We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Convicting Spirit

Thou Blessed Spirit, Author of All grace and comfort,
Come work repentance in my soul;
Represent sin to me in is odious colours that I may hate it;
Melt my heart by the majesty and mercy of God;
Show me my ruined self and the help there is in him;
Teach me to behold my Creator,
his ability to save,
his arms outstretched, his heart big for me.

My I confide in his power and love, 
commit my soul to him without reserve,
bear his image, observe his laws, 
pursue his service, 
and be through time and eternity
a monument to the efficacy of his grace,
a trophy to his victory.

Make me willing to be saved in his way,
perceiving nothing in myself, but all in Jesus:
Help me not only to receive him but
to walk in him,
depend upon him,
be conformed to him,
follow him,
imperfect, but still pressing forward,
not complaining of labour, but valuing rest,
not murmuring under trials, but thankful
for my state.

Give me that faith which is the means of salvation, 
and the principle and medium of all godliness;
May I be saved by grace through faith,
live by faith,
do the work of faith.

Perceiving nothing in myself, may I find in Christ
wisdom, righteousness, sanctification,

From The Valley of Vision, Puritan Prayers and Devotions, p.66, 67

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What Do You Put In Your Mind?

Do we willingly spend our hard-earned money on Hollywood films that instill in us the opposite of what the Bible commands?  Do we welcome into our homes the flaunting of sin that glorifies the flesh and curses the Name of Jesus while on Sundays we glorify Him at church? (Matthew 22:37).  Is it possible to obey God with the whole mind while feeding on godlessness?  The answer is no; yet we do let strangers “creep” into our homes and minds. …

Sinful entertainment deposits rubbish in the mind, giving Satan a foothold in our lives (Ephesians 4:27, KJV).  Once there, he thrashes around even as we sleep.  Whatever has entered the theatre of the mind crosses the welcome mat as a thief an begins its lethal work of breaking down defenses.  The moral compass that once guided our nation’s people has been ridiculed and rejected, making sin the national sport and pastime.

Franklin Graham, "Hollywood: Entertaining Ourselves To Death?" Decision magazine, April 2014, p.4-5

Saturday, April 19, 2014

"Social Justice" Leads to Hell

I have no problem if a church wants to use something like a food pantry or a clothes closet as a platform for sharing the Gospel.  That’s wonderful.  I’m not criticizing that.  But if we simply go out and dig wells, educate people, and treat pandemic diseases (as Rick Warren espouses) without presenting the Gospel, we’re wrong.  I truly wonder how Rick Warren can be standing for, proclaiming, and defending the Gospel when he is involved in ecumenical activities with Catholics, Muslims, and other such groups — just for the sake of social justice.  Such spiritual enterprises are a clear violation of 2 John 9-11, Romans 16:17, 2 Corinthians 6:14, and many other passages. …

When we go out and give money away to people, without tying the Gospel to our actions, it is nothing but a waste of money.  Even if the money buys poor people nicer clothes, what good will that do them when they stand before the Lord?  If the money gives them an education, or ends their illiteracy, how will that help them on Judgment Day, if you have not given them the Gospel?

Brannon Howse, Twisted Scripture, Twisted Theology, p.112, 119

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Random Apostasies and Heresies

There is never, NEVER a break from this stuff, and I can report on only so much without consuming all my time.  It’s a lot of work being a sheepdog!

I’m sure by now you’ve heard all the claims for the manuscript which has been discovered, and for which claims are made about it saying Jesus had a wife; it doesn’t take a whole lot of discernment to know it is fraudulent - whether 1500 years old or recently forged.

The Methodist Church is getting to the point where it won’t be long before they will be like the PCUSA, ELCA and Episcopal denominations - full blown apostasy!  A UMC church partnered with an Episcopal church to host Jesus Seminar members to give talks about Jesus.  Of course the Jesus of the Seminar is NOT the Jesus of the Bible.  What are good UMC assemblies doing remaining with this denomination?!?

Heaven Is For Real is coming out as a movie; from the book full of unbiblical nonsense, and which is a big hit among Christians.  It is frustrating to me that discernment in the church is so severely lacking, and that pastors don’t decry these “travel to heaven” books from the pulpit!  David Platt has a strong message about such foolishness.

Speaking of books full of false teaching, how about Joel Osteen’s “Your Best Life Now”?

