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

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Consumer Christianity

Many evangelical churches have committed themselves wholeheartedly to a marketing approach aimed primarily at attracting the lost, who are viewed as potential customers.  As unbelievers attend the church and mix with new and long-standing members, the consumer concept unavoidably spreads to the entire congregation.  This inevitably affects the preaching, music, Sunday School programs, etc., which in turn produces a biblical shallowness throughout the congregation. …

Is consumerism supported by the Scriptures?  Did God shape His Gospel to gratify the worldly desires of humanity?  Are there some things in the Bible that should be strategically avoided in order not to put off “potential” believers?  Does God’s Word reflect a concern that people might take their “business” elsewhere if their felt needs aren’t being met?  Does the Bible tell us to make the truth more acceptable by feeding it to the lost in diluted or entertaining forms?  And is it really the gospel that saves if it’s altered to cater to non-Christians?  If any believer even remotely thinks so, I fear that the thinking of the world has grievously influenced his understanding of the Bible.

T.A. McMahon, “Consumer Christianity,” The Berean Call, February 2005.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

The BIG news this week is about Beth Moore establishing “unity” with heretic Joyce Meyer.  
Erin Benziger also has a short commentary about the situation.  Beth Moore has gone farther and farther into false teachings, and yet churches still allow her stuff to be used for “Bible study” classes and small groups, and women continue to spend thousands of dollars purchasing her materials or attending her conferences.  How far will she need to go before these people wake up?  Elizabeth Prata has an excellent article about that very question.

Aside from this news, Lighthouse Trails Research Ministry asks another excellent question about Moore:

Another big item in the news this past week is the reporting of Vicky Beeching’s confession to being a lesbian, and that she doesn’t see anything incompatible about that and her claim to being a Christian.  Perhaps the Church should be more discerning when it comes to our “worship” music.  (I refuse to sing anything by the Vineyard).

The Berean Call has part one of an interview with Dale Ratzlaff about the false teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist cult.

Another child is murdered by using the unbiblical training taught by Mike and Debi Pearl.

Sort of a followup to a previous RAAH post which included a link to an article about the possibility of women deacons being biblical.  I came across another article this past week, by Tim Keller (who often has some off-kilter teachings), which gives some more information on the topic.  I’m a bit amused that he thinks one can “commission” instead of “ordain” a woman deacon.  While I’m not really concerned about women deacons (since they have no teaching or leadership authority), I think Keller is playing word games, as if “ordain” is some biblical term anyway!

Perry Noble’s “church” has an interesting statement of faith.  Much missing, much feel good.  An example why he’s not worthy of being a pastor.

Matt Chandler likes Ann Voskamp.  Where is the discernment?

Erin Benziger has an interesting commentary about the Roman Catholic unbiblical doctrine of the “Assumption” of Mary.

A Methodist Seminary is “going gay.”  With as much support for all things homosexual from the United Methodists as a whole, it really isn’t surprising.

Lastly, I was pointed to a great link this week; many, many examples of the deception in the Mormon Church, and how the leaders lie about, um, just about everything Mormon! It isn’t a quick read.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Right Path

Which Path Will You Choose
by Dr. J. Vernon McGee

But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. (Proverbs 4:18, 19)

There are two ways that are set in contrast. One is the way in which the righteous go. There is another way, the way the lawless go. It is a way of darkness. It reminds us of the broad way that our Lord described, which I believe has been misunderstood.

I can remember when I was a boy that we would be taught about the broad way and the narrow way. Now if they had asked me which way I wanted to go, I would have said immediately, “I think you could have a lot more fun on the broad way.” Unfortunately, I think that is the impression most often given. However, that is not accurate at all. The picture is altogether different.

The broad way is a wide one today. That is where the mob is. The crowd is having a “vanity fair” down that way all the time. The carnival is going on. Down there is the place where they indulge the flesh, and they call it the way of liberty. We hear today that we are living in a new age in which we can do as we please. That is certainly a broad way – that is, at the entrance. But notice that this broad way gets narrower and narrower and narrower. The way of the lawless is the dark way. “The way of the wicked is as darkness.” There are the bright lights at the entrance, but down a little farther there are no lights. The people don’t even know what they are stumbling over. That is the broad way that the Lord Jesus described. It is just like going in at the big end of a funnel and then finding that it gets narrower and narrower until finally it ends in destruction.

