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, November 29, 2016

Another Trite One

As noted in the past, some of the newer songs used in our assemblies can have some okay lyrics while still being trite, and especially if they are used to manufacture emotions.

This week we opened our service with two songs.  The second one was the solid old hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”  It followed a “chorus” which I assume was to be a lead-in for it, and that first song is the topic of this post.

The song in discussion is Chris Falson’s “I See the Lord.”  Take a look at the lyrics (which, by the way, we sang and then repeated - just in case you missed the idea the first time you sang it!):

I see the Lord seated on the throne, exalted
And the train of His robe
Fills the temple with glory
And the whole earth is filled
The whole earth is filled
And the whole earth is filled
With His glory


Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy
Holy is the Lord
Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy
Holy is the Lord

Verse again

Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy
Holy is the Lord

Well, we repeated the whole thing, so it wasn’t done exactly as shown here (lyrics acquired from the Internet).

Now, I found the background for this song at Isaiah 6, so the words are sort of from the Bible.  But there is one BIG problem:  Isaiah was reporting on a vision of the Lord which he had, and neither the song-writer nor anyone singing this song has seen a vision of the Lord!  So right off the bat the song is a lie, a figment of the song-writer’s imagination, and disqualified from being sung in the congregation!

While the first three lines are from Isaiah 6:1, the second three lines comes from Isaiah 6:3b:  the whole earth is full of his glory.

Ah, but the lyricist had to get repetitious, with “the whole earth is filled” three times!!  Why stop there? Couldn’t you manufacture more emotion if you repeated it a few more times?!??!  Is this not similar to a vainly repetitious prayer?

We really need to quit using such trite songs in our worship!!

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Wrath and Vengeance of God

Even Christians who are firmly convinced of the authority and inspiration of the Scriptures tend to minimize, or explain away, descriptions of the wrath and vengeance of God such as Nahum presented here.  While it may not be appropriate to use such passages when first approaching people with a view to persuading them of the truth of the Bible, eventually there comes a time when we cannot avoid the question of how God’s wrath and vengeance are related to His love.  Pursuing these connections requires thought, courage, and a willingness to come to know God as He is and not as we might wish Him to be.  

Conversion to the faith of Christ is not simply a matter of “asking Jesus to come into your heart.”  It involves a metanoia (the NT word for repentance), which means, literally, a “change of mind.”  In other words, becoming a believer involves adopting a new worldview, or perspective on reality.  The modern Western worldview has blurred distinctions between right and wrong, and within such a perspective there is no place for the wrath and judgment of God.  But when one’s perspective changes, and it becomes evident that God is a moral force to be reckoned with, then it becomes equally apparent that serious consequences ensue for those who attempt to live without regard for His plan for human life (see Rm 1:16-32).

Commentary on Nahum 1:2-6, The Apologetics Study Bible.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

“Gays,” Lesbians, and “Transgenders” - What Do I Think About Them?

Although this blog is ostensibly about exposing false teachings and false teachers, my “Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies” posts often address assemblies or teachers who are going against God and sanctioning homosexuality.  Additionally, I’ve written a couple posts explaining what the Bible says about homosexual behavior.

Sexual deviations of every sort are becoming more and more mainstream, as we should expect in this fallen world where Satan is taking God’s great gift of sex, and degrading it in every way possible.  However, it is a virtual cultic movement within the Church at large which claims God sanctions homosexuality and “transgenderism.”  There is in fact a homosexual denomination (Metropolitan Community Church) which is nothing more than a cult of homosexuality.

When Christians discuss the problem of homosexuality, the normal response from the secular world, and, sadly, from other Christians, is hostility.  Like other believers, I have been accused of having all sorts of beliefs about discriminating against those who practice homosexual behavior.  Very little of what I have been accused of is even close to the truth.  So in my defense I am going to spell out exactly what my stance is, and what I would assume would be the stance of all REAL Christians.

