Skip to main content


Showing posts with the label Biblical Discernment

Prosperity Gospel Beliefs on the Rise Among Churchgoers

By Marissa Postell Sullivan - Posted at Ministry Watch: Published August 29, 2023 Most American Protestant churchgoers accept the prosperity gospel belief that God wants them to prosper financially. Financial prosperity is a goal for many Americans, and most believe it’s God’s plan for them, too—but that they need to give a little more to ensure that blessing. According to a study from Lifeway Research , 52% of American Protestant churchgoers say their church teaches God will bless them if they give more money to their church and charities, with 24% strongly agreeing. This is up from 38% of churchgoers who agreed in a 2017 Lifeway Research study . Additionally, churchgoers are more likely today than in 2017 to believe God wants them to prosper financially (76% v. 69%) and that they have to do something for God in order to receive material blessings from Him (45% v. 26%). Today, 3 in 4 churchgoers (76%) believe God wants them to prosper financially, including 43% who strongly agree. Fe

Prepare to Stand: Recognize the Danger

By Pastor Andrew Brunson - Posted at YouTube: Description: Although persecution has been the norm for faithful believers throughout history, many Christians believe this cannot happen in America. But in a culture that is increasingly intolerant of those who identify with Jesus and His teachings, now is the time to prepare. Presented by  Family Research Council Direct Link:  Prepare to Stand Session 1 - Recognize the Danger - YouTube Link to articles about Pastor Brunson: Christian Heritage News: Pastor Andrew Brunson 

Don’t Waste Your Time with a Fake Jesus

 By Wes Bredenhof Artificial Intelligence websites are all the rage. The other day I came across a news story about an AI Jesus. The mainstream media picked up on this website and found it rather quirky. I checked it out so you don’t have to. I’m not even going to provide a link. Really, please don’t bother looking it up. I can report that it is an absolute waste of time. Besides that, it’s also exceedingly sacrilegious, even blasphemous. What did I observe? There’s a video screen with a picture of someone who is supposed to be Jesus. He looks like the typical Western (mis-)representation of what Jesus is thought to have looked like. Users input questions for “Jesus” on a side panel and then this animation answers them. This runs 24/7. The questions are mostly stupid, vulgar, and juvenile. Many of them have to do with bodily functions. Other questions are designed to get this AI to say ridiculous or perverted things. The AI obliges, providing netizens with a non-stop source

Prosperity Gospel: A heresy of false promises

By Chris Rosebrough - Posted at The Lutheran Witness: Published August 1, 2023 Whether you realize it or not, you have been exposed to the prosperity gospel. Its core doctrines saturate most, if not all, of the charismatic churches of our day. Its teachings are broadcast across the globe via television and the internet, and it is the central teaching of a significant number of today’s most well-known American preachers. The purveyors of the prosperity gospel are known for their positive messages, optimism and opulent living. But there is a dark and sinister side to the prosperity gospel. Its roots are based in the Mind Science cults, and it promotes a false gospel that makes promises for God that He has not made and therefore is not bound to honor. This heresy has ruined the lives and shipwrecked the faith of countless numbers of people who have bought into the deceptions of the prosperity gospel. The prosperity gospel is another name for a teaching called The Word of Faith. The late

When Knowledge Misses the Point

 Posted at Reformation Scotland: We all need to be instructed in the truths of the gospel, because that is the way that we grow spiritually. But both preachers and hearers can be busy around the truth without really getting to the heart of the truth. John Carstares was a ministerial colleague of James Durham and wrote an extended endorsement of Durham’s book, The Great Gain of Contenting Godliness . Carstares picks up on Durham’s theme of “exercising yourself unto godliness” and points out that there are various ways in which we can be active and energetic – full of zeal – but it’s misdirected even though we have flickers and flashes of truth in our view. In the following updated extract, Carstares picks out some ways in which – whether as preachers or hearers – people miss the point and truth and godliness slip away from them. We should exercise ourselves to godliness knowingly and solidly, having a right understanding of its nature, and a thorough grasp of what it consists of, so tha

A Response to “Shiny Happy People”

