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

Thursday, January 31, 2013

"New Age Bible Versions" - An Examination to Come



Back in the early 1990s I began reading things about how all the newer Bible translations were corrupt and of the devil.  It was my introduction to the whole “KJV Only” teaching.  I didn’t give it a whole lot of thought for a while, but after a couple years I became more and more concerned about the matter and decided I’d research the subject.  In 1996 I was at the local Christian book store and found G.A. Riplinger’s book, “New Age Bible Versions.”  Thumbing through the book I decided this would be just the ticket.

Well, I was disappointed with the presentation, and was not at all convinced.  Since that time I have acquired and read numerous books and articles from both sides of the debate and am convinced that there is no “New Age” conspiracy to corrupt the Bible, nor are the newer versions inferior to the KJV by virtue of being newer versions.  There is a lot of scholarly debate on both sides about the relative value of the underlying Greek manuscripts especially, and as far as I’m concerned the jury is still out.

Now, Riplinger’s book seems to be one of the most cited resources by the KJV Only crowd, so I think it is worth while to examine exactly what her argument is.  For this reason, I am re-reading the book and writing an examination for my personal files as well as for posting on this blog.  I will be posting my examination of each chapter as I finish the write-up, so it will be a long project.  I hope you will find the endeavor to be informative.

This examination is of the 1993 edition, sixth printing.  In the lengthy discussion of NABV, unless otherwise noted, I will reference only the NAS and NIV for comparisons, because these are the most frequently cited in NABV, and I have a parallel Bible with all three (KJV, NAS, NIV) for easy reference.
I will make references to Matthew Henry’s Commentary in regard to the understanding of certain passages in the KJV.  This is because he began this work in 1701, which would necessarily mean that he would understand the meaning of the language as used in the KJV, more so than would G. A. Riplinger.

This examination will not discuss the underlying Greek or Hebrew, nor will it be a discussion of Riplinger’s claims about the people involved in any part of the translations.  This study is solely about comparing the actual texts of the various Bible translations which Riplinger compares to “prove” that all but the KJV are “New Age Bible Versions.”

I want to make a point to start with:  This book could have been half the size if all of Riplinger’s rhetoric were removed.  There are so many baseless claims about why various versions are made, that to examine them all would take a book in itself!  Let me give just one example from Chapter One, which demonstrates her rhetoric, as well as paranoia.  She opens the chapter with Revelation 13:4, and then begins her narrative (you’ll also notice that she seems to fancy herself as a poet):

“Souls snagged in a spiritual region remote from reason, will one day give way - sliding headlong down into Satan’s dark chambered church.  These  chaff choose a pew. (He’ll hew one for YOU too.)  Friend and foe are ‘falling away,’ down the steep slippery stairs, framed by the archfiend - to the Church of [Revelation] Chapter 13.

“Satan’s barred by a small book from his quest for the throne.  When opened it unleashes a wall of words - graven in stone.

It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord they God and him only.’ ... Luke 4:8
[At this point she compares NIV, NASB et al, with KJV at Phil 3:3, where KJV says “worship God” and the others say, “worship.”  I address this problem when we get there.]

“Wanting to weaken this wall, Satan slips out stone after stone, hoping not to be known.
“‘Satan cometh immediately and taketh away the word...’  Mark 4:15

“To begin, he removes the rubblestone of sin and the keystone of salvation.  The cornerstone of Jesus Christ and the capstone of his second coming are cut.  These words once withdrawn leave loopholes for skeptics and portholes for postulators.  Taken together these breaches become windows with wide-angle lenses, taking in the ‘broad way’ of these ‘last days.’  The stones piled high become props for his lie.  Widening and deepening gaps give way, as scattered stones lay - like stepping stones to Satan’s sought after throne.  The word of God so discomfit, becomes a bridge to the bottomless pit.

“His goal is to trap souls, so he adds key words, like keyholes.  Page after page these open his hatchway to the New Age.  Slipping in the side door of Satan’s church, using these keys, the ushers of apostasy bring souls from the nave to their knees, as a chorus of New Agers sing:...”

