Confusion in the Pews: Trends in Christianity - Carl Teichrib | thebereancall.org

Teichrib, Carl

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Transcript:

Carl Teichrib: To those who are physically at this Berean Call event and those watching online, thank you! Thank you for being part of this year’s conference. By the fact that you’re part of this event, it’s evident that you wish to productively engage as ambassadors for Jesus Christ. So, again, thank you!

As this is my second and final presentation, I also want to express gratitude to the staff of The Berean Call, both for taking the time to put on an event such as this, but also for graciously offering the opportunity to participate, even if it’s virtual and from a distance! What a time we live in. What a time to be alive. Change is everywhere! The building blocks of Western civilization, the importance of the family, the understanding of what it means to be human, both male and female; the place of the church and the value of private property. The limits of politics. Our age is marked by its shift in the foundations of civilization.           

Now, all of this—all of it—is up for grabs. All is in turmoil. And what we would describe as the “Christian community” is likewise taking its seat in this rapidly sinking boat of confusion and chaos. As we go through this talk, we’ll be landing on what’s happening in the Christian community, the overall “trend” lines, recognizing that Christendom itself, sadly, has become a mission field. Taken together with my other presentation, I trust that this will better help equip you to think about it and respond to our present situation, specifically juxtaposing what’s taking place in the world against the biblical position, and, in particular, to recognize that the world’s message of “oneness”—that man, God, and nature are essentially the same—is now being embraced by those who claim to follow Jesus Christ.

Whereas my first talk dealt with the question of global authority in light of the “oneness,” we’ll be shifting gears. We’ll bring this closer to home, demonstrating that this fundamental idea of “one-ism” is not just an abstract issue, but it is a primary indicator of the worldview shift that revolves around itself. Yes, yes, it does—it’s a feedback loop of falsity. 

As mentioned in my other presentation, “the Lie” was set in motion in Genesis:3:5: that if you overstep God’s order—if you break His commands—then as promised by that deceiver, that “angel of light,” you will become “like the most High.” In other words, by transgressing, you transform into divinity. This is the beginning of “Oneness,” as found in Genesis. Creation—mankind, in this case—desiring to be elevated to the level of the Creator; to erase those distinctions between God and humanity. 

And the bottom line here is that “oneness”—oneness is the attempt by the creation to coopt the position of the Creator. It is to make a claim on His glory. It’s divine identity theft! And it is the lie that beats in all of our fallen hearts. 

Then in Romans chapter 1, we see this unfolding. Turning our back on God, our hearts became darkened, and we chose to follow what is foolish and unnatural, worshiping creation instead of the Creator. 

And so, we spiritually connect to what is made. We venerate nature. We pay it homage. We worship what is created. And with it, a sexual and social revolution ensues as God gives us over to our unnatural inclinations.

But something connected to these two passages happens at the end of time. In Revelation 13, we see the Dragon, also known as Satan, and we see the Beast, the Antichrist, both worshipped by mankind.

Now, here’s something to ponder. Both the Dragon and the Beast are part of the created order. That’s right! Neither of them are the Creator! They, too, are part of nature, even if it blends into the realm of what we would describe as “supernatural.” They are still created beings. 

So, as this final drama unfolds—the worship of the Dragon and the Beast—it connects to Romans 1, and it points back to the first lie: “You will be as God.” From Genesis to Revelation 13, we see a broad connection: that our sinful nature is linked to the deadly belief that creation can be positional—akin to God Himself.

So, here’s a contemporary example—twisting the biblical theme to support the idea of “oneness.” And bear with me: a channeled entity by the name of Solara, expressed through a group of people who called themselves The Starborn. Basically, it’s a New Age religious movement that followed the teachings of this spiritual entity. So Solara revealed that “everyone will rise in cosmic union—human and angelic. And together, we will take our place as God!” 

Consider this quote from one of their teachings: “We are called to unite together in a group initiative as one, binding the human family into a collective whole. Our primary identifications with ourselves shall be with the One, which we truly are—you, me, and everyone else combined. Eventually, if we achieve our chosen task on Planet Earth to transmit Duality into Oneness, then Lucifer, too, with his fallen angels, must wise up in the light to once again sit at the right hand of God as one of the brightest of the angels. For nothing, and no one, is to remain separate from God. Within the greater reality, everything is God.”