First, there is no such thing as a “homosexual” - there are people who practice homosexual behavior.  The problem is that these people want to be identified by their sexual proclivities.  I don’t even like the word “gay” for men, because a gay person is one who is cheerful or happy — something those who practice homosexuality rarely seem to be.  For convenience sake, I normally use the word “gay” for men, but it will always be with the quotation marks.  However, also for convenience in this post, I will use “gays” to mean both males and females who practice homosexual behavior.

To make a point, adulterers don’t go around saying, “I’m an adulterer—and I want your respect for my disloyalty to my spouse.”  Nor do those who visit prostitutes go around saying, “I am a whore-monger and I want you to respect my immorality.”  So why do those who practice homosexual behavior feel they have to say, “I am ‘gay’ and you have to respect my sexual behavior”?  I don’t really care what your sexual proclivities are as long as you don’t try to force me to accept them or sanction them.

What about the people themselves—how do I feel about them?  No, I am not prejudiced against them.  They are people like anyone else and I feel the same way about them as people as I do anyone else.  I have worked alongside many in my career—and I know they were because they just had to tell me they were, as if I cared.  As long as they didn’t discuss their sex life I couldn't care less that they worked along side me.  I was more interested in whether they were able to do the job.  I can be friendly with a “gay” just as I can be friendly with an adulterer or a fornicator; as long as none of them want my approval for their sexual activities I don’t care what they do.

Let’s take a short break and make the point that I do not hate “gays,” nor do I fear them, nor am I a bigot against them.  Not wanting to sanction someone’s behavior or ideology doesn’t mean one hates them or is a bigot against them, and certainly not that they fear them.

Do I believe “gays” and lesbians should have the same civil rights as I do?  I certainly do, but not all of what they are now calling “civil rights” truly are.  It is NOT a civil right to marry someone of the same sex—that isn’t a marriage no matter how many liberal, activist judges try to redefine the word.  They can call a dandelion a rose and it remains a dandelion nevertheless.  They can call same-sex unions a rose yet they remain dandelions nevertheless.  It is also NOT a civil right to adopt children.  Children NEED both a mother and father; just because real-life situations lead to children being deprived of one or the other, that doesn’t make it right to intentionally place them in that situation just to serve some politically-correct social engineering ideology.

Do I think “gays” and lesbians, or even add other misnomers such as “transgender,” should be deprived of employment?  Normally, no.  However, there are some jobs where it would not be right to force the employer to accept them, such as any religious organization which reserves the right to not hire those people who are participating in serious sinful activities.  In other words, if they wouldn’t hire a gambler, an adulterer, a fornicator, a drunk, etc, they shouldn’t be forced to hire “gays.”  Boy Scouts should not be forced to have “gay” members who are open about their sexual behavior—this would be analogous to having a male Girl Scout member.  If a person is open about their homosexual behavior and wants to be able to discuss it in classroom settings, then they should not be allowed to be part of the public school system.  And I certainly don’t think it is right to have “gays” in the military; it causes all sorts of problems, including the forcing of people to accept their behavior as right and proper or be disciplined and perhaps drummed out of service.  And a college student shouldn’t be forced to have a “gay” roommate.  

What about providing services to “gays”?  Normally they should be treated just as anyone else.  However, if the service they seek will require the server to appear in any way to sanction their same-sex relationships, then the service provider should be allowed to refuse service.  For example, a wedding photographer such as the case in New Mexico should not have to participate in their ceremony celebrating their union.  Nor should a counselor be forced to give counsel to “gays” about helping their relationships.  Nor should a musician be forced to play for ceremonies celebrating same-sex unions.  Nor should a land-lord who would not rent or provide lodging for unmarried couples be forced to provide lodging for same-sex couples.  Nor should anyone be forced to provide a reception hall for same-sex celebrations. Nor should a dating service be forced to accommodate “gays.”  All these sorts of things would imply sanctioning of such unions.  Also, doctors who provide fertilization services should not be forced to provide them to unmarried heterosexuals or any “gays.”  Personal conscience rights should not be legislated against.  Remember, discriminating against an activity is NOT discriminating against the person.  (After all, the florist who has lost everything provided service to her “gay” customers many, many times; she just didn’t want to provide service for their “wedding.”  So she never discriminated against the person, it was just against ONE activity.)

