Which of These Crazy Jennifer LeClaire Quotes Did She NOT Say?

The following quotes from Charisma Magazine editor Jennifer LeClaire are all real, except for one that is totally fabricated. Remember, Dr. Michael Brown fully endorses Jennifer LeClaire and has gone to great lengths to protect her from criticism. Have fun guessing, and we hope you don't get nightmares from reading this: 

 

 1. "I believe people can release witchcraft word curses against you. I more than believe it, I know it because my inbox is full of them every week. People curse me, my family, my ministry and more with the wicked words of their mouth—most of the times these are Christians. A witchcraft word curse from a Christian, I believe, is more powerful than any curse from a witch because a believer's words carry an anointing."

2. "New Testament prophets consumed with the spirit of Jezebel continue to release fearful death threats in the form of judgments and curses that are not from God. Ashtoreth and Baal were married. So these spirits often share one another's characteristics. We must discern what we are dealing with. The prophets of Jezebel were puppets, probably among her messengers of doom."

3. "The Holy Spirit showed me that we are entering a season of shifting atmospheres, because the witchcraft spirit of Jezebel is merging with the spirit of religion. It's time to get prepared for the prophetic battle that will enable us to secure God's victory, but we cannot grow weary and become complacent. Jezebel is more patient, most of the time, than we are. We can curse our victory before it is secured-by our negative words."

4. "There was a prophet-killing spirit on the loose that had successfully muted the voice of true prophets and turned them into spiritual eunuchs. Without any true power or authority of their own, eunuchs live vicariously through Jezebel and draw their strength from the approval of Jezebel-or more specifically those flowing in a Jezebel spirit-rather than the approval of God."

5. "After this squid spirit attacked my friend, I went to her home to help her battle it. The attack was severe, but when I laid hands on her and commanded the squid to be bound, the most violent symptoms would cease. Of course, when you stand in the gap, you often take a hit. That squid spirit started stalking me. I ended up with a migraine during the battle—a manifestation of that mind control spirit—and was attacked in my mind for days afterwards."

6. "The Holy Spirit showed me that many times witchcraft against your mind can cause you to focus so much on the symptoms attacking your body that you can't extend your faith to receive God's healing power. In other words, if you aren't careful, when witchcraft attacks your mind you will wind up speaking and thinking about the infirmity rather than speaking and thinking about your healing, allowing the enemy to maintain the stronghold." 

 

Learn more about Jennifer Leclaire, Dr. Michael Brown and the "Sneaky Squid Spirit" on this fascinating episode of Fighting for the Faith: The Calamari Discord

Dr. Michael Brown Ruins His Credibility on His Own Facebook Wall, Then Deletes All the Evidence

Dr. Michael Brown (Sort of) Approves of These "Fine Christians..." Watch at your Own Risk!

"Beware of the Sneaky Squid Spirit" Says Jennifer LeClaire!

Jennifer LeClaire's Hypocritical Goofy Prophetic Pimping

For those of you who think it's mean and un-loving to criticize Jennifer LeClaire (or any other popular teacher) here's a list of Bible verses to consider: Shocking Stuff You're Not Supposed to Know.

Finally, here's an important article that will help you be more discerning and a lot less gullible: Defusing Demonic Dirty Bombs.

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Dr. Michael Brown Ruins His Credibility on His Own Facebook Wall, Then Deletes All the Evidence

On May 5th, 2017, Dr. Michael Brown interviewed Jennifer LeClaire on his call-in radio show "The Line of Fire," and after the interview segment was finished Chris Rosebrough called the show to ask Dr. Brown some tough questions about Jennifer LeClaire and her "Sneaky Squid Spirit." There was a brief and interesting exchange between the two men. 

I (Steven Kozar) wrote a blog post about the exchange where I said this about Dr. Michael Brown: "He's a hyper-charismatic cheerleader with a big microphone and a very gullible audience." (Here's the full blog post with audio of the "Sneaky Squid Spirit" exchange between Dr. Brown and Chris Rosebrough: Michael Brown Can't Defend "Sneaky Squid Spirit"-Repeatedly Changes the Subject)

Dr. Brown decided to make light of my quote and garner support from his Facebook friends by posting this:

TitleQuoteFromFacebook.jpg

 

I decided to comment on Dr. Brown's Facebook page and ask him some serious questions; here's a screenshot of my first comment plus a few more. I figured that as long as I might get through to a few Dr. Brown fans, I'd add two of my articles; by now some other people were starting to ask Dr. Brown some really good questions and make their own comments:

Chris Rice, A.K.A .The Museum Boy, really took Dr. Brown to task about the "Sneaky Squid Spirit." Also, notice how William George Metz's comment has been removed:

Here's where Dr. Brown responds to us; he starts with Chris Rice and really "steps in it" right from the start. His comment about studying God's Word (in Hebrew no less!) all the time is self-refuting: he's on Facebook responding to his own comments, but he says he studies God's Word (in Hebrew!) all the time. How can he write books, speak at conferences, host a daily radio show... when he's studying God's Word (in Hebrew!) all the time? Next, he says he went on Benny Hinn's show one time (but hey, haven't we all?) and anyway, how can he possibly have a clue what Benny Hinn teaches? Next he confirms his continued support for Jennifer LeClaire's "Sneaky Squid Spirit" saying that no chapter and verse in the Bible speaks against the Sneaky Squid Spirit, so who are we to question Jennifer LeClaire? Remember, Dr. Brown believes that a "Word from the Lord" is 100% from God, but it's not the "Word of God." Got it? (Neither does anyone else who isn't brain dead yet.) 

We could finish the article right here, because he's already destroyed his own credibility, but he's going to "step in it" even deeper before he finally abandons ship and deletes everything.

First, let's think about what Dr. Brown says about the "Sneaky Squid Spirit." Brown says "As for a sneaky squid spirit, first, I haven't heard Jennifer's actual words; I only heard what Chris (Rosebrough) represented. Second, on the face of it, I can't say if it's false or true... Please give me a chapter and verse that tells me to say there is no such thing." 

