Friday, March 27, 2015

Dr David Jeremiah's shocking apostasy

A few days ago, a friend emailed me a link to an invitation and announcement of an event at Dr David Jeremiah's Shadow Mountain Church. I was saddened but not surprised. It was indicative of the grievous trajectory one displays when one begins to depart from the faith. But first, let's go back and do some groundwork.

Apostasy - the Lord prophesied a massive falling away from the faith during the tribulation, and a ramp-up preceding it. (2 Timothy 3:13, 1 Timothy 4:1). Apostasy, according to Theopedia, is

what one commits when they denounce, reject, or fall away from their faith (i.e. religion). A person who commits apostasy is called an apostate.

People reject Christ. They always have. They always will. This rejection comes in different flavors. It is the flat-out atheist who says there is no God, and that he, the atheist, doesn't sin. There is the Catholic-Buddhist-Hindu-Wicca-New Age-Muslim who claims to believe something, as long as it isn't Jesus, the blood, resurrection, personal sin or wrath for it.

And there there is the false Christian. This is a person who is a tare that is mixed in with the wheat. The person whose heart was thorny ground or rocky ground when the word was delivered, and seemed to have thrived for a while, but then faded away. (Luke 8:6-7). Some people fall away from the truth quickly, like Charles Templeton. Others, like Billy Graham, take a lifetime to reveal themselves. Either way, for the person who doesn't truly believe, no matter how hard they try to blend in, their sheep mask will someday slip and reveal the wolf.

It is the case with Dr David Jeremiah.

There are many detailed examples I could give. I won't. I'll give three. They should be enough to demonstrate that the pastor of Shadow Mountain church and narrator at Turning Point television and radio is no longer to be trusted.

1. TBN

Jeremiah regularly appears on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) alongside Paul Crouch (when he was alive) during their fall Praise-A-Thon. TBN is a broadcaster of heresy, an exporter of error, and a brood of vipers. Their prosperity Gospel, false claims of holiness healing, charismania, greed, and pure unadulterated contempt for the people watching is grievous. One look at their regular programming schedule from 2010 shows faithlessness at every hour. The schedule from today is equally bad.


Below is a screen shot from the November 2014 TBN Praise-A-Thon where Jeremiah is 'preaching' the sowing principle. Also known as 'sowing a seed,' in this still pic, Jeremiah was urging people to send money to TBN based on the sowing principle. He said that even God believes in the sowing principle, you know, He sent His Son to be sown into the world and now we are reaping the harvest.

At the crawl along the bottom of Jeremiah's 'sermon' was a promise that a donation of any kind will result in the donor being sent a bottle of "Psalm 45 perfume", fragrances from the bible bottled in an attractive container...and there were phone numbers along the top for people to call now. Gross.


At GotQuestions/Blogos we read of the seed sowing principle
A person wrote to GotQuestions about the doctrine of sowing a seed to reap a financial harvest. ... The central theme in seed faith giving is the money you give to spread the gospel God would multiply back to you thirty, sixty, and one-hundredfold.

TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) not only sponsors these false ministries but has unreservedly adopted the gospel of greed heresy. TBN is a major media portal to the world, responsible for sending the gospel of greed heresy to hundreds of millions of unsuspecting people, and taking what little money they have. The gospel of greed has become a means of livelihood for prosperity preachers who live lavish lifestyles while telling you to send money to get more money. Jan Crouch, in her soft sugary voice said on TBN, “God has a special blessing for the little women who have caught the vision of giving, even if only their grocery money.” While there are many Christians who see TBN and its association with the gospel of greed ministries as an abomination, many others (not well versed in the Bible) believe in the heresy and fall prey to its deception.
It is hard to find what was a bigger heretic than Paul Crouch (now dead). GotQuestions on Word of Faith movement that spawned this seed giving principle:
Word of Faith teaching is decidedly unbiblical. It is not a denomination and does not have a formal organization or hierarchy. Instead, it is a movement that is heavily influenced by a number of high-profile pastors and teachers such as Kenneth Hagin, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Paul and Jan Crouch, and Fred Price.
And not only is Jeremiah partnering with them, but is urging people to send money so the unbiblical heresies can continue being exported and the deception can be continued.