In contrast, the narrow way is very narrow at the entrance. The Lord Jesus said, “… I am the way …” (John 14:6, italics mine). It is so narrow that it is limited to one Person: Christ. No one can come to the Father but through Him. You just can’t find a way any narrower than that. Peter said, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Jesus said, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture” (John 10:9). The entrance is narrow, but after the entrance the way gets wider and wider, leading to an abundant life here and on into the light of heaven itself. My friend, we need to enter into the narrow end of the funnel, and that end is labeled, The Lord Jesus Christ.

HT: Lighthouse Trails Research Ministry

Friday, August 15, 2014

Stimulating Thoughts

I just finished the book, “An A - Z of Christian Truth and Experience,” by J. Graham Miller.  It was given to me by a friend, and is a collection of quotations from various well-known Christians throughout history.  The book is published by “The Banner of Truth Trust,” which publishes Calvinist books.  That explains why probably half of the citations in the book are from Calvin himself.

Except for ONE citation from Calvin below, I had no use for things by Calvin, because they were all heavily TULIPed.  However, I think the rest of the citations below will stimulate thinking.  The one by Calvin I have to post to show the absurdity of some of his teachings!

John Calvin stated:  “The offspring of believers are born holy because their children, while yet in the womb, are included in the covenant of eternal life . . .  Nor are they admitted into the Church by baptism on any other ground than that they belonged to the body of Christ before they were born.”

Really?  Just because a child’s parents are Christians the child is thereby also a Christian?  So if that child grows up and chooses “the dark side” and lives a life of evil and wicked deeds and rejects God, he is still saved because his parents were?!?!  Can anyone show me this from Scripture?

Okay, now that I had my poke at Calvinists, let’s look at some thought-provoking citations.

“The more carnal and worldly a man is the more he has to bring up against the Word of God.”
Martin Luther

“Whatever contradicts the Word of God should be instantly resisted as diabolical.”
John Bunyan

“The nature of Christianity [is] conformity with Christ and . . . disconformity with the world.”
Robert Leighton

“The great source of error in religious matters is that men do not fully and honestly take the Word of God as their rule and standard.”
William Cunningham

“The family is the primary institution of God for killing the natural self-seeking of the individual.”
James Candlish.

“Sir, you often told me of Christ and salvation: why did you not oftener remind me of hell and danger?”
A hearer, to John Newton

“Love fears and is concerned for the beloved.  What is not loved is easily neglected.”
Martin Luther

“The devil is but God’s master fencer to teach us to handle our weapons.”
Samuel Rutherford

“It is dangerous to gather flowers that grow on the banks of the pit of hell.  They who play with the devil’s rattles will be brought by degrees to wield his sword.”
Thomas Fuller

And, no, I’m not keeping the book.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

I’ve been away from home so much this past week that I haven’t even had time to work on my New Age Bible Versions review, let alone much of anything else.  But I’ve tried to keep up with the news about the Church at large, and collected some links to share with my readers.

I think I’ll start out with a couple posts by Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry
Have you ever wondered just what teachings are considered to make a church “liberal”?
What is wrong with Rob Bell’s book, Love Wins?

How about a couple items Erin posted about?  I just learned that Joyce Meyer has a “university” where you can learn all sorts of things from her — like how horrid her teachings are and what heresy she promotes.  Then there is some good information about the Insider Movement.

When “Christians” attack you for teaching children about sin, you know there’s a problem with THEIR theology!

Recovering Grace has a two-part posting about some of Bill Gothard’s bizarre twisting of Scripture, here and here.

Hip and Thigh has two more articles completing his series about responding to KJVO questions, and you will find those quite interesting— here and here.  The various claims about conspiracies might give you a chuckle.

This month’s Berean Call has a thought-provoking article about false prophets.  Pay attention to the names.

Another example of problems with contemporary Christian music.

Speaking of which, there is a band I’ve not previously heard of which is coming under fire for their anti-Creation teachings.  Answers In Genesis notes that Gungor has a problem with most of Genesis.  Bravo to the Baptist church which cancelled their concert — why let false teachers into your assembly!

As I have pointed out many times, the United Church of Christ is the most liberal and un-Christian denomination in the USA.  I call them CINOs - Christian In Name Only.  A perfect example is the sponsorship of “gay games.”

