Max Lucado, Women “Preachers” Heresies and Legalism

Help! I Have a Heretic in My Church - Lifeway Research

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.comI 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.

JESUS SAID,

“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

JESUS SAID,

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.

What does the Bible say about Entertainment That God Abhors?

5,296 Hands Covering Eyes Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images -  iStock

When it comes to the Christian life it’s important to test all our thoughts, decisions, and actions to the Word of God. I can attest that the more you are reading your Bible the more you will love the Lord and you will begin to love what He loves and hate what He hates. In essence you will start to become more like the Lord and grow in love for Him and His ways.

Psalm 11:5 says, “The Lord trieth the righteous:but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.”

If you are a born again believer the Lord will try you as the Psalm says. Meaning you are going to get a test. Sometimes the testing is very trying and difficult other times it’s like a pop quiz, easy if you have done your homework.

What is our homework? 2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Your homework is to STUDY, just like a student in school. Why do you study? To show yourself approved unto God. God is the schoolmaster and we are trying to please Him because we love Him. Have you ever wanted to please someone because they loved you so much that you didn’t want to let them down? This should be our attitude towards God. So that when we do get that pop quiz we will not be ashamed because we failed God. And when we fail God, the reality is we also let others down. Now the Lord is also a forgiving God, and He will forgive us when we do fail/sin, but this is not my main point. The last point I would like to make pertaining to this passage is asking yourself, “Am I rightly handling God’s word of TRUTH?”

I don’t know about you, but I really hate feeling ashamed of something I have done that I know is not right, but the fact is that we should. God still loves us even when we sin, but it’s what we do with that sin that tells us if we are growing in our Christian walk. If we refuse to feel ashamed and explain it away, we are being nothing but prideful. We may say things to make other’s feel badly, as if they are to blame for our sinful behavior, we might say, well it doesn’t cause me to stumble and it’s just what I like to do, it’s my personality, in other words, I was just born this way baby! I’m sure you have heard that before, if you are paying attention to the culture. You many twist scripture and say things like, “well I guess I shouldn’t eat shell fish, or mix my fabrics in my clothing. or I guess we shouldn’t observe Easter or Christmas because of it’s pagan roots? I would admit it’s good to examine the roots of our holidays and consider whether or not this would bother or conscience and then make decisions accordingly. But what am about to address is not about the pagan roots of celebrating the Messiah’s birth or Resurrection, but just plan sin.

Here are my thoughts…

I find it very disturbing when professing Christians entertain themselves with things that God says are a sin and an abomination. We can all agree that watching pornography, r-rated films, horror movies, movies that glorifying drunkness, drug use, sex or violence are things we should avoid. (at least most professing Christians) But for some reason when it comes to witch craft, sorcery and magic and things of the occult we give it a pass. Why? Because we make excuses and say, “Oh it’s just make believe, it’s not real.” Would we apply this logic to anything else I just listed? No, but the reality is you are right it’s not real, what these actors are doing, is that they are acting. Actors are not actually getting high or drunk as they are acting out a scene, they are not actually murdering someone, or in most cases they are not actually having sex with the person in the movie (although some have actually crossed that line, and in order to do this actors actually have to be intoxicated to do so, because it weighs on their conscience so much) Why then do we give witch craft and sorcery a pass? If, as a Christian I was asked to play a witch or wizard and cast spells, if I do have the Holy Spirit in me this should be very offensive to me. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 says, “Abstain from ALL appearances of evil.” Psalm 101:2-3, “I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” We are not even supposed to set wicked things before our eyes!!! Our Lord knows what is good for us and He wants what is best for us. If we do not heed this counsel we are just asking for trouble from the devil himself.

We must be so diligent, dear Christian. As in 2 Timothy chapter 3:2-4, there is a part of the verse I would like to point out. In the last days men shall…be despisers of those that are good, traitors, highminded, and lovers of pleasure. Are you angry with those who are lovers of good? Are you the one that is the traitor or highminded, thinking you are better than others? Are you a LOVER OF PLEASURE?

When you entertain yourself with wickness you are pleasuring yourself, it’s exciting and stimulating, it’s cool and hip. You are just going along with the crowd and you are not seperating yourself. It’s FUN and probably relaxing.

