Friday, July 27, 2012



Earlier this month, homosexual activists complained to the Advertising Standards Authority against a billboard by 'Light of the nations church', Pretoria which said that Jesus could set people free from a list of sins, which included homosexuality. The activists argued that Jesus cannot set people free from homosexuality in contradiction to the Bible (1 Corinthians 6:11) Tragically, without even trying to defend the gospel, the church responded by deleting the word 'homosexuality' from the billboard. On their Facebook page, July 13 Pastor Deric Linley said the church's philosophy had not changed but the deletion had been to "a show of a non-judgmental spirit to the gay community. Because of this attitude, we have gay members in our church; and because our members already know our unchanged philosophy on this ... “Rather have homosexual people in a church with a good attitude, than heterosexual people with a bad attitude..." Actually, the ASASA has no juristiction over any church and is just bullying - it is a voluntary association. Sadly, a few years back on court instruction Moreleta Park church apologised to a homosexual music teacher they had fired for his immorality.

Is this an isolated incident? Sadly not. Evangelical pastors and churches from almost all theological and denominational camps are capitulating like dominoes to the homosexual agenda and other sexual compromise - some more publicly than others.

But lets move focus to some of the bigger names in evangelicalism: Tim Keller, Reformed scholar, mega-church pastor and one of the founder-leaders of the Gospel Coalition when asked whether homosexuality is a sin and whether homosexuals are going to hell replied " is very misleading to say, ‘Homosexuality is a sin’ But that’s not what sends you to heaven or Hell....”We would say homosexuality is not the original design for sexuality. Therefore, it’s not good for human flourishing." The homosexual interviewer cited the Bible, but Keller, under pressure of an interviewer, buckled and fudged the issue. (The answer to that question is simple: Yes homosexuality is a sin; Yes homosexuals are going to hell unless they repent of such sin. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Shockingly, this video is posted without criticism, correction or apology by the Veritas Forum, which purports to promote Biblical worldview.

In April this year, Andy Stanley, senior pastor of Northpoint mega-church in Atlanta preached a sermon with a case example about grace in his church. A man in his church left his wife for a homosexual relationship and the man and his new partner wanted to serve as volunteers in the church. Stanley told the man he needed to divorce his wife first, before he could do so. The story ends with the homosexual couple, the first man's ex-wife and their child, as well as her new boyfriend and his child from another relationship, all coming together to worship together church. The implication is that homosexuality is okay, but adultery is not - and that divorce can legitimise marital unfaithfulness. Stanley has been strongly challenged but has not yet clarified his views. Stanley sends ministry teams to South Africa and his books are on sale here.

Many more similar examples could be given. Philip Yancey, Christianity Today editor and popular author gives a muddled view . Why are his books still stocked and why is he an editor of this magazine?

Is this just about homosexuality? No. Is the issue about sexuality in general? No. The issue is bigger than that. What is at stake is the gospel itself: Jesus power to save. Our right to proclaim it. The definition of sin. What is the message of the gospel? Subtly... step by step.. the gospel is being eroded. And the gospel is an issue for which we must be prepared to suffer unpopularity and if necessary die. When Paul rebuked Peter in Galations 2:11 the issue that let him to write that blisteringly angry letter was not just circumcision or even Jewish-Gentile race relations. The issue was the gospel. Paul didn't get madly upset about the circumcision issue until people started linking it to a false gospel - and that is what we have here too - the argument that Jesus cannot save people from homosexuality. On that issue we must not flinch in the face of persecution.


When challenged, such people will usually argue they still believe what the Bible says about homosexuality - but they are compromising on the installment plan - each year, such churches are sliding a little bit further. Lets look at the slippery slope of compromise (not necessarily in order):

* The use of homosexual language which carry their assumptions: For example: 'gay' instead of 'homosexual'. 'orientation' instead of 'sin'.

* Accepting the assumption that homosexuals are a discriminated group needing protection - so called 'gay rights'.

* Compromise 'fall-back' political positions rejecting the worst demands of the homosexual agenda, but accepting the old ones. For example,opposing 'same-sex marriage', but accepting 'civil unions'; accepting 'same-sex marriage' but opposing homosexual adoption; opposing civil unions, but accepting anti-discrimination legislation etc.

