Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I Count All Things Loss - Song by Christ Our Life

I Count All Things Loss

The kingdom is like a hidden treasure
For joy over it one sells all that he has
The kingdom is like the finest pearl
Its value exceeds every measure oh Lord
Oh that Your kingdom would come

I count all things loss to know Him
Taking up the cross, so that I might live
Sharing in His sufferings for the glories that follow
Jesus I give You my life

His kingdom is not of this world
The greatest in it shall be servant of all
It comes not with signs to behold
Its righteousness, peace and its joy in the Lord
Oh that Your kingdom would come

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

We Shall See Him As He Is

There is so much confusion today as to who the real Jesus is. Everyone has their own version of “What Jesus Would Do”. Every denomination stresses a certain characteristic of him. Some say that he is Love and will accept everyone, some say he is Justice and will punish all that disobey him, others say he is there to make them millionaires or he is a "feel good" God. Some believe he came to take away ALL suffering. Some tell us to “come here to see him” or “we have the anointing here” . I have even heard some say he is like a bar that we can belly up to and get drunk by (I know...that one is really out there).

It seems to me, that if we are to walk as he walked and to have the same mind or think the same way as him. We need to know who he REALLY IS!


(1 John 2:6) He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

(Psalms 85:13) Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.

(1 Peter 2:21) For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

(Romans 11:33) O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
(Romans 11:34) For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

(1 Corinthians 2:16) For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

(Philippians 2:5) Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

How can we do this if we don’t have a REAL knowledge of him? We have to stop listening to what everyone else has to say about who and what Jesus is, and let God give us a real revelation of the true nature and character of Christ.

(John 8:12) Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

(John 3:19) And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

(2 Corinthians 4:3-4) But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

(2 Corinthians 11:14-15) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

The scriptures say that Jesus was the light of the world. People didn’t like the light but rather they loved the darkness. The false light that came from Satan was easier to handle, it didn’t expose their evil deeds. It gave them what they wanted and what seemed good to them. Because of this it is no wonder there are so many different “Jesus’” out there today.

In Matthew the 16th chapter staring in verse 13, Jesus asked his disciples “Whom do man said that I the Son of man am?” After they told him what the opinions of the people where, Jesus asked them “But whom say ye that I am?” (Verse 16 & 17 )“ And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

Everyone has their opinions, but it takes a revelation from the Holy Spirit to really know Jesus. (see John 16:13) Without a personal relationship with him, we will never really know him. We cannot get it from going to “church” or to a “revival” Jesus told them many times to follow him, not man. He said in “Matthew 24:23” Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

The apostle John walked with the Lord three years in the flesh, but when he saw him as he was, in (Revelation 1:17-18) he said: “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” Now THAT is a Revelation of Jesus Christ!

Even after Peter had made the statement of who Jesus was, the veil had not yet been taken out of the way and Jesus said, (John 16:12) “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now".

Consider what Paul said:

(2 Corinthians 3:14) But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.

(15) But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. (16) Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.

(17) Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (18) But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

There can only be confusion when we depend on someone else to show us who the Son of God is. The above verse 15 shows us that the vail was still on our hearts. Only when we turn to the LORD will this vail be taken away. As he reveals himself to us from glory to glory we are changed into the SAME IMAGE of him.

(1 John 4:17) Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

(1 John 1:7) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

There can only be real fellowship with one another when each of us fellowship with the true Jesus Christ.

Therefore John could say in (1 John 3:2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Monday, July 28, 2008

From Glory to Glory - song by Christ Our Life

From Glory to Glory

From heaven’s place we eagerly wait,
For Jesus our Savior to come;
Who will transform and make to conform,
Our lives to the glorious Son.

In this we groan to be further clothed,
With our habitation from Thee.
Burdened inside this tent, Lord, we cry,
To swallow up mortality.

We all with unveiled face behold
The glory of our great King,
Are being transformed from things of old,
From glory to glory

We shall be like our Lord Jesus Christ,
For we shall see Him as He is.
With boldness to stand when judgment’s at hand,
Because we are just as He is!

Listen to the song

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My Goal Is Not

My Goal Is Not:

To “feel” the presence of the Lord…To see great signs and wonders… move in great power to heal the sick and raise the dead. Or to preach a great sermon or write a great paper…..Or to emotionally move people to a so called repentance.

Even a love for true doctrine alone can not be my ultimate goal, for it is not enough in these last days. For none of these things can save me or anyone else. All of these things can be used to deceive my heart into thinking I am “ok” with God.

