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Posts Tagged ‘abomination’

Let Him In By Winans Phase 2: Why It Is Not Gospel Music But Blasphemy

Posted by Job on March 4, 2012

As concerning Christian music and other things concerning worship, I am not a traditional fundamentalist. I disagree with the position of John Calvin and other leaders of the Protestant Reformation, which is that songs, music and dance were primarily related to the tabernacle and temple in the Old Testament religion of the Hebrews, those things were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and therefore the only permissible form of worship is hymns sung a capella (without music). Yet, that position is actually superior to the common claim that the only permissible mode of worship is that which dominated western culture in the 18th and early 19th century, a cultural/ethnocentric position because it is an indisputable fact of history that the early church – the ancient predominantly middle/near eastern one recorded in the New Testament – did not worship after the manner of Europeans that came along over 1500 years later. So, Christian country, Christian classical and opera music, Christian rock, Christian rap, gospel music (both contemporary and traditional) and the many other varieties under the sun by members of Body of Christ that is indwelt by and serves as a tabernacle for the Spirit of Christ are permissible, so long as it – along with everything else in Christianity – is governed by God’s revelation as preserved in the Bible.

The mere fact that the music is being performed by Christians does not make it acceptable to God, and neither does the intent of the performers or the effect that playing the music has on the regenerate (i.e. causing vigorous worship) or the unregenerate (i.e. helping them understand the gospel and lead them to conversion). The music is also not sanctified by the message (i.e. the lyrics) or the venue (i.e. being performed at a church or in a Christian concert). Moreover, the purpose of the music is to worship God, not to entertain people. Again, merely because it was made to entertain, inspire or aid Christians does not make it Christian music. If it was made to evangelize the lost to cause them to become Christians, then it is not Christian music. If it was made for people, then it is “people music.” Only if it is made for Christ does it become Christian music. And as with everything else, Jesus Christ did leave us in His Bible guidelines for what are acceptable.

Without going into a “theology of worship” discussion, two scripture texts that can be used as guidelines for choosing which music to listen to, include in worship, or (if per chance you are one who creates Christian music) compose are Romans 12:1-2 and Hebrews 12:28-29. The former reads “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Now this does not mean that Christians are commanded to reject popular or other music forms created or embraced by the world as worldly, or to create a distinctively Christian music form.

Christianity is not a religion of rules and rituals, but a religion of the heart. Thus, if your heart is not right, then your music will not be right either. So, rather than being some rule that would enjoin worldly musicians from making worldly music and from worldly listeners from hearing it – which appears to be the position of some of my fundamentalist friends – the message of Romans 12:1-2 is to not be worldly. Worldly musicians will make worldly music. Worldly listeners will listen to worldly music. The reason is that those people are of the flesh and will live accordingly. But Godly people will make and listen to Godly music because they are of God’s Spirit and will live according to God’s Spirit. No rules, regulations, rituals, customs, traditions etc. will made a worldly person Holy Spirit-filled and Holy Spirit-led in worship or anything else. And of course, such vain external trappings of false religion (John 7:24) should not keep true believers in bondage. So, if you are worldly, the world is what an artist will be thinking about, striving to emulate and please, when he makes his music. Further, if you are a worldly listener, you will not want music that reminds you of God and His attributes, but rather music that reminds you of the world that is your first love. But if you are Godly, then your desire to know and please God – your first love – will be reflected in the music that you make and/or listen to.

Now for the second text, Hebrews 12:28-29, which is not only an explicit command to guide worship, but tells us why this command or rule exists. “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.” Note that “we may serve”, as the King James Version translators rendered it, is the Greek word latreuō, which can means “to perform sacred services, to offer gifts, to worship God in the observance of the rites instituted for his worship.” This definition fits the context, which is why other good translations use “worship” or “praise”. The English Standard Version renders Hebrews 12:28 with this very issue in mind (arguably making it more of an interpretation/commentary than a mere translation!) with “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.”

So make no mistake, this text commands us to worship God in an acceptable manner, and that the only acceptable manner is reverence. Again, reverence is not a rule, ritual or tradition, but a matter of the heart. The Old Testament bears this out. God gave Israel a specific, detailed collection of rules and rituals to follow concerning the manner in which He would be worshiped. What happened? They didn’t follow it. Why? Because their hearts were not right. They did not love God, they did not have a desire to know or serve God, so they did not consistently keep the religious forms that God gave them for any length of time. This was so as a general rule anyway. The remnant, the elect chosen and preserved by God, DID worship God to the best of their ability. So, even from the Old Testament we know that rules banning rock guitars, hip-hop drumbeats, or everything but hymns without musical accompaniment are vanities in a heart that is hardened. Just as a worldly heart will lust after the world, and irreverent heart will never know reverence in its cold, dead and depraved condition.

By contrast, a regenerate heart will revere God. Why? Again, Hebrews 12:28 tells us. Be not deceived: it is not mere mutable emotion that waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon, but something far more permanent. 1. Born again Christians are grateful to God for our permanent kingdom that cannot be shaken; that we will spend an eternity with Jesus Christ in New Jerusalem (commonly called heaven). This fact serves as a powerful hope, inspiration and driving force that remains constant no matter our circumstances or emotional state. 2. Our God is a consuming fire! Born again Christians do not erect false idols of nonexistent deities that will not punish the wicked. Instead, we love the truth – that God will punish and destroy the wicked – because this truth confirms God’s holiness and power, and we love God because He is holy and powerful! A safe god, a god that we can transgress and disrespect without consequence, or one who only punishes us for crimes committed against His creation (i.e. only sending murderers, thieves and rapists to hell for what they have done TO PEOPLE) and not for offenses done against God’s holiness is no God at all. Scripture makes it clear from beginning to end that God is One who demands and is holiness. God does have the whole world in His Hands after the manner of the children’s nursery rhyme, but make no mistake: God is no child’s toy, or anyone’s toy for that matter. The elect is indeed safe in the arms of Jesus Christ, as an old hymn asserts, but this same Jesus Christ – the same One who drove the thieves out of the temple with a whip and will one day return riding a white horse and carrying a two edged sword with which to horribly punish the wicked – isn’t safe! For those who reject this and deny that our God is a consuming fire, they should instead be confronted with the reality that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31, plus a rather well known sermon)!

It is not merely a “we must worship God in this manner or God will send fire down from heaven and consume us” sort of fear, though Christians should certainly remember Nadab and Abihu, Uzzah, and Ananias and Sapphira when that very sort of thing did happen if only for the typology. Instead, it is simply a truth that God has disclosed His Divine Nature to us in the Bible, and those that are regenerate and hence truly love God will respond to God’s self revelation by acting in accordance to that revelation, not against it. Again, this is something that will not happen by way of adherence to ritual, or creating rules based on human comprehension of the facts of scripture, but as the elect are carried along by God’s Holy Spirit. Similar to salvation (consider what Jesus Christ told His disciples when they were astonished after the rich young ruler incident) with man, it is impossible to achieve worship that is spiritual and reverent, for man is only capable of worldly irreverent worship that mocks, hates and rejects God. But with God, it is possible to attain reverent spiritual worship that is liberated from the rusted shackles of carnality, and it is indeed achieved. This is done because it is God’s will to receive reverent spiritual worship that is pleasing to Him, and God’s will is most certainly done.

In conclusion, I will provide the example – a negative one – which motivated this entry: Let Him In By Winans Phase 2. It is simply one of the most egregious ones that I have encountered. For those who are uninitiated as concerning the R&B music genre, this song is – not emulates but is – a “slow jam”, meaning a romantic song. The purpose of the “slow jam” is to create a mindset – or mental atmosphere – of emotional and physical intimacy, including – but not limited to – sexual intercourse. (Of course, not a few artists in this genre make such songs solely and entirely for the purpose of promoting sexual intercourse, and take it as a compliment when their fans inform them that their music was played on their prom nights, wedding nights, when their children were conceived, etc.) And keep in mind: when such intimacy is not available or attainable, the purpose of the music is to remind people of such intimacy, or cause them to desire for or aspire to it! Make no mistake, that is the primary reason why such music exists, it is the primary reason why it is so popular with the artists who make it – as many of the artists are lovers of sensuality – and it is also why the music is so commercially successful.

