By Brannon S. Howse
In 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, I researched numerous examples of projects in which members of the New Religious Right (NRR) were working with the New Apostolic Reformation, Word of Faith, the Church of Rome, and selected Emergent Church leaders. I call it the “emergence” of the New Religious Right, because many Emergent Church ideas have found their way into the New Religious Right (NRR), and many in the New Religious Right openly join forces with members of the Emergent Church, the Church of Rome, New Apostolic Reformation, and Word of Faith movement.
I also call this new generation of pro-family leaders the “New Religious Right” because I do not believe many of the now deceased leaders of the Religious Right from the 1970s and 1980s would agree with the theological and doctrinal compromises made by many of today’s NRR leaders.
On my radio program of August 3, 2011, Tommy Ice explained how the Religious Right was formed during the presidency of Jimmy Carter by leaders such as Jerry Falwell, Adrian Rogers, Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, Cal Thomas, and D. James Kennedy. Tommy also revealed that his friend Jerry Falwell preached a sermon one month before his death on the dangers of the Emergent Church. At the conclusion of Falwell’s sermon, Ice approached Falwell to thank him for the message. Falwell confided in Tommy and his wife that he was planning to break ties with Rick Warren since he believed Warren was embracing many errant ideas of the Emergent Church. This revelation by Tommy Ice is one reason I believe that if D. James Kennedy, Jerry Falwell, and Adrian Rogers were alive today, they would not enter into spiritual enterprises with members of the Emergent Church, the Word of Faith, and the New Apostolic Reformation.
Some of you may be aware that Adrian Rogers also endorsed Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life. And perhaps you, as I, found that troubling. If so, I have some good news. A reliable source in Memphis, Tennessee, where I live and where Dr. Rogers pastored for many years, informed me that Dr. Rogers had personally explained in the last few weeks of his life that if he had to do it over again, he would not endorse Warren’s book. I believe Falwell and Rogers had both figured out what Warren’s vision for the Church was, and they could not agree with it.
Even the secular media is noticing the emergence of a New Religious Right. On July 21, 2011, Business Insider reported:
"As mainstream evangelical influence wanes, however, the New Apostolic Reformation is gaining broader acceptance among conservative Christians. The Response [Texas Governor Rick Perry’s prayer rally], whose endorsers also include more mainstream fundamentalists, is evidence of the New Apostles’ emerging influence — and of its leaders’ growing appetite for political power. Here’s what you need to know about the fastest-growing religious movement you’ve never heard of."
While there are many examples of convergence among the Religious Right, the New Apostolic Reformation, the Word of Faith, and the Emergent Church with members of the Church of Rome, what may shock you most is the rat’s nest in a woodpile I found while researching this problem. All the compatriots in this convergence seem to be embracing progressives. While running around the country holding conferences to fight socialism and the culture war, “conservative” and “religious” leaders can be found to include “evangelical progressives,” globalists, and ecumenical proponents in their events, proclamations, and initiatives.
In this chapter, I will reveal that there is a convergence (to use the word of the New Apostolic Reformation, New Agers, and communitarians) occurring between the political left and political right as well as the theological left and theological right. Don’t confuse the theological right with biblical theology. If those of the New Religious Right were truly committed first and foremost to sound biblical theology and doctrine, they would not be involved in spiritual enterprises with those who participate in the New Age Movement, the New Apostolic Reformation, ecumenicalism, globalism, communitarianism, the Church of Rome, the Word of Faith movement, social justice, and the social gospel.
Before I explain how the New Religious Right has been infiltrated by a Trojan horse, let me remind you that in U.S. Congressional hearings in July 1953, former communists who had turned against communism warned that communists were infiltrating religious organizations and institutions in America. So we should not be shocked that today’s progressives, globalists, and statists are still employing this Trojan horse strategy. Indeed, the Gramsci effect of marching through the institutions would obviously include evangelical churches and colleges.
On August 6, 2011, Texas Governor Rick Perry, along with several pro-family organizations and “evangelical” leaders, hosted a prayer rally in Houston called “The Response.” The New Apostolic Reformation, International House of Prayer, and Word of Faith false teachers were involved in the event, and that is what made it so unbiblical (2 Corinthians 6:14, 2 John 9-11). People can claim Jesus was exalted, but Jesus is never glorified when people disobey His Word and give credibility to false teachers.
