Wayne Dyrness

Re-Inventing the Church – Part 1

Re-Inventing the Church – Part 1
by Berit Kjos – 2002

“Thus says the Lord:  ‘Stand in the ways and see,  and ask for the old paths, where the good way is,  and walk in it;  then you will find rest for your souls.  But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’  Jeremiah 6:16



“The Church seems afraid to invest in new modes of being the Church, breaking free from antiquated models and irrelevant traditions toward living the gospel in a twenty-first-century context.”[1] George Barna, Leaders on Leadership

“Our common future will depend on the extent to which people and leaders around the world develop the vision of a better world and the strategies, the institutions, and then will to achieve it.”[2] The UN Commission on Global Governance


“…there is a substantial critical mass of people and churches that are already moving.’ …While acknowledging that there are still many unhealthy churches, there is a justified‘change in basic premises, basic attitudes, basic mind set… on the whole, we are on the march….”[3] Peter Drucker on the Church and Denominations,” Leadership Network.


A strange distortion of truth has spread like a grass fire on a windy day through churches around the world. It calls God’s people not just to understand our changing times from the world’s perspective, but to actually blow with the wind and help fuel the transformation. This Church Growth Movement (CGM) uses familiar old words to persuade the people, but it conforms God’sWord as well as human thinking to politically correct views of unity, community, service and change. 

Behavioral laboratories, schools, UNESCO and liberal churches all helped light that fire during the 20th century. Hidden from sight, their subversive efforts seared America’s Biblical foundations and prepared the masses to believe a lie.

Now, at the dawn of the new millennium, “conservative” and “evangelical” churches are following suit. Worldwide “Christian” networks provide trained leadership and management consultants to guide God’s people along this alluring superhighway to a new world order. Forget the old narrow way that leads to life. Today’s “change agents” hope to popularize Christianity so effectively that whole nations will join their crusade.

Forget solid  Bible teaching and “the offense of the cross.” To win the masses “for Christ”, the church must be re-cloaked in a more permissive and appealing image. It must be marketed to the world as “a safe place,” purged of the moral standards that stirred conviction of sin and a longing to separate from the world’s immorality.  So they re-imagined a feel-good church stripped of offense – one the world could love and claim as its own.

Their march to a “better world” is well under way. In this new church, group thinking, compromise, conflict resolution, the dialectic process and facilitated consensus are in.  Uncompromising conviction and resistance to group consensus are out.  For God’s way seems far too intolerant to fit the managed systems of the new millennium. [To better understand these terms, please read Brainwashing in America and The People’s Church]

Guiding the revolution

Dissatisfaction with existing conditions seems to be a prerequisite for intentional change. ….dissatisfaction should not be regarded merely as a factor operating to furnish initial motivation. It should be utilized at all stages of the process to keep crystallization from setting in.” (See Utilization of Dissatisfaction)

Hard to believe? Then listen to the leadership team chosen by George Barna, founder and president of Barna Research Group, to write his revolutionary 1995 book, Leaders on Leadership. I call it revolutionary because it is. It actually invites a revolution in the Church and shows a new brand of leaders how to manage it.

Doug Murren, former senior pastor of Eastside Foursquare Church, wrote a chapter titled, “The Leader as Change Agent.” In it, he explains the first step in the psycho-social process of “managed change.” Notice that he takes his cues from an experienced “change agent” at Stanford University which — like MIT, Harvard and Teacher’s College at Columbia — is a major research institution in the area of social change, persuasive propaganda and psycho-social manipulation:

“Arnold Mitchell, a social psychologist from Stanford, has spent years studying the attitudes and behaviors of Americans. He contends that three ingredients are necessary for change to occur. First, Mitchell notes that change comes from dissatisfaction…. Effective change agents assess the chances for change by evaluating the level of dissatisfaction within the group. If dissatisfaction is strong, the potential for change exist….

“To be effective, a leader must also deliberately develop dissatisfaction.”

“Preparing people for change sometimes takes what seems like forever…. I shared startling or even embarrassing statistics about where we were as a church body and where we needed to be, seeking to create the right level of dissatisfaction.”

“Positive change rarely intimates ‘returning to the way it used to be.’ Most positive change I have witnessed has been about creating a better future rather than returning to a cherished past.”[4]   

The Stanford psychologist’s second and third ingredients are “a terrific amount of emotional and physical energy” and “insight” evidenced by “a well-conceived strategy for making things better.”

Notice that Pastor Murren’s “three ingredients” for changing people have nothing to do with God’s guidelines or standards. They have everything to do with deceptive human visions of how elite “change agents” can control the masses. Their manipulative methods have become so familiar that their subjects barely notice what is happening. Lest you forget, take another look at the initial steps:

1. Assess (survey) the attitudes, values and wants of the people. Your personal assessment will be the benchmark for measuring planned change in the months and years ahead.

2. Stir dissatisfaction with the old ways so that the seeds of revolution can grow without regrets. Actually, the survey itself initiates the “dissatisfaction”, since a “good” church survey would contain anxiety-producing questions that suggest internal problems and prompt public dialogue and complaint.

This tactic was explained in a 1951 manual on “group development” written by such infamous psycho-social change agents as Kurt Lewin. Titled Human Relations in Curriculum Change, it includes a chapter on “Utilization of Dissatisfaction, which states:

“Dissatisfaction with existing conditions seems to be a prerequisite for intentional change…. Yet, it is not a simple matter to make dissatisfaction function actively as a motivating force in our complex modern society. … In utilizing dissatisfaction as a factor in producing change the student of society must learn to deal with these two types of conservatism, the conservatism with those with a stake in the present arrangement and the conservatism of those who do not wish to be bothered with change….

“Fortunately for human progress, thee is a fourth group of persons in whom already exists dissatisfaction of such nature that they are ready to be utilized at once as motivation toward action…. This group can be counted on a nucleus for hasting the process of change….

“… dissatisfaction should not be regarded merely as a factor operating to furnish initial motivation. It should be utilized at all stages of the process to keep crystallization from setting in. Groups should be encouraged to make use of valuable solutions to problems only so long as they serve a useful purpose.” [pages 58-59, 63. Emphasis added]

3. Offer an inspiring vision of “a better future.” That better future must be a here-and-now future — one that man can create with his imagination. It’s the opposite of the glorious future God offers us for all eternity. In this context of worldly change, heaven serves no earthly purpose. Only visions that motivate collective efforts and drive transformation can advance the revolutionary plan.

To guide this process, well trained leaders are needed. That’s why Mr. Barna gathered “a team of experts that is as awesome as any of you can imagine” to write his manual for the church. “Fifteen people have contributed chapters to this book,” he wrote. “I believe that the cumulative efforts of this team have demonstrated the meaning of synergy.”[5] emphasis added

Mr. Barna wrote the chapter on “The Vision Thing” himself. In it, he explains that vision “is a view of the kind of world God wants us to live within, a world He can create through us if all those He has called as leaders would lead according to the guidance provided by His Spirit.”[6]

Does that statement sound like an oxymoron? It is. Mr. Barna seems to imply that God will recreate the world around us if today’s “change agents” would walk by the Spirit. But these leaders of “managed change” have been trained to follow a formula never given by Holy Spirit. Man may shoot himself in the foot, but God will not give us tools that clash with…

  • Biblical absolutes (Isaiah 40:8)

  • His call to trust Him, not human ways and philosophies. (Proverbs 3:5-7)

  • His call to share in Christ’s suffering and persecution (John 15:18-21)

For example, Mr. Barna calls for “evaluative tools prepared so you can assess how well you are doing along the way, fine-tuning your implementation efforts as you go along….”[6]

 But God doesn’t tell us to continually assess and evaluate our progress. He tells us to love Him, study His Word and follow His ways, then leave the result with Him. He will produce the fruit. He knows that if we continually measure our successes, we may shift our focus from His will and sufficiency to our own vision and achievements. That’s why David was punished severely when he disobeyed God by measuring (assessing) the size of his victorious army. (2 Samuel 24)

God’s Word and Spirit must guide our daily steps, not our human standards and measurement for success. And His ways tend to clash with the world’s vision of prosperity, numbers and success. But that matters little to mentors of “managed change” whose minds are tuned to effective methods rather than to their Maker.

Molding Truth to fit the vision

Mr. Barna introduced Jim Van Yperen, another change agent on his team of experts, as “a marketing strategist and creative communications consultant.” Van Yperen has “worked with a wide variety of churches, parachurch ministries and non profit organizations in the areas of vision developmentstrategic planning… resource development and conflict resolution.” 

Note those buzzwords. They help us identify the change process whenever we see it.  

Mr. Van Yperen is consultant, not a pastor, but he has been “serving several churches as Intentional Interim Pastor.” He hires himself out as Interim Pastor after leading a church through the initial phases (assessment, dissatisfaction, vision, etc.) of the change process. Using his strategic surveys to assess church attitudes and needs, he facilitates group dialogues and “diagnoses” the health of the church.

Since he speaks persuasively and manages this process well, he can soon inform the members that their church has some good qualities yet current conflicts and dissatisfaction demand drastic measures. To become a “healthy church,” it needs new leadership, new structures, new schedules, a new way of thinking and a new emphasis on spiritual growth through group relationships. 

He also teaches a new way of understanding the Bible. His chapter in Mr. Barna’s book, “Conflict: the Refining Fire of Leadership,” contains a section called “Affirm Truth in Community.” It helps set the stage for the consensus process by suggesting that the Bible can best be understood in groups where members pool their thoughts and shape their consensus. Notice how his guidelines minimize the New Testament emphasis on a personal love relationship with Jesus and maximize the world’s view of the collective:

Nearly all of Scripture is written to and for groups of people, not individualsWe must learn to read our Bibles this wayInstead of asking, ‘What is God saying to me?’ we need to ask ‘What is God saying to us?’

“Responding to power with truth places Christ at the center and builds bridges with our brothers and sisters. It acknowledges that no one person knows the truth completely, so we need each other. It opens up the opportunity to own our assumptions honestly, state our convictions directly and allow others to give perspective openly.”[7] [See Creating Community – a New Way of Thinking]

Today’s change agents don’t really want everyone to “give their perspective openly.” Some facts and group observations can topple their plan. They want “dissatisfaction” but not dissent. They want tolerance toward the things of the world, but they stir intolerance toward “uncooperative” or “divisive” church members. Those who are found to be enemies to their manipulative process must be disciplined, expelled or changed. [See Dealing with Resisters]

I have talked with many humble and faithful Christians who were labeled “divisive” or “critical” by the new leadership in their beloved church. Some were given a simple choice: leave or stop asking hard questions. Others were told that “confession” — including confessing the “sin” of questioning the change process instead of submitting to it — and counseling under an assigned change agent would be a prerequisite for permission to stay and continue their ministry.

In contrast to the critic, the perfect group member is flexible, cooperative and open-minded — especially toward new and different ways of interpreting the Bible.

Thinking outside the box and Bible

Church reform, like education reform, calls for “critical thinking,” but few church members know the real meaning of this phrase. To pacify parents, public school teachers might define it as“teaching students to think for themselves.” They know that the revolution in education will proceed far more smoothly if parents never realize that “critical thinking” means criticizing and challenging traditional beliefs, values and authorities.

Former pastor, Kenneth O. Gangel, is academic dean and Vice president of Academic Affairs at Dallas Theological Seminary. A prolific author, he wrote “Competent to Lead” and is considered an expert on this topic. A natural choice for Mr. Barna’s book team, he wrote a chapter titled “What Leaders Do.”

One of the six tasks of a leader, says Pastor Gangel, is to “think.” Of course, we all think. But, in the context of managed change, thinking isn’t really thinking unless your thinking fits the new formula.

Pastor Gangel quotes Stephen Brookfield who, for ten years, was Professor in the Department of Higher and Adult Education at the liberal Teachers College at Columbia University. While traveling as keynote speaker to national, and international education conferences around the world, Brookfield continues to serve as Adjunct Professor at Columbia. The statement Pastor Gangel used to support his own teaching came from Brookfield’s book, Developing Critical Thinkers:

“Central to critical thinking is the capacity to imagine and explore alternatives to existing ways of thinking and living. … Critical thinkers are continually exploring new ways of thinking about aspects of their lives….

“Critical thinking is complex and frequently perplexing, since it requires the suspension of belief and the jettisoning of assumptions previously accepted without question.”[8]

Did you catch the message?  “It requires the suspension of belief and the jettisoning of assumptions previously accepted without question.”  That’s the essence of “critical” thinking! Church managers can’t establish the new view of “reality” without first undermining the old Biblical beliefs. Before they see success, the group must let go of the old absolutes and dare to flow with the winds of change.

Linking the old mental hindrances to negative feelings speeds the process and brings lasting change. That’s why each group member must learn to associate the “poor thinking” of the past — including Biblical absolutes that can’t be bent to fit our times — with something unpleasant or unacceptable. [See illustration] On the other hand, “good thinking” must feel good and be linked to the “right” things such as unity, small group fellowship, or fun entertainment such as Harry Potter. This illusion of freedom without consequences is illustrated by a set of Middle School lessons published by the curriculum branch of the mighty, liberal National Education Association:


 Good Thinking vs. Poor Thinking

            “This model helps us make some valid and useful distinctions between good and poor thinking. Here we wish to distance ourselves from those who equate good thinking with a long list of discrete mental operations and those who describe poor thinking in terms of several logical errors.


            “Good thinkers are willing to think and may even find thinking enjoyable. They can carry out searches when necessary and suspend judgment. They value rationality, believing that thinking is useful for solving problems, reaching decisions, and making judgments. Poor thinkers, in contrast, need certainty,avoid thinking, must reach closure quickly, are impulsive, and rely too heavily on intuition.”[9] Emphasis added


[See New Beliefs for a Global Village]


Does the phrase “suspend judgment” remind you of Dr. Brookfield’s call for “suspension of belief.” It should! The two phrases make the same point. They also show that the new breed of church leaders are simply taking the world’s pedagogic formulas and psycho-social strategies and peppering them with Christian words to veil the unbiblical sources and diffuse opposition. 

Do you wonder how Pastor Gangel, the academic dean at Dallas Seminary, could use Dr. Brookfield — a globalist change agent — as a model and authority? I do, and it grieves me to see such deception in high and trusted places.

It’s no secret that Columbia’s Teachers College embraces the UNESCO education agenda and leads the world in training teacher-facilitators for the new global management system, which has no tolerance for Biblical truth. As in the former Soviet Union, the education goal is nothing less than developing a new kind of person — not with facts and logic but with the latest high tech versions of the mind-changing strategies first used to manipulate and monitor the Soviet masses.

Taking our stand

This is spiritual war, dear friends. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood,” writes the apostle Paul, “but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Paul tells us how to “stand” in the victory Christ won for us on the cross: “…take up the armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to standStandtherefore, having girded your waist with truth….” Ephesians 6:12-14

The main truth has to do with the nature of God Himself. We need to know Him as He has revealed Himself through His Word. We need to know…

  • His justice in order to understand His mercy

  • His wrath in order to appreciate His amazing love

  • His mighty power so we trust Him in our weakness

  • His wisdom so we can let Him be our guide always.

The second truth of the armor deals with our imputed righteousness in Christ. If you indeed have “been crucified with Christ” and filled with His Holy Spirit, you belong to Him. You are already a “new creation”[10] blessed with a personal relationship with the King of the universe! As you set your heart to follow Him, He will speak to you through His Word and guide you by His Spirit through the challenges of each day.

Jim Van Yperen may tell us that the Bible must be understood in groups — as something “written to and for groups of people, not individuals.”[11] Don’t believe it.

Like the serpent’s deceptive arguments in the garden, those misleading words sound believable because the message is cloaked in a half-truths.[12] We do need each other, but each of us can best encourage others when we know Jesus as our life and His Word as our guide. Then, even if we must stand alone for His name’s sake, His loving presence will be enough. Many tortured and persecuted martyrs can testify to the sufficiency of Christ when all other help is gone.[13]

What we don’t need is dependence on a group that would divert our hearts and attention away from Jesus to hollow alternatives.  The facilitated group consensus that Van Yperen promotes trains people to compromise their understanding of truth under the noble banners of relationship, “conflict resolution” and “common ground.” While God wants us to practice standing firm in our faith, such groups press members into oppressive re-learning sessions which force everyone to practice — over and over — conforming their convictions to that of the group.

As His ambassador and earthen vessel, I must follow His narrow and rocky way. But it’s easy and sweet when He takes my hand. I must refuse to compromise, but I’d rather have Jesus than the world’s fame and fortune. An old hymn summarizes the disciple’s walk well:



When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small:
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.


See Re-Inventing the Church – Part 2


1. George Barna, editor, Leaders on Leadership (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1997), page 29.

2. Our Global Neighborhood, The Report of The Commission on Global Governance (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1995), page 12.

3. Peter Drucker on the Church and Denominations. This pdf file is posted on the Leadership Network website at http://www.leadnet.org/allthingsln/archives/netfax/1.pdf

4. Doug Murren, “The Leader as Change Agent,” Leaders on Leadership (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1997), pages 204-206.

5. George Barna, editor, Leaders on Leadership (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1997), page 7.

6. Ibid., page 48.

7. Jim Van Yperen, “Conflict: The Refining Fire of Leadership,” Leaders on Leadership (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1997), pages 246-247.

8. Stephen D. Brookfield, Developing Critical Thinkers (San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 1987), pages 8-10. Cited by Kenneth O. Gangel, “What Leader Do,” Leaders on Leadership (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1997), page 40. 

9. Alan A. Glatthorn and Jonathan Barron, “The Good Thinker,” Developing Minds: A Resource Book for Teaching Thinking (Alexandria, Virginia: The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1985), 51. Included in Caught in the Middle: Educational Reform for Young Adolescents in California Public Schools, Report of the Superintendent’s Middle Grade Task Force (Sacramento: California State Department of Education, 1987), 14.

10. Galatians 2:20; 2 Corinthians 5:17.

11. Van Yeperen, page 246.

12. The Nature and Tactics of Satan

13. Abide with me; fast falls the eventide/ The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide./ When other helpers fail and comforts flee,/ Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

The Shepherding Movement Comes of Age


The Shepherding Movement Comes of Age

 By Lynn and Sarah Leslie


January, 2004

There is a new twist in the old Shepherding Movement and it is coming soon to your church, if it hasn’t already. This new twist is presented to pastors wrapped in silver gilding, and looks quite reasonable and rational. Should a discerning pastor, or one who steeps himself in the Word, take a second look, the gild disappears and in its place will appear rust and corrosion.

Across the country, parishioners are now being challenged to take oaths, perform vows and sign covenants. These things would have been unheard of in generations past for one simple reason. These things used to be forbidden, or only permitted under the gravest of circumstances. A few decades ago churches founded their beliefs sturdily upon the rocks of historical creeds, documents that have withstood the test of time and human whim, and which have imparted to each new generation an understanding of the major tenets of the Gospel faith. Now, in our latter days of dumbed-down Christianity, a minimal number of people in the pews know the creeds, have studied them, or even know about them!

And it is no wonder. A few years ago a pastor told a particularly grievous story. He had attended a meeting with pastors from his conservative denomination. At the meeting the men were handed paper and pencils and asked to come up with their own creeds. This pastor was duly horrified! Courageously he stood to speak against this. The great historical creeds of Christianity, he stated, were wrought in the fires of persecution, under great seriousness and solemn efforts to preserve the Truth of the Gospel. Wasn’t this a frivolous, touchy-feely kind of exercise? Should a handful of men in an auditorium even dare to presume to be able to come up with such a ponderous document in a few short minutes with paper and pencil, he asked. His protest, sadly, was greeted with scorn and ridicule.

The New Covenants

Churches which have come under the influence of Rick Warren, Lyle Schaller, Bob Buford, or any of the other church growth business-model experts, have undergone profound changes. They will have adopted a Mission Statement, Core Values, and Vision, often through a “consensus” and “dialogue” technique. In order to become a member of these churches, parishioners are required to sign an oath to uphold their church’s covenant. The word “covenant,” which used to have biblical significance, is now applied liberally to this new church structure, apparently to give it credibility.

These churches post their covenants on the internet, presumably so that “seekers” will read about their church. Each church which has adopted this new model of membership is exactly like each other church. They are all cut from the same mold. “New Age” Unitarian churches have adopted the same plan as Presbyterian Reformed churches. Baptist, Assembly of God, Nazarene…. the list could go on and on. The new church structure is cross-denominational. Everybody’s plan looks exactly like everybody else’s plan, even though some churches have been led to believe that they had reached their own “original” or “grassroots” plan. This new plan came from on high, and it was carefully calculated to lure pastors and leaders into its new system of church governance.

This emergent church is hierarchical in nature. It is a top-down management structure, resembling the old shepherding models of the 1970s. There is an over-emphasis on “leaders” and “leadership” and “leadership potential.” In many of these churches, leaders are given complete authority over the lives of those in their flocks.

The Valley Church Servant Leader Covenant is a typical model. The aspiring leader makes a commitment with the church:

“As a servant of God in The Valley Church, I want to unite with my fellow servant leaders at this time to undertake commitments appropriate for leadership. These commitments are made in the first place between me and the Lord, and in the second place between me and this community. Realizing that I may fail at times to fully keep these commitments, I think it is important that I purpose in my heart and confirm publicly my desire to keep them. Although this covenant may be changed in coming years this is where we presently stand as a church.”

A list of “Spiritual Commitments” includes a daily prayer life; regular time in God’s Word; active involvement in a small group (usually a cell group); responding obediently to God’s discipline; purposing to discover, develop and use spiritual gifts; living a moral life, maintaining a healthy family life; attending church services; tithing; and supporting the leadership. Most church covenants emphasize the word “all” or “everyone” in their statements such as “Everyone involved in a weekly or ongoing ministry” or “everyone involved in discipleship experience.” No one is excepted.

Each church covenant includes a section pertaining to resolution of conflict. These examples are noteworthy in their extreme application of Matthew 18, in which the parishioner must agree to never speak “evil” of anyone or any leader in the church, including “negative” or “critical” statements about church policies or doctrines. Also, the conclusion of any dispute will be resolved by the leadership of the church, and the parishioner must agree beforehand to submit to their discipline.

Membership is described as the “gateway to leadership.” Everyone is presumed a potential leader. Aspiring leaders must make additional commitments, usually called “responsibilities,” which have to do with evangelism, promoting church programs, discipling others, agreeing to be held accountable, and undergoing periodic “continuing education.”

There is a signature line and a date at the bottom of these covenants for people to sign, indicating their commitment to abide by this new church structure. Some churches require that their members sign the covenant yearly. Others only require it upon membership. Some churches require strict adherence to the oaths, and promise that they will hold the members accountable. Other churches leave wiggle room for people who fail. One church states:

“While nothing is set in stone, nor do we track your fulfillment of the covenant items, this Covenant does give you an idea of the level of commitment we consider membership to be here.”

Some churches reveal that their covenants may change, although it is not specified whether the parishioners will be able to participate in this process, or be given a chance to re-sign the oath at that time.”

The use of New Age terminology is often mixed with biblical-sounding language. One church explains why it is necessary for its parishioners to sign a “pledge”:

 “…a pledge is a solemn promise (which is an indication of future excellence) characterized by deep thought. That is exactly the kind of spiritual practice I would have us engage in! To make a pledge is to enter into an agreement, and to agree is to be of one mind. A pledge holds more potential than I ever realized…. Let us consider making and keeping agreements that express that harmony and oneness.”

Another church explains that their “collective consciousness on social issues” is “not enforced legalistically but members agree to embrace them….” Yet another church states that a “membership covenant implies a clear ownership of the core values, beliefs, vision, and mission that function as the DNA of congregational life embedded into every leader” for a “shared identity.”

A few churches, which were originally founded upon a congregational model, give slightly more freedom to lay people in leadership and decision-making roles. However, this new church structure is markedly characterized by the demise of congregational forms of church governance. In fact, some churches have re-written their bylaws, and make them part of the actual church covenant which must be signed. In these cases the parishioner is then signing a legal contract as well as joining a church body.

ThatChurch! is probably the scariest example of the new covenant, found on a brief internet search:

“Congregational members do not have the right to vote in business matters of the church….All governmental authority in the church shall be vested in the Director of Ministries, the Board of Directors, and the Leadership Team as set forth in the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of the Church.”

The leaders can prescribe that members take any courses of study at any time. Members are accepted into the church at the sole discretion of the “Director of Ministries” and must fulfill “responsibilities” such as “follow and support the leadership of this church as they follow the Lord.” In exchange they are offered “rights and privileges” which include permission to attend worship services; entitlement to receive Christian teaching, personal pastoral care, and prayer support; and opportunities to grow in the Lord.

In an ominous revivification of the shepherding movement, ThatChurch!’s bylaws indicate, “Grounds for discipline will be determined by the leadership of the church.” Many paragraphs later, after incredibly detailed explanations of how disciplinary functions will be carried out, it becomes evident that the church leaders retain the right to bar members from the “rights and privileges” listed earlier in their bylaws. But, it isn’t over yet. Each member must consent in advance “to the exclusive jurisdiction of the church in resolving any matter involving church discipline.” Further, there is an elaborate explanation of mediation/arbitration and “outcome” of such discipline, including agreeing to “specifically and expressly [waive] any right to sue in a civil court on any matter covered herein.”

Rick Warren Driving the Church

Dr. Robert Klenck, an orthopedic surgeon, has been speaking out at conferences around the country about the origination of this new covenant agenda. He explains that Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose-Driven Church, has sold over a million copies and that over 150,000 pastors and church leaders have been trained in his model.
1 Rick Warren was mentored by Peter Drucker, a corporate management guru with strong ties to the New Age/New World Order. Drucker “influenced the start and growth of Saddleback Church.”2

Drucker has dedicated much effort into bringing the church into conformance with the “systems” model of governance, which is known as Total Quality Management in the corporate world. In this model, parishioners are “customers.” The focus shifts to “outcomes” which means that people will have to be held “accountable” for “performance.” Certain rewards (“rights”) and “responsibilities” accompany these outcomes, and a small group structure like cell groups is a perfect way to ensure that people are meeting these “outcomes.” These “outcomes” or expectations are driven by people, not by the Lord or His Word. By implication, if one doesn’t meet the “outcomes,” there may be “penalties” such as the ones prescribed by ThatChurch!

According to Klenck there are rapidly developing networks for “21st century churches” and “best practice churches.” These networks are databasing churches and parishioners. Chief among the organizations spearheading this change is the Leadership Network, which provides “technical assistance” for orchestrated “continuous” change in churches, fitting churches neatly into the business model.

Peter Drucker grew up under the influence of the German philosophies of the 1800s. His “systems” theories are based on “General Systems Theory” (GST) which is esoteric, derived from a merger of social Darwinism and eastern mysticism. GST believes that man is evolving to a higher-order. In order for this to occur, man must become unified and of one consciousness. Drucker developed the theory of a 3-legged stool – Corporate, State and “private sector” (Church). The first half of his long life (he is 94 years old) was devoted to merging Corporate and State into one “system.” The second half of his life has been devoted to merging Church with Corporate, and Church with State into one comprehensive system. He has been wildly successful.

Drucker is a communitarian, which is a modern “communist” who has effectually distanced their views from the old communists. In his communitarian model of governance, the State is in reality the only leg of the stool. The Corporate and the Church subsume their identities and comfortably merge with State into one comprehensive “system” of governance for mankind. Drucker’s ideas gave rise to the faith-based institution movement of the last decade.

Indeed, it is noteworthy that the highest concentration of the new “covenant” style churches can be found in the faith-based arena. The federal bills in Washington that originally began dispersing funds to churches that were doing welfare reform, job training, etc. required that these churches exhibit “ecumenicity.” Churches receiving federal dollars must be held “accountable” One significant way to achieve this goal is to transform the churches into the Corporate/State mode of governance, using the “systems” model.

It is not uncommon, therefore, to find that faith-based, government-financed “covenant” churches are requiring even more of their members. Members at one such church in Pennsylvania must participate in daily e-mails from the pastor, evening worship several nights a week, daily intercession activities, cell group activities, and up to 5 hours per week of “community service” in any of over a dozen state-funded, community-based “ministries.” Churches like this one have become “centers” for State charity work. They then become “accountable” to the “State” for the monies that they receive. When one signs an oath to uphold the covenant of this type of church, they are also agreeing to uphold the State/Church relationship!

What Does God’s Word Say?

“Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” (Matthew 5:33-37)

“But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.” (James 5:12)

According to Webster’s, a “covenant” is a “binding, and solemn agreement made by two or more individuals, parties, etc. do to or keep from doing a specified thing.” Covenants can be legally binding contracts. “Covenant” can also mean “an agreement among members of a church to defend and maintain its doctrines, polity, faith, etc.” Covenants are supposed to be irrevocable, unchanging and binding on those who made it. It is the strongest expression of a relationship.

An “oath” is a “ritualistic declaration, typically based on an appeal to God or a god,or to some revered person or object, that one will speak the truth, keep a promise, remain faithful, etc.” An oath, therefore, is a sworn promise to keep the terms of a covenant or agreement. The oath is a verbal statement or pledge to keep the covenant. Related to the word “oath” are the words “vow” and “pledge.”

The issue of taking oaths came up a few years ago when the men of Promise Keepers were making seven promises. It is possible that PK broke the ground on this matter, desensitizing Christians to the whole idea of taking an oath. On the one hand, the “promises,” like those of PK, seemed like 7 “suggestions” and trivialized the whole idea of keeping commandments. On the other hand, it is important to realize that in the spirit world, there is great significance to these matters. There are rituals that accompany these activities, and it is believed that curses accompany broken covenants or failure to keep an oath or vow. Pagans would invoke the name of a deity to set evil in motion. Secret societies such as freemasons require oaths. This explains one major reason why the Lord Himself would state the issue so strongly in His Sermon on the Mount.

Historically, Christians have agreed with these Scriptures and opposed oath-taking. These verses from Scripture were considered to be so vital for a Christian that at the time of the Reformation both the Anabaptist and Reformed branches of the church addressed them in their creeds. From the Reformed branch, from which arose churches such as Congregational, Lutheran, Anglican and Presbyterian, came the Westminster Confession of Faith, Article 22:


Of Lawful Oaths and Vows.

“I. A lawful oath is a part of religious worship, wherein upon just occasion, the person swearing solemnly calleth God to witness what he asserteth or promiseth; and to judge him according to the truth or falsehood of what he sweareth.

“II. The name of God only is that by which men ought to swear, and therein it is to be used with all holy fear and reverence; therefore to swear vainly or rashly by that glorious and dreadful name, or to swear at all by any other thing, is sinful, and to be abhorred. Yet, as, in matters of weight and moment, an oath is warranted by the Word of God, under the New Testament, as well as under the Old, so a lawful oath, being imposed by lawful authority, in such matters ought to be taken.

“III. Whosoever taketh an oath ought duly to consider the weightiness of so solemn an act, and therein to avouch nothing but what he is fully persuaded is the truth. Neither may any man bind himself by oath to any thing but what is good and just, and what he believeth so to be, and what he is able and resolved to perform. Yet it is a sin to refuse an oath touching any thing that is good and just, being imposed by lawful authority.

“IV. An oath is to be taken in the plain and common sense of the words, without equivocation or mental reservation. It can not oblige to sin; but in any thing not sinful, being taken, it binds to performance, although to a man’s own hurt: nor is it to be violated, although made to heretics or infidels.

“V. A vow is of the like nature with a promissory oath, and ought to be made with the like religious care, and to be performed with the like faithfulness.

“VI. It is not to be made to any creature, but to God alone: and that it may be accepted, it is to be made voluntarily, out of faith and conscience of duty, in way of thankfulness for mercy received, or for obtaining of what we want; whereby we more strictly bind ourselves to necessary duties, or to other things, so far and so long as they may fitly conduce thereunto.

“VII. No man may vow to do any thing forbidden in the Word of God, or what would hinder any duty therein commanded, or which is not in his own power, and for the performance of which he hath no promise or ability from God. In which respects, monastical vows of perpetual single life, professed poverty, and regular obedience, are so far from being degrees of higher perfection, that they are superstitious and sinful snares, in which no Christian may entangle himself.”

Especially note Sections VI and VII, in which oaths were to be voluntary, a personal matter of conscience, unto God alone, not contrary to the Word of God, and in utter dependence upon God to keep. Also of relevance is Article 20, Section II, which pertains to blind obedience, destruction of liberty of conscience, and loss of reason:

“II. God alone is Lord of the conscience, and hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in any thing contrary to his Word, or beside it in matters of faith on worship. So that to believe such doctrines, or to obey such commandments out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience; and the requiring an implicit faith, and an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience, and reason also.”

The new oaths and covenants run counter to the historical Reformed church on many counts. Whereas previously the Ten Commandments would have been taught, now they are replaced by new church laws which are subjective and potentially heretical. Previously these churches would have taught that Christ won on the cross liberty from the laws of men, and that the conscience is subject to God alone. The Reformed church used to teach that man lives by faith, and through His strength man is able to keep His commands. Now a new structure has been erected, with man-made laws, and man-directed accountability.

The Anabaptist branch of the Church, from which came Baptists, the Pentecostals, and modern evangelicals, historically took a stronger stand and opposed taking oaths altogether. The Anabaptist beliefs can best be summarized by the Dordrecht Confession of Faith (1632):

“XV. Of the Swearing of Oaths
Concerning the swearing of oaths we believe and confess that the Lord Christ has set aside and forbidden the same to His disciples, that they should not swear at all, but that yea should be yea, and nay, nay; from which we understand that all oaths, high and low, are forbidden, and that instead of them we are to confirm all our promises and obligations, yea, all our declarations and testimonies of any matter, only with our word yea, in that which is yea, and with nay, in that which is nay; yet, that we must always, in all matters, and with everyone, adhere to, keep, follow, and fulfill the same, as though we had confirmed it with a solemn oath. And if we do this, we trust that no one, not even the Magistracy itself, will have just reason to lay a greater burden on our mind and conscience. Matt. 5:34, 35; Jas. 5:12; II Cor. 1:17.”

The Schleithheim Confession (1527), Article 7 states, in part:

“Seventh. We are agreed as follows concerning the oath: The oath is a confirmation among those who are quarreling or making promises. In the Law it is commanded to be performed in God’s Name, but only in truth, not falsely. Christ, who teaches the perfection of the Law, prohibits all swearing to His [followers], whether true or false, — neither by heaven, nor by the earth, nor by Jerusalem, nor by our head, — and that for the reason which He shortly thereafter gives, For you are not able to make one hair white or black. So you see it is for this reason that all swearing is forbidden: we cannot fulfill that which we promise when we swear, for we cannot change [even] the very least thing on us.”

Even today the conservative Mennonites and Amish descendants of the original Anabaptists will not take an oath, but will instead “affirm.” Churches used to teach, even a generation ago, that any words that served no useful function should not be spoken, that it was wrong to “curse” (oaths, swear words), and that “minced oaths” were sinful (“Gosh,” “Gee,” “darn,” etc.). It used to be taught that even portions of oaths, such as “Well, I’ll be…” or “So help me…” were wrong to speak. In today’s loose climate of speech, action, and morality it is no wonder that oaths have now gained a foothold. Remember when a man’s word was “as good as gold”? Few remember or adhere to the old ways of integrity, honesty and forthrightness.

The Trouble With Taking Oaths

Shall men take an oath or make a promise that they have no intention of keeping? Shall they sign on to a covenant that they may break? Not only is this forbidden by Scripture, but in days past this would have been dishonorable and disgraceful act. One Christian writer, Paul Shirk, in his book, Come Out of Her My People, has expressed it well:

“We…however much we swear, can never guarantee a course of action, therefore we say, ‘if the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that,’ for we know not what may be on the morrow.

“Our yes and no should represent the honest intentions of the heart and will, but above that we risk falling into condemnation (James 5:12) for our inability to perform an oath. Originally the oath was used to commit the will to the proper course of action; now, men that have the Spirit of Truth are to simply affirm it with a “yes” and stand by their word.”3

Matthew Henry, in his Commentaries on James 5:12, addressed this topic:

“…those who swear commonly and profanely the name of God do hereby put Him upon the level with every common thing. Profane swearing was customary among the Jews. Some of the looser sort of those who were called Christians might be guilty also of this. But why above all things is swearing forbidden? Because it strikes most directly at the honor of God and throws contempt upon His name and authority. …Let it suffice you to confirm or deny a thing, and stand to your word, and be true to it, so as to give no occasion for your being suspected of falsehood. Then you will be kept from the condemnation of backing what you say or promise by rash oaths, and from profaning the name of God to justify yourselves.”

The new oaths and covenants put a pressure on church people – a pressure that comes, not from God but from man. Peer orientation, fear factors, and the demands to conform or meet expectations prevail. The focus is on self-mastery, not God-directed discipline. Some will do the bare minimum just to “get by.” For others, good deeds that were formerly done in secret, arising out of love and compassion, are now done openly and boldly so that leaders will see and approve.

This new “gospel” of “works” requires one to neglect the unseen duties of life. One must perform visible deeds in order to meet requirements of “accountability” – even to the detriment of their God-given responsibilities. Women will especially suffer under this odious system, developed by corporate businessmen and perpetuated by institutional church men. Caring for elderly parents, nursing babies, chasing toddlers, raising handicapped children, homeschooling, or other family-oriented personal deeds of self-sacrifice and love which are performed on a hourly basis every day of the week, will go unnoticed and unrewarded in this new “system.” Fulfilling the onerous requirements and obligations of these types of covenants will be well-nigh impossible for those who are elderly, infirm, or duty-bound to others. Should these churches establish two tiers of membership – one for the “do-ers” and the other for the “be-ers”? Or are those who are less able or unable to meet the stringent requirements unwelcome?

