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
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Random Apostasies and Heresies

The biggest thing happening this past week was the Strange Fire Conference, headed up by John MacArthur.  A lot of very good teachings and a lot of very good exposure of the excesses of charismania.  For a good overview, see this page at the Cripplegate.

Mark Driscoll, being the ever-immature individual he’s proven to be, decided to crash the conference one day to pass out his new book (sort of narcissistic).  He was stopped from doing so, and then lied to people claiming his books were confiscated.  Erin has good coverage of what took place.  As I have said before, Driscoll is not qualified to be a pastor.

So what is this new book of Driscoll’s which was so important to pass out?  It is titled A Call to Resurgence, and I came across two good reviews which sum up the good and the bad; one from Tim Challies and the other from Eric Dodson. [link gone by 12/19/16] As Eric says, the book is built on a false premise, which, to me, isn’t surprising coming from Driscoll.

Now that I’m talking about a pastor who isn’t qualified for his position, here is another one.  This guy decides to hold the child guilty of the sins of the mother.  It would be quite easy to make sure his congregation knows that fornication is wrong; to claim that blessing an out-of-wedlock child would suggest condoning fornication is just plain wrong.  The blessing is about the child - not the mother.

Speaking of mega-church “pastors,” Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan “health program” teaches Hinduistic meditation techniques.  In fact, all the doctors Warren used to develop the program are advocates of Eastern meditation and philosophies.  If you start with bad fruit, you can’t have good coming from it.

Of course Warren’s old book, The Purpose Driven Life, was problematic in itself, and now he has an updated version carrying over the same theological problems.

With all this New Age/Eastern philosophies entering the Church, it doesn’t really surprise me to learn that Focus on the Family is also now teaching contemplative spirituality.

Charles Stanley’s In Touch magazine has been previously noted as having some contemplative/emergent leanings, and now they’ve done it again by featuring a Catholic-influenced ecumenical interfaith organization.  The question posed by Lighthouse Trails Research ministry is, why is In Touch, a ministry that is supposed to be representing biblical Christianity, pointing its followers to this interfaith and ecumenical organization that has a strong Catholic background?”

As part of the movement to things contemplative, those of the “spiritual formation” group are making inroads into fundamental churches.  Gary Gilley has a good article exposing what their teachings consist of and why they are unbiblical - as well as being spiritually dangerous as they lean more and more into Roman Catholicism.

For those who don’t see a difference between what Rome teaches and what the Bible teaches, a search of this blog under the label “Roman Catholicism” will lead you to some educational articles.  Meanwhile, the Cripplegate has an article about just Five differences between Catholic theology and the gospel, and you can go to the Thomistic Bent blog’s article on Catholicism & Devotion to Mary.

Then you can take a trip to Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry and read about how the Romanist Catechism says we become a god! (not really, but it needs clarification).  And then you can read about the unbiblical nature of the Mass (most of which I cover in my own article).

Beth Moore is someone I point to as one who claims direct revelation from God.  Well it seems many Americans are claiming “God Told Me.”  With the popularity of Moore’s books, the books of her ilk, and the many charismatic Christians making the same claim, why do we even need a Bible?!?

You might be happy to know that the Jehovah’s Witnesses have a new revision of their New World Translation.  You’ll be sad to know that they haven’t cleaned up the false translations supporting the heresy of this cult.

One last thing to leave you with: an old article by Neil, over at Eternity Matters, explaining how to respond to the standard canard about not eating shellfish being part of the same command speaking against homosexuals, and therefore supposedly making homosexuality okay to God as long as we eat shellfish!


Anonymous said...

Just because someone exposes error does not make them right in their theology. I listened to the Strange Fire conference and the gist of it was either you are reformed calvinist cessationist elect or you're nothing. And despite Cripplegate's attempt to defend MacArthur's disturbung claims that all Pent. and Char. are not saved that IS indeed what was conveyed. That was a staunch 100% bonafide pro calvinist conference geared toward calvinist indoctrination with more quotes from Calvin and Augustine than scripture!

So folks can pat them on the back and think they did a great job exposing one heresy, all the while they promoted another heresy! The heresy of calvinism.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


Yes, the conference was from a Calvinist viewpoint, and the neo-Calvinist charismatics was one of the issues they were addressing.

