Sunday, May 30, 2010

reTrain

reTrain: "The Resurgence Training Center " but more accurately would be: re-training the mind with liberal re-tread, subtle or not. This is the face of Reformergents.

Executive Director of retrain, Rick Melson explains:

Quote:

If you want to be in missional ministry, you need missional training. The Resurgence Training Center (Re:Train) was founded to serve as the leadership development engine for Mars Hill Church, Acts 29 and the broader Resurgence movement. The mission of the Resurgence Training Center is to train missional leaders to serve the Church to transform cultures for Christ by staying culturally accessible and Biblically faithful. This unique training provides church based theological education that is confessionally reformed, convictionally complementarian and committedly missional – by the church and for the church

Reformed. Gospel-centered sound doctrine based on the entirety of God’s Word, the exclusivity of Jesus, and the absolute truth of his grace and sovereignty, mercy and justice, wisdom and love.

Missional. God is a missionary God, and his people are a sent people. When we talk about “missional” modifying anything – church, leadership, philosophy – what we are stating, even if only implicitly, is active participation in the missio Dei, the sent and sending nature of God.

End quote.

Elsewhere reTrain states: "The Resurgence Training Center exists to train missional leaders to serve the church to transform cultures for Christ. Our commitment continues to be for our students to effectively reach cultures with the gospel, shepherd families, plant churches and fulfill the Great Commission, while staying Gospel-centered and biblically faithful. Students’ passions and hearts will be ignited and equipped for a more satisfying love of Jesus through living on mission as missionaries in all contexts."- Source

8 times "missional" is used in this "word from the founder". This is emergentspeak. Where does Scripture say that the nature of God is one of "sending and sent"? The nature of God is described as holy, righteous, wrathful, lovingkindness, love, good, omnipresent, omnipotent, omnicient, etc. Sending some out as missionaries is what God DOES, not what His nature is. Already there's an inaccuracy which is the tool of liberals to blurr lines instead of "accurately handling the Word of God" and accurately describing HIM.

In addition, the stated goal of this program is to "transform the culture" yet they want to stay "culturally accessible." I suppose that is why they hired on emergetn Ed Stetzer (Lifeway research group) Glenn Lucke of Docent Research Group. We know what researchers do when it comes to Christianity. The most glaring example is George Barna.

Lucke's purpose is very man-centered, user-friendly, stats driven, PDL really, for pastors so they can customize their productions to whatever audience. This isn't biblical nor is it Christ-centered. Claims of "sound doctrine" are cancelled out by the rest of what they DO.

MacArthur states correctly in his book, Ashamed of the Gospel (3rd edition):

"Some will maintain that if biblical principles are presented, the medium doesn't matter. That is nonsense. If an entertaining medium is the key to winning people, why not go all out? Why not has a real carnival? A tattooed acrobat on a high wire that could juggle chains saws and shout Bible verses while a trick dog balances on his head. That would draw a crowd. And the context of the message would still be biblical. It’s a bizarre scenario, but one that illustrates how the medium can cheapen and corrupt the message." (p. 81 )

"Any end-justifies-the-means philosophy of ministry inevitably will compromise doctrine, despite any proviso to the contrary. If we make effectiveness the gauge of right and wrong, how can that fail to color our doctrine? Ultimately the pragmatist’s notion of truth is shaped by what seems effective, not by the objective revelation of Scripture." (p. 89 )

He goes on to say:

"Charles Finney's approach to ministry thus foreshadowed and laid the foundation for modern pragmatism...We would expect those who reject the biblical doctrine of God's sovereignty to follow Finney, but not those who say they affirm it. Their pragmatism becomes a denial of their theology ---a kind of spiritual schizophrenia." p.169

The list of teachers/professors at reTrain, heavily supported by John Piper (also a teacher there and he's got the biggest picture and quote on their homepage) shows more connections between Reformed and Emergent (what I call “Reformergent”) men is revealed in this particular project and should be a warning to stay away from these men because of their compromise.

The list:

Wayne Grudem
Gregg Allison
John Piper
Ed Stetzer
Sam Storms
Bruce Ware
Tom Schreiner
Bryan Chapell
Ray Ortlund Jr.
Rick Melson
Justin Holcomb
Glenn Lucke
Bill Clem
Mark Driscoll
Scott Thomas
Tyler Jones
J.D. Greear
Ellito Grudem
Darrin Patrick
Jeff Vanderstelt
Daniel Montgomery
Dane Ortlund

Summation of information:

Reformed/Calvinist by seminary training, by church, or by claim:

Sam Storms
John Piper
Justin Holcomb
Glenn Louke
Elliot Grudem
Daniel Montgomery
Wayne Grudem
Mark Driscoll
Rick Melson
(Bethlehem Baptist Church, reTrain is "reformed" he says)
Bryan Chapell
Dane Ortlund


Two Charismatic Reformers (the only Charismatic ones on the list are Calvinists)

Grudem
Storms


Seminaries the speakers graduated from:

Dallas Theological Seminary: Sam Storms, Ray Ortlund Jr., Rick Melson,
Fuller Theological Seminary: John Piper, Bruce Ware, Tom Schreiner,
Reformed Theological Seminary: Justin Holcomb,Glenn Lucke,Elliot Grudem,Daniel Montgomery
Bethel Theological Seminary: John Piper, Bruce Ware, Tom Schreiner,
Bethlehem Seminary: Rick Melson (pres. Resergence, Exec. Elder at Mars Hill, pastored at Bethlehem Baptist)
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary: Rick Melson, Ed Stetzer, Bruce Ware, JD Greear
Trinity Evangelical Divinity school: Bruce Ware,Ray Ortlund Jr,Gregg Allison, Wayne Grudem
Covenant Theological Seminary: Bryan Chapell, Dane Ortlund

Wheaton College:
Piper
Sam Storms
Ray Ortlund Jr.
Dane Ortlund


Acts 29:
Jeff Vanderstelt (Willow Creek Church -Hybels' church where
women pastor; );
Elliot Grudemn (PCA too),
Tyler Jones
Scott Thomas

Mark Driscoll
Rick Melson (Bethlehem College and Sem. and pastor)
Darrin Patrick

Mars Hill:
Rick Melson
Justine Holcomb
Bill Clem
Mark Driscoll
Scott Thomas

Two research groups (Stetzer of Lifeway and Glenn Lucke of Docent Research Group)

Emergent (besides being part of the ECM Acts 29):

Ed Stetzer: missionshift; ed stetzer
Jeff Vanderstelt: Emergent. Soma is ECM; missionshift
Daniel Montgomery's church: ECM: sojourn :health clinic, arts/music shows; social justice advocates, parties of three/sacred confessions and Angel's song; missionshift
Gregg Allison is East Coast pastor of sojourn
Tyler Jones ECM-friendly: Vintage21 Church Relevent to POMOS Matt Chandler connection with Advance09; "attractional" church , coaches
JD Greear: friends with David Platt; missionshift

Additional information:

Matt Chandler is on the board ofActs 29 (note some of the same names as above):

"Who are the key leaders within the ministry?Mark Driscoll, President and Founder; Scott Thomas, Chairman and Director; Darrin Patrick, First Vice President; Jeff Vanderstelt, Second Vice President; Board members: Matt Chandler, Chan Kilgore, Eric Mason and church planting strategist, Tyler Powell. Other regional leaders are Brian Howard, David Fairchild, Russ McKendry, Daniel Montgomery, Tyler Jones and Ed Marcelle." -Source

For some of the recent doctrinal problems with Driscoll and Acts 29 go to Apprising Ministries for the connection of Emergent's love affair with Contemplative Spirituality.

