Monthly Archives: February 2009

Discerning or Deceiving: The Ecumenism of Christian Worldview and A. W. Tozer

God’s WORD

    “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

    “Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh
    the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts,
    lest they should believe and be saved.

    “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest
    and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring
    forth fruit with patience.”—Luke 8:11, 12, 15

    “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and
    abideth for ever.”—1 Peter 1:23

    “And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”—Luke 4:4

    “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:”
    —Titus 2:1

    “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.”—2 Timothy 1:13

    “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.”—Titus 1:9

Jesus warns us four (4) times in Matthew to watch out for deception.

    “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.”—Matthew 24:4

    “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”—Matthew 24:5

    “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.”
    —Matthew 24:11

    “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”—Matthew 24:24

Jesus warned about wolves, and said to check their fruit. Paul, too warned about wolves. Wolves are in the flock—not outside of the flock.

    “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

    “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes
    of thorns, or figs of thistles?

    “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a
    corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

    “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”
    —Matthew 7:15, 16, 18, 20

    “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.”—Acts 20:29

Jesus said that the wheat and tares grow up together.

    “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:

    “But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

    “But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

    “So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

    “He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?

    “But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.

    “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.”—Matthew 13:24–30

    “Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.”
    —Matthew 3:12 and Luke 3:17

Are Discernment Ministries Discerning Deception
I have a concern that there are wolves and/or tares scattered amongst the many discernment ministries, and that they are diverting people with side issues, and
in essence deceiving people away from God’s Word.

My post today will address the failure of so-called discernment ministries to warn people regarding the error (incorrect doctrine) and ecumenism inherent in the Biblical/Christian Worldview philosophies and A. W. Tozer’s writings.

Ministries may be giving correct information and warnings, but we need to check their leaven status.

    “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.”—Galatians 5:9

Of Christian or Biblical Worldview and Values/morals
My observation is that the “Biblical” or “Christian Worldview” (BWV) philosophy is a system of values/morals that people of diverse beliefs, whether biblical or not, can agree with, and therefore it is ecumenical. It appears to me to be the Roman Catholic common ground ploy that is used to get the focus off discerning God’s Word.

This ecumenical approach, then, focuses on moral or social issues, subtly deflecting people from the real truth of God’s Word, that God wants to save sinners, not cultures (as do the Roman Catholics).

The BWV philosophy completely misses the fact that we can not put a template of morality on people, nor can we humans keep or even want to keep the “morals” the BWV group wants to superimpose on everyone.

If they want to be Biblical about it, it is NOT their job, but the Holy Spirit’s job to convict sinners to repent and get forgiveness from a loving God, that will enable the forgiven sinner to walk in God’s ways.

The BWV does go along with an agenda to make everyone conform to a supposed “Christian” belief system so that there can be a “Christian” Government—another very unbiblical concept.

Chuck Colson says in this interview, that Christian Worldview was a common ground way to combine the beliefs Catholics and Protestants agreed on.
Chuck Colson Interview

A W Tozer, Mystic
Just as BWV is ecumenical, so too, are A W Tozer’s writings. Tozer’s books
and sermons are praised by a diverse group of belief systems: Pentecostal,
Charismatic, Reformed, Baptist, Calvinism, International House of Prayer
(IHOP), and Christian Missionary Alliance, to name a few. A number of
discernment ministries reference Tozer positively in their writings and
some sell his sermons or books online.

I do not understand this at all. Perhaps these folk are not aware of Tozer’s mystical teachings and were deceived by the parts of his writing wherein he advocates moral behavior and teaches against heresy.

A W Tozer, in my opinion, is a worse deceiver than any of the so-called emergent church leaders of today that discernment ministries correctly point out as mystical and contemplative.

Discerning Discernment Ministries
I suggest that you take any of your favorite discernment ministries and see if
they promote a Biblical Worldview, positively reference Tozer’s writings or sell
his sermons or books.

If Tozer is not readily apparent on a discernment site, try googling the name of the ministry or the person that heads up the ministry, and “Tozer”. You may be surprised. I know I was.

    God’s WORD
    “…Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”—Luke 18:8

    “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:

    “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
    —Matthew 7:13, 14

    “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”—Ephesians 6:17

Posts relating to Biblical Worldview and morals/values
Culture and worldview
Background information on the Christian/Biblical Worldview
Some Christian/Biblical Worldview groups Awana to YWAM.
Christian Worldview Weekends
Timeline of Norman Geisler’s education, books, etc.
Some Culture/Family/Values Groups

JTB Series of Posts on Tozer which expose his mystic belief system
Conclusion of the Carmelite Order Posts or Why I am Writing about A W Tozer
Was A. W. Tozer a Mystic?
A. W. Tozer, the Mystic, Part 1
Tozer the Mystic, Part 2, What is wrong with Pursuing God?
A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God and Augustine
A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, von Hugel, Bernard of Clairvaux, and Cloud of Unknowing
A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, the Chinese sage, Laotze, and Faber, the Catholic Hymnwriter
A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, Thomas a Kempis, and Nicholas of Cusa
Unbiblical and/or mystical phrases, in The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer
What is so appealing about The Pursuit of God, by A W Tozer?
More Unbiblical Quotes from A W Tozer
JTB series: Scripture compared with some phrases in The Pursuit of God

