(November 15, 2016) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share some things that some concerned Christians are sharing with other concerned Christians…
‘Where do they get such non-biblical rubbish from?’ asked one concerned young lady.
‘What “rubbish”?’ we asked. ’Do tell.’
‘Well, for example, I’m concerned that certain Christians are always claiming they see Jesus. Seems like someone is always “seeing” Jesus but it’s like who can tell the biggest whopper!’
Another instance of wackiness we hear is someone claimed that Jesus has told them they must hold their hands together and stick their arms straight up in the air to pray and a greater anointing would drop! So other silly Christians, not knowing God’s word nor the Spirit intimately, nodded and agreed, ‘That sounds good’ and the group followed in blind obedience!
Someone else shared that they attended a home group that is into chanting, trying to call down the Holy Spirit. ‘But it sounded more like murmuring,’ they said.
A disillusioned ex-elder travelled a long way to share his troubled heart with us, that he had resigned because his pastor would not listen to his concerns about the overloud hype music with lyrics not exactly scripture, and that God’s word was not being mentioned or when it was it was not shared expositorily.
Other concerned Christians related being aware of sexual immorality being condoned or overlooked under that false unbiblical teaching still going around about ‘once saved, always saved, therefore you don’t have to worry about asking forgiveness ever again.’
And, we were told, that Christian singles – whether guys or gals – looking for genuine friendship through some ‘Christian Partners’ website are finding that sexual relationship, not friendship is the name of the game!
One couple bumped into some old friends that they hadn’t seen for a long time and asked where they were currently fellowshipping. The response? ‘Well we left our church because of the lack of sound Bible teaching and we haven’t been able to find a good church since. Actually we tried half-a-dozen, including some “big name” ones and they’re all whacky, all confusing!’
Confusion in the camp!
Oh dear, some people – basically good people – are way off track! But wise spiritually hungry Christians are twigging on that something isn’t quite kosher in certain camps! And it’s not new!
Understanding what scripture is really saying is vital! We can’t all be, aren’t meant to be, Bible scholars – but we need to know that we can accept biblically what other Christians, especially those in leadership, are claiming!
Our learned theologian friend, Dr Jim McClure, often shares on concerns in the church in his superb Teaching category (previously called Biblical Perspectives). Concerns that abound today!
It’s no wonder that last August he began a series called Confusion in the Church that is still so relevant. In his point three of that first part of this great series, he writes: ‘Unless the church truly aligns itself with God’s word and proclaims that word, it will contribute to the greatest famine of all for our world – the famine of hearing God’s word.’
His list of items in church circles that result in confusion include –
- Speculation is confused with prophecy
- Hype is confused with the presence of the Holy Spirit
- Entertainment is confused with worship
- Super-spirituality is confused with solid faith
- Imagining what we want to hear is confused with hearing from God
- Spiritual gifts are confused with spiritual maturity.
Check out the link https://connectingwithyou.net/2015/09/25/confusion-in-the-church-part-1/
We are the church and we need to get things right, put things right!
Now the truth is that there are some really great churches around. Of course there are, praise God! We must know in the depths of our hearts that our church is one of them! We must ensure that the church we associate with, honour, tithe, give time and talent to is balanced, biblically sound.
Sadly confusion abounds in some churches! Especially from unsound hyper-faith preachers and in small home groups that call themselves churches but do not associate or are accountable to an officially recognised denomination.
In this connection, something that sticks in our minds is what a great preacher, an outstanding pioneer of pentecostal truths, declared one time. Personally we will never forget it: A text out of context is a pretext!
It was many decades ago and linked perfectly with scriptures the Holy Spirit had burned into our hearts three years previously when out-of-the-blue he spoke to our spirits. When he had stunned us by saying so clearly that he would use us to teach God’s word simply but in-depth, challenging Christians and leaders to understand what scripture is really saying, not what they think or suppose, or what some ‘new voice’ declares as being ‘the latest thing in God.’
But… don’t dump all the blame on church leaders alone! Yes they’re responsible before God to teach the truth and refute spiritual junk food – but it;s up to individual Christians to read, know and understand what God’s word teaches so that they can distinguish between truth and wacky rubbish, what is ‘real text’ and what is ‘obvious pretext’!
