- The Bible teaches that we are to test all teachings (I John 4:1,6), expose
those teachings that are false (Eph 5:11), confront and rebuke the false teachers (Titus
1:9,13), and then separate from those who persist in false teaching (Romans 16:17; Titus
3:10), lest in the end, we are disqualified for service (II Timothy 2:20,21), or worse
yet, we are identified with the false teachings and the false teachers themselves (2 John
10,11). But E-Free denomination leaders, rather than separating, have instead chosen to
with a wide range of false teachings and false teachers. In fact in some cases,
E-Free institutions and spokespersons have become the leading forces in espousing and
implementing false doctrine!
- A smorgasbord is a buffet meal featuring a varied number of dishes -- a kind of "something for everyone" approach to dining out. By that definition, a veritable "smorgasbord" of false doctrines is readily available at EFCA's headquarters, in its educational institutions, and throughout its member churches. Some of the unbiblical programs, concepts, and/or teachings are: general psychology, self-love/self-esteem, codependency/recovery, demonization of believers, signs & wonders charismania, the non-material resurrection of the believer, ecumenism with Catholicism, progressive creationism/theistic evolution, "church growth" philosophies, and Dominion Theology/Reconstructionism. (Details follow.)
- If one wants to know what EFCA stands for, one only need look at the teachings of Charles Swindoll. Swindoll was the senior pastor of First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton, California for 23 years (before resigning in 1994 to take the post of president of Dallas Theological Seminary), and thus is perhaps the best known E-Free pastor/spokesperson. Swindoll's "résumé of heresy" is seemingly endless. To briefly summarize, he recommends the books of many of the worst psychologizers, New Agers, and occultists imaginable, all under the banner of "All Truth is God's Truth"; he teaches a psychological self-love/self-esteem gospel that is virtually indistinguishable from that of the atheistic psychologists, in effect, denying the doctrines of grace and redemption; he openly supports ecumenical cooperation with Catholics and charismatics, all under the guise of "grace" and non-judgmental "acceptance"; he endorses the occultic practices of visualization and inner healing/victimization therapy; and he teaches that believers can be demon possessed.
- Of all of the large and growing number of professing evangelical church fellowships/denominations buying into the "religion" of codependency/recovery, EFCA would have to be considered the prime example. The most obvious evidence of this is the June 1991 issue of The Evangelical Beacon, the "official magazine of The Evangelical Free Church of America" -- the issue is titled "Power Through Grace: Freedom From Addiction and Codependency." It contains ten pieces of "literature" (articles, editor's letters, interviews, columns, etc.) that could easily serve as the philosophical guide for any church desiring to switch allegiance from the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the gospel of codependency/12-step recovery; it is a perfect example of "heresy called sound doctrine."
A letter to Dr. Kenneth Meyer, then president of Trinity International Univ. (TIU) [formerly Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS)], the official Seminary of the E-Free denomination located in Deerfield, Illinois, criticizing his part in the codependency heresy, drew the following, almost unbelievable response: [Kenneth Meyer resigned in 1995 and was replaced by Gregory Waybright.]
"Your letter ... showed an arrogance and total lack of Biblical sense in regard to codependent and addictive needs ... the issue of The Evangelical Beacon you criticized was probably the best in their recent history. Your letter shows your need for the ministry of a Christian psychologist or psychiatrist." (Emphasis added.)
- The EFCA has also publicly come out in favor of the unbiblical charismatic position on so-called "spiritual warfare." The March 1992 issue of The Evangelical Beacon was titled "The Battle Rages." This issue contained seven articles on spiritual warfare issues -- five of particular interest are summarized below:
(a) Paul Cedar, president of EFCA, stresses "unity" necessary to defeat Satan (but no mention of "unity in the truth").
(b) Timothy Warner, TIU professor, stresses that the church has the duty to "appropriate" the victory over Satan. How do we know that this spiritual warfare is real? -- because, according to Warner, "professionals in the psychological world are talking about spiritual power at work in their clients as never before." He has authored the book Spiritual Warfare and recommends other heretical books on spiritual warfare by the following authors: Bubeck [The Satanic Revival], Dawson [Taking Our Cities for God: How to Break Spiritual Strongholds], Wagner [Engaging the Enemy], Webster [Tearing Down Strongholds], and Christensen [Battling the Prince of Darkness]. Warner's article also teaches unconditional love based upon the false premise that we are not "essentially bad persons."
(c) Mark Bubeck, former professor at Moody Bible Institute, author, and self-proclaimed "spiritual warfare counselor" alleges demonic manifestations and recommends Neil Anderson's The Bondage Breaker and Victory Over the Darkness to cure "our damaged emotions" and "defeated feelings" (e.g., "Low self-esteem has brought a plague of inaction upon the church ... a debilitating inferiority complex is paralyzing believers").
