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

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Good, Bad, and Ugly

The Good:
Just last week I had a discussion about this topic with Pulpit & Pen on Facebook.  I came to the very same conclusion as does Michelle!  No, a nativity scene is NOT idolatry.

A fellow blogger pointed me to this excellent resource for responding to skeptics. I skimmed a lot of areas and there are a few places where I disagree with the author (such as the Sabbath and whether it was ever for Christians), but overall I think it is beneficial.

Another excellent resource is “Answering Catholic Claims.” This blogger does excellent work exposing the false teachings of Roman Catholicism.

Alexander Hislop’s book, The Two Babylons, published in 1858, is a favorite text of KJV Onlyers and other legalists, who very often use Hislop’s material to “prove” that Easter and Christmas — and all the associated decorations, etc — are from pagan origin.  As well, the book is a rant against Roman Catholicism but misrepresents a lot about that organization.  I used to have my own copy but finally tossed it as being worthless.  A good, but short, examination of Hislop is by Ralph Woodrow.  I recommend you order his book, about which you can find information at the bottom of the page of this article.

Christmas time also brings out the myths of pagan origin from many sources.  Here’s one helpful source to counter some of the nonsensical claims.

Is Jesus Simply a Retelling of the Horus Mythology?


Wayne Grudem has an excellent article about angels.  (even though, as a charismatic, he has many bad teachings)

The Bad:
James White has long been a good apologist (even if he is a 5-point Calvinist), but lately he’s been doing some weird things.  Something really surprising is his unqualified support for Michael Brown’s false teachings.

The Ugly:
Charismatic Tarot cards and “Christalignment”. This is about as occult and heretical it gets.

A “Top Twenty” list of “Christians” to follow on social media is predominantly a list of false teachers and heretics.

More warnings about Michael Brown, Todd White, et al.

Bethel Redding is really a very ugly institution pretending to be a Christian assembly. And if this isn’t enough information for proof, try this one.  Then the plot thickens.  And thickens again.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

What We Intend


I read this paragraph by Tim Challies and liked the way he puts it.  This is indeed why we apologists do what we do.

I would like to ensure that people realize I am not just pointlessly raging against these men to make myself feel better or to fulfill a need to complain about other professed Christians. I believe God calls us all to be Bereans and to evaluate every teaching by the unchanging standard of His Word. That is what I intend to do . . .

Friday, December 8, 2017

Good, Bad, and Ugly


The Good:
An excellent video demonstrating why December 25th is a likely date of the birth of Jesus.

Addressing the myth of the “pagan origins” of Christmas.

An examination of the New Order of Latter Rain, and how it led to the New Apostolic Reformation.


Historic Heresies Related to the Nature of Jesus. There heresies continue in many groups today, so it is good to know about them and understand them.

A good article about the cult of Scientology.


The “diseases” plaguing women’s ministry.

The Bad:
A good analysis of Beth Moore.  Then there is a new one-stop “shopping list” for dozens of articles exposing Beth Moore’s false teachings.

The Church of Sweden has bowed to political correctness.

An example of why Michael Brown is dangerous to Christianity.

More attacks on the true faith from those who are supposedly Christians.

The Ugly:
This horrid trash is considered “worship” at Hillsong. Notice in the article that the lead “pastor”’s wife is his partner “pastor."


False Christian Perry Noble really needs to disappear; this is getting ridiculous.  His latest “sermon” proves he is a narcissist-heretic.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Another Song to Manufacture Emotion

This is a song I haven’t seen for a few years (thankfully) but this past Sunday it invaded our assembly.  It is based on charismania, which is why it gets everyone feeling good instead of thinking about what they are singing.  Let’s take a look:

Shine Jesus Shine
By Graham Kendrick

Lord, the light of your love is shining
In the midst of the darkness, shining
Jesus, Light of the world, shine upon us
Set us free by the truth you now bring us
Shine on me, shine on me

Chorus
Shine, Jesus, shine
Fill this land with the Father's glory
Blaze, Spirit, blaze
Set our hearts on fire
Flow, river, flow
Flood the nations with grace and mercy
Send forth your word
Lord, and let there be light

Lord, I come to your awesome presence
From the shadows into your radiance
By the blood I may enter your brightness
Search me, try me, consume all my darkness
Shine on me, shine on me

Chorus

As we gaze on your kingly brightness
So our faces display your likeness
Ever changing from glory to glory
Mirrored here may our lives tell your story
Shine on me, shine on me

Chorus, repeated.

I’m not sure how Jesus can “shine upon us,” but I’m willing to allow poetic license.

“Blaze, Spirit, Blaze” — what is that supposed to mean? This goes along with the charismatic crowd’s praying (more like shouting) to the Spirit, which is totally unbiblical. Still, how does the Spirit “blaze” for us?  And setting “our hearts on fire”?  Well I understand about being “on fire” for the Lord (or for whatever one’s cause), but with the charismatic crowd they are always shouting, “Fire, Lord, more fire!” Which doesn’t make sense.

