Opinion/Commentary by Thomas Littleton
HOW IS THE SOCIAL JUSTICE GOSPEL IMPREGNATING EVANGELICALS MINISTRY VISION AND IT’S POLITICS ? ANSWER – SAME OLD SONG AND DANCE OF LEADERSHIP NETWORK AND THE GATHERING . NOW &CAMPAIGN TAKES THE NEXT STEP LEFT .
Rev Thomas Littleton 11/9/2019
For decades the evangelical church has been invaded and infiltrated . How? The answer is simple – by MONEY and lots of it . With the funding has come a massive amount of influence from people, organizations and “thought leaders” whose goals have nothing to do with the true Biblical mission of the church. In the last couple of years things have grown far worse as the overt effort to wed “Biblical values & social justice” exploded . & Campaign is just the latest and now one of the most obvious of such efforts among conservative Christians .
For thirty five years the influence of one organization ,Leadership Network , has been pervasive .You would likely have never heard of Bill Hybels of Willowcreek or Tim Keller , or Randy Pope of the conservative Presbyterian Church of America (PCA) or Rick Warren, Ed Stetzer of the conservative Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) if not for their involvement with the organization.
It is highly likely there would be no “Gospel Coalition “(TGC) . ACTS 29 and other church planting organizations would not even exist without Leadership Network. Today they are names familiar to most in their circles and denominations and are sought after speakers whose ministry models are followed globally. Fifteen years ago they would not dare to have been so open about the sources behind them or the progressive politics they promote. But the fruit of these men’s associations is now evident in the current trajectory of their ministries and in the progressive politics of their disciples.
How much have things changed ? A generation discipled in our own seminaries , who embrace the ideologies and the money brought with it- are now openly part of the left wing political leadership even attempting to alter Christians positions on open borders, sexuality and abortion and driving socialist economics while openly boasting their goal to “Create the new politics of the the church”.
Tim Keller ,Rick Warren and their companions must be proud . Never mind the fundamental betrayal their entire careers appear to represent .
& CAMPAIGN – THE NEW EVANGELICAL POLITICS OUT OF THE CLOSET AND IN YOUR FACE
The progressive & Campaign lead by Michael Wear of Obama’s Faith advisor now dubbed the “Obama Ambassador to America’s Believers ” and the Atlanta based Democratic Party strategist Justin Giboney is coming out and into full view in the 2020 election cycle.It is just one example of the 2020 effort but glaring in it’s brazen deception as a third way middle of the road movement with not a single voice from the conservative side .
GOING WHERE THE MONEY IS
PRAXIS JOURNAL FEATURED THE WORK OF &CAMPAIGN AT THE GATHERING 2018
Praxis co-founder Dave Blanchard ,according to his bio, has worked with The Gathering
( the term praxis is sued as meaning “action oriented towards changing society”)
” he’s had the privilege of speaking at varied venues including The White House, Harvard Business School, Q, and The Gathering. ”
( Note the Faith and Work focus like that of the funding now deeply embedded in the development of social justice curriculum in our evangelical seminaries . https://medium.com/@dave_blanchard/frontiers-of-faith-work-a01113b7086c#.tj7na4cni )
The Praxis Journal featured Giboney and Wear/& Campaign on stage in their segment at The Gathering . ( Note: Former Christianity Today editor Andy Crouch is a team member of Praxis https://www.praxislabs.org/team/ )
“Praxis (from Ancient Greek: πρᾶξις, romanized: praxis) is the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, embodied, or realized. “Praxis” may also refer to the act of engaging, applying, exercising, realizing, or practicing ideas. This has been a recurrent topic in the field of philosophy, discussed in the writings of Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, Francis Bacon, Immanuel Kant, Søren Kierkegaard, Karl Marx, Antonio Gramsci, Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, Paulo Freire, Ludwig von Mises, and many others. It has meaning in the political, educational, spiritual and medical realms”
FRANKFURT SCHOOL CULTURAL MARXISM AND “PRAXIS”
” Young Hegelian philosopher August Cieszkowski was one of the earliest philosophers to use the term praxis as meaning “action oriented towards changing society” in his 1838 work Prolegomena zur Historiosophie (Prolegomena to a Historiosophy). The 19th century socialist Antonio Labriola called Marxism the “philosophy of praxis”. This description of Marxism would appear again in Antonio Gramsci‘s Prison Notebooks and the writings of the members of the Frankfurt School.“
PRACTICING PRAXIS IN THE EVANGELICAL WORLD PAYS WELL.
Justin Giboney & Michael Wear // AND Campaign
Oct 18, 2018 · 2 min read
“The AND Campaign equips people to be active Christian witnesses in the public square and helps to unite the church through training, coalition building, and advocacy.”
