Hersey Watch: Hillsong Worship Pastor’s Evolution is undeniable

Joel Houston

Joel Houston

Hillsong Church has, over the years, hardly avoided the limelight, often finding itself at the center of hotly-contested debates

Now one of its biggest leaders is running headlong into the creation debate.

Joel Houston,  eldest son of the Sydney-based church’s founders, lead musician in the worship band Hillsong United, and co-pastor of Hillsong Church in New York City, tweeted Monday that “evolution is undeniable.”

Houston is certainly not the first to raise questions about the six-day creation story outlined in Genesis, but the affirmation of evolutionary theory nevertheless remains controversial in many — if not most — Christian circles today.

In 2014, Christian musician Michael Gungor stirred up controversy for a blog post he actually wrote in 2012 in which he explained he had “no more ability” to believe 

“that the first people on earth were a couple named Adam and Eve that lived 6,000 years ago.”

He continued, according to Relevant:

I have no ability to believe that there was a flood that covered all the highest mountains of the world only 4,000 years ago and that all of the animal species that exist today are here because they were carried on an ark and then somehow walked or flew all around the world from a mountain in the Middle East after the water dried up.

Gungor defended his claims at the time during an interview with Mike McHargue, co-host of “The Liturgists Podcast,” saying that, though he was raised to hold a literalist or “young earth” interpretation of the creation story, he “came up against some of the science” in college. A lot of what Gungor learned, he explained, created “tension” in his theology. See Right: Study Unwittingly Uncovers Possible Major Flaw in Evolution of Species Theory

Famed young earth creationist Ken Ham, founder of the conservative nonprofit Answers in Genesis, took issue with Gungor’s admission, which he described as “outrageous.” He went on to claim the musician was “repeatedly indoctrinated into evolutionary ideas” throughout college.

So when Houston raised his own questions about theology and evolution earlier this week, Gungor chimed in: See Below


How can @joelhouston call himself a worship pastor & yet hold such a heretical view of creation? The Bible says that “God created the heaven and the earth” and “on the sixth day God created man “in His own image”. Times aren’t “evolving”, our culture is decaying. See 2 Peter 3:17 — Frank Sowers (@FrankSowers) June 25, 2018


After seeing the intense reaction that arose from suggesting evolution is “undeniable,” Houston hedged a bit by offering some context  to his earlier tweet.

He asserted God is “way bigger than we think,” and regardless of one’s theological or scientific beliefs, He “is undiminished by our limitations.”

“If God’s creative process was an easy working week, or finely crafted over six-ages of millennia, does it make Him any more or less God?” Houston asked. “Or us any more or less created in His image? Either way, it was an unfathomably wonderful six-day process, however you think to see it.”

In an interview with Faithwire, Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson, a research biologist for Answers in Genesis, gave Houston the benefit of the doubt, admitting it appears the famous worship leader could still be working through his own theological beliefs because his comments on evolution are “ambiguous.”

One of Jeanson’s main criticisms of progressive thought on evolution is that, according to Scripture, death is an interruption to God’s perfect creation — a bug in the system.

But according to evolutionary theory, death isn’t a bug at all — it’s a feature, a mainstay in a process designed to elevate the fittest by eliminating the weak.

“I think the straightforward reading of the whole of Scripture, the entire corpus of Scripture treats death as an intruder into a very good, perfect creation, in which there is no death, and bloodshed, and suffering,” Jeanson explained. “It’s man’s sin that brings this to bear on the universe. God curses the universe as a result of mankind’s sin.”

Jeanson argued those who don’t hold to a literal interpretation of the creation story found in Genesis but instead see it as some sort of poetic narrative must “tolerate errors in the Scripture.” He went on to say the Genesis account is in “severe conflict” with mainstream evolutionary theory.

After delivering a lecture recently at Boston College, Jeanson recalled a student approaching him to say she “can’t believe” that certain parts of Scripture are literal and without error while others parts are fictional and inconsistent with fact.

“I can’t pick and choose, wake up every morning and pick which parts of the Bible I believe and which parts I don’t. That doesn’t make any sense to me,” he recalled the student saying, adding, “I think the next generation understands the severe importance of this issue when it comes to the foundations of the Christian faith.”

But for Gungor — and perhaps Houston — that dichotomy might not pose a problem.

As Jeanson noted, those who hold to a young earth view often see the evolutionary debate as paramount, while those who espouse an old earth perspective tend to put the issue on the back burner, though many, according to Jeanson, call into question the scientific honesty of their opponents.

Original Source: Date-stamped: June 26, 2018 - Author: By Tré Goins-Phillips Article Title: Hillsong Worship Pastor’s Evolution Comments Spark Fierce Debate Among Christians  Article Link: faithwire.com

All Major Religions Are Paths To Same God; according to Pope Francis!

Profile: Pope Francis (01) feature

Beware of Wolves Dressed in Sheep's Clothing
A new video has just been released in which Pope Francis very clearly expresses his belief that all of the major religions are different paths to the same God.

He says that while people from various global faiths may be “seeking God or meeting God in different ways” that it is important to keep in mind that “we are all children of God”.

This is the most recent example that shows that the Pope has completely abandoned any notion that a relationship with God is available only through Jesus Christ.

As he has done throughout his papacy, he continues to lay the groundwork for the coming one world religion, and yet hardly anyone seems upset by this.

When I first heard of this new video, I was so stunned that I thought that it might be a joke. But the truth is that this video is very real. The following comes from an article that was put out by Catholic News Agency…

The Popes first-ever video message on his monthly prayer intentions was released Tuesday, highlighting the importance of interreligious dialogue and the beliefs different faith traditions hold in common, such as the figure of God and love.

Many think differently, feel differently, seeking God or meeting God in different ways. In this crowd, in this range of religions, there is only one certainty that we have for all: we are all children of God,

Pope Francis said in his message, released Jan. 6, the feast of the Epiphany.