Let me give a personal example.  I play for all sorts of ceremonies and festivities, from weddings to funerals to parties, etc.  But there are places or activities for which I will not play if it will appear I approve of them.  I will not play for a non-Christian funeral service IF they want Christian music.  I will never play for any Freemason celebration (I won’t play for anything in a Masonic building).  I will not play for religious services of any sort for cults.  I will not play for bachelor parties if they will be having immoral activities. I have refused to play in a parade with the Democratic party.  I once turned down an Irish “hand-fasting ceremony” (a 3-some union).  And I certainly will not play for any same-sex celebration.  But guess what I will be called out on—only for not wanting to play for a same-sex celebration.  Just like the photographers in NM who had a whole list of things in which they refused to participate—only the refusal of the same-sex celebration was found to violate the law.  And yet the claim by the LEFT is that this isn’t special rights!

Public schools should not teach anything about homosexuality or “transgenderism,” especially not in any grade below the high school level.  There is absolutely no need to teach about abnormal human sexuality in school.  Nor should anyone who disagrees with same-sex unions be forced to take any “sensitivity” training or “diversity” training to force them to change their minds about such behavior.  And the government definitely should NOT be sanctioning or promoting “gay” and “transgender” lifestyles in any fashion!

There should be no “hate speech” or “hate crime” laws based on sexual orientation.  This gives extra punishment for thoughts.  The crime should be judged on the basis of it being a crime, not given extra punishment based on the use of a pejorative word or thought.  And no one should be punished or even fired for saying they believe homosexual behavior is wrong; they wouldn’t be treated that way if they said adultery or fornication is wrong, which demonstrates another example of “gays” demanding special treatment.

By the same token, no one should bully or attack a “gay” or “transgender” person for that reason.  That is clearly wrong.

Any inheritance rights, hospital visitation rights, etc, which are automatic with married people can be provided to “gay” people through legal arrangements.  However, insurance of any type through an employer should not be provided to same-sex unions; these benefits are for the promotion of the traditional family unit which is the bedrock foundation of society.  The same goes for any annuities earned through employment or social security (social security should be dismantled anyway - it is unconstitutional).

No, I do not think homosexuality and pedophilia are the same, and have never intimated such.  When I compare the two sexual behaviors, it is to demonstrate logic fallacies of saying one is okay but the other isn’t.  If you make a moral judgement that one is okay, you can not logically be consistent and say the other isn’t.  The claim that pedophilia is different because it is illegal doesn’t hold water; sodomy was also once illegal.

There should not be such things as “gay pride” parades, school events, etc.  All that says it that the person’s identity is their sexual behavior.  No other sexual orientation seeks such recognition.  Keep the homosexual agenda out of the schools, and if you want a parade then don’t dress like a bunch of perverts.  If homosexual behavior truly is a normal lifestyle, then why dress and behave in such a perverted fashion?  Why not dress and act like any other person walking down the street?

It is not “brave” or “courageous” to “come out” as “gay,” and no one should be promoting “gays” or “transgenders” as heroes or role models based on their sexual identity; there is nothing heroic or brave about practicing abnormal sexual activities or pretending you are a member of the opposite sex.

The bottom line is that in the majority of life there is no reason to tell people what your sexual orientation or proclivities are.  Just do your job, go about life and no one cares what you do in the privacy of your home.  The problem comes about when you tell everyone you are “gay” and then want them to approve your sexual orientation and behavior with special rights and special treatment based on it.  And demanding marriage is where the line is crossed, as is demanding adoption and proclaiming your agenda in public school and having laws forcing people to do your bidding.

No, I do not want to outlaw homosexual behavior.  I just don’t want to have laws sanctioning it and forcing citizens to give personal sanction.  There is a big difference between the two issues.

