This post resulted from an expose on the error of the Word of Faith movement that I read over at Mike Ratliff's Possessing the Treasure blog and is a slightly modified and expanded version of a comment I left in response to his missive.
In times past I used to wonder where to begin when the errors were as manifold and various as those espoused by the apostate, heretical leaders and followers of the word faith movement. More recently however I've come to realize the root of their error is centered squarely on their utter failure to comprehend the Word of God, which can only be understood by the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.
... in thy light shall we see light. (Psalms 36:9)
This failure to properly exegete God's Word and faithfully teach His precepts is a clear indication that these people are unregenerate unbelievers who are playing word games with the Bible. I shudder to imagine the condemnation and hot coals they're literally heaping upon themselves by their abominable activity. Yet the word faith gurus aren't alone in their perverse predilection for peddling spiritual pornography, not by a long shot. They're almost mystically joined in their low view of scripture and lofty view of man by the emergent / seeker sensitive / purpose driven cabal who are all guilty of formulating and espousing a man-centered non-gospel message of self esteem.
This seemingly "new" and "culturally relevant" Nerf theology is a familiar stranger to the true church of Christ. This is because it's the same old pack of lies that the devil has been repackaging, dusting off, and trotting out for ages. Whether Gnosticism, modernism, post-modernism, or plain old fashioned easy-believism (pick your -ism) it's a lie from the pit of hell.
Let it be known that God does not "discover" truths about Himself, or about the world or anything else for that matter. God doesn't "dream dreams" that He'd like to make into reality with man's help. The very notion is simultaneously so absurd and so nauseating that it's difficult for me to even entertain without becoming righteously indignant.
The God of the Holy Bible is the self contained and comprehensive Ultimate Ultimate. He is and He makes the truth that men come to know and He has always - fully and completely - known Himself from all eternity. God didn't simply find out the truth earlier or in greater measure than men and then make a legal or procedural mistake (the fall of man) which forced Him to reconsider the matter afresh and come up with a solution to the problem He created (Christ's incarnation and the atonement) as suggested by the raving demoniac Kenneth Copeland! God doesn't change or correct His course because of mankind, Satan, or anything in all of Creation! God is unfolding history precisely as He has always planned and ordained and nothing can thwart His perfect and sovereign will.
I'd also like to comment on the deeply flawed and closely held belief within the word faith movement that there is "new" or "personal" revelation available to men outside the canon of scripture. When I hear those perverse clowns regurgitate the contents of their visions, ecstatic visitations, and otherworldly messages I have no doubt that they're truly experiencing genuine spiritual manifestations, unfortunately for them and their deceived followers those manifestations are manifestly demonic.
The whole system of God's truth is set forth in the Holy Bible and the witness of the Holy Spirit alone is able to convince men of its divine origins and enlighten their spirits through regeneration in order that men might be able to receive the truth of God's self attesting Word. The Word attests to Christ, and Christ attests to the Word, in fact Christ was the Word made flesh! As any Christian ought to know the writers of scripture were inspired by the Holy Spirit to set forth God's unique system of truth and thus the system of truth is self-attesting, period, end of story - no more "new revelation", no more "new light", zip, zilch, nada.
Therefore with the irrefutable truth that the Bible is God's inerrant, infallible and plenary Word established we can know for certain that the testimony or influence of the Holy Spirit in the heart of man cannot be in the nature of attesting to or providing "new" (meaning extra-Biblical or supra-Biblical) information. Otherwise if the Spirit gave additional information the scriptures would no longer be self attesting, and we know that God cannot deny Himself.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
This post resulted from an expose on the error of the Word of Faith movement that I read over at Mike Ratliff's Possessing the Treasure blog and is a slightly modified and expanded version of a comment I left in response to his missive.
Posted by Coram Deo at 3:35 PM
From World Net Daily:
It's an all-star conference set for the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, Calif., Jan. 17-19.
Former President George H.W. Bush will speak.
Chuck Colson will make a presentation.
Larry King will be there.
Rupert Murdoch will address attendees.
Ben Stein will appear.
And Kay Warren, wife of Saddleback Church mega-pastor Rick Warren, will join Robert Schuller, the white-haired, bespectacled purveyor of "possibility thinking."
What could such a diverse group have in common? What's the topic?
Well, it's a little vague.
It's called the "Rethink Conference," and Schuller promises 30 "Aha!" moments from the 30 different speakers confirmed for the event.
Not everyone is thrilled about this meeting of the minds. Some, including Christian author and former New Age devotee Warren Smith, suspect an agenda to subvert the church – to take the focus off biblical truth and absolutes.
Continue reading about the latest installment on Robert Schuller's well established pattern of Biblical compromise and corruption here.
Posted by Coram Deo at 2:17 PM
Monday, October 29, 2007
There's been much buzz recently about the efforts of the LDS to "mainstream" their cult beneath the ever widening canopy of evangelical Christianity. While there are certainly numerous arguments in favor of allowing the Biblically unorthodox and heretical Mormon cult to become mainstreamed within the broader professing church, there just aren't any good arguments.
The closest I can come to a reasonable argument for allowing the Mormons - and JW's for that matter - into the professing church is to simply point at the myriad of false teachers, rank heretics, outright apostates, and brazen blasphemers that currently operate seemingly with impunity and immunity within the visible church. Consider the warm reception given by professing Christians to shameful spiritual harlots such as T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, Juanita Bynum, Creflo Dollar, Paula White, Benny Hinn, Doug Pagitt, John Hagee, Paul Crouch, Erwin McManus, Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Billy Graham, Robert Schuller, Brian McLaren, ad exhaustem, ad nauseum. When I read the manifold errors and hear the demonic lies from the pit of hell that are espoused almost daily by this pack of spiritual wolves in sheep's clothing I'm forced to take note that even the Christian cults are only slightly less orthodox than these supposedly "Christian leaders". But unlike the current breed of "homegrown heretics" who have sprung up within the hothouse of the lukewarm Laodician church, at least the nominal professing Christian knows enough - or used to know enough - to beware of the Mormons and JW's!
Yet the truth remains that the goal of the true church of Christ isn't to continually lower our theological and doctrinal standards in order to fit as many people inside as possible - in fact quite the opposite is true. And with this in mind the aforementioned professing Christian "leaders" ought to be soundly and roundly rebuked for their errors and be required to either repent and change their ungodly ways or be cast from the fellowship of believers.
But I digress.
Back to the matter at hand I came across an excellent piece by Phil Johnson over at Pyromaniacs which succinctly lays out the major and irreconcilable differences between true Biblical Christianity and the cult of Mormonism.
In his post Phil points out the following foundational truths where Christians and Mormons arrive at a theological impasse:
1 The issue of authority. Christians believe the Bible is God's authoritative, inerrant, unchanging and complete self-revelation (Jude 3). Scripture is the touchstone to which all other truth-claims must be brought (Isaiah 8:20). The sole and sufficient authority by which all controversies in spiritual matters are to be determined is none other than God's Spirit speaking through Scripture. By contrast, Mormons consider The Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrine and Covenants as additional authoritative revelation, thereby undermining the true authority of Scripture and violating the principle of Revelation 22:18.
2. The doctrine of God. Christians believe there is one God who eternally exists in three co-equal Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Mormons reject the doctrine of the Trinity, believing that there are many worlds controlled by different gods.
3. The supremacy of Christ. Christians believe Jesus Christ is pre-existent God who became a man in His incarnation while maintaining His full deity. Mormons claim Jesus was a "spirit child" of Mary and Elohim (and the brother of Lucifer) who has now been elevated to the level of deity.
4. The means of justification. Christians believe justification is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Mormons believe a person's works in this life will determine his or her status in the life to come, and that "salvation" is actually a progression toward godhood.
Let it be known that both Christianity and Mormonism cannot be true! One is the truth of God and one is a damnable lie. I encourage you to read Phil's post in its entirety here.
Posted by Coram Deo at 8:10 PM
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Have you noticed it? Have you noticed how the big name, high profile wolves in sheep's clothing who are behind the emergent/seeker sensitive/purpose driven/word of faith Laodicean church movements relentlessly and desperately seek after their idol god, the Almighty Dollar? They fervently worship their god money, and dutifully do obeisance in exchange for the influence and prestige it affords them. They cozy up with the demonic powers and principalities of this fallen world in order to maintain their death grip on the sumptuous position which accompanies their temporal worldly "success" - so called. These duplicitous deceivers salt their language with Christianized terms and mix just enough truth with their error in order to deceive their shallow hangers-on and convince them to "sow a seed" in their ministry in order that they might "reap a harvest", or perhaps they seduce with the promise that if you send in your "love gift" you'll get one of their trashy newsletters or worthless books, or perhaps they'll promise that you'll become a "prayer partner" who'll be guaranteed to share in the "spiritual blessings" of their "anointed ministry".