Indeed there is a certain elitism about the new church structure. Pastors who are true shepherds, quietly feeding their flocks on the hillsides of life, ministering to their births, deaths, illnesses and crises, can’t compete in this new system where everything is “purpose-driven.” This new style of church is for the Type-A personality who is “driven” by “results.” Everything is programmed according to modern business methods The little church in the vale isn’t good enough anymore – everything has turned into a “volunteer mobilization unit.”

A Still Small Word

There may be a reason for the upsurge in oaths and covenants. It may have to do with the agenda of Peter Drucker and his management gurus who wish to transform the Church into the likeness of the Corporation and the State. Historically, “citizens were required to take an oath of fealty. Starting from the year 1066, every English male took an oath of allegiance to the King of England. When the Protestants had established their power in England in 1688, additional oaths were required denouncing the Pope’s authority and the doctrine of transubstantiation.”
4 In other words, States have required oaths and the Churches, whenever or wherever they have reigned supremely, have required oaths.

“Wherever the nationally established Christian religions have taken root they have tried to use religious oaths as a means to bind the wills and consciences of men to their own expediency and have used various methods to argue that Christ never meant what he plainly said concerning the taking of oaths.”5

Oaths and covenants are a new form of legalism entering the church like a flood. They require more of us than Scripture requires. It is a horrible new form of bondage, accomplished in the name of a new church for the 21st century. This is a “transformation” not a “reformation.” It would return the church to the dark ages of oppressive State Church. This movement did not arise from God, but from the rapacious desires of evil men.

If you have been caught up in this whole extravaganza, and are marching in this parade, it is time to slow down, stop and reflect. If you have taken an oath to one of these new covenants, you can repent. The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ does not require so much of us:

“The Lord do so to me, and more also,” is God’s form of Old Testament oaths – a binding of judgment upon the soul. From this shackle the Lord frees us when He asks us to “Swear not at all.” If free from condemnation, why should we invite the judgment by taking the oath? (S.F. Coffman)

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

“Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.” (2 Thess. 2:16-17)


1. For solid documentation on Peter Drucker and his work with Rick Warren and others in the church growth movement, readers are referred to Readings In the Dialectic: Papers Presented at The Institution for Authority Research Diaprax Conferences, “How Diaprax Manifests Itself in the Church (Growth Movement),” Dr. Robert E. Klenck. This booklet is available for $15 plus shipping from the Institution for Authority Research, Box 233, Herndon, KS 67739, iardeangotcher@yahoo.com.

2. Http://www.fullydevoted.blogspot.com/2002_12_15_fullydevoted_archive.html, p. 3.

3. Come Out of Her My People by Paul Shirk, page 164. This book, which is a scholarly apologetic work which effectively counters modern dominionist theology, is available from Discernment Ministries (PO Box 254, High Bridge, NJ 08829 – 0254) for $11.00 plus postage.

4. Ibid, page 160.

5. Ibid, page 166.

Spirit Led or Purpose Driven – Part 1

Spirit-Led or Purpose-Driven? Part 1
by Berit Kjos, November 2003


“There are some really good things and points that Rick Warren brings out. But they always seems to be mixed with so many confusing and theologically weak points that you go crazy trying to keep it all straight. You will read a great point and then he’ll throw in a quote from Mother Theresa or Aldous Huxley and your mind reels. There’s a push to paint God as a smiley face in the sky – but you have to ignore His justice and anger!  Plus, when you are the only ‘naysayers’ in a group it gets old – especially when no one else seems to have anything but praise for the book.” David, a visitor to our website.

“I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the wordBe ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhortwith all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But yoube watchful in all things….” 2 Timothy 4:1-5

Our website began to receive requests for information about The Purpose Driven Life last year. So Andy and I bought the book, read it quickly and were troubled by some of its claims, promises and paraphrased “Bible” references. But we also found many true and encouraging pages. Since we didn’t want to criticize Rick Warren or confuse those who apparently were helped by his book, we left it on the shelf.

By this fall, Rick Warren’s manual on the Christian life had become the topic of discussion in churches around the world. The letters from concerned visitors multiplied. After reading the book again, we could no longer ignore its subtle distortions, its half-truths, its conflicting messages or its pragmatic permissiveness: if it works (i.e. brings people into the church), it’s okay! “God loves variety!”[2]

Nor could we accept Pastor Warren’s “rules for growth” which tells us to “never criticize what God is blessing.”[3]  Implying that church growth and changed lives prove God’s delight in our human methods, it cancels His call to “be on guard” and to discern deception. Some may say, “don’t touch God’s anointed,” but we don’t believe any leader is so “anointed” that his teaching is beyond Biblical accountability. While only God can judge the heart of a person, we are called to help each other follow His guidelines, not be driven by today’s new management systems.[see Driven or Led?]  Praying that God would guide us, we began our response with the following background information.

As most of you know, Rick Warren, the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California, has been leading the way and breaking new ground in today’s Church Growth Movement. With over 50,000 names on his church roll, he models the success of the church management process he outlined in his earlier book, The Purpose-Driven Church.

He also founded pastors.com, “a global Internet community that serves and mentors those in ministry worldwide.” This website tells us that “over 60,000 pastors subscribe to Rick Warren’s Ministry Toolbox, a free weekly email newsletter.”[4] Then it summarizes his ministry:

“Rick Warren is well known as the pioneer of The Purpose-Driven Church paradigm for church health. More than 250,000 pastors and church leaders from over 125 countries have attended Purpose-Driven Church seminars in 18 languages. Peter Drucker calls him ‘the inventor of perpetual revival.’ Rick’s previous book, The Purpose-Driven Church, has sold over a million copies in 20 languages. Winner of the Gold Medallion Ministry Book of the Year, it is used as a textbook in most seminaries, and was selected as one of the 100 Christian Books That Changed the 20th Century.”[4]

Notice the reference to Peter Drucker. What this legendary management guru began teaching large corporations decades ago has now been applied to God’s churches as well as to communities and governments around the world. Since the new methods seemed to “work” equally well for churches as for corporations — and since the measured results offer statistical “proof” of “success” — pastors from countless nations have embraced and implemented Drucker’s marketing approach to “doing church.”

In a 2002 article in Business Week titled “Peter Drucker’s Search for Community,” Ken Witty describes the world view that drives Drucker’s plans and purpose:

“He brings a communitarian philosophy to his consulting…. He said that what he’s all about is this search for community, the search for where people and organizations find community for non-economic satisfaction….

“A lot of his ideas have become so accepted that it’s hard for anyone to understand how original they were at the time he introduced them. It’s sort of like Freud and psychoanalysis. Peter was the first, for example, to help managers understand that they had to define their businesses from a customer’s perspective.”[5]

Focusing on the “customer’s perspective” brings success. People feel satisfied. They come and they buy. When this process is applied to churches, it works! With polls and surveys, a church can easily uncover the “felt needs” of the unbelievers in the local community — then target their services to their intended consumers. Pastor Warren learned that lesson early from Robert Schuller — the “possibility thinker” who called Mikhail Gorbachev a Christian despite the protests of this unrepentant Communist. The people-pleasing methods that worked so well at the Crystal Cathedral would prove just as effective at Saddleback.

You might still wonder why pastors would focus on the felt needs of unbelievers rather than the true needs of God’s family.  Doesn’t this strategy turn God’s principles upside down?

Yes, but it also attracts the spiritual diversity needed for the dialectic process — the heart of today’s transformation in churches as well as in business, education, government and other organizations. Dr. Robert Klenck summarizes it in his report on “The 21st Century Church:”

“…in this movement, it is imperative that unbelievers are brought into the church; otherwise, the process of continual change cannot begin.  There must be an antithesis (unbelievers) present to oppose the thesis (believers), in order to move towards consensus.(compromise), and move the believers away from their moral absolutism (resistance to change).  If all members of the church stand firm on the Word of God, and it’s final authority in all doctrine and tradition, then the church cannot and will not change.  This is common faith.  Soon, we will see why these “change agents” are pushing so hard for change to occur in the church.”

Pastor Warren’s current tutor in this management process is CMSa “full-service custom marketing and communications agency head-quartered in Covina, California.” It’s website shows its mission:

“At CMS, we view it as our mission to help our clients grow their businesses. We do this by working with each client identifying opportunities and developing innovative, creative and profitable services which assist them in the execution of effective marketing, sales and communications program…. We are best able to serve clients when they allow us to act as partners…. CMS is made up of a team of talented individuals whose dedication and expertise have earned them a solid reputation for creating results.”

Shouldn’t we credit God, not clever marketing, with “creating results?”  After all, the Bible tells us that the “wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” Man’s “wise” ways may fit our human purpose, but they clash with God’s purpose. [1 Cor 3:19-20Prov. 3:5-7]

While CMS’ partners includes secular giants such as Quaker and Isuzu Motors America, it also serves clients such as the City of West Covina, “Purpose Driven Ministries,” “Saddleback Valley Community Church,” “Smalley Relationship Center” and “Walk Thru the Bible.”[7] The latter was founded and led by Bruce Wilkinson, author of the well marketed bestseller, The Prayer of Jabez.

Part of CMS’ success lies in the surveys, polls and tracking that characterize the 21st Century management systems:

“…collecting, organizing and managing data is essential to understanding, evaluating and planning of any successful promotion. That is why we developed our CMS IntelligentRedemption System. It is sophisticated proprietary software that allows us to program and initialize data…. Our purchasing standards and fulfillment procedures build-in tracking and accountability…. CMS Fulfillment Center specializes in direct mail projects, new product introductions, and promotion launches.”[8]

No wonder curious visitors are flocking to Purpose-Driven churches. Small wonder pastors around the world are watching, listening, ready to follow.

This fall, “over 13,000 ministers and students” heard Pastor Warren explain the ways of a purpose-driven church at SuperConference 2003, held at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. Speaking on ‘Attracting a Crowd to Worship,’ Warren shared some basic principles behind church growth. He aimed his words at those who were “stuck in the past:”

“I believe that one of the major church issues [of the future] will be how we’re going to reach the next generation with our music,’ he said, admitting, ‘You can make more people mad with music than anything else in church….


“To insist that all good music came from Europe 200 years ago; there’s a name for that – racism…. Encourage members to re-arrange and rewrite. New songs say God is doing something awesome.”[9] Emphasis added

Do they? Or might the new songs reflect man’s desire to please the crowds? It’s all too easy to justify our attempts to meet “felt needs” and demonstrate success. We simply reinvent God’s character and will, claiming that our purpose is His purpose. Assuming that He loves the same things we love, we assign Him an image more like our own. But in Psalm 50:21, God warns us against such shortsighted assumptions about God’s nature. You thought that I was altogether like you,” He told His people, “but I will rebuke you….”

Pastor Warren again claimed divine approval during a “Building a Purpose-Driven Church” seminar held at Saddleback Community Church in January, 1998. Basing church growth strategies on personal wants, not on the guidelines of God’s Word, he said,

Now, at Saddleback Church, we are unapologetically contemporary… I passed out a three-by-five card to everybody in the church, and I said, ‘You write down the call letters of the radio station you listen to.’ I wasn’t even asking unbelievers. I was asking the people in the church, ‘What kind of music do you listen to?’ When I got it back, I didn’t have one person who said, ‘I listen to organ music.’ Not one….  So, we made a strategic decision that we are unapologetically a contemporary music church. And right after we made that decision and stopped trying to please everybody, Saddleback exploded with growth….

“I’ll be honest with you, we are loud. We are really, really loud on a weekend service…. I say, ‘We’re not gonna turn it down.’ Now the reason why is baby boomers want to feel the music, not just hear it…. God loves variety!”[2]

Does God really love today’s cultural “variety?” I doubt that God is pleased when we feed our cravings and strengthen our “need” for emotional stimuli. When ancient Israel became bored with God’s Word and embraced a wide variety of cultural and spiritual thrills, God disciplined them severely. He even compared his wayward people with a “wild donkey… that sniffs at the wind in her desire.” Jeremiah 2:24 

When church leaders use energizing music, emotional stimuli and short, light messages to satisfy the flesh with its “felt needs,” they tend to obscure our deeper spiritual needs. Fed a diet of simplified sermons designed to please everyone, both seekers and believers may lose their appetite for the solid Biblical teaching which — by His Spirit — produces conviction of sin, genuine repentance, actual regeneration, true spiritual renewal and the continual joy of walking with Jesus.

Widening the gate to the Kingdom

The phenomenal success of Rick Warren’s books and marketing skills has both popularized and accelerated the Church Growth Movement (CGM). Around the world, seekers and believers are reading The Purpose Driven Life and discussing its 40 chapters. Following its guidelines, they share their thoughts, express their feelings and “bounce ideas off each other.” [1, page 11]  They sign contracts and hold each other accountable to the social and spiritual ideals of the 21st Century Church community. And, says Pastor Warren, their lives are being transformed.

I am sure many are. Pastor Warren has written some encouraging pages about God, His glory, our walk with Him and our fellowship with one another. I especially appreciate the sections that show the delight of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  But I was a little concerned when he invited all his readers to “quietly whisper the prayer that will change your eternity: ‘Jesus, I believe in you and I receive you.'” [1, page 58]

You might ask, what could possibly be wrong with that short prayer? Why question his promise that it would open the gate to God’s Kingdom and “change… eternity” for all who prayed?  Don’t we want to bring as many as possible into God’s eternity?

Yes, of course we do! And God could surely use those nine words to draw His chosen ones to Himself. But the promises and assumptions that accompany the prayer could also produce serious problems in the church. For many will pray the prayer with little or no awareness of the holy nature of God, of the unholy power of sin, or of the deep chasm between the two. In our times of easy believism and Biblical illiteracy, anyone can personalize and claim God’s promises without any prompting by the Spirit, genuine conversion (spiritual rebirth) or lasting inner change. Where people learn to tolerate evil and flow with the crowd, true repentance is rare and faith often becomes presumption. Still unregenerate, many happily accept the group’s consensus: You prayed the prayer, therefore you must be a Christian.

Pastor Warren agrees. “If you sincerely meant that prayer, congratulations!” he tells the reader. “Welcome to the family of God! You are now ready to discover and start living God’s purpose for your life! [1, page 59]

Thousands of small groups using Saddleback’s study guide and Teaching Video for the 40 Days of Purpose are led in a slightly longer prayer. They hear Pastor Warren speak these words:

“Do you have a relationship with Jesus Christ? If you aren’t sure of this, I’d like the privilege of leading you in a prayer to settle the issue. Let’s bow our heads. I’m going to pray a prayer and you can follow it silently in your mind:

‘Dear God, I want to know Your purpose for my life. I don’t want to waste the rest of my life on the wrong things. Today I want to take the first step in preparing for eternity by getting to know You. Jesus Christ, I don’t understand it all, but as much as I know how, I want to open my life to You. I ask you to come into my life and make yourself real to me. Use this series to help me know what You made me for. Thank you. Amen.’

“If you just prayed that prayer for the very first time, I congratulate you. You’ve just become a part of the family of God.”

Is this a response to the gospel? Where is repentance, acknowledgement of need, or confession of personal sin? Where is the cross? The Bible tells us that saving “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” [Romans 10:17-18]  But none of the Scriptures that show the gospel are mentioned in this first lesson. Biblically illiterate friends and neighbors who join the group would pray this prayer without any real knowledge of the cross, of the Savior, or of God’s view of sin. In fact, the meaning of salvation isn’t included in the first lesson. And if it had been there, the context of the lesson would suggest that we are merely saved from a purposeless life — not from bondage to sin.

For the first lesson deals with “the consequences of not knowing your purpose” — not with Jesus Christ. It warns the group that “without knowing your purpose, life will seem TIRESOME… UNFULFILLING… UNCONTROLLABLE.”  And it repeats the positive (but not particularly Biblical) promise that “knowing the purpose of your life will –

  • “give your life FOCUS.”
  • “SIMPLIFY your life.”
  • “increase MOTIVATION in your life.”

Even so, all who pray the prayer will be affirmed and celebrated as new members of the family of God. But are they? We don’t know. Yet, statistics suggest that most people who call themselves Christians have little understanding of the gospel.

It’s not surprising. Today’s “positive” gospel emphasizes love, minimizes doctrine and ignores divine justice. The essential Biblical truths that prepare hearts for genuine conversion no longer fit. A postmodern “believer” may be full of self-confidence but woefully short on spiritual awareness. A recent study by pollster George Barna bears this out:

“…relatively few people have a biblical worldview – even among devoutly religious people. The survey discovered that only 9% of born again Christians have such a perspective on life. The numbers were even lower among other religious classifications….

“For the purposes of the research, a biblical worldview was defined as believing that absolute moral truths exist; that such truth is defined by the Bible; and firm belief in six specific religious views. Those views were that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life; God is the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe and He stills rules it today; salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned; Satan is real; a Christian has a responsibility to share their faith in Christ with other people; and the Bible is accurate in all of its teachings……

     “Upon comparing the perspectives of those who have a biblical worldview with those who do not, the former group were 31 times less likely to accept cohabitation; 18 times less likely to endorse drunkenness; 15 times less likely to condone gay sex; 12 times less likely to accept profanity; and 11 times less likely to describe adultery as morally acceptable. In addition, less than one-half of one percent of those with a biblical worldview said voluntary exposure to pornography was morally acceptable (compared to 39% of other adults), and a similarly miniscule proportion endorsed abortion (compared to 46% of adults who lack a biblical worldview). [10]

“At least Christians are not the only ones addled by their culture into holding contradictory beliefs,” writes Gene Edward Veith. “Atheists are just as confused about their theology. … They believe that accepting Christ can bring eternal life, even though they don’t believe in Jesus Christ. Just like ‘nonevangelical born-agains.'” [11]

But they’re all coming together under the worldwide ecumenical umbrella of the Church Growth Movement.  As I wrote in Re-Inventing the Church, the 21st century vision of global oneness is drawing diverse churches and people into vast “Christian” networks that provide trained leadership and management consultants. Rick Warren’s communitarian management guru, Peter Drucker, described it well. Quoting him in a 1994 report, the “Leadership Network” wrote,

“The Spirit is moving…. there is a substantial critical mass of people and churches that are already moving.’ … While acknowledging that there are still many unhealthy churches [those that don’t conform to the new, inclusive pattern], there is a justified ‘change in basic premises, basic attitudes, basic mindset… on the whole, we are on the march….”[12] [emphasis added]

As you saw earlier, this diversity is essential to the mind-changing dialectic process that Drucker has helped establish in organizations everywhere. (We will take a closer look at it in Part 7 of this series) Remember Robert Klenck’s words: “…in this movement, it is imperative that unbelievers are brought into the church; otherwise, the process of continual change cannot begin. There must be an antithesis (unbelievers) present to oppose the thesis (believers), in order to move towards consensus. (compromise), and move the believers away from their moral absolutism (resistance to change).” If the church member continues to resist change, they may be asked to leave. Many concerned and uncompromising Christians can testify to the pain of being expelled under the banner of “church discipline.”

Unlike some church leaders today, Pastor Warren does try to define sin. Before introducing his salvation prayer, he wrote, “All sin, at its root, is failing to give God glory. It is loving anything else more than God. Refusing to bring glory to God is prideful rebellion, and it is the sin that caused Satan’s fall–and ours, too. In different ways we all lived for our own glory, not God’s. The Bible says, ‘All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” [1, page 55]

That’s true. But this general sin which applies to all of humanity will hardly cause postmodern unbelievers to sense any genuine guilt or a personal need for the cross. Unlike former generations of Americans, few have been taught the basic truths about our Biblical God and His moral standards.[14] Many simply dismiss the notion of “sin” as old-fashioned legalism and shut their eyes to its corrupting power in their own lives. When faced with today’s non-offensive teaching on sin, many translate it into a more comfortable half truth: “Sin is a normal part of life, and I’m just as good as everyone else — maybe a little better. Besides, God understands and loves me as I am.”[15] In other words, there’s no sense of guilt, fear or brokenness before our eternal Judge! Like ancient Israel, “They were not at all ashamed; nor did they know how to blush.” Jeremiah 6:13-15

In contrast to this postmodern norm, Jesus shows us a heartfelt response that pleases Him. While dining at the home of the self-satisfied Simon, He explains the blessing of a truly repentant heart:

“Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Luke 7:37-47

This precious woman was familiar with God’s moral law — what the Bible describes as “our tutor to bring us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.” [Gal 3:25] While that uncompromising law [14] exposed her guilt and depravity, it also caused her to treasure God’s wonderful forgiving grace with all her heart. Unlike those who ignore God’s standard and their own sinful inclinations, she was overwhelmed with gratitude to the One who forgave her sin and set her free from the weight of the law and from bondage to her “flesh” (sinful human nature). 

God had prepared her heart and she humbly gave herself to her beloved Lord — heart, mind and soul. Jesus, in turn, held her up as an example to others.

Her response to God’s loving mercy illustrates the fourth category in Jesus’ parable of the sower. Remember, the sower (God) scatters the seed (the “word of the kingdom”) which fall into four types of soil (or heart conditions):

Type 1. By the wayside: The person “hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.”

Type 2. On stony ground: “he hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.”

Type 3. Among thorns: “he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” The gospel of Luke adds “the desires for other things.”

Type 4. On good ground: “he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” Matthew 13:20-23

All four hear the life-giving word of truth, but only two receive it. Both the second and the fourth appear to have entered into the Kingdom, but only the fourth proves faithful and wins the prize: God’s gracious sufficiency and His abundant fruitfulness. Only the last group “understands” God’s Word, demonstrates His enduring strength and knows the hope of eternal life with Christ. Those gifts are only given to those who are truly “born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:13

This saving faith will be tested. New believers will face struggles, temptation, suffering and persecution — all normal for those who are called to share in the suffering of Christ. They will fall, fail, grieve and repent, but they will always return to the One whose Word and Spirit have transformed their hearts. In contrast, others will leave this narrow way when life gets tough or the world too tempting — not because God has revoked His saving grace, but because they were not truly changed in the first place. Look at the next Scripture:

“And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast….”  Col 1:21-23

Pastor Warren seems to minimize the sobering reality behind God’s warnings and inflate God’s promises. To back his assertion that all who pray his prayer are automatically transformed by the Holy Spirit, he quotes a phrase from a “Scripture” from The Message, a paraphrased Bible translation by Eugene Peterson that promises, “Whoever accepts and trust the Son gets in on everything, life complete and forever!” [John 3:36a]  The chart below shows the whole verse in the three standard translations (the second half is italicized):

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”  John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”John 3:36 “Whoever accepts and trust the Son gets in on everything, life complete and forever!”[John 3:36a]  [1, page 58]

Do you wonder what the open-ended phrase, “gets in on everything,” means? Written in “present tense,” it could mean just about anything someone might imagine. To contemporary seekers who think they know God, it could imply an exciting and irresistible heavenly life here on earth — a blissful offer that few would reject.

But when you compare that version of John 3:36 with any standard translation, you find that Mr. Peterson had added that alluring phrase in spite of God’s repeated command not to add to — or delete from — His unchanging, Spirit-breathed Word. [16]  The result is another misleading half-truth that obscures the fact that walking with Jesus means sharing His suffering. We forget that some of God’s most faithful servants have faced poverty, hardships and torture that defy our comfort-centered Western comprehension, yet they endured the pain for the greater joy of serving their beloved King now and forever.

Pastor Warren starts the next chapter (8) in his book with this feel-good assurance for all who prayed the prayer:

“The moment you were born into the world, God was there as an unseen witness, smiling at your birth…. You are a child of God and you bring pleasure to God like nothing else he has ever created.” [1, page 63]

This “positive” gospel will surely meet man’s “felt need” for affirmation, identity and a sense of belonging. The masses are more than willing to believe in this new tolerant, non-judging God who fits their postmodern culture. But God doesn’t promise to make us comfortable and pamper our feelings. While He does promise the resources needed to meet each day’s challenges, some of those spiritual resources have little to do with today’s “felt needs.” Instead His path for us may be lonely and rough, full of steep climbs and “impossible” challenges. Yet, as we persevere in faith, we will hear His sweet voice whispering, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.” [2 Cor 12:9]

Did you hear that? God will use our weakness, not our strengths! No need for management consultants and surveys that measure our natural abilities in order to discover our spiritual gifts[1, page 57] and God’s purpose for us! The Shepherd will lead us along His chosen ways, narrow and winding paths that may differ radically from our human plans and purposes! 

But those who have not yet been “crucified with Christ” and filled with the Holy Spirit will neither hear the Shepherd nor “comprehend the Scriptures.”[17]That’s one of the reasons why today’s spiritual diversity demands simplified Bibles that have been paraphrased, reinterpreted and made appealing to the natural mind.  

Softening God’s Word

Unregenerate “believers” who love the ways of the world will want a church that fits that world. To make them feel at home — and to satisfy curious seekers — the church must now re-invent itself. Since no one can really understand God’s truth unless the Holy Spirit reveals it to their hearts [see 1 Cor 2:9-16], God’s Word must be simplified so that everyone — Christian or not — can relate to it.

It’s not surprising that Pastor Warren quotes passages from The Message (a paraphrased “version” of the Bible by Eugene Peterson) over ninety times. Many of those simplified passages alter both the words and the meaning of the Scriptures. But they fit the points Pastor Warren is trying to make. So do other paraphrased Bibles that he uses.

Please compare Today’s English Version‘s interpretation of Isaiah 26:3 with the corresponding passages in three generally accepted Bible translations: the King James Version (KJV), the New King James Version (NKJV) and the New International Version (NIV). While I don’t personally use the NIV, the three translations illustrate the gap between standard translations and modern paraphrases. Today’s English Version’s (TEV) seems to fit Pastor Warren’s need here — perhaps because it uses the word “purpose:”   

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Is 26:3 “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”  Is 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”Is 26:3 “You, LORD, give perfect peace to those whokeep their purpose firm and put their trust in you.” Is 26:3 (page 32)

“Knowing your purpose focuses your life,” he assures us. “It concentrates your effort and energy on what’s important. You become effective by being selective.”[1, page 32]   

But the early Hebrew documents promised God’s “perfect peace” to those “whose minds were stayed on” Him, not to those who merely “kept their purpose firm.” In fact, the main message of Isaiah 26:3 is not an exhortation to “keep their purpose firm.” Instead, it tells us to stay continually focused on God Himself. Though He calls us throughout the Bible to trust Him, He only promises His wonderful gift of “perfect peace” to those who — by His Spirit — will stay with Him.

One thing I have desired of the Lord,” sang David (God’s beloved shepherd-king),” that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.” Psalm 27:4

Think about it: Wouldn’t God (as He has revealed Himself through His Living Word) be a more reliable focus for our lives? Doesn’t His Word suggest we be led by our wonderful Shepherd, not driven by standardized purposes which are now being used around the world to define and assess our spiritual gifts, our spiritual growth, our spiritual devotion, our spiritual fruit and our group fellowship?

Pastor Warren encourages us to memorize and meditate on God’s Word. But he also suggests that we select Bible verses out of his book which begins and ends with quotes from The Message. On page 325, he explains why:

 “…we often miss the full impact of familiar Bible verses, not because of poor translating, but simply because they have become so familiar!  We think we know what a verse says because we have read it or heard it so many times. Then when we find it quoted in a book, we skim over it and miss the full meaning. Therefore I have deliberately used paraphrases in order to help you see God’s truth in new, fresh ways…. [emphasis in the original]

“Also, since the verse divisions and number were not included in the Bible until 1560 A.D., I haven’t always quoted the entire verse, but rather focused on the phrase that was appropriate. My model for this is Jesus and how he and the apostles quoted the Old Testament. They often just quoted a phrase to make a point.” [1, page 325]

His first argument  doesn’t match reality. Those who are truly “born again” treasure God’s Word as it is written. The more familiar it becomes, the more precious it is!  He brings the words we have “hidden in our heart” to our awareness day and night as we need it for comfort, strength and joy in Him. “Your words were found, and I ate them,” said Jeremiah, “and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O Lord…” Jeremiah 15:16

Second, are we free to attribute the authority of the actual Scriptures to short sound bytes of paraphrased passages in order to validate our own points? Yes, Jesus, who was Himself the Living Word, had the absolute authority to speak His own message as He willed. But we are not God! That’s why He warns us repeatedly not to alter or add to His holy Word in any way.

“If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book,” He tells us in the Book of Revelation ( 22:18-19)“and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life….” 

Those are strong words. That’s why many postmodern leaders consider them intolerant and exclude them from their teaching. But God considers the accuracy of His Word so vital to our walk with Him that He repeated this warning several times throughout the Bible.

“You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it,” He told us through Moses in Deuteronomy 4:1-2.  And in Proverbs 30:5-6, He warned: “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.”

Yet, man’s incessant quest for “new, fresh ways” has always made us vulnerable to temptation. From the beginning, Satan has offered both pleasure and wisdom to those who would rephrase or revise God’s timeless Word — blending lies with truth that hide the deception. Back in the garden, it led to Eve’s disobedience and the alienation of humanity. Through the Middle Ages, it led to horrendous heresies and cruel persecution of those who took their stand on God’s unchanging Word. In our times, the rise of pragmatism and postmodernity has led to another round of revisions. And with the postmodern rejection of unchanging absolutes, there is no end in sight.

See how The Message has altered the meaning of God’s Word in the following passages. Though the first two references are not mentioned in the Purpose Driven Life, their precious familiarity helps us discern the contrast and realize how human additions and deletions distort His truths. The third reference is the last “Bible” verse Pastor Warren quotes in his book. Notice its new tone and attitude:


Our Father which art in heaven,Hallowed be thy name.” Matt. 6:9 Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name.” 
Matt. 6:9
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.”
 Matt. 6:9
“Our Father in heaven, reveal who you are.” Matt. 6:9
“my Father is greater than I.” John 14:28 “My Father is greater than I.” John 14:28 “… the Father is greater than I.” John 14:28 “The Father is the goal and purpose of my life.”John 14:28
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power….” Rev 4:11 You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power….” Rev 4:11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power….” Rev 4:11 “Worthy, Oh Master! Yes, our God! Take the glory! the honor! the power!…” [1, page 319]
“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:6 “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:6 “The mind of sinful man is death, but themind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:6 Obsession with self in these matters is a dead endattention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life.” [1, page 18]


Ponder the last section. To be “carnally minded” means far more than “obsession with self.” It involves the spiritual blindness and death of a person who lives and thinks according to his own capricious human nature — separated from God’s grace and Spirit. He may claim to be a Christian, but his finite mind cannot grasp God’s truths, heart or will. A simpler, modified Bible, stripped of its deeper and harder truths, doesn’t help. God never intended that the Bible should be understood apart from His supernatural work in the hearts of His chosen people. [Matt 13:13; Luke 8:10; Jer 5:21; Acts 26:18]

The other parallel follows. To be “spiritually minded” means that, through the Holy Spirit, the believer’s mind has been opened to understand Scriptures. God’s life-changing Truth has renewed his heart and enabled him to know and love God. It has given him the joy and endurance needed to follow the Shepherd — not along that spacious highway that draws the crowds — but on the narrow unpopular way which draws us ever closer to Him. Matt 7:13-14

Since the Bible is the foundation of our faith, we had better follow its clear and timeless guidelines.  They alone enable us to maintain the purity and accuracy of His Word even as we translate it into all the world’s different languages. In its totality, the Bible reveals the nature of God, the nature of man — both in Christ and apart from Him. Made alive by His Spirit, it reveals His guidelines for our lives, His promises of each day’s challenges, His hope for eternity. It is the foundation of our faith and the standard for our lives.

But Pastor Warren sees a slightly different foundation. As in The Purpose-Driven Church, his format shows us five purposes:

1. Worship: You were made for God’s pleasure.

2. Connect (fellowship): You were formed for God’s family.

3. Grow (discipleship): You were created to become like Christ.

4. Serve (ministry): You were shaped for serving God.

5. Share (evangelism): You were made for a mission. [1, contents]

Those statements are all true, but they are incomplete as guidelines for all of life’s challenges. Later he tells us:

“Knowing your purpose simplifies your life. It defines what you do and what you don’t do. Your purpose becomes the standard you use to evaluate which activities are essential and which aren’t. You simply ask, ‘Does this activity help me fulfill one of God’s purposes for my life?’

“Without  a clear purpose, you have no foundation on which you base decisions, allocate your time, and use your resources.”[1, page 31]

What does Pastor Warren mean by “a clear purpose?” A blend of his five stated purposes?

Neither the five purposes, nor any other single purpose, can replace Jesus Christ, the Living Word, as the “foundation on which you base decision, allocate your time and use resources.” Christ’s Life in us — speaking through His Word revealed to us — is our supreme, unrivaled foundation and guide. The Living Word remains “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” no matter where His chosen purposes or unseen paths might take you and me for the duration of our lives on earth.

The Spirit of Worship

In The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren wisely points to the importance of worship and surrender. “Worship must be based on the truth of Scripture, not our opinions about God,” he writes.[1, page 101] That’s so true! Yet, his book offers both opinions and illustrations that undermine that truth — including some misleading assumptions about God and what He loves.

“Worship must be both accurate and authentic,” he writes on page 102. “God-pleasing worship is both deeply emotional and deeply doctrinal…. The best style of worship is the one that most authentically represent your love for God, based on the background and personality God gave you.” He then gives the following illustration:

“My friend Gary Thomas noticed that many Christians seem stuck in a worship rut — an unsatisfying routine — instead of having a vibrant friendship with ‘God, because they force themselves to use devotional methods or worship styles that don’t fit the way God uniquely shaped them.’

“Gary wondered, If God intentionally made us all different, why should everyone be expected to love God in the same way?… In his book Sacred Pathways, Gary identifies nine of the ways people draw near to God: Naturalists are most inspired to love God out-of-doors, in natural settings. Sensates love God with their senses and appreciate beautiful worship services that involve their sight, taste, smell and touch, not just their ears…… Ascetics prefer to love God in solitude and simplicity. [Later in the book, Warren tells us that only those who participate in today’s organized church can grow spiritually.]... Activists love God through confronting evil, battling injustice, and working to make the world a better place…. ” [1, page 103]  Emphasis added

Does Pastor Warren equate “activists” with the social and political activists that push churches and nations toward a global welfare system based on UN standards for social solidarity? Liberal churches and the World Council of Churches are major forces in this accelerating movement of “faith-based partnerships” that — under the banner of love and tolerance — serves the needy while silencing the gospel.[18] But Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” John 18:36

“There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to worship and friendship with God,” continues Pastor Warren. “God wants you to be yourself.” That’s true. Then he validates his point with a quote from The Message: “That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship.'” Compare the three standard Bible translations below with Eugene Peterson’s paraphrased Message. Notice the clash of words and meaning:

KJV: “…the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.”  John 4:23

NKJV: “…the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.”  John 4:23

NIV: “…a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.”  John 4:23

Message: “That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship.” (page 103)  Emphasis added

While God demands absolute honesty from His people, the word “truth” here implies far more than being “simply and honestly themselves.” The central truth tells us about our wonderful Lord. Worship is our response to what His Word and Spirit have revealed to us about His glory and goodness. And Pastor Warren knows that very well. In spite of his pragmatic promotion of cultural compromise under the banner of church growth, he also includes some beautiful descriptions:

“Where is the glory of God? Just look around. Everything created by God reflects his glory in some way. We see it everywhere, from the smallest microscopic form of life to the vast Milky Way, from sunsets and stars to storms and seasons…. The Bible says. ‘The heavens declare the glory of God….’ [1, page 54]

“We cannot add anything to this glory, just as it would be impossible for us to make the sun shine brighter. But we are commanded to recognize his glory, honor his glory, declare his glory, praise his glory, reflect his glory and live for his glory. Why? Because God deserves it! We owe him every honor we can possibly give.”[1, page 56]

So true!  But while Warren reminds us that “Worship is a lifestyle,” he bases his description of God on his own personal presumptions, not on Biblical revelation:

“Worship has nothing to do with the style or volume or speed of a song. God loves all kinds of music because he invented it all — fast and slow, loud and soft, old and new. You probably don’t like it all, but God does!” [1, page 65]

He does? Including the throbbing beat of hard rock?  Or the pulsating sensuality of other forms of rock and hip hop? Or the hypnotic tones of New Age music?

While all parts of the universe were created by our sovereign Lord, he lets us use His raw materials according to our own inclinations — whether they honor or profane his name. But when we become part of His family and Kingdom, He holds us accountable to His high and holy standards — and to what He has revealed about Himself in His Word.

Again Pastor Warren seems to agree. He says, “I must choose to value what God values. This is what friends do — they care about what is important to the other person. The more you become God’s friend, the more you will care about the things he cares about, grieve over the things he grieves over, and rejoice over the things that bring pleasure to him.”

That’s a great summary. Warren goes on to say that “Paul is the best example of this. God’s agenda was his agenda and God’s passion was his.” Then he backs his statement with another quote from The Message, one that leaves out a key point: that God is a “jealous God.” His holy jealousy is expressed through Paul in his concern for the church. To show you the context, we included the next verse as well:

KJV:  “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted….”  2 Cor 11:2-4

NKJV:  “For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted…” 2 Cor 11:2-4

NIV: I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him . But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray….” 2 Cor 11:2-4

Message: “The thing that has me so upset is that I care about you so much–this is the passion of God burning inside me!” 2 Cor 11:2  (page 97)  Emphasis added

Probing God’s “passion,” Warren asks: “What does God care about most? The redemption of his people. He wants all his lost children found! That’s the whole reason Jesus came to earth. The dearest thing to the heart of God is the death of his Son. The second dearest thing is when his children share that news with others. To be a friend of God, you must care about all the people around you that God cares about.”