I looked at the transcripts for every session and you apparently didn't or you would not have come to the conclusion you came to.

While I am totally anti-Calvinist, I wouldn't call it a heresy, but I would call it an aberration.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I accidentally deleted the following comment from Anonymous:

Oh so now you dont think calvinism
a heresy? That is a far cry from your post a year ago when you were getting attacked by calvinist.

FYI I listened to the WHOLE and downloaded it! So please dont assume that I did not listen to the whole thing!

And I never said the conference was a heresy but that calvinism IS!

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


To be heretical a belief has to violate non-negotiable doctrines, none of which Calvinism violates.

I think they come very close to heresy with their understanding of God, but I don't write them off as heretical as I do Word of Faith, e.g.

If you listened to the entire conference and came to the conclusion that that MacArthur claimed ALL Pentecostal and Charismatic people were not saved, then you either weren't paying close attention or you have a bias against MacArthur.

I'd suggest you give me a citation which backs up your claim. The Cripplegate demonstrated with citations that such claim was in error.

And I never suggested you said the conference was heresy.

Anonymous said...

NO YOU are the one who didn't pay attention, according to the speakers Continuationists are not saved, and are worse than Mormons. What citation do you need, they said it PLAIN AS DAY! MacArthur himself said there is not difference in past Pentecostals than in modern day, that IS FALSE! BH Clendennin, a Pentecostal, even said (before he died) that the charismatic movement RUINED the Pentecostal church.

This conference went so far as to say that the Pentecostals have made no contribution to spread the gospel, cause after all Pentecostals aren't saved, or should I say "Continuationists". Steve Lawson never ever read scripture except quote Calvin, wow talk about exalting men and not God. And for the record I am not a Pentecostal but I HAVE studied church history and other studies of the church.

You get your info from a BIASED Calvinist point of view, the SAME transcript source that is basically MacArthur's apologists, maybe try listening to the conference YOURSELF!

I am an EXcalvinist and I know first hand this is a heresy, not to say all calvinist aren't saved but JUST LIKE THE CHARISMATICS they ruin the character of God! It is a documented FACT that there have been people come out of Calvinism that have turned atheists because they have been indoctrinated that their god is the god of evil, although calvinsts don't out right say that, but that is what they believe. After all their god damns some for hell and saves others. And not to mention their god is a puppet master.

So you can have your opinions of whether it is a heresy or not, but I have mine and I believe it is. Their god is NOT the God of the Bible, instead a gnostic god carried down from the gnostic Augustine (who studied under the Manichean gnostic CULT) And this is FACT.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


Okay, I'll let my readers look at the evidence and decide for themselves what MacArthur really said. Here is a good overview of the myths about the conference:

Do I think the Calvinists denigrate the character of God? Certainly. Do I think it is heresy? I think it comes close to it but not crossed the line.

Anonymous said...

No, why dont you post the VIDEOS of the conference (they're uploaded on YouTube) instead of a BIASED view, where instead your readers can hear from the horses mouth instead of MacArthur's "aplogists".

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I'm not spending my time searching the videos and posting the links. Anyone wishing to see them can do so.

I'm still waiting for a direct quote from MacArthur from YOU where he says none of the Charismatics are saved.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Oh, by the way, just because someone is biased towards something, that doesn't mean they are unable to give a proper citation.

Anonymous said...

You can't get any plainer than THIS:

Now for the record BEFORE you try to assume, I never ever said that all were saved either, but hell, there are plenty people even in MAINLINE evangelical circles who aren't saved either. To say well "mainline evangelicals are not our brothers or sisters in the Lord" No I don't think so. It goes BOTH WAYS! MacArthur DOES NOT make No distinctions on who is saved or not, he simply says none are our brothers and sisters in The Lord.

Am I defending the charismatic movement, GOOD GOD NO!! But I DO think it is dangerous to assume the salvation of anybody! My wife came out of this movement, and YES they do proclaim the gospel at a lot of these churches, but their emphasis is NOT the gospel, which IS wrong, however to say that they never say the gospel is an assumption AT BEST! There is ALWAYS a level of truth in error, that is how they lure people in. Not to mention too, there are poor kids who aren't mature in the Lord and who do sincerely want to serve God but yet get caught up in these ministries like IHOP. Do I posses the authority to say these kids aren't saved, NO, and either does MacArthur. Do I think Mike Bickle is saved, in MY OPINION NO, however I cannot say that with all certainty because I am NOT GOD to declare one's salvation.

Many people like to hide under 1 John in saying that one has to proclaim that Jesus came in the flesh, but that is the test of a spirit not the test of a man. Matter of fact here is an excellent teaching on that by Jacob Prasch:

It is ironic, but you call out for me to show citation on MacArthur's claim, but it seems the LACK OF SCRIPTURE presented in this conference and instead quotes by John Calvin and Augustine quoted more does not seem to be an issue with you. Pretty sad!

Again I am not a Pentecostal, so I am not in agreement with this Anton guy in that regard (am guessing he is by the tone of his critique of the conference) but unlike him I saw ALL the lectures of the conference and came out seeing the same thing as he did. Not to mention a NOW ex-calvinist sister in the Lord who saw the conference as well and saw plain as day that the point of the conference was to divide calvinist/cessationist with EVERYBODY ELSE!


Mr. Glenn I am done here, I see your heart in wanting to warn of the error in the church. Yes charimania is a dangerous thing, NO DOUBT, but when you get so focused on JUST exposing error, it is easy to think that just cause someone else is exposing error that they have no errors of their own. Calvinism is NOT GODLY anymore than charismania.

Good day.

Ralph M. Petersen-Always Right; Sometimes Wrong! said...

The FIRST thing I want to say is, My name is Ralph M. Petersen. I am not ashamed to put my name to my posts.

Second, although I have not yet listened to all the sessions (something I intend to do), I did listen to the first sermon where John MacArthur CLEARLY prefaced by saying there are many true believers in charismatic churches.

Anonymous must have been asleep during that part. Either that or he/she/whatever is lying and therefore not worthy of attention or a response. Good arguments and honest debate can only be profitable in the context of TRUTH.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hi Ralph,

Thanks for that!

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Thanks for that out-of-context video link. Perhaps you'd like to better link to the full video so people can KNOW who he is talking about.

Anonymous said...

Says the calvinist right Ralph?

Glenn you are nothing but a closet calvinist! Clearly!

Out of context video? He says it plain as day. Look up the video yourself!

And just because someone doesnt post a link with their name does not make them a coward. I dont have any accounts in the select profile option and for some reason I had issues linking my yahoo to this...so
dont assume Ralph. Go figure, typical calvi.

Sorry I even bothered on here. You are nothing but a pretentious person Glenn, claiming to not be a calvinist, as you wrote last year "calvinism is one of the worst things to hit the church since Romaniam" -paraphrased. But heck all the while you defend them and fall for their indoctrination and their LACK of scripture support and exaltation of Calvin and the GNOSTIC Augustine.

Good luck with your compromise.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


Okay, now you have crossed the line with false accusations against me. I am not a "closet Calvinist" and if you have read my blog you would know that.

And I know Ralph is a Calvinist. SO what?

Comments on that video link even said it was out of context, but you don't care about that, do you? IT won't fit your rant to learn WHO MacArthur was talking about.

There are many people who use the "anonymous" option on my blog comments and they still include their name. I find those who want to remain anonymous are most often cowards or bullies. I have no problem with anonymity if it will cause danger to the person, but I do have problems with people who make false accusations behind their anonymity.

Your problem was the lack of lots of Scripture in the conference, but if the Scripture isn't necessary to make a point what is the problem?

And I still think Calvinism is one of the worst things to hit the Church since Romanism, but that doesn't mean I should be lying about them!

Anonymous said...

Hi Glenn,

With regard to MacArthur and Strange Fire, and the discussion you've been having with "Anonymous":

Just to put my cards on the table, like Keith Gibson, the author of Wandering Stars (which I have not read entirely, only excerpts from the Amazon preview), I find myself in what he describes as the "open but cautious" crowd. I do my best to understand the issue from the Bible, not from what men teach. I reject all the ridiculous and blasphemous Charismatic excesses, as well as disagree with the traditional Pentecostal teaching of a Spirit baptism yielding tongues.

Anyhow, I watched the short clip "Anonymous" posted, which supposedly proved that John MacArthur believes all Pentecostals aren't saved, and then the larger clip from which that 2 minute sample was drawn.

The 2 minute sample was indeed out of context.

