Connecting the Dots – Kundalini to New Evangelicalism

We have spent a great deal of time in the past addressing issues that are greatly affecting true, biblical Christianity. The problem today is that more and more people are being duped into believing that a myriad of wolves are preaching and teaching the truth.

Children love to play connect the dots. Connecting the dots allows them to see a picture take place by counting each number in sequence. If the numbers are not put together correctly, then the picture will be nothing more than a jumbled mess. In similar fashion, it is not hard to see the dots that are now connecting the false religions of the world with so-called Christianity. Let’s look at how these dots are not only connected, but still being connected on the stages of churches and church conferences.

Let’s look at the first dot on the page. Kundalini is a mystical power that has often been called the Hindu’s version of the Holy Spirit. Kundalini is purely demonic. There are many videos that can be found on the dangers of this system which also includes the use of yoga and the encouragement to followers to allow their minds to be emptied in order for peace to fill them.

Any true minister would point out the heresy of such a religious system!

The second dot makes a radical jump from the blatant heresy of Hinduism to charismatic churches. The connection of the second dot actually produces a sordid picture because it allowed the first vestiges of eastern religion into mainstream religious circles.

This second dot produced the same type of power and manifestations as found in Hinduism but was now connected with people like Rodney Howard Browne, Oral & Richard Roberts, the Toronto Movement, and the events from 2008 in Lakeland, Florida spearheaded by Todd Bentley and openly promoted by GodTV. Many others within the Word of Faith movement bought into the heresy in various ways which then opened up the door to further invasions of demonic activity. These individuals included Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyers, TD Jakes, Rick Joyner, John Crowder and others. In the meantime, people continue to be duped into believing that these crazy, demonic acts are somehow from God.

Any true minister would point out the heresy of such a religious system!

The third dot took things like Toronto Blessing and the Holy Laughter Movement and made slight and subtle changes so as to be included in a wider array of preachers and churches. This third dot saw a continuing growth of churches spring to life in a way that has been unparalleled in recent history. This growth produced a wide impact and sought to point out that these great visitations from God were also to be found outside of charismatic circles. This included groups like IHOP in Kansas City, Bethel Church in Redding, CA, Perry Noble of NewSpring Church, and Ed Young of Fellowship Church. Of course, experience became more valuable than doctrine and anybody that believed to the contrary was considered a judgmental evangelical.

Any true minister would point out the heresy of such a religious system!

The fourth dot that comes to light is that when doctrine is taken out of preaching, it is normally superseded not just by experiences but also by music which normally drives much of what is found in the vast majority of the mega-churches today. Because people are coming for the music or the experiences, they also want their ears to be tickled into believing that somehow they are “best buds” with God who will accept them the way they are and not demand any change. When experience becomes the vital entity in church, then churches will begin to hold hands with anybody else who holds to the same thing – all for the sake of the kingdom, of course! This then was further compounded by groups like Promise Keepers who held hands with ANYBODY. ALL were accepted in the name of love including Mormons, Roman Catholics, and all mainline denominations. And more swallowed the Kool-Aid. You see, this dot allows the inclusion of people like Louie Giglio and Mark Driscoll, and bands like Jesus Culture and David Crowder.

Any true minister would point out the heresy of such a religious system!

The fifth dot is the one that is probably the scariest. Discernment ministries have been pointing out the coming apostasy for a few decades and few took notice because they did not believe it would ever affect them. After all, that was only the kind of thing that happened in charismatic circles. The fifth dot made the connection to evangelical circles. The problem being that experience was becoming so important that even those within what would have been termed sound evangelicalism began jumping on board. Southern Baptists were soon swallowing the poison with ease by the likes of Beth Moore and Henry Blackaby, both of whom have crossed the line of sound doctrine into an acceptance of “whatever floats your boat works for me as well because we won’t judge what Jesus accepts or does not accept!”

People who just a few decades ago would never have listened or permitted a woman to speak have now crossed the line of full acceptance. These people who stand to preach now are pushing an agenda that comes right out of the pits of hell. Can we not see that the devil is not concerned about those who live a life of debauchery for he already has them in his grip? He is concerned with doctrine for this is what drives a church towards purity. If the devil can get the focus OFF of doctrine and onto music or experiences or unity in love, then he will see the vast introduction of further heresies into the church at large.

Experience is still driving the crayon across the page as the dots continue to be connected. This now brings us to the next connection which some may vehemently decry, but it is necessary to help in completing a picture for the true Berean Christian.

Any true minister would point out the heresy of such a religious system!

The sixth dot though helps us to see the truth of Paul’s writings when he tells us that in the last days, there will be a falling away. Those who are falling away are IN the church. They are not on the periphery, but are actually sitting in their cushioned chairs sipping their lattes listening with rapt attention to the drivel that falls from the lips of so-many so-called preachers of the gospel. The gospel being preached is devoid of truth, devoid of the biblical Jesus, is devoid of repentance, is devoid of the mention of sin, and is devoid of anything that would connect it with a Bride who is making herself ready for the return of the Bridegroom.

This dot, while scary, is actually the logical continuance of the fifth dot. What is scary though is those who have perpetuated the lie that there is no connection from themselves to the heresy that is damning the souls of millions to hell. Those in this dot are those who stand in front of tens of thousands and would openly endorse the teachings and heresies of those found under some of the other dots. A true minister continues to take a stand against heresy and will preach the truth no matter where he may be. He will not be concerned about book sales or larger followings for his megachurch. He will remain a SLAVE of Jesus Christ and will teach truth NO MATTER THE COST!

The problem we face with this sixth dot though is that there seem to be many who are jumping into this particular arena, and with a straight face, seek to convince their people that unity is vital and that “we will never compromise the truth.” However, when the error surfaces, the truth is spoken with a finely polished veneer that says “I will not condemn my brother or sister in the Lord!” Or, the truth will be spoken but with just enough double-speak to ensure that anybody in the audience can find approval with what is said. The hearer is given the opportunity to twist the Scriptures to mean whatever they want it to mean so that they can find endorsement for their sin before God.

This was recently seen at Passion 2013 when John Piper and Francis Chan refused to openly condemn heresy. This was seen by their sharing and enjoying the stage with those who preach a different gospel. Their message may have been truth at its core, but their refusal to take a stand poisoned the message to the point where any and all could come away feeling good about themselves or could come away thinking they had a good relationship with Jesus Christ.

Sadly, within the confines of the sixth dot are men who have been preaching the gospel and yet have failed miserably in standing for the truth. They willingly share the stage with proponents of everything ranging from those teaching slight error to heretics, who then share the stage with those who are openly heretics and opposed to Jesus Christ and biblical truth, who in turn then share the stage with the false religions of the world.

In this camp, the world sees John Piper preach one thing but live another. They see him holding hands with the Mark Driscolls and the Rick Warrens and the Louie Giglios and the Beth Moores of the church. They then see these people endorsing people even further afield to include Roman Catholicism and the New Age Mysticism that is so prevalent.

And the church wonders why we do not see true revival?????

The world connects the dots better than the church is doing. They see Roman Catholics holding hands with Presbyterians who are holding hands with Baptists who are holding hands with New Evangelicals who are holding hands with Word of Faith proponents who are holding hands with the demonic activities that are identical to what is found in Hinduism and who are in turn holding hands with Roman Catholicism. They see nothing different – just a different name.

The devil laughs while the church-at-large looks at the dots and thinks it portrays the kingdom of God. God looks at the dots and sees the rank apostasy that is being openly permitted – a rank apostasy that would never have been permitted just a handful of years ago.

So to summarize the picture that is appearing. It is not even subtle anymore, but is out in the open.

Dot 1 – Hinduism – Kundalini
Dot 2 – Charismania
Dot 3 – Church growth gurus promote numbers over truth
Dot 4 – Doctrine begins to disappear for the sake of “love”
Dot 5 – Experience trumps doctrine in new evangelical circles
Dot 6 – Evangelicals fall all over each other in order to line up with the wolves in the pulpits of the world.

Any true minister would point out the heresy of such a religious system!

A few final questions to ponder – Will Berean Christians swallow the bait? Will we allow ourselves to be duped into thinking that we can all just get along? Will we one day come to the point where the crucifixion cannot even be mentioned because that would be to condemn those who believe there are many roads to heaven? Will we continue to endorse those in Dot 6 because of who they are or will we refuse to follow their error knowing and realizing that the dots that connect one connect to each other and they all in turn – connect to hell from where the heresy all originally starts?

CONNECT THE DOTS!

Do you like the horror that is taking place on the page? Will you remain blind because you prefer the easy route? We do not need any more dots to see the dangers found in the picture. We need godly men and women who will stand for truth no matter what it takes or what it costs! The future of your church and mine depends on it.

CONNECT THE DOTS!

Can We Call Them Brothers in Christ?

John-Piper-Rick-Warren3Recently, we received an email here at DefCon that I believe addressed a very valid and important question.  The reader asked our opinion on a discussion he was having with someone regarding Rick Warren, Mark Driscoll and John Piper. The question asked during his discussion was how can a Christian call any of these men a “true brother in Christ,” especially given the various concerns raised about them, even here on this blog. As the head administrator of this site, the task was mine to attempt to answer this particular question. After thinking the matter through, I responded to our reader with what I believe is a balanced and biblical stance on the matter. My desire is to share that response here on DefCon so that others who have a similar question may benefit from it. My response was a follows:

“Hello there. This is the Chris Hohnholz, the head administrator of DefCon. Thanks much for writing to us. I have given your email a lot of thought and will do my best to give you a decent answer. Before I do though, I want to make it clear that I am speaking only for myself. Even though I run this blog, I do not claim to speak for all the writers, not even the author of the article you linked. I say that as a means of ensuring that anything that I might blow it on is not conveyed to my writers.

mark-driscollMy thought on this is that there is a difference between not supporting or endorsing a pastor and declaring that said pastor is not a brother in Christ. To give a separate example, I’m sure you are aware of the chaos James MacDonald has caused with his Elephant Room nonsense. In years past, he has been considered a respected pastor. Even folks of a reformed theology have at least considered him within orthodoxy. Yet with his endorsing pastors who are questionable, and now declaring T.D. Jakes (who is a heretic) to be within the camp, he is NOT someone we would support or endorse. However, does his current sinful behavior mean he is not saved. I do not believe we can declare that at this time. If he truly is saved, I believe the Holy Spirit will bring him into repentance. If he is not, I think we will see him walk further and further from the truth. But until one or the other happens, I will not declare he is not a brother, but I will warn folks against what he is doing.

