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

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Random Apostasies and Heresies

Keeping up with the weird in the Christian faith is really hard to do!  There have been so many things happening that I had to just let a lot of stuff go without reporting.  It’s just as Paul said in his first letter to Timothy: “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.  Such things come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.”  

I think most of the nonsense in seeker-sensitive churches is caused by the “cool pastor” syndrome.  

Okay, now that you’ve hopefully had some nauseous response to these videos, let’s start by looking at a cult - the Mormons.  I was unaware that the LDS was denying their foundational teaching about eternal progression, in which those Mormons who reach exaltation will be gods of their own planets.  I guess there are those who claim that this is nothing more than folklore.  I think they are embarrassed about this teaching, because it is one of the many LDS doctrines which prove they are not Christian.

One thing I always teach people is that when they are talking to members of cults who claim to be Christian, make sure to have the cult member define their terms.  Mormons are especially guilty of sounding like Christians due to their terminology, but once you make them define their terms, the differences between them and real Christianity are profound.  Dr. Richard Mouw really needs to understand this, because he continues to say that Mormons and real Christians have a lot in common.  That is because he is ignorant and accepts their terminology at face value.

Okay, enough about the Mormons - for THIS post, anyway.  But, where do I start now?

How about the latest exposure of Mark Driscoll’s plagiarizing?  It all started with a program hosted by Janet Mefferd, where she challenged Driscoll about some apparent plagiarism in his book, “ A Call to Resurgence.”  An article I read about the situation linked to the audio of the program, and I thought Janet handled the situation quite well.  Mark, of course, didn’t like being challenged and finally hung up on her.  I can’t give the link because it has been removed.  However, there are some other sites reporting on the situation, which I think all prove what I have been saying all along - that Mark Driscoll is unworthy to be a pastor - he is not qualified.

Check in over at Do Not Be Surprised... for a current report on the situation.

Elizabeth Prata has three articles covering different aspects of the situation.  First, she has an article about real martyrs compared to the whines from Driscoll about how difficult it is to be a pastor.  Next she addresses the plagiarism situation, and then lists some of the bad fruit from this “pastor” to demonstrate why he shouldn’t be in his position.  Lastly, Elizabeth writes about Driscoll’s “porno-vision,” as well as a horrible “dream” he had about his wife, which is published in the book, “Real Marriage.”  I have read so much stuff by - and about - Driscoll that it is apparent that he is obsessed with sex.l

Now for some looks at problems with the Roman Catholic Church (other than the normal doctrinal stuff).

It seems Pope Francis is urging redistribution of income:  “I encourage financial experts and political leaders to ponder the words of one of the sages of antiquity: ‘Not to share one’s wealth with the poor is to steal from them and to take away their livelihood. It is not our own goods which we hold, but theirs,’” he writes.
So, if I don’t share my income with someone who is poor, then I am stealing from them?!?!  This sounds like something President Obama would say!  I wonder where he finds this in the Bible?

Then we have a Catholic university in Minnesota which has installed “mini-mosques and Islamic foot baths for Muslims.”  Apparently, they don’t seem to understand 2 Cor. 6:14.  Can you just see Paul telling the Roman Christians to provide worship centers and conveniences for the pagans?!? 

Aaaaannnnddd, we have the President of the Catholic University Nortre Dame.  I previously reported on his celebrating “coming out day,” but now he is creating a “GLBTQ” group as a step towards “diversity.”  “DIVERSITY”?!?  Sexual deviance is nothing but, “DIVERSITY”?!?!  He said, “A more diverse and inclusive campus is a better educational environment..”  How in the world does catering to sexual perversion make a “better educational environment”?!?

Promoting socialism, Islam, and sexual perversion - And yet they call themselves the only true church.

But the Romanists are the only ones with this problem.  A Mennonite University is pondering changing their policy so as to allow people who practice homosexual behavior to be faculty members.   Meanwhile, the Texas Wesleyan University is providing a special prayer room for their Muslim students!

Not to be outdone, a new report on the Church of England’s attitude to sexuality.  The reports “suggests couples in permanent and faithful civil partnerships could have their relationships blessed as part of an Anglican service.”  I wonder how they will explain where this fits in the the Biblical teachings against homosexual behavior?

In regards to the recent “Strange Fire Conference,” and the claims by its detractors that it didn’t reflect “mainstream” charismatics, Lyndon Unger, over at the Cripplegate, asks and answers the question, “So who exactly IS the mainstream of the charismatic movement?”  It is devastatingly honest.  Additionally, Unger writes another article, apparently in response to that charismatic group of the New Apostolic Reformation, as he answers the question about what a true Apostle is.

