False Teachers and Prophets, Part 8

December 10, 2020 at 1:39 PM 8 comments

In part seven of this series, we highlighted the error of anti-trinitarianism; those who do not believe that God is 3 in 1, equal in Personhood though separate beings. We pointed out that the “Oneness” doctrine believes that there is one God, who appears in different modes (also known as modalism); God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, but never do these Persons exist at the same time.

In this article, let’s look at a couple op areas that crept into the church or Christendom; the issue of abortion and the watering down of the Gospel.

In Genesis 9, God told Noah that anyone who sheds the blood of another (to death), his own blood would be spilled (to death) because ultimately, striking another person in murder is tantamount to striking out at God since human beings were created in His image, unlike the animals or plants or even spiritual beings. Human beings are the only ones created in the image of God. While this does NOT mean we are “gods,” it DOES mean that we are higher than the animals, the plants and all spiritual beings (angels).

A friend of mine sent me a link to an article posted on the Christian Post’s website titled, “We are pro-life evangelicals for Biden.” Clearly, there is a problem immediately if these folks are in fact, 1) pro-life and 2) evangelicals.

Signers include Richard Foster, Billy Graham’s granddaughter, Ronald J. Sider, president emeritus of Evangelicals for Social Action, Richard J. Mouw, former president of Fuller Theological Seminary, and many others who assert that while they disagree with Joe Biden’s philosophy regarding abortion, they state “that a biblically shaped commitment to the sanctity of human life compels us to a consistent ethic of life that affirms the sanctity of human life from beginning to end.” This is a smoke screen that they believe allows them to vote for Biden, while still trying to maintain their “sanctity of life” position. That type of “reasoning” doesn’t wash.

The article goes onto explain how these “evangelicals” ultimately arrive to the point where they can support a candidate for this nation’s highest office while that same candidate goes against the very fabric of being pro-life. Like many in that camp, it’s all hocus pocus, reimagining the meaning of words in order to justify a position that is dangerously opposed to the truth of God’s Word.

In the case of these “pro-life evangelicals” who have come out against Donald J. Trump and for Joe Biden, it really doesn’t matter what they say because it’s all noise. It’s all in an effort to make their untenable positions against Trump tenable. Trump is anti-abortion. Biden is pro-abortion.

While the Left states that there are many aspects of being “pro-life” they believe government has failed at, these reasons have nothing to do with Donald J. Trump. They have to do with two things; 1) the bureaucracy of most governments, and 2) the views of these “evangelicals” that lean heavily toward socialism. Joe Biden has proved himself to be a moderate to extreme Leftist. His running mate Harris, is even more left-leaning. These people want socialism that ultimately leads to communism.

Not only is this the antithesis of the United States Constitution, but to push for socialistic policies is actually advocating sedition/treason against the Constitution, especially since they took an oath of office to support that Constitution. True support of the Constitution would have nothing to do with socialism, yet more and more people are running for office (or are already IN office) who want more than anything to pull the US down. They have lied by taking their oath. They are lying now because they oppose the Constitution.

If you had a pastor who promised to uphold your church’s statement of beliefs, but then began to move the church away from those particular views and beliefs, members would have something to say about it and in most cases, the church membership might even call an emergency meeting to vote to remove that particular pastor. This same thing is done in the political realm through recalls and voting.

People who call themselves pro-life and evangelical but are willing to vote for a candidate who is pro-abortion are deliberately ignorant of God’s Word. They are actively working against the truth of Scripture that has been clearly revealed by God. They try to twist God’s Word any way they want to justify their position. In the end, they fail miserably and critical thinking people see them for who they are and learn to avoid them.

Shifting slightly from the political arena to the religious one, do we have Christian leaders who are advocating positions that go against God and His Word? We already know that we do as we’ve pointed out in this series.

Much of it stems from a desire to please people; to receive accolades from the public. This happens most when certain ministries become so huge that the money flows in. To continue the stream of income, it becomes important to not offend people because offended people stop giving their money and take it somewhere else.

Ultimately this is seen in how these Christian leaders handle God’s Word. Too often, they end up watering down the Gospel, which they believe makes things much more palatable for the average person. These Christian leaders hold things back by sugar-coating words so that more people hear the message.

Left on its downward spiral, eventually what is preached is a paucity of truth, more resembling great speeches given by coaches to their teams at halftime. That’s great if it’s a sporting event but when it comes to the life and death decision of what to do with Jesus, far more is needed. Too many though are willing to reduce the Gospel to some form of simplistic rhetoric that has no real power to change anyone.

