IN THE NEWS
EXPOSING THE LIES
Gateway Church is sponsoring a conference, which began on Monday, and ends today (Oct. 3-5, 2016). It has taken place at the Gateway Southlake location, which is one of six church campuses for Gateway Church, founded and pastored by Robert Morris. He was one of the speakers for “The Gathering” which occurred on September 21. At the “About” link for the conference itself we read its mission is “to bless, empower and equip local churches and their leaders.” Additionally, its stated purpose is: “The Gateway Conference desires to share practical wisdom for cultivating real growth by nurturing true and biblical health in the spiritual community of the local church.”
While these goals may sound noble to some, a huge red flag appears when we discover the list of the main speakers for the past few years: Joel Osteen 2013; Steven Furtick, 2014; Bill Hybels, 2015. Two well-known speakers for this year’s conference are Brian Houston and Greg Laurie. While these men are much acclaimed in the modern church world, Osteen, Furtick, and Houston are Word of Faith preachers. Hybels pastors Willow Creek Church, a forerunner in the Emergent Church. For more details about Willow Creek’s activities please read this article:http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/willowcreek.htm
Laurie has become quite ecumenical, especially of late:(https://www.facebook.com/connie.wright.142/posts/10210574214091010)
Saying all this to say, Christians and leaders of other churches should not take any advice from these men concerning their own churches.
Here, again, are some of the speakers for this year, including a bio for each one from the conference website:
Brian Houston - He is a pioneer, along with his wife, Bobbie. They are the Senior Pastors of Hillsong Church; a local church with 17 global campuses and over 100,000 people in weekly attendance. Known for its healthy approach to Church life, Mission, Innovation, College and Praise and Worship, Hillsong’s Conferences are attended by tens of thousands of pastors and leaders from around the globe every year. Hillsong Conference and Colour Women's Conferences are held in some of Sydney and London’s largest arenas and stadiums, with a focus on championing the cause of the local church.
Of major concern are Brian Houston’s Word of Faith beliefs. There are many other issues that are cause for alarm within Houston’s organization, but since the website’s bio mentioned the Colour Women’s Conference, I ask the reader to take note of some of the shenanigans occurring at these conferences: Any God-fearing believer would surely agree there is no excuse for such a display!
Jeremy Riddle – He is a songwriter and worship leader at Bethel Church. Jeremy attended Anaheim Vineyard throughout his teens and later joined their staff as a youth pastor and worship leader. In 2007, Jeremy released his first full-length album, “Full Attention,” and is known for his song, “Sweetly Broken.” Jeremy has written many songs on Bethel Music albums, such as “This Is Amazing Grace.” Here is a video
Here is a video featuring this song. While the words are beautiful, we have to consider the spirit behind music written by someone who believes the teachings coming out of Bethel Church. This church, pastored by Bill Johnson, is “a combination of the Word of Faith error and the prosperity gospel of Kenneth Copeland and Kenneth Hagin, the signs and wonders of Oral Roberts and Benny Hinn, the false assumptions of the “spiritual warfare” and hyper-deliverance movement, the “prophetic movement,” and the gnostic mysticism of the Toronto Blessing.” (http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=20820)
Greg Laurie - He is the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California and Harvest Orange County in Irvine, California. Laurie has authored over 70 books. He is the host of the nationally syndicated radio program “A New Beginning” and television program GregLaurie.tv, Laurie is also the founder and featured speaker for Harvest Crusades and Harvest America—contemporary, large-scale evangelistic outreaches. More than 5 million people have attended a Harvest Crusades event. However, as mentioned above, he has become quite ecumenical and this article will reveal his connections to some emerging church heretics. In addition, he spoke at “The Gathering” event.
Then from the conference’s website we read the following endorsement by
James Robison: “When I refer to the “blessed church,” I’m speaking from firsthand experience. My wife, Betty, and I are active members of Gateway Church, which Robert Morris pastors. We’ve witnessed and experienced the dynamic power and profound impact made on personal lives, families, the community, the church at large and the nation. The blessed church members live a blessed life and continually seek to be a blessing to others. Through Pastor Morris’ leadership, Gateway Church has become a model and inspiration to the whole church around the world. Your church can experience the bountiful blessings of our God and Father right here on earth right now!'” -James Robison, Founder and President of LIFE Outreach International and Co-host of LIFE Today. However, Robison is quite ecumenical and even traveled to the Vatican with Kenneth Copeland in June of 2014. He also spoke at “The Gathering” event.
When one examines the Leadership and Worship Breakouts and Lab Sessions (a few of which are listed below) at the conference’s website, it becomes readily apparent the focus is on church growth. However, in Matt. 16:18, we see Jesus’ words concerning this topic: "I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." So, we see Jesus is the One Who builds the true church. The true Body of Christ consists of the ekkesia, or called out ones, and members do gather in church settings to worship and be instructed in God’s Word. But, the focus is not to be on numerical growth, or growth in church programs, but on the spiritual growth of the members.
If anyone reading is unfamiliar with Peter Drucker and his influence on the modern church growth movement, I urge you to view this video beginning at the 1:04:04 mark:
In the descriptions of these breakouts and sessions, we see the use of buzzwords and phrases popular in the modern church today such as philosophies, empowered, next level, healthy culture, world-impacting, relationally, mantles, DNA, strategy, and small groups.
Leadership Breakouts -
Church government - Learn about Gateway’s governmental structure, keys to creating unity in your leadership team, core philosophies to position your church for growth, and practical ways to ensure your senior pastor is empowered, blessed, and protected. You’ll leave equipped to take your church to the next level as a life-giving body of believers.
Define Your Culture Before it Defines You - Creating a healthy culture in the church does not happen by accident. Without a clear picture of what healthy looks like, your culture can take on an unhealthy life of its own. Learn how to pull the puzzle pieces together as you assess the culture of your church, and intentionally affect it in a positive way.
Worship Breakouts –
Adventures in Prayer - Leading your congregation and teams into an unforgettable adventure in prayer that is exciting, life-changing, and world-impacting is our responsibility as pastors and leaders. Learn from Gateway’s long-time prayer champion and worship warrior as she discusses the practical principles of prayer that have provided a solid foundation of worship at Gateway Church.
Building and Training a Volunteer Tech Team - Join us as we discuss how Gateway’s technical arts team recruits, trains, and empowers people to serve in our live productions. We’ll share practical methods you can employ at your church!
Mistakes and Mantles - Why does God place us under leadership? Explore how we learn from their successes and from their mistakes without having to pay for them and how God puts us under leaders who have a mantle we need for His calling in our lives.
Lab Sessions -
Producing Musicals and Special Service Elements - Join us for a practical discussion about using theatrical arts as a method for evangelism and ministry. Topics include how to have auditions, forming production timelines, creating a budget, and developing rehearsal plans.
How to Lead Healthy Oversight Meetings - Go behind the scenes and see: 1) what a closed-door oversight meeting looks like at Gateway, 2) how we function relationally, and 3) how DNA and health are imparted through a loving, Spirit-filled meeting.
Small Groups as a Strategy for Ministry Growth and Multiplication - Learn how Gateway uses small groups to grow people and ministry.
I pray for people to see the dangers involved in being influenced by the false teachings presented at this event by those who do not have Christ and Him crucified as the center of their teaching.
Mrs Connie Wright - USA
Miss Tammy Cheetham - UK
please continue to visit us for regular updates on false teachings in the modern day church