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, September 30, 2014

Appeasement Theology

Appeasement theology never works.  It has no foundational power.  It merely creates a boring compromise with the secular culture, a mishmash of beliefs that non-believers -- who need no endorsement from a defunct belief system they have already rejected -- could care less about.

Tal Brooke, "An Update on the Emerging Church," Spiritual Counterfeits Project Journal, Vol.30:2-30:3, 2006, p.55

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

I’m going to start out with the Mormons today, and if there is a reader who is a Mormon it would be interesting to see their take on the issue of perfectionism.  I’m looking forward to the next installment.

I’d also like to see a Mormon explain how their President/Prophet can teach something that doesn’t represent the Mormon church!

There is a group of apostates and heretics who claim the title of “Progressive Evangelicals,” but they are really “CINOs” — "Christians In Name Only."  A group of these PE/CINOs actually have the audacity to call themselves, “Evangelicals for Marriage Equality,” while launching an anti-marriage campaign promoting support for same-sex fake marriage among the Church!  Chelsen Vicari has a good commentary about this group.

I read another blog this week which pointed me to this next item.  Charisma Magazine is a great place to find all that is bizarre in the world of charismania.  Now they have an article providing us with a prophecy of which we really should take heed.  I had to chuckle at the very first item, where the “prophet” prophecies about the Middle East; anyone who doesn’t know that the problems in that region are only going to get worse hasn’t been paying attention.  AH, but this “prophet” claims that for over a decade he has named 2014 as the year which would lead to a “boiling cauldron” over there.  From there his “prophecies” just go down hill in inanity.  Pay no attention to such self-proclaimed prophets.

Would you like to know if you are being spiritually manipulated?  Recovering Grace has a good article about the “tools” spiritual manipulators use.

As if Jonathan Cahn didn’t beguile enough non-discerning readers with his book, The Harbinger, he now has a new book titled, “The Mystery of the Shemitah.” Can someone explain why no Christians for the past 200+ years of the America’s existence have discovered all these “secrets” which Cahn and his ilk crank out? 

Of course there are many more of those who claim all sorts of things about Biblical prophecies and how they affect us today - and the funny thing is, they often disagree with each other!  This is a TV program you should be sure to pass by.

Jimmy Carter — AGAIN!  This “committed Christian” has no real understanding of Scripture if he can say with a straight face that Jesus never “discriminated against anyone.”  Didn’t Christ rail against the Pharisees?  Didn’t he rail against false teachers?  Isn’t that “discriminating”?  Carter thinks that sexual behavior is no different than skin color!!

A Bishop of the Episcopal Church worships the creation rather than the Creator.  I’d wonder why he hasn’t been excommunicated except the answer is the Episcopal Church.

Elizabeth Prata has an excellent article about the books which are being virtually inhaled by non-discerning Christians who are accepting all sorts of occult and new age teachings just because the authors claim to get their teachings from God.

Sola Sisters have a thought-provoking article about the Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements.

Lastly, in today’s Cedar Rapids Gazette I learned of an apostate “church” organization which has been around for four years:  the Affirming Pentecostal Church, International.
The claim to fame of this “church” is that they are “affirming” of sexually perverse lifestyles; they affirm and celebrate that which is an abomination to God.  It is a subject of our local news because a branch just opened locally.  Oh, and if you disagree with them, you are labeled as a “hater.”  I guess God is a “hater” also.

Friday, September 26, 2014

And Here It Goes

Last Sunday I wrote an article about the need for discernment with the songs the Church uses for worship.  The two I gave examples of were Vineyard songs, but, as commenters pointed out the same could be said for songs from IHOP, HIllsong and the Jesus Culture — just to name a few.

Monday I wrote about “worship” pastors and how they are often behind such poor choices for worship.  Today, via a Facebook post from my local assembly, I learned that we will be singing a HIllsong ditty (at least when I Google it shows as Hillsong).  This is the first time we’ve had such notice of what we will be singing, and apparently it’s because the notice included a link to a Youtube performance with lyrics, and I suppose that will give us time to learn the song.  I’m not going to learn it.

Let’s look at the lyrics:

I Stand In Awe of You

You are beautiful beyond description
Too marvelous for words
Too wonderful of comprehension
Like nothing ever seen or heard
Who can grasp you infinite wisdom
Who can fathom the depth of your love
You are beautiful beyond description
Majesty enthroned above

And I stand, I stand in awe of you
I stand, I stand in awe of you
Holy God to whom all praise is due
I stand in awe of you

I noted in red the only part of the song which leads me to believe it is about God and not someone’s girlfriend.  