Keep in mind too, that some Reformers, Reformergents, and Emergents are ecumenical too:

More speakers at this Ecumenical Conference Series (hosted by Lusanne):
Darrin Patrick
Joni Erickson Tada - also signed the Manhattan Declaration
Ligon Duncon
Matt Chandler
Os Guiness
Michael Horton
Richard Mouw - liberal inter-faith (including Mormons) president of Fuller Seminary
Tim Keller - also signed the Manhattan Declaration

Regarding pragmatism (which is what liberalism and emergent and ecumenicism is),MacArthur echoes what I've observed and noted, when he said in Ashamed of The Gospel: when the church becomes like the world:

"Do you see how the new philosophy necessarily undermines sound doctrine? It discards Jesus' own methods---preaching and teaching--as the primary means of ministry. It replaces them with methodologies utterly devoid of substance....In fact it avoids dogma or strong convictions as divisive, unbecoming,, or inappropriate. It dismisses doctrine as academic, abstract, sterile, threatening, or simply impractical. Rather than teaching error or denying truth, it does something far more subtle, but just as effective from the enemy’s point of view. It jettisons content altogether. Instead of attacking orthodoxy head-on, it gives lip service to the truth while quietly undermining the foundations of doctrine. Instead of exalting God, it denigrates the things that are precious to Him. In that regard, pragmatism poses dangers more subtle than the liberalism that threatened the church in the first half of the century." (p. 92-93 )


2Pe 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Doctrine of Separation

"The operation of an evangelical party within can only repress, and, perhaps, conceal, the evil for a time; but meanwhile, sin is committed by the compromise itself, and no permanently good result can follow. To stay in a community which fellowships all beliefs in the hope of setting matters right, is as though Abraham had stayed at Ur, or at Haran, in the hope of converting the household out of which he was called." - Spurgeon

See 2Cor. 6. This is why the Reformation failed: you cannot convert the goats, nor can you reform dead men. Justification by Faith alone, Scripture alone, God alone are all doctrinal truths in Scripture which can never be set aside nor seen as optional.

We are called OUT of and AWAY FROM that which is dead, unholy, and hostile toward God, are we not? Then why do we try to save such things as if we can dress them up to be less than what they are?

Are we called to serve vomit to the sheep?
Are we encouraged to offer poisoned water to the thirsty souls of true Christians?
Are we commanded to serve leavened bread to His Sheep?

Didn't God already speak against these things? Then why do Evangelicals believe there's another way of being justified apart from Faith? Why do they proclaim salvation apart from the preaching of the Gospel?

"Evangelicalism", MacArthur, Spurgeon and Piper

2Pe 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.


I was finishing John MacArthur's updated "Ashamed of the Gospel" book and he said something that is very applicable to Piper's defiant endorsement of Rick Warren, Doug Wilson, Paul Tripp, and Driscoll. MacArthur says what many of us have observed ourselves.

Here's what MacArthur says in his book (remember this was before Piper came out defiantly promoting Rick Warren):

"..that liberals arose from within evangelical ranks, used evangelical vocabulary, and gained acceptance through relentless appeals for peace and tolerance. The new modernism is following precisely the same course, and that tactice seems likely to take evangelicals by surprise once again.

Most of the market-driven megachurches insist they would never compromise doctrine. They are attractive to evangelicals precisely became they claim to be as orthodox in their doctrine as they are unorthodox in their methodology. Multitudes are sufficiently reassured by such promises and simply abandon their critical faculties, thus increasing their vulnerability. Unfortunately, real discernment is in short supply among modern evangelicals.

– John MacArthur, Ashamed of the Gospel, p. 200

This is absolutely true and what I've been saying about Piper and the Warren/Piper/Driscoll defenders. Maybe hearing MacArthur say it, they'll actually consider it this time.

"You may believe anything, everything, or nothing, and yet be enrolled in the "Evangelical" army—so they say. Will there arise no honest, out-spoken evangelicals among Dissenters to expose and repudiate this latitudinarianism? Are all the watchmen asleep? Are all the churches indifferent?" - Spurgeon

Spurgeon said:

"We would like to agree with one who says that the bulk of our church-members love the old gospel; but we are not quite sure of it. If there were so general a soundness in the rank and file, would they quietly endure the abounding errors of the pulpits, and the babyish amusements with which congregations are being drenched? We fear the plague is among the people as well as among the priests. Yet, surely, there must be some who will fling aside the dastard love of peace, and speak out for our Lord, and for his truth. A craven spirit is upon many, and their tongues are paralyzed. Oh, for an outburst of true faith and holy zeal!"


Act 20:29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Not So Sweet

2Co 11:12 And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

Apprising Ministries notes that:

"Pastor Michael Newnham aka Phoenix Preacher is angry that his friend, Emerging Church evangelical theologian Leonard Sweet, was “disinvited” to a conference which is to use a Calvary Chapel church’s facilities."

Newman says in part, "In the past these sites have been a shameful annoyance, now they’ve drawn blood… It’s time to say ENOUGH! to the accusers of the brethren…"

First, I wonder if Leonard Sweet really cares that Calvary Chapel revoked their invitation? Could it be that Newman is far more upset than Sweet? Is this just another reason to fire shots at those God has gifted with love and discernment?

More importantly, if someone has a clear conscience before God and is striving to follow Him according to Scripture, bearing fruit and walking in obedience to the Master as they grow in Christ, then they wouldn't worry about the Light being shed on them. They would encourage it because they truly love God's Truth.

Only those who have something to fear from those with discernment would become angry and call for the ceasing of the gift HE has given to some.

The problem is that people like Leonard Sweet fail the test of Scripture on numerous levels. People who defend such wolves like Sweet also fail the test. Liberals just don't want anyone saying "no" to them. They don't want the rules of Scripture applied to them unless it merely benefits their agenda.

But God will not be toyed with nor will He allow the persecution and insults and threats of HIS saints to go unchecked. He truly sees everything and every heart and every thought and He is not passively watching what goes on in HIS name or with HIS children.

Scripture says true love, agape love, "does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth." (1Cor. 13:6). The use of discernment and wisdom coupled with the love of biblical Truth and of God, should be a cause for rejoicing, not anger.

2Co 1:12 For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.

We are to test every person by Scripture, including ourselves. When a purported pastor or leader claims to teach Scripture we are to measure him against the Bible and if he fails, we are not to call him a leader; in fact he is disqualified from such a position. Certainly if he even fails the test of Scripture for being a Christian, then we are likewise to mark and avoid such a so-called brother.

It seems Newman doesn't want people to tell the truth about his magisterium of untouchable leaders. Tough. Scripture, which I assure you trumps him every time, says we are to tell the truth according to Scripture (not our own agenda or from favoritism):

Gal 4:16 Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth? 17 They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them.

Jas 2:9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

Jud 1:16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.

Joh 7:24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment."

Is. 8 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.

Heb 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice TO DISTINGUISH good from evil.

1Cor. 14 38 If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored.

Gal 1:9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. 10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

2Co 11:3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.

1Co 5:11 But now I am writing to you NOT TO ASSOCIATE with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler--not even to eat with such a one.

