You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2014.

THE OVERWHELMING ODDS ARE THAT YOUR PASTOR IS KEEPING THE TRUTH FROM YOU INSTEAD OF PREACHING ABOUT IT

by John Muncy

(**Warning!** Don’t Read This Post Unless You Are Willing To Face A Horrible Fact About The Majority Of Churches! I share these words with no malice, but with a genuine broken heart Please read it, not as a prideful put down, but as a humble cry for revival in our pulpits!)

Recent research confirms what I have been warning about for years. The majority of the pulpits of American Churches have unfaithful watchmen who won’t fully do their job as God’s spokesmen. (If you are not one of these preachers, or if you don’t have one of these preachers in your pulpit, you are rare indeed.) I’m thankful for the many faithful men of God that serve the Lord and their people with an authentic heart of love for the truth, and the willingness to stanchly proclaim the truth in love. I want to make it very clear that this is not a put down towards preachers, but a clear trumpet blast to wake-up and become alarmed at what we are seeing!

Carolyn and I were riding together a couple of nights ago, listening to a preacher on our local Christian station. This man, who is now gone to be with the Lord, was so powerful and straight with his message. He did not mix words, but laid out the truth, without fear or compromise. When he was finished, I turn to Carolyn and asked, “Now why can’t we find more men of God like that today? Why are pastors so afraid to tell the truth, even when they know it is in the Bible?”

It is so troublesome to me to watch, in over four decades of rubbing shoulders with pastors all across this country, a developing trend among our church leaders to minimize the message at the expense of having a “successful” church. I say this with a broken heart; I fear for the direction our ministers are taking our churches.

George Barna is the foremost researcher of modern Christianity in the country. He recently spoke about a two-year research project studying why modern-day pastors and churches are so silent regarding political issues. The result of his research only confirms what I have been trying to tell people for years. (It is available in a book entitled, “U-Turn: Restoring America to the Strength of its Roots”)

According to Barna’s two-year investigation, about 90% of pastors believe that the Bible speaks to key issues of our day, and yet, disappointedly, less than 10% say that they, as pastors, speak about them from the pulpit.

That 90% of America’s pastors are not addressing any of the most important issues affecting Christian people’s political or societal lives should cause alarms to go off – but that is not going to happen – BECAUSE THE CHURCHES APPEARS TO LOVE IT THAT WAY…

Jeremiah 5:31 “The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and MY PEOPLE LOVE TO HAVE IT SO…”

This is very alarming to me as an evangelist. I have visited churches from one end of our nation to the other, working with both conservative and liberal views, but I can never remember a time like this. When we see our pastors, the leaders, the shepherds of God’s little flock, ignoring the issues that face them day by day, I can’t seem to understand why this is not being openly rebuked and challenged!

Did you get that? 90% of America’s pastors say they KNOW that the Bible speaks to all of these issues, but they are deliberately determined NOT to teach Biblical principles in answer to them! That is an amazing admission! It would be one thing if the pastors would claim that none of these issues have any relevance with the Word of God, but these men are admitting that it does, but they continue to deliberately choose NOT to teach the Scriptural principles from their pulpits!

Does this alarm you? Does this bother you? Understand, we are not talking about IGNORANT pastors who don’t know about these things – we are talking about DISOBEDIENT pastors – who refuse to speak up! They choose to remain silent!

But, according to Barna, the report found that when these pastors were asked how to know if their church was “successful”, Barna found five factors that the vast majority of the pastor turned to:

1) Attendance – how many go on Sunday morning
2) Giving – how much money is coming in
3) Number of programs – how busy they are
4) Number of staff – how many associates serves you
5) Square footage of the facilities – how big is your building

What does all this reveal?? It reveals that the majority of pastors are more concerned about being “successful” than they are being TRUTHFUL. They believe if they tell their congregations the truth, their churches will not be as “successful”! This is how hell is lying to preachers! And it’s working! But where are these men getting these ideas, because they are NOT found in the Bible?

Like it or not, our pastors are trying to “keep up with the Jones’s”! They look around and see all the megachurches on TV, they watch these “big-time” preachers with their “big-time” crowds, making “big-time” money, living in “big-time” houses, driving “big time” cars and having a “big-time” name and their knees buckle under the temptation to follow the latest fad that has taken the church by storm.

ASK ALMOST ANY PASTOR if he has read anything recently on church growth and he’ll look at you like you’re insane, “Well, sure I have – several books!” Ask that same pastor if he has read anything recently on prayer, holiness or revival and he’ll look at you like you’re insane, “Why would I want to read about that?”

