|ELL, THE DA Vinci Code snare has carefully been laid for seekers and creekers across the country and around the world while purpose driven preachers of pride, pleasure and pragmatism prepare to lead their jaded flocks into the devil's den to view his version of history on the big screen so they can more effectively cast their pearls to swine in the interest of "evangelism."|
Unfortunately, many are themselves, without root, possessing seed that has not yet found fertile soil, but only the wayward experiences of seeker-sensitivity and Purpose Drivenism, making it vulnerable to the fowls of the air, as told by Jesus Himself in the Parable of the Sower, also known as the Parable of the Soils.
"A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it...Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved." - Luke 8:5,12
Notice that the Word of God was in their hearts. In other words, they were familiar with it; they just didn't yet believe it and embrace it as absolute and eternal truth, thereby losing it to the wiles of Satan.
WKRN, Nashville's Channel 2, recently broadcast a controversial segment about local churches that were actually encouraging their members to read Dan Brown's blasphemous book, The Da Vinci Code. In their online article's closing paragraph, they had this to say:
"The reaction from churches has been interesting itself. You might think pastors would discourage people from reading the book and seeing the movie, but at some churches, like the People's Church of Franklin, pastors are encouraging their members to read the book, not because they think it'll build their faith, but because they think it's an opportunity to tell people what really happened."
Did you catch that? Reading the Da Vinci Code, not the Bible, mind you, will provide Christians with "an opportunity to tell people what really happened;" as if to say, one must digest devilish lies for the chance to speak Divine truth. How's THAT for serpent logic? If that isn't a satanic trap, I don't know what is. It's like having someone say to you: "Here brother, drink this so you can tell others how poisonous it is."
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." - Philippians 4:8
If The People's Church sounds familiar to you, it is the mega church I used to belong to; the one I abruptly left back in 2000 because of, among other things, their affiliation with the Willow Creek Association. I chronicled my departure and a few of the events that led up to it in an article that bears their name; a church whose leadership never met a gimmick they didn't like, the last of which I recall was "Porn Sunday."
You remember Porn Sunday don't you? I wrote about that too. That's where The People's Church promoted and presented an "R" rated film in their worship center cleverly titled "Missionary Positions," (Are you ready for this?) to help fight the growing addiction to pornography. Only the leaders of the church growth movement would dare twist temptation into a "ministry" to draw a crowd.
"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
But lest you think The People's Church has a monopoly on shameless church growth gimmicks; last week in Providence Rhode Island, the Associated Press reported this:
"As the electric guitar in the U2 anthem "Pride (In the Name of Love)" faded from four speakers, the Rev. Robert Brooks welcomed worshippers to Grace Episcopal Church with an unusual suggestion: He warned them to protect their hearing...Ushers handed out earplugs and fluorescent glow sticks for the "U2 Eucharist," a communion service punctuated by the Irish rock band's music. Episcopal parishes from California to Maine have hosted similar events, weaving U2's tunes - laced with biblical references - into the liturgy.
Streamers flew over worshippers' heads at the recent gathering in Providence. Children danced by the altar. Plasma-screen TVs illuminated the gothic sanctuary. Some people sang and clapped, while a few looked puzzled... [Go figure]
...Bono, [U2's lead singer] meanwhile, has told interviewers that he worships God through music. He once belonged to an ascetic Christian community, and in February, he spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast. The band's early tapes were sold in religious bookstores.
Still, the band members are traditional rock 'n' rollers - they swear, drink and sing about sex."
And then there was that April 13th Wall Street Journal story about the pastors and church members of Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community in Pittsburgh who planned to perform a play entitled "Judas' Kiss;" a drama where "Judas is condemned to relive his betrayal of Christ over and over." WSJ religion writer, Suzanne Sataline reported that "It will be performed Sunday for the congregation -- an eclectic group of drunks and college kids, suburbanites and street people, Catholics and scrawny punk artists with New Testament citations tattooed on their chests."
