A biblical appraisal of the Mosaic Church Congress – Johannesburg (4-5 Sept. 2009) – Part 4
Session 3: Being a radical pilgrim and prophet – Stephan Joubert
A human-engineered Kingdom on earth
Beware of this man. He is radically wrong and a false prophet who is misleading hundreds, if not thousands, of people
Although the speakers did not always articulate the Kingdom of God in so many words, a human-centered and a human-engineered inauguration of the Kingdom of God was the main recurring feature of their presentations.
As such they merely maintained and upheld the central message, not of Jesus Christ the Son of the living God, but of a false Christ whose aim it is to establish his own kingdom on earth, a kingdom that includes all religions, and the common denominator to accomplish it is a contemplative lifestyle dominated by MEDITATION.
Am I being arduous in making such a claim? I don’t think so because the Jesus of the Bible never commanded his disciples to usher in or to establish his Kingdom on earth.
First of all, He would never have taught them to pray “Let thy Kingdom come,” signifying that prayer is the only thing his disciples are commanded to do in imploring Him to establish his Kingdom on earth. He alone can“let his Kingdom come.”
Secondly, when they asked Him “Lord, is this the time when You will establish the kingdom and restore it to Israel?” He inaugurated, not the Kingdom of God proper, but the age of grace which was to be proclaimed to all the nations.
He would never have said to them: “It is not for you to become acquainted with and know what time brings . . . which the Father has appointed . . . by His own choice and authority and personal power.” if He wanted them to usher in the Kingdom(Acts 1:6-7). God Himself has decreed that He will establish his Kingdom on earth at a time of his own choice, by his own authority and through his own personal power.
In point of fact, God being a God of great longsuffering deliberately postponed the inauguration of his Kingdom on earth when the Jewish people rejected their King so that the Gospel could be proclaimed to the entire Gentile world (Romans 11:11-12). This is precisely why Peter wrote “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
We are now living in the interim period where his disciples are supposed to proclaim the unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ so that God’s Kingdom principles may first be established in the hearts of repentant sinners, and so that they may ultimately inherit the Kingdom on earth and in heaven (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1).
Kingdom of God on earth on their own and in their own way
By trying to inaugurate the Kingdom of God on earth on their own and in their own way, the Emergent Church is downright disobedient to his command to go into all the world and make disciples of all the nations. On the contrary, they are not spreading the unadulterated Gospel so that lost sinners may find salvation in and through Jesus Christ, but another Gospel and another Jesus who is compatible with all religions. Brian Mclaren says here.
Dallas Willard also addresses this issue in “The Divine Conspiracy.” Atonement-centered understandings of the gospel, he says, create vampire Christians who want Jesus for his blood and little else. He calls us to move beyond a “gospel of sin management” – to the gospel of the kingdom of God. So, rather than focusing on an alternative theory of atonement, I’d suggest we ponder the meaning and mission of the kingdom of God.
Anyone who does not abide by God’s prerequisites with regard to his Kingdom are deliberately or unknowingly playing into the hands of Satan who is working overtime to establish his kingdom on earth with his ultimate false Christ (Antichrist) at the helm. One of the main tenets of the teaching of the emergent fraternity on the Kingdom of God is that we ought to focus on the here and now and not so much on eternity in heaven. The following is an excerpt from a YouTube clip where Brian McLaren said the following. (Please note, I linked to a YouTube video featuring John MacArthur, not because I endorse his doctrines (TULIP) but merely to show you that even Calvinists believe in a literal hell.) Brian McLaren said:
A lot of arguments happen about religious and non-religious people about the question of who is going to hell and who is going to heaven. A lot of times Christians get into this argument by saying, “We have the only way to heaven.”
People often ask me what do I think is the way to heaven. I have a problem when they ask me this question because it assumes that the primary purpose of Jesus’ coming and the primary message was a message about how to get to heaven.
Now, I think this is an important question. Obviously, mortality rates are still pretty high, so what happens to us after we die is still very, very important to all of us.
And I think that the answer the Christian faith gives to the question, how does a person get to heaven, is that a person gets to heaven not by being good enough, not by being smart enough, rich enough, not by your opinions or anything like that . . . that our only way to be accepted by God is by God’s love, by God’s grace and that’s something that we can’t earn or achieve; we just receive it and believe.
But I actually don’t think that Jesus’ primary message is focused on how to get to heaven (Emphasis added)
These sentiments are typical of the Emergent Church’s efforts to establish the Kingdom on earth without remaining true to God’s first prerequisite as to how to enter into his Kingdom, which is repentance through faith in Jesus Christ and his finished work on the cross of Calvary. Why would Jesus be prepared to die in agony and cry out “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachtani” (“My God, my God, why have your forsaken me”) if his primary message was not focused on how to get lost sinners into heaven?
Who is the liar here? — Jesus Christ who said “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost” or Brian McLaren who said “But I actually don’t think that Jesus’ primary message is focused on how to get to heaven.” I can assure those who follow Brian McLaren’s lies will certainly not see the Kingdom of God, unless they repent and believe Jesus’ real message.
In April of 2005, Rick Warren, speaking to 25,000 in attendance at Anaheim Stadium, encouraged his Purpose Driven supporters to partner with him to usher in the Kingdom of God on planet earth, right now. Quoting from his speech, he said:
I stand before you confidently right now and say to you that God is going to use you to change the world. Some will say, “That’s impossible,” but I heard that line 25 years ago, and God took seven people and started Saddleback Church. Now we have a new vision and a whole lot more people to start with. The great evangelist Dwight L. Moody said, “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him.” I’m looking at a stadium full of people who are telling God they will do whatever it takes to establish God’s Kingdom ‘on earth as it is in heaven (Emphasis added).
This false “Kingdom of God” is perhaps best described by Alice Bailey who admitted that she was telepathically inspired to write her books by a demonic entity called a “Master of Wisdom, initially referred to only as “the Tibetan,” or by the initials “D.K.,” later identified as “Djwhal Khul.” She made the following comments on the Kingdom of God.
