Previous article in this series: December 15, 2013, p. 134.
“And the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.”
Berit Kjos has done the children of Issachar a great service by publishing numerous articles that expose what is going on in the apostatizing churches today. Children of Issachar would do well to read some of what she has written. Try “Real Conspiracies: Past and Present”; “Treason in the Church: Trading Truth for a ‘Social Gospel’”; and “Transforming the World by Subverting the Church” for starters. (These and a host of other worthwhile articles are available in an archive of her work at http://www.newswithviews.com/BeritKjos/kjos.)
In her article, “Re-Inventing the Church,” Kjos exposes methods being used by many who call themselves evangelicals, in their attempt to remold the church, as it were, to serve the advancement of the kingdom of antichrist. Modern-day Issachar should be aware of these methods and recognize them as they are currently being practiced in the false and apostatizing churches of our day lest we too be deceived.
A Program to Remold the Church
One place this program is set forth is in the book Leaders on Leadership, produced by the Barna Research Group. The founder of this group, George Barna, brought together a leadership team to write a manual intended to prepare a new brand of church leaders (“change agents”) for the task of bringing about change in the church. Kjos describes their goal to be the establishment of a reformulated church that rejects…
solid Biblical teaching and the “offense of the cross.” To win the masses “for Christ,” the church must be re-cloaked in a more permissive and appealing image. It must be marketed to the world as “a safe place,” purged of the moral standards that stirred conviction of sin and a longing to separate from the world’s immorality. So they re-imagined a feel-good church stripped of offense—one the world could love and claim as its own.1
To help achieve this goal, Barna and his team included a chapter titled “The Leader as Change Agent.” Here they present a method called “managed change,” which trained change-agents would use in the churches. In this chapter Pastor Doug Murren, former senior pastor of Eastside Foursquare Church, presents some rather disturbing suggestions. He writes: “Effective change agents assess the chances for change by evaluating the level of dissatisfaction within the group. If dissatisfaction is strong, the potential for change exists…. To be effective, a leader must also deliberately develop dissatisfaction [emphasis ck]…. Positive change rarely intimates ‘returning to the way it used to be.’ Most positive change I have witnessed has been about creating a better future rather than returning to a cherished past.”2
At first blush this three-step program of “assessment, dissatisfaction, and vision” for change in the churches might appear rather bland and inconsequential; in reality however, for those who push back in an effort to maintain the old paths, it can be brutal. Just ask Bill Liniewicz.
Bill Liniewicz and his family can no longer share in the fellowship at Chain of Lakes Community Bible Church in Illinois. Like other members who questioned the new church management, he has been banned from the communion table. By declining a series of “counseling” sessions and by failing to attend a “Solemn Assembly”—a special congregational meeting for the purpose of public confession, brokenness, reconciliation and healing—he supposedly proved his “unwillingness to submit” to his spiritual authorities….
For Bill, reconciliation would mean compromise, for he could neither trust the new leadership nor agree with the proposed program. And disagreement was, apparently, unacceptable to the new leadership. As Jim Van Yperen, the “intentional interim pastor,” would soon teach, “There’s not a lot of things you have permission to disagree about.”3
AMassive Movement Toward Beast Service
The case of Chain of Lakes Community Bible Church is but one example of churches and denominations that are going through this transformational process. While many other examples could be cited of those who seek to redirect the church’s purpose from the spiritual to the material (consult Brannon Howse’s book: Religious Trojan Horse4), we will focus on what may be the largest and most influential church transformational movement.
In this connection it would be difficult to overestimate the influence of Peter F. Drucker (1909-2005) as a contributor to this movement to transform the church. Drucker was an early communitarian (see SB article of Dec. 15, 2013) who shared many of the ideas of the Fabian socialists and was very much under the influence of Fabian economist John Maynard Keynes. To advance the ideas of Drucker, the Peter F. Druker Foundation, sponsored by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, was founded in 1990 to promote the communitarian tenet that “…a healthy society requires three vital sectors: a public sector of effective governments, a private sector of effective business, and a social sector of effective community organizations.”5 Simply put, this would be a communitarian system…
based on “partnerships” between the public sector (government), the private sector (business) and the social sector (civil society, including churches). In other words, social sector “volunteers” would serve the government (ultimately the U.N. agenda) providing most of the “social services” needed for the global welfare state.
The catch? The private and social sectors must conform to the standards (personal, performance development, etc.) determined by the public sector (the government). Instead of owning everything, it would just control everything.6
Though Drucker admitted in an interview that he was “…not a born again Christian,” his communitarian ideas are having a profound impact on many churches today because his disciples are using his business model as a church growth model. Most notable and influential of Drucker’s disciples are Bill Hybels, Bob Buford, and Rick Warren. Author Chris Rosebrough sheds some interesting light on the subject:
Rick Warren, Bob Buford and Bill Hybels are the Druckerite “trinity.” All three of these men were personally mentored by the late business guru Peter Drucker and these three men more than any others are responsible for innovating the church by purposely changing congregations from a pastoral leadership model to a CEO/Innovative Change Agent leadership model. All of these innovations were strategically crafted under the careful eye of Peter Drucker. And all of these innovations were incubated, introduced and injected into the church through coordinated efforts of Drucker’s disciples through their different but intimately connected organizations: Leadership Network, the Purpose Driven Network and the Willow Creek Association.
