Thursday, November 30, 2006

Most Influential Americans

Atlantic Magazine has posted its list of the 100 most influential Americans of all time. On the list?

#52 Joseph Smith - founder of Mormonism
# 74 Brigham Young - later Mormon leader
# 86 Mary Baker Eddy - founder of Christian Science, the religion that states that Smith, Young and the rest of us are just an illusion.

Too bad they weren't a positive influence.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Gospel Lite or Gospel Ziltch?

An interesting paragraph from yesterday's St. Petersburg Times on Joel Osteen:

Osteen's positive messages - recent sermon topics include "Having Confidence in Yourself" and "Stop Listening to the Accusing Voices" - have helped make him a religious everyman. He touts a loving God. There is no condemnation. No talk of judgment or damnation. No declarations of Christianity as the only way to heaven.

His congregation regularly includes Christians, Jews and Muslims. On a typical Sunday, the sanctuary resembles a Benetton ad, an equal mix of whites, blacks and Hispanics, church leaders say.
On the other hand, Paul, when he was being accused of legalism, wrote "why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished." (Gal. 5:11) To the Corinthians he wrote "And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing." 2 Cor. 4:3.

Seems to me that if Jews and Muslims can sit comfortably in Joel Osteen's services and not be offended by the message he presents, then he isn't presenting the Gospel.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Are You Sick? It's Your Own Fault!

Word of Faith teacher Fred Price is pastor of Crenshaw Christian Center and Ever Increasing Faith ministry. Under his list of FAQs, he is asked:


If we permit things to happen, God has to permit them. Many people do not understand this principle. They think that because a thing happens, that God approves it. No. God doesn’t have anything to do with much of what takes place on this earth day by day. Whatever happens is not always God’s decreed will. God has to permit things to happen because He gave man a free will. What happens on this planet is up to us – the inhabitants. We’ve seen people die of sickness and disease, yet they knew Jesus. There are Christians who go under when the storm of sickness comes. If they are built on Jesus, how could this happen? Well, you see, they didn’t understand what Jesus was saying in Matthew 7:24. He said, "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them…" ...But if I walk rightly and in line with the Word of God, I am thoroughly convinced I can be free of sickness and disease.
What a shame that Paul didn't know this and misled Timothy into drinking wine for his stomach ailment and "frequent illnesses" (1 Tim. 5:23).

What a travesty when Paul, displaying lack of faith, "left Trophimus sick in Miletus." (2 Tim. 4:20).

If Paul had listened to Fred Price the Galatians may have never heard the Gospel in the first place ("As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you." Gal. 4:13).

It would seem that there is no real need to die of any illness at all. Theoretically, those who really embrace Fred Price's theology may have to stick around until the 5 o'clock express bus finally nails them.

Monday, November 20, 2006

How to Tell Your Average Prophet From Your Average Psychic

I have long wondered what the difference was between a modern-day prophet and your run of the mill psychic - I know, it's tough to tell these days. On Saturday Steve Schultz of Elijah List e-mailed their followers the following guidelines for telling them apart:

Many are unaware that a true prophet (who is usually accurate) can still, every now and then, make a mistake when prophesying.
I see. Steve, could you give me a biblical example of a prophet ever being wrong? of the ways to know if a person is getting information from God is that they tell you this is from God, and also that the information is most often accurate.
Oh, absolutely! They'll be totally honest and tell you it's from God.

Another way of saying this is that, while prophesying they are correct more times than they are incorrect.
In other words, Steve, 50.1% accuracy will do for a modern-day prophet? That lets your good friend Kim Clement out!

However, even if a true prophet misses it once in awhile, the Bible tells you not to be afraid of that person. Just because a person makes a mistake doesn't mean he or she is a false prophet or a psychic. It only means they are still learning to hear accurately.
Just like Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, etc. had to learn to hear accurately, right? Now for Steve's biblical prooftext:

"If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him." Deut. 18:22
Okay, Steve, let's look at this entire section in context, from Deut. 18:14 through 22:

14. The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so. 15 The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. 16 For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, "Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die." (NIV)

So, since this prophet was going to speak on behalf of God, rather than Him doing so directly, it was pretty important for that prophet to be accurate.

17 The LORD said to me: "What they say is good. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. 19 If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account. 20 But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death."

Yipes! Rough stuff there. Because it was so important that the prophet speak accurately, even if he presumed to speak in God's name but said something God didn't command him to say, that prophet was to die! Care to uphold those standards, Steve?

21 You may say to yourselves, "How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD ?" 22 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him. (NIV)

So you simply think that if a prophet says something God didn't tell him to say that he isn't a false prophet, Steve? You maintain that God is simply saying that if the prophet speaks presumptuously that we should just chalk it up to experience and not be afraid of him?

