The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Tag Archives: INTRO Doctrines

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. Read more of this post

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.

Read more of this post

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. Read more of this post

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. Read more of this post

The Illusion of Bad Luck

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There is no such thing as a curse of bad luck or walking around with a dark raincloud over our heads. There are two factors which create the illusion of bad luck: God inflicting us with trials, and our own choice of emphasis. Read more of this post

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.  Read more of this post

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. Read more of this post

Debunking Soul Ties & Soul Fragmentation

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God’s truth is gloriously simple. The way He works with us is so gracious and reasonable. But apparently Christians find His truth too simple and His methods too gracious and reasonable. They get bored. They look over at what the witches and warlocks are doing and they get jealous. Magic potions? How come we don’t get to have any of that? Someone cooks up some holy water—ha, now we have potions, too. Family curses? How come we don’t get to have any of those? Someone comes up with the theory of generational curses and now we get to play magic games, too. You see, God tells us that when He has a problem with us, He’ll tell us very clearly through internal conviction. He won’t leave us bumbling around in fear. He won’t start beating on us without explanation. God is so gracious and kind and good. But we’re the little brats who can’t appreciate how good our Father is so we have to go next door and play with His enemies. We prefer the company of demons over God. We like getting all worked up on their horror stories. We like the way they knock us onto the ground and make us convulse during our slaying sessions. We want to believe in dark magic. We want to think we have the power to curse and cure ourselves. We don’t like this bit about God getting to control everything. WE want to control something. We like to imitate the psychics by wandering through a house “sensing” for dark vibes in the atmosphere using our powerful gift of discernment. We think we’re cool when we have a dramatic demonic encounter. The warlocks have names for their spirits, well so do we. In fact, we even map the strongholds of demons and we imagine them falling down as we sit in a circle at church praying our powerful prayers. The warlocks boast about their magical prowess, well so do we. We’re prayer warriors and prophetic intercessors. We can do everything they do. We aren’t going to be left out. Read more of this post

Anointed: What it Does & Doesn’t Mean

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If your pastor says something is good, is that the same as God saying it is good? Not hardly. If your pastor says something is good, but God says that same thing is bad, then clearly God’s opinion trumps your pastor’s. The same is true for the word “anointed.” Your pastor might say his sermon was anointed, or claim that he is anointed. But what does God say? Unless God tells you that He approves of your pastor’s claim, then you can’t eliminate the possibility that the man is just full of hot air. As a general rule, if you substitute “pompous windbag” for the title “anointed”, you’ll get a far more accurate picture of what you’re dealing with. To understand why you should not view the “anointed” label as evidence of God’s approval, let’s learn about where the anointing ritual came from, and what our shady motivations are for using it in the Church today. Read more of this post

Spiritual Warfare in the Church: Delusions vs. Truth

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Have you been told that you have the gift of discernment? Do you sense the presence of demons more often and more clearly than other people? Do you believe you have a special ability to “see” into the spiritual realm? Have you been taught that your special abilities are indications that God has specially equipped you for battling demons? If so, you have been led to a very dangerous place. The way you currently perceive spiritual warfare and your own spiritual abilities is very detrimental to your soul. You are caught in a current of deceptions which are only going to carry you deeper and deeper into a land of delusions. You can’t grow close to God when you’re clinging to delusions, but the kinds of delusions you’re headed toward are extremely addictive lies. They will please your ego so much that you won’t want to let them go. Demons know how to make lies sound far more attractive than truth, and teaching you that you are some spirit kicking warrior is one of their favorite games to play. Now wait a second—are we saying that demons would encourage you to believe you are a threat to them? Oh, yes. That whole rebuking package that you’ve been sold—it comes straight from them. Demons love it when you start rebuking them in the Name of Jesus or better yet—chanting Bible verses. Maybe you’ve been sold the version in which you’re supposed to hold up some large cross to drive the evil spirits back. Or perhaps your spiritual mentors took you down the holy liquids road—teaching you to dab on some holy oil or holy water or holy something else as a physical shield against those powers of darkness. It’s all such a fantastic scam and you have been the victim. If you’re serious about wanting to know God and please Him with your life, there is a whole lot of relearning you need to do about the spiritual realms. We can get you there, but it isn’t going to be a pleasant ride because God’s truth is often very repulsive to our pride. But truth is truth, and trying to ignore it doesn’t change anything, it just ends up harming you. God will not adjust reality to suit your wishful thinking. If you want to please Him, you have to submit to His rules and align with His definition of truth. Read more of this post