According to Christian News Network:
Actor and filmmaker Kirk Cameron recently invited a former evangelical pastor who converted to Roman Catholicism to TBN to make the case for Santa Claus as Cameron promotes his new film “Saving Christmas,” which seeks to convince Christians who choose not to celebrate the holiday.
Cameron shared a segment of the interview on his Facebook page on Tuesday, in which he spoke with historian William Federer, a former evangelical minister who now identifies as Roman Catholic. Sporting the Liberty University logo embroidered on his shirt, Cameron invited Federer to outline the history of Saint Nicholas and other items found in his book “There Really Is a Santa Claus: The History of Saint Nicholas & Christmas Holiday Traditions.”
I have noticed in recent weeks what seems to now be an annual occurrence of Christians-shouldn’t-celebrate-Christmas-because-it’s-a-pagan-holiday commentary online. So to address that topic head on, I should like first to say that I would never urge a brother or sister to go against their conscience if they felt that celebrating Christmas was wrong or sinful. I do not disdain my brothers or sisters who are uncomfortable with such celebrations, nor do I feel somehow superior in my freedom. But what I should like to point out is that a lot of this fear over celebrating Christmas (and oftentimes, Easter, too) comes from misinformation attributed to an historian named Alexander Hislop. We’ve posted before about the myths associated with Hislop – myths that were formed from his own biases, and which were not actually rooted in historical data. And I would therefore urge, with all gentleness and kindness, for my fellow Christians to think this issue through biblically, historically and truthfully. After all, God is the author of all truth, isn’t He? So truth matters.
Stand Up For The Truth writes:
OWN television has just announced the premiere of its new series titled, The Rob Bell Show. The same Rob Bell who challenges the truth of the Bible and continues to influence millions of fans around the world (having just returned from a national tour with New Agers Deepak Chopra and Oprah), despite his fall from biblical Christianity. The same former pastor of Mars Hill church who denies the doctrine of a real Hell (making him a heretic in the true sense of the word). He is the author of many books pushing unscriptural doctrine including Velvet Elvis, Love Wins and his new The Zimzum of Love, giving people a “startling new way of looking at marriage.” (Bell has come out in support of homosexual marriage.)
The Hebrew Roots folks are out in force again this Christmas season, attempting to convince Christians that they are sinning against God by celebrating Christmas.* Sorry, but I’m going to have to whip out my can of Luke on them for that. After all, if the gospel accounts record Jesus’ birth being proclaimed, angels singing his praises, shepherds rushing to see him, and wise men bringing him gifts some time later, why should we not, as Christians, also have the freedom to:
- proclaim his birth (using Christmas as a springboard to talk about how God has sent a Savior who died for sinners);
- sing his praises;
- dwell on the fact that one day I will bodily be in his presence, just as those who rushed to his side that day were in his presence; and
- exchange gifts with my loved ones as a way of remembering the greatest Gift of all time, our Savior, who was given to us by God out of his great loving-kindness?
* Please note that I respect the right of my Christian brothers and sisters who choose not to celebrate Christmas. And just as I do not look upon them with disdain, neither should they look upon me with disdain (Col. 2:16).
Jesse Johnson of The Cripplegate was interviewed by The Daily Signal to get a pastor’s perspective on the Ferguson rioting. Johnson put forth three sound biblical principles concerning the riots in Ferguson.
For those unfamiliar with Christian Reconstructionism/Theonomy, here’s a thumbnail sketch: Christian Reconstructionists are the buttoned-up version of Dominionism. On one side of the Dominionism coin, you have the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), who believe they have a mandate from God to take spiritual dominion of the earth. Out of this mistaken belief, which is based on misinterpreting various Bible verses including Genesis 1:28 and Psalm 8 (which are about taking physical dominion of the earth, not spiritual dominion), the NARs have developed errant teachings known as “Joel’s Army” and the “7 Mountain Mandate.”
But flip the Dominionism coin, and you will find Christian Reconstructionism, a much more theologically buttoned-up form of Dominionism, and one that has taken strong root inside the homeschooling community. Christian Reconstructionists work very, very hard to distinguish themselves from the New Apostolic Reformation, with its wackadoodle services where adherents sometimes shake, quiver, bark like dogs, and deceive themselves into believing angel feathers, gold dust and glory clouds are manifesting. Christian Reconstructionists eschew all this nonsense, and rightly so. Christian Reconstructionists are also, as previously noted, much more theologically buttoned-up and biblically grounded. But like their NAR counterparts, Christian Reconstructionists also believe they have a mandate from God to reclaim the culture, and the world.
