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And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. -- Ephesians 4: 11-14 (ESV)
We must be diligent beloved in these end times. We must realize that the battle lines are being drawn. God has already told us that there will be a great falling away, which we are witnesses to. He has told us that there will be a movement towards a one world religion, which we are witness to. He has told us these things that we might discern what is from the spirit of God and what is from the spirit of antichrist. That we not lose our footing and fall once we think too highly of our ability to stand. There are many architects of this grand movement. The Rick Warrens of the world get the lion share of the credit for postulating the schemes of the enemy into church speak, slapping a Jesus fish on it and selling it to the masses. Warren however cannot operate in a vacuum or alone. He needs adherents, minions and lackeys. People who lap up his teaching as if it were on par with scripture and then choose to teach it over the Bible to their sheep. One such lap dog is Andy Stanley, whose fall from grace has been nothing short of meteoric. What started out small a decade ago has seen the leaven spread throughout his ministry like a cancer. Remember this is the man who once said that we should use the word shepherd anymore because it is not culturally appropriate. Then we saw him compromise worship by having an all boy-band worship set. Next thing we knew he was up to his neck in abhorrent heretical teaching. Last year, Stanley did a sermon series dismissing the concept of an inerrant Bible. This year he is back again as a speaker at a conference for pastors and what he is teaching them is straight up false to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let's review the lowlights according to Christianpost:
1) Stanley asserted that church unity is more important than "theological correctness"
Beloved this is ground zero for the coming fight; make no mistake about it. People who side with doctrine will be castigated as dividers within the body of Christ. We will be branded as legalists who are causing disunity within the church. Romans teaches us however that it is false doctrine that actually causes the disunity -- not those who stand in the gap and point out what is false. Why? Because teachings that are outside of the Gospel of Jesus Christ set people opposed to those who insist on a pure Gospel presentation. Just look at the battle in Galatia! The Judaizers were insisting on circumcision in addition to faith in Christ. The church became divided between those who insisted on being yoked to the law through circumcision and those who correctly stood by faith alone. Who did the dividing? The people who brought in contrary doctrine!
The key verses today summarize beautifully the desire of God for how the church is to be built up and mature in Christ. First He gave the leaders of the church. Do not fall for the false idea that everyone is somehow equal when it comes to rightly handling God's Word. They are not. We all are responsible for doing the work of a Berean for our own walk with God but teaching the sheep doctrinal matters? No. God provides these people to lay the doctrinal foundation upon which the body of Christ will be built. This construction continues until when? Until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God. If your clamoring for unity is not based upon unifying around our faith in what we believe than it is a false unity by definition. God further clarifies though to say that He desires this so that we will mature into manhood to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ -- why? So that we may no longer be children tossed to and fro by what? Every wind of doctrine beloved. Every wind of doctrine. God warns us that these other doctrines, such as Andy Stanley's false unity, are actually nothing more than human cunning and craftiness in deceitful schemes. Beloved the Mormons have excellent church unity. So do the Jehovah Witnesses. Is Andy Stanley really making such an asinine argument that agreement is better than being correct when it comes to salvation? It sure seems so.
2) Stanley spoke about the importance of Christians of different denominations being "one" in their mission.
This is the blueprint for the one world religion prophesied about in Revelation. The flawed underlying assumption is that every denomination has the same mission and they most certainly do not. Under the purpose driven schemes of church growth the same "mission" is simply to grow a business. Sure it is all couched in pious sounding Christianese but remember the very simple facts of the Gospel. According to Romans, only the Gospel has the power of God unto the salvation of man. That means only the Gospel saves. Not your marketing gimmicks. Not your cult of personality preachers. Just the Gospel. Taking this further, according to Acts, only the uncompromised Gospel, the full will of God, will save anyone. Now, according to Galatians and 2Corinthians, it is wholly possible to believe in a different gospel -- a false gospel. The Bible calls this believing in vain because your belief alone does not save you! Go back to the key verses! It must be faith and doctrine! In regards to this call which we will hear increasing as the end times deepen I want us to remember the little story tucked away in Matthew 12. The mother and brother of Jesus are trying to get in to see Him through a large crowd. When someone informs Him of this He replies -- who are my mother and brother except they that do the will of my Father. This is not a diss on His blood family but a teaching point for us. The majority of people who sit next to you in a purpose driven church are not your brother and sister beloved. Saying amen does not make you Christian. Only correct faith and doctrine does.
3) Stanley centered on John 17, in which Jesus prayed that His followers "may be one as we are one -- I in them and you in me -- so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." Stanley said that he found it significant that Jesus prayed for the disciples to be one, rather than for other things, including good health and being theologically accurate.