The Alarming Rise of Theological Syncretism

•February 13, 2020 • 1 Comment

Syncretism The amalgamation or attempted amalgamation of different religions, cultures, or schools of thought.

In recent days…

Baylor University (a Southern Baptist owned and operated institution) recently had Kaitlyn Curtis speak in a chapel service.  Curtis says of her teaching…By contemplation, I am basically referring to the work of creating and sustaining an inner life of peace, quiet, listening to the Divine/Mystery/Higher Power/God , and letting the overflow of that love stretch into other realms of life.  She began and ended her “sermon” with a prayer to “Mother Mystery” – whatever or whoever that is.  Curtis is far from orthodox, biblical Christianity.

The Annual Pastor’s Conference of the Southern Baptist Convention (of which I used to be a part and also hold a Master’s Degree from one of their seminaries) just published it’s list of “preachers” for the event this year.  It includes non-Southern Baptist pastors – some with less than biblical stances on key theological issues.  It also includes David Hughes from Church by the Glades in Florida.  All you have to do is look at a “worship” service on his church website and you can see why he is questionable.  All the speakers are known for their less-than-textual and lack-of-expository preaching of the Bible.  Their sermons are mostly pragmatic, feel-good, psychological mumbo-jumbo that any  on-line trained pseudo-psychologist could dish out.

Liberty University (from which I hold a Bachelor’s Degree) had Jentezen Franklin speak in chapel.  Franklin is a known health and wealth preacher who is popular on the TBN and Daystar prosperity gospel TV networks.  Franklin practices eisegesis (adding to the Biblical text) to twist texts into saying what he wants them to say.   Also slated to speak at Liberty is Steven Furtick … another eisegetical, Scripture-twisting health and wealth preacher who is far from Gospel-based Christianity.

Francis Chan (whose books I have read and formerly thought very highly of) has now joined ranks with the prosperity gospel crowd and become a “faith healer”.

In addition, I continue to be amazed at how many church members who attend supposedly orthodox, Protestant churches listen to and follow people like Joyce Meyer, Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Christine Caine, John Hagee and others of that health-n-wealth, “visions”, “dreams” and “revelations”, twist-the-Scriptures, pragmatic non-sense.

The Apostle Paul (and there are NO biblical Apostles today) commanded Pastor Timothy to command others “not to teach false doctrines” (1 Timothy 1:3).  Paul warned us “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrines. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths (2 Timothy 4:3-4).  I can’t imagine what the Apostle Paul would be thinking about some of the people who have been invited to speak at these once biblically-grounded institutions and conferences.

The days of which Paul spoke … have arrived.

Jesus came to what??

•December 19, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Here’s a recent Twitter post by a national religious leader…

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Christmas is not about any of these things.  As much liberal and progressive theologians want you to think this, it’s simply not true.

In their insistence upon drawing attention away from humankind’s total depravity and the resulting wrath of God that comes with it, they have reinterpreted and misapplied Scripture to (seemingly) prop up their misguided social agenda. While it is true there may (or may not) be some social implications we can arrive at from the birth of Christ into the world – that is not the point.

The Bible says…

“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45).

“For the son of man came to see and to save the lost.”  (Luke 19:5)

(Speaking of his atoning death) Jesus said “…No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour” (John 12:27)

Christ came into the world to save sinners.  (1 Timothy 1:15)

And on we could go.

We must not overshadow the real intention of Jesus’ coming by using it to advance one’s own social and political agenda.

Humankind’s biggest dilemma (from which it cannot deliver itself) is our absolute inability to stand before a holy God.

Jesus came to die (in our place) and rise again…

… so that those to whom he has given faith can believe and call on his name…

… so that they can be forgiven and granted free grace…

… so that they can have his righteousness…

… so that we may stand before that holy God in a righteousness not of our own but one               fully provided by Jesus Christ to us.

That is the point of his coming.

 

 

 

It’s time for a homiletical reboot

•October 30, 2019 • 1 Comment

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Homiletics:  The art of writing and preaching sermons.

I’ve been preaching for 30 years.  I’ve read hundreds of books on preaching.  I’ve attended dozens of seminars and conferences on preaching.  I’ve preached good sermons and bad sermons. So…I’ve earned the right to say the following things. 

And since preaching in America is probably at its lowest point ever…

Stop proof texting.   Learn to apply the proven principles of hermeneutics to every text.  Keep every text in its context.  STOP manipulating Scripture to make it say what you want it to say.

Stop using so many illustrations.  Usually people only remember the story and not the POINT of the story.

Stop using so many personal stories.    Honestly, no one is THAT interested in your life.  Also, just because God does something a certain way in your life doesn’t mean he will do it the same way in another person’s life.

Stop preaching on so many current events.  Our text is the Bible, not secular media.  Sometimes, yes.  A lot, no.

Stop preaching on movies.  If your congregation wants a movie, they can go to a theater.  It’s not your job to interpret a film … it’s your JOB to correctly interpret the Scriptures.

