Worthy Christian News » Christian » Conforming the Church to the New Millennium
Conforming the Church to the New Millennium
by Berit Kjos
For background information, read
Clinton's War on Hate Bans Christian Values 3-98
The UN Plan for Your Mental Health
Local Agenda - The U.N. Plan for Your Community
"We restored the vital center, replacing outdated ideologies with a new vision anchored in basic, enduring values: opportunity for all, responsibility from all, and a community of all Americans.... We must shape a 21st Century American revolution - of opportunity, responsibility, and community. ... a new nation."
President Clinton, 2000 State of the Union message.
â€œOne Church for One World.â€ World Council of Churches , 1948
â€œ. . . change will probably be radical, if not total. Those whose lives are dedicated to serving the Church of the past will resist these suggestions with a vehemence that always emerges from threatened hierarchies and dying institutionsâ€¦. But the seeds of resurrection are present in the exile, and in time those seeds will sprout and bloom. When they do, we will once again be able to see continuity between the Church of the past and the purged and opened church of the future.â€
Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong,
Why Christianity Must Change or Die
Year 2000 has arrived, ushering in the United Nationsâ€™ "International Year of the Culture of Peace.â€ It brings new pressures to establish the global management system President Clinton calls the Third Way â€“ one that allows governments to yield responsibilities, but not control, to their â€œprivateâ€ and â€œcivilâ€ partners who will be required to implement the vision.
The church-state partnerships touted by candidates Bush and Gore fit the picture. These political alliances are already being established from coast to coast, not by law, but by an army of willing and often well-meaning religious leaders. Those who share the UN vision of the 21st Century community usually lead the parade. They seek a global village of peace and social equality â€“ unified, not by faith in the Biblical God, but by faith in human nature and a pluralistic god-spirit operating in and through each person.
Christian evangelism doesnâ€™t fit this utopian vision. It offends people of other faiths. It threatens the religious leaders who have built their platform on humanitarian ideals rather than the Bible. And it clashes with the international standards for tolerance and mental health.
This spiritual shift didnâ€™t start in the nineties. Liberal ecclesiastical leaders realized more than fifty years ago that Biblical absolutes, separateness, and evangelism would block their agenda. To clear the way, they built the foundations for todayâ€™s worldwide movement that would
Equate Biblical truth and evangelism with hate and intolerance
Hold Christians accountable to global standards for mental health
Conform churches to the demands in UNESCOâ€™s Declaration on Religion in a Culture of Peace
Build the framework for global control
Establish the one world church
EQUATE BIBLICAL TRUTH AND EVANGELISM WITH HATE AND INTOLERANCE. Itâ€™s not surprising that Chicagoâ€™s liberal Council of Religious Leaders opposes a Baptist plan to send 100,000 missionaries into their domain next summer. Nor is it strange that the Southern Baptist Conventionâ€™s refusal to cancel its plans fueled the fury of two groups: those who equate Biblical values and evangelism with hate and intolerance and those who feel they had been specifically targeted for conversion.
â€œThe evangelical fervor of the Southern Baptists, Americaâ€™s largest Protestant denomination, remain undiminished despite criticism over their controversial â€˜prayer book,â€™â€ wrote Ramesh Chandran in The Times of India News Service (12-9). The offensive prayer book describing Hindu beliefs and culture â€“ one of several prayer books written for training purposes â€“ dared to suggest that Hindu devotees had â€œdarkness in their heartsâ€ and didnâ€™t share in Christâ€™s promise of salvation.
Such Christian â€œintoleranceâ€ and â€œexclusivenessâ€ is outlawed by UNESCOâ€™s Declaration on Tolerance and unacceptable to the Hindu, Muslim and Jewish leaders. Naturally, they donâ€™t want Christians to pray for their salvation or write critical descriptions of their beliefs and culture in their training manuals.
Chicagoâ€™s Council of Religious Leaders has joined Mr. Chandran on this spiritual battlefield. Made up of 40 Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish institutions, this civil-minded Council wrote a letter to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) asking that it â€œenter into discussion with us and reconsider your plansâ€¦.â€ In other words, it called for conflict resolution based on the consensus process and aimed at compromise and common ground.
