Volume 2 October 15, 2003 Issue 17

Subtle Infiltration into the Church

You have probably heard the story about placing a frog in a pan of room temperature water on the stove. Let the frog settle in — then very gradually, start turning up the heat, starting at very low temperature settings. Feeling complacent and comfortable, the frog won't realize that the temperature is gradually getting hotter. It gets more and more groggy, less and less conscious, until it eventually succumbs after being literally boiled to death. The water felt cool at first, and the frog sensed no danger. It simply relaxed and conformed to the gradual change. By the time the water boiled, the frog was dead. If the water had been hot at the time the frog was placed in it, it would have leapt out of the pan, recognizing the immediate danger and the threat to its survival.

The wave of influence of New Tolerance is exactly like the story of the boiled frog. In our society almost anything can be framed as being acceptable if care is taken to reduce the resistance incrementally. When movements set about to shift people into a new belief, it is done with painstaking care to not reveal the actual goal. It must be gradual because just like the frog, the unwitting subject would recognize the danger and leap if it was not gradual. As mentioned in the previous issue of Diligence the ability for social movements to succeed that go directly against the moral belief of many people must do so through the use of this tactic.

If today you were told that the ultimate goal of a group of scientists was to convince the leaders of our country to make it a law that all men and women would be tested to see if they have the right genes to reproduce and that those who were found lacking would be sterilized, you would say that's preposterous. But if the same scientists carefully show studies that demonstrate society as a whole (as well as individuals) benefits by decreasing the number of those who do not "measure up" many people would begin to understand and possibly agree that the idea at least has merit. (Think about it. Isn't that what has been done to justify aborting a deformed or defective baby fetus?) The scientists need only to "muddy the water" gradually to shift people into a new belief while planning to implement much greater change down the road. Remember, it must be gradual because just like the frog, the unwitting subject would recognize the danger and leap if the goal was clearly stated in the beginning.

Still another subtle part of the process used to shift people into new beliefs involves the necessity of dishonesty. To compare once again with the frog story — if the frog was a person and the person was told "we're going to see if we can boil you to death by increasing the temperature incrementally," a person would not do the experiment. To cite one example in our society where dishonesty was considered to be appropriate in order to accomplish a goal — I was listening to an interview with one of the leaders of the feminist movement. She was confronted with the fact that early in the movement, a number of conflicting statistics were published concerning how women were being abused and that there was a need for changes to address this problem. The feminist leader admitted that the statistics used by her group were drastically exaggerated in order to get attention. She stated that such exaggeration was absolutely necessary to further the cause she was promoting. The cause trumped morality. Lies, dishonesty and misdirection are essential elements used to implement a gradual shift of beliefs without causing the frog (or society) to jump from the pan as a result of sensing the danger. Let me make it perfectly clear that the actual need to protect women who are abused is obvious. Exaggeration was not needed to point out the fact that abuse happens. It was needed to promote an agenda that had goals reaching far beyond that issue.

Now let's become more specific. Anyone who has not had his/her head under a rock for the last ten years, will have to admit that the religious world is undergoing attacks from without and within. Even in congregations with which we are familiar, changes are being implemented that are resulting in many Christians being hurt and disillusioned. This is not new — or is it? And, how does this continue to happen?

First let us be clear, the direction of Christianity today is new and different on a variety of fronts. There are multitudes of good, well meaning Christians who are armpit deep in a direction that they have no idea of the destruction that is at the end. Because of trusting people they view as authorities on the Scriptures, they have stopped investigating and searching the Scriptures on their own. By doing so, they have become open receptacles to teachings that can cause many souls to be lost for eternity.

