Anyone who follows the news knows that mega pop-star Justin Bieber has made headlines for behaving badly. What some of you may not know is that Justin’s a professing Christian. Don’t stop reading here. This isn’t about bad-boy Bieber. What it’s about is his pastor, Judah Smith, who is a rising star in Christendom. Smith is the teaching pastor of The City Church, a megachurch in Seattle. His wife and mother, who started the church with her late husband, are two of several City Church pastrixes. I should point out that it is unbiblical for women to be pastors and elders.
The late Ken Silva, Christian apologist and owner of Apprising Ministries, once called Judah Smith a “charismatic quasi-prosperity preacher.” If you’re unfamiliar with the Word of Faith/prosperity gospel (name-it-and-claim-it), it is outright heresy. Some readers will likely disagree with me on this and may even think I’m being too harsh. So I urge you to do as the Bereans did by going to the Word of God to see if what I say is true. (1 John 4:1)
A few years ago when Pastor Smith was first becoming a rising star, Ken Silva produced a short video showing him addressing a crowd of 60,000 young people under the age of twenty-five at the 2013 Passion Conference. While the founder of Passion, Louis Giglio, looked on, Smith paraded around the stage abusing the Lord’s Name. Yes, a “pastor” chose to use OMG five times. (See the video below) Perhaps he did it for shock value. Or maybe he uses the Lord’s Name in vain all the time and didn’t realize he was saying what he said. Regardless, when it comes to the clergy, neither of these reasons holds water.
Smith certainly knows the Bible warns about the power of words. He’s also aware that the Christian’s role is to glorify God. I mean, that’s what the Passion Conference is all about. According to its website, “Passion exists to glorify God by uniting students in worship, prayer and justice for spiritual awakening in this generation.”
Did Smith think that using the Lord’s Name in this way would glorify God? Probably not. I rather suspect he’s aware that Christians have a responsibility to watch how we speak. One can only conclude that he doesn’t think Exodus 20:7, “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain…” applies to him.
According to John Lanagan of My Word Like Fire, the apostate New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement has infiltrated the Assemblies of God (AG), a Pentecostal Christian denomination. Lanagan fills us in on the E21 event that is currently going on in Jerusalem. NAR “prophetess” Cindy Jacobs “was not only a featured speaker … at the Amman, Jordan event, but is the co-chair of the Jerusalem2015 Prophecy and The End Times Ministry Track.”
A few comments, observations, and a question or two for Assemblies of God General Superintendent George Wood and his E21 co-chair, Billy Wilson of Oral Roberts University:
Sit under the teaching, gifting, and anointing of the world’s top Spirit-empowered pastors, leaders, and teachers. –E21 promotional for Jerusalem 2015 event 
In the past few years we have seen a dilution of biblical doctrine occurring throughout the Body of Christ. Now, it seems anything called “Jesus”—The Shack and Jesus Calling come to mind—is welcomed without question by huge numbers of Christians.
Is the same thing happening in terms of the Holy Spirit? Are increasing numbers in the visible church beginning to place less emphasis on doctrine in order to facilitate Spirit-empowered unity?
This brings us to the Empowered21 organization:
According to Market Watch columnist Jurica Dujmovic, “Project Elysium, made by a couple of gaming geeks, aims to help people cope with the loss of family and friends.” The “game”the geeks came up with is steeped in the occult, thus Bible believing Christians must have nothing to do with it or any “game” like it — not even if it’s “just for fun.”
Communing with deceased loved ones usually involves a visit to the graveyard. Project Elysium, by Paranormal Games, is attempting to turn the experience into a 3D virtual-reality simulation.
In piece over at truthXchange, noted Bible scholar Peter Jones reveals what he believes are the reasons the evangelical movement is in theological crisis mode right now. Dr. Jones informs us that in April 2015, 1,300 Christian leaders sat through teaching by “Q” founder David Gushee and homosexual activist and professing Christian Matthew Vines defending the “Christian Gay” movement. One of his concerns is that, “publicly airing the issue, in such an important “Evangelical” forum, in a cool kind of way [which is what was done] … may indeed bestow a certain legitimacy on such a biblically unsupportable position and thus threaten the on-going health of Christian orthodoxy.”