And “Let Him In” by Winans Phase 2 is a song after this genre and spirit. The musical accompaniment is entirely sensual. So is the way that the song is sung. But that is not the main problem.Consider this: the “Let Him In” title of the song – and it is also a refrain, repetitively sung in a soft, sensual manner! – is an evangelistic plea to convert to Christianity. (It is based on the very common misapplication of Revelation 3:20, but the issue here is not the free will salvation theology advocated by the song, but the song’s irreverent form.)  Again, based on the musical and lyrical style, the purpose of it was to emulate an R&B “love song” (when in truth most “love songs” should be renamed “amorous songs” as they are far more often concerned with physical attraction and emotional infatuation than actual, Biblical love). Further, “let him in” is a widely known euphemism that has the purpose of requesting sexual intercourse. Make no mistake, as a large number of R&B (and rap/hip-hop) songs have a very similar musical and vocal sound and use the same “let him in” phrase according to its common meaning, how is it possible for one very familiar with the genre to listen to that song without making that association? Of course, it is possible to suppress it, and undoubtedly the professed Christians who listen to this very popular song do so. But had this song been reverent in the first place, it would not have been necessary. It is not the duty of the listener to suppress what the song would have certainly meant were it in a different genre, the genre that this song was intended to sound like. Instead, it is the duty of the Christian performer not to make a song that sounds very much like an entreaty for the listener to consent to Jesus Christ performing a sex act on him (or her)!

That sounded strong to you? Well, consider the lyrics to this song. Now they deny that the song is carnal on one hand, but the song elsewhere says – concerns Jesus Christ – “He’s making love to my heart.” Which by the way … A REFERENCE TO APPEARS FOUR TIMES! (I want to point out: THIS SONG IS BEING SUNG BY MEN. It would still be blasphemy were it sung by women, but I just wanted to point that out.) Some other lyrics from this homosexual love ballad – excuse me, gospel song: “Sweet as can be”, “I love the way he talks to me”, “Oooh I’m so happy.” Also, one of the “He’s making love to my heart” references asks the listener to “let him make love to your heart.” Again (and I do not intend this to be Mark Driscoll vulgar here): “let him in” in is colloquial context is a request to allow a man to have intercourse with you made by some intermediary. A common application is when a man is dating a woman, wants to have intercourse with her, but she is reluctant. So, the man gets a mutual friend of theirs to go to this reluctant woman on his behalf and tell her “Come on. He’s your boyfriend. You know you like him. You know you want him. You have been dating how long? Three months? What are you waiting for? How much longer are you going to wait? Come on, let him in!” When you read the lyrics, it honestly appears as if the meaning of the “let him in” phrase was not something that they were unaware, or some horrible accidental coincidence, but instead something that they directly, purposefully incorporated into the song, as the entire song itself is concerned with sexuality! The song explicitly says, in multiple occasions – “Jesus Christ is making love with my heart, let Jesus Christ make love with your heart!” And then it makes use of Revelation 3:20 (which is directly referenced in with “I’m here to let you know he’s knocking at your door to let him in”!) to make the connotation of the euphemism direct and complete. The song purposefully, directly associates – indeed depicts – Christian conversion and Christian living with sexual encounters with Jesus Christ in the same way that Paul associated the Christian’s life with an athlete running  a race. Now John MacArthur spoke of the rape of the Song of Solomon by Mark Driscoll. Well “Let Him In” constitutes no less than a (homosexual!) rape of Revelation 3:20 by Winans Phase 2.

This is merely the most egregious example that I am aware of. As I no longer listen to Christian music radio of any genre and merely happened upon this song, there are probably many others as bad or worse. But it serves as a good example of a song that is not reverent and is very much worldly. Though this song purports to be evangelistic, the truth is that it represents an attempt by carnal-minded people to win converts by relying on the basest of means. It is the “sex sells” approach to evangelism and discipleship that is advocated in this age by many, including Rick Warren and Ed Young Jr.

Rest assured, one cannot be carnal and worldly and be saved. One must be made holy, and this holiness is only achieved through Jesus Christ. The Bible does not tell us to become converted by lustfully imagining a sexual encounter with Jesus Christ. Instead, it tells us to repent of our sins and believe that Jesus Christ died for sins in the place of the sinner, was worthy to do so because of His being the Son of God, and was resurrected from the dead. If you have not done so already, I urge and entreat you to do so immediately. Click on the link below to receive some information on how to do so.

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Theodicy Dialogue With Pastor Matt Wrickman

Posted by Job on January 26, 2012

Matthew Wrickman, a pastor and blogger with whom I have corresponded in the past, wished to discuss How The Penn State University Child Molestation Case Demonstrates The Existence Of God and did so in a comment, which he reproduced as a post on his site (which I encourage you to patronize). The objections – er dialogue points – that he raised are good ones as always, and my interaction with them is as follows. Pastor Wrickman’s words are in blocked quote format, and mine follow. Thank you.

“ Interesting response. Most commentators for the last 200 years at least have used evil in the reverse sense as the greatest problem for the existence of God. The line of logic would be that Sandusky is evil. If God was really good, really powerful, and really existed then He would have intervened and stopped the action. He didn’t so either He is not really good, really powerful, or does not really exist. As a line of logic it seems rather convincing. I, of course, would argue (as you hinted at) that God has intervened through the person of Son. That the cross of Christ represents Christ’s solidarity with the victims of Sandusky, as well as, his offer of healing to both victim and victimizer. Mix that with classical free will theory and I feel that the question has been answered; perhaps not superbly but answered nonetheless.”

Alas, you are of the Remonstrants, I am of the Synod of Dort! (Actually I am Particular Baptist after the manner of Charles Spurgeon, William Carey and Paul Bunyan and you are not classical Arminian or Wesleyan as you to not believe that one can lose his salvation, but otherwise you get the picture.)

“You once stated that you enjoyed boiling down arguments to the logical extreme”

Well, my love of reductio ad absurdum was in my angry, immature phase. (In what many might consider to be an irony, it was becoming a “5 point Calvinist” – or again more accurately a Particular Baptist – that helped me get past my anger, which I ultimately discovered was truthfully coming from within and was directed inwardly also.) I now rarely employ this debate tactic, though I hear that it is a very good tool for computer scientists and mathematicians.

“and that is where pointing from evil to God fails. At it’s extreme it allows for no differentiation between evil and God.””

I agree with you to a point, as a multitude of false religions (as I understand them) have deities that are dualistic, amoral or even malevolent. But that extreme is precluded by the holy scriptures. Though I do dabble in classical and evidential apologetics from time to time – to the extent that I am able – for the most part I adhere to the presuppositional apologetics school of Cornelius Van Til and similar, which takes the truth and authority of the Bible to be a non-negotiable starting point and proceeds from there. (I further build on that school by presuming a basic “rule of faith”, or a normative interpretation of the Bible, belief in its inerrancy/inspiration/authority, and application of its doctrines to the church).

So, inasmuch as the Bible differentiates between evil and God, I presume this to be true also. My purpose for authoring the above piece was intended not to much to be an exercise in philosophy, ethics or similar, but for evangelism and encouragement. Thus, it presumes some degree of faith – and please recall that faith is not produced by man but is given by God – and is not intended for the purposes of debating the likes of Sam Harris, Charles Dawkins or the late Christopher Hitchens.

“One might state that if evil has a positive outcome such as pointing to God; then committing evil cannot be entirely wrong (as it creates some good outcome). Therefore committing an evil act cannot be considered wrong and cannot then be evil.”

What you speak of is outcome-based religion. The problem with such religions is that man, lacking perfect knowledge and morality, is incapable of properly evaluating outcomes. Only God can do so. What we perceive to be a “good” outcome according to our perspective might actually be evil according to God, and the converse is also true. Consider an example: a small leak in a dam. A person might make an improper repair to the leak that for a time stops the water from running, but makes the dam weaker, or at minimum ignores the root cause of the leak. Now though the fix is flawed, it might last a long time – during the duration of that person’s life. And for that time, that person will be considered to have done a great good in fixing the leak, and will go to his grave with such estimation.

But suppose that the dam ultimately breaks and catastrophically floods the town! Was this a good deed? No, because in the most extreme case, where the leak would have been at most a minor annoyance but remained, the fix made the dam weaker and caused it to suddenly burst where it would not have had the fix not been applied. In even the most favorable possible case, the fix caused everyone to BELIEVE that the problem was solved, and hindered them from seeking a real solution, or from evacuating the town if no solution was possible or practical.

Such is the result of false religion: it creates self-righteousness and blinds the sinner from his need for God. And false doctrines in Christianity can similar impede the spiritual growth of a Christian. So, the measure of “good acts” are not by their outcomes (“the ends justify the means”) or their intentions (“he meant well/his heart was in the right place”) but rather the fidelity of these acts to the commandments of Jesus Christ as revealed by the Holy Scriptures regardless of their apparent outcomes. God and His Word are the standard, not the outcome or our perception of it, and by the definition of God as determined by His special revelation to us in the Bible, fidelity to God and His Word cannot be evil.

That is why the people who obeyed the commandments of God to commit genocide and fratricide in the Old Testament were not evil, and those who committed what might have been considered good in sparing, say, a Canaanite baby out of what seemed to be mercy upon the innocent who posed no threat when when God commanded to utterly destroy all the Canaanites would have been evil. Where of course we would say that killing a Canaanite baby is evil, and sparing the baby and raising it up according to the Jewish religion would have been good according to our own understanding, we have to accept by faith God’s statements when He says that His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts, and obey God according to that same faith.

