Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin

by Cameron Buettel

We live in a therapeutic culture that seems determined to do away with sin. Adultery and every form of immorality has been re-classified as sex addictions. Addictions to drugs and alcohol are classified as diseases, not the results of deliberate actions. And guns are now perceived as a greater evil than the murderers pulling the trigger. Whatever the sin may be, there always seems to be a way to excuse, redefine, or minimize it.

That determination to separate who a person is and what he does has also infiltrated the church. The exhortation to “love the sinner and hate the sin” is a clever Christian cliché regularly used to deflect people’s responsibility and accountability for their sin. While it’s true that we should both love sinners and hate sin, the cliché distorts those truths by unbiblically severing the two.

Gnosticism Revived

That sort of dualism was prevalent among the Gnostic heretics of the first century AD. The error of the Gnostics was so seductive that the apostle John wrote his first epistle as a direct response to their false teaching. John MacArthur made the following observations regarding the situation facing the church in 1 John:

Gnosticism (from the Greek word gnōsis [“knowledge”]) was an amalgam of various pagan, Jewish, and quasi-Christian systems of thought. Influenced by Greek philosophy (especially that of Plato), Gnosticism taught that matter was inherently evil and spirit was good. That philosophical dualism led the false teachers whom John confronted to accept some form of Christ’s deity, but to deny His humanity. He could not, according to them, have taken on a physical body, since matter was evil. [1] John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: 1–3 John (Chicago: Moody Press, 2007) 8.

But it was the Gnostics’ personal application of their dualistic views that echoes today in the efforts to separate the sinner from his sin.

The Gnostics’ philosophical dualism also caused them to be indifferent to moral values and ethical behavior. To them, the body was merely the prison in which the spirit was incarcerated. Therefore, sin committed in the body had no connection to or effect on the spirit. [2] 1–3 John, 8.

The cliché of loving the sinner and hating the sin follows the same dualistic reasoning as Gnostic heresies—that we ought to effectively divorce the sinner from the culpability and consequences of his sin.

Worse still, it confuses and corrupts the very concept of what it means to love a sinner. True love does not demand willful ignorance. You wouldn’t simply pretend that a cancer patient was suddenly free from his disease. Nor would you ignore his affliction in hopes that it would go away on its own.

The same holds true for sinners—the most loving thing you can do for them is not to blithely ignore their sin or excuse it away, but to confront it. In other words, you cannot possibly love a sinner if you don’t also hate his sin.

Not Dualism—Dual Responsibilities

I’ll grant that the way we confront sin can vary depending on the nature of the sin and the spiritual condition of the sinner. You might need to show more gentleness with an unbeliever blinded by his own depravity than with a fellow Christian who ought to know better. And even within the church, we need to be measured and considerate with how we confront one another, yet still bold and clear enough to preserve the purity of the Body of Christ.

In fact, church discipline is an essential part of protecting the church’s purity (Matthew 18:15–20). John MacArthur, while commenting on that passage, points out:

A Christian who is not deeply concerned about bringing a fellow Christian back from his sin needs spiritual help himself. Smug indifference, not to mention self-righteous contempt, has no part in the life of a spiritual Christian, nor do sentimentality or cowardice that hide behind false humility. The spiritual Christian neither condemns nor justifies a sinning brother. His concern is for the holiness and blessing of the offending brother, the purity and integrity of the church, and the honor and glory of God. [3] John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 16–23 (Chicago: Moody Press, 1985) 128.

In response to those who see the confrontation of sin as inherently unloving, John adds:

In the eyes of much of the world and even in the eyes of many immature believers, such action is considered unloving. But discipline given in the right way expresses the deepest kind of love, love that refuses to do nothing to rescue a brother from unrepentant sin and its consequences. Love that winks at sin or that is more concerned for superficial calm in the church than for its spiritual purity is not God’s kind of love. Love that tolerates sin is not love at all but worldly and selfish sentimentality.

