Charles Haddon Spurgeon is remembered as the “Prince of Preachers”. An examination of the life and ministry of this saint of God leads one to quickly understand why. In the remarkable video, C.H. Spurgeon, The People’s Preacher, produced by Christian Television Association in England, distributed by Vision Video in America and provided to me by Fish Flix.com, one gets a wonderful look into the life and ministry of the humble pastor. I may be biased as I review this film because I have long loved Spurgeon for many, many years. Nevertheless, this video is a must see for every believer.
From his birth in Kelverton, England to his conversion at age 15 in a small Methodist church, to his pastorate of the great Metropolitan Tabernacle, to the troubling and taxing Downgrade controversy to his untimely passing, this film gives an accurate and faithful story of his life and ministry.
Osteen’s twisting of Scripture to encourage and inspire greatness comes at a great cost, the cost of truth. The truth is, I cannot be my best. If I cannot be my best, and therefore do my part, what hope can I have that God will do his part?
These present sufferings do include abuse, rape, terminal disease, tragedy, accidents, personal bankruptcy, miscarriages, corrupt officials, and being persecuted for the faith. Joel has no message of hope or comfort for people in these. His principles and exhortations create more laws and commands that are rooted in our determination, but have nothing to do with the gospel of grace. In the end, we are left to save ourselves from our unfulfilled dreams.
For the faithful pastor who does not have an audience the size of a stadium, or the believer who never makes it to CEO, Osteen’s message of “hope” is actually one of condemnation. Either you do not dream enough or something is wrong with your faith.
While his message is popular because you are your own savior, it simply is not true. Pastor, some of your people may like what he has to say and may feel that he is a nice guy with a positive message in a negative world. The problem is, when we accept his horrible theology, our entire understanding of Scripture is warped.
Joel probably is America’s pastor. Sadly, Break Out! pastors people to be narcissistic, biblically illiterate, and theologically confused. In other words, Break Out! tells you to suspend biblical discernment and enjoy your day at Disneyworld.
So just keep putting in your tokens. Keep believing and declaring that you have already won. The machine just hasn’t realized it yet.
(UPDATE 20 September 2016- An article has been shared with us concerning this subject. You may read it by clicking HERE.)
The Spirit expressly states that in the acharit-hayamim (the last days) some people will apostatize from the faith by paying attention to deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come from the hypocrisy of liars whose own consciences have been burned, as if with a red-hot branding iron.
1 Timothy 4:1,2
Moreover, understand this: in the acharit-hayamim (the last days) will come trying times. People will be self-loving, money-loving, proud, arrogant, insulting, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, uncontrolled, brutal, hateful of good, traitorous, headstrong, swollen with conceit, loving pleasure rather than God, as they retain the outer form of religion but deny its power.Stay away from these people! For some of them worm their way into homes and get control of weak-willed women who are heaped with sins and swayed by various impulses, who are always learning but never able to come to full knowledge of the truth.
2 Timothy 3:1-7
Over the course of the last 30 years, in my calling as a preacher, teacher, apologist and radio broadcaster, I have unfortunately been a witness to the growing and alarming trends of false doctrines that have permeated the Church. Few instances have been as sad and shocking as those that seem to focus on young people. Whether it been the Emergent Church, the Seeker-Driven or the Purpose Driven, the enemy’s mission is to kill steal and destroy, and he is concentrating his greatest weapons it seems on those who are young of year and of faith.
I was somewhat familiar with the ministry Adventures in Mission but it wasn’t until I read Missions, Mysticism and Magic by Claris Van Kuiken that I learned of the incredible dangerous scope of AIM’s efforts.
In this book Claris has layed out for us all a clear and concise portrait of what I would describe as the diabolical works of AIM to lead astray youth worldwide, and to do so under the guise of Christians missions, when in reality the organizations methods and motives are more consistent with that of a cult.
Claris skillfully and accurately exposes Adventures in Missions, which under careful Scriptural examination, is clearly steeped in Eastern Mysticism, New Age philosophy, Emergent philosophy, contemplative spirituality and even the occult.
In this book you will learn of AIM’s promotion of such false teachings as holy laughter, “listening prayer”, as well as condoning such heretical movements as The Latter Rain, The Third Wave and other Charismatic-Neopentecostal movements.
Clarish does an extremely thorough and detailed examination of AIM, its founder Seth Barnes and the organizations tools and methods.
The Word of God tells us that the enemy is amazingly deceptive and we must study and pray to be able to discern the truth from a lie. Sadly in today’s society, and indeed in today’s Christian church, young people are, in large degree, illiterate in even the very basic foundations of the faith, let alone in deeper areas of theology and doctrine.
