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

Friday, October 31, 2014

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

Cults come in many “shapes, sizes and flavors.”  When they claim to be Christian, invariably they are very, very controlling, legalistic, and cause great harm to their followers.  Last week I was directed to this article from The Hollywood Reporter because of the experience actress Glenn Close testified about.  The account begins about half-way through the article, and is worth reviewing.

People who claim to be Christians, while at the same time teaching that God approves of homosexual behavior, are infiltrating the true Church to a very damaging effect.  Now these false teachers are having a conference in November for those of likemindedness, as well as for teaching such lies.  Look at the names and remember that these men are instruments of Satan rather than fellow Christians.

Chuck Swindoll has been going farther and farther away from sound doctrine, and this has been quite disappointing.  My first disappointment in him was his avid support for — and promotion of — Promise Keepers.  Over the years he has become more and more involved with mysticism and this becomes quite apparent his new book, “So You Want to Ne Like Christ?”  Lighthouse Trails Research Ministry addresses this book and more.

Four years ago I wrote an article about some problems with the teachings of the “Local Church” and Living Stream Ministries.  This past week I was directed to a post examining serious problems with their handling of the original Greek language of the New Testament.  It’s lengthy and deep, but it you have dealings with the group, then this article might be helpful.

Heretics who are staunch promoters of the social gospel and the liberal reinterpretation of the Bible are the ones who tend to get media attention.  Jim Wallis, of Sojourners, is one of these wolves who is actually a counselor to President Obama.  (Of course there are others of his ilk, such as the Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, both claiming to be “pastors.”)  These men are a blight on the name of Christian, and blaspheme God every time they claim the name.

The modern “evangelical” theme seems to be “relevance.”  Everywhere you look, there are Christian leaders who say we need to be “relevant” to the culture in order to bring people to the Lord.  (I wonder why Paul never had that problem?)  Of course “relevance” tends to be “contemporary” “worship music” and other “market-driven” entertainment and programs.  The whole idea of “relevance” has become a curse to the Church.

The fact that the Roman Catholic Church believes in the lie of evolution is nothing new, but it has become BIG news recently because the Pope himself has said evolution and creation are compatible beliefs.  Even worse, as this article reports, a Vatican official said that biblical creationism is “nearly tantamount to blasphemy.”  Of course the REAL blasphemy is ascribing evolution to God, and claiming that Genesis is all myth or allegory.
The recent RCC “Synod on the Family” has also received a lot of attention because of the apparent leaning of Rome towards approving homosexuality.  The problem here is that too many of the RCC’s clergy are already friendly to homosexuality, and yet no one is bringing discipline against them.  The excuses given for Catholics to participate in a “gay pride” parade don’t hold water.  Participating in such activities does nothing but give tacit approval to them.

Not only is the RCC a corrupt, heretical, and apostate organization claiming to be Christian, they have now really become the “religion of ME.”

Meanwhile, Rome continues to seek unification with the rest of Christianity, and many wolves in the REAL Christian church also seek unification with Rome.  The Cripplegate tells how we can know when it is okay to “join hands with Rome.

Continue to stand steady and strong in the faith, and be on watch for wolves and their poison.


Anonymous said...

The idea of "relevance" being a curse to the church - AMEN, and AMEN. That word to me is a "fighting word". Nothing boils me faster than hearing a pastor say that we/the church needs to be "relevant" to "reach" people for Christ. What utter nonsense!

As my husband and I have oft witnessed, "relevant" really ends up meaning "irreverent".

Muehlenberg said,

"On most occasions when you hear about a church or a pastor seeking to be relevant, you should run for the hills. That is because nine times out of ten, they are willing to abandon clear biblical teachings simply to be likeable, popular and accepted by the masses."

Indeed. We have left churches because of the push for "relevance".


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

The leadership at our assembly is beginning to talk about relevance to the 20-somethings, as if we should kow-tow to one demographic!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that Glenn. Hearing the word "relevant", especially when coupled with an intentional singular focus on the younger demographic isn't good news. Sounds like Purpose Driven style subterfuge.

The older believers in any local body are the backbone, who ensure sound doctrine and model and teach reverence toward God and holy living. Those are the ones we should be looking to, not the youth.

What a disappointment that must be for you and Jill, who have been a part of that local assembly for quite a while now.


Jon Gleason said...

Wow, Glenn. There is just absolutely no Scriptural basis at all for targeting one age group (or any other kind of group). Are you sure you are in the right assembly?

