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, May 30, 2014

A World-Mirroring Church?

"I think that the church in America today is so obsessed with being practical, relevant, helpful, successful, and perhaps even well-liked that it nearly mirrors the world itself.  Aside from the packaging, there is nothing that cannot be found in most churches today that could not be satisfied by any number of secular programs and self-help groups."

Michael Horton, Christless Christianity: the Alternative Gospel of the American Church, p.16-17

Monday, May 26, 2014

What Is Christian?

Over the past 6.5 years that I’ve had this blog, various Christian commenters have accused me of deciding who is or is not a Christian, or what denomination is or is not Christian, all based on my “particular interpretation of the Bible.”  (This is a common attack on every apologist and apologetics ministry I’ve encountered.)  A virulent atheist who has had discussions with me on other blogs (and who really hate’s fundamental Christians) has stated, “You live in this fantasy bubble where Glenn E. Chatfield is the sole arbiter of what the Bible says and means.”

Well, I maintain that my “interpretation” of the Bible agrees with what has been taught by Christians for 2000 years.  I don’t have any particular interpretation - I practice good hermeneutical principles of exegesis.  And I have NEVER maintained or even intimated that I am the “sole arbiter” of anything.

This same atheist asked, “Tell us Glenn. Which denomination is the True Church?”  This is a common question by atheists who have no real understanding of Christianity; the “True Church” is all believing Christians.  It is not a particular organization or denomination - it is the believers!

When I declare a particular denomination as apostate or heretical, I do so based on comparing what the denomination teaches versus what the Bible says.  And I DO NOT declare members of those denominations themselves to be apostate or heretical because I can’t possibly know their personal beliefs unless they’ve been stated openly.

Also, those sects which are considered as un-Christian cults, are considered so by all Biblical scholars and apologists; so it isn’t just MY opinion that they are cults, rather I agree with the scholars!  Cults do not adhere to the non-negotiable doctrines of the historic, orthodox Christian faith.  Let me give some examples:

1.  The historic faith says that Christ is one member of the triune God.  If a sect says that he was created, they are worshiping a Jesus not identified in the Bible.  If they say he is one of three gods, was not born of a virgin, was only a good man, etc, then they are worshiping a Jesus not in the Bible; or, as Paul said in 1 Cor. 11:4, “ a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached.”  The Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists (although SDA has enough truth that many have found it and became saved), Unitarians, Christian Scientists, et al, worship “another Jesus.”

2.  Historic, orthodox Christianity says that God is uncreated and eternal, and that He created everything else.  The Mormons say that God was once a sinful man who earned his way to godhood.  They are worshipping a false god.

Members of apostate or heretical Christian denominations - i.e., denominations which have always been accepted as Christian until they fell into apostasy or heresy - may or may not be Christians.  Many believers find the truth in these denominations and are indeed saved, all the while remaining deceived in some way so that they are burdened with beliefs that make them ineffective in working for the Lord.

If a person is a member of a cult, where there is no truth of the gospel to be found, then that member is not a Christian.  But if a person is a member of a denomination which has gone apostate or heretical, that person may or may not be a Christian based on their PERSONAL beliefs.  After all, no one is required to have all their doctrinal ducks in a row, or have full understanding of all Christian doctrine in order to be saved.  What is the requirement for salvation?  Try Romans 10:9:  “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  No works needed, no clear understanding of all doctrines needed, just the simple understanding that you are a sinner in need of a savior, and that Jesus is that Savior who you confess to be Lord of your life, and that you believe that he died for your sins and rose again from the dead.

So a question was put to me, “Are Catholics Christians?”  Too many people say that they are not, including a Christian commenter I encountered on a friend’s blog.  I say that the Roman Catholic Church apostatized from the true faith of Christianity when they added heretical traditions of men.  As noted in my commentaries on the RCC, these traditions include the veneration of Mary, the perpetual virginity of Mary, the veneration of icons and saints, purgatory, indulgences, the Mass with its idolatrous transubstantiation, the papacy, etc.  The Roman Catholic organization, directed by its popes, have committed horrendous crimes against humanity throughout its history, including the murder of Christians who had the audacity to disagree with the leadership!  However, when it comes to the individual Catholic, many have become Christians in spite of the teachings of the RCC.  The true gospel can be found with the RCC if one is seeking.  The true believer will many times leave the RCC once they are saved, while other times they will stay because they like the liturgy, or they have family connections, or they still feel some of the legalistic practices are necessary.  I get this testimony from many Catholics and ex-Catholics I have known over the decades, as well as from many testimonies I have read by ex-Catholics.