(2 Thessalonians 2:9-12) Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

I have seen so many people, who at one time taught such great truths fall into deception. You wonder how could they, knowing all that they knew, fall for such deception. Then we realize that it is not just “knowing” it but “living” it. And then, even more than that…it is seeking the wrong things! God will have no other god before him! If we are seeking all these things that were mentioned above, instead of God himself and his righteousness, we have idols before our heart, and God will answer us according to our idols. The motives and intent of our hearts we cannot hide from God. God will not share his Glory with anyone or anything including signs and wonders!

(Ezekiel 14:4) Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Every man of the house of Israel that taketh his idols into his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I Jehovah will answer him therein according to the multitude of his idols;

(Luke 10:19-20) Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

The world seeks after these things, But God knows what we have need of. We are to seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness and these signs will follow after us. We don’t follow after them.

(Matthew 6:32-33) (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

My Goal is to be found worthy and to enter into his rest:

(Philippians 3:12) Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

(Philippians 3:14) I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

(1 Timothy 6:11-12) But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

Saturday, July 12, 2008



As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth." (Genesis 11:2-4—NIV)

Shinar is Babylonia. This is the original Babylon.
The ambition to build a city with a tower that reaches to the heavens reveals the desire in the adamic personality to join with others in order to accomplish something of significance, the idea being that we can gain a name for ourselves. Also, we can achieve power that we would not have were we to be a single individual or a small group of people. By combining our efforts, our wisdom, and our talents we can establish a monument on the earth to our own glory.

However, God does not use the concerted efforts of people, their wisdom, or their talents to establish His Kingdom. God often works through intense interaction with one person, such as Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist, or the Apostle Paul.

God immediately recognized that if people of one language joined together they indeed could accomplish whatever they pleased.

The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them." (Genesis 11:6—NIV)

We of today would emphasize the good that could be done if people would stop fighting against each other and work together to produce things and situations that would benefit mankind. Thus it is almost impossible for us to perceive the potential evil in everyone speaking the same language and being able to bring about results not possible for warring nations to accomplish.

God saw the danger immediately and confused the ability of the people to communicate with each other. To the present hour we have wars because of the self-interest of nations—nations separated from one another because they speak different languages.

What is the problem with wanting to join together with other people to accomplish something?

First let us explain we are not saying it is wrong to work together with other people in order to accomplish a task. Rather we are speaking of our human tendency to ignore the Lord Jesus Christ and look to the combined strength and wisdom of human beings to bring to pass what we desire. We are speaking especially of using this method in trying "to do things for God."

The problem is that when God created the world in six days He fashioned not only the physical universe but also the destiny of mankind. In particular, God determined the destiny of each member of His elect, His Israel, His governing priesthood. God does not desire that we join with others to do what we think needs to be done, particularly in the work of establishing the Kingdom of God on the earth. Only God knows His plan for our life, and only God knows His plan for His Kingdom.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10—NIV)

Notice the foreknowledge and predestination in this verse.

According to the above, God planned from the beginning of the world specific good works for us to do. We cannot enter God's rest except as we set aside our own ambitions and fears and seek each day the plan of God for that particular period of time. This procedure is simply stated, but proves to be difficult in practice because of our self-will and rebellion against God. Eve fell because she was not willing to trust God for her betterment and joy.

God has been resting since the seventh day because all His works have been finished through to the new Jerusalem. To enter the finished work of God for one's life is to enter the rest of God. The coming of the Kingdom of God is the doing of God's will in the earth as it is in Heaven, not the will of well-intentioned man.

Each human being is moved on by a multitude of ambitions, fears, dreads, obligations, passions, and so forth. There are things we wish to possess, heights we desire to climb, relationships we crave to establish. We may not realize it but God has a specific plan for our life, a plan worked out in detail in His mind from the time He created the world.

Our whole duty in life is to find God's will for us and to perform it diligently. To do this is to enter the rest of God, for God is resting after having decided what good works we are to perform.
To enter God's rest is at once remarkably easy and incredibly difficult. It is remarkably easy because we can lay aside our worries and ambitions and flow with the flowings of the Godhead. It is incredibly difficult because each day a multitude of pressures urge us to follow our own desires. Have you found this to be true?

All we are expected to do in life is to look continually to the Lord Jesus for every action we take, and then do with all our might what is set before us. Sometimes we do not hear from the Lord and we just have to keep on doing what we are doing until we are certain God wants us to do something else. This is all there is to the rest of God; but because Satan is living in our land of promise, we have to follow the Spirit of God into battle in order to enter God's rest.

Satan deems it his business to deceive and confuse us so we do what he wants rather than what God desires. We have to labor to enter the rest of God.

Once we understand thoroughly that a personal mark has been set before us, and we are to be pressing toward that mark each day, then we can perceive immediately how people of one language joining together for the common good will frustrate God's plan for the individual. Instead of looking to God for what he should be doing he is working together with the group to perform the desires of the group.

If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. (John 7:17—NIV)

God wants each one of us to come to Him as an individual, not as part of a group. God does not interact with groups but with individuals. It is God's plan that His Kingdom be composed of people who have come to know Him in a very personal way, who have become part of Him through the Lord Jesus Christ. Such people automatically are one with each other because they are integral parts of the one Christ. None of them looks to the other for recognition, power, or wisdom, except as God directs one to minister to the other. The members of the Body of Christ do not gain status, wisdom, or power by joining together but by living in iron righteousness, fiery holiness, and stern obedience to the Father.

Can you see now why God prevented the ancient people from proceeding with their plan to build the city? God caused them to be confused and scattered them over the face of the whole earth so they would look to Him rather than to each other. To look to the group instead of God is Babylon—confusion!

The spirit of Babylon is found in the world. It's name is Antichrist.
The spirit of Babylon is found in religion, including the Christian religion. Its name is Babylon the Great.

It seems so natural and "right" that people should join together to promote the Christian religion. However, this is not God's way. The result of such attempts at united effort, unless clearly and specifically put into effect by Jesus Christ, brings into existence the horror of Babylon the Great. When God's people neglect to seek the mind of Christ, and look to cooperation with others in order to build the Kingdom of God, we eventually create a cage of unclean spirits.

The Lord Jesus Christ stated He would build His own Church. For two thousand years we have denied Him His right to build His Church. Instead we have attempted to do this for Him. The result has been Babylon! Confusion! A thousand competing denominations!

Many churches understand that a true Christian is not worldly in appearance and behavior, and that God does not want us to continue in sin. This is good and right. But the greatest monster of all is self-will. Until God destroys the self-will from us by repeatedly sending tribulations and prisons to purify us of this monster, we always are going to bring forth Babylon as we seek to build the Kingdom of God.

Two chapters of the Book of Revelation are devoted to a discussion of Babylon the Great, revealing what an abominable institution it is. From the description, I believe Babylon the Great represents the Christian religion when it is guided and empowered by the will and ability of human beings instead of by close interaction with the living Jesus and by the Holy Spirit.

-Bro Thompson-

Friday, July 04, 2008

The Old Wineskin – Pagan Christianity

Chapter 7

By Dene McGriff

The Church today is broken and can’t be fixed. It is weighted down by meaningless forms, practices, traditions and programs, by a clergy that tries hard to serve the laity but fails miserably. But it is lifeless and irrelevant. It is an old wineskin that must be discarded if Christians are to discover a living relationship with Christ and one another. Not only are the roots pagan but most of the practices we accept today bear no resemblance to the living early church.

A central theme of “The Tribulation Network” is that in the last days, most of the church will fall away but a remnant will become a triumphant testimony to the world around. The church will go through the tribulation period and Christians will be delivered up by other “Christians” thinking they are doing God a favor. (e.g. Matthew 10:18-20) What will separate one group from the other? Why will brother turn on brother and son against father? Why will Christians be so deceived (e.g. Matthew 24:4, 5, 11, 24)? Why will some overcome and avoid the deception and others become a willing part of it?

What I am about to share with you is revolutionary but I will begin with a disclaimer. I am not condemning or judging anyone. We are all told to overcome. As Christians, we all answer to our Maker on Judgment Day. To a certain extent, we walk in the light we have. But we may unwittingly be deceived because we accept things as they are and do not question the church, doctrines and practices we have been brought up with. As we see in the letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3, there are “overcomers” in each church – no matter what their condition. Today, many see the excesses of the church: the prosperity gospel, the Toronto, Pensacola and Lakeland “revivals”, contemplative prayer (a form of Eastern meditation becoming mainstreamed in the church), the mega and purpose driven churches with their “seeker friendly” approach, etc. But it is practically impossible for the well meaning Christian to see anything wrong with “their” church, with the way things are done.