But it isnt just Pope Francis speaking in this video. In fact, one section of the video features leaders from various global religions expressing faith in their respective deities. The following comes from an article about this new video that was posted on Christian News Network…

The video then features clips of those from different world religions declaring belief in their various deities.

“I have confidence in Buddha,” a female lama announces.

I believe in God,” a rabbi affirms.

“I believe in Jesus Christ,” a priest states.

“I believe in Allah,” an Islamic leader declares.

Are you shocked yet?

The Pope closes the video with an appeal for people from every religion to talk with one another and to work with one another. Here is more from Catholic News Agency…

Later on, after the Pope affirms that all, regardless of their religious profession, are children of God, the faith leaders state their common belief in love.

Pope Francis closes the video by expressing his hope that viewers “will spread my prayer request this month: that sincere dialogue among men and women of different faiths may produce fruits of peace and justice. I have confidence in your prayers.”

Of course this is not the first time that Pope Francis has done something like this. Very early in his papacy, he authorized “Islamic prayers and readings from the Quran” at the Vatican for the first time ever.

And as I documented in a previous article entitled “In New York, Pope Francis Embraced Chrislam And Laid A Foundation For A One World Religion”, during his visit to St. Patricks Cathedral in Manhattan he made it very clear that he believes that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. The following is how he began his address…

I would like to express two sentiments for my Muslim brothers and sisters: Firstly, my greetings as they celebrate the feast of sacrifice. I would have wished my greeting to be warmer. My sentiments of closeness, my sentiments of closeness in the face of tragedy. The tragedy that they suffered in Mecca.

In this moment, I give assurances of my prayers. I unite myself with you all. A prayer to almighty god, all merciful.

In Islam, one of Allahs primary titles is “the all-merciful one”. If you doubt this, just do a Google search. And this certainly was not the first time that Pope Francis has used such language. For example, check out the following excerpt from remarks that he made during his very first ecumenical meeting as Pope…

I then greet and cordially thank you all, dear friends belonging to other religious traditions; first of all the Muslims, who worship the one God, living and merciful, and call upon Him in prayer, and all of you. I really appreciate your presence: in it I see a tangible sign of the will to grow in mutual esteem and cooperation for the common good of humanity.

Are you starting to get the picture?

Pope Francis believes that all religions are different paths to the same God, and he is working hard to lay a foundation for the coming one world religion.

After watching this most recent video, I dont know how anyone can possibly deny that.

However, there are some religious people that Pope Francis does not like. Just recently, he referred to Christian fundamentalism as “a sickness”, and he made it clear that there was no room for it in Catholicism.

So precisely what is “fundamentalism”?

Google defines it as “a form of a religion, especially Islam or Protestant Christianity, that upholds belief in the strict, literal interpretation of scripture.”

Does this mean that Pope Francis is against any Christian that believes in a literal interpretation of the Bible?

That does appear to be what he is saying, and without a doubt those would be the Christians that would be against the kind of one world religion that he appears to be promoting.

Nearly 2000 years ago, the Apostle John warned us that a one world religion was coming, and now we can see that it is coming to fruition.

4cminews Acknowledgements: Thanks to JF Western Australia for making us aware of this issue

2016, January 18. | By Economic Collapse Blog / Michael Snyder | Source: prophecynewswatch.com "Pope Francis Says All Major Religions Are Paths To Same God"


Date: 2016, January 9
By: Heather Clark
Source: christiannews.net
Title: “‘Pope Francis’ Calls for Collaboration With World’s Religions, Those Who ‘Meet God in Different Ways’”
Date: 2016, January 11
By: Michael Snyder – End Of The American Dream
Source: infowars.com
Title: “One World Religion: Pope Francis says ALL Major Religions are ‘Meeting God in Different Ways’”

Date: 2016, January 7
By: Elise Harris | Vatican City |
Source: catholicnewsagency.com
Title: “In first prayer video, Pope stresses interfaith unity: ‘We are all children of God'”
Date: 2016, January  7
By: Carey Lodge | Christian Today Journalist
Source: christiantoday.com
Title: “Pope Francis releases emotional new video: Regardless of religion, we are all children of God”

Origins of ‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ Begin to Emerge

Questions ? (01) feature

Written in Coptic (an Egyptian language), the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife, if authentic, suggests that some people in ancient times believed Jesus was married, apparently to Mary Magdalene. Credit: Photo courtesy Harvard Divinity School View full size image

Written in Coptic (an Egyptian language), the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife, if authentic, suggests that some people in ancient times believed Jesus was married, apparently to Mary Magdalene.

The truth may be finally emerging about the “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife,” a highly controversial papyrus suggesting that some people, in ancient times, believed Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene. New research on the papyrus’ ink points to the possibility that it is authentic, researchers say, while newly obtained documents may shed light on the origins of the business-card-sized fragment.

Debate about the credibility of the “gospel” began as soon as Harvard University professor Karen King reported her discovery of the papyrus in September 2012. Written in Coptic (an Egyptian language), the papyrus fragment contains a translated line that reads, “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …'” and also refers to a “Mary,” possibly Mary Magdalene.

King had tentatively dated the papyrus to the fourth century, saying it may be a copy of a gospel written in the second century in Greek. [Read Translation of Gospel of Jesus’s Wife Papyrus]

Analysis of the papyrus, detailed last year in the Harvard Theological Review journal, suggested the papyrus dates back around 1,200 years (somewhere between the sixth and ninth centuries) while the ink is of a type that could have been created at that time. These findings have led King to support the text’s authenticity.

However over the past year many scholars have come to the conclusion that the papyrus is a modern-day forgery, though King and a few other researchers say they are not ready to concede this: “At this point, when discussions and research are ongoing, I think it is important, however difficult, to stay open regarding the possible dates of the inscription and other matters of interpretation,” wrote King in a letter recently published in the magazine Biblical Archaeological Review. King has not responded to several interview requests from Live Science.

