Growing Your Church
By Dr. Ken Matto

(1 Th 3:12 KJV) And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:

There is another movement which is grasping thousands of churches by the spiritual necks and strangling them with yet more false teachings. I am speaking of the church growth movement, especially the Purpose Driven Life curriculum by Rick Warren. The Purpose Driven Life curriculum is laden with false teachings. He pulls material from Carl Jung who was a psychologist that created personality testing via the occult art of divination. The “P” in Warren’s SHAPE program is Jungian to the hilt. Christians are not to have anything to do with divination. (Deu 18:10 KJV) There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,

The Meyer-Briggs Personality test is descended from Carl Jung and is reworded in Warren’s material to attempt to mix Bible and occultism. The “P” stands for Personality. Warren claims that your personality will determine where God will use you. This is nowhere found in the Scriptures but is purely a psychological tenet. Warren also believes in monastic type meditation and uses examples from Roman Catholicism such as John of the Cross or Thomas Merton. Occultism like these few examples which are used by Rick Warren will never grow a church but will destroy it. Now I am not going to do an exposé on the Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, instead, I want to highly suggest the following two books which you may purchase on line (not from SOZ) which are very detailed in exposing the evil of the Purpose Driven Life agenda. If your church has already fallen to this agenda or if the leaders are considering it, then you need to purchase both books.

Who’s Driving the Purpose Driven Church? By James Sundquist.

Deceived on Purpose by Warren Smith
Deceived on Purpose available from Amazon

The essence of this article is not to address the evils of the Purpose Driven Life Agenda but to offer Biblical ways to grow your church. Now right at the outset I want to state that these principles will help build your church spiritually. God will determine how large your congregation is to be. Remember when you were in school the ideal learning method was less students per teacher. If a teacher has to watch 50 students, then their time for each student is severely lessened. If the secular people realize this method is valuable for learning, then why must pastors feel they must have large numbers in their congregations to show success. By the way, who would you be showing the success to? It would be just a matter of pride and God is not in the business of building up the pride of anyone, saved or unsaved. If the Lord keeps your church at 25, 50, or 100 members, then you minister to those whom the Lord sends you, not who He doesn’t send you.

If you have children, do you concern yourself with raising your own children or do you sit down and devise ways to raise all the children in the neighborhood? You raise the children God gave you and you don’t raise anybody else’s. This is the reality pastors must face. They need to minister to those whom the Lord sends them. Filling their church with unbelievers for the sake of numbers will be the death knell of any church. Can you find the true Gospel at Willow Creek, Saddleback, or The Crystal Cathedral? These are all false churches AKA white sepulchers, filled with dead men’s bones. (Mat 23:27 KJV) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.

Every True Church Has A Purpose
When the church gathers on Sunday, it is not just a random gathering. The believers come together at least once a week to worship and sing praises to God. The assembled church which is the assembly of true believers has the responsibility of sending forth the gospel to the world. The assembled church is also responsible for the spiritual growth of its people. New believers are placed under the teaching of the mature believers who instruct them in the Scriptures and the Christian life. The local church is also to be a testimony to the surrounding area. They are to bloom where they are planted. The local church is not to concern themselves with the amount of people that attend. Once the church starts focusing on numbers, they are making the same mistake that David did.
(1 Chr 21:1 KJV) And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. Satan is still standing up against Israel except this time it is spiritual Israel and he is prodding the pastors to be discontented with the number of people in their church. When God sent Gideon against the Midianites, he started with 10,000 men and God whittled it down to 300. Large numbers is not indicative of God’s blessing on a church. If large numbers was a blessing indicator, then we would have to say that God has blessed and continues to bless Hinduism, Islam, and Roman Catholicism since each of these has at least one billion adherents. Christianity has never been a majority so pumping unbelievers into the churches does not increase the number of Christians, instead it increases the number of polluted congregations.

