Friday, January 26, 2007

Reformation or Desecration? and "Emotional" Attack

Reformation or Desecration?

A weary and fearful world is crying out
for solutions to the plethora
of problems that plague mankind and seem to
escalate every day. From AIDS to
bird flu, terrorism, war and threats
of nuclear annihilation, the world
is filled with anxiety and looking for
answers. Pastor Rick Warren believes
that his P.E.A.C.E. plan is the answer
and will bring about a "New Reformation"
when in fact he is dismantling the true
Reformation with a compromised, inclusive
social gospel. Ecumenical Dominionists
weigh in with their false prophetic
utterances predicting everything from
disaster to revival despite their
history of inaccurate prognostications.
The emergent church continues its mystical
march away from orthodoxy. More and more
major denominations break down barriers
to unity after years of "dialog" with
Rome. Doctrinal purity is being sacrificed
on the altar of unity. This
should concern every believer who values
and honors the Word of God. I
hope that you will take the time to
follow me through the maze of
connections and threads. You may be
surprised and shocked at the inroads the social
gospel has made, just like termites silently
eating away at a structure and
then all that is left is a pile of sawdust.

Gigantic Marian Arch to be Constructed in
New York – World’s Tallest

A dedication ceremony was held in October 2002
and fund-raising continues for the $100 million
project called the Arch of Triumph of the
Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is expected to be
the world’s tallest monument, 70 storeys
high (The St. Louis Gateway Arch is 63
storieys) standing on the waterfront
of Lake Erie in Buffalo, New York.
It will overarch a shrine for the
Holy Innocents, affirming the sanctity
of human life. Greg Prince of
WLOF-FM, interviewed Laurence Behr and
he described his vision of the arch:

"Well, we expect that this will be even
more impressive than the Gateway
Arch. In the Arch of Triumph, there
will be sacred music playing and
beautiful sacred art. We expect to
have three chapels in the Arch. In
the northern base, a Chapel of the Sacred
Heart; in the southern base, a Chapel
of the Immaculate Heart; and in the peak,
above a public observation
area, a Chapel of the Triumph, representing
the triumphal union of the Hearts
of Jesus and Mary. It will be an uplifting
spiritual experience, that even
"unspiritual" people will find inspiring."

At the dedication ceremony in October,
Buffalo attorney and project
visionary Laurence Behr quoted a statement
reported to have been given by an
apparition of the Virgin Mary in Fatima,
Portugal, in 1917. "In the end, my
Immaculate Heart will triumph, and
a certain period of peace will be
granted to the world." Behr believes
the arch project is Mary’s further
revelation that "Our Lord wishes to
establish in the world, devotion to my
Immaculate Heart." Supporters see the
arch "as a means of broadcasting this
message to the entire world, of greatly
promoting this crucial devotion." Behr
goes on to say:

It is beyond question for any Christian,
that the violence and wars of
the last century, and violent start of the
new millennium, are intimately
intertwined with the impurity and lust so
rampant in our day, for impurity
and hatred are mates, just as are purity
and love. But Mary promised at Fatima
that in the end, her Immaculate Heart will
triumph, and the world will know peace.
She made this prediction and all her appearances at
the Cova da Iria, the Hollow of Irene---a
name that means Queen of Peace—and a
sign that proves wrong those who dismiss
Fatima as the product of
over-imaginative children’s minds."

You may be surprised at the frequency of
appearances by "Mary" currently on
a worldwide basis.

The Web of Connections

The project has not been without its
critics and detractors, but
according to Behr, is moving along
nicely. According to an article by
Rick Kern in the July 30, 2001 edition
of The Word, an evangelical Christian newspaper
for Buffalo and Western New York, "Behr
and company have their work cut out
for them, but the project's national
support is growing on a grand scale.
It is a venture that continues to capture
the imagination of a broadening
constituency, Catholic and Protestant
alike and, according to Behr, has
won the support of local pro-life
activists Reverends Bob Behr and Johnny
Hunter." The Reverend Behr is an anti
-abortion activist at Last Call
Ministries and works with Operation
Save America/Operation Rescue.
Their site says that "Jesus is the
Standard" but their alliances say
differently. By the way, it was reported
last year that Randall Terry, the founder
of Operation Rescue abandoned evangelicalism
for Roman Catholicism.

