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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : A Serious Warning from Paul.

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BrokenOne
Member



Joined: 2007/6/7
Posts: 429
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

 Re:

Quote:
THEREFORE, WE SHOULD EXPECT DECEPTION TO LOOK GOOD!!



Annie, this reminded me of a passage from The Anatomy of Deception by Art Katz:

Deception is a deception when it contains elements that are dubious and suspicious, and at the same time there seems to be apparent blessing. Who has the acumen and the discernment to see through it except a people of priestly stature whose discernment has been increased by the exercise of it? And who can discern between good and evil, between the profane and the holy? If blessings, so called, can succeed in bringing the Church to viewing benefit as the criterion by which something is judged to be of God, we may well have been brought to the very ground of deception itself. There is something more important than benefits, something more important than being released from depression; it is the holiness of God, it is His name, it is His honor, it is He Himself. Receiving benefit of a dubious kind is too high a price to pay if it is going to throw any shadow upon His great Name. We have lost everything for the sake of benefit when the desire for benefit is, in itself, suspect.

We are not in a position to categorically condemn as deception the ostensible benefits to which many testify. God is always free to bless whom He will bless. But if the enemy can succeed in bringing the Church to viewing benefit as the determinant by which something is judged to be of God, we may well have been brought to the very ground of deception itself. So for myself, I would choose to keep my distance from such phenomena, trusting that whatever I might be missing is not greater than what I am protecting and cherishing, and that the Lord is not offended by a carefulness that would rather err in a jealousy for His holiness than to risk subverting what has already been given as pure and true.


_________________
Danielle

 2007/12/5 18:41Profile









 His Word ~

Amo 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD

[b]Dumping Sola Scriptura[/b]

Quotes: [i]“In the actual practices of the Evangelical community in North America, there is an over-commitment to Scripture in a way that is false, irrational, and harmful to the cause of Christ. . . . And it has produced a mean-spiritedness among the over-committed that is a grotesque and often ignorant distortion of discipleship unto the Lord Jesus.

[The problem is] "the idea that the Bible is the sole source of knowledge of God, morality, and a host of related important items. Accordingly, the Bible is taken to be the sole authority for faith and practice.”

J.P.Moreland quoted in "Postcard from San Diego:
Fighting 'Bibliolatry' at the Evangelical Theological Society,"
by Ted Olsen, Christianity Today, 11/14/07.[/i]


When evangelical leaders talk about a Second Reformation, they mean reversing the tenets of the First Reformation. A stunning example of this occurred recently when evangelical professor J.P. Moreland blasted "over-commitment to the Bible" and neglect of "work on broad cultural themes." If this is the current state of apologetics in the evangelical world, then grievous times have arrived.

Perhaps this lack of commitment to Scripture alone, i.e., Sola Scriptura, explains the recent activities of Rick Warren, Robert Schuller, Leith Anderson, Emergents, and a host of Fuller Theological Seminary leaders, who could all sign on to a common faith document with Moslem leaders (see previous post). There is a terrible omission in this so-called Christian worldview.

Below, Anton Bosch has some pertinent comments about this rather blatant shift in focus.

[b]Overcommitted to the Bible?[/b]

At a recent conference, the most popular paper resulted in four times as many people crowding into the room than it was designed to hold. The title of this provocative lecture was “How Evangelicals became overcommitted to the Bible and what can be done about it.”*

The speaker said that in “the actual practices of the Evangelical community in North America, there is an over-commitment to Scripture in a way that is false, irrational and harmful to the cause of Christ.” He claimed that this over commitment has produced a mean-spirited and grotesque distortion of Christianity. He also said that the problem was with “the idea that the Bible is the sole source of knowledge of God, morality, and a host of important items.” I will not bore you any further with the rest of his mindless ramblings.

So what?, I hear you say, “this is what you can expect from atheists, liberal theologians and other unbelievers.” The problem is that these ideas were proposed at a meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society by no-one less than J.P. Moreland , a well-known Evangelical theologian and professor at Talbot School of Theology, which describes itself as “a conservative, evangelical seminary”!

If this is what it means to be Evangelical, then I am not one of those.

