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January 7, 2021
FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST
2021 | THE YEAR TO RENOUNCE FAITH

Dr. Stephen R. Phinney

You can't renounce something you never had to start with.

Statistics never lie. Really? While I enjoy my plethora of hours spent in research, I keep a few basic factors in mind. One being, statistics are typically gathered from deceived people. Secondly, and more importantly, these statistics are gathered from "followers of Christ," a distinction that holds a confession. Allow me to explain.

Toward the end of 2020, many leading "Christian research" institutions gathered data on the trending ideology of deconstructing your faith. Two of those institutions called it the "new normal." All agreed it is the fastest-growing movement within the church today. More alarming – the lion's share of these deconstruction stories are coming from pastors. Pastors that are deconstructing their personal faith. On one leading website, these pastors said, "Those who deconstruct their faith discover a life-giving and ultimately faith-affirming process." The problem with this kind of "stinky-thinking" is, most never return. Is this heresy at its best? You will need to decide.

The absolute Word of God is now relative.

A question begs for clarity – found on a trendy website that encourages Christians to deconstruct their faith. "What happens when everything you once believed about God begins to crumble?" First of all, this is a foolish, subjective, and relative question. It isn't the doctrines of God that are crumbling. But rather, it is the person asking the question that is melting into the progressivism of unbelief. The standard in those who suffer from unbelief is simple. Someone has to be blamed for their discomfort. And…that "someone" is usually God.
 
While researching many of the stories in 2020 of "Christians" renouncing their faith, I found a common denominator. In a 100% of each of these cases, a traumatic event ignited the process. Most suffered from the loss of a loved one. Some had a dramatic social history of depression, frequently sustain by a history of suicidal ideations or attempts. In fewer stories, I found those who stumbled across skeptical material online, particularly with University students. But, in many cases, the student's background was filled with atheism before entering the institution. In every case, I found a disdain and fear of being judged by others, while expecting God to change all of life for their demise.

Doubt is the driving force behind deconstruction.

Doubt is a healthy and needed emotion. Without doubt, salvation(s) is impossible. With doubt, God can separate a lost generation from the demise of a demonic culture and church. The irony is, doubt usually refutes the source of absolute Truth, thus, blaming God. The displaced blame hinders, if not eliminates, the source that is put in place to deliver them from their difficult circumstances while offering hope for a new life in Christ. A new life in Christ is not reconstructed by God by an existing life; He terminates a life through co-crucifixion with His Son (Rom. 6:6, Gal. 2:20). This absolute fact becomes the greatest fight-for-life in a lost soul. Remembering the miracle of salvation is in dying to live – that is, eternal life.

Recently the UK released statistics regarding their people's faith. Claiming, 56% of their population now have no faith. Americans are not far behind. The deception hidden within these statistics' walls is erroneous, meaning that the surveyed populous is non-religious to start with. Not true. All humans are devout in their religious beliefs – even atheists. The question becomes, "Who is their god?" For "self" to be god, one must renounce all other gods. Once this is accomplished, the individual can form any god they so desire, ultimately fulfilling Satan's goal perpetrated onto Adam and Eve – you too can be like God. Since the sin of self-governance and self-authority was appealing, both became their individualized gods. Hopefully, you can see, the ideology of theological deconstruction is not new. It was the first sin and certainly will be the last. 

A progressive mind is the beginning of a stupid mind.

An independent mind is the most dangerous element in all of life. Before you react, allow me to explain.

Progressive thinking is not progressive at all – it is regressive. While many believe progressive thinking is keeping up with progress, it is not. Progressivism is a political philosophy in support of social reform. Based on the idea that progress is advanced through science, technology, economic development, and social organization, supposedly vital to improving the human condition without God, but rather through science. The movement was ignited during the Age of Enlightenment in Europe by the Masonic Temple worshippers, who were/are universalist. Their objective was to demonstrate the ideologies that societies can better themselves by strengthening empirical self-knowledge and individualized self-as-god as the foundation of a progressive society. This movement replicated the original sin and spread throughout the world as the dominant philosophical thought for all humanity. Also, historians determined this ideology, or revolution, as the leading cause for the masses to forsake their beliefs in God's absolute doctrines and His Holy Word. Since absolutes are the greatest enemy of dependence, Satan's objective took the front seat through progressivism. An ideology that is stealing the hearts and minds of millions that once believed in the absolutes of God and His written Word.

It takes a stupid mind to attempt to determine what God means by what He says. Remembering that stupid is, knowing the Truth but refusing to act upon it. A mind like this diminishes what He said, "My thoughts are not your thoughts, and My ways are not your ways, says the Lord." While it is the leading "money maker" for the church, none the less, our theological institutions are producing grave and depraved thinkers for our church today. Propagating followers of Christ to self-interpret what God means by what He says by deconstructing the Gospels for self-justified reasons. Resulting, I might add, in endless translations, publications, interpretations, and erroneous disdained beliefs in who Jesus is. Meanwhile, the doctrines of being born with a depraved mind (stupid) drift into progressivism's modality. When this happens, the need for the mind of Christ through indwelling/born-again salvation becomes faint.           
       
