Category Archives: Postmodern Church/Apostasy

A subtle and dangerous shift in Christianity

When I penned this piece in 2010, my aim was to inform professing Christians, who had convinced themselves that it’s okay to practice “Christian yoga,” that it is not okay at all.  At that point yoga, which has its roots in Hinduism, had taken the Christian community by storm, as you will see in my piece, Christian Yoga? C’mon!  But the important thing for readers to understand is that pagan practices such as yoga cannot be christianized, nor should God’s people adopt a pagan practice and attach a Christian title to it acceptable to the Christian community. When God says no, He means No! (2 Cor 6:14)

By Marsha West

Seems everyone’s practicing yoga meditation these days. Physicians recommend it to their patients which means it’s beneficial…right? Meditation is said to relieve stress, anxiety, hypertension, acne and post-nasal drip, so go for it! Just tighten those abdominal muscles, inhale deeply and chant Maaaaaaaaa all in one breath and your concerns will drift away like a feather floating on the wind…

But what if you’re a Christian? Should you practice the same sorts of things as Buddhist, Hindu’s and New Agers?

Listen to what the Bible says:

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate thereon day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success (Josh.1:8).

Firstly, meditating day and night does not mean to stay awake for 24 hours a day. Secondly, Christian meditation is very different from Eastern meditation. Followers of Jesus Christ are not to sit in the lotus pose in an altered state of consciousness seeking the “God within” like pagans do. The Bible teaches that when Christians meditate our minds are to be fully engaged. We are never to go into a trance-state.

What does meditation involve? “The word ‘meditation’ in Hebrew means basically to speak or to mutter. When this is done in the heart it is called musing or meditation. So meditating on the Word of God day and night means to speak to yourself the Word of God day and night and to speak to yourself about it.”

Before you dive into God’s Word take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate your mind and to reveal truth to you. As you read, stop to ponder what God has spoken through the words on the page. Always, always, always consider the context. In Charles Spurgeon’s sermon “Pray Without Ceasing,” he says there are four important questions to be asked:

What do these words imply? Secondly, What do they actually mean? Thirdly, How shall we obey them? And, fourthly, Why should WE especially obey them?

Sometimes you need to read a passage over and over…reflect on it…analyze it…and listen while the Holy Spirit speaks truth to you. A word of warning: Listening to God does not require that you “empty” your mind. This meditative practice, called Lectio divina a.k.a. spiritual formation…the silence…best known as contemplative (centering) prayer (CP) is a growing trend in evangelical churches despite the fact that this sort of prayer ritual comes from teaching associated with Catholic mystics such as Meister Eckhart, Ignatius of Loyola, St. John of the Cross, and St. Teresa of Avila. CP was reintroduced by Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating, Henri Nouwen, William Meninger, Basil Pennington and other mystics.

Many in the Emergent Church movement (ECM) are advancing Roman Catholic mysticism as well. Yet they insist on being seen as mainline evangelicals. ECM has not only introduced aberrant teaching into our churches, it undermines the authority of Scripture. Gary Gilley laments that there has been a shift from infallible scriptures to “psychological and sociological experts, opinions of the masses, trends of the moment and the philosophy of pragmatism. This shift has been subtle, which has made it all the more dangerous. Few have bothered to deny the Bible itself, they just misquote it, abuse its meaning, force their opinion on it, and if necessary mistranslate it to give the appearance that the Scriptures are backing their claims. The affect of all of this scriptural manipulation is to both erode the authority of God’s Word and to give the appearance that what Scripture has to say isn’t really important. It is only a short step from here to a Christian community that no longer has much use for the Bible.” (This is eerily similar to the way liberals/progressives treat the U.S. Constitution.)

The Body of Christ needs to know who these apostates are. Rick Warren for one. Warren has been promoting CP in his books for years. Other important figures are Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, Brian McLaren, Leonard Sweet, Frank Viola, Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo, Richard Rohr, Rob Bell, Tony Jones, Doug Pagitt, Dan Kimball and Shane Claiborne. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Listen to why it can be dangerous:

It has the potential to become, and often does become, a pursuit of mystical experience where the goal is to empty and free the mind and empower oneself. The Christian… uses the Scriptures to pursue the knowledge of God, wisdom, and holiness through the objective meaning of the text with the aim of transforming the mind according to truth. God said His people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6), not for lack of mystical, personal encounters with Him.