Spiritual junk food
We were led to 1 and 2 Timothy. The Lord strongly impressed on us to, among other scriptures, deeply study these two books, to wholeheartedly devour Paul’s warnings about end time lack of hunger for truth in Christians and among some church leaders.
In particular, he influenced us about a coming lack of personal desire for God’s word, a careless Christianity. Into our hearts he burned …
- 1 Timothy 1:3b-5 – ‘Well, I haven’t changed my mind. Stay right there on top of things so that the teaching stays on track.
Apparently some people have been introducing fantasy stories and fanciful family trees that digress into silliness instead of pulling the people back into the center, deepening faith and obedience. The whole point of what we’re urging is simply love—love uncontaminated by self-interest and counterfeit faith, a life open to God. Those who fail to keep to this point soon wander off into cul-de-sacs of gossip.’
- 1 Timothy 4:7 – ‘Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion’ – and especially
- 2 Timothy 4:2-4 – ‘Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple. You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food – catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages.’
Sadly over the years many Christians have done just that – ran after ‘the latest thing’ and in many cases have been deceived because they themselves haven’t taken time to read and study the word of God. They have fallen for weird so-called doctrines, have not sought a sound Bible-based shepherd’s guidance and have got caught up in wackiness. Unfortunately many end up totally confused and losing a grip on their faith.
Old chestnuts keep coming round… false end time predictions such as …
- Wrong end time claims such as Harold Camping’s Judgment Day and Rapture date of May 21, quickly followed by a ‘Sorry, it’s October 21.’
- And what about the 2014 ‘Want to feel the Spirit’s presence? Then let’s do the “Holy Ghost Hokey Pokey”’?
- Or that ‘You want more of the anointing? Become a Holy Spirit Grave-sucker. Lie over the grave of some great pentecostal servant and suck up their spirit.’
- Or ‘It’s all the devil’s doing. We need more deliverance ministry.’
- Or claiming victory (or whatever) because of your church eg ‘I’m an overcomer because I’m a “Church of the Great Global Callithumpians member” (or whatever your church is called)’ Whatever happened to ‘I’m an overcomer because of Jesus (John16:33)’?
The spiritual junk food list goes on! Either some ‘latest in-thing’ or some old hairy chestnut revamped!
Spiritual junk food is an old deception
For decades there’s been a saying: Weird church stuff soon filters from America to other western countries. Sad but true. But even sadder is this… because of wrong teaching, hyper-faith and a lack of biblical knowledge among Christians and church leaders, Satan, that old wolf in sheep’s clothing is able to sneak in with destructive corrupted ‘doctrine’ and bamboozle uninitiated ministers and churchgoers alike.
Many misuse God’s grace and claim that ‘the good Lord’ will overlook everything because you’re under grace.’ More like being under a spell!
Without God’s grace we would really be lost. We’d be condemned by God virtually every day because of wrong thoughts that slip in never mind wrong actions and words spoken in haste, as even the noblest but most honest leader will admit. We must understand what the Bible actually says, that what is being passed on is biblical truth and that it clicks with our spirit!
As our good friend Dr McClure says: ‘Such false teaching is a result of “easigesis”, that is, reading one’s own ideas into the biblical text, rather than exegesis, that is, understanding what the text actually says!’
Bible college students, indeed anyone who has studied the Bible know that exegesis means seeking the correct explanation of scripture. Really understanding doctrine, linking and balancing relevant passages and verses before trying to expound that subject. It’s no wonder James warned in James 3:1 ‘Not many of you should presume to be teachers…because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.’
Unfortunately some Christians have been grievously deceived and wandered away from biblical truth through erroneous grace teaching. We can only pray that some friend, soundly balanced in the word, will come alongside and patiently help them back to reality and that they’ll find a church with a quality teaching ministry.
Incidentally this current wrong teaching is not some new ‘latest in-thing’ but one that goes back to the days of the early church and became known as Antinomianism.
New ’latest in-things’? No… old ‘in-things’ that need throwing out!
Oh for hearts that hunger and thirst for the genuine, righteous word of God. Jesus said that everyone seeking after God’s righteousness will be abundantly filled (Mathew 5:6).
(Scripture emphases ours) Links: Stuart Reynold’s Lights, Camera, Action! https://connectingwithyou.net/2016/11/17/lights-camera-action/ / Dr Jim McClure’s Who Changed the Sabbath Day? https://connectingwithyou.net/2016/11/14/who-changed-the-sabbath-day/