Chris Rice and I take about one minute to find and post a response with Jennifer LeClaire's ridiculous article from Charisma's website, the same website that Brown writes for. So Brown acts like he just doesn't have enough information (I guess he has not yet heard of "Google") and then he goes on to defend the Sneaky Squid Spirit because... (he actually said this): Scripture doesn't tell him that there's no such thing. Seriously, let that sink in for a moment. This man writes (many) books, hosts a daily call-in radio show and is the Grand Poo Ba of the College of Supernatural Wizardry or whatever it's called. Chris Rice rightly ridicules his idiotic argument by asking: "What's to stop me from saying there's a big purple demon named Larry who gives atomic wedgies? Under your standard I might be right, since the Bible doesn't speak against big purple demons named Larry who give atomic wedgies." 

Dr. Brown digs himself into an even deeper hole by telling Chris Rice that he has to prove from Scripture that the Sneaky Squid Spirit isn't real. Really. Brown makes one of his craziest comments here: "There are many unusual creatures described in the Bible, so based on sola scriptura, I can't say either way." This is the ranting of a delusional person. This is so incoherent that it's breathtaking. Brown is basically saying, "because of sola scriptura (Bible Only) we should believe in something that isn't in the Bible." 

Dr. Brown goes on to use a tactic that displays his lack of confidence in this conversation: he starts referring to other important scholars who have absolutely nothing to do with this Sneaky Squid Spirit discussion. I couldn't fit the whole exchange on one page, but here's most of it. Chris Rice has the last comment to which Dr. Brown doesn't reply to:

 

Now let's take a look at how Dr. Brown answered my initial comment (and he also responds as the older, more mature "bully" to Kevin Much's comment):

No surprise here: Dr. Brown brings up cessationism right away, even though I said this "has nothing to do with cessationism, but you always divert people's attention to that topic." I call this tactic "The Dr. Michael Brown Death Spiral." Crocodiles are not good at fighting on land, so they attack their prey in or near the water and drag them under. Then the crocodile starts violently spinning around under water, and quickly kills its prey. Dr. Brown wants to pull his "prey" into a cessationist battle whenever possible, because he's a highly skilled debater who knows how to "win" that battle. (Obviously, I'm not saying he's a violent person-I'm just using that as an analogy.) He then says "I rarely go after other believers on my radio show." Except for all the time he spends convincing everyone how terribly wrong cessationists are, that is. He brings up the Strange Fire book, and then tells me how he's been correcting errors in the charismatic camp for 40+ years. So he doesn't "go after believers" and he's really busy studying the Scriptures (in Hebrew!) all the time, but he's also been correcting a lot of errors in his own movement. I believe him when he says he's been addressing some errors, but the NAR movement (that he's right in the middle of) is a doctrinal train wreck, where any Christ-centered, Gospel-centric preaching is a rare exception. 

Now Dr. Brown gets to the one thing he may have been entirely correct about: I don't know how much money Heidi Baker makes, and she may not actually be getting rich off the church. She's a really bad false teacher (for sure), but I honestly have no information about her income. Sorry if I lumped her in wrongly with the others, as I was lumping together a bunch of NAR people he has associated with and made general claims about all of them in my comment. It's very interesting that he ignored my comment about them all twisting Scripture and he didn't refute the idea that all the other people I mentioned were getting rich off the church. In fact, he didn't remove my article about Kris Vallotton being a prosperity preacher for the entire time that this post was public. My guess is that he knows most of these people are somewhat shady, but for some reason he doesn't say anything. He called my comment "libelous" but he didn't refute most of it, just the "Heidi Baker getting rich"part. By the way, I do wonder how Heidi Baker can be living such a "sacrificial life" among the poorest of the poor (in Mozambique, no less!) when she's also on the speaking circuit for much of the year... 

Here's Heidi Baker doing whatever it is she does:

 

 

Before we go on to reveal more of Dr. Brown's blundering, let's talk about the little man in Dr. Brown's closet: Benny Hinn.

 

Dr. Brown has been avoiding, obfuscating and deflecting ever since he was on Benny's TV show. Here's the thing Dr. Michael Brown really hopes you don't know: he wrote a book against John MacArthur's book called "Strange Fire," which is a book packed with information about Benny Hinn. Brown's book was written specifically to refute the book "Strange Fire," it's called "Authentic Fire."

Do you think he read the book that he refuted? Of course-he had to read MacArthur's book!

Chapter 8 of MacArthur's book is called "Fake Healings and False Hopes" and it's largely about Benny Hinn. Here are some jpegs I took of the pages that refer to Benny Hinn and the false Word of Faith teaching he espouses:

Those are 17 pages with a lot of specific information about Benny Hinn. But Dr. Michael Brown says he doesn't know anything about Benny Hinn. He says it over and over and over. Oh, and by the way, chapter 8 has 69 different footnotes; lots of primary source information about the little man in Michael Brown's closet: Benny Hinn.

He really looks bad in this next comment to Martin Kantola; Brown says "I'm not here to defend or attack Benny Hinn. Next?" That's a combination of a bully tactic and a deflection tactic. Then Chris Rice asks him a similar question.

Then I specifically address the fact that he already knows what Benny Hinn teaches because he already read the Strange Fire book. Brown will attempt to answer me (without actually answering me) and then he'll delete my comment, and then just delete the whole post...

Here's Brown's answer to my comment. I went to bed and so this came while I was asleep; when I woke up my comments were gone, so this is a screenshot from my iPhone/email:

Basically, Dr. Brown ignores the essence of my question and says the same stuff he always says. 

  • "I'm too busy to do any research on any of the people I associate with. (But I'm a really great scholar and expert for 40+ years.)" 
  • "It's not my calling to be a 'heresy hunter' so I don't have to obey the Bible's clear instructions to 'test the spirits' and 'hold fast to sound doctrine' and 'exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict' and 'remove the evil person from among you...'" (Find these verses and many more HERE)
  • "Since I am unable to do lots and lots of research, I, therefore, can't do any research. Not even 15 minutes of research." 

Here's a screenshot of him going to great lengths to explain how he can never watch or read anything anyone sends him (Una Carapleades was asking Dr. Brown to watch THIS 15 minute video):

Dr. Brown also had a dialogue with Amy Spreeman, and his tactics were the same. Let's take a look:

Here's how Dr. Brown responded to Amy:

Dr. Brown is very clear that he supports the people that we were bringing to his attention (some more than others); especially people like Heidi Baker, Jennifer LeClaire and Bill Johnson. He then goes on to say that we are the real problem. Amy asks him a  more specific question before he gives his last reply to her (sorry for the low-resolution jpeg, it's all I could get):

Wow. He ends by saying "Again, I am NOT here to say whose ministries I like or do not like." This is a classic straw man argument; nobody asked him to tell us which ministries he "likes" as if we were chatting about our favorite flavor of ice cream! He can't say "I refuse to compare the teachings of these people to Scripture" because then he would be in big trouble, so he makes it sound like this whole discussion was about expressing personal preferences over minor issues. Dr. Brown gives many excuses, but the end result is that he knows and approves of certain people and you just have to trust him. 

