLaren, p.254)

The concept of syncretism is offered to have us unite with the various different religions. When we combine two belief systems we are committing spiritual adultery. Paul was greatly encouraged of his new converts “how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thess. 1:9). Jesus wants us to worship God in Spirit and in truth. This means we do not mix other religions practices with our worship.

A Generous Orthodoxy is overly generous as it departs from orthodoxy. It sounds more like “As men approach me, so I receive them. All paths, Arjuna, lead to me. Hinduism” (Bhagavad Gita 4.11)

This takes the foundation of Christianity away. As Christians, we are not to present ourselves as having common ground with other religions, we are supposed to avoid this confusion. We are not to give any impression of our acceptance of these foreign concepts, we are to preach the gospel and contend for the faith with others who openly OPPOSE what we believe. We have every right, even an obligation by the commands in Scripture to challenge other belief systems by God’s word.

In an interview with Christianity Today McLaren said “I don’t think we’ve got the gospel right yet. What does it mean to be ‘saved’? When I read the Bible, I don’t see it meaning, ‘I’m going to heaven after I die.’ Before modern evangelicalism nobody accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, or walked down an aisle, or said the sinner’s prayer.” “I don’t think the liberals have it right. But I don’t think we have it right either. None of us has arrived at orthodoxy” (The Emergent Mystique, Christianity Today Nov.2004)

If McLaren does not have the gospel right, then he lacks the power of God which first and foremost brings salvation which gives us the ability to live the Christian life. The whole Christian message is that mankind is sinful, God came to earth as a man to die for our sins, for you personally – to bring us into a relationship with our maker.

So how is it he is so unsure of this? Its all very clearly written down. 1 Pet 1:25 “But the word of the Lord endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.”

McLaren questions nearly everything in the Bible so how can one preach the gospel of salvation if they do not know the gospel as the truth and exercise faith in it. The Bible says if we doubt, we are double-minded and will receive nothing. This attitude is not faith but musing of the carnal nature. Then no one can really know if they are saved or anything the Scripture promises for that matter. This is the very opposite of what John wrote in his first epistle, I Jn. 5:13 “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” Having eternal life means going to heaven – Jesus said “I give them eternal life”, we should have the assurance of what He said “where I am they may be also.”

This is not just out of the box thinking but thinking outside the Bible, McLaren is not no longer theologically based but he has become a philosopher; one who is searching for answers instead of one who has found the answer.

Paul wrote in 1 Thess. 2:4-5: “But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak.”

1 Cor 2:5 “that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” Rom. 1:16 tells us the gospel is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes”

Rom. 10:16-17: But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Faith comes by believing the word found in the Bible, not just any “holy” book.

Yet Rob Bell writes in his book Velvet Elvis, that the Bible is a “human product… rather than the product of divine fiat.” (Quote in Christianity Today, Nov. 2004, p. 38.) So how can He receive faith from the word?

Rom. 16:25-26 Paul says the gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, has now has been made manifest, by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith.”

Is this true or not? Those who were saved by the word; “to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

(John 12:38) will agree, but not those who lead the emergent movement.

What they do not understand is Salvation does not come from just believing in God, but in Jesus Christ and His work done for us on the cross.

The Gospel is focused on two specific areas: who Jesus is and what He has done. It is centered on the person and work of Christ for us. The person is the who – which the gospel is focused on-God who came in the flesh

He died for you Col 1:14: “in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins”

Col 1:23 One day we will stand before the Lord, holy and blameless “if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard

liberalism always leads to inter-spirituality- which is what we are seeing taking place today.

Do not let any man remove you by enticing words and eloquent speech or unusual dictionary words.

Luke 6:43-44: “For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. “For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush.

How can one bear fruit if you are not in the vine? (Jn.15:1-2).

Acts 4:12 “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

When you do not have a basic understanding of the gospel as it is presented in the emergent church then you are cannot be saved by it.

Copyright (c) 2010 No portion of this site is to be copied or used unless kept in its original format in the way it appears. Articles can be reproduced in portions for ones personal use, any other use is to have the permission of the author first. Thank You.
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Note – In the above repost I underlined titles of books and magazines – DM

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(revised 09/22/12)

I have been repeatedly warning how  liberal/”progressive evangelical” the Evangelical Friends (EFCI) denomination is becoming. More specifically, it is becoming mired in Spiritual Formation and Emerging/Emergent/Emergence teachings.

This is especially true of Northwest Yearly Meeting (NWYM), home of George Fox University (GFU) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (GFES).

I came across an excellent discernment ministry article questioning George Fox University (GFU) for having Emergent heretic Leonard Sweet on their visiting faculty. The article regards correspondence between James Sundquist (click here and here for bios) and GFU Vice President Dr.  Chuck Conniry. The article exposes the heresies of GFU professors Leonard Sweet and Randy Woodley. But just as important in my mind, is how the comments from Dr. Conniry show the reprobate minds and resistance of GFU faculty to being told there are heretical professors at GFU. (I believe Dr. Conniry’s opinions represent the views of GFU as a whole.)

I am providing excerpts from the article. Click here for the entire original text of the article. I have emphasized certain points by bolding, and inserted comments in [brackets]. I have also occasionally corrected grammatical errors to make the excerpts more readable.

FALSE TEACHINGS AND FALSE ACCUSATIONS
OF
LEONARD SWEET AND RANDY WOODLEY

[this article could more clearly be titled “False Teachings by Leonard Sweet and Randy Woodley, and False Accusations of This Discernment Ministry by Leonard Sweet and Randy Woodley”]

June 4, 2010

Dear Vice President & Dean of George Fox University and Seminary:
Chuck Conniry,

INTRODUCTION

Thank you for your response to my warning letter to George Fox University regarding Leonard Sweet, distinguished visiting professor at your school. I appreciate your measure of kindness and use of Scripture to attempt defend your friend Leonard Sweet. I commend you for that. Having read your response to me, it is almost as though you have obscured if not obliterated the role of watchman on the wall. To to a great extent you quote Scriptures which are certainly true in general for all Christians, but I can’t see how the Scriptures you quote specifically refute any of my charges or any charges against Leonard Sweet by myself, Richard Bennett (Berean Beacon), Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries, Warren Smith, Roger Oakland, Deborah Dombrowski of Lighthouse Trails, or Sandy Simpson of Apologetics Coordination Team. In your response, this is what you should be addressing. All of our charges are simply comparing line by line and precept upon precept Leonard Sweet’s own published teachings directly with Scripture, exactly what Scripture commands us to do.

The following expose on Leonard Sweet should have been written years ago when I first learned of his collaboration with Rick Warren in 1995 Tide of Change project. I am grateful and indebted to those above named good Bereans and Biblical scholars all of whom I know well, and others, who have preceded me in telling the truth about Leonard Sweet. I should also point out that most of these online discernment ministries are not just “online” on the Internet, but have written books exposing these false teachers…many have written two or more books. In any case, ODM is a perfectly noble and biblically legitimate calling and discerner of spirits is a Gift of the Holy Spirit. But the letters ODM could just as easily be invoked to describe Sweet and Emerging Church as Online Deception Ministries. But I could remain silent no longer in the face of iniquity when Leonard Sweet writes his own attack accusing good Bereans of bearing false witness against him. If he is going attack online discernment ministries, that he labels ODM, he should at least have the courage to name names, as the Apostle Paul would require. If it is us that are bearing false witness against Leonard Sweet, then Leonard Sweet needs to prove it and if we don’t repent, he should names names and tell our pastors in order to warn our church. I would be happy tell him who our pastors are and where they are (something he is unwilling to do). But I know who these so called slanderers are, and I am compelled to defend these good brothers and sisters in Christ who have been maligned by Leonard Sweet and his defenders. The Apostle Paul does not warn us about “seducing spirits” in I Timothy 4:1, for nothing, for the reason they are seducing is that they are Leonard Sweet to the taste, but poison in the end for the individual believer as well as the church.

Therefore, I have these things against thee and Leonard Sweet which must stand. I will respond as to why you are clearly in the wrong, as the Apostle Paul would say. I also find it shockingly ironic that Leonard Sweet defender Michael Newnham aka Phoenix Preacher would accuse ODM Christians of Inquisition tactics (see: http://phoenixpreacher.net/?p=1652), when in fact it is Sweet, Warren, and host of Emerging Church leaders who promote mystic Ignatius Loyola, the head of the gestapo of the Jesuit Order who launched The Inquisition that tortured and burned at the stake close to a million true Christian martyrs and defenders of the faith against Roman Catholicism…the real heretics…

[This writer goes on to explain to George Fox University various aspects of Leonard Sweet’s heresies. I am just providing the titles of these sections here.]

