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

What is Heresy? Is Arminianism Heresy, Part I

Pulpit & Pen examines what the meaning of heresy is. Included in this piece is a list of specified, defined heresies. Some of the examples given are: Antinomianism, Arianism, Modalism, Montanism, Pelagianism, Sabellianism, and the Galatian Heresy (works righteousness). All are prominent heresies.  Because the visible Church is infested with heresy, believers must do as the Bereans did (Acts 17:11). We must read and study the scriptures to find out if someone’s teaching is true or if it is false.

P&P tells us what heresy is and what it is not — and what they consider damnable heresy:

  1. Random Internet Denizen: John MacArthur is a heretic! Us: Why? Random Internet Denizen: Because he said you could accept the Mark of the Beast and still be saved! Us: What heresy is that? Random Internet Denizen: What do you mean? Us: Heresies have names. What is the name of that heresy? Random Internet Denizen: I don’t know. Us: So John MacArthur is a heretic, but you don’t know what kind of heretic? Random Internet Denizen: [silence]

That’s pretty much how the majority of heresy discussions go. The term is often – but not always – misapplied in various ways. Unfortunately, the term has been misapplied so frequently that some have thrown out the term altogether, and choose not to use it at all. But, heresy is a fine word. There’s no reason to throw it out. Heretic is a fine title to give someone, and there’s no reason we should stop. We just need to make sure that we’re using it correctly.

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The Conversion of Protestants to Catholicism Through the Eucharist

This piece by Roger Oakland is posted over at Lighthouse Trails:

More and more Protestants are testifying they are being drawn to the Catholic Church, especially through the Eucharist. Some say they have encountered the presence of Christ in a new and exciting way. One such person is Presbyterian pastor Steven Muse. Muse is one of the contributing authors of Mary the Mother of All: Protestant Perspectives and Experiences of Medjugorje.

According to Muse, his visit to Medjugorje was life changing, especially after he encountered the Eucharistic Christ. He states:

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See our Research Paper on Roman Catholicism

Kate Steinle Died in Her Father’s Arms, Now He’s Responding to the Jury’s Verdict for Her Killer

Becky Loggia of Western Journal has the story:

What was seen as a just verdict to some was nothing more than political leniency to others, but the most important view in the entire case of Kate Steinle’s death may belong to the ones that loved her most.

The San Francisco Chronicle detailed an exclusive interview with the Steinle family, from the inception of the event that changed their lives forever to the political turmoil that ensued.

“Each media interview, each exploitation of Kate’s name for political gain, each still shot of her smile on television only amplified the anguish of their loss,” the article states.

“Above all, they wanted it to mark the end of a public profile they neither sought nor enjoyed.”

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The good, the bad and the ugly of Michael Flynn’s guilty plea

In a piece over at The Hill, Jonathan Turley, the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, tackles the Michael Flynn situation and explains the affect it could have on President Trump:

The plea agreement of Michael Flynn, the former White House national security adviser, is a case of the the good, the bad and the ugly for the Trump administration. It is an undeniably significant, though not unexpected, development in the Russia investigation. Flynn was always the most exposed of the high-ranking Trump officials and he lacked a clear defense on some of the allegations regarding his work as a foreign agent. In the famous Western “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,” Clint Eastwood’s character Blondie explained the difference between a man with a defense and no defense: “You see, in this world there’s two kinds of people, my friend, those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.” Flynn had to dig for a plea but the question is whether he presents a clear and present danger to the Trump inner circle. That is far less clear.

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Do All Religions Just Teach Love?

As a pastor, I’m often asked by friends outside the church whether there’s any difference between the major world religions. After all—the thinking goes—aren’t they all communicating the importance of love? Don’t they share a common basis in morality?

With all the religious tension in the world, it’d be great to simply conclude that all religions are, at their core, essentially the same. If that’s the case, it’s pointless to argue about dogma, and the thought of going to war over differences becomes incomprehensible. Despite what may be good intentions in emphasizing the similarities across religions, there are real problems with assuming that “all religions just teach love.” View article →

Get Ready Cause Jesus is Coming Soon!

What does it take to “get ready”? Steve Lumbley offers his view over at Apostasy Watch. He writes:

I see this often on social media and it just drives me crazy.

