Notes in rough transcript form: “It Just Takes a Generation” Great Lakes Prophecy Conference, Calvary Chapel, Appleton, WI, session 5, David Fiorazo, (9.10.2022)
INTRODUCTION (the first step to moral relativism, redefining truth, and post modernism is to abandon the authority and inerrancy of Scripture)
It all comes down to the inerrancy and authority of the Scriptures. Without its absolute authority we have no standard of truth. God’s Word has always been attacked – and always will. If the enemy cannot cause us to abandon the scriptures entirely, he will at least chip away doctrinally by attacking segments of the Bible.
From the descent of the modernists to today’s post-truth delusion, two of the targets are represented in the downward steps 2 and 8. Creationism (Man not made in God’s image) and the exclusivity of the gospel of Jesus Christ. (not ‘many ways’ to God)
Notice any parallels between how Israel is described in Judges 2 and what has happened in the United States of America?
10 All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and another generation rose up after them who did not know the Lord, nor even the work which He had done for Israel. 11 Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals, 12 and they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and they followed other gods from the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed down to them; so they provoked the Lord to anger. Judges 2:10-12
That was fast. After the elders of Joshua’s time died, the very next generation did not know God and they forgot their history! In our own nation, this rejection of God has been on purpose for the most part due to good programming by forces of darkness.
Abraham Lincoln said in 1863 America had become too proud and “we have forgotten God,” so he declared a national day of fasting and prayer. Lincoln also stated:
“The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.”
Infestation just takes a generation.
In 1935, Nazi Germany’s dictator, Hitler, was reported as stating:
“He alone, who owns the youth, gains the Future!”
A.W. Tozer stated:
“A whole new generation of Christians has come up believing that it’s possible to “accept” Christ without forsaking the world.”
Adding a little Jesus to your (best life now) busy life. Kind of like a banana split with all the ice cream and toppings and then Jesus being the cherry on top.
Shane Pruitt stated:
“When the world is screaming about things like sexuality and gender, but the church remains silent, then a whole generation only hears one worldview. The church must be loving but it can’t be silent. When the Bible speaks on things, we must teach the next generation what it says.”
But we haven’t equipped saints, made disciples, or taught the next generation truth.
Conversely, who has been making disciples & grooming social justice activists?
Atheistic academia, godless government schools, hyper-leftist Hollywood, depraved Democrat Party, corrupt corporations, and big tech/social media liberals.
Romans 12 warns believers, ‘do not conform to this world,’ and ‘do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:2, 21) What does that look like?
Jesus overcame the world. His Spirit lives in us. and is greater than the demonic spirits going crazy out there today. So, what now? After having done all, stand!
Let’s take a brief inventory.
- Half the country supports the murder of a human baby just before it’s born, and an entire political party makes this evil a Sacrament to their platform.
- More Americans today support theft (otherwise known as socialism), with 60% of those under 35 leading the way.
- Many people either cannot or will not answer the question, ‘what is a woman?’
- Others, in so-called churches, believe you can be a homosexual Christian.
- We have children’s hospitals literally doing gender ‘affirming’ surgeries on confused kids as adults affirm these life-altering decisions.
- National media, universities, Marxists and leftist minions are weaponizing words such as racism, Christian Nationalism, women’s health, choice, tolerance, etc.
- The church is losing the cultural battle for influence and freedom to share the gospel.
Perilous times, indeed.
- People have rejected truth, sanity, and reason – while many within today’s churches have left their first love – the true Jesus for a false one.
- Evil is called good and the “father of lies” is having a field day!
- The media gaslights people as ruling elites openly and boldly lie. Big tech and social media activists sensor debate while fact-checkers deny actual facts!
- For the first time in our history, churches were deemed nonessential in 2020.
It just takes a generation.
In 2018, George Barna stated that Generation Z (born between 1999–2015) is the first truly “post-Christian” generation. (twice as likely to be atheist as any previous gen.)
In 2016, the Oxford English Dictionary declared “post-truth” to be their word of the year. Post-truth is defined as:
“relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”
Our culture is caught in the current of liberalism, moral relativism, and post-modernism which deny the inspiration and reliability of Scripture. But it has crept into the church.
It was all predicted in detail.
In 2 Timothy 3, there are a handful of key phrases I’d like to focus on that perhaps best describe our present day.
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.
Um, Paul… exactly HOW difficult?
2 For people will be lovers of self,
The fact this is first speak volumes!
This love of self seems to be the foundation for all the depravity that follows in this series of verses in 2 Timothy 3. ‘Lovers of self…’ The adjective used is philautos, which means self-loving.
“For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, slanderers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 2 Tim. 3:1-4
Here we have somewhat of a mirror reflecting our culture in the United States of Entertainment today – and even a portion of the church. Note these four:
- Lovers of self
- Haters of good
- Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God
- Oppose the truth – (2 Tim. 3:8, “these teachers oppose the truth.”)
