There is commonly this idea today that if you speak against anything you’re unloving. And that loving people really just kind of keep it all quiet and, and the idea that if you really show love you, you just don’t really make any issues.” John Macarthur “Is the church still in transition?” Tape/Mp3 #1369 04:00 in

MacArthur’s right. Just because I agree with him on this issue doesn’t mean that I’m suddenly a Calvinist – far from it. I still firmly hold to Bible (Baptist – same thing) doctrine, which (Albert Moehler and Paul Washer aside) is not compatible with Calvinism.

For some reason, Christians today often wince when they hear a Pastor get in a pulpit and speak against anything. It’s as if someone has programmed Christians to say, “You can speak out against sin, but that’s all. and…don’t speak out against specific sins, just sins in general.” It’s usually followed by an indignant, “I don’t believe that Christianity should cost you anything, or make you change your lifestyle.”

These, by the way, are the first Christians to start turning pages in the Bible when the Pastor straighfaced asks the church to turn to 2nd Hezekiah. I’m not picking on them, because I fell for that once myself. Well, maybe twice. But it told me I wasn’t in my Bible enough at the time.

I’ve taken the high road many times, letting a Christian comment wildly upon his chosen doctrine, and often I have not said a word. My mission, I felt, was often best suited to let them believe their way, and I will preach the truth when I have a congregation to feed and build up. I’m still taking that road, but I’m starting to question how Jesus Christ would respond to their fanciful beliefs.

Paul certainly took my response. Why, when the Galatia church was suborned by the circumcision party, Paul smiled and said nothing, right? No. He wrote them a lengthy epistle, correcting the errors. Many were hurt and upset. some no doubt left, cursing Paul’s name.

How many Christians recognize the name “Alexander the Coppersmith?” Was he good or bad? Did Paul ever mention his name in epistles? Or did Paul ignore him? Paul openly mentioned his name, so that Christians could avoid him. We are to mark and avoid –  Rom. 16:17

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. Romans 16:17 (KJV) 

Open rebuke is better than secret love. 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Prov 27:5-6 (KJV)

The Bible tells us to rebuke, to speak against things. So I preach against Charismaticism, Catholicism, Baptist Briderism, infant baptism, entire sanctification, and many other doctrinal errors.

The Bible tells me to preach against these things, as I’ve explained before. We’re to continue in the Apostles Doctrine. No deviation, no “I prefer this…”, no “I think it’s better to…”

God says, we do.

So when the Bible tells us to reprove specific sins… we need to.

When the Bible tells us to mark those who cause divisions, or are heretics… we must. That’s all there is to it.


The Word Faith Movement Examined 1

The history of the tongues movement is relatively recent. While most Pentecostals and Charismatics are aware of the Azuza street “revival”, there is another origin.

Charles Parham started a Bible School in Topeka, Kansas. While working the class into an emotional state with fiery preaching, a woman, Agnes Ozman, reportedly began to speak in an unknown tongue. This is not the earliest source of this error – that is dealt with in detail in part 6.

However, this is not Biblical speaking in tongues. What she was doing was the ecstatic utterances of pagans. The amazing thing is that almost all Charismatics know this, and still speak in glossolalia!

The issue is, Charismatics are ruled by experience, not the word of God. The question we must ask, time and time again is, “If experience tells you one thing, and the Bible another, which will you choose?”

The Charismatic will always answer, “Experience.”

How do I know? Because they have either answered the question that way (As John Wimber did) or they have avoided the question.

The Charismatic will sometimes answer, “I speak in tongues the same way they did in the book of Acts.” And should you promptly pull out your Bible and show them speaking in tongues has ceased, THEN you get the admission they rely upon experience. “Well, I know what I’ve experienced, and I know tongues are real.”

I know, because that’s what I used to say. I think it took a full year for me to be fully convinced that Biblical tongues had ceased. And this was after listening to a sermon that explained a verse at a time. Much of the sermon I found to be rude and sarcastic, and that didn’t help at all. Another sermon I heard was very good, but it featured racism – which doesn’t help the issue. Speak in love, Christian brothers! How am I going to give away a good sermon to Charismatics if you’re creating these kind of issues?

Let’s look at the verse that says tongues have ceased.

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 1 Cor 13:8-10 (KJV)

With the Strong’s numbers, because precious few Charismatics ever learn the Greek…

8 Charity <G26> never <G3763> faileth <G1601>: but <G1161> whether <G1535> there be prophecies <G4394>, they shall fail <G2673>; whether <G1535> there be tongues <G1100>, they shall cease <G3973>; whether <G1535> there be knowledge <G1108>, it shall vanish away <G2673>. 9 For <G1063> we know <G1097> in <G1537> part <G3313>, and <G2532> we prophesy <G4395> in <G1537> part <G3313>. 10 But <G1161> when <G3752> that which is perfect <G5046> is come <G2064>, then <G5119> that which is in <G1537> part <G3313> shall be done away <G2673>. 1 Cor 13:8-10 (KJV)

Charity (or love) never (Ekpipto). Ek is out of, Pipto (I fall away). So, Ekpipto is Charity never falls out and away (implies a loss).

