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, February 16, 2008

Beth Moore Reprised

I have received an e-mail complaint about my commentary on Beth Moore's teachings [the specific commentary has been removed due to being obsolete, and relevant information included in newer articles]. The writer told me that Beth is a godly woman who has been called by God to her ministry and, by my criticizing Beth's teachings, I was slandering her. I was also told that I should stick to fighting the enemies of the church. Now, there are some issues about this complaint I want to address so as to clarify my purpose in exposing false teachings and false teachers.

First, in order to slander someone a falsehood must be told. Since everything I wrote in the commentary is true, I cannot be charged with slander. If anything I write on this blog is found to be in error, I welcome correction because I certainly don't claim to be flawless. You can write me at the e-mail address on my profile or you can post a comment on the site by selecting "comments" at the bottom of the article.

Secondly, I will only attack false teachings or bad behaviors and never the person. I do not judge whether someone is or is not godly.

Thirdly, I believe whether someone is called of God can be determined by their fruit. If they consistently teach falsely or if their behavior is not consistent with a calling of God (e.g., they behave arrogantly and obnoxiously as does Beth on her DVDs), then I have to doubt God has called them to that ministry.

Fourthly, any false teaching is the enemy of the Church. While some false teaching isn't as harmful as others, all should be exposed and corrected. False teaching is like cyanide - a little can do great harm. We need to objectively determine the severity of the error in order to know how strongly to address it. Errors come in a few "sizes":

1. Heresy. This is a violation of fundamental Christian doctrines which determine whether one is truly Christian.

2. Aberrations. While not as harmful as heresy, aberrational teaching can cause great harm, either spiritually or by placing people in bondage to the bad teachings. This type of teaching can very often lead to heresy and, at least, distorts the teaching of the Christian faith.

3. Bad teachings. While not as bad as the previous, this type of teaching can lead to the others, depending on the subject matter. A person with consistent bad teachings will have a skewed view of the faith.

Apologists will "go to the mat" to fight heresy. Aberrations will be fought strongly against. Bad teachings may or may not need strong countering. Most of Beth Moore's teachings fall into the last type, but many are aberrational. I have not come across anything heretical by Beth, so in that regard she is a better teacher to listen to than women such as Joyce Meyer or Gloria Copeland.

Now, a very basic problem behind all error is bad hermeneutics; that is, the method of Scriptural interpretation. Rather than practicing exegesis (reading the meaning out of the text), bad teachers practice eisegesis (reading into the text their own ideas). Eisegesis has been humorously described as "hazardous hermeneutics" or even "Rorshak hermeneutics" (one sees what they want to see). I will use a couple of examples from Beth Moore to make my point (these are taken from the DVD series Believing God):

1. The passage in question is Mark 9:14-24. Moore claims that when Jesus came down from the Transfiguration with the three disciples He had taken with Him, He found the other nine arguing about why they weren’t taken with Him: Why had Jesus picked just Peter, James and John? Why weren’t the others good enough? This arguing supposedly gave them “a failure of faith.” Moore said that they had argued with the Pharisees and the teachers of the law “until they talked them out of their faith.” And this is why she says we are not to argue with “Pharisees” who want to destroy our faith in what God can do. The problem is that if she had continued the context to verse 29 her theory would have been dismantled. Jesus told them the reason they couldn’t cast out the demon was because “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” (NKJV). Jesus didn’t say it was because they were arguing about why they weren’t chosen or because they were arguing with the Pharisees about anything. Since the text doesn’t say this, it is not proper for Moore to make this story up out of whole cloth.

2. Romans 10:8-10. Moore says, “He has ordained that part of the salvation process is we are going to confess ‘He is Lord’ with our mouths.” There are a few problems with this statement. First, since when is anything but faith required for salvation? Moore has added this as a requirement, yet the Bible doesn’t say that. Second, this passage doesn’t say that this is the only method of making the profession. Third, does this then prevent a mute from salvation?

Christians tend to be very objective when confronting cult teachings, or teachings that distort major doctrines, but when it comes to favorite teachers their objectivity gets lost. The personality of the teacher trumps examination of their teachings.

While maybe not noticed in her books, Beth Moore's arrogant and obnoxious behavior on her DVDs are something Christians should not emulate or even condone. Additionally, her teachings are rife with error and pop-psychology. Although Beth Moore indeed has some excellent teachings, her error is of the nature that she should be warned against and not given a pass because of her popularity. Women have much better role models in Kay Arthur, Joni Erickson Tada, Jill Briscoe, Martha Peace and others.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Episcopal Church is Apostate #2

I thought I had seen most of the heresy of the Episcopal Church when I wrote my last commentary. However, today I read the latest issue of the Spiritual Counterfeits Project’s Winter 2007/2008 Newsletter and came across another item to add to the list, and I don’t know how I missed this one.