LEONARD SWEET/RICK WARREN UNHOLY ALLIANCE

THE LIGHT THAT IS IN MOHAMMED IS DARKNESS

… Leonard Sweet published teaching that “the union of the human with the divine” which is the “center feature of all the world’s religions” (Quantum Spirituality, p. 235). He says it was experienced by Mohammed, Moses, and Krishna. Some of the “New Light leaders” that have led him into this new thinking are Matthew Fox, M. Scott Peck, Willis Harman, and Ken Wilber, all of whom believe in the divinity of man, plus the Catholic-Buddhist monk Thomas Merton. Sweet says humanity needs to learn the truth of Merton’s words, “We are already one” (Quantum Spirituality, p. 13).” SOURCE: [David Cloud], “Friday Church News Notes,” April 2, 2010, http://www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143)…

Regarding Matthew Fox possessing this light according to Leonard Sweet, read what Renew America has to say about Matthew Fox:  “Leonard Sweet, a founding father of the emerging church, was deeply influenced by Matthew Fox’s book The Cosmic Christ.” This is Fox’s “gospel”:

• “Mother earth” is being “crucified.”
• The human psyche is being “resurrected” through mystical spirituality.
• The “cosmic christ” is healing “mother earth.”
• The “messianic spirit” has come to transform mankind.
• All religions will become one, as their common roots in the “cosmic christ” are revealed.
• There will a one-world government, a utopia, and a sexual paradise on earth.

Source: http://www.renewamerica.com/analysis/hutchison/090518

So Dr. Conniry, in standing with your friend Leonard Sweet, is this is what you believe?…

LEONARD SWEET CONTRADICTS HIMSELF

Leonard Sweet protests that he says he is not divine, yet promotes and quotes one teacher after another that says we are. Have you publicly stated that Mohammed, Krishna, Matthew Fox (Universalist), Carl Jung, Thomas Merton, Barack Obama (who promotes Planned Parenthood infanticide and defiling the body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit), or Rick Warren are false teachers? Or do you stand with Leonard Sweet as does Jeremy Armstrong Managing Editor, Worship Leader Magazine? Whom have you or Leonard Sweet marked as false teachers or heretics?

GEORGE FOX PROFESSOR RANDY WOODLEY SLANDERS GOOD BEREANS

Randy Woodley, your colleague and professor at George Fox was both sarcastic and provided no proof of his own very unkind response to this letter where is he states:

“This would make a great advertisement for unbridled ignorance. May I use it in my classes?”

Here is the next correspondence from Randy Woodley to David Flang:

From: Randy Woodley
To: Warneveryone
Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2010 10:37 AM
Subject: Re: Dear professor Woodley

Dave,

I find it interesting that when fundamentalists make an
argument they often attribute the judgement of un-christlike motives to their opponent but their own motives are always seen by themselves as “pure” and pointing out “truth.” I consider my statement to be one of love in the same way Jesus pointed out the ignorance of the Pharisees, Paul pointed out the ignorance of the Judaizers and the Prophets in the Old Testament pointed out the ignorance of Israel. They were all in the realm of tough love. If you publish my original statement, you’ll need to publish this as well. Now, if you wish to have a healthy debate on theology or history please let me know.

Do’hi (“Peace,” in Cherokee)
Randy Woodley, Ph.D.
Distinguished Associate Professor of Faith and Culture,
George Fox University and Seminary
[Woodley’s personal website follows]
http://www.EaglesWingsMinistry.com

“It is not enough to undertake works of charity to alleviate the suffering of the poor; we must transform the structures that create this suffering.” ~Archbishop Oscar Romero (1917 –1980)

“…a concern arose to spend some time with the Indians, that I might feel and understand their life and the spirit they live in, if haply I might receive some instruction from them, or they might be in any degree helped forward by my following the leadings of truth among them.”-John Woolman (1720-1772)

On the Bible in Cherokee translation: “Well, it seems a good book – strange that the white people are no better, after having had it so long.” -Chief Yonaguska (1759-1839)
*****
Well Mr. Woodley disqualifies himself as a minister of righteousness on five grounds:

1. He promotes Roman Catholicism by citing Archbishop Oscar Romero.
2. Romero promoted Ignatius Loyola and his spiritual exercise which we exposed in the DVD and my written expose on Mystic Plague.
3. The Pharisees were hypocrites and the Judaizers were false teachers so Jesus Christ and Paul had ever reason to expose them and warn the saints. Judaizers tried to put the people back under the law, so Paul thrice cursed them in Galatians. Rick Warren, Sweet’s collaborator puts Christians back under the bondage of the law with his enforced covenants. So it would be Sweet, Warren and Woodley that Jesus Christ would be castigating, not the Bereans who are simply the messengers who sought out Scripture to see if their teachings be true. So Woodley has it quite backwards. Woodley wants to debate, but we have already given him and open door to debate the charges inviting and appealing to him to refute them from Scripture and reason from Scripture. To date he has done neither. So we should no longer be debating Woodley since he won’t repent upon a second warning and refuses correction, by publicly rebuking him and marking him. Woodley is the one displaying his ignorance of Scripture in full bloom. The Prophets of the OT teach exactly what we are teaching. The Israelites perished for lack of knowledge (ignorance) of Scripture, precisely what Woodley continues to exhibit. Woodley has still failed abysmally to refute a single charge any of us have made with Scripture from against Leonard Sweet. But he certainly has made a great case against himself, setting a snare that he himself gets caught in, so we will be happy to comply with his wish to publish his latest retaliation as well and include it in the full report on Leonard Sweet and his defenders and collaborators. Woodley has no problem dishing out “tough love” but can’t take it himself.

4. He promotes Liberation Theology another false gospel which pits rich and against poor, white men against black, red vs. white, male vs. female. Even Leonard Sweet opposes Liberation Theology in his critique of Brian McClaren and other Emergent Leaders in his response to Online Discernment Ministries (see: http://www.leonardsweet.com/response.php). But this is hypocritical of Sweet, in light of the fact that his Drew Seminary brought in Rev. [Jeremiah] Wright, Obama’s former pastor as a speaker in Spring 2010, a major player in Black Liberation Theology. Here is Leonard Sweet’s Drew University Spring 2010 newsletter extolling the virtues of Romero and Rev. Wright: http://www.drew.edu/newspost.aspx?id=77940

And why is Woodley bringing up Oscar Romero? I wondered why in the world Woodley would introduce Liberation Theology into this conversation, given that we hadn’t even been discussing it. Then I discovered that Drew University, where Leonard Sweet is a professor, was promoting both Romero and Rev. Wright in their “god-talk” courses which I read online where they are extolled and not exposed…virtually no disclaimers or warnings about them. Romero was a major ringleader of Liberation Theology (in spite of his denials), as is Rev. Wright (Black Liberation Theology), Obama’s former pastor, and now Obama himself. It is Marxist to the core but clothed in the scarlet garments of Roman Catholicism in the name of Jesus. Woodley has not reasoned from Scripture, but Ron Rhodes has in this demolition of Liberation Theology:

“Christian Revolution in Latin America:
The Changing Face of Liberation Theology”
http://home.earthlink.net/~ronrhodes/Liberation.html

Woodley would uses the term “fundamentalist” derisively,  just like Rick Warren who calls fundamentalist Christian enemies of the 21st Century. So Warren, Sweet and Woodley make great bedfellows. Like Ken Silva, Apprising Ministries, and Richard Bennett, Berean Beacon (Richard knows more than anyone about false religions in Latin America, as that is where he spent most of his years as a Roan Catholic priest). I am not a fundamentalist as in the denomination [I assume Sundquist is referring to Independent Fundamentalist Baptists], but we are fundamentalists in that we believe in fundamentals in the 1920s declaration [actually The Fundamentals were a series of articles written between 1910-1915] :

1. The Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1; John 20:28; Hebrews 1:8-9).
2. The Virgin Birth (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:27).
3. The Blood Atonement (Acts 20:28; Romans 3:25, 5:9; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:12-14).
4. The Bodily Resurrection (Luke 24:36-46; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 15:14-15).
5. The inerrancy of the scriptures themselves (Psalms 12:6-7; Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20).
SOURCE: http://www.eaec.org/bibleanswers/Five_Fundamentals_of_the_Faith.pdf

Conclusion, Mr. Woodley could not have made a better case to alert true saints throughout the world to sound the alarm on His Holy Hill about Woodley, than Woodley himself. He is indicted by his own testimony. But it is good to know who the wolves in sheep’s clothing are who masquerade as servants of righteousness. Woodley removed his own mask. To date, Randy Woodley still has not provided a shred of evidence that I have borne false witness against Leonard Sweet nor a single Scripture to refute me or any other brother or sister in Christ that has confronted him or his teachings. For that matter Leonard Sweet has never responded to any of my emails to him. Ad hominem attacks are the last refuge for a person who can’t attack the merit of an argument or provide any evidence, so they simply lash out.