Certainly there are many lesser idols within their error ridden harlot churches, not the least of which is their carefully manicured and meticulously maintained cults of personality replete with media spin doctors and PR machinations that easily match - and in some cases supersede -those of many Fortune 500 corporations.
But oh how quickly their fawning media coverage would vaporize if they would but mention the eternal agonies of hell!
How instantly would their requests for interviews and favorable news reports evaporate if they would but mention God's indignant wrath against sin and the sure punishment that awaits His enemies at judgment!
How suddenly would their itching ears blind followers of the blind abandon them if they would but preach the high cost and infinite value of following Jesus Christ and humbly submitting to His hard demands!
How soon would the satanic spigot of their cash flow be shut off were they to stop dancing to the demonic piper's tune and preach the whole counsel of God instead of a watered down, candy coated, sugary sweet, pop culture brand of Nerf theology that's been specially designed, focus group tested, and proven not to offend!
But isn't this what they fear most, offending and turning away a potential source of income? In the end doesn't the sales pitch always get back around to the money? Why is this? Why do these who espouse another gospel duplicitously deceive, manipulate, and outright demand - in God's name no less! - the hard earned dollars of the sheep of their flock? In my opinion - and in keeping with Occam's razor - the simplest and most easily verifiable explanation for why these (false) professing church movements perform their holy-rolling "hustle and jive" act on their hapless congregants and deceived adherents is because they're head over heels in debt and they require a fresh supply of continued resources to maintain the lavish lifestyles to which they - and their well paid tight knit circle of family members, sycophants, and hangers-on...er...um...I mean their "pastoral staff"- have grown accustomed to enjoying.
Again you may ask why? Why are so many of the modern professing emergent/seeker sensitive/purpose driven/word of faith (false) churches so steeped in debt and so beholden to the Almighty Dollar? Why do they desperately seek after - and even obsess over - sustaining their steady stream of filthy lucre? Can their seemingly insatiable thirst for cold hard cash ever be slaked? Perhaps they need all that money to advance Christ's kingdom? Hmmm...let's see:
Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence (John 18:36)
And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. (Mark 10:24-25)
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: (Matthew 6:20)
Well, I guess advancing the kingdom can't be the reason, so maybe it's to do good works in the Lord's Name?
Is it to feed the hungry? Uh, no...they smell bad plus they're kinda scary.
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: (Matthew 25:42)
Is it to clothe the naked? Are you kidding me?!?
I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. (Matthew 25:43)
Ah! Perhaps it's to spread the truth of the gospel? Not a chance! All that blood and gore, cross and atonement, and sin and hell nonsense just isn't relevant enough for today! That stuff just bums people out, man!
Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Matthew 25:44-46)
If they're not advancing Christ's kingdom and they're not faithfully presenting His gospel then why do they need all that money?
I'm glad you asked! More often than not the reason the aforementioned churches are piling on debt like there's no tomorrow is in order for them to finance their worldly pursuits. They take on debt primarily to:
1. Build ever more impressive brick and mortar facilities.
2. Comfortably ensconce themselves and their "pastoral staff" (remember these "geese that lay the golden eggs" are required to maintain their cadre of hirelings, toadies, and stooges, a.k.a. their family members, sycophants, and hangers-on, in cushy housing in the "right parts of town").
3. Pay for their big screen, laser light, rock concert, circus church info-tainment man-centered, people-pleasing infrastructures. After all, Momma needs a new pair of Prada and Daddy needs a new Gulfstream G550!
As a rule these types of highfalutin churches are more concerned with nickels and noses - the temporal carnal things of this world - than they are about preaching the whole counsel of God and storing up their treasures in heaven. These are those who are more interested in having their bellies filled and their "felt needs" met by a plasticized Christ of their own making than they are in dying to self and taking up their crosses daily and following after the true Christ of scripture.
Apparently the more things change, the more they stay the same. Wood and stone, wood and stone, man still makes his idols from wood and stone.
Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. (John 6:26)
They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone. (Daniel 5:4)
Posted by Coram Deo at 5:03 PM
As an addendum to my pieces entitled John Hagee has the Spirit of Antichrist and John Hagee's Strange Fire I am pleased to offer up yet further evidence that the teachings of John Hagee of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio lie outside the bounds of orthodox historical Christianity. Based on the facts currently available it is my firm conviction that John Hagee can not be understood to teach Biblical Christianity, rather let it be known that he espouses another gospel.
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8)
From Personal Freedom Outreach:
CHRISTIAN ZIONISM AND ETHNIC SALVATION
“An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; And my people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?” (Jeremiah 5:30-31).
“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Romans 1:16).
Most people who see and hear the Rev. John C. Hagee are impressed. He is rotund, strident, authoritative (and could well pass for Rush Limbaugh’s older and more serious brother). His delivery alone gives the impression of one who really knows what he is talking about. However, careful evaluation of the teachings of Hagee, pastor at the San Antonio-based Cornerstone Church, reveals false teaching and a defective view of a basic and essential issue regarding salvation and the Gospel. Hagee preaches another way of salvation for the Jew, which is in direct violation of Paul’s warnings in Galatians 1:6-9.
This theological concept, which has many forms, is primarily referred to as the “Two Covenant” or “Dual Covenant” theory.
I encourage you to continue reading this important and detailed analysis on the manifold errors of John Hagee here.
HAT TIP: Christian Research Network
Posted by Coram Deo at 1:43 PM
I came across a thought provoking piece on Jesus and Nicodemus over at Possessing the Treasure:
“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
“The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
“Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
“Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
“The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”—John 3:1–8.
The conversation between Christ and Nicodemus, which begins with these verses, is one of the most important passages in the Bible. Nowhere else do we find stronger statements about those two mighty subjects: the new birth and salvation by faith in the Son of God.
The servant of Christ will do well to make himself thoroughly acquainted with this chapter. A man may be ignorant of many things in religion and yet be saved. But to be ignorant of the matters handled in this chapter is to be in the broad way which leadeth to destruction.
Notice first in these verses what a weak and feeble beginning a man may make in religion and yet finally prove a strong Christian. We are told of a certain Pharisee named Nicodemus who, feeling concerned about his soul, “came to Jesus by night.”
There can be little doubt that Nicodemus acted as he did on this occasion from the fear of man. He was afraid of what man would think or say or do if his visit to Jesus were known. He came “by night” because he had not faith and courage enough to come by day.
Yet there was a time afterwards when this very Nicodemus took our Lord’s part in open day in the council of the Jews. “Doth our law judge any man,” he said, “before it hear him, and know what he doeth?” (John 7:51). Nor was this all.
There came a time when this very Nicodemus was one of the only two men who did honor to our Lord’s dead body. He helped Joseph of Arimathaea bury Jesus, when even the apostles had forsaken their Master and fled.
His last things were more than his first. Though he began poorly, he ended well.
The history of Nicodemus is meant to teach us that we should never ‘despise the day of small things’ in religion (Zech. 4:10). We must not set down a man as having no grace just because his first steps toward God are timid and wavering and because the first movements of his soul are uncertain, hesitating and stamped with much imperfection. We must remember our Lord’s reception of Nicodemus. He did not ‘break the bruised reed, or quench the smoking flax,’ which He saw before Him (Matt. 12:20). Like Him, let us take inquirers by the hand and deal with them gently and lovingly. - J.C. Ryle
J.C. Ryle penned the excellent biblical portrait of the God-wrought miracle of regeneration shown above in his book Expository Notes on the Gospel. The stumbling, childlike faith of the truly born-again convert, a babe in Christ, can often be easily mistaken for the deceptive activities of a foot soldier from the enemy's camp.
And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part. (Mark 9:38-40)
Discernment of the Believer
Given the rampant apostasy, doctrinal error, compromise, and downright heresy that's currently pervading the broader professing church it's often challenging for discerning Christians - those Bereans and watchmen who earnestly contend for the faith that was once and for all delivered unto the saints - to discriminate between the tares and the wheat, the goats and the sheep, the sons of perdition from the children of God. Of course God alone knows men's hearts, and there are some truly gifted actors out there who will outwardly live what seems by all appearances to be an exemplary Christian life, but who are inwardly full of dead men's bones and ravening.
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:20)
Unfortunately the verse above lends itself to the self appointed "fruit watchers" who tend to measure strictly against outward works of righteousness as opposed to taking the more balanced - and Biblical - approach which takes into account the whole Christian. All aspects of a sinner are transformed when he is truly regenerated by the Spirit of God Almighty and becomes a born-again child of God who is rescued from spiritual death unto spiritual life.
Transformation of the Unbeliever
Sinners are at enmity with God's Word. It is an incontrovertible fact that the unredeemed will actively and virulently reject the knowledge of God as revealed in both nature and in the Holy Bible. When unbelievers encounter God's clear, direct, and obvious revelation in nature or in His self attesting Word they will naturally seek to evade or suppress it. This reaction is the product of the fall and is the result of the wholesale corruption of man sin nature. The natural man's reasoning no longer properly functions in submission to God Almighty, instead he sinfully reasons that he is autonomously ultimate and therefore he sets up his own sinful reasoning as the highest court of appeals through which all information about himself and the outside world is processed. This action results in man setting himself up as his own idol god.
