Oct 292013
 

links_image1More on Strange Fire…

Bunch of Kindle deals…

9 facts about the persecuted church…

Multiple partner unions…

The Duck Dynasty Christmas Album….

What are the fruits of the Spirit?

Misunderstanding grace…

A false Gospel?

Phil Johnson defends “Strange Fire”…and makes a couple very good points…

Wenatchee the Hatchet nails Driscolls hypocrisy…

The anatomy of apathy…

My next job…

A twist on a Halloween haunted house…based on a real teen killed in crash.

Where your donation to Israel really goes…

God’s anointed abusers…

Furtick defends his mansion, sheep nod in agreement…

THE 100 BIGGEST CHURCHES IN AMERICA 2013

THE 100 FASTEST GROWING CHURCHES IN AMERICA 2013

  132 Responses to “Links!”

  1. I have a few honest questions for anyone who would like to weigh in on behalf of the Strange Fire folk. I did just read Johnson’s article and just found more of the same kind of stuff. Anyway here goes… First, what is the very best bit of exegesis that was done in the conference to defend cessationism? I did not have time to watch it all and I simply found the constant mantra of defending the Word of God against continuationists and charismania. However appealing to scripture seems to be the weakness here. There is so much in scripture that the Strange Fire folk would call strange fire that had they been historically present when the events of the Bible were recorded they would likely have been on the side of those who claimed Jesus healed by beelzebub or wanted to see signs.

    Let’s just take a couple things from early Acts. Who for example would believe the report about cloven tongues of fire? I mean who saw them? Did some see them and others not? I mean when God spoke earlier in the life of Jesus some said “it thundered.” Imagine all the eye witnesses who would deny a voice came. When the wind blew, the mighty rushing wind, who would believe that to have been a divine manifestation. The tongues would have had as many reporting gibberish as languages. I mean let’s humanize this stuff to what really happens.

    I can go on forever, but I honestly want to know what was the very best that the Strange Fire people had to offer. My own belief is that their Biblical exegesis will not support their practical contentions and will do a great deal to undermine it. Having a thesis that the Bible is inerrant but that none of the miracles of the Bible happen in space and time outside the Bible is a bit hard to believe. No it is simply not credible. Btw, kill my straw man if I misunderstand their claim.

    I would also like to know where the 80% claim about Bickle comes from in Johnson’s writing. Further, I want to know if moral failure is universally considered to be an invalidation of people’s theology and practice. Or is that just prophets?

  2. OK I see the Bickle link… sorry about that.

  3. James Duncan makes a great anolgy on the problem guys like Furtick and Perry Noble face:
    http://www.pajamapages.com/steven-furtick-and-the-walter-white-conundrum/comment-page-1/#comment-8776

  4. I listened to the Bickle link. I am very disappointed by it. I have no problem with his correction of other people who make themselves a distraction. I find that in harmony with Paul’s intent in I Corinthians. But to call it fake is to bring credibility to those like MacArthur who are bringing moral charges of dishonesty or corruption.

    I find many things in charismatic renewal that are psychologically explainable but that is not the equivalent of fake. To say people are faking is to say they are deceiving and being deceived. I am really at odds with that assessment. No wonder Johnson rejoiced to have that data.

  5. BD,

    The very strongest point that you make is one I’ve tried to make before as well.
    Cessationism kills any claim to the inerrancy of Scripture.
    The scriptural case for cessationism is paper thin in my opinion.

  6. Having said that, I in no way want to find myself in any way connected to Joyner or that train wreck in Redding.
    Until that camp deals with those sorts of bizarre representatives they belong on the fringe.

  7. Michael,
    I nay have missed it – did you report on the Todd Bentley event in your town last weekend?

  8. BD has summarized Johnson’s issue perfectly.

    We need guys like Dread, Brown, and Storms to be up front and admit that Joyner, Bickle, Jones, Cain, Bentley, Gold Dust, Gold fillings, and etc. are complete phony. To hold that this junk is in any way legit, keeps the decent charismatics handcuffed to the looneys.

    I’m not a cessationist, but I’ve been around 1000’s of “manifestations”, and they were all false. Many were intentionally fake, including a few that I did myself.

  9. MLD,

    That was an interesting time.
    I had to choose between my responsibilities as a parent and raising hell with Todd.
    I chose to be a parent.
    The reports I received said a made a good decision…it was pretty much a non event in Medford and I’m very proud that it turned out that way.

  10. Josh,

    I am up front that there are Charismatics to avoid. Your list is not a bad start though I do not condemn them as strongly as you. They are not complete phonies. The interesting thing is the manifestations. I am not that keen on them but have seen them with my own eyes. I know a woman that sparkles when she prays for people, and otherwise. It is the ‘gold dust’ phenomenon and it is completely unnaturally generated. By that I mean she does not do it herself.

