Monday, August 11, 2008

Orthodoxy Determines Orthopraxy!

The coming counterfeit revival, the apostasy that must take place before the Lord returns, is in process and is being called, “a new reformation.” This is nothing short of an ecumenical movement that will culminate in a one world religion whose unity will have to be something other than sound doctrine as its quintessence. Since sound doctrine (orthodoxy) is seen as too divisive then there must be another essence to allow unity in diversity and give embodiment to the movement as a whole. It will be this other essence that will be used to unify the diverse and false religions of the world under one umbrella; the common ground that will allow a working together and getting along with one another. This will be a return to Babel, an unholy and ungodly unity, under the disguise of bringing in world peace and the utopian age.

However, this will be a counterfeit unity because it will be based on the pursuit of philosophy and culture to the exclusion of God derived unity. The unity and peace God provides is always based on truth – first pure then peaceable! But genuine unity and peace based on truth (orthodoxy) is also divisive dividing the true from the false and the wheat from the tares. Therefore world-wide unity is only possible based on something other than truth and therefore the ecumenical movement will actually serve as a gathering up (bundling up) of the tares (counterfeit Christians who are not lovers of truth) based on that which is a lie (See Matthew 13:30 and 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).

Since truth only unites those who are lovers of truth so as to be saved and divides because of its exclusiveness - orthodox, fundamental, and creedal Christians will be disdained as trouble-makers, enemies of the ecumenical movement (falsely called the evangelical movement), and those who cause division. Even the reformation will be viewed as a failure and of a divisive nature because it failed to unite Christendom. Orthodoxy, right beliefs, sound doctrine, will have no place in the ecumenical movement because it is not the means that can bring about the desired end – world unity and peace. But there is one major problem for the ecumenical movement and its proponents – those who know and love the truth and take their stand for the truth in-spite of consequences.

These are the children of God who have received the love of the truth so as to be saved. They will be caricatured, belittled, and even persecuted as narrow minded, arrogant, fundamentalist, legalistic, sectarian, enemies of the movement of God. As Charles Spurgeon said, “Well, dear friends, we are content with the old wine since it is the best; Christ's gospel is no new gospel; and moreover, we are old-fashioned enough to believe that not one doctrine is to be altered, nor half a doctrine, nor the thousandth part of a doctrine, no nor yet the form of a doctrine. We would "hold fast the form of sound words"—not only the principle mark, but the words; and not only the words, but the very form in which the words were moulded."Words, words, words," says somebody; "what is the use of words, and forms, and creeds? Why, these are old musty crusty documents, only sectarians care about them."Ay, then let us be sectarians; let us hold with force and strength of mind the very form of sound words which has been delivered unto us. Not one of the stakes shall be removed, nor one of the cords thereof be loosened.

So what will be the quintessence, the unifying force than can pull the many into one, and out of plurality bring singularity, and from diversity achieve unity, giving embodiment to the ecumenical movement? ORTHOPRAXY! Sound doctrine or right beliefs (orthodoxy) must give way to what is falsely being called right behavior (orthopraxy). The rally cry for the ecumenical apostasy which is falsely being called "a new reformation" is away with creeds and unite with deeds.

However, right behavior (orthopraxy) only flows from right beliefs (orthodoxy); doctrine determines duty and in the Bible the doctrinal is given before the practical is given; we are not told how to behave until we are told how to believe because our behavior is transformed by the renewing of our minds (what we believe). There can be no divorce or disconnect between orthodoxy and orthopraxy. To have orthodoxy without orthopraxy is to be like the demons and believe but unsavingly (see James 2:14-19). To have orthopraxy without orthodoxy is to pursue righteousness as though it were by works and not be subject to the righteousness of God which is by faith (see Romans 9:30 – 10:4).

Therefore a unity that is based on orthopraxy with no regard for orthodoxy is unbiblical and ungodly. It is rebellion and disobedience for God Himself has said, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Beliar, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate, says the Lord. And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).

This is the biblical and orthodox reason based on sound doctrine to reject the ecumenical movement and its proponents. And don’t forget – doctrine determines duty; behavior flows from belief!