However when a sinner is saved by grace through faith his mind will be turned from contention and enmity unto submission and obedience; that is to say the redeemed no longer harbor their prior resentment and hatred of God's revealed truths as found in nature and the Holy Bible, instead he will now rejoice and delight in God's manifold truth. Certainly regeneration doesn't supernaturally imbue the redeemed with perfect and infallible knowledge of God, His Word, and His creation, but it's absolutely certain that the redeemed will be inexorably drawn by the Holy Spirit to dwell in and prayerfully meditate upon the Holy Writ and with the old sin nature crucified with Christ the redeemed will no longer see themselves as an ultimate autonomous authority, but will process all information about themselves and the outside world in the light of inspired scripture; God's special, supernatural revelation to man which is inscripturated uniquely within the Holy Bible.
The Folly of Unbelief
Men who reject and attempt to suppress God's truth are fools. Please understand that I'm not saying this, God says this in His Word. The Bible isn't engaging in gratuitous ad hominem when it states men who reject God are fools, instead it's stating the truth. This truth is crystal clear for even the most secular humanist, atheistic philosopher to see. Men have been foolishly painting themselves into philosophical corners for thousands of years in their desperate and futile efforts to circumvent God's truth, yet professing themselves to be wise they became fools.
In seeking to evade or suppress the scriptures the natural man produces nothing for himself but intellectual folly and spiritual damnation. Friends, there are consequences to rejecting the good news about Christ and those who refuse to base their thoughts and lives on the words of Christ are fools who build their foundations on the shifting and ruinous sands (Matthew 7:24-27). Those who encounter the gospel and despise it as foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18-23), even though it comes "by powerful demonstration of the Spirit" (1 Corinthians 2:4-5, 13) are witnesses against themselves who show that "God has made foolish the wisdom of this world" (1 Corinthians 1:20). This also demonstrates that "the foolishness of God is wiser than men" (1 Corinthians 1:25).
Therefore God's revelation of Himself in nature or in the gospel is so compellingly and obviously true that men are without excuse for rejecting the truth and thus they have their professed wisdom reduced to sheer folly. Unbelievers are marked by their irrational maneuvering and the mental gymnastics they employ in a futile effort to suppress God's truth in unrighteousness. Though they will attempt with all their might and with all their natural intellect to hinder the inescapable knowledge of God they will fail miserably and will, in the end, be condemned for denying the very truth they always knew in their heart of hearts despite their manifold and vigorous efforts to ignore and suppress it.
Denying and defying God is the most basic foundation of sin; this is to say by definition sin is the wilful setting aside of that which has been clearly identified to man as the will of God by God Himself. All men are guilty of sin and therefore are righteously justly condemned by the Infinite Creator and Judge of the universe. Yet this same indignant and righteous Judge is also our Kinsman Redeemer Who stepped off His throne of glory and stepped out of eternity and into time as the man Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
Christ will receive as many as come to Him by grace through faith. In the natural we don't think it odd that a baby is born helpless and totally dependent on his parents for everything. We don't decry the babe for being unable to articulate his needs or feed himself. We don't upbraid or remonstrate with the infant for his inability to control his bodily functions. No, as loving parents we tenderly and lovingly care for him, day after day, month after month, and year after year rejoicing over him as he grows. I believe this natural growth process is a type of our spiritual birth and growth in the Lord. As sinners we are helpless and lost in our sins without Christ and without hope. We can't feed ourselves with His truth and left alone in our helpless condition we would surely perish. Sinners are wholly incapable of helping themselves. But God, Who is merciful and just bled and died that by His Spirit He might save men from their spiritually dead condition and miraculously cause them to be born-again unto life eternal. And like the infant we start out haltingly, uncertainly and furtively, but by the patience and mercy of God we will grow up in Him being strengthened daily by our portion in Him which is more than sufficient.
Posted by Coram Deo at 7:36 AM
Saturday, October 27, 2007
It would appear that Tim Challies has taken the broad path of cultural relevance and fear of man in making his decision to espouse a sloppy sentimental theology when it comes to his compromising position on the subject of Christian participation in Halloween.
For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do. (Deuteronomy 18:14)
I admit that I'm disappointed to see he's a rank compromiser on this subject, yet a little leaven leavens the whole loaf and if a man who claims Christ can't even take a stand and be separated from the world on a subject as clear-cut as participation in a pagan holiday like Halloween, can he really be trusted on the weightier matters of the Gospel? I think not.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. (2 Corinthians 6:17)
Perhaps even worse Mr. Challies blog pitches his new book entitled "The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment", all while he's simultaneously busily dissembling about and defending his participation in a pagan holiday.
Tim, if you're reading this I ask you in the Lord to please repent of and retract your weak-kneed, lily-livered, effeminate, man-in-a-skirt, compromising position against God Almighty in favor of a false temporal peace with your friends and neighbors. Your post made for a Joel Osteen-esque feelings-fest which - not unlike Smilin' Joel's own drivel - was devoid of the admonition of scripture and was clearly man-centered as opposed to being God-centered. Your "convictions" and your "feelings" don't matter and your responsibility as a blood bought Christian isn't to your neighbors, nor your wife, nor your children, nor the culture, nor the world, but to the One True and Living God Who has called you out of the world and separated you unto Himself by grace through faith for His Glory alone.
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26)
I wonder...why doesn't Tim Challies dress his children up and send them around the neighborhood begging for treats in June or December? Why is October 31st observed differently in the Challies household than October 11th or October 25th? Isn't it because October 31st is the observance of a pagan holiday? Friends, it doesn't take much reflection or introspection to see the truth of the matter and discern what Halloween is all about. Just stick your head out of your front door or drive around the neighborhood and look at the decorations; or perhaps take a short trip to your local Wal-Mart and check out the array of macabre costumes and other Halloween accouterments on display.
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. (Romans 12:1-2)
Below is the comment I left in response to Tim Challies compromise:
Compromising the cross of Christ in order to keep up appearances with the neighbors or fit in to the world's culture is a disgusting and ungodly practice.
Christians are called to be separated from the world unto the Lord. How much clearer could scripture be on this point?
For the life of me I can't understand why otherwise well informed Christians are so quick to compromise, yet compromise seems especially prevalent when the "kids" are involved. This is the common denominator for many if not most of the Halloween dissemblers..."Buh, buh, buh, the kids!", though appearances run a close second..."Buh, buh, buh, the neighbors!" What about the Infinite Creator and Judge of the universe? Which is better to offend, God or man? Which is better to fear, God or man?
Of course we can think of all sorts of reasons to lapse into sentimental theology when it comes to our kids, and maybe that's one of Satan's most useful weapons against the Lord's church. Yet he who loves his mother or father, wife or children, or even his very life more than the Lord is unworthy of Him. Take up your cross, Christian!
In our heart of hearts we KNOW BETTER and that explains the pangs of conscience and feelings of compromise the true Christian feels when he follows after the ways of the world instead of the ways of the Lord.
May those who are called by the Name of the Lord boldly stand for His revealed truth and His righteousness and forsake all appearance of evil.
Posted by Coram Deo at 7:35 PM
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:22)
“I know that Messiah (called Christ) is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I Who speak to you am He” (John 4:25-26).
John Hagee of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio has finally came out of the heretical closet and confirmed the charges against him that he is unfit to be named as a pastor within the Christian church. Though he publicly attempts to dodge the truth it's long been known that John Hagee espouses the warped and unbiblical dual covenant theology, and now he's flat out denied that Jesus was the promised Messiah! This level of rank heresy should leave no doubt that John Hagee has completely parted ways with Biblical Christology and as such is to be treated as a heretic who is outside the family of God.
You can see the clip and hear the hiss for yourself at both Apprising Ministries and Sola Dei Gloria.
Whose report will you believe, the report of the Lord Himself, or the report of the apostate deceiver John Hagee?
HAT TIP: Christian Research Network
Posted by Coram Deo at 5:36 PM
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
As I’ve written here before there are many common themes which are interwoven throughout the seemingly disparate emergent, seeker sensitive, purpose driven, and word faith movements.
In my article entitled "Deathwish" I wrote:
Like many other discerning believers I've noticed the most common theme among the Emergents, Seeker Sensitive, and Purpose Driven church growth apostates is their man-centered gospel. They continually look within themselves for the answers to life's problems and circumstances as opposed to looking outward and upward toward God and seeking Him in His Word. Of course they'll drizzle a little Jesus on top of their man-centered spiritual buffet - take what you want and leave the rest! - and they'll flavor it with a dash of "church speak", but in the end it's the same old hell spawned anti-theology that the devil has been dusting off and trotting out in various forms in order to deceive sinful men for ages.
