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 From Stand Up for the Truth

Suffering for Truth: When churches force members to leave

Have you ever gone to church leadership because of some alarming things being taught in your church?

As the Great Falling Away continues in our beloved church communities, it seems that even those who once were thought “solid” are not immune to the yeast of false teachings and rogue leadership bent on silencing concerns.  It may have happened to you.

A friend of mine allowed me to re-publish her testimony on our site, and it’s one that might stir a lot of emotions for many of you. What happened to her and her family is very sad, but what her family is doing now serves as a tale and a trend you are going to be hearing a lot more about in the year ahead.

Family

Suffering for the Truth     By Jenna Guerette           (Originally published at Truth or Trend)

Ever since I was a child, I always found it important to stand up for the truth.  I’m talking about the truth that is only found in Scripture.  My childhood church turned emergent during the 1990’s.  I noted that something was wrong right away.  My family had held on there for years because of our friendships that we had there.  We knew that if we left we would lose them.  (Sounds like great friends eh?)  I was only taught Arminian doctrine.
Eventually, there was a complete exodus of most of the members of this church.  The next church my family attended went emergent and word of faith.  I didn’t know these terms back then.  I just knew something was wrong.  During my time at this church, I got married and had my daughter.  My parents and siblings continued to attend along with us.  One Sunday the pastor of the church announced that any who disagreed with the direction of the church could find their way to the nearest exit.  He said that he was leading the congregation south and we were welcome to head north.  Not surprisingly, we left that church.
My husband and I were left extremely discouraged.  We decided to try a church that a family friend had recommended.  Once we attended there, it was like a breath of fresh air.  The pastor preached from God’s Word.  He spoke out against Rick Warren, The Secret, Oprah, and The Shack.  He taught us about the errors of the Emergent Church , mysticism, and contemplative prayer.  For the first time in my life I felt like I belonged to a church family.  My husband, my parents, and I got involved in the church.  Our pastor introduced us to “The Way of the Master.”  My husband began an evangelism ministry that was fully supported by our church.  He and a number of other men went to the “Ambassador’s Academy.”  Every Friday night they would go out and share the gospel.  This ministry was thriving.  We had friends, ministries we loved, and the truth from the pulpit.  Life was great!
After being at the church for a number of years, things began to change.  Our pastor became cold and distant.  He took a six month sabbatical and wrote a book.  His wife (who called me frequently) became inaccessible.  The church had an elders’ board.  This was a unelected board.  The men on the board simply appointed new elders.  The head elder was always one of two men.  No others on the board would ever have this position. Our pastor became known as a “teaching elder.”
Strange things began happening.  The evangelism ministry was called into question.  The elders wanted the open-air preaching to stop.  Apparently, there were some complaints from our community about this ministry.  The men in the ministry were adhering to all the laws and bylaws for our community.  This was just persecution.  An executive decision was made by the elders to dissolve the evangelism ministry.  The people in the ministry could still go out and witness but they could not use the church’s name when witnessing.  They were to be completely separate from the church.
Around this time, a group named “Life Action Ministries” came to our church.  Prior to them coming, they sent a promoter.  It was kind of like what the circus would do in the old days.  Believe me, this was no less of a circus.  One of the men that came, spoke in detail about an adulterous affair he had had while on a business trip.  He credited “Life Action Ministries” with reviving him.  The whole thing was carefully scripted to elicit emotion from the congregation.  I knew that something was wrong with this ministry.
When their team visited our church eight weeks later, I was astounded.  They used every method of Charles Finney to manipulate the congregation.  They also endorsed Keswick Theology.  They believed that each Christian had to reach a crisis moment in their life.  At this point of crisis, they could achieve a second blessing or filling of the Holy Spirit.  The main speaker admitted that he had these revivals down to a “science.”  He took many verses out of context in order to achieve his goals.  Microphones were set up at the front of the church so that people could go and confess their sins openly to the congregation.  People were told to write down their idols on Styrofoam cups.  They were then to come to the front of the church and crush these cups with their feet.
A cursory look at the website of “Life Action Ministries” revealed that they had no problem with mysticism.  They had numerous books for sale.  Including those by Henry Blackaby, Priscilla Shirer, Jim Cymbala, Gary Thomas, and Mark Batterson.   They also quoted Catholic mystics such as Henri Nouwen and Brother Lawrence.  Here is a link to their beliefs – http://www.lifeactionministries.ca/about/.  Through two visits to my church they raked in about $62,000.  This ministry has long tentacles.  They are involved in the SBC, Moody, and The True Woman Movement.
This ministry received a cult-like following at my church.
The women in my church decided to attend a True Woman Conference in 2012.  As I looked at the list of speakers, I became alarmed.  Priscilla Shirer was one of the speakers.  I’ve already outlined the problems with this woman in a previous blog post.  I contacted the True Woman organization regarding my concerns with this speaker.  I was told that this conference wasn’t for a woman like me.  I also brought my concerns to my pastor ( teaching elder) and the head elder.  They weren’t going to stop the women from attending but they would go over what mysticism was with them.  They appeared annoyed that I’d brought this to their attention.
Unfortunately, I soon learned that the women in my church were reading “Jesus Calling” and “1000 Gifts.”  I discovered that the church library had books by Henry Blackaby and Richard Foster.  I became alarmed.  I brought my concerns to my pastor.  I was told that he and the elders couldn’t police the church.  They had too many strings on their violin to deal with it.  If I kept bringing disunity to the church then I would find myself in a home church.   I also tried to ask questions about Tim Keller and John Piper.  Both of these men do not believe in a literal six day creation.  They were constantly being quoted by our assistant pastor.  I wanted some clarification about what to do with this errant belief.  My pastor – teaching elder- told me to have grace for this error.  He also hoped that I would have grace if he ever “fell.” My husband, family, and I were puzzled by these words.  My Mom and I had used Facebook to try to warn the women of the church about Priscilla Shirer and to bring attention to these mystical books.  We soon found out that this was unappreciated.
On St. Patrick’s Day 2013 my family was kicked out of our church.  My husband and I were not present that day.  My husband had to work and I was home with our son who was sick.  My husband had been trying for 8 months to be able to meet with the elders board regarding the evangelism ministry.  They were still against open air preaching and my husband wanted them to show him from Scripture where it was wrong.  Instead the elders used a back door approach to get rid of us.  They decided to kick my parents out.  Three elders surrounded my parents.  My daughter and brother were present.  They did this in a back pew at the end of a service so that everyone could see it.  They told my parents that they were no longer welcome to worship with them.
One elder expressed that his wife would miss my children.  The elders didn’t like us warning the flock on Facebook.  Facebook wasn’t to be used as an outreach or for evangelism.  They were also appalled that my Mom had shared a sermon by John MacArthur about the seven year tribulation.  Our pastor – teaching elder- had his own, very original thoughts regarding the end times.  We were to accept these and no other teachings.  Also, the head elder expressed three times that he had no problem with lectio divina, contemplative prayer, and mysticism.  He also expressed that the church was going with “Life Action Ministries.”  He acted aggressively towards my parents.  He yelled at them saying, “Do you think you’re smarter than me?”  Our pastor – teaching elder- was out in the hallway.  He was waiting for their report.  Finally, the horrible interview ended.  These elders had the audacity to end it in a prayer about unity.  They mumbled something about an official meeting where my parents could plead their case.  Unfortunately, they neglected to give the time and place.  As of this writing, my parents have heard nothing from any elder or leader from our former church.
We were absolutely stunned.  I walked around like I was in a fog.  My husband was working 14 hr. days, 7 days a week.  I received 2 calls from the youth pastor of the church.  Each one, I let go to the answering machine.  I was in shock.  I sat down to write a letter.  I put nine hours into it.  Everything I said was backed up with proof.  My husband and I sent it to our elders and a few selected friends.  The only letter we received back from the elders was one full of personal attacks.  What we said was true but our tone was critical.  We were also told that we were responsible for the loss of numerous friendships for our children.  I was stunned.
The next Sunday, a congregational meeting was held.  They stated that my family hadn’t been kicked out.  Bits of my letter were read out of context.  A man who had eaten numerous dinners in our home, slandered my Mom and myself in front of the church.  A trusted friend told me what happened at this meeting.  All in all, the meeting was a complete snow job.  It was my family’s word against the elders.  The elders were anointed by God.  How could they be wrong?
Since this horrible event, we have tried another church in our community. At this church, we were frozen out.  Apparently, they had heard our story from the elders at our former church.  They made sure to make us feel unwelcome.  We also experienced errant teaching while we were there.   Finally, we couldn’t handle their unkindness towards us any longer.  So we decided to start a home church.
Another couple who had also been kicked out of our former church began joining us.  They were dismissed for Facebook infractions as well.  Each Sunday we meet in our home to sing and listen to a sermon podcast.  We also share in communion.  It has been a time of growth.  We have learned so much about doctrine.  We’d never been taught doctrine at all.  We were always told that it was divisive.  Finally, we understand doctrine.
I’m hoping that through sharing this that I can get over the trauma.  Perhaps some of you have experienced this type of abuse.  That is all I can call it – abuse.
Romans 8:18 ” For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

*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/

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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.