(d) Richard Ensrud, an E-Free church pastor, had determined Satan had a stronghold on his church ("being overtly oppressed by the enemy") that needed to be reclaimed. He called on the church's "spiritual warfare" counselors who brought the healing that the church's staff psychologist (i.e., the "staff therapist") was unable to effect. ["One of our spiritual warfare counseling teams prayed with her and was able to help her gain freedom from demonic strongholds in her life. The staff therapist noticed a difference immediately."] He also writes of Satan's "binding and blinding powers" over believers (cf. Rom. 6:4-7) ... "[and that] a church that doesn't understand spiritual warfare will never see how great God is ..."
(e) Rick Keenan, president of Abundant Life Ministries, an organization specializing in spiritual warfare counseling, and a member of Ensrud's church, presents a model for spiritual warfare which includes retaking control from Satan and rebuking Satan and his host; he also gives a model prayer to use in the retaking and rebuking process. At the completion of the article, the editor of the Beacon concludes that pastors need to call on "spiritual warfare counselors or others experienced in spiritual warfare."
- The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) was a sponsoring organization of a conference titled Evangelical Affirmations '89. It was held on TIU's campus 5/14/89-5/17/89. The purpose of the conference was for the theologians of neo-evangelicalism to define the movement. They were, in essence, seeking to agree on the "fundamentals" of new evangelicalism. A key doctrinal deviation of evangelicalism, the non-physical reality of hell, was discussed. Christianity Today reported the following in its report of June 16, 1989:
"Strong disagreements did surface over the position of annihilationism ... Debate arose in the final plenary session over whether such a view should be denounced in the affirmations. A representative from the Advent Christian General Conference, whose churches hold such a view, argued strongly against such a move. ... he pleaded with the group not to exclude Advent Christians from evangelical fellowship on the basis of that single position. ... no renunciation of the position was included in the draft document."
Here you have a key doctrinal deviation addressed by the group preparing the
"fundamentals" for new evangelicalism. Their action, in effect, wiped Scripture
clean of all that Christ said about hell (New Neutralism II, p. 18). [Former
TIU' faculty member Kenneth Kantzer has publicly stated that he also does not
believe in a literal hell; he says: "But when Jesus spoke of flames ... these are the
most likely figurative warnings" (5/1/91, Calvary Contender).]
- Three former and/or current TIU' faculty members (Kenneth S. Kantzer, Barry Beitzel, and Grant Osborne) were contributors to/theological reviewers of The Life Application Bible (LAB). The LAB could best be described as the "Self-Love/Self-Esteem" Bible. Its study notes teach the following psychological concepts: "You have great value to God"; that the Bible teaches self-love; that our self-worth comes from Christ; that "knowing you are a person of worth helps you love God"; and the blasphemous teaching that "you are so valuable that God sent His only Son to die for you." (See BDM's Josh McDowell report for an analysis of the latter concept.)
- Up until 1995, Dr. Kenneth Kantzer was Dean Emeritus, Distinguished Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology at TIU; president and chancellor of Trinity College (1963-1991); and is a senior editor of the neo-evangelical magazine Christianity Today. He has lavishly praised the pope, calling him "the successor of St. Peter," has said that Catholic charismatics have become true evangelicals, and has called for continued dialogue with Catholics. In addition, he pragmatically embraces women's ordination. (Reported in the 1/1/92, Calvary Contender.)
The September 6, 1985 issue of Christianity Today contained an editorial by Kantzer entitled "A Man Under Orders." Though Kantzer did acknowledge briefly that "on many vital matters that affect the souls of men and their relationship to God, Rome is still Rome," this two-page editorial is actually an amazing tribute to John Paul II. Consider some excerpts:
"His goal, therefore, is to forge a united church, renewed spiritually, updated just enough to survive in a world of twentieth-century science, psychology, sociology, and biblical criticism, yet basically traditional in its adherence to Roman Catholic theology and morals ... On a far deeper level, moreover, that is the kind of church God has called the successor of Saint Peter to build. Consequently, the Pope sees himself as a man under orders. It is a matter of duty and obedience, and of deep convictions and a sharp sense of duty ... his strong support of certain fundamental doctrines of biblical faith; his biblical emphasis in which his messages are invariably sprinkled with scriptural teaching; his strong commitment to the family, to a biblical sexual ethics, and to pro-life positions; his insistence upon justice and true freedom of religion everywhere; and his bold stand for the priority of the Christian message over political involvement. All these endear him to the hearts of evangelicals." (Emphasis added.)