    I recently saw a woman whose hands were filling with liquid before my eyes it was oily though not completely so. She was mystified by it but it was only when she was being prayed for. I saw this myself and knew it was not being faked as the woman herself was mystified. She was however earnestly praying for the Holy Spirit to move upon her.

    As for gold fillings I have never seen one. The most credible report I can give you comes from a blogger on this site who well known. It is his story to tell and he himself is amazed by it. There is no clean break between what you call loonies and those who imply are legit. The mix is profound.

    And Michael your succinct assessment of my point is better than my point.

  11. Dread,

    I’ll take it a step farther.
    The cessationist argument is not exegetical,it’s experiential… the exact thing they accuse the charismatic camp of.
    It’s simply reversed…because we do not see manifestations that equal those of the NT they try to make scripture deny what it already affirms in too many places.
    I do not understand the lack of supernatural manifestations in the church today, but I cannot deny that the Bible says they exist.

  12. Dread, I hear you, and I appreciate your faith.

    I was on staff at a SBC church when the Lakeland thing went took over. Our church went nutty for a while. We had a glittery prayer lady too. Easily accomplished, by the way, but none the less, some though she was super spiritual. There was also an oily hands woman who first manifested while her hands were on my head praying. I smelled like olive oil for a week. Oddly enough, that is another easy one to pull off. People even reported seeing gold or something on the stage when I sang. I investigated and found what was very clearly glitter and rhinestones like you’d get at a craft store. Someone had gone early to help along the Holy Spirit!
    All of these things are so easily faked, I would just think that God would be…bigger. So much bigger. If these small, cheap tricks really are God, I’m disappointed.

    I wish there weren’t so many fakes. I wish there was a real manifestation somewhere. I haven’t seen it, if there is.

  13. I really appreciated Michael Brown’s article cautioning us about accusing others of preaching a “false gospel”. He’s right. We are too quick to condemn fellow Christians over non-essentials. May I learn to be gracious and humble toward those I disagree with.

  14. Furtick isn’t the real problem it’s the people sitting in the pews who are giving the nod of approval.Steve Taylor wrote a song back in the 1980s called Guilty by Association….a song about christians who
    listen and look and refuse to go to the scriptures and disern whats in front of them.Lord have mercy on us.

  15. Isn’t it fruit (singular) of the spirit?
    Just started listening to series from Christchurch London on this topic.
    I like their accents 😉

  16. distraction?
    Seems like a woman with an issue of blood for 12 years had more distractions than a 20 minute glossolalia session or a spastic charismania pray-for-the-sick session.

    If only we as Christians could find sick people who’ve had those sicknesses for many years….

  17. If the enemy wanted to attack the work of the Holy Spirit what better way than to parody it to the point of revulsion? Then advertise it. Televise it. Shove it in our face.
    .,
    I see your point. It’s the spastics that give the Holy Spirit a bad rap (nod to Steve Taylor).

  18. The list of biggest congregations is not very scientific (churches self-reported their numbers and many forget or chose not to participate- including Greg Laurie’s Harvest Christian Fellowship) Nonetheless, I think its fascinating that these 100 congregations add up to about 1 million people. That’s a lot of people in super-mega churches. Kinda neat, even if the large crowd setting isn’t your thing.

  19. I am not seeking to self-promote. However, just last Sunday I had much to say about the Holy Spirit from our Romans study, and I then took us to Galatians 5 and the fruit of the Spirit. So I provide the link in the spirit of the linkathon as somewhat relevant to the discussion and the interesting timing of these links with my most recent message.

    http://www.calvaryle.org/Romans%207_1-16.Mp3

    You can jump to 18:40 in the message and listen from there if interested.

  20. I second Jim’s #15 for #12. That was concise and good.

    I think it was Spurgeon who said something about longing for personalities like those of Biblical prophets walking our streets today… likening it to having wild animals wandering the streets and no longer contained in the zoo, and his punch line was we’d find it “un-bearable” (and that’s funny because ‘bears’) with the Prophets as we would the wild animals.

    As much as I want the high octane outpouring of the Spirit, I wonder if I wouldn’t be carried out with the Ananiases and Sapphiras instead of raised to life Eutychus-style.

    I experienced a healing this year that can be explained by pure science, but when pressed on the details, the pure scientists, the doctors who cared for me said the wholeness of my recovery was inexplicable and (quoting) I was ‘just very lucky’. Whenever a scientist cites ‘luck’, I am compelled to question the pure science behind even an antibiotic and wonder if it isn’t just God allowing that little pill to do the wonders of a prophet’s hand from bygone days. And getting no credit for it.
    Interesting that we worship the accomplishments of an antibiotic with greater trust and fervor than our passionate pursuit of God. Also interesting that antibiotics are now on the precipice of making a world full of super germs that may prove lethal to us all.