What about examples of apostasy, which lead to the label of “apostate” for some denominations?  If you look under the various labels for churches in the column on the right side of this blog, and read what I say about them, you will find your answer.  However, some examples of apostate beliefs are:

Placing women in pastoral/elder positions.
Supporting homosexuality and same-sex fake marriage.
Supporting abortion.
Teaching evolution instead of creation.
Low view of Scripture, including mythologizing Genesis.
Teaching the social gospel.
Emergent teachings.
Mysticism, including contemplative prayer, labyrinth, visualization.

I think you get the idea.  Of course heretical churches are those that deny any of the non-negotiable doctrines of the faith, such as the United Pentecostals who deny the Trinity.

I am not the arbiter of what is or is not true Christianity; this was established during the first century and was the teachings during the first couple hundred years before corruption entered the church and man-made traditions became doctrines.

Whether or not an individual is a Christian must be determined by his or her professed beliefs or observed actions.  No one can judge the heart but God.  Every Christian has the duty to judge whether or not someone is a believer based on comparing their beliefs with what the Bible actually says.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

Notice that I changed my heading for these weekly reports; it was due to someone pointing out an item wasn’t really a heresy, and there could be some debate as to whether it was even an apostasy.  So I decided to add “Aberrations” and let YOU decide which label best fits.

First up, a hat tip to Erin Benziger for pointing me to this one.  Perry Noble, a bonafide false teacher, has “Four Things That Are Essential For a Healthy Children’s Ministry”; and please note that the teaching of the Gospel isn’t included.   Well, what do you expect for a seeker-sensitive, entertainment-oriented emerging church like Noble’s?

I have quite often dealt with pacifist Christians who really like to twist what Jesus said about turning the other cheek.  These people use the reference to refuse to join the military, for example.  I worked with a fellow believer who said if someone broke into his home and was attacking his children and his wife, even sexually, he would not try to defend them because that would be using violence!  It is impossible for me to accept such rationale, let alone using Jesus’ words to support it!  At any rate, here is a good teaching on what Jesus meant.  Perhaps you will find it beneficial for the next time you encounter someone abusing this passage of Scripture.

Whatever happened to the Mennonites having mostly fundamental doctrines?  How in the world did they get to the point of teaching contemplative prayer to children?!?

Two years ago I linked to an article at Sola Sisters which reviewed the horrible book by Ann Voskamp, “One Thousand Gifts.” Sola Sisters has posted another article about this book, which demonstrates the bizarre sexuality/sensuality that Ann teaches about her relationship with God.

Charismatics have a lot of aberrational teachings in general, and addressing such nonsense was really what the “Strange Fire Conference” was all about.  Hip and Thigh has a good article exposing some of these really aberrant teachings.

What about the apostate teachings of the mystical movement, including lectio divina.   Tim Challies explains the danger of such teachings.

Finally, again in reference to Mormonism, Liberty University is actually defending its stance in regards to allowing Mormon Glenn Beck to speak there.  Let me address some specifics.
This is the excuse given for allowing Beck to preach a sermon (for that really is what it was): “College is about learning. How can you defend what you believe if you don’t understand what others believe?”  The problem here is that the students DIDN’T understand what Beck believes because he sounded just like a Christian!  Let’s look at some of Beck’s teachings in this sermon:

1.  “I am Mormon and share your faith,… Training Champions for Christ.”  NO, a Mormon does NOT share the same faith as Christians, so they cannot train anyone for Christ.

2.  “Days before Joseph Smith was martyred he was taken out by the sheriff;…”  Smith was not martyred.  He died in a shoot-out.  Martyrs don’t shoot back.  This is one of the big fables that Mormons like to teach to show how they have been persecuted.

