What Are We Defending?

While the illustration has been used before, I believe it is appropriate to begin this particular post. It has been said there was a time when people applied to become a bank teller that they would have to undergo strenuous training in order to detect counterfeit monies. The training would consist of learning the difference between bad bills and good bills. However, throughout the training, the teller never touched the counterfeit. Their job was to handle the real thing all day long. When an individual came along who tried to pass off a counterfeit bill, the teller would know immediately. Why? Because they were completely familiar with the real thing.

A Christian brother has brought to my attention an issue that I feel is worth sharing with our readers. Recently, we have put out a spate of videos and articles that truthfully would be difficult to show how such a post has made us like Jesus Christ. Even more importantly, with such a wide readership, it would be difficult to show how such posts have sought to point out to you the importance of becoming more like the Saviour Who died for us on the cross of Calvary. They were titillating, newsworthy enough for CNN, bloated on the wickedness found in so-called Christianity, etc., but many did only that and did not focus on the “Author and Finisher of our faith Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2)

Is defending truth and contending for the faith important? YES! A thousand times YES! However, I believe our goals should be to put the real in front of our readers so that you, as Berean Christians, will know when you see the counterfeit. Yet, the counterfeit has been given a great deal of airtime and even I, The Desert Pastor, have been guilty of doing this.

Having received a rebuke in Christian love, I have started my response by removing the recent post with video on Ed Young. I want to make it clear that by removing this post I am in no way endorsing Ed’s ministry for I believe he is a charlatan and a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He makes light of the ministry and is certainly not in line with the Biblical mandates of a Scriptural pastor. I posted the video more in what I had considered to be “righteous” anger instead of giving full thought to the impact it might have on the reader.

Secondly, I apologize to our readers for not personally being more careful in the type of material I produce. Yes, the world is full of junk, charlatans, and fools. However, my goal in wanting to be more like the Lord Jesus Christ is to point to the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world. My desire is that through ALL of my writing that you as the reader will desire yourselves to become more like the One Whom we claim to love and want to be like. Romans 12 makes it clear that we are to be transformed as a believer, but this can only take place by the renewing of the mind.

From my perspective, the renewing of the mind does NOT need constant airing of the trivial, the mundane, the mockery of the world, or even the foolishness of those who supposedly claim the name of Christ. Many good posts have been written emphasizing quotes from men of old who exalted the Saviour. Many more have been written dealing with the truth of Scripture as they pointed out the error of world cults. Many have been a theological exposition with the full intent of pointing the reader to Christ.

If a Christian man desires purity, it is not the best choice to pick up a copy of “Every Man’s Battle” which is written in a lewd manner that does not truly reflect the mind of Christ. In my understanding of Scripture, the same should be true when we seek to defend truth and contend for the faith.

The bottom line is this. If you and I are learning at the feet of the Saviour, the truth will cause us to rejoice. It will enable us to admit when we have been wrong, and it will exhort us to change in areas that do not reflect Jesus Christ 100% of the time. I want to make it clear that these are my own personal thoughts and are not intended as a slight to any of my fellow contributors. Each of us have the responsibility for our own posts. This is the stand that I am choosing to take.

To conclude, Charles Spurgeon often stated, “When I preach, I begin with a passage of Scripture and make a beeline for the Cross of Calvary.” The Lord being my helper, this will be the direction that I will pursue in every post that I produce. For that, I will never have to give an apology.

17 thoughts on “What Are We Defending?

  1. Amen Desert Pastor. I too have come under conviction for some of the postings I’ve posted, the latest being the Driscoll post. I believe we need to edify one another and seek to continually glorify Him. All the swirling deception really should be no surprise to us, God told us this would happen; He also told us evil men will wax worse and worse. We must be about our Father’s business; we must strive for holiness and share the good news with others while there is still time. Yes, we should expose error, but that should not be our primary focus. We should combat this error with the sword of the Spirit, and know when it’s time to ‘shake the dust off’. We also must remember to do this in humility and in love…I say all this because I have fallen short in these essential areas.
    Thank you for this post

    Lyn

  2. Spot on and Amen.

    I just read the same e-mail and the point was well taken.

    I have resolved time and time again to reduce the coverage of the apostasies perpetrated by those professing Christians in the Laodicean church and focus more on the cults. (I have always had a heart for those who were trapped in a false religion but who genuinely think they’re serving God.) However, it seems like there’s such an influx of news from the land of Laodicea that apologetics tend to always get neglected.

