95 Theses To The Modern Evangelical Church

​(​Greg Gordon​)​

I have revised many of these and also all of them are of a size that will fit on twitter and facebook easily to re-post. Pray about sharing these with others and sharing each theses individually. I believe many need to hear these truths and they are shared in the humility of my weakness and lack in my own Christian Life. May God in His mercy come and revive North American Christianity for His glory alone. “May the Lamb of God receive the reward of His sufferings in our lives today!”  – Greg Gordon (founder of SermonIndex.net)

1. The “church” at large has forgotten that the chief end of man is to glorify God. (Rom 16:27; 1Cor 6:20; Mt 6:9; 1Cor 10:31)

2. Christians ignore most of the methods, practices and principles found in the book of Acts. (Acts 2:42,44; Acts 2:46; Acts 2:38)

3. Many treat “church” like any other social club or sports event that they might attend. (Acts 2:46; Heb 10:25; Acts 1:14)

4. We’ve made Christianity about the individual rather than the community of believers. (Rom 12:5; 1Cor 12:12; 2Tim 4:16)

5. In most “churches” the priesthood of all believers isn’t acknowledged as the role of pastor is abused. (1Pt 2:9; 1Cor 12:12; Eph 4:11-13)

6. The “church” as a whole has lost the concept of their being grafted into the promises given to Israel. (Rom 11:15, 17-18, 20, 25)

7. There needs to be a recovery of teaching the whole counsel of God, especially in expository form. (Acts 20:27; 1Tim 4:6, 2Tim 2:15)

8. We take it too lightly, the blessing and honor of having God’s Scriptures in our possession. (Ps 119:16; Acts 13:44; Neh 8:9)

9. There has never been more access to the Word of God, yet so little reading of it. (1Tim 4:13; Neh 8:1-3; Ps 119:59)

10. Some read the Scriptures to attain knowledge, but do not practice what they read. (Jam 1:22; Mt 7:21; 3Jn 4)

11. Worship has become an idol in many “churches”. The music often resembles the world. (Amos 5:23; Phil 4:8; 1Jn 5:21)

12. The world is shaping the views of the “church” more than the “church” shaping the world. (Rom 12:2; Mt 5:13; 1Cor 1:22-23)

13. The “church” spends more money on dog food than on missions. (2Cor 9:6; Lk 21:2; Acts 4:34-35)

14. We take lightly the cost of discipleship laid out by Jesus Christ and do not deny our lives. (Lk 14:33; Lk 14:26-27; Mt 8:19-20)

15. There is a lack of true discipleship and making others to be obedient disciples. (Mt 28:20; 2Tim 2:2; 2Tim 2:14)

16. Many subscribe to the error that parts of life are to be spiritual while others are to be secular. (1Pt 4:2; Col 3:3; 1Jn 2:6)

17. Modern Christians often find Jesus’ command to sacrifice and serve abhorrent. (Phil 2:21; Jam 3:16; Rom 12:1-2)

18. Self disciplines in the Christian life such as fasting and praying are considered legalistic. (2Tim 2:21; 2Tim 1:8; Mt 6:17)

19. Little thought and contemplation is put towards the lostness of men, the seriousness of the Gospel. (Phil 3:8; Gal 2:20; Heb 10:34)

20. We are living with an epidemic of cheap grace with flippant confession and shallow consecration. (Lk 14:28-30; Lk 14:26; Jam 4:8)

21. Since the inception of the Church, the Gospel had the requirements of repentance and discipleship. (Acts 2:38; Lk 14:26; Jn 8:31)

22. Now forgiveness is offered without repentance, discipleship without obedience, salvation without sanctity. (Heb 10:29; 4:11; Lk 13:24)

23. Introspection, counting the cost, godly sorrow over sin, are all foreign to many in the “church”. (Acts 2:37; Ps 119:9; Heb 6:1-2)

24. The modern church loves itself more than its neighbor. (1Cor 3:3; Gal 5:13; Phil 2:3)

25. The church must repent of its idolization of personality, and business principles. (2Cor 2:17; 1Cor 3:5; 1Cor 12:23)

26. Many elders and pastors of the “church” sadly are fleecing the flock to supply their own wants. (Jn 10:12-13; 1Pt 5:2-3; Rev 2:15)

27. The qualities most in demand in today’s pastorate are frequently foreign to the Scriptures. (1Tim 3:2-3; 1Tim 3:5; 1Tim 1:5-7)

28. The professionalization of the pastorate is a sin and needs to be repented of. (2Cor 11:13; Gal 3:1; Gal 2:6)

29. There must be repentance for the ambitious desire and idolization of the celebrity pastorate. (3Jn 9; Jer 17:5; 1Cor 12:22)

30. Pastors must trust the Spirit, not statistics. (2Sam 24:1; 1Cor 1:25; Rom 8:14)

31. Modern day prophets are being stoned by criticism and neglect. (2Tim 4:3-4; Gal 1:10; Jer 1:7-8)

32. God’s prophets are ill-treated and shunned by most “christians” considered too harsh or extreme. (Jer 6:10; Isa 6:9-10; Gal 4:16)

33. The prophets prophesy falsely, priests rule by their own power; and my people love to have it so. (Mt 24:4, 11-12; 1Cor 1:19, Jude 8 )

34. There are many false gospels being preached from pulpits in our day. (2Cor 11:4; Gal 1:8-9; Jude 16)

35. There is an epidemic of a “mock” salvation message. It is correct in doctrine, but false in reality. (2Cor 3:6; 1Jn 5:11-12; Rom 8:9)

36. A salvation that does not make men holy is trusted in by a deceived many. (Jude 4; Rom 8:1; Rom 6:17-18)

37. There is a needed perseverance in the truths of the Gospel without unbelief. (Eph 1:1; Heb 6:11-12; Heb 10:26-27)

38. A great need is to see “christians” become saints in actual experience. (1Jn 2:29; Col 3:5-8; Tit 3:8)

39. Many professors of religion are forbidding people to be a part of the holy body of Christ. (Mt 23:13; Ps 119:1-2; 2Pt 1:3-4)

