“We’ve got to examine our credentialing process. It must become a facilitation process. It’s a matter of integrating a process where we draw and encourage people to come into ministry to do what God has called them to do. Now what does that mean? We don’t know at this point. These are a lot of questions not a lot of answers. That’s why we are embarking on this process. Our role is to facilitate a process where everyone in our fellowship will be able to give input to the process.” (Dr. Randy Barton, Assembly of God meeting)
A New Vision
Last October (10/8/02) at the headquarters of the Assemblies of God in Springfield, Missouri there was a meeting with the staff to discuss the new Assembly of God Vision of Transformation. Why are the Assemblies of God concerned about transforming their denomination? What is this process they are talking about? To understand what is happening in the Church today one must be familiar with the change that has taking place around the world. Some call this change a paradigm shift. A paradigm is the way we think. My ways are not your ways and your thoughts are not my thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). There are three general ways of thinking, each correlate with the way we evaluate and solve problems. The taxonomy of these different ways of thinking are identified in a process called the dialectic. They are 1) thesis, thinking on facts (traditional thinking), 2) antithesis, thinking to feelings (which is simply responding to your feelings without thinking—transitional thinking), and 3) synthesis, thinking through your feelings, in other words, justifying compromise for the sake of changing feelings (transformational thinking). These three structures of thought or paradigms are identified in the Bible.
The Biblical paradigm is known as didactic and is built upon the view that black is black and white is white and that there are pre-set rights and wrongs.The humanistic paradigm is known as dialectic and is built upon the view that feelings of human relationship must determine what is right and wrong. Therefore, right and wrong are relative to the attitude, which promotes or detracts from human relationships. A rational person is one who will compromise for the common good.It is important to understand that a person cannot go straight from didactic to dialectic.There must be a middle zone of transition.
The dialectic is explained in Genesis 3:1-6. The thesis is God’s statement to Adam in an absolute didactic format, “Thou Shalt Not.” The language of thesis is known in socio-psychology (humanistic thinking) as limiting if not outright blocking to human relationship, it holds us to the promises of the past and standards given by a higher authority. Statements with an “I Know” attitude or “can not,” “must not,” “Thou shalt not,” or “it is the law,” “it is a fact,” “it is the truth,” or as Jesus stated in the wilderness, “It is written” are considered negative, divisive, hateful, intolerant, or prejudice since they interfere with, if not block, social harmony. The didactic or patriarch paradigm is a way of thinking, which requires faith, obedience, accountability as well as responsibility under a higher authority. Those who think this way, according to the dialectic, global, humanistic paradigm, are maladjusted, lower order thinkers, inadaptable to change and are in need of counseling for the sake of world peace. If they are not converted they must be neutralized and marginalized and eventually removed from policy setting environments, such as the home, the work place, government or the church. Didactic thinking focuses upon truth, not on feelings, or one’s ability to justify what “seems to be” another solution. God’s Word is didactic, it is not written by private interpretation, with “I feel,” or “I think.” It is God breathed, and all God’s prophets and apostles spoke with such language, as did the early church martyrs. The antithesis, or opposing position, is found in the Bible with Satan’s statement to Eve that she would not die if she disobeys God’s thesis statement, “Thou Shalt Not.” Antithesis is a point of view which counters the original thesis. The antithesis paradigm is know as matriarch in the language of socio-psychology since two people with opposite or differing positions may have the common desire to relate with one another. Feelings, or the desire to relate, now interfere with the desire to maintain an opposing position.
The only way two opposing thesis can overcome this blocking action is to negate one or both original positions, either by persuading the other person that their thesis is wrong and yours is right or by one or both persons not bringing up or defending their position. In this way of thinking (or non-thinking) both people have the potential for the realization of human relationship. In most cases this will not happen, so either the stronger person wins by personal force, power of authority (position), majority support, or the power delegated by representation.