I’ve been to hundreds of the pastor’s meetings, the luncheons, the conferences, the conventions, and they’re all the same. I just stand around and listen to these guys talk “preacher talk”…they’re all comparing notes with each other, with the same questions time after time: “How many are you running now?”, or “How big is your sanctuary?”, or “What’s your budget for this year?”, or “How many do you have on your staff now?”

Most of these men are mesmerized by the likes of Joel Osteen, Rick Warren or Bill Hybels – these men are the “heroes” of today’s pulpiteers, or should I say, “puppeteers”. I’M AFRAID WE’VE EXCHANGED PROPHETS FOR PUPPETS IN MOST OF OUR PULPITS!

(I know, some of you are mad because I just named names, but please, keep reading…)

What we have today are men who have exchanged truth for “what works”. The best they can do is the only way they’ve been trained – just mimic the tactics and strategies of other “successful church growth experts” and you too can have a “successful church”. And what one thing is identical in the Osteen, Warren, and Hybels approach? The pastors avoid controversy like the plague!!

Remember, they are taught that one must realize that the goal is NOT being faithful to Biblical principles; the goal is building a “successful” church. Ladies and Gentlemen; the “success bug” has bitten these guys and they can’t stop now.

It is time for Christians to acknowledge that these ministers are not PASTORS of God’s flock; they are CEOs OF A BUSINESS ADVENTURE. They are not BIBLE TEACHERS; they are PERFORMERS. They are not SHEPHERDS, who would lay down their lives; they are HIRELINGS, who run from conflicts!

It is also time for Christians to be honest with themselves: do they want a pastor who desires to be faithful to the scriptures, or do they want a pastor who is simply trying to be “successful?”

BE HONEST, BECAUSE EVERY CHURCH DESERVES ITS PASTOR!

George Barna’s research blows the “ignorance” excuse out of the water. Again, it is not ignorance; it is deliberate disobedience. He goes on to say, “Now all of those things [the five points of success listed above] are good measures, except for one tiny fact: Jesus didn’t die for any of them.” Wow! Somebody better pay attention!

How different the church is today! It looks very little like the original! The preachers don’t look the same either. When John the Baptist preached, he didn’t need to give out “free camel rides” to get a crowd – he preached REPENTANCE – and it got his head cut off. Was that a successful minister by today’s standards? NO! But Jesus thought he was successful! (Matthew 11:11, Luke 7:28)

When the Apostle Paul listed his ministerial pedigree and credentials in 2 Corinthians 11, it looks nothing like our “big time” preachers today! Here is what Paul’s looked like:

*Stripes above measure
*In prisons frequently
*In deaths often
*Beaten with rods
*Stoned
*Perils
*Weariness
*Painfulness
*Hunger and thirst
*Cold and nakedness

I don’t see attendance, offerings, programs, staff, or square footage in that list at all; do you? Maybe Paul lived by a different standard then today’s hotshot preachers!

When Paul wrote his own epitaph, it read, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” (II Timothy 4:7). He didn’t say, “I had a large congregation, we had big offerings, we had a lot of programs, I had a large staff, and we had large facilities.”

In the world of “Pimping Preachers” and “Life Coaches in the Pulpits”, men in the ministry like John the Baptist and the Apostle Paul must be labeled as a dismal failure! I wonder how many church pulpit committees would even consider the pastoral résumé such as what the Apostle Paul wrote above?

Like it or not, I’m convinced that America’s problems are directly due to the deliberate disobedience of America’s pastors – and the willingness of the Christians in the pews who tolerate the disobedience of their pastors, who are more concerned over their tax-exempt status than they are at proclaiming the truth! God help us!

 

Joe Quatrone, Jr.

growWe are starting a new series in the Book of James. Beginning a study of a book of the Bible is something like preparing for a trip: you like to know where you are going and what you can expect to see. Perhaps the best way to launch into this study is to answer two important questions:

Why Did James Write?

To teach the marks of maturity in the Christian life. As we read the Epistle of James, we will discover these Jewish Christians were having some problems in their personal lives and in their church fellowship. They were going through difficult testings and were facing temptations to sin. Some of the believers were catering to the rich, while others were being robbed by the rich. Church members were competing for offices in the church, particularly teaching offices.

One of the major problems in the church was a failure…

View original post 1,424 more words

*update*

It was brought to my attention that he does endorse Joyce Meyer though which is problematic.

http://apprising.org/2012/12/18/ravi-zacharias-praises-word-faith-preacher-joyce-meyer/

*******************

What a wonderful thing it is when a known leader retracts endorsements of false religious teachers. Lighthouse Trails reports that this has happened with Ravi Zacharias. It is important to also report the good news along with the distressing. Here is the article.

