I have been thinking about these protests and I do have opinions about these protest. I realized yesterday that my opinions are just that… opinions. I know there is a lot of misinformation and we truly do not know all the facts of the situation. I started wonder how Jesus would have dealt with these types of issues? Make no mistake, during the time Jesus walked this Earth, there was a lot of civil unrest. The Roman Empire was oppressive. There was the zealot Jews that wanted to over through the Roman government. There was the religious Pharisees and Sadducees. Women where not considered equal in value to men. Then their was the riff between such groups as the Jews and Samaritans. There was violence and debauchery in the streets. There was sickness and disease. I’m sure that the times we live in today are very similar to the times to which Jesus came to this World. In fact, I think it was worse than what we experience now in our own country. I also think Jesus had an opinion about how the Roman government was ruling and he probably discussed this with his friends, just as we do. But he did not express his opinion as authoritative in the Bible. He told us to pay our taxes, obey the government, and pray for our enemies. He told us to share the Gospel with them.
So what did Jesus do? He knew that only the Gospel could change the situation and change hearts. He preached the Gospel. Even when he was healing people the Gospel was the focus. He came to seek and safe the lost, the healing was to prove He was God. He came to be a servant, as an example of how we are suppose to treat each other, but ALWAYS with the Gospel as the main focus. Jesus’s opinions about the political climate was irrelevant, that’s why they are not recorded in scripture. He came to seek, save, and make disciples.
We also need to realize that putting our two cents in does not matter in the big picture. In some cases it only makes the matter worse. We loose our focus on what we are suppose to being doing as Christians. We start to play into the narrative of the World and we start to take sides. George Floyd was a sinner and his death seems tragic. But what is even more tragic is that he may have died with out Christ.
Or pastor preached on forgiveness this past Sunday, and it can be a very difficult thing to do, to forgive. How do we forgive? Matthew 18:27 says, “Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion. James 2:1 says to show no partiality. I wonder if we are moved to compassion for all involved? Do we love the police officer that killed Floyd? Do we love to rioters? Are we praying for all those who are showing their own partiality by taking sides?
I realized myself that I was getting caught up in the fray. I still have a very strong opinions, but I realized it’s not going to change other’s minds. I had to ask myself if I was helping or hurting the cause of Christ? I had to answer no, I was not. I was just adding to the ciaos and confusion.
Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond or free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all on in Christ Jesus. If you are a believer it does not matter the color of your skin, your sex, or your circumstances. It does not matter what sins you have committed against God. Those who have repented and trusted in Christ are covered in the blood, and they are free!
So my question Christian is are you moved to Compassion? Jesus is and was. Are you sorrowful for George Floyd because of what happened to him? We should be, but we should be more concerned about his soul. We do not know if he is in Heaven or Hell. Do we have a godly sorrow for the people that are lost, even if they are on the other side of the political isle from us?
Are you moved to compassion for Derek Chavin the police officer charged with the death of George Floyd? Jesus died for him too.
How about the protesters and rioters? Jesus loves them. Or job is to be moved to compassion so we have a heart of forgiveness to these people that are hard to love. They are image bares of God and they too need to be reconciled with God through the Lord Jesus. And we, as Christians, are the ones to bring them the Good News of Jesus. Be moved today.
This examination of AEC is looking at the doctrine of this church and not condemning any individual person. The Gospel is the MOST important doctrine in the Christian faith and so it’s VERY important we get it right.
After listening to Pastor Jesse K. for several weeks and having attended this church. I have become very concerned about how he handles God’s Word. I’m also not saying that Jesse does not love the Lord. I’m just pointing out some of the doctrine I have heard coming from him. He admittedly teaches the Bible using the Discovery method and not according to how the Bible says to do it. At this point I don’t think he is purposely leading his flock astray, but is some cases his theology and doctrine are going in the wrong direction. It’s important to be like the Bereans of Thessolonica, I am comparing what he is saying to scripture. Acts 17:11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. May we all be like the Bareans!!
This is a look at the sermon from May 3rd. The title of the sermon is EVERY SEASON, STAGE, SITUATION…THE GOSPEL by Jesse Kahler.
The sermon series is called DNA and it’s about the core values of their church. This sermon was or should have been a VERY important sermon because the Gospel is what saves souls. I am looking at what he is saying as a person who reads their Bible every day and some of this sermon does not match up. In some cases I am guessing at what he is trying to say, and will clarify this through out this examination. The sermon is convoluted and in some parts heretical.
Around minute 36:00 he uses Luke 11:24-26. He admits this verse peeks his curiosity and it’s not really clear what Jesus is getting at, but it’s clear enough for him to talk about the Gospel. My recommendation is that he could use a very clear verse about the Gospel to talk about the Gospel. If he didn’t understand this verse he should have studied it and tried to explain it rightly. I personally did not find the passage difficult to understand and if it was explained correctly it would have been a very powerful passage to talk about the Gospel. I put a link of a good sermon on this passage at the end.
What I believe Jesse is doing is using Eisegesis (/ˌaɪsɪˈdʒiːsɪs/) which is the process of interpreting text in such a way as to introduce one’s own presuppositions, agendas or biases. It is commonly referred to as reading into the text.
Jesse usually does this in most of his sermons, although not always. His preferred method of interpreting scripture is the Discovey Bible Study method. It is explained in this way. The DBS is much like a cake: it needs to be tasted first in order to really “get it”. Then, after tasting it, a discussion of why it was so good and how it was made is more profitable and enlightening. It’s the “tasting” that makes the difference, as the ingredients below don’t “wow”or convince. But like most good cakes, it’s about simple, good ingredients—mixed in the right way and in precise amounts–that make it work. The same is true with the DBS.
This way of reading the Bible is like a “magical” method and hopefully if you just put enough good scriptures together you will be enlightened!! This is NOT the best way to study the Bible.
The way the Bible tells us to study God’s Word is found in 2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” The Bible says God’s Word in Hebrews 4:12 is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 2 Timothy 2:16-17 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
There are many more examples but I think you get the point. We are to use the Bible as tool like a sword, and it’s to be applied to our lives.
Jesse is going on to explain that “house and finding it swept and clean” in Luke 11:24-26, is like the Gospel, kind of. He goes on to explain how we treat the gospel like a new piece of furniture in a cleaned up house. He used Luke 11:24-26 to come to this understand? Okay? I’m just confused with this analogy.
