Touched by a Demon?

RNS-BIBLE-COUPLE

Roma Downey, from the hit series “Touched by an Angel” speaks from the heart in this video, and if there is any doubt in your mind about where she stands in her theology, this will more than clear that up. She openly admits to being a Roman Catholic and even more surprising is that she openly admits that she prays to “Mary, the blessed mother.”

For those who watched the movie, “Son of God”, you should be aware that this is not the movie that any Biblically based Christian should be supporting or endorsing. However, the rabbit hole continues to go down into Never Never Land as many within the CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) scene fully endorse Roma Downey, who is also a New Age sympathizer.

The movie, “Son of God” is actually a Trojan Horse.

Read here for further proof of this debacle – “We Will Stand.”  What bothers me greatly is the names that are included on the list of “Christian artists” including “Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Newsboys, Don Moen, Mark Schultz, Sandi Patti, Travis Cotrell (Beth Moore’s worship leader), Love Song, Steven Curtis Chapman, Steve Green, Dallas Holm, The Imperials,  Nicole Mullen and many others.”

The truth is found in Galatians 1, “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 — not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But 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. As 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.”

 

Beth Moore – A False Teacher

I believe this speaks volumes about the truth of where Beth Moore has gone. I have a great deal of respect for Justin Peters and appreciate his willingness to address the false teaching that Beth Moore has accepted and has been teaching for a long time.

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/tv/video/has-beth-moore-become-false-teacher

Accidental Similarities?

borg_queenpope_benedict_

This is the tale of two organizations with eerie similarities in how they evolved through the years. One is fictional, the other quite real. As far as we know, these similarities are not intentional, though this author believes in a Sovereign God – meaning there are no coincidences.

Nobody knows for certain the origin of either organization. Both entities appeared in time and “history” was filled in after the fact to varying degrees. They gave rise to charismatic, authoritarian leaders whose power was rarely challenged. Each leader provides communications to the respective “collective”, insuring each “drone” has the official message, disregarding any information that may contradict it regardless of veracity.

The first encounter locals had with either resulted in the same outcome: death or being assimilated. With each assimilation, the conquering organization was changed, having taken on various characteristics of the culture it conquered. As time went by, the original culture of each organization resulted in something that was not true to either their beginnings or the cultures from which they assimilated new converts.

They each proclaimed that they, alone, represented the best hope for civilization – claiming to be the only legitimate culture into which all would be assimilated or disposed of. Each left a path of wreckage and death in their wake, blind to the needs of outsiders and blind to the errors of their ways and beliefs.

Here now, is a concise comparison between these two cultures. My goal is to make clear the old truism: truth is stranger than fiction.

Chart 1
Chart 2
chart 3

Note: No sources are listed, as fans of the Borg know their stuff and likely are not put off by this little article and Roman Catholics have their own sources and would not condescend to read anything I might suggest. So this document stands on its own, as my personal perspective, not needing to be defended against the Romans nor explained to the Reformed.

With the Pope’s latest visit to the US (this was written in 2008), I’ve begun to notice certain similarities between him, and Batman…

1. Both use an assumed identity.

2. Both costumes include headwear.

3. Both costumes include a cape.

4. Both assisted by young boys.

5. Batmobile/Popemobile

6. Both control vast economic empires, handed down to them by a previous “father figure.”

7. Both live in huge mansions.

8. Both have dark events in their pasts, which they would rather not discuss.

9. Both have an aging English butler, who’s been in the family for decades.

10. Batsignal in the sky over City Hall summons Batman. White smoke in the sky over the Vatican summons a new Pope.

11. The Batplane/Popeplane

12. The Batcave/Underground Tunnels at the vatican

Let it be known that I do not hate Roman Catholics. I hate false doctrine that denies essential Christian Truths whether it is proclaimed by Catholics, Hindus, Episcopalians, Southern Baptists, or my own self. For this a Truth – God (by this I mean the Great I AM of the Bible) alone is without false ways.

All blessing and glory and honor and power be unto the Lamb of God! Christ is risen – He has conquered sin and death and saved His chosen ones by His grace, lest anyone boast in the flesh.

Are we Christians? Or are we worldlings?

