As I have said before here at Apprising Ministries, without a doubt these are strange times we are living in. An era where a warped kind of “tolerance” has actually replaced the type of love that our Lord was so often speaking about. This alleged “postmodern” age is really just a mask for relativism, along with its supposed “love,” which requires no real stand for Truth because doing so might “offend” someone. Essentially this is the rotten fruit of humanism, which flowered as it were, in the 60’s into a kind of Bohemian “love in” that was going to usher in some sort of Utopian brotherhood of mankind. It didn’t work in secular society then, and it certainly isn’t going to work in the true Body of Christ today. And yet it would seem that this purpose is what drives the Ecumenical Church of Deceit (ECoD), duplicitous daughter of apostate Roman Catholicism, which is right now an Emerging Church within postevangelicalism.

“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give it to you. This I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it has hated you.” (John 15:16-18, NASB)

To Show Love In Christ One Must First Be Born Again

There is much that can be gleaned from this text but space dictates that I simply point out here the Christian is to bear fruit, but this is not just about some empty statistics. On the contrary, Jesus is telling us that if we witness for God His way then our fruit would remain. The Master, Who obviously spoke the Truth in love perfectly, also informs us in verse 18 that the world hated Me before it has hated you. So the Christian already knows going in that the genuine Gospel of Jesus Christ will never, ever be popular with Satan’s world system. And what leaders within the ECoD such as Rick Warren and Rob Bell and Joel Osteen don’t seem to understand is that the above command by God in verse 17 that we love one another cannot be separated from something else Jesus would later pray in His High Priestly Prayer:

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as We are one: I in them and You in Me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me. (John 17:20-23)

Since I cover this more issue more thoroughly in True Unity In The Body Of Christ I will make just this one point in passing. To love one another in the way the Master is speaking above in verse 21 necessitates that one must first be born again [i.e. regenerated] by the Holy Spirit an act of God’s grace alone; through faith alone; in Christ alone. This is the only way someone can be in Christ just as the Father is in Him and Christ is in the Father. What the postevangelical ECoD, centered as it is on the love of man instead of on love for God, does is to try and isolate a verse such as 17 of our opening text in order to further their own misguided agenda of “reaching” [read: pleasing] the world “for Christ.” Let me also point out to the reader that the Purpose Driven Church of Rick Warren is arguably the major cog in this Reformation-reversing ECoD.

Closer Biblical Examination of Christ’s Commands

Currently I have been seeking the Lord concerning these matters because as a Christian and a pastor-teacher I most certainly would never wish to ver violate such a central command as love one another. Seeking no sympathy, but stating a fact; the type of ministry into which Apprising Ministries has thrust me along the Internet Front of the Truth War is actually quite difficult for someone with my particular personality. In this kind of discernment work it’s hard enough to keep the balance between love for God and love for others as we stand for His Truth. This however is then complicated in my particular case because by nature I am also a person who hates conflict. My basic philosophy was always pretty simple: “Live and let live.”

This I have in common with the average person in this world today, so conditioned as we are to think that love means we are not to infringe on the “rights” of someone else, but instead we must leave them alone to live as they please. However, Satan knows this sounds good to the flesh and especially so to those who have followed his deceiving spirits with their things taught by demons into the practice of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), which has the eventual effect of reversing one’s reasoning process. The immediate problem that arises is these people must then turn and attack the absolute and final authority of God’s Word because the false sense of “love” received through CSM simply doesn’t square with the Bible—Old or New Testament. The Lord’s prophets and preachers in Holy Scripture continually call mankind to live up to the standards required by their Creator.

Consider that the Bible unquestionably tells us God is love (e.g. 1 John 4:8). And because it also tells us that — All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, then it logically follows that teaching, rebuking, correcting and training must also be a part of Christ’s command under discussion to love one another. Now we examine the issue further by following another command the Master gave to His Church — “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mark 12:30, KJV). I’ve also covered this elsewhere, but notice here that Jesus clearly lets us know love’s proper priority as He says — “this is the first commandment; as in the most important. Therefore to love as Jesus loved must begin with a love for God above anything or anyone else.