I do have a rule of thumb that may help us if we would like to watch something and it’s very simple. Does the movie portray the sin as something fun and acceptable, something we should be pursuing? Is the purpose to glorify the sin or to make it look wrong or evil. Or if the person dressed as that character, are they portraying the antagonist or protagonist? And when it comes to witch craft their is not such thing as good magic or bad magic, it’s all bad, but Hollywood likes to distort this. Not only with magic, but with many other sins.

Finally lets go back to Psalm 11:5…but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. It’s not enough to repent of doing wicked things, but to also repent of your LOVE for wick things. You many not be participating but if you have the desire for sinful things you are just as guilty and should be ashamed. And if you are the one that is causing other’s to stumble you should not be surprised if others do not want to be around you. You are the one that is offensive to the believer that is trying to honor the Lord, not the other way around. But for some reason many Christian’s try to make the person who is just trying to do what the Bible says as the bad guy.

I hope this is helpful, and I pray not only will I take heed to this truth, but others also 🙂

ARC, Churches Take Away Members From Other Biblical Churches

It's a big deal that megachurches like Crossroads Church are canceling live  services.

ARC stands for Association of Related Churches, I’m going to add to this and say other churches that flow down the same stream of ideology. There are many churches in America that mimic these churches even if they are not part of the ARC, association.

When I moved here to Northwest Ohio, it seemed to me people where clamoring for our church attendance. Every time I met someone they would ask, “where do you go to church?” It’s great to invite people to church, but looking back on my story, I wonder really what the motive was? The last proposition was not long ago. The lure was that they had lots of children at their church with fun things to do. I thanked her for the invite, but I really like the church I attend.

When I became a born again Christian, it was important that my children were in a doctrinally sound church, not that it was fun. There is not a lot of children at the church we attend, but the doctrine is sound and we are truly learning to be disciples of Christ. We wanted our children to be in a Bible believing church. This does not mean we don’t have fun, it’s that it’s not the focus. In my opinion, many parents look for churches with lots of programs and games, with a little bit of Bible teaching; or they look for a church that all their friends and family attend, so to not disrupt their lives. And if I am honest, I also did the same thing before I was saved. This is a grave mistake parents make, and many children walk away from their faith, because it was never there to begin with.

So what is so attractive about ARC or churches like it?

  1. In these churches lost people feel comfortable because they do not say, “Are you sure you are a Christian?”
  2. They don’t share the complete gospel.
  3. This churches are exciting, with lots of young people and are emotionally driven
  4. They don’t sing hymns and have lots of new songs
  5. They put unregenerate people into ministry
  6. They have platforms and stages, not pulpits and alters.
  7. They like to do a lot of good for the community, making the people involved feel like they are doing something good also
  8. They have women pastors
  9. They scout young people to be the faces of they church, or people who can keep up a worldly appearance
  10. Young people are running the youth groups
  11. Small groups are not about studying God’s Word, they are about bettering the community, games, food, crafts, ect….
  12. Topical preaching on making yourself, marriage, and family life better. No expository preaching!
  13. No church discipline
  14. You can interpret the Bible how ever you want, for YOU. No stance on doctrine
  15. The music style fits the popular music of the day

THE BIG PULL SUMMED UP!

  1. They want to make a difference in their communities, with no gospel
  2. The music
  3. Emotionalism

Here is a link to the fasted growing churches in America in 2020. Andy Stanley’s church is first and that should say it all if you know what he teaches.

https://outreach100.com/largest-churches-in-america/2020

Stop Using Personality Tests to Justify Your Sin.

Why are Christians so mean? Here are 10 Excuses Church People Give for  Treating Others Badly

This topic has been on my mind for a while and it has really bothered me. On social media many people like to use use different types of tests, including myself, to explain who they are to the world. Recently I have been convicted by the Holy Spirit, that as a Christian, I should not be playing these types of games. Why? Because the Bible tells me who I am and how I should be conducting myself. Many times these personality tests either stroke our egos or they explain away our sinful nature.

For example, I played the Name Test Game to prove my point, the title says, “Everyone has a brutally honest motto. Tap on a Christmas Ornament to see yours!