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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

There is an alarming promotion of the mystic contemplatives from Christian ministries lately. One would be wise to avoid Henry Blackaby, Henri Nouwen, Richard Foster, Thomas Keating, Brennan Manning, Thomas Merton, etc.  I would recommend reading “A Time of Departing” by Ray Yungen to protect your spiritual life from deception. On the surface these teachings from these men may sound lovely but they are misleading you.

Source for “A Time of Departing” HERE 

50 Questionable Teachings From Experiencing God

By Reese Currie, Compass Distributors

Courses are admitted into evangelical churches, oftentimes without any sort of objective theological review. For Experiencing God, I have reviewed the materials from a Biblical viewpoint and noted any teachings that conflict with Scripture, as well as any teaching techniques that are questionable. I found 50 such teachings or techniques in Experiencing God that fall into one of the following categories:

      1. Debatable: There are subtle Biblical arguments against a point, but I am not adamant that Blackaby’s point is incorrect; I am simply saying the point is debatable.
      2. Fallacious: Using an argumentative logical fallacy to support a view.
      3. Inaccurate: The usage of Scripture is not completely accurate.
      4. Inarticulate: A carelessly applied word that can be interpreted very badly.
      5. Inconsistent: A teachers’s life choices are inconsistent with what he teaches.
      6. Misapplication: A misapplication of Scripture to a situation.
      7. Misinterpretation: A false impression of the Scripture is given due to poor exegesis.
      8. Self-contradictory: One teaching conflicts with another.
      9. Unbiblical: Directly contradicts Bible teaching.

These teachings have to be addressed in the order they appear in the book because Blackaby builds upon false premises throughout Experiencing God. You will find that some of the early teachings that I document seem quite minor, but they build into major doctrinal faults as they grow on the potter’s wheel of Henry Blackaby.

