A Hipster Church in Silicon Valley: updated.

Interesting insight into C3 Silicon Valley, well worth listening to:

A Hipster Church in Silicon Valley – Shane Rosenthal, 8/2/16

rosenthalShane Rosenthal of
“The White Horse Inn”

Silicon Valley’s Hippest Church Is Going Public
The White Horse Inn
Modern Reformation magazine

Source: Shane Rosenthal, Issues Etc, http://issuesetc.org/2016/08/02/3-a-hipster-church-in-silicon-valley-shane-rosenthal-8216/(Accessed 2/08/2016, Published !0/08/2016)

Transcript:

A Hipster Church In Silicon Valley

“When we heard the 5-5-5 vision we got really excited to see a church where we’re believing for something that was seemingly impossible – you know, at five campuses in five years reaching 5000 people in the Bay Area for Christ and we heard statistics about 96% of the Bay Area’s unchurched and so it really spoke to our hearts that we could be a part of something great, something that could really make an impact here. We had some loans, we had a mortgage, we had a lot of reasons why we couldn’t, we could have said to each other we shouldn’t give.”

So we decided that this was really something that the Lord wanted us to do. Plus that Adam said, write the numbers down and so I wrote one number and Luke wrote another. And I’m much more of a “give a billion dollars” and Luke is a lot more “let’s be practical” . So our numbers were really far apart and it goes to say and we decided to compromise somewhere in the middle closer to Luke’s number than my number.”

That’s a little bit of a promotional video for C3SV. Remember when churches used to have names like St. Paul’s, Trinity or Holy Cross? Not any more, not any more. Especially if you’re in Silicon Valley. It’s got to sound like a computer language. C3SV stands for Christian City Church Silicon Valley, C3 (cubed) Silicon Valley. And Silicon Valley is, true, not a place where you find a lot of churches. There are churches there, good faithful churches. But 96% unchurched, the often quoted statistic, so if the place needs churches, is the answer churches like Silicon Valley?

Joining us to talk about this hipster church in Silicon Valley Shane Rosenthal executive producer of the Whitehorse Inn radio show. He is contributing writer and editor of Modern Reformation Magazine, and assistant pastor of Christ Reformation Church in St. Charles Missouri.

Shane, welcome back to Issues Etc.

Hey good to be with you

I think we would agree that Silicon Valley and every valley needs all the churches that it can get but is hipster church the answer?

Well you know that’s one of the challenges of our time right? You want to see churches  growing especially in areas where there appears to be a dearth. And so in some cases you want to say great, the church is expanding. But the problem comes when you evaluate the quality of the new kind of church and in particular, you have this particular specific market demographic. Let’s appeal to the hipsters let’s appeal to the tech industry type individual. The person who might like the name ” Petri” more than a Redeemer Lutheran church name. It’s been a lot of marketing and you know appealing in the articles and the rest to cultural relevance. Those particular things show up the triumph of consumerism and marketing. So at the end of the day we are just rebranding, we’re taking the wisdom of the marketing tradition and we’re selling something they’ve packaged it, that’s being sold supposedly the same as the classical church right? Just as a new under brand, a new logo except for the fact that’s not exactly what you get at the end. It’s not just another church. In fact what happens in those kind of places is you have a complete switch from what used to be called Christianity to a new kind of Christianity, which is from a position from someone like me, well, not Christianity at all.

What do you mean by that? What is it if it’s not Christianity that’s being pushed at churches like that?

So, my insight into this comes from reading a book called “The Secularist Heresy”, written by a friend of CS Lewis named Harry Blamires way back in English context, in 1952. Blamires at that time was talking about this trend that was just beginning and he said this “today’s churchgoer is nowadays unlikely to come away with church wondering if that sermon has got any connection with the secular world outside the church. He’s more likely to come away asking has that sermon got any connection with anything other than the secular world. Has it led my thoughts to where picking up a newspaper or turning on the television could not have led? And then he says “that Christianity is relevant to all aspects of life but can we be so obsessed with being relevant that we forget how to be Christian”. And he diagnoses the problem by saying, “many have tackled the problem of how to present the Christian message in an idiom intelligible to the 20th century mind”, he’s writing in the mid 1900s.

I’ve addressed myself to the opposite problem, that of keeping the Christian message free from corruption by 20th century habits of thought, which he says are fundamentally hostile to it and the outrage is being committed in our day wherever the supposedly Christian message is presented without reference to baptism, grace, regeneration. Without reference to Incarnation, atonement, redemption. Without reference to church, sacrament or Holy Spirit. Now think about those categories he presents there. This always blows my mind, you go into a typical mega church, a particular market-driven culturally relevant group and you don’t hear about baptism, grace, regeneration, incarnation, atonement, redemption, sacraments. What are you hear are, you know, normal street language about love and warmth. Maybe a loose concept of grace. I was at one mega church where they even talked about God liking us to get funky when it came to the music. You know, I don’t know about you Todd, but I’ve read the Bible I can’t remember any place where God likes people to get funky. There was one scene in the Old Testament where He didn’t like them getting funky around the Golden Calf and he actually at once put a stop to that sort of thing.

But this is the day we live in where churches are attempting to appeal to the person of our day trying to make it relevant and actually exchanged the church, instead of being a transcendent church, have tried to make it relevant with where they are at. But in doing that they have made the church just like the world, it’s just a community group with a little bit of Christian sprinkling.

It’s ironic to me Shane, part of the trouble – they claim to be trying to address, in Silicon Valley, at C3SV church, is well, you know, these young professionals they have everything. They show up at work and food is all complimentary, they work at these big .Com’s or Tech’s or they work for places like Facebook and Google and places that are genuinely the most relevant places in the world if relevance counts for anything of that kind. But they want more! Why is it then, when they get to church on Sunday morning at C3SV, they don’t give them more! They just give them more of the same.

