Saturday, October 29, 2016
Ed Stetzer honored heretic C. Peter Wagner! I can’t add to that as a reason to never trust Stetzer for anything to do with theology.
The social justice Jesus is NOT the Jesus of the Bible.
Discernment and Revelation. Excellent article naming lots of those in the Spiritual Formation movement, as well as other practitioners of similar mysticism and those claiming direct revelations from God.
Michael Brown defends the indefensible. As noted in my last RAAH report, Brown cannot be trusted with theology.
Modern Day Montanism. A 52-minute teaching, well worth educating yourself about. He names names!
Be careful about what bands/singers you promote, in whatever way you do it (including social media). They may be teaching Christ from their lips while their hearts are far away from him with their sinful lifestyles which reject Him. (Or, in the case of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. e.g., they worship false gods!)
Church by the Glades continues to prove it is nothing more than a goat-pen led by false teachers. It is difficult for me to believe that these people really think this honors God. (And really, is sitting in old cars for church conducive to thinking about worship or attending a concert/drive-in movie?)
The Roman Catholic Church really needs to get control of their universities! These schools continually violate RCC doctrine and principles, and may as well just call themselves secular institutions.
Rick Warren — need I say more?
More proof that Jen Hatmaker is a false teaching wolf to be avoided. Read the RNS article linked to — if you can stand it.
Apostasy in the Christian Church — good examination of what are necessary beliefs and teachings for the true Christian.
No, it is NOT Jesus calling.
Where does the Catholic Church find biblical authority for this rule?
Cedar Creek in Ohio is just another “church” who seem to think they need a secular concert to start their worship services. Interesting that I couldn’t find any type of doctrinal statement on their site, and they look to my like a bunch of goat-pens.
Well, that’s all for today!
Friday, October 28, 2016
An interesting story about archaeological finds at the temple in Jerusalem.
Yes, the Bible DOES address “transgenderism.”
Does the Gospel of Mark teach the deity of Christ?
Sexual Morality in a Christless World. Sounds like a good book to read! On the flip side, Tim Challis posted an article about the sexual immorality of the Roman empire, which sounds much like that in the current USA!
Why study Church history? To help prevent acceptance of erroneous beliefs. I’m a history buff and am on my second time through Eusebius’ history of the church (for those who don’t know, he was the first Church historian, tracing its history until early 4th century). I’ve also finished three volumes of the 10-volume set of the writings of the Ante-Nicene Fathers. I also have two different books which are single volume histories of the Church, and I highly recommend the book, “The Early Christians In Their Own Words,” edited by Eberhard Arnold, as well as David W. Bercot’s “A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs.” I have numerous other books about various aspects of the history of the Church. Every Christian should have at least ONE volume of church history!
An interesting look at what the Bible says about heaven.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
One reader of this blog alerted me to problems with Awana’s teaching booklets. She ended up scanning the 3rd Grade, T&T Ultimate Adventure comic book, “Mission: Grace in Action.”
This comic book’s story is inane and a waste of time for the child. Make-work activities such as using three colors to write a Bible verse does nothing to aid in memorizing it. Recording yourself saying the verse and listening to yourself is again make-work with little value. So many of these types of exercises waste time. Why Awana can’t just have the study part of this book without the ridiculous comic story is beyond me.
I read through this entire book and was dismayed over a lot of what I discovered is being taught to our children! The text is often poorly written and confusing, but worse is that there is a lot of false teaching.
What follows is my analysis of bad teaching, false teaching, and poorly written items. If you are in Awana, I suggest you use solid discernment when using their materials. I’d also recommend you communicate through your channels to bring this to the attention of the Awana hierarchy.
Page 9. “Our powerful God created the world and everything in it in six days. God created all things for His own purposes. God’s purpose for us it to have a relationship with Him.”
What does the Bible say about God’s purpose for creating mankind — was it for a relationship?
