(Manya Brachear Pashman and Jeff Coen – Chicago Tribune) “Many of the women who spoke with the Tribune were loath to come forward for fear of betraying a man who had encouraged their leadership in a way that no other pastor had before and undermining a ministry that has transformed thousands of lives. But when they heard there were other women who had similar stories to tell, even in the last year, they said their silence could not last.”
Last October, the Rev. Bill Hybels stood before worshippers at his packed sanctuary and made a stunning announcement. After 42 years building northwest suburban Willow Creek Community Church into one of the nation’s most iconic and influential churches, Hybels was planning to step down as senior pastor.
Trump signed the bill.
(Matt Walsh – Dailywire, 3/22/18) “They passed tax reform. Hooray. Who cares? My money is funding the mass execution of human children. They haven’t done anything about that. They haven’t really tried. They are frauds. They are cowards.”
Republicans in the House passed a trillion-dollar spending bill yesterday. It fully funds Planned Parenthood. Another half a billion dollars to an organization that slaughters 300,000 babies a year. The GOP is now well into its second year in power — controlling the House, Senate, and Presidency — and Planned Parenthood is still making hundreds of millions of dollars from the taxpayers.
(Pulpit & Pen) In a startling move, a Romanist priest has preached a homily in which he relayed an imprecatory prayer for Pope Francis, contingent upon Francis’ obedience to God.
An imprecatory prayer is a statement to God asking for judgment upon another individual. The word, “imprecate,” is a verb that means, “to invoke harm upon or curse.” We see examples of imprecatory prayers in Scripture, and they include Psalm 55, Psalm 69, and Psalm 109, in which David or another Psalmist petitions God to distribute justice upon his enemies. …
The Apostles weren’t afraid to speak the truth boldly about those who teach falsely in order to protect the sheep of God. For example, Peter said of wolves in sheep’s clothing:
“They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you. They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray.” – Peter, 2 Peter 2:13b-15a
Before you read Pulpit & Pen’s post, I must take you to the not so distant past, to a piece I penned in 2014, where I revealed the following about popular “Reformed” preacher Francis Chan:
It’s important to note that last year Reformed pastor, author and conference speaker Francis Chan spoke at Onething where he declared “I love Mike Bickle.” Chan took a lot of heat for agreeing to speak at the conference. When friends and fans urged him to decline the invite, he admitted that he didn’t know much about Mike Bickle and IHOP so,
I kinda went on the Internet and started looking things up.
Whatever he found caused him to fall in love:
The primary heresy in Hebrew Roots Movement (HRM) beliefs is that Christians must keep the Torah. HRM holds the view that Christ’s death on the cross did not end the Mosaic Covenant, His death renewed it. But is the Torah the foundation of Christianity? Should believers observe the Mosiac laws? In this piece, Tim Chaffey of Answers In Genesis examines HRM and reveals the dangers of the movement. He writes:
The Hebrew Roots Movement has influenced hundreds of thousands of Christians in recent decades, and many more have encountered arguments from those in that group. The movement places a strong emphasis on Hebrew traditions and the Mosaic law. This article will describe the nature of the Hebrew Roots Movement, examine some of its major beliefs in light of relevant biblical passages, and challenge those who have been influenced by its teachings.
In his piece entitled “Was Social Media A Mistake? Here’s An experiment To Find Out,” Robert Tracinski argues that social media, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, killed the blogs. He points out that one of the really good things about the blogs was that they offered a decentralized media. But people moved away from blogging when social media caught on. According to Tracinski, the result has been “shadowbanning, arbitrary Twitter suspensions, and Twitter throttling the traffic of people they don’t like and controlling what articles you can tweet links to.” So, have we traded the old mainstream media gatekeepers for “new, worse, less publicly accountable gatekeepers in Silicon Valley,” as he suggests?