There’s a must watch video over at My Word Like Fire that shows Tim Keller’s fascination with Catholic mysticism.
In a 2014 interview, Pastor Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church noted that Puritan John Owen was “down on Catholic mysticism and down on an awful lot of the ways in which evangelicals are trying to bring in Catholic contemplative prayer practices.”  Keller also stated, “Most books I know that are critical of contemplative prayer, as I am…”  (bold mine)
Wait a minute. As he is?
Keller himself has advocated Catholic contemplative prayer practices. Here on YouTube Keller promotes Catholic mystic Teresa of Avila…
John Lanagan shared a video on My Word Like Fire of New Apostolic Reformation “Prophet” Cindy Jacobs teaching on the Lord’s Prayer. We’re posting the video and Lanagan’s comments so that visitors to CRN will understand why we have said all along that the NAR is a dangerous movement within Christendom.
Did you know The Lord’s Prayer is really about transforming nations? Did you know sin came into the world because we didn’t understand our Dominionist commission? Neither did I.
So you see, this is exactly why we need the leadership (?) of New Apostolic Reformation prophets like Cindy Jacobs. Please pardon my sarcasm.
27 seconds into the video: “…and God showed me [The Lord’s Prayer] was a prayer and every part of the prayer is an element on how to reform and transform a nation.”
53 seconds into the video: The Lord’s Prayer “is the prayer of intercession that will help bring into manifestation the original Genesis Mandate to fill, subdue, multiply and have dominion in the earth.”
1:24 seconds into the video: “This was our commission in the Garden and it never changed…because we didn’t understand our commission sin came into the world and it began to deteriorate the ability we had to steward the earth.”
2:55 seconds into the video: “So we have authority to reverse the Genesis curse of poverty and death. Not only do we have the power to do so, we have the mandate. You have to understand this.”
The Lord’s Prayer, Matthew 6:9-13:
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Lyndon Unger of The Cripplegate tackles the topic of professing Christians living together before marriage. Many Christians feel that there’s no problem with “shacking up” because “everyone else is doing it.” However, they cannot point to the scriptures to show that God approves of “try before you buy.” In Part 1, Unger lays out a biblical framework for dealing with sex outside of marriage and explains why Christians must not to try to justify “shacking up” before walking down the aisle. Clearly, God is not silent on the issue of sex outside of marriage.
For a number of years a woman I know, I’ll call her Rachel, has wrestled with giving her life to Christ. She admits she really wants to, but how can she when she’d have to serve a God who allows murderers into heaven and sends “good people” to hell? It would be awkward to have to explain to her husband, family and friends that they’re bound for hell if they reject Christ. In other words, Rachel won’t play by God’s rules because His rules make her uncomfortable. In her way of thinking the God of the Bible is too punitive for her sensibilities. And besides, what kind of God would allow a serial murderer into heaven who professed a belief in Christ only minutes before going to the gas chamber while at the same time condemn “good people” to hell for their unbelief?
Liberals like Rachel require a more palatable religion, one that’s all-inclusive and, of course, fair. They desire a warm fuzzy God. The liberal’s ideal God is a sort of jolly ol’ St. Nick figure. The liberal’s jolly ol’ god has a Naughty and Nice list but his heart is so big that he often overlooks naughty children’s indiscretions (even the ones who are unrepentant) and delivers the goods to them anyway. He’d be unloving if he didn’t bend a little.
Rachel has yet to place her faith in Christ because it’s unthinkable that God would send “good people” to hell. Her major stumbling block is that she’s acquainted with a number of “good people” who aren’t Christians — and are a whole lot nicer than some Christians she knows.
