About Marsha West

Marsha West is the owner and managing editor of Christian Research Network, Apprising Ministries (the late Ken Silva's blog) and On Solid Rock Resources. Marsha is also co-founder of Berean Research. For two decades she was the owner and managing editor of Email Brigade website as well as the EMB News Report, a bi-weekly email report for conservative people of faith. Marsha is a regular contributor for several blogs including CRN, RenewAmerica, News With Views, and Web Commentary. Her articles have been translated into many languages and distributed worldwide. Visit Marsha's other sites: http://onsolidrockresources.com http://bereanresearch.com http://apprising.org

Almost as Many Americans Died of Drug Overdoses in 2015 as in ’12 Years in Vietnam’

Breitbart reports:

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly has largely blamed Latin American drug cartels for the unprecedented 52,000-plus drug overdose deaths in America during 2015 alone, the latest year for which data is available.

During a discussion that George Washington University (GWU) hosted about the threats facing the United States, retired Gen. Kelly noted in his prepared remarks:

It’s the highest number of drug-related deaths our country has ever seen. It’s more deaths than the peak of the AIDS epidemic in 1995. In a single year, we’ve lost nearly as many Americans to drug overdose as we lost in battle in World War I. Almost as many as was lost in 12 years in Vietnam.

And that’s just overdose deaths. That number—as high as it is—says nothing about the long-term health damage to our citizens who survive, to say nothing about the human misery, the families ripped apart, and the extremes of crime and violence inherent in the illegal-drug enterprise.

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‘Bible Answer Man’ Booted From Bott Radio Network After Hank Hanegraaff Joins Orthodox Church

According to Christian Post (a site we do not recommend), Jack Graham of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, will replace the “Bible Answer Man”:

The “Bible Answer Man” radio show program with Hank Hanegraaff has been booted from Bott Radio Network over concerns regarding biblical accuracy, following Hanegraaff’s conversion into the Eastern Orthodox Church.

“We want to make sure that our listeners know that the programming that we have on Bott Radio Network is thoroughly biblical,” said BRN President Richard P. Bott II, a member of Lenexa Baptist Church in Lenexa, Kansas, according to Baptist Press.

BRN had reportedly been broadcasting the “Bible Answer Man” since the 1980s, even before Hanegraaff joined the show in 1989.

“We live in strategic times,” Bott told BP.

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North Carolina Lawmakers Present Bill Declaring Supreme Court ‘Gay Marriage’ Ruling ‘Null and Void’

Christian News reports:

Four Republican lawmakers in North Carolina recently presented a bill that would declare the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling on “gay marriage” to be “null and void,” but the House speaker has considered it dead and won’t bring it up for a hearing.

Reps. Larry Pittman of Concord, Michael Speciale of New Bern, Carl Ford of Rowan County and Mike Clampitt of Bryson City filed House Bill 780, also known as the “Uphold Historical Marriage Act,” on April 11th.

It notes that the U.S. Constitution does not give power to the federal government to create laws surrounding the institution of marriage, and that the issue is rather reserved to the states. The bill also outlines that the courts have no right to overrule the laws of God.

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Does God Condemn Debate?

Jeremiah Johnson of Grace to You asks: Should we or shouldn’t we debate our doctrinal differences?

Many believers argue that our focus should be on what we agree on, and that we must set aside anything we disagree on. So does that mean we should ignore our differences with those who teach universalism?  What about those who teach the word-faith prosperity gospel…NAR/dominionist theology…Eastern mysticism…ignore these folks, too? Should we let slide sins such as fornication, adultery, homosexuality and abortion for the sake of unity?

Johnson argues that we must do as Paul instructs us in 2 Timothy 2:14 and hold fast to sound doctrine.  He includes the following quote from Dr. John MacArthur:

Paul’s purpose was to motivate and encourage Timothy to keep a firm grasp on that truth himself and to pass it on to others who would do likewise … It is only with a thorough knowledge of God’s truth that falsehood and deceit can be recognized, resisted, and opposed. . . .

