From The Museum of Idolatry :
Michael Brown recently wrote this article for Charisma News [CRN does not recommend Charisma News]:
Hillsong, Silent Night and the Danger of Judging by Outward Appearance
Dr. Brown is one of the most respected members of the Christian Charismatic world; he’s a brilliant debater, an actual Biblical scholar and someone who has been warning (to some extent) about false teachers in the Church. In this article he says that he, too, was appalled by the worldly and obnoxious Silent Night video that has gotten so much attention, but he refrained from making a judgment about it until he could get more information. But after he saw a Twitter comment from a pastor at Hillsong he could understand why they did the song the way they did.
There are a couple of really interesting things to note from this article: First of all, Brown makes a pretty amazing statement about how he couldn’t talk to anyone from Hillsong, because he didn’t have an “open door to interact directly with Hillsongs leaders (despite my attempts to do so in the past).” Please take note, everyone who says something like this: “You shouldn’t say anything bad about paster so and so until you talk to him face to face! Have you met with him and heard his side of the story?? Well then stop judging him!!”
Joel James of The Expositors Blog lays out the unintended consequences of adopting worldliness as an evangelistic technique.
Never in its history has the evangelical church been more intentional and more systematic in its efforts to imitate the world than in our day. In fact, worldliness, which used to be a sin-to-be-avoided, has not only become an obsession for the church, today it has become the evangelistic technique of choice.
In the Old Testament, God told Israel, “You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you” (Lev 18:3). In the New Testament, the apostle Paul told the church, “Do not be conformed to this world” (Rom 12:2). Nonetheless, today’s self-appointed evangelical relevance experts tell us that the only way to reach the world is to be like the world: we must talk like them, dress like them, be entertained like them, sport tattoos like them, address human sexuality like them, and so on.
Jesus said, “If you were of the world, the world would love its own” (John 15:18). Clearly Jesus expected His followers not to be mirrors of the world. However, today in a bizarre inversion of Jesus’ intention, the goal of many evangelicals is to be as much like the world as possible in order to be loved by the world, purportedly as a precursor to evangelism.
In the words of John MacArthur, we are being told that, “If we can convince them that our message poses no threat to their way of life and that they have nothing to fear from Christ, perhaps we can then…reach them…. [We must persuade] them that church is fun, Christians are just like everyone else, and they have nothing whatsoever to fear from God” (Ashamed of the Gospel, 3rd ed., 214). of adopting worldliness as an evangelistic technique.
HT Erin Benziger
Pastrix Christine Caine from heretical Hillsong Church Australia is a teacher that the serious Christian should steer clear of. In spite of the fact that Caine teaches ubiblical word-faith/prosperity theology and engages in New Age practices, she has been a featured speaker for Louis Giglio’s Passion conferences and has preached with prominent Reformed pastor John Piper. (Here and Here) Piper, who holds to a complementarian view, has received a lot of heat for sharing teaching duties with a woman who claims false teacher Joyce Meyer as her mentor. Elizabeth Prata of The End Times lays out six reasons why Caine must be avoided like the plague.
The Washington Times reports:
The influential Cardinal Oscar Maradiaga has acknowledged the presence of a “gay lobby” in the Vatican. In a new interview, he says that Pope Francis has adopted a gradual approach to address it – and that Catholic teaching won’t change.
The Honduran newspaper El Heraldo asked the cardinal whether there actually was an attempted or successful “infiltration of the gay community in the Vatican.”
National Review columnist David French says that the secular Left is taking direct aim at Christian academic freedom and institutional liberty. Since the Left sees no value in Christian educational institutions they’ve become targets in the culture wars. The Left’s motto is: Reform of die. French writes:
One of the nation’s premier evangelical educational institutions — Wheaton College — is under intense fire for its decision to begin termination proceedings against Larycia Hawkins after she publicly declared her belief that Christians and Muslims “worship the same God.” (I wrote about the controversy on the home page last year and outlined the traditional Protestant argument that Muslims do not, in fact, worship the God of the Bible.) Terminating a Christian professor — or any other employee of a Christian institution — for expressing beliefs out of line with the organization’s statement of faith is common and should be uncontroversial. Christian organizations have the same right to define their mission and message as any other expressive organization. Does anyone think it’s unjust that the Sierra Club won’t hire fracking advocates or that LGBT activist organizations aren’t open to Christian conservatives?