Sincerely in Christ,
James Sundquist

[Interesting, and amazing. George Fox University belongs to the Evangelical Friends Church International (EFCI), originally composed of born again, conservative evangelical Gurneyite Quaker Yearly Meetings. And the Gurneyite Quakers in the early 1900s were strongly fundamentalist. Yet professors like Randy Woodley now have the gall to criticize fundamentalists. Perhaps they should study the history of the denomination that sponsors the school that pays their salaries!]

[Following is a response from Chuck Conniry; James Sundquist has inserted his comments.]

On May 18, 2010, at 8:34 PM, Chuck Connirywrote:

Dear James,
I’ve read through this email (and the ones that have followed up to this point).

I wonder if we can engage each other in the spirit of Christ’s love. I pray so…

WHAT IS LOVE? (JAMES SUNDQUIST RESPONSE):
I pray the same. Is that what your Professor RandyWoodley did? Is that what Leonard Sweet did in his response to ODM ministries or when he contacted Lighthouse Trails, or his complete failure to ever respond to me? …

CHUCK CONNIRY:
L
en Sweet is a close friend of mine, so it troubles me to see him accused of being a heretic. I know him to be a person of deep faith, with a strong commitment to Scripture.

IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHAT THE DEFINITION OF HERETIC IS
(JAMES SUNDQUIST RESPONSE):

What should trouble you is not that someone calls him a heretic, but whether or not he is a heretic. If you are truly his friend then you would stop him from promoting false teachings and teaching at your university. “The wounds of a friend are better than the kisses of the enemy.” Mormon and Jehovah’s Witness and Roman Catholics (whom Sweet and Rick Warren extol) also claim commitment to Scripture. I know many Catholics who are friendly. But are we truly their friend if we do not tell them the truth that their religions are false? I am sure Paul was a friend of Peter’s. But that did not stop him from confronting him and opposing him publicly to his face.

CHUCK CONNIRY:
Our differences, James, are based largely on interpretation. I do not question your love for Jesus Christ…and I hope you do not doubt my love for him.

SUBJECTIVE VS. OBJECTIVE TRUTH (JAMES SUNDQUIST RESPONSE):
So weren’t the Judaizers differences with the Apostle Paul simply a matter of interpretation of Scripture? One as good as the next? Any interpretation wise in one own eyes is a valid as the next ? If that is true that subjective interpretation vs. objective interpretation is the standard, then no one could could be called a false teacher. There could be no such thing as sound doctrine to refute anyone. If that is the case, then why did Paul curse them three times in Galatians? After all many of them also would have claimed a religious zeal (as Paul even conceded) and commitment to Scripture. And doesn’t Peter state that Scripture is not open to private interpretation?

2 Pe 1:20 “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”

Furthermore, in Sweet’s case, it is not even often a matter of interpretation of Scripture but Sweet completely inventing and vain imagination what Scripture states. Now he plans to launch still another translation of the Bible. God help us if he infuses the ideas we quote into his translation.

As to whether or not I doubt your love for Jesus. I certainly pray that it is so. However, you systematically dismantle my confidence because you of your indefensible statements defending Leonard Sweet. But Sweet is not the only false teacher you promote and finance at your University. Richard Foster and Dan Kimball are two others, to say nothing about the fact that you promote Psychology there. [Others welcomed by George Fox University are Dallas Willard as well as a number of Emerging/Emergent seminar speakers.]

CHUCK CONNIRY:
The Apostle Paul’s words come to mind: “Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice (Phil. 1:15-18a).

LEONARD SWEET PROMOTES ANOTHER JESUS, ANOTHER GOSPEL AND ANOTHER HOLY SPIRIT, EVOLUTIONIST (JAMES SUNDQUIST RESPONSE):
I am glad you cite Scripture. But first let me say that I never accused Leonard Sweet of preaching out of strife or envy or impure motives. But Sweet is preaching “another Jesus” (Christ) and another gospel. Paul would certainly not have countenanced that. The key in that verse you quote is whether or not Christ is being preached. And even if by some herculean stretch, that Sweet is
preaching Christ crucified and him only, the very term Christ-Consciousness and Cosmic Christ (Matthew Fox) are welcome buzz words used in the New Age which I well remember in my encounter with Theosophy and my discussion with my friend Warren Smith, a former New Ager and author of can attest to in his book: The Light That Was Dark: From the New Age to Amazing Grace. [See] http://www.newagetograce.com/books.htm

Leonard Sweet extols Pierre Teilhard de Chardin [who taught many New Age concepts].  [Sweet writes] “[Pierre Teilhard de Chardin] is twentieth-century Christianity’s major voice.”   – Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality (Dayton, OH, Whaleprints, 1994), p. 106.
Source: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=4332

… for Leonard Sweet to say that Chardin is twentieth-century Christianity’s major voice is untrue, absurd and an abomination. But he certainly would qualify as one of the 20th Century’s greatest heretics! Why doesn’t Sweet select a non-Roman Catholic Evangelical Orthodox Christian as the 20th century’s major voice?

So, do you still stand with Sweet?

The Apostle Paul said:

1 Cr 14:8 “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?”

The terms that Leonard Sweet uses are confusing at best and you know who the author of confusion is, I pray.

CHUCK CONNIRY:
What I appreciate about Paul’s statement is the clarity with which he embraces his highest priority — the preaching of Christ. Elsewhere he writes, “For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings” (1 Cor. 9:19-23).

WHOM SWEET PROMOTES VS. THE APOSTLE PAUL’S RESPONSE
(JAMES SUNDQUIST RESPONSE):
Once again, I am glad you cite Scripture. But not once did Paul corrupt Christ’s teachings to win the lost. Not once did Paul, or any other Apostle for that matter ever present the demon-possessed, the demonically-inspired, the atheist, the spiritists, the mystics, and the necromancers favorably to the people, as Leonard Sweet and Rick Warren his collaborator and admirer have done. I should also point out that though Paul personally put himself temporarily under the law with a vow, he also eternally damned the Judaizers for compelling the Jews to be put under the law. And he demolishes the righteousness under the law in Romans. Paul did not become a Greek Philosopher in order to win the Greeks. He made it perfectly clear in his writings that Greek Philosophy was also a false religion. So would Paul become an evolutionist in order to save an evolutionist as Roman Catholics and much the liberal church has done?

CHUCK CONNIRY:
For his part, the Apostle Paul recognized the importance of contextualizing the gospel for each audience. He never compromised the essence of the gospel, but he freely nuanced the message in whatever ways he deemed necessary to connect with those who desperately needed the salvation offered through Jesus Christ alone. Paul tolerated (even celebrated) the preaching of Christ from those whose motives were less than pure. How much more would he have appreciated the preaching of Christ from pure hearts…even if those preachers and teachers ended up presenting the gospel in ways that he would have never imagined in his lifetime?

JAMES SUNDQUIST RESPONSE:
I was waiting for the term “contextualizing the gospel”. This sounds like it is straight from Fuller Theological Seminary and fits right into Warren and Robert Schuller and Willowcreek methodology.

I invite you to read: http://apprising.org/2009/09/22/contextualization-or-removingcontext-and-content/

Once again you harp on motives…which I never addressed regarding Sweet. But in any case it is a straw man argument because it presumes the Christ is being preached in the first place.

CHUCK CONNIRY:
The Apostle John writes, “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him” (1 John 2:9-11).

WHAT’S IN STORE FOR RICK WARREN AND LEONARD SWEET OPPONENTS
(JAMES SUNDQUIST RESPONSE):
I certainly agree with this Scripture. But what did I write for you to suggest or imply that I hate my brother, particularly in light of the fact that you are confident that I love the Lord Jesus Christ? As Paul would say, “I am now therefore the enemy because I tell you the truth?” I am glad you quote John’s Epistle, for one of them contain both the warning about antichrists as well as marking Diotrephes who did to Christians exactly what Rick Warren (Leonard Sweet collaborator) does and prescribes in his Purpose Driven Blueprints for resisters and Fundamentalist Christians he calls enemies of the 21st Century. Where is the love of the brethren there? Was Paul unloving for marking Philetus and Hymenaus? Was John unloving to mark and expose Diotrephes?

CHUCK CONNIRY:
It is easy to love those we deem loveable, either because we agree on every point of interpretation we see as fundamental to the faith or because we find the person generally likeable.