* Apologising to the homosexual community for the 'hurt' caused by the churches 'unloving' attitude - creating a false guilt and excuse for futher cowardice with the gospel.

* Accepting homosexuality as an 'identity/sexual orientation' rather than a sin - failing to distinguish between a temptation someone struggles with but fights and something people just live with like a disability.

* Talking about 'gay christians' and 'gay churches' - as if there was such a thing.

* Preaching half-truths with lies and loaded messages:
- Preaching against 'all forms of discrimination & judgmentalism' while lumping homosexuality together with things people cannot change such as race and HIV status. Thus implying that homosexuality can't be changed as with these other things.
- Preaching trivialising sodomy and other sexual sin by putting it in the same category as much lesser sins - and then arguing we are all sin all the time so we should not make a big deal about sexual sin. (The Bible does categorise some sins as more serious than others, for example by the death penalty specified in the Old Covenant, the requirement of excommunication and the social effects of some sins can be seen as more destructive than others.)
- Preaching that homosexuals must just 'be celibate', while failing to preach that even celibate homosexual relationships and entertaining such lusts are also sinful.
- Being silent on the issue of homosexuality.
- Avoiding the whole concept of sin and repentance for it, and applying psychological language of 'problems' and 'brokenness'.

* Affirming the pro-homosexual misinterpretaton of the Bible as 'clever' without correcting it.

* Relationships with homosexual activist 'christians', thus given them credibility:
- Accepting homosexual activists claiming to be homosexual Christians as brothers
- Eating with homosexual activists, while the scripture says we must not (1 Corinthians 5:11) as did Mega-church pastor Bill Hybels of Willow Creek (

* Distancing, speaking against and even persecuting groups opposing homosexuality and presenting the true gospel to them - in order to get more acceptance from the homosexual community.

* The gospel message:
- Shifting from 'evangelising' homosexuals by challenging them to repent of sin with the gospel to 'dialoguing with them'.
- Shifting from trying to help people 'out of homosexuality' to trying help people to 'live with' the problem.
- Changing the message from holiness to treating people as 'victims of sexual brokeness' which ignores the whole concept of sin.

* Allowing homosexuals to be in the office of a pastor:
- first, provided that they are celibate.
- then, even if not celibate provided they are 'married' to their homosexual partner.
- then into more senior church positions.
- then with no constraints.

* Turning a blind eye to open homosexual couples attending church together, and failing to challenge their sin.

* Implying that our position on homosexuality is open to change in future but not right now - for example Emerging Church leader Brian McLaren (

* Arguing that one cannot speak against homosexuality unless one has first passed all sorts of requirements of close experience with homosexuals - for example Brian McLaren.

* Performing ungodly ceremonies:
- Civil unions
- Same-sex marriages

There is so much compromise on this issue that many people are unaware they are compromising or think they are doing well by not compromising as much as some other church or false-teacher.

While some more biblical christians may be shocked by the above and think they would never get into such confusion, they don't take into account two factors:

* OUTREACH RISKS: Those who get involved in any kind of outreach ministry to sinful people are under pressure to compromise to more easily reach them. If you are not doing such outreach you are not currently at such risk, but such outreach is dangerous. Yes, do the outreach, but a church or group should get into such outreach very cautiously and with determination not to compromise - bearing in mind how many people have got into compromise before them. The same is true of pro-life outreach (where some start affirming a pro-choice position to try save more babies), divorce outreach, scandal challenging, Muslim evangelism (compare the Insider movement).

* SOCIAL PRESSURE: If a whole community starts to compromise, the pressure mounts for you to compromise also to stay in with the group - only the only way to avoid compromise is to move. As this problem grows, more and more groups are buckling and if you are not careful you may too.

* NEW GENERATION CONFUSION: Older people grew up taking for granted biblical teaching on homosexuality, but many of our Christian youth have never properly heard it due to the cowardice and neglect of preachers. That have accepted by default many of the above views of the culture. If you don't teach your children and get them into a good church, they will probably be confused too.


