BELIEF JESUS IS ONLY WAY TO HEAVEN IS INSANITY SAYS, MEGACHURCH PASTOR MICHAEL A. WALROND JNR.

NEW YORK — Michael A. Walrond Jr., one of New York City’s most influential pastors who leads the more than 10,000-member First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem, is coming under fire online for telling his congregants that the belief that Jesus is the only way to Heaven is “insanity.”

“We get so twisted in this country and in many cultures, to create divides and boundaries and barriers between human beings because of our faith difference,” said the pastor, who was named “One of the Lord’s Foot Soldiers” by Newsweek magazine. “Think about it. That we use the thing that we think makes us closer to God, the very thing to divide us from one another at times. And that makes no sense and so I’m not one of those people.”

There was a time when you would see people in the pulpit say, ‘well, if you don’t believe in Jesus you’re going to Hell. That’s insanity in many ways because that is not what Jesus even believes. And so the key is you believe in God. And whatever your path is to God I celebrate that. Personally I celebrate that,” he said to a smattering of applause. “Again, we have enough in this world that divides us we need to find those things that bring us together. And if God cannot bring us closer together then something is wrong, not with God but in how we think we know God and understand God.”

“Jesus said to him. “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:9-10

I like how Bishop Robert E. Smith, Sr., founder of Total Outreach for Christ Ministries, Inc. and Word of Outreach Christian C enter and Academy in Little Rock, Arkansas responded. He said, Walrond is both “right and wrong.”

The preacher on this video is both right and wrong: he’s right in that all roads do lead to God; but this God is both love and a consuming fire. If you meet Him on the Christ road of His love you live, but any other road, be it religion, philosophy, or a miscalculation of the Person of Christ, the lake of fire is waiting!” Smith said.

Sadly, many Theological Colleges support Michael A. Walrond Jr position:

Ken Stone, academic dean at Chicago Theological Seminary, said “Rev. Walrond’s openness to the truth and wisdom found in multiple religious traditions and his celebration of multiple paths to God” is something the institution supports.

“I don’t know that we would use exactly the same language to describe it but in terms of the openness to truth and wisdom found in multiple religious traditions, absolutely we would support that,” Stone said.

ANTICHRIST: THE STAGE IS SET

Imagine if the Antichrist is a Muslim (Mahdi/12th Imam) as Joel Richardson and other “end times” scholars are predicting. He will now not only have the worship of the Muslim nations around the world, particularly those surrounding Israel, but fanatical support of the growing number of Muslims in Europe. In fact, in many of these countries such as Holland, under the age of 17, Muslims are the majority.

Most European countries are bankrupt and unemployment particularly under the age of 25 now at levels where anarchy is inevitable. The stage is set for this charismatic, demonically controlled leader to emerge. In fact, both the Sunni and Shiite Muslim leadership are already expecting him to emerge.

Hundreds of Muslims engage in a mass prayer service next to the Coliseum in Rome, on Octoberuropean  21, 2016. (Image source: Ruptly video screenshot)

Mainstream media are now questioning if “Europe fears Muslims more than the United States”. The photograph used in the article was a recent Muslim mass prayer in front of Italy’s monument, the Coliseum. In echoes of the capture of the great Christian civilisation of Byzantium in Constantinople, Sunni Islam’s most prominent preacher, Yusuf al Qaradawi, declared that the day will come when Rome will be Islamized.

According to US President Trump’s strategic adviser Steve Bannon, the “Judeo-Christian West is collapsing, it is imploding. And it’s imploding on our watch. And the blow-back of that is going to be tremendous”.

The impotence and the fragility of our civilisation is haunting many Europeans as well.

Europe, according to the historian David Engels will face the fate of the ancient Roman Republic: a civil war. Everywhere, Europeans see signs of fracture. Jihadists seem to be leading an assault against freedom and against secular democracies. Fears occupy the collective imagination of Europeans. A survey of more than 10,000 people from ten different European countries has revealed increasing public opposition to Muslim immigration. The Chatham House Royal Institute of International Affairs carried out a survey, asking online respondents their views on the statement that “all further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped”. In the 10 European countries surveyed, an average of 55% agreed with the statement.

Do civilisations die from outside or inside? Is their disappearance the result of external aggression (war, natural disasters, epidemics) or of an internal erosion (decay, incompetence, disastrous choices)? Arnold Toynbee, in the last century, was adamant: “Civilisations die from suicide, not by murder”.