More recently however I’ve begun to notice the correlation between the aforementioned groups and the occult. Their self-esteem building workshops, their "hero within" fetishes, and their positive confessions can all be traced back to the most ancient origins of witchcraft and occultism.
I'm guessing that some of you who have just seen me compare the emergent, seeker sensitive and purpose driven cabal to occultists are grumbling a bit or perhaps shaking your head in disagreement, but don't be too hasty. The fact of the matter is that God Almighty views rebellion against His Word in the same way He views witchcraft and idolatry. It's my hope that by the end of this post you will see that at the rotten root of the aforementioned groups, as well as their spiritually compromising compatriots in the word-faith community, is a man-centered non-gospel of deception. They have replaced a high and lofty view of God's revealed Word with a watered down, corrupted man centered perversion of their own demonic design.
This should come as little surprise because the reasoning powers of the unregenerate are under the curse of sin and death just like the body, soul, and spirit. Man's mind - his capability for intellectual reasoning - isn't exempt from the corruption and power of sin. Prior to the fall Adam had a perfect mind, and therefore his reasoning powers were also perfect - in fact he was for a time sinless. But despite his sinless perfection Adam found the world around him - his environment - unintelligible apart from God's special verbal revelation. Adam was the creation and God was the Creator. God had to explain to Adam where he came from, what his position was in the created order, what to eat - and what not to eat - and what his duties were. Bear in mind that at this point all the created order was in perfect sinless harmony with God's original design meaning that all nature literally screamed out with God's natural revelation - yet a perfect and sinless man with perfect and sinless reasoning powers - which were as of that point yet untainted with sin - still couldn't make sense of anything without God's special verbal revelation!
How much less should sinful men today place their trust in their own corrupted minds and take a high view of ourselves and a low view of God's special verbal revelation as preserved in the Holy Bible? God forbid! We as fallen and corrupted sinners ought to fall on our faces before the Infinite Creator and Judge of the universe and praise the Redeemer and Savior of men, Jesus Christ the Son of God as our Lord and Savior abandoning all in the service of and humble obedience to Him!
Yet those within the emergent, seeker sensitive, purpose driven and word faith movements would invert the nature and position of God and man. They would have men believe that God is ineffable, distant, mysterious and unknowable, or else they would have us believe that God is a senile doting old grandfather doddering around heaven seeking to fulfill the felt needs of his bratty malcontented children, or perhaps that God is desirous of saving men but is unable, that He sits enthroned upon His seat of majesty and glory in heaven wringing His hands and begging men to accept Him, or worse that He is an impersonal mechanistic divine slot machine Who - if one says the right words, formulated in the right ways, and confesses them correctly - will spill out "blessings" that "can't be contained" because God must be "faithful" to His words spoken (see positive confession) by sinful men. Yes, you should be thinking "witchcraft" by this point. Can God Almighty really be manipulated? Do these people even realize the damnable heresies and outright blasphemy they are espousing? In all cases they are trusting in themselves that they are righteous, building their houses on the shifting sands of good works and seeking after the temporal, carnal things of this world.
While appearing to be different at first glance, a deeper investigation reveals that these groups move almost as one, as if guided by an unseen hand, and let it be known that this IS NOT the hand of God nor is it the gentle guidance of the Holy Spirit. No, for if they were truly of God these groups would not be wallowing within their man-centered non-gospel theological cesspool.
Friends, there is a massive deception underway within the broader professing church that's leading countless millions of blinded and deceived adherents and hangers on down the broad path which leads to destruction. This is clearly the work of the enemy during these last days when the Spirit expressly testifies that men would become lovers of themselves and be given up by God to the reprobate lusts of their own perverse and desperately wicked hearts.
Father, may You continue to draw men unto salvation by the regeneration of Your Spirit. Lord, open our eyes to the rampant deception that's currently running amok within the modern, false, professing harlot church. I ask that you would guide those who are called by Your Holy Name into all truth, for You alone are The Way, The Truth, and The Life and there is no other name given whereby men must be saved but that of Jesus Christ. May Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. For it's in Jesus' Holy Name I pray, Amen.
Posted by Coram Deo at 7:10 PM
Monday, October 22, 2007
So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him. (1 Kings 19:19)
Okay this post is going to be a little off the beaten path - even for my blog - but I've been thinking recently about the OT practice of "passing one's mantle" - or anointing - on to a disciple, follower, son, etc.
Why is it that so many "Christian ministries" - so called -, whether they are the mega-million dollar enterprises like Osteen's Lakewood Church, Billy Graham Ministries, John Hagee's Cornerstone Church, and Robert Shiller's Crystal Cathedral - or be they small time, small town country churches - seem to be run like a family business? Many churches are operated as though they were the family used car dealership, and upon closer comparison the houses of praise are often seen to be even less reputable than their pre-owned automotive counterparts.
Oftentimes Auntie Rose and Uncle Bob are the church treasurers. In the case of Osteen's Lakewood Church in contravention to scripture the wife is the "co-pastor" - or should that be co-pastrix? - and the business is handed down from father to son (or to the daughter who retains her maiden name in some bizarre hybridized hyphenated fashion) so that the "family" can retain their meal-ticket. Isn't this how the mafia operates?
What gives? Is this the manner in which Christ's church is to function in accordance with scripture? Isn't this just blatant, rank nepotism and a shameless exhibition of the lowest form of financial expediency? It's like some sort of bizarre, deranged, yet legally sanctioned Ponzi scheme wherein the pastor and his staff become enriched while the congregation, well..."Gawd has a wunnerful plah-yun fer yer life"...I guess they're getting exactly what they deserve, and precisely what they're paying for.
But I digress. Seriously folks, is the NT church designed or encouraged to make pastors of the sons of pastors, or are pastors called by God Almighty? Is the church of Christ the construct of men, or is it the effectual outworking of the power of God?
As you can probably tell by this point I'm more than a bit dubious about the latter days priesthood of the professing church and their nasty little predilection for nepotistic mantle passing.
Posted by Coram Deo at 8:30 PM
I came across an excellent piece over at Mike Ratliff's Possessing the Treasure blog. In just a few well tuned paragraphs Mike lays out the sad state of the last days professing church and explains its accompanying godlessness as revealed in the Holy Writ.
Do yourself a favor and read Mike's essay entitled "Godlessness in the Last Days".
Below is the comment I left in response to the article:
A truly devastating expose, Mike. This is precisely the condition of the current professing (false) church, and its tentacles are reaching literally to every corner of the globe.
With all the purpose driven madness, emergent confusion, and ecumenical harlotry sweeping the doctrinally desolate landscape of modern church-ianity it's little wonder we see so many sheep being led to the slaughter.
The enemy is certainly doing everything within his power to rend Christ's little flock. Perhaps most disturbing though are the common threads which are so easily seen to be interwoven throughout these seemingly disparate movements.
All the aforementioned groups plus their word-faith and other sundry aberrant, unorthodox compatriots are leading the charge toward a new age, mystical, occultic unified faith structure which they in their fevered high-noon fantasies believe is required to usher in God's kingdom on earth.
In their furtive, desperate efforts to return to Eden they utterly fail to discern that they're dancing to the devil's tune and rejecting the faith that was once and for all delivered unto the saints.
Pray up, speak up, and look up because the coming of the Lord is surely nigh, even at the door.
Posted by Coram Deo at 8:22 PM
Sunday, October 21, 2007
This is the year where we as solid bible believing Christians are going to start seeing the intolerance grow towards us more and more. Can you guess where the majority of these attacks will come from? The mainstream churches.
One of the most surprising predictions was made several decades ago by one of my favorite pastors, J Vernon McGee. He predicted that true believers - even here in America - will eventually have to go "underground." But he also added...
"The attacks against them will come from the denominational churches"
Source: The Coming Extremists
Have you noticed it? Have you noticed how the apostatizing, doctrinally illiterate, unity-at-all-costs professing churches are increasingly focused on "reconciliation" between the denominations and how eager many within the "leadership" of these ecumenical movements are to part ways with sound doctrine in order to foster a false temporal "peace" among the visible churches?
Don't you find it interesting, even troubling, that seemingly disparate yet highly influential individuals such as the Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Ken Blanchard, Richard Foster, Tony Jones, Dan Kimball, Doug Pagitt, Erwin McManus, Leonard Sweet, Robert Schuller and Brian McLaren who represent the entire spectrum of seeker sensitive, purpose driven and emergent/emerging churches are basically saying - and teaching - the exact same sorts of things?
They seek to establish Christ's kingdom on earth.
They speak of a "return to Eden".
They espouse a man-centered gospel message.
They often speak of "new frontiers", "changing times", "new spirituality".
They often recommend mystical, occultic practices such as lecto divinia, prayer centering, breath prayers, the labyrinth, meditation, and yoga.
