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, July 26, 2008

"Pleading the Blood" and "Binding" Satan

Several years ago I was with a youth group in a local church during the time an addition was being built. One evening close to the finish of the addition the leader took the whole group around all the new rooms to “plead the blood of Christ” and “bind” Satan from the rooms. I was so put off by the idea of such unbiblical practices that I said I could not participate and my son and I left.

At the next church we attended we discovered that every Sunday morning before service this one man would walk around the church “binding” Satan. Again, I just shook my head at such silliness. This particular assembly ended up splitting over the bringing in of the Toronto/Pensacola “revival” and I took my family elsewhere.

I have met many Christians over the years who have these same ideas. They originate in charismatic churches where other aberrations usually often abound. It is sad that people get so tied up in bondage to these false teachings. This month’s Berean Call newsletter brought this to mind as I read the following from the Q&A section:

Question: What about the popular idea that we must "plead the blood" over a situation or one's home, room by room?

Response: The phrase "plead the blood" does not appear once in all of Scripture. The word "plead" is found 30 times but never in association with blood. Just before each meeting of the discredited "revival" at the Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Florida, teams would pray over each seat and "bind the demons" that might be lurking in them. This is an unbiblical practice. The Bible contains no record of its ever being used by any apostle, prophet, or any other believer. Paul and the other apostles preached in many demonic places without once reciting this mantra. It is a vain practice that opens the door to much error, fanaticism, and spiritual bondage, needlessly giving attention to Satan and demons. Do not engage in it.

This is an excellent response to this practice. You will find no place in Scripture where these practices are mentioned, so those who teach this sort of stuff are false teachers who should be avoided.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Legalisms

An odd thing I have discovered is that many Christians claim that only the father of a family should be teaching the children Scripture, and that mothers are not to be doing so.


My first question is, where does one find that in the Bible? Proverbs 1:8 tells the young man to listen to his father’s instruction and his mother’s teaching. 2 Timothy 1:5 and 3:15 speak of Timothy having the faith from infancy which “first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice.”


My second question is, what if there is no father or if the father is not a Christian? Is the mother then not to teach Scripture to her children?


I sometimes find it difficult to understand where people come up with these legalistic ideas. I know a lot of this type of stuff comes through home-schoolers. I’m not making this charge without justification; I have first-hand knowledge because we home-schooled our kids and went to many conventions where we found lots of legalistic teachings, especially coming from the home-school icon, Bill Gothard.


I understand the motivation for Christian home-schooling is to protect our children from the atheistic, evolutionist, sex-driven government school systems, and that is wonderful; it is the reason we left the government schools. But, from what I have observed, home-schoolers as a rule seem to have some of the most bizarre and legalistic ideas outside of the cults. Aside from Bill Gothard we also have the Pearls, the Ezzos, Amish/Mennonite and other curricula, each claiming to have “God’s way” of doing things, each claiming more holiness. All these legalistic teachings twist Scripture out of its context, and all of them teach authoritarian dictatorship as the normal leadership model for the home. Additionally, virtually all of these legalistic methods live in the Old Testament, requiring much adherence to ceremonial and dietary laws that were meant only for Israel. So they have left the government schools to live in bondage to Pharisaical rules.


So what is my point? First, before telling another Christian that they are in error for the way they are teaching their children or living their lives, be sure you have Scriptural support. There are many issues that are covered under Romans 14 - - if you want to live legalistically, so be it, but don’t consider other Christians less holy if they don’t accept your idea of holiness. Second, don’t just jump on any teaching that claims to be “God’s way”; only the Bible can be trusted to be truly “God’s way.” Thirdly, check scripture in context and be Bereans (or at least Missourians) and say, “Show Me,” when claims are made about the Bible.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Emerging Into Apostasy

The Emerging Church movement is going farther and farther away from orthodoxy in many areas. But I guess it never was about staying true to Scripture, rather it was always only about appealing to a post-modern world. The following was posted on The Berean Call e-mail update on 7/1/08, which qoutes another site. It speaks for itself.
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How "Everything Must Change" [Excerpts]
A Pastor Reports on Brian McLaren's "Everything Must Change" Tour
Upon arriving at Goshen College on May 9, 2008), I immediately went to the registration table to pick up my name tag along with all the other conference materials. I was handed a plain cloth tote bag containing sample publications from organizations such as The Sierra Club, the One Campaign, Emergent Village, etc. As I came to the end of the table, I was also given a complimentary "green," low-energy light bulb. I knew at that moment, that I was about to begin a very unique experience to say the least.
The first session of the evening was entitled, "Focusing on the Wounds of our Planet." We sang a song based upon St. Francis of Assisi's poem "Brother Sun, Sister Moon." and were then led in an opening prayer of "location and repentance" by an attractive young African-American woman who approached the microphone and began the invocation.
"O Great God, we gather here where the Elkhart and St. Joseph rivers meet and then flow into Lake Michigan. From Lake Michigan to Lake Ontario, on through Niagara and ultimately into the Atlantic, one of Your great oceans that cover the face of the earth."
She then went on: "We repent for the violence and injustice done to the Illini, Miami, and other native tribes of the St. Joseph River Valley;" to which the audience responded, "Ancient One, Forgive us."
When she spoke of the native tribes, she was overcome with emotion and had to step back from the microphone until she could collect herself and continue; only after being comforted by an associate on the platform. Allow me to say right here and now that I was touched by the young woman's sincerity, and in no way want to mock or denigrate her feelings and convictions; I merely desire to express my serious disagreement with both the philosophy and logic behind them. Following that "liturgy," we viewed a DVD prepared by the Sierra Club exposing the immoral mining techniques used by energy companies in West Virginia. We were then asked to break up into small groups of two or three to discuss our thoughts and feelings, until being called back together by a gently ringing chime; a sound which became very familiar during the entire weekend.
The emergent community's fixation with non-Biblical practices rooted in the Middle Ages has been responsible for leading many sincere pilgrims to explore the "ancient-modern" church through candles, incense, adoration of icons and relics, etc. The audience was repeatedly encouraged to cast off their old "framing story" (the way they see the world) including such bad things as doctrinal and systematic Bible study, since (according to emergent thought) nothing can be definitely known. Therefore, any positive statements that sounded like confidence in the existence of absolute truth were scoffed at as being "narrow minded and proud.
http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/08/discernment/6-6-mclaren-1.htm