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2 Timothy 3:2 “For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy” 

The big lie of Humanism goes all the way back to Lucifer’s rebellion against God:

Isaiah 14: 12-16:

“How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.

The big lie is “it’s all about me” And that is the lie that Joel Osteen peddles! Humanism teaches that there is no God, That we ALL are God, or we all have a God spark in us and we just need to realize that, and when we all do then we can have “Heaven on Earth” Sorry folks but that is the biggest lie ever told! Look around us at what this kind of thinking has created in our society!

The only way that a man can be changed is to “die to self” and surrender his life to redemption in Jesus Christ, and when he does that then the Holy Spirit can come in and begin to guide that person via God’s Word: The Bible! The Holy Spirit will open that person’s eyes to God’s Truth in God’s written word, The Bible! Not via false humanist words straight form the pits of Hell!

from Christian News:

A recently recorded video is circulating online of Victoria Osteen, wife of megachurch speaker and author Joel Osteen, calling on congregants at Lakewood Church to ‘do good for your own self’ because obedience, the church and worship are not for God as much as for self-happiness.

“I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God—I mean, that’s one way to look at it—we’re doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we’re happy,” she declares in the undated 36-second clip with her husband standing by her side and nodding. “That’s the thing that gives Him the greatest joy…”

“So, I want you to know this morning: Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy,” Osteen continues. “When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God really. You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy. Amen?”

Osteen is the author of the book Love Your Life, and is “co-pastor” of Lakewood in Houston, Texas. Her husband Joel is known for his motivational speeches and his books Your Best Life Now and It’s Your Time.

Steve Camp, pastor of The Cross Church in Palm City, Florida and former singer/songwriter, told Christian News Network that he viewed the video on Wednesday, and while saddened, he was not surprised at her remarks. He stated that Osteen’s statements were humanistic in nature and antithetical to Scripture.

“It’s the age old sin of idolatry—that it’s not about God, it’s about us,” he explained. “True worship for the humanist is about how we feel at the end of the day and what gives us meaning, as opposed to what gives God glory.”

“When we come to see men happy rather than God glorified, it’s not worship, it’s idolatry,” Camp stated, reading from Psalm 115:1, which states, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.”

He said that Osteen’s words were essentially blasphemous because they disregard God’s holiness and the way that He is to be worshiped.

“She honestly believes that God exists to make us happy rather than holy,” Camp lamented. “She honestly believes that worship is about our fulfillment rather than His glory. That’s the bottom issue here.”

But he outlined that Scripture commands man to be selflessly abandon themselves to Christ and to not worry about their own lives.

“1 Corinthians so clearly says that whether we eat or drink, do it all to the glory of God. It’s not just self,” Camp stated. “Jesus said … in Matthew 16, ‘Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Me.’”

He also pointed to Acts 20:24, which reads, “[N]either count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”

“The Osteens have just inverted that. They think it’s not the denial of self, but the exaltation of self,” Camp lamented. “They’re not trying to pursue a cross; they’re trying to pursue prosperity. And they’re certainly not following the biblical Jesus; they’re following whatever brings happiness and contentment.”

When asked about the dangers of “me-centered” church, Camp outlined numerous concerns. He explained that besides such congregations not being a real church to begin with, “me-centered” churches are based on pragmatism over Scripture, the pleasure of men over the glory of God, and are more concerned with being liked than being truthful. In doing so, such assemblies thrust the Lord of the Church outside of the Church as in Laodicea, as  Christ declared, “[T]hou sayest, ‘I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing,’ and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”

“The gospel is always counter-cultural. It always runs against that with which man wants to be satisfied and pleased with,” Camp explained. “The me-centered church is about what’s temporal rather than eternal. … The end of worship in a me-centered church has to be money, has to be fame, has to be the pragmatics of temporal culture. Therefore, it won’t do anything to offend a culture.”

“What’s the chief end of man? To bring glory to God and enjoy him forever,” he stated, quoting from Thomas Watson. “I think that’s the thing that’s been lost in our culture.”

Camp, who has spoken with Joel Osteen in the past, and has urged him to speak boldly about Christ instead of worrying about public opinion, said that if he were to encourage Victoria—whom he noted should not be serving as “co-pastor” in the first place—he would call upon her to repent.

“Repent of this self-oriented, feel good gospel you’ve embraced, and don’t let your life be of any value to you or precious to yourself,” he said. “The chief concern in this life is not us. The chief concern is that we bring glory to God, that we further His gospel, and that we testify of His grace. We’re here to do his bidding.”

 

 

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Those in the “Emerging Church”movement do not have or see a problem with playing “fast and loose” with the Word of God!  They tend to treat those who have reverence for the Word of God as legalistic and  refer to them as modern “Pharisee’s”

The problem with this is that the one’s who hold fast to the Word of God and have reverence for what it says do not do it so they can put a yoke around people’s necks to try and get others to do what they want irregardless of what the Word Of  God says!

This is what the original Scribes and Pharisee’s did. They abused the fact that the common man of their day could not read or understand what the Torah said! So they reinterpreted the Torah into a set of verbal and written traditions to fit their own political goals!