    It’s almost like we worship the created (antibiotics) above any Creator and are reaping the results in our own bodies.

  21. I’ll be honest I’m more comfortable with cessationism, but my theology doesn’t allow me to tell God what he can or cannot do, unless of course Scripture puts some limitation upon him (ie – He cannot change).

    The philosophical argument against the sign gifts is a classic baby with the bath water argument…in seeking to protect the church against the abuse of some they tragically miss out on glimpses of the Kingdom.

    Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

  22. “it was pretty much a non event in Medford and I’m very proud that it turned out that way.”

    Now this sin, and it is a very horrible sin that even Bentley can be forgiven for. If he does not generate consistent revenue he will be kicked to the curb more that is more sure than gravity.

  23. can = cant

  24. Liked #12

    Michael said though “I do not understand the lack of supernatural manifestations in the church today, but I cannot deny that the Bible says they exist.”

    I struggled myself some at one time or another about this, but have to come down on the side of continuationism. This happened awhile back, but just recently I think I figured out some of what I think the problem is in the Western church.

    I believe in supernatural manifestations, I just don’t think they happen with any frequency in the Western world very much.
    When I read, books about things happening overseas amongst the persecuted church, I see big undeniable things happening for the glory of Christ. Dreams, visions, miracles and more.
    I think this is the main thing, they happen for the glory of Christ and the spreading of the gospel in these places and are undeniable as such.

    John 16:14 “He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”~Jesus, talking of the Holy Spirit.

    Much of what goes on in the charismatic church in America, seems to be for the glory of man to me.

  25. Strange Fire. Oh my.

    A sadder consortium of religious prigs never soiled the Web.

    At least not since the old days here a PP. 🙂

  26. I posted this on the Strange Fire blog after everyone had moved on:

    On a stage in the middle of hyperbole
    he would make a point for us all to be
    impugned
    and wouldn’t you be fumed?
    Strange Fire
    kills your most pure desire.

  27. Wenatcheehe the Hatchet did a good job as usual. I thought that it was a fair article.

  28. About the strangefire conference I watched what Joni said, I wont comment because somethings are just to holy if you get my point. She had some very powerful words that spoke to even a dark hardened heart like mine. MacArthur I could not stand; but I listened, something he is incapable of doing, I even learned. Something he cant do outside of his own paradigm, but I listened and I did learn somethings.

    Something I asked several times on twitter during the conference and got no answer and I dont expect one, but what really is the Gospel? I found that interesting. Not unexpected but interesting.

  29. If you offered me a truckload of gold bars, and told me 80% of them were fake, I would accept.

    What an asinine argument to suggest charismatics should abandon the gifts because 80% are fake.

  30. Reminds me of the old guy playing checkers with his dog. He said, No big deal, this dog don’t win but maybe one game outta ten.

  31. PP Vet I agree but as I understand it from JM’s point of view every single thing you think, believe, say, act, hope, dream etc needs to be perfect, any imperfection is of Satan. Satan is at the door he corrupts every single thing in your life if you are off even by a molecule or less. God’s wrath is waiting to send judgement and God is only dissuaded by good arguments and intellectual understanding. Even the cells that do not divide perfectly are an affront to a Holy God, every non perfect breath is a hell deserving sin. They want perfection in the apologetic, maybe not the person, which has no meaning, but in the apologetic.

    I have never been able to be that perfect while still hating myself with the significant amount of vile to insure God loves me, even though he cant unless I am in the groove. I have said this before, no good news there, never has been. The sad thing is they dont get that, not at all. I find that very sad.

  32. That’s a good analogy, PP Vet. It’s another way of saying test the spirits to see whether they be of God. I laughed at your dog tale.

  33. How would you know which part was real gold? That’s kinda important, ya know. You go trying to pass off fake gold and you’ll go to prison. If you have some way of knowing which Gold is real, why not just throw away the fake Gold? All it does is causes danger and suspicion.

    Yeah, that is a good analogy.

  34. I have to ask this:

    Why would God and all His creative power send “gold” fillings, drop false gold glitter from the ceiling, cause hands to become oily (BTW I’ve seen oily hands due to work and even fear), cause people to roll around and make weird noises or many other “manifestations?”

    Why would God do these weird things when the Jesus of the scriptures went and healed a man who was blind from birth?

    Yes I believe in the mighty power of God, yes I believe the whole idea of “cessation” is a crock made up like most things to fit someones idea, and Yes I believe God heals the broken. But why would God deal out false garbage?

    Can’t we just be mature and sober beings created by the very finger of God and say, “the Emperor has no clothes!”

    Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and power and love others as yourself, boy is that the hardest thing ever to do.

  35. So, I found out that Carlos Pimentel is leading a new church plant in Grants Pass called The Bridge. Looks like it started up in September. I think this could be bad news.