Also, there are many, especially uninformed or liberal “Christians” who say that all sin is equal and that focusing on one particular sexual sin is hypocritical.  Well I hate to burst their bubble, but all sins are only equal in that any sin condemns one to spiritual death and eternal damnation unless they have a savior named Jesus who took the payment of their sin for them.  BUT some sins certainly are worse than others; God demonstrated that when Noah walked off the ark and was told that punishment for murder was the death penalty.  Under the laws of the theocracy of Israel, adultery and bestiality and homosexual behavior were also capital crimes.  These sins are indeed seen as more serious.  Paul, in 1 Corinthians 6:18 says that sexual sins are worse than other sins because all other sins are outside the body but sexual sins are against the body.

One final thing about this situation: Those who practice homosexual behavior or who mutilate their bodies for pretending to be members of the opposite sex are spiritually lost.  What they need from Christians is not condemnation of their sin (refusing to approve of it is not condemning them), rather they need to be shown that they are sinners in need of salvation just like any other non-believer.

I will not entertain discussion about this post because I think I’ve covered the issue well.

P.S.  Christians are asked why we focus on homosexuality and "transgenderism" and not all the other sins.  We aren't the ones focusing on it; we are only responding to what is being forced upon us.  No one else is trying to force us to accept their sin, no one else is bringing in the force of the law to make us provide services, or having us fired, etc.  Think about that.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

We often shop at Hobby Lobby for various craft items.  Hobby Lobby is owned by a supposed Christian family, but I have noticed over the years that Hobby Lobby is right there with Family Christian Stores when it comes to propagating heresy and false teachings of every sort.  Books they sell right up by the checkouts are about fake heaven visits, the “Jesus Calling” fraud, books by Beth Moore, T.D. Jakes, et al.  I’ve yet to see anything in their book racks which is orthodox and edifying.  To retailers, even those who claim the name of Christ, money seems to be more important than defending the faith.  Sad.

Speaking false teachers:  NAR false prophet Shawn Bolz is going after children to brainwash them into his cultic ideology.

And speaking of the NAR, are there really apostles today and is there a need?  Absolutely NOT!  Here is a good study of the claims and a rebuttal to them.

The Assemblies of God denomination seems to be heading in a downward spiral to totally apostasy.

Testimony exposing the behavior of Clayton Jennings.   Followed by another one.  Why he should NEVER be considered for any ministry.

I’ve said many times that sports has become the American idol.

And we think some of the false teachers in OUR country do foolish, dangerous, and insane things!

Beth Moore and Hillsong join forces; two aberrant and heretical peas in a pod.

Just as Jesus told us would happen, many false christs have come.

I’m sorry, Ebony, but this woman shouldn’t have been a pastor to start with.  Judging her sin is exactly what Christians are supposed to do.

What Bill Gothard and his followers still don’t get about grace.

The Sabbath examined.  Similar to my examination.

Mennoknight has posted the last episode in his series on “Generational Curses.”

What you don’t know about the Salvation Army is that they are a weird cult preaching the social gospel at your expense.  I am looking forward to part 2.  (Note — a major part of the problem this author has with S.A. is that they aren’t Calvinists; I agree with S.A. on this point.)

Moralistic Therapeutic Deism — a major religion claiming to be Christian.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Awana Concerns, Part 2

This is an examination of the Awana 6th Grade Bible study book on Acts, Trek: His People.  As with the 3rd grade book, there are a lot of inane requests for the student to draw pictures and such busy work, including photographing things, which have nothing to do with the topic.  There is also a lot of focus on having the student to be serving the church in some way and making him feel guilty if he isn’t.  Due to the fact that our culture keeps children immature and childish until long after college, 6th-graders as a whole are not really equipped to do much service for the church, and it is unfair — and inappropriate — to put such pressures on them.  While a large percentage of the text of this book is just fine, the bad sections are like a drop of cyanide in a glass of water.

Here is my page-by-page analysis of problems with the 6th-grade text.

