Posted in a pastor guards his flock, false teaching, the subtlety of satan, wolves

How a Pastor guards his flock: Jim Murphy’s sermon "The Subtlety of Satan" Part 1

Part two here. Please read it as well, I entreat you.

I listened to a great sermon on Monday, and I mentioned it in a blog yesterday, here. I decided to do a stand-alone blog entry about this sermon, because the sermon blessed me to tears and encouraged me beyond measure. Perhaps it will for you too.

The Subtlety of Satan, by Jim Murphy

Pastor Jim Murphy is pastor at First Baptist Church at Johnson City NY. On Sunday, July 8, 2012, He stood before his congregation resolved and firm. He had been convicted to share with them, and actually reprove them (and himself) of the false teachings that Christian books, curricula, and bible studies are promoting today. It had permeated his church and he was broken-hearted about that, not the least because he had been worried about these teachings but had done nothing. Well, this is something.

He said he was going to root this stuff out, and purify his local church. He said, “And you’ve heard the rumor, that Pastor Jim killed the Beth Moore trip. Let me clarify that rumor: I killed the Beth Moore trip.”

He spent an hour Sunday laying the context for how the modern church of 2012 has come to be so weak, accepting falsity for true, and being me-oriented instead of God-oriented. Though the slide away from our firm foundation began long ago, in his sermon,  he started the trip in the mid-1940s. He educated his congregation about Gnosticism, post modernism, Christian Universalism, Emergent Church, and more. He named the names of the wolves bringing these teachings, and among them were Rick Warren, Beth Moore, John Piper, Bill Hybels, Francis Chan, Rob Bell.

He also chided his congregation for being undiscerning, and that their lack of discernment came from laziness. He charged them. He charged himself. He was strong.

Rather than being unloving, as the liberals claim today, he was being the most loving of a preacher than I’ve heard in a long time. Raw, honest, clear, he was doing what pastors are supposed to do: guard his flock from wolves in sheep’s clothing.

The Sola Sisters were the ones bringing the sermon to our attention, and I thank them for that. It has gained wide notice in our circles, being on the Brannon Howse’s World View Weekend radio program, being linked to by many others, being spoken of in chat rooms. The flavor of all this notice is one of gratitude. As Brannon Howse told his listening audience, ‘I’ve been encouraging you that there are pastors out there who stand against this stuff. They are out there…here is one!’


Reactions to the sermon:

Brannon Howse radio program examining Pastor Jim’s sermon, part 1. WVW shows are available for two weeks, after that, they cost $5. Part two was broadcast today and can be listened to here.

Here are some transcripts of part of the sermon that other bloggers have posted.

Julia’s excerpts from Steak and a Bible

“Now is the time for clarity. No more messing around. No more experimentation. No more dabbling into these dangerous practices. Now is the time for clarity and that clarity comes through discernment: this ability to think Biblically. The ability to read a book and see what it is saying aside from the warm fuzzy you got from it. Discernment takes time and it takes work and shame on you for not taking the time and effort. shame on you.”

“How do you know it’s not God’s voice if you don’t know the Bible?”

“I’m here to ask your forgiveness. I expressed my concerns along the way in several areas but there were some things that I heard and saw that I was not comfortable with and I thought well, let’s just roll with this. It may be not that bad.”

“Today things change. I’m responsible for this ministry. I will be called a tyrant, a fundamentalist, controlling – you fill in the blanks – I don’t care anymore. We’re going to be making some changes and we’re going to root this stuff out of our ministry because it is unacceptable. It is not biblical Christianity and we’re going to get back to the Bible. I’m not going to make a lot of friends …”

We do NOT need mystical experiences
to validate the Word of God!

“There are pagan books floating around. I’ll be addressing that in writing. When it’s published I’ll give you a copy. You need to learn to be discerning and we’re not. Why? You need to get into your Bible. You don’t know because you don’t read and you don’t study. Number two: You need to connect the dots. The Bible says this. Why this? If the Bible says that you have been given everything for faith and practice in this book, what do you suppose that means? That you have been given everything for faith and practice in that book, which means this: you don’t have to hear voices, and you don’t have to go by experiences. You can know the truth in this book and that truth will set you free. You get that don’t you?”

“What I now have no patience for — I’m kind of at the end of my rope, I’m gonna be honest with you — is the lack of effort. I’ve addressed some of these matters. “Oh it’s no big deal.” How dare you! It is a big deal. It’s a big deal to me, it’s a big deal to God and it’s a big deal to the opposition.”

An Unnamed Christian Woman’s excerpts at My Sheep Hear My Voice

Relevance v. Repentance

“What is a Christian according to the contextually relevant teachers of today? “Someone who has made the decision to be an emotionally well adjusted self actualized risk taking leader who knows his purpose, lives a no regret life of significance, has overcome his fears, enjoys a healthy marriage, is an attentive parent, celebrating recovery from all of their lusts, their habits, their hangups and practices biblical stress relief techniques, is financially free from consumer debt, fosters emotionally healthy relationships with his peers, attends a weekly life group, volunteers regularly at his church, tithes off the gross and has taken at least one humanitarian aid trip to a third world country. That’s who a Christian is. What about the Gospel? Never once do you read in that modern contextualization that a Christian is one who sees their sin, confesses their sin, repents of their sin, and receives the gift of salvation in Christ alone. That is how far we have come.”

This is long so I’m going to make a part two and talk just a tiny bit more about this, using an analogy, and ending with an encouragement. Again, here is the link for the wonderful sermon, “The Subtlety of Satan.” Please take an hour and listen…or break it up into two halves. I am sure that you will learn, be encouraged, and refreshed at listening to a pastor guard his flock.

For your consideration-
How a Pastor guards his flock: Jim Murphy’s sermon “The Subtlety of Satan” Part 2: God takes away the discernment of the elders.


Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.

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