3.  “Later in his message, the Mormon talk show host told the students that ‘no one in the Grand Councils’ sent them to earth just to make a living. Beck was referring to the Mormon belief that human souls pre-existed in heaven, and that a gathering of heavenly beings known as the Grand Councils, send certain individuals to earth to accomplish a special purpose.  ‘You didn’t come down for a job. You came to this university maybe thinking, “I have to have an education to get a job.” You need this education from Liberty University because of your only true job, the purpose you were sent here for.’”
Beck is actually teaching them nothing less than the Mormon doctrine of eternal progression!  Why was there no rebuttal given?!?!

The article claimed that there were those who believe Beck has had a “born again experience.”  Since Beck still teaches LDS doctrine, I’d say that is impossible for him to be “born again.”

Beck later made a typical Mormon whine about those who disagreed with his speaking there: “This is why your churches are dwindling.  You think you’re standing for something, when indeed, you’re standing for hate and bigotry. I think Jesus was hanging out with prostitutes and sinners, wasn’t He?”

So it is “hate and bigotry” to make a truth statement that having a Mormon preach a sermon at a “Christian” university is wrong?!?  Yes, just marginalize the opponents as hateful and bigoted so you don’t have to actually deal with their arguments.  And just what does the fact that Jesus was “hanging out with prostitutes and sinners” have to do with allowing a sermon full of false teachings being taught at a Christian university - does Beck really believe Jesus would have thought it was okay for a pagan Canaanite to be teaching in the temple?

If Beck had been there simply as a conservative commentator, and made no references to religion, then there would have been no problem.   Read James Duncan’s statement in the last couple paragraphs - he sums up the problem quite nicely.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Did They Really Say That?!?

[T]he first step in faith is to stop thinking about God at the time of prayer... Choose a single, sacred word...repeat the sacred word inwardly, slowly, and often.

Brennan Manning, Signature of Jesus, pp.212, 218.  Cited by Brian Flynn in Running Against the Wind, p.171

And here I thought the whole idea of prayer IS to be thinking about God!

Question: Since when is repeating a word over and over a "prayer"?  Perhaps Mr. Manning should read Matthew 6:7:  "And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words." (NIV).  Or, perhaps the KJV is more pointed:  "But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking."

Brennan Manning teaches much New Age ideology and should be avoided at all costs.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Don't Make a God Who Agrees With You!

Beware of manufacturing a God of your own: a God who is all mercy, but not just; a God who is all love, but not holy; a God who has a heaven for everybody, but a hell for none. Such a God is an idol of your own.

~ J.C. Ryle

Friday, May 16, 2014

Random Apostasies and Heresies

Well, I posted an article about what terrible theology “Heaven Is For Real” presents, but I didn’t know it was T.D. Jakes who produced the movie version.  When you have a heretic producing a “Christian” movie, this is what you get.

About women in church, Willow Creek, one of the original market-driven/seeker-sensitive organizations (I hesitate to call them a church), also gets it wrong! [link gone by 10/17/20]  This isn’t really surprising, since they leaned on the egalitarian side for women’s roles for decades.

Speaking of false teachers, Tim Challies exposes Teresa of Avila and T.D. Jakes.

Then there is Rick Warren, who is really doing a lot to endorse the Roman Catholic Church.  Roger Oakland also has a commentary about this situation.

So what is wrong with Romanism?  Well, how about the gullibility of thinking they have the skull of John the Baptist, and that they are revering it!?!  What about the Pope preaching the social gospel?  And this is just in addition to their false teaching about mortal/venial sins, indulgences, purgatory, the papacy, the perpetual virginity of Mary, etc, etc, etc.

I just love it when someone points out another problem with Joseph Smith’s theology.

Speaking about Mormons, what in the world was Liberty University doing inviting Glenn Beck to speak?  If he was there to speak as a conservative commentator speaking about politics in the USA, etc, that would be one thing.  But he spoke as if he was a Christian and talked to them as if he and the students worshiped the same God and Christ!!  And Liberty had the temerity to fine students who didn’t want to hear a Mormon [link gone by 10/17/20] promoting his belief system!!!!  What were the leaders of Liberty thinking?!?  Well, they've already promoted Moonies and Benny Hinn, so I guess it really isn't surprising.