Now, researchers at Columbia University are running new tests on the ink used on the papyrus. Initial tests published by the Columbia University team in 2014 indicated the ink could have been made in ancient times. Researchers are saying little until their report is published; however they did talk about one finding that could provide some support for its authenticity.

A gospel steeped in mystery

The current owner of the papyrus has insisted on remaining anonymous, claiming that he bought the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife, along with other Coptic texts, in 1999 from a man named Hans-Ulrich Laukamp. This person, in turn, got it from Potsdam, in what was East Germany, in 1963, the owner said.

Laukamp died in 2002, and the claim that he owned the text has been strongly disputed: Rene Ernest, the man whom Laukamp and his wife Helga charged with representing their estate, said that Laukamp had no interest in antiquities, did not collect them and was living in West Berlin in 1963. Therefore, he couldn’t have crossed the Berlin Wall into Potsdam. Axel Herzsprung, a business partner of Laukamp’s, similarly said that Laukamp never had an interest in antiquities and never owned a papyrus. Laukamp has no children or living relatives who could verify these claims. [6 Archaeological Forgeries That Tried to Change History]

Over the past few months, new documents have been found that not only reconstruct Laukamp’s life in greater detail, but also provide a new way to check the anonymous owner’s story.

King reported in a 2014 Harvard Theological Review article that the anonymous owner “provided me with a photocopy of a contract for the sale of ‘6 Coptic papyrus fragments, one believed to be a Gospel’ from Hans-Ulrich Laukamp, dated Nov. 12, 1999, and signed by both parties.” King also notes that “a handwritten comment on the contract states, ‘Seller surrenders photocopies of correspondence in German. Papyri were acquired in 1963 by the seller in Potsdam (East Germany).'”

After searching public databases in Florida a Live Science reporter uncovered seven signatures signed by Laukamp between 1997 and 2001 on five notarized documents. Anyone can search these databases and download these documents. These signatures can be compared with the signature recording the sale of the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife — providing another way to verify or disprove the story of how the “gospel” made its way to Harvard.

While Harvard University would have to work with forensic handwriting experts to verify the signature, the fact that these notarized documents exist, and are publicly available, presents the opportunity to see if Laukamp really did own the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife. Forensic handwriting analysis, while not always conclusive, has been used to determine if signatures made on documents or works of art are authentic or forged.

If Laukamp did own the papyrus, authentic or not, then the origins of the enigmatic text lie with him. The new Laukamp documents allow the story of his life between 1995 and 2002 to be told in some detail. However if Laukamp didn’t own the papyrus and the anonymous owner has not been truthful, then further doubt would be cast on the papyrus’ authenticity, and information leading to the identity, motives and techniques of the forgers could be found.

Authentic or forged?

One important find, which indicates the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife is a fake, was made last year by Christian Askeland, a research associate with the Institute for Septuagint and Biblical Research in Wuppertal, Germany. He examined a second Coptic papyrus containing part of the Gospel of John, which the anonymous owner of the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife had also given to Harvard. This text was likewise supposedly purchased from Laukamp, and radiocarbon testing of that papyrus similarly found that it dates back around 1,200 years. [See Images of the Ancient Gospel of Judas]

Askeland found that the text and line breaks— where one line of a text ends and another begins — are identical to those of another papyrus, published in a 1924 book. That second papyrus was written in a dialect of Coptic called Lycopolitan, which went extinct around 1,500 years ago. Askeland concluded that the John papyrus is a forgery. Furthermore, it shares other features with the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife, Askeland said, suggesting both are forgeries.

“The two Coptic fragments clearly shared the same ink, writing implement and scribal hand. The same artisan had created both essentially at the same time,” Askeland wrote in a paper recently published in the journal New Testament Studies.

King objected to this conclusion in her Biblical Archaeology Review letter, noting that the John fragment could have been copied in ancient times, long after Lycopolitan went extinct, from a text that had similar line breaks.

In addition, James Yardley, a senior research scientist at Columbia University, told Live Science that the new tests confirm that the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife holds different ink than the John papyrus. This could undercut Askeland’s argument that the two papyri were written by the same person.

“In our first exploration, we did state that the inks used for the two documents of interest [the John papyrus and the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife] were quite different. The more recent results do confirm this observation strongly,” Yardley told Live Science.

He added that until his new research is published in a peer-reviewed journal, he doesn’t want to say anything more publicly. And once it’s published, Askeland and other researchers will have a chance to respond.

Askeland’s find is far from the only argument that the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife is a fake: A number of scholars have noted that the Coptic writing in the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife is similar to another early Christian text called the “Gospel of Thomas,” even including a modern-day typo made in a 2002 edition of the Gospel of Thomas that is available for free online. That typo indicates the forgers copied from this modern-day text. King disputed this assertion in 2014, saying that ancient scribes made grammatical errors similar to the modern-day typo.

King and communications staff at Harvard Divinity School have not responded to repeated requests for comment.

by Owen Jarus, Live Science Contributor | August 24, 2015 | Source:  livescience.com "Origins of 'Gospel of Jesus's Wife' Begin to Emerge"

World’s First Openly Lesbian Bishop to Remove Crosses, Build Islamic Prayer Room in Swedish Seamen’s Church

Islam vs. Christianity

(PHOTO: REUTERS) The Swedish flag in this undated file photo.

Eva Brunne, the world’s first openly lesbian bishop, has called for a church in Stockholm, Sweden, to remove all signs of the cross, and instead build an Islamic prayer room in order to welcome Muslims. Several other Christian leaders in Sweden have criticized the suggestion.”Leasing a room to people of other faiths, does not mean that we are not defenders of our own faith. Priests are called to proclaim Christ. We do that every day and in every meeting with people. But that does not mean that we are hostile toward people of other faiths,” Brunne, the bishop of Stockholm, explains on her website, according to SVT.