Prophecies they (Katargeo) destroy, cease. Render utterly idle, useless. Charity never falls away, but prophecies shall be idle, dwindling into stillness, cease. Paul tells the Corinthians who were (like the charismatic churches) enthralled with prophecies and tongue speaking and healings that prophecies will stop.

This means, that every charismatic that gets up and announces, “Thus sayeth the Lord…” is speaking presumptuously and is a false prophet. I’m sorry, but that’s what the Bible says.

Tongues will Pauo, quit, desist, come to an end.

This means that tongues will come to an end. That’s what the Bible says. When will this happen? When that which is perfect is come. Perfect is teleios. Teleios is from Telos, goal. “When that which is aimed at is achieved” is a good literal understanding of that Greek compound word. It has been pointed out by people that know more Greek than I do that Teleios never refers to a person, but only to the Law, or Word of God.

Paul was telling Corinth “don’t get all hung up on sign gifts – they’re stopping soon.” They would stop when that which is completed, perfected is come. What were the Apostles doing in that age? Simple: They were writing the New Testament.

Paul was saying, “The Bible will be complete soon, and these gifts, which are to authenticate the Christian churches and Christianity in general, will CEASE when that is complete.”

In 55 AD, the only way to identify of God was with a prophet or teacher was through miracles. These were signs for unbelievers, not believers.

Today, we merely need to open the Bible and see if what they teach lines up with the word of God. “Let’s see… Benny Hinn, nope…nope…nope… okay, false teacher.”

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. Jude 1:3 (KJV)

“once delivered unto the saints” is the phrase to understand. The Bible was sealed once and for all in Revelation. Following that, no more was to be added, nor taken away.

So anyone speaking a “word of knowledge” is laying claim to an ability to speak correct doctrine by intuitive knowledge, as spoken by the Holy Ghost. If you’re speaking some new thing, you are adding to a completed canon, which personally I would not want to do.

Since the completion of the Biblical canon in AD 95, tongues, words of knowledge, healings and prophecy have ceased.

“But wait! People are still being healed!” Yes, by God. Not by a power given to Benny Hinn, who apparently has a nifty new martial art that can knock down and injure (and kill) people at a distance. I’ll make the challenge that others have made before me – if you TRULY have the Biblical gift of healing, go immediately to the Children’s hospitals, and heal every last one of them of their life-threatening diseases. Think of the love-offerings and tithes your ministry will get! Invite 60 Minutes to follow you, and go heal.

“The healings don’t work that way.” Okay, bring EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM to one of your Crusade appearances, play your loud music, everyone do the wave or whatever, and heal… every …one …of …them.

If the healings come sporadically, then that’s God, not you – and its the same thing as for any other Christian who prays, and God sometimes answers. In other words, nothing has changed. It’s not the Biblical gift of healing, which can restore life to someone who is dead, heal leprosy, restore a quadriplegic, etc.

It’d be like claiming I have the gift of Green traffic lights – sometimes when I come to one, miraculously, the light stays green as I drive through it! “sometimes” rules out it being a Biblical gift. And as I’ve documented elsewhere, the healing power that usually is exhibited is usually about as powerful as a couple of aspirin. Hurt back? Go to a church and ask someone to pray for you. Or you could take some Alleve and wait ten minutes. Either way.

So even if the glossolalia Charismatics employ was Biblical tongues (which its not), that gift ceased in AD 95. Notice that Paul was unable to heal Trophimus, and was forced to leave him sick in AD 66 (2 Tim 4:20)! this would be impossible if the Pentacostal interpretation of sign gifts for today being correct. it remains the one objection they can’t answer, in addition to 1 Cor 13.

“But wait! There’s still knowledge!” yes, regular knowledge. There’s no difference between the Ginosko, “I know”, and “Ginosko”, knowledge. Does that mean that in the Millennial Kingdom, we will be incapable of knowing anything – mindless zombies, shuffling around Jerusalem? No, that interpretation makes no sense! Is it knowledge of the gospel? No, that too makes no sense, as we’ll be dwelling with Jesus Christ for eternity.

So, obviously, this refers to the “Word of knowledge” in 1 Cor 12 & 13, the miraculous understanding of doctrine without the benefit of a written Bible.

the sign gifts have passed away.

Word Faith and Charismatica

All jockeys please report to the starting line…

“I don’t believe anyone has proven they are guilty of heresy.”

“Those heresy hunters do not have the brain power to prove that either, that Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and Kenneth Hagin are heretics. they lack the intellectual prowess to do that.”

And they’rrrrrrre off!

I jest, but this is a dare too good to be true.

This is a quote from a TBN broadcast, which I heard on the Underground Christian Network’s “Benny Hinn and Beyond” radio podcast.

