By Sandy Simpson, 11/19/13
This is a name I came up with for people attending and teaching at Oral Roberts University in the 70s. Even back then I had come to realize that their way of representing Christianity was not in line with the Scriptures. At that time I didn’t know that Oral Roberts was carrying on the Word of Faith traditions of New Thought practitioners such as Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Essex Kenyan, Norman Vincent Peale, Robert Schuler, and many other false teachers of the time. Though I didn’t know anything about Word of Faith or New Thought then I knew that the way they were representing Christianity was just not right somehow. Their desire to portray Christians as rich, beautiful, healthy, perfect, and virtually sinless (holiness) went directly against the example of Jesus, the Apostles and the early church.
Borrowing a teaching from Alistair Begg in his series called “Good News, Bad News” I got the feeling that these modern so called “Christians” believed that they were “King’s Kids” but that any suffering in Christianity belonged to Jesus and the Apostles in the early church and that they did not need to participate in persecution and ridicule. I later realized that these people, along with the millions that they have led down the garden path of Prosperity Teaching, are the very picture of the end times Laodicean church spoken of in Revelation. They are the church that thinks they are rich and needs nothing but who are really lukewarm and are in danger of being spit out of the Lord’s mouth.
Revelation 3:17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. (NIV)
They believe they are the most “anointed” generation ever in Christianity when they are really wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. They could never say with Paul that they are an offscouring because, “Ew, that’s just gross!”.
1 Corinthians 4:13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.
They have been taught for many decades now that, not only are they NOT garbage, they are the spiritual elite. They are the ones who are going to take over the world and save the planet. They are the people who will fix the world before Christ comes back. But little do they know that they are deceived and cannot possibly save this planet until the Resurrection and the return of Christ where He is the One Who is going to solve all those problems. False teachers like Rick Warren continue this notion with claims that the church will solve problems like hunger, lack of education, disease, etc.
During the five weekends of November, we'll teach five messages on the P.E.A.C.E. plan: a strategy to have every small group in our church, and then tens of thousands of small groups in other churches, become engaged in solving the five biggest problems in the world: Spiritual Lostness, Lack of Godly Leaders, Poverty, Disease, and Lack of Education. (http://www.saddleback.com/home/todaystory.asp?id=6213)
But this is a patently false claim and has nothing to do with what a true Biblical born again Christian is commanded to accomplish. The Great Commission of Christ has not magically disappeared in our time. But those who want to bring in a New Age of Universalism, Pluralism, and Postmodernism do not tolerate the exclusive claims of Christ nor are they sharing them with those who don’t know Him. They would rather talk about the things they believe all people have in common in an unregenerate world of useless religions rather than talk about the ultimate reality of Jesus Christ, which is the fact that He is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6)! They are solidly behind efforts to put the names of every “supreme being” in the world into Bibles so that they can look like they are being “sensitive” every culture while claiming that God created those pagan cultures, instead of recognizing that there is only one Name under heaven by which men may be saved (Acts 4:12). They are the same people who compromrise with most of the preachers on the television sets of the world … the Joel Osteens, the Benny Hinns, the Joseph Princes, the Rick Warrens, and on and on and on. They preach another gospel because the Gospel is one of the most down to earth messages ever given on this planet and is generally not well received. It is not there to make “Glitter Christians”, it is there to make “Sinners Saved By Grace”.
This is not only the fault of Word of Faith teachers but also of Reformed Theology Calvinists. They take the freedom that we have in Christ, which is actually freedom from continuing to sin over and over, to “practice sin” (1 John 3:4-9), and make it seem as though Christians never sin. In fact this is exactly what Joseph Prince teaches. On the other hand we have the semi-Pelegianists and Arminanists who claim that original sin does not make man entirely sinful. But the fact of the matter is that without being born again people have no forgiveness of sin when they confess it to Jesus Christ. That is because Jesus is not yet their Savior. They must first believe in Him and confess that they are a sinner and commit their lives to Him (1 John 1:9) in order to be able to obtain forgiveness. Then any true believer will continue in a humble spirit or repentance when they sin (1 John 1:10), realizing that when we sin as believers, being still in this natural flesh and mind, we have an advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1), that is forgiveness through Jesus Christ when we confess our sins to Him.
But the only gospel many people get from the false teachers of today is a gospel of love without the truth. The Bible says that we should speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). The problem is that many err on one side or the other of that admonishment. Some speak the truth but harshly without love. Others speak of love without speaking the truth. I’ve seen this amply demonstrated by a number of groups (not all) who do street witnessing. Many times you’ll see one group that was signs telling people they’re going to hell without telling them that Jesus loved them enough to come to die for their sans in their place. Others major on the love of God but never talk about hell. Both groups are wrong and you cannot be saved by listening to their messages. A majority of mega churches today have stripped the Gospel of its effectiveness by not wishing to offend people in talking about their sins. They major on using psychology to convince people that they just need to think positive thoughts and make positive statements. In fact some Emergent Church leaders have even redefined hell as something less than a real place of eternal torment (Matt. 25:46). When you see the Gospel being downgraded and the Bible being added to or taken away from, you are seeing the proof of the Apostasy which is already here (2 Thes. 2:3).