Thousands of refugees from the crisis in Syria and the Middle East have been making their way through Europe into Western states. Christian leaders, such as Pope Francis, have called on parishes across the continent to open up their doors and welcome in refugee families.

Patrik Pettersson, priest of the Oscars parish in Stockholm, took issue with Brune’s suggestion, however.

“The church chapel cannot reasonably be equated with prayer rooms at airports and hospital chapel[s]. The Christian church and chapels are not just any public areas,” he wrote.

“The only argument Bishop Eva really put forward in support of her view is ‘hospitality.’ … How do you respond to that? Not much of a basis for discussion, as one colleague put it. The theological, ecclesiological, pastoral and working issues are left untouched,” Pettersson continued.

Seamen’s Church Director, Kiki Wetterberg, added that it’s wrong for a Christian church to remove its symbols.

“I have no problem with Muslim or Hindu sailors coming here to pray. But I believe that we are a Christian church, so we should keep the symbols. If I visit a mosque I do not ask them to take down their symbols. It’s my choice to go in there,” she said in the Christian newspaper Dagen.

Breitbart noted that Brunne became the world’s first openly lesbian bishop in the Lutheran Church in 2009, and has a young son with her wife and fellow priest, Gunilla Linden.

Although just over 64 percent of the Swedish population is formally registered with the Lutheran Church, that number has steadily fallen over the decades, from its height of 95 percent of the population in 1972.

Sweden has been welcoming refugees not only from Syria, but also Eritreans who had initially traveled to Italy.

In September, the EU agreed to a plan to relocate a further 120,000 refugees across Europe, despite the opposition of a number of Eastern states, like Hungary, who has said the crisis is stretching their borders and resources.

Germany has vowed to take more refugees than any other nation, opening its borders to close to 800,000 people.

October 7, 2015 | by Stoyan Zaimov | Christian Post Reporter | Source: christianpost.com "World's First Openly Lesbian Bishop to Remove Crosses, Build Islamic Prayer Room in Swedish Seamen's Church"

7 Traits of False Teachers — Charisma News

Wolves don’t advertise, instead, they “look” like sheep. (Flickr/Creative Commons)

A false teacher can be anyone in a position of spiritual authority or claiming to be. Wolves don’t often attack wolves, but they do go after sheep. They bring destructive teachings and lies into the church, often by telling people what they want to hear (Jer. 23). They provide layers of truth mixed with error, but even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruit” (Matthew 7:15-16).

“Beware” means to be on alert, to discern what is being said.

False teachers take advantage of the fact that many people are not well-educated in fundamental biblical truths. To detect a counterfeit, one must first know what the original looks like. It’s impossible to gain a clear picture of absolute truth without going directly to God’s Word. Unless one is firmly grounded in God’s Word and led by His Spirit, one can easily be led astray.

Wolves don’t advertise, instead, they “look” like sheep.

False teachers aren’t dressed in red holding a pitchfork. They often look the same as everyone else. They subtly challenge the inerrancy and authority of Scripture, and they add to salvation so that it’s not through Christ alone. Legitimate teachers recognize the deity of Christ. False teachers promote salvation through works and not through faith alone. One must belong to their society, institution, or church in order to be saved. This is a false gospel.

Jesus encourages His followers to be fruit inspectors.

I came across a great article from the Gospel Coalition written by Colin Smith titled “7 Traits of False Teachers.” This precise article identifies the fruit of false teachers. The link is at the bottom for those who want to read Smith’s complete piece. I’m going to spend the next few minutes quoting directly from it. He compares the authentic with the counterfeit from 1 and 2 Peter. Smith writes:

1. Different Source
Where does their message come from?

Peter says, “For we have not followed cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty” (2 Pet. 1:16). And then he says the false teachers exploit you “with deceptive words” (2 Pet. 2:3). So the true teacher sources what he says from the Bible. The false teacher relies on his own creativity.

 2. Different Message
—What is the substance of the message?

For the true teacher, Jesus Christ is central. “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3). For the false teacher, Jesus is at the margins: “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies” (2 Pet. 2:1). Notice the word secretly. It’s rare for someone in church to openly deny Jesus. Movement away from the centrality of Christ is subtle. The false teacher will speak about how other people can help change your life, but if you listen carefully to what he is saying, you will see that Jesus Christ is not essential to his message.

 3. Different Position
—In what position will the message leave you?

The true Christian will “escape the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Pet. 1:4). Listen to how Peter describes the counterfeit Christian: “Although they promise them freedom, they themselves are slaves of corruption, for by that which a man is overcome, to this he is enslaved” (2 Pet. 2:19). The true believer is escaping corruption, while the counterfeit believer is mastered by it.

4. Different Character
—What kind of people does the message produce?

The true believer pursues goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love (2 Pet. 1:5). The counterfeit Christian is marked by arrogance and slander (2 Pet. 2:10). They are “trained in greed” and “they have eyes full of adultery” (2 Pet. 2:14).

 5. Different Appeal
—Why should you listen to the message?

The true teacher appeals to Scripture. “And we have a more reliable word of prophecy, which you would do well to follow” (2 Pet. 1:19). God has spoken, and the true teacher appeals to His Word. The false teacher makes a rather different appeal: “For when they speak arrogant words of vanity, they entice by the lusts of the flesh and by depravity those who barely escaped from those who live in error” (2 Pet. 2:18).

 6. Different Fruit
—What result does the message have in people’s lives?

The true believer is effective and productive in his or her knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 1:8). The counterfeit is “wells without water” (2:17). This is an extraordinary picture! They promise much but produce little.

