Stand Up For The Truth reveals that Steve McSwain, an influential leader who has the ear of Christian leaders, political leaders and leaders of other religions, recently commented that “the church must ‘repent’ of how we have handled homosexual Christians.” McSwain also made the following heretical statement in a piece he wrote:
Today, I realize that what Jesus was really saying is this: “I am the way,” as in, “I know the way.” “I’ve discovered it” which, by implication means, “you can, too.”
And he said to me, “These words are faithful and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets sent the angel to show his slaves things which have to happen quickly. And behold I am coming quickly. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” Revelation 22:6–7, translated from the NA28 Greek text
Καὶ εἶπέν μοι· οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι πιστοὶ καὶ ἀληθινοί, καὶ ὁ κύριος ὁ θεὸς τῶν πνευμάτων τῶν προφητῶν ἀπέστειλεν τὸν ἄγγελον αὐτοῦ δεῖξαι τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ ἃ δεῖ γενέσθαι ἐν τάχει. καὶ ἰδοὺ ἔρχομαι ταχύ. μακάριος ὁ τηρῶν τοὺς λόγους τῆς προφητείας τοῦ βιβλίου τούτου. Revelation 22:6–7, NA28
The enemy of our souls is relentless and if we look too long and hard at what apostasy and outright heresies are being embraced by the visible church, we can become quite discouraged. Never forget my brethren, our enemy could do nothing without the permission of God. Therefore, let us not be discouraged with the battle. Instead, we must resolve to continue to fight the good fight, never giving in to those who are attempting to change Christianity into something else. Yes, God may allow them to appear to succeed, but be assured that what awaits them is anything but what they have been deceived into believing. Instead, it is time for a bit of encouragement for those of you who so desperately need some.
Christian News Network reports:
A California man who obtained a sex change operation in the 1980’s to live as a woman and later reverted back to his biological gender is sharing his story of how God redeemed his life and gave him hope.
Millions are going to perish in 2015, says Stephen John. And, while this is going on, the dying world will be keeping an eye on professing Christians. What will they see? Will they see superficial, self-absorbed “Christians” having a hand in the spiritual demise of the lost, or will they see believers actually doing what they are supposed to do – pointing to the Truth, to the only One who can bring eternal life to those dying?
But He answered them saying, “When evening has come you say, ‘Fair weather, for the sky is fiery red.’ And in the morning, ‘Today stormy weather, for the sky, being overcast, is fiery red.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but not the signs of the times? Matthew 16:2–3, translated from the NA28 Greek text
ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· [ὀψίας γενομένης λέγετε· εὐδία, πυρράζει γὰρ ὁ οὐρανός· καὶ πρωΐ· σήμερον χειμών, πυρράζει γὰρ στυγνάζων ὁ οὐρανός. τὸ μὲν πρόσωπον τοῦ οὐρανοῦ γινώσκετε διακρίνειν, τὰ δὲ σημεῖα τῶν καιρῶν οὐ δύνασθε; Matthew 16:2–3, NA28
The lack of spiritual discernment is a plague in the visible Church in our time. We see this in so-called “church leaders” going after every form of “entertainment” in order to increase numbers in their “churches.” We see this in calls from so-called “church leaders” attempting to reconcile historically protestant denominations with the Roman Catholic Church. We see this with deliberate attempts to cause confusion about sola scriptura, the sovereignty of God, the holy Trinity, election, you name it. If a doctrine of the Church is used by God to bless His people and draw them into a holy and growing relationship with Him then it is under attack by the enemies of the truth and those with little to no discernment become confused. This has been going on for quite a bit longer than most believe.