“Your spiritual goal is the establishing of the Kingdom of God. One of the first steps towards this is to prepare men’s minds to accept the fact that the reappearance of the CHRIST is imminent. You must tell them everywhere that the Masters and Their groups of disciples are actively working to bring order out of chaos. You must tell them that there IS a Plan, and that nothing can possibly arrest the working out of that Plan.
You must tell them that the Hierarchy stands, and that it has stood for thousands of years, and is the expression of the accumulated wisdom of the ages. You must tell them above all else that God is love, that the Hierarchy is love, and that Christ is coming because He loves humanity.The Hierarchy waits. It has done all that is possible from the angle of the present opportunity.
The Christ stands in patient silence, attentive to the effort that will make His work materialise on Earth and enable Him to consummate the effort He made 2000 years ago in Palestine. The Buddha hovers over the planet, ready to play His part if mankind offers the opportunity to Him. Everything now depends upon the right action of the men of goodwill. (“The Reappearance of the Christ.” p.38)
The Tibetan [Djwhal Khul) has asked me to make clear that when he is speaking of the Christ he is referring to His official name as Head of the Hierarchy. The Christ works for all men irrespective of their faith; He does not belong to the Christian world any more than to the Buddhist the Mohammedan or any other faith. There is no need for any man to join the Christian Church in order to be affiliated with Christ. The requirements are to love your fellowmen lead a disciplined life, recognise the divinity in all faiths and all beings and rule your daily life with Love. (“The Externalisation of the Hierarchy” Ext. p.558)
It is alarming to see how many emergent clergy are acting out and promoting Helena P. Blavatsky’s and Alice Bailey’s teachings and no wonder because they both said that the “Christian Church” will play a major part in the final ushering in of the New World Order or New Dawn (the Aquarian Age). Indeed, not Christians of the old mould who believe that the Bible is the infallible, inerrant Word of God and that Jesus is the only Way to heaven, are going to act out this role but so-called Christ-followers who are supposedly found in all religions. Listen carefully to Helena P Blavatsky’s and Alice Bailey’s exposés on the Kingdom of God.
“Christ’s major task was the establishing of God’s kingdom upon earth. He showed us the way in which humanity could enter that kingdom …the way is found in service to our fellow men …”(Helena P. Blavatsky, “The New Cycle,” La Revue Theosophique Magazine, March 21, 1889)
“It is through supreme service and sacrifice that we become followers of Christ and earn the right to enter into His kingdom, because we do not enter alone.” (Alice Bailey, From Bethlehem to Calvary–Our Immediate Goal, Chapter Five – The Fourth Initiation,
“The need is for vision, wisdom and that wide tolerance which will see divinity on every hand and recognize the Christ in every human being.” (Alice Bailey, From Bethlehem to Calvary, Chapter Seven – Our Immediate Goal.
“The true Church is the kingdom of God on earth … composed of all, regardless of race or creed, who live by the light within, who have discovered the fact of the mystical Christ in their hearts.” (Alice Bailey, From Bethlehem to Calvary, Chapter Seven – Our Immediate Goal.
“ . . . Christian people are to recognize their place within a worldwide divine revelation and see Christ as representing all the faiths and taking His rightful place as World Teacher. He is the World Teacher and not a Christian teacher.… They may not call Him Christ, but they have their own name for Him and follow Him as truly and faithfully as their Western brethren.” (Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul, The Reappearance of the Christ, Chapter IV – The Work of the Christ Today and in the Future. (Read here)
The making of Christ-followers for the Kingdom
How do you make a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Jew, or a person of any other religious persuasion a Christ-follower without them having to abandon their own religions? Aside from the daunting task to muster them into a close unit of altruists on behalf of their fellowmen, the most common way amongst the Emergent Church fraternity is to repaint Jesus Christ’s character.
They do it by stripping Him ever so subtly of his deity and his redemptive work on the cross, and attributing to Him titles and names that are just as easily assignable to other ”holy” men in other religions. This is precisely what Stephan Joubert aimed to do at the Mosaic Congress.
When Jesus asked his disciples “Who do people say that I am?” and “ . . . who do you say that I am?” God the Father, let me repeat that, God the Father inspired Peter to answer the Lord: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Had Peter said anything else, such as “You are a sage, the Sophia, of the living God,” he would probably have said it without having been inspired by God the Father.
God inspired Peter to say what he had said because that description and that description of Jesus only was the eternally perfect one because it encompasses every single attribute of God’s character. The author of the letter to the Hebrews expounds on Peter’s description of Jesus when he says:
Hebrews 1:3 He is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the out–raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high. (Emphasis added)
Have you noticed the similarities between Peter’s description of Jesus and Hebrew’s magnanimous song of praise to Jesus Christ, “He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature” This nature does not only include God’s awesome wisdom (omniscience) but also his awesome holiness, purity or perfect spotlessness. Now listen carefully how Stephan Joubert demoted Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God to a mere sage (wisdom teacher or the rightful World Teacher as Alice Bailey calls him).
I would like to start off with the stories that you would read in Israel. If you were part of the tradition of Israel, there would be four major stories that Israelites would listen to. They grew up with four basic stories. The first one would be the story of creation. You will read this in the well-known books by Ron Martoia or all the other big New Testament and Old Testament scholars, Marcus Borg and people like that. They knew that, when an Israelite grew up, the first story that they knew was the creation story.
The second story that any Israelite would know, would be the Exodus . . . . The third story would be the priestly story. And perhaps there would be a fourth one – the story that we would spend some time with today and on, namely the wisdom tradition.
Now it is important to understand this . . . because stories work like this: the stories that you internalize, especially when they become life metaphors will be the stories that guide your life. And though you might know certain stories, it does not necessarily mean that it influences your life or that you live your life according to certain stories. The Israelite definitely [did] not live according to the creation story.