I think much can be said of the three pastors you have written Todd about. With Warren, I really worry about him because everything he is about is antithetical to the Bible. I think his smiling and charismatic personality carries with it a dangerous man-centered message that will definitely lead people and ministries astray. That alone makes me wonder about his salvation, but I would stop short of that because I simply haven’t seen him teach anything that is directly heretical. Much the same with Driscoll. He teaches orthodox messages, but his willingness to taint that message with foul language, to give graphic sexual messages and his unbiblical “visions” from God make him someone I wouldn’t endorse at all. But I really don’t know about him not being a brother. Is he simply just ignorant on these things or is he deliberately teaching things that will one day bear out as heretical. I can only say that we should be warning folks against him. Piper is the one who really perplexes me. He has preached so many great and godly messages that still continue to edify the saints. Yet, he is willing to lock arms with folks like Warren, he is willing to appear in conferences where contemplative prayer is going on without so much as a peep in refutation. He is giving those folks a platform that they never should have. I do believe Piper is a brother, but he is flat out wrong in what he is doing. As such, I don’t support what he is doing.

I do not know if this answer helps you in any way, but I believe that until these men either establish themselves as heretical or they repent and prove themselves as faithful brethren, our best bet is to warn against what they have said or done, but to reserve judgment of their state of salvation.

Again, I am thankful for your writing to us and am equally grateful for your support of our blog. May God bless you.

Chris Hohnholz
DefCon Administrator”

Has Mark Driscoll gone Charismatic?

The Sola Sisters have posted a doozey about Mark Driscoll talking to demons and giving extra-biblical advice on how to perform exorcisms.

Had I only read the transcript from the following video–not knowing who it came from–I would have never guessed it came from Mark Driscoll. I would have been sure it came from someone who frequents TBN.

Be sure to visit the Sola Sisters article (linked above) for more on this latest movement away from biblical Christianity by Mark Driscoll.

What Discernment Actually Looks Like

A few days ago I posted a link from Phil Johnson on the Pyromanics blog regarding Mark Driscoll’s self-proclaimed “gift of discernment”, which sounded more like a man with a dirty mind talking offensively to the sheep under his care. In the post on Driscoll’s madness found HERE , I call attention to why I believe Driscoll has fallen away from the basic pillars and  qualifications of an elder/overseer of the church (I am assuming that he had these qualifications at one point). He is speaking on discernment while demonstrating the lack of discernment in what is appropriate for discussion from the pulpit…or, sadly, the stage as it is in his case.

I now want follow up on this story by sharing what real discernment looks like.

John MacArthur was asked in this video what he thinks may come about in the church in the years to come and MacArthur is quick to comment on the essential component missing from so many churches and pastors today in the reformed faith. In part one he talks about how having reformed soteriology doesn’t give you a pass in regard to the role as a shepherd or with the way you conduct yourself.

Part 1 – Reversal of the Reformed Revival

In part 2 of this interview, MacArthur again challenges us in a wonderful way. Are our pastors involved in the life of the church? Are you attending a church that has a video screen playing the sermon, which MacArthur calls “Flat Screen Preaching”? How can you tell if this man is qualified to be an elder and above reproach if he only exists on a video screen? What sort of church is that? We should not allow a rock-n-roll event on Sunday morning replace the  shepherding care of our souls.

Part 2 – Reversal of the Reformed Revival

Let us not forget how Paul instructs Timothy regarding overseers of the church in his first letter to Timothy. These words are tragically ignored, forgotten, pushed aside, and downplayed way too much today:

1 Timothy 3:1-7

The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

You might be a Calvinist . . .

The following is from the Disciple Man blog:

You Might Just Be A Calvinist If….

If you have a Martin Luther Jell-O mold… you just might be a Calvinist.

If your DVR has over 25 episodes of Wretched With Todd Friel recorded on it… you just might be a Calvinist.

If your child’s first word was “Westminster”… you just might be a Calvinist.

If your 4 year old can explain what the word “propitiation” means… you might just be a Calvinist.

If you send your mother tulips on Mother’s Day… you might be a Calvinist.

If your passion for evangelism blows away your Arminian friends… you might just be a (true) Calvinist.

If you hate rap music BUT you listen to Lecrea, The Cross Movement, Flame or D.A. T.R.U.T.H. because of the lyrics and theology… you might be a Calvinist.

If quotes from Pink, Spurgeon, Luther, Piper, and McArthur make up 90% of your Facebook statuses…you might be a Calvinist.

Continue reading

Mark Driscoll’s Madness

Ok, this one has pushed me over the edge with Mr. Driscoll. I have had issues with his methods and his personal witness, the way he talks from the pulpit, and so on…but this is a whole new level for me.

This link takes you to the Pyromaniacs Blog where Phil Johnson posted this today…It is regarding Mark Driscoll’s Pornographic Divination. And what is my problem you ask? As if it is not obvious. It’s not that this is just terrible theology and horrendous doctrine regarding discernment and spiritual gifts. But, rather simply that Paul calls Pastor/Teachers/Elders to be above reproach:

1 Timothy 3:1-3:

The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,…

Mr. Driscoll is misfiring on several cylinders here. Look for yourself is he above reproach?:

PORNOGRAPHIC DIVINATION (find article here)

Here is the intro from Phil:

“In a post last week, I pointed out that the preposterous claims, unhinged behavior, and spiritual quackery that are so prominent at the charismatic movement’s lunatic fringe are by no means limited to the outer edges. Goofiness and gullibility are necessary byproducts of a belief system that fails to take seriously the principle of sola Scriptura and its ramifications (i.e., the authority and sufficiency of Scripture).

Here’s a sample of the kind of thing I was referring to: The video below features Mark Driscoll, claiming the Holy Spirit regularly gives him graphic visions showing acts of rape, fornicators in flagrante delicto, and sexual child molesters in the very act.

Please be forewarned, this video and the transcript is somewhat graphic in content and may be offensive to you. It certainly is offensive to me.

Phil Johnson and Team Pyro:

http://teampyro.blogspot.com/

If Paul’s epistle to the Galatians was published in Christianity Today.

If the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Church in Galatia had been published in the magazine Christianity Today how would it be received? Well, what follows is a dramatization of letters received from readers in response to Paul’s inspired Epistle.


(Source: Sacred Sandwich)


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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Dear Christianity Today:

In response to Paul D. Apostle’s article about the Galatian church in your January issue, I have to say how appalled I am by the unchristian tone of this hit piece. Why the negativity? Has he been to the Galatian church recently? I happen to know some of the people at that church, and they are the most loving, caring people I’ve ever met.

Phyllis Snodgrass; Ann Arbor, MI

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Dear Editor:

How arrogant of Mr. Apostle to think he has the right to judge these people and label them accursed. Isn’t that God’s job? Regardless of this circumcision issue, these Galatians believe in Jesus just as much as he does, and it is very Pharisaical to condemn them just because they differ on such a secondary issue. Personally, I don’t want a sharp instrument anywhere near my zipper, but that doesn’t give me the right to judge how someone else follows Christ. Can’t we just focus on our common commitment to Christ and furthering His kingdom, instead of tearing down fellow believers over petty doctrinal matters?

Ed Bilgeway; Tonganoxie, KS

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Dear CT:

I’ve seen other dubious articles by Paul Apostle in the past, and frankly I’m surprised you felt that his recurrent criticisms of the Church deserved to be printed in your magazine. Mr. Apostle for many years now has had a penchant for thinking he has a right to “mark” certain Christian teachers who don’t agree with his biblical position. Certainly I commend him for desiring to stay faithful to God’s word, but I think he errs in being so dogmatic about his views to the point where he feels free to openly attack his brethren. His attitude makes it difficult to fully unify the Church, and gives credence to the opposition’s view that Christians are judgmental, arrogant people who never show God’s love.

Ken Groener; San Diego, CA

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To the Editors:

Paul Apostle says that he hopes the Galatian teachers will cut off their own privates? What kind of Christian attitude is that? Shame on him!

Martha Bobbitt; Boulder, CO

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Dear Christianity Today:

The fact that Paul Apostle brags about his public run-in with Peter Cephas, a well-respected leader and brother in Christ, exposes Mr. Apostle for the divisive figure that he has become in the Church today. His diatribe against the Galatian church is just more of the same misguided focus on an antiquated reliance on doctrine instead of love and tolerance. Just look how his hypercritical attitude has cast aspersions on homosexual believers and women elders! The real problem within the Church today is not the lack of doctrinal devotion, as Apostle seems to believe, but in our inability to be transformed by our individual journeys in the Spirit. Evidently, Apostle has failed to detach himself from his legalistic background as a Pharisee, and is unable to let go and experience the genuine love for Christ that is coming from the Galatians who strive to worship God in their own special way.

William Zenby; Richmond, VA

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Kind Editors:

I happen to be a member of First Christian Church of Galatia, and I take issue with Mr. Apostle’s article. How can he criticize a ministry that has been so blessed by God? Our church has baptized many new members and has made huge in-roads in the Jewish community with our pragmatic view on circumcision. Such a “seeker-sensitive” approach has given the Jews the respect they deserve for being God’s chosen people for thousands of years. In addition, every Gentile in our midst has felt honored to engage in the many edifying rituals of the Hebrew heritage, including circumcision, without losing their passion for Jesus. My advice to Mr. Apostle is to stick to spreading the gospel message of Christ’s unconditional love, and quit criticizing what God is clearly blessing in other churches.

Miriam “Betty” Ben-Hur; Galatia, Turkey

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Christianity Today apologizes for our rash decision in publishing Paul Apostle’s exposé of the Galatian church. Had we known the extent in which our readership and advertisers would withdraw their financial support, we never would have printed such unpopular biblical truth. We regret any damage we may have caused in propagating the doctrines of Christ.

Another sad day.

It is so sad to watch pastor after pastor, and ministry after ministry acquiesce to or downright endorse Mark Driscoll.

It is with a heavy heart that I bring your attention to yet two more examples–two websites that I have long respected for their work, but now I can no longer endorse on DefCon.

The first one is Monergism. I have greatly enjoyed their Reformed resources but I have discovered that they endorse Mark Driscoll (as evidenced by their 163 links about him found on their website).

