Sermon Sunday – Charles Spurgeon – Preach the Gospel

April 28, 2013 at 6:30 am | Posted in Sermon Sunday | Leave a comment
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“For though I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to glory of; for necessity is laid upon me. Yes, woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel.”

1 Corinthians 9:16

THE greatest man of Apostolic times was the Apostle Paul. He was always great in everything. If you consider him as a sinner, he was exceeding sinful. If you regard him as a persecutor, he was exceeding mad against the Christians and persecuted them even unto strange cities. If you take him as a convert, his conversion was the most notable one of which we read, worked by miraculous power and by the direct voice of Jesus speaking from Heaven—“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” If we take him simply as a Christian, he was an extraordinary one, loving his Master more than others and seeking more than others to exemplify the grace of God in his life. Continue Reading Sermon Sunday – Charles Spurgeon – Preach the Gospel…

Sermon Sunday – Richard Baxter – Directions Against Inordinate Man-pleasing

April 21, 2013 at 6:30 am | Posted in Sermon Sunday | Leave a comment
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As in other cases, so in this, iniquity consisteth not simply in the heart’s neglect of God, but in the preferring of some competitor, and prevalence of some object which standeth up for an opposite interest. And so the obeying man before God and against him, and the valuing the favour and approbation of man before or against the approbation of God, and the fearing of man’s censure or displeasure more than God’s, is an idolizing man, or setting him up in the place of God. It turneth our chiefest observance, and care, and labour, and pleasure, and grief into this human fleshly channel, and maketh all that to be but human in our hearts and lives, which (objectively) should be divine. Which is so great and dangerous a sin, partaking of so much impiety, hypocrisy, and pride, as that it deserveth a special place in my directions, and in all watchfulness and consideration to escape it.

As all other creatures, so especially man, must be regarded and valued only in a due subordination and subserviency to God. If they be valued otherwise, they are made his enemies, and so are to be hated, and are made the principal engine of the ruin of such as overvalue them. See what the Scripture saith of this sin: Isa. ii. 22, “Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” Matt. xxiii. 9, “And call no man your father upon the earth; for one is your Father which is in heaven.” ver. 8, “And be not ye called Rabbi, for one is your Master even Christ: but he that is greatest among you shall be your servant” Jer. xx. 15, “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm.” Psalm cxviii. 6, 8, 9, “The Lord is on my side, I will not fear what man can do unto me. It is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in man,-yea, in princes.” Job xxxii. 21, 22 “Let me not accept any man’s person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man: for I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my Maker would soon take me away.” Job xxi. 4, “As for me, is my complaint to man? “Gal. i. 10, “Do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be a servant of Christ.” I Cor. iv. 3, “But with me it is a very small thing to be judged of you, or of man’s judgment.” Luke xiv. 26, “If a man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” “Blessed are ye when man shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven,” Matt. v. Ii-, 12. “Not with eye-service, as men-pleasers,” Eph. vi. 6; Col. iii. 22. I Thess. ii. 4, “So we speak, not as pleasing men but God, who trieth our hearts.” Jude 16, “Having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.” This is enough to show you what Scripture saith of this inordinate man-pleasing, or respect to man: and now I shall proceed to direct you to escape it.

Direct. I. Understand well wherein the nature of this sin consisteth, that you may not run into the contrary extreme, but may know which way to bend your opposition. I shall therefore first show you, how far we may and must please men, and how far not.

The Proper Respect We are to Have Towards Men
Consider the Nature of Man in General

Direct II. Remember that the favour and pleasing of man is one of your snares, that would prevail against your pleasing God: therefore watch against the danger of it, as you must do against other earthly things.

Direct. III. Remember how silly a creature man is and that his favour can be no better than himself. The thoughts or words of a mortal worm are matters of no considerable value to us.

Direct. IV. Remember that it is the judgment of God alone, that your life or death for ever doth depend upon; and how little you are concerned in the judgment of man.

The Judgement of God Compared to that of Men

Direct. V. Remember that the judgment of ungodly men, is corrupted and directed by the devil and to be overruled by their censures, or too much to fear them, is to be overruled by the devil, and to be afraid of his censures of. us. And will you honour him so much? Alas! it is he that puts those thoughts into the minds of the ungodly, and those reproachful words into their mouths. To prefer the judgment of a man before God’s, is odious enough, though you did not prefer the devil’s judgment.

