As an online apologetics and discernment ministry (OADM) Apprising Ministries covers various trends within the professing Christian community; sadly, most of them today are of a negative nature.

One current example is Creational Monotheism, Dr. Gerry Breshears, And Polytheistic Pastor John Mark Comer. Now even the doctrine of monotheism is under attack within the mainstream of the evangelical community.

Another terrible trend is the glut of narcissistic—centered on the self—preaching now happening throughout professing Christendom. All of this is truly an extension of the ill-fated Church Growth Movement (CGM).

In his review of Dr. Gary Gilley’s book This Little Church Went To Market Tim Chaffey, a writer/editor with Answers in Genesis and the author of several books himself, hits the target dead-on as he says of the CGM:

Even though this movement has brought many into the “church” it is debatable whether or not they have brought many to Christ.  This is the crux of the issue and Gilley nails it.  These “new paradigm” churches as he calls them (as opposed to New Testament churches) preach a gospel of need-fulfillment rather than the Biblical gospel of salvation for the sinner.

So-called negative concepts, such as sin, hell, and repentance are seldom or never mentioned because they might turn people away from the doors of the church.  Instead of preaching the offensive message of the cross (1 Corinthians 1: 18) these churches proclaim a new gospel designed to make the sinner feel welcome.

Gilley states:

The new gospel is a liberation from low self-esteem, a freedom from emptiness and loneliness, a means of fulfillment and excitement, a way to receive our heart’s desires, a means of meeting our needs. The old gospel is about God; the new gospel is about us.

The old gospel is about sin; the new gospel is about our needs.  The old gospel is about our need for righteousness; the new gospel is about our need for fulfillment.  The old gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing; the new gospel is attractive.

Many are flocking to the new gospel but it is altogether questionable how many are actually being saved. (source)

Here’s how bad it’s become within the church visible today—even in Reformed sectors. Tim Chaffey mentioned Seeker Driven megachurches who “proclaim a new gospel designed to make the sinner feel welcome.”

Such as these do this instead “of preaching the offensive message of the cross (1 Corinthians 1: 18).” Perhaps the first name that would come to mind in this regard would be Word Faith prosperity preacher Joel Osteen.

Osteen is actually the next layer of the new reformation of self as also typified by General of the Seeker Driven Army Rick Warren. Warren in turn was infected with this CGM virus by Robert Schuller, who said:

Classical theology has erred in its insistence that theology be “God-centered,” not “man-centered”…[and teaching about] a holy God who hates sin…we [need to] redefine our doctrine of sin.”

Historical theology has too often failed to interpret repentance as a positive creative force… Essentially, if Christianity is to succeed in the next millennium, it must cease to be a negative religion and must become positive. ((Robert Schuller, Self-Esteem: The New Reformation [Waco: Word Books, 1982], 64, 65, 104.))

So, if you didn’t know where these man-centered myths passing for Christianity came from, now you do. Schuller begat Warren who begat Osteen. And New Calvinist mentor John Piper thinks Warren’s doctrinal and sound. ((e.g. see RICK WARREN DOCTRINAL AND SOUND?))

Within two years of Piper opening the door for Rick Warren into the Reformed camp at DG 2010 we saw Mark Driscoll, Acts 29 Network, And Rick Warren where I showed you Warren was to be invited to Resurgence 12.

That’s why it was really no surprise whatsoever that, concerning Piper’s mentee Driscoll, we should see Mark Driscoll Defends His Christian Brother Joel Osteen. Why even Joel Miller can see Osteen guts the Gospel.

Miller is with the apostate Eastern Orthodox Church and is “vice president of editorial and acquisitions for the nonfiction division at Thomas Nelson.” And yet Miller has said about Joel Osteen that he:

was not fit for his current job,… Osteen flunks the test [as a pastor]…

When I hear Joel Osteen, I don’t hear the gospel. I hear American materialism and shallow self-actualization dressed up like the gospel. (source)

He’s right about Osteen; and actually the same can also be said of Rick Warren as well. So, what does this say about Mark Driscoll and John Piper respectively when someone in apostasy sees what they apparently do not?

Such is our time; loving people preaching a false gospel minus repentance is of the utmost importance in the evangelical cult of celebrity. And this is why I’ve been warning you of a New Downgrade No-Controversy.

In closing this, for now, I leave you to consider the following teaching from Charles Spurgeon, who battled the original liberals in the Downgrade Controversy. Spurgeon was dealing with the same kind of foolishness.

However, he fought against false teachers who were watering down the Gospel until there was no gospel; just the same as men like Joel Osteen and Rick Warren are doing now. And Spurgeon would truly pay a terrible price.

Like Charles Spurgeon, may we love our Lord and Master Christ Jesus enough that we’re willing to turn our back on such as these and clearly proclaim the truth to people who don’t know Jesus:

There is self-righteousness up there upon your forehead; it will have to come down. You are covered with the beautiful garments of your own good deeds; take them off, brother.

They are all without merit in the sight of God until you have trusted his Son. All that you’ve done and all that you think you have done are only so many cobwebs that must be swept away.

There stands the gate through which the most fallen may enter, and you must go through the same gate. There is no private path made for a gentleman like you; there is no royal road to heaven, save only that one royal road that is opened for the very chief of sinners.

Down, Mr. Pride! Here is a man who is born of Christian parents, and perhaps he has listened to the lying logic of the present age, which says, “Children born of godly parents do not need conversion; there is something good in them by nature.”

I tell you, sirs, that I began to tremble for the children of pious parents, for I think that they are more likely to be deceived than any others; they often fancy that they are converted when they are not, and they get admitted into churches while they are unconverted.

Instead of boasting of their godly ancestry, high privilege as it is, let them remember that regeneration is not of blood, nor of birth, nor the will of man, but of God, and to them, as to all others, Christ’s words apply: “Ye must be born again.” ((Charles Spurgeon,At the Master’s Feet [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005], February 5.))

Further reading