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, March 25, 2015

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

I was going to wait until tomorrow for this post, but I’m going to be so busy with a funeral tomorrow that I don’t think I’ll have time for this, so here you go for today!

I’ll start out with a couple of items from the Museum of Idolatry.  First is this propaganda trying to get people to give more of their money to their church.  Remember people — Christians are never required in the Bible to tithe!  NOWHERE!  The tithe was something for Israel and only for Israel, so quit listening to legalistic teachings claiming otherwise.  Then there is this horrendous item from — guess who?? — HILLSONG!  What is it with these places that they think they always have to have gimmicks?!?  Oh, I really know why — because the WORD of GOD won’t draw people who are only looking for spirituality and religiosity rather than Christ.

The Roman Catholics really have as many problems with their followers as any other denomination, even though they claim to have the direct line to God with their Pope.  A Catholic School in New Jersey suspended a long-time teacher because she defended real marriage on her Facebook.  And the local bishop supported the school!!! How dare a Catholic teacher mention that same-sex fake marriage is wrong while she’s employed at a Catholic school!  Will the Roman hierarchy excommunicate the bishop?  Will they excommunicate the school authorities and reinstate the teacher?  I won't hold my breath.

Lighthouse Trails Research Project has another on-line (and hardcopy for purchase) booklet-tract.  This one is part two of “Oprah Winfrey’s New Age ‘Christianity’”  It exposes Neale Donald Walsch also.

From Elizabeth Prata, “Marks of False Teachers, a discernment lesson.

Going along with that one is this article about tips for bringing false doctrine in your life.

Also from Elizabeth is an article debunking the whole “blood moon” nonsense going around the Internet.

Talk about debunking, this nonsense from Charisma should be easy to debunk; it is a false movement.  What does the Bible give as requirements/qualifications for being an Apostle?  1) Has seen the resurrected Christ, 2) Was personally taught by Christ, 3) Was divinely inspired  4)  Had signs authenticating and confirming him, and 5) were the foundation of the church.  No one who claims apostleship today meets any of these qualifications.

False teacher Anna Diehl is a blogger for Christian PostRob Bowman exposes her teachings, questioning CP for giving her a platform.

Coincidental with my article about choruses, I came across this article on a Lutheran (LCMS type) site..

I’ll end with this bit of humor:  Benny Hinn’s antics set to the music of the Benny Hill show.  Looks like the demons are being loosed!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Choruses


I have previously written about the use of choruses during worship services, but most of what I have addressed have been those with vacuous or insipid lyrics.  Today I’m addressing some with acceptable lyrics, but which are examples of repetition for encouraging emotionalism.  What I have discovered is that, when all is said and done, musically they begin to all sound alike (and the writers seem to lack any imagination or real talent).

Let me give an example of what I mean by demonstrating what was sung in the assembly we visited this week.  The theme was the holiness of God.

Look at the first two songs (choruses) and then compare the lyrics with the third song (a traditional hymn).  This was the order in which we sang them, going from one to the next.  Notice the lack of meat in the choruses compared to the hymn, and look at the repetition of the choruses.

High and Exalted

He is high and exalted and worthy of praise
With the hearts we will love and adore
He is high and exalted and worthy of praise
Holy is the lord
(repeat)

Holy, holy, holy is the lord
Holy, holy, holy is the lord

He is high and exalted and worthy of praise
With the hearts we will love and adore
He is high and exalted and worthy of praise
Holy is the lord

Holy, holy, holy is the lord
Holy, holy, holy is the lord

He is high and exalted and worthy of praise
With the hearts we will love and adore
He is high and exalted and worthy of praise
Holy is the lord
Holy is the lord
Holy is the lord
(repeat)


Holy Is the Lord (Chris Tomlin)

We stand and lift up our hands
For the joy of the Lord is our strength
We bow down and worship Him now
How great, how awesome is He

And together we sing

[Chorus]
Holy is the Lord God Almighty
The earth is filled with His glory
Holy is the Lord God Almighty
The earth is filled with His glory
The earth is filled with His glory