The entire Bible says that creating mankind was part of an eternal plan — essentially for His pleasure. But first and foremost God created mankind for His glory (Isaiah 43:7). 1 Cor. 10:31 says that we are to do everything for the glory of God. Revelation 4:11 says that because He created us He is “to receive glory, honor and power” from us. The second purpose for creating mankind was so that mankind could enjoy creation (Ps. 16:11, 84:11, 103:5; Eccl. 2:24-25; Acts 14:17; 1 Tim. 6:17). There is another purpose for those who are believers and that is the relationship aspect (1 Cor. 1:9). But to say that “God’s purpose,” meaning the main reason God created us, was for us to have a relationship with Him, is a poor answer to the question. (On pg. 11 it says, “The reason God created us in His image is so we can have a relationship with Him.” I agree with this statement, in that if mankind was not made in God’s image, He couldn’t have a relationship with us any more than he can have a relationship with the animal kingdom.)
Pages 15, 16. “God is holy, which means He is perfect, without sin, and always does what is right.”
While the statement gives attributes of God, it errs by saying this is what “holy” means. “Holy” means “set apart,” or “sacred.” “Holy” can indeed include the attributes listed, but they do not define the word. (This definition is used throughout the book.)
Page 16. This one gets sort of convoluted, so I’m going to quote everything.
“Do you think God sat up in heaven one day and made lists of things He thought should be good and bad? Actually, that’s not what happened. Good things are good because God does them. God is truthful, so telling the truth is good and lying is wrong. So if you copied you friend’s spelling test, you’d be making your teacher think you know how to spell the words and that’s a lie. It’s wrong to lie because God does not lie. Here’s another example: God is just, so being fair to people is good and being unfair is wrong.”
Apparently this is supposed to be teaching about sin. Doing what is wrong vs doing what is right may or may not be sin; after all, I can do the wrong way of building a car but that isn’t sinning! The example says that if God doesn’t do something then neither should we — but as was pointed out to me by the person asking me to examine the text, since God doesn’t sleep then that means we shouldn’t sleep! This just confuses the child! Page 17 gives a better definition of sin: “Sin is anything we think, say, or do that disobeys God.”
Page 19. “Ask your parent or another caring adult to write about or draw a time when he or she had trouble making the right (or good) choice, and what makes a choice right or wrong.”
If we are trying to teach the children about sin, then this task is ambiguous because a right or wrong choice may not necessarily be sinful, as noted above in my statement about wrong choices to build a car. This needs to be rewritten to address sin, not right and wrong choices.
Pages 21, 22 "God always gives people what they deserve."
Well, sorta kinda, in that we all deserve hell but in his mercy he gives grace to those who are saved. I.e., he gives us what we don't deserve, or he doesn't give us what we deserve - whichever way you want to look at it. What about David’s adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband? David deserved the death penalty but God spared him. This statement in the book needs clarification.
Page 22. Reference Matt. 19:16-17. “Commandments are what God tells us to DO or NOT TO DO in the Bible. If the man obeyed all of God’s commandments, he would deserve the reward of eternal life, which is life forever with God in heaven.”
This makes it appear that it is possible for a man to obey all the commandments, while the Bible says in no uncertain terms that we all have a sin nature making us unable to obey all the commands. The point of Jesus telling him what he needed to do was to demonstrate that the man in reality never kept all of the commandments, and the text should explain this. The text here is dumbing down for simplification, but that just skews things.
Page 23. “Because God is just, He has to give us the punishment of death we deserve for our sin.”
This is a bit skewed. God doesn’t have to give us the punishment — if He had to give us the punishment then there would be no need for Christ. What it should say is that “He has to give the punishment of death for sin,” and then explain that said punishment is taken by Christ on our behalf.
Page 29. “Jesus Christ never sinned, but He died for our sin and came alive again so that we can be alive together with Him and have what’s best for us.”
So the reason Christ died was so that we can “have what’s best for us”?!? Where is this in the Bible? What if it is best for me to have a nice house and a good car — did Christ die for this? This needs to be re-written so as to give the real reason for His death— for us to have our sins forgiven and have eternal life.