Yes well that’s the problem of relevance. I mean in the quest for relevance, which by the way hasn’t worked out well for them, in mainline denominations, they started down that path in the 30s 40s and 50s and ended up by the 60s preaching the Vietnam war and left-centred politics. And it’s relevant to the person who likes left-centred politics but few other people. And in the same vein, you have a start-up church doing niche demographics to find out how do we meet the young 30 something young Silicon Valley techie. And what we find out when we do that is you are going to speak his language and speak things that are relevant to his time and day. The problem is, is that propitiation typically doesn’t come up when you’re asking what’s relevant to the young Silicon Valley techie. It’s a relevant word for the Bible and it’s relevant for the perspective that God has, why we need to have God’s anger and wrath turned aside by the death of Christ. But it’s not particularly relevant to the felt-need of the techie. And when you try to adjust the, you know, the sales pitch, I am going to try to reach this one individual. Well, the fact is we are never called to do that. We’re are called to preach the gospel to all nations and make disciples of all nations. But not to adjust the message to the particular interest of one particular individual demographic group.

Some would say, look this is just what Bill Hybels, this is just what Rick Warren was doing two decades ago. They’re just carrying the ball further down the field, would you agree or disagree?

I would in general agree. This particular group, reading the articles about them, looks to be more Pentecostal and it has certain nuances but yes I think it’s the same trajectory lead by Bill Hybels and the mega church movement. Basically we’re focusing on cultural relevance, outreach, dynamic worship. They see a buyers market, so you’re trying to attract the consumer rather than to make demands on your disciple or your parishioner. And in a buyers market, how can we reach out to you and what are your needs what are your felt-needs? And we need to appeal to those kind of things. There is some wisdom to thinking about what are the needs of my audience but if you in that process end up short shrifting essential things, upon which Christianity is founded upon. Then if you change the Gospel, tailor it to your audience, that’s where the problem comes.

Shane Rosenthal is our guest we’re talking about Silicon Valley hipster church, C3SV. When we come back we going to talk a little bit more about this hipster church. Yes they’re just doing what Bill Hybels and Rick Warren started but you know, to their credit, at least in the early days Hybels and Warren kept the essence of Christianity. Why was it inevitable that it would be lost? If you kept running the ball down that field?

Shane we were talking before the break about how this is, in a lot of ways, a continuation of the mega church movement, the seeker-driven movement, was it inevitable that although I don’t think that either Hybels or Rick Warren or any of the other progenitors of the church growth movement or the seeker-driven movement would have wanted it this way, was it inevitable? That Christianity be forfeited eventually? If you are going to take the seeker-driven model?

So I don’t know if it’s inevitable that Christianity as a whole, so I do think it’s inevitable that the form and structure of what should be a Christian Church was inevitable. For example you had in 2007 or 8, the Reveal study which showed the people at Willow Creek were essentially upset or feeling that they weren’t spiritually fed. They were, and these were the people who were invested in the organisation but they were feeling like “fortune cookie spirituality isn’t enough for us, we need meat”. And the people – the leadership said essentially people need to be self-feeders. We are here providing resources and we are trying to make these things attractive, and you know, come and get it! And we have all these different niche groups but basically it’s the “trough model”. That’s the way they think and when you compare this to the New Testament, do you know Jesus is very clear to the disciples that they are called to go and make disciples of all nations and teach them and baptise them.

You know, you have that language with Jesus and Peter, where Jesus tells Peter to feed the sheep, tend the sheep regularly, there at the end of John’s Gospel. So this is something that is the lifeblood of the church. It’s not just putting teaching there on a website although that’s something you and I do on our respective ministries. But we…basically, the life blood of the church is the care of actual pastor/shepherds who are not just teaching but also caring for the sheep individually and then making sure they are being discipled over the long haul, repenting of sin and being baptised and being confronted with various issues. That’s the kind of thing that’s not well done in one of these settings where it’s just “come you all and get it”. Because as I was a member of one of these churches when I just converted to Christianity, you know you can just slip in and out of these places without being cared for or being recommended for baptism or anything. It’s just “hey come on and get it” and that’s where this kind of a church with a particular call to “let’s have a big church with rap music and lots of kickstart videos, it’s just the same trajectory which, you know, is not going to be the kind of church, an ecclesiastical structure that Jesus actually founded.

There’s a section here in the “buzz feed” story that I want to read to you and I ask you what this means exactly. Smallcombe is the name of the pastor there at C3SV. Smallcombe’s response to questions about the church’s stance on homosexuality was evasive, quote: “There’s a big difference between to approve of it, acceptance and approval, he said I might not approve of somebody’s lifestyle but I don’t need to approve of it if I’m at a dinner table with them, having a conversation. What I’ll do if they invite my perspective in, I’ll tell them what I believe and what I see the Bible’s position is love them. I fundamentally love them, love people if they never change. Not coming out in support of gay marriage is a position I said, writes the reporter. Smallcombe replied, that his position was love.

What was the pastor of this Silicon Valley church saying there?

That I don’t know, I think the reporter was right it’s a little bit evasive. He is essentially saying somethings that I would agree with, we want to love the sinner no matter what their background is. If they are, if they have a problem with gambling, cheating on their spouse or homosexuality. Hey the church is a hospital for sinners and I’m going to reach out for you and be there for you and care for you as you’re thinking about the faith. As you want to dialogue about the faith, as you want to become baptised and become a disciple of the faith. On the other hand the pastor of the church, representatives of Christ’s flock, are called to speak out Law and Gospel very clearly. And in the case of homosexual marriage? Well, you don’t have to agree with everything that Jesus said but you do have to come to terms with the fact that Jesus and his disciples, you know, were not for sexual immorality, they did not, so either take it or leave it. This is what Christian ministers are called to do. They’re called to put forth the commands and the gospel proclamations of Christ. Now that is hard teaching in our day but this is the problem when you are looking at the culturally relevant ministry. You know what, it’s not relevant to where people are at, to give hard teachings, give the difficult stuff, to give the Law and to give the harsh judgemental tone. And yet a lot of that is in the Bible, what are you going to do?

One of the catchphrases of the Silicon Valley church is, “Don’t like religion? Great, neither do we”. What is that saying, what is that sales pitch about?

So it’s interesting, if you look at the end of the article, which I really encourage your listeners to read, there’s a person there at the end, a non-Christian interacting with a member of this church and they fundamentally thought that was false advertising. Do you know if you don’t consider yourself religious, you shouldn’t call yourself a church. And the fact is I agree with that guy, I agree the non-Christian that it’s false advertising. Christianity is a religion, one of the major religions of the world. Now one of the typical lines in our day is, in order to attract people who are coming from a perspective of being burnt-out on religion, we are not offering a religion, we are offering a relationship. Yes but a relationship with whom? With Jesus of Nazareth is not just a nice teacher from the past but actually God in human flesh, died, buried, risen again from the dead. Well frankly that’s religious dogma, it’s either true or it’s not true but it’s religion! So to call it not religion is just fundamentally false advertising in order to appeal to those who have been burnt out on religion. But it’s also a little bit true, in that they no longer have, as I mentioned in the beginning of the interview, that Harry Blamires had talked about. There is very little discussion of baptism, of regeneration, of atonement and of all these things that are classically identified with the Christian religion. Which makes it seem like it’s kind of a true statement.