2. Roma Downey/Mark Burnett

Jeremiah was asked by the Downey/Burnett duo to write a companion book on Acts as a sequel to their miniseries titled "The Bible". The new tv show is called A.D. The Revolution Continues and will be broadcast on Easter. The married duo also produced The Son of God movie seen in theaters. You might remember Roma Downey in the long-running tv show Touched By An Angel. Pastor Justin Peters said that The Bible was so lacking in a Gospel presentation that it wasn't even accidentally given.

Below, Jeremiah and Downey/Burnett are at Shadow Mountain Church discussing the new tv show A.D. and Jeremiah's new companion book based on the biblical book of Acts. The interview was held on March 12, 2015 at the church.

From Shadow Mt. Church Facebook page

This is not surprising since Downey and Burnett aren't Christian. Downey says she is a devout Catholic and is also a mystic. She "sees God in everyone." and utters claptrap such as "The language of God is in the silence." She attained a Master's Degree from a New Age college in Spiritual Psychology. Her beliefs are not even close to being evangelical, born-again Christian. Further, she practices divination. She participated in a psychic show and allowed the medium to 'call up' her dead mother from the nether-realms and Downey talked with 'her'. This is divination and necromancy, part of a cadre of sorceries that God hates with a holy hatred. God said,

Thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of [the] nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord. (Deuteronomy 18:9)

If a person performs any of these sorceries, that person is detestable to God. That person is an abomination to God. And lest someone wrongly claim that the Deuteronomy verse is outdated just because it's Old Testament, sorceries are also forbidden in the New Testament. Revelation 18:23 and Galatians 5:19-21 strenuously forbid such practices.

Downey and Burnett have produced a tv show that twists the bible, presents another Jesus, fails to offer the Gospel, and they themselves have participated in New Age, direct revelation, mystical practices, and sorceries. Yet a supposedly astute and mature bible teacher such as Jeremiah has invited the duo to his pulpit and interviewed them in order to promote the next tv series, A.D. and by the way, his new book. In the interview Jeremiah flatly said that the duo creates shows that honor the word of God and doesn't pervert it. Justin Peters was astounded to hear Jeremiah say this. Peters remarked that Jeremiah is well-versed in the bible and he knows when it's being twisted. The only possible explanation for Jeremiah saying that "The Bible" mini-series honors God's words is that he is being deliberately dishonest. If you know Justin Peters, you know he never says anything lightly, and rarely if ever, does he ever say anything like that. he was truly shocked.

As for Jeremiah's partnership on TBN with the Crouches et al, and with Downey/Burnett et al, the bible says

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God... (2 Corinthians 14-16a).

John MacArthur explains what that verse means, and doesn't mean.
For believers there can be no compromise. We cannot engage ourselves with unbelievers in any spiritual enterprise. That’s the issue. “Do not be bound together with unbelievers.” That is he command that sets this text in motion. And it is an unmistakable call to believers to separate from unbelievers. No one could miss that that’s what it’s saying. The question is; what does it mean?

And as I said last time, it is essential to understand what it means, but first of all what it does not mean. Paul is not saying, cut off all contact with non-Christians. He’s not saying that because we have to reach them with the gospel. That is not the issue. He’s not saying don’t evangelize the unconverted; don’t confront people in false religions. He’s not saying that. We must do that.

Secondly, he is not calling for complete isolation on the part of the church. We are not to become isolationists. We are not to be monastics. We are not to go hide somewhere and pull apart from the world. Quite the contrary. We are to find unbelievers and love them and be their friend and set a model of spiritual example for them.

Furthermore, he is not saying you are to divorce your unsaved partner, or to sever all unsaved contacts. Or all contacts, I should say, with unsaved people in your family. He is also not saying that you can’t work or play or do business or be engaged in common earthly enterprise with unbelievers. He’s not saying that. Of course you can.

What he is saying is you cannot link up with unbelievers in religious causes or religious enterprises. You cannot go to their worship and become a part of it; you can’t make them a part of the kingdom of God. You can’t engage them in anything that involves ministry, teaching, or worship. Where there is ministry, teaching and worship there has to be absolute separation.
With Jeremiah, there is instead repeated partnership with darkness, evil, and error. He has no excuse.

