Mormon Leader: More Dead People Should be Baptized

According to a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints governing body, baptizing the dead “saves not just the dead; it saves all of us.” These are “proxy baptisms” and Mormons do them on behalf of the dead. In The Briefing, Albert Mohler points out that “No historic Christian church has ever observed the baptism on behalf of the dead. But it does make perfect sense in Mormonism, where spirits are created beings, God himself is a created being, where God is, spirit beings may one day be, and where very clearly there is the opportunity for those on the other side of death to embrace their own Mormon baptism and thus to receive the blessings the church teaches come along with that baptism.”

Now to TIME magazine’s report:

Mormon leaders reminded church members Saturday about the importance of performing ceremonial baptisms on dead ancestors who didn’t receive the ordinance while alive.

Henry Eyring told a worldwide audience during a twice-yearly Mormon conference that God wants all his children to come “home again.” He encouraged listeners to use the religion’s massive genealogical database to trace their roots.

Ceremonial baptisms occur when a member brings an ancestor’s name to a temple. Mormons believe the ritual allows deceased people a way to the afterlife if they choose to accept it. The belief that families are sealed for eternity is one of the faith’s core tenets.

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See our Research Paper on Mormonism

Sufficiency of Scripture

Does the Christian need additional revelations, visions, words of prophecy, or insights from modern psychology?  Some people think so.  No, says Amy Spreeman of Berean Research. Scripture is sufficient.  She explains why:

Did you know that the Bible is all we need to equip us for a life of faith and service? It’s true! And in fact the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture is a fundamental tenet of the Christian faith. Sadly, it’s a tenet that has long been under viscous attack from within our own visible, modern churches.

But be assured that no other writings are needed for the Gospel to be understood, nor are any other writings required to equip us for a life of faith. Everything else – entertainment, extra-biblical revelations, mysticism, spiritual deliverance ministries and some forms of psychological counseling all declare that the Bible and its precepts are not enough. But Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me” (John 10:27). His voice is found in every word of the Word; the Scriptures are His voice, completely and utterly sufficient.

Consider 2 Timothy 3:15–17:

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7 Reasons Church is Not Optional and Non-Negotiable for Christians

According to author, speaker and Bible teacher Michelle Lesley, for Christians, being joined to a local church is not optional — it’s a must! Why? “Well, Jesus founded the church,” says Michelle. Moreover, “Jesus is the head of the church. Jesus loves the church. Jesus died for the church. Jesus is the Savior of the church. Jesus nourishes, cherishes, and sanctifies the church.” So she wonders how any Bible believing Christian could claim to love and follow Jesus “and yet cavalierly toss aside something He values so much that He laid His life down for it?” Ever considered that, brethren?

Michelle concludes: “If you really love Jesus, you’ll value the things He values, and, clearly, He values the church.”

Now listen as Michelle Lesley offers 7 reasons Christians must not forsake the assembly:

It’s a disturbing trend that’s spreading like the plague, especially among women who claim to be believers:

“I’m a Christian but I refuse to attend church.”

These aren’t women who can’t attend church due to health reasons, caring for an ill or disabled loved one, who have no other choice but to work on Sundays, or who live in an area with no reasonably doctrinally sound church to attend. They’re women who could get plugged in to a decent local church, but intentionally shun the body of Christ.

Usually, the decision to opt out of church boils down to one of two scenarios: a) a believer who was hurt by a previous church and yet isn’t ready to risk being hurt again or b) someone (often a false convert) who doesn’t grasp the concept that being joyfully joined to a local body of believers is part of what defines someone as a Christian.

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Kong Hee apologises for ‘unwise decisions’, to begin jail term on Apr 21

Kong Hee is on his way to jail for his “unwise decision” to line his pockets with money that belonged to City Harvest Church (CHC). So Pastor Hee released an apology. Channel News Asia reports:

City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee has issued an apology to his church and the public for “unwise decisions” he had made in the past.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday night (Apr 19), Kong said: “I am truly sorry … I am filled with grief and regret over my mistakes and I sincerely ask for your forgiveness.”

For the rest of the story and to read Hee’s apology, visit CNA.

Now this from Churchwatch Central (CWC), a group of “churchwatchers” who have done some excellent reporting on Kong Hee and his leadership’s pilfering of church funds; likewise the church’s ties to the New Apostolic Reformation. CWC and Chris Rosebrough of Fighting for the Faith have exposed Kong Hee’s church (here) as “a dangerous cult that threatens the Christian faith and the well-being of citizens of Singapore.”