********

It is not often that Lighthouse Trails can report on a major Christian leader actually renouncing earlier endorsements of the contemplative mystics. Rick Warren, Beth Moore, Chuck Swindoll, David Jeremiah, and many others have written books that have promoted contemplative teachers, and Lighthouse Trails has documented many of these situations. And in every case, even though each of these leaders learned about our challenge, none of them has ever come forth and admitted they were wrong. But in a 2012 online interview by an independent blog, Ravi Zacharias was asked the following question:

If in your book, you wrote how Eastern mysticism is completely erroneous, why did you state in one of your speaking engagements that Henri Nouwen was one of the greatest saints who lived in our time, when Nouwen is known to have been influenced by Thomas Merton and others who practice Eastern mysticism?
Zacharias answered the question thus:
I regret having said that. At the time, I based my comment on Nouwen’s story of the prodigal son which I felt was on target. But later as I learned more about Nouwen and Merton, I found their writings to be very troubling. I believe that doctrinally, Nouwen lost his way. I used to read Malcolm Muggeridge too until I read his book, “Jesus Rediscovered”. Muggeridge was morally and culturally a good thinker, but he was not theologically sound.
 A little background from our perspective: In 2007, Lighthouse Trails wrote “Ravi Zacharias Ministries Points to Nouwen, Merton, and Foster.”   Our article stated:
Go to Lighthouse Trails to finish HERE

 

From the Berean Call Newsletter

written by T. A. McMahon

 

As was noted in part one of this series, prophecy is a very important ingredient in the Bible. In a general sense, the entire Bible is prophecy because God has given mankind His words through His prophets. It is also God foretelling what will take place in the future. That forecasting is what God presents to set Himself apart from the false gods that mankind is deceived into worshiping. God alone knows the future events, which He has declared hundreds and even thousands of years before they take place. Moreover, His foreknowledge of such events, revealed in more than a quarter of the Scriptures, is proof of the supernatural origin and nature of the Bible – that it is indeed God’s communication to mankind (Isaiah 42:9; 46:9-10; 48:5).

 

Prophecy is often a warning regarding what lies ahead so that believers can discern the times and take appropriate action. This gives unbelievers the opportunity to repent in order to avoid God’s judgment. Noah, a preacher of righteousness, was told by God that He would destroy everything that lived upon the earth by a flood (which didn’t come until about 120 years later) and that He would save Noah and his family; He told Abram that his descendants would remove the Canaanites from their land because of their wickedness, an event that took place four centuries later; Joseph was able to interpret the dream of Pharaoh warning of the famine to come upon Egypt in seven years, and then he was given a plan to keep the Egyptians from potential starvation; Jonah warned the Ninevites of God’s impending judgment unless they repented, which they did. Yet most of the Old Testament prophecies from Genesis 3:15 through Malachi 3:1 anticipated the first coming of Israel’s Messiah and have been fulfilled perfectly by Jesus Christ.

 

Prophecies in the New Testament primarily address events associated with the time period of the Second Coming of our Lord. Matthew 24 begins with Jesus characterizing that time with a warning of great deception, including false christs, false prophets, and lying signs and wonders. It then foretells “great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (vv. 21-22). The book of Revelation supplies some of the Tribulation details as God pours out His wrath in judgment upon the earth. There will be a conquering army of the Antichrist, world war, worldwide famine, the death of half of the world’s inhabitants (Revelation 6:8, 9:15), the massive martyrdom of believers, worldwide physical catastrophes involving mountains moved out of their places, and mankind trying to hide itself from God’s judgment. Of those who turn to Christ and are martyred for their faith during the Great Tribulation, Scripture tells us, “the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Revelation 7:17).

 

So there is good news and bad news in biblical prophecy. The best of the good news was the first coming of Jesus in order to pay the full penalty for our sins and to reconcile us to God by our faith in Him alone. Having received the gift of eternal life, the next best prophetic good news for a believer is the first phase of Christ’s Second Coming, known as the Rapture. The Apostle Paul refers to that event as the believer’s “blessed hope,” which we are to anticipate with joy because Jesus is returning to take us, the bride of Christ, to Heaven for a wedding: “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).  “For our [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20). “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God” (Revelation 19:9). That is indeed good news.

