By Brannon S. Howse
Liberals, cults, neo-evangelicals, and even many of the Religious Right are well down the road of redefining Jesus. The Jesus of the Mormons is thought to be the brother of Lucifer. According to the Mormons, a great war raged in the heavens over who would come to earth and teach people how to be good Mormons. Would it be Lucifer or Jesus? Lucifer, of course, wanted all the glory for himself, so the heavenly council didn’t send Lucifer. Instead, they gave the job to his brother Jesus. Unhappy with the decision Lucifer rebelled and became Satan. So this Jesus of Mormonism is a product of sibling rivalry. The god of Mormonism himself is also not the God of the Bible.
Mormon teaching says that God began as a man of flesh and bone who evolved to become God. Likewise, every Mormon man can become a god, get his own planet to rule, and take on his own goddess wives with whom he will have sexual relations for all eternity, and send spirit babies to their own planets. Mormonism, then, is essentially polytheistic. A Mormon man’s path to his own planetary empire can begin here on earth with a marriage sealed in the Mormon Temple.
Sadly, this Mormon Jesus is now being embraced by many within evangelicalism. For example, Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary from 1993 until 2013 helps the redefining of Jesus by “accepting” Mormons:
[quote] 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. [quote]
Mouw’s contention is consistent with many in evangelicalism who say that talk show superstar Glenn Beck is a Mormon but is also a Christian.
And what about the Jesus of Roman Catholicism? We know he is a different Jesus. The Jesus of the Church of Rome is slaughtered many thousands of times a day, all across the world, in the church’s communion service known as “transubstantiation.” The practice centers on the belief that the priest literally calls down Jesus so that the communion elements physically become the flesh and blood of Christ. By contrast, the Jesus of the Bible was offered up once as a sacrifice for sinners, and on the cross He cried out, “Father, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” and proclaimed, “It is finished.” He meant that our sin debt was paid in full. Jesus does not have to be executed over and over again.
It’s disheartening to note that many of the people helping to transform the Church by pushing these eight steps for global transformation are evangelicals—at least self-described evangelicals. That’s why the word evangelical ceases to have meaning today. For instance, I no longer refer to myself as an evangelical but rather as a conservative, Bible-believing Christian.
It’s shocking—but important—to recognize who has jumped on the redefine Jesus bandwagon. A January 2015 governor’s prayer rally in Louisiana brought together a host of these folks. The American Family Association joined Governor Bobby Jindal in an eclectic prayer even reminiscent of the one AFA had sponsored in 2011 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. In Houston, Word of Faith and New Apostolic Reformation false teachers joined then Governor Rick Perry on the platform.
Then in 2015 some of the New Religious Right hooked their wagon to Governor Jindal. By the way here is how to identify a political leader that will not get to the White House. If the New Religious Right endorse them and hold political events with them they are going nowhere. Just look at how this is true when you consider the 2012 presidential run of Rick Perry that imploded when in a live presidential debate between Republican candidates he could not name the three federal agencies he wanted to eliminate. As Perry himself said, “oops.” Then the New Religious Right got desperate and endorsed Newt Gingrich. I detail in my book Religious Trojan Horse how Gingrich has been a huge promote of communitarianism and Heidi and Alvin Toffler. Newt went nowhere with his presidential bid. So, if the New Religious Right endorses them then earlier on then you can count that horse a looser out of the gate. I guess birds of a feather do flock together. Thus, when the New Religious Right hosted a prayer rally with Jindal in Louisiana, on January of 2015, I was not shocked. A foxnews.com article described the governor’s relationship with his event “prayer partners”:
[quote] Governor Bobby Jindal continued to court Christian conservatives for a possible presidential campaign with a headlining appearance Saturday at an all-day prayer rally described a “global prayer gathering for a nation in crisis.” The rally attracted thousands to the basketball arena on LSU’s campus, but drew controversy both because of the group hosting it, the American Family Association, and Jindal’s well-advertised appearance.
Holding his Bible, the two-term Republican governor opened the event by urging a spiritual revival to “begin right here, right here in our hearts.” He was scheduled to speak again later Saturday afternoon. The governor was raised by Hindu parents but converted to Catholicism in high school. He has described himself as an “evangelical Catholic.” [end quote]
But how can a true Roman Catholic be a true evangelical? How can both of their Jesuses be real? Obviously, they can’t. A self-admitted Roman Catholic believes in a different Jesus, yet the American Family Association and other evangelicals host prayer rallies and call for a revival and repentance at a rally where Jindal is a keynote speaker. In my opinion, they ought to hold a rally of repentance to repent of the rally they held with him.
The May 22, 2008, issue of U.S. News & World Report featured an article entitled “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Bobby Jindal” which documents Jindal’s spiritual background:
[quote] Raised a Hindu, Jindal converted to Catholicism as a teenager. As a young convert, he wrote of the emotional and intellectual struggles of his spiritual journey in several articles that were published in the New Oxford Review, a Catholic magazine. . . .
Jindal graduated from Baton Rouge High School in 1987. He attended Brown University, graduating with honors in biology and public policy. He turned down admissions to medical and law schools at Harvard and Yale to attend Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. [end quote] (emphasis mine)
Note Jindal’s background as a Rhodes Scholar, yet another significant connection among the dots we’re tracing in this book. Bobby Jindal certainly fits the Rhodes/Ruskin profile of aspiring young politicians who will support a world government.