CHC Management Board reacts to Kong Hee’s sentence

“We pronounce deliverance in Jesus name. Not one night will this fair head spend behind bars.” Prophet Phil Pringle, CHC Advisory Pastor – Photo credit Churchwatch Central

From CHC Management Board, we read Aries Zulkarnain’s media release in which he states:

“We put our trust in God that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

This statement is a paraphrase of Romans 8:28

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Sadly this scripture barely resembles the lives of Kong Hee, or his leadership. However it does reflect the lives of those who have left CHC after clearly questioning CHC’s teachings and practices.

What Zulkarnain quoted is exactly what CHC has not done.

If CHC put their faith in God, why is their founder, and his senior leaders, going to jail?

This is why things have NOT worked out for the good of CHC and why it has NOT worked for the six accused. If “God works for the good of those who love Him,” why are six leaders from CHC  going to jail?

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We Are Now Offering Mentoring to Lifeway Executives

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that high-profile Christian business men would “leverage their ‘success’ as executives to project themselves as expert advice-givers to pastors,” as Ed Stetzer and Thom Rainer are doing. What is surprising, though, is that pastors would be interested in receiving advice on pastoring from business executives. According to Gideon Knox, both Stetzer and Reiner are into career coaching.  The term for this is “life coach.” For those who don’t know, life coaching has its roots in the “Human Potential” movement which blends secularism and religion to help people achieve their goals. The aim is to cultivate “extraordinary potential that its advocates believe to lie largely untapped in all people.” This movement is New Age at its core.

Gideon Knox of Pulpit & Pen shares why he thinks Christian leaders have adopted secular humanistic philosophy and are promoting what is clearly an anti-God philosophy to the Body of Christ. He writes:

Thom Rainer, President of Lifeway ‘Christian’ Resources, believes so much in the principle of Biblical mentorship that he has offered to indiscriminately mentor people for the low low price of only $249.47 per month. To be fair, that price is for the Platinum Mentorship Program, in which you’ll actually be entitled to having a video conference call with Rainer (not one-on-one, obviously). But if you would settle for being put on his email list (there’s a disclaimer that he doesn’t guarantee he’ll respond to an email), you can enroll in the Premium Package for only 49.97 per month.

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Fox Bets on Humor and Conflict as It Enters a New Era

According to Eddie Zipperer of LifeZette, with Bill O’Reilly’s exit, Fox News will focus on a new generation of viewers — and will deploy a lot more humor.  Zipperer writes:

He was there when Fox News was born 21 years ago. For 15 years, he dominated the 8 p.m. time slot. Now, in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal that scared away advertisers, Fox News is Killing Bill O’Reilly, so to speak — or his show, anyway. The move is the crescendo to what has already been a year of musical anchor chairs at the cable network. Just a few months ago, it was Greta Van Susteren at 7 p.m., Bill O’Reilly at 8 p.m., and Megyn Kelly at 9 p.m. Roger Ailes was still the head honcho, and Tucker Carlson was an irregular contributor to the Fox & Friends weekend jayvee team.

Harken back to those old days in your mind. To set the scene, it was a time when progressives couldn’t decide if they would call Bill Clinton something classy like “first gentleman” or something fun like “first dude.” Back then people still thought Nate Silver could use math to see the future, and the term Brexit made progressives laugh instead of cry.

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Visiting Hank Hanegraaff’s New Greek Orthodox Church

After attending a service at St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church, Jeff Maples of Pulpit & Pen made this observation: A lost person could not walk into this church and walk out a changed man. It was literally a Pagan practice. Like a seance. Pure witchcraft was going on in this place.

Now read about Maples experience during a recent St. Nektarios church service:

One of the biggest complaints against Pulpit & Pen we get consistently is that we somehow don’t “have all our facts,” or are “misrepresenting” someone or something. I received countless emails claiming that I “misrepresented” Greek Orthodoxy in my recent posts regarding Hank Hanegraaff and that I should do more research. Well, what better way to research than to go straight to the source in person? Saturday, April 15, known as Holy Saturday in the Orthodox tradition, I along with a couple of friends went to visit St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church in Charlotte, NC–the church that Hanegraaff was recently chrismated in. The service began at 11:30 pm, and was still going strong showing no signs of slowing down when we decided to leave at around 2:00 am. While we hoped to have the opportunity to confront Hanegraaff in person, being that we all had to get up early the next morning to worship the living God on Easter morning, we decided to call it a night early. However, there are quite a few things that we can take away from this experience in this church.

