Apostles Today ~ Part 4 of 4, May 9, 2018 By ELLIOTT NESCH

Apostles Today Part 4
May 9, 2018 By ELLIOTT NESCH
Are there Apostles today? In this final installment of a 4-part series on Apostles today, we will take a look at what the Ante-Nicene Fathers (ANF) said about whether or not Apostles continued to govern the Church.
The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) claims that foundational and governing Apostles have been restored to the Church. We have already examined these claims in the light of Scripture in Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Now we will consider the historical evidence in addition to the biblical case.                                The Foundation of Apostles
Scripture teaches that the Church is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:19-20). Did the early Christians understand this passage to teach that Apostles were to govern the Church through the ages? Or that Apostles held a “foundational office” which was ongoing throughout the Church age?
In the quote below, Polycarp mentioned both Apostles and prophets, such as those mentioned in Ephesians 2:19-20. Rather than having an ongoing role, the Apostles possessed the unique role of having originally preached the Gospel to the first generation of Christians.
Let us then serve Him in fear, and with all reverence, even as He Himself has commanded us, and as the apostles who preached the Gospel unto us, and the prophets who proclaimed beforehand the coming of the Lord [have alike taught us]. (ANF, 1.34)
Ignatius also noted the foundational role of the Apostles Below he mentioned by name the Apostles Peter and Paul.
“The people shall be called by a new name, which the Lord shall name them, and shall be a holy people.” This was first fulfilled in Syria; for “the disciples were called Christians at Antioch,” when Paul and Peter were laying the foundations of the Church. (ANF, 1.63)
Unlike the Apostles today within the NAR, the early Christians were very cautious about using that title. For example, Ignatius wrote:
But shall I, when permitted to write on this point, reach such a height of self-esteem, that though being a condemned man, I should issue commands to you as if I were an apostle? (ANF, 1.67)
I do not, as Peter and Paul, issue commandments unto you. They were apostles. (ANF 1.75)
Entreat of our Lord in my behalf, that through these instruments I may be found a sacrifice to God. I do not, like Peter and Paul, issue orders unto you. They are apostles. (ANF, 1.103)
I do not issue commands on these points as if I were an apostle; but, as your fellow-servant, I put you in mind of them. (ANF, 1.112)
According to Ignatius, the Apostles are unique because they had authority to “issue commands” or write Scripture.
Justin Martyr also mentioned how the writings of the Apostles and prophets were read in church gatherings. He noted how the Apostles and prophets spoke for God.
And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read. (ANF, 1.186)
For as he believed the voice of God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness, in like manner we having believed God’s voice spoken by the apostles of Christ, and promulgated to us by the prophets, have renounced even to death all the things of the world. (ANF, 1.259)
Justin’s mention of Apostles and prophets together appears to be an obvious reference to Ephesians 2:19-20.
Irenaeus also observed how Peter and Paul laid the foundation of the Church.
Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church. Irenaeus, (ANF, 1.414).
In the same work, Against Heresies, Irenaeus referred to “the twelve-pillared foundation of the Church” (ANF 1.493), obviously referring to the Twelve Apostles (cf. Revelation 21:14). It is evident from the following quotation that Irenaeus believed the Apostles mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:28 were not ongoing, but rather limited to the first generation of the Church:
Paul then, teaching us where one may find such, says, “God has placed in the Church, first, apostles; secondly, prophets; thirdly, teachers.” Where, therefore, the gifts of the Lord have been placed, there it behoves us to learn the truth, [namely,] from those who possess that succession of the Church which is from the apostles, and among whom exists that which is sound and blameless in conduct, as well as that which is unadulterated and incorrupt in speech. (ANF, 1.498)
Clement of Alexandria also spoke of the foundation of the apostles and prophets. According to Clement, the teaching of the Lord was preserved within the prophets, the Gospel, and the Apostles, i.e., the holy Scriptures. Clement said:
For we have, as the source of teaching, the Lord, both by the prophets, the Gospel, and the blessed apostles. (ANF, 2.551)
Finally, Tertullian also referred to the “apostolic foundation” when he said:
[N]o other teaching will have the right of being received as apostolic than that which is at the present day proclaimed in the churches of apostolic foundation. (ANF, 3.286)
In all of these quotations, it is evident that the Church has an “apostolic foundation” because it is figuratively a building which has as its foundation the Apostles, i.e, the New Testament Scriptures.
Apostles are Succeeded by Bishops and Deacons

The Apostles instituted a plurality of bishops/elders/pastors and deacons that should govern the churches after them. The qualifications for those bishops/elders/pastors and deacons is found in the pastoral epistles (Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9). It is exclusively these offices of bishops/elders/pastors and deacons for which qualifications are given for church leadership. But there are no such qualifications for an ongoing Apostolate within the churches. The early Christians affirm this ecclesiology.
In the quote below, Clement of Rome not only notes how the Apostles were sent directly by Christ, but that they also appointed bishops and deacons as their successors.
The apostles have preached the Gospel to us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ [has done so] from God. Christ therefore was sent forth by God, and the apostles by Christ. Both these appointments, then, were made in an orderly way, according to the will of God. Having therefore received their orders, and being fully assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and established in the word of God, with full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth proclaiming that the kingdom of God was at hand. And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first-fruits [of their labors], having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe. (ANF, 1.16)
Not only did Clement acknowledge that the Apostles appointed bishops and deacons, but he also pointed out how those ministers would be succeeded by other approved men. But there is no hint or suggestion of ongoing Apostles. He says:
Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry. We are of opinion, therefore, that those appointed by them [i.e., the apostles], or afterwards by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole Church, and who have blamelessly served the flock of Christ in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all, cannot be justly dismissed from the ministry. (ANF 1.17)
Rather than the Apostolate being an ongoing office, the presbyters and deacons preside in the place of Apostles, according to Ignatius. In his own words,
Since therefore I have, in the persons before mentioned, beheld the whole multitude of you in faith and love, I exhort you to study to do all things with a divine harmony, while your bishop presides in the place of God, and your presbyters in the place of the assembly of the apostles, along with your deacons, who are most dear to me, and are entrusted with the ministry of Jesus Christ, who was with the Father before the beginning of time, and in the end was revealed. (ANF, 1.61)
Ignatius also wrote:
Be on your guard, therefore, against such persons. And this will be the case with you if you are not puffed up, and continue in intimate union with Jesus Christ our God, and the bishop, and the enactments of the apostles. (ANF 1.68-69)
From the last quotation, we can see that a bishop was present during the time of writing. Rather than submit to living Apostles, the church was to continue in the enactments of the Apostles which were handed down. The Apostles themselves were no longer around but their “enactments” continued to govern the churches. Ignatius also said:
See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. (ANF 1.89)
Again, the presbytery now existed in the place of the Apostles. Speaking of the Church government, Ignatius wrote:
You have been the disciples of Paul and Peter; do not lose what was committed to your trust. Keep in remembrance Euodias, your deservedly-blessed pastor, into whose hands the government over you was first entrusted by the apostles. (ANF, 1.111)
Above it is assumed that Apostles were no longer present within Church government. Instead the government of the Church consisted of a pastor who was entrusted by the Apostles.
Similarly, Papias made reference to “the presbyters, the disciples of the apostles” (ANF, 1.154), but he does not mention any more living Apostles as the disciples of the Apostles.
When refuting the Gnostics, Irenaeus wrote:
But, again, when we refer them to that tradition which originates from the apostles, [and] which is preserved by means of the succession of presbyters in the Churches, they object to tradition, saying that they themselves are wiser not merely than the presbyters, but even than the apostles, because they have discovered the unadulterated truth. Irenaeus, (ANF, 1.415).
Irenaeus made the following two important points about the Christian tradition: (1) it originated from the Apostles; and (2) it is preserved by means of succession of presbyters. This presupposes that the Apostolate ceased.
Some passages from Irenaeus are used by Catholic and Orthodox apologists to argue in favor of Apostolic Succession, the belief of uninterrupted transmission of spiritual authority from the Apostles through successive bishops. One of those passages is found ANF 1.415-417. Irenaeus begins:
It is within the power of all, therefore, in every Church, who may wish to see the truth, to contemplate clearly the tradition of the apostles manifested throughout the whole world; and we are in a position to reckon up those who were by the apostles instituted bishops in the Churches, and [to demonstrate] the succession of these men to our own times; those who neither taught nor knew of anything like what these [heretics] rave about. (ANF, 1.415)
It is debated by scholars whether or not Irenaeus was teaching Apostolic Succession as understood by Catholics and Orthodox believers. It is the opinion of this author that Irenaeus was simply providing the evidence of succession of bishops from the Apostles in order to refute the Gnostic heretics who had no succession. For instance, Irenaeus said,
Now all these [heretics] are of much later date than the bishops to whom the apostles committed the Churches; which fact I have in the third book taken all pains to demonstrate. (ANF, 1.547)
Either way, Apostolic Succession does not teach that the Apostles were succeeded by later Apostles. Even the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox doctrine of Apostolic Succession teaches that the Apostles were succeeded by bishops, not Apostles!
Clement of Alexandria also mentioned bishops, presbyters and deacons as those who follow in the footsteps of the Apostles. But Clement did not consider Apostles among the present grades in the church.
Since, according to my opinion, the grades here in the Church, of bishops, presbyters, deacons, are imitations of the angelic glory, and of that economy which, the Scriptures say, awaits those who, following the footsteps of the apostles, have lived in perfection of righteousness according to the Gospel. (ANF, 2.505)
The Apostolic Age
Clement of Alexandria is clear that apostolic era had an end. He wrote,
For the teaching of our Lord at His advent, beginning with Augustus and Tiberius, was completed in the middle of the times of Tiberius. And that of the apostles, embracing the ministry of Paul, ends with Nero. (ANF, 2.554-555)
The fourth century Church historian Eusebius spoke of an “age … succeeding the apostles.” He said:
[I]t is impossible for us to enumerate the names of all that became shepherds or evangelists in the churches throughout the world in the age immediately succeeding the apostles. (The History of the Church, 3.37.4)
What about the Apostles in the churches throughout the world in the age immediately succeeding the Apostles? Apparently there were none. After the Apostles, shepherds/pastors and evangelists were leaders in the churches. These historical observations of Eusebius affirm that Apostles were limited to their own era.
In the same work, Eusebius also spoke of “the apostolic age” (The History of the Church, 3.31.6). Were the Apostles failures? Were the Apostles supposed to pass on a Church structure which was to be governed by Apostles and prophets? I don’t think so.
C. Peter. Wagner also spoke about “the apostolic age.” Wagner claimed that ever since the First Apostolic Age the Church has been without foundational apostles and prophets throughout history until now that the Second Apostolic Age has begun. He claimed:
The traditional Protestant Church has understood apostles and prophets to be offices relegated to the First Apostolic Age but not continuing in churches throughout history. . . . It is fascinating that even though we have had church government backward over the past two centuries according to 1 Corinthians 12:28, we have evangelized so much of the world! Think of what will happen now that church government is getting in proper order. Administrators and teachers are essential for good church health and will function much better once the apostles and prophets are in place. (Apostles Today [Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Group: 2012], 12)
The claims of C. Peter Wagner not only contradict the traditional understanding of the Protestant Church, but also the historic beliefs and practices of the early Church Fathers, many of whom were personally discipled by the Apostles themselves. Not only did these early Church Fathers say nothing about the restoration of Apostles in the end times, but they also believed the Apostles were confined to the first generation of the Church.  
See Also:
Apostles Today Part 1
Apostles Today Part 2
Apostles Today Part 3
Filed Under: Apostolic Succession, C. Peter Wagner, Early Church, Eastern Orthodoxy, New Apostolic Reformation, Roman Catholicism
Daily Bible Verse

