By Apprising Ministries special correspondent John Beardsley of  The Beardsley Ministry

Many call the days we live the last days, awaiting the rapture to snatch them away from this world with all the trials and tribulations but seem to forget we are also warned of an apostasy that must come first – so often we would forget! If these are not the days of apostasy Jesus Christ warned his Apostles, I’d hate to see what is! No special knowledge needed to see this, just need to read the Bible. – The New Testament paints the picture of the spiritual darkness growing today:

Matthew 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Matthew 24:11-13 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

1 John 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

Acts 20:29-30 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

2 Thessalonians 2:10-11 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

The Naked Church

Churches who have depended on a host of experts for how to grow churches, do church, how to counsel integrating psychology, employ the world’s music, and defer what is true doctrine to some programs have left the church defenseless to the attack. The church faces (or faced past-tense) an attack they are ill-prepared to fight. Your church attendees or members will undo your organized church to make it “relevant” or leave to start their own flavor with the organic “home” church. Emergent, emerging churches or organic I have shown, the roots are very similar and the names blend between both, they are closely related and at times connected.

Worldly Connections of the Organic Church to Emergent to New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) – Birds of the feather

The evidence shows when it comes to the handling of the Word of God, these teachers cannot be trusted to teach it Biblically. A God fearing, Bible reading Christian is taught to mark and avoid anyone teaching a gospel contrary to God’s Word (Ro 16:17-18). Yet thousands have flocked to the teachings of the emergent churches, music, books and assorted conferences. Whether I am talking about Rick Warren, Brian McLaren, Leonard Sweet or Frank Viola (the main focus of this series), I perceive them as false apostles and deceitful workers, whether you want to categorize them as emergers, organics or whatever – I am simply calling them what the Bible calls them again based on the evidence presented.

Earlier I documented the connections of Frank Viola with the Local Church Movement (of Watchman Nee & Witness Lee and others covered in the series Part 2), which the late Dr. Walter Martin considered “cultic.” This is very similar to their emergent church counterparts who bring in: Dominion, kingdom and restoration theology with the idea the Church needs restoring (or misuses the word reforming). The evidence shows these teachings are nearly identical not only by those being put forward by Viola & Sweet but those of the radical “Third Wave” or “Seven Mountains or Spheres” closely aligned with the so-called New Apostolic Reformation. (More links related to these topics at end of part 3)

Another trait of the emergent church is the extreme ecumenism where the buzz word is “dialogue” whether it is with the Mormons, homosexuals and even Muslims in an attempt to find common ground. Compromising to the point of trading off of belief systems (reading from the Quran in a Christian Church and vice-versa), tolerance saying same sex marriage is okay with God and more to bring us under one umbrella of faith saying we all worship the same god. (Little “g” intended) Why I make this point will become clear in what follows.

For a bit of off-road driving (especially for those of you who claim to be part of the Organic Church), here is one of your beloved leaders Frank Viola with connections that tie neatly into all the points made above:

1. In his latest book April 2011, Revise Us Again, Viola again demonstrates his bent toward contemplative mysticism and at the same time, ignorance of the scriptures he claims to love: (emphasis in bold mine)

People often use very different vocabulary to express the exact same thing. For instance, Watchman Nee used a unique phrase when he referred to his fellowship with the Lord. He called it “touching the Lord.” Others use the phrase “sweet communion.” Others use “divine encounter.” Others use less phenomenological phrases. To describe fixing one’s heart upon the Lord, some people use the phrase “turning to the Lord.” Others use the word “gazing.” Others say “beholding” or “looking into the face of God.” Still others say “contemplating,” “centering,” “abiding,” or “partaking.” Others describe it as “meditating.” By and large, it’s semantics. I’ve observed this phenomenon all my Christian life. People express the same experiences differently. (page 72).

Apprising Ministries revealed Viola’s emergent and contemplative leanings in the June 2010 article Contemplative Law, The Gospel Of Grace, And Frank Viola. Herescope also said in that piece,

Sweet and Viola’s book, Jesus Manifesto, is subtitled “Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ,” and it pushes the envelope on redefining Jesus, including “You can be a Jesus Manifest.”2 A quick glance at the lineup of key endorsers for this book includes a list of who’s who in Emergent, the Latter Rain cult, neoevangelicalism and the New Apostolic Reformation. (Online source)

Viola’s book Revise Us Again only confirms his modus operandi with the quote earlier. My translation from such a glob of mumbo-jumbo emergent double-speak: Is whatever your belief system is irrelevant, what matters is your encounter with god, it is semantics to argue right and wrong or variety of differences in our belief systems. Remember Viola said, “…whether you say “contemplating,” “centering,” “abiding,” or “partaking.” Or “…meditating.” By and large, it’s semantics. People express the same experiences differently.”