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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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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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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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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

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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Why Should I Believe that Jesus Rose from the Dead?

The following is adapted from Michael Horton, “Risen Indeed.”

In answering this question, it’s helpful for us to return to the “facts of the case.” Here, speculation is useless. It does not matter what we thought reality was like: whether we believed in thirty gods or none. It doesn’t matter what we find helpful, meaningful, or fulfilling. This is not about spirituality or moral uplift. Something has happened in history and we cannot wish it away. It either happened or it did not happen, but the claim itself is hardly meaningless or beyond investigation. Let’s look at the facts of the case.

The earliest Christians testified to the following elements of the resurrection claim, even to the point of martyrdom:

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Rick Warren: Thinking Like A Pagan And A Theology-dissing Jesus

From Berean Research:

Before you get started on Bud Ahlheim’s blog post, head over to our White Paper on Rick Warren, quickly browse our list of concerns, then return to Bud’s piece because you’ll want to know what this man is currently up to.

Because Rick Warren has been dubbed “America’s Pastor” and is held in high esteem by the clueless media as well as pastors who have bought into the purpose-driven model of doing church, it’s important to follow his career path. Since Berean Research makes an effort to closely monitor his comings and goings, we can report without reservation that “America’s Pastor” is not only a wolf in sheep’s clothing; he’s a leader of the pack.  Too harsh, you say?  Again, take a glimpse at our research, and then come back to Bud Ahlheim’s must read report….

 

Remember how Jesus, when He came to earth as the Incarnate Son Of God, actually became a vile, depraved sinner so that He could adequately reach sinners in a relevant way with His Truth? Or that time the thrice-denying Peter answered Jesus’ thrice-offered query, “Do you love me?” in the negative, but only so he could do effective ministry among Jews who didn’t love Jesus either?  Or how about that story of the post-Damascus Road Paul who decided to forsake his apostolic calling and return to living as a self-righteous pagan so that he could reach pagans with the Gospel?

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GOP Calls on Trump to Honor Promise to Defend Religious Liberty

In a piece over at Townhall, Todd Starnes says he has “exclusively obtained a letter signed by more than 52 House Republicans urging the president to sign an executive order on religious liberty.”

In February President Trump made a promise to people of faith across the fruited plain.

“My administration will do everything in its power to defend and protect religious liberty in our land,” the president said at the National Prayer Breakfast.

When he campaigned for the White House he stated that the “first priority of my administration will be to preserve and protect our religiously liberty.”

“The First Amendment guarantees our right to practice our faith as we see fit…all the time, always, wherever,” he went on to say.

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Ten thoughts about the ‘Billy Graham Rule’

News recently broke that Vice President Mike Pence has a policy of never dining alone with a woman nor attending an event where alcohol is served unless his wife, Karen, is with him. (We reported the story here.)  Not surprisingly the liberal media ridiculed the VP for adopting the “Billy Graham Rule” to protect his marriage. So on the heels of this “scandal” Denny Burk, Professor of Biblical Studies at Boyce College, has come up with ten brief reflections on this particular discipline.  Here are Burk’s thoughts, which he says are “by no means everything that can or should be said about the so-called ‘Billy Graham Rule’:

1. We must take sexual holiness seriously because God takes sexual holiness seriously. To reject God’s purpose of holiness in our lives is to reject God altogether. For this reason, we must be blood-earnest about holiness.

  • “Without holiness, no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).
  • “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality… Consequently, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you” (1 Thess. 4:3).
  • “But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints… For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (Eph. 5:3-5).

2. The Bible commands us not only to avoid sexual immorality but to avoid situations in which we know that we are vulnerable to temptation.

  • “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13)
  • “Flee youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 2:22).
  • “Make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts” (Romans 13:14).

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The Irrelevant Christine Caine … A Dingo Ate My Legacy?

Ed Stetzer is a prominent evangelical with considerable credibility.  But when it comes to spiritual things Stetzer has shown time and time again that he lacks discernment.  If he had an ounce of spiritual discernment would he spend his valuable time interviewing Word of Faith pastrix Christine Caine regarding her new partnership with Wheaton College, a Christian institution?  Not surprisingly Ed Stetzer did just that.  In a piece over at Pulpit & Pen, Bud Ahlheim addresses the Stetzer-Caine interview and Caine’s baffling arrangement with Wheaton. He writes:

In Revelation 2:20, Christ chided the church of Thyatira in no uncertain terms.  “I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess.”  Today, though, it isn’t just a single church tolerating just a single “prophetess;” it’s a large swath of the evangelical church embracing a legion of false teaching sirens, none of whom are actually named Jezebel.