I’ll take that dare.

In (I’m sure) nauseating detail.

If you’ve read any of my other “Answering…” series’ you’ll note I’m thorough. It can take a full month to document all the errors and heresy of a false religion. I’ve tackled Buddhism, Roman Catholicism, and Islam. I’ll also eventuallly tackle modernism, post-modernism, emergent church, and wordly Christians (that one won’t be long – just a push at your comfort zones and an appeal to follow the Bible).

If you are Word of Faith Charismatic, you will sadly be offended. Before you begin reading, I’m going to first commend you, then ask you to pray earnestly (in your real tongue, and not “speaking in tongues” – there’s a reason why I’m making this distinction…).

“Lord, teach me the truth, no matter where it leads. ‘Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word. Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me.’ Psalm 119:17-19 (KJV) ”

Because I pray the Lord brings you here for the purpose of learning that you have been caught up in a false religion. Do NOT take my word for anything. Everything I write must conform to the Bible. You may use your own translation, but I’ll urge you to read the KIng James (If you look up the King James articles in the Categories, you’ll see ample evidence why…).

I recommend the Wordsearch Basic bible program – it is free, and there’s over 250 free book add-ons. You’ll be able to search and verify what I tell you. It also has a Notebook feature, that will allow you to take notes on what you see in it. Start by making a study notebook on what I write. Compare and see.

First of all, let me commend you. I have found that most Pentacostals are very devout people, often very zealous for God and the things of God. I only wish most Baptists were as excited about the word of God as you are! However, I liken most charismatics (especially word of faith charismatics) to the apostles of John the Baptist in Acts 18:24-28. You have a zeal for the Word of God, but know only “the baptism of John”, so to speak. The correct understanding of doctrine to most word of faith believers is almost nil, as you’ll see. I’ll have a test here in a day or so to prove it.

The key that Pentacostals need to understand is this – We interpret our experiences in light of the Bible, not the other way around. If I find I am driven by an urge to do something that is not Biblical, it is not of God. I don’t care how fuzzy or wonderful or ecstatic I feel, if it’s not of the Bible, it is not of God.

This is how it works – you read the bible, praying to the Lord that He open your eyes to the wonders of His book. ” Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law!” Psalm 119:18

You learn doctrine from what is written in the Bible – you do not come up with your doctrine, and then search the Bible for verses that seem to confirm those doctrines.

And that is what Charismatics/Word Faith adherants do. They examine any verse that superficially seesm to (at least the majority of that verse) have to do with their doctrines.

Pray that the Lord shows you the truth, and commit to being willing to follow it wherever it goes.

Another Major Rant

I am often amazed at the chutzpah, the cheek, of the unsaved. Not only are many proudly unsaved, but they are amazingly militant. Not only do they not believe in God, but often you are not allowed to believe, either!

“That offends me!” they cry, but… they care absolutely nothing about if they offend you.

The latest offense? the bumper sticker that reads, “A closed mind is a good thing to lose.”

One needs to understand the definition used by the western world. “belief in God” equals “closed mind.” “Your mind is made up!” they protest. Yes, you’re right. But so is yours. And it seems that your mind is even more tightly closed than mine, as I have examined the evidence, and you have not.

Witness a discussion between an atheist I worked with. He cited some poll that claimed most atheists and agnostics knew more about religion than Christians. I promptly asked him what the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism was? He was unable to answer. After I elucidated, he never raised the subject again. Although I have no doubts that his opinions remain the same. It’s stupifying sometimes to answer every objection to an atheist, and see that the very next day their beliefs remain unchanged!

Another atheist at work (why is it they can bring up their lack of belief and attack my beliefs at work, and yet I am unable to witness at work?) attempted to challenge the Bible in the most clumsy manner I’ve ever heard of (“The guy who wrote the Bible was really messed up!” – except it was a profanity instead of “Messed”), and was totally deflated when I explained to him he was completely ignorant about the Bible (“You are aware that the Bible was written over 1500 years by 40 different authors, right?”). This completely destroys the argument that most atheists and agnostics know more about religion than Christians.

The atheist obviously intends, by this bumper sticker, that Christians should go insane, and that way they’re out of the way. Or obviously intends that we should drop our “closed minds” and accept the cold, depressing future of a Godless life. This makes them feel validated somehow, that if more people believe like them, they must be correct somehow.

But if a billion people believe 2+2=5, then a billion people are still wrong. It matters not if another billion join you or not! Wrong belief remains wrong belief. It’s a classic error exposed by Thouless’s “38 Dishonest methods of crooked thinking” – the appeal to numbers.

John Ankerberg prefers to use the argument that for an atheist to state with certainty that there is no God, the atheist would have to become God. It’s logically a true argument, but not one that would convince an Atheist. Of course, God walking on this earth and teaching men face to face over 3 years in Israel didn’t convince Atheists either.