Yes, that sounds right. But it’s only a half-truth. Pastor Warren apparently quoted the above words from The Message to validate his point about “passion.”[19] But the standard Bible translations based on early Greek sources actually refer to a different issue: God’s zeal for purity and holiness in the Church. Paul was warning the Corinthians against corruption in His Body — a major concern in both the Old and New Testament. The apostle highlights this purpose again in his letter to the church in Philippi:

“…that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.” Philippians 2:15-16

In other words, God calls us to be different from the corrupt world around us. He has made us a holy people — set us apart for Himself. “They are not of the world,” said Jesus, “just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” John 17:15-18

Pastor Warren’s emphasis on passion hides this point. The issue of purity is replaced with the more contemporary issue of personal relationships. Thus feel-good relational guidelines become more important than the spiritual need for repentance and holiness in Christ.

Please don’t think I would diminish the all important command to “love one another” as Christ loves us. But when corruption and worldliness seep into the church, God’s agapao love — an expression of the Holy Spirit in us — is quenched. We may replace it with more human love such as phileo (friendship, affection, brotherhood) love, but it no longer fulfills the above command. (In spite of Pastor Warren’s frequent reference to our “friendship with God,” the Bible never uses the word phileo in any of the commands that we love God. It always uses the word agapao, God’s supernatural love flowing through His faithful people.)

In the context of Peter Drucker’s management and marketing philosophy, Pastor Warren’s emphasis makes perfect sense. The new relational guidelines are designed to build group loyalty, teach “respect” for all opinions, and block unpopular truths that expose error and corruption. The latter are simply too divisive. “Fellowship” between spiritually diverse people is all important, even if it clashes with God’s Word [2 Cor 6:1418] and forces believers to compromise. That’s why many committed but heartbroken Christians are leaving the “seeker-friendly” churches they have faithfully served. They simply cannot agree to discard “offensive” Biblical guidelines in order to pursue the new vision of unity and community.

God’s people must heed their Spirit-taught conscience. If we claim His name and promises, we had better follow His ways rather than our feelings or popular marketing schemes. If our worship is an expression of our human nature rather than His truth and Spirit, it is worthless.  It’s all too easy to “quench the Spirit” and become blind to His light. Trying to make Christianity more acceptable to the world, we may forget Jesus’ sobering warnings to His disciples:

“If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you….”  John 15:19-21

“Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.”  1 Thessalonians 5:19-24

Music-driven evangelism

“The style of music you choose to use in your services will be one of the most critical (and controversial!) decisions you make in the life of your church,” wrote Rick Warren in an article titledSelecting Worship Music“. “You must match your music to the kind of people God wants your church to reach…. The music you use ‘positions’ your church in your community. It defines who you are…. It will determine the kind of people you attract, the kind of people you keep, and the kind of people you lose.“[20] Emphasis added

Pastor Warren’s choice in music flows with today’s major currents of change — in culture and business as well as churches. Our world is becoming increasingly uniform even as our choices multiply. While we have countless options in food, books, religions and music, the vast networks of corporate management systems around the world follow the same marketing strategies. Their key to “measurable success” is monitoring and manipulating the “felt needs” of the masses — a shrewd strategy that requires continual polls, surveys, assessments and digital data systems. Together, as parts of a holistic system, they not only expose the wants and vulnerabilities of “consumers” everywhere but also nurture and manipulate those “needs” and cravings.

And it works! That’s why governments, schools, medical systems and large churches are all reinventing themselves in order to follow the established tracks of corporate America. They may call their particular version of this system Total Quality Management, Outcome Based Education or Purpose Driven Churches; it doesn’t matter. All follow the same pragmatic blueprint, aim for “measurable results,” call for teams, dialogue, facilitators, “lifelong learning,” contracts and continual assessments of “progress” toward the planned outcome. All must conform or leave the system.

In Part 1, you saw that Pastor Warren polled his congregation to discover the most popular contemporary music.[2] Now he uses more sophisticated surveys and tracking software. As you saw in Part 1, one of his management consultants is CMS, a “full-service custom marketing and communications agency” that helps its “clients grow their businesses.”[6] It explains that“…collecting, organizing and managing data is essential to understanding, evaluating and planning of any successful promotion.”[8]

So when Pastor Warren offered the music most people wanted, they flocked to the church. But measurable success” doesn’t prove that God ordained or inspired this particular plan. In fact, God warns us not “to seek to please men” [Galatians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:4]. Popularity in the world has never been a sign of God’s approval. More often — throughout the Bible as well as history — popularity proves the opposite. “If you were of the world, the world would love its own,” said Jesus. “Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” John 15:19

When Pastor Warren tells us that “God loves all kinds of music” and that God loves variety,”[2] do you wonder where he would he draw the line? Would that vital dividing line bend with our changing culture? Or with the growing tolerance for all kinds of spiritual and Scriptural variations? These are crucial questions, for music has become a driving force in the Church Growth Movement.  As Pastor Warren says,

“Music is an integral part of our lives. We eat with it, drive with it, shop with it, relax with it, and some non-Baptists even dance to it! The great American pastime is not baseball – it is music and sharing our opinions about it!”

“…when I read about biblical worship in the Psalms, I see that they used drums, clashing cymbals, loud trumpets, tambourines and stringed instruments. That sounds a lot like contemporary music to me!”

“Saddleback is unapologetically a contemporary music church. We’ve often been referred to in the press as ‘The flock that likes to rock.’ We use the style of music the majority of people in our church listen to on the radio.”[20]

These statements beg at least two responses. First, Pastor Warren wrote: “…in the Psalms, I see that they used drums….”[20] None of the standard Bible translations mention drums, but they do mention timbrels which are sometimes translated tabrets or tambourines. Apparently, these were small, round wooden rings or frames covered with animal skin and usually carried by women or “maidens” in dance, praise or “merriment.” Some Bible commentaries describe them as small hand drums, “examples of which have been found in Egyptian and Mesopotamian excavations.” Obviously, they were not like today’s large, throbbing percussion instruments which the Bible neither forbids nor approves. Nor were they listed in 1 Chronicles along with other instruments prescribed for temple worship.[21]  

Second, our Father Himself prepares the hearts of His chosen ones to respond to the saving truth of the gospel and the demonstration of His love. He doesn’t need our clever business schemes. “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him,” said Jesus. [John 6:44]

But can’t God use contemporary music to draw us to Himself?  Of course He can! He can use anything He chooses! Again and again, He brings blessings out of our human choices, be they wise or foolish or in between. But His wonderful grace and mercy never justify our disobedience.  He repeatedly warns His people to guard against the seductive forces of the world system [Rom. 12:2, 1 John 2:15; Psalm 1:1-3], and “Christian” music now rests squarely in the hands of the world’s corrupt entertainment establishment.

Two of the most popular Christian musicians are Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant. Both are under contract to Word Music Company which is owned by Word Entertainment, the Christian Music division of Warner Music Group, a Time Warner company. This may explain why some of the popular pied pipers of the church cross over to the other side, drawing millions of fans with them. When that happens, the emotional highs that had been linked to God are transferred to the new themes that exclude God and exalt lust.[22]

Steven Curtis Chapman may be the most famous artist with Sparrow Records, a part of the Sparrow Label Group owned by the British EMI Music Publishing, the world’s largest secular music publisher. Having introduced America to the Beatles back in the sixties, it now owns labels such as Capitol, Angel, Blue Note, Priority and Virgin. Featuring approximately 1,500 artists, it markets every kind of popular music: rock, rap, jazz, Christian, country…[23]  According to Music Publishing,

“EMI [owns the] rights to more than one million musical compositions and has offices in 30 countries…. Composers and writers represented by EMI include David Bowie, Janet Jackson, Carole King, Queen, … Savage Garden, Sting, … Aerosmith….

“A&R, the art of identifying the next great writer, the next great song, is the single most important function EMI performs.”[24]

EMI’s website features a page on Social Responsibility which tells us,

“At EMI we believe business should be both profitable and beneficial to society. … We are committed to equal opportunity for all employees regardless of gender, ethnic or national origin, religion, disability, age, marital status or sexual orientation…. We support and uphold the principles contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.…”[25] 

If you read our article, “Trading US Rules for UN Rules,” you will find that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is hostile — not helpful — to Christians and others who question the UN philosophy and its blueprint for global solidarity.

In April, 2003, both EMI and Time-Warner executives participated in a conference dealing with topics such as “Things you need to know to get noticed” and “The spiritual future of Christian music.” The goal of the first “roundtable,” moderated by the Senior Director of A&R, Warner Brothers Records, Christian Division, was to “share what they are currently looking for in a signed artist today.”[26] Do you wonder if the panelists — including the General Manager of Simple Records, a Senior Director at Sparrow Label Group, and the Director of Gospel A&R and Warner Brothers Records — would allow lyrics that expressed some of the more “offensive” truths of the Bible? Would they even consider God’s will for Christian music and worship?

Probably not. Their concern is marketing music in cultures around the world. It’s up to us to know such as 2 Corinthians 6:14-17, which warns us, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? … Come out from among them and be separate….”

“Why do you think music is used so extensively in movies and every kind of television show from news intros to romantic love scenes?” asks Chris Long in his excellent article, “Should Christian Music Rock?” He goes on to say,

“Music alone does drastically effect people’s emotions, which in turn, more often than not directly affects their outward behavior. Music can delve into the depths of the human heart (…the heart of your being which contains your innermost desires and tendencies) and dredge up feelings and even actions that we may not even have consciously realized were there….

“I have observed my own children at even their smallest toddling age. They were never taught to dance or anything at all about music at the time, but their natural reaction when certain musical scores with a “rock beat” were played… the child naturally began to move their body in a carnal worldly manner. If an adult were to do the same, it could most certainly incite within others natural sensual thoughts. Melodious Christian music does not produce this effect.”[27] 

In the article, A New Song – Part 2,” author and former musician Paul Proctor summarizes the meaning and purpose of Christian worship:

“As I understand it, worship is coming before the Lord as a holy and ‘peculiar people’, in obedience, humility, reverence, repentance and faith with an attitude of gratitude, to sing His praises, hear His Word, glorify His name and honor Him with all of our being for Who He is and what He has done.

“Contrary to popular trends, worship is NOT getting together with anybody and everybody to party in Jesus’ name and feel good about ourselves with intoxicating music and psychotherapy.”

Saddleback members may not call their brand of music intoxicating, but that’s not the issue here. What does matter is the nature of the driving force in the church. It’s easy to list a set of Biblical purposes that seem to indicate where the church is headed. But do good purposes or “ends”  justify “means” or methods that might violate the standards God gave us in His Word?

The answer doesn’t matter to those who embrace pragmatism — the belief that truth is relative and that the ends do justify the means. It’s sad to see that within much of the Church Growth Movement, the main standard for good or bad methods — or for what “God is blessing” — seems to be measurable success, not obedience to His actual Word. The foundational management question seems to be: “Does it work?”  We should be asking: “What does the Bible (not preferred paraphrases) tell us?”

The answer to the first question is, yes, it does work. But few church members really understand general systems theory, the philosophy and worldview behind the controlling systems that steer this worldwide transformation. Many of its enthusiastic supporters don’t realize how it squeezes the Holy Spirit out of the decision making process. But we can recognize its mind-changing process by its innocuous labels (they should be red flags) such as assessments, databanks, facilitator, dialogue and planned or continual change. Lynn Stuter, a respected researcher and columnist with NewsWithViews, summarizes it well:

“Systems philosophy ogeneral systems theory… says that we can create our future by building systems and leveraging those systems into balance with all other systems in a conceptually wholistic model, (also referred to as systemic change) using a system infrastructure that is analogous to all systems.  Scientists refer to systems philosophy as a syllogism — how to bring about planned change systemically.  Under systems philosophy, the system and leveraging of the system into balance with all other systems, is paramount above all else.  That leveraging is achieved via analyzing DATA FEEDBACK attained from the subjects of the system established, be it an agency, a classroom, or an individual.  This explains the privacy invasive databanks being built on all systems — health care, education, justice, military… [and churches]

“…you start out by developing your vision of the created future…. The vision is then defined in terms of exit outcomes. In the case of education reform, the exit outcomes are the state essential “academic” learning requirements (EALRs). [In the purpose-driven movement, it would be related to “purpose”]

“In the Schools for the 21st Century (the foundation of education reform in Washington state and the basis of American 2000) resource document, content is defined asexcellence in terms of the change agendaprocess as the product … the destination … what learning is about; and emotionality and affectivity as the means by which content and process will be achieved….

      “The measure of that mastery is the assessment…. If a few children fail the assessment, they are remediated to bring them in line.  The assessments also assess classroom teachers.  The assessment provides DATA FEEDBACK to the system….”[28]

It’s comforting to assume that God loves all growth-producing methods and feel-good stimuli that we love. But it isn’t true.  

“’For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.'” Isaiah 55:8-9

Then He gives us a sobering glimpse of what He is pleased to see in His people: “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.” Isaiah 66:1-2

“For since the beginning of the world,

men have not heard nor perceived by the ear,
Nor has the eye seen any God besides You,

Who acts for the one who waits for Him.
You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness,

who remembers You in Your ways.”  Isaiah 64:4-5

Forgetting “the fear of God”

Long before David wrote his treasured psalms or King Solomon penned the Proverbs, Job knew the secret of wisdom and friendship with God. In the midst of excruciating pain and loss, he said, “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.” Job 28:28

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,”echoed the wise men who wrote Psalm 111:10 and Proverbs 9:10.Centuries ago, God’s rebellious and presumptuous people thought they could follow their own sensual inclinations, participate in the rituals of their idolatrous neighbors, and sacrifice their children to gain personal favors — without losing God’s favor and protection. Even the priests thought they were following His ways. They were wrong. Our holy God, who is the same “yesterday, today and forever,” warned His foolish and presumptuous people,  

“Therefore I will number you for the sword,
And you shall all bow down to the slaughter;
Because, when I called, you did not answer;
When I spoke, you did not hear, but did evil before My eyes, and chose that in which I do not delight.” 
Isaiah 65:12

Pastor Warren has little to say about such godly fear — the blessed fruit of a deep awareness that God is our Judge and Avenger as well as our Father and Love. God’s anger and wrath don’t fit into today’s affirmative, seeker friendly church environment.

Since Today’s English Version, like the J. B. Phillips version, may be considered a translation rather than a paraphrase, the differences below may be less distinct. Yet, they illustrate a reluctance among many contemporary Christian leaders to use the word “fear” when referring to God. While we certainly must (by His Spirit) reverence our holy and almighty God, this more “positive” word removes any subtle (or embarrassing) reminder that our loving Father is also a “jealous” God — an uncompromising Judge who has little tolerance for our lukewarm “obedience” and self-pleasing “worship.” 

KJV: “The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.” Ps 25:14

NKJV: “The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant.” Ps 25:14

NIV: “The Lord confides in those who fear Him; he makes his covenant known to them.” Ps 25:14

Living Bible: “Friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence him.” Psalm 25:14a


KJV: “The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.” Ps 147:11

NKJV: “The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his mercy.” Ps 147:11

NIV: “The Lord delights in those who fear Him; who put their hope in his unfailing love.” Ps 147:11

Today’s English Version: “He takes pleasure in those that honor Him; in those who trust in His constant love.”  [page 71]

In other words, the word “fear” clashes with today’s attempt to market God to the postmodern masses. To a lesser degree, so do the words “righteous” and “merciful.” Both remind us of our sin and inadequacy. They bring the discomforting suggestion that God indeed is “holier than thou” — an unpleasant notion for those who prefer to believe that God is and thinks like me.

Instead, Pastor Warren introduces a more likeable God — a smiling father who resembles today’s permissive parent rather than the righteous and merciful God of the Bible. Whether you are part of God’s family or not, Warren speaks confusing half-truths that assure you that —

  • “the moment you were born into the world, God was there as an unseen witness, smiling at your birth… your arrival gave him great pleasure.”[1, page 63]

  • “You are a child of God, and you bring pleasure to God like nothing else he has ever created. The Bible says, ‘Because of his love God had already decided that through Jesus Christ he would make us his children — this was his pleasure and purpose.[1, page 63-64]

  • God enjoys watching every detail of your life, whether you are working, playing, resting, or eating.[1, page 74]

Do you feel good about yourself yet? Do you feel comfortable before your holy God?

Perhaps we feel too comfortable. Maybe our holy God doesn’t “enjoy watching every detail” of our lives. Although His Word assures us that He delights in us when we trust and follow Him, it also shows us that He grieves over our foolish choices. And if we indeed have been “born again” of His Spirit, we would grieve with Him whenever we obey our own lusts rather than His Word!  We would repent — turn around and run back into His arms! 

Yes, He waits for us. Yes, our patient and merciful Lord continues to love us deeply and eternally. Yes, in Christ, all our sins were nailed to the cross. But He doesn’t minimize our natural rebellion as we do. Instead, he tells us to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13

The New Testament brings some sobering reminders of a side of God we often prefer to forget. Take the story of Ananias and Sapphira. They were part of the early church community where people shared their belongings with each other. You probably remember the story:

“Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?… Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all…

      “Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter answered her, ‘Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?’ She said, ‘Yes, for so much.” Then Peter said to her, ‘How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.’ Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband. So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.
“And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people….Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes
 of both men and women….” 
Acts 5:1-14

God didn’t hesitate to judge a sin that we might easily overlook. After all, Ananias made a generous contribution to the church, didn’t he?

But God’s standard for holiness among His people is far higher than we are led to believe in our churches. He wants a purified Body, a holy Bride — washed and cleansed by His shed blood. Seeker-services that bring the world into His sacred places compromise His revealed purposes. So does consensus-based fellowship between believers and unbelievers, between His purity and the world’s profanity.

In the early church, God’s judgment [above] spread “great fear.” The surrounding community showed two typical kinds of responses. While “the people esteemed them highly,” only those whom God was drawing to Himself were added to the church. “None of the rest dared join them.” It doesn’t sound like today’s marketing strategies, does it?

The problem is not that Pastor Warren left out the “the fear of God.” He can’t possibly teach all God’s instructions in one book. The problem is lack of balance. By emphasizing God’s delight in “every detail of your life” through most of the book while rarely mentioning God’s anger, holy standard or judgment, he virtually denied the less comforting side of God’s nature.[29]

While God’s love is unconditional, His promises are not. Most are linked — often in the same passage they appear — to guidelines and conditions for their fulfillment. But those conditions and warnings are generally left out. As presented in this book, many of God’s promises to those who — by His grace and Spirit — follow Him become, instead, universal and unconditional assurances to everyone who reads the book. No need to “mourn” our sin, “tremble at His Word,” or repent of our addiction to contemporary thrills, for everyone is okay in the eyes of Him who “passionately” loves all of us as we are. 

But God calls us to know and follow His ways, not ours — and to deny ourselves and let the “flesh” be put to death. In our weakness, He will enable us! Our goal must be His goal: that we would be holy as He is holy. Pastor Warren affirms that truth, but by softening God’s revelation about Himself and His ways, he distorts our understanding of holiness. By trivializing the authority of God’s Word, he bends our view of God’s high standard for our lives in Him. Finally, when he quotes (in various forms) God’s promises while ignoring His warnings, he builds presumption, not genuine obedient faith. Many readers would hardly even know what to obey!

They won’t find answers when they turn to the discussion questions in the back of the book. Those questions are patterned to fit today’s consensus process. This process for conforming individuals to the group’s views, involves guidelines such as:

  • Don’t offend anyone by taking an uncompromising stand on truth or facts.

  • Don’t use words such as “I know” or “I believe.” Instead use words such as “I think” or “I feel” which show your willingness to compromise and bend your views to fit the group consensus. 

  • Show respect and appreciation for all positions, even those that clash with the Bible.

Most of the questions fit this pattern. Subjective and open-ended, they invite feeling-based opinions, not Scripture-based truths. And some of the questions beg answers that fit today’s communitarian ideals more than truth.

True to form, the first two questions begin with “What do you think….” and “What do you feel…” None looks to the Bible as a reference point. None encourages the reader to seek answers from God’s Word.

The natural outcome of this comfortable, relational dialogue is a group synthesis of the various opinions. In the end, everyone would feel good about themselves, about each other and about God — no matter how He might be portrayed. No cost, no self-denial, no separation, no offense! Postmodern Christianity fits right into the changing world system.  (This relational process will be discussed more fully in Part 2 of this series.)

Remember, His ways are not our ways! He is the sovereign King of the universe! To know and follow Him, we need to fill our minds with His true Word, not popular interpretations or feel-good group affirmations. Our wise and wonderful Lord says,

      “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him…. If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words….”  John 14:21-21


1. Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002). See “Driven or Led?

2. Dennis Costella, FOUNDATION Magazine, March-April 1998. http://www.fundamentalbiblechurch.org/Foundation/fbcsdlbk.htm. You can find a very similar message in Rick Warren’s article titled “ Selecting Worship Music” ( July 29, 2002 ) at http://www.pastorport.com/ministrytoday.asp?mode=viewarchive&index=18.

      The Bible warns against a musical “variety” or usage that serves paganism: “when all the people heard the sound of the horn, flute, harp, and lyre, in symphony with all kinds of music, all the people, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the gold image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.”  Daniel 3:7

3. Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1995), page 62.

4. http://www.pastors.com/aboutus/

5. Ken Witty, “Peter Drucker’s Search for Community,” Business Week Online, December 24, 2002. http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/dec2002/nf20021224_6814.htm

6.  http://www.christian-ministry.com/aboutus_who.htm

7.  http://www.christian-ministry.com/clients.htm

8. http://www.christian-ministry.com/services_promo.htm

9. Warren on church musichttp://www.sunlandneighborhoodchurch.com/articles_view.asp?articleid=1382&columnid=

10. “A Biblical Worldview Has a Radical Effect on a Person’s Life,” December 1, 2003,

http://www.barna.org/cgi-bin/PagePressRelease.asp?PressReleaseID=154&Reference=A. I have been told that Mr. Barna is becoming skeptical about the Church Growth Movement, which he earlier supported. [See Re-Inventing the Church] I can see why. His own statistics show the tragic consequences of “cheap grace” and salvation prayers without a Biblical foundation.

11. Gene Edward Veith, “Unbelieving ‘born-agains,” World on the Web, Dec. 6, 2003, http://www.worldmag.com/world/issue/12-06-03/cultural_4.asp

12.  Peter Drucker on the Church and Denominations.” This pdf file is posted on the Leadership Network website at http://www.leadnet.org/allthingsln/archives/netfax/1.pdf

13. Dr. Robert Klenck, “The 21st Century Church” at http://www.crossroad.to/News/Church/Klenck3.html

14. God’s moral law can neither save us nor give us the strength to obey its guidelines. But it gives us a standard for right and wrong — and it helps us to understand God’s holiness, righteousness, mercy and grace.

15. Many echo this belief: “Sin is a normal part of life, and I’m just as good as everyone else — maybe a little better. Besides, God loves me as I am.” While this statement is partly true, it’s also misleading. The essence of God’s character is not only love. It’s also unbending justice, indescribable holiness and perfect righteousness. Without balanced information about God, we can neither know or follow Him.

16. “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” Deuteronomy 4:1-2. See also Deuteronomy 12:32; Proverbs 30:5-6 and  Revelation 22:18-19.

17. “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14

18.  In the fall of 2003, Pastor Warren introduced the Saddleback “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.”

“We believe it is part of the beginning of a Spiritual Awakening, a Global Movement, a New Reformation,” wrote Pastor Warren. “The PEACE Plan will address these five ‘giant’ problems by Planting new churches… Equipping leaders… Assisting the poor…Caring for the sick… and Educating the next generation….

“The bottom line is that we intend to reinvent mission strategy in the 21st century. As I stated, this will be a new Reformation. The First Reformation returned us to the message of the original church. It was a reformation of doctrine – what the church BELIEVES. This Second Reformation will return us to the mission of the original church. It will be a reformation of purpose — what the church DOES in the world.”

God calls us to share His love and resources with the poor and needy. But if Pastor Warren’s PEACE Plan means training church leaders to trust and follow the world’s management and marketing strategies as he does (see Part 1 and 3), he will be serving man’s global agenda, not worshipping God.

19. Today’s emphasis on “passion” and excitement can be misleading. In the King James Bible, passion refers to the suffering of our Lord on the cross. But other standard translations equate passion with “lust” or “inordinate affections.” For examples, see Acts 1:3 (NKJ) and Colossians 3:5 (KJV or NKJV): “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”

20. Selecting Worship Music by Rick Warren at http://www.pastorport.com/ministrytoday.asp?mode=viewarchive&index=18Since the Bible doesn’t mention drums, it neither affirms nor forbids it. But other Scriptures help us understand God’s view of the use of a throbbing drum beat. Aside from numerous Old Testament warnings against imitating the enticing rituals and practices of pagan and animist “neighbors” (who might have used the speed and volume of rhythms to induce trance possession), Romans 14:15 tells us that “Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love.” Pastor Warren freely admits that the introduction of rock music has been offensive to many Christians in his church. To draw young people, he chose a popular vehicle that would agonize and chase many away. That choice, in itself, seems to violate God’s law of love — a principle Pastor Warren will emphasize repeatedly in the context of small groups and building the new sympathetic consensus community.   

21. 1 Chron. 15:16-24; 16:4-6, 42; 25:1-6. page 978-979. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Jr., Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: The Moody Bible Institute, 1981), 978-979.

22. Word Music – about at http://wordmusic.com/about/

23. Nokia and EMI form strategic alliance to offer innovative range of music services

24. Music Publishinghttp://www.emigroup.com/publishing/i-.html

25. Social Responsibility Policy at http://www.emigroup.com/enviro/srpolicy.pdf

26. INDUSTRY and ASSOCIATES April 5-10, 2003

27. Find Chris Long’s article at http://www.christianbaptistliving.com/Christian-music-1.html

28. Lynn Stuter, “Who Controls at the Local Level?” http://www.learn-usa.com/er018.htm

29. Pastor Warren does mention God’s wrath on page 232, but without a prior explanation of what might considered “sinful.” Instead, the reference to “wrath” fits into the relational context of “service” and “helping others” — a Biblical command that is now being conformed to the global concept of community service and “service learning.” This kind of organized “service” focuses on felt needs and dialogue and often rules out spiritual needs and Biblical truth. This will be explained more fully in Part 2. 

Note: “Hope is as essential to your life as air and water. You need hope to cope. Dr. Bernie Siegel found he could predict which of his cancer patients would go into remission by asking, ‘Do you want to live to be one hundred?’ Those with a deep sense of life purpose answered yes and were the ones most likely to survive. Hope comes from having a purpose.” Rick Warren [1, page 31]  This illustration suggests that a secular or New Age hope serves the same purpose as the Spirit-given hope we have in Jesus Christ. There can be no true hope or unity unless we stand on the unchanging truth of God’s Word!

Note: While some have translated the Hebrew word yeser as imagination or purpose rather than as mind, that single word is less important than the two conditions: keeping our minds (or thoughts) continually on God and trusting Him. The habit we then learn is continual prayer and communion with Him: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4:6-7

Creating Community – Part 2

Creating Community – Part 2
Managing Change through a New Way of Thinking
Rick Warren sees a a more inclusive vision of oneness
By Berit Kjos – November 2004

Editor’s Note:
Some of the links in the article below link back to Berit Kjos’ (author of this article) website, www.crossroads.to .     I encouraged you to read all of her articles. She is one of the very few people I have talked to that acutally “gets” and “understands” what’s really going on. 


“Welcome to another exciting chapter in the history of Saddleback Church as we begin 40 Days of Community this weekend! We anticipate the next 6 weeks to be a…turning point in the life of your small group and in your life personally.”[1] Rick Warren

But all this is not about us…. It’s all about the global glory of God! We intend to leverage the attention that the Purpose Driven Life has garnered to bring about a whole new way of thinking and acting in the church about our responsibility in the world.”[2] Rick Warren

Fragmentation, competition, and reactiveness are not problems to be solved — they are frozen patterns of thought to be dissolved.  The solvent we propose is a new way of thinking, feeling, and being: a culture of systems. Fragmentary thinking becomes systemic when we recover ‘the memory of the whole,’ the awareness that wholes actually precede parts.”[3] Peter Senge and Fred Kofman

“The challenge to humanity is to adopt new ways of thinking, new ways of acting, new ways of organizing itself in society, in short, new ways of living.”[4] UNESCO

“It changed our church!”  “It’s amazing!”  “Transforming!  “The fellowship is awesome!”  “We’re growing!”…

The chorus of praise for Rick Warren’s “40 Days” programs sounds impressive, but it’s not surprising. The dynamics behind the facilitated small group — the heart of the 40 Days process — are both exhilarating and transformative. But they’re neither new nor Biblical.  They are merely postmodern adaptations of the old Gestalt Therapy, Transactional Analysis, Esalen-basedencounter groups and all the other expressions of the Human Potential movement that helped transform western culture in the 60s and 70s. 

This social transformation had been planned decades earlier. [See Steps toward Global Mind Control] By 1948, when the World Health Organization (a UN agency) had established its anti-Christian “Mental Health” program, globalist visionaries in both Europe and North America were experimenting with behavioral psychology as a means to eradicate traditional values and Biblical absolutes. They hoped to “un-freeze” minds and release them from the old values, promote open-mindedness to their revolutionary ideas, fill minds with pluralistic values, and then “re-freeze” the new collective views in the public consciousness.

They succeeded! Working through UNESCO’s education program, WHO’s global mental health program, national and local governments around the world, the mainstream media and countless private and non-governmental agencies around the world, they fueled the social forces that shaped today’s postmodern mind and culture. Liberal churches were among the first to embrace the postmodern thinking, but soon evangelical churches began to accommodate the rising cultural resistance to absolute truth and moral boundaries. To grow, they argued, churches must trade God’s unchanging Word for feel-good adaptations.

A website focused on “Organization Development” gives us a brief glimpse into the dark history of government mind control:

“In 1947, the National Training Laboratories Institute began in Bethel, ME. They pioneered the use of T-groups (Laboratory Training) in which the learners use here and now experience in the group, feedback among participants and theory on human behavior to explore group process and gain insights into themselves and others. … The T-group was a great training innovation which provided the base for what we now know about team building. This was a new method that would help leaders and managers create a more humanistic, people-serving system….

“Success in these goals depends, to a large extent, on the implied contract that each participant is willing to disclose feelings… and to solicit feedback.”[5]

What’s new in group dynamics is mainly the feedback technology and marketing. Today’s corporations hide their manipulative psycho-social strategies behind nice-sounding organizational buzzwords, while church leaders mask them with Biblical terms and pleasing euphemisms. The guiding assumption seems to be that the ends justify the means. As Rick Warren points out in Purpose Driven Life“The importance of helping members develop friendships within your church cannot be overemphasized. Relationships are the glue that holds a church together.”[6]

Andy (my husband) and I discovered the seductive power of encounter groups back in 1970, when we were invited to join a “Quest for Meaning” group in the home of a respected business acquaintance. We had no idea what to expect, and we saw no reason to reject the offer. After the first group meeting, we were hooked. The friendliness of the leader/facilitator and the openness of the dialogue disarmed us and made us feel more than welcome. So we returned to this virtual “family” week after week for the next few months. By then, foreign names such asTeilhard de Chardin had been introduced, and our topics included some strange notions about spiritual evolution toward a utopian world of peace and oneness.  We began to feel uneasy but were reluctant to turn our backs to this satisfying fellowship. Finally, after a weekend retreat designed to seal the group relationships, we were asked to sign a pledge and formalize our commitment to a common vision. By now, our eyes were opened and we left.

1. A changing church for a changing world.

Not long after our departure, I became a Christian. God immediately led me to a local veterans hospital where I volunteered as part of the chaplain service. Longing to share God’s love and hope with lonely and needy patients, I began my Spirit-led training in speaking His truths and answering challenging questions.

One day, the chaplains told me about an encounter session (a form of  Gestalt therapy) recently started for both patients and staff. It called for authenticity, self-disclosure, sensitivity to diverse views and all the other interpersonal skills so important to contemporary group synergy and transformation. Seated in a circle, everyone would vent their feelings and empathize with each other.  Any expression — no matter how extreme — would be tolerated and respected. “It really freed me up,” said one of the chaplains one morning as I arrived. “I’m a different person. More open…. You ought to try it.”

I did — without checking with God or my husband. Seated in the circle, I heard the same profanities that bombarded me daily on the medical wards as young veterans tried to shock and challenge me. But something was different. I had entered a spiritual battle zone without wearing my spiritual armor. Since God didn’t send me, He allowed me to face the consequences of my foolish choice. Driving home, I kept hearing in my mind the same vulgar words that had been spoken by the members of the group. I felt polluted and horrified. Though I confessed my sin and prayed for His cleansing, He allowed those profanities and suggestions to torment me daily for nearly three months. Then He suddenly caused them to disappear, but I had learned my lesson.

I know that the process works! Facilitated dialogues, based on a strategic set of well-tested ground rules, feel good to group members who commit themselves to the process. Whether these psycho-social strategies are marketed under business labels, New Age forums, or Christian terminology, they transform the thoughts and values of cooperative participants. Christian or not, people feel they are becoming “better” people because they have chosen to set aside their former assumptions and divisive beliefs in order to empathize with contrary views. They learn to tolerate, accept, respect and appreciate behaviors and expressions that earlier seemed wrong or unjustifiable. They judge nothing [other than people who seem divisiveness or uncooperative] and identify with everything. They praise each person who transcends the old barriers, and they celebrate each new step toward unconditional conformity and unbiblical unity.

Pastors and church leaders seem as eager to implement the new management strategies as schools, community groups, corporations, government and the United Nations. Across the board, leaders and followers are learning the same new ways of thinking, acting, speaking, listening and serving. The “UN Report of The Commission on Global Governance,” titled Our Global Neighborhood, illustrates this worldwide march toward an integrated global management system based on these psycho-social practices:

“By leadership we do not mean only people at the highest national and international levels. We mean enlightenment at every level — in local and national groups, in parliaments and in the professions…. in small community groups and large national NGOs, in international bodies of every description, in the religious community and among teachers… in the private sector and among the large transnational corporations, and particularly in the media….

“The new generation…[has] a deeper sense of solidarity as people of the planet than any generation before them…. On that rests our hope for our global neighborhood.”[7]

Pastors and management gurus such as Rick Warren, John Maxwell, Bob Buford and Peter Drucker are promoting this new organizational model around the world. One of Pastor Warren’sMinistry Toolbox Issues commends an influential book by Dr. Peter Senge (the secular/holistic founder of MIT’s Society for Organizational Learning) titled The Fifth Discipline. Rick Warren’s website calls it “one of the best books of the last 10 years on the subject of organizational transitions.”[8] It has nothing to do with Christianity, but it has everything to do with social transformation and the new way of thinking.

2. Systems thinking

“It is interesting that the words ‘whole’ and ‘health’ come from the same root (the Old English hal…),” wrote Dr. Senge in The Fifth Discipline. “So it should come as no surprise that theunhealthiness of our world today is in direct proportion to our inability to see it as a whole.” With that revealing introduction, he goes on to define systems thinking:

Systems thinking is a discipline for seeing wholes. It is a framework for seeing interrelationship rather than things, for seeing patterns of change rather than static ‘snapshots.’ It is a set of general principles…. It is also a set of specific tools and techniques…. [T]hese tools have been applied to understand a wide range of corporate, urban, regional, economic, political, ecological and even psychological systems….

“I call systems thinking the fifth discipline because it is the conceptual cornerstone that underlines all of the five learning disciplines of this book. All are concerned with a shift of mind from seeing parts to seeing wholes….”[9]

Dr. Senge also co-authored the report, Communities of Commitment: The Heart of Learning Organizations,” which summarizes the key parts of his highly praised book. This report focuses on the “fragmentation” that keeps us from trading our old Biblical view of reality for a more systemic or holistic perspective:

Fragmentation, competition, and reactiveness are not problems to be solved — they are frozen patterns of thought to be dissolved. The solvent we propose is a new way of thinking, feeling, and being: a culture of systems. Fragmentary thinking becomes systemic when we recover the memory of the whole‘…. Competition becomes cooperation when we discover the ‘community nature of the self‘…. 

“In the new systems worldview, we move from the primacy of pieces to the primacy of the whole, from absolute truths to coherent interpretations, from self to community….  

Thus the nature of the commitment required to build learning organizations goes beyond people’s typical ‘commitment to their organizations.’ It encompasses commitment to changes needed in the larger world and to seeing our organizations as vehicles for bringing about such changes.”[10]

Today’s purpose-driven church movement fits right into the worldwide transformation envisioned by secular leaders ranging from community facilitators to the highest levels of national and international management. And two of our earlier articles, “Spirit-Led or Purpose-Driven? Part 2: Unity & Community and Part 3: Small Groups and the Dialectic Process,” show how the purpose-driven model matches this vision of social change and facilitated oneness. Please read them, since I won’t repeat the same information.

Then ponder the following slogans and statements from Saddleback’s 40 Days of Community campaign. These affirmations of collectivism may sound true, but — as you will see in a moment — they imply unbiblical absolutes that clash with actual truth. As you read the quotes below, please remember that (1) the word “we” refers to two or more people, not you and your Lord; and that (2) “lone ranger Christian” in this context would include God’s faithful disciple who is rejected or excluded by a compromising church (see “Dealing with Resisters“):

“‘WE’ is more powerful than ‘me.'”[11, pages 44, 46]

“There is power in partnership…. Evangelism is always a team effort.” [11, pages 44]

“There’s no such thing as a lone ranger Christian…. We’re better together and we belong together.”[12 – CD #1]

“The Bible says we’re better together. We were created for community.”[12 – CD #3]

“Why are we so reluctant to admit our need for each other? There are two powerful reasons: First, our culture glorifies individualism…. Second we have pride…. But there is absolutely no shame in needing others. God wired us that way! He wants his children to depend on each other.”

