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

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Random Apostasies and Heresies

The invasion of apostasy and heresy into the Church seems to be rapidly increasing in varieties and strength.

Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling is getting more and more exposure.  The more I read about it the worse it seems to be.  The Berean Call did a 2-part interview with Warren Smith about his book exposing Young’s teachings for what they are.  You can find the transcripts for part 1 here and part 2 here

Mark Driscoll - again.  Sola Sisters has some good exposures of Driscoll this week.  First, there is some more examination of his stunt at the Strange Fire Conference.  Then they post a “rap sheet” of Driscoll’s actions which disqualify him from being a pastor.  Then they give another example of his abuse of his position.  Another author weighs in on the Driscoll plagiarism issue.

Lighthouse Trails has a great list of authors who discerning Christians should avoid - and actually who ALL Christians should avoid!

Neil has a great article with good advice for “theologically weak churches,” and how to save money on their next building expansions.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a cult.  Now they seem to becoming liberal on top of being cultish - getting women into the clergy is forging ahead.

The Amish are also very cultic in their social behavior, and extremely legalistic in their theological teachings.  Some of this is explained in this article directed primarily at how the Amish dress.

Moody Bible Institute is continuing their downward slide into contemplative and ecumenicism.

The Methodist Church - again.  Because of the denomination’s vacillation, and fear of taking a stand, in regards to homosexuality, the UMC minister who was actually found guilty of violating UMC doctrine, refuses to obey the decision against him.  Will they have the courage to excommunicate him?  Meanwhile, a UMC bishop in Texas has decided a lesbian can indeed be a candidate for ordination.  As Neil says, the UMC is now reaping what they have sowed.

I think Santa Claus has really invaded Christian homes to where he is more important than Jesus.  And Christians have all sorts of justifications as to why it is okay to lie to their children about Santa being real rather than just a fun fairy tale!  Take a gander at this thought-provoking article.

The Cripplegate also has a good article about fasting, which should be passed to those claiming that fasting is an important practice.

Pastor Gary Gilley’s review of Judah Smith’s new book, Jesus is_____ , exposes more of why Smith is not qualified to be a pastor.

The Mormon Church is doing more damage control.  They don’t want to admit that their belief system was racist from the beginning, and they don’t want to admit that this was embedded in Joseph Smith’s teaching about “Eternal Progression,” and the poor performance in the pre-existence of those who are now black.   The news out of Salt Lake City is that it was Brigham Young’s fault, as well as just being cultural. Mormonism Research Ministry examines this claim.


Doug Evans said...

What Bill Johnson is doing in Bethel is at best running a cult, at worst it's spiritual rape. When I stumbled across his cult of Sozo earlier this week I was shocked that such a thing existed, even more shocked that people who supposedly read the bible allowed themselves to be subjected to that spiritual snake oil. A good series of articles is here:


Anonymous said...

The opening quote was spot on. Christians in America are being persecuted - from tares within.

The Lighthouse Trails author discernment list - super helpful. Of course, we all should endeavor to be Bereans, studying the word of God ourselves, with the Holy Spirit as our Teacher, so we know what is true and can reprove the false.

Re: The advice for Theologically Weak Churches - LOVE IT. LOVE IT! That more pastors would FOLLOW that advice...

Cripplegate article about fasting - great! Much needed sanity in an area of Christian doctrine replete with foolishness. I've heard so much stupidity when it comes to fasting - like you're supposed to fast to "show your flesh who's boss". Or to have "power" and somehow maneuver God into answering your prayers or doing something "big" in your life. John MacArthur covered the topic of fasting a while back in a sermon series; and GTY in a blog as well. They said just about the same things as Cripplegate. In short, fasting is a response to urgent spiritual needs, like sin, or grieving, or stresses like persecution.

The rest of the roundup - many good topics covered, thanks.


Louise Moore said...

