Monday, June 30, 2008

John Wayne is Still Alive

The "Duke" is Tougher than Ever Doing the Rounds as a King James Only Preacher.

After watching his amazing hermeneutical feats you'll be too scared to read anything other than the 1611 Authorised Version because it's the one for REAL MEN! Eugene Peterson STAND UP and take note!

Don't take this the wrong way - I've always been a staunch KJV 1611 Authorised Version man (If it was good enough for the Apostle Paul then it's good enough for me). I've just never stopped people from exercising their right to read any of the unauthorised versions.

Though I can't prove it beyond doubt, I sincerely believe that the Textus Receptus is the best manuscripts. I have held to that personal conviction through many years of being mocked by people who somehow think the "Message" qualifies as something more than an expensive door stop. I hope the preacher in the video is a faithful preacher of the biblical Gospel and this video represents a momentary lapse of reason. And living in Europe I can attest to the fact that the prevailing secular humanism over here is driving the urinal to extinction. Furthermore, I've always suspected that the editors of the NIV (Nearly infallible version) sit down to urinate. It's just that there are so many better arguments to defend the KJV than posture.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Todd Bentley and the Lakeland Revival (Part 2)

The Gospel According to Todd Bentley

What we should be looking at is the gospel that Todd Bentley (I'll refer to him as TB from now on) preaches because the Apostle Paul said in his letter to the Galatian church

Gal 1:8-9 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

Before we examine this I want to comment on some of the many strange things I have heard from TB's lips that have really disturbed me and should give any biblical Christian cause for concern. There are many I could comment on but I'll just comment on 3 of them.

1. TB claims in his testimony that he was demon posessed while being a born again Christian. Being born again means that we have the Holy Spirit living in us. Does anyone believe that the Holy Spirit can live in the same house as a demon or in TB's case 25 demons (what fellowship does light have with darkness? from 2 Corinthians 6:14). In this audio (below) TB recounts the story of this, I think it is very disturbing.

2. In another video TB says this:

"You know, I told the Lord, “Why can’t I just move in healing and forget talking about all that…other stuff?” He said, “Because, Todd, you gotta get the people to believe in the angel.” I said, “God, why do I want people to believe in the angel, isn’t it about getting the people to believe in Jesus?” He said, “The people already believe in Jesus, but the church doesn’t believe in the supernatural.” The church has no problem believing in Jesus. But what we don’t believe in is the supernatural."

The most striking thing about Todd’s teachings here is, of course, that he is claiming to say that God spoke to him directly and told him that believing in Jesus is not the point - people already believe in Jesus - but that God wants to move so that the church will come to believe in the supernatural, in angels and in the prophetic. It is impossible to imagine that the God of the Bible would ever make such a statement like that. It is utterly contrary to everything everywhere in Scripture. Being born again is a supernatural thing (Eze 36:25-28) so I cannot understand how any true Christian would deny the supernatural. And if the people already believe in Jesus then why call it a revival? Prayer and the preaching of the Gospel have been the centrepiece of every true revival of history. You can hear the audio of this story here

3. There is almost no preaching of the Word of God during the meetings but TB continuously tells stories that focus on TB. One UNVERIFIED e-mail of a person being raised from the dead said that the person woke from the dead praising God and "the Reverend Todd Bentley" - that is clearly not of God. Only God can receive praise and will not share His glory with another (Exo 34:14). If TB was a God fearing man he would have renounced anyone praising his name. Furthermore the e-mail claims that "while he (the dead person) was in heaven he heard the beloved Todd Bentley and his voice pulling his spirit out of heaven". Does anyone really believe that TB's voice can drag people out of heaven? Watch the video here

But back to the issue of the gospel TB preaches. The pdf document (the theological defence responding to various objections to the "lakeland revival") I received spoke about a lot of things but I will only respond to one point because that is all that's necessary because it relates to the gospel TB preaches.Point 4 on the document says this (the document is in a format where the criticism is written first and then their response follows):

Objection 4: “There is no emphasis on repentance and holiness in the Lakeland meetings, as there always has been in classic revivals and awakenings throughout recent history as in the Great Awakening and the Second Great Awakening.”