She went on to say:
"No one preaches at Hot Metal Bridge. Plays are its liturgy." Adding that, "Hot Metal Bridge is part of the emergent church movement that rejects rigid orthodoxy and strives to use hip language and culture to draw in young Americans who stopped, or never started, attending church." (Underscore added for emphasis)
"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." - 1st Corinthians 1:18
"Thomas Bickerton, the United Methodist bishop of western Pennsylvania, says churches like Hot Metal are the future of religion. He admits the rough crowd the pastors aimed to reach, coupled with the focus on drama, made some Methodist church leaders nervous. But, he says, 'We've reached a point where the younger generation needs to teach the church a thing or two.'"
Well, I'd say the "younger generation" has taught us quite a bit lately; and I'm inclined to agree that this is indeed "the future of religion" because the Bible tells us as much:
"But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." - 2nd Timothy 3:13
And while we're on the subject of "kissing," you might remember me referencing the Spurgeon article: "Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats?" in my last installment. Well, apparently John Weber, pastor of Solid Rock Assembly of God has taken it to a whole new level with the help of his flock's "younger generation."
According to the Washington Post: "...he challenged the children in Sunday school to raise money for the church's 'Boys and Girls Missionary Crusade.' He suggested that they raise the money by tithing some of their allowance and rooting around in the laundry for loose change. If they could collectively fill their yellow plastic crusade cups with $500 by the month-long campaign's end, he would do something outrageous. His 10-year-old daughter, Naomi, suggested that he kiss a goat."
So, kiss a goat, he did! The Post was kind enough to include a charming photo of the highly publicized event for the public's amusement - what I consider to be a snapshot of today's church - a picture that is not only worth a thousand words but also one that is sure to entertain and embolden the enemies of Christ for years to come while completely escaping the discernment and conscience of Christians who ought to know better.
Frankly, the symbolism of it all is just spectacular.
For those unaware, the goat's head is a commonly used representation of modern day Satanism. Also, in Matthew 25:31-46, the Lord Jesus Himself proclaims that upon His Second Coming, He will separate the sheep from the goats, referring to the former as "blessed" and the latter as "cursed."
So, today's unbiblical emphasis on youth; and the call for pastors to "kiss the goat," as it were, by surrendering their churches and ministries over to the childish whims and impulses of a capricious culture ruled by rebellion, depravity and silliness; and the consensus-led clergy's eager willingness to do so for their approval and participation, I would say is not only symbolic, but also quite prophetic.
You see, the scriptures denote a kiss as being more than just a mere act of affection or greeting. It was a sign of worshipful submission, whether to good or evil. (1st Samuel 10:1, 1st Kings 19:18)
"Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him." - Psalm 2:12
It kind of shines a whole new light on Luke's account of the woman who continually kissed the feet of Jesus in chapter 7:37-50 as He dined with the Pharisees, doesn't it? Unlike the stubborn, prideful and rebellious religious leaders who chastised Jesus for allowing such a display, she went her way forgiven.
But today it seems there's more goat kissing at church than Christ kissing. Satan has effectively redirected our "purpose" and "passion" away from honoring God, to honoring goats; and why? To attract more of them, of course... As if to add insult to injury, the exponential growth that results from this travesty of faith is actually celebrated by the compromised collective as a sign of God's blessing and approval!
Sadly, as chronicled above, there is seemingly no limit anymore as to what today's church will do to accomplish this task. Clearly the insanity has spread among the flock at large until the "fruited plain" on which we graze has begun to look more like the plain of Jordan; that desolate place the Lord covered with fire and brimstone as Lot and company were swiftly escorted away.
So before we all rush out to fill our hearts and minds with the frivolity, foolishness and falsehoods of those who would have us "kiss the goat" for God, we might well consider the Apostle Paul's warning:
"Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them...And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them...See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." - Ephesians 5:6-7, 11,15-16
© 2006 Paul Proctor - All Rights Reserved
Paul Proctor, a rural resident of the Volunteer state and seasoned veteran of the country music industry, retired from showbiz in the late 1990's to dedicate himself to addressing important social issues from a distinctly biblical perspective.
As a freelance writer and regular columnist for NewsWithViews.com, he extols the wisdom and truths of scripture through commentary and insight on cultural trends and current events. His articles appear regularly on a variety of news and opinion sites across the internet and in print. Paul may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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