First the doctrinal then the practical; first right belief then right behavior – so now we move from preaching to practice – it’s time to make application!

Having established the truth that the ecumenical movement cannot and will not have as its unifying essence orthodoxy (right beliefs) but will unify under under deeds (counterfeit of right behavior), let us make application with this orthodoxy and practice genuine orthopraxy – let us see who is violating God’s truth and come out from their midst and be separate as the Lord says!

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; 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. Now, you're never going to get
Christians, of all their stripes and varieties, to agree on all of the different
doctrinal disputes and things like that, but what I am seeing them agree on are
the purposes of the church. And I find great uniformity in the fact that I see
this happening all the time. Last week I spoke to 4,000 pastors at my church who
came from over 100 denominations in over 50 countries. Now, that's wide spread.
We had Catholic priests, we had Pentecostal ministers, we had Lutheran bishops,
we had Anglican bishops, we had Baptist preachers. They're all there together
and you know what? I'd never get them to agree on communion or baptism or a
bunch of stuff like that, but I could get them to agree on what the church
should be doing in the world.
And the way I expressed it is that the Bible
calls the church the body of Christ, and what's happened in the last 100 years
is that the hands and the feet have been amputated and the church has just been
a mouth, and primarily it's been known for what it's against. It's been known
for what it's against. And I am working toward a second Reformation of the
church which could create a Third Great Awakening in our nation or world, and it
may not happen in America; it may not. (Source)

Now notice that Rick Warren is saying that orthopraxy will be the unifying essence of a “new reformation.” Notice that he also implies the failure of the first reformation because it, “actually split Christianity into dozens and then hundreds of different segments.” However, this is the nature of truth and the nature of the ministry of Christ – He did not come to bring peace but a sword nor unity (except for those who are truly His disciples) but division (see Matthew 10:34-36).

Also notice that Rick Warren equates the church standing firm in truth as being known for what it stands against which he is “tired of”:
"The New Testament says the church is the body of Christ, but for the last 100
years, the hands and feet have been amputated, and the church has just been a
mouth. And mostly, it's been known for what it's against," Warren said during a
break between services at his church campus. "I'm so tired of Christians being
known for what they're against." (Source)

However, you cannot stand for something while at the same time not standing against something. You cannot stand for truth and righteousness without standing against lies and unrighteousness. This is also another serious violation of the Word of God which says that true prophets are known for what they stand against (Jeremiah 28:5-9) and that the equipped church while standing firm in the truth is standing against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-13; read these verses and see how many times we are told what we are against).

But then again if you are for an ecumenical movement you are also against whatever resists that movement (even Rick Warren can’t live by his own philosophy because of the law of non-contradiction) – after all, he’s against fundamentalism:
JUAN WILLIAMS, NPR: Picking up on this business about the disagreements between
the fundamentalists and the Pentecostals, I mean, this struck me as news because
when journalists write about it, we go to people like Robertson and Falwell to
represent the evangelicals. And that's the way it comes across, so it strikes me
that we're ill informed or you're wrong. (Chuckles.) And secondly, that you're
not using this God-given influence you spoke of, because your influence is not
showing up in the American media in terms of supplanting people who you would
tell us are bogus.
MR. WARREN: Well, I tell you, that's the reason I accepted
this meeting, because I'm just tired of having other people represent me and
represent the hundreds of thousands of churches where the pastors I've trained
would nowhere, no way, relate to some of the supposed spokesmen of a previous
Now the word "fundamentalist" actually comes from a document in
the 1920s called the Five Fundamentals of the Faith. And it is a very
legalistic, narrow view of Christianity, and when I say there are very few
fundamentalists, I mean in the sense that they are all actually called
fundamentalist churches, and those would be quite small. There are no large
ones. (Source)

Rick Warren also said at The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland that religious pluralism will be the answer to the world’s problems and that he doesn’t care why you do good (deeds) as long as you do good.

Right belief determines right behavior; orthodoxy determines orthopraxy – have nothing to do with this ecumenical movement and its proponents!

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