Rabbi Ira Youdovin, executive director of the Chicago Board of Rabbis, was the chief author of this letter. He wrote,
â€œWhile we are confident that your volunteers would come with entirely peaceful intentions, a campaign of the nature and scope you envision could contribute to a climate conducive to hate crimes.â€
Richard Land, president of the SBCâ€™s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission wrote an answer. Its warning should concern everyone who values our increasingly fragile Constitutional right to follow and express our convictions:
â€œâ€¦To say that Southern Baptists should refrain from an evangelistic campaign because it might, as the council said, â€˜contribute to a climate conducive to hate crimes,â€™ is not a very far step away from then claiming that the act of witnessing itself to those whom you believe need to be saved is a â€˜hate crime.â€™
â€œâ€¦those who criticize Southern Baptistâ€™ efforts to evangelize cities or groups always preface their criticism by acknowledging Southern Baptistsâ€™ right to express our belief. It seems they affirm our right to express our beliefs as long as we agree not to do so. As soon as we seek to practice what we preach, they severely criticize our â€œarroganceâ€ and our â€˜presuppositionâ€™ that non-Christians â€˜are outside Godâ€™s plan of salvationâ€™â€¦
â€œI grieveâ€¦ that a Methodist minister would make such statements in response to fellow believersâ€™ attempts to heed the Great Commission commandment of Jesus our Savior, who it should be remembered did say, â€œI am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.â€™ (John 14:6)â€
You may question the wisdom of the ways the SBC trains its missionaries and handles its private training books. But its intention was to spread love, not hate, and its plans include feeding and clothing the poor. â€œWe have a message that we think will bring encouragement and hope to people,â€ said Herb Hollinger, an SBC spokesman.
Still, their message will bring little hope to those who seek socialist solidarity. The Chicago Council canâ€™t build its kind of unity without silencing contrary voices.
REDEFINE CHRISTIANITY. Few things offend the liberal church establishment more than an uncompromising faith in Jesus Christ as the only way to God. It â€œsmacks of a kind of non-Jesus-like arrogance,â€ said Bishop C. Joseph Sprague, a member of the Council of Religious leaders and the head of 425 churches in the United Methodist Church's Northern Illinois Conference. Referring to the SBC summer campaign, he continued,
â€œI am always fearful when we in the Christian Community move beyond the rightful claim that Jesus is decisive for us, to the presupposition that non-Christians â€¦ are outside Godâ€™s plan for salvation.â€
Bishop Sprague apparently believes that people of every religious persuasion would be safe within Godâ€™s saving grace. If so, Christâ€™s death has little significance today, an evangelistic crusade would be futile, and the Bishopâ€™s response would make perfect sense. This campaign could, he said, â€œupset the unity that has carefully developed between Protestants, Catholics and Jews in Chicago during the past few years.â€
He is right. It could. Bishop Spragueâ€™s kind of community oneness permits diversity in the non-essentials, but it demands unity in some key areas that violate Biblical truth. It forbids divisive attitudes as well as Biblical values, and it sets its new social standards above Godâ€™s word.
Small wonder, then, that when World Net Daily asked the Methodist bishop if â€œpreaching against homosexuality could be considered a hate crime,â€ he answered, "â€¦it certainly can. It creates a climate in which hate can fester."
As chairperson of the National Shalom Committee and founder of Communities of Shalom, Bishop Sprague is committed to a course of action that would guard his city against â€œthe offense of the cross.â€ He has no objections to social action, but Baptist evangelism would be unacceptable:
â€œThey are welcome to come, if they're coming to join with us in acts of mercy and justice on behalf of this community in general, and specifically on behalf of the marginalized and dispossessedâ€¦. We are not interested in their coming to proselytize or to suggest, however well intentioned, that Jews, Hindus, or others are second class." 