One should also consider that emptying or freeing the mind can put a person in contact with demons:

[T]he dangers inherent in opening our minds and listening for voices should be obvious. The contemplative pray-ers are so eager to hear something — anything — that they can lose the objectivity needed to discern between God’s voice, their own thoughts, and the infiltration of demons into their minds.

Contemplative prayer is almost identical to how the Zen Buddhists meditate. Following is part of the meditation process, “Just be still and know“:

Sit in the lotus pose (cross legged) keeping your spine straight… put your hands on each other in your lap… Now look at your left hand…just look. Aware of the left part of your body… look at the left hand in an empty manner. Just look. Don’t let any thought pop up in your mind…look blankly on your left hand and try to feel the left portion of your body…feel the left part…feel…This very process will activate your right brain. When the right brain activates, it results in disappearance of thoughts. Your thought will start disappearing…[ Slowly after a few sessions of practicing this meditation, you will be able to instantly achieve this state of disappearance of thoughts]

In Buddhism repeating a single word is known as a mantra. Many Buddhists simply murmur ommmm repeatedly. When Christians practice CP a word or phrase from the Bible is repeated. Many believers, especially young people, have been conned into believing that saying “I love Jesus” over and over will get them in contact with God. The fact of the matter is this approach to drawing close to God is unbiblical. Thus it should be eliminated from the serious Christian’s approach to and understanding of meditation and prayer.

With these practices and beliefs comes a “virtual encyclopedia of theological error,” says Gary Gilley. Many change agents in the Church are “Progressive Christians” now morphing into “social justice Christians” (SJC). Social justice is doublespeak for socialism. Spreading the social justice gospel is not the good news the Bible speaks of. SJCs want to mold America into a socialist saturated nanny state. Their aim is to redistribute the wealth. Before you buy into the SJC hype, check your history books. In every country socialism has been tried it has failed. Socialism takes away people’s freedoms and ultimately leads to tyranny. So why on earth does America want to copy it?

SJCs are bent on reinventing, or as Dan Kimball puts it re-imagining” traditional Christianity. Progressives are pushing pluralism. Because….when the Church becomes ecumenical and includes aspects of other religions it will blend nicely into their perception of how the 21st Century is going to be.

Authentic Christianity will never blend in! Christianity stands alone. All other religions are based on works righteousness (if you’re a good person you will ultimately be rewarded). The Bible is very clear that “there is no one righteous, no not one” (Rom 3:10). We are all sinners in need of a Savior. Sin separates us from a holy God. Christians believe Christ died for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. We believe we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ’s righteousness alone. True Christians are willing to die for the Truth. Are counterfeit Christians willing to die for their truth?

So, where was I?…Oh yes.

Progressive Christians are introducing theological error into the Church faster than a starving cheetah chasing down a gazelle. In “How to Practice Meditative Prayer” Acts 29 Pastor, Winfield Bevins, explains:

In Hebrew thought, to meditate upon the Scriptures is to quietly repeat them, giving oneself entirely to God, and abandoning outside distractions. The two main things that we are told to meditate on are God’s word and God’s goodness. Paul tells us, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8).

Paul was not talking about prayer when he said “think about these things.” He was saying that we should let our minds dwell on pure thoughts because what we allow into our minds shapes our actions. Paul finishes his thought in verse 9:

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Do what you have seen me do, says Paul. This is not about finding a quiet place to sit crossed legged and prayerfully meditate — he was telling them to imitate what they have seen in him! According to Matthew Henry’s Whole Bible Commentary:

In these things he proposes himself to them for an example (v. 9): Those things which you have learned, and received, and heard and seen in me, do. … What they saw in him was the same thing with what they heard from him. He could propose himself as well as his doctrine to their imitation. It gives a great force to what we say to others when we can appeal to what they have seen in us. And this is the way to have the God of peace with us-to keep close to our duty to him. The Lord is with us while we are with him.

