Tag Archives: False Doctrine

Isaiah 30:9-11

For they are a rebellious people,
lying children,
children unwilling to hear
the instruction of the Lord;
10 who say to the seers, “Do not see,”
and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right;
speak to us smooth things,
prophesy illusions,
11 leave the way, turn aside from the path,
let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.”

 

Sounds an awful lot like today, doesn’t it?  Sadly, it is an accurate description of many churches today. People don’t want to hear the word of the Lord because it shows us how wretched we are.  Instead, they love to be deluded with grandeur, even when the grandeur is terrible.  People get all excited and frightened when a false prophet predicts the end of the world, not because it’s true or false but because it’s big.  Their minds are excited for such a great change, even if it means they could die a horrible death.

“Sow a seed,” some say, “and God will reward you with riches.”  Oh, the illusions of wealth.  What a slick tongue does to an ear like that.  If anyone claims you shall receive wealth if you do such and it does not come to pass, just like the doomsday preacher, he is a false prophet.

And then we have preachers such a Joel Osteen who doesn’t seem to know such a thing as sin even exists.  He just smooth talks positive thinking into everyone and they eat it up.  They don’t want to hear about how sinful they are, just how great and awesome they are.  And then, when they hear good sound preaching, they chastise the pastor for it.  They tell him how awful his message is and that the only thing God really wants is people to be nice to each other.  Honestly, if that were the case, why would God have ever needed to give us the scriptures?

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Jesus is not a cameo guest star

Growing up, I used to love watching Saturday morning cartoons. One such program was Garfield & Friends. It was two separate cartoons rolled into one half hour block. A running gag of the show was that a character from one of the cartoons would just show up in the other for no apparent reason for nothing more than a few seconds. Someone would usually remark, “What’s he doing here?” “Oh,” another would reply, “he’s a cameo guest star.” The cameo guest star would usually never utter a single word.

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Nah, Jesus, I got this

I’ve heard many Christian friends say that God does not give us more than we can handle, but is that really true? These Christians often cite 1 Corinthians 10:13 as proof, but if we look at the text, that’s not really what this is about. That verse deals specifically with temptation. In fact, when you read it in context, you’ll see more specifically that it has to do with temptation against idolatry. And that makes sense. If Jesus is the only way to salvation, any temptation that you give in to is willful disobedience. That’s a far cry different than “God never gives us more than we can handle.” Nowhere in scripture does it say that God never gives us more than we can handle, and that’s a good thing. If God never gave us more than we could handle, than why would we ever need Jesus? Why do we need a crucified and risen savior if we can just say to God, “It’s alright, I’ve got this”?

You don’t need Jesus if you can handle everything on your own. You’re your own god, and you’ve got that covered.

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Your Feelings Don’t Really Matter

When Luke Skywalker  first learned that Darth Vader was his father, he refused to believe it.  “Search your feelings,” Vader said, “you know it to be true.”  And Luke believed.  Unfortunately, truth doesn’t actually work like that, despite what many Christians will tell you.  Go ahead.  Ask one how they know their beliefs are correct.  Odds are they will tell you that it just feels right or that they can feel it in their bones that it’s correct or some other variant of feeling. Uh-huh.  You know how the Mormons know what they believe is true?  They just feel it.  You know how abortionists often rationalize their actions being good?  It just feels like the right thing to do.

Another good one is that some Christians tell you that they listen to their heart.  Shouldn’t they know that their heart is a damn liar?  I mean, they are Christians after all.  I dunno, maybe they just have a good feeling that they’re right.

My friends, the truth is that your feelings don’t really matter because they do not determine truth.  If you want to know if what you believe is correct, pick up a Bible and compare your beliefs with scripture.  Do the work of a Berean.  If your feelings line up, awesome.  But if they don’t, you might have to come to grips with the hard truth.  So go ahead and search your feelings, just don’t expect them to be honest with you.

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A Little Paraphrase is a Dangerous Thing

Paraphrasing can be a useful thing.  For example, you need to convey an idea that someone had said, but you don’t have the source directly in front of you.  In this scenario, paraphrase can be used to convey that thought without actually quoting.  Let’s say for instances a pal was starting a motorcycle rodeo and he wanted you to get the word out.  So you go tell your friends, but you forget what a motorcycle is called, so you tell your friends that he’s starting a rodeo with gas powered bicycles.  No, that’s not what your friend said, but it’s the same idea and the friends you’re telling will understand what it’s all about.  In such situations, paraphrase is a very useful and good thing.  But what if your source is a paraphrase?  Wouldn’t you then be conveying your thoughts of a secondhand opinion of the original idea?  Why would you ever go to a paraphrase when you can have the source directly at your finger tips?

Of course, I’m talking about The Message.  For those who are uninitiated, The Message is paraphrase of the Bible, not a translation but a paraphrase.  If you’re not sure why that’s terrifying, let me give you an example.  Below is Mark 8:34-37 in both The Message and the ESV.  You’ll notice how they say two completely different things.

The Message

Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?

English Standard Version

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.  For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?  For what can a man give in return for his soul?

Can you see the problem here?  While it may seem similar at first, it is far from the same message.  If you are honest with yourself, you’ll see that these two versions have a completely different messages.  In fact, the only portion of these two that is even remotely similar is the very last question.  And this is not ESV VS MSG.  This is the ESV, NLT, NIV, KJV, and all the other translations VS The Message paraphrase.  So I ask you, why would you ever use a paraphrase when you can have a perfectly good translation at your fingertips?

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