At over 260 Shalom sites across the country (including Chicago) churches are working with their communities â€œtoward systemic change.â€ Collaborating with community organizations and residents, they pursue benevolent social goals such as economic development, affordable housing, multicultural relationships, and â€œhealth and healing that addresses issues affecting physical, emotional, and social wholeness.â€
â€œSpiritual and congregational developmentâ€ is encouraged through â€œstudy circlesâ€ which pair â€œcongregations from different faith traditionsâ€ in small groups â€œfor dialogue.â€ Here they â€œgrapple with public issues and build community.â€
But in these consensus groups, everyone must follow certain guidelines. They must â€œseek common ground,â€ be willing to compromise, and come to consensus. To hold on to absolute truths and refuse to conform to the group values would be considered uncooperative and intolerant.
Itâ€™s an effective process. Thatâ€™s why Marx promoted it and Lenin made it the cornerstone of the Soviet education system. Itâ€™s guaranteed to destroy Biblical faith and redefine Christianity. (See Mind Control)
The Shalom website includes the standard mission and vision statements that are part of the new global management systems. It quotes the Bible but puts Scriptures into a context that changes the meaning. It also shows why, from the bishopâ€™s perspective, the Baptist plan would undermine his efforts to establish solidarity.
â€œThe Biblical understanding of shalom (Hebrew word for peace), is not merely the absence of conflict but everything that makes for people's highest good. It works toward hope and wholeness in which people, individually and collectively, experience health, prosperity, security, oneness with nature, and spiritual renewal. In John 14:27, Jesus, in one of his final moments with his disciples, offers peace... not as the world gives but as God gives (NRSV). Shalom is the transforming power of God at work through the church in individuals and the community. Through the power of God, Communities of Shalom work for spiritual renewal, community economic development, and healthy communities.â€
Notice the twisted truths. While Shalom is the Hebrew word for peace, John 14:27 points to a different kind of peace â€“ an inner peace that can only be enjoyed by believers who trust and follow Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. Unlike the world's peace, the peace He offers doesnâ€™t depend on comfortable circumstances. â€œThese things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace,â€ He told His disciples. â€œIn the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.â€ (John 16:33)
In contrast, â€œhealthy communitiesâ€ refers to a U.S program linked to the World Health Organization, a specialized UN agency, which intends to impose its socialist uniformity on every community under the banner of peace. This global "mental health" system has nothing to do with Godâ€™s peace. Its â€œshalomâ€ is only for those who conform to the new global values. Its aim is to measure and monitor beliefs and values everywhere, then remediate all who refuse to compromise. To â€œpromote theâ€¦ optimal development of the mental health of the population,â€ it must stamp out Biblical faith and obedience. (See The UN Plan for Your Mental Health)
HOLD EVERYONE ACCOUNTABLE TO POLITICALLY CORRECT STANDARDS FOR â€œMENTAL HEALTH.â€ Bishop Sprague is not the first American church leader touting a public health program that includes â€œmental healthâ€ based on politically correct standards. He and his Shalom Community partners across America have joined hands with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Department of Health and Human Services.
In its 1954 Biannual Report (58-196), the National Council of Churches referred to its Commission on Religion and Health which would address the â€œmental health problem.â€ In his well-documented 1958 book, Collectivism in the Church, Edgar C. Bundy explains,
â€œBecause â€˜mental healthâ€™ has become available as a lever to be used for promoting political and ideological designs, a word on the subject is in order. No one is against adequate care for people who are, beyond reasonable doubt, insaneâ€¦..
â€œSomething new has come into the subject of insanity, however, within the past several years. People who are normal in every sense of the word but who hold unpopular political ideas, such as opposition to world government and to the United Nations, Federal aid to education, and socialism, are now being branded by their political opponents as 'lunatics,' 'nuts' and 'idiots.'