First, we need to confirm that the Bible is indeed the sole source of knowledge about God. Nothing about God can be discovered through any other means than through His Word. Not only is the Bible the sole source of knowledge about God, but it is also the sole source of knowledge of morality (right and wrong) and of every important matter that affects mankind. For generations believers and churches have confirmed that the Bible is the only authoritative and infallible rule of faith, practice, doctrine and daily living. Or in the words of the Reformers: “Sola Scriptura” (only Scripture).

The sad fact is that Moreland was simply verbalizing what most “Christians” think. Even though they won’t admit to it, the majority of “Christians” believe science rather than the Bible. They trust their experience rather than the Scriptures and their traditions over the Word of God. Most believe that common sense is equal to Bible truth. Psychology is seen as more relevant than the Word of God and the television is more true (and exciting) than the Book. Worst of all, they believe their preachers even when they contradict the Bible.

Next we need to ask the question: “Are Evangelicals indeed overcommitted to the Bible?” The answer is an emphatic NO! The reality is that the vast majority of Christians do not really believe the Bible and they are not even moderately committed to it, let alone over-committed to it. And before we speak in general terms, let’s think about ourselves. The reality is that if you and I really believed that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God, we would live very different lives and be very different people. Here is some evidence:

The Bible says 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” (Matthew 12:36-37). If we really believed that, every one of us would not say half the things we do say.
The Bible teaches that unbelievers will be condemned to an eternity in Hell (Revelation 20:14-15). If we really believed that, we would be spending much more time on our knees in prayer. And we would be pleading with people to make right with God with a sincerity and conviction that would convince many that we actually believed what we were saying.
The Bible teaches that Jesus is coming soon and at a time when we least expect Him (1Thessalonians 5:2-3). Yet the vast majority of “Christians” live as though He is never coming back.
The Bible reveals that God knows and sees everything all the time and yet we act as though God does not know or see what we do in secret and that He is unaware of our deceit, lies and hypocrisy.

In the same way we can examine countless Scriptures and see that very very few of us actually, really believe the Bible and are committed, not just to read it but to live it. Very few Christians believe that the Bible is God’s Word – the word God has spoken. Most believe that it only contains some words about God, mixed with some suggestions for a happy life.

No, the Bible is God speaking to mankind. It has no less authority than the ten words God Himself scribed into the two tablets of stone on Mount Sinai. He has not changed His mind about His Word and it will be the standard against which every life and action will be judged. Whenever we open the pages of the Book we should do so with reverence and awe – they are God’s eternal words.

We don’t need less commitment to the Bible we need more – a lot more. We need a fresh reverence, love and respect for the Bible. It should not be the basis of speculation and debate but rather of obedience and practice. We need preachers who will unreservedly commit to the Bible, the whole Bible and nothing but the Bible. We need men who will “preach the word” (2Timothy 4:2) without fear or favor. We need Christians who are humble enough to believe God’s Word, no matter what others say or think. And we need churches that are committed to actually expect their members to live according to the Bible. In short – we need to get back to the Bible.

Heretics like Moreland should be excommunicated publicly. Schools, and the products of the schools, that harbor such unbelievers should be shunned. Churches should not accept preachers that have studied under such men or in such seminaries.

In case you think that is radical, then hear what Paul said: “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8-9).

http://herescope.blogspot.com/

 2007/12/6 15:23









 Re: His Word ~

Quote:
Nothing about God can be discovered through any other means than through His Word.



Huh??

what about learning about God through the Creation??

what about learning about God from other people and animals made by God??

what about learning about God thru the presence of the Holy Ghost??


you are excluding alot of what God wants you to know about Him if you rely upon only the words of the Bible.

bubbaguy

 2007/12/7 18:19









 Re:

Brother Bubbaguy, I think you may have misunderstood this article.

His Word is our plumb-line - our compass - our guide map - the foundation laid for judging truth from error and His Word is under atack in a major way around the globe at this crucial time.

Creation won't hold us up during persecution - neither can creation be a litmus test for truth or error - and as for the Holy Spirit - many feel they are led by the Holy Spirit - yet they contradict His Word.

The man who wrote this article knows that unless one is truly Born-Again with Christ's Spirit dwelling in them, they'll never understand His Word.

Lord Bless!

