The Coming Kingdom 078

The Coming Kingdom 078
Matthew 12:46-50 • Dr. Andy Woods • October 23, 2019 • The Coming Kingdom


The Coming Kingdom #78

Kingdom Now Theology & Ecumenism

Dr. Andy Woods

Sugar Land Bible Church

Let’s open our Bibles to Matthew 12:46-50.  We are coming towards the end, Lord willing, at the end of this quarter.  We are completing our study on the Kingdom, and we are in the last part of the study because we’ve defended biblically the idea of a postponed theocratic Kingdom — not canceled; not in place now.  Postponed.  So the question then becomes, ‘Who cares; why does it matter?’

What we are getting into now in the final section is all of the false teachings that come into the church logically and naturally the moment the church sees itself as the present manifestation of the Kingdom of God. The reason I wanted to teach this is that a lot of Christians really don’t draw the connections between Kingdom Now Theology, and the various false teachings.  We are upset at these false teachings, but we don’t really realize the soil from which they all grow up is Kingdom Now Theology.

You might have wondered why we’re devoting all this time to this issue of the Kingdom; hopefully at this point we are communicating that it is a very big deal.  There are at least nine false doctrines that come into the Church when it sees itself as the Kingdom.  The first two false doctrines we have covered:

  1. Loss of “pilgrim” status.  A pilgrim is someone passing through to a better world, so why would you think of yourself as pilgrim if you’re bringing in the Kingdom, or we are in the Kingdom now?  I have already given you this quote from Lewis Sperry Chafer where he says, “So the church was fully warned from the beginning [I think he is speaking there of the Upper Room Discourse] about the nature of this age, and taught concerning her pilgrim character [the Church] while here and her holy calling and separateness from the ‘evil age.’”  So that is a pilgrim idea that gets lost if this world is our home.
  2. The second false doctrine that can happen is that the Church moves into social gospel because the Church puts onto her own shoulders bringing to planet earth Kingdom realities. We know that there are certain realities that Jesus will bring to earth when He establishes His Kingdom.  Social justice correctly defined prosperity cures for sickness and disease, and if you think that we are the Kingdom, then there is a natural inclination to think not that we can just make progress in these areas, but that we can successfully bring them to the entire earth.  The eradication of poverty, etc.  So last time we discussed social gospel.  I don’t think that I had this quote from Tim Keller in my notes.  Tim Keller is very much of a social gospel, social justice type of Pastor in New York who is extremely popular.  He is the leader of a group called the Gospel Coalition, which is sadly filled with this type of Kingdom Now mentality.  In one of his books, he says that the goal of the Church is to re-weave the community.  He says this:  “In general, to ‘do justice’” … [when he uses the word justice, he is basically talking about a far left wing approach] means to live in a way that generates a strong community [he isn’t talking about the Church; he is talking about New York.  If he is bringing the Kingdom to New York, I wish he’d hurry up and get on with it because there is a place that really needs a Kingdom.    I visited there, and I won’t go into any further detail; there are some good things there to see, just not everything] “…where human beings can flourish.  Specifically, however, to ‘do justice’ means to go to places where the fabric of shalom [I think I just heard Ron use the word, shalom, meaning peace, earlier] has broken down, where the weaker members of societies [it is all about society; he isn’t speaking of the Church but about society]… are falling through the fabric, and to repair it.  This happens when we concentrate on [in other words, becomes our priority] and meet the needs of the poor…The only way to reweave and strengthen the fabric is by weaving yourself into it…The strong must disadvantage themselves for the weak, the majority for the minority, or the community frays and the fabric breaks.”  What he is talking about here is rescuing culture all around us as the priority of the Church. That is basically what you would call social gospel.  It is looking at the world and seeing the societal conditions as something that we are obligated to change.  All of it sounds good on the surface, who wouldn’t want to live in such a world, but the question as we saw last time is:  Is that really the focus of the Church?  We try to argue that it isn’t.  The focus of the Church is the Great Commission.  So you can see in these writings, eg in Tim Keller’s book, how he is subtly changing the focus of the Church to reweaving the community.  We went through all of the passages last time on the Great Commission, and there isn’t a single passage where Jesus said to get out there and reweave the community.  That is what I mean by social gospel, and let’s pick it up here with…
