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

Monday, April 23, 2012

Random Apostasies and Heresies

Things have been collecting because I spent a few days at the St. Louis Conference on Biblical Discernment.  This biennial event was as good as ever, and I learned lots of good stuff!  Teaching discernment is what my blog is about, especially with these random clips of some of the sometimes more subtle errors affecting the Church today.  Hold on to your hats, because there are some weird things exposed below.
Sunday, April 8th, Christians around the world celebrated the resurrection of our Lord and Savior.  Unfortunately, many “church” assemblies chose to worshiping something else, as you will see in the following examples:
1.  Bill Gothard had a new twist by sending out a mass mailing asking his followers to Let’s Celebrate Easter...by Doing the Impossible.  The letter is typical Gothardism abuse of Scripture promoting his aberrant views, without even a hint of what Easter was about, other than to give us “resurrection power” to “do the impossible.”
2.  Beavercreek, Ohio (a Dayton suburb) Church of the Nazarene had a very bizarre “dance” on stage as part of their Easter service.  I agree with The Museum of Idolatry that this dance has nothing to do with the Resurrection, and at times is even quite sensual for a church service.

3.  The Museum of Idolatry reported on some other unholy Easter services:
a.  That Church (pretty bizarre name to start with) had a fire-breathing act on stage.
b.  Destiny Christian Center in Oklahoma City decided what they needed was a sermon about the sinking of the Titanic.

c.  And, of course, no seeker-sensitive “church” would be complete without a sermon bringing in sexuality.  Judah Smith, of The City Church, told us how “Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection give us freedom in every aspect of our lives, including our sexuality.”  Apparently this is the 7th sermon on a series about sex.
Okay, moving on from Easter, a new fad spreading more and more is the idea of “Chrislam,” a clear violation of 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.  I found a couple reports this week to be disturbing:
1.  Caryl Matrisciana has an article reviewing Rick Warren’s continued support of Islam.
2.  Now the End Begins appears to be a bit aberrant with some of their ideas (KJV only, e.g.) and, with their emphasis on prophecy, I wonder if there is a connection to Seventh-day Adventism.  However, I think their article about Chrislam is pretty accurate.  I noticed in their list of churches involved in sponsoring Chrislam services is one near me in Iowa City, and where I even played for a funeral.  Be discerning on this site if you choose to look over it.
With Mitt Romney in the news, more and more goatherds are showing their ignorance of the LDS faith.  Rick Warren, promoter of Islam, ecumenicism, and other false teachings, thinks the main problem with Mormonism their view of the Trinity.  HELLO!!!  They could accept the Trinity but as long as their God and Jesus are not the God and Jesus of the Bible, believing the Trinity would still be a “sticking” point.  And there is one heck of a lot more than this which makes a “fundamental difference” between LDS and true Christianity.  Then Richard Mouw, the president of the very liberal Fuller Theological Seminary, claims that he’s studied cults and therefore knows that the LDS isn’t a cult.  Of course his reasoning is that cults don’t have world-class universities.  HUH?!?!  So according to Mouw, as long as the LDS has a great university, it doesn’t matter that their theology is everywhere contradictory of true Christianity.  Another reason not to trust any graduate of Fuller to be a teacher worth listening to.
I’m learning more and more about Emergent heretic Steven Furtick.  As with other false teachers, not only does he totally abuse Scripture, he also claims to hear directly from God.  And yet James MacDonald still supports him (as he still does T.D. Jakes).

Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller, has been around for quite a while now, attracting more and more gullible Christians and their money for feeding on false teaching.  Baptist Press has an interesting article about this book.
Emergent heretics are now going after our children.  A conference is coming up next month to train children and youth in a “new kind of Christianity.”  Those who send their children there should first read what Christ has to say about causing children to stumble (Matt. 18:6).  The “old kind” of Christianity is what Jesus started; we don’t need a “new” kind.
You just have to love false teacher Richard Foster; he says the Bible is still a reliable guide even though it has many “inconsistencies.”  Of course Foster just seeks his “inner light” for determining the accuracy of the Word.
We have a new Bible translation coming off the presses, this one called “The Voice.”  
It was previously out only as a New Testament in 2008, but now it’s available as a complete “Bible.”  Steve Bricker makes a short comparison between The Voice and the ESV translation at Titus 3:1-11, and just that comparison should be a warning bell going off in anyone’s head.  Other reports I read this past week were from Erin over at Do Not Be Surprised (who also points out the heretics on the writing team) and The Blaze.  There is really no need for any new English translations of the Bible.  Despite the claim from those promoting The Voice, who claim the Bible is difficult to read and therefore they are solving the problem, there are numerous easy translations of the Bible available, including the formal English Standard Version, and the less formal Holman Christian Standard Bible, the New International Version and the New Living Translation.  Going more dynamic is God’s Word translation, as well as the old Today’s English Version (Good News Bible).  None of these are as paraphrased as is The Voice.  The only reason for a new translation is to push a particular agenda.  Leave this mine in the minefield.
Multi-site churches have become a rage, but they cannot possibly be good for shepherding the flock since the shepherd can’t know his sheep.  The very idea of preaching from one site and broadcasting to numerous other sites to super-large followings reeks of egotism and entertainment-orientation.  Erin has posted an interesting article about this subject.
Another article from Erin exposes Ed Young, Jr and his continued reliance upon gimmicks for church attendance.  This time he’s holding a “pet service,” and he wants it to be the “largest pet service in the history of Christianity.  I have no doubt that it will be. But what has that got to do with the purpose of the church?  For those who see nothing wrong with this, I suggest you read my article, What is ‘Church’ For?
Lastly, Sola Sisters posted an excellent commentary about some problems with Ann Voskamp’s book, “One Thousand Gifts.”  Short answer, the book is just another mine in the Christian book store minefields.  Leave it there.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Some Interesting Thoughts About Worship Issues

These are just some citations I copied down many years ago because they made me think.  I was going to make a collection of this type of citation, but I decided there would be too much work writing them all out (before I had a computer) so I just kept the two sheets, on which these were written, in my files.  Nothing really profound, just things to think about.
The source of all our troubles is in not knowing the Scriptures.
Chrysostom (A.D. 347-407)  quoted in The Culting of America, p39
Boredom is a chronic symptom of a pleasure-obsessed age.  When pleasure becomes one's number one priority, the result, ironically, is boredom.  The ceaseless attempt to rekindle pleasure in the face of boredom can lead to moral degeneration.... The more we seek pleasure for its own sake, the less we will have.... Augustine...said that sometimes, when the choir sang the Psalms, he got so caught up in the beautiful melody that he neglected the words of Scripture that the song meant to proclaim.  The pleasure he received distracted him from the true object and purpose of worship.  Augustine realized that worship is not supposed to be entertainment, the equivalent of a concert or a nightclub.  Contemporary congregations and church growth consultants would do well to remember this insight.
Gene Edward Veith, Table Talk, September, 1996, cited in AFA Journal, January, 1998, p. 20
The great hymns of the church are on the way out.  They are not gone entirely, but they are going.  And in their place have come trite jingles that have more in common with contemporary advertising ditties than the psalms.  The problem here is not so much the style of the music, though trite words fit best with trite tunes and harmonies.  Rather it is with the content of the songs.  The old hymns expressed the theology of the Bible in profound and perceptive ways and with winsome memorable language.  Today's songs are focused on ourselves.  They reflect our shallow or nonexistent theology and do almost nothing to elevate our thoughts about God.  Worst of all are songs that merely repeat a trite idea, word, or phrase over and over again.  Songs like this are not worship, though they may give the churchgoer a religious feeling.  They are mantras, which belong more in a gathering of New Agers than among the worshiping people of God.
Dr. James Montgomery Boice, pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia
cited in Maranatha Bible Church, Cedar Rapids, IA, newsletter, 2/98
Church architecture varies.  Every church building communicates some kind of nonverbal message.  In the past, the Gothic cathedral was designed to focus attention on God's transcendence.  The use of high ceilings, vaulted space, towers, and spires all served to communicate that in this building, people met with the holy.  While some contemporary church buildings still use spires and vaulted ceilings to suggest God's awesome holiness, other church buildings have been designed to create a fellowship facility.  These churches can look more like town meeting halls or even theaters.  In some of these churches, the sanctuary becomes a stage, and the congregation becomes an audience.  The trend may be seen as a profanation of sacred space to remove any discomfort suggested by the presence and terror of our holy God.  In these settings people are comfortable with other people as they enjoy fellowship with one another.  What is often lost in these functional church designs is the profound sense of threshold.  A threshold is a place of transition.  It signals a change from one realm to another.
Dr. R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God, p.212
...if the image has replaced the word, music has replaced the book.  Young people watch and listen more than they read....  Music appeals primarily to the emotions....
Music and the image, then, the two most potent influences on young people today, conspire to bypass the reasoning powers of the mind and to encourage thinking by association rather than by analysis.  The relationship between this trend and the emotional orientation of young people...should give us pause for thought whenever we discern signs of spiritual shallowness...among student Christians.
Sue Brown, cited in The Gagging of God, p.509

