Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry

   by Jeannette Haley

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:
for it is the power of God unto salvation
to every one that believeth” Romans 1:16a

            What have self-esteem, political correctness, positive-confession, purpose-driven, user-friendly and the post-modern emerging church all have in common? Besides the obvious, that is, glittering success (according to worldly standards) try love. It all goes back to that old adage, “Flies love honey more than vinegar.” To which I respond, “Who wants flies anyway?”

            Shrewd merchandisers of men’s souls are proficient in the use of the sugar-coated methodology within the aforementioned belief systems. Firmly planted on their perverted platform of empty promises, high sounding phrases, veiled guilt and fear tactics, they use the tried and true “love” bait to attract people and extract their money. Once the gullible are hooked on the bait of “love” you can tell them anything and they will swallow it, hook, line and sinker. Contrary to all of this, however, discerning Christians will test the very nature, character, spirit, and fruit behind these vain philosophies of “love.”

             Take, for example, the unsavory flood of self-esteem teaching that has permeated our already self-indulgent culture. In keeping with its satanic and idolatrous nature, it has targeted the impressionable minds of children with the goal of turning them away from Christ, who, in direct opposition to pride and self-love, commanded that we love God above all else, followed by love for others. Nowhere in Scripture are we commanded to “love ourselves,” yet that very lie is being taught and unthinkingly repeated throughout mainstream churches. Today, the senses of innocent children are unrelentingly assaulted with this insidious and damaging garbage. They are exposed to it daily through school curriculums (even Christian curriculums), reading materials, movie productions, television, music, games, artwork, and other sources.

            Our society is already reaping the results of this perverted way of thinking, which should be more than obvious to anybody who is awake enough to pay attention to the daily news. I am not talking about only the world, but what is happening before our very eyes in fundamental Christian churches. We are aware that there are always rare exceptions, but, as a whole, children no longer respect or obey their parents. They no longer have a natural curiosity or desire to learn about spiritual things. Countless young people are self-centered, rude, crude, ill-mannered, lazy, and their attitude stinks. Everything in their little world must revolve around them.

            The sad truth is, churched adults who have gobbled up the self-esteem propaganda and run with it aren’t in any better spiritual shape than their rebellious youth are. Such people give themselves away by, not only their lack of any spiritual fruit, but by their self-indulgent lifestyles. These church-goers can flip their lips about love all the live-long day, but when it comes to denying themselves, picking up their cross and following Jesus, it’s simply a foreign concept to them. In their book, going to church is for the purpose of feeling good about self, so they can indulge their flesh while simply tacking Jesus on to their life. It’s all about love, right? That’s what they’ve been taught. That’s what they hear, Sunday after Sunday. God loves them, so what’s to worry about?

            Liberal denominations, as well as churches that have been teetering on the fence for years, have discovered that the psychological plague of political correctness is the perfect answer to their age-long problem of sweeping what they really believe under their “religious love rug.” With the advent of the political correctness propaganda, their “liberal love doctrine” which denies any form of accountability to a holy God can mushroom and ooze over the landscape like an insidious fungus.

            The poor, clueless, brainwashed souls who ignore the basest of common sense, and who instead eagerly embrace this unrealistic belief have obviously not excelled in their history lessons, nor have they pursued or desired the ability to logically think things out to a reasonable conclusion. Conforming unthinkingly to the ideology of political correctness is to not only deny truth (John 17:17), but it is to (spiritually speaking) sign one’s own death warrant.

            While political correctness may seem harmlessly intangible, quite the opposite is true. It is a dangerous and powerful weapon that, when wielded by the unscrupulous, can prove deadly. It carries with it the power to divide and mercilessly judge and condemn. It can be likened to a dagger in the hand of Satan whose goal is to cut away at the very foundation of all that is upright, true and sane.

            Will we see the day dawn when the Holy Bible (except for modern, polluted so-called “versions”) is declared politically incorrect, thus making it illegal to own, read or quote? What about born-again believers? Will they likewise be considered unfit, dangerous and psychologically damaged, and a menace to society and the one-world, global system because they refuse to bow down to the ideology and antichrist agenda of political correctness?