      1. Class: Unbiblical. Introduction to Unit 1, page 7. Henry Blackaby teaches that we should “operate our budgets on prayer,” budget for more than we have and hope the money will come in. This is counter to Luke 14:28, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?” The question is not whether he can get the money. The question is whether he has it now. Jesus’ words apply to counting the cost of discipleship, not church funding; however, it is plain that Jesus thought that the logic of having the resources at hand before building a tower was a given.
      2. Class: Misapplication. Unit 1, page 11. Jesus’ statement, “I am the Way” from John 14:6 is applied to ministry decisions. A quotation is given in the margin that only refers to the statement, ” I am the way, the truth, and the life:”, and the inaccurate translation quoted substitutes an unwarranted period instead of the colon from this KJV quotation. No indication is given that this is a partial quotation or a sentence fragment. John 14:6 actually reads, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” The text has nothing to do with “daily guidance” or ministry decisions, but Blackaby uproots the words from their context to make an application never intended by Christ or the Bible writers.
      3. Class: Unbiblical/inarticulate. Unit 1, page 17. “With God working through that servant, he or she can do anything God can do. Wow! Unlimited potential!” This is the first dangerous false teaching in Experiencing God. It is not true; for instance, I know of no Christian who can create a baby in the womb. Psalm 139:13 says, “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.” This is also the first teaching of Satan to Eve, that she could be just like God.
      4. Class: Fallacious. Unit 1, page 18. King (the man who writes the exercises in Experiencing God) poses the question, “When we finish a task and feel frustrated that lasting spiritual fruit is not visible, could the reason be that we are attempting very little that only God can do?” This is what is called a complex question. To answer the question, we have to first agree that Blackaby’s principle that “we can do anything God can do” (from point #3) is correct. The question is worded so that you have to accept Blackaby’s principle in order to answer either positive or negative. This is a cultic teaching technique used by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      5. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 1, page 18. Blackaby’s statement “you come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you” is inarticulate in the extreme and suggests a works salvation. At the most, the text should say, “You come to know God better by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you.” The initial coming to know God is only by repentance and faith. This teaching itself is the first sign of mysticism in Experiencing God.
      6. Class: Self-contradictory. Unit 1, page 24. “Whenever God gets ready to do something, He always reveals to a person or His people what He is going to do” is self-contradictory with “Many times, as with Abram, God called people just to follow Him… He is more likely to call you to follow one day at a time than He is to spell out all the details before you begin to obey Him.” (Unit 1, page 11.) The teaching also implies that God is not in something if what is happening has not been previously revealed to anyone, which is patently ridiculous.
      7. Class: Debatable. Unit 2, page 28. “You never find God asking persons to dream up what they want to do for Him.” This point is debatable Scripturally. For example, Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Surely, thinking about what service you could offer God would be included in that definition.
      8. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 2, page 31. “Suppose He wants to do it through you. He comes to you and talks to you. But you are so self-centered, and you respond, ‘I don’t think I am trained. I don’t think I am able to do it. And I …’ Do you see what happens? The focus is on self.”I disagree with Blackaby’s point. Jesus’ teaching on discipleship requires self-evaluation. Quoting again from Luke 14:26-30, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.”In Isaiah 6:5-7 we read, “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” Isaiah’s concern was not invalid. In His case one of the seraphims dealt with Isaiah’s problem. In our modern times, it could be a person who feels they aren’t trained should go get some training. 
      9. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 2, page 37. “They may ask, ‘Can’t I get a word from God from the Bible?’ Yes you can! But only the Holy Spirit of God can reveal to you which truth of Scripture is a word from God in a particular circumstance.” This view of Scripture conflicts with 2Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” All Scripture is always profitable. There is no point at time at which any word of Scripture becomes untrue or unprofitable.
      10. Class: Inconsistent. Unit 2, page 37. “You also need to be very careful about claiming you have a word from God. Claiming to have a word from God is serious business.” I agree with Blackaby here, yet Blackaby is a member of Promise Keepers which is inconsistent with his stated position. Promise Keepers’ leader, Bill McCartney, constantly claims he has a word from God in his speeches, such as his statement that “God told him” that every church should send Promise Keepers $1000, reported by the Denver Post.
      11. Class: Unbiblical/self-contradictory. Unit 2, page 38. “He speaks to His servant when He is ready to move. Otherwise He wouldn’t speak to you.” Blackaby makes it sound as if God only speaks to give high-pressure assignments and never speaks to simply address the concern of one of His children. Blackaby elsewhere claims that God speaks to us through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church. Answered prayer, therefore, is God speaking to us. John 14:14 says, “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” Therefore God does speak to us for things that are our concerns, not necessarily His work.
      12. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 3, page 48. “You, too, can so order your life under God’s direction that you come to know Him, love Him only, and become like Christ.” It is not at all God’s desire that we love Him only. “For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another” (1 John 3:11). “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death” (1 John 3:14). “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8).
      13. Class: Self-contradictory. Unit 3, page 53. “They seem to think that God is far off and unconcerned about their day to day living. That is not the God we see in the Scriptures.” This is a true statement. It contradicts his statement “He speaks to His servant when He is ready to move. Otherwise He wouldn’t speak to you.” On the one hand, he says God wouldn’t even speak to us if He didn’t want us to do something, and on the other hand, he says God is concerned about our day to day living.
      14. Class: Inarticulate. Unit 3, page 55. “He invites you to relate to Him, so He can accomplish His work through you.” Is this really God’s motive? That would be like getting married so that the wife could do the housework or so that the husband could be the breadwinner. God’s reason for relating to us is simply that we personally will not perish; working with Him is a gift He gives some people. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (1Peter 3:9).
      15. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 3, page 55. “His whole plan for the advance of the Kingdom depends His working in real and practical ways through His relationship to His people.” No, it doesn’t. God is pretty powerless if He needs people to accomplish His tasks. For instance, in Revelation we read, “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” (Revelation 14:6). God is in no way dependent upon man.
      16. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 4, page 57. “You will find that the call to relationship is also a call to be on mission with Him.” False. A good example is the woman caught in adultery. In parting, Jesus says to her, “When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:10-11). There are people that were in relationship to Jesus but were called to no kind of ministry at all. Jesus asked nothing of them but simply to keep holy lives themselves. In John 5:14, the man that Jesus cured at the well was simply told, “Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” There is more than one example of this being the case, where Jesus made no call to mission of certain people for reasons known only to Him.
      17. Class: Misinterpretation. Unit 4, page 65. Blackaby insists, “Jesus watched to see where the Father was at work.” The verses that Blackaby derives this teaching from have absolutely nothing to say about “watching” and had nothing whatsoever to do with “where.” John 5:19 says, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” Not a word about “watching.” “Seeing,” yes. But “watching” makes Jesus someone less than God and smacks of Arian heresy. “Where” has nothing whatsoever to do with what Jesus said and is simply an unbiblical addition to what was actually said. I will not make additional examples everywhere that Blackaby applies this particular misinterpretation of the Bible (there are a great number), but only say that while it may be true of us, it is blasphemous to say of Jesus. In reality, though, Blackaby’s interpretation is not even true of us. I may see God working anywhere in the world, but that does not make it necessarily God’s will that I go there and “join Him.”
      18. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 5, page 73. “Could Moses logically prove to someone else that he had heard from God? No, all Moses could do was testify to his encounter with God.” This is utterly unbiblical, and it is designed to give Blackaby authority for claiming that God “speaks to him” all the time without any evidence.In Exodus 4:1-8, God gives Moses a few means to prove that God had spoken to him. It says, “And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee. And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand: That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee. And the LORD said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh. And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.”
      19. Class: Debatable. Unit 5, page 75. “If you start ‘doing’ before you have a direction from God, more than likely you will be wrong.” The apostles operated full-time on only one direction: “Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:46b-47). We already have that direction from God. What Blackaby is talking about here is an old Pietist teaching that John Wesley called “quietism.” John Wesley did not live by that principle, taking the divine commission at face value, and won a lot more converts than the Pietists ever did. There is a “general” thing to be doing all the time, in addition to the specific things that God gives more leading on.
      20. Class: Self-contradictory. Unit 5, page 75. “God is more interested in a love relationship with you than He is in what you can do for Him.” I agree with this point. It contradicts Blackaby’s other point, “You will find that the call to relationship is also a call to be on mission with Him.”
      21. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 6, page 96. “Jesus always was looking for where the Father was at work, and joined Him.” We have already demonstrated that the concepts of “looking” and “where” are not part of the Scripture passage that Blackaby bases this teaching on; the Scriptures simply say that what Jesus does what He sees God doing, in other words, He does the same things God is doing. Doing the same things God is doing have nothing to do with watching to see where God is working and joining Him; it is simply a way of life wherever you are. The trouble is, sometimes an erroneous principle is established in Blackaby’s courses and then accepted as a given forever after.
      22. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 6, page 100. “You never know the truth of a situation until you have heard from Jesus.” This would seem to contradict Paul’s teaching from 1Corinthians 5:12-13, “For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” That means that, based on the knowledge we have already received from Christ through the Bible, we are already qualified to judge matters within the church; and it is those who are outside the church that God judges. This is another example of Blackaby trying to twist Jesus’ statement “I am the Way”, meaning, the way to God and salvation, to specific situations within a church.
      23. Class: Inconsistent. Unit 6, page 104. “Way back in my teen years I began to sense a deep burden for communities all across Canada that did not have an evangelical church.” I agree with Blackaby here that it the witness of non-evangelical churches is terrible, they don’t even preach the gospel. But Blackaby in real life is an ecumenist (see points #45 and #46), which is to view all types of churches as being equal; so it should not matter to him whether they were evangelical, liberal or Catholic. If it does matter, he certainly should not be an ecumenist.
      24. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 7, page 108. In the introduction, Blackaby reiterates his teaching that budgets should be set far higher than you can manage and God will pull through. He gives his example, that the church budget was normally $74,000, they budgeted for $164,000, and they actually received $172,000. Blackaby closes by saying, “God taught our church a lesson in faith that radically changed us all.” But my question is, does God teach a lesson about faith that causes one to disregard the principle underlying the plainly stated word of Jesus in Luke 14:27-33? That sounds more like a departure from the faith to me.
      25. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 7, page 109. “When God invites you to join Him in His work, He has a God-sized assignment for you. You will realize that you cannot do it on your own. If God doesn’t help you, you will fail.” Wasn’t one of Jesus’ teachings, “For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not” (Matthew 25:42-43). These are all things we can easily do for people, they are God’s work, and He has commanded us to be involved with Him in these things. There are certainly things that cannot be achieved without God’s help, but to claim that everything that can be done without God’s help are not ministries is wrong to the point of being heretical.
      26. Class: Inconsistent. Unit 7, page 110. “If we looked at all of the circumstances, would we have proceeded? No. But, what you believe about God will determine what you do. When God tells you what He wants to do through you, you will face a crisis of belief. What you do shows what you believe.” This goes directly against Blackaby’s other statement, from Unit 2, page 37, “God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways.” This statement from Unit 2, page 37 is the entire tenor of the course.
      27. Class: Inconsistent. Unit 7, page 111. The statement “Encounters with God are God-sized” is directly contradictory with this true statement from Unit 5, page 78, “You cannot understand the Word of God unless the Spirit of God teaches you. When you come to the word of God, the Author Himself is present to instruct you. You never discover truth; truth is revealed. When the Holy Spirit reveals truth to you, He is not leading you to an encounter with God. That is an encounter with God.” God encounters us in some small things like understanding small spiritual truths. It does not always have to be a huge production to be an encounter with God.
      28. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 7, page 113. “When God lets you know what He wants to do through you, it will be something only God can do.” To reiterate my earlier point on this, from Matthew 25:42-43 and many other places in Scripture, we learn of things we can easily do for people that God commands us to do. I am sure that getting money together to bail out the church in Jerusalem was not presented by Paul as being something only God could do, for instance. This teaching of Blackaby’s denigrates any good work that God has called us to that isn’t impossible for man.
      29. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 7, page 116. “I have come to the point in my life that, if the assignment I sense God is giving me is something that I know I can handle, I know it is probably not from God.” It makes me wonder if we’re reading the same Bible. When God told Joseph to move his family to Egypt to escape Herod, was God giving Joseph a task that Joseph could not do? It is fortunate that Joseph did not have the same theology as Henry Blackaby or Christ would have died as an infant!
      30. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 7, page 116. “When God’s people and the world see something happen that only God can do, they come to know God.” This is signs and wonders theology straight out of the charismatic movement. Paul wrote in 1Corinthians 1:21, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” Not by signs and wonders, but by preaching, the world comes to know God. And no one at all comes to know God unless they repent. The question is given on page 118, “How will the world come to know God?” and the required answer is, “By seeing God work.” False. Everyone who comes to know God comes by repentance and faith. This false teaching of Blackaby’s is reiterated dozens of times throughout Unit 7.
      31. Class: Fallacious. Unit 7, page 119. Henry Blackaby openly proclaims his belief that God manipulated the national economy of Canada on behalf of his single church by forcing the Canadian dollar to hit rock bottom for a time so that funding coming from Texas would yield more Canadian dollars than it would have. This fallacy is called causal reductionism. It seems quite unlikely to me that God Himself manipulated the economy, putting who knows how many families in jeopardy as the parents lost their jobs.
      32. Class: Misapplication. Unit 9, page 146. Blackaby takes a Scripture, 1John 2:3-6, “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” Then, Blackaby writes, “Each ‘new’ command of Jesus will require a new knowledge and understanding of Him.”But the Scripture cannot possibly be interpreted as discussing “new commands.” We are to walk even as He “walked”, past tense. And as for commandments of Jesus, I know of only two, “Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:35-40).John speaks of keeping commandments from the Bible as a sign of obedience and love for God. Blackaby extends this out to some “new” commandments he thinks Jesus is giving, which is indicative of a belief in “progressive revelation.” Not much wonder Blackaby so heartily supports Roman Catholicism. 
      33. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 9, page 153. “When God purposes to do something through you, the assignment will have God-sized dimensions. This is because God wants to reveal Himself to you and those around you. If you can do the work in your own strength, people will not come to know God. However, if God works through you to do what only He can do, you and those around you will come to know Him.” This is utterly unbiblical. According to the Bible, “it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1Corinthians 1:21b). This notion that people will not be saved unless God moves mountains for them comes from Blackaby’s charismatic influence through Promise Keepers.
      34. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 9, page 160. “Some people go to much trouble studying Satan’s ways so they can identify when something appears to be a deception of Satan. I don’t do that. I have determined not to focus on Satan. He is defeated … The only way Satan can affect God’s work through me is when I believe Satan and disbelieve God.” This is the most unbiblical possible counsel from Blackaby, and it demonstrates why he is so easily deceived by Promise Keepers and the ecumenical movement. He refuses to be on guard against the devil’s work.1Peter 5:8 warns, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”Ephesians 6:11 warns, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”1Timothy 4:1 says, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”

        Blackaby refuses to consider the possibility of being deceived by the devil in any of his teachings, which is nothing more than spiritual pride.

        (By the way, the simple way of knowing the devil’s work is it is based on perversion, which is the denial of important differences. For instance, sexual perverts deny the differences between genders and generations. The devil used this strategy in the garden of Eden, telling Eve she could be like God, denying the essential difference between God and mankind. Wherever there is a denial of differences, such as in the ecumenical movement, one may be positive that the devil is at work.)