To appreciate the pope because of his supposed good qualities is like appreciating the
devil because he sometimes quotes Scripture, or like appreciating the antichrist because
he talks about God! If there is such a thing as a wicked, vile, blasphemous false teacher,
it is the pope of Rome. (And by such praise, Kantzer is likewise identified -- 2
Kantzer said similar things in an 11/7/86 editorial in Christianity Today:
"Traditional Roman Catholics are a different matter altogether. They retain much of biblical Christianity and possess qualities that I admire and wish to imitate. For example, I treasure ... their frequent celebration of the Lord's Supper, their loyalty to the Bible ... we can rejoice with the new-found evangelicals in the Roman Catholic Church. We can encourage them. [cf. 2 John 10,11] We can learn from them ... we can work together on those political and social issues where we are in such strong agreement" (Kenneth Kantzer, "Church on the Move," 11/7/86, Christianity Today).
Kantzer be serious when he praises traditional Roman Catholics for their "frequent
celebrations of the Lord's Supper"? Does the man not know that the Lord's Supper for
a traditional Catholic is an abominable, idolatrous event in which an illicit priest
claims to have the power to sacrifice Christ afresh, to turn bread into the very Christ of
Glory? (Reported in Flirting With Rome; Vol. 2, pp. 26-27.)
- Announced at a press conference on 3/29/94 was an ecumenical declaration titled "Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium" (ECT). The negotiations toward the declaration were initiated in 9/92 by Chuck Colson and Richard Neuhaus (the latter a former liberal Lutheran clergyman [ELCA] turned Catholic priest) under the auspices of the ecumenical and theologically liberal Institute on Religion and Public Life (headed by Neuhaus). The declaration starts with "We are Evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics who have been led through prayer, study, and discussion to common convictions about Christian faith and mission." It goes down-hill from there. The coalition specifically called for an end to aggressive proselytizing of each other's flocks (in effect, a mutual non-aggression pact). The signers of the Accord also confessed their past sins against Catholic/Protestant unity.
Kenneth Kantzer affirms that a document such as this should have been "signed by all evangelicals three decades ago. ... we evangelicals need to close ranks with our Catholic neighbors. And with Mormons, conservative Jews, and secularists who share our values" ("Should Roman Catholics and Evangelicals Join Ranks?", Christianity Today, 7/18/94). It's difficult to understand how Kantzer can say this in light of the recent 803-page Catholic tome, Catechism of the Catholic Church -- simply stated, there are no doctrinal grounds whatsoever upon which to forge a unity between Roman Catholics and evangelical Christianity. In fact, the two groups are hopelessly and eternally separated on the "core beliefs of Christianity."
- Kantzer is the ultimate neo-evangelical. In a Christianity Today 10/5/92 article titled "The Doctrine Wars," Kantzer completely shuns Biblical separation from false teachers and their neo-evangelical organizations. He believes that all our doctrinal differences do not have to be "worked out before Christians can join together to work for the cause of Christ" (e.g., ecumenical evangelism) -- after all, these are merely "theological differences among those whose evangelicalism is not questioned." The bottom line for Kantzer is that we must draw together "into greater cooperation and unity" in order to fight the real enemy, which is "secularism," not "liberalism."
- The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, released May 1, 1990, updates the 1952 RSV. Liberal Bruce Metzger chaired the revision committee of 30 Protestant and Catholic "scholars." The apostate National Council of Churches receives a royalty fee for each NRSV sold, as it has with the older RSV version. The 11/23/92 Christianity Today had a big ad picturing "Evangelical scholar" and TIU professor D.A. Carson promoting the NRSV.
- TIU has two faculty members, Dr. Wayne Grudem (professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology) and Dr. Timothy Warner (professor of World Mission and Evangelism), who teach John Wimber's "Power Encounter," including the belief that Christians can be indwelt by demons! (Wimber claims that signs and wonders were the essential ingredient for success in first century church evangelism, and that for today, the only way to get people to believe the Gospel is to startle them into believing through healing, prophecy, and the casting out of demons -- that is, through a "power encounter.") TIU claims that Warner's course, "Power Encounter in Missionary Ministry," is the Seminary's most popular elective class. Both men also hold off-campus seminars on how to free demonized Christians.