These are characteristics of our present antichrist spirit of the age.
Sadly, Paul also writes about a man in the very next chapter, saying:
“Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me…” 2 Tim. 4:10
Watch out for modern “programming.” Self, self, self; look out for number one! Love yourself – and the world. But this must not be said of Bible-believing Christians!
Q: Are we pursuing worldly things that have no lasting value or eternal significance?
Q: How can you survive if your compass is constantly pointing to yourself?
I love what Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas said (at Heritage Foundation):
“You can be in the middle of a hurricane or you can be on a calm day. North is still north. You can be in a thunderstorm. North is still north. People can yell at you. North is still north. It doesn’t change fundamental things. And, in this business, right is still right even if you stand by yourself.”
Seek first the kingdom of God. Jesus Christ is our Cornerstone, our fixed point of reference, our foundation, our anchor in storms, and the Holy Spirit is our guide.
But even faithful Christians feel overwhelmed at times because this earth is not our home.
DON’T GO INTO DENIAL, AVOIDANCE, OR CHECK OUT.
With all that’s happening, it’s easy to understand this struggle.
So here’s a word of caution about something we must avoid, and it’s something I’ve been researching and observing for years.
Escapism means a habitual diversion of the mind to purely imaginative activity or entertainment as an escape from reality or routine.
One definition of Escapism is:
“the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.”
[consumerism, entertainment, social media, gaming, sports, celebrities, I-phones, TV, technology, travel, parties, wasting time, leisure, luxury, loving this world a bit too much.]
Lovers of self, haters of good, Lovers of pleasure, oppose the truth.
The biblical perspective is a balance of seeing our struggles with self and the flesh – as well as understanding the glory of what we are as new creations growing in Christ.
William Barclay stated:
“Love of self is the basic sin, from which all others flow. The moment a man makes his own will the center of life, divine and human relationships are destroyed, obedience to God and charity to men both become impossible. The essence of Christianity is not the enthronement, but the obliteration of self.”
Today’s ‘Best life now’ or ‘do whatever makes you happy’ culture is toxic. Follow your heart is awful advice! God never promises happiness, but teaches holiness.
NOW we’re going to shift from Self to the issue of Apostasy.
There was a time when nearly all American adults (98%) believed in God (until 1967). Today, for example, only 68 percent of young adults between 18 and 29 believe.
You might say, ‘okay – we’d expect that from most Americans, but what about pastors?’ Good question!
A few months ago, George Barna revealed some tragic news about the alarming decline in biblical worldview among pastors and church leaders. A majority (62%) do not even believe the Bible they preach from on Sunday mornings. How’s this possible?
It just takes one generation.
“It certainly seems that if America is going to experience a spiritual revival, that awakening is needed just as desperately in our pulpits as in the pews; …This [research] is another strong piece of evidence that the culture is influencing the American church more than Christian churches are influencing the culture;
We can speculate why so many pastors are unwilling to teach the whole counsel of God, equip the saints, address Bible prophecy, politics, and expose darkness.
Part of the answer can be found in a recent Gallup Poll with this headine:
“Belief in the Inerrancy of Scripture Rapidly Declining”
Just 20% – a record low of Americans think the Bible is actually and literally God’s Word. This is the first time in history more Americans do NOT view the Bible as divinely inspired.
Almost 30% of Americans now think the Bible is merely a collection of “fables, legends, history, and moral precepts recorded by man.”
Abandoning inerrancy is the first downward step to apostasy, depravity, and moral decay.
In his 1998 book, The God Who Is There, Dr. Francis Schaeffer warned about the danger of compromise and what happens when we stop believing in the inspiration of Scripture:
“Here is the great evangelical disaster – the failure of the evangelical world to stand for truth. There is only one word for this, namely accommodation: the evangelical church has accommodated the spirit of this age. First there has been accommodation of Scripture, so that many who call themselves evangelicals hold a weakened view of the Bible and no longer affirm the truth of all that it teaches – truth not only in religious matters but in matters of science, history, and morality.”
Note four compromised areas Schaeffer identified: religion, science, history, and morality.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 states:
For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of mere men, but as what it really is, the word of God, which also is at work in you who believe.
2 Peter 1:16; 20-21
For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty; …But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture becomes a matter of someone’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. 20-21
Accommodation. Affirmation. Compromise under the guise of compassion and tolerance.
A Brief Glimpse of Church History
In his book, New Evangelicalism, author, Paul Smith exposed the seeds that corrupted major denominations in America and conservative believers within some of those churches. He explains how – at that time – Christians couldn’t agree how to respond to liberalism and cultural Marxism threatening to invade both culture and church.