The Rev. Hunter, now of Fayetteville, N.C.,
is an ordained minister. He was
a founding co-pastor of the National
Community Church on Capitol Hill,
Washington, DC. Dr. Hunter is the Pastor
Emeritus of Church of The Living
Water, Buffalo, NY. An honorary Doctor
of Divinity Degree was bestowed
upon him by the Methodist-Episcopal
Church USA. He is also the National
Director of Life Education And Resource
Network (LEARN, Inc.), a consortium of
Christian pro-life, pro-family advocates.
LEARN, Inc. is the largest
African-American evangelical pro-life
organization in the United

He is on the National Clergy Council,
a sister organization of Faith in
Action based in Washington D.C. According
to their website, "The National
Clergy Council is an informal network
of conservative and traditional
Catholic, Evangelical, Orthodox and
Protestant clergy, members of
religious orders and societies,
religious educators, journalists,
and heads of para-church organizations
who share a common concern about the moral
integrity of our American culture. The
National Clergy Council is a network
of church leaders from Catholic,
Evangelical, Orthodox and Protestant
traditions. The NCC uses their voices,
pens and pulpits to address the
critical issues of the day and bring
to them a proper perspective,
informed by the Word of God and
classical Christian moral instruction.
Members,both clergy and lay, subscribe
to a strict interpretation of the Apostles’
and Nicene Creeds. The NCC is not a
lobbying group or partisan political
organization, but rather a prophetic
witness to Biblical Truth in the
public arena."

Among those listed as affiliated denominations:

Assemblies of God
Baptist (Independent, Southern, American)
Christian Church
Church of Christ
Episcopal Church USA
Evangelical Church Alliance
Full Gospel Baptist International
Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod, Conservative Association)
Methodist Episcopal
Orthodox Church in America
Presbyterian (USA, PCA, Reformed)
Reformed Church
Roman Catholic
United Methodist

More Connections

One of the advocates of the Arch is Fr.
Frank A Pavone of Priests for
Life. The aforementioned group Faith
in Action based in Washington D.C.
reports on the 2006 "13th Annual National
Memorial for the Pre-born and Their
Mothers and Fathers" with Fr. Pavone pictured
at the podium. It might shock
Christian supporters of Dr. James Dobson
and Focus on the Family that
according to Pavone’s resume, he serves
on the Focus on the Family
Institute. Dobson has built his ministry
upon conservative causes as
the common denominator rendering sound
doctrine irrelevant. As horrible as
abortion is, pragmatism only compounds
the problem.

Another endorser of the monument is
Peter J. Kreeft, professor of
philosophy at Boston College. He spoke
this month at Chuck Colson’s "Wilberforce
Conference on Critical Thinking." Prof.
Kreeft originally a Calvinist,
is now a Catholic apologist. That
should raise the eyebrows of not a few
evangelicals who support Prison Fellowship
and its ministries and listen
eagerly to Colson’s "Breakpoint"
broadcasts. This will come as no
surprise to those who know Colson
was the driving force behind the Evangelicals
and Catholics Together documents that
sent ecumenism into hyper speed,
declaring that Catholics are brothers
and sisters in Christ and are not to be the
object of any evangelistic endeavors.

How ironic that Colson touts Wilberforce,
the great British statesmen,
abolitionist and champion of human rights.
Wilberforce stood just as
strongly for doctrinal purity as
for social justice. Ironically, all of
his sons except one became Roman
Catholics. It is not clear if he lived to
see this, but we can be certain of one
thing -it would have grieved him
deeply.And I am sure that it would
disturb him to see his name used in the
context Colson is using it with no
regard for the doctrine that was the
bedrock of his belief.