Even if John MacArthur, Alistair Begg, Jimmy DeYoung, John Whitcomb, and other great Bible teachers had been speaking at The Response (which they weren’t, of course), it would still have been an unbiblical event. The reason respected Bible teachers did NOT attend is that they understood that uniting with false teachers is a clear violation of Scripture, as noted in Romans 16:17-18:
"Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple."
I believe many pro-family and “evangelical” leaders were deceived by the “smooth words and flattering speech” of the New Apostolic Reformation and Word of Faith leaders. Allowing such deception is the mark of simple-mindedness, as described by John McArthur:
"The little word simple of the Hebrew language is real concrete, not abstract like Greek. Simple comes from a root word that means an open door. And a simple-minded person was somebody whose mind was always open… the simpleton was the person who had not enough discernment or discrimination or knowledge or understanding or wisdom to know what to accept and what to reject. And the Word of God will teach you how to close the door. It will teach you how to be wise. Wise is chakam in Hebrew, it means skilled in all aspects of living."
Many within the New Religious Right willingly embrace false teachers because they either agree with them or because they are not offended by them. According to 1 John 2:22-25, a true follower of Jesus Christ rejects false teaching and false teachers. Yet the New Religious Right has openly embraced the false teachers of the Word of Faith movement and the New Apostolic Reformation.
Even after the January 2011, release of Beck’s book, Seven Wonders that Will Change Your Life—which clearly revealed Beck New Age Mormonism—the religious community just could not get enough. Even a Christian school in the Bible belt city of Jackson, Tennessee featured Beck as a keynote speaker for its October 29, 2011 banquet at the Carl Perkins Civic Center.
The next day Beck spoke at John Hagee’s church on Sunday, October 30, 2011. And on the Friday and Saturday before Beck’s Sunday sermon, Hagee’s church had featured Word of Faith false teachers Creflo Dollar and Jesse Duplantis. (Chapter 8 on “Christian shamanism” will bring you up to speed on Creflo and Jesse if you are not familiar with their heresies.) The Word of Faith teaches that Christians are “little gods,” so it stands to reason they would be at home with Mormon Glenn Beck since Mormons, too, believe they will become gods.
Christian Post.com offers further proof of the theological convergence occurring among us. On October 10, 2011, the website reported that president of Fuller Theological Seminary, Richard J. Mouw, believes that many Mormons worship the same Jesus that he does:
"While I am not prepared to reclassify Mormonism as possessing undeniably Christian theology, I do accept many of my Mormon friends as genuine followers of the Jesus whom I worship as the divine Savior,” Mouw, head of the Pasadena, Calif., seminary wrote in an article on CNN Sunday."
Fuller, of course, is a super-liberal seminary, and Mouw in addition to signing the Evangelicals and Catholics Together document, believes Catholics are Christians. Fuller’s president is also hammering out a similar document with the Mormons, according to the Christian Post:
[quote] Mouw said he had been co-chairing, with Prof. Robert Millet of the Mormon Brigham Young University, a behind-closed-doors dialogue between evangelicals and Mormons for over a decade. “We evangelicals and our Mormon counterparts disagree about some important theological questions,” he admitted. “But we have also found that on some matters we are not as far apart as we thought we were,” he added. [end quote]
The article also reported:
[quote]…Fuller president said Mormons “talk admiringly of the evangelical Billy Graham and the Catholic Mother Teresa, and they enjoy reading the evangelical C.S. Lewis and Father Henri Nouwen, a Catholic. That is not the kind of thing you run into in anti-Christian cults.” [end quote]
But of course they do. As far as I can determine, Billy Graham never called Mormons out publicly as a cult, perhaps because of his own “ecumenical strategy.” Mother Teresa was a Universalist by her own admission; C.S. Lewis was not sure Jesus was the only way, and Henri Nouwen is a Catholic mystic and Universalist. In his book, Sabbatical Journey, for instance, Nouwen writes:
"Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God."
