Side Of Diaprax
by Sandy Simpson, 4/10/09
There has been a concerted effort by the false teachers from many movements inside the church such as Word of Faith, New Apostolic Reformation (NAR)/Latter Rain, World Gathering on Indigenous People and Emerging Church among others to diaprax people into thinking that the church has been ineffective until they came along with their new and improved ideas on how to take over the world. This is always a feature of the Hegelian Dialectical process put into action by praxis, thus diaprax. In order to form a new paradigm or worldview the leadership of these movements must vilify orthodox Biblical Christianity. Let's look at some of those statements.
Gordon Anderson (NAR)
The reason the church has failed its mandate, is that early on it lost the offices of Apostle and prophets. (excerpted and adapted from "Kingdom Now," Gordon Anderson, Paraclete, Summer 1990, Vol. 24, Number 3).
The Church has never lost its mandate which is to preach the Gospel to every nation and disciple all believers in sound doctrine. Teaching that we need foundational apostles and prophets in the churches is contrary to what the Bible tells us as there are not more foundational apostles or prophets. The grace gifts of leadership, or more accurately servant leadership, are listed as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers or pastor-teachers, depending on your interpretation. The gift of foundational Apostleship is no longer our concern as no one today fits the criteria to be a foundational apostle. The teachings of the foundational Apostles and prophets (Eph. 2:20) are what the Church is built upon, Christ being the chief Cornerstone and Foundation (1 Cor. 3:10-11). The Apostles were those who saw the Lord while He was on earth before he ascended into heaven (1 Cor. 9:1) and the Lord did true signs, wonders and miracles through them to authenticate their ministries (2 Cor. 12:12). They wrote Scriptures (Matthew, John, Peter, Paul, etc.). They were persecuted and all but one (John) were martyred for the Faith (1 Cor. 4:9 and the Pre Nicene Fathers writings). Finally, Paul said that he was the last, in sequence, of the original foundational Apostles (1 Cor. 15:7-8). We are to use the Word of God, through Jesus Christ, taught to us by the Apostles and prophets, as the basis for our Christian life (2 Peter 3:2, Jude 17). The gift of prophecy is also somewhat different today. There are no longer any "foundational" prophets (Eph. 2:20)--those who wrote Scripture (Samuel, Daniel, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc.)--who were often martyred for the Faith (Luke 11:47-48, Rev. 18:24) though some may yet be killed in our day--and upon whom the Church has its foundation (2 Pet. 3:2), in Christ the Foundation and Cornerstone (1 Pet. 2:6). There are prophets today. But they are also to be held up to the same standards as any biblical prophet. What they prophesy must be biblical and what they predict must come true (Deut. 13:1-3, 18:20). Otherwise they are to be considered false prophets and the Church should not listen to them (Jer. 23;16, Matt. 7:15, 2 Pet. 2:1 1 John 4:1). This criteria also applies to any of the grace gifts. If evangelists are preaching a false gospel (Gal. 1:9), if pastors and teachers are not teaching sound doctrine (2 Tim. 4:3, Titus 1:9, 2:1), they are all to be regarded as heretics and rejected after a few admonitions if they do not repent (Titus 3:10).
Today the main role of a prophet is to exegete the written Word through which Jesus Christ speaks (Heb. 1:1-2) to instruct and edify the Church (1 Cor. 14:31) He does not rely on his own interpretations (2 Pet. 1:20). The Holy Spirit speaks through the living written Word (Heb. 4:12), which we are not to go beyond (1 Cor. 4:6), and out of that comes the guidance of the Lord for the Church. As a prophet elaborates upon the Word, prophecy for the church today often comes forth. The Lord can and still does speak through dreams and visions (Acts 2:17) but dreams and visions must be tested (1 Thes. 5:21) by the Scripture (2 Tim. 3:15-16) which is our highest authority, as the Holy Spirit breathed the words through men--the very Word of God. I would also add that you can be sure that those who give themselves the title of apostle or prophet today, tooting their own horn loudly in the public arena, are false apostles (2 Cor. 11:13) and false prophets (Mark 13:22). The roles of evangelist, pastor and teacher continue today as they did in the first century.