If we do otherwise, and obey God when it conforms to our own sense of good and evil and abandon God’s commandments when they contradict them, we are following our own religion and morality and not God’s, and we have made ourselves into gods in the place of God.

“On another level it also implicates God in evil; because it seems to make God a participant in the evil action. Therefore one might question the goodness of God.”

Well, the psalmists and prophets seemed to regularly question the goodness of God, no? Yet they remained faithful. It is not blind faith, but faith in God’s self-revelation to us through His Son. The role of the Holy Spirit is not to answer all of our questions, but to reassure us, comfort us and keep us in the faith despite them. Or to save us from our faithless condition despite them. The Bible declares oft that we cannot understand God and His ways, and that we are not to even try to. We are to merely – as the old hymn says – trust and obey Him.

But let it be said that God does certainly use evil to accomplish His ends. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose, and this includes evil things. And God most certainly does use evil events. When a sinner commits evil, the Holy Spirit convicts him of this evil in order to drive him to repentance unto salvation. When a Christian commits evil, the Holy Spirit convicts him of this evil in order to drive him to repentance unto restoration. The Holy Spirit does not cause this evil, but He certainly uses it.

But as touching God and evil actions: consider when God sent a lying spirit to the false prophets in order to provoke wicked king Ahab into going into battle so that Ahab could be slain as a punishment for his (Ahab’s) wickedness. Consider also when God made pharaoh ruler of Egypt and hardened his heart so that pharaoh would oppress the children of Israel mightily, as God wanted an occasion to judge the Egyptians for their wickedness, to save Israel and make them a nation, and to display evidence of His existence and power to the world. Consider when God used the wicked pagan Assyrian and Babylonian empires to judge Israel and Judah for their infidelity to the Sinai covenant (and this required allowing Assyria and Babylon to conquer other nations and otherwise rise to power). And consider when Jesus Christ chose the non-elect Judas Iscariot as one of His apostles so that Judas Iscariot could betray Him and otherwise fulfill the prophecies.

It is very fair to say that God participated in these evil actions, if you rely on the common human definition of participation. In the Bible, God does asserts His right to do evil, at least according to man’s perspective of evil (when God did so, He was condescending to the limited understanding capacity of man in that He allowed them to regard His actions as evil).

Just because we see something as evil does not make it evil. God is the standard, the Self-existing Self-defined one who is goodness and righteousness within Himself. Evil, then, is by definition that which is contrary to God, and God by definition cannot be contrary to Himself. Any other definition of evil makes man a judge of not only himself, but of God. This is something than an unbeliever – especially an atheist or rationalist – will never accept but that Christians are called to accept, believe and submit ourselves to through faith.

The unwillingness to accept the fact that God Himself is the definition of good and that evil is defined by its being in opposition to God is the source of so many of these logical games, tricks and constructions on the behalf of many apologists. This fact also solves the apparent problem of God telling one person to do one thing at one time and another person to do something else (i.e. when God commanded Ezekiel and Hosea to break the Mosaic law by eating bread defiled with excrement and marrying a cult prostitute): we are simply to believe that God can do so without Himself being contradictory.

“I prefer the Biblical account which simply claims that God is the good God who overcomes evil. He is the one that thwarts evil, and instead works good in the life of the believer where the evil one had sought to sow destruction. Evil, then, remains evil; and God remains good. It is not the evil action that points to God; but rather His action in turning away the evil and establishing his redemption in its wake. The redemption points to God.”

The problem with that is that it relies on an incomplete portion of the Holy Scriptures, excluding bad facts. Consider, well, the book of Job (which has been as much a source of fascination and meditation for me as I certainly hope the Gospel of Matthew has been for you)! Let’s face it: God delivered Job into the hands of Satan for Satan to do whatever he wished with Job and all that he had save taking Job’s life. And please recall: the Bible is clear that the calamities that came upon Job were not due to any sin that Job had committed. Job’s CHILDREN died, not because of any sin of Job or the children, and despite Job’s daily sacrificing for his children in case they sinned. (Of course, their deaths would have occurred due to their original sin, as did Job’s death, but let us focus on their untimely deaths, which was considered to be an evil occurrence in OT times and still is to this day.)

We have to come up with a theodicy that is faithful to the entirety of the Bible. Not only must we do this in order to be faithful to God through His Word, but this is also the only way to construct a theodicy that encompasses the range of the facts of life that we have to confront, such things as wars, plagues, horrific crimes, miscarriages, birth defects etc. God does overcome evil by eliminating all that which is contrary to Himself. Keep in mind: this process will not be completely finished until the eschaton, when this creation is destroyed by fire, the wicked are cast into eternal flame, and a new heaven and a new earth is created.

As to why God did not make the original creation after the same manner of the new heaven and new earth, we just have to accept that God did all things according to a manner that pleased Him. The idea that God was obligated to prevent the existence of evil in order to not Himself be evil is man’s thinking, not our own. And it is thinking that is centered on man and his own interests, as we accuse God for not acting to avoid our own misery and suffering. We want to be able to say that God is not good if the result of His original creation was humans – most of whom never encountered with the gospel of Jesus Christ to either accept or reject – being punished in the lake of fire for an eternity. As mentioned earlier, our duty is to accept these facts because they are how God revealed Himself and His actions in the Bible, and not to generate contrivances to avoid the fulness of God’s self-revelation and its implications. Make no mistake: unbelievers are fully aware of these things! Have you ever perused skepticsannotatedbible.org and similar counter-apologetics efforts? It is far better to directly confront these things in scripture, meditate on them, accept them through faith, and work them into our systematic theologies than to simply pretend that they do not exist, or to come up with human-centered (if not necessarily humanistic) evasions.

One last point if evil has some positive function in our world then the ultimate destruction of it would in essence be destroying it, and with it destroying an important way of knowing God. Yet our God promises to end evil once and for all. That is our hope that on a day in the hopefully not-too-distant future He will return to bring into completion or fullness the reality of His Kingdom that he established in His previous visit. The cross is the seal of payment, and the spirit is his down payment asserting His intentions to return. Evil will be no more and His people will be entirely free to serve Him in eternity. We will then celebrate His victory, not His battle.

There is a difference between saying that evil has an absolute positive function in the world, and merely stating that God uses evil to accomplish His purposes. However, even if God did so as you speak, it would be well within His right to terminate it. Does God still feed His people with manna? Of course, God did a great thing by feeding His people with manna. Does the fact that you no longer eat manna destroy an important way of knowing God? Does the fact that you are not a Jew living in Jerusalem under the Mosaic law destroy an important way of knowing God? God forbid! So, if God can discontinue good things, then how much more so can He discontinue evil that He uses for good purposes? We know God only by God’s revelation.

Whether God’s revelation consists of His use of evil to accomplish His goals or not, the knowledge of God is the same. Why? Because God – the one providing the revelation – is the same. Even if you were to say that it is not “the same”, inasmuch as those in Old Testament times did not have the same knowledge as do we in light of the cross and the current ministrations of the Holy Spirit, their knowledge of God based on the revelation that they had was nonetheless sufficient to suit God’s purposes and that is what counts. God is only bound by Himself to reveal to us what He chooses for us to know of Him. He is not bound by us to reveal to us what we desire to know of him.

Further, God reveals Himself to us through the way that He chooses, not the way that we desire. Part of the error of some in the Pentecostal movement that I was once in is their demand that God reveal Himself to us in these ways in the same way that He revealed Himself to the early church, and also to Old Testament Israel. God’s actions and revelations are according to His will, not our desires. And the nature and character of God’s revelation are suitable to fulfill our needs. Not our wants, but our needs. Keep in mind in Romans 1 when Paul states that even the order and nature of creation should have been enough of God’s self-disclosure to live righteously and thereby be saved, and therefore those who do not – including those who never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ – are without excuse and therefore subject to condemnation on judgment day.

And of course we celebrate His battle. Are not the Psalms filled with the Jews’ praise of God’s battles on their behalf, physical and spiritual? Concerning Jesus Christ, do we not celebrate His trial in the desert, Gethsemane and the cross, and not merely the resurrection? Jesus Christ specifically instituted the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper so that we would remember His passion. This knowledge of God that you speak of includes God’s battles for our behalf, because through these we know that God has both the power to save us and the love to forgive us. God’s destruction of Egypt and Israel’s other enemies is evidence of the former, and His restoration of the remnant after they broke His covenant is evidence of the latter. This is evidence of the very hope of which you speak!

Well, I am done! I thank this opportunity to dialogue with my old friend and brother in the faith. As always, I hope that I did not offend or mistreat you, and if I did, it was not my intent. Thank you, and I look forward to your response.