If we confess our sins , He is faithful and just, that he may forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9, translated from the NA28 Greek text
ἐὰν ὁμολογῶμεν τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἡμῶν, πιστός ἐστιν καὶ δίκαιος, ἵνα ἀφῇ ἡμῖν τὰς ἁμαρτίας καὶ καθαρίσῃ ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ πάσης ἀδικίας. 1 John 1:9, NA28
When the focus of “Christianity” is moved from being God-focused to man-focused, confusion is the ultimate consequence. We see this with so-called Christian leaders like N.T. Wright, who is nothing more than an intellectual “Christian” liberal who is attempting to redefine the Gospel or “Good News” along the lines of those who follow Jesus asserting Christ’s kingdom here on earth. On the other hand, there are multitudes of other aberrations of Christian doctrine in which so-called Christian leaders with no understanding of the Sovereignty of God and His Grace attempt to dismantle Christian doctrine and redefine it along the lines of Pelagianism, semi-Pelagianism, and Arminianism.
Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. Matthew 10:34, translated from the NA28 Greek text
Μὴ νομίσητε ὅτι ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν· οὐκ ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην ἀλλὰ μάχαιραν. Matthew 10:34, NA28
For what will be benefited a man if he acquires the whole world, but he forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:26, translated from the NA28 Greek text
τί γὰρ ὠφεληθήσεται ἄνθρωπος ἐὰν τὸν κόσμον ὅλον κερδήσῃ τὴν δὲ ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ζημιωθῇ; ἢ τί δώσει ἄνθρωπος ἀντάλλαγμα τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτοῦ; Matthew 16:26, NA28
What is is the offense of the Gospel? Let us examine scripture to answer that.
discern.org has commentary and links.
You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship ME, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’” Matthew 15:7–9, NASB
What does it mean biblically to draw near unto God? Obviously, the Jews our Lord confronted as Matthew recorded in the passage above were not doing so. However Hebrews 10:22 says to those who are truly born again:
let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22, NASB
Here is Hebrews 10:22 from the NA28 Greek text: “προσερχώμεθα μετὰ ἀληθινῆς καρδίας ἐν πληροφορίᾳ πίστεως ῥεραντισμένοι τὰς καρδίας ἀπὸ συνειδήσεως πονηρᾶς καὶ λελουσμένοι τὸ σῶμα ὕδατι καθαρῷ·”
The words “let us draw near” translates the verb προσερχώμεθα, which is the present tense, subjunctive mood, middle voice, first person, plural of προσέρχομαι or proserchomai, “to approach, accede to.” This verb structure refers to continuous or repeated action, regardless of when the action took place. The subjunctive mood suggests that the action is subject so some condition and the present subjunctive can be used to give exhortation, which is exactly what the writer of Hebrews is doing here.
Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, called the move to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination while at the same time protecting other people’s religious beliefs, “well-intentioned, but naive.”
Christian News Network reports:
While speaking on the last day to his trip to India, Barack Obama urged acceptance of religious pluralism in the nation, adding on a personal note that sometimes his profession of Christianity is questioned and that he is instead thought to be a Muslim.
“Our nations are strongest when we see that we are all God’s children—all equal in His eyes and worthy of His love,” he stated to approximately 2,000 youth gathered at the Siri Fort auditorium.
Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. Acts 20:28–31, NASB
True, genuine, authentic Christianity is exclusive. It is not a smorgasbord or buffet of options from which men may take what they like while rejecting the rest and still call themselves Christians. While a statement like that may not be popular in this postmodern, politically correct, 21st century culture which advocates tolerance that is sort of a give and take “conversation” in which people with opposing views find a middle ground, it is still the truth. Authentic Christianity is quite the opposite. That is not to say that many who call themselves Christians have not colored their own personal theology with postmodern presuppositions, but these are what we call apostates. What is that?
And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:34–38, NASB
Jesus is coming back. Are you ready? Are you trusting in man-made or self-made religion to be what God will recognize as sufficient so that Christ will be your Advocate before the Father when you are judged? Without Christ as your Advocate, you will have no defense. How does Christ become our Advocate? How do we know if He is our Advocate? Let us examine Christ’s own words about this.
