Praise the Lord!
Late Winter and Spring have been a very fruitful time spiritually and
after ministry last weekend at the 55th annual CMTA / G.L.A.S.S.
(Greater Los Angeles Sunday School) Convention as well as at College
Avenue Church of the Nazarene in Whittier, I am finally home for the approximately the
next month. But being home means perhaps busier days than when I an
traveling and speaking because of the time spent in research, writing,
preparation catching up on administration and of course hanging out with
wife, family and grandkids! Being that May has two major holidays which
impede scheduling guest ministries in local churches, its been my habit
to take much of this month each year to pray and prepare for the rest of
I'm planning another major
trip to the Central and Eastern U.S. in June and will be stationary
again in July to undertake one of the most lofty and exciting goals we
have ever considered in July. (I'll fill you in as time passes on this.)
I hope that the article
"Will They Say of Us, They Were the Evangelicals?"
(included below in this email) will not only challenge and inform but
will be transforming for many who read it. We mailed it via postal mail
some time ago to our current "TAKE A STAND! REPORT" list and have
gotten some absolutely thrilling feedback about it. In fact, just this
morning another pastor, whom I highly respect, called me to say that the
last TAKE A STAND! REPORT was "a home run" and that what I had
written in "Will They Say of Us, They Were the
Evangelicals?" "hit it out of the park." Needless to say I am
humbled when men of God say such things about any of our work. Once you
read the article, I am interested for your feedback too. As always, you
can write me personally by simply
Thanks for remembering us
this month. During periods when I am off the road we specifically count
on your support to meet the needs of both family and ministry. Its our
prayer that as we have touched so many lives by God's call and grace you
will consider sowing a gift to the ministry, especially during this
God bless you and
thanks for your care and support!
Eric's dynamic seminar series is available
for your church!
Eric is available July 1-4 for either a full
for single services at churches in the Eastern or Central U.S.
This would be a prime time for Eric's
inspirational, informative presentation about the Christian foundations
of America, including many powerful facts and quotes from the Founding
Contact us for information
Other open dates include:
June 24-29 in the
Central & Eastern United States
weekends in Washington State)
August in Texas
& the Southeast United States
March, I crisscrossed the nation nonstop, speaking fourteen
times during just one nine-day period alone. During this time, God
graciously drew many souls to the Cross of Christ, powerfully bringing
deliverance to those sincerely seeking Him. Praise the Lord!
Through the years, we’ve seen thousands of people answer invitations and
come forward for prayer. Recently, there have been numerous services
where, after I have preached, 7, 12, 14, 20 or more people have prayed
to surrender their lives to serve Jesus Christ. Though I cannot say
exactly what may have transpired in the hearts and lives of all those
who responded to my altar calls, I can guarantee one thing. Little of
eternal significance could have taken place had I watered down the
Gospel, preached a manmade formula, soft-soaped the truth or been
concerned with how I was personally perceived by those in the culture.
Though I am a teacher/evangelist and not a classical revivalist, I
recognize that it was with this attitude that the fiery, zealous
preachers from our past boldly proclaimed the words of truth. How tragic
it is that today the mainline denominations - seeking cultural
acceptance - have in large part surrendered to the cult of
theological liberalism and traded authentic Christianity for a
powerless, wicked counterfeit.
are the likes of Whitfield, Moody, Spurgeon, Edwards and Wesley today?
Who will proclaim the uncompromising Gospel that sin is sin and Jesus’
blood is the only remedy? Before you simply answer “we evangelicals
will,” think again.
God, there is a precious remnant who still defend and preach the Bible
as eternally true and Jesus as risen, triumphant Lord. If my tone sounds
fatalistic or negative to you it is only because we cannot forget that
it wasn’t to terribly long ago the Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans,
Disciples of Christ and American Baptists (among others) unabashedly
stood for truth, righteousness and salvation through the finished work
of the Cross of Christ. They WERE the evangelicals!
the past few decades however, these once solid denominations have
exhibited less and less biblical truth until now many of their churches
exemplify a mere form of Christianity which is completely void of
the power of God. Gratefully, it is not every Methodist or
Lutheran who has followed into the traps of heresy and compromise.
However, the further up the ladder towards the denominational leaders
and seminary professors one looks the harder it is to find true Bible
believers who refuse to be swayed from the truth.
the liberals of today, were the evangelicals of yesterday and we who
claim the title “evangelical” must wake up to the fact that our claim to
be Bible-believers does not protect us from apostasy. We must soundly
reject the specious and deceptive lie of the Enemy that we are
theologically immoveable, for clearly, we are not.
I have previously pointed out, the broad acceptance of Rick Warren’s
Purpose Driven Life
and The Purpose Driven Church is proof positive that evangelicals
are quickly losing - or have already lost - their way.
stated in our February (2007) newsletter
it is very disconcerting for me to use words such as “heresy” and
“cultic” when referring to any supposedly Christian brother’s teaching.
