1 Timothy 1:18-20 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, 20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.
By tonight, I will have returned from Canton, Ohio, where Eric Barger of Take A Stand Ministries, spent two days at Grace Brethren Church. Eric is a Christian apologist who has been traveling all around the country for over 27 years now, warning the body of Christ of false movements, such as the New Age, the emergent church, and many more. On Saturday, he spoke in the morning on the dangers of the emerging church, and in the afternoon session, the topic was about how the popular novel, The Shack, is deceiving so many Christians today, even though it is a book filled with heresies and blasphemous doctrine. On Sunday, he preached in the morning on the truth and reliability of the Bible, and finished in the evening with a talk on the “real Jesus vs. the counterfeits.” Eric is a true soldier in the fight for the true gospel. Eric spent three days with us at the Nazarene General Assembly last June, helping Concerned Nazarenes to expose the heresies being introduced to the Nazarene denomination by way of the emergent church. Please pray for him and his ministry, as Christians who do what he does are constantly under vicious attack by the enemy from within. I am hoping that he can soon be invited by someone to speak in New England, where he has never spoken yet.
There were several more reasons to come to Ohio. In the past two years, I have found many new brothers and sisters in Christ who are true Christian soldiers, while I was undertaking whatever efforts I could to fight false teachings in the church. And it seems that for every friend I have lost because of standing for the truth, I have gained at least one or two more. My list is long, but every single person who has joined me in this fight, via emails and the phone, has been a blessing and an encouragement, and in turn, I have also been able to help some of them as well, and I thank God for that, and nothing else.
A few of these soldiers is a small group of men in Canton, Ohio, who helped organize Eric’s seminar. I met Aaron Wright about a year or so ago via email, and along with his father Troy, and Aaron’s brother, Adam, they have a ministry called Foundations Research Group in the Northern Ohio area. When Aaron and his family encountered false teachings of the emergent church in their former church, they did not close their eyes to it and pretend it did not exist. They did not say, oh well, we’ll just have to live with it. No, they boldly confronted the purveyors of false teaching and tried to show them the truth of God’s word. The end result was that they made the decision to leave, rather than stick around and tolerate false teaching.
Their faithfulness has been rewarded with a ministry that is now helping Christians at their new church and in the community to equip themselves with knowledge of the emergent church, and at the same time, equipping and reinforcing others with a love for the scriptures, which is the best way to combat false teaching. Grace Brethren Church, led by Pastor Joe Cosentino, is a shining light in this town where there does not seem to be much light, or much of a desire to fight false doctrines. If you live in the Northern Ohio area, and are looking for a strong, Bible believing church, perhaps you should pay a visit to Grace Brethren. These kinds of churches are becoming rare in the midst of all this apostasy.
And so God blessed the faithfulness of Aaron and his family, and led them to a solid Bible believing, Bible preaching church whose pastor and leadership will not put up with the nonsense of emergent heresy or any other gospel except the true gospel of Jesus Christ. So one of the reasons I went to Canton was to finally meet Aaron and his family, who are truly another new addition to my eternal family, the family of God. We have shared information over the past year and helped each other with our ministries, and they have already made a big impact in their community and church.
But there were other soldiers that I just knew I had to meet when I came to Ohio. There was Becky, her husband and young daughter, who came to the seminar. I had met Becky over the internet as she was also finding herself and her family being thrown into turmoil, and again, the usual suspects were the purveyors of emergent church heresy. Their eyes were opened to the truth, and they had to walk away from their church as well.
Then there was Angie, and her friend Wendy. These ladies are true soldiers as well, and for staying true to God, have also paid a price for it. The tenacity and the determination of these two women, is an inspiration to me. They will not be moved, they will not be pushed around or bullied by any false teacher. Not even by the high-minded intellectuals with multiple PHds, nor by the smooth words of deceived pastors or anyone else. They just want to faithfully compare and contrast everything they hear with the scriptures, and like the Bereans, prove that what they hear is faithful to the word of God. They are solid sisters in Christ, and I am glad I got to finally see them personally.
There was also my good friend and brother in the Lord, Tim Wirth and his wife Donna, and I thank God for their friendship. Tim started the Concerned Nazarenes website a few years ago, and was instrumental in helping get the DVD put together about the emerging church. He was the first person that I actually made contact with when I first started stepping into the emergent mess, and has been a trustworthy friend who has given me solid advice, friendship, and encouragement. Tim is also not well liked by a lot of emergents, which to me is a badge of honor for him, because he has a knack for exposing their false ideology, just by using the sharp-edged sword of God’s word against them. I value his friendship; and the impact he has made in this battle as a missionary to the Nazarene denomination is immeasureable, and only God knows. He and Donna are true and courageous soldiers in the fight against the apostasy of this age.
Finally, the only regret that I had was that there at least a few other soldiers from the Ohio area who could not make it to the seminar. There was Brenda, who I have known also since the past year and a half. She and her family chose to leave a Nazarene church because of emergent ideology, rather than stay and tolerate false teaching. She has been a source of encouragement and advice and a real sister in the Lord. And Beverly Turner could not make it this time, but I had hoped to see her as well. She is a very brave Christian lady and evangelist who is not afraid to speak the truth about what has poisoned our denomination. And then Rick Headley is also in Ohio, but I was not able to see him this time. But he also has been an example of standing for God first, above anything else, including his own denomination. He would not compromise, and like Brenda and Beverly, is a true soldier in this battle as well. Finally, I thank God for a wife who has been behind me all the way, put up with my long hours of writing on some nights, was okay with me going on this trip, and who has also refused to compromise in any way her faith in Christ. She knows the price that she has paid, but she would not change her mind if she could. Her support has made this job I am doing a lot easier to do. She is a soldier in this battle.
Folks, there are many more soldiers in this battle. I only mention these friends now because of the Ohio connection and my trip there to see them. There are so many more around this country and even around the world, who I have met, who are standing up for the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Someday, I will write about many more of them (with permission) and tell you how they have chosen to stand for the truth, and how they have blessed my life with their example. This is why I call them soldiers. A true soldier of Jesus Christ is someone who refuses to sit quietly on the sidelines while multitudes of young people and adults walk down the wide path of destruction towards hell, following a different Jesus. And it does not take too many requirements to be a “true soldier”: just be faithful to Jesus Christ- completely faithful; and trust only in the word of God that is revealed in the Holy Bible. It does not mean you have to write a blog like I do; it does not mean that you have to be a preacher or evangelist; or that you have to have a ministry like the one Aaron and his family has. No, all it means is that you are willing to stand up for the truth, with whatever gifts God has given you, and be faithful to Jesus Christ and defend the gospel once for all delivered to the saints.
You see, if you had not noticed, there is a great apostasy spreading throughout the Christian world, dressed in the robes of a false Jesus. It does not matter what denomination: Nazarene, Brethren, Baptist, Southern Baptist, Presbyterian, Mennonite, Salvation Army, Calvary Chapel, you name it.
It is here, it is deadly, and it is leading countless people down the road to hell with a false gospel, with another Jesus which is not of the Bible. Don’t you see it yet? And if you have seen it, what are you doing? Are you going to be walking through the narrow gate, or have you been diverted to the wide path?
Are you willing to stand for the truth… no matter what the cost, and be a true soldier for Christ, like these friends decided to do?
2 Timothy 3:12-14 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,
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.
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, 10and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
Manny, Aaron Wright, Eric Barger, Pastor Joe Cosentino
Eric, Adam Wright, Aaron Wright
Troy Wright, Eric
* Note to all emergents and New Agers and other false movements reading this: we will not let up in our battle for the truth.