Now I’ve seen just about everything.

What About Love?

Pat Robertson, Word of Faith heretic and false prophet, now says you have to be deaf, dumb and blind to believe what Genesis says! [link gone by 10/17/20] Ken Ham rebukes Robertson.

Finally, how do we end up with so much false teaching in the church?  It’s because so many churches hear so little of the Bible.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Heresy is to orthodoxy what a prostitute is to a woman.  Heresy is a painted, sensuous, seductively dressed perversion of God's revelation that gives pleasure for a price, and pain in the end.

D.R. McConnell, A Different Gospel, p.206

Monday, May 12, 2014

What Is the Modern "Church" Winning People To?

Any objection to the carryings on of our present gold-calf Christianity is met with the triumphant reply, “but we are winning them!”  And winning them to what?  To true discipleship?  To cross-carrying?  To self-denial?  To separation from the world?  To crucifixion of the flesh?  To holy living?  To nobility of character?  To a despising of the world’s treasures?  To hard self-discipline?  To love for God?  To total commitment to Christ?  Of course the answer to all these questions is no.

A.W. Tozer, “Man, The Dwelling Place of God.”

Thursday, May 8, 2014

What About the Book, "Heaven Is For Real"?

Pastor Todd Burpo’s book, “Heaven is For Real” — and the movie it spawned — are undoubtedly bringing in a lot of money for his family, and Christians seem to be the primary audience.  This, of course, just demonstrates that most Christians are woefully lacking in discernment.

In addition to the original book, there are also other books based on the same experience: “Heaven is For Real — for Kids,” and “Heaven Changes Everything.”  According to Todd, there is additional information about Colton’s experience in these books which is not in the original book. [Link gone by 7/10/18]

There have been many critics of Todd’s story of his son Colton’s near-death experience (NDE), and rightly so since there are some really problematic claims in the book.  The book is based on a claimed experience of Colton, and Todd would have us all give up what Scripture says and rely instead on an experience for truth.  In fact, Todd says if you criticize his story, then you are nothing but a “Pharisee.”  But is it really pharisaical to examine his story in light of the Scripture?  Of course not!  That was NOT the problem of the Pharisees.

G. Richard Fisher, in an article discussing many claims of so-called visits to heaven (Don Piper, Betty Malz, Emmanuel Swedenborg, Betty Eadie, Akiane Kramarik, et al), had this to say:

“There are so many…possibilities that can account for these heavenly tales. …[S]ome have been shown as fabrications and outright deceptions.  Others are mere hallucinations.  Some have definite medical explanation tied to brain activity or as a result of medication during surgery.  The heaven conjured up is always in synch with the person’s prior beliefs. … There can even be a demonic component — especially when false doctrine is espoused as being from the other side.  There is also the possibility of an overcharged imagination.

“We have to ask if this perhaps is the case of 4-year-old Colton Burpo who could have had seven years of coaching from an overzealous father.  Memories can be constructed and built, and can seem very real.  Now one knows for sure what kind of information was fed, even inadvertently, to young Burpo over those seven years, which was the time between surgery and the book making its way onto bookstore shelves.  Sometimes, if pondered long enough, imagination can seem like reality to a child.” (Personal Freedom Outreach’s “The Quarterly Journal, Oct-Dec 2011, editorial “Heaven is for real, but the stories are not.”)

While a lot of the claims for heaven are just silly, some of the more problematic claims in the book are:

Jesus had a rainbow horse — Scripture only has him with a white horse (Rev. 19).

Colton said Jesus has blue eyes; Jesus is a Jew and would have brown eyes.

Everyone in heaven has wings - including God the Father!  Nowhere in Scripture does Jesus have wings, even after the Resurrection, and Paul said that our bodies will be like Jesus’ body (Phil. 3:21).  Besides, our bodies will not rejoin our souls until after the Resurrection, so how could Colton see human bodies?

Gabriel sits on the left-hand side of God’s throne.  Not only that, but he is the one in heaven that most resembles God the Father.  Shouldn’t that description be for Jesus.  And if God is spirit (John 4:24) how did Colton see Him appearing as a man?