Bill Hamon (NAR)
No other generation of the Church, from the day of pentecost till the present, has been challenged to do what this; the last generation of the mortal Church is called to do. We have never functioned as a Church with all fivefold ministers actively fulfilling their ministry. Apostles and prophets are being restored in this generation. The Church is coming to maturity. The last generation of the Church... must become the instruments of Christ that overcomes the last enemy. We must sanctify ourselves for in 1997 God will begin to do signs and wonders among us like we have never seen before. (Bill Hamon, 1997, http://www.do-you-love-me.org/wsomers/pivotal.html)
This is a lie of Satan. The Church was founded by Jesus Christ, upon Him as the Rock and Cornerstone and the Apostles as the foundation. It has always been here since that time and cannot be dismantled by Satan (Matt. 16:18), nor does it need latter day apostles and prophets with new revelation to guide it.
Let me say the twentieth century saw more advancement in the church and more restoration and moves of God than any several centuries through the whole two thousand years of church history. (Bill Hamon, National School Of The Prophets Mobilizing The Prophetic Office, Friday, 5/12/00, 4 p.m. - Session 11)
In antithesis of what Hamon is claiming, there has never been a time in history with so much apostasy (falling away) in the churches (2 Thes. 2:3).
Tommy Tenney (NAR)
"in our present state we (the Church) are in no position to affect anything," (Tommy Tenney, God Chasers, pg. 101)
This is true of the apostate churches, but not true of the Church. The Church still has an effect on society and the churches when it stands for sound doctrine, the Gospel, and the Truth of God’s written Word.
C. Peter Wagner (NAR)
When asked what he (Wagner) thought the main stumbling block would be, that would keep leaders from embracing the Apostolic Reformation, Wagner cites "a commitment to tradition amongst ministers." Wagner states: "I think that some are bound by religious forms and functions that are ineffective and I think in many cases it is demonic influence." (The Apostles Are Coming To Your City, Ready or Not by Orell Steinkamp, The Plumbline, Vol. 6, No. 2, March/April 2001)
This is true of some but not of all the way Wagner broad brushes it. He is simply using diaprax to get people to change over to his new paradigm and that of the Latter Rain. He wanted to be the leader of Christianity and so he is introducing his new paradigm using the Hegelian Dialectic.
Rick Warren (Church Growth)
"Most churches only think about their own church and their own community," he told attendants, who represented 39 countries and 50 states. "But our mission is the global glory of God." (Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Network Summit, 5/08, as cited in Rick Warren Launches Coalition to Combat Five 'Global Giants', by Katherine T. Phan, Christian Post Reporter, Mon, May. 26 2008 04:31 PM, http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080526/32537_Rick_Warren_Launches_Coalition_to_Combat_Five_'Global_Giants'.htm)
This is not true, but it seems to be of his church. Most churches, historically, have supported mission work, for instance, which benefits the cause of Christ and not their own church directly. What Warren is doing always benefits himself, his church and his projects.
Today, most local churches are sidelined and uninvolved when it comes to missions. (Rick Warren's letter on his web site regarding the P.E.A.C.E. plan, http://www.saddleback.com/home/todaystory.asp?id=6213)
This is another half truth. Liberal churches certainly do not have nor have they ever had interest in missions, but there are still many churches supporting mission work. Warren acts like he is the one who is going to get everyone together to support mission work, but frankly what he has done so far has been a hindrance to true mission work.
Terry LeBlanc (WCGIP)
And you know just picking up on the notion of that myth I mean one of the things that has been sort of an irritant in the hearts of many indigenous people around that world is that the Western cultures seem to acceptable as they are, as cultures within which we express our faith commitment to Christ, whereas indigenous cultures are almost uniquely denigrated and set aside as culture unacceptable in any way, shape or form within which we can express our faith in Christ and so indigenous peoples have not seen themselves in Christ many times because they have to see themselves in white skin in Christ and white culture in Christ and rejecting, in essence the very identity that God created them in and so it's kind of like how would feel to be told that you were discovered by someone who was lost, that kind of thing. (WORD TO THE WORLD, PROGRAM 544, KLHT 1040 radio in Honolulu, HI in late 2001, transcript available here: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/lehmann.html)
This is a big fat lie designed to deceive. True missions of the Church do not “denigrate” the people they have sacrificed their lives to preach the Gospel to. Of course there are always cases of abuse, but this broad brush is an ugly one.