Someone has discovered another way to get rich off of God’s Word; now you can buy a "virtually indestructible” Bible.  I guess you’d also have to buy special pens if you are like me and like to mark passages, although the video didn’t mention that — the article says they offer pens! By the way, I’m sure this book won’t last forever - what about fire?  It certainly isn’t inexpensive, nor are their other products!  One last thing: in their “kickstarter” project they say this:  “And whether you call it a blessing or simply good karma, inspiring someone is a powerful thing.”  So now we are teaching “karma” as valid?

Finally, a very interesting study about Christians and morality shows that those who sanction homosexual behavior and same-sex fake marriage have already compromised by sanctioning fornication, abortion, adultery, and pornography.   Yes, it is a slippery slope.

Monday, August 11, 2014

False Gospels Are Poison

To undermine the “truth of the gospel,” Satan has invented clever counterfeit gospels that promise life but damn the soul.  Those who preach these lies…are cursed by Paul — and rightly so.  These false gospels are like rat poison — very tasty and 98.6 percent nutritious, but containing just enough hidden poison to kill.  Bereans must be prepared to contrast the lie with God’s truth and to warn the unwary earnestly and clearly.

Dave Hunt, “The Battle for Truth,” The Berean Call June 1992

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Did They Really Say That?!?

You say a boil is painful; but that is impossible, for matter without mind is not painful.  The boil simply manifests, through inflammation and swelling, a belief in pain, and this belief is called a boil.  Now administer mentally to your patient a high attenuation of truth, and it will soon cure the boil.  The fact that pain cannot exist where there is no mortal mind to feel it is a proof that this so-called mind makes its own pain — that is, its own belief in pain.  We weep because others weep, we yawn because they yawn, and we have smallpox because others have it; but mortal mind, not matter, contains and carries the infection.

Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p.153

So, if I have a boil, it only hurts because I think it hurts?  It only exists because I think it exists?  And I would catch a disease only because I think I will and that thinking then “contains and carries the infection”?!? 

Do I really even have to address this scripturally when real science destroys it?  I have so often stated that “Christian Science” is neither Christian nor science.  This citation is only one among many which demonstrates there is nothing scientific about its teachings.  I find it extremely difficult to believe that people actually accept this nonsense as being true.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

Well, I’m a bit behind in my work.  We celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary last week and took a few days away to relax and have some fun.  So now it’s time to catch up with the news of things aberrant, apostate, and heretical in the realm of the Christian faith.

Bill Johnson, of Bethel Church, continues his heretical teachings.

A followup on an article from my last “Random” post on the book, “Healing Oils of the Bible.”  The book has some solidly unbiblical claims.

Roman Catholics continue to surprise me with their unbiblical ideologies.  Here we have a priest who failed at an exorcism and now receives text messages from the demon!  If you believe that, then I have a bridge I’ll sell you.

Of course, Roman Catholics should have problems with exorcism - their teachings are corrupt and have no power over Satan.  The corruption in that church includes the whole idea of socialism, condemning what the Pope sees as “inequality.”

A couple of interesting items about the Mormons this past week.  First, an interesting item about the “over dramatizing” of Mormon deaths while on the trails to Utah.  Over-exaggerating isn’t new for the Mormons — all one has to do is read their claims about how persecuted they were in the 1800s, especially when many times they neglect to include the reasons they were persecuted.  Usually it was because of their horrible actions.
Next, a short article about their annual play-acting the Mormon handcart treks.  Just another example of the brainwashing in that cult.

The Cripplegate had an excellent article about the gift of tongues.

Mark Driscoll is in the news again.  Ex-members of Driscoll’s church want Driscoll to know that they are NOT anonymous as he claims, and they want to expose what kind of “pastor” Driscoll actually is.  They have even acquired and released a vulgar message from Driscoll, which he has removed from his site.  I’ve said many times that Driscoll is not qualified to be an elder in the Church.

Three years ago I reported on the first volume of Bill Gothard’s Character Sketches, and how bizarre the teachings are with the way it twists Scripture.  Recovering Grace has a good article about the same volume, and more.  Essentially, Gothard reads his own agenda into every Bible story.