Many Christians lead busy lives so they put off spending time with God. In fact, data shows that most believers spend very little time in their Bibles, even though there’s a whole lot of prayin’ goin’ on! People running hither and yon bombard the Lord with bullet prayers. Now, don’t get me wrong. Praying umpteen times a day is what believers should do — we are commanded to pray without ceasing. (1 Thes. 5:17) We are also commanded to abide in Christ:

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing (John 15:5).

If followers of Jesus Christ are to bring forth good fruit they must stay attached to the Vine. The fruit believers bear when they’re not abiding in Christ may look ripe and juicy on the outside. But it is rotten fruit!

There is a story in Luke 10:38-42 of two sisters, Mary and Martha, who thought differently about how to serve their Master. When Jesus came to their home Martha stayed in the kitchen preparing food for their guests. She had her own ideas on how to serve Christ. Martha became vexed that Mary was not helping with the meal. Instead she sat at the feet of Jesus to hear his word. Martha actually went to Him to complain. Instead of taking her side, Christ publicly rebuked her:

And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things…

In his commentary Matthew Henry explains the situation:

He repeated her name, Martha, Martha; he speaks as one in earnest, and deeply concerned for her welfare. Those that are entangled in the cares of this life are not easily disentangled. To them we must call again and again, O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord.

Jesus continues:

But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Again, Matthew Henry:

“She had justly given the preference to that which best deserved it; for one thing is needful, this one thing that she has done, to give up herself to the guidance of Christ, and receive the law from his mouth. Note, Serious godliness is a needful thing, it is the one thing needful; for nothing without this will do us any real good in this world, and nothing but this will go with us into another world.”

Certainly there is nothing wrong with cooking for guests. But what we need to remember is that we are children of God before we are servants of God. Like Mary, we must sit at our Lord’s feet. Martha was so busy serving Jesus that she had no time to spend with Him! Have I hit a nerve?

Prayer is intended as praise, confession, thanksgiving, and asking for others. (Phil 4:4-7) In prayer we find God’s love and we will experience peace. Moreover, through prayer we are conformed to God’s will. Prayer is not meant to be an esoteric experience, like the contemplatives would have us believe. The Bible does not teach that God’s people are to go into a self-induced altered-state of consciousness to commune with Him. Again, meditating day and night does not mean we are to look for the “God within,” as Eastern mystics and occultist do. For the Christian to be involved in any sort of pagan practice is strictly forbidden by God! This is because God opposes paganism’s polytheism and blatant immorality. There is no getting around the fact that polytheism and immorality are the pagan way.

The Christian who truly wants to please God will do as the psalmist suggests:

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).

Explore the Emergent/Emerging/Emergence Church Movement

Explore “Christian” Yoga

Explore Contemplative Prayer

Source: A subtle and dangerous shift in Christianity

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Co-ed Pastors, Male and Female, to Succeed Bill Hybels

Not surprisingly Willow Creek has selected two people, male and a female, to replace celebrity pastor Bill Hybels. In her piece for Christianity Today Astray, Kate Shellnutt failed to mention that the Bible restricts women from having spiritual authority over men. Speaking on behalf of God, the Apostle Paul proclaims “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.” (1 Tim 2:11-12)  Clearly, women are not to have spiritual authority over men. Why? Paul continues: “For Adam was formed first, then Eve;  and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.” (vs 13 & 14.)  Women have been given many gifts including the gift of hospitality, evangelism, mercy, helps, teaching — but they are not to teach men.

Here’s the story:

Since “no one person can replace” Willow Creek Community Church founder Bill Hybels, the influential megachurch has named two people: its current executive pastor Heather Larson and teaching pastor Steve Carter.

Hybels announced on Saturday that the pair will succeed him as lead pastors when he steps down in October 2018.

