Four Books That the Enemy Has Used To Corrupt Christianity
by Sandy Simpson, 9/9/13
Four men changed the world into their postmodern, communist, evolutionist, materialist, Narcissistic concept of reality. There are also four books that have corrupted Christianity worldwide. The four men who changed the world, not for the better, were Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Marx, Charles Darwin and Sigmund Freud.
Nietzsche Marx Darwin Freud
Debunking the traditional conceptions of both God and man, thinkers such as Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud portrayed humans not as moral and spiritual beings, but as animals or machines who inhabited a universe ruled by purely impersonal forces and whose behavior and very thoughts were dictated by the unbending forces of biology, chemistry, and environment. This materialistic conception of reality eventually infected virtually every area of our culture, from politics and economics to literature and art. (The Wedge Strategy, by Keith Lankford, http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/archive/wedge_document.html)
Albert Mohler identifies Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Marx, Charles Darwin and Sigmund Freud as what he calls the “four horsemen” of old atheism. These nineteenth century men have had an incredible impact on modern society as each of them shaped his respective field around his atheistic views: Nietzsche influenced philosophy and is sort of a poster boy today for many postmodernists; Marx changed how much of the world understood society and government; Darwin rewrote the scientific textbooks and Freud redefined the human mind. It would be hard to find anyone in the Western world who has had more influence on how we think and live today than these four men; each of them, including his body of work and influence, was largely the product of his denial of the existence of God. (Gary Gilley, Think on These Things, http://www.svchapel.org/resources/articles/22-contemporary-issues/587-the-new-atheism)
The four books that have changed the church by giving an introduction to the false teachings of the New Apostolic/Latter Rain (NAR), the Emerging Church/Contemplative/Catholic Mysticism (EC), pragmatic Church Growth (CG) methodologies of C. Peter Wagner, Robert Schuller and Peter Drucker, and the teachings of the World Christian Gathering on Indigenous People (WCGIP) are as follows:
These four books were widely read by Christians from virtually every denominational background before their ramifications and the movements they would spawn were known. They lay error alongside truth so were considered not to be a threat to churches. Therefore these books then became part of the consciousness of many Christians and churches, thereby laying the basis for the introduction of the modern day false teachings of the NAR, EC, CG and WCGIP that have become part of the landscape of Christendom today. I have articles reviewing these books and authors on my site as follows:
Articles on Jack Deere (NAR):
Surprised By The Power Of The Spirit by Jack Deere - Reviewed by Richard L. Mayhue
Surprised By The Power Of The Spirit by Jack Deere - Reviewed by Alan Howe
This book is an introduction to the Latter Rain Movement of the Toronto “Blessing”, Brownsville “Revival” and many other related movements such as the Third Wave and the New Apostolic Reformation. It was read widely by many Christians because of the fact the Jack Deere had formerly been a professor at Dallas Seminary before being dismissed for promoting Arminianism and slain in the spirit.
During 1987, John Wimber and I became close friends. My wife and I went to several Vineyard conferences during that time. We continued to learn more about healing and the present-day ministry of the Holy Spirit, both in the Scriptures and in practical experience. My friendship with Wimber and my growing interest in the supernatural ministry of the Holy Spirit eventually led me to resign from my church and resulted in my dismissal from my teaching position at Dallas Seminary. Before I left Dallas Seminary, however, I met another man who would also be divinely used to alter the course of my life. His name was Paul Cain (pp. 37,38). (Surprised by the power of the Spirit, reviewed by Alan Howe)
Articles on Richard Foster (EC):
Of Discipline by Richard Foster -
Reviewed by Gary Gilley
Celebration Of Discipline by Richard Foster - Reviewed by Bob DeWaay
Celebration Of Discipline by Richard Foster - Reviewed by Ken Silva
Celebration Of Discipline by Richard Foster - Reviewed by Lighthouse Trails
This book was read by countless Christians and introduced them to Catholic and New Age Mysticism. This book now lays the basis for the Spiritual Formation departments of a majority of Christian colleges.