An atheist requires proof – and then often is unwilling to accept the proof. Again I am reminded that the big move in Christianity is to discourage Evidentialism – when indeed that is the very approach that yields the most results! The preference is now for arguments derived from vacuum – that if we had no Bible, we could prove God’s existence from nature itself. I understand that atheists call this the “broken watch” argument. Bahnsen and Lane do well with these – but I’ve had amazing success with Evidential arguments.

Ultimately, every atheist will find himself answered about God’s existence, and alas, it will not be the happy “oh, you did exist after all” meeting they fancifully conjecture. Rather, it will be a terrifying meeting, with a sentence and judgment too terrible to contemplate. You will burn FOREVER.

Perhaps we should make a matching bumpersticker that says, “An Atheists closed mind is a good thing to lose!”

Seventh Day Adventist Lies

I find myself amazed that a cult can go so long being accepted by Christians. It seems only Baptist voices are raised against this cult.

And a cult it is! It fits every definition of a cult. I’ll quantify this by explaining that I have to reject Walter Martin’s definition of a cult. Now, SDA’s do fit Martin’s definition of a cult, even though he changed his mind about them. Why? They lied to him. The definition of a cult is:

religion: a system of religious or spiritual beliefs, especially an informal and transient belief system regarded by others as misguided, unorthodox, extremist, or false, and directed by a charismatic, authoritarian leader

2. religious group: a group of people who share religious or spiritual beliefs, especially beliefs regarded by others as misguided, unorthodox, extremist, or false

Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Another definition from my bible college is, “A cult is generally a ‘faith-based’ group that is unorthodox, esoteric, and has a devotion to a person, object, or a set of new ideas. Typically they believe that they have the only ‘true’ teaching and often consider traditional religious systems to be apostate”.

My definition, which I shall use, is

  • any group presenting teachings they hold to as necessary to interpret the Bible, or superior to.
  • any group who follows a human leader or set of leaders giving additional inspiration or revelation via statements, teachings or writings that must be used to interpret the Bible, or are superior to.

As you can see, that also includes Charismatics, followers of Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, E. W. Kenyon, Benny Hinn, etc. WE’ll deal with Word/Faith soon enough.

Cults often invent their own terminology. In the case of the Roman Catholic Church and Seventh Day Adventists, they both used the same tactic and took Baptist terminology, and simply gave the same words different meanings. Whereas a Baptist will talk about a spiritual event when saying “born again”, a Roman Catholic will attribute it to Confirmation. When a Baptist refers to that same event as “accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour”, a Roman Catholic will attribute it to Communion and the Mass.

The Seventh Day Adventist speaks out of both sides of his mouth. He will tell you to your face that they believe in Salvation through Faith Alone – and yet they are lying, because that’s not what they believe. I can’t think of a less offensive word other than lying. It is what it is. Here’s an imaginary dialogue that will explain what I mean.

Baptist: “Christianity teaches that you are saved by faith alone. We are saved by grace, and not of works.”

SDA: “Right. We believe that too.”

Baptist. “I’m confused. I thought SDA teaches that one must keep the Fourth Commandment to be saved?”

SDA: “No, not at all! That’s a myth we teach that.”

Baptist: “Answer this truthfully – can a person worship on Sundays and go to heaven?”

SDA: “Uh… no.”

Baptist: “So, a person must keep the seventh day sabbath or they will go to hell?”

SDA: “No, not at all!”

Baptist: “Oh, that’s right – you all don’t believe in Hell… yet. Does the SDA denomination teach one must keep the Seventh Day Sabbath in order to go to heaven?”

SDA: “No. We’re saved by faith.”

Baptist: “We’re talking in circles, here. Can a person keep the Sunday Sabbath – without keeping the Saturday Sabbath – and go to heaven?”

SDA: “No. You have to keep the seventh day sabbath to go to heaven.”

Baptist: “So you teach that one must be saved by faith and works?”

SDA: “No, I told you! We’re saved by faith alone!”

As you can see in the imaginary dialogue, the SDA’ist has – by the redefining of Biblical (Baptist) terms – contradicted himself and lied several times. Did he intentionally lie? Most, no. SDA “pastors” – yes. Because they’ve studied enough to be accountable. It’s not a straw man dialogue – I actually saw an exchange like this online, and forgot to save it as a PDF, and now I can’t find it again! I hate when that happens.

The SDA denomination – not Church, because only followers of the Lord Jesus Christ can have a Church – teaches that “Faith and works are the two oars by which one rows to heaven.” They sincerely state one, if born again, is born again by faith – but there’s a demand that one must also keep several commandments in order to be saved. This is how the Bible and real Christians define “salvation by works” . This alone places them promptly outside the definition of “Christian” – just like Roman Catholics – and outside the definition Biblically of “Saved”. They don’t believe in Hell now – but they will shortly after death.