A Quite Profitable Morning Devotion

This brings us back to my meditation on love in the Bible during my morning devotion while I have been seeking the Lord’s will concerning these matters. He is my witness that I would pull every piece I have ever written and publicly repent if AM has been out of line in what I have been teaching while I watch this growing apostasy spreading through the Church as quickly as an Oklahoma wild fire (thanks Mike Ratliff). So today as I read Tozer on Christian Leadership, and no I don’t agree with Tozer on everything, I believe the Lord helped me to come to see something so very important as it relates to this whole issue of the human potential movement that has actually formed the base for the ECoD. For you see in a tragic violation of the below Scripture this deleterious Daughter of Rome has sadly followed the man-loving footsteps of her self-righteous Mother the Roman Catholic Church, Satan’s best front for the Kingdom of God:

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the traditions of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8, NASB)

With this understood we need to think back and remember that as A.W. Tozer is writing evangelicalism, which has ultimately proven to be humanism painted with Christian theology, was still rather young. The positive centered on self message of Norman Vincent Peale was heavily influencing a relative unknown “minister” by the name of Robert Schuller as well as his friend Billy Graham, who at this time was still rising to his status as religious icon. It all seemed so simple then, so innocent, but the sharp spiritual eyes of the Lord’s watchmen saw through it. Tozer would write:

We in the churches seem unable to rise above the fiscal philosophy which rules the business world; so we introduce into our church finances the psychology of the great secular institutions so familiar to us all and judge a church by its financial report much as we judge a bank or a department store.

A look into history will quickly convince any interested person that the true church has almost always suffered more from prosperity than from poverty. Her times of greatest spiritual power have usually coincided with her periods of indigence and rejection; with wealth came weakness and backsliding. If this cannot be explained, neither apparently can it be escaped.

The point I am trying to make here is that while money has a proper place in the total life of the church militant, the tendency is to attach to it an importance that is far greater than is biblically sound or morally right. The average church has so established itself organizationally and financially that God is simply not necessary to it. So entrenched is its authority and so stable are the religious habits of its members that God could withdraw Himself completely from it and it could run on for years on its own momentum. (Tozer on Christian Leadership, July 12)

But The Spirit Has Withdrawn

Can you see it now? This was to become the evangelicalism of good old positive American business savvy and know-how “that God could withdraw Himself completely from it and it could run on for years on its own momentum.” All the time there we were looking ahead for the “falling away” but it had likely already begun. So no wonder this apostasy seems to be spreading so far and so fast. I offer that it has already been happening and the Purpose Driven juggernaut with its “fiscal philosophy which rules the business world” is just the logical outgrowth of this human potential movement so many Christian leaders have chosen instead of the Christ they say they serve? Maybe all that is really happening would be God now opening our eyes to what had actually already begun quite some time ago.

If this is the case then no wonder the purpose is driving God away so fast because the Holy Spirit has likely been grieving for years. And with the most grievous mistake made by so many Christians in so easily accepting Rick Warren as their new high priest it may have just been enough for God to finally abandon evangelicalism to then destroy itself. From the mouth of Billy Graham, undoubtedly one of evangelicalism’s best loved prophets whose mantle Warren has received, I recently read him say:

Much of the world is callous and indifferent toward mankind’s poverty and distress. This is due largely to the fact that for many people there has never been a rebirth. The love of God has never been shed abroad in their hearts. (Unto The Hills, July 11, 242)

Yes Billy Graham, we agree, so how could you have been so “callous and indifferent” choosing to “bless” your late friend John Paul II’s idolatry and his gross waste on money on lavish papal “privileges” when he denied the Biblical Gospel of salvation that you yourself supposedly preach? Sadly, in this same devotional quoted above a misapplied love of man emerges even from Graham himself when he wrongly concludes that:

[Jesus] mourned over Jerusalem because as a great city it had lost its appreciation of the things of the spirit (sic). His great heart was sensitive to the needs of others (ibid).