    My hope for this blog is to be a source of encouragement and growth for fellow pilgrims (but never a replacement for the local church or fellowship with the body of believers), as well as a watchman to alert of the advancing armies. Unfortunately, we have been heavy on the warnings and light on the encouragement. I, being the greatest offender.

    One thing that DefCon has been blessed to have is contributors that aren’t afraid to hold each other accountable. And there have been times when we’ve had to exhort and even rebuke one another in areas when necessary.

    Additionally, I firmly believe that we have a great balance of contributors on DefCon. Between FourPointer’s heart for cults, Bil Phillip’s heart for evangelism, Brother Michael’s heart for Roman Catholics, Unworthy1’s heart for encouragement, and Desert Pastor’s heart for missions, we have a great and diverse team that brings different angles to many important areas.

    We’ve also been blessed by our many readers, especially those who have joined us in their steadfast stances via the com-boxes (think: Manred, DavidW, and JeffH–to name a few–who regularly stand in the gap in the comments sections).

    I wish to apologize for any stumbling this blog may have caused to any of the brethren, and endeavor to reconsider the caliber of all future posts I publish.

    Stay the course and never compromise!
    – Pilgrim

  3. brother Michael says:

    Thanks Desert Pastor for your humility (to God be the Glory) and providing us a living example of James 5:16. Likewise, for the words of Pilgrim and Lyn. Oh – and most certainly the brother who was so bold as to confront you in love, even though I’m sure it was not an easy thing to do.

    I have likewise been convicted of the same in my walk when in days gone by I use to follow every wind of prophetic doctrine regarding whom men claimed anti-Christ was to be. To say I had an itching ear for the ever shifting winds of end-time scenarios would be an understatement.

    The conviction I “heard” spoken to my heart was to run from these teachers where I was shown that I sought to know more about anti-Christ and dispensational end times prophetic conjecture rather than that of Christ.

    May we all continue to press forward towards the mark of our high calling in Christ Jesus when on that day the earnest contending for the faith will be finished, the running for the race ceased, our labors completed.

  4. Habakkuk says:

    Greetings my brother – I wanted to commend you on the maturity and sensitivity you demonstrated in your apology. I appreciate your blog, especially the puritan quotes.

    We live in confused and clouded days. It is really easy to be distracted by the scenery. We are well reminded that there is “nothing new under the sun” and all satan can do is regurgitate old heresies.

    Thanks for your honesty. Thanks for your diligent work to bring issues to light.

    Blessings!
    Habakkuk

  5. The Pilgrim,

    Thanks for your kind response and the desire on all of our parts to be held accountable on this blog. Thanks for starting this blog and for staying the course when it could have been easier to quit a long time ago.

    *********

    Bro. Michael,

    Thank you also for your words of encouragement. When a person has been rescued from the clutches of a cult as you have, it brings about the importance of focusing on what is real for our time in this life is short.

    *********

    Habakkuk,

    I appreciate your response also. It is as you say that old slewfoot merely regurgitates the same old heresies. I did want to clarify that this blog actually belongs to The Pilgrim and it is desire for truth that has permitted DefCon to continue. May we not again as you say be distracted by the scenery but keep our eyes on Him Who is the Alpha and the Omega.

  6. I am over joyed to read this. While apostates will increase, the rock of refuge will stand and we do need the first priority to be “making a bee-line for the cross”.

    Yet don’t lose site of the gripping opening of Jude: He intended to write about the cross, but false teachers had crept in and dealing with them – pointing them out and rebuking them – was a higher priority at that time.

    May Christ be lifted high and be the first, finest, highest priority of this site and of all who claim Him as Savior. May we never stop testing what it taught and be consistent in marking out those who deny Christ.

  7. I think you over-react just a wee bit. I think it is very important that we expose false teachers for what they are, and you need to post the proof of your charges against them. I think Ed Young is a false teacher and needs to be exposed as such, over and over again.

