Christian

When a Preacher Laughs at “Religious People”

With a broad grin, the young preacher said, “I did it because I knew religious people wouldn’t like it!” And the audience chuckled.

I’ve heard this before many times and in different words – preachers poking fun at their Christian brothers and sisters referring to them as “religious people”. It’s meant as a put-down to Christians in mainstream churches and it assures the audience that they have one up on the “unenlightened”.

I must speak out about about this because it should be a red flag. It has certainly become a red flag to me.

What does being religious really mean? According to Websters Dictionary, it means: scrupulously and conscientiously faithful, fervent, zealous.

That sounds admirable to me, but what these preachers are really saying is “religious” people are not in tune with our superior revelation of the Scripture.

In some churches, being “religious” has taken on a whole new meaning. It has become a put-down that comes from a spirit of pride and self-importance and it serves an important purpose. It labels all those faithful Christians who have walked with God and studied God’s Word for many years as people who don’t understand what we understand.

In effect, Christians who might caution you about false teaching are literally disinfranchised from the conversation.

It’s our human nature to want to feel smart. People like to feel like they know more, and have inside information others don’t have. It’s a seduction and it’s the oldest trick in the book.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Genesis 3:1-6 NIV

When I started writing this post today, I really didn’t want to discuss this topic again. (Is that all she thinks about?) So I decided to read for a while, thinking maybe God would lead me in a different direction. Instead, I came across an article that said, “To critics of discernment in general (Oh, discerners are unloving and way too judgmental.), I would say that silence is compliance. ” Pastor Larry Debruyn

If silence is compliance, then I must speak out. If you see a red flag, let it be a warning!

Unsound teaching calls out to anyone with Internet. Hopefully, you’ve never heard these kind of remarks and have no idea what I’m talking about, but if you do – examine carefully what is being taught. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you, today. Comments are welcomed and appreciated.

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

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Christian

What I Don’t Know Can’t Hurt Me, Or Can it?

In spite of what people think, ignorance is not bliss!

People like to think it is – when the truth is too hard to face. Selah* (Pause and calmly think of that.)

“I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.  For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.” Romans 16:17-18

This topic is heavy on my heart because many devout Christians are being led astray because they are naive. When I listen to various popular Bible teachers on YouTube, I’m shocked at how ignorant the audience is of Biblical Truth. I’m shocked at how blind they are to a spirit of pride from the pulpit.

Well, I guess I’m not really shocked since I was taken in by it myself once. Yes, in fact, I had to “unlearn” a lot of teaching, and that is not easy to do.

You’re probably thinking, “What did you have to unlearn? What false teaching did you buy into?

Well, I’m not going to tell you.

Why? Because you must identify false teaching yourself through studying the Word of God. If I told you that a Bible teacher you liked taught false doctrine, I know what you would think because it’s what I used to think: “They don’t understand because they’re in a dead church.” OR “They don’t have revelation.” OR, my favorite: “They’re religious.”

I assure you, I am not dead or religious! (Isn’t that judging someone’s heart?)

All this stems from pride – the false assumption that I have revelation of the Scripture others don’t have. Selah

I would venture to say that all those “old, religious people at the church down the street” have more experience walking through trials with the Lord at their side than some of us ever will.

How I wish I could talk to my grandmother about God, again. She would be about 130 years old now. If only I would have known to seek her wisdom when I was a youth and she was still around.

But, alas, when we’re young we think we know it all. I know this because I teach in a middle school! Students will argue about anything, even how to do a math problem! (Are you kidding me?)

Why just today, a student tried to prove to me that you didn’t have to start a 2-digit plus 2-digit addition problem in the ones column. He thought he proved it to me by getting the right answer even when he started in the tens column. You guessed it! There was no regrouping involved. (No carrying.) He hadn’t thought of that!

You can think you’re right “til the cows come home”, but that doesn’t make you right.

My point is, if you are learning about God from a Bible teacher, instead of from the Bible, be careful. Check the Scriptures given to see if they have been taken out of context. (That happens a lot and is the basis of much of the false teaching accepted today!)

Respect those “old Christians” you think are dead or religious. It’s wise to listen to the elderly with respect.

Have you ever heard someone say, “I wish I knew then what I know now.”? Selah

“Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?” Job 12:12

Did my journey with false teachers and prophets affect my life?

Yes! It almost shipwrecked my faith. It took many years for me to recover. (That’s a story for another time.)

 “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.  They will reject the truth and chase after myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4 NLT

Lord, Guide us and teach us to walk with you in truth and humility. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

All Scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.

Photo by Andreea Popa on Unsplash

 *The Amplified Bible translates selah as “pause, and calmly think of that.”

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Christian

Spiritual Warfare: Are You Alert or Asleep?

During the Viet Nam War, the Viet Cong guerrilla fighters would sneak up on unaware U.S. troops, attack them, and quickly dissapear.  The Vietcong would also pose as citizens or farmers. Then, when least expected, they would launch a surprise attack on U.S. troops.

When you’re in a war, you must be alert. The enemy does not announce his arrival. And he often pretends to be someone he’s not.

Are you prepared to stand against your enemy, Satan? Do you know how to stand?

It is critical that you know God’s Word. Ephesians 6 says,“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (vs. 11) Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist …” (vs. 14)

What is the “belt of truth”?

Jesus said, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17 The Belt of Truth is clearly God’s Word, the Bible. It is an essential part of the “Armor of God”.

