The Church Stephan Joubert is Building
What kind of church is Stephan Joubert building? The more I read Stephan Joubert’s articles on his sites (ekerk and echurch) the more evident it becomes that he has no confidence in the One who said,
No one in his right mind can miss the meaning of his words “I will.” It simply means that “He will” and
not “you will” or “they will” or “we will.” All the other “wills” besides His “I will” usually make a huge mess of things.
Think of it: The One who created everything and still upholds all things by the word of his power (Hebrews 1:1-3), is the very same One who said “I will build my church.”
Note carefully, He did not say “I will build . . .” the Dutch Reformed Church, the Reformed Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of the Latter Day Saints, the Lutheran Church, the Anglican Church, the Apostolic Faith Mission Church, the Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches, the Emerging Church or any of the other 33 000 so-called Christian churches in existence today.
He said “I will build MY church” which is distinctly different from all the other so-called Christian churches, which have taken a turn for the worst and are leading billions into the doldrums of apostasy. (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
Joubert’s unfortunate distrust of the One whom he claims to follow to the hilt, has given him an obsessive compulsive urge to rescue the church and is himself being turned to fables . He is forever trying to salvage a church which seems to be going down the drain. It is not certain which of these churches listed above he wishes to salvage and I don’t think even he knows.
Nevertheless, he has some funky new ideas on how to save the church. In one of his most recent articles dated 13th November 2014, “The Church Needs New Questions for a New World” which should rather have been titled “The Church Needs New Questions for a New World Order,” he poses seven new questions we ought to ask ourselves in our endeavours to save the church.
When Jesus said “I will build MY CHURCH and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” He said it against the backdrop of his own infallibility and unchangeability (Hebrews 13:8).
If Peter’s testimony – that He is the Christ, the Son of the living God – is the rock on which He builds his church, then there is no need whatsoever for His Church to pander to the fickleness of the world or to cuddle up to the digital demands of the world in order to be successful.
“My church,” said Jesus, “will never succumb to the demands of the world’s fickleness, least of all to sustain and keep her in tact. I will build and sustain her.”
One can almost anticipate Stephan Joubert’s introductions to all his articles that deal with the church. He usually kicks off by giving his readers a profound lesson in the exponential technical advances man has made in the field of digital info and communication. He says:
You don’t have to be some kind of expert to know that the world is changing very rapidly. Just take the digital world.
Did you know that every 24 hours 188 billion messages are sent worldwide, as well as 144 million e-mails and 400 million tweets? In the meantime 30 million “apps” are being downloaded, 2 billion Skype minutes are absorbed and 4.7 billion Google visits are made.
And this, says Mr. Joubert, calls for a change in the church to accommodate the vast technological changes and challenges in the world? What on earth has this got to do with the Gospel of God?
In what way does the exponential technical advances influence God’s attitude to man’s sin and rebellion against Him, to the extent that “The Church [now suddenly] needs new questions for a new world?”
The sins the people of Israel committed against God in the Old Testament without any technical know-how or digital benefits at their disposal, were exactly the same sins today’s digitally and technically advanced societies are guilty of.
The only difference is that today’s corporate sins are transmitted through highly advanced digital fibre optical devices at lightning speed.
Let us now look at the funky ideas Stephan Joubert aims to put into practice to salvage the church.
How does a church survive in such a fast world? Well, perhaps we need a couple of new questions to serve as sign posts. Too many churchy questions are as old and mouldy as last months bread. I am talking about questions which are still heard around every turn and corner like
“How are we going to get more young people/leaders/members involved [in the church]?”
“How are we going to reach the world for Christ?”
“How are we going to raise more funds to advance our ministry.”
These questions, he says, are not only old and mouldy like last months bread but carry in themselves a deadly virus.
Question number 2 “How are we going to reach the world for Christ” echoes to my mind Jesus Christ’s Great Commission in Matthew and Mark.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20).
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” (Mark 16:15).
