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

Monday, October 29, 2012

Mormon Stuff

I’ve recently come across some good articles exposing various aspects of the false teachings in Mormonism.  They are well worth your review if you are interested in learning more about that cult.

One I always enjoy personally discussing with Mormons is Ezekiel 37:15-17, where two sticks are discussed.  Mormons believe these represent two books: the Bible and the Book of Mormon.  Making them actually read the context forces them to think about what it really says.  Apprising Ministries has a good article about this.

Mormon Coffee, the blog of Mormonism Research Ministry (a ministry I highly recommend), has an interesting article about Brigham Young’s claim that, “man is the king of kings and lord of lords in embryo.”

Janis Hutchinson has a good series on the LDS perspective on God and the TrinityPart three [link gone by 12/5/15] includes this short discussion on the Adam-God doctrine which Brigham Young claimed was revealed to him by God.  Her site is also a good one for overall studies of the LDS.

The Adam-God doctrine
Before we move on to the Mormon perspective of God and the Trinity, I need to say that none of the beliefs concerning the Mormon godhead that I will be quoting have, to my knowledge, been "officially" repudiated by the First Presidency except one—the Adam-God doctrine: 

A nutshell description: Brigham Young taught that Adam was God (a resurrected man from a previous world who earned his Godhood). Adam, along with his plural wives was the literal father of our spirits, after which he condescended to come to earth bringing Eve, one of his wives, with him so he could also start off the human race physically. He then returned to heaven where he serves as the God of this world. Later, he returned to earth to literally sire Jesus. (For more information, go to www.utlm.org. click on “Topical Index,” then “Adam-God Doctrine.)

The Adam-God "theory," as it is generally referred to, was dismissed in 1892 through a letter to the Honorable A. Saxey, Provo Utah, by Pres. Joseph F. Smith who stated the reason as being: "The Doctrine was never submitted to the Councils of the Priesthood nor to the Church for approval or ratification and was never formally or otherwise accepted by the Church. It is therefore in no sense binding upon the Church."

After the turn of the century the church openly took the position that it no longer needed to be taught. Then, in 1976, Pres. Spencer W. Kimball said, "We denounce [the] theory and hope that everyone will be cautioned against this and other kinds of false doctrine." But, in a private interview, Kimball is reported to have said that he did not say the doctrine that Brigham Young taught was false, but that the interpretation and understanding of the doctrine often used by Fundamentalists and apostates does not reflect what Brigham Young really meant. (Cited at Wikipedia, http://tinyurl.com/btta8yu)

In 1981, Bruce R. McConkie reprimanded a BYU professor for teaching it, stating it to be "false doctrine," and stated that anyone believing it will be "damned." He failed to mention that if that's so, then Brigham Young who taught it must of necessity also be damned. (See Bruce McConkie's "Letter of Rebuke to Professor Eugene England" at http://tinyurl.com/cw8bbnl)

While you can find a lot of articles on my blog about the LDS, for more thorough studies I recommend the following sites (in addition to Mormonism Research Ministry mentioned above):

Smith Busters.  Exposing Joseph Smith as a false prophet.

Alpha & Omega Ministries verses to memorize for LDS conversations.  A&O has other articles about the LDS.

I’m sure there are other good sites for researching the LDS cult, but these are the ones I have found over the years.  My two favorites, which I believe have the most information, are Utah Lighthouse Ministry and Mormonism Research Ministry.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Random Apostasies and Heresies

I have really been busy of late, which keeps me from doing much blogging.  I am still editing and sorting the almost 1200 photos I took on our week-long trip a couple weeks ago, getting caught up on all the yard work, band practice, daily piping practice, personal study, helping other people with apologetics needs, doctor appointments, and so on and so forth!  WHEW!  I don’t know how I had time to hold down a job before I retired!!!

Well, all this extra stuff has led to a build-up of random things to report on.  It is quite dismaying to see so much apostasy and heresy in the church today.  What is even more disturbing is how many people are deceived by it and led into spiritual bondage.  