MARGINAL POINTS ARE CENTRAL PILLARS OF DOCTRINE?
(JAMES SUNDQUIST RESPONSE):
I am not opposing Leonard Sweet for marginal points of interpretation, but for corrupting central pillars of the faith.

CHUCK CONNIRY:
One can live in the flesh and manage to do that. One can also live in the flesh and hate and anathematize those he or she finds unloveable for the same corresponding reasons. Those who claim to be followers of Christ sometimes do this — with a sense of self absolution — by categorizing such people as heretics, even though the love of Christ is manifest in their lives, and the fruit of the Spirit is evident in abundant measure. None of that matters to those walking in this darkness. “Doctrinal purity is what matters,” they claim. “We must defend the Truth!” They forget that Jesus did not die for principles; he did not die for “truth.” Jesus died for lost people, which includes all of us (Rom. 3:23) — lost sheep upon

JAMES SUNDQUIST RESPONSE:
Doctrinal purity or sound doctrine is not my subjective opinion, it is what Scripture commands. If truth is that disposable then why did Paul say “I am now therefore the enemy because I tell you the truth”? And why did the Apostle John say:

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” I John 3:18

I exhort you to read Dr. John MacArthur’s book: The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in the Age of Uncertainty. I don’t know of any of the writers making charges against Leonard Sweet who are doing it for “self-absolution”. They are doing it because they are commanded to do so biblically, irrespective of how they personally feel about it. What part of Paul, Peter, Jude and John’s words did you apparently miss in making that statement suggesting that we are not required to contend for the faith, expose the deeds of darkness, mark and expel false teachers and wolves in sheep’s clothing from our midst? Were Paul, Peter, Jude and John doing so for self-absolution? You say that Leonard Sweet manifests the fruit of the spirit. But Jesus Christ says that it is what comes out of the mouth of man that defiles him. What comes of out the mouth of Leonard Sweet is his published teaching. False teaching can hardly qualify as fruit of the spirit. But it certainly would qualify as fruit of another spirit. A thorn bush can not produce figs. And if you are that concerned about the lost, then why would you stand by Leonard Sweet who promotes the lost? Why would you or Leonard Sweet want to introduce the lost to another Jesus? Mohammed and Krishna are lost for Eternity, so what possible light could they have to offer has Mr. Sweet postulates?

CHUCK CONNIRY:
We demonstrate the truthfulness of the gospel by our love for one another (John 13:35; 17:22-23). When we show hatred and contempt toward one another…

JAMES SUNDQUIST RESPONSE:
Again you begin with a false or presumed premise that Leonard Sweet is even a brother in the first place. Why wouldn’t you say these same things to Paul, Jude, Peter, and John, who named names?? I am simply agreeing with them and obeying what they commanded us to do with people like Leonard Sweet who is masquerading as a servant of righteousness. Jesus Christ himself even described many coming in his name but he responded with “depart from me you wicked and accursed, I never knew you.” So who was he talking about?

CHUCK CONNIRY:
… each of whom claims faith in the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and who together trust in Jesus’ death on the cross as the atoning sacrifice for sin…and who share in the Blessed Hope of Christ’s return and the dawn of everlasting glory — we deny by those very actions the truth we claim to defend.

LEONARD SWEET DISCIPLE OF CARL JUNG DISCIPLE
(JAMES SUNDQUIST RESPONSE):
The Apostle Peter agreed with all of these tenets of the faith too. Yet Paul still publicly confronted him. The Roman Catholic Church would agree with those tenets, though redefining them, but it remains a false apostate religion of works and necromancy. If Leonard Sweet whom you stand with believes this, then why does he admire and promote Joseph Campbell and others who do NOT believe in the physical resurrection and ascension of Christ instead of marking them as false teachers? Here [is] what Joseph Campbell has to say about Christ’s physical ascension:

[On] The Power of Myth, an outgrowth of the PBS series, he responds to Moyers with the following statements:

“We know that Jesus could not have ascended to heavenbecause there is no physical heaven anywhere in the universe.

SOURCE: Campbell, J., with Moyers, B., The Power of Myth, Doubleday, New York, p. 56, 1988.

Joseph Campbell celebrates myth, the Apostle Paul demolishes the strongholds of myth. So why aren’t you?

CHUCK CONNIRY:
Paul states that “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Then in the next two verses he adds, “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (vv. 9-10).

GEORGE FOX UNIVERSITY, MULTNOMAH UNIVERSITY AND LEONARD SWEET NEVER ANSWER THE QUESTIONS OR REFUTE CHARGES
(JAMES SUNDQUIST RESPONSE):
You keep bringing out more Scripture which I heartily agree with. But how is this relevant to any of our charges against Leonard Sweet? I am still waiting for a single Scripture that refutes our charges. We all used Scripture as good Bereans to test the spirits and search them to find where in the world Leonard Sweet came up with his philosophy. Had you done so, you should agree. If you don’t, then sadly you too become his accomplice.

CHUCK CONNIRY:
No matter how strenuously we try this side of eternity to get everything “right,” we won’t. But “walking in the light” is not sinless perfection, it speaks of the general tenor of one’s life — a life forever imperfect through its own efforts…but perfected by Jesus’ atonement (cf. Rom. 8:1-4; 1 John 1:5-10). If God loved us when we weren’t even trying, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Jesus’ atonement now!

To imitate God’s love is to give one another the benefit of the doubt and extend to each other the hospitality of open hearts and listening ears.

BE SURE TO BE HOSPITABLE TO DOCTRINES OF DEMONS THAT ENTER YOUR HOUSE? (JAMES SUNDQUIST RESPONSE):
NO IT DOESN’T. Paul warned us about heaping upon ourselves teachers with itching ears. We are not to even let them into our house, let alone our house of God, or pulpit or stumble the least of these my little children.

2Jo 1:10 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.

Shouldn’t we let them in…be more hospitable? After all none of us gets everything right. Paul should have left Peter alone, after all, look at all the good Peter had done. To imitate God’s love, Paul should have given Peter the benefit of the doubt…cut him some slack, right? Of course not. If Paul spared not Peter, and God is not a respecter of persons, how much more should the benefit of the doubt not be given to a clearly false teacher that he might lead away that many more unsuspecting disciples.

CHUCK CONNIRY:
It also means erring on the side of mercy, as a matter of course, rather than judgment. As Scripture attests, “mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13b).

JAMES SUNDQUIST RESPONSE:
But mercy is NEVER at the price of judgment. Jesus Christ certainly taught against hypocritical judging. But most of the New Testament is a blueprint for how to judge false teaching and what to do with false teachers. Without judging there would be no such thing as church discipline. Please cite one Scripture in which any Prophet of the Old Testament or Apostle in the New Testament in which they were merciful to a false teacher? Now certainly were
they to have repented publicly, mercy would have been shown them. But we are never to remain silent in the face of iniquity. Where in Scripture do you find this advice as to how we are to imitate God’s love? What manual of church discipline are you following?

CHUCK CONNIRY:
As Job sat amid his judgmental friends, who called into the question the veracity of his faith, he proclaimed, “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God!” (Job 19:25-26).

JOB’S FRIENDS OR GOOD BEREANS?
(JAMES SUNDQUIST RESPONSE):
I am staggered that you would compare Leonard Sweet to Job. First of all, it assumes that Sweet is a Christian vs. a Christ-Consciousness or Cosmic Christ New Ager that promotes a trainload of false teachers. Secondly, it compares Job’s friends to Good Bereans who are simply obeying Scripture…fatally flawed analogy. All of the Bereans who confronted Leonard Sweet in the articles I sent you and myself agree with Job’s words and all sing “I know that my redeemer lives” and I recorded a classical guitar instrument of that very hymn. We all side with Job. None of us would take Job’s friends side. But Job would not side with Leonard Sweet, based on his teachings.

CHUCK CONNIRY:I stand alongside my friend, Len Sweet, and sing, “I know that my Redeemer lives….”

Faithfully,
Chuck Conniry
Charles J. Conniry, Jr., PhD
Vice President and Dean
George Fox Evangelical Seminary

*******

HIPPIE THEOLOGY AND BOB DYLAN’S THEME SONG FOR LEONARD SWEET’S NEW REFORMATION, [by] JAMES SUNDQUIST

[Dr. Conniry], if you stand with Leonard Sweet, then you are self-indicted and deceived and render yourself an accomplice. As Vice President and Dean of  George Fox University and Seminary, you should be the chief of watchmen. When the watchmen are derelict on duty, who remains to guard the city? “When the foundations be destroyed what do the righteous do?” Worse your unholy alliance with him will continue to hurt him as well as students you subject to him.