According to the Youtube link, I guess we sing it at least twice all the way through, with multiple times of the last four lines.  I’m sure that’s to give us time to build up our emotions and sway to and fro.

Why is it that people think this stuff is worthy of using for congregational worship!?!?  Where is the discernment?!?!?

Please, please, church leadership, give us MEAT to sing and not such trite choruses that could be sung to a girlfriend or boyfriend!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Why I Don’t Like to Discuss Calvinism

First, I want to apologize to one of my readers whose blog I commented on.  I am sorry that the comment string got hijacked away from the topic you presented, and devolved into a debate about Calvinism.  Perhaps I should have ignored the first comment directed at me, but I thought the statement the commenter made needed to be rebutted — never dreaming what would happen after that.

This blog is one of the several excellent blogs I like to follow, and the subject of an article was about a problem with the use of the word “Christians” because so many people believe there is a negative connotation in that title, so the suggestion was made that we use the term “Christ Followers.”  So I made this comment:

My only problem with the new tag of "Christ followers" is that many followed Him yet never accepted him as their Savior.

Another commenter responded with pure Calvinism, including that we need to proclaim the “doctrines of grace.”  She stated that the idea of “accepting Christ” is not found in the Bible.  In my response to her I proceeded to explain her error in that the Bible gives us the option of either accepting or denying who Christ is, and that John 1 even discusses the need to “receive” Christ — receive and accept being synonymous.

Her next Calvinist comment led to my responding with this:
My understanding of this statement is that you are saying that people following Jesus yet never accepting him "as their savior” is not something found in Scripture. The fact that people followed Jesus and yet did not accept the fact that he was the Messiah, the Son of God who could save them from their sins, is everywhere found in the Gospels. To either accept that Christ is the Savior or deny that He is the savior are the only two choices. There is no in between.

I even clarified that I was not agreeing with the idea of “accepting Jesus into your heart” nonsense.

She again said “accept Jesus” is not in the Bible.  Only now she continued with the Calvinist doctrine of the need to be regenerated because man is unable to make choices about God/Christ.  So I finally said her problem with my comments is that she is approaching them with a Calvinist view.  I stated plainly that we do indeed have a choice to accept or reject Christ.  She then denied teaching Calvinism.

After again explaining what I meant by my use of the word “accepted” in my first statement, I commented thusly, thinking she was being against the idea of accepting Jesus into one’s heart:
Now, the Scripture also says that a sinner can come to faith in Christ as his savior, while the Calvinist says he can't unless the Holy Spirit first regenerates him. That is a different subject and I don't want to pursue it here, but I'm trying to show you the contrast between what you are saying I am saying and what I am really saying.

Notice that I said that I didn’t want to discuss the Calvinism.  Besides, it was getting off the topic of the post from the time she responded to my first comment!  But from then on, she never went to the topic of the post, rather she continued to attack me as not knowing what I was talking about, which I find to be a typical response from Calvinists.  And then she posted a long comment with the routine Calvinist “proof texts” to demonstrate how wrong I was in my very first statement.

At that point I provided some Scripture passages and stated that the plain teaching of the passage did not support her claims, and re-iterated that she was teaching Calvinism.  I said that we can indeed choose to accept or reject Christ.  Then I sent her to my article about Calvinism to explain my stance, and I again stated that I did not want to continue the subject.

Ah, but she wasn’t through.  She declared she wasn’t a Calvinist (even though her entire comment string was Calvinist through and through with the “doctrines of grace” statement, the Calvinist bullet points and proof-texts, etc) and that she was not going to waste time reading my article —  and yet she still claimed that I refused to give her verses from the Bible to prove my claims.  So I made a short comment explaining that “doctrines of grace” is Calvinist, and I told her that my article gives her the answers she was demanding.

She again posted Calvinist “proof texts” to demonstrate man’s “Total Depravity.”  I responded that she was indeed posting Calvinist/Augustinian Reformed theology, and that I would stick to the Bible.  Then she stated all I presented was “childish name-calling and unfounded accusations” because I said what she was teaching was Calvinist!!!  Sigh.  If it talks like a duck….

I responded that I made my argument in my article and also demonstrated that her entire argument was point-by-point Calvinist, and explained that is isn’t “name-calling” to identify one’s theological perspective.

