Wednesday, September 16, 2015

16 September 2015

“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.” [Ezekiel 33:6]

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” [Ephesians 6:12]

Presbyterians Week Headlines

[1] Christosecularism

Remains of Scottish Covenanter Prisoners of Oliver Cromwell from 1650 Battle of Dunbar Found in Mass Graves adjacent to Durham Cathedral



By the Rev. Dr. Chuck Wilson

Christopaganism attempts to merge Christianity with non-Christian religions. It is syncretism. It weds incompatible religious beliefs into a common belief system. An example is Roman Catholic evangelism in South America in the 16th Century where Jesus and the Virgin Mary became little more than two additional idols in the plethora of native idols which resulted in a bastardized form of Catholicism. Another example is Christian Wicca where Jesus, Mary, and the Cross are incorporated as objects of worship.

I think another form of Christopaganism is Christosecularism in Protestantism; a subtle form of Christopaganism where the Bible as Christian authority and Christ as the object of salvation and worship are diminished in meaning in favor of the idolatry of “this-is-how-I-see-it-and-what-I-want.” Christosecularism is what most mainline denominations in America have become - an alternative to historic Christianity.

Christosecularism purposely ignores, reduces, and confuses the meaning of Christianity until the Jesus of the Bible, as the object of faith, is so blurred and defused He is unidentifiable and meaningless.

The symptoms of Christosecularism are numerous; however, the following list should give a good start for identifying the affliction: (1) a view of the Bible as an ancient religious document which is only suggestive for how people live today and that rejects the Bible as God-given Truth, authoritative for both faith and life in all generations; (2) an understanding of God as grandfatherly and permissive instead of almighty and holy; (3) a profession of faith in Jesus apart from repentance of sins and a changed life that reflects the moral teachings of the Bible; (4) discipleship apart from the Lordship of Jesus; (5) a doctrine of grace that ignores repentance, self-denial, and spiritual disciplines (such as prayer, study of the Bible, and faithful attendance in worship with fellow believers); (6) a lifestyle of antinomianism which contemptuously disregards the laws and precepts of God as passé (especially anything regulating sexuality and marriage); and (7) a lifestyle that views Jesus’ Second Coming and the Final Judgment as fairytales told to frighten children and old people.

Apart from vigilance, there is no immunization for Christosecularism. Indisputably, it now infects evangelicalism, especially in matters of sexual conduct. Whether we want it or not, homosexuality and same-sex marriage have become the points of demarcation. Christosecularism which is secularism disguised as Christianity without the Christ of the Bible has invaded our ranks. The authoritative Christ of Scripture who speaks to both one’s faith and how one lives has been rejected. At this point, we who are evangelical Christians will have to answer this question: will we obey God or will we capitulate to Caesar?

In June, after the ruling by the Supreme Court on same-sex marriage, Eastern Mennonite University and Goshen College announced they would change their hiring policies to include practicing homosexual staff and faculty. Both Eastern Mennonite University and Goshen College are members of the evangelical Christian educational coalition of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). Eastern Mennonite University and Goshen College have decided that Caesar trumps Christ.

This has created a crisis in the CCCU. The board of the CCCU met and published the following statement:

The CCCU is a voluntary membership association that advances the cause of Christian higher education institutions whose missions are rooted in the historic Christian faith and are informed by deeply held Christian thought, belief, and practice. Eastern Mennonite University and Goshen College have made the CCCU aware of the change in their employment policy. The CCCU is grateful for the transparent process engaged by both of these institutions.

The CCCU meets regularly both as a board of directors and as a full membership to discuss association business, and it will discuss these changes at these regular meetings. The CCCU has a 40-year history of being fully committed to Christ-centered higher education. We remain unwavering in that commitment.

With this mealy-mouthed statement, the members of the board of the CCCU have abandoned the historic Christianity they claim to represent. In the name of Christian tolerance, the members of the board of the CCCU presently embrace two member schools which embrace homosexuality and same-sex marriage as compatible with historic Christianity.

The consequences were swift. The CCCU is on the verge of a split — perhaps a collapse. President Samuel Oliver of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee announced that at least forty member schools of the CCCU would likely withdraw. Officials at Union University and Oklahoma Wesleyan University have already announced they are withdrawing from the CCCU.

We in the ARP Church are not immune to Christosecularism. The toleration of same-sex marriage and homosexual sex is a mark of Christosecularism. Erskine College & Seminary is a member of the CCCU. Last year, President Kooistra and the Erskine board were so bold as to pass a statement on human sexuality which states that homosexual relationships are sin and Biblically condemned. They were also bold enough to weather the ensuing storm that followed from the secular media and the secular alums who have abandoned Christianity for Christosecularism. When the board meets in October, are President Kooistra and the board bold enough to continue their Biblical obedience and join Union University and Oklahoma Wesleyan University? Will the Erskine leadership have the courage not to halt between two opinions and choose the Christ of the Bible and reject Caesar?

