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A New Religion -
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William F Dankenbring   
Church of God

Member Since: 1957
Ambassador College: 1963
Office: ACE

Master of Arts Degree from Ambassador.

A new movement is afoot in theological circles. Its intent is to do away with GOD Himself. You would be amazed to know why modern theologians preach that "God is dead!"

   "WE MUST recognize that the death of God is a historical event: God has DIED in our time, in our history, in our existence." Those are the dumbfounding words of Thomas J.J. Altizer, associate professor of religion at Emory University in Atlanta.
   Of course!
   A new brand of "Christian" thinking is being hotly debated in modern seminaries. Radical young thinkers and theologians are assaulting the foundation of Christianity! A full-fledged BATTLE OF THE BIBLE IS rocking modern "Christianity"! Many radical young theologians want to abandon the Word "God" altogether.
   "God is dead," the young theologians thunder.
   And yet, they call themselves "Christian"!

Why the Modern Trend

   Let the theologians themselves tell us their reasoning.
   Bishop John A.T. Robinson has written a book entitled Honest to God. In it he asserts we must take a new view of the Bible. "And the first thing we must be ready to let go," the learned theologian insists, "is our image of God himself." God, according to this minister, did not necessarily die He simply never was!
   Another clergyman declares: "The God that was a cosmic person who created the heavens and the earth and blew into man the breath of life. This concept can be too easily seen as a stereotype of the bewhiskered old man in the sky."
   "What I am trying to say," this minister adds, "is that the use of the IDEA OF GOD is a kind of religious poetry."
   Modern trends in religious circles are fast approaching a new kind of atheism! Long ago most ministers rejected the Bible as God's inspired Word for mankind. Now they are assaulting the very idea of the existence of God Himself! Not out-and-out Atheists, mind you but theologians and ministers who claim to be "Christian"!
   Christianity, they declare, will have to SURVIVE in this modern age without God!
   Altizer, the leading exponent of the new theology, has written a book entitled The Gospel of Christian Atheism. In it he discusses and analyzes the death of God. He welcomes the materialistic trends of the modern world. Altizer, and his companions in the new theology, claim it is no longer possible to think of a God who is a Being who acts in history.
   Never before have theologians been so brazen and forthright in attempting to do away with God. In the past they at least gave Him lip service. Now they proclaim His DEATH!
   Strange? Not at all, when you REALLY understand what is behind the new religious movement, and WHY they want to deny God! Not when you understand that it was all foretold long, long ago!
   Why do theologians declare God is dead?

The DEATH of God?

   The basic answer is simple. Modern man, and modern theologians, do not want to admit the AUTHORITY of God over their lives. They refuse to accept the Bible as God's authoritative revelation to mankind!
   With a convenient theology where GOD no longer exists, obviously there would be no need to OBEY any God. Each man can do what is right in his own eyes. Each man can establish his OWN moral principles set up his own "set of rules" to live by.
   Each man becomes an authority unto himself! God is totally left out of the picture!
   Such a concept inevitably leads to confusion, anarchy, and ultimate CHAOS!
   If truly God is dead, then MAN can do whatever he pleases. He will never be accountable. He will never be judged! Man, then, is left on his own to work out his OWN system of ethics or lack of ethics, whichever pleases the individual the most.
   But man has gone too far. Although the theologians seem to be grossly ignorant of the fact, there REALLY IS A GOD! All Creation stands as a witness to the existence of a great, supreme CREATOR! That Creator is GOD! Read our free booklets, Seven Proofs of God and Does God Exist? They will astound you, and open your eyes!
   That God INSPIRED the writing of the Bible His Instruction Book for mankind. Write for our other free booklet, Proof of the Bible. There is no reason for YOU to remain in ignorance!
   That Supreme God tells plainly, in the pages of the Bible, what is going to happen to those theologians who defy Him, ignore Him, and preach His death. That God they so smugly deny will soon, very soon, bring them to account!
   What is going to happen? Where is "Christian Atheism" headed?
   It is time you knew what is really behind the movement to do away with God! It is time you knew what is really going to happen!
   It was all foretold, long, long ago.