Just in case you think I am being harsh when I speak of polluting the congregations with unbelievers, see what God has to say about what happened to Israel.
(2 Chr 36:14 KJV) Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which he had hallowed in Jerusalem. Here God is speaking of the Chief priests who followed after all the abominations of the surrounding heathen nations. God said their actions polluted the house of the Lord. So is there a parallel in the church today? There sure is! What is polluting the local church today? It is the replacing of God’s biblical doctrines with the teaching of man’s doctrines such as psychology, sociology, Roman Catholicism, mysticism, new age thinking, political Zionism, movements such as the Purpose Driven Church and Life which is deeply steeped in the new age and the occultism of Carl Jung, etc. When was the last time you went into a church and heard a purely biblical sermon? It is unfortunate that many Christians think that God is boring and they need to supplement the teachings of Scripture with new movements and teachings created by man. Harold Camping, the cult leader of Family Radio, once stated that the gospel was “bland” and then went on to create his heretical “Church is Dead” teaching. Any time we attempt to amalgamate the false teachings of man with the true gospel, we are polluting the church and the believers in that church. You cannot pollute the unbeliever because they are already spiritually dead. They will not become any more dead if they drink of a false gospel. You can only affect the living with poison.

One of the greatest mistakes many pastors are making in this church growth movement debacle is they are loading up their churches with unbelievers just to raise numbers. They are also dumbing down the message to please the unbelievers instead of preaching the message of the cross to them. Those churches in the church growth movement have become religious entertainment centers so unbelievers will feel at home in them. The reality is that the local church is not for unbelievers but for believers only. By bringing in the world, the assembly of believers is being polluted. If an unbeliever comes into the church on Sunday, they are not to be coddled but are to be made aware that to join the church one must be saved. The local church is not a religious social club where people join just to make connections. It is to be the redeemed body of believers only. Why would unbelievers want to sing praises to the one who is going to cast them into Hell?

(Mark 1:23-25 KJV) And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, {24} Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. {25} And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.

In these verses we are being taught that the demons of Hell knew who the Lord Jesus was simply because they were up in Heaven with Him before they sinned with Satan. The Lord Jesus would not accept any praise or testimony about who He was from them. The same principle applies to the unbeliever. The unbelievers are still in the Kingdom of Satan just as these demons were, so He will not accept worship from unbelievers either. When there are congregations who are made up of both saved and unsaved, you have a polluted congregation because the saved are yoked together with the unbelievers.
(2 Cor 6:14 KJV) Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Once unbelievers are allowed to join a church, it will be only a matter of time before they dominate it. Then the biblical purpose of the church will be diverted from biblical mandates to worldly endeavors. This is happening at an alarming rate today where biblical teachings are peripheral instead of primary.

Every Christian Has A Purpose
Every redeemed child of God has a purpose from the time they become saved.
(Eph 2:10 KJV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. When God saved us, He already had some type of good works planned for us. These good works constitute the lifelong ministry He has empowered us to do. Every Christian has been given a spiritual gift for the purpose of performing the tasks which God has prepared for them. The primary purpose of every Christian is to be a witness and to send forth the gospel. As we were reached by someone, we are to reach others with the Gospel. Our primary ministerial influence is to those around us, like friends, family, co-workers and those we meet but do not have a relationship with such as those who pump the gas or check us out at the supermarket. We can leave tracts for them. We are never to neglect our personal ministries in lieu of a worldwide ministry. In other words, you can be concerned for the spiritual welfare of those in other countries and give to missions for those countries but not to the neglect of those whom the Lord sends across your path.

I am a big believer in bumper stickers for cars and when you have good biblical stickers on your car, you can reach thousands each year as you drive. Stickers are also a great way to keep your driving habits in line. You will be less apt to drive discourteously when the Lord’s name is on your car. Some Christians do not want to put stickers on their car, I guess some would rather give other drivers the finger than the gospel. If there are no stickers, then there is no hint that you are a Christian but then there is that great Day of Reckoning we read about in 1 Corinthians 3 when our works will be made manifest. How many will you bring with you?
(Luke 16:9 KJV) And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. Have you made friends with the unrighteous mammon? In other words, did your money go for the work in the Kingdom of God or did it stay in the First Bank of Number One? You see when you give money to God’s work, it means you are being friendly with it. When you spend money on the things of this world, it becomes your enemy because excessive material things tend to snare people.

The second important purpose the believer has is to train the next generation of believers. As our generation becomes older, we will eventually be called home to be with the Lord and the next generation is to take over the task of evangelism. As Paul discipled Timothy, the mature in the faith are to disciple those who are new in the faith. We must never disciple other Christians with man made ideas. We are to pass along the principles found in Scripture and these will grow the Christian accordingly. Trying to gain growth via man’s programs such as 12 step programs, movements, etc., is keeping the new Christian in the world and of the world. The Bible teaches us that we are in the world but not of the world, and that is the big difference between a Scriptural Christian and a worldly Christian, which is what Rick Warren says we are to be.
(1 John 2:15 KJV) Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

We have briefly seen that according to the Scriptures, both the local church and the individual Christian has always had purpose. Does Rick Warren expect us to believe that the church and Christian had no purpose for the last two thousand years until his occultic, New Age, Jungian teachings came on the scene? It is an absolute travesty that pastors refuse to do any research before they allow something to come into the church. This is why pastors should not rule the church because they are not qualified to do that. The concept of a Pastor having absolute rule in a congregation is a Roman Catholic practice and not a biblical one.  At this point I want to offer some individual biblical principles on how you can grow your church without endangering the spiritual well-being of the congregation.