 By Davis Carman - Posted at Apologia: Published July 17, 2023 Amazon Prime Video is now streaming “Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets,” an exclusive four-part documentary that purports to expose the truth lurking beneath the wholesome Americana surface of reality TV’s favorite mega-family, the Duggars. The producers turn a spotlight on the Duggar family’s views and practices regarding modesty, music, dating and courtship, having children, home education and politics, with a particular emphasis on the family’s connection to the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) and its founder, Bill Gothard. The Duggars are presented in the series as the “shiny, happy” face of IBLP, and several clips are shown of parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar speaking to large gatherings of moms and dads at IBLP events. Meanwhile, the show explores the darker side of the fundamentalist organization and its longtime leader. A significant portion of the series is devoted to on-camera interviews with

The Unabomber dies at 81 by suicide: Why are his ideas becoming popular?

Published June 21, 2023  By Mark Legg - Posted at the Denison Forum: Ted Kaczynski, known as the Unabomber, captured the gaze of millions through not only his murders but also his far-fetched philosophy and mad story. Serial killers often receive widespread media attention, but the written words of one can hardly be more recognized or infamous: “The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race.” These words make up the opening sentence of Kaczynski’s manifesto, “Industrial Society and Its Future.” Kaczynski maintained a niche following of environmental extremists and anarchists in prison, writing countless letters with apparent brilliance and wit to journalists and “fans” alike. He died June 10, two weeks ago, by suicide at eighty-one. Why should we care about the ideas and life of a murderous madman? The tale of Ted Kaczynski can teach Christians many things. Indeed, frighteningly, there is a surge in popularity for his ideas online. So who was t

Being Merciful to the Toxic

 By David Petersen - Posted at The Lutheran Witness: Christ calls us to love our enemies, to act with mercy. We should not as a knee-jerk reaction insist on our rights. We yield to the weak in faith and attempt to win a brother. There is a sense, however, in which that mercy has limits. Jesus does not command that we suffer abuse and injustice passively. He does not teach that our forgiveness means we completely forget what has been done to us nor does it eliminate boundaries. Stewards guard their resources to fulfill their vocations. Boundaries with the toxic There are times when Christians need to set extreme boundaries for their relationships and there can even be times to separate from others. Jesus instructs us to separate from those who refuse to hear godly rebuke from the church and amend their ways (Matt. 18:17). They aren’t to be indulged forever. Jesus commands us to leave those who won’t hear His Word (Matt. 10:14), to be shrewd as serpents in the world (Matt. 10:16) and eve

A Word about Spurgeon and Female Pastors

Source:  A Word about Spurgeon and Female Pastors – Denny Burk  By Dr. Denny Burk Published May 20, 2023 Earlier this week, it was announced that Rick Warren had been installed as the honorary Chancellor of Spurgeon’s College in London. After his installation, Warren took the opportunity to double-down on his support for female pastors and to claim that “ my views on ordination are identical to Spurgeon’s. ” I am no expert on Spurgeon, but I am reasonably certain that Warren’s views on ordination are not identical to Spurgeon’s—at least insofar as it relates to the ordination of female pastors. In his book Lectures to My Students, Spurgeon devotes an entire chapter to “The Call to the Ministry.”* In that chapter, I can see at least three differences between Spurgeon’s and Warren’s views on this point. 1. The Gender of “Pastor” Warren claims that the Bible permits women to serve as pastors in the church and that they should be afforded the opportunity to lead and teach as pastors. Sp

Please, Don't Get Mad at God

 By Stephen Spinnenweber - Posted at Reformation 21: As Christians in America, and especially the PCA, are still reeling and grieving with our brothers and sisters at Covenant Presbyterian Church and the Covenant School in Nashville, there is an understandable and appropriate righteous indignation that we have all felt welling up inside of us in these recent weeks. Six precious images bearers of God were gunned down in cold blood in what can only be described as a brazen act of terror. Many are angered by the LGBTQ+ movement and its radicalization of this young woman who identified as a transgender-man. Others have voiced their opposition to President Biden’s appalling decision to declare March 31st Transgender Day of Visibility within mere days of the shooting. And, in numbers that I could not have possibly imagined, the mainstream media’s spinning the narrative in such a way as to make Audrey Hale the victim and Covenant School the villain has shocked and angered us all. Wh

Bonhoeffer – A Reliable Guide?