Okay, let’s begin with more about Billy Graham.  As noted in my last short post about his organization removing the LDS from their list of cults, Graham has had false teachings for decades.  Even though this is true, most Christians see him almost as an icon - a hero of the faith.  My question is, “which faith?”  While many have come to Christ because of his teachings, this just demonstrates that God can use anything and anyone to get people to seek Him.  But pragmatics is not what the Christian faith is about.  Just knowing that Graham’s political position is as a Democrat should raise any Christian’s eyebrows.  The Democratic Party platform calls for unlimited abortion, same-sex fake marriage, total promotion of the homosexual agenda, total promotion of sexual immorality in general, redistribution of the wealth (i.e., theft), etc.  One cannot obey God and support that which is ungodly.

Anyway, Ken Silva over at Apprising Ministries has two posts about Graham, which I highly recommend reviewing.  The first one demonstrates Graham’s compromised teachings over the decades.  The second post is actually a lengthy video explaining Graham’s real message.

More on false teacher Steven Furtick: sometimes praying “Lord, if it be thy will” just isn’t enough!

Max Lucado, the man who thinks WOF heretic Christine Caine is just like Paul, Mary, and Esther, is going to be preaching at Joel Osteen’s “church.”  Since Osteen is a heretic, I don’t understand the sudden urge for so many people to teach there, especially since they aren’t there to preach the truth!

Speaking of Christine Caine, she is just one of many women, including the likes of Beth Moore and Priscella Shirer, who are now taking over pulpits in the Church, in total disregard to the Bible’s proscription against them doing so.  These women have all been exposed for their false teachings, yet they are still promoted by turning over whole assemblies to their ideologies!  Elizabeth Prata has an excellent 3-part series about these “Christian Secret Feminists.”  Check out the first part of the series here, and links to the other parts will be found at the end of the article.  It will be well worth your while.

Another of these women taking to the pulpit is “Purpose-Driven” wife Kay Warren.  Just another example as to why her husband is an apostate.  Of course his church wants you to know that God knows how great you are!

While I haven’t read of her taking over a pulpit yet, Rachel Held Evans is another of these feminist Christian women who has a pot-load of false teachings.  I came across two good articles this past week which demonstrate why she is not a teacher to follow.  The first one is at “The Center for Women of Faith in Culture,” [link gone by 12/5/15] while the second one was posted by Denny Burke. I’d say she is bad news with absolutely no idea what the Bible really teaches.

Remember Ted Haggard?  You know, the mega-church false teacher who got caught having a homosexual relationship? Well, he has “come out” in favor of same-sex fake marriages being allowed.  No surprise there!  His current church, founded in 2010, apparently welcomes unrepentant homosexuals.  Haggard is nothing but a goatherd.

Lastly, Elizabeth Prata has a really good article about the gift of distinguishing spirits.  An important point she makes is this:  You shouldn't accumulate knowledge just for the sake of knowledge. Once you know something is true or false, you have a responsibility to do something about it. You have a responsibility to praise the Savior if you find a true teaching, but if you find a false teaching you have to say something about it, as well.”  Read the entire article.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Should Christians Say “#@*$#@@#*#!”?

A young friend asked me why some words are considered “evil” and not proper for Christians to be using.  Of course he understood about not using God’s name in vain, but he questioned about the use of various scatological and sexual terms.  He also made the point of how so many of these words have become acceptable in society to the point where not many people are offended by them.

What I am presenting here are his questions and my responses.  I trust this discussion between the two of us will be beneficial for others with the same questions.

Q.  Why are some words "evil" to say, but others are not? 
Society often dictates what is acceptable speech for the educated class, and what is considered to be vulgar. Words that are intended to be offensive are of course “evil” to say, in that we, as Christians, are not supposed to go around offending people. Doesn’t Paul say our conversation should be “seasoned with salt”? (Col. 4:6)

Q.  As far as I know there is no passage in the Bible which says "Thou shalt not say  certain words referring to bodily functions or sex.”
No, but it does give us principles to live by, including how we should conduct our speech. Besides, in this case words change, and the Bible was not written in English, so there could not be such specificity.