Things to keep in mind is that the differences between Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists are vanishingly small. Things as small as, which year the imaginary “Investigative judgment” occurred, and do you eat meat? and the major difference – do you follow Ellen G. White, or do you follow Charles T. Russell and “Judge” Rutherford?

SDA’s keep the seventh day sabbath, they say. To an Observant Jew sits – no they don’t. They make fires on the Sabbath, they do the prohibited “Melakhah” (work on the sabbath, tying knots, ripping, writing, etc). And Ellen G. White tried to define the Sabbath as 6 pm Friday to 6 PM Saturday, an arbitrary decision on her part. To a Shomer Shabbos Jew (Sabbath Keeper) – no, they don’t keep the Sabbath. if they did, they’d be walking to their meeting houses, and not driving. But this is a minor point. It shows how pick-and-choose the SDA’s are, and how inconsistent and contradictory.

A Christian does not have to do any works to earn salvation, but an SDA does, by their heretical teachings. By pointedly questioning a knowledgeable SDA’ist in the circular method shown above, you can uncover this fact – and hopefully open their eyes to this heresy.

the SDA’ists also conform to another fact of cults – in that they have writings that they hold as superior to the Bible. Christianity at large condemns the Jehovah’s Witnesses for this, but seem to turn a blind eye to this for the SDA.

When it comes down to a shooting match between the Bible and Ellen G. White, they side with Ellen G. White. How can I say this? Because her teachings contradict the Bible. If you continue to stay with the SDA, then you, by your actions and obvious belief, hold Ellen G. White as superior to the Bible. The SDA’ists will urge you to get one of their “Clear Light” Bibles, which has topical notes of E.G.W. interspersed within the text. This way, as you read their “Clear Light” translation and you run across those verses that clearly contradict the Bible, you can read EGW’s writings which will comfort you through clever editing into thinking her teachings expand on the Bible. And if you get really conflicted on this, they’ll assure you that as a latter-day prophetess, her words come straight from God, and don’t you worry, her words have clear light and replace those of the Bible.

And oh, by the way, the Jesus as Archangel Michael thing the JW’s teach – they got that from Ellen G. White.

How is this not a cult? How could Walter Martin have fallen for their lies? The SDA are masters at telling you what you want to hear. Is this an example of Godly Christianity? Or a satanic deception?

Ellen G. White obviously considered herself above her revelations, speaking out against jewelry, but wearing a great deal of it. She didn’t permit women to teach, but often taught men, speaking at meetings as if she were their pastor. She issued a teaching allegedly from God instructing women to wear a combination pant/dress – but after several years of discomfort, abandoned this. If she was speaking advanced revelation from God, she could not rescind this!

And time after time she issued prophecies and stagtements allegedly from God, claiming one could not be saved after 1844 (good news for modern SDA’s!), that Jesus would return visibly to the Earth before the end of the Civil War. Both are false, and clearly mark her as a false teacher and a false prophet.

Bottom line – If you accept the Jehovah’s Witnesses as a cult, then you must accept the SDA as a cult. And SDA’ists need to run, RUN from this cult, before they die without Jesus Christ and are damned forever.

Jehovah’s Witnesses

The Jehovah’s witnesses are well documented as a cult.Christians may not be familiar with exactly how cultish they are, however.

The JW must place faith in the Watchtower Society above all else, even the Bible, to be able to save. While most apologists place their emphasis on the errors of the New World Translation, in many ways they miss the mark – the JW’s have had the Watchtower Society far, far longer than they’ve had the New World Translation. The JW places far more emphasis upon the Governing Body and the Watchtower Society’s tracts and pamphlets.

However, due to the false prophecies done by the Watchtower Society and the Governing Body, they do not advocate that JW’s try to collect all of the back issues of the Watchtower Society going back to the 19th century. This would point out contradictions and conflicting statements that might cause many JW’s to question.

The JW is conditioned to draw an imaginary line in their reasoning. Anything beyond a fleeting doubt about the teachings of the Watchtower Society, the Watchtower publications, study guides and tracts, causes the line to pop in their head, the uncrossable boundry that says “You may go no farther from this.” Because they are taught that any apostasy from the Watchtower organization, “God’s representative on this earth”, results in not being ressurected after Armageddon. They comfort themselves with the thought that “At least there’s no Hell” – However, I’m sure that many JW’s have fleeting doubts about that doctrine, and live in fear that the Christians may indeed be right!

One of the four requirements to salvation for Jehovah’s Witnesses is to believe in “God’s chosen organization on this earth”, a belief that stems from the SDA’s “Investigative Judgment” heresy. The JW’s, as formerly SDA’s, took that doctrine and ran with it. indeed, the split originated from Charles Taze Russell’s disagreement with his SDA mentor N. H. Barbor. I wonder how many JW’s and SDA’s are aware that Charles Russell spent several years in the SDA, printing tracts and pamphlets?