Jesus' Own Prophecy

   Notice the very words of Jesus Christ more than 1900 years ago. Christ told His disciples, who asked Him what signs in world affairs would indicate His imminent return to earth, "For many shall come in my name" that is, professing to be Christian "saying I am Christ" that is, giving lip service to Jesus as the Christ and shall deceive many" (Matt. 24:5).
   Notice! Jesus Himself foretold that many ministers would come along, who would call themselves "Christian," and yet they would deceive many.
   It has happened, exactly as Jesus foretold! Countless ministers have arisen who apply the name of "Christ" to their teachings, but who do not teach the same things Jesus Himself taught! Remarkable! But it is true!
   Imagine, if you can, the utter absurdity of ministers arising, today, who preach a gospel of "Christian Atheism"! If they preach Atheism, then it cannot be Christian! If they are truly "Christian," then they could never preach a gospel of Atheism!
   The very name is a flat contradiction in terms!
   But such ministers have arisen, nonetheless!
   Truly, as Jesus foretold, FALSE ministers have arisen. But false ministers are nothing NEW. Not at all! Even in his day, the apostle Paul warned the church, "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking PERVERSE THINGS, to draw away disciples after them" (Acts 20:28-30).
   Even in the days of Paul wild heresies were being promulgated. False ministers were creeping into the Church to destroy it and to take the name of "Christian" for themselves. The situation was becoming so serious, that Paul had to rebuke the Church at Corinth for listening to such false ministers. Paul admonished them, "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be CORRUPTED from the simplicity that is in Christ" (II Cor. 11:3).
   He added, "For if he that cometh preacheth ANOTHER JESUS, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, Or ANOTHER GOSPEL, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him" (vs. 4). False gospels new "gospels" heretical beliefs were coming to the forefront even in the days of the apostle Paul!
   Speaking of those "Christian-professing" ministers who brought their own ideas into the Church, Paul warned the people, "For such are false apostles, deceitful worker, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ." God did not call them to the ministry! They put themselves into the ministry they usurped authority not given them by God!
   "And no marvel," Paul continues, "for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works" (II Cor. 11:13-15).
   Did you notice?
   Such ministers, promulgating their own ideas and their own theologies, and not teaching the plain truth of the Bible, are in reality even though they themselves may not realize it ministers of Satan the devil!


   It is time we realized the GREAT CONSPIRACY afoot to blind the people and HIDE their eyes from the TRUTH of the Bible! Today, as surely as in the days of the apostle Paul, perverse doctrines and heresies are being taught in the name of Jesus Christ under the guise of "Christianity"!
   But notice further. Paul cautioned the Christians at Galatia, "I MARVEL" Paul was amazed "that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto ANOTHER GOSPEL: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would PERVERT the gospel of Christ" (Gal. 1:6-7).
   Paul told the Galatians, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach ANY OTHER GOSPEL unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said, before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, LET HIM BE ACCURSED" (Gal. 1:8-9).
   PLAIN words those!
   Paul meant what he said! Those who, today, preach NEW gospels and who attempt to no AWAY with God are under a divine cum! God will hold false ministers accountable for their modern heresies and vainglorious ideas their intellectual concoctions and erudite rubbish!

It Is Prophesied!

   We need to realize that just because certain ideas seem to be "new" or "modern" is NO proof that they are correct! We live in an AGE OF SKEPTICISM an age of doubt and disbelief.
   Few, today, seem to put any credence in the Bible or any faith in the Scriptures. The vast, overwhelming majority seem to swallow any new idea that comes along! If an idea is new, or "modern," people assume that there must be something to it!
   These days of disbelief were foretold in the pages of your Bible.
   The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, and warned, "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come" (II Tim. 3:1). In our age, as in no other since mankind was on the earth, we live amidst gigantic perils on every side, not the least of which is the peril of World War III and the threat of nuclear Cosmocide!
   Paul explained that in these "last days" men would be "... lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection (homosexuals and "queers"), trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God" (vs. 2-4).
   Sounds like our day, doesn't it? It is! Paul was speaking about this generation!
   Paul declared that in these tremulous days mankind would be "having a form of godliness" that is, a form or facade of religion "but denying the power thereof: from such turn away" (verse 5).
   This prophecy has come to pass. Ministers in countless denominations scoff at the truth of the Bible. The Bible is ignored in many a pulpit. And, even in pulpits where the Bible is referred to, it is usually slighted, barely mentioned, and often totally twisted, perverted, maligned or ridiculed!
   Paul foresaw these very days. He declared that ministers of today's seminaries would be "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (verse 7). Instead, they would be teaching their own pet ideas, daydreams, and pipe dreams. They would be promulgating their "new" theologies!
   Speaking of such men, Paul asserted they "resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be MANIFEST unto all men, as theirs also was" (vs. 8-9).
   "But evil men and seducers shall wax WORSE AND WORSE, deceiving, and being deceived," Paul concluded (verse 13).
   The Word of the Living GOD condemns the teachings of those who claim God is a "myth" and Christ Jesus a "fable." God's Word thunders: "WOE unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope: That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it! Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!" (Isa. 5:18-21)
   Skeptics, atheists, scoffers alike they all stand under this severe indictment of the Word of God!
   God declares of our generation, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children."
   Those who believe in a no-God theology are "without excuse," God says, "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" (Rom. 1:20). Speaking of those theologians who reject the knowledge of God, the Almighty thunders, "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools" (verse 22).
   God's indictment continues, "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient" (verse 28). Notice how God looks upon such men (verses 29-32).