Unfortunately, Greg Laurie seems to be one of these leaders. He’s been touted as the next “Billy Graham,” but in reality, Bill Graham patterned much of his approach to presenting the Gospel using methods created by Charles Finney. Jesus never did that. In fact, time and time again, Jesus told people what they could not really comprehend and did not necessarily want to hear. Re-read the third chapter of the Gospel of John and pay careful attention to the discussion that Jesus has with Nicodemus. It must have been a bit brutal for Nicodemus to hear what Jesus was saying and it is also clear that he was unable to process some of what he heard. Nonetheless, Jesus did not soft-soap it. He didn’t try to dumb or water it down to please Nicodemus who may have had itching ears. Jesus presented the Gospel in its truth and in its entirety and let the chips fall where they fell.

Phil Johnson (associated with MacArthur’s “Grace to You”) says this about Greg Laurie: “Greg Laurie’s current associations are representative of his theological drift, and that his “doctrinal boundaries are so hazy that there’s hardly any variety of popular religion or spiritual chicanery that he won’t align himself with, as long as it calls itself ‘Christian,’ and gains a large following.” [1]

Proof of Laurie’s moving away from solid biblical truth is the fact that he was involved in The Gathering (2016), which was essentially an interfaith assembly designed to unite all believers regardless of denominational affiliation. The problem though is that there are many denominations I’ll have nothing to do with because of the lack of unity on some of the more basic truths of Christianity. We must choose wisely and we can only do so when we know and understand God’s Word.

The Gathering is filled with many popular names that are accepted in mainstream evangelical circles. Most of these compromised celebrities will speak a little bit of truth mixed with error. They are the bridge between true Christianity and blatantly false Christianity. They are the seducers, who deceive even the elect if that were possible (Matthew 24:24). They are the ones that many sincere but undiscerning followers of Christ will be drawn away by because their books and materials are promoted in their churches.

Many popular names like former Southern Baptist President, Ronnie Floyd, Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Billy Graham, former ERLC president, Richard Land, the wildly popular Benham Brothers, NAR Apostle Samuel Rodriguez, Word of Faith pastor of Gateway Church, Robert Morris, and other compromisers such as Jack Graham, James Robison, Kay Arthur and Priscilla Shirer….and Greg Laurie. [2]

Of those named above, I honestly cannot fellowship with any of them. While that may sound arrogant, I assure you it is not because Christians are called to be separate from the world and when Christian leaders are acting like those in the world and doing everything they can to court the world, it is our obligation to separate ourselves from them. This is not to be done in hate (of the person), but in total disagreement over the doctrinal positions that many of these people take.

So why does someone like Greg Laurie associate with people who hold to doctrines that are unbiblical?

There are two possibilities here. Either Greg Laurie is so undiscerning that he has no idea that this event is filled with false teachers, Gospel-compromisers, and self-promoting charlatans or he is well aware of their works and sees nothing wrong with them. [3]

In this day and age, it is of the utmost importance that Christians understand what they believe and why. It is also equally important to distance ourselves from people who teach things that are opposed to the plain meaning of Scripture. It seems that way too many leaders within Christendom are doing all they can not to expose error, but to hide their own error by making people think they are gracious in their teaching to attract people to them.

We have an obligation and it is to avoid error and mark those (to avoid), who teach it. If the Bible is not routinely and daily studied, we will never get to this point.

[1] https://pulpitandpen.org/2016/09/01/greg-lauries-continuing-slide-into-apostasy/

[2] Ibid

{3] Ibid

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8 Comments

  • 1. Lynn Holzinger  |  December 14, 2020 at 11:56 AM

    I am really struggling to keep up. My pastor puts most of the things you talk about in a secondary category and wouldn’t associate it with false teaching. He says as long as you stay biblically true to the essential doctrines of the faith…salvation by grace through faith alone, and who God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are, then everything else falls under interpretive differences. And he would caution us about assigning motives to anyone. I haven’t asked him where he would put abortion or homosexuality, as our church has taken a decisive stance on both. I have many “interpretive differences” with our church, and if I listen to his reasoning, then I would stop calling out much of the error I see. I am really torn as to what needs to be called out and what might just be an interpretive difference. I need to do a study on what the biblical writers say about what constitutes false teaching. I know there is a lot! Because interpretive differences probably shouldn’t be called out as error or false teaching. If people are being saved through a particular teacher, then shouldn’t we say the same thing Paul said about those who were proclaiming Christ out of selfish ambition, “What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice, yes, and I will rejoice” (Phil 1:18).I always enjoy your writing and am glad it leads me to think and study God’s Word.