Their response to the repentance part is this (and this is an important point as repentance is a necessary part of receiving salvation):

“And Todd does emphasize the importance of repentance and holiness for revival in his book, The Reality of the Supernatural World:
Repentance opens the heavens, and obedience keeps it open. . . ."

This is hardly a good theological response. Just because TB uses the word repentance doesn't mean he preaches biblical repentance and from his comment I would have to say that the repentance he is talking about is different from the repentance talked about in Scripture which is godly sorrow that leads to a turning away and hatred of sin and a desire to please God. The issue of repentance is too important to respond with one sentence and it is not a theological response, just a quote from a book.

One reason why I took so long to respond was because it took me so long through the hours of available video footage to find a video of TB presenting the Gospel (even though TB says that preaching the Gospel is one of his anointings). Well, I finally found something today. And guess what - there was no explanation or call to repentance (just a brief mention during the prayer)! You can hear it on this podcast (starting from 43 minutes into the show)

There is no talk of the Holiness of God, no talk of the sinfulness of man, no talk of God's judgment, eternity, heaven or hell, no talk about what Christ did on the cross. I'm sorry Todd Bentley supporters but this is not the Gospel according to Scripture. He talked about "maybe you have a bad marriage or struggle financially". This is not why Jesus died. He died to endure the just wrath of God in the place of sinners that we might receive forgiveness of sins. HOW COULD HE NOT MENTION THIS and think he is preaching the Gospel. Just what are these people responding to?

Instead of the signs and wonders this is the first thing people should be testing. If more people practised this biblical discernment TB might not be getting so much time on television. As I quoted earlier

Gal 1:8-9 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

Go Back To Part 1

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Todd Bentley and the Lakeland Revival (Part 1)

A friend of mine recently e-mailed me asking me to take a look at a pdf document which is supposed to be a theological defence of the "Lakeland revival" and Todd Bentley (I will refer to him as TB from now on).

I want to say from the start that I do believe in miraculous signs and that they can happen today. God saved me and changed me and that is a miracle in itself. I have also been witness to miraculous healings and words of knowledge. I have always been someone who is willing to lay hands on the sick (even strangers) as the book of James tells us to do.

Personally, I have never been very interested in the ministry of TB nor payed much attention to it. But so many people have asked me to comment recently that I decided to check out what's going on down in Lakeland with TB.

Christian brother or sister, please be careful and test all things with the word of God including what I am saying here. Some people might be wondering who I am and by what authority I speak. I have no authority in and of myself but the Bible does speak with authority on this subject so I ask you to consider what is said in the light of Scripture. TB's website itself says this: "We hold the Bible to be trustworthy, the only supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct. Scripture is our source of revelation of God, the knowledge of salvation, the origin of all things and of the hereafter-it is the final Court of Appeal on all points of doctrine, life and godliness". So the Bible is what I will evaluate TB's ministry by.

Let me ask you, the reader, this question from the outset. Have you embraced the "Lakeland revival" because of the signs and wonders or did you evaluate it from Scripture first? Some people have actually said to me that the "Lakeland revival" is a true revival from God because of the signs and wonders. What does the Bible say about this concerning signs and wonders.

Mat 24:24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.

Mat 7:22-23 On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'

These verses do not prove that the "Lakeland Revival" is false or true. But they do tell us that signs and wonders are not proof that it is of Christ. We should be very careful because Jesus warned us that the great deception that will happen in the last days will be because of signs and wonders.

To be continued tomorrow - The Gospel according to Todd Bentley

Go On To Part 2

Sunday, June 22, 2008

WOW - I've Just Found Global Warming in the Bible

I must confess that I am intensely frustrated at so many mega church pastors signing on to the "Evangelical Climate Initiative". Pope Al Gore clearly holds a lot of sway these days with 85 evangelical leaders jumping onto his global warming train. Let's just hope that it's a train with a carbon neutral footprint.

