Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Basis of the End Time Heresies - Part 1

.... As the end-time church takes form, it will divide into two distinct mind sets or schools of thought: the ‘wise’ and the ‘foolish’ (Matthew 25:1-13). As discussed in our previous posting, the ‘wise’ side of the church will be the true followers of Jesus, but their ‘foolish’ counterparts will construct a counterfeit Christian religion. So how do we explain their course of action? Do they just not get it, or what? Or will they really go so far as to form a counterfeit? That will be the subject of this posting.
.... Below is an illustration of the structure of a religion. As you can see, all religions have three basic points in common: a god (or gods) that they worship, a basis of wisdom to tell them about their god, and a mediator or some other form of clergy between themselves and their god.

Model of a Religion / Christianity by the Model
.... Let’s take Christianity as our most familiar example. Our god is God. The basis of wisdom that tells us about God is the Bible. The mediator between God and man is the man Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5).
.... Another familiar example is Judaism. Their God is also God. Their basis of wisdom is the Old Testament and other Jewish writings. Their mediator is found in a two-part system of prophet and priest.
.... As another example, Islam worships Allah, their basis of wisdom is the Koran and some other writings, and they have their own set of clerics.
.... In a much simpler appli- cation, ancient tribal religions may worship the heavens or some other aspect of nature; their basis of wisdom may be superstition or folklore; their mediator may be the shaman, witch doctor or medicine man.
.... Ancestral worship deifies dead ancestors; family history is their basis of wisdom; their mediator is a patriarch or matriarch who is the oldest living member of their family.
.... The end time heresies fit this basic model as well. First they will establish a new, counterfeit ‘god’ as the true object of their worship (see Matthew 25:12). A new clergy will arise to tell them about their god, and they will delelop a new basis of wisdom from which their core beliefs will be formed. Taken together, these actions will form an actual counterfeit to Christianity, and this counterfeit religion will share its basic tenants with the world.
.... Let’s begin by discussing the ‘god’ of their religion, which is quite easily identified through their basic mind set:

.... "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!"

(2 Tim 3:5)

.... The first and last items on this list form parameters that define their core beliefs perfectly: For men will be lovers of themselves . . . rather than lovers of God.’ And in fact, every other item on that list fits perfectly within those parameters, being equally self-centered traits. And let’s understand this clearly, that Paul is not merely speaking of this world! The group he describes has a form of godliness!
.... To the ‘foolish’ side of the end-time church, ‘godliness’ allows for the selfish conduct that Paul has just described. Their version of God agrees with their greeds, justifies their misconduct, and seems to approve of their vices, while allowing them to blame it on others if necessary (see Titus 3:11), So let's be bold enough to see that their professed belief in God is nothing more than a figurehead. Beneath that con- venient veneer they are only worshiping themselves.
.... Thus their true god, in their own mind, will turn out to be ‘self’, regardless of how much lip service they offer to our Lord Jesus in the process (2 Peter 2:3). If we take a broader view of all their sermons and consider them by their actual nature, we will constantly see their true focus emerging: ‘Me, me, me!’
.... In order to complete our three-part model, we'll discuss the other two points in our next posting and show how the ‘foolish’ side of the end-time church, with a form of godliness, matches this model yet again.
To proceed to the next posting, simply scroll down to the article below.


  • Cleopas said...
    Here's a little drill to see where your church stands. The next time you attend a sermon, time your pastor or other speaker. How long into the sermon before they mention Jesus?

    I have heard many speakers go 30-40 minutes before reaching this point, and then Jesus may be mentioned in passing.

    How can we think we are learning to be His disciples when our sermons don't even talk about Him? And since all the fullness dwells in Him, and without Him we can do nothing, what good could a sermon possibly do that omits Him?

    Finally, if Jesus was omitted, what was the object in constant view? I just about guarantee it: "Me, me, me!!!"

    3/27/2006 8:05 AM

    Unchained Slave said...
    I made a lengthy comment in the 'break out module' "A Scriptural Profile of the End Time Heresies" to which you resonded (thank you).

    I just wanted to add two cents here adding to that comment.

    The book I mentioned in that comment 'fails' your test.

    The book is 'supposed' to be about living an abundant life.

    While it mentions 'me claiming God's promises' quite often - JESUS is noticeably absent from the text. (There are even some proof texts the author uses - that he paraphrases 'Jesus' out of.) There are a very few mentions of Jesus by name or title in that book - and it is written by the pastor of "one of the largest 'churches' in America".

    End time heresy indeed.


    3/27/2006 1:32 PM

    Cleopas said...
    Hi David,

    What else can I do but shrug my shoulders and drop my head in shame? There is nothing unique about the preacher or the book you've mentioned. In fact, in their circles those views are considered orthodox.

    But there is a counter-challenge this presents us with. Remember that Jesus said:

    "Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold."
    (Matt 24:11-12)

    When we see this sort of lawlessness, we must beware that our hearts not become hardened toward those people, nor our love allowed to grow cold toward them; but rather, we must pray for them all the more sincerely and where possible exhort them lovingly.

    I'm still learning this, by the way, and dying to myself in learning it. In the past, I've been more confrontational. But maybe we can encourage each other in that.

    3/27/2006 3:16 PM

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 5:36 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home