 2007/12/7 21:27









 Re: Emerging Church Alert

by Roger Oakland ~

The following is a fact sheet that summarizes some of the major characteristics of the Emerging Church movement and the direction it is headed. Beneath the fact sheet, you can either listen to or read the transcript of a recent interview with Brian McLaren, prominent promoter and leader of the Emerging Church movement. Every sincere Bible believing Christian needs to be aware of what is happening and what role the Emerging Church movement plays in the last days apostasy that the Bible foretells.

FACTS TO KNOW ABOUT CURRENT TRENDS HAPPENING IN THE NAME OF CHRIST THAT ARE UNDERMINING THE AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE AND LEADING TOWARDS

"THE EMERGING CHURCH"

~ **Scripture is no longer the ultimate authority for many well know leaders of the new evangelicalism.

~ The gospel of Jesus Christ is being replaced by humanistic methods that promote church growth and a social gospel.

~ There is more and more emphasis on “what’s in it for me” in the “here and now”, and less and less concern regarding the warnings of scripture regarding the imminent return of Jesus and a coming judgment ahead for planet earth.

~ More and more Christian leaders are looking for a kingdom of God to be established here on earth by human effort and deny that Jesus Christ will rule and reign in a literal millennial period that is to come.

~ Many bridges are being established that lead in the direction of unity with the Roman Catholic Church.

~ An experiential mystical form of Christianity is being promoted to attract and reach the postmodern generation called the “Emerging Church.

~ We are being told that Christianity needs to be re-invented in order to provide meaning for this generation.

~ *Christianity is being dumbed-down as the Word of God comes under attack and images and sensual experiences are being promoted as the key to experiencing God.

~ In order to re-invent Christianity we are told we need to go back to the past and find out what kinds of experiences were successful to attract people to Christianity. These experiences include icons, candles, incense, liturgy and the sacraments, particularly the sacrament of the Eucharist.

~ Many church leaders are beginning to consider that the Reformation went too far. They are reexamining the claims of the “Church fathers” that communion is more than a symbol and for remembrance and that Jesus actually becomes present in the communion wafer.

~ There is a growing trend towards an ecumenical unity for the cause of world peace that claims there are many ways to God and that Jesus Christ is not the only way.


Brian McLaren is viewed by many as a key leader of the Emerging Church Movement. The following interviews and the article will explain McLaren's position on "hell" and "homosexuality".

Interview with Brian McLaren by Leif Hansen (McLaren's Position on Hell)
Listen to Part 1 (Using Windows Media Player or Real Player)
Listen to Part 2 (Using Windows Media Player or Real Player)
Transcript of the interview

These interviews were conducted by Leif Hansen Of The Bleeding Purple Podcast. Part 1 of Brian McLaren's interview was on Sunday January 8, 2006 and Part 2 was on Thursday January 12, 2006. Direct links to the original interviews are below.

http://www.understandthetimes.org/eca.shtml

 2007/12/8 14:09









 Re: Part Two ~

[b]Are Emerging Church Critics Too Critical?[/b]

Commentary by Roger Oakland
www.understandthetimes.org

[i]"Not every Christian is called to be a watchman. This is understandable. The body of Christ is made up of men, women and children with a variety of gifts and callings all important for the body of Christ to be healthy. The watchman or watchwoman is a person called by God to warn about the dangers of departing from the truth and being led astray.

This calling is not without problems and difficulties. The watchman, even though his or her voice may be biblical, is almost always considered by the majority to be too critical. This is especially true today when so many Christian leaders are embracing a Christianity that is more seeker-friendly and purpose-driven rather than God-fearing and Spirit-led. A person who attempts to exhort stray sheep back to the fold is considered negative, judgmental, and unloving.

Further, when someone has departed from the Word of God, they are not always grateful to someone who tells them they have departed. If a person knew they were being deceived, they wouldn’t have been seduced by the deception. It is also a fact there are many who profess to have faith in Christ but have very little faith in His Word.

It is God’s Word that must be our plumb line in bringing us back to the truth. Following a man and his ideas may well lead us astray, especially if his ideas do not line up with God’s revelation as recorded in God’s Word.

I have been attempting to sound a spiritual alarm by documenting facts associated with various ideas and trends that are sweeping the world in the name of Christ. We are living at a time in Church history when a new reformation is supposedly underway and Christianity is being reinvented so that it will be more relevant for the twenty-first century, but a Christianity that is not consistent with the Scriptures in not Christianity.

