Blue is the New Red - 'Violology' is the New Theology!
- God's Wife is the Devil's Consort!?

– Did One NAR / Home Church Leader Marry God to Form of “Ashtoreth?”


Jeremiah 23:32 “Behold, I [am] against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.”

     How can someone claiming to be a Biblical teacher suggest of the church, "...the throng turns into a whirlwind of glorious light, as glorious as the face of God it begins to form, and out of it, out of this whirlwind steps the most glorious woman…” and “…bride of the Lamb becomes the wife of God and the two shall become one?” Except from some dream or vision perhaps? Or are the roots of this thinking as old as the Garden of Eden? Interestingly, I did find something in religious news claiming that God’s wife was edited out of the Bible:

On March 18, 2011 Discovery News puts out the article God's Wife Edited Out of the Bible -- Almost

“The theory has gained new prominence due to the research of Francesca Stavrakopoulou, who began her work at Oxford and is now a senior lecturer in the department of Theology and Religion at the University of Exeter. “

A response was found on the Bible Gateway Blog a week later, March 25, 2011 Did God have a Wife?  

“Was God married? Was the Old Testament revised to hide evidence that God ruled alongside a heavenly queen?”  - Then they answer the issue:

“So to the question “Did the ancient Israelites worship other gods, like Asherah, alongside Yahweh?” the answer is clear: they certainly did. But what is also clear is that the Bible repeatedly and unequivocally condemns this, describing these pagan gods as nothing more than lifeless idols.” …” There is no manuscript evidence suggesting an “earlier version” of Israelite history that endorsed polytheism.”

The next place I looked was at the Online Bible under the topic of False Worship that covers Idols to be Destroyed with places: "devoted to idolatry, Groves (Asherah or Asherim), places where shrines were located {#De 12:2 16:21 Jud 6:25 1Ki 14:15 16:33 2Ki 18:4 21:3 23:14 2Ch 14:3 17:6 Isa 17:8}"

So could this possibly have to do with a leader within the house/organic church movement? To start, this same leader quoted at the start is Frank Viola who is also on the record already giving the highest praise I have heard anyone give the book called The Shack that introduces another god – a female god as GOD in The Shack they introduce god in this fashion,

“…a version of the trinity with a variety of ethnic descriptions as well as two of the three being female pg 82-84, “…a large African-American woman…” (Papa God the Father), “…a small distinctively Asian woman…virtually transparent and hard to see…,” (Sarayu Holy Spirit), a man “…appeared Middle Eastern and dressed like a laborer complete with tool belt and gloves... (Jesus as a carpenter).” (Online source)

Frank Viola shared his glowing endorsement of William Paul Young author of The Shack, saying this and much more,

All told: I will shamelessly throw my hat in the ring with those who are giving unqualified praise for The Shack. I believe that this book will make history in more ways than one. And as I’ve told Paul myself, I can’t wait until it trumps “The Purpose Driven Life.” At the present rate the book is selling, it won’t be too long for that to happen. Thank you, Paul Young, for writing this monumental work. The Kingdom of God is better off for it.” - Source now a dead link: http://frankviola.wordpress.com/2008/07/28/short-book-review-of-the-shack-by-william-p-young/

So is introducing the Church as "The Wife of God" a form of Ashtoreth (false worship)?

     Should it really a surprise one of today’s modern day, postmodern, Dominionist, psychologizing, Emergent-Organic Church, New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and Shack endorsing leaders would reintroduce a form of false worship? Judge for yourself as Frank Viola stated this past September 4th 2011, at the Momentum National House Church conference in his message on “Epic Jesus,” when Frank Viola states in this fuller quote,

“A matchless throng that no man can number from every tribe, every race, every kindred every tongue and God does something incredible – the throng turns into a whirlwind of glorious light, as glorious as the face of God, and it begins to form, and out of it, out of this whirlwind steps the most glorious woman, beyond the imagination of mortals, the bride makes her entrance, the mystery of the ages the new Eve, and gold is poured into gold and light into light, and the bride of the Lamb becomes the wife of God and the two shall become one. For behold I show you a mystery the woman was taken out of the man and brought to the man and the two become one flesh but I’m not speaking of Adam and Eve, I’m speaking of Christ and the Church.“ (Online Source)

This is not a onetime statement by Viola, there is a whole theology wrapped around this! In his 2009 book From Eternity to Here on page 126 he says similarly, (emphasis in bold mine)

“The bride has been making herself ready for this grand moment (Rev. 19:7-9). Heaven's Bridegroom takes His spotless bride into the wedding chamber, behind the veil, and purity is poured into purity, light flows into light, and the Lord Jesus Christ and His beloved bride become one. And she is no longer a bride. She is now the wife of God. And God the Son is no longer a bachelor.

