Posted in decisional regeneration, false, jesus, urbana15

Urbana15 and other large conferences are false Christian-making factories

At St. Louis Missouri, a large conference/Christian event is held the last week of December. It’s a student missions conference and the name matches the year it’s held, i.e., Urbana15. This past year, David Platt and Francis Chan were featured speakers, among other 180 men and women. You may know that Mr Platt was an American pastor at a church in Alabama, but gave that up to become president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board, which is an office in which he currently serves as of this writing. He is also an author, noted especially for the NY Times bestselling book Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream.

Francis Chan was a pastor of a church he founded but gave that up to become, well I don’t know what he does anymore exactly. Writes books and is an itinerant speaker I guess.

The Urbana15 promotional material listed reasons why students should attend, and one of them is to encourage students use the days between Christmas and New Year’s Day in a more sacred way. They offer seminars, speeches, workshops, counseling, exhibits, missions opportunities, etc, I’m all for that. The material also says the event is not specifically an evangelistic event, because the target demographic is Christians interested in international missions, who are between the ages of 17 and 29 (though there is no upper age limit). Their FAQ material answers the question,

IS URBANA 15 FOR NON-CHRISTIANS?
Urbana 15 is a missions conference and not specifically an evangelistic event. However, God has used Urbana to bring many people to faith in the past, and we anticipate that some non-Christians may attend Urbana 15, as well.

I am not a fan of conferences. One reason is the impersonal nature of them. Lots of people hide in plain sight at places where tens of thousands or more people gather. Pastors and teachers have a personal job in discipling and teaching in a personal way, which is impossible to do when speaking to hordes.

Also, the tendency for false doctrine and false professions of faith increase as the size increases. There is special danger in conferences aimed at women and youth. The Georgia Passion conferences aimed at youth, and conferences for women like IF:Gathering, Living Proof, Unwrap the Bible aimed at women, all host false teachers. The Bible states that youth and women have special vulnerabilities (1 Timothy 3:6, 2 Timothy 3:6, 1 Peter 3:7) so of course satan aims conferences at those demographics. At Passion, a gathering for 18-25 year olds held at three linked locations in Georgia in early January, several false teachers and singers are always on the lineup.

Worse, Passion rules forbid adults to attend, unless and only if you are a pastor accompanying the youth. Can you imagine, Paul traveling around Asia Minor, to the 7 churches, saying, ‘Send your youth to Damascus to a gathering where doctrines will be taught but you CANNOT do your job as a parent and accompany your child to see if it’s sound doctrine! And pay for the privilege!’ And then you find out that Hymenaeus and Philetus, in addition to Peter and John will be teaching in the arena. Do you think any teacher with discernment is going to stand on a stage with the false teachers in the first place? No.

Some conferences are good. Of course John MacArthur’s Shepherds Conference, the Inerrancy Conference, Strange Fire, G3 Conference, are all good. I can’t make a sweeping generality and say that ALL conferences are bad. However note that the aforementioned good conferences are aimed at men, not women or youth. They are sponsored by churches with strong doctrine. Their environment does not encourage false confessions of faith. And that is why I’m writing. The false professions.

The promo material states one of the reasons to attend Urbana15 is

… is more than its parts. Urbana is a chance to share five days with a diverse group of 16,000+ people who—like you—think carefully about their Christian faith and want to make the world a better place.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make the world a better place disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20).

See? Already there was a ‘going astray’ because missionaries and disciples are not called to make the world a better place. We don’t encourage Christians, especially youthful, impressionable potential missionaries, to go out and make the world a better place. The world will never be a better place until Jesus returns and restores it. Making the world a better place is not our mission on earth. That mission is stated above, in the Great Commission verse. It’s making disciples in the faith.

Knowing the event is not an evangelistic event yet the likelihood that non-Christians will be invited is a reality. If a person is really a Christian, they have a heart for the lost, and would want to invite a non-saved friend to the event. That is normal and not so much the problem. The problem is with the decisional regeneration rampant at large conferences. “Choosing to follow” or “deciding for Christ” or “inviting Jesus in” have become synonymous with the supernatural act of Godly justification. They’re not the same thing.

Let’s start with some photos from the Urbana15 event and tweets about it. At an admittedly non-evangelistic event, the Lord has caused 681 non-Christians to “make a decision of faith to follow Him”?

Is that how it works? At a light-show, non-evangelistic event, you giddily decide, follow, and commit in a horde doing the exact same thing?

Casting one’s self at the mercy of Christ upon having been given the faith to see one’s position in Christ as a hell-bound sinner is one thing. But at events like Urbana, this broken-hearted, eternity-changing regenerational moment is treated like an game at a toddler birthday party. “Here’s a glowstick, break it open if you want heaven when you die!”

I’d like to remind us all of the gravity of joining the faith. In Acts 5:12-13 we see the reality of what a large congregation of true Christians do: cause respect and fear.

At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s portico. 13But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem.

Why did they hesitate to join them? As John MacArthur wrote, “These unbelievers had respect for the followers of Jesus, but feared the deadly potential of joining the church.” At Solomon’s portico, not a glowstick was in sight. But there were plenty of giddy joiner-uppers at Urbana15:

Or is it more like when Jonathan Edwards preached his famous sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, he preached hell, sin, wrath, death, and the Good News. I was not present at Urbana15 but I have been present through audio at many, many modern-day conferences and sin, wrath, death, and hell are rarely preached. I doubt at Urbana did the speaker mention those necessary components of the Gospel, else the giddy throwing hat moment would have looked more like it did when confronted with our sin before a holy God as Isaiah was (“I am undone!”) and Peter (“depart from me, I am a sinful man!”) or as it did when Edwards preached, the scene recorded in Stephen Williams’ diary:

before the sermon was done there was a great moaning and crying went out through ye whole House…. ‘What shall I do to be saved,’ ‘Oh, I am going to Hell,’ ‘Oh, what shall I do for Christ,’ and so forth. So yet ye minister was obliged to desist, ye shrieks and cry were piercing and amazing.”

To demonstrate your status as a child of God in the new creation, don’t be so upset over your sin and final destination, just giddily throw your cap over a wall when you “decide”? Is that how it works? Hmmm.

Absent the gravitas, and absent (probably) the serious preaching on sin, death, hell and wrath, and absent the ability for a pastor who knows his congregation to meet with and disciple the new convert, or chooser-follower, worst of all is this. The chooser-follower, sans hat and clutching a broken glowstick, is pronounced a new Christian. See tweet:

THIS is why I am against conferences.

Given the number of false positives in the Bible, (Demas, Judas, Mrs Lot..) and given the numbers of those who believe they are saved but dreadfully discover they are not on His Day (Matthew 7:21-23), is it wise to immediately declare someone a Christian after one quick profession of faith allegedly cemented by a thrown hat and a broken glowstick? Especially since the Bible shows us it takes time for the proof, their fruit, to ripen. No. It is not wise. John 6:66 shows that many who “chose to follow” Jesus turned away when things got hard. As a matter of fact, most of them did.

But wait, evangelicalism today, as represented by the actions at conferences like Urbana15, gets worse. The gravity and solemnity of the Lord’s Table AKA communion should be utmost in people’s mind and hearts. One of two NT God-given ordinances, baptism being the other, it should only be undertaken by those who know they are saved, and have prepared their mind and heart, and have confessed of life’s daily sin, and repented, and are sure they have no stumbling block between a brother and…well you see the idea. There is a high benchmark given in the Bible to engage in this solemn occasion. But the Convention mentality of evangelicalism today makes a mockery of that by inviting one and all to partake en masse.