         

      35. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 9, page 160. The question is asked, rhetorically, “Does God plan your life for eternity and then turn you loose to work out His plan?” Blackaby’s answer is no, but let’s be careful about that, Henry! Paul writes, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13).
      36. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 10, page 162. In the introduction, Blackaby writes of a salvation experience involving a number of different members of his local church. Unfortunately, the story is spoiled by the last line, “Who won Doug to the Lord? The body did!” Far from it, Henry. John 6:44 says, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” Who really won Doug to the Lord? God did. He may have used people, but let’s remember to give God the glory.
      37. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 10, page 1. “Church members need to be taught how to walk with God. They need to know how to hear Him speaking. They need to be able to identify things only God can do.” The problem is, nothing in the New Testament supports Blackaby’s assumptions. The human part of the divine commission was not to do something only God could do. It was to preach the message of repentance and remission of sins to all nations (Luke 24:47), to baptize and make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). These are things that man can do. God needs to help for the effort to be successful, but man can do everything Christ commanded. (Note that Christ didn’t command anyone to “save people”; that’s God’s part of the work.) What people need is to obey the command already given, not “watch and wait” for new commands that come out of the heads of dreamers.
      38. Class: Inconsistent. Unit 10, page 164. “Individuals often think that a work for God can be done with whatever means are necessary. They don’t hesitate to violate God’s written will in order to accomplish something they think is His will.” I agree with Blackaby’s statement here, but if he were to apply it in his own life, would he be an ecumenist, while many verses forbid even giving a greeting to a person who preaches a different doctrine? Such verses include Galatians 1:8-10; Romans 16:17-18; 1Timothy 1:3; 4:16; 6:3-5; 2Timothy 4:1-4; Titus 1:9; Hebrews 13:9; and 2John 8-11.
      39. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 10, page 168. Blackaby is speaking about “corporately” knowing the will of God when he writes, “When God speaks to a person about the church, the person should share with the body what he or she senses God is saying. As each member shares what he senses God is saying, the whole body goes to God in prayer to discern His will for the body. In His timing God confirms to the body what He is saying. Individual opinions are not that important. The will of God is very important. No single method can be given for discerning God’s will as a body.”This is not the truth. If it were actually practiced in the first church, the Corinthian church would never have expelled the man who was sleeping with his father’s wife. Paul was the one who disagreed; his “one opinion” was quite important because it was based on Scriptural teaching. Paul wrote in 1Corinthians 5:1-2, “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.” The sad fact is, most people in churches reject much of what Scripture teaches. One opinion is much more important than that of the majority, if Scripture backs up that one opinion.
      40. Class: Fallacious/Unbiblical. Unit 10, page 169. Blackaby is discussing how he would not proceed with plans without a major consensus from the church body. Then he writes, “People often ask, ‘Did you always wait until you got a 100 percent vote?’ No, I knew that we might have one or more that were so out of fellowship with the Lord that they could not hear his voice. Another might be purposefully disobedient…. I did not get angry or disappointed with those who did not agree with the rest of the body. Their disagreement indicated that they might have a fellowship problem with the Lord.”This is utter cultism. The argument is first based on an argumentative fallacy called ad hominem. Rather than consider the validity of a minority view, Blackaby prefers to question their fellowship with God. His approach becomes unbiblical in light of 1Corinthians 5 (see point #39). In that situation, Blackaby would have to label Paul either “out of fellowship with the Lord” or “purposefully disobedient” because he disagreed with the majority opinion to have a fornicator in the church. This one paragraph from Experiencing God should put any cult researcher into a state of alert.
      41. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 10, page 170. “If the people walk with God, then I can trust God to guide them… If the people do not walk in right fellowship with God, then I depend on God to guide me in helping them become what He wants them to be.” Both of these statements are false teachings and I will deal with them one at a time. In Galatians 2:11 Paul writes, “But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.” Did Peter not walk with God? Of course Peter did. That does not prevent someone from making mistakes. When Blackaby’s entire phrasing is taken into account, however, it reveals his view that when people agree with Blackaby, they are walking with God, and when they do not agree with Blackaby, they are not walking with God. This is an incredible degree of arrogance, and it strongly suggests that Blackaby desires a “personality cult” to spring up around him.
      42. Class: Misapplication. Unit 11, page 184. “You cannot be in relationship with Jesus and not be on mission. Jesus said, ‘As the Father has sent me, I am sending you’ (John 20:21).” In actual fact, there were many people in Scripture who were saved but were not “on mission.” God does not necessarily call a person into mission. Everyone supports mission, but not everyone is on mission. In Matthew’s account of the deliverance of the Divine Commission, we read in Matthew 28:16, “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.” Jesus took His eleven disciples to a mountain away from everyone else to give them the commission to reach the world. Not everyone is called to be a missionary, and it does not mean that Jesus doesn’t love them. People who have bought in to Blackaby’s teachings become very judgmental of what they call “pew-sitters,” people without whose heartfelt financial support, ministry would be utterly impossible.
      43. Class: Misinterpretation/inaccurate/misapplication. Unit 11, page 188. On the parable of the wheat and the tares, Blackaby writes, “Using this parable, Jesus teaches that some lost and evil people are mixed with true believers in churches.” Blackaby is blatantly contradicting one key part of Jesus’ own explanation of the parable. Jesus does not say that field is the church. Jesus says, “The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one” (Matthew 13:38). The “true church” is not populated with any unbelievers. Acts 2:47 says, “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Man’s “churches” contain all kinds of unbelievers, but the true assembly of God contains absolutely none.
      44. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 11, page 198. “Can God-like Koinonia [fellowship] exist between churches of different denominations as they co-operate to achieve greater Kingdom purposes? Yes! However, humans left to their own ways cannot achieve those kinds of relationships. Only God through His Holy Spirit can create and sustain Koinonia between His people. He wants to be King, Ruler, and Sovereign over all His kingdom. When He is allowed to rule, man-made barriers will fall.”If God is to be allowed to rule, wouldn’t everyone have to be in agreement with the things He teaches? Blackaby co-operates with many different doctrines and versions of the gospel, including the works-salvation of Roman Catholicism, and the baptismal regeneration of the Anglican communion and the Church of Christ, in addition to those churches that preach justification by faith. From a moral standpoint, Blackaby co-operates with denominations that reject the Bible’s teachings on homosexuality and fornication. How can one co-operate with such things if God is ruling over him? If God’s rule is accepted, then those who oppose His teaching must be rejected.I have a lot of verses to support this.Galatians 1:8-10, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”;

        Romans 16:17-18, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple”;

        1Timothy 1:3, “As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine”;

        1Timothy 4:16, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee”;

        1Timothy 6:3-5, “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself”;

        2Timothy 4:1-4, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables”;

        Titus 1:9, “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers”;

        Hebrews 13:9, “Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein”;

        2John 8-11, “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”

        Many denominations allow their traditions to outweigh Scripture. If Jesus really rules our lives, we will avoid working with such denominations.

        Jesus spoke these things about the Pharisees, whose tradition outweighed Scripture:

        Matthew 16:6, 11-12, “Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees… How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees”;

        Matthew 23:2-3, “Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not”;

        Matthew 23:13-15, “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”

        I will dispense with quoting parallel accounts from the other gospels. Quite a bit of Scripture that Henry Blackaby teaches you to ignore, isn’t it?

         

      45. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 11, page 198. “I am not suggesting that doctrinal differences ought to be compromised, but we can act like brothers and sisters who love each other.” This is a direct refusal to obey God on Henry Blackaby’s part. 2John 8-11, Romans 16:17-18 and 1Timothy 6:3-5 absolutely forbid any kind of fellowship with purveyors of false doctrine. People are not your “brothers and sisters” if they believe in salvation by anything other than faith in Christ or oppose God’s teachings in the Bible.
      46. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 12, page 203. “You sin against God when you: 1) Miss the mark of His purposes for you, 2) Rebel against Him, refuse to follow Him, 3) Commit acts of evil, wickedness, or immorality.” Point 1) is not Biblical doctrine. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Sin causes the coming short; but coming short is not in itself a sin. Sin defined Biblically is this: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1John 3:4). Without transgression of the Law, there is no sin.
      47. Class: Debatable. Unit 12, page 210. “Agencies of a denomination, for instance, have a place in doing God’s will that indvidual churches cannot accomplish alone.” Blackaby is speaking of agencies such as the SBC’s “North American Mission Board.” The problem with this teaching is that there were no such agencies in the Bible, and yet individual churches accomplished the work. With this teaching, Blackaby denigrates the work of independent churches and nondenominational churches. Were Jesus and the apostles negligent in setting up a first century church that had no denominational agencies? I think not.
      48. Class: Misapplication. Unit 12, page 213. “In Jesus’ commission to His church He said, ‘Go and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you’ (Matt. 28:19-20).” This is a relatively minor fault, but it is a common evangelical teaching that is false. This command was definitely not given to the church but exclusively to the eleven remaining apostles, who were even sent to a mountain away from everyone else to receive this command. Matthew 28:16 records, “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.” Not everyone is gifted or called to be an evangelist, and it is unbiblical (see 1Corinthians 12) to suggest that they are.
      49. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 12, page 213. “Learning to follow Christ is a life-long process. You do not learn to follow Him all by yourself.” Blackaby here is recommending fellowship with a local church, but he goes overboard on the necessity of a church. He writes, “No one can become the kind of complete believer he ought to be outside the functioning body of a New Testament church.” But what Scripture actually says is, “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2Timothy 3:15). I know a person who was too sick to attend a church, ministering through a web site from his home for years. He recently made a new translation of the New Testament from Greek at home. A church is very helpful, and if at all possible we should be “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). But the sort of claims Blackaby is making are unwarranted. A person can be fully functional as a Christian outside of any local assembly, if such a situation presents itself.
      50. Class: Debatable. Unit 12, page 214. “Apart from the body, a gift or ministry is out of context.” Well, the Great Awakening in England was an example of an “out of context” ministry, then. John Wesley was not permitted to speak in his Anglican church so he simply proceeded to minister on his own and through his Methodist societies, which he did not view as a church. Since it was the greatest revival England ever saw, I guess we needn’t worry too greatly about “out-of-context” ministry.

There you have 50 false teachings from Experiencing God. I eliminated six more points that I thought were too minor to bring up in addition to these. Even at 50 points, though, it constitutes one false teaching in every four pages of Experiencing God.