So how did we get from 'there to here' should be the question! A few more quotes from earlier ‘Violology’ (as I now coin it) he develops a whole line of theological thought of his own in From Eternity to Here to show the depth of what is being said:

“No one else existed. Nothing else existed. Within the bosom of God the Father was God the Son. And they were unified. The Spirit was also present, sharing in the oneness of both Father and Son. Pulsating within the center of the Godhead was the very essence of deity, a passionate love (John 17:24; 1 John 4:16). All things pour forth from God the Father. He is the source of everything. This includes the passion of divine love. Augustine once said, “If God is love, then there must be in Him a Lover, a Beloved, and a Spirit of love; for no love is conceivable without a Lover and a Beloved” (From Eternity to Here on page 38).

But he got that from scriptures here John 17:24; 1 John 4:16? Did all of us somehow miss these gems in scripture for their true meaning? God’s Word says to keep the scriptures in context I include surrounding verses:

John 17:23-26 “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. 24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. 26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

And the other reference:

1 John 4:15-17 “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 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.”

Then Viola continues on the next page:

“So when God made man, there were two beings in the universe that were vibrating with an insatiable passion: the Son of God in heaven and Adam on earth. The frustrated passion of a love-filled God and the frustrated passion of a human made in His image. Then, on one non-day in the dateless past, God the Father conceived a plan. It was a staggering plan. It was to give His Son a companion, one who would match Him perfectly. One who would be just like Him, yet not Him. That being would be the Son of God in a different form. That being would also become the object of the Son’s passion, a wife worthy of deity.” (From Eternity to Here on page 39)

Two beings vibrating with an  insatiable passion... frustrated... a plan for a perfect companion, ...would be the Son of God in a different form, object of passion - ... A wife worthy of deity? Seriously, how could all of us have missed this in scriptures or is this some sort of private interpretation of what we are not told? The Bible clearly teaches how dangerous this is and warns, 2 Peter 1:20 "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." And there is still much more as I show:

“I want you to contemplate this passion-filled God of yours. Truthfully, God is perfectly adequate within Himself. But because God is love, He is not content to be adequate in Himself. For this reason, God the Son wanted someone upon whom to pour out the love that coursed within His being, which is the very same love that the Father poured out upon Him. … Thus the superabundance of God’s love required a receptacle that was not within the Trinity. Again, the Son’s desire for a counterpart was not rooted in any deficiency within Himself.” (From Eternity to Here on page 39-40)

While God "...was not content to be adequate" and His love required a receptacle not within the Trinity? Then in typical postmodern eclectic form states this frustrated, love starved Son is none other than our Lord Jesus - A lonely bachelor! Read for yourselves:

The Lord Jesus, a Lone Bachelor
"Let us now move into time and watch how God fulfilled His ageless purpose. You have heard that Jesus Christ came to save sinners. That is true. But the New Testament teaches that He came for something far deeper. He came to get His counterpart. He came to get His bride. He came to obtain a wife for Himself. The Eternal Son became human in order that He might obtain the passion that burned within His bosom from before time." (
From Eternity to Here on page 41)

All of these quotes get us back to the start where Viola has the glorious Church becoming a whirlwind and all of us turning into this woman:

That coming will issue into a glorious marriage in which the bride of Christ will be the wife of God. (From Eternity to Here on page 93)

There is much more evidence to to show, I can hardly contain this in the opening argument you can say, of the crimes against scriptures I have read. Next in From Eternity to Here, you get a whole chapter 11 titled “The Wife of God” leading to the quote from page 126 at the start of this article connected to the quote from the Momentum conference in his "Epic Jesus," which MP3 is posted online. To take a quip from Viola's "Epic Jesus" message he remarks like the proverbial infomercial "...but wait that's not all!...," indeed there was much more that I hope to draw together into one coherent article for you my readers to truly paint for you a picture of a Jesus I have never seen or heard before.

Does Viola speak for God or does the Bible stand against teachings of Violology?

ISN'T THIS THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN JUST IN OTHER WORDS?

While Viola may use some other fine sounding words, he strayed greatly from the path of truth and went off-roading reintroducing a type of false worship condemned in the Old Testament and New Testament. He essentially recreates the basis for a Queen of Heaven, or as known as Ashtoreth. Consider what others said about Ashtoreth,

“And since Ashtoreth worship involved sexuality (fertility, procreation, temple prostitution), the resulting relationship, to the depraved mind, would naturally be one of a sexual nature. Clearly, the idea of the “queen of heaven” as the consort or paramour of the King of heaven is idolatrous and unbiblical. There is no queen of heaven. There has never been a queen of heaven. There is most certainly a King of Heaven, the Lord of hosts, Jehovah. He alone rules in heaven.(As correctly stated from article at GotQuestions.org bold emphasis mine)

--- There is another BIG problem with this weird eschatological fantasy quoted earlier - where is the person of the Holy Spirit in this picture Viola painted!? One of the Trinity is absent! I have a separate section below on the Trinity to point back part of the problem showing ties to the teachings of the "cultic" Local Church Movement and possible influence on Violology.