The other Driscoll endorsement was brought to my attention by DavidW, a regular reader and commenter on this blog. He pointed out this article from apologetics ministry C.A.R.M. in which the following quote was found:

Would I recommend anybody go to Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill Church?  Absolutely yes.  Not only will you get good teaching, but you’ll encounter a vibrant community of believers in the midst of a very unchurched society.  Keep up the good work Mark.

It is so discouraging that there seems to be so little discernment within the Church today, even from those who in the past have exhibited great discernment. Times are getting grim.

At this time I have removed both of these ministries from DefCon’s category links and I will be contacting both of them. If my contacts are ignored or I’m told they’re going to continue in their endorsement of Driscoll, then you will see that their sites remain absent from DefCon. However, if they do change their stance on this man I will welcome them back with open arms and even announce DefCon’s endorsement of them in a future post.

Scott Hodge and his hodge-podge of Roman Catholic meditative monastic heresy.

Chris Rosebrough is tackling an unbelievable issue that has crept into the church: The continued march backward into Romanism by supposed Evangelicals (some of which are the golden calves of Americanized Christianity) through the use of monastic meditation practices. He addresses this in his post Purpose-Driven Roman Catholic Monastic Mysticism (which is where I obtained the quotes below).

Roman Catholic Monastic Mysticism is becoming all the rage among innovative post-modern purpose-driven pastors. Practices developed by Roman Catholic Monks such as the Lectio Divina, The Practice of the Presence of God and the Prayer Examen which was created by on [sic] of the arch enemies of the Protestant Reformation, Ignatius Loyola are openly being promoted by an alarming number of seeker-driven / Purpose-Driven pastors. These so-called ’spiritual disciplines’ are being featured at Willow Creek, Saddleback, and Mars Hill to name just a few.

Rosebrough examines an absolutely astonishing sermon from seeker-sensitive pastor Scott Hodge who teaches his whole congregation that practicing the mystical Lecito Divina (like eating at a five-star restaurant) is somehow better than reading the Scriptures for yourself without the magical formula (like eating McDonalds). This is unbelievable when you consider Hodge is considered an evangelical protestant. What in the world did Luther break from Romanism for if this guy is directing his people to place the yoke back upon their necks and return to the bondage of Rome’s dead religion?

Let me be clear here, Pastor Scot Hodge is not promoting meditative practices similar to Lecito Divina, he’s promoting Lecito Divina itself. He spends the overwhelming majority of his sermon singing its praises and he even walks his whole congregation through a Lecito Divina session that will make your hair stand on end (for those familiar with Eastern mysticism and New Age practices).

To hear this unbelievable “sermon” and Rosebrough’s commentary with it, you can download it by right clicking here. It starts at 1:08:08 into the podcast.

While listening to this sermon, keep in mind that this Roman Catholic mystical practice was developed by men who did not believe in salvation by grace alone through faith alone by Christ’s work alone. These monks were trying to earn their salvation through their monkery. These practices are not taught in the scriptures. Neither Jesus, his disciples, the prophets nor the patriarchs practiced Lectio Divina. This Roman Catholic practice is pure monastic mythology and spiritual fantasy and rather than helping you experience God, it is more likely that you will experience self deception or demonic spirits.

For those unfamiliar with Scott Hodge, DefCon dealt with him back in 2007 when his video mocking the sacred ordinance of baptism was making its rounds on the internet. You can check out our previous post on Scott Hodge in the post Narcissism Gone Wild.

The fact that seeker-driven and Purpose-Driven pastors are adopting Roman Catholic Monastic practices in droves proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that chasing after relevance has caused them to abandon Biblical truth and they are now being blown about by every wind of false doctrine. (Eph. 4:7-19) Sadly, this is what happens when you try to marry the church to the ’spirit of the age’.

Judgment and Discipline – Part 4

Part 1 of series here.
Part 2 of series here.
Part 3 of series here.

In light of certain ministers signing The Manhattan Declaration, there are several questions that arise. Is discipline necessary in such a case? How does discipline play a vital part in the integrity of the local church? How do we maintain our roles as pastors in a world that accepts just about everything simply because the name evangelical has been slapped on as a label? How do we instruct our people in the matter of discipline while recognizing that such discipline is for the purpose of restoration? And finally, does discipline really matter when the majority of evangelical believers will either deliberately ignore the matter of discipline or they will fall for the lies of the evil one who was the first to question, “Has God REALLY said such and such?”

It is not my intention to rehash the first three parts of this series, but I want to reiterate one point. The bottom line is this in regards to judgment – NO JUDGMENT = NO HOLINESS. NO HOLINESS = NO PURITY. NO PURITY = NO CHURCH. NO CHURCH = NO LIFE. NO LIFE = NO CHRIST!

When it comes to discipline in the local church, we must remember that the Bible teaches that each local assembly is to be autonomous. They are to govern themselves. There is no Scriptural mandates for a denominational hierarchy that is to set the standards for the church and then ensure those are obeyed otherwise discipline against the pastor and church will be enacted. Simply put, I do not believe there is any Scriptural command that permits one local church to discipline a member of another local church. Therefore, for those who believe that ministers like Al Mohler and Ligon Duncan should be disciplined, I would urge caution because this would be a matter for his own local church to enact against their pastor if they believe that he has crossed the line of doctrinal integrity.

However, I am convinced that the Bible not only teaches independence and self-governance, I am as strongly convinced that the New Testament makes it clear that the early churches were inter-dependent. They made their own decisions, but did not have the liberty to enact decisions which would reflect on a sister church or the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. With that in mind, how does one local church respond to a sister church that is descending a slippery slope into heresy, false teaching, or even going down the road towards an all-embracing gospel? How do 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15 and 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 play a part in the way we deal with others?

We who are true believers are required to follow the commands of Scripture such as found in 2 Cor. 6:14-17, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.”

The admonition is clear. We are not, cannot, must not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. In the matter of TMD, regardless of what Mohler, Duncan and others say, this was drafted to be a theological document. Thus, in signing their names to this, they have broken the commands to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. We are called to be separate in every aspect of our lives. We are in the world, but not to be of it. Thus, the remaining problem is how do we respond when evangelicals we respect choose to break the commands of Scripture.

2 Thess. 3:14-15, “And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

This post is not intended to question whether Mohler or Duncan are true believers. The issue is how to respond in a biblical fashion to those who are brothers, yet failing to follow the “word in this epistle.” The Scriptures are clear that we cannot be yoked with those who are of the world, and it is just as clear that we have a responsibility not to keep company with those brethren who would act and teach contrary to the commands of God’s Word.

Therefore, in the matter of church discipline which is local church specific, the commands in 2 Thessalonians 3 show that we still have a responsibility to perform. It is with the purpose in mind of restoration at all times, not with ostracizing a brother or trying to throw him under the bus. My prayer is that Mohler, Duncan and others will repent of their desire to link up with the enemy and repent of such. My prayer is that they will seek forgiveness from those they are leading astray as men called to shepherd their flocks. If they do not and continue on their current path, then other evangelical leaders/pastors/believers have a responsibility to disassociate with them until they do.

The problem with evangelicalism is that we do not take biblical separation seriously. We will condemn those who cross certain lines, but it is only verbal. Rarely is further action involved. Evangelicals talk a good talk, but that is where it seems to stop. They will continue to endorse one another’s books, invite each other to conferences, share pulpits, and do everything that was done before the offending brother crossed the line. If we are going to be serious about our positions, we are going to have to show to the world that refusing to keep company with a brother is vital to the integrity of each local church. If we are going to seek purity in our churches, we cannot continue to endorse IN ANY WAY those who fail to heed the commands of Scripture. Pastors are called to a high office and to be servants of the Most High God. It is for the sake of the gospel that we stand firm, no matter what the cost to us or our ministry for in the end we will give account before God, NOT to each other.

I challenge my fellow pastors that if we are going to verbally call into question men like Driscoll for his vulgarity, like Piper for his saying that Wilson and Wright do not preach a false gospel, like Mohler and Duncan for signing The Manhattan Declaration, etc., then we must back up what we say publicly. We must refuse to endorse their materials, must admonish our people when they blindly follow these men, must stop inviting them to conferences and sharing pulpits with them, and MUST ABOVE ALL continue to seek full restoration with each other as part of the Body of Christ for whom Christ died. If we do not, then we are being hypocrites. If they are wrong, then they are wrong and pacifying the masses may be good for future book sales or endorsements, but it does not bode well for the future of true evangelical Christianity.

What we underhandedly endorse today will only become the new standards for tomorrow, and the false teachings and ecumenicalism of tomorrow will become the stepping stones towards a greater liberalism than we see today! May God give us strength to stand firm in the face of ALL opposition. May He grant us mercy and keep our feet strong so that we do not waver from the faith once delivered to the saints!

For the sake of the Gospel,

The Desert Pastor

Driscoll disqualified.

In the comment thread of another post, reader “David T” linked to a revealing article on Mark Driscoll from the blog The Christian Worldview which I wished to highlight in this post. You can read it here:

Mark Driscoll: Is He Qualified To Lead?

I caution you, however, that discretion is needed because the article quotes Mark Driscoll heavily. It’s unfortunate I have to provide a caution regarding what comes out of the mouth of a “minister,” but these are the times in which we live.

I hope that the article linked above will help those who are on the fence in regards to Driscoll. But beware, you may feel the need to take a shower after reading some of Driscoll’s quotes.

And for those who feel the need to defend their man Driscoll, before you leave your comments you must first reconcile Driscoll’s speech with the following Scriptures, or don’t expect your comments to be approved.

A worthless person, a wicked man, is the one who walks with a perverse mouth . . . Proverbs 6:12

The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverted mouth, I hate. Proverbs 8:13

The lips of the righteous bring forth what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked what is perverted. Proverbs 10:32

Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than he who is perverse in speech and is a fool. Proverbs 19:1

Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us. Titus 2:6-8

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See also:

Quotes (548)

I’ve had it with Mark Driscoll and his mouth

Sermon of the week: “Sound Doctrine; Sound Words” by Phil Johnson

Recognizing those who are taking a stand against the current downgrade


Piper – The Slope to Heresy?!

Galatians 1:6-9, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”

It is a tragedy when those who claim the name of Christ are being duped by the myriads of false teachers who have no desire for truth. An even greater tragedy occurs when false professors and/or their false teachings begin to be endorsed by well-respected ministers of the gospel. However, the greatest tragedy is when well-respected ministers of the gospel not only endorse false teaching and heresy but then allow it to be preached as truth in the midst of those sheep whom they have been supposedly called upon to protect. The man in question is none other than John Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minnesota.
john-piper

Before we continue, I want to make it very clear that this is not a private issue, but one that is well out in the open. The false teaching and endorsing of such teachings and heresies is well-documented. This is an open matter and is being addressed accordingly based on the commands we find in Scripture.