            Political correctness in the church goes hand in glove with the blab-it-and-grab-it (as it is sometimes called) or Positive Confession movement. Cult and occult researcher and author, Dave Hunt, writes:

         “The fastest growing segment of professing Christianity in recent years has been among churches connected with the Positive Confession movement or Word-Faith movement (all part of the modern Charismatic movement). It has involved two distinct but closely related factions: the Norman Vincent Peale/Robert Schuller Positive-Possibility thinkers/Positive Mental Attitude, with their roots in New Thought; and the Kenneth Hagin/Kenneth Copeland Positive Confession and Word-Faith groups, which have their roots in E.W. Kenyon, William Branham, and the Manifest Sons of God/Latter Rain movement. Well-known names among its leaders are E.W. Kenyon, Charles Capps, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Frederick K.C. Price, Robert Tilton, and David [Paul] Yonggi Cho. It does not yet constitute a new denomination, but it certainly represents innovative teachings outside of mainstream Christianity. The situation is so serious now because of the dominance over the so-called Christian media achieved by the teachers of Positive/Possibility Thinking and Positive Confession.
“D.R. McConnell points out that ‘any new religious movement [within Protestantism] must bear the scrutiny of two criteria: biblical fidelity and historical orthodoxy.’ Regrettably, the Positive Confession movement fails on both counts. The historical roots of this movement (which Charles Farah has called ‘Faith Formula Theology’) lie in the occult, and most recently, in New Thought and its off-shoot, the Mind Science cults. Its biblical basis is found only in the peculiar interpretations of its own leaders, not in generally accepted Christian theology. As the name “Positive Confession”/”Word-Faith” implies, this movement teaches that faith is a matter of what we say more than whom we trust or what truths we embrace and affirm in our hearts. The term “positive confession” refers to the teaching that words have creative power. What you say, Word-Faith teachers claim, determines everything that happens to you. Your ‘confessions,’ that is, the things you say—especially the favors you demand of God—must all be stated positively and without wavering. Then God is required to answer. Word-Faith believers view their positive confessions as an incantation by which they can conjure up anything they desire: ‘Believe it in your heart; say it with your mouth. That is the principle of faith. You can have what you say’ (Charismatic Chaos, pp. 281, 285).
“This is at the heart of the Positive Confession movement today, also known as the ‘name-it-and-claim-it’ gospel. The Positive Confession movement is nothing but a charismatic form of Christian Science. This can be substantiated by simply comparing the similarities in their common beliefs. Positive Confession is basically warmed-over New Thought dressed in evangelical/charismatic language.” (Excerpts from Beyond Seduction)

            If you’ve ever listened to Schuller, or read any of Peale’s writings, you will find yourself wading knee deep in oozy “love.” On this subject, David Hunt sums it up best:             “Linked to the Positive Confession movement is the concept of Positive Mental Attitude (PMA). PMA has become the major link between sorcery and Christianity. It is the human potential movement that incorporates the age-old Eastern mystique that all men can acquire godhood, that “we can achieve anything we conceive.” But the Bible says: “With God all things are possible.” PMA, however, declares: “With man all things are possible,” which means either that we do not need God or that we are God. Paul said, “I can do all things through Him [Christ] who strengthens me.” The New Age/PMA “Christ” is a state of consciousness rather than a historic Person. The Christian has a positive attitude not because he believes in the power of positive thinking, but because he is trusting in God. The PMA that is promoted in today’s New Age, however, is based upon humanistic psychology’s first article of faith: “Human potential is infinite!” The real Christian is happy and positive in all circumstances because he believes that God, who alone is infinite, loves and cares for him. These two concepts—Christian and PMA—are mutually contradictory, in spite of the sincere people who believe they are the same thing expressed in different language.