Direct. VI. Consider what a slavery you choose, when you thus make yourselves the servants of every man, whose censures you fear, and whose approbation you are ambitious of. I Cor. vii. 23, “Ye are bought with a price. Be not ye the servants of men:” that is, do not needlessly enthral yourselves. What a task have men-pleasers! they have as many masters as beholders! No wonder if it take them off from the service of God; for the “friendship of the world is enmity to God;” and he that will thus be “a friend of the world, is an enemy to God,” James iv. 4. They cannot serve two masters God and the world. You know men will condemn you, if you be true to God: if, therefore, you must needs have the favour of men, you must take it alone without God’s favour. A man-pleaser cannot be true to God, because he is a servant to the enemies of his service; the wind of a man’s mouth will drive him about as the chaff, from any duty, and to any sin. How servile a person is a man-pleaser! How many masters hath he, and how mean ones! It perverteth the course of your hearts and lives, and turneth all from God to this unprofitable way.

Direct. VII. Remember what a pitiful reward you seek. “Verily,” saith our Lord, concerning hypocrites and man-pleasers, “they have their reward,” Matt. vi. 25. O miserable reward! The thought and breath of mortal men, instead of God-instead of heaven; this is their reward! Their happiness will be to lie in hell, and remember that they were well spoken of on earth! and that once they were accounted religious, learned, wise, or honourable! and to remember that they preferred this reward be fore everlasting happiness with Christ! If this be not gain, your labour is all lost, which you lay out in hunting for applause. If this be enough to spend your time for, and to neglect your God for, and to lose your souls for, rejoice then in the hypocrite’s reward.

Direct. VIII. And remember that honour is such a thing as is found sooner by an honest contempt of it, than by an inordinate affection of it, and seeking it. It is a shadow which goeth from you if you follow it, and follows you as fast as you go from it. Whose names are now more honourable upon earth, than those prophets, and apostles, and martyrs, and preachers, and holy, mortified christians, who in their days set lightest by the approbation of the world, and were made the scorn or foot-ball of the times in which they lived? Those that have been satisfied with the approbation of their heavenly Father, who saw them “in secret,” have been “rewarded by him openly.” It is, even in the eyes of rational men, a far greater honour to live to God, above worldly honour, than to seek it. And so much as a man is perceived to affect and seek it, so much he loseth of it: for he is thought to need it, and men perceive that he plays a low and pitiful game, that is so desirous of their applause! As they would contemn a man that should lick up the spittle of every man where he comes, so will they contemn him that liveth on their thoughts and breath, and honour him more that lives on God.

Direct. IX. If nothing else will cure this disease, at least let the impossibility of pleasing men, and attaining your ends, suffice against so fruitless an attempt. And here I shall show you how impossible it is, or, at least, a thing which you cannot reasonably expect.

The Folly of Trying to Please Men

Direct. X. Remember what a life of unquietness and continual vexation you choose, if you place your peace or happiness in the good will or word of man. For having showed you how impossible a task you undertake, it must needs follow that the pursuit of it must be a life of torment. To engage yourselves in so great cares, when you are sure to be disappointed; to make that your end, which you cannot attain; to find that you labour in vain, and daily meet with displeasure instead of the favour you expected; must needs be a very grievous life. You are like one that dwelleth on the top of a mountain, and yet cannot endure the wind to blow upon him; or like him that dwelleth in a wood, and yet is afraid of the shaking of a leaf. You dwell among a world of ulcerated, selfish, contradictory, mutable, unpleasable minds, and yet you cannot endure their displeasure. Are you magistrates? The people will murmur at you, and those that are most incompetent and uncapable will be the forwardest to censure you, and think that they could govern much better than you. Those that bear the necessary burdens of the common safety and defence, will say that you oppress them, and the malefactors that are punished, will say you deal unmercifully by them; and those that have a cause never so unjust, will say you wrong them, if it go not on their side. Are you pastors and teachers? You will seem too rough to one, and too smooth to another; yea, too rough to the same man when by reproof or censure you correct his faults, who censureth you as too smooth and a friend to sinners, when you are to deal in the cause of others. No sermon that you preach is like to be pleasing to all your hearers; nor any of your ministerial works. Are you lawyers? The clients that lost their cause, behind your backs will call you unconscionable, and say you betrayed them; and those that prevailed, will call you covetous, and tell how much money you took of them, and how little you did for it: so that it is no wonder that among the vulgar your profession is the matter of their reproach. Are you physicians? You will be accused as guilty of the death of many that die; and as covetous takers of their money whether the patient die or live; for this is the common talk of the vulgar, except with some few with whom your care has much succeeded. Are you tradesmen? Most men that buy of you are so selfish, that except you will beggar yourselves, they will say you deceive them, and deal unconscionably and sell too dear: little do they mind the necessary maintenance of your families, nor care whether you live or gain by your trading; but if you will wrong yourselves to sell them a good penny-worth, they will say you are very honest men: and yet when you are broken, they will accuse you of imprudence, and defrauding your creditors. You must buy dear and sell cheap, and live by the loss, or else displease.

