Visit to learn about the ESV Bible

Logos Bible Software

Powered by Blogger

Ignite Church Planting Ministries

Standing Against The Ecumenical Monoculture

Standing Against The Ecumenical Monoculture

Standing Against The Ecumenical Monoculture

Standing Against The Ecumenical Monoculture

God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform; He plants his footsteps in the sea, And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines Of never failing skill He treasures up his bright designs, And works his sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints fresh courage take, The clouds ye so much dread Are big with mercy, and shall break In blessings on your head.

Judge not the LORD by feeble sense, But trust him for his grace; Behind a frowning providence, He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast, Unfolding every hour; The bud may have a bitter taste, But sweet will be the flow’r.

Blind unbelief is sure to err, And scan his work in vain; GOD is his own interpreter, And he will make it plain.

--William Cowper

Saturday, December 31, 2005


The Danger of the Monoculture: I Timothy 4:11-16

11Command and teach these things. 12Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 14Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15Practice these things, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress. 16Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Paul begins chapter four with the warning “that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons” because their consciences have been made numb as if being seared by a hot iron. The proponents of the ecumenical monoculture and postmodern Christianity have abandoned Christ and his teachings and in turn devoted themselves to the teachings of demons. We live in that time, in verse three Paul even lists several popular false doctrines currently taught at Ephesus. The ecumenical monoculture and postmodern Christianity claims that doctrine and theology are unimportant, however, I Timothy offers several reasons why this just is not so.

v.11 Biblical Christianity and the monoculture clash over this issue. The monoculture asks, “Why, if we are all on our own spiritual journey should one man stand and speak with authority?” The pastor exists to shepherd, lead, and protect God’s flock, not merely to journey with it. A good pastor will command and teach the Word of God. The fulfillment of The Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) is dependent upon teaching the nations to obey God’s Word. God is not an inert spiritual being; He is a despotic ruler (Acts 4) of absolute power who demands your obedience.

v.13 A good pastor devotes himself to three things. First, a good pastor must devote himself to the public reading of Scripture. Cashing in on Biblical illiteracy, many are abandoning the public reading of Scripture for skits, video clips, and stories. Any authority the pastor has is derived from God’s Word and apart from this the pastor has no authority. Second, a good pastor must devote himself to exhortation. Exhortation refers to the application of God’s word; this could take the form of a command to obey and submit, encouragement to persevere, comfort, or rebuke. Third, a good pastor must devote himself to teaching, also translated doctrine. The current trend of teaching anecdotal stories and pop psychology is abhorrently unbiblical. The pastor must systematically exposit God’s Word.

v.14 Paul is referring to Timothy’s spiritual gifts, to be used in ministry, of preaching/teaching, and evangelism. Through abandoning Christ and devoting themselves to demonic doctrines, the proponents of the monoculture and postmodern Christianity have no spiritual gifts. However, this passage exhorts Biblical pastors, and every Christian, to stay the course, to be doctrinally sound, and to use you spiritual gifts.

v.15 Paul continues his exhortation encouraging every good pastor to devote himself to these things to the point that all may see their progress. Quite simply others should notice your obedience to God’s Word.

v.16 This verse offers a promise from God coupled with an extremely severe warning. Perseverance in the Truth is a mark of genuine conversion and the pastor who perseveres in teaching sound doctrine can be used by God as an instrument to deliver the Gospel that God might save some (see John 8:31 and Romans 10:9-17). The pastor must persevere in two areas his teaching/doctrine and his conduct; he must teach and live the truth and because of this God will save some. The warning and the danger of the monoculture is this: the abandonment of Biblical doctrine is tantamount to abandoning Christ and the congregation who bases their salvation upon the doctrines of demons will not be saved. The monoculture wants to downplay the importance of doctrinal beliefs posing that they are unimportant, unnecessary, and should be abandoned to promote unity, ecumenism. This is a damning lie; sound doctrine is of the utmost importance because without the preaching of the true Word of Christ no one can be saved (Romans 10:9-17).

Monday, December 26, 2005


Reflections on the Scriptures and Christmas

At some point in the near future, I will return to my plan as discussed in “A Biblical Response to the Ecumenical Monoculture” and then quickly transition into another topic that I am rather anxious to discuss. However, until then I want to offer a couple reflections on the Scriptures and Christmas. Below is on of my favorite passages about the birth of Christ and brief reflections on it.