Let us pause here for a moment to scrutinize what Stephan Joubert says in the light of God’s Word. If the Israelite did not live according to the creation story or at least kept the core teaching of Genesis alive in their minds, their entire concept of the Fall and the subsequent consequences for the whole of mankind would have been compromised.
As a matter of fact, they would never have been able to link onto or understand the Exodus story which, in turn, is the perfect precursor of the priestly story because both emphasize the absolute necessity of the blood of an innocent victim in the act of redemption (the Exodus story) and sanctification (the priestly story).
For that particular reason Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus are inseparably linked if you focus your mind on the core teaching of all three the stories which is summarized in Hebrews 9:22: “And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and “without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Leviticus 17:11) (Emphasis added). The overriding link between Genesis (FALL), Exodus [REDEMPTIION} and Leviticus (SANCTIFICATION, PURITY, HOLINESS] is the shedding of the blood of an innocent victim as the following verses clrearly show.
Genesis 3: 7 and 21 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. . . . The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. [An innocent victim’s blood had to flow so that its skin could be used to cover their nakedness, a biblical metaphor for sin and lostness].
Exodus 10: 5 – 7 and 13 Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. . . . The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
Leviticus 16: 11, 14 and 16 Then Aaron shall offer the bull of the sin offering which is for himself and make atonement for himself and for his household, and he shall slaughter the bull of the sin offering which is for himself. . . . Moreover, he shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side; also in front of the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times. . . . He shall make atonement for the holy place, because of the impurities of the sons of Israel and because of their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and thus he shall do for the tent of meeting which abides with them in the midst of their impurities.
Stephan Joubert continued to say:
Yes, they [the Israelites] did use the story of the Exodus. They had their feasts, their three annual feasts that were organized around these stories. They would use some of the implications of those stories, but the story that won in the end, in Israel, was the priestly story. If you were born and raised an Israelite, you knew about holy – unholy, clean – unclean, pure – impure, in – out, us – them. This is the priestly story. It is all about purity. It is all about who is in and who is out. . . .
And now suddenly Jesus comes and you have the four dominant stories of Israel. You have the creation story. You have the exodus. You have the priestly story and the wisdom story. And interestingly enough, Jesus is not a reformer. He is not a reformer trying to reform some of the stories. Jesus does not link onto, particularly, the purity story, never at all. Jesus, if I might, may put it like this, Jesus links onto the, to wisdom. And if you understand this, it will change the entire understanding of Jesus. Jesus takes the fourth story of Israel, the story that did not win, the story that belonged to the upper classes: the story of wisdom. (Emphasis added)
Jesus optted for the story of the UPPERCLASSES? Really! And I have always thought that He came to preach the Gospel of salvation to the poor, the downtrodden and the underdogs.
Joubert’s examples of purification by means of certain rituals such as the washing of hands and the observance of the Sabbath to substantiate his supposition that Jesus never linked on to the purity story is very weak to say the least. In fact, he and Ithamar Grünewald, whom he quoted, make the very same mistake a large contingent of Israel had made when they believed that the strict observance of rituals incurred an inner purification. Ithamar Grünewald wrote:
“Rituals are believed to have the power to change things: a specific life condition, one’s status, and, to some extent, the very reality of things (for instance creating in, a religious context, a sacred time and place). This is the transformative power of rituals. Only in doing them, one can achieve what they are supposed to achieve.” (Rituals and Ritual theory in Ancient Israel. 2003)
It was precisely this erroneous belief that prompted Jesus to rebuke the Pharisees with these words:
Mark 7:15 Listen to Me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man.
Of course Jesus never linked onto this kind of nonsense, but Stephan Joubert would like you to think that his examples of the two abovementioned purification rites are typical of the rituals in Leviticus, thus making the priestly story which, according to Joubert, in the end was the story that won the day in Israel, completely incompatible with Jesus’ story of wisdom. Here’s how he put it:
If you were born and raised an Israelite, you knew about holy – unholy, clean – unclean, pure – impure, in – out, us – them. This is the priestly story. It is all about purity. It is all about who is in and who is out.
The major way of teaching that Jesus opts for, and these are typical aphorisms that He would use, is not purity – impurity, who is in – who is out, who is saved, who is not. The major form of teaching that Jesus would use would be wisdom. (Emphasis added)
Have you noticed Joubert’s subtle demotion of Jesus Christ from the Son of the living God to a sage who supposedly never linked onto the purity story in Leviticus but opted for the wisdom story in which no one is excluded because He supposedly never bothered about “who is saved [and] who is not?” What utter, utter nonsense!
Proverbs, the epitome of God’s wisdom to which Stephan Joubert often referred, explicitly declares that “he who is wise wins souls” (Proverbs 11:30). What Stephan Joubert purports to be wise is not wisdom at all but sheer foolishness. His entire eisegesis with regard to Jesus Christ’s attitude to the lost and the saved, is an outright denial of the primary purpose of his incarnation which is to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10).
It is the fool who cares not “who is saved and who is not.” It is the wise who dearly cares about the winning of souls so that those who are lost may be saved. There is only one conclusion to be made and that is that the emergent fraternity are not seekers after or followers after wisdom but fools who do not care who is lost and who is saved, and the most disturbing thing about this is that they are making a Christ after their own image — a false Christ who shuns purity and does not care who is saved and who is not. South Africa! What else do these false apostles and prophets need to teach you before you realize they are leading you along primrose paths into the darkest recesses of the abyss?
Voila! Jesus the Sage of God is no longer the Saviour of the World who cares about who is saved and who is not, but a wisdom teacher or The World Teacher who teaches you how to be a Christ-follower, irrespective of the religion you adhere to. And now you can better understand why Stephan Joubert could say such an unbiblical thing as the following.
It [the Emergent Church] involves people who have a passion to say [that] the world and its culture in our generation need to be won back to Christ. And therefore I am not going to criticise their culture but I’m going to engage it. Therefore, I’m not going to take on their spirituality and postulate my truths.