As an Australian living in Scandinavia, I see the prospect of global warming as a highly enticing prospect. And I am fiercely determined not to let Al Gore and all his clergy stand in the way of my dream of wearing shorts in December. I've invested heavily in this vision too and stand to make a killing. Not many people have the foresight to open a surf shop 50 miles inland from the Norwegian coast. But when the icecaps melt and the global warming really kicks in, Norway will be the new Hawaii. And when the oceans rise my surfshop will be right on the beach. I can't begin to tell you how excited I am about this. Of course, the Norwegians are very concerned about rising sea levels which is why they're killing so many whales to keep it low - so don't try and tell me that the Norgies don't care about the environment OK!!! But the un-inconvenient truth is that if someone shut off the power to Al Gore's house the holes in the ozone layer would close up in one fell swoop anyway.

But what about the mega church dudes crying over the environment. I mean, if there was an 11th commandment it would have to be about using bio-degradable communion cups wouldn't it. I must confess to always being a doubter when it comes to finding a biblical basis for global warming but then I stumbled upon it in the New Testament. How could I have doubted, how could I have been so wrong for so long . . .

Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

We're not talking warm here - this is scorching. This is a fire that's coming, and it's unquenchably hot, and everlasting, and the only way of avoiding it is by crying out to the Savior in repentant faith.

Here's a GLOBAL WARNING to any preacher dancing with environmental causes - the Gospel of Jesus Christ is mankinds only hope so get busy preaching it - in season, out of season, and before the season of the Lord's return.

Time is running out.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Keys for Those Who Don’t Want People Saved in their Altar Calls

I came across this excellent post on Alan Higgins’ site which I can well recommend as there are a lot of good posts on there.

A few keys for those who don’t want people saved in their altar calls

1.Present an unbalanced message. Only let them see the heart-warming part of God’s character.

2. Preach God’s love but leave out His holiness and justice. That way they’ll think He’ll let them into heaven no matter what.

3. Don’t mention repentance until they’re repeating a “sinner’s prayer.” Just get them to say, “I repent of all my sins” while they’re echoing you. They won’t know what they’re saying and they won’t count the cost.

4. Above all else, be dignified. Don’t get heart to heart with the people. They would get something out of what you said.

5. Skim over the gospel and push the prayer. Pretend the lost naturally understand what Christ has done for them.

6. Preach Jesus as a life enhancer not a life rescuer. Tell them how Jesus can improve their life but don’t show them Jesus as the only One who can save them from Hell. People will think if they reject Him they’re only losing out on a spiritual high.

7. Try to please the people instead of convert them. Tell them what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear.

8. Compromise the message to speed up the process. The Christians who have heard it a hundred times before will be pleased with that. The quicker they get out the quicker they can get to the restaurant.

9. Give them the impression that God is so good He won’t send anyone to hell. Don’t present the whole counsel of God or they might realize He is so good that He’ll see to it that justice is served and that all unrepentant sinners will be punished in the fire that is not quenched.

10. Speak to sinners as though they were saints. They’ll think they’re God’s children instead of the enemies of God they’ve made themselves into because of their sin. You’ll give them false assurance and mislead them.

11. Don’t mention sin or man’s guilt. Resist the urge to explain what Christ came to deliver us from. Don’t show them their need for the Savior. Otherwise it may all make sense.

12. Don’t look to the Bible for the substance of your altar call. Only mimic other preachers with large congregations.

13. Tell the lost not to feel bad about their sins. That way you will work against the Holy Spirit who’s convicting them.

14. Whatever you do, never mention Judgment Day. Your audience might take spiritual matters seriously.

15. Tell them Jesus is the only way to heaven but don’t explain why. They may think it’s nothing more than fear tactics and leave offended instead of enlightened.