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Beautiful Bug

I think this cartoon sums up a problem with pastors of seeker-sensitive/market-driven churches.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Random Apostasies and Heresies

Here we are, another time for bringing to your attention some good apologetics news from the world of apologetics blogging.
Defending.Contending has an excellent post with a collection of the various passages in the New Testament which warn of false teaching and false teachers.  The collection is followed by examples of some false teachings from current popular teachers.
Meanwhile, Ken Silva has a worth-while article about refuting false doctrine rather than adapting it.

Then hop over to Under Much Grace for an excellent article about exposing error, as well as “naming names” of those who preach it.
Over at the Cripplegate, we can take a lesson from the Liberals on how to destroy the church from the inside.  As the author notes, what happens is a “train wreck.”
One of the most bizarre claims to come about lately is from a feminist “theologian” over in the UK who claims that Jesus may have been a hermaphrodite!  It’s part of the whole agenda to feminize God.  The End Time has an excellent 3-part article about feminism invading the church and corrupting it.
Watch out for Brian McLaren: he wants to brainwash our children into the Emergent system of false Christianity.  He reminds me of how Hitler said he had the children, so he didn’t care what their parents thought.  See the Lighthouse Trails article about this danger.  The Sola Sisters have a wee bit more about the subject, so you might want to peruse their article.

Speaking of the Sola Sisters, they have some interesting news about an Emergent Church leader, Samir Selmanovic, worshiping with witches.  Just goes to show that when you leave Biblical doctrine behind, anything goes, and, with EC, apostasy is rampant.
While T.D. Jakes is claiming to not be a Word of Faith Prosperity teacher, he is taking part in the TBN “Fleece-a-thon,” as exposed by Apprising Ministries.
In my last report I linked to a video of a child at Rob DeLuca’s church demanding God to do her bidding.  His church is obviously another place rife with aberrations and false teachings.  A new video I’ve been shown demonstrates just how bizarre his use - and abuse - of children can be.

More information about the false teachings of Henry Blackaby comes from Apprising Ministries.  In this article Ken Silva also discusses Beth Moore and other mystics.
On a lighter, yet serious note, here’s a great parody/expose about heretic Joel Osteen; I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Experiencing Henry Blackaby