Answering the Critics

There are those who will read this and will not come to the conclusion that we are living in an age of apostasy before the return of our Lord. There will be those who accuse me of presenting an unbalanced view of the emerging church, in spite of the facts. There will be those who say that I concentrate only on the negative and that I have avoided all the good things about the Emerging Church.

For example, I anticipate there will be statements similar to the following one made by Emerging Church supporter Darren King in an article he wrote titled “A Response to Reactionism Against the Emerging Church”:

It is clear that while those of us engaged in the Emerging Church conversation might find new perspectives a helpful thing, there are others, within the larger Christian community, who find these fresh perspectives not only unhelpful, but actually threatening. These people tend to operate under very circular, rigid belief systems. And for these people, any idea that infringes on any one corner of the “faith infrastructure” causes what amounts to a fight or flight response. [1]

This statement illustrates how someone with a rigid perspective (biblical perspective) is perceived by someone with an Emerging Church perspective (“fresh perspective”). From Darren King’s viewpoint, if someone is not willing to abandon their “faith infrastructure,” (the Bible) for the “fresh perspective,” (ideas that are unbiblical or anti-biblical) the person is considered a dangerous crackpot.

Further, King, the editor of Precipice Magazine, states that he has a plan to deal with resistors who refuse to leave their “faith infrastructure” for the “fresh perspective”.

What I am interested in is a discussion of the knee-jerk reactions; the critical responses that arise out of a spirit of superiority, disdain, fear, etc. It is with that aim in mind that we at Precipice launch a new feature called: “A Critique of Criticism: A Response to Reactionism Against the Emerging Church”. Over the next few weeks we’ll be directly addressing these particularly ungracious, destructive and dismissive examples of criticism, one by one. [2]

Following this article some examples of Emerging Church criticism were posted along with a response by Precipice Magazine. For example, as an answer to the criticism—“I feel like you can never pin down the Emerging Church on what they actually believe. That kind of slippery theology seems dangerous, cowardly, and way too convenient in our politically correct culture”—the following statement is made:

There is a very good reason why it’s difficult to pin the Emerging Church down on certain issues. Simply put, the Emerging Church is an evolving movement, a fluid conversation. It is not a denomination with an official doctrinal statement to refer to. In these kinds of conversations it’s usually helpful to differentiate Emergent, a specific group, from the larger Emerging Church conversation. Emergent is one community within the larger context of the Emerging Church…

The EC crowd is not nervous when grey areas linger. Mystery is newly embraced in the EC. And this shift away from a blind emphasis on propositional truth seems, to me anyway, much more in line with early Christian faith and practice. Faith is a process. The Christian experience is a journey. We would do well to remember that for the early followers of Christ, faith was commonly referred to as “the Way”—not the destination. [3]

If Christianity is evolving, as this writer suggests, what is it evolving into? Whether or not one names this trend a “church” or a “conversation” is not the issue. What is important is whether or not the trend is based on sound Christian doctrine. As we have discussed in previous commentaries, faith in the Bible is not the basis for this “New Reformation”. Faith in the Bible is not being promoted; it is it under attack. Faith is being undone.

Yes, it is true that the early church was called “The Way.” However, the church was called “The Way” because the members of the church were following Jesus, who said He was “The Way.” [4] Jesus also said the “Way” is a “narrow way” [5] and the “only way” [6] to get into heaven. The Emerging Church way or emergent conversation or whatever name is used to describe this so-called New Reformation, in my view is a wide way that many are traveling and heading in the wrong direction.