   Not a pleasing picture, is it?
   In our generation, as in no other, the world is FILLED with conflicting, divergent teachings, religions, theological concepts. Today various eastern concepts are making inroads into Western civilization. Such tenets are often embraced by Christian professing ministers.
   Seemingly, the trend today is toward RELIGIOUS UNITY not merely "Christian" unity, but a unification or amalgam of ALL religious ideas that have ever been implanted in any culture. Many westerners seek "new truth" from ancient Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism. Even many professing "Christian" ministers look to oriental religions for a basis to bolster their new radical concepts of God.
   The Bible is relegated to limbo. Pagan superstition is observed with new awe, new interest, a new fascination.
   Sound incredible?
   But why? It was prophesied!
   The apostle Paul told Timothy to stand fast by the Word of God. He instructed the young evangelist, "Preach the word" not pagan superstition or oriental mysticism. "Be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine" (II Tim. 4:2).
   Paul then warned Timothy, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (II Tim. 4:3-4).
   But, as the apostle Peter warns. "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty" (II Pet. 1:16).
   Yet, the world is full of fables, today!
   The true source of knowledge the BASIS of all right knowledge has been ignored and thrown out the window. Supplanting the instruction Book of God Himself is a growing, weird and wild variety of modernly dressed FABLES.
   The biggest MYTH of our age, today, is the MYTH that there is NO GOD!
   The biggest FABLE of this generation is the fantastic claim that Jesus Christ is not a historical character.
   When will God-rejecting man ever learn?
   The apostle Peter had grave words to say about the modern CHRIST-DENYING and God-rejecting theology, and every kindred theology. Peter warned long ago, "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there SHALL be false teachers among you, who privily [secretly] shall bring in DAMNABLE HERESIES, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves SWIFT DESTRUCTION" (II Pet. 2:1).
   Peter foretold, "And MANY shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of TRUTH shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation [judgment] slumbereth not" (vs. 2-3).

Modern Theologians INDICTED

   Even the apostle Jude was inspired to write about the modern proponents of counterfeit gospels, ranging from Bible-thumping, Scripture-wresting so-called "fundamentalists" who reject the real fundamentals of God's Word, to the Godless "Christian" atheists who reject God Himself.
   Jude wrote, "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [license to do wrong!], and DENYING THE ONLY LORD GOD, and our Lord Jesus Christ" (Jude 4).
   Speaking of such false prophets and counterfeit ministers, Jude says, "These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage" (vs. 16).
   Jude then encourages true Christians, "But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be MOCKERS in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts... sensual, having not the Spirit" (Jude 17-19).
   God's Word indicts those ministers who profess to teach the truth of God, and the truth about God, but who proceed to teach their own vain speculations, dreams, and wild ideas. Those who twist and pervert the Word of God are under a severe sentence!
   "And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy AGAINST the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; WOE unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!" (Ezek. 13:1-3)
   "They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD saith: and the LORD hath not sent them:
   and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word" (verse 6). God declares, "Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have spoken VANITY, and seen LIES, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord GOD" (verse 8).
   God will PUNISH the false prophets that seduce His people, divine lies and see VANITY! (Ezek. 13:9-16)
   God says further through the prophet Ezekiel, "Son of man, prophesy against the SHEPHERDS of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; WOE be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye HEALED that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was LOST; but with force and with CRUELTY have ye ruled them" (Ezek. 34:2-4).
   The Almighty GOD of heaven and earth THUNDERS, "Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to CEASE from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves anymore; for I will DELIVER my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them" (vs. 9-10).
   God will not trifle. These things are SERIOUS to Him!
   Those who profess to be ministers of the living God ought to TREMBLE before these stern indictments!
   Jeremiah records more of God's thundering condemnation of false prophets and ministers. "WOE be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the EVIL OF YOUR DOINGS, saith the LORD" (Jer. 23:1-2).
   Jeremiah continues, "Mine heart within me is BROKEN because of the prophets; all my bones shake... For the land is full of adulterers... For BOTH PROPHET AND PRIEST ARE PRO FANE; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the Lord" (vs. 9-11).
   In this chapter, Jeremiah prophesies against the false prophets of OUR DAY. He declares, "... in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly" (verse 20).

