“We have a president capable of standing in the rain and saying it was a sunny day,” John Oliver recently observed on Last Week Tonight, as he called Donald Trump a “pathological liar”. But what if he isn’t lying? What if his press secretary, Sean Spicer, is correct when saying that Trump really believes that what he says is true?
It should be clear by now that Trump doesn’t subscribe to a conventional notion of truth, related to verifiable facts and an independently existing reality. For Trump, truth is subordinate to attitude, an attitude that can be modified at will. This whimsical notion comes straight from Norman Vincent Peale, an American minister and motivational speaker who was close to the Trump family, even officiating at Trump’s first marriage, with Ivana. In his 1952 bestseller, The Power of Positive Thinking, Peale presents a simple and “workable philosophy” to help people live more effective and successful lives. The technique is simple: “prayerise, visualise, actualise”. By using this technique you can overcome defeat and take control over the circumstances of your life
Archive for the 'False Doctrine' Category
I suspect the Lord tailors his teaching to our different capabilities of learning. But while the way we learn may be unique to each individual, the overall intent of the lesson will always be the same: an understanding that conforms to God’s nature and purposes that can be confirmed through a proper addressing of scripture.
But the intended outcome is never knowledge for the sake of knowledge, but deeper relationship with Him and others.
Throughout my Christian life I’ve learned a lot through experience, making a lot of mistakes and taking many wrong paths before stepping back to consider why things went so unexpectedly wrong.
Perhaps out of that, the most important thing the Lord has opened up to me is the need to test everything. What Paul wrote with regard to prophecy can be applied to all areas of revelation and learning: “Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil”.
It’s very easy to be attracted by something “good” and then fall for something “evil” – IF we bypass the testing.
I think back around 30 years ago when I was hooked by word of faith teaching. The thing that caught my attention and drew me in was a LEGITIMATE understanding of faith.
A group of friends were bombarding me with arguments recommending the Copelands’ WOF teachings, and in the process (despite their arguments rather than because of them – and I wish I’d realised that at the time) I finally understood something about faith that took it out of the realm of wishful thinking and to a place of greater certainty.
I suddenly saw that Christian faith was simply believing God and His word even when sensory and intellectual evidence seemed to be “proving” something else.
That was the good and if I’d stopped there and studied the Word for myself I might have avoided the bad: a lot of false teaching that took me in a wrong direction. But instead of searching the scriptures for myself to develop my understanding, I searched the Copeland’s teachings and relied on the particular spin THEY placed on the “faith message”.
What I find disappointing now is that I could see that a large portion of their teaching was (at best) questionable, but I pushed my reservations aside.
I can now recognise that by taking that path I wasn’t really believing God and His word, (as per that revealed understanding of faith) I was “believing” what Copeland told me ABOUT God’s word, without actually checking it out for myself to see if he was addressing it correctly, according to its intended context.
I said above that Christian faith is simply believing God and His word. Yes it IS as simple as that. But what is not necessarily so simple is being sure that it is REALLY God and His Word that we are believing. It is extremely easy to pick up wrong ideas that create a distorted understanding of God, and that is where so much of WOF teaching is in error. Its view of God and his purposes are created out of selected parts of scripture, usually applied with no consideration for the intended context of those scripture portions.
It is essential that we develop an overview – an understanding of the broad scope of scripture, and not be satisfied with bits and pieces that seem to support what we want to believe.
Here is a link to a very interesting article that I think fits well with one of my earlier posts that I called “Christian’s Don’t Lie”.*
One part of this article that I found interesting relates to conspiracy claims that Bible texts are being altered. The author points out one reason for this idea gaining traction: a lack of knowledge of what the Bible actually DOES say – and a reliance on memory, or secondary sources for bible knowledge.
When someone eventually looks to scripture – maybe as a result of being told that certain texts have been changed, they will see that the Bible says something different to what they THOUGHT it said, which to some confirms the conspiracy.
An example is given of a verse in Isaiah 11 about the lion lying with the lamb. It’s a well-known biblical statement, and yet when we go to our bible we’ll see it is different. However it has ALWAYS been different to what it is commonly believed to say.
I think the very fact that people can believe the Bible is being changed is a reflection of how little the Bible has been read, and therefore how little GENUINE Bible knowledge they have. It’s therefore not surprising that people are so easily tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine.
If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?(Luke 11:11-13)
Here we have the wonderful promise of a gift, available to those who ask. And it’s not just any gift; it is the gift of the Holy Spirit Himself, given by the Father.
But how many actually ASK for that gift and expect to receive? And how many merely assume they’ve already been given and have received the gift, despite a lack of asking and despite a lack of evidence of the receiving?
Would the Holy Spirit come into our lives without being noticed?
The effects of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers are illustrated throughout the book of Acts and also in Paul’s letters, such as the familiar chapters 12-14 in 1 Corinthians. If we have received the Spirit, shouldn’t we be experiencing and displaying something similar?
Sadly the promise in Luke, quoted above, has not only been ignored by many, it has also been misused by a growing number to justify some very strange practices and ideas that don’t have a biblical foundation. The assumption they make is that they couldn’t experience anything not of God, if they’ve been seeking manifestations of the Spirit’s work.
I’ve come across several people who have quoted those verses to “prove” that the strange things they accept are ok, including one local pastor whose church had experienced the appearance of gold dust during one of their meetings.
While I saw problems with his confidence in the legitimacy of that experience, I also found it difficult to challenge his assurance based on the fore-mentioned promise, until I found examples of when man’s error and disobedience had led to God giving something other than what had been expected.