He gives examples of the what people think the Gospel might be. The first is asking Jesus into our already crowded heart. The second is Jesus filling the God hole in our hearts. The third is we accept the Gospel as a child taking that first step onto a ladder and we move on to higher and loftier things. I would say the third option is the closest. We must have child like faith and then their is sanctification, or moving up the “ladder.” We ARE suppose to move onto higher and loftier things. The Bible says to be holy as I am holy. The Bible also says to move from infant milk to the meat of God’s Word. Jesse says that none of these are right. The fourth option Jesse gives is only using the Gospel when needed and then putting it back and pulling out some other religious thing when it’s needed. I don’t know what he is talking about but lets press on.
At minute 32:00 Jesse starts to go into what is means to live out the Gospel without ever giving the Gospel. He explains it’s not about a bunch of don’t do this or do that, it’s more. He then explains that Morality living and Relativity living are two ways people live. I would agree with him on this point, but not his definition. Morality living is trying your hardest to be a moral person to gain your own righteousness into Heaven. This person is trying to work their way into Heaven by being a good person. Relativity living is when a person makes up their own truth and their is no such thing as objective or absolute truth. He goes on to say that these ways of living are bad, and he would be right about that. But he NEVER explains why! I can tell you why because this type of “living” or I would say belief ends your soul up in Hell for eternity. The Bible says, in Romans 3:10-12, “As it is written, There is non righteous, no, not one: There is non that understandeth, there is non that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. And Romans 3:23, “All have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God.” These verses explain the condition of our hardened hearts against God and that there is absolute truth, and that sin destroys the soul.
We are coming up to some troubling parts in the sermon. He states that one of the core values of their church is Gospel living, but never explaining the Gospel. At minute 35:00 Jesse explains they are not trying to persuade people to except the Gospel as a part of their lives and that the Gospel is much more than a piece of furniture. What?
I can tell you we persuade people at our church to accept the Gospel as part of their lives! We beg and plead with them to think about their eternity. We don’t want people to be separated from God for eternity. 1 Corinthians 15:1-2 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. Galatians 1:8-9 says, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
So, I would say it’s important to persuade people AND to keep the Gospel. If you think you are going to be saved any other way but by God’s grace then you have a different Gospel.
At 36:30 Jesse states, “Apparently the Gospel IS NOT something we need to believe in to get to Heaven but it is something that is to guide our lives or conduct. It’s away in which we live.”
So my question would be, what exactly do we need to believe in to be saved? How are we going to get to Heaven? To me this is talking out both sides of the mouth. We are either saved by grace ALONE through FAITH or we need to be moral or living a certain way. Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
The thief on the cross certainly did not get a chance to live a Gospel centered life, but he was still saved because of his belief in Christ. A person must be so careful not to add or take anything away from the Gospel because you will have a different gospel.
At minute 37:00 Jesse tries to explain that we can all fall out of Gospel living and we should never treat it like the Mosaic law. A few problems with this statement is that we are not saved by the law this is true, Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. BUT true born again believers wish to follow God and keep His laws, including the Mosaic Law! This is our fruit! Pslam 119:97 O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day! As Christians we MUST love the law and all of God’s precepts and principles if we love the Lord, and live by them. Jesus did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. We are saved from being slaves of sin to slaves of righteousness, which brings us true happiness and joy. Ephesians 6:6 “not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.”
At 38:40 Jesse did a good job explaining that when Peter excepted the Gospel he then delighted in a Holy way of living. But…. Ugh! He slowly says this, “The Gospel is a way of living.” NO, NO, NO that is not the Gospel! When Jesse uses the word IS he is making a definitive statement, so he should make sure that he actually states what the gospel is. Then he says if you do not understand him he can give you his sermon notes.
At 39:11 Jesse explains that Gospel means Good News, this is TRUE 🙂 Then he very badly compares the Good News to the Old Testament. Jesse says at 39:45 that the messenger came to David and said Saul has died. Jesse equates this to the Gospel the Good News. Nope, still not the Gospel. It may have been good news that King Saul died, just like announcing you are having a baby is good news, but it still is not the Gospel.
At 40:00 Jesse does give part of the Gospel and explains that it’s Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection. Then he says Christian means little Christs. That is not what it means we are not little Christs or little Gods. We are believers in Christ and his work done on the cross for the atonement for our sins. We are FOLLOWERS of Christ never God in any way!
Humble living is Gospel living at 45:45, but it’s not morality. I would argue that it is a moral attribute. The definition of moral is doing what is right or wrong. It’s right to be humble. I know lots of humble unsaved people who can put others first, this does not mean you are saved. Humbling yourself is about dying to yourself and your sinful ways and bow the knee to God’s will and obey Him. And we know how we are supposed to obey by reading his Word, the Bible. Being humble is the opposite of pride. A proud man who can not admit he sinned against God and that he is wrong will never see Heaven.
Jesse does talk about being sanctified by the Gospel, this is good 🙂 and true.
At 47:45 Jesse talks very quickly about the Gospel. You are saved by faith, by grace alone. Then he quotes Don Carson. “The gospel is God’s comprehensive good news that not only initiates Salvation BUT orders all our life in this World and the next.”
Is this the Gospel? Nope. He should have put a period after good news and left of out the word BUT, that is adding to the Gospel. The part he sped over very quickly is the Gospel. You are saved by grace through faith alone. What he should be talking about is sanctification. They are two different theological principals and should never be put together in this way especially as the gospel. If you do this you will add works to the Gospel. The Gospel justifies us, and making disciples is about sanctification. If Don Carson is talking about being right standing with God so that we can be in Heaven then that’s good, but it’s really not clear.
Jesse continues discrediting morality and cleaning up your life. I would say if you are not living a moral life, one might wonder if you are actually a Christian. Jesse does say if we are saved by the Gospel then we should live by it. I agree with this but again confusing to what he means by his wording.
At the 51:00 mark Jesse uses lots of scripture to try and help us understand Gospel living. He still does not explain it that well. Romans 1:16-17 explains, not the Gospel, but the power of it to those who have Faith and believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay our sin debt. It’s like the old hymn, “There is power in the Blood!” It has the power to wipe all our sins away, so we maybe able to stand before a Holy God on the day of Judgment and be righteous in His eyes, even though we have sinned against Him.