The Three Step Salvation Plan

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Contra C.S. Lewis: Why 1 Timothy 4:10 Does Not Endorse Religious Pluralism Heresy

Posted by Job on January 1, 2011

Recently, due to a confluence of circumstances, the kids and I had a block of time that had to be spent at a movie theatre. Due to my, er, conservative tastes, the only viable options were Megamind (part of the Hollywood campaign to promote subversive ideas by attacking concepts of virtue and decency in the minds of our young, but that’s a whole other story), Tron Legacy, and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The little ones – and not so little ones – wanted to see Tron Legacy, but I chose the Narnia installment (which will be the last to be made into a film) because of its Christian elements and themes.

Result: much better than expected. The script was far from perfect, but the action and effects were great, and the Christian elements were far more frequent and explicit than expected, which made for a  rousing good time for all. In my exuberance, I was ready to immediately abandon my mixed feelings about C.S. Lewis and his Narnia works and borrow my neighbor’s volume set and begin reading at the first opportunity.

Now as God’s blessings had it, the first opportunity would have been the next morning. As a result, I decided to spend the evening before doing a little research on the Narnia series on Wikipedia for a preview. I am not one of those who fears “spoiling the ending by knowing what will happen in advance”, preferring instead to know what I am getting into when I undertake reading a novel or watching a movie. And in this case, boy did knowing what I was getting into paid off.

The reason is that at the end of the very last of the series of 7 books, “The Last Battle”, C.S. Lewis, the famed Christian apologist and scholar cherished and beloved by millions of Christians worldwide, and whose works are referenced and quoted by many prominent Christian pastors and leaders and used in a great many of the seminaries and Bible colleges that train future such leaders, uses the devout pagan false god worshiping character Emeth to make an aggressive endorsement of the “many paths to heaven” religious pluralism heresy popularized by those ranging from John Hick, Billy Graham, and the Vatican Council II (now of course my position is that Roman Catholicism is a wholly other and false religion to begin with, but thanks to a long line of people from John Wesley to Billy Graham, Roman Catholics are now accepted as Christians by most evangelicals, which means that their doctrines increasingly influence Protestant thinking). Aslan, the allegorical Jesus Christ figure in Narnia, gives Emeth entrance into heaven because he accepted Emeth’s loyal – indeed fervent – devotion to the demon Tash as service to him. Lewis promoted the popular modern heretical abomination that “good people” who faithfully worship false deities are actually worshiping the one true God whether they know it or not … that those who worship YHWH in ignorance through false religions will receive the same reward as those who worship God openly. This was even inconsistent with the contents of the Narnia books themselves, as the religion dedicated to this demon had corrupted Emeth’s entire culture, people and nation.

But wait. There’s more. Aslan also allows entrance into heaven those who did not worship him, but merely obeyed the laws of Narnia (as Narnia’s laws were based on knowledge of Aslan). So, in addition to “you can get to heaven by being a good demon worshiper”, Lewis basically endorsed the “all good people go to heaven regardless of worship or personal faith” doctrine, which is essentially an endorsement of both Roman Catholic doctrine (salvation is conferred by being a member in good standing with the church) and  modern state-church doctrine. May I remind you that C.S. Lewis was on extremely good terms with the Roman Catholic Church, and a member of the Church of England.

Basically, C.S. Lewis held the position that Jesus Christ’s atoning death on the cross is applied to all good people regardless of religious practice. Lewis, typical of pluralists and universalists, interprets “I am the way and none can come to the Father except through me” to mean that Jesus Christ alone was the One who secured salvation regardless of faith in Him, and not that salvation is only through faith in Jesus Christ.

Again, C.S. Lewis’ beliefs are not hidden in a corner. They are in the Narnia books, read by millions of Christians who profess conservative theological beliefs. And Narnia has defended his views as expressed in “The Last Battle” in a number of writings and media interviews. Naturally, these are not what the many evangelical and fundamentalist Christians who love citing Lewis refer to, and it is not what the many evangelical and fundamentalist seminaries assign their students to read. That the folks who tread in these circles esteem C.S. Lewis merely because he is counted as a theological conservative on certain matters (i.e. inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible and the virgin birth, deity, atoning death, resurrection and literal return of Jesus Christ) and oppose theological liberals when they believe basically the same thing on the vital issue of who gets to go to heaven can be nothing other than an indictment of the scandalous condition of the church today … a church that many believe is on the precipice of the great falling away of 2 Thessalonians 2:3. What else can be said about a Christian climate that continues to revere  C.S. Lewis, Rick Warren and Billy Graham, sponsors such efforts as Evangelicals and Catholics Together, Mormon outreaches, and the Manhattan Declaration (signed by a number of prominent Christians including Al Mohler, which is no surprise as Mohler is on the board of James Dobson’s Focus On The Family).

The truth is that there isn’t that much difference between the beliefs of C.S. Lewis, who is treasured by so many conservative Christians, and the publicly stated beliefs of Barack HUSSEIN Obama. (Yes, Obama proclaims that he believes in the virgin birth, deity, atonement, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.) Yet one they embrace and the other they despise? Then again, since so many evangelical and fundamentalist Christians continued to support George W. Bush even after he stated that the Bible is not literally true but was merely good moral instructions (the position of the deist Thomas Jefferson), that Muslims and Christians worship the same god, and that this god (whoever he is) told him to invade Iraq, and that Billy Graham told him that some people are “born Christian” … well I guess it would have take finding out that C.S. Lewis supported the Democratic Party and Billy Graham becoming a Democrat for prominent Christians to turn on them! One must look at the church, look at the Bible and shudder at the judgments in store for the church of this generation!

Now the verse that C. S. Lewis used in his writings to defend his pluralist position was 1 Timothy 4:10, which reads “For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.” Lewis and his band of gospel-denying heretics interpret that to mean that God saves “good people” whether they believe or not. The problem: even if you are willing to discard everything else said in Biblical revelation in order to make that single verse the head of all scripture, that isn’t what the verse means. If God is the “Saviour of all” according to Lewis, then His salvation isn’t pluralism (all faithful adherents of their religious traditions get saved because all religions contain enough of God’s revelation to save) or works righteousness (all good people go to heaven) but universalism (everyone goes to heaven regardless of belief  or works). So, in addition to Lewis being internally inconsistent in his Narnia universe by claiming that it was possible to be good, faithful and moral by following a religion dedicated to a demon, and which religion had made the nation given over to worshiping it corrupt and evil, he was inconsistent with his interpretation of 1 Timothy 4:10 by claiming that “Saviour of all” means “Saviour of all good/religious people” instead of “Saviour of all” which is what it plainly says! So, we have a fellow who goes on record stating that a Bible verse doesn’t mean what it plainly says (even according to his own fashion) and he still gets to be regarded as one of the greatest Christian minds of the 20th century? Ok … fine … so who’s the second greatest? If this is what it takes to be regarded as a great Christian mind, what’s the point? What is the benefit? Where is the profit! It would be far better to be regarded a rube, simpleton and dullard by the likes of these people!

So, as 1 Timothy 4:10 plainly cannot be used to support pluralism, we can reject Lewis out of hand and move on to what the verse seems to endorse, which is the universalism of a long line of heretics dating back to at least Origen. Now I must admit: I was stumped. (No great shock or issue there, for after all I am an amateur, not a professional pastor or theologian!) And when I did an Internet search on the matter, I didn’t find much. I guess all the professional pastors and theologians out there had better things to do than properly exegete/interpret/explain a verse that is very commonly abused by universalism heretics! What are some of those things? Oh, I don’t know, how about praising C. S. Lewis and telling their congregations to go watch the Narnia movies and buy the books without bothering to warn them what Lewis really believes and his books really teach … about how it really is no better than Harry Potter? Research shows that most evangelicals believe that “all good people are going to heaven.” Oh, gee, I wonder why?