You can not serve two masters. You seem so alarmed that I would call Leonard Sweet a “heretic”. I am only surprised that you are surprised. You should be disturbed that Sweet is a heretic not the messengers who rightfully point it out. “Heretic” means to cause division (from sound doctrine) which is precisely what Leonard Sweet has done and by changing the incorruptible Word into corruptible and warning us that we need to change according to Bob Dylan’s song? Bob Dylan had a supposed temporary conversion to Christianity but was never a member of a local church let alone an elder in the faith… So Bob Dylan, is now the leader and poster child of a new Reformation in Christianity and Leonard Sweet’s billboard for change?! What an example! …

BOB DYLAN & LEONARD SWEET’S “TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN” & THE VINEYARD
… would Mr. Sweet like us to attend his church, if indeed there is one near Madison, New Jersey, for you certainly can’t easily locate it on any search on the Internet. He has written 30 books and 1200 sermons, many of which address the topic on how to do church and he taught seminars on the subject, yet where is his own local church? …

What changes does Sweet have in mind in order to launch his New Reformation with Dylan’s “Times They Are a Changin” theme song? Here are those lyrics:

http://www.metrolyrics.com/the-times-they-are-achangin-lyrics-bobdylan.
html

And Christ crucified would be where in those lyrics? The gospel would be where in those lyrics? Where in the church would Leonard Sweet have us put those lyrics? In the prayer book? Add it to the rubric liturgy in the Methodist Church? All Purpose-Driven Churches? And what is there in Dylan’s song that Sweet would have us change into, as there is certainly nothing evident in Dylan’s song? Sweet and Rick Warren say this change will be enforced. But how do you enforce the change when we are not even told what change is written in Dylan’s decree? … 

Christians and non-Christians should be concerned about the “change”  described in the Bible not change described in Dylan’s lyrics. The change being born again! The change that counts is becoming a New Creation. Once saved they should concern themselves with the “change” described in this Scripture when Christ physically returns in Glory:

1Cr 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Sweet’s role models who possess the New Light such as Mohammad, Krishna, Thomas Merton and a host of others will not be changed into incorruptible bodies but will perish eternally in the Lake of Fire who are deceased. And those who are alive will suffer the same fate if they do not repent.

WHO IS LEONARD SWEET’S PASTOR AND WHERE IS HIS LOCAL CHURCH?

As if it is not enough of a problem to track down Bob Dylan’s church, I found it virtually impossible to find Leonard Sweet’s local Church or pastor, upon an exhaustive search on the Internet and dialogue with his close friends and colleagues. Leonard Sweet offers no help. How bizarre is it that The Church Report states: “he was voted “One of the 50 Most Influential Christians in America” (www.thechurchreport.com)”, yet not report which local church he is in? Remember this is a “church report”. I even wrote a gentleman who is doing his doctoral dissertation under Leonard Sweet. He was very kind, but didn’t know either. I asked the VP and Dean of George Fox where Sweet also teaches if he knew. He either doesn’t know, or won’t tell. I twice asked the bishops and UMC Church leaders of Northern New Jersey district and West Virginia Districts (Bishops Sudarshana Devadhar, Bishop Lyght, and Rev Paul Mathew Maliel, Rev Robert E Costello, Rev Renee L Mccleary and Rev Sung Hoon Ah) of the United Methodist Church who ordained him as well as his own booking agent. No response…totally stonewalled. This doesn’t surprise me because the United Methodist Church promotes Yoga at its churches. They have become so apostate that you have to wonder if there is even such a thing as a false teacher to mark in this denomination. Is there any such thing a “unsound doctrine” with this organization? Leonard Sweet, who supposedly upholds church standards has made it almost impossible to carry out Matthew 18 should anyone have an offense against him. You could try to exercise Titus 3:15 to warn him and his local church, if indeed it even exists, or could find it, but his UMC denomination [apparently] is in cahoots with him as are Drew University and George Fox University...

SHIRLEY MACLAINE OR LEONARD SWEET?
MORE RESOURCES…THE BEST ONES ARE LEONARD SWEET HIMSELF

If you still don’t have enough published quotes by Leonard Sweet in his QUANTUM SPIRITUALITY book, to biblically mark him and separate from him, here is more evidence:

1. Unitary thinking, the highest level of understanding reality, opens us up to a wider sensory realm and mystical dimension of the divine; it also heals the divisions that separate us from one another and life’s highest values. 2. Wholeness unites, not eliminates, opposites, bringing them into dynamic balance—the coming together of earth and water, air and fire, through the merger of the Antaean sensibility (Antaeus the hugger of the ground, from which came his strength) with the Herculean sensibility (Hercules the master of air and fire, who defeated Antaeus by lifting him off the ground.) 3. The discovery of the euphoric state of wholeness will prove to be the highest form of ecstasis.” (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 250)

“Spirituality refers first of all to the universal gift of aliveness that exists within all religions and outside of religions. It breathes out the air that “inspires.” Those who have been inspired with aliveness by the kiss of God will “con-spire” to kiss others into coming alive to the spiritual dimensions of existence. “In-spire” means to breathe in. “Con-spire” means to breathe together. “Conspiracy” enters by the same door as “spirituality.” A world gagging on smog and smut needs a breath of fresh air. The New Light movement begins as a fresh air conspiracy of “aliveness.” But it is more than that. Spiritual consciousness can be something greater than aesthetics or aliveness. The Bible tells us that the human species has been twice kissed by the divine.” (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 253)

“As a cosmion incarnating the cells of a new body, New Lights will function as transitional vessels through which transforming energy can renew the divine image in the world, moving postmoderns from one state of embodiment to another.” (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 38)

“Postmodern culture is hungry for the intimacy of psychospiritual transformations. It wants a “reenchantment of nature.” It’s aware of its ecstasy deprivation. It wants to know God “by heart.” It wants to light an inner fire, the circulating force of divine energies flowing in and flowing out. The primal scream of postmodern spirituality is for primal experiences of God.”(Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 56)

“Through the synergy of the divine-human exchange of energies, an unbelievable field of healing and transforming energy is rounded up and released in the universe. Humans are constructed out of mutually attracting energy particles with positive and negative charges. Negative or neutral charges too often dominate human contacts. Positive charges in the church are about as rare as “strange matter”–positively charged lumps of quarks know as “quarknuggets”–is in the quantum world. “Consciousness is catching,” psychologist/ medical scholar/ professor Frances E. Vaughan reminds us. Destructive, negative, constricting states of consciousness are caught as readily as creative, positive, expanding states of consciousness. All energy states are contagious.” (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 62)

A surprisingly central feature of all the world’s religions is the language of light in communicating the divine and symbolizing the union of the human with the divine: Muhammed’s light-filled cave, Moses’ burning bush, Paul’s blinding light, Fox’s “inner light,” Krishna’s Lord of Light, Böhme’s light-filled cobbler shop, Plotinus’ fire experiences, Bodhisattvas with the flow of Kundalini’s fire erupting from their fontanelles, and so on. Light is the common thread that ties together near-death experiences as they occur in various cultures.” (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 146)

Leonard Sweet exposed by Brannon Howse : Rick Warren’s Church is Teaching The Same Thing As Oprah?
From Brannon Howse at Christian Worldview Network:

Best Selling Christian/New Age Author Leonard Sweet will be speaking for Rick Warren’s church this April of 2008. For those of you who did not think  Rick Warren was part of the Emergent Church movement, time to think again. Leonard Sweet is as Emergent Church, New Age, New Spirituality as you can get. In his book, Quantum Spirituality, Sweet states:

“The power of small groups is in their ability to develop the discipline to get people “in-phase” with the Christ consciousness and connected with one another.”

Here are some more quotes from Leonard Sweet’s book Quantum Spirituality:

“Austrian/American physicist Wolfgang Pauli perceived, are the traceable connections that exist between ourselves and others or objects, and the underlying holism of the universe. Transcendent state of consciousness” (Quantum Spirituality, p.234)

“New Light embodiment means to be “in connection” and “information” with other Christians…The church is fundamentally one being, one person, a communion whose cells are connected to one another within the information network called the Christ consciousness.” (Quantum Spirituality, p. 122).

“Postmodern missions must have a geomantic imagination and geomantic design. What I am calling a geomantic style of evangelization will ensure harmonious habitation patterns as the gospel interconnects and interacts with all life-and landforms.” (Quantum Spirituality, p.168)

LEONARD SWEET exposed by Sue Winter:

Leonard praised and endorsed Rick’s [Warren’s] PDC [Purpose Driven Church] book on the inside cover. (E p. 2 and O p.6-7) And Rick praised and endorsed Sweet’s book Soul Tsunami on the front and back cover encouraging the reader to use Sweet’s methods to communicate with God. Sweet uses such things as labyrinths and meditation centers. (*6 p.158) Sweet and Warren, it’s like “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”.

