Friday, May 16, 2008

The Danger of Not Speaking Out

Recently two women named Holly and Sharon have been taking issue with the fact that I speak out against what's going on in Lakeland, Florida with Todd Bentley's revival. They would prefer that I just pray for these leaders and not speak out - in fact they say I'm much like the Pharisees who killed Jesus - which, of course, makes them just as judgmental as they claim I am. People like them will tell people to point to the fruit of these people. They forget that some of that fruit that teachers are supposed to produce is correct doctrine.

Two thousand years ago Holly and Sharon would have had to admonish Paul for publicly exposed Hymenaeus and Alexander. Paul said "Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme. (1 Tim. 1:18-20).

Paul even dared to speak out against Peter! "When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray. When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, 'You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?'" (Gal. 2:11-14)

The trouble with the American church today is that it is experience-oriented - feeling supersede Scripture - and if an experience is happening in the church then it must be of God. Word and sacrament are no longer enough for this generation.

Back in 2006 I posted the message below. I think it's worth posting again.

Matthew 7:15-20: "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”

“I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.” (Acts 20:29-31).

Those engaged in apologetics often get criticized for always attacking other "Christians" who are just trying to bring people to Jesus Christ. "Do you always have to spend so much time attacking others?" Well, let me answer that with a question: How much time should a shepherd spend weeding the wolves out of his flock? How much time should someone spend heeding the warnings of Scripture that there are wolves right IN the church body? Maybe once a year, and let the wolves roam freely the rest of the year? Or should we constantly be on our guard?

Here is an example from the London Telegraph of how modern-day Christianity is reported:

There were only a few empty seats in Earls Court arena on Thursday night, almost all 10,000 places were taken....On the stage in front of them was a short, orange-looking man with a fat tie and a big grin. "Hallelujah," said Dr Morris Cerullo, prosperity preacher and "harvester of souls". "Oh Hallelujah. I'm just so glad to be here."

On the stage behind Cerullo stood several other of America's most determined money-raising evangelists, nodding their heads in approval: Pastor Benny Hinn, an Israeli, who heals believers by blowing on them; Dr Mike Murdock, a crooner, who sings amongst other things about the beauty of money. All of them with their own trademark way of persuading a congregation to part with cash, and all over here on a hunch that bewildered, binge-drinking Britain might finally have become as open to their message as the American Midwest.

"Oh-ba-ba-ba-ba" said Morris, looking at his watch as his congregation wrote out their cheques and credit card details: up to £250,000. It could have been funny, and on television, in another country, it sometimes is. But close up, the hybrid of Christianity and investment banking seemed to me less of a joke than a threat: if you don't give, Cerullo implied, God won't love you, and if he doesn't love you, he'll keep you poor. Worldly success is a measure of divine approval; after all, he points out, look at me.

Cerullo even ba-ba's like a sheep!! What an impression to leave with the non-Christian of Jesus Christ. Is there anyone out there that DOESN'T see a problem with this brand of Christianity?

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At May 27, 2008 11:18 PM, Blogger Carol said...

I agree fully with what you're doing but more than that, the Bible also supports you. I posted a comment about this in your Todd Bently- Bambi Eyes thread.

It seems we have something in common - exposing false teachers. Check out my other blog I think you might like it. By the way, Todd Bently is next.

At May 27, 2008 11:19 PM, Blogger Carol said...

The link worked but the name got deleted. It's called Abomination Nation.


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