Today, let’s briefly detour from the two subjects we’re dealing with… Judaism and Roman Catholicism.
I’d like to talk about the state of Christianity today.
I’m going through in the Sunday school class I’m in a book series published by Lifeway. the only word I can use for this series is “Manuals on heresy.”
There’s no major, blatant heresies I’m reading right now. I can’t point my finger at any major issues, but I’m going to tell you that if you saw this from a cult, you’d be shouting “Aha!”
Okay, the current book is on Hebrews. It started by them bringing up the issue of the author of Paul. It concluded nothing – yet the class was left with the impression that they were saying Paul didn’t write Hebrews.
Okay, I’m Jewish. I think that’s been obvious from the word “Go”. I was a chassid (no, I’m not claiming I was FFB, before anyone decides to question interity, which fortunately only happens about once or twice a day from angry commenters…). I’m used to reading Gemara, and rabbinic writings. And I know Rabbinic arguments when I see them.
Hebrews is one long, eloquent argument written in Rabbinic style. Not from someone affecting it – it betrays Rabbinic writings. That means it was written by a Pharisee.
Okay, I just disqualified every applicant for authorship besides Paul, in case you didn’t know. Luke? Gentile, supposedly a convert. But not rabbinically trained. Some say that Clement or some other early christian author wrote it – again, same objection. Bartholomew? No rabbinic training.
The only early Christians who were a Pharisee was Paul and Nicodemus. Now, I’ll show you the argument I used. My class, not understanding the argument, didn’t believe me, but hey, that’s because I’m just me, and they’re used to some of my quirky arguments.
6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. Hebrews 8:6 (KJV)
14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Hebrews 9:14 (KJV)
Did you spot it?
If you’ve got any Rabbinic training, or have read a LOT of writings by the Rebbe or the Gemara, you’re used to this phrasse… K’al v’chomer… if (condition A) then K’al V’chomer (condition B).
Hint…. look for the “if” statements.
K’al V’chomer roughly translates to “how much more”.
see it yet? It’s not conclusive proof? Oh, yes it is…. they’re just words to you, but to a Rabbi or someone with training, it’s a thought process. It’s one of the primary arguments Rabbis use.
Okay, next issue… by the time I’m done with these two, there’ll be no doubt who wrote Hebrews.
The Book of Romans is unique in that it is written in such a way that chapter one starts a thought, which is continued over the next several chapters. This segues into another thought, which is carried for several chapters, which segues into a third topic, which ties back into the first topic after several chapters. It outlays the sinfulness of man, the need for a saviour, the role of the Jews within Christianity, the return of the Jews, and then ties it all together.
The Book of Hebrews uses different topics, but follows the same flowcharting. So, we can completely forget any modern theory that Paul didn’t write Hebrews. This kind of speculating REALLY took over back in the 19th century, when “rationalism” – read, wolves in sheep’s clothing – began rising like an epidemic.
What it really amounts to is a subtle questioning of the word of God.
This is what happened to the church of England, to Methodism and to Presbyterianism starting in the 19th century. Pastors and “Theologians” began subtly planting doubt in the minds of the congregation as to the authenticity of the Bible. They then found little or no problem in introducing outright denials. “That’s not true.” “the Bible says it, but we know better…” “The Bible is wrong here when it says..”
And of course, “christian” theologians today are constantly doing this in “a better translation would be…” or “In the older Greek texts it says…” or “a variant reading is…”
Now, in the SBC, they’re moving back to the outright heresy point they were at back in the 70’s. The SBC fought long and hard to rid themselves of the heretics, and finally forced them out by the mid ’80’s. Or so they thought. It seems the wolves merely learned to keep their mouths shut for a while, and then the idea hit them… let’s write the Sunday School materials. That way we can affect change from within.
“Why, we need a good pastor to go in there, someone respected, and let them serve as editor! That will fix everything!”
Yeah. About that. The editor of this book is someone respected by the SBC. And he either hasn’t noticed it, isn’t really the editor but just skimming the lesson and finding a quote for it… I don’t know. But the editor is David Jeremiah.
That’s a long preamble, but we look at the apostasy in Christianity going completely open and unchallenged by people in the 19th century and Harry Fosdick in the early 20th century, and we think, “wow, we sure bounced back from that!”
Not at all. It’s like the person that’s drowning. Most apparently slide a little under the water before getting one last gasp of air, to slide into the depths forever.
We just went underwater in my opinion.
Apostasy has ballooned. Instead of a few persons, or it being confined to a particular denomination, it’s widespread. So widespread, you don’t even notice it anymore. It’s commonplace.
Fosdick was a noticeable target because he was so public and so vocal. But who targets some of the most vocal heretics today? If I write about Osteen, people nod. “Yes, he’s peddling a false gospel.” But if I mention the heresies of Rick Warren, so many Baptists get annoyed because his book made you feel so GOOD!!!! And it was written as a day by day devotional, so you really didn’t read it objectively, and say, “wait… that’s a heresy.”
If I were to write out the list of pastors who were heretics, it would be huge. Heresy is pure and simple, the denying of a cardinal Christian doctrine, or the substituting of a different opinion in the place of a cardinal Christian doctrine.
An example would be the deity of Christ. Absolutely, one of the cardinal doctrines. To suggest He is not God, or he was just a human being, the same as you or I except maybe a little more devout – like, if you worked a little bit harder – YOU could have been the Christ!!! To suggest that is a heresy. And yes, Victoria Osteen said that.
Rick Warren comes pretty close to hinting at it.
A large number of Messianics believe it.
Many Word Faith teachers taught it.
Mormons believe it.
That’s a heresy.
Well, some of the other cardinal doctrines are under attack all the time, such as Bibliology – the Bible is God’s word, infallible, without error, dictated by God to man. Okay, if you were to place that one sentence on a piece of paper and ask all the pastors who believe it to sign it, you’d suddenly find the list very short.
Bottom line, if you don’t believe it, that’s a heresy. That’s an established Christian doctrine, a cardinal doctrine. It should be the second or third item in a statement of faith. I am overjoyed that my statement of faith is read on a regular basis. If before you followed my blog you read that page, good on ya! If on the other hand, you clicked “follow” and didn’t read it… shame on you. you should KNOW what a person believes before you follow them. I am VERY careful about what blogs I follow. The advocating of heresy causes me to unFollow someone in a heartbeat, as you all saw recently when I made my opinion of the Mormon ministry I recently unFollowed.
This is also why it’s important – if you find a blog you like – to go back and read the archives. I’ve written on how to read a statement of faith, and what it means when it says something. One doctrine I exposed is that when they say “…in the original” or “the original manuscripts” is they are literally saying, “I think the first manuscripts of the Bible are without error, but I think the ones we have today have mistakes.”
Okay, if you believe that, say it publicly! This way you are not misleading anyone!
Christianity is awash in pastors who do not believe in God, do not believe in the deity of Christ, and do not believe in the inspiration and preservation of the bible. We have a word for pastors like this.
“destined for an eternity in Hell.”
I keep reading about these pastors everywhere. Interviews in Christian magazines where a Pastor is quoted anonymously as saying, “I don’t believe in God” or “I preach about God, but never let my congregation know I don’t think he exists…”
Okay, if you’re the editor of a Christian magazine, you have a DUTY to publish the name of that pastor. See Romans 16:17.
Worried you’re going to lose your job? Listen buddy, you’ve got WORSE worries, because trust me, you’re preaching the word of God, and you do not believe!!! You’re going to face punishment FAR WORSE for all eternity because you KNOW and TEACH the truth. You’re going to have no excuse. There are degrees of punishment in Hell, and yes… you’re gonna suffer FAR WORSE than some random atheist.
If sermonaudio had existed over 200 years ago, we’d have been a lot better off. You could listen to almost any pastor, and be able to say, wow! ten thousand pastors I can listen to! Over a million sermons preaching the word of God!
Today, I’m terrified to listen to one, for fear I’ll have to dismiss yet ANOTHER pastor as a heretic. Okay, there’s a lot I’ve listened to, but they just don’t have the animated delivery needed for audio only presentation. I liked several, who I differ with on a few issues. But there’s been a lot that I start listening, and then Calvinism creeps in, or they make some comment about something not being in the “original Greek…” and I have to stop listening.
We’re so awash in apostasy it’s overwhelming. I can’t listen to “Christian” radio anymore, because the sermons are making me ill. The current trend is to tell us we should embrace things the word of God forbids in no uncertain terms.
Almost nobody is standing up to complain.
We had a lone woman stop a service in which another religion, COMPLETELY hostile to Christianity at its core, was going to have a prayer service – in which that would utter a phrase that denies the deity of Christ. She was thrown out of the chapel. But she had the courage to stand up and say, “this is WRONG! This is a blasphemy!!!”
ONE person. Where were the rest of us?
Pastors are telling us we don’t need to be fearful of a small group of people. We’re not. Don’t you worry. But their very lifestyle is forbidden in the Bible. Yet if I speak against it, I can go to jail. Yup. Laws have been passed that have removed my constitutional right to freedom of speech.
We’re drowning. The water has closed over our heads. Apostasy reigns. False teachers proliferate. Heresy is expounded on Christian magazines, christian blogs, from pulpits, in church newsletters.
Lord, forgive us.
What can you do??? You have a WordPress blog, right? GET BUSY!!!
Stand in the gap. Be the watchman. Protest heresy. If you don’t have the time to make your own statement of faith right now, copy mine and use that until you can change the wording to make it you.
Some teachers believe there’ll be a worldwide revival just before the Rapture – most insist that no, it won’t happen.
Let’s make it happen. Purify your hearts and your hands. Seek the Lord. Be on your face in prayer.
And quit writing about poetry and puppies on your blog, and start standing up for your faith. Or better yet, keep writing the poetry and puppies, but start writing some bold articles against heresy, apostasy, false teachers, false doctrines.
If you don’t know what true doctrine is, start learning. There are now free Bible colleges on the internet. Choose a fundamentalist, King James only one, because you know the amount of compromise and apostasy is going to be minimal there.
Hurry, we’re running out of time.