Update - March 12, 2009
GREETINGS and WELCOME to more than 150 new subscribers, who have recently joined the thousands of active participants receiving Take A Stand! email updates!
Over the past month I have been traveling and presenting our Take A Stand! seminars across the country. Over the next three weeks I will be in Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa and Washington and hope to see you in a church or conference sometime soon! I want to say thanks so much for praying for our ministry and family as we fulfill the calling on our lives. We are indeed grateful for your love and financial support as well.
As I promised our readers, here below I have chosen a few emails from the nearly 500 I received after writing about Obama, Rick Warren, and Isa, the Qur'anic Jesus, which Dr. Warren mentioned (just after quoting the Bible and the Qu'ran simultaneously) in the prayer he offered at the Presidential Inauguration back on January 20th. For our new readers or anyone who needs to get up to speed on these issues, you'll find a menu here with links to several of my recent email updates as well. (Note that the sample of letters I picked here is a good sampling of the diversity of comments we received.) I've also included a couple of other pertinent letters here, including two important ones concerning "The Shack."
RADIO, SATURDAY, MARCH 14
First though, I want to mention that this coming Saturday morning I will be Jan Markell's guest for two hours on Olive Tree Ministries' radio program, "Understanding the Times." Jan is headquartered in the Minneapolis area and airs live in several cities but everyone can listen either live from 9-11am CST or get the two hour podcast which will be archived on her website by late Monday night the16th.
Our topics this Saturday are going to be "How to Spot the Emergent Church in Your Church" and a biblical examination of Paul Young's book, The Shack. Set a reminder for yourself and be sure and tune in "live" or download the podcast!
To listen to "Understanding the Times" live or Podcast click here
To get a station list for "Understanding the Times" click here
Past Ministry Updates: (partial list)
March 2008 - DVD Special
January 22 - More details on Rick Warren and Obama
January 21 - Just When I Thought I Could Say "Amen"...
January 17 - Let's Review - What was that about Rick Warren anyway?
December 30, 2008 - What You Said About Warren and Obama
December 27, 2008 - Rick Warren Should Have Rejected Obama's Offer
November 22, 2008 - "The Death of Discernment - How The Shack Became the #1 Bestseller in Christianity"
August 15, 2008 - "The Errors of the Emergent Church"
August 7, 2008 - "Evangelical Meltdown - Islam and Christianity at Yale"
OBAMA, WARREN and ISA
Isn't Essa or Isa just Arabic for Jesus? That is what I find on the Internet. Not that Rick Warren was crossing the line. If you are mad about that then why aren't you angry that he used Yeshua? It is Hebrew and Jews don't believe Jesus is the Messiah for the most part. I think we have enough people trying to cause division why would you want to stir up more dislike or fear of Muslims? I am a Christian and admit to be fearful or leery of Muslims. My brother has gone to Iraq. So please explain to me your call to fear.
- Kathy (Canada)
NOTE: Several contrary emailers have suggested that I failed to follow the commands of Matthew 18 concerning my opposition to Rick Warren's teaching and philosophy. However, before ever speaking out publically, I tried repeatedly to contact Rick Warren in hopes of opening dialog. I have never so much as received an email or fax reply from one of his assistants - let alone, Dr. Warren.
I can't tell you how much your email has touched me. I know for sure with your knowledge you are truly being led by the Holy Spirit. For you to take the time and address all my questions is amazing, and I thank you so much.
God is using you to prepare us for these coming years/days, before the rapture. I respect you and admire your honesty and heart. I don't know you, but through this email you sent, God opened my heart to you and your ministry. I have learned to test and see if what a person or minister is saying is their true heart or just words Satan uses.
God says in the last days even the very elect will be deceived. That is so true and Satan is using people like Rick Warren to help do that. Course, if Christians would read and study the Word of God they would be able to discern better.
Thank you for all the time you spend in research and studying the Word of God and then reaching out to all of us to warn of the heretics.
God Bless you and your family and ministry, and I pray protection, wisdom, discernment, and Divine knowledge over you.
I'm sick and tired of you spending my time putting Rick down. He is a man of G and the Bible speaks against people touching God's anointed. I've gone through the Purpose driven life and read the book cover of why he wrote it. I am better prepared to face what God has for me because of it. You take things out of content and build a grip against him. Please use your money and people's time better. Go against new Age, Morman, Jehovah Witness and such. If k made a mistake in his prayer, pray for him. Downing him all the time is not doing you or him any good. You are making money by character assanation. You can stop emailing me. I have better things to do than to read how bad Rick is in your opion. god bless you and guide you.
Rev. Georgiia Anne (internet)
This is my last Email to you Anne. But first, I beg you to just ponder two things.