Friends, New Age mysticism and outright occultism has deeply infected the broader professing church. Doctrines of demons are taught from pulpits, books, podcasts and the internet at an astonishing rate. Children are being indoctrinated into and exploited by these shameless wolves in sheep's clothing as they are introduced to mystical practices such as contemplative prayer and centering at the pre-school level. The enemy is no fool and he well knows the best way to corrupt entire societies is to corrupt their children.
Today's wolves who are ravenously rending Christ's little flock can be found smiling for the camera and posing with rich and famous, the powerful and influential, of this world as they go about teaching damnable heresies and perverting the Word of God for their own fleshly gain.
More interesting still is how these false teachers all move, as if guided by an unseen hand, toward the same goal: unity. They ask the age old question why can't we all just get along?.
"We have more in common than we realize", they say.
"Let's put aside our doctrinal differences work together for the good of Christ and to advance His kingdom" they say.
"Let's feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and help the poor" they suggest.
It all sounds so warm and fuzzy, after all what type of Christian could really refuse to feed the hungry, or put aside a few doctrinal "differences" in order to reach out to poor indigent children who are living a hellish existence in some third world country? Who wouldn't want to see these goals achieved? Why, they'd have to be evil, they'd have to be stubborn, they'd have to be crazy fundamentalists, they'd have to be Christian extremists to stand in the way of the Lord's plan for His church!
Yes, those who believe the fundamentals of the Christian faith are fundamentalists. Is that a bad thing? Is it improper to fundamentally follow the tenants of the Christan faith? Is it wrong to adhere to the Word of God with unflinching loyalty, even in the face of so-called reasonable compromise? Everyone else is doing it..."yea hath God said?"...can you hear the hiss?
If there's one thing lacking in the Body of Christ today it's discernment, and if there's one thing that isn't lacking it's compromise. Today's professing church is wide and shallow. It's a big tent that welcomes everyone who doesn't flatly and plainly reject anything and everything about the Bible, and even outright denial of the faith won't necessarily exclude you from having a best-selling book at a Christian bookstore.
Consider the following quotes from authors who are readily available from LifeWay Stores courtesy of Lighthouse Trails Research:
Ken Blanchard "Buddha points to the path and invites us to begin our journey to enlightenment. I ... invite you to begin your journey to enlightened work." (Blanchard) foreword What Would Buddha Do At Work?
Thomas Keating/Basil Pennington "For the centering prayer practitioner, regular practice of "contemplative" prayer sets in motion a dynamism of "divine psychotherapy, organically designed for each of us, to empty out our unconscious ... As this false self is dismantled, we come to see our true Self, the center of which, so say proponents, is God." (Keating) "[I] n centering prayer we go beyond thought and image, beyond the senses and the rational mind, to that center of our being where God is working a wonderful work, just sitting there, doing nothing. Not even thinking some worthwhile thoughts or making some good resolutions-just being." (Pennington)
Richard Foster "Deep within us all there is an amazing inner sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center" Chapter two -Quote by Thomas Kelly from Richard Foster's book, Streams of Living Water
Tony Jones "Emergent doesn't have a position on absolute truth, or on anything for that matter. Do you show up at a dinner party with your neighbors and ask, 'What's this dinner party's position on absolute truth?' No, you don't, because it's a non-sensical question." (Jones)
Dan Kimball "We have neglected so many of the disciplines of the historical church [e.g.,Desert Fathers], including weekly fasting, practicing silence, and lectio divina." (Kimball) The Emerging Church
Doug Pagitt "When people discover we are a church with a yoga class ... they sometimes assume that we're simply out to appeal to the cultural creatives and the neo-hippies." (Pagitt) Reimagining Spiritual Formation
Erwin McManus "The Barbarian Way was, in some sense, trying to create a volatile fuel to get people to step out and act. It's pretty hard to get a whole group of people moving together as individuals who are stepping into a more mystical, faith-oriented, dynamic kind of experience with Christ. So, I think Barbarian Way was my attempt to say, 'Look, underneath what looks like invention, innovation and creativity is really a core mysticism that hears from God, and what is fueling this is something really ancient.' That's what was really the core of The Barbarian Way. (McManus)
Brother Lawrence "It is said of Brother Lawrence that when something had taken his mind away from love's presence he would receive 'a reminder from God' that so moved his soul that he 'cried out, singing and dancing violently like a mad man.' You will note that the reminders came from God and were not his own doing." (quotes by Brother Lawrence, from The Practice of the Presence of God, 1977, HarperCollins )
Leonard Sweet "The power of small groups is in their ability to develop the discipline to get people 'in-phase' with the Christ consciousness and connected with one another." (Sweet)
Rick Warren "Who's the man of peace in any village - or it might be a woman of peace - who has the most respect, they're open and they're influential? They don't have to be a Christian. In fact, they could be a Muslim, but they're open and they're influential and you work with them to attack the five giants. And that's going to bring the second Reformation." (Warren)
Mark Yaconelli"1.Choose a sacred word or phrase 2. Consistently use the same word throughout the prayer. 3. Begin silently to repeat your sacred word or phrase." (Yaconelli)
Spencer Burke "I stopped reading from the approved evangelical reading list and began to distance myself from the evangelical agenda. I discovered new authors and new voices at the bookstore-Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen and St. Teresa of Avila. The more I read, the more intrigued I became. Contemplative spirituality seemed to open up a whole new way for me to understand and experience God. I was deeply moved by works like The Cloud of Unknowing, The Dark Night of the Soul and the Early Writings of the Desert Fathers." (Burke)
All of the mentioned names above promote mystical meditation and contemplative spirituality.
My advice for those out there who are still clinging steadfastly to the revealed Word of God, who refuse to join the crowds as demonic pied pipers lead countless myriads of souls down the broad way that leads to destruction is after having done all to stand, stand upon God's eternal and unchanging truth as revealed in the Holy Bible. Oh, and fasten your seatbelts - spiritualy speaking - because I think we're going to be in for a bumpy ride.
He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. (Revelation 3:5)
Posted by Coram Deo at 2:26 PM
Saturday, October 20, 2007
by Joel R. Beeke
Here are some suggestions to help you establish God-honoring Family Worship in your homes. We trust this avoids two extremes: an idealistic approach that is beyond the reach of even the most God-fearing home, and a minimalist approach that abandons daily Family Worship because the ideal seems so out of reach.
HAT TIP: Hope in Laodicea
Posted by Coram Deo at 10:03 PM
You might be surprised to find an article with a such a title at a Christian blog, but I for one am convinced that the modern professing church is among the largest mission fields in the world today.
Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. (John 4:35)
Today's professing church is filled with unbelievers who live under the satanic deception that they are saved. They have believed the lie that by repeating the so called "sinner's prayer" they have been miraculously translated from darkness into light. They sincerely think God's holy justice against their sins is remitted by saying a few words and perhaps getting dunked in a tank of tap water during Wednesday evening service. Is this the gospel of Jesus Christ? Does heaven really beckon with arms wide open to whosoever shall repeat a few words and wade through a baptismal? Is this the unmerited grace of God or is it Satan's grandest deception?
In case you haven't noticed the hard commands of Christ are largely ignored by vast swaths of the modern professing church. The barren, desolate landscape of modern church-ianity is littered with theological shipwrecks and so-called places of worship that ought to have ICHABOD stenciled above the main entrance because the Glory of the Lord has left there. Today's church is a "what about me?" church, an emotional-subjective experience based on sentimental theology which revolves around self.
How do I feel about the music?
How do the other congregants treat me?
How well do my children like the kid's program?
How engaging and likable is the pastor and his staff?
How can the message be applied to my personal situation?
Is the message relevant to my personal life?
Are my felt needs being met?
Is there a good balance of praise and worship and preaching?
Is the service too long?
How does the congregation dress, what types of vehicles are in the parking lot, and is the church in a "good" part of town?
The churches that actually waste time thinking about these types of issues and bother with putting forth the effort - and dollar$ - to diligently to address them are more than likely sending the majority of their flock home each week singing of a heaven they'll never see and hearing of a Jesus who will rebuke and deny them on Judgment Day. I seriously question the godliness of the leadership of these rock-show laser-light sensory circus churches in the light of inspired scripture.
Most false professing Christians will operate under the deception that they are "saved" and will therefore be surprised - and likely offended - when a true spiritually regenerated Christian begins to witness the Christ of scripture to them. Their offense will be a "tell" for the true Christian to recognize that he is in fact witnessing to a deceived unbeliever (a tare, goat, or wolf in sheep's clothing). Remember it's not only average churchgoers who are walking under deception, in just as many cases pastors, elders, deacons and others within the ranks of church leadership are also massively deceived unbelievers as can be seen by the myriad pulpit pimps and outright heretics who lead the emergent, seeker sensitive, purpose driven and word-faith church movements. It's important to realize that many of these blind followers of the blind will be deeply indoctrinated into their cultish church fellowship, thus their peculiar form of religion is an integral part of their lives. As such you will be witnessing the devastating truth of the Christ of scripture to a person whose worldview has been corrupted and reinforced against the truth of the Bible. It will often be seen that their true loyalty is to their church, denomination, pastor or whatever idol holds their faith as opposed to an unwavering loyalty to Christ alone.