According to The Daily Signal, Health and Human Services has a “Gender Identity Mandate” in the works that will be paid for by our hard earned tax dollars:
You’ve heard about the Obamacare Individual Mandate. That’s the one that requires every person in America to get government-approved health insurance or face significant IRS penalties.
You’ve heard about the Health and Human Services (HHS) contraception mandate. That’s the one that requires private employers, including religious institutions like the Little Sisters of the Poor, to help provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs or face millions in IRS fines.
Breitbart columnist Thomas D. Williams reports on a statement made by Christian basher Richard Dawkins in 2010 that has “taken on a second life, being sent to and fro on Facebook and Twitter and providing fodder for discussions, even among atheists, of the benefits of Christianity for modern society.”
In a text that is coursing about on social media, professional God-slayer Richard Dawkins begrudgingly admitted that Christianity may actually be our best defense against aberrant forms of religion that threaten the world.
“There are no Christians, as far as I know, blowing up buildings,” Dawkins said. “I am not aware of any Christian suicide bombers. I am not aware of any major Christian denomination that believes the penalty for apostasy is death.”
In a rare moment of candor, Dawkins reluctantly accepted that the teachings of Jesus Christ do not lead to a world of terror, whereas followers of radical Islam perpetrate the very atrocities that he laments.
Respected blogger and pastor Tim Challies wrote this piece in 2014. Many people are unfamiliar with Mark Batterson and his book The Circle Maker so we thought it would be a good idea to share what’s been going on in some evangelical circles because of what Batterson teaches in his book. Tim also wrote a scathing review of Batterson’s book before he wrote this piece and provided a link to it. Believers must heed Tim’s warning: Don’t pray in circles!
Prying in circles is fast becoming a thing in some Evangelical churches. People have been taught to draw circles around the things they want, or even to walk in circles around the things they are sure the Lord ought to grant them. In either case, they are to pray around those things and in that way to claim them for the Lord.
The inspiration, I suppose, is Mark Batterson and his book The Circle Maker (my review). Batterson bases his prayer technique on a story from the life of Honi Ha-Ma’agel, a Jewish scholar who lived in the first century B.C. Jewish history records him as being a miracle-worker in the tradition of Elijah and Elisha. Here is a brief account of his greatest miracle:
On one occasion when God did not send rain well into the winter (in the geographic regions of Israel, it rains mainly in the winter), he drew a circle in the dust, stood inside it, and informed God that he would not move until it rained. When it began to drizzle, Honi told God that he was not satisfied and expected more rain; it then began to pour. He explained that he wanted a calm rain, at which point the rain calmed to a normal rain.
The Comments Mark Batterson Doesn’t Want You To See–Apprising Ministries
Below I [Chris Rosebrough of Fighting for the Faith] am posting the comments I left on Mark Batterson’s Blog today that he does not want you to see and therefore deleted. … This is the typical behavior of seeker-driven / purpose-driven “pastors”. Anyone who would dare to critique them Biblically or call them out regarding their false teaching and scripture twisting are NEVER honestly answered. Instead, they are brushed aside and are branded “pharisees”.
According to Elizabeth Prata of The End Times, there are good teachers. Find out who she believes the good ones are:
I hesitate to begin this essay by saying “In these times of apostasy” because the times have always been apostasizing. The moment that the truth is declared, someone falls away from it (Eve, Cain, Judas, Demas, Simon Magus…). The truth is always opposed by those who hate God.
Of late, however, it seems that some men we have always been able to count on are falling. The Bible is clear that even leaders who have been seemingly faithful over decades are not immune from the ravages of apostasy. Length of time in the faith is no guarantor of continued faithfulness. Ending well is just as important as beginning well. (2 Timothy 4:7).
