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

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

John MacArthur isn’t going to be a bit popular with those churches approving homosexuality and same-sex fake marriage; he says they are “satan’s church.”  I have to agree with him there!

Approving homosexuality is one of the “17 signs that your church is becoming secular.”

Along this line, should Christians ever attend a same-sex fake wedding?  Absolutely not!  On April 14th I posted a link to an article explaining why a wedding is different than anything else, and it was a good discussion as to why a Christian should never, ever attend the “wedding” of homosexual people.

Tony Campolo again proves that he is a false teacher—a wolf among the flocks.  He is asserting that Christians should vote for Hillary Clinton for President of the U.S.A.   First, being a member of the Democrat party, she agrees with their party platform of supporting the homosexual agenda (including same-sex fake marriage), unrestricted abortion, sexual immorality in general, theft (redistribution of wealth), etc.  Other than than, Mrs. Clinton is one of the most corrupt politicians in history, as recent events have demonstrated with the many scandals in which she is involved.  No Christian should give any approval for Mrs. Clinton’s political aspirations.  Campolo is a dangerous wolf in sheep’s clothing; a rank heretic whom I’ve previously exposed.

IHOP’s Mike Bickle is a false teacher, as I have noted several times in the past.  A new site I’ve come across exposes Bickle’s propensity for twisting Scripture to justify his teachings.

Rick Warren teamed up with Dr. Mehmet Oz for his “Daniel Program,” totally ignoring Dr. Oz’s theological beliefs.  Well, now even the secular world has exposed Oz as a quack, yet Warren has remained silent.  Another example as to why Warren is not a teacher anyone should be following.

Lindsay has a good, short commentary on an article by Bill Muehlenberg, which is about the apostate church and “dhimmitude.”  Thought-provoking.

Remember my last report about Creflo Dollar’s seeking money for a $65 million jet?  Well, he isn’t happy with his critics—he thinks he should be able to want it and no one should criticize him for it!

Another Roman Catholic educational institution is violating Catholic teachings by having a “transgender” activist to have a speaking platform.  Will those who approved this be excommunicated?  Don’t hold your breath.  The problem of sexual perversion being promoted among Catholic schools is becoming routine because no disciplinary action is taken.

Here’s an important alert:  The Berean from Bible Tools teaches heresy.  If you use Bible Tools, cease doing so immediately so as to preserve your spiritual health.

As if  we need more evidence as to why Roma Downey’s TV “Bible” specials should be avoided, you really need to see her latest ideaThe Women of the Bible.  Her cast of characters is a regular who’s who of female false teachers.

Here’s a good article explaining the problem with shows like Downey’s “Son of God” series, as well as any depiction of Jesus.

Finally, Neil Simpson has a good article about the horrible abuse of Philippians 4:13.  It is indeed one of the most abused Scriptures.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Strong Lies

By mixing a little truth with it, they made their lie far stronger.

C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle: The Chronicles of Narnia.  Cited by Chelsen Vicari, “Distortion: How the New Christian Left is Twisting the Gospel & Damaging the Faithp.75

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Andy Stanley’s Questionable Teachings

Andy Stanley has often been a subject of the “Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies” entries because of his eyebrow-raising teachings.  I want to review some of these teachings as a lead-in to today’s commentary on a very recent incident.

Stanley intimated that the sin of homosexuality isn’t really a problem.

When Stanley is challenged on the previous issue, he gets antagonistic.

Stanley thinks President Obama, who is possibly the most ungodly president we’ve ever had, should be known as “Pastor in Chief.”

Stanley has a book with some very questionable teachings.

If Christians do not want to participate in a same-sex fake wedding, Stanley says they should “leave Jesus out of it.”

Stanley endorsed the “Son of God” TV series with its bad teachings.

Stanley’s teachings as to why God became human are very troubling.

Andy thinks pastors should stop using the phrase, “the Bible says,” so as to not put off skeptics.

Stanley’s new book about “love, sex and dating” leaves a lot to be desired.

Stanley had a new sermon series based on half of a verse, and which claims Christianity has been corrupted by “being controlled by sacred places, sacred texts, sacred men, and sincere followers.