People need to feel inferior to receive superior.

The milky doctrine of God's basic reform comes by way of setting humanity up to feel inferior. As for humanity, this becomes a life-long battle to refute. The entire educational, social, and parental system is based on improving self-esteem. You are somebody. You are loved. You can accomplish anything you set your mind to do. You can be your own person. Meanwhile, this passage fades into post-modernism.

"For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself." (Gal. 6:3)

Such fading becomes the church's greatest enemy of the Gospel. All of the cultural problems in our world today are centered in and around the fruitless attempts of humanity working to be something. However, the meat of the Gospel presents a much more challenging dilemma. Here is what the authentic Jesus said.  

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 'He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him." (John 12:24-26)

Our passage reveals the basics, as well as the introduction of salvation.

·        Step one, we must die.
·        Step two, do not love yourself.
·        Step three, hate your life.
·        Step four, save ourselves for eternity.
·        Step five, serve Jesus with an eternal attitude.

Let it be noted. The Christ-followers group cut and pasted the phrase; he must follow Me and dropped it into the church's vocabulary. Here are the facts. Jesus used the term follow Me because indwelt Christianity did not become a believer's reality until the day of Pentecost. After Pentecost and Jesus's ascension, believers were required to shift from following to walking in the Spirit (Rom. 6:4; 8:4). Big difference. One is external, and the other is internal.

Question. How well do you think the five-step formula is accepted in our depraved self-esteem society? It isn't. The reason the authentic Gospel has shifted into the Laodicean think-tank of progressivism is simple. So simple that the average "believer" has been duped into the deconstructive philosophy of followers of Christ equals authentic Christianity. Which, by the way, is the group our Christian research institutions survey for their deceptive statistics. I asked one of these leading research institutions, "What percentage of your surveys are directed toward born-again Christians who claim to have the Holy Spirit living inside their mortal bodies?" Their reply? We don't survey this group. We survey those who self-claim Christianity as their primary religion. Folks, this is a problem. 
  
Since our research engines are surveying followers of Christ while ignoring authentic born-again Christians, the results are beyond elusive, there confessing to survey the white side of evil. Of course, their results will be followers of Christ (non-indwelt believers) are deconstructing their faith. If we keep oranges with oranges, wouldn't it be more acute to say Christ-followers are deconstructing Jesus? Since this crosses the blasphemy line, which is the unpardonable sin (Matt. 12:31), the Christian world is couching the deception in deconstructing their faith. Seriously, what is wrong with keeping to the original codex of the vocabulary of the Holy Scriptures?  
   
I can assure you that the average Christian believes that Christ-followers ARE authentic Christians. Surveys prove it. Lol. I believe this is the greatest lie Satan has integrated into nominal Christianity. Nominal? Yes. Nominal means existing in name only. Not life. Satan has duped the church into thinking nominal Christianity is Christianity. I hope that the deconstruction efforts of the lost will discover this simple fact. First, that nominal is not the norm of God. Secondly, nominal Christianity indeed needs to be deconstructed, not the absolutes of God's Word, let alone Jesus. I implore all those who are leaving the faith – the faith in nominal Christianity that is. I also encourage those leaving their faith to reexamine the authentic. Not through internet opinionates, but reading the non-paraphrased Word of God published before the NIV "craz" propagated in 1956. Typically, I only read translations dated before the post-modern translators began applying progressive ideologies to their culture friendly interpretations.   

I am told that between 2021-2023 will be when God separates the goats from the sheep, goats being those "believers" who will be forsaking their faith or those who hide behind the Grace of God, who use grace as a license to divide.

"For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ." (Jude 1:4)

That is great news. We cannot forsake something we didn't have to start with. These nominal "believers" need to understand this. The action required in this mass exit is this – those of us un-surveyed indwelt believers need to be available to help those forsaking their nominal faith, confirm that their deconstructive efforts are healthy, but to reexamine the authentic absolute Words of God and the personage of Jesus Christ. Show them how to receive the indwelling Life of Christ through the Holy Spirit, possessing them, and last but not least, show them how to release Christ's Life through their daily activities. If my memory serves me correctly, the Word calls this discipleship.
 
Welcome to 2021, but be on your guard; the devil is roaming about seeking whom he may devour. The whom is all of us!  

2021 Eschatology Culture Series | Dr. Stephen R. Phinney
Renouncing Your Faith | Short Film
Consider watching and forwarding this short-film on the article you just read. It can be used to help people within your networks to be challenged. It is also our 2021 State of Reunion Address.
The "2021 Eschatology Culture Series" is an outreach of www.IOM America.net. All writing, and video productions are based on a study of the book of Revelation. All publications & media are from Dr. Phinney's book in process, "Christ, Culture, & Creator - Authentic Christianity."
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