Truth Not Tolerance
Nowhere in the Bible do we ever read one single passage telling us that God tolerates false religions. In fact, when we look at the Old Testament we find that God had destroyed nations and their false gods. The ten plagues of Egypt were such a judgment. Each of the ten plagues were leveled at one of the Egyptian gods. Here is a list for your reference, all found in the book of Exodus:

Plague 1 - 7:20 - Against Osiris - God of the Nile
Plague 2 - 8:6 - Against Hekt - Frog goddess
Plague 3 - 8:17 - Against Seb - Earth god
Plague 4 - 8:24 - Against Hatkok - Wife of Osiris
Plague 5 - 9:6 - Against Apis the sacred Bull god
Plague 6 - 9:10 - Against Typhon - The god of health
Plague 7 - 9:23 - Against Shu - God of the atmosphere
Plague 8 - 10:13 - Against Serapia - The god who protected Egypt from locusts
Plague 9 - 10:22 - Against Ra - The sun god
Plague 10 - 12:29 - Against all gods including Pharaoh who was worshipped as a god

The Bible teaches us that narrow is the way. Where did we ever get the idea that it is proper for us to consider other ways to God or extra-biblical systems such as the Purpose Driven Church travesty or Self-Esteem teaching?
(Mat 7:13-14 KJV) Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: {14} Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. These two verses plainly state that the broad road leads to destruction and many churches and Christians are accepting broad road theology by accepting things which are against Scripture. The broad road is the road to hell and teachings from men like Robert Schuller, Billy Graham, Norman Vincent Peale, Ken Copeland and others are broad road. One of the most unwise decisions that Christians make is to believe that just because someone is on TV or on radio that they have some type of closer relationship to God and their teachings are much more important than others. God never commands His children to tolerate false teachings, instead they are to be exposed and rebuked. (Eph 5:11 KJV) And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. Another idea which has taken hold in Christian circles which needs to be stopped is the idea that we should never name the names of those who propagate false teachings. They must be made known so some people will cease supporting them. If they don’t want their name associated with being a false teacher, too bad, then they should start teaching truth. Unfortunately, when someone is exposed as a phony, the majority of their supporters cannot wait to continue sending them money. That is just sheer stupidity that someone would continue to support a false teacher. An unbeliever would not know any better but for a Christian to support false teachings is supporting the programs of Satan to destroy Christianity. Whenever a false teaching is propagated, someone will become snared in the teachings and woe unto any child of God that helps fund this. God is not tolerant of false teachings and neither should we.

One of the biggest mistakes that Christians make is the idea that we are not to judge. We must judge every teaching that we hear to make sure it is in line with the Scriptures. If what we hear is contrary to Scripture, then it must be rejected and tossed out. If we refuse to judge what we hear, then it is a guarantee that we will fall for false teachings. The false teachers hate the idea of Christians who judge because that means they are using the spiritual discernment which God gives us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
(John 16:13 KJV) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. This verse states that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth. However, He is not going to send us an E-mail stating whether a teaching is true or not. We are to judge a teaching by comparing it with Scripture. This does not mean we judge it by comparing it to what some person says it means. That is a dangerous buffer and can derail us. We simply compare the teaching to the Scripture. (John 7:24 KJV) Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. The Lord Jesus Christ is telling us that we should not judge according to the appearance of something but we are to make our judgments right, and the only way we can truly judge something correctly is holding it up to the light of Scripture. Let us look at the following quotation from the Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren and see if judgment is necessary.

“Without God, life has no purpose, and without purpose, life has no meaning. Without meaning, life has no significance or hope. (1) In the Bible, many different people expressed this hopelessness. Isaiah complained, “I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing.” Job said, “ My life drags by--day after hopeless day” and “I give up; I am tired of living. Leave me alone. My life makes no sense.” (2) The greatest tragedy is not death, but life without purpose.