With about 30 seconds here, these are churches often strongly Image driven, kind of the hipster image, the right haircut, and fashion. Does that, what does that say about these hipster churches?

So there is a..it’s basically called “cool hunting”, and this is the thing. If you’re going to sell a product on television, you can’t be wearing outdated clothes. You’ve got to look cool, you’ve got to look hip for it to be attractive. And they are basically applying that idea into their sales pitch, to their web marketing, to everything they do visually. And the fact is it works. The question we need to all ask, is not what works though. The question we need to ask, are we deemed faithful to our tradition, is our tradition being sold out and exchanged for a mess of pottage. And at the end of the 20th century, at the beginning of the 21st-century we have to realise that there is a, you know, the messengers of the Christian tradition are infected with the disease of secularism. We are propagating secularism from our pulpits. And that’s why secularism is on the rise – partly it’s because the people who are speaking, you’d think you’d go to a church and you are going to hear the transcendent message from the transcendent Kingdom but you’re not. You’re hearing how to live a happy life and how to be a better you.

Did C3 encourage members to lie on Australian Census form?

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Robert Morris caught red-handed stealing money from congregation.

As you read this article, it’s important to note that this wolf was allowed in the ‘pulpit’ at C3 Oxford Falls:

http://www2.myc3church.net/videos/robert-morris-blessed-life-pt1

In the video below, Robert Morris is silencing anyone who wants to argue with him on the false tithing doctrine and claims that Christians are thieves and open to demonic possession if they do not give ten percent of their money to his church.

Notice that Morris twists John 10:10 to make out that Christians who don’t tithe are the thieves.However, Christ was talking about false teachers who are the real thieves in John 10:10.

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber… Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.” John 10:1,7-8, 10.

However, his false teaching opposes God’s Word directly.

“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

So who is lying about God? Who is taking money from people fraudulently and robbing people of their assurance of salvation and security in Jesus Christ? It’s not God and it’s not the congregation…

“Now listen to me carefully because I am going to say something very strong. Any person that doesn’t tithe is arrogant. Because you can believe you can make it your way and not doing it god’s way. And you have to be arrogant to steal from God. And you have to be arrogant to steal from God. You have to be extremely arrogant to steal from God. And please understand, if you don’t tithe that’s an open door to demons. Because that is exactly what the enemy does. He’s a thief. And you’re allowing god.

You’re robbing- you’re allowing satan to get you to be a thief. But not only a thief but to steal you from God. And I don’t say that to make you feel condemned or to argue about tithing, I’m telling you, that’s an open door. No matter how many doors you close in your life. If you’re not tithing, you’ve always got an open door to the demons.”

Robert Morris, “Non-tithers OPEN THE DOOR TO DEMONS!!” Says False Teacher Robert Morris, YouTube, Published by Exit Churchianity on Oct 8, 2013. (Accessed 31/07/2016.)

Spotting the thieves of John 10:10 in your church

Jesus made it clear in his earthly ministry that false teachers are thieves. Ironically, these false teachers prove that Jesus is right in calling them thieves when they misuse John 10:10: they are robbing people of the truth of John 10:10.

This short video refutes the thief’s twisting of John 10:10.

Pringle claims Christ’s death was in vain?

In a joint effort, Hillsong, City Harvest Church and C3 Church have pulled our YouTube account. This is an older article of ours that deserves to be republished to expose how Phil Pringle not only exploits the sick at his Presence Conference but blasphemes Jesus.

[Click to Download video]


Pringle said,

“There’s a big difference between truth and fact. The facts are you might have a bad back but the truth is you’re healed. The facts are you might have continual illnesses through your body but the truth is you’re perfectly made whole by the power of Jesus dying on that cross.

Don’t let Him die in vain! Don’t let Him take thirty nine stripes across his back for nothing! Reach out and take a hold of all that He purchased for you from heaven.” – Phil Pringle, Day 3: Friday, Presence Conference 2012, 13/04/2012.

Watch him say it here:

Please pray for those who heard this teaching from Pringle and took this to heart. These are desperate, vulnerable and hurting people who went to the front to get healed by Phil Pringle. Please pray for their well-being.

(Edit: 13/05/2012)

It is delusional to separate fact from truth. Pringle does this often. From Phil Pringle’s blog:

Healing

1 Peter 2:24-25 – “..by whose stripes you were healed.”

“Were healed” – past tense. No matter what the illness was, it has been healed, whether physical, emotional, mental.

There’s always a difference between facts and truth! Appropriating truth is a fight, just like Joshua possessing Canaan. God said, “I have given you the land’ before they have even set foot there!

Appropriating truth into our lives is a fight against giants who try to oppose us possessing what is ours in Christ!

We appropriate truth (like ‘we are’ healed) with our mouth wielding the sword of the Spirit – the ‘Word of God!

SPEAK TRUTH TODAY, INSTEAD OF JUST THE FACTS!

(Source: Phil Pringle, Healing,http://philpringle.com/_blog/Phil_Pringle_Blog/post/Healing/, 08/10/209. (Accessed 13/05/2012.))

Paul & Jan Crouch: An example of the Evangelical Industrial Complex in action

If you want a good example how the Evangelical Industrial Complex (EIC) works, this article from Marsha West from Berean Research provides good insight into how the Christian A-Post-ate spin the lives of Paul and Jan Crouch:

Some Christian news blogs and high-profile leaders overlook the truth

When I heard that Jan Crouch died of a massive stroke, to be quite honest, I was not saddened by the news.  Why?  Well, for one thing Jan and her deceased husband Paul promoted the worst sort of heresy imaginable: Word of Faith.  But you wouldn’t find that out by reading the Christian Post’s puff piece.  Janice Crouch was a controversial figure to be sure. But inquiring minds learned nothing about that from CP.  Certainly part of the reason for the controversy was the colossal pink-tinged “cotton candy” wigs, heavy make-up, and the lavish lifestyle she and husband Paul enjoyed.  But there were many other reasons the Crouches were controversial.  So let’s take a quick look at their history.