2. In chapter 10 of Revise Us Again Viola refers the reader back to Reimagining Church but doesn’t say where to go in it. (Reimagining Church is another of his books and a follow-up to Pagan Christianity) There is a very notable part in Reimagining Church, chapter on “Church Practice and God’s Eternal Purpose,” under the heading, “Drawing it all together” Frank Viola quotes Miroslav Volf,

“As Miroslav Volf says, “The church lives from something and toward something that is greater than the church itself.” That something is God and His eternal purpose.” (page 147)

Miroslav Volf has made NO secret as to what kind of “church” he is referring – it includes Muslims. On the Yale University website, Volf is one of the key persons in the November 2007 article, Loving God And Neighbor Together: A Christian Response To A Common Word Between Us And You,

“Indeed, together with you we believe that we need to move beyond “a polite ecumenical dialogue between selected religious leaders” and work diligently together to reshape relations between our communities and our nations so that they genuinely reflect our common love for God and for one another.”

Volf ignores Biblical admonitions and openly recognizes the god of Islam as the same as the God of the Bible. Volf is in fact one of the biggest voices in the move towards a merging; a ‘Chrislam’ as coined. Frank Viola’s use of Volf to me is more than just mere coincidence, and more than passing association, Viola made it a key point in how we are to be ‘reimagining church.’ “Drawing it all together,” is an undeniable choice by Viola to associate with and recognize Volf’s contribution… but I state it is to associate with someone guilty of teaching a doctrine of demons! The article written in part by Volf and others dated in 2007 crossing lines that Bible Believing Christians dare not cross,

A Common Word Between Us and You identifies some core common ground between Christianity and Islam which lies at the heart of our respective faiths as well as at the heart of the most ancient Abrahamic faith, Judaism.”

Including a social gospel,

“The future of the world depends on our ability as Christians and Muslims to live together in peace. If we fail to make every effort to make peace and come together in harmony you correctly remind us that “our eternal souls” are at stake as well.”

– So is this God’s eternal purpose for His church? Viola’s double-speak gets him into a lot of doctrinal trouble using Volf as a springboard to prop up his organic church thinking!

There are many more connections with more names: Loving God And Neighbor Together: A Christian Response To A Common Word Between Us And You Under portion that a selection of prominent signatories follows:

– Fuller Theological Seminary- Rick Warren, Founder and Senior Pastor, Saddleback Church, and The Purpose Driven Life, Lake Forest, CA

Bill Hybels, Founder and Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, IL

(The list too long to include here just including big names related to this series)

3. My focus on the part of Reimagining Church chapter on “Church Practice and God’s Eternal Purpose,” section on “Drawing it all together” is due to Viola’s emphasis on this section in that book. Viola continues on the next page quoting Gilbert Bilezikian co-founder and elder noted for the seeker-sensitive, church growth, positive confession and emergent church leanings Willow Creek. (His senior Pastor Hybels a signatory above)

“Christ did not die just to save us from sins, but to bring us together into community. After coming to Christ, our next step is to be involved in community. A church that does not experience community is a parody, a sham.” (Bilezikian as quoted page 148 in Reimagining Church)

– Please remember the type of church Willow Creek is and those who do not know follow the link back to BDM, there is plenty of history here. Bill Hybels says, “There would be no Willow Creek without Gilbert Bilezikian.” Quote from a bio on Bilezikian located at (The Elijah List – A hyper-charismatic group tied to a variety of people including the wacky Rick Joyner)

4. In an article by Southern View Chapel, Pastor Gary Gilley mentions Bilezikian regarding the modern (or should say post-modern) teaching of Open Theism –

“More lethal is the fact that this new concept of God is sneaking in through the backdoor of the camp by means of popular writers such as Phil Yancey, and the influence of men like Gilbert Bilezikian, who, as the resident theologian of the Willow Creek Community Church , wields tremendous power over the minds of many modern church leaders. Others in line with Yancey and Bilezikian include devotional/mystical writer Richard Foster and theologian Donald Bloesch.[1] Particular danger of this latter group is that they may seldom, if ever, admit to holding open theistic convictions but espouse those views in attractive formats (e.g. Yancey’s popular book, Disappointment with God).” Southern View Chapel, Pastor Gary Gilley