My motto said, “She runs on caffeine, sarcasm, and inappropriate thoughts.” I could post this and laugh it off, because it is true, I do drink coffee, and I can be sarcastic, and sometimes I do have inappropriate thoughts. But are these things Christ like? Are these things “funny” to God? No, they are not in any way part of the fruit of the Spirit! Which is love, joy, peace, patients, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. The Bible says, I am to cast down all imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. And a man can not live off of coffee (I mean bread) alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. So why do we play these silly games? I know why I did. I wanted to stroke my ego or explain away my sin.

Then there is the problem that sometimes when you take the personality test, you do not like what it says or you disagree with it, so you keep playing until you get what you want. You are trying to stroke your ego and your pride. We all have personalities but it should always be compared in light of scripture.

In her article Kelly Givens says,

And so we must see our personalities through the lens of the fruit of the Spirit. In other words, it’s okay to be an introvert until we use our introverted tendencies as an excuse to back out of obligations (unfaithful) or ignore/snub others (unkind). (Full disclosure, this is me. I struggle with this, big time).

It’s okay for to be an extrovert until we use our extroverted tendencies as an excuse to mindlessly talk someone’s ear off (lacking self-control) or steamroll others in decisions (lacking gentleness).

It’s okay to have a sarcastic sense of humor until we use it to cut others down (lacking love). It’s okay to be wired a little more cynically than others until we disparage them for their cheerfulness (lacking joy).

To whatever degree I use my personality as an excuse for a lack of the fruit of the Spirit should indicate to me that I’m being driven by selfishness and ego and not transformed and walking in the Spirit.

If we are comparing ourselves to what Facebook says instead of what scripture says then we have got it backwards. We need to repent and change, to be more Christ like.

https://www.ibelieve.com/faith/stop-using-your-personality-as-an-excuse-for-sin-and-pride.html

The Unrefined Preacher Part 2

Unprepared' is a myth – Trevor Timbeck

Today we are going to continue on this topic of the unfined preacher, addressing the “vision.”

“Is your palette so unrefined because of your preaching you have to entertain them or get them occupied with your vision?” (Pastor Adrian Rogers)

First let’s look at what it actually means to have “vision” according to the Bible. In Proverbs 29:18 it says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Some may think this applies to leadership, but a closer look shows it to mean something completely different. https://www.gotquestions.org/without-vision-people-perish.html

It is true that having a direction to go can be helpful to getting you to where you would like to be, but Proverbs 29:18 is not about having a business or a ministry vision. It is about God’s revelation, dream, or prophecy. Lack of vision therefor is the lack of God’s revelatory word. https://www.gotquestions.org/without-vision-people-perish.html

I have been in many false churches and the biggest thing they have in common is their visions and plans. The pastor’s preaching is so unrefined they have “visions” for their Sunday Sermons, rather than expository preaching of God’s Word. They mishandle God’s word in order to fit their vision and imaginations. Or the leadership “castes a vision” onto their congregation, you can read about it here: https://bereanresearch.org/how-dan-southerlands-seeker-strategy-shapeshifted-the-church/

Some examples of these visions are; feeding the poor, capital campaigns, community meals, potlucks and fellowship after the services are emphasised over the preaching of God’s Word, emphasis on experiences over sound doctrine, getting rid of church language, such as “testimonies” or “being born again,” getting rid of the language of church services into “worship gatherings,” instead of sanctuary you have the “worship center,” preaching on slogans such as, “Love Jesus the Most,” “Jesus is More,” “Imagine,” small group meetings are highly encouraged not for educational purposes but for relational purposes, vision casting, purpose driven, social justice, liturgy, or traditions.

An unrefined preacher’s mission is to just except anyone and everyone for who ever they are, without biblical unity or true biblical reconciliation. Unrefined preachers never preach about false teachers or false movements in Christianity, or they ignore passages of the Bible because they think they are irrelevant for today.

Unrefined preachers have only a few messages. They preach the same topics over and over, because they have no idea how to handle God’s Word. They focus on their own preferences and their own ideas. They usually do not communicate the full Gospel and try really hard not to offend people with God’s Word.