Direct. XI. Remember still that the pleasing of God is your business in the world, and that in pleasing him your souls may have safety, rest, and full content, though all the world should be displeased with you. God is enough for you; and his approbation and favour is your portion and reward. How sweet and safe is the life of the sincere and upright ones, that study more to be good than to seem good, and think if God accept them that they have enough! O what a mercy is an upright heart! which renounceth the world, and all therein that stands in competition with his God; and taketh God for his God indeed even for his Lord, his Judge, his Portion, and his All: who in temptation remembereth the eye of God, and in all his duty is provoked and ruled by the will and pleasure of his Judge, and regardeth the eye and thoughts of man, but as he would do the presence of a bird or beast, unless as piety, justice, or charity, require him to have respect to man, in due subordination to God: who when men applaud him as a person of excellent holiness and goodness, is fearful and solicitous lest the all-knowing God should think otherwise of him than his applauders: and under all the censures, reproaches, and slanders of man, yea, (though through temptation good men should thus use him,) can live in peace upon the approbation of his God alone; and can rejoice in his justification by his righteous Judge and gracious Redeemer, though the inconsiderable censures of men condemn him. Verily I cannot apprehend, how any other man but this can live a life of true and solid peace and joy. If God’s approbation and favour quiet you not, nothing can rationally quiet you. If the pleasing of him does not satisfy you, though men, though good men, though all men should be displeased with you, I know not how or when you will be satisfied. Yea, if you be above the censures and displeasure of the profane and not also of the godly, (when God will permit them, as Job’s wife and friends, to be your trial,) it will not suffice to an even, contented, quiet life. And here consider

The Advantages of Pleasing God Rather than Men

1. If you seek first to please God and are satisfied therein, you have but one to please instead of multitudes; and a multitude of masters are hardlier pleased than one.
2. And it is one that putteth upon you nothing that is unreasonable, for quantity or quality.
3. And one that is perfectly wise and good, not liable to misunderstand your case and actions.
4. And one that is most holy, and is not pleased in iniquity or dishonesty.
5. And he is one that is impartial and most just, and is no respecter of persons, Acts x. 34.
6. And he is one that is a competent judge, that hath fitness and authority, and is acquainted with your hearts, and every circumstance and reason of your actions.
7. And he is one that perfectly agreeth with himself, and putteth you not upon contradictions or impossibilities.
8. And he is one that is constant and unchangeable; and is not pleased with one thing to-day, and another contrary to-morrow; nor with one person this year, whom he will be weary of the next.
9. And he is one that is merciful, and requireth you not to hurt yourselves to please him: nay, he is pleased with nothing of thine but that which tendeth to thy happiness, and displeased with nothing but that which hurts thyself or others, as a father that is displeased with his children when they defile or hurt themselves.
10. He is gentle, though just, in his censures of thee; judging truly, but not with unjust rigour, nor making your actions worse than they are.
11. He is one that is not subject to the passions of men, which blind their minds, and carry them to injustice.
12. He is one that will not be moved by tale-bearers, whisperers, or false accusers, nor can be perverted by any misinformation.

The Benefits of Seeking to Please God

Consider also the benefits of taking up with the pleasing of God. 1. The pleasing of him is your happiness itself; the matter of pure, and full, and constant comfort, which you may have continually at hand, and no man can take from you. Get this and you have the end of man; nothing can be added to it, but the perfection of the same, which is heaven itself.
2. What abundance of disappointments and vexations will you escape, which tear the very hearts of man-pleasers, and fill their lives with unprofitable sorrows!
3. It will guide and order your cares, and desires, and thoughts, and labours to their right and proper end, and prevent the perverting of them, and spending them in sin and vanity on the creature.
4. It will make your lives not only to be divine but this divine life to be sweet and easy, while you set light by human censures which would create you prejudice and difficulties. When others glory in wit, and wealth, and strength, you would glory in this, that you know the Lord, Jer. ix. 23, 24.
5. As God is above man, thy heart and life is highly ennobled by having so much respect to God, and rejecting inordinate respect to man: this is indeed to walk with God.
6. The sum of all graces is contained in this sincere desire to please thy God, and contentedness in this so far as thou findest it attained. Here is faith, and humility, and love, and, holy desire, and trust and the fear of God joined together. You “sanctify the Lord of hosts himself, and make him your fear, and dread, and sanctuary,” Isa. viii. 13, 14.