If there is a lesson to be learned or a recommendation to be made, it is this. Do not trust the Southern Baptist Convention’s materials to be doctrinally pure, even if you are a Southern Baptist. Instead, follow the Scriptural advice given in Hebrews 5:14, “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” We are to be discerning both of things we think are good and those things we think are evil.

Courses with this sort of content should not be given to people who do not have a great deal of Scripture knowledge with which to discern what teachings are true and which are false. Other LifeWay courses, like T.W. Hunt’s Mind of Christ for instance, contain solid Bible teaching without all the charismatic psychobabble of Blackabyism. I reviewed T.W. Hunt’s Mind of Christ again, to verify what I have said about him here. The teachings are virtually flawless in his excellent course. (Interestingly, Claude V. King wrote the exercises for Mind of Christ, the same man who did Blackaby’s exercises. Yet the course is devoid of mysticism.) The difference between the two courses is night and day, and I can recommend Mind of Christ without any reservations.

But the best and safest antidote for ignorance about God is to simply read the Bible itself without having to be concerned about any of man’s errors. I would recommend keeping away even from study Bibles, as they tend to have false teachings in the notes, and from dynamic equivalency versions that contain man’s interpretations instead of the literal Word of God. Allow God to teach you His Word Himself. God’s Holy Spirit is more than patient enough to be your teacher if you will turn to Him.

 SOURCE 

50 Questionable Teachings from Experiencing God is Copyright © 2000 by Compass Distributors. Copyright is to protect content only. Permission is granted to freely distribute

A great testimony and another example of mysticism infiltrating the church.

 

New Lighthouse Trails PRINT BOOKLET TRACT: My Journey Out of Catholicism.

Mike Bickle admits Catholic Contemplative influence on IHOP-KC

From the Office of Public Relations, Franciscan University of Steubenville, 11/9/12:

“The International House of Prayer (IHOP) was founded in 1999 by Mike Bickle, who says that many IHOP teachings draw upon the works of St. John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila, as well as contemporary Catholics including Father Henri Nouwen and Father Thomas Dubay, SM. The IHOP 24 hour prayer room, he says, was inspired by the spiritual practices of Catholic European monks, such as St. Bernard of Clairvaux. ‘I’ve always had a passion for Catholic-Christian unity, and enthusiastically welcome this years Catholic track,’ says Bickle. ‘We may have different religious traditions, but we focus on fellowship, and unity and Jesus being glorified in prayer, worship, and teaching.’” [1] (bold mine)

 

Read article HERE 

SOME BRIEF NOTES ON CONTENDING WITHOUT BEING CONTENTIOUS

by Holly Sprenger Garcia  

So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20

 We have contending and we can be contentious… Two different things. We contend for the faith, or we are accusatory and can be contentious. Let’s sharpen iron with GOD’S WORD, not our feelings, experiences, beliefs, our even our word… Let’s wait on our Master, and let our heart be right with Him. Search our hearts Lord. (Psalm 139:23-24)

■A continual dripping on a very rainy day And a contentious woman are alike;Whoever restrains her restrains the wind, And grasps oil with his right hand.As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. Whoever keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit; So he who waits on his master will be honored. As in water face reflects face, So a man’s heart reveals the man. Prov 27:15-19

 ■MOLD ME MAKE ME LORD: Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. PR 31:25-26 

This goes BOTH ways, for not only the one contending for the faith, but for those Christians who oppose them, we need to remind ourselves of many passages. Frequently I see people come in to accuse those contending. They ask if you have prayed for them, they say, “they do not want to run out to lynch someone”, or “they don’t want to be condemning” (we should not condemn but speak the Word and hold up all to the light) or “judge not lest be judged”, “or have you used Matthew 18”, or cries of unity, or the funny one that I see frequently is, “You are so judgmental”… The irony escapes them.

■So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20

WE ALL NEED EACH OTHER,  AND NEED TO STOP DESPISING OTHER’S GIFTS,  ALONG WITH REALIZING THAT SOME DO NOT HAVE THE SAME UNDERSTANDING. SLOW TO SPEAK…

■FALSE UNITY: WHAT IS UNITY? It says, all these things are to equip us, edify the body, till we come to a unity of THE FAITH and of THE KNOWLEDGE of the Son of God….WHY? That we should no longer be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine.

SO, WHAT ARE WE TO DO?

Speak the truth in love, WHY?

■So that we may GROW UP in all things INTO HIM….

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. Eph 4:13-16

■“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Matthew 10:16

We have to watch out for how we reveal the truth, how we handle ourselves, and being careful of our speech. For those in the body who oppose those who are exposing a false teacher, and you disagree, you are only doing others harm by claiming they are “a brother” or “a sister” without ALSO having done your FULL proving.

■Attacking others for “TRASHING” a brother, or INSISTING they are a brother, is just as unhelpful as insisting someone is false or a wolf without laying out the case and discussing it.

■Never addressing or listening to the concerns of ecumenism, or associations, or lack of God’s Word in the forefront, etc. is not productive, and I cannot possibly see how it can be honoring to Him.

■Both sides of a discussion on false teaching should always maintain sound speech and a lack of characterization of the other side. We do not have the perception of Jesus to call someone a viper, so let’s proceed carefully.

Otherwise, I believe the Word shows we should stay silent from making absolute statements on both sides, UNLESS we have spent enough time to PROVE ALL THINGS – by His Word. If someone won’t hear you (not agree necessarily – (but hear you out) without getting angry, running off, accusing, or ignoring, then you may have to remember the patience we’re admonished to have with all men. We can be wrong, but another believer will generally hear us out, so that they can admonish us/reason with His Word with gentleness and patience. By the Way, Matthew 18 applies to a sin done to one person in private, then you keep it private, it has NOTHING to do with false doctrine. Nor should we rush out to apply it to someone we disagree with. We see things we may or may not like, but this doesn’t mean we should name names.

■But I believe we do have our marching orders in the verses below.

WE ARE ALL CALLED TO REVEAL THE TRUTH WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT.

So for those of you who feel discomfort when this happens, (you’re favorite teacher/pastor being mentioned), please understand how hard it is for the one who is speaking the truth. Certainly hold them accountable for how they do it, but don’t rush in to accuse them of a witch hunt, and/or pepper them with questions without having had the decency to do your own homework, with the info they already provided.

AND WE ARE ALSO CALLED TO WITHDRAW FROM THOSE WE SEE IN THIS PASSAGE BELOW:

■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, 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. I Tim 6:3-5

WE ARE TO KNOW AND BE IN THE MEAT OF HIS WORD SO WE CAN DISCERN BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL:

We are to take heed to the doctrine for a reason:

■Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. I Tim 4:16

■For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Heb 5:13-14

DO NOT EVEN GREET THOSE WHO DO NOT BRING HIS DOCTRINE:

■Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds. 2 John 1:9-11

___________________________________

 O.K., This is where I’d like to address the people who hang out with the Rick Warren’s of this world, or call Mitt Romney a Christian, or quote Henri Nouwen, or Ken Blanchard, Dallas Willard, link to others pages or products for sale, etc. The Pastors who go to conventions with them or call them brother. The people on FB who put them on their page. I understand completely some will be unknowing, but once you know, you better not compromise the truth of God’s Word, it’s not yours to compromise. So, if you pass along their info, “receive them”, “greet them”, then what?

■YOU ARE SHARING IN THEIR EVIL DEEDS.

I’d also like to address those who defend them as just authors, or fiction (i.e. the Shack) or say they are not pastors, teachers, etc. Please note most of these verses say, WHOEVER, or ANYONE, etc. and does not differentiate that they should not be STOPPED, MARKED, AVOIDED, NAMED, except that there was greater condemnation for the Pharisees or stricter judgment for teachers. And by the way, if YOU are taking teaching, reading an author’s books, sharing them on FB, thereby recommending their speech, YOU are also sharing in their evil deeds. We need to try so hard to be careful, we can all make mistakes, but don’t turn around a snap if someone points it out to you, but be quick to listen, go take some quiet time in prayer and His Word to look for yourself.

■ALL ARE HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO THESE PASSAGES BY GOD’S WORD. DON’T EXCUSE THOSE WHO ARE PROPAGATING FALSE DOCTRINE AS NOT BEING “DISCERNING”. WHAT DO WE SEE FROM THE SCRIPTURES I’VE SHARED SO FAR, AND ALSO BELOW AS OUR RESPONSIBILITY? (See if I have missed some)

1.Know His Word.

2.Use His Word, not yours.

3.Be in the MEAT of His Word.

4.Take Heed to His Word.

5.Correct with His Word.

6.Don’t associate with those who will not CONSENT with sound words, withdraw.

7.Get and use wisdom and kindness when you speak.

8.Be slow to speak, and quick to listen. Don’t be quick to wrath.

9.Not associate with those who don’t consent to sound words.

10.Have no fellowship with the unfruitful deeds of darkness, Reveal the truth.

11.Find out what is acceptable to the Lord.

12.Expose those deeds.

13.Prove or test all things and Hold fast to that which is good.

14.Test the Spirits (Because there are MANY false Prophets)

15.Mark and avoid those who bring that divisive false doctrine.

16.Name Names.

