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 billy graham, discernment, false christians, wolf

Billy Graham: a wolf who offers only dreams of meat to those who are starving

On the occasion of Billy Graham’s 96th birthday on November 7, Orthodox bishop Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev of the Russian Orthodox church was ushered in to Billy Graham’s living room at his home in North Carolina in order to offer the elder man well-wishes.
The Press Republican stated of the photo-op,

“The photo-op on Nov. 7 was symbolic and, for many, historic. The elder statesman was the Rev. Billy Graham, and rather than an evangelical superstar, the man who met with him at his North Carolina mountain home was Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev. This visit was linked to a Hilarion address to a Charlotte gathering of Protestant and Orthodox leaders, organized by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. (BGEA)

The Russian Orthodox Church is not a true church because it adheres to orthodoxy that is false. They were a schism church formed after splitting from Roman Catholicism. The Orthodox group of churches (Greek, Russian, etc.) do not believe in justification by faith. They believe in part:

  • The equal authority of church tradition and Scripture
  • Discouragement of individuals interpreting the Bible apart from tradition
  • The perpetual virginity of Mary
  • Prayer for the dead
  • Baptism of infants without reference to individual responsibility and faith
  • The possibility of receiving salvation after death
  • The possibility of losing salvation

Therefore it is unfortunate to read that the BGEA organized a conference this month and invited a mix of men who preach a different Gospel with Protestant leaders, for what has darkness to do with light, For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)

From Twitter. Met. Hilarion Alfeyev visiting Billy Graham on his 96th birthday.

Though Billy Graham has for decades made public statements confirming his place in the pantheon of destructive wolves, there are many today who still don’t believe that such a man could be a false Christian. To that end, here are some quotes from Billy Graham, from newspaper media, books, and transcripts from interviews, which show clearly that such a man is not of the faith. Graham said these things throughout his life, not simply in his advanced years. Some claim he was ‘confused’, but no such claim can be made of a man who has made assertions contrary to the bible in each decade of his life. Some of these things he said as far back as 1948, at the beginning of his television crusade career.

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On Evolution:

Graham: I personally believe that it’s just as easy to believe that God took some dust and blew on it and out came a man as it is to accept the fact that God breathed on a man and he became a living soul and it started with some protoplasm and went right up through the evolutionary process. Either way is by faith, and whichever way God did it makes no difference as to what man is and man’s relationship to God. (Billy Graham: Candid Conversations with a Public Man By David Frost)

Here we begin with a basic tenet: Hath God said? The original question in the Garden to Eve which she answered incorrectly and led to the Fall of man, is here again posed to Mr Graham. Hath God said he formed man from the dust of the ground? (Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 2:7). Or not? Indeed, God hath said how He made man and it is only a man without the Spirit in Him who finds it easy to dismiss the plain words of God and accept “arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God,” (2 Corinthians 10:5). “Either way” that man appeared on the earth, as Graham believes, is NOT by faith. One is by faith and the other is by satan.

Are you in favor of the ordination of women?

Graham: It would be according to the circle I was in, because I feel I belong to all the churches. I am equally at home in an Anglican church or a Baptist church or a Brethren Assembly or a Roman Catholic church and I would have to say that I would identify with the customs and the culture and the theology of that particular church.
But do you welcome that development? (ordination of women]
Yes. … from my study of the scriptures there were many women preachers in the bible. Candid Conversations with a Public Man, David Frost

Once a man accepts man-made opinions and not God’s word, all else falls from there. Here we see Mr Graham accepting culture and bowing to tradition, the way reeds are swayed by the wind. (Matthew 11:7, Jude 1:12). Whatever the people around him believe, Graham believes. That is what he is saying here. The bible says pastoring is for men only. Finally, Christians belong to Jesus, not “all the churches.” A man who “feels” he belongs to all the churches, including RCC, is not a man who has the Spirit in him.

On salvation

Free pics

Graham: I used to think that pagans in far-off countries were lost–were going to hell–if they did not have the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached to them. I no longer believe that. … I believe there are other ways of recognizing the existence of God–through nature, for instance–and plenty of other opportunities, therefore, of saying yes to God. (James Michael Beam, article “I Can’t Play God Anymore,” McCall’s Magazine, 1978)

Only a man without the Spirit could deny that Jesus is the only way, and to say that other opportunities exist for men to say yes to God. Additionally, many say yes to God but deny the Son. Mr Graham did not speak of Jesus as the exclusive way to Christ, but spoke only of a nebulous allusion to nature.