Sweet favorably references Carl Jung. (Jung practiced astrology and channeled two spirit guides [demons] called Philemon and Ka. More on this further on. O p.10)

Sweet’s books and writings are found in Rick Warren’s Ministry Toolbox as well. (O p.7)

Sweet thanks Matthew Fox and other mystics for helping him find the “New Light” and he further states that the “old teachings” of Christianity must be replaced with the “New Light” which comes from the ancient teachings of the Desert Fathers which include “a channeling of Christ energies through mind-body experience.” (*6 pps. 158-159) By telling us to follow Sweet just where is Rick Warren taking us? God’s Word does not tell us that Jesus is an “energy” to be channeled through us, but the New Age embraces this “cosmic” force of “Christ” instead of the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Sweet teaches that humans and creation are one. By accepting the “New Light” earthlings will then know the truth that Thomas Merton revealed, “We are already one…And what we have to recover is our original unity.” Why would Rick
promote such unbiblical garbage on his website for pastors? (*6 pps. 159-160)

Rick Warren and Sweet did an audio tape series together called “Tides of Change”. (O p.7)

Leonard teaches interconnection as a world view in that “The church is fundamentally one being, one person, a communion whose cells are connected to one another within the information network called the Christ
consciousness.” And that “…the gospel interconnects and interacts with all life-and-landforms.” (O p.6) “Google” Christ consciousness and see that this is NOT Biblical Christianity!

Sweet writes that “the church…must be first Christianized… with alterity of rituals by which they (postmoderns) can turn and tune to one another and feel connected to the cosmos. (Quantum Spirituality p. 137 and O p.7) Seriously, “connected to the cosmos”??? “Google”  interconnection to the cosmos to find out where Sweet, and evidently rick, want to take us. You don’t want to go there if you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior.

Sweet praises Jesuit philosopher Karl Rahner and quotes him
favorably in his book Quantum Spirituality (p.76), where he says, “The Christian of tomorrow will be a mystic, one who has experienced something or he will be a nothing….We need a new feeling of what it is to be ‘I’ “(O p.8-9) Dear reader, are we supposed to base our relationship to the Lord on feelings…on experiences in place of knowledge of God through His Word? Is this the
teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ and of God’s Holy Word? NO!

Sweet, like Schuller and Rick Warren, employs many favorable quotes in his writings from people hostile to or at odds with Biblical Christianity like Pierre Teilhard de Chardin who writes, “I can be saved only by becoming one with the universe.” (O p.9)

Remember that Warren and Sweet promote each other’s books. Birds of a feather… SOURCE: By Sue Winter B.S., M.Ed. (another good friend
of mine)

Roger Oakland has written a book entitled Faith Undone which is a comprehensive proof of Leonard Sweet and other Emergent Leaders false teaching: Leonard Sweet names Ken Wilbur as one of his role
models as one of his “New Light” teachers. “Here a just a few of these spiritual activities that Wilbur promotes: yoga, Zen, centering prayer, Kabbalah, TM, tantra (Hindu-based sexuality), and kundalini yoga” SOURCE Faith Undone, Roger Oakland, pp 30-33, 110, Lighthouse Trails Pub., 2007.

CONCLUSION

I tried to warn you. Leonard Sweet and his Emerging Church colleagues have put an axe to the root of the tenets of Orthodox Christianity. But one day the Lord Himself will put an axe to the root of the entire Emerging church and those promoting the mystic plague. In the meantime, since the watchmen who should be warning and protecting the church won’t do it, I warn as many as I can in our media and broadcast alerts about Leonard Sweet, as many
pastors and Bible-believing brothers and sisters in Christ are already doing. But I had hoped that I would not have to include you and George Fox University as a collaborators. Emergent Church leaders like Leonard Sweet are destroying the foundation of Christianity, so what will the righteous do? It is no wonder then that Scripture prophesied about people like Leonard Sweet in describing a Great Falling Away in the Last Days as described in these passages:

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”
I Timothy 4:1

“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit
you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” 2 Peter 1:21-2:3

So I must stand by my statement that Leonard Sweet is a heretic, in accordance with this (and many other) Scriptures:

“A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;” Titus 3:10

Leonard Sweet is touted as one of the leading futurists in this generation. But remind him of his future and anyone who follows him, unless he repents of his teachings!

I have had many people tell me that I am wasting my time confronting these false brethren and that I won’t change them. Well it is probably true that they won’t change and repent. But I am compelled to expose their deeds of darkness for three critical reasons:

1) I am commanded to do so from Scripture whether they listen or fail to listen.
2) I do so to alert those that have ears to hear.
3) To equip the saints to do the work of the ministry.
4) To bring the Balm of Gilead to wounds of the saints of churches who have been destroyed by Purpose Driven, Emerging Church and Mystic Plague

END OF COMMENTARY

Original Letter to George Fox University regarding Leonard Sweet

On 5/18/10 9:24 AM, “James Sundquist” < rock.salt@verizon.net>
wrote:

Dear President Robin Baker, Dean, Faculty and Administration of George Fox University and fellow defenders of The Faith,

Please be alerted to the following news release concerning Leonard Sweet vs. Scripture: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/leonardsweetquotes.html
&
http://www.crossroad.to/Quotes/Church/post- modern/leonard-sweet.htm

Also, I invite you to hear former Roman Catholic priest (22 years)
Richard Bennett, President and Founder of Berean Beacon video exposing Leonard Sweet and Emerging Church:
http://www.bereanbeacon.org/audio/Hazards_unfolded_by_Emerging_Church_leaders.mp3

Richard Bennett, who also taught at Multnomah Bible College (now also becoming increasingly mystical) will be sounding the alarm on His Holy Hill later this month when he releases his DVD on the Mystic Plague in the Church. Having been a Roman Catholic priest for 22 years, he knows as much as anyone about the false teachings of the very Roman Catholic mystics that Leonard Sweet so admirably quotes. Richard Bennett is shocked that Christians leaders would promote the very heretics he just escaped from. I also invite you to consider Pastor Bob DeWaay’s new book comparing Emerging Church to Scripture at: http://cicministry.org/

In Leonard Sweet’s response (http://www.leonardsweet.com/response.php) to online discernment ministries who are simply good Bereans searching the Scriptures to see if “these things (Sweet’s teachings) “be true”, Leonard Sweet attacks these defenders of the faith, but gives absolutely no Scriptural refutation, as the Apostle Paul requires, and ODMs have done, as I document in the websites enclosed in this letter. I remind Mr. Sweet that slanderers and those who bear false witness against a brother will not enter the Kingdom of God.

In this response Leonard Sweet uses Colossians Chapter 3 to defend his own teaching and philosophy. But Colossians refutes the very Colossian Heresy that Sweet espouses:

“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.” (Colossians 2:8) In other words mixing Eastern and Western philosophy, exactly what Sweet’s Cosmic Christ (and Rick Warren) and many Emerging Leaders promote. Many scholars confirm that gnosticism, mysticism and a higher spiritual formation experience and its variations is what the Colossian heresy was referring.
See: http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue69.htm

Sweet further states in his response to defenders of the Faith: “Jesus did not come to make us divine. Jesus came to show us how to be authentically what God made us to be–human. Because of the culture in which we live, I have encouraged the daily ritual of starting the day by standing in front of a mirror and saying: “God is God and I am not.””  It is true that God did not come to make us divine, but which Scripture (that Sweet can’t cite) teaches that Jesus came to teach us how to be authentically more human? This is completely heretical! Jesus did not come to teach use how to be more human but appease
his Father’s wrath through the substitutionary atonement, and to crucify the old human (man) and become a New Creation, that many of Sweet’s friends and colleagues renounce in the Emerging Church Movement.

Leonard Sweet may very well be friends with his fellow Emergent Church leaders such as Brian McLaren and others like Rick Warren and Richard Foster (another Carl Jung promoter), but Scripture states:

“know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:4

So Sweet should not be simply critiquing Brian McLaren, rather exposing his deeds of darkness and publicly marking him and other mystics as a false teachers not quoting them and promoting them and repenting of the promoting them himself and stumbling countless children of the Most High God!