1.Eph 5:10, 11, Heb 5:14, Rom 16:17-18, I John 4:1, I Thess 5:21

I’d also like to address the people who defend them as just being “undiscerning” or “deceived”. Go ahead and pray for them, but we cannot excuse as acceptable behavior.

These teachers/pastors/authors are not just being undiscerning (see Rom 1:31), they are being disobedient to God’s Word and we are NOT even to keep COMPANY with them. (2 Thess 3:14) They also are “sharing in their evil deeds” (2 John 1:9-11). Do we want to defend a “deceived” or “undiscerning” person, who is not in the meat of God’s Word, who do not obey His Word; who call themselves a Christian writer, apologist, speaker, teacher, pastor and then listen or share their writings or teachings?

■But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, DECEIVING and being DECEIVED. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them. 2 Tim 3:13-14

WHY ARE WE ALL CALLED TO DO THIS? SO WE CAN CUT OFF THEIR OPPORTUNITY TO LEAD OTHERS ASTRAY TO THEIR DEATHS….

■But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light*. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. 2 Cor 11:12-15

* Angel of light, we need to remind ourselves, ministers of righteousness is what they will look like.

ECUMENICAL?

SPIRITUAL FORMATION?

DABBLING IN “CHRISTIAN” YOGA?

GOING TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH?

VISITING YOUR FRIEND’S MOSQUE?

TAKING PART IN REIKI HEALING, ETC.?

What does His Word instruct?

1) Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” 2 Cor 6:14-16

2) And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 2 Cor 6:16-18

■RENOUNCE AND EXPOSE: For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. Eph 5:8-11

I AM GUILTY OF FORGETTING THIS, HELP ME LORD

■Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in ALL THINGS showing yourself to be a PATTERN OF GOOD WORKS; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, SOUND SPEECH that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you. Titus 2:6-8

WHO WE DO AND DO NOT BREAK FELLOWSHIP WITH. HOW SHOULD WE ADMONISH THEM?

BELOW ARE BIBLICAL EXAMPLES AND PATTERNS FOR THOSE WHO ARE TEACHING OTHERWISE TO SOUND DOCTRINE, AND DOES NOT CONSENT TO WHOLESOME WORDS, OR DOES NOT OBEY THESE EPISTLES…

■WE WITHDRAW,

■WE DON’T KEEP COMPANY WITH THEM.

■WE MARK AND AVOID.

BUT LET’S BE VERY CAREFUL IT IS ABOUT SOUND DOCTRINE AND NOT NON-ESSENTIALS OR PRIDE, BUT DO KEEP IN MIND, IT IS GOD’S WORD THAT IS ESSENTIAL. Let’s also only offend in Christ and not in ourselves.

1.But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. 2 Thess 3:13-15

2.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, 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. I Tim 6:3-5

3.But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. 2 Thess 3:6

IS IT O.K. TO DISMISS BAD TEACHING OR KEEPING BAD COMPANY WITH THE COMMENT, “NOT EVERYONE IS DISCERNING?” WHAT DOES HIS WORD SAY BELOW?

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, UNDISCERNING, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are DESERVING OF DEATH, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. Rom 1:28-32

Sounds pretty serious to me . . . and I have been there, there is not knowing, but we do need to test the spirits, and search the Scriptures to see if these things are so.  ESPECIALLY if we are recommending or taking teaching from one who may be teaching great error.

  • But solid food belongs to those who are of full agethat is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.  Heb 5:14 

WE DON’T JUDGE WHETHER SOMEONE IS OR IS NOT A BELIEVER

(We can surmise, but we should speak to the fruits of bad doctrine)

This passage also gives us good advice of judging what a man speaks.  Is he/she REALLY speaking the Word of God?

  • He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.  “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 
  • A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matt 12:30, 33-37

 

WE KNOW FALSE PROPHETS AND RAVENING WOLVES BY THEIR FRUIT’S….

RECENTLY I HEARD A WELL-KNOWN PREACHER, USING THE PASSAGE IN MATT 24, CHANGING IT TO SINGULAR, TO KNOW WHETHER SOMEONE WAS A BELIEVER OR NOT… BE CAREFUL… TAKE HEED….lest we fall… We can examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith, but we judge nothing before it’s time with a professing believer’s justification.  We certainly CAN and SHOULD judge unsound doctrine, associations (within the church) and behavior. (I Cor 5 & 6)

 

THIS PASSAGE SPEAKS TO FALSE PROPHETS (NOT NECESSARILY FRUIT INSPECTING OF OTHER BELIEVERS YOU SAW HAVING A BEER OR WHATEVER ELSE YOU MIGHT PERSONALLY LOOK DOWN ON) I am speaking to those who say definitively that people aren’t saved, I don’t believe we can be sure, and I know we can surmise they may in trouble based on lack of fruit of the Spirit or love for the brethren – but Jesus DID say Judge with a righteous judgment and not according to the appearance – the only place to find righteous judgment I know of, is from His Word, not mine): 

  • “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.  Matt 7:15-21
    • They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work. But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: Titus 1:16-2:1
    • But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. 2 Pet 2:1-3

(Not really even pointing to the obvious guys/women who are wearing Armani suits, or driving Bentley’s, or have 10,000 square foot mansions, or compounds, planes, or $23,000 gold toilet seats, but reminding us all that they are among us, and secretlybring in these destructive heresies.  And MANY will follow their deceptive ways, and most people don’t think they will be deceived, or led astray.  Who is it that is being misled if there are MANY DECEIVERS?)

■This comment was from me to a well-known ministry who was hooking up with Chuck Pierce of the NAR movement. “Please consider the fact that many will follow their destructive ways because you invited them to the occasion.”

But I’d like to admonish each and every one of us, we ARE to prove all things and hold FAST to that which is good. (I Thess 5:21), we ARE to be Bereans and SEARCH the scriptures to see if these things are so (Acts 17:11), we ARE to approach Him with humility and with a teachable attitude… (I Pet 5) May we all remember that.

I remember last year, someone from a Bible study had overheard me speaking of the  danger of  being involved with (yoga), she said, “Oh brother, I am too spiritually mature to be deceived”… I said no more, I was just saddened, I walked with her, and said if she ever wanted to know more, I’d freely share. But she has never asked, and to this day defends the practice. I pray the Lord protects her, and I pray she considers that MANY WILL FOLLOW THEIR DESTRUCTIVE WAYS…

And will it be because one of us haven’t done our proving? Or maybe we’d rather not have a disagreement or deal with the unpleasantness, but think of the alternative….MANY will follow their destructive ways…

EVERYONE… ALL BELIEVERS… ARE CALLED TO DO THIS:

■Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. Rom 16:17-20

Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:104-105

IN THE END, WE NEED TO REMEMBER WHERE WE CAME FROM AND THE MANNER OF HOW TO RECOVER SOME FROM THE SNARE OF THE ENEMY. (And that should be our goal, not to be right, but to do right).

■Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:1-7

USE THE WORD TO JUDGE BY. THAT IS WHERE YOU WILL FIND RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT.

Copyright 2012 Holly Sprenger Garcia

(This note may be shared in its entirety by anyone who chooses to use it for the glory of God. It is not for mocking nor to take it apart to either prove their own view, or to dishonor the Lord. It is free, none my work to be sold by another. These are some of the reasons why this is copyrighted – for those who agree with the reasons, please do share!). Also, I am always open to pointing out where I am wrong (I will be wrong), but please just do it with His Word 🙂

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posted by Ronald Harnage
 
DefCon has chronicled Ravi Zacharias’ downfall beginning with his first public compromise when he accepted an invitation to speak at the LDS temple in Salt Lake City but failed to make any distinction between the true Jesus Christ of the Bible and the demonically inspired false Christ of Mormonism. See Ravi Zacharias fails to preach the Gospel to the Mormons.We then examined his further compromi…se in Ravi’s Descent where he accepted the condition to not pray in Jesus’ name at the National Day of Prayer coordinated by NDP chairwoman Shirley Dobson, wife of James Dobson of Focus on the Family which recently promoted the cult of Mormonism. Beginning to see the big picture yet?Then we examined Ravi’s Crash and Burn as he not only accepted an invitation to speak at rank heretic Robert Schuller’s New Age ReThink conference, but that Ravi Zacharias also spoke favorably of Roman Catholic mystic Henri Nouwen, calling him “one of the greatest saints in recent memory.”

Now Slice of Laodicea and Apprising Ministries are reporting that not only will Ravi Zacharias not apologize or even back away from his endorsement of Henri Nouwen, but his ministry is defending his position. You can read the following letter from Ravi Zacharias Ministries in defense of Ravi’s endorsement of Nouwen by clicking here (PDF).

One of the most shocking parts of this letter written by Margaret Manning was her justification of Ravi’s compromise via the following statement:

“ . . . if it weren’t for the Catholic church you and I would not be here–nor would Christianity.”

Ravi Zacharias has become one of a long line of “public figure” Christians to compromise a little here and a little there until full blown apostasy is reached. What next Ravi, what next?

“Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God.”