  3. The third false kind of idea that comes into the life of the Church the moment she begins to see herself as the Kingdom of God is that she develops an appetite for ecumenical and interfaith alliances with groups that don’t share our biblical convictions. Ecumenism is the urge to merge, ie, we are going to merge with a spiritual group over here or there for the purpose of fighting some societal cause because we don’t have enough Christians numerically to bring the Christians to the earth; we are hardly a majority anymore, and probably aren’t even a majority anymore in ‘supposed’ Christian America.  We are certainly not a majority around the world so numerically if you want to bring the Kingdom to the earth, we don’t have enough numbers to do that.  Thus there is a natural desire on the part of the Church that becomes focused on bringing in the Kingdom to merge with groups who don’t share our convictions, such as Clarence Larkin.  In 1920, he predicted this, and he was in the midst of fighting Kingdom Now Theology in what’s called the 1920s.   We covered it briefly last time — the fundamentalist modernist controversy.  He said in 1920, “The great mistake the Church has made is in appropriating to herself in this Dispensation [the Church age] the promises of earthly conquest and glory which belong exclusively to Israel in the ‘Millennial Age.’”…  [That is Kingdom Now Theology —you look over at Israel’s promises which we believe will be fulfilled in the thousand-year Kingdom, and through a non-literal method of interpretation, you begin to argue that these are promises that are happening today.  So the prophecy of the Dead Sea coming to life in Ezekiel 47; how there’s going to be a river from the temple that will flow into the Dead Sea, and the Dead Sea will teem with life.  People sit around and wonder what that means.  What it means is that there will be a river from the Temple that is going to flow into the Dead Sea and the Dead Sea will come to life biologically.  We believe that this is a Millennial promise.  Kingdom Now Theology basically deliteralizes it and says that is the soul coming back to life in the Church age through the new birth.  Clarence Larkin says, … “As soon as the Church enters into an “Alliance with the World,’ and seeks the help of Parliaments, Congresses, Legislatures, Federations and Reform Societies, largely made up of ungodly men and women [Why would the Church do that?  Because she thinks that she is responsible for bringing the Kingdom to the earth, therefore, and you don’t have enough numbers to do it, so you have to merge with other groups who may have some societal goals but who don’t agree with you on the Trinity or the Deity of Christ, or the substitutionary atonement.  Those important theological issues are pushed to the side and you become very ecumenical, merging with other groups who don’t share your beliefs theologically but who agree with you on some social cause, eg, the environment, universal health care, racial reconciliation — whatever issue you’re fighting, and it could be from the right as well, in some places the pro-life issue is the gospel.  I’m a big pro-lifer, but I don’t really have any interest in marginalizing the Bible to gain some success in the pro-life cause.  So people from the left and the right both do this].  So Clarence Larkin says,  “she [the church] loses her spiritual power and becomes helpless as a redeeming force.”   In other words, the Church stops being the Church because she has merged with some other group, and the Bible says not to be unequally yoked — that is, they don’t share our core beliefs.  In essence, he is arguing that Kingdom Now Theology leads in the direction of ecumenical and interfaith alliances with non-biblical groups.  The architect of some of this in modern times, the 1990s, is Charles Colson.  I happen to have a fairly high opinion of him, and I appreciate many of the books he wrote, eg, Born  Again; The Body.  He started Prison Fellowship, a gospel-oriented ministry to prisoners, but towards the end of his life, Colson started to experiment with ECT, which stands for Evangelicals and Catholics Together.  The idea is that secularism, atheism and humanism, communism, abortion and pornography are all so bad in society that as Protestants and Catholics, we need to start cooperating with one another.  On the surface, I don’t have much a problem with us showing our support for certain causes, but one of the things that Colson started to argue in his ECT document is ‘we aren’t going to discuss theology with Catholics anymore.’  Whoops, you went too far on that.  Part of the document stated that they weren’t going to evangelize one another’s sheep folds.  I’m sorry, but that is going too far because Roman Catholic theology is completely and totally different than biblical and Protestant theology:  that is what the whole Protestant Reformation was about.  Someone out there now aggressively promoting this just when I thought he couldn’t go any lower in terms of false doctrine is Kenneth Copeland.  I thought that he had no where else to fall from because for decades he has always been a promoter of the ‘gods’ doctrine — meaning that you are a kid of the King so you’re entitled to a life of health and wealth, and you just have to command that into existence.  