The Mindset of Mockers in the Last Days
The Bible speaks a lot about scoffers and mockers in the last days, those who question the word because they have departed from the faith.
You can call it a transition- transformation- paradigm shift- or the dialectic process at work: it does not matter what term used is, what matters is that it brings one to new viewpoint that changes their whole perspective. This is what the emergent church’s influence (the “new spirituality”) has on its hearers – changing ones perspective. Certainly there are those who have good intentions that are misconstrued and then there are those who do not have good intentions at all.
Brian McLaren invites and encourages people to rethink the way we tell the Biblical story, and invites us to imagine a new kind of story for our future. McClaren postulates that anyone cannot have hope based on knowing the truth of the gospel; or the hope of knowing anything. What does the Bible say about doubt, its obvious that this state of mind is the opposite of faith.
McLaren In his interview with Christianity Today “I don't think the liberals have it right. But I don't think we have it right either. None of us has arrived at orthodoxy" (The Emergent Mystique, Christianity Today Nov. 2004)
None of us? This means after nearly 2,000 years of church history, scholars and students that have studied and preached is are dismissed on his own opinion. Is his opinion is more important or authoritative than God’s book? Incidentally, his point also includes him, which does put a damper on his contrary statement.
McLaren states, "This God-given thirst for emergence…is causing new forms of Christian spirituality, community, and mission to emerge from modern Western Christianity…a generous orthodoxy is an emerging orthodoxy”
Are new forms of Christianity being developed? Indeed they are – but their source is not from God but from men, those who do not believe in the Word of God. They do not believe the Holy Spirit moved men, the prophets to write, so the Bible does not find its inspiration or origin with God but with man.
Bible believing Christians hold the Bible alone to be the Word of God revealed to men and written by men. Jesus did, and the Apostle Paul wrote, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God…. Not just the red ink portions and not what one feels comfortable with. ALL of it.
Inventing new ways to interpret Scripture discovering new definitions to change words from what they used to mean to be more relative to our modern times is reshaping doctrines by emergent church practices and it is confusing people and ruining their faith.
Leanard Sweet writes: “With the crooked lines of our lives God is wanting to write “a new account of everything old,” a Third Testament. This book has been breathed forth with the prayer that the crooked lines and cracks of New Light ministries, whatever they maybe, will become openings through which God’s light can shine. (p.259 Quantum spirituality.)
This new light certainly is not the light the Bible refers to as the word, for he tell us that his new light is directly influenced by new agers that he quotes profusely throughout his book.
Erwin McManus tells us "The Christian faith grew through story - not text. Only later did the stories become Scripture. While the Scripture must be held in the highest regard, we must not neglect the power of story" (Erwin McManus, "An Unstoppable Force,” p. 118)
God spoke to the prophets and gave them the future – prophecy, are we now going to call these stories? By doing this it diminishes the source and their importance, inferring that they are like any other story, religious or secular. Does McManus think they sat around the campfire telling stories and then voted for it to be written down in a book called the Bible? Or maybe by consensus they thought a story would be good for others to hear. Well some may just as well take this position considering how they put the word of God down.
2 Pet 1:21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
Many times the “prophets” did not fully understand what God spoke, but they certainly did not make up the words or guess, they had a fear of God to do and write exactly what He communicated.
McManus states “The church must acclimate to a changing world, or she will destine herself to irrelevance or even extinction. …One of those dramatic changes in our environment is the shift from words to images. To do church in a way that is entirely text driven is the kiss of death’ (Erwin McManus, "An Unstoppable Force", p. 18)
That’s an interesting opinion- the apostles taught the very opposite Titus 1:9 “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught” Rom.16:17-18 “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.”
Paul writes in Titus 3:10 “Reject a divisive (heretic) man after the first and second admonition.” Who is divisive? Those who do not hold to the doctrine in the bible and teach something else as true.
"One of the arts that leaders must craft is the selection of great stories." (Erwin McManus, "An Unstoppable Force, p. 118)
McManus’ makes this plain by his symbol for water, shaped in the symbol of
the Yin and Yang, a Chinese symbol associated with Tai Chi, symbolizing
opposites and oneness. His mosaic is synthesizing other religious symbols with
Christianity. On the website
five elements are illustrated:
McManus states: “Two thousand years ago, God started a revolt against the religion He started. So don't ever put it past God to cause a groundswell movement against churches and Christian institutions that bear His name.”