And from here, Riplinger cites five quotes about the New Age as if these citations have anything to do with the topic of the book - other than to perhaps “prove” that there is a “New Age” threat of a one-world religion.  And of course the conspiracy means Satan has to have all these “New Age Bibles.”  This is the type of drama on almost every single page! 

To top it off, the first page of the book quotes Rev. 22:18-19 as the reason for not adding or subtracting from the Bible.  But this is out of context because that passage refers only to Revelation  - the rest of the N.T. wasn’t even put together yet!  This should be a hint as to her hermeneutics.

The next time I post about the book will be an examination of the Introduction.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Did They Really Say That?!?


?!?

One cannot get into the kingdom of God upon the principle of faith alone, or repentance alone, or receiving the Holy Ghost alone.  He will have to be baptized, go down in the water, and come up out of the water, and have hands laid upon him for the gift of the Holy Ghost.  That is the procedure that was followed by the apostles of Christ.  That is the procedure of the Church today.  It is the only way.
Rudger Clawson, Conference Reports, October 1932, p.9.

Well, I’d say there is nothing in the Bible to back up this statement.  What about the thief on the cross - was he baptized or did he have hands laid on him?  No.  So what did Jesus say?  “Sorry pal, you are hell-bound because you didn’t get baptized.”   Um, no.   Jesus said, “Today you will be with me in paradise.”  (Luke 23:43)

What did Paul say was the requirement for salvation?  According to Clawson, as an apostle he would have to follow the procedure Clawson spelled out.  However, Paul said that, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”   Where is the mention of baptism or laying on of hands?

There are multitudes of passages in the Bible which say that the only requirement for salvation is faith in Christ and His atonement.  Even the fact that Jesus said that his followers will “inherit” eternal life demonstrates that there is nothing we can do to qualify; an inheritance is always a gift, and no one works for a gift.

Mormons teach that there are works to be done in order to be saved.  This is in direct contradiction to the Bible.  This means that the LDS is a false belief system.

Preferences

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Random Apostasies and Heresies


I’m thinking about discontinuing this “Random” series as a regular posting.  It takes a lot of time reviewing all the goofy stuff in the Church, and there are many more articles I want to write!  If you are interested in keeping up to date with such problems, about half of my sources are listed in the blogs I follow on my profile page, while a few more are on ‘My Blog List” and “Some favorite apologetics sites” listed in the right-hand column of this blog.   Rather than wait until I have a collection, I think with more important issues I’ll just do a short report pointing to the article I refer to.  I guess we’ll just see how it goes, but I think alerting Christians to what is happening in the church, and what to avoid, etc, is very important.

Tim Keller has more issues we need to be careful about; he is teaching Romanist and Quaker mysticism.  Why is it so many good teacher seem to think this mysticism is good?!?!

Steve Chalke, who is supposed to be the U.K.’s leading evangelical, is 100% for same-sex fake marriage.  He equates supporting such an abomination with opposing slavery.  As with other so-called Christians who support same-sex fake marriage, Chalke just says we don’t understand what the Bible says about homosexuality.  Yeah, right.

And of course the ever-apostate United Church of Christ is also increasing their push for the legalization of same-sex fake marriage nation-wide.  More people who don’t read their Bible!

Ken Silva posted an article by Gary Hand examining the heretical “Wider Mercy Doctrine” - the “belief that salvation can be obtained even when a person has not heard the gospel and does not know Jesus Christ.”  Yep, a form of universalism.  Heretic Robert Schuller has taught this, and so has Billy Graham.



I learned of something new this week: “Incarnational Ministry.”  The Cripplegate examines this idea - and why the title is wrong-headed.

More on the imbroglio about Louis Giglio comes from Pyromaniacs.

Apprising Ministries posted another article about problems with Nicky Gumbel’s The Alpha Course.  I don’t think we can have enough articles exposing this spiritually damaging course.