Fortunately, the excellent The Highway ministry was up to the challenge. A link to their presentation of why 1 Timothy 4:10 does not teach universalism is below:

An Exegetical Study of 1 Timothy 4:10

The main excerpt:

A. This is the correct interpretation. It is found by making a thorough study of the term “Saviour” (in both its noun and verb forms1) in the context of the chapter, the epistle, the New Testament and the Old Testament.2 The final phrase “specially of those that believe” clearly Indicates that the term is here given a twofold application. Of all men God is the Saviour, but of some men, namely, believers, He is the Saviour in a deeper, more glorious sense than He is of others.
This clearly implies that when He Is called the Saviour of all men, this cannot mean that He imparts to all everlasting life, as He does to believers. The term “Saviour,” then, must have a meaning which we today generally do not immediately attach to it. And that is exactly the cause of the difficulty. Often In the Old Testament, the term meant “to deliver — (verbal form) or deliverer (nominal form)” — both with reference to men and God (cf. Judg. 3:9; II Kings 13:5; Neh. 9:27; Ps. 25:5; 106:21). Also, in the New Testament, reference is made to the Old Testament where God delivered Israel from the oppression of Pharaoh for He had been the Saviour of all, but specially those who believed. With the latter, and with them alone, He was “well pleased” (I Cor. 10:5). All leave Egypt; not all enter Canaan.” POINT: In both the Old and New Testaments the term “Saviour” is often used to speak of God’s providential preservation or deliverance which extends to all men without exception. (Cf. Ps. 36:6; 145:9; Matt. 5:45; Luke 6:35; Acts 17:25, 28.) Moreover, God also causes His gospel of salvation to be earnestly proclaimed to all men without distinction; that is, to men from every race and nation (Matt. 28:19). Truly the kindness (providence or common grace) of God extends to all. But even the circle of those to whom the message of salvation is proclaimed is wider than those who receive it by a true saving faith.

B. Conclusion. A paraphrase of what Paul is teaching in I Timothy 4:10 is this: “We have our hope set on the living God, and in this hope we shall not be disappointed, for not only is He a kind God, hence the Saviour (i.e., preserver or deliverer in a providential, non-soteriological sense) of all men, showering blessings upon them, but He is, in a very special sense, the Saviour (in a soteriological sense) of those who by faith embrace Him and His promise, for to them He imparts salvation, everlasting life in all its fulness.

A similar conclusion is reached by Pastor John Sampson.

A great deal more could be said to substantiate this idea of a savior, but I think the above would make the point. God provides food (Psalm 104:27, 28), sunlight and rainfall (Matt. 5:45), as well as life and breath and all things (Acts 17:25), for “in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). God preserves, delivers and supplies the needs of all who live in this world, and it is in this sense that He extends grace to them, saving them from destruction every day they live.

God is also gracious in allowing many to hear the proclamation of the Gospel.

All of these mercies are refered to as “common grace.” It is common only in the sense that every living person gets it. This grace should actually amaze us because God is under no obligation whatsoever to give it to anyone. It can never be demanded. God sustains the lives of His sworn enemies, often for many decades! However, as wonderful as it is, it is only a temporal grace because all unregenerate people eventually die and will face the judgment (Heb. 9:27).

I believe then that 1 Timothy 4:10 teaches that we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior (Soter – preserver, sustainer, deliverer) of all people (showing mercy to all, each and every day they live), especially of those who believe (who receive full salvation from His wrath and everlasting life).

For an alternative explanation, Pastor James White proposes that this verse should have been translated to read “who is the Savior of all people, that is, of those who believe” because “malista” should have never been translated as “especially” but instead “that is”. So, a more smooth rendering “who is the Savior of all people who believe” with the “malista” being for the purpose of placing emphasis on “those who believe”, or highlighting those who have saving grace, in a peculiar language convention of the day.

Primarily, however, Dr. White also states that this verse means that Jesus Christ is the only Savior, but that since only those who believe in Jesus Christ actually get saved, Jesus Christ is even more so the Savior for those. In other words, it is a “from general to specific” literary convention. To employ a comparison example:

“A car is a method of transportation, especially for those who own one.” The fact that you do not have access to a car does not negate the fact that a car is a method of transportation. But for those who actually have access to a car, that car is THEIR method of transportation, making it a method of transportation even more so for them, or making it especially a method of transportation.

Taking that back to Jesus Christ, it means that Jesus Christ is Savior whether a person is actually saved or not! Jesus Christ is Savior, especially for people who get saved! And Dr. White’s interpretation actually does fit 1 Peter 1:13-25. That passage is concerned with Jesus Christ’s being appointed as Savior by God before the foundation of the world. This declares Jesus Christ to be Savior not by virtue of His act of saving people, but rather appointing Him to the office of Savior in an official or general way. To go back to the car example, a car does not become a method of transportation only when and because people are riding in it. Instead, provided that the car is capable of operating properly, it is a method of transportation merely by being a car whether it is ever actually driven or not. More to the point, it is a method of transportation even if it is driven by someone else and you personally never get to ride in it. Why? Because it is a car. Further, it is a method of transportation for all people – in the sense that every human being on the planet could hypothetically ride in it … even if they never get a chance to ride in it, they could hypothetically or potentially do so … even though not everyone actually gets to ride in it!

Another example: a surgeon is a surgeon even if he isn’t operating on anyone, and even if he isn’t operating on you. Why? Because even if he never operates on you, his job, title, duty, is still surgeon. And he is still surgeon for all people in the sense that hypothetically he is able to operate on any individual. Despite the fact that he will only perform a few hundred surgeries in his career, he is still qualified, trained, and able to operate on any person who needs a surgeon. So, he is a surgeon “for all” in a general sense, and the surgeon for people that he actually operates on in a specific sense. From general to specific.

Now both The Highway and Dr. James White are correct. God does save by being provider and sustainer of all in a common grace sense, and God also holds the title, role, office etc. of Savior. However, because Dr. James White’s primary explanation seems to best fit the context and also addresses the soteriology component (and does so without relying on either a minor translation for malista that results in a very odd literary construction), that is the one preferred.

The bottom line is that as there are several ways to interpret 1 Timothy 4:10 in a manner that precludes universalism, the only reason to use it to assert that heretical doctrine (or to use it to assert pluralism in spite of the direct text) is a rebellious heart. Which, of course, is no surprise … while there are certainly exceptions (i.e. ignorance) people generally adhere to heretical doctrines because they are heretics. So, those who use 1 Timothy 4:10 in some attempt to deny or reject what the Bible clearly reveals are without excuse, and will receive the heretic’s reward when they stand before the very Jesus Christ whose atonement they so marginalized, distorted and slandered on judgment day.

Do not be counted among their lot, of those who remain hard hearted to God’s revelation. Rather, let them be a lesson, byword, proverb or warning to you. Let their example be something that helps cause you to turn from your own sins – which are no greater than theirs – and submit yourself to the Lordship of Jesus Christ who is Savior. Be one of those who believes, one of those that Jesus Christ is especially, specifically a Savior to. Do not delay. Do this immediately.

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan Today!

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Todd Bentley: When God Is Not Moving I Move God

Posted by Job on July 24, 2008

From Slice of Laodicea. 

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Obama AND CLINTON Forged Ties Between Pentecostalism And Black Liberation Theology

Posted by Job on July 11, 2008

See link from Independent Conservative by way of ApostasyWatch:

The Democratic Party’s Religious Outreach, Leah Daughtry and Black Liberation Theology.

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The Biblical Jesus Christ Versus The Counterfeits

Posted by Job on July 11, 2008

Here is an excerpt:

WORSHIPPING FALSE IDEAS ABOUT JESUS 
     Far too many people today ignorantly receive and worship ‘another Jesus’ — a counterfeit Christ who cannot save sinners from sin, the power of Satan, or hell. Preferring to recognize Jesus as ‘just another prophet for our own age’, people everywhere are saying the wrong things about Jesus. In fact, the late Palestinian leader Yassar Arafat considered Jesus to be a non-Jewish Palestinian. This lie has now grown into Jesus being a “Palestinian Messiah”.  Many people involved with Witchcraft will tell you that Jesus was ‘a super witch’.  Eastern gurus say Jesus is a master guru who has been ‘enlightened’.  Christian Science teaches that Jesus was a man in tune with the Divine consciousness, that He was not the Christ, but a Divine idea. Jehovah’s Witnesses go so far as to teach that Michael the Archangel became Jesus and that “The man Jesus is dead, forever dead.” [1]   According to the Roman Catholic Church, ‘Jesus’ has been mystically transformed countless millions of times through transubstantiation. In the sacrifice of the mass Jesus becomes a tiny breadwafer to be adored, eaten and ingested.  According to the Quran, the Jesus of Islam is a ‘Prophet’ but not God’s Son, not the Savior of the world, and not God manifest in human flesh [God Incarnate]. To spirit mediums [necromancers], Jesus is ‘an advanced medium in the sixth sphere’.  The list goes on and on.  Even Dan Brown, author of the ‘fiction-called-fact’ DaVinci Code thriller has blasphemously cast Jesus of Nazareth as one who had sexual relations with Mary Magdalene. Dan Brown’s ‘DaVinci Code Jesus’ is not the New Testament Jesus of Nazareth but a Gnostic gospel counterfeit– a fantasy ‘Jesus’ that is a blasphemous perversion of the Jesus of Scripture.  All these false Christ’s are simply “re-definitions” of the true Jesus–they are spiritual frauds.

www.spiritual-research-network.com/redefiningjesuschrist.html

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The Roman Catholic Rosary is Blasphemy Against God!

