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, April 24, 2014

Random Apostasies and Heresies


It's that time again, ladies and gentlemen, so let's just jump right in there!

Jacob Prasch is someone I’ve read stuff from now and then, and he usually has some pretty good stuff - but other stuff by him I have to disagree with.  Now there is a video of him condemning the “Strange Fire” conference.  It is apparent he is talking about something other than the conference I’ve read about.  But anyone who is a fan of Prasch should be embarrassed by this video.  (I am anti-Calvinism, but that isn’t what the conference was about.)

Interesting interview with the son of the hate-filled heretic cult leader Fred Phelps.  Phelps and his bunch have no clue about the Gospel; we can hope they change for the better now that Phelps is dead.

Andy Stanley is getting worse.

Jesse Duplantis, one of the big Word of Faith heretics, says that if “healing” [WOF style] isn’t for today, then nothing in the Bible is.  And this claim gets lots of acclaim from his lemming followers.

Answers In Genesis has an excellent article with huge concerns about the “Noah” movie.

Heaven is For Real is getting a lot of attention by apologetics ministries as well as by just people with good discernment.  The book is unbiblical nonsense, which means — guess what? — the movie will be just as bad.  In my last RA&H post I linked to a commentary by David Platt about the movie.  Well, there are three good reviews I’ve read this week which I want to share with you.  The first one is surprising because it comes from a secular source - CNN!  Next up is Randy Alcorn.  Lastly, an Ordinary Pastor weighs in.

Another book about visiting heaven is highlighted by Tim Challies in his series of examining bestsellers: 90 Minutes in Heaven.  I recommend that after you read this abridged review, take some time to look at his full review — to which he links in this review.  It is a very, very unbiblical book.

I just learned that a Christian dating site is using a system created by a Mormon!  Of course that isn’t the real issue — the real issue is that the root philosophy behind that Mormon’s idea is itself is not something Christian dating groups should be using.

Methodists.  More and more assemblies —with their wolf leaders — are embracing homosexuality.  This time the Boy Scouts of America has revoked a Methodist church charter for their support of a homosexual scoutmaster.

Patriarchy is not the ProblemVision Forum is.

John Hagee’s teachings about “blood moons” has gotten a lot of exposure recently.  Tim Challies reviews Hagee’s book.

Tim Challies also continues his series about false teachers by addressing Benny Hinn.

Bill Gothard has also been in the news in apologetics circles.  He has issued a statement supposedly repenting of his sins over the past few decades — sins that have been coming to light this past year as more women come out with their testimonies.  The question is, can we trust Gothard’s honesty at this point?

A new book claiming biblical support for same-sex relationships receives an excellent critique from Albert Mohler.

Rachel Held Evans is a wolf to fear.

Timothy Keller has caused flags to be raised with his new book, “Center Church.”  It seems he is one of those who belief in the false idea of “contextualization.”  Not only does the Cripplegate address the errors of Keller’s philosophy, but No Compromise Radio also questions the mindset.

An excellent resource is available for those reaching out to Mormons; A Timeline of Joseph Smith’s First Vision.  Some good information demonstrating the many versions which contradict each other.

Finally, you just knew there was going to be bizarre Easter services somewhere.  I still can’t figure out where this production has anything to do with Easter, let alone with the Christian faith in general!

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello Watchman,

I truly appreciate all of your work in pointing out heresies and watch/read many of the sources you highlight. Thank-you so much for your references in contending for the faith in Jesus Christ that was once delivered to the saints and still is!

It has been several years now that I have not celebrated easter nor made any reference to it in conjunction with the Resurrection of our LORD Jesus Christ. I have been freed and liberated from a bondage belief system that promoted easter as a celebration of Christ. What blasphemy the church has propagated amongst the ignorant pew sitters and many a pastor will confess they learned the truth surrounding this paganism in what they call seminary! And yet, they will stand before us on their elevated platforms and say "happy easter" as if it was a celebration instituted by our Father, Who art in Heaven.

Why the lies, why the reference to a pagan goddess, why the easter egg hunts after the sunrise service, why the spending of exhorbitants amount of money in purchasing that special garment for the easter service, why the parade of easter materialism, when in fact,

nothing of this has to do with Jesus, and Him crucified and resurrected for my/our sins.