 

 

Advertisements

Fornication

Hebrews 12:16  King James Version (KJV)
16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
King James Version (KJV)
Public Domain

The original root word for fornicator here is “pornos.” which also is the name of the most defiling of modern atrocities.  As the world grows ever more accepting of fornication and the flaunting of it, God’s people must be ever vigilant to escape its ruinous effects.  It is an evil that corrupts the mind, ruins lives, destroys relationships, degrades humanity, abuses children, demeans women, and fills the prisons.  We need make no mistake, God will judge.  -Rick Morse

When sin no more obstructs the sight,

And flesh and sense deceive no more;

What heights and depths of love divine, 

Will there through endless ages shine.

-Joseph Swain

**************************************

The church today, needs to be aware of this deplorable sin within their ranks.  It is often overlooked or even condoned!  We are quick to condemn sodomites, yet the sin of “cohabitation,” which my father referred to as shacking up, is often practiced openly within the church and without confrontation or objection.  No wonder so many churches lack unction and a fresh anointing from upon high.  God will remove His candlestick if this sin persists, because He will not use a dirty vessel.  Without the Holy Spirit, we cease to be a church.      -Pastor Steve

 

James Sundquist Open Letter on Zondervan and Rick Warren Posted by Amos 3:7 | Apologetics, Apostasy, Book Reviews, Contemplative Spirituality

 

James Sundquist Open Letter on Zondervan and Rick Warren

Hi, I’m James Sundquist, founder and director of EAGLE MASTERWORKS PRODUCTIONS, has written and/or produced the words and music for several network commercials, one internationally released sound track for a film, and four nationally released recordings. James’s network commercials include: several Mattel Toy spots; Woodsy Owl Give A Hoot, (“Keep America Clean” Campaign Public Service Announcement, for the Department of Agriculture at Ogilvy & Mather Advertising); Stretch & Sew Fabrics; and Your Local Church Welcomes You, for the National Episcopal Foundation.

James Sundquist
Classic Musician, Apologist, EAGLE MASTERWORKS PRODUCTIONS

Zondervan False Report on Rick Warren
By James Sundquist
Dear Pastors, Staff Members, and Church Members of Southern Baptist Convention of Virginia,
As you no doubt already know, Rick Warren and his publisher Zondervan published on their Purpose Driven Life book cover and in their advertising that:
Purpose Driven Life is “the bestselling non-fiction hardback book in history”.
A similar statement was also published and posted by Southern Baptist
leader Jerry A. Johnson, President of National Religious Broadcasters, in Washington D.C.:
“Purpose Driven Life has sold more than 32 million copies, been translated into 85 languages, was the subject of a major motion picture, and is the best- selling hardback book in American history, according to Publishers Weekly.”NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson Source NRB
Circulation of a False Report
Jerry A. Johnson may very well now be a member or attendee of one of your churches in Virginia. He knows about this, but to date and to my knowledge, he has not warned anyone or sent out an NRB Alert to his members.
So, in light this Scripture:
“You shall not circulate a false report.” Exodus 23:1
I entreat you to read this investigation to establish and verify whether or not this claim can be substantiated. I have attached for you the Bestselling Books in History Ranking Chart.
Note where Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life ranks, in relationship to #1:
The above claim by Rick Warren and Zondervan was attributed to Publishers Weekly.
So let’s see what the President of Publishers Weekly said about this claim:
“I’ve checked our site which includes all of our content from about 1995. Also touched base with our religion editors and there is no finding of a quote like that… We don’t generally use the term hardback.” September 30, 2013 11:33:08 PM EDT George W. Slowik, President of Publishers Weekly
I also invite you to read a documentary on Warren’s SHAPE Personality Profiling (Step 3 or 301 Discovery Class), and Days 29-31 in Warren’s Purpose Driven Life book, based on Carl Jung, that I wrote which was published in
two Conservative Christian Theological Journals: Personality Profiling Jung

Silence is Not Golden
To avoid the temptation to remain silent in the face of iniquity, I invite you to sound the alarm to your fellow SBCV Members, in obedience to the Apostle Paul’s command for all Christians:
I have learned from a long-time SBC Pastor that even Christians that are concerned about Rick Warren’s teachings and programs are afraid to oppose or expose him. So I invite you to read this article why remaining SILENCE IS NOT GOLDEN: Spiritual Formation Movement (Scroll down about half way until you see my name).
And Spiritual Euthanasia:
I also invite you to read my two books on Rick Warren, published by Southwest Radio Church Ministries, now free online at:
Who’s Driving the Purpose Driven Church? Here
and
Rick Warren’s Global Peace Plan vs. Scripture
“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:11 (NIV Zondervan’s own Bible Translation).
And here is the video documentary I produced with Richard Bennett, former
Roman Catholic priest exposing Warren entitled:
“Experiencing God through Deceitful Mysticism by Richard Bennett”: On YouTube
Finally, in a world of FAKE NEWS, this should not even be named in the Church. So in what could be the greatest irony is that Rick Warren tells “FAKE Christians to find another church.” Source: Christianity Today
Conclusions
Therefore, I exhort you that if Rick Warren is your pastor, or you are a member of a Purpose Driven Church, then it is you that better find another church that does not preach another gospel! “Come out from among them and be ye separate.” And if you are truly a fake Christian why would Rick Warren send you off to another church to poison its members?
So if Rick Warren really has reached 197 nations with his Global Peace Plan, then he and his publisher Zondervan could have currently achieved the dubious honor of having spread more fake news than any Christian author and publisher in modern history. So the question remains, who is really the Fake Christian pastor/author that we should flee? And who is the real Fake Christian Publisher we should reject?
“Fake news” by Zondervan and Warren should be an oxymoron because we champion TRUTH, because Jesus Christ is the Way the TRUTH and the Life, it separates us from all other religions.
Kindest regards in Christ,
James Sundquist Eaglemasterworksproductions.com