Jesus Christ is the truth (John 14:6)
His word is truth (John 14:6)
Jesus Christ came to testify to the truth (John 18:37)
Every religious leader must be held accountable to Scriptural authority (Acts 17:11)
Other than Jesus Christ no man is infallible (Galatians 2:11-14)
Church tradition, denominational teachings or the doctrines of man must never suppress the authority of God's Word (Mark 7:7-13, Colossians 2:8)
God's revealed Word is His testimony to the fact that He alone is the ultimate authority in all things. God is the Ultimate Ultimate. His word is infallible, unchanging, and completely authoritative. This is the second point that will cause the false professing Christian to stumble because today's modern churches preach a watered down, candy coated pseudo-gospel message and espouse a perverse Nerf theology that's focus group tested and proven not to offend. Offense, division and a lack of unity are anathema to the professing Christian. Sadly they would rather offend the Infinite Creator and Judge of the universe by re-crucifying His Son than offend men and be ostracised, castigated or shunned for hurting someone's feelings. What about offending God Almighty? What about compromising His Word? What about relegating His Son to a position subordinate to our own personal wills and feelings?
Friends, when it comes to the eternal trajectory of men's souls our feelings don't matter, other people's feelings don't matter; all that matters is Christ crucified, dead, buried, and resurrected faithfully and fully proclaimed.
The major question to resolve in establishing Biblical authority is "How is sinful man justified before a Holy God?", or to put it another way "In what or whom do you trust for the destiny of your eternal soul?". Ultimately men must either trust in the One True Living God for their salvation or trust in themselves, there's no other option. And there's no salvation apart from the Almighty therefore all those who trust in themselves (or in a few words they muttered once during an emotional upheaval) are damned.
Establishing Biblical Terms
This is an area where many aspiring apologists become ensnared because the false professing Christians think they believe the truth. They'll quote scripture and they'll use Biblical terms, but because of their wholesale deception they will have radically redefined the meanings of the those terms and perverted the interpretation of scripture as a means to justify themselves and their carnality.
Words like justification, sin, atonement, repentance, salvation, eternal life, heaven, hell, forgiveness, righteousness - even the meaning of the word "sinner" - will have radically different meanings for the true Christian than for the false Christian. On the one hand God is the justifier and sanctifier of those who are called by His name, and on the other hand sinful men aspire to achieve status or righteousness before God based on their own merits - their "good works".
Think about this question for a moment; Are you a Christian? If you answered in the affirmative are you a Christian because of God's will, or are you a Christian because you chose to be (i.e. because of your will)? Did God choose you, or did you choose God? Did God accept you, or did you accept God? Why are you a Christian while many of your friends, family members and neighbors are not? Did you choose better than they? Why? Is it because you're smarter, better, or more righteous than they are, or is it because God Almighty for His own glory, and by His own good pleasure sought you out and saved you by His Son Jesus Christ? Is salvation of you or is it of Christ? Is salvation wrought of God or is it wrought of men? Did Christ die for those He was unable to save? Is He the sovereign and personal God of all creation Who is able to fully save those who His Father gives unto Him, or is He an impotent beggar wringing His hands in heaven, helplessly pleading for men to accept Him and His ineffable gift of eternal life? What is your concept of God?
Establish the BAD NEWS
Most false professing Christians will tend to measure on God's grace, mercy and love. Now don't get me wrong, these are absolutely accurate and wonderful attributes of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the One True Living God. He IS LOVE. His mercy and grace are most poignantly displayed on the cross and in the truth that Christ died for us while we were His enemies.
But the bad news is that God's holy justice, absolute righteousness and hatred of sin demands punishment when His law is broken and the penalty is death. Eternal death. Eternal punishment in death (Romans 6:23). The second death is eternal hell fire where the unredeemed will pay eternally for their sins (Revelation 20:14). Unbelievers must be told that they are hopelessly doomed without Jesus Christ so that by God's grace they can see their need for a Savior.
Establish the Gospel
The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been badly distorted, maligned, misunderstood and miscommunicated by the modern professing church. The modern false church paints a picture of Jesus as some platitude spouting long-haired hippie Who just wants to give you a big hug and punch your "get out of hell free" card before you kick the bucket and go to meet the "Big Guy upstairs". Of course this is a damnable lie from the pit of hell.
The Gospel of grace is that Christ's perfect and finished sacrifice on the cross is wholly sufficient to impute His righteousness upon sinful men who trust solely in Him as their Lord and Savior. Christ traded His sinlessness and right standing before God for our sinfulness and wrong standing before God in order that His righteousness might be justly imputed to sinful men allowing guilt ridden sinners to stand justified before and reconciled unto God Almighty by His perfect sacrifice - His substitution - on our behalf. This is the atoning work of Christ. He made atonement for us, fully and completely satisfying God's holy justice - which sin demands - on our behalf. We couldn't do it. We were lost and without hope. He did it for us.
No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (John 10:18)
Establish Christ's Offer
At this point it's important to extend Christ's offer - His "package deal" - to the person(s) to whom you are witnessing. These are concepts that might be intellectually recognizable to the false Christian, but which will in truth be totally foreign to him. Christ's offer is the complete forgiveness of sins, the imputation of His perfect righteousness and full assurance of eternal life with Him. In all likelihood the false professing Christian will have been deceived on at least one, if not all, of these points.
The true Christian will inevitably find that false Christians, not unlike cultists, hold some of God's promises in unbelief, or have subconsciously rejected, suppressed, or opposed them in some form. False Christians are in bondage to their sinful religion which says they must earn something from God, they must do something to please God, or that they must abstain from something to maintain their standing before God. This is justification by works - idolatry - and no man will be justified before God by his good works.
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isaiah 64:6)
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:13-15)
It's important to impress upon those in unbelief that their names will only be found written in the book of life if they have been miraculously born-again by the regeneration of the Spirit of God by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. This is the meaning of being truly "saved".
Establish the Need for Repentance
Grace by faith is the one and only way God saves sinners and, as previously mentioned, anyone who tries to earn something from God by works is found to reject and nullify God's unmerited gift of grace. It's important to reinforce to false professing Christians that they come to Jesus with empty hands and with nothing to offer but a wretched sinful life.
The Bible Must Undergird All
Most importantly those who would be effective witnesses for the Lord of Glory must always use the Word of God. It is by hearing the Word which is living, powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword that men are drawn unto salvation. It has pleased God to save sinners through the "foolishness" of preaching the gospel. He makes those who are wise in their own conceit to become as fools, and He makes those who are foolish to be wise through His revelation knowledge and the effectual working of His Spirit within them.
Let the Bible speak for itself. Inasmuch as it's possible avoid using your own analogies and words because they are powerless. Ask the false professing Christians to read select scriptures out loud and ask them what it means to them. Ask them for their testimony and how it lines up with scripture. By substituting scripture for your own words you are removed from the middle of the apologetic and you place the unbeliever into contention with God's Word directly, and none can effectively gainsay the Almighty. Another good way to get to the root of their belief structure is to ask them how they hope to enter heaven. If they give an unscriptural answer ask them if they'd like to know the only way to heaven as revealed in the Holy Bible, the very Bible they claim to rely upon. If they say yes then faithfully lay out the truth of Christ crucified, the singular truth of the ages, and pray that God might open their eyes and draw them into a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Posted by Coram Deo at 3:36 PM
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
It seems that some of my recent posts exposing the truth about T.D. Jakes have struck a nerve with one Dr. Pamela Y. O'Guinn. By her own report, and in violation of scripture, Dr. O'Guinn is a self-proclaimed "pastor/minister" and is clearly someone who blindly follows - and gladly prostrates herself before - the deceitful wolf in sheep's clothing T.D. Jakes. In the midst of her confession of blind adoration and perverse man-worship of "The Bishop" the deranged doctor even goes so far in her fevered high-noon fantasies as to compare Jakes with Christ Himself, replete with crucifixion imagery no less! I must say that I've rarely seen such a shameless display of spiritual harlotry in all of my days.
Obviously little more needs to be said to conclusively demonstrate that this sad, deceived, and unrepentantly sinful woman has long since parted ways with the orthodox Christian faith and embraced pagan idolatry in the form of the golden calf - or perhaps more accurately the "goose that lays the golden eggs" - worship of word-faith mogul and Trinity denying modalist heretic T.D. Jakes.