Defending the Emerging Church

It should now be apparent that critics of the Emerging Church or “conversation” are also being critiqued. The reason Darren King, chief editor of Precipice Magazine, launched a column for “critiquing the critics” was because of a number of negative comments about an article written by Scot McKnight titled “Five Streams of the Emerging Church” that appeared in the February 2007 issue of Christianity Today. According to King:

This issue (criticizing those who are critical of the Emerging Church) took on a new significance following Scot McKnight’s “Five Streams of the Emerging Church” article that recently appeared in Christianity Today. As I mentioned in a previous entry, for every four positive responses to McKnight’s article, there was one that was not only negative, but actually scolding, dismissive, insulting. [7]

Scot McKnight is a widely-recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. He is the Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies at North Park University, Chicago, Illinois. McKnight, the author of over twenty books, has given radio interviews across the nation, appeared on television, and is regularly asked to speak in local churches and educational events. Dr. McKnight obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Nottingham. [8]

In the article written for Christianity Today, Dr. McKnight took on the task of explaining what the Emerging Church is and what it is not. In the introductory portion of the article he wrote:

Along with unfair stereotypes of other traditions, such are the urban legends surrounding the emerging church—one of the most controversial and misunderstood movements today. As a theologian, I have studied the movement and interacted with its key leaders for years—even more, I happily consider myself part of this movement or "conversation." As an evangelical, I've had my concerns, but overall I think what emerging Christians bring to the table is vital for the overall health of the church. [9]

Scot McKnight claims the Emerging Church Movement is misunderstood by the critics. According to him, the Emerging Church is “vital for the overall health of the church.” As a “theologian” and someone who “happily” considers himself part of the movement, McKnight has “interacted with the key leaders of the movement.” In order to define the Emerging Church, McKnight made the following statement:

To define a movement, we must, as a courtesy, let it say what it is. Eddie Gibbs and Ryan Bolger, in their book, Emerging Churches: Creating Christian Community in Postmodern Cultures (Baker Academic, 2005) define emerging in this way: Emerging churches are communities that practice the way of Jesus within postmodern cultures. This definition encompasses nine practices. Emerging churches (1) identify with the life of Jesus, (2) transform the secular realm, and (3) live highly communal lives. Because of these three activities, they (4) welcome the stranger, (5) serve with generosity, (6) participate as producers, (7) create as created beings, (8) lead as a body, and (9) take part in spiritual activities. [10]

Few critics of the Emerging Movement would have a problem with the definition offered by Gibbs and Bolger if it adequately defined the Emerging Church movement. However, this definition falls short of defining the movement. Numerous serious heretical ideas, beliefs and practices promoted by the movement show that biblical faith is under attack. Rather than a “New Reformation” there is a potential to return to spiritual darkness.

Further, while Scot McKnight is critical of D. A. Carson’s criticism of the Emerging Church, he falls short of providing a complete and proper definition himself.

D. A. Carson's Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church (Zondervan, 2005) is not alone in pointing to the problems in the emerging movement, and I shall point out a few myself in what follows. But as a description of the movement, Carson's book lacks firsthand awareness and suffers from an overly narrow focus—on Brian McLaren and postmodern epistemology. [11]

It is interesting how McKnight and others dismiss Brian McLaren and his unbiblical ideas by relegating him to the lunatic fringe when they want to point out the “good” in the Emerging Church Movement. This is like saying it is possible to remove the arsenic that has been placed in a milkshake by selectively sucking through a straw. The movement is laced with ideas by McLaren and other leaders of the emerging movement. The so-called “generous orthodoxy” Brian McLaren writes about could also be understood as widespread apostasy.

In order to censor the movement or the “conversation” to make it “emergent safe” one would have to come up with a new name for the movement that does not have anything to do with the word emerging. The move away from the Word of God toward an experiential encounter with “God” by the practice of Eastern mysticism and Roman Catholicism is clearly part of the movement that is presently underway.

In addition, Scot McKnight attempts to nullify legitimate criticism of the Emerging Church by suggesting that the Emerging Church critics don’t understand Emerging Church terms. He wrote:

To prevent confusion, a distinction needs to be made between "emerging" and "Emergent." Emerging is the wider, informal, global, ecclesial (church-centered) focus of the movement, while Emergent is an official organization in the U.S. and the U.K. Emergent Village, the organization, is directed by Tony Jones, a Ph.D. student at Princeton Theological Seminary and a world traveler on behalf of all things both Emergent and emerging. Other names connected with Emergent Village include Doug Pagitt, Chris Seay, Tim Keel, Karen Ward, Ivy Beckwith, Brian McLaren, and Mark Oestreicher. Emergent U.K. is directed by Jason Clark. While Emergent is the intellectual and philosophical network of the emerging movement, it is a mistake to narrow all of emerging to the Emergent Village. Emerging catches into one term the global reshaping of how to "do church" in postmodern culture. It has no central offices, and it is as varied as evangelicalism itself. [12]

If emerging is the word used to describe “how to do church in a postmodern culture,” then the term needs to be defined with a warning label attached. In this day and age when we are being told that a “Christian can only be known for what they are for and not what they are against,” such a broad definition provides a pathway to spiritual disaster.

