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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

"It's just music. How bad can it be?" Hillsong, Bethel Music and Elevation Worship

 Several years ago I began keeping up with three ministries that have had and are having a worldwide impact through their music publication wings. And while I have been aware of these entities for these several years, most of the visible church world doesn't have a clue who and what they are. The three are in the title of this blog post but I will rename them here. They are Hillsong Music coming out of Sydney, Australia, under the leadership of Pastor Brian Houston, Bethel Music out of Bethel Church in Redding, California, under the leadership of Pastor Bill Johnson, and finally, Elevation Worship in Charlotte, N.C., under the leadership of Pastor Steven Furtick. The music from these three ministries has generated multiple millions of dollars for them. To generate that much income means their music must be extremely popular and well-done. And their music is some of the best in the world with top notch musicians playing in their worship bands. However, that's as much praise as you will ever hear coming from yours truly.

The three pastors leading these three churches, all of which have multiple locations for their huge congregations, teach destructive heresies the likes of which the apostles couldn't begin to envision. For instance, before the COVID19 pandemic basically shut down the world, Bill Johnson of Bethel Church said this, "I refuse to create a theology that allows for sickness." And now he has had to shut down his operations because so many of his staff and students at his School of Supernatural Ministries are infected with COVID19. Brain Houston of Hillsong Church said that Muslims and Christians worship the same God, giving a friendly capitulation to the antichrist religion of Islam. And Steven Furtick said that without humans, God would be no more than a concept, an idea. And that is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. 

Many followers of the above argue that the music coming out of these three organizations is theologically sound and they absolutely love it. But I counter with a word from the apostle Paul who scolded the church in Corinth with these words, "a little leaven leavens the whole lump." The members of the church in Corinth had welcomed with open arms a man who was committing incest with his father's wife and they loved it. They were actually boasting in their liberalism (1 Cor. 5). Instead, Paul said that they were to deliver this man to Satan that his flesh might be saved on the day of judgment. His sin would spread to the rest of the church if they allowed him to continue to have fellowship with them. The same goes for the music and the destructive heresies coming out of Hillsong, Bethel and Elevation. The music coming from these three world renowned organizations is to the body of Christ what marijuana is to its users, a gateway drug into the world of the hard stuff. Be forewarned, folks, a little leaven leavens the whole lump. But, that's just my opinion. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Kanye West walks on water while false teacher Joel Osteen cheers him on while standing on water

 Surely you have seen the news. It was the "West and Osteen Show." The Kanye West Choir walks out on the water walking on a clear underwater walkway and standing on a clear underwater platform where they do their thing on top of the clear water. They are followed by the man himself along with his children who are then followed by the man himself, Joel Osteen. It was a spectacle worthy of old P.T. Barnum himself. 

And believe it or not, I still hold out hope for Kanye that he was genuinely converted to faith in Christ but is a really confused and deceived babe in Christ. Call me the eternal optimist.

New converts, genuine converts, often experience "spiritual culture shock," coming out of one radical lifestyle in their former culture into life in Christ, which baptizes them into a culture so radically different from the one they were rescued out of that their new life and faith are confusing. To Kanye, Osteen is a Christian and a world-renowned pastor. He is certainly world renowned but he is not Christian. Kanye doesn't yet know the difference. He is like another celebrity who has supposedly come to faith in Jesus, Justin Bieber. But with both celebrities, there are red flags everywhere. The fruit of repentance is just not there...yet. I myself embraced some pretty strange and unbiblical theology in my first year as a disciple of Christ and for the first month as a new believer, sin continually raised its ugly head. So, yes, I can sympathize and empathize with Kanye. 

My suggestion to Kanye and Justin is to find a Bible believing, Bible teaching, Bible practicing local congregation to call home.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Senate candidate John Thompson proclaims war against the white man.

 Have you seen the footage? This man is the devil incarnate. He is the antithesis of Martin Luther King, jr. He has put the white man on notice, "prepare for war, you white blah blah blah." And there are thousands of people in our nation who are rallying behind him, having drank the kool aid, including many blind and ignorant white people. If he does what he threatens to do, there will be blood, white homeowners defending themselves, their families and their homes against attacks perpetrated by this man and others like him. 

The question I and millions of my fellow country men have is, "How far will our government let this go before our nation is put under martial law?" It looks like many governors and mayors and our elected officials in DC are willing to just sit by and let this play out. In fact, they support the anarchy and the violence. They are afraid to stand up against it lest they too be labeled racists.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

The Fifth Commandment: The "Star Trek" commandment conclusion

    And there it is, the "Star Trek" commandment.  Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

 2 HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise),


Do you see it? "So that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the Earth." "Live long and prosper." Thank you, Mr. Spock.

The Hebrew word translated "honor" in Exodus 20:12, means to put weight on our parents in the sense that we value them and their opinions and their wisdom. However, not all parents are worthy of their children's honor. And another "however." There is nothing said about honoring only worthy parents. The honor is from our side, not theirs. Honoring our parents is in our court, not theirs. It is those who honor their parents who will be blessed and not the parents.