Q.  Doesn’t culture dictate what words are unwholesome? 
I would say that’s probably mostly true, but there are also words that you know by your conscience that you wouldn’t be saying in any conversation that took place with Jesus right next to you (which He is in Spirit).
Q.  If you say a swear word in another language is it still swearing?  That word is synonymous, but it's not the "evil" word, so wouldn't that be okay?  Perhaps most people consider that swearing too, once they find out what the word means.  However, what if you lied and told them the word translated to one of the "acceptable" words, instead of the "evil" word - how would they feel then? 
What is it that Christ said about our thoughts reflecting our heart? Just because you use a foreign word that you know is “evil,” yet not understood by the person you say it to, that doesn’t change the fact that the word in it’s native tongue is considered to be “evil” and unacceptable for discourse. Foreign languages have their own equivalents of the “acceptable” version and the “obscene” version. If you choose to use the “obscene” version, you do so knowing that it is indeed obscene, so your heart is what dictates the meaning, whether or not your audience understands it.

Q.  If it truly is culture which dictates which words are evil, then why can't culture change the list of evil words?  Every day these words are becoming more acceptable, and yet it is still considered wrong for a Christian to use them. 
Because there is such thing as an absolute truth. If a word was deemed by culture to be offensive for some reason, just because a major part of culture begins accepting it that doesn’t change the meaning or the reason for defining it as offensive. Every day the culture is defining more and more perversions as acceptable, but that doesn’t mean we as Christians should agree with them.
Q. I seem to remember being little and a certain word meaning to urinate was evil, but now it is being used more and more commonly, even by church members.  What allowed this word to become less taboo, but not the others. 
“Piss” is an interesting one. Look at a Strong’s Concordance for the KJV Bible and find the words “piss” and “pisseth” and see how many times they are used. I understand that in Elizabethan English this was THE word for urine. Now it is considered vulgar (which means “common”, belonging to the uneducated). I think it is because the educated class used Latin, which word “urine” is, and then “piss” was relegated to the speech of the vulgar when English itself was considered more vulgar to the educated class. But I have read books written in the 1800s which use the word “piss” in its proper context. I think part of the problem with that word is that culturally we don’t just sit around talking about bodily functions. Those who do tend to be making fun of them, which is how we got all the so-called “bathroom” or “potty” humor. More polite, educated people say, “I have to use the bathroom” (“restroom” or “toilet”) rather than “I have to piss.” “Pee” was just an abbreviated form of “piss” by using the first letter. So, to sum up, it is a matter of good manners not to be discussing toilet stuff in public. It is crude and vulgar to do so.  Even if the words themselves are acceptable, look how they have been debased for common language - “O S----” has nothing to do with using the toilet. “P--- off” has nothing to do with the toilet. Even words about sexual intercourse (such as “f---” or “screw”) are debased. The “f” word is considered offensive, so someone decided to substitute the word “screw” (we can guess as to this origin) for sexual relations. But how have both those words been debased now? First there is the “F--- you” or “screw you,” implying that you are to have sex with yourself. This immediately debases sex. But these words are used whenever one is talking about being taken advantage of, or used badly, or even suffering a setback - “I’ve been f---ed” or “He screwed me”. Do you see how these words have debased what God gave as a good gift? That’s a problem with lots of words we consider obscene. “Damn” means to condemn. When the word is used nowadays, does it really have anything to do with that? Or are we indeed calling condemnation on someone when we say “Damn you!” Are we condemning something when we say, “Damn it”?