Richard Twiss (WCGIP)
Indigenous peoples have perpetually been put in the position of the mission field never fully recognized as been given gifts and callings and anointings to be coequal partners (Richard Twiss, Word To The World, show #541)
One major wound in the land that negatively impacts the "character" of the American church lies in the fact that the message of Jesus has been so inextricably identified as "Euro-American." Because of this fact, the gospel message has been the cause of great shame, oppression, and in many cases, genocide among the Host People of the land. Because of past atrocities, regions have been condemned by the spilt blood upon the land that continues to cry out for justice; the Pacific Northwest being no exception. (Smoke Signals - Prayer Need and Reports Richard Twiss, June 16, 2004)
Next week my son Daniel is joining me on a trip to New York (his 16th birthday) where I am the keynote speaker at the "Healing the Land" Conference hosted by Pastor Peter Bruno of Metro Church. Pastor Bruno writes, "I really felt on my heart to reach out to pastors & intercessors from our region to invite them personally to this important conference. The problem with our land is that throughout the history of Christianity, the message of Jesus has been delivered (at times) with deadly force & hatred instead of in love and mercy. Because of past atrocities, regions have been condemned by the spilt blood upon the land that continues to cry out for justice. For our NYC/NJ region to come into it's fulfillment of God's vision, we must cleanse the past and partner into the future. I believe that God is calling His church to build bridges to see Native people come to faith & life in Jesus Christ and fulfill their God-given place within the Body of Christ. This conference will help bring these truths to light as well as help us to befriend, partner with and build bridges to our Native brothers & sisters. (Smoke Signals - Prayer Need and Reports Richard Twiss, May 7, 2004)
Aldred [Cree Nation] is the Director of the First Nations Alliance of Churches, and was the first Native American person to address an Urbana convention in its 57-year history. ... Aldred applied this culture-challenging aspect of the gospel in a powerful challenge to the western Church: "Western Christianity is syncretistic...It is a religion motivated about sharing the gospel story with people, not so they become who God has made them to be, but to make them like me so I can love them." Aldred said that much of the western missionary effort has been characterized by an attempt to assimilate people into its own mold, which is why the western church has so many fights over music and forms of worship. It has reduced the gospel to a technical presentation of facts separated off from the real life of the witness and the mysterious power of God. Western Christianity has separated the public and private realms, and banished Jesus' relevance to the personal and private world of piety, ignoring social and relational aspects of God's Kingdom. In actual practice it trusts more in its own wealth, knowledge, and power than in God's holy word. It is intellectualized rather than holistic and integrated in the whole human person. Aldred boldly announced these ways that the gospel of Jesus continues to call the western church to radical conversion from the culture of modernity to the Kingdom of God. (Aldred Cree Nation, GOD MOVED IN POWER! Urbana Report #1, Richard Twiss, Jan 9, 2004)
This is also not true. Indigenous peoples in many countries were given full control of their own churches (nationalization) when they were equipped to assume that control. The Gospel message has not caused any of the ugly things Twiss said it did. The fault of any “deadly force” used against indigenous cultures cannot be laid at the feet of true believers. Of course there were a few who used their Christianity as a way to force changes. But there were also many who used it in the right way and these indigenous people ought to be thankful for those with “gospel feet” who came to bring them the good news (Eph. 6:15). Finally, if Christianity is in cultures then I suppose you can call it “syncretistic” though true biblical Christians get their cultural mandates from the Bible. But if this is the case then not just Western Christianity but Third World Christianity is “syncretized”. But that has never been the focus. It is sharing the Gospel which will change people from the inside which then moves into their place in the world. The problem with “Johnny-come-latelys” like Twiss is that they forget that their people were delivered by God from pagan worship and terribly, ugly practices and the first generation of converts were happy to abandon their old heathen way of life for life in Christ.
Brian McLaren (Emerging Church)
But I think this picture is a power metaphor for what happens in our world because 100 inches of rain falls in Honduras falls every year, every two years. What’s unusual though is when 100 inches of rain is condensed, you see, into a week. Now I think change is the same way. Change is happening constantly. But when a lot of change is concentrated in a short amount of time structures that used to serve become tourist attractions. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christia, Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)
McLaren is speaking of classical Christianity and the Bible, putting it down in favor of his new ideas.
Then there’s an early transition period when people are very negative and very cynical, very critical, they’re angry about how the old system doesn’t answer the questions anymore. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian, Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)
The implication being the Bible does not have answers for our generation. This has been the mantra of liberal denominations for decades of which McLaren is a part.
And he’s saying - you have to continually be upgraded in your preparation because people are going to continue to ask you new questions. A lot of our churches are very well prepared for the questions of the 1840’s. Some are prepared for the 1950’s. What we call contemporary churches are prepared for the 1970’s. But there are relatively few churches and few Christians that are still being prepared to deal with the questions of the new century and new millennium. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)
The Bible, and therefore biblical Christians, has all the information and answers needed to help people today if they stick to the Scriptures.