Let me state up front that I have never read anything by Henry Blackaby.  I first heard about him through numerous reviews of his book, “Experiencing God,” and didn’t like what I read.  The reports all pretty much came to the same conclusion, which was that Blackaby’s teachings were not orthodox and should be avoided.  Therefore, my report here is based on others’ reviews, which I think are more than adequate to be used as a warning.
According to G. Richard Fisher & M. Kurt Goedelman in the Personal Freedom Outreach’s The Quarterly Journal, “One of the leading exponents of non-Charismatic subjectivism is Southern Baptist Henry Blackaby.  His writings include the best-seller, Experiencing God.  Charismatics have called Blackaby one who is ‘shaking Southern Baptist tradition.’”  They also cite Charisma magazine as saying about Experiencing God, “it urges individuals and congregations to break free from religious traditions in order to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance.  (vol.23/no.3, July-September 2003, Experiencing Mysticism)
Fisher & Goedelman assess Blackaby’s writings this way: “Some of what he says is right.  Some of what he says may be helpful.  And he has tapped into every Christian’s desire to love God more and have more intimate times of fellowship with Him.” But they also say that some “are disturbed by what they see as semantic and hermeneutical confusion.  Some say that what Blackaby gives with one hand in exalting the Bible, he takes away with the other through nuances and caveats.  Blackaby’s book [Experiencing God] has good parts, questionably parts, contradictory parts, and problematic parts.  An evaluation of the book depends on the evaluation’s focus.”  They then cite what a few other evaluators say:
Michael Horton: “they are simply repetitions of the Keswick ‘Higher Life’ teaching.”
CRI’s Elliot Miller: “I do think [Blackaby’s] teaching is largely extra biblical and Scripture is arbitrarily and subjectively used to support principles he has really observed from his own experience.  I think his teaching can do some harm, and it disturbs me that he is so widely influential….”
Dr. Jay Adams said: “In [his] book the changes are rung on the word ‘sensing.’ One is guided by sensing God’s will, by sensing that He is at work, etc. … It has been a long time since I have read a book containing more misleading ideas about guidance.  There is no doubt that this book has the potential to do much harm.”
Gil Rugh, referencing his pastoral staff:  “Upon our review of Experiencing God, we have come to the conclusion that this book contains serious theological errors that disqualify it from being a helpful Christian resource.  To summarize, we believe that Experiencing God is in error in the following areas: 1) it teaches that God speaks directly to Christians in ways outside of the Bible; 2) it promotes a view of presenting the Gospel that is essentially the same as the ‘power evangelism’ approach of the Vineyard movement; 3) it takes a neo-orthodox approach to Scripture; 4) it promotes a low view of the person of Jesus Christ; 5) it seriously misinterprets and misapplies texts of Scripture; and 6) it promotes a view of Christian living that is unbiblical.”
So just what is it about Blackaby’s writings that disturbs discerning people?  Let me give some examples from “Experiencing God.
“When God gave directions to our church in Saskatoon, most of the time He gave them through persons other than me.  Most of theme came from the members who were sensing a clear direction from God.  We created the opportunity for people to share what they sensed God was leading us to be or do.  Our desire was not to find out who was for it and who was against it. ... That is the wrong question. ... The right question is ‘With all of the information and all of the praying that we have been doing, how many of you sense that God clearly is directing us to proceed in this direction?’ This is a very different question.  It does not ask for members for their opinions.  It asks them to vote based on what they sense God is saying to His church.”
Okay, now I have some questions.  Is this not still asking for opinions as to personal “sensing”?  And does not Jeremiah 17:9 tell us that the heart is deceitful?  And can this vote not still be directed by personal agenda?  Fisher & Goedelman point out that, “Even more disturbing is the spiritual intimidation he exploits in getting people to ‘sense’ the direction God was supposedly providing.”  And then they cite this paragraph:
“People often ask, ‘Did you always wait until you got a 100 percent vote?’  No, I knew that we might have one or more that were so out of fellowship with the Lord that they could not hear His voice.  Another might be purposefully disobedient. ... Their disagreement indicated that they might have a fellowship problem with the Lord.”
So, if you disagree with what Blackaby “senses” God wants, then it is YOU who are out of fellowship or disobedient and can’t hear God’s voice!  Can I not turn this around and say that those in disagreement with him are the ones truly hearing God’s voice and that Blackaby is the disobedient one promoting his own agenda?  Fisher & Goedelman make a good point that, “If one applied a form of Blackaby’s premise to the ten Promise Land ‘explorers’ (and subsequently the entire Israelite community) who stood against Caleb and Joshua..., we see how unscriptural this guidance by ‘sensing’ of the majority can be.”
Thomas Williamson is also disturbed with this teaching.  He wrote, “I would just love Blackaby's book, if I was a pastor or religious leader that wanted to make unquestioning zombies out of my followers, so that they would do whatever I wanted them to do without question. I would order copies for every member (our of church founds), get everyone to read and study it, and make everyone feel that their spirituality, and our hopes for revival in the church, depended on their acceptance of Blackaby's teaching.”  Can you imagine the Joseph Smiths out there waiting to exercise this teaching?!
Fisher & Goedelman have three major concerns with Blackaby’s teachings: 1) contradictory statements along with a questionable Christology, 2) grandiose claims, and 3) confused hermeneutics resulting in covert mysticism. 