Q. Then there are times when it's the intended meaning of the word.  “Ass” was okay to use when referring to a donkey, but now it's taboo again even for that usage.  It is evil to use it to refer to someone's posterior.  What sense does that make?
Again, it is the use of a word.  I believe the word “ass” for the rear end comes from the English “arse”. Don’t hold me to that, though.  Anyway, “ass” is indeed an animal, and it is also acceptable to use the word to describe someone who is acting as that animal. When it is used to talk about someone’s rear end, it is a vulgar term that is shorter to say than “buttocks”. The more acceptable term nowadays is "butt”, which is the shortened version. I don’t know if this is a word that has ever been generally accepted as vulgar. But again, polite and educated people tend to avoid what is vulgar.
Q. One reason I can think of, is that not swearing sets Christians apart from non-Christians.  This is many times an early-telling sign to non-believers that you might be a Christian.  This seems like a very weak argument to me.  Why does this have to be a way of setting us apart from non-believers?
Because the world relishes that which is vulgar, and the Christian does his best to avoid being a part of the world; we live in it, but we aren’t part of it. Educated people separate themselves from the uneducated in the same fashion - by not using vulgar language. (Although, nowadays, liberal professors seem to think they must be foul and offensive to be acceptable to the left. In the past you would never hear a professor or a lawyer, or a doctor, etc., use vulgar language - it was beneath them.)
Q.  TV shows and movies have become very accepting in the use of these words, and if you go to any public school or university you would hear them used as much as any other word, and yet it is still considered wrong for Christians to say such words.  Why?
Again, you are making your appeal to culture rather than to truth. TV, movies, and universities have all become accepting of homosexuality, sexual immorality in general, abortion, etc, and yet we as Christians don’t bend to what culture defines as acceptable. Think about this: the German culture decided ridding the world of Jews was acceptable, and even “Christians” joined in; were Christians correct in going along with what was acceptable?

Q.  I guess my question about this is, do you know of any solid Biblical verses/passages which would explain why it is wrong to say these words?
YES! First, we should always use words for that which they were intended or else our language can be incomprehensible. How can you preach the Word if you can’t communicate? If you are trying to communicate with someone who has the minimum understanding of English, and you use vulgar language, where does that leave them? (That’s just an aside, by the way.) If you want to be considered educated and not vulgar, then sound like someone who is educated and not vulgar. If we are “Christ’s ambassadors” (2 Cor. 5:20), we should properly represent him in purity and holiness.  Rather than me quote it, look up Eph. 5:3-20 to see what Paul says about the use of obscene words and similar behavior such as crude jokes. What about James 3:9-12? Especially look at James 5:12. Prov. 4:24; Prov. 10:19; Prov. 10:31-32 - the Proverbs say much about proper speech.

This was pretty much the end of our discussion on this subject.  Perhaps you will find this to be thought-provoking to the point where you will be careful of your own speech.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Random Apostasies and Heresies

Blogging has been delayed by an 8-day trip as well as too much time needed to catch up with everything else!  So the best way to start is to clear off my collection of things going on in the church, etc.

Heretic Joel Osteen and Purpose-driven guru Rick Warren joined up for a show with Oprah Winfrey.  Of course they did nothing for the furtherance of the faith, and everything for the furtherance of themselves and Oprah, as they promote her as being Christian.

Speaking of the “Lifeclass,” a Muslim woman has concluded after hearing Rick Warren that “Islam is all about living a Purpose-Driven life.”  Obviously Warren’s PDL has more for the woman than does the Gospel.  But then, Warren really doesn’t seem to be all that interested in teaching the Gospel; he is more interested in getting more people to his “church” with an updated version of the worthless “Purpose-Driven Life” book.  Apparently a church with a huge attendance is more important than one with solid teaching.

Speaking of Warren’s church, now he’s had a woman preaching at Saddleback, and not just any woman but the questionable Word of Faith teacher, Christine Caine - you know, the lady who thinks Joyce Meyer is the cat’s meow.  Ahhh, who cares what the Bible says about women not teaching men in the assembly, let alone having correct doctrine!!!

A common thread with so many of these popular women teachers is the idea of the boyfriend Jesus.  Priscilla Shirer is one of these types, as Elizabeth Prata tells about on her blog.