To preach love apart from God’s holiness is to teach something other than God’s love. No awakening or revival of the church has ever occurred apart from strong preaching of God’s holiness and the corresponding call for believers to forsake sin and return to the Lord’s standards of purity and righteousness. No church that tolerates known sin in its membership will have spiritual growth or effective evangelism. In spite of that truth, however, such tolerance is standard in the church today-at all levels. [4] Matthew 16–23, 128.

Some people appeal to God’s unconditional love as if that trumps or invalidates His other attributes, most notably His wrath. But as John emphatically argues, such sentiment amounts to nothing less than a popular form of idolatry.

Belief in a God who is all love and no wrath, all grace and no justice, all forgiveness and no condemnation is idolatry (worship of a false god invented by men), and it inevitably leads to universalism-which, of course, is what many liberal churches have been preaching for generations. Salvation becomes meaningless, because sin that God overlooks does not need to be forgiven. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross becomes a travesty, because He gave His life for no redemptive purpose. Not only that, but it becomes apologetically impossible to explain the common question about why a loving God allows pain, suffering, disease, and tragedy. Removing God’s holy hatred of sin emasculates the gospel and hinders rather than helps evangelism. [5] Matthew 16–23, 130.

We should love sinners. We should hate sin. And we shouldn’t divide those two truths into separate categories. Our hatred of sin should manifest itself in a love that warns sinners—compassionately, but no less clearly—of the dire consequences their sin demands. Short of that, how could we ever claim to truly love them?

Stacey L. Lacik

The weird and wacky comes not only from the East, but also from the West.  The West Coast, to be specific.  In Redding, California, there is a church called Bethel.  And at this church called Bethel, there is a ministry called SOZO.  And within this ministry called SOZO (Greek for saved, healed, delivered) there is another ministry called Shabar.  (A Hebrew word meaning broken-hearted but which can also mean shattered).

There are six ‘tools’ that are used in SOZO:

  • Father Ladder
  • Four Doors
  • Presenting Jesus
  • The Wall
  • Trigger Mechanisms (Advanced Tool)
  • Divine Editing (Advanced Tool)

These are psycho-therapeutic techniques used by the facilitator (counselor) in a 2-3 hour session for determining the point of the client’s “father wound”, an idea straight our of repressed memory therapy and the inner-healing movement.

For those who have sought help, healing or deliverance through SOZO, but were unable to attain (or…

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“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.”

— 2 Timothy 4:3-4

The Charismatic Day of Infamy: June 28th 2008

From Pirate Christian

June 23, 2008 is the “Charismatic Day of Infamy” and you are NOT supposed to know about it or even talk about it. 

If everyone knew about what happened on this day (and stopped making excuses for it) a whole bunch of false teachers would put their tail between their legs, pack up their bags and go home. The “New Apostolic Reformation,” the “Signs and Wonders Movement,” the Hyper-Charismatic Movement (whatever it’s being called at the moment) should not even exist. 

Here’s a video showing part of what happened on live television that day:

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The “Super Apostles” were so proud of themselves that day; they could hardly believe that they were even gathered together at the same place. C. Peter Wagner (who does the official “commissioning” here) is the man who made up the name “New Apostolic Reformation” and then appointed himself God’s leader of it. Other important “Super Apostles” on stage were Bill Johnson, Rick Joyner, Che Ahn, John and Carol Arnott, and the Super Star of the whole, messed up day: Todd Bentley.

These men were all gathered in Lakeland, Florida, to officially “commission” Todd Bentley to become part of the “Super Apostle” club. Wagner says, “I take the apostolic authority that God has given me and I decree to you Todd Bentley: Your power will increase. Your authority will increase. Your favor will increase. Your influence will increase. I also decree that a new supernatural strength will flow through this ministry. A new life-force will penetrate this move of God. Government will be established to set things in their proper order. God will pour out a higher level of discernment to distinguish truth from error. New relationships will surface to open the gates for the future! And rainbow-colored unicorns will spread golden pixie-dust and shift the atmosphere!!” (Okay, that last sentence wasn’t real.)