1And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. 3And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. 4His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. 5She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, Revelation 12:1-5

The woman, the nation of Israel, is being tormented and pursued by a great red dragon, Satan, who seeks to devour her child, Jesus Christ. All the nations will be subject to the absolute and universal rule of Christ. The latter part of verse five speaks of Christ crushing Satan’s rebellion and ascending into Heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19, Luke 24:51, Acts 2:24, Hebrews 1:3). The birth of Christ does not represent the birth of a cute and giggly child. The birth of Christ represents the coming of The King to crush Satan’s rebellion and take back His kingdom by force. This was, and still is, a war and Satan knew it. Herod too feared the birth of The King and though Christ was just a child he too was determined to destroy Him (Matthew 2:13-16).

I love the line in "O Little Town of Bethlehem" that says, "The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight." Too often, I sing this hymn and miss the sheer weight of these few words. The hopes and fears of all eternity, everyone who has ever lived, are met in Christ. He meets our hope in that for our sake God made Christ, who knew no sin, sin so that in Christ we might become the righteousness of God (II Corinthians 5:21). However, as we sing this joyous hymn it comes with the sobering reminder that the birth of Christ is the fulfillment of an eternity of fears, many of which are yet to be recognized. May we never forget that the birth of Christ represents the coming of The King, to whom we must submit, and may this drive us to die reaching the world for Christ, that they too might rejoice in Him.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


How To Fight For Christmas

In recent years, the response to monoculture has been in the form of political activism and legislation. Jonathan Edwards, in Charity and It’s Fruits, proposes a very different response. “A man of a right spirit is not a man of narrow and private views, but is greatly interested and concerned for the good of the community to which he belongs, and particularly of the city or village in which he resides, and for the true welfare of the society of which he is a member. God commanded the Jews that were carried away captive to Babylon, to seek the good of that city, though it was not their native place, but only the city of their captivity. His injunction was (Jer. 29:7), “Seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it.” And a man of truly Christian spirit will be earnest for the good of his country, and of the place of his residence, and will be disposed to lay himself out for its improvement.”

He went on to say, “And those that are possessed of the spirit of Christian charity are of a more enlarged spirit still; for they are concerned, not only for the thrift of the community, but for the welfare of the Church of God, and of all the people of God individually. Of such a spirit was Moses, the man of God, and therefore he earnestly interceded for God’s visible people, and declared himself ready to die that they might be spared (Exo. 32:11, 32). And of such a spirit was Paul, who was so concerned for the welfare of all, both Jews and Gentiles, that he was willing to become as they were (1 Cor. 9:19-23), if possibly he might save some of them.”

Jonathan Edwards realized that cultural transformation is dependent upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ first transforming the lives of those within that culture. He makes the extremely important point that our concern must not merely stop at the community but must extend to the Church of God and the individual people of God. I love the phrase “true welfare.” Legislation and political protest is not “true welfare.” The true welfare of any community and every individual is Jesus Christ Himself and we must be willing to lay down our lives sacrificially for Him. The fight for Christmas is not fought within the state legislature, on storefront displays, or in roadside nativity scenes. The fight for Christmas is fought within the heart of every individual and it is fought with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Ephesians 6:11-14

Monday, December 19, 2005


The Fight For Christmas Part 2

The controversy surrounding Christmas is a prime example of the ecumenical monoculture at work. By removing the more blatantly “Christian” symbols surrounding Christmas the resulting, religious strife free, homogeneous culture can peacefully enjoy the holidays.

The fight for Christmas, and the backlash against all things Christian, is merely a symptom of a deeper, older, and more serious problem, the failure to reach America for Christ. This is a result of decades of the embedding of the “American Dream” into Christian culture; thus resulting in the institutionalizing of Christianity. American Christianity is no longer a movement empowered by the Holy Spirit, driven by a passion for Christ, and founded upon the inerrant Word of God.