What exactly does it mean to “get ready” for Jesus’ return? Is it like when the boss walks through the office and somebody says here he comes, everybody look busy? Maybe it’s like when you were a kid in school and everyone started acting up when the teacher stepped out of the room for a moment. As soon as she returned we all jumped back into our seats and tried to look innocent.

Do people actually think a warning like this has any effect or does it just make the person posting it feel like they are doing something for the Lord?

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What Happens When Christianity Doesn’t Work

Christianity is not true because it works, says Dr. Michael Horton. “That is to say, it does not solve all of the problems that we think it should solve. Those who become Christians because they were told it would fix their marriages, only to find themselves in divorce court, might well give up on Christianity. Those who expected to be free of sinful habits and desires after a conversion in which ‘sudden victory’ was promised may find themselves disillusioned with God altogether soon thereafter, when they realize that they are still sinners saved by grace.”

Dr. Horton, J. Gresham Machen professor of apologetics and systematic theology at Westminster Seminary and host of the White Horse Inn, offers hope in the midst of suffering. His must read piece is posted over at CCC Discover:

So often, when people come to Christ, they are promised “victory in Jesus.” Smiling, happy people tell about how they once were unhappy, and now they are filled with buoyant exultation. Broken marriages are fixed, wayward children are returned to the straight and narrow, and depression is banished to the old life, but what happens when Christianity doesn’t work?

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Michael Brown is More Dangerous to Christianity than a Jihadi: We Release Emails with Brown

CRN has warned our readers about noted apologist Dr. Michael Brown for several years now, as he has no problem standing with false teachers in their error, from the infamous Benny Hinn, to cover-up artist Brian Houston, goofball Sid Roth, and self-professed prophetess Jennifer LeClaire. This piece by Jordan Hall of Pulpit & Pen is yet another warning to “mark and avoid” smooth talkers like Brown who “deceive the heart of the naive.” (Rom 16:17-18) The email exchange provided by JD Hall shows that this man simply cannot be trusted:

Earlier in the year, I made a Facebook comment that was an excerpt from a manuscript I would go on to preach at the Judge Not Conference. You can see the clip of the sermon this whole thing is about below, and for your convenience, it’s at about the 10.06 mark.

Michael Brown was recently on The Naked Bible podcast with Mike Heiser. You can listen to the full episode here, in which Brown goes to great pains to defend the New Apostolic Reformation and its leaders. I was brought up at around the 38 minute mark. You can listen to the short clip below.

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Who’s the founder and leader of the NAR cult?

In a piece over at Churchwatch Central titled  “Why Wagner WAS the Leader of the NAR (Part 4): Generals International interview in 2000 reveals the truth” they examine the late C. Peter Wagner’s claim that the NAR has no leader.  Back in 2011 I expressed my concern (here) over former governor of Texas Rick Perry’s ties to the New Apostolic Reformation cult while he was a top tier candidate for President of the U.S. In an effort to do damage control, “Presiding Apostle of the International Coalition of Apostles” Peter Wagner quickly shot an email to his followers vehemently denying that the NAR is a cult, as I claimed, and went to the trouble of explaining exactly what the NAR is as only he could do.  In the email, the self-professed apostle stated that “It will surprise some to know that the NAR embraces the largest non-Catholic segment of world Christianity.” This statement ought to give one pause….because what he said is true.

So with this background in mind, following is part 4 of an exposé CWC penned on this dangerous cult:

WAGNER’S LIE: “THE NAR…..HAS NO LEADER.”

The above quote from C. Peter Wagner was in an article he wrote titled ‘The New Apostolic Reformation Is Not a Cult‘. His attempt to distance himself as being the head of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) needs to be noted.

“The NAR is not an organization. No one can join or carry a card. It has no leader. I have been called the “founder,” but this is not the case.

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Federal Judge Says US Military Must Accept Transgender Troops In New Year

TPM reports:

A federal judge in Washington, D.C. on Monday blocked President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the military, after five transgender service members filed a lawsuit against the President’s orders.

Trump announced his decision to ban transgender people from serving in the military in “any capacity” in a tweet in July. He made it official with a memorandum in August, saying it was unclear whether transgender troops serving openly would impact “military readiness and lethality” and claiming any medical needs of transgender individuals, like gender reassignment surgeries and hormones, would be too expensive for the Department of Defense to pay for.