BESTSELLING NON-FICTION HARDCOVER (BACK) BOOKS IN HISTORY RANKING LIST TITLE AUTHOR NUMBER OF SALES RANKING BIBLE HOLY SPIRIT 6-8 BILLION 1 A COLLECTION OF QUOTATIONS FROM CHINESE CHAIRMAN MAO ZEDONG MAO 6.5 BILLION 2 QURAN (MUSLIM KORAN) MOHAMMAD 3 BILLION 3 RED BOOK (QUOTATIONS FROM CHAIRMAN MAO TSETUNG) CHAIRMAN MAO 800 MILLION 4 THE PATH: Find Fulfllment through prosperity from Japan’s Father of Management KONOSUKE MATUSHITA 520 MILLION 5 XINHUA ZIDIAN CHINESE DICTIONARY 400 MILLION 6 CHAIRMAN MAO’S POEMS MAO 400 MILLION 6 (TIED) BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER ANGLICAN CHURCH 300 MILLION 7 COMMUNIST MANIFESTO KARL MARX HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS 8 BHAGAVA GITA UNKNOWN HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS (TIED) 8 FOXE’S BOOK OF MARTYRS JOHN FOXE, W. BERRY 150 MILLION 9 BOOK OF MORMON JOSEPH SMITH 140 MILLION 10 GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS GUINNESS 123 MILLION (2012) now 138 11 JEHOVAH’S WITNESS: “THE TRUTH THAT LEADS TO ETERNAL LIFE” WATCHTOWER 107 MILLION 12 THE GREAT CONTROVERSY ELLEN G. WHITE 100 MILLION 13 THE THREE PREPRESENTATIONS JIANG ZEMIN 100 MILLION (TIED) 13 THE AMERICAN SPELLING BOOK NOAH WEBSTER 100 MILLION (TIED) 13 THE WORLD ALMANAC THE NEW YORK WORLD 80 MILLION 14 THINK AND GROW RICH NAPOLEAN HILL 70 MILLION 16 LEFT BEHIND TIM LAHAYE & JERRY JENKINS 63 MILLION* 16 BETTY CROCKER COOK BOOK BETTY CROCKER 63 MILLION (TIED) 16 STEPS TO CHRIST ELLEN G. WHITE 60 MILLION 17 THE MCGUFFEY READERS WILLIAM MCGUFFEY 60 MILLION (TIED) 17 MERRIAM-WEBSTER COLLEGIATE DICTIONARY GEORGE AND CHARLES MERRIAM 55 MILLION 18 YOU CAN HEAL YOURSELF LOUISE MAY 50 MILLION 19 THE COMMON SENSE BOOK OF BABY AND CHILD CARE BENJAMIN SPOCK 50 MILLION 19 THE HITE REPORT SHERE HITE 50 MILLION (TIED) 19 BETTER HOMES & GARDENS NEW COOK BOOK BETTER HOMES & GARDEN 38 MILLION 20 LATE GREAT PLANET EARTH HAL LINDSEY 35 MILLION** 21
PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE RICK WARREN 32 MILLION (2012) 36 and 48

TOTAL = 30 TITLES

**************************************

The aforementioned books written by James Sundquist, can be found elsewhere on this blog/website, located under the category “The Emerging Church.”  The books can be read in their entirety, in digital online format, for absolutely no charge.

California Bill Will Outlaw Churches Helping People Out Of LGBT Lifestyle

News Image

Fallen man now feels he knows how to help people, rather than submitting to the Lord and His Word.  When the secular government, which has already drifted away from God, becomes the conscience for a nation, we are in deep trouble.  This is an obvious case whereby the Christian must “obey God and not man.”   Acts 5:29 King James Version (KJV)  “and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”     Blessings, Pastor Steve   <><

ARTICLE
California Bill Will Outlaw Churches Helping People Out Of LGBT Lifestyle

The state of California is close to passing a law that would use consumer protection regulations to control the information presented by churches under the guise of protecting Californians from fraud.

Bill AB 2943, which has passed several rounds of committee votes and amendments as well as the assembly and will be voted on by the state senate on June 25th, would specifically ban any religious organization from providing assistance to those struggling with gender identity.

The law cites the American Psychiatric Association, as well as several other organizations, to claim that there is no evidence that adults can change their gender orientation and that attempts to do so may be harmful. The law argues that since there is no evidence that the services offered by the church are effective, then charging individuals for such therapy amounts to fraud.

In doing so, they have plunged the state deeply into issues of sexuality, individual freedom to choose and religious liberty. The law would ban anyone from offering sexual orientation change services or the materials, print or otherwise, in conjunction with such services.

While this is not likely to result in the banning of Bibles, a strict reading of the law would allow for such a ban the moment one is used to counsel someone on God’s plan for sexual morality. Luis Javier Ruiz, a survivor of the 2016 massacre at The Pulse, a gay night club in Orlando, has joined the voices speaking out against this law.

Following the tragedy, Ruiz left behind a life of homosexual hedonism with the help of God’s Word, but he is worried that others will be prevented from getting the same help.

“If they pass that bill in California, it will take away the rights of counselors, pastors and people that want to give you guidance on coming out of homosexuality.” he told The Christian Post. “I came to Christ through the Word of God. I came to Christ over Godly counsel, pastors, people prayed me through,” and he fears that this law will prevent others from getting the same help he did.

The president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Reverend Dr. Samuel Rodríguez, has spoken out on the use of this bill to discriminate against Christians and the LGBT community in California. The reverend didn’t mince words when he said that “California’s AB-2943 is the most egregious, tone-deaf, and discriminatory example of anti-religious legislation that I have witnessed in all my years of ministry. I am deeply troubled that this profoundly flawed bill has already passed the California Assembly and now sits with the Senate.”

Several young adult conferences have already been canceled in California, such as those held by Summit Ministries, out of fear for how they may be attacked legally for teaching the Bible, and ministries across the state are now afraid that sermons from the pulpit may open them up to lawsuits, discrimination and smear campaigns.

The idea that if the state of California isn’t convinced your beliefs are both true and effective, it can prosecute you, flies in the face of the core concepts of religious liberty as well as freedom of expression and association. Jim Domen, now a Christian pastor who was saved by the Word of God from a lifestyle of spiraling depression and social alienation caused by his struggles with the homosexual life-style, has also called out the legislature for “trying to silence the power of Jesus Christ.”

Domen sees the bill as the government “controlling how we identify sexually,” and far from protecting the rights of the LGBT community is instead cutting off their right to choose; to decide to seek the help of the Church and of God.

These are men and women who have experienced the misery and confusion surrounding issues of sexual identity and come to the other side with the help of the Church and of God and they know firsthand the harm this bill will do to Californians. Shouldn’t we listen to those who have benefited from the efforts of dedicated pastors and Christian counselors and allow individuals to make their own decisions?

Other more libertarian voices, such as Rob Dreher who writes for The American Conservative, warns of the chilling effect Bill 2943 will have on freedoms of thought when he writes, “I would be appalled if a pro-LGBT organization decided to cancel a conference in my conservative state because they legitimately feared that local prosecutors would charge them over what they intended to say at the conference. That’s not America, or at least not the kind of America I want to live in.”

Leave it to the government of California to legislate what religious and sexual beliefs are valid and which are forbidden. In support of the freedom to follow their own beliefs, a series of demonstrations called Freedom Marches is being organized as a gathering together of those who have put aside homosexual and transgender lifestyles.

Luis Javier Ruiz was in attendance in Washington D.C. near the Washington monument at the first march and began by asking those in the LGBT lifestyle to come back, come back to the church and back to God through repentance of a lifestyle that is not God’s best for them.

Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=2344#kO6cpCGSQY7OolP8.99

Apostles Today ~ Part 3 of 4, March 2, 2018 By ELLIOTT NESCH

Apostles Today Part 3
March 2, 2018 By ELLIOTT NESCH
What are the proof texts for apostles today? It is our duty to examine the claims of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) in light of the Scriptures. On pages 10-12 of his book Apostles Today, three verses are given by Wagner as the Scriptural foundation for recognizing the ongoing office of apostle:
There are three Scripture verses that serve as the primary proof texts for recognizing the gift and office of apostle. Many other texts support this, but these three are core: Ephesians 4:11, Ephesians 2:20, and 1 Corinthians 12:28 (Peter Wagner, Apostles Today [Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Group: 2012], 10-12).
Let’s consider each one of Wagner’s proof-texts and then examine his interpretation.
Ephesians 2:19-20
Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:19-20).
Commenting on Ephesians 2:20, Wagner writes,
The foundation of the Church through the ages is to be made up of apostles and prophets. . . . If a church has Jesus without apostles and prophets, it has no foundation from which to initiate solid building. The two go hand in hand; there cannot be one without the other.
The wording of this verse—’built on the foundation’— is another reason why I call apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers the ‘foundational’ offices. (Apostles Today, 11).apostles-today-wagner                                      apostles-today-wagner
Here Wagner assumes that modern apostles and prophets are to govern the church through the ages. As noted above, it is based upon Ephesians 2:19-20 that C. Peter Wagner alleges that “apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers the ‘foundational’ offices.” Contrary to Wagner’s interpretation, the “foundation” is actually a reference to the past period within the church’s history, not “foundational offices” which are ongoing through the ages.
The apostles are the foundation of the church. According to Ephesians 2:19-20, the apostles were the foundation upon whom the church is to be built. The apostles and prophets are identified as the church’s foundation in a sense secondary only to that of Christ Himself. By definition, the foundation is the lowest load-bearing part of a building which is first laid and built upon thereafter. But laying the foundation is not an ongoing process. A foundation is laid only once. The superstructure of the household of God already has its apostolic foundation and thus excludes the office of apostles today. Thus the foundational office of the apostles was unique and isolated to the first-century church. Their foundational role is based upon being personally chosen by Christ, having eyewitness authority of the risen Christ, and the power to perform miracles.
Jesus also said to the apostle Peter, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). The church was built upon Peter, being one of the foundational apostles. Also similar to the imagery of the foundation of a building in Ephesians 2:19-20, the apostle John wrote at the end of the Apocalypse, “Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the name of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (Revelation 21:14). All the apostles were in this foundation of the church, but the figure excludes successors, who are of the superstructure, necessarily.
In addition to Ephesians 2:19-20, the New Testament apostles and prophets are uniquely grouped together elsewhere in the Scriptures. Speaking of the revelation of the gospel, Paul the apostle wrote, “which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets” (Ephesians 3:5). In other passages, Paul recognized the apostles as “first”and thereby further recognized their historically foundational role in Ephesians 2:19-20. In two of his epistles, Paul identified the office of apostle as the first gift that Jesus appointed to serve His churches, followed by prophets (Ephesians 4:11; 1 Corinthians 12:28).apostles-prophet-clipart
apostles-prophet-clipartThough Ephesians 2:19-20 refers to New Testament prophets, the New Testament also connects Old Testament prophets with the New Testament apostles. Speaking of the apostles and prophets, Jesus prophesied: “Therefore the wisdom of God also said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute,’” (Luke 11:49-51). It appears that Jesus was speaking of the Old Testament prophets who were persecuted by apostate Israel in times past and the New Testament apostles which He chose and sent to preach the Gospel. It is evident that the prophets refer to those of the Old Testament because Jesus said, “For you build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them” (Luke 11:46). Specifically the “blood of all the prophets” that will be “required of this generation” (Luke 11:50) is “the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah” (Luke 11:51), the accounts of Abel and Zechariah being the first and last martyrdoms recorded in the Jewish canon (Genesis 4:1-9; 2 Chronicles 24:20-22). The parable of the wicked vinedressers (Matthew 21:33-41) is also about God’s judgment upon Israel for having beaten, killed and stoned God’s servants, and “last of all he sent his son to them” (Matthew 21:37), thus indicating that the servants who were sent prior to the Son are the Old Testament prophets.
Peter the Apostle exhorted, “that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior” (2 Peter 3:2). Once again, the “prophets” and the “apostles” have a unique foundational role in the church for all time. One example within the New Testament itself of how the church is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets is the Jerusalem Council. The apostles convened to determine whether or not the Gentile believers should be circumcised and commanded to keep the Law of Moses. The apostle Peter was the first to speak at the Jerusalem Council and he testified of how Gentiles believed the Gospel and their hearts were purified by faith (Acts 15:7-11). Second to speak at the Jerusalem Council, Paul and Barnabas declared how God had worked many miracles and wonders through them among the Gentiles (Acts 15:12). Lastly, the words of James, the Lord’s brother, led the apostles to conclude the council with a declaration that Gentiles should not be commanded to be circumcised or keep the Law of Moses (Acts 15:13-21). As the Church is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:19,20), James quoted from both Peter (an apostle) and Amos (an Old Testament prophet) in order to lay this stone in the established doctrine of the early church.
Ephesians 4:7-8, 11-16
But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. . . And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (Epehsians 4:7-8, 11-16)
As the verse indicates, the five foundational, governmental, equipping offices are apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher. . . . He subsequently gave gifted people to the Church on two levels: (1) the foundational or governmental level (see Eph. 4: 11), and (2) the ministry level through the saints (see Eph. 4: 12). . . .
Many people refer to them as “the fivefold ministry.” However, this may not be the best term, because “ministry” is not mentioned in verse 11 but in verse 12, as the role of all of the saints, while apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers are those who equip the rest of the saints to do their ministry. This may seem like a minor point, but it is the reason I refer to the five ascension gifts as “foundational” or “governmental” or “equipping” offices. (Apostles Today, 10-11).
Wagner says this verse indicates the five “foundational” and “governmental offices.” These gifted men are “foundational” or fundamental to the body of Christ, but only the apostles and prophets are foundational in the sense of Ephesians 2:19-20. And there is actually no indication in the passage to suggest that apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers are “governmental.” Neither would it be fair to say that Paul is talking about “offices” in the church here. Ephesians 4:8 says that Christ “gave gifts unto men,” not offices.
In the interpretation of Wagner, there is an underlying assumption that the apostolic and prophetic offices were ongoing, but this is a false premise. Paul was writing at a specific and unique time during the apostolic era when there were indeed apostles and prophets in the church. At that time, God did give some to be apostles and prophets in order to lay the foundation. The twelve apostles and the apostle Paul continue to govern the Church today through the Scriptures. Wagner continues:
A major stumbling block in the minds of many who first hear this news of the Second Apostolic Age has been the assumption that once the apostles and prophets completed their work of laying the foundation of the Church in the first couple of centuries, that ended the divine assignment of apostles on Earth— as if they were no longer needed. This deeply entrenched notion cannot be biblically sustained, however, given the statement of Ephesians 4: 11. After saying that Jesus gave to the Church apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, the length of time they would be needed is then stated: “Until we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4: 13). Who in their right mind can claim that we have arrived at that point? The only reasonable conclusion is that we are still in need of all five offices (Apostles Today, 12-13).
In his book Apostles, Prophets and the Coming Moves of God: God’s End-Time Plans for His Church and Planet Earth, Apostle/Prophet Bill Hamon argues for perpetual apostles and prophets.hamon-apostles-prophets               hamon-apostles-prophets
Ephesians 4 declares that the fivefold representation, manifestation and personified ministry of Christ in mortal bodies will continue until every member in the Body of Christ is fully matured and equipped in their ministries so that the whole Body is edified, built up and matured (Eph. 4:11-13). Only as all five of the ascension gift ministers function fully and equally in the Church will she enter her predestined purpose of coming into the “unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: … [and by] speaking the truth in love, [she] may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (Eph. 4:13,15) (Bill Hamon. Apostles, Prophets and the Coming Moves of God: God’s End-Time Plans for His Church and Planet Earth (Kindle Locations 791-795). Kindle Edition).
This NAR concept is known as Five-Fold Ministry, which is the belief that five governmental offices mentioned in Ephesians 4:11, namely those of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, continue in the contemporary Christian church.
According to Prophet Rick Joyner, the fivefold ministry is the Ephesians 4 Mandate. Joyner expresses the same type of argument as Wagner when he asks, “Do you know of any church on the planet that fulfills this? Any church on the planet which has yet attained to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ? … We need apostles. We need prophets. … And I believe we have many right here in this congregation.”

Likewise, Prophet Kris Valloton, Senior Associate Leader of Bethel Church in Redding, spoke on the role of the five-fold ministry in this way: “God wants to restore the five-fold ministry: the apostle and prophet because He said He gave them until we all attain the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to the measure of the stature that belongs to Christ.”