40. Preaching has become all about the happiness of man and not the glory of God. (Jn 6:26; Rom 4:20; 1Pt 4:11)

41. Preachers give smooth words to entice men, yet very few give any words of correction or rebuke. (Jer 6:14; Pro 1:23; 1Tim 5:20)

42. Run from gospels that focus on your success and prosperity in name of Jesus Christ. (Jn 2:16; Acts 20:33; Jer 6:13)

43. Run from gospels that focus on self-improvement. (1Tim 6:5; Heb 12:14; Jam 4:14)

44. Run from churches where men, and not Christ, are glorified. (Col 1:18; Jude 25; Jn 16:14)

45. Run from churches where there is no Bible, no cross, no mention of the blood of Christ. (1Pt 1:18-19; Eph 3:13; Rev 1:5)

46. Run from churches where the worship leaves you cold, where there’s no sense of God’s presence. (1Cor 5:4; Ps 80:14-15; Jer 12:11)

47. Run from churches where you’re comfortable in your sin. (1Cor 14:25; Heb 10:30-31; Heb 4:13)

48. Run from churches that use the pulpit of God for a personal agenda. (Jude 10-11,19; 3Jn 9)

49. Run from those who preach division between races and cultures. (Jam 2:4, Gal 3:28, Rev 5:9)

50. Run from ungodly, spasmodic movements and endless empty prophesying. (Jer 5:13; 1Cor 14:33, 1Jn 2:16)

51. Run from preachers who tell mostly stories and jokes. (Eph 5:4; Tit 1:8; 2:12)

52. Run from those that are only after money, who use one gimmick after another to get your money. (2Pt 2:3; 2Cor 12:14; 1Cor 9:18)

53. The phrase “accept Jesus as your personal Saviour” is not found in the Scriptures. (Rom 10:9-10; Col 1:13; Acts 26:20)

54. Evidence of true conversion does not seem important to modern day Christians. (1Jn 2:6; 1Jn 4:17; Mt 7:20)

55. Thousands of sinners think of God as having only one attribute: Love! But continue in sin. (Rom 1:18; Acts 5:11; Ps 2:12)

56. “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life!” has hindered true evangelism. (Rom 3:19; Acts 26:18; Phil 3:18-21)

57. A Gospel of love and grace only, without the law of God being preached. This is a doctrine of Satan. (2Tim 4:3-4; Rom 2:4-5; 3:19)

58. There has clearly arisen a careless mixture of 20th century reasoning with God’s revelation. (Col 2:8; Rom 1:25; Gal 1:6)

59. Decisionism and the “sinner’s prayer” has been a major cause of false conversions in the “church”. (2Pt 2:1-2; Eph 2:4-5; 2Cor 5:17-18)

60. Many will be surprised to hear Jesus say, “I never knew you, depart from me.” (Mt 7:22-23; 1Cor 6:9-10; Gal 5:19-21)

61. Men have taken the place of the Holy Spirit in confirming men in their supposed salvation. (1Jn 2:3-5; 2Ths 1:8; Gal 6:12-15)

62. The doctrine of hell and eternal suffering is something little grasped by most professing “christians”. (Mt 13:42; Jam 5:1; Ps 9:17)

63. The judgment seat of Christ is perhaps one of the most neglected topics in the modern pulpit. (2Cor 5:10; Rom 14:10; 1Cor 3:13)

64. The second coming of Christ needs to be re-instated as the church’s general thrust and burden. (1Jn 3:2-3; Col 3:4-6; 1Ths 4:14-17)

65. The church has lost the fear of God and has over emphasized the love of God. (Heb 12:28-29; Lk 12:5; Heb 10:31)

66. The church has left evangelism to a few trained professionals. (Acts 8:1,4; Acts 4:29; Rom 10:14)

67. Repentance is considered a one-time act in modern evangelism rather than a way of life. (Rev 3:19; Heb 12:17; 2Pt 3:9)

68. The Lordship of Jesus Christ is something that is not taught in many pulpits. (Acts 2:36; 1Cor 12:3; Rom 6:18)

69. Many in “churches” are not open to correction, church discipline or rebuke. (1Cor 5:5; 1Cor 11:31-32; Heb 12:7-9)

70. Some preach salvation as a theory instead of persuading men to come to Christ. (Jn 5:40; Col 1:28; 2Cor 4:5)

71. There has been a loss of the fullness and majesty of the gospel. (1Tim 1:11; Jude 25; Rom 15:29)

72. There is little mention of sin or the depravity of man from “church” pulpits. (Jn 3:20; Gal 5:19-21; Eph 5:5)

73. Covetousness, consumerism, and coddling of the world’s goods does not appear wrong. (Jer 22:17; 1Jn 2:15-16; 1Tim 3:3)

74. Little is made of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in churches or in evangelism. (1Cor 15:14-15; Acts 4:10, 33)

75. The “church” has relied more on technology than God. (Zech 4:6; 1Cor 1:21; 2:4)

76. The prayer meeting is considered one of the least important meetings in the “church”. (1Tim 2:1; Acts 4:31; Phil 4:6)

77. Pastors have never prayed less than they do in the “church” today. (Jer 10:21; Phil 2:21; Eph 6:18-19)

78. Very few are waiting on God for His direction and purpose for His Church. (Eph 1:11; Ps 37:7; Isa 40:31)

79. The “church” has many organizers, but few agonizers. (Phil 3:18-19; Rom 9:1-3; Jer 9:1)

80. We need to have the gifts of the Spirit restored again to the “church”. (2Tim 4:2; 1Cor 14:39; 1Cor 12:31)

81. A serious, sober, self-controlled Christianity is very seldom found or preached. (2Pt 3:11; 1Pt 4:7; Jude 3)

82. The “church” at large has forgotten how to pray. (1Jn 3:22; Acts 6:4; 1Ths 5:17)

83. Many “churches” are more dependent on tradition than the leading of the Holy Spirit. (Mk 7:13; Acts 16:6; Acts 13:2)

84. Multitudes of professors preach and teach: that you cannot be freed from sin. (Rom 16:18; Rom 6:1-2; 2Pt 2:1)

85. The Apostles and Christ always preached the possibility to walk free from sin. (Tit 2:11-12; 1Pt 1:14-16; Rom 6:19)

86. Sinners are not saved to sin, but rather, saved to holiness and good works. (Rom 6:13; Eph 2:10; 2Pt 3:14)

87. Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner. (2Tim 2:19; 1Pt 4:17-18; 2Tim 3:12)