Beginning somewhere around 2015 or earlier, you can see that he is one of the big proponents of this evangelicals and Catholics together mentality, ie, we are all just one big happy family, and if you love Jesus, we are all on the same team.  That is what Colson was promoting there towards the end of his life.  I thought this whole thing would die when Colson died, but then comes Rick Warren bringing the whole thing to life again in an interview he did in the EWTN, a Roman Catholic Network.  Here he was interviewed by Raymond Arroyo, who appears frequently on the Laura Ingraham [a Roman Cathoic] show, The Angle, on Fox News.  I watch Laura frequently because I agree with a lot of her political ideology.  She will bring on Raymond Arroyo frequently, and here is what Rick Warren said to Arroyo.  The reason I keep bringing up Rick Warren is because he is billed today as America’s Pastor.  He said this concerning Protestants and Catholics, and remember that Rick Warren is supposed to be a Protestant Pastor.  “We [referring to Catholics] have far more in common that what divides us.  When you talk about Pentecostals, charismatics, evangelicals, fundamentalists, Catholics, Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, on and on and on and on.  Well, they would all say we believe in the trinity; we believe in the Bible; we believe in the resurrection; we believe salvation is through Jesus Christ.  These are the big issues.  Sometimes Protestants think that Catholics worship Mary like she’s another god.  But that’s not exactly catholic doctrine…and people say well what are the saints all about?  Why are you praying to the saints?  And when you understand what they mean by what they’re saying there’s a whole lot more commonality.  Now there are still real differences…”  [What is happening here is that he is marginalizing the differences because he wants us to come together to fight a common cause.  Rick Warren, as I have shared with you many of his quotes, believes that he is bringing in the Kingdom, and what I’m trying to demonstrate is that ecumenism is a logical outgrowth of Kingdom Now Theology. …Rick Warren goes on to say, “no doubt about that.  But the most important thing is if you love Jesus, we’re on the same team.” …  [It is an amazing line there that ‘if you love Jesus, we’re on the same team.’  As if there isn’t another Jesus in the world.  Does Paul not specifically talk about another Jesus and another gospel?  So just because someone uses the “J” word, I want to know what doctrine they’re using to fill in the meaning of Jesus.  The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in Jesus, too, at least by name, but query them and you’ll see that their Jesus is a created being, not the biblical Jesus]… “The unity that I think we would see realistically is not a structural unity but a unity of mission.”… [What mission would that be?  Bringing in the Kingdom]… “And so, when it comes to the family, we are co-workers in the field on this for the protection of what we call [here comes the social issues] the sanctity of life, the sanctity of sex, and the sanctity of marriage [all societal issues].  So there’s a great commonality and there’s no division on any of these three.  Many times people have been beaten down for taking a biblical stance.  And they start to feel, “Well, maybe I’m out there all by yourself.”  No, you’re not, Rick Warren says (Italics added).”  So, I want you to see what Rick Warren did — he just swept under the rug the Protestant Reformation.  In the 16th century when many of those Protestant Reformers, gave their very lives to see that Reformation get off the ground.  Many of them were burned at the stake.  From the Protestant Reformation we have the five SOLAS of Protestant Christianity.  We have these because we believe that these are literally taught in the Bible.  Roman Catholics don’t share our beliefs in any one of these five SOLAS.  (See slide at 22:44 on The Five Solas (Alone or By Itself).  Sola, is the Latin Word meaning ‘by itself’ —
  4. Sola Christus — Christ Alone. An important doctrine.
  5. Sola Fide — Faith Alone
  6. Sola Gratia – Grace Alone
  7. Sola Scriptura — Scripture Alone [when you talk with your Roman Catholic friends, notice that their Bibles are bigger than ours; they have books in the Bible that we don’t have. Why do they have the Apopcryphal books in their books that we don’t?  It is because of this principle of Sola Scriptura.  Martin Luther started arguing faith alone based totally on what the Bible alone says, and the Roman Catholics at the Council of Trent in the 16th century 1,500 years after the apostles had died, added a bunch of books.  That is the Apocrypha.  They did that to counter Luther who was saying faith alone based on Scripture alone.  The Roman Catholics were saying, ‘Well, we have some Scripture, too, that we just added, that teaches salvation by works.  Maccabees, the Book of Wisdom, the Book of Bel and the Dragon.  The reason you can’t see eye to eye with the Roman Catholic theologically is because they’re operating on a different source of Authority than we as Protestant Christians are.
  8. Sola Deo Gloria — To the glory of God alone — the last sola.