5. Tying this together with the first points – it is impossible for me to ignore how easily Viola compares our encounters with “God” as simply, “…it’s semantics. People express the same experiences differently,” When you roll that together with the reference in Revise Us Again in chapter 10 back to his 2009 book Reimagining Church in my opinion, this is all a ploy.

a. Frank Viola cleverly omits Volf’s extreme ecumenical position. I could not accept ignorance of Volf’s position – he knows what he is doing. My opinion this was done so he can draw more from Volf at a later date in one of his later books, giving Volf more time to gain acceptance in the so called Organic Churches and with his Emergent leading friends such as Brian McLaren.
b. This ploy is nothing new, as when Brian McLaren called for a five year moratorium on the issue of homosexuality – after the five years revisit the issue if there is clarity. More like the dialogue has led to the compromise we see now! It is a type bait and switch, just play stupid down the road, if it is found out and still seen to be unacceptable.c. Additionally, Gilbert Bilezikian is co-founder of a church that is a signatory of that same Chrislam document co-authored by Volf.

d. The quote chosen by Viola of Volf again,

“As Miroslav Volf says, “The church lives from something and toward something that is greater than the church itself.” That something is God and His eternal purpose.” (page 147) – A number of other implications or meanings can be drawn from such a statement but merely keeping it in the context of Volf’s teachings is heretical at best and damnable based on scriptures! (2 Peter 2:1-2)

e. Please refer to Viola why I keep coming back to his previous books, he is the one who keeps drawing on them as if because they exist they are an authority unto themselves.

6. In an article that is closely related to this series by Herescope and on the Apprising Ministries sites had the article The Other Side Of Emergent: The New Apostolic Reformation published July 2010 and a portion of that article is excerpted here to further ‘draw it all together’ more on Viola and Sweet: (Used with permission)

Today [June 1] is the launching of a new book, co-authored by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola. This marks the open marriage of the Emergent movement with the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR).Sweet and Viola’s book, Jesus Manifesto, is subtitled “Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ,” and it pushes the envelope on redefining Jesus, including “You can be a Jesus Manifest.”[2] A quick glance at the lineup of key endorsers for this book includes a list of who’s who in Emergent, the Latter Rain cult, neoevangelicalism and the New Apostolic Reformation.

In recent posts on this blog we have noticed that emerging church leader Leonard Sweet has links to the NAR.[3] The co-author of his book, Frank Viola, also has roots in the NAR. He has been connected with the House2House group, a movement that is ostensibly about “house” churches, but in reality is concerned with building the networking apostolic cellular model of church for the purpose of building the kingdom of God on earth. This is the same Dominionist goal that is characteristic of the NAR: “This amazing network of churches is rapidly transitioning as a network to embrace the simple church models that the Lord is blessing all around the world,” leading to the “transforming work of God in bringing people to Christ. . . leading to dramatic advances of the Kingdom of God.”[4] John Arnott of the Toronto “Laughing Revival” has been a notable contributor to the House2House magazine.[5]

A key name associated with Frank Viola is Heidi Baker, whose frequently appears with her husband Rolland. They flourish in the New Apostolic Reformation and can often be found on the Elijah List (chief organ for the NAR)[6] and (a radical Dominionist group).[7] The Bakers spoke at the Global Awakening “Voice of the Apostles” conference, October 28-31, 2009 along with other NAR apostles Randy Clark, Che Ann, Bill Johnson and John Arnott.[8] Heidi was featured along with Latter Rain cult leader Rick Joyner at his MorningStar Ministries “Harvest Fest” held September 24-30, 2009.[9] The list of interconnections and associations with the NAR could go on and on…

Neil Cole is another well-known name associated with Frank Viola and the House2House movement. He is also connected with Leadership Network.[10] Furthermore, Frank Viola’s book Organic Church: Growing Faith Where Life Happens is endorsed by such notables as Bob Buford (head of Leadership Network) and John Maxwell.[11]

Leonard Sweet endorsed one of Frank Viola’s earlier books, Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity, by connecting it to the idea of “God’s Dream,” an increasingly common metaphor.[12] Viola has also authored From Eternity to Here: Rediscovering the Ageless Purpose of God, described as “a whole new way of looking at the Scriptures, at Jesus, at the church, and at me,”[13] and endorsed by such Emergent leaders as Leonard Sweet, Brian McLaren, Dan Kimball, Shane Claiborne and many others.