I’m going to listen to what they have to say because I can prove [to them] the truth ad infinitum as I did in the 1960’s, and I can debate with a Buddhist or a Hindu and sit there with them and say ‘here is my truth, here are my stuff.’ But now as an Emerging Church guy I will say [to them], let us listen . . . I’m not going to try and change you but you also have the right to hear how I feel and I’m not going to make any excuses for who I am. I’m not going to force my religion down your throat.
Have you noticed that the Emergent Church and Stephan Joubert plead for the world’s cultures to be won back to Christ and not individual lost sinners, and that the way and means to do it is not to preach the unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ but to engage those cultures? The word “engage” has several meanings but in this instance it means to “absorb” or “to connect to” or to “uphold.” You read of instances where Jesus sat with sinners, causing Him to be called a glutton and a winebibber, but he never engaged their culture (way of life and belief systems). He remained aloof of their sinful cultures while He preached the Word of His Father to them.
Luke 7:34 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.
If Jesus is God, and indeed He is since “He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature” and like his Father commands his disciples (true followers) to be holy as He is holy, then He must of necessity link on to the purity story in Leviticus one hundred percent. Indeed, this is true wisdom because it vindicated Jesus’ awesome holiness, purity and separateness and his demand for holiness despite the fact that He mingled with sinners and was called a glutton and a winebibber.
To answer the question, how do you make a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Jew, or a person of any other religious persuasion a Christ-follower without them having to abandon their own religions? Well, you introduce them to Stephan Joubert’s “Jesus [who] does not link onto, particularly, the purity story, never at all [but] a Jesus [who] links onto the, to wisdom. And . . . this, . . . will change [your] entire understanding of Jesus.” It changed Stephan Joubert’s understanding of Jesus. Let’s take a look now at how his “metanoia” experience of moving beyond his reason (aka Marcus Borg) influenced and changed his understanding of Jesus.
Playing foolish and deadly games
Stephan Joubert continued to say:
The other day at a Bible school I did at a church in Pretoria, I asked the people to play a little game with me. And the game was about, let’s for a moment, say to ourselves, we only have the book of Proverbs in the Old Testament. What would our spirituality look like? And it was like a shocking game for us all, because you won’t find in the book of Proverbs anything about the cult, cultus (sic). There is no temple.
There is no religious personnel. There is no holy times or holy foods or holy stuff. There is only one life and it is the real life. There is only this life where I live and God is immediately in this life or not. And it is the wise person, and not the fool, who will be able to see where God is and where God is going. It is a way of life. It is not in propositions.
Secondly, you don’t find the will of God like many people who lived their lives in other stories. In the book of Proverbs you won’t find anything about prophecies, dreams, revelations, getting like some people say in church, getting scripture. You know this thing? “I just got Scripture.” Another lady, I have told this story, another lady the other day said to me: “You know, I stand on Scripture.” I said: “Ma’am, that is great. Get off and read it. It is better.”
Standing on the bible
Have you noticed Stephan Joubert’s scholarly approach and chivalry when he speaks to women? “I stand on the Bible” is a figure of speech many people use to say that they conform their lives to the dictates and doctrines of the Bible. They simply mean that that they organize their lives according to God’s Word.
Ironically, Stephan Joubert who made a big issue of Proverbs being a book about the real life and not a “cultus” (sic) life of temple worship, religious personnel, holy times or holy foods or holy stuff, pokes fun at someone who takes the Bible very seriously and “stands on it” as a book that teaches you how to live a holy life (a life separated unto the Lord). In stead of encouraging her to continue abiding (“standing”) on His Word he facetiously tells her to get off and rather read it.
If only he had read the wisdom story in Proverbs, especially the part that says a winner of souls is wise (30:11), he would never have made such a blasphemous remark that Jesus was/is not concerned about who is saved and who is not . . . purity and impurity (holy and unholy) . . . who is in and who is not. Being “in” or “out” is the most important message of the Bible, including that of the book of Proverbs. In fact, it determines your destination. This is what God’s Word says about being “in” or “out.”
Romans 8:1 THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are IN Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.
To walk and live after the dictates of the Holy Spirit cannot but mean anything else than to walk and live in holiness and purity as opposed to walking and living in the flesh (unholiness and impurity). And yet Stephan Joubert audaciously severs the wisdom story from the purity story because, in his view, nothing is said about holiness in Proverbs. That’s just plain nonsense.
Proverbs 30:2-5 Surely I am too brutish and stupid to be called a man, and I have not the understanding of a man [for all my secular learning is as nothing.]
I have not learned skilful and godly Wisdom, that I should have the knowledge or burden of the Holy One.
Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, if you know?
Every word of God is tried and purified; He is a shield to those who trust and take refuge in Him. (Emphasis added)
What is His NAME? His Name THE HOLY ONE who commands us to be like Him (1 Peter 1:16).
Knowing God, the holy One, and His Son, who is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] infinitely holy nature, is the basis for true wisdom. Being ignorant of God’s infinitely holy nature and his demand for holiness and purity is tantamount to being brutish and dull-minded or like an animal (Psalm 73:22; Proverbs 12:1). The word for “ignorant” in Hebrew is “ba’ar” which means to be brutish.
The Afrikaans word“baar” (“uncivilized”) is probably derived from this Hebrew word. So, what’s the moral of the “wisdom” story? If you want to be brutish and stupid, then by all means follow Stephan Joubert’s dull-minded eisegesis that “The major way of teaching that Jesus opts for, and these are typical aphorisms that He would use, is not purity – impurity, who is in – who is out, who is saved, who is not.The major form of teaching that Jesus would use would be wisdom.” (Emphasis added). Furthermore, verse 4 of Proverbs 30 emphasizes man’s inability to know by himself the nature of God and verse 5 and 6 show how God may be known: through His entire Word, which is flawless (Psalm 12:6) and not only through a single book like Proverbs.