    Like

    • 2. modres  |  December 14, 2020 at 1:06 PM

      Hi Lynn,

      I understand where your pastor is coming from, but I’d like to respectfully state that I disagree with him here. That’s simply my OPINION and as such, feel free to disregard it.

      Your pastor has filtered things down to only a very few of what he calls “essentials,” but in reality, everything that the Bible teaches is essential. Yes, Christians need to agree on who Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Father are and their respective roles in salvation, as well as the fact that we are saved by faith alone and not of works, etc. But there are other areas that are also extremely important. The ones your pastor refers to as essentials are, in my opinion, the STARTING point, but not the end of it. If that was the case, there’s really no real purpose for the rest of the Bible except as historical narrative.

      Many leaders within Christendom – again, in my opinion – do not realize that everything within Christianity (theology/doctrine) are essential. Yes, there are certain areas that provide some wiggle room, but they are still essential. I believe this is why Paul says we should work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). He’s of course not talking about working FOR our salvation, but “working out” the details of it in our daily lives.

      Question: I’m wondering how often or if at all your pastor preaches on End Times/Last Days events? This is indicative of how important he views these things. Prophetic events takes up about 33% of the Bible and many of those events have not been fulfilled yet. Are they essential to know and understand? I believe so because they help determine our daily outlook and keep us focused on Jesus and His return.

      If we look at Scripture, Paul points out the fact (not opinion) that as we move toward the Tribulation, a wandering from the truth of Scripture will occur (2 Thess 2). Moreover, a deliberate abandoning of God and His truth will be part of that (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

      Interpretive disagreements are one thing and people should be allowed to hold to them to a point. Yet, look how many times Paul warned both Timothy and Titus in those epistles about adhering to correct doctrine (Titus 2)

      What we have going on within Christendom today is a literal falling away that is leading to and introducing a ton of error within too many churches. It has actually come to the point where people are willing to worship together with people who are “religious” but aren’t necessarily Christians in an attempt to create and maintain outward unity. This is what motivates groups like Promise Keepers and other ecumenical programs and groups to invite people together in worship.

      I think people like Richard Foster, Ronald J. Sider, Richard J. Mouw and Brian McLaren, Rick Warren and many others like them are going well beyond “interpretive differences” and they are leading people astray from the truth of Scripture.

      You wrote: “If people are being saved through a particular teacher, then shouldn’t we say the same thing Paul said about those who were proclaiming Christ out of selfish ambition, “What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice, yes, and I will rejoice” (Phil 1:18)

      In my opinion, Paul was acknowledging that God could and did sometimes bring people to salvific knowledge even through false teachers and preachers because His Word does not return to Him void. But Paul also said the following:

      Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.” Romans 16:17 NKJV

      And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed…” (2 Thessalonians 3:14-15)

      These are strong words and Paul is referring to the whole body of doctrine that he taught the churches. Paul dealt with a lot of false teachers who often attempted to disrupt his ministry and would end up chasing him from one place to another. Most of these were “Judaizers” who wanted Gentile Christians to follow Jewish rules. This would’ve meant going back under the Law and moving away from grace. Paul fiercely opposed this and the teachers who espoused it.

      Today, we have something else happening, where the grace of our Lord is cheapened to a great extent. Peter deals with this as well in his epistles. More and more Christian leaders are advocating things that are not good, right or healthy for Christians to be involved in.

      A divisive person is someone who argues over the “jot and tittle” and ends up throwing out the true doctrines of the faith. Usually, they do this to gain recognition and importance.

      I believe that there were some people who were likely actually saved under the “ministry” of Charles Finney, yet it is clear to me that he himself may not have actually been an authentic Christian because his theology was so far off from the truth. Moreover, it also appears from history that many to most of the people who claimed to have become Christians showed absolutely no change in their life months later.

      Finney was much more of a philosopher than a student of theology. As a lawyer, he was an exceptional orator who captivated audiences. Bear in mind, in his day, there was no TV or other external sources of entertainment really. This is why traveling salesmen were often so enamored because of the promises they made and the newness of their approach. People believed what they were told and bought it without thinking.

      Finney manipulated his audiences much the way so-called faith healers and false teachers do today, using great emotion, antics and fervor to impress listeners of their authority and knowledge. Studies have shown that people will often fall for something if their emotions become involved in a positive way that makes them “feel” that what they are seeing or hearing is true.