As an example of contradictory statements, Blackaby is cited as saying in one place that “God speaks through circumstances,” while later in the book he says, “Never, ever determine the truth of a situation by looking at the circumstances.”   Other similar examples are also provided, which demonstrates just how confusing Blackaby’s teachings can be.
An example Fisher & Goedleman give of Blackaby’s defective Christology is how he claims that Jesus had to continually make “major adjustments to be in perfect cooperation with the Father.”  Nowhere do we find this in Scripture!
Fisher & Goedelman explain the grandiose claims as being unverifiable “testimonials” about Experiencing God “Reports started to come in that people were sending copies of Experiencing God to friends and family all over the world.  Missionaries were studying it and had renewed senses of call and outbreaks of revival.  The book was even being used for church planting....”  They then make a very good point:  “What is especially disconcerting is to observe that none of the claims made for Blackaby’s book are made for the Bible.  Although maybe not intended, the testimonials in Experiencing God of “experiencing God” appear to transcend what Scripture is able to do in one’s life.  Consider that the reader is volleyed with testimonies of exhilarating intimacy with God, life-changing experiences, and church revival, all of which have come, not through the living Word of God, but through Blackaby’s book.” 
I don’t know about you, but when people give this sort of praise to a man’s book rather than to the Bible itself, I am really disturbed as to their focus.
Fisher & Goedelman continue their examination of Blackaby’s teachings by looking at the book he co-authored with his son, Hearing God’s Voice.  (Fisher & Goedelman say this book is clearly a rewrite of Experiencing God with an apologetic attempt”.) In this book they teach that there are only two kinds of people - those who “know when God is speaking to them” and “those who question whether God communicates with people at all.”  So where does that leave people like me, who says God MAY communicate with us outside of Scripture (after all, He is sovereign) but I don’t “know” if God has ever done so with me?  And yet in the Experiencing God workbook, Blackaby writes, “If you have trouble hearing God speak, you are in trouble at the very heart of your Christian experience.” 
I find this to be very presumptuous! 
Blackaby claims that since God spoke to Adam and Eve, Abraham and other patriarchs, as well as Old Testament prophets and the New Testament Apostles, then we “can anticipate that He will be speaking to you also.”  The implication is that God will speak audibly to us!!!  But where does he find justification for this in Scripture?
Much of Experiencing God teaches a mystical relationship with God and Scripture, based on personal experiences, which is a major problem with Blackaby’s teachings - mysticism.  Mysticism as defined by D.D. Martin (cited by Fisher & Goedelman):  “an experienced, direct, nonabstract, unmediated knowing of God.”  
What does “unmediated” mean?  In the O.T. God mediated His presence through priests and the tabernacle.  God mediated Himself through Jesus and now mediates Himself through the Word.  Seeking a mystical knowledge of God is based on feelings, which leads to much dangerous theology.  After all, the Mormons capitalize on the fact that they “feel” a “burning in the bosom” which tells them the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, both of which we know to be false!
Fisher gives also gives a good explanation of mysticism in the April-June 2011 Quarterly Journal: “Mysticism is sensual, rather than cognitive.  It is emotional, rather than thoughtful.  It wants emotions, not biblical precision.  It wants a spiritual Disney World, not doctrine.  It cares little for biblical truth and feelings that may follow from truth, but wants feelings written large and leading out in front - truth aside.  Truth is no longer the judge of feelings in mysticism, but the reverse. ... Mystics mistake imagination for revelation and and individual’s feelings become God to them.”
Thomas Williamson is also disturbed by things in “Experiencing God.”  In his review, Williamson notes the following under his “Some Not-so-good Teachings”:
A sign of possible error in Blackaby's theology can be found on p. 19 of Blackaby's book "Experiencing God" when he states "With God working through me, I can do anything God can do." This statement assigns to man the attribute of omnipotence, which is a mistake. Only God can do anything God can do.
It gets worse, as Blackaby tells us how we can know about God. "In the Scriptures knowledge of God comes through experience. We come to know God as we experience Him in and around our lives." (p.5) "God wants you to come to a greater knowledge of Himself via experience.” (p.19)
I must strenuously disagree with this teaching. We know about God through His revealed, inspired, preserved Word of God, the Bible, not through our experience. 
....
Blackaby teaches that there is only one possible will for the life of every Christian, and that the Christian must learn God's perfect will for every action or else he will go astray. But how can we learn God's will for everything we do without a continuing revelation from God? Not to worry- just follow your leaders and do not disagree with anything they propose. According to Blackaby, true Christian unity means that all members of a church must be in to talk agreement even on non-moral, nontheological matters (such as whether to proceed with a building program.)
Summing up Blackaby’s teachings, Fisher & Goedelman conclude that “Christians who buy into Blackaby’s advice will find themselves in the muddle of the old higher-life school, trying to discern God’s voice and hear God speak.  Christians need not jump through all of these hoops, but ask God to help them to understand the power of His Word and to commit to daily devotions and Scripture memorization.  These things will bring strength, comfort, direction, and consistency.”
I heartily agree.  We can “experience God” through Scripture and prayer rather than some mystical experience which we try to interpret.

