I am in complete agreement that the call to prayer is desperately needed in this country. As Christians, are we really devoting the time in prayer as we should be? I am guessing that most of you reading this are feeling some of the same guilt as I am right now! But the question to ask is this: What exactly are the differences that we are to be putting aside?
As a confessing Baptist, and someone who is serious about every “jot and tittle” of God’s Word, the last question needs to be examined a little further. Can I put aside the fact that some people have a different eschatological view than I do, and still pray with them? Certainly. Can I serve on the streets with a “4 point” Calvinist? Absolutely. What about some other “differences?”
There are many differences that we have from other “Christians” that are not to just be put aside. What some “Christians” want to call “differences” are actually heresies. For example, Oneness Pentecostals, people who do not believe in the Trinity, are heretics. We should not be serving or praying with them. They aren’t Christians. We should not be serving with people who subscribe to the teachings of apostate churches, such as The Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, and the Universalist Unitarian Church.
These apostate churches, as well as all of the others, are not worshipping the God of the Bible. How do we know? It is because they are not following the clear teachings of the Bible, which is the Word of God. We are not to be fellowshipping or praying with them – instead, we are to be giving them the Gospel! Only the God of the Bible saves, through Jesus Christ the Savior.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” (John 14:6)
So, what about The Response: USA? What differences do they ask attendees to lay aside? Reading through the website, it is very difficult to discern. It is only through some searching that the organizer of the event can even be found. His name is Doug Stringer, a self-proclaimed “apostle” who is part of the heretical NAR movement through IHOP. This movement is no less than a cult, with too many heretical teachings to name in this post. (For info on the NAR, IHOP, and Bethel Redding, please go to Justin Peters Ministries webpage to learn about them. There are a lot of people that are being sucked into this heretical movement right now.) We should not be going to an event like this to pray together since they are not praying to the same God of the Bible that we worship!
The same NAR movement that is connected to “The Response: USA” is who was behind the Azusa Street Revival a few months back. Attendees were asked to put aside their differences when they attended, only to see Lou Engle and other self-proclaimed “apostles” worship with Catholics, the largest cult today. (For those who do not understand why Catholics are not Christians, there are any great resources by John MacArthur, Todd Friel, Mike Gendron, and others. Among the issues is a works-based salvation, as opposed to what the Bible teaches, which is a grace-based salvation, through faith in Jesus Christ ALONE.) The Azusa Street Fair even had Catholic Bishops on stage on their knees kissing the feet of the self-proclaimed NAR “apostles”, to the cheers of the attendees! The NAR “apostles” then did the same to the Catholic Bishops!
It is obvious that the Azusa Street Revival, as well as the upcoming Response: USA, are nothing more than ecumenical gatherings. This is not Christian; it is part of the New World Order. Rick Warren has been rightly criticized for his statements regarding the Pope in also being “the evangelical Pope”, yet many “Christians” still love the apostate Rick Warren. The Pope has said on many occasions that Muslims, Hindus, and all who call on a higher power believe in the same god.” Joel Osteen went on Larry King and wouldn’t proclaim that “Jesus is the only way” for the world to see.
We are in dangerous times today. As Bible-believing, Bible-following, and Bible-teaching Christians, we need to have great discernment today. And we need to preach the Gospel everywhere we go, to the unbelievers and the deceived, and we need to call out the apostates and the heresies to warn our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Dr. Anthony R. Silvestro Jr.