I have really liked the movies put out by Kendrick Brothers.  I have Flywheel, Facing the Giants, Fireproof, and Courageous.  While all of them bother me a bit when they have God resolving every problem, Courageous bothered me the most with some of it’s unbiblical “patriarchy” teachings.  Overall I think they have some good messages about living a Christ-focused life.  Fireproof is my favorite.  Well, now I’m disappointed in their newest adventure with a movie about prayer; it seems they decided to consult with Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer, both who are promoters of contemplative prayer.  These women should never be used for consulting about prayer — or theology in general!  And yet Shirer apparently has a major part in the film, while Moore appears in a cameo — but she has already made a de facto prophetic claim:  God waits to see a generation that will take Him at His Word.”  The plot, as described in the article Lighthouse Trails links to, includes the idea of a “secret prayer room” — as if God needs us to have one?  Just the fact that Shirer and Moore are going to be in the movie will keep me from seeing it.

Hip and Thigh has some good responses to KJV Only types.

Finally, Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry has an article examining the false teachings in the book, “The Shack.”  Just a good reminder for when the movie comes out.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

I really hope that the majority of the churches in this country do not invite this woman to speak.  Notice, though, that the churches noted in the article as providing her a forum for her deviance are of denominations I’ve reported as being apostate.

I’ve many times noted that T.D. Jakes is a heretic and a Oneness Pentecostal.  For those who aren’t familiar with Oneness Pentecostal teaching, and why it is heretical, Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry has a succinct article explaining them.

I used to follow a site which monitored activities of the “Gay Christian Movement” (an oxymoronic title) but it was getting to be too much for me so I dropped it.  Another blog I follow had a link to this article which shows just how demonic the GCM is.

I read some good information about the “Insider Movement.”  If your church is into missions, it is important for you to keep a wary eye out for IM invading.

Yes, there is another completely ridiculous “Christian” movie coming out soon, this purporting to be about the Holy Spirit.  I’m sure it will be just as accurate as the previous films we’ve had this year. It looks like the subject will be from a charismatic perspective.  As I was watching the trailer, I had to ask how does the film-maker know that the Holy Spirit is leading him to make this movie, or if it is just his own fleshly emotions?

Not to be outdone by the Holy Spirit movie, there is also a movie coming out about the Exodus from Egypt.  Yep, another movie to totally misrepresent the Bible.

And while we are looking at movies/books, how about another review ofHeaven is For Real”?

Mark Driscoll is in the news again.  I was shown this link by another blog, and neither of us can recommend this site, however, the information about Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill church is well worth spreading as a warning for people to avoid Driscoll and his “church”.

For those who study Mormonism, The Book of Abraham should be familiar to you.  For those who don’t study Mormonism, it will be new to you.  The BOA was supposedly translated by Joseph Smith from an Egyptian funeral document that came into his hands.  Of course the man couldn’t read Egyptian, but no one questioned him because he said his “gift” of translation was from God.  Since the original parchment was found back in 1966, the Mormons have come up with lots of excuses as to why the document doesn’t read as Smith claimed.  They’ve recently came up with another defense of the document - a defense that doesn’t hold water.  Mormon Coffee addresses the issue.

As you’ve probably noticed, if you look at my blog often enough, that I’m slowly working my way through reviewing Gail Riplinger’s “New Age Bible Versions,” and demolishing her claims.  I was pointed to another site last week, and this site also has some examinations of Riplinger’s claims, providing more proof of Riplinger being a false teacher, although his arguments are primarily in defense of the NKJV while exposing the KJVO nonsense.

I have reported many times about the apostate condition of the ELCA Lutheran Church.   Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry has details on the latest by the ELCA to sanction homosexual behavior.

Erin tells us about a woman who let Jesus take the wheel of her car - in her imagination, anyway.

Lastly, an article at Sola Sisters address problems with the book, “Healing Oils of the Bible.”   There sure are some wacky authors out there!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Random Good Stuff

I’ve come across some more good stuff these past few weeks, and I want to share them with my readers.

I found a very good article explaining why there should be women deacons.

Something to think about is the “Rampant Biblical Illiteracy” in the church

Pornography has reached pandemic proportions in the USA, let alone in the rest of the world.  It seems like it’s almost daily that I read about arrests for “kiddie porn,” or new types of porn, or new media for porn, etc.  And it is taking its toll among members of the Church.  If you or someone you know is caught up in pornography, then here are "7 Good Reasons to Stop Looking at Porn Right Now."

Did Paul Think Jesus Was God?

From Answers in Genesis comes this excellent article about Prayer and the Trinity.

Lastly, the doctrine of the Trinity with early church fathers is further investigated.