This is one example related to some people who assume they’ve been exercising Spiritual gifts :
“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. 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?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
I see another example in 2 Thess 2:
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie
Those verses show we have a choice, and that choice relates to a “love of the truth”. Without that “love of the truth” we will be susceptible to delusion and ultimately God Himself will be the sender of that delusion.
In the case of present day charismatics, they need to consider, whether it is REALLY the Holy Spirit they are seeking. Or are they seeking manifestations and experiences being promoted by their teachers. They also need to consider whether they desire the truth MORE than those manifestations and experiences. Are they willing to seek the truth by searching the scriptures themselves and testing those teachings, manifestations and experiences?
Returning to the promise that opened this article, I think other parts of scripture make it clear: if someone refuses to love the truth, God may give something much worse than stones, serpents or scorpions.
The details in the article referenced below show there is more than dodgy far-right political ideology driving the Ted Cruz camp.
Its theology is arguably FAR more disturbing.
Once again, during this campaign season in America, the doctrines of Dominionism held by diverse segments of the evangelical world have taken front and center stage. The leaven of the 7 mountain teaching continues to percolate throughout the entire political process.
Six years ago Dr. Orrel Steinkamp and the Discernment Research Group wrote a series of articles about the rapid assimilation of Dominionist teachers/preachers into the American political process. We warned that certain formerly obscure groups – Mike Bickle’s International House of Prayer (IHOP) and C. Peter Wagner’s New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) with their Latter Rain cult roots – were mainstreaming their theology into the political process via large-scale media events, an orchestrated youth movement, and even entering the machinations of political campaigns. All of this was being fueled by prominent voices in the Christian Right promoting the 7 mountain strategy of building the kingdom of God on earth, starting with turning America into a “Christian” nation.
(My emphasis in the last sentence above – Tim)
7 Mountains Hit the Campaign Trail
Here is a very brief overview of the current situation. There is a YouTube video of the 7 mountain beliefs and “transfer of wealth” teachings of “apostle” Rafael Cruz, father of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz who is running for president. In Bruce Wilson’s Oct. 17, 2013 article titled “Ted Cruz’s Father Suggested His Son Is ‘Anointed’ to Bring About ‘End Time Transfer of Wealth’
(Again, my emphasis in the last phrase above – Tim)
see complete article here:
Thanks to my friend Roger for bringing this article to my attention.
The majority of the long article at the link below addresses the subject of “the rapture” but I think it has value beyond that single topic. It also looks into the wider issue of how easily we allow ourselves to accept teachings that lack a biblical foundation.
As I read it, I found a lot of my own experience being described, including the way my understanding of “the rapture” and the Tribulation period changed completely when I put aside what I’d been taught at church (and through popular books) and spent time learning what scripture actually said about the matter.
No doctrine can be established by applying different principles to similar texts, nor by overlaying scripture with an interpretation derived from another, dissimilar, part of the bible. We must not “read between the lines” when the lines themselves state the obvious. Nor do we have the freedom to extrapolate from the given text something that it does not teach, even when that doctrine appears elsewhere in the bible.
The scripture means what it says. We can’t turn it around, play with words, and mould it into something else. I have personally experienced this very thing. I even participated in it, to my shame.
In the day when I was deluded by the Word-of-Faith groups, I used to wink at their mishandling and twisting of scripture, because it confirmed my/their beliefs. I refused to listen to reason, or to anyone who said otherwise. I got defensive, angry even, at those who tried to open my eyes.
I remember sitting in conferences, and listening to audio tapes, and as somebody who knew the bible well my mind gave a little jolt when I heard these WoF teachers interpret the bible texts to mean something fanciful and wild. But I overlooked it! I winked at it! I excused them.
I told myself, “well they must be right because they know more than I do, and anyway, this teaching is very positive and uplifting and it makes me feel good.”
I didn’t WANT to be dissuaded.
I had the same sense of angry indignation when any of my friends tried to argue me out of WoF. I got hot, defensive, loud in the defense of my preferred interpretation (while inside having a few niggling doubts.)
Indeed, the more my doubts grew, the more defensive and aggressive I became. I was, in effect, putting my fingers in my ears and singing LaLaLaLa! I didn’t WANT to be persuaded!
Eventually, God shook me awake.
read complete article here:
SECOND WARNING – BILL JOHNSON and BETHEL CHURCH
by Andrew Strom
A couple of years ago we sent out a Warning itemizing a number of facts about Bill Johnson’s ministry and Bethel church in Redding. Numerous witnesses and videos from Bethel show that this church is spreading an “anointing” very similar to Todd Bentley – ie. spiritual ‘drunkenness’, jerking, hysterical laughter, “angel orbs”, ‘fire tunnels’, spirit travel, mystical “portals”, etc. Plus constant talk in their ministry school of bizarre angel encounters and trips to the ‘third heaven.’ All of it has an extremely ‘New Age’ feel. And it is still going on today. (But even worse – as we shall see).
Bill Johnson strongly defended Todd Bentley – even after his divorce and remarriage. No wonder, for the ‘anointing’ that both men carry seems almost identical (though their “style” is very different). These facts are beyond dispute and have been confirmed by many witnesses.
But whenever I say such things about Bill Johnson, people rush to defend him, saying what a ‘great guy’ he is, and what a great ministry he has. And yes – he is a very charming man who does
say good things. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t be so dangerous. Deception always wraps itself in the best “sheep’s wool” it can find. Otherwise it would have no chance of deceiving the sheep! Why do you think the Bible warns of “SEDUCING” spirits in the Last Days – and‘LYING’ signs and wonders? If the deception was not so ‘seductive’ then nobody would fall for it. And this stuff is very seductive indeed
Complete article here: http://www.revivalschool.com/second-warning-bill-johnson-and-bethel-church/