Ah, but then a Calvinist man posted a comment stating that I was posting “fantasy theology.”  He said that I was re-writing Scriptures, and that I have a stoney heart and am in open rebellion against God, with a need to repent— all because I refuse to accept Calvinist teaching!!!!

So I just cut and pasted the first two sections from my article to demonstrate to him the Biblical problems with Calvinist claims that we have no ability to choose for God or even to seek God.

So the lady then told me that all my passages were taken out of context and practicing eisegesis!  She finished off with this statement:  “Your problem is that you seem to think English was the original language in which the Bible was written.

Do you see how this whole conversation devolved once I denied the Calvinist theology?  I was first accused of name-calling, and then I am told that I think the Bible was written in English!!!  
Then I’m accused of being in rebellion against God with a stoney heart!!

The woman’s whole comment string was continually telling me how ignorant I was of Scripture. She followed that up by saying I was following Charles Finney and not Christ.  (Funny how when I pointed out that her theology was Calvinist that she said I was “name-calling” and yet she was able to say I was a follower of Finney — which anyone reading my blog would know was false).  Sigh.

I stated that to suggest I believed the Bible was written in English bordered on bearing false witness, and that I was never a follower of Finney.  To demonstrate the foolishness of her claims against my ignorance of both the Bible and proper theology, I gave a short testimony of my studies and asked her to not treat me like an idiot.

She said I never proved anything from Scripture with my article, that all I did was “rattle of some verses, out of context.”  Then she had the audacity to say that I was not treating her properly!! While just making basic responses from Scripture, identifying her theology as Calvinist, I have suddenly been accused of poor treatment of those I disagree with, and that I was bragging when I posted my defense against her claims of ignorance!! (double sigh).

At this point I stated that we both had had our say and that we should go back to the topic of the article.  I then closed the window, and then went back and unsubscribed from the comment string.

Well, I obviously didn’t unsubscribe quickly enough because one last comment was in my inbox - by the man who was so adamant that I was in rebellion against God.  With his long comment promoting Calvinism, he said that I was teaching that it didn’t matter how a person got to be Christian as long as the person claims to be one, and he brought in examples of the Pope, Glenn Beck, Rick Warren, and Billy Graham, and said my “pudding is rancid.”  I was told I was holding hands with Arminius and Pelagius (more common Calvinist assaults), that I had fantasies about man having a choice, and that I had refused to answer questions presented by the lady!!  Of course he also included that my belief was “untenable, unbiblical nonsense.”

The man’s last comment was this slam:
There must be thousands of people in your own home town who have not heard the Gospel from your lips, WHY? If you don't want people to talk to you like you are an "ignorant idiot" then don't talk like one. You have proven nothing but your ignorance of the Scriptures, will you prove the 'idiot' part also by continuing in rebellion?

So there are “thousands of people in [my] own home town” that haven’t heard the Gospel from me?  SO?  I’m only human and can only reach so many people!  But I’d bet my bottom dollar the same could be said of him!  It really is an absurd attack.  But he continued with me being totally ignorant of Scripture and in rebellion against God.

At no time in any of my comments did I treat anyone poorly, nor were there any “attacks” by me unless stating one’s theological system can be an attack.  And yet both Calvinists were insulting, and the guy downright hostile!

This is why I have said over and over that I don’t like to discuss Calvinism; they refuse to let it end, and it always devolves into nastiness by the Calvinists; I’m just surprised I wasn’t told I that I am a heretic as some Calvinists have done!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Life Look

Oh God,

I bless thee for the happy moment 
when I first saw thy law fulfilled in Christ, 
wrath appeased, death destroyed, sin forgiven,
my soul saved.

Ever since, thou hast been faithful to me:
daily have I proved the power of Jesus' blood,
daily have I known the strength of the Spirit,
my teacher, director, sanctifier.

I want no other rock to build upon than that I have,
desire no other hope than that of the gospel truth,
need no other look than that which gazes on the cross.

Forgive me if I have tried to add anything
to the one foundation,
if I have unconsciously relied upon my knowledge, 
experience, deeds, and not seen them as filthy rags,
if I have attempted to complete what is perfect in Christ;
May my cry be always, Only Jesus! only Jesus!

In him is freedom from condemnation, 
fullness in his righteousness,
eternal vitality in his given life,
indissoluble union in fellowship with him;
in him I have all that I can hold;
enlarge me to take in more.