We hear of how our public school students have dropped in their level of academic excellence. So too have many in the Church. The Church is no longer filled with Bible students who go well beyond the surface to learn and study the Word. This failure on the part of Christians facilitates the growth of the New Tolerance movement (accepting all beliefs as equally true) within the Church today. The question has always been the same. How can anyone know how to please God without study of His Word? Today though, this question is met with a whole new slant on Bible study. The new slant is that each of us can understand the same passage differently and all be right, because God revealed it differently to each one. This is a precise illustration of the impact of New Tolerance in the Church. The New Tolerance logic applied here is that through the years differing interpretations about various teaching in the Bible have resulted in factions and disagreements. So to avoid disagreements and divisions, the New Tolerance way is to accept all views as equally correct and of the same validity. One might say, "I don't want to get into a disagreement" and so it seems reasonable to not challenge a particular belief. While this would certainly be acceptable (and perhaps even recommended) in some instances, we are no longer dealing with the same kind of issues that plagued the Church for many years — issues such as whether to use one cup or many for the Lord's Supper. The issues today deal with interpreting the Scriptures in ways that can actually cause souls to be lost. In order to illustrate what we're talking about we'll list a few of the things that are now taught and practiced in some congregations of the Church, and may come to a congregation near you soon.

  • Baptism is not for remission of sins.
  • Salvation does not come through baptism.
  • The Epistles are not a guide to be followed but rather just an account of the failures and corruptions in the early Church.
  • There is no Biblical teaching about church organization.
  • There is no significance to the assembly on Sunday. It is just a tradition.
  • Male leadership in the Church is a result of man's desire to control women, not by God's design.
  • There are Apostles in the Church today.
  • Elders are infallible.
  • There is not a burning hell. This is an exaggeration to scare people. Hell is simply being separated from God in the grave.

There are numerous such ideas that you may be challenged to accept. Refusing to accept these and other teachings will result in being thought of as a bigoted self righteous Pharisee. Forewarned is forearmed. Keep in mind that the key to New Tolerance is to make every thing acceptable, except truth that makes anything unacceptable.

One confusing part of the New Tolerance mindset is that the person and his/her ideas are one and the same. Disagreeing with the ideas or beliefs of an individual, somehow automatically means that you dislike the individual. This was a new revelation to us and has taken awhile to sink in, but we're beginning to understand how it works. Let us attempt to describe it. Just after we began publishing Diligence, a couple of people told us that what we had written "really hurt them." Now, after researching the impact New Tolerance is having on society in general, we better understand those early comments. Remember our remarks in the previous issue concerning lifestyle choices? It's no longer enough that we tolerate lifestyles (or beliefs) we believe to be wrong; we must accept that they are as equally correct as own own. Therefore, expressing to someone that his/her lifestyle or belief is unacceptable according to the Truth of the Word "hurts" him/her since condemning a lifestyle or belief is the same as saying "I don't like you." By today's New Tolerance Jesus would have been on shaky ground telling the woman at the well she should go and sin no more. That was so hurtful! Yet Jesus was the epitome of truth and compassion. He healed the sick, forgave sins and even saved a woman caught in the act of adultery from being stoned to death. He also however, openly condemned hypocrisy. He threw people and their wares out of the temple because of their misuse of it (John 2:12-16). He even went so far as to call some of the religious leaders of His day hypocrites, son(s) of hell, fools, blind men, whitewashed tombs, and vipers.

"15Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.... 17You fools and blind men! ...27Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. 28So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness... 33You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell? (Matthew 23:15,17,27,28,33 NASB)

By New Tolerance standards, Jesus was not the epitome of tolerance! New Tolerance is not a virtue. It's a vice. It must be exposed for what it is and be replaced with the Truth. The end (or the goal) does not justify the means. There is right and there is wrong and it is revealed to us in God's Word. One cannot accept that all beliefs and truth claims are of equal validity and at the same time claim that the Bible is his/her authority. To do so is to deny that the Bible is the Inspired Word of God. Those who have succumbed to the grip of a New Tolerance mindset believe that it is arrogant and elitist to approach others with the Gospel message because in doing so they are implying that other's beliefs are inferior to their own — and that would not be a loving way to act. So instead, they end up telling the lost what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear and call that"love."

In summary, New Tolerance is a product of society's rejection of God. You see, if there is no God, then there are no objective standards. Every person's opinion is as good and valid as any other person's. Therefore, no one has a right to judge or condemn any one else, unless of course the person is exhibiting some form of intolerance. New Tolerance requires abandonment of convictions since by definition, conviction requires that a person be convinced that his/her belief is true. If no truth is "more true" than any other "truth," then there is no truth worth defending. Why then have so many Christians died defending Christianity? Truth is exclusive. It excludes what is false.

"Diligence" is a privately funded publication of:
Dennis and Sherri Owens — Cincinnati, Ohio