The ironic thing today, is that the ones who are the actual Pharisee’s of today are those in the “Emerging Church” who are twisting God’s Word to suit their own political goals! NOT the ones who hold to the Truth of God’s Word and have reverence for it!

If you read up on those who make Motion Pictures, they are not overly concerned about sticking to a strict interpretation of an original story, no they want to manipulate it to make it more exciting and fit the goal that they have, it is pure subjectivity on the part of the person who wrote the Movie and the one who directs it!

from Stand Up For The Truth:

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. ~Eph 5:11

Not surprisingly the movie “Son of God” has created quite a stir in the Christian community.  Before I gave the theater my money I read several reviews, blog posts, Facebook comments and viewed TV interviews of husband and wife team Mark Burnett and Roma Downey promoting their film.  Roma is a familiar face to many and is best-known for her role on the successful TV show “Touched by An Angel.”  Mark Burnett is the executive producer of a string of hit TV shows such as “Survivor,” “The Voice, “Celebrity Apprentice,” “Shark Tank,” and he has won several Emmys.

When I first heard that another full-length feature film about the life of Christ was coming to the silver screen, I was skeptical for several reasons.  First, Mark and Roma are Catholic and I was concerned that the movie would be produced from this perspective; a perspective that in many cases I disagree with.

Second, I learned that Roma earned a degree in “spiritual psychology” from the University of Santa Monica, a private graduate school founded by New Age spiritual and self-help quack John-Roger.   P.J. Miller is not being flippant when he asks:

What do you call someone who is a student of new age psychology and spiritualism? Do you call them new agers? Do you call them seekers? Would you dare call them Christian? Well, if you’re Roma Downey, then yes, you would call yourself all the above. (Source)

Third, a movie trailer shows Jesus asking Peter to follow Him. Peter looks skeptical and asks Jesus what they’re going to do.  Jesus grins and replies “Change the world.”  Well, no.  Jesus never said those words to Peter!  Here’s what Jesus actually said:

While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. (Mat 4:18-20)

Jesus commanded  – Peter and Andrew dropped what they were doing to follow Him.  (More on this in a moment.)  Another clip shows a woman sitting in a boat on the Sea of Galilee with Jesus and the apostles during the storm where Jesus walks on water.  But according to Scripture there was no woman in the boat:

Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.  (Mat 14:22)   

In the movie Mary was the woman in the boat.  But why would they have a woman in the boat when Matthew informs us that the disciples/apostles got into the boat.  Mary wasn’t one of the twelve disciples/apostles – no woman was!

Finally, S. Michael Houdmann revealed in his review of the movie that, “the reason for Jesus’ death and the meaning of His resurrection are completely missing. The fact that Jesus’ death is the atoning sacrifice for sin is not mentioned at all (1 John 2:2).”

As I said, “Son of God” has elicited a great deal of controversy as did Mark and Roma’s “The Bible” miniseries produced by LightWorkers Media, a company owned by them. This “heretical and blasphemous” program aired on the History Channel last year. “We knew when we were shooting,” said Downey, “that the Jesus portion of our ‘Bible’ series was special and we shot much more footage and we’ve re-edited many more scenes into a stand-alone feature film called ‘Son of God.’”   I don’t have the space to tackle the “The Bible” brouhaha.  I will say, though, that several highly controversial pastors sat on the Board of Advisors. They include Rick WarrenJoel OsteenT.D. JakesRichard Mouw and Samuel Rodriguez.  (For more on “The Bible” go to Resources below)

The Son of God?

“Son of God” opened on February 28, so by now a lot of folks have had the opportunity to view it in theatres and many more will have it streaming into their living rooms in a few months.  Naturally, reviews were quickly written, some good, some not so good.  (You’ll find links to the reviews at the end of this piece.) Suffice to say that in a short amount of time a lot has been said about the film.

Many of you won’t be surprised to learn that Mark and Roma asked Saddleback Church founder Rick Warren to help spread their version of the “good news.”   He happily agreed.  “I’ve seen most of the films produced about Jesus in the past 50 years,” said the pastor, “and ‘Son of God’ is the best.  We’re excited Jesus is back on the big screen, and we’re going to fill the theaters. I want every other faith leader in America to do the same.”

So – why would the man who is affectionately called “America’s Pastor” agree to promote a film that its critics describe as outright unbiblical?

Not only did Warren endorse the film, according to the Baptist Standard staff report :

Pastor and author Rick Warren partnered with LifeWay Christian Resources to release a Bible study related to the Son of God movie from 20th Century Fox, which hits theaters Feb. 28.

The small-group curriculum resource by Warren, Son of God: The Life of Jesus in You, is a companion piece to the movie produced by husband-and-wife team Mark Burnett and Roma Downey.

The six-session study features video clips from the movie and videos from Warren explaining Jesus’ teachings and their impact on people’s lives. Topics include baptism, temptation, suffering, death, resurrection and ministry. (Source)

As a Southern Baptist preacher, Rick Warren knows perfectly well that the Roman Catholic Church holds to the view that it is the one true Church.  Thus, any church outside the RCC is anathematized (excommunicated, cursed or damned). The Protestant Reformers held the view that the RCC’s gospel is not a gospel that saves; therefore the RCC is apostate.  Anyone who rejects the true gospel – we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone – is an unbeliever.  Period.  Warren also knows what the Bible teaches regarding believers going into partnerships with unbelievers:

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness. (2 Corinthians 6:14)

Here’s the thing.  Not everyone who professes the name of Christ has a true saving faith.  What about Mark Burnett and Roma Downey?  Do they have a true saving faith?  Let’s examine the fruit.

