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

Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Resource To Pass On

Personal Freedom Outreach apologetics ministry is an outstanding ministry with excellent resources.  For many years they held a biennial conference in the St. Louis area, the “St. Louis Conference on Biblical Discernment.”  This conference began right after lunch on Thursday and ended Saturday afternoon, and there were several plenary sessions and numerous workshop sessions.  All sessions/classes were taught by some top-flight scholars and apologists, and they  not only taught about cults and other false teachings, but also had sessions on proper hermeneutics, worldviews, etc.  (My wife and I attended the 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012 conferences).

For those interested in the various classes/sessions, those for 2008, 2010, and 2012 are available on CD, while many of the older ones are available on cassette; click on the particular conference date to see the topics.

PFO also has many books, videos and tracts available for sale.

For me, one of their very best resources is their Quarterly Journal.  I discovered PFO in late 1999 (too late to get time off from work for their 2000 conference) while researching Bill Gothard, and they provided me with some material, including a Journal.  I found the Journal to be very interesting, and so began ordering back issues; the more I bought, the more I wanted until I owned all of them, and then subscribed from then on.  I think they have one of the best apologetics journals available, and I highly recommend it.

When PFO began producing a CD with all of the back issues of their Journal, I acquired one.  I found it very useful for cutting and pasting for citing in articles or letters/e-mails I wrote.  Unfortunately for that use, as they improved the CD format it became pdf and unable to cut and past from (at least from my limited computer understanding).  But having them quickly available on my computer has been a bonus, and sometimes when I get emails requesting specific informational help, I have sent a pdf issue of the Journal via email, always recommending the recipient purchase a subscription.

Well, PFO will exchange an older CD version for the next version for only $10.00 vs the $69.95 for the original, which I have often taken advantage of.  There have been a couple previous times I bought the new one and passed the older version to another Christian.  

I recently discovered in my desk drawer the 1981-2011 CD with all the Quarterly Journals for that period, as well as their “MiniNewsletter) from 1985-1986 (13 issues).  Since I currently have the 2014 version (and will soon exchange it for the 2015 version), I am willing to pass the 2011 version along to someone who really wants to be able to read such a great collection of articles from some really good teachers.  FREE.  I’ll even pay the postage.

Along with that CD, I have two other CDs from previous conferences that I will include:
What You Need To Know About Homosexuality” by Ron Rhodes, a teaching given at the 2010 conference, and provided to me with my latest Quarterly Journal.  Since I purchased the entire set at the 2010 conference, this CD is extra to me.

Youth Specialties: Specializing in Error,” by G. Richard Fisher, given at the 2008 conference.  I had purchased this extra CD for someone else who later finished it and passed it back to me to give to someone else, and it has sat on my shelf since.

I highly recommend for everyone that they consider subscribing to the PFO Quarterly Journal, and also consider purchasing the latest CD of all the previous issues.  You’ll be glad you did.

If you are interested in my offer, send me an e-mail.

Never Desert Truth

The business of the truth is not to be deserted even to the sacrifice of our lives, for we live not for this age of ours, nor for the princes, but for the Lord.  

Zwingli, cited by Leonard Ravenhill,  Why Revival Tarries, pg. 76

Sunday, August 30, 2015

We Need Spiritual Leadership

Until self-effacing men return again to spiritual leadership, we may expect a progressive deterioration in the quality of popular Christianity year after year till we reach the point where the grieved Holy Spirit withdraws—like the Shekinah from the temple.  

A.W. Tozer.  Cited by Leonard Ravenhill,  Why Revival Tarries, pg.76

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

My, oh my, oh my.  Keeping up with the collapse of the Church at large is a never-ending task.  There are so many good sites doing the same thing I’m doing, with periodic collections of news items, that you’d think we could catch most of it to warn the sheep about, but with so much false teachings out there it really is an impossible task.  Here are examples of some sites I recommend for keeping up with the latest (some of the articles I point to will often come from these sites):

Do Not Be Surprised, has weekly “This ’n’ That” roundups.

