It’s no Cake Walk

Are we running a race, or playing a game of Cake Walk? 


How many pastors will get up this Sunday and preach a sermon about self love, confidence, or even health and wealth? Probably a grand majority of the professional Ear Scratchers. How many will get up and preach a message that’s actually relevant to the sheep living in a fallen, cursed, world? Too few.

I think this is a contributing factor to the rapidly decreasing percentage of church attendance. If I want to get a pep talk I can turn on Joel Osteen without wasting gas money. I can get a great frap at McDonalds now for two bucks less then most ‘church coffee bars’ are making them. If I want great music I can book myself tickets to my favorite band. All the ‘church growth’ models are failing because they’re making the church like the world. Believers go to church to get away from worldliness, not to wallow in it.


What happens then when a pastor stands up on Sundays and preaches the Cake Walk? The members are ill prepared for the race they’re running. How discouraging to go throughout the week facing temptation, mockery, exhaustion, and the general wear and tear of life, only to have the leader of your church pat you on the shoulder and tell you how great life is. Your best life now? 

What if my child just died? How do I have my best life now? What if my husband just left me? Is this as good as it gets? What if I got fired and I don’t know how I’m going to make rent? I’ve heard Jeremiah 29:11, got anything for how to pay rent? How about for the wretched sinner? Is there anything in the Bible for sinners? Or are you just going to stand there and tell me stories about how you climbed a mountain and saw a beautiful view?


Oh beloved, how do men who read the Bible stand and say such foolishness? They have to, because they began the false doctrine they teach with a lie. That lie is that if you come to Christ everything will get better. You’ll be healed, your marriage will be fixed, your income will be multiplied. If they’ve gotten you into their churches by convincing you that Christianity is all about the worldly gifts, they have to keep repeating that lie.

It becomes very dangerous when someone finally stands up and says ‘hey, I came here for a Cake Walk but all I’ve had in this life is trials and tribulations’. The danger isn’t in the question, it’s in the answer. ‘Friend’, the Joel Osteen wanna be will say ‘you just don’t have enough faith. You just need to sow a bigger seed.’ What heavy burdens they have placed on their flock, burdens they are unwilling to help carry!


Christianity is not a Cake Walk, it’s a race. You don’t run this race to get a bigger house, or more attention from your spouse, you run it for the glory of God. Why glory in God? He sent His only begotten Son that whosoever shall believe in Him shall not parish but have ever lasting life. He is worthy of all honor, praise, and glory! 

Beloved, there are scores of people, an entire harvest of them, who have been disenfranchised by the health and wealth false gospel. We only need to be courageous enough to share the true Gospel with them. I have a simple suggestion, brethren, Gospel tracks. Did you know that people are still finding, reading, and coming to saving grace through Gospel tracks? My daughter and I have a blast finding different places to leave them in hopes that the lost will be found. 

Run your race well, dear ones, as always be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Advertisements

Balance – Rock the Boat

Last Friday I spoke on my concerns over the WoF movement. I realized after writing that post that I’ve shared my personal testimony, and my immediate stumble into legalism, but I have yet to tell you all how I was brought out of the Word of Faith movement specifically. Actually once saved discernment was given and I no longer watched the televangelist preachers I had previously loved. I didn’t understand at first why I was so uncomfortable watching them. I even felt guilty, like I was somehow betraying them.

Romans-12

A year went by and a friend of mine, who I had met in a Church of God as a teenager, sent me a link to the Strange Fire conference. It was not what rocked the boat, it was what helped balanced the boat after salvation had rocked it. I had been praying for understanding for a year, and while I could open my Bible, read, study, and understand, the bigger picture was missing. What was so wrong about the Word of Faith? Something was off I knew it, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. That same friend was saved not long after sending me the link, and I praise God for His mercy!

What happened to balance the boat after devouring every video of the conference? It has a beautiful name, it’s called ‘sound doctrine’ and once introduced to it, I can’t get enough! How truly wonderful it is to hear men proclaim Gods Word, not the parts they like, twisted and out of context, but the full counsel of it! There’s only one problem, my wicked heart that seems to love extremes.