Posted by Job on June 11, 2008

The Fifteen FALSE Promises of the Rosary

I could not help but notice how some of this stuff resembles some strands of Pentecostalism …

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Rick Warren gives thumbs-up to gay “church”

Posted by Job on June 10, 2008

From DefendingContending.com

Rick Warren gives thumbs-up to gay “church”

I have become all things to all men that I might by all means save some–1st Corinthians 9:22

A verse from the apotle Paul that has been turned on its ear, upside-down, inside-out, and every which way from Sunday by the Willow Creek/Saddleback/Lakewood/
Lakeland/Lukewarm/Postmodern/Emergent crowd. Long story short, the apostle is not endorsing or condoning “Christians” who take part in the works of Satan in order to get people to “meet Jesus.” He is not, in any way, shape, or form, advocating making friends with the world in order to please God (See James 4:4, 1st John 2:15, Romans 8:6-8).

However, in his never-ending quest to be “all things to all men,” the “Protestant Pope” Rick Warren has finally gone around that bend he’s been heading for, and is openly embracing a “church” that “ministers” to those who embrace open rebellion against God by embracing the sin of homosexuality. Ingrid Schleuter has more:

Following Bill Hybel’s example, Rick Warren will be dining with Christians who say they are gay and proud of it. They are bringing their families with them to Saddleback for a Father’s Day celebration. This is the same gay road trip that has traveled the country to various megachurches to win converts to their views on sexuality. Even Joel Osteen said no to such a gathering. Repeat: these are professing “Christians” who are in moral revolt against the Word of God, not atheists at a gay pride parade who need someone to bear witness to the truth. These people know the truth and have rejected it. Not only that, they want everyone else in the church to reject it, too.

Now, before you start down the “Jesus dined with sinners and tax collectors” road, you need to understand something: We are never called to bring sinners in flat-out rebellion into the church building (see 2nd John 1:9-11). Whenever Jesus dined with such people, He went to them (Zaccheus, Matthew, woman at the well). Also, Paul commands us not to eat with anyone “named a brother who is sexually immoral, or covetous or…” So by allowing this organization into a building that some people call a “church,” and by seating them in this quote-unquote “church” to dine, Pope Warren is going against so many commands of Scripture (I assure you, many more than I have listed here). All in the name of “unity.”

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Breaking Christian News Is A Broken Source For True Christianity By Promoting Todd Bentley!

Posted by Job on June 9, 2008

This really does break my heart. One of my main sources for relevant Christian news is BreakingChristianNews.com. I say “relevant” because a lot of what they provide is either hard to find “beneath the headlines” types of stories, or things directly related to areas like faith healings, testimonies, Christian persecution, Bible prophecy, and opposition to abortion and gay rights. Along with Worthy News, their story selection and news perspective seemed to reflect the very mindset that I was trying to promote on this website, and for that reason content from Breaking Christian News was regularly featured and promoted on this site. Now, however, I am going to be forced to view the people, content, and worldview of Breaking Christian News differently. Why? Because they are fervent supporters of the evil of Todd Bentley. See below.

“I say, you have nothing to lose but your sickness. If the doctors can’t help you, why wouldn’t you give God a chance?”

FOUNDING EDITOR’S NOTE: I debated whether or not to even link to this MSNBC story. It was well done, but the secular media feels, as is normal, the obligation to post both pro and con arguments toward this revival or any news story, honestly. One can’t blame that approach as they are not there to “fan the flames” for the Church . . . at least not yet. So in order for them to be considered “news,” they have to find someone on most stories who say “My take on this is that it isn’t good.” (words to that effect). So it is with mixed feelings (mostly good) that I post this story. The summary was well written by our own Teresa Neumann with Breaking Christian News. As many of you link to the story from MSNBC, I would encourage the reader to remember what Jesus’ response was when His strange healings were happening and John the Baptist was stuck in prison. “Are you the ONE?” He was asked, “or should we look for another?” Jesus’ response was simple and direct: “. . . So He replied to the messengers, ‘Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.'” Luke 7:21-22 (NIV) – Steve Shultz, BCN.

(Lakeland, Florida)—MSNBC has published yet another report on the Lakeland Revival, or the “Florida Outpouring,” which began on April 2 with healing meetings conducted by evangelist Todd Bentley at Ignited Church in Lakeland, Florida. 

The report explains how the meetings have “outgrown four venues, including a local convention center that seats roughly 7,000. Now,” the report states, “they meet under an air-conditioned tent that can accommodate 10,000 on the grounds of the local airport. Organizers estimate that more than 140,000 people from at least 40 nations have attended meetings here.” 

The article, coming from a secular outlet, explains to readers their interpretation of some of the charismatic manifestations that go in the meetings, such as people being “slain in the Spirit” when they are prayed for. The article also predictably interviews critics of the revival to which Bentley responds, “I don’t have time to debate whether revival is happening or not. I don’t have time to nitpick the reasons why God might not be moving.”(Photo: Courtesy Loren Brown)

On a positive note, people who have been healed through the Lakeland Revival were cited. Examples include a man who testified to being healed of multiple forms of cancer by watching the meetings on the Internet at home and plans to have his oncologist document his healing, and a wheel-bound Arkansas woman healed from injuries sustained in an accident three years ago.

Bentley’s method of receiving donations caught the reporter’s attention as well, with it being noted that his meetings are free of charge and that other than the typical passing of white offering buckets each night four hours into the service, they have only asked for money once.
Fresh Fire spokeswoman Lynne Breidenbach says the offerings have covered their enormous operating costs and have not contributed to a significant infusion of cash for Bentley or his ministry. Bentley himself is quoted as saying he “welcomes media attention and scrutiny because the ‘outpouring’ is a work of God and he has ‘nothing to hide.'”

The prologue to this story by the founding editor of Breaking Christian News is amazing. They actually considered not running the story because MSNBC’s actually allowing someone to voice concerns that what is going on there may not be biblical offended them! And when you consider that Jesus Christ and His apostles took on and OVERCAME all challengers instead of trying to silence people and cover them up, you see precisely how far from the Bible these people are! But I am telling you, this is why these people do not want to see challenges to Bentley. As you can see below, these folks have ample reason to try to shield this fellow from Biblical scrutiny. But we all know that things that are done in secret will come out into the light. People, you can do all you want to try to protect Bentley now, but the truth is going to come out and be dealt with on judgment day. That is what you ought to be concerned with. Why? Read Revelation 2 and 3 people! Judgment starts with the church! So, you people that are twisting yourselves into pretzels defending abominations, have you given any thought to when the day of the Lord comes, what is going to happen to you for not only supporting but failing to speak out against this?






 

Posted in abomination, Christianity, false doctrine, false preacher, false preachers, false prophet, false religion, false teachers, false teaching, warning given to churches in Revelation 2 and 3 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Rick Warren Dissembles And Fails The Challenge From Voice of Truth Again!

Posted by Job on June 4, 2008

James Sundquist of Voice Of Truth Radio

May 20, 2008

Open Letter and James Sundquist Response to Rick Warren and Erik Rees

Dear Rick Warren & Erik Rees,

I am in receipt of both of your invitations to your May 20-22, 2008 PDC Conference, enclosed at the

end of this letter. I am compelled to respond after praying and seeking the multitude of Godly counsel.

I was a little surprised to finally hear from you years after I first confronted you by email but never

heard back from you, or any time since both of my books on you were published. I was further

surprised that you would send an invitation with such short notice to plan a trip there. You have

required that I remain silent for three days before I am allowed to speak. The Apostle Paul did not

teach that we are required to remain silent if what we are presented with is false teaching.

I am further surprised at this invitation because from your own lips you stated that you did not respond

to detractors. You also would have to consider me a 21st Century enemy, since I am what you call a

Fundamentalist Christian. If I am the false teacher, then you need to expose and rebuke me publicly

before your church, this conference, and the church at large. But your must refute me from Scripture.

You have invoked Matthew 5:44-46, positioning yourself as the victim being persecuted. You have

rendered me the enemy with this quote. The Apostle Peter says it is of no credit if you are being

persecuted and deserve the persecution. Which one of the Apostles and Prophets of old have ever

presented the demon-possessed, the demonically-inspired, the homosexual activist, the atheist, the

spiritists, the mystics, and the necromancers favorably to the people, as you have done inside as well as

outside of your Purpose Driven Life book? The answer: none of them. And when did Jesus teach his

Disciples to do anything like that? Same question applies to your interview with Charlie Rose, August

17, 2006, when you said you told Eric Sawyer, gay activist leader: “how can I help you get your

message out?” And yet you invite Senator Obama to speak at your church, who celebrates and now

endorses the California Supreme Court Decision making gay marriage legal, above the Word of the

Living God. You have put the church in great peril by both your actions and appearance of evil. Jesus

and his Apostles would never have countenanced your promotion of such an abomination. In your

USA Today Interview 7/21/03, you stated that Mormonism was just another Christian denomination

rather than a false religion, in which Mormon Doctrine, Jesus has a brother named Lucifer, easily

refuted by John 3:16 which states that Jesus is the ONLY begotten Son. One of their baptism songs

teach that you go back to be with God. Your gospel presented in the Ladies Home Journal is not The

Gospel but another gospel! Former Roman Catholic priest Richard Bennett has proven that your

Roman Catholic Purpose Driven teachings are apostate. The Apostle Paul preached Christ crucified in

synagogues. Rick Warren preaches no gospel in synagogues.