7. If human approbation be good for you and worth your having, this is the best way to it; for God hath the disposal of it. “If a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him,” Prov. xvi. 7. God does this by appeasing their wrath, or restraining them from intended evil, or doing us good by that which they intend for hurt.

Signs of Living to Please God

See therefore that you live upon God’s approval as that which you chiefly seek, and will suffice you: which you may discover by these signs.

1. You will be most careful to understand the Scripture, to know what doth please and displease God.
2. You will be more careful in the doing of every duty, to fit it to the pleasing of God than men.
3. You will look to your hearts, and not only to your actions; to your ends, and thoughts, and the inward manner and degree.
4. You will look to secret duties as well as public and to that which men see not, as well as unto that which they see.
5. You will reverence your consciences, and have much to do with them, and will not slight them: when they tell you of God’s displeasure, it will disquiet you; when they tell you of his approval, it will comfort you.
6. Your pleasing men will be charitable for their good, and pious in order to the pleasing of God, and not proud and ambitious for your honour with them, nor impious against the pleasing of God.
7. Whether men be pleased or displeased, or how they judge of you, or what they call you, will seem a small matter to you, as their own interest, in comparison to God’s judgment. You live not on them. You can bear their displeasure, censures, and reproaches, if God be but pleased. These will be your evidences.

Just Sadness – A repsonse to Beth Moore

April 17, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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NOTE: In an effort to keep this to fewer pages than a small book, I’ve taken out much of the “purple prose” that Miss Moore has decided to add to the story that has no bearing on what I believe her points are. However, in order to make sure that the context of the full text is available, here is a link to the full blog post on her website: http://blog.lproof.org/2013/04/sadness-and-madness.html

…Just as I sprayed the cleaner and grabbed the dishtowel, Melissa walked in staring at the screen of her phone with the oddest expression.

“Mom, I don’t know if it’s true or not but I’m seeing references on Twitter to Rick and Kay Warren losing a son.”

–          Before I get into answering the problems with Miss Moore’s madness, let me make it clear that I agree that Rick and Kay Warren losing a son is a tragedy. It is the result of a number of things. While Beth Moore automatically attributes it to Satan, we really don’t know. It is possible that a demon was involved, but it may not have been that way. What we do know is that sin is involved. Not necessarily Matthew Warren’s sin, but Adam’s. The sins of Adam and Eve have tainted every aspect of humanity with its wickedness and rebellion. Because of the effects of sin, mankind hates God. It has caused the earth to groan (Romans 8:22) and man to become sons of disobedience (Eph. 5:6). Sin is the source of cancer, pride, mental illness, and death. It is known that Matthew Warren struggled with mental illness for many years. Any family losing a dear and close loved one is ultimately struggling with the effects of sin and the Christian grieves for all of them (saved or unsaved)…

…My relationship with the Warrens is the same as most of yours. I have simply been served and led well by them.

–          Here is where I start disagreeing with her. I have not been “served and led well by” Rick Warren. As a matter of fact, even though I haven’t read a single book he’s written or listened to a entire message he shared, Rick Warren has made my life more difficult. Because of his teachings, he has inoculated a large number of people to the true gospel by replacing it with a false one. He has lead people to believe that they’re saved and believing in the real Christ while preaching things that oppose Him and His Word.

Although I had the joy of ministering to women on the Saddleback campus some years ago, my stay was brief and our schedules were wrapped entirely around the event. I have not had the opportunity to get to know the Warrens in the way that personal friends know one another but I always knew in my heart that I’d like them so much. We’re similar ages and in similar seasons with our families.

–          Um…she doesn’t know the Warrens personally but she knows “in her heart” that she would like them so much? Am I the only one that thinks that’s a little odd? She’s taught women at Saddleback. Did she preach them the gospel? Or just tell them what’s “in her heart”?

Meanwhile, I have loved them and esteemed them in Christ as faithful and mighty servants of the living Lord Jesus Christ. And quite possibly, among the mightiest to ever serve this generation.

–          She calls Rick Warren “faithful”. She obviously has a different definition of faithfulness. According to scripture, faithfulness is being obedient and rightly living according to scripture. If you’re a teacher (as both Moore and Warren are) then it also means teaching according to what scripture says and not contradicting or outright opposing scripture. This doesn’t describe Warren at all. He is an ecumenist hiding in the SBC who has no problem with Roman Catholic doctrine and even tweeting “Habemus Papum” (We have our pope).

