Sunday, January 27, 2008

Comment from Understand The Times

Last week I attended the Rethink Conference at the Crystal Cathedral co-hosted by Erwin Mc Manus and Robert Schuller. While at the conference I visited the Fuller Seminary booth and discussed my concerns about the ecumenical direction Fuller President Richard J. Mouw seems to be headed with regard to unity with the Roman Catholic Church.

I requested a meeting with President Mouw in order to discuss these important issues in light of the factual information we have documented in my books Faith Undone and Anther Jesus: The Eucharistic Christ and the New Evangelization. I also sent a copy of Faith Undone to the person manning the Fuller Booth.

The following article authored by Mouw for Christianity Today reflects Mouw's affinity for ecumenical untie with Rome. All Bible believing Christians should contact Fuller Theological Seminary and communicate their concerns if they have concerns.

Following is the personal letter that I sent Dr. Mouw:

Dear President Mouw,

I would like to have a meeting with you to discuss my concerns about the Roman Catholic New Evangelization Program as well as the Emerging Church movement. Please let me know when this could happen at your earliest convenience. I am presently in the Philippines. I will be in southern California the first two weeks in February.

It seems that Fuller Theological Seminary is not aware of these two trends (doctrines of demons) which lead to Rome and are leading many who once had a Bible based faith towards the apostasy described in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2.

Sincerely in Christ,

Roger Oakland
Understand The Times

by phone -The Office of Public Relations - 626-584-5367
or President Mouw by e-mail -

January 25 - Spiritual Consumerism's Upside - Why church shopping may not be all bad.
Richard J. Mouw

FULL ARTICLE: nuary/29.50.html?start=2

Why church shopping may not be all bad. I am presently co-chairing, on behalf of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the officially sponsored dialogue between representatives of the Roman Catholic Church and four denominations in the Reformed tradition. In a sense, I am the most ecumenical member of the dialogue, having belonged at one time in my life to three of the four sponsoring Reformed denominations: I was raised in a parsonage of the Reformed Church in America, then belonged for 17 years-during my time on the Calvin College faculty-to the Christian Reformed Church, and am now a member of a PC(USA) congregation. Furthermore, my wife and I often attend services in a local Episcopal parish. So when I hear people refer disparagingly to "church shoppers," I feel that I need to defend my own shopping. To the degree, then, that there is anything to this charge of consumerism, I would guess that I am the sort of Christian who participates with a fairly clear conscience in a part of the Christian world where that kind of thing is regularly on display. In fact, I view the pattern that the anti-consumerists criticize as manifesting important strengths. Anti-consumerist elitism? At the very least, we need to be careful that we are not betraying an elitist bias with the way we toss around the "consumerism" label. The consumption of sermons and worship styles by an ordinary Christian family looking for an enriching spiritual life may not be all that different from the scholars' consumption of theologies and liturgies. That has led me to remark on occasion-and only half jokingly-that more and more of our theological schools have become "seeker seminaries." I do not consider that to be a regrettable development. I do not want to disparage the ministries of those who have followed a more traditional path. I have been blessed by pastors who have never had a question as to what denomination they might serve. But we can no longer take that kind of path for granted. Increasingly, the question of denominational affiliation is a matter of choice, even for those who are preparing for significant church leadership. Healthy spiritual consumerism The Roman church, perhaps more than any other, has encouraged many different spiritual flowers to flourish in its ecclesial garden-indeed, it has even been willing to live with considerable structural (and ecclesiological) messiness, as anyone knows who is familiar with the many stories of tensions between, for example, abbots and local diocesan bishops. A significant feature of the Roman Catholic pattern of spiritual shopping-around is the concept of "special vocation," which looms large in Catholic environs. A person has a special vocation to join the Jesuits or the Sisters of Charity, and this notion of an individual vocation is regularly linked to a collective vocation. In joining the Benedictines, for example, one joins a communal enterprise of living out a way of life characterized by such things as celibacy, stability, contemplation, and poverty. Other vocational communities have different callings to cultivate their own unique blends of disciplines and virtues. This strikes me as a way of thinking in positive terms about the exploration of spiritual and theological options. And I would portray the choice of a family to move from the local Methodist congregation to a new-style congregation that features contemporary worship in similar terms. What may appear to some as a consumerist decision may in fact be a serious exploration of their family's special vocation. I see these vocational explorations as an exciting feature of contemporary religious life. We should celebrate the diversity of our Christian landscape, manifested the existence of Lutheranism, Vineyard Fellowships, and Stone-Campbell congregations. If such diversity encourages a consumerist approach to the spiritual quest, so be it.

Sincerely,Roger Oakland

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