Beth Moore is a friend of Shirer’s and also teaches the boyfriend Jesus idea for women.   As a reminder of how bad of a teacher Moore is, Apprising Ministries posted an older article about Beth and her “tent of meeting” teachings. It’s well-worth reading to understand more about Moore’s problems with Scripture.

Elizabeth Prata has a good article about people such as Moore and Shirer who make a living off of the marketing of their false teachings.  Something to really think about; Christians need to stop supporting these teachers by buying all their junk.

James MacDonald is sliding more and more into the seeker-sensitive cum emergent movement with the many bad teachers he brings to Harvest Bible Chapel to preach.  I previous told of Steven Furtick preaching there, and now we have Craig Groeschel, “pastor” of Lifechurch.tv.  The popularity of these atrocious teachers is only because people are more interesting in feeling good and having their ears tickled than they are in learning solid biblical exposition.  For more on just who this guy is and what Lifechurch.tv is about, Erin also had an article about that last year.

Wouldn’t you know it - another book is out about someone visiting Heaven!  What is with all these people who have to claim such visits?!?  Ever notice how these books never agree with each other about what Heaven is like?  Satan is having a field day with gullible Christians who purchase these books by the thousands.

Do you remember the Branch Davidian cult which was attacked by the government forces a few years ago?  They are still operating, and Doug Beaumont gives us a tour of their facility.

The Cripplegate has started a series about the false teachings of Roman Catholicism.  This article about Rome’s Gospel is a good introductory lesson.

Last, but not least, is a good article by Steve Bricker about contending for the faith.  It will be contentious, but we are called to contend for the faith nevertheless.  Just be sure to do it with “gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).

Friday, October 12, 2012

Thinking Rightly About God

What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.

The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God.  Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts about God.
Among the sins to which the human heart is prone, hardly any other is more hateful to God than idolatry, for idolatry is at bottom a libel on His character.  The idolatrous heart assumes that God is other than He is - in itself a monstrous sin - and substitutes for the true God one made after its own likeness.  Always this God will conform to the image of the one who created it and will be base or pure, cruel or kind, according to the moral state of the mind from which it emerges.

A god begotten in the shadows of a fallen heart will quite naturally be no true likeness of the true God.  “Thou thoughtest,” said the Lord to the wicked man in the psalm, “that I was altogether such as one as thyself.”  Surely this must be a serious affront to the Most High God before whom cherubim and seraphim continually do cry, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth.”...

The essences of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him. ...

Wrong ideas about God are not only the fountain from which polluted waters of idolatry flow; they are themselves idolatrous.  The idolater simply imagines things about God and acts as if they were true.

A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy, chapter 1.

When I read this, it made me think of two kinds of false gods presently being claimed: the various gods of the cults, and the god of those who claim God does not condemn homosexual behavior or same-sex fake marriage.  These gods are idols, and those who worship them are idolaters.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Did They Really Say That?!?


Jesus asked, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?”  Matthew 16:13

“[You must] recognize that Jesus Christ is not God...”  Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p.361

“[Jesus was] the first Palestinian fedayeen who carried his sword.”  Yasser Arafat, U.N. press conference in 1983.

“Don’t tell me you have Jesus.  You ARE everything He was and everything He is and ever shall be....”  Benny Hinn, Teaching tape, Our Position in Christ #2, 1990.

“You create the presence of Jesus with your mouth... He is bound by your lips and by your words... Remember that Christ is depending upon you and your spoken word to release His presence.”  Paul Yonggi Cho, The Fourth Dimension, Vol.1, 83.