Not all backsliding churches and leaders are following these steps in the same order. If a pastor makes a mistake, lovingly point it out and give him a chance to correct it, but if he doesn't - and your church is showing several or repeated signs of compromise as listed above, be very concerned but not surprised. You need to challenge it from the scripture, pray for your church and pastor. Probably you also need to look for another church - painful as that may be to say goodbye to the community you love - but if the leadership want to go that way, then you will probably not be able to long resist backsliding yourself and with your family. Rather give your money, your time and your life to building up a healthy church.

If your own church is safe and healthy on this issue, thank God for this and keep praying for and encouraging your pastor. But this toxic compromise needs a wider response. When Ezra returned to Jerusalem and heard about the sin and compromise of the returning exiles (Ezra 9), he lay on the floor and wept. It is not just the liberals who have sinned and compromised, but our own evangelical leadership. These men who have compromised include OUR evangelical leaders of OUR organisations. Let us pray for God to forgive the compromise of the Western evangelical church - otherwise God may reject and destroy us as he has judged other compromised churches in the past.

We are going to win this fight and Biblical Christianity will outlast this compromise but many currently seemingly thriving churches will go ICHABOD (1 Samuel 4) - God will abandon them because of their compromising.

Yours sincerely,

Philip Rosenthal

Monday, June 4, 2012



Is postmodernism invincible? The postmodern prophets strongest argument why the pastors should listen to them is that Postmodernism is taking over the culture – especially the youth – and if they want to have a future, they have to adapt to the new ‘emerging’ postmodern culture. Postmodern liberalism has taken over most of the Western World – except for a few isolated ‘behind the times’ outposts of conservative Christianity - and will soon take over the rest of the world also. When I debated the Western Cape MEC for Finance on the legalization of gambling and casinos, he didn’t even try to rebut my arguments of negative social impact. Rather he countered: ‘That is the way the whole world is going. We can’t go back’. Even the name ‘Post-modernism’ implies a time frame i.e. that those who don’t follow are out of date. Resistance is therefore pointless. Conservative biblical Christians are painted as an anachronism. As the old saying goes: “If you can’t beat them join them”. Does this logic fit the facts? What does the Bible say about it?

Yes, it is true Postmodernism has taken over much of the Western world. Through dominance of economic resources from Europe and North America, it seeks to colonise the rest of the world also. International financial aid is frequently tied to promoting postmodern liberal policies such as abortion and homosexuality in Africa, while liberal Non-profits are heavily funded by postmodern governments. Small well funded postmodern minority lobby groups are able to dominate our governments social policies.

But firstly for how long? Secondly, does that mean it will eventually dominate the rest of the world also?


* EMPIRES ARE FALLING FASTER: There have been numerous other ideologies and empires that have attempted world domination. Each has in its own time claimed an invincibility lasting long into the future. Very few have lasted long – and in fact the lifecycle of the rise and fall of empires and the ideologies and elites behind them has generally been shortening. Ancient Egyptian dynasties lasted a few hundred years and their empire a few thousand. The Nazi German ‘thousand year Reich lasted just under six years. Communist domination of the Soviet Union lasted about 70 years. Modernist liberalism with its emphasis on science and promoting Christian morals without supernatural faith has lost popularity to Postmodernism with its emphasis on subjectivity and abandonment of scientific reason and Christian morals. Postmodernism will likely also be replaced in a generation with something else. Just as the Western world is changing its clothing fashions and technology faster and faster, so ideologies are rising and falling faster and faster. In Daniel 2:44, God says “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. So we know that only the kingdom of Christ will endure – all others will die.

* WESTERN RACIAL DOMINANCE: Postmodernist liberals face a crisis of consistency in their global dominance. On the one hand, they want to take the lead in neo-colonial imposition of their policies on the rest of the world. On the other hand, they decry racism and colonial dominance of the West. Reality is they are numerically a minority, but with financial power. An even sharper crisis faces the postmodern Western Church. They are dwindling numerically while the more biblically faithful Church in Africa, Asia and South America is growing rapidly. Recently, for example, the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans called for a restructuring of the global Anglican communion away from ‘British empire’ dominance to an elected chairman. Reality is most of the worlds Anglicans will vote for a more biblical leader than will the British. More and more international Christian organisations are seeking to include non-Westerners in their top level leadership. This new African and Asian leadership is much less inclined to follow postmodern trends than Christians from North America and Europe. Historically, this has happened before. As an example, the early church in Western Europe helped rescue the Eastern church from the confusion caused by attempts to unite Christianity with ancient Greek culture. The Western European church was not as vulnerable to the heresies that were attractive to the Greek world as the African and Asian churches are not as vulnerable to the deception of Postmodernism.