The historic transition will make Willow Creek one of the largest churches in America with a woman in the lead pastor position, as well as the only major evangelical megachurch with male-female lead pastors who aren’t married.

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Source: Co-ed Pastors, Male and Female, to Succeed Bill Hybels

Survey Finds Most American Christians Are Actually Heretics

Why does it matter that we’ve become a nation of doctrinal dunces? What harm is there in flunking Christianity 101? Well, for Christians, the answer is obvious. If we really believe what we profess—that the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the single most important fact of history and eternity—then we’d better improve our grade. Knowing who the God we claim to worship is can no longer be a third priority if we want the world to take us seriously as his followers.

Evangelical writer Eric Metaxas remarked on BreakPoint last week that if Americans took a theology exam, their only hope of passing would be if God graded on a curve. He’s right. In knowing both the content of the Bible and the doctrinal foundations of Christianity, we Americans aren’t just at the bottom of our class. We are, as Ross Douthat argues in his book, “Bad Religion,” a nation of heretics.

A survey of 3,000 people conducted by LifeWay Research and commissioned by Ligonier Ministries found that although Americans still overwhelmingly identify as “Christian,” startling percentages of the nation embrace ancient errors condemned by all major Christian traditions. These are not minor points of doctrine, but core ideas that define Christianity itself. The really sad part? Even when we’re denying the divinity of Christ, we can’t keep our story straight. Americans talking about theology sound about as competent as country singers rapping.

We’re an Embarrassment to Heretics Everywhere

Seven out of ten respondents in LifeWay’s survey affirmed the doctrine of the Trinity—that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three Persons but one God, and six in ten agreed that Jesus is both human and divine. Their orthodoxy—and consistency—ended there. More than half went on to indicate that Jesus is “the first and greatest being created by God,” a heresy known as Arianism, which the Council of Nicaea condemned in 325 A.D.

Of course, most of these accidental blasphemers aren’t preparing to revise the resulting Nicene Creed and preach a creaturely Christ. Rather, bizarre contradictions like this illustrate how many Americans don’t understand or even care what the Trinity means (although they say they believe in it, likely out of habits learned growing up in church).

The responses to other questions were no less heterodox or headache-inducing. Seventy percent of participants—who ranged across socioeconomic and racial backgrounds—agreed there’s only one true God. Yet sixty-four percent also thought this God accepts the worship of all religions, including those that believe in many gods.

Two-thirds admitted that everyone sins a little bit, but still insisted that most people are good by nature, which directly contradicts scripture (See “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” and “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”). Over half said it’s fair for God to exercise his wrath against sin, but seemed to waffle about which sins deserved wrath (not theirs!). Seventy-four percent said the “smallest sins” don’t warrant eternal damnation, in contrast to Jesus’ brother, who when writing at the Holy Spirit’s inspiration taught that even one infraction of God’s law is enough to sink someone. But really, what did he know?

A full 60 percent agreed that “everyone eventually goes to heaven,” but half of those surveyed also checked the box saying that “only those who believe in Jesus will be saved.” So either these folks are saying everyone will eventually believe in Jesus, or they hired a monkey to take the survey for them.

Evangelicals Didn’t Even Study for This Test

It’s one thing for Americans in general to lack basic theological knowledge. After all, many of the 75 percent of the country who call themselves Christians don’t take their faith that seriously, and the rest are either members of other religions, or have no religion. But what about those who wear their Christianity on their sleeve? Surely such a group—evangelicals, for instance—would perform much better.

That’s what the folks at LifeWay thought, too. In a similar project conducted two years ago, researchers asked participants to self-identify, resulting in an inflated number of professing “evangelicals. Not surprisingly, this group Christmas-treed the survey, espousing all kinds of unorthodox views.

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The post Survey Finds Most American Christians Are Actually Heretics appeared first on The Aquila Report.

Appearances of ‘Mary’: Is It the ‘Blessed Mother’ or a Demonic Spirit?

“I assure you that this apparition of “Mary” is NOT the Mary that the Bible tells us about,” says the blogger who posted this piece over at Soul Refuge. “It is a demonic counterfeit and a camouflage which is meant for the destruction of the soul. I know that because it was the Spirit of truth who brought me out of that very darkness, and He showed me the truth which is found in the scriptures (the Bible).”