    I also think the analogy of bank tellers and money has been way over-used, well beyond any analogy. The problem is that too many pastors say all we have to do is keep teaching the truth, but so much is out there with subtle error, that you have to do more than teach the truth, you have to give examples of the subtle error. Our pastor, for example, is an excellent Bible teacher but rarely will mention false teachings; his reasoning is the bank teller analogy. Meanwhile, at least a third of our congregation buys everything by Joel Osteen, Rick Warren and the Blackabys. Probably half the women are ardent followers of Beth Moore. Many are firm believers in the Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare and “Deliverance” ministries. We have followers of Bill Gothard, progressive creationists, those involved in theophostic counseling. For all the outstanding Bible exposition our Pastor teaches, it doesn’t affect these people one iota because they don’t see the problem!

    Be gracious when you post these things, but never, never stop posting. You may be the only thing a follower of these teachers bumps across to open their eyes!

  8. Thank you for this admission. I am very new to your website, and have perused many discernment websites, I also desire that the delivery and exposure of these charlatans to be done in the right Spirit.

    We probably all have friends and loved ones who stand to have their eyes opened to their favorite teacher/pastor’s exposure on these sites. However, because they have such a loyalty to them, the exposure needs to be done in love and gentleness, as much as possible. I don’t know the middle ground on this, as I share the anger and frustration regarding these wolves in sheep’s clothing, but the truth of the Gospel and the power of our preaching the truth, and believing, trusting, and obeying our Savior, exposes so much error.

    I pray for wisdom for you and others who are leading the charge in exposing these heresies. Grace to you.

  9. jude newman says:

    Hi Glenn,
    I see your point as my former pastor would never mention error either. While in the congregation some believed that Islam was the same as Christianity, should we seek signs and wonders like John Wimber, second blessing of Holy Spirit, women prophets in church- one who would get up every Sunday to impart her wisdom to all. They had people speak at a church camp who were into high level spiritual warfare. I challenged the speaker at this time and the whole church was onto me. I spoke to an elder and was abused because I told a lady we didn’t need a second blessing through a Kenneth Copeland book. I challenged the lady prophet also one Sunday in the meeting about God speaking directly to us outside the Scriptures. The following week I walked out in the middle of the meeting. These people had a knowledge of Scripture and as far as I could see a love for Jesus in every other area in their lives. Somewhere they believed the lie that to judge someone’s beliefs was wrong. As long as we proclaimed Jesus as our Lord and Savior we could believe anything. I see the point of DefCon in the way that we don’t need to watch Ed Young rapping. He is a false teacher and a wolf, full stop. I do believe we need to expose false teaching but not the stupid things these people do because of the false teaching. Sometimes I am so grieved by all that is happening, it’s a heavy weight. As I talk to my Father about it, I let it go realising He still sits on the throne and is in charge. It won’t get easier and I don’t believe we should ignore this because it makes us feel bad. We always lift Jesus up and keep Him central and our eyes on Him. I am learning through all this false teaching that I have to study the Scriptures, forsake all that Jesus must come first in my life, that I too am just as capable of being caught in deception. His grace and mercy sustain me. I believe that as the majority of churches are falling into apostasy, the true church are being drawn closer to Jesus and that all the false teaching is being used by our Father to achieve this purpose

    __________________________________________________________

    Oops forgot something! I started to look for right teaching on internet. Discernment sites like this and godly preachers helped me tremendously. I understand my Bible a lot better and have grown in the faith. Beware of tacky discernment sites who only want cheap thrills without biblical teaching. God bless all you people at DefCon keep up the good work. A lot of people are seeking truth as they are not finding it in churches

  10. smilesback says:

    Well, I appreciate your humility in accepting rebuke/advice about posting the counterfeits’ junk. Yes, the Real… that is what conforms us to Christ-likeness. The other can open our eyes and expose error, but so can Truth –God’s Word– and a whole lot better at that!

    We only have so much time in a day… in a lifetime… so we’d do well to spend as much of that time as we can getting to know the Lord Himself, fellow-shipping with Him and truly godly individuals, and saturating ourselves in the lovely, convicting, comforting Scriptures.

    Blessings to you,
    Rachel

  11. Aaron says:

    A PRETRIB RAPTURE FIRST !