      I personally believe that this is why so many Christian leaders garner such praise, adoration and followers today. It happens because they have learned how to be attractively charismatic (in the non-tongues sense). People are attracted to that type of person and too often, critical thinking goes out the door. I also believe people who start out on the right track theologically can easily become sidetracked once they get a taste of having hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers buying their books and attending their churches.

      There are several pastors of mega-churches I can think of right now who are absolute heretics. While they SAY the right words about Jesus, etc., they are literally white-washed sepulchers because they actually MEAN something else with those words. They twist things to the point that it is difficult to see where truth stops and lies begin because by the time they get to these things, people’s emotions are invested in that particular speaker.

      Your willingness to search the Scriptures is admirable and I’m quite certain that God will illuminate your path. It may take time, but I believe God will be faithful.

      Regarding “assigning motives to others,” I don’t believe I’m doing this nor do I believe Paul and other writers of the New Testament did that either. Paul focused on calling out error and yes, he named names at times because it was important enough for him to warn others about a specific false teacher so that people could avoid that individual.

      Christians are called to be separatists in a very real sense. We are not to separate from the people in this world (because as Paul says, we would have to be taken out of this world). We are to separate from people who do not accurately teach the Bible. It may be as obvious as someone who adds works to grace or it may be something so subtle that it’s difficult to recognize at first.

      Ultimately, what I’m tending to see in society is a growing ecumenical movement that will ultimately lead to a one-world religion that coincides with and complements the coming one-world government. Too many Christians are trying to get along with false teachers and the world and it cannot be done. When that happens, that “leaven” soaks through and compromises the churches involved. This is why over and over again throughout Scriptures, we are warned to remain pure (of the leaven in this world). We must remain unspotted.

      How can we do this if we are hobnobbing with the world? I hope I haven’t droned on too much, but I wanted to provide an in-depth answer to you. If I haven’t made myself clear, please let me know.

      Thank you for your compliment on my articles. I’m glad that it is throwing you back on God’s Word, as it should.

      Thanks Lynn.

      Like

  • 3. Maranatha Today  |  December 10, 2020 at 2:50 PM

    “Much of it stems from a desire to please people; to receive accolades from the public. This happens most when certain ministries become so huge that the money flows in. To continue the stream of income, it becomes important to not offend people because offended people stop giving their money and take it somewhere else.”

    I also believe the ego kicks in and they want to be seen “hanging out” with other big names too. Selfish ambition is rife in the Body of Christ and it is is causing many to compromise…John MacArthur was called out sometime last year about this and he said – and I paraphrase – “if I don’t hang out with these people, then I will be alone.” Hopefully he’s changed his mind about this as he’s found himself standing mostly alone trying to keep the church doors open in Cali and has given some very good sermons recently – though he did by way of video take part in a conference which included a prominent NAR “profit” which Jack Hibbs recently held and was called out by Servus Christi on YT about it. This is a very serious problem in the Body at this time where prominent leaders are compromising like never before in the hope to stay relevant!

    Selfish ambition is what’s driving Fauci by the way…

    “Of those named above, I honestly cannot fellowship with any of them. While that may sound arrogant, I assure you it is not because Christians are called to be separate from the world and when Christian leaders are acting like those in the world and doing everything they can to court the world, it is our obligation to separate ourselves from them.”

    Amen! Blessings Modres…

    Like

    • 4. modres  |  December 10, 2020 at 4:03 PM

      I agree with you. MacArthur is an interesting guy. I recall all the way back in Bible college, we were warned that we should really watch what he taught. On one hand, he can be biblically based, while on the other, he leaves some questions as to what he actually does believe in certain circumstances.

      I think of my same Bible college which then would not even consider hiring someone to teach who was Covenant or Reformed. Now? Not a big deal at all.

      Too many Christian leaders are on a very slippery slope and leading others the same way. If it’s not NAR, it’s something else. Almost too much to keep track of these days.

      Like

    • 5. NW Rambler (@iamgregk)  |  December 20, 2020 at 4:19 PM

      “Servus Christi on YT”. Same guy?
      The Pretrib Rapture Deception: A False Hope

      Like

      • 6. modres  |  December 20, 2020 at 8:24 PM

        Thx Greg – I’ll check it out.

        Like

  • 7. NW Rambler (@iamgregk)  |  December 10, 2020 at 2:08 PM

    Sorry to hear of Greg Laurie. Used to go to his church sporadically in town when I lived in CA.

    Like

    • 8. modres  |  December 10, 2020 at 4:04 PM

      It just seems to happen with many to most of these people. For that reason, I’m glad I’m not in their shoes.

      Like


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