In addition, the Spirit is always revealing the wolf in sheep’s clothing. John Piper has been displaying zero discernment. I wrote about Ravi Zacharias’ questionable credentials, heretical associations, and leaky theology here. Billy Graham said that anyone who is sincere and really believes something is up there will be in heaven with the saints. I think those are the three best recent examples of how sin works in the heart and how the Holy Spirit works in the Body to reveal it.
Just as the truth is always opposed, the truth is always upheld. The Lord raises up good men to speak His Gospel. In Romans 10:14 Apostle Paul asked the following questions
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
The questions are not rhetorical. They are actual. The mechanism through which God has said He will use as the catalyst for conversion is His Gospel, preached by truthful men, to hearts He will release from the bondage of sin. (John 14:6, Acts 4:12). Therefore it makes sense God will always have good men preaching it, does it not? Because if He didn’t, who could hear?
Amy Spreeman of Berean Research reports:
How much would you pay to take over the government for Christ? Or to take over education, or media, or other sphere’s of influence? If you believe that Christians are mandated to take over the world’s seven influential powerbases so that Jesus can come back, then here’s your chance to buy a mountain for only $25.
An upcoming Wisconsin event is making this offer as a way to fulfill its 7 Mountain Mandate and fund its speaking series that kicks off this Sunday and runs through May. The speaker lineup includes a “gifted seer of the prophetic,” a Green Bay “Packers Today” television show hostess, and the former lead guitar player for the rock group Skillet.
Discernment Research Group has a piece on the best-selling
Christian New Age book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. Buyer beware! According to the article, Jesus Calling devotions are similar to horoscopes or a “fortune” in a fortune cookie. The devotions are ambiguous. The way they’re worded is open to several meanings or interpretations. Sadly, many professing Christians, especially women, are reading this occult book.
How can someone open the door to the knock of any voice claiming to be Jesus? Why is it so easy for people to listen to another Jesus? How can a person so readily follow this Jesus?
Well, what if this Jesus appealed to you in the following way. . . wouldn’t you be tempted to open the door to him?
Jesus is a soft, fluffy, comfortable Jesus who is your best friend. He is always there to share the burden of your troubles, wipe away your tears, give you peace, and keep you feeling warm and comfortable inside. To experience the presence of Jesus you need to do things such as remember him, whisper his name, trust him, and turn to him when you are in need.(RUN! p. 70)
It seems that millions of people are now listening to this “soft, fluffy” Jesus. If it is so comforting to listen to this comfy Jesus, it explains how easily people will follow an imposter Christ, an anti-Christ who appears at their door wearing “warm and comfortable” sheep’s clothing (Luke 21:8; Matt. 7:5).
Before we get to the story posted over at Christianity Today, some background will be helpful for those who are unfamiliar with IBLP. In 2014 Christine Pack of Sola Sisters reported that Bill Gothard was forced to resign from the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) which he founded. Christine explains that,
IBLP (also known as ATI) is a pseudo-Christian ministry that advocates for homeschooling, but is also a systematized form of legalism and extrabiblical rules, including strictly supervised courtship dating and a ban on all secular music and movies. The IBLP principles are very popular within the Quiverfull movement. … Gothard’s resignation comes on the heels of recent abuse allegations documented by the Recovering Grace website.
Bill Gothard made it to 79 years of age, lived the life that he planned out, and now, resigns, leaving unbelievable human wreckage behind him. Why it takes so long for these monsters to be outed, I will never understand. And most of his followers will just claim it was a set up to tear down a Great Man of God. None so blind as those who will not see.(Source)
Now to CT’s report:
Five more women have added their complaints to a lawsuit accusing Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) founder Bill Gothard, now 81, of sexual abuse and harassment.
They join five women who filed suit in October against IBLP, saying the institute ignored and mismanaged their complaints of Gothard’s and other staff’s behavior. IBLP asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit for lack of supporting facts. Attorneys for the women asked for permission to refile the suit.
They did, this time with twice as many plaintiffs, including one who brings the first accusation of rape against Gothard. His name was also added as a defendant, according to legal documents reviewed by CT.
Lawsuits only tell one side of a story, and Gothard denied the charges. “Oh no. Never never. Oh! That’s horrible,” he told The Washington Post, which broke the story. “Never in my life have I touched a girl sexually. I’m shocked to even hear that.”