Hope is an essential part to your life as air and water. You need hope to cope. (3) Dr. Bernie Siegel found he could predict which of his cancer patients would go into remission by asking, “ Do you want to live to be one hundred?” Those with a deep sense of life purpose answered yes and were the ones most likely to survive. (4) Hope comes from having a purpose.” - PDL pages 30-31

We are going to examine the four points in the text of the quotation from the Purpose Driven Life.

1) In the first instance Warren speaks about people in the Bible expressing hopelessness. He makes a big mistake by making this a blanket statement instead of stating specifically who he is speaking of. Is he speaking of unbelievers or believers? In the case of unbelievers, their plight is hopeless.
(Prov 11:7 KJV) When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth. This verse teaches us that the hope of the wicked perishes. Now what about the believers? He takes two quotes from Scripture, one from Isaiah and one from Job. I have no idea what translation he is using but he manipulates fifteen different translations to fit the passage to his teaching. Now does the believer experience hopelessness? The answer is no! A true believer may experience discouragement or even depression, but does that equal hopelessness? No true believer is without hope. (Psa 43:5 KJV) Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. Even when the believer is in the midst of despair, we hope in God. Isaiah and Job both hoped in God. (Job 13:15 KJV) Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. (Isa 56:1 KJV) Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.

2) He speaks that the greatest tragedy is not death but a life without purpose. The problem with this statement is that these neo-theologians attempt to redefine the Scriptures. The bottom line is that even if a person wanders aimlessly through life, they are still better off than those who die and go to hell. Apparently Warren does not understand the reality of everlasting destruction.
(Rev 20:15 KJV) And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

3) He then mentions Dr. Bernie Siegel without mentioning who he is. Dr. Siegel is a practicing New Ager which means he is not a Christian. Yet, Warren mentions him in the arena of a hope giver while taking Isaiah and Job and passing them off as having no hope. Bernie Siegel is also a friend of 33rd degree mason Robert Schuller who has adopted many new age teachings and passes them off as Christian concepts. Warren has attended Schuller’s Institute of Church Growth for many years. So basically we see Warren believing that the New Age movement gives more hope than God. A very sad indictment indeed on Rick Warren and his Purpose Driven agenda.

4) Warren states that hope comes from having a purpose. The Bible speaks differently as God is the hope of the believer.

(Psa 38:15 KJV) For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.
(Psa 39:7 KJV) And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.
(Psa 71:5 KJV) For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth.
(Psa 119:49 KJV) Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.

We took four statements from the Purpose Driven Life Book and analyzed them in light of the Scriptures. We have seen them to be very fallacious and misleading, even to the point of bringing the believer into the camp of Satan through the New Age. This is only two paragraphs out of a large book. Unless we judge what we hear and read, we could fall into the snare of Satan through his religious emissaries.

Biblical Preaching
The greatest lack in the churches today is biblical preaching. That is the exposition of God’s Word without filtering it through the systematic teachings of men. It is the Word of God that imparts hope to the believer and convicts them. When psychology and other pseudo-sciences are mixed with God’s word it becomes spiritual adultery trying to amalgamate the pure words of God with the ideas of man. Biblical exposition is designed to sting the people and not to appease them. If there are people in the church who do not like Biblical preaching then let them go to a church where nothing is preached from the pulpit with many words, there are many churches like that available. It is like Burger King, have it your way. J. Vernon McGee stated that he did not counsel people in his office when he was a pastor, instead he counseled them from the pulpit 11:00 every Sunday morning. In other words, when the Bible is preached from the pulpit, the Holy Spirit will apply the teachings to the heart of the hearers. This will strengthen the congregation. What weakens the congregation is when preachers water down the preaching so it will not offend anyone AKA the big givers and the church bosses. Preachers should not concern themselves how people are going to receive the teachings from the Bible, that is not his concern. If the teachings from the pulpit are Scriptural teachings, then he is being faithful to his calling. If the libertines in the congregation don’t like it, they can leave but true Bible preaching purifies a congregation. Unbelievers and reprobates will not sit under true Bible preaching too long but the true believer will welcome the teachings as they look forward to growing in the Lord. Rick Warren has also stated that we need more than the Bible to grow. Take a look around and you will see Christians reading every author. How much growth and discernment do you see in Christianity because of the departure from Scripture? I don’t see any.

