Friday, March 20, 2015

3 Bad Reasons to Leave your Church, How cults begin, Spring has sprung

At the Millennial Evangelical blog, Chris Martin wrote a piece on 3 Bad Reasons to Leave Your Church. Chris is 24 years old, feels called to be a pastor and currently works as a Social Media Facilitator at LifeWay Christian Resources and is pursuing his M.Div. at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

I have not read a great quantity of articles at his site, but I did enjoy this piece. At the bottom of it, he has a link to a companion piece called 3 Good Reasons to Leave Your Church. Here is 3 Bad Reasons' opening paragraph:
Stop treating your local church like your high school girlfriend, and start treating it like the bride of Christ.

You don’t leave the church when it doesn’t share the same musical interests, when it hurts your feelings, or when a newer, more popular one catches your eye.

The people of God, the Church around the world, is the bride of Christ, and the bride of Christ deserves the faithfulness of a bride, not the summer crush you bailed on when you were a jerk in college.

Your church is broken because it’s made up of broken people, including yourself. Abandoning the local church is only acceptable under a few extreme circumstances we’ll address on Friday. Other than in certain circumstances, the people of God have the responsibility to sacrificially love their local churches as Jesus has.

If anyone has the right to abandon the adulterous, idolatrous bride called “Church,” it’s God, and he hasn’t, so we need to be careful how quick we are to bail when the going gets tough.

Here are three bad reasons to leave the local church:

Read more by clicking the link above

This is how cults begin.

False teachers generate followers for themselves, not for Jesus. If the teacher is beloved more than the object of her teaching is, then there is a problem. Like this:


The tweeter could have meant to say "I'll read her inspiring piece later" but given the amount and fervency related to Mrs Moore, I doubt it. Moore so often repeats the mantra that she talks with God and He gives her things to say, that it is no wonder her followers mistake her blog essays for inspired writing, no different than the truly God-breathed words given to the 66 writers of the bible.

Or this:
Manic women from Houston do not have the power to awaken a soul. That is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. Even creepier, is the reference to 'mama Beth.' it couldn't be any closer to the verse in Revelation 2:23 where the LORD promises to strike the metaphorical false prophetess Jezebel's spiritual children (of her second generation of false teaching) dead unless they repent.

I did not have to cherry pick these. It was a day where Mrs Moore had written some drivel on her blog and the followers were discussing it in droves. There was a lot of chatter. There was SO MUCH of this kind of adulation and worship of Beth Moore it was actually hard to narrow it down to these two.

These tweets and the thousands just like them aimed at Moore, and the millions just like them aimed at Joyce Meyer, Benny Hinn and others, fulfill the promise made via the Spirit by Timothy:

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, (2 Timothy 4:3)

These women are heaping up false teachers to suit their passions. Whatever passion you want to fleshily indulge, there is a false teacher to fit.


Spring has sprung, by the weather (for us here in GA) and by the calendar. My yard has a burst of color, a chorus of tweets, and two new baby lambs added to the farm family. When I arrived home at 3:30 after a long week of school, the warm sun and bird song drew me to the swing, and not to the front door. I dumped my stuff, dug out my camera, and walked the yard taking photos. Then I simply sat in the swing and gently rocked in the sun, listening to birds, the sheep, some children playing next door, the occasional car, and the trees in the breeze.

I stayed there until the sun went behind the house, almost two hours. I thought about the regularity of the cycles, the silent march of invisible seasons gracing the earth for a time and then wisping away to make room for the next season's turn to touch the earth. The time now is for new life, buds, birds, bushes.

I thought about the majesty of our God, ordaining each and every day under the sun. There is nothing new, but then again every year it is all new again. The dogwood blooms. The forsythia blooms. The baby birds explore. The lambs are born.

He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting. (Psalm 104:19)

You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you
. (Nehemiah 9:6)

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. (Colossians 1:16)

We are truly blessed to worship the one true God. He alone is worthy, for the earth is His and everything in it. What a beautiful world. What a beautiful God.


9 comments :

  1. WHEW! In my curiosity I clicked the link to the blog from Beth Moore and the overwhelming oppressiveness of all that heavy “law” that she commanded to do produces nothing but discouragement. She seriously needs the Gospel and so do her readers.

    All that “FURIOUS, FERVENT, FAITH-FILLED, UNCEASING PRAYER” with all the “pressing in” and “stepping in”.

    …Truth is none of us can do that. Truth is Beth Moore can’t either…

    I truly appreciate the honesty with which John Bunyan spoke of when describing his Christian life, how wretched his prayer life was, how strong the daily struggle was and how glorious God is to use that weak part of John Bunyan for John’s good:

    Quote from CHAPTER 12, “GRACE ABOUNDING TO THE CHIEF OF SINNERS”
    6. I find to this day seven abominations in my heart: 1. Inclining to unbelief. 2. Suddenly to forget the love and mercy that Christ manifesteth. 3. A leaning to the works of the law. 4. Wanderings and coldness in prayer. 5. To forget to watch for what I pray for. 6. Apt to murmur because I have no more, and yet ready to abuse what I have. 7. I can do none of those things which God commands me, but my corruptions will thrust in themselves. "When I would do good, evil is present with me."