The whole spectacle grieves my heart as the Blood of the Lamb has been so abused throughout the ages and is getting worse. May our Father continue to pour out His mercy and His grace upon a people who have lost their first love, our Savior Jesus Christ.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Anonymous,

Thank you for your encouragement, but I need to correct some of your thinking.

Easter has EVERYTHING to do with the Christian faith - it is the celebration of Christ rising from the dead, and, as Paul said, if Christ didn't rise from the dead, then our faith is worthless and we are still dead in our sins.

I agree that all the "Easter" bunny and egg hunts have nothing to do with the Christian faith, and that is why I condemn churches for promoting such stuff as having anything to do with the Faith.

It appears that you have spent a lot of time reading from the likes of Jack Chick or other KJV Only types who are also anti-Catholic bigots (there is nothing wrong with being "anti-Catholic" any more than there is with being "anti-Mormon," but the attitude is the problem).

The KJV Bible used the word "Easter" at Acts 12:4 describing the day celebrating the resurrection of Christ.

The English language developed a lot from the original old English and a mixing in of Germanic words during all the invasions by the various Teutonic tribes early in their history. And of course the Romans brought in Latin. Etc.

The word "Easter" is an Anglecized derivative of a German word for "resurrection." THAT is the real origin of the word - it is not a version of the name of a fertility goddess. In fact, that legend started with Alexander Hislop with his horribly researched book, "The Two Babylons," a favorite among KJVOs.

You have been deceived due to false teachings against the celebration of the resurrection (the date has to do with the Passover and not any pagan festivals) and have been dismayed by the churches who celebrate bunnies and eggs rather than the resurrection of Christ.

There are many traditions surrounding Easter that are indeed grievous, but the celebration of the Resurrection is right and proper.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry Mr. Chatfield, with all due respect, the word easter is not Christian in any way, shape or form and has absolutely nothing to do with the resurrection of our LORD Jesus Christ. Perhaps deception is on the front door of all of us who grew up in churches being brainwashed as to the incorrect meaning of the word easter. And the early Christians did not celebrate easter but instead, the word easter in the KJV was incorrectly used instead of the correct word Passover. I am not a Hebrews roots movement individual, nor a Judiazer by any means as Jesus Christ saved me from the law which I could never begin to live.

It has been a joy to celebrate the Resurrection of our LORD Jesus Christ with my saved family and friends as the Body of Christ without even a mention of the term easter, for Jesus Himself would condemn a pagan goddess such as easter.

And germanic words are not the true foudation of the written Word, no offense. And I am a German no less.

Still love and respect your blog Mr. Chatfield. May our LORD be with you and yours.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Anonymous,

With all due respect, YOU are wrong.

First, you cannot say that the word “Easter” is not Christian; that’s like saying the word “today” is not Christian. The word is ENGLISH. If you want to understand the meaning of a word, you can’t just apply your own idea to it and claim that’s what it means - which is what all the nonsense since the late 1800s has done when they claim that the word comes from the name of a goddess of fertility.

The word Easter derives from German, as do many, many English words. The MEANING of the German word is “resurrection,” and that is how it became associated with the celebration of Christ rising from the grave. It’s the same as saying, “Resurrection day.”

I understand that Acts 12:4 is in reference to the Jewish Passover, but the Passover is when Christ was crucified. He rose AFTER the passover, and Acts 12:4 says “after the Passover” when referring to a time, but the KJV translators chose to say “after Easter” - i.e., after the Resurrection, which is after Passover. Why didn’t they just say “Passover”? My guess would be due to anti-Semitism and not wanting to use a “Jewish” term. But to say “after the resurrection” places the time at the same time as saying “after the Passover.” The times are equal.

The point is that you can use the word “Easter” interchangeably with “Resurrection.”

How long after Christ died before Christians annually celebrated the Resurrection has no bearing on whether or not it is acceptable to the Christian faith. The meetings on Sunday were - are - a weekly celebration of the Resurrection. There is no biblical reason to not have an annual celebration specifically focussing on the Resurrection.

And germanic words are not the true foundation of the written Word, no offense.

No language is a “true foundation” to the Word of God. But humans communicate in languages which vary among cultures. Borrowing a word from one culture for another is normal. Taking a Germanic word meaning “resurrection” and using it to describe the day one is celebrating is not un-Christian or unbiblical.

I think you are still focussed on the false teaching that the word “Easter” is a version of Ishtar, Ashtoreth, etc. That teaching is erroneous and comes from the false teacher Alexander Hislop. The word “Easter” has no connection with those goddesses, regardless of what those who followed Hislops lies have taught you.