 7. Different End
—Where does the message ultimately lead you?

Here we find the most disturbing contrast of all. The true believer will receive “entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 1:11). The false believer will experience “swift destruction” (2 Pet. 2:1). “And in their greed they will exploit you with deceptive words. Their judgment, made long ago, does not linger, and their destruction does not slumber” (2 Pet. 2:3). Jesus tells us He will say to many who have been involved in ministry in His name, “Depart from me; I never knew you” (Matt. 7:21).

In “7 Traits of False Teachers,” Smith makes some great points, which beg the question to pastors:

If people are not changing and growing closer to God, are we challenging them or are we catering to what they want to hear?

He offers hope and salvation:

Call on Me.  I will never leave nor forsake you. Call on Me and I will heal your past and redeem your future. Call on Me and you will be saved
(cf.; Deuteronomy 31:6; Ezekiel 34:16; Joel 2:32).
09/23/2015 | Shane Idleman | Source:  charismanews.com "7 Traits of False Teachers"

Did God Send a Prophet to Rebuke John MacArthur?

A ‘prophet’ interrupts John MacArthur. (YouTube)

The video has now gone viral, providing embarrassment for the charismatic movement and fodder for those who deny that the prophetic gifts are for today.

A self-proclaimed prophet1)http://www.charismanews.com/culture/51162-self-proclaimed-prophet-stands-on-john-macarthur-s-stage-and-rebukes-him from Scotland disrupted a Sunday morning service on Aug. 16 as Pastor MacArthur stood behind the pulpit, rebuking him for teaching cessationism and for being divisive, announcing that he was a prophet sent by God.

Pastor MacArthur listened quietly before security removed the man, who continued to call for repentance as he was escorted out the door.

Pastor MacArthur then responded like a completely composed, totally unruffled, senior statesman, using humor and assuring the congregants that the security team would handle the intruder with gentleness.

He explained that this uninvited guest claimed that it is heresy to say that spiritual gifts like tongues and prophecy have ceased and he added that, according to 1 Corinthians 14, the spirits of prophets are subject to the prophets and if this man were a real prophet, he wouldn’t have behaved that way.

 Of course, if you read about what the prophets did in the Old Testament and even in the New Testament (see Acts 21:10-11), a disruptive act like this would be quite minor. 

But I do believe in principles of order and honor, and Paul did instruct Timothy never to rebuke an older man (or elder) but rather to appeal to him (see 1 Timothy 5:1). So, however you view this incident, it did make charismatics look bad.

As Pastor MacArthur continued to speak, he said “it’s a sad situation” and “of all the things you could get upset about“—before he was disrupted by a baby crying, leading to more humor and laughter, after which he called on the congregation to stand with him as he read the Word of God before preaching.

Obviously, I have a real problem with the way things happened, bringing reproach to the gifts of the Spirit in the presence of the entire congregation, not to mention the many thousands who have viewed the video since it was posted.

And I’ve seen some ridiculous online comments posted to other videos like this one: “I heard online that John MacArthur receive[d] the medical RFID chip/mark of the beast and the Holy Spirit left him.”

We’re supposed to take this stuff seriously?

But there’s something else I have a problem with, and I’ve raised my voice about it for two years now, also reaching out to Pastor MacArthur publicly and privately to discuss or even debate the relevant issues.

I’m speaking about the extreme rhetoric used by my elder brother in his attacks on my colleagues in the charismatic movement, including some of the most saintly, Jesus-loving, Word-based, spiritually minded people I know anywhere in the world.

I’m talking about charges he made loudly and publicly like this:

The charismatic movement is largely the reason the church is in the mess that it’s in today. In virtually every area where church life is unbiblical, you can attribute it to the charismatic movement.

He claimed we have

stolen the Holy Spirit and created a golden calf and they are dancing around the golden calf as if it is the Holy Spirit. … The charismatic version of the Holy Spirit is that golden calf … around which they dance with their dishonoring exercises.

Pastor MacArthur went as far as saying that we attributedto the Holy Spirit even the work of Satan.

In short, he called the charismatic movement “a farce and a scam” that “has not changed into something good,” claiming that it represents

the explosive growth of a false church, as dangerous as any cult or heresy that has ever assaulted Christianity.
Accordingly, he calls for a “collective war” against these alleged “pervasive abuses on the Spirit of God.

He stated:

Satan’s false teachers, marching to the beat of their own illicit desires, gladly propagate his errors. They are spiritual swindlers, con men, crooks and charlatans.

And, he continued,

By inventing a Holy Spirit of idolatrous imaginations, the modern charismatic movement offers strange fire that has done incalculable harm to the body of Christ. Claiming to focus on the third member of the Trinity, it has in fact profaned His name and denigrated His true work.
(I document every quote, in context, in Authentic Fire.)

Although I do not know the man from Scotland who disrupted Pastor MacArthur’s service, I suspect that what upset him was not so much the doctrine of cessationism but rather the aggressive and divisive way in which Pastor MacArthur has taught it, maligning many of God’s choice servants and mocking those who worship the Lord in ways that are unfamiliar to him.

And so, once more, I appeal to my esteemed colleague, who has done so much good for the cause of Christ for so many decades and who has stood like a rock in the midst of spiritual compromise:

Dear brother, you were gentle and gracious after that incident in your church.

Would to God that you would display that same grace in your public differences with those of us in the charismatic movement—more than a half-billion strong—and would to God you would display that same grace and agree to sit down privately and discuss the relevant issues as men of God.

How can that not be to the glory of Jesus’ name and to the good of His people?

8/25/2015 Michael Brown | Source: charismanews.com "Did God Send a Prophet to Rebuke John MacArthur?"


Source: Self-Proclaimed ‘Prophet’ Stands on John MacArthur’s Stage and Rebukes Him — Charisma News

  1. In Christianity, cessationism is the doctrine that spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues, prophecy and healing ceased with the original twelve apostles.
  2. Cessationism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 A person who speaks by divine inspiration or as the interpreter through whom the will of a god is expressed. 