Endorsements

Popular pastor and author Mark Driscoll’s church bought out 3,500 seats.  In 2013 he and his wife shared a stage with Mark and Roma at Resurgence 13.  Driscoll later remarked:

We watched the world premier trailer for The Son of God at the conference, and the footage choked me up as I thought of the millions of people who will hear about Jesus through this project. I am so encouraged by God’s work through this couple. (Source) 

God’s work?

The connection between the Passover sacrifice (Exodus 12) and Jesus as the Lamb of God (John 1:29) is not made. The fact that Jesus’ resurrection proves His victory over death and sin and guarantees a resurrected eternal life for all who believe in Him (1 Corinthians 15) is nowhere to be found.  — S. Michael Houdmann

Another endorser of the film was “Social Justice Christian” Rev. Jim Wallis.  In my column Liberalism created the culture of evil and death, part 3 I wrote:

This man wears many hats.  He is the founder of Sojourner’s Magazine, speaker, author and activist.  He’s also President Obama’s “spiritual advisor.”  This alone speaks volumes.  Rev. Wallis insists that he’s an evangelical Christian even though he has abandoned the biblical gospel for the “social gospel.”  He believes he’s on a mission from God to assist the poor and oppressed to bring forth the Kingdom of God on earth. 

When this purveyor of the false social justice gospel was asked for advice by the couple, he gladly gave it to them:

What won me over to the whole series was the clip about Jesus meeting Peter, the fisherman. In a Washington, D.C., premiere of “The Bible” series a few weeks ago, I had wonderful conversations with Mark and Roma. Mark asked me if they were right to have Jesus say that he wanted to change the world. Those words are not literally in the scriptures, but it seemed to him and Roma that’s exactly what Jesus was talking about. Absolutely correct, I told them both. And we went through the first few chapters of Mathew which demonstrate that truth. I love the clarity and courage of the statement from Jesus in “The Bible.”

Sunny Shell disagrees:

Christ came into the world to save sinners from the righteous wrath of God, which is the just penalty for our sins. He never said He came to change the world. He said He came to transform people by giving them new hearts and new minds through repentance and faith in Christ alone. (Source)

The Examiner listed the names of churches and organizations that distributed tickets for a so-called “Theater Take-Over”:

Joel Osteen, pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Tex., who is distributing 8,000 tickets donated by an anonymous donor; Jerry Falwell, Jr., of Liberty University which has more than 12,000 students; Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch which has 18 campuses in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma; Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles with over four million members and Miles McPherson of the Rock Church with weekly attendance of more than 10,000 in San Diego, Calif. (Emphasis in original – source)

In an article that appeared on Fox News, Mark and Roma wrote:

In all our combined years in the entertainment industry, we’ve never seen anything like this kind of grass-roots support for a project. It is truly miraculous. 

So, too, is the unprecedented depth and breadth of those who have endorsed the film. Pastors like Rick, as well as scholars and faith organizations, have graciously supported our effort to share this story of our Savior – though they belong to different denominations, adhere to varying theological doctrine, worship God in their own unique ways.  

Bishop T.D. Jakes of The Potter’s House in Dallas said “the audience will be enthralled, encouraged and inspired.”  

S. Michael Houdmann was not enthralled by the movie.  In his review he writes:

The Son of God presents a Jewish Messiah who is crucified, dies, comes back to life, and commissions His followers to spread the word. But why did He have to die? What is the meaning of the resurrection? What is the message the apostles were supposed to proclaim, and why was it worth dying for? 

More from the Fox News article…

Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church in Houston called it “an epic work that touches the heart.” 

The Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles Jose Gomez says it’s “a very important movie because it gives us the opportunity to realize God’s presence in our own lives.” (Source)

Certainly there are by now “Church leaders” that are sincerely shocked to find out that they endorsed a movie produced by New Age Catholics.  Here’s more proof from a 2010 article Roma Downey Happy Out of the Spotlight that shows she’s an advocate of New Age/New Thought spirituality:

Says Roma, who lives in Malibu, ‘My kids go to school about a 40-minute drive away. I’m open to the group’s opinion about what we listen to on the way there. On the way back, I get my own selections — books on tape by Eckhart Tolle, Tony Robbins…My husband says I’m so self-realized I’m practically levitating.’

For those who are unfamiliar with Eckhart Tolle, he’s a New Ager.  A few years ago Tolle paired up with Oprah Winfrey to do 10 online classes on XM Satellite radio on his blockbuster book “A New Earth: Are You Ready to Be Awakened.”  Oprah and Tolle took participants through his book chapter by chapter.  Regrettably, a large number of professing Christians took the class!