No! God isn't saying that! We have just read that a prophet who speaks presumptously is to be put to death!! It is then followed by the statement that we are not to be afraid of him. Context, Steve, context!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Justifying an Ungodly Ministry

In Kim Clement's November newsletter he writes:

Raising this generation are New Testament prophets like Kim Clement. So why can the traditional church not accept them? Why all the conflict/criticism? Simple, even Jesus Christ the Son of God was unaccepted. ("A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own country, and among his own people!") But why are they unaccepted? Religion blinds the eyes and hearts of men.
Of course, using this claim, any false teacher can justify his own ministry, even if it's unbiblical. By calling the rest of the church Pharisees, they develop a cult following, drawing those who want to feel special and want to believe that they are among the few - like those in Jesus' day - who recognize someone sent by God.

But like Jesus Christ, the prophets of the New Millenium are bringing a message of hope to the lost and dying generation of this world....And the message of the prophet of today is no longer the pointed finger of condemnation, but the extended hand of hope....But once again, religion seeks to rear its ugly head in the guise of so called 'watchmen' (or should I say 'watchdogs'?) and doesn't the Bible speak of dogs who used religious doctrinal arguments seek to tear down the ministry of the prophetic office...?
Hey, hey, hey! I thought you said the prophet wouldn't be condemning???? I wonder who those dogs could be? Apologists, perhaps? Those who defend the faith, as Scripture urges all to do? Don't you just hate those "religious doctrinal arguments" - translation, the Scriptures!!?? Bugs me to death, those purists!

God was, even back then [Old Testament], in the business of doing things differently!...So forget your preconceived notions of the prophetic...
...Like prophets prophesying accurately. That's so Old Testament!! Get with it man! Embrace the new!...and end up one day hanging your head in shame before Jesus Christ for not listening to His warnings about false prophets.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Fishy Story

Recently a reader reminded me of a teacher by the name of - yes, it's his real name - Darwin Fish. He pastors a small church called, strangely enough, A True Church, formerly called God's Word Fellowship. His view of salvation is so narrow that he says

If you are involved with the kind of Christianity that views the "church of Christ" or Billy Graham, or Rick Warren, or Joel Osteen, or James Dobson, or Pat Robertson, or John MacArthur, or Tony Evans, or Greg Laurie, or Charles Stanley, or Chuck Smith, or Fred Price, or Vernon McGee, or Charles Blake, or Chuck Swindoll, or T. D. Jakes, or David Jeremiah or Charles Spurgeon or Dave Hunt or David W. Cloud or Robert Schuller...or Chuck Colson, or C. S. Lewis...or any of the like (or any of the likes on "Christian" TV or radio) as godly men, you are not saved. Why? Because, you are on the broad way (Matthew 7:13; 2 Peter 2:2; 2 Timothy 4:3). You have not the characteristic of Christ's sheep (John 10:5). And, men such as these are wells without water (2 Peter 2:17).

...False teachers, like those mentioned above, teach that amongst saved Christians there is a wide spectrum of conflicting doctrines and this manifests itself as differing forms of Christianity....False teachers create this delusion by holding to some form of creed, creeds, essentials, fundamentals, or core belief that supposedly unifies all true believers. If one stays within the bounds of this central belief, often called "orthodox Christianity," or "historic Christianity" (e.g. Christianity In Crisis, p. 31, 43), then a person is considered to be in the truth. And, other doctrines that the Bible addresses are counted as peripheral issues (or "secondary" or "non-essential") and are perceived as matters that do not pertain to salvation (e.g. ibid., p. 47).

Check out his website a little further, and he cannot name any other teachers in the history of the church who were saved. Under Frequently Asked Questions, he writes:

1. Are you the only true church/believers?

We do not know. There was a church in Murfreesboro, TN, but that has since dissolved. Other than that, we have not yet, as of this date, found another church that is in the truth (1 John 4:6), and we have been to many. Will we find one? Actually, the real question is, will Christ find one?

In regards to other Christians, we believe there may be at least one Rechabite (Jeremiah 35:18-19) and other believers on the planet (Romans 11:2-5). But, we have yet to meet any other disciples of Christ who we are convinced are among those who continue in the faith (Romans 2:7; 1 John 2:3-5). We long to meet other saints, but the days we live in are dark (Revelations 12:9), and most are deceived (2 Timothy 3:1-5; 4:3; 2 Peter 2:2). To our recollection, we have only met one believer that was already in the truth before they met us, and in this case, they had just recently repented. Other than this one exception, everyone we have met has been in some way caught in the deceit of this age (2 Timothy 3:1-5; 4:3; 2 Peter 2:2). We ourselves were caught in such deception, but the Lord delivered us from those who speak perverse things; and He continues to deliver us (Proverbs 2:12).