     “We were designed for relationships. We were formed for fellowship in God’s family and created for community.”[11, pages 68]


God hates loneliness…. You’re not just a believer, you are a belonger….

     “…when God calls the church ‘the Body of Christ,’ he has a human body in mind where every part is interconnected and interdependent. … Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body‘ (Romans 12:5a, Msg). And like parts of any living body, it’s impossible for believers to thrive without each other.”

     “You must be connected to a church fellowship to survive spiritually. More than that, you need to be in a small group of people where you can love and be loved, serve and be served, share what you’re learning and learn from others.”[11, pages 69]

“We must continually remind ourselves that we belong to each other and need each other.”[11, pages 70]

Love requires communityWe cannot obey Christ’s command in isolation. We have to be connected to each other in order to ‘love one another.'”[11, pages 17] 

[Note: Remember the  testimonies of persecuted saints both in Roman catacombs and Communist prisons. Those faithful believers proved God’s gracious sufficiency in the midst of solitary confinement and unthinkable pressures to conform to socialist thinking and communal values.]

Pastor Warren wrote the foreword for a fast-selling book by Erwin McManus titled  An Unstoppable Force: Daring to Become the Church GOD had in Mind. “To get the most out of this book,” wrote Warren, “pay close attention to the metaphors and stories…. If you change the metaphors, you can change the world! Jesus did…. This book models what a postmodern, purpose-driven church can look like…. I love this book because Erwin loves the Church.”

With such a glowing endorsement, Pastor McManus has caught the attention of church leaders around the world. Ponder his view of unity:

“When God creates, he creates with relational integrity. Everything is connected and fits together. This is not only true in the physical realm, but even more so in the spiritual. The Bible tells us that when man sinned, all creation groaned.

“Those who study science have told us that a butterfly fluttering its wings in South America could, in some sense, be the primary cause of an avalanche in Antarctica. This level of complexity strikes us as new and innovative, and yet the Scriptures have advocated this kind of interconnection for thousands of years….

“According to Scripture, everything is connected, and every action has at least some effect on the whole. In the same way the church is part of the whole….”[13]

Those supposed absolute truths taught by Pastors Warren and McManus sound good, don’t they? But there are at least four Biblical reasons why the above affirmations twist our understanding of God and present one important part of the Christian life as being only option and absolute truth.

(1) Our wise and wonderful Lord wants us to “depend on” Him, not on people. Sometimes He separates us from people so that our reliance will be on Him alone. He is our strength and sufficiency — now and forever! See Psalms 18, 23, 45, 73 and 75.

That’s how God trained David, the shepherd boy who became Israel’s king. His youth was spent herding the family sheep alone in the open pastures of the land. There, in those lonely places, he learned to know and trust the Lord as his Rock and Refuge, Shepherd and King. David was still a solitary shepherd boy when he faced the mighty Goliath and the trembling armies of Israel. Taught by God Himself, the young shepherd had the wisdom to reject the ungodly counsel of those who doubted that a boy with a sling could kill a giant with a sword. Confident that God was with Him even if all others turned away, he spoke the memorable words recorded in 1 Samuel 17:37 — “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine!”

(2) While God will never fail us, people will. That’s why Jesus “did not commit [or entrust] Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.” (John 2:24-25) He alone knows our hearts and all of our spiritual needs; therefore He tells us to trust Him rather than human strength or wisdom. While He can work through human friends and counselors, our ultimate confidence must rest in Him, no one else. (See Guidance)

(3) We belong to God, not man, even when we commit ourselves to serve, work, love and live with one another. He who created us also holds our future in His hands. “…do you not know,” asked the apostle Paul, “that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19  “For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” Romans 14:7

(4) There can be no Biblical unity between sin and purity, between pagan myths and God’s truth, between our holy Lord and the opposing forces of darkness. See 2 Corinthians 6:12-18 and “Loving evil more than good.”

3. Unity in Diversity?

On the other hand, Pastor Warren’s affirmations of unity would generally be true, if the small groups were made up of committed, regenerated Christians who were truly one in Christ through God’s saving grace — and who loved and followed His Word (including the less acceptable passages about sin, guilt, and self-denial).

But such Bible-focused groups would be incompatible with today’s dialectic groups, for the purpose-driven groups must be diverse and open-minded (free from non-negotiable absolutes) in order to fulfill their hidden purposes. The synergy that supposedly energizes group members is fueled by the dialectic process of reconciling opposing views and values.

Since these strategic small groups are designed to (1) meet felt needs of the unbeliever and (2) build common ground, they cannot meet the true spiritual needs of the believer. Individual freedom to share and delight in Scriptures must be limited, since the very nature of God’s Word is considered divisive. You can’t speak Scriptures that might offend other group members. Since church growth is one of the driving purposes (though it’s not among the official five), you cannot walk in the footsteps of Jesus and risk exposing “the offense of the cross.”

Yes, God does call us to share His love and truth with non-Christians. He also tells to encourage us through fellowship with other believers who love His Word and long to serve Him. But those are two separate functions.

When outreach to unbelievers and fellowship with believers merge into a single practice (the dialectic experience of the mixed group), the Biblical fellowship naturally yields to politically correct, cross-cultural dialogue. The demand for a “safe place” where unbelievers can feel unconditionally affirmed rules out all those precious Bible truths that might bring conviction or sin or sound too inflexible. 

Yet, Rick Warren tells us that these small groups that draw thousands of unbelievers into seeker churches are also designed to meet the believer’s need for Biblical fellowship. But he can’t have it both ways! That is, unless his real purpose is more aligned with the world’s purposes than with God’s purposes. Maybe our spiritual “eyes” are so blinded that we no longer notice the direction the world around us is headed. If so, it might be good to consider what UNESCO wrote in Our Creative Diversity, the report from its Commission on Culture and [human] Development: 

“The challenge to humanity is to adopt new ways of thinking, new ways of acting, new ways of organizing itself in society, in short, new ways of living…. We have not yet learned how to respect each other fully, how to share and work together…. It means an open mind, an open heart, and a readiness to seek fresh definitionreconcile old opposites….


Extreme doctrinaire views look to an imagined past, seen as both simpler and more stable, thus preparing the ground… for the intimidation of individuals and indeed entire communities….


“Education everywhere,’ says David Hamburg, president of the Carnegie corporation….’needs to convey an accurate concept of a single, highly interdependent, worldwide species — a vast extended family sharing fundamental human similarities…. The give-and-take fostered within groups can be extended far beyond childhood to relations between adults and to larger units of organization….'”[14]

In the mid-eighties, few of us realized that David Hamburg, President of the globalist Carnegie Corporation, was using his authority to negotiate a binding US – USSR Education Exchange Agreement with the Soviet Union. Signed by Mikhail Gorbachev and President Reagan in 1985, its terms required that we trade our education technology for the brainwashing strategies (primarily the dialectic group dynamics) used to indoctrinate Soviet children, change thinking, modify behavior, and monitor the masses to ensure compliance with Soviet ideology.[15]

Thanks to Peter Senge, Peter Drucker, John Maxwell and Rick Warren, today’s world leaders know that their quest for solidarity — which requires freedom from the old Biblical restraints — can be met through facilitated small groups that join Christians, Muslims, skeptics, pagans, atheists, and all the rest who are simply caught up in the excitement of unconditional acceptance and a sense of belonging. Ponder these statements by Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled, who claims to have become a Christian:

“Incorporating the dark and the light, the sacred and the profane, the sorrow and the joy, the glory and the mud, its conclusions are well rounded…. Be fully aware of human variety, and you will recognize the interdependence of humanity.”


“Community is a spirit– but not in the way that the familiar phrase ‘community spirit’ is usually understood. … The members of a group who have achieved genuine communitydo take pleasure — even delight — in themselves as a collective.”


The spirit of community is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit. This does not mean that community is solely a Christian phenomenon. I have seen community develop among Christians and Jews, Christians and atheists, Jews and Muslims, Muslims and Hindus.”

“Community is integrative. It includes people of different sexes, ages, religions, cultures, viewpoints, life styles, and stages of development by integrating them into a whole that is greater—better—than the sum of its parts…. Community does not solve the problem of pluralism by obliterating diversity. Instead it seeks out diversity, welcomes other points of view, embraces opposites…. It is ‘wholistic.’ It integrates us human beings into a functioning mystical body.”[16]

That mystical body that integrates moral and spiritual opposites is not God’s Church, the Body of Christ. As His people, we cannot trade the spiritual unity we have in Christ for today’ssystems thinking and an extra-biblical view of a human “family” and a humanistic interconnectedness. He makes that very clear to us in His Word:

“…what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.’      “Therefore ‘Come out from among them and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you….”  2 Corinthians 6:14-18

“If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing…. From such withdraw yourself.” 1 Timothy 6:3, 5

Spiritual growth occurs when we feed on God’s word, hide it in our hearts and walk in the light of its unchanging truths by the strength of His Spirit. God may lead us in many lonely paths as He did with Paul, Joseph and David as well as Jesus Himself. Or He may surround us with people. Wherever He leads, we must trustfully follow! And when we do, we can count on this wonderful promise:

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39



1Rick Warren, “40 Days of Community” brochure.  


2. Rick Warren, http://www.saddleback.com/home/todaystory.asp?id=6213

3. Kofman, Fred Senge, Peter M., Communities of Commitment: The Heart of Learning Organizations. (Special Issue on the Learning Organization) Organizational Dynamics p5(19) Autumn 1993 v22 n2 at http://deming.eng.clemson.edu/pub/tqmbbs/prin-pract/comcom.txt  

4 Our Creative Diversity, UNESCO, 1995, p.11. 

5. Organization Development: T-Groups at http://www.orgdct.com/more_on_t-groups.htm

6. Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Church (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1995), page 324.


7. Our Global Neighborhood, “UN Report of The Commission on Global Governance” (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995); 355, 356, 357

8. Ministry Toolbox Issues Ministry Toolbox (Issue #175, 10-6-2004) at http://www.pastors.com/RWMT/?ID=134.

9. Peter M. Senge, The Fifth Discipline ( Doubleday, 1994), pages 68-69.

10. Peter Senge and Fred Kofman, Communities of Commitment: The Heart of Learning Organizations  

11. Rick Warren, Better Together (Lake Forest, CA: Purpose Driven Publishing, 2004).

12. Rick Warren, 40 Days of Community, CD.

13. Erwin McManus, An Unstoppable Force (Group Publishing, 2001), pg 15.

14. Our Creative Diversity, UNESCO, 1995, p.11-12, 67, 168. 

 15. I have a copy of that agreement, provided by Charlotte Iserbyt. Read more about this education exchange at US – USSR Education Exchange Agreement

16. The Different Drum: Community-Making and Peace (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987), pages 65, 73, 75, 234.

Creating Community – Part 1

Creating Community – Part 1
Purpose-Driven Change through Transformational Leadership
Trading Biblical unity for a more inclusive vision of oneness
By Berit Kjos – November 2004



“Families need rebuilding. Jobs are scarce. The cost of living is increasing. … Children do not have a level playing field for every intellectual, social and emotional development. We are flooded with evidence of the need for societal transformation everywhere we look…. Peter Drucker, in The Age of Transformation, says that this age is far from over and predicts it will reach well into the next century. This is a time, which calls for a critical mass of transformational leaders….”[1] Erik Rees, Minister of Life Mission at Saddleback Church. “Seven Principles of Transformational Leadership — Creating a Synergy of Energy

“Citizenship for the next century is learning to live together. The 21st Century city will be a city of social solidarity…. We have to redefine the words… [and write a new] social contract.”

Emphasis has been added through italicized or bold letters.

You probably won’t discover Rick Warren’s vision for the 21st century community by simply reading his top-selling books. Yet, many have sensed that his five familiar motivational purposes hide a more complex mission. Some have noticed that his transformational strategies match those of UN globalists and the world’s leading change agents. No wonder, since today’s  management gurus — Peter DruckerPeter SengeBob Buford and others — are shaping the same strategic pathways for purpose-driven churches as for the rest of the world.

Their clever use of words and the complexities of today’s transformational management systems tend to blind our eyes to the strange alliances and manipulative strategies. Who would know the philosophy and tactical power behind labels such as “systems thinking,” “facilitated learning” or “transformational leadership”?  As with educational buzzwords, the old familiar words take on new meaning when used in the context of planned social change. [See also New Age Terms in the Church

I first glimpsed the UN vision for the 21st century community during the 1996 UN Conference on Human Settlements in Istanbul. At a day-long panel presentation on “solidarity” and social change, I heard the world’s political, spiritual and social change agents share their common goals and guidelines on human resource development and global oneness: They would gather people together in communities within cities, then use the latest psycho-social strategies, including the dialectic process, to train the masses in “a new way of thinking,” living and relating to one another.

“Change your whole way of thinking, because the new order of the spirit is confronting and challenging you,” said Millard Fuller, President of Habitat for Humanity.

Citizenship for the next century is learning to live together,” said Federico Mayor, Director General of UNESCO. “The 21st Century city will be a city of social solidarity…. We have toredefine the words… [and write a new] social contract.”

“We should stop bemoaning the growth of cities,” added Dr. Ismail Serageldin, Vice President of The World Bank. “It’s going to happen and it’s a good thing, because cities are the vectors of social change and transformation. Let’s just make sure that social change and transformation are going in the right direction.” Later he added, “The media must act as part of the education process that counters individualism.”[2]

Individualism is out. Collective thinking, strategic leadership and facilitated learning are in! And no group of transformational leaders are more effectively pioneering the process and pushing thetransformation “in the right direction” than Saddleback Community Church.

Consider an article posted on Rick Warren’s website, pastors.com, titled Seven Principles of Transformational Leadership.” The author, Erik Rees, is one of Saddleback’s influential pastors. In his article, he bases his vision of social change on the experimental plans touted by the world’s cutting-edge leaders — secular, pagan and Christian — all linked by the common vision of “transformation:”

“This is a time, which calls for a critical mass of transformational leaders who will commit to creating a synergy of energy within their circle of influence so new levels of social, economic, organizational and spiritual success can be reached.

“We have not, however, developed the leaders we need for this noble task. To reach such heights, we will need to un-tap the leadership potential of skillful leaders who are successfully directing various organizations and systems. Some of these men and women, knowledgeable and committed, to their profession, will be the transformational leaders we need to create the needed synergy of energy.”[1]

Notice that Pastor Rees calls, not for Christian leaders, but for cutting-edge leaders who share the vision and skills [systems thinking and transformational methods] needed for transformation. Nor does He suggest dependence on the Holy Spirit. In the next paragraph, the focus is on the process, not God or His Word. In fact, the Biblical truths that would counter this process must be left out or reinterpreted to fit the new context. [See Spirit-Led or Purpose-Driven]:

“This new paradigm of transformational leadership is not just for the marketplace but also for the local and global movement of Christ. One of the most influential movements, for the advancement of the church, is the Purpose-Driven model developed by Rick Warren, Senior Pastor of Saddleback Church. Leaders of Purpose-Driven churches not only are called to authentically model the five Biblical purposes… they depend on the seven principles of transformational leadership to create a synergy of energy within their flock.”[1][emphasis added]

As you read those seven principles, remember that these summarize some of the transformational strategies used by UN leaders, corporate executives and “progressive educators” as well as pastors around the world. They generally “make sense,” therefore we tend to accept them without considering the unbiblical process central to the new context. [See The Mind-Changing Process] Each nice-sounding principle is followed by self-assessments, which helps steer the transformation and its change agents “in the right direction:”

“1. Principle of Simplification – Successful leadership begins with a vision, which reflects the shared purpose. The ability to articulate a clear, practical, transformational vision which answers the question, ‘Where are we headed?'”

“2. Principle of Motivation – The ability to gain the agreement and commitment of other people to the vision. … A common way to motivate others is to challenge them, provide ample opportunity to join the creative process, and give them the credit.” [Not God?]

“3. Principle of Facilitation – The ability to effectively facilitate the learning of individuals, teams…. Peter Senge in Fifth Discipline says the primary job of leadership now is tofacilitate the learning of others.”

“4. Principle of Innovation  – The ability to boldly initiate prayerful change when needed. … Team members successfully influence one another to assimilate change because the transformational leaders have built trust and fostered teamwork.”

“5. Principle of Mobilization – The ability to enlist, equip and empower others to fulfill the vision. Transformational leaders… desire leadership at all levels, so they find ways to invite and ignite leadership all levels. They introduce simple baby steps to enlist larger participants.” [That’s what 40 Days of Purpose is: “baby steps” toward the new solidarity.40 Days of Community is simply the next, higher level in this process]

“6. Principle of Preparation – The ability to never stop learning about themselves…. Rick Warren says, ‘Leaders are learners.’  … This is such a rigorous path of learning that transformational leaders must be in thriving relationships with others pursuing transformation. It is within these vital relationships, life opportunities and obstacles get saturated in love and support.  [Keep in mind, this promise of “love and support” applies whether the group forms under a secular or Christian banner. Facilitated togetherness, not the Holy Spirit, is the glue that creates success.] 

“7. Principle of Determination – The ability to finish the race. …  Transformational leaders have to develop spiritual, emotional, and physical disciplines to sustain their high level of commitment to their cause.”[1]

Erik Rees’s bio statement at the end of his 2001 article tells us that “Erik starts his doctorate next year in Strategic Leadership at Regent University,” which was founded in Virginia by Pat Robertson. “Erik’s life purpose is to help organizations focus their resources by creating a synergy of energy within their circle of influence.”

Mr. Rees is likely to take some of his courses from Jay Gary, an affiliate professor at Regent University‘s School of Leadership Studies. Mr. Gary is a visionary leader who has designed a theological formula and historical timeline that strays as far from Biblical truth as the revived Gnostic “gospels.” A Senior Associate with The World Network of Religious Futurists and a member of the World Future Society (WFS), his involvement with the supposedly “Christian” Regent University defies any Biblical logic. Though relatively unknown in churches, Jay Gary has become a forceful leader in today’s vast and vital effort to evangelize the world — but not for the Biblical Jesus. [Read more about him in “The call to global oneness“] 

Other members of the WFS include occult author Barbara Marx Hubbard, UN leader Maurice Strong and futurists Alvin and Heidi Toffler. In their book, Creating a New Civilization, the Tofflers wrote an appropriate summary of the ungodly direction of today’s transformational leadership. The fact that Newt Gingrich wrote its foreword makes it all the more alarming:

“A new civilization is emerging in our lives, and blind men everywhere are trying to suppress it. This new civilization brings with it new family styles, changed ways of working, loving, and living, a new economy, new political conflicts, and beyond all this an altered consciousness as well.”[3]

Might you and I be counted among those “blind men?”

Listed among the resources at Regent’s School of Leadership Studies is a report co-authored by Dr. Peter Senge titled “Communities of Commitment: The Heart of Learning Organizations.” In Part 2 of this short series, I will compare Dr. Senge’s outline for strategic “learning organizations” with Rick Warren’s new book, Better Together, the workbook for 40 Days of Community. While Warren freely expresses faith in our Lord and His truths, the imbalanced use of Scriptures and the misleading paraphrased interpretations follow the same pattern that was outlined inSpirit-Led or Purpose-Driven, Part 1. And behind the Biblical words you will find a system and a process designed to move every participant away from any firm position on the Rock of Biblical absolutes to the shifting sands of systems thinking, transformational learning, and “continual change” within the enticing new “learning organization.”

Remember, traditional thinking, discernment and worldviews based on God’s unchanging Truth will clash the vision of the 21st century community.

“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”  Colossians 2:6-9


Article written by Terry Watkins, Th.D.

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD,

that I will send a famine in the land,
not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
but of hearing the words of the LORD:

Amos 8:11

In 1995, the NIV team (International Bible Society (IBS) and Committee on Bible Translations (CBT)) created a feminist “gender-inclusive” NIV, titled the New International Version Inclusive language edition [NIVI]. They found out very quickly and very loudly that America was not “prime-time ready” for a NIV feminist “gender inclusive” edition. So the NIVI was published solely in Great Britain by Hodder & Stoughton (Zondervan is the exclusive NIV publisher in the U.S.). The NIVI is so drenched in feminist changes and so corrupt, it cannot legally be sold in America. The NIVI is a “bound and gagged book” in America. See 2 Timothy 2:9, ( ‘. . .but the word of God is not bound“). According to Christianity Today, NIV copyright holder, International Bible Society (IBS) even requested that Hodder & Stoughton quit selling the embarrassing NIVI in liberal England.A little known “secret” that also appeared in 1996 was concerning Zondervan’s, the New International Readers Version [NIrV]. According to Zondervan, the NIrV was, “a thorough, scholarly simplification of the NIV, the NIrV was specifically designed to help young children [ages 2-10] and new readers understand the Bible for themselves.” The NIrV sold under such “innocent” titles as: The NIrV Children’s Bible: The Beginner’s Bible; NIrV Kid’s Study Bible; NIrV Kids’ Quest Study Bible; Adventure Bible for Young Readers; NIrV Read to Me Bible for Kids.

But the “dirty little secret” was the children’s NIrV was soaking in “gender inclusive” feminist language. There was nothing in the Preface, nor any hint anywhere that the innocent children’s NIrV was flooded with “gender inclusive” lingo.

Get this “nugget” – Bruce Metzger, writes in The Bible in Translation: “In November 1996, Hodder and Stoughton issued in Great Britain the simplified NIV [the Children’s NIrV] under the title: New International Version Popular Edition, Inclusive Language and in March 1997 under the title New International Version: Inclusive Language Edition (NIVI)” (Bruce Metzger, The Bible in Translation, p. 172). According to Metzer, the “banned in the U.S.” feminist NIVI is the same Bible as the Childrens’ NIrV! After word leaked out about the NIrV’s “gender-bender” vocabulary, Zondervan quickly re-issued the NIrV (July 1998) minus the original feminist inclusive language. Not surprising, after researching the “gender-inclusive” issue, I’ve found many of the Children’s Bibles among the most corrupt and feminist influenced.

But as they say, “the times, they are a’changing”.

So seven short years later, the NIV crew, along with Zondervan, are at it again. Come ‘hail or high water’ the NIV team is gonna dump a feminist NIV “gender inclusive” Bible on the U.S. And in March, 2002, the New Testament of the “gender inclusive” TNIV officially hit the streets of the good ol’ U.S.

This article is a lengthy look at Zondervan’s Today’s New International Version [TNIV]. This article began as a simple, short critique of the TNIV. But the more I researched. . . the more I read. . . the more alarmed and troubled I became. Even though, this is a lengthy article, it would be well worth your time to carefully and prayerfully read. This article goes far beyond the scope of the recent TNIV. You will see, without question, a deliberate, intentional, and completely inaccurate, mis-translation of the God-inspired, Greek text.

As you witness the blatant disregard for the Greek text, please bear in mind: that according to their own words – the TNIV translators are the same group using the same translation methodology as used in the highly successful “original” New International Version [NIV].

This is quoted directly from the TNIV web site:

“The fully independent body that translated the highly acclaimed NIV is the same eminent group that undertook the work on theTNIV. . .
The widely respected translation methodology that drove the scholarship of the NIV was maintained in the development of theTNIV. . .”
(Faithfully Produced by CBT, www.tniv.info/story/cbt.php)

Not only, are the TNIV crew proud of their “gender inclusive” TNIV, again, according to their own words, the TNIV is more accurate and a better translation than the “original” NIV.

Again, the following is taken form the TNIV web site:

“The NIV is an extremely accurate Bible text, the best the CBT could produce as of 1984. The TNIV is an even slightly more accurate Bible text, the best the CBT could produce as of 2001.”
(TNIV FAQS, www.tniv.info/QandA.php)

As you read this disturbing review of the TNIV, be ever mindful – it is the same translation methodology, the same people, and the same beliefs, that produced the “original” NIV. And according to the people who translated and published both the NIV and TNIV – the feminist TNIV is more accurate and a better translation than the “original” NIV. That’s not my words, or thoughts – that’s their words – on their website, for all the world to read.

So what does that testify about the “original” NIV? I’ll let you answer that after you’ve finished reading this article.

The fact is, the “original” NIV was stuffed with “gender inclusive” language. But unlike, the TNIV, the “original” NIV was not advertised as a “gender-accurate” Bible.

Gail Riplinger writes in The Language of the King James Bible:

“The recent clamour about a so-called inclusive language edition of the NIV, is just a smoke screen, hiding the fact the NIV has, since its introduction in 1973, omitted male pronouns, like ‘he’ and ‘him’. Chapter 5 of my book New Age Bible Versions documents dozens and dozens of places where male terms, and Jesus Christ himself, are neutered by the NIV.”
(Gail Riplinger, The Language of the King James Bible, p. 114)

Professor Mark Strauss, who is a proponent of the “gender-inclusive” Bibles, readily acknowledges the “gender inclusiveness” of the “original” NIV.

“In dozens of cases in the Old Testament, inclusive terms such as ‘people’ or ‘person(s),’ ‘one,’ ‘each,’ ‘anyone’ or ‘someone’ are used [in the New international Versions (NIV)]. . . The Greek term anthropos is also frequently translated with inclusive language in the NIV. . . There are many such inclusive renderings in the NIV. Comparing the translation of anthropos and aner in the NIV and the NIVI, Andreas Kostenberger found that ninety-five of the 550 appearances of anthropos and thirty of the 216 appearances of aner were translated inclusively in the original NIV.”
(Mark L. Strauss, Distorting Scripture?, The Challenge of Bible Translation & Gender Accuracy, pp. 37-38)

The fact is, the NIV translators [CBT] original intention was for the “gender-inclusive” NIVI to replace the “original” NIV. World magazine details the CBT’s intention:

“Mr. Walker says the consensus of the Committee for Bible Translation in America is to have the unisex-language version ‘take the place of the other.’ [original NIV]”
(World Magazine, Femme Fatale cover story, March 29, 1997, www.worldmag.com/world/issue/03-29-97/cover_1.asp)

Kenneth Barker, the CBT chairman and secretary clearly says in World magazine, the CBT’s desire is to have only a “gender-inclusive” NIV:

“Mr. Barker says it will be the publisher’s decision: “If our committee had its way there would be no separate inclusive-language edition.” But he says, “I’ve heard–I can’t say that this is actual fact–that Zondervan will keep making the two editions,” at least for a while if the traditional version finds a market niche.”
(World Magazine, Femme Fatale cover story, March 29, 1997, www.worldmag.com/world/issue/03-29-97/cover_1.asp)

As you read this alarming review of the TNIV – just remember – the people that translated the NIV-NIrV-NIVI-TNIV – want to replace all the Bibles with a deliberate, mis-translated “gender-inclusive” Bible. And remember, their first “attempt” was an undisclosed “gender-inclusive” disaster [NIrV] aimed for your children. After they got “caught”, they quickly republished a semi “non-gender-inclusive” NIrV.


It’s also worth mentioning, the TNIV is not the first “gender-inclusive” version. In fact, since 1985, nearly every version produced is a feminist-inspired, “gender-inclusive” version.

Professor Strauss writes in Distorting Scripture:

Almost every major version that has been prepared or revised over the last decade had adopted the extensive use of such [gender-inclusive] language“.
(Mark L. Strauss, Distorting Scripture?, The Challenge of Bible Translation & Gender Accuracy, p. 18)

All the following versions are “gender-inclusive” versions:

  • 1983 An Inclusive Language Lectionary [ILL]
  • 1985 New Jerusalem Bible [NJB]
  • 1987 New Century Version [NCV]
  • 1986 International Children’s Bible [ICB] (aka The Odyssey Bible)
  • 1986 New American Bible, [NAB]
  • 1989 Revised English Bible [REB]
  • 1990 New Revised Standard Version [NRSV]
  • 1992 Good News Bible [1992 Revision] [GNB]
  • 1992 Today’s English Version [TEV]
  • 1993 The Message
  • 1994 The Inclusive New Testament [INT]
  • 1995 Contemporary English Version [CEV]
  • 1995 New American Standard Bible Update [NASBU]
  • 1995 God’s Word [GW]
  • 1996 New International Reader’s Version [Nirv] (Note. After negative reaction to the “gender-inclusive” 1995 version of the NirV, in 1998 the NIV crew updated the NirV removing much of the “gender-inclusive” readings.)
  • 1996 New International Version, Inclusive Language Edition [NIVI] published ONLY in Great Britain by Hodder & Stoughton, London
  • 1995 New Testament and Psalms, An Inclusive Version [NTPI]
  • 1996 New Living Translation [NLT]
  • 2002 Today’s New International Version [TNIV]

All of the above versions, to some extent:

  • Incorrectly neuter the clear, masculine Greek text. For example, the singular, masculine, “generic he / his / him” pronouns are incorrectly distorted to read neuter, plural, “they / them / their” or neuter, second person “you”. This is done thousands of times.
  • Incorrectly neuter the masculine Greek text for ‘man / men / mankind” to read “people / self / human / mortal, et al”.
  • Incorrectly neuter the masculine Greek text for “father” to read “ancestors / parents / et al”.

All of the above “gender-inclusive” translation errors, plus others, will be examined in detail in this article.


Most of the “gender-inclusive” versions will scream “bloody murder” to even suggest there is any feminist influence, but make no mistake about it – it is the radical, feminist agenda that has pushed for the “gender –inclusive” language changes.

The Preface of the TNIV admits, “cultural FORCES” are the reasoning behind the “gender-inclusive” changes, such as elimination of the masculine pronouns:

“While a basic core of the English language remains relatively stable, many diverse and complex cultural forces continue to bring about the subtle [Gen 3:1] shifts in the meanings and/or connotations of even old, well-established words and phrases. Among the more programmatic changes in the TNIV is the removal of nearly all vocative ‘O’’s and the elimination of most instances of the generic use of masculine nouns and pronouns.
(TNIV, Preface, p. vii)

Now, what “cultural FORCE” is interested in the elimination of masculine nouns and pronouns? Only one. . . The radical, pro-abortion, feminist.

World magazine states that the NIV-NIrV-NIVI-TNIV translators were pressured by women for the gender inclusive changes:

Pressure for unisex language came from women who, in the words of Mr. Walker, ‘felt left out’ by the traditional language.
(World Magazine, Femme Fatale cover story, March 29, 1997, www.worldmag.com/world/issue/03-29-97/cover_1.asp)

Gender-inclusive advocate and Professor of New Testament at Bethel Theological Seminary, Mark Strauss, traces the root of the gender-inclusive movement to the feminists.

“The debate over gender-inclusive language has its roots in the women’s rights movements.”
(Mark L. Strauss, Distorting Scripture?, The Challenge of Bible Translation & Gender Accuracy, p. 16)

After investigating many “gender inclusive” changes made by the NIV team, Regent College professor and author J.I. Packer, hit the “nail on the head”:

“adjustments made by what I call the feminist edition are not made in the interests of legitimate translation procedure. These changes have been made to pander to a cultural prejudice that I hope will be short-lived.”
(World Magazine, The Battle for the Bible, Susan Olasky. Apr. 19, 1997)

CBT translation member, Larry Walker, even admits in World magazine that the unisex language “. . .bothered me at first. . .”:

“. . . Larry Walker of the NIV Committee says: Unisex language “bothered me to begin with very much. I guess I’ve evolved.’”
(World Magazine, Femme Fatale cover story, March 29, 1997, www.worldmag.com/world/issue/03-29-97/cover_1.asp)

Why did it “bother him” very much?

Could it be because. . . the NIV-TNIV-NIrV-NIVI translators knew they were deliberately and incorrectly perverting the clear, masculine, God-given, Greek text for a false, man-made, “gender-inclusive” neuter word?

Most pre “gender-inclusive” versions, even the worst, attempted, sometimes poorly or incorrectly, but at least, they attempted to translate the Greek text. But these “gender-inclusive” versions have opened a new dark, deceitful, door. Their translation methodology is how to NOT translate the Greek text. Their mind set is, “Hmm. . . Now how can we get around this male chauvinist, masculine, word?”

Notice how the TNIV translators word their “gender-inclusive” methods on the TNIV website:

“The term “gender-neutral” has often been used in error when used to describe inclusive language texts. The TNIV is in fact ‘gender-accurate.’ Gender neutrality suggests the removal of specific male or female attributes. The TNIV does not remove these attributes or “neuter” any passages of Scripture. The TNIV uses generic languageonly where the meaning of the text was intended to include both men and women. These changes reflect a better understanding of the meaning of the original Greek and Hebrew.”
(TNIV: Questions and Answers, www.tniv.info/QandA.php)

The TNIV translators claim they can change the masculine Greek text because “. . . the meaning of the text was intended to include both men and women.” If the Lord God “intended” for the verse to read “they / them / their” or neutered, plural, gender – why didn’t God inspire the men that penned the Greek text to write “gender inclusive”? Hmm. . . ?

If God didn’t “intend” what He said – then why in the world, didn’t He say what He “intended”?

It sounds like the TNIV translators and publishers believe that God does not know what He’s doing. I guess, God Almighty, needs the NIV crew to come along and help Him “explain” what He “intended” to say.

The TNIV translators and publishers obviously claim they possess some psychic ability to know what “. . . the meaning of the text was intended.” How do the TNIV translators know what the original writers “intended” – other than the words they penned? Are the TNIV translators omnipotent? Do they think they can “read the minds” of these men, who died thousands of years ago? The TNIV translators claim to know what these men [and God] “intended” – even when it disagrees with the words the men wrote? Men who were moved by the Holy Spirit of God? (2 Peter 1:21) Wow! That’s a pretty, nifty trick. The TNIV’s psychic “mind reading” abilities would even make the TV psychic Miss Cleo blush with embarrassment.

By the way, these are the same psychics that translated the “original” NIV. And according to their words – the same psychic translation methodology.

When you translate someone else’s work you don’t have the liberty to judge what they “intended” to say. You translate what they said! Can you imagine the uproar if the NIV-TNIV translators applied the same distorted psychic translation methods to Homer’s The Iliad, or Shakespeare’s Macbeth, or Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address? And yet, the NIV-TNIV translators and publishers without hesitation will pervert the words of God!

And they admittedly confess, it’s no big deal. . .

Kenneth Barker, secretary of the Committee on Bible Translations [CBT], the same group that translated the NIV, NIVI and TNIV, just flat-out says changing God’s Word, to a feminist “gender-inclusive” reading, is “no big deal”:

“It probably disturbs us that such a big deal is being made over inclusive language. After all it is not changing the sense of the passage.”
Kenneth Barker, secretary of the CBT
World Magazine, Femme fatale, Mar. 29, 1997,Volume 12, Number 2, http://www.worldmag.com/world/issue/03-29-97/cover_1.asp)

Get that. . . The fact that they’re changing the God-breathed words is “no big deal”. After all Barker says, “. . . it is not changing the sense of the passage“. Mr. Barker, when you change the words – you are changing the sense of the passage. But when you’ve been doing in for 30 years via the NIV, I guess it is no big deal.

Did Jesus Christ say in Matthew 24:35:?

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my SENSE shall not pass away.
Matthew 24:35

God forbid. . .Jesus Christ, clearly said His words, not the sense were inspired:

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Matthew 24:35

Who’s to “judge” what deliberate changes does and does not change the sense? — the radical, feminists?Jesus Christ clearly declared in Luke 4:4 “. . .every word. . ” was inspired and God given.

And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
Luke 4:4

It’s interesting, the NIV, TNIV (and most new PER versions) leave out the “but by every word of God.” In Luke 4:4

Dr. Wayne Grudem, professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (www.cbmw.org) correctly diagnoses the danger of the NIVI and other Bible versions:

“. . .the generic use of “he-him-his” has consistently been changed to “we” or “you” or “they.” The result is that whenever readers of this inclusive-language NIV read the words “we” and “you” and “they,” they will never know whether what they are reading is what God originally caused his Word to say, or what the translators have decided his Word should say instead. In hundreds and probably thousands of places, readers will never know whether these are the words of God or the words of man.Such revisions are not the words God originally caused to be written, and thus they are not the words of God. They are human words that men have substituted for the words of God, and they have no place in the Bible.”
(Wayne Grudem, Comparing the two NIVs, World Magazine. Apr. 19, 1997)


Editor’s Note:
Dr. Watkins (author of this article), has much more to say about the TNIV version.  This article, that appears here on this website, serves as an introduction to the problems with the TNIV version.  We encourage you to click on one of the links below for a greater detailed analysis.  Here’s what he has to say:

Much, much more could be documented about the TNIV translators methods and philosophies, but let’s take a look at the TNIV.

P.S. As you’ll soon see. . . There’s more “tricks” in the TNIV hat than just the gender-inclusive changes.

Because of the length of the article, we’ve broken it up into several sections. I would strongly encourage you to prayerfully and carefully read each section.

. . . for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. 
Psalms 138:2

the Refuel Bible (for guys)

Article Written by Terry Watkins, Th.D.

In July, 2003, Thomas Nelson released the Revolve Bible, a fashion-magazine-turned-Bible for teen girls. Although released in mid-year, the Revolve still was crowned the number one best-selling Bible of 2003! The hugely successful Revolve even sent the lack-luster New Century Version, (the Bible text of the Revolve), revolving from a mediocre #11 to a respectable #5 in the Bible version ratings.

The promise for a guy’s Bible-mag was soon heard. (A Bible-mag for post-teen women, titled Becoming is scheduled for July.)

