Heresies Overtaking Churches Today, Pt 4
Did Jesus say His Kingdom was of this world? Didn’t He say that it was not of this world and if it was, His followers would fight tooth and nail for it? Yes, He actually had this brief conversation with Pontius Pilate. Here are His words in John 18:36.
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”
Seems pretty simple and very clear. Jesus said His kingdom is not of this world. He cannot be limited to earth. His kingdom is not of this particular dimension and when He returns, He will rule this earth for a paltry 1,000 years before He destroys this earth (and the heavens), replacing them with new ones.
In order to get passed passages like the one above, people have to interpret Scripture using various methods that are not literal. They decide to take Scripture allegorically or metaphorically in order to avoid the clear and plain sense of Scriptural meaning. This is what The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) does when they come to passages like this, if they aren’t simply ignoring them in the first place.
In today’s America, patriotism is often equated with Christianity, especially in the southern parts of America. In these areas, also known as the Bible belt, people who go to church on Sunday are automatically seen as Christians even though for many, going to church is simply part of their southern heritage. It means nothing to them, but it’s what they’ve always done. It’s how they were raised. In the south, men still open doors for women. They still say “ma’am” or “sir” as they address others. They’re generally polite and they value family.
In other words, it looks like these people are Christians simply because they go to church and are polite. It’s easy to misunderstand that as Christianity, when in point of fact, it can and often is simply cultural.
The NAR seeks to move people even further away from any connection with Christianity by shoving the Great Commission out of the way and replacing it with a form of socialized concern for people in society. Therefore, in this scenario, people who attend church (or not) and are seen actively helping people in society (the poor, the disenfranchised, etc.), and doing what they can to fight against the forces of globalism by wanting to “take back America” are seen as Christian, whether they are or are not.
This is our fourth article in this short series and if you haven’t seen the dangers of NAR, then I would encourage you to do more study about it. Here is a great resource that provides many articles that deal with the problem of NAR and its deceptive practices. I hope you will avail yourself of them.
But for those of you who agree that the problem of the NAR is manifold and appears to be gaining ground in the Christendom in general and possibly in your church, what can be done? Unfortunately, there really isn’t an easy solution. In fact, people who try to bring this or other subjects like this in the area of deception to the fore are often seen as “trouble makers.” The normal reaction to people like this is to push them out of that local body.
First, make an appointment with your pastor. Bring your concerns to him and as gently as possible, lay them out on the table. Second, be as specific as possible about those concerns and relate them to actual events or messages that he may have preached. The Bible tells us that if our brother offends us, we are obligated to go directly to that person in an attempt to straighten things out.
“If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector,” (Matthew 18:15-17).
Admittedly, this is very difficult for the average Christian to do. We don’t want to create waves. We want things to be smooth. We certainly don’t want to start tongues wagging. But we are talking about bad doctrine or theology. We are not talking about the fact that your pastor may or may not wear a tie and it drives you crazy. When error begins to creep into the church it needs to be dealt with and swiftly. Unfortunately today, there are too many who prefer to let nature take its course. There are also those who don’t want to upset the apple cart because of the way things have always been done.
I have attended several churches where people were “offended” at what I taught, but instead of coming directly to me, they went to an elder or deacon. That’s not what the Bible says, does it? Their reasoning is that they didn’t want to “upset” me. The problem though is that I’m getting the story second or third hand instead of directly from someone. This is exactly why Jesus said what He said. We all know how to play the child’s game, “Telephone” where people sit in a circle and the first person whispers something into the person’s ear next to them. That person then whispers what they think they heard into the ear of the next person and so on until it goes full circle and comes back to the first person. The difference in what was originally said and what was said to have been said is startling and usually humorous. Unfortunately, for a game, that’s fine, but in real life, people need to do things Scripturally.
If, after you’ve talked to the pastor, you get nowhere, you have several options. You can go to the elders of the church (deacons in some churches), or you can simply leave the church. Of course, you can also simply stay at that church and put up with it, depending upon how far into error the leaders are guiding that church.
There really is no easy solution to this mess and it is made worse when people’s feelings or personal beliefs are involved. Try telling someone who loves Beth Moore’s teachings that Moore espouses heretical theology and you’ll usually be met with anger. People have their sacred cows and they are generally loathe to give them up.
This will sound very sexist, but in reality, too many women judge good theology by how they feel about it. Most men simply don’t care because spiritual pursuits are not often at the top of their list. This of course leaves their wives to go it alone and try to wade through the various forms of heresy out there in order to find the truth. We know from the Bible that women are too often deceived because they go by how they feel about something. Eve was just such a woman who longed for the forbidden fruit because of the way it looked and how it appealed to her senses.
This is exactly why the apostle Paul emphatically stated that he did not allow women to teach men and he even stated the reasons for it, though those particular reasons are often ignored today, as being “cultural.”
12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control,” (1 Timothy 2:12-15).
Please note in verse 14, Paul states that the reason he did not allow women to teach men had everything to do with the fact that Eve was deceived in the Garden of Eden. It had nothing to do with level of intelligence or cultural norms of that day. It had to do with the fact that Paul is stating that women – in general – are more prone to being deceived. Beyond this, the man is the head of the home and as such, is responsible for the spirituality or lack of it in the home. It takes a very strong woman to allow her husband to lead her and their family. Eve was not able to do that. She successfully usurped Adam’s position as head of the home and this has been the desire of most women since then.
Beth Moore – though she generally teaches only to women (obeying Scripture there) – still teaches heresy in many forms. Men need to step up to the plate and take the lead in setting the tone in the home. Husbands and fathers need to point out the error to their wives and children, whether it’s from Beth Moore or others involved in the New Apostolic Reformation. It is not an easy thing to do. It takes men who are committed to God and their families and who are willing to be the leaders God has appointed them to be. It takes a desire to know God and His Word and follow it regardless of the cost.
Thanks for sticking with me on this topic. We’ll try to wrap this up next time (but no promises).