If you want to be truly free of legalism, then free yourself of the legalistic false teachings that Easter is a pagan celebration and Easter is a goddess. Do Christians celebrate the day as other than established - i.e., bunnies and eggs, etc? Of course, just like they despoil Christmas with Santa Claus. But Christians can still celebrate the day as a birthday of Christ.

You will find much more joy in Christ by simply celebrating the day as your heart leads, and to not fear a word because someone made false claims about it.

Anonymous said...

In regards to Jacob Prasch, did you even listen to the unedited version of the clip that Phil Johnson did?? I find it sad and disturbing that you do not think Phil Johnson's approach -which was heavily editing a video and putting parody type music in it- was mature. If you ask me BOTH men are wrong! Sad that you and other Strange Fire promoters fail to see that. AND if you knew so much, the beef between those two started when Prasch addressed MacArthur about the mark of the beast fiasco and this is Johnson's way of dealing with it. Last I checked both gluttony and pride were sins and it seems as BOTH Prasch and Johnson suffer from both.

Keith

Joe said...

Christmas may or may not have happened in December. Easter (Resurrection Sunday to some) moves around from year to year. Words mean different things with different use (that's what context is all about).

You are quite right, Glenn. Why we get all bent out of shape over certain words is beyond me.

After all, it's not about words, it's about Jesus.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Keith,

Whether or not Johnson was “mature” in his approach to exposing the foolishness of Prasch is irrelevant to Prasch’s speech. Johnson edited it to reduce the time the rest of us had to agonize through Prasch’s prattle. Prasch was so ridiculous that he made himself a parody. The errors in this rant were many.

I am NOT a “Strange Fire promoter,” but those who have criticized Strange Fire have done so based on false information, misquotes, and mis-representation of what was said.

I AM familiar with the “mark of the beast” episode of eons ago, and this incident has NOTHING to do with it. It has to do with the foolish claims of Prasch in regards to the Strange Fire conference.

No, I didn’t see the original, because I couldn’t get it to play. But I seriously doubt that what I saw was taken out of context.

Anonymous said...

No Glenn you are mistaken, this DOES have to do with the mark of the best fiasco, this video was Johnson's way of digressing from that fiasco and putting Prasch in a more negative light. I have been following the back and forth between those two men since it started.

I do not follow Prasch much less Johnson and MacArthur's ministry. I wish people would get out of denial when it comes to these TWO parties. Prasch has shady affiliations AS DOES the MacArthur camp! http://ephesians511blog.net/2014/04/26/fake-american-church-in-action-the-blind-shooting-the-blind/

But people want to continue to follow after men! Pretty sad!

Keith

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Keith,

Here is the problem; YOU are deciding for yourself what Johnson's motives were - which means you are trying to read his mind. YOU CAN'T know without Johnson stating that was the reason. Your are making a judgment about his heart.

I think the reason is pretty plain - Prasch made a fool of himself and Johnson mocked him.

I don't follow either one of them. As noted above, I have read SOME of Prasch's stuff but a lot I disagree with. I think MacArthur is a much better teacher but I don't like his Calvinism.

That being said, I happened to follow the Strange Fire conference so as to see what it was all about. Prasch misrepresented it, as did virtually all charismatics. Prasch went one better than the rest of the charismatic with his outright lies and foolish claims.

Anonymous said...

So MacArthur's mormon affiliations aren't a problem for ya eh? Pretty sad.

So if someone saw the obvious calvinistic stance that strange fire was promoting then and they disagreed then they are a charismatic? Wow! Y'know its funny, but MacArthur who is supposidely scholared, knows about research. All the strange fire conference did was trace the charismatic movement back to Azuza St and a little before that. When in fact charismania goes back wayyy further than that. Pretty sad MacArthur does not , OR decided not to, expose that very important FACT.

It seems as though, while you claim you do not support MacArthur and his camp, you defend them quite a bit even when they ARE wrong.

Reading Johnson's mind eh? Well being is I been following the contention between both ministries since its beginnings it does not take a brain surgeon to read between the lines.

I find it ironic that BOTH Prasch and MacArthur have Calvary Chapel ties, and both men are in error...and sadly people like you, not as informed as you THINK you are, defend one or the other. When the fact remains the defenders are defending mere men with extremely questionable heretical affiliations but yet deceive the masses by claiming to be watchman. And you fall for it!