A year after Glenn Beck released his Seven Wonders book, my prediction that a greater convergence would occur between the Religious Right and the religious left was confirmed as Christians from both camps jumped on board the next spiritual bandwagon—the Texas prayer event. And why would such a rally be necessary? The website for The Response declared:
"America is in the midst of a historic crisis. We have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters. The youth of America are in grave peril economically, socially, and, most of all, morally. There are threats emerging within our nation and beyond our borders beyond our power to solve."
The “youth of America are in grave peril economically, socially, and most of all, morally” because they are in peril spiritually, and giving credibility to and introducing youth and adults to false teachers and their unbiblical spirituality is only going to put people in even greater eternal, spiritual peril.
Governor Perry’s event will not help reclaim the country, restore liberty or prosperity, and it certainly will not prompt God to bless America. As I said of the Glenn Beck rally, I believe events like this will actually hasten God’s judgment on our country if He isn’t already judging our land. Our nation has made it nearly impossible to mention God in our schools, entertainment industry (except as a swear word), and government.
A few days before the governor’s rally, news reports revealed that Governor Perry said he has no problem with gay marriage in New York since he sees it as a state’s rights issue. Did pro-family leaders who agreed to boycott secular companies for their support of gay marriage remain consistent and boycott Perry’s prayer event? Not at all. To the contrary, the New Religious Right went into political spin and damage control. I guess it is easier to gore the ox of others over the issue of same-sex marriage than it is your own.
In what seemed like an attempt to repair the damage, one pro-family leader interviewed Perry. However, conservative journalist Joe Farah of Worldnet Daily saw through the smoke and mirrors and declared that Perry had fooled him:
"…you can forget…the nice things I said and wrote about Rick Perry. I’m afraid I’ve wasted my time and your time. In fact, I was just dead wrong in all of my conclusions about the governor of Texas. I no longer want him to run and no longer believe he is a viable candidate. In fact, I will do all I can to warn the American people away from him."
The Response was promoted as a time of prayer and repentance. But how can Christians and Christian leaders gather in a spiritual enterprise with individuals who embrace a theology and doctrine that teach a different Jesus and a different gospel? I and thousands of pastors and theologians believe the Word of God reveals that the teachings like those of the New Apostolic Reformation, the Word of Faith movement, and the prosperity gospel are completely unbiblical.
I am thankful for the pastors in America who are biblical shepherds and are protecting their flocks. The pastor of a large church in Houston, who is also a columnist at Worldview Weekend.com, sent me the following email after studying the resources on our website concerning The Response:
[quote] I’m praying for you. Thank you for bringing this out. I had planned on promoting the event until your stuff came out….Thank you for doing your homework….Stay committed to being the “voice crying in the wilderness.” [end quote]
Even before becoming one of our columnists, Tommy Ice wrote a book in 1988 on the unbiblical teachings of dominion theology. He has also written numerous articles on the dangers of the Latter Rain Movement, an aberrant group that has given rise to the Kansas City Prophet Movement and now the New Apostolic Reformation.
Since the early 1980s, Dr. Ice has been exposing the fallacies of dominion theology and reconstructionism, and this is how he defines a reconstructionism:
[quote] The belief that it is the moral obiligation of Christians to recapture every institution for Jesus Christ, both individual and social…Since God’s kingdom was established at Christ’s first coming, godly dominion will be mediated through the church before the return of Christ. The victory of God’s kingdom on earth will be during and continuous with this present era. [end quote]
In 1986, reconstructionist Gary North described how the Word of Faith camps united to lay the foundation for the synthesis we see today among the New Apostolic Reformation, Word of Faith, and New Religious Right:
[quote] …bringing together the postmillennial Christian reconstructionists and the “positive confession [Word of Faith] charismatics,…It began when Robert Tilton’s wife read Gary DeMar’s God and Government in late 1983, and then persuaded her husband to invite a group of reconstructionists to speak before 1,000 “positive confession” pastors and their wives at a January 1984 rally sponsored by Rev. Tilton’s church. The all day panel was very well received… [end quote]
As Dr. Ice accurately points out, “Reconstructionists get people excited, not about Christ returning for us, rather about taking over the world for Christ.”