88. A baptism of holiness, a demonstration of godly living is the crying need of our day. (1Tim 6:3; 2Ths 3:6; 2Ths 2:13)

89. Many are confused about obedience, and good works that are readily mentioned in the Scriptures. (Tit 3:8; Jn 10:32; Rev 3:15)

90. Little emphasis is put on the plan of God to make us like Jesus Christ in “churches”. (1Pt 1:14-16; 1Jn 2:6; 1Pt 4:1)

91. Christ did not die on the cross to obtain a worldly “church” but for a “glorious Church.” (Eph 5:27; Tit 2:14; Col 4:12)

92. Christ does not come into an unregenerate and impure heart as many contemporary theologians say. (2Cor 5:17; Mt 5:8; Eze 18:31)

93. A holy Church is God’s blessing to the world; an unholy “church” is God’s judgment upon the world. (Mt 5:14,16; Eph 4:1; 1Ths 2:12)

94. If Christianity is to make any headway in the present time, it must be proved to be more than a theory. (2Ths 3:6-7; 1Ths 4:1,11-12)

95. Unbelief has gagged and bound us as risen Lazarus, we need release in this final hour! (Heb 3:12-14; 1Cor 3:21-23; Heb 11:6)

Nazarene Strange Fire

“These are more or less people whose experience is unsatisfactory, who have never been sanctified wholly, or have lost the precious work out of their hearts, who will run after the hope of exceptional or marvelous things, to their own further undoing. People who have the precious, satisfactory experience of Christ revealed in the heart by the Holy Spirit, do not hanker after strange fire, nor run after every suppositional gift, nor are they blown about by every wind of doctrine. There is rest only in the old paths where the Holy Spirit Himself imparts to the soul directly the witness of His cleansing and indwelling.” (Phineas Bresee)

The Church of the Nazarene has drifted off course in so many ways, it is hard to keep up with everything. The many articles on my blog documenting the heresies being promoted in the denomination and in its colleges perhaps don’t even touch the scope of what is happening. The shameful scandal that led to the closing of Nazarene Publishing House, even as leaders at the top are still avoiding a full accounting, is another black mark on a denomination that used to preach holiness and also lived it. Many of us are stunned with disbelief as to why more and more church leaders are leading the flock down the Roman Catholic road hand in hand with Rome, when we know that it is an apostate religion. Biblical reading is being replaced with study books written by heretics and with mindless “silence” and other mystical experiences. The “old paths” of God are being abandoned for the foolishness of man’s way.

Now, only a few churches here and there bravely preach real biblical holiness while resisting the pressure to conform to the emergents and the mystical wannabees searching for an “experience” as proof of God’s work. Pastors and laymen who believe in scriptural inerrancy and the Genesis account of creation are now looked on as odd people, or perhaps as irrational fools, while revisionists lie and claim that John Wesley and Phineas Bresee would support their false ideas now. Such lies in part have led to our new video project.

In the Summer of 2014, several videos were recorded and produced for the purpose of exposing the false signs and wonders movement. Speakers included Jacob Prasch, Sandy Simpson, John Haller, Tim Wirth, and Manny Silva. Those videos are now completed and are posted on YouTube for all Christians to view and download and share with others. Links to the videos are at the end of this post.

Here, I bring your attention to one of these videos, which particularly addresses yet another problem within the Church of the Nazarene. The video is titled “Nazarene Strange Fire” and the speakers are Tim Wirth and myself. Subjects covered include: Dan Bohi and Rob McCorkle’s Fire School, Dan Bohi’s association with false teachers such as Bill Johnson and Roland and Heidi Baker, the deliberate misuse of Phineas Bresee’s statements on Pentecostalism to promote false signs and wonders, and examples of how people are deceived to trust in some kind of “experience” instead of trusting the word of God. The video concludes with Manny relating an account of his own father’s witnessing of a true sign and wonder, giving credit to God and not man.

To any Nazarene who is concerned about the state of the denomination, please forward this to as many Nazarenes as possible. Many more Nazarenes need to know how serious this has become, and that they must become aware of these things, and that they must warn others about the apostasy that is spreading within the house of God.

Here is the video “Nazarene Strange Fire” (50 min):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=c63CuxW7jlo

Additional Videos in the series:

Lying Signs And Wonders (Jacob Prasch and Sandy Simpson) 1:26

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QroxPYRyRoI

The Stream Of Ecumenism (John Haller and Tim Wirth) 1:22

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJQyd3LKwlQ

Testing Music In The Church (Sandy Simpson and Tim Wirth) 57 min

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEo4K2tsxew

Holy Ghost Movie Exposé (Sandy Simpson and Tim Wirth) 1:35

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y74naogLrxk

Johanna Michaelson on the occult influence in Christianity (1:20)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zsev0CrPwqU

Additional References:

Rev. Ilidio Silva:

http://www.dacb.org/stories/capeverde/silva_ilidio.html

The LukeWarm Church

(By Lige Jeter)

Revelation 3:14 – 19 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: ‘I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot, So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot. I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked, I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.”

These are strong words from of our Lord, they are thought provoking and to the point. I came across an end-time article published by the Prophecy News Watch titled “Where is The US in Bible Prophecy.” The portion below was in point # 5 referring to “Apostate Christianity.” The article sums up what is happening in churches across America. The Nazarene church is not exempt from carelessly endorsing liberal ideology or growing lukewarm in its worship.