Pathetic!

K.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Keith,

Oh, so now MacArthur has Mormon affiliations?!?! You’ve got to be kidding me. Where did you come up with that one?

Strange Fire may have been approached from a Calvinist worldview, but nowhere did I see Calvinism promoted. Those who make that claim are throwing red herrings out so as to take the focus off the charismania which was being condemned.

MacArthur was discussing the origin of the CURRENT charismania, which is Azuza. Perhaps you need to be more cognizant of context.

I have not defended anything in the “MacArthur camp” that is erroneous. All you do is make unsubstantiated statements.

You can “read between the lines” with eisegesis. You DO NOT KNOW why Johnson made the video beyond the reasons he gives. To say it is a “payback” etc for something that took place years ago is downright foolish. The video speaks for itself - Prasch imitated a blathering fool.

EVERY teacher has some falsehoods somewhere in their history. Most people learn and mature and recant or correct previous erroneous teachings, as MacArthur did in regards to the mark of the beast, yet people still bring the original problem up many years later. Time to grow up and move on.

Your ad hominem attacks against me and MacArthur and Prasch violate my comment policy. Since this is what your comments have consisted of, with no evidence of your charges against Johnson, let alone the rest, you have made your last comment. I have better things to do than to continue a useless and fruitless discussion.

Anonymous said...

Glenn when did MacArthur recant his mark of the beast claims? That is false, he never has, nor his ministry.

-Susan

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Susan,

I didn't say MacArthur recanted. I said, Most people learn and mature and recant or correct previous erroneous teachings, as MacArthur did in regards to the mark of the beast,

I think MacArthur "corrected" his statement by clarifying his meaning:

http://www.gty.org/Blog/B131030
http://hipandthigh.wordpress.com/2013/11/04/so-you-dont-like-john-macarthurs-view-of-the-mark-of-the-beast/

I also think it is unfair that the man is being virtually crucified for something that isn't even heretical if he did teach as claimed. Other than Calvinism, which I consider false teaching, what false teaching do you find so reprehensible in MacArthur that he is to be labeled as a false teacher?

Anonymous said...

Glenn with all do respect you do not make sense. You say Calvinism is false teaching, correct?

Then if someone is teaching Calvinism, they are teaching something that is false, wouldn't that be accurate?

You contradict yourself.

The Bible is clear that those who recieve the Mark of the Beast are ones who worship the beast. That article does not clarify anything as far as I am concerned.

Susan

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Susan,

I don't go to war over Calvinism. I think it's false, and they think non-Calvinists have false teaching. So if we go back and forth arguing Calvinism, Arminianism, and every other ism we'd get nowhere.

Most of the outstanding Christian apologists are Calvinists - are we to ignore their excellent teachings just because they believe a different understanding of the "predestination" passages?

MacArthur has a questionable understanding about the Mark of the Beast and whether one can still be saved after taking it. I understand him to be saying that if someone hasn't heard the gospel and takes the mark, and then later learns about Christ and salvation, then the mark is not an unforgivable sin.

Does this belief affect anything of essential doctrines - is it heretical? NO!

I asked for an example of false teaching besides this and Calvinism - the latter being highly disputed for 500 years - and you've given me nothing. You are willing to label a man as a false teacher unworthy of listening to because he's a calvinist and has an understanding about the mark that you disagree with.

You will never find a perfect teacher with such standards; so will you never listen to or read any teacher who can provide good insight into biblical teachings and the Christian life? Try having a wee bit of grace; I'm sure even you have beliefs that others would say are false.

Anonymous said...

Glenn you are confusing me with your last commenter, Keith. I did not come guns a blazing in my first comment. I made one simple comment about MacArthur not recanting his Mark of the Beast claim and you accused me of saying such and such about him.

I mentioned Calvinism because I find your views rather odd.

Grace? Really? So because I choose not to follow a man who believes in a god who damns some people to hell and others to heavn I have no grace? Did I say he was going to hell? Did I say he was not saved?

I believe I never said any of the above. If your definition of grace is supporting someone you vehemently do not agree with then you have a twisted view on grace.

If that is the case then where is your grace for Prasch whom you do not agree with? I do not care for Prasch either, but I would say he is just as arrogant as MacArthur is asserting his claims and views to be thus saith the Lord.

So please don't put words into my mouth.