Roman Catholic mystic Henri Nouwen

Sabbatical Journey

Page 51, 1998 Hardcover Edition

As you know I love posting personal testimonies – This one is from  – “For the Author”

A PERSONAL TESTIMONY: WHY CHRISTIAN LEADERS SHOULD NOT PROMOTE HENRI NOUWEN

Please read the important article at Lighthouse Trails
Why Christian Leaders Should Not Promote Henri Nouwen
that inspired the diatribe which follows:

I became a big fan of Henri Nouwen after discovering him on the reading list of the Spiritual Formation syllabus at a seminary where I took a few classes a couple of years ago. As an author, I found him to be warm, honest and engaging. He appealed to the scholarly side of me as well. I ended up choosing to write one of my papers for the Spiritual Formation class about two of the books he wrote. (It was a required class – I was enrolled in the Marriage and Family Counseling program).

Finish the article here

 

This was taken from the International House of Prayer’s website.

*****

4/18/11 update 

I see that the link below has been broken and that IHOP has pulled this information from their site. If another link can be found I will post it.  Please know that this was copied word for word from their site.

*****

Contemplative Prayer—–Communing with the Holy Spirit who lives within you

I. Know He Lives Inside of You
II. Pray the Scripture

The goal is to search for the Spirit of Jesus in the Word and have depth, not necessarily length, in understanding the passage. Jesus is the Word (John 1) and we want to know Him, the Truth. In Him is life; it is His Spirit who gives life. The words of Scripture are Spirit and they are life (John 6:63). The entrance of the Word gives light and life (Psalm 119:130). As the Word of God enters your heart, the Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal body (Romans 8:11).

Make sure you are searching for the Spirit of Jesus, not just searching for knowledge. Just pray the Scriptures. In simple terms, prayer is turning your heart toward God. In John 5:39, Jesus said to the Pharisees, “You do not have His Word abiding in you … you search the Scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life, and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.”

Method #1

Choose a short phrase in Scripture.

Begin slowly praying the Scripture in silence.

Focus your prayer toward the Spirit who lives inside you (John 7:38).

Remain on the phrase as long as you feel the Lord’s presence on it. Then move with Him, slowly praying through the passage phrase by phrase.

Method #2

Choose a short story in Scripture.

Read through the story several times silently.

Close your eyes and acknowledge the Spirit who lives in you.

Use your imagination to imagine yourself as one of the story characters or as an onlooker.

Play out the story in your mind applying all five of your senses.

Method #3

We call this “Beholding the Spirit Within.”

The goal is to search for and feel God’s presence inside you, not necessarily to gain more understanding in God’s Word as with the first two methods.

Begin by gently praying a short passage of Scripture in silence while focusing on the indwelling Spirit. The Scripture is used to quiet the clamoring of your soul and draw you to God. It is the connection point, the springboard into the spiritual realm.

Once you feel God’s presence, focus on it in a concentrated way.

You will be able to notice His presence now; He has always been there, but now your attention is on Him within you. The outward senses are quiet and your surface thoughts are gone. You are beginning to be consumed by the Spirit.

In this time, feel the freedom to stay quiet. Silently ask the Spirit to show you a vision, or slowly and silently say to Him, “I love You. I love You. I love You.”

Overcoming Distractions

 

Your mind will have to be trained in practical ways to not wander and think on other things. To overcome a wandering mind, simply begin thinking on the Scripture you have been meditating on, and focus your prayer to the Spirit within you. The Lord sees your heart as it searches for Him, and He is smiling upon you. You may become sleepy during prayer. To overcome, sit up straight instead of slouching and do not lie down. You can also begin speaking the Scripture you are meditating on under your breath until you feel the drowsiness subside, then return to the silent prayer.

Diligence in Prayer

In time these methods of praying will become easy. You will find the Spirit who lives in you if you search for Him with all your heart, but it will require time and your whole heart.

Keys to Progress

 

Humility-the high and lofty One dwells with the lowly in heart (Isaiah 57)

Disciplined life of prayer, fasting, giving and loving your enemies (Matthew 6)

Total abandonment in love to Jesus and loving nothing of this life (Matthew 7:14)

http://www.ihop.org/Publisher/Article.aspx?id=1000000385


                                                       The New Age and Christianity


“Occultism has always involved
three techniques for changing and creating reality:
thinking, speaking, and visualizing.”

(Dave Hunt – Occult Invasion)
* * * *

“…imaging and visualization are increasingly appearing as Christian meditation, “mind-stretchers,” or a consciousness-awakening experience in Christian workshops, and you’d better believe that visualization as a cultivated exercise comes with all sorts of metaphysical and spiritual baggage in tow.”
Visualization and Imaging, Jon Trott

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“It’s not difficult to trace the practice of meditative imaging and visualization back to the mystics.” Visualization and Imaging, Jon Trott
                                                                 ****
 Jon Trott is correct here. If anyone has started to indulge themselves  into meditative practices, just ask them what books they are reading.  

Christians are being duped into mysticism because a sentence has the word Jesus in it or there is a phrase of scripture.

The well-known catholic mystics are Brennan Manning, Henri Nouwen, Richard Foster, Thomas Merton, and Matthew Fox. If these authors are in your library then you know that you are entering a mystical realm that will only draw you AWAY from Jesus Christ. They want you to focus on a centering prayer which will invite a feeling of divinity within yourself. This is the lie, that you are divine. You may not think that this is where they are leading you, but this is what Eve thought when the serpent suggested, that “You will be like God.”  Watch out for the new charismatic coined term of DNA which actually means “Divine Nature Activated”

Contemplative prayer sounds so biblical, but it is a dangerous occult method of contacting the spirit world, which is off-limits to the Christian. Visualization is a technique that speeds up the process of reaching into another dimension to either experience visions or transport oneself.

Christian beware, the wolves are telling you that you are divine and holy.  What does the Bible say?

Jeremiah 17:9

The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Who can know it?”

So why should we center ourselves on our own heart looking for our divinity? We shouldn’t.

Instead…..we can have righteousness through faith….

Romans 3:21

“But now a righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known to which the Law, and the prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.”

These phrases from the IHOP article bother me.

“Make sure you are searching for the spirit of Jesus.”

Jesus wasn’t and is not a spirit. He came to earth as fully man and fully God, but He never came as a spirit.  But those who meditate using TM methods often contact a spirit guide named “Jesus”. This is deceiving spirit because Jesus is now at the right hand of the Father.

“Play out the story…apply all five senses”

This is an exercise in guided imagery. Read what Dave Hunt says about this:

“Visualization and Guided Imagery have long been recognized by sorcerers of all kinds as the most powerful and effective methodology for contacting the spirit world in order to acquire supernatural power, knowledge and healing. Such methods are neither taught or practiced in the Bible as helps to faith or prayer.” (The Seduction of Christianity)

Yet here we see it openly being taught and embraced.

“Begin by gently praying a short passage of Scripture in silence while focusing on the indwelling Spirit.”

How can you do these two things simultaneously?  Actually the Scripture becomes meaningless as one focuses on something else entirely.

“The springboard into the spiritual realm.”

What is the springboard?…it is the silence, the quiet. They are trying to fool you into thinking it is the scripture, but this is not the case here. The silence is a void used in eastern meditation to stop you from thinking or concentrating.  So now what spiritual realm have you just entered? You have entered a void. It is this void that allows you to enter a spiritual realm that is forbidden in the Bible. This is the realm where the white light enters, and if you know your Bible, then you know that this is Satan. He comes with joy and peace and fills you with ecstasy. If he came any other way he would be instantly rejected.

“Your surface thoughts are gone”.

The Bible never tell us to quit thinking or to empty our minds. In fact we are told the quite the opposite.

1 Peter 5:8

“Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around looking for someone to devour.”

“Ask the spirit to show you a vision.”

This is exactly how those involved in TM ask to be shown their demonic spirit guides. Exactly. This is so dangerous……

The section describing how to overcome distractions is the same method chanters use when meditating. If they actually have…a thought…oh no…start the chant again to empty the mind.

Anyone who does not see the eastern mysticism in this occult prayer method…does not want to see. Even a cursory study of meditation easily shows the parallels but people aren’t listening, or they don’t care, or maybe they hate to admit they have been deceived. This pride is fateful. It is eternal. It keeps you in touch with the New-Age Jesus, (who does not exist) and separates you from the true Jesus Christ in the Bible.

“It is not an advanced spiritual state, but one that is primitive and regressive, and consequentially results in bondage to spiritistic powers.” ( Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs) Ankerberg and Weldon  pg. 238

How is it that the church has fallen into such a sad state of affairs? It is simple. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not being preached anymore. Without repentance, without turning away from sin, without faith, there is no conversion.

The unconverted are hungry for God because they have no way to be sanctified. So in order to hear from God, in order to fill the void, they need to resort to false fire. Gnostic strange fire. This spiritual false fire replaces a true move of God which would cause conviction and make us fall on our faces and weep. We would weep because when the holiness of God shines His light on our sin, magnifying our true nature, it is unbearable. This in turn causes us to hate our sin, and search the Word for how live a holy life pleasing to the Lord.

When the Word of God is not enough, when it is not sufficient, the alternative is deception.

 faithundonelarge.jpg                    oakland-roger.jpg

                                                        “FAITH UNDONE” by Roger Oakland 

                the emerging church…a new formation or an end-time deception

One would be hard-pressed to find a more complete description of the various end-time deceptions currently exploding in our churches in one single paperback book.   Roger has accomplished this feat in “Faith Undone”.

