Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Glimpse at the Theology of Jehovah's Witnesses

Similar to the cartoon that I posted regarding Mormonism, we see the heretical theology of the Jehovah's Witnesses exposed. The group was founded by Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916). Now, besides the theologies mentioned in the cartoon, Jehovah's Witnesses reject the doctrine of the Trinity, argue that while the atonement removed the effects of Adam's sin, the work of the atonement won't be completed until the faithful survivors of Armageddon return to heaven under the rule the Jehovah. They also refuse to be subject to human government, and deny the existence of a hell of eternal conscious torment, and teach that Satan has been anihilated. Perhaps most famously, they believe that Jesus Christ has returned in 1914.

Admittedly, I'm only fleshing this stuff out from Walter Martin's Kingdom of the Cults.

The Issue of Naming Names

In this video, John MacArthur addresses the issue of naming names of false teachers and apostates.

Evidently, Paul had no problem in naming names of false teachers & those who had turned away from the truth.

"But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, 'If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?'" (Galatians 2:11-14)

"Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme." (2nd Timothy 1:20)

"Make every effort to come to me soon; for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica..." (2nd Timothy 4:9-10)

John also had no problems in naming names, either.

"I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church." (3rd John 1:9-10)

Now, I'm gonna be honest, and say that NOT ALWAYS did the apostles name names of people who had gone astray.

But, I will say, as a side note, the Apostles often did commend people by name. A prime example is in Romans 16:

"I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea; that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you; for she herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well. Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who for my life risked their own necks, to whom not only do I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles; also greet the church that is in their house. Greet Epaenetus, my beloved, who is the first convert to Christ from Asia. Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you. Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord. Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys my beloved. Greet Apelles, the approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus. Greet Herodion, my kinsman. Greet those of the household of Narcissus, who are in the Lord. Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, workers in the Lord. Greet Persis the beloved, who has worked hard in the Lord. Greet Rufus, a choice man in the Lord, also his mother and mine. Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the brethren with them. Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them." (Romans 16:1-15)

Anyway, back to the topic, here's the video.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The State of Evangelicalism

I thought that this was a rather interesting video,done by the White Horse Inn, comprised of interviews from a variety of pastors, theologians, professors, and lay people voicing their concerns about Evangelicalism. Now, these people, I get the feeling, are from across the spectrum. However, that being said, I think they have a lot to say concerning the problems in modern Evangelical Christianity in America.

A Look at Seventh-Day Adventism

I find it a shame that there are Christians who are willing to embrace Seventh Day Adventism as a Christian denomination. Even the late Dr. Walter Martin (1932-1989), a renknowned cult expert, apologist, the original "Bible Answer Man," and author of the landmark book Kingdom of the Cults disastrously has implied that Seventh Day Adventism is indeed a Christian denomination. However, we see that Seventh Day Avdentism is not a Christian denomination, but a cult. I do find it interesting that, in this video, Christian Scientists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormonism and Seventh Day Adventism have swapped theologies.

This video goes extensively into the false doctrines and indeed the false prophecies of the Seventh-Day Adventist founder Ellen G. White (1827-1915). Now, I'm not saying that we should kill false prophets, however, we read in Deuteronomy 18:20, that the consquences for false prophets are indeed dire: "But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die." We also read how to distinguish false prophets from true prophets: "When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him." As pointed out in the video, Ellen G. White's prophecies have clearly not come true.

I leave you with this quote, commending the Bereans: "The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so." (Acts 17:10-11)

Our Relationship With the World

It seems that there has been a confusion concerning our relationship with the world. Now, on one hand, we have groups like the Amish who try & isolate themselves from the world. However, on the other hand, it seems that there has been another approach to the world, by professing Christians: embracing the world and worldliness. However, is this approach Biblical? Well, we have no other way to know than to go through the Bible itself.