* CHURCH SHRINK: Even at home in the West, postmodern denominations face a crisis: the more postmodern they are, generally the more their numbers are shrinking – the opposite of what they are telling pastors. Compromise with the culture may draw a few more people for a short while, but eventually these people will become disillusioned with the church if it is much the same as the world.

* DEMOGRAPHIC SHRINK: Demographically, Postmodern mothers are on average having less than two children each. Postmodernism and feminism put low value on children and high value on women’s career success. The divorce rate is higher than other cultures. Many don’t bother to get married at all – and the proportion not marrying in post-modern countries is increasing every year. The more post-modern the country, the fewer are getting married. Children are delayed. Confused gender roles discourage parenting. Postmodernists are murdering millions of their children by abortion.

That may not sound like a big deal now, but that means each generation their numbers are going to shrink. Population shrink happens exponentially, as rapidly as population growth. That means every generation, the rate of shrink is going to get faster unless these women start having more children. But in these same countries, the non-Postmodern communities (very often immigrants) are growing rapidly. To keep their economies going to pay the pensions of the older generation, they need labour to replace those never born, they are forced to open wider the gates of immigration. The result is that in a few generations, unless they can win over the immigrants to Postmodernism (which they are not), these Postmodern nations will become minorities within their own countries. Then they will be out-voted and Post-modern law will be over. In Europe, Moslem immigrants are having lots of children, while postmodern children are below replacement. In America, pro-abortionists are obviously having less children than pro-life Christian Americans.

* LOGICAL INCONSISTENCY: Postmodernism relativism faces core logical internal contradictions:
- Firstly, They call for ‘tolerance’ of their views, but are intolerant of others views. Homosexual activists and liberal denominations are persecuting Christians. For example, numerous biblical congregations have lost their buildings to liberal postmodern denominations.
- Secondly, they argue that nothing is absolute. But having stated this, they have just stated a belief which is their minds is absolute. At some point people will realize the logical inconsistency and thus intellectual bankruptcy of this view.

While this may seem a bit abstract for most people, as an example a postmodern archeology article in New Scientist on the Inca practice of ‘child sacrifice’ stated they could find no logical way to argue from a postmodern perspective that this practice was wrong. The Inca’s believed this was acceptable – so how can we Westerners question them? But inherently from conscience we know it is wrong (Romans 2:15) – but Postmodernism cannot logically explain the conscience.

* THE DAMAGE WILL BE EXPOSED: Most ideologies rely on the circular logic of being taken for granted and not studied objectively from the outside. For example, Karl Marx document on communism was not ‘Das Communism’ but ‘Das Kapital’ i.e. a critique of the evils of ‘Capitalism’. University students were mostly not formally taught the propositions of communism, but implicitly taught it through an attack on the evils of Capitalism using the analytical tools of communism – which included for example the unquestioned assumption that all deserved to be paid an equal amount. Whether this was right and whether it was feasible was never allowed to be questioned in this assault on the Capitalism. After communism had fallen, a group of French former Marxist intellectuals did a similar analysis of the evils produced by Communism.
At present, Postmodernists are attacking the evils of Modernism and what they believe is wrong with Christianity. But when the focus turns to actually study the fruit Postmodernism is producing in Europe and America: Dysfunctional families; divorce; abortion of babies; teen sexuality; degradation of women by pornography; spreading homosexuality; elitist arbitrary government by courts displacing democracy; population shrink – and probably it will soon slide into more problems such as legalizing sex with children and infanticide – as did its ancient Greek ancestral ideology.