For further reading regarding the false teachings of Blackaby, I recommend the following:
Pastor Gary Gilley’s excellent 3-part review:
Gilley’s review of “Hearing God’s Voice”:
[Other problems with Blackaby include his promotion of books by Madame Guyon (mystic and heretic) and Brother Lawrence (Catholic monk and mystic), which promotion was on his site for a time.]

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Christ the Lord is Risen Today - Alleluia!

Christ the Lord is ris’n today. Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say: Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high. Alleluia!
Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply: Alleluia!
Lives again our glorious King. Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now they sting? Alleluia!
Dying once, He all doth save. Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!
Love’s redeeming work is done. Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won. Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids Him rise. Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise. Alleluia!
Soar we now where Christ has led. Alleluia!
Foll’wing our exalted Head. Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise. Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies. Alleluia!
Charles Wesley.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

What Is Easter About?

Over at Do Not Be Surprised... Erin has an excellent collection of videos of what various  entertainment-oriented (and, in my opinion, apostate) churches are doing for Easter celebration.  This collection includes the churches “pastored” by Ed Young, Jr, Troy Gramling, Rick Warren, Rod Parsley and Kevin Gerald, and a Canadian church which is putting on a Batman and Robin show!

So is this what Jesus rose from the dead for? Not even close.  Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins, and he rose from the dead to prove the payment was accepted and death was conquered.  Easter is not about celebrating how good we can entertain each other by copying the world’s system.  It is about celebrating our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and what He did for us.

This old B.C. comic strip from 1991 sums it up succinctly.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Did They Really Say That?

?!?
The scientific fact that man and the universe are evolved from Spirit, and so are spiritual, is as fixed in divine Science as is the proof that mortals gain the sense of health only as they lose the sense of sin and disease.
Mary Baker Eddy  (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p.69.)
I challenge any Christian Scientist to show me one scientist who will agree that it is a “scientific fact” that everything is “evolved from Spirit.”  There isn’t even a scientific fact that evolution ever happened the way Darwinists claim, let alone this sort of evolution!
And just where is the “proof” that we will gain health when we quit thinking of sin and disease as reality?  In the Old Testament God certainly says sin is a reality.  Christ said sin is a reality, as did the authors of all the New Testament.  So who do we trust - Christ or Mary Eddy?  And if disease isn’t a reality, then explain how so many people die of it!  And how did Christ heal people of diseases that didn’t exist?
Christian Science is not Christian, nor is it science!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Random Things

I’ve been quite busy lately, giving much less time to work on my own articles, but I have done my usual habit of collecting links to others’ good articles in the apologetics realm.  So this is another episode of random articles and my associated comments.
First up,  I just learned that back in 2009 Brian McLaren decided to celebrate Ramadan (I know that’s old news, but I don’t really follow McLaren’s heresies).  What about 2 Corinthians 6:14?  They claimed to be doing the same thing as Jesus did with the Jews, but that is far from reality, since Jews and Christians worship the same God!   Nothing like a supposed Christian compromising with Islam!  Then again, McLaren long ago left the realm of orthodox Christianity and became a rank heretic as one of the movers and shakers of the Emergent Church.
Continuing on this topic of Christians and compromising with Islam, Rick Warren and various Emergents and other false teachers are going deeper into apostasy - and rank heresy - as they signed on to a proclamation titled, “Loving God and Neighbor Together.”  I expect this from heretics like Robert Schuller (who is one of the signatories)   and Brian McLaren, but too many supposed evangelicals are going along with this pandering to Islam.  I guess I have to admit that Warren’s involvement is no surprise, considering his previous episodes of sanctioning Islam, but I think it is time for pastors to start warning their sheep about what a dangerous religion Islam really is, and that - as Christians - we have nothing really in common with them.
Then there’s the story going around the past couple of months about churches in Great Britain changing the Ten Commandments.  After all, they needed to be “updated” to “reflect modern values.”  It won’t be long until the Big Ten are referred to as the jokes say - the Ten Suggestions.  “Thou shalt not steal” is now “prosper with a clear conscience.”  I know what you’re thinking - “HUH?!?!”  as Ken Silva asks, “So apparently, as long as I have “a clear conscience,” it’s okay for me to ‘prosper’ by stealing from you?”
Yes, Rick Warren is again a topic.  His “Daniel Plan” is another fad taking off, but Erin has a good question about it: “Does “Daniel Plan” Co-Author Care More About Your Scale Than Your Soul?”  The answer is, apparently, a resounding “yes!”