But today’s apostolic and prophetic movement neglects the fact that the first-century ministries of both the New Testament apostles and prophets did not cease with their death. The church continues to be ministered unto, continues to come to unity of the faith … and to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ by the writings of the apostles and prophets. Through the inspired New Testament, the apostles and prophets continue to perfect the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. And it is this “perfecting of the saints” and “edifying of the body of Christ” that continues until “we all come in the unity of the faith.” But nothing in Ephesians 4 indicates that apostles and prophets will be present throughout the entire church age. This conclusion against the continuation of apostles and prophets is strengthened by the context of Ephesians, since Paul has already explained that apostle and prophets are “the foundation” (Ephesians 2:20).

1 Corinthians 12:27-28
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:27-28)
Wagner writes,C-Peter-Wagner          C-Peter-Wagner
The numbers in the verse, proton (first), deúteron (second), and tríton (third), indicate that this not simply a random selection of gifts and offices. Proton in this instance should be interpreted to mean that apostles are first in order or sequence, not necessarily in importance or hierarchy. Hierarchy is an old-wineskin concept. To put it simply, a church without apostles will not function as well as a church with apostles. . . .
It is fascinating that even though we have had church government backward over the past two centuries according to 1 Corinthians 12: 28, we have evangelized so much of the world! Think of what will happen now that church government is getting in proper order. Administrators and teachers are essential for good church health and will function much better once the apostles and prophets are in place (Apostles Today, 12).
The reference of apostleship in 1 Corinthians 12 is within the context of spiritual gifts, not the governance of the church. From the opening verse: “concerning spiritual gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:1) to the closing verse, “But earnestly desire the best gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:31), Paul is discussing the gifts of the Spirit. In this way the spiritual gift of apostle is first because the apostles laid the foundation for the church throughout history. Second is the spiritual gift of prophecy and so forth. But Wagner falsely teaches “church government . . . according to 1 Corinthians 12:28.”
It is important to understand that Paul was talking about spiritual gifts and not church government. As I pointed out in Part 2 of this series, the spiritual gift of apostle was never encouraged to be desired. Paul said, “But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31). And he specifically encouraged them to desire the git of prophecy: “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy” (1 Corinthians 14:1). In spite of the fact that Paul’s list of spiritual gifts includes apostles and sets them first (1 Corinthians 12:28-29), he never encourages the gift of apostle to be sought. Why didn’t he say, “desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may be apostles” if the spiritual gift of apostle was perpetuated in the Church? The clear implication of Scripture is that the spiritual gift of apostle was not available to anybody else except those men specifically chosen by the Lord.
Conclusion
After studying the proof texts used by the NAR for the office of foundational apostles today, it is evident that those passages actually teach the opposite. Wagner goes on to say, “To put it simply, a church without apostles will not function as well as a church with apostles.” Again, none of these passages are a prescription for ongoing church government. The governance of the church has always historically been bishops and deacons (1 Timothy 3; Titus 1; Philippians 1:1). The Christian faith is preserved in the Church by those bishops or teachers who proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ based upon the authoritative and apostolic authors of the Scriptures.
See Also:
Apostles Today Part 1
Apostles Today Part 2
Apostles Today Part 4
Filed Under: Apostles, Bethel Church, C. Peter Wagner, Five Fold Ministry, Kris Valloton, New Apostolic Reformation, Prophets, Rick Joyner

Pastor Says He Was Thrown Out of SBC (Southern Baptist Convention) Meeting for Questioning ERLC (Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission) Ties to Revoice Conference

One can feel an Antichrist spirit, pushing the LGBT agenda on everyone in our nation; and no political party, religion, denomination or people group is exempt.  Let me say that it would not surprise me in the least, if liberal leaders entered the Southern Baptist Convention carrying a hidden ideology in their briefcase and flying under the radar.  After all, is this not what former President Barack Obama did?  He said that marriage was only between one man and one woman until he was elected, and then his true rainbow colors came out.  I would not at all be surprised to observe apostates slip into the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in a similar manner, which is what this article is all about.  Yours in Christ, Pastor Steve  <><

******************************

From The 2018 Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), Held In Dallas, Texas

By Leonardo Blair , Christian Post Reporter | Jun 14, 2018 3:38 PM

 avatar

(Screenshots: Vimeo; YouTube)
Thomas Littleton (R), a veteran Southern Baptist Conference pastor and reporter for conservative news outlet BarbWire, said he was “physically handled” by Brent Leatherwood (L), the ERLC’s director of strategic partnerships, at the SBC conference in Dallas, Texas, on June 13, 2018.

The Rev. Thomas Littleton, a veteran Southern Baptist pastor and writer, said he was “physically handled” by a staff member of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and removed from the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Dallas Tuesday for asking questions about the ERLC’s ties to Revoice, an upcoming conservative Christian conference for those struggling with same-sex attraction.

The Revoice 2018 conference, which takes place next month, is aimed at “supporting, encouraging, and empowering gay, lesbian, same-sex-attracted, and other LGBT Christians so they can flourish while observing the historic, Christian doctrine of marriage and sexuality.” Some critics insist that the conference is trying to push an LGBT agenda on conservative evangelical churches but those involved say there is a lot of misinformation out there.

In a series of tweets beginning Wednesday, Littleton, who is an evangelist with over 38 years’ experience, claims he was “physically handled” by Brent Leatherwood, the ERLC’s director of strategic partnerships, and removed from the conference after he tried asking ERLC President Russell Moore about the ERLC’s ties to Revoice. He says the Dallas Police Department was told that he had “threatened someone” at the Kay Bailey Dallas Convention Center where the SBC’s annual meeting was held Tuesday and Wednesday.
“Is this the new Culture at The @ERLC after the @jdgreear election? Do thugs now run the ERLC who make false reports to the @DallasPD that I threatened someone for asking questions about #revoiceus conf and #ERLC ties? Where is @drmoore? Was @LeatherwoodTN doing #drmoore bidding?” Littleton asked.

The Christian Post contacted the ERLC’s press secretary, Elizabeth Wood Bristow, about Littleton’s claims on Thursday and she called his claims “untrue.”

“Mr. Littleton’s allegations about Mr. Leatherwood are absolutely untrue. To be specific, Mr. Leatherwood made no physical contact with Mr. Littleton whatsoever. We understand that Mr. Littleton was removed from the exhibition hall by the SBC Executive Committee, which manages access and credentialing issues,” Bristow said in a statement to CP.

Southern Baptist Convention spokesman Roger Oldham confirmed with CP Thursday that one person, a member of the media, was removed from the convention Tuesday for being in a restricted area but he could not immediately say if it was Littleton.

“The individual was actually in a restricted area and was basically loitering around,” Oldham said.

He said the individual was asked by the convention manager to leave the area when he did not comply so security was called to remove him. Oldham could not confirm if the security personnel who removed the individual were Dallas Police Department officers.
Sgt. Jerry Williams with the Dallas Police Department told CP Thursday that department records as well as checks with the precinct covering the area of the convention did not reveal anyone being removed from the conference this week.

He said while it is possible that Littleton was removed from the convention center by Dallas police and a report wasn’t filed, the removal of a pastor from such a large event would normally warrant some kind of narrative.

“Usually we record it in some form or fashion. I just don’t see a report on it anywhere,” he said. “I’m not saying that it didn’t happen but as far as the documentation of it, I don’t see it.”

Popular Christian talk show host Janet Mefferd said she witnessed Leatherwood grab Littleton by the arms in Moore’s presence.
“Yep, Leatherwood grabbed him by the arms. Russell Moore was right there when he did it. And yes, Tom can file his own (true) police report!” she declared in a tweet Thursday morning.

She also alleged that Leatherwood made a false police report:
“Good morning, @LeatherwoodTN – one more question. Are you & your ERLC team aware that under the Texas Penal Code, filing a false police report under Section 37.08 is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine up to $2,000? Look forward to hearing from you!” she wrote.

Nathan Rager of The People’s Church in Clearwater, Florida, notes in a video posted to YouTube that he was at the SBC meeting and questioned Moore about the ties between ERLC research fellow and Liberty University professor Karen Swallow Prior and Revoice.

Moore responded: “I don’t know about the Revoice conference but I do know this, Karen Swallow Prior has committed herself to go anywhere and everywhere to stand up and tell the truth about God’s Word about human sexuality. In doing that, she has seen countless people come to faith in Jesus Christ and countless others strengthen to going forward. She’s a professor at Liberty University serving there for many years. I don’t know anybody more committed to evangelism, and committed to the inerrancy and truth of God’s Word, and more committed to the biblical message that marriage is between a man and a woman and that sexual immorality leads not just to bad consequences but to Hell.”