Do you think it’s possible that Satan could be attacking someone, when they don’t even know it? The Bible says,

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 NLT

That verse tells me a lot. In a battle, it is important for soldiers to be alert. If not, they may walk right into a trap. Can you imagine walking through a jungle during war and not being alert? Of course not!

There is only one place to find truth and that is in the Bible, in God’s Holy Word. We need to know what it says. If you don’t know God’s Word you will be an easy target. Why? The Bible tells us,

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” 2 Timothy 4:3

This can be more subtle than you might think. False teaching may not be that obvious, unless of course, you know God’s Word.

Does it really matter what you believe, as long as you love Jesus?

Yes! False teachers can take Scripture verses out of context and convince people of almost anything. This is how good people are deceived. But verses are not meant to be taken out of context. Instead, we should always study the context to correctly understand every verse.

For example, Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Let’s say I told you, “ All things means all things! You can perform healings and miracles. You can be a great athlete, make a lot of money, whatever you want can be yours – if you believe. If you have faith in God’s Word!”

Well that may sound good, but that’s not what that verse is saying.

Paul wrote these words while in prison, and the full context says, ” I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Paul is saying, whatever your circumstances, no matter how bad they are, Christ will give you strength.

In verse 11, he says, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” Paul is talking about being in prison. Roman prisons were known to be cold and cruel, prisoners were not provided adequate food or blankets, and they were kept in chains.

But in all this, Paul said, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”

That’s a lot different than the first interpretation!

You say, “Oh, I would recognize false teaching right away.”

Really? Because it won’t be obvious. It will be hidden in truth and love. The Apostle Paul warns us about false prophets,

“For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness.” 2 Corinthians 11: 13-15

To masquerade means to pretend to be something else, to disguise oneself, to impersonate. Please understand, people will be easily fooled. But there is one way to stand firm.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. … With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6: 10-18 

As you read and study this passage, understand the important role God’s Word plays in your life. Take this passage at face value. Know God’s Word. Read your Bible so that you can stand.

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

All Scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.

Photo by Unsplash

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Christian

YouTube Christianity

According to research, only 9% of Americans have read the entire Bible more than once. No wonder they don’t know what it says!

We must know the Bible really well. There is great danger in relying on others to teach us what God’s Word says (no matter how famous the preacher or how big their church is).

Why do we do it? Are we too lazy to study our Bible for ourselves? Is it easier to listen to great speakers telling us what God’s Word says and means?

Today, we can look for a good sermon on YouTube. Sounds great, but is it? Anyone can put their sermons on YouTube for the world to hear. If we don’t know the Word of God, how will we know if they are teaching truth or false doctrine? Just because they have a mega-church, it doesn’t mean they are teaching truth. Maybe they are, but what if they aren’t?

I know this because years ago I was part of a church that gradually slid over into false teaching. The first thing I noticed was arrogance from the pulpit, a message that says, “We have revelation of the Scripture, but that church down the street, they’re religious … I used to go to one of those churches.” (chuckle, chuckle) And the congregation begins to feel superior to other Christians.

The Bible says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18

The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “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.” 2 Timothy 4:3

This happens because Christians do not read and study their Bible for themselves, and therefore they do not recognize false doctrine.

What does God’s Word say?

Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”

Proverbs 1:22 “How long will you gullible people love being so gullible? How long will you mockers find joy in your mocking? How long will you fools hate knowledge?”

Proverbs 22:3 “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”

Proverbs 1:32 “For the waywardness of the naive will kill them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them.”

Proverbs 14:15 “A gullible person believes anything,
    but a sensible person watches his step.”

Romans 16:18 “For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.”

Ephesians 5:6 “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.”

2 Thessalonians 2:3 “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.”

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 “For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”

Well, it’s certainly something for us to think about….

Do you study God’s Word?

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

All Scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.

Source: Lifeway Research

https://lifewayresearch.com/2017/04/25/lifeway-research-americans-are-fond-of-the-bible-dont-actually-read-it/

Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash 

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Christian

Don’t Follow the Crowd

Are you a Christ-follower or a Crowd-follower?

Today, I want to share what the Bible says about false teachers. I don’t call out anyone by name. You’ll have to make those decisions on your own. I have not expounded on the Scriptures. I ask only that you consider what God’s Word has to say. In the following sections, we read the words of Jesus.

The Narrow and Wide Gates

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

True and False Prophets

 

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” Matthew 7:15-20

True and False Disciples

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” Matthew 7:21-23

The Wise and Foolish Builders

Build your house upon the Rock.

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practiceis like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27

Sheep Among Wolves

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” Matthew 10:16

For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time. Matthew 24:24

And From the Letters …

Timothy Charged to Oppose False Teachers ] “As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer.” 1 Timothy 1:3

“Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge.” 1 Timothy 6:20,

Dealing With False Teachers ] “Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.” 2 Timothy 2:14

“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.” 2 Peter 2:1

“Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.” 2 Peter 3:3

“For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” 2 Corinthians 11: 13-15

 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” 1 John 4:1-3

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” Hebrews 1:1-3

Jesus said,
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26

My prayer is that you know God’s Word and are fully equipped to fight the good fight of the faith. The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. Blessings!

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

1st Photo by Craig Whitehead on Unsplash

2nd Photo by William Bout on Unsplash

3rd Photo by Raphael Schaller on Unsplash

4th Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

5th Photo by Anne Zwagers on Unsplash

All Scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.

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