Are we Christians? Or are we worldlings? rick+warren+wide+gate

(Horatius Bonar, “Self-Denial Christianity”)

“Woe to those who are at ease in Zion!” Amos 6:1

What do we say to . . .
our self-indulgence,
our spiritual sloth,
our love of ease,
our avoidance of hardship,
our luxury,
our pampering of the body,
our costly feasts,
our silken couches,
our brilliant furniture,
our gay attire,
our jeweled fingers,
our idle mirth,
our voluptuous music,
our jovial tables, loaded with every variety of rich viands?

Are we Christians? Or are we worldlings?

Where is the self-denial of the New Testament days?

Where is the separation from a self-pleasing luxurious world?

Where is the cross, the true badge of discipleship, to be seen–except in useless religious ornaments for the body, or worse than useless decorations for the sanctuary?

“Woe to those who are at ease in Zion!”
Is not this the description of multitudes who name the name of Christ? They may not be “living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.” But even where these are absent, there is ‘high living’–luxury of the table or the wardrobe–in conformity to ‘this present evil world.’

“At ease in Zion!” Yes! there is the shrinking . . .
from hard service;
from ‘spending and being spent;’
from toil and burden-bearing and conflict;
from self-sacrifice and noble service;
for the Master’s sake.

There is conformity to the world, instead of conformity to Christ!
There is a laying down, instead of a taking up of the cross.
Or there is a lining of the cross with velvet, lest it should gall our shoulders as we carry it!
Or there is an adorning of the cross, that it may suite the taste and the manners of our refined and intellectual age.

Anything but the bare, rugged and simple cross!

We think that we can make the strait gate wider, and the narrow way broader, so as to be able to walk more comfortably to the heavenly kingdom. We try to prove that ‘modern enlightenment’ has so refined ‘the world and its pleasures’, that we may safely drink the poisoned cup, and give ourselves up to the inebriation of the Siren song.

“At ease in Zion!” Even when the walls of our city are besieged, and the citadel is being stormed!

Instead of grasping our weapons, we lie down upon our couches!

Instead of the armor, we put on the silken robe!

We are cowards, when we should be brave!

We are faint-hearted, when we should be bold!

We are lukewarm, when we should be fervent!

We are cold, when we should be full of zeal!

We compromise and shuffle and make excuses, when we should lift up our voice like a trumpet! We pare down truth, or palliate error, or extenuate sin–in order to placate the world, or suit the spirit of the age, or ‘unify’ the Church.

Learn self-denying Christianity. Not the form or name, but the living thing. Let us renounce the lazy, luxurious, self-pleasing, fashionable religion of the present day!

A self-indulgent religion has nothing in common with the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ; or with that cross of ours which He has commanded us to take up and carry after Him–renouncing ease and denying self.

Our time,
our abilities,
our money,
our strength–
are all to be laid upon the altar.

“Woe to those who are at ease in Zion!”
Amos 6:1

Religion vs. God – LGBT issues

A recent article by the Huffington Post is doing its part to undermine the truth of Scripture. Entitled, “The Gender You Associate to God May Indicate How You Feel About Gay Marriage.”

The truth is that we have no right to assign a gender to God. He is God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was equally God and equally man. If one wrongly assumes that God may be a woman to pacify the liberal and LGBT communities, then we have to wonder how long it will be before somebody rewrites the Bible to show that Jesus was actually a woman. You can take every page of Scripture and rewrite it to satisfy the lusts of the world, but it will never become truth. EVER!

LGBTBible

Read the differences between what leaders within major world religions have to say versus what God says.

Desmond Tutu, Anglican Archbishop Emeritus of South Africa – “I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this. I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place.”

Francis, Pope of the Roman Catholic Church – “Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord? You can’t marginalize these people.”

Laura Geller, Jewish Rabbi - “Now I can invoke the power vested in me by the State of California and declare them married in accordance with the laws of the State of California and our Jewish faith. Now we are so much closer to the truth of their experience: a gay or lesbian Jewish wedding, like a Jewish heterosexual wedding, is a Jewish wedding pure and simple, the inheritance of every loving Jewish couple.”