Pastoring 101 – here’s what should happen when seminary students show up for their first day of class: they are handed two live sheep. And the professor then tells them this: your assignment is to look after these sheep for the next semester. You are to feed them, care for them, tend them, comb their wool, and protect them from wolves. If, at the end of the semester, you return both of these sheep to me, alive and in good condition (i.e. they not frightened, malnourished or missing any limbs), then you will have earned the right to graduate to the next step: learning how to minister to actual people.
Amy Spreeman, co-host of Stand Up For The Truth, reports that the 10th anniversary edition of the controversial book Jesus Calling has undergone a miraculous “transformation” without any explanation from publisher Thomas Nelson or the author Sarah Young. Could this be damage control by the publisher who discovered that Young’s “Jesus” is not the Jesus of the Bible?
Recently resigned megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll is reportedly considering re-establishing himself as a pastor, perhaps with the help of Word of Faith teacher Robert Morris.
Since his resignation, former megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll has reportedly fled the biblical process of church discipline at Mars Hill, perhaps in favor of setting up another church elsewhere with those willing to turn a blind eye to his sins and unresolved conflicts at his former church. (For documentation of Driscoll’s having fled the discipline process, listen to the audio of Mars Hill pastor A.J. Hamilton speaking at the 19 October 2014 Mars Hill church service, beginning at the 37 minute mark.)
Understandably, many eyes have now turned to Dr. Piper, who has in past years given Driscoll a large and generous platform, beginning with featuring Driscoll at the 2006 Desiring God conference. In a recent interview, Dr. Piper was asked if, given the magnitude of the scandals now associated with Driscoll, he had any regrets in partnering with Driscoll over the years. In essence, Dr. Piper stated in the interview published on 13 November 2014 that, despite “mistakes that Mark may have made” or instances in which “he might have walked out of step with the truth,” he had “no regrets” over partnering with Driscoll, and that despite some misgivings he had, he felt that Driscoll was on the whole a solid teacher.
Amy Spreeman, co-host of Stand Up For The Truth, reports:
Roma Downey and her husband Mark Burnett, who gave us the unbiblical The Bible and The Son of God films, is now making a 2-hour Lifetime Television series, “The Women of the Bible.”
Stop. (Just stop.) Back up to The Bible and The Son of God. These two programs were so error-filled, that we need to review just how far off Downey and Burnett are from biblical truth…
“Bill Johnson is no stranger to controversy,” says Marsha West. “For one thing, he claims to be an apostle, as in the unique position held by the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ.” Are the self-proclaimed apostles and prophets in the same league as the Old Testament prophets and New Testament Apostles as they claim? Or are these men and women what Jesus declared “ravenous wolves” in Matthew 7:15? In West’s two part series, discover the many twists and turns the new apostolic-prophetic movement has taken over the years.
Mars Hill pastor Mark Driscoll, who was first introduced to the world by being featured as a keynote speaker at John Piper’s 2006 Desiring God conference, and who quickly gathered a large following along with a “bad boy” reputation, has now resigned. However, questions still remain about alleged improprieties having to do with the handling of some of the finances while he was the lead pastor at his church, particularly with respect to the Mars Hill Global Fund, a fund to which Mars Hill attendees were encouraged to contribute, and which was positioned as being for missions.
Mars Hill pastor Mark Driscoll, who was first introduced to the world by being featured as a keynote speaker at John Piper’s 2006 Desiring God conference, and who quickly gathered a large following along with a “bad boy” reputation, has now resigned. However, in his resignation letter, Driscoll appeared to leave open the possibility of his return to public ministry by stating that he was thankful to the Mars Hill church oversight committee for making it clear that he (Driscoll) has not been disqualified from future ministry. His basis for making such a claim seems to rest on the fact that the oversight committee had stated that Driscoll had not been charged with “criminal activity, immorality or heresy.” It should be noted, however, that these things, while important, are not the entire standard against which a pastor is to be held.
