The Joshua Generation
Every cause needs a catch phrase to give it longevity—in some cases, credibility—and to impress it indelibly into the mind. The new wave of postmodern, emergent Warrenites, infected with the Obama spirit of “change, change everything, change now,” have latched onto the epithet “the Joshua Generation.” Obama himself used the term in his efforts to attract young Evangelicals and Catholics to his camp during the presidential campaign.
In other words, Moses represented the generation of the past, a dispensation of wilderness wanderings, and now the Joshua generation of conquest is taking over. Christian magazines are full of the new faces that are lining up to be a part of this new movement. Even the Houston Chronicle featured several of them in its January 24, 2009 edition in which Barbara Karkabi and Diane Cowen described these new Joshuas as a generation of socio-religious leaders “who strive for a better world for all. Their goals are both simple and complex: to feed the hungry, house the homeless, heal the sick, and empower others to help solve social and economic problems.” How altruistic that sounds. How benevolent. How charitable. But if we are going to use Bible terminology, let’s stick with biblical procedures and biblical principles.
We need to remember that the biblical Joshua generation had some stringent commitments to meet before it set out to cross the Jordan into Canaan. God told Joshua to “Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:6,7; emphasis mine). It should be noted that they were leaving only Moses behind, not the law of Moses. In fact, God commissioned them to write the law on specially prepared stones to place in the first altar to be built after entering Canaan (Joshua 8:30-32). They also carried the Ark of the Covenant with them through the Jordan into Canaan. It contained the Word of God, along with the symbols of God’s miraculous provision and His divine intervention. These we must keep with us without fail.
God continued, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (v. 8). Joshua was to keep the law in his mouth. In other words, all his orders and judgments must be in harmony with the law that had been given to Moses. In all places and on all occasions he was to speak according to the law. Moses himself was buried but the law superceded and transcended the man. It was to endure. If Joshua remembered this, he had this promise: “the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest” (v. 9).
How serious was it that commitments of faithfulness to the law were kept? “Whosoever he be that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death” (Joshua 1:18).
The Karkabi/Cowen description of the Joshua generation above may be somewhat narrow since many groups with all sorts of objectives have been induced to organize under that slogan. One group states that “the Joshua Generation wants to help ease the decision-making process by providing information-based workshops on finances, housing, careers, relationships and more.” Regardless of affiliation or stated goals, the general objective is “to carry the mantle of [social] change.” No one should be condemned for volunteering to help others with human problems, but to make social work the corporate target of the church is misdirecting our efforts.
In the Chronicle article, the eight prominent locals who have gathered under the Joshua umbrella stated their individual goals: “cultural understanding,” “immigration rights,” “women’s issues,” “the homeless,” “leadership,” “education,” “clean water,” “access to health care, mental health.” Sprinkled throughout the article were buzz words like “global food crisis…social issues…civil rights…civic change…HIV…transitional living…older worldview…etc., etc.” In other words, the old ways and outmoded principles that have guided society in the past are buried with Moses. Moses is dead. It is a new day. How inspirational that can be made to sound to youth who have no sense of history or convictions to which they are committed. It brings to mind the Hitler Youth Movement of the 1930s that escorted that socialist slob into a German dictatorship. Chancellor Hindenburg is dead. Heil Hitler! Long live the Fuhrer! Deutschland über alles!
Whatever happened to the Great Commission: “Go…preach…baptize…teach”?
I have written an article entitled, “Resurrecting A Failed Concept: The Return of American Protestantism to the Social Gospel.” It points out that it is not merely mainline denominations that are involved but Apostolics as well are being swept along in the tide of social emphasis. Please take time to read it. You can go directly to the articles pages by clicking on the title above or here.
Many of us are increasingly concerned about the growing emphasis on the social gospel in our own ranks. While we applaud all legitimate and appropriate efforts at helping the less fortunate, it is unnecessary to tag onto the humanistic ideologies and methodologies of the emerging Joshua generation. Their promises of faithfulness to the Apostolic message are proving to be quite empty. The apostle John left these sobering words with us: “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward” (II John 8). A “full reward” is only granted to those who cling tenaciously to the full truth.
Power to the Joshua generation! Go, do, achieve, conquer. But make sure that you are going, doing and achieving in the parameters of God’s program. And don’t leave the stones behind on which the Word is written. “For…his truth endureth to all generations” (Psalm 100:5).