The early 1900s saw the beginnings of the truth war within the Christian church in America. Doubt crept in and controversies over biblical doctrines were brewing. For our context, two opposing sides may be described as Fundamentalists and Modernists.
WHAT HAPPENED? A debate in the Presbyterian Church at the time led to what was known as the “Five Fundamentals” of Christianity.
The Doctrinal Deliverance of 1910 declared these fundamentals to be “necessary and essential” to the faith.
These doctrines included:
- The divine inspiration of the Bible and the Holy Spirit, and the inerrancy of Scripture.
- The pre-existence, deity, and virgin birth of Jesus Christ.
- The satisfaction of God’s justice by the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (substitutionary atonement).
- The bodily resurrection, ascension, and intercession of Jesus Christ.
- The historical reality of Christ’s miracles.
In 1922 – exactly 100 years ago
A sermon by Harry Fosdick, a supporter and spokesman for theological liberalism, was a catalyst in watering down the truth of God’s Word. He described the differences between conservative and liberal Christians in a sermon, Shall the Fundamentalists Win”?
In response, Clarence Macartney, a conservative pastor from Philadelphia defended inerrancy with his own sermon published in a pamphlet entitled, “Shall Unbelief Win?” To close, Macartney cautioned about what he called “the menace of the rationalistic and modernist movement in Protestant Christianity,” and stated:
“The movement is slowly secularizing the Church, and if permitted to go unchecked and unchallenged, will long produce in our churches a new kind of Christianity, a Christianity without worship, without God, without Jesus Christ.”
I submit to you the American church has largely been secularized by a combination of cultural influences, false ‘gospels, political and theological liberalism.
And guess what? 90 years later, in 2011, heretic, Brian McLaren came out with a book called, A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith. McLaren is affiliated with the apostate organization, Sojourners & Jim Wallis, and was a founding member of Red Letter Christians.
*Time doesn’t allow us to expose these deceivers, but Galatians 1:6-8 states:
I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
Also around that time a century ago, another defender of truth was J. Gresham Machen, a Presbyterian minister who died in 1931. He was a New Testament ministry professor at Princeton who revolted against modernism and liberalism and helped form Westminster Theological Seminary.
He said liberalism is “founded upon the shifting emotions of sinful men.” In his 1923 book, “Christianity and Liberalism,” Machen further stated:
“The plain fact is that liberalism, whether it be true or false, is no mere ‘heresy’ – no mere divergence at isolated points from Christian teaching. On the contrary, it proceeds from a totally different root, and it constitutes, in essentials, a unitary system of its own…Christianity is being attacked from within by a movement which is anti-Christian to the core.”
Sadly, the seminary he started ALSO caved to liberalism. Same with Fuller and most universities.
I’ve written much about Harvard University, founded in 1636 by Pastor John Harvard. Every president of the school for the first seventy years was a minister. Harvard’s “Rules and Precepts” included the following:
“Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ, which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore, to lay Christ… as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning…”
(John 17:3 – This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.)
Among Harvard’s mottos: “Veritas Christo et Ecclesiae” which is translated, Truth for Christ and Church,’ and “In Christam Gloriam” (to the glory of Christ).
But by the mid-1800’s, they removed Christ, and the Church from it’s shield, leaving only one word: Veritas. What could go wrong? Fast forward about 150 years.
- In 2015, students were able to register at Harvard using “gender-free” pronouns.
- In 2017, Harvard released a student guide suggesting gender can change from day to day, and any disagreement was labeled, “Transphobic misinformation.”
- In 2018, a Christian group at Harvard was placed on probation for – ready – practicing biblical standards – after asking one of its leaders to step down for being in an open same-sex relationship.
- In 2021, the new Head of chaplains at Harvard is Greg Epstein, an atheist and humanist who authored the book “Good without God.”
Godless ideologies, philosophies, social religion, Syncretism, Marxism, works-based righteousness, humanism, and the cult of liberalism have spread like a cancer.
The Descent of the Modernists, once again:
- Step 1. Stop believing the Bible is the inerrant word of God.
- Step 2. Doubt that man is made in the image of God.
- Step 3. Believe in the theory of evolution. Everything came from nothing.
- Step 4. Miracles in the Bible didn’t really occur.
- Step 5. Jesus was not born of a virgin.
- Step 6. No deity – these is no God let alone a Triune God.
- Step 7. No atonement for sin – if sin is even a problem in the first place.
- Step 8. No resurrection. Jesus did not really rise from the dead.
- Step 9. Post truth.
- Step 10. Agnosticism or Atheism.
This is one description of how we got to where we are today and how both culture and church became infected with false teachings. What happens when we deny God’s authoritative word, creation, His design for marriage and family, reject the truth, and cast aside the Bible?
Anything goes. That is, an ‘ABC culture.’ Anything But Christ. Welcome to the United States of Entertainment today. Lord, have mercy! God save America. Let’s pray.