When Rick Warren says that there are a few differences, but if you love Jesus we are on the same team because we have to fight sanctity of life and pro-marriage, he just took the blood of the martyrs via the Protestant Reformation and swept all of it under the rugs in this interview on EWTN and acted like there is no big difference between us and Roman Catholics.  That is the spirit of ecumenism and interfaith alliances.

Here is a quote from Jerry Falwell Jr, interviewed on either the TV or radio show of Glenn Beck.  I watch him because he is a libertarian, small government, conservative guy, which I enjoy, but Glenn Beck is a Mormon.  Mormons believe that Jesus came over to the United States 1500 years or later than when the real Jesus lived.  They believe that he came over here and started another movement here in North America.  So when the Mormons come to your door, it won’t be just with a bible, but with what is called the pearl of great price and the doctrine of covenants and the Book of Mormon because they believe that we need the completed revelation from Jesus’ guest appearance in North America over a millennia and a half after He walked the face of the earth.  This was supposedly given as a special revelation to a Joseph Smith.  This is in contradistinction to what the Bible says, in Jude 3, that truth has been once for all given to the saints.  So when you’re dealing with a Mormon, even though they look godly and patriotic, and apple pie, they show up on their bicycles dressed nicely, clean cut, and they even vote Republican in every election, and you may agree with them on all kind of social issues, please understand that you have absolutely nothing in common with them theologically.  Jerry Falwell Jr of Liberty University, the largest Christian University in the world, if I’m not mistaken, appearing on Glenn Beck’s show, concerning politics, says, “If we don’t hang together, we’ll hang separately.  I mean that’s what my father believed when he formed the Moral Majority, an organization of Mormons, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, people of no faith.  [So far, so good; I don’t have a problem with voting with people who are like-minded on social issues].  But then Jerry Falwell, Jr goes on to say,… “And there are bigger issues now.  We can argue about theology later, after we save the country…”  I guess that means that we’re never going to argue about theology since the country seems to get more and more unsavable so that is the ecumenical mentality where the idea is exactly what Copeland, Rick Warren, Colson are all doing related to Catholics.  Now you have Jerry Falwell, Jr doing this related to Mormons and acting like theology is very secondary.  Kingdom conditions is really what is important.

This is the sort of ecumenical mindset that we now find ourselves in from many of our leaders, and it has to directly do with Kingdom Now Theology.  All you have to do is to take his statement here that there are bigger issues for now and that we can argue theology after we save the country.  The way all these guys are marginalizing doctrine and compare it to what your Bible says concerning the significance of doctrine, this is what the early church gave themselves to.  There is a long laundry list of things that the early church did, and the very first thing they gave themselves to on the list was in Acts 2:42, “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching [there was no mentality in the early Church to forget doctrine and save Jerusalem or Rome.  Obviously, the priorities of some of these men, although I might agree with them on a point or two, is radically different than the priority of the early Church.

So we have talked about potential mergers between Roman Catholics and Protestants, Roman Catholics and Mormons; it couldn’t get any worse, could it?  Now we have the same mindset at work in terms of potential mergers with Islam.  You’ve heard of Chrislam?  Chrislam is the idea that we are going to find some kind of common ground between Christianity and Islam, as if there is anything in common between the two. You may say, ‘I wish you would talk about something that is more relevant and practical.’  How is this for relevant and practical?  That sign was over on Highway 90 or Highway 6…I have discovered that these signs are going up all over the country, but this particular one was what would be less than 2-5 miles from our church.  We took a photo of the sign, and Anne took a good picture, but then one of our joggers in the church who is kind of short, so she can move in and out of things really fast and go across busy streets, didn’t like that particular picture because she thought it could be clearer, so she took this picture of it.  You can see what they’re communicating — that there is one family, one message; trying to argue that Islam and Christianity are basically common Abrahamic faiths.   They are not common Abrahamic faiths.  Islam is completely different than Christianity in almost every single respect.  I’m currently reading and about half way through Robert Morey’s book, The Coming Islamic Invasion, that he wrote in the early 1990s, long before 9-11.  It is a very interesting read and quite prescient.  He has all of the credentials academically that you would want in a comparative religions expert; he is an evangelical Christian, so that is a good place to start if you think Christianity has anything to do with Islam.  It is like mixing oil and water.