Rachel contends that a just God wouldn’t send nice folks to hell for all eternity simply because they reject Jesus Christ.
But the Bible says otherwise. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” ( John 14:6).
People like Rachel sincerely believe they could do a far better job of running the universe than the One who created it. Talk about chutzpah!
Bill Gertz, Senior Editor for the Washington Free Beacon writes:
China’s military plans to produce nearly 42,000 land-based and sea-based unmanned weapons and sensor platforms as part of its continuing, large-scale military buildup, the Pentagon’s annual report on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) disclosed Friday.
China currently operates several armed and unarmed drone aircraft and is developing long-range range unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for both intelligence gathering and bombing attacks.
Over at Pulpit & Pen, JD Hall writes:
Ed Stetzer, whose employer – Lifeway “Christian” Resources – sells more than a few Andy Stanley books, interviewed the Texas pastor on the topic of preaching related to his book, Communicating for a Change. The second of such interviews on this topic, Stetzer posts the Q&A on his blog, hosted by Christianity Today. What follows is nothing short of a shocking (but refreshingly honest and explicit) rejection of expository preaching, and although is not new, is making its way around social media as of late.
Falsified Ministries reports:
Dance cams. Saturday Night Live-type comedy sketches. Church. Steven Furtick’s arrogance. Do those things sound like they should go together? Does Scripture say that church is supposed to be fun and entertaining?
Church Entertainment Center on the Move in Tulsa, OK thinks so. And by the way, this is NOT what you will find at a true church.
Robert Knight of the American Civil Rights Union makes the case that forcing gay marriage on Americans would be an act of tyranny.:
While the U.S. Supreme Court held an Alice-in-Wonderland session on the nature and value of marriage, one of the nation’s largest cities lay partly in ruins over the death of a black man in police custody.
What do the two events have in common? In each instance, the concept of “civil rights” has been redefined to the breaking point. Each represents an unraveling of the moral order that makes civilization possible.
In Baltimore last weekend, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake expanded civil rights to include giving “space” to rioters “who wished to destroy.” Even though she later claimed her words were taken out of context, here’s what she said:
“I’ve made it very clear that I work with the police and instructed them to do everything they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech,” she said, as recorded by NBC, on the weekend before rioting began over the death of Freddie Gray in police custody on April 19. “It’s a very delicate balancing act because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.” Say what?
If you’re among those who are wondering what in blue blazes a “mantle” is and why Glenn Beck received one, you’re about to find out. Because Glenn Beck was involved, the ceremony, held at the Global Spheres Center, caught the attention of the news media and quickly spread throughout the blogosphere. In this piece by CRN General Editor Marsha West you’ll learn who bestowed the “mantle” on Beck and what it all means.
Ryan T. Anderson, who writes primarily about marriage and religious liberty for the conservative Heritage Foundation, fills us in on some of the best portions of the oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court:
Tuesday’s oral arguments at the Supreme Court were excellent. There were so many good points made about what marriage is and why redefining marriage would cause harms.
This litany of harms stands in stark contrast to the outrageous lower court rulings that had declared no rational basis to state marriage laws defining marriage as it always had been in America: a union of husband and wife.
Most importantly, it was clear that the nine Supreme Court justices do not have any greater insight on ideal marriage policy than do ordinary American citizens. And the Constitution itself is silent about it.
So the justices should uphold the authority of citizens and their elected representatives to make marriage policy in the states.
Jeff Maples of Psalm 12 expresses his concern over the direction the Southern Baptist Convention is moving in, as its current president encourages Baptists to participate in occult practices:
As anyone who’s been following my blog knows I’ve been highly critical of Ronnie Floyd and the SBC’s 2015 Annual Meeting theme, “Great Awakening.” I believe the Southern Baptist Convention has spun out of control under current president Floyd, and is heading downhill faster than ever. Ronnie Floyd is no stranger to questionable practices and teachings, and has been exposed for his mishandling of Scripture to teach Robert Morris’ first fruits tithing heresy, as well as ties to a New Age ministry that practices a borderline form of witchcraft, known as prayer circles. He also endorses New Ager Mark Batterson’s book, The Circle Maker, which also promotes an unbiblical form mystical prayer.
Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, does not mince words when he states that same-sex marriage “sets the stage for what may well be, in the United States, the greatest threat to religious liberty of our lifetime.” He writes:
“It is going to be an issue.” With those words, spoken yesterday before the Supreme Court of the United States, the Solicitor General of the United States announced that religious liberty is directly threatened by the legalization of same-sex marriage. Donald Verrili, representing the Obama Administration as the nation’s highest court considered again the issue of same-sex marriage, was responding to a question from Justice Samuel Alito. His answer confirms with candor the threat we have long seen coming.
Will, who blogs at Entreating Favor, expresses his concern over comments made by Andy Stanley, senior pastor of North Point megachurch, at a recent conference. The popular pastor declared that local congregations should be the “safest place on the planet for students to talk about anything, including same-sex attraction.” Will wonders what he meant by “safe.” “Safe from what?” queries Will, as he believes that it’s unlikely that Christian churches are causing physical harm to their homosexual youth. He does, however, believe that Pastor Stanley “is at risk of causing them the worst possible spiritual harm.”
Nathan Busenitz of The Cripplegate paints a picture of heaven as a place of vibrant color, good food, loud music, close friendships, as well as physical activity. But what will be missing from heaven? Busenitz puts forward a list of 17 items that the Apostle John reveals in the book of Revelation that will be missing in heaven. It’s reassuring to know that “Each of these represents some aspect of fallenness, rebellion, or divine judgment connected to this present world. And there will be no sign of corruption or judgment in the world to come.”
Nathan Busenitz of The Cripplegate paints a picture of heaven as a place of: “vibrant color, good food, loud music, close friendships, as well as physical activity.”
But what will be missing from heaven? Busenitz puts forward a list of 17 items that the Apostle John reveals in the book of Revelation that will be missing in heaven. It’s reassuring to know that “Each of these represents some aspect of fallenness, rebellion, or divine judgment connected to this present world. And there will be no sign of corruption or judgment in the world to come.”
In part 2 of her series, Marsha West addresses some of the flaws in the “family values” movement. One such flaw is the cleverly contrived manipulation tactics conservative leaders, i.e. evangelicals, resort to in their effort to raise money to “take back America.” Notable evangelicals and so-called Christian musical artists have no qualms about appearing on stage with apostates for some “cause” or another. In this piece Marsha reveals the names of some of the prominent professing Christians who are partnering with apostates, even heretics, in the culture war.
Christian News Network reports:
The producer of an acclaimed documentary that recently hit theaters across the country and is currently being shown in churches nationwide is sharing his story of how he came to Christ as a result of his work on the film.
Brian Ivie, 24, is the director of the film “The Drop Box,” a documentary that tells the story of South Korean pastor Lee Jong-rak, who is credited with saving countless abandoned babies who might have otherwise have died after being left on the streets by their mothers.
This article will no doubt spark a bit of controversy. In it, Stephen John addresses the claims that Easter is pagan in origin. therefore Christians should not celebrate Easter Sunday:
This piece is not about how evil and pagan the Easter bunny and Easter are,” John clarifies. “Or that Easter eggs, especially the red-painted ones, constitute full-blown devil worship and offerings to strange goddesses. Boo! And it’s not about whether or not born-again believers should or should not celebrate Easter—that is your decision. This piece was written from a born-again believer’s perspective and looks at some other Easter-related issues. But please note that you’re not going to get your obsessive, fanatical, and unbiblical anti-Easter fix here. For that, try the Hebrew Roots Movement cult, the Sacred Name Movement cult, your local branch of the Anti-Easter League, the We-Are-All-Jews-Now fan club, or, sadly (in many cases), your local church. Close your mouth.