Ancient-Future Churches? Watch Out for This Ecumenical Wolf!

I have been in prayer lately concerning a ministry I have been giving to. I like helping the widows and orphans and missions so its not an easy pat answer for me. Today, I believe God answered my prayers. As I was reading this ministry’s “praise reports” I was giving thanks to our Beloved and asking Him to prosper all that they do for His Kingdom, by His power and for His glory. Then I read that they were going to raise up Ancient-Future churches. Hmmm…that sounds like they are getting into New Age “christianity.” So, I looked it up. Its tied to the Emergent Church movement.

I didn’t go too far in my research since The Berean Call had an article on it way back in 2008 and its informative. I share it with you: Ancient-Future Heresies

OK, I am sure I have heard of this but it was called, the Acts 2 church movement and we were sure if we could restore our church to the Acts 2 model we would see revival like what all the disciples experienced in the upper room, complete with the tongues of fire. Here’s a snippet from the TBC article:

Is any of this “for the good,” as Christianity Today declares?

Let’s both reason from the Scriptures, and simply be reasonable (Isaiah:1:18
). The Ancient-Future search to discover gems from “Classic Christianity” comes up short by a century — the century in which the New Testament was written. The critical difference should be obvious. The writers of the New Testament were inspired by the Holy Spirit as they penned God’s Word (2 Timothy:3:16
; 2 Peter:1:21, 22). What writings from A.D. 100 and later can claim such inspiration? None. But we’re told that some were disciples of or lived at the time of the apostles. True, but proximity to the apostles is hardly a guarantee against heresy nor does it come close to inspiration. Furthermore, much of the first-century-written New Testament reproved and corrected errors that had already entered the church!

Remember the Apostle Paul’s warning to the Ephesian elders, who were certainly closer to Paul than any of the so-called Church Fathers:

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. (Acts:20:28-31)

 

Again, why this attraction to the ancient Church Fathers? Could any of them say with Paul, “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you” (Philippians:4:9)? We can trust his God-breathed words completely. On the other hand, it takes very little scrutiny of men like Origen, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Cyprian, Justin Martyr, Athanasius, John Chrysostom, Cyril of Jerusalem, Augustine, and others, to see their flaws, let alone their heresies. For example, Origen taught that God would save everyone and that Mary was a perpetual virgin; Irenaeus believed that the bread and wine became the body and blood of Jesus when consecrated, as did John Chrysostom and Cyril of Jerusalem; Athanasius taught salvation through baptism; Tertullian became a supporter of the Montanist heresies, and a promoter of a New Testament clergy class, as did his disciple Cyprian; Augustine was the principal architect of Catholic dogma that included his support of purgatory, baptismal regeneration, and infant baptism, mortal and venial sins, prayers to the dead, penance for sins, absolution from a priest, the sinlessness of Mary, the Apocrypha as Scripture, etc.

Christmas and the (Spiritual) Violation of the Ten Commandments

A. Do Not Covet — Children learn to covet the gifts of others, to drool over the Christmas catalog, to drag their parents endlessly through toy stores, all in the name of “the Christmas spirit.”

B. Do Not Bear False Witness — “Jesus is the reason for the season!” is the Christian battle cry to “put Christ back in Christmas,” when in actuality, there is not only no Biblical warrant for Christmas, but its roots are in pagan worship systems. Nevertheless, professing Christians lie to their children about Santa Claus, the supernatural, sorcerous false “god” of Christmas, whose “gospel” is one of works salvation along with unconditional acceptance and rewards. Parents lie to their children for years about the god-like character of Santa Claus, in effect asking them to trust in a false god and a lie, and then don’t understand why later in life their children won’t believe and trust in the true God, Jesus Christ.

C. Do Not Steal — Christmas spending patterns could never stand the test of Biblical stewardship; i.e., Christians, in celebrating Christmas, “steal” the Lord’s resources by ignoring their proper use; lavishly spend these resources on worthless and useless trinkets (in many cases); and withhold resources from those in need, while at the same time claiming to never have enough money to buy good Christian books, pay for home schooling, or buy Bible helps for their children. (Christians could also be helping the spiritually needy by buying and giving them tracts, books, etc.) We “steal” from our families what they need and what we owe them in order to buy gifts for those who don’t need them.

