Twisted Tuesday – Gods In It

Have you ever heard the argument that God is in something because it’s successful? I surely have. What a heartbreaking, illogical, statement to make, especially when it’s outside of or opposed to Gods Word. What will we say about Islam, the worlds fastest growing religion? What do we say to Mormonism, which has clearly had a level of success? Is God sovereign? Absolutely! That does not mean that Gods blessing is on false religion, or that cults are right in their beliefs simply because they’re successful.

The scripture often twisted to justify this is Acts 5:34-40.

Gamaliel was a Jewish leader, not a believer. We need to be careful what verses we use when defending doctrine. This is not a verse to hang our theological hat on, and to do so is to twist it out of context.

What is success in Gods eyes? Obedience. When Christ ascended, by human measures, His ministry could have been considered a failure. Most of His followers walked away before He was even crucified. However, through His obedience the world was forever changed, salvation came to men from every tribe, tongue, and nation. We’re not Christ, dear friends, but we are His followers, and as such we should measure our success the same as He did. Not in numbers and popularity, as a pragmatist, but in obedience to God. So, my beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.


Twisted Tuesday- Separated From Gods Love

Beloved, there seems to be a pattern of folks using half a sentence to twist scripture into fitting their errant beliefs. This twisted Tuesday is no different. I watched a video the other day of ‘church leaders’ explaining that abortion was ok because nothing could separate you from Gods love.

This goes right along with the unbiblical belief that hell does not exist, or the false doctrine of universalism. The idea that God is Love, He sent His Son to die for everyone’s sins, so everyone has been forgiven and will go to heaven. Take this to its logical conclusion, that means Hitler, Stalin, Moa, and Bin Laden are kicking it on the golden streets with the likes of Calvin, Luther, Spurgeon, and Sproul. That’s utter nonsense, God is a God of love, and with His love comes justice. You and I love our spouses and children, and if someone came in to our houses and brutally murdered them we would expect justice from the judge. Shouldn’t the judge of all the earth judge with at least the righteousness we seek from our local judges? So why the disconnect? Why the insistence on taking this beautiful verse, with it’s unbelievably amazing implications for the believer, twisting it out of context and promising it to lost sinners?

If this verse can be applied to all of humanity then sin does not matter, responsibility is abandoned, and repentance is made useless. Mankind has been attempting to avoid responsibility for their sins since the very beginning of the fall. Adam blamed not only Eve, but God who gave him Eve, for his sins. Eve blamed the serpent. Salvation comes when we humble ourselves, take responsibility for our sins, repent, and trust in Christ alone. Once we are in Christ, then and only then can we say, nothing will separate us from the love of God. Beloved, we must be cautious to never misuse Gods Words, as they are needed for instruction and understanding. Let’s not soft peddle sin, but show the sinner the truth of the Good News through the light of the bad news. Yes, you are lost in your sins, and if you die in them you will be cast into eternal damnation on judgement day. But you need not lose hope, for Christ Himself died for our sins, so that you and I can be forgiven! Not by our works, lest any man should boast, but by the free grace provided by God! As always, dear friends, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Twisted Scripture – Proverbs 23:7

#twistedscripture #proverbs

It’s amazing to me, brethren, how often a scripture is twisted simply by not reading the entire sentence. We’ve talked in a previous post about how the chapters and verse numbers are not inspired, but were added much later. The Word of God is inspired, we should make it our aim not to take it out of context, regardless of where a verse number sits.

Proverbs 23:7 is one of those verses which interrupts a sentence. So when the Word of Faith teachers quote it they never read the full context, they just take the scripture and twist it to fit their new age beliefs. This is one I heard constantly before I was saved. You have to think right thoughts to get right results. The weird thing is that I had heard the exact same concept from my mom when she was a practicing Wiccan. Convinced that she had caused her fiancé to cheat on her by thinking he would, she spent two years in a deep depression before coming to salvation.

Thinking positive thoughts to somehow get God to do what you want Him to is not a biblical principle. New ageism has leaked into the church at such an alarming rate its almost dizzying. This verse is actually an important warning, truly good advice when it’s read in its fullness.

You see the actual text saying to be careful of a selfish man. It warns against covetousness as well. Nothing in there is even referencing the ‘power of thought’ or any such nonsense. I found this WWUTT clip here to be very helpful in hashing this out.

How would we feel if someone took apart our sentence and used a fragment of it to twist the meaning? I’d be frustrated, and offended, to say the least. How dare we think so lowly of God and His Word, and so highly of ourselves, that we would do this to His Words! Let it be our goal, beloved friends, to rightly divide Gods Word, with care, and respect, treating the Bible as the treasured work of the Holy Spirit that it is. We’ve been given a gift, Gods Words written down, preserved throughout the ages, upheld by the blood of martyrs who died to see it translated into a readable language. Therefore, dear brethren, my genuinely beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, let us be good Berean’s and study to show ourselves approved.