When both parties desire to relate or allow feelings to guide their behavior their language must move away from the “Is/Not” language of position, property, authority and sovereignty – “This is my land and you can not come on it.” They must move into the language of relationship, what socio-psychologists call “Ought” language; “Ought to be,” “Should be,” “Could be,” “Might be.” Anytime you hear an “ought” an “is” is under attack. The child who challenges their parents authority, their “is” position with an “I ought to be able to” reveals their desire or feelings to do something different or opposite from the parents. The parent is blocking them from their desired outcome. The response might be “you just don’t understand,” or “You hate me.” Now the parent is put in the position of choosing between holding on to their didactic “Is” position and losing relationship with their child or following after their child’s “ought to be” and compromise their original position. I’m not saying we should not dialogue but there are times you know what “is.” Often the challenge to authority comes in the fashion of “Why?” Sometimes the only response can be “Because I said so.” or “Because God says so.” or “Nevertheless.” These responses maintain a patriarch, didactic, thesis environment and limit if not block the effects of antithesis or rebellion or anarchy.
The third stage of the dialectic, known as synthesis, is the process people use to justify the compromise necessary to realize or actualize their desire to relate with people of differing positions. This is the stage, which accomplishes the experience or praxis expressed in the phrase “diversity in unity.” Self-actualization at this stage is not found in self-control and self-discipline as in the patriarch paradigm (to humble and deny your self under a higher authority, ie. God) but instead through self-esteem, where a person finds his identity, his significance, in his fellow man. This paradigm is a way of “thinking” that overcomes the problem the authority figure represents with their barriers or standards that interfere with human relationships. This synthesis or heresiarch paradigm, is the communication skills noted by socio-psychologists which utilizes the “theory” language of “I think . . .,”and “It seems to me . . .” This paradigm is the “to become like God” attitude, where right and wrong is in man’s control (situation ethics) and not some greater authority above man. In the political and educational realms of socialist and communist countries this is known as “Theory and Practice.” The agenda of dialectic thinking is to move society away from “Truth and Practice” where law defines proper human behavior towards “Theory and Practice” where mankind becomes the law of the land, where any behavior or belief which interferes with human relationship, the greater common good, is considered harmful.
When Eve analyzed the tree and rationalized the solution to her problem she fulfilled the third step of the dialectic. The “rational process” she used to justify her decision to eat of the forbidden fruit is known in the dialectic process as synthesis. It is at this point the Eve practiced (praxis-ed) the dialectic process. The socio-psychological title for a person who helps others to “think” using this paradigm is a facilitator (formerly called a “change agent”) referred to today as a “heresiarch.” Satan was the first facilitator, the first heresiarch, Eve shifted her paradigm from obedience to revolution as she followed Lucifer.
Whether the thesis is called traditional or didactic, the antithesis is called transitional, or the synthesis is called transformational or dialectic, the outcome is always the same. The person is using a particular way of thinking to identify and solve problems. How we identify and solve problems reveals our paradigm, our way of thinking. In humanistic terms Eve became the first problem solver. Her problem was how to “circumvent the limitations” which blocked her from realizing her full potential of “Being like God,” becoming her own person, and identifying with all that is in the universe, which had to include the tree of knowledge of good and evil. She was the first humanist, the first New Ager, the first liberated. The definition of sin is shifting away from being “the estrangement of man from God,” toward being “the estrangement of man from man” because of the very dialectic process Eve actualized in the garden.. She did the dialectic process right there in the Garden. You know how new the New Age is? That is how “new” it is. There really is nothing new under the sun.
What does all this have to do with the Church today? The leadership of the church is shifting its paradigm from didactic to dialectic in addressing the problems found in its own fellowship and in the world. Tools utilized by Satan in his deception of Eve are being utilized by the Church Growth agenda today. What makes this process so lethal is its utilization of scriptures to cover its agenda. It no longer focuses upon translation which is built upon the world “Is”, it has moved through interpretation which is built upon the phrase “I feel,” to where it is now extrapolation (picking and choosing and then redefining) from the word of God those scriptures which justify its desired outcome, that being the rebuilding of the church on a human relationship paradigm.