Posted with permission: “We are told in Revelation 3 of the 7 Churches, the last church or church age is symbolized by the Church of Laodicea. Laodicea means “the rights of the people.” Thus, this was a church governed by the will of the people, rather than the will of God. This is the church age, from which the Antichrist and the False Prophet will emerge. It is the church age Paul talked about that would not endure sound doctrine, but would gather around them teachers that would say what their itching ears wanted and desired to hear (2 Tim 4:3). This church described as lukewarm, indifferent, not concerned with right and wrong, or with good and evil. They take a neutral position: one of “live and let live; don’t rock the boat; and don’t cause waves.” They are trying to serve two masters—God and self (or the world).”

The above summation describes the emergent church to a tee. Their ideology and false practices designed to take the place of true worship has crept into the traditional churches where it is becoming difficult to tell them apart. The world has become so tolerant to abortion, homosexual behavior, same sex marriages, infidelity, and sensual material including sensual activity that it now endorses and passes laws protecting the same and calling it good. Many churches are adopting this same insane mentality. What at one time was taboo, the church stood firm against; now they find they are endorsing some of the same practices as the world.

When we carefully examine the meaning of Laodicea, “the rights of the people,” we see how the church is departing from sound biblical teaching and now governed by those who no longer accept God’s word as infallible and persists that the church change to accommodate their one-sided liberal views. To refresh myself on the issues facing the Nazarene church I went back and re-read Manny’s “Correspondences with the General Superintendents’ open letter #1 dated 10/05/2010 and open letter #2 dated April 11, 2011” concerning the direction our Universities and churches were heading. Manny pointed out the danger involved in courting these false teaching. On 05/18/2011, Dr. Eugenio Duarte wrote back acknowledging Manny’s concerns labeling them as challenges; however, ignoring to do anything about them.

The Bible is clear in that what applies to the church also applies to the nation. Many readily agree and have no problem when God judges the wicked. However, they have a problem believing that God holds the church to a higher standard. What is interesting is that Peter teaches that God judges the church first, then others. 1 Peter 4:17 “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? “ Adam Clarke believes; “God never punishes the world because of the wicked, but he always begins with the righteous first. The destroyer makes no difference between the just and the unjust, only he begins first with the righteous.” That being true, the church needs to re-evaluate its practices of worship against scripture to avoid any appearance of wrong and escape judgment.

Just recently, the Board of General Superintendents issued a statement regarding the closing of Nazarene Publishing House, and the layoff of all employees as of Dec. 1, 2014. Although there appears to be some type of acceptance of responsibility in that letter, there seems to also be a lack of full and complete disclosure of the truth that is much needed from our leaders. Bad things have apparently happened, yet we wait on the leadership to come to the people and be fully transparent about what led to events that have eroded even more the trust in our leaders. What does the closing of NPH truly indicate to us?

Has what is happening in our denomination today shed any light that God is trying to get our attention to get back on the track of holiness to avoid the further falling away and avoid greater judgment?

Lige

Related Links:

http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/open-letter-to-the-board-of-general-superintendents/

http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2011/04/11/open-letter-2-to-the-general-superintendents/

http://www.ncnnews.com/nphweb/html/ncn/article.jsp?id=10014012&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ncnnews+%28Nazarene+Communications+Network+News%29

Pastor Ken Silva’s Last Post: The Papacy Of the Roman Catholic Church

As I mentioned on Monday, Pastor Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries passed away after a very serious illness. He fought hard, working almost to his last day.

Fellow defender of the faith James Sundquist sent me a note, with some thoughts on Pastor Ken:

“Almost to his last breath, Ken was fighting the good fight of the faith!  He was a major resource pillar in my own discernment ministry as well as personal consultant.  He gave me the resource of his article on Rick Warren just two days ago.  His value is incalculable.  He will be sorely missed.  Thank you Ken for your tireless work in a thankless calling where you are mostly persecuted.  Your brother in Christ and fellow warrior of the Most High God.”  (James Sundquist)

We both also had a similar idea, and that was to re-post one of his articles, including his last one that he wrote only a few days before he went to be with the Lord. Again, I cannot state the importance of work that has been done by such warriors as Pastor Ken Silva. He sent a link to James recently that illustrates the undiscerning infatuation evangelicals have with Mother Teresa, including Rick Warren who is the subject of that post (http://apprising.org/2011/05/23/kay-warren-rick-warren-praising-mother-teresa/).

And so here is a re-post of Ken’s final work, which he wrote on Saturday. It focuses on a subject that is clearly a major problem in the evangelical church today, and that is the compromise going on with the Roman Catholic Church, an organization that has been correctly called apostate by Pastor Ken and many of us who are working to expose the lying compromises of so many false pastors today.

The Papacy Of the Roman Catholic Church
(by Ken Silva, Pastor-teacher, on Sept. 27, 2014)

In the Apprising Ministries piece On Contemplative Spirituality and Charismania I told you that the ongoing evangelical fascination with corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM)–along with its parallel track of charismania–is a major reason why we see the mainstream of professing Prostestant Christendom opening itself up for full fellowship with the apostate Roman Catholic Church.

For example, evangelical megapastor Rick Warren is on record embracing apostate Roman Catholicism as a viable form of the historic orthodox Christian faith. As I documented a while back in Southern Baptists Assist the Roman Catholic Church to Infiltrate Evangelicalism, Warren is hardly the only one aligned with/promoted by the Southern Baptist Convention openly and actively involved with this particular apostasy.

However, concerning Rick Warren’s compromised embrace of the Church of Rome, you can see it for yourself e.g. in Rick Warren Endorsing Catholics Come and Rick Warren on the Roman Catholic EWTN Network. The latter piece features a transcription of an interview conducted by Roman Catholic apologist Raymond Arroyo where Warren refers to Rome’s current Pope Francis as “our new pope.” Sadly, scores of people listening to leaders within Ecumenical Church of Deceit (ECoD) are now being led along the broad ecumenical road back to the Roman Catholic Church, the mother of this evil ECoD.