So back to the question at hand: Does God condemn debate? Let’s find out…

Almost twenty years ago, during Moody Bible Institute’s Founder’s Week conference, I heard Jim Cymbala make the following plea for unity:

Think of the division right now in the Body of Christ. We have all these names that don’t exist to God: Baptist, Presbyterian, Nazarene, Pentecostal, Charismatic. God doesn’t have any idea what any of them mean, because He only has one Body. . . . He has one Body—the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ. Evangelical—evangelical doesn’t even exist to God. We’re using words that aren’t in the Bible. We’re thumping the Bible and being unbiblical while we’re thumping it. He only has—there’s one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one Body. And He doesn’t like us dividing up His Body. 

In the moment, it struck me as nonsense. Of course God knows what our denominational titles mean; of course He understands where the doctrinal lines have been drawn in the sand.

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Entire Faculty Senate Resigns After LGBT Activist Professor Denied Promotion

Gordon College, a private evangelical Christian college in Massachusetts, made the news when the entire faculty senate resigned in a “show of solidarity” for a professor who says the administration denied her a promotion because of her criticisms about the school’s policy on homosexuality. Gordon’s student newspaper The Tartan has the story:

Photo credit: John Phelan

All seven faculty members of Gordon College’s Faculty Senate resigned from senatorship on Wednesday, citing ongoing disagreement with the administration over shared governance, specifically in the processes of approving faculty promotion.

Professor Ivy George, the Senate chair prior to the resignations, read a letter outlining the decision at an all-faculty meeting. Also resigning were fellow professors Tim Sherratt, Bruce Herman, Bryan Auday, Irv Levy, Steve Hunt and Jonathan Senning.

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Cannabis Church in Denver to Offer ‘Sacred Flower’ Sacrament

According to Leah Jessen of LifeZette, “An organization of pot smokers is in pursuit of a ‘love, create and elevate’ religion.”

Photo credit: Fox 13

It’s come to this: Pot smokers in Denver have formed their own church “religion,” all based on the “high” of the marijuana lifestyle.

The International Church of Cannabis is set to open April 20. Steve Berke and Lee Molloy founded the “church” with a small group of people who were, and still are, “unsatisfied with the outdated organized religions” available.

“There are rumors that this is a rasta smoking lounge or a nightclub,” Berke told Westword, a Denver newspaper. “It’s not. It’s a safe place to congregate and consume.”

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Why We Can’t Assume Hank Hanegraaff is Saved and We Should Evangelize Him

As previously reported (here and here), Hank Hanegraaff shocked many in the evangelical community by converting to Greek Orthodoxy.  When the news hit, Jeff Maples wrote a piece for Pulpit & Pen entitled “The Bible Answer Man, Hank Hanegraaff, Leaves the Christian Faith?” Not surprisingly, Hank’s fans were put out with Maples for suggesting that he had left the faith.  Following is Maple’s response to his critics:

In the recent controversy surrounding Hank Hanegraaff, the ‘Bible Answer Man,’ and his conversion to Greek Orthodoxy, I received numerous, literally hundreds upon hundreds, of emails and messages, asking me to retract my claim that Hanegraaff has departed the Christian faith and telling me that I went too far by saying this. Pulpit & Pen has been accused of being “always cantankerous” to “using a bazooka” against Hanegraaff and “judging his heart.”

The issue here, however, is not of judging Hanegraaff’s heart. This is not something we, as Christians, can do. We can, however, judge them by their fruits (Matthew 7:16-20), and this is what we have done.

Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.2 Corinthians 4:1-2

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What will become of you when you die?

Easter conjures images of Easter egg hunts, decorative baskets filled with all sorts of goodies, cool new clothes, church services, and families and friends gathering together for a feast. It’s all about….what? Is the reason we observe Easter Sunday to celebrate the coming of the Easter Bunny? To usher in springtime? Or is it an excuse for a parade?

As you might have already surmised, it is none of the above. The significance of Easter is to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

For many professing Christians, Easter isn’t about Jesus — it’s about binging on sweets! There’s nothing wrong with Easter festivities per se; but to be sure, the reason we celebrate is Christ’s triumph over death. A little more than two thousand years ago the Son of God experienced a humiliating horrific death to atone for the sins of humankind. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

The Son of God condescended to take on human flesh and come to Earth to die, not because He had some sort of social or political agenda that weighed heavy on His heart. Jesus was not concerned with “social justice.” He came to Earth to die for our sins.