In this piece some of the messages from the “Mary” of Medugorje are examined:

A woman named Maryann once commented on my own personal testimony and she testified of how she also left the Catholic church as a teen, after she questioned the teachings of the church. Maryann’s mom told her that she was an atheist when she heard her daughter say that she believed the apparitions (appearances) of Mary were Satanic. I was not surprised at all by the reaction that Maryann received from her mom. Why? Because I know that we are involved in some serious spiritual warfare, and I know because I was once on the other side of the fence. I was also a staunch defender of the Marian apparitions at Medugorje, Yugoslavia, previous to my becoming born again of the Spirit. After my conversion, it was the Spirit of truth (Holy Spirit) who opened my eyes to the gross deception of the “Marian apparitions” as well as the entire Roman Catholic system.

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See our Research Paper on Roman Catholicism

Source: Appearances of ‘Mary’: Is It the ‘Blessed Mother’ or a Demonic Spirit?

Bethel Church Believes a Different Gospel

From Berean Research:

Bethel Church’s senior pastor is “Super Apostle” Bill Johnson, which is a big red flag right there. In a recent blog post, Pastor Gabriel Hughes dealt with an exposé on Bethel Church written by journalist Molly Hensley-Clancy. Hughes thought Hensley-Clancy’s piece was excellent “but the story lacks an important consideration, which even reputable media outlets miss when covering a story like this. That crucial examination is this: theology.”  Bethel’s theology is far different than most Bible-believing churches.  And because of this there are spiritual concerns we should be aware of, says Hughes. “Is it really all that bad if they are lying about their miracles and glory clouds?” he asks.

Yes.

People who attend Bethel learn about a different Jesus than the Jesus of the Bible. And when the gospel is mentioned, it is an altogether different gospel they’re talking about.

Now listen as Pastor Hughes examines Bethel’s theology. He writes:

Last week, a reporter at BuzzFeed posted an in-depth article after going undercover during prophecy week at the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. The school is one of the darling ministries of Bethel Church in Redding, CA, which also includes the music of Jesus Culture and their healing ministry Bethel Sozo. Any look into Bethel is bound to uncover some strange things, and the author certainly did. But despite an excellent exposé, she overlooked something crucial.

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Source: Bethel Church Believes a Different Gospel

Weekly Watchman for 10/20/2017

Willow Creek Pastor Bill Hybels to Retire; Names Successor

Founding and Senior Pastor Bill Hybels has announced his retirement effective October, 2018. He will remain as “founding pastor” and oversee the expansion of Willow Creek’s Association that provides services and resources to churches and also the Willow Creek Leadership Summit.

Hybels and Willow Creek are no strangers to controversy. The WC Leadership Summit has elevated people like Bill Clinton, Rob Bell and several corporation executives as “leaders to emulate” even though many of them are not even Christians and support homosexual marriage and abortion. Some people believe this is incorporating the ways of the world into the church.

His wife Lynne openly opposes the nation of Israel through “Christ at the Checkpoint,” criticizing Israel while giving a pass to the terrorist organizations who kill in the name of Allah. In typical controversial fashion, Hybels is going out with a bang: he has named Heather Larsen his successor to the lead pastor position having the title of Executive Pastor.

Many of you have weighed in on this so we discuss it in the first segment today and then get to more listener questions and comments.

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The Real Inconvenient Truth

The liberal, utopian mindset is an interesting thing. No matter the facts that might get in the way of their arguments, they charge forward convinced that they are the enlightened geniuses who have everything figured out. If for some reason stupid, backwards thinking conservatives would just get with the program and blindly follow them; then we could unite, solve the world’s problems and achieve the utopian dream.

The basis of this is not necessarily liberalism; it is the belief in humanism: man’s nature is good and if we just collectively become one, we can solve any problem and accomplish anything. (Does the Tower of Babel ring a bell?) Sadly, this same humanism is actually infecting the professing Christian Church–but we’ll discuss that another day.

