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Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? -- 2Corinthians 6: 14 (ESV)
God has a design for His church beloved. The church was to be a shining city on a hill, providing a light for those walking in darkness. The light of Jesus Christ found only in His Gospel. A peculiar people to those who are unsaved but a people set apart from this world. His royal priesthood. In order to accomplish His will however we were supposed to stick to the book. One of the greatest tricks the devil has pulled is in convincing Christians that the blessings in the Bible are all for them but the morality is for everyone else. The result is a judgmental church that points its accusatory finger at the world regarding sins they do not see nor understand. The pulpits are filled with pseudo-gospels that cannot save them, self-help tips, and motivational speeches. If you want three steps to a better marriage then church is the place to be but if you want one step to Jesus the I am afraid you are out of luck. With one compromise after another we see the crescendo building towards the one world church that Revelation warns us is coming. Remember that the great apostasy and the march towards the mark of the beast will be led by the church. The end result today is a church that has absolutely no moral compass and no moral authority. You cannot abandon the Gospel and then think you can rely upon the power of God you have already traded in for 30 pieces of carnal silver. I have said this before -- the world is blind to the spiritual but they see the carnal quite well. They can see and discern hypocrisy better than most Christians.
One of the most compromised former bastions of sound Christian doctrine is the Assemblies of God. The most powerful evangelical organization in the world has been on a slippery slope of getting into bed with false teacher after false teacher and they have jumped off the precipice. Their national leadership makes disgraceful connections while their local governance is a carnal good ole boys club. Are their good AG churches caught in the middle? Sure and we ought to pray that they leave the Assemblies because the Bible makes it clear that bad company corrupts good character. Remember it only take a little leaven to leaven the entire batch. Well what are we talking about? For starters, the Assemblies were in bed with ex-mystic Catholic Roma Downey for her absolutely heretical AD Miniseries. Billed as a biblical account of the Book of Acts, this atrocity was never even close to Scripture. Not only were the Assemblies supportive, but the head of the national AG, George Wood, taught one of the accompanying video lessons. What were those you might ask? It was bad enough that Downey eviscerated the Book of Acts but she also produced a series of 12 lessons/sermons to go along with it. So churches could stop seeking God for the weekly word for his people and instead show the video that previewed that night's AD episode. And the AG encouraged churches to purchase this package and turn their churches over for 12 weeks to this bag of heretical garbage. Likewise, the AG supported the predecessor to the AD, which was the Bible Miniseries, also produced by Downey. You may think this sounds trivial but it is not. In the Bible miniseries for example they started the Bible at the account of Noah to avoid having to confirm the account of creation, which of course flies in the face of evolution. They turned the angels destroying Sodom and Gomorrah into ninjas to distract from the fact that they were not explain why these cities were being destroyed by God. Perhaps the worst is that when Jesus uttered the words, "I am the way the truth and the life"; they cut to commercial without letting Him finish the verse! There was no way they wanted to deal with the controversy of asserting that you can only get to heaven through Jesus! No Christian organization that believes in the Bible should have wanted anything to do with Roma Downey and these two offenses to God.
That is just scratching the surface however. A few years back the AG embraced a book by one of their pastors that relied upon rabbinic legends and witchcraft called the Circle Maker. By embraced I mean they encouraged the churches in their assemblies to have their entire congregations read the book together and for the sermons to teach life lessons from it each week. So across this country for weeks churches were teaching their members to literally draw circles around themselves and refuse to leave until God gave them what they wanted. They were taught that God hates small prayers! How heretically absurd! Of course this idea of co-opting their congregations to support heresy did not start with the Circle Maker. It actually started with the Purpose Driven Life. There is perhaps no man who has done more damage to the church in the past 30 years than Rick Warren through this book and The Purpose Driven Church, which is for leaders and pastors. I remember in my old AG church at the time doing the "50 days of purpose." This fantasy book turns God into a genie to serve our wishes. It creates the beliefs of carnal purposes for man. It relies solely upon the heretical Message paraphrase and on the one page where it actually talks about salvation, the so called "sinner's prayer" has been reduced to nine words. Untold thousands if not millions will go on to suffer eternally because of these two books and the direct accomplice was the Assemblies of God. It seems with each passing year the Assemblies has had less and less discernment. Recently, they have thrown a banquet for false prophet Reinhard Bonnke. They also serve on an international board with the likes of Bill Johnson, Kenneth Copeland, Brian Houston, Robert Morris, and "General" Cindy Jacobs. At last year's annual General Council they had Hillsong Heretic Christian Caine as the primary speaker. Locally, I have watched as local AG governance is just as suspect. I have watched entire churches be destroyed. I have watched the most obviously carnal measures taken by pastors that were fully supported by the AG leadership. The Boards of Elders being used as a launching pad for ministerial careers. Church memberships stolen by planned and coordinated attacks with lies and deception.