In fact, the method of recognizing God through nature which Mr Graham is alluding is a verse about the wrath of God upon those who plainly see the existence of God in nature but suppress this truth in their unrighteousness. (Romans 1:18-20).

It could not be clearer: a man who disbelieves that those in countries who do not hear the word are not going to hell is not in the Spirit. This means that Mr Graham disbelieves the first and last condition of man: sinner born from the womb and being condemned already. (John 3:18)

On follow up after the Crusades

Graham: Anyone who makes a decision at our meetings is seen later and referred to a local clergyman, Protestant, Catholic, or Jewish. -Billy Graham, San Francisco News interview on Sept 21, 1957.

Many of the people who reach a decision for Christ at our meetings have joined the Catholic Church and we have received commendations from Catholic publications for the revived interest in their Church following our campaigns. This happened both in Boston and Washington. After all, one of our prime purposes is to help the churches in a community. If after we move on, the local (sic) churches do not feel the efforts of these meetings in increased membership and attendance, then our crusade would have to be considered a failure. (Billy Graham, Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, 1952)

No man in the Spirit would celebrate the consignment of a seeking soul to the church of the spirit of antichrist! The Roman Catholic Church is not a local church but a synagogue of satan. No one who seeks Jesus will find him in a Jewish synagogue either. If Mr Graham’s “prime purpose” as he states, is to add souls to the number of those who are bound for hell, then Graham is of hell and making sons of hell twice as bad he is. (Matthew 23:15).

Free pics

On infant baptism

I do believe that something happens at the baptism of an infant, particularly if the parents are Christians and teach their children Christian truths from childhood. We cannot fully understand the mysteries of God. But I believe that a miracle can happen in these children so that they are regenerated, that is, made Christians through infant baptism. If you want to call that baptismal regeneration, that’s all right with me. (Wilfred Bockelman, “A Lutheran Looks at Billy Graham,” Lutheran Standard, 10 October 1961)

No person is made a Christian by having water sprinkled on their infant body. We are made Christians by the way God said we become Christians:

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)

I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? (Galatians 3:2 )

Can an infant believe what he has heard?

Graham on hell being metaphorical and not real

The good folks at Answers in Genesis are right: once you chip away at the word in the first few chapters of the bible, all other doctrines crumble.

Graham: I think that hell essentially is separation from God forever. And that is the worst hell that I can think of. But I think people have a hard time believing God is going to allow people to burn in literal fire forever. I think the fire that is mentioned in the Bible is a burning thirst for God that can never be quenched. (Orlando Sentinel, Orlando, Florida, April 10, 1983)

You see the connection here: Graham says that “people have a hard time believing” about hell being eternal punishment. Rather than Mr Graham teach it clearly and scripturally, he bows to the wind of doctrine like a broken reed: therefore he says, “I think”. Notice he does not use scripture to support his view. It’s always, ‘I think’, or ‘I feel’… However the bible is very clear on the fate of the unbeliever.

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice

Pixabay free pics.

magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)

Hell IS separation from God forever, though not separation from His wrath. However, the unbeliever was already separated from God before he went to hell. The fiery lake of burning sulfur is very specific about the hell the unbeliever will endure. Hell is not only separation from Jesus, but it is fire, sulfur, and physical torment (Luke 16:24; Jude 1:12-13, Revelation 14:11; 2 Thessalonians 1:9)

These are just a few, certainly not all, of the shockingly aberrant doctrines Graham has held during his life and has espoused publicly. We must not fail to mention the doctrines he does NOT preach about, either. When a person looks at the life of a man like Billy Graham, 60 years of seemingly tireless promotion of Jesus to the masses, they cannot believe that such a man would not be saved. They won’t believe he is a wolf, one of the pack that was prophesied to come in after Paul left the earth. (Acts 20:29)

Yet Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” (Matthew 7:15)

In sheep’s clothing means that the exterior will be molded to look like a believer, but inwardly they are not. It takes time, prayer, maturity and skill given by the Spirit to detect the wolves. And yet, is it really so hard after all? A man who denies basic doctrines, diverts seekers from Christ, and partners with all religions as equal is not so hard to see is a wolf. Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary says,

Beware—But beware of false prophets—that is, of teachers coming as authorized expounders of the mind of God and guides to heaven. (See Ac 20:29, 30; 2Pe 2:1, 2) which come to you in sheep’s clothing—with a bland, gentle, plausible exterior; persuading you that the gate is not strait nor the way narrow, and that to teach so is illiberal and bigoted—precisely what the old prophets did (Eze 13:1-10, 22) but inwardly they are ravening wolves—bent on devouring the flock for their own ends (2Co 11:2, 3, 13-15).