It doesn’t get more blatant than that!

Now, let’s look at the other side: the question of “truth.” In the drama leading up to Jesus’s crucifixion, we see our Lord is being questioned by Pontius Pilate, who was the governor. In this exchange, Pilate comments to Jesus that the chief priests have delivered Him up. In other words, Jesus’s very own people—specifically the religious leaders—had found Him worthy of being handed over for execution. 

Now, the Jewish religious leaders enjoyed a level of civil authority, but they didn’t have the legal right to see this through. Capital punishment was the domain of the Roman state; therefore, Jesus had to be taken to Pilate, a Magistrate who finds no fault in Him.”

Now, Pilate, he stands in a precarious position! He’s caught between doing the right thing (letting Jesus go free), or giving in to the demands of the people. 

John 18 offers a glimpse into how this crucial conversation unfolded with Pilate. Pilate asked Him, “What have you done wrong?”

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews. But now My kingdom is not from here.”

Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are you a king, then?”

Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause, I was born, and for this cause I have come into this world that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” 

And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all!”

Pilate was close—so close—when he asked, “What is truth?”

Now, it’s a very serious question. And I don’t think Pilate was concerned much beyond the political implications of his immediate situation. Nevertheless, it’s a query that has been argued beyond the ages: What is truth?

But when we reexamine this exchange between Jesus and Pilate, something more striking emerges, and that is the Governor should have rephased this from “What is truth?” to “Who is truth?” For the one who is truth, the Creator of the Universe—literally the author of life who would soon vanquish death—was standing there, right in front of Pilate.

Indeed, the issue of truth is central to the Bible. Psalm:25:5: “Lead me in Your truth, and teach Me, for You are the God of my salvation.”

Proverb 145:18: “The Lord is near to all who call on Him; to all who call on Him in truth.”

John:1:14: “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John:14:6: “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Jesus Christ, the one bearing witness to the truth, is the highest truth; the truest truth; the first and the final truth. And so as His followers, we need to consider being truth tellers in this age of the Lie. 

Now, when we consider being truth tellers, there are three primary models of outreach in the New Testament. Model number one is the appeal to scriptural authority, and He used this when the audience is making a claim that they have their authority, based in some scripture, or in some biblical context. And here, this is a technique or a method of exhorting and teaching. A good example is Jesus Christ to the religious rulers, and even to His own disciples: “Have you not read…? It’s an appeal back to scriptural authority: “Don’t you know…?” You should know! You are making this appeal.

And then, model number two is to recognize the personal—recognize the personal issues. And we deal with truth, or we come to the table both with truth and with grace. The example is Jesus Christ to the sinners, going to the mistrusted, going to the shunned. He’s dining with the tax collectors. He goes to the woman at the well. He came, not to call the righteous, but he came to call those who are sinners. And He’s interacting with them at a personal level.

It’s a different model than the appeal to Scriptural authority, what he is doing with the religious rulers.

And then, model number three is to acknowledge God as Creator. And this is a model that’s being used—we see Paul specifically using it as he’s addressing pagan cultures; as he’s going as an ambassador. Paul and Barnabas in Lystra is one example in the Book of Acts, where they’re making the appeal to their audience that “this God that we serve is the livingGod! He’s the one who made heaven and earth! He’s the one who made the seas and all things in them.”

Second Corinthians, chapter 5, verses 20-21, gives us this call of being an ambassador: “Now, then, we are ambassadors for Christ as though God were pleading through us. We implore you, on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God, for He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

So, what does it mean to be an ambassador? Well, first, you’re the official and legal representative of your government. That’s what an ambassador is. So you are literally the legal representative of the King of kings in this foreign land that you find yourself in. An ambassador takes the time to know his own king’s power and position, because you represent hisinterests and not your own. And then, an ambassador also works to understand the culture of the foreign land. We’re set apart from it, but you can’t be uninformed as to its character or its composition. 