Missions Oriented
One of the primary reasons for the existence of the local church is the sending forth of the Gospel beyond the borders of the church. Missions is a very important part of church ministry since the Lord Jesus Christ gave us a command to go into all the world with the Gospel.
(Mark 16:15 KJV) And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. This does not mean that everyone who hears the Gospel will become saved but we have been given the responsibility and command to send the Gospel everywhere in the world. The type of missions which is needed is not the social type which ties itself to the needs of this world but for strict ministry. Now a church can take a separate offering for a mercy fund to help individuals in the church or for those who are not members of the congregation when they meet some kind of disaster. Funds for these needs should not come out of the missions fund. Churches can focus on ministry in one country or several at one time. Since many countries are closing their borders to western missionaries, it is also very good to support indigenous missionaries who already know the language and customs of the country they reside in.

You may belong to an ethnic church with ties to a specific country. With the advent of the Internet, your church can place a website on line in the language of the country you are focusing on and this way those who are doing the ministering in that country will be able to download studies or even the Bible and give them to the people without having to spend time translating the material. The internet crosses all boundaries in all countries. I believe the Internet is the final method which God will use to fulfill the command of bringing the Gospel to every country in the world. The Scion of Zion website has a growing Spanish language section along with a complete Bible, and I am of Hungarian descent. With English being the global business language, many countries teach English to their people which means that the thousands of Christian websites which are in written in English are available to literally billions. Focus on ministry and stay away from causes like save the environment or the whales. There are enough secular organizations taking up these causes, you take up the cause of Christ. If a church does not have an emphasis on missions, then your church has lost their reason of existence.

Remove the Entertainment
(Lev 19:30 KJV) Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD. One of the most lacking elements in the worship service today is reverence in the sanctuary. The Charismatic movement has made the local sanctuary sound like a sports event where everyone is walking, talking, and having a jolly old time. In the majority of local churches, people will be talking in the vestibule even after the service starts and then will walk in late and disturb others in the service. In the Leviticus verse, which is repeated in Leviticus 26:2, God tells the Israelites that they are to keep His sabbaths and reverence His sanctuary. The word “reverence” in the two verses carries with it the meaning of “be afraid or fear.” In other words, when we come into the presence of the Lord we are to show the utmost respect before Him. Today’s churches have lost respect for the Lord. When one walks into a church and hears a full band with loud music singing the 7/11 praise songs (seven words sung eleven times) and everyone swaying and doing their own thing, we can tell instantly that we are in an irreverent church. This does not only apply to Charismatic churches because there are many other churches who have adapted this idea of full bands and 7/11 music. They have expunged the godly old hymns written by true Christians and replaced it with rock style music written by the unsaved. These full bands and repetitive lyrics have completely annihilated any reverence left in that church. I remember growing up in the Hungarian Reformed Church, when we went to church, we went into the sanctuary before the service started and we sat there silently until the organist started playing and then we knew that the service was ready to begin. Churches have become havens for entertainment and this idea has been propagated by those in the church growth movement who feel entertainment will draw more than the organ and old hymns. May I make a suggestion here also, why don’t they have a smoking section and a waitress to bring drinks during the service? Wouldn’t that add more sinners to the congregation?

The old hymns and the organ brought a reverence to the service and also prepared us for the message to follow. We came away from the service spiritually refreshed and ready to enjoy the atmosphere of the rest of Sunday. Since when do we pander to reprobate teenagers in the congregation? They do not set the tone for the church service, the Scriptures do and if they don’t like it, they can leave along with the appeasing pastors and elders who are the responsible ones for wrecking the churches. Rock bands and 7/11 songs remove the learning atmosphere from the church because the Pastor will now tailor his sermons according to the mood set by the rock bands which is rock concert mode. After all, it would be hard to tell the old, old story in a football game setting.

Correct Translations
This is one subject I will continue to speak on until the Lord’s return. With the introduction of these false versions into the church, on the heels of them came the rock music and the 7/11 songs. These versions are sin and God does not bless sin! Period! Many pastors and church leaders have spiritually raped their churches by removing the King James Bible and placing these false, Gnostic versions in their places. The Message by Eugene Peterson is one such version which is copiously used by Rick Warren. I want to show you something very serious in this version. It is from Matthew 6 and we call it, “The Lord’s Prayer.”

This is the Lord’s Prayer in the King James Bible:
(Mat 6:9-13 KJV) {9}After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
{10} Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
{11} Give us this day our daily bread.
{12} And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
{13} And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

This is the Lord’s Prayer in The Message:
{9} With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:
Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are.
{10} Set the world right; Do what's best-- as above, so below.
{11} Keep us alive with three square meals.
{12} Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
{13} Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You're in charge! You can do anything you want! You're ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes.