In the larger video, I started at 14:50 - at that point, the brothers who were teaching at the SF conference started discussing the typical charismatic definition and use of the word "anointing", and the accompanying false belief that God still speaks directly to these supposed "anointed" men, whom you are supposed to "touch not".

A clip was shown of the so-called "holy ghost hokey pokey". The true definition of "anointing" was discussed, as was the concept of mindless hysteria that masquerades as worship, versus true worship, which is directly correlated to our understanding of God and His truth found in Scripture. They also contrasted songs with doctrine vs repetitious emptiness of the "7-11" type songs (as per your previous post, Glenn).

The brothers at the SF conference then went on to discuss the aberrant definition and use of the word "glory" - and showed clips 18 & 21.

The first clip was John Crowder and the "drunken glory". The second was Bethel Church and their so-called "glory cloud from heaven" - which looked like a bunch of glitter and smoke blowing around the ceiling.

So in this particular video segment, MacArthur and the men at SF were NOT talking about the believers at your average Pentecostal AoG church, but rather about these crazy charismatic falsehoods.

THEN, in that context - of all these people doing "holy ghost" hokey pokies, and "touch not the Lord's anointed" false teachers, with their drunken glory and glitter clouds, MacArthur said (around time stamp 34:30) THOSE PEOPLE are not part of the Bride of Christ. THEY are not true believers.

I agree.

Now I know that MacArthur et al believe in cessation, and also believe that the Pentecostal "spirit baptism" is a doctrine error, and that the conference also was addressing those issues, but from the years I've listened to MacArthur, nowhere do I get the impression that he rejects all Pentecostals. Rather, I would believe that, like me, he would accept anyone who is truly born again as a brother or sister in the Lord, no matter what denomination they associate with, including those that are Pentecostal.

Also, regarding Anonymous's references from moriel.org, recently there was another article on that website about John MacArthur that wasn't quite accurate. It was an article with an audio clip from over 30 years ago, regarding something that MacA indeed misspoke on, but has long since corrected.

The Scriptures say "lie not to one another". Even in exposing error, we need to be accurate and honest. To misrepresent what transpired with MacArthur and the men at SF (and also to falsely accuse Glenn, too) said is not only slander, but is utterly reprehensible behavior.

I hope this wasn't too long, Glenn.


Glenn E. Chatfield said...


Thanks for demonstrating how out of context that clip was. As I said, I had read the "semi-transcripts" of the conference because I didn't have time to sit and listen, and I knew what MacArthur said, and knew that clip was out of context.

I've seen a couple sites recently, directed to them by concerned readers, which show that 30-year-old teaching of MacArthur's, which I also think was misunderstood because the claims made against him vs what I understood were very different, and I don't think I'm that stupid.

I think a big problem is that there are people who are so bigoted against Calvinism that they look for things to "prove" they are false teachers and heretics.

I have made my stance on the "Reformed" theology quite clear, but I also think some to these otherwise solid teachers are well worth listening to (just tiptoe through the TULIPS), and lying about them is as un-Christian as the Calvinism they teach.

I'm a cessationist in that I don't believe anyone has the apostolic gifts of miracles and healings. However, I think IF there is a Christian missionary to someplace where there is a language barrier, then IF God wants to give him the gift of tongues God can certainly do so. However, the nonsense claimed as tongues in the charismatic/Pentecostal churches is nothing but emotionalism and self-delusion.

Anonymous said...

In regards to MacArthur's mark of the beast fiasco that transpired last month, here is what Grace to You Phil Johnson wrote of it: http://www.gty.org/Blog/B131030

As far as the Strange Fire conference I did not listen to it nor read the stuff about it, I've no opinion of it so I cannot comment on it either way.

Anonymous said...

Hi Glenn,

I agree, that sometimes when people are so against a theological stance (calvinism vs arminianism, continuance vs cessation, eschatological debates, etc), as you said, they love looking for things to "prove" whoever's point they disagree with is a false teacher.

My cautious continuance view is akin to what you said at the end of your last comment - I feel that where the Word of God is utterly unknown, there may be miracles/tongues to - as was in the book of Acts - authenticate the claims of the Gospel. But it would be in accordance with what is in the written word, it would certainly not be the drivel we see today, and once the Word is established, the signs would fade.

Oh yes, and I believe the canon is closed.


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Thanks much for that link. I'll bookmark it for the future.