If I backslide,
let me like Peter weep bitterly and return to him;
If I am tempted, and have no wit,
give me strength enough to trust in him; 
If I am weak, 
may I faint upon his bosom of eternal love;
If in extremity,
let me feel that he can deliver me;
If driven to the verge of hope and to the pit of despair,
grant me grace to tall into his arms.

O God, hear me, do for me more than I ask, think, or dream.

From The Valley of Vision, Puritan Prayers and Devotions, p.96-97

Monday, September 22, 2014

"Worship" Pastors

A relatively modern invention in the Church is the “worship pastor.”  I don’t know when this position was invented, but I’m guessing the reason for it was to make worship more amenable to the population at large.  Of course the whole idea of a “worship pastor” is flawed, because it treats music as the primary form of worship and that without such a position our worship just might not take place — or it may not be “good.”

Here is what I have seen happening in many churches, especially the seeker-sensitive and emergent models, when it comes to “worship pastors,” and these items are gleaned from the many videos I have seen over the years, as well as from the many churches I have visited or attended:

1.  They have to be “hip.”  Soul patch or goatee is normal, earrings and tattoos to prove their “coolness” are also a usual part of their facade.  Oh, and casual dress is a must.

2.  The music chosen will usually be contemporary and most often will be what are known as “choruses” — those which go around and around with 24 words as we sing them 7 times through.  Many will be vacuous, often from Vineyard or some other aberrant group or musician.

3.  When they do choose to perform a traditional hymn, it has to be done with their particular style rather than in the way the entire congregation has sung it for decades.

4.  The “worship pastor” tends to add commentary bridges between songs to demonstrate how he is pointing you to God.

5.  During the songs it is common for the “worship pastor” to yell “amen.”

6.  While everyone is singing, the “worship pastor” will very often emphasize certain phrases or words, or string out an end note, holding it several beats beyond the end of the measure — lots of “oh, oh-oh-oh-oh” additions, etc.

7.  The “worship pastor” will always be dancing and swinging his guitar back and forth as he sways his head around and around.

8.  And don’t forget about the music the “worship pastor” (or his pianist) will be quietly playing while the Pastor is praying — after all, we need to set the mood.

9.  Rather than leading the congregation in the songs, the “worship pastor” appears to think he is a cheerleader creating enthusiasm and driving the emotions.

(And, of course, they will often write their own songs and expect everyone to learn them.)

I’ve seen these examples so many times that it takes nothing to recite them.  Rather than point the congregation towards God, the distractions caused by his actions really point to him as a performer.  The appearance and feeling of the service becomes more like a concert than a worship service.  The more musicians the “worship pastor” has, the more concert-like the performance becomes.

The church we attend recently hired a “worship pastor,” who started his duty yesterday.  It was the second time he was at our assembly, having come to perform several weeks ago so the congregation could vote for him.

Well, our new “worship pastor” fell right into the position.  His first visit was definitely a harbinger of things to come, when he was given the majority of the worship time to prove his metal, and it was just one big performance.  He used more traditional music that time, but he also had to sing with his wife (the pianist) as a duet with a song I believe they wrote.  This Sunday he did one traditional hymn but with his own “country-style” behind it, and then it was mostly contemporary tunes which he could dance around to — including the obligatory Vineyard songs!  By the end of the service he had accomplished all of the nine points above.

We already had a volunteer worship leader; a mature, dignified, and humble man, who has held the position for over 20 years. We replaced him with an immature performer; one who I am guessing is in his early-to-mid-30s.  We gained nothing by putting in a paid staff member except to increase our budget needs. In the process we took a ministry away from someone who actually had a gift for the position.

When discussing the situation with one of the elders the week after the new “worship pastor” was voted in, I was told that we need to appeal to the younger generation — as if playing to a particular demographic is ever good for any Christian body!

The problem doesn’t lie with the “worship pastor” — he is only doing as he has learned.  The problem lies with the leadership who sanction such nonsense in a worship leader, and with a non-discerning congregation who will vote in such a position just because the leadership suggests it; after all, if it’s good enough for the leadership, it must be okay — right?

My wife and I have attended this assembly for almost 13 years.  It isn’t a perfect assembly — there isn’t such a thing.  There are some things the leaders do which I disagree with — and that’s not surprising.  But with all the little things, the important thing — the teaching from the pulpit — was what kept us there.   As long as the teaching remains good, we will stay, but we may have to remain outside the auditorium until the sermon time begins, and then leave immediately after the sermon.

I don’t go to church to be audience for a performer.  And neither should you.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Discernment Needed For Worship Songs

One of the things about the modern technology being used in our worship service is that when the lyrics are projected to the assembly, the copyright line will always show the author and publisher.  Think about that for a moment.

Let’s say there was a Mormon who wrote a hymn which actually had orthodox theology, and the “worship leader” thought it would be a good one for the congregation to sing.  So the lyrics go up on the screen and the copyright says, “Latter-day Saints.”  Should this song be used?

What if the song was written by a Jehovah’s Witness, and the copyright line projected with the lyrics said, “Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.”  Should this song be used?

The answer to both of these should be, “NO!”  As the congregation looks at the lyrics, they see where the lyrics came from, and it would appear that the leaders are giving tacit approval to these cults by using their material.

Now let’s get to the point.  Vineyard.  What does the Vineyard movement teach?  Signs and wonders.  False revivals.  Emotionalism.  Singing certain lyrics over and over to get into an almost altered state of consciousness.  Aberrant “strategic level spiritual warfare.”  Etc.

The founder of the Vineyard movement was John Wimber, who taught that he lived for extended periods of time without sinning.  When it came to his preaching, Wimber stated, when challenged on unbiblical points, that “God is above His Word” and “God is not limited by His Word.”  His whole paradigm of teaching was “Power Evangelism” - i.e., the preaching of the gospel MUST be combined with signs and wonders.  When challenged on his teachings about modern prophets, Wimber stated, “Many if not most personal prophetic words given today are conditional, and as such are invitational, not certainties.”  Yeah, I can see the kingdom of Israel accepting that, can’t you? Wimber even taught “psychic healing.”  And who can forget “holy laughter” - which spread into other charismatic groups?  Wimber also invited the Kansas City “prophets” to teach Vineyard pastors at a special conference.

Since there is much false teaching and charismania in the Vineyard movement, should we be promoting their songs in the assembly?  The answer should be, “NO.”  By doing so the copyright line is advertised to the congregation along with the tacit approval of the Vineyard movement.

Virtually all Vineyard songs I’ve seen the lyrics for are lacking in solid theology and are directed to stir the emotions — and they usually have some odd charismatic terminology.  Here are two songs which are too often sung in the church at which I attend; I will first show the lyrics and then I will comment on them. 

Hungry, by Kathryn Scott

Hungry, I come to you
For I know You satisfy
I am empty, but I know
Your love does not run dry

So I wait for you
So I wait for You
I’m falling on my knees
Offering all of me
Jesus, You’re all this heart is living for

Broken, I run to You
For Your arms are open wide
I am weary, but I know
Your touch restores my life

So I wait for you
So I wait for You
I’m falling on my knees
Offering all of me
Jesus, You’re all this heart is living for.

Well, I think this song borders on the “Jesus is my boyfriend” genre.  But leaving that aside, how can one sing “I’m falling on my knees” while standing singing?  Just what is the theology here?  Or IS there any theology here? And is Jesus all we should live for or should we be living for God the Father through Jesus as our mediator?

All who are thirsty, by Kutless

All who are thirsty
All who are weak
Come to the fountain
Dip your heart in the stream of life
Let the pain and the sorrow
Be washed away
In the waves of his mercy
As deep cries out to deep (we sing)

Come Lord Jesus come
[repeat 3 times]

Holy Spirit come
[repeat 3 times]

As deep cries out to deep
[repeat 2 times]

This is another one of those songs with lots of repetition so as to work up emotions and get the congregation swinging to and fro before they start speaking in “tongues” or other such emotional nonsense.

So, just how does one “dip” their “heart in the stream of life”?  What is the “stream of life”?  Is this supposed to be Jesus? Or, as I’ve heard from many charismatics, is it the “river” of the Holy Spirit?”  And why are we asking for the Holy Spirit to “come” when He dwells inside each believer? I can answer that one — all one has to do is look at the false revivals as they yell for the Holy Spirit to come and bring more “fire.”  

Where is the “meat” of biblical teachings in these songs?  Where is coherent teaching? Why must they be so esoteric in their terminology so that no one is really sure what is being said?

These examples of Vineyard songs are just to show how lacking in substance Vineyard music can be, let alone that they are really the net result of the type of teaching found with the Vineyard churches.