Written over twenty-five years ago, and proclaimed by Christianity Today as one of the ten best books of the twentieth century, the influence of Celebration of Discipline is all but incalculable. Foster is a Quaker, so his spiritual life is grounded in the subjective “inner light” presupposition of the Friends. He is highly steeped in the Roman Catholic mystics, drawing from dozens of them for his theology. More than that, Eugene Peterson informs us that Foster has “‘found’ the spiritual disciplines [in the mystics] that the modern world stored away and forgot” (p. 206). Foster’s views are also formed by Quaker mystics and even secular thinking, most surprisingly Carl Jung, self-confessed demon-possessed psychologist. (Celebration Of Discipline, reviewed by Gary Gilley)
Articles on Rick Warren (CG):
The Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren - Reviewed by Nathan Busenitz
The Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren - Reviewed by Rick Meisel
The Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren - Reviewed by Go For God
The Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren - Reviewed by Berit Kjos
Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren - Reviewed by Dennia Costella
Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren - Reviewed by Jim Delany
Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren - Reviewed by Discernment Ministries Newsletter
Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren - Reviewed by Michael Penfold
Purpose Driven Church introduced millions of church leaders to seek friendly, the church growth ideas of C. Peter Wagner (Warren’s mentor from Fuller) and Schullerism (another mentor of Warren). He give pragmatic ways to grow a church and his dissertation explains that he grew Saddleback by going door to door in that community with a survey asking people what they wanted in a church.
A primary weakness in Warren’s approach is that he emphasizes the pastor’s ability to entertain over the pastor’s responsibility to speak the truth. On p. 231, Warren argues: “I’ve heard pastors proudly say, ‘We’re not here to entertain.’ Obviously they’re doing a good job at it. A Gallup poll a few years ago stated that, according to the unchurched, the church is the most boring place to be. . . . To the unchurched, dull preaching is unforgivable. Truth poorly delivered is ignored. On the other hand, the unchurched will listen to absolute foolishness if it is interesting.” While homiletics is certainly an important part of preaching, it is not the most important part. For Warren, the presentation seems to be more important than the truth being presented. The Apostle Paul’s priorities, however, were just the opposite—how he preached was not nearly as important as what he preached: For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void. (1 Cor. 1:17) And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. (2 Cor. 2:1-5) In light of his desire for relevance, Warren’s preaching is naturally determined more by His audience than by the Scripture. (Purpose Driven Church, reviewed by Nathan Busenitz)
Articles on Don Richardson (WCGIP):
Idolatry in Their Hearts by Sandy Simpson & Mike Oppenheimer, http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/idolatrybook.html
The First Nations Movement – Deceiving the Nations! By Sandy Simpson & Mike Oppenheimer, http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/ipmdvd.html
Did God Put "Eternity In Their Hearts" or "The World In Their Hearts"? by Sandy Simpson, 8/4/11
Richardson introduced Christianity to Inclusivism (that people can be saved by general revelation) and inspired Bible translation societies to put the names of supreme beings in the Bible. He got Christians to think that every person has a Divine spark in them (eternity in their hearts) when that phrase is not the correct translation of Ecc. 3:11, because twice as many translations translate that verse as saying, that God “set the world in their heart”. Because of his book the worldwide cult of the World Christian Gathering of Indigenous People was formed and Richardson sits on the board of Daniel Kikawa’s Aloha Ke Akua which is a primary influence for that movement.
The preponderance of translations stating that God "set the world in their heart" are more consistent with the whole counsel of God's Word. Ecc. 3:11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. (KJV) It is therefore a serious breach of hermeneutics for Don Richardson to have (1) chosen one of only a few translations of Ecc. 3:11 to provide a title for his book, (2) to not give the immediate context of the verse and (3) to not take into account the meaning of this verse in the context of the whole counsel of God's Word. (Sandy Simpson, Did God Put "Eternity In Their Hearts" or "The World In Their Hearts"?)
SOME NOTES ON THESE INDIVIDUALS
"Thanks to mentors like John Wimber, C. Peter Wagner, Chuck Kraft from Fuller as well as Paul Cain and others, Jack Deere had his orthodox view of theology systematically dismantled. He then became instrumental in introducing the Third Wave to millions of Christians who trusted him because he had been a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary through his books "Surprised By the Power Of The Spirit" and "Surprised By The Voice Of God." Though these books have some precious truths in them, they also contain heresy. That is how false teachers ply their trade. They lay error alongside truth so that the unsuspecting and undiscerning will not be able to tell the difference between what is true and what is not. Following are a few examples of just how far away from orthodoxy Deere has gone." (http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/deere.html)
Jack Deere, a good friend of Paul Cain who was an associate of William Branham and often spoke in his “crusades” when Branham was absent, is also a member of the International Coalition of Apostles under C. Peter Wagner. Deere ended up leaving Dallas Seminary because he was espousing teachings he had learned from Cain, Wagner and John Wimber. Deere wrote “Surprised by the Power of the Spirit” which was widely distributed among many pastors and church leaders. It laid the basis for churches to accept some of the heretical teachings of the Latter Rain that were brought forward from the false prophet William Branham by Cain and taught by him to the Kansas City Prophets, Wimber, Wagner and many others. It came out in the heyday of the Toronto “Blessing” which later spawned numerous other counterfeit revivals such as the Brownsville “Outpouring”. Deere went on to be an associate pastor in a Vineyard church in Amarillo, TX.