Another Jesus on the contemporary scene is the Jesus of mysticism, and, again, “evangelicals” are doing their part to help him gain acceptance. Southern Baptist Beth Moore is one prominent teacher who espouses this Jesus. Moore claims that Jesus often speaks to her. He gives her mental pictures. According to one of her videos, He once raised her up to see what the Church would look like in all of its various components, and she explains how Jesus sees the Church (of which she also asserts that Roman Catholics are a part):
[quote] I beg to differ with people that are ten times smarter than I am. I want to say to you I see something different than that. I see God doing something huge in the body of Christ. I do not know why I have had the privilege to get to travel around, see one church after another, one group of believers after another, interdenominationally, all over this country, but I have gotten to see something that I think is huge.
And I’ll also suggest to you I am not the only one. Tonight I’m gonna do my absolute best to illustrate to you something that God showed me sitting out on that back porch. He put a picture—I’ve explained to you before, I’m a very visual person—so He speaks to me very often in putting a picture in my head. And it was as if I was raised up, looking down on a community, as I saw the Church in that particular dimension—certainly not all dimensions, not even many, but in what we will discuss tonight, the Church as Jesus sees it in a particular dimension. [end quote]
Her claim about “a picture in my head” is very troubling because that is clearly mysticism. The problem with attributing such “revelations” to God is that the canon of Scripture is closed. Revelation, Deuteronomy, and Proverbs all tell us not to add to the Word of God. God does not speak outside of His Word today because the Word of God is all we need to be thoroughly equipped for every good work. Beth Moore’s “picture from God” suggests a special message to her from outside of the Bible. Yet in this Church Age, God does not speak except through His Word. Today, He does not speak through prophets or apostles. Hebrews 1 says He spoke in times of old through the prophets, but today He has spoken through His Son, the Word who “became flesh and dwelt among us.” God now speaks to us through His Word and the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Many evangelicals are sold on the idea that Jesus speaks directly to people, even telling them what to say and what books to write. Popular as it may be, though, it’s nevertheless unbiblical, New Age-like mysticism.
“Popular” often seems to be the determination in many people’s minds as to whether or not something is true. As a result, we find yet another redefined Jesus in the widely accepted Word of Faith movement. One particular guest on my television program made some fascinating observations about how this has come to pass.
In the 1980s, Tommy Ice, author of The Return, met with a group called the Kansas City Prophets. He wanted to figure out what these locally popular church leaders believed. He had suspected that they were off-base, and the meetings confirmed his suspicions that their teachings were unbiblical. Fortunately, at the time, they were considered a “fringe group.” When Dr. Ice appeared on my program, though, here’s what he said about what has become of these people in the last 30 years:
[quote] Today, 2015, these people that I met with in the ‘80s, that I believe is a theological cult, that were seen as extreme and on the fringe, are today being embraced by mainstream evangelicalism. . . I never believed that I would see that take place. [end quote]
A similar shift has happened in the perspective on other one-time “fringe” people like Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn. Once seen as heretical or extreme, they were not invited as speakers at evangelical or biblically conservative conferences. “Respectable” evangelicals did not appear on their TV shows, and they did not enter into spiritual enterprises with such folks. Now, however, we live in a very different world, and Copeland, Hinn, and those like them are widely accepted, even among mainstream evangelicals. But they still have a different Jesus, as described by Benny Hinn himself:
[quote] When Jesus was on earth, the Bible says that first He disrobed Himself of the divine form. He, the limitless God, became man, that we men, may become as He is. The new creation is created after God in righteousness and true holiness. The new man is after God, like God, godlike, complete in Christ Jesus. The new creation is just like God. May I say it like this, “You are a little god on earth running around”? [end quote]
Kenneth Copeland offers a similar perspective:
[quote] Why didn’t Jesus openly proclaim Himself as God during his 33 years on Earth? For one single reason. He hadn’t come to Earth as God; He’d come as a man. . . .
[Most Christians] mistakenly think Jesus was able to work wonders, perform miracles, and live above sin because He had divine powers that we don’t have. Thus they’ve never really aspired to live like He lived. They don’t realize that when Jesus came to Earth, He voluntarily gave up that advantage, living His life here not as God, but as a man. He had no innate supernatural powers. He had no ability to perform miracles until after he was anointed by the Holy Spirit. [end quote]
Copeland’s astounding characterization of Jesus is an absolutely false proclamation. He is espousing an ancient heresy known as Aryanism or, in a more recent form, as Kenotic Theology. It is derived from the belief that Jesus came to earth as a man and later became God. These people arrive at this doctrine by twisting the meaning of Philippians 2:6-7, which says of Jesus:
"who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, coming in the likeness of men."
Twisting Scripture is a common technique for making the Bible say whatever a false teacher wants it to say, and I detail the abuse of 42 commonly twisted scriptures in my book Twisted Scripture, Twisted Theology. The twisted part of this Philippians passage is “who being in the form of God.” Although the twisters clearly suggest that it means Jesus was less than God, it does not mean that. Did Jesus set aside some aspects of His deity when he became man? Yes. Did He get hungry? Yes. Did He get tired? Yes. Was He able to be tempted? Yes. Did He ever sin? No. Was He fully man? Yes, but He was also fully God. He never ceased to be God, but the Word of Faith teaches that He was 100 percent man but not 100 percent God until later. That’s a different Jesus.
Copyright 2015 ©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.