INTRODUCING THE CHURCH AS “GOD’S WIFE” COMPARABLE TO FEMALE GOD OF THE SHACK

     In the Herescope article following, while also addressing some issues with The Shack, it connects more of the dots for the discussion here in MORE THAN METAPHOR Part 3: The Consequence of Role-Reversals in The Shack: (Used with permission)

Solomon’s personal involvement with and public initiation of idolatry at the end of his reign influenced the spirituality of Israel and Judah for generations to come. The common biblical description of Israel playing the harlot with the pagan (i.e., earthly) idol-gods of the surrounding nations is, I believe, more than a metaphor.[29]

As religion, the feminine goddess Asherah (or, Ashtoreth) was fully a part of Baal worship, she being the female consort of Baal.[30] This male-female divinity (i.e., Baal-Asherah) typifies the pagan idolatry where, as one study Bible notes, the “deities symbolized generative power, [and] their worship involved prostitution.”[31] … In spite of the outward repression of idolatry by reforms like those initiated by the youthful King Josiah (circa 622 B.C., 2 Chronicles 34:1-7), it has been noted that the idolatrous cancer “was deep and flourished quickly again after a shallow revival.”[35] Not even the Babylonian Captivity would cure the nation of its fascination for and playing harlot with the imagined gods and goddesses of the surrounding nations. In fact, the solution to this spiritual pollution awaits the coming of the One who will cure Israel and the world of spiritual harlotry forever (Zechariah 12:10; 13:2; See Micah 4:1-2.).

Obviously, when the image of God is changed into gods and goddesses (Romans 1:23), when poly-gendering generates polytheism, when the sacred/sexual on earth is believed to mimic the sacred-sexual in heaven (as above, so below), when sacred prostitutes become representative incarnations of the gods and goddesses, and when sex becomes a sacrament linking the human to the divine, the dynamic of “relationship” with God changes.[36] Sensuality controls the spirituality, and the divine mystery is reduced vulgar lust (See Leviticus 18:1-19:4; 1 Peter 1:15). Solomon’s introduction of an idolatry that included the feminine-divine changed the human perception of the relationship of the gods with each other, the people with those gods, and the people with people. As the apostle wrote, God “gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves” (Romans 1:24). With the projection of femaleness into god (Asherah, being Baal’s consort), in theory it became possible for gods to reproduce gods. Like rats, the gods multiplied (i.e., polytheism). [37] As the gods proliferated and Israel created their likenesses on earth, idols flooded the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. The prophet described the apostasy:

Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines . . . Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made: And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not
(Isaiah 2:6, 8-9, KJV; Compare Jeremiah 2:13, 20; 3:1-10, 13.).

So we need to all take care! The Old Testament on the idol of a Queen of Heaven is false worship by whatever name you call it:

“2 Kings 23:13 And the high places that [were] before Jerusalem, which [were] on the right hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile.”

And the New Testament:

“2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

King Josiah in his day saw these idols, high places and groves for what they were and tore them down, even though Israel fell again a short time later, it is another lesson and strong warning for us to avoid such foolish thinking!

MORE EVIDENCE - VIOLA’S VISION FITS TOGETHER WITH YOUNG’S WEIRD BOOK THE SHACK

Remember Frank Viola’s glowing endorsement of The Shack above? Compare Viola’s vision of the church throng changed into a woman and The Shack on page 148 where author William Paul Young blasphemes Jesus by daring to speak for him saying,

     “Mack asks Jesus the question, But you came in the form of a man. Doesn’t that say something?” “Yes, but not what many have assumed. I came as a man to complete a wonderful picture in how we made you. From the first day we hid the woman within the man, so that at the right time we could remove her from within him. We didn’t create man to live alone; she was purposed from the beginning. By taking her out of him, he birthed her in a sense. We created a circle of relationship, like our own, but for humans. She, out of him, and now all the males, including me, birthed through her; and all originating, or birthed, from God.”
    