Provide you with an example? If calvinism is not enough nor his faulty mark of the beast, but then AGAIN I should not have to give ANY example because my intial comment was not attacking MacArthur, YOU made it about me attacking him.

Grace? Wheres your grace, Glenn?

Susan

Anonymous said...

Actually Glenn Susan asked an excellent question, MacArthur and Jacob Prasch aside: If calvinism is false then if someone teaches it wouldn't that make them false too? That is a fair question.

~Sarah

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Susan,

I am not confusing you with anyone. You asked the question about when MacArthur recanted. I responded to that question that he “corrected” his statement in that he clarified his intent. I also pointed out how so many people are attacking him for a teaching that is really irrelevant - it has no bearing on doctrine as to be heretical; it simply doesn’t matter in the whole scheme things and yet there are people who hate Calvinism and MacArthur so much that they will continue harping on this one teaching as if it was important.

I put no words in your mouth. My suggestion is to have some grace about that one teaching because it doesn’t really matter. My suggestion is to have grace for Calvinists because they don’t really see their belief as being what we non-Calvinists perceive it to be, and it doesn’t affect salvation. I find the battle about Calvinism to be fruitless. I’ve posted an article about my beliefs about Calvinism so people will know where I stand on that teaching. But I don’t label Calvinists false teachers any more than I label Mennonites false teachers for being Arminians. To label someone as false teachers I want to see consistent heresy or major aberrations.

I’ve never, ever seen or heard MacArthur behaving the way Prasch did in that video. There is no comparison between the two. Not only that, but Prasch had much falsehood in what he was claiming, and was behaving totally inappropriately for a “pastor.”

I have plenty of grace. I just try to get other people to get their priorities straight and choose the right battles. There is worse stuff invading the church than Calvinism or someone’s wrong idea about taking the mark of the beast.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Sarah,

Again, I don’t get into fights about Calvinism being false. I believe it is false, and so do many, many other people. Calvinists believe we non-Calvinists are false. But I don’t think it is beneficial to label Calvinists as false teachers any more than they should be labeling non-Calvinists as false teachers.

I consider a false teacher one who teaches heresy or major aberrations. I don’t mean a bad teaching here or there, because in that regards there is NONE of us who are perfect.

There are those who call Calvinism “heresy,” but I can’t agree with that. I think in many ways it’s a dangerous teaching because of the burden it places on people who worry if they are one of the elect.

As I have stated many times, the vast majority of excellent Christian apologists are Calvinists. Why that is, I don’t know. But without the grace to give them an audience, I would be much poorer in my ability to do an apologetics ministry.

Anonymous said...

With all do respect Glenn I do not agree with your opinion that calvinists make the best apologists. They label anyone who does not agree with their theology of calvinism as semi-pelagian or arminiam, so therefore they may seem like they are good aplogists but really in actuality they call out anyone who does not agree with calvinism. Agree to disagree with you.

I do not go into battles over calvinism myself, but read that question addressed to you and thought it was a good point.

Yknow its ironic, you speak on grace, but where is the calvinists grace when they are labeling people semi-pelgian or whatever who does not hold to their beliefs.

I digress. Take care

~Sarah

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Sarah,

Just to clarify - I didn't say Calvinists make the best apologists; I said the vast majority of excellent apologists are Calvinists.

The good Calvinist apologists who I've read never call non-Calvinists names like the average Calvinist does. I find that interesting.

And you are so right - the everyday Calvinists don't seem to have any grace for those who disagree with them.

Peter J said...

My two cents:

I agree with Glenn...

You can't use terms like "false teacher" and "heresy" about long-running doctrinal disagreements like calvinism / arminianism. Good men of God have held both of these positions. They both have Biblical support but sadly they have divided the church and they probably will continue to divide the church until Jesus returns.

I tend to be more of an arminian but respect calvinists and their huge contribution to christianity.

We need to move away from the approach that labels everyone we disagree with as a heretic and false teacher. It is ungracious and unloving - we all "know in part".

Moving to MacArthur's views on the mark of the beast, these seem reasoned to me - he's taking the full counsel of God into consideration, rather than trying to make doctrine from one verse. But if he is wrong on this, it is a pretty small matter - the issue is almost a theoretical one. It certain doesn't warrant labelling him as a false teacher and heretic.

The video of Prasch is a different thing altogether. I have watched the full video (I had a bit of trouble getting it to work but eventually managed to) and it makes no difference. I was shocked by it - such disgraceful behavior is never right, especially in the pulpit.