I am under no delusions that this will NOT be a popular post with some. However, Defending Contending believes we can no longer be honoring to Christ and His Word if we merely overlook what is happening within the ranks of evangelicalism simply because of who the pastor might or might not be, or how popular he appears to be.

With that in mind, let’s continue by looking briefly at two heresies taking over at an alarming rate. Both of these doctrines are pushing the ranks of the uninformed back towards the open, welcoming arms of Rome again. Sadly, these doctrines are even being embraced or unknowingly being endorsed by even very conservative Baptist churches.

    First – Federal Vision in a nutshell believes that when a person unites with the visible local church that the individual becomes one with Christ. Federalists also teach that when an unbeliever partakes of communion (the Lord’s Table) that they are actually feeding upon Christ. Further, they teach that being baptized is the means whereby a person becomes one with Christ. For further information, I would highly recommend this article at The Banner of Truth Trust. FV has been rejected outright by many mainline Reformed denominations.
    Second – The New Perspective on Paul (or NPP) believes that Judaism was actually a religion of grace. They teach that salvation is possible by the keeping of the law. They also teach that the righteousness of God is actually referring to His faithfulness and that it has nothing to do with the truth that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to the new believer. N.T. Wright is abundantly clear about what he means and what he stands for when he declares that justification is about the mark of what a person already is, and is not about the means whereby one is justified with God. A quote from N.T. Wright, “In theology, therefore, justification is not the means whereby it becomes possible to declare someone in the right. It is simply that declaration itself. It is not how someone becomes a Christian, but simply the declaration that someone is a Christian. It is not the exercise of mercy, but the just declaration concerning one who has already received mercy. This is a crucial distinction, without which it is impossible to understand the biblical material.” For further reading go to this article at Theopedia

Let’s makes this very clear! Federal Vision and the New Perspective on Paul are both heresies that lead back to Rome! Those who teach these are leading people deliberately astray and must be classified as heretics at worst and in need of repentance at best for their false teachings. Both of these teachings are nothing more than a rehash of Roman Catholic doctrine which has damned millions to hell.

Now that the reader understands a little more of the heresies defined above, we move back to John Piper’s progressive downhill slide which looks like this –

1) Mixing oxymorons for many years such as “Christian hedonism”
2) Openly endorsing Mark Driscoll (the vulgar, sewer-mouthed talker) with no known retractions
3) Blasphemously claiming the Lord of Glory was damned upon the cross
4) Openly endorsing the Federal Vision heresy as proclaimed by men like Douglas Wilson, and clearly indicating that Douglas Wilson is NOT preaching another or false gospel
5) Openly endorsing the New Perspective on Paul heresy as proclaimed by men like N.T. Wright, and clearly stating that N.T. Wright is also NOT preaching another or false gospel, but that the NPP is merely a “confusing gospel!

** Edit Note ** Points 4 & 5 have numerous proofs, but here is a video clip from The Resurgence.

“No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.” (2 Cor. 11:14-15)

John Piper is leading many astray by his open endorsements of these men as mentioned above. His own theology comes into question when he publishes questionable material on his site about the doctrine of justification which you can still find on his site at Desiring God – I am firmly convinced that John Piper has slid this view under the noses of evangelicals who have missed the error of a justification that is NOT by faith alone. For more information on this issue and the problems with a recent work entitled Future Grace, you can visit Trinity Foundation.

While we at DefCon have respected John Piper as a man of God in the past, we believe we can no longer endorse any teachings by Piper. Our prayer is that God will bring Piper to a point where he will see the error of his teaching before it is too late and repent. We pray that God will also open the eyes of all those who blindly follow a man who is openly endorsing heresies as being merely a “confusing” gospel. “Confusing” gospels are no true gospels of the Lord Jesus Christ. They damn the souls of men to a Christ-less eternity in hell forever.

The Scriptures exhort us to openly exhort and rebuke those who cause divisions within the faith once delivered to the saints. John Piper is and continues to do this by his strange brand of heterodoxy which has sucked in the unlearned and learned alike. May we ever be alert to the apostasy that the apostle Paul warned will appear in the latter days. It will come from within the midst of what seems to be truth, but it will be mixed with poison. Pastors and their people will swallow it, and before they realize it is too late will be overcome.

Grieving over further apostasy,

The Desert Pastor

The Case Against the R-Rated Church

John MacArthur and Phil Johnson interview in regards to the damning trend found within evangelicalism today. Instead of supporting and endorsing people like Mark Driscoll, we are glad that there are a few who still stand for the truth of God’s Word. There are still a few who do not believe they have to climb into the filth-laden sewer of the world in order to reach the lost for Christ.

Shame on those who claim to be ministers who seek to justify their filthy mouths which comes from a filthy heart and mind. Shame on those who support those ministers who do such things.

Here is a link to the interview between John and Phil.

When the world’s your mistress.

Civility

But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. Jude 1:17-19

For every form of wickedness under the sun there’s always someone out there who will find a way to excuse it and justify it. But it’s downright scandalous when that someone claims to be a brother or sister in Christ. We expect the world to act and behave like they do because it’s their nature as sons and daughters of Adam, but Christians are supposed to have a different nature as children of God.

The church is designed to be in the world like a boat is designed to be in the water. However, the boat is in trouble when the water gets into it as much as the church is in trouble when the world gets into it. Well, like water in a boat, the world has been seeping into the visible church for quite awhile now, and it’s sinking.Sinking Boat

If this is not troubling enough, what is even more troubling to behold are those people in the boat (fellow Christians) who are upset at those who are trying to bail the water out of the boat.

I’ve noticed an increasing trend within Christendom of those who not only enjoy the water being in the boat, but are actively engaged in fighting against those who are desperately trying to get the water out of the boat.

There’s a special breed of proud and haughty sin-defenders within the church that’s arisen and they’re getting more vocal (and oftentimes very nasty) in their verbal assaults against anyone who dares to address the sin and worldliness rampant within the church.

Has anyone else noticed how most of the people who disagree with what we say on DefCon are walking lockstep with the seductive mistress known as “the world?” Has anyone else noticed that those who are most ardently opposed to what we do on this blog are those most friendly with the world and all of its lusts?

Do they not realize that their adulteress friendship with the world is evidence that they’re enemies of God?

You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:4

You’ve seen them. They swoop in anytime someone on DefCon (or other blogs for that matter) dares to raise legitimate concerns over the way Christianity is displayed by those who profess to be Christians. Anytime Perry Noble, Mark Driscoll, Gary Lamb, or the likes are exposed, the usual gaggle of professing Christians charge into the blogosphere to attack us in defense of their sacred idols.

CultureBut their crusades don’t end with their defense of Noble, Lamb, and Driscoll; they also defend whatever is lowbrow, juvenile, culturally hip, culturally cool, and culturally relevant, no matter how antithetical to Christianity these passing fads are.

When anyone speaks of holiness, turning from sin, and untangling oneself from the world (as the Bible so clearly teaches) these soldiers of pragmatism are found front and center with swords drawn to advance their jihad of carnal Christianity via the sly spreading of seeds of doubt (did God really say that?), their endless word games, and their vitriolic attacks that are so condescending, and so vicious that they make attacks from Atheists look mild in comparison.

If you take the time to check out the blogs and websites of those professing Christians who most vehemently oppose us you’ll notice that almost every single one of them reveals their veiled hostility toward God and the fact that “the love of the Father is not in themby virtue of their love of the world. This is not my standard of judgment, but God’s.

Do not love the world nor the things in the world If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 1 John 2:15-16

What part of “do not love the world” do they not understand?

They set filthy shows and blasphemous movies before their eyes. They set God-dishonoring music before their ears. And instead of these being secret sins, they not only have the audacity to boast about their ways, but they even encourage others to defile themselves with these fleshly lusts as well. And they’re even so proud of their mingling with the world that they wear their affairs with their mistress like badges of honor.

Duck QuackThey talk like the world, they walk like the world, they dress like the world, and they act like the world, and yet we’re supposedly the crazy one’s if we assume they’re still part of the world. In spite of all their outward expressions and actions, we’re supposed to believe they’re not actually of this world merely because they have Jesus on their lips. Essentially they’re telling us to listen to their words and pay no attention to their actions. But even their words betray them!

John MacArthur hit the nail on the head when he said:

Worldly preachers seem to go out of their way to put their carnal expertise on display—even in their sermons. In the name of connecting with “the culture” they want their people to know they have seen all the latest programs on MTV; familiarized themselves with all the key themes of “South Park”; learned the lyrics to countless tracks of gangsta rap and heavy metal music; and watched who-knows-how-many R-rated movies. They seem to know every fad top to bottom, back to front, and inside out. They’ve adopted both the style and the language of the world—including lavish use of language that used to be deemed inappropriate in polite society, much less in the pulpit. They want to fit right in with the world, and they seem to be making themselves quite comfortable there.

Incarnational Living

So what exactly is the kind of stuff these Christians who are in love with the world defending? It’s what you’ll see if you walk into the average church in America in the 21st century. Brace yourself:

- Elvis impersonator-led worship singing.

- The Cotton Patch Gospel.

- “God” wants you to party and mess you up.

- Pastor Perry Noble having a beer drinking song played by the “worship” band before their “worship” service.

- Pastor Perry Noble having the “worship” band play AC/DC’s Hell’s Bells for their Easter service.

- Dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller in church.

- Redneck Jesus Freaks.

- Pastor Mark Driscoll’s mockery Jesus Christ on his t-shirt.

- Pastor Mark Driscoll’s profane and blasphemous speech from the pulpit mocking our Lord.

- Using regurgitation to give a “testimony.”

- Girls dancing to NSync in church under an illuminated cross.

- Rudeness and vulgarity during church announcements.

- Pastor Ed Young’s 7-day sex challenge.

- Pastor Paul Wirth’s 30-day sex challenge.

- Double entendres with the “Christian” book Going All the Way.

- The mockery of the ordinance of baptism by churches.

- Singing a worldly 80’s song as a worship song while swinging your socks in the air.

- Pastor Ed Young acting like he’s on MTV.

- The gospel according to Bruce Springsteen.

- The gospel according to The Beatles.

- Ultimate “Christian” wrestling.