“Oh, I get it,” Mack interjected, stopping in midthrow, “If the female had been created first, there would have been no circle of relationship, and thus no possibility of a fully equal face-to-face relationship between the male and the female. Right” “Exactly right, Mack.” Jesus [answered then] looked at him and grinned.” [Bold emphasis mine]

Now again, to Viola on 9/4/2011, (shortened from above) :

“– the throng turns into a whirlwind of glorious light, as glorious as the face of God, and it begins to form, and out of it, out of this whirlwind steps the most glorious woman, …the new Eve… the bride of the Lamb becomes the wife of God and the two shall become one. For behold I show you a mystery…I’m not speaking of Adam and Eve, I’m speaking of Christ and the Church.“

Then for the circle of the relationship back with The Shack, Viola’s teachings in 2008 book Reimagining Church on page 109 he states,

"The church is called to reflect this dance of fellowship and self-giving. But more than that, it has been introduced into the dance as a new partner! Interestingly, the early Christians used the term perichoresis to describe the divine dance of fellowship that goes on between the Father, Son and Spirit. (The prefix peri means "around," and the word choresis literally means "dancing.") The final end of humanity is to be fully taken up into the Trinitarian dance, brought fully into the circle of that superabundant love that flows within the Godhead (1 Cor 15:24-28; Eph 1:10). The good news is that we can live in the foretaste of that future reality now. As Miroslav Volf says, "Participation in the communion of the triune God, however, is not only an object of hope for the church, but also its present experience. (Quoting Volf's 1998 book After Our Likeness) then Viola continues,

“Tragically, because we have arranged church according to institutional lines for so long, we've been conditioned to take some wrong steps in the dance. But seeing the church as family grounds out identity firmly in the triune God and draws us back into the circle." [One of Viola's not so well masked snipes of institutional churches I touch on more later]

However 1 Co 15:24-28 and Eph 1:10 the Bible actually says this, 

“Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.  And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”

And

Eph 1:10 “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:”

Sorry Frank, no circle here with the exception of your reasoning to propagate more Violology - what would actually appear to be Dominionist / Restoration Theology and something more. Earlier in the same endorsement (above) of The Shack regarding Young’s orthodoxy in case you are questioning if I have Viola all wrong he said this as well in the same 2008 endorsement,

“Very simply: The Shack is a brilliant book. And God is using it to touch the lives of scores of people, both Christian and non-Christian. Paul Young is not only a great guy, but he’s an exceptional fiction writer. And he is dead on: there is no hierarchy within the Godhead. This has been the orthodox Christian position from the beginning.”

WARNING DARKER ROADS AHEAD! - WE THE CHURCH AS THE ORGANIC EXTENSION OF GOD!?

     I hope you now understand the title of this article, the “Devil and his Consort” which in history is Baal and Ashtoreth. – They  resemble the teachings being presented in this tale presented as if from God but by Frank Viola. HOWEVER there are darker implications being taught making us an “Organic extension” of the Trinity! To me it smacks of a very twisted and subtle way of introducing the idea of a “divine spark” (New Age type teaching) for Christians, while at the same time Viola denying we are divine it is all very convoluted and contradictory when you connect to the fantasy of the throng being swept away into a whirlwind and turned into a woman. Just the idea, just the thought Viola presents here helps to lay some of the groundwork for a future and greater deception (whether or not that was his intent - Jeremiah 17:9-10 it is wicked and I am measuring what he says to scriptures)! Connect together with others Viola has regularly shared the stage or books mentioned on our site: William Paul Young author of The Shack, Wolfgang Simson (who promotes New Age type dream interpretation), and with Leonard Sweet (more linked here) -you can see Viola hangs out with a crowd that go for the such errant postmodern teachings! I believe Viola's conservative Bible teaching persona is just that – and there is zero depth of true Biblical discernment based on evidence. I will show more of the dark paths in what follows with this hope and warning from Jude 23-24, "And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy"
 

So Is the Church an “Organic Extension” of the Godhead?

AN ABERRANT FORM OF THE TRINITY – AND ATTACK OF THE “INSTITUTIONAL CHURCH”

According to Frank Viola,

“In the Godhead there exists an eternal, complementary, and reciprocal interchange of divine life, divine love, and divine fellowship. Amazingly this same relationship has been transposed from the divine key into the human key. The passage has moved from the Father to the Son, from the Son to the church. (John 6:57; 15:9; 20:21). It has moved from the eternal God in the heavenlies to the church on earth, the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. The church is the organic extension of the triune God. It was conceived in Christ before time. (Eph 1:4-5) and born on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1ff)” (Frank Viola, Reimagining Church, p35).

Since this doctrine of the Trinity is so very critical to my Christian foundation, I am going to go to each verse reference and hold what Viola says to the light of scripture. I am Bible reading Christian and see some MAJOR problems here:

John 6:56-58 “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.”

John 15:8-10 “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”

John 20:21-22 “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:”

In my articles exposing the errors coming from the Organic Church teachings this is one of the “watershed” issues I wish to address. While much in the Bible speaks to us in organic terms, living words, and we most certainly serve a Living God, God has not implied in any part of scripture that we become Gods but we always remain the created, the creature though very much loved – we do not “join” in the oneness of the Godhead for the Lord Our God is ONE GOD. Here the waters part ways with Viola and those who would teach we somehow become an “organic extension.”