Psychology professor Warren Throckmorton, who writes for Patheos, has the latest on the Mark Driscoll saga. He has included a video that shows Mark and Grace Driscoll acknowledging mistakes they’ve made in ministry. “Driscoll makes revealing statements about his views of his elders,” says Throckmorton. “These opinions give insight into the changes in governance at Mars Hill since 2007…”
Stand Up For The Truth’s Amy Spreeman is troubled that the just released faith-based movie “The Song” is way too racy for young audiences. “There are a lot of great films out there that are family-friendly for Christians,” says Spreeman.” But not this film, she contends.
For anyone wanting to hear a balanced discussion about a movement within conservative Christianity known as the Quiverfull/Patriarchy movement, and the problems with it, please listen to the Sinister Headship episode of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelical’s Mortification of Spin radio show. Carl Trueman’s guest is Rachel Miller of The Aquila Report, who recently wrote an article entitled The Soul-numbing Dangers of Patriarchy.
Christine Pack and Cathy Matthews comment further on their Sola Sisters blog.
A large number of Christian celebrities and evangelical churches promote contemplative prayer (CP). Through meditation the practitioner is brought into an altered state of consciousness that differs radically from normal waking consciousness. The goal of CP is to unite the practitioner with God. But is this practice biblical? CRN correspondent Marsha West examines what the scriptures teach on meditation and lays out what’s biblical and what’s not.
Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, addresses the absurd comments made by Victoria Osteen, wife of prosperity preacher Joel Osteen, during a recent talk she gave at his church. Victoria Osteen said:
I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God—I mean, that’s one way to look at it – we’re doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we’re happy. That’s the thing that gives Him the greatest joy. So, I want you to know this morning: Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy. When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God really. You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy. Amen?
Mohler offers valid reasons why Joel and Victoria Osteen’s slick version of Prosperity Theology is a heresy that is spreading throughout much of the world. “The important issue is this,” says Mohler, “Prosperity Theology is a false Gospel”.
9/11 woke me up. In fact, it awakened both me and my husband from our easygoing lifestyle. You’ve read articles that mention there was a massive influx in church services right after 9/11 happened? My husband and I were part of that. We went to church with lots of questions. If our lives can be snuffed out in an instant, what does it all mean? Is there a God? If there is a God, is He good? And if He is good, why did He let 9/11 happen? Turns out, we were asking all the wrong questions.
CRN correspondent Marsha West reports that prosperity preacher Joyce Meyer has agreed to speak at the upcoming International House of Prayer’s Onething Conference. The director of IHOP is none other than self-proclaimed “prophet” Mike Bickle. Could this be a sign that Meyer is on the verge of aligning with the modern day “apostles and prophets” movement?
Marsha also reports that noted evangelical philosopher and apologist Ravi Zacharias appeared on Joyce Meyer’s TV show; likewise, popular Reformed pastor Francis Chan shared a stage with Mike Bickle. How is it that men of their stature are unaware that both Moore and Bickle preach a carefully crafted counterfeit Christianity?
In part 1, Marsha West brought the reader up to speed on Beth Moore’s slide into mysticism and also gave a heads up on her unbiblical teaching. In part 2 she reports on Moore’s recent appearance on Word of Faith teacher Joyce Meyer’s TV show and her eagerness to unite with someone who teaches a false gospel. Marsha also brings to light the unprecedented biblical illiteracy of a large number of professing Christians. She argues that evangelical has become such a broad term that it has lost its meaning. The proof of this is that false teachers such as Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer and Rob Bell are considered evangelicals.
A free eBook, K.I.S.S. Christianity, by Jon Cardwell, is now available at preachingchristcrucified.com.
When you think of spiritual abuse, does your mind conjure up a rigid, stifling environment in which people are expected to dress in an extremely conservative way, and adhere to certain legalistic rules in order to be accepted? While it’s true that these are sometimes the marks of a spiritually abusive environment,
What about a church whose members are often in true fellowship with each other? Churches where members laugh together, eat meals together, study God’s Word together, bowl and bike and hike together, and swap recipes and share coffee while the kids play together?
As surprising as it may seem, spiritual abuse can happen in these environments just as much as in the obviously legalistic churches. And oftentimes, those experiencing the abuse are not even aware that it is taking place. View article →
Is it a good thing or a bad thing for an evangelical Christian to be branded a “LIE?” What about a “u-LIE”?
Beth Moore is one the most popular Bible teachers in the Church. Millions of women read her books and flock to her conferences to learn from her. But is this trusted teacher rightly dividing the Word of Truth?
Would God approve of His people taking a “Christian” yoga class?
Marsha West answers these questions and tackles the visible church’s descent into Christian mysticism.