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, November 29, 2013

Did They Really Say That?!?

Joel Osteen, when discussing John the Baptist’s birth, told why God took away Zechariah’s speech when he doubted the angel’s message:
“Why did God take away his speech?  It’s because God knew that Zechariah’s negative words would cancel out His plan.... See, God knows the power of our words.  He knows we prophesy our future.  And He knew Zechariah’s own negative words would stop His plan.”

Joel Osteen, Discover the Champion in You, TBN 5/3/04.  Cited by Hank Hanegraaff in Christianity in Crisis, 21st Century, p.xiv

So, Joel thinks that we have the ability to prophesy our future just by saying what we want it to be?  And if we have “negative words” about things in our life, we can cancel out any plans God has for us?!?!

Can anyone show me from Scripture where our words have any power over God?  Can anyone show me from Scripture where anything we do can cancel out God’s plans?

This is more evidence that Joel Osteen teaches heresy, and that he is not a Christian.  His god is one made up in the same way Mormons make up their god.  Then again, this is a man who said Mormons are Christians and that he believes in the same Christ as they do.  This makes Osteen an idolater.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Random Apostasies and Heresies

I have been so very busy lately that I’m still behind on researching things I want write about.  However, I still try to stay up with the news in regards to the false teachers and false teachings invading the Church today.  So I’ve collected stuff for today’s edition of random things.

Rick Warren’s “Daniel Plan” is getting more exposure.  Not having reviewed the plan myself, I rely on information from those who have, and every article I’ve read seems to come up with the same problems with this program.  I read another excellent article exposing he unbiblical nature of Warren’s “health program.”

While I’m “talking” about Warren, you need to see his idea of what it will take for a revival in the U.S.A.  Did you know that a sign of renewal is that the singing gets better in your church?!?!   And you really need to bring in an outside speaker, because, apparently, the local teacher isn’t good enough.  As usual, his ideas are about human efforts.

The ignorance of “evangelicals” when it comes to the Mormon cult is really unbelievable, and without excuse.  Southern Baptist leader Richard Land has claimed that Mormonism is a “fourth Abrahamic faith,” while the liberal Fuller Theological Seminary’s Richard Mouw has long been promoting “detente” with the Mormons, decrying the historical denouncement from Christianity towards Mormonism.  Mouw even suggests we should “work together for the cause of righteousness,” although how pagans and Christians can work together for righteousness is beyond my comprehension!  To make matters worse, he seems to think that the Mormons “Jesus” and the real Jesus are the same.  Ladies and gentlemen, the LDS is a cult - a non-Christian cult.  They have nothing in common with Christianity except words, for which they have a totally different definition.  People like Land and Mouw need to remember 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.

Speaking of the LDS, here’s an article demonstrating that science, philosophy and history all prove the LDS to be fraudulent.

I’ve seen one particular false teacher pop up now and then, but this week an article about her just rankled me.  Nadia Bolz-Weber is only one of the newest emergent heretics who is rapidly growing in popularity with her “anything goes” teachings.  First, as a woman she is already going against the Word of God by being a “pastor.”  Second, she is a  member of the apostate ELCA denomination.  The comments following this article are very interesting, with a couple from supporters and one important one which gives links to some of this woman’s beliefs.  I disagree with the last paragraph of the author’s article, because she thinks Nadia will be able to share the Gospel; from the evidence, I would suggest it would be “another Gospel.”  And I wonder what sort of “church” this “Calvary Baptist Church” is if they permit her to have such a platform.

Anyone reading this blog for any length of time knows that I frequently talk about good hymns vs so much of what passes for “praise and worship” songs today.  Steve Bricker had a thought-provoking post on this subject.

I have attended a couple churches (one a few times and the other just once) where someone in the congregation would stand and speak in “tongues.”  Of course it was all gibberish pretending to be the “tongues” of the Bible.  On this subject, I recommend this article from Hip and Thigh.

One of the worst false teachers in the public eye is Jim Wallis of Sojourner’s.  What makes him such a wolf is that he is media and political darling, and therefore represents true Christianity to the public.  Unfortunately, he teaches “another gospel.”  Lighthouse Trails Research Ministry examines some of his teachings.