The role of the facilitator is to seduce, deceive, and manipulate. Lucifer was the first manipulator. He seduced Eve with her “ought” by drawing her out with a neurolinguistic sentence, the most effective sentence structure in the field of hypnosis, a sentence structure that embeds questions in statements, and statements in questions. For example the phrase “I wonder whether you know where your knee is?” is a neurolinguistic phase patterned to initiate an ought to be. The conscious mind recognizes the sentence only being a question “I wonder if . . .?” But the subconscious picks up the statement “you know where your knee is.” When this happens the subconscious begins to draw the person toward looking at the knee but the conscious mind responds with “he did not ask you to look at your knee, you can not look at your knee.” The subconscious mind then responds with “I ought to be able to look at my knee.” This “can not,” “can too” internal tension is known as cognitive dissonance and has the effect of temporarily destabilizing the person. The language of the nervous system (neurolinguistics) then kicks in and says “will you two quite arguing, feel the knee.” So the person is now staring at the other person feeling their knee. They have been sensitized to the material world through the activation of an ought to be. When Satan stated “Yea hath God said . . .” in the Hebrew it has never been known whether to end it with a question mark or a period. It is a pure neurolinguistic phrase. Eve responds didactically “ of all . . .” but then adds “ more . . .”She revealed her ought to be, “I ought to be able to at least touch it.” Where did she get her ought to be? She got it from her internal desire, her lust. Then she adds the didactic statement “lest you die.” Lucifer the facilitator then lied, and deceived her with “you won’t die. God knows . . .”
The drawing out of one’s “ought to be” requires what is called environment control or climate control. Rogerian Psychology by Carl Rogers redeveloped for counseling today the three conditions Satan had to have to move Eve from an “Is/Not” condition. They are (1) Open ended, a we can talk about anything, “What do you think . . .?” “How do you feel. . .?” God is not open ended, traditional parents are not open ended, traditional bosses are not open ended, the laws of nature are not open ended (jump out of a plane at 20,000 ft without a parachute and find out how open ended nature is), the Constitution is not open ended “Congress shall not . . .”, (2) Non-directive, which means I will not tell you what is right and wrong. Again God is not non-directive, He directs, parents direct, the boss directs, the constitution directs, the laws of nature direct, etc. The third condition required to move a person from an “Is” is an (3) Aversion to any closed philosophical point of view (didactic paradigm), in other words, get the “can not’s” or barrier language out of the room. Open ended, non-directive questions are used to get us past our limits and measures set by a higher authority. And the third condition effectively removes the authority figure from our conscious mind, in other words it gets us to mentally remove them from the room.
These are the three conditions Satan had to use to change Eve and they are the three conditions Rogerian Psychology requires for counseling today. Rogerian Psychology is the identical, unadulterated form of environment control Satan used to deliver Eve in the garden. They are the same three conditions used today in Church Growth.
When this environment is created, and a person shares his “ought to be’s” they are in a brain washing program. Brainwashing is washing from the brain any information, which gets in the way of consensus (with sensations or feelings toward human relationship). God’s law gets in the way of consensus. It has the wrong language for world peace, “thou shalt not . . .” according to the process.