In 1988, Warner delivered the annual Church Growth Lectures at Fuller Seminary (the home of John Wimber). In his talk, "The Power Encounter and World Evangelization," he stated, "I have come to believe that Satan does indeed assign a demon or corps of demons to every geopolitical unit in the world." (This is the latest Power Encounter fad, a là Frank Peretti.) From a book edited by C. Peter Wagner (Wrestling With Dark Angels, p. 111), Warner shares the following lying wonder. Here we have a typical charismatic, experiential "Encounter":
"A Christian man was experiencing a deep spiritual depression from which he could not find relief. A counselor asked him if anything else significant happened in his life about the time of the onset of the depression. The man replied that, in fact, it was about the time someone prayed for him, and his congenitally shortened leg was made whole for the first time in his life. The counselor then suggested that it was possible that the healing was by demonic power and that the price of the healing was depression. The man immediately said that if the healing was not from God he renounced it. Whereupon his leg shriveled up again, but he lost his spiritual depression." (Emphasis added.)
Miles Stanford sums up this dangerous trend well: "The faculty members in our
evangelical schools who are teaching and publishing demonism and deliverance are far above
the general charismatic level of intelligence and training, and usually come from sound
evangelical backgrounds. But once they fall for the deliverance hoax they tend to
out-crazy the charismatic crazies."
- Is God speaking through prophets today? Yes, say TIU faculty members Wayne Grudem and Don Carson, but not with the same "authority" as in the Old and New Testaments!:
Wayne Grudem: Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology -- Argues that NT apostles were the functional equivalents of OT prophets, and were in authority over NT prophets. Therefore, Grudem considers NT non-apostolic prophecy less authoritative than both OT prophecy and NT apostolic prophecy, in that it consists primarily of "impressions" which God gives the individual. Since the individual may misunderstand or misinterpret these impressions, this NT prophecy is open to error and is not required to meet the 100% accuracy demand of the OT (Dt. 3:1-5; 18:20-22). Thus, the view that underlies much of the thinking about prophecy in the Vineyard Movement (in fact, Grudem has claimed Vineyard preaches the true gospel of Christ), and now at TIU, is that "today's 'prophecies' are usually imperfect and not trustworthy" (The Gift of Prophecy, pp. 100ff); by this means, Grudem can and does argue that "prophecy" occurs today without the necessity of proving any miraculous element.
D.A. Carson: Research Professor of New Testament. -- Carson has written a book, Showing the Spirit, which affirms Grudem's views concerning the "inferiority" of NT prophecy (to wit, pp.97-98). Again, by accepting the lie that the church at large in the NT was given some "second rate" gift, the door is opened for Carson to accept the lie that the modern-day, self-appointed prophet can be acting in the power of the Spirit, yet have a gift that is impotent and/or inaccurate.
- J.I. Packer was the keynote speaker at TIU's "Repentance, Holiness, and Power"
conference held 5/29/91-6/1/91; other speakers at the conference were Catholic
charismatics Michael Scanlan and Ann Shields. Packer has stated that the charismatic
movement "must be adjudged a work of God" (7/15/89, Calvary Contender), and that "Catholics are among the most loyal and [spiritually] virile brothers
evangelicals can find these days" (7/15/85, Christianity Today). There
was no protest to these statements from anyone at the conference.
- TIU employs a large psychologically-trained faculty. Background on some of its most notable members follows (quotes taken from TIU's Fall 1991, Wellspring magazine, "Is Christian Psychology Possible"):
Warren Heard: Asst. Professor of Pastoral Counseling and Psychology (MS in Family Therapy and a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy) -- "The Bible's primary purpose is to tell us how to be right with God, not what to do when someone has a nervous breakdown ...What we try to do at TEDS [TIU] is to help students form a good theological base, which will equip them to glean truth from the field of psychology ... Because of this, the student is better able to choose counseling theories that are compatible with a Christian worldview and therefore most helpful to the client."
William Secor: Associate Professor of Pastoral Counseling and Psychology (MA in Psychology and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Marquette) -- Practiced as a licensed psychologist in both Christian and secular settings. "There is no demonstrated truth in psychology that has threatened my theology or my biblical stance ... the Bible provides us with principles that many of us didn't see until we started observing people and their behavior. What we're doing in counseling is bringing out 'truth in the inward parts.' (Psa 51:6) ... A Christian psychologist that has this understanding [that there is a spiritual dimension to emotional problems] as well as training in useful counseling techniques and psychological theory, is uniquely equipped to be God's instrument in this kind of healing -- 'The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.' (Prv 20:5)."
Jan Hook: Director of the Trinity Counseling Center (which provides counseling services to clients from TIU and Trinity College; counseling psychology majors do their practicum in the Counseling Center); (MA in Counseling Psychology at TIU) -- "It [psychology] can be complimentary, it can be integrated. That's the challenge ... The Bible has to be the filter, the ground."