Everywhere in Europe there are signs of a takeover. Muslim students now outnumber Christian students in more than 30 British church schools. One Anglican primary school has a “100 percent Muslim population”. The Church of England estimated that about 20 of its schools have more Muslim students than Christian ones, and 15 Roman Catholic schools have majority Muslim students. In Germany as well, there are fears of a massive Muslim influx into the school system, and German teachers are openly denouncing the threat of a “ghettoisation”.

France saw 34,000 fewer babies born last year than in 2014, a new report just found. If it were not for Muslim women, France would have an even lower birth rate: “With a fertility rate of 3.5 children per woman, the Algerians contribute significantly to the growth of the population in France”, wrote the well-known demographer Gérard-François Dumont.[1]

Thanks to Muslim migrants, Sweden’s maternity wards are busy these days.[2]

In Milan, Italy’s financial center, Mohammed is the top name among newborn babies. The same is true in London (it has a Muslim mayor with a radical background), in the four biggest Dutch cities and elsewhere in Europe, from Brussels to Marseille. It is Islam, not Christianity, that now saturates Europe’s landscape and imagination.

Meanwhile, Europe’s leaders are almost all childless. In Germany, Angela Merkel has no children, as British prime minister Theresa May and one of France’s leading presidential candidates, Emmanuel Macron. As Europe’s leaders have no children and no reason to worry about the future (everything ends with them), they are now opening Europe’s borders to keep the continent in a demographic equilibrium. “I believe Europeans should understand that we need migration for our economies and for our welfare systems, with the current demographic trend we have to be sustainable”, said Federica Mogherini, the European Union representative for foreign affairs.

Islamists take culture and history more seriously than the Westerners do. Recently, in Paris, an Egyptian terrorist tried to strike the great museum, the Louvre. He planned to deface the museum’s artwork, he said, because “it is a powerful symbol of French culture”. Think about an Islamic extremist shouting “Allahu Akbar” while slashing the Mona Lisa. This is the trend we need to start reversing.

TOO LATE GIULIO, THE “BIRTH PANGS” ARE UPON US. WE ARE IN THE LAST DAYS, AS PROPHESIED IN GOD’S WORD. GET READY FOR TRIBULATION CHURCH. SORRY, THE CHURCH IS ASLEEP. ALSO, AS PROPHESIED THE CHURCH WILL BE CHARACTERISED BY APOSTASY AT THIS TIME AND IT IS. JESUS PROPHESIED THAT “MANY WILL FALL AWAY” AND “MOST PEOPLES LOVE WILL GROW COLD” Matthew 24:10,12.

PAUL TELLS US WHY THE END TIMES CHURCH WILL BE WEAK, VACILLATING AND FULL OF APOSTASY. JUST ONE OF THOSE CLUES CAN BE FOUND IN 2 TIMOTHY 4:3-4 “THE TIME WILL COME WHEN THEY (CHRISTIANS) WILL NOT ENDURE SOUND DOCTRINE; BUT WANTING TO HAVE THEIR EARS TICKLED, THEY WILL ACCUMULATE FOR THEMSELVES TEACHERS IN ACCORDANCE TO THEIR OWN DESIRES; AND WILL TURN AWAY THEIR EARS FROM THE TRUTH (GOD’S WORD), AND WILL TURN ASIDE TO MYTHS (PARTICULARLY EVOLUTION & BILLIONS OF YEARS). SADLY, APOSTASY CAN BE FOUND IN MOST OF THE SEMINARIES AND DENOMINATIONS

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.


IS THE BIBLE TOO HARD TO DEFEND? SADLY, EVANGELICAL PASTOR ANDY STANLEY THINKS SO

Evangelical pastor preaches that the Bible isn’t the foundation for the Christian faith.

Pastor Andy Stanley has a church network of over 30,000 people in the Atlanta area, and his church was rated the fastest-growing in America in 2014 and 2015.

andystanley

The Bible’s historical reliability is one of the most important considerations when it comes to whether people  will accept the Bible’s claims about Jesus—and they’re right! If the Bible is demonstrably wrong regarding its history, it is not a reliable record, and the claims the Bible makes about Jesus are so extraordinary that it requires the Bible to be a supernatural, inspired, inerrant book. This is of course what it claims to be. Creation Ministries found it necessary to counter this serious challenge to the authority of God’s Word with this excellent article by Lita Cosner and Scott Gillis.