–         Warren is also known for supporting “Chrislam”, the convoluting and mixing of Christianity and Islam based on the supposed similarities between the two religions. Even though they really have nothing substantial in common (I already wrote on this here). Add to this that Warren is a Druckerite who values community more than the individual and the fact that it is extremely hard to get Warren to give a clear answer on any issue facing the church today. He has said that homosexuals will not go to hell for being homosexual but for “rejecting the grace of God”.

–         To add to this that Warren is “among the mightiest to serve this generation” is almost hysterical. If he’s not faithful to scripture and is unwilling to defend the truth of God against those who hate Him, how can he be considered to be “among the mightiest”? What criteria is Moore using to determine this? The number of copies of “Purpose Driven Life” he’s sold? The number of people he “preaches” to every weekend? “The Bible” miniseries?

…An odd mix of feelings overtook me with increasing force through the afternoon and into the early evening. The sadder I got, the madder I got. Mad at an astonishing satanic force that stoops viciously and swoops in unscrupulously to attack children and to prey on their weaknesses as they grow up, shooting so relentlessly at one spot that they can barely get to their feet between arrows. I’ve been that child and many of you have, too.

–          If you are mad at the fact that Satan seeks to destroy mankind for the sheer pleasure he gets in doing it, join the club. What is a little confusing is why she would think that the devil would have scruples? He HATES God. It doesn’t make it easier for us to deal with, but we understand that and trust in God. I don’t know that it was Satan himself attacking me, but I have no doubt that I’ve been in situations that involved the ruler of this world’s minions. It is the connection that Moore makes next that gets me wondering and a little aggravated…

Madder still that the devil in all likelihood delights in nothing more than targeting the children and dearest loved ones of true servants of God. Nothing tries our faith like the suffering of our children. At the end of the day, our faith is what the devil is after most. Without it, it’s impossible to please God. This is why Paul could say with relief nearly palpable on the page of his final letter, “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.

–          It is clear from scripture that the devil not only targets our children, he targets our health, our livelihood, and our marriages too. Job makes all of this clear. Not only that, he stands before God accusing us and trying to condemn us. However, it is NOT our faith that the devil is after most. He is after our very soul. This would seem to reveal Moore’s belief in how man is saved but I’ll leave that for another blog. She’s right in that it’s impossible to please God without faith, but I’m not really sure what that has to do with the death of Rick Warren’s son or the point she seems to be trying to make…

…And then, in that mixture of emotions Saturday afternoon, I got madder and madder at the bullies in the Body of Christ. I thought how much it turns out that the Warrens have been through personally and, if they are like most leaders, all the while putting out fires and putting up with a bunch of trash-talk from people who would call the same Jesus Lord.

–          Hmmm…Moore starts about by talking about how she got “madder and madder” at Satan for attacking Rick Warren’s son and now she’s talking about how she got “madder and madder” at the bullies in the body of Christ. Are they on the same team Beth? If not, then how exactly do you define “Christian bully”? What makes one a Christian bully if I may ask? Is it just disagreeing with someone? Is that what you call “trash-talk”? If so, this would cause me to ask a couple of questions.

–          First, scripture says that we are to compare everything that we hear (inside and outside of church) with what scripture says. Anything that doesn’t line up with scripture rightly divided is wrong and needs to be defended against. Is Beth Moore arguing against this? Second, debate and discussion is supposed to happen in the body of Christ. It has allowed the church to determine the proper scriptural response to heresies throughout the life of the church. How would you recommend we go about responding to those we disagree with if not through debate and discussion? Should we write then a nice, non-threatening letter and send it with a fruit basket? Finally, if the discussion and debate that comes from comparing what Warren says to scripture is considered “trash-talk” then what does that say about your view of scripture, especially when you’re considered a Bible teacher of highest regard by some, and how does this view compare to the things that Paul, Peter, John, and Jesus Himself said to false teachers?

God help us. In the words of James, These things should not be so, my brothers and sisters.

–          The irony of this line isn’t lost on me although I would bet that it was unintentional. The beginning of this chapter in James (chapter 3) starts with “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.” Ironic considering we’re talking about Rick Warren huh? If he’s teaching false doctrine, he will incur a stricter judgment from God. Moore said above that she “loves and esteems (him) in Christ”. If that’s true, and she knows that he’ll be judged more strictly as a teacher, wouldn’t she have enough concern for him to check his teaching against scripture and tell him when he’s wrong? Would that mean it’s safe to say that the “bullies” are more loving toward Warren than Moore is?

I don’t believe one of us here in this community thinks that leaders should be immune to questions, constructive criticism, and accountability.  That’s not the kind of thing I’m talking about here. I’m talking about bullying. There are Scriptural means for going to a brother or sister to reason with them about matters we genuinely consider to be off base, misleading, or in error. You and I both know that much of what happens out there in public forums is the furthest thing from biblical.