Eve then does what is known today as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. These are several stages of needs satisfaction; the seven steps can be simplified to the three basic needs:
(1) Physiological needs of water, food, sleep; exercise (2) self-esteem, the need for other person’s input in ones life, (3) self-actualization or the realization of one’s purpose in life. In the dialectic the first is individual, you do need water, the second is recognition of others, bad or good, you do buy clothes so you will feel good about yourself and others will to, and third we all want to know why we are here. But these are all humanistic without God. Eve first dialogues within herself that “it is good for food,” “it is pleasing to the eyes,” and “it is to make one wise.” The question is was it really good for food or JUST “seemed to be” good for food. The Bible warns us “there is a way (way of thinking or paradigm) that seems to be right unto man but the ends thereof are the ways of death.” (Prov. 14:12) Eve is looking at her needs through dialectic eyes. What kind of wisdom is this? This is not the wisdom, which comes from the fear of God. Instead this is so called wisdom, that stands in defiance to God and His will. The Apostle Paul warns us to avoid the oppositions (Greek word antithesis) of so called science or knowledge (I. Tim. 6:20). He warns us to avoid the dialectic process. Eve did the dialectic process at the tree. She justified her rebellion against higher authority. She was deceived through her heart, her feelings. She then utilized her head to justify her heart. God judged the world by the flood because the imagination of their heart was evil. They were thinking through their feelings. They were praxisizing the dialectic process, the very same process Eve utilized in the Garden. God warns us that it will be in the last days as it was in the days of Noah. And so it is today. When we reject God and His paradigm the dialectic paradigm is the only one we have left. It is our human nature actualized.
You cannot serve God if you are controlled by how people feel about you or what people think about you. This is why we are to “trust in the lord with all our heart and lean not to our own understanding” The Bible warns us that “The fear of man is as a snare” God does not set standards by what we feel or how we think. My concern is why is the church taking polls and surveys (How do you feel, What do you think) and looking to man for direction. Why is it utilizing the very methods Satan utilized on Eve?
Dr. Randy Barton’s speech to the Assembly of God presbyters is troubling. He speaks of “barnacles” slowing the AG ship down, that we need “a recognition that to be relevant in a rapidly changing, diverse, globalizing culture, it is not enough to appoint another committee” a “ “command and control” hierarchical structure” (didactic structure) which he calls “frustrating, antiquated, and irrelevant.” He stated that the AG needs “deep change,” “systemic changes” which will “appeal to the grass roots,” to “hear from the grass roots . . . to start down the path of change.” Where in the Word of God do we find God listening to the grass roots to make change? God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, He “Is” He is the sovereign, we are not, nor can we go into partnership with him. His first command being “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” He drove Adam and Eve out because they were “like” God. We can never approach God on a partnership, as an equal. Only Satan and those who follow him have that attitude, that way of thinking, that paradigm.
Barton tells about “vision kits” being sent out to find out “what God was saying to them [the fellowship] for their Jerusalem.” (Emphasis added) “Out of that process,” of polls and surveys (How do you feel, what do you think) he says a “national vision statement” was developed on “the feelings and hopes and vision of the grass roots.” There was a “substantial change at the executive presbyter level” during this transition period when “5 of 8 presbyters” were replaced (were they barnacles?). Then a “blue ribbon committee” was appointed to oversee the change. They were renamed the “AG Vision for Transformation Committee.” He said “We are to look at everything but our doctrine.” My concern is doctrine affects everything. He then stated “everything is on the table. There should be no sacred cows.” (emphasis added)
The response from regional presbyters was “Are they really serious?” Barton responds “the leaders are very serious about change.” He states “Our role is to facilitate a process where everyone in our fellowship will be able to give input to the process.”(emphasis added). That this is “not some top-down pronouncement . . . but rather a grass-roots transformation.” Anyone who has read up on liberation theology should find this language familiar, a shift from a didactic paradigm to a dialectic paradigm.
He then stated that “First . . . it is critical that we embrace deep change . . . we need to change course, and its about deep change.” (Emphasis added) This is a declared paradigm shift. He sees that “networking strategies” provide “diverse opportunities.” That there is a need for “removing obstacles” which slow the process down. That there is a need for “leveraging . . . resources.” “There is a real feeling that we examine the opportunity for churches to connect . . . in some non-traditional ways.” “We live in a culture built on networks . . . we must recognize the reality of networking structures as the predominate method of connecting.” “It’s all based on relationship and networking and we must develop networking strategies, not just for the Assemblies to God, but for the Kingdom of God.” (Read this as the sacrifice of doctrine for the sake of the whole while you are being told it won’t be so. This is systems language, the language of the globalists) “All that we need to do is join hands together and network those resources and leverage those resources.” “It’s up to us to partner those resources...”
