By Elizabeth Prata
RightNow Media is “A streaming library of more than 20,000 Bible study videos for leaders to share with their people.” The organization says the streaming, virtual app will “help you equip and disciple your people every day of the week.” They also offer streaming libraries to various ages in schools, from elementary to High School. And they also have programs and platforms for work environments that include training programs on leadership and teamwork, and so on. RightNow has “more than 25,000 Christian Bible study videos for church leaders to share with their people and small groups. The app and video content supports 9 languages and serves more than 25,000 churches around the world.”
Reviewers and users call RightNow Media “essentially the Netflix of Christian media”, “a useful tool”, “wonderful, Bible-based content from Christian leaders throughout the world” and more.
This would be an acceptable thing, if the app wasn’t stuffed with so many false teachers.
In addition, the media outlet says that “Everything we do at RightNow Media is rooted in Jesus’s promise that God will use his people to change the world.”
The modern, progressive church likes that mantra- ‘change the world.’ We are not called to change the world but to call people to repentance and belief in the Gospel, and to make disciples. The world is going to end in fire and be made new. Meanwhile, we seek souls to share the Gospel with before GOD changes the world.
I’m wary of virtual church anything, first and foremost. I understand the temptation to rely on streaming networks for small groups in discipleship, but it’s best to have live leaders using the Bible, present and engaged with you.
I watched carefully when RightNow Media initially came along. I was dismayed when it was soon flooded with teachers who teach either falsely or have serious issues with their theology with great parts at variance with the New Testament.
Here is a sampling of some of the teachers at RightNow Media I not only don’t recommend, but urge you to mark and avoid: Rick Warren, Patrick Lencioni, Chris Lowney (Lencioni and Lowney are both practicing Catholics), Ann Voskamp, Matt Chandler, Stormie Omartian, Beth Moore, Lisa Harper, Max Lucado, Jen Wilkin, Kay Warren, Louie Giglio, Kyle Idleman, Andy Stanley, John Maxwell. Mystic Dallas Willard’s series “Hearing God” is on there.
Yes there was Alistair Begg and RC SProul and Stephen Nichols, solid men, and probably a few other more solid teachers I didn’t see among the vast listings that I’d recommend, but that’s all. A few drops in the face of a tsunami of teachers and ministries I would not recommend is not a good balance. And yes, there appears to be a feature for church administrators to ‘hide’ media they do not wish their flock to be exposed to. But there are so many, the Admin would be spending all his time vetting and hiding rather than using.
Here is a more explicit look at a few of the teachers at RightNow I would not recommend, and why:
Jennie Allen: She founded “If:Gathering” a parachurch organization which is separate from any church oversight, and in addition to online teachings and an annual conference, encourages female real life fellowshipping around some studies distinct from their own churches, which actually ends up competing with local churches. The online gatherings and the annual conference is hosted by many false teachers. Jennie founded IF:Gathering when in her own words, “a voice from the sky” told her to “gather and equip women for this generation”. However, the gathering and equipping was a charge given by the Apostles to local churches, not free-wheeling women responding to a voice from the sky.
Francis Chan: Preached at International House of Prayer (IHOP), a hotbed of charismaticism and heresy, stating he “loves Mike Bickle” who founded IHOP and is a rank heretic. Partners with Catholics, calls them brothers. http://www.piratechristian.com/messedupchurch/2016/12/the-mike-bickle-and-ihop-cornucopia-of-false-teaching-bridal-weirdness-and-confusion
Francis Chan receives backlash after comments on the Catholic Eucharist: https://www.foxnews.com/us/christian-pastor-communion-catholic
Anne Voskamp is a mystical panentheist who uses sensual language to describe her relationship with Christ. Bob DeWaay is a super good writer and discerner who wrote about the troubling beliefs of Voskamp here:
Andy Stanley preached in a Christmas message (!) that “Christianity doesn’t hinge on the truth or even the stories of Jesus (!?Stories?) it really hinges on the resurrection of Jesus.” He downplays the virgin birth, 90-second explanation here, from Pastor Gabe Hughes, who also runs the Ministry When We Understand the Text (WWUTT). https://youtu.be/pXj-qoEQpW8
Andy Stanley also famously preached that the church includes unbelievers, that one can and should “unhitch” from the Old Testament, and more. A roundup of his heretical views is here: “Polite Leader” Alan Hunter who included a few famous folks in his video rebuttal of Andy Stanley’s errant views and included more links to critiques of his heresies. https://youtu.be/DENmtufQvhk
JD Greear: A known plagiarist (he stole/borrowed/took sermons from Tim Keller and gave his own sermons to SBC President Ed Litton), and buys his sermons from Docent, an organization that prepares sermon materials for a wide range of Evangelical pastors regardless of doctrinal convictions. He also preached that God only whispers about homosexuality…
Mark Batterson: known for his ‘Circle Maker’ books (a practice with no biblical precedent but lots of witchcraft precedent) is reviewed here, negatively, by respected book reviewer and pastor, Tim Challies. https://www.challies.com/book-reviews/the-circle-maker/
John Eldredge: known for his ‘Wild at Heart books’, Tim Challies said he’d intended to review it but found it “was so full of error and absolutely ridiculous nonsense that I just didn’t have the heart to document it all. Honestly, I was frustrated and discouraged to see that a book like Wild at Heart could make it to the top of the Christian best-seller’s lists.” Nevertheless, Gary Gilley of Southern View Chapel and ministry Think on These Things, did write a respected review, here-
Derwin Gray of Transformation Church regularly has women preach the Sunday Service, including Beth Moore.
Tim Keller: had a woman teach a co-ed course on Catholic practices in a class called Way of the Monk; he has embraced the “social justice” movement, talked about the ‘corporate guilt’ of white America as being ‘systemically racist’. When asked if there was one God and only one way TO that God, Keller did not answer forthrightly, saying ‘IF Jesus is who he says he is…” and it got worse from there, and pressed again by the interviewer, Keller said he is on a “need to know basis”. See the clip here-
I do not know every teacher on Right Now Media but enough of them are OBVIOUSLY troubling to the max, that no person – especially one new to the faith or undiscerning – should be exposed to them.
I’d offer a streaming alternative for individuals wanting some solid teaching. Sproul’s Ligonier Ministry, offers courses long and short, some free and others for low cost. RefNet, an outreach of Ligonier of streaming media includes hymns, devotionals, and teachings. It’s free. The website Exposit the Word has different teachers teaching every book of the Bible and as far as I know they are solid, and that website is free. Justin Peters Ministries has a free daily reading through the entire Bible, plus many other discernment videos for your edification. Answers.tv is a new Streaming Service from AiG (Answers in Genesis). Subscribers get exclusive livestreams of conferences, science programs for kids and the family, creationist documentary programs, and much more. There is a kids’ music stream too. Its cost is $4.99/month or $39.99/year.
American Gospel TV is another media outlet offering more solid content.
I’m sorry so many churches are using RightNow media. I do not recommend the streaming outlet RightNow Media for churches or for individuals. Though there may be a few teachers on there that are solid, there is too much temptation for the false to creep in, and that is not a good thing.
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