Page 3.  Discussing how God used numerous people to preach the gospel: He wouldn’t use a single person but rather teams and teams of people.  Fellowships would reach the world with His message.  This life that He created for us would only function best according to His original design when He said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.
This is a blatant abuse and misuse of Scripture.  This passage in Genesis has ONE meaning and that was to give the man Adam a “helpmeet” - a mate, a companion.  It is about giving man a woman, so that the entire human race would have men with women so as to not be alone, and it was in the context of the union of these two as a beginning of the institution of marriage.  Using this passage the way this “study” does teaches a horrible hermeneutic principle.

Page 3.  They would begin to establish the kingdom of God here on earth…
Luke 17:21 says that “the kingdom of God is in your midst.” (NIV)  
The apostles were not establishing what Christ already said was here.

Page 4.  As with the 3rd grade text, this one also has inane busy work to supposedly teach a lesson about the Church.  Page 4 gives three choices of a “mission” for the student to “complete an act of service” for someone.  The choices are to help someone in your home “like washing dishes and folding all the laundry,” or to help “Someone in your community (like donating clothing or food to a shelter),” or to help “Someone in the world (like sending a care package to a local missionary through your church).”
This is nothing more than the social gospel and has absolutely nothing to do with the study of the book of Acts.  The next page is about asking a leader or parent for other ideas, what you did, what abilities you used and what your “mission outcome” was.  The student was also told to “Think about how your mission would be accomplished differently if combined with the abilities of other people in your group.”  This is a total waste of the student’s time because it has noting to do with Acts.

Page 6.  [Luke] also tells us what Jesus said to His followers before He left: “Don’t go anywhere. This story is only just beginning. Wait till you see what happens next!”  
I’d really like to know where they find this in the Bible.  The book doesn’t say this is a paraphrase, rather the implication is that this is a quote.  Then it says, Specifically, Jesus gave them a mission: “Go and tell My story to the world.”  Again, implying this is a direct quote, especially with the use of the word “specifically.” This is very poor teaching, adding to what the Bible actually says.

Page 7.  Luke became one of those super-powered gospel tellers.  
Um, no.  He did not have super powers.  This is a childish way to explain the facts. 

Page 9What has God asked you to do with His power?  Why would we ever try to do what He asks without His power?  
Is the book suggesting that the students are receiving direct revelation from God asking them to do something?  How are they supposed to know what God has asked them to do, besides what the Bible says all Christians are to do?  This sounds very much like they are promoting charismatic beliefs.

Page 37.  A key part of church life is fellowship, especially eating and praying together.  
I don’t find anywhere in Scripture where it says eating together is a key part of fellowship life.  Perhaps the author misunderstood the communion as being “eating” together.  The Bible does point out that the N.T. believers did eat together, but that doesn’t mean it is a “key part.”
Work with one of your parents to help prepare a meal for your family.  You don’t have to do everything but you should participate in cooking, setting the table, and serving the food.  Also, before you begin eating, say a prayer of blessing over the food.  If possible, take a picture of the food and the table before you eat together
What has any of this to do with Christian fellowship?  Nothing.  They took the idea that eating together is an important part of fellowship and transferred it to helping with a meal at home.  This is teaching poor biblical hermeneutics.  And what about taking a photo of the food?!?!  Busy work to do what with — post on Facebook?

Page 38.  Remember J.R.R. Tolkiens’s first book in the Lord of the Rings series? It’s called “The Fellowship of the Ring,” and it’s the story of nine very different people on a journey together to accomplish a specific and dangerous mission.
Seriously? How many 6th graders have read the book?  Few, I’m guessing.  Possibly by this age they’ve seen the movie, but my guess is that most have not.  Using a worldly story with which they may not even be familiar is a poor example for an analogy about a “fellowship.”

Page 41The early Christians didn’t go to church. They did life together in all kinds of ways.  They thought of themselves as belonging to Christ and to each other.  They rearranged their schedules and their finances and their relationships to be there for each other.
Yes they did “go to church” in the same way we “go to church” — they assembled together in various places just as we do.  Did they “rearrange” their schedules to do so?  We have no evidence of this so this is just something the authors made up. 

