In this post will be a brief summary of these two movements and their origins. I’m going to compare them in a way to show how we must continue to obtain a biblical worldview, so as to not stray from the fundamental meaning of scripture. I also want to show by using scripture how both of these movements veer from biblical Christianity, by just simply and precisely quoting scripture, keeping in mind that God never contradicts Himself. I have noticed that when people become born again Christians by grace through faith alone, they tend to jump on the Calvinism or Reformed theology train, especially if they have come out of hyper charismatic movements, liberal religions, or cults. This happened to me, and I am not saying this happens to everyone, but I want to take a look at why this may be happening.
I want to use the IF:Gathering women’s conference to expand on by first point of a liberal church movement. The IF:Gathering was started by Jenny Allen who based the entire conference off of the premise, “If God is real, now what?”
These are the temptations that Jesus faced in the wilderness when the Devil told Jesus in Matthew 4:3 “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” And in Matthew 3:6 “If thou be the son of God cast theyself down.” And in the final temptation of the Devil, he takes Jesus to the highest mountain and said he would give Jesus the entire world if he would just worship him. No wonder Satan is wicked and evil!! He had the audacity to tempt God Himself to worship him!!!
Satan said, “If you are God then….”, honestly how deceptive to base a movement about God on whether He even exists or not!!!
The vain ideology of the IF:Gathering, is an ecumenical movement that is bound up in the pragmatic nonsense of the culture, bringing together all types of unbiblical ideologies into Christianity, to form a new movement among evangelicals that brings everyone that says they are Christians together. The speakers are very popular and charismatic. They seem godly and kind, but if you are reading your bible you will be able to spot and discern that they are twisting scripture to push their vision and their purpose. It is very wicked and deceptive. These false teachers have crept into houses, LITERALLY, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lust, as it says in Second Timothy 3:6!!! And these women who have these teachers in their homes are fulfilling the words of God, given to the Apostle Paul that says, “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.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4) And why do false teachers come into the church? Titus 1:10 says, “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.” If you do some research you will see how much money these women make off of prorogating false doctrine and all their paraphernalia. This is a movement directed at women in their homes all around the world, and it’s all about how you feel and these women do not seem to have a firm grasp of the entirety of the gospel, and they are not workmen, studying to show themselves approved unto God, needing to not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. If Jenny Allen was reading her Bible and taking it seriously she would not be inviting false teachers to her “gathering.” (Not all are false teachers) This is an example of liberal “Christianity” and is not based on the Word of God.
Reformed theology and Calvinism on the other hand is quite the opposite in their doctrine, and this is why it can be so appealing to those of us who have come out of false religions and heretical movements. As a complement to the reformed community, they do a great job exposing all of these false movements and their teachers and quit accurately. They also believe we are saved by grace through faith alone. Because they are so good at identifying these false movements people assume that all their doctrine is correct and reliable, so they don’t challenge the T.U.L.I.P doctrine that comes from this movement.
Anything that veers from the Bible as Christianity is a movement. As it is with Catholicism so it is with the Reformed movement. Catholicism began at the council of Nicea in 325 AD and Calvinism started in 1519, in Zurich with John Calvin, as to refute the Catholic Church. I’m not going to get into the history of these two events at this time, but I’m just giving the basic beginning to point out these doctrines did not come from the Bible.
As there is a number of liberal/ecumenical women’s conferences, there are a number of women’s reformed conferences. Neither are biblically sound and in my opinion should be avoided.
Reformed doctrine is different in that is is not liberal, which is a great thing, and it’s defiantly not ecumenical. But in some ways it’s exclusive and intolerant of criticism even if you back up your arguments with scripture. Most times they will just say you are an Arminian, which is not correct either. What we should be are Christian’s that base our faith from the entire word of God, in it’s proper context. Each of the doctrines has a founder, Calvinism was from John Calvin, Martin Luther, and Huldrych Zwingli. Arminianism was from Jacobus Arminius. The founder of Christian doctrine is God. And like with Catholics, Calvinist will use creeds they made up with twisted scripture to support their belief system. Calvinist belief that God has already elected or predestined certain people to be in Heaven, better known as the doctrine of election. Knowing the history is important, and I can see why many people who come out of the Catholic cult or other religions would jump to the reformers, because of this event in past history! As our pastor says and I agree, we are not protestants either, we are biblical Christians.
John 3:16 says, “That God so loved THE WORLD, that he gave his only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:17 For God sent NOT his Son into the world to condemn the WORLD; but that the WORLD through him might be saved. (This means everyone on planet earth!)