"If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you."
(John 15:18-19)

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:2)

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds." (Titus 2:11-14)

"Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation." (1st Peter 2:11-12)

"Do not love the world nor the things in the world If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever." (1st John 2:15-17)

"For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" (1st John 5:3-5)

So, we see in Scripture that we are not to live a worldly life, but we read that we are to live a lifestyle contrary to the world. Furthermore, we will be hated because of our lifestyle being contrary to the world. Yet, rather interestingly, it seems that too many professing Christians live a lifestyle no different from the world. We also see this trend in many professing Evangelical churches today, when these churches use worldly methods to draw people in.

However, we read, though, in Scripture, that it will be impossible for us to avoid the world, nor is it our place to judge the world.

"I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges." (1st Corinthians 5:9-13)

A Glimpse at Mormon Theology

Within these past couple weeks, word came out that Marie Osmond felt moved by the spirit to sign on with a "Christian" music label to record a CD. Now, the problem is that Ms. Osmond is not Christian, but Mormon. There was also a case shortly before Christmas 2008, in which a well-known Christian organization, which I will keep nameless, promoted a book by conservative political commentator & practicing Mormon Glenn Beck concerning Christmas. However, eventually this organization rescinded their promotion of this book. Then, of course, there was the somewhat infamous case of Joel Osteen claiming that Mitt Romney, a devout Mormon, was indeed a Christian, because he believed in Christ as his Savior. However, clearly, as illustrated by this video, Mormonism is not Christianity.

We read Paul's words in Galatians 1, words that echo throughout time and seem to become increasingly relevant today. "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:8-9)

On a side note, for those of you who don't know me personally, I have relatives in upstate New York who have a 200 acre farm where they raise beef cattle, hay and feed corn. Now, interestingly, they don't live too far from where Hill Cummorah is, and one time when we were in downtown Palmyra, New York this summer, we were across the street from where the Book of Mormon was published.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Stark Contrast

This series of videos contrasts Roman Catholic doctrine with what the Scriptures actually say. The contrasts are startling and raised by ex-Catholics. This particuarly deals with the doctrines of purgatory, the Catholic doctrines concerning Mary, justification & salvation & the doctrine of purgatory.

One verse that is mentioned in the video, which I want to reiterate is Isaiah 29:13, which states: "And the Lord said:'Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me,and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men..." This verse, as also noted in the video, was quoted by Christ in Matthew 15:8-9 & Mark 7:6-7, when He was confronted by the Pharisees when his disciples were gathering grain on the sabbath & had failed to purify themselves according to traditon.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What Happens When We Are Saved

It seems that, particularly, in America, that we're saved by a sinner's prayer, or coming forward during an altar call. However, this clearly isn't what's being taught in Scripture.

First of all, we read of God's relationship towards unbelievers.

"For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; no evil dwells with You.
The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity.
You destroy those who speak falsehood; the LORD abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit." (Psalms 5:4-6)

"He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God...He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3:18 & 36)

Now, this brings us to what actually happens when we are saved.

"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out... This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:37-39)

"This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." (Romans 3:22-24)

"Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation." (Romans 5:9-11)

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified." (Romans 8:28-30)

"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God." (1st Corinthians 6:9-11)

"Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation." (2nd Corinthians 5:16-19)

Now, this boils down to what occured on the cross. Paul Washer addresses this issue in this video, dealing with propitiation, and how Christ suffered under the wrath of God on the cross.

In fact, we read: "Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed...But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul,He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many,As He will bear their iniquities." (Isaiah 53:4-5, 10-11)


There's no doubt that we have been blessed by having freedom of religion here in America. However, that being said,I think that there's been something of an abuse of this blessing in America, and I think that there's been an abuse of this blessing. I think there's been this mindset that when we hear about persecution of our brothers & sisters-in-Christ overseas, we tend to think that their problems are just "over there."

We hear stories of Christians imprisoned, tortued and killed in Saudi Arabia, North Korea, China, Ethiopia, Somalia, the Sudan, Belarus, Egypt, Pakistan, Vietnam, Laos, and other countries. We might think "oh, that's so horrible." But, in fact, Scripture promises us that we'll be persecuted.

"Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master ' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also." (John 15:20)

"For indeed when we were with you, we kept telling you in advance that we were going to suffer affliction; and so it came to pass, as you know." (1 Thessalonians 3:4)

"Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me! Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived." (2 Timothy 3:10-13)

How, then, shall we react to persecution?

Jesus Himself tells us that "But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." (Luke 6:27-28)

"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse." (Romans 12:14)

Jesus Himself states about persecution that: "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matthew 5:10-12)

Jesus Himself remarks that "Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.... Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way." (Luke 6:22-23 & 26)

On a side note, we read in Hebrews 11:36-38 of the some of the prophets that "others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground."

Now, we recieve these promises in Scripture about those who are persecuted, which should fill the persecuted church with hope.

"Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him." (James 1:12)

"Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life." (Revelation 2:10)

"When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?' And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also." (Revelation 6:9-11)

"Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years."(Revelation 20:4)

Now, I believe it was evangelist Ray Comfort who said someting along the lines that if we wanted to preach "Your Best Life Now," we should hide Foxe's Book of Martyrs Now, for those who haven't read it, I would strongly recommend that you read it. It was published in the early late 16th century by John Foxe (1517-1587) & dealt with the stories of those who were martyred from the time of Christ, and particuarly focuses on the those persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church at the time of Reformation, especially, under the reign of the Roman Catholic Queen Mary.

This video deals with the idea of God having a wonderful plan for our life. Now, this one, and the next one, is graphic, but proves the point.

This one deals with a particuar story.

I seriously think that if Joel Osteen were to come into countries where Christians are being persecuted, or went back to the 1st or 2nd century church, he would be laughed out.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Christian Conduct

One thing that has been on my mind lately is how we, as Christians, should conduct ourselves. Should we be aggressive, or argumentative, or should we be loving and compassionate, yet truthful? Now, I'm going to be honest and say that I used to be of the former group, rather than the latter. But, by looking through Scripture, we can see that we are to be of the latter, rather than the former.

"But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned." (Luke 6:27-37)

Now, as an aside, Luke 6:41 does not mean that we aren't to make judgments period, despite the fact that some pull out the "'judge not lest you be judged' card," in order to spare themselves judgment for their conduct. What the verse is referring to is hypocritical judgment. In fact, in 1st Corinthians 5:11, the Apostle Paul writes: "But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?"

"For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart." (Luke 6:43-45)

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23)

"So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you." (Colossians 3:12-13)

"If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." (1st Corinthians 13:2-6)

"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves..." (Philippians 2:2)

"What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,' and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, 'You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.' You believe that God is one You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?....For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead." (James 2:14-20,26)

"Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." (James 3:13-18)

Now, I recognize that I don't have all the verses down & I don't say this as a self-righteous person, but as a fellow sinner saved by God's grace. In fact, Pastor Tim Conway addresses the idea that we, as Christians, have a testimony by how we live our lives.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Look at the Problems Posed By Seeker-Sensitive Churches

Now, it seems that seeker-sensitive churches are becoming one of the main fads in mainstream Evangelicalism. Yet, in order to bring people in, doctrinal preaching is forgone. Unfortunately, many pastors have, in the name of "church-growth" have tried to follow the models laid down by such pastors as Rick Warren (Saddleback Church), or Bill Hybels (Willow Creek Community Church). Yet, it's a distatrous move on the part of these churches.

This one deals with the "seeker-sensitive" "gospel."

Along the same lines, this one deals with the increasing lack of doctrine being preached, and the watering down of doctrinal preaching.

This one deals with "selective citing" of Scripture often used in seeker-sensitive churches, and indeed, modern Evangelism. It also deals with the resulting problem of false converts.