An article in the Huffington Post examines some of the heretical Word of Faith teachings  promoted by Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Did They Really Say That?!?

“The most common thought that people hold, and I held it too, is that food was responsible for my weight gain.  That is a belief that does not serve you, and in my mind now it is complete balderdash!.  Food is not responsible for putting on weight.  It is your thought that food is responsible for putting on weight that actually has food put on weight.  Remember, thoughts are primary cause of everything, and the rest is effects from those thoughts.  Think perfect thoughts and the result must be perfect.”
Rhonda Byrne, The Secret, p.59

So, if you don’t think food will make you fat, you can be a total glutton and never gain weight?!?!  Mind you, this book is promoted by many Christians!  But it really doesn’t teach anything different than the Word of Faith heretics do.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Are You A "Cafeteria" Christian?

“If you believe what you like in the gospels and reject what you don’t like, it’s not the gospel you believe, but yourself.”  

Augustine, as cited by Erwin W. Lutzer in “The Da Vinci Deception,” p.110

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Church and State?

“Meanwhile, we are left with a church that to a large extent has chosen to befriend the powers that dominate the world instead of judging them.  We should be reminded that the crucifixion of Christ was a joint production, instigated by religious authorities and then carried out by the state.  When the state joins forces with historicism and humanism in forging the great brutalities of the future, we should not be surprised to find the representatives of the establishment churches, fuglemen for the idolatries, earnestly assuring us that God’s will is being done.”

Herbert Schlossberg, “Idols for Destruction: The Conflict of Christian Faith and American Culture,” p.259

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Random Apostasies and Heresies

Emergent guru Steven Furtick is in the news because of his very expensive mansion.  That’s one of the problems with so many false teachers - they fleece the sheep and live like kings. Elizabeth Prata has a good commentary at The End Time.

Meanwhile, Matthew Vines (who is an active practitioner of homosexual behavior) has recently given a talk at a Methodist church about how homosexual behavior is not really a sin for Christians.  Matt Slick has a very good response to issues Vines raised.  Vines’ ideas come straight from Satan.

Speaking of Matt Slick (with Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry), he had a couple other excellent posts recently:
Problems with the Book of Mormon gives lots of examples of where the BOM contradicts the Bible, history, and even Mormon Doctrine.
Summary of Roman Catholic Teachings about Mary - the title should be enough to tell you what this one is about.

Now that I’ve broached the subject of Romanism, Sola Sisters has posted a good graphic of charts demonstrating the differences between Romanism and biblical Christianity.

Mark Driscoll has decided that if a person is a cessationist in regards to the spiritual gift, then that person is “worldly,” because cessationism is “worldliness.”  His logic is horrible, and Frank Turk has an open letter to him in response.

John MacArthur has given a couple interviews with Tim Challies, answering critics of the Strange Fire conference.  See part one here and part two here.

A new movement for atheists is growing; a “church” to make them feel good about themselves.  Sort of like seeker-sensitive churches! 

Ah, Joel Osteen.  What can I say?

I wonder if this guy really has anything to fear?  The UMC hasn’t cleaned their house yet.

The “seeker-sensitive” movement is getting totally ridiculous, as well as extremely compromising.

Lastly, here is what happens when churches don’t teach proper hermeneutical principles; foolishness.

Friday, November 8, 2013

"New Age Bible Versions" - Chapter 14

Chapter 14: Initiated or ‘In Christ’?   

1.  Riplinger spends the first seven pages of this chapter ranting about what occultic groups, the Free Masons, and other such groups do for initiation rites.  She claims “Lucifer” is the “One Initiator,” and cites various New Age and occultic writings to “prove” her case.  Then we finally get to her point when she shows how “New Versions” have people “initiated” into the faith rather than being “in” the faith.  What she has as her proof, on pages 243 and 244, are the following examples of KJV vs “New Versions”, which she says equal the “church of Cain”:

a.  Mark 16:16  “is baptized” vs. “has been baptized
b.  Eph. 2:8  “are saved” vs “have been saved
c.  1 Cor. 1:2 are sanctified” vs “have been sanctified
d.  Col. 3:1 be risen” vs “have been raised
e.  1 John 2:3  “know him” vs “have come to know him
f.  1 Pet. 1:23 being born again” vs “have been born again
g.  Col. 2:10 are complete” vs “have been made complete
h.  Col 2:20, 3:3  be dead” or “are dead” vs “have died
i.  2 Tim. 2:11  “be dead” vs “died
j.  1 Tim. 6:12  “art also called” vs “were called
k.  1 Cor. 6:11  “are washed” vs “were washed,”  “are sanctified” vs “were sanctified,”  “are justified” vs “were justified
l.  1 Cor. 1:5  “are enriched” vs “were enriched