Announcement!!! Here we go The Discovery value channel. (Ok a little snarky, sorry. Can you tell I really do not like the Discovery method?) At minute 52:00 Jessie explains this core value of their church this way, “It’s a way we discover life through faith the continual succession of discoveries about Jesus Christ. He then repeats it again. He then says this is how all good churches do this gospel living thing. Well, our church does not use the discovery method, praise God, or I would still be lost, and I would find a different church. We stick with how God wants us to interpret the Bible. With scripture interpreting scripture and rightly dividing the word of truth. This is just another example of eisegesis. When it’s done this way it makes it very confusing and vague, not knowing what you truly stand on. Ephesians 4:14 says, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” The discovery method will inevitably toss you every which way. Expository preaching and dividing the word of God correctly will is the best way and only way and is most honoring to the Lord.
At 53:15 Jesse says the Gospel is as important to every person, in every life, at every stage. Well….what about those who don’t believe? What about those in your church who just go to church but have not believed to Gospel? So it’s not important to everyone? There may be many lost people attending your church!!!
Jesse quotes Tim Keller at 55:25 who is a progressive Christian, and apparently uses the discovery method. Here is one article about him https://reformationcharlotte.org/2019/03/24/tim-keller-problem/
The quote Jesse uses from Tim Keller is vague. It says, ”The Christian Life is a process of renewing every dimension of life by thinking, hoping, and living out the lines of the gospel. The discovery of new implications or new applications of the gospel!” So what exactly does this mean? What are the lines? And what new discovery (here is this word again) or new applications will we need to be saved from eternal damnation? Am I going to find some new revelation or promise that is not in God’s Word that I need to apply to my life in order to be saved? He then goes on to apply this theory of the gospel as seasons in life. This just does not make sense. The season that best explains this entire sermon is being in season of confusion.(56:13). This is certainly a season I feel like I am in as I listen to this sermon. At this time he starts speaking about discovery and says it multiple times. He talks about all the things we might discover. Many of the things he is talking about is sin if you are not practicing biblical principles. Being too busy is not a sin unless you are avoiding God by doing this. Not doing enough is a sin if you are being lazy. Distractions he calls a sin, but in what context and Bible verses do you have to back this up? I agree distractions can be a sin if we are being too busy to read our Bible’s, pray, or take care of our families. Context! Context! Context!
57:50 Jesse explains that this crazy concept of the Gospel applies to your life no matter what stage of life you are in with unique applications and discoveries. Okay? The Gospel is NOT a discovery or an application NOR IS IT CRAZY. It is the Good News that Jesus being born of a virgin, died on the cross and rose from the dead on the third day. Jesus gave his own body as a living sacrifice to pay the punishment for my sin and the sins of the world. He was the sacrificial lamb! THIS IS THE GOSPEL!! It’s NOT an application, like applying a face mask to your skin. And is certainly is not some discovery! It is the belief and trusting that Jesus paid it ALL!! Just in case you have not figured this out yet. This is frustrating because he does not revere the Lord with with words!
At 105:00 Jesse says that Baptism and Communion are dramatic expressions of the gospel. He talks about this being important to the gospel. He says that older believers cry because they remember when they got baptized. Okay, not a hill to die on, but I cry because of joy I have that the person is going to Heaven!!! He also says the communion helps us to experience the gospel of Jesus Christ!! What are you talking about? By taking communion are we saved? No! We are also not saved threw baptism!!
During communion he tells us not to take it if we are confused by the gospel and if the gospel is not our lives. I actually agree with this part, even though if I was new to Christianity I would have no idea what he was talking about. He says, “If you are unclear about this gospel thing do not take part of it.” Ugh! I just find this language to be very flippant and it is not reverent of our Holy God. He should take his own advise. He talks about the drinking of the cup helps us experience true forgiveness and equips us to forgive others. Not sure about this statement either.
I’m praying that someone will speak with Jesse about some of these issues. It grieves me how he miss handles God’s Word.
Here is a link to a conversation my husband had with Jesse, you can access it by copying it a pasting it. I put this here to let people know that we have tried reaching out to him like the Bible tell us too.
AEC has blocked us from making comments on his sermons on social media.
Here is Jesse sermon https://youtu.be/01fTqpBe8S0
Here is a really great sermon of Luke 11:24-28 by John MacArthur
Recently I heard of a women who was selling Essential Oils and decided to stop selling them. This made me curious to what claims she made and wondered if it was true or not. I would like to say that I’m not against Essential oils, and I really enjoy the smells of some of them. But there are some concerns. As a Christian if we should be asking ourselves if we should be promoting these products and the companies. So here is my take 🙂
There are some trends that we defiantly need to be watching out for.
- Oils are being used in Yoga or for mediation. Lighthouse trails has several articles about Yoga here: https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?cat=96
- A Christian is responsible to what they buy and sell and what kinds of ideas they are promoting, even if you would not use them for pagan/occultic practices, we defiantly do not want to promote evil to others.
- Some witches are very upset that Christians are selling essential oils because it takes away from their religious practices that they take very seriously. Here is just one link to a Wiccan website about essential oils. https://wiccaliving.com/beginners-guide-magical-oils
- Some oils claim to cure things that have not been proven to work. This is false advertisement. We MUST be careful we are not becoming like the crooked car salesman that is not being honest about a lemon of a car they are trying to sell you.
- There is a lot of the Word of Faith prosperity Gospel in these essential oil ads. Here is a description DoTERRA’s oil they are permoting for Mother’s Day…
The doTERRA® Adaptiv™ System is an effective answer to reducing tension and helping to empower and encourage when adapting to difficult situations or acclimating to new surroundings. Adaptiv capsules combine clinically studied botanicals with a blend of essential oils to help manage the effects of stress and anxious feelings*. As the perfect complement to the Adaptiv capsules, the essential oil Calming Blend is the answer during life’s most demanding moments. Diffuse or roll on to promote feelings of calm confidence. Use the Adaptiv Capsules and its companion essential oil blend to help create a sense of balance and adapt to every situation. Save $14.50 retail when you buy these three products together in the system!
The retail price for this oil kit is 109.00!!! WOW!! Can you imagine if someone believes the promises of this claim and spends this kind of money during the Corona Virus instead of feeding their family? As Christian’s we know what we are suppose to do with our anxiety and it’s not to trust in an essential oil blend!!! Let’s look at Young Living Essential Oils. Here is one claim.
DISCOVER LIFELONG WELLNESS YOUNG LIVING ESSENTIAL OILS
At the intersection of cutting-edge research and traditional wisdom, Young Living’s essential oils and oil-infused products empower you to claim your best life.