I’ve posted some short items about spiritual abuse in the past, but I think it is another very important issue to understand.  There are many false teachers us use spiritual abuse to control their followers, and one of the first names which comes to my mind is Bill Gothard!  (Just read the many testimonies at Recovering Grace.)  I highly recommend the book, “The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse,” by David Johnson & Jeff VanVonderen, which I picked up 12 years ago at a Biblical Counselors’ Conference.
Ken Silva posted an excellent article on the subject, “Beware of Spiritual Abuse.”

Well, I can’t help but have a wee bit more about “Jesus Culture” and the false teaching behind them.  Ken Silva had two very interesting articles which I highly recommend.  First, he highlights Jesus Culture’s Kim Walker-Smith and her false teachings about her encounter with God and Jesus.  The other article examines the connection between Jesus Culture, their church home of Bill Johnson’s Bethel Church, and rank heretic and false prophet Cindy Jacobs.  These articles again demonstrate just how wrong it was for Louis Giglio to have Jesus Culture at the Passion 2013 event.

I wonder what in the world is going on with Andy Stanley?!?  I previously pointed out his apparent approval of homosexuality, but now he thinks President Obama should be titled, “Pastor in Chief”!!!  Barak Obama, the man who is the most pro-abortion president in history (and who called a child, “punishment”), the man who is the most pro-homosexual agenda President in history, and the man who is the most pro-Islam and anti-Israel President in history - and Stanley thinks he should be called “Pastor in Chief”?!?!
I direct you to three good articles on the subject by three apologetics ministries: Apprising Ministries (which includes other information about Stanley’s pre-inaugural sermon),  Sola Sisters, and Christian Research Network.

Don Veinot, of Midwest Christian Outreach, has a good example of how to respond to those who say we are mean for exposing false teachers.  I’ve heard Don in person tell about his method of responding, and I always liked it.  In this article he gives some examples of assaults he has responded to.

Can anyone explain what a “fire mantle” is?

For those who aren’t convinced that Todd Bentley is nothing but a show-boating charlatan of a false teacher, take a gander at the video provided by Ken Silva.  All I see is a demonic spirit behind Bentley - it certainly isn’t anything holy.

Just remember to be alert at all times - the wolves are watching for their opportunity to devour the sheep.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Some Edification


I have come across some more “good stuff” on the various blogs I watch, and I want to share them with you.  We need some edifying now and then after learning about all the bad stuff we need to look out for!

Back on the 12th I wrote an article about why apologists do what we do.  Well, shortly after I wrote that, I came across this article about why we contend.  Since it wasn’t included in my article, I will direct you to it for your perusal.  We should all have this same mindset.

Of course we should all know that “the Bible is the best safeguard against false doctrine."  We may know that, but how often do we study it so as to be on guard?

Elizabeth Prata wrote about the need for developing discernment, and how that affects the claim that we are not to “touch the Lord’s anointed.”

Biblical Counseling Coalition reminded us of one of the duties of church elders: to be disciple-makers.

Mike Ratliff had a short article about church discipline in regards to homosexuality.  He keeps the issue of homosexuality in context with other sins.

A second article by Mike is “Witnesses to the Deity of Jesus Christ.”  Really good stuff, and I’m keeping the link in my “favorites” for the next time I deal with LDS or JWs.

Apprising Ministries posted an interesting article, by Dr. Orrel Steincamp, about real spiritual warfare vs the false dominionist version.

Lastly, Recovering Grace posted a good article about Spiritual Abuse.  This is something which we all need to be aware of, so as not fall prey to it.

I hope you find these articles to be as beneficial as did I.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Attacking Christians?


I have received comments for articles on this blog which have violated my comment policy by being nothing more than personal attacks (anonymity allows cowards this privilege).  My wife has gotten comments by apparently the same person, which are again just personal attacks.  This is one of the reasons we began moderating comments, so that filth and personal attacks don’t get publicity.

One of the complaints made was that we are attacking Christians by exposing false teachings.  We are accused of “shooting at the Christians” in our war against false teachings.

Let me be clear - we do not attack people.  We expose false teachings by those who call themselves Christians; teachings which are public and invading the church.  Teachings which lead people astray to apostasy.  