 By William MacLeod - Posted at The Banner of Truth: Published September 23, 2016 Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) is increasingly being quoted by evangelical writers and theologians. Eric Metaxas’ recent highly-acclaimed biography presents him as an evangelical martyr of the twentieth century. Stephen Nichols, President, Reformation Bible College, with a PhD from Westminster Theological Seminary, in his book, Bonhoeffer on the Christian life , states: ‘We can even lay claim to Bonhoeffer as an evangelical’. Bonhoeffer’s book on the Sermon on the Mount, The Cost of Discipleship , is being read by many Christians and is widely described as a modern Christian classic. There is no doubting the brilliance of Bonhoeffer’s mind, nor his passion for the oppressed, nor the original way that he had of stating his beliefs. However, his theology is very different from orthodox evangelical theology and he is certainly far from being a reliable guide in presenting the Christian faith and in interpre

Nature, Grace, Sex, And Analogies

 By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog: Josh Butler, a fellow at the newly launched Keller Center for Cultural Apologetics and author of a forthcoming book, Beautiful Union (Multnomah, 2023), has written a provocative essay, “ Sex Won’t Save You (But It Points To The One Who Will) .” He raises some interesting questions: what is the function of natural revelation and what are its limits? How does Paul employ the union of husband and wife in Ephesians 5:31–32 , and are evangelicals re-sacralizing nature (i.e., is marriage a sacrament or is the act of sex, within marriage, a sacrament)? He begins by arresting our attention: “I used to look to sex for salvation.” Our culture, he writes, “looks to sex for salvation too” but idolizing sex, he writes, “results in slavery.” “Sex,” he argues, “wasn’t designed to be your salvation but to point you to the One who is” (italics original). He argues “[s]ex is an icon of Christ and the church” and it is “an icon of salvation.” To illustr

Thinking About Revival (1)

Asbury Revival - Image Source: Relevant Magazine By David de Bruyn - Posted at Churches Without Chests: Published February 20, 2023 Right now, something is happening on the campus of Asbury University in Kentucky. What began as a chapel service has turned now into a several-day worship service of singing and prayer. People from other universities have been busing in to see and to participate. People are queuing up outside the chapel. There are both people cheering it on, and claiming this is a revival the answer to prayer, and there are people sceptical, doubtful that this is more than emotion, and a kind of prolonged crowd-hysteria. I find that the momentum of the moment is to believe that it is true, and to harshly criticise those who are in any way doubtful, or even just unpersuaded. The tradition I grew up in is known as revivalism. Revivalism doesn’t only seek revival to come when God sovereignly wills it, in some ways, it seeks it every week. A lot of this began in the 19th centu

The Jesus Revolution?

Source:  Jesus Revolution   By Taigen Joos - Posted at G3 Ministries: Published February 22, 2023 The worldwide release of a new film entitled Jesus Revolution is set for Friday, February 24. The film is based on a book by the same title written by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, CA. The book and the subsequent movie tell the story of the so-called Jesus Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, which was centralized in southern California. Being rooted in the hippie culture, these young people were experimenting with all kinds of things like drugs, sex, and religious pursuits. Hippies were a counter-cultural group of adolescents and young adults looking for meaning in life in the face of what they viewed as a meaningless war in Vietnam and a frustrating American political climate. The Jesus Movement is said to have been a major spiritual working of God in these hippie sub-cultures, not only in southern California, but also around the nation. Converted hippies

The Asbury Revival, True or False?

 By Pastor Dewey Roberts - Posted at Vanguard Presbyterian Church: In recent days, I have had several people contact me about the Asbury Revival which is happening presently at Asbury University in Asbury, Kentucky. Time will tell if this is a true revival or just a work of the human flesh. Either way, there will certainly be some people who come to faith as a result of what is happening and for that we will rejoice. Yet, not all that glitters is gold. One of the things that concerns me is that Rick Warren and Francis Chan and other like-minded ministers have already gone to Asbury or they are on their way there to try to fan those flames into a revival that reaches other college campuses also. It makes me wonder if and when Andy Stanley and his entourage of LGBTQ supporters will make it there also. I have written often about the need for revival in our country and I still do. I have also tried to distinguish between true revival and false revival. As a youth, I was a member of two di