The Bible is clear that God’s hates sin — yet He went to great lengths to save us!  Pastor and author John MacArthur explains it thusly:

When we say God hates sin and doesn’t hate the sinner, you’re really drawing a fine line. God looked on all His creation and said that it was good, so that basically what God created He adores, He considers the work of His hand, and man, though the image of God is marred is none the less made in the image of God. So, the New Testament says God loves the world, God loves all men. It even says that we are to do good unto all men especially of the household of faith, so we are to do good to all men for they are made in the image of God. There is a sense in which no matter what we do in our lives, God still loves what we are as the expression of His creation. But He hates the sin.

The thing most people fail to understand is that God is holy. (Isaiah 6:3, Rev 4:8) And because God is holy He is repelled by evil. All sin is evil — even those “little white lies” we tell. Washing away our sins (cleaning us up) is the sole purpose for Jesus’ death on the cross. He died for one and all, and that includes those we think aren’t worth a plug nickel.

My point is that the person who truly BELIEVES that Jesus shed His blood for his sins and realizes his need for repentance and forgiveness will be saved from eternal damnation. Yes, Jesus died for the worst of the worst, the scum of the earth, the reprobate, the smelly homeless guy, the ugly girl in your math class, Bashful, Dopey, Doc and, yes, even Grumpy. So if an outlaw like Billy the Kid comes to faith in Christ, that outlaw is heaven bound! The blood of Christ has washed away his sins.  From the moment the Kid repents and places his faith in Christ, he is no longer that outlaw; he has become a son of the King.

Christ’s death on the cross is God’s way of saving humans from being sent to hell for all eternity. Every sinner is destined for hell — and hell is a real place! How do I know that? Because Jesus gave us fair warning when He spoke these words:  “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell” (Matthew 5:29). He also spoke of hell to the Pharisees: “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?” (Matthew 23:33). Again: “And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades” (Luke 10:15). Christ’s words were not just hyperbole!  If hell is nonexistent, the Lord Jesus wouldn’t have warned people about it. Those who reject Him will be sentenced to hell!

But never fear! There is a way to avoid being sentenced to that terrible place. The Apostle Paul tells us how to avoid it: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved [from hell]” (Romans 10:9).

Now, those who think they know better than God who should enter the Highway to Heaven or be thrown into hell will no doubt reject what Paul said. But they cannot ignore the fact that the scriptures teach that God, no one else, will decide who ultimately goes up…and who goes into the pit.

There are those who believe that “good people” go to heaven. Au contraire! By God’s standard of “good” the Bible says a person’s good deeds are “filthy rags.” No Good person, no good Protestant, Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or Mormon will ever see the Kingdom of Heaven. Why? For the simple reason that “good people” will not be invited into God’s kingdom. Jesus said “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) So no matter how good an individual appears to be, he/she will never be “good enough” to stand in the presence of Holiness unless he/she is cleansed of all sin by the blood of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

It’s going to be a huge shock when those in the “me” generation find themselves in the courtroom of the One who will judge the world and are handed a one way ticket to hell. After all, they think God created the sun just to light up their lives. Hell isn’t a real place anyway, they say. So why should anyone have to worry about going there? And if there is a hell, only murders, rapists, pedophiles and Adolph Hitler will go there. It’s indeed true that unrepentant murders and so forth will go to hell; likewise, anyone else who rejects Christ will spend eternity “where the worm never turns…”  Including “good people.”

Warning to the unbeliever! Jesus Christ is the CEO (Chief Executive Over-all) of Heaven.   So – if you have little or no interest in getting to know the Lord Jesus while residing on this planet, why would you want to live in the kingdom He rules for all eternity?  Moreover, if you have no use for biblical Christianity and its “outdated confessions, creeds and dogmas,” then would you really want to bow to and worship the Son of God for all eternity?

One last thing.  There are a large number of professing Christians who claim to love Jesus yet they’re too embarrassed–or proud–to bend a knee to Him.  They embrace Him as their Savior but they’ll not allow Him to be their Lord and Master.  They disobey His commands and live by their own rules…and they believe they’re saved.  Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) So are these people saved?  Really?