Finish article HERE

Great article

Elena Baumann

* * * The greatest danger of the end times is not the natural or financial disaster, but the spiritual deception* * *

It has been upon my heart for about a year to write this exhortation with the purpose of warning  all of my friends who claim to have the “gift of speaking in tongues” as it is known in the Pentecostal and charismatic movement. Some of my readers may notice that I will mention them, not by name, but by example. It is not my desire to offend, but I am writing this for the glory of God and the love of the brethren. Lest we forget, the apostle Paul exhorted us not be tossed to & fro by every wind of teaching, but to hold to good and right doctrine, and expose error (Ephesians 4:14).

[NOTES added by Rick Wagner SO4J-TV & Video Productions]

“Beware of false prophets, which come…

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By Steven Kozar

An Excerpt from Messed Up Church

Full Article HERE

Don’t listen to anyone whose teaching requires “spitting out” afterwards.
Don’t listen to anyone that gets “downloads” (new revelations) directly from God.
Don’t listen to anyone who gives lip service to the Bible but rarely actually reads it.
Don’t listen to anyone whose ideas require “The Message Bible” for validation.
Don’t listen to anyone who is getting rich from his or her “ministry.”
Don’t listen to anyone who twists God’s Word or approves of those who do.
Don’t listen to anyone who values the world’s approval more than service to God.
Don’t listen to anyone who talks more about themselves than the Lord Jesus Christ.
Don’t listen to anyone who “casts a vision” that you’re required to follow.
Don’t listen to anyone who claims to have the ability to “speak things into existence.”
Don’t listen to anyone who claims to have discovered a “secret” from God.
Don’t listen to anyone who preaches a whole sermon based on half of a (KJV) verse.
Don’t listen to anyone who preaches a sermon based on his or her new book.
Don’t listen to anyone who questions the Bible while pretending to value it.
Don’t listen to anyone who values adoration from the audience above service to God.
Don’t listen to anyone who refers to their own illegal activities as mere “mistakes.”
Don’t listen to anyone who preaches all Law and no Gospel.
Finally, don’t listen to anyone who thinks this list is too harsh and narrow-minded!

 

My Word Like Fire

In this video, International House of Prayer leader Mike Bickle includes the Catholic religion in “the Body of Christ.”

Here is the link:click here

Here is what is on the video: Mike Bickle and the Catholic Ecumenical Track sponsor, Keith Major, emoting about the  Catholic Track at IHOP-KC’s Onething 2015 conference. Onething 2015 did indeed take place with Catholic participation.

“As for the message you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we are not going to listen to you! But rather we will certainly carry out every word that has proceeded from our mouths, by burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her…” (Jeremiah 44:17)

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Source: A Christian Position On Yoga

 

By Kim Olsen

Learning about SOZO occurred when I was working with a woman who was dealing with oppression and darkness. Many are deceived when they enter into a spiritual realm that they have no business delving into.

Today we easily find  mysticism, false teaching, divination, abuse of spiritual gifts, and love of experience trumping the Word of God. When you fall into this area the problem is that the spirit world will deliver. Those seeking to be in the “presence of Jesus” will indeed find themselves in the company of a entity but it will not be  Jesus of the Bible. Remember that “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:14.

Satan is the prince of darkness and well-meaning Christians will fall into the trap and deceitful workmen will also masquerade as “apostles of Christ.”  2 Corinthians 11:13

There are so many who love the Lord and want to serve Him with all their hearts but the way we do this is laid out in the Epistles to the church in the New Testament. We also find many warnings of false teachers in the scriptures.

When we read about Jesus as our shepherd and recognize ourselves as the flock, it must be remembered that sheep are not very smart. They need to be led. They often cannot discern the enemy among who are clothed in sheepskin but inwardly are wolves. These wolves will be found IN the church, they are among God’s people.