Characteristic of all of these recent emerging convergences, a MANIFESTO accompanies the agenda being promoted jointly by Sweet and Viola. It is called “A Magna Carta for Restoring the Supremacy of Jesus Christ a.k.a. A Jesus Manifesto for the 21st Century Church.” This Manifesto does not hearken back to the written Word of God in order to follow Jesus or His teachings. Instead it speaks of “implantation and impartation” and “incarnation.” This is based on imaging, imagining, visualization, meditation, and following a “Presence,” even using the term “cosmic Christ.”[14] The document also makes this amazing statement – an example of psycho-spiritual biblical revisionism:

The Bible does not offer a plan or a blueprint for living. The “good news” was not a new set of laws, or a new set of ethical injunctions, or a new and better PLAN. The “good news” was the story of a person’s life, as reflected in The Apostle’s Creed. The Mystery of Faith proclaims this narrative: “Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again.” The meaning of Christianity does not come from allegiance to complex theological doctrines, but a passionate love for a way of living in the world that revolves around following Jesus, who taught that love is what makes life a success . . . not wealth or health or anything else: but love. And God is love.

It also seems to claim we are Christ: Jesus Christ cannot be separated from his church. While Jesus is distinct from his Bride, he is not separate from her. She is in fact his very own Body in the earth. God has chosen to vest all of power, authority, and life in the living Christ. And God in Christ is only known fully in and through his church….We, collectively, as the ekklesia of God, are Christ in and to this world.[15] (A Magna Carta for Restoring the Supremacy of Jesus Christ a.k.a. A Jesus Manifesto for the 21st Century Church,” by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola, JULY 8, 2009)

All of this is a very quick overview, there are many more connections and associations. ***Click here  for 26 published endorsers of The Jesus Manifesto for starters. The key point is the context of this new book by Sweet and Viola, it isn’t just Emergent! This represents that much-anticipated, much touted New Apostolic Reformation great convergence, the many streams coming together into one big river!

Where Is This River Heading?

Above are only a handful of links to other information showing this convergence of streams into a river. As my research on this topic has continued, sifting through the huge amount of regurgitated information and obvious connections have proven to be too many to count.

Those in the organic churches while arguing they are not condemning what they coined the Institutional Church (any organized group of people attending service in what they know as a church building) they are quite vocal in pointing out its problems. In their literature they are not so kind even condemning of the pastorate as a position or office calling it unbiblical. Much like a cult, Viola’s organic church process preys on the discontented, making his way sound appealing and therefore people following him are taken hook, line and sinker by the teachings of his and George Barna’s book Pagan Christianity which is the primer for Reimagining Church, proudly stated at the end!

The picture coming into focus with part 3 demonstrates the duplicity these people operate with routinely. It is not a conspiracy, it is right out in the open – it is an agenda! An agenda that can easily be traced to the teachings of liberal theology, restorationism, Manifest Sons of God, and more recently the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), the Leadership Network and even following the playbook of the homosexual agenda.

The teachings exposed are a frontal assault on the basic tenets of Christianity trampling on the Word of truth, the Bible (Mat 7:6). While the writers of Pagan Christianity, Reimagining Church, and The Jesus Manifesto offer lip service that they are all about the centrality and supremacy of Christ they are taking advantage of the frustrations many may feel, even in a solid Bible Believing Church. Similar to the cults, Pagan Christianity is a tool for playing the heart strings of many within organized churches that are inundated with programs, filled with men’s ideas of business management, psychology. Churches are where they are because men and women have weakened the churches by abandoning scriptures for something else and we are reaping what has been sown with the convergence of this river of lies.

So many dissatisfied by the programs and psychology are looking for something new they think is missing. Next, along comes Pagan Christianity naming a list of things wrong with the church and showing many alleged pagan roots that largely draw on resources outside of scriptures to make their points. (A separate study would be needed to cover them all!)

Am I saying all of the criticisms laid at the steps of the organized churches are erroneous? Not at all! It is the art of propaganda to mislead the reader for another agenda – theirs being the restoration of the Church, but restoring it to what kind of Church? The Organic Church or Emergent Church? Take your pick, they have the same creator and it’s NOT the God in the Bible! Here are two quick reminders:

From the Jesus Manifesto, The Jesus Manifesto states, “The earth awaits a body of Christians in every city who will receive Jesus utterly and completely. A body who will esteem Him above everything else, giving Him His rightful place of supremacy” (pages 158-159).