As it pertains to the Church of Rome’s papacy, for our purposes here, in that aforementioned Arroyo interview we find Rick Warren praising the late Pope John Paul II. Now let me bring you back to the Christianity Today article The Pope We Never Knew, which I first cited in The Deceivers of Roman Catholicism. CT author David Scott tells us that Pope “John Paul II’s biggest accomplishment was his ecumenism,” and further, that John Paul II:

is the same pope who called evangelicals in South America “rapacious wolves” for their evangelism of Catholics…

The pope who in his 1995 encyclical Ut Unum Sint invited input from non-Catholic Christians on the primacy of the office of Peter, is the same man whose Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1999 declared the primacy of Peter “immutable.” (source)

For your edification I have linked Ut Unam Sint right from the Vatican library itself. Now, as I’ve said before, anyone familiar with Vatican I could have told you that the Roman Catholic Church sees its Pontiff as the successor to Peter and that his office is never-changing, i.e. immutable. As we turn to Chapter 2 of Session 4 from the official record of the decrees of Vatican I we find that it begins with these words:

On the permanence of the primacy of blessed Peter in the Roman pontiffs.
(source, emphasis mine)

As such, it would certainly appear that John Paul II was acting as a hypocrite in 1999 and never had any intention of altering the supposed primacy of the Roman Catholic papacy–for Rome will never surrender this permanent man-made office–which is the very zenith of human pride! In our look at Rome’s official dogma concerning its papacy, let’s take a quick moment to consider the following from the Second Vatican Council held by the Church of Rome in the mid 1960’s.

This would be some 30 years before Pope John Paul II would have “invited input from non-Catholic Christians on the primacy of the office of Peter.” Please look very carefully at the following quote from Lumen Gentium – “Solemnly Promulgated By Holiness Pope Paul VI On November 21, 1964” where we’re told:

just as the office granted individually to Peter, the first among the apostles is permanent and is to be transmitted to his successors, so also the apostles’ office of nurturing the Church is permanent, and is to be exercised without interruption by the sacred order of bishops. (14*)

Therefore, the Sacred Council teaches that bishops by divine institution have succeeded to the place of the apostles, (15*) as shepherds of the Church, and he who hears them, hears Christ, and he who rejects them, rejects Christ and Him who sent Christ. (149)(16*) (source, emphasis mine).

We must ask ourselves an important question here: If – “the office granted individually to Peter, the first among the apostles is permanent and is to be transmitted to his successors” – then do we really think that Pope John Paul II had any actual intentions of changing this dogma, which is the very reason the Church of Rome exists–period? And do you seriously think that Pope Francis is going to relinquish this position in his quest for unity?

If you are of such a mind, then you are a dreamer. The fact is, the Roman Catholic Church cannot change that dogma because the teachings of its popes has always been considered infallible. Although the declaration of papal infallibility as such wasn’t made until 1870 at Vatican I, Rome has always seen her pontiffs as teaching with infallibility when it comes to faith and morals:

While the the First Vatican Council defined papal infallibility in 1870, you must understand that the date on which a doctrine is officially defined is not the date on which it becomes true. Rather, it was always true.

It’s just that different aspects of the Faith are challenged at different periods of history, and when a challenge occurs or a serious concern or question arises, then the Church will settle the difficulty by formally stating what the truth of the matter is — to end the confusion.

So papal infallibility has always been true, and, moreover, was accepted and practiced from the earliest times. (source)

It’s vital for you to understand that the Roman Catholic Church sees its Pope as the head of all Christian churches everywhere; and this regardless whether they would be considered Roman Catholic or Protestant. Again, from Vatican I Session 4, it now becomes clear beyond any reasonable doubt that the Church of Rome is telling us this office of Pope is not simply a designation within their own communion.

On the contrary–we are specifically being told in no uncertain terms that this office, the Bishop of Rome, i.e. the Roman Pontiff–or the Pope–is truly intended for the entire Christian community. The Roman Catholic Church decrees that their Pontiff is the final and absolute authority within all of Christendom and that his role was forever instituted when:

4… [Jesus] set blessed Peter over the rest of the apostles and instituted in him the permanent principle… 6. of the sacred and apostolic primacy, upon which…the whole Church depends. (source)

Next we are further instructed that:

  1. This doctrine is to be believed and held by all the faithfulin accordance with the ancient and unchanging faith of the whole Church…

Chapter 1 On the institution of the apostolic primacy in blessed Peter

We–[the Church of Rome]–teach and declare that, according to the gospel evidencea primacy of jurisdiction over the whole Church of God was immediately and directly promised to the blessed apostle Peter and conferred on him by Christ the lord. [sic] (source)

For such are the empty words of the deceitful spirits and their teachings of demons in apostate Roman Catholicism (cf. 1 Timothy 4:1). And remember, Jesus already told us about such as these – You will recognize them by their fruits (Matthew 7:16). So, you really need to keep this information (from primary Roman Catholic sources) in mind as you consider that right now Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church is wooing his fellow charismaniacs into a supposed “unity.”

You need to know that he’s already making influential converts within evangelicalism, e.g. James Robison to Pope Francis“In Christ We are Brothers.” Now you have been properly positioned upon the battlefield from which to view the below message from Richard Bennett of Berean Beacon–himself a former Roman Catholic priest for 22 years–as he compares the Protestant Reformation to the papacy of the apostate Roman Catholic Church:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMlRVzbtn40

Pastor Ken Silva: A Defender of the Faith Passes Away

I just recently learned of the passing of Pastor Ken Silva. The following was posted by our friends at Stand Up For The Truth website:

One of our dear comrades, Pastor Ken Silva, has passed away after a long illness.

Ken died last night in his New Hampshire home. A veteran researcher and reporter, Ken founded Apprising Ministries as well as Christian Research Network, two foundational apologetics sites where he wrote about trends in the church. Ken loved the Lord and loved sharing his faith. In recent years his degenerative illness worsened, and it became more difficult for Ken to write.

Ken has also been a pastor at Connecticut River Baptist Church in Claremont, New Hampshire, since 2003.

This past July, Ken reached out to many of us in “discernment ministries,” with word on what he was going through physically, financially and spiritually:

“…Our plan is for me to still try and battle through all of this because it truly does seem like, at its root, it’s a spiritual thing. Unfortunately though, I’m certainly not Job. We really need much prayer support to weather this.