Surely, Jesus’ command to go out into the world, preach the Gospel and make disciples of all the nations translates into “reaching the world for Christ,” doesn’t it? Yet Stephan Joubert identifies it as old and mouldy bread that is infested with a deadly virus.
Stephan Joubert demeans Jesus Christ
Should we be surprised when someone like Stephan Joubert demeans Jesus Christ’s command to go into all the world and preach the Gospel with the purpose of winning as many souls as possible for Him? No, not at all because he is merely showing his true emergent, and may I add, Alice Bailyan colours, despite him having denied that he is still a disciple of the Emergent Church.
Read the following characteristics of the Emergent Church to see that Stephan Joubert is still very comfortably niched in the Emergent Church.
- An awareness of and attempt to reach those in the changing postmodern culture.
- An attempt to use technology, i.e., video, slide shows, internet.
- A broader approach to worship using candles, icons, images, sounds, smells, etc.
- An inclusive approach to various, sometimes contradictory belief systems. (1)
- An emphasis on experience and feelings over absolutes.
- Concentration on relationship-building over proclamation of the gospel.
- Shunning stale traditionalism in worship, church seating, music, etc.
- A de-emphasis on absolutes and doctrinal creeds
- A re-evaluation of the place of the Christian church in society.
- A re-examination of the Bible and its teachings.
- A re-evaluation of traditionally-held doctrines.
- A re-evaluation of the place of Christianity in the world.
Joubert cannot be following the Jesus of the Bible who commanded his followers to go into all the world and make disciples of the nations when he associates his command to reach the world for Himself with a deadly virus – now can he?
What he seems to have forgotten is that those who have apostatized from the truth are the real viruses and are indeed also called deadly serpents and poisonous vipers.
Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? (Matthew 23:33).
Stephan Joubert presents seven questions which he surmises could contribute to the solving of the major problems in the church.
We owe each other questions that can help us to be more effective in a changing world. How about asking the following questions:
What is the nucleus of our calling and what role do we ourselves play in it?
What are the kernel relationships we as a church should have in place and what are we doing to make it more visible?
What are the main steps we need to take to accomplish our calling and to set in motion those relationships God expects of us and what role do we ourselves play to achieve it?
What are the things we ought to stop doing or do less so that we may fulfil our calling more effectively. What are we doing now to eliminate unnecessary things?
What do others in our local church expect of us and we of them? Are our expectations realistic or do they paralyze us?
What do we practically do to help one another to achieve our God-given talents and not to exceed or do more than that for which we were equipped?
What will happen within the next three months if we put into action the above questions?
“WHAT IS THE NUCLEUS OF OUR CALLING AND WHAT ROLE DO WE OURSELVES PLAY IN IT?”
Well now, if Stephan Joubert who has served for more than a decade as a professor in the New Testament studies at the University of Pretoria, has more than 40 academic research publications, 10 articles for publication in international academic works, as well as a gigantic research paper about the life of Paul, is toally oblivious of what a Christian’s main calling is, then he should again carefully study 1 Peter 1:15-16 and Matthew 28:18-20.
Having shunned the divine commission to go into all the world and preach the Gospel, and worst of all calling it viral, Joubert’s question suggests that we should find a new calling, a new vocation that works toward the establishment of an all inclusive rather than an exclusive church.
The universal maxim of Joubert’s New World Order Church is “Unity in Diversity.” The recently deceased Anglican Bishop, Tony Palmer, who was a friend of Pope Francis and sought to converge Protestantism with Roman Catholicism (Read here) said:
”I have come to understand that diversity is divine. It’s division that’s diabolical. ‘So that they may be one.” It’s the glory that bring us together . . . not the doctrines.” (Luke 12:51; 2 John 9). “If you accept that Christ is living in me and the presence of God is in me and the presence of God is in you, that’s all we need.” (Romans 16:17; Galatians 1: 8-9).