These are all hosted by Mark Kielar from Cross TV

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Paul Washer's Ten Indictments

Paul Washer lays down Ten Indictments against the modern professing "church" here in the United States. He preached this message on October 22nd, 2008 at the Revival Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. To quote the summary given by Greg Gordon, of "Paul Washer delivers a urgent appeal to the Christians and Churches in North America that many have been believing a false gospel and have false assurance of their salvation. He lists 10 indictments against the modern Church system in America."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Does Doctrine Matter?

There’s been this tragic trend in American Christianity that we shouldn’t be too hung up on doctrine, or doctrinal differences. In fact, it’s gotten to the point that some “Christians” are willing to have inter-faith “dialogue” with other religions. There’s been this notion, especially amongst liberals and Emergents that sound doctrine just divides and provides problems. Sound doctrine, in my opinion, actually does divide; it divides the true Christians from those who believe in another gospel and another Christ.

But, unfortunately, we’ve entered, what I’ve come to call, a “doctrinal free-for-all.” What I mean by that, is the idea that it doesn’t really matter what professing Christians hold to, doctrinally, because, so long as they confess Christ as Lord, they are our brothers and sisters-in-Christ. The lines between orthodoxy and heresy have been blurred. We see that Rob Bell denies the inspiration of Scripture. Brian McLaren rejects the traditional and Biblical concepts of hell and the second coming of Christ, along with the substitutionary atonement. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America has decided to allow the ordination of practicing homosexual clergy. I remember coming across this Episcopal site, and one priest once stated that one doesn’t have to believe that Christ physically and literally raised from the dead in order to be a Christian, and another is a universalist. The book The Shack has become a popular book in Christian circles, despite the fact that it contains, if I remember right, by one person's estimation, thirteen different heresies.

Now, admittedly, I would say that doctrinal ignorance has been a problem, particularly within American Christianity. With pastors not preaching sound doctrine from the pulpit of many American churches, there is a lot of spiritual immaturity. Although, the Apostle Paul writes "As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming..." (Ephesians 4:14) Although, this seems to happen quite a bit.

But, on the other hand, the Apostle Paul writes to Timothy that: “…the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron…” (1st Timothy 4:1)

He also charges Timothy to “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” (2nd Timothy 4:2-4)

Yet, Paul writes to Timothy: “Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.” (1st Timothy 4:16)

Now, let us go to Scripture to see what the Bible itself says about the importance of doctrine.

“In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following.” (1st Timothy 4:6)

“But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.” (Titus 2:1)

“Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.” (Titus 2:6-8)

Furthermore, we also read in Scripture of those who do not hold to sound doctrine.

“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!” (Galatians 1:6-9)

“As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.” (1st Timothy 1:3-4)

“If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.” (1st Timothy 6:3-5)

“For the overseer must be above reproach as God's steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain.” (Titus 1:7-11)

“Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.” (2nd John 1:9-11)

So, evidently, according to Scripture, particularly in the writings of Paul, doctrine is extremely important. I believe that while doctrine cannot save you, it can determine if you’re saved. Therefore, we must, as Christians, be vigilant against these false teachers who are denying cardinal doctrines. We must not receive their teachings, because they are not of God.

John MacArthur on "the Apathy of the Modern Church"

I think that John MacArthur nails this one on the head. If we look at Revelation 3, we can see Christ's stinging indictment to the church at Laodicea.

"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: 'I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.'" (Rev. 3:14-19)

Now, this could be very apply for today. Here we have these mega-churches with these beautiful new, state-of-the-art buildings, yet from the pulpits of these churches, truth is not being preached. After looking at this, I find it amazing that Charles Spurgeon was lamenting this trend in Victorian Britain. How even more true do his words ring today.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

"A Sermon that Has Angered Many"

Paul Washer preaches "a sermon that has angered many" on 1st John at Grace Community Church in San Antonio, Texas. The point of the sermon is that if you truly are a Christian you will bear fruit of your salvation. In fact, as Paul Washer points out, the Apostle Paul exhorts the church in Corinth, a fellowiship which became notorious for various acts of scandalous behavior, to "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?" (2nd Corinthians 13:5)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Examples of Prosperity Preachers & a Message from Paul Washer

In the first video, we see such preachers like Paula White, T.D. Jakes, Benny Hinn, and others.