A way of life
Stephan Joubert set forth the way of life (the wisdom story) as follows:
In the book of Proverbs you would never decipher God’s will through that [by standing on Scripture]. It is a way of life. It is a way of thinking, deciphering, surrounding yourself with wise people, observing, experiencing, sensing, living in reality. You don’t sit and read a book and then you know how it works. You don’t follow a program at a church or at a synagogue and then you understand how God works. You live a real life. (Emphasis added)
Have you noticed Joubert’s disrespect for the Word of God – a book?
Most religions boast that their particular path is a way of life and, yes, it may indeed be a way of life but where does it lead to? (Proverbs 14:12). The Christian way of life or the follower of Christ’s way of life is not something you embark on through “a way of thinking, deciphering, surrounding yourself with wise people, observing, experiencing, sensing and living in reality.”
These are all extra biblical or externally induced ways that tend to be more subjective than objective. Agur, whose words of wisdom are encapsulated in chapter 30, says that his secular learning meant nothing. They are like chaff in the wind. To embark on the Christian way of life requires knowledge, not a knowledge acquired by those things Joubert mentions but through the Word of God.
It is a knowledge of how to enter through the ONLY DOOR that leads to the ONLY WAY by means of the ONLY TRUTH (JESUS CHRIST THE SON OF GOD). And this is precisely why Jesus said: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent (John 17:3).
The Emergent “Metanoia”
One of the most enigmatic enigmas about the emerging church’s “metanoic” movement beyond reason (aka Marcus Borg who denies the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ), is their contradictory statements. Allow me to explain by quoting to you two statements by Stephan Joubert and see whether you can pick up the contradiction before you continue to read the rest of my comment.
The major way of teaching that Jesus opts for, and these are typical aphorisms that He would use, is not purity – impurity, who is in – who is out, who is saved – who is not. The major form of teaching that Jesus would use would be wisdom.
Metanoia is literally what the Greek word says: to get a new mind. Get a new mind. Not just a new mind, go up and the beyond, over and beyond the present mind. That is not just to start following Jesus as if He were a reformer of sorts, which He is not. It is to sacrifice everything.
But is not in the first instance of giving your heart to Jesus, making this transaction with Jesus, as Ron would tell us in his book “Static.” But it is entering into a new way of life, of looking at everything entirely differently. Therefore metanoia is not something that only makes you from a non-Christian to a Christian.
His latter statement “metanoia is not something that only makes you from a non-Christian to a Christian” verbalizes the doctrine of salvation and yet he unashamedly declares that Jesus’ major way of teaching was not about who is saved and who is not. Consequently, metanoia is not about who is saved and who is not but nonetheless is something that makes you from a non-Christian to a Christian.
Please bear in mind that one of the most potent things Jesus ever said, was the following:
John 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
If Jesus Christ’s wisdom teaching was not about purity- impurity, who is in – who is out, who is saved and who is not, then it must have been his Father in heaven who commanded Him to teach that way. That’s not only preposterous but borders dangerously close on blasphemy because the cross of Jesus Christ (the only means God ordained for the salvation of the world) is the power and wisdom of God.
1 Corinthians 1:18-25 For the story and message of the cross is sheer absurdity and folly to those who are perishing and on their way to perdition, but to us who are being saved it is the [manifestation of] the power of God.
For it is written, I will baffle and render useless and destroy the learning of the learned and the philosophy of the philosophers and the cleverness of the clever and the discernment of the discerning; I will frustrate and nullify [them] and bring [them] to nothing.
Where is the wise man (the philosopher)? Where is the scribe (the scholar)? Where is the investigator (the logician, the debater) of this present time and age? Has not God shown up the nonsense and the folly of this world’s wisdom?
For when the world with all its earthly wisdom failed to perceive and recognize and know God by means of its own philosophy, God in His wisdom was pleased through the foolishness of preaching [salvation, procured by Christ and to be had through Him], to save those who believed (who clung to and trusted in and relied on Him).
For while Jews [demandingly] ask for signs and miracles and Greeks pursue philosophy and wisdom,
We preach Christ (the Messiah) crucified, [preaching which] to the Jews is a scandal and an offensive stumbling block [that springs a snare or trap], and to the Gentiles it is absurd and utterly un-philosophical nonsense.
But to those who are called, whether Jew or Greek (Gentile), Christ [is] the Power of God and the Wisdom of God.
[This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men.
To go up and beyond, over and beyond the present mind
The emergent “metanoia” is indeed “to go up and beyond, over and beyond the present mind” (or is it rather the “presence” of mind) because it is, as we’ve seen from Proverbs 30:2 to 5 and Psalm 73:22, brutish, dull-minded and animal-like to downplay the primary purpose for Jesus’ incarnation which is to seek and to save the lost and subsequently to impart his holiness, through the work of Holy Spirit, to those who are being saved from the defilement of the world and especially the false and erroneous doctrines of movements such as the Emerging Church.
Stephan Joubert went on to say:
Metanoia is the process by which you enter the kingdom. Jesus asks for a deep shift in worldview . . . One of the most difficult things to do is to change the way you imagine your place in life. Nothing is more challenging. On the other had, once this takes place, nothing could be more vitalizing. Truly, it’s as if you are born a second time. Your eyes open to a different world. Metanoia comes at a great cost. You are to give up an understanding of life that has been in place for a long time.
Metanoia (repentance) is a PROCESS by which you enter the kingdom? Jesus asks for a deep shift in WORLDVIEW? Really? It was hardly a process when the publican cried out “Be merciful to me a sinner” and God immediately declared him justified. He was translated into God’s Kingdom the moment he was justified. Neither did the publican have to undergo a deep shift in worldview before he entered the Kingdom of God.
The only deep shift he experienced was from being lost to being saved when he realized that he was a lost sinner and needed to be pardoned by a merciful God. It was hardly a process when Paul received his sight in the house of Ananias and at whose behest he ceased to delay and immediately called upon the Name of the Lord for his salvation (Acts 22:16).