"Some of the mental health legislation which has recently been introduced on state and Federal levels gives such wide latitude of interpretations to psychiatrists and politiciansâ€¦ that it is conceivable that anyone who takes a stand for the sovereignty of the United States, in favor of Congressional investigations, in opposition to fluoridation of public water supplies, and in favor of stateâ€™s rights could be committed to an asylum in order to silence opposition.â€
Do you find this hard to believe? Concerned that these warnings might be realized, U.S. Congressman Usher L. Burdick of North Dakota submitted Resolution 98 to the 85th Congress. Here are a few points in his resolution:
"WHEREAS â€¦ the language of this bill is subject to misinterpretations which could jeopardize Constitutional rights of the individual; and
"WHEREAS among the psychiatrists are those who advocate an ideology foreign to the United States, as set forth in â€œMental Health and World Citizenship,â€ the statement of the 1948 International Congress on Mental Health; and
"WHEREAS the mental health organizations are sponsoring in the several states commitment legislation which violates the rights guaranteed to every citizen under the Constitution of the Unites Statesâ€¦
"RESOLVED by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring) That the Congress of the United States make a complete investigation into all ramifications and implications of mental health legislative programs which are currently being promoted."
If only the current Congress would take the same precautions. Right now, a far more sophisticated system for measuring and monitoring â€œthe mental health of the populationâ€ is being implemented through WHO-federal-and-state partnerships that work in local communities to accomplish what Congress would never permit, the mainstream media may never tell, and the public may not realize until the system is in place.
CONFORM THE CHURCH TO UNESCOâ€™S GUIDELINES. The standards for 21st Century spirituality are outlined in UNESCOâ€™s 1994 â€œDeclaration on the role of religion in the promotion of a culture of peace.â€ You probably havenâ€™t heard of this â€œsoftâ€ international law signed in Barcelona in December, 1994. Yet, its guidelines have spread throughout the world, fueled by multicultural education, interactive technology, books such as the Harry Potter series, the media, movies, television and last, but not least, American churches.
As you read these short excerpts from UNESCO's Declaration on the Role of Religion, try to remember where and when you last heard these politically correct attitudes or assertions:
â€œReligions haveâ€¦ led to division, hatred, and war.â€
â€œPeace entails that we understand that we are all interdependentâ€¦. collectively responsible for the common good.â€
â€œOur communities of faith have a responsibility to encourage conduct imbued with wisdom, compassion, sharing, charity, solidarity, and love; inspiring one and all to choose the path of freedom and responsibility. Religions must be a source of helpful energy.â€
â€œWe should distinguish fanaticism from religious zeal.â€
â€œWe will favor peace by countering the tendencies of individuals and communities to assume or even to teach that they are inherently superior to others.â€
â€œWe will promote dialogue and harmony between and within religions, â€¦ respecting the search for truth and wisdom that is outside our religion. We will establish dialogue with all, striving for a sincere fellowshipâ€¦.â€
â€œâ€¦we will build a culture of peace based on non-violence, tolerance, dialogue, mutual understanding, and justice. We call upon the institutions of our civil society, the United Nations System, governments, governmental and non-governmental organizations, corporations, and the mass media, to strengthen their commitments to peace and to listen to the cries of the victimsâ€¦.â€
"We call upon the different religious and cultural traditions to join handsâ€¦ and to cooperate with usâ€¦.â€ [Emphasis added]
In case you are wondering how UNESCO could possibly be linked to Chicagoâ€™s Council of Religious Leaders or to Methodist Bishop Sprague, lets go back to the fifties again. There we see both the roots of religious synthesis -- the blending and blurring of beliefs and convictions through the consensus process â€“ and the hidden partnerships linking church leaders to politicians with power to carry the â€œChristianâ€ social and economic agenda into Congress and the White House.
ESTABLISH THE FRAMEWORK FOR GLOBAL CONTROL. In 1942, six years before they formally launched the World Council of Churches, its organizers within the Federal Council of Churches held a National Study conference at Wesleyan University in Ohio. Among the 30 delegates were 15 bishops, seven seminary presidents, and eight college and university presidents.
John Foster Dulles, who later became Secretary of State in the Eisenhower administration, chaired the conference. As head of the Federal Councilâ€™s inter-Church â€œCommission to Study the Bases of a Just and Durable Peace,â€ Dulles submitted the conference report. It recommended:
a world government of delegated powers
immediate limitations on national sovereignty
international control of all armies and navies
a universal system of money
worldwide freedom of immigration
a democratically controlled international bank
even distribution of the worldâ€™s natural wealth. 