* LOSS OF INTELLECTUAL MOMENTUM: Postmodernism grew mostly out of the philosophical ideas of French intellectuals such as Jacques Derrida. It has since spread to other western countries where spread through universities and then the mass media into popular culture. Most Western ideologies have followed this pattern: Philosophers to universities to educational and media elites to the masses. The leaders of the ‘Emerging Church’ such as Brian McLaren and Rob Bell are not that original. They are borrowing ideas from secular philosophers and trying to clothe them in Christian language – engaging to in theological gymnastics to try to bend the interpretation of the Bible to fit Postmodern culture. But Derrida is dead and the whole philosophical debate around Postmodernism among the intellectual elite has dried up – they are generating no new ideas. Philosophers have got bored of the idea at just the time it is peaking in popular culture.

* GOD IS JUDGING: Postmodernism is just foolishness dressed up in intellectual language. As stated earlier it is logically inconsistent and produces bad fruit. Romans 1 discusses how God judges those in rebellion against him. When people fail to give glory to God, they become foolish (Romans 1:22) and he hands them over to idolatry and sexual immorality including homosexuality (Romans 1: 26-27) which is so evident with postmodernism. They are ultimately on the pathway of God’s judgment and will continue on that path to destruction unless they repent. Future generations will abhor the postmodern slaughter of the unborn and the lunacy of men ‘marrying’ men. While God may have used Babylon to judge Israel, ultimately he also judged Babylon. God is in control and Postmodernism will die too.

So, the long term chances of survival of Postmodernism are not good. Western ideologies are rising and falling faster; Western racial dominance is being challenged and the new leadership will not be so Postmodern; Generally, the more postmodern the church, in the long term the more they shrink; Demographically, postmodernists have fewer children and will go into exponential decline; Postmodernism is intellectually inconsistent with itself and with conscience and reality; the social damage of postmodernism will be exposed; the leading intellectual philosophers of the world are losing interest in postmodernism; finally, postmodernism itself should be seen as just God judging and handing over people who fail to glorify him to foolishness and degradation. Postmodernists exude an arrogance that they have history on their side as did communists before that. But generally once an empire with the myth of world conquest starts to decline it does so fast. For example, after the Soviet Union lost Afghanistan, soon the rest of its colonies wanted independence too. Once the myth was gone, so did the empire. By exposing these vulnerabilities and destroying the myth of Postmodern invincibility, we can help accelerate its decline.

In short, Postmodernism will die a slow death and biblical Christianity will endure! But probably, the fools currently promoting postmodernism will jump ship to whatever is popular when the ‘next big new idea’ comes along – just as the liberation theologians ‘jumped ship’ to postmodernism after the fall of the Soviet Union. So we should not for a moment accept the argument that Postmodernism is on an invincible path of conquest, which all should join out of a herd mentality but should be confident that biblical Christianity will endure and Postmodernism (and the Emerging Church) will like Communism (and Liberation Theology) relegated to the dustbin of history.