–          In limiting the options to what you like or agree with (questions, constructive criticism, accountability) you have ignored scripture and what it says. It says that we are to mark those who cause division and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine we’ve been taught (Romans 16:17-18). If Warren is teaching false doctrines, then doesn’t that verse apply to him?  Paul says that anyone who preaches a different gospel is to be anathema (damned to hell – Gal. 1:8). Again, does this apply to Warren? Not only that, but we also have the examples of how false teachers were handled in the history of the church. Jesus had no soft words or constructive criticism for the Pharisees (Matt. 23). Athanasius made it clear that he thought that Arius was the “spawn of Satan”. And it goes on through the Reformers. The harsh language reserved for heretics and false teachers has been mothballed by generations that no longer seem to be concerned with what really matters…

It is slander.

–          This is one of the more interesting statements in this blog. She has set up her position and downplayed those she’s speaking out against, and now she’s going to add more. She calls the “bullying” by some in the body of Christ “slander”. Slander is when someone says something untrue in an effort to damage a person’s reputation. The key word here is untrue. Are those calling Warren a false teacher really slandering him? Is what they are saying really untrue? The best way to determine this is to see what scripture actually says and compare it to what Warren (and anyone else for that matter) is teaching. If they don’t line up, then there are problems. If someone is teaching something false out of ignorance, then it is necessary to go to them and correct them so that they can grow and mature in Christ. If someone is teaching falsely even though they know what scripture actually says, this is a whole different issue. Rick Warren is well aware of the comments and refutations regarding what he teaches and he continues to teach those things. Moore also has a problem with people being so public about their “attacks” on Warren. She either ignores or fails to recognize that due to the fact that Rick Warren preaches and teaches publicly, he is open to public rebuke for his false teaching.

–         I do have another question for Beth though. What about God’s reputation? If Warren is teaching false doctrines to thousands of people, wouldn’t that be slandering God’s reputation? He’s saying something untrue that is damaging God’s reputation. In this case, whose reputation should I be more concerned about, God’s or Warren’s? Seeing as how God is holy, just, righteous, and true; and seeing how pastors like Warren are to be teaching the truth that God has given them rightly and honestly; if Warren is teaching falsely, he’s not obeying scripture and is slandering God. He’s leading sheep astray and making people comfortable on their way to hell. For someone like Moore who is touted as a bible teacher to defend someone who has been shown, time and again, to twist and ignore scripture to suit his own needs doesn’t give me a lot of incentive to accept what Moore teaches any more than what Warren does…

I went on a walk through the woods Saturday late afternoon and did something I don’t often do. I cried angry tears. I got so mad that I could have hit somebody. I kept thinking how believers attack one another and sling stones at each other like the other can’t bruise or break. And all the while that person may be in so much personal pain that it’s nearly unbearable. I’m not transferring this to the Warrens. I do not know them personally. I’m telling you what I know to be true about most people out there. Most of us are in significant pain of some kind. That doesn’t mean defeat necessarily. It just means pain.

–          She cried “angry tears” and “got so mad she could hit somebody”. Really? Like one of the “bullies”? Wouldn’t that make you a bully too? Moore seems to have a lot of difficulty differentiating between unbiblical, wicked, slanderous attacks on the character of sound Bible teachers and true believers versus the honest and open defense of scripture against the false teachings of people like Rick Warren. They are very different. One is condemned in scripture and the other is commanded. She compares presenting scriptural arguments against false teaching with “attacks” and “slinging stones”. While it may be true that the false teacher may be in personal pain, should we just forgo the truth because of personal situations? I have yet to see a Christian cheer over the death of Warren’s son because Warren is a false teacher. I have heard many of them ask others to pray for the Warrens as they deal with the tragedy, so it may be a little unclear where Moore is going with this, but I have an idea.

–          She says that she’s not “transferring this to the Warrens”. She changed the focus of her rant. It’s no longer about Rick Warren and the attacks on him. Who then is this about? Could it be that Beth Moore has gone from trying to defend Rick Warren to defending herself? Moore may be a well-known and loved personality in the SBC, but she has a number of things she’s said that causes concern for someone like me. She claims to hear from God directly (http://lifetoday.org/video/filled-to-the-measure-2/) even fighting with Him and claiming Jesus is “the bossiest thing”. She has heard Him speak to her on numerous occasions things that are not in scripture. This would make her a prophetess wouldn’t it? All of the things that “God” has said to her could be written down in a book and added to the Bible we have today. She has preached at churches (including Louie Giglio’s church in Atlanta: http://www.passioncitychurch.com/watch#PCC-070112-V1) in front of mixed crowds, which is against scripture (something a Bible teacher should understand, no?). She has encouraged thousands of people to engage in the Catholic mysticism known as Lectio Divina (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0zei-gHTyQ) at the Passion 2012 conference (Louie Giglio’s brainchild…).