Sola Sisters posted a bunch of links to articles dealing with the KJV Only false teachings.

Hip and Thigh has posted a list of links to articles about cessationism, continuationism, and spiritual gifts.

H&T also posted a review of Appendix 1 of Michael Brown’s “Authentic Fire.”

Here’s a cult I hadn’t heard of.

Looks like we have a “Christian” publisher going PC and buttering up to the same-sex fake marriage promoters.  I hate to be the one to tell them, but there is no such thing as a “gay Christian.”

Erin Benziger has an excellent article refuting Word of Faith teachings about “sowing seed money.”

Oh yes, more Roman Catholic foolishness as people flock to see a “miracle tear” from a statue of “Mary.”  The Idolatry and gullibility among Romanists is simply amazing. 

And yet there are false teachers, such as Rick Warren, who are playing with Romanism and even one who claims that if Protestants don’t reunite with Romanism, then they are guilty of “Spiritual Racism.”  Oh, these wolves are relentless!

A new booklet is available from Lighthouse Trails Research Ministry which exposes the false teachings of Jim Wallis.  The information from the booklet is posted as an article.  Hint - Wallis is not now, nor ever has been, a Christian.

Mormon leadership is beginning to crack me up.  They now have a new policy in how they will answer difficult questions - go ask God!  This is just pitiful.

Mormon women, instead of seeking the truth outside of the cult of Mormondom, want to be ordained as Mormon priests!  Sigh.

Last week I linked to an article by Matt Walsh which demonstrated that Jesus was not all about “just getting along.”  Mormon Coffee read that article also, and has directed it against Mormons with these questions:
Does it offend you, Mormon friends, to be shown that you are following a false prophet? Does it upset you when we demonstrate that your church is not the kingdom of God on earth as it claims? Does it hurt your feelings when we point out that the Bible says all your so-called works of righteousness are but filthy rags before our holy God? Or when we warn you that the Christ of Mormonism is a “different Jesus”? Or when we proclaim that your only eternal hope is to trust in the true Christ, and to trust in Him alone? So be it. It may not sound especially nice, but we implore you on behalf of Christ: Be reconciled to God.

They have links in that paragraph directing the reader to various articles backing up their statements.

Well, that’s it for this episode of “RA&H”!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Did They Really Say That?!?

Now, God used faith substance to make everything that He made ... in every one of those words they were filled with faith substance, because words are nothing but containers ... Every time God speaks, He can’t help but to speak words that are filled with faith ... God’s guts are called faith stuff ... Everything in Him is faith ... What’s in His heart is faith ... If you were to cut God open you’d see nothing but faith.  Every time He opens His mouth now, He automatically fills those words with His faith material.

Creflo Dollar, “The Just Shall Live by Faith,” Changing Your World, TBN 9/20/98.  Cited by Hank Hanegraaff in Christianity in Crisis, 21st Century, p.374.

Where does one begin with this!?!?

What is “faith substance”?  Well, it’s an abuse of Hebrews 11:1 of the KJV (one of the easiest versions versions to abuse) which says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

From this, the Word of Faith heretics claim, “See, faith is a substance!”  Of course this is nonsense because faith, like love, is not something you can touch.  The Greek word KJV translated as “substance” is hypostasis, which means “assurance,” “confidence,” or “being sure,” etc.

More modern translations say:
faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”  NAS/ESV
faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”  NIV
faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.”  HCSB
faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see.” NET

Once it is proven that faith is not a “substance,” the rest of Creflo Dollar’s (and all other WOF heretics’) claims immediately collapse in on themselves.

The nonsensical idea that “words are containers” has been developed to promote the whole faith substance theology.  Logic dictates that words cannot “contain” anything.

Claiming God has “guts,” and that one could even consider cutting God open, all stems from other WOF heresies which claim that God is a physical being, much like the god of Mormonism.

Creflo Dollar is a first-class heretic, and has proven over and over again that he is not even a Christian.  He is another tool of Satan to mislead non-discerning people astray.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

More Apostasy in the United Methodist Church

A reader of my blog sent me the following in an e-mail.  I received permission to post it (name withheld by request).  

I attend a United Methodist Church in the West Ohio Conference, and the student pastor of my church attends United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.   The Gospel reading for last Sunday was on John 11 (Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead), and so the sermon was based on this.   In the sermon, he mentioned Heidi Baker and that she had increasing connections with his seminary.   This disturbed me, so I decided to look it up.