Speaking of false prophets, the Church is now short one.  Arch-heretic Paul Crouch has died.  One less tool of Satan to confuse and mislead the flock.

Tim Challies has a review of Rick Warren’s “Daniel Plan.”  I wouldn’t trust anything from Warren, but Challies says it has sound dieting advice, while at the same time point out Warren’s abuse of Scripture to make his points!  Of course, as I reported on my last “Random...” post, Warren’s uniting with New Age doctors is another problem.

Campus Crusade for Christ (now known as “Cru”) seems to be leaning more and more left to the whole contemplative movement.  This stuff is a dangerous epidemic infecting the Church.

Bill Gothard’s teachings have been the subject in more than a few of my posts.  He is a dangerous false teacher, leading people into legalistic bondage.  Oh, he’ll pass away soon, but his IBLP and ATI empire will continue putting burdensome loads on the backs of non-discerning Christians.  It’s sad, really.

Finally, market-driven and seeker sensitive Willow Creek seems to be having a bit of trouble in regards to one of their pastors, who seems to be promoting homosexuality as something good.

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4


Anonymous said...

Hi Glenn,

Whew! That was an update. First, love the Spurgeon quote at the top. That was rather prophetic of our brother to have said back then, as we are living it today. The time he spoke of is here and now.

The seeker-sensitive slippery slope - starts with the "church growth" and "felt needs" paradigm a la Warren and Hybels, and then it's all downhill from there. The end game being those apostasy centers that were exemplified in the videos. I won't watch them, I have heard and seen enough already. But those videos should be a caveat to any pastor flirting with going the seeker route...

The MD plagiarism situation is such a disgrace on Christ's name. That man is so unfit to be considered a leader. God bless Janet Mefferd.

Redistribution of wealth actually is a sin, rooted in two sins from the 10 Commandments - do not steal and do not covet. There's also scriptures about how sluggards that apply, and also the one in the NT that says if a man won't work he isn't to eat. As for the other RC issues, goodness, one would think it would be hard for them to consider themselves the one true church when they don't believe or obey anything in the Bible!!!

The NAR is ok with false manifestations? Of course they are, that's all they demonstrate. LOL!

Challies, why oh why does he bother reviewing wolves' books? Why even comment on the little good that's in them - of course there's going to be some good, that's how wolves bait the sheep. I wish the prominent Christian men like Challies would just plainly repudiate the false teachers like Warren, and stop finding things to like about them. SHEESH!

Bill Goatherd and his whole empire is one of the most legalistic horror stories I've ever heard done in Christ's name. May the Lord rescue more souls from that man's spiritual jaws! (Yes, my misspelling of his last name was intentional.)

What do I think of Christian rap? I do not believe it is a fitting music style for worship, as you said Glenn, it's incongruent. I read once that Shai Linne said that when he addresses the crucifixion, he doesn't rap, usually has violins or something else more suitable for the seriousness of the doctrine. Though I love Linne's song Fal$e Teacher$ for personal enjoyment, I think Linne did a fabulous job with that song, I wouldn't want to sing it in church. For the record, I would not question the salvation of Christian rappers (or any other Christian musician) who have a legitimate testimony (aka a Spirit changed life) and exemplify sound doctrine.

Not all music styles are suitable for corporate worship. Boogie woogie. Heavy metal. Burlesque. Each culture has music styles that have messages, that mean something. Some music styles carry a strong "message" that is not congruent with the theme of God's gracious redemption. But unfortunately music is a divisive topic, because people get too personally attached to their own preferences and get easily offended.

So your readers know, this statement is coming from a Christian sister who loves many music styles for personal enjoyment, but does not see them all fitting for corporate worship of my Savior. Even once in a Baptist church I visited, one particular hymn they sang had a VERY strong waltz-based 3/4 time. I could barely sing it, the ballroom feel of the music was way too distracting. So it's not just rap. We need to look both at lyric content and music style, and honor God in both.


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hi Carolyn,

Yeah, that was a lot of stuff, and there were many more items I could have posted. It just seemed this past week was overloaded with news items about garbage invading the church.

I’ve long told people that redistribution of the wealth is class envy and theft, but too many Christians follow the liberal line that it is “unfair” for rich people to have all that money, and that “income inequality” needs to be fixed by taking from those in higher income levels. And then they justify it spewing the social gospel.