3. Reading his own book from the pulpit

A friend who likes David Jeremiah was fully engaged in Jeremiah's recent series on Revelation. Knowing I enjoy studying prophecy, he urged me to tun in to the sermon series. I did. As the sermon opened I was assaulted by pounding music and slick graphics. Then Jeremiah began reading. I could not understand where he was reading from because the passage didn't sound like the Bible. I thought I must have missed something. I listened a bit more and then turned it off.

I tried again the next week, and I realized as I listened to Jeremiah read a lengthy passage, and I mean for 10 or 15 minutes, he was reading his own book, Agents of the Apocalypse.

I have a few things which are an immediate, instant determiner of my participation in or acceptance of an individual. When Rick Warren prayed in the name of Isa (a false God) at Obama's first inaugural, I immediately knew Warren was not a true Christian. I dismissed Warren from my mind then and there. When Billy Graham said that any person living in a jungle who never heard of Jesus or the bible is saved and going to heaven, I knew without a shadow of a doubt the man was false. And when Jeremiah read from the pulpit his own words instead of God's words, I knew he did not have the heart of a pastor nor did he have a transformed mind. How dare any person substitute or equalize man's words from the pulpit.

Can you picture the momentous scene in Nehemiah 8:1-2?
The public reading of the Scriptures was required by the law to be made every seventh year; but during the long period of the [Babylonian] captivity this excellent practice, with many others, had fallen into neglect, till revived, on this occasion. ~Jamiesen-Fausset -Brown Commentary
And all the people gathered as one man at the square which was in front of the Water Gate, and they asked Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses which the Lord had given to Israel. 2 Then Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly of men, women and all who could listen with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month. (Nehemiah 8:1-2)

How tremendous! The people are all gathered for the first time in generations, eager to hear the word of God. They were joyous in being able to celebrate His holy word and adopt His statutes. What if Ezra had ascended the stairs, opened the scroll, took a deep breath, and said, "Before I launch into a reading of the word, let's listen to an excerpt from a book I wrote on traveling mishaps on the way to and from Babylon. It's called "Agents of the Captivity," and it is on sale in the temple bookstore."

Ezra Reads the Book of the Law, David Martin, 1659
How dare he! Is there no gravitas? Is there no pastoral respect for the pulpit? Is there no submission in fear of God? Is there no place one can bask in unadulterated holy scripture and not be pressed into buying something associated with it? Worse, is this message from Dr Jeremiah:
On Easter Sunday, Turning Point Television will begin airing our new series, A.D. The Revolution That Changed the World. This teaching series is the “Scripture behind the story” of the dramatic NBC television event, A.D. The Bible Continues.
Gross. Hollywood overtakes Shadow Mountain.

I am indeed sad that many people who like Dr David Jeremiah will be grieved to read this news, myself included. However, the work of the Christian is to uphold the glory of Jesus, to warn of apostates, and to encourage each other in the Word. When a man alleging to be an undershepherd of the Lord hawks his book from the pulpit during Sunday service, presses the poor to sow a seed so TBN can continue promoting doctrines of devils, and when he pollutes his own stage with a necromancer, we must call a spade a spade and glorify the Lord by warning about Dr David Jeremiah.

Please take these things under consideration, and continue to pray for wisdom and discernment as more and more men and women are revealed who have fallen prey to satan. Pray for them, and pray for your fellow church members. We are sheep among wolves.

Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. (Matthew 10:16). As Jamieson Commentary says of the above verse,
Alone, the wisdom of the serpent is mere cunning, and the harmlessness of the dove little better than weakness: but in combination, the wisdom of the serpent would save them from unnecessary exposure to danger; the harmlessness of the dove, from sinful expedients to escape it. In the apostolic age of Christianity, how harmoniously were these qualities displayed! Instead of the fanatical thirst for martyrdom, to which a later age gave birth, there was a manly combination of unflinching zeal and calm discretion, before which nothing was able to stand.

Let us in this age do the same.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further Reading:

Tyndale House media release:
(Chicago, February 2015)— Tyndale House Publishers will partner with New York Times bestselling author and Bible teacher Dr. David Jeremiah to produce the companion books for NBC’s A.D. The Bible Continues television event, launching this Easter. A.D. The Bible Continues picks up where the smash-hit miniseries The Bible left off, continuing the greatest story ever told and exploring the exciting and inspiring events that followed the crucifixion of Christ as recorded in the Book of Acts.