  36. When God begins something, it is often nearly impossible to tell whether or not it is God (tares & wheat, Gamaliel view, etc.).

    Most of what God starts appears to mostly fail (Israel, humanity, Christianity, etc.)

    Ipso facto:

    Finding the gold in the garbage is what becoming a mature Christian is all about.

  37. Whatever the phenomenon were that I saw they were not faked… absolutely not. That was clear. Plus, I did not and do not claim it was gold just that it sparkles. The woman I know very well and she is credible. As for what it does, well that is easy, it simply cause us to be amazed and to worship the Lord.

    As for Bickle’s 80% comment. I listened enough to be clear what he was and was not saying. He was arguing that the odd manifestations are to some degree under the control of the people who experience them. He was not arguing that spiritual gifts were faked. Certainly not that 80% of them are.

  38. (I agree with BD’s take on MB’s comment.)

    JTB “How would you know which part was real gold?”

    We could have a fun and lengthy discussion about: How, in a context in which the so-called gifts are freely exercised, does one distinguish what is real and what is not?

    One key is the text “those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil”. In other words, who is experienced at doing this?

    Certainly in Chuck Smith’s writings, he discusses how early in his ministry he saw apparent gifts that just were not making people better. So his emphasis was more on, What is edifying and what is not?

    From what little I know of the people who comment here, very view have deep experience in observing and participating in the operation of the “gifts”.

    Many have a tiny bit of exposure, which fortunately is just enough to make them experts.

  39. So, you are saying your analogy doesn’t really work?

  40. Can’t we just be mature and sober beings created by the very finger of God and say, “the Emperor has no clothes!”

    Yep.

  41. PP

    Ok one of those pithy sayings, ” Finding the gold in the garbage is what becoming a mature Christian is all about.”

    A put down?

    But why would God deal with the trivial when people around the globe are in great need of His healing powers of love and mercy? Why not just replace that tooth with a real tooth rather than a false one?

    Why give people false miracles when Jesus provide real ones? Come on folks God is real and most of these manifestations are false.

    Oh well, Michael you posted a thread which hit a nerve. I think I find it easy to pick on the false preachers and teachers who promote themselves through these “manifestations” and a lot harder to look at our own hearts and ask why we might seek such false hopes when the real deal stands at our doors.

    Not trolling for a fight, BTW.

    The Lord God is one!

  42. As a charismatic I’m still in line with Josh here.

    I don’t accept the truck with gold. I take my gold expert to the truck and remove the bars he says are genuine and leave the truck where it sits along with its 80% of deception (now 100% after removing the genuine)

    Is it too much to ask the Bible to be our gold expert?

  43. The gifts of the Spirit are among the essential amino acids to the Church.

    Like it or not, we have to figure out how to implement, manage, refine, and use them to our edification.

  44. Fake charismata are steroids to the Body. They make it look good for a while, but are deadly in the end.

  45. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world”. It seems to me that if we are truly led by the Holy Spirit, HE will teach us who is real and who isn’t. For me, the first sign of a false teacher is when there’s money involved. The second is when they track all of their accomplishments instead of pointing to Jesus and giving Him the glory. A teller at a bank studies the real money so long that they can spot fakes easily. God is faithful and He does not change. Back to my dark hole for the day.

  46. “Is it too much to ask the Bible to be our gold expert?”

    Seems like that should be obvious.

  47. Trying to understand the operation of the gifts by studying the Bible is like trying to understand baseball by studying the rule book.

  48. At least if you know the rule book you won’t run the bases backwards. That’s counter-productive.

  49. Have you ever sat with someone and explained baseball (or any sport). You spend most of your time discussing the rule book. If you don’t know the rule book you can’t possibly evaluate the game of baseball – especially if a pick-up game was being played with no umpires and each team decided to do whatever they wanted with no respect to the rule book.

    Even the expression “gifts of the Holy Spirit” implies a defined category outside of our own personal opinions. Otherwise, I’ll just attach the term to any and everything I do in life. Making the term of course totally meaningless.

  50. I like to play baseball by throwing an oblong ball through a net.

    You can’t tell me I’m wrong.

  51. At least the baseball rule book is very clear and precise….. All the many different christian “leagues” are pretty adamant they are following the “real” meaning of the bible rule book.

  52. I’d rather have a bat, a ball, five of my childhood friends, and an empty field, than a rule book.

  53. Silly sayings:

    “Like it or not, we have to figure out how to implement, manage, refine, and use them to our edification.”

    ““The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

    Oops I guess the creation doesn’t “implement, manage nor refine” anything thing. If one believe such a thing I think a trip back to the garden is inorder.

    “Trying to understand the operation of the gifts by studying the Bible is like trying to understand baseball by studying the rule book.”

    I guess you missed the World Series games this week. The holders of the rule book (umps) determined what a true call was.