Dalai Lama – Head Monk of Tibetan Buddhism – “If someone comes to me and asks whether it is okay or not, I will first ask if you have some religious vows to uphold. Then my next question is, What is your companion’s opinion? If you both agree, then I think I would say, if two males or two females voluntarily agree to have mutual satisfaction without further implication of harming others, then it is okay.”

Rev. Jesse Jackson – Religion of Civil Rights – Supports gay marriage and would perform a marriage of gay couples “if I was asked to.”

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Anglican Church – “I mean I know plenty of gay couples whose relationships are an example to plenty of other people and that’s something that’s very important, I’m not saying that gay relationships are in some way, you know that the love that there is less than the love there is between straight couples, that would be a completely absurd thing to say.”

Well, that should be enough to show the apostasy and the lack of Biblical truth within every one of these religions. Now, what does God say about LGBT issues. Here are a few thoughts from GotQuestions.org.

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9-10).

romans1

“In summary, Romans 1:18-31 deals with the fact that God has innately made Himself known to humanity, but He has been rejected and replaced by other objects of worship. Because of this, God has delivered two judgments: one of homosexual behavior and another of an immoral mind, each of which demonstrates His ‘abandonment’ wrath toward humanity’s rebellion.”

The truth is that ALL those who willfully remain in their sin stand condemned before God. It does not matter what kind of sin – homosexuality, lying, murder, lesbianism, cheating, pedophilia, hating, idolatry, bestiality. What matters is how far each person is from a holy, righteous God. When God saves the sinner, He CHANGES them and makes them a brand new creation in Christ. If you are a true believer, you will NOT go back with pleasure to your sin. To say God saved you to continue in your sin is to grossly misunderstand the Scriptures.

Final Score = God Wins, Religion Fails.

Attacking the Church – It is Rarely Doctrinal

Pastor Jon Gleason does an excellent job in this post addressing the issue of church problems being based on doctrine. This is his second article and should be read by all discerning believers. I have chosen to highlight a few parts and added a couple of pictures.

Attacking the Church — It is Rarely Doctrinal

My last post said that church problems are always doctrinal.  It is never accurate to say that a church which is straying in some way is doctrinally sound.  Every church problem is based on an error in applied doctrine.

In this article, it may sound like I’m contradicting that article.  If every church problem is doctrinal, won’t attacks on the church always be doctrinal in nature?  Perhaps — but they rarely start with a doctrinal focus.

Paul and John, in their epistles to the churches, warned of false teachers, sometimes naming them.  Down through the centuries, whether Christianity was persecuted or state-sanctioned, there has always been heresy, there have always been those who tried to come into the church to spread their false doctrine.  Just as there has always been false teachers, there have always been those who would stand against the heresies — and always those who have fallen prey to the wolves.

wolf-in-sheeps-clothing-300x249

Today, false teaching is gaining traction in many churches.  One can walk into any number of “evangelical” churches and hear a false Gospel preached.  In recent high profile cases, some famous mega-church pastors endorsed a man who spreads false teaching on the Triune nature of our God, and a well-known British evangelical rejected the Biblical teaching on the atonement (and now, he rejects Biblical teaching in other areas as well).  Almost every area of Biblical doctrine is under attack in churches where the Bible was once faithfully taught, often where the stated doctrinal position of the church is still sound.

False teaching seems to be on the rise — but the attack on a church rarely begins with false teaching.  Sound pastors or teachers do not usually wake up one morning and say, “I think I’ll change the doctrine I teach going forward,” and begin to promote error.  Faithful church members do not usually say, “I think I’ll stop checking the Scriptures to see if what I’ve been taught is true.”  No one in a true Biblical church suddenly decides, “I think what our church needs is more false teaching.”

The first attack is usually spiritual, not doctrinal.  We have been told not to love the world, but we have accepted the world’s value system, its philosophies, its politics, its entertainment, and its loves.  Too many churches are full of people who love what the world loves and think the way the world thinks.

People don’t say, “Let’s let error come in,” whether it be error that is taught directly or (as I mentioned in yesterday’s article) error that is taught by practice.  But when churches are full of spiritual weaklings who have been drugged and poisoned by the world and the things the world loves, they don’t even see what is happening.

