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, February 11, 2016

Some Good Stuff to Read

Here is another collection of articles which I’ve read recently which I felt would be good to pass along.  May you find them informative and edifying.

A good history of the charismatic movement by Gary Gilley.  This is followed by “Doctrinal Distinctives of the Charismatic Movement,” part 1 and part 2.

Gilley also has an excellent 4-part series on “The Afterlife.”  Part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4.  I think you’ll find them very interesting.

Why extra-biblical writings attributed to James aren’t reliable.

That should be enough reading for today!


Anonymous said...

Hi Glenn,

I read Alec's article on American 'c'hristianity. The part that made me ache was about the discarded 50-something-year-old men. Yes, they are being discarded and rendered 'obsolete'. Just as Alec's article said, not only in the nation, but in our churches. The culture of youth worship is not the only cause, but it is a significant one.

Hate to say it, but YOUNGER MALE PASTORS often are causing some of the problem as well, as they exalt youth and follow their peers, to the detriment of the older men. I wince when I see a church with "elders" in their 20s...


Alec said...

Hi Carolyn,

Thanks for reading my article. I put that part in there especially to see if there would be any response. It's a quiet and heartbreaking story. The most abused group in American society may well be white males of a certain age.

When I was 20 and involved in an aberrant Christian group at the University of Maryland, the final impetus for my leaving was the very issue you mentioned. Back then it was obvious that there was something wrong with a church whose leaders were in their early 20s. But a few decades on and that group looks a whole lot more orthodox than the emerging churches cropping up hither and yon.


DebbieLynne7 said...

As an ex-Charismatic, I appreciated Gary Gilley's articles on the Charismatic Movement. I recognized much of the balderdash I stupidly bought into bought into back then.

Anonymous said...

Hi Alec - and Glenn -

You are correct, the most abused group in American society are the very ones you said. Since the church is striving so hard these days to look like the world, it's happening in congregations as well. I do believe I've mentioned the 20-something-year-old with a guitar who does not know how to shepherd, yet he is a "worship pastor". He is honored, but the elder musician is chased away.

I'm glad to know my husband and I are not the only ones that wince at the idea of church leaders in their 20s. Even if saved in their childhood, that is still too young of an age for a man to lead well. He needs time to be proven... as a husband (if he marries), as a father (again, if he marries), and in the world. After all, Scripture says elders should have a good reputation with outsiders. That is VERY hard to demonstrate when these guys go straight from "Bible college" to "Seminary" to the pulpit, and never work a day in the "secular" world.

A man who would be a pastor/teacher/elder also needs time to solidify his doctrine. In many cases, since they've usually graduated from "Bible college" and "Seminary", few of which are even remotely solid these days, they've likely imbibed teachings that are rife with vain philosophies of man. Those traditions and teachings of man often usurp the ministry of the Holy Spirit, Who leads us into all truth. So these young men come out of these institutions with all sorts of doctrinal problems from the get go. This is unfortunate, because another requirement of an elder is to know sound doctrine and be able to refute those who contradict. It's impossible to correct error if you have learned error and don't know the difference. Also, it takes time for a man's character to develop. How many of these young guys have only barely cut their teeth on the word of God, and then some hip new preacher hits the scene, and the young "pastors" don't know well enough to keep on the old paths. The hip new preacher not only teaches things that are problematic, but also lives in a manner that appeals to the flesh, and the fruit of such is borne. And so it goes.

And yes, I know, Timothy was told not to let people despise him because of his youth (from what I've heard, most think he was in his 30s), but he was called by Paul not only to be sound in the faith, but also to live an exemplary life of godliness. This is not often what we're seeing with many young men today, unfortunately. Especially when they chase after the likes of Driscoll.

Done with my dissertation for now.