We stand and lift up our hands
For the joy of the Lord is our strength
We bow down and worship Him now
How great, how awesome is He

And together we sing
Everyone sing

[Chorus]
Holy is the Lord God Almighty
The earth is filled with His glory
Holy is the Lord God Almighty
The earth is filled with His glory
The earth is filled with His glory

It's rising up all around
It's the anthem of the Lord's renown
Repeat

And together we sing,
Everyone sing
[Chorus]


Holy, Holy, Holy

Holy, holy, holy!  Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy!  Merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy!  All the saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy!  Though the darkness hide thee,
though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
perfect in power, in love and purity.

Holy, holy, holy!  Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy name, in earth and sky and sea.
Holy, holy, holy!  Merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity.


The choruses have a fast beat to keep the emotionalism going, while the hymn has an almost marching beat for emphasis of the lyrics.  The choruses have one stanza and a chorus to go round and round, while the hymn has four stanzas.

Since the songs are teaching tools, which do you think teaches the most?

While I doubt that it will ever happen, I do think it is time for the Church to get back to real hymns — songs that teach about the faith.  When tribulations come, feel-good emotionalism won’t help the saints to stand firm.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Blessed To Be In Christ


Blessed it is to be really in Him.  No awakened soul should stop short of a realization and experimental enjoyment of union with the Lord.  No converted soul should rest satisfied till it think every thought and speak every word in communion with Jesus.  This would seem to a carnal professor, or to a child of God who is still to a great extent carnal, a standard far too high, but to have a lower standard is to be ignorant of our standing in Christ, of what we have in Him, of the closeness of our union with Him, and of the character we should maintain to be in keeping with our profession of faith in His name.

William H. Hewitson (1812-1850), as cited by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in, The Unsearchable Riches of Christ: An Exposition of Ephesians 3, p.245

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

Only a week has gone by and it’s already time for a “Random” post because so many things are happening — and I can only scratch the surface!

I guess it isn’t surprising that Christianity Today Astray has “whitewashed” Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood.  To them she is a hero because she was an advocate for birth control.  Yet Sanger was a eugenist and decried what she called “human weeds,” and was all for elimination of such “weeds” by forced sterilization.

On another note, Christianity Today Astray did get one commentary right; a Christian assembly’s view on marriage is a very good litmus test of their doctrinal soundness.  “In other words, by the time a Church legitimizes "same sex marriage", it has already ceased to be a Church. The shift on a biblical idea of God and his Word has already happened and the result is a people who have created God in their own image, and whom he has given over to themselves, so that they even approve of what is evil (Romans 1:32).”

Arch heretic Creflo Dollar is looking to purchase a HUGE corporate jet, a Gulfstream 650, to the tune of $65 million.  While he claims it is so he can work more effectively for Christ, it is really about traveling in the lavish style he is accustomed to.  As a Word of Faith con artist, his “ministry” is nothing more than a way of enriching himself.  Michael Brown explains why Creflo won’t be getting his money - nor mine!  (Of course to me the primary reason is because he teaches a false gospel which we don’t want spread anywhere!)

Lutheran Satire seems to have quite a few good videos making good points (too bad Lutheranism is much like Calvinism doctrinally, and also has false teachings such as baptismal regeneration and consubstantiation).  This one is right on target in regards to current “praise and worship” songs.  If you let it go to the next one, you’ll see a good satire about contemporary worship.  One of the best laughs I had is this one about Rob Bell — and any of his ilk!

I think we could really retire the “worship leader” so as to do away with all the nonsense songs.  At least quit calling them “worship Pastor.”

Rachel Held Evans has left evangelical Christianity.  Hmmm.   By her teachings, there isn’t any evidence she was ever part of it.

Four characteristics of legalism warning; if you recognized these in your assembly, abandon the place!  (Disclaimer— I disagree with the author's recommendation of Phillip Yancey’s book — that is not a book for anyone looking for good teaching.)