And you’re doing all this for two reasons: 1) So you can effectively communicate the King’s message to that land, 2) and that you can also recognize the challenges to the King’s message and alert those who are also called to be ambassadors to areas of concern—to say, “Hey, look! This is what’s coming down the pike.”

One of the best early church examples of being an ambassador is Paul at Athens. We see this in the Book of Acts, chapter 17. Here Paul was visiting what is a pagan city, and he has taken the time to survey its spiritual landscape. Now, what does he find? Well, he finds that there are some believers in the true God, but the primary worldview is a pagan orientation. And in his travels about the city, looking at the many shrines and the temples and the pagan deities, Paul sees a monument with an inscription “To the Unknown God.” So after engaging in the marketplace, he’s taken to the Council of Areopagus. Now, this Council of Areopagus was a legal body, historically tasked with judging criminal matters. But the Council was also charged with examining new religious claims, acting, really, as the city’s spiritual gatekeepers.

As the legal instrument by which to judge divine affairs, they—this council—would decide if a newly introduced deity was worthy of acceptance. Furthermore, these eminent judges met on a hill adjacent to the Acropolis, the spiritual hub of the city.  For the Acropolis housed a collection of prominent temples to pagan gods and goddesses, and now that, in part, is the context—Paul, standing before the judges of the city and being questioned under the shadow of the city’s most important pagan temples. Now Paul must give an account.

Intimidating? No doubt! And so, Paul—he leverages what he’s observed in their culture. He uses the Monument to the Unknown God as a jump-off point. He tells them that the one they don’t know, He is the Creator, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, and that this God doesn’t reside in temples. Moreover, this is the God who gives life and breath to all people, and even establishes the boundaries of mankind. Paul then references their own philosophers to make his point, even quoting from the hymn of Zeus! In other words, Paul understands their world, and then he dives into the issue of repentance, and how God will judge everyone through the righteousness of Jesus Christ, proving this by raising Him from the dead!

Now, hearing this, some of them—some of the council members, of course, they mocked him. Others wanted to hear more. And at least one member of the council along with others from the city came to believe in Jesus Christ!

Now, what’s the point? In all of this, Paul, like you, was a messenger, an ambassador, a truth teller. So in this brief portion of the text, we have an important model for how to engage in our Roman-run world. We understand the situation; we recognize a common point of entry; then we present the distinct character of the true God, the nature of mankind, and the answer that comes through Jesus Christ alone: “This is the truth trajectory that we need to follow.”

“But Carl, isn’t this talk going to be about the overall trends within Christianity? And if so, wouldn’t the first model of truth-telling, the appeal to scriptural authority­—wouldn’t that be our primary approach?”

Yes! And we need to—we must—return to what the Word of God says, pointing out the truth of God’s character, the nature of man, and the exclusive work of Jesus Christ, even to those in the church, and actually—especially, as you’ll see—especially to those in the church. At the same time, as you’ll see, large segments of the Christian community have embraced pagan thinking and accepted pagan practices. So the paganization of those in the pews compels us to consider Paul’s approach. Or at least a modification of it, to fit in our current situation, for the church is increasingly looking like the world.  

So, if the church is now following culture, what does today’s social stream look like? Now, I chart this out in my book, Game of Gods, but here are a few points to consider: First, biblical Christianity, at least according to the culture, is increasingly rejected as irrelevant; outdated. And it’s even being labeled as dangerous! 

At the same time, materialism and secularism—that’s being pushed aside. Consideration now, is being given to the “spiritual.” And so a new framework is being constructed in which what is being described as an ancient wisdom, a pagan perspective—that guides cultural norms and accepted social truths. And with this has been the adoption of pagan myth into the academic, scientific, political, and cultural arena. Mother Earth and dipocology, [sp], the living cosmos, interdependence, the oneness of the universe. And, as we talked about in our previous presentation, this comes into the realm of the state, the paganization of politics surround international governance. Climate change, ecology, sustainable development. Our focus now internationally is on the earth.