Q2. Is Darwin Fish the only true pastor in the world?

Please read question #1.

Q3. Can you name any other true believers/teachers in history since the early church (100 AD) until now?

No, and some are aghast that we would answer in such a way. They erroneously conclude, therefore, that we must be a cult. But, here again is another man-made standard by which fools judge (Matthew 7:1-2). Where in the Word of God does it say we should be able to name true believers of the past? Nowhere. For a more detailed response to this question, see our article, Believers Of The Past.

He reminds me of the Westboro Baptist Church (God Hates Fags), but we can't have that, can we? So he speaks out against them as well. Apparently a former Jehovah's Witness, he condemns the celebration of Christmas, and maintains that the Trinity "Falls Short of the Glory of God."

It's true that many of the people Fish lists teach false doctrine and outright heresy, but we are to judge their teachings, not their salvation. Fish does not believe there are any secondary, non-essential-to-salvation doctrines and he has made the road to God so narrow no one but Casper the Friendly Ghost could squeeze his way down it. Fish and his followers should have plenty of shoulder room in heaven because they'll apparently be the only ones there!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Promoting the Almighty (Creflo) Dollar

Yet another feature articles on prosperity gospel promoter Creflo Dollar, grom Newsday.

"Prosperity gospel has gained a following because of the hope it gives of a brighter tomorrow," said the Rev. Marvin Dozier, pastor of Unity Baptist Church in Mattituck. "But if you put all your aspirations in one bucket and prosperity is what you are after, when prosperity doesn't fulfill itself, you find your faith anemic." Continue reading.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Who's Hating Who?

The Courier Mail (Australia) has the latest opinion peace from Elton John:

''I think religion has always tried to turn hatred towards gay people,'' John says in the British Observer newspaper's Music Monthly magazine.

''Religion promotes the hatred and spite against gays. But there are so many people I know who are gay and love their religion.

''From my point of view, I would ban religion completely. Organised religion doesn't seem to work. It turns people into really hateful lemmings and it's not really

Sounds like you're promoting a little hatred there yourself, Elton!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Cognitive Dissonance in Action

Cognitive Dissonance: the perception of incompatibility between two cognitions, which can be defined as any element of knowledge, including attitude, emotion, belief, or behavior; in laymen's terms, it is the uncomfortable tension that comes from holding two conflicting thoughts at the same time.
Extremely common ailment with Word of Faith teachers. Now we'll pause for a moment while we read this extremely important message from Benny Hinn:

The sad and growing reality is that the Gospel of the cross and Christ crucified is not preached in many of our nation’s churches. The message many are preaching has nothing to do with Jesus Christ or the blood He shed on the cross or repentance for sin or the fear of Almighty God. Many preach a gospel that speaks of self-reliance: how to beautify self, how to build self, how to enrich self and succeed in business. But the world we live in is not interested in these things. Souls are crying out for the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Gospel of salvation, the Gospel of deliverance, the Gospel of peace. The world is crying for peace that “passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7), and the only way they can find that peace is through finding the Prince of peace, Jesus Christ, the Son of the Almighty God, who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). This is the message the world wants to hear; this is the message they must hear. And this is the message we must preach!The message is JESUS, JESUS, JESUS, and only JESUS!

Fantastic message, Benny! Tell it like it is!

By the way, what do you have to offer us today from your bookstore? Any books on how to get the message out? Any that will bring us closer to Christ? Any good biographies about past saints? Church history books? Book of Concord?? Luther, the Movie? Let's check out the online Shop:

  • Divine Healing
  • The Miracle of Healing
  • Atmosphere for Healing
  • Promises for Your Healing
  • Keys to Financial Excellence
  • Finding Financial Freedom
  • How to Harvest Off the Seeds You've Sown in the Past, Present and Future
  • Miracles Can Be Yours Today

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Gotta Understand the Lingo

A must for every self-proclaimed prophet from The Elijah List!!

The Prophet's Dictionary by Paula Price is an essential tool for laymen, prophets, prophesiers, pastors, intercessors, and dreamers of dreams. As an all-in-one dictionary and reference book containing over 1,600 relevant definitions of terms and phrases for the prophetic realm of Christian ministry, it will show you how to:
  • Experience the power of the gifts of prophecy.
  • Understand their operation in our modern world.
  • Correctly interpret and apply God's prophetic words.
  • Distinguish between true and false prophets.
  • Differentiate between spiritual and natural dreams.
  • Understand God-given dreams.
  • Develop your spiritual gifts.
I'm especially interested in the chapter on how to distinguish between true and false prophets. I doubt that it has anything to do with prophesying accurately!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

All Those Healers, Not One Miracle

From the Associated Press:

(S.C.) Gov. Mark Sanford burned his eyes under the bright stage lights at a groundbreaking ceremony and had to sit out the last day of the campaign, his wife said Monday. Sanford, a Republican seeking re-election, was taking eye drops and wearing temporary contact lenses to treat the discomfort, Jenny Sanford said. He suffered the injury Sunday and went to the doctor in the morning."I can attest that he was in great pain last night," his wife said. "He's feeling better now."Extremely bright light can dry out the surface of the eye and cause the equivalent of a sunburn on the cornea, said Steve Masone, president-elect of the South Carolina Optometric Association. The cornea usually recovers, though a severe burn can be permanent, he said.The groundbreaking was for a new headquarters for Inspiration Networks, a Christian TV network. Evangelists Pat Robertson and Rex Humbard spoke during the roughly two-hour program, and Humbard wore sunglasses. Regular studio lighting was used for the live broadcast, said John Roos, a network spokesman. (AP, Nov. 7, 2006)

Should have never happened with all those miracle workers there!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Ted Haggard's Resignation

Excellent post over at Burr on the Burgh on the whole Ted Haggard situation.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

How To Be A Successful False Prophet 101

This year Kim Clement has given us a lesson on how to prophesy falsely and yet remain a success. On January 16, 2006 Clement issued this prophecy about a new source of energy coming to the U.S.:

Let it be known to you, says the Spirit of God, even as you have gathered together tonight and I have promised this Nation multiplication to where the deficit shall be cleared because of a new source of energy that is coming, that shall come forth very rapidly in the next few months, says the Lord. And I will take men and women that have been waiting and sowing and I will cause them to become millionaires and billionaires in very short periods of time.

In June 2006, as I reported in a previous blog, Clement got more specific on an Elijah List prophecy:

And God says, "Look, I'm giving you a new source of energy that's coming to this Nation. It's very soon that it's going to be discovered." And the Spirit of God says, "I want My people to invest. You will see it appearing by the month of September and October, and you'll say, 'There it is.'" And God says, "Take your money and put it in, for surely the new source of energy will bring billions of dollars within a two-year period upon those that invest in the 'Big E.'" For God says, "Don't you understand that this is something that Einstein saw and will become a practicality and a fact. Listen to Me. You are being setup to become billionaires for My Kingdom

WOW! Exciting stuff! Trouble is, it's now November and that new source of energy hasn't been revealed yet!

What is a prophet to do???

"I know, I'm going to count on the short memory span of my dumb sheep, and revise my prophecy."

So on October 21, 2006 in Huntsville, Texas, prophet Kim proclaims:

I am going to make a declaration tonight that there is no power that can make a prognosis as deadly as "there shall be no United States of America, there shall be no living creature in this land." They have said this. But now I shall arise, says the Lord, and your economy shall be greatly boosted. For the discovery of oil shall continue in the land of the living, the brave, the free. For God says, hear this: Until the new source of energy is released and discovered which is soon, I will give you remarkable breakthroughs in the soil and in the earth. And people shall say, "what has happened in Israel, why is there suddenly so much oil?" Because this Nation to be rid of the pests and to be rid of those that have made you look to them for your source of energy. That day is coming to an end. 2007 you shall say, the fall, the fall, the fall has brought about the energy that we need and then the race shall swiftly be changed in favor of the people of the Living God in this Nation, says the Lord!

Now the date for this great discovery has been changed to 2007, and a case can be made from the wording of this prophecy that is will be, once again, in the Fall - of 2007, not 2006! Stay tuned to this blog for "How To Be A Successful False Prophet 201" - just as soon as Kim writes the lesson for us!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

What Did They Do Wrong?

From Crosswalk:

India: Christians Beaten for Refusing to 'Re-Convert'
Special to Compass Direct News

Ostracized by their village for the past year, two converts of a church in Madhya Pradesh state’s Shahdol district have been beaten for their refusal to return to the Hindu fold.

Santu Prasad Barmaia and Kunjan Prasad Barmaia, both farmers and members of a Gospel for Asia church in Paralia village, were attacked by a group of 12 villagers on October 19.

The attack took place in the morning, when the two were on their way to their fields, a local Christian requesting anonymity told Compass. Both men suffered internal injuries.

Police have not arrested the culprits, the source said, in spite of the fact that the victims named them in a complaint filed at the Amarkan police station.

Police officials could not be reached for comment.

The source explained that villagers were angry with the Christians for declining to participate in Hindu rituals since receiving Christ four years ago. “The villagers had been persistently putting pressure on them to ‘reconvert’ to Hinduism,” he said.

Okay, Benny, what did they do wrong? Not enough faith? Not enough money sent to Benny Hinn Ministries?

Joel, this was definitely not their "best day ever." Where did they err? Maybe they didn't smile enough? They forgot to declare that God wanted to bestow His favour on them and give them preferential treatment?