The believer in Christ is called to identify as sins what the Bible describes as sins, to mourn over his/her sins, and to confess sins without excuse. That is, as God hates sin (Prov. 6.16-19; Isa. 61.8; Jer. 4.4; and Heb. 1.9), the believer in Christ is called to hate sin (Ps. 19.10; Prov. 8.13; and 1 John 2.15-17). Unfortunately, we often tolerate certain sins and think we can domesticate them into household pets. However, no one is capable of this. The result is the exacerbation and compounding of sin into what Jeremiah Burroughs called “the exceeding sinfulness of sin.” In the matters of same-sex marriage and homosexual sex, a failure to follow the Biblical mandates is an act of embracing Christosecularism and turning away from Bible-directed obedience and abandoning God.

In the Bible, Christians are commanded to mortify or kill the sins of the body (Rom. 8.13 and Col. 3.5-7). Christosecularists ignore such Scriptures for a cherry-picking of the Bible which rejects the words of Jesus in John 14.21, which reads, “Every man who knows my commandments and obeys them is the man who really loves me, and every man who really loves me will himself be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and make myself known to him.” (Phillips)

Sadly, and I write as the father of an Eagle Scout, the Boy Scouts of America has now opened its doors to leaders who are practicing homosexuals. As a result, many Bible-believing congregations have withdrawn their support of the Boy Scouts and no longer provide space for scouting programs in their facilities. In the last year, two ARP congregations have withdrawn from the Boy Scouts: Devenger Road in Greenville, SC and First Lancaster in Lancaster, SC. Pastors Patrick Malphrus and Kyle Sims, their sessions, and their congregations are to be commended for their Biblical integrity and courage. They are not willing to affirm the homosexual lifestyle as compatible with Christianity. They are not willing to be bullied by the homosexual agenda. They are not willing to embrace Christosecularism.

As has been noted, Christosecularists have a selective way in which they read the Bible. The only text in the Bible that is authoritative or relevant for them is “Judge not,” and the rest of the Bible be damned! As I have found it, the problem with most Christosecularists is they do not know where “judge not” is found or the context in which Jesus was teaching. They practice the art of blithering in ignorance.

Lest I be accused of cherry-picking, let me note that Christosecularism has other forms, and, sadly, they are found in our congregations. Christosecularism is found in our easy tolerance of divorce among the members of our congregations. It is found in our congregations in our easy tolerance of couples who live together as if they were married without rebuke. It is found in our easy tolerance of promiscuity in general. It is found in many of our congregations in our unwillingness to “fence” the Communion Table with any warning but pitiful and empty words which have no bearing on what takes place. It is also found in our easy tolerance of many other activities that the Bible identifies as sins.

Christosecularism is a denial and rejection of the Christ of the Bible who calls for a life of obedient discipleship that goes against the tide of the mores of secular society. In Christosecularism there is no meaningful difference in the conduct of the Christian and the non-Christian. In the congregations of Christosecularism the only difference between a Christian and a non-Christian is sentimental, vacuous, vapid, and meaningless religious talk about God’s love. Christian discipleship is reduced to niceness. Christosecularism is a false religion that denies that this world is passing away (1 Cor. 7.31), that fails to recognize that this world lies in the embrace of the evil one (1 John 5.19), and rejects that our world is under the condemnation of God because the Truth has been rejected for the devil’s lies (1 John 3.19).

Retaining a thin veneer of Christianity and babbling religious platitudes that are less than nonsense, Christosecularism is pseudo-Christianly denying the power of God and savors of hell rather than of heaven. Even in its least dangerous form, Christosecularism truncates Biblical Christianity and is a lie, for it offers peace with God when there is no peace. Christosecularism that embraces same-sex marriage and the homosexual lifestyle in the name of Christ is another gospel that, first, blasphemes Christ and, second, denies the Lordship of Christ in salvation and life. It is the devil’s religion.

ARPTalk Blog, 864-882-6337,

Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, 321 Eighth Street Northeast, Washington DC 20002, 202-546-8713, Fax: 202-546-8913,

Remains of Scottish Covenanter Prisoners of Oliver Cromwell from 1650 Battle of Dunbar Found in Mass Graves adjacent to Durham Cathedral

A 2 September 2015
The Guardian article by Mark Brown titled “Skeletons Found near Durham Cathedral Were Oliver Cromwell's Prisoners” reports that archeologists have identified the remains found in two mass graves adjacent to Dunham Cathedral as Scottish Covenanters captured during the 1650 Battle of Dunbar during the English Civil War of that period.

Of the 3000 prisoners housed in Durham Cathedral and Castle, it is estimated that 1700 or fifty-seven percent of the Scottish prisoners died and were buried in Dunham.

The Guardian, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU, England, 0-20-3353-2000,