Friday, April 27, 2012


WHY WE CAN’T LET WYCLIFFE LOSE ‘FATHER’ AND ‘SON’ IN TRANSLATION Last year we reported on the disturbing trend in missions strategy, the ‘insider movement’ where postmodern missionaries are encouraging converts to stay in their old religion as for example a ‘Muslim follower of Jesus’, continuing to attend Mosque, read the Quran and pray Muslim prayers. Is this just amongst a group of wacky extremists? No. The strategy is being promoted by postmodern leaders in some of the worlds largest evangelical missions institutions including: professors at Fuller, the worlds largest evangelical Seminary; missionaries from ‘The Navigators’ in Asia; the World Evangelical Alliance Mission Commission, and in the 2010 ‘Call to Action’ of the Lausanne III Convention ('Call to Action' (Part 2C,section4)). These postmodernists have penetrated the heart of evangelicalism and are in the process of trying to redefine what it means to be a Christian. In 2008, I warned the Lausanne Convention organizing committee against postmodern infiltration Postmodernists in Lausanne 2010 spoke in coded language most delegates did not understand in order to push their agenda, which they managed to influence in much the same way that homosexuals pushed ‘sexual orientation’ subtly into our law and only explained the meaning later. Now we hear that the world’s largest Bible translation organizations including ‘Wycliffe Bible Translators’ and SIL International have already produced 32 new translations of the Bible which mistranslate the scriptures to make them less offensive to Moslems and are aiming to have produced 91 such translations by 2025! Of greatest concern is their editing out of references to God as ‘Father’ and Jesus Christ as the ‘Son of God’. Their excuse? They say that some Muslims will otherwise misunderstand these biological relationship terms to think that it means that God had a sexual relationship with Mary. Alternative words they are using instead of ‘son’ they are using include terms like ‘one and only’ and ‘God’s cherished one’ and ‘Messiah’. Needless to say, this has provoked a storm of protest. The group ‘Biblical Missiology’ has written a number of rebuttal articles and a petition against it at: In response to this challenge Wycliffe claim that some of these other words in the native languages imply a ‘son’ relationship. But if that is the case, why do not just use the common word ‘son’. According to them, the issue is so subtle and complicated that only trained linguists and theologians can understand it – and so the rest of us should back out of the debate and leave it to the experts. Wycliffe have suspended these translations pending an review by a panel of theologians from the World Evangelical Alliance HOW SHOULD WE RESPOND? Firstly, even if the alternative words preserve a fraction of the meaning of the word ‘father’ and ‘son’, this is not good enough. Every language has a word for ‘father’ and ‘son’. If some Muslims misunderstand this to imply a sexual relationship, one does not need to change the text of the Bible – you can explain the issue in a footnote, an introduction, a statement of faith, a pamphlet, an article or a radio program – but it is dangerous and blasphemous to distort the Word of God just because some people misunderstand it. Secondly, through history there have been thousands of misunderstandings of scripture by different cultures and will be more in future. We cannot avoid this and the Bible itself even predicts it. Peter says of Paul’s letters “His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” (2 Peter 3:16 But misunderstandings of one scripture can be cleared up by studying other scriptures. Thirdly, to answer the argument of ‘dynamic equivalency’: where for example since the Sudanese have no word for ‘snow’ and don’t know what it is – so their Bible says ‘white as cotton’ which conveys the term white. There is no need to do this with the term ‘Father’ and ‘Son’ since every language knows and understand what these mean. Fourthly, these translations if released into the Muslim world will undermine and confuse the church in those countries and give ammunition to Moslems who argue that translations of the Bible are unreliable. Muslim readers who discover the translation they have bought is unreliable are going to get really angry – as they should, but sadly they may also as a result lose confidence in Christianity. Fifthly, in the Bible the word ‘snow’ does not have critical importance to understanding the message of the Bible. The words ‘father’ and ‘son’ do. The gospel of John, Jesus especially focuses on the glorious revelation that God is our ‘father’. While there are many names for God in the Old Testament, Jesus most commonly uses the name ‘Father’ and encourages us to do the same, for example in teaching us how to pray ‘Our father in heaven…’ (Matthew 6:9). The name ‘Father’ is loaded with meaning, which is critical our correct understanding of God: God the father gives us spiritual life as a natural father give us biological life; A natural father gives us our family name and usually our first names also, is the ruler of the family, is responsible for the protection and provision of the family, as God is for us. We are adopted into the family of God the father as children of God. The word ‘Son’ implies an heir and a permanent relationship, rights which ‘servants’ do not have. Fathers have compassion on their children (2 Corinthians 1:3), which an impersonal God like ‘Allah’ cannot give. To drive the point home, Jesus repeats the word ‘Father’ again and again in the Gospel of John and six times in the climax of his great high priestly prayer in John 17. More than any other single word, ‘Father’ is the name that reveals glory of God. Only the Son of God can reveal the Fatherhood of God. It is because of our adoption into this privileged position of ‘sons’ of God that we can have confidence that God will hear our prayers, answer us, provide for us, protect us. It is a loaded term, packed with meaning – chosen by God himself to reveal who he is to us. Sixthly, against the pragmatic argument that these translations will bring more Muslims to Christ – that is unlikely. The fatherhood of God is attractive. Most of the claimed converts by the ‘insider movement’ are not true converts, but simply Muslims interested in Jesus but have not repented of their sins and received him as Lord. But even if it was more successful than traditional missions and faithful translations – even if they did get more converts – should we then follow this strategy. No. Why? Because our aim in missions is not just to maximize the number of converts but to glorify God (Romans 15:9). The Bible most powerfully and uniquely reveals the Glory of God through his name of ‘Father’. Now we have a group of people trying to mask that glory with substitute words for God. Rather we should re-double our efforts to communicate to anyone and everyone the Fatherhood of God and the opportunity to be adopted as his sons. CONCLUSION And it is utterly ridiculous for a group of academics and linguists to try to rip this truth out of the scriptures and confuse the mission field of North Africa, the Middle East and Asia with a distorted and half-baked Bible. God chose to reveal himself as ‘Father’ through his ‘Son’ Jesus and translators who don’t want to translate that plain, simple and with its full meaning should go translate something other than the Bible. Given that the ideology of postmodernism grew out of the work of the linguistic philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein it is not surprising that linguists are being influenced by this ideology. Brian McLaren, the greatest proponent of postmodern ideology in the church is in fact trained in linguistics and not theology. Postmodernism emphasizes the subjective meaning of words to the hearer, rather than the intended objective meaning of the author. While it is encouraging that Wycliffe has suspended these translations and is awaiting review from the World Evangelical Fellowship, this by no means guarantees the problem will be properly resolved here. Given that so many leading evangelical institutions already mentioned are infiltrated with postmodernists including the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) itself, one does not know who will be on the panel. Postmodern missions activists infiltrated and hijacked the Lausanne III convention, introducing ‘coded language’ not understood by most of the missions delegation that gives credibility to the ‘insider movement’. There could be a similar infiltration of the WEA and its review panel . See for example an article promoting the ‘Insider Movement’ on the World Evangelical Alliance web site: The postmodern missions contextualization movement threatens to destroy Evangelical Missions in the same way that modernism destroyed Protestant Mainline Missions in the 1930s. If we do not win this fight, we are going to have to say goodbye to all these postmodern infected institutions and organization and start again with a re-grouping of true Biblical Christianity: new mission organizations, new bible translations, new church alliances. That will take decades of work. It will be easier to fight to protect them against this attack now. This ‘insider movement’ debate is not just a conflict of opinions within evangelical Christianity. These postmodern ‘insider movement’ promoters are not evangelicals, they are undermining the basic definition of Christianity, distorting the Word of God not just in teaching but in translation itself. See my previous article at for why this is so. Such scripture twisters should not be allowed to be members of evangelical organizations, churches or institutions. Evangelicals need to get beyond friendly debate and take disciplinary action against these people and defund institutions which print unfaithful translations of the scriptures and missions that encourage converts to stay in their old religion. People who encourage converts to stay in their old religion are not evangelicals and shouldn’t be allowed to masquerade as such. WHAT CAN WE DO: * Pray for Bible translation organizations to be faithful to the Word of God and remove postmodernists. * Only give money to Bible translation groups that are faithful to the Word of God. * Pray for the World Evangelical Alliance to be protected from postmodern infiltration. * Encourage your church and any mission sending organization not to support any ‘insider movement’ promoting missionaries (also often called by the code term ‘C5’). * Sign the petition against mistranslation of ‘father’ and ‘son’ in the Bible * Study the articles on * If you want to train to be a missionary, chose where you train carefully and which organization you go with. * If you are a pastor, consider doing a sermon on the Fatherhood of God, Jesus as Son and what this Father-Son relationship means for us also. If so many evangelical leaders can’t see the importance of this issue – maybe there are some in your congregation who need this clarified.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