Asleep No More has “Random Bits

Eternity Matters has taken sort of a hiatus from his “Roundup” as he’s been concentrating on examining all the abortion news as well as exposing the “Christian Left.”  Just the continual update on the latter should open your eyes to those who are bent on destroying the true Church.

Living4HisGlory has “Warning You With Tears Wednesday.”

There are more of these types of sites, but don’t be shy about visiting these for starters.

Okay, now for the news!

Thought provoking article about the false gospels which you may not even realize are invading your church.

Along the false gospel vein, is a followup on the Mike Adams’ article I posted about last week as he now examines “The Counterfeit Christian.”

Last week I also told you about an upcoming Beth Moore Simulcast; here’s a good examination of what it will most likely be teaching — and you can see just how dangerous this woman is as a teacher!

I just recently discovered the site “Psalm 12 Outreach,” and I can recommend it for their news items, such as the one above about the false gospels invading your church.  Here are a couple more good ones:

Pat Robertson claims God talks to him, yet all his prophecies are false — as are most of his teachings.  So how can that be if God talks to him?

Steven Furtick teaches heresy about the walls of Jericho.  Of course I’ve been pointing out this guy as a false teacher for quite some time!

For those who don’t understand the flap about T.D. Jakes and James MacDonald’s approval of his teachings, you have to understand that Jakes is a modalist.  Now I know this can be confusing, trying to understand these theological terms, but R.C. Sproul has a good explanation as to why modalism is heresy.  (Of course Jakes’ Word of Faith teachings are also heretical!)

Speaking of Word of Faith heresy, here’s a good, short commentary about Creflo Dollar.  The greed and ostentatiousness of that heretic is almost unbelievable!

Fred continues his review of “Which Bible Would Jesus Use?

Last week I told you about the false prophet who invaded John MacArthur’s church; now here’s an update on this guy showing just how bad of a false prophet he really is!

By now everyone has heard about the hacking of the website for adulterers, Ashley Madison.  Well, this situation will surely affect the church also because there are surely those who profess the name of Christ while participating in sexual sin.  Which is why it is important for shepherds to take care of their flock in helping marriages stay strong, and also by exposing sin as sin by NEVER calling it a “mistake.”   Good article about caring for spouses and children caught in the aftermath.

A history lesson about the Cane Ridge Revival, which so many Christians hold up as a great event spreading the gospel — sounds like much of it was nothing but the same emotionalism found in today’s false revivals.

Another look at history is Elizabeth’s article about a Baptist publication list from 1870 when compared to Lifeway’s 2015 best-seller list.  The 2015 list just demonstrates that Lifeway is more about making money than protecting the flock from spiritual danger.
Lastly, some humorous truth about the teaching of Joel Osteen and what his “sermon prep” information must look like.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Apostatizing of James MacDonald

I’ve never been one for listening to the radio, mostly because we often only get it in the car.  Now, when I had long drives to work I did enjoy listening to classical music, folk music, and Christian radio with teaching programs.  My wife has always done more radio because she will listen while doing various chores, such as sewing and other craft work, ironing, etc, and even while driving.  A few years back she discovered James MacDonald and thought he was an excellent teacher.  I listened to some and found him to be pretty much spot on.  Then as time went by some of his stuff became more and more questionable, and before long I started reading all sorts of stuff about him through the Christian apologetics world.  How disappointing it has been to see a good teacher decide to follow and support every popular teacher out there, regardless of that popular teacher’s teaching!  

I have previously alerted my readers to the following problems with Mr. MacDonald:

He claimed that if his congregants were experiencing financial difficulties, it was because they were not obedient with tithing (never mind that tithing is not for the Christian).  Isn’t this like the claims of the Word of Faith heresy?

Participated in the Code Orange Revival in 2012. This “revival” included a bevy of false teachers that no one with discernment should have joined with!  This article also points out other problems with MacDonald, including his endorsing false teachers like Beth Moore!