You can’t do much about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth. – Even Esar
Pray for a good harvest but continue to hoe. – Daylight, Daybright
A friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, and who can tolerate the reality of our powerlessness—that is the friend who cares. – Anon.
Into each life some rain must fall, the poet wrote. And thank God for it. All sunshine makes a desert.
Tears are the safety valve of the heart when pressure is laid upon it. – Albert Smith
The things which hurt, instruct. – Ben Franklin
Three powerful quotes from Thomas Jefferson:
“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”
“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”
“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.”
Most of the oil is in Texas but all the dipsticks are in Washington. – Anon.
• President Barack Obama has been characterized as “the Messiah” by many political pundits. News organizations have counted over 500 promises he made during his campaign. The accompanying photo was apparently shot to portray his arrival into Jeru…uh, Washington to fulfill those promises. Evidently no palm branches were available.
• A conservative activist claims that during the presidential campaign Barack Obama abandoned his past support for same-sex “marriage” because it was politically expedient. A newly uncovered questionnaire Obama filled out in 1996 for a Chicago pro-homosexual newspaper reveals that while running for the Illinois State Senate, he favored legalizing same-sex marriages and vowed he would “fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.” Matt Barber, the director of cultural affairs at Liberty Counsel and Liberty Alliance Action, says it is not surprising that Obama was for homosexual marriage before he was against it. Barber states, “Despite the platitudes that he’s thrown out during the election saying that he believes in traditional marriage, his actions and prior words show that he unequivocally defends and agrees with the ridiculous and oxymoronic notion of same-sex marriage. He is expected to seek the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). He has congratulated homosexuals in California who entered into so-called marriages after the activist California court out there imposed same-sex marriage on the people of California.” Political support always has strings—no, ropes—attached.
• Gitmo is closing. That is another executive order already handed down. So, coming to a prison near you: a number of terrorists with contacts across the Muslim world who want nothing more than to see you dead. Won’t it be fun to watch them go through the American court system guided by the best lawyers Arab oil money can buy? How many years will be consumed? How many of your tax dollars? How many intelligence secrets exposed to the world? Of those that have been released from Gitmo to date, 61 have already returned to terrorist activities. What are they thinking?
• Here is one of the best articles I have seen to date on our immediate future as a nation. It’s by Dick Morris. I include the link because I am concerned, as many of you are, about what is going to happen to the church in this country under Obama’s socialistic leadership. Click on the link below.
• Talmadge French, noted Pentecostal researcher and author, has discovered over 670 Oneness groups worldwide totaling over 30 million adherents.
• The 2009 Apostolic Ministerial Conference is scheduled for May 5-7 at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN. This is a different kind of conference. Great preaching, yes. Good fellowship, yes. Outstanding venue, yes. It is uniquely designed for ministers, their wives and immediate families only. Apostolic voices are in short supply today. Come and enjoy this different conference. For reservations call Gaylord Opryland Hotel 615-883-2211 and ask for AMC group rates.
Please don’t hurl on the screen!
A few days ago, Glenn Beck interviewed Joel Osteen about religion in government. Osteen was obviously ill-informed about the interaction of church and state. But when Beck seemed to urge a broad-minded view of interfaith cooperation, Osteen muttered these words: “I am a Christian and believe in Christ as my Savior, but I have been to India and those people [the Hindus] are kind and gracious, and they love God, too.”
Please pass the barf bag.
“Which god?” I thought. They worship millions of them. They do not see Jesus as the mighty God come in human form to redeem mankind. But evidently “loving [a] god” is all that matters to Osteen, the sugar-sweet, honey-dripping pastor of the largest church in America.
However, the facts contradict Osteen’s assessment. “The going price [in India] to kill a [Christian] pastor is $250.” That was said by Faiz Rahman, chairman of Good News India, on rewards offered by extremist Hindu groups for killing of Christian leaders and destruction of churches in Orissa. (Christianity Today, 1/09).
Any red blood left?
Last week on the XM radio, I chanced to hear an interesting exchange between Oprah and a minister appearing on her show. She asked him what he thought of homosexuality. His quick answer: “Homosexuality is a gift from God.” Oprah said he was the first minister she had heard make such a statement. He repeated it for her. The sound bite I heard did not give the minister’s name. I really didn’t want to know who it was.
Where have all the preachers gone who have red blood in their veins and guts in their innerds?
Did he wear a pink collar?