Sure enough, Heidi Baker is associated with the seminary.  (United is one of two United Methodist seminaries in Ohio, so this isn't some odd seminary.  This is a seminary within a mainline denomination).   She gave the commencement address there in December of 2013.  Her own husband was receiving a doctorate of ministry there.  And he wasn't the only one within the NAR movement.   Randy Clark was also receiving a doctorate of ministry, as were lesser known people in their movement.

Upon further research, I learned that Randy Clark has had a huge impact on the seminary.   Along with Heidi, he's spoken at conferences that were sponsored by the seminary.  He has held conferences in which there is a time of "ministry and impartation."  :(    This is the guy who, when he went to the Toronto Airport Church, he "imparted" the Toronto Blessing to that church..... :(

It really disturbs me that these folks are worming their way into mainline denominations now, getting advanced degrees, and influencing fellow students and professors....people who will be in the pulpits of many mainline denominations (not just United Methodist).  I really feel like people need to be warned about these folks.

Here are some of the links that I found that back up what I'm saying:
United Theological Seminary to Hold Advent Commencement
United Theological Seminary
Notes from the Pastor's Office | Tag Archive | united theological seminary
Randy Clark
GlobalAwakening.com - Dr. Randy Clark
Rolland Baker | Alabaster Group
Christian Healing Certification Program
United Theological Seminary to Host Randy Clark for 2nd Holy Spirit Seminar
Randy Clark Scholars: Presenting the Gospel as Jesus Intended - In Love, Authority and Signs and Wonders
GlobalAwakening.com - Dr. Randy Clark and Dr. Tom Jones Graduate from United Theological Seminary

Those who are in UMC assemblies and want to remain true to the faith should leave the UMC and be independent or form another denomination.  The UMC is on a downward spiral towards total apostasy.

Monday, April 14, 2014

When Entertainment Trumps Discernment

"In many circles, congregations routinely applaud the special music (little of which is very special), and sometimes even the sermon.  Thus we set up an atmosphere of interaction between performer and spectators, between entertainer and appreciative audience.  This goes far beyond godly encouragement to those who serve well, and approaches the protocol of the theater. … We are developing new and powerful traditions that to some extent muzzle the gift of discernment, and expose us to essentially pagan ways of looking at corporate worship.  A little thoughtful, self-critical reflection turns up countless numbers of such developments.  Their total impact on the church, on truth, on pure devotion to Christ, on the quality of Christian leadership, cannot yet be fully estimated; but their essentially pagan character and deleterious contribution to self-interest as opposed to God’s interest can scarcely be doubted."

D.A. Carson, A Model of Christian Maturity: An Exposition of 2 Corinthians 10-13, p.103

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Random Apostasies and Heresies

Too many Christians listen to Glenn Beck and consider him a brother in Christ.  Well, he isn’t.  He is a Mormon, but on top of that he is a new-ager.  As with most Mormons, he wants to sound like a real Christian and gets involved in things only non-discerning Christians get involved in.  His latest attention-getting claim is about a book he is reading - Mark Batterson’s “The Circle Maker.  Well, go figure.  That book is nothing but unbiblical nonsense and Beck wants to pretend to be a Christian by letting us all know he’s reading it.  Now, don’t get me wrong; Beck is a good conservative and normally has a conservative worldview, as well as a Constitutional understanding of the U.S. government.  Don’t confuse his half-way decent politics for Christianity.  He is still a lost soul.

The reviews of the last two chapters of Michael Brown’s Authentic Fire have been posted here and here.  Brown loses.

As if Rob Bell hasn’t demonstrated his heresy enough, now he’s joined false teacher Oprah Winfrey for a tour.

Seems like Mark Driscoll is trying to clean up after himself.

James MacDonald is so full of himself that now he’s holding a contest to have people tell him what sermon of his meant something really important to them.

Ron Livesay has a good review of the “Son of God” movie.  Too bad this wasn’t available to include in my post about that movie.

Rachel Held Evans says she is leaving evangelicalism.  Funny, from my reading of all her teachings, I’d say she never was a part of evangelicalism, let alone a Christian.

Denny Burk has an interesting series going about false teachers.  He tells us how to identify them, and how to deal with them.

Another false teacher in Tim Challies’ series is Marcus Borg.