Where are we told this? Certainly not in scripture but it is straight out of heretical restoration, kingdom and dominion theology!

In a recent endorsement made by Frank Viola for a book released 6/30/2011,

“Jon Zen’s book [The Pastor Has No Clothes] demonstrates beyond dispute that the clergy-system (in the form of the modern pastorate) is not only unbiblical but also contrary to the headship of Jesus Christ. I hope that every Christian reads this volume with an open heart and mind, especially those who deem themselves “leaders” in the body of Christ. I applaud Jon for his courage in adding another Scripture-based book to help foment the growing revolution that God has begun today – a revolution designed to give His church back to His beloved Son.” (emphasis in bold mine)

More evidence of the hate of the pastorate and proof they are teaching revolution in the churches it is not Biblical reformation!

The gates of Hell have not prevailed against the Church, nor will they. This talk gives smells a bit of Mormon restorationism that somehow the Church is dead. No some churches are dead but some remain, maybe a remnant but God knows who and where they are. Viola in his piece of why he left the institutional church brings the accusation to the churches that they are the ones throwing the baby out with the bath water while he has stepped into a hole of his own making. He and Barna in Pagan Christianity plus his own teachings are often contradictory, eclectic and confusing to the new believers they hope to sway towards Christ but again what Christ and what Church? His Organic Church following his teachings is no different than the popery of others and is in fact a full frontal assault of those in the remnant that remain that seek to follow the way of the Bereans and the Solas of scripture.

What Is the Evidence Showing Us?

Based on the preponderance of the evidence (only a fraction of what there is), I have revealed a number of snares for believer and non-believer alike. Viola and Sweet do not directly advocate the extreme ecumenism (inclusive of Islam) they ally with those who do, with numerous positive quotations and endorsements exposed in this series. Their friends are opening the doors making it inclusive to false religions, no Hell, some openly universalist.

Our site has been up since 1997 warning of the dangers we were seeing with everything from Promise Keepers, Psychology, rock music with a Christian name, and a host of fads. Today it is easy to see how these things were a means to an end. Within the churches these worldly things helped to undermine and supplant scriptures and the use of scriptures to defend truth.

Here is what I lay at the doorstep of those who bring these Pagan Christianity, Reimagining Church, The Jesus Manifesto, The Shack and a list of other books to the churches – You are foolish false teachers and harbingers of spiritual death to apathetic lukewarm churches remaining today. You offer nothing new. You are reintroducing the old ways (so-called) as new knowledge which is nothing more than the old Gnosticism condemned in scriptures and wrestled with for over a thousand years by those who stand by what the scriptures teach! Repent!

For teachers claiming to be all about the centrality of Jesus Christ in our lives they are foreigners, tares among the wheat in many ways, as discussed in part 1 and part 2 of this series. Some have argued how can you say something bad about making Christ central in your life and in the church? Logic dictates you cannot – until you qualify the Jesus they are talking about is NOT the Jesus of the Bible! There are other Jesus’s and the scripture teaches us even long ago there were and would be others claiming His name and teaching another Gospel. Beware, a whole host of books are being pushed at us to help us on our way into the Emergent Church, Organic Church or something else they consider relevant wherever we are today. These books are laced with an old leaven revived in the pits of Hell, it is a poison that blinds the eyes and ears of those taken in by it, I have seen it!

Personal Message to Readers

If you are offended, hurt, and or convicted by what I shared, good! Whether you like what you’ve read or not, your eyes have been opened and if you are caught up in it, know that you can escape your snare. My intent for the articles parts 1 through 3 are largely inspired by persons my wife and I love that we see ensnared by the lies exposed here. I will not be more specific on the Internet but suffice it to say we see a number of them going down the emergent/organic path unwittingly.

We are also sure there are other Christians who are ignorant of the duplicity being used to pull them away from a Biblical faith. My personal experience in dealing with the arguments coming from the Organic Church reminds me of dealing with the cults including Catholicism, Mormons and Islam – it is a dangerous path.

If I got through to you, please don’t continue to be played the fool and follow this path a moment longer! The Bible has this to say of the matter, Proverbs 14:16 “A wise [man] feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.” Depart the evil, and seek the truth of scriptures! Turn from these old dark paths unto the light that is found in the Bible and expose these evildoers. Let this rebuke (correction) be one that takes you on God’s paths, not the paths of men or of demons!