He Gets Us

 By Al Baker - Posted at Forget None of His Benefits: “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:20 Most us have seen or heard about the “He Gets Us” ad campaign which began with television ads a few weeks ago during the telecasts of NFL football games, and then perhaps you saw the two ads which ran during the Super Bowl on February 12. The first was a thirty second ad costing $7 million with emotionally evoking images of children and their kindness to each other and animals, ending with the words of Jesus, “Be childlike.” The second ad was one minute long, showing disturbing images of anger and hostility between people with Jesus’ words “Love your enemies”, ending with “Jesus loved the people we hate.” The branding firm producing these ads say they will spend $1 billion over the next three years in this ad campaign. What shall we say about this effort to reach peopl

1 Cor. 14:34-35 and the role of women in the church

 By Zachary Garris - Posted at Knowing Scripture: RESTORING 1 CORINTHIANS 14:34-35 AS A PARALLEL TO 1 TIMOTHY 2:12 Most of the debate today over the role of women in the church centers around 1 Timothy 2:12 , where Paul prohibits women from “teaching” or “exercising authority” over men and instead commands them to “remain quiet.” Based on a variety of arguments, egalitarians conclude that 1 Timothy 2:12 does not prohibit women today from serving as pastors or elders or preaching to men. However, among those that hold 1 Timothy 2:12 does place restrictions on women in the church today (often called “complementarians”), there are differing conclusions. Complementarian Disagreements The narrowest complementarian position holds that 1 Timothy 2:12 only prohibits women from holding the office of pastor or elder, which would open the door to some women preaching. However, since Paul prohibits teaching and exercising authority and not just being a pastor, most complementarians understand Pau

Protecting Religious Liberty: Why Theonomy is Not the Answer

 By Dewey Dovel - Posted at Covenant Confessions: Growing up in the buckle of the Bible belt, I was always led to believe that the United States of America was “founded as a Christian nation.” While this misconception was rectified during my study of American history in high school, [1] the past ten years since graduation have revealed to me that many people in the South embrace this faulty conviction (especially in rural parts of Texas). Nevertheless, despite the competing opinions that exist regarding Christianity’s relationship to the founding of the United States, it seems inconceivable to identify twenty-first century America as anything remotely close to Christian. The legislating of gay marriage, [2] the promotion of drag queens at children’s birthday parties, [3] the prevalence of increasing racial hostilities, [4] and the disintegration of the nuclear family [5] are but a few alarming testimonies of rampant debauchery in America. If ever there was a time that the United S

He gets us? But who is he?

 By Ryan Biese - Posted at Mid the Pines : A trendy new "Jesus marketing" campaign seeks to rebrand a familiar figure. “They are wanting to know more about a Jesus who is a false Jesus,” said the Reverend Tom Buck in reference to the new HeGetsUs campaign which ChristianityToday describes as a campaign to “ make Jesus the ‘biggest brand in your city. ” The HeGetsUs campaign aims not to get people to “go to church,” but rather invite people to “ consider the story of a man who created a radical love movement that continues to impact the world thousands of years later .” As they explain on their website : He Gets Us is a movement to reintroduce people to the Jesus of the Bible and his confounding love and forgiveness. We believe his words, example, and life have relevance in our lives today and offer hope for a better future. They seem to believe the public “image” of Jesus needs to be rehabilitated for the 21st Century. They realized a problem according to Jason Vandergrou

Why I Don’t Participate in Halloween

 By Brian Cosby - Posted at Reformation21 : Halloween: It's a conscience issue, and my own conscience is pricked by the thought of participating in it. However, I also recognize that there are legitimate (even “biblical”) reasons that one might have for celebrating with the rest of their neighbors. It's important to realize that historians are divided over the origins of Halloween. Some say that it has Christian roots; others say that it has pagan roots. Either way, we are to make a decision based on what it communicates today and, therefore, if we should (or shouldn’t) participate based on that meaning. From a slightly different angle, we should not only ask if it is “wrong” to participate, but if it is “right” from a biblical perspective. Typically, I hear of one of four responses to Halloween. First, there are those who believe that any participation in any holiday is inherently sinful and all “true” believers should not participate. Second, some don’t see any big deal abou