Now, Paul Washer makes a valid point, at least in the case of these prosperity preachers like the Copelands, the Hagins, Joel Osteen, and others: that they can be the judgment of God on people who don't want God.

Now, I've posted this verse up here before, but since Paul Washer's going through this verse, I'll put it up again: "I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths." (2nd Timothy 4:1-4)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

On Being a Slave to Christ

Pastor John MacArthur explains what it means to be a slave to Christ.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Rob Bell: an Emergent Wolf

There is no doubt that Rob Bell has almost a cult-following thanks to his Nooma videos and is one of the "ringleaders" of the "Emergent Church." However, the question is, does Rob Bell preach true Christianity?

In an interview with Christianity Today, he rejected the inspiration of Holy Scripture, completely flying in the face on 2nd Timothy 3:16, he's stated his belief that we must bring heaven to earth. He believes that hell, along with heaven, "is full of forgiven people." Bell has also implied that Christianity borrowed many of it's beliefs from the pagan religions of Ancient Rome. He also stresses the mystery of Christianity and that we put God in a box if we believe difine the Christian faith.

He also, rather recently, stated that we are the gospel, not the forgivness of sins being offered through Jesus Christ through His atonement on the cross at Calvary. In fact, I would strongly encourage you to listen to Chris's refutation of Bell's "gospel:"

Interestingly enough, the Apostle Paul writes to the church of Galatia: "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:6-9)

Now, this isn't addressed in this episode of "Fighting for the Faith," hosted by Chris Rosebrough.

However, in the first part of the program, Chris reviews a sermon done by Rob Bell on Philippians 3:1-11 on the "Judaizers." In the second part of the program, Chris speaks with Ken Silva of "Apprising Ministries" on the mysticsm endorsed by Bell, that actually has its roots in medival Catholic mysticism. Now, it's long, but it's worth listening to.

Paul Washer on Regeneration

In this first video, Paul Washer speaks on the "lost doctrine" in American Christianity: the doctrine of regeneration. Paul Washer makes a very interesting statement at 2:17, which is worth writing down: "The doctrine of a Christian living in a continuous state of carnality is abosolute heresy."

We see in 2nd Corinthians 5:17 that "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."

Furthermore, Paul writes to the church in Corinth, saying: "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." (1st Corinthians 6:9-11)

Along, the same line, Paul Washer in this video speaks on Matthew 7:21-23, quotes Jesus as stating plainly: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'"

Now, a lot of people claim to be "Christian" here in the U.S. Even Mormons & Roman Catholics try to pass themselves off as Christians, yet this isn't the issue. What is the issue, however, are those who claim to be Christian, yet show no evidence whatsoever. I mean, I'm gonna be really honest and say that I have friends on Facebook who, under "religious views" claim to be Christian. Yet, there's no evidence of their salvation and sanctification. I don't say this as to come across as "holier than thou" but, in some cases, I see no difference whatsoever between these professing Christians, and the unbelievers.

In this video, an excerpt from Paul Washer's "Ten Indictments Against the Modern Church," preached in 2008, Paul Washer declares war on the so-called "sinner's prayer." Now, a lot of this, like I noted in my earlier blog post, more or less, dates back to Charles Finney.

Decisional Regeneration

Mark Kielar hosts this episode of "Cross TV," explaining the problems and history behind the idea of "decisional regeneration," along with it's disastrous legacy. As mentioned in the video, much of what is being used in modern evangelistic crusades, came from Charles Finney (1792-1875), who taught that Salvation was a work of man. It does seem that in the wake of Finney, many other evangelists like D.L. Moody, and Billy Graham copied his methods. In an edition of the White Horse Inn, which I believe I posted to my blog, concerning the entertainment obsession in many churches, it was Charles Finney who began the whole interest in entertainment in Christianity.