Is there really any difference between the two sides?  Absolutely not!  If I am currently saved, then I was saved.  If I am called, I was called.  This is really a very, very petty complaint, without any merit! 
2.  Next, on p.245, Riplinger complains about KJV “are saved” (etc) vs new versions “are being saved,” and makes the statement that while the KJV “clearly describes the once-and-for-all event,” new versions may be “Catholic” doctrine, again with the same issues of KJV vs new versions, and still under the “church of Cain” heading:

a.  Luke 13:23  “be saved” vs “are there few that are being saved?”  
b.  2 Cor. 2:15  “are saved” vs “are being saved?
c.  1 Cor.1:18are saved” vs “us who are being saved
d.  1 John 2:8  “the darkness is past” vs “the darkness is passing away
e.  Acts 15:19  “turned to God” vs “are turning to God
f.  Luke 15:32 is alive” vs “has begun to live
g.  Col. 3:10  “is renewed” vs “is being renewed
h.  Acts 2:47  “should be saved” vs “were being saved
i.  2 Cor. 4:3  “are lost” vs “are perishing

I find this complaint to be very much like the previous.  Lots of worry over nothing, and none alter the essential understanding of the text.

3.  Continuing with the “church of Cain,” on page 246 we have the following examples of “initiation,” with a “progressive, tentative salvation”:

a.  2 Cor 7:10 &  Acts 11:18 repentance to salvation” vs “repentance...leading to salvation.”  I didn’t check the other versions, since I’m sticking with using the parallel Bible with KJV, AMP, NAS and NIV.  But NIV doesn’t say “leading to,” and the NAS says, “that leads to.”  Riplinger makes an issue of “leading to” not being in the Greek.  But both the version she used, and the NAS, italicized the word so you KNOW it is added by the translators to help with clarity.  All have the same general meaning.  

b.  Acts 11:21 a great number believed and turned to the Lord” vs “and a large number who believed turned to the Lord.”  I really, really fail to see the difference here.

c.  Acts 28:27, 3:19  “be converted [for the first time]” vs “return [to your baptismal faith]
One of the things which is irritating about Riplinger’s claims is that she doesn’t always say which “new version” she is using, which means we can’t check up on her without some really time-consuming search.  What I find interesting is her bracketed explanation of what the passage is saying in the “new versions.”  SHE is practicing eisegesis, because every one I looked at says “turn to God” or similar at Acts 3:19, which tells me that “return” is probably in context “return to God.” However, in 28:27, the passage is citing Isaiah 6:9-10, and in THAT passage when it just says “return,” it is saying, in context, “return [to God].”  Riplinger is very, very dishonest. 

d.  Eph. 2:12  “without Christ [period]” vs “you were at that time separated from Christ [like the prodigal son]”  Notice again how Riplinger puts her explanation in brackets - perhaps hoping no one will check them out.  So let’s put the passage into context and see if they really say what Riplinger says they say, and we’ll start with vs. 11.

KJV:  “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.”

NAS:  “Therefore remember, that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called ‘Uncircumcision’ by the so-called ‘Circumcised,’ which is performed in the flesh by human hands - remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

I don’t know where Riplinger got “separated” instead of “separate,” but the truth is that both versions say exactly the same thing.  Riplinger’s bracketed comments are nothing but eisegesis.

e.  2 Cor. 5:17  KJV “all things are become new” vs “new things have come.”  Well, this certainly is a difference in understanding.  BUT, the charge is that this demonstrates “progressive, tentative salvation.”  I found this in the NAS, but if you look at the context, it says that “old things have passed away,” so it is saying that the old person is gone and the new person in Christ has come.  How does it then say that salvation is “progressive, tentative”?!  It doesn’t.

f.  Eph. 2:1 KJV “and you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins” vs “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins.”  The point here, of course, is that with the KJV Paul says that the receptors of this letter were “quickened” - saved - while the new ones don’t.  This is very dishonest of Riplinger.  While the new versions do indeed leave out that phrase, vs 5 virtually repeats this, making the phrase in vs 1 redundant.  This passage does not support her claim.

g.  Eph. 1:6  KJVhe hath made us accepted in the beloved” vs “he freely bestowed upon us in the Beloved.”  