1Jo 2:4 Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,

This partial list is in addtion to the lists of requirements for elders in Titus 1 and 1Tim. 3 that demand a man fulfill those. "Must" and "must not" aren't optional.

Here's more:

1Co 5:11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler--not even to eat with such a one.

1Jo 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

These commands imply knowledge of truth and error.

Likewise:

2Jo 1:9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

So are we to judge those who claim the name of Christ? You betchya. Its not an option. Its not sin. Its not unholy. Rather its obedience to The Master Jesus Christ. Its holy. Its loving. Its loyalty to HIM. Its faith in HIM and His Word.

We who love biblical Truth and the God of truth also love the souls of others and therefore we will be loyal to Christ and His Word first and foremost. Its an inconvenient truth, I know, but its one that stands by HIS power for HIS glory.

"A little plain-speaking would do a world of good just now. These gentlemen desire to be let alone. They want no noise raised. Of course thieves hate watch-dogs, and love darkness. It is time that somebody should spring his rattle, and call attention to the way in which God is being robbed of his glory, and man of his hope.For the present it behoves believers to be cautious, lest they lend their support and countenance to the betrayers of the Lord."~Spurgeon

I wonder if Newman's support for a heretic like Sweet is shared by Reformers?

Books and Authors to Avoid

Hannah Hurnard’s Hind's Feet In High Places: http://www.pfo.org/high-pla.htm

William Young: The Shack http://herescope.blogspot.com/2008/07/shack-elousia-mythical-mystical-black.html

CS Lewis: Mere Christianity: http://www.takeheed.net/Assorted_Articles/Contemporary/Lewis_avoid.htm

If this link doesn't open up for you, try cutting and pasting it into your browser. Also, individually listed are the articles here:

http://www.takeheed.net/News_From_The_Front/news25.htm
http://www.takeheed.net/News_From_The_FrontJUNE2003.htm
http://www.takeheed.net/News_From_The_Front/DECEMBER2003.htm
http://www.takeheed.net/News_From_The_Front/JUNE2004.htm
I hope this helps. The single link above just has all the info together on one page which is nice to have.

CS Lewis : other material from Trinity Foundation.

Anne Rice: http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/006/anne-rice.htm

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Francis Chan and Mark Driscoll to speak at Perry Noble's "church" for a conference

Francis Chan and Mark Driscoll to speak at Perry Noble's "church" for a conference.

No surprise there. Bunch of man-pleasers who don't care about doctrine nor practice. Driscoll and Noble are over-bearing worldlings.

Moishe Rosen of Jews for Jesus Gone to Be Home With The Lord Today

News:

The founder of Jews for Jesus died Wednesday, leaving behind a pre-written
message to members of the ministry.

In the letter posted on the Jews for Jesus website after his death, Moishe
Rosen encouraged members of Jews for Jesus to stay with the ministry, especially
as they “stand on the edge of a breakthrough in Jewish evangelism.”

“Just a little more. Just another push. Just another soul - and we will
have reached critical mass where we begin generating that energy that the whole
world might know the Lord,” wrote Rosen, who was 78 when he died Wednesday after a protracted battle with prostate cancer.

In his final remarks, Rosen expressed how concerned he was by the support some believers were giving to the efforts of rabbis “who, frankly, not only don't know Christ, but don't want to know Him.”

“I would urge you to think very seriously before you support any ‘ministry’ that involves Jewish people and doesn't actually bring the gospel to the Jews,” wrote Rosen to Jews for Jesus members.

He also expressed his disappointment in Jesus-believing Jews who “feel
that their primary purpose is to promote Jewishness and Judaism to the
Jews.”

“I hope I can count on you to show love and respect for the Jewish people, but Jewishness never saved anybody,” Rosen stated. “Judaism never saved anybody no matter how sincere. “ Though Rosen also made clear his disagreement with some of the decisions made by the leadership of his own organization after he stepped down as executive director in 1996, he said the core of what the ministry stands for is still central.

Jews for Jesus is one of the few Trinitarian ministries that proclaimed Christ to the Jews. Many "messianic" groups deny the God of Scripture and the Gospel.

I knew him from online and had the opportunity to speak with him on various occassions. He believe in the Doctrines of Grace. One thing I remember him saying was how short term missionaries often cause greater burden to long term missionaries so he didn't support that notion. I found this interesting and challenging and I think there's some merit to it. It takes a lot of work to host people who will only be around for a few weeks. And I think short term missions can actually be more like using serious missionaries for one's own reasons rather than to be of service. Anyway, its a challenging thought to consider.

We'll miss Moishe and are happy he is with the Lord, no longer suffering in his decayed tent. May the Lord comfor his family while they rejoice at his home-going.

Another news article is here.

Going Green: the turf war of worldly "Evangelicals"

"Christians" wasting time and money to be like the world:

According to the "Christian"Post:

WASHINGTON – Evangelical leaders from several prominent organizations
gathered on Capitol Hill Tuesday to pray, repent and sing about creation
care.

“Anything that hurts people the Church should be standing up and saying
stop, the line is drawn here,” said Garza, who is also the senior pastor at
Third Day Worship Center in Elk Grove, Calif. “I will not allow for anyone to
steal what is properly the Church’s issue – caring for our people, caring for
our planet, caring for what God made. It is our issue. Everyone can jump on the
bandwagon if they want to, but it is our issue.”


Falling for the Environmentalism which is pagan in its roots, under any label, especially "Creation" is still liberal nonsense. Its the tactic of the enemy to try and get Christians off focus of what really matters: glorifying the Sovereing King, proclaiming The Gospel of Jesus Christ, lost souls, and the maturity of true believers.

There's not one command in all of Scripture that tells us to "go green". Environmentalism is not the goal, purpose, or focus of God's local churches. It IS the purpose of the liberally-minded, man-centered, pagan-friendly Post-Modern "Christians" that want to be considered "good" and in line with the world's focus. They want to be accepted by the world.

The world can have them.

They are trying to earn spirituality by "good" works instead of being biblically sound in doctrine and practice. And just who defines what is acceptable in regard to environmentalism?

Give men Christians who love Christ Jesus and His Word, not the cares of this world. Give men Christians who are true soldiers of Christ, not Environmental Warriors.

What would've happened had these NAE (just what do they mean by "Evanglical" anyway?)folks spent their time and money on caring for Christians within their own flocks and missionaries their own churches support, instead of jetting to DC and parading around how eco-friendly ----sorry, Creation-friendly--they are?

2Ti 2:3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.

Mat 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

I dare say many of these NAE members likely subscribe to some degree of Evolution and psychology anyway, not to mention Romanism. So they need to accept and believe the doctrines of Scripture before they start telling everyone how "their issue" is the Environmental one (what's with the turf war of environmentalism? That's actually immature). What happened to the supremacy of Christ?

1Co 2:2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

And no, I'm not saying trash the planet. I'm saying that environmentalism is in its roots pagan and ungodl, and its focus is not on Christ Jesus. I'm saying its not the goal of the local church nor the Christian. Pick up your trash. Recycle if you like. But making environmentalism a point of pride at the cost of Christ Alone, is wrong wrong wrong.

Are we really “Pharisees”?

Defending Contending has an excellent post here.

So often biblical Christians are slammed with the insult of being called Pharisees by other less discerning Christians. So what is a Pharisee and what did they actually do/believe? DefCon gives half a dozen examples of biblical evidence of real Pharisees and just as many reasons why Online Discerning Ministries (ODMs) are not pharisaical at all.