Other psychologized TIU-system employees/faculty members are David E. Carlson
(licensed social worker in private practice, and teaches in TIU's Doctoral of Ministries
Program -- author of Counseling and Self-Esteem); Dr. Sandra Wilson
(TIU visiting professor of pastoral counseling and psychology -- author of Released
from Shame); Dr. Charles Sell (TIU professor of Christian
Education -- author of Unfinished Business: Helping Adult Children Resolve Their Past); Dr. Neil Snider (president of Trinity Western University); and Dr. Kenneth
Meyer (former president of both TIU and Trinity College). (See the June 1991 Evangelical
Beacon for articles written by these people.)
- Dr. Hugh Ross of Reasons to Believe, Inc., has lectured frequently at TIU-sponsored events. Ross is the author of the book, The Fingerprint of God, which is a polemic for progressive creationism/theistic evolution, and thereby, is in effect a denial of the literal/historical interpretation of the first eleven chapters of the Book of Genesis. Among other things, Ross teaches that the Earth is billions of years old and that physical death fully existed long before Adam and that God was fully responsible for this order of things! (Would not this belief cause the doctrines of sin and salvation to fall? If death and bloodshed preceded Adam's rebellion against God, then what are "the wages of sin" and how did the entrance of sin change things? And if death proceeded sin, then death is not the penalty for sin, and Christ's death on the cross accomplished nothing!) Since such evolutionary and old-earth thinking is totally incompatible with the work of Christ, should it not be a requirement that the administration and all of the faculty at a so-called evangelical seminary be literal creationists?
- TIU' faculty member Murray J. Harris, Professor of NT Exegesis and Theology, has denied the Biblical teaching of the physical, material nature of the resurrection body. This is specifically taught in Professor Harris's 1987 book, Raised Immortal, and in his 1990 book, From Grave to Glory. Harris teaches that Christ did not rise immortal in the same essentially physical body in which He died, and that Jesus does not now have a body of physical "flesh and bones." This is nearly the doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses! The key concerns about Dr. Harris's latest book is that, in effect, it teaches the annihilation, not the resurrection, of the essentially physical body of Jesus, and, therefore, it serves to undermine the Biblical doctrine of the present "incarnate" Christ. Like the JWs, Harris also claims the Lord's appearances after His "resurrection" were "materializations" and that the heavenly body is "immaterial." [It appears not to concern Harris that historic, orthodox Christianity has always held that Scripture teaches the necessity of belief in the resurrection of Christ's body of "flesh" for salvation (Jn. 2:18-22; Lk. 24:36-39; Rom. 10:9; 1 Cor. 15:1-3,14, 17).] Also like the JWs, Harris denies the resurrection of the believer's body from the grave. Professor Harris holds that the believer's resurrection body is by nature "invisible," "immaterial," and "spiritual," and that believers get it (in this "immaterial" form, "qualitatively and numerically distinct from the old body") at the moment of death, even though the real physical body is still in the grave! [Harris has apparently abandoned this latter view, but the EFCA still holds it to be "orthodox."]
After the release of Raised Immortal, the EFCA was challenged on Harris's teaching on the resurrection at its 1988 annual conference by the well-known neo-evangelical author and apologist Norman Geisler (albeit a Catholic-sympathizer himself), who through his book Battle for the Resurrection, was the first to bring the issue of Harris's unorthodoxy to the public. EFCA upheld Harris's teaching as it voted to approve (on 6/22/88) the orthodoxy of this heretical view; on 6/24/88, EFCA leaders ruled out of order a resolution from a local EFCA church to affirm the historic Free Church belief in the physical nature of the resurrection body. When Geisler protested to the EFCA leaders concerning its affirmation of this heresy, he was met with verbal abuse (called a "liar," a "rat," a "pagan," "ruthless," and a "deceiver") and accused that, "You are mentally ill." Kenneth Meyer, then president of Trinity, also stated that he would "shun" Geisler in order "to treat him as a pagan." Geisler also requested a private meeting with Professor Harris, but was rejected. Geisler, in a 7/5/88 letter, "Why I Left the Evangelical Free Church Ministerial," makes the following observation:
"This is precisely how denominations go liberal, namely, when their doctrinal statements are stretched beyond their original meaning to accommodate new doctrinal deviations. We cannot allow critical doctrine[s] to be watered down by accommodating deviant views, no matter how much we personally like those who hold these positions. The simple truth is that brotherly charity should not be used as an excuse to neglect doctrinal purity."