Eastern spirituality has become mainstream. We don’t even think about it anymore! It’s just adopted in. Yoga. Transcendental Meditation. Reiki. We seek out mystical experiences: psychedelics is now mainstream. And this offers the inner experience of Oneness. “See, it’s true! Just take this sacrament. Take LSD. Engage in Iowaska. Take a psychedelic substance, and you will see that you are divine, that there’s a oneness, because you have experienced it internally.”

Our politics, as mentioned, bends to earth-based loyalties: green spirituality, and it all aligns with global citizenship values, which is what we talked about, what I brought forward at last year’s conference.  We now preach “One World.” 

So, how has the church responded? Have we responded with prayer, discernment, understanding? Have we been equipping the church so that we could meet the challenges of our age? Or have we emulated and adopted the world’s point of view?           ‘

Have we become apathetic to what it means to stand as ambassadors for Christ? Have we chosen ignorance? Even aligned to ignore or to fear or to ridicule what is taking place in the world around us? Unfortunately, in many respects, we have adopted the world’s point of view. We have taken our seat at that table. 

Indeed, the church itself, we find, within the Christian community, that we have slid into post-modernism. And at the same time, we’ve embraced human potential thinking: the power of you! The mantra of Selfism rings through our churches: “Accept thyself!” “Esteem thyself!” “Express thyself!” We seek after the experiential. We also want to feel divinity. We want to feel God.

Emergent and progressive voices have greatly influenced church life, from the young people to the older generation. We are now more interested in Social Justice themes: Environmentalism. Interfaithism. Equality.

And eastern spiritual practices and forms of mysticism are no longer far removed from church life. Yoga, Labyrinths, and the Enneagram, have all made their way into the Christian community. 

Now, to give you an example, a number of years ago, I was to preach at a church, which had been renting a room at a Mennonite university. Upon arrival, I was met at the door by the pastor, and he was quite disturbed. He explained that his congregation had been renting a room in the university for years. But unexpectedly, they had been moved that morning down the hall to a less-favorable location. The reason? The school needed their room to host Sunday morning yoga classes.

My wife had a different experience with Labyrinths. A few years ago, she was asked to participate at a board meeting for a regional church group. But before she went, one of the pastors on the board reached out and told everyone on the attendee list that he would make sure each person could spend time in his church’s labyrinth. My wife asked what information I had on Labyrinths, and so I ended up writing a Position Paper on it’s spiritual history and use, and then she delivered it. The Pastors and the other Board Members received it, but it didn’t really matter. The Labyrinth, a contemplative tool used for a mystical connection with God to help you “feel” God, to encounter God, remained in that particular church for years afterwards.

Yeah, if you’re interested in reading this paper, it’s publicly available on my website, ForcingChange.org. 

So, what’s happening in realm of Christendom? Allow me to share some findings from a number of different studies. In 2009, the Pew Research Center (which is a secular group, by the way. It’s not a Christian organization by any stretch). They surveyed Christians in the United States, and they discovered this: Large minorities between 21-49 percent of mainline Christians believed in Reincarnation, Spiritual Power in Physical Objects, they practice yoga, consulted a psychic, or they believe in Astrology. Seventy percent of Evangelicals claimed to some type of mystical experience, and 28 percent of those who attended a religious service at least once a week also attended a service of another faith.

What’s important is the study makes it very clear—they’re not talking about another denomination. They’re talking about another faith altogether. 

And then, in 2017, Barna and Summit ministries  teamed up to survey Christians on the issue of “New Spirituality.” Now, this is a new direction that’s observable in the culture all around us, and that’s how they phrase it: “New Spirituality.” 

The survey discovered that 61 percent of practicing Christians held to views associated with New Spirituality. Twenty-eight percent of Christians claimed that all people pray to the same God or spirit, no matter what name they use for the spiritual being. Twenty-seven percent believe that “meaning and purpose come from becoming ‘one with all that is’.” And 32 percent hold to a more Eastern approach, that if you do good, you’ll receive good. If you do bad, you’ll receive bad. It’s more aligned with Hinduism’s idea of Karma than it is with a biblical worldview. 

