Friday, July 29, 2005

A Heavy Heart

As of late, I've read things that gave me a heavy heart. I often wonder how Jesus would react, if He were here today, listening or reading the same things that have crossed before my eyes.

A very popular pastor has become the 'talk of the blogs'. Most of the talk isn't pleasant, in that it's mostly against him. Many years ago, I remember how the talk was all about the Word/Faith, or 'Name It And Claim It' teachers, and how they were talked about, even called cults. But, they held on to what they were teaching, held on to God, and all are still teaching/preaching, with the exception of one who has died (I think this is the only one).

None of us are perfect, for sure! None of us have the authority on the Word. Having never seen this pastor, and only having heard him on television and never preaching in his home church, who am I to judge his heart? I have no idea his relationship with God. I do know that, if he is doing wrong, he will be held responsible by God, for those he leads astray. He may seem frivolous to some of us, but how many souls have really come to God because of him? Only God knows and is marking his report card! Thank God those judging don't know me, for I might not pass the litmus test either. Would you?


Mat Varnado said...

Pick a preacher, pick on a preacher is my reaction on this. I've researched (on the web while trying to find some of their teaching) enough Bible teachers that I have respected and whose teaching has blessed me and fed me spiritually throught the years and discovered one thing. You can always find someone who will consign them to the lower regions as a heretic. And I'm talking about commentators from inside the Body of Christ. This is a sad thing that Brothers and Sisters can't agree to disagree on some of the arcane points cited by some of them. I agree, Barb, that none of us is perfect and none of us is perfect in our understanding of the Bible. As for the so called "prosperity gospel", if that isn't heavily emphasized in their teaching and if the rest of it is good solid food whereby we can grow and get closer to Jesus, that's the important point. There are enough obvious false prophets and heretics out there on the airwaves to be warning people about. Some of those heretics merely use the Bible's teaching on prosperity to get more money for themselves, even to the point of becoming false prophets.

Two Bible teachers who have had a very deep impact on my growth are men who don't believe in the Baptism of and gifts of the Holy Spirit. In fact they do all sorts of theological gymnastics to avoid it in their teaching. Should I consign them to hell for heresy? or just receive the Bible truth they offer and grow on it? They are not of darkness as the detractors try to make them. They just have not had experience in that area, and not having had experience, fear it. But they are not to be condemned for their fear.

Barbara said...


I agree with your points. Many will dismiss a pastor, if they don't live up to their expectations, agree on every little thing. I've seen so many pastors ill spoken of during my time on this blog. I think it does the Body of Christ a dis-service to come against some of these preachers for such little things. There are some things we must agree on, but others, some will never agree on. I like to glean from preachers I admire, but, I don't dismiss them if they speak differently on some issues. There are definitely some false prophets and heretics out there, as you said. But, we should have enough discernment to separate them from the true children of God.

Mat Varnado said...

When I wrote my comments above, I didn't want to identify names but on later consideration, I realize I'll have to give some additional information about what I meant in my comments above. I realize that for some what is obviously heretical and apostate to me may not be so obviously for others. By those who have given me good Bible to feed on although we disagree on MINOR doctrinal issues, I was referring to teachers like Hal Lindsey (Bible prophecy teacher) and Adrian Rogers (of Belview Baptist Church in Memphis, TN).
Now to make clear what I mean about clearly obvious false prophets I'll name at least three whose false statements are on video archives (and I've heard some of their statements myself): Kim Clement, Juanita Bynum and Paula White. As for general movements which I have researched and which are provable to be apostate (and unfortunately to a greater or lesser extent have crept into the Charismatic and Pentecostal Churches), there are at least three that I know are very popular but are as unbiblical and false as any false groups can be. First is the River/Brownsville/Toronto Blessing/Alpha Course apostasy. Second is "Prosperity Gospel" as it is used as a scam for the preachers to get rich as they cynically manipulate even poor people out of every last penny they have with the false "sow a seed and get an abundant harvest". And finally there is the "Purpose Driven Church/Life" movement of Rick Warren. There are many others, but this will illustrate what I meant. I try not to waste time with heresy or apostacy like this, although I don't go around just looking for points to pick to pieces in preachers or evangelists.

If I have offended anyone by naming these movements and people, I apologize for doing so. I don't mention them in malice, but for information. I realize a lot of people support them and some are members of those movements and will disagree strongly with me. Please do some research on them with a heart open to God's showing you the truth about them, though. That's the way I found about them, researching them with an open heart to God to show me.

Mainly, get grounded and stay grounded in the Word using a sound translation like NKJV, NIV, NASV and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit to guide you away from those groups and people and protect you from error. Trust I John 2:7.

Mat Varnado