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Smartphone Addiction Creates Imbalance in Brain

CISION has the story:

Researchers have found an imbalance in the brain chemistry of young people addicted to smartphones and the internet, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 46 percent of Americans say they could not live without their smartphones. While this sentiment is clearly hyperbole, more and more people are becoming increasingly dependent on smartphones and other portable electronic devices for news, information, games, and even the occasional phone call.

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3 Reasons Every Christian Needs to Use the Creeds

What is the best way to instruct ourselves and our children? According to Timothy W. Massaro the best way is to familiarize ourselves with the creeds (statement of faith) of the early church. “Worshipping God, and understanding what was necessary for our salvation, drove our church fathers to write down why salvation had to look and be a certain way,” says Massaro. In his piece over at CCC Discover, he explains why he believes the creeds are essential. He writes:

When we think about the Christian faith, most people today rarely think about creeds, liturgy, or confessions, let alone see them as essential to their relationship with God. Our hesitation concerning creeds is understandable, especially when they are disconnected from our worship and love of God. People often see them as cold, mindless doctrines that have nothing to do with Jesus. But this is not how they were created nor how they should be used.

In the creeds of the early church, we find something of a hidden secret – a treasure chest overlooked by many. We find a way to instruct ourselves and our children in the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). Let’s look at each of these three points to see why every Christian needs to use the creeds in their personal and corporate worship.

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Recommended:

Book by Kevin DeYoung: The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism

Todd Bentley Reveals Blurry Angel Photo as Proof of Charismatic Power

Pulpit & Pen News has the story and the alleged photo of the “sister” nun angel:

Todd Bentley, nicknamed by some as “Bam Bam Bentley” is best known for his physical violence toward the sick and the much-publicized 2008 Lakeland Revival, during which he was cheating on his wife and engaged in regular drunkenness. New Apostolic Reformation “apostles” – led by NAR founder, C. Peter Wagner and accompanied by Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson – anointed Todd Bentley as a spirit-filled, spirit-manifesting miracle worker.  None of these apostles and prophets – NONE – could perceive that Todd Bentley was an adulterous fraud when they laid hands on him. That video is below. View article →

Check out Berean Research’s White Paper on Angels, Demons & Spiritual Warfare

Thank you, Mr. Trump for bringing ‘Merry Christmas’ back to the White House

The Obama’s Christmas card featured the family dogs and did not include the word “Christmas.” The President and Mrs. Trump have brought “Merry Christmas” back to the White House. Todd Starnes, host of Fox News and Commentary, has the story:

President Trump vowed to put the Christ back into Christmas and based on this video that’s exactly what he did — delivering on a promise to end the ongoing war on Christmas.

During the first year of the Obama administration — the president and first lady considered removing the Nativity from the White House for the sake of inclusivity.

The New York Times buried that yuletide nugget deep inside a story about then-White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers. Read it for yourself, ladies and gentlemen:

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Teachers Attend ‘LGGBDTTTIQQAAP’ Sensitivity Training

The following news story is posted for informational purposes and not as an endorsement of the source or the content on the site.

Oh the insanity of it all. The Canadian organization promoting the training is an elementary school group. So, what does the longest acronym in history stand for? Megan Fox of PJ Media tells us what the letters mean:

Gather ’round children! The Canadian Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario has some super interesting new information for you! First, we’re going to learn a new acronym. Can you say, “LGGBDTTTIQQAAPP?” Let’s try it to the tune of “Old MacDonald!” Everyone sing along! Next, we’ll learn what these letters mean. Are you ready?

L — Lesbian (everyone knows what this is, right?)

G — Gay (and I’m sure I don’t need to explain this to you smarties!)

G — Genderqueer Now this one is new. So let’s make sure we all understand what this means. “Genderqueer; denoting or relating to a person who does not subscribe to conventional gender distinctions but identifies with neither, both, or a combination of male and female genders.” That’s easy, isn’t it, kids? Basically, this is a person who has no idea who or what xey are, okay?

B — Bisexual (That’s self-explanatory, isn’t it?)

