We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Why Is There Death & Suffering? — Tract Booklet

This tract booklet is put out by the Answers in Genesis ministry, and they describe it here.
I have 37 copies of this booklet left over from our book table street ministry.  I would love to pass these on to someone who could find a good use for them.

As I have been doing with the books, I’m asking for you to email me with your request with your address; or you can post a comment which will be moderated and not published.  The first notice which arrives in my email inbox (which includes comments and emails) will be the “winner” of these booklets.  

I have some others I will be going through and sorting out, so if you missed these you can standby for more!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2016 EMNR Conference

Back in May last year we attended a conference in Palatine, IL, put on by the Evangelical Ministries to New Religions.  Not long after the conference I posted a couple articles summing up classes we attended and had intended to write more.  As you may have noticed, I never got back to it because I lost my notes!

Well now, all the plenary sessions and workshops from that EMNR conference are available on YouTube!  The links to these are listed below.  When it comes to the workshops, I’m only linking to the ones we attended but you can review all of them if you choose.  It cost us $65, an overnight at a motel, and gasoline to get there and back — but you can have it all for free!

Plenary sessions:
#1 His Story & My Story — Eric Pement

#3  Adam, Eve and the Trinity — Jay Hess

#4  Is There a Mind in Mindfulness? — Marcia Montenegro

#5  Burning Down the Embassy — Don Veinot

Workshops we attended (some are audio only):

Bill McKeever:  The LDS Gospel Topic Essays

Some good stuff to learn.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Insipid Songs

What is it with church music leaders that they have to dig up every insipid song that makes people feel good?  Ah, but they give a lot of action for the band!

Look at this one I heard for the first time yesterday:

It's All About Jesus
by Henry Seeley

It's all about Jesus
It's all about the way he changed our lives
It's all about Jesus
The power of his blood can't be denied
It's all about Jesus
It's all about the covenant he made
It's all about Jesus
Victorious he rose up from the grave

We lift our hearts to him
He is the reason that we sing
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
We praise your name

It's all about Jesus
It's all about the way he set us free
It's all about Jesus
Bearing all our sins at Calvary
It's all about Jesus
It's all about the gift of love he gave
It's all about Jesus
The precious lamb of God was slain

We lift our hearts to him
He is the reason that we sing
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
We praise your name
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
We praise your name
We lift our hearts to him
He is the reason that we sing
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
We praise your name
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
We praise your name
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
We praise your name
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
We praise your name

The lyrics were okay, but a bit trite.  The problem was the ad nauseum repetition.

It was followed by this one:

Nobody Fills My Heart Like Jesus
by Dennis Jernigan

I'd like to say, Lord, from the start
Thank You for breaking through my heart
Thank You for tearing ev'ry chain apart
When I was lost You made a way
You turned the darkest night into day
You are my joy and Lord I'd like to say that

Nobody fills my heart like Jesus
Nobody thrills me like You do
O, nobody fills my heart like Jesus
Nobody, Lord, but You
Nobody but You

When I am weak, my Lord, You're strong
Loving me even when I'm wrong
Lord, You are my salvation and my song
Everyday I'll make the choice
Just listening, following Your voice
Being with You I can't help but rejoice

Nobody fills my heart like Jesus
Nobody thrills me like You do
O, nobody fills my heart like Jesus
Nobody, Lord, but You
Nobody but You

Now, the way we sung it was to sing the first verse, then bring the tempo up with lots of band (especially drum) and start over again.  Then we had to repeat the chorus twice at the end.

This song is something one would expect to find in a VBS or Sunday School class rather than for a worship service.  I find it to be very juvenile, apparently designed to just manufacture emotions and give something for the band to show off with.

Fortunately the other song we used, although modern, was quite good:

When Trials Come
by Keith & Kristyn Getty

“When trials come no longer fear
For in the pain our God draws near
To fire a faith worth more than gold
And there His faithfulness is told 
And there His faithfulness is told

Within the night I know Your peace 
The breath of God brings strength to me 
And new each morning mercy flows
As treasures of the darkness grow 
As treasures of the darkness grow

I turn to Wisdom not my own
For every battle You have known
My confidence will rest in You
Your love endures Your ways are good
Your love endures Your ways are good

When I am weary with the cost
I see the triumph of the cross
So in its shadow I shall run
Till He completes the work begun
Till He completes the work begun

One day all things will be made new
I’ll see the hope You called me to
And in your kingdom paved with gold
I’ll praise your faithfulness of old
I’ll praise your faithfulness of old”

We really need to remember that songs we sing in church are teaching us.  How great it would be if song leaders would always use meat instead of pap.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Contemplative Prayer is NOT for the Christian

Too many describe the Christian life as tepid, while mustering up nothing more that a lukewarm enthusiasm for Christ.  Many feel God hasn’t come through for them and won’t until they do something.  Again we try to control God by making something happen and by earning points with Him.  We desire an experience, and since God isn’t doing anything, we initiate it ourselves.  Rather than giving up control and letting God do the work in our lives, we come up with man-centered, man-prompted ideas and methods.  Brennan Manning calls it “grabbing a holt of God.”

