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

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Psychology is the Antithesis of Christianity

Why is psychology taught in seminaries and Bible colleges? Because the modern church has abandoned the Scriptures as the final authority for faith and life. How ironic that even secular critics of psychology are being ignored by seminaries even though “there is a growing band of psychologists and psychiatrists warning the churches that they have bought tainted goods, and urging them to reappropriate a peculiarly Biblical wisdom about mental and spiritual health.”

Rather than heeding the warnings about psychological infiltration, seminary leaders react with defensive hostility. They have not only allowed the camel’s nose to sneak under the tent, but they have welcomed the entire double-humped beast into their dwelling with open arms and a warm kiss.

Ed Bulkley, Ph.D., Why Christians Can’t Trust Psychology, pg.222

Monday, September 28, 2020

To Become a Christian Means to Change

If conversion to Christianity makes no improvement in a man’s outward actions—if he continues to be just as snobbish or spiteful or envious or ambitious as he was before—then I think we must suspect that his “conversion” was largely imaginary; and after one’s original conversion, every time one thinks one has made an advance, the is the test to apply. Fine feelings, new insights, greater interest in “religion” mean nothing unless they make our actual behavior better; just as in illness “feeling better” is not much good if the thermometer shows that your temperature is still going up.

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, pg. 207

Thursday, September 24, 2020

2 Chronicles 7:14 is NOT for the Christian

Almost 10 1/2 years ago I posted this article but with the upcoming election I continue to see 2 Chronicles 7:14 being used out of context to claim we have promises of God to heal our country. So here it is again to demonstrate that this passage has nothing to do with Christians and the USA.

This morning I received another one of those e-mails misusing 2 Chronicles 7:14, with the claim that if we all humble ourselves, pray, repent and turn to God, He will heal our nation. Well, it sounds good and makes everyone feel good to pass this on, but is it true? Let’s look at the actual passage in the New King James Version:

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves , and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Okay, let’s examine this passage and see if there is any application at all to the USA and our current national problems.

Chapter 7 is about the dedication of the new temple Solomon had built in Jerusalem. But it follows chapter 6, which includes a lengthy prayer by Solomon beseeching God to hear the nation when they sin if they turn back to God and repent. After all the ceremony, which took place over several days, God appeared to Solomon at night (7:12) and responded to his prayer. Now, let’s look again at our passage in context, starting at verse 13:

“When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

First and foremost verse 14 is predicated on verse 13 (which itself is a response to Solomon’s prayer). WHEN God brings a curse/discipline on Israel, IF Israel repents, etc, THEN God will bring back the blessings. This is a promise to fulfill the prayer request of Solomon.

So, the promise of vs. 14 will be God’s action when Israel properly responds to God’s discipline. Now an important thing to remember is that, from the beginning of the Mosaic covenant with Israel, there was a condition of obedience in order to be blessed. We can see this condition in passages such as Leviticus 26:3-46 where God gives an “if, then” promise: IF Israel is careful to obey God’s commands, THEN God will give them physical blessings. In Deuteronomy chapters 28-30 we find that if Israel obeys God, their blessings will include children, crops, increased livestock, peace in the land, prosperity, and establishment as God’s holy people. In those same chapters we learn that if Israel disobeyed God’s commands, then God would bring discipline - curses - upon them, which would result in a lack of children, poor crops, enemies triumphing over them, poverty, and they would be scattered.

So let’s look at vs 14 with a couple annotations by me: If My people [Israel] who are called by My name will humble themselves , and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land [in accordance with My covenant promises].

We know that the Old Testament is indeed for our instruction (Romans 15:4), but not every promise in it applies to the Christian; many were directed to specific individuals and incidents. Yes, Christians are now God’s people (and Israel also still is), and as a general rule, we know that God blesses those who obey him and disciplines those who disobey. But the promise of 2 Chronicles was a specific promise to a specific nation based on a specific covenant and in response to a specific prayer. Christians can not claim any part of this promise.

The promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14 is based on the covenant between God and Israel; it is not based on God and any other nation or people. When the passage talks about God’s people, it is not about anyone but Israel. The USA has never been God’s people; only the nation of Israel has borne that title. Christians are indeed God’s people, but not as a nation. The promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14 is NOT for Christians.

Christian men and women, please use discernment and quit using this passage for political purposes. This passage is not about America and God has given no such promises to us no matter how much Christians would like to think so.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Lust vs Love

Lust is in opposition to love. It means to set your heart and passions on something forbidden. And for a believer it’s the first step out of fellowship with the Lord and with others. That’s because every object of your lust—whether it’s a young coworker or a film actress, or coveting after a half-million dollar house or a sports car—represents the beginning of a lie. This person or thing that seems to promise sheer satisfaction is more like a bottomless pit of unmet longings. 

