Transforming Culture, Beware of Truth in Action
Truth in Action is the new name of the late D. James Kennedy’s (1930-2007) Coral Ridge Ministries, founded in 1974. Dan Scalf is President and CEO.
It is committed to the heresy of reconstructionism that is the outgrowth of Reformed Theology. In the ministry’s statement of purpose the objective of “transforming the culture for Christ” is repeated four times. Their goal is “to make the world a better place for our children and grandchildren.”
D. James Kennedy’s theology is described as follows: “One of the great foundational truths that Jim Kennedy held, in fact it was like a furnace burning inside of him ... was his understanding of the passage from Revelation that the kingdoms of this world are becoming the Kingdoms of God and of His Christ. He believed that Christ would be victorious, and so as he spoke into politics or education or he spoke into every area of life, he was recognizing the comprehensive nature of the Gospel that the very cosmos was under transformation” (“Truth in Action Ministries Offers a Picture of Hope,” Truth in Action, June 1, 2012).
Truth in Action Ministries is pursuing the misguided and heretical objective of building the kingdom of God on earth today.
This is NOT the Lord’s Great Commission that is repeated five times in the New Testament and that the apostles and early church leaders pursued (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:44-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8). Nowhere in the book of Acts do we find the apostles seeking to transform the culture of the Roman Empire as a specific objective in order to bring in the kingdom of God through their own efforts. They preached the gospel, baptized and discipled the believers, established churches, and taught the saints to live holy lives as pilgrims in a foreign land in the constant expectation of the imminent return of Christ.
“For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10).
In pursuit of their unscriptural goal, Truth in Action Ministries engages in the heresy of ecumenical relations. They are “activating the Body of Christ” and “mobilizing the church.” What church? Pretty much any church that will join hands with them.
Dan Scalf, President and CEO of Truth in Action, formerly served with the radically ecumenical and charismatic Rex Humbard. After Humbard visited the Pope in Rome in 1980, he gave this testimony: “As we talked together, I sensed more and more that our mission is the same: to build the body of Christ; to uplift the brethren in the Lord; to win the world for the kingdom; to share that shining message that Jesus gave us to share. ... ‘You are loved’” (Humbard, Answer, March 1980).
Frank Wright, who serves prominently on Truth in Action’s Board of Directors, is the President and CEO of the radically ecumenical National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), an arm of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). D. James Kennedy was a member of the NRB and was inducted into the NRB Hall of Fame in 2006.
In April 1972, Jesuit priest Dennis Daly, director of the Sacred Heart Hour, gave a major address at the 30th annual convention of the NAE. In introducing this Catholic leader, Stanley Witcanack, called Daly “a very find brother.” The November 1986 issue of Religious Broadcasting, the NRB magazine, featured Roman Catholic priest John Bertolucci and Catholic nun Mother Angelica. The NAE extended a warm fraternal greeting to Pope John Paul II during his September 1987 visit to America. The greeting stated, “[W]e believe in the spiritual unity of all true believers.” In a 1992 interview with Touchstone magazine, Jack White, former president of the NAE, said there was a growing cooperation between the NAE and the Roman Catholic Church. Ted Haggard, who was president of the NAE at the time, said in October 2005 that his church “doesn’t try to ‘convert’ Catholics” and “the church would never discourage its members from becoming Catholic or attending Catholic Mass” (The Berean Call, Jan. 2006). Haggard said we need a Baskins Robbins approach to Christianity whereby we understand that the denominations are like different flavors of ice cream: all good in their own right and none to be rejected. That is the NRB/NAE philosophy. In 1994, the NRB awarded its Milestone Award to The Voice of Prophecy, a Seventh-day Adventist television program which preaches many great heresies.
Thus, the National Religious Broadcasters and the National Association of Evangelicals has been at the forefront of building the apostate one-world church for a half century, and the fact that D. James Kennedy was happily involved in that mess is clear evidence of his own spiritual blindness and disobedience.
AMERICA A CHRISTIAN NATION?
One of the major focuses of Truth in Action is to recreate America as “a Christian nation.” D. James Kennedy founded the Center for Reclaiming America for Christ.