Dr. Michael Brown refuses to look at any information that might threaten his currently held beliefs-he even tries to hide that information from his followers. But he wants everyone else to read his books and trust whatever he says. He suggests that if a video shows really bad things about one of his friends it must be a "misleading compilation." So when these false teachers say ridiculous and heretical things on video (from their own Youtube Channels and TV shows) it makes no difference

Dr. Brown's entire post was deleted in the middle of the night. All of his followers were spared from having their great leader exposed as a man full of contradictions and excuses. A few days later, Dr. Brown wrote a new post all about "heresy hunters" and this time he was quick to block me from commenting after just 13 minutes. 

I was able to make a few comments before my comments were removed and I was blocked (special thanks to Jeff Klock for his amazing comments!):

Here are two more intelligent comments that Dr. Brown quickly deleted (and there's good old Jeff Klock, "defending" Dr. Brown some more):

Here's how he treated Phil Johnson on Twitter around the same time:

 

 

 

Hopefully, the people who truly want to be discerning Bereans will find all of this information helpful. If all you ever see is Dr. Michael Brown's highly controlled Facebook feed (Twitter is similar), or if all you ever listen to is his highly controlled radio show, you're not getting the full picture.

It's time to stop listening to this man and return to a careful evaluation of everyone's teaching against the only trustworthy standard: God's Holy Word-The Bible.

 

Postscript: Dr. Brown is now busy telling his gullible listeners on his Line of Fire radio show that critics demanded he "condemn Jennifer LeClaire to Hell." This is yet another strawman argument. Nobody told Dr. Michael Brown to condemn anybody to Hell. Of course, his audience might believe him, since he deleted what we actually said. He also wants his gullible listeners to think we're "anonymous bloggers full of hate; religious Pharisees" you know, me, Amy Spreeman, Chris Rice and Chris Rosebrough, Phil Johnson, Marsha West, Anthony Wade... anonymous. He also claims that Jonathan Edwards would support the NAR/Signs & Wonders/Hyper-Charismatic movement. “And yet some people actually imagine that the revelation in God’s Word is not enough to meet our needs. They think that God from time to time carries on an actual conversation with them, chatting with them, satisfying their doubts, testifying to His love for them, promising them support and blessings. As a result, their emotions soar; they are full of bubbling joy that is mixed with self-confidence and a high opinion of themselves. The foundation for these feelings, however, does not lie within the Bible itself, but instead rests on the sudden creations of their imaginations. These people are clearly deluded. God’s Word is for all of us and each of us; He does not need to give particular messages to particular people.” -Jonathan Edwards


Many people are leaving the New Apostolic Reformation/Signs & Wonders/Hyper-Charismatic churches and telling their stories; you can read about them here: Leaving The NAR

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

— 1 John 4: 1

“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.”

— 1 Corinthians 14: 33

“An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?”

— Jeremiah 5: 30-31

“And her prophets have smeared whitewash for them, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ when the Lord has not spoken.”

— Ezekiel 22: 28

“Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have not exposed your iniquity
to restore your fortunes, but have seen for you oracles that are false and misleading.”

— Lamentations 2: 14

“For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”

— Matthew 24: 24

 

Kris Vallotton: Prosperity Preacher Exchanging Love for Wealth

Here's a blog post from Bethel Church's Senior Associate Leader (next to lead pastor Bill Johnson):

8 Signs of a Wealthy Mindset by Kris Vallotton

If you want to tickle itching ears with a prosperity/Word of Faith message it helps if you can talk out of both sides of your mouth. Vallotton is an expert. He begins his article by saying:  

"Do you know that God wants you to be wealthy? It may be contrary to what we’re usually taught in the church, but I believe that wealth is a sign of God’s blessing in your life, and it’s how we are made to live as children of the living King! Think about it, if your Dad rules the world, then you are royalty on this earth and have access to everything He has access to."

This is the same old Word of Faith/prosperity Gospel that has ruined millions of lives around the world, right? But then he says this:

"I want to make sure you’re understanding that I’m not talking about being rich. Although fruit of a wealth mindset is living in abundance, wealth is much bigger than simply having a lot of money."

Wait... I thought he just said that God wants us to be wealthy? This is where he starts talking about a thing he calls a "wealthy mindset." So is this about monetary wealth or isn't it? Yes. No. Depends on which sentence you read. Vallotton then says this:

"Wealth is a “can do” attitude, a “more than enough” mindset, and a “nothing is impossible” belief system. How do you know the mark of a wealth mindset? It displays itself through radical generosity, extraordinary compassion, sacrificial giving, and profound humility. Wealth is always thankful, never jealous, doesn’t brag, celebrates others and looks to the future with hope."

Doesn't that last sentence sound kind of like a Bible verse? Only the Bible uses the word "love" where Kris Vallotton uses the word "wealth."

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

— 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

Why in the world is he exchanging the Bible's clear teaching about love for a make-believe statement about wealth? Because Vallotton (like his buddy, Bill Johnson) is just another prosperity preacher. He doesn't care about mixing up words or teachings; he's got an agenda. He then goes on to list 8 things to determine if you have a poverty mindset or a wealthy mindset: 

1. Poverty lives for today, wealth leaves a legacy.

2. Poverty finds a problem in every opportunity; while wealth finds an opportunity in every problem.

3. Poverty feels entitled, while wealth feels empowered.

4. Poverty fears the future, while wealth makes history.

5. Poverty blames others for their condition, while wealth takes responsibility for things that aren’t their fault.

6. Poverty asks, “What are you going to do for me?” Wealth asks, “Who is worthy of my investment?”

7. Poverty hangs around with other disgruntled people who validate their accusations. Wealthy people surround themselves with other powerful influencers.

8. Poverty votes for candidates that increase their entitlements. Wealth elects officials who will sacrifice today’s comfort for tomorrow’s children.

