By Jan Markell
Olive Tree Ministries
Few would disagree that Willow Creek Community Church has been one of the most influential churches in America over the last thirty years. The church and pastor have impacted every evangelical church in the country. A year ago Willow Creek's Pastor Bill Hybels admitted that the "seeker-sensitive" approach he had helped spread across the country had not been very effective at Willow Creek. In one interview here, he states that the church will now target people at all levels of faith. Well, that was an admission many of us were pleased about. The obvious question was, what would the new approach be? One thing was obvious: His leadership summits have not changed one whit.
I have followed his annual leadership conferences. Guest speakers have always been problematic - such as Jimmy Carter, and this year is no exception. Would not a "leadership conference" be training people how to be Christian leaders in the ways of faith? Or to equip attendees to help other believers grow in their faith as a result of some of the information presented at this event? Apparently not.
As this is written, the 2009 conference is assembling to hear from Tony Blair. What's wrong with this picture? Blair is one of the chief players on the globalistic, one-world religion agenda. The Tony Blair Faith Foundation screams "unity" with every sentence, and not biblical unity. Blair states,
"God's Spirit moves through us and the world at a pace that can never be constricted by any one religious paradigm. Be very wary of people who think theirs is the only way."Members of his board include a Zen Buddhist, a Hindu from Minnesota, an Anglican, Rick Warren, a Rabbi, and others. A goal is to "heal the divisiveness in the world." This feeds into the end-time ecumenical effort predicted in the Bible.
Just as troubling is the appearance of rock star Bono. His U2 band was blatantly Satanic. Thanks to Good Fight Ministries, you can go to this link and type in the word Bono or U2. Bono is seen holding an upside down cross and singing praises to Charles Manson with the song Helter Skelter. Did Bono have a conversion experience? If he did, he has not changed the name of his music affiliation, which remains U2 from the days of blatant Satanism.
His efforts are directed at social change and he, too, is trying to build a bridge to all faiths. Bono says,
"Look, on the God thing, I have to be really careful because I'm not a very good advertisement. I don't want you to sit there and say I'm a man of faith. I just read in one of St. Paul's letters, where it describes all the fruits of the spirit, I realized I had none of them."He also states,
"I stopped going to churches and got into a different religion. That's what being a rock-and-roll band is: Showbiz, shamanism, and music is worship."U2'S 2005 Vertigo tour promoted Bono's New Age, all-faith agenda. The word 'coexist' appeared on a giant screen - the 'c' represented by the Islamic crescent, the 'x' by the Star of David, and the 't' by the Christian cross. Then the big screen displayed the favorite mantra/lie of the Emergent/New Age Church,
"Everything you know is wrong." Bono led the audience in a chant, "Jesus, Jew, Mohammed - all true!"How will attendees grow spiritually or grow in leadership skills from Bono?
Some other speakers at this supposed evangelical leadership conference going on this week include a gal who was the number one business thinker in 2008 according to the Wall Street Journal; Fortune Magazine's "most powerful woman in business"; and a businesswoman who is a regular guest on the Oprah Winfrey program. You can find most of the speakers here.
How does this further the Kingdom of God today? If this were being put on by the National Council of Churches, I would get it! But Hybels is an evangelical icon even if it is the "evangelical Left." And it would be proper to ask, why does evangelicalism even have a Left? It did not until 20 years ago. Will these speakers spur the attendees on to share their faith with greater zeal? And why is Hybels subjecting his people to some potential sheep-steeling from some of these characters? Probably because the ecumenical effort is big on his agenda as well. Yet tens of thousands of churches are connected to his network.
Pastor Bill Hybels should know better. Other evangelical leaders need to speak up and stop the potential slaughter of some sheep. The hour is too late to spend several days each summer listening to fools.
To better understand these issues, visit the category of "Spiritual Deception" at my Web site.
RADIO: Programming on July 29 and August 1 featured issues on health care from a Christian perspective with John Terry, Dr. Ron Carlson on the clash of worldviews, Dr. David Noebel on the "religious Left" and particularly Jim Wallis and Chris Lawson on spiritual abuse. Find them all posted to "Radio Archives."
Radio this weekend includes Caryl Matrisciana on her new film, Islam Rising. Also, Jackie Alnor joins Jan to talk about her book, The Fleecing of Christianity.
We are live out of AM980 KKMS, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Saturday, 9 to 11 AM CST. We air in other markets. For podcasting, check this link. All weekend programming goes up on our Web site at "Radio Archives" late Monday.