*****************************

Another fascinating development in the 2018 Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), is the firing of Paige Patterson from his presidency at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS), and he was stripped of retirement benefits.  He was formerly to be reduced to the status of Pastor Emeritus at SWBTS and taken away from his positon, yet shockingly he has suddenly become Personna Non Grata (PNG) among Southern Baptists.  He was to be the keynote speaker at the convention, and was reduced from the penthouse to the outhouse.  He was president of SEBTS and SWBTS, and was a premier figure in the Southern Baptist conservative resurgence, as well as a great and highly respected theologian and leader.  No matter what offences he engaged in, even if the charges are legitimate, this is no way to treat one of the few remaining pillars from yesteryear, of the Southern Baptist Convention.  Paige was charged with no personal impropriety at all; he was charged with rendering poor counsel and decision making regarding instances going back decades.  [If the over 40,000 Southern Baptist Pastors were judged the way Paige Patterson was, that is for using poor judgment on one or more occasions in regards to counseling, etc., then we would all be fired and our Guidestone retirement/healthcare plans would be revoked as well].  I personally feel there may be a power play involving the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, their president Russell Moore, Revoice, and the #MeToo movement.  Regardless, it should not surprise anyone that in this day of apostasy, Satan desires to send his emissaries into the largest Protestant denomination in America in order to pollute it.  The LGBTQ movement will not be content until every American is forced to accept their abominable lifestyles. Maranatha, Pastor Steve  <><

*****************************

Christianity Today

Paige Patterson Fired by Southwestern, Stripped of Retirement Benefits
UPDATE: Board chair shares details over Patterson’s firing.
May 30, 2018 9:25 PM

Paige Patterson Fired by Southwestern, Stripped of Retirement Benefits

Image: Adam Covington / SWBTS / Baptist Press
Paige Patterson at the May 22 special board of trustees meeting where trustees voted for his early retirement.

Update (June 1): Paige Patterson lied to the board of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) about a rape allegation that came before him at another seminary, withheld documents from his previous presidency, and referenced attempting to “break down” the victim of a more recent rape incident, according to a new statement released Friday by the chairman of the school’s board of trustees.

Free Newsletters
Your daily news briefing from the editors of CT.

More Newsletters
Kevin Ueckert offered more details surrounding the board’s recent decision to fire the former SWBTS president, referencing documentation of a 2003 rape allegation at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS), which Patterson previously led for over a decade, as well as emails surrounding a 2015 rape allegation at Southwestern.
The SEBTS graduate—whose story was reported in The Washington Post and who has since made her case public on social media—claimed that Patterson and fellow officials did not report her rape, discouraged her from doing so, and urged her to forgive the perpetrator.
The information in the SEBTS student record Ueckert reviewed “contradicts a statement previously provided by Dr. Patterson in response to a direct question by a board member.”
Additionally, while president of SWBTS, “Patterson sent an email (the contents of which were shared with the Board on May 22) to the Chief of Campus Security in which Dr. Patterson discussed meeting with the student alone so that he could ‘break her down’ and that he preferred no officials be present.”
“The attitude expressed by Dr. Patterson in that email is antithetical to the core values of our faith and to SWBTS,” the board chair stated. “Moreover, the correlation between what has been reported and also revealed in the student record regarding the 2003 allegation at Southeastern and the contents of this email are undeniable.”
Since his May 30 termination, SWBTS has located documents from his tenure at SEBTS, including 31 pages posted online by a Patterson supporter—the wife of his former chief of staff—who had hoped the documentation would absolve him. The documents were shared without permission of the students referenced in them.
Still, the board stands by its unanimous decision to fire Patterson, with Ueckert saying, “In this difficult situation, the Executive Committee based its decision on the current performance of the president and did not allow the legacy of Dr. Patterson or the #MeToo pressure to steer the outcome. We did not react; rather, we decisively exercised our responsibility based on the Seminary’s biblically informed core values and integrity.”

——
A week after trustees voted to immediately shift Paige Patterson to “president emeritus” at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS), the board’s executive committee has stripped the Southern Baptist stalwart of all “benefits, rights and privileges.”
In a statement announcing Patterson’s termination, the committee stated today that it had confirmed information regarding reports that he mishandled a sexual abuse allegation while president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS).
Last Tuesday, a former SEBTS graduate student told The Washington Post that after she reported her rape to Patterson and fellow seminary officials in 2003, they failed to notify authorities and the former president encouraged her to forgive the perpetrator. Patterson did not respond to the claims, but SEBTS launched an internal review of its own.
The news came after weeks of controversy—and calls for Patterson’s dismissal—over his past counsel and statements regarding women, abuse, and divorce.
Best known as the leader who orchestrated the “conservative resurgence” in America’s largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), Patterson spent decades as a revered and seemingly untouchable denominational figurehead; previous controversies had come up, but had not threatened his position or reputation until now. His case has been widely viewed as a prominent example of the fallout of the #MeToo movement and how it has changed expectations for institutional leaders.
The same day as the former student’s story broke last week, following a 13-hour meeting of SWBTS’s board of trustees, Patterson was ousted from the presidency he’d held since leaving SEBTS in 2003. The board’s decision came despite his issuing an apology “especially to women” who were hurt by his past remarks.
The initial move seemed to go both ways: Patterson was out of the presidency, partly satisfying critics who opposed his stances or were concerned about his impact on the SBC as a whole, but still kept the campus clout that came with the position, partly satisfying supporters who did not want to see the legacy of such a significant denominational leader tarnished by contemporary pressures.
“Patterson supporters seemed willing to live with the decision but it infuriated many, especially conservative Christian women, who said Patterson had not been explicitly held accountable and had been allowed to retire with his stature intact,” The Post reported today.
“Ironically Patterson, leader of a historic conservative purifying in the 1980s and 1990s of Southern Baptism that called for male-only pastors and women to ‘submit graciously’ to their husbands, was being held under the public light by conservative women, who by the thousand signed a May 6 petition calling for him to lose his job.”
Today’s decision, though, squarely sides with his critics. The executive committee deemed Patterson’s response to the SEBTS student’s allegation “inconsistent with SWBTS’s biblically informed core values,” and said the information “demanded immediate action.”
This week, Megan Lively tweeted publicly to identify herself as the former student at the center of the SEBTS story:
I am the woman you read about, #SEBTS 2003, not afraid, ashamed, or fearful. I am proud to be #SBC, bc of how many have responded with compassion & love. Our history isn’t our future. Ephesians 4:30-32, Romans 8.Please join us in praying tomorrow. #PaigePatterson #sbc18 #matthew5
SEBTS’s current president, Danny Akin, has offered Lively his “love, prayers, and support” as the school undergoes an internal investigation of her case. Beth Moore, who wrote a viral open letter to fellow Southern Baptists regarding sexism and harassment, praised Lively for her bravery and belief.
Following Wednesday night’s news, Lively posted the lyrics to a verse from “In Christ Alone,” starting with the lines, “No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the power of Christ in me.”
Several Southern Baptist pastors and leaders spoke out Wednesday night to praise the SWBTS trustees’ latest decision.
“I am very grateful that the trustees chose to act with moral clarity,” wrote Denny Burk, a Southern Baptist professor and president of the complementarian Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. “If there was some question about that before, there can be no question now. Indeed, they declare ‘the Seminary stands against all forms of abuse and grieves for individuals wounded by abuse.’”
Russell Moore, head of the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and J. D. Greear, a protégé of Patterson’s and an SBC presidential candidate, asked for prayers for the SWBTS community.

“Pray for the faculty & students of @swbts and the individuals hurting and confused in this moment,” said Greear. “And hope in God’s grace. The Lord chastens those whom he loves. Aslan is on the move. God be merciful to us & bless us, that your… salvation may be known among all nations. Ps 67”
Beth Moore posted on her blog in response on Thursday, saying she fully supported the trustees’ decision. “My deep hope is that Dr. Patterson will take the necessary time to heal, reflect, seek counsel, as so many of us have, to determine what went wrong and why, then become active in helping create a healthier culture for both men and women marked by Christlikeness,” she said.
The full statement from SWBTS reads:
During the May 30, 2018, Executive Committee meeting of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) Board of Trustees, new information confirmed this morning was presented regarding the handling of an allegation of sexual abuse against a student during Dr. Paige Patterson’s presidency at another institution and resulting issues connected with statements to the Board of Trustees that are inconsistent with SWBTS’s biblically informed core values.
Deeming the information demanded immediate action and could not be deferred to a regular meeting of the Board, based on the details presented, the Executive Committee unanimously resolved to terminate Dr. Paige Patterson, effective immediately, removing all the benefits, rights and privileges provided by the May 22-23 board meeting, including the title of President Emeritus, the invitation to reside at the Baptist Heritage Center as theologian-in-residence and ongoing compensation.
Under the leadership of Interim President Dr. Jeffrey Bingham, SWBTS remains committed to its calling to assist the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention by biblically educating God-called men and women for ministries that fulfill the Great Commission and glorify God.
Further, the Seminary stands against all forms of abuse and grieves for individuals wounded by abuse. Today, Dr. Bingham made it clear that SWBTS denounces all abusive behavior, any behavior that enables abuse, any failure to protect the abused and any failure to safeguard those who are vulnerable to abuse. Additionally, Dr. Bingham called for the SWBTS community to join the Body of Christ in praying for healing for all individuals affected by abuse.
Patterson is still slated to speak at the upcoming SBC annual meeting in Dallas on June 13, but the delegation will have an opportunity to vote to replace him on the schedule.
Fellow Southern Baptist affiliates had already been forced to distance themselves from Patterson and SWBTS prior to his firing.
The former president backed out of a speaking gig at a Southern Baptist Conference of Associational Leaders event in Dallas, and the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, led by Southern Baptist Theological Seminary professor Heath Lambert, relocated a fall conference originally scheduled to take place on the SWBTS campus.