Jeremiah-17:9

If you have any slight form of OCD you understand the deep need for balance, straight lines, equal amounts of steps on both the right and left foot, the same amount of bites on one side of the mouth as the other, balance folks! Balance! Just me? That’s ok…follow me here. I want to swing violently to the opposite side of this pendulum. After sitting under spiritual abuse by the scripturally ignorant I cringe at the idea of following anything that would bring God dishonor or grieve the Holy Spirit.

Due to this, it is a daily task to keep the balance, don’t rock the boat. Left foot, right foot. I tend to reject the miraculous immediately, without hesitation, although my heart was miraculously changed and I was saved by Gods great grace! Balance. We’re not told to reject the spirits, we’re told to test them. I can’t do that without better balance then I have right now. I hope you’ll pray for me, beloved brethren, as we grow in the grace and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, together. Through your fellowship, in the past few months, I’ve been corrected, rebuked, chastened, encouraged, edified, instructed, and blessed.

First-John-1:6-7

I have a lot to learn, and a long way to go on this pilgrimage to the Celestial City. One thing I know for certain, you all have been a tremendous help to me. I suppose I started this post out meaning to tell you more about myself, if I’ve derailed there’s a simple explanation…you have all had a profound impact on me. Your blogs are all unique, they each give a piece of the person writing like you’ve all set about each day to add to the edifying of the body of Christ. It’s a beautiful way to keep myself balanced.

Thank-You

So today I thank you all for being good Berean’s and studying to show yourselves approved! If you ever think you make no difference, think again friends.

Playing With Fire


I’ve been wanting to address this concern for a while, and am thankful to finally have this opportunity. Many of you know I was in the Word of Faith movement for over a decade. I spent that time in primarily Pentecostal leaning non-denominational churches. I have been greatly encouraged by the amount of material I’ve read in varies blogs exposing the Prosperity Gospels heretical teaching here on WordPress, like our sister in Christ Nikki does in her blog. There’s one point I want to add, and it’s the danger for the youth involved in this movement.

I can only speak to my personal experiences within the southern United States. I have no idea if this is a southern phenomenon, but my fear is that it is related to the movement in general and not a geographical region. I want to preface this with what I saw at church camp as a teenager.


Flashing lights, fog machines, methodical music, emotional speaking and the general drumming up of a thousand children in a big auditorium. This resulted, as the event planners had hoped, in drunkenness in the ‘spirit’, with wild manifestations of tongues which included laughter, crying, and belligerent screaming. These are youths from 10 up to 18, who were being taught how to be ‘slain in the spirit’. I can remember one night during that week of ‘church’ camp praying at the alter to be given the ‘spirit’ for so long that my legs went numb. 

This video gives you a better look at what we’re seeing here in modern WoF churches.

Now these children go home from camp expecting daily increases of this ‘spiritual’ gifting. However, what they find is that without the phycological manipulation they are unable to get whipped up in the same kind of frenzy. So, in a culture where ghost hunting shows are a dime a dozen, they turn to the occult. This is the warning I want to give you, brethren. There were multiple groups of youth I knew who turned to occultism, it ties in easily with the WoF movement, so they would be out all night Friday and Saturday looking for demons, and in church on Sunday bored to tears. We lived, as youth, looking for the next great manifestation of the ‘spirit’. This explains why Bethel is having such success recruiting young people to their ‘school’. 

If you want to see more on this, here is a clip from the Strange Fire Conference…

This is very dangerous for the young people in church. Please, if you’re a parent to a young child or youth member, monitor what they’re watching or listening to. Don’t assume because it is a ‘Christian’ band, or church video that it’s safe for them. The wolves are not lurking outside our churches, they’re boldly standing within. As always, beloved, be good Bereans and study to show yourselves approved.

Twisted Tuesday – What We Deserve

#TrueGospel #SavedByGrace #ChristAlone

There is a pervasive lie that is constantly, boldly proclaimed from pulpits all over America. You hear it every time you turn on Christian TV. You find it typed in a million different ways throughout social media. What is this lie? The lie is that what you, and I, really deserve…no…what God owes us…is happiness.