Not judging, just saying.

© Marsha West, 2017

10 Signs of a Cultic Church

From Berean Research:

Cross Examined has a piece by Brian Chilton who asks: “How does one know that a church has the characteristics of a cultic church?” Good question.  According to Chilton, there is a difference between a cult and a cultic church and he gives some signs of cultic churches. So we want you to know what those distinctions are. We’ve included links for further study at the end that will help you grow in your faith:

#2 Personal interpretations are held to an equal or higher view than biblical truth. A good example of a cultic church would be Bethel Church in Redding, CA

A few weeks back, I was troubled to hear about a Word of Faith congregation in Spindale, North Carolina, that was guilty of abusing its members. Reports included young children being punched by the leadership while being called Satanists. Jane Whaley and her husband are at the center of these accusations. The full report can be accessed here.

Unfortunately, cultic churches abound. Just last night, a guest pastor from the Philippines spoke about particular cults in his land. He noted that one cult did not allow the congregants to open their Bibles as everything had to be interpreted by the leadership. Churches like these are identified as cultic churches as contrasted with authentic churches. Authentic churches are the body of Christ. They are the assemblies of baptized believers who fully adopt biblical principles and have the freedom to grow and develop in their relationship with Christ.

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The Insanity of the Left’s Child Gender-Confusion Agenda

“This is science with an agenda,” reminds Ben Shapiro in a piece over at CNSNews:

On Sunday, The New York Times ran a piece by Jack Turban, a research fellow at the Yale School of Medicine. Turban says that doctors should begin applying puberty blockers to children who identify as transgender as early as possible. That’s because, according to him, “it has become clear that if we support these children in their transgender identities instead of trying to change them, they thrive instead of struggling with anxiety and depression.”

Turban uses as his example one 14-year-old girl named Hannah who was born a boy named Jonah. Turban glows: “Hannah is using a puberty-blocking implant and getting ready to embark on the path of developing a female body by starting estrogen. Ten years ago most doctors would have called this malpractice. New data has now made it the protocol for thousands of American children.”

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The Daily Wonder of Easter

Michelle Leslie reminds us that “As Christians, every day our sin sick souls need to bow at the cross and be washed afresh in the precious, atoning blood of Christ.”

“What should I preach about on Easter Sunday? Help me out, here.”

That’s the gist of a tweet I saw recently from a pastor. It caught me quite off guard, and it must have had the same effect on many others who punctuated their excellent advice –“preach the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ for our sins”- with lots of “duh’s” and other indications that this should be a no-brainer for a Christian pastor.

Traditionally, the prevailing line of thought about Easter (and Christmas) services has always been, “This is one of the two times a year that a lot of lost people go to church. It might be our only chance to reach some of them. Let’s make sure we give them the gospel.” Maybe after so many years of that, some pastors feel that their church members have heard it all before and they need to move on to something else in order to keep people’s attention. Sometimes, as a pastor, it’s tough to know just what to do to best reach people for Christ.

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AI programs exhibit racial and gender biases, research reveals

According to The Guardian “Machine learning algorithms are picking up deeply ingrained race and gender prejudices concealed within the patterns of language use.” So the question is, will robots display human prejudices?

An artificial intelligence tool that has revolutionised the ability of computers to interpret everyday language has been shown to exhibit striking gender and racial biases.

The findings raise the spectre of existing social inequalities and prejudices being reinforced in new and unpredictable ways as an increasing number of decisions affecting our everyday lives are ceded to automatons.

In the past few years, the ability of programs such as Google Translate to interpret language has improved dramatically. These gains have been thanks to new machine learning techniques and the availability of vast amounts of online text data, on which the algorithms can be trained.

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Trinity Broadcasting Network campus sale price revealed: $18.25 million

Orange County Register reports:

When Trinity Broadcasting Network announced in March that it sold its highly visible campus in Costa Mesa, the price was not revealed.

Now it’s public. The landmark building sold for $18.25 million, according to CoStar Group, a commercial property database.

The 65,000-square-foot, three-story building on the 6.19-acre campus is familiar to many beyond TBN’s audience for its brightly lit holiday displays along the 405 Freeway on Bear Street.

