Internet Christian Bookstores: Haven for Non-Christian Materials
New Age and Pro-Homosexual Authors only one-click away (Part 1)
by Bud Press
February 8, 2004
For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears (Acts 20:27-31).
Prior to his emotional departure from Ephesus, Paul reminded the Ephesian Elders of their vast responsibilities to their flock, part of which was to teach sound doctrine and guard against false teachings. Paul knew that after his departure, the door-knocking false teachers and false prophets would enter in from the outside of the Church and spew their heresy-laden doctrines, in an attempt to undermine his teachings and the truth of God's word.
Paul covered all bases and left no stone unturned. He also warned the Elders of the “wolves” rising up from within the Church, whose perverted doctrines were designed to captivate, compromise, ensnare and draw men away from the truth.
History always repeats itself
To the discerning Christian, false teachings mock the authority of God's word and are extremely dangerous to the emotional, physical and spiritual welfare of the believer. False teachings will drive the unsaved deeper into sin, further from God and into eternal damnation.
One part truth, shaken and stirred with two-parts deception, then bottled in a new, divine revelation--produces a demonic cocktail sauce waiting to be sprinkled on impressionable, Biblically illiterate Christians.
Indeed, false teachers have existed for thousands of years, and are a recurrent, festering, ingrown toenail on Christianity's big toe. Now, with the advent of modern technology, demonic doctrines span the electronic airwaves and tickle our ears, day-and-night, with an orchestrated siren's song of “Trust in me and I'll set you free!”
While salvation of the lost was paramount to Paul, he recognized the fact that a perverted gospel leads the unsaved to a false Christ; neither of which have the power to save.
Enter the Villain: the New Age Movement and Diversity
“The New Age Movement is both a religious and a social movement. In fact, Western culture is currently experiencing a phenomenal, spiritual, ideological, and sociological shift. It is a religious world-view that is alien and hostile to Christianity. It's a multi-focused, multi-faceted synthesis, in varying degrees, of the Far Eastern, mystical religions, mainly Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Western Occultism, adapted to and influenced by Western, materialistic culture. It sometimes appears in secularized forms.
“It is comprised of hundreds of groups and individuals who have gained significant influence, affecting almost every area of the culture - sociology, psychology, medicine, the government, ecology, science, arts, education, the business community, the media, entertainment, sports, and even the church” (Craig Branch, “The New Age Movement,” Watchman Fellowship Profile, 1996).
Books authored by New Age proponents such as David Spangler, M. Scott Peck, Virginia Mollenkott, Marianne Williamson, Elaine Pagels, Carl Jung, James Redfield and Neal Donald Walsch grace the pages of many internet Christian bookstores.
Moreover, popular New Age books such as, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance by Matthew Fox and, Awaken to Your Own Call: Exploring a Course in Miracles by Jon Mundy, are commonplace, and accepted as legitimate Christian writings.
While a marginal search within many internet Christian bookstores will unearth authors whose books promote Yoga, Zen Buddhism, Taoism, the Baha'i Faith, Hinduism and, the Muslim Qur'an (or Koran), these books are not balanced with apologetics and Scriptural references, nor do they lead the reader to an encounter with the real Jesus of the Bible. Thus, the reader is lead away from the real Christ and into the grip of the wolf-pack that Paul warned about in Acts 20:28-30.
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him” (2 Corinthians 11:3-4).
Never before in the history of the world has Christianity been under such bombardment from the counterfeit Jesus, spirit and gospel. No doubt, many Christians have been conditioned to believe in diversity, in that all paths will lead to Christ--cosmic or Biblical.
On the shelves of Cyberspace: 'Christian homosexuality'
“'I believe that most Christians have difficulty accepting homosexuality in the church because they are unable to accept any sexuality as a means of God’s grace.” I wrote this in my first book, Uncommon Calling--A Gay Christian’s Struggle to Serve the Church. In it I describe how difficult it was for me, at the time a fundamentalist Baptist and biblical literalist, to move through various stages of acceptance of my homosexuality. First I thought of it as both sin and sickness. When God didn’t change me despite my prayers, I moved into another stage, believing that my sexuality was my thorn in the flesh or my cross to bear. It was only when I fell in love with my best male friend in college and found a Presbyterian church unafraid to deal with sexuality that I began to understand that my sexuality was truly a gift from God” (Chris Glaser. According to his website, Glaser has been “a gay Christian activist and author” for 30 years).
Glaser's books, such as: Uncommon Calling A Gay Christian's Struggle to Serve the Church and Reformation of the Heart: Seasonal Meditations by a Gay Christian are readily available in many online Christian bookstores.
“I have been concerned about the types of materials being sold by
The critical need for Concern and Discernment
Christians are under a Scriptural command to test all things, cling tenaciously to the good and reject all forms of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22). Yet, under the guise of Christianity, New Age and pro-homosexual materials have subtly slithered into many internet Christian bookstores. As a cancer which slowly, painfully eats away its victim from the inside, non-Christian materials will feed and multiply until everyone involved in the management of internet Christian bookstores take responsibility for their actions, protect the flock and hold themselves accountable to God and the body of Christ.
“I find it both disheartening and perplexing to see these types of books sold through major Christian book distributors--that are supposed to be representing the Lord Jesus. We should be extremely disturbed that many distributors are not scrutinizing the authors or content of their books they sell. There has to be some kind of accountability for ministries disseminating books that contain obvious opposition to the Bible and the Church. Whether intentional or not, they have become promoters of the very things Jesus warned of in His teachings, and what would take place at the end of the age” (Mike Oppenheimer, Let Us Reason Ministries ).
2,000 years ago, Paul refused to compromise the truth of God's word. 2,000 years later, should 21st century Christians be any different?