Life is hard enough without hatefulness rife in the Body of Christ. We are called to carry one another’s burdens, not pile relentlessly on top of them. We can still hold one another accountable. We can still ask questions. We can still disagree. But we can do it with respect.

–          Wait. We went from bullying to “hatefulness”. Moore does realize that hatefulness would be a sin right (Matt. 5:21-26)? She says that we are called to share others burdens, and that’s true, but what does that have to do with calling out false teachers? She seems to imply that those calling for false teachers to repent are piling “relentlessly on top of them”. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it the false teachers twisting scripture and slandering God’s reputation that brought the responses from Bible loving Christians upon them? If they didn’t want to be “piled on” why did they teach false doctrines? She says that we can hold others accountable, ask questions, and disagree; just with respect. So, if Moore was angry enough to hit someone like me because I think that Warren is a false teacher, which side of the line does that fall on? Is that respectful? She calls for respect from the people she’s named as haters, slanderers, and bullies. Hmmm…something’s not right here….

–          Not only that, but what about carrying the burdens of the thousands of people who have been damaged and deluded by false teachers. Word of Faith (WoF) teachers like Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, and Jesse Duplantis have taken every last penny from people following them in the name of God. What about their burdens? Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, Robert Schuller, Bill Hybels, and others have replaced the truth of the gospel with a seeker-sensitive shadow of the truth that doesn’t convict of sin or give people solid theological ground to stand on. What about them? Should we ignore these people and what they’re dealing with in the name of “love” and “unity”?

I’m sick of the bullying. The mud-slinging and the meanness. I’m sick of careless, idle words thrown out there in the public square and professing believers in Christ standing on the necks of their own brothers and sisters to sound smart and superior. As if it’s not enough that we are surrounded in this culture by Christian haters, we’ve got to have our own hater-Christians. It’s insane.

–          She’s sick of the mudslinging? Like the name calling she’s participated in? She says that the words are careless and idle and just thrown about by “professing believers” who are “standing on the necks of their brothers and sisters to sound smart and superior”. Has Moore actually looked at the critiques against Warren and herself? Surely a Bible teacher who has taken to memorizing scripture and has taught for years like she has could honestly and objectively look at the things said in light of scripture and see what the truth is, right? Surely, if Moore did that and found that she was wrong, she would repent of those things and change her life to conform to scripture, right? Surely she understands that she isn’t the only one who is concerned for the body of Christ and the detrimental effects that false doctrine has on people. She sets up a straw man of those she disagrees with. She is sure that these “professing believers” are doing it for just these specific reasons and doesn’t need to look any further. All she has to do is light the match and watch him burn. Interestingly, Moore uses the term “professing believers”. I use this term myself when talking about people who give Christ lip service but don’t live according to scripture. I wonder if she has the same meaning? Sure seems like it…

When we turn people into caricatures, everything’s game. The moment we depersonalize them, our consciences harden and we can mock and slander at will and have a blast doing it. Snide blogs and tweets and Facebook posts about various leaders can also be effective ways to jump in their spotlight. Bullies aren’t just mean. They’re self-serving. They’re platform-hunting. They have to borrow one to perform.

–          This is funny really. She’s spent much of her writing caricaturing those who disagree with her and defend scripture and depersonalized them to mock and slander them, but doesn’t seem to mind that. It’s only those who are opposing her and Warren and others like her that are the “bad guys”. She’s against snide remarks (like “professing Christians”?) unless of course they are directed at the “bullies”. According to Moore, this is all about “jumping in the spotlight”. It’s all about being “self-serving” and “platform-hunting”. Hmmm. Would she mean self-serving and platform hunting like hijacking a moment of tragedy in order to make her case against “bullies” and “hater-Christians”?

No, I don’t think that saying all of this will change it much but some things still need to be said. Sometimes we need to speak up and call something wrong. There’s a bigger issue in the Body of Christ than immorality. It’s hatefulness. If the greatest priority Christ assigned to us was love, the gravest offender is hate.