The fact that Graham ends this teaching with a lengthy quote from “St.” Francis of Assisi, whom he tells us “had discovered the secret of happiness,” and then even encourages us to pray Assisi’s man-centered prayer is quite telling in and of itself. It grieves me to have to say these things about someone I grew up respecting, but I simply can’t help but see the influences of Peale and Schuller upon Graham. And if you do, then you personally will also have discovered another of the roots from which the Warrens and the Osteens now spring forth as man-pleasing weeds in God’s wheat field. Jesus didn’t mourn over His precious Jerusalem because of something so simple as it “lost its appreciation of the things of the spirit”. No, our loving Lord wept because these people had rejected their own Creator in favor of their interests in self, worshiping their own purposes by which they had thus condemned themselves to Hell.

Now Lost In the Throes Of Apostasy

I am sad to say that Graham’s papal friend made the same tragic mistake. And don’t you think that if Graham had better understood how to love his friend Karol Wojtyla then he should have told him the truth. In fact, Graham could have used the very illustration in his devotion above for this pope while he still had time to repent. The reason Christ wept over Jerusalem, a city loved by God, is really quite clear — As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes” (Luke 19:41-42). Can you see it? The sin of this people, as well as their refusal to repent, had now caused God’s judgment to fall upon them so that His purpose would forever remain hidden from them. They could no longer “see,” and they could no longer “hear,” and they were lost for eternity in the throes of apostasy. Not unlike so much of what is passing for Christianity today here in arrogant America.

But this is exactly what happens when mankind follows our own corrupt human nature and then turns ourselves inward; we will then begin to think and act virtually the opposite from the way God Himself does. Today the average Christian thinks our purpose is to usher in the Kingdom of God by unconditionally loving each other and putting our “differences” aside to work together for the social needs of our fellow man. As stated earlier this is actually step two because Christ’s greatest command—the LORD God Almighty’s first command—is to love Him above even our own lives and to do exactly what He tells us to do whether it makes sense to anyone else or not. Further, we are also to obey our Master whether it pleases anyone else or not, and we must follow the Lord whether we even understand why God has given us a particular test or not (e.g. Abraham with Isaac). You may trust me when I tell you I know exactly what I am talking about in this regard.

These words by Charles Haddon Spurgeon reveal the Mind of the Spirit to the true Christian:

Be you determined that if others do as they please, you are not accountable for their action; but you will do what you believe to be right. If you are a Christian, go through with it; be a follower of Christ in every respect as far as the Word of God and your own conscience lead you…

Now, I earnestly pray every Christian person here, especially in the beginning of life, to look well to this matter, for the joy of your life, the peace of your life, the inward rest of your life, will much depend under God upon your being faithful to your convictions at every point as God shall help you.

The great King Himself seems to say tonight, “Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with Me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve Me” (Psalm 101:6, KJV). He is the man whom I will pick out for My servant.
(At the Master’s Feet, July 11)

And so in the end the sad but absolute Truth comes emerging to the genuine followers of Jesus as we finally have to admit it: We are currently living among a people lost in the throes of apostasy because the purpose too many professing Christians have looked to for their breakthrough into Kingdom living is literally driving God away. Will He return? We must be honest, on this present course of cross-less Christianity, no. Look back through history yourself. Has there ever been a time where the Lord blessed mankind when we decided to build our futile “Tower of Babel,” whatever it might have been at a given time, thus deciding that we could approach our Creator on own terms? If there isn’t a full scale repentance from this love of self soon within the American Christian Church then rest assured that as you listen to the rain falling one dark dreary day you will actually be hearing the very tears of God.

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