More recently, Stanley says you will live a better life if you just follow Jesus’ teachings, even if you don’t believe Jesus is the Son of God.

So now let’s look at the most recent incident.

According to an article in the Christian Post, Andy Stanley thinks that “Churches Should Be ‘Safest Place on the Planet” for Gay Youth.

Really?  A “church,” i.e., a Christian assembly, is a place for Christians to meet and NOT a place to aid and abet sinners.  If “gay youth” come into the assembly, they should be told in no uncertain terms that homosexual behavior is a sin, and that one cannot seriously claim to be a Christian while remaining in abject rebellion against God by ignoring what He says about sexual immorality in general and homosexual behavior specifically.   If the “gay youth” has no intention of repenting of their sin, then they are not interested in the Christian faith.  One must change their identity from being “gay” to being “Christian” — they can’t be both.  Besides, it isn’t as if there is a large number of “gay youth” which will even be interested in church — the total population of people claiming to be “gay” is only 2-3%!

The article cites some of Stanley’s talk at a church:  "There is not consensus in this room when it comes to same-sex attraction. There is not consensus in this room when it comes to gay marriage.”  

That’s a major problem in the Church today: EVERY CHRISTIAN should have the same consensus about fake marriage—GOD’S consensus!  

Stanley suggests that churches should “take a break” from the culture wars for a year, but the problem is that the culture war is directed AT Christians and the Christian faith, and we must defend where the battle rages.  This reminds me of a quote often erroneously attributed to Martin Luther:  “If I profess, with the loudest voice and the clearest exposition, every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christianity. Where the battle rages the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battlefield besides is mere flight and disgrace to him if he flinches at that one point.”

The last item in the news article notes that Stanley tells the Church to behave more like Christians are called to behave, and I have to agree with him there - to a point.  “If all the Christians for just one year ... would quit looking at porn ... would quit smoking weed, would quit having premarital sex, would quit committing adultery, would pay their taxes and every church just foster one kid; in one year our nation would feel different.”  

Since unbelievers outnumber true Christians to a large degree, the nation wouldn’t feel any different, but the Church might have more credibility. However, then he says,  “So basically, if we would just be better Christians, everything we would like to see changed for the most part would change.”  Oh, really?  IF the people of Christ begin acting like Christians should, then all the bad stuff in the world will change?  Abortion will end?  The homosexualists will stop forcing Christians to approve of their lifestyle? Muslims will stop beheading Christians?  The U.S. government will cease turning socialist? ETC?

The problem is that everyone in the Church could change their behavior to be more “holy,” but behavior is only the working out of correct beliefs.  When most of the Church has false teachings, the behavior will be in accordance with the false teachings.  (For example, when a church teaches that homosexuality and abortion are okay with God, then sexual immorality of all types becomes okay.)

Andy Stanley continues to swing more and more towards affirmation for those practicing homosexual behavior.  Which, really shouldn’t be surprising considering how liberal his teachings are becoming.  The Church should quit pointing to Stanley as a teacher worth following.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

Today I will start with some links to information about Dallas Willard.  Yesterday I was asked by a retired pastor friend to get him some information about Willard, so I copied articles from some journals in my library, and then started to copy some teaching letters from Gary Gilley when I remembered that THOSE are on line!  So I went on line and printed out the articles much quicker than photocopying.  These articles are not just about Willard, but are about the whole “spiritual formation” movement in which Willard is a top figure.  So will see some other big names, such as Richard Foster, associated with these articles:

Spiritual Formation
Solitude and Silence
Roots of the Spiritual Formation Movement
Fasting and Spiritual Direction
Discernment and Revelation

Finally, a review of Willard’s book, The Spirit of Disciplines, reviewed by Bob DeWaay.

Carl Lentz, “pastor” of Hillsong Church in New York, refuses to deal with the subject of homosexuality for fear of offending.  His use of The Message as his “Bible” helps him with his false teachings.  James White’s comments demonstrate a huge problem with anyone using The Message.