The Holy Spirit is blue and transparent.  The only color associated with the Holy Spirit in the Bible is white, as in coming in the form of a white dove.

Colton’s father, Todd, will fight monsters in the battle of Armageddon, and it would be with either a sword or a bow and arrow but Colton couldn’t remember which.

When his parents asked him what Jesus looked like, he pointed to a painting by Akiane, who claimed to have many visions of Jesus when she was young.

The story becomes problematic in that Todd also asked Colton for information about which the Bible is silent, including such things as what people look like in heaven, what Jesus looks like, who sits on the left side of God’s throne, what the Holy Spirit looks like, and what Satan looks like. …

“Assuming that Burpo’s account of his son’s NDE is accurate, it also seems that God allowed Colton to encounter certain people and have certain experiences.  Where the story becomes problematic is in mining Colton’s experience for extrabiblical information.  Moreover, there is no reason to suppose that the Lord would convey such details to a not-quite 4-year-old child in order to reveal to the world information He did not previously see fit to provide in Scripture.
J. Greg Sheryl, “Are Near-Death Experiences ‘Proof of Heaven’?”, PFO “The Quarterly Journal, April-June 2014.

One of the best reviews of this book which I came across is by Steve Parker.  He includes a lot more of the questionable and foolish claims about heaven, as well as some good commentary (and, no, I don’t agree with everything he says).

I also recommend the following reviews and commentaries for more information (and I don’t agree with everything these guys say either):

David Platt (video)

John MacArthur at Grace to You

John MacArthur at Answers In Genesis.

Tim Challies

Drew Dyck, CNN

Randy Alcorn

Erik Raymond

Timothy Hammons

Lyndon Unger

I want to close this article with the final paragraph of Steve Parker’s review:

There’s a lot more that could be said about this book. But the above will do. Heaven is for Real is simplistic, superficial, and naive. The most disturbing thing about this book is that it has become so popular – which doesn’t say much for the people that swallow it whole without a second thought – even to the extent of stating that they have had their faith strengthened by it. If this is all it takes to reaffirm faith then, to my mind, that faith is pretty fickle.”

Do You Entertain Yourself With Others' Sins?

How can we proclaim a God who “blots out our transgressions” when we amuse ourselves with others’ transgressions?  How can we serve a God who “remembers our sins no more” when we record the sins of others on videocassettes?

Mark Hartwig, Ph.D, Citizen Magazine, 10/2000, p.30

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Random Apostasies and Heresies

So much of the false teaching in the church today is due to compromising with the world.  Most of this compromise comes from those in liberal Christianity, but all too often conservative Christians seem to not want to step on anyone's toes and will go along with what makes people happy.

Some weeks can have so many things in the news that I just can’t keep up with it all.  I try to choose the most important things for including in my “RA&H” warnings and alerts, so you’ll have to forgive me if you’ve seen something during the week which I missed or else didn’t include.

A couple weeks ago I reported in reference to a new cultish group I read about - the Church of Wells.  A secular conservative commentary site has posted a scathing article about this cult.  If you live in that area, sound the alarm!

Beware of the "Evangelical Immigration Table."  These people are promoting a social gospel and lawlessness.

I learned something new this past week in reference to Romanist “sainthood” ceremonies; they have “relics” of the two popes they were canonizing!  This is occultic and downright disgusting.  Please show me from the Bible where this is of God.

Speaking of the Roman church — you know, the one which represents Christ — Saint Mary’s Institute, a Romanist grade school in New York, is celebrating “Lady Gaga.”  Yeah, you read that correctly.  “In September at the opening Mass I officially announced that this was going to be the Year of Lady Gaga at SMI.”  They are honoring a woman who is all about raunch, blasphemy and occultism.  I wonder what the Pope would say about that?

I came across another article about an ex-KJV Only adherent.  I think it’s worth reading.

Is American Christianity Becoming a Workout Cult?”  It sure looks that way, especially with the market-driven/seeker-sensitive and emergent groups.

Is there such a thing as a “gay” Christian?  I’ve previously posted links to articles explaining why the answer is a resounding “NO,” but I think this one also deserves your attention; you may find it useful when dealing apologetically with those who are in sexual rebellion against God.