As for evangelicalism resulting in hordes storming the pearly gates, it is not so. Pentecost aside, it is a solitary thing. Here is John MacArthur:

You Must Enter the Narrow Gate Alone

That fact is implied in the text. The word “narrow” in verses 13‑14 gives the idea that the gate is very narrow. In fact, some Bible commentators say that the best contemporary expression of it would be to think of a turnstile. A person has to go through a turnstile alone; The passageway through a turnstile is very narrow; its metal arms don’t allow more than one person through at a time. Zoos, train stations, and airports have turnstiles. If a group of people are in a hurry to go in or out, they can’t go through together. They have to go through one at a time. That’s the way it is with the narrow gate. People don’t come into the Kingdom of Christ in groups. 

Here is my friend Pastor Phil Andrukaitis properly preparing his flock to engage in communion.

Good day my FB friends. 

As another new year is upon us, so is the first “Fellowship of the Lord’s Supper” for 2016 within the Christian community of faith. This sacred act of worship [commonly identified as “The Lord’s Supper,” “Communion,” “Breaking Bread,” “The Lord’s Table”] is a worshipful remembrance of Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross for our sins. Moreover, Christians are told to continue on with this worshipful act until Jesus returns, implying that Jesus rose from the dead. 

For those individuals who have been “born-again” by the Spirit of God and the Word of God, they are experiencing a new relationship with God, as sinners “saved by the grace of God.” They are no longer estranged from God. 

Why? Here are four, glorious reasons: God has acted on behalf of sinners through Jesus first, by turning away His divine wrath from sinners and directed His wrath upon Jesus. Second, Jesus has paid our sin debt because we cannot; sinners like you and me are spiritually bankrupt. Third, God the Father has declared sinners “not guilty” because Jesus took upon Himself our guilt and shame as He was crucified on the cross. Finally, God the Father has reconciled sinners to Himself through His Son. Therefore, there is no other way for sinners to be saved. Faith in Christ’s atoning work and resurrection from the dead is the only way to be saved. 

Therefore, as the Christian community gathers to worship God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son of God, through the ministry of God the Holy Spirit, may each local church family take the time [at least the day before celebrating Communion] to prepare their hearts. In other words, before the Lord’s Supper is administered, may the brethren of a Christian fellowship beg forgiveness of others for the wrongs they have committed. After all, “nobody who avoids this approach to his brother can go rightly prepared to the table of the Lord.” [Bonhoeffer] 

There is great joy in the presence of the angels of God when one sinner repents. Imagine the great joy in heaven when local fellowships whose relationships are fractured by sin and are on the verge of collapse, repent and cry out to God and others for forgiveness?
God intended for His Table to be an occasion of great joy for the Christian community, not another religious act tacked on at the end of a service. Oh that God’s people would truly seek to be reconciled with one another and with Him. Please, for the sake of God’s name, for the sake of the fellowship, and for the sake of your own soul, begin preparing your heart now. Do not wait until Sunday morning, especially while sitting in the worship service. Start now.

So that is why I do not like conferences especially aimed at women and youth. Since we are especially vulnerable we must be especially vigilant. If you are a woman or a youth or a parent of a youth, Christiany-sounding conferences might seem like a good idea on the surface. To cull from the herd the weaker members to bring them a place where there isn’t proper oversight and often is much false teaching, is counterintuitive to biblical commands. Large conferences are places where sound teaching is often absent, where the necessary solemn atmospheric mood cannot be adequately instilled, where professions are pronounced instantly genuine, where conversions cannot adequately nurtured in timeliness or in depth, where the solemnity of the ordinances are are not maintained, and where rather than reverence, silliness and giddiness prevails.

Avoid them. Take a small group ministry trip if you must, but thoroughly vet it before-hand. It is better to stay locked into your local fellowship where accountability and oversight are more rigorous. Weep and mourn the carnival atmosphere that surrounds Christianity and be an Ezra, weeping and pleading for the people:

O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens. 7 From the days of our fathers to this day we have been in great guilt.” (Ezra 9:7a)

Posted in beth moore, discernment, false, TBN

Beth Moore launching a new TV program on TBN (updated)

Michelle Lesley posted a note that Beth Moore is launching a weekly television program on TBN next week. She wrote:

One of the behaviors that illustrate bad fruit and indicate a teacher’s falseness is who a person chooses to associate with. I have written in the past about Moore’s association with the Osteens, both Joel and Victoria, and her manning the pulpit at Lakewood Church. I’ve also written about Moore’s donations to Lakewood “for ministry support” to the tune of over $40,000.  Moore has more recently partnered with Joyce Meyer, a blasphemously heretical teacher, on Meyer’s TV program. Moore associates with Christine Caine and Roma Downey as well, and the list could go on. Far from being the Southern Baptist Convention’s conservative and excellently exegetical darling, Moore is a false teacher leading millions of women astray every day.

The Bible warns us about false teachers. The moral and doctrinal purity of the church is something Jesus takes extremely seriously. To show the seriousness, He killed Ananias and Sapphira on the spot in Acts 5 for lying to the Spirit. To continue to illustrate how serious He is about the moral and doctrinal purity of the church, the Spirit inspired almost every NT writer to repeat the warnings, and caused many them to write many commands on what to do when encountering such doctrines and the people who bring them. Here are just two:

If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, (2 John 1:10)

I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. (Romans 16:17)

To stay away doesn’t mean not to be polite if passing in the hall, or if coincidentally attending the same secular event not to acknowledge their presence. It bespeaks of conscious choices to partner with heretics in religious pursuits. It means to deliberately choose to spend time with false teachers in Christian endeavors. Can two walk together except they be agreed? Amos 3:3 asks. Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers 2 Corinthians 6:14 warns, of fellowshipping with people who do not believe as we do.

So when we see that Moore has chosen to partner with such heretics, it speaks volumes. Here is the TBN lineup on Wednesdays:

The people on that list couldn’t be more heretical if they tried. Wolves run in packs. Please, please be warned about Beth Moore. The Lord is lifting the veneer of Christianity from her very quickly now. He is revealing her false behaviors, false words, false teachings, and false associations more and more obviously. However, there are still too many women who either don’t know about her falseness or refuse to believe it.

A little leaven spoils the lump, and Moore possesses a lot of leaven. Beware.

FMI on why Moore is false, please go to my link All Beth Moore Critiques Here in One Place. You’ll find 50 links from me, other women, and men & pastors who have negatively critiqued her teaching by comparing it to scripture. Scroll down.

Posted in audacious, beth moore, discernment, false, wolf

Beth Moore’s Simulcast "Audacious", her new book, and a discernment lesson

Mrs Sharon Lareau has written several excellent blog essays preparing to review and then reviewing Beth Moore’s simulcast which was broadcast this past September. She used the simulcast to illustrate HOW to prepare to absorb biblical truths, and HOW to discern. I recommend the series.

Evaluating Beth Moore’s Upcoming Live Simulcast
Evaluation and Red Flags:
To that end, I would like to use this opportunity to do an exercise that can help increase discernment. Today we are going to do a pretest. It is a short investigation into the official, available material that we have about the simulcast. This is something we can do whenever we are heading to any Christian event. It can help us get an indication of the soundness of the message or teacher before we even show up.

Class on Discernment: Living Proof Live Simulcast
I invite you to do something as you watch. I invite you to turn the simulcast into a class on discernment. This means, we will use the simulcast to practice the ability to confirm truth and detect error in a Bible message or teaching. Some may feel it is unnecessary to do that with a Beth Moore event since she is so established and well liked as a Bible teacher. I would respond that it is always necessary to be discerning at every event or service where God’s word is taught. It is necessary even when the preacher you’ve sat under for 20 years gets up to preach.

Simulcast Review Update
I have had a couple of inquiries about if and when there would be a follow-up post regarding the Living Proof Live simulcast from September 12, 2015. Since almost two weeks have passed since then, I thought it might be a good idea to give an update here. After viewing the simulcast, I did decide that I would write a review. There is a lot to cover, and I am being careful in my analysis. It is taking time and my health situation comes into play too, but I do hope to have it ready in a few weeks. Please pray for me as I work towards presenting a fair and thorough review. There are definitely some things worth writing about that I hope to share with you.