Supposedly, Christ sat in Heaven (or Brooklyn, New York – depending on which official history of the JW’s you read) and investigated all the teachings of all the Christian Denominations – and chose the Watchtower Society based upon a book (which JW’s are not encouraged to read, BTW) written by Charles Taze Russell and two JW’s who finished the seventh volume, depnding on whom you believe, called “The Finished Mystery”. The book identified Leviathan as being a steam locomotive, among other fallacies. Reading this book has actually caused some JW’s to abandon the Watchtower Society and return to Christianity. This would explain why the book is difficult to obtain. (I’m tempted to copy and paste it onto this blog – answering it point by point!)

It also raises the question: If “The Finished Mystery” was so perfect that the Lord Jesus Christ supposedly chose them over all other denominations… Why aren’t Jehovah’s Witnesses permitted to own or read it, per the Watchtower Society and the Governing Body?

It is also reported that in second hand book dealers in New York City, The Governing Body routinely sends out people to buy old JW pamphlets and books before non-JW’s (or even rank and file JW’s!) find them. If this is not so – the JW who comes across this would be well-advised to try to hunt down any old JW pamphlets or books. See for yourself how difficult they are to find!

Major Ugly Rant

I’m grateful I was able to escape denominational thinking, finally, a few years ago. I would say any assembly that pushes membership, “tithing,” baptizing in water or anything that you must “do” other than to show up interested in learning about your KJ bible is on the wrong track. I meet several times a week with a group of likeminded believers in a rented union hall a few times a week. On a “good” Sunday we have as many as 40 people show up. We don’t “do” entertainment (no talking in tongues, no “special” singing, no special programs for the kiddies), we’re there to study to show ourselves approved, and any saved man prepared with a doctrinally correct lesson is welcome to teach. And no, we are not a cult. We sing congregational hymns that have correct doctrine. Sorry, no choir, no celebration of xmass or other pagan holidays, either. We do a carry-in dinner once per month. We know we’re unique, and none of us would return to what was before. I’m a saved former roman catholic, then spent 20 years in independent baptist churches. Baptists claim you’re saved by faith alone, but you WILL be pressured to be baptized and “join” so you can “tithe,” so I now question that most baptists truly understand salvation by grace, frankly. — CM

Yes, it’s time to dig in for a major ugly rant.


Answer: NOT A THING!!!

CM apparently doesn’t understand salvation herself, and I therefore question if she is indeed saved???

If you’re saved, you should have absolutely no hesitation about wishing to be publically identified with the death, burial and ressurection of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you are hostile to that… I question your salvation.

If you’re confusing sanctification – the setting apart of a Christian and the maturing and growing in the faith – with Salvation, then you have a very warped understanding of Salvation, the very thing she questions Baptists of.

Trust me, I hear it taught every time a new believer is baptized. “This is an outward symbol of a new inward birth.” Symbols don’t save us. It merely points, like a sign. The sign pointing the way to Interstate 95 is just that – a sign. It is NOT Interstate 95! Baptism is exactly the same thing. It points to something. It’s a symbol, not the substance.

It’s obvious CM is EXCEPTIONALLY weak doctrinally. I commend her for a desire to have a Biblically-based Church. but there’s some areas here she’s obviously strongly deluded about.

She talks about “Denominational thinking”. I wonder if she is aware that strictly speaking, Baptists are not a denomination? At the very least, we are not Protestants. Denominations separate away from the faith as practiced in the early Church – Baptists are the descendents of that Church.

The entire system she’s practicing is Quaker-ism, but without speaking in tongues or the doctrinal errors of most forms of Quaker-ism (Because of the nature of Quakers, one cannot definitively say “This is how they are”). In essence, she is a non-Charismatic Quaker. Quakers sit in silence until one stands and begins preaching. The SOS (Saved On Sunday) worldly Christians lately are captivated with the Amish for some reason, not knowing or caring they teach Salvation by Works, which is no salvation. Not surprisingly, some are turning to Quakerism, a form of the Home Church movement.

“any saved man prepared with a doctrinally correct lesson is welcome to teach.”

The Biblical office of Pastor is well-documented in the New Testament. She talks about doctrinally correct, but in this major first case, they are NOT doctrinally correct.

Let all things be done decently and in order. 1 Cor 14:40 (KJV)

By waiting until every Sunday to see who will teach, her congregation is most definitely in violation of this. God set up a pattern in the Old Testament of a High Priest officiating in the Tabernacle. The Pattern was not abandoned in the New Testament. Pastors are called by God at the moment of their salvation, and trained and sent.

Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. 1 Tim 2:7 (KJV)

These men may mean well… and possibly are doctrinally correct (hold that thought…) …but they are not called. They are not ordained. They are not trained. It also violates another Biblical commandment…

This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. 1 Tim 3:1-7 (KJV)

If “Any Man” as she says, has a doctrinally correct lesson – but Paul enjoins Timothy not to ordain a man until such time as he is no longer a novice. As the Apostles were on their own after 3 years, it is likely that this is the biblical requirement, a minimum of three years training. Are all the men in that congregation saved, called, ordained and trained pastors? She may disagree and say they are,

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 1 Cor 12:27-29 (KJV)

But – and here’s a point she cannot argue with – the Bible clearly disagrees with her. Paul asked the Corinthian Church, “Are all teachers?” the answer, obviously, is “No.”