You state that I do not know your motivation. To a great extent that is not relevant. I do not even know

you personally; it is your teaching that I oppose publicly, for your teachings are public and damnable

heresies! And a good tree does not produce corrupt fruit!

If you have read either of my books: Who’s Driving the Purpose Driven Church or Rick Warren’s

Global Peace Plan vs. Scriptural Teachings on Peace about you, which are published by Southwest

Radio Church, you would know what my motivations are, and that is to compare your teachings to

Scripture as every good Berean must do, as well as to help bring the Balm of Gilead to the wounded

saints in response to the host of calls and letters I continue to receive from churches throughout the

world who have been split or destroyed by your teachings and unbiblical enforced covenants you have

implemented.

I am perfectly ready and eager to meet with you publicly when I have received a letter on your

letterhead that you are ready to repent publicly before your own congregation and the church at large

for your extensive false teachings. Your letter must include making restitution to all of those saints

whom you have left strewn and dismembered by the propeller of your Purpose-Driven Ship, and

renounce your Jung-rooted occult-based Personality Profiling. Upon receipt of this letter,I will then

stand with you before the public and rejoice with you. You should also go on Fox News and renounce

the infomercials they have run in your behalf.

Speaking of invitations, I invite you and the members of your church to read my articles on your

SHAPE program published in:

Sept 2007 Journal of Apologetics: Vol 10, California Biblical University and Seminary P.O. Box 7447,

Orange, CA 92863, 1-800-41-TRUTH (1-800-418-7884) / http://www.cbusedu.org

&

A Critique of the Purpose-Driven Life, Part I & II, The Conservative Theological Journal Volume 9,

No. 27, and Volume 9 no. 28, August, Sept, 2005, Tyndale Theological Seminary,

http://www.conservativeonline.org

&

Listen to Dr. John MacArthur’s Audio Sermon 3:14 minute excerpt exposing the apostasy of Rick

Warren’s Purpose Driven Life book:

I am biblically justified and mandated to oppose you because you are a wolf in sheep’s clothing and a

destroyer of the brethren, masquerading as a servant of righteousness.

Until the Lord grants you repentance, I am not willing to attend your conference this week or any of

your Global Peace Plan training conferences, but will continue to oppose you by speaking and

preaching publicly in writing and on the various national and international radio programs I frequent.

These Scriptures will also confirm why I will not attend your training conference:

Ephesians 5:11

II John 10

Titus 3:10

Galatians Chapter One

Book of Jude

Sincerely in Christ,

James Sundquist

Director

Rock Salt Publishing

www.abrahamic-faith.com/False-Teachers.html

&

http://rock-to-salt.cephasministry.com/

OTHER SOURCES & AUTHORS WHO HAVE MARKED RICK WARREN AS AN APOSTATE

FALSE TEACHER (not exhaustive):

Pastor Bob DeWaay Redefining Christianity, Understanding the Purpose Driven Movement,

http://www.cicstore.org/servlet/the-1/Redefining-Christianity–dsh–Understanding/Detail

Warren Smith, Deceived on Purpose, http://www.eaec.org/bookstore/books/deceived_on_purpose.htm

Dr. Noah Hutchings, The Dark Side of the Purpose Driven Church, Southwest Radio Church, swrc.com

Tamara Hartzel, In the Name of Purpose, http://www.inthenameofpurpose.org/

Loren Davis,The Purpose Driven Life is Unscriptural, http://www.lorendavis.com/articles_pdlunscr.pdf

Roger Oakland, Faith Undone, Lighthousetrails.com

David Cloud, Purpose Driven or Scripture Driven, http://www.wayoflife.org (just released, not posted

yet, but available)

Lynn & Sarah Leslie, Susan J. Conway,Pied Pipers of Purpose,

www.discernmentministries.com/Purpose_Driven.pdf

Lynn & Sarah Leslie, What is Transformation, http://www.newswithviews.com/Leslie/sarah.htm

Berit Kjos, Spirit Led or Purpose Driven, www.crossroad.to/articles2/2003/1-purpose.htm &

Rick Warren’s Peace Plan and UN Goal, www.crossroad.to/araticle2/05/peace-un-3.htm

Jewel Grewe, Discernment Ministries, www.discernment-ministries.com/Purpose_Driven.pdf

Dave Hunt & T.A. McMahon, Audio Critique: Purpose Driven Life, www.bereancall.org

Richard Bennett, The Adulation of Man in The Purpose Driven Life,

http://www.bereanbeacon.org/articles_pdf/rick_warren_purpose_driven.pdf &

The Purpose Driven Life: Demeaning the Very Nature of God,

http://www.bereanbeacon.org/articles_pdf/rick_warren_purpose_driven_2.pdf

Pastor Gary Gilley, The Purpose-Driven Life: An Evaluation – Part 1, by Gary E. Gilley,

www.svchapel.org/Resources/ Articles/read_articles.asp?ID=1

Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing, Lighthousetrails.com

Jacob Prasch, Moriel Ministries, http://www.moriel.org/

Philip Powell, Director, Contending Earnestly for the faith, Australia,

www.christian-witness.org/docs/WarrenResources.doc

Ken Silva, Director, Christian Research Net, http://christianresearchnetwork.com

Paula (Qeylar) & Jason, Director, http://www.purposedrivel.com/

Susan Bertalotto, Simplicityinchrist.org

James Clifton, http://purposedrivendrivel.blogspot.com/

Sue Winter, Birds of a Feather, www.abrahamic-faith.com/James/BIRDSOFFEATHERPDF.pdf

Mike Corley, Resisting The Purpose Driven,Published March 25th, 2008 by Editor in Purpose Driven,

Resisting The Purpose Driven on The Mike Corley Program

Not all of what is involved with the Purpose Driven Life movement is warm and fuzzy. On this

program, Mike shares yet another tragic story of someone who dared to question the purpose driven lie.

Today, the testimony of two men in Virginia who resisted the 40 Days of Purpose in their church and

the shocking,but sadly, not surprising results of their unwillingness to compromise and follow the PDL.

Click here to listen now from this original link: Resisting the Purpose Driven

Pastor Larry DeBruyn, Church on the Rise: Why I am not a Purpose-Driven Pastor,

http://www.crosstalkamerica.com/shows/2008/01/why_i_am_not_a_purpose_driven.php

Deborah Dombroski, Lighthouse Trails Research,

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/researchtopics.htm

Ingrid Schleuter, Slice of Laodicea http://www.sliceoflaodicea.com/?cat=21 & Crosstalk, VCY

America Radio, http://www.crosstalkamerica.com/mt/mt-search.cgi?search=Rick+Warren

Sarah Leslie, Herescope, Discernment Research Group, http://herescope.blogspot.com/2008/01/rickwarren-brian-mclaren-at-davos.html

Paul Proctor, News with Views, http://www.newswithviews.com/PaulProctor/proctor114.htm

Professor Johan Malan, South Africa, Rick Warren Waters Down the Gospel,

http://www.bibleguidance.co.za/Engarticles/Rick.htm

Dean Gotcher, The Church Growth, Emerging Church – Daiprax Agenda – The Diabolical Practices of

‘Ministers’ Across America Today by Dean Gotcher, Authority Research, 12/12/06

Orrel Steinkamp, Schuller Planted, Hybels Watered, Warren (Peter Drucker) Gives The Increase, The

Plumbline, Volume 10, No. 3, November/December 2005 he cross ends up obscured. When the cross is

obscured sinners go unsaved.

Dr. Robert Klenck, Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life: A Rebuttal,

http://www.johncoleman.org/Bob%20Klenck%20Page.htm

Mac Dominick, Rebuilding the Tower of Babel, http://www.cuttingedge.org

Mike Oppenheimer, A Global Peace Plan, http:www.letusreason.org/Poptea26.htm

Al Dager, Media Spotlight, www.mediaspotlight.org

William Alnor, Spiritual Counterfeits Project Resource List Concerning Rick Warren and the Purpose

Drive Life , http://www.christian-witness.org/docs/WarrenResources.doc.