We are instructed in the Scriptures to be like the Bereans, who searched the Scriptures daily “to see if these things be so.” [13] They were taught by Paul, the great apostle who was inspired by God. Today, as Christianity is “being re-invented” we are being taught by many individuals who have a very dim view of the Scriptures. If Christians refuse to check out what is being proclaimed as Christian in reference with the Scriptures, then the consequences are predictable."[/i]



Amen Bro.

 2007/12/8 14:45
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7486
Mississippi

 Re:

Annie,

I did not read the entire thread - scanned it - but would like to make a few comments.

It is not only the evangeicals who are infected with this virus called apostasy. This afternoon I heard a clip on the web. The speaker was talking about the late George R. Brunk,ll, a well known Mennonite evangelist. He was blunt, got to the point quickly, wasting no words. Many have come to the LORD as a result of his faithfulness to the WORD. Anyhow, his ministry was not appreciated by the liberal segment of the Mennonite Church. Some of their leaders had a meeting to discuss him and informed him that "by definition religious truth is never settled..."

Annie, apostasy is not limited to a few church denomintions: it is [i]everywhere[/i]. It is so sly, so appealing, and they love nothing more then to engage you in a 'friendly' discussion about the issues that divide. Granted, there is room for discussions among people with differing view points, but one must be on the alert to be able to discern the source of the doubts and questions.

I am sad to see "Christianity Today" fall victim to this mindset. We got this magazine for at least 25 years, quit subscribing to it because of its liberalism. Lady, their slide to it was so gradual, I am at a loss to know [i]when[/i] it happened. It is just like: This is NOT like it used to be! So we gave it the benefit of the doubt and subscribed again. Since we let our subscription expire, someone called recently wanting us to renew. I told no and why. He was amused. {{[i]sigh[/i]}}

Thanks for the posts, Annie.

ginnyrose


_________________
Sandra Miller

 2007/12/8 18:11Profile









 Re:

Hia ginnyrose ~ oh yeah, it is [i]everywhere[/i].
Jesus wasn't fooling when he said, "First the falling away and then ...." -- the part 2 of that verse isn't far off at all. That's 'why' all the deception now.

I still feel we've failed the world by not defending these discernment/apologetic sites that do all the dirty work, by investigating this influx of deception.
It is true, that it's going all around the globe and coming from "US". :cry:

But few will give these type sites the time of day.

We can lead the masses to salvation if we want - but then what? Where do we send them to be discipled?

Don't we warn them about the wolves in sheeps clothing out there?

How does a new born babe Know - who is teaching what and who to follow - if the Majority are following hirelings and heretics?

We've got to start caring and educating ourselves FOR others.

The verse that sticks out to me most is -

1Ti 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.

Thank you for your post Sis.

His Love to ya.

 2007/12/9 13:31









 Re:

[b]The Necessity of a Sound Mind

We live in perilous times. Times which call for a sound mind. The following is an excerpt from a sermon by J.C. Philpot, preached in 1857, and pertinent to today. For an added blessing follow the link at the bottom:[/b]


"We are often reproached with being fanatics, enthusiasts, and people of a wild imagination, carried and led away by airy flights, without any sobriety of judgments or soundness of mind. I consider that no charge was ever more false or more misdirected. I consider that those of us who know the truth of God by divine teaching are eminently people of a sound mind eminently free from superstition, fanaticism, enthusiasm, or wild imaginations and delusive fancies. I never had sounder mind in my life than I have at this moment, and I am sure my religion has not made my mind unsound. It has made my mind sound naturally as well as spiritually, for it has cured me of a thousand airy fancies and wild ambitious desires, and given me sobriety in natural things as well as in spiritual.