Speaking of Challies, he has some good things to say to those who focus on numbers of people in their church.

Larry Crabb is one of those so-called “Christian psychologists” who syncretizes the Bible with secular psychobabble, so he’s already been someone who's teachings Christians should avoid.  Now he’s joining forces with false teacher Richard Foster.

Another example of the heresy of Joyce Meyer.

So much of the secular world - as well as way too many people who claim to follow Christ - paint Jesus as some nice, tolerant, “girly-man” who would never speak harshly or get angry, etc.  I read two articles this week which soundly refute such nonsense.  Read Matt Walsh’s commentary and then "step over" to read what Stan has to say.

And speaking of those liberal, “social gospel” type — did you know that God would want the government to set a minimum wage for employers?  These people make a mockery of Christ with such nonsense.

There is no end to the type of entertainment goatherds will use in their attempt to “evangelize.”  I wonder how we’ve been able to successfully evangelize over the centuries without all this nonsense?  Notice how the goatherd abuses Scripture as he sends a kid into a fight.

Cindy Jacobs is one of the those in the “worst false teachers” list.  If you believe her claim of having an unending pot of spaghetti or oil, and non-wearing tires and shoes, then I have a huge bridge to sell you.  But wait — she has some prophecies for 2014 which you’d better pay attention to; that is, if you want to copy them down from this video so as to prove she’s a false prophet.  She also has many unsubstantiated and anecdotal claims about previous prophecies!

Then there is Bill Johnson's Bethel Church, one of the top aberrational “churches” in the U.S.A.  They can walk on water or walk through walls!  Scripture twisting with a vengeance.

When it comes to twisting Scriptures, those who promote homosexuality often hold the prize for making the Bible say what no one else has found in it.

Lastly, I spent the past week reading the book, “An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins,” by Grant H. Palmer.  Palmer is a die-hard Mormon, yet he proved that the Book of Mormon is fraudulent, as well as all the claims behind it.  He proved Joseph Smith was not a prophet, that the BOM witnesses never really saw it, that the first vision never happened, etc.  And yet he always gave these things a pass because of the culture of the time.  The saddest thing — and the perfect example of cult-think — is that it doesn’t matter because Joseph Smith taught that the main focus was Jesus Christ and how we are to follow him.  He ends the book with this: “As Latter-day Saints, our religious faith should be based and evaluated by how our spiritual and moral lives are centered in Jesus Christ, rather than in Joseph Smith’s largely rewritten, materialistic, idealized, and controversial accounts of the church’s founding.  I hope that this study contributes in some way to that end.”  What Palmer doesn’t seem to understand is that the false Jesus of Mormonism has little in common with the Jesus of the Bible, and a false savior can bring no salvation no matter how much you honor him.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Is God A Man?!?

Heaven has a north and a south and an east and a west.  Consequently, it must be a planet. ...
“Now God is not some creature that stands twenty-eight feet tall, and He’s got hands, you know, as big as basketballs.  That’s not the kind of creature He is... He’s very much like you and me.  Can you conceive that?  Not hardly in the mind, but your heart can.  your heart can.  A Being, a Being that stands somewhere around six-two to six-three, that weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of a couple of hundred pounds, little better, [and] has a [hand]span nine inches across.” 

Kenneth Copeland, Spirit, Soul and Body audiotape.  Cited by Hank Hanegraaff in Christianity in Crisis, 21st Century, p.374.

Kenneth Copeland, and the many other Word of Faith heretics who teach the same thing, are closer to the teachings of Mormonism than they are to Christianity.

Numbers 23:19 —  God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind.

1 Samuel 15:29 —  And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or have regret, for he is not a man, that he should have regret.

Isaiah 31:3 —  But the Egyptians are men and not God; their horses are flesh and not spirit. 
This passage says God is not a man, but is a spirit.

Hosea 11:9 — For I am God, and not man

Luke 24: 39  — See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.
Jesus was pointing out that a spirit does not have flesh and bones like a man.

John 4:24 — God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.
Jesus was pointing out that God is spirit.

So, God says that he is not man but spirit, Jesus says that God is spirit, and Jesus says that a spirit does not have flesh and bones like a man.  Therefore, the answer to the subject question is, “NO! God is not a man!”

Regardless of what false teachers like those in the Word of Faith or the LDS tell you, God is not an exalted man, nor does he live on another planet.  That sort of God is made in man’s image.