Page 33. “God is eternal, which means He has no beginning or end. God has always been alive, and He will always be alive.” God has always been “alive"? That's really a bad choice of words! "Existed" is the ONLY way to explain it. If they don't think kids can understand "existed" they could say "He's always been there.” This “alive” vs “existed” shows up again on p.35, p.40, et al.
Page 34. “God created you and decided when your life would begin.”
Only two people were created by God: Adam and Eve. Everyone else is the result of procreation, a process God created. God KNOWS when our lives will begin, but nowhere in Scripture does it even intimate that God decides who is going to be born when (except for Jesus).
Page 39. “God…is always fair. He must always give people what they deserve.”
This is much the same as the statement on page 23. If God must give people what they deserve, then He would have had to kill King David, and he couldn’t have Christ pay for our sin!
What should be said is that God is always just, and justice demands that sin be punished.
Page 39. Again, at the bottom of the page, it says Christ took our punishment so we can “have what’s best for us.” That is NOT why Christ died!
Page 51. “…we know that His Word, the Bible, was written down exactly the way He wanted it — true and without error.”
This should be corrected to say “when originally written.” Otherwise when errors are shown to the student, they could be left confused and doubting. It should be explained about mistakes in transmission and translation, albeit in simple terms, and noting that we do know that there is no important error in our current translations.
Page 57. “The Bible also tells us how to have a relationship with Him [God] through believing in Jesus Christ.”
Really? And where can I find this in Scripture? I can’t, because this is not a true statement. The Bible tells us how to have salvation through believing in Christ — not how to have a relationship.
Page 58. “God wrote a letter to you.” The Bible is NOT God’s “letter to you.” A letter is a personal correspondence. God didn’t even write the Bible; He used men to write it. The Bible is God’s word; it is a book of history (which includes all we need to know about God and salvation through Jesus) and not a personal letter. Calling it a letter from God is all about feeling “warm fuzzies.” This is a 100% wrong way to teach children about the Bible.
Page 59. “God told John, one of Jesus’ apostles, to write the book of John so that we may believe.” Nowhere are we told that God told John to write his gospel. All we can be certain of is that when John decided to record the events, the Holy Spirit carried him along (2 Peter 1:21).
“God wrote the Bible…” Again, God did NOT write the Bible.
Page 64. “Timothy was probably a teenager when he started teaching God’s Word to others.” There is absolutely no foundation for such a claim. Teaching our youth assumptions of the author is very wrong-headed. Nothing in Scripture substantiates this claim. We have no idea as to Timothy’s age at any time.
Page 65. “We cannot change God’s Word to say what we want it to say. We can’t add words to God’s words or take away His words” Good teaching, but ironic considering that is what this book is doing.
Page 77. In context of instructions God gives us in Scripture to help us in making good choices to obey God and not sin, it says this: “You will be happier, because God knows what is best for you and your life!”
So is being “happier” the reason we obey God?
Page 81. Again with “The Bible was written by God.” No it wasn’t!
Page 87. “We should never try to change any of [what the Bible says] to say what we want it to say.” Oh, the irony again.
Page 100. “Jesus is called God’s Son because He has the job of representing God on earth and being in charge of earth for God, just like a son would do for a father.” A problem with this statement is that Jesus is eternally the Son of God, and even before creation. It is His role to be the Son whether or not creation took place. So the reason given for Jesus being called the Son of God is wrong.
Page 104, in the comic itself (another reason this comic is useless). “It makes me sad that Jesus, the king of the universe, came to earth to save us from our gross sin.” “Yeah, I know. It makes me sad too.” WHAT?!?!? So we are teaching our children to be sad that Jesus came to save us?!?!?! This is a horrid teaching!
Page 105. “But [Jesus] chose to limit his God powers and knowledge to become an man…” There is a problem with the word “limit” being alone here. This can get into some pretty deep theological discussion, but I think it would be more appropriate to say something like he “limited the use” of His powers. This statement shows up again on page 107.
Page 108. Under definitions, the word “Begotten” is defined as “one and only Son of God.” This can be confusing for the child, since the word “Begotten” and “beget” is used throughout Scripture of human offspring. This needs to be defined as what it is, but then explained how with Jesus it isn’t from the union of two people. It would be nice if the authors used a newer Bible translation.
Page 153. “The Old Testament says that anybody who keeps all of God’s laws will be saved.” And where does it say this? NOWHERE!!! Throughout Scripture salvation is always by faith, and not by the keeping of the law (Rom. 3:20, Gal. 5:4).
Page 160. “God gave the Israelites in the Old Testament the law and told them that if they obeyed it perfectly, they would be righteous.” There is no where in the Bible that it says this, so would this be considered telling the children a lie? This is again stated on page 183.
Page 172. “[Jesus] didn’t explain how He saved people until He told Paul.” If this was true, then how did the thousands become Christians prior to Paul? Jesus continually stated that those who believed in him would be saved eternally (e.g., John 3, John 6, John 11:25; the last supper where he gives the analogy of his body and blood to the bread and wine, etc.).
“Jesus told Paul through the Holy Spirit that when He died on the cross He took everybody’s sins upon Himself.” The Scripture says that Paul had a personal visit by Jesus in a vision (Acts 9:4-6, 26:15-18), and that he was personally taught by Jesus via revelation (Acts 26:16, Gal. 1:11-12), not that the Holy Spirit taught him.
“God gave Christ our sins, and He gives us Christ’s goodness and sinlessness.” Wrong. Christ took the punishment for our sins, and God imputes Christ’s righteousness to us.
Page 185. “God … chose Paul to tell us about His grace.” Not quite right. Jesus told us about His grace, as did all the apostles. Paul was one of the apostles to tell us about His grace.
Page 205. “When [Timothy] was a teenager, he met Paul…” The Bible does not say how old Timothy was at this time — he may have been in his 20s and still be called “young.”
Page 208. “The Bible is God’s instruction book for us.” While the Bible certainly includes instructions for living and for salvation, etc, it is NOT an “instruction book.” If it was to carry just one description, it would be a “history book.” But it is more than that, so to call it an “instruction book” really reduces the purpose of God’s Word.
If the 3rd grade text has this many errors and problems, what are the rest like? What is Awana becoming?!?!?
Saturday, October 22, 2016
It’s been a very busy week for me, being away from home a whole lot (today as an example, we were gone from 9:20 AM to 6:40 PM) and when home doing my best to catch up inside and outside. So I haven’t had much time to work on blog projects! But I’ve been collecting links to news articles I have come across, and article which are exposing more and more of Satan’s invasion in the Church. With that introduction, here we goooooooo…….
If you liked my article about Bill Johnson and Bethel Redding, you’ll like this “cornucopia” about him.
A Bethel Redding song won the GMA awards (and now I know where the above meme came from), which demonstrates how poor the CCM industry has gotten (and it goes on for over 8 minutes!!!). Now tell me, do you really think what you saw here is a service worshiping God or self?
I followed link in the above article to this article about Chris Tomlin songs — yes, I get tired of seeing his songs, and fully agree they are performance songs vs corporate worship songs!
Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry has posted some excellent articles examining the Amish religion. The overall assessment I have about the Amish is that they are very legalistic, and with their legalism they can be quite arbitrary.
I have some books about the Amish on my shelf, and highly recommend them for anyone interested in more information about the Amish:
20 Most Asked Questions About the Amish and Mennonites, by Merle and Phyllis Good
A History of the Amish, by Steven M. Nolt
Crossing Over, by Ruth Irene Garrett with Rick Farrant
Growing Up Amish, by Ira Wagler
True Stories of the Amish, edited by Ottie A. Garrett
Why Do They Dress That Way? by Stephen Scott
Why Jim Cymbala can’t be trusted.
So if you don’t like Hillsong, you hate God? I’d think it would be the other way around — if you LIKE Hillsong you hate God. Hillsong teaches heresy and aberrations of all sorts!
I don’t normally get into politics on this blog because the topic is apologetics. However, I think sometimes we also need to think apologetically with political decisions so as to be as biblically-minded as possible. I think Wayne Grudem has an excellent article explaining what I consider the proper voting position this time. (Also, to be Christian would mean NEVER voting for Democrats because of their party platform of anti-God/anti-Christian stance, pro-abortion, pro-homosexuality, pro-same-sex fake marriage, pro sexual immorality of every sort, pro “transgender,” pro-theft from workers to give to non-workers, and essentially for everything that God is against!)
Another false “church” embarrassing real Christianity. And they think God accepts their “worship.” It seems to me that they worship themselves.
Another installment by Mennoknight examining the “generational curses” teachings.
Michael Brown is an excellent conservative commentator, but when it comes to theology, he is out in left field — demonstrated by his support for Bill Johnson!
It’s time for me to shut this machine down for the night!
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
The following testimony was emailed to me this week; I thought it was an important follow-up to the guest article about AIM and WR. The author asked that his name be withheld if I published it. Except for correcting some punctuation for clarity, and spelling out words he had abbreviated, the testimony is as I received it. This should be another warning for those who are thinking about becoming part of this group.
I read your blog about AIM and The World Race. I went on TWR [The World Race] back around 2010 and I couldn't agree with you more.
I was raised in a fundamentally nondenominational Christian home and numerous times when interacting with AIM leadership I would feel uncomfortable, the hairs on my neck would stand up, and I'd get a desire to flee because of some of your aforementioned concerns.
Emphasis was placed on works, miracles, and "having the same power as Christ because he resides inside us." The Holy Spirit was treated as an entity that gave us the "feel goods,” and "free-thinking" prayer was utilized - think: autowriting, signs and wonders, coincidences being God's signals that only we can decipher, etc.
The other thing that bothered me is that we are exposed to a lot in the World and they didn't offer any post-trip counseling. I had issues from TWR that I had to decompress from and seek counseling in years later.
Leadership never discouraged wilder approaches to Racers' beliefs and it quickly turned into a “blind leading the blind” scenario.
I had people in my group that only wanted to go to a funeral [because] they believed they could raise them from the dead. Another group claimed they DID raise a boy from the dead after he was hit by a car (reality: the boy passed out due to shock and reawakened quickly due to his body naturally rebooting). Another guy would get drunk on the Holy Spirit and look for gold dust and feathers because those were signs of God's Presence. Another girl claimed she was raped by her boyfriend because he wanted to have sex and she felt pressured to do so and eventually gave in. That's NOT rape! She wanted justification for giving in to Sin and wanted to take the blame off herself.
Leadership encouraged this false mindset and it was actually one of the first times when I really noticed something was off theologically about this group. After all my expenses were paid for by donors, AIM tried to retroactively charge me more because of a new credit card and auto-withdrawal policy, ie a vendor charge for each card transaction that [went] into place after I had signed the paperwork. I refused to pay out of principle.
The only "possessed people" we encountered were from within our own group and I was always raised to believe that I was protected from possession by the grace of the Holy Spirit and the acceptance of Christ and atonement for Sin. Two different girls, who admittedly were the most dramatic and attention seeking in our group, got "possessed" on more than one occasion.
There were times I would ask leadership where I could find some of what they were teaching in the Bible and they scoffed at me. I never could find Biblical support.
We did visualization exercises.
I got chills when you mentioned the difference between bringing Christ's Kingdom to Earth and the return of Christ. Because they want the former.
Seth Barnes was not an approachable person and once ridiculed me in front of a large group because he asked me what my "kingdom dream" was and I told him it's between two different ones, but he cut me short and said I can only have one. He did this mostly because he didn't care what my dreams were, he was trying to make a point and move on to the next point he wanted to make.
So, context… I currently do shift work at nights and was thinking about AIM and TWR recently … While I made the choice, I definitely believe this group had a huge impact on me walking away from Christianity. I found that interesting, but what better way for Evil to triumph than to pose as something good and do more long-lasting, subtle damage, with attacks that come in unforeseen forms? Maybe AIM leadership and Barnes have good intentions, but they are definitely paving the path to Hell.