Sola Sisters blog has another good article about Sarah Young’s “Jesus Calling” books.  BBBAAADDD stuff!

San Francisco’s largest megachurch has decided to allow as members non-repentant practitioners of homosexual behavior"If Jesus were the pastor of City Church, what would he say to the people who are asking if they can belong?" the pastor asks. "As we consider the life of Christ, his example of love, his call to embrace the outsider and cast down, and his patience with those earnestly seeking him, what is a Christ-like response?”  Ending the requirement for celibacy for gays "aligns with our existing core vision: the doors of this church are as wide as the arms of the Savior it proclaims," he adds. "We will no longer discriminate based on sexual orientation and demand lifelong celibacy as a precondition for joining. For all members, regardless of sexual orientation, we will continue to expect chastity in singleness until marriage," Harrell concludes.  Harrell seems to have a lack of understanding as to the reason for the local assembly.  The purpose of the local assembly is quite clear:  It is for the meeting of the body of Christ, not a place to evangelize.  It certainly is not a place for membership to be bestowed on unrepentant sinners!  What’s next — unrepentant adulterers?  What about unrepentant child molesters?  What did Jesus REALLY say — what would a real “Christ-like response” be?  “Go and sin no more!

Elizabeth Prata’s blog post for yesterday included some good examples of apostasy in the church: 1) the internal rot of the Southern Baptist Convention continues unabated with another member church led by a woman pastor, 2) the election as a Baptist college president of an unrepentant practitioner of homosexual behavior, and 3) another Baptist college inviting a lesbian to speak.

Speaking of homosexuality-based apostasy in the Church at large, the very apostate PCUSA indeed decided to vote in a new definition of marriage in their “Book of Order” to include same-sex unions.  (They already decided that the “love of gays and lesbian couples is worth celebrating,” in total rebellion against God’s abhorrence of such sexual behavior.)  How can anyone in the PCUSA still claim to be Christian?!?  [Today I came across someone’s definition of PCUSA: Presbyterian Church (Unlimited State of Apostasy).  That pretty much sums them up.]

Easter is upon us and every aberrant, seeker-sensitive, and market-driven assembly will be looking for new ways to appeal to the flesh with their services — as well as advertisements for their services.   A perfect example from Southpointe Church.  (HT to the Museum of Idolatry)

It really gets discouraging to see all this nonsense invading the Church.  The tares are being deeply sowed among the wheat.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

“New Age Bible Versions” — Chapter 19

V.  Chapter 19: “Antichrist Is Here: Denying the Deity of Christ.  The premise of this chapter is that the “new version” Bibles delete the various divine titles of Jesus, thereby diminishing His divinity.. 

1.  On page 302 Riplinger has a chart with three passages: Matt. 1:25; Luke 1:31; Luke 2:21.  In the KJV the name of Jesus is spelled with all upper case letters:  “JESUS.”  New versions just print the name as any other name: “Jesus.”  Common sense should tell us that this was just a style of the KJV translators.  Jay Green’s literal translation using the same TR as the KJV spells the name like all the other Bibles.  To say this diminishes the deity of Christ is a non sequitur


2.  p. 303 has a chart with passages which “prove” that the new versions are “stripping” Jesus’ divinity.  The chart says “NIV, NASB, et al” in comparison to KJV.

a.  Matt. 19:16:  KJV “Good Master” vs “Teacher.”  Jay Green translates it as “Good Teacher.”  “The Defined King James Bible” says that “master” here means “teacher/rabbi.” So changing “Master” to “Teacher” is actually making a more accurate reading.  Of course the next complaint would be that “Good” was left off.  The discrepancy as I see it is wether “good” is directed at Jesus or the actions.  Nevertheless, this does not diminish His deity.

b.  Matt. 25:21: KJV “thy Lord” vs “master.”  Actually, it is “your master.”  This parable is an analogy with a human lord/master.  The terms are synonymous, and do not refer to Jesus.  Riplinger misrepresents the context.