Ephesians 1:4-5 “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,”

Ac 2:1 “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”

We are chosen in him and adopted. Adoption means we are part of the family of God we are by no means God or Gods. There is an implied hierarchy established in the family by God. This is not putting God into a box as Viola and Sweet would accuse, these are attributes established by God Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In other places, Viola attempts to implicate that the Bible translators added this patriarchal hierarchy and goes to some lengths to prove this point quoting two other theologians (Kevin Giles and then Shirley Guthrie) for credence, again in typical post-modernist fashion on the following page 36 of Reimagining Church to support a type of “communal” existence and says that his definition of the “…Trinity is the paradigm for the church’s native expression” and quotes the second theologian Guthrie with a rather long quote on this same page but encapsulates it with,

“Look again at the triune God. And notice what’s absent. There’s an absence of command-style leadership. There’s an absence of hierarchical structures.”

Here lies another paradigmatic/watershed issue! This is a direct contradiction of many scriptures! Just to quote a few:

John 4:34 “Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.”

John 5:30 “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”

John 6:38 “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”

– A hierarchical structure is not only implied but stated BY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST! Unless perhaps Viola is advocating the new Bible based on the God of The Shack with its feminine God which should be listed as a “g” - because it is a false god!

Next, Viola attempts to take us on the road in the following page to the “Four Paradigms for Church Restoration” downplaying the importance of the New Testament being a blueprint for living on page 37, and also as revealed in the piece on the book The Jesus Manifesto. The point is, Viola uses his “organic extension” theology as a means to an end, an end not found in scriptures hence the watershed. We start as “chosen” but Viola somehow has us ending as part of the “perichoresis” mentioned earlier where Viola makes it clear, as quoted earlier,

The final end of humanity is to be fully taken up into the Trinitarian dance, brought fully into the circle of that superabundant love that flows within the Godhead (1 Cor 15:24-28; Eph 1:10)” (Frank Viola, Reimagining Church, p109).

This is error in its basest form and dangerous theology that will fool the naďve’ Christian into thinking we become like God! All the way back to the Garden with the lie!

Note of credit and thanks to a fellow laborer in Christ: For the first point regarding the Trinity, I found Daniel Chew’s answer to Viola on the issue of hierarchy from the previous section initially at his blog, Viola's restorationism and the Social Trinitarian analogy problem that I find no fault, I just go in some other directions defining the issues. I want to give Daniel the credit for unknowingly pointing me in the direction to this particular aberrant teaching of Viola, for more please check out the link above.

A SHORT MESSAGE FROM ME TO FRANK VIOLA AND HIS FOLLOWERS

A word of STRONG rebuke to Frank Viola and anyone who downplay the importance of scriptures, it is the scripture that points to the priority scripture should be and why people teaching falsely like you go off so easily into a variety of error:

2 Timothy 3:15-17 “ And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

Stop teaching your lies and turn from these wicked ways and if you have been beguiled/deceived as many have lulled into this sleep of apostasy wake up! (Romans 13:11-12) This is not a matter of semantics, you have redefined the rules established by Him you claim to call Lord, you are rejecting the Canon of scripture and following something similar to the cultic Local Church Movement of Witness Lee who saw the Bible as a “prayer book” leading others (though Lee more directly than you) to his OWN books! You walk in error and lead others astray! Come out! Separate yourselves from the lies! Come to the REAL Jesus of the Bible not this one who is a fiction of men!!!

 CONNECTIONS TO THE TEACHINGS OF WATCHMAN NEE AND STRONG SIMILARITY TO DISCIPLE WITNESS LEE

   Next, in Part Two of my series exposing some of the teachings of Frank Viola to the Organic Church and in The Jesus Manifesto I found another interesting connection The Way of The Organic Church: Part 2, March 2011,

“Viola’s references goes on to Watchman Nee and Witness Lee of the Local Church Movement known for its unbiblical views on the Trinity that sound remarkably like the view presented by Viola. This view is at least comparable to a heresy known as Modalism/Sabellianism originating in the third century regarding the Trinity and I believe it is no coincidence Viola references material from Witness Lee in From Eternity to Here.  

In the book The New Cults, Dr. Walter Martin stated, “Witness Lee teaches that the church, the Body of Christ, is Christ, and is becoming more and more “full” of God, to the point where eventually the church is God manifest in the flesh, fulfilling God’s original intention to “work Himself into man”” (Page 404). Dr. Martin references several items from Witness Lee, two that specifically relate:

Speaking of the Church and Christ:

“in number we are different, but in nature we are exactly the same.” Witness Lee, The All-Inclusive Christ page 103.