An unrefined preacher will scoff at Bible prophecy and not find the Word of God sufficient for a Christian’s life. They will put the Bible aside to preach on a man made book. The unrefined preacher will say things like; the Bible is just allegory, or that certain doctrine is not for today, we are progressing as a society, so that doctrine does not apply. They may twist God’s Word into a pretzel to accommodate anything they want to promote.

The unrefined preacher does not have a biblical perspective to what it really means to have a Proverbs 29:18 ministry. When it says that “the people perish” where their is not vision means almost exactly what it says. It means “to loosen” and thus to “to expose or uncover.” The people start to live with out restraint. The unrefined preacher will lead their congregation into sin by ignoring or avoiding certain parts of God’s Word. When people are not constrained by the Word of God, they will start to go their own way and ignore God’s directives. Eventually, an unrestrained church will be loosed, and ignore the way of life, of Romans 6:23, for the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus or Lord.

If you are in a church that has an unrefined pastor, run as quickly as you can, far away! It has been my experience that these men do not care to take correction or they explain away the Word of God. They are to be marked and avoided.

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. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

What does it mean that without vision the people perish? https://www.gotquestions.org/without-vision-people-perish.html

Seeker Sensitive Church https://bereanresearch.org/how-dan-southerlands-seeker-strategy-shapeshifted-the-church/

Part One of the Unrefined Preacher https://atruthmomma.com/2020/12/03/the-unrefined-preacher-part-1/

The Unrefined Preacher Part 1

Listening to Adrian Rogers the other day, I was convicted to write this post about the unrefined preacher because it is something I see all the time.

Pastor Rogers said, “Is your palette so unrefined because of your preaching you have to entertain them or get them occupied with your vision?”

I thought to myself, that is a great point! Today I’m going to focus on the Entainment Preacher. Does your church spend lots of money on stage back drops, lighting, or band equipment? How about a roller coaster!? Or a sermon series on Harry Potter, or even a movie sermon series with movie clips, despite the rating of the movie?! Has your church ever drove cars on the stage as a sermon prop? What about a circus? A sports event? How about glitter and smoke? Does your church use repetitive music with hypnotising sounds? Or any other thing that is strictly for entertainment? What about labyrinths or a big library full of books with false teachers? Coffee bar or in some cases a alcohol bar? If so you are in a messed up church! Your pastor is an unrefined preacher that does not know how to rightly handle God’s Holy Word.

15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

There is nothing wrong with using an illustration or telling a joke, but if you are spending all your time and energy wasting the Lord’s money and time on entertaining people and making church into an experience rather than studying God”s Word to teach people about God and how they should live a holy life as a Christian, you my friend are in the wrong “profession.” In fact, if you treat your job as a pastor as your business endeavor you better get out to the pulpit, because you are not called to be a pastor. You are a charleton, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I say this as a warning to you because the Bible says,

My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

James 3:1

If, as a teacher of God’s Word, you are miss handling it by saying things like, this is outdated, this is not for today, we don’t need the Old Testament, or everyone can have their own private interpretation of scripture, you are in a gross error! And God’s Word has something to say to you! It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God!

20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

2 Peter 1:20-21

31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Hebrews 10″31

Ask yourself if their is anything in God’s Word that states we should be conducting our churches in this way? Did the apostles show any example in the Bible of making your church into an entertainment driven church? Who is church for? What is the churches job? The church,s budget should go mostly to missions not to buying a bunch of stage drops and lights. It’s okay to decorate your church for Christmas or other things, but your money should not be spent on these things over sharing the gospel.

For those of you who are in a church like this, the Bible also has something to say to you.

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

If you are going to a church to have your ears tickled, meaning wanting your ego stroked, and you will not endure or put up with sound teaching….well you are not a Christian at all, repent and believe!! The reason I personally can say this is because I was this person going to these types of churches. Voddie Baucham once said, “If you can’t say Amen you ought to say ouch!” In other words, be sanctified by the preaching of God’s Word!