Finally, Leonard Sweet gives thanks for being introduced to Joseph Campbell (“Power of Myth”) disciple of occultist Carl Jung [whom Rick Warren — a collaborator with Leonard Sweet] promotes in his SHAPE Personality Temperament Divination Profiling that I documented in my own book Who’s Driving the Purpose Driven Church (published by Southwest Radio Church swrc.com <http://swrc.com&gt; ), also published in The Conservative Theological Journal at Tyndale Theological Seminary and the Journal of Biblical Apologetics, and now posted on Youtube at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qW6aroPRx8

I find it ironic that Leonard Sweet and his colleague Rick Warren would BOTH threaten whom Rick Warren call “resisters” and “enemies of the 21st Century” and Sweet himself says “change of be changed…Reinvent yourself for the 21st Century or die.” (Leonard Sweet, Soul Tsunami: Sink or Swim in the New Millennium Culture (Zondervan, 1999), p. 74-75). If you want to find out what happens to saints in churches who do resist these change agents? Read the case studies in my second book Rick Warren’s Global Peace Plan vs. Scriptural Teachings on Peace at theperfectpeaceplan.com
<http://theperfectpeaceplan.com&gt; .

Both Rick Warren and Rick Warren are bitter/sweet as Scripture records sweet to the taste but bitter to the victims:

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20

Sincerely in Christ,
James Sundquist
Director
Rock Salt Publishing
http://www.voiceoftruthradio.com/james.htm

FOR FURTHER READING

Randy Woodley’s blogsite

Read Full Post »

I came across this 2007 info on George Fox University and George Fox Evangelical Seminary. I am attempting to find out how far back these Evangelical Friends schools have had heretical faculty.

In a blog regarding Richard Foster, I mentioned that Richard Foster taught  in the 1970s at George Fox College (which later became George Fox University).

Back to the 2007 article. Click here for the source of this article, by Lighthouse Trails.

In this article, I have emphasized certain points by bolding, and inserted comments in [brackets].

CONFERENCE ALERT: Missional Matrix

March 22nd, 2007 | Author: Lighthouse Trails Editors

The Missional Matrix conference [broken link] is being held this weekend at the Vineyard Community Church in Shoreline Washington. George Fox University (a strong proponent of contemplative spirituality) is sponsoring the event, and speakers include Scot McKnight (author of The Real Mary; see our related article below), and Todd Hunter, North American president of the Alpha Course and a proponent of the Emerging Church. The speakers are being asked “to share their view[s] from the road and help us make meaning out of the theological and very personal twists and turns we find ourselves navigating as leaders.”

Unfortunately, contemplative and Emerging Church leaders identify the meaning of these “twists and turns” in a most unscriptural manner. McKnight is a major catalyst for the current sway by evangelicals towards Catholicism while Hunter is a partner with Renovare (Richard Foster’s organization). In addition, George Fox University [as well as George Fox Evangelical Seminary] is a hub of contemplative/emerging activity with a list of adjunct professors [at GFES] that includes Dan Kimball and Leonard Sweet. In 2005, George Fox hired [broken link](1) Todd Hunter, Leonard Sweet and Brian McLaren to teach certain classes, and chapel speakers at the university have included Richard Foster and Brennan Manning. Recommended and required reading for classes at George Fox include a wide assortment of staunch contemplatives/mystics like Thomas Keating, Henri Nouwen, and Thomas Merton.

ENDNOTES

(1) Although this link is broken, I did find the following info here:

Spring 2008
“Conniry named seminary dean: Former pastor helped develop seminary’s hybrid-learning programs

Chuck Conniry, director of the doctoral programs at George Fox Evangelical Seminary since 1998, has been named vice president and dean of the seminary.

Conniry, a former pastor who also has taught at Bethel Seminary in San Diego, helped pioneer the seminary’s hybrid classes that use both online and in-person interaction. The new format attracts students who live around the world.

“One thing that energizes me is the chance to be one of the architects of the present and future shape of theological education,” Conniry says. “I get the opportunity to work with top-quality faculty and be in dialogue with the influential leaders of the church. I look forward to seeing our students find all that God has called and gifted them to be.”

Conniry has been instrumental developing relationships between the seminary and those associated with the emerging church movement, including Leonard Sweet, Brian McLaren, and Jason Paul Clark.

Conniry earned a doctorate in systematic theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and a master of divinity degree from Bethel Seminary. His areas of expertise include systematic theology, pastoral ministry, modern and postmodern philosophy, American religious history, and New Testament Greek.

Conniry’s appointment comes as he releases his second book, Soaring in the Spirit.

Read Full Post »

I was under the impression that the Emerging/Emergent church movements started in 1995. Not so – their roots date back as far as 1970. Check out the following blog posted by Discernment Research Group. The original post can be found here.

I am emphasizing certain points by bolding, and adding comments in [brackets]. Also, I am hoping to add links for more info on various individuals. Here is the blog:

How Leadership Network created the “Emerging Church”

There are many interconnections between Bob Buford of the Leadership Network (1), Rick Warren of “purpose-driven” fame, and Brian McLaren of the “Emerging Church.” On the website http://www.anewkindofchristian.com/archives/000226.html, “The website for A New Kind of Christian, Brian McLaren answers the question, “How did Emergent start?”

“1. Emergent grew out of the Young Leader Networks, which was launched in the mid-90’s by Leadership Network, a Dallas-based foundation. Doug Pagitt, Chris Seay, Andrew Jones, Brad Smith, and others were involved before I was, and they did a great job of setting a tone and direction for the emergent conversation.”

In order to understand the significance of this answer, a bit of background information might be helpful. This is a movement that is bringing in new doctrines and new church structures, particularly targeted at a younger generation of Christians. Berit Kjos, writing about Brian McLaren, notes the connection between McLaren and Rick Warren and comments on the methods of changing doctrine:

“While many pastors and church leaders have written books that describe this spiritual transformation, the message of Pastor Brian McLaren carries more weight since he is an acknowledged leader in this movement. Some of his articles are posted at http://www.pastors.com/, a website founded by Pastor Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life. McLaren’s book, A New Kind of Christian, is written as a semi-fictional dialogue, so that readers can experience the thrill of questioning old truths and discovering new truth through the dialectic process. . . . [T]he introduction touts the postmodern worldview while raising doubts about Biblical faith . . . . ” [http://www.crossroad.to/News/Church/Klenck2.html]

Robert Klenck, in an excellent and comprehensive article at http://www.crossroad.to/Excerpts/church/new-kind-christian.htm entitled “What’s Wrong With the 21st Century Church?” writes about the purpose of the Emerging Church:

“The Mission of the Leadership Network is to ‘Accelerate the emergence of the 21st-century church,’ and that the (emerging) ‘paradigm (of the 21st century church) is not centered in theology, but rather it is focused on structure, organization, and the transition from an institutionally based church to a mission-driven church.’ [emphasis added]

“The Young Leader Networks, affiliated with the Leadership Network, under the heading ‘People We Connect’ state that they connect ‘Theologians who construct new theologies that emerge out of practice.’ and that ‘We need your help to move to this “new age” of ministry built upon various experiences and expressions (emphasis added).’ ‘Our vision is to contextualize our message…by narrative preaching opposed to propositional. … within the framework of relationship. We prefer the mediums of art, expression, and experience opposed to a 95-point sermon used by generations before us to communicate truth.‘” [emphasis added]

[A more comprehensive history and explanation of Bob Buford and the Leadership Network is found in Robert Klenck’s report, “How Diaprax Manifests Itself in the Church (Growth Movement),” available in a booklet published by the Institution for Authority Research’s “Readings in the Dialectic” (e-mail iardeangotcher@yahoo.com for information on how to purchase this excellent report). For more information on the Leadership Network and Rick Warren, see “The Shepherding Movement Comes of Age,” at http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NLjanfeb_2003.htm and “The Pied Pipers of Purpose,” http://www.discernment-ministries.org/Purpose_Driven.pdf.]

“What Is Emerging?”

In an article with this title, Chuck Smith, Jr. wrote in April 28, 2005, under a section entitled “Rewind to the 1970s” that Leadership Network had a direct role in setting up the Emergent Church:

“As far back as 1970, Larry Richards was calling for A New Face for the Church and in 1975 Howard Snyder pointed out The Problem with Wineskins. The student revolution of the 1960s marked the beginning of change in western society, and prescient believers were already discovering that the church would have to alter some of its structures in order to recast biblical community in the new world, still forming. The recommended changes of the ‘60s, however, had more to do with tweaking existing structures rather than calling the entire structure, right down to its foundation, into question.

“In the last decade of the 20th century, a small group of Christian leaders were drawn together by their mutual conviction that evangelicalism had produced a subculture that was no longer the best possible representation of Christianity. The world that had given birth to North American evangelical institutions (established basically through the 1940s to the 1960s) had disappeared by 1990. These believers realized that pushing the same methodologies (perhaps even the idea of methodology) and striving to salvage the old worldview would increasingly alienate popular culture and future generations of Christian youth.