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President Donald Trump Signs Bill to Overturn Obama Rule Forcing States to Fund Planned Parenthood

According to LifeNews:

Photo credit::Kelsey Lucas Visualsey,The Daily Signal

President Donald Trump signed into law today a bill to overturn a rule pro-abortion President Barack Obama put in place preventing states from defunding the Planned Parenthood abortion business.  The rule from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) prevented states from blocking Title X funding to abortion companies like Planned Parenthood.

After the House first passed the measure, the Senate voted 50-50 for the bill, with a couple of liberal pro-abortion Republicans joining Democrats in supporting the abortion giant and Republicans voting pro-life. The tie vote made it so pro-life Vice-President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote to approve the measure.

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Read why Planned Parenthood should be defunded: Congress’s Planned Parenthood Investigations Find Horrifying Criminal Practices 

23 and Me (and You): Let the Buyer Beware

“Curious about genetic testing and what the results will tell you?” asks Chris Woodward of LifeZette. “Be sure you’re comfortable with privacy issues (or lack thereof).” Woodward writes:

Let the buyer beware! That is the message for people thinking about using home kits promising personal genetic information and details in exchange for something as simple as a saliva sample. The firm 23andMe is the latest company looking to become a household name — and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently granted it authorization to market genetic reports on personal risk for certain diseases.

The authorization includes reports on genetic risk for 10 conditions, including late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and harmful blood clots, among others.

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No Substitute For Marriage: Co-Habiting Parents More Likely to Break Up, Hurt Kids

Tyler O’Neil over at PJ Media fills us in on the study — that will come as no surprise to Bible believing Christians:

Children’s well-being depends on family stability, researchers agree. But some say marriage is not a critical factor in that stability — that cohabiting parents are just as likely to stay together long-term and provide the love and support children need. According to a new study from the Brookings Institution, that just isn’t the case: There’s no substitute for marriage.

“It is easy to see why some conclude marriage per se does not matter. But here’s the thing: marriage itself is strongly associated with family stability,” wrote Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, and Laurie DeRose, sociology professor at Georgetown University.

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Profane ‘Pastor’ Welcomes Open Homosexuals, Admits He ‘Doesn’t Care’ What Bible Says

Christian News has the story. They’ve posted a video at the end of the piece where you will hear the so-called pastor using profanity and saying some pretty provocative things, such as “I don’t care if the Bible says gay people suck…I have lots of things I disagree with about the Bible.” Yes, Bible believing Christians are few and far between these days.

A profanity-laced preacher who has lost hundreds in his congregation over his decision to allow open homosexuals to serve in leadership positions, and who says he “doesn’t care” what the Bible has to say on the issue, is featured in a new online video that has received over a million views in less than a week.

Ryan Meeks is the founder of EastLake Community Church in Bothell, Washington, which identifies itself as “an inclusive Christian community where faith is less about a story to be believed as it is a life to be lived.”

In 2015, Meeks announced that he believed a “move of the Spirit” caused him to rethink how he had handled the issue of homosexuality. In the April 8th video released by Upworthy, Meeks—amid clips of profanity usage—noted that he used to shy away from the topic.

“When it came to the conversation around the LGBT community and church policy, or what does the Bible say about homosexuality, I always felt awkward about it. I didn’t want to bring it up,” he explained.

“I felt like I needed to scare people into believing the right thing because the God who loves them is going to send most of human history to Hell,” Meeks said. “That’s the Good News? Sounds pretty [expletive]!”

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App Delivers Birth Control Without Doctor’s Visit, Ages 12 and Up

According to Leah Jessen of LifeZette, a “San Francisco-based firm says it ‘won’t tell parents or anyone else’ if a young woman has ordered this medication.”  She writes:

Teenage girls and women can order birth control from an app that will deliver the medication straight to their home, all without the “hassle” of a doctor’s visit. The app, deemed the “uber of birth control,” is called Nurx and is sure to create a wave of controversy.

If you have health insurance, Nurx is free in most cases.

“Our country’s medical system doesn’t always work very well for patients,” Dr. Jessica Knox, Nurx’s medical director, told the Daily Dot. “We sort of hold women hostage.”