Well guys, your Bible-mag is here. . .refuel

Titled the Refuel Bible, it contains the worldly splash and dash of the Revolve, but with a guy’s appeal. The hip-hop cover blazes with a rockin’ electric Les Paul guitar. The “rock and roll” cover was designed by Anderson Thomas Design, who also does rockin’ covers for Faith Hill’s CDs, the Newsboys, and many other rockers. One reviewer describes the Refuel cover as, “The splashy cover should attract any young guy interested in girls, hot-dogging on skis, girls, basketball, pop music … and girls.”

The cover of the Refuel Bible-mag bears the names of the various sections lurking throughout the Refuel, such as:

  • Extras: Girls, Cash, and Cars
  • Girls Spill it All!
  • Radical Faith:
  • How to Live out What you Believe
  • Music Reviews
  • 100 Practical Ways to Live Your Faith
  • Today’s Hottest Songs
  • The Core: Stuff you Need to Know About the Bible

Like much of the girl’s Revolve Biblemag, some of the counsel in the Refuel is mind-boggling. The Revolve was bad, but the guy’s Refuel is much worse. And I mean MUCH worse. If you are a Christian, buckle up and get prepared, some of the Refuel’s “shock and awe” will blow you away!

Like his “big sis”, the Refuel is not all bad. It contains some good, though soft-pedaled and watered-down, common-sense advice on various topics. But like the Revolve, it is clearly based on far-left, very-liberal, anti-conservative, anti-Bible-Believer, teachings. In fact, the Refuel includes the most blatant anti-Christian, Bible-Believer attacks I have ever read in a Christian publication. And I have read many. . .

Get comfortable, and sit down. . . You will not believe what you are about to read.




Gambling among teenagers and adolescents has exploded into raging proportions. The prevalence of the easy-anonymous-unchecked gambling landscape via the rise of lotteries, Internet gambling, video poker machines flooding convenience stores, pizza parlors and bowling alleys have fueled the current explosion of teenage gambling. David Robertson, former chairman of the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling, states, “Statistics prove that teen-age Internet gambling is the fastest growing addiction of the day, akin to drug and alcohol abuse in the 1930s. It’s pernicious, it’s evil, it’s certainly one that feeds on those who are the weakest members of society — and that’s the young and the poor.” <http://www.youngmoney.com/money_management/spending/020809_04>

According to Dr. Howard J. Shaffer, Director of the Harvard Medical School Center for Addiction Studies, “Today, there are more children experiencing adverse symptoms from gambling than from drugs…and the problem is growing.” <http://www.ncalg.org/library/working%20on%20these/factsheet.htm>

The Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, states, “Teenagers have a problem gambling rate of 10%-17%, a rate 2 to 3 times higher than the general population.” <http://www.campusblues.com/gambling.asp>

A 2002 regional survey by the Delaware Council on Gambling Problems (DCGP) found that more than 30% of all high school students gamble periodically. And the evidence indicates that gambling is a problem not only among older teens in high school, but among younger students as well. The study found that 43% of eighth-grade boys and 19% of eighth grade girls gamble.

Without question, it is our vulnerable young that the constricting coil of the hissing serpent of gambling is swallowing whole! A Louisiana study showed that adolescents are more than twice as likely as adults to be pathological gamblers, and more than four times as likely to be problem gamblers. <http://www.afa.net/gambling/articles.asp>

Yet, despite the overwhelming evidence of the destroyed lives from gambling, some people (believe it or not — even Christians) have promoted the serpent’s deception that gambling is just a harmless form of entertainment or fun.

The Rotten Fruits of Gambling

The Bible says in Matthew 7:20, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them”.

A survey of Massachusetts high school students found that one in 20 had already been arrested for a gambling-related offense; 10 percent experienced family problems due to gambling; and 8 percent had gotten in trouble at work or school because of gambling. (Howard J. Shaffer, “The Emergence of Youthful Addiction: The Prevalence of Underage Lottery Use and the Impact of Gambling,” Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, January 13, 1994, p. 12)

A Louisiana State University study discovered that Louisiana youngsters in juvenile detention are roughly four times as likely to have a serious gambling problem as their peersTwo-thirds of the hard-core gamblers in detention admitted stealing specifically to finance their gambling. (James R. Westphal, “Adolescent Gambling Behavior,” Louisiana State University Medical Center—Shreveport, presented to the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, Las Vegas, Nevada, November 11, 1998).

According to research by Delaware’s Council on Gambling Problems (DCGP), “An eighth grader that gambles is 50 percent more likely to drink alcoholthree times more likely to use marijuana or other illegal drugs, and three times more likely to get into trouble with the police, get involved with gang violence, or steal or shoplift.” <http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/7/222003e.asp>

In less than ten years after casinos were legalized in Atlantic City, the crime rate increased a shocking 258 percent! With the introduction of casinos, Gulfport and Biloxi Mississippi, also came a dramatic rise in crime in every category, with murder, rape, robbery and car theft at least doubling. In just three short years after casinos came to Deadwood, South Dakota — felony crimes increased by 40 percent, child abuse was up 42 percent, domestic violence and assaults rose 80 percent! In just three years!

More than half of all problem gamblers will commit crimes to fuel their powerful addiction. Insurance-related crime among gamblers is estimated at over $1.3 billion a year! One of the most sickening cancers infesting gambling is domestic violence and child abuse. Since casinos came to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, domestic violence has increased a whopping 69 percent. And the most disgusting – over 37 percent of problem gamblers are child abuser!

Revelation 6:8 says, “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. . .” One of the most frightening “fruits” of gambling is the high rate of suicide and destruction. According to researchers, “Compulsive gambling has the highest rate of suicide. There are usually three options if a compulsive gambler doesn’t abstain one day at a time and that is prison, insanity or death.” <http://www.youngmoney.com/money_management/spending/020809_04>

On May 6, 2002, over 220 prominent religion leaders issued an “open letter” to President Bush and Congress on the plague of gambling. The letter called gambling a “moral and cultural cancer” and urged President Bush to curb the devastation of gambling. They stated, “Perhaps no single statistic better reveals the depth of despair associated with gambling addiction than this: One in five of those who become addicted to gambling will attempt to take his or her own life.”

Clearly, the fruits of gambling smell with the vile stench of decadence, destruction and death.

The Word of God, repeatedly condemns the “get-rich-quick” snare of gambling. Just as the tragedies and destroyed lives from gambling testify, the Lord warns that those who commit this covetous sin have “pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
1 Timothy 6:10

In Proverbs 28:22, the Lord has gambling’s number. While promising wealth and riches, it produces the fruit of poverty. Gambling is one of poverty’s greatest allies. Nothing is a greater and quicker producer of poverty than the enticing lure of gambling.

He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eyeand considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.
Proverbs 28:22

Surely no sensible Christian would innocently label gambling as a “form of entertainment” or simply an “evening of fun”? And clearly, no responsible Christian leader would instruct Christian young people with such deceptive and destructive definitions? Surely not, would they?

Unfortunately, they would. And sadly the Refuel does. . .

In one of the sections titled “Extras”, the Refuel covers the topic: “How (Not )To Gamble Away Your Life’s Savings” (p. 150). Here is Refuel’s shameful and disgraceful advice to teenage boys regarding gambling.

“You’re turning 18 and you’re determined: Not even your parents can keep you out of the casino right down the road. Okay, some Christians see casual gambling as a form of entertainment. If that’s where you’re at, lower your odds of losing every penny in your piggy bank by setting a personal limit—the $10 or $20 or $50 you’re willing to toss on an evening of fun. And like Kenny Rogers sang, “You’ve got to know when to fold ‘em.” Get help fast when you see any of these warning signs of gambling addiction in you or a friend: failing to keep that spending limit, money problems, debt, secrecy, family and friends expressing concern, pre-occupation with gambling, increasing amounts of time and money spent gambling, failed attempts to quit or cut back, gambling with borrowed money, or gambling to win back loses.”(Refuel, p. 150, emphasis added)

How can anyone – especially a Christian, give such outrageous advice to impressionable young people on gambling? Do they really believe teenagers can gamble without serious consequences? The facts clearly and loudly show different. The statistics alarmingly report that, “. . .one in every seven teenagers who gamble will become addicted.” <http://www.bible.com/answers/agamblin.html>

It is amazing the Refuel quotes country music “Gambler”, Kenny Rogers for guidance and completely ignores the Word of God.

Churches, pastors, parents and Christian leaders have devoted hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars fervently fighting against legalized gambling from destroying their young and here is a mainstream youth Bible that encourages teen gambling by innocently calling it “entertainment” and “fun”. And many of these same Christian leaders will promote the Refuel!


Another cancer literally eating the life from young people is alcohol. The deadly fact is — alcohol is the number one killer of teenagers! Approximately 10,000 young people between the ages of 16-24 are killed each year in alcohol related accidents. The life expectancy of every age group in America has increased – except one – our teenagers. And the reason is killer alcohol. Teenage drinking is one of America’s deadliest sins.

Killer alcohol kills 50 times more people than all the illegal drugs combined! Killer alcohol will kill between 240,000 to 360,000 of the current college student body. <http://www.gatordental.com/drugfree/alcohol.htm>

In 1997, one in three high school seniors reported having had at least five drinks in a row in the previous two weeks. One in four sophomores and one in 10 eighth-graders responded the same. The Partnership for a Drug-Free America reports that more than 50 percent of eighth graders and 8 out of every10 high school seniors admit that they have tried alcohol.

The average age of the first forbidden taste of alcohol use is 12. And it is not uncommon to find 10 year old alcoholics.

The most surprising and shocking result of teenager drinking is the fast-path to serious alcoholism. According to studies, the average adult takes 10-30 years of drinking to develop alcoholism – but get this – teenagers can become hard-core alcoholics in a little as three to six months! <http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/pei/brochures/drug/html/teenagealcohol.cfm>

Young people who drink alcohol before age 15 are four times more likely to be an alcoholic than those who begin drinking at age 21. More than 43% of teenagers who began drinking before age 14 later became alcoholics. <MediaScope, Teenagers and Alcohol, http://www.mediascope.org/pubs/ibriefs/ta.htm>

And there are over three million children ages 14 to 17 who are problem drinkers!

Alcohol quickly leads teens down the road to faster and farther sin.

According to Attorney General Mike Fisher of Pennsylvania, “The use of alcohol suppresses inhibitions and judgments, permitting young people to cross the line of sexual involvement at younger and younger ages. Forty-seven percent of teenagers surveyed in 1982 were intoxicated the first time they engaged in sexual intercourse”.

Alcohol use is also implicated in two-thirds of sexual assault and acquaintance or “date” rape cases among teens and college students. A survey of high school students found that 18% of females and 39% of males say it is acceptable for a boy to force sex on a girl if she is stoned or drunk.
<MediaScope, Teenagers and Alcohol, http://www.mediascope.org/pubs/ibriefs/ta.htm>

Even the Refuel Bible-mag states on page 91, “Half of all teens say they are concerned they might go further sexually than they had planned to because they were drinking or using drugs.” (Kaiser Family Foundation and MTV). (Refuel, p. 91)

The Word of God provides a perfect description of alcohol in Proverbs 23:29-35: “Who hath WOE? Who hath SORROW? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it BITETH LIKE A SERPENT, AND STINGETH LIKE AN ADDER. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again. ”

Notice the Lord says, “. . . at last it biteth like A SERPENT.” Do you know what a serpent’s bite is? It is a deadly poison! Did you know that alcohol is a deadly poison? Every major organ in your body is poisoned by alcohol. According to The Birmingham News (Nov. 19, 1990), “Scientific data show alcohol is the most physically deteriorating drug there is. It causes more organic damage than any other drug. . .”

Why is it when people get drunk, they have a tendency to vomit? Because your stomach knows a deadly poison when it comes down. No wonder the bartender says, “Name your poison”. When a man is drunk, he is intoxicated. Do you know what toxic is? Webster’s Dictionary defines toxic as: poisonous. A person drinking alcohol is literally intoxicating or poisoning themselves!

The Bible makes a clear distinction between fermented liquor and new wine or grape juice. Speaking of fermented liquor, Proverbs 23 says, “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red(speaking of fermentation), when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright (speaking of the bubbling and carbonation). At the last it BITETH like a serpent, and STINGETH like an adder.” The Bible says do not even LOOK AT IT, much less drink it!

A description of new wine is found in Isaiah 65:8, “as the NEW WINE is found IN THE CLUSTER.” Not in a bottle. You can not get fermented alcohol from a CLUSTER! Fermented alcohol is placed in a bottle, with yeast and allowed to decay and ferment. Genesis 40:11 gives a clear picture of new wine, “I took grapes and pressed them in Pharaoh’s cup.”

People say, “Jesus drank wine at the Last Supper with the apostles”. The fact is, In Matthew, Mark and Luke where the account of the Last Supper is found, the word “wine” is never even mentioned. The Bible very carefully says they drank – “fruit of the vine”.

What about when Jesus turned the water into wine at the marriage in Cana. If Jesus Christ turned water into fermented alcohol, he directly disobeyed Habakkuk 2:15, “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also . . .” And friend, if Jesus Christ disobeyed Habakkuk – He was a sinner! The Bible makes it very clear in 1 Peter 2:22, 2 Corinthians 5:21, and other verses – that Jesus Christ was without sin!

Do you believe the Lord Jesus Christ was deceived? The Lord says in Proverbs 20:1, whosoever that drinks wine or strong drink is “deceived”.

Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. Proverbs 20:1

God has placed a very strong warning on alcohol in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “Be not deceived: NO DRUNKARDS, . . . shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

Without a doubt – the Word of God condemns killer alcohol – from the casual drink to the drunkard.

If there ever was a battle cry for Christians and the church today it is teenage drinking. Like the prophet Isaiah says, we should, “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, . . .” (Isaiah 58:1).

With the terror of teenage drinking literally slaughtering our young people, I could not believe the “expert” counsel the Refuel gives Christian teenagers. With the clear and serious warning the Lord places on alcohol the counsel of the Refuel is literally beyond belief!

In one section of the Refuel, called “Experts Answer Your Questions” is the following:

Q: How much beer can I drink before it’s a sin.
A: There’s no easy answerIt’s hard to make a case that the Bible forbids all drinking; after all, even Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding party. But it’s clear that getting drunk is another story. So is underage drinking. If you never start, you’ll never have to stop. (Refuel, p. 129, emphasis added)

Can you believe that? That is throwing fuel (or in this case Refuel) on the raging fire of teenage killer alcohol! Do you really want these “experts” teaching your children?

In another section of the Refuel called “Issues”, the subject is “Partying”. Notice again, they do not condemn drinking.

It’s Friday night and you’re glad to get an invite to a party. Problem is, you know that most people present will be sloshing beers. What do you do? Drinking might feel cool. It might calm your social jitters. It might make you forget about life’s most hideous problems. But for now, drinking is illegal. And drinking too much can undo your life. Ephesians 5:18 says, “Do not be drunk with wine, which will ruin you.” (Refuel, p. 138 emphasis added)

What do you do? The correct answer is: if you know “people present will be sloshing beers” – you do not go! A Christian has NO business in such an environment. You can be sure, if they are “sloshing beers”, they are not sitting around praying and singing “Amazing Grace”! Proverbs 23 describes the sinful fruits of alcohol, “. . . Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.. . .” Where alcohol is – sin does much more abound. Young person, do not believe the Refuel – stay away from such! Stay away! Take the Lord’s wise advice in Proverbs 1:10, “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.” If you get around alcohol or fire-water you will get burned! The Bible says in Proverbs 6:27, “Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?”

Notice also the Refuel’s condemnation of drinking “too much”. Not drinking, but drinking “too much”. Friend, one drink is way too much. Parents and youth workers, do you want theRefuel instructing your children?

May we pause and ask the great evangelist and alcohol-fighter, Billy Sunday his opinion of moderate, not too much, Christian drinkers, such as the Refuel “experts”? Brother Billy says, they are, “dirty, low-down, whiskey-soaked, beer-guzzling, bull-necked, foul-mouthed, hypocrites”. <http://info.detnews.com/history/story/index.cfm?id=200&category=people>

Thank you, Brother Billy for those wonderful and kind words of truth.


Another section of the Refuel is “Do’s & Don’ts”. They go from the silly to the crude.

Some of the silly:

  • Don’t blow your nose without a Kleenex (p. 15)
  • Don’t give swirlies (p. 55)

    Note: A “Swirlie” is when someone is held upside down over a toilet, their head shoved into the toilet, and then flushed. The dirtier the toilet water – the better.

  • Don’t run with scissors. (p. 15)
  • Don’t leave the seat down—or the lid up when you’re done. (p. 55)
  • Don’t play with matches (p. 164)
  • Don’t shake soda cans. (p. 164)

It’s ironic the Refuel flippantly warns against such trivial nonsense as “don’t shake soda cans”, or “don’t blow your nose without a Kleenex”, but as we previously read, they down-play such serious sins as gambling and drinking. And may I remind you, the Refuel is published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, one of the largest Christian publishers on the planet!. God help us.

Some of the crude from the “Do’s and Don’t”:

  • Don’t flip the bird. (p. 66)

    The “bird” is the obscene gesture by raising the middle finger which means “go to hell” or worse.

  • Don’t pick your nose in public. (p. 88)
  • Don’t ever pick your friends nose. (p. 88)
  • Don’t grope. (p. 96)

    Grope is sexually fondling another person.

  • Don’t look down shirts or up skirts. (p. 111)

The Refuel’s “Do’s and Don’ts” is slightly different from the Lord’s “Ten Commandments”. Which one do you think is right?


Littered throughout the Refuel is doctrinal confusion and chaos.

The Refuel’s ridiculous exposition of John 14:2-4 is certainly worth a laugh. The Refuel steals your mansion the Lord Jesus promised in John 14:2 and gives you a “room”. The Refuelbelieves God the Father is running a “boarding house”. Pitiful. . .

John 14:2-4
“This is one of the most awesome promises in all of scripture. Jesus has gone to prepare our home-our forever home. A room in our Fathers house waits for each of us. . . ” (Refuel, p 163)

No thank you, I’ll stick with my mansion and the King James Bible:

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:2

I heard about a mansion He has built for me in glory,
And I heard about the streets of gold beyond the crystal sea.
About the angels singing and the old redemption story,
And some sweet day I’ll sing up there the song of victory.
Oh victory in Jesus, my Saviour for ever!
He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood.
He loved me ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory, beneath the cleansing flood.
    — Victory in Jesus, Eugene M. Bartlett, 1885-1941

Oh, by the way, don’t count on those “streets of gold” either. The “experts” in the Refuel says under the topic “Heaven” in Bible Basics, they are not real — just “major symbols”.

“Heaven is where God’s throne is. The Bible describes heaven with major symbols like streets of gold and gates of rubies, sapphires, and diamonds. . .” (Refuel, p. 97)

The Refuel is earnestly attempting to rob all the “glitter, glory, and gold” from God’s heaven. But on the other hand; gambling is “entertainment” and “fun” (Refuel, p. 150). And go ahead and drink a beer or two. (Refuel, p. 129)

In a section titled “Ways to Walk the Walk”, the Refuel blatantly teaches the heresy of baptismal regeneration while removing the last half of the verse!

Ways to Walk the Walk
Mark 16:16
Word: The one who believes and is baptized will be saved.
Walk it: Share your faith with someone who may not know Jesus. (Refuel, p. 74)

Notice in their “Ways to Walk the Walk”, the Refuel conveniently leaves out the last half of Mark 16:16, “but he that believeth not shall be damned”.

It is also worth mentioning the New Century Version (the Bible text of the Revolve and Refuel) is the translation work of the Church of Christ affiliated World Bible Translation Center (WBTC) in Ft. Worth, Texas. The cornerstone of the Church of Christ is baptismal regeneration (among other heresies) and the NCV is intertwined with Church of Christ false doctrines.

In the section “Experts Answer Your Questions”, the Refuel irreverently refers to God as the “Big Guy upstairs”. In the same “expert question”, they give a very confusing and baffling answer to a simple and serious question. This is a typical trivial answer of the Refuel.

Experts Answer Your Questions.
Q: My neighbor has a different religion, and he says that he’s glad I’m a Christian—but that people of all religions worship the same God. Is he right?
A: It’s true that there’s only one God, and it’s a popular idea that all religious people run to the same Big Guy upstairs. But check out what the gods in other religions say,and you see that their personalities are completely different from the God of the Bible. All religions don’t serve the same God. (Refuel, p. 83)

The Word of God is very clear. A Christian is to be different from the world. He is to be separated (2 Cor. 6:17), peculiar (1 Peter 2:9) hated (Matt. 10:22) reviled (Matt. 5:11) and persecuted (2 Tim. 3:12). Like their Lord, a Bible Believing, Christian will always be hated and persecuted by this world.

But the Refuel has another idea. . . Being a Christian does not make you “strange” but the “real life of the party”. Under the section “Ways to Walk With God” under Acts 2:15, theRefuel reads:

“Remind yourself today that being a Christian doesn’t make you strange. It makes you a better person, a deeper friend, and the real life of the party.” (Refuel, p. 179)

Yes, the apostles were the “real life of the party”. Peter was crucified upside down, and the Apostle Paul was beheaded. Yes, the early Christians were the real “life of the party” as thousands were thrown to the lion’s den. You want a real party? Read Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. Hebrews 11:36-38 gives some more “life of the party” Christians:

36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
Hebrews 11:36-38

The “real life of the party”? I wonder what party the Refuel staff goes to?

And for you guys desiring to be a “Godly Guy”, the Refuel has the prescription. This is a sure thing. On page 278, the Refuel lists their spiritually dynamic and exciting “Random Things to Know About Being a Godly Guy”. Are you guys ready? Got your pen out? You definitely will want to write these “nuggets” down!

Here they are:

Random Things to Know About Being a Godly Guy
1. They don’t hit girls.
2. They don’t chew with their mouth open.
3. They don’t belch.
4. They aren’t arrogant.
5. They don’t backstab.
6. They know their bodies are temples of God.
7. They respect others.
8. They don’t ditch their families.
9. They don’t talk smut with their dates.
10. They are loyal friends.
(Refuel, p. 278)

Boy, now that came right out the Pauline epistles. Especially that “They don’t belch” godly spiritual revelation.

Again, this is the typical, silly “refuse” found littering the Refuel. What is really pitiful, these people are not kidding! That is honestly their description of a “Godly Guy”! No prayer, No Bible. No soulwinning. No holiness. No persecution. No separation. Nothing. . . “Nuttin Honey”!

Is it possible that a Christian publication could be more spiritually perverted? Is it possible?

Yes it is. The worse is yet to come. . .


Another feature of the Refuel is “Music Reviews”. Of course, the music they review is all Christian rock. And naturally (on par with the rest of the Refuel), they recommend some of the most rebellious. We could easily dedicate several pages on the complete disgust of their Christian music recommendations. Due to lack of time, we will just examine a few.

On page 55, The Refuel recommends Christian rocker Jaci Velasquez.

Jaci Velasquez’s starring role in the movie Chasing Papi is a sickening first for a mainstream Christian. Chasing Papi is a sensual, heavily sexually saturated movie about three sexy women (Jaci is one) involved with the same man named Papi. The movie has a heavy dose of cleavage, skimpy outfits, jiggle and bare flesh. Chicago Sun-Times, famed movie critic, Roger Ebert describes Chasing Papi, as a “. . .feature-length jiggle show with Charlie’s Angels transformed into Latina bimbos. . .” Ebert compares Chasing Papi to the nearly-nude magazine Maxim (Walmart removed Maxim for it’s flesh and filth), Papi, “. . would make your average Maxim reader feel right at home.” One scene in Chasing Papi has the three women (including Jaci) hiding in Papi’s bedroom wearing very (very, very) skimpy red lingerie. When Papi appears they all lusciously pop-out. Ebert says the scene looks like “. . . a fashion show by Victoria’s Secret“. Another movie reviewer says Chasing Papi is “. . . as lubricious as a centerfold.” (Lubricious means sexual arousal or lustful)

As if the blatant sexual sins were not enough open rebellion against the Lord, Chasi Papi also contains the God forbidden occult. The real-life, world-renown, astrologer and occultist Walter Mercado appears in Chasing Papi to provide the ladies (including Jaci) with occultic, Satanic readings.

Jaci, who is also known for her sexually provocative and skimpy outfits, tells CCM, “. . .I always get letters saying, ‘You dress too sexy. I was offended; I’m never taking my kid to your show again.’”

Is Jaci Velasquez someone to recommend to Christian young men? Believe me, Christian teenage boys have enough battles curbing their hormones in today’s sex-crazed world without sexually dressed Jaci enticing them.

The Refuel recommends the group Jars of Clay (p. 340):

The Birmingham Post-Herald (Aug. 31, 1996, p.2A) writes about a CCM Jars of Clay concert, “You’ve got to give Jars of Clay credit for a wicked sense of humor. Why else would they do a langorous, offbeat treatment of Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Crazy Train?’ . . . the former lead singer of Black Sabbath and a man noted for his interest in the occult.” Jars of Clay also does Rod Stewart’s very lustful, “If You Think I’m Sexy” in their concerts. Some of the cleaner lyrics: “If you want my body / And you think I’m sexy / Come on sugar let me know”. And those are the lyrics that are clean enough to print.

Probably the most spiritually dangerous group in Christian music is P.O.D. Under “Random Christian CDs Worth Owning” (p. 112), the Refuel has P.O.D.’s Satellite first on the list. In theRefuel’s “Random Psyche-Up Songs” (p. 105), P.O.D.’s song “Alive” is included. According to P.O.D., “Alive” is about a boy-girl relationship, which the “Alive” video clearly shows.

Sporting heavily tattooed and pierced bodies, the group P.O.D., has destroyed any remaining fragments of Bible separation and convictions.

Despite the Lord’s clear warning against profanity such as Colossians 3:8, “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth“, P.O.D. is frequently quoted in rock magazines openly using profanity; “f—-ing” (Guitar World, Nov. 2001, p. 54); “D—n it!” (Drum!, Sept.-Oct. 2001, p. 86); “p—s us off” (Drum!, Sept.-Oct. 2001, p. 87) “d—n ” (Revolver, Nov/Dec 2001, p.63) “p—sed off” (AP, Nov. 2001, p. 59) “half a-sed” (Circus, July 2002 p. 22). And there are many others.

In Circus magazine, Traa of P.O.D says, “Of course we got the same view on life as most people out there – it’s too short and most of the time it’s quite a shi—y business.” (Circus, July 2002, p.22) What a glowing testimony for a supposedly Christian “life. . . is a shi—y business”! Where do the words of the Lord Jesus, in John 10:10, “. . . I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” fit into P.O.D.’s “view on life”?

Fitting right in with the Refuel’s, “drinking is ok” advice, Traa of P.O.D., proudly tells Circus magazine P.O.D. likes to party and “drink beer”.

“Their life is far from boring and everybody who thinks they’re just Bible thumpers without being able to enjoy their lives is wrong. The guys from P.O.D. do know how to party and Traa readily admits that he does like his beer – just like the rest of the band.

Of course we drink beer and we party. You don’t believe how often we get that question. People seem to have the misconception that we spend all our time on our knees praying, but I can assure you, we don’t. If there’s a party, we party!’” (Circus, July 2002, p. 22)

In Revolver magazine, Sonny, of P.O.D. takes a swipe at the “blessed hope” of the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus: “People come up and say to me, ‘What do you think of the Book of Revelations and the prophecies about the Second Coming of Christ?’ And it’s like, ‘You know what, dude? That’s not my normal, everyday topic of conversation,” (Revolver, Mar/Apr 2002, p. 64)

P.O.D.’s perverted brand of Christianity is a mix of Rastafarianism and liberal Christianity. Rastafarianism is a satanic religion that began in Jamaica in the 1930’s that mixes Christianity, Hinduism, New Age, Mysticism, Racism and Voodoo. One of the signs of a Rasta is the dreadlocks hair style, the hair style of P.O.D. In their concerts P.O.D. hung a huge picture of a “Rasta-dreadlocked-Jesus” in the background. The Rasta god is “Jah”. P.O.D.’s “The Fundamental Elements of Southtown” does not contain the wonder name of Jesus Christ, but the Rasta god “Jah” occurs 10 times. Spin magazine says P.O.D., “Wuv and the band have structured their lives around a spiritual belief system that cross-fades Christianity, Rastarianism and Judaism.” (Spin, October 2001, p. 88) Guitar World writes, “A lot of the spirituality you guys project seems more akin to Rasta than mainstream Christianity“. (Guitar World, Nov. 2001, p. 104)

P.O.D. proudly appears on the Howard Stern show, tours with many blasphemous rockers, appears in the blasphemous move “Little Nicky”, and other blatant anti-Christian environments. In fact, the only issue that P.O.D. viciously attacks is Bible Believing Christians! Sonny of P.O.D. says, “We don’t fit in with the conservative values of Christian America.” He goes on to say, “I don’t even like saying I’m a Christian sometimes because it leaves such a bad taste in people’s mouths.” (Spin Mag, Ocotober 2001, p. 88) Marcos of P.O.D. blatantly says, “To tell the truth, though, I don’t even like the term Christian. . . ”
(Guitar Legends, No. 37, p.28) And this is one of Refuel’s recommendations!

Another Refuel “Music Reviews” recommendations is the group Newsboys (p. 29):

Jody Davis of the Newsboys, says of their album Love Liberty Disco, “Back in the 70’s when disco originated, the people who were into that would go to these clubslooking for love and acceptance. That’s something we have in the Church. This idea runs through the whole album.” (Release, April/May 2000, p. 24)

Discos were homosexual hell-holes of filth and perversion. Read how secular, pro-rock, writers describe “discos”: Disco music is a “call for gays to come out of the closet.” (Newsweek, April 2, 1979 p. 63); “For the heyday of disco was also the heyday of recklessness in the gay male life-style. . . it cannot be denied that many gay men saw disco as the theme music of their collective orgy…” (Hole in our Soul, p.281) “A 1980 handbook for would-be disco proprietors, describes discos as a pleasure palace where the public can ‘abandon themselves to the tidal wave of raw animal emotions that engulfs them'” (Ibid, p.281)

And Davis of the Newsboys likens the homosexual disco to the church! He claims the disco were places of “love and acceptance”. Is it any wonder Christian mainstream music is in such a state of spiritual perversion and blindness?

The Refuel’s silence. . .

It is amazing in over 384 pages the Refuel never mentions the sin of homosexuality. With the deadly epidemic of AIDS, the battle for homosexual marriage and the explosion of teenage homosexuality – how could the Refuel staff deliberately ignore the destructive sin of homosexuality.

Books such as Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy’s Roommate, promoting homosexuality, are flooding our elementary schools. And according to The Washington Post, bisexuality and homosexuality, have become the “in” thing among our public schools. Teenage homosexuality has increased so much that New York City now has a high school exclusively for homosexuals! And more are coming. Its principal proudly predicts, “This school will be a model for the country, and possibly for the world.” <http://www.nationalcenter.org/P21NVMassieSchool903.html>

The Lord gives some very serious judgements against homosexuality. In Genesis 13:13, the Bible says, “But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.” They were not just “wicked and sinners” but EXCEEDINLY. And in Romans 1 the sin of homosexuality is so repulsive to the Lord, the Bible says “. . .God gave them up unto vile affections:. . .” (1:26) and “. . . God gave them over to a reprobate mind,. . .” (1:28) And because of the vile sin of homosexuality, God completely destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with the judgement of fire and brimstone. With the media and politicians “love-affair” with homosexuality and the eruption of teenage homosexuals how can a Christian youth Bible publication completely close their eyes to homosexuality?

On page 361 of the Refuel, they provide the following statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Approximately half of all new HIV infections occur in people under age 24.” Yet in the same CDC statistics they conveniently ignore the first and most important demographic of AIDS, “CDC estimates that approximately 60 percent of men were infected through homosexual sex.” <http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/aidsstat.htm> Why did they skip that important statistic? Why did the Refuel side step the sin of homosexuality? They cover those awful sins like “littering” (p. 210) but the widespread sin of teenage homosexuality is completely ignored That is no accident. . .

Here is the Refuel’s strong rebuke of littering!

Q: I’m disgusted when I see Christians littering. Don’t they care about the environment?
A: There’s not a variety of stupidity Christians haven’t displayed. But don’t assume all Christians are like that. Many believers realize God made the planet, and they do at least as well as their neighbors in reducing, reusing, and recycling. Help us do better. (Refuel, 210)

Under the Refuel’s “Ask the Experts”, they prohibit preaching against a specific sin (unless it is littering!).

Q: Are some sins worse than others?
A: some sins are totally obvious—everyone can see them. Some sins have really ugly consequences—bad results that reach far and wide. But in another sense, all sins are equally bad. Each sin breaks God’s law and steps outside his plan for us. So we can’t shake our fingers at sins “worse” than our own. We’re all guilty. (Refuel, 94)

Amazing. . . But the worse is yet to come.


To provide a crystal clear picture of the left-wing, socialist, agenda of the Refuel under their section titled “Issues”, they have a full-page spread on the topic, “Social Activism”. In the following excerpt notice the conviction and fiery zeal they preach the “socialist” gospel:

“How much does it matter you’re socially involved? How big should it be in your life? Well, there are over 2,300 verses in Scripture that command us to take care of the poor, feed the hungry, and clothe the naked. So look for a way to live that out day to day. Get on www.volunteermatch.org today and see what opportunities are available in your neighborhood. . .”

Here is what is REALLY amazing! They have the same “Social Activism” sermon TWICE in the Refuel! Yes. The same identical sermon is found TWICE, once on page 192 and again on page 270!

Both are full-page spreads! That clearly shows the heart, mind and soul of the Refuel.


The first time – Page 192

The second time – Page 270

What was the “great commission” the Lord Jesus Christ gave His followers? Did He say, “Go ye therefore, and take care of the poor, feed the hungry, and clothe the naked. . .”?

Of course, not. In Matthew 28:19-20, the Lord Jesus commissions His apostles:

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Matthew 28:19-20

The Refuel is preaching the perverted Marxist, social gospel. Much of the Refuel is dedicated to the left-wing, social gospel. That is not to say a Christian should not care for the poor, etc. But the most important “food” you could EVER give to anyone is the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord Jesus clearly says in John 6:27, “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, . . . 

Newsweek magazine had an article by liberal columnist Anna Quindlen which echoed the same liberal, left-wing, social-activism, agenda of the Refuel. The following is excerpts from Quindlen’s article. Notice the same social gospel as the Refuel.

“All that made perfect sense to me because I had long ago concluded that I had become a liberal largely through religion. Loving your neighbor as yourself, giving your cloak to the man who had none, blessed are the peacemakers: taken together, all of it seemed a clarion call to social justice and the obligation of individuals and institutions to help those who needed help. Jesus was the first radical rabble-rouser I’d ever read about in school, and the best.” (Newsweek, March 8, 2004)

What is really eye-opening is the title of the article – “At the Left Hand of God”. Did Quindlen and the social activists ever read what is at the “left hand of God” ?

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: Matthew 25:41

In fact, Satanist throughout history are known to follow the “left-hand path”. The book, Dictionary of Cults, Sects, Religions and the Occult defines the “left-hand path”:

Left-hand Path: (occult). Term used in occult circles synonymous with evil. In the Bible, the goats (wicked) go to the left hand of God to be separated for judgment, while the sheep (righteous) go to the right to be saved. (Mather, George A. and Larry A. Nichols, Dictionary of Cults, Sects, Religions and the Occult, p. 175)

In other words, avoid the left-wing, Marxist, social activists like a pig bull dog with AIDS!

In the Refuel’s “10 Random Causes Worth Fighting For”, you can again see the social gospel come glaring through:

1. The Rights of the Unborn
2. Food for the Hungary
3. A Bible for everyone that wants one.
4. Universal literacy
5. Good Schools in the City
6. Premarital Abstinence
7. Racial Equality
8. Help for the Homeless
9. Women’s Rights in Oppressive Nations
10. Freedom of Worship
(Refuel, p 126)

Nowhere in their “10 Random Causes Worth Fighting For” do you find the Glorious Gospel, Souls, the Truth, the Lord Jesus or any real Bible battles. Except for numbers 1, 3, and 6 the list is the foundation of the liberal, left-wing, United Nations agenda.


Another eye-opening testimony to the mindset of the Refuel and Revolve staff is a “correction” that occurred in the Revolve Bible-mag.

On page 13 of the Revolve, they answered a question with the following advice: “God made guys to be the leaders. That means that they lead in relationships” (Revolve, p. 13) Of course, the feminist threw a femmie frenzy. And guess what? Bowing to the feminist agenda, Thomas Nelson removed it in later editions!

Before the change:

Q: Hey, my question is how do you tell a friend that’s your crush that you’re into him without ruing your friendship.
A: You don’t. Sorry. You just don’t tell him without it ruining your friendship. God made guys to be the leaders. That means that they lead in relationships. They tellyou they like you. It is just an all around bad idea for girls to take the guys’ responsibility.
(Revolve, p. 13)

After the feminist change:

Q: Hey, my question is how do you tell a friend that’s your crush that you’re into him without ruing your friendship.
A: Telling a guy friend that he is your crush is risky. You could end a great friendship. If you really dig him, just enjoy being with him. If he feels the same about you, and it is meant to be, it will happen in time. Crushes come and go; friendships can last a lifetime.
(Revolve, p. 13)

I saved the worst for last.

If you think it has been bad thus far – read the next bomb from the Refuel!


Let’s review a few of the Refuel’s “seal of approval”: :

They approve skimpy dressing rockers like Jaci Velasquez.
They approve false religion [Rastafarianism] promoters such as P.O.D.
They ignore the outbreak of teenage homosexuality
They approve moderate drinking.
They approve moderate teenage gambling.
They approve and preach social activism.
They approve heresy such as baptismal regeneration.