    An American researcher has discovered a copy of Scottish lassie Margaret Macdonald’s handwritten account, on 23 sheets of paper, of her “discovery” in 1830 that the Bible teaches a “pre-tribulation rapture.”
    A facsimile copy of her penned account was obtained from the British Library which has long catalogued it as “Margaret McDonald’s Vision” – one of many items in an old collection of Irvingism memorabilia.
    Portions of this facsimile can now be viewed on the March 9, 2010 edition of “The End Times Passover” blog (hosted by media luminary Joe Ortiz) which has the honor of being the first to air all of this.
    The most accurate and detailed documentation on the long hidden beginnings of this 19th century prophetic innovation – which today is a very protective and lucrative American industry – is found in the 300-page book “The Rapture Plot” which is available at internet bookstores such as Armageddon Books.

  12. Aaron,

    Do you believe the emotional rants of the mystic Margaret Macdonald? One must significant inferences from Scripture to “support” a pre-trib rapture. The clear reading and teaching show that Christ returns one time, to judge the nations, save His people, create a new heaven and new earth.

  13. After chewing on this some more, I must say that I also agree with what Glen Chatfield had to say.

    I too believe the counterfeit money example is a good one, but as with all examples and analogies, they break down eventually.

    In this case I can’t help but believe that paper money detection falls woefully short of that of spiritual discernment, even though at its root the point is very good (exposure to the real thing will help to detect the fraudulent).

    However in things that are not as tangible as a paper currency, such as spiritual matters, sometimes it is necessary to address the counterfeit, the error, and the deception.

    For instance, what is the biggest argument against anyone who dares to criticize Mark Driscoll? Oftentimes it is that his orthodoxy is accurate. But without exposing Driscoll’s other side, many unknowingly would stumble into his camp and drink from his well.

    It is for this reason I believe that it is important to continue to defend and contend for the truth and purity of the gospel, even if sometimes that means handling some ugly matters.

    When one considers that you can claim to believe in salvation through faith alone by grace alone in Christ alone and still have a Jehovah’s Witness, a Mormon, or a Roman Catholic agree with you, there simply must be some sort of education as to what these words mean and the language barrier must be dealt with. This would require more than just a gospel presentation as the cults would all believe many of the things we’d say when presenting them with the gospel, they’d just have different definitions for the words that we use.

    Case in point: When Ray Comfort went to a Word of Faith convention to preach the gospel, if he failed to expose them to the error that they’ve swallowed, he may have not had much progress. After all, just about every Word of Faith adherent could also claim they believe in salvation through faith alone by grace alone in Christ alone. Sometimes when dealing with error, it is necessary to point this stuff out. And sometimes by pointing this stuff out (e.g. what Mormons really believe) some people who once thought that Mormons were merely another denomination of Christianity, will then understand that they are a heretical, blasphemous cult of which salvation is not found.

    Now with that said, I still take to heart the admonition of how we’ve been handling things. It oftentimes seems we’ve been out of balance in our postings.

    This has caused me to reevaluate my postings. For example, I have weighed the benefit of posting a video on pay your tithes or get shot; the clothing optional church; and the healing hokey pokey. Until recently I would have posted it these on DefCon, but now I’ve chosen to refrain from such postings.

    Additionally, I am growing less tolerant of the same old arguments time and time again that we get on DefCon from the woefully biblically illiterate. We tend to find ourselves answering the same five to ten accusations and arguments over and over and over again (e.g. you’re unloving, you’re judgmental, etc.). I will be much more discriminating in the comments we approve from now on from those who need to spend a little more time studying their Bibles than trying to justify every wind of doctrine and abhorrent teaching that they happen to like. Discussion can oftentimes be fruitful, but we will not provide a platform for the dissemination of heresy.

    Sincerely,
    – Pilgrim

  14. thereformedtraveler says:

    I have to say that I agree with Glenn Chatfield. When the Lord pulled the rug out from under me- out of 30+ years of WOF and then Vineyard, I searched and researched everything that I could find. I wanted- needed names, faces. I needed to see where I had been and so desperatley wanted the hard cruel facts….wouldn’t hurt my feelings! Maybe I’m missing the point here? I do know that the Reformed church I attend now is so vauge- sure the preacher will mention Emergent Church and so forth- no names-no faces to what he preaches against and now we have a bunch of people who like Osteen. Huh? One would think that that wouldn’t make a bit of sense- but it does to me. Now bringing in Beth Moore studies. I remember reading somewhere (someone help me here) how if a wolf would creep around town, hold meetings and such, Spurgeon would blast them 4 ways from Sunday…
    Continue contending for the faith- earnestly! Agreed though, not for the people who just find the pure glee of it. It’s hard, heartbreaking, nasty business.

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