A must read testimony from the site “In the Light of Deception”

Falling Into Deception

Where is truth found?
Simply put, truth is found in the literal word of God alone. Nothing needs to be added or taken from scripture to uncover new truths or to keep current.

 

Early Deception 

Matthew 24:11

11 “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.”

Matthew 24:24

24 “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”

I became familiar with false teachings at an early age. From six years old to about ten years of age I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness. A couple of years after that I attended some Christian churches with my mom. As a young adult, I started on my own quest for the truth. I went to different places of worship including a Catholic church and a Buddhist temple. Because of extended family members, I also became familiar with Mormonism.

After experiencing many kinds of deception, both in my youth and early adulthood, it is a wonder that I became a Christian at all, but I did.

 Within the Walls of Today’s Churches

2 Timothy 4:1-4

4 “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”

By the time I was 30 I had finally accepted God as my personal Lord and Savior.  It wasn’t an instantaneous transformation, but definitely a work in progress.  At that time my husband wasn’t ready or even looking for a church to attend.  I went to church alone early on in our relationship.  Eventually, he decided to visit a few of them.  We ended up agreeing on a church that his brother and sister-in-law attended and even helped start.  They were one of the first 12 members of the church.  It had now grown and moved into an auditorium at an elementary school.  My husband and I ended up attending the church for 12 years.  We were married by the pastor and also adopted two beautiful little girls through a program presented at the church (a true blessing!).  Needless to say, we were fully invested in the church and their practices.

The church grew very quickly and needed to move into a larger facility.  During this time another church in the area was losing its pastor and the church was looking for a replacement pastor.  Our pastor ended up taking the position and merging both churches together.  With the merge of the two churches came new ministry opportunities.  The church was very involved in the community with outreach programs but was missing the vital ingredient for Christian growth, the bible.  Although bible verses were being used within the topical teachings, the bible was nowhere to be found! Each service had a fill in the blank pamphlet relating to the topic being taught and flashed the scriptures on a large screen.  It seemed there was no need to bring a Bible to church.  At that time, I thought, “Great, this makes things easier.  I don’t have to try to find the scriptures myself and I can keep up with the study.”  Here’s where compromise and biblical illiteracy started to take root and deception quickly took a hold of my life.  It was a slow fade, or maybe it wasn’t.  Perhaps I fell into deception from the minute I walked through the doors of this popular evangelical church?

Before long, a “More Seats, More Story” fundraiser started.  The church was ready to build a new (even larger) sanctuary.  Many people paid into this building fund for months or even years. With this growth came more entertaining music, skits, and many things the world had to offer. Even the youth ministry themed their events around what was popular in the world, like “The Hunger Games”.  Also, small group outreaches were themed after “Happy Hour”.  The church was driven by their “More Seats, More Stories” theme and the idea of reaching people to fill seats in the new sanctuary.  The church opened a café, served popcorn, donuts, pastries, breakfast burritos and coffee.  They had kiosks for ministry opportunities and outreach. They served tacos for the “Happy Hour” theme and had incredibly talented musicians offering worldly music, such as Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, and even a Christmas tribute to Michael Jackson, along with popular trendy Christian music. There were even ice skaters, actors, painters, dancers, and elaborate stage set-ups.  We were immensely entertained and the church grew like wildfire.  The church “Rocked”, but where was God in all of this entertainment?  Did God have a seat in this sanctuary?  Did anyone know about the word of God?  Scripture was being used, but not being taught.

 1 Timothy 6:3-5  

3 “If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, 5 useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.” 

There’s a big difference between using God’s word to bring about a pastor’s topics and teaching God’s infallible word to the flock.  Most of the members of this church were falling into compromise and didn’t even know it.  Author’s books were recommended for bible study, such as John Ortberg’s, “It All Goes Back into the Box”and Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life”.  There was also the  pastor’s fill in the blank DVD bible study series.  Many authors were quoted during sermons and the word of God was downplayed.  This church was a mess, but many people (including myself) couldn’t get enough of it.

 

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