Then there was the Elephant Room 2, where MacDonald defended T.D. Jakes’ Word of Faith and anti-Trinitarian teachings, and thought he was an excellent teacher!  Many sites exposed this situation, the Cripplegate being one of them, which had an excellent report of other issues with MacDonald.

MacDonald helped heretic T.D. Jakes celebrate 35 years of heretical ministry.  He did this along with many other false teachers and celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey.  Does he really thing God approved of this promotion of heresy?

MacDonald demonstrated his immaturity and need to be relevant by getting a tattoo, as well as buddying up with another “pastor” like himself, Mark Driscoll.  (The comment string in the linked article is also quite enlightening as to MacDonald’s ideology.)

Well, all these things are just tips of the many icebergs at Harvest Bible Chapel under the leadership of James MacDonald.  Some solid reporting from someone who attended HBC for many years can be found at Mary Dalke’s blog.  Her examinations are thorough, and should demonstrate conclusively why James MacDonald should not be trusted to teach the Word of God.  (And you’ll get to read about many of the false teachers promoted by MacDonald in some way or another!)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Seven Deadly Sins?

The Schoolmen of the Church have classified “seven deadly sins.”  We know, of course, that they are wrong, for all sin is deadly.  Those seven sins are the womb out of which seventy times seventy million sins have been born.  They are “the seven heads” of one monster, which is devouring this generation at a terrifying rate.  We face a pleasure-doped youth, who couldn’t care less about God.  Cocksure with pseudo-intellectualism, and insulated with a cultivated indifference to spiritual things, they also, alas, flaunt the accepted standards of morality.

Leonard Ravenhill,  Why Revival Tarries, pg.53-54

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Put YOURSELF in the Bible?!?!

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, along comes a new Bible “application” by a Chicago pastor goatherd pandering to the self-focused Christian.  This “app” puts YOUR name in the text so the Bible talks directly to YOU.  It gives YOU the promises found in Scripture (whether or not they were meant for the original recipient and no one else).  In this way you can abuse Scripture as much as you like and feel good about yourself!

While the Bible contains thousands of wonderful promises to be trusted, believed and appropriated in the life of the reader, when these promises are read, they often sound generalized and distant," said [Gregory] Ijiwola. [Pastor of The City Light Church]
Um, did it ever occur to him that perhaps the promises were ONLY for the individual receiving it?  Or, perhaps they ARE “generalized,” which does not mean “distant.”  If they sound “distant,” perhaps the problem is with the reader, which isn’t fixed by making him feel good about what he doesn’t understand to start with!

I have to agree with this guy:
The Rev. Dr. Christopher J. Benek, an expert on Christianity and technology, told CP that he saw "several significant concerns" with the App including questions of biblical context.
"To ignore that context by simply inserting one's own name, and thus one's own cultural context into the text, ignores the purpose for which the text was originally written," said Rev. Benek.  "When we make the Bible all about us as individuals, we miss the focus of the larger relational narrative which tells of God's grace and love being extended to all of humanity. It likewise further sidesteps the reality that it is the work of Christian community, in Christ not just individuals, to work towards mutual accountability and justice."

The “pastor,” of The City Light Church really doesn’t surprise me with what he’s come up with, especially when you look at his assembly’s web site.  The “pastor” claims he was given “a vision” from God for him and his wife, Debo, (who also is a “lead pastor” in contradiction to what the Bible says about women not being in authority over a man in the assembly) “to go out to raise an army of people (lights) within the nation.”  Really? God chose him over all the other pastors in the world to raise such an army?

Oh, and that vision includes “reaching into the social contexts of the community.”  AH, is this the social gospel?  I’m sorry, but I can’t find that in the Bible.  How else do you reach a “social context” with the Bible?  And are we supposed to?  Isn’t the Bible for ANY “social context” as it is?  I’m so confused.