Well-Meaning Wolves Leading Sheep Astray

These leaders, though well-meaning,
draw believers, and get them
mobilized to take up moral causes
with no consideration for biblical truth.
Otherwise these organizations would
implode and those who do not subscribe
to the basics of the faith would go
away. Their silence on these major
differences constitutes at the most
endorsement and at the least that the
differences are of no importance.
Defending moral values and correcting
injustices is certainly noble and as
believers we should do so by voice and example,
but never at the expense of God’s holy
Word and His precious Gospel. Our
first and foremost responsibility as
believers is given to us by our Lord:

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name of
the Father, and of the Son, and of
the Holy Ghost. Matt. 28:19

Go ye into all the world, and preach
the gospel to every creature. Mark

These men would do well to remember
this admonition from God’s Word:

Do not be unequally yoked together
with unbelievers. For what
fellowship has righteousness with
lawlessness? And what communion has
light with darkness?
2 Corinthians 6:14

Another endorser of the Marian Arch
is Ralph Martin of Renewal Ministries, a
Catholic charismatic group. They have
a very active missions program.
A recognizable member of their board
is Dion Dimucci, better known as
"Dion" a popular singer in the 60’s,
who had several hits including golden
oldies such as "The Wanderer" and "Run
Around Sue."

He describes his "conversion" – "There
was a lot going on in me then, a
mid-life crisis, or something. My
emotions were everywhere. In the
middle of that confusion, all I could
pray was ‘God, it would be nice to be
closer to you.’ That’s all it took.
I was flooded with white light. It was
everywhere, inside me, outside me-everywhere.
At that moment, things were different
between me and God. ..God changed my life
that morning and things have
never been the same."

Dion made the rounds of various churches,
even went to Israel with Greg
Laurie and Calvary Chapel in 1981. He
attended Jack Hayford’s Church on
the Way. But he states in his account
of his "spiritual journey," "there
was always something missing and incomplete.
Now I know it was the Eucharist……I
discovered Jesus is present in the Eucharist.
Not symbolically present…it
seems to me that each individual
believer has to acquire enough
knowledge on his own in order to know which
church can bring him to eternal life.
Instead of accepting the Church on God’s
terms, I’d have to choose a church of
my liking………..Dion’s deceptive and confused
spiritual journey took him right
back to the church of his youth, the Roman
Catholic Church.

Mary As Co-Redemptrix – The Peace Solution

There is a concerted effort to declare
Mary to be on equal footing with
Christ in the Catholic Church. Many
devoted Catholics believe there is
an urgency to do this to bring about
Christian unity and world peace to
quote the site dedicated to this cause.
"Many believe this Marian Dogma will
initiate the Triumph of our Blessed
Mother over Satan, as foretold in
Genesis and at Fatima. It is the key
that unlocks the graces of the
Triumph. Her titles are her works, her
titles are her functions, and the solemn
proclamation of our Mother’s titles will
lead to the full release of her
most powerful sanctifying functions of
grace and peace for the many crises
experienced in the contemporary Church
and world. It will allow her to
intercede with the fullest possible
mediation given to her by God for
this Triumph, for the Church and for humanity.

2007 The Rosary Bowl – Prayer for World Peace

No, this is not a new football playoff.
The event scheduled for May 19,
2007, is being held in the Rose Bowl in
Pasadena and is free and open
to the public. It follows the Eucharistic
Family Rosary Crusade scheduled for
May 13th at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas
on the Feast Day of Our Lady of
Fatima. According to a release by Religion
Press Release Services, Bishop Oscar
Solis of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles
states, "The Blessed Mother is
the special patroness of the City of
Los Angeles and the object of special
veneration…this Rosary celebration in
Mary’s honor will enhance the
prayer lives of our families,
strength family unity and rely on Mary as an
intercessor for world peace."