I agree with Claris that Adventures in Mission is a very deceptive and dangerous enterprise; that’s its mission and ministry is to intentionally propagate to an unsuspecting and spiritually, and scripturally, ignorant generation.
Jude 3 says we are to “earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.” Missions, Mysticism and Magic calls us to study, prayer and action, and is in my opinion an extremely valuable resource to educate ourselves and others of the truth of the Gospel. I highly recommend this book to all who love, cherish and stand for the Truth.
Mike visits with Jeffery Johnson, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Conway, Arkansas and author of the book The Church, Why Bother-The Nature, Purpose and Functions of the Local Church. As stated in a review by John MacArthur, “Since Christ loved the church enough to die for her, every believer ought to share that passion. Jeffrey Johnson clearly does, and I believe you will find his enthusiasm contagious”.
I have heard too many men, including some ministers and counselors, brag on what they feel is the great value of the book Wild at Heart by John Eldredge. I have never felt good about the book and the philosophy it promotes and Daniel Gillespie, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Wilmington, NC wrote an excellent review of the book entitled Roaming Wild: Investigating the Message of Wild at Heart. The review is a chapter of the book Fool’s Gold, edited by John MacArthur, and available at http://www.gty.org/Shop/Books/451152_Fools-Gold-Softcover.
On page 95 of the book Pastor Gillespie offers the following conclusion, of which I fully agree:
There is no question that Wild at Heart addresses a critical topic in Christianity. There is a serious need for men with resolve, strength and character. However, by failing to establish a high view of Scripture, a high view of God, and a proper view of man, Eldredge lays a faulty foundation for constructing true masculinity. His call to be a wild man is not only unnecessary-it is unbiblical. Man are to be dignified and above reproach, not dangerous and beyond restraint. The man behind the desk can be just as much a man of God as the mighty warrior of the Old Testament-if he holds fast to what God’s Word commands him to be (see Eph 5; Titus 2).
So let the man who searches for true masculinity look no further than the pages of Scripture, for there he will find the truth about himself from the mouth of his Creator. Let his ears not be tickled by the whims of men, but let his mind be trained by the Word of God. And before any man looks for his battle to fight, his beauty to rescue, and his adventure to live, let him first look to his God to glorify.
This is an excerpt of a review by Terry Chrisope, Associate Professor of History and Bible at Missouri College, of the book Revival and Revivalism: The Making and Marring of American Evangelicalism, 1750-1858., by Iain H. Murray, available from Monergism Books
The final third of the book describes the popularization of revivalism in American Christianity. A theology and practice similar to those of Methodism were to flourish in the East under the impetus provided by Charles G. Finney who, though not originating these methods, became instrumental in popularizing and spreading them. The theological underpinning of Finney’s approach was the assumption of complete human ability to respond to the demands of the gospel and the corresponding need to utilize all available means to promote what was called "revival." Division among Christians occurred as adherents of the older theology of revival as a sovereign work of God raised questions about and objections to Finney’s "new measures" and the theology which underlay them. Those who raised such questions were soon castigated as being "anti-revival" and as opposed to evangelism, although this patently was not the case. It seemed to many that a new era in evangelism and revival was being born, and the claim appeared to be supported by the numbers of new converts being produced. The use of the prescribed means of protracted meetings, emotional appeals, and altar calls were supposed to unfailingly produce the desired revival, and if they did not it was due to human fault rather than to any contrary purpose in the divine will. This new approach swept Baptists and virtually all other Protestants before it and became the accepted understanding of revival by the end of the century. Any remembrance of the older concept of revival was all but lost.
Murray’s study is quietly powerful and persuasive. His argument gathers strength as it advances through the book. A brief review can hardly do it justice. But some of the issues that Murray raises are worthy of noting here and should provoke serious discussion, especially among Southern Baptists, who, generally speaking, have assimilated and institutionalized the methods advocated by Finney and his followers.
The first and perhaps most fundamental issue to be raised by this book is that of the theology of conversion. Prior to approximately 1830 a Calvinistic conception of human inability and the necessity for the operation of divine grace prevailed among American Protestants except for the Methodists. A corresponding understanding of revival as a sovereign outpouring of divine power accompanied this view. After 1830 the Methodist theology of conversion (known as Arminianism or semi-pelagianism) became gradually but widely accepted. This view sees conversion as dependent on the response of the autonomous human will rather than being the result of the special work of the Holy Spirit. This theology was associated with a new view of revivals, one which saw them as the product of the human means used to promote them. This revised understanding of conversion and revival had no more energetic proponent than Charles G. Finney, whose views came to prevail among American evangelical Protestants.