Act 20:29
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

The false self-claimed apostles, Bill Johnson, Mike Bickle, Todd Bentley, John Arnott, Todd White, just to name a few, are promising that people can walk among the streets and in the power of the Holy Spirit, heal people of their diseases. Of course this speaks of the pride of man, to be just like the apostles in the book of Acts. These early  men were hand selected by Jesus and therefore Apostles. Paul was the last Apostle. God does still does heal today but not like what we are seeing in these false ministries.

The sad part is the report that those seeking healing at Bethel in Redding, CA are subjected to rating their healing from 1 -10. This can only be due to the fact that they are not being healed and people are trying to glean some positive results from their man-made practices and techniques.

SOZO is found in two main ministries…Bethel in Redding and IHOP ministries but is spreading to many charismatic churches. The focus is on drawing susceptible youth and making them believe they have some special abilities other Christians are leaving on the table.

Here is a good article to get you started on research by someone who has personal experience with SOZO.

Inner Healing – Christian or Occult?

This site is also dedicated to SOZO and its false teachings.

http://bethelsozo.blogspot.com/search/label/The%20Six%20Sozo%20Tools

These tools are not biblical and will actually put you into contact with an entity masquerading as Jesus. But many will accept this Jesus.

2Co 11:4

For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

Think new-age spirit guides  (demons) and you will have a better understanding of what spiritual world is truly being contacted.

Do you think that these false teachings will not reach you or your church? Think again. What prompted me to repost  this information is that on Facebook there is a woman excited to take a SOZO class in a nearby town. The comments on her post encouraged her to do so. I can longer reach this woman who blocked me because of my past warnings on other issues.

What can we do to protect ourselves? Stay in the Word of God and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you into truth. There are no shortcuts. Study the Word, pray, fellowship, be obedient to the Word,  and walk in faith…not by sight.

 

40 Questions for Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags

by Kevin DeYoung

For evangelicals who lament last Friday’s Supreme Court decision, it’s been a hard few days. We aren’t asking for emotional pity, nor do I suspect many people are eager to give us any. Our pain is not sacred. Making legal and theological decisions based on what makes people feel better is part of what got us into this mess in the first place. Nevertheless, it still hurts.

There are many reasons for our lamentation, from fear that religious liberties will be taken away to worries about social ostracism and cultural marginalization. But of all the things that grieve us, perhaps what’s been most difficult is seeing some of our friends, some of our family members, and some of the folks we’ve sat next to in church giving their hearty “Amen” to a practice we still think is a sin and a decision we think is bad for our country. It’s one thing for the whole nation to throw a party we can’t in good conscience attend. It’s quite another to look around for friendly faces to remind us we’re not alone and then find that they are out there jamming on the dance floor. We thought the rainbow was God’s sign (Gen. 9:8-17).

If you consider yourself a Bible-believing Christian, a follower of Jesus whose chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, there are important questions I hope you will consider before picking up your flag and cheering on the sexual revolution. These questions aren’t meant to be snarky or merely rhetorical. They are sincere, if pointed, questions that I hope will cause my brothers and sisters with the new rainbow themed avatars to slow down and think about the flag you’re flying.

1. How long have you believed that gay marriage is something to be celebrated?

2. What Bible verses led you to change your mind?

3. How would you make a positive case from Scripture that sexual activity between two persons of the same sex is a blessing to be celebrated?

4. What verses would you use to show that a marriage between two persons of the same sex can adequately depict Christ and the church?

5. Do you think Jesus would have been okay with homosexual behavior between consenting adults in a committed relationship?

6. If so, why did he reassert the Genesis definition of marriage as being one man and one woman?

7. When Jesus spoke against porneia what sins do you think he was forbidding?

8. If some homosexual behavior is acceptable, how do you understand the sinful “exchange” Paul highlights in Romans 1?

9. Do you believe that passages like 1 Corinthians 6:9 and Revelation 21:8 teach that sexual immorality can keep you out of heaven?