Pastor Perry Rockwood, The People’s Gospel Hour, Canada, http://www.tpgh.org/

**********

LETTERS FROM RICK WARREN AND ERIK REES, SADDLEBACK CHURCH:

From: “Erik Rees” <ErikR@saddleback.net>

Date: May 12, 2008 11:01:39 AM EDT

To: <Rock.salt@verizon.net>

Subject: A Special Invite From Rick Warren

Hello James,

I don’t believe we’ve ever met or even talked on the phone, but I’m certainly aware that you publicly attack me regularly. James, your writing shows that you consider me to be an enemy, so for some time now. in obedience to Jesus’ command in Matt. 5:44-46, I’ve prayed daily for God to bless you. Now, I want to personally invite you to attend our upcoming conference at Saddleback, for free. I will pay all your travel expenses. My only request is that you listen to all the conference for 3 days then meet with me after it ends on Thursday noon to ask any questions before you write anything about it. I don’t know  what motivates you, and you don’t know what motivates me – so I’d like to get to know you personally. Below are the details to this unadvertised conference. Also here is a link to watch a video message.

I’m praying for God to bless you and your family greatly. I look forward to meeting you.

Rick

Rick Warren

Saddleback Church

*****

From: “Erik Rees” <ErikR@saddleback.net>

Date: May 8, 2008 4:06:20 PM EDT

To: <Rock.salt@verizon.net>

Subject: Purpose Driven Church Gathering

Hi James,

On behalf of Pastor Rick Warren, I would like to personally invite you to attend this years Purpose

Driven Church Gathering (May 20-22) at our wonderful campus in Lake Forest, California. Pastor

Rick would not only like to invite you, but pay for you to come out and spend three days with this

group of national and global leaders. We are anticipating close to 2,000 leaders will gather to learn

from our guest speakers. The only request we have is that you please wait to share your thoughts until

the conference has completed. This will give you the best chance to listen and learn before responding.

Lastly, I would like to include you in an open discussion time with Pastor Rick and a few other leaders

on Thursday, May 22nd.

I truly hope you will accept this wonderful offer to come and learn. Please let me know by Monday,

May 12th if we can count on you joining us. If you can, I will have our travel agent connect with you

to take care of your travel needs. To learn more about this great gathering please click here PDC

Gathering.

Sincerely,

Erik Rees

Saddleback Church

1 Saddleback Parkway

Lake Forest, CA 9

Posted in Christianity, false doctrine, false teaching | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Rick Warren And Bono Using Global Peace 2008 Summit To Promote One World Religion And Government

Posted by Job on June 4, 2008

From James Sundquist’s page at www.Abrahamic-Faith.com. This is the link to the original PDF file.

http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dc583dq4_3hnqf7hd7

Posted in Christianity, false doctrine, false teaching | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Ron Luce of BattleCry: Supporting Ministry of Word of Faith Jezebel Heretics Marilyn And Sarah Hickey!

Posted by Job on May 28, 2008

I used to love watching Ron Luce’s events such as “Acquire The Fire” and “BattleCry” on Christian broadcasting and generally supported their efforts: see New York Times Portrays Teenage Christians As Hatemongers. Then, I found out that Luce was among those endorsing syncretized Christianity via New Age contemplative spirituality: BattleCry’s Ron Luce Gets In On The Contemplative Prayer Scam. So, here we had another example of Christians taking what is supposed to be a bold – even coercive and militaristic – stand in secular areas like politics and culture while compromising attacks on the faith itself. For example: not long ago one of Luce’s TV shows celebrated their victory over a chain of mall gift shops selling pornographic Christmas tree ornaments. You might be interested in knowing how this victory took place. Was it converting the owner of the gift shop chain into Christianity? No. Was it converting so many customers of this gift shop chain into Christianity that selling such things would be commercially viable? No. Instead, they employed the same tactics that atheists, gay rights groups, pro – abortion people, and New Age (there’s that world again!) environmentalist Gaia mother earth worshipers use: protests, picket signs, media pressure, etc. In other words, it as Christians imposing their social, political, and cultural beliefs – not the gospel mind you but only secular beliefs! – on people that reject Jesus Christ knowing full well that a person can have those beliefs, not have Jesus Christ, and still burn for an eternity in the lake of fire. And it was not even any sort of conviction or shame over sin and blasphemy that forced this fellow to change. Instead, they used GREED as an inducement. This fellow did not stop selling pornographic Christmas tree ornaments because the Ron Luce kids caused him fear the God of Heaven. Instead, the Ron Luce kids manipulated his fear of the god of THIS WORLD to force him to change his behavior. These “Christians” used MAMMON, more specifically the fear of losing money and power, to get this fellow to do what they wanted him to do! Seriously, how different is that from witchcraft, the occult, black magic, white magic, roots, or voodoo? Well, if you give up Jesus Christ’s spiritual mission for earthly gains and glory, such a thing is inevitably going to happen, because if you obey Jesus Christ, you can reach the world in a spiritual manner by the Holy Spirit. But if you go off and do things that Jesus Christ never told you to do, you reach the world through its flesh by the flesh. 

So, it is no surprise that so many of these religious right “taking back the culture” dominionists have gotten quite comfortable with incorporating so many worldly techniques, even things from other religions, into not only their political practice but religious doctrines and practices. Using slain in the spirit false charismatic techniques so that you can do a better job of brainwashing and manipulating young children than does the anti – Christ public schools? Why not? It is beating the enemy at his own game right? See: Jesus Camp: Bewitching Our Children With False Doctrines!

The question is similar to Roman Catholicism centuries ago, why are the Pentecostal and charismatic evangelical movements so conducive to getting people to believe that A) it is our job to establish the kingdom of heaven on earth rather than to preach the gospel and obey the Bible and let God do what God has already said He would and B) to accomplish A) using secular methods? Just The Book has an excellent series on how these people are targeting our kids in this fashion, here is merely one of their many entries, and yes Just The Book (a sola scriptura title!) does invest a lot of time in investigating the links between Roman Catholic mysticism and not only charismatic mania, but how charismatic mania influences POLITICS. I am not one of those who claims that the Roman Catholic Church is mystery Babylon the great, the beast, etc. but their fingerprints are all over this movement. 

So here is the link of Ron Luce endorsing the false ministry of the Hickeys. I don’t know how long the link is going to last, so here goes the text:

In a world that seems to be turning upside down, God wants YOU to be a world – changer!“After a radical encounter with God, Sarah Bowling began to sense the need to revolutionize her World… from the inside out. “That’s where the true revolution begins,” says Sarah.

Regardless of how old or young you are, or where you live on the planet, God wants you to be concerned, confronted, compelled, corrupted, and consumed by the cause of Christ. He sees the potential in each of us to become a revolutionary.

How to Keep Your Faith in an Upside-down World can be a beginning for you; a beginning of radical relationship with God, of tremendous transformation in your own life, and a real revolution of God’s love, power and Word in your world and the world around you!” Sarah’s book will encourage you to not just be a surviving Christian, but a thriving Christian. Sarah’s message will help you excel and move forward in your Christian walk—despite living in an upside down world.

-Ron Luce, Founder of Teen Mania

So … God wants you to be corrupted by the cause of Jesus Christ? That must be the Word of Faith/prosperity doctrine translation. You know, the one that teaches that Jesus Christ had to be born again (either in hell or at his baptism), that He was raped, and other blasphemies. God wants us to be a revolutionary? In the form of dying to self, not being conformed to the world and its ways but being transformed by God’s Word, etc. But since Luce did not provide that context for us – and since he promotes WORLDLY and UNBIBLICAL ministers like the Hickeys and practices like contemplative spirituality – I cannot presume him to mean “revolutionary” in a biblical context (especially since the world itself never appears in the Bible … at least not in my translation … again maybe it appears in the Word of Faith/prosperity ones), but rather in a worldly one. And again, since Luce’s “ministry” is fond of using militaristic images – complete with teens wearing combat fatigues and having vehicles i.e. jeeps painted with camouflage designs on stage, and yes since he encourages these children to be active in the secular arena – what prevents me from deciding that Luce means “revolutionary” in the Che Guevara, Simon Bolivar, Joan of Arc sense? Or the aforementioned children’s crusade

People, Satan Is Real And After Your Kids, and among the places very where Satan is like a lion, roaring, looking for and stalking whom he may devour as it reads 1 Peter 5:8 is in these false churches and false Christian movements. This is why we need to flee false teachers and reject their doctrines people, and only seek after the Word of God and those who teach it. There is no need, no reason to compromise or make excuses, because the consequences are too severe. Marilyn and Sarah Hickey and Ron Luce: as Amos 3: 3 says, how can they walk together unless they be agreed? 

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Todd Bentley: Jesus Christ Is Not Supernatural But Angels Are!

Posted by Job on May 23, 2008

[blip.tv ?posts_id=937440&dest=29421]

Posted in abomination | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

 
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