(Justin Giboney & Michael Wear (Praxis Nonprofit Fellows 2018) pitch their venture, AND Campaign, during the Nonprofit Accelerator Finale segment of The Gathering in Miami, FL, September 2018)
“The AND Campaign is a coalition of urban Christians ( ACTUALLY LEADERSHIP IS PROVIDED BY MANY TGC PASTORS) who are determined to address the sociopolitical arena with the compassion and conviction of the Gospel. Through training, coalition building, and advocacy, they equip Christians to be more than just conservatives or liberals in the public square. By opening up denominational and demographic silos, they help believers have a greater impact and further pursue reconciliation.”
HOW CHURCH PLANTING REDISTRICTED THE DENOMINATIONS
“& CAMPAIGN IS A COALITION OF URBAN PASTORS ”
It is not made clear to the reader but certainly important to notice that the churches this coalition of Urban Pastor operate are largely from denominational and affiliated church planting organization like the Southern Baptist North American Missions Board / Send Network and the TGC affiliated organizations that work within the denominations like 9MARKS and ACTS 29 planting networks. Like the Democratic Party whose governors win state elections at the turn of a decade as the census is conducted – these leaders have redistricted our denominations one church plant at a time and used our own funding (plus that of these outside influences) and missions organizations to do it .
PRAXIS AT THE GATHERING WITH &CAMPAIGN AND RUSSELL MOORE
SOUTHERN BAPTIST ERLC LEADER RUSSELL MOORE SPOKE AT THE SAME MEETINGS WITH PRAXIS /&CAMPAIGN LEADERS IN 2018
(MORE ON RUSSELL MOORE IN A MOMENT )
WHAT IS THE GATHERING
“IN 1985, FIVE PEOPLE MET FOR THE FIRST TIME WITH A VERY SIMPLE AGENDA.”
“They were all engaged in Christian philanthropy and wanted to create a group of like-minded individuals to serve as a source of spiritual encouragement and a sounding board of peers. They wanted to set aside a time each year to find a safe, neutral place to relax, talk, and learn – and to hopefully bring their families. And so The Gathering began.”
“Our mission is to cultivate a community of givers who grow in their effectiveness and mature in their faith, while nurturing the next generation of philanthropists. The expressions of The Gathering have now expanded to include our annual conference of a few hundred people across multiple generations, as well as regional get-togethers and ministry trips throughout the year.”
In short The Gathering draws in big donors and ministries needing funding into the same event – in the same room to commingle and match make .
THIS IS WHY INVITING GIBONEY AND WEAR /&CAMPAIGN INTO THE EVENT IN SEPTEMBER 2018 SIGNALED BIBLICAL VALUES AND SOCIAL JUSTICE = AS SUCCESSFUL DONOR GOALS AND FUNDING LANGUAGE .
WHO IS FRED SMITH ?
“Fred Smith is the Founder of The Gathering, which he led for three decades through the end of 2018. As well, Fred was the Founder of Fourth Partner, a local foundation in Tyler that was focused on philanthropy and community development within the East Texas area. He previously joined Bob Buford in founding Leadership Network, where he served as President for 12 years. Fred spent several years as a teacher and administrator at Charlotte Christian School in North Carolina and The Stony Brook School in New York. He is a Navy veteran and a graduate of Denver University and Harvard Divinity School.”
FRED SMITH IS A MENTOR AT PRAXIS IN IT’S “PRAXIS LABS”
“Fred Smith is a graduate of Denver University and Harvard Divinity School. Fred spent several years as teacher and administrator at Charlotte Christian School in North Carolina and The Stony Brook School in New York before moving to Tyler and joining Bob Buford in founding Leadership Network, where he served as President for 12 years. Fred was also the Founder of Fourth Partner, a local foundation that was focused on philanthropy and community development within the East Texas area. Additionally, Fred is the Founder and President of The Gathering, connecting an international community of givers focused on the support of Christian Ministries. His good friend Steve Garber of The Washington Institute has said this about Fred’s work. “…he has read widely and cared deeply, resisting the easy black-and-white responses that most of us are all-too-willing to live with…his personal beliefs do not find a home in the partisan politics we know so well. And over time, he has earned the trust of good people all over the country.” Despite a lifetime of accomplishment, Fred will tell you his true vocation is that of a Sunday School teacher and it is this role for which he would most like to be remembered. Fred and his wife, Carol, have two grown daughters and a son-in-law. They also have three well-loved grandchildren.”