Look at the following clause in verse 10 in The Message:
“As above, so below”

From Robert S. Miller and the editors of New Age Journal, As Above, So Below: Paths to Spiritual Renewal in Daily Life (Los Angeles: Jeremy P Tarcher, Inc. 1992), P. XI

…”As above, so below; as below, so above.” This maxim implies that the transcendent God beyond the physical universe and the immanent God within ourselves are one.”

The phrase “As above, so below” found in Peterson’s The Message is a direct quote from New Age beliefs. It is called a “oneness” belief where the New Age teaches that the God above is the same one that dwells in every human being. We are one with the God in heaven and He is one with us. Remember some years ago when Shirley MacLaine proclaimed that she was God? That is the outgrowth of the oneness belief.
This is a very evil teaching yet Eugene Peterson includes this New Age teaching in his version and Rick Warren uses this version in his Purpose Driven Life agenda. It is interesting to note that J. I. Packer and Warren Wiersbe both endorsed The Message. It is also no coincidence that the above quote from the New Age Journal came in 1992 and Eugene Peterson’s The Message debuted in 1993. There is no such thing as coincidence in the area of satanic deception in the church. Satan has been successful in weakening the church through the removal of God’s Word in the King James Bible and replacing it with counterfeit versions. The church has adopted these false versions and it is in the most weakened state it has ever been in. This New Age quotation from The Message is only one example from one version. The tampering is unbelievable but what is more unbelievable is the fact that Christians and churches have accepted these false versions without the least bit of real investigation is a serious indictment on the modern Christian and church. For more on this subject go to:  or 

Defending the Faith
Too many churches are living in fear of losing their tax exempt status. If they still have it, then they are probably teaching a watered down gospel to keep it. Tax exemption and incorporation is the government’s way to control the true church. The church already has freedom to preach given them in the First Amendment:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, (1) or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; (2) or abridging the freedom of speech, (3) or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

There are three principles of freedom granted to the organized church.
1) The IRS and the government cannot stop any church from practicing their faith.
2) The IRS and the government cannot abridge (deprive or diminish) any Christian from freely speaking about anything. Hate Laws are unconstitutional.
3) The IRS and the government cannot stop the propagation of ideas by the printed medium. This does not refer exclusively to the newspapers.

The true Christian faith must be defended against the false religions. The faithful martyrs did not concern themselves about their worldly possessions or positions. They were sold out to the truth of Christianity and it cost them their lives and families. We keep hearing from phony preachers that we need to understand and accept people of other faiths. Here is all you need to understand, anything outside of Christianity is a lie. (John 14:6 KJV) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Does Islam come through the Lord Jesus Christ? No! Does Judaism come through the Lord Jesus Christ? No! Does Roman Catholicism come through the Lord Jesus Christ? No! Does New Age come through the Lord Jesus Christ? No! Does any false religion come through the Lord Jesus Christ? No! What else is there to understand except that these people are unsaved and are mission fields, not brethren. Just because a few bought and paid for 33rd degree masons passing themselves off as Christians tell us that other religions are pathways to God too, we need to realize that they are Satan’s emissaries and it does not matter how famous they are, they are reprobates and lost and must not be supported.

The Christian faith must be defended as the only true faith. In John 14: 6 above, we read that Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life.” These are definite articles which means He is not “a way, a truth, or a life.” This means that outside of Christianity all you have is reprobate religion. Who cares how religious some people dress, it means nothing. Christianity is God’s truth on earth and Christians act like we need to apologize for that. What we need to do is preach it without apology and stop worrying about what other religions say. All we have to do is preach God’s Word and He will take care of the results.
(Isa 55:11 KJV) So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

The principles which I have offered in this monograph will help you grow your church biblically and will help strengthen it spiritually. Whether it will help grow your church in numbers is up to God. He will send whoever He chooses to your church. If you have 9 or 90 people in your church, you minister to them and stop worrying about growing in number, you concern yourself with growing them spiritually because that is the calling of church leaders. Don’t follow the unbelievers like Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, or Robert Schuller in trying to grow your church in number by using satanic methods as we have seen. I think it is interesting that crystals play a big part in New Age teaching and 33rd degree mason Robert Schuller calls his church building “The Crystal Cathedral” and he embraces New Age teachings. Think about it!