Where oh where to begin! It is really saddening to see the current state of the Church, running rife with such apostasy and heresy, as well as just plain bad teaching. And yet these things are often so subtle that the average person doesn’t recognized the problems, which is why apologetics ministries are so vital to the health of the church. These things must be exposed for what they are so that, hopefully, those who are sucked into such teachings will be alerted to leave them.
The big discussion on many apologetics sites this week has been fallout from the happenings at “Elephant Room 2.” The problem was the invitation of T.D. Jakes to partake, and T.D. Jakes is a well-known Word of Faith teacher and modalist, which is considered heresy. James MacDonald, who used to be quite fundamental, has defended Jakes, which has caused even more of a stir. Then Voddie Baucham declined an invitation to speak at ER2 because of T.D. Jakes being there. I am going to give you several links on the subject so you can understand exactly what has been happening. I think this is something Christians should be aware of.
First was the Twitter message by MacDonald extolling the teachings of Jakes.
Pastor Ken Silva at Apprising Ministries posted a commentary in which he includes a “Twitter mini-commentary” by Dr. James White. Apprising Ministries also has an excellent post demonstrating other problems with T.D. Jakes besides his modalism.
Then we have a thoughtful commentary by Prof. Denny Burke of Boyce College.
Voddie Baucham gives his testimony about his invitation to speak at ER2, and his declining to do so after learning of T.D. Jakes being there, and the ramifications with James MacDonald which followed. Baucham should be praised for his stance for truth.
In an interview with Dr. James White, Bauchman nails those who are attacking ER2’s critics as being cult-like, and I think he hit the nail on the head!
Finally, today’s “the Cripplegate” blog has a great article summing up much of the events surrounding the ER2 controversy. If you read just one, make it this one.
On another topic, a few months ago I was asked by a friend to read the book, Pagan Christianity, because he thought it was wonderful. I did a 10-page review for my friend, demonstrating how rife it was with historical inaccuracies, logic fallacies and poor hermeneutics. I thought about posting it on this blog, but it was way too long to keep anyone’s interest. Well, Manfred over at Defending Contending did a review last week which isn’t a whole lot shorter than mine, but covers all the bases quite well. I highly recommend the article, but I suggest also that no Christian waste their money on the book!
I learned an interesting thing this week about Bill Gothard’s teachings which I never heard before, but apparently is not new. He is now a proponent of the mystical practice of Lectio Divina. Not really surprising, considering he teaches a lot of superstitious nonsense and other mysticism.
On a humorous, yet serious note, an ex-Gothardite wrote a good illustration of how legalism affects people. “A Legalist Goes Shopping” is a must-read.
In the same realm of spiritual abuse as Bill Gothard’s organization, we find Gwen Shamblin’s heretical “Remnant Fellowship.” You may remember Gwen from the Weigh Down Diet, and workshops which popped up in churches. Cindy at “Under Much Grace” has a good article comparing the two, as well as exposing Gwen’s false teachings and consequences of following them, especially in regards to raising children.
Speaking of legalistic religious systems, Google is having a devastating effect on the Mormon church. They’ve never had so many people leaving the church as is happening now, due to people learning the truth about the LDS which the Mormons would rather keep hidden! This interesting article about the subject comes from the U.K.
Continuing with false and legalistic movements, a movement I had heard of long ago is called “The Way,” founded by a man named William Irvine. I guess the group itself refuses to publish exactly what it is they teach, so Kathleen Lewis wrote the book, “The Church Without a Name” to expose them for the cult that they are. I have skimmed over much of the on-line version of this book, and have ordered hard copy. You may find this group interesting to examine. A friend pointed me to this site because a relative of his died this week, and was a member.
Shocking news about Wycliffe Bible Translators, who have removed the words “Father” and “Son” and “son of God” from new Bibles so as not to offend Muslims. Two other publishers, Summer Institute of Linguistics and Frontiers, are also participating in this travesty. The name of Christ is also offensive around the world - should we remove it from Scripture?!?!
Benny Hinn’s antics draw thousands of people who have little to no discernment. He is about as heretical as a teacher can get, and yet he is able to take his theatrics around the world. Well, now a lady is suing because she was injured after being struck by someone who was “slain in the spirit.” She is suing the church who hosted the arch-heretic Hinn. At “the Cripplegate,” Nathan Busenitz reports on this incident, and then takes the opportunity to explain the unbiblical nature of the “slain in the spirit” practice.
The Word of Faith cult gets more bizarre every day. “Bishop” Eddie Long has been crowned as a king. A good report by Apprising Ministries includes a video with T.D. Jakes preaching WOF theology, but the video of Eddie Long’s coronation is the one you really have to see. Where in the world is the discernment with these people attending such performances?!?!
One common practice with all false teachers is what Herescope reports this week: Narcigesis. It’s a term I can come to like!
Finally, Janis Hutchinson has a really good, short article about “How to Confirm What You Believe.” A good way to avoid false teachings.