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Devotionals    H3'ed 7/26/18

The Church in the Mirror - When the NAR Tries to Sound Mainstream

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Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world." -- John 18: 36 (ESV) ==

As discussed numerous times, the New Apostolic Reformation is an insidious cancer eating away at the church in this country for decades now. It has turned once solid doctrine into a mish mosh of nationalism, experiential Christianity and false signs and lying wonders. One of the more positive elements was that the teachers were usually so loony tunes that it was at least easy to spot when someone was espousing pure NAR. This is why a new article appearing on Charisma gave me pause. It was long and sounded well-reasoned. None of the typical overt nuttiness appeared. It started being shared on Facebook and far too many people were not digging in deep enough to realize that behind the prose was still pure NAR theology. I have linked the article above for us to reference. It is too long to go line by line but rather I will try to highlight the touchpoints and let us reason together biblically once more beloved:

"Peek behind the curtain of some "progressive" or "hip" evangelical churches, past the savvy technology and secular music, and you will find more than just a contemporary worship service. You'll find faith leaders encouraging young evangelicals to trade in their Christian convictions for a gospel filled with compromise. They're slowly attempting to give evangelicalism an "update"--and the change is not for the good. It's painful for me to admit, but we can no longer rest carefree in our evangelical identity--because it is changing." -- Chelsen Vicari

This is the first disconnect and it is repeated throughout the article. Now I do not know Vicari or her leanings but she is writing on a website that is the online home of the NAR and the very churches she complains about are widely supported and promoted by Charisma. It seems that Vicari tries to present a boogeyman that she cannot tell is a reflection. Those hip relevant churches are IHOP, Bethel and Hillsong. Churches that targeted youth with watered down messages about carnal relevance instead of preaching the Gospel. Here is where Vicari goes wrong though. The apostate church might be redefining evangelicalism but that has no effect on a child of God. We continue to present the real Gospel and rebuke those who do not as instructed by Titus.

"No doubt you have seen the headlines declaring that evangelicalism is doomed because evangelical kids are leaving the faith. It is no secret that there is an expanding gulf between traditional Christian teachings and contemporary moral values. But the sad truth is that the ideological gulf between America's evangelical grown-ups and their kids, aka the millennials, seems to be widening too." -- Chelsen Vicari

Yes she is right but she does not bother to connect the dots. The answer is once again in the mirror. The evangelical church has embraced a purpose driven walk away from the Gospel. That is why. The seeker friendly industrial complex reinforces relevance with the world instead of being a shining city on a hill. Kids are smart beloved. They understand that the church they go to is not more set apart, holy or different than the school they go to. This was the dilemma Andy Stanley recently tried to deal with. He saw his youth go off to college and come back atheists. He concluded that we needed to stop telling them the bible was infallible and start trying to convince them through carnal reasoning why the resurrection was true. What he could not face in the mirror is he stopped preaching the gospel years ago so his youth were probably not saved to begin with. Instead of returning to the Gospel he abandoned it further and called the entire canon of scripture into doubt.

"Desperate for acceptance in a fallen world, many young evangelicals (and some older ones) choose not to take Christ out of the chapel, and so they are unwittingly killing the church's public witness. In this uphill cultural battle, mired by scare tactics and fear, three types of evangelical Christians are emerging:

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
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