In an article I penned in 2010 titled A subtle and dangerous shift in Christianity I expressed my concerns over churches that were offering “Christian yoga”:
It seems everyone’s practicing yoga meditation these days. Physicians recommend it to their patients which means it’s beneficial…right? Meditation is said to relieve stress, anxiety, hypertension, acne and post-nasal drip, so go for it! Just tighten those abdominal muscles, inhale deeply and chant Maaaaaaaaa all in one breath and your concerns will drift away like a feather floating on the wind…
But what if you’re a Christian? Should you practice the same sorts of things as Buddhist, Hindus and New Agers?
If you can’t hear Todd, click on the YouTube link at the bottom of the video
Rick Becker begins his piece with,
Scripture warns us that in the last days some will depart from the faith, and be deceived by evil spirits and teachings of demons. Those who teach false doctrines are not on the fringes of Christianity, they are in the center in the form of the Evangelical Industrial Complex. Bethel, Hillsong and other NAR “churches” have infested the visible church like gangrene. Those who are saved from this deception, try to warn their friends and family still caught up in the quagmire of celebrity teachers and false doctrines. When we warn them of the precarious position they are in, they usually resort to arguments we are all familiar with. This post deals with some of those questions.
(Pulpit & Pen News) No, the headline is not a repeat from the year 1073. After Pope Francis began condemning so-called “Fake News,” the Vatican has been caught red-handed, forging documents and issuing the photoshopped fakes in press releases. The story began as the Vatican began lauding a letter written by Pope Benedict on February 7, and sent to the Vatican’s prefect of the Secretariat for Communications. As Pope Francis is increasingly accused of heresy because of his Amoris Laetitia statement, in which he softens the traditional Romanist tone on divorce and traditional marriage (which has been used by Romanists the world over to embrace very non-Romanist ideas on human sexuality), it has caused many people to wonder what the former Pope is thinking about the current Pope, a historical phenomenon caused by Pope Benedict retiring in 2013, whereas historically, most Popes die in office, either from natural causes or from being murdered and/or deposed by their successors. …
Charles Spurgeon once said of church: If you have to give a carnival to get people to come to church, then you will have to keep giving carnivals to keep them coming back.
So, why would church leaders want people to come to a Sunday worship service to be entertained? In the 1800’s, Spurgeon saw the entertainment-driven church looming on the horizon when he was preaching and he spoke out against it. Today the goats who fill the chairs expect their church experience to be entertaining. And if it isn’t? They’re out of there!
(Ben Shapiro – National Review) “Marcus takes solace in her immorality by citing that of others — “I am not alone. More than two-thirds of American women choose abortion in such circumstances.” But immoral behavior isn’t made moral by its commonness. Slavery was once common. That did not make it any more justifiable.”
In 1961, Stanley Milgram of Yale University came up with an idea for an experiment. The purpose: to determine how many law-abiding, civilized people would torture their fellows simply in order to follow basic orders. …
(Emilie Kao – The Daily Signal) In the wake of the Parkland massacre, the age-old question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” has a newfound relevance.
As another mass school shooting stuns Americans, it is time to talk about not just how to protect students from shooters, but also about what must happen so that fewer students become shooters in the first place.
It is crucial to talk about how more American children can grow up with the emotional, psychological, and spiritual security that comes from relationships where one is deeply cared for, connected, and known.
(Pulpit & Pen) Beth Moore, who is a wildly popular female Bible teacher heavily promoted in evangelical circles and aligned with the Southern Baptist Convention’s Lifeway Christian Resources, has steadily been opposing President Donald Trump since his presidential primary. She is not on record ever having opposed President Barack Obama.
Moore, who claims to hear audibly from God – going so far as writing down what she says God specifically told her – said in a tweet this week that getting political was necessary because of the “mountain of manure hitting the fan” and that for her and others it is a “fight for the faith.” …
(Danny R. Faulkner – Answers In Genesis) “Before we understand science, it is natural to believe that God created the universe. But now science offers a more convincing explanation. What I meant by “we would know the mind of God” is, we would know everything that God would know, if there were a God, which there isn’t. I’m an atheist.” – Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking 1942–2018
Famed British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking died today. Interestingly, Albert Einstein was born on the same date in 1879. Furthermore, both men died shortly after their 76th birthdays. These facts wouldn’t be remarkable if their work and writings were not so intimately related.