At that very moment he was translated into the Kingdom of God. There was absolutely no process or a deep shift of worldview involved in the salvation of either of these two persons. How do I know this? Well, Paul himself wrote:
Colossians 1:13 [The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
Paul is addressing believers, not unbelievers, and he says that they have already (past tense) been delivered into the Kingdom of God. Do you remember Stephan, the true gentleman that he is, telling the woman to get off the Bible on which she “stands” and to rather read it? Perhaps Stephan Joubert should begin to practice what he preaches and really earnestly start to read the Bible himself so that he may learn what a genuine biblical metanoia is.
Why is a deep shift in your worldview needed and not a deep shift in your view of God?
The deep shift in worldview obviously involves a paradigm shift from a judgmental to a non-judgmental mindset and in order to achieve this you need to see Jesus in everything and everything in Jesus (which is nothing else than a panentheistic Jesus). The separateness and exclusivity of the in – out, pure – impure, clean – unclen, us – them and saved – unsaved frame of mind which was typical in the old priestly or purity story (according to Stephan Joubert), must make place for a “we-are-all-one” frame of mind. This is how Stephan Joubert said it:
So Jesus came into this rhythm and the disciples learned the rhythms and perhaps we are too fast, because we are so success driven. Our spirituality is about getting the things done and to put down the stuff and to raise the numbers and to get more people to attend our holy, etc., Bible studies, talks, seminars, books, you name them. But Jesus was not into that. He had the rhythms of God in his life.
And you only learn this when you are wise, when you walk with somebody. . . . it is like the whole life becomes a pilgrimage. You don’t have a pilgrimage when Easter is on the calendar. It is like the whole life is a pilgrimage where everyday becomes holy. Where every person that you meet becomes holy.
Where every moment is holy. When time as such, when food as such, where people as such, where space as such become holy. And it changes your perspective, because the moment that I realize there is no unclean food, there is no unclean space, there is no unclean people per se and I treat them like that, things change.
But when you are a Pharisee and you know that that person is clean or unclean and I am clean. That space is unclean and I am clean. I mean you go around always judging people.
What does Stephan Joubert mean by “judging people?” Perhaps we can answer it best by quoting Paul.
Galatians 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to and different from that which we preached to you, let him be accursed (anathema, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment)!
The question Stephan Joubert and his buddies who appeared as key speakers at the Mosaic Congress need to answer, is whether they are candidates for Paul’s anathema and whether his anathema is tantamount to “judging people.”
Stephan Joubert may not be aware of it but his Jesus is definitely not the Jesus of the Bible who said:
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? or what communion hath light with darkness?
And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what portion hath a believer with an unbeliever?
And what agreement hath a temple of God with idols? for we are a temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Wherefore Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, And touch no unclean thing; And I will receive you,
And will be to you a Father, And ye shall be to me sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
Paul! how dare you contradict Stephan Joubert, one of our most enlightened and distinguished modern-day followers of Christ? You are nothing but a hypocritical Pharisee who is forever judging people while you sanctimoniously declare “even as God said” making us believe that God said it.
And yet, it is Paul’s view of holiness and purity that is vindicated and not that of Stephan Joubert or any other Emergent Church follower of Christ because personal purity makes it possible to serve God and to be received by Him. In fact to enjoy God’s presence and his guidance requires personal holiness and not the demonic defilement of meditative techniques such as silence and contemplative prayer. “Who shall ascend into the hill of Jehovah? And who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; Who hath not lifted up his soul unto falsehood, And hath not sworn deceitfully” (Psalm 24:3).
Deceit, falsehood and false teachings cannot possibly be holy because they do not come from God but the deceiver who has been a liar from the beginning. It not only defiles the false teachers who proclaim false doctrines but also those who believe and follow the false teachers (Jude 1:7). The “everything is holy” and “Jesus is in everything and everything is in Jesus” garbage are false doctrines because they do not emanate from God but his enemy, the devil, and as such they defile everybody who believes such garbage.
No! the new breed of Christ-followers have no affiliation with the in – out, pure – impure, us – them, clean – unclean, and saved – unsaved frame of mind which was typical in the old priestly or purity story. What they want is wisdom, the wisdom of the Sage or Sophia of God who never linked onto the Pharisaic purity story but the wisdom story.
“The divine wisdom of oneness” is a phrase that pops up ever so frequently on the internet and especially on New Age websites. The following quote comes from a website called “The Reluctant Messenger” and tells how a person by the name of Chester who was brought up to believe there is no God and who set out to prove that there is no need for a Creator God, eventually ended up sitting at the feet of a Master of wisdom.
The Master started teaching Chester, “There is but one God. All things belong to God and are one with God. It is our destiny to learn to connect and discover our Union with God. Satan wants to influence you to consider anything and everything more important than knowing and achieving this Wisdom. Oneness and Unity are different shades of the same truth. Discover and believe in your Oneness with God, and his creation, and you embrace wisdom.”
In accordance with this worldview there is no longer any separation between the most holy God and his creatures who are defiled by sin and unrighteousness, and therefore there is no need for salvation, no need to break down the wall of separation because we are all one regardless of the religion you belong to.
What kind of wisdom is Stephan Joubert speaking of — the eternal wisdom of Jesus Christ? Hardly, because Jesus Christ wisdom is inexorably linked to his cross which is God’s ultimate and only altar of salvation. The wisdom Stephan Joubert and his emergent friends link onto is the Ageless/Ancient Wisdom which the Luceferian occultist and Theosophist, Helena Blavatsky, brought from the East to the West.
The following is an excerpt from the booklet, Are You “Being Led Away with the Error of the Wicked to the New Age Ark of Oneness” by Tamara Hartzell (February 2008).