Modern American Christianity is more like the pharisaic religion that Christ stood against. Its finance committees are driven by business strategy and more concerned with what can be done rather than what must be done. Its preaching is more akin to pop psychology and self-help books than the words of the Sovereign Universal Ruler. Its god is lacking in righteousness, limited power, and blasphemous mockery of the Infinitely Righteous, Immeasurably Beautiful, and Unfathomably Powerful God that IS. This is not true of all Christians in America, not all churches in America, it is however the prevailing norm.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


The Fight For Christmas Part 1

Today I read an Associated Press article entitled; Group fights Wal-Mart on 'happy holidays'. The article reported, "Controversy over the secularization of Christmas is nothing new, but this year religious groups are publicly taking on retailers who have decided to tone down the religious aspects of the holiday in their store decorations and promotional material."

The New York Times also ran an article entitled, Good Will Took a Holiday, Whatever You Call It. The New York Times reports; "At a Christmas tree lighting ceremony recently in Manhasset, N.Y., a crowd of 200 gasped at the intemperate words uttered by a public official who was angry at a priest for an invocation the official considered too religious." Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman is quoted as saying "This is inappropriate, I just want to make it clear that this is in no way a religious ceremony." In addition, an elementary school in Dodgeville, Wisconsin modified the lyrics of "Silent Night" "to eliminate religious references."

The fact remains, and will always remain, that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and to claim otherwise is simply ludicrous. The advocates of ecumenism want all the trappings of Christmas without having to acknowledge that it represents the birth of THE KING to which every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every will tongue confess that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


A Biblical Response to the Ecumenical Monoculture

Now that I have thoroughly profiled the ecumenical monoculture I plan to set forth what a Biblical response to it should be. Once I begin to lay forth a Biblical response to the ecumenical monoculture, my posts will be titled by the verses, which are exposited therein. These posts will be interrupted occasionally by cultural commentary, breaking news, and anything else that I deem of importance. Before I begin addressing a Biblical response to the ecumenical monoculture, I find it necessary to offer an introduction, albeit a lengthy one, to the topic with the following series of posts.

The Danger of the Monoculture: I Timothy 4:15-16

The Threat of the Monoculture: Acts 4:12

The Sin of the Monoculture: Romans 1:18-23

The Reality of the Monoculture: Matthew 7:15-23, II Timothy 4:3, II Peter 2:1-3, and Jude 1:3-4

The Answer to the Monoculture: II Corinthians 10:5, Jude 1:17-25

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Why should you stand against the ecumenical monoculture? Part 5

The Ecumenical Monoculture is Exclusive Part 4


“You shall have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:3

“I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.” Isaiah 42:8

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17
Biblical Christianity is not, and will never be, tolerated by the ecumenical monoculture. The proponents of the ecumenical monoculture are vigorously opposing the absolute and exclusive truth claim made by Biblical Christianity.

I admit that due to the, anti-Christian, agenda, of the ecumenical monoculture, and rampant drives towards tolerance, in sects of all religions, it is unlikely that the monoculture will come to oppose any who are not conservative or fundamental in their beliefs, namely conservative evangelical Christians. The push towards inclusivism and tolerance can be seen in the following statement made by the Catholic church: “The Church's relationship with the Muslims. ‘The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day.’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 841) I find it highly unlikely that any faithful Muslim would agree with that statement. The move towards ecumenism is not limited to Catholicism; the postmodern Sirens are even luring those who would call themselves Christian to make shipwreck of their faith.

Does that sound like tolerance? Is the ecumenical monoculture concerned with establishing or promoting unity among churches or religions? Is the ecumenical monoculture supremely tolerant, as it claims? Or is it venomously intolerant and purposed solely to promote moral relativism? The ecumenical monoculture is not tolerant of other beliefs, as shown by Shanafelt’s statement. Postmodernism is only tolerant of those who believe that truth and God are constructs of the human mind. The monoculture will not tolerate any religious belief system that makes an absolute/exclusive claim. Postmodernism and the ecumenical monoculture are only tolerant of those who compromise their beliefs to comply with the monoculture. By claiming, that universal/absolute truth does not exist Postmodernism makes an exclusive and absolute truth claim.

Postmodernism’s Intolerance of its Own Truth Claim

Self-contradiction appears inherent within the postmodern thought process (Please read “Why should you stand against the ecumenical monoculture? Part 1” for further explanation). Its view of tolerance is no exception to this. If “the limit of tolerance is intolerance (1)” and Postmodernism is intolerant (see “Why should you stand against the ecumenical monoculture? Parts 2-5”) then postmodernism cannot tolerate its own beliefs. Because of its venomous intolerance of ALL exclusive/absolute belief systems postmodernism cannot tolerate its own intolerance. This seems obvious but every day more and more people are being enticed by the sweet songs of tolerance sung by the postmodern Sirens.