Christmas At The Movies | Sermons | Epworth United Methodist Church
Circus Church...LITERALLY — Pirate Christian Media
Harry Potter meets Jesus' sermon series brings new muggles to Philly church

Pragmatism in the Church Part 4 Social Causes over The Great Commision

2 Timothy 2:4 says, Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

It seems to me that the confessing church has forgotten it’s first love. They forgot why Jesus came in the first place. Every apostate church I have attended talks more about improving the society around them, rather than improving people’s theology and being part of one of the harvest workers that plants the seed of salvation for the lost souls in their midst. You will always hear a false church make a plug for feeding the poor, helping the oppressed, widows, and the orphans. While these are good things a Christian can and should do, it should never become your Gospel. Second Timothy says, to preach the word, whether it is popular or not, reprove, rebuke, and exhort with all longsuffering and DOCTRINE! Once we have accepted the Lord has our Savior we are to begin our sanctification as disciples of Christ. In Matthew 14:7 Jesus said that the poor will always be among us. This was in response to the women pouring expensive alabaster oil on Jesus. Jesus told the disciples to leave her alone because she was doing a good deed for him. Jesus then said that wheresoever the gospel is preached throughout the world, that this good deed she did for Jesus will be spoken as a memorial to what this woman has done. This women believed that Jesus was the Messiah and she was acknowledging she knew him as Messiah by anointing Him with expensive oil, not by selling the expensive oil to feed the poor. And, it also seems, she knew He was going to be crucified on the cross for the sins of the world because Jesus also said in Mark 14:8 she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. What did Jesus want us to do as Christians? He wanted us to spread the gospel. He wanted us to teach and make disciples of ALL nations. In other words the Great Commision. What good will your efforts be if the poor go to Hell with full stomachs, a roof over their heads, and clothes on their backs. The song, “They Will Know We are Christians by our Love,” means that the most loving thing you can do is to share the saving truth of the Gospel. That Jesus died for the sins we all have committed and paid the penalty of our sin. But He did not stay dead, on the third day he arose from the dead, and defeated death. And the free gift of grace is given to anyone who repents and believes in their heart that Jesus is the only way to Heaven, will be saved from an eternity in Hell.

This social gospel is very popular in the evangelical church. Go and make the world a better place they will tell you. Feed the poor and cloth the naked, they will tell you. Then what? Doing these things for people does not offend anyone, but calling out sin and telling people that the only way to Heaven is thru Jesus does offend. So you may eradicate poverty in your area, but hopefully you will share the gospel as the main focus of your ministry. I would rather be poor and hungry knowing I’m going to Heaven then to have all the riches of the world and be on the road to Hell.

Poverty is not being without money but being without hope | Poverty quotes,  Help the poor, Helping the poor quotes

Pragmatism in the church Part 3 Ministry Greatness, The Ego, and Pride

Snoc Hegdloge - Drawception

As we take a look at another aspect of pragmatism we can look again at it’s simple definition. Pragmatism is an approach that assesses the truth of meaning of theories or beliefs in terms of the success of their practical application (Oxford Dictionary). It’s a philosophy that states the ends justify the means. And for the church, this is a disaster. Why? Because you don’t take into consideration of how God wants you to do things and God does not call us to success, but faithfulness.

Pragmatism runs rampant in many churches. I left Archbold Evan because of this reason. Even though I was not a Christian at the time, I could sense the fake experience that was being manufactured. My husband grew up in this church, so when we landed in Archbold we could not decide which church to attend, so we just ended up there. After about 3 years of attending this church my husband and I both decided that we had enough of the emotionalism, the manufactured stage acting that happened in the name of God. It was so superficial, and it always seemed to me they were always try to conjure up some kind of sincere Christianity. I could no longer play along anymore. Pastor Jesse decided to do a sermon series with very expensive cars that were actually driven up onto the stage, I told my husband I had enough. Sure, they had a playland for the children, a coffee bar, and a very nice library, but I felt more like I was at the mall than church. The worship music was repetitive and emotion driven. How many times does a person have to sing the same thing? The songs were not doctrinally sound, most of the time, and made no sense. Bibles were not used, and scripture was put up on the screen to make the pastor’s point, not God’s point. This is pragmatism. No where in the Bible is this type of church portrayed. Now a days Archbold Evan looks more like the World than the church. They have staging and the lights are dim for Sunday morning services, there is no pulpit. There are a few times I have heard Pastor Jesse compare Jesus to Harry Potter!! Now that I am saved, we don’t even watch or entertain anything with Harry Potter. The Lord does not think wizardry, witchcraft, soccery, or anything of the like is honoring to Him. This is Pragmatism. Even if these tactics bring in the crowd, and some people may be saved, does this make it right? We are suppose to flee sin! We are to be set apart, not to be like the world, but like Christ. This type of church is looking for Ministry Greatness, instead of the Greatness of God’s Holiness. They are looking for numbers. The complete Gospel is lost in the shuffle. They boast in themselves rather than in God.