–          “Sometimes we need to speak up and call something wrong”. Unless of course we’re calling false teaching by popular megachurch pastors wrong. Then that’s bullying and hating. She says there’s a bigger issue in the body than immorality. Really? And it’s hatefulness? Is it the body that’s being hateful? Or does it just feel that way to false teachers?…Christ did call us to love, saying that others would know that we were Christians by the love we show to the brethren. He didn’t say we were to love in a vacuum though and He didn’t say that we were to love above all else and without condition. Not only that but Christ Himself gives us a great example of how to handle false teachers in Matthew 23. Maybe Beth hasn’t gotten that far yet in her teaching or she would know that Christ publicly rebukes the Pharisees for their false teaching and leading others away from God. But I’m sure that Beth would never call Jesus unloving or a hater, huh?…

…But even now at the hardest moment of their lives the Warrens can teach something vital if we are willing to learn. Their heartbreak demonstrates what has always been true but has never been more profoundly overlooked: these who serve us publicly also suffer privately. They are not caricatures. They are not just personalities. They are people living on a painful planet with the rest of us.

–          Uh…wasn’t the death of their son announced publicly? While I’m sure that they’re suffering privately to some degree, it’s not like Beth makes it out to be. They are public figures and have made themselves that way. The death of their son was all over Twitter and was news for many sources that day. That’s not exactly suffering privately. In spite of the suffering that I’m sure the Warrens are going through, they have not served the body of Christ. They have done damage to the body through their teachings and unless they repent, it will not be good for them when they stand before God. She’s right though. They’re not just caricatures or personalities, they are people; sinful, wretched people just like everyone else…

The Warrens will come forth like gold. The enemy will not win. They will fight the good fight. They will finish the race. They will keep the faith.

–          Seeing as how we don’t really know this, it would seem that Beth is giving a prophecy? I don’t know. It may just be that she hopes that the Warrens have the same thing she hopes to have.

I love the Body of Christ. I don’t want want to get cynical. I don’t want to sit around and hate the haters or I become one. But this morning I just want to say this. We can love each other better. Let’s do. People have enough hurt. Let’s be careful with one another.

–          Moore loves the body of Christ. “Professing Christians”? Not so much. She doesn’t want to be cynical or become a hater…well, unless it’s when she’s speaking out against the bullies who are wrong to hold her and Warren and others to strict biblical truth. We can love each other better. Unless it’s those “hater-Christians” who have nothing better to do than slander false teachers. Loving someone means that sometimes you have to be honest and tell them the truth, even if they’re not going to like it. Overall, it seems that the whole article was a self-serving, spotlight jumping attempt for Moore to protect herself. A little hypocritical if you ask me…

Sermon Sunday – George Whitefield – Justification by Christ

April 14, 2013 at 6:30 am | Posted in Sermon Sunday | Leave a comment
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Justification by Christ
by
George Whitefield
(1714-1770)

1 Corinthians 6:11, “But ye are justified.” The whole verse is: “And such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of our God.”

It has been objected by some, who dissent from, nay, I may add, by others also, who actually are friends to the present ecclesiastical establishment, that the ministers of the Church of England preach themselves, and not Christ Jesus the Lord; that they entertain their people with lectures of mere morality, without declaring to them the glad tidings of salvation by Jesus Christ. How well grounded such an objection may be, is not my business to inquire: All I shall say at present to the point is, that whenever such a grand objection is urged against the whole body of the clergy in general, every honest minister of Jesus Christ should do his utmost to cut off all manner of occasion, from those who desire an occasion to take offense at us; that so by hearing us continually sounding forth the word of truth, and declaring with all boldness and assurance of faith, “that there is no other name given under heaven, whereby they can be saved, but that of Jesus Christ,” they may be ashamed of this their same confident boasting against us. Continue Reading Sermon Sunday – George Whitefield – Justification by Christ…

Sermon Sunday – J.C. Philpot – The Master’s Bounty, and the Servant’s Obedience

April 7, 2013 at 6:30 am | Posted in Sermon Sunday | Leave a comment
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“Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word.” Psalm 119:17

What a fund of true and vital experience is contained in Psalm 119! What simplicity and godly sincerity shine through it! What breathings after God’s presence and manifested favor! What desires to live to the glory of God! What fervent pourings out of the Psalmist’s heart, that he might be enabled to keep God’s precepts!

THREE FEATURES especially seem to my mind stamped upon this blessed portion of God’s word. The first is—a deep sense of the Psalmist’s sinfulness and helplessness. “My soul,” he cries, “cleaves to the dust; quicken me according to your word.” (verse 25.) “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant; for I do not forget your commandments.” (verse 176.) And indeed, what I may call the substratum of the whole Psalm is, “creature weakness and helplessness”. This feeling lies under well-near every petition; and springing out of it, and built upon it, is David’s earnest cry that the Lord would supply his needs. Continue Reading Sermon Sunday – J.C. Philpot – The Master’s Bounty, and the Servant’s Obedience…


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