What are they against?

Who is it that the Refuel staff says is “. . .. ruining it for the rest of us”?

Believe it or not. . . Bible Believing Christians and the Lord Jesus Christ!

In one of the sections titled “Radical Faith” under the scripture 1 Corinthians 4:10, contains the following:

“Like everybody else, Christians can sometimes act dumb. They come in all shapes and sizes—Bible thumpers, Scripture-screamers, unforgivers, grace-stealers-the kind of people you wouldn’t want to be in a group with because they’re ruining it for the rest of us.”
(Refuel, p. 238)

Can you believe that?

According to the Refuel the “. . . people you wouldn’t want to be in a group. . .” is “. . . Bible thumpers, Scripture-screamers,. . .”!

But on the other hand – it is ok to “party” with people “sloshing beers” (p. 138) and casinos and gamblers (p. 150)!

Can you believe such spiritual hypocrisy?

According to the Refuel staff and Thomas Nelson Publishers the ones who are “. . . ruining it for the rest of us. . .” are the “Bible thumpers and Scripture-screamers”!

Here is the definition of a “Bible thumper”:

an evangelist or other person who quotes the Bible frequently, esp. as a means of exhortation or rebuke.<http://www.infoplease.com/ipd/A0340693.html>

Do you know who was the greatest “Bible thumper” and “scripture-screamer” in history?

The Lord Jesus Christ!

Have you ever read the New Testament?

Here’s just some of the “Bible thumping” and “scripture-screaming” the Lord Jesus Christ does in the New Testament:

Matthew 4:4,7,10
4 But he [Jesus] answered and said, It is written,. . .
7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again. . .
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written. . .


Matthew 11:10
For this is he, of whom it is written. . .

Matthew 12:3, 5
3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read. . .
5. Or have ye not read in the law. . .

Matthew 19:4
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read. . .

Matthew 21:16
. . . And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read. . .

Matthew 21:13
And said unto them, It is written. . .

Matthew 21:42
Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures. . .

Matthew 22:29
Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

Matthew 26:31
Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written. . .

Mark 2:25
And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did. . .

Mark 7:6
He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written. . .

Mark 9:12
And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man. . .

Mark 11:17
And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written. . .

Mark 12:10
And have ye not read this scripture. . .

Mark 12:26
And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses. . .

Mark 14:27
And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written. . .

Luke 4:17-19
17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

Luke 4:4, 8, 12
4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written,. . .
8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written. . .
12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

Luke 6:3
And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read. . .

Luke 7:27
This is he, of whom it is written. . .

Luke 10:26
He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

Luke 19:46
Saying unto them, It is written. . .

Luke 20:17
And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written. . .

Luke 22:37
For I say unto you, that this that is written. . .

Luke 24:
25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures. . .
46 And said unto them, Thus it is written. . . 

John 6:45
It is written in the prophets. . .

John 7:37-38
37. . . Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said. . .

John 8:17
It is also written in your law. . .

John 10:34
Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law. . .

John 13:18
. . . but that the scripture may be fulfilled. . .

John 15:25
. . . that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law. . .

I could easily do the same with the Apostle Paul, Peter, James, et al.

And according to the Refuel, the Lord Jesus and the “Bible thumpers” “. . . ruining it for the rest of us. . .”!

I have never read such a blatant anti-Christ statement in a mainstream Christian publication! Never! And I have read many.

What about the great “Bible-thumpers and scripture screamers” like John Wesley and George Whitefield? George Whitefield preached so hard and loud he would cough up blood. Wesley was beaten repeatedly by mobs for his open-air “Bible-thumping and scripture screaming”. John Bunyan refused to stop open-air “Bible thumping and scripture-screaming” preferring to spend over 12 years in prison! And there is Dwight L. “Crazy” Moody, Spurgeon, Frank Norris, Peter Cartwright, Christmas Evans, Sam Jones, Billy Sunday, and thousands of other “Bible thumpers and scripture screamers”.


Scripture Screamer – John Knox

Bible Thumper – John Wesley

Scripture Screamer – George Whitefield

You know, the “ones”, the Refuel says is “. . . ruining it for the rest of us. . .”!

Remember where the Refuel “experts” replied that “we can’t shake our fingers at sins ‘worse’ than our own. We’re all guilty.” (Refuel, 94)? But they can sure “shake their fingers” at the “Bible-Thumpers and scripture-screamers”! God help us.

If the pastors, youth workers and Christian parents really knew the spiritual poison in the Refuel most of them would avoid it like the plague!

This kind of hip-hop, non judgmental, anti-Bible, anti-Christ, carnal, left-wing, spiritual cancer marketing our Christian young people is literally destroying any and all real spiritual life! The warning of 2 Peter 2:1-3 concerning false prophets who with “. . . feigned words make merchandise of you” and “the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” describe the Refuel perfectly.

2 Peter 2:1-3
2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

The Barna Research Group published a study titled Third Millennium Teens: Research on the Minds, Hearts and Souls of America’s Teenagers. The research consisted of extensive nation-wide surveys of teenagers. Using statistical analysis the margin of error is less than 5%. Every pastor and youth pastor needs to prayerfully read and digest this book. It clearly documents the complete failure of our youth ministries.

I do not find anything in the Bible that even hints at different methods, lingos, dumbing-down, messages, alternative definitions, etc. of reaching different age groups or different classes of people with the Word of God. The method I do read is — And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL men unto me. [John 12:32]

After studying their extensive analysis of Christian teenagers, Barna Research writes of the consequence of these “water downed” youth programs (like the Refuel Bible-mag):

“The consequence is a watering down of Christian theology to such a low standard that it often conflicts with, rather than conforms to, Scripture.”
(Barna Research Group, Third Millennium Teens: Research on the Minds, Hearts and Souls of America’s Teenagers, p.47)

Absolute truth (found in the Bible) is so far away from most Christian teenagers, they do not even know where to look. Incredibly, less than 8% would even look in the Bible for the truth!

“Discerning the existence of moral truth is so insignificant to most teenagers that half of them (46%) cannot even identify a source of information that has had the greatest influence on their thinking about the matter. The most common influence was their family (21%),. . . Other influences listed were religious teaching and beliefs (9%), the Bible (8%), friends (5%)….
Seven out of ten teens say there is no absolute moral truth and eight out of ten claim that all truth is relative to the individual and his/her circumstances. Yet, most of those same individuals – six out of ten of the total teen population – say that the Bible provides a clear and totally accurate description of moral truth.”
(Ibid, p.43)

“The role of the Bible is clearly confounding to most teens. Not only are they evenly divided as to whether or not it provides absolute moral truths that are the same for all people in all situations, but their views on what the Bible contains in relation to truth are consistently inconsistent.”
(Ibid, p.44)

“Perhaps the single, most important challenge facing youth workers today is to help young people get on top of the notion of absolute truth.”
(Ibid, p.64)

What are our young people REALLY searching for?

While we try to “trick” teenagers into serving God with the trinkets and silly Refuel Bible-mags – they are begging for a “morsel of meat” from God’s Word! No wonder our young people can not wait to get away from the “church”. No wonder they do not want to “run the race that is set before them” (Heb 12:1) While we are feeding them a “junk food” diet of fun and frolic – they are spiritually starving to death!

To show how we have completely failed our teens, read Barna’s shocking analysis:

“Myth: today’s youth group attenders are tomorrow’s church leaders.
Reality: today’s youth group attenders are tomorrow’s unchurched.
Teenagers may be attending church events today, but they have little inclination to do so in the future.”(Ibid, p.67)

Unbelievable. . . According to Barna’s shocking analysis – the more active a young person is in church – the LESS likely they will attend church as an adult! And I have seen this far too many times. When that Christian, church-bred, young person gets out of high school, away from mom and dad – any trace of God and the church disappear from their lives. They react as a man released from prison. They can not wait to get out.

Why? Where have we failed? Where did we go wrong?

Here’s Barna’s simple answer:

The reason is so simple that we often overlook it: we are not delivering the goods. (Ibid, p.67)

And Barna concludes:

“If we continue to minister the ways in which we are doing so today, we are strategically facilitating the demise of the Church we exist to build.” (Ibid, p.67)

What is the solution?


Back to the King James Bible.

Back to the Bible-thumpers and scripture screamers.

Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
Isaiah 58:1

revolve blable (Revolve Bible for teen girls)

Article written by Terry Watkins, Th.D.

The Revolve Bible is a fashion-magazine-turned-Bible for teen girls.

There has been over 400 versions of the English Bible since the King James Bible was published in 1611. They come in every flavor, fashion and fad imaginable. Starting with the Revised Version (1881); to the American Standard Version (1901); to the Amplified Bible (1958); to the Living Bible (1967); to the New International Version (1973); to the New King James Bible (1979); on and on they go. . .

There’s feminists Bibles such as the Feminist NIV Inclusive and the TNIV; the African-American Jubilee Bible; and the piles and piles of Children’s and Teen Bibles – we have seen it all.

Or. . . We just thought we had seen it all. . .

The latest $cam running the gamut of the Bible PERversion trail is the new “fashion” magazine teen Bibles. They are modeled after the “teenage-fashion” magazines complete with the trendy “beauty secrets”, “ask a guy”, and “BLABS” columns.

The first to crawl out of the “fashion” pile is the Revolve Bible. The Revolve Bible is aimed directly at the young teenage Christian girl. It is published by Thomas Nelson Publishers under Transit Books (www.transitbooks.com).Transit.com says of it’s new creation, “It’s the complete New Testament, but it looks just like a fashion magazine!” and a little P.$. “Order your copy today at www.amazon.com!” A “boy” version of the Revolve is also in the works. Zondervan reportedly, also has “fashion-bibles” on the way. (did I hear ca$h-ching?)

And yes. . . The Revolve “Bible” does indeed, look, feel and read just like a teenage “fashion” magazine. As the saying goes, “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck – it’s probably a duck.” An updated Bible PERversion translation says, “If it looks like a fashion magazine, feels like a fashion magazine, and reads like a fashion magazine – it’s probably a new Bible PERversion”.

If the fashion-magazine-madness was not bad enough – the Bible text used in the Revolve is the New Century Version (NCV). The NCV is the product of the Church of Christ affiliated World Bible Translation Center (WBTC). The NCV was originally created in 1978 as an easy-reader Bible for the Deaf titled the Easy Reader Version (ERV). In 1983, the ERV was repackaged (can you say ca$h-ching?) as the best-selling Children’s International Version. And in 1984, it was repackaged again (can you say ca$h-ching. . . ca$h-ching?) as the New Century Version. The NCV holds the title as feminist “gender-neutral translation”. (Vern S. Poythress & Wayne A. Grudem, The Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy, Muting the Masculinity of God’s Words, p. 9) It’s odd with so much emphasis put on “gender-inclusive” and all the Bible publishers zooming into overdrive to produce “gender-inclusive” Bibles that they are now producing a “gender-exclusive” Bible devoted EXCLUSIVELY to teenage girls? (Did I hear a ca$h-ching. . .?) The NCV ranks among the most liberally mis-translated and corrupted Bibles in circulation. We will examine the history and text of the NCV a later with our article: The New Century Version: Easy to Read OR Easy to Mislead?

But let’s first examine the fashion-folly-foolishness of the Revolve.

The cover of the Revolve screams at you with the typical “in your face” fashion magazine gaudy layout. The cover of Revolve shouts the following headlines:

  • “Are You Dating a Godly Guy?” and other Quizzes
  • Beauty Secrets You’ve Never Heard Before!
  • Radical Faith What Scripture Really Means
  • 200+ BLAB Q & A’s
  • How to Get Along with Your Mom and other Relationship Notes
  • 100+ Ways to Apply Your Faith
  • Guys Speak Out on Tons of Important Issues

The above feature columns are colorfully scattered throughout the Revolve, weaving in between the New Testament text of the New Century Bible. Interesting, the top of Revolve reads, “NCV The Complete New Testament” — but “new testament” is not found in the New Century Version! The NCV replaces “New Testament” with “New Agreement”. Why didn’t the Thomas Nelson-Revolve staff write on the cover “NCV The Complete New Agreement”? Simple. . . They knew better. But they’ll market and promote the same misleading and mis-translated Bible to our teenagers. Can you say ca$h-ching, see 1 Timothy 6:10?

The Revolve “design” is the work of “rock ‘n roll” Four 5 One of Dublin, Ireland. Four 5 One is also the design team for the album covers, CD inserts, posters, programs, etc. for the rock group U2, among others. Four 5 One. . . Now, that is a good “godly” choice to design “God’s Word”.

Let’s take a few examples of the Revolve’s feature columns:


Like the other features, the “Guys Speak Out” sections are littered throughout the Revolve. Described on the cover of Revolve as: “Guys Speak Out on Tons of Important Issues”. Let’s look at a couple of the “important issues” found in the “Guys Speak Out”:

Q: How long should you date before you say “I love you?”
A: I would say that when all you can do is think about that person, and you know them really, really well, then you can say “I love you.”
(Revolve, p. 67)
Q: Do you ever think about getting married?
A: Kinda, I guess. But not really. Like, I’d never buy a wedding magazine or anything.
(Revolve, p. 281)

Brilliant. . . Spiritual words of wisdom. . .

Parents, do you really want hormone-crazy teenage boys to give advise on “tons of important issues” to your young teenage daughter? As a father of two teenage daughters, I think I’ll pass on that deal. To show the hormone mindset of the average teenage boy, look at the following answers to the simple question: “What do you think about girls and guys praying together?”:

Q: What do you think about girls and guys praying together?
A: There are exceptions, but usually it’s pretty sketchy. I’d avoid it until you’re engaged.
(Revolve, p. 342)
Q: What do you think about girls and guys praying together?
A: It’s cool, but you gotta be careful that you don’t get carried away.
(Revolve, p. 258)

It sounds like these teenage “guys” are talking about necking, making out or something worse! The question was about “praying”! Avoid “praying together” until “you’re engaged”! Be careful about “praying together” so that you “don’t get carried away”. The last time I checked, “praying” was talking to the Lord. You know what’s “on their mind” — And it’s not “praying”. What a goofy, godless, carnal, mess.

Young ladies, may I give you the Lord’s ANSWER:

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Philippians 4:6
Pray without ceasing.
1 Thessalonians 5:17

Of course, why ask the Lord when you can always pick up the Revolve and get the “Guys Speak Out” spiritual wisdom.


The most popular and numerous section infecting the Revolve is the “BLAB” Question and Answer sections. The “BLABS” cover topics such as tattoos, homosexuality, witchcraft, mini-skirts, environmentalism, drinking beer, boy-girl relationships, MTV and sex. Hence, the title of our article “revolve blable”.

Let’s examine a few examples of the “BLAB’s”:

Our first “BLAB” deals with “making-out” (a.k.a heavy kissing, necking, etc.).

Q: I have a question about dating. If I’m going out with a guy, is it bad to make out with him? In other words, is making out a sin?
A: That’s a really good question. There is no place in the Bible where it says “Making out is a sin.” But there are places where you can go to read that you shouldn’t let there be even a hint of sexual immorality. Making out is a really dangerous thing. So your best bet is to avoid heavy make-out sessions ‘till you are married. It will be so much better then and you won’t have to feel any guilt.
(Revolve, p. 77)

What an irresponsible answer to an impressionable, teenage girl! “There is no place in the Bible where it says ‘Making out is a sin’”. That’s the same wicked logic of this lost, “present evil” world. How many times have I heard; “The Bible never says smoking marijuana is a sin”. . . Or “Show me in the Bible where gambling is a sin”. . . Or “Just show me a verse in the Bible that says making out is a sin”.

I have an enlightening “revelation” for the spiritually-blind staff of Revolve. The Word of God is an eternal book (Matthew 24:35). A book for not only 2003 or the 21st century or the 19th or 20th century, et. al but – FOR ALL GENERATIONS! If the Lord would have said “Thou shalt not make out” – who in the 1300’s or 1400’s or 1700’s would have a clue to what He was referring to? Does the Lord address the subject of “making out”? Of course, He does. He gives a very precise, simple answer:

2 Timothy 2:22
Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Notice also the lack of spiritual discernment and warning found in the last part of the answer: “So your best bet is to avoid heavy make-out sessions ‘till you are married. . .” The answer was not to avoid “make out sessions” but “your best bet” is to avoid “HEAVY make out sessions”. How different from the Lord’s compassionate warning, “Flee also youthful lusts. . .” Not just “AVOID HEAVY make out sessions” but “FLEE – run” from even the mere “LUSTS or thoughts” of it. Thank you Lord for warning our young people!

I must also mention the contrast our wonderful Lord makes in 2 Timothy 2:22, not only “Flee also youthful lusts” – but then the Lord adds “but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a PURE heart.” Wow! Isn’t that beautiful! Is there any greater advice anyone could give to our young people.

P.S. Compare the previously quoted 2 Timothy 2:22 in the King James Bible to the dull, dreary, dead 2 Timothy 2;22 in the Revolve’s NCV:

2 Timothy 2:22, NCV
But run away from the evil young people like to do. Try hard to live right and to have faith, love, and peace, together with those who trust in the Lord from pure hearts.

Several “BLABS” deal with the subject of homosexuality. Being “politically-correct” (and may I add, spiritually-stupid) the Revolve staff downplays the sin of homosexuality. For example, in the following “BLAB” the Revolve downplays the “sin of homosexuality” as “just like gossiping about your best friend is a sin”. The Revolve answer also includes a swipe at the church whose “view” of the sin of homosexuality is a “little harsher” than the sin of “gossiping about your best friend”.

Q: What is God and the church’s view on homosexuality and its place in our world?
A: You want God’s view, or the church’s? Start with God. Romans chapter 1 says that it is impurity. It’s a sin, just like gossiping about your best friend is a sin. You need to stop acting on your impulses. Sometimes the church’s view can be a little harsher. Many people in the church see it like the worse of all evils. But they are looking at it through human eyes. God says it’s a sin; It’s not how he made you, so stop.
(Revolve, p. 310)

I can’t help but thinking how God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for the “sin of homosexuality” with fire and brimstone (which by the way, is the same judgement as hell); or in Leviticus 13:20 where the Lords commands Israel to kill those who commit the “sin of homosexuality”; or Romans 1 where God “gave them up” for the “sin of homosexuality”; or in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 where the “…effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind. . . shall inherit the kingdom of God” that maybe. . . just maybe. . . the Lord considers the “sin of homosexuality” a little-bit more serious than “. . . just like gossiping about your best friend. . .” I would have to add the Lord’s view of homosexuality is a “little harsh”.

In another “BLAB” dealing with homosexuality (p. 43) a teenage girl asks advice on how to deal with another girl who is in love with a female teacher. Look at this lame and pathetic answer.

Q; This girl at church told me that she was in love, yes, in love with one of her female teachers. This girl is fourteen years old. I just need some advice on what I should say to her if I get to speak to her again.
A: For a woman to fall in love with another woman is considered a sin according to the Bible. You’ve got to remember one thing thoughIt’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict her and teach her. In the Bible it says that God remains faithful even when we are faithless. Your job is to show this girl the love of God. How? Stay her friend. Prayer changes things. It can move mountains. It can radically alter lives. Just make sure you remember who God is and that you’re not him.
(Revolve, p. 43)

In other words, do not “judge” her for the lusts of homosexuality. And don’t dare tell her it’s wrong – that would be judging her. But just “show her the love of God”. Remember “it’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict her and teach her”. Can a saved person actually READ the Bible and be that far off base? Look at the last part of the BLAB – now preachers, this is a nugget – “Just make sure you remember who God is and that you’re not him.” What spiritual insight! That had to come through hours of study and prayer. . .

Compare the Revolve’s absurd answer to John the Baptist’s open rebuke in Matthew 14 of King Herod.

14:1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus,
2 And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do show forth themselves in him.
3 For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife.
4 For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her.

Notice, who John the Baptist openly rebuked and judged. . . THE KING. . . May I also remind you, The Lord Jesus said John was the greatest man born of women (Matthew 11:11). And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of the open rebuke and judgement of Jeremiah, Noah, Joshua, David, Daniel, Gideon, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Paul, Peter, James, Martin Luther, John Knox, Billy Sunday, J. Frank Norris and thousands of others.

In another “BLAB” a teenager girl asks how to reach a friend involved in Witchcraft.

Q: Hey, I have friends who are into Wicca. I know a lot about witchcraft, but I don’t know how to start a convo with people who are happy with that religion. I need an example of something one might say. Could you please help me out? I don’t want them to go to hell because I didn’t try to help them.
A: If you want something to say, just tell them how you feel. Say, “You know my religion and you seem cool with it. However, I can’t say I agree with your choice. I just want you to know that I’ll be praying for you.” Don’t try to talk them into changing their faith—no one likes to be forced into anything. Pray for them.
(Revolve, p. 344)

Here is a Christian young lady who is burdened about her friend “going to hell” – and she is asking advice from the Revolve staff on how to reach this friend. And the Revolve staff replies, “Don’t try to talk them into changing their faith—no one likes to be forced into anything.” How can you possibly witness without talking to them about “changing their faith”? How can they EVER know the wonderful plan of salvation without “talking to them”? Can you believe this?

Again, look at John the Baptist. The Bible said John “was a man sent from God” (John 1:6). The Bible also says “The same came for a WITNESS” (John 1:7) And what is John’s definition of a witness? A VOICE.

John 1:22-23
22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
23 He said, I am the VOICE of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

Young person, if you are saved and you have family and friends that are going to hell – DON’T LISTEN TO REVOLVE! Talk to them about Jesus Christ and the judgement of hell! Warn them – over and over and over! Pray for them. Don’t give up! TALK to them. You may be the only VOICE God has to deal with them. Please do not listen to Revolve.

Another BLAB deals with the subject of tattoos. Tattoos have taken over this generation. From the rock stars, Hollywood celebrities, sports stars, even children’s toys – virtually every walk of life is sporting a tat. Thank God, the Lord clearly “nails” the pagan and satanic “blood-letting” tattoo to the forbidden wall in Leviticus 19:28

Leviticus 19:28
Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.

That should certainly clear up any doubt for the Christian and tattoos. Right. . .?

Wrong. . .

Check out the Revolve and the forbidden tattoo:

Q: I really, really want to get a tattoo, but what does the Bible say about them. Is it against God?
A: In the Old Testament law tattoos were forbidden. But when Christ came, he redeemed us from the curse of the law (Galatians 3). This means that now God looks at your heart, your motives, when it comes to what you do. Check with your parents, and follow their advice.
(Revolve, p. 85)

Galatians 3 means “that NOW God looks at your heartyour motives, when it comes to what you do”? Chapter and verse? That is completely contrary to the clear word of God. Have you ever read 2 Corinthians 5 and the “judgement seat of Christ” — “knowing therefore the TERROR of the Lord”?

2 Corinthians 5:10-11
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his bodyaccording to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

It’s not our motives – but “the things DONE” – “according to that he hath DONE”. It’s not your motives – but what you DID! In 1 Corinthians 3:13, which also refers to the “judgement seat of Christ, the Lord says, “Every man’s WORK shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s WORK of what SORT it is”. Christian young person, do not believe the Revolve staff. You will be JUDGED for your WORKS and what you DO.

Let me also mention, the Lord Jesus Christ did not do away with or destroy the law.

Matthew 5:17
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

You do not have the Lord’s blessing to kill, or commit adultery, or worship other gods, or steal, etc. – which is found in the ten commandments. Nor do you have the Lord’s blessing to “mark” your body, which if you are saved — is the temple of the Holy Spirit(1 Cor. 6:19) with a forbidden, pagan, blood-letting tattoo. If Leviticus 19:28 has been done away with and God is looking at our hearts. . . Then I would assume Leviticus 19:29, the next verse, is also no longer valid.

Leviticus 19:29
Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness.

Leviticus 19:29 is the ONLY verse in the Bible, both the Old and New Testament, that explicitly forbids someone to “prostitute thy daughter”. Applying Revolve’s same wicked logic of tattoos, I wonder if the Revolve staff would answer the “BLAB” question: “It is alright to be a prostitute”? with the same answer: “when Christ came, he redeemed us from the curse of the law (Galatians 3). This means that now God looks at your heart, your motives, when it comes to what you do. Check with your parents, and follow their advice”

There are several other BLABS that discount the “action” and emphasize the “motive”. The following is a BLAB that explains what you can or can not wear, such as revealing “mini skirts, tube tops”, depends on the motive. I wonder how Revolve would reply to “Hookers for Christ”. Don’t laugh. I have an actual article of a group of “Hookers for Christ”. According to the article their “motive” is to win people to Jesus Christ. I wonder if they got their idea from the Revolve? Hmm…

Q: What is appropriate for girls to wear? I’ve been told I can’t wear tube tops and mini skirts. But it is okay to wear a tankini-top bathing suit that hardly shows your belly button? What is going too far?
A: You’ve got to look at your motive when it comes to clothes. If your motive is to get guys to like you because of your body, your dress will be more revealing. If your goal is to worship God in everything you do, your clothes will naturally be more modest. You can’t decide item by item—it’s a lifestyle decision.
(Revolve, p. 241)

As far as the “motive” is the main thing. . . Ever read Matthew 16:21-23?

Matthew 16:21-23
21 From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Notice, Peter’s “motive” in Matthew 16 was his “love” for the Lord Jesus. Peter loved the Lord Jesus and did not want Jesus Christ to be crucified. But also notice, Satan completely took over Peter! Even though Peter’s “motive” was right and pure – love for the Lord Jesus Christ – Peter’s “actions” were wrong. So wrong, that Satan was speaking out of the mouth of Peter! Motive alone is not enough.

In one BLAB the question of drinking beer comes up. The answer is amazing. “Drinking alcohol is not a sin in Scripture”. What scripture are they reading? Oh, I forgot the liberal NCV. But in REAL scripture “drinking beer” is certainly a sin. Notice, the Revolve also turns the sinless Lord Jesus into a “party animal” even “bringing the wine”!

Q: My dad drinks like three or four beers every night. Is that a sin? How much can you drink before it is a sin?
A: 1.5 cups. Wouldn’t you love it if someone could tell you that easily. There is no easy answer. Drinking alcohol is not a sin in ScriptureEven Jesus turned water into wine at a party. But getting drunk is a different story.
(Revolve, p. 272)

The Bible makes a clear distinction between fermented liquor and new wine, or grape juice. Speaking of fermented liquor, Proverbs 23 says, “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red(speaking of fermentation), when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright (speaking of the bubbling and carbonation). At the last it BITETH like a serpent, and STINGETH like an adder.” 

A description of new wine is found in Isaiah 65:8, “as the NEW WINE is found IN THE CLUSTER.” Not in a bottle! You can’t get FERMENTED LIQUOR from a CLUSTER! Fermented LIQUOR is placed in a bottle, with yeast and allowed to FERMENT. Genesis 40:11 gives a clear picture of new wine, “I took GRAPES and PRESSED them in Pharaoh’s cup.”

But didn’t Jesus drunk wine at the Last Supper? In Matthew, Mark and Luke where the account of the Last Supper is found, the word “wine” is never even mentioned. The Bible very carefully says they drank – “FRUIT OF THE VINE!”

What about when Jesus turned the water into wine at the marriage in Cana. If Jesus Christ turned water into fermented liquor, he directly disobeyed Habakkuk 2:15, “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also . . .” And, if Jesus disobeyed Habakkuk – HE WAS A SINNER! The Bible makes it very clear in 1 Peter 2:22, 2 Corinthians 5:21, and other verses – THAT JESUS CHRIST WAS WITHOUT SIN!

God has placed a very strong warning in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “Be not deceived: NO DRUNKARDS, . . . shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

Much, much more could be given on the sin of drinking alcohol.

A theme running through the Revolve is the “new-age-mother-earth-environmental-wacko” gospel. “Respect the planet, man”. Here’s a BLAB preaching the “respect the planet” gospel.

Q: Is it ever okay to litter? I mean aren’t we going overboard with this whole ‘save the planet’ thing?
A: Being concerned for our planet is not a radical stance to take. God gave us dominion over the earth and animals and that means that he trusts it all to our care. There are really two issues. One is honoring God and that which has he has given us to protect. The other is that littering is against the law. And we are asked to obey the law even if we don’t agree with it. So, if you want to honor God, then respect the planet.”
(Revolve, p. 99)

Somehow, I missed the verse that says “Honor God, then respect the planet”. But I do remember the verse where the Lord says He is going to completely burn up this planet:

2 Peter 3:10-12
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Friend, Jesus Christ did not come into this world to save the planet. God Almighty is not in heaven nervously “pacing the floor” worrying about the litter. The Lord is not in heaven “wringing His hands” over the pollution or the ozone layer. Jesus Christ is not in heaven interceding for the environment and the EPA. He’s not concerned about the planet. But He is very concerned about the eternal souls of people. He is so concerned, He died on a rugged cross. You want to REALLY honor God – tell somebody about the Lord Jesus Christ and Calvary.

My favorite BLAB concerns the subject of MTV and rap music. In the course of our ministry, I have personally researched many disgusting and degenerate subjects. If there’s anything in the mainstream that is more disgusting than the filth and nastiness spewing forth from rap and MTV – I have not found it. Read the Revolve staff’s opinion of MTV:

Q: I was just wondering is MTV or rap music bad to watch and listen to?
A: God is present everywhere, even on MTV. But, don’t feed your mind that stuff 24/7. Whatever you constantly feed your mind, that is what you will believe. So spend more time talking to God and reading the Word. Dig into that and then you will see him everywhere.
(Revolve, p. 317)

Can you believe that? “God is present everywhere, even on MTV”. What a brainless, stupid answer. . . Because God is everywhere or omnipresent that means “God is on MTV”! God is now rapping and rocking on MTV! Because God is everywhere – that means MTV is ok? What if the young girl asked: “I was wondering is porno bad to watch and listen to”? Would Revolve also answer: A: God is present everywhere, even in porno. But, don’t feed your mind that stuff 24/7. Whatever you constantly feed your mind, that is what you will believe. So spend more time talking to God and reading the Word. Dig into that and then you will see him everywhere.”

This is incredible. It would be laughable, if the consequences were not so serious. Now you know why so many Christian young people are so spiritually blind and confused. This is the kind of answers many sincere young people are receiving from the vast majority of pastors and youth leaders. God help us. . . Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

And of course, no self-respecting, new version-Bible-correcting-publisher is going to pass up a chance to take a swing at the King James Bible:

Q: What do I do if my parents only let me use KJV? They say the modern versions aren’t accurate, but I can’t understand it!
A: Grab a couple of different versions of the Bible and sit down with your parents. In the front of any translation, it should explain to you how the translation was written [Does this one?]. In most any modern translation the scholars did extensive research in the original languages. They are very accurate. But the thing here is that you have to honor you parents. So sit and talk with them, explain to them that you’d like to deepen your Bible study, and see what they say.”
(Revolve, p. 196)

Notice in the reply. The modern versions “are very accurate”. Which is a joke. The new versions use the deceptive “dynamic equivalency” (DE) translation method. In DE translation methodology, rather than translating what the ORIGINAL words actually mean — the translator CHANGES the ORIGINAL wording into what the translator BELIEVES it SHOULD read. In other words, it is not longer “thus saith the Lord” but “thus saith the translator”. The Queen of the new versions, the beloved New International Version (NIV) plainly states in the NIV’s Preface: “They [the NIV translators] have striven for more than a word-for-word translation.”

Also it is a thoroughly, documented FACT, the King James Bible agrees with 99% of the Greek NT manuscripts. While the new versions (including some of the NEW King James) uses two primary manuscripts – the corrupt Siniaticus and Vaticanus (a.k.a. Westcott and Hort Greek text).

The NIV removes 15 complete verses! The NASV removes 16 complete verses! The RSV removes 25 complete verses! The NCV removes 16 complete verses!

The Revolve also implies (very strongly) in order to “deepen your Bible study” you need to ditch the King James and get a new version. Question for the Revolve staff: How is it the greatest Bible teachers and preachers, such as Arthur Pink, Clarence Larkin, C.I. Scofield, John Wesley, Moody, Torrey, Bullinger, Oliver Greene, Lester Roloff, and thousands and thousands of others believed ONLY the King James Bible? How is that every revival of modern time came through the fruit of the King James Bible? How is it since the new versions cropped up we’ve had 45 million abortions, legalized sexual sodomy and perversion, pornographic explosion, rock and roll hell, the new age outbreak, the Satanic Bible and church, and the spiritual killing of America? Do tell if thou knowest. . .

Let me also ask the Revolve staff this:

If the new versions are so much “easier to understand and read” — why is it that according to surveys by Barna Research of people who read their Bible on a daily basis, “The King James Version is more likely to be the Bible read during the week than is the NIV by a 5:1 ratio.” And that is even more surprising when you consider that the NIV alone now outsells the KJV – not to mention the accumulated millions of other new versions sold.

Another “BLAB” clearly teaches the false and heretical teaching of “Lordship Salvation”. Lordship Salvation teaches that “in order to be saved” Jesus Christ MUST be the “Lord of your life”. If you are saved, Jesus Christ is your Lord and Saviour. But salvation is by faith ALONE in the blood of Jesus Christ and His payment for your sins. Yes, your desire should be for Jesus Christ to be the Lord of your body, soul and spirit. But Lordship Salvation is a satanic salvation “by works” heresy that NO ONE can obtain. One of their favorite sayings is “If He’s not Lord of ALL, He’s not Lord at ALL”. The simple FACT is, no person who ever lived EVER made Jesus Christ the Lord of everything in their life. If they did, they would be sinless. Read the struggles of the greatest Christian that ever lived fought in Romans chapter 7.

Q: If you accept Christ but later you turn from him, or start to go down the wrong road, does God stick with you ‘til there is no chance of restoration?
A: Scripture tells us that salvation has nothing to do with what we DO but with what we believe, that is, in Christ.[If the Revolve would have stopped here, their answer would be correct. But now they go into the heresy of Lordship Salvation] But it also says that we should make him Lord of our lives. But if a person claims to be saved but then acts like they are an enemy of God, disobeying him purposefully, then they probably never really made him Lord of their life.
(Revolve, p. 147)

This is an amazingly warped answer considering the worldly and carnal answers to some of the other “BLABS”.

Do you see why so many young people are spiritually confused? Do you see why so many Christian teenagers want nothing to do with “the adults” God? With these kind of spiritually hypocritical and ridiculous answers who can blame them.

It bothers me when I see this type of stuff being promoted and fed to our young people. Especially when I know how simple and pure God’s Word is in the King James Bible. What a shame. What a crime to our young people. If Jesus Christ does not come back soon – with the shallow, spiritual garbage being fed to our Christian young people – they will never survive spiritually. God help us. . .

There are over 200 of such BLABS in the Revolve. And most are like the given examples – pure carnal, humanistic, politically correct, nonsense.


Also throughout the Revolve are “TOPten columns. The TOPten columns are “top ten” lists of various topics aimed at Christian teenage girls. For instance there is the TOPten Christian CDs (of course, all 10 are Christian rock CDs), TOPten books, etc. But the TOPten “Random ways to make a difference in your community” is a classic. This really illustrates the complete and total spiritual blindness of the Revolve staff. Remember, this is supposed to be for Christian teenage girls.

TOPTen Random ways to make a difference in your community

1. Plant a tree
2. Pick up someone else’s litter
3. Smile freely
4. Drop a dollar in charity boxes.
5. Offer to baby-sit your neighbors’ kids for free.
6. Clip the plastic rings on soda six-packs.
7. Use washable containers instead of plastic wrap for your lunch.
8. Recycle cans and bottles.
9. Donate your old clothes to needy families.
10. Do yard work for the elderly or sick.
(Revolve, p. 109)

Is there anything spiritual or Biblical in the whole list? Is there anything about witnessing to someone about the Lord Jesus (oops, that would be “talking to them into changing their faith” and that’s a no-no). Or inviting someone to church? (oops. That would also be “talking to them into changing their faith”. . . sorry I forgot). Or passing out tracts. Or going to the nursing home and ministering to the elderly.

Was the Lord Jesus’s “Great Commission” in Matthew 28:19 19 Go ye therefore, and plant a tree. . . ?

Notice that 5 (numbers 1, 2, 6, 7, 8) of the “top ten” ways to make a difference are the gospel according to the environmental-wacko.

Who in heaven (or hell) cares if you “use washable containers instead of plastic wrap for your lunch” (7) or “recycles cans and bottles” (8)? Do you believe the Lord’s “top ten” ways to make a difference would include “Pick up someone else’s litter” (2).

And remember this – that is not JUST TEN “Random ways to make a difference in your community”. These are the TOP TEN ways to make a difference in your community! So according to the Revolve staff — “plant a tree” or “Clip the plastic rings on soda six-packs.” or “Recycle cans and bottles” is BETTER and MORE IMPORTANT than leading a soul to Jesus Christ!

Say it ain’t so. . . Christians can not be that spiritually blind and ignorant.

There is simply no way this article will do justice to the silliness and sacrilege of the Revolve “Bible”. Needless to say, we could go on and on and on, spending hours, examining the ridiculous stuff in the Revolve Bible. To simply say they are unbelievable and unthinkable is too much charity.

The New Century Version & Church of Christ

Article Written by Terry Watkins, Dial-A-Truth Ministries

The New Century Version (NCV) is the product of the Church of Christ affiliated World Bible Translation Center (WBTC) in Ft. Worth, Texas. The path to the New Century Version is a long and winding road driven by Church of Christ cohorts.