Page 49.  A man unable to walk from the day he was born asks Peter for money.  Instead, Peter heals the man in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.  It’s no wonder all the people were filled with wonder and amazement.  Jesus might have walked past this man numerous times during His years on earth.  What are some possible reasons that He didn’t heal the man until this moment?
Now the author of this book speculates that Jesus walked by a cripple and ignored him.  There is absolutely no biblical warrant for this, let alone speculations as to why Jesus ignored Him!  This is horrendous teaching!

Page 50.  Peter and John got busted by the Jewish religious leaders for healing and teaching in the name of Jesus.
“Busted”?!?!  What sort of dumbing down language is this?!?!  All the leaders did was to bring Peter and John before them and challenge them to no longer teach or speak in Jesus’ name, and threatened them to stop.  No one was “busted.”

Page 53.  A couple weeks ago you helped make dinner for your family.  Now it’s time to make lunch for a friend. Contact a friend and tell him you want to make lunch for him tomorrow.  Ask him what he would like to eat (based on the food you have in your house).  Make the lunch and bring it to him.
You then need to record your experience and take a photo of your friend with the food, just like they had the student do with the family meal!!  What has this to do with learning about the Church?!?!?  What if the student is living in a home where they are doing good just to have food for themselves?!?!  Ostensibly the idea is to learn generosity, but you don’t contrive situations to teach that.  This is just more busy work which reeks of the social gospel.

Page 57.  In what way does your church serve the poor in your community?
The context of this is, of course, regarding how the early church shared resources among one another.  First, we have to remember that this is descriptive rather than prescriptive.  It was because the Christians had to stick together to survive where they were being quickly seen as outcasts.  Nevertheless, the poor in the local community shouldn’t be a focus of the Church unless they have already taken care of the poor IN THE CHURCH (Gal. 6:9-10).  Too often churches are all about helping the poor, but it is the social gospel they are preaching and they ignore the needy within their own or neighboring congregation.

Page 58.  What are you doing right now in your life to use what you have to meet the needs of others in the church?
What a load to put on a 6th-grader!!!  I don’t know how much a 6th-grader can meet the needs of other people in the assembly.  It really has no bearing in regards to Acts 4:36-37.  The forced analogies of this book are terrible!

Page 60.  This brand-new Church would be committed to the Word of God, spend their time eating and praying … 
What is with the authors of this book and eating?!?!  Of course everyone has to eat, but that is not what distinguished the Church — they did not spend their time eating!  

Page 87.  Make a list of ways you could use those skills or hobbies [in the previous section] to contribute to the needs of your church.
Sixth-graders should not be looking for how they can help their local assembly, rather they should be concentrating on how they can help their family.

Page 91How are you serving others in your church?  And if you’re not, what are you waiting for?
How about waiting to be older than a sixth-grader so as to have some discernment and understanding of the whole assembled community?  What if the parents attend but are not involved and the student has no transport to the church building?  This puts a load of unnecessary guilt on the student.

Page 92.  Don’t wait for the perfect job for you.  Start serving, and see what God does in your life. … In what ways could you free up your church leaders to be more effective?
As stated previously, this is a real burden to put on a 6th-grader.  Really, how does an 11- or 12-year-old student “free up…church leaders to be more effective”?!?

Page 95.  Find out what events had to have happened to make you part of your family.  Ask your parents/guardians: “What event in your past, if it never happened, would have changed the course of your life so much that I wouldn’t exist?”  Record the story below.
A perfect example of inane busy work.  There is only ONE event which would prevent the child from existing and that would be that his parents never met or married.  It is ridiculous to even ask such a question, and it has nothing to do with studying the book of Acts.

Page 99.  Why do you think people who claim to believe in and follow God so often reject and rebel against the leaders God gives them?
There are bad assumptions here.  Number one, who says the leaders were given by God rather than allowed by God?  Two, what if the leaders have become false teachers or are false teachers to begin with? What if the leaders get caught up in gross sin?  Shouldn’t these be causes for rejection and rebelling against their leadership?