            “Those directly responsible for bringing PMA into the professing church are Norman Vincent Peale and Robert Schuller. Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone, the originators or the PMA concept, talk about “God” in their books, but their “God” is a metaphysical “Divine Power” that can be tapped into through mind-power techniques (from visualization to positive self-talk and other forms of self-hypnosis and self-image psychology). Hill and Stone don’t substitute PMA for faith, but promote an even more dangerous idea: that PMA and faith are one and the same, that believing in the power of the mind is somehow the same as believing in God; that the human mind is some kind of magic talisman that wields a metaphysical force with infinite potential because, somehow, it is part of what they call Infinite Intelligence. This is the “God” of the mind-science cults and of the New Age.” (Excerpts from The Seduction of Christianity)

            Finally, we come to the infamous purpose driven, user-friendly post-modern, emerging church phenomenon. Riding high on the crest of this popular, gigantic wave (that threatens to sweep the entire church world into its deadly undertow) are a handful of clever men whose “fair speeches” and “gospel of love” are compatible with the self-esteem, politically correct, positive confession agendas.

            This major wave (unhindered and powerful) is rapidly gaining momentum due to the weakening effect each series of compromising waves that have gone before it have had on the church world. For decades watchmen such as A. W. Tozer, have been sounding the alarm that the church is losing its moorings. Is this the last major ecumenical, people-pleasing wave to take place before the one-world religion of the antichrist gains a stranglehold on the whole world? This brings us to the age-old question asked by the Psalmist: “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3)

            The foundations that are being destroyed today are those foundations established by the early Apostles of Christ. Just as Jesus forewarned His disciples, we are living in the end time of false prophets, false teachers, and lying signs and wonders. The Apostle Paul pronounced that if they, or an angel from heaven, preached any other gospel than that which was preached, let him be accursed. (See Galatians 1:8, 9) He wrote Timothy: “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” 2 Timothy 3:13. To the Corinthians he warned, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtility, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him” 2 Corinthians 11:3, 4.          

            The Apostle Peter warned: 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 merchjandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not” 2 Peter 2:1-3.

            In these verses we learn that just as Satan beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so the minds of people can be corrupted (or perverted) from the simplicity of Christ, by preaching “another Jesus.” Take note that the way people’s perceptions become perverted is through the subtle manipulation of the truth (God’s Word) to mean something other than its original definition and intent. In this way God’s character, His ways, and judgments can be altered and adjusted in order to establish another way of perceiving and believing. This is how subtle manipulation of the Word of God results in newly-formed, perverted foundations that replace, or destroy, the original foundations.

            Once the new foundation is established in the minds of people, then the work of brainwashing is relatively easy to accomplish. This new brand of “Christianity” may outwardly look like the real thing, but it lacks the true Gospel, the real Jesus and the right Spirit. The central theme in this “new Christianity” is man. One could say it’s nothing more than humanism stuffed into a religious costume—and a ridiculous and unbecoming one at that.

            Any belief originating from any other premise than the Lord Jesus Christ of the Bible will result in untruth. This brings us to the premise of love which these false belief systems use to justify their unbiblical and man-centered platforms. “Love” is the yellow brick road that we’re asked to follow as it magically weaves its way through self-esteem’s love affair with self, to the sheer stupidity and dishonest, perverted “love” of politically correctness, to the delusional and occult “love world” of positive confession, to finally realizing our “purpose” is to follow this “user-friendly” broad brick road as it winds its way upward until we finally “emerge” at the summit. What do we find at the top of this mystical Babylonian monument to man? Certainly not the Son of God, for He was dismissed as the true foundation long ago by such false teachers. But, you will find multitudes of deceived people, people who have been loved all the way to hell.

             Jesus said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits” Matthew 7:13-16a.

            What about you? Which path are you on today? Are you on the broad path to destruction, or on the narrow road to everlasting life? The Bible tells us that we can possess spiritual gifts, have all knowledge, faith and power, and give all our goods to feed the poor, sacrifice our body to be burned, or, in other words, be the most humanitarian person in the world, and yet have nothing without the love of God. The love of God goes beyond good works. It goes beyond religion. None of these things can save you or anyone else, regardless of how well meaning you may be. If you want to see the love of God, look at the cross of Christ! If you want to make an eternal difference, demonstrate the essence of real love by pointing men and women to His cross. That, my friend, is what true Christianity is all about.