Although Vallotton's teaching doesn't make it clear which comes first, a good attitude or a big pile of money, he is clearly teaching that wealthy people are better people. Wealthy people have good morals and good attitudes. Does the Bible teach this?

“Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.”

— James 5: 1-5

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
— Matthew 6: 19-21
And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.
— Luke 8: 13-14
Teach and urge these things. If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
— 1 Timothy 6: 2b-10
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
— 1 Timothy 6: 17-19

After he tells his readers to carefully consider his 8 points, he says this:

"I know that God wants to encounter you in the way you think about his abundant provision in your life! Invite Him in to speak to you about the ways He wants to pour out His resources in your life."

So, now that you know (for sure) that God wants you to be wealthy, you just need to invite God into the situation. God wants you to be wealthy, but His hands are tied until you do your part. For the icing on this heresy cake Vallotton takes a Bible verse and mangles it to be about our need to have a wealth mentality; he concludes with this:

"As it says in Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” I believe God wants to transform the way you think about this topic!"

Wow.

Kris Vallotton actually wants (gullible) people to believe that Romans 12: 2 is about how God wants us to be wealthy, but we need to change how we think in order for this to happen. 

Really?! 

The problem with this world is that nobody wants to be wealthy enough, so God wants to transform how we think about it??

News flash for Kris Vallotton: When the Bible tells us not to conform to the pattern of this world it means this: Do not conform to the pattern of this world!

Here's Kris bragging about his new sports car on Facebook:

2 Peter 2:1-3  “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”

Romans 16:18  “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.”

2 Corinthians 2:17  “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.”

2 Corinthians 11:13-15  “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.”

 

The day after Kris Vallotton posted this article Benny Hinn was all over the news, because federal investigators were searching his offices. Benny Hinn is a huge prosperity preacher and Kris Vallotton is following in his footsteps. Hinn was an honored guest speaker at Vallotton's Bethel Church earlier this year. Here's Benny Hinn and Vallotton's co-pastors, Bill and Benni Johnson:


Steven Furtick (and Craig Groeschel) Jump On Prosperity Bandwagon

Two of America's biggest and most influential Evangelical megachurch "rock star" pastors have officially jumped the shark and joined forces with full-on "prosperity pimp" Bill Winston

 

 

These guys pass themselves off as Bible-teaching pastors, but they have proven (yet again) that it's all about the money. Word of Faith teaching has no place in a real, Christ-centered, Christian church.

 

Here's an article about this pathetic excuse for "leadership" and "business training" from our friends at Pulpit and Pen:

Steven Furtick Goes Full-On Prosperity by Jeff Maples

 

For an extra-large dose of irony, here's a full-page advertisement from Christianity Today Magazine (May 2016) from the (poorly named) Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability:

"You can trust us! Why? Because we took out this expensive ad that says you can trust us!"


 

The Steven Furtick Cornucopia of False Teaching, Egomania and Hair Gel

Bill Winston, Steven Furtick and Craig Groeschel do NOT want you to read this: Shocking Stuff You're Not Supposed to Know!

Interview With Costi Hinn: Leaving Uncle Benny to (Really) Follow Jesus

Here's an absolutely fascinating interview with Benny Hinn's nephew, Costi Hinn. Costi went from being an insider in his world-famous uncle's ministry to being just a "regular" Bible-teaching pastor. Please listen and share this episode with your friends who need to hear the real Gospel message! 

Costi Hinn

Costi Hinn

Here is the website for Costi Hinn's church: Mission Bible Church 

Here is the media ministry website for Mission Bible Church: Equip the Saint

Costi Hinn's articles on Pulpit and Pen: Pulpit and Pen

His Twitter handle is: @costiwhinn


The Charles Finney Cornucopia of False Doctrine, Pelagianism & Evangelical Manipulation

Charles G. Finney (1792-1875) was the father of "Revivalism" in America, the most prominent preacher of the Second Great Awakening, and in many ways the father of modern Evangelicalism in America. He is often considered the predecessor of American Evangelists/Revivalists like D.L. Moody, Billy Sunday and Billy Graham. He was a successful lawyer who became a Christian as a young man and decided to use his considerable powers of persuasion to begin preaching, in spite of having little theological training.

 

If you've ever heard a preacher give an impassioned, emotionally manipulative sermon that ends with an irresistible plea to come forward and somehow make a decision to become a Christian, you've witnessed the lasting impact of Charles Finney. If you've ever felt that the church was ineffective in building God's Kingdom and what we really need is a big 'ole revival, you've been influenced by Finney. 

In overly simplistic terms, Finney was guilty of a form of "Pelagianism," which means he over-emphasized man's free will so much that the sovereignty of God (and God's ability to save) was virtually ignored. Finney believed that Christians could accomplish God's work by simply using their determination, so much so in fact, that he practically left God out of the equation:

 "A revival is not a miracle according to another definition of the term "miracle” — something above the powers of nature. There is nothing in religion beyond the ordinary powers of nature. It consists entirely in the right exercise of the powers of nature. It is just that, and nothing else. When mankind become religious, they are not enabled to put forth exertions which they were unable before to put forth. They only exert powers which they had before, in a different way, and use them for the glory of God. A revival is not a miracle, nor dependent on a miracle, in any sense. It is a purely philosophical result of the right use of the constituted means — as much so as any other effect produced by the application of means." -Charles Finney, (Lectures on Revival, Lecture 1, 11)

Worse than that, was Finney's unorthodox view of the atonement of Christ. Finney didn't believe in the substitutionary atonement, instead he believed that Christ's death on the cross was simply demonstrating obedience to God. Since Jesus was obedient enough to go all the way to death on the cross, we should do likewise. Christ didn't so much accomplish something on the cross (pay for our sins) as He was setting a good example for us to follow. This alters the meaning of the Gospel completely! This view of the atonement is usually called the "Moral Influence" theory. Not only did Finney believe that the "moral influence" theory of the atonement was the chief way of understanding the cross; he explicitly denied the substitutionary atonement, which he said:

"assumes that the atonement was a literal payment of a debt, which we have seen does not consist with the nature of the atonement ... It is true, that the atonement, of itself, does not secure the salvation of any one" -Charles G. Finney (Systematic Theology p.217).