In all of the discernment work I have done to date, I have found what is coming into focus to be the most disturbing of all. The Biblical Discernment Ministries (BDM) site has become more of a historical picture of these dark days we live.

Now for a word for my critics, consider this. Since 1997 BDM has asked for NOTHING in the way of monetary assistance. It is a ministry and does not try to sell you books, seek speaking engagements or get you to go to the latest seminar or conference. These men I have exposed are my opposite!

2 Peter 2:1-3 “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. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”

My exhortation to you: If they are not making merchandise of you don’t let them! Wise up, ask questions! Most importantly, pray for wisdom to know the truth and don’t be afraid or intimidated to speak out. If a false teacher can be bold in carrying out his agenda, we can be bold in defending the true gospel.

There is much more you can read on these topics revealed on sites linked with BDM such as Apprising Ministries and Herescope – I hope they are of help to you as well.

God’s promise to you that turn to Him, here is the Bible’s doctrine on the tree of life! Not some confusing heretical mumbo jumbo of some man’s ideas:

Re 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Re 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

Re 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth [it].

My Closing Thoughts

I often hear two things from the teachers today, first asking what is relevant for the church today? Second is a comparison to the lukewarm church at Laodicea, Revelation 3:15-16 “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

Both miss the mark, how about a comparison to the Church at Sardis – it is written, “Rev. 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.”

– Any church claiming the name of Christ, being alive and relevant to this generation while teaching another Jesus has no life, no Holy Spirit in it – it is dead.

What a joyous day it will be to put the mess of this world with all of its trials and tribulations is behind us when we meet Jesus in the clouds!

Additional Links and other information not included in the series that tie to Frank Viola and Leonard Sweet: (excerpts point to the connections)

“Small group “cells” aren’t usually marketed to the church as a networking plan. Restructuring the church into a small group structure has been presented as a church relationship-building endeavor that will produce better results and meet “felt needs.” Very seldom has the top-down nature of the hierarchy been revealed. The people in the pews have been kept in the dark for several decades about this.”

“Frank Viola is “a high school Psychology and Philosophy teacher,” who in “his spare time…plants house churches, speaks at church-life conferences, and authors books on Christ and His church.” On one of the opening pages he says that he “left the religious system.” One of his arguments against preaching is “it suffocates mutual ministry.” And as he debates the case against church buildings, he implies the friendlier, warmer atmosphere of a house (the sofa over the pew). So the agenda emerges. He is a destroyer of one system in the interests of promoting another. This phenomenon (the house church movement) is built on certain common premises: (1) smaller is better, (2) informality {though defined by the leaders} is preferable over order, (3) spontaneous/conversational teaching is superior to a prepared orderly presentation, (4) diversity is celebrated, (5) breaking from “tradition,” and (6) opposition to pulpits, buildings and treasuries. All of these items (like a systematic theology) show up in some form in Viola’s book, urged upon the reader as a warmer, more spiritual atmosphere and derived from the New Testament (not as a “manual,” but more like a love-letter hermeneutic).”

“Chironna was featured at the “Let the Eagles Gather: The International Gathering of Prophets, Apostles and Intercessors” conference in Orlando in August 2009 along with top NAR “apostles” Chuck Pierce and Cindy Jacobs.[44] Chironna must be considered important in these circles, because he is also listed as an endorser of the Frank Viola and Leonard Sweet’s recently released Jesus Manifesto book.[45]”

“Emergent leader Mike Morrell got the plum job of conducting the book-launching “Interview With Frank Viola and Leonard Sweet,” which was posted on June 1 at Morrell’s webpage HERE. Morrell, “an editor with and founder of the popular ‘alt.Christian’ web directory,[2] explains how he originally hooked up with Frank Viola in his article “House Church: Ready for Prime Time? Frank Viola says ‘Yes!'” Morrell, describing Frank Viola as a “family friend,” records that he “started reading Frank right at the beginning of my house church journey in 1998, my freshman year in college” and how “[o]ne year later, he crashed on a pallet beside me and three other guys on my parents living room floor!”[3] He then explains the significance of connecting the Emergent movement to the NAR’s “house church” movement.” “…At this point it is important to explain that the emerging “house church” concept in the NAR is engineered to be an organic whole that is facilitated and networked by a growing alliance of international self-anointed, self-appointed apostles and prophets – a living “body” on earth that is both hierarchical and cellular in nature. It is an “organism” that must be managed by the machinations of man (not God), assessed via feedback mechanisms, monitored and propelled towards an evolutionary target of a collective “emergence.” Don’t be misled by the rhetoric! The NAR concept of “house church” is not about humble little autonomous churches meeting in living rooms.[5]”

