Thursday, August 4, 2016

The problem with tolerating false teachers is...

A friend and I were talking about the younger church generation. A kind of "Kids these days" conversation, lol.  She said, "They've been swimming in Beth Moore stuff for so long they don't know if they are even in troubled water." She and I, and others I've spoken with, notice the younger generation of 16-25 year olds simply do not have a solid theological grounding. They do not approach Bible study credibly. They infuse it with feelings, mysticism, romanticism, and subjective experience. They think this is the norm.

This is wrong.

And it is our fault.

This problem is what I dub the 'Symbolic Jezebel problem'. It's a generation thing. You see, in Revelation 2 metaphorical Jezebel who was a false prophetess of Thyatira. She was tolerated (one would assume, by the elders of the local church) for so long, unfortunately another generation of spiritual daughters had sprung up under her influence with her false teaching as a model. The ones coming up didn't know any better, because they had false prophetess 'Jezebel' as their example. They must have figured this is the right way to practice the faith, because after all, the elders were not saying anything. It was tolerated. The issues were her false teaching, her false prophesying and the fact that she was teaching in a position of authority in the church. There's a lot wrong right there. Jesus said to this church-

But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. 22Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, 23and I will strike her children dead. (Revelation 2:20-23).

The other day I was talking with a 25-year-old. He was frustrated his peers could not see the truth that certain teachers are false or they could not understand why they approaches to study and communing with God were false (liver shivers, manifestations, circle praying, contemplative prayer...etc). I'd replied that his generation was the first one to have grown up completely under the false emergent, purpose driven, emotional, romantic, mystical model. An entire generation has been exposed to false teachings of one sort or another that have been tolerated by elders.

Beth Moore has been teaching locally since 1984 and went public with incorporating Living Proof Ministries in 1994. She's nearly 60 now, Christine Caine is turning 50 next month. Lysa TerKeurst is 47. "Experiencing God" the terrible mystical curriculum that took the SBC by storm was published in 1976 and grew to monstrously popular proportions in the 1980s. All this is 25-30 years ago and we are reaping the terrible penalty for it now with our soft youth who are growing up as the the next generation of leaders. The problem is seen in this 2015 headline from Christianity Today, which unwittingly puts its finger dead center on the problem-

What Happens When We See Women Teach the Bible; A figure like Beth Moore shows evangelical women what’s possible.

No. It's about what happens when we see not what's possible, but what's tolerated.

These young kids coming up who are 16 or 20 or 25 have been exposed to these things from their birth, even in homes that are solid (because it creeps in anyway). These teachers have been at it for a long time. Forty years is the length of a generation.

We tolerate a Moore, we accept a Experiencing God, we teach subjective methods of Bible study, and incrementally it all adds up. Inch by inch and then foot by foot and then mile by mile, we are on a downward slide that accelerates from a snowball to a tsunami. The generation of kids who use this stuff become the next generation of leaders, and promote it all over again to a new generation coming up. That is what is happening now.

What can you do about it? The Apostles of the first century church and their leader successors spent a great deal of time stamping out error, falsity and heresy where it sprang up. They didn't let it go, They didn't tolerate it, except in the case of the Thyatiran church, where Jesus personally dictated a letter telling them they were in danger of being smited by His hand! Jesus takes error seriously, the Apostles took error seriously and we should too. Error kills. (Galatians 5:9, John 10:10).

What should we do?

Repent of your personal sin so that your heart and mind can stay clear.

Don't overlook the small errors that pop up when they occur in your sphere. Satan's tentacles will gradually creep in (2 Timothy 3:6). Notice them and address them. Would you ignore a spark on a haystack just because it's small and pretty? No the spark has the power to ignite a conflagration and destroy the entire thing. What happens in your garden if you let a few weeds go, and you don't pull them up? Pick your battles (because you're not a lone ranger, others in your church have the gift of discernment and exhortation, too ;) and speak up. I know it's tiring. I know it's a message that is increasingly unwanted. But do it.

Also, stay in the Word. Keep reading and delving into who Jesus is and His character and nature. It is the way we stay sharp and grounded and on the Rock.

I do not have a new message here. I always say to repent, pray, and stay in the word. That's because this is what Jesus says to do. The messages in the Bible are true and right, and if we follow them, and continue to do our duty by Him, we will be all right.

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22).

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Further Reading

The Gigantic Problem Beneath the Really Big Problem

Six Ways the World will Pressure you to Conform

Does 'Judge Not' Mean we Should not Rebuke Error?