Eucharistic Adoration – A Growing Phenomenon

The practice of Eucharist Adoration
is growing, especially perpetual
adoration which occurs around the
clock. Roman Catholics believe that
Christ is physically present in the
communion wafer displayed in a receptacle
called a monstrance. The faithful come
to the church and spend time
engrossed in worship of the wafer,
some having ecstatic experiences.
The experiences only serve to deepen
their faith that Christ is truly
present in the wafer and they are
worshiping Him, but they are in
fact worshiping
a false Christ and any "miracles"
associated with it are demonic in
nature.Interested in seeing sites
in your community?

Back to Chuck Colson’s friend, Peter
Kreeft, a firm believer in Eucharistic
Adoration. He states:" The central
problem of the church today is that
most of the generation now becoming
adults simply do not know Jesus Christ.
They are not merely unaware of right
doctrine about Him (though that’s
tragically missing too) but of Christ
Himself, His real presence." Of course
he is speaking of the false Christ
of the Eucharist and the "right doctrine"
is the catechism of the Catholic Church.
Every serious Berean should purchase a copy
of the catechism and read it for

It is an eye opener. It is bound to give one
a burden for Catholics and a realization of
how much they need to hear the true Gospel.
Contrary to popular belief, the Catholic
church has not changed their doctrine.

What of the Future?

Only the Lord knows what 2007 will bring
and how many more will heed the
siren call down the road to Rome. With
the momentum of the emergent church,
contemplative prayer and ecumenism,
combined with the quest for world
peace, the apostasy is bound to
deepen. Doctrine and discernment
have fallen by the wayside. Watchmen
who love the Church and are sounding
the alarm are for the most part shouting
to the wind. But they cannot and will
not stop because there are still those
who will listen and it is a sacred calling.

What Are We To Do?

The apostasy is no surprise to God and it
should be no surprise to Bereans.
He predicted it in His Word as one of the
signs of the end times. As
individuals we each have a choice to stand for
truth and defend the faith or follow the crowd
and take the road of least resistance.
Quite frankly,
don’t expect this report to have a huge impact.
But if it wakes up only
a few to join the discerning remnant, it is
more than enough payment for
this labor of love. Every effort has
been made to be fair and accurate.
Bolding and underlining of text is
added. God help us to persevere to speak the
truth in love and earnestly contend for
the faith until our last breath. May
the Holy Spirit empower us to defend
the purity of the Gospel message
and share it with all who will listen.
May we be found faithful when we
hear that trumpet sound!

"No end is right accomplished wrongly;
The only good is good all through.
Men must believe, believe so strongly
That nothing but the right will do.

For truth is not a thing of season,
A thing to alter or to trade;
Men must be right before they reason,
And then may reason unafraid."

---Douglas Malloch--

From The Daily Sacrifice
H.A. Ironside


January 15, 2007

"Emotional" Attack

A major attack against Christian marriages and ministries
by the god of this world is underway and few believers are
even aware of it. The spirit of antichrist knows that if he
can break up Christian families and shut up the mouths
of Bible teachers, then his battle is half won. We are not
to be ignorant of Satan’s schemes, and once they’re
exposed we are free from that trap and won’t be ensnared.
This particular weapon in the devil’s arsenal is a word –
and that word is "emotional."

Let’s look at how this secret word is used so subtly to
destroy marriages and ministries.


In the gospels Jesus made it quite clear that marriage
is a permanent covenant between a man and a woman. He said:

"Therefore what God has joined together,
let not man separate…Whoever divorces
his wife and marries another commits
adultery against her. And if a woman
divorces her husband and marries another,
she commits adultery" (Mark 10: 9-12).

And He only mentioned one reason for divorce:
"But I say to you that whoever divorces
his wife for any reason
except sexual
causes her to commit
adultery" (Matt. 5:32a).
But the spirit of this world has a different set of criteria
for divorce and believers everywhere are buying into
it – this is obvious because statistics show that
"Christian" marriages break up at the same rate as
the rest of American society. If a spouse is physically
abusive, counselors will rightly advise a person to
remove themselves for their own safety. And the
Bible gives recourse for such an eventuality:

"Now to the married I command, yet not
I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart
from her husband. But even
if she does
, let her remain unmarried or
be reconciled to her husband. And a
husband is not to divorce his wife" (1 Cor. 7: 10-11).