In conclusion, DefCon states:

Now let’s render a verdict, shall we? The Pharisees taught the
following:

*They denied that they were sinners by birth (an idea we do not believe or teach)
*They placed man-made traditions, extra-biblical writings, and oral traditions above the written word of God (an idea we do not believe or teach)
*They believed that health, wealth and prosperity indicated God’s blessing on a person, and that the rich were more likely to go to Heaven. They also taught that illness and poverty were signs that the person was under God’s curse. (ideas we do not believe or teach)
*They denied the Deity of Christ (we, in fact, affirm the Deity of Christ)
*They taught that one earned salvation by works (an idea we do not believe or teach)
*They needed “signs and wonders” in order to believe that Christ was the Son of God (an idea we do not believe or teach)

Hmmmmmm……………So, how is it exactly that WE are “Pharisees” if we don’t
believe or teach anything that the Pharisees believed or taught? It seems like
the ones who are calling us “Pharisees” are, in fact, Pharisees
themselves.

Furthermore, I believe that none of these things are optional. Christians cannot even suggest nor believe that Biblical Doctrine is optional to believe. In other words, God's standard holds for all people and isn't up for a debate. Either all of His Word is true, or none of it is. Therefore, its not an option to believe in the Deity of Jesus Christ---while many say its what they believe, not all hold all others up by this standard--its merely a personal preference and therefore to condemn us for condemning others in denying the deity of Jesus Christ, they still are pharisees. The same holds true for Salvation by faith alone, Justification alone, etc.

The Sermon on the Mount by Jesus is three chapters long, in which He "deconstructs" the Pharisee's leaven and shows the TRUTH of Scripture. In other words, the Lord wasn't saying pick and choose what you like from the Pharisees and Scribes since they have some truth. No, rather, He was rejecting them wholely (starting with His first action in His earthly ministry which was a call to spiritual war on them on their own "turf" (as they saw it) when He cleansed the Temple and then did it again at the end of His ministry). He showed how utterly blind and dead those men truly were. For further reading go here.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer: Not An Option

2Co 11:3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.


Today a friend emailed me with a concern that some teens in her church watched the Twilight movie without their parent's consent. Its certainly alarming given the basis of the book and its author, in light of Scripture. When challenged on the unbiblical practice of participating in these books and movies, the pastor's wife justified it as something akin to when she used to watch some sort of dark soap opera years ok---but just "pray about it" was the answer.

Pray about what?

Isn't that what the Mormons tell us to do regarding their Book of Mormon? What's to pray about? I mean, granted, we are to pray without ceasing and pray about everything, but what a sloppy and frankly, lazy way of NOT dealing with the seriousness of the demonic Twilight fad.

Berit Kjos has done some great research on this very issue, titled "Seven Reasons To Shun This Vampire Tale". She shows the dangers of this series and how its not biblical nor neutral.

She says in part:

"If my goal was to undermine Christianity, incite rebellion against parents, eradicate Biblical values, and spread moral chaos, I would urge teens to read the Twilight series. I would prompt them to immerse their minds and emotions in the dark, emotional whirlpool of sensual occultism. And I wouldn't warn them of the consequences.

Of course, my real goal is the opposite: to expose this assault on Biblical faith and to equip potential readers with information that enables them to resist the temptation to join the collective journey into the mind-changing realm of the occult. The following points show the raging spiritual war that's sure to intensify in the years ahead."

Then she goes into detail about why the books are so dangerous. Her list includes:

1. Vampires and Werewolves are rooted in pagan cultures around the world.
2. Fantasy and imagination can transform beliefs and values more quickly than reality.
3.God tells us to "abhor what is evil" and "cling to what is good."
4. Twilight's feel-good occultism brings "cognitive dissonance".
5. The consequence of compromise is a new belief system.
6. Redefining evil.
7. God's way to peace and victory [clearly the opposite of what Twilight does.]

Also included are letters from Christians who extol the book or who are very concerned for the book. I urge every parent and teenager to read this article in full, very carefully. If you truly believe Scripture, then you must reject the Twilight series in all its forms.

Exposing ourselves or our children to the occult and demonic activity is forbidden in Scripture. Its actually not showing love for them nor Christ. 1Cor. 13 says that God's love does not rejoice in wrongdoing (demons, witchcraft, sexual immorality, drinking blood, talking to the dead) IS wrongdoing folks. Instead, agape love rejoices in the Truth.

"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness.... Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!" Isaiah 5:20-21

Are your kids rejoicing in the "undead", the drinking of blood, the occult, thinking its romantic? Such "romance" is perverted and twisted. Is that what you want your precious daughters (or sons) to think on and use as some standard in their teenage minds?

There is no light in darkness, nor is there any darkness in the Light. This isn't some issue that falls into the Romans 14 catagory of personal convictions. There are clear commands about the occult, talking to the dead, drinking blood, and the perversion of eternity by drinking blood. What is this but trampling underfoot the blood of Christ? Of rejecting His clear commands and protection of HIS sheep?

Lev. 20: 6 ”‘I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people.

Isa 8:19 And when they say to you, "Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter," should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living?

Psa 16:4 The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips.

Php 4:8 Finally, brothers, 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.

2Ti 4:3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Eph 5:7 Therefore do not become partners with them; 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.

I suggest going here for furture information on the author, Stephanie Meyer and her Twilight books.

Reformers Continue In Their Inter-Faith Hand-holding



2Co 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
2Co 6:15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?
2Co 6:16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, "I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
2Co 6:17 Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you,
2Co 6:18 and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty."
"First Things" states: "First Things is published by The Institute on Religion and Public Life, an interreligious, nonpartisan research and education institute whose purpose is to advance a religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society."





Reformers involved in writing for a Roman Catholic (if not merely RC friendly) and definitely an inter-faith website:

http://firstthings.com/blogs/evangel/author/kevin-deyoung/

http://firstthings.com/blogs/evangel/author/frank-turk/

http://firstthings.com/blogs/evangel/author/justin-taylor/


Firsthings: Founding Editor: Richard John Neuhaus who was a Roman Catholic.
One of its editors and contributers, R.R. Reno is a professor of theology at Creighton University, a Roman Catholic school. Now, he claims to be a Christian, as does Turk, Taylor, etc. So the reader is left thinking, what? They all are? When Reno speaks of reading Scripture "with the church" is he going to have the same idea in mind as Turk or Taylor? This is hardly wise on their part.

Here's more of their inter-religions push, this time with Judaism:




First Things invites you to attenda lecture by Professor Michael Wyschogrod:

A King in Israel: A Theological Approach to Israel’s Constitutional
Problem

June 3, 2010 at 6:30 p.m.35 East 21st Street, 6th Floor

Introduction by Rabbi Meir Y. Soloveichik,Associate Rabbi of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun

A wine and cheese reception will follow the lecture.

Prof. Wyschogrod will lecture on Jewish covenantal theology and its application to the present challenges of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. First Things is honored to present this important thinker to our readers.



End quote.

Jews deny the God of Scripture for they deny Jesus Christ. They deny the sole way of salvation which is only through Jesus Christ the risen Lord. They hold to works and lineage to save them but Jesus rejects that.

1Jo 2:23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. 22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.

Roman Catholic stuff : "Hot Rod Catholicism" ; Catholic schools,: Conferences of RCC with Anglicans

For many, they see the RCC as a valid church and therefore will hold hands with it on some level. Only now these folks are becoming inter-faith, because I guess in their mind, truth is in everything, they just need to pick it out.