The departure from these teachings by Richard Foster and the host of teachers he promotes is the reason we must withdraw from them. "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into [your] house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds." II John 2:10-11 Thomas Merton, Morton Kelsey, Basil Pennington, Benedictine Monks, Ignatius Loyola, Brennan Manning, Isaac Pennington, Basil Pennington, Madeleine L'Engle, Thomas Keating, Harvey Cox, Agnes Sanford, Madame Guyon, John of the Cross, Evelyn Underhill, Thomas Kelly, Tilden Edwards, William Vaswig (also of Renovare who, like Foster learned his meditation from Agnes Sanford and a great admirer of occultist Carl Jung and his "sitting in silence" therapy), Karen Mains, Lynda Graybeal, Jean-Pierre de Caussade, Meister Eckhart, George Fox, Henri Nouwen, Teresa of Avila, Brother Lawrence (who also taught the emptying of the mind), Julian of Norwich, Siang Yan Tan (psychologist), Lao-Tse (Taoism), Zarathrustra (Zorastrianism) and a host of other "masters" or "spiritual directors" (past or present) of the Traditions of Discipline that Richard Foster promotes and endorses do not bring this doctrine, so none of them, or their teachings should be brought into our houses or houses of worship. And by doing so, we do become partakers of their evil deeds....yes false doctrine is evil deeds. We must command them as Paul did Timothy to the Ephesians to "Not teach false doctrines any longer!" Richard Foster's teachings whether or not he says otherwise, are a blend of Eastern mysticism and gnosticism...another Jesus and another gospel. Oh foolish Americans, who hath bewitched you? (http://web.archive.org/web/20080212062607/http:/www.abrahamic-faith.com/James/Richard-Foster.html)
Foster began to be influenced by the Catholic mystics in the 1970s. Dave Hunt wrote a warning about Foster in his book “The Seduction Of Christianity” published in 1985.
In his 1985 book, The Seduction of Christianity, Dave Hunt labeled creative visualization such as what Foster promotes, "mental alchemy." Hunt warned the church that Foster promoted such mental alchemy in Celebration of Discipline, and as we have shown, he, in fact, does. So how is it that 24 years after Hunt's warning Foster is more popular than ever with Evangelicals? The answer is end times deception. Now, a huge movement that claims to be a reformation promoting Foster, Willard and their versions of mysticism does exist (i.e., The Emergent Church). Things have gotten so very much worse. (Richard Foster—Celebration of Deception by Bob DeWaay, http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue112.htm)
Foster’s influence on the EC through his organization “Renovare” laid the basis for the contemplative prayer, labyrinth walking, repetitious mantras to empty the mind, yoga, and many other Catholic and Eastern mystical techniques that allegedly are supposed to get you closer to God and “spiritually form” you. Two of the major Christian college and university accrediting agencies such as Association of Theological Seminaries (ATS) and Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) now require a “Spiritual Formation” department and curriculum to be implemented. (http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=7733)
Rick Warren claims that he has not compromised the Word of God with his principles and methods, that he has only modernized them; but when I look into the book of Acts and the Epistles, I see a different kind of Christianity, a different kind of church there, than the one that Rick Warren has devised. Thus, I must reject Warren's Purpose-Driven methods and I must warn those who have an ear to hear, regardless of how small that crowd may be, that they not heed the siren call of the contemporary church growth gurus.
Deceived On Purpose by Warren Smith - Warren Smith is a former New Ager who became converted to Christianity 20 years ago. Since then he has been warning Christians, through writing and speaking, that dangerous New Age doctrines are subtly creeping into the churches. In his most recent book, which is being offered by Discernment Ministries, Smith recounts the considerable influence that the Rev. Robert H. Schuller has had on the ministry style and teachings of Rick Warren. The mystical leaven of New Age teachings, which Robert Schuller controversially introduced the church several decades ago, is now being reintroduced and assimilated into mainstream evangelicalism through the writings and activities of Rick Warren. Deceived on Purpose is a book with an easy reading style that should be given to pastors and parishioners everywhere. The following is an important excerpt from the book, Chapter 3. It chronicles a noteworthy example of how Rick Warren’s "seeker sensitive" emphasis can lead straight into dangerous metaphysical New Age doctrines. (http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/04/smith-deceived_on_purpose.htm)
I have a copy of Rick Warren’s dissertation he wrote for his doctorate from Fuller Seminary. In my opinion, and I have read a number of dissertations, this one does not really qualify to be a doctoral dissertation. It is basically the story of how he established his Saddleback church. His mentor for that project was C. Peter Wagner, former head of the NAR, whose books he cites in the bibliography of that paper most often. In writing his book on CG, following in the footsteps of his mentors C. Peter Wagner and Robert Schuller and culling principles from Peter Drucker teachings on marketing, he laid the basis for the modern mega-church “seeker sensitive” movement. In establishing Saddleback he sent out questionnaires door to door in that community asking people what they wanted in a church. He then compiled that information and formed a church based on their “felt needs” (and I thought the Church was supposed to have the Word of God as its basis!). The mega-church model set forth by Rick Warren may attract a lot of people and money but it is woefully inadequate to the task of preaching the Gospel and discipleship in sound doctrine. That is because the Gospel message and sound doctrine are seen as old methods. C. Peter Wagner put his pragmatic vision for implementing his CG ideas in his first book on CG entitled "Your Church Can Grow - Seven Vital Signs of a Healthy Church".