A cornerstone of the progressive movement toward a one world government is the alarmism and desperation we hear from the Left over climate change. Al Gore and others have made millions stirring up panic by claiming we are on the verge of world wide catastrophe if we don’t stop using fossil fuels as energy. But is their theory based on scientific fact? Or is it just a scare tactic meant to manipulate and control people – and make them big money?

This morning we are joined by Dr. Roy Spencer who was a Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA. His latest book is titled An Inconvenient Deception: how Al Gore Distorts Climate Science and Energy Policy. Dr. Spencer is a preeminent expert on the field of Climate Science and he joins us to separate fact from fiction and manipulation over the topic of climate change.

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Trafficking and Profiting from Hate

We have reached a time in America where speaking the truth, no matter how gently done, is called hateful. If you speak out against the facts in the Quran, you hate Muslims. Speak about God’s definition of marriage, and you hate homosexuals. Share what the Bible says about gender being assigned at birth and permanent – even though secular science confirms this truth – and you hate transgenders. Speak up and defend life, and you hate women.

There is big money and power in screaming “hate speech” every time the progressive agenda is challenged or the Bible is referenced out loud. Today, we look at a thought provoking commentary on how the business of hate is consuming our nation.

In our first segment, we check in with Pastor Randy White and continue our discussion on how the Old Testament of the Bible is increasingly overlooked or discarded, even by many professing Christians. Is our growing ignorance of God’s wisdom and proclamations of the Old Testament causing problems in our spiritual growth as Christians and effectiveness as a church?

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Fearing God. Exactly What Does that Mean?

Proverbs 9:10 states: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” But what exactly does the Bible mean when it says we are to fear God? Does it mean that even as His adopted children we expect Him to punish us every time we disobey Him? Or that the moment we disobey Him, He will rescind His promise to those who confess, repent and place our complete faith and trust in Jesus Christ?

Dave Wager of Silver Birch Ranch and Nicolet Bible Institute joins us to discuss what a healthy and accurate fear of God looks like, and why “the fear of the Lord” is seen as an antiquated belief even among professing Christians.

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Gospel Opportunities, Halloween, and Good News in the NFL?

The first century Christian Church was well aware of what God wanted them to do and why they were still in this world. They knew for a fact Jesus was alive and they believed the return of Christ was imminent. They also knew it was their responsibility to share the gospel with as many people as possible in the hope they would repent and accept forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ. And while many were wrong about the timing of His return, their passion for the gospel led many into the eternal Kingdom of Heaven.

Here’s a heart check for us: how is our level of passion and commitment for the gospel? Do we understand the true purpose God has us in this world? Or is it more about finding God’s “special purpose” for our lives these days? If we truly believe what the Bible teaches, that people who do not surrender to God and submit themselves to the lordship of Jesus Christ will spend eternity separated from Him in hell, then why are we so timid about sharing the good news with our family, friends and neighbors?

Jay Seegert of The Starting Point Project joins us to discuss why Christians seem afraid or are hesitant to share the Gospel. We also look at #GreenBayPacker’s quarterback, #AaronRodger’s broken collarbone from a spiritual perspective, knowing God allows things to happen in our lives to bring us back to Him.

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Friday’s Featured Sermon: “Strange Fire Revisited”

Code: B171020

“The charismatic movement is not faith. It is doubt looking for proof.” Those potent words come from John MacArthur in a new interview titled “Strange Fire Revisited.”

It has been four years since the Strange Fire conference, and the publication of John MacArthur’s book Strange Fire. He and Phil Johnson recently sat down for a frank discussion about the history of the charismatic movement, its current state, and the ongoing impact of Strange Fire. This is a candid and eye-opening conversation, as John delves into what first motivated him to scrutinize the charismatic movement decades ago, and discusses the important distinction between charismatics and Reformed non-cessationists.

Here are a few quotes to illustrate the wide-ranging nature of the interview, and the various topics they tackle.