- Here is Young Living’s ABUNDANCE oil blend description… Abundance™ combines oils such as Orange and Ginger, which were used by ancient cultures to attract prosperity and magnify joy and peace. It is a form of idolatry to say that any essential oil is the source of our prosperity, joy, or peace. All of the attributes belong to the Lord not to oils. And it’s $50 for a bottle of this stuff!!!
- Here is Young Living’s GRATITUDE essential oil blend description…. Foster a grateful attitude and embrace the blessings in your life. The uplifting aroma of Gratitude™ invites a feeling of emotional and spiritual progress. This is New Age and oils are not responsible for our feelings of gratitude or our spiritual progress!! Only God can bring about this feeling and progress by reading His Word and through the Holy Spirit, if you are saved.
- Here is BELIEVE’s claims...Believe™ contains Idaho Blue Spruce, Idaho Balsam Fir, Frankincense, and other essential oils that may encourage feelings of strength and faith when used aromatically.
- Here are SACRED MOUNTAIN’s claims…Sacred Mountain™ is a blend of Ylang Ylang and conifer oils that evokes the sense of sanctity found in nature and promotes feelings of strength, empowerment, grounding, and protection when diffused.
- Lovingly harvested from plants native to exotic destinations around the world, the 10 essential oils in White Angelica come together to create a one-of-a-kind blend. Geranium, Ylang Ylang, Melissa, and Rose provide sweet, floral notes; Bergamot and Melissa offer a boost of bright citrus; and Myrrh, Northern Lights Black Spruce, Hyssop, and Sacred Sandalwood balance the blend with a warm, woodsy base. With the aroma of White Angelica essential oil blend, you can create a positive atmosphere and inspire feelings of security and optimism—no matter what life throws at you. People also love White Angelica for its skin-beautifying benefits when applied topically. Add a couple drops to your favorite lotion to give your skin the TLC it needs.
- Create an environment of romance and warmth with Joy™ essential oil blend. With its combination of floral and citrus essential oils, including Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Jasmine, Palmarosa, Rose, Bergamot, Lemon, and Tangerine, this unique and feminine fragrance is sure to be a favorite. Diffuse Joy around the house for an environment that is pleasant and inviting or dab it on your neck and wrists for a natural floral perfume. This essential oil blend invites togetherness and is used adoringly by members all around the world.
- Hey did you know oils can help you forgive!! Okay I’m being sarcastic, but really!!… Forgiveness™ essential oil blend is formulated with Melissa, Geranium, Frankincense, Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood, and other essential oils to help create a calm, uplifting environment when forgiving yourself and others.
- Here is my favorite one!!! Young Living’s Common Sense™ essential oil blend is a proprietary blend of Young Living essential oils formulated to be diffused when making decisions to help create a focusing environment.
I think you get the point!!! These are claims they are making that people fall for. As Christian’s we need to be careful.
6. Some people have been lead to heretical churches because of these claims. They think they are Christian because of the Christian language in these products. An example of a heretical church that practice this stuff is Bethel Redding Church or Hillsong. People are duped into easy believism. True faith in Christ not in oils.
7. People start to believe that diffusion of these products has some kind of magical power. Instead of trusting in the Lord they trust in the oils. This can become and expensive addiction for some and is defiantly idolatry.
8. There is witch craft! Which is forbidden in the Bible. There is also lots of Engram ideology (personality testes) and Tarrot Card readings. This is very dangerous stuff and can lead to demonic worship! None of this stuff is grounded in science. If you are selling these products you are claiming something to be true and none of these oils can claim they help with your feelings and emotions scientifically.
So the question is, “Should Christian’s be selling these products?” I’m going to leave this up to you to answer. Read your Bible and compare what I’m saying here to the Word of God 🙂
Here is an article to read: https://michellelesley.com/tag/essential-oils/
Something to watch
Any time you see the word Contemplative used to describe anything Christian a big RED FLAG should go up. Contemplative prayer became popular during the Emergent Church movement at the beginning of the 20th century, which permotes many unbiblical practices and ideologies.
Contemplative prayer begins with “centering prayer” a meditative practice where the practitioner focuses on a word and repeats that word over and over for the duration of the exercise. The purpose is to clear one’s mind of outside concerns so that God’s voice may be more easily heard. After the centering prayer, the practitioner is to sit still, listen for direct guidance from God, and feel His presence. https://www.gotquestions.org/contemplative-prayer.html
There are a couple of things very wrong with this type of practice. The first is that the Bible clearly tells us not to use vain repetition when we pray. Matthew 6:7 (KJV) says, “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Philippians 4:6 (KJV) says, “Be careful for nothing: but in every think by prayer ans supplication with thanksgiving let your request be make known unto God. John 16:23-24 (KJV) says, “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” These are three examples of how we should be praying to God and none of them are about repeating yourself over and over. In fact trying to empty your mind and repeating a phrase over and over can put you into a trans-like-state opening yourself up to emotionalism, mysticism and demon spirits. This is the opposite of being sober minded and sound in the faith. And just an added note, this is another reason I can’t stomach modern “Christian” music that repeats the same words over and over again, usually in a copulation of Bible verses taken out of context along with hypnotic drum beats and rhythms of a rock and roll band.
The second major error is the emptying of the mind is suppose to help you “hear” God’s voice and to “feel” His presence. As a disclaimer I am a strong cessationist, meaning that God has already spoken through his written word, The Holy Bible, and God is no longer speaking to us today. I also realize that their are Christians that truly believe that the Lord spoke to them. These particular people I am thinking about talked about hearing from God in the midst of their activities or prayer, they were not purposely sitting still to listen to God’s voice. When you sit still to clear your mind to listen for God’s voice you WILL put your own thoughts and feelings into what you want to hear, instead of interpreting God’s Word as HE intended. I personally have never heard God speak to me directly outside of the Bible. If I want to hear the Lord speak I read His Word out loud. Another aspect to consider is that if you are hearing direct revelation from God then it should be written down in the Bible……right? When people say they hear directly from God you can never rebuke them because it’s from God….right? This is very dangerous and it really does make me angry. Especially when what they think they heard is God’s voice, but their “god” told them homosexuality is ok because they prayed and “Jesus” told them so. This is a true story by they way. One of my former friend’s told me this. Unfortunately, she needs the Gospel, and if she does not repent from her sin, she will be in Hell.
