Selling Hate

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  1. Bob Sweat says:

    “I have asked repeatedly for them to tell us what cardinal doctrine of the faith that Sweet denies and they have no answer.”

    They play the guilt by association card. Playing that same card, they would declare Jesus Christ a heretic as well. And who was criticizing Jesus? The Pharisees of course! They wore the ODM badges 2000 years ago.

    I still believe these ministries(oops, can call them that!) organizations continue to criticize what they don’t have the intellect to understand.

  2. Bob Sweat says:

    Oh, FIRST!

  3. Believe says:

    Well written assessment of the ODM situation.

    Hard to argue with the point you are making Michael.

    Good point about honest journalism and lack of integrity by the ODMs.

    Can I venture a guess as to who is their CEO?

    “Could it be…………could it be…………………..hmmmm……could it be S A T A N?”
    -courtesy of the Church Lady 8)

  4. Babylon's Dread says:

    They make charges with NO bother to substantiate them…
    They call out pastors as if they are owed an answer… Here is their real answer…it was pure and simple carelessness. Skip had no idea … but just maybe he was not offended at the man. No grounds have been cited.
    They now want to be justified by Pastor Heitzig. They want him to validate them. This is actually a good moment. If he does not give them what they want they forfeit whatever credibility they gained by starting this nonsense.
    In truth these guys are practicing censorship. They are afraid of open discussion. Let them open the comment section on their slog er uh…blog… One thing about PP it faces all comers…
    This will prove to be vapor soon enough…

  5. Bob, not Sweat says:

    Caught this quote:

    “Jesus has sent forth online apologetics and discernment ministries.””

    I think from my read of scripture Jesus sent men to make disciples of Him. He also summed up what that would look like:

    “Love the Lord your God with all… and love your neighbor…”

    Of course this is too simple.

    I think the obsession with chasing demons distracts these people from teaching others the very words of Jesus so that people will able to “abide” in them.

  6. Em says:

    i don’t follow these folk – shelved the useful, IMO, ‘Kingdom of the Cults’ years (eons?) ago and ignore the industry it started – it seems to me that they spend precious little time explaining their research and lots of time erecting buzz word billboards…

  7. Em says:

    BNS, “I think the obsession with chasing demons distracts these people from teaching others the very words of Jesus so that people will able to “abide” in them” yeah, that’s what i meant to say … 🙂
    words like obsessive, compulsive, exploitive and thoughtless come to mind… dunno, tho

  8. Michael says:

    BD,

    Well said…very well said.

  9. Bob Sweat says:

    No Sweat, Not Sweat 😉

  10. Michael says:

    Skip has two choices.

    He can sack up, repent of silently slandering Sweet and invite him back or he has to denounce him publicly.

    If he straddles the fence they will never let up on him.

    My prayer is that he acts like a true man of God and tells them to go straight to hell.

  11. Michael says:

    What Heitzig doesn’t realize is that these people are cowards…they hide behind their blogs and their rhetoric because they don’t have the theological or intellectual capacity to defend their thinking.

    There’s only one way to handle a bully…hit them square in the mouth.

  12. Michael says:

    Holly,

    I don’t understand Sweet either, or I didn’t until I read his new book.

    We fear things we don’t understand in the church or we label them as darkness.

    I don’t know why acupuncture works…but I know it does work even on Spirit filled believers.

    Truth, if it’s truth… comes from God.

    Comes in some strange wrappers sometimes….

  13. Kevin H says:

    I have a committed Christian family member who has suffered for a few years now from a sensitivity to chemicals and EMF’s. Nobody in the traditional medical field has been able to help her. However, some doctors and practitioners of alternative medicines that deal with energy fields and other non-traditional things have been able to help her. Some things that could be considered “New Ageish”. Some of the practioners have even been Christians. The realization is that there are some truths out there that we may not yet fully understand, yet they do appear to be real. Eastern religions and New Age type people may have picked up on some of these truths first. However, if they are God’s truths, it does not invalidate them as to who discovers them first.

  14. Eric Hoffman says:

    “Truth, if it’s truth… comes from God.

    Comes in some strange wrappers sometimes….”

    None stranger than His redeemed….you are presently wrapped in sin covered flesh.

  15. Michael says:

    Eric,

    Amen to that! 🙂

    Keven, thank you for that…it’s another place where fear reigns and facts are hard to find.

  16. Eric Hoffman says:

    That should have read “who” and not “you.” Almost made me sound like a sinless-perfectionist. 🙂

  17. centorian says:

    “Their target now isn’t Sweet…it’s Heitzig and if he doesn’t completely capitulate to them they will smear not only him, but Calvary Chapel by association.”

    The worse feelings was when someone stepped on a landmine and then realized it before they stepped off. Heitzig is standing on a landmine.

    You’re right Michael. If Heitzig does not validate the discernment types, there will be an open season on Calvary Chapel. But if he does capitulate, the rest of the church will eventually marginalize the whole movement as a separatist, untrustworthy organization.

  18. Michael says:

    Centy,

    I could be wrong…but I think Heitzig has a chance to redeem himself in a lot of ways here.

    I don’t think the ODM supporters are the majority in CC anymore…and I think if Skip told them to go pi.. up a rope he’d be more hero than heel in most places.

  19. Linnea says:

    Interesting perspectives by Michael et al. The thought occurred to me, though…do you think God allowed these ODM’s to be raised up as an arm of judgment? It sure seems like check and checkmate to me and God has used more odious types than these to discipline His people.

  20. Michael says:

    Linnea,

    I’ll be blunt…I think that these people are being used by hell to divide and weaken the church.

    There is a place for apologetic ministries in the Body…but it’s not to create division and suspicion among the brethren.

  21. A E A says:

    I think Michael’s is correct here.

    The whole climate of last years SPC was so different than the one before.

    The warning of not being known for what you are against was refreshing and gave me hope.

    Skip has an opportunity to shine here. (He also has the same opportunity to stink)
    choose wisely Skip.

  22. Outsider says:

    LEONARD SWEET IS A NEW AGE TEACHER:

    “New Light embodiment means to be “in connection” and “in-formation” with other Christians…The church is fundamentally one being, one person, a communion whose cells are connected to one another within the information network called the Christ consciousness” (Quantum Spirituality, p. 122).

    “A surprisingly central feature of all the world’s religions is the language of light in communicating the divine and symbolizing the union of the human with the divine: Muhammed’s light-filled cave, Moses’ burning bush, Paul’s blinding light, Fox’s “inner light,” Krishna’s Lord of Light, Bohme’s light-filled cobbler shop, Plotinus’ fire experiences, Bodhisattvas with the flow of Kundalini’s fire erupting from their fontanelles, and so on.” (Quantum Spirituality P. 235 )

    “1. Get in touch with your lungs by closing your eyes. Visualize in your mind a tennis court” 8.“Hold your Bible and breathe meditatively. The breathtaking, nay, breathgiving truth of aliveness is more than Methuselean in its span: Part of your body right now was once actually, literally part of the body of Abraham, Sarah, Noah, Esther, David, Abigail, Moses, Ruth, Matthew, Mary, Like, Martha, John, Priscilla, Paul… and Jesus. 9. Keep breathing quietly while holding your Bible. You have within you not just the powers of goodness resident in the great spiritual leaders like Moses, Jesus, Muhammed, Lao Tzu You also have within you the forces of evil and destruction. Resident in each breath you take is the body of angels like Joan of Arc and devils like Gilles de Rais, Genghis Khan, Judas Iscariot, Herod, Hitler, Stalin and all the other destructive spirits throughout history” (Quantum Spirituality p.300-301)

  23. DavidH says:

    Skip should not justify the ODMs by responding to them. He owes them nothing. If he responds he’s only strengthening them.

  24. Another Voice says:

    I think this verse applies:

    They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them. Gal 4:17 ESV

  25. Michael says:

    Outsider,

    I emailed Leonard Sweet and he denounced the new age.

    You have sound bites that you think indict him.

    I don’t do theology by sound bite.

    I ask again…what cardinal doctrine of the faith does Sweet deny?

  26. Believe says:

    Premise/Proposition: Leonard Sweet is a New Age Teacher

    The presupposition appears to be that someone cannot incorporate a New Age approach into an Orthodox Christian framework. The two are incompatible in any form.

    Outsider, when you say Leonard Sweet is a New Age Teacher, is your proposition therefore he is not an Orthodox Christian and thus a heretic?

  27. Believe says:

    Assuming that your proposition is that Leonard Sweet is a New Age Teacher, thus a heretic…

    Let’s examine the evidence you presented:

    1. “New Light embodiment means to be “in connection” and “in-formation” with other Christians…The church is fundamentally one being, one person, a communion whose cells are connected to one another within the information network called the Christ consciousness” (Quantum Spirituality, p. 122).

    Sweet is using metaphor and anthropomorphic descriptive to communicate what is a deep spiritual truth.

    The Bible refers to the Church being the Body of Christ. We are, in essence, connected by what the Bible refers to as “the same Spirit”…and “one Spirit”…read it for yourself. We are a “body” with different physical parts…but “the same Spirit”…this is what I believe is the essence of what Sweet is articulating in a rather philosophical way…in a way that will speak to the audience God has sent him to speak to (New Agers).

    1 Corinthians 12 pretty much sums up Sweet’s scriptural backing for this thought, IMO.

    I don’t see any heresy…just possibly some misunderstanding?

  28. Michael says:

    Outsider,

    Another drive by I take it…no interaction, no fellowship, just a blast and run.

    Cowardice for Christ…

  29. Believe says:

    2.”“A surprisingly central feature of all the world’s religions is the language of light in communicating the divine and symbolizing the union of the human with the divine: Muhammed’s light-filled cave, Moses’ burning bush, Paul’s blinding light, Fox’s “inner light,” Krishna’s Lord of Light, Bohme’s light-filled cobbler shop, Plotinus’ fire experiences, Bodhisattvas with the flow of Kundalini’s fire erupting from their fontanelles, and so on.” (Quantum Spirituality P. 235 )

    Without the context, this passage is a bit more difficult to understand what Sweet is getting at. My assumption (with the premise being Sweet is speaking the language of New Ager’s to reach them with the Gospel)…is that he is drawing on a common belief that many New Ager’s and other Religions have regarding the concept of Light (in a spiritual context).

    I don’t see this passage as an endorsement of the other religions or philosophies, but rather a statement that there is a central theme regarding “Light” as a manifestation of the Divine (or the divine) in relating of the Divine or divine to humans.

    Your assumption is that Sweet is saying that since there is commonality in the various religions/philosophies regarding divinity/light interacting with humans…that they are co-equal and interchangeable.

    I don’t get this from the text. My assumption is that he is trying to speak to New Ager’s and my conclusion is that he is drawing on common ground to articulate a part of Christianity to this group.

    Your logic on this proof text plays like this:

    Sweet associates commonality regarding “the language of light in communicating the divine and symbolizing the union of the human with the divine” between Christianity and other religions/philosophies.

    Articulating commonality between Christianity and other religions/philosophies is heresy.

    Therefore Sweet is a heretic.

    Observing and articulating parallels between Christianity and other religions/philosophies is not heresy. Heresy is denying a core piece of Orthodox Christianity or promoting as Orthodox another religion/philosophy that is in opposition to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  30. Believe says:

    3. ““1. Get in touch with your lungs by closing your eyes. Visualize in your mind a tennis court” 8.“Hold your Bible and breathe meditatively. The breathtaking, nay, breathgiving truth of aliveness is more than Methuselean in its span: Part of your body right now was once actually, literally part of the body of Abraham, Sarah, Noah, Esther, David, Abigail, Moses, Ruth, Matthew, Mary, Like, Martha, John, Priscilla, Paul… and Jesus.”

    He’s articulating a practical relaxation exercise using controlled breathing and visualization as a means to meditate…or to “think” deeply on Spiritual things.

    Philippians 4:8

    “breathgiving truth of aliveness is more than Methuselean in its span”

    What a great way to articulate the Spiritual truth that God breathed life into us and then provided His Son to give us eternal life…in tandem he is drawing on the physiological benefit of practical long life via relaxation and stress reduction (reference to Methuselah..the longest living physical human being) and connecting us physically and Spiritually to Christ (through the physical and Spiritual lineage he examples in this passage)…we are in Christ’s lineage…not only as humans descending from Adam and Noah…but also Spiritually as Children of God.

    That’s what I got out of it…no heresy there.

  31. Believe says:

    3. continued:

    “9. Keep breathing quietly while holding your Bible. You have within you not just the powers of goodness resident in the great spiritual leaders like Moses, Jesus, Muhammed, Lao Tzu You also have within you the forces of evil and destruction. Resident in each breath you take is the body of angels like Joan of Arc and devils like Gilles de Rais, Genghis Khan, Judas Iscariot, Herod, Hitler, Stalin and all the other destructive spirits throughout history” (Quantum Spirituality p.300-301)

    OK, he’s getting a little “out there” in this part of the text…but heresy? Dunno.

    Humans certainly have the capacity for both good and evil…both saved and unsaved.

    I would want to ask for clarification from Sweet regarding listing Jesus in the same sentence as Muhammed and Lao Tzu…giving Sweet the benefit of the doubt that he is not saying Jesus, Muhammed and Tzu are interchangeable equals…but rather drawing on commonality that as fully man, Jesus had the same capacity for human “goodness” that we do (and actually vise versa)…and drawing a parallel to two other spiritual leaders that some view as “good”…

    I don’t believe Sweet is discounting that Christ is also fully God…or that he is saying Muhammed and Tzu are equals.

    While we inherit original sin, we have a capacity for “good” and “evil”…not “good” unto Salvation…but saved and unsaved can do both “good” and “evil”….the difference is the simple message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ…which is not being denied in this text.

    Sweet is not articulating Salvation in this portion of the text. He is articulating, IMO, another commonality between Christianity and other religions/philosophies in an attempt to speak to his audience.

    That’s my Subjective Interpretation from these pieces of “evidence”…

  32. Reuben says:

    Michael @11 & 12

    Haha! I am with you there bro.

  33. A E A says:

    Believe,
    You’re wasting your ammo shooting at shadows, Outsider is long gone.

  34. Em says:

    i wonder if ‘outsider’ really read thru 300+ pages of ‘Quantum Spirituality’ to find the quote used above?

    perhaps Sweet is like the missionary of old out there in the remote jungle trying to conceptualize the Gospel to those lost in heathen darkness 🙂 … hope so

    BTW – to address an offense i perpetrated on another thread: no nazis were used in forming this thot :lol;

  35. Em says:

    Michael #26 :”I don’t do theology by sound bites”
    IMO – theology here is picked up, examined and picked apart if necessary and it makes for some very edifying reading — thank you, so much

  36. Dave Rolph says:

    It is impossible to write deeply about philosophy without sounding kooky at times. Shallow people would rather dismiss it than to think it through. The ignorant then become the arbiters of orthodoxy, and philosophy and theology are reduced to the least common denominator. The result is dummied down theology and philosophy. When you consider the complexity of an eternal God, one should beware of simplistic explanations, especially those that exclude others. The funny thing is, I’m certain than Leonard Sweet, who is brilliant, would readily admit to having said some things that are kooky. But those who are criticizing him can never conceive of being wrong themselves, while they are incapable of tying his shoelace intellectually. Rejecting everything one doesn’t understand is bad practice in every field of study, but devastating to the study of theology and/or philosophy.

  37. Reuben says:

    “But those who are criticizing him can never conceive of being wrong themselves, while they are incapable of tying his shoelace intellectually. Rejecting everything one doesn’t understand is bad practice in every field of study, but devastating to the study of theology and/or philosophy.”

    Quote of the day.

  38. Captain Kevin says:

    “My prayer is that he acts like a true man of God and tells them to go straight to hell.”

    “…and I think if Skip told them to go pi.. up a rope he’d be more hero than heel in most places.”

    I’ll drink a Kahlua to that!!!!

  39. Patrick Kyle says:

    May I gently suggest that the people running these ODM’s are mentally ill. You are fighting against an ‘invincible ignorance’ and possibly personality disorders. Right and wrong, scriptural or unscriptural; these distinctions mean nothing to these people. They are just tools for them to make themselves important and feed their constant need for the spot light and to be ‘right.’ You give them too much credit, and beat your own head into a wall when they do and say totally unreasonable and insane things, and you are trying to rationally analyze their behavior.

    I’d like to see a couple well known Pastors with huge influence get up and call these guys out publicly for the sowers of division that they are, and urge all their members and listeners to ignore them.

  40. Babylon's Dread says:

    Everyone has at least two quests… ODMs are questing for significance. They never find it so they just keep trying…upping the ante …. puffing themselves up …. and even when right, they are wrong. Sometimes we all play their game… most escape but a few never do.

  41. Believe says:

    Agreeing with Dread…we all battle the little ODM inside of us at times.

    I know I do.

    Good reminders not to emulate them.

  42. centorian says:

    Patrick Kyle,
    Dave Hunt is not mentally ill, neither is Tom McMahon, or Jacob Prasch. Clean you broadbrush and put it away.

  43. Michael says:

    Centy,

    I’ll take your word on Hunt and McMahon…but you can’t convince me that Prasch isn’t crazy as hell after his last article.

  44. Believe says:

    Agreeing with Centy…and no offense to PK…but, I believe the ODMs are brothers and sisters in Christ who we need to keep trying to have a dialogue with…whether they respond or not.

    Calling them mentally ill doesn’t further the discussion, IMO. It is highly unlikely that any are mentally ill…just wrong (some more often than others)…and we’re all wrong often times and need correction.

  45. Babylon's Dread says:

    Prasch is completely able to be an over-reacting pundit with a bias…. as in the article mentioned by Michael

  46. Michael says:

    Was there anyone of note that Prasch didn’t condemn?

    The whole thought process behind that article was whacked.

  47. Believe says:

    Many of the ODMs succumb to the same temptation of pride that we do.

    I joked earlier in the thread guessing that their CEO was satan…but seriously, I don’t believe them to be “of satan”…just tempted by satan. And, they fall…often (as we all do).

    Do they exercise poor journalism? Yep.
    Do their articles often drip with bias and reactionary rhetoric? Yep.
    Was Prasch’s recent article “whacked?” Yep.
    Do they cause division in the Body of Christ? Yep.
    Are they mentally ill? No.
    Are they necessarily the spawn of satan? No.
    Should we pray for them and try to dialogue with them even if they act like jerks? Yep.

    Ironically, they lack the one “gift” they claim to have…discernment.

    All in my opinion.

  48. Babylon's Dread says:

    When you mishandle basic factual information your discernment is irrelevant… those with bad character as to handling truth cannot arbitrate bad theology

  49. filbertz says:

    Do any of these so-called keepers of the faith have a doctrinal statement posted on their sites? Are they as forthright with their ‘orthodoxy’ as they expect others to be?

  50. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I am in the middle – I think that the ODMers are spiritually nuts.

  51. Patrick Kyle says:

    Centorian,

    The Light house Trails people and Gretchen from Slice of Laodicea have some serious issues. I don’t know much about Hunt or McMahon. However there seems to be no end of dissension and name calling with the whole ODM genre. Do you really believe that people are ‘called’ to a ‘ministry’ that is nothing but tearing down? I do not. I don’t see it in the New Testament or in the OT for that matter. Even the harshest prophet spoke some Gospel comfort. And the prophets never condemned righteous men, or mistakenly spoke condemnation into situations they were ignorant of.

    I am friends with a guy who could be considered a Lutheran ODM, and I have often been uncomfortable with the negative emphasis at times in his ministry.

    False doctrine and teaching need to be pointed out, but surely there is a better way.

    Anyone can tear down, but who can build up?

  52. Another Voice says:

    I believe a case could be made from Scripture that the role of protecting the sheep from the false teaching of the wolves lies with the pastor (i.e. shepherd).

    That would be God’s built-in mechanism for the balance with edification. In fact, it is not a ‘balance’ as the energy spent edifying is (or should) greatly outweigh that in warning the sheep on false teaching.

    Plus, the best way to protect the sheep from false teachers is to faithfully teach the truth -then they will ‘run away’ without needing the warning.

    The pastor/shepherd has a busy enough schedule than to spend time looking for who might be speaking at some conference in a different state.

    At least I do….

  53. Michael says:

    I know it’s exhausting…feel like I’ve been through the ringer today.

    Time for some Jerry Lee and a little taste of something soothing… 😉

  54. Babylon's Dread says:

    Soothing is helpful… very …. here’s to Michael…

  55. ODM says:

    FYI – ODM’s DON’T WORK AGAINST DOCTRINAL HERESIES THAT ARE VISIBLE TO ANY CHURCHMAN, THEY EXPOSE DECEPTION THAT WEARS A MASK OF ORTHODOXY AS A SHIELD TO DECEIVE.

  56. Lutheran says:

    DEAR ODUM:

    THERE’S NO NEED TO SHOUT — YOUR STUPIDITY SHINES THROUGH JUST FINE IN LOWER CASE.

  57. Believe says:

    ODM, let’s continue this discussion.

    “ODM’s DON’T WORK AGAINST DOCTRINAL HERESIES THAT ARE VISIBLE TO ANY CHURCHMAN, THEY EXPOSE DECEPTION THAT WEARS A MASK OF ORTHODOXY AS A SHIELD TO DECEIVE.”

    You appear to be saying that:

    1. ODMs (or at least you) see something that churchman don’t. You have the gift of discernment and can see the devil underneath deceptions that spring up in the church.

    2. You ascribe motive (purposeful deception) to those you deem as “wearing a mask of Orthodoxy.”

    3. You believe it is your calling from God to point out these purposeful deceivers…basically to pull the mask off of their deception.

    4. You believe this is ultimately edifying to the Body of Christ (that’s my inference, giving you the benefit of the doubt and operating under the assumption that your motives are pure).

    Is this a fair assessment from your perspective?

  58. I think the Odamner’s..I mean ODMers will make the rounds and eventually christian leader with any success will be in their sites. As far as guilt by association, my guess is anything that rhymes with Foster, or Sweet, or Bell or McLaren, or Warren…will be suspect.

    Eventually, they will get around to criticizing even some of Jesus words…you just wait and see

  59. filbertz says:

    If a churchman wears those 3-D (not shouting) goggles when he’s reading Christian literature, he can see those deceptions. You can also order capes from Lighthouse Trails now, and wear a special ODM (not shouting) badge on the label of your leisure suit. It proclaims “I read between the lines and hear between the words.”

  60. Once again Filbertz hits a homer with his comment

  61. Reformed Amillenarian says:

    “I still believe these ministries(oops, can call them that!) organizations continue to criticize what they don’t have the intellect to understand.”

    One of the hallmarks of heretics: Calling people who do not follow them into their heresy stupid. At least any pretense of charity is quickly dispelled.

    Either you subscribe to the faith “once delivered” or you do not. There is no compromise. Deal with it.

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