Scripture, however, calls for separating from the World and false religions. And no, I didn't say"isolation", I said separation. =)

God is not honored when those who claim His name refuse to do away with such things as a false demon institution like the RCC or Judaism. Both are lost and both need the Gospel. But then, many Reformers also see that the Doctrine of Justification is optional, hence they can sign the Manhattan Declaration or write for a Roman Catholic blog or die on the hill for a theologian who denied Justification by faith alone. The excuses are endless. Its all just man-centeredness, and certainly not about Christ alone or HIS glory alone nor by Faith alone --all of which they like to claim.

1Jo 2:21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because NO LIE IS OF THE TRUTH. [caps for emphasis]

Joh 7:24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment."

Is. 8 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.

Gal 1:9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. 10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

2Jo 1:9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

Tit 1:9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

Ray Boltz Continues In His Wickedness And "Christians" Continue to Feed His Rebellion

Jud 1:7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

1Co 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,

Ps 5: 5 The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; You hate all who do wrong. 6 You destroy those WHO tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful MEN the LORD abhors.

Ps. 11: 5 The LORD examines the righteous, but THE WICKED and THOSE WHO love violence His soul HATES. 6 On THE WICKED He will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot.

Ray Boltz continues to grow hardended in his heart and mind as he continues to justify his deviant rebellious and wicked lifestyle. Ken Silva reports this at Apprising Ministries today. Worse are other "Christians" who outright lie about God's holiness and holy hatred of the wicked and wickedness, telling the sodomite Boltz that he is still saved and God embraces him with a smile. They are earning their place in hell for plastering HIS holy name on such wickedness and then calling it love!

True agape love, the love God has and the love HE pours into our hearts by the Holy Spirit after we've been justified (Rom. 5:1-5), does NOT rejoice in wrongdoing (homosexuality is wrongdoing) but rejoices in the TRUTH (which would include God's Word, purity, holiness):

1Co 13:6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

These men (and women) are under God's wrath unless they repent. HE will not be mocked nor His name and His righteousness maligned.

Rick Warren's "Decade of Destiny": Get with the program or leave!

Rick Warren is making news again. Accoring to "Christian" Post:

Quote:

During his weekend sermon, Warren laid out a plan for Saddleback's next "Decade of Destiny" in which he's anticipating exponential growth. And the plan has no room for fake Christians, he indicated.

"Let me just be honest with you as somebody who loves you. If you passively just want to sit around in the next 10 years and just waste your life on things that won't last, you probably want to find another church because you're not going to really feel comfortable here. Because if you're in this church, I'm coming after you to be mobilized," said the renowned southern California pastor.

They include: supernatural power through prayer, using everybody's language and every communication channel for mission, mobilizing everybody from kids to seniors, life-changing truth, loving support or fellowship, joyful worship, generous sacrifices and exponential growth.

"If we went back to New Testament real Christianity, not the fake stuff ... do you think we could reach more people for Jesus?" he posed.

End quote.

This is just a way to get rid of resisters, or perhaps in his own organization (its certainly not a church), those that aren't as quick to jump on whatever bandwagon Warren is touting.

Crossroad has done extensive research on PDL's way of dealing with resisters (those who don't easily go along with the PDL program of Warren's--he learned this from many others including Peter Drucker).

The short list (Crossroad delves into each one with examples and explainations, here I just wanted to be brief with the list titles):

1. Identify the resisters.
2. Assess resisters and determine the degree of resistance.
3. Befried, involve, and persuade borderline resisters.
4.Marginalize more persistant resisters.
5. Vilivfy those who "stay and fight".
6. Establish rules, regulations, laws and principles that silence, punish or drive out resisters

Here are some excerpts from the Crossroad article:

Quote:

Rick Warren is more subtle, and his references to health versus disease cloak his hostility toward "unhealthy" members who resist his agenda. In The Purpose Driven Church, he writes:

"When a human body is out of balance we call that disease.... Likewise, when the
body of Christ becomes unbalanced, disease occurs.... Health will occur only
when everything is brought back into balance. The task of church leadership is
to discover and remove growth-restricting diseases and barriers so that natural,
normal growth can occur."[1,
page 16]

Ponder the subtle suggestions and negative labels Pastor Warren attaches to individuals who question his purpose-driven management system:

"The Bible knows nothing of solitary saints or spiritual hermits isolated
from other believers...."[6,
page 130]


"Today's culture of independent individualism has created many
spiritual orphans—'bunny believers' who hop around from one church to another
without any identity, accountability or commitments. Many believe one can be a
"good Christian' without joining (or even attending ) a local church, but
God would strongly disagree."[6,
page 133]


"A church family moves you out of self-centered isolation."[6,
page 133]


"Isolation breeds deceitfulness."[6,
page 134]

Emphasis added in each item



Notice the derogatory implication in each statement. We discussed some of God's special "solitary saints" earlier. Trusting God alone, they grew strong in Spirit. Those who have searched long and hard for a Biblical church with solid teaching and edifying fellowship may identify with what Rick Warren mocks as "bunny believers." And the "isolation" of a faithful Christian who obeys God's call to separation from worldliness and unbiblical fellowship produces purity, not deceitfulness. [2 Corinthians 6:12-18]

You saw evidence of Pastor Warren's holistic views in the chapter on "Unity and Community." Some of the following rules or principles also reflect a collective ideal. Violations open the door to various disciplines:

"God blesses churches that are unified. At Saddleback Church, every member signs
a covenant that includes a promise to protect the unity of our fellowship. As a
result, the church has never had a conflict that split the fellowship...."[6,
page 167]
Emphasis added

"Rick's Rules of Growth.... Third, never criticize what God is blessing, even
though it may be a style of ministry that makes you feel uncomfortable." [1,
page 62]


End quote.

Again, the entire article can be read here. I highly recommend it, because while our old church was not a PDL church, they accepted Warren as a Christian, and treated those who saw their doctrine and practice as unbiblical, in the same manner. You might get encouragement reading the Crossroad article if you've felt alone in your fight for Truth.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Norm Geisler Lashes Out Against Caner Doubters

The circling of the wagons around Ergun Caner continues, his time its by Norm Geisler. Go here for James White's reponse and questions.

I don't know what else to say except that when one repeatedly claims something to be true, when in fact it is not, that is a deception and a lie. What's so hard about this?

If Caner hasn't lied, then why is there evidence he has? Furthermore, why did he or Liberty silently revamp his bio page? If what he says is true (if one really be born in three different countries and debate people he never met), he should've left his biography as is.

Reminds me of the uh, "inconsistancies" of Benny Hinn, Mike Warnke, and Obama, with their false claims of their pasts too. Their defends got pretty upset too, when their man was questioned and proven to be lying.

Anyone questioning the obvious contradictory statements are considered "extreemists" and "slanderous". Furthermore, how is it slanderous to show the evidence of lying and then call it such?

I wonder, if like Piper, Geisler asked a few questions and Caner gave the answers he knew Geisler wanted to hear, so he could go out and be his PR man? I mean, we saw this with Piper defending Warren, when in fact we have multitudes of video, sermons, books, and articles by Warren himself to prove that he's anything but a Christian. Why are writers such as these two men unable or unwilling to do a thorough investigation themselves? Or are we to believe, like in Clinton's day, everyone else is lying except the man himself? Even when there's proof otherwise?