And a number of people, I’m one of them, think that we’re not in that new paradigm yet, we’re far from there but we’re in this transition period. Some of us are in the negative stage, others of us are just trying to get a little more constructive, but we don’t know what this new paradigm is going to be yet. But we’re in the process and there’s this sense that the new road hasn’t been built, the new bridge hasn’t been built, but a lot of us are saying the old one doesn’t seem to be working anymore. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)
Could this attitude of McLaren have developed from the fact that his son is a homosexual and McLaren married them? I think he is making excuses because he does not want to believe what the Bible has to say on that subject because of his son.
Leonard Sweet (Emerging Church)
"CHANGE OR BE CHANGED” In the old ecology of nature, change was seen as abnormal. In the new ecology of nature, change is life’s natural, normative state.... What works today won’t work tomorrow.... The wonder is that churches are not in more disarray. ... They are standing pat, opting to uphold the status quo rather than undergo the upheaval." - "Postmodern culture is a change-or-be-changed world. The word is out: Reinvent yourself for the 21st century or die." (Leonard Sweet, Soul Tsunami: Sink or Swim in the New Millennium Culture (Zondervan, 1999), p. 74-75)
Postmodernism is a ridiculous philosophy of life and needs to be rooted out of anyone who wants to be a follower of Christ. The Bible says: “There is nothing new under the sun (Ecc. 1:9)” and yet Sweet is saying it is all new. Who is right?
Alan Jones (Emerging Church)
ALAN JONES (Author of Reimagining Christianity) "The Church's fixation on the death of Jesus as the universal saving act must end, and the place of the cross must be reimagined in Christian faith. Why? Because of the cult of suffering and the vindictive God behind it" (Alan Jones, Reimaging Christianity, p. 132).
This is the lowest, ugliest side of diaprax, when you use it to put down Jesus Christ and his free grace gift of salvation. How can Jones even claim to be a Christian with this attitude?
Alan Roxburgh (Emerging Church)
Another metaphor is a tapestry woven from a wide number of diverse strands forming our Christendom world. For quite some time that amazing tapestry has been unraveling, until it now lies threadbare, like tattered threads on the cultural floor. (Alan Roxburgh, Crossing The Bridge, pg. 21)
Christianity is not dead. It is only dead to those who accept the diaprax and want to live life their way without Jesus Christ.
Yes, we (the Church) are going through a dying experience, but we do not go alone. What do we share in particular with them? We have lost our place. We share the loss of our traditions and institutions. We share the pressure to lose faith in God to those gods of the surrounding culture. There is clarity in overwhelming ambiguity. (Alan Roxburgh, Crossing The Bridge, pg. 160)
The Church has not lost its place. Only liberal churches lost their place and their candlestick decades ago. There are many going into apostasy today. But the true Church is still alive, even if it is a remnant (Rom. 11:5, Luke 12:32, Matt. 7:13-14).
The purpose of the 2006 WCGIP is (1) to present the unique role of the Indigenous People in the Body of Christ in fulfilling God’s revival and destiny for the nations. (2) to discover together how redeemed indigenous culture can be utilized as an expression of worship and vehicle for evangelism. (3) to identify the hindrances affecting the active participation of Indigenous Peoples in the Body of Christ. (4) to provide a forum to discuss the appropriate Christian response to the issues concerning the Indigenous People. ... Organized by Tribal Mission Foundation International ... the 2006 WCGIP is in partnership with the Intercessors for the Philippines, Wycliffe Asia, Overseas Missionary Fellowship, and Alliance of Christian Development Agencies. (Press Releases, The Philippines hosts the 6th WCGIP, http://iquadrant.biz/wcgip/resources/index.cfm?Handler=View&ID=1)
There are no hindrances for any nation or individual wishing to come to salvation and become part of the universal Church. This is a diaprax for those stuck in an entitlement worldview, believing any injustices done to them were from missionaries and that they are owed reparations. They refuse to look to see that any hard times they have had to endure or are now enduring are not the fault of true Christians, but of others with various agendas. I say “Quit blaming the Church that you claim to be a part of and get out and do the work of ministry in the area of the world God has you living.”
I could go on and on. But suffice it to say there is a very ugly diaprax out there today in many movements to discredit the Church and bring down the cause of Christ in favor of Emergent Church, New Apostolic, Word of Faith and other liberal agendas. The diaprax is leading people to come together as a world movement that no longer holds to exclusive claims about Jesus Christ. The true Church, on the other hand, will continue to present the Gospel with these truths in mind:
John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and thelife. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no othername under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”