Sunny Shell: History Channel's The Bible exalts man over God


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Passover Pesach 2015 Seder Rube Goldberg Machine from Technion in Israel

OK, this is fun... :)


Technion students get ready for Passover, the festival of freedom, and let their imagination run wild. Watch closely as this Rube Goldberg Machine created by students from the Faculties of Mechanical Engineering and Architecture and Town Planning relates highlights of the Passover story. Filmed in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in The Sydney & Shirley Gendel and Emanuel Friedberg Family Creative Design Student Laboratory, a Project of the American Technion Society, Cleveland Chapter




The power of the Resurrection vs. the Stupidity of Easter


I work as a teacher aide in a kindergarten. I was working in my small group, and they noticed that some new decorations had gone up. In the room I share there was a large chick coming out of an egg hanging on the door, and around the room were other eggs, in pastel colors and with some rabbits too. One girl asked about it and I said it's Easter decorations.

That got them talking about Easter and of course Easter egg hunts. They burbled and chatted.

Not my kids in kindergarten. This is an old picture I had taken
When's Easter anyway? asked a girl.
April 5th! answered a boy.
I asked "What is Easter about?"
They all explained "It's when you hide eggs with candy in them and hunt for them all around".
But what else is Easter for?
Again they explained that the "Easter Bunny comes and you find candy and eggs in a basket".
Anything else?
One girl explained, "When you go to church..."
Yes, yes? I eagerly leaned forward.
"...and you hunt for eggs and find candy."
But isn't it about Jesus?
The girl said, "Of course. He lays out the eggs."

The most beautifully decorated egg
pales in comparison to the beauty of Jesus
It's charming and sad all at once. Seeing the world through a child's eyes is always funny and they say unexpected things but they also have more truth in them than we like to think. To a kid life is all about getting to the next candy bonanza. To them, Easter is just another fairy tale that has fantastical, magical creatures like a rabbit that delivers candy and eggs in a basket filled with fake grass. Jesus doesn't figure into it at all or if He does it's messed up. We certainly give out mixed messages.

In his sermon, "The Power of the Resurrection", John MacArthur preached about the pagan mixture of Easter myths with the wonder and eternal glory of the Resurrection. He gave a good overview of the pagan origins of secular Easter celebrations and then he said,
While we laugh at that, we aren't laughing at the resurrection. We're laughing at the silliness of the world. But it really isn't funny, because it's another one of Satan's efforts to muddle the issue. If I just do one thing this morning, I'd like to separate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the stupidity of Easter.
I never liked Easter Egg hunts. This was because I never found any eggs. Even as a kid I didn't enjoy competitions, I was slow and ungainly, I didn't quite understand the point, and there were always lots of bullies intent in shoving you down to get that egg first. I left a grass-stained mess with bruises, hurt feelings and an empty basket.
In fact, the term Easter is not a Christian term at all. It is the name of the ancient Anglo-Saxon goddess of light, Estre, and you might be interested to know that Easter celebrations predate Christianity. ~MacArthur
I did enjoy the wonderful Easter baskets my parents left by the fireplace. They always held crinkly grass, chocolate, and pretty little jelly beans and more. They were always both artful and bountiful.
The egg is both, in ancient times, a symbol of fertility and a symbol of the sun because, of course, of the color of the yolk; and so eggs were used in ancient fertility rites as symbols offered to the gods and goddesses, and they were used in worship of the sun as sort of small emblems of the sun. ~MacArthur
I enjoyed dyeing the eggs too, a lot. There was always a new dress to wear, with hat and gloves, for Easter. It was the one time per year (maybe two) we attended a church. The point of the day was the dinner afterwards.
I wondered this week how the rabbits got into the scene...since rabbits really have nothing to do with eggs...and so I checked out some resources, and I found that in ancient Egypt, the rabbit is the symbol of birth, for obvious reasons if you've ever had rabbits...and the Egyptians used the rabbit as a symbol of birth, and also other ancient people considered rabbits the symbol of the moon; and since rabbits in Egyptian society were symbols of fertility and birth, and they were connected with spring when things came alive. ~MacArthur
Me, all dolled up for Easter

Yes, Easter the holiday has a mix of pagan rituals and myths. I am not a huge fan of churches holding Easter Egg Hunts. I'm not a fan of trunk or treat at Halloween either. However, the outreach possibilities at both holiday times are tremendous. Ministering to our neighbors with love,service, tracts, bibles, conversation, is a wonderful way to bring the Gospel to the world. So usually I leave it to Christian liberty and don't stress about differing views.