DOOM of False Prophets Foretold!

   "Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is PROFANENESS gone forth into all the land" (Jer. 23:15).
   "I have NOT SENT these prophets, yet they ran," God declares; "I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied" (vs. 21). "How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy LIES? yea, they are prophets of the DECEIT of their own heart; which think to cause my people to FORGET MY NAME by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbor, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal" (vs. 26-27).
   Those theologians who DENY God, who do away with His Name those who preach their OWN brand of Godless "Christianity" those who proclaim the DEATH OF GOD will answer to God Himself for their deceit and their lies!
   God, in turn, will soon proclaim THEIR death unless they bitterly repent!
   God concludes, "Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall NOT profit this people at all, saith the LORD" (vs. 32).
   No, not at all. Instead, their heresies will end in judgment! Instead, their false teachings will end in DEATH!

What About YOU?

   Just as Jesus Christ foretold long ago, MANY DECEIVERS have arisen, teaching countless doctrines and gospels including the "Gospel of Christian Atheism."
   How do you know YOU have the truth of God? How can you be sure YOU are not deceived?
   Remember, Jesus said that "MANY" would be deceived especially during this end-time generation!.
   There is a WAY you can KNOW the truth of God and know that you know! The way is revealed in the Bible itself.
   "PROVE ALL THINGS," the apostle Paul taught; "hold fast that which is good" (I Thess. 5:21). If YOU will take the time to check up on different teachings you hear; if you will NOT carelessly take for granted the things you hear preached or promulgated; if you will seriously, with open mind, CHECK INTO the teachings you hear you can KNOW the truth!
   But How do you "check up"?
   Notice the EXAMPLE of the people at Berea. The apostle Paul says of the Bereans, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES DAILY, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed" (Acts 17:11-12).
   First, the Bereans had an open mind. Their minds were NOT shut tight to refuse the truth of God, even though they had never heard it before.
   When the Bereans heard a particular teaching, they did not immediately embrace it nor did they, without any evidence, immediately REJECT it. Rather, they put it to the proof! They CHECKED UP IN THE SCRIPTURES! They "searched the Scriptures, whether" something was TRUE or not.
   "Thy Word is TRUTH," Jesus said to the Father (John 17:17). "The Scripture cannot be broken" (John 10:35). Jesus said that we are to LIVE "by every word of God" (Matt. 4:4; Luke 4:4).
   Therefore, if YOU want to know the TRUTH of God and know that you really DO KNOW you need to look into the Bible and search the Scriptures. Check any teachings you hear with the very WORD of the living God!
   That way, you can be absolutely certain. You can KNOW beyond a doubt!
   Remember, many ministers pound the pulpit, today, teaching differing, contrary, contradictory doctrines and gospels. How can you know WHO is right? How can you know WHO is teaching the pure, plain TRUTH of God?
   Look in the BIBLE!
   The prophet Isaiah was inspired to write, "To the LAW and to the TESTIMONY: if they speak NOT according to this WORD [God's Word, the Bible], it is because there is NO LIGHT in them"! (Isa. 8:20)
   If you will do this, then you can become one of God's own very elect His chosen one of those who cannot be deceived! (Matt. 24:24) The days are coming when all but the very elect will be deceived by false ministers and evil men, waxing worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived!
   But you can know the TRUTH!
   It is up to You! In the face of modern fables and myths, false gospels and counterfeit teachings, it is more important than ever before to HEED the admonition of the apostle Jude "... EARNESTLY CONTEND for the faith which was once delivered to the saints" (Jude 3).
   PROVE all things. You can know the truth! It is modern atheism which is about to die!

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Plain Truth MagazineDecember 1965Vol XXX, No.12
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