“You cannot go to heaven unless you believe with all your heart that Jesus took your place in hell.”  Joyce Meyer, The Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make, 1991, 3

“I cannot say that Jesus was uniquely divine.  He was as much God as Krishna or Rama, or Mohammed, or Zoroaster.”  Mahatma Gandhi, [internet source which no longer exists]

“In other words, Jesus had an ego.  He said, ‘I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me.’  Wow, what an ego trip He was on.”  Robert Schuller, Donahue Transcript #08120, 12 Aug 1980, 10

“Jesus was the first socialist, the first to seek a better life for mankind.” Mikhail Gorbachev, Daily Telegraph (London, June 16, 1992)

“The Bible says that He has left us an example that we should follow His steps. That’s the reason why I drive a Rolls Royce.  I’m following Jesus’ steps.”  Fred Price, Ever Increasing Faith, TBN, Dec.9, 1990

“You don’t have to look anywhere for your Jesus.  I represent Him.... Who is Jesus, who is Elijah?  Jesus and Elijah are one in the same...I am that Elijah that was to come and now is.”  Louis Farrakhan, CBN’s Newswatch Today, March 6, 1996.

“I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam.... Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it.  I boast that no man ever did such a work as I....”  Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 6, 408-9

“We’re more popular than Jesus now.”  John Lennon, Evening Standard, March 4, 1966.

“I’m telling you, Jesus wasn’t poor, and He didn’t wear no rags.... Jesus didn’t have no rags on.  He wore designer clothes, honey!”  Creflo Dollar, Crusade, February 9, 1999.

[This is from a photocopy of a “TBC Extra” page from an old issue of The Berean Call, but there is no date on the photocopy.  I thought it was worth posting.]

Monday, October 1, 2012

Random Apostasies and Heresies

Yes, it’s time for another edition of random things I’ve come across demonstrating the apostasy and heresy invading the Church today.

Mark Driscoll is one of those teachers people either love or totally dislike.  Those who love him are, in my opinion, not very discerning.  Driscoll’s fundamental theology, being Calvinist, may or may not turn people off, but that isn’t what I address when I write about Driscoll.  As far as I’m concerned, he is mostly fundamentally sound, but he has too many problems for me to ever recommend him, as I have shown in previous articles. Now I have another example as to why he has business being a pastor: his teachings on Esther are almost 100% eisegesis!  You have to read this one to believe it.

If you remember a previous post about Driscoll and his comments about throwing people under the bus if they don’t agree with his “vision,” then you might appreciate this article about apologist Chris Rosebrough calling on Driscoll to repent!

Ken Silva, over at Apprising Ministries, has an excellent video showing the false teachings of Joel Osteen as well as the similar teachings of his follower, Steven Furtick.   Osteen and Furtick are false teachers, plain and simple, and those who follow these guys need to start reading their Bibles and quit listening to these men.

Ken Silva has another excellent post, this time reporting on a communication between him, Beth Moore, and some of her followers, while Ken is trying to get Beth to denounce a so-called vision from God which supposedly told her that Romanism is part of the true Church.  She’s not backing down, and neither are her supporters.

In my last “random” posting I reported about emergent guru and heretic Brian McLaren’s claim that homosexuality is not really condemned as a sin.  Well, now we know why he said this: he led a commitment ceremony between his son and his son’s homosexual lover.  Rather than call his son to repentance, McLaren sanctions - and honors - his son’s sin.

Another event which I found saddening is that the Assemblies of God “Enrichment Journal”  have compromised and are remaining “neutral” in presenting views of Genesis.  There is, of course, only one true view of Genesis, and that is a literal interpretation as the writer intended.  Once you drop the literal view of Genesis, apostasy quickly follows.

I have written only one article about the Alpha Course, explaining that it is an ecumenical system bringing is teachings of the various false revivals.  However, Erin Benziger, over at Do Not Be Surprised..., has posted some excellent articles on the course, so that is where I send people who are interested in information about Alpha.  This past week Erin has written another good article for Christian Research Network, about the doctrinal compromise of Alpha.  If Alpha is coming to your church, be sure to get Erin’s information to your leadership to show them why they don’t want such apostate teaching in your assembly.

With all the attention the LDS cult is getting because of Mitt Romney’s campaign, it is always good to see more LDS teaching exposed, where they are making it clear that they are not Christians.  Mormonism Research Ministry posted on their blog an interesting 1887 LDS hymn which states in no unclear terms that their church is not like the Christian churches.