One of the first prayers marking the inauguration ceremonies of Barack Obama was prayed by Bishop Gene Robinson, an openly gay Episcopal priest from New Hampshire. This choice was announced after Rick Warren was invited to pray the official prayer at the swearing in ceremony. Warren’s invitation sparked an eruption of protests, some violent, from gay activists because he does not support same sex marriage. Bishop Robinson said that asking Warren to pray was “a slap in the face” to gays, bi-sexuals, lesbians, and transgender folks. However, Warren applauded Robinson’s invitation. The media made sure that the protests about Warren were covered from every angle and daily stories were published in the papers. Little was said about Christian reaction against Robinson’s invitation, as though no one really objected to his participation. Don’t you just love the unbiased, even-handed reporting of the “drive-by media”?
Media “dares” were published concerning the use of the name of Jesus in the prayers. It became a circus and made me wonder if inaugural prayers are really a good thing. In his inaugural speech Obama made sure that we are aware that America is not a “Christian nation,” and that it is composed of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and atheists. So his pray-ers felt compelled to be “inter-faith” in their prayers. Gene Robinson addressed his prayer to “the God of our many understandings.” Now who would that be? Obviously, a catch-all phrase. Warren appealed to “Yeshua, Isa, Haysus, and Jesus.”
How either of these men retains his influence among thinking believers of any stripe is a mystery. I suppose they are just following along for the Kool-Aid.
If the kind of affluence and privilege prevalent in modern America is so positive, why has there been a 5% increase in the overall suicide rate since 1999 and 16% among those ages 40-64?
If separation from the world and a conservative lifestyle is so opposed by the ordinary person on the street, why has the Amish population in the U.S. grown 84% from 1992 to 2008?
If psychotropic drugs are curing the emotional ills of Americans, why has there been a 4000% increase in the diagnosis of “bi-polar disorder” since 1994?
If antidepressants are so effective, why is it that one-half of all suicides in the U.S. are by those on these psychotropic drugs?
Why is it marketing and not science that has the single andidepressant drug Zyprexa generating $12 million dollars a day?
Why do some insist on integrating humanistic psychology with Oneness Pentecostal theology? (Go to advanceministries.org/articles and read “Should Psychology Be Integrated With Oneness Pentecostal Theology?”)
How can we continue to ignore the facts?
For those who wish to be informed about the use and the dangers of mood-altering psychotropic drugs, please go to http://www.cchr.org/#/home, then click on “Latest Videos.” There is a series of about four or five brief documentaries titled “Making A Killing.” Don’t go there unless you are willing to be educated about what these drugs are doing to OUR saints and their children, and how WE are helping to feed a trillion dollar industry that is rapidly taking away our ability to think and act rationally.
More questions begging answers
•Is the role of the church to overcome poverty, disease and social problems?
•Should our evangelistic efforts center around lifting the poor and needy out there on the streets?
•Is it the corporate duty of congregations to roll everyone out from under the bridges and into homes, pay the light bills of the poor (even those who buy booze and cigarettes with money they could use for bills), and throw our resources at social programs like HIV/AIDS awareness?
•Is personal and corporate responsibility the same in the matter of helping the unfortunate? What does the Bible teach?
•What is the “social gospel” and are we seeing a return to a failed concept in American Protestantism, even among Apostolics?
For answers that I have come to embrace, go to this month’s feature article “Resurrecting A Failed Concept: The Return of American Protestantism to the Social Gospel.” Just click on the title to go to the articles pages, then scroll down and select this article.
Apostolic Theological Forum 2009
Eight papers addressing theological and historical topics were presented at the 2009 ATF meeting in Ft. Worth, TX on January 15,16. Presenters included Thomas Weisser, Steve Pixler, Peter Connell, James Anderson, Roger Perkins, G. Jorge Medina and J. R. Ensey. Questions and discussion followed each paper. Topics included:
•Lifting the Veil: YHWH’s Covenants, the Messiah, and the Sabbath Question
•The Influence of Priscillian
•In the Name of Jesus: The Formulary Invocation of the Name of Jesus in Baptism
•What is God’s Real Name?