    Analogies, never seem to fit perfectly.

    Jesus said this: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (Of course MLD will tell us that is an example of before the resurrection and therefore is unattainable, yes we all have our interpretations).

    So how would anyone know what His commandments are?

    I know the guy with the “holy spirit machine gun” will tell me?

    For God so loved…

    I’m a vet of listening to my own mind.

  54. I’d rather have a bat, a ball, five of my childhood friends, and an empty field, than a rule book.
    ———————————————————–
    Yeah, because this is an either/or question, right?

    Good grief. You are talking to a charismatic…but one that does not bark, fall down or several other things that get blamed on the Holy Spirit.

  55. When I was a kid, we often had just six of us (counting me). We used the bat, ball and field to play a game called “Over-The-Line”

    Maybe some of you have played it too. Lots of fun. It had its own rules, which we all knew and abided by.

    Of course, it is not baseball. Baseball is different from over-the-line.

    Just because you use a baseball and a bat, and play on a field, does not mean you are playing the game of baseball.

    Just because something happens in a church building and the preacher says it is God at work, also does not make it so.

  56. OK let’s use baseball as an analogy:

    Like baseball if we want to play in God’s field we have to play according to His rules or lse we are thrown out and banned from the ball park.

    Of course when we leave the park we can make our own rules up and decide what’s of god or not.

    Hey maybe this baseball thing isn’t so bad after all.

    BTW, I didn’t really appreciate baseball in its fullness until I had the opportunity to train and manage little league players. I used to hate sitting for hours waiting for the action to start and then I learned the plays and what was going on in the field. Also it’s a great place to veg while eating too much on a nice warm summer eve.

    His is Lord (not me).

    Steve good explanations for a Calvary guy 😉

  57. Just read the polyamory link. As believers, we teach of beliefs to our children and to those we disciple. Like Paul, we say, “don’t participate in that”.

    Beyond that, it’s none of our business how our neighbors live, unless they infringe on our rights.

    Why is anyone talking about this?

  58. “Of course when we leave the park we can make our own rules up and decide what’s of god or not.”

    Well that’s what the American League did 40 yrs ago – left baseball, made up their own rules (the designated hitter) and started their own kind of game.

  59. Well the scripture does have rules, true.

    Like, Do not lie, do not commit adultery.

    Or, as the Democrats currently scurrying to defend the president’s Obamacare promises would say, Do not be imprecise.

  60. Jim, FWIW – I think polyamory (and its increasing acceptance) absolutely guarantees another change in marriage.

    If it is cruel to deny marriage to anyone who “loves” someone of the same sex. It is also cruel to deny that same right to someone who loves TWO people (of same sex or otherwise).

    I think this is why, always, bisexuals are included with homosexuals in other civil rights legislation.

    A bisexual loves a man and a woman both. Why forced to only pick one for marriage.

    This isn’t even bigamy. Polyamory would be one marriage – just more than two people in that one marriage union.

  61. PP Vet – your example of sins is spot on. Something I was going to mention earlier.

    I think most here hold to the belief that if the Bible calls something a sin, it is a sin. Just because the local church calls something a sin, does not make it a sin.

    Same with the gifts. If the Bible describes something as a Spiritual gift. It is one. Just because a local church calls something a Spiritual gift, does not make it so.

  62. Steve, it won’t change Christian marriage. The fed needs to stay out of all marriages.

  63. Gay marriage ultimately means the END of all legal distinctions as to marriage partners. Everything becomes permissible. Everyone knows this. It is time for Christians to remove themselves from acting as legal agents of marriage. It is time for civil ceremonies to become distinct from faith ceremonies.

  64. Yeah, but they are neck deep in it. We can agree on what we would like to see but that is not going to happen.

    So I can be upset simply as an American taxpayer, businessowner and so forth at such changes….even if I didn’t care as a Christian re: definitions.

  65. My reply was to Jim @65

    I agree with Dread – this was C.S. Lewis’ argument in Mere Christianity except his context had to do with divorce.

  66. I think Dread has it backwards (who sanctioned the wedding at Cana?), but it might be the correct strategy, given the times we live in. It would be wrong to force a minister to conduct a ceremony that violates his conscience. In Jim’s world, you would need a license from the state to do much of anything, but that’s folly.

  67. Whoa…I meant would NOT need a license…..

  68. @ 66 – Dread – I agree, and I’ll go a tad further; it’s time for me to stop serving as an agent of the state – that is, by my signature solemnizing my agreement to or affirmation of any state action, including marriage licenses and serving on a jury. The state is morally objectionable, capricious on its best day. I can’t ‘sign off’ and solemnize its conduct.

  69. Gotta serve on juries, bro…

  70. Lewis’ point re: divorce was that if people want the divorce benefits of the state, then they need a state marriage. If they want the respect and trappings of a Christian marriage then they need to abide by Christian teachings on divorce.