Those people outside the Church, those who do not claim to be Christians, are a minor problem overall because they don’t have the influence over the Church as do those who claim the name of Christ.  Paul said “savage wolves” would come in among the Church (Acts 20:29).

Those who claim the name of Christ and yet continue to propagate false and dangerous teachings, especially after they have been warned that their teachings were false, must be exposed.  Because their teaching is very public, it must be exposed publicly.  Just because a teacher is popular, that doesn’t mean that everything that teacher says is the truth.  

Those who claim I am wrong in my assessments and yet give no proof or example as to why, do neither themselves, nor me, nor anyone else any favors.  If I am in error, show me biblically or by other convincing evidence and I will correct it.  But don’t call me a false teacher because I made an error in someone’s first name (as I was charged with by one of the anonymous people).  After all, we all make minor mistakes of that nature.  I have personally e-mailed fellow bloggers who have made those types of mistakes so they can fix it.  I think that is common courtesy.  But to use that as evidence of poor research, false teaching, etc, is highly unfair and extremely judgmental - especially when the commenter claims I am being judgmental!

Too many Christians think it is unfair to point out another believer’s false teachings.  But if the teaching is so bad that it leads people into the bondage of false beliefs, why should it not be exposed? Can anyone point to me in Scripture where it says we should only expose false teaching if it comes from those outside the Church? That Christians should have carte blanche to teach anything they feel like, no matter how false or apostate or heretical it may be?  What about when Paul said to Timothy, “stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer, nor devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. (1 Tim 1:3-4)?

Remember, Paul specifically stated, “Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:20).  He did NOT say to just let them teach what they wanted without being confronted, exposed, or rebuked.  He continually warned about the false teachers within the Church, and he wasn’t a bit polite about it! (Rom. 16:17-18; 2 Cor. 11:3-4; Gal. 1:8-9; 2 Thes. 2:9-12; 1 Tim. 4:1-8, 6:3-5; 2 Tim. 4:2-3; 2 Pet. 2:1-3, 3:16; Jude 18-19)

One last item: Anonymous said that apologetics is “a ministry never Biblically identified.”  Well, perhaps Anonymous needs to read his Bible more carefully to see how often it tells us to test what is taught, to avoid false teachers, and to even “make a defense” of our faith (2 Peter 3:15) and defend our faith (Jude 3).  This is apologetics, and is a ministry EVERY Christian should be active in.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Random Apostasies and Heresies


To start off this week I just have to show you one of the most bizarre “Christian” ceremonies I’ve ever seen.  Ken Silva first just posted the video and titled it, “Christian Ordination or Really Bad Off-Broadway Musical.”  At that time he didn’t have a context.  However, a couple days later he posted an article at Apprising Ministries with the whole context, as well as posting the video again.  So I will only link you to the second post.  One of my questions while watching the video was, “This stuff is supposed to be tongues?!?!?!”  My other main question was, “Where do these people come up with this stuff!?!?!”  Well, when it originates with Oral Roberts, anything goes.

As a follow-up to last week’s information about Passion 2013, I must point you to Elizabeth Prata’s report about the subject of slavery raised at the conference.  “Let's pray that the more kids than not, released back to home churches after Passion 2013, learn who the real slaves are: themselves, to Christ, and their unsaved community members, to satan.”

Herescope has an excellent article about the importance of events such as Passion 2013, and how they are indoctrinating our young people into the whole “Latter Rain” and NAR aberrational beliefs.

Do you remember from my last report that one of the problems with Passion 2013 was the appearance and endorsement of the heretical/aberrational “ministry” of Jesus Culture?  This video demonstrates some of the occultic ideas they profess, including getting an imparting of the Spirit from dead people - they pray to “release the anointing of God” from the corpse of a dead man. They claim to know that God is healing someone as they speak - not just once, but at least twice in the video.  This group is dangerous to non-discerning Christians; and they are “more dangerous than bad politics.”  And don’t forget that they are a ministry of Bill Johnson’s church, which, again, demonstrates the nature of the false teaching HE propagates.