The couple were the founders and leaders of Trinity Broadcasting Network.  TBN has been in business since 1973 and has an estimated net worth of half a billion dollars.  A single Praise-A-Thon can bilk faithful viewers out of as much as $50 million tax exempt donations. The Crouches were known for their scandalous statements against anyone who dared challenge the cultic Faith teaching they were spreading on a global scale via their cable TV network. The following is excerpted from “Televangelist Paul Crouch Leaves a Dirty Legacy; Evangelical Christians Look the Other Way” by Terry Firma:

The New York Times published an exposé of the Crouches’ financial tricks last year. It tells you volumes about how the darling duo spent all that revenue from donations, TV rights, and investments.

For instance:

The [couple’s] lavish perquisites, described by [estranged granddaughter and former financial officer Brittany] Koper and corroborated by interviews with two other former TBN employees, include additional, often-vacant homes in Texas and on the former Conway Twitty estate in Tennessee, corporate jets valued at $8 million and $49 million each and thousand-dollar dinners with fine wines, paid with tax-exempt funds.

More:

[F]ormer TBN employees also said that dozens of staff members, including Ms. Koper, chauffeurs, sound engineers and others had been ordained as ministers by TBN. This, she said, allowed the network to avoid paying Social Security taxes on their salaries and made it easier to justify providing family members with rent-free houses, sometimes called “parsonages.” (Source)

The above is just a tidbit of information that can be gleaned from a Google search.  But nothing like this was mentioned in CP’s report, even though the controversy still rages.  Also not mentioned in the puff piece is the fact that because of TBN, Faith teaching has become one of this era’s greatest threats to authentic Christianity.

Joseph Chambers wrote a piece entitled “The Confused World of Paul and Jan Crouch” and provides the transcript of a chat Kenneth Copeland had with the Crouches where he lays out the force of faith to them. Briefly, Copeland believes faith is a tangible force. This force is released through the spoken word, thus name-it-and-claim-it.  When we speak words of faith, power is discharged that will accomplish our desires. Through faith we can have health, wealth, success – anything we want.  Copeland also spins the yarn that alleged laws of the universe can be manipulated independent of God.  Does this mean God is subject to the laws He created?  According to word-faith theology, yes.

What Faith Is Not

Now to the discussion.  As we will see, when presented with Ken Copeland’s decidedlyunbiblicalmetaphysical view of faith, there is no argument from the Crouches — no contending for the faith as believers are commanded to do in Jude 1:3:

Kenneth Copeland: “The force of faith is in the spiritual realm a great deal like certain forces in the natural realm. It is a spiritual force, like gravity is a natural force, and electricity is a natural force of power.”

Paul Crouch: “A measurable natural force.”

Kenneth Copeland: “It’s a measurable force, it’s conductible, it’s perceptible to the touch . . . Faith is a spiritual force, it’s perceptible, . . . it is a tangible force, it’s an invisible force, so is gravity, but it is there.”

Paul Crouch: “So is electricity . . . Does God use faith?”

Kenneth Copeland: “Surely.”

Paul Crouch: “. . . See, here is the sore spot. There are those who say . . .”

Jan Crouch: “Not with him.” (speaking of Copeland)

Paul Crouch: “Not with you.” (lots of laughter follows)

Jan Crouch: “Not with God.”

Kenneth Copeland: “. . . the fact. No, I’m not sore at God at all and I don’t think He’s sore at me . . . I haven’t done anything to Him.”

Paul Crouch: “. . . The critics say God is God, He doesn’t have to have faith; He doesn’t exercise faith. He doesn’t use faith. He’s God. He’s the object of faith.”

Kenneth Copeland: ” . . . Wait a minute, what does that mean? Object of faith. I don’t know what that means.”

Jan Crouch: “I don’t either.”

(End discussion.)

The definition of biblical faith has no kinship to this “Force of Faith” espoused by Copeland, and apparently Paul and Jan Crouch. In the above statement by Kenneth Copeland, God is said to use faith just like Copeland uses faith. Faith ceases to be the lofty and eternal truth forever settled in the Heavens and established by an eternal God that is Himself the object of our faith. It becomes a formula or a New Age force that is a pagan idea, clearly kin to the many teachings of the occult. (Source)

Does the Bible teach that faith is a force?  No!  Yet the Crouches fail to challenge Copeland on his dangerous teaching.  In fact, Paul Crouch once looked into the camera and said in his friend’s defense, “If you want to criticize Ken Copeland for his preaching on faith, or Dad Hagin get out of my life! I don’t even want to talk to you or hear you. I don’t want to see your ugly face. Get out of my face, in Jesus’ name.”

Visitors to CP think the site is the epitome of Christian orthodoxy, that people of faith can trust CP to keep them informed. Yet contributing writer Anugrah Kumar didn’t apprise readers about TBN’s promotion of some pretty dangerous teaching.

Bible believing Christians familiar with the power couple’s warped theology consider them wolves in sheep’s clothing.  Which begs the question:  Why did an Internet publication that calls itself Christian fail to share this not so small detail in a big story?  Jesus himself addressed the wolf infestation He faced head on:

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. (Mat 7:15-17)

Paul and Jan Crouch produced rotten fruit! What did Jesus say would happen to diseased trees?  (Mat 7:18, 19)

Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. (Mat 7:19, 20)

Trouble In Paradise

Jackie Alnor of Scattered Sheep Report has been following the Crouches and TBN for decades. When she heard the news of Jan’s demise she wrote a piece entitled, “The True Legacy of Jan Crouch.” In it she reminds us that:

Jan died with 14 lawsuits pending against her whistle-blower granddaughter, Brittany Crouch Koper, costing TBN donors multiple millions of dollars.

Jan had not spoken to her granddaughter since she was fired as the Chief Financial Officer of TBN in 2011 for insisting that the Crouches follow the laws governing the use of donor money and not siphon it off to boost Matt Crouch’s secular movie directing ambitions, among other reported wastes for the Crouches to live extravagantly.