This lie is a falsehood of the worse kind. It plays on humanities most deprived instincts, at the same time refuting everything the Bible says about mankinds wickedness.

What is the truth? That you, and I, deserve to be judged by a righteous judge whom we have sinned against. You see, friends, we have turned what is good evil and what is evil we have made good. If God is a righteous judge full of justice then the only thing He can do to law breakers is to convict them. When we disregard the miraculous blessings God has given by believing the lie that all is owed us, all we’ve received is deserved, we steal the glory from God rather than freely handing it up to Him in awestruck wonder.

I’ve heard it put in this way as an example: How do you feel when a man kills another man? He should get retribution right? What if a man cruelty beats a woman to death? That’s worse, is it not? What if a man sexually abused a child, then buries her alive? This happened in Florida, I believe, several years ago. People didn’t cry for justice alone, they cried out for severe punishment against this man who sinned against an innocent, defenseless, child.

Do you see how the act of murder feels far worse when it is committed against innocence? However, when we sin against a perfect, righteous, God we think we deserve…happiness? What then, if we commit a life of sin against God, rejecting the very Son He sent to pay the debt we owed for that sin? Do we still deserve happiness?


No, brethren, we deserve eternal damnation. There is no such thing as a good person. We are all wretched, wicked human beings in the hands of a just God. When we tell the world that they deserve to be happy, and that saying a quick prayer will garner them that happiness, along with health and wealth, we have blasphemed the name of God. He is not a genie in a bottle, He is the righteous, sovereign, judge.

What good have we gained if we have the love of the whole world, but have damned them all to hell? Do we so desire the approval of man that we are unwilling to warn of the destruction to come?


This is not to say that we, who have heard the true gospel and have converted and been saved, are not happy. The joy, awe, and peace the Father gives is, on its own, more than we deserve. Add to this salvation, justification, sanctification, prayer, study, fellowship, and worship…why would the believer not be in a constant state of joy? From grace to grace, as our minds can comprehend what’s been done for us we also understand how wretched we are and how little we deserve it.

This is the difference between the spoiled child demanding blessings from their parents, and the servant who cherishes the kind words or thankful smiles they received from time to time.

How does this American Gospel of happiness, health and wealth play out in third world countries? How will you tell those who are starving, living in trash heaps, or eating dirt cookies that they deserve to be happy? They just need to be a little more positive, think happier thoughts, right? No, this lie only applies to those who are in wealthy countries. We need to seek the full counsel of God’s Word, so that the doctrines of demons do not become our doctrines. This is why I extol you, beloved, be good Bereans and study to show yourselves approved.

Twisted Tuesday – The Vanity Fair Church

#TwistedTuesday #SeekerSensitive

Beloved, I’m going to discuss something that many others have addressed already. It needs to be repeated, then repeated again, until Christ comes back. The church does not meet on the Lords day to entertain the goats. The church does not meet any day of the week to entertain the goats. John 3:16 is the scripture being taken out of context, for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have ever lasting life.


What is happening in modern churches today is that shepherds are starving the sheep to feed the goats, believing they should bring the whole world in. Rather than expounding Gods Word, exhorting believers, edifying the body, and growing in grace and knowledge, they are busy being ‘relevant’. Why would the church ever feel the need to compete with the world, when friendship with the world is enmity with God? This stems from the desire to have the approval of man rather than the approval of God. It’s also the reason why the back door of these churches are as busy as the front door because the church can not out world the world.

We are supposed to be separate from the world, in it but not of it. The idea of ‘seeker sensitive’ churches needs to be deconstructed. Whom are the seekers? Christ said all those who seek Him will He in no ways cast out. He also said that His sheep hear His voice. Are goats the seekers then? Of course not, the unbelievers filling the churches would sue if they heard a sermon on sin. But Christ told people to go and sin no more, seekers are sheep that know His voice.