These beliefs [of the Emerging One Church and One Universal Faith] , which are increasingly appearing in the teachings and writings of professing Christian leaders, were penned by Helena P. Blavatsky, Alice A. Bailey, and Neale Donald Walsch. Blavatsky has been referred to as the grandmother of the New Age movement, which is founded in the “Ageless Wisdom,” or “Ancient Wisdom,” of the East.
This occultist and channeler of two spirit “Masters” founded the Theosophical magazine Lucifer, co-founded the Theosophical Society, and began the spread of the Ageless Wisdom to the West in the late 1800s. Bailey has been referred to as the mother of the New Age movement.
This occultist and channeler of one spirit “Master” co-founded the Arcane School and Lucis Trust (“Lucis” was originally “Lucifer”), and continued Blavatsky’s work of spreading the Ageless Wisdom during the first half of the 1900s. Walsch founded the School of the New Spirituality in 2002 and Humanity’s Team in 2003, both of which are dedicated to shifting humanity’s faith and behaviour to reflect the New Spirituality (Ageless Wisdom) belief that “we are all one.” This channeler of the spirit that calls itself “God” has become a leader and author of the New Age New Spirituality, thanks to his Conversations with God book series. He is furthering the spread of this Ageless Wisdom – Oneness – for our time (Emphasis added).
These three people were all contacted directly by seducing spirits from Lucifer’s realm (who is the “god” of this world and Angel of “light”) for the purpose of bringing teachings from his spirit world—in other words, doctrines of devils—into our world. Yet their Ageless/Ancient Wisdom and its doctrines of Oneness are being welcomed into today’s bewitched Christianity as “authentic faith”! The Holy Spirit warned this would happen, but people are increasingly indifferent and oblivious to what God’s Word actually says. The extremely dangerous new source of faith for today’s apathetic “Christianity” appears to be, “So then authentic faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the doctrines of Lucifer.”
With the subtlety of the serpent and his forked-tongue, leaders in today’s Christianity are leading their followers away from the faith and armour of the true God by teaching—
- that we don’t need to know God’s Word, we just need to know God through experience, and loving and serving others. [Thomas comments: Do you remember Joubert saying “You don’t sit and read a book and then you know how it works?”]
- that we need to live the Christian life instead of thinking about it, so we need to study the Bible less because Bible study takes us away from experience, relationships, and service. [Thomas comments: Do you remember Joubert saying “Its a way of life” and “not in propositions”?]
- that it is better for us to be “experiencers” rather than believers;
- that we don’t need to study or know the Bible (God’s Word of truth), but we can learn “a lot of truth” from different religions since every religion has its own “portion of the truth;” [Thomas comments: Do you remember Joubert saying that you can find truth in other religions?]
- that God and Christ are in every human being; [Thomas comments: Do you remember Trevor Hudsont saying that Jesus is in everything and everything is in Jesus?]
- that we need positive interfaith dialogue to build connections between our different “experiences” of God and Christ; [Thomas comments: Do you remember Joubert saying that he won’t shove his faith down the throats of other people of oher faiths but that he would engage their culture?]
- that Christians have misplaced their faith in the religion of Christianity rather than in the Person of Christ, hence making followers of Christ doesn’t necessarily mean making followers of “the Christian religion;”
- that we can follow Christ in any religious framework of our choosing, because Christ is not bound to the “religious dogmas” of Christianity;
- that we are guilty of “idolatry” of the Scriptures when we hold to God’s Word as authoritative doctrine, because God cannot be “confined” within a book;
- that we need to bring an end to Christian “dogma” (doctrine) and return to “the mystery of God” and “authentic faith;”
- that we must “cast aside” our “tribal” beliefs and doctrines, because we must focus on what unites rather than what divides;
- that Jesus’ crucifixion is “metaphor,” and we can’t reduce His atonement to only one “theory;”
- that it isn’t only Christians who are saved, because people can encounter and experience God and even be followers of Christ without knowing about Jesus;
- that we need to free Christ from the “box” of Christianity, because He belongs to the world;
- that everyone is free to find their “own way” and define or interpret scriptures, doctrine, theology, faith, and God as they wish;
- that the Church is a spiritual community of people who are all on a spiritual journey to God, and this spiritual journey takes place in both Christian and non-Christian forms;
- that we need to enlarge our community to include those in other religions whose “conceptions of God” are different from the Christian faith;
- that we need to journey back to “when we were all one” before any religion existed;
- that bringing the different religions together into one interfaith community is for the good of the world, since we all worship “one God;”
- that this interfaith community is the true “kingdom of God,” because that which belongs to the kingdom of God can’t be “hijacked by Christianity;” and so on, and so forth.
This is the paradigm shift in one’s worldview that Stephan Joubert and his emergent buddies have opted for. Are you going to follow them in their madness? Are you going to allow your reason to be moved beyond its present sanity to insanity, induced and orchestrated by demonic entities through meditation, contemplative prayer, silence etc.?
The rhythms of God
Stephan Joubert said some amazing things in his presentation, one of which was the following silly little gem.
Part of the wisdom training was just to observe what Jesus was doing. I mean, to see the rhythms of the life of Jesus when He was on earth. He spent most of his time away from people. That’s fascinating. Jesus spent most of His time away from people. For the first thirty odd years, He was tucked away in a little one-horse town in Galilee that nobody knew of.
People lived in caves in Nazareth. I mean, and there is a story in the early church of the angels, at one stage, in heaven. One of the church fathers [dessert fathers?] wrote of this, of the angels becoming so upset, because they knew Jesus came to earth to give up his life. And they were asking amongst one another “When is Jesus going to start his journey. He is sitting in Nazareth and He is making all kinds of wooden things . . . So when is He going to start?” And Jesus would always tell them “There’s time. There’s time.” .
So Jesus spent 30 years just getting into the rhythms, into God’s speed, if I may put it like this, because this is what wisdom is all about: To tone down your speed to God’s speed.
Where did Stephan Joubert get this from?