Stephan Joubert’s beliefs often reflect the very same sentiments as that of the deceased Tony Palmer. He once wrote:
We are full-time stewards of God’s gifts which we have freely received. Freely give it away then! No, don’t just give stuff away, give yourself to others. Build relationships with those you serve. Become their friends. Remember: every person that you serve turns in a immediate friend of Jesus. Go one step further: see him or her as Jesus in disguise. Also know that every cent, every slice of bread, every meal, every cup of cold water, every prayer, every word of encouragement, every visit is an eternal investment in the kingdom of our Father. Not only will it impact on the life of at least one or other person, but it will make heaven take special notice of you. God takes notice of the smallest deeds and words of kindness, as Jesus tells us in Matthew 10. (Emphasis added).
Stephan Joubert’s statement “every person that you serve turns into an immediate friend of Jesus. Go one step further: see him or her as Jesus in disguise” is one of his best anti-biblical and most deeply mystical pronouncements to proceed from the mouth of a mortal. However, if you thought something so profound could have been the brainchild of Stephan Joubert, you’re wrong.
False teachers like Stephan Joubert are usually not very original and often borrow their sayings from other false teachers.
Mother Teresa who, like the Pope never had the assurance of her salvation, said in an interview.
We try to pray through our work by doing it with Jesus, for Jesus, to Jesus. That helps us put our whole heart and soul into doing it. The dying, the crippled, the mentally ill, the unwanted, the unloved — they are Jesus in disguise.
Really? You will recall that when Jesus’ mother, brothers and sisters tried to draw his attention while he was preaching, He said: “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.” (Luke 8:21), clearly implying that only those who obey his Gospel [which by he way is NOT moldy bread and viral) are his friends and his brethren. He did not say that their servitude to others magically transform his enemies into his friends. Had that been possible He would never have needed to die on a cross. What does God say about the unsaved?
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).
It is an indisputable fact that the Roman Catholic Church is bringing back the “lost sheep” in Protestantism through mysticism and especially Contemplative Prayer via Thomas Merton, Basil Pennington, Thomas Keating, Trevor Hudson, etc. etc. and dates as far back to the ancient Catholic Desert Fathers. Mosaïek Kerk where Stephan Joubert is a regular visitor and preacher is up to their necks in the RCC’s mysticism. (read here).
Wayne Teasdale sums up the crossing of boundaries through mystical practices as follows on the site called “Council of Spiritual Practices”
It is also the crossing-over and the sharing in the spiritual, aesthetic, moral and psychological treasures that exist in the different traditions of spirituality living within the world religions.
The deepest level of sharing is in and through one another’s mystical wisdom, whether teachings, insights, methods of spiritual practice, and their fruits.
The mystical life, in its maturity, is characteristically, naturally, even organically interspiritual because of the inner freedom and liberation the mystical Journey ignites in the depths of the person.
It frees us from the obstacles within us that would hold us back from that generosity and willingness to partake from the mystical springs of other traditions.
To drink this precious nectar requires openness and a capacity to assimilate the depth experience of these venerable traditions.
More and more it is becoming common for individuals to cross over the frontiers of their own faith into the land of another or others.
So much so is this the case that we can speak of this new millennial period as the Interspiritual Age.
This development is momentous news for the human family because up until this point humankind has been divided, segregated into spiritual ghettos.
Out of this separation has come so much misunderstanding and thousands of wars sparked by mutual suspicion, isolation, competition and hostility.
The Interspiritual Age promises to melt away the old barriers, and with them, the old antagonisms.
This is one reason why it should be nurtured and encouraged. Interspirituality opens the way to friendship among members of differing faiths.
Friendship creates bonds of community between and among the religions through their members, and community’ represents a shift from the old competitive, antagonistic model to a new opportunity, a new paradigm of relationship that seeks to meet on common ground. (Thomas says: Hello, hello. This sounds so much like Stephan Joubert).