Here is a prefect example of teachers that have no basis of history or the Jewish culture Jesus lived in God did not revolted against the Judaism of Moses (whom he inspired and gave directly) , he came against the leaders that added their human traditions and made the word of God of no effect, Exactly what McManus and McLaren and so many others are doing.
This is why McManus can state without equivocation: “My goal is to destroy Christianity as a world religion and be a recatalyst for the movement of Jesus Christ,” (said in a telephone interview) “Some people are upset with me because it sounds like I’m anti-Christian. I think they might be right”
Can these men lead others to trust God by his word when they speak in this manner?
But there are many others that are following in these men's footsteps.
Jon Middendorf is a pastor at Oklahoma City First City of the Nazarene, who oversees the Kaleo Community congregation there. he seems to have absorbed the emergent viewpoint to its full.
Dialogue between Greg Horton Jon Middendorf http://www.wiredparish.com/hosts.php?hid=51
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This conversation, they call dialog begins with him referring to A.J. Jacobs has written a book called ‘the year of living biblically,” Horton: “what he decided to do was to go through those 660 odd laws in the Pentateuch and to start living by them. Greg Horton: “It is study in absurdity…He finally decided if this is biblical and these people actually believe this is biblical, then lets see what happens if you actually live that way.”So it becomes a study of absurd the Mosaic law can be when actually applied.”
Maybe he had a problem because he added 47 laws of his own to the 613 laws of God that he does not believe in. This shows he is arguing against something that is not based on the Bible but his own biased version of the Bible, what he thinks it says. Ask the orthodox Jews that keep the law today, they do not think it is impossible.
Middendorf asks- why did he do this?” Horton: ”I’m guessing to make money” Middendorf: “Did he do it to mock it?” Greg Horton: “Oh yeah, absolutely, he absolutely did it to mock it. … its maybe one of those things that need to be mocked” Horton “The errant literal interpretation of the law and these things? Middendorf Comments “Christians are guilty of the notion that there was a time when people were required to live by the mosaic law, I just don’t know that ever was the case.”
So then God lied, and according to their view you can throw out nearly all the Old Testament, it never happened the way it was written, why trust any of it. Instead we should trust these men who are scoffing and mocking it. This is equivalent to saying in an absolute manner man never used the horse and buggy because I don’t see anyone do this today and I tried to and was unable.
Middendorf comments “Well, I think we try to, I think we do damage to Scripture, I think we force it to read to say what we want it to say, as opposed to, as opposed to the people of God being this historically embodied culturally extended; right; historically –yea, that’s what I mean to say”
Horton: This does address a large percentage of the evangelical church who believe that – y’know Jesus came to die and fulfill the law so we would not have to live by the law…and prior to Jesus you had to live by the law no, (Middendorf-no ) that’s because many of them have this notion and when you get into the whole inerrancy discussion have this notion that Moses took down the words of God” Dictation theory Horton: there's no redaction there's not many changes to it and y’know y if you read -I want to real scholars, but that's not fair because some people who believe this stuff are real scholars
Not only would it not be fair but it would be inaccurate. What they have just done is question Jesus (whom they may claim to believe and follow in) who does say the law came through Moses.
Jesus refers to the book of Moses in various places. Mark 12:26 referring to the resurrection
Matt 19:7 refers to Moses on divorce.
Mark 1:44 show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them."
Mark 7:10 "For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother';
Jesus said "Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? John 7:19
So Jesus equates not believing Moses as not believing him, so the questions these men bring up shows that they are in unbelief.
In fact Paul specifically writes a whole book on the law of Moses :
Galatians 3:24 “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”
But these men say this is not true!
This is the whole point of the law and why Jesus came Gal 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree"),
And what do they think James 2:10 is about? “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.”
Of course I have quoted the Bible of which they question as being accurate. If one cannot refer to the Bible of which they question then why even say anything about Jesus at all, for it is through the Bible he is revealed accurately to us.