"... we ought to see clearly that the end DOES justify the means. What else possible could justify the means? If the method I am using accomplishes the goal I am aiming at, it is for that reason a good method. If, on the other hand, my method is not accomplishing the goal, how can I be justified in continuing to use it?" (C. Peter Wagner, "Your Church Can Grow - Seven Vital Signs Of A Healthy Church", 1976, pg. 137. - emphasis in original)
Wagner’s pragmatism laid the groundwork for a whole generation of CG advocates to be more interested in achieving the end goal of large churches and satisfying people’s “felt needs” than of remaining true to the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Apostles and following the pattern of the early church.
The WGCIP uses as it's source materials certain books such as Don Richardson's "Eternity In Their Hearts", Daniel Kikawa's "Perpetuated In Righteousness" books by Richard Twiss and others. I had the occasion to help research the bibliographies of those books for Mike Oppenheimer's new articles on WGCIP teachings. I then found out that a major source they both used was a Catholic priest named Wilhelm Schmidt. I began to investigate other sources and was shocked to discover that a number of their sources were quite dubious. They picked some of the more controversial authors with a number of ideas that were not common in Protestantism but had been mainstream for centuries in Catholicism. That they would quote such people and base their ideas on their conjectures illustrates just how far afield their ideas and beliefs are. … The teachings of the WCGIP and their source materials by people like Richardson and Kikawa constitute a new radical syncretism that is leading to the one world false religion of "the woman who rides the beast" (Rev. 17:6-8). (http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/catholicsyncretism.html)
Richardson’s “Eternity in Their Hearts” made its way through many mission organizations under the guise of new missiology, and many missionaries read the book back in the mid 1980s. What is amazing is that book was widely accepted and loved even though the very title of both the first edition and the updated title of the newer editions should have had people put the book back on the shelf.
At the time that book (Eternity in Their Hearts) came out no one really saw the dangerous ideas Richardson was promoting. All they would have had to do was look at the two subtitles of that book to understand the implications. The first subtitle in the 1981 edition read: “The Untold Story of Christianity among Folk Religions of Ancient People.” Those who read this book found some interesting cross-cultural ideas but apparently missed the false premise of the book starting with the subtitle. How could Christianity be “among folk religions” where the Gospel had not been preached (Rom. 10:14-15)? At that time Christians who read the book were apparently satisfied that, though there was some questionable material present, it made for an interesting discussion on how to do cross-cultural ministry. The newer subtitle, changed from the 1984 edition, is as follows: “Startling Evidence of Belief in the One True God in Hundreds of Cultures throughout the World.” This should have been a red flag for many Christians but then, who reads subtitles? But how could the “One True God” be known to Gentiles who, the Bible states, did “not know God”.
1 Cor. 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom DID NOT KNOW GOD, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
Gal. 4:8 But then, indeed, when you (speaking to the Galatian Gentiles) DID NOT KNOW GOD, you served those which by nature are not gods.
1 Thes. 4:5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who DO NOT KNOW GOD;
1 John 3:1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it DID NOT KNOW HIM.
2 Thes. 1:8-9 He will punish those who DO NOT KNOW GOD and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power.
Eph. 2:11-12 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)—remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, WITHOUT HOPE AND WITHOUT GOD IN THE WORLD.
(Sandy Simpson, Blasphemizing The Bible, http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/blasphemizingthebible.html)
Richardson was warned about how the WCGIP was taking his book as a basis for their new pagan version of Christianity by an apologetics researcher back in the 1980s but instead of rebuking the former YWAMmer, Daniel Kikawa, for his book “Perpetuated In Righteousness” which is one of the inspirations for the WCGIP movement, he joined Kikawa’s “Aloha Ke Akua” organization on his board of directors.