According to Christian News Network:
Officials at a prominent Christian-identified university in Illinois have moved to fire an associate political science director who was placed on leave after she declared in a self-initiated campaign to fight “Islamophobia” that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.
As previously reported, professing Christian Larycia Hawkins posted to Facebook two photos of herself wearing a hijab last month, and stated in a lengthy explanation that she planned to wear it everywhere she goes during the Advent—including at the Christian college and to church.
“I stand in human solidarity with my Muslim neighbor because we are formed of the same primordial clay, descendants of the same cradle of humankind—a cave in Sterkfontein, South Africa that I had the privilege to descend into to plumb the depths of our common humanity in 2014,” Hawkins wrote.
Looks like WND will publish a book by noted conservative historian David Barton that the publisher, Thomas Nelson, quickly pulled from the shelves for the reason that “basic truths just were not there.” World Magazine has the story:
David Barton’s controversial The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed about Thomas Jefferson will soon be back. Thomas Nelson published it in April 2012 and then pulled it from bookstore shelves as historians criticized its accuracy. WND Books, publishing arm of the conservative website World Net Daily, will re-release the book on Jan. 16.
Barton, founder and president of the WallBuilders organization, was for several decades a popular Christian history writer and lecturer, but his reputation took a major hit during the summer of 2012 when the History News Network voted The Jefferson Lies as the “Least Credible History Book in Print.” Shortly after that, several prominent conservative Christian scholars began to question the scholarship behind Barton’s work.
The Marco Rubio campaign announced a couple of “evangelicals” who will be advising Rubio on religious issues as well as reaching out to the religious community. Pulpit & Pen has the story:
We’ve been reporting for quite some time now that evangelicals, especially Southern Baptists, have been fawning over staunch Roman Catholic (the one who knows and fully agrees with Roman Catholic doctrine), Marco Rubio. Many Southern Baptists have gone as far as to say they believe he is saved (See here, and here). The SBC’s lead ethicist, Russell Moore, has all but officially endorsed Rubio. In fact, Marco Rubio even enlisted the ecumenist, and director of the Manhattan Declaration, Eric Teetsel as part of his campaign to “reach out to evangelicals.” And apparently he has succeeded in doing so.
Recently announced was a host of new “evangelicals” who have volunteered to “advise” Marco Rubio on religious issues, and reaching out to the religious community. Interestingly enough, all but one are names you would expect to find working for a Roman Catholic.
Read our research paper on Roman Catholicism
Many Christians don’t realize that in Alcoholics Anonymous all gods are called a “higher power” which reduces the Lord Jesus Christ to just another nameless diety among many. Does Jesus teach what A.A. teaches? No, says John Lanagan of My Word Like Fire. In this piece Lanagan reveals how A.A. actually denies the true gospel of Christ:
“We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe.”– A.A. Big Book, (the A.A. “bible”), pg.75 (bold mine)
The above quote is just one of the references to a “broad” path of spirituality in the A.A. Big Book.
Here is another:
“We found that God does not make too hard terms with those who seek Him. To us, the Realm of the Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. It is open, we believe, to all men. When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God.” –From the A.A. Big Book, pp.46-47 (bold mine)
In this piece, Amy Spreeman of Berean Research takes on women’s ministry celebs and their counterfeit conferences where women who attend leave spiritually famished because they were not fed the Word of God. Do these sorts of events help women grow spiritually? Not so much says Amy. She writes:
Not to sound too needy, but we women are hungry, and we want to be fed often, and now!
If I may speak just for a second for the whole group: most of us don’t know why we are starving or what we are hungry for.
The problem is, we’re likely to get a good rush from experiences and feelings. But those things aren’t real food. They’re like the Oleo our moms and grandmas used; a cheap counterfeit that’s dangerously bad for your health – even in small quantities.
Unfortunately that’s what most mega conferences for women are all about. Cheap thrills from famous ladies I’ll call “celebritistas,” who’ve made a lot of money serving up empty promises of a better life than you’re living now. Chills that go up your spine, a liver shiver or two, and then it’s over. You’re left with the usual conference confetti of expensive books and endless email ads inviting you to the next experience.