Tag Archives: Lies

Hypocrites; All of Us

There’s an old adage that states that the one who preaches the hardest against something is probably the one most likely doing it. If the news is to be believed, than this is more often than not true. It seems all to often one who espouses the evils of drugs is discovered to snort cocaine with alarming regularity. The one who condemns alcohol winds up in the hospital for alcohol abuse. Adultery is called out for being abhorrent by those who they themselves are in adulterous affairs. Famous preacher Ted Haggard preached vehemently against homosexuality while having sex with other men. It seems as though there is no end to the hypocrisy spewed forth from the gullet of men who are supposed to be a paragon of righteousness. How can we trust anyone?

It’s tragic in the way we fall into sin. It’s enticing grasp pulls us further down the hole though we know it is wrong. I pose that perhaps the reason these people preach so hard against the very thing that they do is because they fight an inward battle that they are losing and that perhaps the words they preach are more for themselves then the very audience they give it to.

Romans 2:15 English Standard Version (ESV)
15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them

Because the law is written on their hearts, though they feel they cannot help but do the wrong that they do, they know that what they do is evil and wicked and strive to fight against it, perhaps thinking that by vocally condemning it to the world that they themselves will be able to resist and conquer. I suppose the real tragedy of it is all is that they are all too afraid to confess their sin until they are caught, though I’m sure that could be said to say the same for most of us. It’s so dark and evil that most people desire to hide it and who could blame them. I suspect most people have no desire to expose their shame to the world. So the fight the battle internally.

Before we condemn the hypocrite in front of us, remember we do not know the struggle they suffer. Yes, they need to be called to repentance, but I’m willing to bet that each of us is a hypocrite in our own little way, even if it’s not on such a grand stage.

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The damage of the altar call

The altar call is a relatively new development in Christianity. It was popularized by Billy Graham (the evangelist, not the wrestler). On its face it may seem like a good thing. You’ve all heard the preachers before, I’m sure. At the end of the sermon, they say something along the lines of, “If you’re ready to give your life to Jesus, why don’t you come up here and pray with us to ask Jesus into your heart.” Sure, it sounds sweet and like a noble gesture, but there’s really no biblical grounds for it. In fact, the altar call predicates that there is something you must do to be saved. You must invite him to save you. That actually diminishes the gospel. It essentially claims that Jesus can’t save you without your help. In a way, it’s a direct contradiction to scripture effectively denying that Jesus does it all for you.

So then, what does the altar call do to the body of Christ? My friends, it is my whole belief that the altar call can only bring despair when it brings anything at all. It cannot bring someone to faith. It may affirm someone’s faith that they already have, but never grant it. And for the rest it can only bring despair. In fact, the altar call is what nearly drove me away from Christianity. Dropping to my knees week after week of inviting Christ into my life, asking him to change me, and nothing happened. “If you are sincere,” they say, “he will change you.” Nope. Not true. I was totally sincere as were countless others. This cycle leads to despair, wondering what you are doing wrong. I learned that there was one thing I was doing wrong. I was believing there was something I had to do or something that I could do.

When I was on the verge of giving up Christianity and declaring it all bunk, someone shared with me a link to a new radio program that was just starting. From there, I learned the true gospel. I learned that there was nothing I could do. I learned that it was all Christ. And that was an enormous weight off of my shoulders. My friends, Christ has done it all. There is nothing you can do. Rejoice in that, because if you have to accept, invite, or do anything else for Jesus, then you’d fail and that’s not gospel at all.

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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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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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Children Do Not Get A Pass

One of the great lies in modern evangelicalism today is the age of accountability; that is, children who die before attaining a certain age get to go straight to heaven.  But that’s a straight up lie.  The fact of the matter is, children do not get a pass.  In fact, there is nowhere in scripture that states anything remotely even resembling an age of accountability.

So what does happen to the dead children?  The answer is simple.  The same as everyone else.  If they are in Christ, then they shall be in heaven with him and if not they shall go to the lake of fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Though the Bible doesn’t exactly say much on dead children, it’s overwhelmingly clear that all have sinned and fall short the glory of God and that apart from Jesus Christ you cannot be saved. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it.  If he makes an exception, than the whole gospel falls apart.

Now that’s not too say that scripture doesn’t offer comfort in such situations.  Faith comes through hearing.  Please note, scripture doesn’t say, “faith comes through hearing and understanding,” but only says, “faith comes through hearing.” How glorious are these words when but a small fetus in the womb can hear the gospel faithfully preached to it through its mother’s belly.

Also, it is Christ who gives us our faith, we don’t come to it on our own.  Alas, just as we adults don’t come to a decision for Jesus, neither does the child, but Christ through his own mercy will grant faith to whom he chooses.

My friends, scripture doesn’t say a lot about children who die and we dare not speak where scripture has not spoken, but with authority we can boldly proclaim on what scripture has clearly spoken.

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That Time is Now

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

I think that fact that people Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, Joyce Meyer, and many others are so popular lends to my belief that the majority of “Christians” have never read their Bible and those that have haven’t taken the time to really study it.  Rick Warren gives people purpose.  Joel Osteen make people feel good about themselves.  Bill Scheer gives his congregation actual concussions… you know, for Jesus.  You know what none of them give you, however?  The cross.  The gospel.  The good news that Jesus died on the cross for your sins.  In fact,  I contest that they have more in common with Mormonism than true Christianity for the simple fact they all of them let you know it’s true by that good feeling you get inside.  A punch in the face or a diet plan might make you feel good inside but it has nothing to do with Christianity, and anyone who tries to claim that it does or that it’s for Jesus is a heretic.  If your ears are itching, scratching will only spread the itch.  What you need is ointment, and if the ointment stings, that’s how you know it’s working.

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The Christian Section is a Lie

Go into any Barnes & Noble and you’ll see five sections of Christian books, one on Islam, and one that contains all the rest, Hinduism, Judaism, etc. To the untrained eye, it might seem that Christianity gets quite an unfair advantage over other religions. However, has the discerning viewer will notice, it’s the other faiths who have the unfair advantage. Aside from the C.S. Lewis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, St. Augustine, and a few others, it’s mostly riddled with heresy. Between Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Steven Furtick, T.D. Jakes, Rick Warren and countless others, you’ll find that you have a perfect recipe to lead you away from Christ all under the guise of Christianity. Not even the one section that is nothing but Bibles is safe, what with The Green Bible designed to point you to the environment instead of Christ and The Message Paraphrase. And it’s not just Barnes & Noble. Other bookstores, even Christian book stores are not safe from this scourge. My friends, the Christian section is a dangerous place.

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#thisisnotwholesome

 

The world is a tempting place.  It dresses up evil real nice and says, “Look, this is good.  Enjoy it.”  And if you look around, you’ll notice that it’s largely succeeding.  What was once considered wicked is now considered wholesome.  But the world doesn’t get to define good and evil.  Only God gets that privilege.  No matter how normal something becomes, no matter how accepted something becomes, sin forever and always remains sin.  Even when it is called good.

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