Human Potential guru and “coach for success” Anthony Robbins once said: “My definition of success is to live your life in a way that causes you to feel tons of pleasure and very little pain.”  Evidently no pain is experienced after completing a barefoot firewalk, a self-empower technique Robbins’ teaches to get an otherwise sane person to walk on a bed of burning hot coals during his “Unleash The Power Within” seminar.  On this video you’ll hear the sound of drums beating and the crowd chanting “YES! YES! YES!” as Robbins whips them into a frenzy in preparation for the firewalk.

More…

Roma appeared on “psychic medium” John Edward’s TV show and allegedly spoke to her deceased mother.  What does the Bible have to say about consulting a medium?

And he burned his son as an offering and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. (2 Kings 21:6)

Well, it’s apparent that Roma, who says she loves the Bible, is unaware—or doesn’t care–that God says consulting a medium is evil.

Later she collaborated with Edwards by providing a CD to accompany a book he wrote:

Roma prays the entire rosary on the beautiful CD that comes along with this book. It’s quite lovely and gives you the special opportunity and a unique spiritual closeness to Roma to be able to pray right along with her as if she was right there at your side.” (Source)

So now you know a bit about two New Age gurus Roma Downey looks forward to listening to each day and an occultist she collaborated with.  The worldview of these men is as far from Christianity as the Earth is from Pluto.

P.J. Miller sat listening to Jim Bakker introduce Mark and Roma on Bakker’s TV show and recalled “their previous work on the History Channel’s The Bible and how they managed to literally re-write the Bible itself, and presented another gospel message altogether. I was captured by their … aggressive but subtle attempt to portray themselves as ‘believers’.  The sappy spiritual love fest that permeated on set showed me that something was indeed changing within Christianity, and that something was another Jesus being introduced to the masses.” 

Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. (Mat/ 24: 23-24) 

After several weeks of due diligence I’ve decided that “Son of God” is not a film I wish to see.  In addition to the concerns I have included in this article, my research has turned up many more  – way too many to incorporate here.  Most troubling is the astonishing lack of discernment shown by some of our so-called Christian leaders.  The Son of God I serve is best described in the Bible which is the inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God.  Inspired means that God moved through the writers to convey to those who read it the words He wanted us to hear.  So to change the words that Christ spoke is prideful and wicked.

It’s unfortunate that those who are unfamiliar with the biblical Jesus and see this film will not come away with a clear understanding of His mission here on Earth.

He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (1John 2:2) 

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From First Plumbline Apologetics:

2 Thessalonians 2:10  “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”

Please Note FPA does not endorse or promote any external sites these are for educational purposes only.

Hope Together are promoting another gospel through the Bible Series and another attempt to draw us into the RCC they state leading many in to apostasy, we need to be more vigilant in these last days.

“THE BIBLE is an epic 10-hour mini-series to be broadcast on Channel 5 with the first episode airing on November 30 at 9pm. The series brings to life the dramatic tales of faith and courage in the most widely read book of all time. Breath-taking in scope and scale it features powerful performances, exotic locations and cutting-edge visual effects to create a spectacular television event that will entertain and inspire the whole family. From Genesis to Revelation, THE BIBLE series features some of the most famous stories ever written and some of the most iconic characters.

Make the most of the series in your community or workplace.”

Visit Scripture Union’s resource page for The Bible Bank and The Bible e-book, free resources helping you to engage with the THE BIBLE mini-series.

Check out some of the reviews:

THE BIBLE series is an excellent dramatization of the Bible. It is historically credible and put together with sensitivity and imagination. The producers have a wonderful ability to make you think about familiar scenes in an entirely new way. Helen K Bond (Senior Lecturer in New Testament, University of Edinburgh)

The Bible is the most-read book of all time. It has touched the lives of billions of people across the planet and has significantly shaped history, culture, literature, art, politics and human behavior – and continues to shape the world we live in today. You don’t have to believe the Bible to be affected by it. Roma Downey and Mark Burnett (Executive Producers of THE BIBLE series (Roman Catholics)

The show has been nothing short of a sensation, watched by millions of people across the world. To have it on Channel 5 is incredibly exciting – these are stories that can’t fail to draw you in. Marie-Claire Dunlop (Acquisitions and Channel Manager at Channel 5)

Attempting to depict the whole span of the biblical narrative from Genesis to Revelation is a bold undertaking. THE BIBLE series pulls it off. It has paid very close attention to the text but at the same time imagined what it might have felt like for the different characters depicted.Paula Gooder (Canon Theologian of Birmingham and Guildford Cathedrals) (This person does not know their bible)

What exactly does the Bible Miniseries Teach and who are the Spiritual Advisers Behind The Bible that Hope Together and Scripture Union are promoting ?

[1] Source Beginningandend.com

History Channel The Bible mini-series | Basphemy and innacurate portrayal.

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. – Matthew 7:15-18

“We weren’t qualified to teach the Bible, but we knew plenty of people who were,” – The Bible mini-series co-creator Mark Burnett, speaking of the panel of spiritual advisors who helped make the mini-series.