Let’s lay it out logically.

  • Are all apostles? No.
  • Are all prophets? no.
  • Are all teachers? It is obvious from the preceding two questions, that the Apostle Paul is telling us, “no.” CM may say “yes”, but God says, “No.”
  • Are all workers of miracles? No.

So if the answers of 1,2 &4 are “no”, then by implication #3 is also “no.”

Being a Pastor, an Apostle, a Prophet, is not something one does temporarily. It is a lifelong calling (Although today the offices of Apostle and Prophet have ended). “Who’s going to take their turn being a prophet today???” The idea is ludicrous. WE see, then, from the context of Paul’s rhetorical questions, that obviously not all are teachers. Which means not all are called to be Pastors. (A Pastor who is not a teacher is no pastor.)

I invite “any Man” to get up, without any training, and teach for 30 minutes on propitiation. Or try to make sense of Romans 5-6, or romans 11-12. I can say before I was trained I would have difficulty being “doctrinally correct.” Indeed, there are some chapters in the New Testament that are so complex, that the problem today is that many wrest these Scriptures unto their own destruction. See Rob Bell as an example. Or perhaps not – I’m talking about saved Christians (which Rob Bell obviously is not) wresting for example, Hebrews 6, or possibly the lesson on “The Unforgivable sin”.

I’ve heard people preach on the unforgivable sin, and speak as if it can be done today by a single spoken statement. If so, then anyone reading those verses out loud could possibly “lose their salvation”. A trained man who interprets Scripture with Scripture would immediately understand one cannot “lose their salvation” – and thus the interpretation of this verse is obvious in context that today the unforgiveable sin is that one who rejects Christ’s invitation over a lifetime has committed the unforgivable sin.

And this brings us to the “doctrinally correct” issue. Who determines what is doctrinally correct? She specifically says “any saved man…” well – that’s an issue. “Any saved man” who’s been saved three years? Two? One? Six months? A month? two weeks? a week? Three days? Since yesterday? six hours ago?” As you can see, the system breaks down rapidly under cursory examination.

Any “saved” man. with nobody at the helm that’s had a lengthy study of correct doctrine – how will they determine who is saved? This is a very politically incorrect question, but rather to offend people than coddle them only to lose them to Hell.

Errors in salvation could take an entire blog entry (indeed, a month long Sunday Morning sermon series could be done easily on this subject). “Who Is Saved?” can go from the Universalist “Why, everyone!” …to the Roman Catholic “Those in the Church” to the Mormon/SDA/Jehovah’s Witness/Roman Catholic/every other cult “salvation by faith AND works” …to Hyles-ist easy believism …to the Campus Crusade “Four laws walked-the-aisle” salvation …to John MaCarthur’s Lordship Salvation error, to the Rick Warren “water down the message” proclamation professors. So, as you can see, “Any saved man” quickly falls apart under examination as well! Indeed, CM claims to understand correct doctrine, but again… she’s in error, and reveals it to be so, by connecting “joining the church” with “salvation”. it shows that unconsciously, the Roman Catholic doctrines are still bubbling under the surface. Pastors like Marc Monte show that a former Roman Catholic can indeed be purged of incorrect doctrines and heresies. But without that training, it can resurface easily.

And it may be “any saved man” today. but I guarantee that “Any saved man”, in a church with no Statement of Faith, no Church Constitution and no Believer’s Covenant – will within turn into “any saved person.” Absolutely. Women will be preaching in that church by 2022, if not much sooner. Why? Well, with no Pastor to say who is right and who is wrong, without a statement of faith, without a church constitution to safeguard it… it allows ANY wolf in sheep’s clothing to cleverly argue with a subtle tongue – and now your comfortable little Baptist/Quaker church is United Methodist in theology, if not Pentacostal (because that will be the next error). And/or eventually Emergent or Unitarian.

One of the functions of a Pastor is to prevent heresy from creeping in (1 Tim. 1:3, 2:2, 6:14, Titus 1:9), and false doctrine. The Congregation in this case sounds like they want to be strong in this – but without a Pastor to safeguard it, the inevitability of error creeping in is assured, guaranteed. I cannot emphasize this enough! And has already crept it, without they’re realizing it, as I have demonstrated above.

Good men bring in good men into the Church… but sometimes Evil men (and women) creep in undetected (Acts 20:29). And evil men and women bring more evil men and women. If you rely upon the democratic process to save your church, you’re only one vote away from losing it. A trained and called Pastor, who takes the time to carefully construct a statement of faith, can spell the difference between yet another apostate congregation (not a church) and a true Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This congregation seems to be founded upon pride and rebellion… the very air of the blog comment reeks of it. The Scriptures say that pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Prov. 16:18) What they sow, they shall reap. A congregation founded upon rebellion, the attitude of “Well, I think any believer should be able to stand up and say whatever he wants” or “We don’t need some money-grubbing pastor” – that spirit calls other people with the same spirit. So far, you’ve been protected by God. But alas, eventually wolves shall creep in. It is inevitable. And I’m telling you, your little congregation already has at least one, you just don’t realize it.

I’ve dealt with this, “I believe any believer should be able to stand up and say whatever they want” spirit in the past, and I came right out and countered that person with, “You mean you believe that YOU should be able to stand up any time you want.” He agreed. I then asked him to show me in his Bible where that could be justified. He hemmed and hawed on it, and finally I heard no more about it.

Moving on to Church membership and baptism, I could speak for weeks on this. Let’s face it. the local Church is God’s chosen institution for the New Testament believer. It is to be a place of gathering, of worship, of teaching in doctrine, of fellowship of believers, the location for a base of evangelism. If the church does not have membership, then it is a body without believers, merely visitors.

Some believe that Baptism is the door to membership, saying we are baptised into one body. if thats the case, again, this congregation (it most definitely is not a church) again has no members – as they oppose Baptism.

How anyone who reads a Bible can oppose Baptism is beyond me. Modern translations misrepresent it and downplay it, while purposely present it as being essential to salvation (how can they justify downplaying it, I wonder???). If you’re reading the King James, as they say, then how can you possibly justify a stand AGAINST Baptism??? How can you take a stand against something the Bible commands or speaks of over 90 times in the New Testament alone? See Matthew 3:6-7, 3:11, 3:13-14, 3:16, 21:25-26, Mark 1:4-5, 1:8-9, 10:38-39, 11:30, 16:16, Luke 3:3, 3:7, 3:16, 3:12, 3:21, 7:29-30, 12:50, 20:4, John 1:26, 1:33, 3:22-23, 4:1-2, 10:40, Acts 1:22, 2:38, 2:41, 8:12-13, 8:16, 8:38, 9:18, 10:37, 10:47-48, 11:16, 13:24, 16:15, 16:33, 18:8, 18:25, 19:3-5, 22:16, Romans 6:3-4,, 1 Cor. 1:13-17, 10:2, 12:13, Eph. 4:5, Colossians 2:12, Gal. 3:27, and 1 Peter 3:21. If after reading all that you still question Baptism, I question whether or not you are saved! Because then there obviously is a rebellion issue against God, and the Bible describes this attitude as being the fruit of being unsaved.

Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. Matt 12:33 (KJV)

Nowhere does the Bible speak of a saved person evidencing the fruit of rebellion, denying Scriptures, divisiveness, pride and haughtiness, but rather love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, righteousness and truth. Those who are contentious, and obey not the truth, the Bible says(not me – don’t get angry with me!) in Romans 2:8-9 await tribulation and anguish after death. Now, if CM looks at all those verses and thinks, “Oh, wow – we might be wrong”, then she simply has been deceived, and merely needs to repent and get back to the Bible and a Bible-believing church.

That matter is settled. If you cannot get a simple thing like Baptism right, I worry about what you agree constitutes “correct doctrine”!

Tithing is the sorest dead horse in all the Bible. Some say, “show me ONE VERSE where tithing is commanded in the New Testament?” I usually counter that with, “If I show you, will that change you?” Because Pastors have been showing rebels – yes, rebels – for CENTURIES these same verses, and it changes nothing. Rebels continue to rebel.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and Faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Matt 23:23 (KJV)

There you go. There’s one. There are others. It would require three months of Sunday sermons to accurately address in detail ALL of the errors of this congregation (again, it is not a church). Indeed, I would probably start by teaching on correct doctrine, because they’ve got a spirit of pride, rebellion and haughtiness that would effectively block almost anything I taught!

I would definitely place a in-depth study of Ecclesiology at the top of the list, delineating a correct understanding of the Church, the congregation, and the Pastor as the servant of the congregation, not the ruler. However, the congregation should obey the Pastor as a type of authority over them. This is what’s commanded in the Bible. And I’m sure the congregation would fire me long before the sermon series was done, I might add – due to the rebellious spirit and pride that seems to rule them.

Again, I commend CM for wanting a church that is doctrinally pure. However, they’re so far off the mark that I recommend they:

  • begin praying for true understanding of the Bible
  • repent
  • pray
  • seek a good pastor
  • and start over.

Most definitely all these in that order. They need complete instruction in correct doctrine, and probably in-depth Bible study as well, to fix all the problems they have. Materials from Way Of Life could go a long way towards fixing all of this. Things Hard to Be Understood, and the Way of Life Encyclopedia would be a good start. And perhaps a quick phone call to David Cloud or Marc Monte to have them come teach would help as well.