21 comments :

  1. Good stuff, Elizabeth! Thanks for posting my article, too. God Bless!

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  2. Your making waves and sending out such truth...
    I for one have seen and heard so many lies and those teachers are just into being seen and their latest new book ect.
    But I fear as you stated a whole generation is under such false teachings, we that have escaped are just shocked at how much we were deceived. I was telling a friend its like you want to block all the christian supposedly stations on cable as their filled with lies and deceptions. I have gotten rid of all those old Beth Moore bible studies and Rick Warrens book long ago. But the lies are everywhere. Christians are now holding hands in a circle and praying. They think all these things are so spiritual... So many have come out of IHOP and they are on fire and with no true doctrine at all, just feelings and visions and words and lies and voices...
    Thanks Roxy

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  3. I'd never really thought about the fact that the 20 somethings are the first generation raised under the seeker sensitive mystical nonsense. Great point.
    Excellent essay, as always.

    Jennifer

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  4. Excellent article. I'm concerned for my niece and nephew who are growing up in a household with parents who believe in gold dust and angel feathers.

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  5. Bring back fasting.

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    1. I agree, it is a "lost" practice, and where it is taught (i.e Rick Warren, Jentezen Franklin) it's taught pragmatically or legalistically. But I hope you fast, anyone can at any time :)

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  6. Great article
    I did attend a Beth M bible series studies a few years ago. I remember how sweet & funny she was. The baptist private school ran the study with the pastors blessing. It is true, everybody loved Beth. Now I know years later that truly she is a wolf in sheeps clothing.

    But Beth is one of hundreds now. The list is long. I noticed that in particular the woman to woman events they all have one very strong common denominator. They make the listener feel great, feel special and unique. This is a priority with them. They focus primarley on friendships They use a lot of catch phrases and tweet daily quotes about it too. They have dethroned the Christ of the scriptures and replaced Him with another Jesus. Unfortunately both these men & woman hide behind social media. If you want to see them speak it will cost you money.They all write books now and I grow weary of the self-promotion they are all steeped in.
    I personally believe they are afraid of Q&A's. I have personally sent tweets to them with my questions regarding their false statements. I would simply ask. Please show me the scriptures for what you posted.I have done this many times. Nobody has answered me yet. The bigger the conferences the more successful they feel. The youth I would guess that attend these conferences and conventions will be the ones hurt the most.

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    1. You summed it up so perfectly, Anonymous!! Great comment.

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  7. Poignant Topic, just this week I had a conversation with a 28 year old female that recently attended a church(building) with a married gay couple(her friends), the pastor was also a lesbian. I simply asked her if she thought her friends homosexual union was blessed/recognized by God, she responded "I don't know".....lovingly I went about explaining God's Word to her and showed(in scripture) how that couple nor that church were in the Light. By the end of our conversation The Truth was getting through. Second episode this week was another friend of mine forwarding a link to me saying to check it out because he received motivation from it. I opened the link and there was Steve Harvey(current host of Family Feud) giving what appeared to be a bible inspired message, even mentioned god(lower case g cause it wasn't a message from the true God). I listened and all I heard was a new age message with a few "the bible says" phrases thrown out there. So I politely responded with true bible scripture pointing out signs of a counter fit. To Christ Jesus be the glory for allowing an unworthy servant like me share His Glorious Word which remains forever!

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  8. This topic is a struggle for me as I grew up reading Beth Moore and Joyce Meyer. My dad used to speak against them but I always thought he was just being an old grouch. I found your blog while attending a Beth Moore Bible study about six months ago and have enjoyed reading it. I found it conflicting when my Sunday sermon was on the fact that God is not our personal Santa Clause and we exist to serve him and not the other way around and then at Bible study we get taught to just pray and God will bless us.


    At my last Bible study we all went around talking about how we do our personal quiet time and I noticed everyone else read some type of book like Jesus calling and when it was my turn I was the only one who read the Bible during my devotial time. I thought it was crazy. I love to read other books but during my time with God I like to read the Bible and try and get my own thoughts on it rather then read what someone else has to say on it.


    Our next Bible study is a new one by Beth Moore and I haven't yet signed up for it, and I'm not sure that I will.

    Thanks for your blog, it definitely is a lighthouse for those seeking the truth.

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    1. Hi ANonymous,

      Testimonies like yours absolutely make my day. Thank you for being concerned with the things of Christ and being careful of what you absorb. The Holy Spirit seems to be growing you in grace. I'm grateful to know it.