A FEW OF THE GATHERINGS PARTNERS
BOB BUFORD /LEADERSHIP NETWORK
FRED SMITH, BUFORD AND LEADERSHIP NETWORK “TRANSFORMING THE CHURCH”
OUR FOUNDER: BOB BUFORD
(BUFORD IS THE TEXAS BILLIONAIRE WHOSE GREAT ADMIRATION FOR PETER DRUCKER’S MANAGEMENT AND VLADIMIR ( Ilyich Ulyanov ) LENIN’S CENTRALIZED PLANNING BIRTHED LEADERSHIP NETWORK AND CORRALLED A GENERATION OF PASTORS.)
“Leadership Network’s Founder, Bob Buford, (1939-2018) achieved considerable financial success as CEO of Buford Television, Inc., a business started by his mother. It had begun with a single ABC affiliate in Tyler, Texas. It grew it into a network of cable systems across the country. In 1999 Buford helped sell the family business interest in order to create philanthropic initiatives designed to serve churches. He often joked that he hoped the last check he wrote just before he died would bounce—because he had given away the last of his millions.”
“Through philanthropy and personal engagement, Buford significantly contributed to three of American Christianity’s major landscape shifts over recent decades. First was the rise and proliferation of large-attendance Protestant churches led by innovative, entrepreneurial leaders. Second was the empowerment of Christian lay leaders making a second-career shift from “success to significance” through a “halftime” transition—terms that trace their popularity to Buford’s writings. Third was the formation of the Drucker Institute, a network of organizations designed to further the teachings of management expert Peter Drucker. Drucker not only extensively mentored Buford, but through introductions by Buford, also mentored several high-visibility pastors like Saddleback Church founder Rick Warren.”
“These three major emphases weave together under the umbrella of Buford’s later-life mission: to transform the latent energy of American Christianity into active energy.”
“In 1984, at age 45, Buford, Fred Smith, Jr. and Gayle Carpenter started Leadership Network as a way of trying to help the newly emerging wave of pastors who were breaking worship attendance barriers of 1,000 and sometimes 2,000 or more. During his business years, Buford had spent countless hours talking with and seeking guidance from Peter Drucker, the father of modern management, and he now tapped into Drucker’s guidance for how best to frame Leadership Network. He later remarked that Leadership Network would not be the same—in fact, might not exist at all—were it not for Peter Drucker. (Buford later developed that 23-year mentoring relationship into a book, Drucker and Me.)”
“Leadership Network (LN) started in 1984 with a budget of $5,000, and held its first forum with 55 churches that had attendance of 800 and higher. By 2017 the organization was annually serving more than 400 larger churches through in-person events which included more than 1,500 leaders. Online conferences reached upwards of 25,000, and Leadership Network Advance subscriptions exceeded 50,000.”
BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION DOLLARS -LEADERSHIP NETWORK’S RICK WARREN PAVED THE WAY
BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION funding has been associated with Rick Warren’s global PEACE plan and it’s work in the “Global Health Initiative ” since at least 2007 .
Bill Hybels (another LN product) and his Global Leadership Network( a Leadership Network clone ) have hosted Melinda Gates in its annual GLN conference.
Why is this a problem , especially in global health ? Gates parents long time involvement with Planned Parenthood and support of global population control ARE CORE VALUES . See Physicians for Life story documenting this disturbing Gates History .
SO LEADERSHIP NETWORK DISCIPLES DO NOT APPEAR TO HESITATE ABOUT GATES FOUNDATION ASSOCIATIONS – ANY WONDER THE POLITICS OF & CAMPAIGN WERE INTRODUCED AT THE GATHERING ?
GATES FAMILY PRO ABORTION HISTORY
GATES PBS INTERVIEW -MALTHUSIAN FEARS AND GATES FOUNDATION FUNDING
“In a lengthy interview with Bill Moyers released today, Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates reveals the inspiration for his funding of pro-abortion population control measures.”
“Responding to a question by Moyers on how he came to fund “reproductive issues” Gates answered, “When I was growing up, my parents were always involved in various volunteer things. My dad was head of Planned Parenthood. And it was very controversial to be involved with that. And so it’s fascinating. At the dinner table my parents are very good at sharing the things that they were doing. And almost treating us like adults, talking about that.”
“In the interview Gates says he is moved by measurable progress and on “safe birth reproductive family planning issues” he says.”
“There’s a measurable impact when you can go in and educate families, but primarily women, about their different choices. There’s real impact that you can have in this area. Anything to do with reproductive health.”
“He claims he has seen beyond Malthusian conceptions of useless eaters since, he says, he has seen that by improving health and education population decreases as parents decide to have less children.”
“Despite all his distancing from Malthus, Gates remains steadfast to the unfounded Malthusian fear of overpopulation.”