    The problem though is that many churches today would still marry homosexuals, bisexuals whatever – even without the state.

    So I guess then marriage would be like seminary. It’s not just that you went, but WHERE you went that is factored into people’s judgment.

    For example, I do not know of a seminary with a PhD program in my area. Lots of Dmins, but if someone wanted a PhD (without moving or extended time away from home and family) they would have to go to Fuller.

    But for some people given their beliefs and possible ministry plans, a PhD from Fuller would defeat the purpose of getting a PhD in the first place! They’d sure have to “explain” such a PhD to certain folks.

  71. I’m way late to the convo but, speaking of the gold analogy, if a preacher is giving out the gospel and signs and miracles happen I look at it with a healthy skepticism but if a preacher is focused on gifts or miracles, etc. I’m not interested. That’s not the gospel.
    If I have some gold and some fake gold of course I’m going to find out which is real. That’s a no brainer.

  72. I am interested in everything God gives irregardless of the means.

  73. I would urge everyone to think about the impact of an offended heart or mind. Some ‘ministries’ seem to spread offense by design to shut people down. They love to tell every potentially offensive report. When that is carefully examined in the light of Jesus’ life and ministry it is chilling. I think we should be honest with ourselves as to how offensive Jesus was and would have been to us. I find the power of an offended heart on page after page of the Gospels.

    The charismatic movement offends so many people on style points alone. But we forget how horribly offensive the stuff we have made peace with in own movements is to others. My first foray into a Baptist church was an exercise in warding off offense so I could stand to remain in that plastic sterile arrogant environment. I am very glad that I did get past it for the untold blessing that came afterward. Same with renewal.

    The people who were offended with Jesus thought they had very good reasons for it. They have my sympathies and a thousand times I have thanked the LORD that I was not at the well in Samaria as a ministerial student in my early 20s. I would have been scandalized. That is just one example.

  74. Wait ‘irregardless’ is a problematic word and might have caused offense. REGARDLESS would have been sufficient.

  75. MLD:

    “Well that’s what the American League did 40 yrs ago – left baseball, made up their own rules (the designated hitter) and started their own kind of game.”

    See baseball is a good analogy of what happened in the garden. The tree of knowledge wasn’t poisoned it was deciding to do what they felt was right that was.

    So God sent them out of the field of dreams and into the dust filled lot to play.

    Now I think I agree with the Babylon guy on his position on marriage. How can the first marriage defined in Genesis 2 happen when it’s two guys or two girls? Who’s the father bringing the bride to the groom, and of course who is the bride or the groom?

    So who get’s the dog in a divorce?

  76. BD, can you give me an example of someone who you know to be following God and does not preach the gospel but promotes signs and miracles?

  77. Gary,
    A. I do not know what constitutes your original assertion. You clearly had something or someone in mind.
    B. I do not know what preaching the Gospel means for you.
    C. I know ministers who unashamedly have meetings with INTENTIONAL design to heal the sick, prophesy, and other matters. I believe them to be Gospel ministers but you might not.

    Some ministers believe that miracles are intrinsic to the Gospel and cannot fathom that people make the distinctions you have asserted.

    So who do you have in mind? I just know that when you are sick enough and hungry enough you don’t focus too much on a minister’s motives or agenda. You have your own.

  78. BD, what is the gospel?

  79. I am interested in everything God gives irregardless of the means.
    ———————————————————
    My variance of the above is this.

    There is so much described in the Bible that I have not yet experienced. And how I desire to be blessed by God’s grace in all ways I know He has given others.

    I can’t fathom looking for even more stuff that may or may not be from Him, when all the validated legit stuff is so great that I doubt I could enjoy it all in multiple lifetimes.

  80. Gary let’s start with what Jesus said,

    Matt 11:2 Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3 and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” 4 And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5 the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. 6 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

    That sounds good to me but John was languishing in prison, I think he had a Gospel in mind that would have not included such a thing.

    The Gospel is that God has fulfilled his promises to Israel through Jesus and all the families of the earth receive the outpoured Spirit in his name.

    I think that covers it.

  81. So, what does that look like today? Where do you see that happening?

  82. Oh please, BD, nobody does that stuff that Jesus did anymore.

  83. Gary,

    It looks like people hearing believing being healed and saved.

  84. Here you go, Gary:

    http://tinyurl.com/oea5rvl

    Somebody tell me Heidi is a fraud, and I will personally hitchhike to your house and punch you in the face.

  85. I know Heidi and Rolland personally and many others. I have chosen to not lay out names for people to attack. I give myself for that because I don’t give a rat’s asterisk.

  86. Why are you guys talking about healing in Jesus’ name?

    Who (in this thread) said that wasn’t Biblical?