10. What sexual sins do you think they were referring to?

Finish this article at “The Gospel Coalition”

Source HERE

From “The End Time”

Elizabeth Prata

Source HERE

Be Careful Who You Post on Facebook”

I’d written recently that there were pros and cons to using social media as a Christian. It’s useful for staying in touch with distant family or friends, to learn of new pastors & ministries, or to share the Gospel. It’s not useful when we publicly sin or cause a stumbling block to a weaker brother, or in trying to tighten up time management. There are a lot of temptations on social media, that’s definitely a con.

One thing that is also a con but is part of the reality of life as a Christian anyway (i.e. there’s no escaping this) is the weak Christian who posts or repeats quotes and tidbits from ministries that are run by a false teacher. We agonize over our brethren who are embroiled in the snares of the devil and who prove it by unidscerningly following them, and by repeating the lies the ministry puts out there.

A pastor named Jordan Hall wrote a heartfelt warning about this and I re-post it here. In my opinion they are good words well stated. I use most of the discernment ministries Pastor Hall mentioned, and I’d also suggest my own The End Time blog, Sharon Lareau at Chapter 3 Ministries, Erin Benziger at Do Not Be Surprised, Sunny Shell at Abandoned to Christ, and Aimee Byrd at Mortification of Spin (The Housewife Theologian), DebbieLynne Kespert at The Outspoken Tulip, and already mentioned in the essay, Amy Spreeman atThe Berean Examiner.

His warning:

———————————-

By Jordan Hall

Not too long to read: My friends, from a pastor’s heart, we must be careful who we quote on Facebook and whose material we share. Please take the time, before you do either, to spend just a single minute to research the individual or ministries you’re promoting by sharing their material. Before you quote or post a meme from Beth Moore, Proverbs 31 Ministries, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Andy Stanley, Steven Furtick or other popular ‘Christian’ leaders or organizations, please search the web with their name and the word ‘discernment.’ You’ll find the information you need in no time flat, and you’ll avoid causing your Facebook friends to stumble by introducing them to chaff and tares.

Why do that, you ask? Do that because Romans 16:17 tells us to “Mark those that cause divisions and create obstacles that are contrary to the doctrine taught [in Scripture].” That instruction is two fold (A) Mark them – that means to qualify, characterize and typify them as dangerous as a warning to others and (B) avoid them. When you post something from TD Jakes or Andy Stanley you are marking them as trustworthy. You are then exposing your friends and loved ones to their false teachings.

It is here that some say, “Well, I liked the quote. I’m not endorsing the person.” Well, I get that. Really, I do. I’m sure Charles Finney or Adolf Hitler might have said something at some point I might agree with. But, we shouldn’t go around quoting Hitler or Finney. Whether you like it or not, it IS an endorsement, and you might turn people onto ministries that are spiritually toxic.

Likewise, be careful when you “like” statuses that repeat the words of false teachers. I know you like the person who posted it. I know you liked their good intentions. But for the love of Jesus (literally), do not ‘like’ the words that proceed from the mouth of those who masquerade as shepherds but are inwardly wolves. Do not give the impression to your friend that you like it that they appreciate false teachers. Rather, you ought rather to mourn and warn them.

Here’s a tip for your convenience if you think, “Good grief, am I supposed to research every pastor or ministry I post or ‘like’ on Facebook” (the answer is YES, by the way). As stated above, google “person/ministry’s name” and “discernment.” You’ll find a wealth of resources from polemicists (those who specialize in errant teachings) like Chris Rosebrough, the late Ken Silva, Amy Spreeman, Michelle Lesley, Jeff Maples, Pulpit & Pen and more. Discernment is a gift of the Holy Spirit, and God has gifted people with discernment to edify and equip the church.

Finally, this is the information age. This does not require going to the library and looking up handwritten sermon manuscripts on the microfiche. A discerning Christian, through just a little bit of research (literally, just minutes) can determine wolf from lamb in short order. For the love of Jesus and his church, please be careful with what you post.

EPrata photo
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