16. Confuse the call. This is a great way to botch up an altar call. Don’t let people know you’re asking them to commit their life to Christ. Be vague and general in what you’re saying. Neglect to mention following Christ in your evangelistic altar calls and say things like, “If you don’t feel you’re as close to God as possible raise your hand,” “If you feel lonely come to the front for prayer,” “If you want more of God this is your time,” and, “If you have struggles and need the answer come down.” Just get them to raise a hand. That way no one will be able to count the cost and you’ll even get saints to respond to salvation altar calls, making the results look more successful.

17. Only give them half the story. Tell them Jesus died to forgive everyone but overlook the fact that they must personally receive Him to partake of that forgiveness.

18. Present the truth as though it isn’t. Be so funny when you share Christ that you belittle the seriousness of the matter.

19. Preach forgiveness without repentance. That way no one will know how to be forgiven.
Be unbiblical. Present repentance and faith as an offer instead of how God does as a command (Acts 17:30).

20. Let them think next Sunday is the day of salvation. Don’t make them feel it’s urgent to respond today.

21. Never warn of hell. Dangle heaven in front of their nose but rarely mention hell, certainly not as much as Jesus did.

22. Only do altar calls inside the church. Never take the gospel where sinners congregate. The lost might get saved.

23. Use churchy terms. Use words like, “saved,” “repent,” and “born again,” without any explanation. That way your hearers won’t comprehend what you’re saying. If they can’t understand it, it’s probable they won’t be changed by it.

24. Give false assurance of salvation to unsaved Christians. Assure church folk that they are saved even if they bear no fruit. So that you don’t offend the unsaved pew warmers never quote 2 Corinthians 13:5: “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.” You could lose some financial supporters and have to depend on God.

25. Never mention the wrath of God. If you mention it, people might be awakened to flee to Jesus who “saves us from the wrath to come.” ( 1 Thess. 1:10)

26. Study how the apostles preached and witnessed and do the opposite. Don’t explain Jesus’ suffering death on the cross. Otherwise they may think of running to Him for forgiveness. Don’t speak of His burial or resurrection or they might realize He is God. Refrain from commenting about the hundreds of eyewitnesses who saw Jesus after He rose from the dead. That way they can go on thinking He’s a fairy tale. Overlook talk of the messianic prophecies Jesus fulfilled or they might realize that the Bible is true. If they see it’s the truth they may see that following Christ is the logical decision. And whatever you do, avoid what the apostles did when it came time to call people to obey the gospel. Don’t tell them to trust Christ and live for Him. That is too accurate. If they know how to get saved your altar call will be a success.

27. Put more emphasis on the “sinner’s prayer” then on repentance and faith. Satan will smile over your departure from Biblical instruction. We are never taught to use a ‘sinner’s prayer’ throughout the entire Bible. If you decide to use it and put more emphasis on the technique than on what we’re commanded to preach: faith and repentance you’ll certainly botch things up. A ‘sinner’s prayer’ doesn’t equal salvation, only faith in Christ and repentance toward God do.

28. Let Christians think you’re the only one who can do it right. Always leave the impression that they should only invite friends to church and never actually witness themselves. It will keep you in business and the lost unsaved.

29. Don’t let the lost know they are. Disregard subjects like Judgment Day, God’s holiness, man’s sinfulness and justice. That way the lost can continue to think they’re “good enough” to get into heaven.

30. Rely upon psychological techniques to manipulate people into responding to the altar call. Don’t rely upon the Holy Spirit or they may actually get saved.

31. Make sure you’re the main attraction. Remember the goal in botching up an altar call is for people to leave and say, “What a wonderful preacher,” instead of, “What a wonderful Savior.” Draw all possible attention to how great a speaker and person you are. Otherwise people might see Christ in your preaching and get saved.

32. Don’t focus upon Jesus. Finally, the best way to botch up an altar call is not to preach the gospel. Just get people to lift up a hand and pray a prayer with you. Resist the urge to speak of the only One who could save them.