While on the subject of Bill Johnson, Ken Silva has an article demonstrating some of the problems with Johnson, and the good point that any spiritual experiences Johnson and his cronies are claiming do not come from the Holy Spirit.  In fact, the video with the article, showing Johnson’s buddy Todd Bentley at “work,” should prove to everyone that what Bentley has behind his teachings is nothing less than demonic!

The National Cathedral, an Episcopal Church, has decided to allow same-sex fake weddings.  Just another example of how apostate the Episcopal Church is. 

Speaking of fake churches (like the Episcopal Church has become), Neil Simpson has an excellent example of what a fake church looks like.  His perfect example is those under the leadership of goat-herd Chuck Currie.  If you don’t know who Currie is, check out Neil’s other blog, which has many articles describing Currie’s teachings and politics.  For a good sample of what you will find, see this article about Currie praying to God on the behalf of many “different faiths”!  The man is not a Christian by any meaning of the word, yet apparently he gets the attention of the media.

One of the blogs I follow linked to an old book review by Tim Challies.  The review is about Warren Smith’s “Deceived On Purpose,” a book I purchased and read six years ago (I write the year I got a book on the inside cover).  The book examines the false teachings of Rick Warren.  If you don’t have time for the book, Challies’ review will give you a good look at it.

Of course, now that I’ve broached the subject of Rick Warren I have to mention his interview with Oprah Winfrey.  Now, Oprah Winfrey is one of the most spiritually-dangerous people to listen to, so the mere fact that Warren appears on her show gives her credibility, allowing even more people to be mislead by her new age teachings.  Apprising Ministries has two good posts about this show with Warren, showing that Warren’s teachings are unbiblical.  First, we have a clip with Warren giving some unbiblical psychobabble advice.  
Then there is a clip with Warren’s unbiblical idea that God intentionally gives everyone flaws so as to make us “unique.”  Wow, tell that to someone born without limbs, and that is sure to make him see God as loving.  Scripture teaches us that what flaws we have, including genetic defects, are due to sin being in the world.  Of course, if you’ve read Warren’s Purpose-Driven Life, you will know that he teaches that God decided what you will look like, what parents you will be born to, what time period you will be born into, and even what you will be saying at this very moment.  That makes God into a puppeteer with a pre-programmed robots, which would mean He also programmed into you every sin you will ever commit.  Can anyone show me this from Scripture?

Another United Methodist goat-herd is promoting same-sex fake marriage.  Apparently she has been very pro-homosexual for a long time, and yet the UMC has still not defrocked her.  The UMC continues to proclaim that same-sex unions are not compatible with their doctrine, but they don’t excommunicate any of their “pastors” who promote them!

There has been a lot of brouhaha over Louie Giglio’s withdrawal from being at President Obama’s inauguration, and how Christians just aren’t welcome (the first articles I saw stated that he had been asked to withdraw, but that has been later proven to be wrong).  I’ve seen articles by Christians making him out to be a virtual martyr for the Christian cause.  Well, since I recognized his name from lists of people involved with the “Passion” conferences, I already had a bad attitude about him, so the fact that he had even been invited to do Obama’s benediction was just another strike against him in my mind.  Erin Benziger has an excellent article explaining why Giglio is not a martyr at all. 
Following this article, you need to read Ken Silva’s article about why Giglio is not to be admired.

And since I’m sending you to Ken’s blog, I may as well do it one last time in this report, by directing you to an article which demonstrates how Steven Furtick is sliding farther and farther into the heretical world of the Word of Faith movement.  Personally, I just don’t understand why anyone is drawn to Furtick as a teacher.

For readers who are not familiar with the International House of Prayer (which I have occasionally reported on), once you’ve read this post at An Unknown Berean’s Blog, you should have a pretty good idea as to why this group needs to be avoided like the plague!

Lastly, many people see Tim Keller as a great man of faith, and an excellent teacher to follow.  While I have to admit that Keller has some good teachings, I have previously posted about his theistic evolutionist beliefs, as well as pointing to Erin’s post about some other questionable teachings by Keller.  It shouldn’t surprise me, then, when I came across this video in which Keller, in no uncertain terms, has decided that if the Bible and “science” seem to conflict, we should rely on science.  Of course this is why he is a theistic evolutionist.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Did They Really Say That?!?