That was 1942! Soon afterwards, Time magazine wrote a summary of the report. In its statement below, notice these words: â€œa new order... through voluntary cooperation within the framework of democracy or through explosive political revolution.â€ This solution, â€œvoluntary cooperation within the framework of democracyâ€ gives us a glimpse of the true meaning of nice-sounding words such as democracy, volunteerism, participation (involving everyone in the consensus process), partnerships, and civil society:
â€œSome of the conferenceâ€™s economic opinions were almost as sensational as the extreme internationalism of its political program. It held that a â€˜new order of economic life is both imminent and imperativeâ€ â€“ a new order that is sure to come either â€˜through voluntary cooperation within the framework of democracy or through explosive political revolution.â€™ Without condemning the profit motive as such, it denounced various defects in the profit system for breeding war, demagogues and dictatorsâ€¦. Instead, â€œthe church must demand economic arrangements measured by human welfareâ€¦â€
In 1943, John Foster Dulles convened another Council of Churches conference. It endorsed â€œSix Pillars of Peace,â€ a plea for a world political organization â€“ a United Nations. In his speech, recorded in the Councilâ€™s 1944 Biannual Report, Dulles said,
Interest in this subject had been enormously increased by the declaration of the Moscow conference, which stressed the necessity of creating at the earliest possible moment a general international organizationâ€¦. People in and out of the churches were urged to â€œremain united and vigorous to achieve such [an] international organizationâ€¦. This statement, signed by more than 1,000 Protestant leaders, was given to the press and mailed to the President and members of Congress.â€
The most infamous of the Council leaders, Alger Hiss, was an active member of the Communist party. That didnâ€™t keep him from serving President Roosevelt both in the State Department and as his adviser at the 1945 Yalta Peace Conference. The Soviet connection may even have encouraged John Foster Dulles to recommend that Hiss head up the multimillion dollar Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Strong links to high places would speed their agenda.
ESTABLISH THE ONE WORLD CHURCH. While world socialism and economic redistribution  topped the Council agenda, global spirituality followed close behind. Speaking to the Methodist General Conference in 1948, Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam, President of the American wing of the newly formed World Council of Churches, announced the Councilâ€™s slogan: â€œOne Church for One World.â€ He continued,
â€œMethodism is determined to preach a gospel that insists that all men are brothers and children of one Father, to whom final loyalty is dueâ€¦.
â€œFifty-two years from now, when man has reached the year 2000 and has won, let us pray, the justice, the brotherhood and peace of his dreams, let us hope that the contribution of the people called Methodist may have been so significant that history may proudly record, â€œA Man Named Wesley Passed this Way!â€
We have reached year 2000, and Bishop Oxnamâ€™s followers still await the fulfillment of his dream. But they are closer. The mindset of the American public has slowly conformed to the global standards. That, too, was planned long ago. When the International Congress on Mental Health met in London back in 1948, it presented a report titled â€œMental Health and World Citizenship.â€ Listen to the message:
â€œSocial institutions such as family and school impose their imprint early.... Thus prejudice, hostility or excessive nationalism may become deeply embedded in the developing personality... often at great human cost.... Change will be strongly resisted unless an attitude of acceptance has first been engendered.â€
With church and education leaders paving the way, that â€œattitude of acceptanceâ€ has now been engendered. To the general public, politically correct spirituality and world government seem normal and necessary. Uniformity based on compromise has become far more acceptable â€“ even in churches -- than Biblical unity based on the cross. And those who, like the Baptist evangelists, resist the new ideology are painted as enemies to peace and progress.
Today, as two thousand years ago, contrary convictions disturb religious leaders whose goals demand solidarity and compliance. Thatâ€™s why Jesusâ€™ warning has continued to encourage Christians through the centuries:
â€œI chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates youâ€¦. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute youâ€¦. because they do not know Him who sent Me.â€ John 15:20-21
Many churches ignore those verses. They seem so obsolete and irrelevant. But thatâ€™s changing. Those who resist â€œcommon groundâ€ spirituality, will face increasing pressures to keep still or to compromise. History is repeating itself, and our models may be the forgotten faithful who fled to America three centuries ago seeking freedom to follow the uncompromising truth no longer tolerated by their religious leaders.