There is no example, that I can think of, in the Bible that a person in the Bible was sitting around waiting for God’s voice. God spoke to them while they were living their lives. NONE of the men of the Bible sat down to clear their minds so they could hear from God. It’s just not how God works, EVER!! We need to obey God’s Word not seek after our own wants and emotions to get what makes us feel good. I think of King Saul, and how the Lord stopped speaking to him because he did not obey Gods’s Word. What did King Saul do? Saul took drastic steps. Saul often “heard God” through dreams or through the priests, but not this time. So he consulted a medium, even though he had persecuted them. He wanted to have an answer, and if God wouldn’t answer, Saul was going to find the dead Samuel, and have a medium call him up. Even had Saul not been king, it would be a drastic step, don’t you think? Contemplative prayer is exactly this unbiblical practice Saul used to “hear” from “god” Saul was not able to hear from the Lord any more so he consulted a medium. I would argue that Contemplative prayer is conjuring up a medium of your own making. Satan can disguise himself as an angle of light, and he will deceive you, just as the case with King Saul, thinking the prophet Samuel was talking to him. God spoke through people as HE pleased to do. Contemplative prayer seeks to hear from God as we please, dismissing God’s Word as not enough as to how to live our lives. (It also makes a person rich with money and fame if they claim to hear from Almighty God himself) 😦
The Bible tells us to meditate on God’s Word day and night. Joshua 1:8 says, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” This verse sums up how we should be thinking and meditating on God’s Word. As I like to tell my children, “Do it God’s Way and you will be okay.” Often when I want to do God’s will it is a mixer of reading and obeying God’s Word with a strong conviction. For example, writing about Contemplative prayer. I literally can not get it off my mind until I address it. It weighs on my conscious. I have a strong urge to warn the church. And I also have very strong convictions, I believe from the Lord, to use my gift of discernment to warn the church about unbiblical ideologies sneaking into the church. So now I am obeying. Even though I’m not the best writer 🙂
Pslam 46:10 says to be still and know that I am God: is often taken out of context. This verse means to “Be still‘ and to stop striving, stop fighting, relax. It also means to “put your hands down”. Sometimes we put our hands up to defend ourselves from all that life can bring our way. Or as I like to put it stop fighting and striving, especially against our enemies. The Lord’s revenge is much sweeter and just.
Contemplative prayer, by design, focuses on having a mystical experience with God. Mysticism, however, is purely subjective, and does not rely upon truth or fact. Yet the Word of God has been given to us for the very purpose of basing our faith, and our lives, on Truth (2 Timothy 3:16-17). What we know about God is based on fact; trusting in experiential knowledge over the biblical record takes a person outside of the standard that is the Bible.
Contemplative prayer is no different than the meditative exercises used in Eastern religions and New Age cults. Its most vocal supporters embrace an open spirituality among adherents from all religions, promoting the idea that salvation is gained by many paths, even though Christ Himself stated that salvation comes only through Him (John 14:6). Contemplative prayer, as practiced in the modern prayer movement, is in opposition to biblical Christianity and should definitely be avoided. https://www.gotquestions.org/contemplative-prayer.html
How do you read the Bible? This is a question that was asked to a local pastor in our community here in Archbold. His response was that he uses the “Discovery Bible Study” method. Well you MUST examine everything according to scripture to understand if the is actually a good method of reading the Bible.
This is an excerpt from the document sent to my husband…..
The DBS (“Discovery Bible Study”) in a nutshell
Isaiah 55:11 says,
“When my word goes forth, it shall not return empty or void,
but will accomplish the thing for which I sent it.”
This verse best encapsulates the DBS. God’s word does what He said it would do—and the DBS
helps us get out of the way so that God proves Himself faithful to His promise. There is
absolutely nothing “mystical” about the DBS, but it is miraculous. Here is why I think God is
honoring this Disciple-Making Model in profound ways:
1. The DBS is a God-honoring and God-exalting process. People directly engage and
rub up against God’s word. In doing so, He—He alone—receives the glory as He proves
Himself faithful over and over again as HE enlightens the hearts of people to discover
who He is directly from His word.
2. The Holy Spirit becomes the Teacher. It gets the teacher, dvds, and other ‘book
studies’ out of the way, allowing the “True Teacher” –the Holy Spirit—to enter and teach.
3. There is a dependency on God to reveal Truth—and He does—every time.
4. God delights in speaking through people; He speaks through His word and through
people to reveal Himself in the DBS process. That is spectacular to see unfold. No
kidding, it is an adventure each time.
5. The DBS disciples and inherently makes disciples. So far, I’ve done the DBS
about 150 times. Never once (and there is no exaggeration here) has the ball fumbled
down the field—not once. It is stunning every time—especially with those who are
seeking or who are young in their walk with Christ. And it is refreshing and rehabilitating
for those of us who think we’ve been discipled and are good disciplers.
6. The DBS is relentless in shepherding towards transformational living
through: personal authenticity, accountability, personal responsibility, evangelism,
prayer, and acts of service.
People often tire of a study, but I’ve not experienced anyone “tiring” of the DBS process
because it is so natural, engaging, and empowering. Who gets tired of encountering the
God of the Universe?
The DBS is much like a cake: it needs to be tasted first in order to really “get it”. Then, after
tasting it, a discussion of why it was so good and how it was made is more profitable and
enlightening. It’s the “tasting” that makes the difference, as the ingredients below don’t “wow”
or convince. But like most good cakes, it’s about simple, good ingredients—mixed in the right
way and in precise amounts–that make it work. The same is true with the DBS.
(By way of observation, everyone initially wants to “tweak” the DBS process—especially those
who’ve not tasted or tested it for very long. I advise to stay the course. Watch and see God
honor this process. The words, the order, and the methodology behind each ordered step have
immense value, purpose, and intentionality. You will find that in “tasting and seeing it” that the
Lord, indeed, is good.
The best thing that you can do is to DO the DBS with a group of people AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
There’s no need to stock the pond; the DBS will hold its own with anyone as long as you cling
tightly to the process. Test and taste it.
Right here in this document in the first column is says in the second to last paragraph from the bottom, that the study’s goal is not to get a person saved, “right away.” They are not in a hurry. Well… what if they died on the way home from this study? Seems like an urgent thing to me.
Here is a video of how to use this method…
What could possibly go wrong!!! Yikes!!
- First of all this study’s main claim is that it lets the Holy Spirit lead you into truth. It begs to question. How do you know that you even have the Holy Spirit? How do you discern if the Holy Spirit is leading you in the right direction? While it is true that the Holy Spirit will lead you into truth, you HAVE TO read God’s Word in context, in order to understand the truth.