Ligonier, in their state of theology, published back in March 2020, this is some of the findings in their survey. They discovered that 84 percent of Evangelicals agree with this statement: “God counts a person as righteous, not because of one’s works but only because of one’s faith in Jesus Christ.”

And I’m going, “Yes! That’s awesome!” But it’s still only 84 percent. How come that’s not 100 percent. Forty-two percent of Evangelicals agree, and this is considered to be better than other years, with this statement: “God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.”    

We already at this point have an issue between that and the first set of findings. 

To the statement, “Jesus was a great teacher, but he was not God”—thirty percent of evangelicals agreed with that statement. Only sixty-six percent disagreed. 

And the latest report from the Cultural Research Center can only be described as, well, bad news! Very bad news! “The data shows that there’s a growing cultural acceptance of Marxism, sexual openness, and support for abortion.”

Now, that’s within the general population. But the Christian community itself, including those who identify as “born again,” are not immune from supporting those views. Not only that, nearly half of those who claim to have a biblical worldview affirmed that it doesn’t matter what faith you have, just as long as you have a faith, whatever it may be. And that approximately one-third of people who say they have a biblical worldview believe in Karma! And then the following data on America’s pastoral situation is abysmal. It’s shocking! In one of the press releases associated with the survey, it was noted that only 37 percent of American pastors possess a biblical worldview, which includes core biblical beliefs and issues of morality that line up with Scripture—that’s only 37 percent! When you break down the categories, it’s rather grim. Only 41 percent of lead pastors complied with the biblical positions.      

Associate and assistant pastors only ranked at 28 percent of holding a biblical worldview. Teaching pastors and youth pastors dropped to an abysmal 13 and 12 percent respectively. And executive pastors ranked down at 4 percent in holding to a biblical worldview! The press release stated that “A new nationwide survey among a representative sample of America’s Christian pastors shows that a large majority of those pastors do not possess a biblical worldview. In fact, just slightly more than a third. Thirty-seven percent have a biblical view, and the majority, 62 percent possess a hybrid worldview known as “syncretism.” Clearly, there’s confusion in the pews!

My wife and I witnessed this while attending a day-long conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on the question of becoming “emergent.” Phyllis Tickle, the mother of the Emergent Church movement was the keynote speaker, and she’d been brought in to help Manitoba pastors and lay people wrestle through what it meant to be emergent. It was a full venue! It was a packed room with a lot of people who were there representing what we would describe as conservative and evangelical churches! And that’s important to know. She hadn’t been invited by liberal mainstream congregations but rather evangelical Mennonite churches and other conservative-oriented groups, that included Christian colleges. They’re the ones who had brought her to the table. 

And as the afternoon progressed, it was obvious that the vast majority in attendance either agreed or were complementary to her positions. The consensus was clearly positive, affirming the emergent narrative that Phyllis was laying out. It was a narrative that was pushing very progressive notions. 

So, what did she talk about? She described the coming age as a giant rummage sale around the issue of “what is true?” And she told us that Sola Scriptura is dead, and this will be especially so when churches embrace same-sex unions and that we should be celebrating this. As she went, she talked about how all truth claims are up for grabs, including the Bible. “Truth is relative.” “God is a mystery.” “Authentic spirituality is experience-based.” “The emergent faith that is blossoming will be ‘green,’ and it will place this even above personal salvation.” “Creation, the Atonement, and Sin are taboo subjects.” Why? Because these issues “cause separation.” 

Interestingly, in the years I’ve followed the Emergent Church movement, itself experienced a type of transformation. And while its ideas of influences are still in play, it witnessed a general schism of sorts. Some who were emergent recognized the theological folly and social chaos it was causing, and they backed away. Some retraced and went back, looking for a solid biblical foundation. Others—a lot of others—just simply dropped away all together. And a very significant segment moved down the path further toward a more radical entrenchment, merging into what is now called “Progressive Christianity,” an ever-evolving form of “New Spirituality.” 

Now, Progressive Christianity, very broadly speaking (and it’s hard to really just nail it down—it’s like trying to nail down Jello to a wall. It’s difficult because it’s evolving and changing and morphing, and it’s certainly a leftist position.