Alnor concludes:

Paul & Jan Crouch’s legacy must not go down in history all white-washed and controlled by million $ lawyers. The truth is ugly but must be told — if the LORD tarries, it must be known from here on that TBN was/is the biggest carrier of apostasy in all of church history. (Read Jackie’s full report here)

Why did the reporter neglect to inform readers about legitimate lawsuits? Moreover, why would a Christian publication fail to mention that the Crouches were often criticized, and rightly so, for being the “biggest carrier of apostasy in all of church history”?

It’s no secret that TBN props up a plethora of false prophets who spread heresy all over the globe.  TBN promotes the health and wealth prosperity gospel…NAR/dominionismPurpose DrivenismEmergentContemplative prayer…Christian Mysticism…New Age/New Thought and everything else under the sun.  In a word, syncretism.

TBN hosts false teachers such as Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, T. D. Jakes, Joseph Prince, Kim Clement, Steven Furtick, Joyce Meyer, Brian Houston,Christine Caine, James Robison, Robert Morris, Paula White, John Avanzini, Jesse Duplantis, Frederick Price, Creflo Dollar, Morris Cerullo, Paul Yonggi Cho, Marilyn Hickey, Jerry Savelle, John Hagee, Rod Parsley, Sid Roth, C. Peter Wagner, Cindy Jacobs,Chuck Pierce, Reinhard Bonnke…and the list goes on and on.

Many people have expressed their concern and displeasure when they see evangelical celebrities thought to be theologically solid appear on TBN.  A few examples of those who have done this for whatever reason are Franklin Graham, Kirk Cameron, David Jeremiah, Ray Comfort, Beth Moore, Max Lucado and Anne Graham Lotz.

Leaders Who Fail To Lead

Quick digression.  While doing research for this article, I had no choice but to visit CP several times.  On one of those sojourns I noticed a blog post by Dr. Michael Brown at the top of the page.  Dr. Brown is a conservative Messianic Jew, whose resume includes all sorts of accomplishments and degrees, including a Ph. D from New York University.  Brown is a respected charismatic leader and Bible scholar.  His desire is to be taken seriously, and for the most part he is.  Ironically, on CP’s homepage, just a few doors down in the opinion section under “Living” I noticed a guest column by Joyce Meyer.  Meyer is a notorious false teacher so the heading should be “Dying” for the reason that her unbiblical theology leads to death.  So, why would a Bible scholar who grasps the meaning of heresy better than most want his column carried by a so-called Christian blog that features articles written by wolves in sheep’s clothing?  Remember, brethren, this is the “Christian” Post.  Richard Land, CP’s executive editor, served as president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission which is the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention until he was forced to resign.  Land is a conservative Baptist!  He, too, knows perfectly well that the prosperity gospel is a heresy that’s spreading.  Yet he seemingly has no problem providing a platform for Faith teachers to promote their rotten fruit!  Where’s the discernment?  Where was it in 2013 when “Papa” Paul Crouch died?  CP’s Anugrah Kumar wrote a tribute to him, quoting several Christian luminaries:

“Praise to God for this man of faith,” tweeted Lucado, bestselling author and writer and preacher at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas. Crouch “has passed into eternal joy,” he said.

“‏We celebrate Dr. Paul Crouch’s good & faithful work on earthMay we all leave such a legacy for the Kingdom,” wrote Creflo Dollar, founder and senior pastor of World Changers Church International, on Twitter.

May we all not leave such a legacy for the Kingdom, or we could find ourselves in the Kingdom of Hell.

Of course Paul’s pal Heretic Hinn had to add his 2 cents:

On this day of his glorious home-going, please reflect upon the tremendous impact of this man’s extraordinary life,” reads a tweet by Pastor Hinn from Benny Hinn Ministries. (Source)

A glowing tribute by Christian Post – for a ravenous wolf!

Had enough?

I have.  So back to the subject at hand, Janice Crouch.  From what we know to be true about her, she has passed from this life to a place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Luke 13:28    I do understand there is always the possibility she repented of her sins and came to faith in the true Jesus Christ before she died.  If this was the case, by God’s grace, she is in heaven.

I’ll close with a quote from Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones:

Heresies always result from the wiles of the devil, the efforts of the principalities and powers.  Are your eyes open to it?  Do you realize the relevance of all this to you as a member of the Christian Church?  Are you being carried away by this loose, general, sentimental talk?  God forbid that any of us should ever say that it matters not what you believe as long as you are a Christian.  May God open our eyes, and having given us to see the truth, then enable us “to be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.”  “Take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  (H/T Glenn Chatfield)

Source: By Marsha West, Some Christian news blogs and high-profile leaders overlook the truth, Berean Research, http://bereanresearch.org/christian-news-blogs-high-profile-leaders-overlook-truth/, Published 11/06/2016. (Accessed 11/06/2016.)

Presence 2017 keynote “voice” Furtick claims to be “the son of God”?

#WHY NARCIGESIS DOESN’T WORK.

Narcigesis – A biblical hermeneutic where one reads themselves into the bible and writes God out of it.[Source]

Steven Furtick is internationally recognized as King of the Narcigetes for a good reason: he seems to only read himself into the biblical text. The problem with this hermeneutical approach is that Jesus says that the scriptures point to Him.

“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” John 5:39-40

Because of this, many people consider Elevation Church a cult because how Steven Furtick elevates himself to a messiah-like status. The below video snippet further strengthens the case that Elevation should be avoided.

This linked video below was uploaded by Elevation Church on to Steven Furtick’s Facebook account.

Learn to prepare yourself in advance for the temptations you will face. http://sfm.cta.gs/034

Source: Steven Furtick, FaceBook,https://www.facebook.com/StevenFurtick/videos/1139336036087810/, 26/05/2016. (Accessed 30/05/2016.)

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Remember, Steven Furtick is reading himself into the passage where the devil tempted Jesus to turn stones to bread. Remember what Satan said to Jesus: “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” (See point 6 below.)