Thanks for the link, BTW.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

We've been attending this assembly for 13 years. Two years ago they bought a huge facility vacated by a local "Willow Creek" wannabe which built a monster facility. Our church had been slowly increasing size over the years, by adding a wing and a new entrance with a nice lobby area. But they decided that buying the vacated facility would be cheaper and quicker than all their long-range building plans. My wife and I voted against it, because it was the first time ever they would take out a loan (still owing over $400,000) and the facility itself was designed with the market-driven ideology in mind. We believed that if we moved there, the whole atmosphere would change. We were told it would be the same old church, same philosophy, but just with a new building which would enhance our ability for outreach, etc.

We noticed minor changes in the first few months. Slowly other things have been changing. Suddenly, in the past few months the changes are accelerating, especially with the hiring of a paid staff member - a "pastor of worship" - even though we are in debt. The whole music philosophy made its final leap from the slow way it was going under the old music leader (who was being given more and more restrictions and more directions over the past year or so).

When I discussed the situation two weeks ago with one of the elders I thought we could trust, I learned that the focus was going to be more and more towards the younger generation so as to be more relevant to them in order to reach them. You can imagine the earful I gave him. So for now we are taking a "wait and see" approach because there are a lot of unhappy people, and we are waiting to see if this new move with music will actually hold.

We may very well be looking for a new assembly.

Jon Gleason said...

Very unfortunate. I just took a moment to pray the Lord would help you see clearly in all things related to this.

Younger people are not the future of the church. The Lord is the future of the church.

Anonymous said...

And there you have it. Taking on debt is also a terrible indication of a church heading in the wrong direction. So sorry to hear what your church has been doing lately.

Good for you for standing for the truth speaking with that elder. My husband and I have gone that route before, unfortunately to no avail.

Praying the Lord gives you and your wife wisdom to know whether to stay, or whether to walk away (or run).


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

If your church has changed to become more relevant, chances are, before the change was complete, it became irrelevant.

The Gospel is relevant; the Bible is relevant; Old Truth is relevant; Preaching is relevant. Those things never change because God never changes.

But the world changes. And just the time your new culturally relevant gimmick becomes popular, some newly styled gimmick will come up and surpass yours before the shine is off and your gimmick will be irrelevant.

"I charge thee in the sight of God, and of Christ Jesus, who shall judge the quick and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables. But be thou sober in all things, suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry. 1 Timothy 2:1-5

Joe said...

Chuck Swindoll used to be one of my favorite radio preachers. His decent into mysticism and contemplativeness has vexed me. Sad.

Anonymous said...

I may be a dinosaur in stating this Glen, but here it goes anyway....

"How "relevant" was our LORD Jesus Christ in His day?" His relevance sent Him to the cross for the "relevant religious" hated what He was teaching and preaching.

And then we can look at the lives of the disciples and Apostles and their "relevance" upon a culture who hated the true Gospel Message.

When a church system decides to be "relevant", run for the hills for apostasy is in your midst and it won't be long before you are sitting in on a Todd Bentley telecast, wearing a Hawaain shirt, and declaring the power of your words over people, aka, Joyce Meyer.

Even in our small rural churches, this poison has infected many and now sin, is called "monsters." No kidding! I sat in on an Assembly of God service one morning while vacationing and the visiting pastor showed us a video entitled "The Monsters In Our Lives." So how in the world can we repent when we do not understand what sin is and how it works in our lives?

While the pastor was doing "good works", amazing good works as a matter of fact in helping people in violent suburban neighborhoods, not once, was the word "sin" mentioned in his video.

Relevance: You are no longer a sinner in need of Jesus Christ every minute of every day......
you simply have monsters in your life that you need to eliminate.


Anonymous said...

Also, I wanted thank-you for the excellent post and all of articles you referenced. They were of considerable help in understanding these times in which we live.

Even in our small rural communities the word "ecumenism" is quite popular on the pages of our newspapers. We have "ecumenical" services during our small town festivals, "ecumenical" world day of prayer services, and "ecumenical" conferences for all church denominations to attend for a "fee" (I thought the Gospel message, the Word of God, was free, my mistake).

And the key word that is promoted in conjunction with "ecumenism" is the word "community." I believe the religion of "communitarianism" will play a huge role in the one world religion. Those who do not succumb to the dumbing down of God's Word/communitarianism/relativism and the like, will indeed, be hated by the ecumenical crowds.

And when an individual speaks of Jesus in your every day, average conversation, even within the church, people think that you are odd and don't care to be around you. We want "church", just leave Jesus out of it, thank-you very much.

The ecumenical "social club" knows best.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

For those who have already seen this article and commented, take another look at the article to see the AIG cartoon I added.

Anonymous said...

LOVE the AiG cartoon.

Great comments by all.

PS - I recently read that in the wake of Driscoll stepping down, the Mars Hill multi-site church conglomerate is now disbanding.



Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I saw that about Mars Hill, and had a good chuckle. The cult is dissolving.