Reply on Twitter
Join the conversation on Facebook

Support our work
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Tags:
AbuseSeminariesSouthern Baptists
Posted by:
Kate ShellnuttBio@KateShellnutt
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting.

Southern Baptist full debate on Paige Patterson, Southwestern Seminary, & #MeToo #ChurchToo Movement

Preacher discusses liberal hypocrisy, Christian love & fruit of spirit, conflict resolution  [Notice Nathan Rager calls the Southern Baptist Convention an “ordeal.”  What a shame.  Pastor Steve]

Christian America News      

Published on Jun 15, 2018

Brother Nathan Rager does final wrap-up on Southern Baptist Convention SBC 2018, the scandal of Democrat Russell Moore’s Ethics & Religious Commission ERLC staff filing false police report against pastor & journalist Thomas Littleton hours before he misled SBC messengers on his organization’s ties to homosexual Revoice conference, the difference between hateful Social Justice Warrior SJW virtue signaling & the virtue of Christ that shows in conservative Bible-believing Christians, & his desire to reconcile with his critics in a spirit of Christian brotherhood & give account for his joy & conviction in Jesus Christ.

 

Pray For Revival In America!

Why The Episcopal Church Of England May Cut Ties With The American Episcopal Church – Apostasy

Episcopal Church Removes Terms Husband & Wife To Be More Gay-FriendlyNews Image

ARTICLE
Episcopal Church Removes Terms Husband & Wife To Be More Gay-Friendly

The American Episcopal Church has continued its process of radical liberalization by altering the standardized version of the marriage vows to remove any use of the terms “husband” and “wife” so as not to offend same-sex couples they marry.

Any references to procreation will also be removed in an effort to appease homosexual couples whose unions cannot produce children. Since the change is being adopted as a church-wide policy, its effect won’t be restricted only to the same-sex couples that are wed by the Episcopal Church, but will, instead, extend to all new couples.

The response to this move away from Biblical teachings and towards radical inclusiveness was met with a sharp response from the Church of England in October when the Secretary General William Nye wrote to the American church, asking them to re-evaluate their position or risk the Church of England cutting ties with the American church.

Now the church, in its efforts to appease gender activists, risks a further schism if it goes ahead with this proposed change to the wording in the Book of Common Prayer.

The U.K. newspaper, The Telegraph, reported, “The new service removes the phrase ‘the union of husband and wife’ and replaces it with ‘the union of two people’. It also replaces the section which talks about part of God’s intention for marriage being ‘for the procreation of children’, with the phrase ‘for the gift of children’, to make it more relevant for same-sex couples who may wish to adopt.”

Yet the Church of England is far from united in support of Biblical theology either, as 30 of the 483 members of the Anglican Church’s synod, including the Bishop of Buckingham, have declared themselves in support of the pro-homosexual changes in the Episcopal Church’s common prayer.

The opinions of these church officials are now in opposition to the Anglican Church’s official position, along with an Anglican LGBT advocacy group known as One Body One Faith.

One Body One Faith went so far as to write an open letter to Secretary Nye. In their letter, they condemn Nye for his traditional stance on Biblical teachings and call the pro-homosexuality policies of the American church “courageous, just and Christ-like.”

It refers to the Church of England’s support for traditional views on sexuality a “refusal to listen” and the “single biggest missional disaster of our generation,” and even goes so far as to refer to the Anglican church leadership as a “group of Christians who profess the love of Christ but seem incapable of recognizing it in the loving, committed, relationships of two people.”

The American Episcopal Church, loosely under the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Anglican Church, has come under increased pressure from LGBT ‘Christians’ who claim that various aspects of doctrine and church tradition are offensive or discriminatory.

From openly LGBT priests serving in the church to fully embracing homosexual marriage, the Episcopal Church has quite rapidly shifted its stance on homosexuality from that of the Bible and Christian tradition to embracing a secular agenda of moral relativism.

With the rewriting of the church-wide marriage vows, this accommodation will be felt not just by LGBT members of the church, but by all who will now be reminded that references to wives, husbands and procreation are considered too Godly and too Biblical for the postmodern Episcopalian Church to tolerate.

Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=2330#WlWSsZdZfFkErB7h.99

Another Update Re Rick Warren ~ James Sundquist

Below is an e-mailing sent from James Sundquist to this blog author, sharing several important links, and revealing how James confronted the Better Business Bureau (BBB) about the Zondervan Publishing Company, in reference to falsified statistical data concerning the sales of Purpose Driven Life (PDL) books.  Much more information is shared regarding false claims of copies sold.  Towards the end of this blog entry, information is shared about Rick Warren’s relationship and report with the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), and his encouragement for “Fake” Christians to find another church:

 

Another update re Rick Warren
James Sundquist

Hi Steve,

I thought you should be in the latest loop re Warren’s PDL book.

Blessings,  James

*****

Here are the links which show Zondervan making the claims about PDL book.

And the links that show best-selling rankings. (In many cases you won’t even see PDL book or Zondervan because they don’t even make the list. So when did Zondervan cease to be accredited with BBB? I just did a search on BBB site and it still shows Zondervan with an A+ Rating. The BBB district in New Jersey indicated that can’t do anything regarding a member that is not in their district. I am glad the CDC does not have that policy that they will do nothing unless the disease or plague originates in their District.

Yesterday I revisited both Zonervan and Harper Collins site. They have changed the PDL book cover so that it no longer contains the “bestselling” quote they attributed to PW.” However, They do show the quote in description, and Harper does show PW source attribution. But I would take screen shots of my links below before they vanish from the Internet, or Zondervan does not come clean, or engages in a coverup. You posed a very good question. Is Zondervan “currently” making this claim. The answer is yes. Links below. But the bigger question is have they engaged in false advertising the last 10-15 years. Again, the answer is yes, as links below will verify.

Here is the ECPA posting the statement:
http://www.ecpa.org/news/230055/ECPA-Announces-the-2015-Christian-Book-Award-Winners.htm?page=businesssolutions

And here is the NRB publishing the statement:
http://nrb.org/news-room/articles/nrbt/rick-warren-s-purpose-driven-life-plays-vital-role-captive-mo/

I also encourage you to go into a few Christian Bookstores and Barnes and Noble to see if they have any copies left showing the claim on the front cover.

Based on the #1 international bestseller The Purpose Driven Life,” Zondervan:
https://www.zondervan.com/daily-inspiration-for-the-purpose-driven-life-1

“After 10 unprecedented years as the best-selling non-fiction hardback in history,”
Source: Charisma News and A. Larry Ross Communications
https://www.charismanews.com/us/34357-rick-warrens-the-purpose-driven-life-celebrates-10-years
This when the book had sold 32 million copies. This would mean an average of 3.2 million copies sold per year.
However, it is impossible that 3.2 million copies sold in one year would render the book as the #1 bestseller, or any year.

https://www.charismanews.com/us/34357-rick-warrens-the-purpose-driven-life-celebrates-10-years

And then there is this statement:

“the #1 international bestseller, The Purpose Driven Life-”
https://www.zondervan.com/the-purpose-driven-life-1

Note Zondervan does not say “our #1 international bestseller”, but “the #1 international bestseller”. But they have not supply a single ranking list to prove this ranking. Also Warren state that he church has now taken his teachings into all 197 countries. So one can’t help but ask which countries is Warren’s Purpose Driven Life in at all, and which countries they are sold in on his list of 197 countries?

****

Now I know how easy it can be to pass along information that you thought was true because you trusted the person or company submitting the information to you. But with the plague of fake news and fake dossier, going on in the world, we as Christians must be certain of our statistics and statements we publish. Therefore, it is critical to verify whether or not the statement(s) about Warren’s sales ranking can be statistically and financially verified are true or false. Agreed?

