Thursday, October 9, 2008

STRANGE BEDFELLOWS IN THE MB HERALD

Many of you have noticed that I have not posted anything on my blog for quite some time. For now I'll just say that I've had other priorities. I'm doing okay, so nothing to worry about there, and I'll try to fill in a few details another time.

For now, I've sensed the need to quickly get some information out onto the web to alert and inform those who have received their issue of the October 2008 MB Herald, regarding the issues of the emerging church and their (MB Conference institutions) receiving funding from the Eli Lilly Foundation in the form of an endowment. These are issues on which I have spent considerable time reading and studying, and now have grave concerns about.

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In Gareth Brandt's article, Strange Bedfellows: Anabaptism and the emergent church, the two are given a favorable comparison. This is contrary to my understanding and it is troubling to me that the emergent conversation is being promoted in a positive light. The article compares the emerging church to the reformation and calls it a new reformation, whereas I would label the emerging church movement a DEformation: the creation of a deformed church. This movement is a front under which lies contemplative spirituality and the social gospel (a movement which by minimizing repentance, separation from the world and its values, and the spiritual nature of salvation and promoting spiritual experiences, good works and the promotion and preservation of the global community to such a degree that it actually compromises the truth and alters the gospel message). The only thing positive I can see about the emergence of the emergent church is that it will serve to separate those who hold solidly to biblical innerancy and truth from those who are in the process of departing from the faith once delivered and are forming the the apostate church (falling away) prophesied in scripture concerning the last days before Christ gathers His Bride to Himself.

Some people may say I am being overly dramatic by making such statements. My reply to that is please do some research of your own. If you have a love for the truth, you will desire to know what it is and won't be afraid to look for it. Examine for yourself to see if what I say is true; don't take my word for it. It is not my job to convince you, only to provide some resources in your search. I believe that convincing people of the truth is the job of the Holy Spirit. So if you love the truth you have nothing to fear. I am not saying there is nothing at stake, for there is much at stake, or I would not be writing this post, but I firmly believe that God watches over His own. Do you fear God or do you fear man? If you fear God, you will also want to know the truth.

To start you on your search you can go to my sidebar and find a number of articles under the heading Emergent/Emerging Church. I also recommend a well-researched and documented book called Faith Undone by Roger Oakland, which gives the background and implications of the emerging chuch. It can be ordered HERE. Another book, which I have not yet read but am ordering this week and looks like a good read is What is the Emerging Church? by David Cloud.

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The second article in question in the latest issue of the MB Herald is entitled Source of donations raises ethical questions. I thank Will Braun, the article's author for bring this issue to light. I believe the tough questions DO need to be asked of the MB Conference regarding their acceptance of these funds from the secular organization, the Lilly Foundation. (The Eli Lilly Corporation is the maker of the prescription drug Prozac). I do not doubt that accepting donations from such an organization will lead to spiritual compromise. For some reason the Lilly Foundation is sending vast amounts of money to a number of institutions that are promoting contemplative spirituality, including the MB Seminary's Ministry Quest Program. MBBS is also promoting contemplative spirituality through its Spiritual Formation curriculum. (See here, and here).

It's website says the Lilly Fund exists to "benefit young people and promote leadership education and financial self-sufficiency in the nonprofit, charitable sector".1 Ever wonder why a secular insitution would want to be involved in promoting leadership education within a Christian seminary? I think it is important to find these things out.

From several hundred hours of research I have come to the conclusion that the contemplative spirituality movement is a link that ultimately unites peoples of all faiths (including the Eastern religions, the New Age, the occult, and paganism with Christianity) in a spiritual form of global unity. Some of you are probably shaking your heads in disbelief, but once again I ask you to do your homework. Hey, who said finding and knowing the truth was easy in the day and age in which we live? Do you want to know the truth or not? Should the MB Conference be receiving funds from such an organization, and should the MB Conference be promoting contemplative spirituality in its educational institutes?

If you want to read more about this topic, if you like you can start with the links on my sidebar under the title Mysticism/Contemplative Spirituality/Spiritual Formation. My book recommendations are A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen and Contemplative Mysticism: A Powerful Ecumenical Bond by David Cloud.

For more information about the Eli Lilly Foundation read There's Something about Lilly.

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I have heard many people give me the excuse that they are just too busy to take the time to research what I am telling them. To those people I ask the question:"What if you are being spiritually deceived by the emerging church and contemplative spirituality movements? What if that deception deludes you into believing in another gospel, another Christ and another spirit? Will you be able to tell God that nobody tried to warn you?" If after reading this post you have ignored this warning, you have no more excuses!

Once again, I offer a free copy of the book Faith Undone to anyone who knows me personally. It and A Time of Departing are also available in our church library for those who live in my area.

~ Bonnie

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1. http://www.lillyendowment.org/theendowment.html


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ADDED NOTE: October 24, 2008

Since the writing of this post, I have decided to post a copy of it on the bulletin board of the church my husband and I attend. I have decided it is imperative to warn my fellow-Mennonites of the false doctrines entering the homes of Mennonite Brethren through the MB Herald. It has bold-facedly promoted the emerging church in its last edition as something to be welcomed with open arms. In light of this, I am giving anyone who would like to warn others about this aberrant movement permission to copy and distribute this post. I have also decided at this point to reveal my last name, so that you can give this article proper attribution, for I believe I must be willing to be held accountable for what I have written. If you need to contact me, please send me an email at fortheauthor@gmail.com. May God bless you as you stand for the truth.


2 comments:

carla said...

Hi Bonnie,

Glad you are blogging again. This is a good post. What you say is so true...most people don't care to know the truth and prefer to be spoon fed lies. May God bless you for your diligence.

This all reminds me of a passage in Isaiah...

13Then the Lord said,
"Because this people draw near with their words
And honor Me with their lip service,
But they remove their hearts far from Me,
And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,
14Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous;
And the wisdom of their wise men will perish,
And the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed."
15Woe to those who deeply hide their plans from the LORD,
And whose deeds are done in a dark place,
And they say, "Who sees us?" or "Who knows us?"

Isaiah 29

BONNIE said...

Hi Carla, good to here from you!

Thanks for your article exposing the Lilly Foundation. It is to our own peril that we fail to do as Scripture commands in Ephesians 5:8-12 ~

8For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

9(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

10Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

11And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

12For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

The MB Conference is in error by disobeying this command and accepting funds from outside the body of Christ.