More on Mark Drisoll’s lack of qualifications for being a pastor comes in the form of a testimony by the wife of a former elder of Mars Hill Church.  Driscoll seems to be more of a cult leader (or just plain dictator) than he does a pastor.  She now has a site with all the documents surrounding the firing of her husband.  I didn’t have time to go over the entire site, but what I did read was some very disturbing information about spiritual abuse going on.  Go peruse it for yourself. [link gone by 5/12/19]
The goatherds leading so many charismaniac “churches” continually blaspheme God with their false teachings and blatant blasphemy.  Rob Deluca is a name I’m not familiar with, but watching just this one video of part of a “worship” service was enough to disgust any Christian with the abject blasphemy taught to a young girl, let alone the rest of the goats in the audience and the screaming “worship” leader.  I suggest this goatherd read Jesus’ warning at Matthew 18:6.

Here we go again: another Bible version will be released later this summer.  Called the “Common English Bible,” it seeks “to make a bridge between conservatives, moderates and liberals.”  Um, is there really a problem with just translating what the manuscripts actually say rather than making it agree with any particular agenda?  From the article in the Christian Post, one can read of politically-incorrect language being changes to something more palatable for liberals.  Of course it also follows the modern idea of being “gender-inclusive.”  Fuller Theological Seminary, that bastion of liberal Christianity, is adding it to “the NRSV and TNIV as translations that could be required for students doing biblical studies.”  After all, we certainly wouldn’t want them reading an unbiased Bible, would we?  I discovered Ken Silva did an article about this Bible when it was first available in digital format on the Internet, which I suggest you review.  Erin has a good commentary about this latest update.
Almost a year ago I wrote a short article which mentioned the Hebrew Roots Movement.    This led to an e-mail contact from the owner of Joyfully Growing In Grace blog, which reports of this movement.  This week she wrote a very good article about some claims by people in this movement.  I recommend it for your perusal.
Meanwhile, I am still slowly working on an article about the false teachings of mystic Henry Blackaby, but I came across this article last week, which should give you an idea of problems with Blackaby’s teachings!  As the author of this article points out, Blackaby claims that we should all be able to audibly hear God’s voice, and “If you do not hear God's voice, could it be your heart is not ready to respond to what he says? Are you clinging to sin or holding out against what you already know of his will? No matter what the reason for the silence, there is a remedy: repent and return to God. Allow God to soften your heart so you are ready to hear his voice and to respond in obedience. Continue seeking and listening until you have heard him speak to you in his unmistakable voice. When he does, it will change your life."  So my question becomes, “can you demonstrate this from Scripture?”  I like the author’s question:  “Mr. Blackaby...does this mean that you are sinless?”
The Family Integrated Church Movement is associate a lot with various patriarchy movements.  I think the FICM has a lot of good to say about how we treat our churches like public schools when it comes to Sunday Schools, but the movement also has some problems.  Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary has a good report of the pros and cons of this movement, which I recommend.

Sola Sisters blog reports on “Concerns About Kirk Cameron’s Movie ‘Monumental.’”  I like Cameron, but I think he’s getting mixed up with the wrong people and getting some wrong information regarding not only American history, but theology in general
I long ago reported about the apostate condition of the ELCA denomination, especially in regards to their love affair with homosexuality.  Well, they’ve just sunk a bit deeper into that pit by choosing as senior pastor in St. Paul, MN’s largest Lutheran Church a man who openly practices homosexual behavior.  Do they really think this is pleasing to God?
One thing all false teachers have in common is that they seek the approval of man rather than the approval of God.  Ken Silva has a very good article on this subject over at Apprising Ministries.  Unlike most pastors today, Ken isn’t afraid to “name names” of false teachers.
The Cripplegate has a thought-provoking article about worship leaders.  Essentially, they need to remember that they aren’t rock stars.
How about ending this report with a wee bit of humor: go read about the man who was detained for having the audacity to carry a Bible into a megachurch.