What then is the benefit of bringing a mass of unbelievers into a service and entertaining them? They never hear the gospel or repentance, thus they go without salvation. I see two benefits of running a church in this manner, praise for the pastor, and cash in the collection plate. We are called to neither of these ends. Are these ‘churches’ really just the blind leading the blind?

I have a family member who will not hear the gospel or step foot in a church because he believes they are all just businesses making money. This is the danger of setting aside the great commission, to sell our soul and gain the world. In the end, the world will reject them, the gospel is smeared, Gods name is blasphemed, and the sheep go unfed. Please brethren, encourage your pastor and elders to uphold the Word of God and reject the Vanity Fair Church.

As always, friends, be good Bereans and study to show yourselves approved.

Power in Words – Twisted Tuesday

Do we have the ability to speak things into existence? This is a popular idea amongst tv evangelists. The idea that we, as believers, have the ability to create with our words just like God did is the type of heresy that developed through decades of biblical illiteracy and demonizing doctrines. I personally sat in a church for a decade that often encouraged positive affirmations. I never recall being admonished to pray and study, just naming and claiming, lots of wealth and health. You know what else I never heard? The Gospel.

If you read my testimony you know I was raised by a practicing Wiccan. My mother was eventually saved, however until I was 14 I heard a lot of the new age belief that words had power. Once in church I assumed that paganism had borrowed the idea from the church, imagine my shock learning that it was a pagan belief borrowed by the church! My mother, as a true convert, was very uncomfortable with the new age language being used in the churches. Eventually, once she voiced her concerns, we were actually kicked out of the congregation where we were baptized. Still, it took me over a decade to recognize the danger.

Proverbs 18:21 is not suggesting that we can create life, or for that matter death, with our words. God and God alone is in control of life and death. If you read the context of the scriptures used for this movement you’ll find that they are cautioning us all to be careful what we say. Some are even referring to eating right, as to not cause death through gluttony. Nowhere in church history was it believed that anyone except God could create ex nihilo, out of nothing.

This is why it’s important to take the full counsel of Gods Word, with context and historical background. There is so much being taught based on false doctrines, we must as believers test every spirit.

But why is this dangerous? That’s the question we should be asking after we ask whether it’s accurate of course. This doctrine is not just dangerous, but deadly. There are multitudes of people who have been told they can speak their sickness away. When they remain sick they’re told it’s because of their lack of faith. Many walk away from the faith altogether. Others go deeper, as a sign of faith, they’ll stop taking their medications. That is how this particular doctrine becomes deadly.

If you want a more comprehensive lay out of this false doctrine, and others, I highly recommend brother Justin Peters work in the area. You can find him on YouTube HERE

As always friends, be good Bereans and study to show yourselves approved!

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs​ – A Book Review

A book review of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs or a History of the Lives, Sufferings, and Triumphant Deaths of the Primitive Protestant Martyrs by John Foxe.

Today I’m going to be writing a review on Foxe’s Book of Martyrs or a History of the Lives, Sufferings, and Triumphant Deaths of the Primitive Protestant Martyrs by John Foxe. Originally titled Actes and Monuments of these Latter and Perillous Days, Touching Matters of the Church, now well known by the first title, was published first published in 1554 in Latin. A revised, English version was published in 1563. I admit to not being finished with this book, but too impatient to wait the decade or so it will take me to finish it, to write a review.

Why?

This book is a historical refutation to the modern word of faith movement. The idea that God wants His people healthy and wealthy, that we should name it and claim it, flies in the face of the historical persecution the body of Christ has endured. Throughout Christ’s ministry, He warned of what following Him would cost.

John Foxe was not just a church historian but also a martyrologist. He faced his own fair share of persecution, including being abandoned by his family, fired from his job, and eventually forced to flee his hometown. He lived, and wrote, during the time of Reformation.


I recommend this book to anyone studying church history, or persecution in the church. It begins with the early church persecution and stretches through to the persecution during the Reformation. I want to highlight here that many brothers and sisters who were martyred died with scripture, praise, or a hymn on their lips.

As always friends, be good Bereans and study to show yourselves approved.