This leaves room for repentance on the part of the
abuser. But a worldly counselor will advise the
spouse to divorce such a one, which is NOT in
keeping with Scripture.

But now it is taken even farther. Today counselors
are telling people that "emotional" abuse is just as
detrimental as physical abuse and the determining
factor to find out if you are in such an abusive
relationship is very subjective. If people were
honest with themselves, they would have to admit
that all of us receive and dish out emotional abuse
to those we love one way or another. And the word
"emotional" abuse is becoming the number one
reason people give when entering divorce court
today. But that should not be so in Christian
marriages, but unfortunately it is.

I entered the phrase "emotional abuse" into the
Google search engine and got back 945,000 hits.
The top site was a place called
"Education Wife Assault"
and they have a list of questions to ask yourself to
determine if you are in an "emotional" abusive
relationship, that include:

* Do you feel that something is wrong with your
relationship, but you don't know how to describe it?
* Do you feel that your partner controls your life?
* Do you feel that your partner does not value your
thoughts or feelings?
* Do you feel that you cannot do anything right in
your partner's eyes?
* Do you have to account for every moment of
your time?
* If you wish to spend money, does your partner
make you account for every penny?
* Does your partner blame you for everything
that goes wrong?

Certainly, if a spouse answers ‘yes’ to these questions,
s/he should bring it up to his/her spouse and seek
biblical counseling if things can’t be worked out. These
are symptoms that there is a problem in the relationship.
But they are NOT biblical reasons to divorce and yet that
is what it is becoming.

This sort of reasoning came out in a recent message by
the most popular pastor in America – Joel Osteen
(see recent article in the
"Church Report" called
"The 50 Most Influential Christians in America" ).
His New Year’s Eve message on December 31, 2006
was entitled "Giving Your Dreams a New Beginning."
In his usual motivational style of speaking, he began
by leading his stadium congregation into the chant: "
All right - hold up your bibles. Say it like you mean it.
This is my Bible. I am what it says I am, I have what
it says I have, I can do what it says I can do..." And
then he delivered his entire message without once
opening the Bible he had held in his hand.

The core of his message was that God plants seeds
of greatness in people’s lives and they need to work
it out to do great things. But he pointed out that in
order to accomplish your dreams you must create
an environment for yourself in which your dreams
can take hold and flourish. Of course, a crummy
spouse could get in the way. And he lifted up his
father, the late John Osteen, as an example of how
being in a bad marriage held him back.

"My dad was married at a very early age in life,"
Joel said. "Unfortunately, it didn't work out… My
father was so devastated; he felt like his days of
ministry were over…One day he got up, dusted
himself off. He said I know I've made some
mistakes; I know I've made some bad choices,
but he knew God had another seed. I know He's
got another plan. And it wasn't long after that he
met my mother...but God gave my father a new

Then he went on to give his viewers keys to
reaching their "full potential." Look at how
subtle this is:

"You cannot hang out with negative people and
expect to live a positive life… You're not going to
pull them up, they're going to end up pulling you
down…And I know people today that are living in
a very abusive environment -- physical abuse,
emotional abuse, verbal abuse, and they just
stay there year after year after year after year.
The person is very dominating and controlling.
They're afraid to leave, afraid they'll be lonely,
afraid they'll never meet anybody and so they
stay in a very abusive relationship… God did
not create you to be mistreated and abused.
Many times that is just a negative cycle that
keeps getting repeated. Your mother was in
an abusive relationship and now you are, and
unless you make some changes your daughter
will be as well... It may be painful, but the best
thing you can do is get away from somebody
like that."

Even though he gave disclaimers that divorce
is not "God’s best," he held up his father’s bad
example as an inspiration that God will overlook
divorce and give you something better in the
next marriage. And that word "emotional abuse"
was a key term he used to justify the unbiblical.
And people are falling for this, hook, line, and sinker.