To be quite honest I'm more than a bit surprised that Dr. O'Guinn has seemingly managed to avoid the copious documentation about Jakes' manifold errors prior to stumbling upon the truth at my simple and humble blog since literally legions of Christ's truth soldiers before me have cataloged Jakes' unorthodox, aberrant, and outright heretical teachings. Therefore as a service to Christ and His church I've decided to compile a brief list of links to make it as easy as possible - even for those like Dr. O'Guinn who would suppress the truth in unrighteousness and prefer a lie over the truth - to have an opportunity to read the facts about T.D. Jakes for themselves.
Living in the aftermath of the great evangelical disaster - Pyromaniacs
Spiritual Pathways Ministries T.D. Jakes archive
T.D. Jakes is Number One of The Top Fifty Most Influential Christians of 2005 - Steve Camp
T.D. Jakes - False Preacher/Teacher - Forgotten Word Ministries
T.D. Jakes is a Spiritual Coward - Apprising Ministries
Keeping You Apprised Of: T.D. Jakes On the Trinity - Apprising Ministries
The Trinity Refused or Confused - Let Us Reason
Oneness Pentecostals - Department of Christian Defense
Posted by Coram Deo at 5:15 PM
by John MacArthur
As always, a war is being waged against the truth. We are on one side or the other. There is no middle ground--no safe zone for the uncommitted. Lately the question of truth itself--what it is and whether we can truly know it at all--has become one of the major points of contention. We also happen to be living in a generation when many so-called Christians have no taste for conflict and contention. Multitudes of biblically and doctrinally malnourished Christians have come to think of controversy as something that should always be avoided, whatever the cost. Sadly, that is what many weak pastors have modeled for them.
Controversy and conflict in the church are never to be relished or engaged in without sufficient cause. But in every generation, the battle for the truth has proved ultimately unavoidable, because the enemies of truth are relentless. Truth is always under assault. And it is actually a sin not to fight when vital truths are under attack.
That is true even though fighting sometimes results in conflict within the visible community of professing Christians. In fact, whenever the enemies of gospel truth succeed in infiltrating the church, faithful believers are obliged to take the battle to them even there. That is certainly the case today, as it has been since apostolic times. ...
When we stand before the judgment seat of Christ, believers from this generation will not be able to justify their apathy by complaining that the strife of conflict over truth just seemed "too negative" for the kind of culture we lived in--or that the issues were "merely doctrinal" and therefore not worth the effort.
Remember, Christ rebuked the churches in Revelation 2 - 3 who had tolerated false teachers in their midst (2:14-16;20-23). He expressly commended the Ephesian church for examining the claims of certain false apostles and exposing them as liars (2:2). Churches have a clear duty to guard the faith against false teachers who infiltrate. Christ Himself demands it.
At the same time, we need to notice carefully that a polemical defense of the faith by no means guarantees a healthy church, much less a healthy individual Christian. Christ also rebuked the doctrinally sound Ephesians for departing from their first love (Revelation 2:4). As vital as it is for us to enlist in the Truth War and do battle for our faith, it is even more important to remember why we are fighting--not merely for the thrill of vanquishing some foe or winning some argument, but out of a genuine love for Christ, who is the living, breathing embodiment of all that we hold true and worth fighting for.
From: Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception
HAT TIP: Old Truth
Posted by Coram Deo at 5:10 PM
Saturday, October 13, 2007
T. D. Jakes grew up in a Oneness Pentecostal denomination which denies the essential Christian doctrine of the Trinity [The Oneness Pentecostal denomination was declared a heresy by the Assemblies of God when it took organizational form in 1917]. When asked by Christian leaders to clarify if he believes in the Trinity [As defined in the Athanasian Creed] he will not clear up this matter. He refuses to give a clear answer as to what he means by "manifestations" when referring to the Trinity.
Jakes lives with wife Serita and their five children in a Dallas mansion, complete with an indoor swimming pool and bowling alley...And while some accuse Jakes of being driven by the dollar and not the divine - his transportation stable consists of a Mercedes-Benz, a Bentley, a BMW, a Lexus and a jet...Indeed, during MegaFest's kickoff, Jakes mentioned his sponsors more than he mentioned God. During the worship service, dozens of Potter's House ushers sprinted throughout the Georgia Dome, collecting purple duffel bags full of money and checks made out to T.D. Jakes Enterprises...The pastor says his income comes from his media enterprises, not from church tithes. And he dismisses such questions as having racist overtones.
(Building an empire to empower, T.D. Jakes may lead a Dallas mega-church, but that's not all he does. By Annette John-Hall, Inquirer Staff Writer, Philadelphia Inquirer posted August 22, 2005)
The Jakeses and their five children live in a 9,689-square-foot mansion on White Rock Lake, appraised at more than $3.3 million. He loves to shop and wears exquisitely tailored suits and expensive shoes. He owns a jet. "Anybody who has sold 8 million books shouldn't have to justify why they live in a nice house," Bishop Jakes said.
(T. D. Jakes, Fort Wayne.Com, "Preacher extends his reach with film, but some fault posh lifestyle")
Note: That may be true for an unbeliever, but what about for a man of the cloth living in a multi-million dollar house? Dr. J. Vernon McGee has well said, "Whenever you find a minister who is rich, watch out. Folk are not supposed to get rich in the ministry," Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:8-10, page 117.
"I drive a: Lexus and Bentley"
(T. D. Jakes, Fort Wayne.Com, "Preacher extends his reach with film, but some fault posh lifestyle")
Note: On the Bentley Motors website here is a sample of prices for used Bentleys (Model year then price): 1) 2003--$185,000 2) 2005--$175,000 3) 2000--$159,000 4) 2002-- $279,000 5) 2004--$239,000.
“I think that Jesus is the product,” says author and televangelist T.D. Jakes, who is currently bishop at The Potters House, a primarily African-American Pentecostal church in Dallas. “When the product is excellent, it doesn't require a big sales pitch.”
(MSNBC News, "Do God and money mix?" March 31, 2005)
Note: Jesus is a product? Jesus is Lord of lords and Kings of kings--the creator of all things. Jesus is not a 'product' nor should He be compared to one.
“Scripture teaches that receiving Christ as your personal Savior does not necessarily make you a son of God, but if you choose to do so, the power (authority) and right to do so is present. ... Just being saved does not make you a son of God, ...only those who are willing to be led by the Spirit actually realize and manifest the sonship of God.”
(T.D. Jakes, "The Harvest," pg. 46-47. PFO Quarterly Journal Article)
"The one and only prophetess Juanita Bynum will be with us tonight...We're blessed because of you. We're blessed because of your ministry. We're blessed because God has raised up that voice...We thank God for this woman of God...Give God praise for prophetess Juanita Bynum...She has Revelation Knowledge from the Lord."
(T. D. Jakes, "TBN," July 6, 2004. Describing false prophet Juanita Bynum to the world)
He refers to immoral, lustful and sinful thinking as merely “little boy thoughts.”
(T.D. Jakes, "Loose That Man and Let Him Go," pg. 5. PFO Quarterly Journal Article)
Jakes refers to an adulterous man as a “frightened little boy” and a wife beater as a “terrified little boy.”
(Jakes, "Loose That Man," pg. 123-124. PFO Quarterly Journal Article)
He states that, "because the teachers in Jesus’ day listened to Him as a child it boosted His self-esteem."
(Jakes, "Loose That Man," pg. 3. PFO Quarterly Journal Article)
Jakes mentions that he purchased (for all the men in his organization) subscriptions to the secular GQ Magazine to help them learn about manhood.
(Jakes, "Loose That Man," pg. 42. PFO Quarterly Journal Article)
"...Timely and riveting..."
(T. D. Jakes, Endorsing Paul Crouch's Book, "Shadow of the Apocalypse.")
Note: Paul Crouch's new book on prophecy (The Shadow of the Apocalypse) is filled with bible codes.
He appeared at Mega Fest 2004 with; Creflo Dollar, Juanita Bynum, Joyce Meyer, Bishop Eddie Long, and Paula White.
T.D Jakes played this clip of Creflo Dollar on his show on May 24, 2004. He called Creflo one of "God's finest." Creflo teaches that Christians are gods. He also says that Christians are not sinners and that Jesus did not come as God or perfect. He also teaches that it is blasphemy if you don't believe that Christians are gods.
Note: Creflo Dollar mocks people that humbly bow their head in reverence and mourn over their sins in view of God's absolute holiness. Jesus himself commends people that mourn over their sins in their prayers (See Luke 18:9-14).
HAT TIP: Forgotten Word Ministries
Posted by Coram Deo at 9:10 PM
It would seem my short piece entitled Heretics of a Feather struck a nerve with one of the followers of word-faith espousing, Oneness Pentecostal, Trinity denying, false teacher T.D. Jakes. As is often the case the truth seemed to hit a little too close to home for Dr. Pamela Y. O'Guinn.