 

Sadly, when a professing or true Christian sets a date for the Rapture to take place, an act that is contrary to what the Bible teaches (Matthew 24:36, 44; Mark 13:32; 1 Timothy 6:14-15), and that event fails to happen, people grow disillusioned and the good news becomes bad news. In some cases, the date setting arises out of a sincere desire for Christ to return for His bride. At other times, it comes from the pride of having an alleged insight into a biblical interpretation that no one has discovered before. Although both predictions may be sincere, they are sincerely wrong and have caused physical and/or spiritual problems among those who believed their erroneous teachings.

 

No matter who brings the false teachings, some experience disastrous consequences from them. In the 1980s, millions believed the calculations of former NASA scientist Edgar Whisenant regarding Christ’s return through his booklet 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988 and his other misfires in 1989, 1993, and 1994. Also in the ’80s, Southwest Radio Church published Apocalyptic Signs in the Heavens, which saw catastrophic consequences for the earth due to the “Jupiter Effect,” a planetary alignment that would purportedly alter our solar system. Just prior to that, Southwest Radio’s David Webber and Noah Hutchings co-authored Is This the Last Century? published by Thomas Nelson. Based in part on Hal Lindsey’s calculation that the Rapture would take place in 1981, they concluded that the seven-year Great Tribulation would begin soon after.

 

Although many conservative Christians considered the “rapture and doom” prognosticators to be sensationalists, attitudes changed as the turn of the century drew near. The increasing talk of a worldwide computer meltdown was too much for many Christians to brush off, especially when Y2K concerns were being raised by respected evangelicals such as James Dobson, Gary North, Jerry Falwell, Jack Van Impe, Chuck Missler, and many others. The year 2000 made its debut in grand fashion when the world, rather than hunkering down, began celebrating the new century with spectacular fireworks. On the other hand, many of those who were misled by church leaders suffered “survival” consequences: losses from selling their homes, quitting their jobs, and relocating to the country, along with the expenditure of large amounts of money for stockpiles of survival food, firearms, generators, and other survival equipment. Many were overtaken by fear, and some succumbed to suicide over their financial losses.

 

Fast-forward to 2012 and the Mayan Calendar scare, another “prophesied” end-of-the-world apocalyptic nightmare that turned out to be wrong. Fear is often the response of those who have no hope, not having put their trust in Jesus, the only One who can make us eternally secure. Sadly, even many of those who claim to have a personal relationship with Christ by faith alone demonstrate by their actions that their trust is elsewhere.

 

Of course, we are not saying that we shouldn’t be prudent in making preparations for potential disasters whether they are natural, technological, or financial. Having a one- or two-week supply of food and water on hand could be very helpful, especially if one lives in an area that is prone to weather-related catastrophes. A reasonable amount of accessible cash may also be practical. In most cases, however, to go much beyond this may lead to a self-oriented “survivalist” mentality, which is at odds with the examples and instructions of the Word of God. Stockpiling food or turning to gold for survival could create an attitude of selfishness, especially when others in the disaster are without and in great need. To share, or not to share, that is the biblical question. Does one protect his goods at all cost? Scripture tells us, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise” (Luke 6:21). Who would deny that they would want someone to share their food with them if they and their families were hungry? Furthermore, the Bible tells us how we are to treat our neighbors and even our enemies: “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink” (Romans 12:20).

 

Believers need to think such things through in the light of Scripture, particularly since our days are loaded with fearmongering false prophets and some “survival food” con men preaching certain doom. The latest to conjure up forthcoming dark clouds on the horizon are those who promote the teaching that there may well be a combination of two prophetic events taking place in the year 2015 that could result in unprecedented physical cataclysms and financial crashes. The use of italics for “may well be” and “could” is given to note that those purveyors of disasters have used such language in order to cover themselves from being accused of false prophecy. Even so, those “disclaimer” terms are lost in the hyperbole of their fear mongering.
The two leaders in this alleged confluence of biblical tribulations are Jonathan Cahn (The Mystery of Shemitah) and Mark Biltz (The Blood Moons). They are supported by a cast of false teachers and sensationalists and their associated organizations that include Jim Bakker, Sid Roth, John Hagee, Pat Robertson of the 700 Club, and Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily, to name but a few.
What then of the biblical significance of the so-called mystery of shemitah and blood moons? There is none in the context in which Cahn and Biltz present them. Cahn promotes shemitah as a universal principle that applies to all nations and “their financial and economic realms.” No. Shemitah was given exclusively to Israel as a blessing should God’s chosen people follow His commandment. It involved obeying the seventh day of the week as a day of rest and every seventh year as a year of rest. God promised to make provision on the sixth day and year to supply the Israelites’ needs during their day/year of rest. Also, during the seventh year there was to be a “release” of all the debts of the Israelites. Jonathan Cahn further compounds the central error that he taught in his book The Harbinger by applying a law of God to America – a law that applies only to God’s exclusive covenant people: the Jews. This is false prophecy in the sense that it seriously misrepresents the Scriptures. Cahn is heavily promoted by WorldNetDaily, which heralds him as a modern-day prophet and revealer of “The Ancient Mystery That Holds the Secret of America’s Future.” Joseph Farah, WorldNetDaily’s chief, is the producer of Cahn’s documentary Isaiah 9:10 Judgment, and the website is a chief supporter of Cahn’s books.
The blood moons teaching of Mark Biltz is also false prophecy because, as with Cahn’s abuse of Scripture, Biltz forces the biblical term into his own agenda. The Bible clearly applies the conditions and the consequences of a blood moon (singular) to the seven-year Tribulation period: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken” (Matthew 24:29); “I beheld when he had broken the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of the heaven fell unto the earth” (Revelation 6:12-13). If Biltz concurs that the “blood moon” verses take place during the Great Tribulation, then 2015 must occur in the latter part of the Tribulation. What does that indicate for a Pre-Tribulation Rapture? It either took place in 2008 and was a partial Rapture, or it will be a Post-Tribulation Rapture, neither of which is biblical.