The slogan “black lives matter” excludes the unborn says Washington Times columnist Kenneth Blackwell. He wonders if the civil rights leaders really care when a black life is lost, or whether they simply exploit situations for political gain. Blackwell writes:
Today, on the somber anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, it’s time for black leaders to face up to the real danger threatening black lives in America. It isn’t the police. According to an anti-police brutality organization, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, 313 blacks were killed by “police, security guards and vigilantes” in 2013. It isn’t even black criminals, who, as Rudy Giuliani famously pointed out on “Meet the Press,” are responsible for 93 percent of violent deaths among blacks. Sources estimate that between 6,000 and 8,000 blacks are murdered each year.
Nebuchadnezzar the king to all the peoples, nations, and men of every language that live in all the earth:“May your peace abound! It has seemed good to me to declare the signs and wonders which the Most High God has done for me. “How great are His signs And how mighty are His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom And His dominion is from generation to generation. Daniel 4:1–3, NASB
The deepest, widest blind spot that most professing Christians have is that they are convinced their religion pleases God. Pride disguises itself in many different ways. One that I have noticed in most professing Christians is a form of self-righteousness that sees their religion as making them so well-pleasing to God that anyone who is not part of their denomination or church could not possibly be right with God. Pragmatism springs from a desire by spiritually blind Christian leaders to mimic what other “successful” preachers or pastors do to grow their congregations or baptize huge numbers of converts. When these manipulating processes seem to work the first result is deeper spiritual blindness. Why? Idolatry always produces spiritual blindness. This blindness keeps those in it deceived into believing a lie. What lie? The lie is that God is not totally sovereign and needs their help to further the Kingdom. Their religious efforts may appear to “work,” but since the results are the fruit of fleshly methods and the works of men they only lead to cultivating pride. However, we must never forget that God is Sovereign.
Emergent guru and one-time pastor of a megachurch, Rob Bell, is a busy man these days. He has a show on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN channel and has also been busy with his Zimzum of Love book promotions. And then there’s the podcast program he recently launched. Amy Spreeman, co-host of Stand Up For The Truth, reports that other theological partners on The Liturgists podcast “do not actively promote our names and personal images” for ego reasons. “What do The Liturgists talk about when they talk about God the Father?” Amy asks. “Well actually, they talk about God the Mother.”
There is a myth in these post-modern times that has deceived untold numbers of professing Christians. The deceived have believed the lie that Christians are not to confront and rebuke false teachers nor preach or teach anything that has the potential to cause division within the visible Church. The visible Church contains the churches we see all across this globe. This would include denominations and local churches and ministries that we can see visually and of which we can partake. The invisible Church is made up of the elect, the called-out ones. This is the true Church of genuine believers. It is within the visible Church. Therefore, the visible Church contains both genuine believers and professing believers who are not genuine.
Photo credit: Liane Metzler.
Christian News Network reports:
The U.S. Army has ordered the removal of a sandwich board outside of an Arizona recruiting office because it included the phrase “On a mission for God and country.”
The sign, which has been posted outside of the recruiting office since at least last October, was removed on Friday following complaints. A photo of the sandwich board had been proliferated online, drawing ire from atheists and church-state separation advocates.
Stand Up For The Truth reports:
On January 21st, about 30 of contemporary Christian music’s best-known singers from the last four decades will be joining New Age sympathizer and devout Roman Catholic Roma Downey for a special live online concert called “We Will Stand.” The concert is being presented by CCM United and has a motto of “One Message, Many Voices.’” According to an article titled “We Are United: The Story Behind ‘The Greatest Night In Contemporary Christian Music,’” there could be over a million viewers with a potential reach globally of 40 million.
According to Christian News Network:
Less than a week after controversy erupted over an announcement that a Muslim call to prayer would be broadcast at North Carolina’s Duke University, it has come to light that students at UCLA in California have been doing so for some time.