From Lighthouse Trails Research Project we have this caution about a “”New Way’ of Doing Things.”

I came across another interesting article exposing the false teachings of Ann Voskamp.

I was surprised to learn that a very secular source published an article by a pastor exposing the false teachings of Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer.  He does a good job of explaining some of their worst errors.

Ed Young: what can I say, other than that he is not a teacher anyone should be following.

Not another visit to heaven!!!!

Another episode of “A.D.” was reviewed.  The series is definitely poison.

The “7 Unbiblical Statements Christians Believe” seem to be from Joel Osteen and his ilk.

Gee, the Vatican is having trouble keeping up with the demand for exorcisms.  Well, when you invent a problem and then teach it as dangerous to your followers, it should go without saying that there will be an explosion of that problem among your followers!

Lastly, this will take some of your time to listen to the last hour of this program, but you will learn Rick Warren’s new “imagination doctrine.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Spiritual AIDS

The message today, at the church we are visiting, was about getting back to the fundamentals.  The pastor gave many statistics about how many Bibles are in American homes, as well as about how few people actually read their Bibles.  Of course we can expect the lack of reading from unbelievers, but the statistics about how few Christians actually read their Bibles is quite disheartening.

But, then again, it really isn’t surprising when one considers the hundreds of thousands of “Christians” following false teachers.  They don’t read their Bibles so they don’t realize what they are being taught is unbiblical, and therefore they have no idea what real Christian doctrine is.  G. Richard Fisher, a retired pastor who is also a member of the board of directors for Personal Freedom Outreach apologetics ministry, calls this “Spiritual AIDS - Acquired Ignorance of Doctrine Syndrome.”

I couldn’t help but think to myself that one of the problems helping to cause “Spiritual AIDS” is the music brought into the Church.  Where in the past the hymns were rich with Christian doctrine, most of what we have in the Church today is pap.  Oh it leads people to be emotional about Jesus, but I’m not sure the Jesus they are emotional about is the Jesus of the Bible—especially when the songs are of the “Jesus is my boyfriend” genre.  What is really a serious problem, though, is that the songs we sing are no longer a “common language” of the Church—every assembly seems to have their own “flavor” of music, so that the person from New York who travels to Wyoming can no longer recognize the songs of worship!

I have, in many past articles, examined some of the newer songs as well as older hymns; check the articles under the label “Hymns/songs.”  You will see many with rich doctrine, but you will also see how much of the more modern stuff has no, or virtually no, doctrine. 

So even though most Christians attend assemblies on a regular basis, they don’t get into the Word at home and they sing insipid, “feel good” songs and choruses which aren’t a common language.  Most are attending seeker sinner-sensitive or market-driven assemblies where doctrine is also shallow.  Those who choose to read are reading books from popular teachers (Beth Moore, Joyce Meyer, T.D. Jakes, et al) who have more false teachings than any good they may have—and pastors are not warning against these teachers from the pulpit!

Is it any wonder that the vast majority of the Church suffers from Spiritual AIDS?  Is it any wonder that it becomes more and more difficult to distinguish between a believer and a non-believer?

The lesson today was an encouragement to get into the Word of God, to remember that the Bible—both Old and New Testament—is for our instruction.  It is also for our salvation.  It is also our protection against false teachings.

Read the Word; peruse it and study it.  And then live it.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Church Dropped the Ball on Marriage

The church stopped defending marriage when fast-and-loose, no-fault divorces became fashionable in the church.  We did so when adultery, premarital sex, and cohabitation were no longer condemned from the pulpit.  We let go of the family unit when dads walked out on their families and left fifteen million US children fatherless.  That was when the church dropped the ball on marriage.

Chelsen Vicari, “Distortion: How the New Christian Left is Twisting the Gospel & Damaging the Faith, p.65

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Jesus Addressed Homosexuality

It is naive and a desperate grasp at straws to argue that Jesus was only supporting one man and one woman in regards to the adultery question.  Jesus was speaking to a Jewish rabbi in front of a Jewish crowd regarding sexual morality.  And the Jews’ context for sexual immorality is found in Leviticus laws which states plain as day that homosexuality was wrong.