This issue flared-up again with the release of From Grave to Glory. In a press release dated 9/24/92, Witness Inc., a major countercult ministry in Clayton, California, announced that it and 34 other leading countercult organizations (the number in the coalition had increased to 156 as of 1/96) had taken a united stand against the doctrine of the resurrection as taught by Harris:
"Trinity is the seminary of the Evangelical Free Church whose leadership endorses the teaching of Harris as "orthodox." Thirty-five cult evangelism ministries, after fully studying the issue, have determined that Dr. Harris' teaching on the resurrection, particularly that of Jesus, is not only outside of orthodoxy, but is dangerous to the Church, akin to the doctrine of the JW cult. Not one countercult organization has stated Harris is orthodox on the resurrection ... We hereby express our solemn concern that this teaching of Dr. Harris undermines the very resurrection gospel upon which we stand (1 Cor. 15:1)."
Readers should scrutinize the following pages of Harris's books in order to examine his
teachings first-hand: Raised Immortal -- pp. 44, 53-54, 100-101, 124, 126-127,
133; From Grave to Glory -- pp. 142-143, 193-195, 198, 202-208, 238, 351, 376,
385, 391-392, 404-408, 414-415, 423-424, 435. [Those interested in a thorough analysis of
this issue should write Duane Magnani of Witness, Inc. (P.O. Box 597, Clayton, CA 94517)
for their well-documented, 29-page open-letter to "Pastors and friends of the
EFC"; Witness also has available Dr. Robert D. Culver's book, A Wakeup Call.] Dr. Kenneth Meyer of Trinity, along with Dr. Harris, responded to Witness's material
with a 13-page letter asking all E-Free Churches "to respect and support"
Trinity's judgment on Harris.
Does EFCA's leadership want their people to believe it is "orthodox" to hold that Jesus does not now have a body of physical "flesh and bones"; that at the time of each person's death, the believer's physical body will be "replaced" by a form that is not essentially material; and that it is "orthodox" to hold that the body that dies remains forever in the grave, having been "replaced" by an immaterial/invisible "spiritual" form? Apparently so (despite EFCA's Statement of Faith to the contrary -- i.e., Articles III and VII). Meyer's/Harris's 13-page rejoinder is a declaration that Trinity and the EFCA leadership stand solidly behind/endorse the teaching of Murray Harris in regards to his being "orthodox." (Letters from Paul Cedar, Kenneth Kantzer, and the TIU Alumni Board have also endorsed Harris as orthodox.) Sadly, even J.I. Packer and James Montgomery Boice have joined in with their support of Harris's heretical teaching.
[Harris/EFCA Update: After Dr. Meyer's resignation as president of Trinity, and with the hiring of Dr. Greg Waybright, EFCA president, Paul Cedar, renewed dialog with Duane Magnani in the summer of 1995. The result was an early-1996 "Reaffirmation statement" by the Board of Directors of the EFCA, which takes a firm stand against Murray Harris's teaching that Jesus rose in a non-physical/non-fleshly body. And since all EFCA pastors and each member of the Trinity faculty must affirm to the statement, Geisler and Magnani declared in early-March, 1996, "The Battle for the Resurrection is Over." Since Harris is required to annually affirm this statement, Magnani praised God that "Harris now holds to the resurrection of Jesus in a physical body with 'flesh and bones' and that believers will be raised in their 'physical' bodies." (See the 3/18/96 issue of the Christian News, pp. 1, 11-12.)
Remember though, this has always been the official position of the EFCA, and Harris has affirmed this statement in writing every year, all the while writing books that denied it! So why should we now believe that Harris is orthodox on the resurrection merely because he continues to sign the EFCA's statement of faith along with the Reaffirmation statement? Shouldn't we have more tangible proof of doctrinal correction than this? Should we not expect Harris and the EFCA to publicly correct the heresy previously taught? And what about all those adversely affected by Harris's previous books? Does Harris plan an extensive public campaign to repent of these past false teachings, just as widely as he originally taught them? Is Harris going to publicly request that his two books be removed from distribution? I submit that Harris's failure to do these things raises a serious question that he has truly corrected his false doctrine. Instead, it would appear that Harris has merely signed-on to hold his job at a school that has now officially abandoned his position on a crucial doctrine.
- Paul Cedar, former president of EFCA (he retired effective 9/30/96), is no stranger to the heresies in his denomination. In October of 1991, Cedar traveled with Wimberites, C. Peter Wagner (the "signs and wonders," Church Growth, Power Evangelism, Vineyard Fellowship follower) and Jack Hayford (hyper-charismatic/occultist) to a church growth meeting in Argentina, where all three were scheduled speakers. Wagner and Cedar were scheduled to speak there again in 11/92. (Reported in the 9/15/91 & 8/15/92 issues of Calvary Contender.):
(a) Charismatic healers Charles and Frances Hunter teach that all Christians are commanded to speak in tongues and to heal the sick. The Hunters led a 1992 nationwide evangelistic campaign to "Win Your City to Jesus." Cedar urged EFCA-affiliated churches to participate. [Also supporting this "outreach" were liberal Robert Schuller's CUGM churches and Campus Crusade (8/15/92, Calvary Contender).]