"A little plain-speaking would do a world of good just now. These gentlemen desire to be let alone. They want no noise raised. Of course thieves hate watch-dogs, and love darkness. It is time that somebody should spring his rattle, and call attention to the way in which God is being robbed of his glory, and man of his hope.For the present it behoves believers to be cautious, lest they lend their support and countenance to the betrayers of the Lord."~Spurgeon

Are You An "X-Man"?

I came across Larry DeBruyn's article and am so glad he asks the same thing!
Marked for life: discernment ministry in light of Ezekiel 9:1-11. by Larry DeBruyn
Quote:
Someone once said that sin is as much breaking God’s heart as it is His Law. When God looked down on the perversity of the people on earth before the Deluge, it was recorded that He “was grieved in His heart” (Genesis 6:6b). When confronted by resident wickedness both without and within the professing church, Christians can manifest one of three reactions: approval (1 Corinthians 5:2), indifference (Zephaniah 1:12), or disapproval as indicated by the presence of either anger (Psalm 119:53) or grief (Psalm 119:136). So the question becomes, as we see the worldliness-wickedness invading the church, how do we feel about it? Are we agitated by, indifferent to, or accommodating of it?
The prophet Ezekiel wrote about a different mark, an "X" that was to be written on the foreheads of those in Judah who had refused to go along with the popular spiritual trends of that day. The "X" would spare them from the coming divine wrath. So the Lord instructed the angel: "Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst" (Ezekiel 9:4). Pause with me . . . for a moment let's project back to that era and ask ourselves the following question: If we had been alive in Ezekiel's day, would the angel have marked us to be spared from divine judgment?
Allow me to propose a litmus test as to whether or not we might have been marked in Ezekiel’s day. But before asking some questions, we should note the Apostle Peter’s warning: “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you” (2 Peter 2:1; Compare Matthew 7:13-15; Jude 17-19.). Based upon Peter’s prediction, does the worldliness that is invading the church bother us? (James 4:4) Does it concern us when we see churches being manipulated by the mechanics of church growth, when the end of growth justifies any means to achieve it? (2 Corinthians 2:17) Does it bother our souls to see the goal of growth eclipsing the Gospel, to see methods employed usurping the Message preached? (Romans 1:16) Does it grieve us to observe the church believing God’s truth less while enjoying “worship celebrations” more? (Matthew 15:8-9) Does the rampant immorality amongst professing evangelicals cause us to sigh? (1 Corinthians 5:2) Were you bothered a few years ago when one evangelical leader, who led a movement in his state to preserve the institution of traditional marriage, was cornered into admitting that he solicited sex from a male prostitute? (Jeremiah 23:14) Do false teachers with their strange and unbiblical teachings annoy you? (Revelation 2:2) Given our media age, does the development of the personality cults around evangelical leaders and speakers, where appearance and a schmoozing style trump substance, concern us? (1 Corinthians 1:12; 2 Peter 2:3; Jude 16) Are some of us even unaware that there are such critters as false teachers who stupefy their followers with their heretical teachings? (Romans 16:17) Does it upset us to see the Christian faith being publicly maligned for reason of the immoral behavior and unbiblical teachings prevalent amongst professing evangelicals? (2 Peter 2:2) In short, are we discerners? (Hebrews 5:14) If we are not, then we should not expect to be marked.

Well, you might be asking, how can we know whether or not a person is a false teacher? Through Jeremiah the Lord provided this description of false prophets: “The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds” (Jeremiah 14:14). Of such prophets Jeremiah said that, “They speak a vision of their own imagination, not from the mouth of the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:16b). Again, I ask you, do you know of any false prophets today? You may protest the question saying, “Well, I know men who speak for God who are true.” But that’s not the question. Do you know any false teachers? I know this is a discomforting question–but do you? If you don’t, I would say that you have a very grave problem . . . a very grave problem indeed. And it is this: You may not value God’s truth enough to know what it is and thereby be incapable of discerning “the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:4-6).

End quote.

For the entire article go here.

I've been very concerned lately about the lack of belief that there are indeed such things as wolves among the sheep RIGHT NOW. It seems its impossible for most "Evangelical Christians" to think that there are wolves among their own church or circles. Certainly, their favorite pastor/teacher/conference speaker couldn't possibly be a wolf, nor would he ever offer a wolf to them!

Oh no?

Then why is Scripture replete with warnings to believers to watch out for false shepherds, false teachers, false brothers, wolves in sheeps clothing....who "secretly creep in among YOU"?

If you think there is not a false teacher among you in this current soceity, then you are already deceived my friend.

Heretics do not announce themselves as heretics. They don't have horns protuding from their heads, they don't have pitchforks and red suits, they don't have an evil look.

Heretics are those who look just like  sheep but inwardly are wolves. His nature and his heart are hostile to the truth, but outwardly he claims to hold to the truth. Its enough to get him in that church door of yours, or on your "Christian" bookstore shelf, or in your "Christian" magazine.

He often wears a smile and has a friendly countenance (for a time, before he is revealed by the light of Truth). He prays, he professes faith in Christ, he may preach from your church pulpit or teach your Sunday School. You might hear his voice on the radio or see his books in stores. Your best friend highly recommends this "godly" man. He seems so nice and sincere, he couldn't possibly be a wolf.

But he's not of Christ. And when you start to compare all he does and says in light of Scripture, you begin to get the REAL picture of who he truly is. Remember folks, sincerity is not the test of whether one is in Christ. How nice a person is, is not the test either. Nor is the rubber stamp of approval from others you admire, the test of whether he (or she!) is biblical.

The first step in not falling for deception is to have a high (the highest) view of Scripture (Ps. 119; 138:2; Matt. 4:4). It is through knowing and literally handling the Word of God, in faith, that one can know truth from error which is part of maturity in Christ:

Heb 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

Knowing and believing that deception will grow worse as the days grow darker and the return of Christ is soon, we will, as God has commanded, be on guard all the time. Also, because we believe what Scripture says, we will start to see the reality of false teachers sprouting up all around us for this same reason:

2Th 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,2Th 2:10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.2Th 2:11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,
2Th 2:12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

The more you know and love the Word, the more you treasure it and strive to obey it. This means that your heart will be grieved at what you see because of the deception of so many. At the same time there is also true joy in the beauty and truth of the living Word.

God's standard is high. It is our rod and staff. It is our measuring stick by which we test all things. If we truly love God and His precious Word (as HE does), then anything that falls short of it will grieve us.

When you look at someone like Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, Beth Moore, John Piper, Mark Driscoll, what do you see? What do you think when you hear their names? Do you think they have the Gospel? Do you think they proclaim the Truth? How would you know if any or all of them fail the test of Scripture as teachers of the Word?

Do you care?

If you see the doctrines of Scripture as optional, then that means you have a problem of discernment and with the Word. It means you need to examine yourself to see if you truly are in the faith. It means you need to consider if you know what the real Gospel of Jesus Christ is and what the doctrine of Justification is.

Are you willing to divide from family, friends, pastor, church, books, authors, singers, for the sake of the Truth? Are you? You do realize that following Christ Jesus in faith guarantees you will need to choose between them and Christ at some point, don't you? Exactly how do you suppose households would be divided among themselves for the cause of Christ (Matt. 10:21-22, 34-38)?

Isa 8:20 To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.