4cm-iNews-114wActually the Scottish “Prophet” in the opinion of the 4cmiNews Editor is absolutely correct.

 God is not beyond public confrontation of those who oppose the work of the Holy Spirit and the truth of his word. 
If you oppose God publically be sure he will confront you publically.
Cessationism is heresy of the worst kind as it’s denying the Work of and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

References   [ + ]

1. http://www.charismanews.com/culture/51162-self-proclaimed-prophet-stands-on-john-macarthur-s-stage-and-rebukes-him

‘Prophet’ Stands on John MacArthur’s Stage and Rebukes Him

A man claiming to be a prophet disrupted John MacArthur’s sermon recently. The man hopped on the stage and began to call out the pastor for his cessationism. The “prophet” was pointing and yelling, telling MacArthur the Holy Spirit is grieved.

Watch the video to see what happened.

  1. In Christianity, cessationism is the doctrine that spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues, prophecy and healing ceased with the original twelve apostles.
  2. Cessationism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Source: Self-Proclaimed ‘Prophet’ Stands on John MacArthur’s Stage and Rebukes Him — Charisma News

 A person who speaks by divine inspiration or as the interpreter through whom the will of a god is expressed. 


4cm-iNews-114wActually the “Prophet” from 4cmiNews opinion is absolutely correct.

Cessationism is heresy of the worst kind as it’s denying the Work of and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Hyper Grace by Dr. Brown on “Ask Sid” (Sid Roth) Watch as they answer questions from viewers and give biblical answers.

Hyper-grace (03)

Dr. Brown and Sid Roth discuss the pitfalls of Hyper-Grace (once saved always saved and i can sin whenever i want because my sins are forgiven past, present and future. I don’t need to live a holy lifestyle).

God does save us by His grace but wants to have a relationship with us which leads us wanting not to sin no more. It’s being in His presence that changes us and makes us want to not sin no more! Because when we have more of Jesus in us we don’t want to sin.
Watch as they answer questions from viewers and give biblical answers.


8 Signs of ‘Hypergrace’ Churches

Hyper-grace (03)

by Joseph Mattera
The past several decades, we have seen a dramatic decline in doctrinal and biblical preaching. We have gone from theology to therapy in the pulpits. In the past decade, we went from therapy to motivational speaking instead of preaching.

In addition to this, whole churches and movements have oriented themselves to a distorted understanding of the gospel by espousing a “hypergrace” approach that trickles down to not only what they preach but who they allow to minister and teach. (I was told there is even a new television station devoted to this view of “grace.”)

Furthermore, many churches and preachers refuse to take a stand against sin and rarely if ever mention the need for repentance or topics like hell and judgment. Many of these same churches allow people to minister in music, as small group leaders and even as ministers with no personal accountability while looking the other way when they are living sexually immoral lives and regularly engaged in drunkenness!

This is nothing new.

For centuries the body of Christ has wrestled with something called antinomianism (anti means “against”; nomos means “law”). This is the belief that the moral law of the Old Testament has been done away with and that, once we are in Christ, there is free grace in which we can almost live any way we want since we are not under the Law but under grace. Thus, according to this view, the Old Testament is not that important to read except for metaphors, types and symbols regarding the coming of Christ. The New Testament is all about grace and does away with the Old Testament Law!

Of course, Paul the apostle warned against this sort of thing in Romans 6:1-2 when he rhetorically asked, Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? His response: God forbid! How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer in it?

The first thing Jude the apostle says in his epistle (in the context of contending for the faith in verse 3) is that ungodly men amongst them were turning the grace of our God into a license to sin. Evidently these free-grace preachers were twisting the Scriptures by teaching that “we are no longer under the Law” means “we are no longer under any obligation to obey the moral law of God once we are saved.”

This in spite of each of the Ten Commandments being directly cited or taught indirectly in the New Testament. Examples of exact citations are Ephesians 6:1-3, which quotes the fifth commandment; James 2:11, which quotes the sixth and seventh commandments (regarding murder and adultery) and says in verse 12 that believers will be judged according to the “law” of liberty; and Romans 7:7, where Paul quotes the 10th commandment regarding not to covet. Paul also says that we dishonor God when we disobey the (moral) law (Rom. 2:23).

Obedience to the Ten Commandments (the moral law) is also taught indirectly, as in 1 John 5:21, which instructs believers to stay away from idols (from the second commandment, regarding not making a carved image to worship); and when Jesus said that the greatest commandment in the Law is to love God with all the heart, mind and soul (Matt. 22:37-38), which corresponds to the first commandment regarding having no other gods before Him.

Paul makes it clear in Romans 7:12 that the law is holy, righteous and good and that the purpose of being filled with the Spirit of Christ is so the righteousness of the law would be fulfilled in us (Rom. 8:4)—not so we can just float around as spiritual beings without any standards for obedience and disobedience!

Although we cannot be saved by following the Law (because everyone is guilty of breaking the Law, according to Romans 3:19), God uses the moral law as the standard of righteousness in which to judge us of sin. Thus, the Law doesn’t save us, but it sanctifies us when we yield to the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, because through it we have the knowledge of sin (Rom. 3:20).

So, then, what does Paul refer to when he says that we are justified apart from the Law (Rom. 3:21) through grace as a gift (v. 24)?

The context of these statements and the other teachings of the New Testament regarding the Law is clear:

While the moral law doesn’t save us, it is still in effect as a guide and standard for righteous living, but the ceremonial law is no longer in effect and has been totally done away with. This we know because circumcision (Rom. 3:30; Gal. 5:1-2) and animal sacrifices (Heb. 9:12-14) are always brought up in context of Paul teaching that the Law has been nullified in Christ.