Stop spiritualizing the text.  Don’t invent secret codes, hidden meanings, and numerologies.  They are not there … and you don’t have a secret decoder ring that can make sense out of it.

Stop reading yourself into every text.  Away with this silly narcigetical and eisegetical preaching.  Every text is NOT about you.  Believe it or not, most Scriptural texts are about JESUS.

The above described preaching has filled most American pulpits for about 30 years now.  The result?  Congregations that don’t know the Bible (preachers that don’t the Bible or how to interpret it!), powerless pulpits, powerless pews, a powerless Gospel and powerless churches.

It’s time for a homiletical reboot.

Goodbye Southern Baptist Convention

•October 29, 2019 • 2 Comments

Disclaimer:  I was a gung-ho, fully invested Southern Baptist (SBC) for many years.  My Masters of Divinity Degree is from a Southern Baptist institution.  However, I walked away from it years ago.  Hence, this short blog about recent SBC leanings.

The SBC has adopted Critical Race Theory and Social Progressivism.  I’m not even going to elaborate on that.

Southeastern Baptist Theological seminary has just hired Karen Swallow Prior as a research professor.   Again, I’m not even going to elaborate on that.

The SBC has long endorsed the eisegetical and narcissistic teachings of Beth Moore.  Again, I’m not going to elaborate on this…but have you heard her “preach” or read her Twitter posts lately?

Recent high profile SBC leaders (Jack Graham, Robert Jeffress, along with heretical prosperity preachers like T.D. Jakes) have endorsed Paula White’s new book.  Paula White is an heretical, Scripture-twisting, prosperity gospel “preacher” in the same vein as T. D. Jakes, Jentezen Franklin, Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, Christine Caine and others.  None of whom hold to biblical and orthodox views of salvation by grace alone and cessationism.

I won’t even elaborate on the millions of dollars the SBC has wasted over the years (much like our government) on high-dollar SBC employee salaries and multi-million dollar buildings.

I am elated to see that many strong, Bible-based, churches are departing the SBC because they realize it has been lost and will not be recovered.

I KNOW there are many good people in the SBC who love Jesus and are committed to his kingdom.  But it’s time to realize the connection to false teaching equals confirmation of false teaching.

You may disagree…and that’s your right.  But if you want to debate, please come at me with an open Bible and about four hours.

 

 

Paul’s Pastoral Advice

•October 21, 2019 • Leave a Comment

The Apostle Paul wrote two letters to young Timothy who was the pastor at the church at Ephesus.  Along with the book of Titus, we call these three letters the Pastoral Epistles.

In them, Paul never tells Pastor Timothy to lead the church to have vision, set goals, meet perceived needs, grow financially, be culturally relevant, or seeker-sensitive.

These are all the things church growth consultants have been telling churches to do for the last 30 years…and how most church-plant pastors “build” churches these days.  And the American church is in a mess for it.

In strong language, Paul told Timothy to …

  1.  Preach the Gospel.
  2.  Pastor his congregation.
  3.  Protect his congregation from heretical teaching.

Perhaps we  pastors should return to Paul’s advice for pastors.

 

A God you can understand?

•August 12, 2019 • 3 Comments

It is a theologian’s task to read, study, and interpret the Scriptures.  However, any honest theologian will tell you that there are things in the Bible that “stump” us.

When we come against the un-understandable in Scripture, we simply put our trust in the God who is trustworthy, righteous, and just.  God cannot be wrong because of who he is … if he can be wrong about any decree or decision, then he is not God.

Yet many people want to question God’s decrees and decisions.  It’s because they don’t know the God of the Bible and they don’t know the God of the Bible because they don’t read the Bible.

The only way to have an uncorrupted view of God is to go to an uncorrupted source … the Bible.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  (Isaiah 55:8-9)

A God you can completely understand is not a god worth having.

 

PROSPERITY PERVERSITY

•June 3, 2019 • 1 Comment

This video of Prosperity Pimp Kenneth Copeland reveals so much.

  1. Copeland’s use of “lady”, “sweetheart”, “babe”, and “you have pretty eyes” is so condescending to this female reporter.
  2. At one point, Copeland aggressively leans over the door and gets in this reporter’s face.
  3. The Abrahamic Covenant does not include riches for us.  We are not under the Abrahamic Covenant anyway.  Christians are under the New Covenant provided by Jesus Christ.
  4. Copeland says he can’t prepare to preach while around “common people.  As a preacher myself, being around everyday people living everyday lives & experiencing everyday problems enables (along with the study of Scripture) me to preach better.
  5. Copeland and others of his ilk twist (and twist and twist) Scriptures to say what they want them to say concerning healing and wealth.  They never apply basic hermeneutical principles that seasoned and respected theologians use to interpret Scripture.
  6. And, yes, I’m sorry…but he’s just creepy.

Be assured:  the Prosperity Gospel is an oxymoron.  It is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is not a form of Christianity that we should just excuse with “Well, he talks about Jesus”.

The Prosperity Gospel is dangerous, unbiblical, and only makes rich the ones who preach it.

 
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