As always we are very grateful for those of you who have been praying for, and financially supporting, AM these past nine years. That said, I must tell you that we are currently in the worst financial slump we’ve yet faced.”

Please pray for his many friends and family members, especially his wife Donna.
(read the rest here)

I got to know Pastor Ken about five years ago, first via emails, and then by phone contact. During the 2009 General Assembly, when Concerned Nazarenes worked hard to warn Nazarenes of the false teachings in the church, Pastor Ken took the time to call me and give me some advice and personal encouragement. Last year was the last time I spoke with him, as he asked for prayers for him, as his work was getting more difficult because of his condition.

As a friend said yesterday on his Facebook page, “Bro. Ken Silva was a definite stand up for the truth Christian!” Yes he was. My friend Dave Mosher, who has a discernment ministry website dedicated to warning Christians in his denomination and others as well, said this:

“And I pray there is someone to carry on the ministry at Apprising.org. With several Christians in ministry that I know of passing away recently, I’ve been thinking about our “legacy” and pondering how to train others to carry on our discernment ministries.”

And my friend Tim Wirth, who also has his own discernment website, said: “Ken wrote the forward to my book Pa$$ the Plate and Let us Prey. Ken was a good friend and brother in the Lord. He will be missed but we know where he is.”

Ken was not very well liked by those who he exposed for their falsehoods and phoney gospels, but then that is not unusual. Anyone who goes into a ministry dedicated to uncovering the lies of the most popular “Christian” leaders in the church is to expect nothing but hatred and vilification from them. Character assassination goes part and parcel when venturing into these waters.

And so we have lost one of those Christians willing to take on the lies of the prosperity gospel, or the lies of the social gospel, or of the signs and wonders crowd. We have lost someone who was willing to expose the compromise from Christian leaders who for years were uncompromising, but who have succumbed for whatever reason to popular culture. You see, it’s not easy when you see someone you have respected for years, all of a sudden start rubbing shoulders with false teachers, and to then call them out as well. It is very hard to remain disciplined and not let our personal like of someone get in the way of truth.
We need more Ken Silvas. We need men and women of courage who, if called for this kind of ministry, will do so without fear, and knowing that they have the responsibility to expose corruption, false teaching and compromise, no matter where and who the source is from.

May the Lord be with his family especially at this time.

NazNet- Hypocrisy, Ignoring Scripture, And Personal Attacks

2 Tim 4: 1-5 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

The purpose of this is to warn every Bible-believing Christian about a certain kind of “Christian leader and pastor”, who is always ready to vilify you at the slightest sign of dissension towards their unbiblical views. This is to warn you and prepare you to deal with these people, some who may be leading your church now. This is to show you what kind of men are being sent out from the seminaries, to pastor churches with the watered down social gospel and with messages that lack biblical conviction. These men are blind to the very poison coming from their mouths, which they accuse all discernment ministries of, and which they accuse Christians who dare challenge their belief system.

NazNet is a Nazarene discussion forum on the internet, of which I am a member (from which I received a one week suspension for “laughing” at two comments). It includes a mixed group with varying theological leanings, although it is predominately a haven for emergent church and social justice types. It also allows Bible believing members, although as you will read here, many NazNetters are highly intolerant of outspokenness from the likes of me and others. A good number of these liberals do not believe in the inerrancy of scripture. Many of them reject the facts of Genesis 1-11 as a true historical account of creation, and instead have bought into the ungodly theory of evolution. They have a disdain for those who believe that the Bible is God’s inerrant, infallible word, often labeling us as “bibliolaters.” These are the men I am talking about, and I will point out that very few on NazNet act like they do, so this is not a blanket indictment.

Last week, as I perused some NazNet topics, I came across one that dealt with the suicide of the son of Ergun Caner, a former administrator at Liberty Baptist University. Caner had claimed to have been a former Muslim terrorist turned Christian, and when the facts came out that it was a lie, he was let go by Liberty. He is now the president of another Christian college. When his son committed suicide this year, not too long after he was confronted online by a longtime critic of Dr. Caner, many were very upset over what looked like an unwarranted attack of this young man. I have read details of this encounter, and I agree that the verbal attacks by Baptist preacher J.D. Hall were unnecessary and reckless. But what followed on NazNet turned into a blanket condemnation of any Christian who calls out false teachers or Christian leaders who are in error.

So here is where I got in trouble on Naznet. The topic only had three comments. I read the first one which mentioned that tragic death, and the writer, David Pettigrew, a Nazarene pastor, ended with this:

This phenomena of “discernment ministries” – those who feel it is their divine calling to expose “error” – is doing real damage to real people. I am convinced it is psychologically driven. It becomes a compulsion for those with this “calling” to attack.”

I then read the next two comments, which said the following:

“I’m convinced it is some kind of mental disease. At least, let’s hope it is. For if these folks act with full mental powers, I would not want to stand in their shoes at judgement day.” (Hans Deventer, Nazarene licensed minister)

“IMO most “discernment ministries” are nothing more than bullying and most “discerners” are self-justifying bullies.”(Jon Bemis, Nazarene pastor)

 

I then clicked the “laugh button”, to imply that I thought that this was an absurd, blanket condemnation of all discernment ministries. Sometime later is when the attacks started, and the rest of the discussion is a perfect illustration of the complete hypocrisy of these people. Keep in mind that quite a few of them are ordained elders and pastors of churches; leaders who are supposed to be examples of Christ-like conduct. The following quotes are other examples of their “Christ-like” conduct and their truly hypocritical behavior and blindness to the very things they accuse me and others of.