A quick look at the Board of Advisors on The Bible Miniseries and it becomes quite obvious that it was bound to contain heretical portrayals of the Scriptures. Prosperity Gospel preacher T.D. Jakes, Rick Warren of Saddleback Church and Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church, the largest church in the United States are the three most prominent names. AsBeginning and End has detailed in past articles, all three pastors teach Unbiblical, New Age, false doctrines. In our article on T.D. Jakes we showed that in addition to preaching the money-focused prosperity Gospel, he also has yoked with New Age promoter Oprah Winfrey. Joel Osteen preaches a message of New Age mysticism that can be found in manybooks and websites on witchcraft, while Rick Warren has been a major promoter of a one-world religion that merges other faiths with Christianity.

Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch.tv, which is famous for its rendition of “Gangsta’s Paradise”during Sunday service is also on the board in addition to a number of Catholic advisors as well. What all these people have in common is teaching doctrines that are not found in the Bible and often contradict the Word of God. As The Lord Jesus Christ explained in the passage above, if the spiritual foundation of a mini-series is filled with heretical, New Age pastors, the “fruit” of the mini-series will be questionable. . . . .

Read the full article here.

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From Worldview Weekend:

Is there any greater book than the Bible? Is there any greater treasure than that Truth which has been handed to the Christian by God? Is there anything more relevant, more life-changing, more convicting, more comforting, than the very Word of God. No, beloved, there is not.

Yet, for reasons that far exceed the rationale of the regenerate, there are those who seek to twist and change this great Word so that it might be more relevant, more exciting, more enjoyed by those who stand as enemies of its Author. In this sad and unfortunate quest for more, the Truth becomes untruth and any benefit that may be derived from this Word is lost.

One may rightly inquire, what more could possibly be desired? Is it adventure the reader seeks? What greater adventure is there than the story of a nation wandering in the wilderness for 40 years before being allowed to enter the land promised to them by God? What young boy does not delight to hear his father read to him the story of David and Goliath? Oh, yes, the Bible has adventure.
Perhaps you are of a more lyrical bent. Why, there is an entire book of poems to be enjoyed in the Psalms! And far from sharing thoughts of temporal whims, these Psalms proclaim and praise the very God Who inspired them.

Is it love you seek? Then that search is over when you open the pages of Scripture, for it reveals not a fleeting version of man’s emotion, but the greatest love ever demonstrated: the love of a holy and perfect God extended to sinners.

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. (John 15:13-14)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17)

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (Rom. 5:6-11)

This great book is no ordinary tome to be perused, enjoyed once and then placed on the shelf for a rainy day. No, this is the very Word of God, and while it contains all of those elements described above, it is not to be enjoyed piecemeal, but in its entirety as it tells the story of redemption through Jesus Christ the Lord.
This splendid, God-breathed Word is not merely a thing to be observed, but a thing to be obeyed. It is sufficient for all matters pertaining to life and godliness.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

Penned by men, yet inspired by the Holy Spirit, all that is contained within the pages of Scripture is true and trustworthy.

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Pet. 1:16-21)

And so this magnificent work, this great gift from a holy God to His children, cannot be improved upon. Yes, to enjoy it, to learn from it, to be convicted by its truths, to be overjoyed by the salvation of which it speaks, one must open it, one must read it, one must understand it. But, oh, what reward the Christian gleans upon immersing himself in the pages of the words of his Lord, even if for a few moments!
Why, then, would anyone seek to enhance this already perfect Word? A valid reason cannot be imagined, except perhaps that one desires to share what he thinks Scripture should teach rather than what the Word truly says.

Here one cannot help but think of The History Channel’s upcoming miniseries, The Bible, set to air on 3 March 2013. Praised by men such as Joel Osteen, Rick Warren and T.D. Jakes, the film is being called ‘epic’, which is indeed quite a claim. Produced by Mark Burnett of Survivor fame and his wife, Touched By An Angel star Roma Downey, already books, studies, devotionals and other resources are available based upon this production.

The FAQ section of The Bible website answers a question about which many may be wondering:

bible docudrama

Not only, then, were seeker-driven and Word Faith pastors such as Warren, Osteen and Jakes consulted, but others of questionable convictions like Erwin McManus, Craig Groeschel, Gabe Lyons, Samuel Rodriguez and others. Time and space prevent from examining here each of these names in depth. . . . . . .

read the full article here.

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This is the “ROTTEN FRUIT” of TBN, Daystar  . . . .

I saw it a few years ago when I was in South Africa

from A Letter from Kabwata:

We all know that the dark ages are upon us again here in Africa. It is almost like a dark blanket that is slowly surrounding the land. People who know absolutely nothing of the core values of evangelical Christianity—the new birth, repentance and saving faith, justification and holiness, etc.—have hijacked evangelical Christianity in Africa. Even the term “born again” is being peddled without an iota of the meaning that Jesus had in mind when he used the phrase in his talk with Nicodemus. These are dark days indeed.

Once upon a time in Zambia, in the 1970s and early 1980s, you could go to very much any English-speaking evangelical church on Sunday and expect to attend a Bible study and hear faithful preaching of God’s word. You may have been a little uncomfortable with some aspects of their worship. You may have also disagreed with some doctrinal assumptions during the preaching. However, you could not miss the fact that here was a sincere effort at arriving at the meaning of the text of Scripture and applying it to the hearers—both in the Bible studies and the sermons. You also heard an appeal for repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. They may not have dotted your “i”s and crossed your “t”s as you do, but you still went home edified.