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When Mrs Lareau posts her actual review I’ll post it here. Meanwhile please refer to her previous entries for great lessons on how to discern.

After all this, I became curious as to Mrs Moore’s new book, Audacious. Moore said that she tailored the book specifically for simulcast and that for the first time her simulcasts would have a theme (read: book to buy AKA merchandising). The book Audacious will be released November 1, but online buzz about it is heightened to a fever pitch.

Regular readers of the blog know that I am not a fan of Mrs Moore or her teachings. I have written extensively regarding the unbiblical nature of her teaching, her poor interpretive capabilities, her twisting scripture, pop psychology substituting for biblical truth, her legalism, and her unbiblical direct revelations. There are also issues with her lifestyle, all of which combine to show her not only below reproach as a teacher of the Word but a false convert. She is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I have used scripture to show these things and have prayerfully considered all the ramifications of my statements.

Now, turning to the blurb for Audacious, we read some troubling things just in those two short paragraphs, things which not only definitively show in short order the ‘living proof’ of Moore’s unworthiness to teach. These things also genuinely stir me to a righteous anger and a deep sorrow over the women who follow Moore. The righteous anger comes in because I am zealous for the name of Jesus, and Mrs Moore says and does things which impugn His name and character. I am sorrowful for the women who follow Moore because I know these women are in bondage somewhere and attachment to Moore is the out-working of it.

Here is the book blurb for Audacious:

Thirty years in the making, “Audacious” is a deep dive into the message that has compelled Beth Moore to serve women around the globe. Glancing over the years of ministry behind her and strengthening her resolve to the call before her, she came to the realization that her vision for women was incomplete. It lacked something they were aching for.

Something Jesus was longing for. Beth identifies that missing link by digging through Scripture, unearthing life experiences, and spotlighting a turning point with the capacity to infuse any life with holy passion and purpose. What was missing? Well, let’s just say, it’s “audacious” and it’s for “all” of us. And it’s the path to the life you were born to live.”

1. Mrs Moore is fulfilling HER vision for women? God gives us HIS vision set down in the Bible, which we fulfill by obeying it. (Mt 12:50).

2. Anyone who has taught for 30 years and is just realizing that a critical component of “her” vision for women has been lacking all this time, is not a very good student of the Word. We’re not talking about increasing sanctification where the disciple gains deeper insights atop earlier insights, but language expressed here and elsewhere that states “OOPS, Here is something new to know that I overlooked for 30 years, and you ALL need it!” That is an audacious statement. A classic ‘tell’ of the false teacher is that they have the heretofore unknown or undiscovered answer to the fulfillment of some fleshly lust or want, NOT they they will use scripture to show who Jesus is so that we may glorify Him. (2 Peter 2:18)

So the true teacher asks, “What has God said in his Word?” The false teacher asks, “What do people want to hear? What will appeal to their flesh?” (Source)

3. Mrs Moore flatly says she is speaking for “all” women. I resent a person speaking for me, saying I have been aching for something unbenownst to me and that Mrs Moore knows what I ache for and that she has the answer to that ache. This is simply ridiculous on the face of it. More than ridiculous, it’s audacious to claim to be speaking for “all” women. It is the basest appeal to the flesh: ‘I have something you “all” need.’ (Genesis 3:5-6). I’m sorry, but I am not aching nor am I incomplete. (Colossians 2:10).

4. Mrs Moore spends much time inflaming emotional and spiritual lusts and she tempts women with how she can fulfill them with her new revelation/information/book/method… Of course satisfying fleshly lusts never lasts, which is why you need another Beth Moore book so you can try again.

5. Worst of all is her statement that Mrs Moore purports to know what is in the heart and mind of Jesus, and that He is “longing.” Get a close grip on what Moore is saying here. Moore actually says in her book blurb, ‘It [her message] lacked something they [women] were aching for. Something Jesus was longing for.’ Beth Moore has a message Jesus is longing to hear? I think not. (1 Timothy 6:4, Isaiah 14:14). When I hear statements like these and their blasphemy sinks in, I become righteously angry.

The book publication date is known to be Nov. 1, and in essays, write-ups and interviews she consistently says that it would “spoil” the simulcast to “reveal” it ahead of time. This is one reason the buzz has become so inflamed but if you pierce the buzz you will see how unbiblical this kind of merchandising is. (2 Peter 2:3). We will pierce the buzz and expose Mrs Moore’s message by comparing her approach to teaching this ‘new’ message and how Paul approached the same at Mars Hill.

Paul had been preaching in Athens, Greece for a while. The message of the Gospel was igniting among the populace as Paul preached on hillsides and the synagogues. (Acts 17:17). His message, which really WAS new at the time, aroused a buzz, and the Stoics and Epicureans (who were always ready to hear some new thing, Acts 17:21) invited Paul to speak at Mars Hill in the Areopagan arena to a large number of people.

Let’s say between the time of the Philosophers’ invitation and the time Paul preached to the masses in the arena was 6 weeks, the same amount of time between the first Audacious-themed September 12 simulcast and the publication of the Moore book. Let’s say Paul said and did what Mrs Moore is doing. Let’s use actual Audacious FAQ language but overlay it to Paul’s experience at the Areopagus at Mars Hill in Athens Greece.

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Areopagus FAQ

I have a teaching from God that you ALL need to hear, it will fulfill you and you will ache no more.

And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” (Acts 17:19-20)

You must attend the Areopagus to hear it. The Stoics and Epicureans must pay 800 sheckels to host me in the arena, and you must pay $20 individually to attend.

May we hear your special message or read it on the scrolls prior to your speech you’ll deliver at the Areopagus?

I wrote this message down in a book called “Mars Hill Explosion”, with Athenians at the Areopagus participants in mind with the idea that it would be used as a follow up to my message on that day. You can buy it later, after I reveal the secret message on the day. The book is a great way to continue walking out the Mars Hill weekend’s theme through personal reflection or group discussion at local synagogues or house churches. While it is possible that some could receive my book before the event at the Areopagus, I do not recommend spoiling my message by reading it beforehand!” (actual language, source)

For now, people of Athens, here is the book blurb:

“Mars Hill Explosion” is the newest book written by Paul the Apostle. He wrote it specifically thinking of YOU, the Areopagan audience! “Mars Hill Explosion” is an exclusive pre-release for arena participants! Do you have the audacity to make an unseen Savior the Supreme romance of our lives? I pray you are already walking in a brand new sacred romance with Jesus.

If you don’t attend the Areopagus, you can always buy the book later. For now, just let the anticipation of my new message and the new book build up. *Just a little bit of a hint I’ll give you. What is your dream? What is your vision for the future? I don’t want to give away the message, but I do want you to know this, I added some audacity to that vision statement. I added some audacity to the dream that I have for men, and I do mean all men. I am hoping and praying with all my heart that my message at the Areopagus will become the place where men will remember that was where they fell head over heels in love with Jesus. My vision for men will result in the path to the life you were born to live.

*actual Beth Moore words.

I thought it was Jesus’ vision revealed in the Bible that results in us living the life we were born to live. But that’s just me.

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Hard to picture Paul promoting HIS message and selling it secretly? Hard to see Paul writing a Mars Hill FAQ like that? That is because Paul openly shares the message of God unconnected to money, self-promotion, or secrecy; while Mrs Moore makes merchandise of you. The merchandise and the money is her point, not the message. Mrs Moore would do well to follow Christ’s example:

Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. (John 18:20)

Finally, a tidbit. We read from this excerpt of Audacious that Mrs Moore says that her good friend Travis Cottrell gave her a book and it impacted her greatly. She based her Audacious message on that book, adding a word to the seminal question posed within it. Was it the Bible that impacted her so greatly she felt compelled to write Audacious in response? No. Was it a great theological tome authored by one of the towering men of faith in history? No. The book that impacted her so mightily is

21 Great Leaders: Learn Their Lessons, Improve Your Influence by Pat Williams, a motivational speaker and senior vice president of the NBA’s Orlando Magic.