To possess, then, the spirit of a "sound mind" is to have a sound judgment in the things of God– not to be drawn aside by every passing opinion– not to be allured by every novel doctrine– not to be charmed by every fresh device of the wicked one– not to be caught by every one of his flesh-pleasing snares; but to have that sobriety of judgment and holy wisdom in the things of God, with that fixedness of heart upon the Lord Jesus, and that solid experience of his Spirit and grace, as shall keep us from errors and delusions on the right hand and on the left.

Unless we have this spiritual sobriety, this ripe and matured judgment, and this firm establishment in the truth of God, we are almost sure to be drawn aside into some error or other. Satan will somehow deceive us as an angel of light. He will impose upon us some of his heresies and present them to our minds with such plausibility that they shall appear to be in accordance with the scriptures; he will puff us up with pride and presumption; he will draw us off the firm and safe ground of spiritual experience, to entangle us in a maze of confusion and error; he will beguile our minds with some of his subtle deceits, and lead us off that foundation which God has laid in Zion, and upon which all his saints have ever stood; and by working upon our Pharisaical or Antinomian mind, withdraw us away from the glorious truths that all the preachers of righteousness have ever taught. If we have not the spirit of a sound mind, we shall mistake a false experience for a true one– natural feelings for spiritual– the workings of pride and self-righteousness for the workings of the Spirit of God– and the deceits of the devil for the teachings of the Holy Spirit.

But where there is a sound mind– and that there ever will be, more or less, where there is spiritual light, divine life, gracious feeling, and a conscience made tender by God's fear– there will be a sound faith, a sound hope, a sound love, a sound repentance, and a sound work of grace upon the heart from first to last. To have a sound mind is to have a mind deeply imbued and vitally impregnated with the truth of God; and as that truth is the only really solid and enduring substance under the sun, it follows that those who know it experimentally for themselves are the only people really possessed of soundness of mind; for they only take right and sound views of all things and all events, natural and spiritual, and have, as the apostle says, "the mind of Christ."

The material above was excerpted from: "The Spirit of Power, of Love, and of a Sound Mind," Preached at North Street Chapel, Stamford, on Oct. 4, 1857, by J. C. Philpot, and based on the following Scripture: "For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7. To read this sermon in its entirety visit: http://www.gracegems.org/Philpot/spirit_of_power.htm

The Truth:

"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If you continue in My word, then are you My Disciples indeed; And you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free." (John 8:31-32)


[url=http://www.discernment-ministries.org/HerescopeJanuary2007.htm]From Discernment-Ministiries.org/Herescope Archive.[/url]

 2007/12/9 13:34









 Re:

[b]Excerpts from ~ "Strange Fire - The rise of Gnosticism in the Church"[/b]

The ministry of a "Gnostic prophet" is always characterised by mystic experiences said to be of God, with the focus on self. It is difficult for him to exercise a ministry within the confines of Scriptural revelations. The Gnostic Revelator has a freedom to minister whatever he likes, whether or not it is Scriptural.

Truth is absolute! That is why Jesus could say, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life." His words give understanding to the simple. Those who perish are those who do not have love for the truth. When the love for the truth is absent, . . . [i]God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.[/i]

The delusion is interpreted in the text as "straying from orthodoxy".

The orthodox position on truth, or "sound doctrine" is being slowly undermined by a desire to build an earthly political kingdom, self-centred ministries and marketing the anointing. As a third generation Pentecostal, it is sad to see the inroads the New Age is making amongst our own ranks. Sadder still, Shepherds are too busy hooking up to the latest fad to realise that in the process they are selling the truth. Proverbs 23:23 tells us to [i]Buy the truth and sell it not . . . God's truth is to be valued above thousands in gold and silver. (Psalm 119.72)[/i]

Today people are so "experience" oriented and so busy looking for a "new anointing" and "new thrills" that they are willing candidates for just about anything!

Much of the error we are witnessing today is coming along in just enough orthodox garb to make it seem acceptable. As long as the terminology seems to sound right, many are afraid to warn others of the inherent errors that are abounding in the midst of the Church. We do have to be very cautious and realise that many purporting these "strange doctrines" are sincere and feel that they have entered new depths of spirituality. They are caught up in their experiencing of "new revelation" and are eager to share their knowledge with others.