- “Christian” man retreats.

- “Christianity” is all about music.

- “Christianity” is about Potty humor.

- The American church’s insatiable appetite for sex in their sermons and advertising.

- All manner of church advertising and gimmicks.

- Likening the Christianity to drug induced wickedness.

- A video aimed at youth involving injured clowns and evil chickens.

- A church for those who like hot rods.

- Las Vegas-style church and “Christian” gambling paraphernalia.

- Church poker games.Earth

And these are just the tip of the iceberg amongst the myriad of other examples that leaves most people unable to tell the difference between the “church” and the world.

Sadly not only is this worldly entanglement rampant among those professing to be Christians, as I said before, it’s actually encouraged! See examples 2, 39, and 93 in the post who’s pastoring our youth pastors?.

Righteousness, sanctification, and holiness are now taboo words with many who want their “Jesus” icing on top of their worldly cake. They want to keep one foot in the world and one foot in the church and they come unglued when anyone suggests that this is possibly evidence of a false conversion.

But this all begs the question: When the world looks at the “church” aren’t they supposed to see a difference between them and the church, and not feel as if they’re just looking into a mirror?

This reminds me of the old bumper sticker that reads: “If you’re a Christian then act like one.” I couldn’t agree more.

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. James 1:27

So with all of this in mind, I put forward this question: If Christianity became illegal in this country, and you were arrested and charged with being a Christian, would there actually be enough evidence to convict you?

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age . . . Titus 2:11-12


Righteousness

A glimpse into the theology of the man Mark Driscoll calls “brother.”

Robert Schuller

The recent video released of Mark Driscoll preaching at Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral contained this exchange between the two:

SCHULLER: God loves you; so do I.

(Audience applause while Driscoll extends hand for handshake.)

DRISCOLL: I appreciate that, thank you brother.

So who is Robert Schuller, the man Mark Driscoll not only openly endorses but considers to be a brother in the Lord? He is none other than a long time rank heretic tied to the New Age movement as clearly noted in Warren Smith’s book Deceived on Purpose. In the book, former New Ager himself Smith, not only exposes Schuller as the disciple of Norman Vincent Peale, but Smith also details Schuller’s blatant New Age theology. Smith also reveals the little known fact that Rick Warren is a disciple of Robert Schuller; proof the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.

I digress.

For those not familiar with Robert Schuller, let’s take a moment to examine some of the teachings of the man that Mark Driscoll calls “brother.”

The following exchange took place during an interview on The White Horse Inn hosted by Michael Horton (you can read more from the interview here).

RS: I believe in heaven. I believe in hell. But I don’t know what happens there. I don’t take it literally that it’s a fire that never stops burning.
MH: As Jesus said it was?
RS: Jesus was not literal. See, now this is where you have differences of interpretation. I went to a different theological school than you did. And there are different denominations, like about four hundred in the United States of America, and we don’t belong to the same denomination. In my denomination, Jesus stood outside Gehenna, the city dump, and said that’s outside the walls, that’s hell. And in the dump there were always worms, and there were fires….

And here’s another exchange between Horton and Schuller:

MH: Dr. Schuller, how could the cross as you write, “sanctify the ego trip,” and make us proud, in the light of passages that say, “I hate pride and arrogance (Prov. 8:13), “Pride goes before destruction” (Prov. 16:18),”The Lord detests all the proud” (Prov. 16:5), “Do not be proud”(Rom. 12:16), “Love does not boast it is not proud” (1Cor 13:4). In fact Paul warns Timothy that in the last days men “will be lovers of themselves” (2Tim 3:2). Why should we as Christian ministers, myself included, why should we do anything to encourage people to become “lovers of themselves” if Paul in fact warned others that that would be the state of godlessness in the last days?
RS: I hope you don’t preach this, I hope you don’t preach this!
MH: What, the texts?
RS: No, what you just spoke into the microphone right now. I hope you don’t because you could do a lot of damage to a lot of beautiful people. But maybe if you preach it, maybe you will demonstrate your knowledge of human relationships and maybe you’ll demonstrate a sensitivity of caring about these pathetic, pathetic people that are so lost in pain and suffering because of their sinful condition, and I think you’d want to save them. I think you’d want to bring them to Jesus. And so if you preach that text, oh man, I sure hope you give it the kind of interpretation that I do or, I’ll tell you, you’ll drive them farther away and they’ll be madder than hell at you and they’ll turn the Bible off, and they’ll switch you off, and they’ll turn on the rock music and Madonna. Just because it’s in the Bible doesn’t mean you should preach it.

Can someone please explain to me how Mark Driscoll can not only preach in Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral (as he did five years earlier in 2004), but also how he can call the man “brother?”

DoctrineTomb

But wait, there’s more. The following quotes from Driscoll’s brother, Robert Schuller, are found in his book Self-Esteem: The New Reformation as cited in this article from RapidNet and this article from CrossRoad:

Christ is the Ideal One, for he was Self-Esteem Incarnate.

Every human being must be treated with respect; self-esteem is his sacred right.

Classical theology has erred in its insistence that theology be God-centered, not man-centered.

What we need is a theology of salvation that begins and ends with a recognition of every person’s hunger for glory.

The Cross sanctifies the ego trip. For the Cross protected our Lord’s perfect self-esteem from turning into sinful pride.

For once a person believes he is an “unworthy sinner,” it is doubtful if he can really honestly accept the saving grace God offers in Jesus Christ.

Classical theology defines sin as “rebellion against God.” The answer is not incorrect as much as it is shallow and insulting to the human being.

To be born again means that we must be changed from a negative to a positive self-image — from inferiority to self-esteem, from fear to love, from doubt to trust.

Jesus never called a person a sinner…. Rather he reserved his righteous rebuke for those who used their religious authority to generate guilt and caused people to lose their ability to taste and enjoy their right to dignity.

I found myself immediately attracted to Pope John Paul II when, upon his election to the Papacy, his published speeches invariably called attention to the need for recognizing the dignity of the human being as a child of God.

The core of original sin, then is LOT — Lack of Trust. Or, it could be considered an innate inability to adequately value ourselves. Label it a “negative self-image,” but do not say that the central core of the human soul is wickedness…. Positive Christianity does not hold to human depravity, but to human inability.

One classical role of the pulpit in Protestantism has been to “preach sermons” which imply indoctrination more than education. Within this from of communication, there is an inherent, intrinsic inclination to intimidate, manipulate, and, hence, offend the person’s most prized quality of humanness — his dignity.

“My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?” was Christ’s encounter with hell. In that ‘hellish’ death our Lord experienced the ultimate horror-humiliation, shame, and loss of pride as a human being. A person is in hell when he has lost his self-esteem. Can you imagine any condition more tragic than to live life and eternity in shame?

Driscoll and Schuller

When the news of Driscoll’s scheduled appearance at the Crystal Cathedral broke, and the question of why he would join ranks with a heretic was raised, the Driscollites quickly came out in force to defend their golden calf.

Defenders of Driscoll never once denied Schuller’s abhorrent theology, and some even admitted that Schuller was a heretic (something we could finally agree on). So what was their hastily devised defense for their man Driscoll? They claimed that Driscoll had to go to the Crystal Cathedral to preach the true gospel to those who have been deceived under Schuller’s ministry.

This would have been a noble endeavor had it been true. The only problem was that–although this was the Driscoll defenders’ reason for Driscoll going–they didn’t foresee that this was apparently not Driscoll’s reason for going (evidenced by him identifying Schuller as his brother).

So instead of going to the Crystal Cathedral to show the Schullerites that they’ve swallowed a false gospel–and in turn preach the true gospel–all Mark Driscoll did was validate and legitimize Schuller and his teachings, and preach about a Jesus Christ that the audience believes is the same Jesus Christ that Schuller’s been talking about for years because, after all, Driscoll identified Schuller as his brother in Christ.

In a NutshellSo here’s the big problem in a nutshell for Driscoll defenders:

If they concede that Schuller teaches heresy, then they must explain how Driscoll can call the man brother (for what does light have to do with darkness let alone call it brother?). But if they say that Schuller’s teachings are sound and are consistent with 2,000 years of historic Christianity, then they’ve just opened a whole new Pandora’s Box of problems for Mark Driscoll and those who sit under his teaching.

The size of the problem cannot be understated when one considers that it is Driscoll’s “orthodoxy” that his defenders consistently point to as their greatest defense to excuse his foul mouth, his blasphemies, and his irreverent depiction of the Savior.

Now we know the die-hard Driscoll fans will just come up with one more weak excuse to place atop their crumbling deck of cards, and it will be interesting to see the spin doctors in full swing with this conundrum. This fork-in-the-road moment has proven to be a monumental problem for the never-say-die Drisollites; a problem that–since the airing of the video–they have yet to address.

But what about you, the Driscoll fan who genuinely seeks after truth first and foremost? Where do you stand today? Either choice leaves you at a crossroads with a big decision to make. Do you finally acknowledge that Mark Driscoll is not all that he’s been purported to be, or do you continue to stick your head in the proverbial sand and ignore all that is before you? Your decision will reveal your loyalty either to the truth of the gospel or to the adoration of a man.

When Mark Driscoll calls Rick Warren a “brother in Christ,” calls Joel Osteen his “Christian brother,” and gleefully shakes the hand of Robert Schuller while calling him “brother” too, this all begs the question, “What version of ‘Christianity’ does Mark Driscoll identify with?”

When Driscoll’s faith includes (and is comfortable with) the likes of Warren, Osteen, and Schuller, one has to wonder who or what is actually excluded in Driscoll’s “Christianity” (besides those critical of him of course). With “brothers” like Warren, Osteen, and Schuller, who needs enemies of the cross?




Rewriting Acts – A Relevant Perspective

In light of all the editions and revisions being made to the Word of God in recent years, we understand much of this has been done to suit the belief system of the editors. With that in mind as well as recent events such as Ravi at the Mormon Tabernacle and Driscoll at the Crystal Cathedral, we recommend the following changes. We are certain these will be much more in keeping with the issue of relevancy and contextualization. In addition, it will ensure that people like all those meanies, judgmental Pharisee-types here at DefCon will have to close shop for they will no longer have a Biblical leg to stand on.

In each example, we will start with the original and then put in the suggested revision to match what we are seeing and hearing today.

Let’s start with Acts 2:22, 23, 36, 37 – “22 Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know– 23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?'”