    7. These things I continually see and feel, and am afflicted and oppressed with, yet the wisdom of God doth order them for my good: 1. They make me abhor myself. 2. They keep me from trusting my heart. 3. They convince me of the insufficiency of all inherent righteousness. 4. They show me the necessity of flying to Jesus. 5. They press me to pray unto God. 6. They show me the need I have to watch and be sober; and, 7. Provoke me to pray unto God, through Christ, to help me and carry me through the world. [end of quote]

    Hebrews 4:15-16 (KJV) “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” No "pressing", no "stepping in" - just a humble bend of the knees going to the One who hears. I think we can all say "AMEN".

    Have a blessed night Elizabeth and hope you are feeling better from your bronchitis.

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    Replies
    1. I AM blessed, by your comment, the scripture and the Bunyan quote. A super trio of good thoughts to end the day with. Thank you so much Colette.

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    2. Thanks Colette for your succinct words.
      Jennifer

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    3. I think that Chris Martin has his heart in the right place but might want to reconsider his "reasons to leave a Church".

      First and foremost is Scripture tells us not to be equally yoked with unbelievers.

      2 Corinthians 6:14
      Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

      But as immature Christians, or even those who are one of the elect but not yet born again, how well are they equipped to know the difference between the truth and almost the truth?

      Spurgeon put it best, " Discernment is NOT knowing the difference between right and wrong. It IS knowing the difference between right and almost right"

      Clearly a born again believer is better able to access that discernment than one of the elect who is yet to be tapped by the Holy Spirit. But that does not mean an immature Christian is armed with the full armor of God in a way that protects him from all sorts of false teachings and doctrines. Satan may have lost the battle for his soul but can still render a believer impotent in their lives and witness.

      2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (NASB)
      13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.

      So to me, the real question is NOT to know when to leave a church but having the discernment to recognize why. And the “why” is based on our knowledge through study, led by the Holy Spirit, to know what is Scriptural and what is not. And if you find yourself in a “church” that is clearly not teaching true Biblical doctrine then leave! NO, RUN!!!

      Many mature believers live in small communities where there are no churches preaching and teaching the “absolute truth”. I am one of those believers. But that does not mean I am required to support a “church” that comes close but still falls short even if I can find one of those that meet this criteria. To me they are even more dangerous than the churches that openly practice heresy.

      So Mr. Martin, let us keep it simple in terms of where NOT to worship and the reasons to leave if that’s where we find ourselves. Trying to say there are 3 or 3 million reasons to leave a church is simply not quantifiable. There is one and only one reason so attempting to describe a finite list of reasons is not only presumptuous but arrogant.

      Either God’s word is taught, or it isn’t.

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  2. I simply refuse to join with those who will use the ambiguity of those who seek the benefit of an organization that engages in a manner that is in contradiction to the pattern of truth in scripture.
    When I find a group that has Christ at it's head I will fellowship with them.

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  3. I wish there was a "like" button, so I could just let you know I really enjoyed the post if I don't have anything profound to say. Great post and links. Loved the 2 articles by the young man. Not surprised by the Beth Moore hoopla. However, I am glad it is becoming more obvious. Perhaps the masses will start to realize the problems with her soon. The majority is usually a few years behind those of us who discern. I remember in 2011 when I was alarmed about Jesus Calling, and no one took me seriously. I happily notice now that it is increasingly more common to see write ups warning about it. May it be the same with Moore.
    Jennifer

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  4. Sorry, guess I have more to chime in on. You said, "Manic women from Houston do not have the power to awaken a soul". It made me chuckle, because it is so spot on! Yes. Also, I went over just now to check out her post, out of curiosity, and I am in agreement with Colette. It totally stressed me out. All of the ALL CAPS commands. Yikes! I think you could add her legalism to your list of false gospels post from earlier this week, "the Beth Moore pressure gospel"
    Jennifer

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  5. Rick, Jeff, Gates, I think you're being too tough on him. There is discernment and there is such a thing as being TOO skeptical. There needs to be patience and a encouragement of the young ones, especially ones like the author of the piece. I would not have published the piece if I detected blanket heresy or even leanings of falsity. I agree with the author because he made some excellent points. Though you're certainly welcome to your opinions and I'm glad you shared them, I don't agree.

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  6. Chris Martin’s employment at LifeWay Christian Resources is enough in and of itself to cause me to be very skeptical of him! Just one example of this is the many heretical books that they stock and sell, not to even mention the very dangerous courses that they have aggressively promoted! For those who may not know, LifeWay is owned and controlled by the Southern Baptist Convention in which I was once active in for many years, including being a student at two of their schools. Moreover, I had trouble in my spirit finding any encouragement in the little bit that I read of his take on the topic at hand, but rather, I had a strong sense of resistance (I did not go to his site - I only read what you conveyed in your writings).

    Some of his concerns sound fair enough on the surface, but I have a strong sense that there MAY be more going on than he even recognizes or discerns. Take for example the music. Much of today’s so called praise music in connected to contemplative states/prayers, and the New Age. It is packaged like so many other lies to look good, sound good, and thus it is a terrible seducer that leads to many other serious Biblical violations. So the little bit of his essay that I did read, is dangerous in its general form and can be banked on by the undiscerning as a blanket endorsement with no warnings of concern to the issue that I have very briefly used as an example, and of course this is only one of many other issues!

    I especially like what Gates Collins and Jeff had to say (comment section)


    Lifeway does sell very dangerous materials! Frankly, I forget if they are, or ever have promoted the following (sorry folks, its late and I can not confirm on the following. I thought that I should warn about this too).

    Alpha Course dangers : http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/alpha.html

    Alpha Course’s Nicky Gumbel’s Leadership Conference Brings in Interfaith Leader Tony Blair
    http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?cat=202


    Rick
    Metro Atlanta

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