What is happening now is the mindset is that we will try to find common ground with Muslims because we may agree with them on something.  So we will merge to bring in Kingdom conditions, just as they did with the Catholics in the 1990s and later on with Jerry Falwell with the Mormons.  Here, Rick Warren is speaking at Tony Blair’s World Economic Forum (WEF), and this can be easily found on YouTube.  Rick Warren says this:  “To my Islamic brother here from Italy, I would say I’m not really interested in inter-faith dialogue; I’m interested in inter-faith projects.  We’ve got enough talk.  So…a few weeks ago, at Georgetown University, we brought in three imams, we brought in three Catholic priests, we brought in three evangelical pastors …” [I didn’t get my invitation, and I’m very sad that they would never bring in someone like me because I would be talking like I’m talking to you here, and it would disrupt the coalition they’re trying to build to bring in kingdom conditions]…, “and brought in three Rabbis and we said …[here comes the societal causes], … ‘What can we do about AIDS?  And we started on some common ground on those issues … [what is he talking about — the common social cause related to the Kingdom that we all want to bring in—dealing with this AIDS epidemic]: …  what can we do that we all care about?”  In the process, Rick Warren is there calling an Imam his brother.

Look at Matthew 12:46-50 where Jesus defines who your brother spiritually is. “While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him.  Someone said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.”  But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?”  And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers!  For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”  The biblical definition is very clear.  You have no business at all calling anybody your spiritual brother who is not a disciple of Jesus Christ like you are.  There is no common ground, and so I guess what is disturbing me about all of these quotations is not so much that they’re trying to fight a social cause, but they’re in the process of fighting a social cause, and they’re marginalizing or minimizing the Bible.  That is the ecumenical mindset.

Rick Warren prayed at Obama’s inauguration in 2009 when he was being sworn in as our President.  Here is the prayer, and these are not secret quotes I’m bringing to your attention; you need only a search engine.  Rick Warren’s said :  “I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua [so far so good, the Hebrew name for Jesus], Isa [hmmm, interesting, havent heard Jesus referred to that way], Jesus [no problem, the Spanish pronunciation, and then the name we are familiar with], Jesus, who taught us to pray.”

So Jesus, Jesus, Yeshua, I know, Isa, I don’t know.   Who is Isa?  Eric Barger jumped right on this in his newsletter and correctly pointed out:  “‘Isa’ in no way represents the Jesus of the Bible but is instead the false Jesus of the Qur’an (Koran) and the Muslim Hadith.  Isa (pronounced ‘eee-sa’) is the Islamic Jesus who was but a prophet” … [and by the way, Muslims basically believed Jesus is kind of coming back as Allah’s sidekick.  That is not what we studied last Sunday in the book of Revelation. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords; He is not coming back as a sidekick to anybody, but in Islamic thinking, that is who Jesus or ‘Isa’ actually is.  A different Jesus.  Rick Warren took Isa, a false Jesus and merged him with the true Jesus.  America’s pastor did this]

Eric Barger’s quote continues, and he said of Isa:  “… and who certainly did not experience a sacrificial death on a cross [in fact, if I understand Islamic theology correctly, they don’t even believe Jesus died on the Cross.  It was a kind of deception where, if I have this right, wasn’t it Judas who secretly got there on the cross thru a deception of Allah?] … “and who certainly did not experience a sacrificial death on a cross let alone resurrect from the dead.  In fact, in Islam the prophet Isa is actually the destroyer of Christianity—not its Savior.  Obviously this is NOT the same Jesus as is Yeshua [the Hebrew pronunciation of Jesus].”

But this is what is happening with this ecumenical mentality because of the urge to merge to bring in kingdom conditions.