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  9. A life of contentment exposes the truth about comparison—it is nothing but a distraction. If you’re anything like me, you’ve believed the lies that another woman’s beauty takes away from yours. A classmate’s intelligence diminishes yours. A co-worker’s pay raise minimizes your financial blessings.

    Often in our human attempts to make all things fair, we are tempted to think that God loves us all the same. But same just isn’t big enough. The word same implies that we might be somehow replaceable or interchangeable. Like, “Oh no, I broke one of the purple glasses I bought at Target last week; I hope they still have the same ones in stock.”

    This doesn’t work for God.

    One afternoon as I was dozing off for a nap, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper, “I do not love my children equally.” Where did this blasphemous thought come from? I blurted out, “You have to love us the same or else it wouldn’t be fair.”

    My protest was answered with, “I don’t. Equal implies my love can be measured, and I assure you … it cannot. Same would mean my children are replaceable or interchangeable, and they are not. My heart is not divided into compartments. No one could take the place of or displace another in my heart. For you see, I don’t love my children equally, I love them uniquely.”

    Take a deep breath and listen. Our Father’s love cannot be likened to a pan of brownies that is painstakingly cut by a loving parent into equal portions so that no child feels slighted. His marvelous love is not subject to portion control—it is infinite, intimate, and unique. And you are uniquely loved because you were uniquely created.

    Unique means “without equal or rival.” Our Father God stands alone without rival, so we shouldn’t be surprised that in His eyes we are daughters without rival, which eliminates every reason that we should ever compete with one another.

    Together we’re going to discover how to be our full selves. We’re going to stop comparing ourselves with others because comparison is not the source of inspiration. Comparison is cheating us and this earth of who we truly are.

    You are the beginning and the end of you. There is no rival for the way you express His love to others or for how He expresses His love to you.

    This is from Lisa Bevere newest push "Without Rival" I hope you see what I see. "The exaltation of self" Eph 4:14 This stuff makes me cry really. Such an onslaught of lies and deceit. I always get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when reading stuff like this. Everything they say revolves around "the self" But the self that they label "chosen of God' They do not present themselves as lovers of truth with the pure doctrine of Christ they know not. There words never offend. That's the plan.

    I googled last night a question. "Can a drop of water penetrate a stone"? For sure it can. But it is not by force it is by persistence and time. How profound!

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    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Thank you for reading! Also, thank you for commenting. It providentially offers an opportunity to speak truth to you.

      First, I'm sorry that satan is whispering blasphemies to you in your ear while you doze. I know it's satan because God isn't whispering to us, God has finally spoken to us through His Son, which is the word. (Hebrews 1:1-2). God isn't personally speaking ("Whispering"( to us. But satan issss.

      Second, God does love us intimately as you said, and He has a unique relationship with each of us, I agree with you there. We are each as individual as the fingerprint at the end of our hands and this is reflected in our relationship with Him. However He loves us all equally: perfectly, completely, and fully. I know this because the scriptures say so-

      God does not show favoritism. (Romans 12:2).
      With God there is no partiality. (Acts 10:34).
      For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe. (Deuteronomy 10:17)

      He does not love Jonah the disobedient less than Noah the obedient. He does not love Peter the denier less than John the Apostle of Love.
      He does not love you less than me.

      He loves us equally.

      Third, Lisa Bevere is a false teacher and I warn you strenuously to avoid her. I warn you with tears to repent of following her and promoting her and to get back to the word. I tell you these things out of concern and love.

      FMI on why Lisa Bevere is false please, PLEASE see this:

      http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2012/11/caine-moore-and-bevere-teach.html

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    2. Elizabeth

      Please read my reply about LB new book. It is my comments that were underneath the LB paragraphs from her latest book. "Without Rival" Below are my comments and I ended my comments with a metaphor about deception. I apologize for any confusion I caused.

      This is from Lisa Bevere newest push "Without Rival" I hope you see what I see. "The exaltation of self" Eph 4:14 This stuff makes me cry really. Such an onslaught of lies and deceit. I always get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when reading stuff like this. Everything they say revolves around "the self" But the self that they label "chosen of God' They do not present themselves as lovers of truth with the pure doctrine of Christ they know not. There words never offend. That's the plan.

      I googled last night a question. "Can a drop of water penetrate a stone"? For sure it can. But it is not by force it is by persistence and time. How profound!
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    3. Thank you for the clarification! I apologize for being confused!