Let’s look at this in context of the rest of vs 6:
KJV:  “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
NAS:  “to the praise of the glory of his grace, which he freely bestowed upon us in the Beloved.”

In both versions, the subject is the grace of God.  One says in that grace he made us accepted in Christ, while the other one says God freely bestowed that grace upon us in Christ.  With BOTH ways, we are IN CHRIST at that time; there is no “progressive, tentative salvation.

4.  Next, Riplinger begins the section about the “Cults of Cain” as she goes on about Herbert Armstrong’s claim that salvation is a “process” vs instantaneous, then about Scientology’s “process for breaking through the engram,” followed by pointing out Est with its “Truth Process/Danger Process,”and the Rosicrucians with their process of “becoming a Son of God.”  But that’s not enough; she continues by pointing out the Unity Church teaching that the individual is “a wonderful being in process,” and that England and Canada host the “Process Church where Jehovah, Satan and Lucifer are the three gods worshipped.”  (Wait a minute - I thought Satan IS Lucifer!?!)  Then she gives this citation from the KJV to show Cain’s involvement with a “process”:

Genesis 4:3, 5:  “And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground and offering unto the Lord... But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect.

This is immediately followed by saying that Norman Geisler calls “Process Theology” “the major movement in contemporary theology,” and citing a paragraph from Elliot Miller condemning such theology as having affinities with New Age.

When looking at Wikipedia’s definition of “Process Theology”, we find this:  “it is an essential attribute of God to be fully involved in and affected by temporal processes.”  NOTE  THIS:  Process theology is about processes, not a process of time.  Of course that doesn’t matter when Riplinger has an agenda to “prove.”  After all, the word “process” is in the same passage as the story of Cain’s unacceptable offering, which, I suppose, makes the word in reference to Cain’s spiritual condition.

Finally, Riplinger gets to her point with citations from 1 Peter 2:2
KJV: “ye may grow thereby
NAS:  “You may grow in respect to salvation

Then she says, “Of course we ‘grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’ (II Peter 3:18) and grow in ‘faith’ (II Thessalonians 1:3); but Christians do not grow ‘to salvation’

I have to wonder if Riplinger understands English or if she is intentionally being deceitful.  The passage in the NAS does NOT say that we grow “to salvation,” rather it says we grow in respect to salvation; i.e., we grow in our spiritual maturity.   The full, IN CONTEXT, passage says:

KJV:  “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby
NAS:  “like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.
NIV:  “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation

Again, we see Riplinger’s claim to be nothing but nonsense.  But she continues to the finish of the chapter discussing Process Theology, implying that is what the new versions are talking about in 1 Peter 2:2.

5.  Chapter summary:  More complaints about grammatical structure even though “new versions” say the same thing as the KJV in context, apparent deceit by taking passages out of context, and equivocation of the meaning of the word “process.”  No evidence to support Riplinger’s charges of new versions making salvation a “progressive, tentative” event.

Your Message Must Drive Your Method

[Paul] is careful to demonstrate that his methods match his message.  This text [1 Cor. 9:19-27] is especially instructive to those who struggle, as most of us do in our churches, to discern the relationship between the two.  We often hear it simplistically stated: The message must remain the same, but methods must change.  Often this rationale is used to justify methods that are considered avante garde.  However, it is naive to consider that there is no relation between the two.  Paul’s methodology was driven by his message.  And this should be true in our ministries today.  While we remain in the world, we are not of it.  It is this principle throughout that offers the most practical and sustaining value of this text for our own situation.