“This Christ has expanded from one Person to thousands and thousands of persons. He was once the individual Christ, but in Acts He has become a corporate Christ.” Witness Lee, Life Study in Matthew, Message One (Stream Publishers), page 3.

There is more of a connection here that you the reader can go read to the cultic Local Church Movement. Linked here with John Ankerberg Ministries, - Viola and Sweet’s book, The Jesus Manifesto smelled really fishy when he started talking on the nature of God. In my opinion, Frank Viola can be likened to Witness Lee, Viola just masks his hatred of “Institutional Churches” a little better saying we still owe something to them but then condemns them in other words along with the house church cronies I have been reading about. Compare that to Witness Lee who said, “We must stay away from the practice of the deformed and degraded Christianity and come back to the divine revelation for the Lord’s recovery.... The traditional way of [church] meeting...builds up something satanic and demonic.”13

More Local Church Movement Doctrine for the Organic Church?

-  A form of Old Modalism / Sabellianism / or whatever reintroduced!

Continuing this line of thought that was once used to expose the lies of the cultic Local Church Movement, an extract From http://localchurch.8m.com/cri-dl-075.html  - Kept in context below with this link but parts are really an addendum to my articles exposing the Organic Church. It reads very similar to what was exposed in the book The Jesus Manifesto and others:

"As a result of these errors, we can expect more errors, and the primary one we find in Lee's teaching is that God becomes the Church, or vice versa. For most Christians such a teaching is so incredible that we tend to refuse to believe that anyone could seriously teach it. Yet it has actually been taught, and rejected, time and again throughout the history of Christianity, and has sometimes been referred to as the doctrine of the "extension of the incarnation." (Compare to Reimaging Church of Viola making us an Organic Extension)

"The fact that Lee teaches this is clearly seen in many of his writings:

    The Church-- The Manifestation of God in the Flesh. . . This Church is the continuation and the multiplication of God manifest in flesh. . . We are then the increase, the enlargement, of the manifestation of God in the flesh. God manifests Himself again in the flesh, but in a wider way. . . In other words, God is mingled with human beings, not in an outward way, but in an inward way. The Church is the manifestation of God not the manifestation of doctrines or gifts.[29] (Viola very similar in The Jesus Manifesto and From Eternity to Here – refer to pages above)

    This Christ has expanded from one Person to thousands and thousands of persons. He was once the individual Christ, but in Acts He has become a corporate Christ.[30]   (Viola same in From Eternity to Here and The Jesus Manifesto) More on this one tied in below.

    (Speaking of the Church and Christ:) In number we are different, but in nature we are exactly the same.[31]

    The Father is in the Son, the Son is in the Spirit, and the Spirit is now in the Body. They are now four in one: the Father, the Son, the Spirit, and the Body.[32] (I believe we just crossed this line with Viola in From Eternity to Here making the bride one worthy of deity page 39)

    With the Incarnation a dispensation began in which God and man, man and God were blended into one.[33] - (Viola "Epic Jesus" and From Eternity to Here abive)

    The first creation, though brought into being by God Himself, is by God Himself suffered to pass into death that it may emerge in resurrection as a creation of dual nature, i.e., combining the natures of God and man.[34]

    The resurrection followed the crucifixion. The resurrection recovered and uplifted the standard of humanity created by God and brought the human nature into God. By incarnation the divine nature was brought into man; by resurrection the human nature was brought into God. Now it is possible for man to have more than a created human nature . . . God mingled with man and man mingled with God . . . God in His three Persons mingles Himself with us.[35]

    The day will come when the Triune God and the resurrected man will be one expression.[36]

We are left with no doubt that the Local Church teaches that the Church becomes God, and vice versa. This is stated not only by Mr. Lee, but also by one for the members of the Local Church, Bill Freeman, [Viola has on his recommended book list and mentioned in part 2] when he writes of the "mystery of Christ and the Church as one entity."[37] John C. Ingalls, another member, wrote that "Christ is not only the Head, but also the Body" (i.e., the Church).[38]

Such an idea as this necessarily involves a change in the very nature of God: God must become the Church, and every time someone is added to the Church, God must increase. Indeed, when Lee writes of the Church as the "increase, the enlargement, of the manifestation of God in the flesh," in the context of the other writings quoted above, he clearly implies an increase in God Himself. But such a teaching is impossible in the light of Malachi 3:6, where God proclaims, "For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed."