Why is his book so relevant today? Consider this statement.  “In the near future, Christians of every denomination will have to decide whether to support or reject the spirituality behind the emerging church.”

Here are some of the topics he covers in his 13 chapters.

  • Emerging Spirituality
  • Mysticism
  • Post-Modernism
  • Labryinths
  • Contemplative Spirituality
  • Yoga
  • The “Eucharistic” Christ
  • Purpose Driven Ecumenism
  • The Kingdom of God on Earth
  • The New Reformation

From Chapter 1 – A New Kind of Church

“It is not the ambience of the emerging  church that causes me to write this book. It is the theological underpinnings….But is this ‘new reformation’ actually the way God has instructed us to go?… A new form of Christianity will replace faith with a faith that says man can find his own path to God and create a perfect kingdom of God here on the earth.  The Word will become secondary to a system of works and rituals driven by ancient mystical practices.” (pp. 12-13)

This last sentence “The Word will become secondary to a system of works and rituals driven by ancient mystical practices”, is so very true of every deceptive practice being introduced into the church and the world today. This falls in line with occultist Alice Bailey who said “the teachings of the East and of the West must be fused and blended before the true and universal religion could appear on earth”.*  When the church embraces occult teachings, we have to come to our senses and take notice of what is happening right in front of our eyes. The Bible warns of this deception but people do not want to listen.

Roger also says:

“This book does not attempt to identify every key player in the emerging church movement. There are too many…my objective  is not to attack individuals but rather to unveil a belief system. Thus, this is not a book out to get the bad guys. On the contrary, it is a book that seeks to rescue those involved with the emerging church and countless others heading in that direction.”

“In the near future, Christians of every denomination will have to decide whether to support or reject the spirituality behind the emerging church. If the emerging church continues unfolding at its present pace, mainstream evangelical Christianity will be restructured so that the biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ will be considered too narrow and too restrictive.” (p.20)

This is happening this very instant and many are totally unaware. This is why Roger’s book is so important. Let’s take a look at some of his other findings. This is from Chapter 6, When West Meets East

“In the early ’80s, I became aware of a major shift in thinking that was sweeping the Western world. Religious pagan practices of the past, once relegated to a world of darkness, were now being embraced as the ways and means of ushering in an age of enlightenment….Every method and therapy imaginable imported from Hinduism, Buddhism and every form of Eastern mysticism suddenly was in vogue. The age of enlightenment had arrived, we were told.” (p.93)

This cannot be more true.  Think back even farther when the Beatles swept in from England in the mid 60’s.  They themselves delved into Hinduism and Transcendental Meditation because of George Harrison’s fascination with the East. The baby-boomers of today are already familiar with these practices so it is no wonder that it is not a stretch for them to readily accept yoga and meditation into their life. What does Roger have to say about this?

“Today it is  becoming increasingly common to hear about churches promoting Christian yoga or Christian leaders suggesting the best way to enhance one’s prayer life is by getting in tune with God through repeating a mantra. What was once described as New Age and occultic is acceptable now in some Christian circles. ”

“Anyone who cares to do the research will find that yoga and its connection to Eastern religion remains the same. Linking oneself with the universal energy is still its goal. A Christian can believe that yoga is for health and well being if he or she wants, but the facts have not changed.”

“Can a Christian incorporate Hindu spiritual practices in order to get closer to the Jesus Christ of the Bible?” (pp. 94,96) 

Roger goes on to explain why the answer to this question is NO. But you will have the read the book for the remaining argument. Let’s go on to Rick Warren and some of his extraordinary quotes found in Chapter 9, The Kingdom Of God On Earth.

“Rick Warren’s reformation, which will bring in the Kingdom of God through global cooperation for a common cause, will include Catholics, Muslims, and homosexuals – a combination hardly similar to the 16th century reformation…Rick Warren believes that God has shown him not only the boundaries (or lack of them) of this coming global kingdom, but also the strategy to bring it about. Before Warren came up with the plan, he says he asked Jesus to show him how to reach the world. He explains:” (p.149) (Warren’s comments in red)

RW   “Then I said, ‘How did You do it? You wouldn’t have left us without a strategy.’ And I found the answer in a passage in Matthew 10 and Luke 10 where Jesus sends His first followers out…He says, ‘When you go into a village, you find the man of peace in every village, in every government, in every business, in every church.* The man of peace does not have to be a Christian believer. Could be Muslim. Could be Jewish. Because when Jesus said, ‘Find the man of peace, there were no Christians yet. Jesus hadn’t died on the cross. There was no resurrection. He’s just saying, go out and find somebody to work with.” (pp. 149-150)

“Jesus did not say they were to look for a man of peace of every town, Rather he said ‘whatsoever city or town ye shall enter , enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go hence”  (Matthew 10:11)…it is important to realize that the criterion for staying in a house was not the greeting of peace itself but whether those in that house received their message.

“And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.” (Matthew 10:14)

“Let me speak very boldly here: if we are going to link hands with those who believe in another gospel or no gospel at all for the sake of establishing an earthly, unified kingdom, we will not be building the kingdom of God.” (p.151)

RW  “I stand before you confidently right now and say to you that God is going to use you to change the world…I’m looking at a stadium full of people who are telling God they will do whatever it takes to establish God’s Kingdom ‘on earth as it is in heaven.’ What will happen if the followers of Jesus say to Him, ‘We are yours’? What kind of spiritual awakening will occur?” (p. 153)

“What does Warren mean by ‘whatever it takes’?

I am going to advance to Chapter 12, A New Reformation, for the next Rick Warren quote.

“In an article written by Rick Warren, “What Do You Do When Your Church Hits a Plateau?”, Warren told pastors and church leaders not to be discouraged about slow change in their churches. He told them it would take time…and in many cases, it would take these resisters either leaving the church or simply dying. Warren exhorts:” (p.204)

RW  “If your church has been plateaued for six months, it might take six months to get it going again. If it’s been plateaued a year, it might take a year. If it has been plateaued for 20 years, you’ve got to set in for the duration. I’m saying people are going to have to die or leave.  Moses had to wander around the desert for 40 years while God killed off a million people before he let them go into the Promised Land.  That may be brutally blunt, but it’s true. There may be people in your church who love God sincerely, but who will never, ever change.” (p.205)

“By making statements like this, Rick Warren marginalized those who won’t go along with the new reformation that he is hoping for. While Warren doesn’t say that people should kill them, he does say that God may have to end their lives, just like when ‘God killed off a million people before he let them go into the Promised Land.'” (p.205)

These are frightening statements and I am sick of Rick but he will have to be dealt with. There is so much more in “Faith Undone”, like Warren telling his followers that the details of Christ’s return are none of our business, (I can’t tell you everything!), but we must move on to the emergents.

There are so many involved in the emergent movement that one needs to go to www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com or http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/ to check out all the names, but Roger gives much attention to Brian McLaren. (blue comment) McLaren was named one of the country’s top 25 “Most Influential Evangelicals” in 2005 by Time magazine.

“In an interview, Brian McLaren questioned the idea of God sending His Son to a violent death, calling it “false advertising for God”:

BL  “One of the huge problems is the traditional understanding of hell. Because if the cross is in line with Jesus’ teaching then-I won’t say, the only, and I certainly won’t say the primary–but a primary meaning of the cross is that the kingdom of God doesn’t come like the kingdoms of this world, by inflicting violence and coercing people. But that the kingdom of God comes through suffering and willing, voluntary sacrifice. But in an ironic way, the doctine of hell basically says, no, that’s not really true.  That in the end, God gets His way through coercion and violence and intimidation and domination, just like every other kingdom does.  The cross isn’t the center then. The cross is almost a distraction and false advertising for God.”

“What an extraordinary example of faith under attack and the consequences of thinking outside the box. If McLaren is right, all those who have ever lived and believed in Christ’s atonement have been misled and wrong. McLaren has taken the freedom to to reconstruct what faith means by distorting the Scripture, or worse yet, saying the opposite of what the inspired Word of God says. This is blasphemy!” (pp.192-193)

I have resisted taking the final comment from Roger’s book from the last chapter, Or An Endtime Deception, even though there are many gems to pick from, and have selected this from p.217

“The emergent reformation, when it comes to fruition, will stand on the side of the line drawn in the sand that says all humanity is One–regardless of religion, beliefs–we are all One. That One-ness will mean one with all creation too, and inevitably with God. This is what the New Age movement is striving for–a time when all of mankind will realize both their unity and divinity–and the Gospel as we know it, according to Scripture, will be no more.”

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

Others mentioned in the book – Alice Bailey, Rob Bell, Ken Blanchard, Marcus Borg, Bob Buford, Tony Campolo, Peter Drucker, Richard Foster, Matthew Fox, Thomas Keating, Dan Kimball, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Erwin McManus, Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, Doug Pagitt, Leonard Sweet, and Robert Webber among others.

How is it that this one book can cover so many names and issues?  It is because they are all related and together they have one goal and purpose in mind, which is Faith Undone, a must read for every Christian.

Order this book at Lighthouse Trails Publishing.

* Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy p.280

* Government, business, church is Druckers 3-legged stool.

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