John18:3 HE (any person) that believeth on him IS NOT condemned: but he (any person) that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (This verse is talking about ALL of us, we are ALL born condemned. Not some are born for Heaven and some are born for Hell, and we must do the work of believing)
2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slack concerning his PROMISE, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not will that ANY should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance. (Again God is not electing some for Heaven or Hell)
There are many more scriptures that back this doctrine up that we all have a responsibility to believe. The Calvinist will say we are not capable of our own free will to believe and that we must be born again to even believe in the first place. John 6:28 says, “Then said they(the disciples) unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? John 6:29, Jesus answered and said unto them, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him who he hath sent.” Calvinist think that people do not have to do anything to be saved and twist this scripture to mean that we can only believe through irresistible grace and it’s ALL the work of God. They also believe in a hyper sovereignty of God that says God picks who will be in Heaven or Hell. But what does Jesus say? The only “work” we have to do is to repent and believe.
It is very true that we can never do anything to save ourselves, none of our good works could ever save us! But the only work that can save is belief or faith. If you try to get into Heaven any other way then believing on the Lord Jesus Christ you have a different Gospel! You are not saved. And if you have faith as the size of a mustard seed, it can move mountains! But God is not going to force you to believe, this is up to you, to believe and receive the free gift of grace and you can also reject the free gift of grace. A Calvinists would say belief is a work and therefore this is a different Gospel. That is not what God’s Word says according to John 6:29. I really do think believing can be a very hard thing to do, because unbelievers are so blinded by Satan. I have heard people say, “That’s hard to believe.” But the Bible says it’s a good work and in order to be saved one MUST believe and it’s the only thing that will save you. In contrast, yes God will answer the sincere prayer of an unbeliever to help them to believe, but God is not going to make you believe if you refuse to believe, this is the heretical teaching of Calvinism called irresistible grace. It is clear that throughout all of scripture we have the free will to make choices, God does not force us to do things His way, but does chasten us if we disobey Him, but only for the believer. For the unbeliever there is no chastening from God, he will try and get your attention through your life circumstances to get you to repent and believe, but he will not discipline you as a believer because you will not listen. Your eternal judgement for sinning against Him will be Hell, and it is your choice.
Ephesians 2:8 says for by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of yourself here means you can do nothing but except or have faith to earn God’s favor.
Romans 10:9 That is thou (you) shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, tho shalt be saved.
Some may say I am deliberately leaving out the scripture such as Romans 11:6 or Titus 3:5 I am not ignore them either. They also support the reformed theology of what they say is evidence of their doctrine, I don’t think so, but this post is not about expounding on these verses. I am pointing out the obvious contractions to the TULIP theology that is out there. And God is not a liar, if He says ALL He means ALL. And God is not a monster having many people born just so they have no free will to choose Jesus as their Lord and Savior. That is not a loving God and that is not the God of the Bible.
This false doctrine is confusing and divisive because if taken the wrong way it contradicts so much other doctrine that clearly says each individual person of their own free will must believe. The Holy Spirit definitely gets each person to think about what will happen to them if they die, but the individual must decide for themselves whether they believe on Jesus Christ for salvation. This is the only work they have to do, and it’s a work that God asks us to do in order to be saved. A person can either reject the truth the Holy Spirit is trying to get them to understand or they can pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help their unbelief. There is nothing you can do to receive eternal life except to believe, repent of your sins and accept the free gift of God’s grace by the way of the work Jesus did on the cross.
Romans 16:17-18 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
1 Corinthians Chapter 1:10-13, to me sums up what these two types of movements are doing, people are following fallible people instead of the infallible word of God.
10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
May we all be PERFECTLY joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement!! Amen
As part of my research on A.R.C churches I decided to go to the Experience Church’s Facebook page to get some more insight about this movement. I also have been wanting to write about Max Lucado and his ecumenical heresies. Watching the women “pastor” at Experience church talk about the pharisees and legalism and reading about Max Lucado, I realized that people who profess to be Christians are mixing up these terms. I myself have been called a legalist or judgmental, so it’s important to define our terms according to the Bible.
Gotquestions.org https://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-Christian-legalism.html has a good explaination of this. In my words it’s were someone makes up their own rules of righteousness that the Bible never addresses as righteousness. For example, playing cards is not a sin, but gambling your hard earned money away is. Ephesians 4:28 says,”Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.” Proverbs 15:27 Whoever is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household, but he who hates bribes will live, and of coarse that tells us greediness and covetousness is a sin. Gambling usually benefits the person who owns the casinos, not the person who is squandering their money, both people are greedy and want to get money quickly.