“Flow, river, flow”:  HUH?!?  What river is flowing, what river do we want to flow - that we are calling for to flow?  Charismania, again, is always talking about the river of the Holy Spirit, regardless of how unbiblical that idea is.  And the song calls for this “river” to “Flood the nations with grace and mercy,” so I think that proves that the “river” is supposed to be the Holy Spirit.  But this takes poetic license too far, into the esoteric phraseology of charismania.

Other than these issues, the lyrics of the song are acceptable, but the unacceptable, nonsensical chorus puts this song as not being something to bring into the assembly, not matter how much emotion it raises!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A Very Good Question


Shall we judge of matters of the Christian faith by the fathers or primitive writers for three or four hundred years after Christ?  But they often contradicted one another, and themselves too; and what is worse, they sometimes contradicted Scripture itself.

Isaac Watts, Logic: The Right Use of Reason in the Inquiry After Truth, pg.217

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Can Rock Music Really be Adapted for Christ?


A Nazi swastika is not an inherently evil symbol.  Apart from its association with Hitler’s oppressive totalitarian regime, it could serve as a sign for a variety of wholesome and decent enterprises, for example a logo for an insurance company, a daycare center, or a bakery. Nevertheless, due to its immediate association with Nazi Germany and white supremacy, it would be foolhardy to attempt to rehabilitate the insignia to take on new positive meanings, even if the purpose was to use the symbol to attract modern Nazis in order to eventually convert them to non-Nazis.  Such attempts would lead to countless misunderstandings, alienation, and reprisals until the meaning of the swastika, if possible, could be reversed.  I say, “if possible,” because the swastika is not simply a forgotten artifact of history, but an ever-present reminder of the senseless carnage of the Holocaust.  Further, if it was used to attract Neo-Nazis, skinheads, or white supremacists, it could not do so without misleading them (at least initially) since the external referents that these groups would connect with the swastika would be the opposite of those intended by its new promoters.

CCM faces many of the same obstacles in its attempt to contest and reverse predominately negative associations between the sounds of rock music and their counter-Christian referents.  This is because rock music is an omnipresent entertainment medium that dominates western culture (even eastern culture) and continues to thrive, develop, and reinforce its codes with far more volume and intensity than its stepchild CCM can ever hope to do.

John Makujina, Measuring the Music, pg. 323-324

Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Church is Entertaining Itself to Death


Our society’s addiction to pleasure, amusement, and entertainment is likewise celebrated in the church.  It is painfully evident that Christians in the West are comfortably able to conceive of the Godhead and Christianity through the prism of entertainment.  After all, much ministry today, evangelistic or not, is entertainment or based on entertainment-type formats.  Even in the pulpit, many pastors and evangelists are unable to finish a sermon intermittent infusions of (rehearsed) humor to keep the congregation amused and attentive.

John Makujina, Measuring the Music, pg. 268

Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Church a Spoiled Teenager?


There is every indication that the world has proselytized the church in several critical areas, including theological liberalism, feminism, pragmatism, pop psychology, materialism, and music and entertainment.  Sadly, today’s evangelical church resembles a spoiled teenager with an unlimited expense account and no sales resistance.

John Makujina, Measuring the Music, pg.251

Friday, December 1, 2017

November Was Dedicated to Souls in Purgatory


There are some Catholics who wrongfully state that their church does not teach "purgatory" anymore. Little do they know, it is an infallible dogma that can never be rescinded or revoked. Catholics may also not know that the month of November is dedicated to the souls in purgatory. The Catholic Exchange published an article stating the souls in purgatory need your help more than you realize. Following are some incredible statements from the article that continue to hold Catholics in bondage to religious deception. 

Catholics are called to be intercessors, for both the living and the dead to offer up prayers, sacrifices and sufferings on behalf of the poor souls in purgatory. The souls in purgatory have to make recompense for their sins to satisfy the perfect justice of God. Catholics can assist them in that. The Catechism (CCC 1032) quotes an example from the Apocrypha saying, "Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin." (2 Macc. 12:45)  And so, how can we make atonement for the dead?  We can offer the sacrifice of the Mass, and indulgences granted by the Church, for souls in purgatory. Thus, it is within our power as members of the Communion of Saints to assist the poor souls in purgatory in the process of their purification and sanctification. Our prayers and sacrifices can help pay off their debts. We can be assured that our efforts, prayers and sacrifices are efficacious and capable of mitigating the suffering of those in purgatory (CCC 958).

Pope Benedict XVI reminded Catholics in his encyclical letter ("Saved in Hope") that we are each bound to one another "through innumerable interactions" so that: "No one lives alone. No one sins alone. No one is saved alone.” He exhorts us to ask, "what can I do in order that others may be saved? Then I will have done my utmost for my own personal salvation as well." 

Purgatory is one of the many damnable heresies that is taught by the Roman Catholic Church. It denies the sufficiency and efficacy of the Lord Jesus Christ. According to Scripture, "When He (Jesus) had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Hebrews 1:3). Only the truth of God's Word will set Catholics free from the bondage of religious deception (John 8:31-32). Purgatory is a terrible hoax that keeps Catholics utterly dependent upon their unbiblical, sacerdotal priesthood in this life and even after death. Catholics need to know the truth, "the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).