What many people don’t realize is that the Emerging Church is a product created and promoted by the Druckerites.
…It’s time for Rick Warren, Bob Buford and Bill Hybels to do the right thing and admit they’ve endangered the body of Christ by releasing a doctrinally defective and theologically dangerous product. For the sake of the body of Christ they MUST issue a safety recall for their entire “Emerging Church” product line.7
But, alas, even if Rosebrough’s plea for a “recall” were heeded today, it would be much too late. If Warren’s claim in a 2008 interview is true, much of the church-world has already been infected with this “doctrinally defective and theologically dangerous product.” In that interview Warren said, “We’ve trained now almost 500,000 church leaders around the world in 162 countries. I’ve been training leaders for twenty-eight years, business leaders, government leaders, church leaders.”8
An Emerging False Church
And what are these church leaders being taught? A brief look in bullet-form at the Emerging Church’s “product line,” as provided by one who has left the Emergent Church, is instructive. (For a more complete exposure to the Emergent Church, see Rev. K. Koole’s Standard Bearer editorials in volume 83, pp. 52, 76, and 100.)
- A highly ambiguous handling of truth;
- A desire to be so inclusive and tolerant that there is virtually no sense of biblical discernment in terms of recognizing and labeling false beliefs, practices, or lifestyles;
- A quasi-universalistic view of salvation;
- A lack of a proper appreciation for biblical authority over and against personal experience or revelation;
- Openness to pagan religious practices like Hindu yoga and incorporating them into the Christian life and worship;
- Openly questioning the relevance of key historical biblical doctrines such as the trinity;
- An uncritically open embrace of the Catholic and Orthodox churches;
- An unbridled cynicism towards conservative evangelicalism and fundamentalism;
- A reading of Scripture that is heavily prejudiced towards a social gospel understanding;
- Little or no talk of evangelism or saving lost souls.9
Clearly, in their “product line” the truth of the antithesis (the spiritual separation of the church from the world,) and the distinction between the true and false church is intentionally blurred, if not completely smothered. In place of the antithesis we find a blatant attempt to merge the church and the world. Crystal clear this becomes from a cursory examination of the introduction to their “An Evangelical Manifesto”:
As an open declaration, An Evangelical Manifesto addresses not only Evangelicals and other Christians but other American citizens and people of other faiths in America, including those who say they have no faith. It therefore stands as an example of how different faith communities may address each other in public life, without any compromise of their own faith but with a clear commitment to the common good of the societies in which we all live together.10
The Un-Reformation Movement
At the Pew Forum in 2005, prominent evangelical Rick Warren expressed his vision of what needs to happen to bring evangelicals and other Christians together again.
You know, 500 years ago, the first Reformation with Luther and then Calvin, was about beliefs. I think a new Reformation is going to be about behavior. The first Reformation was about creeds (doctrine); I think this one will be about deeds. I think the first one was about what the church believes; I think this one will be about what the church does. The first Reformation actually split Christianity into dozens and then hundreds of different segments. I think this one is actually going to bring them together.11
Apparently Warren and his like-minded evangelicals are pushing for that second reformation: one in which all Christianity abandons the distinctive doctrinal roots of the sixteenth-century Reformation and pursues instead the Fabian socialist goal of “social justice and the common good.” Furthermore, Warren’s great un-reformation will open the way for the false church to address the broader issue in the Manifesto, namely, bringing together different faiths and even “those who say they have no faith.”
In their view, instead of Jesus being “the way, the truth, and the life” ()…, the way is communitarianism, the truth is their manifesto, and the life amounts to an earthly kingdom. Thus, they are sacrificing the biblical truths of justice and unity for the false prophet’s lies of social justice, a social gospel, and a false unity. Willing accomplices they are of the false prophet who even now is deceiving the nations.
1 Berit Kjos, “Re-Inventing the Church,” part 1, posted at: http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/2002/change_agent-1.htm.
2 Doug Murren, “The Leader as Change Agent,” Leaders on Leadership (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1997), 204-206.
3 Berit Kjos, “Re-Inventing the Church,” part 2, posted at: http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/2002/change.
4 Brannon Howse, Religious Trojan Horse (Collier, TN; Worldview Weekend Publishing, 2012).
5 Emerging Partnerships: New Ways in a New World: A Symposium organized by the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, sponsored by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, December 1996, ii, posted at: http://www.leadertoleader.org/forms/partners.pdf.
6 Berit Kjos, “Real Conspiracies: Transforming the World by Subverting the Church,” posted at: http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/006/conspiracy.
7 Chris Rosebrough, “The Druckerites Must Issue a Safety
Recall for Their ‘Emerging Church’ Product Line,” posted at: http://www.extremetheology.com/2010/02/the-druckerites-must-issue-a-safety-recall-of-their-emerging-church-product-line.html.
8 Jake Tapper, “Rick Warren Takes On His Critics: I’m a Big Target,” ABC News, August 15, 2008, posted at: http://www.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/08/rick-warren-tak.
9 Brannon Howse, Religious Trojan Horse (Collier, TN; Worldview Weekend Publishing, 2012) 222.
11 Michael Cromartie, moderator for the Pew Forum, Key West, Florida, May 23, 2005, posted at: http://www.pewforum.org/2005/05/23/myths-of-the-modern-megachurch.