The other use of "emotional" to make a
thing something it is not is "emotional"
affairs. As pointed out already, Jesus
showed adultery to be a biblical reason
for divorce. And when it comes to ministry,
pastors and teachers must be "the husband
of one wife." So naturally, sexual affairs would
be a biblical reason for a pastor/teacher to
be defrocked.

But today this new term "emotional affair,"
borrowed from the wisdom of the world, has
become grounds for Christian divorce and also
for expulsing men from pulpits. A Google search
on this phrase came back with 72,200 hits.
Here’s the definition given by one of those web sites:

"An emotional affair occurs when one member
of a relationship consistently turns to someone
else for their core, primary emotional support
in life. It often develops slowly, even innocently,
as a friendship with a co-worker or friend. There
may or may not be a romantic/sexual attraction
initially accompanying this budding friendship."

Adding the word "emotional" in front of "affair"
does not make this a case of adultery, yet that is
how it is being treated in the world today, and
through osmosis, in the church as well. Surely
it is a signal that a marriage needs to be worked
on, but it is not grounds for divorce or pastoral
disqualification. The church has bought the
world’s philosophy and the devil is using it to
destroy marriages and ministries.

I am in no way defending pastors who have
fallen into these traps. Spouses are hurt by
such things and the offending partner needs
to repent of it and turn away from those
wrong friendships and cling to his wife. And
the elders need to hold such men accountable
and they should be confronted. But it is NOT
the same thing as having a sexual affair – not
the same thing at all. But because of the
influence of the world, the distinctions have
been blurred.

A recent situation brought this to my attention.
I was contacted by a woman – Let’s call her Liza.
She had read my criticism of the teachings of a
pastor, whose teachings I had publicly refuted.
I guess she thought I was out to get him and
sought me out to assist her in getting her own
retribution on him. Liza told me that they had
had a two-year "emotional affair." She had gone
to him for counseling and they had become
friends and shared their problems with each
other. I tried to get her definition of affair and
so I asked questions such as "Did he ever kiss
you?" No, she said, but he held her hand as she
poured out her heart to him about her marriage
problems. And he complained to her about his
own marriage difficulties. I thought it was quite
amazing that they poured out their hearts to
each other for two years and he never made
a pass at her. Liza forwarded to me emails
between the two of them to demonstrate, she
thought, how he was playing her along and
trying to break up her marriage. But the emails
revealed that she was more of the aggressor
than he was, and in the email in which she accused
him of leading her on, he responded in shock
that she would ever have gotten that impression.

But Liza was insisting to leaders in this man’s
church that he be exposed to his entire
congregation and to be labeled disqualified
for ministry forever.

I’ve seen this in several churches in recent
years. So-called "emotional affairs" are given
the same weight as actual sexual affairs.
These men have mustered up their inner
strength to avoid crossing the line sexually,
and yet are treated as if they had committed
adultery. Certainly Jesus said all who look
upon a woman with lust are guilty of adultery,
but if we applied that criteria to the ministry
we wouldn’t have many qualified candidates
for preaching. It’s one of those cases of "those
without sin cast the first stone." But those
stones are being hurled and this is not right.

The church is letting the world take the lead
in casting people aside. We need to get back
to Scripture as our criteria for marriage and
ministry and be open to forgiveness and
restoration, lest we drive a pastor into the
arms of a sympathetic friend of the opposite sex.


Heavenly Father, Protect your ministers
from the snare of the seductive wo/man
who is lonely and looking for
companionship in all the wrong places.
Give your people wisdom in knowing
where to draw the line in friendships
with the opposite sex and help them
to flee from immorality. Open our eyes
to the schemes of the enemy and the
accuser of the brethren who will use
our good intentions against us. Save
Christian marriages from this attack
of the enemy and help us to differentiate
between Your voice and the psychobabble
of this world that is devoid of lasting
commitment as they take the easy way
out. Set us apart as vessels of honor in a
world devoid of high moral standards.
Help us to avoid the appearance of evil
and keep our feet from stumbling. In
the name of Your Son, Yeshua
Ha'Mashiach. Amen.

Sherry Neese can be reached at

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