Lust always breeds more lust. “What is the source of the wars and the fights among you? Don’t they come from the cravings that are at war within you?” (James 4:1). Lust will make you dissatisfied with your husband or wife. It breeds anger, numbs hearts, and destroys marriages. Rather than fullness, it leads to emptiness.

Stephen & Alex Kendrick, The Love Dare, pg.117

Saturday, September 19, 2020

The Duties of Wives and Husbands

Wives—you have a role as protector in your marriage. You must guard your heart from being led away through novels, magazines, and other forms of entertainment that blur your perception of reality and put unfair expectations on your husband. Instead you must do your part in helping him feel strong, while also avoiding talk-show thinking that can lure your attention away from your family. “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.” (Proverbs 14:1)

Men—you are the head of your home. You are the one responsible before God for guarding the gate and standing your ground against anything that would threaten your wife or marriage. This is no small assignment. It requires a heart of courage and a head for preemptive action. Jesus said, “If the head of the house had know at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broke into” (Matthew 24:13). This role is yours. Take it seriously.

Stephen & Alex Kendrick, The Love Dare, pg.113

Thursday, September 17, 2020


It is because our sexuality is a gift from God that it must be protected with God’s own guidelines. This is precisely why modesty is important. We veil our sexuality behind modest attire and behavior, not because our sexuality is ugly but because it is beautiful.

Robin Phillips, The Way of a Man With a Maid, pg.146

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Two or Three Gathered?

When I came to the Lord through the Navigators back in January of 1974, I was taught to memorize Matthew 18:20:
For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.

I was taught that this meant that when just two or three Christians gathered together for worship Christ was there with them.

Well, a decade or so later, as I got more in to apologetics, it was pointed out to me that this was an abuse of the text, that the text was about church discipline! Once I read the passage in context from verse 15, I realized how wrong it was for people to teach the “worship” version. 

See for yourself:
15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. 20 For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”

Nowhere in this text is Jesus talking about gathering for worship. It is all about discipline with witnesses.

Now, does that mean when two or three gather for worship the Lord is not with them? No, of course not. But abusing a text about something unrelated to make this point about small gatherings is very poor hermeneutics.

And, sad to say, the guest pastor we had today (filling in for our regular pastor who is on a trip) did exactly that — he talked about small gatherings due to COVID-19 and cited Matthew 18:20. The church is in trouble when even pastors abuse Scripture to make a point.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Calvinist Double-Talk

God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.

The Westminster Confession of Faith, chapter 3, paragraph 1.

This is double-talk and contradiction. If God ordained everything which comes to pass then it is thereby necessary that he ordained sin! 

Rick Warren, in his Purpose Driven Life, even states that everything about you -- sex, body shape, race, hair color, eye color, etc -- was ordained by God and that everything we are doing or saying was ordained by God. 

You can’t on one hand say everything has been ordained by God and then on the other hand say God doesn’t ordain sin. You can’t say on one hand that God ordained everything we do or say and then on the other hand say we are responsible for everything we do or say. 

Calvinism indeed makes humans nothing but pre-programmed puppets.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Yes, People Are Able to Repent

In the text just cited [Jer. 7:1-29], it seems clear that God truly desired for his children to repent and turn from their self-destructive ways. That God sent prophets to them over and over suggests not only that he wanted them to repent but also that they were able to do so. The prophets themselves were a means of grace by which the truth confronted Israel and made repentance possible. God’s threatening to punish them for their refusal to repent implies that they were responsible precisely because the could have repented and yet freely chose not to do so.

Jerry L. Walls and Joseph R. Dongell, Why I Am Not A Calvinist, pg.117

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Works vs Faith

Works consist of exertion with the hope of earning something from God; faith is the abandonment of every hope of establishing ourselves before God or coercing diving favor.

Jerry L. Walls and Joseph R. Dongell, Why I Am Not A Calvinist, pg.70

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Hillsong Article

On April 21st I wrote about an article investigating Hillsong, which I was commissioned to write for the Personal Freedom Outreach ministry’s Quarterly Journal.

Well the fall issue of The Quarterly Journal is out and my article has been published. This is the last issue of the Journal, which has been published since 1981, and I am humbled that I was asked to contribute to the final edition.

I highly recommend the PFO Journal for general apologetics studies. I have every issue, having ordered all the back issues in about 2001 after subscribing. You can get every issue as pdf files on either CD or thumb drive. Here is information for purchasing a copy as well as information for acquiring the pdf versions for all issues.

Shown below is the cover of the fall Quarterly Journal, and the first two pages of my article about Hillsong to give you a taste of what you will be learning about that cultic organization (click on the photo to enlarge). Be sure to purchase a copy.

(A video showing more bizarre behavior with Hillsong came out after I was finished with my article so it wasn't included, but take a look anyway.)