NCV BibleIn 1978 the Church of Christ WBTC created an easy-to-read Bible specifically for the deaf, titled the English Version for the Deaf (EVD). The EVD is primarily the work of WBTC’s Senior Translation Consultant, Ervin Bishop. In 1983, the EVD was slightly modified, repackaged and published by Sweet Publishing of Ft. Worth as the best-selling International Children’s Version (ICV), New Testament. Sweet Publishing is also Church of Christ affiliated. The International Children’s Version was endorsed (as is the NCV) by Billy Graham and used in his crusades.

The International Children’s Bible was also used in the Adventures in Odyssey Bible, a partnership between James Dobson, Focus on the Family and Word Publishing.

In 1984, Sweet Publishing repackaged the ICV as The Word: New Century Version. In 1987, the Old Testament of the New Century Version was released. A few years later, the publishing rights to the New Century Version and the International Children’s Version was acquired by Word Publishing. In 1992 Word Publishing was purchased by Thomas Nelson Publishing. Word Publishing has since been renamed W Publishing.

The NCV has been published and re-packaged with many titles. Some of the NCV’s titles are: The Everyday Bible (endorsed by Billy Graham); The Holy Bible: New Century Version: Traveler’s Edition, The Youth Bible; Extreme Teen Bible; The Revolve; Nelson’s KidsBible.com; Time With God; The Answer; and The Secret Kingdom Edition (special edition with Pat Robertson).


As previously mentioned, the NCV and the ICV are the product of the Church of Christ affiliated World Bible Translation Center (WBTC) in Ft. Worth, Texas. Sweet Publishing, the original publisher of the NCV and ICV is also members of the Church of Christ.

Because of the influence of the Christ of Christ’s involvement in the NCV and ICV we need to briefly examine the Church of Christ denomination.

The roots of the Church of Christ was planted in the early 1800s by Presbyterians Barton Stone, Thomas campbelland Alexander Campbell, and Walter Scott. Alexander Campbell is the recognized “founder” of the Church of Christ. Hence, Church of Christ members are referred to as Campbellites and their false teaching as Campbellism. Campbell and his followers believed the church had fallen away from the original precepts of the New Testament and began what they called the “Restoration Movement”. Their purpose was to “restore” the church to the teachings of only New Testament doctrines. They vehemently teach and debate such doctrines as; no musical instruments in the church; The Church of Christ is the only True Church; The Lord’s Supper every Sunday; a confusing system of salvation by works; and their biggie – you must be baptized to be saved.

Because of the Church of Christ’s possible teachings “sneaking” into the NCV and ICB, it’s very important we understand what the Church of Christ teaches.

The following material, pertaining to Church of Christ “salvation” all comes directly from Church of Christ publications. Notice their salvation by works, and their serious error of baptismal regeneration.

In the Church of Christ pamphlet, “What is the Church of Christ” by Batsell Barrett, the question is asked: “How does one become a member of the Church of Christ”? Here’s the answer:

1 Hear the gospel. . .
2. Believe . . .
3. Repent of past sins . . .
4. Confess Jesus as Lord . . .
5. Be baptized for remission of sins . . .
6. Live a Christian Life . . .
(What is the Church of Christ, Batsell Barrett Baxter, Church of Christ, 3805 Granny White Pike, Nashville, Tn 37204, pp. 11-13)

The Church of Christ dogmatically teach a salvation by works, culminating in baptism.

“Many churches in the world believe that we are saved by faith only. By this, the majority teach that Christ washes away our sins the very minute we say in our hearts that Jesus is Christ. In most cases it is a faith that does not lead one to be baptized into the Lord Jesus Christ in order to reach the salvation of God.”
(Are We Saved By Faith Only?, Gynnath Ford, Box, Dickson, TN 37055, p. 7)

The Bible says that neither faith alone nor works alone can save. Thus both the Protestant and Catholic doctrines of salvation are false. . . Christ and his apostles taught that in order to be saved a man must hear the gospel of Christ and believe that he is the only begotten Son of God. . . On the basis of such a faith in Jesus Christ, one must then make the decision to turn away from his sins, to repent. . . He must then confess his faith in Jesus before men. . . Finally, in order to receive the remission of sins, one must be immersed in water. . . When one thus hears the gospel, believes it, repents of his sins, confesses Christ with his mouth and is baptized, he has done the things that Christ and the apostles taught men to do in the first century to be saved. . . To change this plan in any way—to either add to or take from it—is not acceptable to God and will cause one to be accursed!”
(The Distinctive Plea of the Churches of Christ, Rubel Shelly, Lambert Book House, Box 4007, Shreveport, LA, 71104, pp. 10,11>

Interesting, the above quote from the Church of Christ author, cursed Dwight L. Moody, Billy Sunday, Billy Graham, John Wesley, George Whitfield, the Apostle Paul and even the Lord Jesus Christ. As none believed in the Church of Christ’s “plan of salvation”.

More documentation from the Church of Christ:

“. . . the design of baptism is in order to obtain the remission of sins.”
(Bible Baptism, Perry B. Cotham, p. 16)

According to the following Church of Christ publication, water baptism brings someone in “contact with the blood of Christ”.

What happens when a person is baptized? He receives the remission of his sins. (Acts 2:38) He is saved from past sins. (1 Pet. 3:21) His sins are washed away. (Acts 22:16) He puts on Christ. (Gal. 3:27) He enters Christ. (Rom. 6:3) He contacts the blood of Christ. (Rom. 6:3).
(Things Surely Believed Among Us, Paul Rogers, pp. 18, 19)

The following answer to the question “What Must I Do to Be Saved” taken from a Church of Christ publication, also clearly teaches salvation by works – the last sentence — “you must, by God’s help, continue in his service unto death”

The Most Important Question Ever Asked. . .
“What Must I Do to Be Saved?”
If you are an alien sinner—one who has never become a child of God—you must believe in Christ, repent of your sins, confess Christ, be baptized for the remission of sins, and “walk in newness of life”
If you are an erring child of God, you must confess your sins, repent, pray for forgiveness, and return to your duty.
If you are a faithful Christian, you must, by God’s help, continue in his service unto death.
(Centerville Messenger, published by the Church of Christ, Centerville TN)

In contrast. . . How different and simple the Word of God answers the same exact question in Acts 16:30 “. . .what must I do to be saved”

Acts 16:30-31, KJB
30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

How simple, straightforward and sure is the Lord’s answer: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” How wonderful! How marvelous! Aren’t you glad the Lord did not teach the Church of Christ’s confusing plan of salvation?

How does the Church of Christ get around the clear answer of Acts 16:31?

Simple they change one little word in the verse. Just one word. Just two letters long. . .

Here’s how the Church of Christ produced NCV reads in Acts 16:30-31:

Acts 16:30-31
30 He brought them outside and said, “Men, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They said to him, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved–you and all the people in your house.”

See the tiny but HUGE difference? They change that little bitty word “ON” (KJB) to “IN” (NCV). And by that itsy-bitsy change the emphasis is no longer on the PERSON of the Lord Jesus Christ but on His TEACHINGS. And then the deceived Church of Christ travels down their heretical path to “what did the Lord Jesus TEACH in order to be saved”. Simple. Believe. Repent. Confess. Baptism. Live it. . . Simple. . . Subtle (see Genesis 3:1) and Deadly.

Something else we’ll see shortly is the Church of Christ NCV changes “my word” to “my teaching”, again emphasizing the “teaching” instead of the simple “word”.

The following information from Dr. Hugh Pyle’s excellent book titled, “The Truth about the Church of Christ”, gives more analysis into the Church of Christ.

“They are completely warped, doctrinally, on much of what the Bible teaches.
Eight of their biggest heresies relate to their ‘plan’ of, or ‘steps to salvation’ as taught in the Church of Christ. They teach:

1. Salvation by works rather than by the grace of God.
2. Baptismal regeneration—sins actually remitted in the waters of the church of Christ baptistry.
3. That eternal life is not eternal; that a born-again soul can lose his salvation after all.
4. That they have a monopoly on salvation—that they are the one and only true church.
5. That one cannot know in this life that he is saved.
6. That their church has the one and only Bible name.
7. That Christians must take the Lord’s Supper every Sunday to be scriptural.
8. That to worship where instrumental music is used is sinful and disobedient to the Lord.”
(Dr. Hugh F. Pyle, The Truth about the “Church of Christ”, preface).

“For these innocent buildings house a pernicious religious cult which has deceived countless thousands about God’s way of salvation and the way to Heaven!”
(Dr. Hugh F. Pyle, The Truth about the “Church of Christ”, p. 9)

It is almost unbelievable that one religious sect could get so warped and utterly confused on the Bible.”
(Dr. Hugh F. Pyle, The Truth about the “Church of Christ”, p. 11)

“I have read actually state or imply that one will not be saved if he worships God with musical instruments in his singing!
(Dr. Hugh F. Pyle, The Truth about the “Church of Christ”, p. 78)

After viewing the ‘watered-down’ Gospel of the so-called Church of Christ, the question may well be considered, Could a Campbellite be saved?
The answer certainly is this, that if a person believes what the Church of Christ teaches and does not understand God’s way of salvation, then the Campbellite is not saved no matter how many religious theories he embraces or how many times he has been dipped in the Church of Christ pool.
(Dr. Hugh F. Pyle, The Truth about the “Church of Christ”, p. 97)

Incredibly, Dr. Pyle rates the Church of Christ follower among the most deceived of all cults. And after dealing with many Church of Christ, I agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Pyle.

I found fewer people of the Campbellite persuasion who were truly saved than almost any other denomination or sect that I ever had contact with“.
(Dr. Hugh F. Pyle, The Truth about the “Church of Christ”, p. 97)

Watchman Fellowship, whose ministry exposes various cults throughout the world, says the following about the Church of Christ:

We refer to Campbellism as a cult with reference to those followers of the fatal doctrines systematized by Thomas and Alexander Campbell, Barton Stone and Walter Scott concerning the plan of salvation. . . most people in the Churches of Christ are actually accepting a legalism which corrupts the gospel at it’s core, and do not understand, nor have responded to faith in Jesus Christ’s finished work on our behalf – Biblical faith.”
(Campbellism, Craig Branch, Watchman Fellowship)

There is no doubt the Church of Christ teaches a false gospel.

Does the NCV and ICV bear the distinguishing “marks” of the Church of Christ?
Is the heretical Church of Christ teachings lurking in the pages of the NCV and ICV?

I’ll let you answer that in a few minutes. . .

Note: In the following verses documenting the errors of the NCV, we provide both the King James Bible (KJB) and the New Century Version (NCV) for easy comparison. Scripture marked NCV is Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Word Publishing, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


As we have seen, water baptism is the core of the Church of Christ cult. They loudly and proudly believe that water baptism is essential for salvation.

Notice carefully, in the following two groups of scriptures (Romans 6:3-4 and Colossian 2:12), the object of the verses have been changed from theRESULT of baptism to the RITUAL of baptism. The Church of Christ NCV adds the simple words “when we were” to baptism to emphasis the RITUAL of baptism. Important: The NCV is the ONLY version that does this! No other version makes these changes.

Romans 6:3-4, KJB
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:3-4, NCV
3 Did you forget that all of us became part of Christ when we were baptized? We shared his death in our baptism.
When we were baptized, we were buried with Christ and shared his death. So, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the wonderful power of the Father, we also can live a new life.

Colossians 2:12, KJB
Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

Colossians 2:12, NCV
When you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and you were raised up with him through your faith in God’s power that was shown when he raised Christ from the dead.

Notice, in 1 Corinthians 12:13, where the Bible is clearly referring to “spiritual baptism” by the Holy Spirit, the NCV Church of Christ, changes one little word “BY one Spirit. . ” to “THROUGH one Spirit. . .” hence, removing the reference to “baptism BY the Spirit”. The NCV also adds the word “WERE” (we WERE all baptized..) to emphasize the RITUAL of baptism – water baptism.

1 Corinthians 12:13, KJB
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:13, NCV
Some of us are Jews, and some are Greeks. Some of us are slaves, and some are free. But we were all baptized into one bodythrough one Spirit. And we were all made to share in the one Spirit.

In 1 Peter 3:20-21, the NCV Church of Christ does not “pull any punches” but openly teaches salvation by water baptism. The NCV changes the phrase “like figure” to “water”. Of course, the word “water” is not in any Greek text. The King James Bible says the “water of Noah’s flood” is a “like figure” whereunto even “baptism” (also a like-figure) also now save us” which clearly shows that “baptism” is a “like figure” of the “resurrection of Jesus Christ”. Hence, “water baptism” is a “like figure” of the “resurrection of Jesus Christ”. That is why many pastors say while baptizing someone “Buried with him in baptism and risen [resurrection] to newness of life”.

1 Peter 3:20-21, KJB
20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
1 Peter 3:20-21, NCV
20 who refused to obey God long ago in the time of Noah. God was waiting patiently for them while Noah was building the boat. Only a few people–eight in all–were saved by water.
21 And that water is like baptism that now saves you–not the washing of dirt from the body, but the promise made to God from a good conscience. And this is because Jesus Christ was raised from the dead.

Dr. Harry Ironside provides a good analysis of 1 Peter 3:20-21:

“Noah saved through the flood of wrath in the ark shadows forth the believer’s deliverance from judgement, as baptism clearly expresses, i.e., salvation by the work of Christ. He endured all the curse, even as the ark bore all the brunt of the storm; but the believer can say, ‘His death was mine.’ It is not to baptism that any efficacy attaches; that could only put away outward filth.There is not the slightest justification here for the ritualistic dogma of baptismal regeneration. The only thing that gives the answer which a good conscience demands, is the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. That apprehended, baptism is full of meaning. ‘He was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification.’” (Rom. 4:25)
(Baptism, What Saith the Scriptures, Dr. H.A. Ironside, pp. 26-27)


Another heretical doctrine taught by the Church of Christ cult is their teaching the Church of Christ is the ONE and ONLY TRUE church. They teach the Church of Christ is a “restoration movement” to bring back God’s people to the “origin” of the New Testament. And this “restoration” and salvation is ONLY found in the doors of the Church of Christ. Read the following from a Church of Christ booklet:

“The restoration principle is a valid one! God would have us to always recognize and submit to the authority of His Word. We cannot add to that revelation or take from it, but must be content to take it as it is and follow it exactly! (cf. Rev. 22:18-19). It thus follows that it will not be enough to restore the ethical teachings of Jesus and the zeal of the early disciples. We must restore not only the ‘spirit’ of New Testament Christianity but also the plan of salvationthe worship and the organization of the church described in the New Testament!. . .
What will the result of following this principle? Men and women will be Christians, members of the church of Christ.”
(The Distinctive Plea of the Churches of Christ, Rubel Shelly, pp. 9-10)

The Church of Christ also insists they are the ONLY TRUE Church because their church name is the only church specifically mentioned by name in the New Testament.

The NCV certainly helps their cause by adding a few extra “churches in Christ”. It’s worth noting, the NCV is the ONLY version to insert these “churches in Christ”. Wonder why?

Galatians 1:22, KJB
And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ:

Galatians 1:22, NCV
In Judea the churches in Christ had never met me.

Ephesains 1:23, KJB
Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Ephesians 1:23, NCV
which is Christ’s body. The church is filled with Christ, and Christ fills everything in every way.

1 Thessalonians 2:14, KJB
For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:

1 Thessalonians 2:14, NCV
Brothers and sisters, your experiences have been like those of God’s churches in Christ that are in Judea. You suffered from the people of your own country, as they suffered from the Jews,

Does the NCV bear the “marks” of the Church of Christ?

Keep reading. . .


The Church of Christ’s “plan of salvation” is a process or steps you continue doing. A Church of Christ is never “saved” but “being saved”. They can never “know” they are saved.

Remember in the earlier Church of Christ publication that answered the question “What Must I Do to Be Saved” with the “being saved” answer of “you must, by God’s help, continue in his service unto death” (Centerville Messenger, published by the Church of Christ, Centerville TN)

Hugh Pyle gives an interesting response to the Church of Christ’s “being saved” plan of salvation.

Strange they would boisterously declare that they, alone, had the truth concerning the way to Heaven when none of them know they are going there!”
(Dr. Hugh F. Pyle, The Truth about the “Church of Christ”, p. 11)

Sprinkled throughout the NCV is the Church of Christ’s “being saved” plan of salvation. Salvation is turned into a process rather than a completed work at Calvary by the blood of Jesus Christ.

Acts 2:47, KJB
Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Acts 2:47, NCV
They praised God and were liked by all the people. Every day the Lord added those who were being saved to the group of believers.

1 Corinthians. 1:18, KJB
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians. 1:18, NCV
The teaching about the cross is foolishness to those who are being lost, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 15:2, KJB
By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:2, NCV
And you are being saved by it if you continue believing what I told you. If you do not, then you believed for nothing.

2 Corinthians 2:15-16, KJB
15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?

2 Corinthians 2:15-16, NCV
15 Our offering to God is this: We are the sweet smell of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are being lost.
16 To those who are lost, we are the smell of death that brings death, but to those who are being saved, we are the smell of life that brings life. So who is able to do this work?

In other places, such as 1 Peter 2:2 and Philippians 2:12, the NCV openly teaches the Church of Christ cult’s salvation by works.

1 Peter 2:2, KJB
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

1 Peter 2:2, NCV
As newborn babies want milk, you should want the pure and simple teaching. By it you can grow up and be saved,

Philippians 2:12, NCV
My dear friends, you have always obeyed God when I was with you. It is even more important that you obey now while I am away from you. Keep on working to complete your salvation with fear and trembling,

Philippians 2:12, KJB
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Does the NCV bear the “marks” of the Church of Christ?

You’d better believe it does!

And that’s not all. . .


The NCV many times removes and obscures the direct application to the written Word of God. “My words” is changed to “words I have said”.

Matthew 24:35, KJB
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Matthew 24:35, NCV
Earth and sky will be destroyed, but the words I have said will never be destroyed.

Mark 13:31, KJB
Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

Mark 13:31, NCV
Earth and sky will be destroyed, but the words I have said will never be destroyed.

In Matthew 4:4, the clear reference to the written word, “every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” is changed to “. . . everything Godsays.”

Matthew 4:4, KJB
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Matthew 4:4, NCV
Jesus answered, “It is written in the Scriptures, ‘A person does not live by eating only bread, but by everything God says.'”

The “word” is changed to “teaching” or “message”. Again, plainly diminishing the written word of God. This also bears the “mark” of the Church of Christ cult, who emphasizes following the “teachings” of Christ, rather than simply believing the Word. Look at the destructive changes just in Matthew 13:19-23:

Matthew 13:19-23, KJB
19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Matthew 13:19-23, NCV
19 What is the seed that fell by the road? That seed is like the person who hears the message about the kingdom but does not understand it. The Evil One comes and takes away what was planted in that person’s heart.
20 And what is the seed that fell on rocky ground? That seed is like the person who hears the teaching and quickly accepts it with joy.
21 But he does not let the teaching go deep into his life, so he keeps it only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the teaching he accepted, he quickly gives up.
22 And what is the seed that fell among the thorny weeds? That seed is like the person who hears the teaching but lets worries about this life and the temptation of wealth stop that teaching from growing. So the teaching does not produce fruit in that person’s life.
23 But what is the seed that fell on the good ground? That seed is like the person who hears the teaching and understands it. That person grows and produces fruit, sometimes a hundred times more, sometimes sixty times more, and sometimes thirty times more.”

James 1:21, KJB
Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

James 1:21, NCV
So put out of your life every evil thing and every kind of wrong. Then in gentleness accept God’s teaching that is planted in your hearts, which can save you.

1 Peter 2:2, KJB
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

1 Peter 2:2, NCV
As newborn babies want milk, you should want the pure and simple teaching. By it you can grow up and be saved,

The written Word is diminished in the NCV by changing the “New Testament” to the “New Agreement” (6 times). If the staff of the New Century Version REALLY believes New Testament should be changed to New Agreement then why does the cover of the NCV New Testament read New Testament rather than New Agreement? (see Picture on right) Hmm…? Can you say hypocrite? Reminds me of the words of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 7:5, “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” (PIC)

Matthew 26:18, KJB
For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Matthew 26:18, NCV
This is my blood which is the new agreement that God makes with his people. This blood is poured out for many to forgive their sins.

Mark 14:24, KJB
And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.

Mark 14:24, NCV
Then Jesus said, “This is my blood which is the new agreement that God makes with his people. This blood is poured out for many.

Luke 22:20, KJB
Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

Luke 22:20, NCV
In the same way, after supper, Jesus took the cup and said, “This cup is the new agreement that God makes with his people. This new agreement begins with my blood which is poured out for you.

2 Corinthians 3:6, KJB
Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

2 Corinthians 3:6, NCV
He made us able to be servants of a new agreement from himself to his people. This new agreement is not a written law, but it is of the Spirit. The written law brings death, but the Spirit gives life.

Hebrews 9:15, KJB
And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

Hebrews 9:15, NCV
For this reason Christ brings a new agreement from God to his people. Those who are called by God can now receive the blessings he has promised, blessings that will last forever. They can have those things because Christ died so that the people who lived under the first agreement could be set free from sin.

The laugh of the year is found in 2 Corinthians 2:17, especially coming from the multi-million dollar empire of Thomas Nelson Publishers. The NCV changes “. . . corrupt the word of God. . .” to “We do not sell the word of God for a profit as many other people do”. What a riot!

2 Corinthians 2:17, KJB
For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

2 Corinthians 2:17, NCV
We do not sell the word of God for a profit as many other people do. But in Christ we speak the truth before God, as messengers of God.

Speaking of money. . . 1 Timothy 6:10 is no longer “the root of all evil”, but simply “causes all kinds of evil”.

1 Timothy 6:10, KJB
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

1 Timothy 6:10, NCV
The love of money causes all kinds of evil. Some people have left the faith, because they wanted to get more money, but they have caused themselves much sorrow.


The following 16 verses are completely removed from the text of the New Century Version!


Matthew 17:21 Matthew 18:11 Matthew 23:14 Mark 7:16
Mark 9:44 Mark 9:46 Mark 11:26 Mark 15:28
Luke 17:36 Luke 23:17 John 5:4 Acts 8:37
Acts 15:34 Acts 24:7 Acts 28:29 Romans 16:24

The Bible says in Luke 4:4, “. . .man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”

Luke 4:4, KJB
And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

Guess what? The NCV even removes the last half of Luke 4:4 – “but by every word of God.”!

Luke 4:4, NCV
Jesus answered, “It is written in the Scriptures: ‘A person does not live by eating only bread.'”

To make matters worse. . . Luke 4:4 is the Lord Jesus Christ quoting Deuteronomy 8:3. Does the perpetrators of the NCV do not believe the Lord Jesus knows Deut. 8:3?

The Lord gives three very clear warnings against “adding and taking away” from His Word.

Deuteronomy 4:2 reads: “YE SHALL NOT ADD unto the word which I command you, NEITHER SHALL YE DIMINISH ought from it . . .”

Proverbs 30:6, reads, “ADD THOU NOT unto his words . . .”

And just in case you missed it, GOD’S LAST WARNING is Revelation 22:18,19:

“. . . IF ANY MAN SHALL ADD unto these things. . . And if any man shall TAKE AWAY FROM THE WORDS of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life. . .”

Despite these clear warnings, the NCV takes out and adds text, over and over! One of the greatest verses in all the Bible, Matthew 18:11: “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” – the NCV takes it out!


The fundamental of fundamentals is the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. The fact that Jesus Christ was God manifest in the flesh, is the foundation of the Christian faith. Everything builds upon that. If the deity of Jesus Christ is attacked or even confused, the Christian faith crumbles.

One of the major sins of the new PERversions is the confusion, dilution and out right denial of the deity of Jesus Christ. And the NCV travels down this perilous path of perversion.

Several times the King James Bible plainly states that Jesus Christ is the “image of God”. The NCV changes the clear “image of God” to the diluted and confusing “exactly LIKE God”. Jesus Christ is no longer God but simply “like” God.

2 Corinthians 4:4, KJB
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who isthe image of God, should shine unto them.

2 Corinthians 4:4, NCV
The devil who rules this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe. They cannot see the light of the Good News–the Good News about the glory of Christ, who is exactly like God.

Colossians 1:14-15, KJB
14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

Colossians 1:14-15, NCV (Notice the NCV removes “through his blood”
14 The Son paid for our sins, and in him we have forgiveness.
15 No one can see God, but Jesus Christ is exactly like him. He ranks higher than everything that has been made.

“Like” God? Does that sound familiar? The “like God” title is also the goal of Lucifer in Isaiah 14:14!

Isaiah 14:12-14
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

In Hebrews 1:3, Jesus Christ is no longer the “brightness of God’s glory” but simply “reflects the Glory of God”. The clear and dogmatic phrase “. . .the express image of his [God] person” is now downgraded to simply “exactly what God is like. . .” Why would a Christian do this?

Hebrews 1:3, KJB
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Hebrews 1:3, NCV
The Son reflects the glory of God and shows exactly what God is like. He holds everything together with his powerful word. When the Son made people clean from their sins, he sat down at the right side of God, the Great One in heaven.

Colossians 2:9 clearly states the Lord Jesus is “all the fullness of the Godhead bodily”. Plainly, testifying to the deity of Jesus Christ – the Godhead bodily. Again the NCV denies the deity of the Lord Jesus by stating, “God lives in Christ fully (even when Christ was on earth)” — clearly SEPARATING the Lord Jesus from God!

Colossians 2:9-10, KJB
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

Colossians 2:9-10, NCV
9 All of God lives in Christ fully (even when Christ was on earth),
10 and you have a full and true life in Christ, who is ruler over all rulers and powers.

1 Timothy 3:16 is probably the clearest verse in the Bible asserting that Jesus Christ was “God manifest in the flesh”. The NCV changes it to the trivial “He was shown to us in a human body “. Who is “he”? He is a pronoun that requires a noun to qualify it. There is no noun in the context! He could be anybody!

1 Timothy 3:16, KJB
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

1 Timothy 3:16, NCV
Without doubt, the secret of our life of worship is great: He was shown to us in a human body, proved right in spirit, and seen by angels. He was preached to those who are not Jews, believed in by the world, and taken up in glory.

Again (and again…) the NCV changes the clear statement of Philippians 2:6 testifying that Jesus Christ was “equal with God” to the confusing “. . . he did not think that being equal with God was something to be used for his own benefit.”

Philippians 2:6-7, KJB
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Philippians 2:6-7, NCV
Christ himself was like God in everything. But he did not think that being equal with God was something to be used for his own benefit.
7 But he gave up his place with God and made himself nothing. He was born to be a man and became like a servant.


As all faithful PERversions do, the redeeming blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is attacked, removed, or diluted.

The message of the “the innocent blood” of Jesus Christ from the mouth of Judas, testifying of the sinless, blood-atonement of the Lord Jesus, is changed to the frivolous “innocent man”. Notice also the definite “THE innocent blood” is changed to the indefinite “AN innocent man”. There are many “an innocent man” but there is only ONE “THE innocent blood”.

Matthew 27:4, KJB
Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.

Matthew 27:4, NCV
saying, “I sinned; I handed over to you an innocent man.” The leaders answered, “What is that to us? That’s your problem, not ours.”

Pilate’s confirmation of the sinless Lord Jesus in Matthew 27:24 is also removed in the NCV. Pilate’s “blood of this just person” is now simply “this man’s death”.

Matthew 27:24-25, KJB
24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.

Matthew 27:24-25, NCV
24 When Pilate saw that he could do nothing about this and that a riot was starting, he took some water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. Then he said, “I am not guilty of this man’s death. You are the ones who are causing it!”
25 All the people answered, “We and our children will be responsible for his death.”

Acts 20:28 is one of the greatest verses in the Bible. And the NCV does a “double-wammy” to Acts 20:28. The NCV removes “the blood” and at the same time adds the word “son” thus diluting the clear reference to the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Again, there is no Greek evidence for such a change.

Acts 20:28, KJB
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Acts 20:28, NCV (Attacks the deity and also removes the blood)
Be careful for yourselves and for all the people the Holy Spirit has given to you to care for. you must be like shepherds to the church of God, which he bought with the death of his own son.

Many times the passion of the “blood” of the Lord Jesus Christ is diluted by adding the words “of death” to the message of the blood. By adding the words “of His death”, etc. the “blood” is no longer the OBJECT but a modifier of “death”. Clearly clouding the emphasis the Holy Spirits gives to the blood. There is no Greek evidence for adding “death”.

Matthew 27:6, KJB
And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.

Matthew 27:6, NCV
The leading priests picked up the silver coins in the Temple and said, “Our law does not allow us to keep this money with the Temple money, because it has paid for a man’s death.”

Romans 3:25, KJB
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

Romans 3:25, NCV
God gave him as a way to forgive sin through faith in the blood of Jesus’ death. This showed that God always does what is right and fair, as in the past when he was patient and did not punish people for their sins.

Romans 5:9, KJB
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Romans 5:9, NCV
So through Christ we will surely be saved from God’s anger, because we have been made right with God by the blood of Christ’s death.

Ephesians 1:7, KJB
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Ephesians 1:7, NCV
In Christ we are set free by the blood of his death, and so we have forgiveness of sins. How rich is God’s grace,

Ephesians 2:13, KJB
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Ephesians 2:13, NCV
But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away from God are brought near through the blood of Christ’s death.

Colossians 1:20, KJB
And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Colossians 1:20, NCV
And through Christ, God has brought all things back to himself again–things on earth and things in heaven. God made peace throughthe blood of Christ’s death on the cross.

Hebrews 10:19, KJB
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

Hebrews 10:19, NCV
So, brothers and sisters, we are completely free to enter the Most Holy Place without fear because of the blood of Jesus’ death.

Revelation 1:5, KJB
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

Revelation 1:5, NCV
and from Jesus Christ. Jesus is the faithful witness, the first among those raised from the dead. He is the ruler of the kings of the earth. He is the One who loves us, who made us free from our sins with the blood of his death.

Revelation 5:9, KJB
And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

Revelation 5:9, NCV
And they all sang a new song to the Lamb: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were killed, andwith the blood of your death you bought people for God from every tribe, language, people, and nation.

Revelation 12:11, KJB
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Revelation 12:11, NCV
And our brothers and sisters defeated him by the blood of the Lamb’s death and by the message they preached. They did not love their lives so much that they were afraid of death.


The ICV and the NCV were maong the first gender-neutral, non-male, pro-feminist, Bibles. Authors Vern Poythress and Wayne Grudem, write in The Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy concerning the NCV and ICV:

“The earliest complete translations of the Bible to adopt a gender-neutral translation policy were apparently the New Century Version (NCV) and the International Children’s Bible (ICB), both published by Word publishing Company.”
(Vern S. Poythress & Wayne A. Grudem, The Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy, Muting the Masculinity of God’s Words, p. 9)

The International Children’s Version was the first mainstream Bible to go gender-neutral-feminist. There was absolutely nothing in the preface of the ICV that warned the parents of the politically-correct, gender-neutral, feminist agenda. It is very troubling the ICV was an undercover-gender-neutral production aimed at our very young children.

The International Children’s Bible was promoted and given away by the Billy Graham Crusade. It was also used in the Adventures in Odyssey Bible, a partnership between James Dobson, Focus on the Family and Word Publishing.

In order to neuter the ICB and NCV into a anti-male, pro-feminist, politically-correct PERversion — thousands and thousands of clear masculine-gender verbs in the God-inspired Greek text, were intentionally mis-translated.

  • The NCV removes the male pronoun “he” 791 times!
  • The NCV removes the male pronoun “him” 936 times!
  • The NCV removes the male pronoun “his” 238 times!
  • The NCV removes the word “man” 230 times!
  • The NCV removes the word “men” 219 times!
  • And the word “mankind” is completely removed!


One of the major problems facing America today is fatherless families. Today, fathers are an endangered species. It’s gotten so bad, President Bush and Congress have proposed “buy back the fathers” programs offering cash incentives just to encourage fathers to marry.

The father’s role in a family can not be overemphasized.

Look at the following alarming statistics:

  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.
    [U. S. D.H.H.S. Bureau of the Census]
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
  • 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes.
    [Center for Disease Control]
  • 80% of rapist motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes.
    [Criminal Justice and Behavior, Vol. 14 p. 403-26]
  • 72% percent of adolescent murders come from fatherless homes.
    [William J. Bennett, The Index of Leading Cultural Indicators, p. 61]
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.
    [National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools]
  • 70% of juveniles in state operated institutions come from fatherless homes
    [U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept., 1988]
  • 70 percent of long-term prison inmates come from fatherless homes.
    [William J. Bennett, The Index of Leading Cultural Indicators, p. 61]
  • 85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home.
    [Fulton County Georgia Jail Populations and Texas Dept. of Corrections, 1992]
  • Nearly 2 of every 5 children in America do not live with their fathers.
    [US News and World Report, February 27, 1995, p.39]
    Fatherless children are:
  • 4.6 times more likely to commit suicide,
  • 6.6 times to become teenaged mothers (if they are girls, of course),
  • 24.3 times more likely to run away,
  • 15.3 times more likely to have behavioral disorders,
  • 6.3 times more likely to be in a state-operated institutions,
  • 10.8 times more likely to commit rape,
  • 6.6 times more likely to drop out of school,
  • 15.3 times more likely to end up in prison while a teenager.

A Heritage Foundation study found that growing up without a father is now the single most reliable predictor of crime.

Louis Sullivan, former secretary of Health and Family Services, said, “Male absence from family life is the greatest challenge of our generation.”

The National Organization for Women (N.O.W) leaves no doubt to the feminist opinion of fathers. A December 3, 1999 N.O.W., Action Alert included this statement, “It’s a father’s presence, not his absence, that is harmful to kids.” www.alliance4lifemin.org/herestoyoudad.html

And following the feminist script to the letter — the NCV removes “father” an unbelievable 492 times! What do they have against fathers? Is “father” such an archaic outdated, word? Or is “father” too hard to understand?

And what “easy to read” (the primary purpose of the NCV and ICV) word do they replace our “fathers” with? 51 times the NCV replaces the simple, easy-to-read and understand “father” with the harder word “ancestor”.

Here’s an example of the “father-less ancestor” of the NCV in Acts 7:2

Acts 7:2
Stephen answered, “Brothers and fathers, listen to me. Our glorious God appeared to Abraham, our ancestor, in Mesopotamia before he lived in Haran.

Acts 7:2
And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,

The Greek word for “father” is “pater”. And “pater” is the direct descendent to our English word “father”. The etymology of “father” is Middle English fader, Old English f[ae]der; to Old German fater father, Latin pater, Greek patEr. In fact, the Latin word for “father” is the Greek “pater”.

To translate “pater” to “ancestor”, etc. is a deliberate MIS-translation to line up with politically correct, feminist agenda.


To line up with the politically-correct, feminist agenda the NCV completely divorces itself from the word “brethren”.

Most of the time the NCV replaces the word “brethren” with the words “brothers and sisters”. But there’s one little problem – just a little one — there is no known Greek manuscript on the planet with the Greek word “sisters” where “brethren” appears! But when did the Greek evidence ever affect the modern day Bible translators.

The NCV intentionally adds “sisters” to the God-given Greek text 118 times!

A few examples of the NCV “sisters” folly:

Notice, the first verse is a MIS quote of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 23:8, KJB
But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

Matthew 23:8, NCV
“But you must not be called ‘Teacher,’ because you have only one Teacher, and you are all brothers and sisters together.

Acts 3:17, KJB
And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.

Acts 3;17, NCV
Brothers and sisters, I know you did those things to Jesus because neither you nor your leaders understood what you were doing.

Acts 6:3, KJB
Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

Acts 6:3, NCV
So, brothers and sisters, choose seven of your own men who are good, full of the Spirit and full of wisdom. We will put them in charge of this work.


The NCV completely removes the word “fornication” (44 times).

Many times the NCV replaces the clear, definite, word fornication with vague, subjective, terms such as “sexual sins”, “sin sexually”, “any kind of sexual sin”. The big problem with such re-definitions (in addition that they are contrary to the Greek text) they are subjectively based on the reader’s “definition” of “sexual sin”. Ask 50 people what is a “sexual sin” and you’ll get 50 different answers, especially among teenagers. Who can forget the Bill Clinton fiasco and just what IS “sex”. No one misunderstands the word “fornication”.

A few examples of the NCV’s “sexual sins”:

Acts 15:20, KJB
But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

Acts 15:20, NCV
Instead, we should write a letter to them telling them these things: Stay away from food that has been offered to idols (which makes it unclean), any kind of sexual sin, eating animals that have been strangled, and blood.

1 Corinthians 6:18, KJB
Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

1 Corinthians 6:18, NCV
So run away from sexual sin. Every other sin people do is outside their bodies, but those who sin sexually sin against their own bodies.

Ephesians 5:3, KJB
But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

Ephesians 5:3, NCV
But there must be no sexual sin among you, or any kind of evil or greed. Those things are not right for God’s holy people.


Besides three references to Mary (to please the Roman Catholics?), the NCV completely removes the word “virgin” from the New Testament (12 times). Is “virgin” an archaic, out-dated, hard to understand word? If anything, we ought to be adding more “virgins” rather than removing them! That’s exactly what our young people do not need – removing “virgins”. I wonder. . . Does the NCV and staff have a problem with “virgins”?

A few instances of the NCV’s removing “virgins”.