REWRITE – “22 Hey dudes, listen up: Jesus of Nazareth, who claimed to be God did some really cool things that some people might call miracles and then told us that God did it through Him. Well, you guys are smart enough to figure out for yourselves whether that was the case or not. 23 At any rate, you guys have heard about Him before, if nothing else, you use His name all the time at the workplace. Well, the Romans put Him on a cross because He was like, well, um, you know, He was making the kind-hearted, very religious, good-upright Jews unhappy and He even tried to start a few riots. 36 Well, this same Man Who got crucified also claimed to be both Lord and the Christ. We want all you guys to follow Him because after all when you reach the end of your current journey, He will be there to greet all of us with open arms. 37 So when the multitude heard the nice things that the apostles said, they decided to invite them back again to the next Jerusalem conference knowing they could trust these men not to confuse the issues. They knew that these men were not going to rock the boat and demand they do nasty things like repentance. They knew they wouldn’t call them down for their sins but would instead seek to lift up their self-esteem. 42 Because of the really cool programs, and the worldly music they offered at the First Church of Jerusalem, and the contextualized messages that encouraged their depravity such as “Biblical Sex for 40 Days Except the Sabbath” the church grew exponentially and was featured on all the late-night talk shows from Jerusalem to Asia Minor.”

Example 2 – Acts 7:51-55, “51 You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. 52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, 53 who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.” 54 When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.”

REWRITE – Example 2 – Acts 7:51-55, “51 Listen up fellows. I am not here to offend you in anyway, but you know we have all done a few things we shouldn’t have done in our lives, and I’m sure there are times we all ignore what the Holy Spirit is trying to get us to do, but hey, after all, we are only human and God understands this. 52 There are some people who didn’t treat the old preachers very well, but I’m sure it wasn’t any of you guys or your ancestors. In fact, history tells us that some people just didn’t understand the prophets and tried to get rid of them, but some of the prophets just weren’t with the program anyway. Well, one or two of those old guys told us that Jesus was coming, and He came. He was a really good guy and hung out with really cool guys like our friend Peter. 53 Jesus told us that we have to just learn to love each other and don’t judge, so who am I to tell you what you need to do. 54 When the gathered nice group of people heard these wonderful things they invited Stephen to be the new president of the Jerusalem Ministerial Association. He was then able to go about preaching more of the great news that “Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” 55 When Stephen saw how much everybody liked him, he cut a lucrative book deal with Jerusalem Christian Bookpress entitled, “49 Days of Learning to Become a Better Religious You.” His ministry expanded to both Europe and Asia, and he was able to walk about with his head held high knowing that he was accepted in every major religious establishment.”

AUTHOR’S NOTE — Personally, I think it will be a best seller and rewriting church history will be the best thing that could happen for Western Christianity Religiosity. Sadly, there are a few downfalls. True Bible believing Christians will reject it as false, but they are in the minority and it won’t affect book sales as most who claim to be Christians are unlearned when it comes to true doctrine anyway. Secondly, this material probably won’t go over to well with the church members that are being persecuted for their faith. However, I’m sure somebody will find a way to make it culturally accepted and the church will probably expand and still be able to get along with the local governments when they stop being so particular about what they will preach. After all, no government could have an issue with Christians preaching the new message of “love yourself”, “build your self-esteem”, and “We never condemn anybody for God wants you just as you are and we don’t care if you stay that way because that is between you and God.”

PS – Not sure how we can rewrite the persecuting parts of Acts like Paul and Silas in prison, but I’m sure any number of modern preachers could help so that it makes us all look better in the end.

PS2 – Stay tuned for the rewrite for the Health, Wealth, and Prosperity Gospel edition.

Recognizing those who are taking a stand against the current downgrade.

There are few left who continue to be a voice in the wilderness. It seems that warning the flock and taking a stand against the relentless tide of apostasy, heresy, lukewarmness, easy-believeism, and countless other cancers that are plaguing the Body is often met with resistance by the mass lemmings of lukewarm professing Christians and false converts alike.

So when someone takes a stand against this deluge I would like to honor their effort and support their courageous stance–letting them know that, as the great delusion continues its march through Christendom, they are not alone; there are still a few out there who have not bowed the knee to Baal.

I wish to take a moment to recognize a couple examples of those who still have integrity and strive to live holy lives while the rest of the church is living like God gave us no Law or commands.

Lifeway Christian BookstoreOne example is Southern Baptist Pastor Channing Kilgore who is urging Lifeway Christian Bookstores to remove the heretical books from their shelves. Of course I seriously doubt his request will be heeded. After all, most Christian bookstores are in it for the money, otherwise they wouldn’t be selling such doctrines of demons as The Shack!

You can read more about Pastor Kilgore’s brave stance in this article from One News Now, and read more about “Christian” bookstores here and here.

HT: Rock Springs

ProfanityAnother example is Dick Bott of the Bott Radio Network. According to the Baptist Press, on May 18, 2009, an interview with Mark Driscoll was . . .

. . . halted in mid-broadcast after Bott Network founder Dick Bott learned Driscoll was the guest. Bott then cancelled another scheduled interview and ordered all Bott stations not to carry any programs featuring Driscoll.

Dick Bott has taken a stand against the potty-mouthed pastor while the rest of the world seems to be falling at Driscoll’s feet, stumbling over one another just to touch the hem of his garment, including Pilgrim Radio who–until until recently–I  used to endorse on this very blog.

The Baptist Press article continues:

Bott said he made the decision because of what he saw as Driscoll’s penchant for using vulgarity in his sermons, especially his questionable interpretation of the Song of Solomon in a Nov. 18, 2007, sermon preached in Edinburgh, Scotland, and subsequently in a multi-part series entitled “The Peasant Princess.” “I’ve seen a lot [about Driscoll] that’s on the Internet and that only makes the whole thing worse,” Bott said. “I’ve seen what he said at that church in Scotland and as far as I know he’s never addressed it in any repentant way or apologetically tried to explain why on earth he got so far off the reservation as to think that that’s the way to address people.”

That is all I will quote from the article as they give examples of Driscoll’s sermons which are unfit to print here (much less should be preached from a pulpit).

I would be remiss if I did not mention John MacArthur and Phil Johnson who have also challenged the current lowbrow trend of ‘pornificating’ the pulpit. In MacArthur’s missives found here and here, and Johnson’s sermon found here, they both not only address the problem of smut-peddling pastors, but they both address Driscoll specifically. Thank you to John MacArthur, Phil Johnson and Dick Bott for taking a stand against the onslaught of perversity that has cloaked itself under the guise of “Christianity.”


Quotes (560)

baxter

The office of pastor is not one that is to be attained to lightly. If a man desire the office of bishop, he desireth a good work (1st Timothy 3:1). But what is required of such a one? In order to be called a bishop, one must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach...not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. (1st Timothy 3:2-7). And what is required of him once he takes to the office? Richard Baxter, from The Reformed Pastor:

The nature of our office requireth us to ‘take heed to the flock.’ What else are we overseers,  for “Bishop” is a title which intimates more of’ ‘labor than of honor,’ says Polydore Virgil.’ To be a bishop, or pastor, is not to be set up as an idol for the people to bow to, or as idle ‘slow bellies,’ to live to our fleshly delight and ease; but it is to be the guide of sinners to heaven. It is a sad case that men should be of a calling of which they know not the nature, and undertake they know not what.

If you miscarry, they and you may perish. You have a subtle enemy, and therefore you must be wise. You have a vigilant enemy, and therefore you must be vigilant. You have a malicious and violent and unwearied enemy, and therefore you must be resolute, courageous and indefatigable.

Piper’s Perpetual Plummet!

I recognize some of our readers are not going to be pleased with this post, but we believe it is necessary to point out error when it occurs. Too many within evangelicalism hold some men in high regard to the point that they will accept all that individual states or preaches with no rebuke ever forthcoming for deviations into false doctrines or the acceptance of such. True believers would do well to remember that we must answer to our Lord Jesus Christ, and not to men. Men will fail, preachers will fall, evangelicals will decline into apostasy – and all of this will happen as the latter days come upon us. The apostle Paul made this clear in 2 Thessalonians 2.

Sadly, when evangelicals begin to slide, more times than not, the degree of the slope gets steeper rather than more shallow! For a long time, I have held a high regard for John Piper’s stand on the fundamentals of the faith. While I would not agree with him on a few issues, his doctrine has remained solid for years. I do not think that a great deal has changed that is until recently.

Despite the positions (language and sexual innuendos) that Mark Driscoll holds to and practices, John Piper continues to uphold this man as both a friend and as a minister of the Lord Jesus Christ. No public rebuke has been forthcoming from Dr. Piper at the degrading of the pulpit, but instead they continue to share ministry together.

Now the slope is getting steeper as John Piper openly endorses N.T. Wright and Douglas Wilson while sitting cozily with Mark Driscoll.

N.T. Wright holds to what is known as the New Perspective on Paul and in simple terms reaffirms the Roman Catholic teaching of salvation by works. N.T. Wright is teaching heresy and stands opposed to what the Reformation reaffirmed. Dr. Piper insists that N.T. Wright does not preach a false gospel but that he “preaches a very confusing gospel.” Dr. Piper is VERY wrong! The gospel is a simple message and what N.T. Wright teaches in the NPP is another gospel and one certainly not preached or taught by the apostle Paul. Let’s make this VERY clear — NPP rejects the doctrine of justification by faith alone AND IS HERESY!

Dr. Piper has also endorsed Douglas Wilson who holds to a teaching known as Federal Vision. In a nutshell, Federal Vision identifies the moral law of God to be the gospel. FV believes the moral law or The Ten Commandments can justify fallen sinful man by obedience to that law. FV confuses law and gospel. The apostle Paul made it clear that the law cannot be mixed with the gospel. Like NPP, FV is a teaching that is heresy! The law cannot be mixed with the gospel in order to obtain salvation or justification. It is by grace through faith alone, not by works.

Sadly, Dr. Piper for all he has done in the furtherance of the gospel is now mixing with and enthusiastically endorsing men who preach contrary to the Scriptures. Why he is doing this cannot be surmised. However, he is certainly showing a larger degree of latitude than would have been given by the apostles Paul, Peter, Jude, John, and James. The apostles of old would have put these men in the same camp as those they condemned in their epistles. These teachers spouting heresy should be shunned not embraced, and I believe Dr. Piper is showing a lack of wisdom and discernment in regards to both NT Wright and Douglas Wilson.

Galatians 3:21 – “Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law.”