•An Examination of the Use of the Spiritual Gifts of Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues
•Soteriology In the 21st Century: The Need For An Epistemological Shift
•Let Her Hair Grow: A Pauline Warning For Corinth
•Comparing Spiritual Things To Spiritual: Paul’s Theology of Preaching in I Corinthians 2
The CD set is $34.95 plus $5.00 shipping. Singles are $5.00 each plus $3.00 shipping. Syllabus (all the papers) is $25.00 plus $10.00 for shipping. Syllabus w/CD’s: $54.95 plus $10.00 for shipping. Please call 817-483-1082 to order or email to Dpulley@acfw.org. A printed ATF Journal is also being prepared.
A Body or a Business?
A Bible teacher gave a summary of Christian history in a class to beginning students:
“Christianity started in Israel as a fellowship; it moved to Greece and became a philosophy; it moved to Rome and became an institution; it moved to Europe and became a culture; it then came to America and became an enterprise; an enterprise—that’s a business.”
After a few moments a young lady raised her hand, asking a simple question, “A business? But isn’t the church supposed to be a body?”
When the teacher said, “Yes,” the girl continued, “But when a body becomes a business, isn’t that a prostitute?”
The obvious answer is yes! Any professing Christian, church, or organization that uses the message or the body for financial gain is guilty of prostitution and will prove to be false.
But the true church of Jesus Christ, which is continually becoming a holy bride preparing for her Bridegroom, is not prostituting herself. Don’t confuse the two—the true body of Jesus Christ is not what is portrayed as Christendom.
Definition of postmodernism
We all know that postmodernism is the process of deconstructing Christianity as we have known it in hopes of reconstructing it after the pattern of current culture, making it more “relevant.” A broader definition has been suggested: “Postmodernism in the theological sense is the idea that nothing is certain, that everything is an “experience” and a “journey.” Postmodernism advocates that if there is absolute truth, it is ultimately unknowable. It is called postmodernism, indicating that it is after or beyond modern. Modernism and postmodernism aren’t so much time frames as much as they are frames of mind…or epistemological approaches.” – By Roderick at http://thekingdomcome.com/postmodern_logic.
“It is strong men who found movements; weak men mold them, eventually pervert them and then purge the original founders who will not compromise their convictions.” – Chester Tulga, The Theological Situation in the Conservative Baptist Movement; Quoted in In Pursuit of Purity by David O. Beale
Build your library with Apostolic books and teaching materials
Miss the Library Builder?
Many of you have written to say that you miss the Library Builder. Thank you for the kind words. We regret that circumstances dictated that we move on to another medium. This blog does not do what the magazine did, but we do try to publish some things that will be helpful to ministers and committed laymen in our efforts to remain Apostolic in this postmodern era.
Since we have a few extra copies of back issues of the Library Builder, we have put together five complete sets containing 23 issues each, beginning with Vol. 1 No. 1.
If you would like to have a set for your own library, or to give as a gift, or to put in your church library, they will be sold on a first come, first served basis. Each full set is $12.95 plus 4.00 shipping. Smaller sets may be missing a couple of issues and will be priced accordingly. Call today: 936-856-3419
God’s Covenant Bible Study
This relatively new study is a hit with many Apostolics. It is fresh, colorful and easy to use.
Chart with Teacher’s Manual $58.00
PowerPoint CD with Teacher’s Manual $48.00
AM price complete set $89.00
Click on image and play slide show to view chart in it’s entirety. To order, click here.
Here is the testimony from one pastor:
Dear Brother Ensey,
I would like to thank you for God’s Covenant Bible Study that you advertise on your web site. My wife ordered this for a Christmas gift. I am truly amazed at the quality of this study. It is very impressive and powerfully creative. The graphics and material that it is made of is awesome. Please send my thanks to the author Bro. Felt. I plan on winning many souls with this powerful evangelistic tool.
Pastor Scott Hall
Order from advanceministries.org or by phone: 936-856-3419.
Life After 70
There really is life after 70! Just ask this vibrant Apostolic lady and her husband. Sister Davis explains in readable terms how to life a fulfilled life beyond retirement. She shows you how to be an example to your friends and your children. Here is a literal roadmap to years of satisfaction in daily practical applications. You will find it hard to put down. Has information worth thousands of dollars, but our AM price is only 9.95. Order online today for those seniors in your church!
Church Usher: Servant of God
By David Enlow
This is a concise ministry manual for your church ushers. The author affirms the importance of the office of usher and offers dignity to their practical service. The book can be used as a training manual for individual or group study. AM price only 8.95
Stay warm during February…Spring is on its way!
Jerry and Roffie Ensey