See the transcript of the interview with Gates at:
See The Quiz Gates Failed http://www.all.org/gates/index.htm
UN POPULATION FUND RECEIVES $57 MIL FROM GATES http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2000/apr/00040504.html
Omaha, NE (LifeNews.com); May 9, 2003 (LifeSiteNews.com)
OTHER GATES FOUNDATION FUNDING PRIORITIES
Gates has also been an avid supporter and funder of the very controversial global vaccination movement .
Gates Pro gay marriage and LGBTQ rights stance is also a problem for Evangelicals who affiliate with tis programs .
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation programs also include activist training for youth driving social change and social justice .
GATES FOUNDATION FUNDING/TRAINING YOUNG LEADERS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
“We the Future showcases the stories of ten young leaders working to build an equitable and inclusive world through their respective social change movements. Inspired by Amplifier’s We the Future education campaign and co-curated with the Gates Foundation Discovery Center’s Youth Ambassador Program, the exhibit celebrates youth leadership and action across a range of social justice issues and invites audiences of all ages to imagine and become the change they want to see in the world.”
Gates Foundation “Young Leaders of Social Change ”
“QUEER RIGHTS” INCLUDED IN GATES YLFSC VISION “
“The young leaders featured in this exhibition are shaping a new era of human and environmental rights. They are building organizations, passing legislation, creating media, and speaking out about climate justice, criminal justice reform, voting rights, queer rights, immigration justice, disability justice, and gun reform.”
THE CHURCH MISSION AND OUTSIDE FUNDING
A QUESTION OF ETHICS AND VISION
So is The Gathering moving Gates Foundation funding into their organization ? (see the post below from Oct 2018 ) Can The Gathering work to couple Christians- both donors and ministries with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ? What is the wisdom or justification for the mingling of the Kingdoms great commission with the malthusianism of planned parenthood and the globalism of organizations like the Gates Foundation funding ?
A FEW HONEST QUESTIONS
How much money from such sources is coming into Christian ministries?
How long have such partnerships flourished without the knowledge of the church?
How direct an impact does this funding have on the “new politics of the evangelicals “?
Why do missions organizations and ministries, church planting organizations, denominations need our money if they are tapping multi-billion dollar foundations coffers?
How are we so foolish to think we can wed the mission of the true church to the political structures and globalist ideas of the lost and godless organizations who see the answers to global problems in methods totally antithetical to the Word of the Living God?
Great morning with @johnkeithsage at the @gatesfoundation. #gathseattle
THE GATHERING STAFF IN OCT 2018 AT THE BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION
DRAWN BY THE MONEY OR THE PROGRESSIVE POLITICS?
RUSSELL MOORE AND THE GATHERING –
Russell Moore is president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the moral and public policy agency of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. Read more…
MOORE IN 2018 GATHERING EVENTS WHERE WEAR /GIBONEY AND THE & CAMPAIGN SPOKE
The GatheringLike Page
THAT IS HIGH PRAISE FOR PROGRESSIVE RUSSELL MOORE FROM THE GATHERINGS FRED SMITH .
The Gathering promoting Moore’s NEW book based on feminine theology ideals of family deconstruction .
Clearly Russell Moore speaking with the Gathering -with Praxis Journal and with % Campaign is a match made in heaven or possibly in hell -depending on your Christian biblical convictions. They are unified in their efforts for social change .
PRAXIS AND THE GATHERING WITH ULTIMATE ESTABLISHMENT EVANGELICAL LEADER – FORMER CHRISTIANITY TODAY EDITOR ANDY CROUCH .
( CROUCH ON THE RIGHT )
Over 35 years ago Leadership Network began flooding the ideologies of secular leadership models and Peter Drucker into the church via “invitation only “outreaches to selected “innovative young pastors “. Now those pastors are running much of the modern day evangelicalism machine.
Co-founder of The Gospel Coalition is a Leadership Network disciple and product of it’s promotion.Keller and TGC are at the very core of the progressive politics invading the church and the are driving the global urban vision. Rick Warren, another major Leadership Network “success story” has taken the Purpose Driven vision globally and infected the largest protestant denomination in America with it.
From the publishing companies to media outlets like Christianity Today to the seminaries , church planting organizations to the pulpits themselves -the Leadership Network “investment ” in evangelicalism has saturated everything in the mainstream.
Now in the wedding of & Campaign/ “Biblical Values and Social Justice ” merged with The Gathering and the TGC leadership – and watch the SBC liberal Democratic “ETHICIST ” Russell Moore running into the mix- not only is the long game “SOCIAL CHANGE IN THE CHURCH ” plan in evidence but the pure PURPOSEFUL PERVERSION of the Gospel is bearing fruit .
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”
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