I include a link to A Gentle Rebuke to Brother John from R. Scott Clark. This has been very well written and addresses the problem far better than I could do.

In addition, a post on Christian Research Network gives further information along with accompanying video in regards to Dr. Piper’s invitation to bringing Douglas Wilson to preach at his conference. You can read and watch at this link to a Gentle (and not so gentle) Rebuke.

I am sad to see this plummet continuing especially in light of the wonderful gospel message that Dr. Piper has been preaching for years. Why would anybody who preaches justification by faith alone be willing to endorse such preaching? Why would he endorse men who openly hold to heresy? Finally, why would Dr. Piper be so ready and willing to bring a man like Douglas Wilson to preach along side of him?

THAT IS CONFUSION and certainly DOES NOT portray the truths of the simple plan of salvation made available to all who place their faith alone in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary!

Watching the Slide Continue With Great Sadness,
The Desert Pastor

Mark Driscoll and 1st Timothy 5:19-20

contextualization

1st Timothy 5:19-20Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.

For all those Driscollites who will come here from various search engines and come across posts like this or like this or like this, and who will be tempted to spew out the tired old, “Well, has anyone gone to Mark personally about this?”–DON’T. That subject has been addressed ad nauseum here. Phil Johnson (an elder at Grace Community Church, under the direction of John MacArthur) has indeed communicated with Driscoll personally and got nowhere. As have several others.

But here’s the problem with the tired old, “Well, has anyone gone to Mark personally about this?” argument. Because Driscoll is an elder at his goat ranch church, we can see from the above-referenced Scripture, an elder who continues to sin is to be rebuked OPENLY–that is, in the sight of the whole church. And don’t try to say that his language isn’t sinful. If it causes a brother or sister to stumble, then it is an offense. If not, then why are there so many admonitions and warnings about what comes out of our mouths? That said, many have addressed Driscoll’s language, and he has still not changed. Therefore, we are called to rebuke him publicly, in the sight of the whole church.

I hope this lays to rest the debate about whether we should be openly rebuking a man whose language would need a step ladder to reach up to the gutter.

I’ve had it with Mark Driscoll and his mouth. Now it’s personal!

Spicy Talk

The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. - Luke 6:45

In the past DefCon has taken issue with Mark Driscoll on several concerns including his gutter mouth, lack of reverence for God, and even his mocking of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Most of the time I’ve played a less-than-active role in these matters as other contributors have mainly been on the front lines. Well today I’m getting in the trenches because I’m furious at Mark Driscoll and Pilgrim Radio for what transpired yesterday. Here’s the story:

My wife told me about a sermon Pilgrim Radio was playing on the radio as she was returning home from the grocery store with our young children in the car. She said that the man preaching (she had no clue who he was so there were no preconceived notions or expectations) was talking about “prostitutes,” “whores,” and “lesbians” and that he kept using these expressions as if trying to be shocking.

My wife who knows very little—if  anything—about Mark Driscoll hit the nail on the head in her evaluation of him.

She then told me that this same man began talking about wives in submission to their husbands and how oftentimes men abuse this. Instead of using an innocuous example to make his point he chose to expound on such abuse by illustrating an example in which men misuse their wives’ submission by making them watch porn!

Seriously? Are you kidding me? That’s the best example he could come up with? For crying out loud, my kids were in the car and heard this trash before their mother turned it off. Does this guy’s mind ever come up out of the gutter for air?

Consider, if you will, all the images that were conjured in the minds of those who heard this man go on about porn yet again (he was talking about porn in another sermon just a few weeks ago on Pilgrim Radio). Does he not care about all those who are struggling with pornography who listened to this pastor expecting to hear the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ preached in reverence, only to their minds drawn back to the gutter? How many men and women at that moment had impure thoughts rush into the battlefields of their minds because of Mark Driscoll’s seemingly insatiable appetite for discussing all things sexual in a public forum?

How dare he stand in a pulpit spewing such juvenile, perverse, and debase ideas under the guise of preaching? And how dare Pilgrim Radio air such filth from the ever-flowing open sewer of the mouth of Mark Driscoll?

When my wife described this to me I immediately knew who she was referring to because during the same hour of the morning that this sermon was oozing across the airwaves, I also had turned on Pilgrim Radio and heard Mark Driscoll talking about men liking noisy power tools because it drowns out the constant yapping of the wives they hate. Are you kidding me? This was coming from the pulpit and Pilgrim Radio thought this was acceptable? What an obnoxious thing to say!

Needless to say I immediately turned off the radio. Little did I know, fifty miles away my wife and little children were about to have their minds polluted with the whimsical handling of the matters of “prostitutes,” “whores,” “lesbians,” and “porn.”  These are not matters that my children should have to be exposed to in such a flippant manner, especially by one who claims to be a minister of the Gospel and on a radio station that claims to be Christian.

My wife had no idea who this profane man on the radio was but she had enough sense and discernment (which seems to be lacking in so many others) to reject him and change the radio station.

Now let me clarify something to avoid any confusion, I am not opposed to such words (and dealing with such subjects) as “prostitution” and “whores.” They are real sins, and they are addressed within Scripture. What I am opposed to is the use of these subject (ad nauseum I might add) by Driscoll (or anyone else for that matter) to make people laugh or to be shocking. There is a way to handle sensitive and weighty issues such as these without reverting to a juvenile mentality.

It’s the same as the expression “Oh my God.” The words themselves are not the problem, but the spirit behind them and how they’re being delivered. The way the Psalmist cries out “Oh my God” is completely different than the way a thirteen-year-old girl shrieks “Oh my God” when the boy she has a crush on invites her to prom. If you cannot see the difference, then I don’t expect you to understand the point of this post.

As a result of this, I have done the following three things:

1). I’ve removed Pilgrim Radio from this blog as they will no longer be endorsed by DefCon.

2). I wrote to the once trusted Pilgrim Radio a lengthy letter detailing my disappointment of them for allowing this type of material to be aired. Unfortunately their entire response was:

Thank you for your thoughtful remarks on Pilgrim Radio’s programming.  We were, of course, sorry to learn that you no longer feel comfortable in endorsing our ministry which is aimed at a very broad segment of the Christian community.  We do appreciate your enthusiastic past support.  God bless you.

3). All the Driscollite defenders who patrol the internet and swarm blogs such as this to offer excuses for their Golden Calf will have to find another soundboard for their approval of and winking at sin as their comments will no longer be welcome here. I refuse to provide a platform for their calling evil good and good evil.

Our family strives to be holy in spite of being surrounded by the world, the culture–and now even the professing church which is indistinguishable from the world and culture–where holiness is a strange and foreign concept, and oftentimes openly mocked by those who should know better (those who claim to be Christians while still practicing lawlessness). So when the wickedness of the world sneaks in via a Christian radio station you can imagine my surprise, anger, and disgust. My kids should have never been subjected to this filth and as their father it’s my responsibility to protect them and keep them pure.

Shame on Mark Driscoll for using the pulpit to advance his agenda, and shame on Pilgrim Radio for giving this purveyor of perversity a platform to poison my precious children with his toxic, man-centered, flesh-pleasing oratory.

The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverted mouth, I hate. -Proverbs 8:13

________________________________________________________________

I do not stand alone in my concern of Driscoll’s pornification of the pulpit. See related:

Sound Doctrine; Sound Speech (A sermon by Phil Johnson delivered at the 2009 Shepherd’s Conference)

John MacArthur on Mark Driscoll (Part 1)

John MacArthur on Mark Driscoll (Part 2)

Driscoll Disqualified

CrossTalk: Watch your mouth

Mark Driscoll: Flesh Peddler

Mark Driscoll mocks the sinlessness of Christ

Mark Driscoll praises his “brother in Christ” Rick Warren

Mark Driscoll to preach at the Crystal Cathedral.

Mark Driscoll Alley

***** UPDATE *****

Review of Driscoll’s sermon at the Crystal Cathedral can be found here.

Lighthouse Trails, Church Solutions, Thinking Out Loud, Slice of Laodicea, and even Mark Driscoll’s calendar on his website are announcing the upcoming June 14th event.

Apparently this isn’t the first time he’s been featured there. He spoke at Schuller’s 2004 conference and his messages are still available for purchase from the Crystal Cathedral online bookstore.

It shall be interesting to see how this plays out.

On a side note, while not too shocked to see Driscoll appear at this rank heretic’s church, I was disappointed to see Joni Eareckson Tada there. They’re even selling her book. Is there no longer any discernment in the body of Christ?

Who said that?

Question Mark

Who said the following?

If you would please, turn with me to the Song of Solomon. One of the great books of the Bible. Some have allegorized this book, and in so doing, they have destroyed it. They have destroyed it. They will say that it is an allegory between Jesus and his bride the church. Which if true, is weird. Because Jesus is having sex with me and puts his hand up my shirt. And that feels weird. I love Jesus, but not in that way.

A). Paul Crouch

B). Marilyn Manson

C). Rob Bell

D). Joel Osteen

E). Rick Warren

F). John MacArthur

G). Robert Schuller

H). Benjamin Dunn

I). John Piper

J). Mark Driscoll

K). Tammy Faye Bakker

L). Jay Bakker

M). Doug Pagitt

N). Richard Dawkins

For the answer, click below:

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John MacArthur on Mark Driscoll – Part 2

As a follow up to the original piece John MacArthur on Mark Driscoll there has been a flurry of recent activity on several fronts addressing what seems to be fast becoming a latter day Great Downgrade Controversy of sorts.

Recently Phil Johnson, director of Grace to You, editor of several of John MacArthur’s books, co-pastor of the Grace Life Pulpit at Grace Community Church, webmaster of The Spurgeon Archive, and blogmaster of Pyromaniacs preached a scathing Biblical indictment against the “pornification of the pulpit” entitled “Sound Doctrine, Sound Words” at the 2009 Shepherd’s Fellowship Conference.

Now Dr. John MacArthur has weighed in on this important and timely issue in a series of four articles entitled “THE RAPE OF SOLOMON’S SONG” which zeroes in on the gross, heinous, and wholly unbiblical perversion of scripture perpetrated by Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church.

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Was Christ “tempted”–or “tested”?