RECOGNISING A SERVANT OF SATAN

“And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness…”
2 Corinthians 11:14-15

A few observations:

  1. Furtick is talking/preaching to the devil (not wise). (Jude 1)
  2. To those he acknowledges in his sermon who don’t believe in the devil, we can only conclude that they are to assume that they have the devil within themselves to speak to.
  3. Furtick applies the title ‘the Son of God‘ to himself. This can be considered a slip up. But…
  4. Furtick claims the “Father” spoke to him that morning, reminding “me that He loves me and that He’s pleased with me”. So Furtick is NOT talking about Jesus here – he is talking about himself. The Messianic Furtick is the one on stage now speaking.
  5. When he is about to slightly declare the good news that he is forgiven by God – he snuffs the gospel nugget out by changing the subject: “help me preach!”
    Why did he do this? We can be considered sons of God if we are forgiven through Christ’s atoning work and born again by His Spirit. Why did he change the topic?
  6. Finally – and the most important: It was Satan that tempted Jesus to turn the stones to bread. Although Jesus claimed the scriptures and did not follow Satan’s instruction, Furtick is doing the exact opposite to Jesus and says his god will make him do it: “I’m not going to do it because I think I can, I am doing it because God says I can!”

We’ve often observed in the church how Satan is using ministers to tempt the body of Christ to speak to their circumstances (turn stones to bread); to step out in faith (or off the boat) so God can work the miraculous to make their testimony powerful (step off the temple); and to submit to “the vision” so you can expand your ministry through the nations (bend the knee to Satan to gain the world).

In this snippet that Elevation Church uploaded, Furtick isn’t even hiding it. He is claiming his (lower case) “god” will turn the stones to bread “because god says I can”.

At least Furtick has made it clear who his god is.


Steven Furtick says the following to Satan (Satan asking Furtick to turn stones to bread),

“If you are the son of god? You don’t have to tell me who I am! I know who I am. I’ve always been the Son of god. I’ve always been a child of god. In fact I just spoke with my Father this morning and He reminded me that He loves me and that He’s pleased with me!

I’m not the ‘son of god of god+’ that you say I am! I’m a son of god because god says I am. I’m not confident because of what I can do, I am confident because of what god says He WILL do! I’m not forgiven because I’ve earned acceptance, I’m forgiven because god says He has forgi- help me preach!

I’m not going to do it because I think I can, I am doing it because god says I can!”

Source: Steven Furtick, Whatever, Whatever, Elevation Church, http://elevationchurch.org/sermons/whatever-whatever/, Uploaded 09/02/2014. (Accessed 29/05/2016.)

Presence Conference 2016: “Whoring for Phil Pringle by Twisting God’s Word.”

 

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Chris Rosebrough opens his program today with this announcement: “Staying under the “prophetic holy orders” umbrella we listen to Samuel Rodriquez at the Presence Conference talking about having a “mantle” and not being afraid to use. And then Phil Pringle basically says something that’s head-scratchingly bizarre and weird, you have to hear it to believe it. And then we’re going to listen to a series of guys at the Presence Conference, coming back to Samuel Rodriquez, J. Johns and then Louie Giglio. Louie Giglio was one of the Presence Conference speakers, and boy, did he, wow, talk about engaging in bible twisting in order to fleece people and teach for shameful gain the things he ought not to teach…..you think Giglio is solid? No! He’s a total sellout.”

Titus 1:11 “They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.”

Now as you listen, you’re going to get examples of just what kind of fleecing took place at this conference, examples of the “really press you hard for money” segments. These examples demonstrate how the keynote speakers were called on by Phil Pringle to fleece and manipulate the audience by “really pushing the screws down hard on them” and using false doctrine to achieve that purpose. Apologising for using the term, Chris Rosebrough points out that these men, particularly Giglio, were “whoring for Phil Pringle and twisting God’s Word in order to do it.”

I Have a Mantle and I’m Not Afraid to Use It

PROGRAM SEGMENTS:

00:05:49 Todd Bentley Back to the Future Mantle Dream
00:16:47 Samuel Rodriguez I Have a Mantle and I’m Not Afraid to Use It
00:18:54 Phil Pringle God Has Done His Part
00:23:07 Presence Fleecings by Samuel Rodriguez, J. John and Louie Giglio
01:07:34 Craig Groeschel Preaches at Osteen’s Building
01:27:28 Sermon Review: I Am A Sheep by Robert Morris

Source: http://www.piratechristian.com/fightingforthefaith/2016/5/i-have-a-mantle-and-im-not-afraid-to-use-it

Popular NARismatic Worship Artist, Kari Jobe, Teaching Dangerous Theology

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Pulpit and Pen writes,

Popular Charismatic Worship Artist, Kari Jobe, Teaching Dangerous Theology

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It’s never-ending. The apostasy, the lack of discernment, the gullibility. How can anyone who proclaims the name of Jesus Christ not recognize the dismal state of the professing church? Words cannot even begin to describe the how far away the church is from Christ in these days. The attractions, the concerts, the conferences. People joining hands with those teaching for shameful gain things they ought not to teach. This is not revival, but the falling away in it’s most deceptive and extreme form–a form of godliness that denies its power.

Tickets go on sale in May for Outcry Tour 2016. The music festival will be held in several cities around the nation, and features some of the most lauded names in “worship.” The groups include Hillsong, Kari Jobe, Rend Collective, Housefires, Urban Rescue, Chad Veach, and none other than Elevation Worship.

Now, I’m not exactly sure who these people are worshiping, but it isn’t Jesus. Yet, thousands of Christians are blindly sending their children to partake in this evil.

In the Charismatic Evangelical church, there is a movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). It is a movement that elevates experience above doctrinal truth. Often times you will see many with contradictory beliefs about the basic tenets of Christianity come together in prayer and worship. This is the driving force behind this modern worship scene that’s creeping into once solid churches.

Hillsong United is among the most deceitful and subversive worship music movements. Hillsong music is popular, and is played throughout even some of the most theologically solid churches, deceptively luring people away from doctrinal truth and into an experiential form of idolatry that removes Jesus as the sole object of worship, and places the emphasis on ear-tickling lyrics and music that draws on people’s emotions. Read more about them here.

But another of Outcry’s featured singers, Kari Jobe, is also a popular musician being promoted in churches, especially to our youth. Jobe, out of seeker-sensitive NAR Robert Morris’ Gateway church, is known for popular songs like I Am Not Alone, and Love Came Down. She is also under the leadership of Gateway’s NAR Apostle and elder, Jack Hayford, author of the song Majesty, which teaches the heretical “Kingdom Now” theology. However, she is one of those who are teaching for shameful gain things she ought not to teach (Titus 1:11).