c.  Matt. 12:25:  KJV “Jesus” vs “he.”  As usual, Riplinger includes the NIV, which says “Jesus.”  NASB says “He,” with the upper case signifying Jesus.  It appears to me to be just a matter of style so as not to keep repeating “Jesus.”  No diminishing of deity.

d.  Luke 2:21 again, with same response as I gave above.

e.  2 Cor. 4:10:  KJV “Lord Jesus” vs “Jesus.”  Well, the entire book of 2 Corin. many time references the “Lord Jesus Christ” or “Jesus Christ,” or just “Christ” in all versions.  So with all the other passages giving so much “divine identity,” isn’t it rather a foolish complaint to say that in this one place the new versions are diminishing His deity?!?

f.  Acts 19:4:  KJV “Christ Jesus” vs “Jesus.”  Does dropping “Christ” for prefixing his name do anything to “strip” Jesus divinity?  NO.  We can actually say that “Christ” is the Greek for “Messiah,” and neither term reflects divinity.  So, for no reasons like the previous passages, we still have to say that this is not indicative of “stripping” Jesus’ divinity.

g.  2 Cor. 5:18: KJV “Jesus Christ” vs “Christ.”  The previous passage says the divinity is stripped due to lack of the title “Christ,” yet here we have Christ and we lack Jesus’ personal name.  How is this stripping divinity?!?

h.  Acts 5:42:  KJV “Jesus Christ” vs “the Christ.”  Okay, let’s look at this one in context to see just how foolish Riplinger’s claim is here.  KJV: “…they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.”  “Christ” is a title, so more properly it would be rendered “Jesus the Christ.”  NAS: “…they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.”  In this context they are teaching and preaching that Jesus is the Christ.  NIV:  “…they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.”  These are all saying the same thing but in a slightly different grammatical style.  There is no stripping away of any divinity.

i.  1 Cor. 16:22:  KJV “the Lord Jesus Christ” vs “the Lord.”  At the opening of this letter, at chapter 1 vs 2-9, Paul discusses “the Lord Jesus Christ,” “our Lord Jesus Christ,” etc.  I think he well identified who he was talking about as being “the Lord.”  THEREFORE, to have just “the Lord” at the end of the letter only shortens the complete title which everyone already knows.  It does not strip any divinity from Jesus.

j.  2 Cor. 11:31:  KJV “Lord Jesus Christ” vs “Lord Jesus.”  As with previous, there is no stripping away of divinity.

k.  2 John 1:3 [sic]:  KJV “Lord Jesus Christ” vs “Jesus Christ.”  Dropping “Lord” does not strip divinity.  The context of John’s letters is the divinity of Christ.


3.  p.305  After going through some convoluted arguments about the underlying manuscripts of the KJV NT and the “new versions,” Riplinger then has a chart which shows KJV text having “clear and decisive texts that declare Jesus is God” while the “new versions” remove such.   Let’s look at them.

a.  1 John 3:16.  KJV “Hereby perceive we the love of God because he laid down his life for us.” vs “We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us.”  Since these really say the same thing, just grammatically different due to the obsolete English of KJV, I don’t see the problem.  The “he” here is NOT God the Father, so even with KJV it is still not a “clear and decisive text” about the divinity of Christ.  In fact, there really isn’t even a hint of divinity here.

b.  Jude 1:4 [sic]:  KJV “the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” vs “our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”  This is really out of context.  The text is about denying God and Christ; in KJV it says, “denying the only Lord God…”, meaning that these false teachers deny both God the father and Jesus.  NAS says “Master and Lord,” while NIV says “Sovereign and Lord,” which say essentially the same thing, but they leave out the denial of God the Father.  But nothing in either version is a “clear and decisive” text about the divinity of Christ.

c.  1 Cor. 10:9:  KJV “Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted and were destroyed of serpents” vs “We should not test the Lord, as some of them did and were killed by snakes.”   Since in the other versions the context of “Lord” has been identified as being Christ, one would have to observe that both versions say exactly the same thing — that it was Jesus as God who was tempted in Numbers 21.

