Friday, May 11, 2007

A Case Study in Preparations for the False Prophet and the One World Church

Just across the street from us (we're on top of the hill and they're in the valley) in El Sobrante is the Bay Hills Community Church. I'm not trying to be mean when I say that I hate calling it a church. Until a few years back, they were EV-Free, but their leader became totally immersed in the philosophies of marketing guru, Bill Hybels, and things that were already poor got exponentially worse. A few days ago, I took the local marketplace out of my mail slot, and usually Bay Hills has some slick piece of seduction to prey on the area, but this was the worst thing I had seen. Their pastor, David Fasold, had formulated an ad that was structured as an entertainment article (quite fitting really). The film that he reviews is the upcoming sequel to Bruce Almighty, called Ark Almighty, starring Steve Carell, who appeared in the first movie as a rival to Jim Carey (Bruce) along with a character playing "God" (Morgan Freeman).

When I saw that our neighboring religious organization was pushing this movie, even I was boggled by this one. He writes, "What promises to be a great family film (opens nationwide June 22), has many fun twists and turns...." OK. I didn't see Bruce Almighty. Here's what a Christian organization, less separatist than I, wrote about the first installment of the Almighty series:
To trivialize something is to make it commonplace or ordinary. Bruce Almighty goes about trivializing the person and powers of God by making Him out to be primarily an object for entertainment — just as any other comedic tool is used to elicit laughter. God certainly does not frown upon laughing. But some things are not intended to be laughed at — they are sacred. This was clearly evidenced by the immediate moans in one theater when Bruce, at the beginning of the movie, told God to His face that He “su–––d.” It was obvious among those present — the godly as well as the not-so-godly — that some kind of line had just been crossed. (One passing side note: A quick survey of the Bible reveals that God has killed people for less than what Bruce says.)
I would say that this paragraph by Todd Brady is even an understatement.

Mr. Fasold doesn't examine this film with Scripture at all. He doesn't quote one verse or even make one Scriptural allusion. He doesn't dare to share one thought from God's Word in his review of Ark Almighty. Bay Hills is using Ark Almighty like Burger King or McDonalds might use a Pixar or Disney animated film. The business advertises the movie and the movie advertises the business, and they feed off of each other. So here we have the church marketing the movie so that the movie will market the church, and also use blasphemy to do it. Fasold wouldn't back away from that assessment, when he writes:
Universal Studios is currently teaming up with several organizations around the country to encourage and test this idea. Bay Hills Community Church in El Sobrante is one of those groups selected....
Isn't it great when you can be a church and be selected by the great Universal Studios? I mean, who wouldn't want to jump at that opportunity? They have also just released the very edifying Knocked Up, Smokin Aces, The Hitcher, and more. Right now on pay-per-view at Universal Studios, you can watch Jerry Springer: Hot & Hostile 4: Busted. If you're a church of the thrice-holy God, would you want to "team up" with Universal Studios? I know Universal Studios wants to team up with whoever it can find that will give them free advertising. If you are a pastor, you probably know that since The Passion by Mel Gibson, we pastors have been receiving almost weekly mailers asking us to "team up" with Fox or Paramount or whatever other Hollywood company to market their films in the church. They give all kinds of perks and freebies to the pastors who will cooperate. Mr. Fasold, it seems, sees this as an opportunity for his church. However, the better question is: What does God think? I think we already know, don't we?

Religion has dominated history and will continue to. God made man in His image, so that man has an innate knowledge of Him, "because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them" (Rom. 1:19). Satan uses religion to deceive men---"And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light" (2 Cor. 11:4). The height of that deceit is coming. A one world religion, which worships the Antichrist, will deceive almost everyone on earth. Matthew 24:24 says, "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." Consider this section in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12:

3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
I really did want you to read it, so that if you didn't, I hope you go back to read it again. It's very serious. If you study Revelation 13, you see that the Antichrist will have his cohort, the False Prophet, who is introduced in v. 11, "another beast" who promotes Antichrist's power and convinces the world to worship him as god. This companion beast will be the chief, most persuasive proponent of satanic religion.

I'm certain that today Satan is preparing the world for the Antichrist with a fake version of Christianity. So Satan is very into religion. He sees it as a necessity for fooling people and he is already dumbing down the truth to something much closer to the error that people will swallow up during the tribulation period on earth. Modern churches customize their methods and message to the postmodern narcissist, who is well described in 2 Timothy 3:2-5:

2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."

Paul says it this way to Titus (1:16), "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him."

1 comment:

MICKY said...

The Lord knows the thoughts of man; he knows that they are futile. Psalm 94:11
It is important to note that Bill Wilson's faith system was not based on Jesus Christ and Him crucified; nor is there any mention of Jesus Christ being the Savior from his sin. Both he and Bob Smith (co-founder of AA) embraced and promoted a variety of spiritual experiences, which included practicing spiritualism and conversing with the dead (which the Bible forbids) and being heavily involved in séances. Wilson also acted as a medium or channeler. It was while involved in these types of religious experiences, not Biblical Christianity, that Wilson developed his Twelve Steps (Pass It On, pp 156, 198, 275, 278).