Are we unwilling to completely let go and let God?  Then we will never find that true, lasting satisfaction in our Christian lives.  All the meditations, all the self-help Christian books, all the lighting of candles are not going to make any lasting difference.

Contemplative spirituality is nothing more than an attempt to fill that void with a man-made solution.  In essence, they are attempting to build a spiritual tower of Babel.  And as with all things man-made, it pales in comparison to what God can do.

If contemplative prayer or other Eastern practices were sanctioned or blessed by the God of the Bible, why are there no stories of any Hindus or Buddhists coming to Christ by these methods?  Instead, we hear of Christians receiving revelations during contemplative prayer that all paths lead to God and that God is in all.  If those revelations were true, this would make the Cross unnecessary and, in effect, null and void.

Brian Flynn, Running Against the Wind, pg. 176-177

Friday, January 13, 2017

It is Becoming More Difficult to Find a Good Church

When the majority of church-going Christians are not taught biblical truth month after month and year after year, they become prey to false teachings.  It is only by feeding on God’s Word on a continual basis that we are protected from deception.  Interestingly, most of the mail I receive comes from the laity.  Much of the time, it is not pastors who are concerned and looking for answers—it is church members.  Disturbed by the direction of their churches, these concerned members are challenging leadership, though they are often discouraged by their pastors from saying anything.  The are told that they are overreacting.  If they persist they are made to feel like agitators or troublemakers, made to feel unwelcome and eventually asked to leave.  Many of those people write me, asking the same question: “Where do I go now?  Where is there a church that will teach the Word of God every week?”  With tens of thousands of churches adopting the new church mentality, that is becoming a hard question to answer.

Brian Flynn, Running Against the Wind, pg.211

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Random Things Needing Discernment

This is an example of the corrupting influence false teachers have on our young people.  Another report explains how this is polluting the Church at large.

Are we heading for a one-world religion of Roman Catholicism—Islam?  The Pope seems to be calling for a one-world government.

The Southern Baptist Convention is more and more proving to be a liberal agenda movement, a group in apostasy.

Beware of the Word of Faith heresy.

Watch out for the “desert fathers” and the modern mystics — their teaching is not biblical.

The World Race and Adventures in Missions is a cultic, false-teaching organization which I’ve never seen reported on by any site, ministry, etc, except for this one.  Because of that, I will periodically continue to highlight some of their articles so that there is at least one more site raising the red flags!

John Crowder is someone I’ve not reported on much, but he really, really needs to be avoided.  This guy is definitely off the wall.

Be careful and discerning when hearing tales about missionaries’ stories of people raising from the dead, etc.  I’ve never seen any evidence support such tales.

Beware of contending for miracles — it is nothing more than hopelessness.

The Episcopal Church/Anglican Church community gets more apostate daily.

They call themselves a Christian assembly and yet have a lesbian couple as co-pastors leading them.  Solid blasphemy against the name of Christ.

A good article about discernment with the false teaching about “Spiritual Formation.”

A great cartoon about Joel Osteen!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Roman Catholicism: Idolatry and Bondage

Indulgences, those things made up by the Roman Catholic Church to fill their coffers and/or for continuing to scare their followers with the invented place called “Purgatory,” are being offered by the Pope to those who celebrate the anniversary of the demonic apparition pretending to be Mary at Fatima, Portugal.

Here are the three ways you can get rewarded by the Pope:

You an make a pilgrimage to the shrine at Fatima and participate in the occultic celebration and rituals.

You can pray before any statue of “Our Lady of Fatima” — bow before and pray to an idol, as well as doing the same rituals.

If you are elderly and infirm, you can pray in front of a statue of Our Lady of Fatima and must spiritually unite themselves to the jubilee celebrations on the days of the apparitions, the 13th of each month, between May and October 2017.  They also must “offer to merciful God with confidence, through Mary, their prayers and sufferings or the sacrifices they make in their own lives.  In other words, practice idolatry.

It is really sad how Roman Catholics are in bondage to such a made up religion which requires works for salvation, including the practice of idolatry paying homage to statues.

Suppose you want to leave Romanism: Mike Gendron received a letter from a woman who asked to be dropped from RCC membership.  Here is the response from her bishop (as posted on Proclaiming the Gospel email on 1 January 2017):

"In truth and charity, my response is to advise you against breaking full communion with the Catholic Church which was founded byJesus Christ the Son of God. If a person, with full knowledge and deliberate consent, breaks full communion with the Church that Jesus Christ established as His one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church, that act would be a mortal sin which cuts him or her off from the life of grace, thus endangering the person's immortal soul. The Catholic Church also teaches that baptism cannot be reversed or 'undone,' thus once a person is baptized he or she remains a Christian for eternity. It is my duty to inform you that you will always have the opportunity of reconciliation through repentance and absolution in the Sacrament of Penance, even until your last breath on earth. This is the charity that the ministers of the Catholic Church will always extend to you. There is no longer any "formal defection from the Catholic Church" according to its law, therefore, the Church's law does not afford me or any other bishop the option of granting your request. Sacramental registers are records of actual events that have occurred. They are the property of the parish church. No information contained in them can be removed, erased, or willingly destroyed, because they are records of ministerial actions that have occurred. " 
Sincerely yours in Christ our Lord, 
Most Reverend John O. Barres, Bishop of Allentown, PA

Do you see the unbiblical threats of loss of salvation?!?!  What a horrible organization!!!