Dan Mitchell, The Book of First Corinthians: Christianity In A Hostile Culture, p.134

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Did They Really Say That?!?

Certain erroneous postulates should be here considered in order that the spiritual facts may be better apprehended.

The first erroneous postulate of belief is, that substance, life, and intelligence are something apart from God.

The second erroneous postulate is, that man is both mental and material.

The third erroneous postulate is, that mind is both evil and good; whereas the real Mind cannot be evil nor the medium of evil, for Mind is God.

The fourth erroneous postulate is, that matter is intelligent, and that man has a material body which is part of himself.

The fifth erroneous postulate is, that matter holds in itself the issues of life and death, - that matter is not only capable of experiencing pleasure and pain, but also capable of imparting these sensations.  From the illusion implied in this last postulate arises the decomposition of mortal bodies in what is termed death.

Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p.91-92

WOW!  How about looking at these one at a time:

1.  Eddy says it is “erroneous” to believe that “substance, life, and intelligence are something apart from God.”  Well, life is what we receive from God, substance is normally a reference to some physical thing we can touch, and intelligence is is what every human being has - and in fact every sentient being (animals, insects, etc) has intelligence!  If we say these are NOT apart from God, then we end up with God being a part of His creation - i.e. panentheism.

2.  So it is “erroneous” to believe that “man is both mental and material”?  Well, we can’t see or touch the mind, since it is intangible - and perhaps we could say our mind is our soul because our mind really is who we are.  We also see scientifically that the human body is made up of material things - chemicals, water, etc.

3.  What about that it is “erroneous” to believe that the “mind is both evil and good”?  I don’t know if anyone really believes it this way.  I’d say our mind can think evil or good, but the mind itself isn’t evil or good.  And is God really “Mind”?  Scripture says God is Spirit.

4.  Again, is it really “erroneous” to say “matter is intelligent?”  I really don’t know anyone who does, nor have I ever read such a claim.  Matter has no intelligence - it’s just matter. So I don’t understand why this would even be an “erroneous” belief.  But what about the second part of the postulate - that it is “erroneous” to believe that “man has a material body which is part of himself”?  UM, my body is certainly material - it isn’t some ghostly plasma!  And is that body part of me?  Well, it certainly isn’t part of my next-door neighbor!  I’d be in a heck of a fix if I didn’t have my body while in my earthly existence.

5.  Eddy’s last “erroneous” postulate is quite confusing in that, again, it appears to be straw men - claims I have never heard.  How about you - have you heard that “matter holds in itself the issues of life and death”?  Matter is matter and has no issues in itself about life or death.  Have you ever heard a claim that “matter is not only capable of experiencing pleasure and pain, but also capable of imparting these sensations”?  I’ve never in my life heard a claim that matter is capable, in and of itself, of giving and receiving pleasure and pain.  AH, but my guess is that when Eddy is speaking of “matter,” here, she is speaking of a person’s body.  Now, since the body includes the brain, and the brain is what interprets sensations, I’d say the body is indeed capable of experiencing these sensations.  I would also suggest a body is capable of imparting sensations; for example, if a young man and young woman put their bodies together, there are some definite sensations imparted and experienced! 

Finally, with that last “erroneous postulate” she says an “illusion” is implied, from which

arises the decomposition of mortal bodies in what is termed death.”  There certainly is no illusion about one’s body experiencing sensations of all sorts, and death is certainly no illusion.

Again I have to say, that there is no Christian teaching in these claims of Eddy’s, nor do these teachings have anything to do with science.  “Christian Science” is a fraud on both counts.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Miracles and Healings Have Ceased

“If you take a careful look, you will find that in the Bible, miracles did not lead to conversions. Yet a modern church that promotes itself as a miracles church will usually have a far greater following, temporary as that might be, than a church that focuses on the teaching and preaching of the gospel. ... The miracles and healings have ceased to be given as a gift.  The reason is because they have served their purpose.  They authenticated the claims of the gospel.  They authenticated the deity of Jesus.  They authenticated the apostolic office.  When the need for the sign ceased, the gift was no longer given.”

Richard L. Ganz, “Controversies That Almost Killed a Church: Paul’s Counsel to the Corinthians and the Church Today,” p.176, 180