Page 201.  Connecting with others is part of what humanity was created to do.  Remember back in the garden when God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone”?  We were created to live life with others….
This is abusing Scripture.  As noted when the same passage was abused on page 3, that passage has one meaning, and that is that man (Adam) needed a “helper suitable for him”; it was about making woman (Eve) as a companion for man.  Abusing this passage in this manner teaches students a poor way of interpreting Scripture.

Page 254.  If you have a brother or sister, then you probably realize that you’re never going to get rid of them.
What about families which have split and siblings never see each other again?  What about when, as adults, siblings cut off all contact for various reasons?  There may be students in such situations; the person writing this statement used very poor judgment when dealing with 6th-graders.

The Awana program is ostensibly for Christian children and children of Christian parents.  It is true that many unbelievers or those from unbelieving families attend, but that isn’t the focus — nor should it be.

Awana should not just be about Bible verse memorization, rather it should also be about teaching proper ways to interpret Scripture.  When the authors of these books abuse Scripture they teach the students to also make the Scripture say what they want it to say.  Awana should also teach discernment, but when the authors add to the teachings of Scripture their own ideas, then they are teaching the students to do the same.

Lastly, 11- and 12-year-olds are able to learn deeper understandings of the Bible and do not need “dumbed-down” lessons with games and drawings and taking photos (what if the student doesn’t even have a camera?), nor do they need feel-good self-focused exercises.

Awana needs to seriously consider cleaning up these textbooks and teach what the Bible says and how to understand it, and leaving out all the fluff and nonsense.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Lord Needs Bulldozers

Brethren, the time has come, once again, for the Church and her preachers to take heart and play the part of men in the face of the world’s whirling winds.  We will need the steadfastness of John.  Congregations need pastors who will dare to preach to them, not merely opine.  Pastors who, like John, will look their people in the eyes and tell them the truth about sin, faith, death, sex, marriage, faithfulness, virtue, and truth; who will call sin “sin,” and point sinners to Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away their sins; the Lamb hidden for them to eat in the bread and the chalice.  We need the ministry of John, that the Church dare to stand apart from the world for the sake of the world; to look, speak, and act differently from every other place in the world for the sake of engaging the world with a Gospel not of this world.  We all need Pastor John’s preaching in our lives, to bulldoze our idols and make plain to us our priorities.  To call us out into the wilderness to repent and believe our Baptism.  To give us a joy for which we will gladly lose our heads.

Joshua Hayes,  Gottensdienst 24.4
“Stolen” from Steve Bricker.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

Spiritual Formation at Worship.  How this movement shows up in many churches, and who is behind it all.

Clayton Jennigs update.  And the plot thickens.  Oh, and now we have an apology video!  As if that restores him to ministry?!?!? Notice how it is similar to the second video — looks like just part of his normal acts, and very narcissistic.  The man should be forever barred from ministry of any kind. 

Calvary Chapel is slowly sinking.

Joel Osteen needs to be careful about abusing Scripture.

Another good article about nonsensical spiritual warfare.  Don’t neglect to listen to the half-hour program at the bottom of the page.

I’m not the only one saying 2 Chronicles 7:14 isn’t for Christians.

Stop using “The Message”!  It’s a MESS.

More testimonies about the cult of World Race and Adventures in Missions.

Bill Johnson’s heresies at Bethel church.

Catholics and their worship of relics is totally unbiblical superstitious nonsense.

The more I learn about Michael Brown, the more I have to warn against him!!!  His manipulation tactics have been identified.

Homosexuality is invading more and more assemblies where the leadership is more concerned about being politically-correct than about protecting their flocks.  “As in the days of Noah…”

Shunning — an example of the cultic nature of the Amish.

As I’ve written in the past, Seventh-day Adventism is a cult.  But when there is not even a pretense of Christianity, it is hard to understand why people stay in it.  Can you just imagine Jesus or Paul having “interfaith” celebrations?!?

And finally, Fred Butler has posted his review of chapter one of heretic Hugh Ross’ book, Navigating Genesis.