United Methodists — when are real Christians going to abandon that group of anti-God rebels? That denomination is filled with leaders and lay people who are focussed on promoting homosexuality as something to celebrate.

What would Jesus say about the death penalty?  What DID he say about the death penalty?  What did God the Father say about the death penalty?  [link gone by 10/17/20] God instituted it for murder; He instituted it for all time and all people.  God doesn’t change his mind just because those with a liberal ideology think it’s wrong.  It’s very sad when those calling themselves “Christian” reject capital punishment by claiming Jesus didn’t approve of it.

Friday, May 2, 2014

A Few Good Things

If you’ve followed this blog long enough, you should have noticed that every now and then I like to share some good articles I’ve read.  It’s that time again.

First up, Elizabeth Prata has a good 3-part series for women and what their roles are in the Christian faith.  Part 1 points out some specific vulnerability women have.  Part 2 is a warning about “mommy bloggers.”  Part 3 is about discernment.  Enjoy.

We Are Adornments.

10 Reasons to Avoid Sexual Immorality.

Why I am Leaving the Church Growth Movement.

Did the Romans Invent Christmas?  Some interesting history.

That’s all for now.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Random Apostasies and Heresies

Another installment from the Cripplegate about Tim Keller’s Center Church.

“Homosexual theology” is becoming more and more prevalent as those who practice and/or promote the perversion of homosexual behavior try to justify what they are doing.  We need to educate ourselves about their “theology” so as to be able to refute it just as we do with every other cult “theology.”  Hip and Thigh has an excellent article about The Folly of Same-Sex Theology.  Stan steps in with an article about the phrase “gay Christian,” which is often used by “homosexual” theologians.

Some more articles about the book/movie “Heaven is For Real.”   Thinking Christian has a good one which itemizes some of the gross errors of the book.  The Berean Call also has an interesting examination.  Meanwhile, the Cripplegate has an excellent article about all the claims of visiting heaven.

Pat Robertson has so often been proven to be a false prophet it is amazing that he still garners a huge following.  According to him, Jesus said an asteroid will destroy us.

Recovering Grace has an article surveying Bill Gothard’s teaching on sexual assault and abuse.  This survey demonstrates just how far away from the Bible Gothard’s Scripture twisting leads - and just how dangerous his teachings are.

Many states have tried to ban same-sex fake marriage, and they have had their laws overturned with the help of homosexual activists.  But in North Carolina the United Church of Christ has filed a lawsuit against the state’s same-sex fake marriage ban, claiming that it violates the 1st Amendment - that it interferes with the religious practices of some churches!!!!  Once again we have proof that the UCC is not a Christian group regardless of their claims.  They were joined by a Lutheran “priest” (obviously from the apostate ELCA), a rabbi (obviously not a practicing Jew), two Unitarian Universalist ministers (UU is an un-Christian cult), a “Baptist” pastor (that term can run the gamut), and — of course — the obligatory group of same-sex “couples”.  These people are not Christians, but minions of Satan, and, unfortunately, the world sees them as representing the Christian faith.

Then we have a United Methodist pastor, Adam Hamilton, who is also a promoter of same-sex fake marriage.  He’s the “pastor” of the largest UMC congregation in the country, which gives you an idea of how many people he is leading into full-blown apostasy.  His abuse of Scripture rivals that of any other cult leader.

Tim Challies examined Brian McLaren in the latest of his series on false teachers.

Finally, the very heretical book, The Shack, is set to become a movie.  It will represent the same false belief system as promoted in the “Noah” movie and the movie about “Heaven is for Real.”  Satan is having a field day.

Do You Have "Cultural Holiness"?

This call to a holy life is based on the fact that God Himself is holy.  Because God is holy, He requires that we be holy.  Many Christians have what we might call a “cultural holiness.”  They adapt to the character and behavior pattern of Christians around them.  As the Christian culture around them is more or less holy, so these Christians are more or less holy.  But God has not called us to be like those around us.  He has called us to be like Himself.  Holiness is nothing less than conformity to the character of God.

Jerry Bridges, “The Pursuit of Holiness,” p.22