The RCC is NOT the Church Christ founded, rather it is an apostate and heretical organization founded by men so as to keep people under their control by using fear and threats.  If you are a Roman Catholic, you need to leave the RCC.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Lies of Pornography

Several years back I was counseling a young Christian man who was struggling with a habit of viewing pornography on-line.  During this time, on a Christian site which exposes the horrors of pornography, I saw a short article about a video titled “Somebody’s Daughter.”  It seemed like a good resource to discuss with the young man so I ordered it.

The video is essentially testimonies by those who had been trapped in the habit of viewing porn (I will not call it an “addiction” — that is a lie from the pit of hell; it is really just a lack of self-control).  I offered it to the young man for viewing but he wasn’t interested, and so it has sat on my counseling shelf since that time.

I’ve been cleaning out unused material and passing it on so as to clear my shelves, and my wife and I sat down to watch “Somebody’s Daughter” to see if it was necessary to keep on the shelf.  I’ve decided to not keep it (I gave it to our pastor for his personal counseling library), but there is something from the booklet enclosed with the DVD that I decided to copy out for reference — as well as for sharing with those who follow this blog.  It is a list titled, “25 Lies of Pornography.”  The list has a link showing the origination, but that link is now dead.  However, the organization it came from does still have a list of 10 lies, with explanations.  While I think this list is good, I disagree with the psychobabble the site promotes, including the idea of sexual “addiction.”

So what has this to do with Christian apologetics? Well, it has been shown through research that Christians are almost as involved with viewing porn as are non-believers, and some even teach that it is okay!!!!  Heretic Word of Faith “pastrix” Paula White and her husband have advocated that married couples should use porn!

Over two years ago Tim Challies wrote an article demonstrating the problems with porn and why Christians need to stop looking at it.  Another article worth reading demonstrates how “Churchgoing Christians who support same-sex marriage are more likely to think pornography, cohabitation, hook-ups, adultery, polyamory, and abortion are acceptable. And it’s reasonable to expect continued change in more permissive directions.”

So, again, what has this to do with apologetics?  Everything.  The Bible in no uncertain terms declares sexual immorality to be a serious sin.  Jesus said that even looking at a woman lustfully was committing adultery in one’s heart.  Yet we have Christians indulging in than which which leads to sexual lust as it depicts people in every form of sexual immorality.  As noted, there are even Christians who deny that it is wrong!  So I want to share with you the 25 Lies of Pornography as printed the booklet accompanying “Somebody’s Daughter.”  (If you need explanations as to why these are lies, feel free to ask — but I think my readers can figure it out.)

1.  Pornography is just another form of entertainment.

2.  Pornography is normal.

3.  Pornography won’t hurt me.

4.  Pornography won’t affect my behavior.

5.  Pornography won’t hurt my family.

6.  Pornography will satisfy.

7.  Pornography won’t lead to more dangerous activities.

8.  A little pornography is alright.

9.  I can stop whenever I want to (Or — I can’t stop.)

10.  I can keep this a secret and no one will know.

11.  My small purchase is not supporting the problem.

12.  All guys do a little pornography.

13.  Women are less than human.

14.  Women are a sport (magazine swim suit issues).

15.  Women are property.

16.  A woman’s value depends on the attractiveness of her body.

17.  Women enjoy being physically overpowered and being treated violently during sex (rape).

18.  Women should be degraded.

19.  Young children enjoy having sex.

20.  Illegal sex is fun.

21.  Prostitution is glamorous.

22.  Sex has no consequences (pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases.)

23.  I could never tell anyone about my struggle with pornography.

24.  Pornography is an unpardonable sin.

25.  God hates those who struggle with pornography.

If you know anyone struggling with the habit of viewing pornography, let them know there is hope in Christ, and that the Holy Spirit can lead them away from it.  Do not accept lies from those who say God is okay with pornography in any form!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

I Know Whom I Have Believed

I know not why God's wondrous grace 
to me he hath made known, 
nor why, unworthy, Christ in love 
redeemed me for his own. 

I know not how this saving faith 
to me he did impart, 
nor how believing in his word 
wrought peace within my heart. 

I know not how the Spirit moves, 
convincing us of sin, 
revealing Jesus through the word, 
creating faith in him. 

I know not what of good or ill
May be reserved for me,
Of weary ways or golden days,
Before His face I see.

I know not when my Lord may come, 
at night or noonday fair, 
nor if I walk the vale with him, 
or meet him in the air. 

But I know whom I have believed, 
and am persuaded that he is able 
to keep that which I've committed 
unto him against that day. 

by Daniel W. Whittle, 1883

Friday, January 6, 2017

Be Willing to Say "No"

Christianity cannot and does not exist without boundaries. Being a Christian in any biblical sense requires that we not only say yes to many things, but that we also are willing to say no to a number of beliefs and behaviors.

Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck, Why We’re Not Emergent, pg.118.