That is now very rare. In most so-called evangelical churches in Zambia today, there are no Bible studies and you cannot last to the end of their worship service if what you went for was spiritual edification. How many of our people are being drawn to churches primarily because they have been falsely promised to be cured of AIDS, get promotion at work, get more money, etc.? How many of our people are giving stashes of cash to so-called servants of God who are in fact nothing more than religious fraudsters? How many of our people now think that worship is dancing to very loud music that competes favourably with the rhumba maestros of the Congo? How many of our preachers think that preaching is shouting nice sounding platitudes through a microphone at the top of their voice with an American or Nigerian accent? This is what church has become.

I liken this delusion to the days prior to the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. People flooded the churches but it was all for the wrong reasons. They were deceived and spellbound by a priest craft that claimed abilities they did not have but which the people craved after. Superstition reigned supreme in the church. The people were poor but they were promised various blessings if they could only give their remaining money to the church. Out of these funds majestic church edifices were built and the church’s top leadership lived like kings and princes. Is this not what is happening in the name of evangelical Christianity today? Or am I the only one who is seeing these things?

The result of all this is that we have “Protestant” churches on literally every street but the evangelical faith is totally absent. In fact these churches have become dens of iniquity. Church pastors are impregnating young girls in their churches, getting them to abort, agreeing with their parents not to spill the beans for some undisclosed huge amounts of hush-money, and their spouses and church leaders know about all this. As the pulpit has gone, so has gone the pew. Hardly anyone is thirsting and hungering after righteousness. Immoral living is rife. Church discipline is rare. Those who know about this rottenness are looking at the church from outside and pinching their nostrils in disgust. We have the numbers alright but the salt has lost its saltiness—and we know it.

Come on; let us be honest. We all know that the so-called prosperity gospel, which is in vogue in evangelicalism today, is heresy. We all know that the only guys becoming stinking rich are the preachers to whom the blind followers are giving their money. The followers themselves are still in abject poverty. It is nothing but religious fraud. We also all know that 99% of the claims to physical healing by our faith healers are false. We all have relatives who would be alive today if they had not been told they were cured and so should not take medication for their sickness. These men are murderers. This is not Conrad Mbewe being malicious and making up stories. These are all well-known facts.

The tragedy is not that all this is happening. The disaster is the silence about all this from those who are supposed to provide spiritual guidance to the masses. In Zambia, and in Africa at large, evangelical leaders who have worked their way up the ecclesiastical ladder are holding hands with religious fraudsters and thus they cannot speak about this engulfing evil. They would rather throw stones at political leaders out there than address the Trojan horse within evangelicalism. They would rather tell the world to stop being worldly than tell those who are raping the church from within to stop it. And yet in the light of this spiritual tsunami, the silence is criminal.

The problem with this current silence is that the younger generation who are coming into evangelical circles now think that what they are seeing is a viable and alternative form of evangelical Christianity when it is not. They have no clue that only recently believers got together in church for serious Bible study, that worship had dignity and awe, and that sermons were Bible-based, Christ-centred, and aimed at spiritual conversion. Due to our silence, our upcoming preachers are seeing filling your church membership roll with goats rather than sheep and driving expensive cars at the expense of poor parishioners as the sign of pastoral success. They have no clue that it was only recently when pastors stood out in society for their true godly servanthood. Today’s evangelical leaders are misleading a whole generation of innocent souls by their silence.

In the days of the prophet Malachi, religion in Israel had reached its lowest ebb. The Temple was still full of activity—with all kinds of sacrifices being offered at the altar. Yet, the true worship of God was dying. Those who came to the place of worship were defrauding God and the priests were allowing this. Men were unfaithful to their wives and divorcing at will, and the priests kept quiet about it. God finally put the blame where it ought to have been—at the feet of the priests. He said, “The lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But you have turned aside from the way” (Malachi 2:7-8). God finally wanted them to just shut the Temple doors and send everyone away! Their silence misrepresented him. They did not care that his greatness was obscured.

Once upon a time, a generation of God’s people saw spiritual decay and said, “Enough is enough!” and out of this protest was born the Protestant Reformation. In yet another generation, when liberalism had invaded the Protestant church and was killing its very life, a generation of God’s people again said, “Enough is enough!” and out of that protest was born the Evangelical movement of the 18th century. In the light of the darkness that is once again upon us, with churches becoming no more than witchdoctors’ dens, is it not time for today’s evangelicals to say, “Enough is enough”? How can we be silent in the light of this engulfing darkness? Surely, our evangelical silence must be criminal.

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from The “Christian” Post:

Is there no end to the lack of spiritual discernment within the Christian community? Even some of our Church leaders are showing a startling lack of discernment. And if we can’t trust our leaders to help us stay on the straight and narrow path, who can we trust?