GotQuestions discusses this in an essay about the Easter Bunny:
Should Christian parents allow their children to participate in traditional activities that refer to the Easter Bunny? This is a question both parents and church leaders struggle with. There is nothing essentially evil about the Easter Bunny, unless it is used to promote the goddess of spring or fertility rites. What is important is our focus. If our focus is on Christ and not the Easter Bunny, our children will understand that, like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny is merely a symbol. As with Christmas, Easter should be a time to reflect upon and celebrate the incarnation, the resurrection and the risen Christ.
Yes, it's all about Jesus. The crinkly grass, baskets, egg hunts, dyed eggs, ham dinners, and Easter outfits aside, the power of the resurrection is a wondrous event to contemplate. We take a special day to praise our Father for His power and His love in resurrecting His son.
So it is from the resurrection to the close of the New Testament, the theme is always that He rose from the dead. We must not be fooled by Satan's efforts to hide the resurrection in the foolishness of the world... ~MacArthur
I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. (Revelation 1:17b-18)

So...hunt for eggs if you must. But look for Christ.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Jehoram and Dorcas: A tale of two deaths


Jehoram:

He was thirty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. And he departed with no one’s regret. They buried him in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings. (2 Chronicles 21:20)

Left, The Royal Sceptre of Boris III of Bulgaria

Dorcas:

Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. In those days she became ill and died, and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, urging him, “Please come to us without delay.” So Peter rose and went with them. And when he arrived, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing tunics and other garments that Dorcas made while she was with them. (Acts 9:36-39)

In the first case, a sinful king. He served satan, and practiced wickedness. He was still a man, however, and yet not one person lamented his passing. Not even his wife. He was a king, touching the lives of each and every person in his kingdom. His influence was the largest a man's could be, and yet not one person in an entire kingdom or beyond mourned his death. He was not regretted.

In the second case, a woman. Her sphere of influence was small because of her gender. Her reach was especially small because she served widows, nearly the lowest of the low in terms of cultural power. At her death, relatives are not mentioned, it would seem that it was her friends the widows who washed her and laid her in the upper room. And yet, she was beloved. Usually the ritual was to immediately rub the body with spices and lay the death cloths on and bury immediately. Yet these women did not. They loved Dorcas so greatly they sought a different way.

They sent men to find Peter. They did not want to let her go. Dorcas' life was regretted. They lamented and cried and presented her works to Peter. One can visualize wringing of hands and weeping and wailing of many. Dorcas was loved and lamented.

Dorcas: “who with her needle embroidered her name ineffaceably into the beneficence of the world.”~Unknown

Why was Jehoram immediately forgotten and Dorcas never forgotten? I cannot say definitively or exclusively, but one reason surely must be that Dorcas was in Christ, and Jehoram was in Satan. The verse says that Dorcas was "a certain disciple" so she was a believer. She must have been beautiful in Christ, bearing the fruit of His love and grace and joy and peace, all the while serving tangibly with her needle.

Who can say what influence a loving submissive disciple of Christ will have for His kingdom? Jehoram was given Christ's kingdom (Judah) and he served satan with it. (2 Chronicles 21:6). Dorcas was given Christ's kingdom and served Jesus with it. Both have everlasting eternal consequences but both have earthly consequences too.

As for the eternal consequences of their deaths, Jehoram's life was snuffed out and the spiritual repercussions were zero. It seems that nobody was the better for Jehoram having lived. As for Dorcas, she was raised bodily from the dead but the effect of that was many were saved. They were raised from the dead, too! Their spiritual deaths were now over and many became alive in Christ! The effect of that was Peter stayed and nurtured the new church in Joppa, personally discipling many converts. What an eternal effect Dorcas had on the lives of the people there, personally and spiritually!