(b) Cedar also spoke at a number of Billy Graham's 1992 Schools of Evangelism (Toronto, Asheville, Portland, and Lake Louise, Canada). Teaching with Cedar were such neo-evangelicals as Franklin Graham (Billy's son), Lloyd Ogilvie, Joe Aldrich, and D. James Kennedy. Cedar was also scheduled to be the host dean at the 9/92 Graham Portland Crusade. (Reported in the 2/1/92 and 8/15/92 issues of Calvary Contender.)
(c) Cedar has succeeded (5/15/92) Leighton Ford as Chairman of the Board of the Lausanne Committee in the U.S. Cedar says that, "World evangelism is the greatest concern that the Lord has given me." The Lausanne is a highly ecumenical evangelization "ministry."
(d) Cedar is now the full-time head of Mission America, which has an ambitious (ecumenical) strategy for evangelizing the entire U.S. by the year 2000. About 100 denominations and parachurch ministries have joined this effort. (Reported in the 8/15/96, Calvary Contender.)
- Paul Cedar and the EFCA were endorsers/participants in the 9/95 National Evangelistic
Census (NEC), a Kingwood, Texas charismatic/ecumenical ministry to "turn the nation
back to God by winning our city to Jesus." NEC sponsors an annual one day
"census"/global neighborhood survey where teams of two go door-to-door asking
questions from a form and presenting the "gospel"; an NEC brochure predicts:
"The angels in heaven will be shouting when the goal of 25 million souls are reported
won to Jesus in one day!" (Among other endorsers are Youth With a
Crusade for Christ, and A.D. 2000 & Beyond Movement, as well as charismatic-loonies
John Osteen, John Hagee, Charles and Frances Hunter, Frederick K.C. Price, Morris Cerullo,
Marilyn Hickey, Dick Eastman, Jack Hayford, and Richard Roberts.) [Cedar has also taken
part in the annual ecumenical/charismatic March For Jesus campaigns.]
- Paul Cedar chairs the A.D. 2000 International Coalition of Christian Leaders, which is composed of 200 key leaders from various denominations, national, and local churches. (The latest news from the A.D. 2000 Evangelism organization is that Billy Graham, Luis Palau, Campus Crusade's Bill Bright, and Kyun Chik Han of Korea have been named as the four new Honorary Co-Chairmen.) A.D. 2000 Evangelism is ecumenical, compromising to the core, and even has some New Agers in its ranks (e.g., Jay Gary and Robert Muller) yet many undiscerning or uninformed believers are supporting, praising, and participating in it. This unscriptural evangelism movement includes Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Charismatics, Pentecostals, and Protestants of all kinds. It is evident that many have not yet realized the impossibility of evangelizing the world when millions of those participating in that effort preach a false gospel. This makes the A.D. 2000 Evangelism program a curse, not a blessing. (Rome has in fact, it's own branch of A.D. 2000 called "Evangelization 2000.")
According to the July-August, 1993 Mission Frontiers Bulletin, "These International Coalition leaders share the vision of the A.D. 2000 and Beyond Movement. ["A church for every people and the Gospel for every person by A.D. 2000," is their slogan.] They are 'front line' leaders, implementers, activists, equippers, and/or mobilizers in the ministry of world evangelization. Coalition members give leadership to the involvement of their own constituencies and share spiritual counsel with the various A.D. 2000 boards, committees and resource network leaders. They will seek to rally support and resources of all kinds to see the objectives of the movement fulfilled." (Emphasis added.) Seeking "all kinds" of support simply means that they will utilize whatever group claims to be in agreement with their "objectives" of global evangelization. The problem with such an inclusivist policy, however, is that some of the groups whose support they are trying to enlist embrace many unbiblical beliefs and strange gospels (September-October 1993, Foundation magazine).
- Kenneth Meyer, former president of TIU, endorsed Bill Hybels' book Honest to God: "Hybels' transparent life comes through on every page, and his godly perception speaks directly to where we live." (Hybels is a psychologizer [e.g., he extols the virtues of Jungian personality theory in Honest to God] and one of the leaders in the unbiblical "church growth" movement -- a movement of which TIU has been an active supporter, as evidenced by the church growth conference held there in 1991, and by TIU course offerings in church growth theory and techniques.)