“This is why they are called online discernment mafias. They operate in secret and have no accountability whatsoever.” (Bob Hunter)

“I’m increasingly convinced that when we spend time and energy on peripheral issues such as eschatology and witch-hunting in the name of the Lord, aka ‘discernment ministries’, we’re setting ourselves up for some real problems.” (John Kennedy)

“Self proclaimed holy wars never have a problem sacrificing life at the alter of “truth” (Cam Pence, Nazarene pastor)

“It’s the mean spirited, sarcastic, loveless, prayerless presentation, both online and in person, that causes the Concerned Nazarenes to not be taken seriously by anyone outside their facebook club. Nobody can hear your message because of your methods. This will be my only response to you, as I find exchanges with you are pointless.” (David Pettigrew, Nazarene pastor)

 

“I think the fundamental problem with discernment ministries is that those involved fail to see that they are not actually very discerning.” (Kevin Rector, Nazarene pastor)

You’re like Hamas, crying over the casualties they have created themselves by their tactics. Very sad for the casualties, but Hamas is the real cause of their suffering.” (Hans Deventer, Nazarene licensed minister)

 

I gave my argument for posting the laugh icons, noting that it was unfair to paint all discernment ministries this way. I argued using scripture, showing them how time and time again, we are commanded to expose false teaching, thus what we are doing is biblical and necessary in these times. I pointed out how I was criticized for using these laugh icons, yet the moderator did not scold anyone else about the comments they made that were, shall we say, over the top? (mental disease? bullies? discernment mafias? witch hunting? comparing me to the terrorist group Hamas?)

 

In reading through the topic, I noticed the same things that they do on a regular basis:

 

  1. Taking Scripture out of context. They select certain scripture passages in order to reprimand me, but ignore the very scripture I showed which validated my position. They refused to address that at all. These people are purposely ignorant of the truth, and often use what they accuse us of- cherry picking scripture, or proof-texting. They are guilty of that tactic, over and over. In another proof-text, pastor Kevin Rector quotes Heb. 13:17 to emphasize that we should obey our spiritual leaders and do what they say (touch not mine anointed, perhaps?). Yet he apparently conveniently ignores any scripture which warns us to watch out for the wolves amongst us, such as Gal. 1:6-10.
  2. They use personal attacks. I understand why they do this, because they have no other basis to argue with. They lack the scriptural understanding (or perhaps ignore it) that would allow them to correct those who expose their false teachings. They are desperate to protect their territory, and will try to destroy your character in order to do it. They hypocritically judge a pastor’s mean use of words that led to the suicide of a young man, yet they have no problem using mean words on others. How ironic!
  3. They employ emotional tactics to get sympathy, such as telling a touching story. When David Pettigrew gave an example of what he says was the devastation caused by a discernment ministry to a pastor and his family, I returned the favor by giving an example that I knew of, of a pastor who caused great harm to a family. Instead of acknowledging this story as legitimate also, he scolded me for telling it, perhaps unable to admit that there have been a lot of people from “his side” who have brought damage to many Christians also.
  4. Their insincerity. Take for example, Bob Hunter, one of my most vicious attackers over the last few years. He followed up later with this: “I pray for you. I pray your family is well and your life is blessed. I really do.” This is the same Bob who had no problem labeling discernment ministries as mafia types, and who has called me some of the worst things over the last few years. Why would someone pray for my life to be blessed, when I am supposed to be someone who is tearing apart the church, according to many of them?

 

  1. Their dependence on the “Church manual” more than scripture. As an example, here is what Kevin Rector said:“if it creates division in the body of Christ over non-essentials then it is of Satan and not of God (By the way, the church decides what is “essential“, not the individual – for example, you and I don’t have the spiritual authority given by God to define that which is essential for the Church of the Nazarene – that is done by the General Assembly).”

    So Kevin Rector and others apparently believe that if the General Assembly declares something, we should accept it without question, because it is “the church” that decides! To these people, it is the denomination that decides what is essential, not the Bible! This is outrageous, but this view is perhaps the norm now in the Church of the Nazarene.
  2. They don’t understand scripture. Bob Hunter misuses Matt. 18 when he said this: “Yes, the online discernment ministries have earned a bad reputation among reputable Christian leaders. They have a track record of being ruthless, unsympathetic, and mean. They never follow Matt. 18 and privately conduct matters.” Bob apparently has
    never read such passages as Gal 2:14 that describes Paul scolding Peter publically for teaching a false doctrine. These people constantly misapply the principles of Matthew 18. Again, no correction by using scripture at all; just giving opinions unsupported by God’s word.
  3. Their hypocrisy. They scold me for using the laugh button, eventually delete my laughs, and then suspend me for a week, for violating NazNet laws. Not rules, but laws! Yet, they never scold their own publically (or very rarely). They tend to look the other way unless it is an extremely outrageous comment, and make the excuse that since they did not use my name, it is not a problem with what they said. Quote Kevin Rector: “You did not say that what they said was “funny” you said it was “laughable”. That is a put-down, not a compliment.” Apparently, to them, it is not a put-down to compare me to Hamas, or to imply I have a mental disease, accuse me of being on a witch-hunt, or that I am loveless, hateful, and just plain mean. Don’t correct us with scripture; just call us names.

Please understand, these people have not hurt my feelings. I don’t lose sleep over their insults. I am not looking for sympathy, because I don’t need it. I confess I am not perfect and do not know everything. I am trying to follow scriptural commands which tell us to protect the flock from false teachings.   And if they are proud of what they write, I am glad to expose that to other Christians, and let folks decide if their behavior as pastors is Christ-like or not. In my opinion, they have disqualified themselves as pastors with their behavior.

 

So my purpose is to show you how sad the state of the Nazarene church is today, as well as most denominations, in regards to those who are supposed to be leaders. These men speak their words publically in front of hundreds of other Christians, therefore they are accountable for their words. I have no problem pointing out their hypocrisy, and the false teachings coming from them, when it is clearly seen. There is no Matthew 18 directive with their public comments; we are not to “go to each of them” as they often say we should; we are to expose them publically, because they have committed these wrongs publically.

 

I have no doubt that if you are a member of a church led by men such as these, that someday if you decide to question what they are doing, and what they are teaching, please be prepared for the worst. They will be gentle at first, even kind and understanding. But if you persist, they will go on to follow the same advice Rick Warren gives in the Purpose Driven Church book, and that is to get rid of those who don’t go along with the crowd. You will be painted a troublemaker, you will be ostracized, and you will need to leave. They will attack your character and try to smear your reputation. In the end, these kinds of people are only thinking about themselves and their agenda. It has nothing to do with following the will of God and obeying His word.