Are you prepared to tell friends, family and strangers that they do not need to repent to be saved? That's what Warren taught by completely ignoring repentance from sin in The Purpose Driven Life. I am not the only person saying this you know?
Second, are you prepared to tell friends, family and strangers that Allah is actually Jehovah God? Warren signed a paper stating this at Yale University and has actively promoted this. I have documentation on my website concerning this. His position is certainly verging on Universalism.
The most hideous error in the Church in the end days will be that which leads the most astray by subtle means.
Leaders like John MacArthur, David Wilkerson, Noah Hutchings, James R. Spencer, Brannon Howse, Jan Markell and many more are all exposing Warren and calling on him to repent and for his supporters to realize what is happening.
I cannot be silent. If I am the only one speaking up, I must speak up. If the Gospel is under attack from inside the Church it must be exposed. Anybody who denies the Five Fundamentals of the Faith as Warren did in 2005 is not fit to preach the Gospel. If he were a deacon, that alone would be enough to disqualify him from leadership in most any Bible believing church.
I hope you reevaluate your position and then base your opinions on Scripture and not the teachings of any man.
We are watching these very things take place...
II Timothy 3:1-7 - This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
II Timothy 4:1-5 - I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
II Peter 2:1 - But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
Acts 20:28-31 (The Apostle Paul stated) - Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them(selves). 31Therefore watch...
In the power of the Gospel in Jesus Christ,
"THE SHACK, UNIVERSALISM AND CONFUSION!
I listened to you on Southwest Ministries radio and also have concerns about The Shack. You said it took a year for writers to remove the "Universalist" ideas. In one interview I read, Young denies universalism and says some have an agenda to imply it's in his book. Where did you get your info that universalism had to be written out of his book and what proof do you have that he is a universalist? Thanks.
- James (California)
What you have asked about is all documented in my 80 minute DVD on the topic ("The Death of Discernment"). I have uncovered a bunch more info since the making of the DVD last month too. I will share some of it in my next newsletter.
Here are the sources:
First, I met with Wm "Paul" Young personally before shooting the DVD. Young continues to parse terms by volunteering (most of the time without ever being asked about it) that he is "not a Universalist." He is obviously nervous about the Christian world becoming convinced of any such thing, though in a web page which answers his critics one of his editors, Wayne Jacobson, acknowledges that Young had previously embraced a form of Universalism known as "universal reconciliation” and that it indeed was throughout the original manuscript. (Jacobson refers to it as "ultimate reconciliation" to avoid using the dreaded "U" word, universalism.)
Jacobson site states:
Does The Shack promote Ultimate Reconciliation (UR)?
It does not. While some of that was in earlier versions because of the author's partiality at the time to some aspects of what people call UR, I made it clear at the outset that I didn't embrace UR as sound teaching and didn't want to be involved in a project that promoted it. In my view UR is an extrapolation of Scripture to humanistic conclusions about our Father's love that has to be forced on the biblical text.
Since I don’t believe in UR and wholeheartedly embrace the finished product, I think those who see UR here, either positively or negatively are reading into the text. To me that was the beauty of the collaboration.
It is obvious that Young, Jacobson and partner Brad Cummings, all have a great deal to lose by not doing their best to debunk the book's critics. They are very aware of where Young was theologically when he wrote the book. And that is the point isn't it? The book and soon-to-be-movie are what is being criticized.
I happen to like Paul Young as a person but cannot be swayed by my human feelings toward him. However, I can tell you after sitting in several hours of lectures and Q&A sessions at Paul Young's meetings he is doing a very careful dance around the word "Universalism."
In the very beginning, I began to smell universalism in The Shack by simply reading it. However, after digging a bit I found a very scholarly paper by Dr. James DeYoung who was a member of the M3 Forum (a theological discussion group or "think tank") with Paul Young for several years.
Dr. DeYoung is a Ph. D and conservative professor at Western Seminary in Portland, OR. He has taught there for over thirty years and is fluent in Greek and Hebrew and also teaches an elective on the Church Fathers. He is well equipped to expose Universalism from both an intellectual and historical perspective. He has published a lengthy, documented and very thorough paper on the bountiful amount of universalism found in The Shack which can be found at: http://theshackreview.com/content/ReviewofTheShack.pdf.
After having Young tell me face to face that he was not a universalist, I asked him about Dr. DeYoung's paper. He bristled at me and made several accusations about DeYoung which I now understand to be unfounded. Since the meeting with Paul Young I have met personally with Dr. DeYoung for four hours. I can best describe the info he shared with me personally as "shocking stuff." Much of what he described was first hand knowledge of Young's beliefs that emanated from their joint involvement in the M3 Forum. Because of being challenged over his heretical ideas and his unorthodox beliefs, Young left the group and cut off all contact with Dr. DeYoung several years ago.