On why this is still a pressing and pertinent issue, John said:

I’m confident that will continue to be an issue; it does not go away. In fact, it seems that it morphs into an even more extreme version as time goes on. The thing that is so sad to me, Phil, is the people who proclaim themselves as teachers and representatives of God are unwilling to do even what the Bereans did, and that is to compare the things they say with Scripture in an honest way. And that, to me, is evidence that there is no righteous intent behind this. This is part of the adversary’s strategy.

On whether the movement is home to genuine believers:

I think Christians will find their way out, sooner rather than later. It’s a great place for non-Christians to belong. I think a true believer, with a real hunger for the Word of God, and a genuine love for God, and a believer that is under the influence of the Holy Spirit has to be led out of the aberrant aspects of that movement. You can’t be a Spirit-filled, Spirit-led true believer, and be at home with the outrageous misrepresentations of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit that exist in that movement.

On the enduring allure of the charismatic movement:

The charismatic movement is not faith. It is doubt looking for proof. They’re people living in doubt. I think they’re deeply fearful in many cases—deeply worried and deeply traumatized by their spiritual condition. And they don’t know what it is to have the love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control that comes as the fruit of the Spirit. And they’re reaching out for something external to validate themselves spiritually, so they know they’re okay. And then you have now, of course, a whole generation who just want an experience.

“Strange Fire Revisited” is a powerful, thought-provoking conversation that you don’t want to miss. It’s a unique look at the heart of a godly shepherd who has been faithfully fending off spiritual wolves for several decades. And it’s a call to God’s people to carry on the fight for the purity of the church and the authority of Scripture.

Click here to listen to “Strange Fire Revisited.”

 


Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B171020
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Visions, dreams, and revelations: Demon possession or genuine prophetic fits?

From Berean Research:

Elizabeth Prata delves into the latest trend in the visible Church that has God speaking to His people through visions, dreams, visits, i.e. extra-biblical revelation. Those who claim to hear directly from God say they’re Christians but the truth of the matter is that many of these people have fallen for the lies and half truths of NAR wolves; thus, they’re false converts. Those who are caught up in the NAR cult seemingly care more about experiencing “signs & wonders” than learning what the Bible actually teaches. With that out of the way, in this piece over at The End Time, Elizabeth shares some of what well known cult leaders such as Joseph Smith and Ellen G. White experienced and compares their experiences with the bizarre behavior charismatics go through during a worship service or so-called revival, to include “physical manifestations akin to epileptic seizures.” Scripture is applied to tie the manifestations to demon possession.  This is fascinating reading!

Have you noticed the similarity among some of the founders of the major false religions of what I call “prophetic fits”? Most cults in the world began from some kind of vision or direct revelation or visitation from celestial beings claiming to be Mary, Jesus, angels, and so on. I listed some below and more down further below.

Accompanying these visions and revelations and visits, are physical manifestations akin to epileptic seizures and fits that the recipients later report. The recipient of the revelation undergoes a physical trauma of, for example, flailing around, rapid heart beat, or no heartbeat, sweating, groaning, foaming at the mouth, high fevers, and the like. As I listened to one such physical fit that Muhammad had, founder of Islam, I was struck by its similarity to the incidents of demonic possession recorded in the Bible. I wondered if such fits were manifested by other cult founders during their visions or trances, and I learned that they did. Here are a few examples.

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Source:  Visions, dreams, and revelations: Demon possession or genuine prophetic fits?

Do you have the ‘spirit of Jezebel’?

Many of us in discernment have been accused by charismatics of having the “spirit of Jezebel” because we attack their error and stand for God and His truth. Glenn Chatfield of The Watchman’s Bagpipes tells the story of the wicked Jezebel and discloses the truth of who really possesses the Jezebel spirit. He writes:

Many false teachers and their followers, especially of the Word of Faith cult, rail at those who expose their false teachers by claiming the nay-sayers have “the spirit of Jezebel.”  This supposedly identifies the nay-sayers as false teachers opposing God.  But let’s look at who Jezebel was, what her evil was, and how that applies to today’s claims of having her “spirit.”

