Daily Devotional for Thursday May 15, 2008
The Evangelical Manifesto
The "Evangelical Manifesto." Last Wednesday, a group of prominent Evangelicals released the "Evangelical Manifesto: A Declaration of Evangelical Identity and Public Commitment." The Steering Committee includes: Os Guinness; Timothy George, Dean, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University; Rich Mouw, President, Fuller Theological Seminary; and Dallas Willard, Professor of Philosophy, University of Southern California. It has been signed by apx. 80 "evangelical leaders," though when a trained eye looks through the list of signers, it becomes apparent what this document is really all about.
For those who have been part of the Liveprayer family for a while, you might remember me mentioning the gutless Dr. Mouw back in December of 2004, who along with Ravi Zacharias, became pawns used by the Mormons to give them mainstream credibility. Here is an excerpt from that 12/07/04 Devotional: "Mouw preceded Zacharias and amazingly apologized, yes, apologized to the Mormon crowd of roughly 7,000 stating, 'We evangelicals have sinned against you. We have demonized you.' Since when was exposing the false gospel of the Mormon cult a sin? That is exactly what we are supposed to do! Also, the last I checked, those who lead people's souls into everlasting damnation are demonic!"
First of all, let me state the obvious. We already have an "Evangelical Manifesto," it is called THE BIBLE and it has the greatest author of all time...GOD! The real purpose of this document is to create a shift in power regarding those who are seen as the Christian leaders of our day and those who speak for the Christian community. Many years ago, I had to make some hard choices. Do I build a giant ministry organization and preach to the choir like the rest, putting my voice into the same mix as Falwell, Robertson, Kennedy, Dobson, Graham, and the others, or follow God's calling as a true evangelist and reach out to the lost and hurting souls outside the four walls of the church, and take on more of a prophetic ministry to reach this lost world with God's Truth. I made the decision to pass on the comfort, prominence, prestige, and financial security of building another Christian organization, and chose instead to give my life reaching the lost and hurting with the hope of Jesus Christ.
That choice has given me the unique position of being free from the politics of the "church," and allowed me to not have to compromise the Truth of the Bible to keep a "Christian business" going. Like the prophets in the Old Testament, I have been in the unique position few are in, to deal with the issues of the day and in people's lives without worrying about pleasing men, only God. My focus has never had to be about raising money for infrastructure and operations, only for saving souls. I have no other agenda but God's. My goals aren't earthly but heavenly. My legacy won't be in buildings or the temporal things of this world that will one day soon be gone, but the lives God has used me to impact and the eternal souls of men.
Many of those who put together and signed this document are for the most part those who I have warned you about in recent years, this emerging group known as the "Christian left." Prominent signers of this murky document are people like Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners, and Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback and author of the Purpose Driven Life. A major portion of this document is spent repudiating Christians involved in politics, and seeks to replace the fight for life, marriage, and family issues, with a focus on world hunger, AIDs in Africa, and environmental issues. It also lashes out at those who have the audacity to go into the public arena and take a stand for Christ based on the Truth of God's Word. The document says evangelicals have often expressed "truth without love," helping create a backlash against religion during a "generation of culture warring." The fact is, we have been intimidated into silence by those who represent satan!
This is the mindset fostered by the "seeker," "emerging church," and "church growth" crowd that for the past 15 years have watered down the Gospel and set aside the absolutes of the Bible to attract warm bodies. What they have done is created a new subculture of "Christians" who might be saved, but live no different than the world and easily embrace the lies of the false religions, cults, and New Age teachings that are leading the souls of men to hell. This is why you have people like Oprah who claim to be a Christian, yet promote the lies of every New Age guru that comes down the path. This is why you have people like Sen. Barak Hussein Obama who claims to be a Christian, yet votes continually to slaughter babies and redefine God's Holy Institution of Marriage. This is why you have Christians who think people in a satanic cult like the Mormons will go to Heaven. This is why you have people who call themselves "Christians," but deny that the Bible is the only Truth there is!
Add to this the prominence of pastors who are little more than motivational speakers like Robert Schuller and Joel Osteen who go into the secular media when they want to sell their latest book, and brag bout never talking about sin or the social issues of our day and refuse to answer the most simple question of the faith, whether Jesus is the ONLY way to be saved or not. So people read their books, watch their TV programs to "feel good" and become part of this new subculture of "Christians" who have no concept of basic theology and embrace lies like "there are many roads that lead to God.
Don't believe me? Here is a typical email we get daily: "I'm a Metaphysical Christian and a Human being a child of GOD. I was baptized at Saddleback Church with Rick Warren. There is a very powerful wonderful movement of consciousness going on right now obviously the old way is not working very well. Watch a few Videos on Esther Hicks etc GOD bless you too!" What a load of garbage. Metaphysical Christian??? The "old way" is not working very well? The old way being the Bible? Ester Hicks is one of the more popular New Age teachers out there today. I wish you could see the feed back I get daily from the Daily Devotional, from the TV program, from my appearances on FOX News, CNN, and from the videos we post on YouTube. People who call themselves "Christians," yet reject the Bible as the only Truth there is, and embrace beliefs that are in complete contradiction to what the Bible teaches.
How did this happen? It started with the church. Forty years ago the mainline denominations brought in pastors who were from liberal seminaries and denied the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible. They quit preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and opted for a social gospel instead. At the same time, you had this growing Christian subculture of Christian TV, radio, and publishing, geared to and marketed to Christians. Major ministries and Christian organizations were birthed that generated tens of millions annually, and for the most part did very little but preach to the choir and self perpetuate themselves from one year to the next.
Billions have been raised and squandered on the temporal things of this world instead of on the work of God. We have extracted ourselves from the marketplace, and now not only have the better percentage of two full generations who have never even been to church, but a new generation of "Christians" who don't believe the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God, representing Absolute Truth, and our final authority in all maters. It is no wonder our nation is in spiritual freefall and this world we live in grows darker by the day. Men of God in days gone by didn't build great organizations, they built up men and women to serve the Lord. They only had one book, the Bible, and one message, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They never compromised the Truth of God's Word and their only goal was to save souls!
I love you and care about you so much. While I agree with 90% of what is in the "Evangelical Manifesto," the other 10% makes it a document designed to give more power and prominence to those in the Christian left, replace abortion, marriage, and family issues with issues like world hunger, poverty and disease, and calls for Christians to be more friendly to non-Christians by not talking about things like sin and hell in the public. Just in case you were wondering, they never contacted me about signing this document. LOL!!!
I have been warning you for years now about this new and growing group who make up the Christian left who are now fighting with the old guard on the Christian right for power and to be the voice of Christians. The Christian left waters down the Gospel and lays aside the absolutes of the Bible in order to attract warm bodies and advance their social agenda, while the Christian right has been turned into little more than a very lucrative business that generates hundreds of millions annually around various causes and is more concerned with power and self preservation than getting actual results. This leaves Christians alone to deal with the hurts and pains of every day life with a very thin foundation to their faith, while the vast majority of people are living without hope and heading to hell when they die.
However, there is a remnant, a faithful group of Believers who have not sold out and whose sole goal is to serve the Lord and see God's Kingdom advanced. Praise God for those faithful pastors and ministries that only want to see the work of the Gospel accomplished as they share the Truth of God's Word without compromise and labor to bring the lost to faith in Jesus Christ. These are the last days my friend. Jesus is coming at any moment. There is no time for playing games. People are dying and heading to hell every second. The focus of all Believers in Jesus Christ has to be on bringing lost souls to faith in our Lord. We don't need an "Evangelical Manifesto," we already have one and it is called THE BIBLE!!!