I don’t know if you followed this, but I followed it very carefully.  This took place, I think, a couple of summers ago.  This is James White (see slide on BEYOND DEBATE).  He is reformed in his theology, but a lot of what he has written over the years has been pretty solid; he wrote a good book, eg, against homosexual marriage from a biblical perspective, etc.  He is a very good debater, very intelligent, but suddenly, he got caught up in something called, and notice how this was billed, Beyond Debate.  Debate, something that James White is very good at, and here he is saying that we aren’t going to debate.  This was with an individual named Yasir Qadhi who not only is a fairly well known Imam in America, but when you look into the roots of Yasir Qadhi, you see that he is connected to the Muslim Brotherhood and is a national security risk.  What happened is that James White brought Yasir Qadhi, not to Starbucks or to a hotel ballroom, or to some neutral site, but to a church, like we are having here in front of the assembled saints of God.  They were trying to find some basically common ground.  What can we agree on?  In the process, you can watch this whole thing on YouTube, James White just sits there like a potted plant, despite that he is a very capable debater.  But notice how this is advertised:  Beyond Debate, a friendly dialogue between Christians and Muslims.  They allowed him in a church to sit and spew out his anti-biblical, anti-Christian belief system without being challenged.  If they had done this at Starbucks or at a hotel ballroom, I wouldn’t have too much of a problem with it.  But he is bringing this person into a church before the assembled saints of God and in the process allowing him to teach false doctrine inside the church.

In the process, Yasir Qadhi denies the death of Christ.  James White calls Yasir Qadhi ‘my mentor’ over and over again.

James white actually says to Yasir Qadhi at one point in this whole exchange, ‘You know, you Muslims really need to make a movie or video to educate us evangelical Christians on the true nature of Islam, because we obviously don’t us it.’  That’s a stunning thing because in Islam, you have something called Takia which gives you the right to lie as long as you’re advancing your cause.  We as Christians have as one of the Ten Commandments not to bear false witness, but in Islam, you’re allowed to lie as long as you’re advancing the right cause.  So James White turns to this Imam, a natural security threat and tells him to create a movie  to educate the rest of us about the true nature of Islam even though the guy has a right to lie to advance his cause.  That is the insanity of all this, and at one point he essentially says, ‘You know we’re going to need each other at the end of the day.’  I watched this thing several times, and it was the identical logic that Chuck Colson used relative to Roman Catholicism.  The real enemy out there is humanism, atheism, secularism.  One of these days these secularists will gang up on us, and we religious people will need each other…we will fight some cause out there, and whatever theological differences we have with each other, sweep them under the rug.  That is what is happening today in Christianity, and this is being promoted as evangelism!

This is not evangelism!  Evangelism is is where you have a conversation with somebody like Jesus did with the woman at the well; like Paul did on Mars Hill in Acts 17, but ultimately, you get to the truth claims of Christ.  Paul never went out to find common ground with folks; he used conversation strategically and ultimately to get to the death and resurrection of Christ.  That is how the Mars Hill speech ends in Acts 17:30-31; that is what Jesus does with the woman at the well in John 4:22.  He finally gets to truth, and says that salvation is of the Jews.  In other words, you Samaritans have it wrong.

So what is happening is that common ground beyond debate, middle ground mania is being substituted for what we would call biblical evangelism.  What I am trying to contend in my book and here with you this evening, is that this is a logical ramification of Kingdom Now Theology.  Bringing in societal change is a priority and you end jump merging with everybody who agrees with you on that point and end up marginalizing or minimizing any theological differences with anyone — Catholics, Mormons, etc.  Now it is apparently happening with Muslims.  One of the things I want you to see is when James White did that, he went directly against the Word of God.

Notice 2 John 9:9-11 where John says this:  “9Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.  10If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; 11for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.”  Let me ask you a basic question:  Where did the early church meet?  You don’t have chapels and stained glass chapels in the first century, no church mortgages.  They only had meeting in each other’s homes.  In fact, in Acts 2:46, of the early church it says, “Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house.”  So when 2 John 9:10 says, ‘…do not receive someone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ into your house,’ he is saying for you not to give them a place of influence within the church ever!  It doesn’t say to be rude to them or to never have a one-on-one conversation with them if your goal is to point them to Jesus Christ, but in no way, shape or form, would you ever give them the pulpit or let them teach Sunday School, or let them set up their religious literature on your display table.  That is absolutely something not to do, and that is basically what James White, supposedly Christianity’s greatest debater did.  He just sat there on the stage and let Yasir Qadhi say whatever he wanted.  That goes directly against the Bible.  Yet all of these things are being overturned because somehow in the minds of people is this desire to find common ground with everyone.  I think that a lot of is this ambition to bring the kingdom to the earth or to fight some kind of societal cause.

