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

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Be Careful About Who Divides the Word

The following is by G. Richard Fisher in his article, The Plight of Ancestral Bondage: Is It Real Deliverance or Just a Radical Delusion, in the July-September issue of Personal Freedom Outreach’s The Quarterly Journal. The article exposes the fraudulent nature of “generational sin” and “deliverance” ministries. While the subject is about the whole fake demon-chasing by the likes of Bob Larson, Neil Anderson, Mark Bubeck, Rebecca Brown, et al, the comments by Fisher are also valid concerning any teachings.

Repeating a falsehood over and over can make it sound like truth. Hitler’s dictum that a lie repeated often enough will begin to sound true applies here. Just who divides the Word and how he divides it really becomes the all-important issue.

The discerning Christian will care who divides the Word for them. He will employ caution and concern when it comes to reading and listening, and will look to those who generally follow good hermeneutics, as well as historical orthodoxy. He will want to put himself under teachers whom he can trust and who hold to the fundamentals of the faith. He will avoid those who ride hobby horses, get off onto tangents, and are sensational for sensationalism’s sake. He will certainly avoid those who boast that they can verbally slap Satan and demons around because Jude 8-11 strongly condemns such conduct. Jude says that such teachers are dreamers who speak evil and speak of what they do not know. He says they are corrupt and totally running under their sinful nature and are like Balaam and Cain.

Christians should avoid these so-called “deliverance ministers” because they are clearly unbiblical, boastful, and spawning uncertainty as well as an unhealthy focus. We are to set our focus on things above - looking unto Jesus (Hebrews 12:2), not looking unto demons. …

It all goes back to who divides the Word and if they do so properly. When someone offers to lead us across a bridge of interpretation, we must be sure we are on the right bridge. Our protection is listening to dependable, historically orthodox teachers who recognize context and the balance of comparing Scripture with Scripture. We should also be praying for God to give us discernment. The commentaries we consult should be safe and sound. They should not smuggle in pagan worldviews and inject things into the text that are not there. Syncretism ends up being the real curse.

It is our responsibility to know where we dine and what we are “eating” and who is doing the serving. Sometimes apologetic ministries are maligned for trying to act as some kind of “Board of Health” for the religious “kitchens” out there. Somebody has to do it. Cutting the Word properly is a biblical mandate and essential to our spiritual health (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just overwhelmed. You dont need to publish this tho. Years ago thought i needed prayer for deliverance from spirits, and its just matter of ingrained bad habits and sins after all? But how blind could a person be that he can even deceive himself bec of his pride, as i have. That it becomes too late, even knowing Scripture, youre not really obeying...its just pathetic, miserable, hopeless when ones heart is wrong and hard. But how to change when ur all alone, dont know how to go back, just so,so bad. You cant even accept yourself, how can u be forgiven.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Anonymous,

I'm saddened to hear you suffered from such abusive teaching. "Deliverance" teaching can ruin people's lives.

It is never too late, and one can change because you are NOT alone - You have the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are not asked to accept ourselves for forgiveness. We are forgiven because of the work of Jesus.