I look very much forward to Mrs Lareau’s review of the September 12 Beth Moore “Audacious” simulcast. I reiterate, Beth Moore is not to be trusted, followed, or taught anywhere at any time in any part of Christendom. Her teachings lead to bondage, impugn both Christ and the scriptures, and only serve to fatten her wallet and puff her pride.

The word audacious has two meanings.

1. showing a willingness to take surprisingly bold risks. “a series of audacious takeovers”
2. showing an impudent lack of respect. “an audacious remark”

Mrs Moore meant #1, but with all she says and does, she betrays #2.

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Aimee Byrd reviews Beth Moore’s book Audacious

Further Reading

5 Ways to Spot the Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing

7 Traits of False Teachers

Wolves Among the Sheep

UPDATED: Five Reasons It’s Time to Start Exercising “Moore” Discernment

Posted in camel, false, franklin graham, jesus, mammon, rich

"Why Franklin Graham’s salary raises eyebrows among Christian nonprofits"

The Kansas City Star reported this week that…

Franklin Graham earns $622,000 as the head of Samaritan’s Purse and $258,000 as CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, a recent newspaper story revealed. … Franklin Graham’s annual compensation of $880,000, revealed in a Charlotte Observer story, has some worrying that too many top Christian nonprofit leaders as well as pastors are seeing themselves as CEOs instead of as God’s servants. Graham, son of renowned evangelist Billy Graham, is head of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief agency based in Boone, N.C.

CEOs at the top 50 U.S. charities, including Samaritan’s Purse, earn in the $350,000 to $450,000 range, which makes Graham’s $622,000 salary from his aid organization alone about 40 percent to 50 percent higher than average, according to a Forbes story. He receives the rest of his $258,000 compensation as CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

By contrast, pastor salaries at the nation’s biggest Christian churches are much lower for all but a select number. Only 3 percent of churches with more than 1,600 people in attendance pay senior pastors more than $300,000, said Warren Bird, research director at Leadership Network. At the other extreme, a recent study by the National Association of Church Business Administration found that the average American pastor with a congregation of 300 people earns a salary of less than $28,000 a year.

In a 2011 comparison of megachurch pastors’ salaries, two senior pastors made $1 million and $1.1 million. Others were a fourth to less than half of that. Compensation in the mid- to high six figures “is on the generous side for anyone who is asking for other people’s money,” the professor emeritus [Grant Wacker] at Duke Divinity school said a bit wryly. “It’s eyebrow-raising.”

Mainstream evangelicals generally expect money they give to be used frugally, Wacker said. Big salaries come with questions.

Go to the link to read the full story.

First, let’s look at what the Bible says about rich people:

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:24)

Why is it so hard for a rich person to enter heaven? What is the meaning of this verse? The short answer is that fleshly man tends to make Mammon his god. Here is Gill with a more lengthy answer.

Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

And again I say unto you,…. After the apostles had discovered their astonishment at the above expression, about the difficulty of a rich man entering into the kingdom of heaven; when they expected that, in a short time, all the rich and great men of the nation would espouse the interest of the Messiah, and acknowledge him as a temporal king, and add to the grandeur of his state and kingdom; and after he had in a mild and gentle manner, calling them “children”, explained himself of such, that trusted in uncertain riches, served mammon, made these their gods, and placed their hope and happiness in them; in order to strengthen and confirm what he had before asserted, and to assure, in the strongest manner, the very great difficulty, and seeming impossibility, of rich men becoming followers of Christ here, or companions with him hereafter, he expresses himself in this proverbial way:

it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God: thus, when the Jews would express anything that was rare and unusual, difficult and impossible, they used a like saying with this.

So, is it bad to be rich?

No, several standout people in the Bible were exceedingly wealthy, all at the grace and providential plan of God. God told Abram in Genesis 17:6 that He planned to make Abraham exceedingly fruitful and nations and kings would come from him. Solomon was the richest king that ever lived (2 Chronicles 1:11-12). Job was wealthy, twice. Joseph of Arimathea was rich. We can assume Lydia was rich, she was a seller of purple, a luxury item only the very wealthy traded in, and she had a large house and servants. So no, being rich isn’t the issue. The LOVE of wealth is. (1 Tim 6:10).

So what kind of salary should pastors receive?

Well Graham’s salary compared to other pastors is a bit of apples to oranges. He doesn’t serve one flock within 4 walls of a particular church. He is more of a CEO of two corporations, The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and Samaritan’s Purse. The BGEA puts on revival crusades (or Festivals, as Franklin prefers to call them) for the alleged purpose of gaining converts. Samaritan’s Purse is a missionary/aid organization. For example, when the terrible 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal and Mt Everest bounced and caused a landslide that killed many mountaineers, 9000 civilians, as well as terrible damage to Kathmandu, Samaritan’s Purse was on scene almost immediately.

However, in comparing even secular CEO salaries of Christian Graham’s, nearly a million dollars is exorbitant.  As a matter of fact, he was called out for his excessive BGEA salary in 2010, so he stopped drawing one. That lasted a year. In 2011 he began drawing a salary again.

Christians are to be wise stewards of the money and resources God gives us. So when you take it all in, it doesn’t look good. If Graham’s BGEA salary was an issue and he made a public display of renouncing it, why did he quietly begin drawing it again less than a year later? Why are both salaries combined so much higher than similar secular counterparts?

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21)

Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. (Ecclesiastes 5:10)

There is one more thing to keep in mind regarding pastor salaries. As I said above, being wealthy is not in itself an indictment. It’s a person’s motivation for getting all this money. Do they shepherd their God-given finances wisely? Or do they simply accumulate for the sake of personal gain?

Finally, false teachers have a simple motivation: money. They “suppose that godliness” (1 Timothy 6:5, used sarcastically of their false piety) will bring them such gain. Unlike Paul, they cannot say, “I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes” (Acts 20:33). Put simply, they are not “free from the love of money” (1 Timothy 3:3). ~MacArthur “The Pathology of False Teachers“.

Franklin Graham is a false teacher. He is not Christian. Read this and see of you still think he is after you’re done. In His crusades, most recently last year’s Pittsburgh Three Rivers Festival, Graham proposed a “new evangelization” that included Catholics, located his venue deliberately next to a Catholic church so that seekers could be counseled there, and invited the city’s Catholic Bishop to perform the opening prayer on the stage. If a person has the Holy Spirit in them, they understand that Catholics need evangelizing because they are lost, not partnering with them as if they were Christians.

Here is the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh on the July 2014 Three Rivers BGEA Festival–

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association doesn’t steer converts into or out of any particular Christian tradition, but reconnects them with one to which they have a tie. Those who identify themselves as Catholic will be referred to a Catholic parish for follow-up.

Sadly, when one puts together the fruit one sees from Graham, fruit that is actually thorns in the form of making no distinction between Christian and Catholic, brambles that include exorbitant salaries, and weeds that for a show make a renunciation of a salary only to take it up again a year later…one sees that falsity is the watchword. One can only hope that some one’s prayers for Franklin Graham will be part of God’s process of converting Franklin’s hard heart of stone into one of soft love for the true Jesus Christ.

Otherwise, Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:24)

EPrata photo

Posted in church life, discernment, doctrine, false, false teacher, sister

"My Sister in the faith is reading a heretical book/studying heretical material. How do I tell her?"

A sister in the faith asked me that question in the title the other day. I responded in the comments but now I’m making a stand-alone piece. These are my experiences and advice, but are based on my understanding of scripture. I it helps any sister. If you have had experience in helping a sister in the faith turn away from using poor, unedifying materials, please chime in. This essay isn’t the be-all and end-all, just a starting point.

I know that when I go to church and see a sister in the faith carrying a book by Ann Voskamp, or attending a Beth Moore study, my stomach clenches and my heart drops. Then, I worry. I know that heretical materials have just enough truth to seem good but so much heresy it will soon pollute my sister’s thinking. False teaching is meant to destroy, and my sister is in its cross-hairs. This is not something we can ignore.