d.  Rom. 14:10,12:  KJV “judgment seat of Christ… So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” “[Christ is God.]” vs “God’s judgment seat…For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.”  First, the KJV text isn’t “clear and decisive” with divinity for Christ.  Saying the judgment seat is of Christ, and that people must account for themselves to God, is NOT saying that God and Christ are one and the same.  That is just reading into the text.  But in the overall context of Scripture, the judgment seat is God the Father’s, so I think the KJV has an error by saying it is Christ’s.  Even if it is of God the Father and God the Son, this text does not clear and decisively say Christ is God in any version!

e.  Acts 2:30:  KJV “he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne” vs “to seat one of his descendants upon his throne.”  In this passage Peter is quoting Psalm 132:11, which does NOT say “Christ” would be raised up, rather it says, in KJV, “Of the fruit of thy body” — i.e., one of his descendants.  This passage is interpreted as referring to the Messiah (Christ) but it doesn’t say “Messiah.”  All versions in the very next passage tell who this “descendant” is — i.e. Jesus Christ.  Again, neither passage is “clear and decisive” about the divinity of Christ.

f.  Rev. 1:11:  KJV “I am Alpha and Omega” vs “OMIT.”  Riplinger then says this: “As the chapter is written in the KJV, it is the best defense of the deity of Christ that can be shown to a Jehovah’s Witness.  They believe that the Alpha and Omega is God, but their version agrees with the new versions which obscure the deity of Christ.”  Well, this is incorrect.  First, we already have the same statement in vs. 8, although here it is followed by “says the Lord God,” which could be taken to mean the Father, as Riplinger claims with the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  But let’s look to see if we can still prove the deity of Christ in the “new” versions. Verse 7 says the one who is coming is the one who is pierced (Jesus).  Verse 8 says the one who is coming is the "Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending" and it quotes the "Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty" (the Lord Almighty is God).  Are two coming?  Beginning at v.11 a conversation ensues and continues to vs 17,  where the person talking to John says, "I am the first and the last; I am he that liveth, and was dead [who has to be Jesus]; and behold I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."  Chapter 2:8 again identifies the speaker as "the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive".  Chapter 22:12, 13 has this same person calling himself "Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last", and verse 16 identifies this person as Jesus.  Now, take this and compare it to information from Isaiah 43:10 and 48:12,13.  In 43:10 God says, "Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me."  This is sort of like saying "I am the first and the last".  In 48:12,13 God actually says, "I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.  Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth..."  So God is using the same identity that Jesus uses in Revelation, and further identifies himself as the one who "laid the foundation", i.e. made the creation.   Do we then have two "Alpha and Omega" and two "first and last"?  Of course not; which means I just proved from Revelation that Jesus is God, the “Alpha and Omega” and “the First and the Last.”  “Alpha and Omega” being absent from v.11 still leaves it at chapter 22!

g.  Rom. 5:9:  KJV “saved from wrath through him” “[He is God!]” vs “saved from the wrath of God through Him.”  KJV doesn’t identify whose wrath, nor does it hint that wrath is of Jesus.  It certainly does NOT say Jesus is God.  New versions identify of whose wrath is being spoken.


4.  p.306, in regards to Philippians 2:5-7, Riplinger again claims the new versions deny Christ’s deity in this passage.   KJV: “thought it not robbery to be equal with God” vs “did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.”  Well, the Greek word is “harpagmos,” which according to Strongs means, “something to hold onto: — robbery.”  I think “robbery” doesn’t adequately explain what is taking place and can be quite confusing.  Vine’s has a good explanation, which I think demonstrates that there is no denying deity in the new versions:
harpagmos (ἁρπαγμός, 725), akin to harpazo, “to seize, carry off by force,” is found in Phil. 2:6, “(counted it not) a prize,” rv (marg., “a thing to be grasped”), kjv, “(thought it not) robbery”; it may have two meanings, (a) in the active sense, “the act of seizing, robbery,” a meaning in accordance with a rule connected with its formation, (b) in the passive sense, “a thing held as a prize.” The subject is capably treated by Gifford in “The Incarnation,” pp. 28, 36, from which the following is quoted:  

