Spiritual Parrots

Spiritual ParrotsSpiritual Parrots

The Emergent Church is swamped with spiritual parrots. None of them have the originality to say something innovative.

1 John 4:5-6: Amplified Bible (AMP)

Spiritual ParrotsThey [who teach twisted doctrine] are of the world and belong to it; therefore they speak from the [viewpoint of the] world [with its immoral freedom and baseless theories-demanding compliance with their opinions and ridiculing the values of the upright], and the [gullible one of the] world listens closely and pays attention to them. We [who teach God’s word] are from God [energized by the Holy Spirit], and whoever knows God [through personal experience] listens to us [and has a deeper understanding of Him]. Whoever is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know [without any doubt] the spirit of truth [motivated by God] and the spirit of error [motivated by Satan].

Instead of affirming what Jesus Christ said and taught, they parrot what their fellow-parrots say and teach. One of the things they say ad nauseam is: “The Christian faith is not primarily concerned with questions regarding life after death but with the possibility of life before death.” This is the message Peter Rollins conveys in his book “Insurrection, To Believe is Human to doubt, Divine.”

Rob Bell, author of Love Wins and Velvet Elvis, wrote the following tribute on the front cover of Rollins’ book:

In this book, Pete takes you to the edge of the cliff. And just when most writers would pull you back, he pushes you off. But after your initial panic, you realize that your fall is a form of flying.

Indeed, they may be flying but it is not like an eagle soaring in the truth. Their form of flying sounds more like the squawking of a parrot who has lost its way in a maze of a thousand emerging labyrinths. To illustrate allow me to quote one of their leading parrots – Stephan Joubert.

Love Wins Rob BellIn a discussion of Rob Bell’s highly controversial book “Love Wins” on his site “ekerk,” (2011) he seemed to want to tip-toe through a minefield without detonating any. He allows the scale to tip over a wee bit in favour of Bell’s views without him having to compromise his apparent love for the Bible. I can assure you that Stephan Joubert reads his Bible but he does not believe what it says. How can he possibly believe it when he says things like “Jesus did not come to destroy the works of the devil?” (1 John 3:8). To prove that Rob Bell is not a Universalist and that he firmly believes in the existence of a literal hell, Joubert quoted him as saying:

“We see hell on earth all around us all the time. We actually see lots of people choosing hell . . . We see oppression, we see tyranny, dictators using their power.”

It is obvious that these three parrots, Peter Rollins, Stephan Joubert and Rob Bell, don’t have a clue what hell is like. First of all, Jesus’ words in John 8:23-24, proves that hell is not on earth.

John 8:23-24: Amplified Bible (AMP)

23 He said to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. 24 That is why I told you that you will die [unforgiven and condemned] in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am the One [I claim to be], you will die in your sins.”

He says here:

  1. Heaven and hell are eternal dwellings you enter into only after death and not while you are still alive here on earth.
  2. Dying unforgiven and condemned in your sins prevents you from being with God in heaven.
  3. Therefore, you will be barred from heaven for all eternity in hell unless you repent and believe the Gospel so that you may not die in your sins.

Stephan Joubert delivers his pièce de résistance in his closing statement which, according to his own thinking, corroborates his own ‘conservative’ view of the Bible.

The only way to participate in debates such as this is to firstly read the book . . . unfortunately! It’s just not fair to respond to hear-say opinions of others. As for me, I love the Bible more . . . and believe it! (Emphasis added).

Really? You must first read Rob Bell’s book “Love Wins” from cover to cover to understand his infamous statement, “We see hell on earth all around us all the time. We actually see lots of people choosing hell . . . We see oppression, we see tyranny, dictators using their power,” and to be able to see that it contradicts Jesus’ words in John 8:23-24?  Really? Oh, and that’s another ploy false teachers use to make money. They advise you to buy and read their books so that you may debate them prudently, or they allow you to book and pay in advance for their conferences and then summarily extradite you from them.

A good example of Stephan Joubert’s more-ish love for the Bible is a sermon he delivered at the Mosaiek Church in Fairland, Johannesburg on Sunday, 10 July 2011. His sermon formed part of a series called “Our questions about . . .” in which several other preachers, amongst them Ron Martoia, Trevor Hudson, Manie Botha and Johan Geyser tackled topics such as “Our questions about the Bible;”  “. . . about sin;”  “. . . about heaven and hell;”  “. . . about church” etc.

