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Posts Tagged ‘False Dawn’

Pleasing Men/Offending God

Posted by Tom Lessing on April 26, 2009

Jer 17:5 Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. (Emphasis added)

The God of the Bible always does what He says. He is not a turncoat. He never reverses his principles. “God is not a man, that He should tell or act a lie, neither the son of man, that He should feel repentance or compunction [for what He has promised]. Has He said and shall He not do it? Or has He spoken and shall He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19). Christians become overjoyed and excited when they hear these comforting and reassuring words and they praise the Lord with much thanksgiving. His promises, they reiterate again and again, are true and “yea and amen” in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20). And so they are; no one can deny it! . . . but lo and behold we have become “positive thinkers” in the interpretation of the Bible; we are so taken up and enthralled by all the wonderful positive promises in God’s Word that we conveniently forget the curses, the admonitions and the negative promises. Some may immediately accuse me of “Old-Testamentism”, reminding me that we are living in the age of grace and abundant blessings, and that those curses were only relevant to that time. Not so! God’s curses in the Old Testament are just as potent today. Listen to what God says in the New Testament:

1 Cor 10:5-11 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with the great majority of them, for they were overthrown and strewn down along [the ground] in the wilderness. Now these things are examples (warnings and admonitions) for us not to desire or crave or covet or lust after evil and carnal things as they did. Do not be worshipers of false gods as some of them were, as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink [the sacrifices offered to the golden calf at Horeb] and rose to sport (to dance and give way to jesting and hilarity). We must not gratify evil desire and indulge in immorality as some of them did—and twenty-three thousand [suddenly] fell dead in a single day! We should not tempt the Lord [try His patience, become a trial to Him, critically appraise Him, and exploit His goodness] as some of them did—and were killed by poisonous serpents; Nor discontentedly complain as some of them did—and were put out of the way entirely by the destroyer (death). Now these things befell them by way of a figure [as an example and warning to us]; they were written to admonish and fit us for right action by good instruction, we in whose days the ages have reached their climax (their consummation and concluding period).

The Old Testament kings of Israel and Judah were in many ways the reflection or mirror image, if you will, of the hopes, aspirations and in particular the spiritual and moral fibre of the entire nation. When a king sinned and rendered him guilty of spiritual harlotry (idolatry) the entire nation suffered. Manasseh, one of Judah’s most evil kings who succeeded his God-fearing father Hezekiah, reigned in Jerusalem for 55 years and continually only did evil in the sight of the Lord. Despite God’s repeated warnings, the nation refused to listen and King Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than the nations did whom the Lord destroyed before the Israelites (2 Kings 21:9-11).

Someone once said: “God very often gives a country the leaders it deserves.” The “leaders” are not necessarily political leaders but spiritual leaders who are supposed to teach their flocks everything the Lord commanded them to do and uphold. They have not only been given the enormous responsibility to preach the unadulterated Word of the Lord but to act as beacons, lighthouses, leading the way to the only Saviour of the world, and declaring without fear and reservation “There is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world.” Sadly the very opposite is taking place. Spiritual leaders throughout the world and also here in my beloved country, South Africa, are increasingly replacing God’s altar of worship with the alien altars and strange fire of other religions, all in the name of ecumenical tolerance, love, a new global ethic and mutual respect.

King Ahaz who occupied the throne in Jerusalem from 732-715 BC is a perfect example of how our post modern and emergent spiritual leaders tolerate the so-called truths in other faiths and even participate in other religions for the sake of an ecumenical and global peace. When Rezin, king of Aram and Pekah, king of Israel, formed an alliance against king Ahaz in an effort to force him to join them against the Assyrian threat, Ahaz preferred to appeal for help to Tiglath-Pileser III. He voluntarily submitted as a vassal to Assyrian control and sent  a gift of silver and gold from the temple and palace in Jerusalem to encourage Tiglath-Pileser to remove the armies of his neighbours from his walls. Tiglath-Pileser obliged by attacking and capturing king Rezin’s capital Damascus. This was the beginning of Ahaz’s spiral into an even greater apostasy and eventually his death. He was so overwhelmed by Tiglath-Pileser’s victory over his enemies that he travelled to Damascus to meet the Assyrian king. There he saw and was captivated by a very large Assyrian altar. He immediately had a sketch made of it and sent it to the high priest, Uriah, instructing him to build a similar one. He also commanded him that all the regular offerings should hence be made on the new idolatrous altar. Ahaz had the bronze altar, of which God had given Moses the exact measurements on Mount Sinai, removed from it’s place in the temple and only used it to seek the counsel and guidance of God. Ahaz had done this to please Tiglath-Pileser and not to offend him. Do we need to say more to see that religious tolerance is nothing new under the sun?