“The group that met together to discuss these issues was fortunately blessed with astute and theologically informed thinkers like Brian McLaren and Tony Jones; ecclesiastical innovators like Todd Hunter, Chris Seay, and Brad Cecil; advocates of worship renewal like Sally Morgenthaler; and world-Christians like Andrew Jones. Scholars who had been discerning the times—Len Sweet, Stanley Grenz, N. T. Wright, Robert Webber, and Dallas Willard, to name a few—forged a biblical vocabulary that enabled the early team to converse intelligently on issues that were their passion. All of them shared two basic beliefs: western culture had radically changed since the 1950s, and the church desperately needed renovation to respond to cultural changes.

“The more the original crew talked among themselves, the more their numbers grew. In the early 1990s, Leadership Network provided the initial platform for them to generate more discussions and host conferences. Later they adopted the name The TerraNova Project, and when Leadership Network withdrew its support, they became Emergent, which Brian McLaren insists is a conversation rather than a movement.” [New link
http://www.forministry.com/vsItemDisplay.dsp&objectID=A670797B-0CBE-43D1-A877B4F9EA43CC4F&method=display&templateID=C3435351-D45C-4B52-867A3F794D1CD85C, emphasis added]

Brian McLaren confirms this history in an interview at http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/week846/interview.html, July 15, 2005, in answer to the question “How did all of this get started?”

“Well, back in the early 1990s there was an organization called Leadership Network funded by an individual in Texas, and Leadership Network was bringing together the leaders of megachurches around the country. By the early and mid-’90s, they noticed, though, that the kinds of people that were coming to their events were getting a year older every year, and there wasn’t a [group of] younger people filling in. They were one of the first major organizations to notice this.

“They started realizing that there was a sentence that was being said by church leaders of all denominations across the country, and that was, “You know, we don’t have anybody between 18 and 35.” When they started paying attention to this increased dropout rate among young adults in church attendance, that opened up a discussion in the mid-’90s about Gen X. And so they starting bringing together young leaders in the Gen X category to talk about what was working in the church, what wasn’t working, what was going on.

“After a couple of years some of these young Gen X guys said, ‘You know, it’s not really about a generation. It’s really about philosophy; it’s really about a cultural shift. It’s not just about a style of dress, a style of music, but that there’s something going on in our culture. And those of us who are younger have to grapple with this and live with this.” The term that they were using was the shift from modern to a postmodern culture. And so what began to happen — and as this thing had a life of its own, they said, ‘If it’s not just about Gen X, then we have to make sure that we get some older people who aren’t just in that age frame to talk about this.’

“I had just written a book on the subject. That’s how I got involved, and it turned out that there were a number of us, all simultaneously thinking we were the only one talking about it and thinking and writing about it, who all around the same time were noticing the same phenomenon. So it was a very exciting coming together of these younger leaders and some of us a little bit older, saying, ‘This is our world, and this is the future. And the Christian faith and our individual churches, we’ve got to engage with and deal with it.'”

The Truth:

Pastor Enrique Ivaldi, at www.freewebs.com/luteranos/ in a recent sermon entitled “Ye are Clean, But Not All,” observed:

“There is much truth in what the devil teaches. Remember, the devil is called the master deceiver in Scripture and to deceive people, you have to use truth. You cannot use all error. Nobody would be deceived if it were all error. You have to mix truth and error together and that is what the devil is a master at doing. There is much truth in what the devil teaches. In fact, there is so much truth in it that you may not be able to find anything wrong with it. In these last days that truth will be so combined with error that unless the Holy Ghost is working on your mind, you will not be able to tell the difference.”

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:3)

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

posted by Discernment Research Group @ 11/09/2005 10:36:00 AM

ENDNOTES

(1) Links with info about the Leadership Network:
http://leadnet.org//about/page/mission

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In 1965, various “conservative evangelical” Yearly Meetings of Friends (Gurneyite Quakers) united to form the Evangelical Friends Alliance (EFA). Eventually the  EFA became the Evangelical Friends Church International (EFCI).

Northwest Yearly Meeting (NWYM) of the EFCI is home to George Fox University (GFU) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (GFES). My question is, when and how did NYWM, GFU and GFES become so liberal? In other words, when and how did they go from “conservative evangelical” to “progressive evangelical”? The change is shocking. [I am using the terms “liberal” and “progressive evangelical” interchangeably.]

Malone University (MU), another school in the EFCI, in 2009 had Brian McLaren as a guest speaker, and this was a “big deal”, a shocker to many in the community. Why is it that GFU and GFES are so much more “progressive evangelical” than MU?

We do know that the Spiritual Formation movement took off among evangelicals in 1978, with the publication of Richard Foster’s book Celebration of Discipline (Foster has had many ties with the EFCI over the years).  It should come as no surprise that Foster pastored in the liberal NWYM, as well as taught at the liberal George Fox College/University.

The Emerging/Emergent Church movements started becoming popular around 1995. I would guess that GFU and GFES heartily endorsed and promulgated these movements as soon as they began.

Note – all Regions of the EFC-NA (which falls under the umbrella of the EFCI) are becoming progressive evangelical to some degree. Currently I would say NWYM is the most progressive. And I would say EFC-ER (which hosts Malone University) is the least progressive.

Back to the point. Following is a recent GFES web page listing various seminars. Notice the lengthy list of Emerging/Emergent speakers for past seminars:

Ministry in Contemporary Culture Series

A New Creation! - The Fusion of Ministry and Creative Arts

A one-day seminar with Dan Kimball and Maggi Dawn

Wednesday, February 9, 2011  |  9 a.m. to noon
George Fox Evangelical Seminary

Maggi Dawn and Dan Kimball

Join us as we explore the multifaceted ways in which art forms function as “theological media,” conveying spiritual realities in ways that words cannot. You will learn some of the principal ways that faithful Christ followers used these media throughout the ages … and discover fresh ways to use these media today!

Schedule

9 a.m.    Maggi’s session: The Intersection of Theology & the Arts in Historical Perspective
10:05 a.m.    Break
10:15 a.m.    Dan’s session: The Intersection of Theology& the Arts in Contemporary Ministry
11:20 a.m.    Break
11:30 a.m.    Pastor’s panel response

Bios

Dan Kimball is the author of several books on church leadership and culture. He is on staff at Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, Calif., and on faculty at George Fox University. He enjoys comic art, Ford Mustangs and punk and rockabilly music. His passion is to see the church and Christians follow and represent Jesus with love, intelligence and creativity. His website and blog is at dankimball.com

Maggi Dawn is an author and theologian. She began her professional life as a singer-songwriter, but later after reading for a degree and a PhD in theology turned her creative talents to writing books. Maggi is currently based at the University of Cambridge (UK), where she is chaplain and Fellow in Theology at Robinson College, and is available for writing and consulting projects.

Her book, The Writing on the Wall (Hodder and Stoughton, 2010), explores some of the most influential stories and ideas from the Bible, and shows how they have been woven into Western culture. If you love art, music and literature, and want to understand the hidden layers of meaning that derive from the Bible, this book is essential reading.

Past Seminars

Margaret Feinberg, Understanding Megatrends: The Church’s Missional Witness in a Millenial Age
Dallas Willard,
Knowing Christ: The Hope of Moral Knowledge
Leonard Sweet, The Influence of Islam on the 21st Century Church
Dan Kimball, They like Jesus, but not the church; author of The Emerging Church, Emerging Worship and They Like Jesus, But Not the Church. He is pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, Calif., a newly planted missional church.
Joseph Myers, Organic community: the chemistry of belonging
Leighton Ford, From Crusade to Coffee House
Marva Dawn, Unfettered Hope, A call to Faithful Living in an Affluent Society
Tom and Christine Sine, Searching for Sanity in America’s Culture Wars
Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer, The Christian Community in Israel and Their Role in Reconciliation
Brian McLaren, Beyond Pluralism: Living Faithfully in a Polarized World of Fundamentalism and Relativism
Tony Campolo, Being Compassionate and Prophetic in Ministry
Stephen Delamarter, Technology in Ministry
Leonard Sweet, Leadership and Evangelism in the Emerging Culture
Paul Lessard, Authentic Worship
Len Sweet, Dan Kimball, MaryKate Morse, Alan Hirsch, & Frank Viola, Recalibrating Concepts of Church
Richard Twiss, Robert Francis, Terry LeBlanc, and Randy Woodley, An American Theology of the Land
Joseph Myers, Technomadic: Mapping Our Way in an Unbounded World
Scot McKnight, In the Beginning was the Gospel

See also this more recent link:

http://www.georgefox.edu/seminary/news-events/ministry-contemporary-culture.html

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