But Progressive Christianity, broadly speaking, says that Christianity is a cultural, communal foundation. It’s a tradition. “That’s all Christianity is. It’s my tradition.”

It’s subjective. It’s relative. It’s about the self, and how I feel. It places itself on a stage. It becomes an actor in theater of Social Justice and sexual identity and economic equality. Climate change! It unashamedly moves toward Earth-service. You’re an “informed global citizen. You’re working for sustainable development!” When you recognize in the progressive movement the “sacredness of nature.” It espouses that a mythic thread weaves through all religions. It’s this perennial philosophy that we’re now tapping into. It embraces inter-faithism and inter-spirituality, ultimately saying that all expressions are really valid. They’re all ultimately valid. Spirituality is an experiential mystery. It’s a journey that we’re all on. And it accepts, of course, then, the mystical practices with a mystical version of who or what Jesus might have been. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to share two short videos from the Progressive side, because sometimes it’s good to hear things directly.

Audio: Because I believe in this over-arching universal crisis. Truly what Paul says, “in all things. The ‘in all things,’ bringing all things, reconciling all things, that there is one golden thread through everything, and God is working in and through that. Now, for me, Christianity is my heritage. Christianity is my lineage. I’m a Westerner. I’m an American, so by nature I’m going to be a Christian. Even more so, I was born into a Christian household, and I’ve been a Christian pastor, and my education is in Christian leadership. So, for me, my rootedness, my groundedness, my tradition, that I feel the most connected in is the Jesus tradition.

“So, I’m a Christian, but I do have interfaith leaning where I am not opposed to any other way of experiencing God. Through Taoism, you know? Allen Watts has been pivotal in my life revealing a lot of Hindu and Taoist ideas that have, I think, really dovetailed perfectly with Jesus and with the Christian narrative. That it’s been in Christian circles, just in the more…pushed-to-the-side ones, you know. Because people used to get literally killed for different ideas 400 years ago. There’s a tweet I just saw that said, ’You know, if you’re not believing things that would have got you killed 400 years ago, are you even living?’ It’s really funny.

“But the point being is, I have to reconcile—I have to reconcile that that is the right path for me, and that I am not going to be swayed by anyone else’s prescription for me to do anything other than what I feel like the Spirit of God is doing in me, that’s bringing me more wholeness, more fullness, more excitement, more curiosity, more connectedness and oneness with God. Which, *newsflash* that was Jesus’s whole premise. If you read John 17, he finishes the prayer with that “we would be one with the Father (Mother) as He is One with the Father.” We’re using “Father” because first-century B.C. that’s the language they used. Hinduism uses “mother” and I appreciate that as well, too. Because God does not have a gender. Newsflash! But, the point being is we have to be radically committed to the true self. To the true Self in us. Because the reality is may of us allow people to dictate our livelihood and our path. And then what happens? We live into a false self. We live into a false narrative that’s been manipulated, coerced, and, you know, crafted by things that aren’t ‘us.’ That aren’t Christ. That aren’t the Divine. And the problem with that is we are never able to be fully alive and to who we are and who we were created to be, and the fullness of life that I believe God wants each and every one of us to left in the fullness of. So….”

“Who is Jesus for the Progressive Movement?” I think it’s important to understand that we don’t try and tell people what “Jesus” they ought to believe in, although there are many “Jesus’s” as we look at the wide spectrum of Christian beliefs. I can share, probably, what most of the people in our part of the Progressive Movement believe in Jesus. Certainly, it would be my own explanation, and that is that Jesus was a human being, born 2000 years ago in some village in Galilee. He was a fully human person who had a fully divine experience or a series of experiences. How he got there is open for question. My belief is that he was a serious spiritual teacher that began to teach after he had had many of his own experiences of the Divine. Many of his own experiences of the Godness or Godliness. His own experiences that actually changed the way he saw the world. The way he saw reality, and began to realize that there were no enemies. That there were no strangers. That there were no people that were different than him in terms of the fact that ll of us have that Godness, or that Divine, within us. And so he gave us lessons on how to move toward such an understanding of reality. I believe he called that “being awake.” He uses that a lot. But it requires us to make dramatic changes—for most of us, at least. I do believe some people may be born that way.