Pastor Andy Stanley says, “If the Bible is the foundation of our faith, it’s all or nothing. Christianity becomes a ‘fragile house of cards’ religion. Christianity becomes a fragile house of cards that comes tumbling down when we discover that perhaps the walls of Jericho didn’t.”2

Stanley’s message is clear as to the ‘unnecessary reason’ youth have left the faith:

So, if you stepped away from Christianity because of something in the Bible, if you stepped away from the Christian faith because of Old Testament miracles, if you stepped away from the Christian faith because you couldn’t reconcile 6,000 years with a 4.5 billion year old earth and something you learned in biology, I want to invite you to reconsider, because the issue has never been, ‘is the Bible true?’.2 (Emphasis added)

While he hopes to persuade people to come back to church, the route he took is actually more likely to deconstruct the faith of the young people he wants so much to keep in the church. In our experience (which to be honest, is much more wide than his own—speaking in over 1000 churches of varying denominations each year), people think the Bible’s historical reliability is one of the most important considerations when it comes to whether they will accept the Bible’s claims about Jesus—and they’re right!

What most people have commented on is the third part of his sermon series. Stanley begins that message by saying:

“In Sunday School we learned the song, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

He goes on to say,

“You grew up, but your faith didn’t grow up with you. You grew up, but you outgrew your faith. Your childhood god could not stand the rigors of adulthood, the questions of adulthood.”2

The reason he thinks this is a problem is:

“If the Bible is the foundation of our faith, it’s all or nothing. Christianity becomes a ‘fragile house of cards’ religion. Christianity becomes a fragile house of cards that comes tumbling down when we discover that perhaps the walls of Jericho didn’t.”2

To call Scripture a ‘house of cards’ (and elsewhere in the same sermon he calls it a ‘fragile thread’) reveals a troubling attitude for a pastor to have towards Scripture, which Jesus and the Apostles presented as the absolute foundation for our faith. After all, if he cannot be sure about Scripture, how can he be sure about the One that Scripture is ultimately all about, and moreover, the Bible’s history that necessitated Jesus becoming our Saviour.

Too hard to defend it

One reason Stanley argues we need this change in perspective is that Scripture is too hard to defend:

“What your students have discovered, and if you read broadly you’ve discovered, it is next to impossible to defend the entire Bible. But if your Christianity hangs by the thread of proving that everything in the Bible is true, you may be able to hang onto it, but your kids and your grandkids and the next generation will not. Because this puts the Bible at the center of the debate. This puts the spotlight right on the Bible. Everything rises and falls on whether not part, but all the Bible is true. And that’s unfortunate, and as we’re going to discover today, it is absolutely unnecessary.”2

Among the things he specifically states are indefensible and not supported by evidence:

  • Israel’s Exodus from Egypt
  • The walls in Jericho fell down
  • The earth is 6,000 years old
  • The chronological information in 1, 2 Kings, 1, 2 Chronicles, and 1, 2, Samuel
  • The global flood in Noah’s day

But as apologist James White pointed out in his rebuttal to Stanley, if the Bible is wrong, Christianity is untrue.4 Jesus’ own view was that the Scriptures could not be broken (John 10:35), and the New Testament authors referred to the Old Testament’s history as the foundation for New Testament theology. If the Bible is wrong about historical events, the basis for New Testament teaching vanishes. Worse still for Stanley, if Jesus is wrong about the very Scripture Stanley says is not defensible, then how can he still encourage faith in Jesus and His (historical) resurrection?

Did the early church have the Bible?

Stanley bases his argument that Christianity does not stand or fall with the Bible by his absurd claim that, for the first several hundred years of Christianity, they didn’t have the Bible: “For the first 300 years of the existence of Christianity, the debate centered on an event, not a book.” While they may not have had all the New Testament books bound together under one cover and called it ‘the Bible’, the entire Old Testament and many of the New Testament books functioned authoritatively from the beginning of the Church and were the central source of their theology, used to settle the doctrinal controversies of that time. In fact, there are over 100 references in the New Testament to the book of Genesis, let alone many other Old Testament events. So much of our Christian doctrine, and even Jesus’ own teaching, are centered on those biblical historical events.