This does not come easy. Nevertheless, to not warn of the
deception found in Dr. Warren’s teaching is far more grievous to my
soul. (Read my comments at
or write us and request a copy of the February 2007 newsletter.)
not forget that each of the organized cults we in the west face today
sprung up from inside the authentic Church. Certainly not
everything taught or accepted by Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses is
blatantly evil or even theologically wrong. Joseph Smith, Charles Taze
Russell and others used seductive methods and extra biblical doctrines
to lure in their followers. They exhibited charisma and couched their
errors in a pseudo Christian cloak. They weren’t blatant Satan
worshippers but what they produced is as eternally deadly as any pagan
ritual or sacrifice.
as prophesied by the New Testament writers, there have been and will be
erroneous leaders inside the Church who may for a season appear
or claim to be orthodox. Yet these teachers influence the flock
the same way that mold, if not removed, affects an orange.
battle for truth and against error has been with us since Old Testament
days. The cults have always risen up because individuals have been
seduced into listening to the supposed wisdom of a false teacher instead
of following the righteous standards of the Word of God. Can we expect
anything BUT this to occur in these last days? As my
friend, Jim Spencer, remarked recently “Discernment is at an all time
low in the Church since the Reformation!” I am afraid it would appear
that he is indeed correct.
Certainly, the problems we face in Christianity today started well
before Dr. Warren’s rise to super stardom but the very fact that these
books have skyrocketed in popularity signals what I have referred to as
“Our Disturbing Spiritual Condition.” With the numerous glaring
theological and practical difficulties found in the Purpose Driven
philosophy, why have so many evangelicals accepted these teachings? The
answer is the same for us today as it was concerning the original
followers of Smith and Russell, etc. - we either don’t know our Bibles
or don’t care to follow them!
give you a most basic example of what I am referring to from the
research piece I have written titled Examining the Purpose Driven
Philosophy. In the report, along with other information, I site
eleven substantial problems with the Purpose Driven philosophy. Number
nine is Warren’s view of salvation.
could be more elemental to evangelicals than the very plan of salvation?
If we have this wrong, we are doomed yet Rick Warren is clearly
presenting a plan of salvation that does not follow the
Scriptures. Space here will not allow me to reprint all that I wrote in
Examining the Purpose Driven Philosophy concerning this
topic but here are a few paragraphs to help you understand my concerns.
Examining the Purpose Driven Philosophy, I wrote the
following back in December of 2005:
Perhaps most unsettling is Dr. Warren’s view of what constitutes
separation from God and what the definition of salvation actually is.
carefully read the following quote from pages 58-59 of The Purpose
"First, believe. Believe God loves you and made you for his purposes.
Believe you're not an accident. Believe you were made to last forever.
Believe God has chosen you to have a relationship with Jesus, who died
on the cross for you. Believe that no matter what you've done, God wants
to forgive you.
"Second, receive. Receive Jesus into your life as Lord and Saviour.
Receive his forgiveness for your sins. Receive his Spirit, who will give
you the power to fulfill your life purpose.
"Wherever you are reading this, I invite you to bow your head and
quietly whisper the prayer that will change your eternity: 'Jesus, I
believe in you and I receive you.' Go ahead. If you sincerely meant that
prayer congratulations! Welcome to the family of God!"
that sounds right then it is only because we evangelicals have gotten so
used to the term and notion of someone making a “decision” for Christ. I
admit that I have used the term “decision for Christ” many times.
However, I have come to realize that unless the Spirit of God draws
people to Himself and unless they are convicted of sin and
righteousness they can repeat any prayer that Rick Warren, me or
anyone else may give
them and still remain as lost as a goose!
key ingredient which is dubiously missing from Dr. Warren’s theology as
presented in the PDL is REPENTANCE. Let me state unequivocally
that there is NO salvation without repentance.
have supplanted so-called “decisionism” for authentic conversion. What a
tremendous disservice that Dr. Warren as well as many evangelicals have
done (to the lost and to the Lord) by announcing that anyone who merely
says a few words is somehow automatically a member of the family of God
and on their way to Heaven.