D. Do Not Commit Adultery — At this “special” time of the year, lustful thoughts are actually encouraged; e.g., teens are allowed to go to parties and stay out later, thereby having temptations put in front of them that otherwise wouldn’t be there. Christmas parties for adults also encourage evil thoughts through the use of the mistletoe, etc. (According to Matt. 5, such thoughts constitute adultery. At the very least, spiritual adultery is encouraged by the “season.”)

E. Do Not Murder — Envy and hate of my brother (which, according to Matt. 5, is equal to murder) because he has more than me or because he receives a larger Christmas bonus than me, is encouraged at Christmas time. We also tend to spiritually sacrifice our children to the “god of Christmas” via greed, selfishness, etc.

F. Honor Father and Mother — Christmas gift-giving is not an honor to parents; the term “exchanging” gifts (i.e., giving in expectation of a return) is a dead give-away of the mockery associated with this tradition.

G. Remember the Sabbath and  Keep It Holy — Although we recognize that the Lord’s Day is not the “Christian Sabbath,” clearly the Lord’s Day is to be kept for worship and observed as such. Yet when Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, or the day after Christ-mas falls on a Sunday, most churches adjust the Lord’s Day to accommodate Christ-mas, usually by canceling the regularly scheduled Sunday evening service. Most of its members are too busy or too tired to attend services anyway.

H. Do Not Take the Lord’s Name in Vain — “Christ” and “mass” are two words that are totally opposite from one another, and to connect the two is to blaspheme the name of Christ. By taking a pagan celebration, “Christianizing” it, and calling it a celebration of the birth of Christ, is most certainly taking the Lord’s name in vain. (A good example of the willingness of the professing church to profane the name of the Lord would be the title of a popular children’s Christmas concert production — The Divine Ornament. Imagine, identifying our Lord with a pagan ornament to hang on a pagan tree! What insult! What blasphemy!) In addition, some professing Christians use religion (“Christ’s birthday”) as a cloak to cover the evils of covetousness, idolatry, greed, immorality, etc. — all excuses to give vent to evil lusts.

I. Do Not Make Yourself Any Carved Image — Nativity scenes, “pictures” of Christ, Christmas cards with “pictures” of Jesus, etc., all violate this command. God has given us His Word, not images, to teach us about Christ (1 Pe. 1:23; Dt. 4:12, 15-19).

J. Have No Other Gods Before Me — The “god of Christmas” is idolatrous! Looking to the Christmas season for happiness, joy, and fulfillment, rather than through a pure, personal, and Biblical relationship with Jesus Christ, is idolatry.

Source

Be True to the Command of Our Lord and Master

“If you love Me, keep My commandments. – John 14:15

We must not talk about our fellowship with Christ, or our being separated from the world unto Him, unless we make Him our Master and Lord in everything. Some public teachers are not true at all points to their convictions, and how can they look for a blessing? A Christian man, anxious to be useful, ought to be very particular as to every point of obedience to his Master. I have no doubt whatever that God blesses our churches even when they are very faulty, for His mercy endureth for ever. When there is a measure of error in the teaching, and a measure of mistake in the practice, He may still vouchsafe to use the ministry, for He is very gracious. But a large measure of blessing must necessarily be withheld from all teaching which is knowingly or glaringly faulty. God can set His seal upon the truth that is in it, but He cannot set His seal upon the error that is in it.

The Lord is very gracious and pitiful; but yet He is a jealous God. He is sometimes sternly jealous towards His people who are living in neglects of known duty, or in associations which are not clean in His sight. He will wither their work, weaken their strength, and humble them until at last they say, “My Lord, I will take Thy way after all. I will do what Thou biddest me to do, for else Thou wilt not accept me.” The Lord said to His disciples, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature: he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;” and He promised them that signs should follow, and so they did follow them, and so they will. But we must get back to apostolic practice and to apostolic teaching: we must lay aside the commandments of men and the whimseys of our own brains, and we must do what Christ tells us, as Christ tells us, and because Christ tells us. Definitely and distinctly, we must take the place of servants; and if we will not do that, we cannot expect our Lord to work with us and by us. Let us be determined that, as true as the needle is to the pole, so true will we be, as far as our light goes, to the command of our Lord and Master. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/1906.cfm