(Pulpit & Pen) Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind – Colossians 2:18
“My spirit uploaded to God, and God’s spirit downloaded to me.” This is what Bill Hamon recently told Sid Roth on his program It’s Supernatural. Hamon claims to have spoken in tongues, he thought a combination of Spanish and Italian. He claims that God pre-programmed his mind so that he could not fail and that he would prophesy infallibly. Then, he began to speak about how he convened with Michael the Archangel, who gave him strategies for spiritual warfare.
Cameron Buettel urges Christian leaders to repudiate the philosophy that says you can change yourself that’s promoted by self-help gurus Anthony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey and their ilk and replace that worldly philosophy with “the truth of biblical anthropology—that all men are, by nature, totally depraved sinners.” But instead, pastors with rock star status like Joel Osteen and Steven Furtick “see it as an opportunity to market a ‘Christianized’ version of the same lie.”
(Jordan Standridge – The Cripplegate) “So I asked him a third question, and I let him know that I ask this question in order to really get to the heart of what someone believes about how they are going to Heaven. I asked him, “If you were to die tonight, and were to stand before God, and He were to ask you why should I let you into Heaven?”
Let me tell you about a Gospel conversation I had recently that left an impression on my heart.
Tim was a very polite guy.
(Steve Lumbley – Apostasy Watch) I recently received an email from the pastor of a small church in Indiana. He was requesting permission to add apostasywatch.com to the list of recommended links on his church website. I told him that would be fine but I did request more information from him regarding his church and their beliefs. The following is an excerpt from one of the emails we have exchanged since then.
We briefly were caught up in the Pensacola Revival of the mid 1990’s. Several of us went there and thought it was a move of God. We “brought it back” with us to Indiana. …
(Pulpit & Pen News) John Piper has been concerning his followers for quite some time when it comes to elaborating upon the Doctrine of Justification and what he, quite uniquely, calls, “final salvation.” Since Piper’s embrace of Douglas Wilson during the height of the Federal Vision controversy (Wilson has since left Federal Vision behind, thankfully), some Reformed Baptists have uneasily eyed Piper with suspicion on the topic.
Federal Vision, for those who don’t know, holds to twenty or so theological errors (so says the Orthodox Presbyterian Church) which make it aberrant. Since the OPC statement against Federal Vision, most Presbyterian denominations have gone on to formally condemn it.
(Amy Spreeman – Berean Research) What is the difference between the spiritual transformation that happens through the Holy Spirit, and the Spiritual Formation movement that swept through our churches a few years ago?
The difference is night and day. I remember talking about this with the late Ken Silva in 2012. He helped me understand that the Spiritual Formation movement provided the platform and a channel through which mystical practices began entering many different evangelical and traditional denominations.
(Joe Carter – The Gospel Coalition) “How is it possible young people are 329 percent more likely than adults to identify as transgender? How is it possible there are almost exactly as many teenagers who identify as transgender as there are adult men and women who identify as gay and lesbian? The only reasonable answer: the phenomenon is a social contagion driven by peers and pop culture, psychologists and pediatricians.”
The Story: A new study published in the medical journal Pediatrics finds many more teens than previously thought say they are transgender or identify themselves using other nontraditional gender terms.
Spiritual discernment (wisdom) comes from knowing Jesus Christ. Those who have spiritual discernment have a heart for God, a biblical worldview that comes from reading God’s Word, and a love for Truth. Those who are spiritually discerning have no trouble recognizing false doctrine and those who teach it. Those who are spiritually discerning know exactly what has to be done when they encounter wolves in sheep’s clothing — they are to expose them, they are to turn from them, and most importantly, they are to warn the sheep about the wolves.
In 2016 Bible study author, speaker and blogger Michelle Lesley addressed the barrage of criticism leveled at those of us who are involved in online discernment ministries. One of the enemy’s favorite fiery darts is the Don’t judge lest ye be judged dart. And then he pulls the cruel You’re unloving dart from his quiver. Bing! Right between the eyes. Our wily enemy is fully aware that getting accused of being judgmental and unloving (mean and divisive) can shut a person down.