Thus, Paul is affirming that the ceremonial law has been done away with in Christ because He was the perfect Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world (John 1:29) and in whom, by a single offering of Himself (Heb. 10:14), abolished the law of commandments and record of debt that were against us (Col. 2:13-14) because we violated them.

In Him we are no longer obligated to follow the Levitical system, for although the old covenant terms are no longer in effect and faded away (Heb. 8:13), the new covenant clearly is a more perfect continuation of the old covenant because of its prophetic fulfillment in the Messiah (Heb. 10:1).

The following are signs of a hypergrace church:

1. The preachers never speak against sin.

If you are in a church like this, you will notice that the word sin is usually only mentioned in the context of forgiveness of sins in Christ but hardly ever in the context of taking a stand against sin, except of course when they condemn the sin of “legalists” and “Pharisees” who are the ministers they denigrate for preaching against sin.

2. The lead pastor never takes a cultural stand for righteousness.

When issues like abortion come up, these pastors will shy away from mentioning it because they are afraid of offending new people. I can understand this to a point. But I counter that we as ministers of Christ are obligated to at least mention our positions publicly so that we use it as a teaching moment for the sheep following us. Not saying anything about an issue like abortion is another way of condoning it!

3. The Old Testament is almost totally ignored.

In these churches, the Old Testament is treated as only types and shadows for sermon illustrations but has no real value regarding our standard of living today. As I show in this article, my position is that the New Testament and Old Testament are organically connected, with the New building upon the Old, not eradicating it altogether!

4. People who live immoral lives are allowed to teach and lead ministries.

One pastor was telling me that sexual immorality and drunkenness is rampant in many evangelical churches—even amongst small group leaders and other leaders in local churches! This is because there is very little accountability.

5. The lead pastor speaks often against the institutional church.

Many hypergrace pastors constantly denounce churches that are conservative in their values because they believe those churches represent the “old school” that is no longer relevant to today’s culture.

6. The lead pastor preaches against tithing.

Although I believe tithing carried over into the New Testament, I believe it is more of a biblical principle that preceded the Law of Moses (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all tithed before Moses gave the Law), was taught by Jesus (Matt. 23) and was mentioned in other passages, like Hebrews 7.

These pastors denounce tithing as a law that was done away with in Christ. (For more on this, read my position paper entitled “Is Tithing in the New Testament?”)

7. The lead pastor only preaches positive motivational messages.

Those attending hypergrace churches only hear positive messages on health, wealth, prosperity, God’s love, God’s forgiveness and how to succeed in life. Although I also agree with and teach on these topics, we have to be careful to include in our preaching the whole counsel of God so that we feed the flock a balanced diet instead of just the sweetness of feel-good messages. We must do this so we are free from the blood of all men (Acts 20:26-27).

8. Key members of the church are regularly living sinful lives with impunity.

Those attending a hypergrace church will most likely find that, because of the strong emphasis on grace—with no teaching against sin or on repentance, judgment or hell—there is an atmosphere of loose living, with many involved in sexual immorality and drunkenness as well as other physical vices.

The reason for this is “the law is our schoolmaster that leads us to Christ” (Gal. 3:24) because through the (moral) law comes the knowledge of sin (Rom. 3:20). If the moral law of the Ten Commandments is not preached or alluded to, then in ignorance the people will live foolish lives and will be like the blind leading to blind because “where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law” (Prov. 28:18).

In conclusion, there are many other things I could mention regarding hypergrace churches and their preaching, like how it is one step away from universalism (the belief that all people will eventually be saved, whether they believe the gospel or not, e.g. Love Wins by Rob Bell) and liberalism, because an increasing amount of Scripture is eviscerated because it is culturally offensive (like husbands being the head of the house, views on homosexuality, etc.).

I believe antinomianism is a dangerous trend in evangelicalism and is something we need to lovingly take a stand against with our brothers and sisters who espouse it.

6/28/2013 by Joseph Mattera | Original Source: charismamag.com "8 Signs of 'Hypergrace' Churches"

Sin, Sleaze and Hyper Grace

Hyper-grace (03)

One of the biggest problems in the Christian church in the West today is that of antinomianism. The Greek word for law is nomos, and most folks know what the prefix anti means, so this term basically means “against the law” or just plain “lawlessness”.

The term can have various meanings, but theologically speaking it has to do with the belief that the Christian has no real obligation to, or involvement with, God’s law and righteousness. Because we are saved by grace alone, we are no longer under the law in any form, and we need not worry about the law and its demands.

grace 5Of course Paul had to deal with this error long ago. In Romans 6:1-2 he wrote: “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

But in an age of so much shallow preaching, so many selfish and self-centred gospels being proclaimed, and so much dangerous hyper grace teaching being heard, it seems we now have an epidemic of antinomianism in our churches today.

Obligation-free Christian living is all the rage, where believers think that they can do whatever they like, even live like the devil, because everything is covered by God’s love and grace. The very concepts of sin, holiness, the wrath of God, and judgment to come, are almost never heard from so many pulpits today.

It is all about how God loves us unconditionally, his grace is all we need, and we should just enjoy life and have our best self now. That is the mush that is being preached more often than not, and as a result, standards of Christian behaviour seem to be at an all time low.

Christians are so blasé about their walk with the Lord, thinking God just looks down upon them and smiles a lot, that the very basic biblical notions of obedience, sanctification, holiness, and the crucified life are rapidly disappearing. Once again we see here a perfect example of lousy teaching leading to lousy living.

Orthodoxy is vital, as is orthopraxis. But when a false gospel is proclaimed, we will always see it worked out in sinful and disobedient lifestyles. Thus the constant need to guard the gospel, and make sure what we are proclaiming in fact is an expression of biblical truth.

Of course concern about this is not new. In addition to Paul dealing with it 2000 years ago, this has been the constant concern of men of God throughout church history. Let me offer just two voices who had to deal with this. They both warned repeatedly about these issues last century.