Kenneth Erwin III, personal communication with Chelsen Vicari, cited in her book,  Distortion: How the New Christian Left is Twisting the Gospel & Damaging the Faith, p. 63

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Christianity is an Identity to Live

Christianity is not an identity we slip on and off like a pair of shoes when it is comfortable.  Our faith characterizes our recognition of the inerrant authority of Scripture, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and determination to publicly share the good news without cultural compromise.

Chelsen Vicari, “Distortion: How the New Christian Left is Twisting the Gospel & Damaging the Faith, p.53

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Some Links to Good Stuff

I always like to remind people that apologetics is not just “offensive” (i.e., exposing the bad stuff), but it is also defensive (defending the faith).  The defensive aspect needs to include the knowledge necessary to defend your faith against all types of attacks on all parts of doctrine and practice.  For this reason, I like to provide links to articles I come across which I think will be good tools for increasing knowledge of the faith.  

Let’s start today’s collection by pointing out what is needed for spiritual maturity; after all, if you aren’t spiritually mature you will be ineffective at defending your faith and virtually useless for exposing false teachings.  The Cripplegate posted an article in this regard:  “5 Signs of Spiritual Maturity.”

Many cults, including those such as the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christadelphians, and others who deny the deity of Christ, tend to claim that the Bible does not teach Jesus is God.  Instead, they claim, this was a late development of man.  The Cripplegate gives some really good examples from Scripture and early church writings which speak of the deity of Christ.  (I also wrote an article using logic to prove the doctrine of the Trinity, which includes the deity of Christ, just by using the Bible.)

This last article from the Cripplegate explains why the story of David and Goliath has been misunderstood.

Why Did Christianity Grow?  Kevin DeYoung gives and excellent answer to that question.

J.Warner Wallace tells us why EVERY Christian needs to be an apologist for the faith, so that EVERY Christian can be a sheepdog protecting the flock from wolves.

An interesting article by Mark Tooley is “Liberal Religion and Easter Victory.”  Quite appropriate for the season.

Are there Biblical grounds for divorce?  There is a lot of debate and disagreement among Christians as to whether there is a biblical reason, as well as whether one who is divorced can remarry.  I personally believer there are two biblical reasons: sexual immorality and abandonment.  I also think that biblical remarriage is possible for Biblical divorces.  While I will not entertain discussions on this topic (because it gets divisive), I think this article by Rick Phillips should give everyone some food for thought.

Now that we’ve come to the topic of marriage, the last two articles are in regards to what marriage is.

Kevin DeYoung explains why for Christians, a wedding is a sacred ceremony unlike any other, which is why it is so important that Christians do not participate in any way in a same-sex fake wedding.

Tim Challies reports on a new commentary on the Song of Solomon.  I read Challies’ citation from the opening chapter to the book and that led me to place an order for it!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Bringing Culture Into the Church

I encountered something new at a church we are visiting, something I hope to never again encounter:  Piped music!

During the 30-minute period between the ending of Sunday School and the beginning of the worship service, the assembly where we are currently visiting will usually have someone playing the piano or organ while people are slowing arriving in the auditorium.  The music is always some hymn or contemporary Christian music, with a somewhat sedate musical flow and fairly low in volume.

This week I was shocked to hear, playing much too loudly, contemporary Christian music—“radio songs”—by both male and female artists.  The beat was standard pop/rock in genre, totally out of context of preparing for worship, sounding much like what one would hear while shopping in an “Old Navy” store at the mall.  (Or the something to keep you occupied while waiting for the concert to begin!)

I understand the desire to appeal to the millennial generation so as to make them feel comfortable in “church,” but that is not the biblical way — we are not to bring the culture into the assembly, rather, we are to take the gospel message INTO the culture.

The odd thing is that I would guess about 60% of the congregation is 55 years or older in age, and normally would not find that type of music enjoyable.  And it certainly wasn’t edifying.

Church leaders, you really need to stop bringing the ideas of the culture into the assembly.  It is nothing more than offering “strange fire” to the Lord.