If you've ever felt worn out and frustrated by the "do more, try harder" version of Christianity, this shocking news about Finney's beliefs might help you to understand what has gone wrong in much of American Evangelicalism. 

 

The following articles and videos are from various writers, theologians and pastors who all agree that Charles G. Finney had a number of very questionable beliefs, and it would do the church much good to carefully consider how Finney's ideas contrast with Holy Scripture. 

The Disturbing Legacy of Charles Finney by Michael Horton

Charles Finney’s Influence on American Evangelicalism-Exposing Charles Finney's Heretical Teachings by Bob DeWaay

Charles Finney's Influence on American Evangelicalism Radio Broadcast with Bob DeWaay

The Pelagian Controversy by R. C. Sproul

Charles G. Finney: Heretic or Man of God (Part one) by Richard Belcher

Charles G. Finney: Heretic or Man of God (Part two) by Richard Belcher

Charles G. Finney: Heretic or Man of God (Part three) by Richard Belcher

Finney: The Aftermath by Monte E. Wilson

A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing: How Charles Finney's Theology Ravaged the Evangelical Movement by Phil Johnson

Charles Finney The Father of American Evangelicalism lecture by Jeremy Rhode

Walther Versus Finney by Dr. Tom Baker

Charles G. Finney: How Theology Affects Understanding of Revival by Iain H. Murray

The Heresies of Charles Finney (Part one) by John Cereghin

The False Teachers: Pelagius by Tim Challies

  Charles G. Finney: How Theology Affects Understanding of Revival

 

Todd White Flees Rebuke of Homeschool Mom, Threatens to Call Police

Read this amazing first-hand account from a homeschool mom who dared to confront the hyper-charismatic superstar, Todd White:

Todd White Flees Rebuke of Woman, Threatens to Call Police by Cindy McCann in Pulpit & Pen

 

 

Read more about this false teacher:

Todd White- How to Read Your(self into the) Bible by Steven Kozar

Todd White Flips the Gospel Upside Down by Steven Kozar

Todd White is part of the New Apostolic Reformation: The New Apostolic Reformation Cornucopia of False Doctrine, Dominionism, Charismania and Deception

For those who think it's mean, judgmental and un-loving to criticize Todd White (or any other popular teacher) here's something just for you: Shocking Stuff You're Not Supposed to Know.

If you're having a knee-jerk reaction to try and defend Todd White, check out: Confirmation Bias: Why You Are Protecting Your False Beliefs.

Finally, here's an article that will help you be more discerning and a lot less gullible: Defusing Demonic Dirty Bombs.

The Seeker-Friendly, Purpose-Driven Cornucopia of False Doctrine

The "attractional" church model is so common that it's practically the norm; most Christians have assumed that it is the only valid way to "do church" nowadays, or they don't even know that other legitimate options exist. What is it? Simply put, this model of church starts with the idea that "normal" church is unattractive and can't bring in new people, so exciting new ideas must be implemented in order to get people in the door. Once people show up for the attractive and entertaining aspects, they'll eventually hear a gospel message and they'll "accept Jesus in their hearts" (or something to that effect).

This philosophy makes a number of assertions and assumptions right from the start:

  • The needs and sensibilities of the unbeliever should determine the strategy of the church. 
  • All of the churches in history (up till now) were doing it wrong: too old-fashioned, too boring, too stiff, too negative, too much doctrine, too ritualistic, etc.
  • People would be glad to go to church, but it's just too "churchy." All we need to do is tone down all the religious stuff, make it fun and "relevant" and people will show up.
  • A church should focus on meeting people's needs through "life skills," "success," "psychological therapy" and "leadership" training, and it should help it's members become "purpose-driven" people who can "accomplish their destiny." A church doesn't need to preach repentance and the forgiveness of sins anymore; or if it does, it must radically alter the language to appease unbelievers. 
  • Numerical growth is proof of God's blessing; lack of numerical growth is proof that God is not involved.
  • In order to build the church, God needs "vision-casting" pastors, and these pastors must then command their followers to do the work required by the "vision" that God gave them.   

Robert Schuller (1926-2015) is probably the man most responsible for establishing the Attractional, Seeker-Friendly, Purpose-Driven church model; although a case could be made that Henry Emerson Fosdick (1878-1969) really laid the foundation. Schuller removed many of the "negative" aspects of Christianity like Christ dying on the cross to atone for our sin, hell, God's anger and God's wrath; and replaced it with the Positive Thinking philosophy he borrowed directly from his mentor, Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993). Here's an article with more detail: Robert Schuller and The Seeker Sensitive Church-The Roots and Fruits of Robert Schuller's Version of Theological Liberalism by Bob DeWaay

At a very fundamental level, Schuller believed that because modern people didn't care about their eternal salvation anymore, the church should reach them by appealing to the things that did matter to them; things like their self-esteem and their earthly success and happiness. 

The church must develop a theology for mission. I don’t think it’s done that. I accept John 3:16 as a good one if people have a fear of hell. Maybe they have, but I find a lot of secular people haven’t. At what point can I find a button to push so that I can reach them? I think their desire for self-esteem is that button.
— Robert Schuller interviewed in Christianity Today, Aug. 10,1984
I don’t think anything has been done in the name of Christ and under the banner of Christianity that has proven more destructive to human personality and hence counterproductive to the evangelistic enterprise than the unchristian, uncouth strategy of attempting to make people aware of their lost and sinful condition.
— Robert Schuller “Dr. Schuller Comments,” (letter to the editor), Christianity Today, October 5, 1984, pp. 12-13

A New Reformation? The Christian Research Institute Examines the Theology of Robert Schuller

After Schuller established the Crystal Cathedral and his T.V. Show "The Hour of Power" came a couple of young pastors who took his ideas and implemented them on an even larger scale: Bill Hybels and Rick Warren. Both of these men learned about growing a church directly from Schuller when they were starting their new churches. Although Schuller was often viewed with skepticism by many Evangelicals (because he had so clearly altered and reduced the Gospel message), both Hybels and Warren have maintained more mainstream reputations as genuine Evangelicals and have escaped much scrutiny. But when examined more carefully, the Mega-Church/Attractional model they brought to full fruition in Willow Creek Church (Hybels) and Saddleback Church (Warren) is not really an orthodox, Biblical Church; it's a strange hybrid that ends up creating more problems than it solves.