A little book called, Seeing the Invisible: Ordinary People of Extraordinary Faith, shows the similarities between politically correct 17th Century England and our nation at the dawn of the third millennium:
â€œOctober 1662 was a dark month for the church of Jesus Christ in Scotland, comparable only to Black Bartholomewâ€™s Day in England two months earlier. Then two thousand English pastors and teachers had been evicted for their unwillingness to comply with the terms of the Act of Uniformity. Now all Scottish preachers were required to seek preordination at the hands of the bishops -- a measure to which few could submit in good conscienceâ€¦. Those who would not comply should lose their ministries forthwith, their pulpits being declared vacantâ€¦.
The â€œcompilers of this retrograde legislation imagined that most of Scotlandâ€™s preachers were like themselves, loving security and income above considerations of conscience. They anticipated that no more than ten men would prove awkward and refuse reordination. In the event, over four hundred Scottish preachers chose poverty, homelessness, suffering and even death rather than the path of compromise."
The framework for control is in place. So is the process for managing, molding and monitoring â€œhealthy communitiesâ€ and â€œhealthy peopleâ€ around the world. Three centuries ago, this nation offered a shelter â€“ a place of refuge from the persecution that has pursued Godâ€™s faithful followers since Christ died on the cross. When our nation shuts its doors to Biblical truth, where will Christians hide?
The answer is simple: in Jesus. The Bible tells us that â€œall who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.â€ (2 Timothy 3:12). But, in the midst of the struggles, He will fill us with a peace the world can never understand. By His grace, we will stand firm and immovable while demonstrating His gentle love to all who hunger and thirst for the everlasting peace and unity only found in Him.
â€œOh, how great is Your goodness,
Which You have laid up for those who fear You,
Which You have prepared for those who trust in You
In the presence of the sons of men!
You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence
From the plots of man;
You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion
From the strife of tongues
Blessed be the Lord,
For He has shown me His marvelous kindness in a strong city!
 John Shelby Spong, Why Christianity Must Change or Die (HarperSanFrancisco, 1998), pages 198-199.
 Government partners must comply with Federal guidelines and standards, even when they clash with Biblical values. See Trading U.S. Rights for UN Rules and Federalism
 For more information, read "Witnessing vs. Proselytizing" and "Is Evangelism Possible without Targeting?"
 "Religious leaders fear Southern Baptist presence may spark hate crimes," Associated Press, 28 November 1999.
 UNESCOâ€™s Declaration of Principles on Tolerance
] Frank York, "Is Christianity a 'hate crime?' World Net Daily, 3 December 1999.
 Southern Baptist leaders disagree with Chicagoâ€™s Leadersâ€™ hate Crimes Assertion,â€ Zondervan Newz Service, 1/3/00, at www.zondervan.com/zns.htm
 "Religious leaders fear Southern Baptist presence may spark hate crimes," Associated Press, 28 November 1999.
[ Frank York, â€œIs Christianity a â€˜hate crimeâ€™? World Net Daily, December 3, 1999.
 Nations for Mental Health:
 Edgar C. Bundy, Collectivism in the Church (,1958), page 196-197, referring to the World Council of Churchesâ€™ 1954 Biannual Report, page to page 58.
 Ibid., page 197-198.
 Ibid., page 165.
 Time, March 16, 1942.
 Bundy, page 91.
 Ibid., page 209. Here you see two of the three goals at the heart of Sustainable Development: Worldwide economic redistribution and socialist equality. The third is global management of the environment -- another means of managing human resources. See Local Agenda - The U.N. Plan for Your Community.
 Ibid., 203.
 Ibid., 204-205. Some members of the U.S. Congress were not pleased with the World Council agenda. Some found it downright dangerous. On July 21, 1953, Bishop Oxnam was called before the Committee on Un-American Activities of the House of Representatives. (page 207)
 We have a copy of the report titled â€œMental Health and World Citizenship.â€
 Faith Cook, Seeing the Invisible: Ordinary People of Extraordinary Faith (Durham, England: Evangelical Press, 1998), page 141.