But how to tell her? It’s uncomfortable and difficult to do. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings yet it must be done because false teaching is a blight on the name of Jesus. In addition, we will have to answer for our failure to act in love. James 4:17 says,

“Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”

We also know that in these dark days where the truth is not exalted, that we will more than likely be labeled as a troublemaker. I have had this experience myself. Of course we seek to be diplomatic in these kind of conversations, so take care that we are speaking the truth gently and not roughly. But no matter how gentle and diplomatic you are, there is a good chance the person will take offense. Since there are so many false converts these days, there’s also a good chance they will subsequently label you as critical, intolerant, and trouble with a capital T.

In addition, we have the problem of deception by investment. (Term coined by Glenn Chatfield). This means that people who follow false teachers are invested in them. They have spent money on their books or devotionals, they have perhaps attended a meeting or conference. Thus, they are invested financially, emotionally, and time-wise. They’ve been seen and heard letting their chips fall in the side of what you’re telling them is a false teacher. Puncturing that will pierce pride because you’re piercing their very selves. They will want to be defensive. No one likes a conversation like that.

So with these things in mind, here is a teaching called The Gentle Art of Correction based on 2 Timothy 2:23-26. It is aimed at pastors and leaders but its principles are good for ladies too. 🙂

So, how? I take two examples from the bible. In the first example, Priscilla and Aquila took Apollos aside to instruct him (Acts 18:24-28). Apollos was a believer, hadn’t sinned, but needed to have the full counsel of God given to him before he went too much further in preaching like he’d been doing. The duo did not embarrass him by correcting him in public, but took him aside and to Apollos’ credit, he sat at their feet and learned.

Secondly, in Matthew 18:15-20 it describes what to do when someone in church sins against you. And isn’t following a false teacher a sin? There is flesh involved. So in the case of Mt 18:15, even though the verse says ‘if a brother sins against you’ and technically they have not sinned against you personally but against Jesus as the Head of the Church, the restoration began in private.

I think that the spirit of the Acts and Matthew verses tell us that the first step is to go to the sister you want to talk with quietly in private. So that is what I do.

What I’ve done is something like this: “I see you are carrying a new Joyce Meyer book. I have learned some things about her that I think are important for you know. Are you open to me putting my thoughts down on paper and sharing it with you later?” That way they do not feel sandbagged or cornered. If they say “No, thanks, I really like Joyce Meyer,” then pray for them. The Spirit might help them change their mind, and they might return to you later and ask for that information. Sometimes a nudge takes a while.

In another case the opportunity just seemed right and presented itself when it came up in a conversation. I gently and with tears, pleaded for the woman to turn from her false doctrine. She was a good listener and at the end asked me to offer her some biblical advice on it. I did so the next time we were together, I gave her a paper. I believe the 2nd situation came about because I had been praying over the issue and asked the Lord to make a way for me to bring it up. Prayer is always an important component of these conversations, before, during and after.

Since emotions run high in these situations I’ve found it helpful to have written the bible verses and issues down on paper so they can look at it later. It also guards against being misquoted. Third, it helps me maintain my focus. In these kinds of talks with sisters, since women are emotional, we tend to stray to the emotional side of the conversation. Having the verses written down helps keep the focus on Jesus. It is the Word that changes minds, not our tears, and not our persuasion.

Other pastors I listen to said they have asked to person to coffee at a later time some they could discuss it. This works too.

If you are considering approaching a sister who has strayed into false territory in lockstep with a false teacher, I encourage you to read the Bible.org link above, and to pray. Ultimately the battle is the Lord’s and the battle is spiritual. The dear sister we wish to approach is not the enemy but the spirit behind her favored book or curriculum is the enemy.

As you pray, the Lord will open your mind as to what He wants you to do in any given situation. And don’t be startled if the person gets huffy or angry. The more genuine a sister is, the more they may get embarrassed thinking that they have been spotted doing something wrong by carrying this book or touting that teacher, because they truly love the Lord. If they do indeed truly love the Lord, they will calm down and thank you for it later.

If they don’t, then you have a clean conscience before Jesus because you tried. Continuing to pray for them will help soften any disharmony in your own heart you may feel after the encounter. 🙂

——————————–

Further Reading

Responding with Grace: When Emotionalism Trumps Discernment

Nine Reasons Discerning Women are Leaving Your Church

Posted in false, jesus, roma downey, tlc

Roma Downey just won’t go away; continues to insult Jesus and Christians everywhere with new TV program

Mystic-Catholic Roma Downey just won’t go away. Now that she has found a money making machine in all things pseudo-Christian, she is going for the gold. Known for her long-running 1990’s-2000s series Touched By An Angel, and more recently for Son of God, AD, The Bible Series, is it announced that Downey and The Learning Channel are teaming up to present a new television program. The press release states,

TLC explores modern-day miracles with ANSWERED PRAYERS, an all-new series hosted by celebrated actress and producer Roma Downey (‘The Bible Series,’ ‘Son of God,’ ‘AD,’ ‘Touched by an Angel’). Premiering Sunday, July 26 at 10/9c, this six-part series follows the remarkable stories of people in life-threatening situations who have experienced moments so inexplicable, so incredible that they can only be described as divine intervention.

Using a blend of heart-wrenching interviews, thrilling recreations and dramatic real footage, each hour-long episode paints a vivid portrait of ordinary people who have faced extraordinary circumstances?and miraculously lived to tell the tale. Each individual?s unwavering faith and trust in the power of prayer has transformed potentially heartbreaking situations into stories of true inspiration?from a young boy buried for hours under eleven feet of sand, to the horror of a pastor stabbed 37 times, to a family that survives their car plunging upside down into an icy river bank.

The premiere episode introduces viewers to two amazing families. An Indiana mother hears the voice of God telling her to prepare for a possibly devastating storm and protect her three children. She acts on her instinct and huddles in a closet with her husband and kids mere moments before a tornado rips through their home, hurling it hundreds of feet through the air. Though she loses hold of her family, she never gives up faith that God will keep them safe, even if she can’t. Next, in Florida a young boy suffers a horrific lawnmower accident. Distraught, his parents make the agonizing decision to have his leg amputated, but pray for a sign they are doing the right thing. On the day of the operation, what their son sees on the ride to the hospital could be the answer to their prayers and may change his life for good.

With authenticity, insight, compassion and heart, the astounding stories featured on ANSWERED PRAYERS will leave even the most skeptical viewer considering if a divine force was at work.

Source Variety

A divine force IS at work but it is not God that the woman hears. If the woman in the inaugural episode actually heard God she would be in very small company. When the People Israel heard God they feared greatly.

All the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance. 19Then they said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die.” (Exodus 20:18-19)

The writer of Hebrews reminds us,

and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. 20For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” 21Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” (Hebrews 12:19-21)

But on an ordinary day an Indiana mother hears the voice of God telling her a “possibly devastating” storm is coming and the woman says “Um, OK” and goes into a closet? Sure.

Given Downey’s pagan activity regarding religion (New Age spirituality, mystic, visions, hearing God, divining and summoning spirits) one wonders WHICH God she will be talking about whom she touts as the one who answers prayer. We know the True God does, but to attribute the things of satan to God or vice versa is a weighty matter. Downey does not know the true God. And I’m tired of her making merchandise out of Him.

It is a grief that the name of God and Jesus are used to trade on people’s hopes and fears and is used as a vehicle to garner money and ratings. Downey is a false professor of the faith and God will deal harshly with her. She is accursed.

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9As 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.
(Galatians 1:6-9)

God’s people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.