While it is true that America has a unique history and the Bible has had a large influence on the nation, and while it is true that she has been a bastion of liberty and a major center for world evangelism, it is not true that America has ever been a Christian nation.
While America’s founding fathers had some great wisdom and were influenced by biblical principles, they represented a mixed multitude of true believers and false. Benjamin Franklin, for example, was an enemy of Christ’s atonement and the divine inspiration of Scripture. His best drinking buddies were such ribald anti-God skeptics as Charles Darwin's grandfather Erasmus and the movers and shakers among the Christ-denying Unitarians. The same can be said for Thomas Jefferson, whose “Christianity” was one divorced from the supernatural.
America's founding documents are based both on biblical principles and pagan. How can such an unholy mixture be called "Christian"?
Consider the preamble to the Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
These famous words express humanistic sentiments that are not supported by Scripture. In fact, they constitute a brash denial of the Fall and of God’s holy justice. According to the Bible, all men are under God’s judgment because of sin and are nowhere promised liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Jesus did not teach that men are inherently free; He said they are slaves to sin and the devil (John 8:34, 44). He said, “Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). The only promise the unsaved man has is the promise that today is the day of salvation and that he can be saved if he will repent and trust Christ as Lord and Saviour. Beyond that, the promise is that if he rejects Christ he will die in his sin and suffer eternal punishment. Where is the “pursuit of happiness” in all of that?
Take Israel, for example. Israel has been in bondage for 2,000 years because of her rebellion against God. Her bondage is God’s punishment. She has most definitely not been free to pursue happiness. This was prophesied in her most ancient prophesies, such as Deuteronomy 28.
“And it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind” (Deut. 28:63-65).
Where is the promise here of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?
As for the idolatrous people that make up the vast majority of this world’s citizenry having a divine right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that is not what Paul preached in Athens.
“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).
KNOWING THE TIMES
We need to know the times, and we can only do that by a literal interpretation of Bible prophecy. Since Reformed theology interprets prophecy allegorically, its adherents don’t have a clue as to what is happening and the significance of current events.
A literal interpretation of prophecy teaches us that we cannot return to the 18th century when America was created or even the 19th or the 20th. That was a different time. The 21st century America cannot be re-created as something that existed in the past. It is obvious that the prophetic hour is very late and the Rapture is near. Israel is back in the land. The spirit of ancient Sodom has spread across the face of the earth. Globalism rules in commerce and culture and politics in preparation for the rise of the man of sin. The nations are aligned against God and His anointed in fulfillment of Psalm 2. The apostasy of 2 Timothy 3-4 has spread with breathtaking speed. Even a large percentage of “evangelicals” today worship a false christ (as we have documented in Biblical Separatism and Its Collapse, which is available in print and as a free eBook from Way of Life Literature).
What every IFB church needs to do is stop listening to unscriptural voices and pursuing pipe dreams and focus rather on doing exactly what God has told us to do. Our job is not to build Christian nations; our job is to build Bible churches. We need to occupy ourselves with building a strong foundation in the knowledge of God’s Word, building godly, separated individuals and families, marking and avoiding the budding apostasy even in our own “circles,” and fulfilling the Lord's Great Commission, and that commission is not about saving America or transforming the culture.
This will do far more to help America than pursuing the misguided and heretical "cultural activism."
The root problem with America’s moral and social ills is the apostasy and compromise in the churches. This is the teaching of 2 Chronicles 7:14, which also states that the moral and social problems can be healed only by the repentance of God’s people.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
We have witnessed 40 years of intense cultural and political activism on the part of sincere but misguided people led by the likes of Jerry Falwell and D. James Kennedy. (Kennedy was a founding board member of Falwell’s Moral Majority.) The result has been the exact opposite of the goal. The goal was to bring America back to God, but the actual result has been a precipitous deterioration of the nation’s moral condition. This is for the simple reason that this activism does not address the root problem and, in fact, it is part of the problem by producing further spiritual compromise in the churches through the heresy of ecumenism.
It has been said that a definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
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