Gilbert Tennent (February 5, 1703 – July 23, 1764) was a religious leader, born in County Armagh, Ireland. Gilbert was one of the leaders of the Great Awakening of religious feeling in Colonial America, along with Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield. His most famous sermon, “On the Danger of an Unconverted Ministry” compared anti-revivalistic ministers to the Pharisees described in the gospels. (Wikipedia)

Gilbert Tennent, On the Danger of an Unconverted Ministry

I may add that sad experience verifies what has been now observed concerning the unprofitableness of the ministry of unconverted men. Look into the congregations of unconverted ministers, and see what a sad security reigns there; not a soul convinced that can be heard of for many years together, and yet the ministers are easy, for they say they do their duty! Aye, a small matter will satisfy us in the lack of that which we have no great desire after, but when persons have their eyes opened and their hearts set upon the work of God, they are not so soon satisfied with their doings, and with lack of success for a time. O! They mourn with Micah that they are as those that gather the summer-fruits, as the grape-gleaning of the vintage. Mr. (Richard) Baxter justly observes that those who speak about their doings in the aforesaid manner are likely to do little good to the Church of God. But many Ministers (as Mr. Bracel observes) think the gospel flourishes among them when the people are in peace, and many come to hear the Word and to the Sacrament. If, with the other, they get the salaries well-paid, then it is fine times indeed in their opinion! O sad! And they are full of hopes that they do good, though th ey know nothing about it. But what comfort can a conscientious man, who travails in birth that Christ may be formed in His hearer’s hearts, take from what he knows not? Will a hungry stomach be satisfied with dreams about meat? I believe not, though, I confess, a full one may.

That is what Mr Graham offers: dreams of meat, while they spiritually starve. Tennant again:

And more especially, my brethren, we should pray to the Lord of the harvest to send forth faithful laborers into His harvest, seeing that the harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few. And, O sirs, how humble, believing, and importunate should we be in this petition! O! Let u s follow the Lord day and night with cries, tears, pleadings, and groanings upon this account! For God knows there is great necessity of it. O! Thou Fountain of mercy and Father of pity, pour forth upon Thy poor children a Spirit of prayer for the obtaining of this important mercy! Help, help, O Eternal God and Father, for Christ’s sake!

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Further Reading

Billy Graham’s Legacy of Evangelism Continues Online; 5 Millionth Person Indicates Decision to Accept Jesus as Savior

Life, ministry of Billy Graham chronicled in special release

Billy Graham: ‘His impact for good in the world is incalculable’

Billy Graham and the Catholics

Posted in discernment, mark driscoll, merchandise, wolf

The worst thing I’ve ever heard a husband say about his wife: plus, Mark Driscoll and the evangelical industrial complex

Mars Hill church

I’ve written about Mark Driscoll twice in the last week. I promise this won’t become the Mark Driscoll blog, but it seems the Holy Spirit offers me a moment of critical mass, when all of a sudden, the qualms and concerns I’ve had about a particular preacher or writer is enough. And with Mark Driscoll, enough is enough.

I wrote about his self-described (pseudo)-suffering here, whereupon I compared his published list of personal woes to real martyrs’ suffering. I also wrote about him here, where I looked at his plagiarism and other bad fruits, and asked the question, ‘Does the fruit of Mark Driscoll’s works show he is a false pastor and a wolf?” (Answer, yes). 

In that second essay, I listed many examples of a man in a downward spiral, who clearly does not have the Holy Spirit in him and yet is given pass after pass for wild and ungodly behavior against the church, against his sheep, and against Jesus. I’d queried the interwebs in a non-rhetorical question, ‘at what point does the visible church collect its God-given discernment and place a pastor like Mark Driscoll in the wolf category?’