Here is an article I posted at my own blog a while back. With the back-and-forth still going on here concerning Mark Driscoll’s assertions that Jesus wanted to have sexual relations with a woman, I decided it was high time to post it here, for easier reference. Here is Mark Driscoll’s comment that Jesus had desires to “know” a woman:

“If you’re tempted to these sorts of things — including sexual sin — some of you say, ‘Now Mark, Jesus wasn’t sexually tempted.’ Well, of course he was — 30 something year old single man who had women who adored him. You don’t think he ever wanted the comfort of a woman? You don’t think he ever got tired of going to bed by himself? You don’t think that he didn’t once want to have intimate relations with a woman? He was tempted.”
(Mark Driscoll – “How Human was Jesus?”, October 15th 2006, emphases mine.)

I have formulated a biblical defense of not only the sinlessness of Christ, but the fact that He did not have even the desire to sin. The Scriptures we will focus on are:

Hebrews 2:18For in that He Himself has suffered (lit., experienced) being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
Hebrews 4:15For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
James 1:13-15Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
Galatians 1:17For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
Genesis 3:15“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”

Some other verses we will look at later: Luke 22:31; 1st Corinthians 5:5; 1st Timothy 1:20; Job 2:6.

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Sermon of the week: “Sound Doctrine; Sound Words” by Phil Johnson.

Your sermon of the week is the one you’ve all been waiting for: Sound Doctrine; Sound Words by Phil Johnson of Grace Life Pulpit and Pyromaniacs. Its subtitle should be The Pornification of the Pulpit. This sermon is from this month’s Shepherds’ Conference.

In this controversial sermon, Phil Johnson steps up and takes on the crass, crude, gutter-mouth ways of many in the modern church today, with special attention to Mark “The Cussing Pastor” Driscoll. You don’t want to miss this message. His text for this message is Titus 2:7-8.

It’s about time someone spoke out on the juvenile and profane potty-humor, profanity, and lust-filled stories that have replaced sound, doctrinal, exposition of the Bible in many churches today. I stand up and applaud Phil Johnson for having the courage to speak out and even take on the modern evangelical’s Golden Calf from Mars Hill Church.

This is a great follow-up to last Wednesday’s sermon of the week (also by Phil Johnson) entitled Programs, Get Your Programs: Exposing the Flaws of the Fad-Driven Church.

“Has anyone ever contacted Mark Driscoll privately?”

mark-driscoll-t-shirtThat, of course, is the question we are always asked when we address the issue of the language used by Mark Driscoll when he preaches. “Has anyone ever contacted Mark Driscoll privately?” Well, we can now answer that question in the affirmative. Phil Johnson shares his attempts–unsuccessful attempts–to dialog with Driscoll concerning his pulpit language.

These are roughly in order from the most common questions to the most bizarre:

Have you or Dr. MacArthur ever personally shared your concerns personally with Mark Driscoll?

Yes. I sent Mark a 6-page letter the first week of December, telling him what I was planning to deal with at the Shepherds’ Conference. I explained why I thought his message at the Desiring God Conference in September left some of the most important objections to his own use of crass language unanswered. I also enumerated six specific questions that I thought would help my understanding of his position.

Fair enough. Isn’t that what Driscollites want to hear? If someone has taken this matter to Driscoll personally and privately? (Even though the fact that Driscoll has made his messages public, thus negating the need for steps 1 and 2 of church discipline laid out by Christ in Matthew 18.).

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Mark Driscoll praises his “brother in Christ” Rick Warren.

mark-driscoll-handsrick-warren-beach-scene

From Slice of Laodicea:

Sex expert Pastor Mark Driscoll took time out from his bedroom advice blog to praise Rick Warren for his prayer blessing for Barack Obama. With Driscoll’s promotion of sites like ChristianNymphos.org and its advice on things like how to be a Christian dominatrix, the public thank-you may be a mixed blessing for the Purpose-Driven author who really doesn’t need any more controversy right now. That Mark Driscoll couldn’t discern the problem with praying God’s blessing on our death-promoting President should not register as a surprise. Driscoll also can’t discern the problem with playing a pastoral Dr. Ruth for his sex-addled followers.

To use Scriptural precedent for publicly praying God’s blessing on a leader who is an enemy of God is an abomination. Rick Warren’s prayer was the equivalent of standing up before Pol Pot, Idi Amin or Joseph Stalin and asking God to bless them. Yes, yes. We must pray for our leaders that they will have wisdom as they murder millions of innocent people. We’re simply fulfilling Scripture’s requirements, you know. We pray that Mr. Hitler will serve with excellence and distinction. We ask that Pol Pot would do well in his killing fields and that Idi Amin would be strengthened in his task of raping and torturing innocent women. There is no difference in Mr. Warren’s prayer for Obama unless Mr. Driscoll does not recognize the humanity of the children who have been killed already under Roe and who will be murdered with the Freedom of Choice Act Obama has promised to sign into law within days.

God save us from this kind of evil, aided and abetted by the counterfeit shepherds in this land. The prophets and priests are profane. They run to and fro on the face of the earth, saying, “God said so,” when God did not say so. See Jeremiah 23 for a full description of what we have in our plexiglass pulpits today.

Mark Driscoll mocks the Sinlessness of Jesus Christ

“If you’re tempted to these sorts of things — including sexual sin — some of you say, “Now Mark, Jesus wasn’t sexually tempted.” Well, of course he was — 30 something year old single man who had women who adored him. You don’t think he ever wanted the comfort of a woman? You don’t think he ever got tired of going to bed by himself? You don’t think that he didn’t once want to have intimate relations with a woman? He was tempted.”
(Mark Driscoll – “How Human was Jesus?”, October 15th 2006.)

How is this rubbish defensible from one who claims to be a minister of the Lord Jesus Christ?  This is the same thing as saying that Jesus Christ was tempted to lust after Mary Magdalene as others have claimed.  The next thing we will hear is that the thoughts of the Lord Jesus Christ did equal sin until He (the Lord) actually acted upon those thoughts —– Oh wait a minute, never mind, he did say that also!

This is the same man who claims that the heresy teaching Joel Osteen is a Christian brother and the “happiest Christian preacher” out there.  This is the same man who claims the Bible is completely silent on whether Jesus COULD have sinned.

This is the same man who is being endorsed by a man who has in the past stood for the truth of God’s Word.  He is being endorsed by a man who it seemed would not have endorsed much less allowed to preach in his pulpit a man who teaches the things that Driscoll believes.

I am afraid that I am one of those who take a stand for Biblical separation.  These issues are NOT matters of secondary separation.  They are clearly defined matters which require an explanation from one who has demeaned the office of elder by his caustic, vulgar, offensive, Christ-dishonouring speech (Driscoll) and also a Biblical explanation from those who are willing to openly endorse such nonsense without calling such a one to account.

It is a mockery to say that such a one who openly (and seemingly) with no remorse and repentance and no chastisement or discipline even has the Spirit of God dwelling within him.  The Bible makes it clear that by their fruits you shall know them.  While the ultimate judgment is in the hands of the Almighty Sovereign of the Universe, I believe that it would behoove Christian leaders to start being more discerning in what and who they allow into their pulpits.

Sadly, I believe that based on the writings and warning by the apostle Paul, it can be concluded that John Piper is gravely in error in allowing this man to preach at Bethlehem Baptist Church.  He is wrong for not condemning the language and for waffling on the issue.  I have serious concerns that such endorsements will just as surely lead true believers down wrong paths as what men like J.I. Packer did when being willing to embrace Colson and Neuhaus as brothers in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Grieving for the downhill slides in the church,

The Desert Pastor

********** EDITED WITH ADDITION BELOW **********

James 1:15 says, “Then, when desire (lust) has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”

The word used for lust in this verse means “a longing (especially for what is forbidden), concupiscence, desire, lust (after).”

Desire is defined by Princeton as “the feeling that accompanies an unsatisfied state.”

For those who are trying to smooth over the harm that Mark Driscoll is doing, it won’t work – at least, not with those who seek to be discerning.  Even if his only problem is that he used a poor choice of words, he has had plenty of time since 2006 to make this right.  His verbage indicates that Jesus wanted/desired what He could not have.  He also made it clear that Jesus had an unsatisfied state.  This explicitly demeans the sinlessness of Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ had need of nothing, and He certainly did not “long for/want/desire/etc” the company of a woman to “satisfy” His flesh!

*************** PER MBAKER’S RECOMMENDATION ***************

**** I AM ADDING THE FOLLOWING COMMENT AS OF 11/29/2008 ****

Thanks again for your comments. We have no problems here at DefCon considering the issue of Mark Driscoll from a biblical perspective. The problem is that when we do his followers trot out the “do not judge” line. When we address his vulgar language and sexual innuendos about the Lord Jesus Christ, we are told that MD is merely trying to be culturally relevant.

If you are truly interested in further conversation, may I recommend that you go to the following link:

http://stevenjcamp.blogspot.com/search?q=driscoll

Read all the posts by Steven Camp that have been written from a carefully worded position that I believe is honouring to the Lord Jesus Christ. Those blogs have more than enough information showing the heresy that Mark is teaching and his connections with people like T.D. Jakes and the heresy of Oneness teaching, connections with the emergent church and the contemplative movement that is taking many within so-called new-evangelical by storm.

For the record, we do NOT hate Mark Driscoll. However, we do believe that he is disqualified from currently being a minister of the gospel. We also believe that instead of being openly rebuked that there are other ministers such as John Piper and Joshua Harris who are openly endorsing this man.

I would challenge ANY reader from a Biblical perspective ONLY (not your personal feelings) to prove that Mark Driscoll is theologically correct in his belief on the doctrine of imputation (as just one example) or that he somehow manages to qualify as a pastor (when such drivel as he preaches and teaches and such language would not have been tolerated even 10-15 years ago from mainline evangelical pulpits.

The Desert Pastor

Who will be sharing the stage with John Piper?

The list of those invited to speak at John Piper’s 2008 National Conference includes Mark Driscoll (see this post from Coram Deo). In the following video of John Piper, he does his best to “defend” and “justify” why he has invited Mark Driscoll.

But while the debate rages over Mark Driscoll’s appearance at this conference, it seems that there’s much less  discussion over another individual who is scheduled to speak at this same conference. His name is Paul Tripp. And Paul Tripp has a little video in which he discusses What makes bad language bad?

I was hesitant to post the video of Paul Tripp due to its nature (I refused to watch the whole thing myself) but I think it illustrates for people the severity by which John Piper is compromising by having people like Driscoll and Tripp at his conference.

I have reservations about posting the video on DefCon, but for those who simply wouldn’t believe it if I told them about it, here’s the link to the video of Paul Tripp’s flippant use of profanity (you have been warned).