We are a church of IRRESISTIBLE INFLUENCE for good in our city, eliminating the works of the enemy where they have ruled.”  Really?  Their influence is “irresistible” in the Chicago area? Then how come the crime in that town is so bad?

We are TAKING OVER our individual spheres of influence through our kingdom purpose.”  Did God really give them “individual spheres of influence”?  How come God didn’t do that for any other assembly?  And what proof do they have that they are “taking over” anything?

We are SPIRIT-FILLED and walking in the SUPERNATURAL-SIGNS and wonders in our world.”  All Christians should be filled with the Spirit, but he means they are charismatic, making them more spiritual than us lowly non-charismatics.  What supernatural signs and wonders do they have, and what is the proof of them?  I don’t see the Bible telling us that we have signs and wonders to give the world.

Ultimately we light up every neighborhood with the practical manifestation of God’s love and power and harvest many into the Kingdom.”  What hubris!

It is the dream of the WORLD IMPACT CENTER which is several acres of land on which will be built the worship facility of the church seating thousands, a bible institute with classrooms, hostels and lecture theaters for students from different parts of the world, a world missionary mobilization tower, a publishing center, a recreational and prayer resort center with rooms for people who come from different parts of the world to rest and seek God in prayer.”  AH, HA - the dream of a market-driven mega-church pastor!

We believe in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in believers and the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.”  Totally unbiblical, of course, since no where in Scripture does it say speaking in tongues is evidence of the Holy Spirit, and ALL Christians are baptized and in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit.

We believe in bringing tithes…”  Unbiblical — Christians do not tithe!!! 

“Pastor” Gregory (Lan) “
is just about completing his Ph.D in Organizational Leadership at the Chicago School of  Professional Psychology.”  Right there should tell you something about this man’s ideology.  How many times do I have to prove that the psychology field is anti-Christian!!!

So, here’s the bottom line: Mr. Ijiwola says he got a vision from God for his ministry and yet he contradicts what God says in the Bible

1.  Abuses Scripture to assist self-focussed Christians.
2.  Woman lead pastor.
3.  Claims they are reaching “social contexts” when there are no “social contexts” for the Gospel.
4.  Claims “irresistible” influence over a city to eliminate “the enemy” while the enemy is strong as ever.
5.  They have “spheres of influence” they are taking over for “kingdom purpose” (Kingdom Now theology?)
6.  Claims of supernatural signs and wonders which the Bible doesn’t give.
7.  Claim they “light up every neighborhood” manifesting God’s love, yet have no evidence.
8.  Seeking to build a market-driven mega-church appealing to the flesh.
9.  Claim that the speaking in tongues is evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, contrary to what the Bible teaches.
10.  Preach the practice of tithing, which is not a biblical principle for Christians
11. Accepts training in the secular anti-Christian discipline of psychology.

So if Mr. Ijiwola got a vision from God, how come he teaches in opposition to God’s Word?

Gregory Ijiwola is just another charismatic, teaching false signs and wonders while promoting the market-driven ideology to make himself a mega-church leader who appeals to the flesh.  His Bible “app” fits right in with his philosophy.

But It's Becoming Normal

A religion of mere emotion and sensationalism is the most terrible of all curses that can come upon any people.  The absence of reality is sad enough, but the aggravation of pretense is a deadly sin.   

Samuel Chadwick.  Cited by Leonard Ravenhill,  Why Revival Tarries, pg.28

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

First up, here is what happens when you have self-proclaimed prophets who are nothing more than false teachers.  Elizabeth Prata has a good report about the incident.

Conservative commentator Mike Adams has a good article about “Three Kinds of Christians.”  I’m looking forward to the “to be continued…

Arch heretic Rob Bell just completed his “Everything Is Spiritual Tour.”  This guy is a dangerous wolf pretending to be Christian, and yet he continues to sucker believers into believing his tripe.

R.C. Sproul’s ministry has an interesting graphic demonstrating the state of the Church insofar as theological beliefs of the average Christian.  Granted, 3000 people is a small survey sample, but in my personal contacts with many, many Christians I tend to find the same things.  Sigh.