The big name of the game today is IFD:  Interfaith Dialogue—where you do the type of things that James White did:  get together with Muslims or whoever and try to work out and minimize your differences by sweeping them under the rug for the purpose of coming together to fight some kind of societal cause.  You must understand that IFD, and this is what most evangelical Christians naively do not understand:  that the whole game is rigged the moment that you sit down for a conversation or dialogue like this.  In other words, the other side has already decided that they will use the conversation to move us in their direction.  That is what they’re trying to do.  They have no intention of moving in our direction, but because our spiritual leaders aren’t communicating what I’m trying to communicate to you, we think, ‘It’s great, we will sit down and have common ground; I’m going to have a chance to evangelize.  You must understand it is like betting against the house.  The house will win because they’ve already decided that they’re going to use interfaith dialogue to move us in their direction rather than the other way around.  This is why I’m very hesitant about this whole dialogue mentality that is so prevalent in the Body of Christ.  ‘Well, how can you be so dogmatic about this?’  Because it is in their own writings.

A quote from The Muslim Brotherhood’s senior theoretician, Seyyid Qutb, was transparent in the true agenda behind Islamic participation in interfaith dialogue, when he wrote, “The chasm between Islam and the Jahiliyyah [the society of unbelievers] is great, and a bridge is not to be built across it so that the people on the two sides may mix with each other…” [see, per Takia, you can lie to advance your agenda; interfaith dialogue is basically promoted as ‘we’re going to find common ground’.  In fact, there is a document called Common Word.  A common word between us and you.  This is one of the reasons we brought Sharam Haiti in here a couple of times, and we will probably do it again in the not too distant future; a former Muslim, to educate us about things like this:  that this a part of the strategy.  But what you learn is the goal of Common Word has never really defined common word.  We will use interfaith dialogue as a tool or vehicle to move Christianity closer to the way we think.   Now are they going to convert us to being full blown Muslims, probably not, but their goal is to make us less resistant to Islam], … but only so that the people of the Jahiliyyah  [the society of unbelievers] may come over to Islam.”  Look at that!  He said that in 1966 in the book that I am quoting on that slide on Seyyid Qutb; long before any of this stuff became popular, they told us exactly what they were going to do with this interfaith dialogue agenda.

The very first Interfaith dialogue that you can find in Scripture is in Genesis 3:1 (see slide on The First Interfaith Dialogue).  “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the beast of the field which the Lord God had made.  And he said to the woman, ‘Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”  This was incorrect, that isn’t what God said.  So he started a conversation with her; a discussion.  Paul refers to this conversation in 2 Corinthians 11:3 where he says to the Corinthians, “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”  (Italics mine).  In other words, the serpent wants to, with you Corinthians, start another conversation.  Think how different how world history would be if Eve had just decided not to talk to the serpent.  Problem solved?  But she didn’t do that; she sat down to the first interfaith dialogue, and you know the rest of the story.

Let me ask you a question:  when satan started this conversation with Eve, was he trying to move closer to the thinking of Eve, or was he trying to move Eve in his direction.  Obviously the latter.  That is what Seyyid Qutb is saying concerning the Islamic agenda between interfaith dialogue.  If you’re into interfaith dialogue, and I know some people are gifted at it and want to do that, then number 1, understand what is really happening.  Number 2, go have it out there somewhere on a neutral site, Starbucks, hotel ballroom, wherever, but not in church, otherwise, you run into afoul with 2 John 9:9-11.

What happens when the church becomes Kingdom Now focused?  Basically what happens is the church moves in this direction of ecumenism.  I was going to cover numbers 4 and 5 of the 9 ways that Kingdom Now Theology impacts the Church tonight; we will cover number 4 next time, and if we are fortunate, or unfortunate, depending on your point of view, we will do number 5.