Actually I think Tim Challies does us a great service in reviewing books that are being sold under the guise of Christianity. In regards to the “Daniel Plan,” I don’t have a problem with his review because all he did was point out that as a diet plan it is just as good as any other. He did call Warren to task about his abuse of Scripture. My only problem with the review is that Challies didn’t know much about the “advisers” Warren used, so he didn’t address the New Age aspect of them and why it was wrong for Warren to do a book with them since the book is directed at Christians.

I first learned about Gothard when we began home-schooling back in 1994, but all I knew was that most HS’ers were enamored with him and the stuff I looked at did not look worthwhile. Then in 1999 we began attending a church which promoted Gothardism (the local rep attended) and I started researching into it because it seemed so cultic. And, wow, did I learn about how horrid his teachings were! You should see the dossier I have on the guy and his teachings - and I come across new testimonies weekly. He has done much harm to the Church, and his teachings are still rampant in home-schooling.

I think we are pretty much on track when it comes to music!

Anonymous said...

Hi Glenn,

Good for you for speaking the truth about redistribution of wealth and the false social gospel and liberal thinking that so many Christians end up falling for. That gets old fast.

Good point about Christian book reviews - that there is a place for reviewing books that are being marketed to Christians and/or to unbelievers with a supposed explanation of the Christian faith.


(My miffed attitude from this point forward isn't directed at you in any way, Glenn, I am just sharing my frustration with the way some prominent men in the church sometimes handle situations with false/untrustworthy teachers.)

Regarding Challies specifically: for years I have always felt Challies is far too lenient in reviewing books by troublesome authors. I read his review of Warren's Daniel Plan book and was not impressed one bit with Challies handling of the matter. He was way too favorable toward a man (Warren) who has been seriously off the mark from the get go, and did not nearly hit home (as you said) the most serious part of the book, the dangerous new age issue from Warren's three occult entrenched doctor friends.

Years ago, I noticed Challies demonstrated the same overly lenient attitude toward Driscoll's book, a book that was full of crude language and irreverence toward God. Challies said that he "wouldn't want his wife to read it", but then gave it an ok for the church. Groan.

That's why I said I wish these men (like Challies) would just flatly reject the Warrens and Driscolls, instead of giving these men any semblance of passable credence. Review the book - fine. Be accurate and honest - fine. But then give the book a unquestionable thumbs down because the false and/or untrustworthy teachers who wrote them are not worthy of being honored, for a myriad of reasons.

Paul didn't accept the rantings of the girl with the spirit of divination, even though she was speaking the truth about him. Acts 16

So honestly, I'm afraid this is why we are where we are in the church today - untrustworthy men like Warren and Driscoll have been given far too much leniency for far too long by far too many genuine believers. Now the rotten fruit from the unfaithful men is maturing, and we're left cleaning up the train wreck.

My husband and I don't need to try to find a scrap of good from these unfaithful men, when there are solid resources available from decent Biblical teachers who only occasionally err. Of course just pure Scripture itself is best, which is honestly what we default to. We read very few books by men.


Topic change - Goatherd - I know, how sad so many HSers follow him and similar fellows. I can imagine the paper trail you have on his and his false teachings. I have read some testimonies on Recovering Grace, and I want to cry. Goatherd frankly deserves to be given the 'left foot of fellowship' (aka the boot). Him, the QF movement, and a few others, I have zero patience for.

Yes, we are on the same page when it comes to music. I suspect that it's because we both have a good grasp of the word of God, and both have music training. So we are accurately informed.


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hi Carolyn,

I agree that Challies is sometimes soft on the authors with his reviews. I think it is easy to tell who he likes, by how soft he is on them. :oD

Nevertheless, I have found many of his reviews well worth the information he provides.

Now, if we could just get him to be as objective with those he likes!

Anonymous said...

PS: an oops - in my first post, I said the waltz-sounding hymn was in 3/4 time. After thinking about it, it might actually have been 6/8. Either way, my point remains: it still was very strong in the waltz feel, which was extremely distracting. I love waltzes, but not for corporate worship. :)

Also - Shai Linne can tell that TD Jakes and J Osteen are false teachers. Driscoll calls them brothers.


Anonymous said...

Hi Glenn, I hope Challies isn't revealing who he likes by how soft he is on them - because the thought that he might like Warren and Driscoll is very disturbing...........