Beloved, it gives me no pleasure to report the truth on these matters. I was saved in an Assemblies of God church. I studied for the ministerial credentials granted by them. I used to teach their courses for credentialing as well. It has been tremendously sad for me to watch the organization that once stood up to Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Baker embrace every wind of false doctrine while championing the least moral candidate we have seen in history in Donald Trump. The latter cause has prompted George Wood to pen an article today decrying the state of Christian liberty in this country.
In the article linked above, Wood opens by providing examples of legislation in Missouri and pending legislation in California as proof that the mean evil secularists are coming for us. The point he misses of course is that the church was not meant to be in bed with the state to begin with. We can hardly be a shining city on a hill if we make our bed in Sodom. Here is an example of his misunderstanding of the spiritual side:
"A society that adopts such a view may be setting the stage for a future day when even a defense of biblical teaching on human sexuality from the pulpit will bring with it the risk of punishment by the government such as the loss of our long-held tax-exempt status without which many ministries would not survive." -- George Wood
What is wrong with this statement beloved? Everything! The key verses today are often correctly applied to personal or romantic relationships but it can also be applied more broadly. We are supposed to have nothing in common with the world. That is how you stand out like a shining city. We are not supposed to have any fellowship with darkness. We are not to be caught in bed with them. Not in making television movie series' or movies. Not in business collaboration or siding with carnal politicians. Certainly not in the proclamation of the Gospel! Look at the myopia Wood suffers from here, which has infected the church throughout. He can only see this problem in carnal terms; not spiritual ones. The problem is the big bad secularists who want to impose their will in exchange for their goodies. That is how the world works beloved. You want to line up at the trough of tax emption then do not be surprised when the world expects something in return. Wood and the church think the answer is to change how the world thinks but he does so without the Gospel! There is no changing the unregenerate hearts of the world without the Gospel according to Romans 1:16. The things of God are foolishness to those that are perishing. What part of the Bible does he not understand here? The problem however is not on the world's side. They are behaving exactly how God says they will behave. The problem is on the church side. We get into bed with a prostitute and then act surprised when she demands something in return! The very first thing that should go is the precious tax exempt status! Then the world has nothing to hold over the church. Perhaps the saddest part of this statement from Wood though is his reliance on the world instead of God. The notion that ministries would not survive indicates how desperate the church is. How completely dependent upon the world they have become. If a ministry cannot survive without being yoked to the world, then it should die. If God does not want it to, believe me it will not die. There is no faith in the beliefs of George Wood because the Assemblies has completely compromised and sold out to the world. So all of his answers must be found in the world. All of his hope resides there. Without it, they cannot survive. Wood then offers a four step process he believes has led to where we are in history. These four steps he claims are caricature, marginalization, discrimination, and persecution. Here is a quote from the first step:
"So what is the caricature being given to Bible believing Christians by the secular left? "Hateful, mean, bigoted, narrow-minded" and a host of other terms. This caricature doesn't bear any resemblance to the overwhelming majority of Christians"" -- George Wood
Unfortunately, Mr. Wood is wrong. He is primarily wrong because he continues to see things through a carnal lens. You cannot dismiss how other people perceive you as being inaccurate just because you think you are not that way. At a bare minimum, those who have the Christian microphones do sound very mean and hateful when discussing who they have deemed the enemy. Just look at the current election season! Are you kidding me? Sure, not all Christians are as blatant as the Westboro Baptists but they are the caricature. They are the extreme that is not true. But mainstream Christians? That is not a caricature Mr. Wood. It is a reflection. Because the devil has convinced Christians to hate the very people who need the Gospel the most. While we are at it, does Wood expect that Christians should be viewed as not being narrow minded? In a world that revels in the shades of grey of their own sins we come along believing in the black and white certainty of absolute truth. Where the world says everyone gets to go to heaven we come along and point out that Jesus said only through Him. We are narrow minded beloved and we are supposed to be. The problem is that we deliver our narrow mindedness in a mean, bigoted, and hateful spirit. That is not a caricature. What Wood is setting up here is the victim mentality the world sells. The second step Wood proffers is marginalization. He asks the question of why there are no evangelicals on the Supreme Court and answer that it must be because our positions on abortion and marriage are what excludes us. Except for the fact that there are pro-life and pro traditional marriage justices! His entire argument makes no sense. What he conveniently overlooks by the way is that it was a conservative court of republican appointees that instituted Roe vs. Wade. This is not about honesty however. It is about politics:
"Ask yourself when you vote in the 2016 election: Would this candidate for president or the senate be more likely to appoint or vote to confirm a person with a pro-life and pro-marriage position"" -- George Wood
Wood just cannot get out of the way of his own carnality here. This is the argument offered by many on the Christian side. To try and look into the future and divine who might be more likely to try and turn this country into a theocracy. The problem is we are not supposed to be a theocracy and Wood ultimately leaves his decision for voting up to the empty promises of fallen men. Both candidates this year are pro-choice. One has claimed he changed his mind and if you believe that I have a wall to sell you. Just look at his record beloved! He is there for 30 years as pro-choice. He mentioned life ZERO times during his acceptance speech at the convention. But like Charlie Brown, Christians keep running at that football having the false faith the Lucy won't pull it away at the last moment but she always does. George W. Bush ran on an anti-abortion platform twice and then had complete control of both houses of Congress. Do you know how many times he brought it up during those five years? ZERO. What Wood is chasing is myopic fool's gold. Even though he is in bed with a prostitute he is trying to convince her to be more moral. And then we wonder why the world correctly sees us as hypocrites. Wood talks about diversity in the public square by encouraging evangelicals to infiltrate all levels of government. You know what that is? That is New Apostolic Reformation heresy. That is the nonsense about the seven mountains mandate.
