I highly recommend Todd Friel’s new book “Judge Not” which deals with discernment and a ton of topics. He covers NAR, Youth Ministry, Jesus Culture, Short-Term Missions, and many other things. It is hard to put down, informative and thought-provoking.
Separating truth from error regarding what’s being taught? That’s discernment.
We are to test all things (1 Thess. 5:21) and go to the Word of God to see if what is being taught is truthful (Acts 17:10-11).
Chris Rosebrough said something to this effect: A church may say, “We believe in the Son of God.” That might be entirely different than teaching what the Son of God taught. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them… teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” There are so many churches that are in open rebellion to the very words of Jesus because they’re not teaching anything biblical, they’re just making it up, and slapping it on Jesus. They’re not teaching the truth. Saying you have allegiance to Jesus but not keeping and guarding His Word, not teaching sound doctrine, and not rebuking those who contradict it shows that you don’t have any real allegiance to Jesus except for lip-service allegiance.
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Phil. 1:9-11
Hermeneutics = the art and science of biblical interpretation
How should we interpret the biblical text? Most of it is easy to understand but some parts can be complicated. This is where hermeneutics comes in.
Greet one another with a holy kiss (Romans 16:16) Head coverings (1 Corinthians 11:5-10) The qualifications for being an elder (1 Timothy 3:2-7, Titus 1:5-9)
How do we know what applies today? Contextualization is one of the more difficult parts of this subject.
I haven’t finished this book by Jason Lisle yet but what I have read so far does an excellent job at laying out the necessary rules of biblical interpretation. He is a gifted author and he is one of those guys that I’m really glad “are on our side”. He is mild in manner but heavy in matter – for sure.
I’d also recommend the podcast The Bible Thumping Wingnut. They have been putting up (for free) the hermeneutics class from Striving For Eternity Ministries with Andrew Rappaport.
I have heard multiple people describe the landscape of Christianity in Africa. Each time I hear it described, I think of Southeast Asia.
The following message comes from Pastor Conrad Mbewe. He lives in Lusaka, Zambia. His blog can be found here. Notable posts found here and here.
While Charismatic teaching may in many cases open the door (or function as a gateway drug) to the Word of Faith heresy (consisting of positive confession, a different definition of the atonement, little gods doctrine, and more) we must be careful to distinguish between the two. Wayne Grudem and Robert Tilton are worlds apart.
Fox News – “Kong Hee, the founder and senior pastor of City Harvest Church, was found guilty Wednesday with five other church leaders of stealing 24 million Singapore dollars ($17 million) designated for building and investment-related purposes through sham bond investments. The State Court also found that they used another 25 million dollars ($18 million) to hide the first embezzlement from auditors.” Full article HERE.
Kong Hee, who preaches that Jesus was rich and we should be also, has funneled $35 million of designated funds into his wife’s music career and has been found guilty of seeking to cover up his actions.
I’m so thankful he was found guilty. The more these kind of things happen, the harder it is to share the gospel with people because they’ll use them as excuses for their unbelief.
Christians in Singapore are reacting. Some are saddened. But others are thankful because now the gospel can shine brighter than before. I just heard this sermon from a pastor in Singapore pointing the people of God to the gospel after the Kong Hee trial. Have a listen. It is so pastoral and edifying.
From Gospel Light Christian Church, Dr. Paul Choo: The Prosperity Gospel
“He is a God who cares for me from head to toe….I can lose my wallet. I cannot lose Him.”
I remember exactly where I was about a decade ago when I first heard the “Dream Destiny Thingy” message. The second time I heard it was a few years after that and it was like my eyes were opened for the first time.
The Dream Destiny Thingy is a message that says Jesus can make your dreams come true and Jesus is all about your dreams. It is self-centered and the gospel is absent. The fact is that God is not a means to an end. Our priority should be the desires of God as expressed in Scripture and not the building up of our earthly kingdoms.
The sermon reviewed here is a prime example of the Dream Destiny Thingy.
I expect any reader of my blog to be a mature Christian who will open their Bible and test all things. I have linked to and will continue to link to things that I personally might say differently. Sometimes I link to articles and programs in which I differ with in a few things. Such action is not to be taken as a full endorsement. As any thinking person would see, the point I’m seeking to convey is that good points were made. Now with that out of the way, here it comes…
I think I will share at a later time how I evaluate a movement to see if it’s from God or not but the first 14 minutes of this program summarizes the harm that has been brought to Christianity worldwide as a result of this doom and gloom talk.