The question is, what kind of death would you have? Or me? Would my own death be unlamented? Unremarked? Or would it cause distress and weeping? The key is serving, and the fruit we bear. Dorcas served the people in Christ's name. Jehoram expected to be served, and was one of satan's. Dorcas served with her needle. Jehoram expected to be served with his scepter. Dorcas loved Christ and thus she loved her neighbors. And they noticed. Boy, did they notice. Jehoram loved satan and thus he hated his neighbors. And they noticed. Boy, did they notice.

And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15)

Love, serve, produce fruit. It will have an eternal effect.



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Good News: Baptist Press reports LifeWay pulls all heaven tourism books



Quote from Phil Johnson [Exec. Director of: gty.org & works with John MacArthur]:
"Only four authors in all the bible were blessed with visions of heaven and wrote about what they saw: the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel, and the apostles Paul and John. Two other biblical figures—Micaiah and Stephen—got glimpses of heaven, but what they saw is merely mentioned, not described (2 Chronicles 18:18; Acts 7:55).
As pastor John MacArthur points out, all of these were prophetic visions, not near-death experiences. Not one person raised from the dead in the old & new testaments ever recorded for us what he or she experienced in heaven. That includes Lazarus, who spent four days in the grave. Paul was caught up into heaven in an experience so vivid he said he didn't know whether he went there bodily or not, but he saw things that are unlawful to utter, so he gave no details. He covered the whole incident in just three verses (2 Corinthians 12:2-4).
All three biblical writers who saw heaven and described their visions give comparatively sparse details, but they agree perfectly (Isaiah 6:1-4; Ezekiel 1 and 10; Revelation 4-6). They don't agree with the Burpo-Malarkey vision of heaven. Both their intonation and the details they highlight are markedly different. The biblical authors are all fixated on God's glory, which defines and illuminates everything there. They are overwhelmed, chagrined, petrified, and put to silence by the sheer majesty of God's holiness. Notably missing from all the biblical accounts are the frivolous features and juvenile attractions that seem to dominate every account of heaven currently on the bestseller lists."

Thankfully and gratefully and finally, Baptist Press reports today,

LifeWay pulls 'heaven visitation resources'
LifeWay Christian Resources has stopped selling all "experiential testimonies about heaven" following consideration of a 2014 Southern Baptist Convention resolution on "the sufficiency of Scripture regarding the afterlife."

...
Though LifeWay "was not mentioned in the SBC resolution affirming the sufficiency of biblical revelation and affirming the truth about heaven and hell," King told BP in an interview, "the resolution was approved overwhelmingly and was considered during our process."

The resolution, adopted by messengers to the SBC annual meeting in June, warned Christians not to allow "the numerous books and movies purporting to explain or describe the afterlife experience" to "become their source and basis for an understanding of the afterlife."

The resolution did not list specific book or movie titles, but it seemed to describe works like "90 Minutes in Heaven," "The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven" by Kevin and Alex Malarkey and "Heaven Is for Real" by Todd Burpo along with its companion movie released last year by Sony Pictures.
The resolution affirmed "the sufficiency of biblical revelation over subjective experiential explanations to guide one's understanding of the truth about heaven and hell."

...

In January, LifeWay announced it would stop selling "The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven" after coauthor Alex Malarkey admitted that he lied about having a vision of heaven as a 6-year-old. See related BP story. At the time, King said LifeWay was "committed to becoming even more proactive in the next few months in evaluating the resources we carry."
end excerpts


Now if we can just get them to pull Beth Moore...

--------------------------------

Further Reading

The Burpo-Malarkey Doctrine

Heaven is for Real, But are the Modern Day Claims of “There and Back Againers” in Line with the Bible?

Video, Justin Peters, Why The Heaven Tourist Reports Contradict Scripture (Part One)


Monday, March 23, 2015

I was not saved by a loving Jesus wooing me

I wasn't saved by love. The Gospel was not attractive to me. It was not made attractive to me by smiling Christians. I was saved by wrath.