My parents were sexually immoral people. My dad associated with homosexuals and was very likely homosexual himself, and my mother committed adultery more than once, finally being arrested for occupying a motel room for immoral purposes. But by the grace of God, on a Tuesday morning in March of 1974, I came to faith in Jesus Christ and I was enabled by the Spirit to love and forgive my parents. My mother came to faith in Jesus while I shared the gospel with her. Dad never did. But I was the one responsible for honoring them and I did by forgiving them their myriad trespasses against me while I was a kid.

While we are not "under the law but under grace," the ten commandments still serve to remind us of the will of God. And that's what the apostle Paul meant by "with my mind I serve the law of God."

In Jesus' name. Amen

Friday, August 7, 2020

The Fifth Commandment: The "Star Trek" Commandment: part 1

 I was never a fan of the old Star Trek tv series, I personally found it silly. However, most of those who watched it were really, really huge fans and will take issue with me about it being silly. I did watch it though. It came on on Sunday afternoons way back when and there was nothing else on so, what's a young man to do? And we only had three channels available on tv. Anyway, you will see the connection between Star Trek and the fifth commandment later.

The ten commandments are found, as you know, in the 20th chapter of the book of Exodus. Our particular commandment is found in v.12, Exodus 20:12. Exodus 20:12 "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you. (Exod. 20:12 NAU). And it is repeated in Paul's letter to the church in Ephesus, chapter 6, verses 1-3,  Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), 3 SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH. (Eph. 6:1-3 NAU) Paul's comment on the fifth commandment explains what the fifth commandment was teaching. And Paul being a former Pharisee and outstanding Jew would know this.

The thought came to me this week that the fifth commandment is one of ten and therefore it made it onto "God's Top Ten." God's top ten. Remember Casey Casem's America's Countdown? He had his top ten picks of the week. Yeah, it's kinda like that.

I have always known that God takes family relationships very seriously and He expects us to do likewise. So it isn't any surprise that this commandment about Jewish parents is included. 

And, furthermore, since the ten commandments were "added because of transgressions" (Gal. 3:19), it means that somehow the Israelites had dishonored their parents. The transgressions or sins that brought about the necessity of the law of Moses began on day one when Adam and Eve blew it for all of us. If one should go back to Genesis 3 and read up to Exodus 20, one will see the dozens of transgressions the descendants of our original parents committed.

Transgressions were acts that offended the holiness of God and if anything fit that bill it would be dishonoring one's parents. And then I asked myself, "why not homosexuality or bestiality or drunkenness or pedophilia? Why didn't those gross sins make it onto God's top ten? God says they are abominations and punishable by death. They didn't make into the top ten? But they did make it into God's law found elsewhere in the books of the law. Lev. 20:9-16. 

I will continue this series on the fifth commandment in a couple of days.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

The Third Commandment: What do brides take? Her hubby's name

A second way human beings take God’s name in vain.

         7 "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. (Exod. 20:7 NAU)
         If we want to understand what God had in mind in this commandment, we need to ask, “what does it mean to ‘take the name of the Lord?’” The Hebrew word translated “take” is pronounced nisa. נשׂא
And it means “to take up, to lift up, to raise, to carry.” This definition coming from The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament compiled by Harris, Archer and Waltke. The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon. And Wilson’s Old Testament Word Studies. So, it means “to take up and carry the name of the Lord.” It means to identify oneself with the name of the Lord, יְהוָ֔ה Yahweh. It means that those around you will know that you identify yourself with Yahweh and that you profess to be one of His chosen ones, His child. And better, it means that we identify ourselves with the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that’s why we’re called Christians.
         Who does that? Who takes the name of another and identifies with another by taking their name? A bride does this. When a couple marries the bride usually takes the name of her husband and from now on, she is no longer known as Lorraine Schmuel but as Lorraine Limeburger. She has taken the name of her husband.
         But what if Lorraine Limeburger turns out to be a sexually immoral person and commits adultery with her neighbor or a co-worker? What then would be the point of her taking the name of her husband when they were married? Lorraine has taken the name of her husband in vain by committing adultery. And that is the deeper meaning of the third commandment.
         We take God’s name in vain when we profess faith in Jesus but reject His commandments. 1 Jn. 2:3-4; 5:2-3.
          We take God’s name in vain when we profess faith in Jesus yet embrace this world with its lust of the eyes and lust of the flesh. When we love darkness instead of light. 1 Jn. 2:16
         We take God’s name in vain when we profess faith in Jesus yet deny Him by how we live and behave while others watch our behavior. Eph. 5:3-6
         We take God’s name in vain when we profess faith in Jesus yet pursue materialism instead of holiness and righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. (1 Tim. 6:11 NAU)
         But I am persuaded better things of you, my beloved. Hebs. 6:9.
In Jesus’ name, amen.