Gary North also wrote a book in 1984 in which he predicted that he and his movement would transform American religious life (indeed they did—by aligning with heretics):
[quote] A new Puritanism is developing—a Puritanism which offers men the hope of God honoring social transformation….We are now in a position to fuse together in a working activist movement the three major legs of the Reconstructionist movement: the Presbyterian-oriented educators, [like North] the Baptist school headmasters and pastors [the Jerry Falwell types with their schools and colleges], and the charismatic tele-communications system [Trinity Broadcasting Network, DayStar, GodTV, etc.] When this takes place, the whole shape of American religious life will be transformed. [end quote]
How has that “new Puritanism” and “reclaiming the culture” worked out since 1984? It is not working, and things are not going to get better but worse, as described in Scripture.
Tommy sent me an email he had received from Robby Dean of West Houston Bible Church in which Dean shared a letter he had sent to the members of his church and to 50 other pastors. The purpose was to warn churches of what he believes to be doctrinal and theological problems with The Response. Dr. Dean cautioned:
[quote] …the delegation of the administration of this event, called “The Response,” is to a Christian group with ties to what is in my opinion, one of the most radical, fringe, quasi-cultic groups I have ever investigated. In my view, Response organizers have been exceptionally foolish in designating this a “Christian” event. The most distressing fact is that this event is being run by people from the International House of Prayer (IHOP), which has its roots in a movement called the Kansas City Prophets, which in turn was associated with the Vineyard churches founded by the late John Wimber. In the late 1980’s I conducted more than two thousand hours of research and personal interviews with key leaders in the Vineyard movement as part of independent studies courses in my doctoral studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. In January of 1989 I attended a “Spiritual Warfare Conference” at the home Vineyard church in southern California. I was there when Paul Cain, one of the most extreme, cult-like leaders of this movement and one who himself taught his own brand of heresy, was first introduced to the Vineyard congregation. Cain became very influential in the life of Mike Bickle, who was then pastor of the Kansas City Fellowship. In October of 1990 Dr. Thomas Ice and I interviewed the pastoral leadership of the Kansas City Vineyard, the so-called Kansas City Prophets, a now defunct ministry. Bickle went on to become one of the founders of the International House of Prayer. Our critique of this movement was published in Biblical Perspectives, a bi-monthly newsletter Dr. Ice and I published at that time. The Director and Program Coordinators for “The Response” are Luis and Jill Cataldo, both on the staff of the International House of Prayer. [end quote]
One of the key heresies of the Kansas City prophets, which is also at the core of the thinking of the IHOP movement, is based on a misuse and abuse of a passage in the Hebrew Scriptures, Joel 2:15-16. This passage is at the core of a heresy which calls upon present day Christians to fulfill a passage that has nothing whatsoever to do with modern events. In their view this passage is twisted to be a call for spiritual elites, the so-called “Joel’s Army,” to take over the United States and then to purge it and bring in a Christian kingdom. Unfortunately, in a display of theological naiveté, Gov. Perry was duped into using this passage as the rationale for his call to a Day of Prayer: “In the spirit of the Book of Joel, Chapter 2, Verses 15-16, I urge a solemn gathering of prayer and fasting. As those verses admonish: ‘Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly... Gather the people, consecrate the assembly...’. This is what happens when theologically uninformed politicians get duped by advisors whose religious agendas are not obvious. Few Christians are even aware of this movement, its heretical theology, and its political agenda. Governor Perry is not the only one who has been taken in by their pious duplicity.
On the basis of all my research into IHOP, I cannot, on the basis of the Word of God, endorse this event. Further, I must strongly encourage my congregation, and indeed all Bible believing Christians, to not participate in this event….Prayer is important, prayer for a nation is important, political leaders who recognize this are vital to our national health. But a right thing done in a wrong way is wrong. The end never justifies the means!! The way the Texas Day of Prayer is being administered is wrong and foolish, therefore the entire event is tainted. Rick Perry has let the wolves disguised as sheep into the hen house.
Those involved in “The Response” and other such events are not just guilty by association but guilty by participation. They give undue credibility to false teachers by uniting with them. Ephesians 5:11 directs us to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” Similarly, 2 Timothy 3:5 tells us “from such people turn away.”
