Four Ways to Identify False Teaching in the Church


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The true purpose of life is to develop a strong personal bond with our three glorious Creators: Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. We were created by Them for this reason, and until we align our priorities with Theirs, we’re missing the point of everything. But once we do reach the point where we are seriously pursuing God in our hearts, what then? Well, that’s when we get into the vast and thrilling topic of spiritual maturity.

There are two main areas in which we need to mature: knowing God better, and treating Him better. We can’t do either of these things without His help, but when we are responding well to God in our souls, He delights in helping us with these things. It isn’t a negative to God that we start off as such blind, bumbling creatures. He made us this way on purpose because God enjoys maturing us. This is very important to realize, because it’s easy to become very frustrated with your own rate of progress. We often want to grow faster and in a different order than God wants us to. But since we can’t grow without Him, His plan for us always ends up being the one we have to conform to. Continue reading

God’s Absolute Sovereignty: Essential Theology


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Here is a classic theological dilemma:

  • There are elements, activities, and principles in this world which we humans feel greatly threatened by.  Things such as pain, violence, suffering, and depraved desires.  We label these things as evil.
  • If we acknowledge that God exists, then we realize that He is more powerful than us.  The thought of a superior Being who is involved in evil greatly threatens us, so we decide that God cannot have any relationship with evil at all and that He must find it as threatening as we do.
  • We now need to explain the existence of evil in the world while still keeping God separate from it.
  • We choose a set of creatures who are greater in power than we are, yet evil in nature, and we assign those creatures control over this earthly realm.
  • Now our good God is still in control, yet totally separate from evil.  This makes us feel safe.

Continue reading

Hellfire Legalism & Prosperity Theology: Two Different Applications of the Same Lie


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When we talk about hellfire preaching, we mean the kind of preaching that makes you feel like you’re on your way to Hell because you’re failing to please God. This is a style of preaching that emphasizes the wrath of God to the point that the love and grace of God become lost concepts. A steady diet of hellfire preaching will cause you to think that God is a scary, brooding volcano who is angrily glaring down at you 24/7. You’ll end up afraid to pray and afraid to sin. Once you finally do some super big no-no sin that your pastor is always exalting as being in the unforgivable camp, you’ll end up so despaired of ever getting right with God again that you’ll toss up your hands and decide that you might as well wallow in the lusts of your flesh from then on. After all, if God is so impossible to please, why keep trying?

Now hellfire preaching and legalism go hand in hand. Just as prosperity theology is built on the deception that we can somehow manipulate God into giving us the perfect life on earth by impressing Him with our good behaviors, legalism is also a deceiving package of theology which focuses on behaviors instead of soul attitudes. While prosperity theology often includes the belief that sinless living is possible, legalism teaches that sinless living is required. Continue reading

The Law of Attraction & the True Source of Our Troubles


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When it comes to explaining how life works, there are two schools of thought. Those who deny the reality of a God who is intimately involved in His creation teach that there are impersonal forces in the universe which have a weird way of balancing out right and wrong. Here’s where things like karma and the law of attraction come in. If you do nice things, nice things will come back on your head. If you do mean things to others, mean things will happen to you. If you think negative thoughts, you will attract the negative towards you. But why? There’s no rhyme or reason, it’s just the way things work. But who set things up to work this way and how can impersonal laws have a moral code? No one can explain it because the theory is utterly stupid. Be on your guard against belief systems which try to uphold portions of God’s moral code while simultaneously scrubbing God out of the picture. Such games don’t work. You can’t divorce God from the things He has made, and God is the One who taught us what morals are. Continue reading

Blood Moons: The Mechanics, the Hype & the God-Honoring Response


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God’s universe is endlessly fascinating.  It’s huge, it’s complex, and He’s filled it with countless objects which He likes to keep in constant motion.  Now the term “blood moon” is a dramatic term people have assigned to the moon getting a reddish tint to it when God causes the sun, earth, and moon to move into a straight line with each other.  Neither the earth nor the moon emit light of their own.  They are like rocks sitting in a dark room.  The sun is like the flashlight that you are holding in your hand.  When you shine your flashlight onto one of the rocks, the rock lights up with color.  When you see those amazing photographs of the blue and green earth, it’s because you’re seeing the earth’s surface being lit up by the sun.

Now if a man shines a flashlight into your eyes, what do you do?  You hold your hand up.  Why?  Because once you raise your hand in front of your eyes, the light hits your hand.  Your hand is solid–the light can’t penetrate through it.  The solid mass of your hand casts a shadow over your eyes which gives your eyes relief from the blinding light.  Continue reading

Understanding Spiritual Gifts: The Labels & the Lies


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What is a spiritual gift? There are two ways we can answer this question. When spiritual gifts are talked about in Church, people are usually referring to one item on a list of “gifts” which the apostle Paul jotted down in one of his New Testament epistles. We find various gifts listed in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4. These three letters were written by Paul. As is often the case in the Church, we are really recycling the theological beliefs of one dead apostle when we talk about spiritual gifts.

Now Paul’s list of gifts was far from comprehensive. This is hardly a surprise, for how can one man possibly list off every way that God might choose to work through someone? It’s important to note that Paul himself never tried to claim that the lists of gifts he mentions are complete. It was never Paul’s intention to try and tell us every possible gift that God might impart to someone. Yet many teachers in the Church act like this is exactly what he did. They will then go on to say that EVERY Christian MUST have one of the spiritual gifts mentioned by Paul. Of course this is utterly ridiculous, but this is what they say, and all kinds of guilt and trauma result as many Christians start trying to fake one or more of the gifts, or else they conclude that God has somehow overlooked them. Continue reading