We all have different ways of measuring spirituality. It is probably because of this we are so disappointed when someone we consider "spiritual" fails. It seems to be normal to get our eyes on man. However, there is an area where man is exalted to such a degree that his feet are no longer clay.

Sometimes the line dividing the Christian from the Gnostic is so fine that it is hardly visible. The only way for a Christian to safely discern Gnosticism is in the light of the Holy Scriptures.

Heresy Hunters or Bereans?
As menacing teachings permeate the fibre of the Church, there is a vigorous attempt being made to silence anyone who opposes the status quo! Labels are handed out freely if you question what is happening. The most popular label is "heresy hunter". Anyone who does not "go with the flow" for unity is considered "divisive". Whatever happened to the ability to contend earnestly for the faith which was once delivered to the saints? Many pastors who are "going with the flow" refuse to even read an article that will question some of the popular practices posing as "new revelation" and "deeper truths".

When asked if they have read a book or an article documenting some of the heretical thoughts being propagated, pastors will invariably have several excuses among which are: (a) "the author only wants to sell books", (b) "I'm too busy", or (c) "I'm not really interested". In the meantime the hole in the dyke has given way to an avalanche of false teaching and heretical thought.

It is frightening to realise that beliefs can be created merely by passively accepting information without attempting to analyse if what is preached or taught is truth! Unfortunately today much depends on the personality delivering the message. If it is a charismatic figure with a certain appeal, he/she can say anything they want and get away with it! The only criteria for truth seems to be if a book has been published and sold many copies, the author must be right.

This is why the knowledge of the Word of God is so important. It is not enough to parrot off someone else's teaching and sound like a great name in miniature. Any man can lead you astray - no matter how nice or how spiritual he sounds. You have to stand before God yourself! The Word of God says explicitly, Study to show thyself approved, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed. (1 Tim.2:15). Listening to hours and hours of tapes or watching "Christian TV" is not a substitute for honest and earnest study of the Word of God. Be like the Bereans who checked out everything they heard to see if those things were so. (Acts 17:10-11). They were commended for doing so - not told they were divisive, critics, fault-finders and "heresy hunters".

EXCEPT THE CHURCH EARNESTLY CONTENDS FOR THE FAITH, SHE FORFEITS HER RIGHT TO BE THE VEHICLE OF GOD'S TRUTH.

The New Breed of arrogant apostles and prophets are known to usurp and abuse judgment over God's people. To gain power, twisting Scriptures and abusing authority is of no consequence. One cruel method used is to instill fear in the hearts of those who dare to criticise or question their ministries by making harsh judgments against them. Sometimes those judgments even contain a death threat! They definitely are not prophets of the Word, nor can they be, because they put no confidence in the Written Word and its judgments.

Christians that insist on the Holy Scriptures as their only most trusted source of spiritual knowledge are considered to be into idolatry and bondage. Because Christians faithfully reverence the Holy Scriptures as the VOICE of GOD, they are accused of worshipping a book and of over-reverencing the Bible. The following quotes are typical examples:

[i]Quotes: Most of the people in this faction have gotten themselves in bondage to the written Word of God and seem to be bent on dragging everyone else into prison with them. They have let their respect for the scriptures run overboard and plunge into idolatry. [Restoration, James Robison, James Robison Evangelistic Association, Fort Worth, TX]

We see it today in people's reverence of the Bible. I remember the day I stood in the pulpit and played the role of the iconoclast. I was decrying 'bibliolatry' - worship of the Bible. I wanted to call people to the God of the Bible for many had made the Bible a god . . . So I took an old Bible and began ripping the pages out of it, throwing it to the floor to demonstrate it was only a book - not a sacred idol. Some of the people were shocked, offended and infuriated. I had pulled down their idon. [Jamie Buckingham Ministries Today, Buckingham Report, Jan/Feb 1989, p.19][/i]

Any Christian in his right mind will not worship a book, binding, pages or ink. But he certainly will utterly reverence God's inspired Holy Scriptures. It is impossible to over-reverence the written Word just as it is impossible to over-reverence God to the point of making Him an idol - absurd! Even God shows utter reverence for His Word when He says, . . . [i]for thou has magnified thy Word above all thy Name (Psalm 138:2)[/i]


http://users.stargate.net/~ejt/strange1.htm

 2007/12/10 22:50





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