Friday, January 25, 2008

Biblically Based and Discerning

In this postmodern age where many Christians, unfortunately, are not biblically based and discerning, it can be difficult to stand up for the gospel truth without appearing confrontational or negative.

Here, in the blogosphere, I have been confronted by several Christian believers who clamor for unity, above all else. On the surface, that may sound good. But my next question has to be, "at what price?"

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we need to be cautious when those who want unity are so undiscerning that they reject large portions of the true gospel and biblical truth.

There are, in fact, many underlying reasons why contemporary Christians are so undiscerning. I won't go into all of them here, but their lack of
discernment reveals a spiritual apathy that is harmful to the church body. In some cases, it's even deadly evil!

What is needed in this day and age is spiritual maturity, discernment, and wisdom. Why? Because such discernment is absolutely crucial! It is only possible with a seasoned, developed, biblically informed mind. One of my favorite verses about this is Proverbs 2:2-5

Proverbs 2:2-5: "Make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding; for if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the LORD, and discover the knowledge of God" (NASB).

As you may have noticed, I have permanently added that wonderful Bible verse to this blog page.

I have also added links in my sidebar entitled, "Discernment Sites/E-books." I plan to add many more under that title. I think that biblical discernment of the truth is desperately needed today.

More than ever before, people need rescuing from those who would have them on the wrong paths. Events like "The Secret" conference and the "ReThink" heresy ministry conference show us how important, and necessary it is to counter myths (like the Secret) and the skewed views of Christianity (like "ReThink").

Recently, one well-known pastor of The Rock Church, Miles McPherson, ventured out and spoke at those two events. I must admit, at first, I was worried.

Here is a copy of my comment at Miles' blog:

I think that the concern of Biblical Christian believers regarding Pastor Miles' appearance was the fact that some of the participant speakers at the ReThink conference are deeply into compromise and run heretical ministries. How do I know this for sure? Here is just one example:

This portion from the “Rethinking Culture” link pretty much sums it up quite well:

Perhaps that is why everyone needs to “rethink” things. Warren Smith writes in his article posted today that

“in his latest book, “Don’t Throw Away Tomorrow: Living God’s Dream for Your Life,” Schuller eagerly writes about the virtue of compromise. In this book, that bears New Age leader Gerald Jampolsky’s endorsement on the back cover, Schuller states, “We need to learn the healing quality of wise compromise.” He further states, “Perhaps the only way to deal with contradictions is to combine them creatively and produce something new. That’s ingenious compromise.” Whether Schuller knows it or not, he just presented the recipe for a New World Religion.”

Just how far will the evangelical church go in its “compromises” with this “rethink” agenda? Just how far will its leaders go to build bridges, coalition and partner with the New Age leaders who also want to build a kingdom on earth for peace?

Of course, Pastor Miles demonstrated that his gospel message would never move towards the heresy direction that many of the "ReThink" speakers are moving. His God-given role was genuine, biblical, and gospel driven. As Jude states in his epistle, we are to "contend earnestly for the faith that was once delivered unto the saints." Pastor Miles is Rock solid in that mission and goal!

However, my concern was for the "baby Christians" (not meant in a derogatory manner) who may have attended, but are so brand new to the Christian faith that they do not have the knowledge about Scripture to discern truth from error.

Fortunately, my worries were mostly alleviated once I viewed and listened to Pastor Miles' brief, yet powerful recap of the events.

As Jude's epistle tells us:

Jud 1:22 And have mercy on some, who are doubting;

Jud 1:23 save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear...

How can we "snatch them out of the fire" of error without first going in to retrieve them?

Pastor Miles achieved this at both events. At one, he was mostly among the unchurched. At the other, he was mostly among those who are seeking, but might have been led astray by teachers of heresy.

Our Lord God placed Pastor Miles right where he needed to be.

I can't wait to hear more details about all that Miles saw and experienced at these two events! I'm sure that there is much more to be shared!

It is only because Pastor Miles has the Holy Spirit given gift of discernment which enabled him to preach, and at the same time, confront, the "spirit" of this postmodern, relativistic age. Prayers were lifted up for him and God sent him on that mission.

Miles diligently follows, and applies, the unmovable truth of the gospel of
Jesus Christ and presents his discerning mastery of the Word of God. Such spiritual maturity doesn't happen overnight.

Thank God so many Christian believers have Pastors like Miles McPherson to help train their minds to be understanding in the truth of God's Word!


Matt W. said...

Christine, I have to tell you, that statement from that one guy, “Perhaps the only way to deal with contradictions is to combine them creatively and produce something new. That’s ingenious compromise.” just absolutely floored me.

I understand that sometimes we find things in scripture that we don't understand, or that seem contradictory to us, but this is certainly not the answer. For me, when I run across these things, I try to learn about them, but it also reminds me of my own lack of understanding. We have to accept that there are some things that we cannot understand, but we certainly can't just make up our own answers because we don't understand what is written. If we do that, it will only be a very short time before we start making stuff up because we don't like what is written that we do understand. And look at that, it already happens.

Thanks for this post.
Matt W.

Christinewjc said...

Hi Matt,

You caught that gem of a compromise comment by Schuller...didn't you!

I think that it should floor every single Christian believer who reads it!!

You wrote: "We have to accept that there are some things that we cannot understand, but we certainly can't just make up our own answers because we don't understand what is written."

Absolutely true! If we already claim to know everything, then we would be claiming to be God.

He has given us give us all that we need to know in order to reconcile back to God the Father.

I just returned from a basic, but truely awesome sermon on the Gospel. It should be up on the website sometime today or tomorrow. I will post it here.

When we know what the Bible says and teaches; when we know Jesus as Lord and Savior, it is then that we mature spiritually and are able to spot false teachers, false teachings, heresy and apostasy.

Sometimes it "creeps in unnoticed." Other times, it's as obvious as Schuller's positive affirmation of compromise comment.

I am so grateful that we have the words and teachings of Jesus in the Bible. Anything that anyone else might say (including what I write on this blog!!) can be held up against His Word to see if it is true or not.

The plumbline and absolute truth of God's Word cannot be refuted. People may try...but their fallible reasoning cannot possibly compete with the infallible Word of God!