More on Volf and his book named “Allah”

Book Description

“Three and a half billion people—the majority of the world’s population—profess Christianity or Islam. Renowned scholar Miroslav Volf’s controversial proposal is that Muslims and Christians do worship the same God—the only God.” …

• A person can be both a practicing Muslim and 100 percent Christian without denying core convictions of belief and practice.• How two faiths, worshipping the same God, can work toward the common good under a single government.”

Volf -Also tied to Rick Warren’s PEACE initiative picture online with him and Rwandan president (blamed in many deaths), praised by Tony Blair and more. (Links) A former student of Fuller Theological Seminary along with some other big names of the emergent church, of course such as Rick Warren and ….

In an article on Yale News Daily, September 9, 2009, In Blair’s shadow, Volf shines “According to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, his co-teacher for the “Faith and Globalization” seminar, Miroslav Volf, is a “a lot smarter and more knowledgeable than me.”

In reference to Volf, “Now, after moving to the United States in 1977 when he began studying at the Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif., Volf maintains contact with spiritual leaders around the world. He spent hours in a discussion group with the Dalai Lama…”

More Leonard Sweet connections (similar to Viola):


Another interesting name connected with the 7 Mountain Mandate is mystic leader Leonard Sweet, who has mainstreamed himself into the evangelical world-at-large, coming out of his obscure role as Emergent professor-in-residence. How he did this is a study in itself. In June 2007, a SYNERGIZE! Billion Soul Pastors Conference for January 2008 began to be advertised as a way to become “equipped to impact ‘seven spheres of society.'”[15] This was being promoted and sponsored by a recently formed organization, Second Billion, a spinoff of the Global Pastors Network.[16] Headed by James O. Davis and globally-renowned “apostle” Sunday Adelaja, the organization grew rapidly, using a “synergistic approach to fulfilling the Great Commission [mandate]… exponentially in every region of the world.”[17] Len Sweet was billed as a speaker at this first conference where the “seven spheres of society” were touted. He quickly rose to prominence to became a fixture in the organization. By August 17, 2007 he was listed in the e-newsletter under “Leadership Series” as a “Futurist and author.” The current e-newsletters routinely feature his writings and speaking, and he is now listed as a leader.

Pastor Sunday Adelaja, who along with Len Sweet has been prominently connected with this Second Billion group since its inception, has deep roots in C. Peter Wagner’s New Apostolic Reformation, and is listed as one of the key “apostles” of the world.[18] Adelaja’s book CHURCHSHIFT is a how-to manual for implementing the 7 Mountain/Sphere Mandate, teaching people how to “impose Kingdom values and principles upon their area of influence” and to divide each “nation into seven spheres of influence, and to send church members into each sphere.”[19] Os Hillman of marketplace transformation fame, writing at the website, uses Pastor Adelaja as an example of how “the local church is called to change culture in all spheres of society, especially the seven mountains.”[20]

Another name connected with Leonard Sweet since the earliest days of the Second Billion organization is James (Jim) Garlow, who is also listed as a leader.[21] Garlow is a well-known Christian Right activist, who recently was a conference speaker (along with Lance Wallnau and C. Peter Wagner) at NAR leader Cindy Jacob’s “Convergence 2010: A Cry To Awaken A Nation” conference.[22] Jim Garlow’s interesting bio is posted HERE. He now chairs Newt Gingrich’s ReAL (Renewing American Leadership) organization at [23] Garlow is leading “The Next Great Awakening Tour” along with patriotic American Dominionist David Barton, June 25-July 24 this summer, and Lance Wallnau is listed as one of the featured guests.[24] Garlow is all over the map on his activism. He is listed as an instructor for an ominous-sounding upcoming Border Sheriff’s Posse “Strategic Border Intelligence” School to “partner with intercessors around the United States to protect…the United States of America and our heritage as a nation founded under God.”[25] And, perhaps most significantly, Garlow was listed on the Committee that put on the May Day event in Washington, D.C. this past May 1.[26]

End of Part 3

The original appears here.

See also: