We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Monday, November 30, 2015

Some Random Good Stuff

Excellent article demonstrating biblical reasons that the sign gifts ceased with the end of apostolic age, and the damage caused by teaching otherwise.

Animated map shows the spread of Christianity and Islam over the centuries.

I’ve been fighting the idea of “races” for decades.  There is only ONE race — the HUMAN race.  This article really nails the truth of “races” to the wall.

Christians and war.

Good article to put in your “ammunition box” for rebutting skeptics and atheists.
(A reader told me this link was having problems - it was working when I posted this. If it still isn't working, try this link to archive.)

Should Christians Expose Error?

And, finally, good Christmas time apologetics.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

"New Age Bible Versions" -- Chapter 21

X.  Chapter 21: Antichrist: The World Teacher.  The premise of this chapter is that when new versions use “Teacher” instead of KJV “Master” to address Jesus, they are using a New Age title, and when the KJV word “doctrine” is replaced by “teaching” that is also a subtle change to New Age phraseology. 

1.  “The antichrist hides, not only under the cover of ‘Christ,’ but a second title—‘Teacher.’  Roy Livesay, author and publisher of New Age Bulletin in England explains what New Agers believe: ‘Christ, however, doesn’t refer to the Lord Jesus Christ but to the World Teacher.’”  Riplinger then cites three New Age writers calling Jesus “long expected Great Teacher,” “World Teacher,” and “Teacher of the Aquarian Age,” etc.

So since New Age writers use the word “Teacher” to refer to their particular brand of “christ,” that must mean any use of the same word to address Jesus in “new versions” is because “the new versions are willing to accommodate” the world wanting a “Teacher,” and so they are “again following their habit of knocking each title of Jesus down one notch.  These changes in the new versions accommodate several aspects of the agenda of the New World Order.  (1) They clear the footpath of ‘sectarian’ Christian vocabulary. (2) They emphasize those titles ascribed to the Antichrist—‘Christ’ and ‘Teacher.”  (3)  They accommodate the ‘historical’ Jesus in a manner that is acceptable to all the religions of the world, i.e., He is Jesus, one of a series of ‘Teachers’.”   Wow, all because the new versions choose the same word as used by New Agers!  (By the way, four of the cited passages in the new versions use the word “Rabbi” instead of “Teacher.”  I don't think New Agers use that word, but the complaint is that they replace “Master.”)

I began examining this claim by looking at Jay Green’s “Interlinear Bible,” which uses the same Greek text as does the KJV.  Green translated the Greek to “Teacher.”  The Greek word is Strong’s #1320, didaskalos, defined as meaning, “teacher, instructor, one who provides instruction, implying authority over the students or followers.
I also noticed that in Matthew 23:8, Mark 11:21, Mark 14:45, John 4:31, and John 11:8, the Greek says, “Rabbi,” yet the KJV translates it as “Master,” while Green puts “Rabbi”; is there a reason the the KJV translators chose to replace “Rabbi” with “Master”? — Perhaps anti-Semitism?

Another thing to remember is that in 1611 teachers were called “Master.”  Webster’s 1828 gives one of the definitions of “master” as, “The director of a school; a teacher; an instructor.  In this sense the word is giving place to the more appropriate words teacher, instructor and preceptor; at least so in the United States.”  So new version translators use the modern word “Teacher” over the archaic 1611 word “Master” and Riplinger charges them with using a New Age title?!?!  Would she prefer we return to calling our teachers “Master” in all our schools?  

The use of “Teacher” instead of “Master” is nothing more than updating language and has nothing to do with any “New Age” conspiracy.

2.  Riplinger then uses New Age teachers’ writings to show that they want to do away with “doctrines,” so that means new version translators had to change to “teachings.”  She says, “The Apostle Paul foresaw this drift toward ‘teachings’ and disdain for doctrine:  ‘For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers. . .’ II Timothy 4:3.  He knew that as mortar, ‘teachings’ were tenuous, as Webster writes, merely, ‘that which is taught.’  But doctrine is tenacious, ‘accepted as authoritative. . .dogmas that are true and beyond dispute.’

First, Riplinger emphasizes “doctrine” and “teachers” in the cited passage as if Paul was contrasting doctrines with teachings, which he certainly was NOT doing.

Secondly, referring to Webster’s 1828 dictionary, he says, “1. In a general sense, whatever is taught.  Hence, a principle or position in any science; whatever is laid down as true by an instructor or master.  The doctrines of the gospel are the principles or truths taught by Christ and his apostles.  The doctrines of Plato are the principles which he taught.  Hence a doctrine may be true or false; it may be a mere tenet or opinion.”  So where is the real difference between “teaching” and “doctrine”?  Apparently “doctrine” is a teaching specific to a particular science, which may or may not be true, and may be just an opinion; so much for being more “authoritative”!  

Webster says the words are essentially synonymous, so Riplinger's claim there is a New Age agenda, simply because new version translators prefer a word more easily understood in today’s culture, is easily dismantled.

Thirdly, the Greek word is Strong’s #1322, didache, defined as “(the activity or content of) teaching, instruction.”  And Jay Green, using the same Received Text as the KJV, translates the word as “teaching.”  Since Green’s philosophy about the underlying Greek text is right in line with Ripliner’s and other KJV-only types, he can hardly be accused of putting in “New Age” words so weaken biblical teachings.

3.  Riplinger’s two claims in this chapter have been demonstrated to be fallacious.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Husbands, Earn Access To Your Wife

Consider the fact that a woman has every right to expect that her husband will earn access to the marriage bed.  As the apostle Paul states, the husband and wife no longer own their own bodies, but each now belongs to the other (see 1 Corinthians 7:4).  At the same time, Paul instructed men  to love their wives even as Christ has loved the church (see Ephesians 5:25).  Even as wives are commanded to submit to the authority of their husbands (see verse 22), the husband is called to a far higher standard of Christlike love and devotion toward his wife.  Therefore, when I say that a husband must regularly "earn" privileged access to the marital bed, I mean that a husband owes his wife the confidence, affection, and emotional support that would lead her to freely give herself to her husband in the act of sex.

R. Albert Mohler, Jr., “Desire and Deceit: The Real Cost of Sexual Tolerance,” pg.38

Friday, November 27, 2015

If God is the Giver of Life, He Can Take It

If God exists as the Bible describes him, he is the giver of life and has complete authority to take it when and as he wills.  He could destroy the world by a flood or eliminate Sodom and Gomorrah by fire in a way that no human has the right or power to do.  If in the judgment of God the Jews were to be placed in a certain land so that they might prepare the way for the Messiah, he had the right to give them that land, as the earth is his.  If the original inhabitants had to be removed, both as punishment for their wickedness and to ensure that the Jews would be permanently establish in the land, God had the right to make that judgment.

Joseph Keysor, “Hitler, the Holocaust, and the Bible,” pg.45

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Work of Pastors Is To Build Up the Church

The work of the ministry is to build up the body of Christ.  It is the business of the ministers to build up the Church, not to build up themselves!  Alas! they have far too often built up themselves, and we read of princes of the Church living in positions of great wealth and pomp.  What an utter travesty that is of Paul’s teaching!  Let us note also that ministers are called to build up; not to please and to entertain.  The way in which they are to do this is summed up perfectly in that most lyrical passage in Acts 20.  The Apostle Paul was bidding farewell to the elders of the church at Ephesus, at the seaside, and this is what he said: “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified” (v.32).

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Christian Unity: An Exposition of Ephesians 4:1-16,” pg.202

Monday, November 23, 2015

Watch for False Prophets

False prophets can be very convincing.  However, while claiming to represent God, they misrepresent His Word.  Some may deliberately distort the truth.  Others are instruments of Satan because of their ignorance of the truth.  They present a form of religion but not the true faith; they bring people into bondage, not liberty; they exalt their ministry and not Christ; they smite the sheep rather than bring healing and still expect preferential treatment.  Their teaching does not exalt God, giving Him all honor, glory and praise.  Their message does not lead to reverent, joyous worship of God, who alone is worthy.  To one extent or another, they direct attention away from God as the very Source of Living Water.  False prophets obscure the clear distinction between the holiness of God and human sinfulness; the righteousness of God and human self-righteousness; the unconditional love of God and human conditional love; the One Mediator, Jesus Christ, and human mediators.

Gene & Grace Luxon, “Has the Truth Set You Free?,” pg. 273

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

When we wonder why Christians are so uneducated about their faith in just about every subject, all we have to do is look at our church libraries.  Every church I’ve been to has a huge section of novels (including too many “romance” novels) but relatively few books on theological matters.  Those books with meat instead of junk food are also rarely checked out.  Perhaps the churches should get rid of the novels and let their members go to the public libraries for those, and use the church library as a repository of knowledge about theological matters — and THEN promote it for learning!

Midwest Christian Outreach has an excellent article exposing the false teachings of Neil Anderson.  Anderson has put so many people into the bondage of fear.

An interesting incident with Beth Moore leads to more questions about her qualifications for teaching, let alone the unbiblical nature of her marital relationship when it comes to leadership and spiritual matters.  Yet hundreds of churches ardently promote her.

Do Christians have the authority to rebuke the devil?  Too many, especially in the charismatic churches, think they can rebuke the devil — and they are in grave error.

10 Questions about Adventism;  Good information about the SDA and why they are indeed a cult.

Awana is getting in to more and more dangerous ground.

What does the Bible say about false prophets?  Notice how much of this applies to Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Moonies, et al.

A scary cult to be on the lookout for:  Eastern Lightning.

Mike Bickle continues to prove how horrendous IHOP really is!

Speaking of IHOP, here is a very good video exposing some of their false teachings.

I agree — the “Sinner’s Prayer” is unbiblical nonsense.

Proper understanding and translation of Exodus 21:22-25 refutes pro-abortion advocates’ misuse of the passage to support abortion.

Finally, here is some blasphemy of great proportions.  There is no fear of God here.

Methods Must Be Congruent With Message

Christians can be infected by secular worldviews not only in their beliefs but also in their practices.  For example, a Christian church or ministry may be biblical in its message and yet fail to be biblical in its methods.  Hudson Taylor, the great missionary to China, said that the Lord’s work must be done in the Lord’s way, if it is to have the Lord’s blessing.  We must express the truth not only in what we preach but also in how we preach it.  A Christian organization may be doing the Lord’s work—but if it is acting on human zeal and willpower, using secular methods of promotion and publicity, without visible love among staff and coworkers, then it is merely another form of human achievement, accomplishing little for the Kingdom of God.

Nancy Pearcey, “Total Truth: Liberating Christianity From Its Cultural Captivity,” pg.361

Friday, November 20, 2015

Apologetics Involves Much

Apologetics involves not only defending the Christian faith but also critiquing other faiths or worldviews.  Part of the task of evangelism is to free people from the power of false worldviews by diagnosing the points where they fail to stack up against reality.  Just as Isaiah had to argue against the wooden idols of Old Testament times, showing how silly it was to bow down to the work of one’s own hands (Isa. 44:6ff), so today we have to deconstruct the conceptual idols that hold so many people captive.

Nancy Pearcey, “Total Truth: Liberating Christianity From Its Cultural Captivity,” pg.134

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Where Is the Discernment?

I was surprised this song was used in our service this week:

Holy Spirit Breathe On Me, by Jeff Nelson and Eddie Smith

Holy Spirit breathe on me 
Holy Spirit let me see 
All the things You are 
All the things You want me to be 
Holy Spirit breathe on me 

Can anyone find in Scripture where the Holy Spirit breathes on us?  The Spirit LIVES in the believer—He doesn’t breathe on us.  And just how does the Spirit let us see “all the things You are”?

The Spirit’s role in the Christian's life is to be our counselor and guide in our living.  And He always points to Jesus—not to Himself.

So I’d say this song’s lyrics really don’t make sense, are unbiblical, and should not be used in any worship service, let alone for personal devotion.

Where is the discernment?!?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Evangelism Must Start With Creation

If we start with a message of sin, without giving the context of Creation, then we will come across to nonbelievers as merely negative and judgmental.

Nancy Pearcey, “Total Truth: Liberating Christianity From Its Cultural Captivity,” pg. 88

Monday, November 16, 2015

Hammer In Truth to the Point of Death

A man who knows that the earth is round but lives among men who believe it to be flat ought to hammer in his doctrine of the earth’s roundness up to the point of arrest, imprisonment, or even death.  Reality will confirm him, and he is not so much testifying to the world as it is—which is worth nothing—as to Him who made the world, and Who is worth more than all things.

Hilaire Belloc,  cited by George Grant, "Grand Illusions: The Legacy of Planned Parenthood," pg.291

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

They are nice while they send you to hell.

Mysticism is spreading like wild fire in the Church, promising “close encounters” with God.  However, such mysticism is nothing less than regurgitated practices from pagan Eastern religions and have nothing to do with the Christian faith, let alone communicating with God.  Beware.

Another glaring example of the apostate condition of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Popular false teachers who are women.

Willow Creek is getting more and more apostate.

Part two review of Beth Moore’s Simulcast.

The teachings of Paul (David) Yonggi Cho are aberrant and sometimes dangerous.

Yes, Seventh-day Adventism is still a cult.

Another Roman Catholic honcho who should be excommunicated due to his promotion of homosexuality.  Yet Rome continues to ignore this type of apostasy.

Albert Mohler has a good commentary as to why we real Christians can’t accept the world’s modern view of human sexuality.

Gothard’s ATI education is twisted Scripture and legalistic nonsense.  Recovering grace has a series exposing ATI:  Introduction, chapter 1, chapter 2.  Looking for more in the future.

Another new heretical Bible, this time endorsed by the Hebrew Roots Movement.  SIGH!  (To read more about Hebrew Root, Marsha gives some good links at the bottom of the article.)

Finally, Joyce Meyer reads too much Joel Osteen.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Avoid Compromising Situations

It is important that we direct our thoughts toward God and keep them focused on Him.  And it is equally important how we choose the people with whom we relate.  People affect our thoughts.  We should surround ourselves with people who are focused on God and want to grow in the Lord as much as we do.  We have to be selective and sometimes says no to relationships with certain people—even if they seem exciting and interesting.  True excitement and friendship come through sharing our lives in Jesus Christ.  We cannot always choose whom we will spend our time with daily.  But we can focus on sharing our lives—and our struggles—with those who are also seeking a closer relationship with God.  . . . 

We must avoid putting ourselves in situations that compromise our moral convictions.  While we must be in the world, we do not have to let the world be in us.

James P. Gills, M.D., Imaginations: More Than You Think, ppg. 142-143

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Self-Discipline Is Important

In all walks of life, self-discipline makes the difference between people who succeed and those who fail.  But how does discipline apply to faith?  Discipline takes what we know in our heads and hearts and applies it in our life choices.  Discipline makes the difference between knowledge (what we know) and wisdom (how we live).  . . .

When we are tempted with thoughts that are inconsistent with Kingdom principles, we must discipline our minds to move on to godly thoughts.  We must discipline our minds to focus on good thoughts of eternal significance.  We can’t dwell on those thoughts that are not full of faith.  Not one else can control one’s mind.  We each have to take responsibility for our thoughts and train ourselves on guiding and implementing those thoughts.

We must have spiritual discipline to follow God’s commands.  Yet our obedience is not to be practiced out of a sense of duty.  Our obedience should flow from the love we feel for Him and our desire to live in His promises: “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” — John 15:10

James P. Gills, M.D., Imaginations: More Than You Think, ppg. 118-119

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Greatest Choice

Life is full of choices.  The greatest choice of all is choosing what we will think.  We choose how we control our minds.  We are responsible for what we think and what we do with our thoughts.  And we are responsible for the results of our thoughts.  When we decide what we will allow to motivate us, we decide what kind of people we will be.

We chose whether  to be positive of negative, angry, violent, depressed, or worried.  We choose to either be constructive, using emotions that build us up, or to be negative, using emotions that damage us and those around us.  We choose to be satisfied in God’s promises or to be selfish, filled with worldly desires.

Most importantly, we choose either eternal life with Jesus Christ or eternity without Him based on choosing to align ourselves with God in this life.

James P. Gills, M.D., Imaginations: More Than You Think, pg. 108

Monday, November 9, 2015

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

Unitarians Counterfeiting Christ” is what one blogger calls this “church,” while I prefer to just call the UCC the church of Satan.  The fact that they still pretend to be Christian is an abomination to God and an insult to every true believer.

Idolatry seems to be the thing at Steven Furtick’s Elevation Church (by 1 Nov they made the video private - too embarrassed, I suppose).  Furtick is a goatherd heretic, and these goats worship him!  And he has a coloring book for the kids with some real propaganda!

God is unable to condemn?!?  Another proof that the Pope is a minion of the devil.  Loving does not negate condemnation.

Some of the popular heretical books Christians are buying, promoting, and supporting.

My Pastor Can Beat Up Your Pastor.”  Excellent summary of how to become a mega-church “pastor.”

Why Neil left the Methodist Church is the reason EVERYONE should leave.  I’ve posted many articles over the years which point out the apostasy of this denomination (except for the “Not reformed” bit).

And lastly, it seems we have a new “prophet” — Paul McGuire — in the NAR!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Play In Garbage and You Get Dirty

It makes sense that if we play in a garbage pile, we are going to get dirty.  If we allow garbage—worldly thoughts and vain imaginations—to fill our minds, we will become worldly. . . .  This battle for the mind is the most important fight of our lives because the choices we make, influenced by our thoughts and imaginations, determine our eternal destiny.

James P. Gills, M.D., Imaginations: More Than You Think, ppg. 97, 98

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Spiritual Conditioning

We must mature spiritually just as we mature physically and emotionally.  In order to mature physically, we need nutrition and conditioning.  Maturing spiritually is no different.  Spiritual nutrition comes from the Word of God.  Spiritual conditioning comes from aligning our thoughts and actions with His will.

James P. Gills, M.D., Imaginations: More Than You Think, pg.25

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Pew Should Not Control the Pulpit

Far too often the pew has controlled the pulpit, and great harm has come in the Church.  The Apostle warns Timothy that a time is coming when people “will not endure sound doctrine.” This is frequently the case at the present time, and has been so during this present [20th] century.  So it is important that every member of the Church should have a true conception of the Church and the office of the ministry in particular.

There are churches in the world today which appear on the surface to be very flourishing.  People crowd into them and they display much zeal and enthusiasm.  But on closer examination you will find that most of the time is taken up with music of various types, and with clubs and societies and social activities.  The service starts at 11 a.m. and must finish promptly at 12 noon.  There will be real trouble if it does not!  There is but a brief “address” of some quarter of an hour’s duration, twenty minutes as a maximum.  The unfortunate minister, if he does not see these things clearly, is afraid to go against the wishes of the majority, his livelihood depends upon church members, and the result is that everything is made to conform to the desires and wishes of the pew. . . . 

The history of the Church shows clearly that it is when the pew, the listeners, exert such powerful influence and when ministers lacking courage have been so bound, that the Word of God has not been truly preached and the Church has become dead and lifeless.  The pew does not dictate to the minister as to what he is to do.

But let me add that the minister also must not dictate.  it is the Lord Himself who determines, He who is seated at the right hand of God and who has given “some, apostles; some, prophets; some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.”  He has given them for the edification of the members of the Church, and it is His message that is to be preached without fear or favour.  We need to recapture something of the spirit of John Knox whose preaching caused Queen Mary of Scots to tremble.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Christian Unity: An Exposition of Ephesians 4:1-16,” pg.201-202