“In order to express the meaning of the clause quite clearly, a slight alteration is required in the rv, ‘Counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God.’ The form ‘to be’ is ambiguous and easily lends itself to the erroneous notion that to be on equality with God was something to be acquired in the future. The rendering ‘counted it not a prize that He was on an equality with God,’ is quite as accurate and more free from ambiguity.… Assuming, as we now may, that the equality was something which Christ possessed prior to His Incarnation, and then for a time resigned we have … to choose between two meanings of the word harpagmos (1) with the active sense ‘robbery’ or ‘usurpation’ we get the following meaning: ‘Who because He was subsisting in the essential form of God, did not regard it as any usurpation that He was on an equality of glory and majesty with God, but yet emptied Himself of that coequal glory.… ’ (2) The passive sense gives a different meaning to the passage: “Who though He was subsisting in the essential form of God, yet did not regard His being on an equality of glory and majesty with God as a prize and a treasure to be held fast, but emptied himself thereof.”  

After reviewing the arguments pro and con Gifford takes the latter to be the right meaning, as conveying the purpose of the passage “to set forth Christ as the supreme example of humility and self-renunciation.


5.  p. 307 charts are showing where “worship” (and variations of the word) are replaced in the NASB, hence, in Riplinger’s view, removing the deity of Christ.  (Of course the NASB is only ONE out of many “new versions” so it should not be held as an example of the rest while claiming ALL new versions are corrupt.)

a.  Luke 24:52:  KJV “they worshipped him” vs NASB:  “OMIT”.  Well, it wasn’t replaced here.  And one passage lacking “worshipped” in the entire Bible certainly doesn’t remove the deity of Christ!

b.  Matthew 8:2, 9:18; Mark 5:6: KJV “worshipped him” vs  NAS “bowed down
c.  Matthew 15:25:  KJV “worshipped him” vs NAS “bow down
d.  Matthew 18:26:  KJV “Worshipped him” vs NAS “falling down prostrate
e.  Matthew 20:20:  KJV  “worshipping him” vs NAS “bowing down

All of these passages uses the same Greek word, “proskuneo.”  This word means “to do obeisance, do reverence to,” neither of which has to be “worship.”  (“obeisance” can mean to “bow or curtsy”) I think it may be anachronistic to say that the people noted as doing this action were bowing to Jesus in worship rather than in honor and respect.  They didn’t know he was God incarnate.  Therefore, I think that NAS has a better description of the action.

f.  The short chart at the bottom of the page has three references to where the NAS did translate the word as “worship” or “worshipped”:  Rev. 13:4 twice and Rev. 9:20.  In these instances the object of worship is “the beast,” “the dragon,” and “demons.”  I believe context demonstrates that the people were indeed worshiping these entities rather than Christ.  Yet  Riplinger makes an issue out of it, as if the NAS translators would rather worship Satan than Christ.

6.  Summary of Chapter 19.  The object of this chapter was to “prove” how the new versions of the Bible stripped, diminished or otherwise denied the deity of Christ.  As with all the previous chapters, Riplinger very much overstates the case, misrepresents the facts, and is just plain wrong about her charges.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Looking Upward


The reason why the men of the world think so little of Christ is that they do not look at Him; their backs being turned to the sun, they can see only their own shadows, and are therefore wholly taken up with themselves; while the true disciple, looking only upward, sees nothing but his Saviour and learns to forget himself.