 

If Cahn’s and Biltz’s beliefs were merely a matter of false teachings that are of the faith-wrecking kind among the multitudes of those who buy into their unbiblical assertions, it would be tragic enough. They have, however, become the latest tool of the evangelical fearmongers as they apply their prophetic distortions to alleged soon-coming financial crashes and physical catastrophes worse than any thus experienced on the earth. Their promotional appearances with Jim Bakker, as just one example, would give credibility to the snake oil pitchmen of yesteryear (2 Peter 2:3). After Biltz declares, “I think we have one year to really prepare for what God [has] coming,” Bakker responds, “It’s time to get ready. That’s why God has called me to tell you to store food…you don’t have to order from us to hear the Word of the Lord. But you should have food….What are you gonna do when the stock market crashes?….We have the Morningside recipes….We have the Year of Food for $550 dollars….One of these days it will all be gone. One more event…I’m telling you, if we have a big earthquake on the West Coast or say a volcano going on, or something major, there will not be any food left for months and months….We have…’The Time of Trouble’ offer, and that’s a seven-year food offer, and that’s for a donation of $3,000…[that’s] 7,700 meals.” Biltz adds that what’s ahead is the “Super Bowl of human history and people need to get ready and that’s what I believe these are signs of” (http://jimbakkershow.com/video/mystery-sevens/). Joining the false signs-and-wonders teacher Rodney Howard-Browne for his Celebrate America Conference, Jonathan Cahn told the audience, “The financial collapse of the US dollar may happen on Sunday the 13th of September 2015 corresponding to the 29 of Elul 5775 on the Hebrew calendar, the next shemitah of the 7 year cycle.”

 

WorldNetDaily devotes numerous pages to selling survival food as well as self-defense and preparedness gear. Thomas Horn, author of Nephilim Stargates, is another distorter of biblical prophecy who claims that the Nephilim have returned and who also sees blood moons as a foreboding of things to come. As CEO of SurvivorMall.com, his website features hundreds of supplies to supposedly help Christians to be prepared for the last days.

 

What’s wrong with the present conjured-up scenarios that relate to pending catastrophes? Will there be a time of utter devastation that the world hasn’t experienced since Noah’s worldwide flood? Yes. However, it will happen according to God’s chronology and not according to man’s ideas about when it will happen and how to prepare for and survive it. The timeline is given in the Scriptures, beginning with Christ’s returning for His bride (believers in Him) to take them to Heaven prior to the time of Jacob’s trouble, the Great Tribulation, during which God pours out His wrath upon the entire world. Even a cursory reading of what takes place as presented in the Book of Revelation clearly shows the futility and folly of imagined survival tactics. No, survival during the Great Tribulation will be only by God’s miraculous intervention for those who come to Christ during that time period. Prior to the Tribulation, believers are “to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come,” keeping in mind that “God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him” (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9-10).

 

Our living together with Him involves pleasing Him in every way, and our waiting involves opportunities by His grace to be fruitful and productive with joy as we look for our “blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
TBC
Part one can be found HERE
November 2014
S M T W T F S
« Oct   Dec »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

Archives

a

Blog Stats

  • 1,638,322 hits

Donations

I do not ask or want donations for this blog. God supplies all I need to share His Word and His Way of Salvation. Revelation 21:6 says, “..I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. “