The Shape of Things
By: John Rosenstern
When it comes to gimmicks and foolishness, the modern church is sure to find it and apply it on a corporate basis. The newest fad is addressing the weight problem of the church! Meanwhile, God said we do have a “wait” problem. We are to wait upon Him. There’s nothing wrong with taking care of our bodies and trying our best to achieve a normal weight and reasonable modicum of physical fitness. However, when it becomes the preoccupation of Believers to be distracted with weight watching instead of watching and waiting for a Move of God, you have the ingredients for deception.
Rick Warren and his “Saddleback” experiment are at it again. This time though he has teamed up with media celebrity and New Age doctor, Mehmet Oz and other mystics to assist his followers in changing their bodies, and minds! Warren’s “Daniel Plan” is a 52 week program that tracks your progress and enables you to have coaching from these worldly and Satanic instructors as part of his new ten year program to expand his ministry, “Decade of Destiny.” The plan includes an element of personal growth meant to equip parishioners to succeed in seven areas: spiritual, physical, financial, relational, vocational, emotional, and mental.
LOSS OF THE TRUTH!
Warren is using his weight-loss program as a seeker sensitive evangelical outreach approach. “This is God’s prescription for your health,” he said. “This is the greatest opportunity for you to introduce friends to Saddleback Church through a non-threatening event.” Hmm, does the Gospel threaten people or bring them hope? It seems the only real loss to any of Rick Warren’s demonic programs in the past, and especially now, have been the loss of the truth.
Warren’s deception operates in this vein, he doesn’t mention the teachings and beliefs of the doctors he’s promoting on his ministry websites. However, he is strongly endorsing them and, thereby, recommending their literature. Can we separate their teachings and belief’s from their methodology used and applied for weight-loss and well-being? No. However, Warren and his Peter Druckerish, Leadership Network organizational influence embrace a pragmatic approach to all their experiments with the church; the end justifies the means. Warren obviously does not believe the Gospel and preaching of Jesus Christ and the Finished Work of the Cross as the solution to all of man’s needs, but rather fellowship with the world and popularity are the “worms” Warren uses to bait his catch. Beware reader.
Dr. Mehmet Oz on his website says, “You have to meditate to lose weight.” The type of meditation he prescribes is Transcendental Meditation. Remember, it was Warren who promoted labyrinth meditation in the past. He knows no boundaries when separating meditating on God’s Word and mystical meditation with yoga, as promoted by these New Age doctors. We are also told by Dr. Mark Hyman, that we need to live in “community” and the “individuals” will not survive in our future world of “group living.” Does Warren have a greater agenda than he’s telling his participants? Warren is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, CFR, and has been a guest speaker at the World Economic Forum, where he volunteered “the church” as the distribution mechanism to eradicate world poverty. What is Warren getting you in shape for? He wants you in shape so you may become a “better servant.” There’s no truth at Saddleback and “the lie” is spreading by unsuspecting followers of Rick Warren. What constitutes a church is what is preached behind the Pulpit. “The lie” I refer to is Saddleback is promoted as a Christian church when it is sadly a pagan cult.
IMAGE OF CHRIST
The real shape of someone is God shaping and molding Believers to be conformed into the Image of Jesus Christ. This Work is done by the Power of the Holy Spirit as we apply Faith in what Christ has done for us at the Cross. The Holy Spirit Works within the confines of the Cross, Romans, Chapter 8, Verse 2, and only He is able to prepare us for Service and sanctify us for Godly living (Eph. 2:8-10).
MESSAGE OF THE CROSS
There is another reshaping taking place in the world by God that is of utmost importance. The recent events that have transpired in North Africa and the Middle East are a testimony of God shaping this world for Judgment. The Great Tribulation period is not too far away. The signs of deception, apostasy, and the rejection by most in the world of Jesus Christ are upon us. God is preparing his Church. The message of the Cross is the Apostolic message for this generation. The reformation of Justification by Faith revolutionized the church and brought Saving Grace to all who believed. Now, God has revealed Sanctification by Grace and how the Holy Spirit Works by means of the Cross.
Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Lebanon, Iran, etc. have all experienced great change recently. When the Shah was removed from Iran in 1979 he was replaced by a religious dictator that ruled by Islamic law. The uprising and protests have opened the door for more Islamic dictatorial rulers to occupy Tunisia and Egypt. In Tunisia the expulsion of Ben Ali brought the return of Rachid Ghannouchi, a west hating, Israel hating, Islamic scholar who pretends to support democracy. In Egypt, the protests of millions brought down the reign of Hosni Mubarak. The Muslim Brotherhood stands prepared and ready to form a new government in Egypt. Let’s recall that back in 1988 the Hamas organization was formed out of the Muslim Brotherhood to be a resistance organization against Israel. Its charter speaks of Israel’s utter destruction. The Hamas gained a place within the Palestinian Liberation Organizations government, Al-Fatah, by the democratic vote of the people in Gaza. Lebanon has seen the same with a terrorist organization formed out of Iran, the Hezbollah, now part of the Lebanese government. Protests in Libya, Jordan, and Yemen may change the leadership of these nations soon as well.
WHAT IS YOUR FOUNDATION?
The world is being shaped and prepared for the rise of the Antichrist. God’s Word has given us several obvious clues pointing to His return. Israel is beginning to bud and apostasy is rampant, to name a couple of signs. We have a means to touch the world like never before. If the Apostle Paul lived today, where do you think he might want to preach? Where would he be welcomed? We may not be the Apostle Paul, but we speak the message that God gave him. The only message that pleases God is the Message of the Cross! The Cross is the foundation of all Doctrine. What’s your foundation? The storm is coming and the house on the ROCK will stand. Stand for Jesus and Him Crucified and you will not fall for gimmicks.