Friday, September 4, 2009

"Come Out!!!"

Paul Washer speaks on those who have been converted amidst false groups. He stresses that if you truly are a Christian you WILL come out of these false religions.

Admittedly, I used to think that one could be a true Christian yet remain in the Roman Catholic Church, although I was fully aware of the false doctrine being promoted by the Vatican. However, just recently, I was listening to a couple lessons from John MacArthur about the heresy being promoted in the Roman Catholic Church and he brought up a very good verse which God used to changed my thinking:

"You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons." (1st Corinthians 10:21)

I also remembered two other verses, as well.

"Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols?" (2nd Corinthians 6:14-16)

(This is referring to the collapse of Babylon)
"Then I heard another voice from heaven saying,'Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins,lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven,and God has remembered her iniquities.'" (Revelation 18:4-5)

Flattery in Modern Christianity

In this episode of "the White Horse Inn," they deal with Romans 16:17-19.

"I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive." (Romans 16:17-19)

Flattery, as noted in this episode, has become, almost a rule, rather than an exception in modern American "Christianity." I mean, it gets people in to the churches, when they are told what they want to hear. Is it any wonder that people like Joel Osteen have these monstrous churches?

Interestingly, we are told in Daniel 11:32, of the antichrist that "he shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action."

It also should be noted that flattery is not looked upon favorably in Scripture.

"Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me. For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue." (Psalms 5:8-9)

"Save, O LORD, for the godly one is gone; for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man. Everyone utters lies to his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak. May the LORD cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts, those who say, 'With our tongue we will prevail, our lips are with us; who is master over us?'" (Psalms 12:1-3)

"A lying tongue hates its victims,and a flattering mouth works ruin." (Proverbs 26:28)

"A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet." (Proverbs 29:5)

So, flattery, like I said, certainly isn't looked upon favorably by Holy Scripture.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

John MacArthur on the Pope & the Papacy

In the wake of the death of Pope John Paul II in 2005, and the election of Pope Benedict XVI, Pastor John MacArthur delivered this message (approx. 90 minutes) on the UNBIBLICAL and apostate system that is the Roman Catholic Church. I actually learned a lot from this lecture and I hope you do, too. I mean, I already knew that the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church is a false system and preached a false religion, but I didn't realize the lies that they had to come up with. Now, I WILL say that I'm not quite sure if the pope will the final Anti-Christ, although, I do believe that there will be a literal Anti-Christ and that Christ will return prior to a Millenial Kingdom over which He will reign prior to the eternal state.

Jesus Himself condemned the pharisees, saying "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,'This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men. And he said to them, "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!" (Mark 7:6-9)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pastor Tim Conway on the Doctrine of Hell

In the style of the old fire & brimstone preachers, Pastor Tim Conway of Grace Community Church in San Antonio, Texas,delivers a message on a subject that is almost taboo in modern Christianity: the doctrine of hell. Some, like emergent guru Brian McLaren, have flat out denied the doctrine of hell. Others preach annihilationism, and much to my dismay, I have a couple friends myself who are in that camp.

Now, admittedly, this doctrine is certainly one that I don't take pleasure in. But, it's a doctrine that must be addressed. It especially must be addressed because of the fact that God's Word is pretty clear on the doctrine of God's judgment, hell and His pouring out of His Holy wrath on sinners.

"For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says the LORD, so shall your offspring and your name remain. From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me,declares the LORD. And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh." (Isaiah 66:22-24)

"But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire." (Matthew 5:22)

"I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!" (Luke 12: 4-5)

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:18)

"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him." (John 3:36)

"For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment...then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority." (2nd Peter 2:4, 9 & 10)

"Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains,calling to the mountains and rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?'" (Revelation 6:15-17)

"And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, 'If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.'" (Revelation 14:9-11)

"And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur." (Revelation 19:20)

"And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison 8and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever." (Revelation 20:7-10)

"Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:11-15)

Was Jesus Politically Correct?