New book: 'The way of Balaam' - How the Emerging Church links to Gnosticism

The Way of Balaam: False teachers and the re-appearance of ancient Gnostic beliefs

Why do some Christians pray to God as ‘mother’? Why do some Christians use labyrinths and mandalas? Why do some believe that different religions are all part of ‘one truth’? What do actively homosexual Bishops have in common with militant feminism, ‘interfaith’ worship, and the watering down of core doctrines of the faith? Are these trends mere signs of an aberrant but harmless spirituality or are they sinister and toxic to orthodox Christian faith and practice?

It has been said that Christian orthodoxy (correct belief and behaviour) is never more than one generation from extinction. In other words, as is emphasized many times in the New Testament, we must be on our guard against false teaching. This is because false teaching is a poison to the Christian Church. It undermines the true Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, thereby bringing spiritual death to people in need of salvation. It subverts the truth revealed to us, and promotes ‘the lie’ – thereby colluding with the ‘father of lies’ himself.

Not least, false teaching brings the judgement of God upon Churches who allow it. I believe that the precipitous decline over the last 40 or 50 years in many of the Protestant denominations of North America and Britain is the direct result of the infiltration of unbiblical and in some cases outright heretical teachings. As an example, the Anglican Church of Canada declined 75% in attendance figures from 1961 to 2009; this is a church which embraces the belief that homosexual unions are good and normal, and perform ceremonies blessing them.

But what are these false teachings, and how do we recognize them? This is the main concern of my book, and I have tried to write it in language that everyone will understand. The issues are complex, but I believe they can be set out in a way that clarifies them. We need to know how to counter these false doctrines – it is not enough to quote a verse or two of the bible (correct though it is to base our responses on the Word) , we need to have a thorough and sound doctrinal understanding of what the Bible teaches.

Readers will perhaps have a question mark in their minds as to what Gnostic belief is and what it has to do with Christians today. As I explain in the book, Gnostic sects were among the first groups to twist the Christian gospel – they had a huge influence and led many astray into darkness in the times of the early church. They were groups that mixed Christian belief with the pagan religions of the Roman Empire, and eastern philosophies. Their teachings have reappeared from time to time in the history of the Christian church, but are reasserting their influence in our day and age, especially because of the impact of eastern religions like Buddhism and Hinduism in the West. They are subtle and once again will deceive many – but they can be recognized, and they can be countered.

The book chapter headings give an idea of the book contents, and so I list them below:

Introduction: The Way of Balaam and the implosion of the Western Church
1. The Quest.
2. Enter the goddess.
3. Gnostic Doctrines I: The primacy of experience; the nature of humankind; the problem with the world; the person of Jesus; the place of Holy Scripture.
4. Gnostic Doctrines II: Salvation through altered consciousness; the Resurrection; Mysteries that transform; Time and History.
5. The Coming Chaos.
6. Called to shine as lights in the darkness.

Many of the examples that I use in the book are taken from events that are occurring in mainline denominations, such as Anglican, Baptist, Reformed and Lutheran churches. However these false teachings are beginning to infiltrate large Free Evangelical and Charismatic/Pentecostal churches through the very influential leaders of the “Emergent Church” movement. Western culture has long abandoned its mooring in Christian thought and belief and the effect of this will be felt not only in North America, Britain and Europe, but throughout the world. Many prominent and respected Christian thinkers are warning us that we face the rise of a new world order that is totally pagan in its foundations and which will threaten the Christian Church in a way that has not been seen since the days of the Roman Empire. Not only is this new world order post- Christian, it is anti-Christian. Frederick Baue the Lutheran theologian tells us that what is coming is “a phase of western or world civilization that is innately religious but hostile to Christianity....or worse, a dominant but false church that brings all of its forces to bear against the truth of God’s Word”. If we are not prepared, if we do equip ourselves by seeking a deeper understanding of Christian truth and a deeper knowledge of our faith, we will be swept away by what is coming on the world. I hope that my book will go some way in helping people to gain that deeper understanding and so stand strong and be able to offer a sound and clear defence of their faith.

I believe that the Christian church today as never before needs believers that love the Lord Jesus and are committed to standing for the truth. My prayer is that my book will ignite a spark of renewed passion for the Lord among believers and a clearer understanding of His glorious Gospel.

“The Way of Balaam” is available from the following Bookshops:

Christian Connexion
Christian Book Discounters,

Or directly from the author: price R120 + R10 postage

Rev Dave Doveton is an Anglican Priest, and serves in the Diocese of Port Elizabeth. He is the rector of the parishes of St Barnabas and St Philips, and also serves as the Anglican Dean of Studies of Stellenbosch Theological Seminary.