- In the video the women said a lady was lead to the Lord through Genesis Chapter 1. She did not make it clear that lady repented and trusted Jesus as her Lord to save her from her sins. Where is the Gospel? The Discovery Bible Study makes it clear that it’s not suppose to be offensive and a “safe space” for everyone to share. There is no correcting a person if they are taking the Bible out of context.
- The emphasis on reading a scripture 3 times, then closing your Bible to paraphrase what you read, and then answering the questions on what YOU discovered, not what the Word of God is actually saying. They also suggest that any Bible can be used. A paraphrase of the Bible, like the Message Bible is not God’s Word. There is no emphasis on dividing the Word of God properly, or scripture interpreting Scripture. No emphasis of properly handling the text.
- They claim that God is delighted to speak through people. What? First God spoke through men that loved God in the Bible. God was not always pleased with them. God is especially not pleased if men and women of God use His spoken word out of context. Interpreting the Bible how ever you want to mean can lead to Blasphemy.
- The next very bad claim is that it is “stunning” every time or your money back. Guaranteed! Okay I made this part up, but it defiantly seems they are just trying to sell you a product. It just makes you feel “gooooddddd” no matter if you are a young believer or an older person in the faith. Or an Atheist! Well, the reading the Bible should make you feel the opposite, you are not good and you are a guilty sinner.
- The last point is that this study is all about FEELINGS oh woe woe FEELINGS! When your faith is based on how it makes you feel you are missing the ENTIRE purpose of the Bible. The Bible is sharper then a two edged sword! It cuts and divides! It’s the most difficult life to live because you have to die to self and take up your cross and follow Jesus. Not a Jesus of your own making but the one of the Bible.
Here is another example of this horrible “Bible Study”
You need a person of peace, do you mean a teacher that can lead you to the truth of scripture when you are taking it out of context? Then you need to be Polly positive, and meet people’s felt needs. Then you can have a home church with a bunch of atheist who do not have the Holy Spirit. Church is not for unbelievers! You can not make disciples of unbelievers! They ask unbelievers to follow the Bible. People who are not Christians have no obligation nor the Holy Spirit to follow the Bible. They are heathens that need to be saved from the pits of Hell! If you are offended by this, well you should be. This is not what God’s Word tells us to do.
2 Corinthians 2:14-15 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
This study claims that you don’t need to be an “expert” in teaching the Bible. James 3:1 says, “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.” Meaning you should not seek to be a teacher! Why? because if you do not teach the Word of God properly you will have a greater judgment. You must be an expert in God’s Word to teach it.
2 Timothy 2 says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
This Bible study has one good idea and that is to use the authority of God’s Word to direct our lives. After this point it just adds good works to the unbeliever. They will not be saved by doing anything, and this is a different Gospel.
Looking for a women’s Bible Study here is one by Michelle Leseley.
I also think she does an excellent job explaining how to study the Bible.
Here is the FULL Gospel and how to be saved.
Most Christians today are unaware of the pagan spiritual reality behind the practice of yoga. Most teachers in our culture do not even fully understand the spiritual implications of what they teach. Yoga has been cleverly masked in our society so that most Christians think there are no negative implications so long as they 1) Just do the exercise part, or 2) Simply plug Jesus into the practice and call it good.
I strongly disagree.
I presently was sitting in the waiting room at the Fulton County hospital with my little guy and was finally convicted to write about this very important issue. On the hospital’s informational TV monitor a very disturbing health practice came up on the screen about mindfulness. If you go onto the Fulton County web page you will find all the Health and Wellness Programs. Some of them are not harmful and fine others are not this way. This is what I will explain here, so stick with me.
TAI CHI/QI GONG
Slow and deliberate movements, meditation and breathing exercises that can promote general well-being and health, increase energy and stamina, decrease stress and anxiety and improve muscle strength and flexibility. Moves are done primarily in standing but can can also be done seated so they are great for any age or fitness level.
Dance, stretch and find your true flow in this class like none other you have ever experienced. Find your true flow in body and mind as you stretch your body and train your mind to the rhythm of the music. Vera Flow is just what you need to feel completely relaxed and content.
Yoga for all ages
This class consists of basic Yoga postures, breathing and relaxation techniques. Yoga poses and passive stretches are the focus of this artful format. It’s a total body workout as you use the weight of your body to hold the various poses!
Many of these classes are at the FCHC Wellness Center, but some are at Archbold Ruihley Park, FCHC Beck Meeting Room, Evergreen Elementary, Delta Public Library, and Trinity United Methodist Church.
You are probably saying, “What is the big deal?” Well it’s a huge deal. These practices are cultic and harmful. They are also very popular and have no scientific evidence to actually prove the claims of being helpful in managing stress or anxiety.
Jessica Smith’s website, The Truth Behind Yoga, explains how dangerous these eastern practices are. She gives two examples of meditation.
Example 1: One man sits cross-legged. The sun rose twenty minutes ago, casting a soft glow through the dancing smoke of incense, but he didn’t notice. His glazed eyes have been vacantly cast toward the floor for over an hour. His upper body rocks ever-so slightly in rhythm with the mantra he softly repeats. This little prayer invites and invokes the deity or “energy” associated with the chanted sounds to help him deepen his practice. Invoking deities or “energies” can be done many ways, not just through chanting. Sometimes he practices yoga, sometimes holds an image of a teacher in his mind. Every once in awhile, he even uses hallucinogenic drugs that seem to “open” him to energies that help him reach deep esoteric levels. These are some, but not all the ways he practices meditation to get closer to the final goal: To obtain absolute knowledge and freedom by uniting with the divine consciousness.