 

Pray for the repentance of some of these men, who are demonstrating they are a real danger to the church.

Addendum: The entire conversation thread at NazNet:
http://www.naznet.com/community/showthread.php/15788-quot-Discernment-Ministries-quot-and-the-suicide-of-Braxton-Caner/page1

The False gospel and False “jesus” Of Social Justice

“Jesus didn’t come to address society’s woes. He came to die, to save.”

 

The following was written to a friend by a young man who attends a Nazarene church:

“I am so happy and hopeful to be a part of a generation that believes in social justice and change. Too often we look at the numbers and become pessimistic about the future of the world, totally forgetting that when we have The Lord on our side WE are the majority! We have so much power at our hands to change this world!”

My friend followed up with a question to the young man: “What is your definition of social justice and change?” Below is his answer.

“Simply put, look at Jesus’ life. He was all about social justice and change. He touched and healed people. He flipped tables over. He let a prostitute wash and touch his feet. He talked with women. He told his disciples to let the children come. He ate meat. He made a point to show how anti he was of the religious establishment in his day. Nowadays, there are so many social issues globally and nationally. For instance, the porn industry is one of the highest profiting industries in the whole world. I would LOVE to see those numbers plummet dramatically.

We need to raise awareness for how much damage porn causes in relationships, our brains, and our health to help break people out of those addictions. Human trafficking is another HUGE issue in the world today and not many people know what they can do to stop it. We need to be a voice to those who cannot speak up for themselves and in America we have so much opportunity to speak up and use this freedom we are always talking about. Also, buying things and supporting organizations that make sure that the employees / makers of the stuff we are importing to the States are being treated and paid properly. Racism, sexism, hunger and poverty, there are so many issues and people that need a voice and people praying for. God really laid a call on my life while in Ecuador to bring attention to these issues and that with Him, we are the majority! We have so much power to pull from and we can change this nation and even the world.”

It is so sad that this young man’s thoughts are probably not an aberration, but the norm from countless young people in today’s evangelical church. My friend Brenda has written a response below, which I pray is read by many more young professing Christians who have this same mindset. We need to pray for Nazarene and other Christian young people, because a false gospel is replacing the true Gospel in most of our Christian colleges and seminaries.

 

Response to the young man:

Dear young man, I appreciate your heart of compassion, but, would you be upset if I told you that you are absolutely wrong? Popular Christian culture today has remolded, and IS remolding, the gospel message of Jesus to fit a Social Justice Jesus paradigm.

The people who have been writing books and speaking on college campuses about their “Social Justice Jesus” are purposely turning hearts/minds AWAY from the gospel.

I’m sure that statement makes you angry, but, it is true.

Jesus came to SAVE mankind from their sins. He came as the perfect, unblemished Lamb. He was the foreshadow of ALL the temporary sacrifices which were a requirement of the Law to cover the Mercy Seat with His innocent blood.

 

He WILL come again, but when He does, it will not be because WE have brought social justice to the world to make it better for Him to return……no……when He comes, He will come as the Lion of Judah, to meter out true justice of those who rejected His merciful offer of salvation through His sacrifice as the Lamb.

 

Jesus warned many, many times of the fires of judgment that will last an eternity. He warned that justice WILL be thorough, complete, AND righteous.

Jesus warned that there would be those who thought they were doing good, but would be totally surprised when He says He doesn’t know them. Therefore, good deeds (social justice) are NOT the plumb line for being in the will of God. Social justice is not the mission, nor is it the gospel.

Stay with me now, dear one……. If you examine the Great Commission from Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts, you will note that the mission of the church is to

PREACH the gospel (Christ died for your sins, and was raised from the dead so that you may have eternal life);

TEACH from scripture (show people how the message of salvation, the scarlet thread, was woven throughout the Old Testament books);

teach REPENTANCE OF SIN (tell them to turn from their old life of rebellion);

BAPTIZING (as an outward sign, a public testimony of one being born again);

DISCIPLE new converts (equip, exhort, and encourage their new walk).

 

 

When the Kingdom of God gains a broken hearted, repentant sinner, many times families become better, which, in turn, effects communities in a good way then, perhaps a nation.

Saved, compassionate people have always benefited society. They know what is right from wrong based on God’s moral law written on their heart. They no longer live as self-centered humanists, but bless those around them.

The problem in our world is a darkened, sin filled heart problem, where evil resides. The mission of the church is to address the heart, first and foremost. Warring against societal evils is a benefit of a changed heart.

Jesus didn’t come to address society’s woes. He came to die, to save. He upset the money changers’ tables because of their dishonesty (sin). He was NOT against the ‘religious establishment’; He was against individuals within those ranks who were vile sinners.

 

Note: Not everyone who was part of the priesthood, were considered vile. Zachariah, John the Baptist’s father, performed his duties of the priesthood, and praised God for finally opening his mouth, after he believed and His heart was changed.

Jesus was buried in the tomb of a rich man, someone from the priesthood. That particular man’s heart was changed and he became a believer.

So be careful of those who spout that Jesus was against the religious establishment of His day. They do so, because it fits within their agenda to castigate the church, and paint organized religion as evil and ineffective, to be rejected. Please remember, Jesus went into the synagogues to teach (established religion) from scripture. Some rejected Him, but some did not, and seeds were planted in some.

 

Let me end by pointing out that scripture states that the world will get worse and worse, and men’s hearts will wax cold. Sin will abound. Romans 1 states that homosexuality, and all manner of sexual perversion will escalate. People will become more concerned about the earth and environment and even worship it. Children will disrespect their parents. Men will become centered on themselves and be arrogant boasters.

No, my friend, we will NOT be able to eliminate all those areas of heartbreak that you listed, though, it doesn’t mean we walk away.

Please don’t be taken in by those who are purposely leading people astray with a different gospel and a different Jesus.

Praying for you,

Brenda