In Stephan Joubert’s sermon on questions about heaven and hell it was evident from the very outset that he had no intention to present his audience with a biblical exegesis of heaven and hell. Instead, he used his sermon to defend Rob Bell’s highly controversial book “Love Wins” and guess what? . . . he began his sermon by saying that Bell’s book “has more to do with life on this side than with life on the other side.” Helloooho, do you hear the squawking of a parrot? It’s just another way of saying: ““The Christian faith is not primarily concerned with questions regarding life after death but with the possibility of life before death.”

The conversation about heaven and hell gained momentum a couple of months ago, especially in the USA, when the well-known preacher, writer and video maker,  . . ., Rob Bell, wrote a book entitled “Love Wins.” The book wasn’t even published yet when the fat was already in the fire and sparked a conversation about whether he was a Universalist, meaning that he believes in the salvation of all mankind after death. Now, interestingly enough, I think when I read the book, it has more to do with life on this side than with life on the other side. But it is evident that in America and perhaps also in South Africa peoples’ correct way of thinking is measured by what they believe about the other side and not so much about how they live and how they follow God on this side.

How do you reconcile Strephan Joubert’s  more-ish love for the Bible with his commendation of Peter Rollins’ statement in his Book “(How [not to] speak of God, 2006):

“Orthodoxy as right belief will cost us little; indeed, it will allow us to sit back with our Pharisaic doctrines, guarding the ‘truth’ with the purity of our interpretations. But orthodoxy, as believing the right way, as bringing love to the world around us . . . That will cost us everything.”

Peter Rollins InsurrectionTo believe the doctrines of God and to contend for the faith once delivered by the apostles [to which Rollins smugly refers as Pharisaic doctrines) is not life-threatening, according to Stephan Joubert and Peter Rollins. No! It is rather the doing of the works of love and compassion that will cost you everything. Really?

When Peter and John performed an act of love and compassion by healing a lame man in the temple in the Name of Jesus Christ, the Pharisees and Sadducees weren’t concerned about the miracle they wrought in the Name of Jesus but with what they preached and taught in the Name of Jesus.

And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them,

Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.

And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide.

Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.

And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes,

And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.

And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,

If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.

But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves,

Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.

But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.

And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.

But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.

For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. (Acts 4:1-20).

Like the Pharisees and Sadducees of old, Peter Rollins, Rob Bell and Stephan Joubert have no qualms with the works of love and compassion which will cost you everything but with the spreading of “Pharasiac doctrines” and guarding the truth in the Name of Jesus Christ. This, my dear friends, will cost you very little. It is glaringly obvious from the above Scripture that the apostles’ lives were not threatened by the miracle of love and compassion they performed in the Name of Jesus but by the doctrines of the resurrection and salvation they proclaimed in the Name of Jesus.

Life after Death and the Possibility of Life before Death?

In their never-ending quest to prove that Jesus Christ’s message is more about this life on earth and not so much about an afterlife in heaven or hell, they are grossly misrepresenting the Gospel (doctrines) of God. Jesus Himself emphatically stated that there is no life whatsoever before death and also after death for those who do not believe in Him. Only six words from his lips prove that there is no life before or after death for the unbeliever.

Let the dead bury their dead. (Matthew 8:22).

Now, for the sake of Peter Rollins, Stephan Joubert and Rob Bell who don’t seem to be that nippy to understand what Jesus said, allow me to explain it to them. Listen up, you guys, Jesus was saying “Let the living dead bury their already deceased dead.” He seems to have said “If you want to follow Me, you must leave the dead to bury their own dead. Leave them to their own devices but you come here and follow Me. I am not in the business of making disciples to mollycoddle the dead with deeds of love and compassion.”

This is the very opposite to what Stephan Joubert and his emergent friends believe it means to follow Jesus. In their view, following Jesus means to bring love and compassion to the dead without presenting them with the Living Water (the doctrines of God or Pharasaic doctrines as Peter Rollins like to call them.). Oh yeah, give the living dead a cup of cold water, a slice of bread, a meal or  some money, as Joubert says, and they (the living dead) will immediately become a friend of Jesus.

Wow! Imagine that! Their gospel which is no gospel at all, is to serve and do good works of love and compassion in behalf of the living dead who are only a step away from being transformed into the deceased dead unless they repent and believe the doctrines of God. Moreover, this gospel, will allegedly cost you everything as opposed to the true Gospel of God that will cost you very little. Sorry guys, but I just have to remind you of this verse.

Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves]. (Romans 1:22). (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC).

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Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Tom Lessing is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

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