First, listen to A. W. Pink:

Healthy Christianity can only be maintained where the balance is properly preserved between a faithful exposition of the holy Law of God and a pressing of its claims upon the conscience, and by tenderly preaching the Gospel and applying its balm to stricken hearts. Where the former predominates to the virtual exclusion of the latter, self-righteous pharisaism is fostered; and where the proclamation of the Gospel ousts the requirements of the Law, Antinomian licentiousness is engendered. During the past hundred years Christendom has probably heard fifty Gospel sermons or addresses to one on the Law, and the consequence has indeed been disastrous and deplorable: a light and backboneless religion, with loose and careless walking.

Now the words of A. W. Tozer:

Antinomianism is the doctrine of grace carried by uncorrected logic to the point of absurdity.
It takes the teaching of justification by faith and twists it into deformity. The creed of the Antinomian is easily stated: “We are saved by faith alone; works have no place in salvation; conduct is works, and is therefore of no importance. What we do cannot matter as long as we believe rightly.

The divorce between creed and conduct is absolute and final. The question of sin is settled by the Cross; conduct is outside the circle of faith and cannot come between the believer and God.” Such in brief, is the teaching of the Antinomian. And so fully has it permeated the Fundamental element in modern Christianity that it is accepted by the religious masses as the very truth of God.

I write all this because on a daily basis I find evidence of this very thing. All around me I see people who profess to be believers who are living just like pagans. They seem to not have the slightest heart for holiness, a passion for purity, or a desire to be fully devoted to God.

Many would have put up their hand at an emotional gospel meeting some time ago, said a brief ‘sinners’ prayer, and now think they are home and hosed with nothing to worry about. They have their life insurance all ready, so now they can go back to living just like they always have.

They sing ten choruses of “Just As I Am” and leave just as they were. No real conversion seems to have taken place, and they are just as lawless now as they were when they were non-Christians. An example of all this which I just came upon today still has me shaking in my boots.

On the one hand it is absolutely unbelievable, but on the other hand it is easily believable. Given all the hyper grace antinomianism swirling all around us, this should not be surprising at all. I refer to Christians and the new book and film series, Fifty Shades of Grey.

I just wrote on this here:  billmuehlenberg.com “2015-02-10 | “fifty shades of sleaze”

And as I just wrote elsewhere, “If a ‘Christian’ tells you he/she has no problem reading/watching Fifty Shades of Grey, then I am quite willing to say that they are clearly not disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

But what made me absolutely shudder is this:

50-shades-grey-thumbOne of our nation’s leading Christian publishers conducted a survey asking respondents to name the most influential book they had read in the past year.

A startling number of women – Christian women – said “Fifty Shades of Grey” was their favorite book of the year.

Why is that so noteworthy?

Because the “Fifty Shades of Grey” books are a written form of pornography, plain and simple. It’s a book series that’s become nothing short of a cultural phenomenon, having sold more than 100 million copies in just a few short years.

Jim Daly of Focus on the Family continues:

The demand has been so intense a feature film is set to be released on Valentine’s Day weekend and talk of it has flooded mainstream entertainment news shows. There are reports that sex scenes comprise one-fifth of the film. Of course, it would be easy to simply slap a label on the material and dismiss it out-of-hand. But there’s a deeper issue we’d be missing. How and why has pornography ensnared so many women, including Christian women?

Can you imagine that?

Women who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ saying this was their favourite book of the year? Not only should they not be reading such filth, but to actually label it as their favourite? What in the world is wrong with these women?

I will tell you what is wrong: they are just deceiving themselves. They think they are Christians but they are not. Anyone who can happily swim in a cesspool of filth and sleaze and claim to be a disciple of Christ is fooling themselves big time.

Now I just happened to have somebody elsewhere throw this line at me: “Actually, many will and have and ARE real Christian women. It’s called temptation and sin and no Christian anywhere is exempt from this. Saying a Christian is not a real Christian because they’ve engaged in something sinful is not what I would think a real Christian would say about another Christian.”

I replied to him as follows:

You miss the point big time. Yes we are all tempted and we all can fall. Our attitude is crucial here: when we sin, do we agree with God and say it is wrong and repent, or do we keep happily sinning, thinking it is no big deal? The attitude here makes all the difference in the world. The real Christian always hates sin and avoids it as much as possible. The fake Christian has no problems at all with indulging in porn like this and even justifying it.

And spare us this unbiblical foolishness that we can never exhort and encourage one another in holiness. If a brother or sister is living in sin, it is our obligation under God to warn them, speak to them, and pray for them. We are to love them enough to confront them.

But this mindset is all around us.

Sin is no big deal, because God accepts us just as we are, and makes no demands on any of us. This is antinomianism pure and simple. It is the deadly error of the hyper grace movement. It is cheap grace, and no genuine disciple of Christ should have anything to do with these damnable errors.

Biblical grace never makes excuses for sin. Real grace always leads us to holy living. Anything else is a sham.

Let me finish with a few words about real grace vs false grace from some great Christians:

The grace that does not make a man better than others is a worthless counterfeit. Christ saves His people, not IN their sins, but FROM their sins. Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord.
-Charles Spurgeon

Grace is the mother and nurse of holiness, not the apologist of sin.
-Charles Spurgeon

Any concept of grace that makes us feel more comfortable sinning is not biblical grace. God’s grace never encourages us to live in sin, on the contrary, it empowers us to say no to sin and yes to truth.
-Randy Alcorn

Grace is not simply leniency when we have sinned. Grace is the enabling gift of God not to sin. Grace is power, not just pardon.
-John Piper

Published: 15.2.15 | Bill Muehlenberg’s CultureWatch | Source: billmuehlenberg.com "Sin, Sleaze and Hyper Grace"