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  10. Hi Elizabeth,

    I would really appreciate your help on this. Currently, only two of us in our church are doing this extensive research about celebrity mega church pastors and famous Christian book authors and it is really saddening that most of our senior leaders (senior means they are already leading a small group and have been serving with different ministries in our church for quite a long time, but not pastors) would just always respond with the following: "that they don't really want to judge or be called judgemental", "perhaps God can still use these false teachers in some way that unbelievers will still reached the gospel", or when we share videos or blogs for example about Rick Warren their reply would be " that blog site is just a fault-finding site, they should just do something good instead of focusing in the faults or criticizing any single pastor or christian author". Our church has a lot of members who patronizes Rick Warren, Joseph Prince, Steven Furtick, Joyce Meyer, Chuck Swindoll, Charles Stanley, John Piper, Hillsong and so on. But our Senior Pastor or the rest of the senior pastors so far doesn't really mentioned these authors in their preachings every Sunday (thank God) however they also do not talk about false teachers; even in our small groups this topic is like a taboo for fear of offending someone. Our focus has always been to Love God Love Others and the great commission of sharing the gospel. So what are we doing right now is just accepting and respecting each other's opinion and conviction which sometimes it's hard for us two because we understand that we also need to rebuke them. Another thing, my friend is a new believer (more than 2yrs i think) coming from so many Chinese beliefs and rituals while me though have been a believer for a long time I can't say that I am knowledgeable in the Bible and has not handle a small group eversince. It's actually only now that I am grasping the true sense of the Bible. We really are burdened by this but there's nothing we can do but to pray for them.

    Appreciate your insights. Thanks!

    Margie

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    1. Margie, I've been mulling your dilemma, and also I've been heartbroken because your'e another in a long line of women who say the same thing, disappointment in pastors and leaders who promote undoctrinal teachers and who won't listen. :(

      I'll reply specifically to your comment this afternoon when I get home from work. :)

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    2. Hi Margie,

      I'm sorry they do not take the admonitions to contend for the faith seriously. I think one tactic might be to study the verses in context that discuss contending for the faith, and the Titus verses that discuss leaders promoting sound doctrine, and ask what contending and doctrine means to them. How does that look in real life? How did Paul, Peter, Timothy contend? Jesus was not impressed with the leaders of the church at Thyatira who tolerated false teacher Jezebel.

      Also can discuss whether Paul was being fault finding when he protected his flock by naming false teachers and movements and rebuking them. How does one contend? What does that mean?

      I liked Sunny Shell's comment to those who persist in allowing bad doctrine to enter their lives, saying 'maybe God can use it in some way". He can, but He won't. That is because He promised to sent Truth to us, and we must worship in Spirit and in Truth. Sunny Shell at Abandoned to Christ said,

      "No, I don't think this movie is a great way to reveal the truth about God since it's filled with lies about God. And yes, I realize God can use anything to save someone, but He only chose to use the message of the true Gospel to save all men (John 14:6, Acts 4:12). Nowhere in Scripture does God command or allow His children to use the work of Satan to proclaim His truth. And God is clear, anyone who denies Him and defiles His holy character or word, works for the devil, not for God."

      "Since the beginning of time, the devil has attempted to minimize and blaspheme God's holy character by lulling us to disregard His holiness, justice and righteousness. God has never called His children of light to partner with the works of darkness (2 Cor 6:15-16). As God's children, we are commanded to pursue holiness, rather than try to find a way to compromise the glory of Christ in order to "reach more people". "

      Back to me now. Truth is not relational, it is propositional. It proposes one truth. The Bible has one meaning, the Author intended one meaning and it is up to us through diligence and reliance on the Holy Spirit to illuminate that truth to us. We don't have opinions about it or claim one truth for me and one for you. However that is what the leaders are doing, forgetting that Truth IS Jesus. (I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life John 14:6). Failing to promote his narrow and absolute truth by allowing opinions, false teachers, and weak apologetics, is marginalizing the very Truth that bought them.

      I'd pray of course, and if you feel comfortable, meet with one or two of them and discuss what tolerating false teachers does to a congregation, or whatever topics you feel are most pressing. Ask them their perspective.

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  11. Hi Elizabeth,

    Thank you so much for your time. These really are good points to discuss. I will pray for an opportunity for us to have a discussion about this. I'm sure they will bring out some verses as well just to support their arguments so I probably will just hear them first and I can do my own research and study regarding their stand. I can always see that a lot of teachings in the Bible are most of the times being taken out of context (eg. Rom.8:28 I can almost see that this verse will come out) and I am slowly learning right now how to rightly apply a specific verse in the actual setting. So I will take note of this and do my study and pray that I will always be ready. I really appreciate your help and all that you are doing here Elizabeth. 'Till next time :-) God Bless

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