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Who is Winning the Infiltration Battle?

By Orrel Steinkamp
The Plumbline, Volume 20, No. 1, Jan/Feb 2015
Used by Permission

Well do I remember the halcyon days about 15 years ago when the Evangelical church first recognized the arrival of Post Modernism. I remember well a pastors meeting in southern Minnesota. Two youth pastors were giddy thinking a new day had dawned and now we would have an unbiased ear from the culture. These youth pastors were about to attend a yearly annual Leadership Network Conference in San Diego. For them a new opportunity had arrived for evangelism. Now we didn't have to debate about such modernism ideas as creation, etc. Now the culture generally could not so easily dismiss our faith ideas and we would be free at last to dialogue with the non-christian world without proving miracles, creation, etc. Now postmodern culture would have to respect our faith. Postmodernism declared everyone's truth was equally valid and now everyone had a right to their own truth claims. Whoopee! Now we can openly infiltrate the culture. But likewise, the culture can more easily infiltrate the Postmodern Church. It now comes down to the desires and whims of the people. Who will win the desires contest, the church or the pop culture? Who has the most confidence in their "truth" and win the ratings battle. Who will win the infiltration contest? The World of the Kingdom of God?

Well! Fifteen years have passed and who has infiltrated whom? I remember well when Neo-Evangelicalism was birthed some forty years ago. The compelling thought was that now we could take the battle to the culture and infiltrate the mainline churches who had succumbed to modernism at the turn of the century. But! Alas, it is now plain who has infiltrated whom. I will now just chose from a plethora of current examples of the reverse infiltration of cultural ideas bursting in upon the Neo-Evangelical movement, with hardly a peep from Christian leaders, lest they commit the ultimate cultural sin of intolerance. Rather than rally round and contest the infiltration among the faithful in our churches and youth groups, we have retreated to shrill political activism. Our evangelical millennial young people have responded to political evangelicalism negatively. Now 43% of evangelical millennials (18-30) favor same sex marriage, etc. Instead our churches have adapted and imitated pop culture at large and it is visibly plain to see. We are so tied to evangelical media stars both on TV and in popular books. Many pastors appear either unaware or don't care and often support these media stars. We also get secondary infiltration from supposedly our own. In that case all the defenses are down. What pastor is eager to take on the evangelical media stars in the prevailing culture of tolerance? Now for just a sampling of current reverse infiltration. You can follow and confirm this sampling on the magnificent tool called Google.

Same Sex Marriage
The defenses of Neo-Evangelicalism are being breached. A friend of mine once said a tsunami of homosexuality is coming toward evangelicalism, just beyond the horizon. Well! It's here. My preferred illustration is taken from surfing. The same sex surfers are just paddling and waiting to catch the best wave to break unto the evangelical shore. Phillip Yancey of Christianity Today already caught an early wave in speaking to a gay Christian national gathering. Jay Baker also has caught a wave. The supreme court will surely make same sex the law of the land in June. But, as if anticipating this, two Evangelical mega churches have declared their gay affirming status. Stan Mitchell, pastor of Grace Point Church recently announced to the cautious response of his church that the church was offering full equality and inclusion to the LGBTQ community. Grace Point is located in the heart of the Nashville Christian Music area. It appears it will be Evangelical Mega churches that will pioneer evangelical same sex acceptance. Earlier another Evangelical Mega Church, East Lake Community Church, with six campus locations near Seattle, announced the same affirming stance to same sex marriage. Others appear on the cusp of the same. Carl Lenz, Mega-church pastor of Hillsong in NYC, dubbed by Charisma as this generation's future Billy Graham and who touts the Lord as his swagger coach, when quizzed by Katie Couric about his stance on homosexuality replied "we have a stance of love in everything and in everything else we have conversations." The word "homosexual" has been removed from the Hillsong International Leadership College Student Handbook. A pastor of a large evangelical denominational Mega church in Sacramento has said homosexuality is sorta like watching porn. Many other evangelical Mega church personalities are currently carefully speaking out of both sides of their mouth on the issue. How long will this last?

New Age Infiltrations
Many New Age infiltrations are not so obvious. Quantum science has been widely co-opted by New Age teachers creating links directly to New Age mysticism. Nevertheless, Leonard Sweet's book "the Quantum Leap" qualifies him to speak at our evangelical colleges and conferences. Contemplative Prayer, which is hidden by a code word called "spiritual formation" has obvious New Age affinities which are covered with a veneer of Catholic monastic mysticism, which centuries ago Catholic monks (desert fathers) learned contemplative techniques from the East and adapted it to Catholic monastic mysticism. Recently, Bill Johnson's Bethel Church floated the idea of recapturing directly things from the New Age which they assert the New Age had previously stolen from the church. Wow! Can we guess which way this infiltration will go?

Spiritual Union with Rome
This started decades ago in the crusade ministry of Billy Graham. Catholic prelates were recruited and given access to all respondents with a Catholic background to be counseled and re-introduced if need be to the Roman church.

Many years later Chuck Colson introduced an initiative called Evangelicals and Catholics Together. ECT called for a spiritual reunion with Rome attempting to reconcile their theological views.

More recently the New Pontiff Francis was able to call for and get a remarkable response from Evangelicals. Bishop Tony Parker was able to organize a cell phone visible connection from Pope Francis with Kenneth Copeland at his annual pastors convention in Fort Worth. Tony Parker, a former worker for Kenneth Copeland in South Africa, later was ordained a bishop in a quasi-Catholic convergence movement seeking to combine evangelical Christianity with Rome. Palmer later befriended Cardinal Jorge Bergogio in Argentina, who was to become Pope Francis. Bishop Palmer then became the conduit for an appeal for spiritual unity with American Charismatics. Surely, with Copeland's knowledge, Bishop Palmer showed Copeland and hundreds of Word/Faith pastors via a cell phone camera the Popes tearful plea for unity with charismatics. Kenneth Copeland promptly prayed in tongues for guidance and then responded back by cell phone to Francis at the Vatican. An elated Copeland announced "Heaven is thrilled over this." Copeland's assembled pastors burst into applause. A week later James Robison invited Bishop Palmer to his TV program "Life Today." After hearing the pope's same cell phone plea, Robison a long time Southern Baptist evangelist/politician/charismatic responded "In Christ we are brothers." Then on national TV Pope Francis's plea was played for a national audience. Bishop Palmer then arranged for Robison and Copeland to visit the Vatican. Surprisingly, Palmer was shortly killed in a motorcycle accident in the UK. Pope Francis insisted that Palmer be buried with full Catholic rites.

The following article "The Necessity of Separation from Heresy" is helpful to put the current situation in historical context. The Necessity of Separation from Heresy

For more articles by Orrel Steinkamp click here.

Orrel Steinkamp, 74425 County Road 21, Renville, MN  56284 
Email: orrelsteinkamp@hotmail.com

Theological Studies
Contemporary Concerns
Deception in the Visible Church