This is NOT my Jesus
Glorious Jesus who was and is and is to come did not woo me to the cross. No one fulfilled my felt needs. No one befriended me and cajoled me into loving Jesus. He battered my head with a 2X4, dragging me kicking and screaming to the cross, where He made me face my sin. Once I saw my sin, I saw His coming wrath for it.

I repented.

THEN I loved Him. After He opened my eyes I saw all His loveliness and grace and mercy and long-suffering and patience and grief over sin and sinners. But I was not wooed, nor was I loved onto Mt Moriah. It is not true that "Jesus won't come where He isn't welcome". It is not true that "Jesus won't force Himself on anybody." He is sovereign God! He goes where He pleases! (Psalm 24:1). He drop kicked Saul/Paul to the ground AND blinded him! He didn't ASK Mary if she'd like to become pregnant and an object of ridicule and rumor the rest of her life. No, He sent an angel to TELL her how it was going to be. (Luke 1:30-37)

He isn't wringing His hands in heaven hoping that Jane or Tom or Mary will believe in Him, and maybe they will, if he just sends the Spirit to soften the pew cushions ... or energizes the preacher with a louder "WOO!" ... or if the musician plays one more verse of "Just As I Am." Maybe if He can make church "exciting" then Harry will repent and believe. No.

It was the sovereign wrath that convicted me and convinced me. It is why I love passages like this.

The Judgment at Christ’s Coming
The Great Day of His Wrath, John Martin ~1853

This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. (2 Thessalonians 1:5-10)

Let us begin the marveling now. Marvel at a Savior who saves by His sovereign election, will, purpose, and plan! Marvel at He who is wrath and judgment and holiness and fierce anger! Be afeared of His anger over your sin. Marvel that El Shaddai... El Elyon ...sent His Son to take on all anger for sin. Marvel that He is also Jehovah Rapha, and Jehovah Jireh, the LORD that heals, the LORD will provide. Marvel at the wrath. It makes marveling at the grace all the more sweet.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Street preaching today

On Twitter, Chuck O'Neal ‏@ChuckONeal_ said this morning,
While preaching the Gospel to the crowd in front..this man slipped in behind to listen. #SneakyGospelListenersWelcome


What a beautiful photo. A man the Lord has raised up, preaching the Good News fearlessly to a hostile and dying world. But one man is drawn by God to hear His words of everlasting life. Again, a praise. Will the seeds planted by the word fall on hard ground? Thorny ground? Soft ground?

Meanwhile we don't know where the wind blow. So we preach His Good News everywhere.
The Spirit knows.

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. (John 3:8)

Is street preaching an effective evangelism method?
Street preaching, or preaching openly in a public area, has been a method used throughout the history of Christianity for the purpose of evangelizing people who would not typically enter a church. Ever since the apostle Peter preached in the streets of Jerusalem in Acts 2, Christians have used this method to lead many to faith in Christ. Despite the long-standing tradition of street preaching throughout church history, some believe that the practice should no longer be used. They have a variety of reasons for their opinion...
And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. (Luke 14:23)


Harken An engraving, ca. 1740, of George Whitefield
preaching in the Americas. Photo: Granger, NYC / The Granger Collection. Source
George Whitefield:
In 1739, Whitefield set out for a preaching tour of the American colonies. Whitefield selected Philadelphia—the most cosmopolitan city in the New World—as his first American stop. But even the largest churches could not hold the 8,000 who came to see him, so he took them outdoors. Every stop along Whitefield's trip was marked by record audiences, often exceeding the population of the towns in which he preached. Whitefield was often surprised at how crowds "so scattered abroad, can be gathered at so short a warning."

The crowds were also aggressive in spirit. As one account tells it, crowds "elbowed, shoved, and trampled over themselves to hear of 'divine things' from the famed Whitefield."

Once Whitefield started speaking, however, the frenzied mobs were spellbound. "Even in London," Whitefield remarked, "I never observed so profound a silence."

When he returned to London, he found many churches closed to his unconventional methods. He then experimented with outdoor, extemporaneous preaching, where no document or wooden pulpit stood between him and his audience.

The Gospel is always unwelcome, sometimes by those inside churches hearing it from pulpits, usually outside in the world by passersby to whom the message of Life is the aroma of death. No matter. For the one person who is later converted by the words, it will be eternally welcome.