Astonishingly, however, Stanley suggests that Peter might have responded to historical questions about the Old Testament as follows:

“Peter would have looked at you like, ‘I’m not really sure what you’re talking about, but I followed a man for three years who spoke like no other man spoke. He was arrested and crucified and we thought, Game over, because he said too much to be a good teacher, he claimed too much about himself to be a good teacher. Game over. We’re all in hiding; a bunch of women come babbling that “The tomb is empty, the tomb is empty”. I looked into an empty tomb, and do you know what I concluded? Somebody stole the body. And a few days later I had breakfast with my risen friend on the beach. So I’m not sure about 6,000-year-old earth, I’m not sure about archaeological evidence, I’m not sure about all that. The reason I’m following Jesus is because I saw him die, and I saw him alive, and I went into the streets of Jerusalem to say, God has done something among us.”2

But this does not match up with what Peter actually said in Acts 2 (by the way, it should be noted that Stanley purposely references no actual Scripture in his first several sermons). In Peter’s sermon as recorded by Luke, he included a lengthy quote from the prophet Joel and two Psalms, because he wasn’t arguing from his personal testimony and experience, but that the history they witnessed was a fulfillment of the Scriptures. And, even when he did appeal to his own eyewitness testimony, he tied this to a confirmation of the Scriptures (2 Peter 1:16–21)—the very Scriptures Stanley argues Christianity didn’t emphasize until 300 years later.

In Part 5 of the sermon series, Stanley dedicates an entire session to the reasons people leave the faith due to injustice in the world. Although Stanley does make some pertinent points, at no time does he state the foundational, historical event of Adam’s Fall as the cause of death and suffering in the world. In a self-labeled ‘footnote’, Pastor Stanley implies that a belief in evolution does not challenge the Gospel’s big picture when he states “Francis Collins actually embraces what we would consider macro-evolution and yet he is still a conservative Christian. If you didn’t think a person could believe in evolution and be an evangelical Christian, you should read this book. If science is the reason you have walked away from faith, I highly recommend his book, The Language of God [see our review].” Francis Collins would agree with Stanley when he stated in this sermon series, “And when religion and science conflict, at the end of the day if you are an honest person, science must win.” When people compromise on the historical account of creation they are unable to effectively explain the existence of death and suffering if God created a very good world. And Francis Collins along with his former organization BioLogos actually believes that Jesus could be wrong about His statements about biblical history and the historical Adam and Eve. See It’s not Christianity!.

Just another ‘New Testament Christianity’

It is interesting to note how Stanley defends the historical reliability of the New Testament and the historical trustworthiness and early composition of the New Testament documents. But as is shown by the list of Old Testament events that he claims are indefensible, he is all too ready to give up on the historical reliability of the Old Testament, which Jesus and the New Testament authors quoted constantly in all sorts of contexts, always taking it as completely authoritative and true.

We have pointed out that you can’t have a New Testament-only Christianity, because the Christians during the time of the New Testament used the Scriptures—the Old Testament.

Will this approach bring people back to the faith?

The saddest thing about this attempt to justify Christianity apart from the Scriptures is that it won’t work. We’ve come into contact with many young people with questions, and most aren’t interested in a ‘squishy’ Christianity that takes all the ‘hard’ passages of the Bible metaphorically while only holding on to some sort of a belief in Jesus.

The answer is not to so easily abandon the authority and the inerrancy of Scripture, but rather to learn how we can know that the Bible is reliable.

Andy Stanley is obviously passionate, and we would agree that a simple “the Bible tells me so” faith will likely not sustain people when they encounter objections to the faith. But the answer is not to so easily dismiss the authority and inerrancy of Scripture, but rather learn how the evidence supports the historical account of the Bible.

Many Sundays, after hearing a creation presentation, people will come up to one of our speakers and be so excited that they realize they can trust the entire Bible! By hearing that the Bible’s history is reliable, and that there are answers to all the objections that they’ve heard, believers are more confident to share their faith.

It takes effort, but it is not too hard to defend the entire Bible; we’ve been defending Scripture from the first verse for over 30 years. That is the key to keeping young people in the church. And the effort has eternal consequences. Given the wealth of scientific and archaeological support and information that is available today to support the Bible’s history, it is a shame that Stanley did not take the time to research it, before so readily abandoning the Bible as the inerrant source for the Christian faith.