Glenn, I have a friend in the Assembly of God denomination, who has received a 'Jesus Calling' devotional for Christmas. I told her there was room for concern concerning her and her writings and gave her a link to Tim Challies' review and also to Do Not Be Surprised. Her reply was this:
"I have read this critique. Perhaps I am naive, but I am not concerned that the author refers to her daily devotionals as words she as received directly from the Lord. I took some time to read some of the devotionals and the critics comments before receiving the devotional. I find the book to be nothing more than encouragement and thought provoking. If you read the devotionals, they are very similar to the encouraging posts that Christians post on their Facebook walls. I have, and always will, compare the content of any devotional I read with the infallible Word of God. With that said, as a budding author, I am aware that people will always find a way to take a phrase or comment said and camp on it, so that they have something to critique. I will, however, make sure that I examine this devotional with care. Thanks for the heads up!" After this post, she received many others, condoning and approving of Sarah Young and her books. My thought is that they have been warned. I don't see the need to continue attempting to convince her of the truth, much as I would like to. What are your thoughts on this? I appreciate hearing them. Thank you for constantly standing for the truth. The Lord knows that's getting harder and harder to do.

Louise Moore

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hi Louise,

I will often make at least one more attempt at reasoning with people who are enamored with false teaching due to a lack of discernment, and then, if it is not a salvation issue or other issue which could lead to serious spiritual harm, I just let it go, knowing that they will not be convinced with a third or 4th try.

One thing I tend to do is to pull out some citations and question them against the Bible - something which can be more easily recognized instead of the more subtle stuff.

What is troublesome to me is how many Christians throw discernment out the window because they feel good about what they are reading or listening to - as if "feeling good" can determine the accuracy of what is taught.

Louise said...

Thank you Glenn. Why is it that I'm so concerned about false teachers/teaching? My husband says I'm wasting my time when I try to tell people things. I don't feel that way. Just tonight, I posted this after learning another friend is so excited that Amazon is offering free Beth Moore books:

Deborah, do you know that Beth Moore's theology isn't all that sound? We had a ladies class at our church 2 yrs ago and we were watching one of her DVD's. I stayed for just one class and wasn't sure what was wrong, just that I could not listen to her. I got home and did some research and I know now that it was the leading of the Holy Spirit to get me out of that class. I then informed our Pastor and his wife was sensing the same things I was. He asked me to get the information to him, which I did,
and we no longer watch or listen to any of her teaching. If you want, I'll give you the names of places that do research on people like her. We are inundated with false teachers, just as Scripture says we would be. I sometimes feel like a fish out of water, but it's better to be like this I think, than to buy into what they're teaching. We have to be very discerning today. Thanks for reading this.

Thanks Louise, I have been exposed to only one of her teachings and didn't find it to be anything against scripture. Even so - whenever I listen to anyone - I "test the spirits" - just as the Bible instructs. I do agree, there are many people out there who are false teachers, I also don't believe we should throw the baby out with the bathwater and do pray for discernment whenever I sit under anyone's teaching, even that of our own pastor. Thanks so much for your input and the warning. I will take care to closely examine what she brings forth! Hugs, Deb

Okay Deb ...
Chat Conversation End

And that was that. End of conversation.

I thank you for reading this!
May the Lord bless.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hi Louise,

So, she studied Beth Moore’s stuff and didn’t find anything amiss, and yet she says she “tests the spirits.” Sigh.

One of the worst cliche statements made by too many Christians is “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.” I have to two responses for this:
Who says there is a baby IN the bathwater?!?!
What if that baby is a demon?

Then there is the other, “I just eat the meat and spit out the bones.” What if you choke on a bone?

No, it’s not a waste of time to study to “show thyself approved,” nor is it a waste of time to warn others of dangers. You never know how many seeds you plant may eventually bring someone to their senses.

It’s like that old story about the man walking the beach throwing starfish back into the sea after they were left on the shore by the tide. Another man sees him tossing them back and he asked, “Why are you wasting your time do that - what does it matter?” The man simply replied, “it matters to THIS one” as he tosses it into the sea.

Louise said...

Thank you so very much Glenn. I know now that as long as I have breath, I will warn people about the dangers of false teachers. What they choose to do with it will be up to them. When I researched Beth Moore for my pastor, I was so relieved he listened and stopped her teaching in our church. I look to you and others like you, for support and exhortation. Thanks again.