What does pragmatism look like when Ego is involved? The definition of ego is a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance. If you are a pragmatic church you base your church off of your vision your desires and wants, instead of building the church the way God would want. For example, having women elders and deacons.

Some of these says bring to mind 2 Timothy 3:3-4

Lovers of Self Rather Than God | GR8 Relationships

 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.

Why do you matter? - Milady
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A friendly reminder for today: you are enough, just the way you are, right  now ♥ #IAmEnough | Thoughts quotes, Words quotes, Inspirational words

Another cultural trend in the church pertaining to Ego, is the self affirmation cult. Allie Beth Stuckey recently spoke about this with Alisa Childers. The self affirmation, ego feeding Christian church. It plays off of ego, and it tickles the ears. These Christians will tell you that you are enough, you are worth it you are perfect they way you are, or more recently around here, you matter. These types of churches or books that Christians write are feeding right into that ego. Not only are they trying to boost your ego, but they are saying you can’t feel good about yourself unless you have us! This is pragmatism. Of coarse the Lord does not want us to wallow in self pity and despair, but He also does not want us to become self- reliant or self important. Many churches feed the ego with their recovery programs and 10 steps to a better you, 5 ways to make money, how to have a better marriage, etc…. Instead of relying on God’s Word and the Lord, you are told to rely on these human authors who say you need my book to do better. This is Ego! This is pragmatism, because even if these things work, at the end of the day you are not repenting of sin nor are you spending time with the Lord in his Word. You are not putting to death your fleshly desires.

Then you have the pragmatic prideful Christian. This is the Christian who, when you point out to them their era, and that they are going against God’s Word, they will shun you. They are pragmatic in a sense they will make excuses for staying in rebellion against God. I can personally think of some reasons why I would do this, because I have. First, it has to do with pride. Not wanting to admit, humble yourself, and say you are wrong. Or they don’t want you to stop listening to them or following them. They are afraid of loosing church membership, friends, or family members. They don’t want to offend others. They are people pleasers. They are full of pride. They are unapproachable. Or they say things like, though shall not judge, you are not loving, your are an idol worshipper, or as one pastor said that some doctrine is out dated, in reference to women elders and deacons.

Pragmatism is every where. Honestly, it’s not good for secular society either, but it’s definitely not good for the church. The Bible says you are not great, you are not enough, and you are not good. You matter because God made you, but the only person who truly matters is God.

God is ENOUGH ‹ F3 Ashley

Pragmatism in the Church Part 2 Dress,titles and traditions

Pslam 26:8 Lord I have loved the habitation of they house, and the place were my honor dwelleth.

Last time I wrote on pragmatism I spoke about the actual building structure and the style of the sanctuary, or as some emergent churches like to call it, “the worship center.” Next, I would like to address how some pastors present themselves in attire, titles, and traditions.

You can find a variety of dress in the “pulpit” from very casual to the pomp and circumstance of robes and hats. Then you have the practical and respectful attire of the suit coat and tie. Keeping in mind the verse I just shared with you, especially the latter part of the verse, and the place were my honor dwelleth. We will examine what is a proper way to dress and what are appropriate titles, and traditions.

Religious Garb

Here we have the religious garb. This type of dress is all about tradition and symbolism. People will wear this because they think it gives them authority. These men are not called by God, to be a pastors or leaders in the church, but they think God has ordained their ministry. The more symbols and traditions your church holds, the more apostate they are. They are religious and depend on their deeds for their entrance into Heaven or they use these symbols to conduct religious ceremonies based on their own traditions. They think these symbols and traditions bring them closer to God. They may also do such things as light candles, say canned creeds and prayers. They have labyrinths and stations to mindlessly recite empty words too, or worship as if it is God himself they are addressing.