On October 5th, Southern Baptist preacher Rick Warren sat down with New Age/New Thought high priestess Oprah Winfrey for an interview. Although Oprah claims to be a Christian she most assuredly is not as I clearly demonstrate here and here. Joel Osteen, who is said to be “one of America’s most influential spiritual leaders,” appeared on the show prior to Warren to promote his new book, “I Declare: 31 Promises To Speak Over Your Life.” Around 45,000 people attend Lakewood Church each Sunday to hear Osteen preach the word-faith prosperity gospel “lite.” It’s really not surprising that he was invited to appear on “Oprah’s Life Class.” The duo has become fast friends ever since she and Tyler Perry attended a Lakewood service some months back. They soon discovered how like-minded they are. In fact, Osteen has this Oprahesque declaration on his website:

The words we speak set the course for our life. If you want to know what you’re going to be like in five years, listen to the words you are saying about yourself today.

Egads!

Osteen not only teaches a false gospel, he apparently has scant knowledge of the scriptures which is the main reason the man who pastors the largest megachurch in America is unaware that the Lord has called His followers to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Tm 2:15).

Rick Warren’s claim to fame is his books “The Purpose Driven Church” and “The Purpose Driven Life.” PDL is the best-selling hardback non-fiction book in American history and is translated into more than 50 languages. By using modern marketing methods he helped lay the foundation for the Church Growth movement (CGM). Largely due to the popularity of his purpose-driven books the CGM has spread through churches like a windstorm sweeping across the Great Plains, ushering in a “new paradigm” of transformational leadership to meet the challenge of the new century. CGM “emphasizes mainly missionary work combined with sociological awareness of the target population.” In other words, it utilizes slick marketing techniques. The object is to reach the “unchurched” using the age-old principle: You can draw more flies with honey than with vinegar. Hence, the “seeker-sensitive” label.

Over the years Pastor Warren has become controversial, and rightly so, for a multitude of reasons which I’ve tackled here and here. For one reason or another controversy continually swirls around “America’s Pastor.” Still, he is highly regarded by many in the Christian community and likewise the press. What’s stunning is that he’s often invited to speak at events with New Calvinist luminaries like John Piper, Mark Driscoll, James MacDonald and Matt Chandler. Before I move on, I must bring to light influential Reformed theologian John Piper’s recent endorsement of Rick Warren. Many of us in the discernment ministries were both surprised and troubled by his endorsement. Christine Pack observed:

[Piper] gave his “stamp of approval” by having Warren be a keynote speaker at Dr. Piper’s annual Desiring God conference. This was an event that caught many in evangelicalism off guard and resulted in a flurry of articles and blog posts over a number of months. The problem with Dr. Piper welcoming Rick Warren into the fold is that Dr. Piper has long been known as a champion and protector of the purity of the gospel message. (Source)

Pastor celebrity James MacDonald was once asked to comment on the “seeker movement” and he replied, “The seeker movement [should be] subtitled: How to Fill Your Church with Tares.” Later he publically affirmed Rick Warren in a tweet even knowing that the seeker movement that filled churches with heathens was the brain child of “possibility thinker” Robert Schuller. His most recognized disciples are Bill Hybels and Rick Warren. Excuse me, but a shepherd’s duty is to point out error and guard the flock from wolves in sheep’s clothing, not to invite them into the sheep pen!

Sorry to digress.

Another prominent pastor who shares the stage with Rick Warren is Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship, a Calvary Chapel in Riverside, CA. Laurie is best known as the founder and featured speaker for Harvest Crusades.

So, what is going on in the visible Church?

Glad you asked. In a word: syncretism. Syncretism occurs when elements of other religious beliefs are mashed into mainstream Protestant denominations. In a piece entitled Purpose Driven Dismantling of Christianity, I examined the effect syncretism has on the Church:

Satan uses syncretism to separate God from His people. God loathes syncretism:

“When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.” (Deuteronomy 12:29-31)

Grievous wolves (Acts 20:29) masquerading as evangelicals introduced false religious beliefs (abominations) into mainline churches. Many of them are forthcoming about what they’re doing, others not so much. Their main goal is … change. The plan (yes, they have a plan) is to dismantle historic orthodox Christianity and usher in a “new paradigm,” a “new kind of Christianity.”

Wolves are skillful at drawing people in. They’ve learned how to use TV, radio, the Worldwide Web, human potential seminars, psycho-therapeutic counseling, so-called Christian entertainment that includes movies, DVDs, books and music. Some believers are drawn in through political groups. As you can see, a whole host of lures are used to bait the hook.

Many professing Christians have accepted the blending of religious beliefs with no questions asked. They sit in churches where they’re not taught the truth but are fed a steady diet of half truths and outright lies! Jesus wanted those who believe in Him to read and understand the Word. “Sanctify them through thy truth,” He prayed. “Thy Word is truth!” (John 17:17 ) (Source)

Now, let’s get to my questions: Why did Rick Warren agree to do an interview with Oprah? Moreover, why would he want to be associated with word-faith heretic Joel Osteen? We discover after the fact that he did not use the opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost, many of whom were tuned into the show. No. Instead he used his time with Oprah to pass on his sage advice to the audience, peppered with a few Bible quotes — taken out of context!