“We need to develop strategies, to identify, train, equip, and mentor ministers. . . promoting dynamic ministries.” We’ve got to examine our credentialing process. It must become a facilitation process.” “It’s a matter of integrating process where we draw and encourage people to come into ministry to do what God has called them to do. Now what does that mean? We don’t know at this point. These are a lot of questions not a lot of answers. That’s why we are embarking on this process.” (Emphasis added) The role of a facilitator is to find one’s needs through a poll or survey so he can find what to seduce with, to deceive with words that appear to the innocent to mean one thing while they can be used for another (ambiguity or double speak) and then to manipulate by the utilizing of the fear of social rejection, where one fears being the odd ball who ends up questioning the process. Discernment does not give you the answers it only tells you there is a problem. The process destroys true discernment. The process requires human input, human reasoning , human compromise, to produce a desirable outcome. The prophets and the watchmen become the barriers to the process of human relationships and reasoning since their input is not built upon how man feels or thinks but what God says.
Barton then adds “that it is critical that we take a hard look at our credentialing process so that it truly becomes a facilitation process.” “Credentialing cannot be homogenous if we are to reach a diverse culture.” “We must be open to different models of church organizational structures to respond to a diverse culture.” He then questions Rich Hammer for his use of “appropriate legal structures and issues for churches” which “create boxes” which work “in a white Anglo-Saxon middle America model.” Again does anyone read liberation theology here? I sure do. Church beware! Barton is concerned that rules “restrict us from doing what God wants us to do.” He says “we’ve go to be open to different types of structures. We must acknowledge that bureaucratic denominationalism . . . loyalty is dead and must be replaced with relationships built around solutions, . . . with innovative strategies that empower and resource them to reach their potential.” “We need to be in the business of doing what the church needs.” “We must realign ourselves . . . be strategically led by teams that are fully empowered and accountable to produce measurable results.” What is the standard if it is not God’s? Did Noah produce measurable results? What is the agenda when such structure of language is not found used by God but instead is used by the Devil as recorded in the Word of God. Barton emphasizes “focus groups” “to bring up from the grass roots” “so that we can look through your eyes” (a Marxist concept explained by J.L.Moreno in his book Who Shall Survive.) Marxism, both traditional but mostly transformational, Marxism, has traveled around the world in small group meetings. The Kurt Lewin process of “Unfreezing, Moving, Refreezing” the key steps to brainwashing is the method used in focus groups today. The “diverse group” (differing opinions of “I think, I feel”) “dialoguing to consensus” (called “group think,” the essence of communism, socialism, humanism, etc.), “over social issues” (temporal needs as Jesus encountered in the temptations but overcame by “It is written” three times to the three steps of the dialectic process, thereby undoing what Eve and Maslow did, Lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life.) “in a facilitated meeting,” is a soviet or council process, which has the sole purpose of removing didactic language from policy thereby changing the participants focus from didactic thought to dialectic humanist socialist thought. It is effective in producing a paradigm shift in all participants except those who refuse to compromise their position and become a witness to their position, the Greek word for witness being “marterius.” NOTE: (don’t know correct Greek spelling)
It is very troubling to see how the church leadership has fallen victim to the seducing methods used by Satan in their quest for reaching souls for Christ.Jesus warned us of this when He said that there would be those who will say “Lord, Lord . . ..”
In our last newsletter we advertised a Symposium in October to be held in Connecticut in which we would be inaugurating the Opal Redin Research Library. This has been postponed to a later date as there is still quite a bit of construction work to be done to complete the task. More information will be forthcoming.
We have included a brochure on the Alpha course as it is now making inroads in our country. We are grateful for people who spend so much painstaking time researching in detail these “winds of doctrine”. Instead of just throwing out everything as “negative” – we do ask that you sincerely spend some time checking out what has been written with the Word of God. It is all of our responsibility in this most serious of times.
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