Let’s quit bringing such pap into our assemblies, and quit advertising for, and giving tacit approval to, the Vineyard!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dangerous Enemies

It is the wolf in sheep’s clothing and Satan in the garb of an angel of light who have always proved the most dangerous enemies of the church of Christ.

J.C. Ryle, “Churches Beware!”  p.64

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

We took a week vacation and I really got behind on reading all the news!  So I’ve gleaned what I consider the most important stuff to alert my readers to.  

Let’s start with asking how a Catholic Cardinal can welcome gay activist participation in a predominantly Catholic St. Patrick’s Day parade?!?  Is he perhaps “gay” himself?  Has the RCC disciplined this man?

Jimmy Carter, one time worst president of the United States, has often been in the news as an example of a good Christian.  After all, he’s taught Sunday School for adults at his church, and since he used to be President that makes him an authority on the Bible.  I’ve previously reported on his false belief system, especially in regards to interviews about the “study Bible” in which he authored the commentaries.  Carter has also in the past said that Mormons are Christians.  In one of my “Random…” posts I noted how Carter twisted Galatians 3:28 to “prove” to the Catholics that they should allow women priests.  In another “Random…” post I noted that Carter claimed that wife-beating and other anti-woman behavior is due to such things and Rome not allowing women to be priests.  NOW Carter wants us to follow the teachings of Allah!  This man is what we call a CINO - Christian In Name Only.

Did you know that “confronting climate change” is a responsibility that the Bible teaches?  Well, Secretary of State John Kerry says so, and we know if he said it, it must be true!  Rather than checking with real Christians and real theologians, the media loves to get their Bible teaching from politicians who abuse Scripture as bad as do cults.  By the way, Mr. Kerry, man can’t do anything about the changing climate.

I’ve previously addressed problems with the Hebrew Roots Movement.  I came across this excellent article from the trenches — a woman whose husband got wrapped up in the movement.

The First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Davenport, IA, has a woman “reverend” who “married” two lesbians.  Apparently the Disciples of Christ denomination is getting more and more liberal while walking away from the truth of Scripture

Humor for today, look what happens when martyrs read Joel Osteen tweets!

If you are not familiar with the original “9/11” massacre in 1857 when Mormons wiped out a wagon train which “violated” their territory, take a look at this Mormon Coffee article about a ballad which was written about it.  Mormons continue to claim that it was rogue members with no authorization from LDS leaders, but the evidence is pretty conclusive that Brigham Young was responsible; John D. Lee (leader of the attack) states as much in his book, “Mormonism Unveiled”.  For those of my readers who have an interest, I can suggest the following titles:
American Massacre, by Sally Denton
The Mountain Meadows Massacre, by Juanita Brooks
White Flag: America’s First 9/11, by Wayne Atilio Capurro
Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows, by Will Bagley

For any Mormon readers, I would like to challenge you to listen to my pastor’s sermon from this past Sunday, as he discusses “The Spirituality of God.”  God is not, and never was a man.  He has always been spirit.

Oh boy, oh joy!  Another visit to heaven, this time by false teacher Rick Joyner.  

Elizabeth Prata has some interesting information about Coptic Christians — and about Eastern Orthodoxy.

I’ve previously mentioned a new movie titled, “Holy Ghost,” and how it appeared to be unbiblical.  Well, I’m not disappointed in that initial belief — the movie is by heretic Bill Johnson and his Bethel Church!  You just know it has to be unbiblical with that starting point.

Gary Gilley has a good review of a new book which challenges teachings by Tim Keller.  For all the good teachings Keller might have, I think this book would demonstrate why we should not recommend anything by Keller.

Lastly, just this morning I read an excellent analogy by Elizabeth Prata.  I don’t want to spoil it for you — go read it for yourself.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Show Me!

It does not matter in the least who says a thing — whether he is a bishop, archdeacon, dean, or presbyter.  It does not matter that the thing is well expressed, said eloquently, attractively, forcibly, and in such a way as to turn the laugh against you.  We are not to believe it unless it is proved to us by Holy Scripture.

J.C. Ryle, “Churches Beware!” p.70-71

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Purpose of the Assembly

Nowhere in the New Testament is there any indication that the church met to preach the gospel.  Rather the church met to worship, to teach the word, to pray, to have fellowship.  The meeting of the church was to edify believers and to glorify God.  But it was not to preach the gospel to unbelievers.  Rather the saints went out into the world to preach the gospel. . . . 