If the mystical experience of other traditions is genuine and if it is on the same level as Christian contemplationin its fullness in the transforming union, the spiritual marriage between God the soul, then one implication is that Christianity does not have a monopoly on wisdom as it relates to the nature of the Divine.
Christian theological formulations do not exhaust the infinite reality and subtlety of the Divine nature.
This means that we can learn from the inner experience of other forms of spirituality. (Thomas says: Hello, hello. This sounds so much like Stephan Joubert who once echoed his friend and guru who said that we can learn from Buddhists).
Christianity’s understanding of God is not complete in this sense, nor is the experience and understanding of the other traditions complete without the Christian contribution.
Buddhism, for example, needs the insight on the Divine, an insight won from thousands of years of mystical consciousness.
Complementarity is thus the direction toward which the mystical leads us. In this way, humankind can cross the boundaries to reach the further shore of our eternal homeland. (Thomas says: Oops! Where’s that when Jesus Himself said “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”?
WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIALS IN A RELATIONSHIP WE AS A CHURCH SHOULD HAVE IN PLACE AND WHAT ARE WE DOING TO MAKE IT MORE VISIBLE?
I find it odd that Stephan Joubert who has served for more than a decade as a professor in the New Testament studies at the University of Pretoria, has more than 40 academic research publications, 10 articles for publication in international academic works, as well as a gigantic research paper about the life of Paul, is totally oblivious of God’s demands for good relationships.
Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. (Titus 3:1-2).
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:31-32).
Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: (1 Peter 3:8).
He even tells us how to treat our enemies.
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:43-45).
The above commands, among others, are ways to reach the world for Christ Jesus (1 Peter 2:15). However, Stephan Joubert suggests that these essentials for the fostering of good relationships are as mouldy as last months bread and carry in themselves a deadly virus.
In stead of following Jesus Christ whom he says he loves and follows to the hilt, Stephan Joubert rather follows Rob Bell whom he once hailed as someone who, when he opens his mouth, speaks the unadulterated truth. Judge for yourself whether the following quote from his book “Velvet Elvis” is the truth and nothing but the truth.
[This] is part of the problem with continually insisting that one of the absolutes of the Christian faith must be a belief that “Scripture alone” is our guide. It sounds nice, but it is not true . . . When people say that all we need is the Bible, it is simply not true.” – Rob Bell, Velvet Elvis, p.68.
Bell obviously refuses to believe God who said:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2Timothy 3:16-17)
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue. (2 Peter 1:3)
On January 27, 2008, Rick Warren stated, “I think we need a second Reformation in the church about how we behave. The first Reformation was about creeds. I think the second Reformation needs to be about deeds…” That day he even told Dean Samuel Lloyd of Washington’s National Cathedral that “the future of the world is not secularism, it’s religious pluralism.”
Emergent leaders have latched on to Warren’s infamous statement and are running with it like a pack of wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Stephan Joubert has made similar statements in the past.
“Remember: every person that you serve turns into an immediate friend of Jesus. Go one step further: see him or her as Jesus in disguise” – (Emphasis added) (Stephan Joubert, Echurch).
Gone are the days when evangelicals still believed that it is a knowledge of the Truth that sets people free (John 8:32, 36; Romans 10:17). Sound doctrine has made way for service which has become the new Messianic Redeemer.
The Theosophist and occultist, Alice Bailey said: (And listen carefully how Sephan Joubert plagarized her lies).
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).
Religious pluralism does not call for an innocent victim to die on a cross for a bunch of lost sinners. Why should it when all religions have a penchant for good works and serving humanity?
Step aside Jesus, we have found a new way to incarnate you in people; we serve them and they immediately become your friends. No! even more: they become You in disguise.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN STEPS WE NEED TO TAKE TO ACCOMPLISH OUR CALLING TO SET IN MOTION THOSE RELATIONSHIPS GOD EXPECTS OF US AND WHAT ROLE DO WE OURSELVES PLAY TO ACHIEVE IT?