Here is the forensic evidence required to prove, and that is major book sales ranking companies. No company ranks Warren’s book as #1 seller in history.
Zondervan and Rick Warren site Publishers Weekly as the source of this claim. But as you can see from the quote below (#2) in red, the Publishers Weekly President completely renounces that they ever stated or published this claim.

Os Guinness informed me that he had confronted Warren about his claim when he spoke at Saddleback Church Oct 5, 2015, informing him that Guinness Book of Records sold far more copies than Warren’s book, therefore it could not be #1. btw by 2015, Guinness Book of World Records had sold about 123 million, Warren’s book 32 million, not even close. Not even Guinness Book was #1. Warren made no public announcement to rectify that statement, but has kept right on promoting the claim, including just one year ago, April 20, 2017, he confirmed the same claim on Calvary Chapel leader Brian Brodersen’s “Things That Matter” TV program, knowing full well his claim was not true at about 4:53 minutes into Part II of the Interview on this link:

 

“Things that Matter” hmmmmmmmm? Does truth matter?

****
Now Warren knew this was not true when he accepted the Billy Graham Award from the NRB for Excellence in Broadcasting in 2016.

I thought you would want a copy of this forensic evidence whether or not Rick Warren’s claim that his Purpose Driven Life book is “the bestselling nonfiction hardback book in history”:

First statement:

“10 years ago, Rick Warren wrote The Purpose Driven Life, which became the bestselling hardback non-fiction book in history” Source: https://www.zondervan.com/the-purpose-driven-life-1

and here a photo of the front cover of Purpose Driven Life (on both previous editions):

Warren has removed both the quote and the PW attribution from his website too:
http://www.purposedriven.com/books/pdlbook/#purpose

But not completely. If you zoom in several times to this image, you will see same same quote and attribution to Publishers Weekly on the bottom of the book cover:

Note when you zoom in on Zondervan book cover the quote is completely blacked out!

But this quote can still be found on Amazon on both the original PDL book cover as well as the New Edition:

Here is the first edition image of book with the claim at the top:

And here is the Amazon.com front cover of the new PDL edition (with new artwork) and quote at the bottom:

Second statement:

“I’ve checked our site which includes all of our content from about 1995.
Also touched base with our religion editors and there is no finding of a
quote like that…We don’t generally use the term hardback.” George W. Slowik, President of Publishers Weekly, September 30, 2013 11:33:08 PM EDT, tel. #: 212-377-5705 or 212-377-5703. And you can search PW website for this sentence, or “bestselling non-fiction hardback book in history” phrase at: https://www.publishersweekly.com

You can search Google and find many reputable and verifiable ranking lists of bestselling books in history, but to save you even more work, here are just a few (I have been in the music industry for half a century, the equivalent to book sales data reports in the music industry is Billboard Magazine, BMI, and ASCAP):

HERE ARE JUST SOME OF THE STATISTICS AND TRACKING DATA LISTS FOR THE BEST SELLING BOOKS OF ALL TIME AND HISTORY

Since Nielsen is who Publishers Weekly uses for sales ranking here is their website:
http://www.nielsen.com/us/en.html
(They will verify that Publishers Weekly uses their sales tracking data, and you can call PW to verify this too).

“The Second Best-Selling Book of All Time”:
http://www.crisismagazine.com/2016/second-best-selling-book-time
Amazon.com posts the top 20 “best-selling nonfiction books of all time”.
https://www.amazon.com/b?node=11913537011
Ranker
http://www.ranker.com/list/best-selling-books-of-all-time/jeff419
https://www.librarything.com/topic/36145
James Clear’s Best Selling books list:
http://jamesclear.com/best-books/best-selling
http://list25.com/25-best-selling-books-in-history/
http://thegreatestbooks.org/nonfiction

*****

Now, I say all of this because I am hope you would not want to conceal from your BBB members and the public, that is false advertising or simply a myth.

So please inform whether or not you will remain silent, even though Zondervan is not currently BBB accredited?

Thank you again for your response! I also thank you for your desire to verify everything. Had anyone done this years ago, millions of consumers would not have been deceived and defrauded.

Kindest regards,

James Sundquist
Eaglemasterworksproductions.com

*****

Dear Steve,
I have amended last part of my letter to SBC Pastors. This is the newest of the 4 pages:

Blessings

James

“Finally in a world of FAKE NEWS, this should not even be named in the Church.
So in what could be the greatest irony is that Rick Warren tells “FAKE Christians to find another church.” Source: https://www.christiantoday.com/article/rick.warren.tells.fake.christians.to.find.another.church/25962.htm

So they are fake Christians simply because they don’t go along with his Purpose Driven Life book or Global Peace Plan? Warren quotes the Scripture that says Satan is the Accuser of the Brethren, which is certainly true. But, contrary to a host of Scripture that require accusing false teachers.

Now if Warren feels so strongly about his statement to not criticize other Christians, as he expressed in his Purpose Driven Life book, then why doesn’t he practice what he preaches and not mock and scorn and attack saints by calling them “resisters”, “enemes of the 21st Century”, and “Sanballats’ from Hell” as he and his collaborators do? Using Warren’s argument, he is indicted by his own testimony for doing precisely what he says Satan does. And why didn’t he say this to John Piper when Piper called those biblical discernment authors “slanderers” without a shred of evidence?

Did it ever occur to anyone that it is because myriads of Christians have believed Rick Warren and never warn anyone or confront him for has false teachings and false advertising, that he and his teachings have roamed the earth like a roaring lion with no accountability? And even the SBC Executive Committee will not confront Warren as they proclaim in their own words:

“The Southern Baptist Convention does not renounce
individuals.” Feb 25, 2014

Office of Convention Communications and Relations
Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention
901 Commerce Street
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 244-2355
So how is this being a good Ezekiel Watchman on the Wall vs. being a derelict watchman that remains silent in the fact of inquity and worse even promotes the same wolves in sheep’s clothing? Had someone in the SBC, or someone wise among the leaders of the SBC, or other major Christian denominations, as the Apostle Paul would ask, stepped up to the plate and had the bravery of the Biblical Deborah, it may have never come to this where we would even be having this conversation talking about Rick Warren’s book being the “bestselling nonfiction hardback book in history”. Instead they are celebrating Warren and giving him awards in broadcasting ministry.

So how does a true Christian then obey the Scriptural New Testament commands of Jesus Christ and the Apostles that used these used these verbs:

mark, expose, reject, reprove, expel, judge, name names, silence, rebuke, sharply rebuke, admonsih, confront, obey Matthew 18 to show him his fault, take two or more witnesses, and expel, with out ACCUSING? Thank God Martin Luther the leaders of the Reformation did not take Rick Warren or the SBC’s advice!

Therefore, I exhort you that if Rick Warren is your pastor, or you are a member of a Purpose Driven Church, then it is you that better find another church that does not preach another gospel! “Come out from among them and be ye separate.” And if you are truly a fake Christian why would Rick Warren send you off to another church to poison its members?

So if Rick Warren really has reached 197 nations with his Global Peace Plan, then he and his publisher Zondervan could have currently achieved the dubious honor of having spread more fake news than any Christian author and publisher in modern history. So the question remains, who is really the Fake Christian pastor/author that we should flee? And who is the real Fake Christian Publisher we should reject?

“Fake news” by Zondervan and Warren should be an oxymoron because we champion TRUTH, because Jesus Christ is the Way the TRUTH and the Life, it separates us from all other religions.

So I would like to alert you to what could be the greatest dupe in Christian publishing history by Zondervan. With one exception, virtually every SBC Pastor and Christian Radio Network in the Country that has now been apprised of the truth, has either rejected it or remained silent, and without exception, every radio station carrying Warren’s Daily Hope program continues to carry his program. Fake News did even phase them. This means all of members of these SBC Churches and all of the radio listeners will be censored from hearing the truth!

Kindest regards in Christ,

James Sundquist
Eaglemasterworksproductions.com”

Quotable Quotation ~ Donald Grey Barnhouse On Satan’s Counterfeit Trinity

Taken from “The End” by  Mark Hitchcock, Tyndale House Publishers, 2012, page 270:

As Donald Grey Barnhouse says, “The devil is making his last and greatest effort, a furious effort, to gain power and establish his kingdom upon the earth.  He knows nothing better than to imitate God.  Since God has succeeded by means of an incarnation and then by means of the work of the Holy Spirit, the devil will work by means of an incarnation in Antichrist and by the unholy spirit.”  In hell’s trinity, Satan is a counterfeit Father (anti-Father), the Antichrist is a counterfeit Son (anti-Christ), and the false prophet is a counterfeit of the Holy Spirit (anti-Spirit).  This is the infernal trinity.