Twisted Tuesday – Grave Soaking

Today, beloved, we discuss a very dangerous, disturbing, trend in the Charismatic Movement. Grave soaking, also known as grave sucking, is a bizarre behavior spreading through youth groups everywhere. In this twist of scripture leaders like Benny Hinn, Todd Bentley, and Bill Johnson misuse 2 Kings 13:20-21 to suggest laying, sitting, touching, and praying on the graves of deceased charismatic leaders gives more power. It’s believed that those who have died had special giftings of the Holy Spirit which are ‘stuck’ in the grave until someone comes and takes it.

The idea of going to a grave to soak up more power actually didn’t start in the Charismatic Movement, but was something done in ancient Egypt. It’s been a practice in paganism, witchcraft, and superstition for several thousand years. Why has it recently entered the ‘church’? I’ve previously warned about how youth go from religious experience to religious experience like an addiction. This is why the occult is so appealing to them, eventually the church becomes too boring. Clearly the reckless leaders of this movement recognize the need to keep the attention of the young adults by upping the ante.

This is why it’s so very important to take the full counsel of Gods Word, rather than cherry picking specific verses and twisting them out of context. Recall, beloved brethren, the Law of non contradiction. If your theology contradicts the Bible, please don’t search out random verses to try and force a justification for your sinfulness. Dear friends, be watchmen on the tower, protect your children and grand children from these types of dangerous practices.

Why is grave soaking so dangerous? It is appointed unto man once to die and then comes judgement. There’s nothing in those graves but dry bones. The danger comes in inviting ‘spirits’ to come into you and give you power, which is really what these young people are doing. Essentially we see a group of people desperate for experience, emotional highs, and spirituality. However, what we do not see is the desire for holiness, faithfulness, or obedience. We need to pray for these people who are so very lost that they fill their days with the dead. Remember also that but by the grace of God, so goes us. And as always, beloved, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Twisted Tuesday – Unknowable as an Excuse

We really do live in a blessed time, beloved, where all the information needed for correctly understanding Gods Word is readily available for all who seek it. I think of the years Isaac Newton spent researching books and languages to understand what we can see within a days googling, and my mind hurts just to consider the effort it took for him. Although we have this tremendous access, and the freedom in the West to search these things out, many in the church today twist scriptures to excuse themselves from study.

Deuteronomy 29:29 and Isaiah 55:8 are a couple examples of the scripture showing us how great our God is. It’s true that we will never know all there is to know about God. That should never be twisted into an excuse for apathy. In our insane world people are capable of making the absolute statement that there are no absolutes, without being sent to a therapist. We need to be on guard that this ridiculous notion does not creep into our theology.

There are so many cults that teach false doctrines to those who did not, and will not, do the necessary research into what they’re being taught. These cults frequently twist scripture to fit their beliefs. We must always be cautious not to do the same thing, but rather take the full counsel of Gods Word. This is why I extol you, dear brethren, to be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Twisted Tuesday’s – Universalism 

The twisted scripture for today is 1 Timothy 2:4

Beloved, today I’m going to address Christian Universalism, which is the belief that everyone will eventually be saved whether in this life or after it, through Christ’s work on the cross.

There is also Unitarian Universalism, which teaches all faiths are true and everyone will be saved regardless of what Christ did on the cross. This belief is not something true Christians can be deceived by as it is a rejection of Christ as our Lord and savior. My purpose on Tuesday’s is to review scriptures taken out of context or twisted to fit a certain viewpoint. Unitarian Universalism, while extremely dangerous, does not fall into this category. So-called ‘Christian’ Universalism, however, does.

Many others have done a far better job discussing this subject in detail than I ever could. Our brother in Christ over at Possessing the Treasure wrote extensively about this here. If you want more than the basic summary I write, I encourage you to read his post.

Essentially the idea is that God desires all to be saved, therefore God will save everyone even if they do not repent and place their trust in Christ in this lifetime. No one will end up in hell, isn’t that great? The issue with this belief is that it not only twists Paul’s words, but it ignores other passages in both the New and the Old Testament.

Brethren, the disciples of Christ didn’t just risk their lives to spread the Gospel, all but John lost their lives in the process. Why would this be necessary if salvation was afforded after death? In fact, if all are going to be saved, it seems like God could have thought of an easier way for Christ to redeem His bride, why the cross?

This type of deception comes when believers fail to take into account the full counsel of Gods Word. Dear ones, I want to bring you back to what we discussed last Tuesday, the Law of Non-Contradiction. If a verse seems to contradict another verse in the Holy Spirit inspired scriptures then the flaw is with your understanding, not the verse. Look closer, don’t accept my word for it, or anyone else’s, in fact, the only word we should accept is the Word of God.

Beloved brethren, with a deep affection for you all I desire that none of you should fall into deception. This is why I plead with you day in and day out, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved. I pray for you all, I ask for your prayers as well, so that we can each grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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.