There’s been this notion, I think, even in Christianity, that Jesus was always a nice guy who freely healed the sick, raised the dead. In children’s Bibles, we see pictures of Jesus playing with the children, and often children in Sunday school, my self included, are or were taught songs like “Jesus Loves the Little Children,” or “Jesus Loves Me.”

Although, I think people are willing to admit that there are two examples of Jesus being “nasty:” “In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, ‘Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.’” (John 2:14-16) Similarly, in the week prior to His crucifixion, we are told that “Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, ‘It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you make it a den of robbers.’” (Matthew 21:12-13)

I also admit that most professing Christians would probably concede that when He returns, that He will come as a judge in His full power and glory. But, Jesus, when we look at Scripture, we see that He wasn’t always the nicest guy to be around during His earthly ministry.

In fact, Pastor John MacArthur of Grace Community Church in southern California, recently wrote a book called The Jesus You Can’t Ignore about this issue. I haven’t read the book, but we should perhaps go through Scripture to see that Jesus wasn’t the person who was always the nicest guy.

“Then He began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.'" (Matthew 11:20-24)

“Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, ‘Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.’ He answered them, "And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God commanded, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.' 5But you say, 'If anyone tells his father or his mother, "What you would have gained from me is given to God,’ he need not honor his father.' So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me in vain do they worship me,teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” (Matthew 15:1-9)

"But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.' You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? And you say, 'If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.' You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it. And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, saying, 'If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?” (Matthew 23:13-33)

“While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him, so he went in and reclined at table. The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner. And the Lord said to him, ‘Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you.’” (Luke 11:37-41)

“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ They answered him, ‘We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, 'You will become free?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father. They answered him, ‘Abraham is our father.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are doing the works your father did.’ They said to him, ‘We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies…Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.’” (John 8:34-44 & 47)

Now, am I putting up these verses to suggest that Jesus was a mean person? By no means!!! However, Jesus didn’t mince words, and loved people enough to tell them their state.

A prime example of this is in John 6 after He feeds the 5,000 men, plus women and children, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. We read that the people followed Him around the Sea of Galilee, with the intention of making Him king, and meet up with Jesus on the other side, and Jesus tells them plainly: "Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.” (John 6:26) He also plainly tells them, after being asked what the people can be doing to do the works of God: "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent…Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.’” (John 6:29, 35-36)

You see, Jesus, while being loving, wasn’t being politically correct. But, unfortunately, I think that there has been a notion in today’s society that being loving and being politically correct are basically the same thing.

I mean, I’m sure that the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) thought it was being “loving,” when it voted to allow homosexual clergy a couple weeks ago, and some in the name of “love,” like Tony Jones, have decided that homosexuality is no longer a sin. It’s “unloving” to proclaim that Christ is the only way to Salvation, and God forbid that a preacher even mention the word “hell” to people, let alone preach on it. Now, the issues I raised, and others, such as abortion, should be confronted with compassion, but also with the truths found in Scripture nonetheless

But, unfortunately, truth isn’t what people really want to hear. In fact, we are told that “the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” (2nd Timothy 4:3-4)

Therefore, it’s little wonder that “preachers” like Joel Osteen, who proclaims “your best life now,” or Emergent leaders like Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, or Doug Pagitt, who clearly contest the clear words of Scripture are so popular today, because they teach exactly what people want to hear. No longer is the truth of Scripture relevant, but personal feelings and “feel-good” messages of self-help.

He certainly didn't come preaching that you'll have health & prosperity. In fact, he stated that we will be persecuted because of Him and that "I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household." (Matthew 10:34-36)Nor, did He come, as many Emergents claim, to be a social activist like Martin Luther King Jr. or Ghandi. No, He claim to proclaim TRUTH!!!

However, admittedly, most people, particularly in America, don't want that Jesus. In fact, judging by the verses that I put up, I would guess that Jesus Himself, if He were to come preach a sermon at some of these churches, His preaching would clear the pews and He would be shown the door.