In response to my article I received the following comment from the aforementioned self-proclaimed adherent of Jakes' false gospel:
It is evident in your blatant attack of every Christian Pastor that you could think of signifies that you yourself have a dislike of anything that is Holy! Or maybe have some strange vendetta to exact against some of God's great leaders.
People have no relationship with God or always apt to believe that everyone else is corrupt when it's actually some area of lack in their lives. Yes, unfortunately there are some people who use the Church and their pulpits to mislead and steal money from believers, but that isn't the case with every Pastor. There are many true men and women of God trying to incorporate positive changes into a "Sin sick " society.
I'm a Minister/Pastor of the Potter's House in Dallas where Bishop T.D. Jakes is the Sr. Pastor as well as God's Tabernacle of Praise in Keller, Texas and I can tell you that the type of person you describe doesn't come close to describing Bishop Jakes. I too have encountered those types of Pastor's and believe me I recognize them a mile away and I steer clear of them always.
Sometimes we are overly critical of things, and people that we have no actual knowledge of or no nothing about. Maybe, we should have take a little bit more time to investigate or learn about who and what it is that we speak about before we open our mouths and embarrass ourselves. So I ask you this; What personal experience have you had with any of the individuals that you have spoken so disrespectfully about?
Because from the tone of your little article I would say that with a friend like you the Satan sure is spewing nonsense about some of Gods' chosen vessels to try and steer people astray!
Dr. Pamela O'Guinn | 10.13.07 - 4:31 pm | #
I suppose it's only fair that I respond point by point to the typically false accusations which emanate so frequently from members of the false professing church who "professing themselves to be wise, (they) became fools." (Romans 1:22).
Firstly I don't attack every Christian pastor that I can think of, rather in submission to the revealed Word of God I am exposing and reproving the works of darkness as commanded in Ephesians 5:11. Let it be clearly stated and known to all that T.D. Jakes cannot simultaneously be a true Christian and deny the Trinity, nor can anyone else for that matter. This is an absurd impossibility which even the most spiritually immature Bible believing Christian should be able to discern. T.D. Jakes denies the Trinity and thus is an unbeliever. This remains a sad fact no matter how much one's flesh might appreciate his oratory or admire the works of his so-called "ministry". With this in mind it should be crystal clear that not only am I not "attacking every Christian pastor that I can think of" in my article, in reality I'm not attacking any Christian pastors whatsoever since none of the names I mentioned could possibly be true Christian pastors based upon their own well publicized, clearly articulated, aberrant, and heretical beliefs (not to mention that, like the commenter, some of these same self-proclaimed "pastors" are women, and women are Biblically disqualified from becoming pastors).
In her second misguided paragraph the good Dr. plays a game of ad hominem and then finds herself on the horns of the logical fallacy known as begging the question by insinuating that I'm corrupt in my reasoning due to a lack of relationship with God. Interestingly enough, no evidence or examples to support this straw man argument are presented, rather it's just a blanket assertion which does nothing but prove the good Dr. failed to pay attention in her rhetoric classes since she apparently misses the amusing fact that her blind and clumsy assertion whirls back upon her own head like a spiritual boomerang. Surely she should be able to see that her false accusation against me is equally applicable to herself? No? Hmmm...maybe that's why she's attached herself to a false teacher who tickles her itching ears? Just an observation.
Not contented with merely one absurdly illogical and baseless broadside our brave yet misguided commenter presses onward. After identifying herself as a "Pastor / Minister" - which as previously noted is an office no woman is Biblically qualified to hold - the good Dr. dives directly into a diatribe about people being "overly critical of things and people that we have no actual knowledge of or no *sic* nothing about. Now this is rich so please allow me to break this one down for you in just case you missed it: almost unbelievably after a direct frontal assault on my Christian character and inferring that I don't have a relationship with the Almighty, the good Dr. begins to upbraid those who are critical of things of which they lack knowledge! The hubris and lack of introspection on display here is simply breathtaking. To be quite honest I'm not sure I've ever seen such a ham-handed effort condensed into only four paragraphs. And to think that before now I sometimes found myself wondering who is supporting and financing all these false teachers?!? I guess now I have my answer, it's people like Dr. Pamela Y. O'Guinn.
I have some friendly advice for you Dr. O'Guinn, never respond when you're angry. Anger tends to cloud our ability to think and communicate clearly, therefore when we respond in anger we often find ourselves eating crow. And on a related note, sinful pride is a dangerous thing.
A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame. (Proverbs 12:16)
In her closing volley the good Dr. completely parts ways with reality by issuing a steady stream of snide derisions which are intended to ridicule, dismiss and cloud the fact that T.D. Jakes is a Oneness Pentecostal heretic. Strangely the good Dr. actually attempts to frame me as one of Satan's little helpers who is determined to "steer people astray"! This may be the most bizarre and nonsensical portion of her entire screeching screed since she is in effect stating that those who point out that T.D. Jakes is a Trinity denying heretic - which is an indisputable fact - are somehow guilty of "spewing nonsense". Is it really nonsense to warn people who are being deceived by an unbeliever who masks himself as a Christian pastor? Does it result in the advancement or the detriment of God's Kingdom when people are told the truth? Which benefits more from sounding the warning about false teachers within the professing church, the kingdom of heaven or the pit of hell? Ponder it.
It's clear from revealed scripture that there will be many false teachers who seduce many followers in the last days by the preaching of another gospel. The gospel of health, wealth and temporal blessing proclaimed by the word-faith, positive-confession heretics is precisely such a gospel. These are they who follow Christ because of what they believe He can do for their bellies and wallets; they chase after the lusts of their flesh and drizzle a little Jesus on top to keep up with appearances. These have turned the gospel upside down and made heaven out to be a paradise with arms wide open, ready to receive the multitudes while hell is a place that - if they even speak of it - is nearly impossible to stumble into.
For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:11)
For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. (Mark 13:22)
Yet the true gospel message is one of death to self, complete abandonment of the cares of this world and a taking up of the cross daily to follow after our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The cross of Christ is a cruel instrument of death. It's covered in blood and gore and represents the death of self and life unto Him.
Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? (John 6:60)
From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. (John 6:66)
A true Christian is willing, even eager, to give up his temporal pleasures, his family, even his own life if required by His Lord in order to gain that Pearl of Great Price, the kingdom of heaven which is entered through Christ alone. This is the true gospel of Jesus Christ, and there be few who - by the unmerited grace of God alone - find it.
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:14)
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:23)
Posted by Coram Deo at 2:29 PM
Friday, October 12, 2007
Just for kicks and giggles I conducted a simple Google search for "Paula White" to see which related searches would appear on the world's most powerful search engine, and guess what I discovered?
If you guessed "More heretics than you can shake a stick at" then you're correct! Go ahead and try it for yourself and see what you get when you search for the deceiving, divorcing, "pastrix" Paula White.
I'm confident you'll see the same sad parade of word faith shilling, pulpit pimping, positive confession teaching, false prophesying, Oneness Pentecostal Trinity denying, bottom feeding, doctrines of demon espousing posers that I saw.
Names like: T.D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer, Juanita Bynum, Benny Hinn, Eddie Long, Creflo Dollar, Darlene Bishop, and of course their den of thieves sanctuary, TBN (The Blasphemy Network).
With friends like those the gospel doesn't need enemies.
Posted by Coram Deo at 7:13 PM
Thursday, October 11, 2007
A Slice of Laodicea Flashback
I've graciously received permission from Ingrid Schlueter to reproduce Slice archives here at Absolute Dominion, therefore from time to time I'll be devoting space to highlights from both the original Slice site, and the more recent effort which was sadly lost due to web hosting debacle.
So sit back and enjoy as Absolute Dominion humbly presents selected Slice posts from a who's who procession of Biblically sound Christian thinkers representing the Christian blogosphere including the likes of: Pastor Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries and Christian Research Net, Jim Bublitz of Old Truth, and Ingrid Schlueter of VCY America and Slice of Laodicea.
Posted by Ingrid on November 6, 2006 @ 10:09 AM
Scottish preacher Robert Murray M'Cheyne was only 30 when he died. Thirty is now considered an extended part of adolescence. Pastors twenty years older than that today show up at church in their jeans and t-shirts and speak of self-esteem, sexual enhancement and personal fulfillment from the pulpit. M'Cheyne took his role as shepherd far more seriously than that. The power of his ministry was found in his reliance on God and his prayer life. That's why we're still reading his sermons 170 years later.
M'Cheyne dared to preach on the doctrine of hell, not as some metaphorical construct as the emerging gurus are doing, but as a literal place of eternal torment, just as Christ repeatedly warned. Imagine how this sermon would go over at the average American entertainment-oriented megachurch today. Most would head for the doors within two minutes and the handful left would be in spiritual repentance and revival. If we really believe in a literal hell, shouldn't it have an impact on how we view this life and what God has called us to do? Reflecting for a moment on eternity without God is a very sobering and worthwhile thing.
Posted by Coram Deo at 6:18 PM