Rick Warren and his wife, Kay, attended Robert Schuller's "Institute for Church Growth" in 1979 while Warren was in his last year of seminary. In a 2002 interview for Christianity Today Magazine, Kay Warren said this of their visit to the institute: "He (Schuller) had a profound effect on Rick. We were captivated by his positive appeal to non-believers. I never looked back." (Christianity Today, Nov. 18, 2002) Rick Warren, however, has been strangely silent about the obvious influence that Schuller has had on him.

A big problem with the Mega-Church message is that it's a watered-down and neutered message. This Christianity is focused on meeting the "felt needs" of people, but the Gospel message is about how Christ gave His life as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. He didn't die on the cross to give us purpose or make us successful. The true and complete Gospel must be preached so that people can hear the Word of God and can understand the weight of their sin; it's only from that point that people have the opportunity to repent and have their sins forgiven. In the worse case, "Mega-Church" scenario, the message confuses people into thinking that becoming a Christian is simply "accepting" Jesus so that He can make you more complete, or more satisfied. As an example of this, Rick Warren had a chance to preach a gospel message to a gigantic audience at a TED Talk in 2008, but he choose to preach a feel-good, non-Christian message instead: 

So the good life is not about looking good, feeling good, or having the goods. It’s about being good and doing good. The bottom line is that God gets pleasure watching you be you. Why? He made you. And when you do what you are made to do, He goes, ‘That’s my boy.’ ‘That’s my girl.’ You are using the talent and the ability that God gave you. So my advice to you is look at what is in your hand, your identity, your influence, your income. And say, ‘It’s not about me; it’s about making the world a better place. Thank you.
— Rick Warren, TED Talk, February, 2006

(Here's the complete TED Talk given by Rick Warren in February, 2006)

 

Here's an example of Andy Stanley freely admitting that he uses "attractional" messages to get people to attend his Mega-Church:

People are not on a truth quest; they are on a happiness quest. They will continue to attend your church - even if they don’t share your beliefs - as long as they find the content engaging and helpful.
— Andy Stanley

One of the most striking characteristics of the Attractive, Seeker-Friendly church is the constant emphasis on LEADERSHIP. This is not surprising, since much of the philosophy behind this church model is not based on the Bible-it's based on business principles. The non-Christian business guru  Peter Drucker (1909-2005) has probably had more influence on this idea of church than any single pastor. Read: Peter Drucker's Mega-Church Legacy. Both Hybels and Warren refer to Drucker as their primary mentor. Here's a quote from Bill Hybels book "Courageous Leadership" that clearly portrays his near-idolatry of leadership:

I believe that the great tragedy of the church in our time has been its failure to recognize the importance of the spiritual gift of leadership. It appears to me that only a fraction of pastors worldwide are exercising the spiritual gift of leadership, organizing the church around it, and deploying church members through it. The results, in terms of church growth and worldwide spiritual impact, are staggering.
— Bill Hybels

 

The following two videos are based on the excellent "White Horse Inn" radio program:

The Beth Moore Cornucopia of False Doctrine, Mysticism, and Impassioned Frenzy

Beth Moore is a mainstream Evangelical superstar who speaks with an impassioned frenzy that inspires many women to become fanatical followers. She is not (officially) a pastor or theologian, but she serves both of those functions for millions and millions of people in the church. She first gained popularity in the 1990's when her theology was viewed as middle-of-the-road, Bible-based, Baptist teaching, but her teaching has become more mystical and subjective over the years. Beth Moore sometimes refers to her own direct conversations with God in order to establish and validate her teachings, and she emphasizes unity in the church over sound teaching about important doctrinal matters. Moore has partnered with and endorsed Word of Faith false teachers like Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen and Christine Cain, and she is featured prominently on TBN:

A Manifesto of Christian Discernment

We will maintain a healthy skepticism towards all the big-name leaders in the church. No matter how famous a Christian celebrity might be, we refuse to be gullible just because someone has become a "brand name." 

We will check everything any pastor/teacher says against God's Word, and when it comes to the most powerful, multimillionaire "Super Pastors," we will assume the worst until convinced otherwise. 

"Pastor" David Hughes

"Pastor" David Hughes

We refuse to be impressed or motivated by storytelling, drama and entertainment. God and His written Word is the only acceptable focus of a worship service-not the manipulations of men. We will not tolerate idiotic stunts in order to "bring the unsaved to church." We will not tolerate false humility and claims of direct revelation from any pastor/teacher. Any pastor/teacher that claims to hear "something new" directly from God will be immediately disqualified. No second chances.

We don't need you.  We understand that you need a constant influx of new and gullible listeners, but we refuse to participate. 

"Pastor" Steven Furtick

"Pastor" Steven Furtick

A pulpit and a microphone should only be used to direct attention to Christ, not towards a pastor who loves the attention of an audience. A large church platform does not give any pastor the right to amass power and enlarge their bank account. Pastors must tell the truth, all the time-not just when it advances their career.

"Pastor" ED YOUNG JR.

"Pastor" ED YOUNG JR.

  • Stop telling people "it's all about Jesus" when you actually talk more about yourself and your ideas. 
  • Stop bragging about how much you're doing for God. 
  • Stop bragging about how great your church is. 
  • Stop bragging about how you started out with just a few people meeting in your living room and "now we have (x) number of people coming!" 
  • Stop bragging about the guest speaker-he's a sinner, too. (We know you just want to get invited to his church so you can make a pile of money.)
  • Stop bragging about your best-selling book. 
  • Stop bragging about your celebrity friends.
"Pastor" Eddie Long (who died mysteriously)

"Pastor" Eddie Long (who died mysteriously)

Pastor, you're a sinner that deserves God's wrath, just like the rest of us. Jesus took the punishment we deserve upon Himself to set us free from sin and death; you didn't do anything. Either tell us about the true Gospel or we will go elsewhere, with zero regrets. 

We are all on equal footing; no pastor should be getting rich from his parishioners.

  • You are not a rock star, you're a servant of Jesus Christ.
  • You are not a CEO, you're a servant of Jesus Christ.
  • You are not a motivational speaker, you're a servant of Jesus Christ. 
The ridiculous and obscene mansion of "Pastor" T. D. Jakes

The ridiculous and obscene mansion of "Pastor" T. D. Jakes

Any pastor/teacher who misuses the Bible should be removed from ministry. Period. We realize that this rarely takes place, but we will work towards that goal, as much as possible.

