Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Top Ten Turkey Awards of 2005:
...the strange birds in evangelicalism

Good day Blogging Aficionados:

It is good to be home and "back in the saddle" again after being gone for several weeks. Thank you all for your patience--regular blogging entries at COT will commence as of today. I trust you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving Day with close friends and family--and helping others who couldn't help themselves.

Several of you had emailed me wondering if I was going to post "a turkey of the year" list. No doubt that 2005 was a banner year in many arenas. So I thought the idea would prove to be interesting and provocative. One caveat: the list below does not include political figures, entertainers, actors, news pundits, etc. I tried to focus on the evangelical-community-at-large when considering who would be worthy candidates.

I hope you will enjoy and post me your additions to your "turkey top ten" if you're daring enough.

2005 proved to be quite a year!

1. Paige Patterson, Jack Graham, Johnny Hunt: for promoting an anthropocentric Arminian gospel and theology; and for labeling Calvinistic pastors within the SBC as those who have “Crept In Unawares.” (While Paige Patterson is studying "theology 101" gearing up for his "debate" with Dr. Mohler on Calvinism, Jack Graham has been busy joining hands recently with TBN in a church service setting with guests Zig Ziglar and Pat Summerall. Jack was praising Matt Crouch and his wife for their contribution to the gospel through television as he was telling the crowd that night misappropriating Mark 2 that "it is our job to bring people to Jesus." Really!?! Ever read John 6:44, Eph. 1:4-5, 2 Tim. 1:9, Titus 1:2? Just goes to show you folks, Arminianism knows no shame and can justify the use of any "venue" [even TBN] for pragmatic concerns.)

2. Pat Robertson: for calling for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and for hurting the efforts of faithful missionaries in that country by causing their deportment. Mr. Robertson has so frequently been bombastically wrong on news issues, that his continued use of "faux pas" has turned political misspeak into a "spiritual gift." I agree with Cal Thomas that "Pat Robertson eventually apologized for his remarks about assassinating Hugo Chavez. His penance should be to retire and to take his bombastic conservative and liberal colleagues with him." Amen.

3. Billy Graham, Jack Van Impy and others for embracing Pope John Paul II and Benedict the XVI as regenerated Christian leaders even though they by their own Tridentine doctrine deny the biblical gospel of sola fide and the imputation of the righteousness of Christ for salvation. This brand of ecumenism is very hazardous to the health of the body of Christ, the work of the gospel, and the ministry of the Word of God (cp, Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Tim. 2:16-19).

4. Brian McLaren: for denying the authority and veracity of Scripture in his postmodern, Open Theist, Kantian, mystic, socially liberal EC spirituality.

5. James Dobson: for confusing patriotism with biblical Christianity; and for treating the body of Christ as a religious PAC of “Christocrats” who would rather boycott and picket nonbelievers than proclaim the gospel of grace to them. His call for political remedy to cure moral maladies of our nation is an effort in futility. Dr. Dobson, and all associated with him-without exception, have confused access to the oval office, political figures and key media, with impact upon a nation.

6. Dan Brown: for his fictitious, heretical, inaccurate, historical revisionist, abhorrent attack against the gospel, deity, humanity, and holiness of the Lord Jesus Christ in his ridiculous, Peter Pan-like, illogical, but popular book, “The da Vinci Code.” I would encourage you to pray that God would grant him saving faith and repentance for salvation. For apart from that he is heaping "wrath upon wrath" on himself. (Tom Hanks, whose films I enjoy very much, should be embarrassed for lending his excellent talents and name to such a ludicrous movie as this).

7. Evangelical leaders who supported and embraced Mel Gibson in his Marian focused, Romanistic driven, Anne Catherine Emmerick's apocryphal inspired, mystical portrayal of the suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ in his well made movie, “The Passion of the Christ.” If Mr. Gibson would have held to the biblical record, he would not only have had a more powerful movie, but one that honored the Lord Jesus in His atonement on the cross.

8. Dr. Russell Moore of the Henry Institute for hosting Joseph Pearce as their key literary academic spokesman for the Gheens Lectures this year to explain the Christian imagery and message in Tolkien's, “Lord of the Rings.” (Pearce is a devote Romanist who is the Writer-in-Residence at Ave Maria University and Associate Professor of Literature. He previously taught at Ave Maria College in Michigan. He is also the Co-Editor of the St. Austin Review and the Editor-in-Chief of Sapientia Press). This is unconscionable. When did the leadership at *SBTS officially agree to affirm Romanists purporting a religious ideology and gospel contrary to the Word of God and biblical Christianity, from a Romanism world-view, to be considered worthy of enjoying the endorsement and platform of Southern as teachers/scholars/theologians lecturing men being trained for pastoral ministry in the local church?

*Knowing that Dr. Moore, the Henry Institue, and SBTS stand for biblical orthodoxy; that they affirm the doctrines of grace, sola fide and the imputation of the righteousness of Christ in salvation; and that they also affirm what Romanism represents is a false gospel, a false church, led by a false pastor, occupying a false office - is what makes their hosting of Dr. Pearce so surprising even in this educational exchange. I am simply contending that inviting a devout Romanist, like Joseph Pearce, as their principle lecturer speaking not only in matters of Tolkienian literature, but also from a biblical context of faith in explaining "Truth or Myth: Unlocking the Lord of the Rings" to seminarians is inconsistent and diametrically opposed to what their own confession and beliefs are both Scripturally and in The Abstract of Principles. To quote from another great fictional series, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade: "they chose... poorly."

9. Luis Palau: for his Graham-like foot-in-mouth statesmanship when in China recently for playing politics and demeaning the persecuted church when he said, “churches are not underground, just unregistered.” To make matters worse, Palau displaying his unequaled ignorance of the state of the true church in China went on to say, “Personally, I would encourage the unregistered churches to register and receive greater freedom and blessings from the government." This is embarrassing and tragic for the literal thousands of Christians who have lost their lives in China for being faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (I ministered at a Luis Palau Crusade in England eight years ago where he had one of the leading Romanist church officials in England close in prayer in the name of Mary at the end his crusade. This was unthinkable. I’ll never do another Palau Crusade again).

10. Dave Hunt for his idiotic, benign, distortions, of the biblical doctrines of grace (see James White site for a thorough analysis of Hunt's irrational logic and theology). Dave Hunt’s misappropriation of Scripture is rivaled only by the massive proof-texting debacle by brother Warren in the PDL material.

PS - If some think I am being flippant or sarcastic for that purpose only, I am not. These men influence millions of evangelicals around the world. Their skewed doctrinal affirmations should not go unnoticed or remain unaddressed. Far from humorous - these are serious concerns that each represent. Your outrage and argument should be with each of them. Don't shoot me, I'm only the piano player.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving
...from one "turkey" to another

Taking a moment to wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving this year. We all have so much to thank the Lord for; and this is a time to offer gracious praise to Him.

Grace and peace from all of us at AudienceONE and CampOnThis
Psalm 103