The first 5 books of Old Testament claim to have been written by Moses (Ex. 17:14, 24:4,7; 34:27-28; Lev.1-2; Num. 33:2; Deut.1:1-5; 4:4-5; 31:9,24-26). If Moses did not write the Pentateuch, who did? It shows Moses is the author of the books over and over again. God told Moses what to write- Exod. 24:4: “And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD...” God gave revelation to him up on the Mountain. The book of the law written by Moses was handed to the priests, it ends at Deut. 31:23; (except the song and blessing which is Moses' own composition). The rest of the book of Deuteronomy is an appendix obviously added after Moses' death by another's hand.
Exod. 24:12 the LORD said to Moses, "Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them."
Exod. 31:18 He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.
Horton: “ I still don’t know how this entire group of Scholars got together for the Chicago statement on inerrancy a lot of really really smart people saying something really really stupid.”
So what You are saying God gave us these absurd laws to follow so that we wouldn’t be able to follow them so that we would need Jesus, how insane is that system”(Middendorf is entertained by his cleverness laughing along with his mockery). Middendorf: Well that’s the particular view of the atonement” Horton: “Oh I know it is” Its also a particular view of humanity, in terms of, moral depravity and original sin and all that” Middendorf: “no, I agree I just, I’m just amazed…”
Maybe it is he that does not understand how ignorant he sounds? The law is given to show us the holiness of God and what is required to not sin.
This echoes other Emergent’s. In Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis, he tells us that the Bible is a “human product... rather than the product of divine fiat.” (Quote in Christianity Today, November, 2004, p. 38.)
Again you cannot believe Jesus if you do not believe Moses- he refers to Moses numerous times
John 7:19 "Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law?
And no truer words were spoken " there is one who accuses you-- Moses, in whom you trust. "For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. "But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?" (John 5:45-6:1)
If the Bible is not your spiritual and moral authority then you do not have God as master over your life or in your life. Then you are your own authority- self is master and you will live by your own opinions.
Jesus said in Luke 11:28: “blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"
If we are not conducting our spirituality from “The Word” but from other ways we are not living the Christian life. We cannot mix opinions with Christ’s teachings. Jesus said, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
Middendorf says this is a particular view of atonement and depravity- original sin
I think what these men are saying proves their state of sinfulness, these men are truculent and Jude addresses people like this.
Mittnedorf- “and so we rob the story of its transformational power by Idolizing the words instead of the testimony”
They do not care what the Bible instructs, showing their unbelief and disrespect in the word which is God’s testimony to man. And whose testimony would they would like us to idolize? We are to respect Gods word, He did communicate truth to us and it is preserved to all generations. If you do not believe this – don’t call yourself a believer or a Christian because YOU ARE NOT!
The Bible is called “the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15), Daniel called it “the Scripture of Truth” (Dan.10:21), Psalm 119:160 “The entirety of Your word is truth.” Prov.30:5 “Every word of God is pure.” Psalm 138:2 states that His Word is exalted above His name. God honors His Word in greater ways than He honors His own name.
Horton mentions his own senior pastor jumped up and down on the Bible, “look this is not, this is not, an I. were not going to worship this, in fact this is what he said were not going to worship this to make this some sort of an idol it would be just as wrong to making a golden calf an idol.” This is the testimony, this is actually mans testimony about God and we believe the Holy Spirit has been involved in it… but don’t make the mistake of etching this out of gold.”
God said his word is more precious than what is in the world and it produces faith in Him.
1Peter 1:7: “that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes”
Where is faith found? In his WORD. Rom. 10:17 “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Proverbs 3:13-16: “Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor.”
Jesus said in John 17:17: "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”
2 Pet 1:4 We have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises- Where is this found? In the word.
1 Pet 2:7 “Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious”
These men are prophesied in the Bible that they do want not to believe is accurate?
Middendorf commenting on the presidential forum and being asked a question on the Bible “I’m not sure that you are supposed to believe every word of the Bible.”
Of course not, you can pick and choose what you want to believe as longs it’s not all of it.
These men do not understand how God used men to write his word to communicate to man. Jesus said unless one understands the word they cannot bear fruit for his kingdom (Mt.13).
Horton- “The problem is that there are people who really believe the Bible is both, is somehow holds authority over them, based on the words that are written down on the page and its like; I don’t even know how you function – there is no way you can make a synthesis of everything Scripture says as this kind of living document that would have authority over your life.”