Edward Payson, cited by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in, The Unsearchable Riches of Christ: An Exposition of Ephesians 3, p.244

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Reasons Christ Died


He died not only that we might be forgiven; He died to make us good.  He died not only that our sins might be blotted out, but also that we might be given a new birth; not merely to save us from punishment, but also that we might be made children of God, sons of God, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.  Such is His purpose for us, and all He did had that end in view.  Furthermore, having given us this new birth, this new principle of life, He causes to dwell in us the same Holy Spirit that was in Himself.  "God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him," we are told (John 3:34).  He gives the same Spirit by measure to us.  That is the height of His love to us.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Unsearchable Riches of Christ: An Exposition of Ephesians 3, p.227

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies


Heretic showman Todd Bentley is now offering healing prayers for sale.  Save your money; contrary to his claims, nothing Bentley teaches comes from God.

Many unbelievers will attack Christianity by demonstrating the horrors perpetrated in the name of Christ; one of these horrors is the Inquisition.  They will often say hundreds of thousands, or even millions were kill by Christians.  Of course you must first explain that was instigated by the Roman Catholic Church, which was not operating in accordance with the teachings of Christ.  Then you might want to refer them to this article which gives the real estimate of those tortured and/or killed in the Inquisition, and ask them to stop exaggerating.

An example of the rank heresy taught by Rome is the recent “Mass of Reparation” in the Philippines.  Ex-Catholic Mike Gendron had this response to this (in e-mail newsletter):
This grieves my heart to see the spiritual blindness of so many devout Roman Catholics. Clearly, the prince of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers from the light of the Gospel and the glory of Christ (2 Cor. 4:4). Only when they turn from the worship of a false Christ to the true Christ of the Bible will the veil of blindness be removed (2 Cor. 3:15-16)

I really don’t understand the Roman Catholic Church.  This is an organization which claims to have the “vicar of Christ” as their leader who obeys all of Christ’s teachings.  And yet the Vatican hosted a feminist conference featuring a professor who compares their Mass to homosexual behavior!

I came across a new site which I’m following:  Entreating Favor.  An interesting post was about Jefferson Bethke, someone I hadn’t heard of but is apparently quite a “Christian celebrity.”  It seems he endorsed and spoke approvingly of “Macklemore,” who is a “rapper” who disdains Christianity.  Says he “loves” him.  So why would a Christian give accolades to someone who mocks Christ?  And when someone rebuked him for doing so, Bethke blocked them!  So there’s another name to put on your “do not follow or buy books by” list.

Another good post by Entreating Favor showed how God’s purpose can still be served with false teachers — there are names of false teachers named!

Hat tip to Erin Benziger for the next two items:

Andy Stanley is on the fast shuttle to apostasy; he doesn’t seem to care if you become a Christian, so long as you live a better life by following his teachings.  24 Emmaus Road gives some “Final Thoughts” on Stanley’s new series.

Word of Faith heretic Christine Caine has a “profound” statement demonstrating her false teachings.

The New York Fire Department has sworn in its first woman chaplain — a lesbian.  First, she’s not qualified to be a chaplain by virtue of not being a man, and secondly she is not qualified BECAUSE she is a lesbian.  God will not give credence to those claiming to be spiritual leaders while the are in direct and abject rebellion against Him.  I have a difficult time believing that any true Christian in that fire department would seek her counsel for anything.  But of course, the NYFD was only seeking “diversity.”

There are so very many items of apostasy and heresy in the Church at large, no one can keep up with it all — and it will only continue to get worse!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

"Ordinary" Should Be Enough


A dangerous consequence of the spread and influence of megachurches and media ministries is that many Christians now evaluate their churches and ministries based on all the wrong things.  They want the extraordinary.  They expect non-stop excitement, amazing growth, cutting-edge programs and novel techniques.  Faithful proclamation of Scripture in the pulpit, a godly congregation that faithfully worships together and pursues sanctification under leadership – all that smacks of the ordinary.  And ordinary just isn’t enough.  Evangelicalism has cultivated an adolescent appetite and expectation for an emotionally fulfilling, ever-expanding, earth-shattering church experience that ordinary just can’t compete with.


Cited from a letter from John MacArthur’s ministry, related to “The Ordinary Church,” a sermon MacArthur preached.