Although I wrote about this many years ago in my online book “Recognizing Apostasy and Deception,” I have been struggling with another online book titled “In search of the Last Days Church”. But what a confirmation when I read Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and George Barna! Frank Viola has long been a leader in the “organic church” movement (rather than calling it the “house church”) and was quoted in “Recognizing Deception”, and George Barna is the head of the Barna Group, a Christian company that has been doing research on various aspects of the church. I would encourage you to go to either website and order five or ten copies, read it and give it to your friends.

Even though I have known for many years there were pagan influences in the early church, I have never seen it so well documented and expressed as in this book. Evangelicals take for granted the fact the Roman Catholic Church has a lot of unbiblical practices, but they can not possibly imagine that they have carried over many of the same practices! Pagan Christianity not only leaves no doubt but it completely exposes the historical roots of our own accepted “Christian” practices. How far did the reformation go? What is the effect of the clergy/laity system, and all the sermonizing? It will surprise you greatly that many of our practices go back to Imperial Rome, Plato and Aristotle rather than to Judaism. But please, don’t take my word for it. Order the book and see for yourself.

In the Old Testament, the people of Israel struggle throughout against the prevailing culture and religion. Israel was to be a people set apart for God and they were not to mingle with the nations around them, lest they be led astray. We have this from Exodus 34:

12 Take heed to yourself, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, lest it be a snare in your midst. 13 But you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images 14 (for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), 15 lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they play the harlot with their gods and make sacrifice to their gods, and one of them invites you and you eat of his sacrifice, 16 and you take of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters play the harlot with their gods and make your sons play the harlot with their gods.

Time and again the nation of Israel gets mixed up with the peoples around them, intermarries and their hearts are drawn away from the one true God. They make idols and worship foreign gods. They go through some heavy trials, repent and come back to God, only to fall again. It is difficult for anyone to stand against the prevailing culture, including Christians today. Culture has a way of intruding on our lives and molding us in the image of the world around.

Religious Form or Reality?

The center of the Jewish religion was the temple, the priesthood and the sacrifice. The temple was considered to be where God dwelt on the earth. His presence was in the holy of holies. The tribe of the Levites was the priesthood who carried out the sacrifices on behalf of the nation of Israel. These were types of what Jesus Christ accomplished for us. He was the sacrifice for our sins. He abolished the temple and the priesthood. We became the temple of God and a kingdom of priests. The priesthood, the physical temple and the sacrifices were abolished once and for all – at least they should have been. Jesus did away with the professionals, the buildings and the rituals. However, it didn’t take long before our human concepts of religion began to creep back into the church and we left reality and built another religion!

Viola does a fantastic job pointing out that Christianity was the first and only religion that didn’t have any of the accruements of organized religion. There was no temple, no class of priests and no sacrifices. Christians indwelt by the Holy Spirit were the temple and every Christian was a priest and had equal access to God. The early Christian meetings were informal gatherings where everyone shared, prayed, sang and ate together. It was a community of equal believers – a body of people with different gifts and functions. There was no hierarchy, “house of worship” or ritual. There were no sermons as we know them, no “order of worship”, no professional clergy, no temples and no Sunday School, seminary or Bible Schools. But it wasn’t long before these things began to creep into the early church – not long at all. The church slowly began to succumb to the surrounding pagan culture and after the emperor Constantine made Christianity the religion of the empire, it was thoroughly mixed with Greek thought, Roman organization and Pagan religion.

“Pagan Christianity” thoroughly documents when and how all of the practices we accept today as “Christian” came into the church. The footnotes are as interesting as the text. It is thoroughly researched. We know the priesthood, temple and sacrifice were a full blown part of the Roman Catholic Church, but most of us “evangelicals” just assume we threw all that away and went back to the New Testament pattern. Again, Viola does a brilliant job showing how things were changed by the Reformers, the Puritans, the Methodists, the frontier preachers coming up to the present day church but many of the essential errors of the Catholic Church were continued. The reformers didn’t reform that much.

The Challenge

What does this mean to us today? It means that the church as we know it is far more compromised than any of us ever imagined. You have no idea until you see it systematically all laid out for you. That is why I urge you to order “Pagan Christianity”. I have never met or talked to either author. This is no ploy to sell books and you know that we don’t accept donations or sell anything. We are a true non-profit because have never charged for anything. But I challenge you to buy and read this book. It will blow your mind and change you forever. You will never be the same! I could never have done the research and put it as well as these two authors do.