After the initial charge of plagiarism surfaced on the Janet Mefferd show, a second (and third) round surfaced a couple of days later on the same show. Ms Mefferd offered verbal and .pdf proof that there was more plagiarism, this time, not just similar concept, tone, and language, but word-for-word lifting. Mark Driscoll’s book “Trial: 8 Witnesses from 1 & 2 Peter” had on pages 7 & 8 whole word-for-word paragraphs from different pages that were published in D.A. Carson et al “1 Peter,” New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, Ed. D. A. Carson, 4th ed. (Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), p. 1370. You can see the evidence here.

Janet Mefferd
public Facebook profile

It is plain and clear that the bible says men who are called to pastor should be shepherds after Jesus’s own heart (Jeremiah 3:15). It is also plain and clear that they are held to an extremely high standard: they must be above reproach. (Titus 1:6; 1 Timothy 3:2). Above reproach in the Greek word as it’s used in the NT means blameless, not convictable when a person is properly scrutinized. GotQuestions explains ‘above reproach’ in our terms,

The dictionary defines “reproach” as shame or disgrace or that which brings rebuke or censure upon a person. The Bible speaks of being “above reproach” or “blameless” as one of the distinctive marks of those who aspire to the office of elder or deacon within the church (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6-7). As such, their work for the church, as well as their interactions with others, are to be of such moral quality that they do not bring shame or in any way disgrace the body of Christ or the name of Jesus. This holds true not only within the church, but outside it as well.”

In other words, if you were to look closely at a pastor’s life, there would be nothing you could accuse him or or call him to account over.

This is obviously not the case with Mark Driscoll. He is almost constantly reproved for some kind of bad behavior or other. There have been moral failings, ethical breaches, spiritual irreverence and doctrinal error. He has been counseled by elders of the faith and has ignored their counsel, demonstrating a refusal to submit to authority. The specifics are at this link. Though the sheep bleat and bleat, Mr Driscoll remains, seemingly impervious to the attempts to lever leviathan from his place.

Of all the perplexing and ruinous behaviors in that list which Mr Driscoll has evidenced, there is one which affronts me greatly. It is the modern blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. That term was created and expounded upon by Dr John MacArthur in his sermon of the same title delivered in 2011. He had become concerned with the modern mystics (of which Driscoll is one) who claim to receive direct visions and revelation from the Holy Spirit, but which in fact are demonic. Here is Dr MacArthur’s explanation of how and why the modern blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is so deadly:

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Wikipedia, Press photo

I’m not here to defend the Holy Spirit, He can defend Himself. But I am here to say that reproaches that are falling on His holy name are falling on me as well, and mostly this comes in the professing church from Pentecostals and Charismatics who feel they have free license to abuse the Holy Spirit and even blaspheme His holy name. And they do it constantly.

How do they do it? By attributing to the Holy Spirit words that He didn’t say, deeds that He didn’t do, and experiences that He didn’t produce, attributing to the Holy Spirit that which is not the work of the Holy Spirit. Endless human experiences, emotional experiences, bizarre experiences and demonic experiences are said to come from the Holy Spirit…visions, revelations, voices from heaven, messages from the Spirit through transcendental means, dreams, speaking in tongues, prophecies, out of body experiences, trips to heaven, anointings, miracles. All false, all lies, all deceptions attributed falsely to the Holy Spirit.

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Mr Driscoll has famously said “I see things” in which he claims all of the above. He claims that the Holy Spirit allows him to view sexual fornication in graphic detail as it happens, ‘like a movie.’ I am astounded the entire Church did not come down on his head in resounding reproaches for making that statement, because it is gross, blasphemous and entirely demonic. Pastor Phil Johnson aptly called Driscoll’s statement, “pornographic divination.”

Yet Driscoll’s claim stood, and like all demonic lies, it was not the first time he has made the claim. In researching this week about the claims of his plagiarism, I came across an excerpt from his book, Real Marriage, published at the beginning of 2012. It is a marital advice book in which the Driscolls reveal graphic details about their own marriage and weave those personal revelations with advice for other couples. I do not recommend the book.