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Hank Hanegraaff, Greek Orthodoxy, and Patterns in the Cults

Over at Pulpit & Pen, Seth Dunn examines the claim that the man who took over the leadership of the Christian Research Institute (CRI) following the death of its founder Dr. Walter Martin has left the biblical Christian faith to become Eastern Orthodox which, ironically, is considered a cult. Since CRI is a counter-cult ministry it should come as no surprise that this has become a huge story.  Dunn writes:

With the recent defection of Hank Hanegraaff, the Bible Answer Man, to the Greek Orthodox religion, an examination of the compatibility of this religion with Biblical Christianity is in order. Unfortunately, such an examination is a difficult task where the Orthodox religion is concerned. According to an article published by the Christian Research Institute (CRI), “Orthodoxy is not a monolithic bloc that shares a unified tradition and church life.” Despite this, a discerning examination of Greek Orthodoxy is not impossible. Using a variety of available sources, it can be concluded that Greek Orthodoxy falls outside the bounds of Biblical Christianity and exhibits patterns common to other sub-Christian cults. The Watchman Fellowship, an evangelical discernment ministry, has identified four patterns which are common to cults. Greek Orthodoxy exhibits three of them.

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CRN posted Hank Hanegraaff’s response

Trump: Hillary Was ‘Guilty of Every Charge’

Newsmax reports:

Hillary Clinton was “guilty of every charge,” and FBI Director James Comey “saved her life” with his revelation that he would not pursue charges against her for her use of a private email server and the handling of classified information, President Donald Trump said in an interview airing Wednesday.

“When he was reading those charges, she was guilty of every charge,” Trump told Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo about Comey’s 2016 press conference.  “When he was reading those charges, she was guilty of every charge, and then he said she was essentially OK.”

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Bible Answer Man Hank Hanegraaff Converts to Eastern Orthodoxy

Hank Hanegraaff addressed his conversion to the Orthodox faith on his radio show The Bible Answer Man in response to a caller who expressed concern that in becoming Eastern Orthodox, Hank had left the Christian faith. Following is his response:

I am now a member of an Orthodox Church, but nothing has changed in my faith. I have been attending an Orthodox church for a long time—for over two years, really, as a result of what happened when I went to China, many years ago. I saw Chinese Christians who were deeply in love with the Lord, and I learned that while they may not have had as much intellectual acumen or knowledge as I did, they had life. And so I learned that while truth matters, life matters more, and I remember flying back from China after spending time with just common people who had a deep, intense love for the Lord, and wondering, “Was I even a Christian?”

I was comparing my ability to communicate truth with their deep and abiding love for the Lord Jesus Christ… One man, by the way, said to me, truth matters but life matters more. In other words, it is not just knowing about Jesus Christ, it is experiencing the Resurrected Christ. As a result of that I started studying what was communicated by the progeny of Watchman Nee with respect to theosis and that drove me back to the early Christian Church.

And I suppose over that period of time I have fallen ever more in love with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It’s sort of like my wife—I have never been more in love with my wife than I am today, and I’ve never been more in love with my Lord Jesus Christ than I am today. I’ve been impacted by the whole idea of knowing Jesus Christ, experiencing Jesus Christ, and partaking of the graces of Jesus Christ through the Eucharist or the Lord’s Table. And that has become so central in my life, but as far as the statement that you mentioned, that I’ve left the Christian faith—nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact I believe what I have always believed, as codified in the Nicene Creed, and as championed by mere Christianity.

Hanegraaff recited the Nicene Creed and then concluded:

In other words, I am as deeply committed to championing mere Christianity and the essentials of the historic Christian faith, as I have ever been.

Articles that come from different perspectives:

Evangelical Apologist Hank Hanegraaff Converts to Eastern Orthodoxy

“Bible Answer Man” Hank Hanegraaff Joins Orthodox Church

The Bible Answer Man, Hank Hanegraaff, Leaves the Christian Faith?

Research:

Why Write About the Orthodox Church?

“We need to write about the Orthodox Church because it has a membership of over 200 million people worldwide and because it claims to be the only true Church on earth. When any such claim is made involving so many people, it is necessary to  research and write about such a group and compare it to scripture.”