Because they hated knowledge
and did not choose the fear of the Lord,
30would have none of my counsel
and despised all my reproof,
31therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way,
and have their fill of their own devices.
32For the simple are killed by their turning away,
and the complacency of fools destroys them;
33but whoever listens to me will dwell secure
and will be at ease, without dread of disaster
.” (Proverbs 1:29-33)

The best thing is that Downey would be given a spirit of repentance and convert to worshiping the true God. Then she would stop blaspheming Jesus, distorting His Gospel, and troubling the people with lies.

Posted in contemporary christian music, false, flame2, matt redman

"Matt Redman to headline Catholic youth event"

Andrew McDonald posted the following at his UK blog The Protestant Standard. He gave permission to re-blog it here. My own comments are below his re-post.

Matt Redman to headline Catholic youth event

On 7th March the largest event in the United Kingdom for young Roman Catholics will be held at Wembley Arena in London. ‘Flame 2’ is organised by the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation and is anticipated to attract up to 10, 000 young Roman Catholics. Throughout the day Roman Catholics speakers will bring messages to the young people gathered there, and at the conclusion of the day Cardinal Vincent Nichols will lead everyone in a time of Adoration i.e. the Mass. None of this is unusual, or worthy of special comment for it what we would expect at a Roman Catholic event. This issue which attracts our attention on this occasion is the presence of a leading Contemporary Christian Music artist, Matt Redman.

Redman is currently one of the most popular and influential artists among Christian young people therefore his attendance at this event is concerning. The Catholic Youth Ministry Federation have described it as a ‘wonderful blessing for Flame II that Matt is able to lead the music’ and that they ‘are certain that this encounter will enrich school and parish Masses and liturgies in the months after Flame II.’ Such a recommendation is hardly one which we would desire! As well as being the lead musical act, Redman is also listed as one of the speakers for this event, and has personally promoted it on his own Twitter account (see here).

Sadly this is not a first for Redman as in 2014 he held a joint concert in Belfast with Matt Maher; someone who would be described as a Contemporary Christian musician, yet who in truth is a devout Roman Catholic. A quick glance at Matt Redman’s previous and upcoming events a similar lack of discernment in relation to biblical separation, with Hillsong, Passion Conference and Joyce Meyer’s conference being three of the most glaring examples.

So what does this mean? It means that young (and older) Christians should take great care in which artists they listen to, and how devoted they become to these people. Many Christian artists today have a following among young Christians which is on a par with secular pop artists, and there is nothing more certain to cause a row than to criticise someones favourite Christian singer. Yet there are occasions where concerns arise which need to be highlighted, and we believe that this is one such occasion. The important question to ask might well be whether we are more annoyed at the actions of our favourite Christian singers, or more annoyed that their actions have been highlighted?

Just so, and well said Mr McDonald.

Reported on the Flame2 page is the following:

The SSE Wembley Arena will be filled with 10,000 young people from across the country, receiving faith-filled inspiration from world class speakers. Confirmed speakers include Cardinal Luis Tagle from Manila, Philippines; Baroness Sheila Hollins; Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP; and David Wells. Music will be provided by double grammy award winning Matt Redman and his band. The day ends with a time of Adoration led by Cardinal Vincent Nichols.

I have another question that the article raised in my mind. We know that Catholic doctrines are anti-biblical, while the true faith is biblical. We know that Catholics have the spirit of antichrist and Christians have the Spirit of Christ. It’s a darkness v. light situation, evil v. good, crooked v. narrow.

We also know that Catholics have music particular to their false faith. Ave Maria is Latin for Hail Mary, a traditional Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox prayer calling for the intercession of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Gregorian chants are particularly Catholic. “Saint” Ambrose and “Saint” Hildegarde created bodies of work in music specifically for the Catholic Church and it is particular in sound and doctrine. Before I was saved I used to LOVE listening to Ambrose’s Gregorian Chants, and my husband constantly played Jean Redpath’s versions of Hildegarde’s music.

However post-salvation, I stopped. It is a wonderful blessing for Flame II that Matt is able to lead the music, and for our young people to hear him first hand. We are certain that this encounter will enrich school and parish Masses and liturgies in the months after Flame II.
Source

Protestant music is also particular to Protestants. During the Reformation, reclaiming the high Latin chants and songs the priests sang from the choir stalls and giving congregational singing back to the congregation, “Luther wanted the service to be centred on Christ, and thus had new hymns composed that preached the incarnation, the cross and the resurrection. They were named Lutheran Chorales.” (source)

Why on earth would Catholics enjoy Protestant songs? IF the songs that Redman composes are about the true faith, then Catholics would not want to listen. UNLESS, Redman’s songs are so watered down that the lyrics could mean anything to anyone.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further Reading

Why Should Churches draw doctrinal boundaries?

5 Wrong Questions to Ask when Drawing Doctrinal Boundaries

Posted in false, gold, pope

"He went to Jared": Evangelicals going to Rome

Jared engagement rings

There is a television commercial that we are “treated” to every year around Christmas time. Jared Jewelry Galleria wants to present itself as an upscale jewelry store, the only place that you should consider buying your fine jewelry, especially diamond engagement rings. They want you to know that they consider themselves the be-all, end-all, pinnacle of jewelry. They believe there is no other name in jewelry. Once the gal knows “he went to Jared,” she melts, giggles, and the deal is sealed. Or proposal. Whatever.

We should start a new meme. “He went to Rome.”

Pope ring. “He went to the Vatican”

Over the past few years, when receiving the call from Rome to come to the Vatican, we have seen leaders who call themselves Christian or evangelical, giggle and melt like the girls in the Jared commercials. The Vatican presents itself as the only place that you should consider buying your religion. They want you to know that they consider themselves at the Vatican Galleria the be-all, end-all, pinnacle of religion. They believe there is no other name in religion. Once they know “he went to Rome” Christian leaders melt, sigh, and that seals the deal.

Here are some ‘Christian’ leaders who in the recent past have gone to Rome to meet with the Pope.

The topic was marriage.

Rick Warren
Russell Moore
NT Wright

About the ecumenical meeting, Russell Moore said,

But all of us in this room share at least one thing in common,” said Moore. “We recognize that marriage and family is a matter of public importance, not just of our various theological and ecclesial distinctive communities,”

The topic was unity.

Joel Osteen
Mormon Senator Mike Lee
(Disgraced) CA pastor Tim Timmons

As to the above trio’s meeting,

“The ecumenical meeting was a part of Pope Francis’ on-going efforts to bring unity among Christians, previously stating in public remarks, “Divisions among us, but also divisions among the communities: evangelical Christians, orthodox Christians, Catholic Christians, but why divided? We must try to bring about unity.”

The topic was (evangelical) Protestant-Catholic unity in Jesus’ name.

James and Betty Robison Beth Moore’s mentor and broadcasts weekly on LifeToday
Kenneth Copeland
Reverend Geoff Tunnicliff, CEO of the World Evangelical Alliance
Rev. Brian Stiller, from the World Evangelical Alliance
Rev. Thomas Schirrmacher, from the World Evangelical Alliance
Rev. John Arnott and his wife, Carol, co-founders of Partners for Harvest ministries in Toronto, Canada. 

As to the above ‘evangelicals’ meeting,

It was “an unprecedented moment between evangelicals and the Catholic Pope.”

The topic was unity in Christ’s name:

Pastor Giovanni Traettino
350 Pentecostals

Of the above meeting held in Caserta, Italy

Francis is particularly keen on establishing good relationships with evangelicals, convinced that even though disagreements exist over doctrine, it is still possible to love Christ and witness to him together.

Portuguese First Lady Maria Cavaco Silva kisses the ring of Pope Benedict XVI
while Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva stands by May 11 2010.

In addition to the deeds of self-proclaimed ‘evangelical’ leaders going across the world to meet with Pope Francis, are the number of ‘evangelical’ leaders who ally with Rome in word.