King Solomon was perfectly correct when he said there is nothing new under the sun. Our own revered spiritual leaders have in many ways replaced God’s altar with the altars of other religions. They have become so captivated by the alleged truths in other religions and even the New Age that they have turned their backs on God’s one and only altar. They know it is impossible to strip God’s altar of it’s inherent offensive character (1 Peter 2:6-8) . . . and yet they are doing everything in their power to make the Gospel of God more palatable and less offensive. Some of them keep the offensiveness of the cross hidden in their churches as a means to seek God’s counsel and guidance but as soon as they move into the world they exploit the non-offensive and “unashamedly ethical,” altars, the New Age altars, and even the altars of other religions in order not to offend their new partners in religious tolerance. The great prophet Elijah unashamedly called this kind of two-faced hypocrisy “to halt between two opinions.” The LXX. render the expression “How long go ye lame on both knees?” The Hebrew verb rendered “halt” is used of the irregular dance (“leaped upon”) around the altar (1Ki 18:26). It indicates a lame, uncertain gait, going now in one direction, now in another, in the frenzy of wild leaping between two radically different and opposing altars. I have already mentioned in one of my previous commentaries that Graham Power, Chairperson of Transformation Africa with whom Rev. Jannie Pelser and many other spiritual leaders  are in close cahoots, was one of the major sponsors of the Parliament of the World’s Religions held in Cape Town from 1 to 8 December in 1999. If ever there was a time when nominal Christians were captivated by the altars of other religions, it was here, when they became “participants to meet their own and other’ traditions at deeper levels” to “encounter others whose practice, work and commitment can enrich their own,” to “inspire individuals, organisations, nations and religions and spiritual communities to offer gifts of service, which will make long-term difference in the world” and last but not least to “explore new modes of creative engagement of each institution with one another and with the critical issues which confront the planetary community.” (A New Day Dawning, Spiritual Yearnings and Sacred Possibilities”, p. 6). They are “unashamedly ethical” but have no qualms whatsoever to be ashamed of the offensive Gospel of Jesus Christ. While they unashamedly boast in the face of God that they are “unashamedly ethical” He in utter derision answers them: “all your righteous acts (global ethics, norms and values) are like filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6).

Although some of our distinguished preachers and teachers, amongst them Rev. Jannie Pelser, sincerely believe that the global ethics (norms and values) they intend to cultivate in our society are akin to the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5, they conveniently forget that the fruit of the Spirit is uniquely just that —  the fruit of the Holy Spirit — and can only be cultivated in the lives of those who have come to repentance and faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on God’s altar, the cross. Notwithstanding this eternal and immutable truth, Jannie has repeatedly said (on Radio Pulpit, Radio 702, Radio Sonder Grense and several other public forums) that everyone from all walks of life and different religious persuasions can participate in the New Heart Foundation’s efforts to change our society. His modus operandi is nothing short of an attempt to replace God’s altar (which alone can cultivate the fruit of the Spirit in peoples’ lives) with other altars, and not unlike king Ahaz, to maintain the regular Christian terminologies (fruit of the Spirit) on these altars for the sake of tolerance an a non-offensive interreligious or ecumenical brotherhood.

Jannie Pelser’s norms and values, articulated in the New Heart Foundation and Heart Initiative of South Africa is nothing new. The Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago commissioned Hans Kung to develop a draft of a “Declaration of the Religions for a Global Ethic.” which you can read here. It provides a link to the Global Ethic Foundation which states, amongst other things, the following:

We affirm that there is an irrevocable, unconditional norm for all areas of life, for families and communities, for races, nations, and religions. There already existFalse Dawn ancient guidelines for human behavior which are found in the teachings of the religions of the world and which are the condition for a sustainable world order.

Lee Penn, the author of False Dawn: The United Religions Initiative, Globalism, and the quest for a One World Religion describes in great detail how the URI intends to cultivate a global ethic. A preview of the book can be seen here.

The interfaith movement, which began with the 1893 Worlds Parliament of Religions in Chicago, has grown worldwide. Although this movement has been largely unknown to the public, it now provides a spiritual face for globalization, the economic and political forces leading us all from nationalism to One World. The most ambitious organization in today’s interfaith movement is the United Religions Initiative (URI), founded by William Swing, the Episcopal Bishop of California. Investigative reporter Lee Penn, a Catholic ex-Marxist, exhaustively documents the history and beliefs of the URI and its New Age and globalist allies, the vested interests that support these movements, and the direction they appear to be taking. The interfaith movement is no longer merely the province of a coterie of little-heeded religious idealists with grandiose visions. The URIs proponents have ranged from billionaire George Soros to President George W. Bush, from the far-right Rev. Sun Myung Moon to the liberal Catholic theologian Hans Kung, and from the Dalai Lama to the leaders of government-approved Protestant churches in the Peoples Republic of China. The interfaith movement, including the URI, is being promoted by globalist and New Age reformers who favor erosion of national sovereignty, marginalization of traditional religions, establishment of global governance, and creation of a new, Earth-based global spirituality, in effect, a one-world religion. Therefore, the URI and the interfaith movement are poised to become the spiritual foundation of the New World Order: the new civilization now proposed by Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union. In The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times, French metaphysician Ren Gunon spoke of the anti-tradition (the forces of materialism and secular humanism) finally giving way to the counter-tradition (the satanic inversion of true spirituality), leading to the regime of Antichrist. The anti-tradition weakens and dissolves traditional spiritualities, after which the counter-tradition sets up a counterfeit in their place. Since Gunons time, as is well known, anti-traditional forces have greatly advanced worldwide. It is less well-known that counter-traditional movements have also made great strides, and now stand closer to the centers of global political and religious power than ever before. The counter-tradition is making inroads on the political and cultural Right, as much as it is doing on the Left. False Dawn painstakingly documents these trends, and speculates on their future development. In so doing, the author takes investigative reporting to the threshold of prophecy, and gives us a stunningly plausible picture of the global religious landscape of the 21st century. This extraordinary project is the literary equivalent of turning over a flat rock. There is much to be seen and learned here all of it unsettling, disquieting, occasionally downright scary. William Murchison, Radford Distinguished Professor, Baylor University When a bishop of a Christian church happily worships alongside a Wiccan invoking other gods, something has gone horribly wrong. In False Dawn, Lee Penn has produced a comprehensive and critical history of the United Religions Initiative. (Emphasis added).

1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time (hour, the end of this age). And as you have heard that the antichrist [he who will oppose Christ in the guise of Christ] is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen, which confirms our belief that it is the final (the end) time.

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