The first thing that springs to mind when listening to this kind of nonsense is: Where did Stephan Joubert get this from? — the Bible? I really don’t think so. If there is one thing that proves beyond a shadow of doubt that Jesus wholeheartedly linked onto the priestly story (contrary to Stephan’s claim that He never did), it is the fact that He began his public ministry not until He reached the age of thirty.
According to Numbers 4:3 and 47 thirty years was the age when a priest entered his office in the temple. Jesus Christ, being the ultimate fulfilment of the Law (Matthew 5:17), also fulfilled this particular law. Not only that, God the Father foreordained Him to be our High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek even before the foundation of the earth (1 Peter 1:18-20).
In the Old Testament’s priestly order, the High Priest was permitted to enter the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle and the temple once a year, and that not without the blood of an innocent animal victim, to make atonement for the entire nation of Israel. However, there was no permanence in this ritual; it had to be re-enacted every single year.
Hebrews, often called the Leviticus of the New Testament, teaches that Jesus, our High Priest, entered the Holy of Holies once for all time with his own blood to make atonement. Does that mean everyone is saved? No! only those who by faith appropriate Jesus’ blood sacrifice on the cross for their redemption are saved (Hebrews 10:19-22). Stephan Joubert just loves to use the term “people of the Way” in stead of believers, but what he conveniently forgets is that Hebrews 10:19-22 IS this Way. There is no other way and yet he audaciously ignores Jesus’ role as High Priest by saying that Jesus never linked onto the priestly or purity story but the wisdom story.
Sadly Stephan Joubert chooses to mention Jesus’ crucifixion as an example that He had learned to walk and live in the rhythms of God in stead of emphasizing the fact that He learned obedience by the things He suffered (Hebrews 5:8). This is what he said:
So Jesus had the rhythm. It took Him 30 years as the Son of God to get into the rhythm of following His father. Of hearing His father in this new earthly body of His. And He was slow enough to be in tune with God. And then He also found this rhythm with himself. There is always the rhythm towards God, the rhythm to the inside, towards yourself and the rhythm towards people and life. And Jesus was so in tune with himself as the Son of God that therefore He was humble enough, because He knew who He were (sic).
When Jesus carries the weight of all our problems on the cross and He is ready to die and God is at the point of switching off the sun. And Jesus, and this guy next to him says to him: “Lord, have mercy on me. Think, think, would you just give me a thought when You enter the kingdom of God?” And Jesus stops everything and He said: “I’ve got all the time in the world for you.” Is as if My death can wait a little. (Thomas comments: Stephan Joubert is simply preaching another Gospel and another Jesus. The real Jesus of the Bible said to his disciples: “But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!” [Luke 12:50]. The word “straitened” signifies that there was no time to waste; He never said that his death can wait a little bit.”)
It took Jesus 30 years to hear his Father in his new earthly body? Really! Stephan, Stephan, Stephan, have you never read the part in Scripture where Jesus said to his earthly father and mother: “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49). And to remind you, Jesus was then only about twelve years old (eighteen years before He entered his public ministry) when Joseph and Mary found him in the temple busy answering the religious hierarchy’s questions. Indeed, they were amazed at his understanding and answers.
Have you noticed Stephan’s deliberate use of the word “problems” in the sentence “When Jesus carries the weight of our problems on the cross?” Oh, these guys in the Emergent Church who are so reluctant to use the words “sin” or “sins,” “unrighteousness” and “rebellion.”
There is absolutely no evidence in Scripture that Jesus bore our problems on the cross. Sin is a moral issue, problems are not. Jesus never bore our financial, marital, health or any other kind of problems on the cross. He bore our sins. Sin alone contaminates and defiles the soul to the extent that it kills you spiritually and separates you from God. Problems can never do that. Jesus died on the cross to remove the enmity caused by sin and not problems beween God and us and to reconcile us to Him for all eterntity. The words “sin,” “sins,” and “sinned” appear 759 times in the KJV. Guess how many times the words “problem” and “problems” appear there – not once, zero, zilch, nada.
Please bear in mind that Joubert said in the beginning of his presentation that Jesus never linked on to the priestly story which encapsulates the concept of “purity and impurity”, “who is in and who is out,” “us and them” and “who is saved and who is not.” And yet he dares to refer to Jesus crucifixion as an example of God’s so-called rhythms.
Is he so blind that he cannot see that Jesus’ crucifixion openly and glaringly speaks of who is in and who is out, us and them, purity and impurity and who is saved and who is not? Did not the one criminal persist in his unbelief, sin and rebellion and voluntarily exclude him from God’s Kingdom (shut himself OUT of the Kingdom of God)?
Did he not voluntarily choose to remain in his impurity (sins) and shut himself OUT of the Kingdom of God? How could he ever have spoken of US in regard to Jesus and the other repentant criminal when he voluntarily shut himself OUT of the Kingdom of God and chose to remain part of the THEM (unrepentant unbelievers)? Indeed, how could he ever have been saved when he voluntarily rejected Jesus as the only Person who could redeem him from his own voluntary choice to remain OUTSIDE of the Kingdom of God? Or shall we, like Stephan Joubert sing his discordant song:
And you only learn this when you are wise, when you walk with somebody. . . . it is like the whole life becomes a pilgrimage. You don’t have a pilgrimage when Easter is on the calendar. It is like the whole life is a pilgrimage where everyday becomes holy. Where every person that you meet becomes holy. Where every moment is holy. When time as such, when food as such, where people as such, where space as such becomes holy. And it changes your perspective, because the moment that I realize there is no unclean food, there is no unclean space, there is no unclean people per se and I treat them like that, things change.
But when you are a Pharisee and you know that that person is clean or unclean and I am clean. That space is unclean and I am clean. I mean you go around always judging people.
According to Stephan’s discordant song, the criminal on the cross who rejected Jesus was also holy, pure and someone with problems.
When the salvation or redemption of a lost soul is at stake, Jesus never says “There’s time. There’s time. Just come into the rhythms of God.” NO! He says: