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, December 30, 2016

Social Gospel Christmas Song


A friend of mine who is still attending the assembly we left two years ago (because he thinks he is still able to affect things) keeps me informed as to bizarre happenings there.  This week he told me what was sung for their Christmas worship service.  The song is nothing but the social gospel heresy.  Take a look at this one, if you can read it all without getting ill.  It is titled, Give this Christmas Away, by Matthew West.


What if I told you
You have the power
To give someone hope
Beyond their wildest dreams
What if I told you
It’s right there in your hands
In your hands

It’s hard to imagine
How something so small
Can make all the difference
Tear down the tallest wall
What if December
Looked different this year
What if we all just

Give this Christmas away
If there’s love in your heart
Don’t let it stay there
Give this Christmas away
And your life will be changed
By the gifts you receive
When you give this Christmas away

It’s feeding the hungry
Serving the poor
It’s telling the orphan
You’re not forgotten anymore
It’s doing what love does
Even when no one’s watching you

Give this Christmas away
If there’s love in your heart
Don’t let it stay there
Give this Christmas away
And your life will be changed
By the gifts you receive
When you give this Christmas away

For God so loved the world
That He gave His only Son
So we could be
His hands, His feet, His love
His love

What if I told you
You have the power
To give someone hope
Far beyond their wildest dreams
What if December
Looked different this year
Yah what if we all just

Give this Christmas away
If there’s love in your heart
Don’t let it stay there
Give this Christmas away
And your life will be changed
By the gifts you receive
When you give this Christmas away

Give this Christmas away
You have the power
Just give it away
Give it away
Give it away
This Christmas
Give it away
Give Christmas away
Give it away


Did I miss a gospel message in there?  Really, does this song even mention the birth of Christ, let alone the reason he came?  Oh, but it makes people feel good to sing it.  I have one word to describe this song — disgusting.

I am so glad to have left that assembly when they started their downhill slide.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Random Things Needing Discernment

Where oh where do false teachers get these ideas?!?!  Certainly not from Scripture!  (Can you see the problems?)

Excellent position paper on the New Apostolic Reformation.  This should help you see the unbiblical nature of these people’s teachings.  However, the Southern Baptist Convention has decided to go farther into apostasy by endorsing the NAR.

Pay attention to whose music you are singing/using for worship.  When they have aberrant or heretical ideologies they believe and profess, you assist their teachings in being propagated.

False “spiritual warfare” teaching includes the absurdity of “Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare” with its “spiritual mapping.”  Anyone who is teaching this needs to be avoided at all costs.  This teaching completely denigrates the work of Christ and burdens people with worries and fears.  There is absolutely nothing biblical about it.  So if you hear anyone teaching about “Strongholds” which must be “pulled down,” etc, run from them!

The Pope has declared that evolution and the Big Bang are real: “When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so," Francis said. "The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it. "Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.”
This comes a guy who also declares that wine and wafers turn into blood and flesh, and that Mary remained forever a virgin, was sinless and assumed into heaven without dying.  The man is a rank heretic.

If the assembly you attend does anything like this, use your discerning feet to run from that place as fast as you can.

Russell Moore is getting more and more dangerous to have as any sort of leader or teacher.  Pulpit & Pen also demonstrates the long history of Moore’s apostasy.  An even longer list of issues with Moore is found in this article.

Warning about a new book claiming to get you to heaven!

Discernment says that the virgin conception of Christ is very, very important, contrary to the claims of Andy Stanley otherwise.

THIS is why you avoid Andy Stanley’s church — this took place at his church on Christmas Eve.

Full coverage of the Clayton Jennings scandal.  This is important to have available in case he is coming to your area — he needs to be warned against because he apparently has absolutely no remorse and he is a sexual predator!  But it gets even worse — Jennings is now attacking and threatening the elders.  This is what happens when churches wait too long for discipline, and when they too soon call for restoration.  The assembly which has offered him a position is seriously wrong in doing so.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

SIGH!


When it comes to Christmas, you’d think the traditional carols would be the standard music for the worship service.  There are so very many of them to choose from, and just about everyone knows them (and if they don’t know them, they are usually very easy to learn!).  Ah, but in today’s world, we must have more excitement, with lots of band (too much drumbeat for my taste), especially when you have the band playing a bridge while the congregation waits to sing.  And that is what happened at our Christmas worship.

Before I get to the song we opened with, I’ll tell you what other music we had.  First there was “special music” with karaoke  — okay, she sung with recorded accompaniment (either CD or downloaded on the computer), but I really dislike this fad.  The song was “Be Born In Me,” which I’ll let you look up for the lyrics.  My problem is that I don’t like songs which are supposedly what some person is thinking; in this case it is supposedly Mary’s thoughts.  I think it is presumptuous.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want someone writing lyrics and claiming the lyrics are what I’m thinking — or was thinking a couple thousand years ago!  Other than that, it was okay, I guess. 

The three other songs we sang as a congregation:
What Child Is This?
Good Christian Men Rejoice
While By Our sheep

Normal good stuff, right?  Okay, now here is what we opened our worship with:

"Joy To The World / Shout For Joy"
by Paul Baloche (the same guy who couldn’t leave “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” alone)

Joy to the world the Lord is come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and heaven and nature sing

Shout for joy
For the Son of God is the Saving One
He's the Saving One
Shout for joy
See what love has done
He has come for us
He's the Saving One

Joy to the World, the Savior reigns
Let men their songs employ
While fields and floods
Rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy

Shout for joy
For the Son of God is the Saving One
He's the Saving One
Shout for joy
See what love has done
He has come for us
He's the Saving One

Jesus, Immanuel
O come let us adore Him
Jesus, Immanuel
O come let us adore Him
Jesus, Immanuel
O come let us adore Him

Shout for joy
For the Son of God is the Saving One
He's the Saving One
Shout for joy
See what love has done
He has come for us
He's the Saving One

Shout for joy
For the Son of God is the Saving One
He's the Saving One
Shout for joy
See what love has done
He has come for us
He's the Saving One

Jesus, Immanuel
O come let us adore Him
Jesus, Immanuel
O come let us adore Him
Jesus, Immanuel
O come let us adore Him

Again we have a musician who has to use an old song to be able to get his new “chorus” marketed.  Notice how much repetition there is in the chorus — which shows me the limited imagination of the writer.  

But what really, really irritated me was that we dropped off half of the song just to fit in Paul Baloche’s repetitive manufacturing of emotionalism!  Look at the important lyrics tossed out:

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove 
The glories of 
His righteousness
And wonders of His love 
And wonders of His love 
And wonder wonders of His love

And the churches using this stuff are enriching writers who have little imagination and no real talent for writing! Oh, but they manufacture the emotions and give the band something to do besides just being accompaniment, so let’s bring them in!

SIGH!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Did Mary Know? YES!


A song I’ve never heard before this year is an old one that’s been around for quite a while — which goes to show you what you “miss” when you don’t listen to “Christian” radio.  Lately this song has been showing up all over the Internet on blogs and social media.  Pretty melody but, in my opinion, nonsensical lyrics.  The song?  “Mary Did You Know.”  Here are the lyrics:


"Mary Did You Know"
(originally by Mark Lowry (lyrics) and Buddy Greene (melody))

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy has come to make you new?
This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy will calm the storm with His hand?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little Baby you kissed the face of God?

Mary did you know.. Ooo Ooo Ooo

The blind will see.
The deaf will hear.
The dead will live again.
The lame will leap.
The dumb will speak
The praises of The Lamb.

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
The sleeping Child you're holding is the great "I am”

The questions about what Mary knew are silly — OF COURSE SHE KNEW!!!

Think about it; what did the angel tell her and Joseph? “
“Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”  (Matthew 1:20-21)  “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.  The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end. … The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:30-35)

Joseph and Mary, being good Jews, would have known the prophecies about the Messiah, such as Isaiah 29:18 and 35:5 telling about how the deaf will hear and the blind will see, and Isaiah 61:1 about the coming savior.  Isaiah 7:14 said his name would be “God with us.” 

So, yes, Mary knew all the things that the song is asking her.  The author of the lyrics should have known that she knew these things, so what was the point of asking rhetorical questions? 

Or is this song a statement about the ignorance of Scripture rampant among Christians, that most Christians didn’t realize that Mary understood who her child was?

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas is Not Pagan!


Christian Answers for the New Age (CANA) Facebook posting by Marcia Montenegro


CHRISTMAS IS NOT PAGAN

When I was a new Christian, I believed all the "Christmas is pagan" tales but did not check it out. I have checked it out and find that is not true. The cults have been very skillful at spreading these tales (Jehovah's Witnesses, Armstrong followers, Hebrew Roots, and others) and consequently, due to the proliferation of false information, some Christians have come to buy into it as well.

Comments such as "Christmas is pagan" or links to sites supporting false data will be deleted. I have spent too much time and energy on this topic in the past to spend more time on it, but want to post this for those interested. I am not going to engage in arguments, and disrespectful comments will be deleted.

If you do not observe Christmas due to commercialism or for a personal reason, this does not apply to you. But if you believe it's pagan, or think that Jeremiah 10 applies to Christmas trees, I hope you decide to investigate.

God bless all of you.

REFUTATION OF CHRISTMAS BEING PAGAN
Four part article:

Other articles on Christmas:




goo.gl/iuNJiW

Why the date of Dec. 25 became connected to the birth of Jesus


Quote== Devout Christians will be reassured to learn that the date of Christmas may derive from concepts in Judaism that link the time of the deaths of prophets being linked to their conception or birth. From this, early ecclesiastical number-crunchers extrapolated that the nine months of Mary’s pregnancy following the Annunciation on March 25th would produce a December 25th date for the birth of Christ. - See more at http://bit.ly/1MGpuKI

The Christmas Tree




==The fact of the matter is that the Christmas tree originated in Christian Germany about two thousand years after Jeremiah’s criticisms of wooden idols. It originated from two Christian symbols found in homes at Christmas time. The first was a “Paradise tree,” an evergreen which was hung with apples which represented the tree of life in the Garden of Eden. The second symbol was a “Christmas pyramid.” This of course was a triangular shelf holding Christmas figurines and decorated with a star. By about the 16th century these two symbols had been combined into the Christian Christmas tree.==

Videos

goo.gl/2ht3qo

HISLOP Discredited: “Myths From Hislop: A Call to Examine Facts,” by Marcia Montenegro


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Nativity


As with many assemblies projecting lyrics on screens for congregational singing, ours will often have background photos with the lyrics.  This week was no exception, but I found the one selection to be a bit odd, and in my view bordering on blasphemy.

The song we sang was “Who Would Have Dreamed?” — which I’m not really keen on to begin with due to its chorus.  If I wanted to use an illustration behind these lyrics, to show a scene of the nativity, there are more selections of art than one could ever finish looking at!  Here are just a few I came across in a quick Google search:

So what was selected to illustrate the lyrics?  THIS!
This is a scene from the movie “The Nativity Story.”  Actors playing the parts of Joseph and Mary!  Here we are promoting a Hollywood movie which had biblical problems, and actually giving tacit praise to these actors and the production itself!!

I just don’t understand the fascination with movies by church leadership.  It is endemic across the nation as Hollywood productions are used to support various teachings, whether it is the use of scenes or anecdotes about the script or actors.

It’s just fine if we use these things as examples of what is wrong with the world, about how movies lie about mankind and God, and how we can learn discernment about them.  But when we use Hollywood in a good sense, whether it is using movie scenes behind lyrics or buying out theatre seats for promoting so-called “Christian” movies, we are just being like the world and not being good ambassadors for Christ.

The movie “The Nativity Story” was a fairly good movie, but there were too many issues in it, too many extra-biblical or unbiblical scenes, age differences between “Joseph” and “Mary,” etc, for me to not be bothered by it (especially when a promiscuous young lady is ironically playing the part of a virgin!).

Pastors, elders, Sunday School teachers, et al:  would you please leave any praise of Hollywood out of the assembly.

Monday, December 19, 2016

ARGH!!!!


Musicians just can’t leave traditional Christian hymns alone.  They just have to abuse them to make their own money off of them!  And why oh why do church music leaders kow-tow to them by using their stuff?!?!?!  (Oh, that’s right — with the abused version you can manufacture more emotion and get more sound out of the band!)

The latest case in point is one we sang yesterday (I saw the copyright so I know it’s a few years old but it was a first for me).  While the the traditional hymn is great for congregational singing, the added chorus was not easy for congregational singing, and the repetition of the last line at the end, and the “oh oh oh” demonstrates that it is just a “radio song” and should stay there on the radio! (I’d prefer it stayed nowhere!)

Here’s the song my “rant” is about.

"Hark The Herald Angels Sing / King Of Heaven"

Hark the herald angels sing 
Glory to the newborn King 
Peace on earth and mercy mild 
God and sinners reconciled 
Joyful, all ye nations rise 
Join the triumph of the skies 
With angelic host proclaim 
Christ is born in Bethlehem 
Hark the herald angels sing 
Glory to the newborn King 

Hail the heav'n born Prince of Peace 
Hail the Son of Righteousness 
Light and life to all He brings 
Risen with healing in His wings 
Mild He lays His glory by 
Born that man no more may die 
Born to raise the sons of earth 
Born to give them second birth 
Hark the herald angels sing 
Glory to the newborn King 

King of heaven come down 
King of heaven come now 
Let Your glory reign 
Shining like the day 
King of heaven come 

King of heaven rise up 
Who can stand against us 
You are strong to save 
In Your mighty name 
King of heaven come 

Oh oh oh 

Christ by highest heav'n adored 
Christ the everlasting Lord 
Late in time behold Him come 
Offspring of a virgin's womb 
Mild He lays His glory by 
Born that man no more may die 
Born to raise the sons of earth 
Born to give them second birth 
Hark the herald angels sing 
Glory to the newborn King 

King of heaven come 
King of heaven come 
King of heaven come 
King of heaven come

by Paul Baloche

Discernment isn’t just about watching for doctrinal problems or abuse of Scripture.  It should also be about protecting from emotional manipulation of the congregation, and about not spending church money to support a musician who had no imagination of his own so he has to steal from old authors and “juice them up.”  Why are we supporting these musicians with royalties when the original is free!!!

PLEASE, PLEASE music/song leaders — don’t do this to your congregations!