Sometimes the best way to get a point across is to put it in a different light. You now know a few ways to botch up an altar call. Please do not employ them. Do the opposite. You may already do some of them. Don’t let pride keep you from changing and doing things in a Biblical fashion. The bottom line is how true we are to Christ and His word. Effectively reaching the lost is our purpose. Let nothing hold you back from that agenda. May God bless you as you seek to win people to Christ in Bible clubs, churches, conferences, on the street witnessing encounters, at your school, and at your workplace.”

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Seeker Friendly Wedding Service

The saga continues . . .
Last week I was at a family wedding where the "seeker friendly" nightmare reared it's ugly head once again. It was a great wedding but the sermon was a train wreck . . . maybe train wreck is a bad analogy because at least they aren't boring. His text was from Ephesians 5, at least the parts of Ephesians 5 that he liked. It was a further reminder of the modern phenomenon of highlighting Bible verses with liquid paper.

C'mon, have a guess at what was missing? Did he leave out "husbands love your wives as Christ loved the Church" or "wives submit to your husbands as unto Christ"? I guess most european men have a phobia about getting beaten up by some hairy armpitted female activist.

The "preacher" replaced Ephesians 5:22-24 with an "anonymous letter to a bride". Now I'm not saying it's bad to take advice from people but there is a serious problem when you substitute God's directives with man's ideas. Things went from bad to worse when salvation was explained as "saying yes to Jesus" which is very strange code for repentance and faith. I can promise that preacher that on the day of Judgment Jesus will not be looking for our acceptance.

I was getting so aggravated by all of this that my dear wife handed me a vallium sandwich in the hope of sedating me. I approached the preacher after his sermon to question him. The conversation went something like this:

Cameron: Hi, I just wanted to ask you a question

Preacher: Yes, what is it?

C: I was wondering why you left out verses 22 through 24 when preaching from Ephesians 5?

P: ?????? (puzzled look)

C: The part that says "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

P: Yes I know that part.

C: Why didn't you preach it?

P: Oh I don't know . . .

C: Are you afraid to preach that?

P: No, I'm not afraid.

C: Then why did you avoid those verses? You're giving an incomplete picture without them. It's like trying to preach the gospel without calling people to repentance.

P: I didn't have enough time?

C: You used more than 5 minutes reading a letter from someone about being a bride. It would have taken less than a minute to read what God has to say about the matter. You're not called to preach what you like, you're called to preach what God says.

P: I can't preach everything that's in there.

C: I'm not asking you to preach the whole book, just not to delete verses that are integral to the passage.

P: I'm trying to communicate with people where they're at.

C: Where is that?

P: Oh I think I'd better be going, I've got some knitting to catch up on.
(OK, ok I made up the knitting part)

I'm going to close with a quote from Doug Giles because I don't think i could put it any better myself.

"When I hear one of the ubiquitous whiny, weepy ministers get on TV or radio and whimper about Jesus and life, I think it’s no wonder we’re getting our ecclesiastical clocks cleaned by secularists; our “leaders” are oh so very lame.
Look, God’s men aren’t suppose to be effeminate, spiritually neutered, prancing nice guys. Biblical ministers are to be sons of thunder who are daunting and not David Archuleta-like grinning hand-holders and cliché dolers to messed-up wienies. You can’t transform boys into men when you’re a Peter Pan pastor. Capice?
If your church is remotely serious about salvaging society then here’s a little raw 411 for you, el pastor: You’re not going to change the world by being nice but by being bold. And to be bold boys you must have high doses of holy testosterone. Matter of fact, in Moses’ day you couldn’t be a priest if you didn’t have cojones (see Deut. 23:1-4). I say we, the Detergent Church, start kickin’ it old school again and retable that deuteronomic prerequisite for current ministers and wannabes; i.e. you don’t get to lead if you don’t have your boys intact."
quoted from