Remember what Scripture says:

Act 20:28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.
Act 20:29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;Act 20:30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.Act 20:31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears.Act 20:32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Are You A Hierling Or an Undershepherd? Take the test!

Are You A Hierling Or an Undershepherd? Take the test!

Encouragement In Jehovah: Our Unchangeable God In Changing Times

"Our great consolation in the worst times lies in our God. The very name of our covenant God—"the Lord thy God"—is full of good cheer. That word, "the Lord," is really JEHOVAH, the self-existent One, the unchangeable One, the ever-living God, who cannot change or be moved from his everlasting purpose. Children of God, whatever you have not got, you have a God in whom you may greatly glory. Having God you have more than all things, for all things come of him; and if all things were blotted out, he could restore all things simply by his will. He speaketh, and it is done; he commandeth, and it stands fast. Blessed is the man that hath the God of Jacob for his trust, and whose hope Jehovah is. In the Lord Jehovah we have righteousness and strength; let us trust in him for ever. Let the times roll on, they cannot affect our God. Let troubles rush upon us like a tempest, but they shall not come nigh unto us now that he is our defense. Jehovah, the God of his church, is also the God of each individual member of it, and each one may therefore rejoice in him. Jehovah is as much your God, my brother, as if no other person in the universe could use that covenant expression. O believer, the Lord God is altogether and wholly your God! All his wisdom, all his foresight, all his power, all his immutability—all himself is yours. "
~ Spurgeon

Are You Offended When God is Offended?

"God's people cannot bear that Christ's atoning sacrifice should be dishonored; they cannot endure that his truth should be trodden as mire in the streets....

This burdened spirit, is a token of true love to God: those who love the Lord Jesus are wounded in his woundings, and vexed with the vexings of his Spirit. When Christ is dishonored his disciples are dishonored. Those who have a tender heart towards the church can say with Paul, "Who is offended, and I burn not?" The sins of the church of God are the sorrows of all living members of it. This also marks a healthy sensibility, a vital spirituality. Those who are unspiritual care nothing for truth or grace: they look to finances, and numbers, and respectability. Utterly carnal men care for none of these things; and so long as the political aims of Dissenters are progressing, and there is an advance in social position, it is enough for them. But men whose spirits are of God would sooner see the faithful persecuted than see them desert the truth, sooner see churches in the depths of poverty full of holy zeal than rich churches dead in worldliness. Spiritual men care for the church even when she is in an evil case, and cast down by her adversaries: "thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favor the dust thereof." The house of the Lord is to many of us our own house, his family is our family. Unless the Lord Jesus be extolled, and his gospel conquer, we feel that our own personal interests are blighted, and we ourselves are in disgrace. It is no small thing to us: it is our life." ~Spurgeon

Where's your heart?

Matt Chandler: Charismatic Reformergent

I'm going to push this a little further than Ken Silva did in his piece titled " ACTS 29 PASTOR MATT CHANDLER ON BEING A REFORMED CHARISMATIC" and show something interesting. Chandler, as I have stated in previous posts, is a Reformergent (much to the chagrin of his suporters). His Charismaticism blends well with ECM because both are mystical, both are man-centered, and both have low view of God.
As Robert Morey once said:

"Just because someone says, “I believe in sola scriptura,” does not mean he really believes in it. If he elsewhere says that the Bible is not the final authority in faith and practice, he has denied in substance what he supposedly affirmed as a slogan. Heretics have always done this. What they affirm with the right hand is what they deny with the left hand. It does not matter what doctrine is at stake."

He's right. This is exactly what Jude and Peter warned about when they said there would be false teachers who "secretly creep in among you", who will "secretly bring in destructive heresie" and are "hidden reefs among your love feasts". "Secretly" "hidden" and "creep" are key words here. They say enough "right" things to not be immediately detected, but eventually they are found out, for God makes that happen. They do not announce themselves as "heretics" or hirelings or false brothers.

More recent problems with Chandler, is as follows:

Chandler is also part of the Ecumenical Saddleback Conversation.

He is part of the ECM scene: Missionshift conference and Exponential 10

Go to my research here where I show more of what I call Reformergence (blending Reformed theology with Emergent Church Movement theology and practice).

The problem with the Charismatic movement(CM) is that not only is it unbiblical, but it denies several biblical doctrines that Calvinists claim they believe, such as Sola Scriptura,that God speaks now only through His Word and not giving more revelations (the canon of Scripture is closed). The Charismatic movement and its theology have a high view of man and a low view of God. At its very heart is Arminian theology. It also has occultic practices. Its also very feministic, contrary to Scripture which does not allow for women to teach men nor have authority over them in the church. But then, all these things of the CM is really in line with the Emergent Church Movement (ECM). Experience, not biblical Truth determine what they believe. Women can teach men in church. God still speaks. There's a huge lack of discernment and spiritual maturity in both the ECM and the CM, precisely because their view of God and His Word are way too low. They are fleshly, worldly, and are hostile to the purity of the Truth of Scripture.

Which is why so many can't let go of their magisterium mentality or "touch not God's anoint" (whether Charismatic or Reformed). Instead of loyalty to Christ, their loyalty is to men who failed the test of Scripture. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, as is justification.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What Do You Think?

If someone came to you and

denied the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture
believed that spiritual truth can be found outside of Scripture
did not believe in Justification by faith alone
denied total depravity
said Jesus repented
said Jesus added the little part to salvation we could not
believed in the Mass and Eucharist as the real presence of Jesus
prayed for the dead
believed in Purgatory
believed in Universalism (salvation in other religions)
believe that baptism saves...

would you consider this person saved?


What if someone came to you and said they believed the following:

the Apocrypha is part of the inspired Scriptures
tradition is authortative
baptismal regeneration and grace
baptismal salvation
real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist
that Mass is a sacrifice
that the Eucharist is necessary for salvation
Purgatory and praying for the dead
can pray to dead saints and the saints will intercede
the Roman Catholic Church is authoritative
the apostolic succession
possibility of falling from sin
the "sacrament" of penance
Mary stayed a virgin...

do you think this person is a true Christian?


If someone told you they hold to:

baptismal regeneration
the eucharist
signing of the cross at prayer
indulgences
the position of the pope
absolution of sin by priests and the church
Mary as Mother of God and perpetual virgin and sinless...

would you say they are true Christians? Would you approve of such persons preaching in your church's pulpit?




Do you believe there is such a thing as damnable doctrine?

What false doctrines make a person a false Christian?

What did Jude mean about "certain people have crept in unnoticed" and "hidden reefs at your love feasts"? Why did he tell them this? How did they creep in unnoticed and be hidden among them?

What did Peter mean when he said: "there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies"? How could such men be "reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you"? Why is Peter telling them of these things?

Could it be that false teachers say enough right things to be the reefs unnoticed, and therefore secretly bring in destructive heresies?

Or do you suppose false teachers announce themselves as heretics? If that were the case, why the secrecy and deception used by them?

And why don't most professing Christians CARE about the hidden reefs, twice dead trees, waterless clouds, seductive teachers, among them? Or do they think its IMPOSSIBLE to have false teachers in their circle?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Caner Takes The Heat; Gives Piper Some Relief

Now that Ergun Caner is getting the main heat from people, John Piper, Rick Warren, and their defenders can breathe a little easier now. Bet they're glad for the distraction.

But discernment ministries aren't easily distracted. More importantly, God is never distracted.

Stand by.

Paul On Mars Hill

Act 17:16 "Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols."