?!?
I was pointed to some who are in the great error of believing that it is their duty to go to Old Jerusalem, and think they have a work to do there before the Lord comes. ... I also saw that Old Jerusalem never would be built up.
Ellen G. White, Early Writings, p.75 (written 1882)

Well, I think history has proven this prophecy to be 100% in error.  This makes E.G. White a false prophet.  So why do SDA members still follow her?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Our Legacy


We live in a world where personality has more street value than character. ... We find ourselves in a world where pleasures are embraced without moral norms or a sense of social responsibility.... The quest for truth has been replaced by the preoccupation with pleasure and entertainment.  Thus, we live in a world of the therapeutic and the psychological, where people are engaged in an endless pursuit of self-fulfillment and entitlement  Sin has become little more than the infringement of personal rights and privileges; there is little thought of defining it by the standard of the holiness of God. ...

[T]he church has lost its soul.  The quest for contemporary relevance has led it down the path of increasing irrelevancy and marginalization.  The evangelical church is on the brink of becoming another of the many social, do-good agencies whose purpose has to do with helping people to more fully enjoy this life while neglecting the implications of eternity.  While our culture has shown a marked inclination to secularism, the church seems to have followed suit....

This citation is from the Introduction to John D. Hannah’s book, “Our Legacy: The History of Christian Doctrine.”  

I don’t remember where I read about this book, but I purchased it several months ago and just finished reading it a couple nights ago.  It is a fascinating study, as well as being easy to read.  Dr. John D. Hannah is the department chairman and distinguished professor of historical theology at Dallas Theological Seminary.  The research he must have done to write this book is incredible, but I guess not unusual for a scholar of his stature.

In his preface, Hannah gives seven reasons to read his book:
First: while most other books on the history of doctrine have been written for the scholarly community, the intended audience of this book is not scholars, but pastors, Christian workers, and an informed laity. ...

Second, this book is an attempt to assert the value of both history and theology in the life of the church today. ... A Christianity separated from historical credibility is not a biblical faith; a Christianity without theology is merely morality and not the faith “once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 3).

Third, this book is rooted in the belief that theology has an important role to play in the life of the church. ...

Fourth, this book springs from the belief that the function of theology - and here I have in mind historical theology - is to preserve the church from fads and novelty.  A knowledge of the past keeps the church from confusing the merely contemporary with the enduringly relevant; it distinguishes the transient from the permanent.  In doing so, it spares the church from diversions that, while appearing promising at the moment, are in fact harmful. ...

Fifth, a knowledge of theology in its historical context and development will preserve the church from error; it provides both apologetic and polemic weapons against deception. ...

Sixth, a knowledge of history of doctrine will provide a bulwark against pride and arrogance borne of the thought that any one church or ecclesiastical tradition stands in the exclusive heritage of first-century orthodoxy. ...

Last, a knowledge of the history of doctrine supports the Bible’s witness to the triumph of the church. ...

Hannah’s chapters address Authority, the Trinity, the Person of Christ, the Work of Christ, Salvation, the Church, and the End Times.  We follow the history of why, as well as how, each of these doctrines were defined, as well as how various streams of theology applied such teachings throughout the centuries.

I highly recommend this book, and I leave you with a citation from Hannah’s concluding chapter:

The need of the hour is not for revival; it is for something even more fundamental.  It is time for a reformation in the church.  Revival has to do with the extension of the gospel; the greatest need in the contemporary church is to rediscover the gospel, its glory and its power.  It is time to return to the fundamentals of the faith and be refreshed in its truths, to gain anew a love and respect for the Holy Scriptures.  Revival without Reformation is religious enthusiasm at best; revival out of reformation is the only home of the church.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Why Apologists Do What We Do


I have written articles in the past about the importance of apologetics ministries, and that apologetics has been called the “handmaiden of the Gospel.”  I have also pointed out that every Christian has the duty to practice apologetics so as to defend the Word of God, as well as the Church.