Again making suspect the teachings of Viola regarding one of the most important doctrines in scriptures with the Trinity! Here is a link to a proper perspective: KEEPING YOU APPRISED OF: THE HOLY TRINITY

CONNECTIONS TO THE BOOK THE JESUS MANIFESTO by Frank Viola and Leonard Sweet

Connecting to what Viola said 9/4/2011, whatever that was, vision/dream, and the connection of the Viola's and that he said again much of what is above that we can be living today in that dance and his use of the, “term perichoresis to describe the divine dance of fellowship that goes on between the Father, Son and Spirit”

Jesus Manifesto, page 141 presents a another line of thought on this same topic,

“Jesus Christ cannot be separated from His church. While Jesus is distinct from His Bride, He is not separate from her. She is, in fact, His very own body in the earth.” [bold emphasis mine]

Then following, on page 143 following some discussion on 1 Co 12:1-3 how:

“…the church is Jesus Christ in corporate expression” The Jesus Manifesto continues quoting the non-Christian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who said regarding the church, [is] “Christ existing as community.” Later The Jesus Manifesto says, “Practically, this means that we know Jesus Christ through one another, not just by ourselves. We see Him, hear Him, touch Him, taste and smell Him through our sisters and brothers within whom He dwells.”

And in another book From Eternity to Here on page 266 states:

“It's worth noting that Paul never speaks of the "body of Christians." He always uses the phrase the "body of Christ." For Paul, the body of Christ is a particular person. It's not a metaphor. Paul never says the church is like His body. No, we are His body. Each member is the physical complement, the extension, of the same person, Jesus Christ. And we happen to be the only body He has.”

If you did not catch what Viola was saying he continues on page 267:

“Paul's idea is not that the Head is somehow screwed onto the body. His idea is that Christ embodies the church. The risen Christ is a living, inclusive, "more-than-individual" personality. The church is a corporate entity that is made up of diverse individuals. It is a person, living in and expressing Himself through His many members.

    Put another way, the church is the visible image of the invisible Lord. It is the corporate Christ. It is Christ in collective human expression. To Paul's mind, the church in Corinth was none other than Jesus Christ in the city of Corinth. Paul's apostolic ministry was built upon this very revelation. And it comes screaming through all of his letters, including 1 Corinthians” (Frank Viola, From Eternity to Here Page 267). --- Note: these quotes from pages 266 and 267 while not identical are nearly the same as The Jesus Manifesto pages 142- 143.

 – This sounds like the Borg of the New Generation Star Trek collective “hive” mind! ....sorry resistance to humor at this point was futile! So much of this is so sadly ridiculous! Or should I say Scott M. Peck’s warped thinking?  Peck's understanding of the nature of God and the nature of man comes from a blend of Jungian psychology and Eastern mysticism rather than from the Bible. Peck says of God and man:

    "God wants us to become Himself (or Herself or Itself). We are growing toward godhood. God is the goal of evolution. It is God who is the source of the evolutionary force and God who is the destination. This is what we mean when we say that He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end" (cf. Isa. 44:6).

---- I include this quote of Peck’s because it is such a small step away from the circle of relationship and dance Viola mentions… dangerously close in my opinion! This was the first comparison that came to mind, I am sure there are others within the emergent movement that may even be closer – one of which Viola co-authored The Jesus Manifesto with perhaps?

Another analogy to Peck, is Viola’s eschatology, instead of the glorious hope of Christ's visible return to consummate history, overthrow evil, and usher in the eternal state, where Peck has a global community, Viola and Leonard Sweet with The Jesus Manifesto do the same ushering in the Kingdom primarily by the efforts of man (1 Thes. 4:16-18)! When it states on pages 158 – 159:

“The earth awaits a body of Christians in every city who will receive Jesus utterly and completely. A body who will esteem Him above everything else, giving Him His rightful place of supremacy.”

Again, this is Dominionist theology, one of the crucial doctrines of this error that can be traced to Manifest Sons of God teachings - with connections to today’s New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) thinking. In the book Vengeance Is Ours, Albert Dager provides more insight to this being nothing new, on page 70:

"Some who have been infected by the Manifest Sons of God teachings even believe He will not return physically, but rather that Christ and the Church are becoming one in nature and essence, and that the Church, as the “on-going incarnation of God,” is Christ on earth."

I have shown you Dominionist theology blended with the heretical teachings of Witness Lee and the Local Church Movement arriving at what I have coined Violology - what else do would you call it?

WARNING ABOUT JESUS MANIFESTO CO-AUTHOR LEONARD SWEET - A BIRD OF THE SAME FEATHER
As for a bit on Leonard Sweet, he covered at more length here: Beware of Leonard Sweet: Master of Doublespeak. This shows he was on the same page with Viola well prior to The Jesus Manifesto when he states in other books of his own:

·         Sweet promotes a New Age-like, universalist-tinged spirituality that he calls New Light and “quantum spirituality” and “the Christ consciousness.” He describes it in terms of “the union of the human with the divine” which is the “center feature of all the world’s religions” (Quantum Spirituality, p. 235). He defines the New Light as “a structure of human becoming, a channeling of Christ energies through mindbody experience” (Quantum Spirituality, p. 70).