1 Corinthians 7:25, 28, 34, 36, 37 KJB
25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful
. . .
28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.
. . .
34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
. . .
36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.
37 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.
1 Corinthians 7:25, 28, 34, 36, 37 NCV
25 Now I write about people who are not married. I have no command from the Lord about this; I give my opinion. But I can be trusted, because the Lord has shown me mercy.
. . .
28 But if you decide to marry, you have not sinned. And if a girl who has never married decides to marry, she has not sinned. But those who marry will have trouble in this life, and I want you to be free from trouble.
. . .
34 He must think about two things–pleasing his wife and pleasing the Lord. A woman who is not married or a girl who has never married is busy with the Lord’s work. She wants to be holy in body and spirit. But a married woman is busy with things of the world, as to how she can please her husband.
. . .
36 If a man thinks he is not doing the right thing with the girl he is engaged to, if she is almost past the best age to marry and he feels he should marry her, he should do what he wants. They should get married. It is no sin.
37 But if a man is sure in his mind that there is no need for marriage, and has his own desires under control, and has decided not to marry the one to whom he is engaged, he is doing the right thing.

Acts 21:9, KJB
And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.

Acts 21:9, NCV
He had four unmarried daughters who had the gift of prophesying.

By the way. . . There is a HUGE difference between a “virgin” and simply “unmarried” or “not married”. Maybe the NCV staff needs the average teenager to explain the difference.


The NCV removes the word “gospel” 102 times. For some strange reason the NCV leaves the word “gospel” in only 2 places: Corinthians 9:13 and 2 Corinthians 11:4. Same Greek word. The NCV removes the “gospel” for the less authoritative and generic “good news”. If anyone believes “gospel” is archaic or hard to understand or outdated, a quick search at Amazon.com gives a gigantic 5491 hits.

A few “gospel-gone” examples:

1 Corinthians 15:1-2, KJB
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:1-2, NCV
1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want you to remember the Good News I brought to you. You received this Good News and continue strong in it.
2 And you are being saved by it if you continue believing what I told you. If you do not, then you believed for nothing.

Mark 16:15, KJB
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Mark 16:15, NCV
Jesus said to his followers, “Go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone.


One of the words the new PERversions go mad to remove is the word “hell”. Got to get rid of that hard to understand, archaic and outdated word “hell”. The NCV extinguishes hell 39 times.

In some instances the NCV replaces “hell” with “depths”. The NCV’s generic “depths” leave the reader hanging. Depths of what? Depths of the deep blue sea. . .? Depths of the human heart. . .? Doesn’t that clear everything up? It’s ironic, for a Bible whose primary goal is to make the Bible easier to understand, they make it harder to understand. But does not all the modern new versions do the same?

Matthew 11:23, KJB
And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

Matthew 11:23, NCV
And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to heaven? No, you will be thrown down to the depths. If the miracles I did in you had happened in Sodom, its people would have stopped sinning, and it would still be a city today.

But the NCV’s favorite choice for “hell’s” replacement is the generic “death”. To seriously equate an eternal, burning, flaming hell with death or the grave is laughable.

Matthew 16:18, KJB
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Matthew 16:18, NCV
So I tell you, you are Peter. On this rock I will build my church, and the power of death will not be able to defeat it.

Luke 16:23, KJB
And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

Luke 16:23, NCV
In the place of the dead, he was in much pain. The rich man saw Abraham far away with Lazarus at his side.

Revelation 1:18, NCV
I am the One who lives; I was dead, but look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys to death and to the place of the dead.

Revelation 1:18, KJB
I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.


In Psalm 23:14, the NCV turns the parents admonition to discipline their children to save their soul from hell to “save them from death”.

Psalm 23:14, KJB
Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

Psalm 23:14, NCV
If you spank them, you will save them from death.

C’mon. Disciplining your children will not “save them from death”! They will die – regardless. A direct contradiction to Hebrews 9:27!

Hebrews 9:27, KJB
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

How can anybody so pervert and distort the Word of God? No wonder people no longer believe the Bible is the Word of God – with these ridiculous PERversions polluting the land!

The NCV renders Psalm 9:17 into gibberish nonsense. From the “wicked shall be turned into hell. . .” they translate “Wicked people will go to the grave. . .” Hey – dummy. . . We ALL go to the grave! Not just the wicked.

Psalm 9:17, NCV
The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

Psalm 9:17, KJB
Wicked people will go to the grave, and so will all those who forget God.

In Isaiah 14:15, Lucifer is not longer brought “down to hell” but simply to “the grave”. Hmm. . . I wonder who would do that?

Isaiah 14:15, KJB
Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Isaiah 14:15, NCV
But you were brought down to the grave, to the deep places where the dead are.


Speaking of Lucifer, or should I say NOT speaking of Lucifer – because Lucifer is not in the NCV! One of the most disgusting betrayals to the Lord Jesus Christ occurs in Isaiah 14:12. The NCV magically transforms “Lucifer” into the “morning star”. And who is the “morning star”? You guessed it. . . The Lord Jesus Christ in Revelation 22:16! Wow! The NCV also says the “morning star” or the Lord Jesus, “fallen from heaven” Wow! That’s some pretty serious stuff!

Isaiah 14:12, KJB
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

Isaiah 14:12, NCV
King of Babylon, morning star, you have fallen from heaven, even though you were as bright as the rising sun! In the past all the nations on earth bowed down before you, but now you have been cut down.

Revelation 22:16, KJB
I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

There are many more problems inside the pages of the Church of Christ cult produced New Century Version.


He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. 
— John 12:48


Editor’s Note: There is a web support group for people who have left the hard-lined Church of Christ churches at:    http://ex-churchofchrist.com/index.htm

Is Homosexuality a sin for New Testament Believers?

[Does Jesus condemn or condone homosexuality?]

Article Written by L.Ray Smith

It may seem strange and even foolish that I should even ask such questions. Aren’t the Scriptures clear on this subject? Apparently not, if you listen to the many voices now embracing this life style. There are scholars and theologians who adamantly try to defend their homosexual life style based on the Scriptures.

While some do not believe that homosexual sex is even mentioned or described in Scripture, others freely admit that it is mentioned and was a capital crime under Moses, and strongly condemned by the Apostle Paul as being worthy of death. But among the latter it is argued that neither of these condemnations in the Old or the New Testaments applies to homosexual Believers in Christ. That is a twist we will examine carefully, as most have probably never heard of such a defense.

The purpose of this paper is not to single out or come down upon homosexuals. I have never written a paper entitled: “Is Stealing a Sin for New Testament Believers?” or, “Is Bearing False Witness a Sin?” or, “Is Murder a Sin?” So why “homosexuality? Because more and more, the media, entertainment, the government, the Church, the general population of America and much of the world, no longer believes it is a sin to be discriminated against, whereas even the basest of nations have laws against stealing, false witness, and murder.

So, my purpose here is not to judge, but to specifically establish whether homosexuality is a sin or not a sin for Believers in Christ under the New Covenant.

If it is not a sin, and these practices are normal and virtuous, then we should not be speaking or discriminating against them. But if it is a sin, then we should certainly speak out against it just as we should against adultery, idolatry, lying, stealing, etc. Let’s try and look at the Scriptural facts with unbiased, open minds. If we are interested in obedience to Jesus Christ then we should be eager to know the truth one way or the other.

Most homosexuals do not argue with Lev. 20:13:

“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

They concede that this verse is speaking of homosexuality-sex between members of the same gender. Their argument is that it no longer applies to them as Believers in Christ under the New Covenant, stating that they are no longer under the law of Moses.

It is beyond the scope of this paper to go into what is meant by no longer being “under the law.” But I will give just a few comments concerning whether Lev. 20:13 is still binding on Christian Believers.



Over the years I have received some bizarre reasons from the gay community regarding why they don’t think homosexuality is a sin. Here is an example I received this week from a self-professed lesbian:


“Also, don’t you find it interesting that when Jesus walked the earth, he never once brought up the subject? If it was such a sin, it would be one of the Ten Commandments, don’t you think?”

No, I don’t think so at all. Lev. 20:13 does not need to be one of the Ten Commandments before it has any jurisdiction over Christian Believers.

Jesus did not address child-molestation either; neither is it one of the Ten Commandments. Neither did Jesus address drug abuse, nor pornography, smoking, spousal abuse, or torture. Does this fact therefore condone such sins and atrocities? Are we to assume therefore that none of these are wrong or sinful? I hope we are not foolish enough to believe that if something is not mentioned in the Bible, then it shouldn’t be considered a sin.

Listen: One of the Ten Commandments was against “stealing.” But stealing did not carry the death sentence. Yet witchcraft (not one of the Ten Commandments) did carry the death sentence (Lev. 20:27). Having sexual intercourse with an animal carried the death sentence for both men and women (Lev. 20:15-16).

Who among us would deign to suggest to their children that having sex with farm yard animals is now okay since it is not condemned in the New Testament by Jesus, neither is one of the Ten Commandments? When all else fails, try a little common sense and basic morality.



The actual words “homosexual” and “lesbian” are not found in the Scriptures. The word “homosexual” is reported to be a German invention to euphemize and take the place of the distasteful word “sodomite.” Although the word “sodomy” as used today may not even have a direct connection with the sexual sins of historical Sodom.

While the Scriptures do not speak to us in crude street language, describing the actual mechanics of homosexual acts, nonetheless, the practice of same sex lust assuredly is mentioned and condemned in Scripture as a sin that needs to be repented of just as idolatry, adultery, stealing, murder, and all sins.

The word homosexual is applied to both men and women whose sexual preference is with one of the same gender. Male homosexuals are generally called “gay” or “gay men,” while female homosexuals are generally called “gay women” or “lesbians.”

Most gay men will acknowledge that male homosexuality is mentioned in Scripture. What may be alarming to many of my readers is that while they concede that it is mentioned and talked about, they deny that it is categorically a sin. On the other hand, many argue that gay women or lesbianism are not mentioned in Scripture at all. I will briefly comment on the one main Old Testament Scripture forbidding homosexuality. Below is an excerpt from the gaychurch.org web site regarding Lev. 18:22 & 20:13.

Professor Soards tells us:


“Old Testament experts view the regulations of Leviticus as standards of holiness, directives for the formation of community life, aimed at establishing and maintaining a people’s identity in relation to God.” This is because God was so determined that His people who were being formed into a new nation would not adopt the practices of the Baal worshipers in Canaan, and same-gender sex was part of Baal worship

Even if we consider that morality was a factor in this rule, it is part of the Code, and when the Code became obsolete, as it is under Christ, that rule, as part of the Code, became obsolete. These verses in Leviticus have nothing to say to us today beyond the eternal principle of the need for purity in the worship of God. If the immorality expressed in them happens to be a principle for all time, then it will be found elsewhere in the Bible. (For heterosexuals it is found in Roman 1 which clearly condemns same-gender sex by heterosexuals. There is nothing in the Bible to support any finding about homosexuals.)” By Bruce Lowe Appendix B: Bible Passages on Same-Gender Sex (Underline emphasis is mine)

Just a couple of comments: Clearly it is admitted that same gender sex was condemned under Moses (being punishable by death), and that it was a practice of “Baal worship.” And so it suggested that homosexuality was not inherently wrong, but rather it was wrong because it was practiced in the worship of Baal.

Apparently, had not the pagans used homosexuality in their worship of Baal, God would have allowed it. I think not.

It is then suggested that since homosexuality was a part of the things forbidden under the law of Moses (which they call “the Code”), but Christian Believers are not under the Code, but under Christ, therefore, “the Code became obsolete.”

Well I have already commented on the absurdity of this with regarding things like bestiality, which I seriously doubt they would condone under this same “became obsolete” argument.

So what is the argument for not following the admonition of Paul regarding same gender sex in Rom. 1:26-27? Well you just read it:

(For heterosexuals it is found in Romans 1 which clearly condemns same-gender sex by heterosexuals. There is nothing in the Bible to support any finding about homosexuals.)”

Now I must admit that statement overwhelms me. Since it cannot be denied that Paul is speaking of same gender sex in Rom. 1:26-27, what are they to do? Well, they dogmatically state that Paul is not condemning homosexuality sex between homosexuals, but rather they state that Paul is CONDEMNING HOMOSEXUAL SEX BETWEEN HETEROSEXUALS! Is that not akin to suggesting that it is not wrong for alcoholics to get drunk, but rather it is wrong for NON-ALCOHOLICS to get drunk?

We will now see whether the Scriptures substantiate the above assertion that:

There is nothing in the Bible to support any finding about homosexuals.

We will first look at three sexual perversions closely allied with homosexuality.


“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators [Gk: paramours], nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [Gk: catamites], nor abusers of themselves with mankind [Gk: sodomites] nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God(I Cor. 6:9-10).

What are paramours, catamites, and sodomites?

paramours(King James, ‘fornicators’)-Strong’s #4205 pornos “to sell, a male prostitute (as venal), a debauchee (libertine): fornicator, whoremonger.”



prostitute: “one who solicits and accepts payment for sex” (American Heritage College Dictionary).

venal: “capable of betraying honor, duty, or scruples for a price, corruptible” (AHCD).

debauchee/debauchery: “to corrupt morally, to lead away from excellence or virtue, indulge in dissipation [lacking moral restraint, indulgence in sensual pleasure], orgies [unrestrained sexual activities],”

libertine: “one without moral restraint” (AHCD)

catamites(King James, ‘effeminate’)-Strong’s #3120 malakos “soft, fine clothing, a catamite, effeminate.”

catamite: “a boy who has a sexual relationship with a man” (AHCD).

effeminate: “having characteristics more often associated with women than a man” (AHCD).



sodomites(King James, ‘abusers of themselves with mankind’-Strong’s #733 arsenokoites “a sodomite, defile self with mankind.”

The elements of the Greek word arsenokoites are “male-lier”-A male who lies with a male. “Male bed partners”–Wycliffe Bible Dictionary.




“I wrote unto you in an epistle not to keep company with fornicators [Gk: ‘pornos‘-paramour/male prostitutes] …with such an one not to eat” (I Cor. 5:9-11).

“For this you know, that no whoremonger [Gk: pornos-paramour/male prostitute] …has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God” (Eph. 5:5).

“Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for …whoremongers [Gk: pornos-paramour/male prostitute] …and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine” (I Tim. 1:9-10).

“Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled, but whoremongers [Gk: pornos-paramour/male prostitute] and adulterers God will judge” (Heb. 13:4).

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers [Gk: pornos-paramour/male prostitute], and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone which is the second death” (Rev. 21:8).

“Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs and sorcerers, and whoremongers [Gk: parnos-paramour/male prostitute], and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loves and makes [practices] a lie” (Rev. 22:14-15).

“Be not deceived, neither …effeminate [Gk: malakos-catamite/boy with man sex] shall inherit the kingdom of God” (I Cor. 6:9-10).

“Be not deceived, neither …abusers of themselves with mankind [Gk: arsenokoites-sodomites/male bed partners/male-liers] shall inherit the kingdom of God” (I Cor. 6:9-10).

Paul states that none who continue to commit the sins listed above “shall inherit the kingdom of God.” These sins need to be repented of and put in the past. And that is what the chosen Few in these Gentiles churches were doing.

Notice Paul’s consolation to those who repented of these sinful deeds of the flesh:


“And such [unrighteous, fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, abusers of themselves with mankind, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, extortioners] WERE [past tense, but not now] some of you but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:11).

Next we will see whether the Scriptures actually and specifically speak of both male and female homosexuality. Here are a couple more statements from http://gaychurch.org:

“Clearly the passage [Rom. 1:26-27] is talking about people for whom sex with the opposite gender is “natural.” We call them “heterosexual.” There is nothing in this passage that relates to homosexual people.”

Conservative theologian Richard Hays says:

“No direct appeal to Romans 1 as a source of rules about sexual conduct is possible.”

We shall see.



“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even [1] their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also [2] the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense [penalty] of their error which was meet [due](Rom. 1:26-27).

There is a lot more contained in this verse than perceived in the eye of English.

First of all, all that is to follow in this dissertation by Paul comes under the general category of “vile affections.” The word vile in this verse is Strong’s #819 atimia, which means, “infamy, indignity, disgrace, dishonor, reproach, shame, vile.” And so the things of which Paul is going to speak, are things that are: infamous, indignant, disgraceful, dishonorable, reproachable, shameful, and vile. Not a pretty picture; not a dissertation on godly virtue and morality.



First Paul mentions:

“…their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature…”

Some foolishly bury their heads in the sand and suggest that nothing immoral is actually mentioned here. Does it sound to you that leaving the natural use of something and using it in a way that is against nature burning in their lust, is a good thing? No, I think not. Okay, but can we determine exactly what it is that was being misused and against nature? Yes, we certainly can.

We just saw that it has to do with affections that women have that are against nature. That is, against the nature of the proper use of something (‘did change the natural USE’). But what? Just what is that certain something that women change from the natural use of into something that is vile, disgraceful, and shameful? What is it that they are using disgracefully because of unnatural vile affections? I’ll now show you maybe more precisely than you really want to know, what it was that “…their women did change the natural use [of] into that which is against nature…”

Do we think Paul is referring to the improper use of their ears? Did they change the natural use of their eyes? Maybe it was their hands? Did these men and women in question here start using their feet in an unnatural way?

Whatever it was that the women were doing against nature, the men were likewise also doing the very same thing:

“And likewise also the men leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men…” (Verse 27).

What does Paul mean by “likewise also?” Simple, the Greek for “likewise” is homoios, and it means “similar,” “likewise.” The Greek for “also” is kai and it means “and, also, even, too, both indeed, likewise.”

 Interestingly, we have another verse of Scripture which also uses these same two Greek words and translates them the same:


“And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also [Gk: kai] to them likewise [Gk: homoios](Luke 6:31).

We are to treat others in a similar way, as we would want others to treat us. That is how these two words are used in Luke 6:31, and that is how they are used in Rom. 1:27. What the women were doing against nature, the men “likewise also” were doing “against nature.” Now then, what was it that they were doing?

The men who were doing likewise also as the women “burned in their lust one [man] toward another [man], MEN WITH MEN…” Okay, lest someone suggest that this is merely human companionship and doesn’t involve SEX, let’s continue and see just what parts of the human anatomy is being referenced here.



“…likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly…”

It is so easy when reading Scripture to not pay close attention to all the words. These five words “working that which is unseemly” are translated from only one Greek word, aschemosune, and this word is used only one other time in Scripture, which I will now show you so as to remove all doubt as to its meaning:


“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they SEE his shame [aschemosune](Rev. 16:15).


Here Jesus is using figurative language. In the same way someone is shamed by taking off all their clothing in public (so will those who do not spiritually watch for Jesus be spiritually shamed).

So what is it that people see when someone is naked? Why, for example, are there many topless beaches around the world where total nudity is not allowed? What shame [aschemosune] is made visible in Rev. 15:16 by walking naked? And what is it that is “working that which is unseemly [aschemosune]in Rom. 1:27? Some of you are already way ahead of me.

The King James translators have often chosen words of modesty, so as to not offend the sensitive reader.

Strong’s Greek Dictionary: “unseemly/shame” #808, aschemosune, “an indecency; by implication the pudenda: shame, which is unseemly.”

And just what is the “pudenda?”

The American Heritage College Dictionary: pudendum/ pl. pudenda n. “The human external genital organs, especially of a woman” (p. 1127). There it is.

It was the genital organs of the female that:


“…women did change the natural use into that which is against nature [women with women]: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman [and her genital organs], burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working [with each other’s genital organs] that which is unseemly” (Rom. 1:26-27).

I will not get anymore graphic than that.

Romans 1:26-27 is a very strong condemnation of the list of vile affections starting with sex between women with women, and men with men. And professing faith in the love and Sacrifice of Jesus Christ does not turn this perversion into a virtue.

When Isaiah tells us to:


“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins” (Isa. 58:1).

Should I just keep my mouth shut on this subject?

Few Christians believe that those who practice adultery, stealing, and lying will enter God’s Kingdom without repenting. But this is not the case with practicing homosexuals.

Speaking against homosexuality may soon become a hate crime law in which offenders will be prosecuted as criminals. Let’s take a closer Scriptural look at this subject while the law still allows it.



Let’s look at these verses on homosexuality by the Apostle Paul, in the context of this section of Scripture:


“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold [back] the truth in unrighteousness… Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves… For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which is meet.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are WORTHY OF DEATH, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them” (Rom. 1:18, 24, 26-32).

This is the largest single list of ungodliness, unrighteousness, sins, crimes, and corruption found anywhere in the entirety of the Scriptures, and notice that heading the list are:

to dishonor their own bodies between themselves”

“women did change the natural use into that which is against nature”

“men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men”

Paul concludes this list of carnal sins by stating: “they which commit such things are WORTHY OF DEATH” (as is every other sin mentioned). Now the very fact that the perpetrators of such sexual perversions deny they are sins, and large segments of society and government condone these sins, shows how morally decayed our nation is becoming.



In Politics and Government: Most Democratic presidential candidates recently spoke at a gay forum in which they unanimously gave approval to the homosexuals in America. There was a split over whether gays can legally marry partners of the same sex, but as for gay relationships and gay rights they received overwhelming support from these wanna-be presidents of the USA. Likewise it is reported that up to three-quarters of Americans support gay rights and civil unions, but half do not support gay marriage.

In Entertainment: TV dramas, situation comedies, and major films are now glamorizing the gay life. A recent film about two gay cowboys, entitled BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, received rave reviews, such as the following:

“This is simply one of the greatest love stories in film history.” (Film Focus)

“Brokeback Mountain is about as close to perfection as it’s possible to come in modern Hollywood.” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

In The Church: Chicago-“Flouting what they call a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, more than 80 gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered Lutheran ministers declared their sexuality on Tuesday in hopes of changing a church rule that excludes gay and lesbian clergy who do not live chastely.” Is such protesting effective:

Lutherans Vote To Allow Gay Clergy

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Saturday voted to refrain from disciplining clergy in committed same-sex relationships. (The Post Chronicle)

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – The largest U.S. Presbyterian Church body approved a measure on Tuesday that would open the way for the ordination of gays and lesbians under certain circumstances. (Reuters)

After Paul states “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections,” he gives us the following list of sins:


“…women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly… unrighteous, fornication, wicked, covetous, malicious, envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful…” (Rom. 1:27-31).

What justification, pray tell, is there in lifting out the first two sins: “…women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly…,” as being perfectly virtuous (if done out of what gays would call true love) while the rest of the sins remain sins?

By whose authority are the government, the media, and the Church rendering these sins as defendable and virtuous?

It is now both politically incorrect and socially incorrect to speak of these perversions as sin, and now (according to polls) the majority of Americans also either feels pressured, or just cannot see any immorality in homosexuality.

When immorality is condoned and even lauded, it spills over into every aspect of society. Even child rapists are getting off with little more than a slap on the hand and a few months probation. Such behavior in our judicial system forty or fifty years ago would have been outrageous, but few are showing much alarm over such judicial travesties today.

I am not condemning the sinners, but I am condemning the sin and the lax attitudes toward this sin. As Paul clearly states:

“…and such were some of YOU.”

How is it that Paul can state: “such weresome of you?


“For ALL HAVE SINNED and come short of the Glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).

God will pardon all of our sins, but they must be put in our past.

If I condoned my own past sins, I never would have repented of them.


“Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world… Among whom also we all had our conduct in times past in the lust of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh…” (Eph. 2:2-3).



“For ALL have sinned… Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are PAST, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (Rom. 3:24-26).


Now back up to the beginning of Romans 6:

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Rom. 6:1-2).

There is salvation available, and it is by grace, not our own personal works of righteousness, but we must first repent. This repentance is also by grace. It is a gift from God just like salvation itself. Once again, we are ALL in the same boat for we have ALL sinned.

Notice next what Paul says after his declaration against a list of 27 major sins. Paul’s statement that “…they which commit such things are worthy of DEATH,” does not end his declarations on this subject. We must continue into chapter 2:


“Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judges: for wherein you judge another, thou condemn yourself; for thou that judge do the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.

And think you this, O man, that judge them which do such things, and do the same, that thou shall escape the judgment of God? Or despise you the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leads thee to REPENTANCE?” (Rom. 2:1-4).

While “Christ died for our sins” (I Cor. 15:3), all sins that Jesus died for must be repented of or that person will not inherit the Kingdom of God, but will rather be raised up in Judgment. Christ dying for the sins of the world is not the final step with the issue of sin and sinners. The final step is to GET THE SIN OUT OF THE SINNER, and that is precisely what will happen, Christ “will judge the world in righteousness” (Acts 17:31) and the ungodly “will learn righteousness” (Isa. 26:9). Then and only then will “God be ALL in All” (I Cor. 15:28).

Here is one of the most sobering Scriptures in the entire New Testament:


And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (Luke 6:46).

Jesus Christ personally commissioned Paul to be the Apostle to the Gentiles. What Paul wrote to the churches was under divine inspiration of Jesus Christ. All of these profound life and death declarations of Paul are just as valid as if Jesus Himself declared them.



It has been foolishly stated that virtually anything is permissible including deviant sex, “As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.”

But what some can’t seem to realize is that it hurts them. Having sex with animals doesn’t hurt anyone else, but it sure hurts the one doing it. It is both a perversion of the body and a perversion of the mind.



Numerous species of animals have been seen performing sex on the same gender. Therefore, if this is a part of God’s own nature of things among some animals, then surely it is permissible among humans? Oh really? And since when are we to look to the beasts of the field for the proper interpretation of human morality?

Since animals kill and eat each other, does this set a moral standard for people to do the same?

Since numerous species kill and eat their own young, does this justify people killing and eating their own babies?



[In search of the elusive homosexual gene]

Numerous homosexuals have written me stating that God made them homosexuals, seeing that they were “born this way.”

Much of this research has been done by gays that have a vested interest in the outcome. Hence much of their research is in fact biased, as is admitted by those who favor homosexuality. Is there a homosexual gene which causes homosexuality, and has any such thing ever been scientifically proven?

There are hundreds and hundreds of web sites on this one aspect of homosexuality alone. Here are some quotations from the NARTH web site:

Volunteers from gay groups may only participate if they have a gay brother or sister. Even gay advocates such as J. Michael Bailey (in Bailey & Dawood, 1998) admit: “If, for example, a gay twin who sees an advertisement for a [twin] study may be less likely to call if his twin is heterosexual, this would cause concordance-dependent bias” (p. 10).

The “genetic and unchangeable” theory has been actively promoted by gay activists and the popular media. Is homosexuality really an inborn and normal variant of human nature? No. There is no evidence that shows that homosexuality is simply “genetic.” And none of the research claims there is. Only the press and certain researchers do, when speaking in sound bites to the public.

Occasionally you may read about a scientific study that suggests that homosexuality is an inherited tendency, but such studies have usually been discounted after careful scrutiny or attempts at replication. No one has found a single heredble genetic, hormonal or physical difference between heterosexuals and homosexuals – at least none that is replicable.While the absence of such a discovery doesn’t prove an inherited sexual tendencies aren’t possible, it suggests that none has been found because none exists

What the majority of respected scientists now believe is that homosexuality is attributable to a combination of psychological, social, and biological factors.

From the American Psychological Association:

“[M]any scientists share the view that sexual orientation is shaped for most people at an early age through complex interactions of biological, psychological and social factors.”

From “Gay Brain” Researcher Simon LeVay:

“At this point, the most widely held opinion [on causation of homosexuality] is that multiple factors play a role.”

From Dennis McFadden, University of Texas neuroscientist:

“Any human behavior is going to be the result of complex intermingling of genetics and environment. It would be astonishing if it were not true for homosexuality.”

From Sociologist Steven Goldberg:

I know of no one in the field who argues that homosexuality can be explained without reference to environmental factors.”

[Above quotations from NARTH web site (National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) All bold emphasis are theirs, not mine]

Here are a few quotations from THE NATIONAL VALUES COALITION:


Homosexual researchers Bailey and Pillard conducted the famous “twins study” quoted by homosexual activist groups to promote the idea that being “gay” is genetic. The study found that among those twins studied, the researchers found a rate of homosexuality of 52% (both twins homosexuals); 22% among non-identical twins; and a 9.2% rate among non-twins.

This was hailed by homosexual activists groups and by the media as supposedly proving that homosexuality is genetic. The study actually proved the opposite. As Byrd, et al, note: “This study actually provides support for environmental factors. If homosexuality were in the genetic code, all of the identical twins would have been homosexual.”

In short, the three most famous studies in recent years that homosexual activists use to claim that homosexuality is genetic prove no such thing. In fact, two of the authors of these studies admit their research has not proven a genetic basis to homosexuality. [bold is emphasis of The National Values Coalition-traditional values.org, Article: “Homosexual Urban Legends-BORN GAY”]

The Catholic Medical Association web site is helping to debunk the notion that individuals are “born gay.”



“There is no verifiable evidence that same-sex attraction is genetically determined. If same-sex attraction were genetically determined, identical twins would always have the same sexual attraction pattern. Numerous studies of twins have shown that this is not the case. And there are numerous studies documenting change of sexual attraction patterns.” (bold emphasis is by ‘Homosexuality and Hope,’ available at cathmed.org.

Although there are some agencies that still adhere to the “born gay” theory, some of their own advocates are not admitting error–there is no known gay gene. Even the Catholic Church who has had to deal with an un-surmountable plethora of sexual sins within their priesthood of recent years, cannot and do not attempt to blame such sexual perversion on genes or heredity which would lighten their burden in this matter enormously.

Interestingly I could find no web-page which discussed whether or not there is a reported gene for child molesters. Not one. And yet some of them also contend that they were “born pedophiles,” and at a very young age fantasized over having sex with little children. Homosexuality is not even in the same ball park with the gross perversion of pedophilia, yet both claim to be “born that way.” Should we lighten the burden; lighten the sentence; lighten the moral perspective of pedophiles because they CLAIM to be “born that way?” Nonsense. It is not a defense for the pedophile, and neither it is a defense for the homosexual.



When David acknowledged his sins of adultery and murder by having Bathsheba’s husband Uriah killed so he could then take Uriah’s beautiful wife Bathsheba in adultery, he didn’t repent toward Bathsheba, or Uriah, or even the nation of Israel, but rather said:

“Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight” (Psalm 51:4).

Although David was not a spiritually converted man (he died with murder in his heart, I Kings 2:1-9), he nonetheless, had the sense to know that it is God and not man who determines what is sin and what is righteousness. Any king of any nation has the right to send any soldier to the front line where he may well be killed, and then steal the man’s wife back home. But that doesn’t make it right in God’s eyes.

James informs us that:



“There is one Lawgiver Who is able to save and to destroy” (James 4:12).

God also inspired Isaiah to write:



“WOE unto them that call evil good and good evil… Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! …Which justify the wicked [Heb: rasha, ‘morally wrong] for reward…” (Isa. 5:20-21 & 23).

Did the Apostle Paul have totally different criteria than that of Isaiah? Was Paul’s condemnation of “women with women and men with men” an example of rasha(morally wrong), but somehow this same sin to Isaiah would be “good” and not “evil?” Nonsense.


The seventh commandment states: “You shall not commit adultery” (Ex. 20:14). It is generally thought that adultery means one partner of a marriage having sex with a third person. This is a narrow view of the commandment, however. Jesus plainly taught us the spiritual meaning of this commandment:



“You have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looks on a woman [Gk: gune, ‘a woman; a wife’] to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matt. 5:27-28).

The word gune can mean a wife, but it is also used many times to represent unmarried women.

So notice the profound implications of Jesus declaration: He quotes the Old Testament commandment against adultery and states that it applies to lusting after a women (not just physically intercourse). And not just someone’s wife, but any woman.

Now under Moses, the law against adultery applied equally to women who committed adultery against their husbands. And so, likewise, if a woman just “looks upon a man to lust after him,” she has committed adultery with him in her heart.

But does this include women lusting after women, and men lusting after men?”

Of course. Do we think that a man is not allowed to “lust” after a women (which can be legally married together), but it is perfectly okay for a man to “lust” after another man (which can not be legally married together)? And if you think the 7th commandment does not cover this sin, then I assure you that the 10th one does.



If you think that homosexuals don’t “LUST” for sex with the same gender, then I believe there is still some cheap swampland available in Florida.

THE 7th COMMANDMENT: Jesus said:



“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looks on a woman to lust [Gk: epithumeo, Neg. ‘covet, desire, lust after’] after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matt. 5:27-28).

Likewise, one breaks the 7th commandment if a woman lusts after a man, or a woman lusts after a woman, or a women lusts after a little boy, or a man lusts after a man, or a man lusts after a little boy, or a little girl. If the “lust” itself BREAKS the commandment, what in the world do we think the actual “act” BREAKS?

THE 10th COMMANDMENT: Paul said:

“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust [Gk: epithumia, ‘a longing (for what is forbidden), concupiscence {a strong sexual lust}, desire, lust’] except the law had said, You shall not covet [Gk: epithumeo, Neg. ‘covet, desire, lust after’](Rom. 7:7).

Okay then, if we can all walk and chew gum at the same time, we should not have a problem in putting these two Greek words together. Jesus said that “epithumeo-covet, desire, lust after” breaks the 7th commandment against adultery. And Paul said that the reason that “epithumia-a longing for what is forbidden, concupiscence {a strong sexual lust}, desire, and lust” is wrong is because the 10th commandment states “You shall not covetepithumeo, covet, desire, lust after.” But wait, there’s more.

The 10th commandment goes on to say:

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is your neighbor’s” (Ex.20:17).

Now then, let me spell it out for you: Believers in Christ Jesus are NOT to covet [epithumeo-“covet, desire, lust after”] his neighbor’s:

WIFE-neither men nor women are to covet one’s neighbor’s wife.

MANSERVANT-neither men nor women are to covet their neighbor’s manservant, whether they be 9 years old or 29 years old.

MAIDSERVANT-neither men nor women are to covet one’s neighbor’s maidservant, whether they are 9 years old or 29 years old.

OX OR ASS-neither men nor women are to covet one’s neighbor’s ox or ass whether for production of meat or to have sex with them.

The teaching of the Old Testament, the New Testament, the 7th commandment, the 10th commandment, the teachings of the Apostle Paul, and our Lord Jesus Christ, all condemn homosexuality as SIN. This subject is completely book-ended-there is no wiggle room left for justifying the practice of homosexuality in any form.

Does the Bible speak of “illegal sex” and “legal sex?” Yes, it does:


How are we to be sexually gratified? Here’s the Scriptural teaching.

“For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain [remain sexually pure and virtuous], let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn [Gk: puroo-‘inflamed with lust’](I Cor. 7:7-9).

So what would the homosexual say to this? Well at least some of them would totally agree. Why do you think that they are trying to get same-sex marriage legalized? Yes, they would agree with Paul-let’s get MARRIED.

Back up a few verses for God’s answer as to who should be married to whom:



“Nevertheless, to avoid fornication [Gk: porneia], let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband(I Cor. 7:2).

Paul gives only one answer to the problem of fornication, and it is for each man to have his wife and each woman to have her own husband. Does anyone see Paul suggesting an “alternative life style” in which fornication can be avoided? Does Paul suggest that porneia can be avoided by every man having his own husband, and every woman her own wife?

Paul knew about “women with women and men with men” when he wrote his epistle to the Romans (Rom. 1:26-27). Such unions against nature are clearly not acceptable solutions to burning with inflamed sexual emotions, and a way to “avoid fornication/porneia.” Peter warns against being willingly ignorant, and Paul sternly warns against “Believers” who “willfully sin?”



“For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries” (Heb. 10:26-27).

Paul could not have been more clear. To avoid the sin of porneia, we are to [1] MARRY, [2] MEN marry a WIFE, and [3] WOMEN marry a HUSBAND. Men marrying men and women marrying women are not legal options. Men and women who have vile affections, and BURN in their lust, women with women and men with men… are worthy of DEATH (Rom. 1:26-27 & 32).

How many homosexuals would dare insinuate that their passion for one another of the same gender is not “coveting/lust?” Are Believers to think that they can continue living in such sin and somehow be covered by the “the grace of God?”

Long after Christ’s resurrection and the introduction of faith, grace, and justification, Paul is still teaching that such burning affections for the same sex are VILE, and worthy of DEATH. And if you can’t contain, then get married-MEN TO WIVES AND WOMEN TO HUSBANDS.

Does anyone in their right mind believe that Paul would tell us: “To avoid sexual perversion,  you should enter into a union of sexual perversion?”


The ONLY way to avoid the sins of porneia if one cannot contain one’s inflamed desires, is to marry a mate of the opposite sex. When our Creator God Almighty inaugurated holy matrimony, He joined together Adam and Eve, not Kevin & Steve or Alice & Marie!

I know that some homosexuals are arrogant and try to justify their sin. Others hate their sin and wish to stop but can’t. We all make choices, and a choice is what we prefer. One may hate the fact that he is a smoker, yet, he “prefers” the feeling he gets from smoking over the feeling he doesn’t get when he runs out of cigarettes or tries to quit. To quit you must have a stronger reason for not doing something than you have for doing something. It’s all about motivation.

Sometimes just knowing that something is a sin is reason to quit. That is why I quit smoking. I knew it was not good for my health, it was dirty, it was annoying to others, and it was costly, etc. But I did not quit until I became convinced that is was sinning against God.

I enjoyed smoking a LOT when I quit. But sometimes it takes a doctor telling you that you will die if you don’t quit a particular life style. But the bottom line is, you won’t stop committing the sin unless and until God Almighty has determined that you will quit. And that is equally true for atheists, although they don’t know or won’t acknowledge that as yet.

Heterosexual men are just as weak when it comes to lusting after women, as homosexuals are when it comes to lusting after members of the same gender. The ONLY way that I know of to break these sins and have victory over them is for God to empower you with a greater motivation to live righteously than to live un-righteously. If what you desire to be is “good,” then there is only One Source:



“And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, It is the gift of God(Ecc. 3:13).


EVERY good gift and EVERY perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).

We will continue to pray for all those who desire to come out of the bondage and slavery of “…the sin which does so easily beset us….” (Heb. 12:1).