What is the Eastern Orthodox Church and what are the beliefs of Orthodox Christians

“The Orthodox Church claims to be the one true church of Christ, and seeks to trace its origin back to the original apostles through an unbroken chain of apostolic succession. Orthodox thinkers debate the spiritual status of Roman Catholics and Protestants, and a few still consider them heretics. Like Catholics and Protestants, however, Orthodox believers affirm the Trinity, the Bible as the Word of God, Jesus as God the Son, and many other biblical doctrines. However, in doctrine, they have much more in common with Roman Catholics than they do with Protestant Christians.”

Video:

Hank Hanagraaff expresses his view of Eastern Orthodoxy and Theosis

Is the Eastern Orthodox Church the Only True Church?

Gender Expert: Teens Are Trying to Be Transgender Because It’s Trendy

According to Heatstreet:

One of Australia’s top experts on gender has raised concerns that children and teens are overdiagnosed as transgender.

Adolescents are “trying out being transgender” to stand out or gain attention from their peers, psychiatrist Stephen Stathis told the Courier Mail last week. “One said to me, ‘Dr. Steve … I want to be transgender, it’s the new black,” he recalled.

Stathis, who runs Brisbane’s Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, said a gender dysphoria diagnosis will be given to only a tiny minority of the 180 minors who seek treatment at his clinic this year.

A gender dysphoria diagnosis is the first step for a transgender person to begin transitioning. Though children under 18 cannot get gender-reassignment surgery in Australia, they can receive hormonal therapy or treatment to suppress puberty.

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Did God Forbid us to Critique or Criticize Church Leaders?

High profile Church leaders who teach doctrines of demons actually have the temerity to warn their critics to back off or face danger of divine judgment. Well, Cameron Buettel’s not backing off. In a blog post he wrote for Grace to You, Buettel names names and includes a video of one wolf in sheep’s clothing you won’t want to miss. The man’s heretical teaching is breathtaking!  Even so, he has a gazillion adoring fans who financially support his sham of a ministry and they’ve made him a wealthy man. Why would any serious Christian support mangy wolves? Because many believers simply are unable to discern a wolf from a terrier, the reason being that they don’t have a firm grasp of Church doctrine — what they believe and why they believe it.

Someone once said that the Church is a mile wide and an inch deep. In other words, when it comes to understanding the things of God, His people have very little understanding. As a result of their shallowness, spiritual discernment is pretty much non-existent in the visible Church.  And therein lies the problem.

So with all of this in mind, here’s Cameron Buettel’s excellent post:

False teaching thrives in environments where it is unlikely to be questioned. Charlatans and heretics prey on uncritical minds, and work tirelessly to protect and preserve that gullibility. Their success depends on dismantling every challenge to their authority and accuracy.

John MacArthur describes why that problem is rampant in the modern church:

In a time like this of tolerance, listen, false teaching will always cry intolerance; it will always say you’re being divisive, you’re being unloving, you’re being ungracious, because it can only survive when it doesn’t get scrutinized. And so it cries against any intolerance. It cries against any examination, any scrutiny.

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‘I Have Deep Regrets’: Graphic Artist Who Designed ‘Shack’ Novel Renounces Book

According to Christian News, the artist lamented: “I look back and see how little discernment I had. And I regret and apologize also for waiting this long to publicly share this.” Heather Clark has the story.  She writes:

The graphic artist who helped design the controversial best-selling novel “The Shack” has come forward to express his regret for being a part of the project out of his concern that it contains false doctrine.

“[O]ver 10 years ago, I was captivated by the story and felt honored to be part of the graphic creation of the book. I was so drawn into it, wanting to know the God it portrayed,” Dave Aldrich of Aldrich Design posted to social media on Tuesday. “The Shack’s story wonderfully painted this picture to me of an incredibly knowable and loving God, one full of forgiveness, but without being judgmental.”

He said that the novel led him into reading other authors such as Rob Bell and Brian McLaren, and he found himself at the edge of accepting universalist beliefs before he came to realize the danger.

“I thank the Lord that He pulled me back from that edge,” Aldrich wrote.

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