Spoken like a man who has no relationship with the God of Scripture, a man who does not believe what Jesus said.
2 Pet 3:3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts”
Jude 1:17-19 “But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.”
Here are just a few statements about scoffers and how they react when they are shown their waywardness.
Prov 9:8: “Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.”
Prov. 13:1: “a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.”
Prov. 14:6 ‘A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it.”
Prov. 15:12 “A scoffer does not love one who corrects him, nor will he go to the wise”
Middendorf then speaks of “Christ is the lens by which we read all the Scripture.” If this is true then why do you deny what Jesus said- he quoted from the Old Testament to prove what He was saying is true.’ Its hard to believe Middendorf is a senior pastor in this church when their own articles of faith states: “ We believe in the plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, by which we understand the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, given by divine inspiration, inerrantly revealing the will of God concerning us in all things necessary to our salvation, so that whatever is not contained therein is not to be enjoined as an article of faith. (Luke 24:44-47; John 10:35; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1 Peter 1:10-12; 2 Peter 1:20-21)
Like Brian McLaren that describes the new kind of Christian as a critic of God and his word. These are those who are willing to ignore history, the manuscript evidence, the prophecies contained in the Old Testament that were fulfilled and still will be fulfilled.
Jesus taught that every part of the Old Testament is inspired and authoritative: the law, the writings, and the Psalms (Lk. 24:44). He taught the men spoken of in the books wrote them, that the Old Testament writers were inspired by God to write the Scriptures. According to the Son of God, Moses wrote the books of the law (Lk. 24:44; Jn. 5:45-47); David wrote the Psalms bearing his name (Lk. 20:42); Daniel wrote the book bearing his name (Mt. 24:15).
Jesus taught that the Old Testament is perfect to the letter (Mt. 5:17-18). It cannot be broken (Jn. 10:35). It is authoritative to every detail. No statement in the Bible can be broken, all will be proven true. This is the doctrine of inerrancy and infallibility.
Jesus taught that the Old Testament is a book written in advance on the coming of Christ (Lk. 24:44). That the Old Testament characters, events, and miracles are true and historical. Some of the Old Testament people and events Christ referred to are: the creation (Mk. 13:19), Adam and Eve (Mt. 19:4-6; Mk. 10:6-7), Cain and Abel (Mt. 23:35; Lk. 11:50-51), Noah and the flood (Mt. 24:37-39), Abraham (Jn. 8:39-40), the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Lk. 17:28-29), Lot's wife turning to salt (Lk. 17:32), Jonah and the whale (Mt. 12:39-41; Lk. 11:29-32), Nineveh repenting at Jonah's preaching (Lk. 11:32), The queen of Sheba visiting Solomon (Lk. 11:31). And Yes -Moses and the burning bush (Mk. 12:26) and his giving the law, Jesus said "Did not Moses give you the law (John 7:19)
These men speak of a testimony- Here’s a testimony –from Moses.
Exodus 34:29: “Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the Testimony were in Moses' hand when he came down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him.” (The very laws these men say God did not give Man.)
The ark they built is called the ark of the testimony- why? Because the two tablets that contained the 10 laws were put inside it. All the 613 laws were written down together and put on its side for the priests to have access to them and the sacrifice would be put on its mercy seat. The same glory that Moses reflected on his face showed up on the ark in between the angels on the mercy seat.
Testimony of two or three witnesses.
Ps 119:88-89: “Revive me according to Your lovingkindness, so that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth. Forever, O LORD, your word is settled in heaven.”
Obviously it is not settled in the heart of the scoffers on earth.
Jesus made it clear John 12:48 "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him-- the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.”
John 15:7-8: "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Matt 24:35: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
Mark 8:38 "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."
What these men said is shameful and ignorant of what the Bible is and who God is, and they are spreading it to others in the church.
Jn.14:23: “If anyone loves me he will keep my word.” This is his commandment to show our devotion. One cannot keep it if they doubt and question its validity. On the other hand in v.24 “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me.”
Since Jesus said His word is the Father’s this becomes an essential to know and have have a relationship to God. if you mock his word as truth you are mocking God. I hope either of this men will come to their senses and faith and stop spreading opinions that is contrary to God.