One of her most popular songs, Forever, published by Bethel Music (the same outfit that produced Jesus Culture), contains some really aberrant theology. Besides the fact that she’s a female pastor in a church, her theology alone should be enough to disqualify her as a teacher. Below is a sample of her lyrics:

One final breath He gave
As heaven looked away
The Son of God was laid in darkness
A battle in the grave
The war on death was waged
The power of hell forever broken

Then, In an interview about her song, Forever, she said,

My favorite part of the whole thing is … we talk about the death on the cross and we talk about the resurrection,but that time in between was when Jesus was in hell rendering hell. And ransacking hell. And defeating the enemy – taking those keys to death and hell and the grave to be victorious over that when he rose from the dead.

Of course, we can pick apart almost any song, even some of the best traditional hymns. But the serious error here is that she is teaching a heresy that strikes at the heart of Christian theology, which is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. She gets a pass, though, you know, because “artistic license and stuff.”

This idea that Jesus died and went to Hell stems from an old heresy that is prominent in Word of Faith circles that teach that Jesus died spiritually, and was “born again” after defeating Satan in Hell. Popular teachers of this false teaching are Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, and Creflo Dollar. Joyce Meyer writes in her book, The Most Important Decision You’ll Ever Make, the following:

Jesus paid on the cross and went to hell in my place. Then as God had promised, on the third day Jesus rose from the dead. The scene in the spirit realm went something like this: God rose up from his throne and said to demon powers tormenting the sinless son of God, “let him go.” Then the resurrection power of Almighty God went through hell and filled Jesus. On earth his grave where they had buried him was filled with light as the power of God filled his body. He was resurrected from the dead–the first born again man. (source)

And Kenneth Copeland similarly writes:

For three days He suffered everything there is to suffer. Some people don’t want to believe that. They want to believe that after His death, Jesus just stayed in that upper region of Sheol that the Bible calls paradise, but they’re mistaken! If He had simply stayed there, there would have been no price paid for sin. (source)

This flies right in the face of biblical truth that Christ’s death on the cross was victorious over sin. Jesus proclaimed victory in his final breath on the cross (John 19:28-30). Jesus had no need to go to Hell to finish any work, and he certainly did not die spiritually (John 17:4, Acts 2:31, Col 2:14, etc.).

But if denying the power of the cross isn’t enough to turn your head away from Kari Jobe’s music, perhaps her treatment of Jesus would be enough to make your stomach turn. Another popular song, The More I Seek You, she treats Jesus more like a lover than a savior.

The more I seek you,
The more I find you
The more I find you, the more I love you

I wanna sit at your feet
Drink from the cup in your hand.
Lay back against you and breathe, feel your heart beat
This love is so deep, it’s more than I can stand.
I melt in your peace, it’s overwhelming

Besides the theology in this song just being plain horrible, she displays a total lack of understanding of God’s love for us. God’s love for us is not an erotic (Greek: eros) love, but agape. Agape is a parental, sacrificial, unconditional love, whereas eros is a bodily, emotional kind of love. The lyrics in this song pervert the nature of God’s love.

I don’t see how anyone could worship our sovereign God to music like this, yet the eroticizing of God’s love for us is gaining steam. Hillsong’s Forever Reign is another popular song in evangelical churches that does this, while Ann Voskamp, a popular women’s bible study writer, and author, pushes the same foolishness in her book, 1000 Gifts. Voskamp writes, “I fly to Paris and discover how to make love to God.”

One of the Hallmarks of NAR worship is to use repetitive phrases and rhythmic cadences to draw people into a trance-like state, believing that by doing so, you can have intimacy with God. In reality, what it does is cause people to zone out, and not really think about what they are saying. Being under the influence of NAR Apostle, Jack Hayford, who has been instrumental in transforming the worship music scene, it comes as no surprise that her music incorporates this tactic. Jack Hayford claims direct, divine revelation from God, and says that while driving by a Catholic church, God directly told him not to judge them. He says God directly said to him,

Why would I not be happy with a place [Catholic Church] where every morning the testimony of the blood of my Son is raised from the altar?

Being that the Catholic Church worships a false Jesus, you can rest assured that Hayford did not hear that from God. Yet, this is a man influencing Kari Jobe, and many other modern worship music artists.

All of this and more is what the evangelical church is feeding its sheep. Wolves, snake oil salesmen, bad theology…and nobody bats an eye. Children are being sent off to church camps and “Christian” concerts to be fed goat’s milk through worship. Sadly, many truly love Jesus, and desire to worship him rightly, but have no idea that their music is leading them down a path of destruction. Music is tearing down doctrinal lines and creating unholy alliances at a faster pace than once thought possible. No longer do Evangelicals, Catholics, and other professing Christians have to stand against each other over “matters of secondary importance…like the Bible,” we can now unite around our new idol of worship music.

[Contributed by Jeff Maples]

Source: By Jeff maples, Popular Charismatic Worship Artist, Kari Jobe, Teaching Dangerous Theology, Pulpit And Pen, http://pulpitandpen.org/2016/05/04/kari-jobe-dangerous-theology/, Published 04/05/2016. (Accessed 04/05/2016.)

Conrad Mbewe: “Let’s revive the lost art of Christian polemics.”

The tragedy on today’s ecclesiastical landscape is the number of heretics who are thriving inside evangelicalism. They are having a field day and hardly anyone is raising a voice against them. Behind closed doors we all seem to agree that these “brethren” are spreading serious error. But as soon as the door opens and one of them walks in, suddenly, we seem to be unsure and would rather be silent for the sake of Christian love.

This begs the question, “How should we as Christians respond to the many wrong teachings that surround us, especially those serious heresies being propagated by people who are in the church?” This is an important question because we are living in days when the very nature of evangelical Christianity is being turned upside down. This is especially true because of those who are teaching what we call “the prosperity gospel” in its various shades. Many lives are being destroyed. The way of salvation is being confused. How should we respond to all this?

We should respond to this by deliberately engaging in Christian polemics. What does the word “polemics” mean? Polemics means a strong verbal or written rebuttal of someone else’s belief. It is an argument that disputes another person’s opinion and shows that it is not true. It is the opposite of apologetics, which is a strong verbal or written defence of one’s own belief in the light of the attacks of other people. In other words, polemics and apologetics are two sides of the same coin. An apologist begins with the truth under attack and seeks to defend it, while a polemist begins with an error being propagated and seeks to refute it.