Another form of legalism is traditions and rituals, if you are doing them to gain some kind of holiness and expect others to do the same then you are a legalist. The pharisees were upset with Jesus because people were not washing before they went in to eat, for them this was a ritual that brought some kind of holiness. (some people seem to still act this way sometimes lol!!) Many churches do these types of things from having a liturgical calendars and creeds, to confessing your sins to a priest, lighting candles, and even communion and baptism can become legalistic if you are not careful. It’s not a sin to do these things, but if you are doing them for the wrong reasons it’s wrong and sinful at the most, and unnecessary at the least. If you think you become right in God’s eyes by doing these things or more holy because you are doing these things you ARE NOT a Christian. Christians are saved by grace through faith ALONE, and the same with our holiness, it’s ONLY by God’s grace. No wonder some people think Christianity is boring, there is no room for the Holy Spirit to work in someone’s life when all you do is mechanical, ritualistic, and legalistic.
Now let’s get to my main point! Many, Many, Many Christians are exchanging what God calls sin for legalism. This is heresy. They will down play sound doctrine and misrepresent unity.
👎Max Lucado– No. He recently embraced Jen Hatmaker as a guest on her podcast. He has preached at Lakewood (Joel Osteen), affirmed Bill Johnson (Bethel), endorses Beth Moore, wrote the foreword for Christine Caine’s book, Undaunted, etc. And the church Max pastors, Oak Hills Church, is egalitarian. In 2021, he threw the Bible and the church under the bus by apologizing to the homosexual community.
And then there’s this quote from Max during an interview with Preaching.com: I really enjoy listening to Joel Osteen. I think Joel has a unique assignment in his ministry, and that’s to cast a wide net. He’s got a different assignment and a different gift mix than, for example, a John MacArthur; and I enjoy listening to John MacArthur equally; but you can see that they’re two different types of preaching. I enjoy Joel because I think his assignment in ministry is to encourage people, and we live in a day that is so discouraged, discouraging. I enjoy John MacArthur because I think—it seems to me—his assignment is to equip the church with very detailed biblical understanding. He’d be more like a Beth Moore or a David Jeremiah; I think we need that, as well. https://michellelesley.com/tag/max-lucado/ If any of you know these famous Christians you will know way this is a horrible statement.
Here is a quote from Lucado about the Church of Christ “Lucado said he represents a ‘movement of grace’ in the Churches of Christ, ‘a move away from legalism.’ https://www.wayoflife.org/reports/max-lucados-heresies-and-ecumenical-confusion.php While its good to move away from leagalism, this is not what Lucado is speaking about, he is talking about ignoring what the Bible says about sin and how God wants His church set up. Lucado especially ignores the roll of men and women in the church and recently he is NOT calling homosexuality a sin. He has an ecumenical stance on Christian Unity, and ignores sound doctrine and dismisses God’s Word as being all authoritative.
Now lets go over to Experience Church with “Pastor” Justiena Brownlee. On a Facebook from Experience Church on March 1st, 2021, if you are interested in what I am talking about, she basically said Jesus didn’t go around judging people. She did say that He is the perfect judge, but didn’t say anything about sin or why Jesus had to die on the cross. She was trying to point out that Jesus was not a legalist, insinuating that Jesus never called out sin, which she never says. Browlee quoted Jesus as saying, “I will take your judgment so you can have mercy.” First off judgment is not a sin if done biblically and secondly Jesus didn’t die because we are judgmental. The Bible, God”s Holy Word, tells us to judge!!! But to do it rightly. My guess she is preaching this because she doesn’t want to be held accountable to God’s Word for being a women pastor.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.Matthew 7:1-5
Matthew 18:15-17 15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. These are the words of Jesus, clearly Jesus wants us to call out sin especially sin in the church.
As with Lucado and Brownlee as well as many others, they have made sinning as to legalizim therefore bringing in destructive heresies. Heresy is a belief or an opinion contrary to sound doctrine. If a person lives in unrepentant sin and does not ask Jesus to forgive them from it, they will spend eternity in Hell, mostly likely because this is not the fruit of a true Christian, meaning they need to be born again. God is not okay with Christians living in sin. Women usurping the male authority in the church or in her home, if married is a sin. I had to repent of this when Jesus saved me, I was running my home. And homosexulity is called an abomination in God’s eyes and can not be practiced by a born again Christian.