I was reading a book that discussed this portion of Scripture and how Paul actually did NOT "contextualize" nor try to change the message of the Gospel to suit the unbeliever's ears in Athens. Many man-centered "Christians" like to claim this about Paul, even claiming that pagan writings are inspired and approved by God. The reality its the very opposite.

What is interesting is that Paul, a well educated man, wasn't impressed with the culture he found himself in. Indeed, it would've been the one city that would have fed that "intellectualism" so many have (and to his bright mind, no doubt). But not him. He wasn't impressed with their buildings, art, philosophies--the worldliness and intellectualism of that ancient city of Athens. No. He was GRIEVED by their paganism.

I don't see "Christian" intellectuals having that same grief. Rather I see them attracted to the world, impressed with it, consumed by it, drawn to it, seeing so much "good" in it. Paul didn't. He saw that ACTUAL problem which was not only unbelief, but PAGAN unbelief.

With all the scholars of the day there, with all their philosophies and education, these intellectuals worshipped false gods and goddesses; idols of perversion and immorality. So much for the scholars' logic. It seems about the most illogical thing to do---worship a stone, a tree--believe in myths and fairytales.

Acts 17 is an amazing demonstration of the power of the preaching of the Gospel. In it we see what Paul meant by 1Cor:
1Co 1:18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart." 20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

1Co 2:2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

Paul proclaimed the resurrected Christ Jesus to the scholars of Athens. Some mocked, a few were willing to hear from him again. Most thought it was entertaining:Act 17:21 "Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new."

The scholars called him a "babbler"--name calling by the intellectual elite of the day (that's a logical fallacy!), but they were the ones without understanding, babbling on about nonsensical myths and philosophies. They were not enlightened in the least.

Paul boldly tells them their religions and practices are are wrong. The unknown God they knew existed, because their own poets admitted, thus proving Paul's point in Romans 1 that they DID know He existed, yet worshipped false gods in temple. They worshipped the creation rather than the Creator. It showed their lack of TRUE knowledge and wisdom.

They got it wrong on every point and that is what Paul showed them. They were darkened in their understanding completely. Not once did Paul tell them they were sorta right. He didn't build a bridge of common ground.They were wrong.

The unknown God, Paul declared, is Knowable. He is Creator, Master of Heaven and Earth, doesn't live in any temple built by man (their temples therefore were worthless), He is sovereignly in control of all people/nations/ creation, He is to be worshipped, and that they needed to to worship HIM. The Unknown God is not like their idols of gold, silver, or stone; He is not like anything in their imagination. He is set apart, above all creation. And (here's the zinger), this God whom they knew existed, demands for them to repent,has fixed a DAY to judge all the world by one righteous man who was raised from the dead.

Instead of approving of pagan poets, Paul used them to demonstrate what he said in Romans 1: they KNEW God existed, yet refused to worship HIM, and instead, create worthless, deaf and mute idols, wallowing in sexual perversion. It actually shows their condemnation.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Cross of Christ Shows God's Hatred of Sin

From Grace Gems:

(Samuel Davies, "The Preaching of Christ Crucified, the Means of Salvation")


"Christ died for the ungodly!" Romans 5:6

In the cross of Christ--God's hatred to sin is manifested in the most striking light! The evil of sin is exposed in the most dreadful colors! Now it appears, that such is the divine hatred against all sin, that God can by no means forgive sin, without punishment; and that all the infinite benevolence of His nature towards His creatures cannot prevail upon Him to pardon the least sin--without an adequate satisfaction.

Nay, now it appears that when so malignant and abominable a thing is but imputed to His dear Son, His co-equal, His darling, His favorite--that even He could not escape unpunished--but was made a monument of vindictive justice, to all worlds!

What can more strongly expose the evil of sin--than the cross of Christ? Sin is such an intolerably malignant and abominable thing, that even a God of infinite mercy and grace--cannot let the least instance of it pass unpunished!

It was not a small thing that could arm God's justice against the Son of His love. Though He was perfectly innocent in Himself--yet when He was made sin for us--God spared not His own Son--but delivered Him up unto death--the shameful, tormenting, and accursed death of the cross!

Go, you fools, who make a mock at sin! Go and learn its malignity and demerit--at the cross of Jesus!

WHO is it that hangs there writhing in the agonies of death--His hands and feet pierced with nails, His side with a spear, His face bruised with blows, and drenched with tears and blood, His heart melting like wax, His whole frame racked and disjointed; forsaken by His friends, and even by His Father; tempted by devils, and insulted by men? Who is this amazing spectacle of woe and torture? It is Jesus, the eternal Word of God; His Elect, in whom His soul delights; His beloved Son, in whom He is well pleased!

And WHAT has He done? He did no wickedness; He knew no sin--but was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners. And WHY then, all these dreadful sufferings from heaven, earth, and hell? Why, He only stood in the law-place of sinners; He only received their sin by imputation. And you see what it has brought upon Him! You see how low it has reduced Him! What a horrid evil must that be--which has such tremendous consequences, even upon the Darling of heaven!

Oh! what still more dreadful havoc would SIN have made, if it had been punished upon the sinner himself in his own person! Surely all the various miseries which have been inflicted upon our guilty world in all ages, and even all the punishments of hell--do not so loudly proclaim the terrible desert and malignity of sin--as the cross of Christ!

The infinite malignity of sin, and God's hatred to it, appear nowhere in so striking and dreadful a light--as in the cross of Christ! Let a reasonable creature take but one serious view of that cross, and surely he must ever after tremble at the thought of the least sin!

End quote.

More quotes, sermons, and devotionals at Grace Gems.

So "Doctrinally and Theologically Sound", Rick Warren Has New Agers Defending Him

Cephas reported: (exerpts)

Tuesday, in an article in the Detroit News, something happened that doesn't happen every day. In fact, it may never have happened before. The headline read, "Faith leaders deserve a shot at creating peace on earth." The author of the article was defending Rick Warren. Well, that's not too unusual -- many Christian leaders, pastors and teachers have done that consistently since the release of The Purpose Driven Life. That would hardly be newsworthy. But this article was written by someone who does not defend conservative Christians. On the contrary, she stands for beliefs that are opposed to biblical Christianity. Her name is Marianne Williamson.

[Note:The Detroit News link is no longer working, but here is one from WorldNetDaily.]

Many of you may be familiar with Williamson, but for those who are not, she is a major figure in the New Age movement. She is currently part of a growing effort in Washington DC to convince the US government to open a Department of Peace. Respected figures like Walter Cronkite work with Marianne Williamson in this effort, and New Age leader Barbara Marx Hubbard is a co-visionary of Williamson's .

What is so significant about Williamson's recent defense of Rick Warren is how she ties meditation into the scope of the global peace plan, and as we have laid out over and over in the books we have published (A Time of Departing and Running Against the Wind) and the articles we have written here at Lighthouse Trails, Rick Warren is a promoter of Eastern style meditation (i.e., contemplative prayer). And of all people to recognize this, Marianne Williamson did! Christian leaders haven't, but a New Age leader has.

Whole article here.

Yup, Williamson, who's big fan is Oprah, sees Tricky Ricky's New Age mysticism, but someone like John Piper, who claims to be a mature Christian, strong in biblical doctrine, indwelled by the Spirit of Truth, can't see it but rather says Warren is "theologically and doctrinally sound"?! In the words of John Stossle, "give me a break!"