·         In his book Carpe Manana, Sweet says:
“New Light embodiment means to be ‘in connection’ and ‘information’ with all of creation. New Light communities extend the sense of connectionalism to creation and see themselves as members of an ecological community encompassing the whole of creation. ‘This is my body’ is not an anthropocentric metaphor. Theologian/feminist critic Sallie McFague has argued persuasively for seeing Earth, in a very real sense, as much as a part of the body of Christ as humans. We are all earthlings. ... WE CONSTITUTE TOGETHER A COSMIC BODY OF CHRIST” (Carpe Manana, p. 124).

·         Sweet calls for a “New Light movement of ‘world-making’ faith” that will “CREATE THE WORLD THAT IS TO, AND MAY YET, BE”

·         Sweet calls the New Age Catholic priest Teilhard de Chardin “twentieth-century Christianity’s major voice” (Quantum Spirituality, p. 106). Teilhard promoted the theory of evolution, taught that God is the consciousness of the universe, that everything is one, and that everything is evolving in greater and greater enlightenment toward an ultimate point of perfection, which he called CHRIST and THE OMEGA POINT.

·         “Mysticism, once cast to the sidelines of the Christian tradition, is now situated in postmodernist culture near the center. ... In the words of one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century, Jesuit philosopher of religion/dogmatist Karl Rahner, ‘The Christian of tomorrow will be a mystic, one who has experienced something, or he will be nothing’” (Quantum Spirituality, 1991, pp. 11, 76).

Sweet sounds a bit more like the extreme ecumenical teachings of Miroslav Volf here:

·         “One can be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ without denying the flickers of the sacred in followers of Yahweh, or Kali, or Krishna” (Quantum Spirituality, p. 130).

(Just bullets above link has entire article)

Sweet attempts to deny holding New Age philosophy on his site but Pastor David Cloud openly answers and I stand in agreement when including the evidence above:

If Leonard Sweet truly does not hold to a New Age philosophy, he needs to publicly renounce his books Quantum Spirituality and Carpe Manana. He needs to apologize publicly and loudly for his non-critical recommendation of New Agers. He needs to publicly and loudly expose and rebuke the errors of the heretics he has foolishly recommended.”

SO WHAT ARE WE TO DO WITH THESE TEACHERS?

What Frank Viola uttered at the Momentum conference back in 2008 endorsing The Shack and now with his fantastical dream (or whatever it was) September 4th, 2011 together with the false teachings of the Trinity and more - Is dangerous theology that needs to be exposed! It is false worship, faulty thinking, false eschatology, and is preaching a false church and another Christ! It is at best a foolish and utter nonsense.

– My advice, any Christian should quickly repudiate and abandon his teachings!  Introducing any form of Ashtoreth (false worship), he is building an idol that will lead people astray!  All said, any of us can fall into such error and any seeing another falling into a snare should speak out and be heard. Romans 16:17-18 and many other verses apply - MARK AND AVOID THESE TEACHERS!

Psalm 19:27-29 “Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge. An ungodly witness scorneth judgment: and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity. Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools.”

2 Peter 3:17-18 "Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

     Today we have a host of teachers while quoting a hodge-podge of this and some that are actually handling a witch’s brew to deceive those less discerning of scriptures! Be as the Bereans and question if the things they say are so, and pray God gives you the wisdom to rightly divide the Word of God – Keep your heart and mind fixed on following His truth not some ideas of man or our adversary the Devil… and his consort!

“Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

“1 John 1:20-21 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 21  I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.”  


“The heart of neo-orthodox existential theology is that the Bible gives us a quarry out of which to have religious experience, but that the Bible contains mistakes where it touches that which is verifiable — namely history and science.  But unhappily we must say that in some circles this concept now has come into some of that which is called evangelicalism.  In short, in these circles the neo-orthodox existential theology is being taught under the name of evangelicalism. Martin Luther said, “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ.  Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.” - Holding to a strong view of Scripture or not holding to it is the watershed of the evangelical world. The first direction in which we must face is to say most lovingly but clearly: evangelicalism is not consistently evangelical unless there is a line drawn between those who take a full view of Scripture and those who do not.” Francis A. Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster, In Chapter 2 on “The New Neo Orthodoxy” 

Christian reading this, consider the variety of things being purported to being of God, or of Jesus Christ that are nothing more then connotations (words made devoid of their Biblical origin) now propped up by doctrines invented of men, telling us not even the Bible is a blueprint for living, creating a sort of “Jesus Manifesto” - another Jesus not taught in the Bible. The church is under attack, the church that is which holds to the propositional truths of scriptures. A time has come to name names of those who teach such things and sadly the list is long and many are those who Christians hold dear as leaders today.



Biblical Discernment Ministries - 9/2011 - by John Beardsley



Return To Our Home Page