  87. No one said it wasn’t Biblical, Gary said “if a preacher is giving out the gospel and signs and miracles happen I look at it with a healthy skepticism but if a preacher is focused on gifts or miracles, etc. I’m not interested. That’s not the gospel.”

    Then discussion ensued which really was only me being quizzed and Gary not wanting to participate except to be given something to shoot at. I am not that forthcoming with names.

    My original statement was about how the Spirit of offense kills the hearing of the message.

  88. Also Mahesh Chavda.

    The Holy Spirit is not a self-righteous bigot. He moves through deeply flawed and disreputable vessels. Such as Todd Bentley, whom so many here love to get in a dither over.

    But have fun finding dirt on Mahesh and Heidi. And if you do, I don’t care, and neither do they.

  89. “But have fun finding dirt on Mahesh and Heidi. And if you do, I don’t care, and neither do they.”

    Now there is a problem. If someone actually found dirt on these folks, you and they don’t care?

  90. What do you want to know about Mahesh? I’ve seen the effects of his circus arpund here for a couple decades.

    Total Fraud.

  91. Wow that brought the Pharisees out of the woodwork 🙂

  92. PP Vet – now i see why you like CC – that no accountability thing. 😉

    I felt the same way when people said that Eric Gagne was on the juice – no way and I don’t care.

  93. Are my only choices accepting complete fakes and being a Pharisee?

    I know nothing of Heidi Baker. I don’t go searching for frauds.

    I know a lot about Mahesh Chavda. I’m sorry you believe in a fake.

  94. I’m still confused of all the gold bars and baseball rule books discussion when PP Vet simply trots out a healing in Jesus name.

    I’m off to preach.

  95. I participate as I have time.

    Let me rephrase my statement. I’m not interested in showmen alluding to signs and miracles. I wouldn’t mind actually seeing God work. I’m open. I didn’t have anyone in mind. I got to thinking of Benny Hinn and Robert Tilton after I posted. If a sign or a miracle brings people to faith in Christ it’s exciting.

  96. I have dirt on Jesus (lost his cool at the temple, rubbed spit in a guy’s eyes, condoned adultery, was abandoned by all his followers). I think I can find more.

  97. There’s dirt on Jesus’ feet.

  98. If you look closely you can see the devil squirming ‘tween his toes.

  99. ” I wouldn’t mind actually seeing God work.”

    That is a noble sentiment IMHO. Seek Him, and He will show you exactly that.

    You accepted Christ by faith. Maybe there was some evidence, but ultimately, you believed.

    Many miracles by their nature have no visible incontrovertible proof. Some do, but without a physician in residence, or a live video, and sometimes even then! it will not convince a skeptic.

    I have spent time with Mahesh, seen him minister, and I have seen video of healing under his ministry, enough to convince me he has a gift.

    In recent years he has become more of a conventional ministry. But just because some little twerp from North Carolina tries to smear him on the Web, that is not enough to sway me.

  100. PP Vet – you are bad at analogies. Jesus’ miracles: Real or fake? That’s the question. I believe with all of my heart that His miracles were all 100% real.

    Mahesh Chavda has glory feathers fall through a whole in a revival tent. Puts glitter under his wig so it shakes out a little as the service goes on. Sound like Jesus to you?

  101. There’s been a lot of talk about what it would take for me to believe…what would it take for you to believe that Chavda is a fraud? I can meet any criteria for proving his phoniness. What do you want to see?

  102. I really don’t see how glory feathers or glitter is either edifying or glorifying to Christ.
    Healings I can, but all this other stuff…not so much.

  103. You will know them by their fruit. Fruit can be observed. As people are saved their lives are changed. They show it. How about a church full of testimonies like this-
    God healed me and I started following Jesus. He changed me.
    or
    I saw a sign and it drew me to Jesus. I’ve ben following him for years.

    I don’t see that happening in the showy shows.

  104. #106 Exactly!
    Which is why when I hear testimony from the growing and persecuted church, where stuff like you mention happens, I believe it, because the fruit is evident. It glorifies Christ and draws people to Him.

  105. “You will know them by their fruit. Fruit can be observed. As people are saved their lives are changed. They show it.” Zakly. Good doctrine.

    Not “you will know them by the fact that they never do anything weird or that you do not understand or that is outside the tiny envelope of your personal religious experience.”

    But by their fruit: their effect on people, for example.

  106. So, is it OK to perform obviously fraudulent miracles and attribute them to God (blasphemy, by the way) as long as you have a good effect on some nitwit on the internet?

    Vet – Your heroes are fakes, man. I’ve seen behind the current. Oz is just a normal guy putting on a show for money.

  107. I don’t see the purpose in rains of gold dust, feathers or diamonds.
    Sorry, just not getting it.

  108. I never understand these guys who have the special healing ministries – where does that come from? I personally think that all of these sign & wonders type ministries come from Satan.