Example 2: Another man sits at his kitchen table. It is early and out the window the sun just begins to warm soft gold on the horizon. The man prays to the Lord, asking for wisdom as he seeks his word. He opens the Bible and studies a passage. He thinks about the passage, and what the Lord is saying to him through it. What does it mean? How does this apply to my life, he ponders. He memorizes a verse from the passage that he particularly likes. Throughout the day, he tries to remember the scripture, tries to log it into long-term memory. He loves the way the verse reminds him of the message he learned earlier that morning. Later that afternoon, he finds himself in a stressful situation, and the verse immediately pops to mind. It brings him immediate peace and clarity at a time that would have otherwise brought discomfort and confusion. Silently, he praises the Lord for his goodness and the richness of his word. His lips form into a little smile as he thinks about the scripture that says the Lord’s word is a lamp unto his feet. He gets it–the word really does light up the right way to go. He loves meditating on the word of the Lord. It brings him closer to his ultimate goal: To worship Jesus with his thoughts, attitudes, actions, words, and life .https://www.truthbehindyoga.com/what-is-meditation/
Understand the difference:
1. THE LORD’S INSTRUCTION: Meditation = Filling the Mind
What it is:
The Lord’s instruction regarding meditation is to always be filling the mind with thoughts of him (*see attached list of Bible verses referencing “meditate” and “meditation”). The idea is that we love the Lord so much we think about him all the time, that we constantly seek his will and delight in thinking about his word, his instructions, and the awesome things he has done in the past and continues to do all the time. https://www.truthbehindyoga.com/what-is-meditation/
2. EASTERN/NEW AGE INSTRUCTION: Meditation = Emptying the Mind
What it is:
In direct opposition is the Eastern spiritual tradition of meditation, which instructs emptying the mind of thought to open one’s mind to the spiritual realm and ultimately reach a state of merging and oneness with the ultimate consciousness. This technique is often called “mindfulness” or “open-mind” meditation. https://www.truthbehindyoga.com/what-is-meditation/
Dangers of Yoga and other Eastern Practices
This was an article from a non Christian website that explains the research behind New Age Mediation practices. Here is an excerpt from the article.
The researchers identified 59 kinds of unexpected or unwanted experiences, which they classified into seven domains: cognitive, perceptual, affective (related to moods), somatic, conative (related to motivation), sense of self, and social. Among the experiences described to them were feelings of anxiety and fear, involuntary twitching, insomnia, a sense of complete detachment from one’s emotions, hypersensitivity to light or sound, distortion in time and space, nausea, hallucinations, irritability, and the re-experiencing of past traumas. The associated levels of distress and impairment ranged from “mild and transient to severe and lasting,” according to the study. Most would not imagine that these side-effects could be hiding behind the lotus-print curtains of your local meditation center. https://qz.com/993465/theres-a-dark-side-to-meditation-that-no-one-talks-about/
Another research article stated this.
Buddhist-derived meditation practices are currently being employed as a popular form of health promotion. While meditation programs draw inspiration from Buddhist textual sources for the benefits of meditation, these sources also acknowledge a wide range of other effects beyond health-related outcomes. The Varieties of Contemplative Experience study investigates meditation-related experiences that are typically underreported, particularly experiences that are described as challenging, difficult, distressing, functionally impairing, and/or requiring additional support. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0176239
It’s very important to remember that Christians are not to practice pagan rituals or religions. Exodus 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice; and you take of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters play the harlot with their gods and make your sons play the harlot with their gods.
The god of these practices are pagan and their is no way to Christianize any of this for our benefit. Lighthouse Trails has many resoursces about these pagan practices. An excerpt from an article titled Meditation! Pathway to Wellness or a Doorway to the Occult states this.
But how does one engage in the actual practice of New Age meditation? For starters, one begins by repeating a single world or short phrase for a minimum of twenty minutes (once a meditator is good at meditating, he can even shorten that time). But if for some reason, the meditator finds himself given to active thought again, he must revert back to repeating that same word or phrase. This word or phrase is what is referred to as “the mantra.” A similar method involves focusing on the breath for the same amount of time. Yet another method, commonly found in Shamanic cultures, incorporates the use of both chanting and drumming. Alongside of this, there exists an even more subtle “Christian” form of meditation, which employs the use of biblical phrases, a single word such as “Jesus,” and spiritual-sounding phrases such as “Maranatha,” “Abba Father,” “You are my Lord,” and “Here I Am.” https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=18828
I see some Christians doing this type of practice by having a mantra or a phrase they use. I mostly have seen it done as a word or phrase they try to live by the entire year. Instead of taking up the entire counsel of God they focus on one word. This is dangerous and unbiblical. I have seen this done with popular Christian personalities, usually women, and usually a false teacher. We need to be reading our Bibles and taking up the entire counsel of God not focusing on one word. This is not what the Lord wants us to do.
I recommend strongly that Christians stay FAR AWAY from these practices.
Author and religion professor at Indiana University, Candy Gunther Brown warns of this tendency specifically within the context of yoga and other spiritually rooted practices.
“There’s also evidence that practicing something connected with religion can actually change people’s beliefs. Christians, in particular, tend to think a person’s intent determines whether something is religious. They don’t realize that active participation can actually change someone’s intent. Over time, people who start off attracted to an alternative practice because there’s a perceived health benefit start to embrace the religious ideas underneath these practices” (Christianity Today, November 2013).
There are many great resources about this topic. Please share this with others and even your local hospital, school, community, and even your church.
https://bereanresearch.org/new-age/ (you can find many resources on this link at the end of the article.
Here is an interview:
Any sin is a very dangerous thing, 1 Samuel 15:23 says, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” I have been researching the New Age Movement and all it’s wickness, and it can be very dangerous. Listening to people’s testimonies about being in the New Age Movement and hearing about how dangerous things got for them, you should really take this seriously. In one testimony a man almost died from his familiar spirit he worshiped. The definition of a familiar spirit is: a spirit or demon that serves or prompts and individual; the spirit of a dead person invoked by a medium or advise or prophesy. (Merriam Webster Dictionary 1828) These demon spirits are actual demons. We need to keep in mind that 2 Corinthians 11:14 says, And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Satan will caste himself as an angle of light and it will seem like you are hearing from God and feel love and encouragement, but that is how Satan deceives us. John 8:44 says, ” Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” Satan will chew you up and spit you out, He is a powerful adversary and can manifest himself in ways that seem lovely, kind, patient, and powerful.
As I was learning about this the Lord had me reading through the book of 1 Samuel. King Saul is trying to murder David, and Samuel the prophet has just died. Saul wants to hear from God through Samuel just like he did in the past, because he is afraid of the Philistines who want to kill him. Saul goes to the Lord, but the Lord does not answer him, so instead of just waiting on the Lord he goes to a women who has a familiar spirit, in other words she is a witch. Saul knows this is wrong. He goes at night and he disguises himself. The women realizes who Saul is and makes Saul promise he will not hurt her, because he had cut off all the witches and wizards from the land in the past when he was following the Lord. He promises her he won’t. What happens next is very troubling.
11 Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.
12 And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.
13 And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.
14 And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.
15 And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.
Be not deceived this was not Samuel. Matthew Henery’s Comentary says, “When God answered him not, if he had humbled himself by repentance and persevered in seeking God, who knows but that at length he might have been entreated for him? but, since he can discern no comfort either from heaven or earth (Isa. 8:21, Isa. 8:22 ), he resolves to knock at the gates of hell, and to see if any there will befriend him and give him advice.”