When we spend more time on entertainment and Internet discussion (which is often really just another form of entertainment, even if it is on Christian topics) than we do our Bibles, we become spiritually stunted.  Our minds are not being transformed and renewed, and we don’t even recognise the error when it comes.

The Scriptures warn repeatedly that false teachers will come, and keep coming, and we need to be ready.  The solution is not writing better doctrinal statements or owning more theology books.  That has already been done.  Those who had good doctrinal statements and owned (and even wrote) good theology books have gone into error.

They loved the world, or the praise of man, or their own intellectual or preaching prowess, or pleasure, or another person, or some other thing.  Their hearts grew distant from God as sins of pride or lust or ingratitude or anger took hold — and doctrinal error found fertile soil to produce its bitter harvest.

If our senses are tuned to truth, we’ll recognise when someone tries to give us something besides the truth, even if we don’t know exactly what it is.  If you love a cup of tea, you’ll know when someone gives you one containing a foreign substance.  There will be a taste there, a taste you don’t recognise.  You’ll say, “Hey, something is wrong here!”

Nice_Cup_of_TeaBut if you stop making yourself a cup of tea, you just don’t take the time to do it anymore, you’ll forget the exact taste.  If someone gives you a cup that seems a little off, well, you probably just forgot what it really tastes like, right?  You’ve gotten away from tea drinking these days.  I’m sure it’s fine.

But not only do our hearts grow distant from God, we take from the world and learn to love its loves.  Too easily, we spend Monday through Saturday drinking the spiritual equivalent of anti-freeze.  Our spiritual taste buds become a mess.  A false teacher could put anything in your spiritual cup of tea on Sunday morning, and you’ll never know the difference.  You’ve forgotten what truth tastes like, and learned to like poison.

Church problems may always be doctrinal — but the attacks on churches almost always start on a spiritual level (not a doctrinal one) in turning our love, ever so slightly, away from the Lord to other things.  It starts slowly, deceptively, insidiously growing, until we either don’t care or don’t notice when error shows up.  We’ve been drugged by false loves, the love of the world, and the enemy can do with us what he wishes — as long as he keeps supplying the drug.

When we get to that state, the adversary could easily get us to leave the church, but he’s in no hurry to do that.  He can use us to destroy from within.  We won’t recognise error any longer, or care about it.  There are things we want, now, things we love, and we’ll be in favour of anyone who provides them.  If we can get those things we want and love in the church, all the better — we’ll be able to drift along feeling good about ourselves spiritually as we pursue the loves we got from the world.  If anyone says anything, tries to warn us, we might even get angry — “It tastes good to me, and I like it!”

In fact, if the church only had teachers who said the things we love are ok, are Christian, are actually what the church SHOULD be doing, that would be best of all!  Give me my loves in a Christian flavour, please!

We’ll be ready allies for the false teachers when they show up.  One should be along any day now.

Colossians 3:1-4

1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Church Problems?

We occasionally repost articles by permission from other writers. Pastor Jon Gleason does an excellent job in this post addressing the issue of church problems being based on doctrine. I have chosen to highlight a few parts and added a picture.

Church Problems — They Are Always Doctrinal

Most pastors have heard it many times, especially if they are active on the Internet — it hits their email inbox all the time.  “Something has gone wrong in my church.”  Sometimes it is from another pastor, sometimes a member of the congregation, often from someone he doesn’t even know, who gets in touch online.

There’s an additional statement that often comes with it:  “It’s not doctrinal.  The church still teaches sound doctrine.”  That addendum is wrong.  It is always doctrinal.  Problems always are.

The most common errors are probably in Bibliology, the doctrine of what the Scriptures are, their inspiration, authority, and sufficiency.  Close behind, if not even more common, are errors in ecclesiology, the doctrine of the church of Jesus Christ, what it is, its purpose, and its leadership.  But perhaps underlying almost every problem is a failure to truly carry out what it means when we say God is great, holy, loving, and true.  If we didn’t diminish who God is, it would probably be impossible to have problems in the church.