One, in particular, is Christine Caine.

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Turnstile Churchianity

What is the evidence that God is blessing a church? Is it the size of the crowd, the total amount of people who have an emotional response to an emotional appeal and a large number of baptisms? In this piece over at Pulpit & Pen, Michael Hall addresses the downgrade caused by the Purpose Driven Church and Life agenda. He writes:

I can’t remember when I last went to a baseball game.  I love sports and always enjoyed a day at the ballpark, except for the overpriced concessions.  As you would walk up to the ticket taker at the turnstile there was usually someone there with one of those handheld clickers that they used to count how many people came through the gates.  I always thought it was redundant but maybe it was their backup system.  But their desire behind was to get as accurate a count as possible for their attendance records.  The numbers are what mattered.

The seeker-driven church is no different.

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Shocking News: Steven Furtick Goes Full-On Prosperity

Jeff Maples of Pulpit & Pen shares what’s going on with prophet-pastor Steven Furtick:

If it isn’t enough that Steven Furtick, pastor of Elevation, the multi-campus megachurch in Charlotte, NC is a habitual twister of the Scriptures for the purpose of self-promotion and egotistical gain, it’s now abundantly clear that he’s gone full-on Prosperity Gospel.

The Prosperity Gospel is a false gospel that teaches that God promises to all believers who have “enough faith” a long life of good health and extraordinary wealth. Never mind that the proponents of this false gospel are regularly afflicted with various calamities, including death. Recently, Eddie Long, one of the most notorious proponents of the distorted gospel of health and wealth died after a long battle with cancer. Then you have others, like Jan Crouch, who died unexpectedly. Perhaps their faith failed them? Perhaps they did not ask therefore they did not receive?

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Three Reasons God is a Cessationist

Jordan Standrich has some thoughts on cessationism vs. continuationism to help us think through this challenging topic. “An important part of cessationism,” says Standridge “is God Himself and what He has done in history.”

In this piece over at The Cripplegate, Standrich offers three reasons to bolster his argument that God is a cessationist and not a continuationist. He writes:

Lord I believe that Jordan will play in the NBA! No! I declare Jordan will play in the NBA!

That was a sentence that a guy prayed over me as we were leaving a basketball camp I attended in high school. He said that sentence as he alternated between speaking in tongues and speaking in English. I wanted to say, “have you not seen me play this whole week? I’ll be lucky to start on my high school team this year!” That was the first time I was exposed to the modern version of the gift tongues. Over the years I’ve had a chance to attend quite a few pentecostal churches and events but it wasn’t until I got to seminary that I really started gaining interest in Charismatic theology.

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Research: New Apostolic Reformation

 

You Might Be a Pharisee If . . .

Those of us who are involved in online discernment ministries (ODM) regularly take on Scripture twisters and outright heretics.  Professing Christians who’ve fallen into false teaching come back at us with “take the log out of your own eye,” as if bringing truth to light means we’re judging. ODM’s have been labeled “Heresy Hunter,” “Legalist,” “Pharisee” and we’re charged with “quenching the Holy Spirit” for doing what we’re commanded to do: “test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1) False prophets hate being tested.  So their response is to turn the tables and make ODM’s out to be the villain. I mean, how dare commoners judge Christians who’ve reached rock star status, right?

Over at Grace to You, Cameron Buettel tackles this very subject.  He lays out three biblical earmarks of a Pharisee, beginning with the person who supplements Scripture with all sorts of man-made rules.  He writes:

The odds are good that someone, somewhere, at some point has called you a Pharisee. The odds are even better that you’ve slapped that label on someone else.

It’s no surprise that the name “Pharisee” carries a leprous stigma. They’re the villains virtually every time they appear in the pages of Scripture. Jesus never had anything good to say about them. And their heavy-handed, legalistic authority made them a scourge to all of Israel—even other pious Jews.

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The aim of AIM and the World Race

Amy Spreeman of Berean Research reports:

Some red flags to warn you about regarding a popular missions trip for youth called AIM- Adventures in Missions, and an event called the World Race,  in which students travel to 11 countries in 11 months.

Young people have been exposed to the New Apostolic Reformation, along with contemplative spirituality and New Age mysticism.

One of my readers contributed her testimony to my series, Leaving the NAR Church, in which she writes:

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