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Another Man’s Done Gone: David Platt and Beth Moore

There’s trouble brewing over David Platt retweeting a video of SBC “Godmother” Beth Moore’s endorsement of the Lottie Moon Christmas offering.  Many consider David Platt a “great Bible teacher” and a truth teller while Moore. who is an idol to a large number of Christian women, is a really bad Bible teacher, even a false teacher who should be avoided at all costs. Why? For a number of reasons. First, Beth Moore is caught up in charismania. Second, she claims that God speaks directly to her, that she receives special revelation from the Almighty. Third, she associates with and promotes heretics such as Joel and Victoria Osteen, Christine Caine and Joyce Meyer.

So, it is not surprising when discernment bloggers take David Platt to task for sharing a Beth Moore tweet.  One such blogger is Seth Dunn. Dunn shares his concerns in a piece he wrote for Pulpit & Pen:

David Platt is an academic prodigy.  After graduating from the University of Georgia with two bachelor’s degrees, he earned an MDiv, a ThM, and a PhD from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary; he completed his education in his early 20s, becoming one of the youngest students, if not the youngest student, to ever earn a terminal degree at NOBTS.  The seminary hired Dr. Platt as an assistant professor of preaching and apologetics and the Dean of Chapel.  Not long after, the Church at Brook Hills called Platt to be its senior pastor.  At age 26, Platt became the pastor of one of the largest churches in the state of Alabama, in the heart of SBC country.

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Judge Strikes Down Ban on Dismemberment Abortions as ‘Undue Burden’ on ‘Right of a Woman’ to Kill Her Child

Christian News reports:

A federal judge appointed to the bench by then-President George W. Bush has struck down a Texas ban on dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortions, also known as dismemberment abortions, finding the prohibition to be an “undue burden” on the “right of a woman” to her child.

“An abortion always results in the death of the fetus. The extraction of the fetus from the womb occurs in every abortion. Dismemberment of the fetus is the inevitable result. The evidence before the court is graphic and distasteful,” U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel acknowledged, but nonetheless added, “But this evidence is germane only to the state’s interest in the dignity of fetal life and is weighed on the State’s side of the scale. It does not remove weight from the woman’s side. And it does not add weight to tip the balance in the state’s favor.”

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Identifying New Apostolic Reformation churches in your city

Holly Pivec of Spirit of Error offers 5 tips for identifying NAR churches in your neighborhood. For example, NAR churches often provide links to other NAR websites or advertise their upcoming conferences — but not always. As well “they might share the leaders’ Facebook comments or even invite them to speak at their church. Any church that invites Bill Johnson to speak is almost certainly steeped in NAR,” says Pivec.  The following tips will help point Bereans (Acts 17:11) in the right direction:

After I speak about the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and its dangers, a question I’m often asked is, “Do you think there are any NAR churches where I live?” My answer is “Almost certainly. Churches that hold to NAR beliefs can be found in pretty much every city and town.”

The next question is, “How do I know which churches those are?” That’s a very good question since most NAR churches don’t put the words “New Apostolic Reformation” on their street sign or website. So how are you supposed to know if they’re part of NAR?

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The Disturbing Legacy of Charles Finney

From Berean Research:

Dr. Michael S. Horton, Member of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and cohost of the White Horse Inn radio program. penned the exposé on Charles Finney that’s posted over at Monergism:

No single man is more responsible for the distortion of Christian truth in our age than Charles Grandison Finney. His “new measures” created a framework for modern decision theology and Evangelical Revivalism. In this excellent article, Dr. Mike Horton explains how Charles Finney distorted the important doctrine of salvation.

Jerry Falwell calls him “one of my heroes and a hero to many evangelicals, including Billy Graham.” I recall wandering through the Billy Graham Center some years ago, observing the place of honor given to Charles Finney in the evangelical tradition, reinforced by the first class in theology I had at a Christian college, where Finney’s work was required reading. The New York revivalist was the oft-quoted and celebrated champion of the Christian singer Keith Green and the Youth With A Mission organization. He is particularly esteemed among the leaders of the Christian Right and the Christian Left, by both Jerry Falwell and Jim Wallis (Sojourners’ magazine), and his imprint can be seen in movements that appear to be diverse, but in reality are merely heirs to Finney’s legacy. From the Vineyard movement and the Church Growth Movement to the political and social crusades, televangelism, and the Promise Keepers movement, as a former Wheaton College president rather glowingly cheered, “Finney, lives on!”