But for most of us, we begin to move toward seeing others as something similar to us, searching for the divine in each of us. And when we find the divine in the other, it’s probably the easiest way to find the divine in us.

So, Jesus was a teacher who taught us how to move toward something very special. To be awake, and to find heaven here on earth. To find “the kingdom,” he may have called it, but certainly to have an experience of the oneness of life, where all duality disappears. Where all boundaries and divisions, where all tribes, disappear, and we begin to operate in a very different way in our lives.

Carl: yes, in adopting the spiritual core of the lie, a form, of willful confusion reigns. What do we take away from this? First, it would be easy to slump into a state of apathy or depression, because it is demoralizing when we consider what Christendom is moving toward. We’re watching our society come apart, because I believe its foundations have crumbled. But they haven’t crumbled under the weight of secularism. They haven’t even crumbled under the weight of paganism. 

Trust me, that’s there. But rather under the neglect of Christians. And this is primarily a neglect of biblical truth, starting with the One who is true, Jesus Christ. Like Pontius Pilate, the modern church is looking to the crowd, to the culture. And the modern church is looking to the culture or to society for guidance. And more than that, for justification. Instead of acknowledging who is true, the church has been missing the point by playing footsie with the Post-Modern question of our very confused age: “What is truth?”

And so we need to honestly recognize that as the church drifts from “who is true,” it will embrace a multitude of untruths. And this takes me back to my previous talk on global politics. I’m not surprised when I attend the Parliament of the World’s Religions, or the G-8 World Religions Summit, or World Federal and Global Government meetings, and that there, in our midst, sometimes even dominating the discussion in favor of International Management, are Christian representatives and pastors and leaders from within the Christian community.

Just as importantly, actually even more importantly, we must recognize that the church is now its own mission field. This means that if your congregation is strong in the Lord, then you need to be wise in safeguarding and strengthening the local body. But then, it also means that when your church slides—and I pray it does not—that you speak truth into that situation. 

And, finally, that as churches and Christians increasingly drift deeper into a theological wasteland that we lovingly, boldly, truthfully, compassionately, in wisdom and grace, be Ambassadors for Christ in this increasingly Antichristian church age. For the church is now a mission field. 

And that brings us around to our calling as Ambassadors. We know the calling. It’s written out in Matthew 28: “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” Then Mark 16: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Now, we could add “to the church.” Acts 1 says, “You shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” 

That is our calling. We are to be messengers of truth. We are to be truth tellers.

Matthew 5: “You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt loses its flavor, how is it to be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Let your light so shine before men.”

And then, lastly, the call of the Christian ambassador, as taken from the Old Testament…and this is the call that we have not just to the world outside of the church body but now, increasingly, internally as well.

“O, sing to the Lord a new song,” Psalms:96:1-3 says. “Sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord. Bless His name.”

Here is the call of the ambassador: “Proclaim the good news of his salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, his wonders among all peoples.”

Listen, if you’d like to know more about the trends of our age, the historical context and the modern manifestations, so that you’re better equipped and better informed to be an ambassador, then check out my book, Game of Gods: The Temple of Man in the Age of Re-enchantment. Now, the book covers issues such as the shift into and beyond most post-modernism, the rise of Paganism, the cult of world order, the spiritual politics of interfaithism, even how transhumanism is a counter-salvation movement, and it dives into the influence and scope of transformative culture, including events like Burning Man. And then, as a free service to you, I have a number of articles and reports of interest on my webpage, ForcingChange.org. From 2007 until 2015, I produced a monthly intelligence style publication on the religious, political, and cultural forces of change, documenting these shifts and working through implications regarding what it looks like from the point of view as Christians. All the back issues are free as well. 

So, go to GameofGods.ca to learn more about my book. You can also find it on Amazon, and I know The Berean Call carries it. And certainly, go to ForcingChange.org, sign up, and utilize the resources that are there. 

God bless, and thank you for participating at this year’s Berean Call Conference.