I find it rather odd that Stephan Joubert who has served for more than a decade as a professor in the New Testament studies at the University of Pretoria, has more than 40 academic research publications, 10 articles for publication in international academic works, as well as a gigantic research paper about the life of Paul, is totally oblivious of God’s calling for his disciples.
There are no steps to be taken to accomplish our calling. In fact, all that is necessary is to obey Him and his command in Matthew 28.
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
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 28:18-20)
Christ Jesus has already laid out his demands needed to meet our calling. The steps we ourselves propose to take to the advancement and accomplishment of his calling is futile and of no value whatsoever.
Why? Because it diverts our attention from whence our power comes to accomplish our calling to our own self-generated power and set of steps. It means absolutely nothing. In fact, as we’ve already seen from the above quotes, it leads to rank heresy and apostasy.
WHAT ARE THE THINGS WE OUGHT TO STOP DOING OR DO LESS THAT WE MAY FULFIL OUR CALLING MORE EFFECTIVELY. WHAT ARE WE DOING NOW TO ELIMINATE UNNECESSARY THINGS?
The very first thing you need to do, Stephan, is to repent of your apostasy and stop trying to turn enemies of the cross into immediate friends of Jesus by serving them. You can serve humanity until the cows come home and it will never turn enemies of the cross into friends of Jesus or miraculously change them into little Jesuses in disguise.
Like Mother Teresa and your friends in the Emergent church with whom you are in a very dangerous relationship, you are not helping those who you are serving but leading them to an eternal destruction and suffering in hell.
WHAT DO OTHERS IN OUR CHURCH EXPECT OF US AND WE OF THEM? ARE OUR EXPECTATIONS REALISTIC OR DO THEY PARALYZE US?
It is not what others expect of us and we of them that matters. It is what God expects of us. As shown in the sections above, the most important thing God expects of us is to proclaim the unadulterated Gospel so that lost sinners may be saved.
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:20-21).
Man’s expectations of each other will never be realistic and indeed they do paralyze those who look to mere humans to know what they expect of us and we of them. God’s expectations are never paralyzing or burdensome.
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith [in Him ands his doctrines and NOT our service to mankind]. (1 John 5:2-4).
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light [not burdensome]. (Matthew 11:28-30).
WHAT WILL HAPPEN WITHIN THE NEXT THREE MONTHS IF WE PUT INTO ACTION THE ABOVE QUESTIONS?
Rob Bell is a telling example of the picture on the right. He left Mars Hill Bible Church in 2011 to launch a spiritual talk show in Los Angeles. Guess who sponsors his show? None other than OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network. The New Age Diva has disowned Jesus Christ as the only Saviour on several occasions on her multi million dollar show.
The argument, “What about those who live on an Island who never hear the Name of Jesus?” is a horse that’s been flogged to death many times. What about Oprah Winfrey? She lives in America and has probably heard the Name of Jesus millions of times since her childhood and yet she still does not believe in Him as her and the world’s only Saviour.
Those who live on an Island and have never heard the Name of Jesus would most likely never hear of Him even if they were to move to America. The lies about Him that are rampant in TV shows such as OWN bar them from knowing the truth.
You can be sure they will never learn anything about the Name Jesus on OWN. They stand a better chance of hearing about Him by staying on an island instead of moving to America and never hearing of the true Jesus of the Bible.
Oprah Winfrey is on her way to hell unless she repents and receives Jesus Christ as her only Saviour. The Bible warns us to take care not to associate with non-believers and especially not to enter into a working relationship with them.
Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting,
for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. (2 John 1: 9-11).
The act of greeting in ancient times was not only a passing “hello, and how are you.” They greeted each other with a holy kiss and a “shalom” which means “may God’s peace go with you.” To greet someone who proclaimed another Gospel or heresy like that was a severe travesty. As Scripture says, you become a partner in their evil and heresies. This is precisely what Rob Bell is doing.
Some have since believed that Oprah Winfrey is saved. Watch this video and tell us what you think.