Mike Gendron, Proclaiming the Gospel email news, 12/1/17

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Communicating the Gospel Cannot be Done with Garbage


Can Christians communicate a consistently Christian message through art forms that have adopted the aesthetic and stylistic canons of Dada or Surrealism?  More specifically, should Christians be allowed to imitate any artistic, literary, or musical style that expresses absurdity, nihilism, and chaos, for the purpose of communicating the gospel? I think most Christians would agree that neither of these questions should be answered in the affirmative.

John Makujina, Measuring the Music, pg.173

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Reason Behind the Music of CCM—It’s Not to Glorify God


With specific reference to the baby boomers, secular and Christian, Michael S. Hamilton observes:

Once this oversized generation [baby boomers] decided that music would be the primary carrier of its symbols and values, music quickly became, in the words of George Steiner, “the new literacy of Western culture.” When one chooses a musical style today, one is making a statement about whom one identifies with, what one’s values are, and ultimately, who one is.  As a result, music has become a divisive and fractionalizing force, Balkanizing Western culture into an ever-expanding array of subcultures—each with its own national anthem.

 …For better or for worse, the kind of music a church offers increasingly defines the kind of person who will attend, because for this generation music is at the very center of self-understanding.  Music for baby boomers is the mediator of emotions, the carrier of dreams, and the marker of social location.

John Makujina, Measuring the Music, pg. 138

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Trite Worship Songs


What is it with music leaders and their love affair with the trite songs of Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman?  Songs by these are rife in the assemblies, and they have come to replace solid, meat-filled hymns while manufacturing emotion.  

A perfect example of this happened in our assembly this past Sunday.  Our worship service opened with Redman’s “Let Everything That Has Breath” followed by Tomlin’s “Forever.”  Let’s take a look at the lyrics (and although the overhead stated that these men are the writers, I see on the Internet that others are stated to be so).

Let Everything That Has Breath

Let ev'rything that, ev'rything that
Ev'rything that has breath praise the Lord
Let ev'rything that, ev'rything that
Ev'rything that has breath praise the Lord

Praise You in the morning, praise You in the evening
Praise You when I'm young and when I'm old
Praise You when I'm laughing, praise You with I'm grieving
Praise You ev'ry season of the soul

If we could see how much You're worth
Your power, Your might, Your endless love
Then surely we would never cease to praise

Praise You in the heavens, joining with the angels
Praising You forever and a day
Praise You on the earth now, joining with creation
Calling all the nations to Your praise

If we could see how much You're worth
Your power, Your might, Your endless love
Then surely we would never cease to praise

Let ev'rything that, ev'rything that
Ev'rything that has breath praise the Lord
Let ev'rything that, ev'rything that
Ev'rything that has breath praise the Lord
Let ev'rything that, ev'rything that
Ev'rything that has breath praise the Lord

Some mindless repetition here.  Give me Charles Wesley’s “Oh, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing” any day of the week over Redman’s drivel.  The music for this one is certainly not good for congregational singing.

Forever

Give thanks to the Lord our God and King,
His love endures forever.
For He is good He is above all things,
His love endures forever.
Sing Praise, Sing Praise.

With a mighty hand and outstretched arm,
His love endures forever.
For the life that's been reborn,
His love endure forever.
Sing Praise, Sing Praise.

Forever God is faithful,
Forever God is strong.
Forever God is with us,
Forever

From the rising to the setting sun,
His love endures forever.
And by the grace of God we will carry on,
His love endures forever.
Sing Praise, Sing Praise

Forever You are faithful,
Forever You are strong.
Forever You are with us,
Forever and ever, forever.
His love endures forever,
His love endures forever,
His love endures forever.

Again, look at how much repletion there is at the end.  Of course there was also an obligatory bridge for the musicians to “strut their stuff.”  At least the music for this one was a bit easier for congregational singing.

As the service continued we later sang the hymn “Sing Praise to God,” by Johann Schutz, and then before the sermon we sang “Ancient Words” by Michael W. Smith.  After the sermon we again went into high gear repetition with the band, singing “I Will Celebrate,” by Rita Baloche, another emotion-driven piece:

I Will Celebrate

I will celebrate
Sing unto the Lord
Sing to the Lord a new song

With my heart rejoicing within
With my mind focused on Him
With my hands raised to the heavens
All I am worshiping Him

I will celebrate
Sing unto the Lord
Sing to the Lord a new song

With my heart rejoicing within
With my mind focused on Him
With my hands raised to the heavens
All I am worshiping Him

I will celebrate
Sing unto the Lord
Sing to the Lord a new song

With my heart rejoicing within
With my mind focused on Him
With my hands raised to the heavens
All I am worshiping Him

Three times around is enough to make anyone dizzy!  Of course Rita is married to Paul Baloche, the guy who mangles old hymns so he can make money off of someone else’s talent.  He also writes repetitious drivel lacking substance but which manufactures emotion.

The Church continues to sound more like the world as it leaves doctrine-filled worship and praise songs/hymns in the dust so as to appeal to the world.