I was taught that in warfare a corrupt opponent will fight dirty. They won't come at you directly, but they will attack at the chink in your armor. I think that Barnes' chink is his desire to leave a lasting impact on Earth for the greater good. He believes he is destined for great things and he found a way to market an antithesis to traditional Church upbringings, youth's desire to be different and change the world, and a fun trip you can sucker other people into paying for.
I was on the trip when leadership had a meeting with us, livid that rumors were spreading that they were a cult and we were advised that it comes from controlling parents that were upset because we were put on a mandatory "technology fast.” We were then told we need to tell our parents we are adults and that this was the best thing for us. Reality? There were a few people 5 months in that were still spending hours every day Skyping or communicating with family/friends back home. It became an issue but we got lumped into a "let's punish them all so as to not single anyone out and we’ll tell them it will make them spiritually stronger.”
However, as much as I don't like AIM, what they stand for, or what they are doing, I experienced it firsthand and I didn't drink the Cool-aid.
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Well, I’m way behind on so many things around the house, not to mention my blog and other apologetics ministry duties. I had the audacity to spend much of Thursday with doctors and tests. Then we left home at “zero dark thirty” Friday morning to drive 70 miles to a 1-room school conference, which lasted all the way to 9PM. From there we drove anther 25 minutes to the motel where conference attendees stayed because Saturday morning we boarded a school bus about 1.5 miles away to spend the morning touring a couple restored schools and some other historic sites before heading to a restaurant for a late lunch. Finally arrived home about 1530 yesterday afternoon and spent the afternoon/evening unpacking, collecting notes and handouts in one place for addressing later and then just sitting down and relaxing.
Why a 1-room school conference? Because we have a hobby photographing them, and six years ago started a blog to post our photos (later split to two for separating Iowa from other states). The blog led to the hobby taking on a life of its own, with a lot of people contacting us with information about the schools, newspaper interview, requests for presentations at various venues, and invitations to the annual convention in Iowa, during the last two of which I was requested to speak about out school house blog!
So this afternoon I’m going to be trying to catch up on all my emails (culling what can be quickly dispensed with and leaving important stuff until tomorrow) and reviewing all my news sites for important updates and information; the latter of which includes apologetics issues — and this post includes all I’ve collected this week and this afternoon. And then I hope to download my camera!
So with that introduction to what’s been happening in my life, it’s time to be alerted to some more false teachings and more false teachers.
This is very unsettling — Seth Barnes of Adventures in Missions is being called “daddy” and he denigrates real fathers. This is indeed cultic! Then there’s AIM’s Project Searchlight, which indoctrinates its attenders with all sorts of false charismania teachings.
Contrary to Andy Stanley’s ideology, there are very, very good reasons to preach from the Bible.
Jonathan Cahn is just a false teacher, he is also a false prophet.
Muslim dreams and visions. Discernment is certainly needed.
The Church continues battle apostasy as more and more teachings invade assemblies where the shepherds are not doing their job protecting their flocks. I have reported various false teachings weekly, but one can never keep up with the way false teachings multiply. Here is an interesting term for what is happening with more and more Christian leaders: Cathangelicalism.
My July 6th edition of “RAAH” had a link to Apologia Church, which is a very “seeker-sensitive” group; now we have another report which shows problems with this sort of “church.”
Seems like the devil gets false teachers all sorts of ways to spread their garbage; Sid Roth has a new television network in the Middle East.
Don’t let liberal Christians tell you that capital punishment is not Christ-like.
Shawn Bolz continues to prove he is a false prophet.
An assembly of the apostate Episcopal Church denomination has a a crucified Christ as a woman. Blasphemy!
A problem with the evangelical darling, Kirk Cameron — a total lack of discernment.
Beth Moore doesn’t like to be criticized. Perhaps if she would quit teaching falsely, she wouldn’t be criticized!
Sad, sad is the list of high-profile “Christians” who endorse all the “Jesus Calling” nonsense. They prove they cannot be trusted with the Word of God.
A “Holy Ghost Wiener Roast”!?! Will market-driven ideology ever take a break?