Spoken this month by Pastor Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas, a Southern Baptist Convention affiliated church, to Fox News host Bill O’Reilly Friday, February 6, 2015, about President Barack Obama’s controversial remarks at the 63rd annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington and Muslims extremism, is the following startling declaration-

“And I believe that Christians ought to be on the forefront of fighting this evil, and this is unmitigated evil … burning people alive … and that is why tonight, I am calling on Christians everywhere, Catholics and Protestants together, to join with our Jewish friends and demand that this president do whatever is necessary, including boots on the ground, to eradicate this cancer of ISIS and radical Islam before it destroys us.” [emphasis mine]

Sadly, Catholics are not Christians. Yet sentiments like Jeffress’ are becoming commonplace. Calls for partnerships, pleas for unity, and combining our efforts are the order of the day. And not from fringe sects but high-end supposedly conservative leaders.

The question is, if a religion or individual calls on the name of Jesus, is that all there needs to be to accept them as a brother? No. There are different Jesuses and there is This Same Jesus. (Acts 1:11). Here is John MacArthur in Declaring and Defending the Deity of Christ

If you’re believing in a false Jesus, you’re damned. You preach any other Christ than the true Christ, you’re damned, that’s Galatians 1. If you fail to love the true Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Corinthians 16, you’re cursed. We have to be loving and believing in the true Christ, not a false Christ, not a Christ of our own imagination, not some sentimental Jesus, not the Jesus of liberalism, not the Jesus of liberation theology, not the Jesus of Mormonism, not the Jesus of Islam, not the Jesus of private invention. Now, all false religions—listen–all false religions reject the true Jesus Christ of the Bible. They all do. That’s what constitutes them as false religions to start with. From Islam to Mormonism, if you want to go from something that is non-Christian to something that calls itself Christian, they all reject the true Christ. But, they all honor a false Christ.

But can’t we all just get along, even partner briefly for a one-off? For Jesus’ sake? No. MacArthur again-

Billy Graham met with Pope John Paul II in 1993.

It is ludicrous to imagine that Christians and Jews and Muslims, or Christians and anyone else in any other religion, can get together. It’s impossible because all other systems of religion are against Christ. When that effort is made, the only thing that ever results is the loss of true Christianity. ~John MacArthur

That document circulated 20 years ago was an overt, visible leap of this dastardly move toward Rome. It was called Evangelicals and Catholics Together document, 1994. MacArthur explains why we do not partner with Rome, or any false religion, even briefly for a ‘common’ mission.

A recent document entitled “Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium,” signed by a number of prominent evangelicals, has neglected the wide doctrinal breach that separates evangelicalism and Roman Catholicism. It declares the unity of the two participating groups, emphasizes their common faith, allows for doctrinal differences, but states that the two nevertheless have a common mission. A fatal flaw in the document is its assumption that a common mission is possible in spite of the doctrinal differences.

Religion News Service did a 20-year retrospective on the document:

Evangelicals and Catholics Together marks 20 years, Feb 2014

(RNS) When evangelicals and Catholics set aside centuries of mutual suspicion 20 years ago, the idea was fairly simple: Even if we can’t always work together, at least let’s not work against each other.

But that’s wrong. We are working against Rome, and every other principality that comes against the faith and against the faithful of the true Jesus Christ.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

We DO fight against the evil forces. We never stop. Why?

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, (Colossians 1:13)

We do not partner with Rome, or any false religion’s leaders, or accept any part of their faith itself, not even for pragmatic reasons. Not even for reasons that we ourselves deem to be ‘good.’ If that was acceptable, Paul and Silas would have allowed the demon-possessed slave girl to keep following them and shouting-

These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation. (Acts 16:17)

Was there anything wrong with what she said? No, technically it was accurate. Paul and Silas were serving God, who is most high, and their message was salvation. All true. Just as Rome’s message is that Jesus came to seek and save the lost, or that Jesus is the incarnated God, or that He is Messiah…none of those statements or beliefs are wrong. What is wrong is the source.

Paul did not need the dominion of hell and darkness to proclaim Light. It would be hypocritical in the extreme to say that hell is bad- except when it helps us, except when it’s convenient. Never! We never partner with hell when it’s easy, or convenient, or helpful. Because it never is.

It would have been insensitive in the extreme to mourn over this poor girl’s bodily use by demons to sell fortunes for profit, and then cravenly use that same poor girl’s body to proclaim the message of the cross.

From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. (James 3:10)

And the most important reason is that we do not partner with evil to bring good. God forbade such partnerships and blessed the congregation that stays apart from them. Even when satan’s throne is set in the city.

I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. (To the church at Pergamum, Revelation 2:13)

Test these things, stay true to the purity of the bright Gospel of the true Shepherd!

Gold actually is dull. Fool’s Gold in raw form reflects substantially more light and is often mistaken for gold. But it isn’t.

All that glisters is not gold;  
Often have you heard that told:
Many a man his life hath sold  
But my outside to behold:  
Gilded tombs do worms enfold.  
Had you been as wise as bold,  
Young in limbs, in judgement old  
Your answer had not been inscroll’d
Fare you well, your suit is cold
Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare

Hold fast to the name of Jesus, the Jesus whose identity is specifically described in the bible. Not the Mormon Jesus. Not the Islamic Jesus/Isa. Not the Coptic Jesus. Not the Catholic Jesus.

And for the sake of all that is holy, don’t go to Jared Rome. All that glitters is not gold.

(Top, gold. Bottom, fool’s gold AKA pyrite)

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)

One Ring to rule them all,
One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all
and in the darkness bind them

Posted in contemporary music, divination, false, roma downey

(Updated) Unity is over-inflated. Let’s have more division, please. A report on the CCM free concert "We Will Stand"

UPDATED. Read the link at the end to see what true unity is.

A live-streamed event is occurring online tonight (and in a real life place venue located in Brentwood, Tennessee) which has the potential to reach 40 million people. It is being billed as a Christian event, but we’ll see more about that in a moment. The event is titled “We Will Stand: An Online Concert” and is promoted as “the greatest night in the history of contemporary Christian music.”

Well. The promoters are not without hubris, to be sure. But first, here is a bit of background on charitable single songs or concerts by super-groups–

Over thirty years ago, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” a song written in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, was sung by a quickly put-together supergroup. It was written and recorded in reaction to television reports of the 1983–85 famine in Ethiopia. It was sung by a supergroup consisting mainly of the biggest British and Irish musical acts at the time. It was a huge success and raised a lot of money.

In America the next year, We Are the World was sung as a charity single for African relief. It was recorded by the supergroup USA for Africa. It was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian for the album We Are the World. Do They Know It’s Christmas, sung by Band-Aid, was a direct inspiration for the single We Are the World. We are the World was very successful. (source)

Cut to thirty years later, and today we have the Contemporary Christian Musician’s attempt at a Do They Know It’s Christmas and We Are the World hit, replicated in “We Will Stand” but minus the charity. According to this article, “Stan Moser, Christian music industry veteran and founder of CCM United, he is seeking to create a “We Are The World” type of moment — but one that ultimately has its greatest impact on the world for Christ.” Yet in an interview about the event, he stated his first goal is to be “part of a historic moment.”

Details about exactly what the group stands united around are not clear, neither in that article or on their website. After reading the lengthy article published on 94 The FIsh radio station’s site, and every page on their own website, I’m still not sure as to what is the message they’ll be bringing, except that they will be “Glorifying God with One Voice and One Mind.” – Romans 15:6 HCSB” and their slogan is, CCM UNITED, ONE MESSAGE. MANY VOICES. (source)

Christian Contemporary Music is not typically known for having a strongly doctrinal Christian message. It’s saturated with sentimentalism, laced with emotion, and has an emphasis on experience. In fact, the organizer of this two-hour concert event happening tonight said the genesis for it was a conversation with God and a mystically intuited moment, sans the bible.

In its pursuit of mysticism and experience, CCM usually repeats one line many times until its choruses become mantra and mindlessness is achieved. Its emphasis is usually on our response to worshiping God rather than God’s attributes and how He expects us to worship Him. CCM artists and music producers have not shown the best discernment regarding handling Christian doctrines in song. Nor have they shown the best discernment in who they partner with.