After more than 50 years as a Christian in various expressions of the church – from traditional Baptist, to the Jesus movement, to Calvary Chapels, and Vineyards, I can say that the church in its present institutional form will never produce a mature, cohesive triumphant testimony – NEVER! Although there may be many dear saints within the church, the institution will only serve itself and perpetuate its errors. If you want to be free of the deception inherent in the “church”, what can you do? There are only two paths available to the evangelical or even the post modern or emergent Christian today – be a part-time or a full-time Christian (whether in a church or parachurch ministry). And if you decide to be a “full-time” Christian, you won’t get very far unless you go to Bible College or a Seminary where you will be further brain washed to pass along the same error to other well meaning “Christians.” All the preaching in the world has never accomplished the stated goal of “equipping the saints.”

As long as we relate to one another in the context of buildings, programs and Sunday sermons, God will never have a “triumphant testimony.” The average Christian will never grow by sitting quietly and listening to countless sermons. We will never produce Christians secure in their own relationship with the Lord, in their own ability to minister with the gifts God has given them, to minister along side other Christians as equals complimenting one another. We will never have an authentic organic Christian community that attracts unbelievers. If you read Viola and Barna’s book, you will see how absolutely broken the institutional church is. Yes, the people in it are believers, but they are sorely deceived – not just by the practices of their “church” but by their teachings and end times view which in all likelihood is an escapist (pre-trib rapture) and lukewarm Laodicean message. We must abandon the old wineskin and go to Him outside the camp. (Hebrews 13:13)

I receive emails from people all the time saying that their church is either dead, has no vision for the last days or is stifling and killing them. What do they do? Do I know of any churches or meetings they can go to? You can look up house churches on the internet and see if there is a suitable one near you. Or you can order the sequel to Pagan Christianity called Reimaging the Church for practical suggestions. Get extra copies. Share them with your friends. Open up your house an evening a week or Sunday afternoon to begin to experience an open, sharing, body-life type meeting. For some practical suggestions see some of the later chapters in my book online.

I can say from experience, that the traditional church where people come in and sit and listen to sermons week after week will never “equip the saints.” It will just perpetuate the clergy and their position and hold the saints hostage until the day they die. People learn by doing. They grow by doing and I don’t mean by ushering, rearranging chairs or passing the plate. The life of the church should flow out of the living relationship each person has with the Lord and the meeting should be a corporate expression of each individual’s experience. You have no idea how deceived you are until you begin to delve into this yourself. Don’t take my word for it, but please take the time to look into it for yourself. The old wineskin has been patched and patched again over the past two thousand years. It is time to abandon it.

In the last days, Christians will either be a part of the problem or a part of the solution. They will be a part of the deception and persecution, or a part of the testimony (and the use of the world “testimony” and “martyr” are synonymous in the New Testament). During the Reformation, the Anabaptists promoted an open meeting where all saints were free to share. Martin Luther labeled it a heresy and laws were passed against such a practice with the penalty of death. This is not to say that we would be persecuted for having home meetings, but we could be persecuted for not being patriotic as the institutional church and state become more aligned.

Part of what we write about here is what is happening politically and economically. Having the advantage of reading the end of the Book, we know the whole economic system will end badly with the “mark of the beast” (Revelation 13:17) and not being able to buy or sell without it. Revelation 17 talks about the unholy alliance the harlot church makes with the beast. The only thing that will get us through this period of trials is the church with the little “c” – relationships with other saints that are based on Christ’s transforming life in us – not sitting in a building together listening to lectures/sermons. The cry of the post-modern emerging “Christian” is for authenticity and relevance which isn’t found in the institution but is found in the simple corporate life of the organic church.

Just as Israel became entangled in the tribes and nations around them, the Church has become entangled in the world, the traditions of men, Greek philosophy, Roman organization, worldly hierarchy, purpose driven modern management, entertainment and marketing, New Age spirituality and the “good life” – material wealth beyond the imagination of 99.99 percent of all of the people who have ever lived. As Barna’s research points out, the church is so compromised as to be indistinguishable from the society around it. The dynamic, spontaneous, living expression of the church has been stifled by the dead forms, programs, traditions and teachings of the moribund institution we call the Church. With that, I challenge you one last time to get and read Pagan Christianity and you will flee and never defend that old wineskin again.

Dene McGriff, Sacramento

July 1, 2008