Pastor Bob Liichow, of Discernment Ministries International, wrote an article about this issue in his August “Truth Matters” apologetics letter.  The information he provided needs to be spread among believers so as to be able to address the false teachings about “the spirit of Jezebel.”

Dallas Theological Seminary’s Women’s Conference Speaker, Christine Caine, Raises Concerns for Reader

Lighthouse Trails recently posted a letter to the editor written by a woman who is concerned that Dallas Theological Seminary, known for, among other things, biblical inerrancy, has invited a Word of Faith heretic to speak at a women’s conference. LHT points out that the reason Christine Caine should not have been invited to speak at any evangelical seminary is because “she claims Joyce Meyer as her ‘spiritual mother’ and lists Word of Faith preacher Sheryl Brady as a dear friend calling her ‘flat out the best chick preacher of the word.’ Caine has ‘preached’ in seeker/emergent Steven Furtick’s mega church in Charlotte, North Carolina.”  More about Christine Caine here.

Thank you for the article regarding Dallas Theological Seminary’s movement toward contemplative prayer and the New Spirituality. It was painful to read as I have relied upon their faithfulness to the Word since 1974 when I first sat under the teaching of a DTS graduate. All the teachers I listen to and know have graduated from DTS. There are many graduates here in _____, Texas and true verse-by-verse teaching has had an influence upon so many who love the truth. I have been able to discern a change even in the teachers I sit under as I hear who they quote in their teachings.

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Source: Dallas Theological Seminary’s Women’s Conference Speaker, Christine Caine, Raises Concerns for Reader

Rick Warren Hopes His Partnership With Roman Catholic Leader Will Become ‘Model’ for World

A 2008 article in The Washington Post described Rick Warren, one of the most visible Southern Baptists in the world, as “a megachurch pastor and philanthropist who is courted by political leaders worldwide, says he thinks Christianity needs a ‘second Reformation’ that would steer the church away from divisive politics and be ‘about deeds, not creeds.’” (Source)  Clearly he has forgotten what the Protestant Reformation was about, as you will see in this piece over at Christian News:

Photo credit: Apprising Ministries

Megachurch leader Rick Warren, known for his best-selling book “The Purpose-Driven Life,” said in a recent interview that he hopes his partnership with a local Roman Catholic leader to collaboratively combat social ills becomes a “model” for others around the world. His remarks have drawn disagreement from those who believe that ecumenism with those who preach another gospel is unbiblical.

The Roman Catholic site Crux published the interview, which featured both Warren and friend Kevin Vann of the Diocese of Orange, on Sept. 14. They were asked by interviewer and diocese Chancellor Pia de Solenni to share about how their friendship formed and developed.

Vann recalled that Warren attended his installation as the bishop of Orange and also called to congratulate him. The two continued to communicate and soon also began praying together.

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Source: Rick Warren Hopes His Partnership With Roman Catholic Leader Will Become ‘Model’ for World

‘If You Obey God, You Will Never Be Broke,’ TD Jakes Says

The following news story from Christian Post is for informational and research purposes only. We do not endorse CP, as the publication is sorely lacking in discernment. Before we get to Leonardo Blair’s piece, you should know that T.D. Jakes is a Oneness Pentecostal (anti-trinitarian). As you’re about to see, Rev. Jakes shamelessly propagates the false prosperity gospel that distorts the true Gospel of Jesus Christ:

Popular megachurch pastor, Bishop T.D. Jakes of The Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas, sparked a furor online Sunday when he told his 2.8 million followers on Twitter that if they obey God, they will never be broke again.

“If you obey GOD you will never be broke another day in your life. #AndItCameToPass#tphonline,” a post on Jakes’ Twitter account said at 11:04 a.m. on Sunday.

The Christian Post reached out to The Potter’s House on Thursday to verify if the tweet was made by Jakes himself or an account administrator but no one was available.

On Monday, critics began questioning the biblical genesis of the statement and Jakes responded: “David said, ‘yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.’”

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Source: ‘If You Obey God, You Will Never Be Broke,’ TD Jakes Says