Former New Ager and astrologer Marcia Montenegro watched the 3 hours of live taping on Oprah’s Life Class. I think the following excerpt about what she observed clearly identifies the sort of pastor Rick Warren is:

Although Rick Warren has had New Age Dr. Oz at his church (along with a supposedly Christian doctor who also endorses some New Age practices), I was hoping he (RW) would somehow give the gospel in the midst of his motivational advice, but he never did. He used the imagery of a poker game to explain we are dealt certain cards, and then gave a teaching on this that sounded like moralistic self-help programs I’ve heard so many times, throwing in a few Bible quotes taken out of context or misquoted. It was something almost any New Ager could accept. God becomes a tool for self-improvement and success. Warren referred to Jesus, but took scripture out of context and applied things said to believers to everyone. He also misused the Proverbs passage that says “as a man thinketh, so is he.” This passage is a famous passage misused by New Thought proponents and is used in “The Secret.” What was really hard to watch is when a woman in Norway Skyped to say she realized she needed God but wanted to know who God is and she asked, “What should I do?” It was clear that she was ripe to hear the gospel and needed Jesus! It was a great opportunity to share the gospel with her, and at the same time, for Oprah to hear it. Instead of giving the gospel, Rick Warren seemed uncomfortable and finally just said something like, ‘Go to God and find your purpose.” It was a terrible moment! The woman looked surprised and sad, like she was expecting something else. I prayed for her later and am hoping that the many Christians who witnessed this will pray for her. Not only that, but when Oprah referred to God, as she often did, Rick Warren agreed with her as though she was referring to the biblical God, which she was not. He even said a few times, “Oprah has a good point.” No, she never did! She was speaking totally out of her New Thought/New Age beliefs. I am grateful that RW recommended that people read the gospel of John. That was the best thing he said. (Read Marcia’s entire piece here)

Why do so many followers of Jesus Christ view Rick Warren as dangerous? Evangelist Tony Miano’s indictment is blunt:

Plastic pastors transparent enough to see through, like Joel Osteen, are not as dangerous as Rick Warren. Modalistic moguls of the painfully-obvious-money-hungry prosperity movement, like T.D. Jakes, are not as dangerous as Rick Warren. Self-serving sorcerers of the false signs and wonders movement, like Todd Bentley, are not as dangerous as Rick Warren. No. None of the before-mentioned personalities or groups are all that dangerous because what you see is what you get. They all lack the ability to change their appearance to accommodate a change in environment. They lack the chameleon-like ability, the self-serving ability, to say what needs to be said in order to keep people in every camp liking them.

Now listen to former Catholic Priest Richard Bennett:

Warren teaches that God ‘created the church to meet your five deepest needs’ just as the Roman Catholic Church says, ‘The Church is the mother of all believers.’ Warren, like Rome, has switched from obedience to the Word and Person of the Living God to submission to a church to achieve one’s needs. It is the oldest and cleverest temptation known to man.

I’ll close with warning from the Lord Jesus:

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous [ferocious] wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. (Mat. 5:15-20)

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No surprise there! Joel Osteen is more interested in being popular than speaking ANY Biblical Truth. Like Rick Warren before him, his views on Homosexuality are “evolving” or in other words they do not want to lose any of their legions of followers by taking a Biblical public stand against Homosexuality!

from lifesitenews:

Texas Megachurch Pastor Joel Osteen squirmed under a barrage of question about his beliefs on homosexuality during a discussion on CNN’s “Talking points with Soledad O’Brien” last Thursday. 

The conversation began as a discussion between Osteen and New Age self-help guru Deepak Chopra about the importance of positive thinking, but then abruptly turned to homosexuality.

Almost every time we have a pastor on, it’s a conversation we have,” CNN host O’Brien explained to Osteen.

“I always wonder when you say homosexuality is a sin and there’s a bunch of people who clearly are gay who are in your church,” she continued. “You’re calling them sinners. I mean, that is the opposite of uplifting, I would think.”

“Well, Soledad, I don’t necessarily focus on that. I only talk about that in the interviews,” Osteen replied.

When asked if he thought he had an important voice to lend to the public debate about homosexuality, Osteen answered, “I think part of my, if you want to call it success, I’ve stayed in my lane and my lane is lifting people’s spirits and there are issues that good, Bible-believing people see on both sides of the fence.”

However, when O’Brien suggested point blank that Osteen would say Scripture condemns homosexuality as a sin, Osteen responded, “exactly.”

“When I read the scripture, that’s what I believe, that the scripture condemns it or says it’s a sin,” Osteen said. “It also says, you know, lying it and being prideful is.”

Osteen was then asked by panelist and gay rights activist Richard Socarides whether he had chosen to be heterosexual.  Osteen replied that he had not, adding, “I don’t understand all those issues and so, you know, I try to stick on the issues that I do understand. I know this. I’m for everybody. I’m not for pushing people down.”

Osteen’s performance earned him the ire of Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, who wrote that while O’Brien had “established the perfect platform for Osteen to respond with the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Osteen “did not.”

“Viewers of CNN saw a display of confusion, evasion, and equivocation coming from one presented as a Christian pastor,” charged Mohler. “What they were really seeing is the total theological bankruptcy of the word of faith movement and the gospel of positive thinking.

“Osteen cannot, or at least will not, speak even the simplest word of biblical conviction. He states his intention to stay in his ‘lane’ of glib affirmation.”

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