Last week I read two good articles about the subject of why apologetics is necessary, and why those of us with apologetics ministries do what we do.  Let me point you to these articles.

My sister and I have often lamented the fact that we have had friends separate from us over what they perceive to be as an unloving and judgmental attitude that we have about false teaching/false teachers. Our opinion? These precious (but undiscerning) women who have children who are growing up (as we do), will in all likelihood have children who go off to college, get handed a Rob Bell book by one of their "Christian" friends, and these young men/women who have been given NO doctrinal training about what false teaching is (but have instead been given a strong dose of "Judge not!") will come home at Thanksgiving break as Universalists. And their horrified mothers (our former friends) will wonder how on earth this could have happened. ...

Friends, do you not realize that it is a war out there? It's a spiritual battle, and we need to be suited up. Spiritual warfare is not puffing up your chest, and claiming the ability to name and rebuke demons (the "demon of fear," the "demon of unbelief," etc.) No, true spiritual warfare is fighting with biblical truth against these false and worldly ideologies that are just waiting to take your children's minds captive when they go out into the world.

Continue reading at Sola Sisters.

Thank you for contacting Apprising Ministries. ... You begin: “I’ve been in the ministry now 47 yrs. I say that knowing that doesn’t count for much depending on whom your talking to.” Ok, I’m not really sure what you mean, but I would imagine you’ve had some sort of training and experience. That’s usually worth something as I see it, ...

Then you say: “I’ve always wondered why some sec’s of religions fill their mission is to find what’s wrong, as if they were God’s deputy?” ...
[I]t’s part of my calling as pastor-teacher (cf. 2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:9) to address “what’s wrong,” to call people to repentance, and also to teach what is in accord with sound doctrine.

It doesn’t have anything to do with being “God’s deputy.” However, just as the Lord chose to work through human instruments in the preaching of the Gospel of repentance and forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ Name, so He also uses us in the defense of the Gospel as well (cf. Philippians 1:7; Jude 3). ...

[W]hat we do is not a popular position. Not only are we under attack from enemy forces, which we would expect, but we also take more than our share of friendly fire as well. It goes with the turf in this timid generation.

Read the whole article at Apprising Ministries.

We apologists run the gamut, from laymen like me to Ph.D. scholars, but we all have one goal in mind: to protect the faith from attacks, both from outside the church (via cults, secular teachers, etc) and from the inside (via false teachers and teachings).  Our job is to expose such false teachers/teaching by comparing them to the pure Word of God, and to point people to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Our goal is to protect the sheep from the wolves.  

We don’t do what we do to place ourselves up on any pedestals, or to be self-aggrandizing - rather, we humbly fight the wolves and point them out to the sheep so that the sheep won’t be chewed up by wolves in sheep's clothing.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Mormon Definition of Christian


Back in November I wrote an article about how Mormons don’t consider the rest of Christians to truly be Christians, no matter how much they might want to deny this fact.  Well, yesterday I received a bimonthly newsletter from Mormonism Research Ministry with a very interesting article about Mormon understanding as to what identifies a Christian.

The article was about a conference message delivered in October 2012 by Mormon Apostle Robert D. Hales, where he identified what defines a Christian.  Here are his points as cited by the MRM newsletter:

A Christian has faith in Jesus Christ, “that He is the literal Son of God.”

A Christian is baptized “by those holding His priesthood authority.”

A Christian knows that Jesus “accompanied by Heavenly Father, appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith in the year 1820 and restored the gospel and the organization of His original church.”

A Christian knows “that God, our Heavenly Father, has a glorified and perfected body of flesh and bone, Jesus Christ is His Only Begotten Son in the flesh.”

A Christian knows that “the God-head is three separate and distinct beings, unified in purpose.”

Well, since no true Christian would accept any of the above, and the only people who would agree with the statements are Mormons, then this is just another example as to the fact that Mormons do not accept non-Mormons as Christians!  And yet they want us to accept them?!?