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More Unbiblical Quotes from A. W. Tozer

God’s WORD

    “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits
    whether they are of God: because many false prophets
    are gone out into the world.”—1 John 4:1

    “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord
    may have free course…And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.”
    —2 Thessalonians 3:1, 2

    “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.”—2 Corinthians 4:5

    “For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but
    as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.”—2 Corinthians 2:17

Following are a few quotes of A. W. Tozer from several of his books, with some Bible verses which address some of the error of A. W. Tozer’s writings.

Knowledge of the Holy, by Tozer, excerpt from Chapter 5 
“That God is everything and man nothing is a basic tenet of Christian faith and devotion; and here the teachings of Christianity coincide with those
of the more advanced and philosophical religions of the East.”

    God’s WORD
    “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of
    these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children
    of disobedience.”—Ephesians 5:6

    “And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.”—Colossians 2:4

    “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:—1 Corinthians 2:4

Echoes from Eden by Tozer, excerpt from chapter 4
“So Christ’s blood was our blood, and this is the theology of New Testament victory for the believer. This is the theology that I experienced as a young man
in the Alliance.”

    God’s WORD
    “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”—Hebrews 9:12

    “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.”—Hebrews 13:12

    “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock,
    over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers,
    to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with
    his own blood.”—Acts 20:28

“This is the theology that tells me that Christ and I are united, so that when He died, I died, and when He arose, I arose.”

    God’s WORD
    “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”—Hebrews 2:9

    “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins
    in his own blood,”—Revelation 1:5

“This is the doctrine of spiritual victory, and there is no other way that consistent victory can be found.”

    God’s WORD
    “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through
    our Lord Jesus Christ.”—1 Corinthians 15:57

Man the Dwelling Place of God by A. W. Tozer
Chapter 12. Three Degrees of Religious Knowledge
“In our knowledge of divine things three degrees may be distinguished:
the knowledge furnished by reason, by faith and by spiritual experience respectively…”

    God’s WORD
    “… be thou an example of the believers, in word, in
    conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
    Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation,
    to doctrine.”—1 Timothy 4:12, 13

    “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”—1 Thessalonians 2:13

Chapter 19 The Communion of Saints
“Then, true Christian communion consists in the sharing of a Presence…

“…The immanence of God in His universe makes possible
the enjoyment of the “real Presence” by the saints of God
in heaven and on earth simultaneously

“I suggest also that we try to acquaint ourselves as far as possible with the good and saintly souls who lived before our times…Augustine, for instance, would bring to us a sense of the overwhelming majesty of God…Bernard of Cluny would sing to us of ‘Jerusalem the Golden’ and the peace of an eternal sabbath day until the miserable pleasures of this world become intolerable;

“Richard Rolle would show us how to escape from “the abundance of riches, the flattering of women and the fairness of youth,” that we may go on to know God with an intimacy that will become in our hearts ‘heat, fragrance and song’;

“Tersteegen would whisper to us of the ‘hidden love of God’ and the awful Presence until our hearts would become ‘still before Him’ and ‘prostrate inwardly adore Him’; before our eyes the sweet St. Francis would throw his arms of love around sun and moon, trees and rain, bird and beast, and thank God for them all in a pure rapture of spiritual devotion…”

    God’s WORD
    “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”—Colossians 2:8

    “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”—1 Corinthians 2:13

    “Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like
    things do ye.”—Mark 7:13

Pursuit of God
Chapter 1 Following Hard after God

“…we Christians are in real danger of losing God amid the wonders of His Word. We have almost forgotten that God is a Person and, as such, can be cultivated as any person can…

    God’s WORD
    “God is not a man…”—Numbers 23:19

    “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”—John 4:24

Chapter 6 The Speaking Voice
“The Bible is the written word of God, and because it is written it is confined and limited by the necessities of ink and paper and leather. The Voice of God, however, is alive and free as the sovereign God is free.”

    “Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds;
    but the word of God is not bound.”—2 Timothy 2:9

“The life is in the speaking words. God’s word in the Bible can have power only because it corresponds to God’s word in the universe. It is the present Voice which makes the written Word all-powerful. Otherwise it would lie locked in slumber within the covers of a book.”

    God’s WORD
    “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”—1 John 5:11

    “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”—1 John 5:20

“Again we must remember that God is referring ere not to His written Word,
but to His speaking Voice. His world-filling Voice is meant, that Voice which antedates the Bible by uncounted centuries, that Voice which has not been silent since the dawn of creation, but is sounding still throughout the full far reaches of the universe…”

God’s WORD

    “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”—John 5:39

    “…for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
    —Revelation 19:10

    “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.”—2 John 9

    “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;

    “He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

    “Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.”—1 Timothy 6:3, 4, 5