(1) Shanafelt, R. (2002). Idols of Our Tribes? Relativism, Truth and Falsity in Ethnographic Fieldwork and Cross-cultural Interaction. Critique of Anthropology, Volume 22, Issue 1, 7-29.

Friday, December 09, 2005


"Not A Tame Lion"

Last night at 12:03am I went to see The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and I must say that it is awesome. Any reservations I had about the muting of its allegorical thrust, poor rendering of computer-generated characters, or bad acting were dispelled. The film was great and I recommend it to everyone. For a more in depth review I thoroughly recommend reading Aslan Is On the Move--The Chronicles of Narnia on Film by Dr. Albert Mohler.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Gone Commercial?

Yesterday USA Today featured an article entitled Some megachurches closing for Christmas. Why are these mega churches canceling their services on Christmas Sunday? “Cally Parkinson, a spokeswoman for Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., said church leaders decided that organizing services on a Christmas Sunday would not be the most effective use of staff and volunteer resources. The last time Christmas fell on a Sunday was 1994, and only a small number of people showed up to pray, she said.” Parkinson goes on to say that, “If our target and our mission is to reach the unchurched, basically the people who don't go to church, how likely is it that they'll be going to church on Christmas morning?” First, using the fact that the unchurched do not go to church, as an excuse for canceling church is absurd. Such logic is completely nonsensical. Secondly, it is important to note that their church’s mission is to reach the unchurched; not to glorify God or to herald the Gospel of Christ. Willow Creek, and every other seeker friendly church, is driven by the fickle desires of the unchurched instead of being driven by sound Biblical doctrine. Ultimately, their church is controlled by the desires of the unchurched and therefore their church has become a product to be marketed.

USA Today also reports, “Among the other megachurches closing on Christmas Day are Southland Christian Church in Nicholasville, Ky., near Lexington, and Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, outside of Dallas. North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Ga., outside of Atlanta, said on its website that no services will be held on Christmas Day or New Year's Day, which also falls on a Sunday.”

Most interestingly enough the secular newspaper reports that, “It is almost unheard of for a Christian church to cancel services on a Sunday, and opponents of the closures are accusing these congregations of bowing to secular culture.” Are these churches bowing to secular culture? Yes, in shame of the Gospel and to their shame before Christ.

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25) Need I say more?

Monday, December 05, 2005


The End of the Intelligent Design Debate?

Yesterday The New York Times reports that Intelligent Design Might Be Meeting Its Maker. I will briefly touch on four important things discussed in this article.

First, The New York Times disturbingly reports, “While intelligent design has hit obstacles among scientists, it has also failed to find a warm embrace at many evangelical Christian colleges. Even at conservative schools, scholars and theologians who were initially excited about intelligent design say they have come to find its arguments unconvincing. They, too, have been greatly swayed by the scientists at their own institutions and elsewhere who have examined intelligent design and found it insufficiently substantiated in comparison to evolution.” Scholars and theologians? Evangelical Christian colleges? These are our supposed leaders, our learned men, and yet they have traded the wisdom of God for the foolishness of man. I only hope that you, like Paul, are asking, “Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (I Corinthians 1:20)

Second, “The only university where intelligent design has gained a major institutional foothold is a seminary. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., created a Center for Science and Theology for William A. Dembski, a leading proponent of intelligent design, after he left Baylor, a Baptist university in Texas, amid protests by faculty members opposed to teaching it.” As Christians, we need to support schools like The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary who teach sound doctrine and oppose schools, like Baylor, who do not.

Third, the Dover trial will determine “whether intelligent design can be taught in a public school, or whether teaching it is unconstitutional because it advances a particular religious belief” Intelligent design advances the most ecumenical, universal, and basic religious belief possible, a belief in a god who created the universe. Evolution advances a particular religious belief, ATHEISM. I agree with Derek Davis that, “It's a religious worldview that's being advanced.” The only problem is that if advancing a particular religious belief is the determiner of unconstitutionality then the theory of evolution is just as unconstitutional. This gets to the heart of the ecumenical monoculture, erasing the knowledge of God and replacing it with lies (Romans 1:23, 25, 28). The issue is not constitutionality, it is not truth, and it is certainly not ecumenism. In 1882, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote The Gay Science, in which he exclaimed, “God is dead.” and now, that God is dead, the proponents of the monoculture are attempting to erase Him from our memory. If God the Creator is erased then all of God is erased and this is their goal.