It seems that the same bishop mentioned in the previous entry as apologizing to Hindus for evangelizing them is a member of the United Religions Initiative, which was started in 1995. In its charter, URI describes itself as “a growing global community dedicated to promoting enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, ending religiously motivated violence and creating cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings…” As SCP states it, “URI leaders…have been open in their scorn for traditional Christian faith and practice.”

According to SCP, URI’s founder, Episcopal Bishop William Swing said “that if the First Commandment leads ‘billions of people from exclusive religions’ (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) to ‘oppose the godly claims of other exclusive religions, what hope is there for peace among religions.’” The members of URI’s board include Christians (Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Presbyterian), Baha’is, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus.

Also according to SCP, “Anglican support for the URI is widespread; public opposition is rare among clergy in the Anglican communion. Aside from Bishop Swing, 20 active and retired Anglican prelates have supported the URI.” Former presiding Bishop Frank Griswold is one of them.

As a clue as to what sort of a “bishop” William Swing is, he has boasted that he “ordained more gays and lesbians than the rest of the Anglican church put together.” He has also “ordained more women than any other bishop in the history of the Church…” It seems proper to boast of apostasy in the Episcopal Church!

The Episcopal Church has proven itself time and again to be apostate and heretical. Real Christians should want to leave that denomination.

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Episcopal Church is Apostate

My weekly e-mail news update from Understanding the Times ministry just started my day off: the Episcopal Church is at it again.

The Episcopal Church (and it’s Anglican leadership) has been in apostasy, and even heresy, for a very, very long time and I am still at a loss as to why anyone who is truly a Christian would remain in that denomination. Previously we have had the following problems in this denomination:

1. Bishop John Shelby Spong. One of the worst heretics in the world and he was never defrocked or excommunicated. He is certainly not a Christian since what he teaches demonstrates he believes nothing of the fundamental Christian doctrines.

2. The ordaining of homosexuals as bishops and pastors.

3. The ordaining of women pastors and bishops (whether this is apostate can be debated; not everyone agrees that the Bible says women should not be in church leadership over men).

4. The support and promotion of homosexual activism and behavior and same-sex “marriage,” as well as attacking those who speak against homosexual behavior. The claim is that homosexuality is not a sin.

5. The continuance in office of Bishop Charles Bennison, who claims the Church wrote the Bible, denies the resurrection of Jesus, and teaches that Jesus sinned.

6. The continuance in office of homosexual bishop Gene Robinson who also teaches heresy.

7. The continuance in office of Bishop John Chane who claims God gave the Koran to Muhammad.

8. A 1967 resolution adopted by the Episcopal Church in America that “heresy is out of date.”

9. The promotion of Freemasonry in the church.

10. Archbishop Rowan Williams’ support of “As Good As New” version of the Bible, which teaches fornication as proper (by the way it “translates” 1 Cor. 7).

11. The continuance in office of Bishop J. Jon Bruno who says Jesus is not the only way to God, which is actually supported by Archbishop Rowan Williams’ claim that non-Christians can go to heaven.

12. A “Women’s Eucharist: A Celebration of the Divine Feminine” in Texas wherein the liturgy was a pagan celebration based on the Da Vince Code. Church leadership found nothing wrong with the service.

13. A Denver, CO church hired a Muslim cleric as part of their staff as a “bridge builder.”

14. Support of abortion.

15. No discipline for an Oklahoma pastor’s ecumenical service that included pagan American Indian ceremonies.

16. A study showing that 38% of Anglican clergy deny the virgin birth.

17. Archbishop Williams’ rejection of creation in favor of evolution, and actively denying the Genesis account. Other bishops have supported this teaching and even claim that creationists “harm religion.”

18. Church of England leaders claim that calling God “He” encourages men to beat wives.

Okay, is that enough to call the Episcopal church heretical and apostate? Well, if the following web page is still available, you can get the full story of what I will next discuss. http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=7535

An Episcopal Church in Los Angeles had a joint service with members of the Hare Krishna cult as they celebrated an “Indian Rite Mass.” What ever possessed this church to participate in the joining of Hinduism in a Christian service?!?!? The description of the service, which merged Hindu and Christian liturgy, left me in total wonderment and disgust. The Krishna group even partook of communion! In the sermon, the Rev. Karen MacQueen said that in both Hinduism and Christianity devotees believe that “the Divine Presence” illuminates the whole world. The local bishop even extended an apology for proselytizing Hindus in the past, and said that they will restrain from doing so in the future!

Well, the Bible does indeed warn us that as we near the time of Christ’s return the church will fall into apostasy. The Anglican/Episcopal Church is a prime example.