Pastors:

  • Stop taking Bible verses out of context to support your own personal agenda. 
  • Stop spending so much time putting on a good show each Sunday that you're not studying the Bible. 
  • Stop emphasizing leadership skills as if you were running a large corporation; you're cheapening the church and starving your sheep. 
  • Stop using marketing gimmicks and promotional tricks to imitate a genuine work of God. 
  • Stop apologizing for the Bible while you pander to newcomers who aren't being told the full story of their sin and need for salvation. 
  • Stop embarrassing us by trying to be cool, relevant and modern. Just preach the Word.
  • Stop thinking that nobody will show up if you don't tickle people's ears to get them in the door. 
  • Stop relying on musicians to create a fake "Holy Spirit;" you should be more concerned about the Biblical training (and eternal fate) of these musicians rather than just using them as part of the Sunday morning "show."
  • Stop giving motivational speeches that promise success in the name of God.
  • Stop telling people to tithe in order to get God to do something. God is sovereign.
  • Stop using tithing as a false promise of guaranteed prosperity to your parishioners and as a means to fill your own wallet. If you didn't have such an expensive "church" to run, you wouldn't need so much money.
  • Stop manipulating people-start serving them.
  • Stop pointing to yourself-point to Jesus.
  • Stop referring to your own thoughts and ideas-start referring to God's Word alone.
  • Stop putting people under the burden of the Law-point people to the freedom that only the Gospel brings.

In Conclusion, 

We will seek out the pastor who faithfully serves God and proclaims repentance and the forgiveness of sins in Jesus' name. God's Word alone will be our guide. It will be our joy to serve faithfully under a real, Biblical pastor, no matter what. God help us all, in the great name of Jesus.

 


Titus 1:7-11  “For the overseer must be above reproach as God's steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain.”

James 3: 1 "Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness." 

Titus 2:1 “But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.”

2 Timothy 4:1-4  “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

2 Timothy 4:16  "Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

Romans 16:18  “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.”

2 Corinthians 2:17  “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.”
 

 

A Very Confused "Word of Faith" Man Writes Me An Email

Here's an email I just received from a well-meaning, but very confused man; he didn't write this to ask my opinion or start a conversation-he wrote this to correct me. Specifically, he wanted to correct my recent article The Hyper-Charismatic House of Cards-Let It Fall and Be Free. I decided to respond to his false "Word of Faith" doctrine in this article, because I hope it will be helpful for people who are trying to think through these issues. This man's words are in bold and my comments are in italics and in parenthesis:

Hi Steven,
While you likely meant well with your post titled the "Hyper-Charismatic House of Cards", you are actually doing more harm than good. While there are many excesses and problems in the charismatic church, there is an underlying spiritual reality that they have built these ministries upon
(this is simply a gigantic assertion; this "underlying spiritual reality" is never defined or proven from Scripture). Think about how Satan operates - he takes something good that God has created and provided and corrupts it and distorts it so that it no longer functions properly. In doing so, Satan is then able to discredit God's original working or plan or intention and seed the sin of unbelief in its place (so these charismatics are almost completely smothered in the lies of Satan, but they also have great power against Satan?). By going along with the lie that there is so much smoke in the church and no real fire, you are promoting the anti-christ agenda (No, I'm pointing people back to Christ and Him crucified for our sins, as opposed to the confusing charismatic world that is largely incapable of fending off imposters and frauds and is often guilty of ignoring Christ and Him crucified for our sins.).

It is really hard to separate the false from the true, and in fact without the Holy Spirit's guidance and the Bible as a spiritual mirror it is impossible
(Actually, it's not that hard, charismatics make it hard by constantly adding new revelation that competes with God's Word. They love their personal revelation and signs and wonders so much that simple Bible study is neglected, or the Bible gets misinterpreted in order to confirm their false teachings.). Take 'word of faith' doctrine as one example. Word of faith teaches that God created the universe by speaking it into existence, and He created us in His image and likeness. Given that Jesus received all authority in heaven and on earth from the Father and made us joint heirs with Him, we also have access to that same power (That's just another ridiculous assertion. Let's use that same deeply flawed logic in a similar way: "Given that Jesus received all authority in heaven and on earth from the Father and made us joint heirs with Him, we also have the ability to raise ourselves from the dead." or: "..we also have the ability to throw ourselves down from the pinnacle of the temple so the angels can catch us."). If you study the relevant Scriptures (Chapter and verse, please..), you will find that this is unrestricted power and authority (Really? UNRESTRICTED POWER AND AUTHORITY?? Why didn't Jesus or any of the Apostles tell us about our ability to speak things into existence with our unrestricted power and authority?). Now if you stumble over the sin of unbelief by refusing to believe what the Bible says this regard, you will not be able to activate your faith so as to speak and receive from the Father (Why are you bothering to write this email? Why argue your point using thoughts and words? Why are you not using your UNLIMITED POWER AND AUTHORITY to declare whatever it is you want to come true? You should just "declare that Steven Kozar will remove his article from the internet because it is causing unbelief!" Don't you have enough faith?)

While it is true that many teachers have abused this spiritual truth (What "spiritual truth?" The spiritual truth of casting spells with our unlimited power & authority?) by pandering to baser human nature while teaching this, that abuse does not invalidate the teachings found in Scripture (except that they are not found in Scripture). However, if we fall into unbelief on account of that abuse then that biblical truth is nullified and can have no power in our lives. See Psalms 78:41 and following verses for context and Hebrews 3 for further Biblical discussion of this concept. (These verses have NOTHING to do with Word of Faith doctrine or how we must activate our faith so we can have unlimited power & authority. These verses are about becoming disobedient and having a hardened heart. Wait a minute-is that supposed to be for me?!)

Kind regards,

(I didn't include his name)

For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.
— 2 Thessalonians 2: 11-12

The Hyper-Charismatic House of Cards: Let It Fall and Be Free

If you've been a part of a church that adheres to some of the "New Apostolic Reformation/Signs and Wonders" teachings, there's a good chance that you have nagging doubts and concerns that keep popping up from somewhere in the back of your mind.

That's actually good.