Grace Driscoll
Source- Mars Hill Press Kit

In that book, Mr Driscoll reveals the following:

One night, as we approached the birth of our first child, Ashley, and the launch of our church, I had a dream in which I saw some things that shook me to my core. I saw in painful detail Grace sinning sexually during a senior trip she took after high school when we had just started dating. It was so clear it was like watching a film — something I cannot really explain but the kind of revelation I sometimes receive. I awoke, threw up, and spent the rest of the night sitting on our couch, praying, hoping it was untrue, and waiting for her to wake up so I could ask her. I asked her if it was true, fearing the answer. Yes, she confessed, it was. Grace started weeping and trying to apologize for lying to me, but I honestly don’t remember the details of the conversation, as I was shell-shocked. Had I known about this sin, I would not have married her.” (p. 11-12, Real Marriage)

Here is a pastor who claims to have the Holy Spirit inside him and claims this Pure Spirit allows him to view other people engaged in sexual congress ‘like a movie.” I find his claim makes me want to throw up. It is completely impossible that the Spirit of all holiness would place pornographic pictures in Driscoll’s head, and  voyeuristically, of other people no less. How is this any different from simply putting in a real porn movie and watching it? But Driscoll claims this is a gift from the Holy Spirit. His statement is a true and explicit example of the modern blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. This alone should cause enough warrant to remove Driscoll from pastoring. But wait, it gets worse.

As a Christian, Driscoll says that this demonically delivered porn vision would have been the reason he would have chosen not to marry his wife. However, we rely on the bible to make decisions, not experiences or visions. Every time someone received a vision and decisively went forward on the basis of that, it turned out to be hell itself (Mormonism, Islam, etc). He is showing the entire church through his published book that it is acceptable and holy to receive porn visions, and worse, that it is proper to make decisions based on those visions, and not the bible.

Third, as a husband, he throws aside the sovereignty of God in making the claim that the sexual visions he claims to have had would be enough reason for him not to marry her. That he did marry her is evidence of the sovereignty of God. If God had not wanted Driscoll to marry his wife Grace, he would not have. That he had been married to her for years by the time this vision entered his brain is evidence that this is the woman God has intended him to marry. It should be noted that Driscoll states he was not a virgin when they married, either. Moreover, it is the worst thing I’ve even heard a husband say about his wife, made all the worse because it is in print, and online, forever.

Can you picture Christ saying that about a sinning woman? No. Look what Jesus did say to sinning women: John 8:11, John 4:16-25, Luke 8:2. This is why Driscoll is not a shepherd after Jesus’s own heart.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, (Ephesians 5:25) 

Carl Trueman made an interesting statement in between the different claims of alleged Driscoll plagiarism that surfaced over the last week. In his short but pointed essay called Judge for Yourselves, Mr Trueman said,

This could well prove an interesting test case for the ethical stature of conservative evangelicalism. Is there an evangelical industrial complex out there or is there a morality which transcends and ultimately regulates the evangelical marketplace?

Ms Mefferd reported that Tyndale, who published Driscoll’s A Call to Resurgence, has committed with Driscoll to publish more of his books in a new imprint called Resurgence Publishing. Last February Driscoll announced,

We’ve reached an agreement with Tyndale House Publishers to publish numerous titles under a new imprint called Resurgence Publishing (the last two books with the Re:Lit name will be released this spring). Tyndale will publish all of my (Pastor Mark’s) work moving forward, in addition to other Resurgence authors whom we’ll announce in the coming months. We’ll kick things off this fall with the launch of my next book.”

This week, Driscoll’s publisher Tyndale said that they have examined the alleged plagiarism evidence and are fine with everything. Everything is hunky dory, please disperse.

Tyndale House takes any accusation of plagiarism seriously and has therefore conducted a thorough in-house review of the original material and sources provided by the author. After this review we feel confident that the content in question has been properly cited in the printed book and conforms to market standards.” (source)

So we have Mr Trueman’s answer. The “evangelical industrial complex” is alive and well, machinery grinding  our doctrine, the sheep, and lucre-seeking pastors and all, in the ever-eternal pursuit of money.

Discerning book buyers have long wondered why LifeWay continues to publish obvious heretics such as Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyers and the like. Offering heretical books to the sheep for money seems a bad trade compared to the treasures Jesus said are stored up for us. And now Publishing House Tyndale’s weird response to blatant plagiarism is another head-scratching moment in our apostatizing church. Why?

Because Mark Driscoll as merchandise has become more valuable to the money making church than Mark Driscoll as godly pastor is to the ever sanctifying church.

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

shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; (1 Peter 5:2)

And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. (2 Peter 2:3)