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It’s Time to Put My Phone in the Other Room

Jen Oshman admits: The more I am online, the more I want to be online. Or, the more I instantly respond to emails and texts, the more driven I feel to instantly respond to every message. It’s like eating sugar—the more I eat, the more my brain demands. Oshman has a plan to distance herself from her phone. She writes:

A recent study shows that our smart phones are actually making us dumber. Apparently, by just having them near us, we are “draining our brains.” Our minds know that our phones hold a wealth of information and distractions and we are unable to be fully present when they are near. Subconsciously we wonder what’s happening within all the apps our phones contain. I have experienced this double-mindedness in both my work and relationships and I want to reign it in.

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Church Cracking Down, Aiming to Use ‘More Inclusive’ Language When Referring to God

Western Journal reports:

The Church of Sweden acted Thursday to urge its clergy to stop using solely masculine references to God by adopting a new handbook governing all forms of worship. The handbook makes significant changes to how priests are encouraged to talk about God.

“We talk about Jesus Christ, but in a few places we have changed it to say ‘God’ instead of ‘he,’” Church of Sweden spokesperson Sofija Pedersen Videke told The U.K. Telegraph. “We have some prayer options that are more gender-neutral than others.”

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How to help indoctrinated cult victims break free

From Berean Research:

Sadly, many people are unaware that they are caught up in a cult.  This piece over at Faith After Deception is about how we can help those who are in a cult face the truth about their organization. It is a fact that hypnosis and other manipulative techniques are very effectively used to influence people’s thinking.  The result is that more and more people have become susceptible to charismatic figures such as we find in the Word of Faith and New Apostolic Reformation cults. This piece offers ways that will help get indoctrinated people to think critically.

SEE OUR WHITE PAPERS ON MORMONISM AND JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES

Cults are fueled by fear, shame and secrecy. Members are taught to set their sights on a future existence on a paradise earth or in heaven, and forced to give up all hopes of true joy or fulfillment in this life.  They must resign themselves to boredom, drudgery and self-discipline, which is often accompanied by feelings of emptiness and dread.  They are forced to fake a smile and to find the energy to put on a “positive face” in order to prove to outsiders that they are walking the “one, true path” to salvation.

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The Test Of Faith

Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself (2 Timothy 2:11-13).

In God’s sight, there is always a direct link between the difficulties we may have as believers here and the joy and glory that wait beyond. If we endure, we will also reign with him. It is wrong to understand those verses as though they mean that by your suffering and your enduring hardship you win the right to a crown. That is never the case in the Scriptures. We do not win a reward; we do not merit anything from God ever; no faithful service puts God in our debt and obliges Him to give us a reward.

What these verses are saying is that this is a test of the reality of our faith. If we really are Christ’s, if He has genuinely come to dwell within us, that fact will always manifest itself by our willingness to suffer with Him; to give up some things for Christ’s sake; to resolutely set ourselves against the allurements and temptations of this age and live a different lifestyle. That is the manifestation of true Christian life. If we have these genuine desires to live for Christ, of course it is absolutely certain that we shall share with Him because we belong to Him. View article →

Do not be unequally yoked with believers

In 2014 the late Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries penned a piece that addressed the growing apostasy and syncretism within the mainstream of evangelicalism. He wrote:

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? (2 Corinthians 6:14-15)

So What Does A Believer Have In Common With An Unbeliever?

Well, this would seem clear enough; but unfortunately, not so today e.g. because evangelicalism made the fateful decision to embrace the apostate and sinfully ecumenical neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church aka the Emerging Church—with its “big tent” Progressive Christianity aka Emergence Christianity. This is the root reason why we’re witnessing such syncretism within the mainstream right now.

The tragic fact is that the EC brought in its core doctrine of anti-biblical Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism and spread it throughout the younger sectors of the evangelism. Then in On Contemplative Spirituality and Charismania I showed you the further progression away from sola Scriptura currently going on throughout the heart of the church visible.

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