Church leaders must be polemists

The Bible teaches that one of the responsibilities of a church elder is that of polemics. The apostle Paul said to Titus, “[An elder] must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9). Notice that it is not only the positive but also the negative. An elder must positively give instruction in sound doctrine but he must also negatively rebuke those who contradict sound doctrine.

Why is this important? The apostle Paul said that this must be done because “there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach” (Titus 1:10-11). If we keep quiet, heretical teachers will continue to upset the faith of many because of their personal quest for shameful gain. So, it is the responsibility of those who are in charge of Christ’s sheep to silence them.

That is what polemics is all about. At one time, it was taken for granted that Christian pastors and teachers would engage in polemics as part of their duty. Being politically correct was not a virtue in those days. Error needed to be vanquished. The great American theologian B.B. Warfield held the chair of Didactic and Polemic Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary from 1887 until his death in 1921. There was nothing extraordinary about that in those days.

Jesus the great polemist

The question is often asked, “How should we engage in polemics?” Thankfully, we have the example of the Lord Jesus Christ. Towards the end of his earthly ministry, Jesus spent some time refuting the teaching and lifestyle of the scribes and Pharisees. A whole chapter in the Gospel of Matthew is occupied with seven woes that Jesus issued to these men because they were leading many astray. Let us look at one section of it, Matthew 23:16–22, to learn how we can resurrect the lost art of polemics today by following Jesus’ own example. There are four lessons we learn from this…

Stating the wrong teaching

Jesus stated plainly what the wrong teaching was. What were the Pharisees and the scribes teaching? Jesus said, “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath’… And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath’” (Matthew 23:16, 18). What Jesus was opposed to was this clever way of telling lies or making false promises and getting away with it. Men were seeking to remain religious while they were inwardly ungodly. Jesus was not willing to let this go unchallenged. He pointed out that it was erroneous teaching. We too should not be afraid to point out the wrong teaching that is upsetting the faith of God’s people.

Using strong language

I will take a little longer on this because we are living in a day of political correctness that is turning even God’s servants into wimps. Jesus used very strong language when referring to these false teachers. He said to them, “Woe to you, blind guides…. You blind fools! …You blind men! (verses 16, 17, and 19). In the same chapter, he also called them “Hypocrites, children of hell, serpents, a brood of vipers…” (verse 13, 15, 33) and he likened them to “white-washed tombs” (verse 27). Let us admit that Jesus was using very strong language here. Such language is not politically correct. Gentlemen do not normally speak like this.

How should we explain this? First of all, this was not how Jesus spoke everyday. He was normally one who spoke with gentleness. However, it is evident that Jesus had been teaching true spirituality for about three years and these men were bent on resisting this and instead teaching error. This was Jesus now removing his gloves and telling it like it is. That is important. Sadly, there are some Christian teachers who seem to possess a perpetual split spleen and their entire ministry is full of nothing but vitriol, sarcastic contempt, and hurtful scorn. Hiding behind Jesus’ example here is to swallow an entire camel and strain a gnat.

Having said that, Pharisees and scribes were not Jesus’ sparring partners with whom he needed to be gentle so that they could keep coming back to give him a good sweat. They were enemies who were destroying souls. They were rejecting the truth and teaching error, leaving destruction in their wake. They were closing the door of heaven on other people and making them twice the children of hell as themselves (verse 15). It was crucial that Jesus shows something of his feelings about these teachers of heresy. Paul did the same thing when he said that those who were teaching another gospel should “go to hell” (Galatians 1:8, 9). In fact, elsewhere he calls them “dogs” (Philippians 3:2).

Jude was more scathing when he called such heretics hiding in the church as “…hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever” (Jude 1:12–13). All I am saying out of all these citations is that let’s not be shocked when strong language is used in polemics against heretics. Jesus and other inspired writers led the way in the use of strong language.

Appealing to logic and reasoning

The Lord Jesus Christ used logic and reasoning when showing the error of the scribes and Pharisees. He asked, “You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred?” and “You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred?” (verses 17 and 19). Jesus was essentially asking, “How on earth can you make the gold more important than the temple when it is the temple that makes it important? In the same way, how can you make a mere gift more important than the altar when its very value depends on the altar on which it lies?” His message was clear: The logic is faulty. You simply need to think to see through it.

Herein lies the power of polemics. It is not in simply stating the wrong teaching or using scathing remarks. It is in showing the absurdity of the doctrinal position taken by those who teach error. You see, human beings have brains that still function, especially when the grace of God has washed them from sin. Appeal to those brains. Heresy is irrational. Through logic we should show the absurdity of wrong teaching and win back those who are willing to think.

Giving the right teaching

The Lord Jesus Christ finally gave the right teaching to those who were listening to him. He said, “So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it. And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it” (verses 20–22). Jesus was stating the truth here. It was not enough to state what the wrong teaching was, or to use strong language to give a verbal slap to those who are dosing, or to argue logically and thus show the error of the false teachers. He needed to finally state what should be believed.

In the same way, one reason why error is thriving today is because we are too apologetic about the truth. We are living in a Post-modern age when there is no longer “true truth”. Thus, all we seem to be willing to do is question the correctness of others but not state unequivocally what the truth is. Our church members are thus left in doubt about the teaching of others but they do not know what to believe. We are telling them that they should not believe what others are teaching but then what should they believe instead? What is the truth?

A final appeal for polemics

O that we may follow the example of Jesus. I plead for the revival of polemical teaching and preaching today. We are living in a very dark day. It is very sad what is being propagated in many a Christian pulpit in the name of evangelicalism. I say this with love: Many of the followers of the prosperity gospel are not Christians at all. This movement has become a sordid moneymaking enterprise. It is full of scandals. Its advocates must be publicly rebuked. Souls need to be salvaged from them through following the example of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I close by saying, thieves love dogs but they love dogs that do not bark. If you have a dog that wags its tail when thieves come into your home to steal you had better sell it off quickly. God once described the prophets of Israel as silent dogs that cannot bark (Isaiah 56:10). Could he be saying the same things about us? Thieves have entered into the church. They are stealing from people’s pockets and destroying many lives. Are we barking at them or are we wagging our tails as they wreak havoc in the church? O that we may revive polemics again!

Source: http://www.conradmbewe.com/2016/05/lets-revive-lost-art-of-christian.html

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