A New Kind of Pharisee | The Cripplegate
Here is a picture of the Pharisees and Sadducess

The Pharisees and Sadducess are the religious people of Jesus’s day. Jesus rebuked them harshly.

Matthew 23:1-39 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practiceThey tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear,[a] and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi[b] by others. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.[c] And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+23%3A1-39&version=ESV

This passage brings to mind many churches I personally have attended. The Catholic Church, St. John’s of Archbold, and recently Archbold Evan. The Catholic Church calls the priest Father, which goes against this passage above. Jesus was not talking about our earthly fathers, but our spiritual Father. This entire passage is the entithisis of the Catholic Church.

Then you have the churches that love to flaunt their good deeds. They have ministries that give to the poor and help out their communities and everyone knows about it. They do not follow the passage in Matthew 6:1-4

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Matthew 6:1-4

I know personally that St. John’s does not follow the biblical teaching of how the elders and deacons are to be according to the Bible. They are not big on the gospel, sin, or repentance. They are big on doing good deeds for all to see. They support organizations that help the poor and needy, but do not share the gospel. They have canned prayers and creeds. They are big on religious symbols and traditions. They boast in the ways they help the community.

Archbold Evan just did the same thing recently, and showed a video at a Sunday morning service of Jesse giving money to the homeless shelters, worse he then this, he put a burden on his people. He said, now that they have given money to the the homeless shelters his congregants are on the hook to helping out these homeless shelters, because they are going to come to Archbold Evan for help. This is the legalism Jesus spoke against! It’s good to help out the poor, but it’s how you do it that is laid out in God’s Word.

Our church helps out people in need but we don’t advertise it and we (congregants) know nothing about it. We trust that our deacons are allocating the money where needed. We have two ladies groups that work to support fellow believers needs in our church body and our missionaries. The main focus of our church is supporting missionaries that share the Good News of the Gospel. Sharing the Gospel is the greatest and best work a Christian could ever do!

1 John 3:14-19

14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth!

Pastor Judah Smith - Saint Laurent boots - Topman jeans // PREACHER STYLES  | Mens fashion streetwear, Hipster mens fashion, Saint laurent jeans

Then you have the casual and jean wearing pastor

What Is Appropriate To Wear In Church? (2 Reasons It Doesn't Matter And 3  Guidelines) | Pivot | A Blog by Karl Vaters

Going back to the first point from Pslams 26:8, a place were my honor dwelleth. I think most people if they think this through, can conclude that a pastor who dresses casually is not showing honor to the Lord or his dwelling place. Is your church building a place that honors God? Are you dressing in a way that honors God. If you would wear a suit and tie for a wedding or to meet a president, prime minister, or to stand in front of a court judge, how much more should you show respect for the King of Kings? Are you being honoring? I would say NO! Your are trying to be hip and relevant to attract people? When you do this you are saying I don’t take my job seriously and nor do I respect God enough to dress my best. Not in a pious way like some, but in a respectful way. You are also showing how superficial you are and people who are true disciples of the Lord can see right through this. The true Christian who wants sound doctrine can not take you seriously if you are drawing attention to yourself rather than the word of God. I have seen men wear jeans so tight that could cause lustful thoughts, or draw the attention from God’s Word. When I worked at Serenity Haven, the women would come back to the facility from Archbold Evan and comment on the pastors looks in a lustful manner. They were not respectful comments like that pastor looked handsome in his suit. Their was no mention of being saved, sin, or conviction of their eternal destiny.

John F. MacArthur - Wikipedia
Paul Chappell - Wikipedia
The Liturgy of Lloyd-Jones | Brian J. LundSpurgeon's Message to the Pastor: Take Care of Your Family - B&H Academic

Here are some men you may or may not know. But they do not like lofty titles, because they are/were just faithful servants of the Lord. They were called by God to their position of pastor. To rightfully divide God’s word with humility and reverence for the Lord. They also excepted the title of pastor, and didn’t try to drop it so not to offend people. When you are pragmatic you can change how to do church so that you get people to follow you and not God. Pragmatism is ungodly and worldly. The Bible says to separate yourself from the world, to come out from among them. Not so people will revere you but God!

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