Wolves - put on sheep's clothing and masquerade as angels of light.

Discernment, people of God, discernment. An especially necessary trait for those who are in leadership.


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Waltzes are indeed 6/8, but I'm sure 3/4 would work just as well. But I really don't think time signatures are the problem, rather it is what the tune is with that signature.

For example, there are some good 6/8 "waltz" tempo songs I play on the pipes:

Martyrdom is a good tune and used for many songs.

I Need Thee is 3/4 but you could waltz to it.

Praise and Thanksgiving is an old Celtic tune, 6/8, and you might know its use in Cat Stevens' "Morning Has Broken."

Just As I Am is a good 6/8 song.

Oh The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus is 6/8

The King of Love My Shepherd Is - and old Irish tune set to the 23rd Psalm. 6/8

Nearer My God to Thee - 6/8

Softly and Tenderly - 6/8

God Leads Us Along - 6/8

Greensleeves - 6/8

And you could waltz to all of these!

Anonymous said...

Oh no, I wasn't blaming the time signature as the problem! LOL! Sorry if that's how I came across! I was just saying that particular song was far too pronounced as a waltz that it was distracting for church.

Versus Greensleeves (What Child is This) and the other tunes you mentioned, which yes you "could" waltz to it, but none are so strong as to make you feel distracted, as that one particular hymn I heard was.

Same goes for some songs in 4/4 which have a stronger dance beat that gets distracting as well... but there's nothing inherently wrong with 4/4 time. There are lots of great hymns in 4/4. More Love to Thee, Just a Closer Walk with Thee, Savior Like A Shepherd Lead Us, When I Survey The Wondrous Cross, Crown Him with Many Crowns, How Great Thou Art. But none of those have distracting feels. :)

I guess my point was that some specific tunes irrespective of time signature can have the wrong feel for worship, and some styles of music have a "message" incongruent with the Gospel message. Of course as we said before, lyric quality is critical. Those are the things we need to consider when we offer up music to the Lord.

PS: Jill, from her blog, sounds so lovingly supportive of your music ministry. She has some wonderful posts as well, one recently I thought was super encouraging.

PS 2: Of your list, Martyrdom didn't ring a bell. I had to look it up and listen to it (instrumental)... Alas And Did My Savior Bleed is written to that, yes? If so, then I do know it after all.


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Some 4/4s are great because I can play them marching in parades!

Yep, the primary thing is whether the music is congruent with the message. Sort of the same as with my post about how one's message must drive the method used for the message.

Martyrdom is one of two tunes with "Alas and did my Savior bleed," the other one being "At The Cross," which is another good pipe tune.

As for music ministry, not much of that. I'm primarily in apologetics. Prior to moving to Iowa, I played now and then for church services, but not really because it was a ministry per se. Jill was a highland dancer, our son a snare drummer (which Jill took up recently) and our daughter also a dancer and we were a big chunk of the band in the Chicago area, so when we left it was noticed! We've been in Iowa 18 years now, and four years ago we finally found a new band within range, so Jill started the drum.

In March of 2005 I DID begin a music ministry in conjunction with a Christian Irish Step Dance troupe. I played for many of their dances (recordings for the rest) and it was a ministry to travel and play in nursing homes and retirement centers. Did that until the group disbanded in the summer of 2011. Now I still play for such institutions whenever asked, but it doesn't happen as much as it did with the dancers. Now it's only 2-3 times a year. Otherwise, I play for weddings, funerals, parties, etc.

That sweet woman I married 37 years ago has always been as strong supporter of my apologetics ministry, and since our kids left home 12 years ago, she has taken a much more active role with teaching women.

Lady Lilith BloodCrave said...

Interesting quote you placed on your quote. It did give me a chuckle tough. Thank you for sharing.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I'm thinking you meant the quote at the beginning of the article, with the clown.

Anonymous said...

Lighthouse Trails has a better review on Warren's Daniel Plan. They sell a booklet even, for dirt cheap, that goes into all the dangers of the Daniel Plan

Anonymous said...

Hi Glenn,

For some reason I thought you had a music ministry in addition to your apologetics ministry. Sorry!

You and your wife sound like you've had a great walk together with the Lord so far.

Thanks again for such a great roundup.


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Yes, I've seen that book advertised at Lighthouse Trails (I get their email updates) and I've been thinking about getting it.

I've read that the is some new age ideology in the "plan" and I'm interested in what it says.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


You might have been thinking about our book-table ministry, which I explain about here;