For example, you've been told something like this: The Christian who gets baptized in the Holy Spirit, speaks in tongues and then... jumps aboard the hyper-charismatic NAR/Signs & Wonders bandwagon, will get a bunch of things that "regular" Christians don't have. You've gone to a lot of services, conferences & revival meetings so you can get "the anointing," and you've read a lot of "anointed" books and watched a lot of "anointed" TV and video presentations. And now you're supposed to have more. More blessings; more power; more prosperity; more confidence; more effectiveness; more intimacy with God... on top of that you've been taught to keep asking God for more because God is waiting to see how hungry and desperate you are before He does anything more

But admit it, you don't really have more of those things. In fact, you probably have more questions, more confusion, and more doubts.

  • You've heard these teachers prophesy about things that didn't come true at all.
  • You've been promised things that you didn't receive.
  • You've "sowed financial seeds" into ministries with zero results.
  • You've used the "power of your words" to claim things that you never got.
  • You've been given "prophetic words" that were basically just cheap fortune-telling tricks (without the crystal ball). 
  • You've tried to "speak things into existence" with zero success, but you're afraid to say anything because you've been taught that you'd be making things even worse if you speak about it.
  • You've been told that God really really really wants to make all your dreams come true. Really.
  • You were supposed to have something "activated" (faith; understanding; miracles; anointing...) but nothing actually happened. Nagging doubts are all that got "activated."
  • There was supposed to be a "shift in the atmosphere" but you're not even sure what that means.
  • You've been told about the gigantic new "move of the spirit" that's right around the corner... for a decade or two (or three) now.
  • You've been told that being a Christian is all about finding your Destiny So You Can Change The World. How's that working for you? Are you exhausted and disillusioned yet?
  • You've been wondering why the people on stage have all of these amazing stories to tell, but God hasn't done those things in your life. "What's wrong with me?" is a common thought of yours.
  • You've got a stack of books and/or DVDs that claim to give you the magic formula that leads to more. But only the person selling those things got more... of your money. 

On top of these personal difficulties and inconsistencies, you've watched men and women who were supposed to be great spiritual leaders prove themselves to be regular sinners with all of their divorces, financial scandals and confusing teachings that seem to get made up on the spot. These are the people who claim to have great power because they get "built up in the Holy Spirit" by speaking in tongues, and they know the secret key to "resist the devil" and get radical results. Bill Johnson even claims that he can change the atmosphere of a room just by walking in the door. They know exactly how to brag about their amazing walk with God while maintaining a facade of humility.

But lets be honest. These are people just telling stories on a stage; they're really professional speakers. They have little to no proof of all the amazing things they claim to have done. All the miracles happen somewhere else (and nobody takes a video). These people are very good at telling compelling stories. They are very good at sounding humble as they attract and retain more followers for themselves. "Aw shucks, it's all the Lord; but He works through me a lot more than He does through you" is the overall attitude.

  • These kind of false teachers have to keep propping each other up with endorsements and guest speaking invitations for each other.
  • They have to keep talking about the new and better thing (that they just invented), so that you'll continue showing up for the next meeting or conference.
  • They have to use and repeat spiritual sounding catch-phrases, in order to replace the sound teachings of scripture.
  • They have to have yet another "greatest conference ever" (until the next one) so that they can make money by selling more tickets and books.
  • They require an audience full of gullible and emotionally dependent people. "Just Trust Us" is the underlying theme to everything they say and do. 
  • They have to promote all this stuff with very expensive and manipulative video commercials that constantly tug at your heartstrings.
  • The one thing they can't have is this: you realizing that your ears are getting tickled, while your soul is being drained.
Pop_Haydn_the_Shell_Game_by_Billy_Baque.JPG

It's a house of cards.

 

You've been tricked. You've been sold a bill of goods. You've been bamboozled.

 

Now it's time to move on and find rest. Rest in the true freedom that comes from the unaltered Gospel: Jesus died on the cross to pay for your sins. You've been forgiven of your sins, not because of anything you've done, but because Jesus took your place on the cross. You can stop trying to be more desperate to show God how serious you are (yet again). You can stop trying to be more passionate than you were the last time you mustered up a bunch of passion. You can stop trying so hard to feel something to convince yourself of God's presence. You can stop wondering why you still haven't gotten your "breakthrough." You can stop trying to get a "fresh word from the Lord." You can stop trying to figure out your Destiny so you can Change The World. 

God does not require these things from you, and He never has. You've been ensnared by the teachings of men. 

bible-quotes-about-flowers-quotesgram.jpeg

So here's the bottom line to this article: If you're confused by all the stuff you've been taught, start reading your Bible again, and stop listening to all the people who've been telling you these things. Just take a little time off and see what happens. Here's a truly radical idea: read entire books of the New Testament all of the way through (most of them are really short). If God's Word is actually God's Word, then He will you use it to speak to you. Stop trying to hear God's voice in your constantly changing imagination; the Word of God is unchanging and it's outside of you, and that's a very good thing. Clear out all the false teachings that have cluttered up your mind and discover the simple Gospel message. 

He's given you His Word, now simply read it and be free!

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
— Ephesians 2: 4-10
But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.
— John 15: 26
Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.
— Colossians 2: 18-19
If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.
— 1 Timothy 6: 3-5
And yet some people actually imagine that the revelation in God’s Word is not enough to meet our needs. They think that God from time to time carries on an actual conversation with them, chatting with them, satisfying their doubts, testifying to His love for them, promising them support and blessings. As a result, their emotions soar; they are full of bubbling joy that is mixed with self-confidence and a high opinion of themselves. The foundation for these feelings, however, does not lie within the Bible itself, but instead rests on the sudden creations of their imaginations. These people are clearly deluded. God’s Word is for all of us and each of us; He does not need to give particular messages to particular people.
— Jonathan Edwards

If you found this interesting and thought-provoking, you might also enjoy the following articles:

Assertions and Assumptions are NOT the Foundation of the Church

Cognitive Dissonance and the Silly Putty Jesus

The false teachers who have invaded many of the Pentecostal and charismatic churches do NOT want you to know about The Charismatic Day of Infamy!

Marcia Montenegro: Astrologer Overtaken by the Love of God

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Here's a fascinating interview with Marcia Montenegro, a former professional astrologer for 8 years and teacher of astrology; a former practitioner for many years of Eastern-type meditation and beliefs, and who engaged in various occult practices such as having a spirit guide and doing astral travel:

Here is Marcia's website:

Christian Answers for the New Age