- Robert Coleman is Professor of Evangelism and Director of the School of World Mission and Evangelism at TIU, and is also the director of the Billy Graham Institute at Wheaton College. In 4/92, he spoke at the 50th Anniversary convention of The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) on the topic "Mobilizing the Church for Evangelism." (The NAE's establishment in 1942 was actually a repudiation of historic fundamentalism; it is an organization that was founded on a platform of compromise, and its compromises have multiplied over the last five decades.) While rightfully stressing the need for godliness and holiness, Coleman amazingly used Bill Hybels' Willow Creek Community Church as a model of a "church focused on evangelism." (It would be difficult to find any other church, even in the ecumenical movement, which uses more worldly approaches and programs than Hybels' supposedly "evangelical" church.)
Coleman also demonstrated his inconsistency in stressing the need for the fullness of the Holy Spirit to empower believers for witnessing. He praised Dr. C. Peter Wagner of Fuller Theological Seminary for his emphasis on "Power Evangelism" -- one of the newer heresies of our day, which holds that "signs, healings, miracles, and wonders" must accompany evangelism in these last days in order to make the Gospel effective. (Reported in the March-April 1992, Foundation magazine.)
- Paul Cedar, former E-Free president, and Robert Coleman, TIU faculty member and author of The Coming World Revival, have both endorsed the ministry of psychologizers David and Karen Mains (of Chapel of the Air fame). Speaking of the heavily psychologized 50-Day Spiritual Adventure series for 1996, Cedar said it is "One of the most strategic ministries God has raised up in our day"; Coleman said, "Take it as tonic for your soul" (1996 Chapel Adventure brochure).
- For many years Walter C. Kaiser was Academic Dean and professor of Semitic languages and Old Testament at Trinity. Dr. Kaiser has actively supported the ordination of women since at least the early-1980s. According to Dr. Kaiser:
"Paul's argument [in 1 Tim. 2:12], then, is based on the 'orders of education,' not the 'orders of creation.' Thus, when the women have been taught, the conditions raised in the 'because,' or 'for' clauses (vv. 13-14) will have been met and the ban [mentioned in 1 Tim. 2:12] removed even as the Bible illustrates in the lives of Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, evangelist Philip's daughters, Phoebe, Priscilla, Junias, Tryphena, Tryphosa, Persis, Euodia and Syntyche" ("Shared Leadership or Male Headship?," Christianity Today , 10/3/86, p. 12-I).
This is a liberal position and is shameful for a man of such linguistic ability
to hold it.
- A number of TIU's faculty members are actively involved in COR (Coalition on Revival), a Reconstructionist/Dominionist organization dedicated to a social gospel/activism agenda that proposes to impose Biblical standards (e.g., Old Testament law) on unbelieving peoples and institutions. Dr. Gleason Archer, Professor Emeritus of O.T. and Semantic Languages at TIU, is one such person; he is a Steering Committee member of COR and has signed its Manifesto. As an indication of what the people affiliated with COR believe, the following is from a recent brochure announcing the 12th Annual Northwest Conference for Christian Reconstruction. Does this not sound like a different gospel? (All emphases added):
"The Christian Reconstruction movement believes that the Bible contains not only a message of personal salvation through the blood of Christ shed on the cross, but also a comprehensive law structure which is alone able to provide a just basis for society. It is committed to the view that sovereignty and thus government belong to God, and that all delegated government, whether to family, church or state (civil government), is to be exercised in obedience to the law of God's covenant. Furthermore, salvation involves every aspect of man's life and thus also the relationships he sustains to the world around him. The exercise of dominion in accordance with the terms of God's covenant is therefore basic and vital to the Christian faith. To neglect this is to deprecate the extent of Christ's victory at Calvary ."
That Archer has no problem identifying with this movement is a bit disconcerting to say
the least. (For details of COR's unbiblical strategy for "taking the
world for Christ," see COR' documents titled A Manifesto for the Christian
Church; Forty-two Articles of the Essentials of a Christian World View; and Twenty-five Articles on the Kingdom of God -- P.O. Box A, Sunnyvale, CA
- Promise Keepers is the gigantic new (1991) "men's movement" among professing evangelical Christians. Its roots are Catholic and charismatic to the core. PK's contradictory stand on homosexuality; its promotion of secular psychology; its unscriptural feminizing of men; its depiction of Jesus as a "phallic messiah" tempted to perform homosexual acts; and its ecumenical and unbiblical teachings should dissuade any true Christian from participating. Promise Keepers is proving to be one of the most ungodly and misleading movements in the annals of Christian history. Nevertheless, the EFCA denomination is a strong supporter of this ecumenical, charismatic, psychologized men's movement -- three issues of the 1995 Evangelical Beacon had very favorable articles on Promise Keepers.