Matthew Henry also says, “We have here the conference between Saul and Satan. Saul came in disguise (v. 8), but Satan soon discovered him, v. 12. Satan comes in disguise, in the disguise of Samuel’s mantle, and Saul cannot discover him. Such is the disadvantage we labour under, in wrestling with the rulers of the darkness of this world, that they know us, while we are ignorant of their wiles and devices.”
There are Christians that are being deceived and they are looking for extra biblical revelation. They want to hear what God is saying today, and it’s simply a lie. God has already spoken through His Word, The Bible. I read comments from Catholics that pray to Mary, and say that God answered their prayers this way. That’s a lie, Satan can give you your hearts desire and will deceive you into thinking your praying to God, and God will allow it if you insist on being wicked and praying to dead people.
A familiar will give you power and you will have all your hearts desires fulfilled. That is what Satan does when he promises the world in exchange for your soul.
This is a long testimony but well worth listening to since there is a huge preoccupation with witchcraft, wizardry, divination, and sorcery.
“There is no Theology here.” A quote from Eric Metaxas’ book about Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life. This quote was from the time Bonhoeffer spent in the United States. He was born and raised in Germany and attended theological university there. During his time in university he had many professors that taught the Bible in different ways. Bonhoeffer would openly dispute and disagree with many of them. Some of them he liked and agreed with.
Fast forward to his time in the United States in New York City. His first observation was the group thinking here in the United States that still is a problem even today. Especially when pertaining to the church. There were two churches he attended in New York City the Riverside, a liberal church, built by John D Rockefeller. The other church was a fundamental church called the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, a “negro church.”
The difference between these two churches was like night and day. Bonhoeffer quickly grew weary of the sermons in places like Riverside, so when he was invited to go to the Baptist church, he was eager to go.
(The Union Students) talk a blue streak without the slightest substantive foundation and with no evidence of any criteria. …They are unfamiliar with even the most basic questions. They become intoxicated with liberal and humanistic phrases, laugh at the fundamentalists, and yet basically are not even up to their level.
In New York they preach about virtually everything, only one thing is not addressed, or is addressed so rarely that I have as yet been unable to hear it, namely, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the cross, sin and forgiveness, death and life.
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I have been to many churches and can relate with Bonhoeffer’s experience as an American Christian. I have heard all kinds of preaching/teaching with no substance. I had been in and out of churches since I was a little girl and was well “churched”. I knew how to behave in a church, how to listen in a church, and how to make friends, and I even had had the experience of love from other church members with gifts. I went on a mission trip to India and helped out in fundraisers and community meals. Looking back on it, I would give it all up for them to come to a Bible believing church that preached Christ Crucified, every time we meet, so that others can be saved from Eternal Hell. There is nothing more loving and compassionate than winning a soul to Christ.
One last point I would like to make is that Bonhoeffer’s life in Germany was has an individual life. He was not trying to be like the members of the church, at least in his thinking, and in Germany it was the norm. Everyone still got along even if they disagreed on Theology. This doesn’t mean they were united in fellowship, it just means they where civil and got along. Here in the United States if you criticize a church or their pastor you are “unfriended” or given dirty looks. Yep, that’s happened to me. But it’s fine. I love our fundamental church and am glad Jesus saved me on March 20th, 2017. If I had never went to First Baptist Church I would have never excepted Christ. It was the love, caring, and concern of Pastor John, who asked me at my dinning room table, “How do you know you are saved?”
I will be writing more about Bonhoefer’s time in the United States as a read through the book because I “think not feel” it’s so important to have a good understanding of what has happened to Christianity in this country. And for people who say they are Christians to start living on God’s Word. We are commanded by God himself to do so.
1 Corinthians 12:18-19 First, I hear that there are divisions among you when you meet as a church, and to some extent I believe it. But, of course, there MUST be divisions among you so that you who have God’s approval will be recognized!
As I listened to Pastor Alester Begg this week on this topic it all started to make sense about why we have so many churches that are full of compromise. Verse 19 says so that those who have God’s approval will be recognized!! Amazing. I kept wondering why the Lord would have our family go threw so much heart ache. It’s all part of His perfect plan. For those of us who speak out against heresy and get push back from it have been approved by God! He wants us to be recognized. Because we are the true salt and light.
There are times in the church when we are just being picky and we get annoyed with small things that have nothing to do with sound doctrine. It could be how people dress (and yes there is a standard for this also) or the church building and it’s color schemes, it could even be people’s personalities and likes and dislikes. These things should never divide a church. Christians are to bare with one another in love and genteelness. (Notice I didn’t say music style. I truly believe that some churches have made worship music and idol. So I think you have to be discerning about how true worship music is suppose to be). Paul warns us about these divisions and they should never be a reason to leave a church.
Heresy on the other hand is a reason to leave a church. Heresy has to do with true Godly Doctrine. The Lord will allow heresy from time to time to make the distinction between truth and era. The Lord wants us to be reading our Bibles and testing everything according to God’s Word the Bible. 1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Acts 20:27 Paul says, “27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.” In Acts 20:26-31 The Apostle Paul knew he was not going to see the elders of that church again. He says, “I declare today that I have been faithful. If anyone suffers eternal death, it’s not my fault, for I didn’t shrink from declaring all that God wants you to know. So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd Gods’ flock-his church, purchased with his own blood-over which the Holy spirit has appointed you as elders. I know that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock. Even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following. WATCH OUT!
So not only are hypocrites brought to light but the sincerity of the faithful are approved. Some have been making a show in pretending to be good men on the other hand it enables those to give clear evidence of their stead fastness and sincerity.
The differences should not crush you or bring you down but these differences should show your steadfastness. By those differences, the truth will be made clear.
We are very foolish to think that to what Paul speaks about is not relevant for today. When these heresies are shown it will be to prove those of us who are approved by God.
Just because you attend a church and you have a pastor this does not mean you will be in Heaven. If your pastor does not teach the whole counsel of God they are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They are not true believers. And you should not sit under their counsel. They are only looking to getting a following so that they can lead many astray from truth. These men and women are enemies of God. They are selfish and self serving. They are of this world. They do not care about you. Flee my dear brothers and sisters. Repent and turn to the truth. If you don’t I declare you will be left behind. Hell is not a place God wishes anyone to go, but if you can’t sand up for what is right you are not approved by God.