The Apostasy is also not some kind of “rapture” for the wicked as certain preachers of Pre-Tribulational Rapture teach. It is a Falling Away of Christians and churches that was prophesied through Paul and other apostles that would happen in the end times before the emergence of the Antichrist. Today apologists and discernment ministries are warning that most churches and denominations are falling away from the core doctrines of the Bible and the Gospel message. Most “Glitter Christians” erroneously believe that the modern day Church is the most powerful and evolved in the history of mankind. They believe that the Church will rise up and take control of the world governments, businesses, and every other aspect of life.
See, the problem is, is that Satan has had too much of his way in our society because he has a government! And the only way to overthrow a government is with a government. It won’t happen otherwise. So therefore the government of the church has to get into place in the extended church just like we do have it very well in place, we haven’t reached our goal yet, but it’s very well established in the nuclear church. ... These apostles in the workplace are the ones that are going to come into the picture and with them we’ll be open these gates, without them we can have all the prayer meetings we want, all the marches for Jesus we want, all the prayer walking we want, the gates aren’t going to be opened. Because it takes a government to overthrow a government. Gate number one, letter A, the gate of social transformation, the gate of social transformation. ... This gate will be opened when we understand about the church in the workplace, that the church has a government, that it takes a government to overthrow a government, and when we understand this, if we renew our minds, if we embrace this paradigm shift, if we see, if we hear what the spirit is saying to the churches, if we recognize ministry in the extended church and government in the extended church, the revival we’ve been praying for is just around the corner. We will see it. ...And now I pray for every individual here, before you, who is in the workplace, who tomorrow and in the days to come will be going out to their ministries in the workplace, and I impart to them an anointing, I impart to them an anointing for not seeing a job, but seeing a ministry in the workplace. And I impart an anointing to them and to this whole community to recognize and raise up apostles who will set the church in the workplace in order so that our cities, our communities, our states, and our nations will be transformed for Your glory, in Jesus’ name. (C. Peter Wagner, Arise Prophetic Conference, Gateway Church, San Jose, CA, 10-10-2004)
But they fail to realize that they are simply living proof of the fulfillment of Scripture when it talks about a “woman who rides the beast” (Rev. 17:3). These deluded people believe that they can actually change the world and save the planet when the Bible is clear that only Jesus Christ will do that when He returns. You don’t change the world by Christianizing and legislating morality from the outside. Rather any true change has to come from the inside out and that can only be accomplished by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the second birth when a person truly believes in the Lord Jesus Christ and repents of their sin. That is how true change has always been brought about in the world, not by ruling over people. But according to the New Apostolic Reformation adherents that is exactly what the New Foundational Apostles are supposed to do, i.e. rule.
You can get a prophetic word to edify, exhort and comfort you, but we’re talking about now the authorities that God has set in the church, they have an authority in your life that others don’t have because you are to submit to them because they have the rule over you. (National School Of The Prophets- Mobilizing The Prophetic Office, John Eckhardt - Friday, 5/12/00, 7:00 p.m. - Session 12, Transcribed from video)
This is in direct opposition to what Jesus told the disciples, that they were not allowed to lord it over people like the Gentiles did.
Matt. 20:25-28 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His [n]life a ransom for many.”
And yet it seems to me that many churches today have as their main agenda “ruling the world” in the name of Christ. They forget that it is only Jesus Christ Himself who can rule this world in place of the devil who, I hesitate to tell you, is ruling it now (Acts 26:18). The church was never made to rule over the nations of this world. The saints rule and reign as His servants for 1000 years only after the second coming of Christ at the resurrection. (1 Cor. 6:2-3) For now we continue in the mandate that Jesus Christ left us when He ascended into heaven. We are to preach the Gospel and disciple believers from all nations until He comes (Mark 16:15, Matt. 28:19). People who call themselves Christians but are not doing this are not obeying the Lord. John is quite explicit when he says that you prove that you love the Lord by obeying Him.
John 14:23-24 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
Those who do not obey Him prove that they do not love Him. That is why it is imperative that Christians who are busy trying to dominate the world check themselves to see if they are in the Faith. I’ve written an article about that as well as produced a DVD on the subject of examining yourself to see if you’re in the faith and holding on. The Bible’s quite clear that only those who hold on to their faith in Christ till the end will be saved!
John 8:31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
1 Corinthians 15:2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
And yet the deception is so strong and the pull of the world is so attractive that many people who believe they are true Christians likely are not. They call themselves “Christians” yet they are masquerading (2 Cor. 11:13). They are ever more willing to mix all beliefs in one big pot and call that Christian “tolerance”. Pluralism, Postmodernism, Inclusivism, and outright Universalism are now becoming the norm and a way for the world to judge the churches. But the world is not our judge. Our judge is the coming One, Jesus Christ. Those who wish to live in a postmodern world where they make up their own reality will be slapped in the face with the Reality of God’s absolute Truth one day at the Judgment Seat. Those who are afraid to spread the exclusive claims of Jesus Christ Himself are frankly ashamed of the Lord. And if they are ashamed of Him then He will be ashamed of them.
Luke 9:26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.