Paul Young is back.  You know, that heretic who wrote that horrid book, “The Shack.”  Now he has a new book coming out, “Eve.”  As Elizabeth Prata says, “The heresy continues.”  I was pointed to another blog article covering Young’s new book as well as his old book, and his teachings in general — and if you have no idea who Young is, then I recommend this article as a good primer!

If you use “Bible Gateway” for quick reference, etc, be very wary of the advertisements which may show up.  I received an email this past week alerting me to this site as being advertised there — and this is certainly not something Christians should be fed!  I  realize that sites which open up to advertising may have little or no control as to what shows up, so you need to be careful on ANY site with advertisements.

False teaching alert — Beth Moore is going to have another “simulcast” for churches across the nation in September.  If your leadership wants to bring that junk into your assembly, please give them good data demonstrating why Moore is a dangerous teacher.

Fred Butler has an excellent article with questions you need to ask “When Evaluating Parachurch Christian Ministries and Popular Bible Teachers.”  IF church leaders asked these questions, then there would BE NO Beth Moore simulcasts!

The Watchman Fellowship has a new profile out on Hinduism, which you may find useful.  They have a lot of good “profiles” on various false teachers and cult, and you can purchase the complete set if desired.  Always concise and usually only 3-4 pages.

When I read about this arrest, it didn’t surprise me.  False teachers are always trying to fleece the flock!

Excellent article by Albert Mohler in regards to that historic First Baptist Church of Greenville, SC, which decided to apostatize over homosexuality.  Somehow they discerned that the Bible is in error.

This would be quite funny if it wasn’t so seriously spiritually dangerous for those who listen to these false teachers.

Marsha West reposted an article from four years ago, and I think she’s right to do so because of the attitude projected by many against apologetics sites like mine.  While Tim Challies had a point, he painted with too broad of a brush, as Marsha pointed out.
I do have to say that those who follow my blog KNOW that I don’t only cover the bad (although exposing the wolves is the primary purpose of this blog), but I also provide information to good stuff, post thought-provoking quotes from excellent teachers, etc.  And I see the same thing with the many excellent blogs I follow.  I know there are indeed “nasty” blogs and sites out there, having come across many, but I think any discerning person will easily discover they are to be avoided.

(I "stole" the graphic from Berean Research)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Away With Palsied, Powerless Preaching

The church today is standing on the sidewalk, watching with fever and frustration, while the sin-dominated evil geniuses of Moscow strut the middle of the road, breathing out threatenings against “whatsoever things are lovely and of good report.”  Behind, follows the purple pageantry of papal Rome.  Moreover, the devil has substituted reincarnation for regeneration, familiar spirits for the Holy Spirit, Christian Science for divine healing, the Antichrist for the true Christ, and the Church of Rome for the true Church.

Agains these twin evils of Communism and Romanism, what has the Church to offer?  Where is the supernatural?  Both in the pulpit and in the press, somnolence seems to have overtaken religious controversy of late.  Even Rome does not call us Protestants any more; we have just the juiceless name of non-Catholics!  Significant, isn’t it?  Hell has no fury like that of this “Mother of Harlots” when she is stirred.  But who now “earnestly contends for the faith once delivered to the saints”?  Where are our unctionized pulpit crusaders?  Preachers who should be fishing for men are now too often fishing for compliments from men.  Preachers used to sow seed; now they string intellectual pearls.  (Imagine a field sown with pearls!)

Away with this palsied, powerless preaching which is unmoving because it was born in a tomb instead of a womb, and nourished in a fireless, prayer less soul.  We may preach and perish, but we cannot pray and perish.  If God called us to the ministry, then, dear brethren, I contend that we should get unctionized.  With all thy getting—get unction, lest barren altars be the badge of our unction less intellectualism.

[Replace “Moscow” and “Communism” with “Islam” for current affairs]

Leonard Ravenhill,  Why Revival Tarries (1959), pg.21-22