never called men to just pray a little prayer. He called them to repent
and completely follow Him. This is also the continuing message of the
Book of Acts (2:38, 3:19, 8:22, 17:30, 26:20 etc.). The Book of Acts is
our roadmap for the Church age yet we evangelicals have decided to take
just part of what Paul wrote to the Romans (10:9-10, 13) and build our
entire doctrine of conversion on it. One should also read Romans 3 which
declares the sinfulness of man and our separation from God especially in
a day when the bulk of humankind around us believe that somehow God
grades on a curve and that because they aren’t as bad as Hitler or Osama
then they are going to get into Heaven. While it is true that the letter
of the Law kills, without the Law pointing out our absolute failure
before God how would we understand our fallen condition? Without an
understanding of our sinfulness and the imperative need that we each
have to turn from what got us into this mess, how can a conversion be
just this sort of easy-believism that is literally going to take
millions of people to Hell. We should be shocked by how easily we have
been lulled into thinking that praying some sort of a prayer without
including true repentance from sin as a prerequisite could actually make for a real,
authentic salvation experience. This is why (in my estimation) the
“seeker” model is one of Satan’s most effective tools to ward off a real
conversion to Christ. I am not alone. In a personal letter, David
Wilkerson of World Challenge wrote, “As I’ve traveled the world the last
two years in ministers’ conferences, I’ve seen the havoc which that
ministry (Rick Warren’s) has caused…It (the Purpose Driven Church
philosophy) simply does not work.”
exhorting the Ephesian elders, Paul states in Acts 20:21 that his
complete teaching in a nutshell was “repentance and faith.” As Paul
witnessed to King Agrippa, he recounted the Lord’s instructions which
were given to him on the Damascus Road. It was Paul’s mission (and must
be ours) “…to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of
Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and
inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”
Clearly, FAITH and REPENTANCE are co-equal elements to
authentic salvation. Paul’s mission was not to teach one and not
the other for faith without repentance leads no man to Heaven. In fact,
Paul stood accused by the Pharisees and eventually lost his life because
he taught two things: resurrection of the dead and repentance from sin.
should note that the Roman governor, Festus declared Paul as “insane”
for proclaiming resurrection and repentance. This is a microcosm of how
so many in the world feel about the real message of the Christianity. It is
also why many people claiming to be the “Church” have altered the
not that I think our themes or delivery should necessarily be depressing
or negative. However, the truth is that the world will gladly embrace
the “feel good” or so-called “positive” gospels while they generally
reject preaching from the Word of God that focuses on repentance. This
is the reason that various Christianized self-help teachings have
garnered such large followings in recent times.
flesh, I can surely understand how some pastors could attempt to justify
becoming more “positive” in an effort to draw larger crowds. While I
reiterate that I am all for being positive, it cannot be at the expense
of the real gospel. Shouldn’t we stand for the whole truth and let the
Holy Spirit draw whom He will rather than tampering with the only
message that can redeem a soul? Doing otherwise is certain to result in
Frankly, I cannot for one moment fathom the Apostle Paul that we read of
in Scripture teaching the Purpose Driven philosophy. However, I will
admit that if Paul would have employed Dr. Warren’s teaching he probably
could have avoided a whole boatload of trouble – including losing his
head. Instead of focusing on repentance and eternity (complete with
confronting false doctrines and sin) if Paul would have just toned down
his sermons a bit and been more practical he could have gained favor
with the crowds in Ephesus, Caesarea, Athens and elsewhere. After all, the
masses rejected his narrow views and he did want them to come back to
his church didn’t he? Didn’t he understand that he needed to give the
people what they wanted? They would have accepted a more positive and
uplifting message wouldn’t they?
Even in the face of
unspeakable rejection, intense persecution and numerous death threats,
I simply cannot envision the Apostle following the advice of the Modern
Church Growth Movement, can you? God help the Church to once again
preach what the Scripture demands instead of “feel good” self-help and
psychology masquerading as the gospel for we have surely lost our way.
Warnings for the Wayward Church
"We do not believe that we should seek to make sinners feel safe and
comfortable in church. Is it right for me to speak comfortable words to
a man who is going to hell unless he turns from his sin? If I fail to
warn him of the consequences of his sin, and he dies and goes to hell,
will God require his blood at my hand? When is godly sorrow and
conviction of sin such a wrong thing?"
- Pastor Chuck Smith, founder of Calvary Chapel
"If the professed convert distinctly and
deliberately declares that he knows the Lord's will but does not mean to
attend to it, you are not to pamper his presumption, but it is your duty
to assure him that he is not saved. Do not suppose that the Gospel is
magnified or God glorified by going to the worldlings and telling them
that they may be saved at this moment by simply accepting Christ as
their Savior, while they are wedded to their idols, and their hearts are
still in love with sin. If I do so I tell them a lie, pervert the
Gospel, insult Christ, and turn the grace of God into lasciviousness."
- C.H. Spurgeon
"A man on fire disturbs the world, a building on fire attracts the
world, a community on fire changes the world. ...I consider that the
chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without
the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without
repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and
heaven without hell."
- William Booth, founder of The Salvation Army
“I'm not about to put up a silly skit and preach a 15-minute message on
'how to cope' to a multitude of people who are dying and going to hell.
I tremble at the thought.”
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