Fourth, “If the judge in the Dover case rules against intelligent design, the decision would be likely to dissuade other school boards from incorporating it into their curriculums. School boards might already be wary because of a simple political fact: eight of the school-board members in Dover who supported intelligent design were voted out of office in elections last month and replaced by a slate of opponents.” Far too long have American evangelicals been plagued by the sin of theological and intellectual sloth we must study God’s Word and defend it. The opponents of Intelligent Design are forcefully advancing their worldview and we cannot afford to stand idle any longer.

Friday, December 02, 2005


The Real Ethical Issues behind the First Face Transplant

Earlier this week in France a 38-year-old woman underwent the world’s first partial face transplant. The article Face transplant woman thanks team recounts this amazing medical feat. Of all the ensuing controversy, none of it has dealt with the true issue surrounding this surgery. reports, “The donor tissue came from a woman who had been declared brain-dead, with the permission of that woman's family, doctors said.” This surgery has ushered in a new age in human history, the birth of the Human Commodity.

The Human Commodity is nothing new; black-market organ sales have occurred for a long time and recently embryos have been used as a source for stem cells used in research. What this event represents is the normalizing of the abnormal that occurs due to ecumenism within the monoculture. From the normalizing of homosexuality into merely another alternative lifestyle to the “Dutch Cure,” the monoculture embraces and normalizes the most abhorrent and base behavior.

The issue is that the “donor tissue,” a female face, was removed from a living human being and surgically transplanted onto another. In the September/October 2005 issue of Foreign Policy Peter Singer writes, “During the next 35 years, the traditional view of the sanctity of human life will collapse under pressure from scientific, technological, and demographic developments.” He goes on to assert that, “Hence, a decision to remove the feeding tube will be less controversial, for it will be a decision to end the life of a human body, but not of a person.” Singer believes that being alive does not necessarily constitute being a person and thus believes that there is a difference in killing a body and a person. The sanctity of human life is already collapsing and has already collapsed to the point that the organs of a living woman are now a harvestable commodity, with her family’s permission of course. According to the ecumenical monoculture, you are no longer a person you are a commodity, and your life has no intrinsic value.

Why should you stand against the ecumenical monoculture? Part 4

The Ecumenical Monoculture is Exclusive Part 3
This is a continuation of the illustration laid forth in the previous post.
"[The Church] does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence'." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 82.) Within postmodernism there can be no certainty about truth; all truth is relative, situated, and constructed.
"The Pope enjoys, by divine institution, supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 937)
'For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 882) The ecumenical monoculture cannot tolerate the absolute and universal power described within the two previous statements. Such absolute and universal statements are seen as intolerant and reprehensible by the monoculture. The ecumenical monoculture will not tolerate the Catholic Church.
Hinduism is one of the most inclusive religions in the world. While it is based upon the revealed knowledge of the Vedas, it embraces numerous religious traditions and is divided into several diverse sects. Despite its various sects one thing is true for all Hindus they believe that all humans are reincarnated until their good actions are so plentiful that they are released from the cycle of reincarnation and become apart of a universal spirit. With 98% of all Hindus, living on the Indian subcontinent it is unlikely that the ecumenical monoculture will ever oppose Hinduism. Postmodernists, however, should oppose the universal claim that all humanity is trapped in the cycle of reincarnation, because it makes a universal claim.
The Shahada, one of the five pillars of Islam, reads as follows: “La ilaha il Allah, Muhammad -ur-Rasool-Allah” (There is no true God except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.). The Shahada clearly places the Muslim truth claim in a position of superiority above all other truth claims and in his article, Shanafelt states that, “It is only when that faith is asserted as a superior form of truth beyond all others that others must object (1).” The monoculture views the exclusive claim made in the Shahada, and subsequently the Koran, as intolerant and the ecumenical monoculture will not tolerate Islam.
Judaism is monotheistic and this will not be tolerated by the pantheistic ecumenical monoculture.