    At my church, we elders go out a few times a month to people who are sick … we go to them, we pray over them and anoint them with oil, have communion and leave it in God’s hands. I think James tells us to do that.

    All these other guys, well, they are not fakes – they have substance, but who does that substance come from?

  109. Elders anointing and praying – that is totally awesome.

  110. Read the Bible. One message is clear: If it’s not weird, it’s probably not God.

  111. I do want to say that I like PP Vet, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for B Dread. I don’t play guilt by association.
    I know that Dread experienced some pain in the SBC years ago. It surely colors the way he sees, say, Al Mohler. My life was wrecked by the charismania a few years ago, so it certainly colors the way I view Mahesh Chavda or Rick Joyner.

    I hope it is understood that we all have life experiences that have brought us to this point. I’m not *just* a twerp in North Carolina. I am a twerp in North Carolina who has experienced some major pain at the hands of Charismatics. I have an experience and a voice. I’m gonna use them both as I navigate the future.

  112. That is very graciously said, JTB. Thanks.

    Nothing I enjoy more than lobbing a hand grenade and watching someone respond to it with some class. Really.

  113. Eh, I’ve pulled the pin on several myself 🙂 You’re a good guy, PP Vet. Different branches, same tree.

  114. “Read the Bible. One message is clear: If it’s not weird, it’s probably not God.”

    Yep another grenade.

    Please show us where the bible is “weird.”

    Let me counter by this, God created all the stuff around us, including bring your ancestor up from the mud of the earth. So could it be said God’s creation is the norm and what man dreams up in his head is the weird stuff!

    Dogs bark, cats meow, and what do foxes say?

  115. “Pass the grapes”?

  116. God often seems weird to us, because we do not live in His view.

  117. The spitting in the dirt, rubbing the mud in the eyes story was little odd.

  118. Josh:

    “The spitting in the dirt, rubbing the mud in the eyes story was little odd”

    Nope, it was actually a common way “healers” of the day would attempt to heal wounds. More of a norm of the Second Temple Period but weird to us whom have aspirin and antibiotics.

    The difference is Jesus actually healed the man while the healers didn’t. Hey reminds me of Benny Hinn, not an authentic healing recorded ever from him.

  119. “God often seems weird to us, because we do not live in His view.”

    Yeah I guess it is weird to stay married to the same woman your whole life.

    God only seems weird because humans in general don’t want God telling them what to do.

    Dogs bark and cats meow and mine demand to be fed.

  120. Found a church that self-described as “Casual atmosphere, serious faith, no weird stuff”.

    Thought, Two out of three, not bad.

  121. Talking donkey? Prophets lying on their side or walking around naked? God comes to earth and gets killed? Virgin has a baby? Snake talking? Man told by God to kill his son? Man swallowed by fish and lives? Slave tribe escapes empire, lives off strange desert substance for 40 years, sets up kingdom? Man told by God to marry prostitute? Prisoner ends up second-in-command over Egypt? Women not allowed to talk in church? Man has totally strange visions of beasts with horns, gets it published and read by billions? Astrologers follow star to baby born in stable, claim He is messiah? Man comes down from mountain, claims God carved commands into stone? All first-born sons in huge country mysteriously die on same night?

    And my favorite: Executed criminal buried, walks out of grave, walks through wall, meets with followers, escorted into heaven by angels while crowd gasps?

    And much more.

    What part of “National Enquirer” do you not understand?

    And, for the record, I believe it all.

  122. And, furthermore, Bob, weird is not me staying married to the same woman for 34 years. Weird is why in the world she has stayed married to me.

  123. Yeah. totally with PP Vet on that.

  124. PP Vet:

    Apparently you don’t live in the world at all.

    With the exception of the real, not false, miracles the world is a lot weirder than all of those.

    let’s see;

    Snookie and her clan, Hitler, Rwanda, Boy meets boy, girl meets girl, and so much more.

    Nope God’s ways are about being normal and it seems He has to use “compulsion” and miracles to move His creation away from their form of right and wrong.

    I choose to follow a God who actually made all the stuff, not a creation who thinks up stuff.

    And in your case I’ll bet you are correct about the reason your wife stayed married to you. Oh maybe the answer is she listened to reason, God’s reason.

    Oh and I have you beat 37+ years, weird people call it a miracle, when it should be the norm.

    Love God with all your…

    Shema!

    Hebrew for “listen” (as in God, not my own imaginations or pizza dreams, I did that for too long).

  125. 38+, 39 next January.

  126. Gary, Good on you two!

    Most of the people I’m around in the world, yes even in church, consider it odd/not normal and probably weird to be married more than 14 years. Why 14? I don’t know it seems to be a common number. Maybe it’s a double itch or that pattern of sevens that God establish as normal in scripture.

    May God continue to bless your marriage!

  127. Thanks Bob.

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