The practice of preaching the gospel in the church meeting developed when many unbelievers started attending church.  It was a convenient time to present the claims of Christ.  But there is no biblical mandate for an “evangelistic service” when the church comes together.  There is a mandate to equip the saints to preach the gospel.  The work of Christians is not to invite unbelievers to church so that they might hear the gospel.  It is to preach the gospel themselves.

John H. Fish III, “The Life of the Local Church.”  From the book, Understanding the Church, compiled and edited by Joseph M. Vogl and John H. Fish III, p.132

Monday, September 8, 2014

Are You In A Sect?

If your church associates with a group of churches that requires exclusive allegiance to itself, you are part of a sect.  Despite their boastful claims, sects do not understand the New Testament doctrine of the Church.  They are in error.  All sects are based on half-truths, faulty reasoning, doctrinal oddities, deceptions, guilt-manipulation, and fear, which are not of the Spirit of truth and liberty.  If your church denies you your Spirit-given right and privilege to fellowship with all Christ-loving, bible-loving Christians and churches, you need to obey God rather than man and free yourself and family from these unbiblical chains.

Alexander Strauch, “The Interdependence of Local Churches.”  From the book, Understanding the Church, compiled and edited by Joseph M. Vogl and John H. Fish III, p.206-207

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Do Battle or Frolic?

Our fathers believed in sin and the devil and hell . . . [and in] God and righteousness and heaven. . . . Humans, our fathers held, had to choose sides — they could not be neutral.  For them it must be life or death, heaven or hell, and if they chose to come out on God’s side, they could expect open war with God’s enemies.  The fight would be real and deadly and would last as long as life continued here below. . . .

How different today. . . . People think of the world not as a battleground, but as a playground.  We are not here to fight; we are here to frolic.  We are not in a foreign land; we are at home. . . .  [This idea] has now been accepted in practice by the vast majority of fundamentalist Christians.  They might hedge around the question . . . but their conduct gives them away.

A.W. Tozer, cited in The Berean Call, April 1993, “Quotable.”

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

Let’s start today’s program with Joel Osteen!  By now everyone has probably heard about his wife, Victoria, and her claim that we obey God not because we should obey God, but because it makes us happy, and when we worship God it’s also to make us happy.  And God wants us to be happy! Joel was behind her nodding approvingly, of course, because she learned his message well.  This self-centered message is taking over the Church, especially among those of the “seeker-sensitive” variety.  Albert Mohler posted an excellent commentary about this nonsense of the Osteens.’ 
Michael Gungor has really been demonstrating his heretical beliefs.  I have to wonder about what sort of “Christ” he worships.

More about the recent Mark Driscoll flap, and who was really responsible for Driscoll’s rise.

The Episcopal Church is so apostate that it is not surprising when one of their women priests teaches abject heresy.  The question I have is, will the Episcopal HQ rebuke her and rebut her teachings?  I highly doubt it.

For many years I’ve been saying that Christian book stores are nothing more than minefields of apostasy, heresy, and all other aberrational teaching.  Sad to say, but it seems like many church book stores have also become minefields.  Even church libraries can be theologically dangerous, as I discovered when I became the church librarian for a church we attended many years ago - I removed dozens of books from the shelves and trashed them because of the horrid teachings.  So be discerning when you use your church library or book store.

Here’s a good article explaining just about all you need to know about dominionism, reconstruction theology and the “New Apostolic Reformation.”  Just more false teaching leading many, many people astray.

Back in early July I posted an article explaining that Christianity does not equal patriotism.  This whole ideology has now led to a new Bible - “God’s Glory Bible.”  Erin Benziger had an excellent commentary about this latest foolishness — and idolatry!

Pope Francis says that if you don’t feel “Mary” is your mother, then you are an orphan.  If you haven’t read my article proving that the Catholic “Mary” isn’t the Mary of the Bible, 
you might want to take this opportunity to do so.  My response to the pope is, I’m no orphan because I’m an adopted son of God.

Another interesting question for the KJV Only types:  Does God really expect everyone to read the KJV and no other version?

Lastly, for those who promote the belief that Christ would have no problem with same-sex “committed” unions (i.e., same-sex fake marriage), and who abuse Scripture in their attempt to prove their case, homosexuality is NOT just another sin.  Of course Paul told us that, didn’t he? (1 Cor. 6:19-20)