It appears the New Religious Right has on numerous occasions openly embraced, for the sake of political pragmatism, the New Apostolic Reformation, the Word of Faith movement, and proponents of the prosperity gospel. In 2011, James Robison wrote on his website about “supernatural gatherings” and listed “those who attended one or both Leadership Summits along with those who encouraged and assisted in bringing about the gatherings.” The list included both men whose ministries I have respected and also Word of Faith and New Apostolic Reformation teachers I have refuted.
I am not shocked that Robison would host an event that included false teachers since Robison appeared on Glenn Beck’s television program and praised him. On his own television program, Robison has featured Word of Faith false teacher Creflo Dollar as a guest. And in 2011, Robison had Catholic priest Jonathan Morris on his television program. During that show, Robison declared:
[quote] And I’m just telling you straight on as an evangelical, as a protestant, every time you talk, every time I see you, I see Jesus. When you open your mouth that what you say is so consistent with the word of God, with the heart of God, with the spirit of God, and the spirit of Christ, that I marvel. And I’ve often said I wish most protestant preachers had the sensitivity and discernment and gift to communicate that you have. Don’t you agree that you see Jesus when this wonderful man of God shares? [end quote]
Does James Robison not understand what the Church of Rome teaches about Mary, Jesus Christ, atonement, purgatory, tradition above Scripture, the Pope above the Word of God, and more than 100 anathemas the Council of Trent declared against Bible-believing Christians? Robison wishes Protestant preachers had discernment, but it appears Robison is the one lacking biblical discretion. He went on to call for the Catholic Church and Protestant churches to come together as one:
[quote] And you know, here’s the thing. God and really Billy Graham is the one that asked me, do you know these people you’re talking about and telling me to stay away from? And I didn’t. And I’ve said this and if you watch me you’ve heard me say this many times. We don’t know Him as well as we should because we refuse to know them. And as a result of us not knowing one another and even being an answer to the prayer of Jesus that we be one, we’ve not learned as well as we should. And Father, listen, I have developed such wonderful relationships. I’ve got to be honest with you. If Catholics, evangelicals, protestants, if we would just come together on common ground, you talk about a city set on a hill that cannot be hidden. You talk about a city set on a hill that could light up the way the world should walk and reveal the way not to walk as well as to walk. I think it’s going to happen. [end quote]
God has not called His disciples to be part of a false, pagan church but has called Christians to reject false teachers. Consider how far off that mark this dialog is between Robison and Morris:
Robison—That I believe that I’m going to get to see and be a part of Jesus’ prayer for us to have a oneness with the Father and to see a perfected, perfecting-ness and perfection coming from a supernatural unity. And the world will know we’re his disciples because of our love that I think I’m going to get to see that. And just knowing the little exchanges that you and I have had really in the last weeks has been really quite remarkable and I’m thankful. Now you said in our conversations that you’ve seen some things in what you hear in my expression that encourage you.
Morris—You know on the plane here today I read from cover to cover the manuscript that you sent to me of your new book, Indivisible, and I’m reading it and I’m blown away. I’m saying, you know what? Here we have and I think you wrote it with a Catholic, Jay Richards, and I’m reading. You know here we are, evangelical, well-known pastor writing about things that I would write about. Here I am reading a Catholic who helped you writing out evangelical things that I need to learn. [end quote]
Robison and his wife Betty declare that God and Jesus Christ are rejoicing over the coming together of Catholics and Protestants:
Betty Robison—I believe God is happy when he sees his children fellowshipping together and getting along together.
James Robison—I believe angels rejoice. I believe the Father rejoices. I know Jesus who’s daily making intersession for us, I believe he’s turned to his Father and said, “Father, my prayers are getting answered.” We’re getting together. I know – don’t you like what you see and don’t you know God likes us to come together? Let me just ask you to share something that I think is, it’s really remarkable because this just shows that religion isn’t the answer. Relationship with the Jesus you talked about right up front. [end quote]
Robison refers to the Jesus the priest mentioned at the beginning of the interview, but Robison and all Christians need to understand that Jesus of the Church of Rome is not the Jesus of the Bible. The Jesus of the Church of Rome appears in the communion wafer and is sacrificed each week in mass for sins. This is not the Jesus of the Bible.
Copyright 2012 ©Brannon Howse. This content is for Situation Room members and is not to be duplicated in any form or uploaded to other websites without the express written permission of Brannon Howse or his legally authorized representative. '