In addition to all that is the problematic nature of Christianity in general these days. Satan always attempts to re-define commonly understood words, until its original meaning has been twisted away from the biblical original meaning. At issue these days is the issue of Unity.

The bible urges unity within the body in many different verses. Here are just three:  Philippians 2:2, 1 Peter 3:8, and 1 Corinthians 1:10. The bible urges the brethren to mark those who cause divisions among us. (Romans 16:17). Originally, Paul meant for the brethren to mark those who are teaching contrary to the doctrines which have been delivered, because confusion divides. However, today it has come to mean mark the brethren that dare to exercise discernment and dividing them. The false teachers aren’t marked out as divisive anymore, that is said to be unloving. Rather, the brethren pointing them out are said to be the divisive ones. What happens is that the false teachers are being protected and the true brethren are marked and shunned as dangerous. Nowadays, unity at the expense of doctrine is sought and seen as desirable, as long as “we agree on the basics.”

The irony is, everyone is divided on just what the basics are, and so everyone gets past any whiff of disagreement by welcoming anyone and everyone as a brother. Unity around nothing is no unity.

Today’s ‘unity’ has also come to mean, unite with Catholics.

CCM’s lack of discernment as revealed repeatedly in their songs is on full display tonight. In addition to the contemporary Christian music they will be playing, appearances will be made by Roma Downey throughout the event. Ms Downey may be remembered for her role in the long-running television series Touched by an Angel, in which she appeared as a female angel. She and her husband Mark Burnett also produced a miniseries several years ago called The Bible, or as the more conservative, doctrinal, discerning Christians like to think of it, as “The-Missing-the-Mark Bible” series due to the fact that Downey and her team re-wrote or twisted many of the biblical events they portrayed in the show. The duo also produced and Downey acted in a theatrical release called Son of God, in which the life of Jesus was portrayed, with Downey playing Jesus’ mother Mary.

Worse still, Ms Downey is a mystic, a Catholic, and a demonic summoner (divination) in which on live television she used a medium to contact and speak with her dead mother.

The bible says of divination, an activity hated by God and expressly forbidden:

When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you. (Deuteronomy 18:9-1)

You can read more about the doctrinal problems with the faith that Ms Downey claims to have, which is no faith, here.

And lest one believes that God’s hate for divination is just Old Testament wrath and not relevant to today’s loving Jesus, Paul wrote to the Galatians that anyone practicing sorcery will not gain heaven. (Galatians 5:20)

Now when I say that the CCM artists participating in this event show lack of discernment, there it is in full display.

Worse, also participating in this event is Travis Cottrell, Beth Moore’s band leader. Participating also is LifeWay Christian booksellers- they are donating the live-streaming for it.

If the concert event is donating the proceeds to some sort of charitable organization I’ve missed it. All I’ve been able to determine from quotes like the one above where the organizer said they want to be part of an historic moment, and this quote, that “CCM United was created to deliver the music, the ministry, and the life-changing message of many of the greatest CCM artists of today” and that it is a celebration of 40 years of contemporary Christian music, therefore all I can gather is that the event is just simply a celebration of themselves.

And this would make sense, because much of CCM is about celebrating ourselves. “God look at us worshiping you.” “God look at us singing to you.” “God see how we really, really love you.” Why wouldn’t 30 CCM artists get together and celebrate themselves?

I’m sad that they have partnered with Roma Downey. If they are attempting to get “one message” out, it is this:

Doctrine is not necessary, our version of love is; and mysticism, Catholicism, and divination are hunky dory. No wonder the organizer said five times in the interview that “We Are the World” was his inspiration and catalyst. They definitely are the world. They definitely are.

As for their event, “We Will Stand” I only have scripture to share:

Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” (Revelation 6:15-17)

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Further Reading:

This is a good essay, explaining what true biblical unity is.

True Unity

Posted in apostate, false, judas, kiss

The Apostate Judas Kiss

Now he who was betraying Him gave them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the one; seize Him.” Immediately Judas went to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. (Matthew 26:48-49)

The Judas Kiss is one of the most illustrated themes in art, one of the most famous kisses of all time, the most devastating scene among friends there could ever be. The horror of it is an eternal warning to all of us. How so you ask?

Kiss of Judas (1304–06), fresco by Giotto, Scrovegni Chapel, Padua, Italy

Because apostates inwardly operate for satan with an outward veneer of loving Jesus. It is a horrendous life, outwardly of unity with the brethren under the salvation from and sanctification in Jesus, but inwardly as a ravening wolf out to lie, destroy, and exploit the brethren.

Judas spent three and a half years directly being taught and loved by the God of the Universe. He was close witness to miracles, the glory of God, and pure truth. He  was given a position of trust, being the treasurer of the group. Despite Judas’ hate for Jesus, he masked it so well that when Jesus said at the Last Supper that one of the 12 will betray him, no one suspected Judas. That is usually how it is with apostates.

In studying the verse above I learned that not only did Judas kiss Jesus, but the Greek word used for kiss means fervently and for a while. Judas probably did so because it was dark (no streetlights 2000 years ago) and it took a few seconds for the soldiers to identify correctly who Jesus was. In any case, the display of love which was actually hate for our Savior, is enough to crash the mind.

The kiss scene has me thinking a lot these past two days on the nature of apostasy. This thought is helped along by a couple of wonderful sermons I’d heard a while back which I never forgot. A Tale of Two Sorrows (comparing the sorrow of Peter and the sorrow of Judas) and “Common Men, Uncommon Calling: Judas Iscariot, Part 1

Apostates don’t come in all fire and noise. The bible says they creep in. They come unnoticed. (Jude 1:4) They bring heresies secretly. An apostate will come in apparent love, not in identifiable hate.

The most devastating attacks, however, that come on the truth come from those who claim to love and believe it. The devastating attacks come from those who say they believe it, are attached to it and, in fact, assault it. … Thomas Manton said they are libertines who like worms bred within the body seek to devour the entrails and eat the very heart. They cause people to turn aside from the truth. They cause people to be corrupted. They cause the fellowship of the faithful to be lost. They call worship…they cause worship to become a travesty. The church turns itself over to fables and follies. MacArthur: “Unveiling the Apostates

They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good. (Titus 1:16)

More broadly, a Judas kiss may refer to “an act appearing to be an act of friendship, which is in fact harmful to the recipient.”

For example, when resurrected Jesus appeared to Christian-persecuting Saul/Paul, Jesus said, “Why do you persecute Me?” (Acts 9:4). Apostates claim to love Jesus but by their actions deny Him. (Titus 1:6). They harm Jesus by blaspheming Him. They harm Him by uttering praises from a polluted heart.

With all that there is in pondering the Judas Kiss, the one thought that I kept coming back to is the evil softness of it. So often when I say “So and so is a false teacher” I am given a reply of, “But they speak of Jesus…”. Judas spoke of Jesus, lived with Jesus, worked for Jesus, for years. Not one of his colleagues thought Judas was the betrayer. Not one gave a second thought to allowing Judas to handle the purse. Judas was only unmasked at the last moment.

I found Charles Spurgeon’s sermon of the Judas Kiss. His thoughts perfectly encapsulated what I was trying to get at.

Judas betrayed his Master with a kiss. That is how most apostates do it; it is always with a kiss. Did you ever read an infidel book in your life which did not begin with profound respect for truth? I never have. Even modern ones, when bishops write them, always begin like that. They betray the Son of man with a kiss. Did you ever read a bank of bitter controversy which did not begin with such a sickly lot of humility, such sugar, such butter, such treacle, such everything sweet and soft, that you said, “Ah! there is sure to be something bad here, for when people begin so softly and sweetly, so humbly and so smoothly, depend upon it they have rank hatred in their hearts.” The most devout looking people are often the most hypocritical in the world.

Apostates don’t reject the truth with a fist. They reject the truth with a kiss.