Looking back on my personal encounter with Paul Young, I wish I had asked him "Are you now or have you ever been a reconciling universalist?" (If you are not familiar with the difference between the two, universalism says that all religions lead to the same place where as reconciling universalists believe that all men (read that "ALL") are already saved because of Jesus work on the cross, thus there is no penalty for sin, no hell and no need to accept Christ and repent of one's sins.) This is very obviously what Young believed when he wrote The Shack and whether he believes it today or not you can be fairly certain that with millions of dollars at risk he is not going to re-edit The Shack to try and make theological corrections - without an act of God. Again, it is not even what Young may believe today that is in question. It is what is contained in The Shack that we are concerned with and as you are probably aware, universalism is not the only glaring problem in the books treatment of issues such as salvation, the identity of God, the trinity, etc.
If you would like a complete treatise on Universalism it can be found in both "Universalism: Is Everyone Already Saved?" and "The Death of Discernment/Shack." Both of these DVDs are available in the online bookstore at www.ericbarger.com.
Feel free to share anything from our newsletter or website with whomever the Lord directs you to. Thanks for your continued prayers and support.
God Bless you!
THE SHACK DEFENDERS
RE: Your video "The Death of Discernment: How The Shack Became the #1 Bestseller in Christianity"
The death of discernment is right. Your discernment. Exactly as you said, "fictional". Another gospel? Are you joking? You just called it fictional. It is a fictional novel. If it claimed to be a gospel we shouldn't read it. Like the book of mormon. But IT DOESN'T. The only one calling it another gospel IS YOU! You trump it up so you can get some face time on a popular topic.
- Joshua (From Tangle, formerly GodTube)
RE: Your Comments about my video "The Death of Discernment" at: http://www.tangle.com/view_video.php?viewkey=f7d94766795ff36fba1d
Paul Young believes in and teaches Universal Reconciliation. He believes that EVERYONE is ALREADY saved. I have heard him speak three times and researched The Shack extensively. He also believes Patripassianism - an ancient heresy which states that God the Father suffers and dies on the Cross with Jesus (p. 95 of The Shack). I also heard Young teach this at a pastor's luncheon at Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon, Oct 13, 2008.
When those with heretical views are given such prominence, they often use their fame to preach unorthodox, heretical and even cultic doctrines and ideas. Such is the case with Paul Young and this is a serious problem. I remained shocked that any good church or Bible college, such as Taylor University in Edmonton, Canada are so ready to jump on his bandwagon and give him a platform and worse, credibility.
If you don't suppose the dozens of errors in doctrine he presents are problematic, then I suggest you pray and seek God about having a higher regard for the Scriptures. Perhaps you haven't been in the Church long enough to realize the mess that Evangelicals are in concerning doctrine, truth and discernment. The very fact that Paul Young's book has gained such fame and acceptance among Christians signals that truth and the Bible are of little consequence to many calling themselves Christians today.
Paul Young isn't the real problem. His popularity is but a symptom that the Church is in deep trouble today.
Some of you "Shack Defenders" need to get your Bibles open and then check out some of these resources before you defend either Paul Young's theology or The Shack itself. Since I don't figure you are about to buy my video (which includes dozens of quotes from The Shack and Scripture to back up my concerns), here is a menu of information containing articles and audio files that may prove eye-opening if you dare examine the truth. Access the menu here.
A VOICE AGAINST "THE WORLD"
I hope this message reaches you and finds you well. I would like to thank you for the work that Lord has allowed you to do being a voice against the way "the world thinks" I have read your books and watched your videos and they have helped me to find the right things to say to those who come up against my beliefs as a Christian. I hope that more people come up and defend the faith as you have done in the past years.
P.S. I hope to see you in Peoria at the Christian Workers Conference.
- Geordan (Illinois)
ARIS Survey 2009
The American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) is a survey conducted by researchers at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn.
One of the most revealing facts found in this survey is found in the statement below. It shows the toll that spiritual liberalism in its various forms has taken on the once-biblically strong mainline denominations.
"The increase in people labeling themselves in more generic Christian terms corresponds strongly with the decline in people identifying themselves as Protestant, the survey found. People calling themselves mainline Protestants, including Methodists and Lutherans, have dropped to 13 percent of the population, down from 19 percent in 1990. The number of people who describe themselves as generically "Protestant" went from approximately 17 million in 1990 to 5 million."
Washington Post, March 9, 2009
Those who call themselves "Evangelicals" need to beware. Satan has us in his sights. We are now the target of Emergent liberalism, Open Theism and several other heresies. The big question is - will we follow liberalism or will we follow the Bible?
The Emergent Church - from Jim Spencer
My friend, author Jim Spencer, offers terrific information on Mormonism and the Cults. His latest newsletter is on The Emergent Church. It is a great read and spot on. Good Job, Jim!
Read Jim's Emergent article here
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