The final two points in his four step process are discrimination and persecution. His ideas on discrimination are simply unsupported biblically. If the world says you cannot take funding from us and discriminate against anyone for any reason, then we abide by those rules or stop taking the funding. Wood concludes that schools will either "be forced to accept standards imposed on them or go out of business." Yeah, that God guy can't do anything can He? Yet Wood talks a good game about prayer and fasting, and spiritual warfare but without that easy money, Christians schools just couldn't survive. That is the damage from lying down with the world. He finishes with persecution by displaying he does not understand the concept. He actually states here that persecution would be if congregants were no longer able to deduct their church contributions! Oh my! The end is near! Tell that to the underground Chinese Christian working from Xeroxed pages of the Gospel. Tell that to the Iraqi Christian who faces a choice to renounce Christ or face beheading. Do not get me wrong beloved. Persecution is coming to Christians all over the world. Jesus warned us of this. But real persecution is a foreign concept to George Wood as he lays out his case against the prostitute he chose to lay down with.
Wood closes with his prescription for the problem. The first thing he suggests is prayer, which ironic since the entire article was devoid of any faith in what God could do with the church outside of the whims of the world. His disconnect is staggering however as he cites 2Chronicles 7:14 and then asks not for revival in the church but revival in the nation! He says we should pray for a third Great Awakening to come to America after citing a verse that calls on the CHURCH to repent! The second thing he recommends is to engage. By this he means dive deeper into the slop of this world. Exert whatever influence you can upon our culture and political system. Not through the Gospel mind you, which has not been mentioned so far. Once again the myopia one develops when selling out Christ for a 501C3 certificate. The solutions are not to engage people with the Gospel but rather to engage the corrupt and wicked system itself. He then claims we should watch our spirit to not sound like the caricature we already are and he has already advocated for. This is followed by "do good" before he finally gets to the Gospel. Preaching it and living it. It comes in ranked number five in his prescription. He says to never allow evangelism and discipleship to be substituted with political action. But what he calls for is to keep each in perspective. If he meant one is good and righteous and the other is evil and to be avoided, I would agree but that is not what he is saying. He is essentially saying to not mix our carnal efforts in the political realm with our spiritual efforts for the church. This would be laughable if not so sad. He just did what he now says to not do. When you tell people to guess which candidate will vote the way you want as a Christian virtue you are mixing the carnal with the spiritual. Continuing in the self-loathing, Wood says we ought to not be caught shaking our fists at sinners. Really? After this article filled with shaking your fists at sinners? Once again when you compromise the Gospel you can no longer see things clearly from a spiritual perspective. Lastly, Wood says to rejoice!
I will not rejoice in this theologically spoiled soup of carnality with a dash of Christianese thrown in. This was a thinly veiled political advertisement devoid of any moral authority. That is not surprising since the Assemblies of God, which Wood runs, no longer has any moral authority because their moral compass is broken. You can tell from Wood's article, meandering in and out of the carnal and the holy and never seeing any demarcation lines between the two. He opened the article by leveraging Matthew 13:25 and asking the ominous question, "Have we largely been sleeping? Have we awakened too late? No beloved. The real bride of Christ is wide awake and discerning what is from God and what is not. For the Assemblies of God and the apostate church however, they need to grasp that there is a vast difference between sleeping and fornicating.