Is the problem that the church has a pastor who won’t lead, or one that is dictatorial?  Those are doctrinal problems.  Whatever may be said from the pulpit or in Bible studies, the practice of the church in teaching the role of church leadership is not according to sound doctrine.  The ecclesiology is in disarray.  If the pastor is dictatorial, the Bibliology of the church is also likely in trouble — instead of the Bible being the authority, the pastor begins to become the authority in the church.  If the pastor is the authority, then we diminish God.

Doctrine

Is the church adopting new and questionable practices in an attempt to bring more people into the church?  Whatever the words of the doctrinal statement may say, the practice of the church is based on a flawed doctrine of salvation.  The pneumatology (the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, including His work in regenerating lost souls) has also probably gone astray, as that is effectively set aside for the view that the new practices are the key to evangelism.  We’ve replaced the work of the Spirit with our own ideas — and diminished God by saying our ideas can do what the Spirit does.

Has the church become emotionalistic, giving the emotions of an individual or the entire group a central focus?  This is doctrinal error on many levels, skewing the ecclesiological doctrine of the church’s worship so that it becomes more about human emotions than about honouring God — we reduce God to a reason for me to get excited or emotional.  It is flawed Bibliology, for the Scripture emphasises truth — the facts of what God has done (not “how I feel”).  It is often errant anthropology (the doctrine of what Bible says man is) by exalting human feelings to the most important part of who we are.

Is the church unfriendly and cold?  The church’s doctrinal practice, whatever is taught in words, denies the doctrines of regeneration and sanctification which teach us to love.  It denies the ecclesiological truth that the church is a family of brothers and sisters, a body united together.

Is the time of teaching the Word decreasing?  If you decide that your church needs more time on other things and less on Scripture, you effectively deny the inspiration and sufficiency of the Scriptures.  Is a pastor’s preaching changing, so that he spends less time simply explaining the Scriptures, and more time telling stories?  Does he give the impression he is more concerned with a powerful or entertaining performance than with simply communicating truth?  It is the same problem — the pastor’s presentation has been exalted to the detriment of the sufficiency of Scripture.

Is someone grumbling and complaining?  That is a denial of the doctrine of last things (eschatology), our future hope.  It is also a denial of the doctrinal truths about sin — if we really believe our sin is as bad as God sees it, then we know that we deserve nothing but judgment, and we have nothing of which to complain.  If we complain because we think we deserve better, we deny the doctrinal truths of God’s grace.  In fact, grumbling is a denial of almost every doctrine in the Bible.

Is there gossip in the church?  That is a doctrinal error on the doctrine of sanctification (as Christians, part of the holy life we are to live is to speak the truth) and the doctrine of the church (we are to be one body, united, loving one another).

page38_picture0If your church has a problem (and which church doesn’t?), it can always be traced back to doctrine, either what is taught in word or what is taught in practice, or both.  Almost always, if doctrinal errors are practiced long enough, they begin to make their way into the verbal teaching of the church as well.

Note:  Of course, the problem just might be you.  You might be the one who is grumbling or gossiping.  The church’s problems may not be anywhere near as bad as you are making them out to be.  You may be the one who is in doctrinal error (in your practice, whatever you say you believe).

How can you tell?  And (the vital question) if the church is in trouble, how can you help?

A good place to start is to identify the doctrinal questions involved.  If there is a real problem, there is a doctrinal error.  Cut through the surface considerations to identify just exactly which doctrine is at stake.  There may be more than one, for many wrong behaviours violate more than one doctrine.

Once we’ve done this, we begin to see the problem Biblically.  When we see problems Biblically, then we not only understand them better, we are well on our way to finding Biblical solutions.

Furthermore, when we can identify the Scriptures and doctrines which are at stake, we are much better equipped to discuss the problems with others, if necessary.  This does not guarantee that any such discussions will go well, but using the Scriptures gives an authority which we could never have on our own.  Most importantly, we’re using God’s way of addressing problems.  The Scriptures are sufficient for the problems in our churches, if we will only use them.

Not every difference between people in a church is doctrinal, but if it isn’t doctrinal, then it isn’t a real problem.  If it is real, there certainly is doctrine at stake somewhere — someone (or the church as a whole) is denying true doctrine, in words, actions, or both, whether they recognise it or not.  If you sort out the doctrine (both stated and applied), you sort out the church.