March 6, 2011
WARNING: This message pulls no punches. It speaks straightforwardly on a topic that most of us would rather avoid—and that is wolves in sheep’s clothing in the modern church. There are wolves in the sheep pen of modern Christianity undermining the timeless, eternal truths of Scripture and thus altering the nature and the pattern of the Gospel. But these wolves don’t look like wolves; they are wearing very convincing sheep costumes. They appear to be humble and wise men, with spectacles roosted on the ends of their noses. They appear to be cordial men, kind and thoughtful. It’s their fruit that exposes them. For they have one singular question that they are asking the body of Christ today: “Did God really say that? Are you certain? Could it be that you have it wrong?” They are proffering the notion of an “open mind”—a mind more tolerant to new religious thought—a mind hospitable to ideas outside the pale of the Biblical framework. 6,000 years ago this was the tactic of the serpent in the garden, and it’s still the serpent’s primary tactic today.
Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.” And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said
The conspiracy of her prophets in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured people . . . Her priests . . . have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean . . . Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood, to destroy people, and to get dishonest gain. Her prophets plastered them with untempered mortar, seeing false visions, and divining lies for them, saying, “Thus says the Lord GOD,” when the LORD had not spoken . . . So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. Therefore I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
Brethren, be followers together of
THE ENEMY DESERVES A LITTLE CREDIT
The Brilliance of Sneaking Liberal Thinking into the Modern Conservative Church
My Lord is insulted and His Church slighted. And believe me, under this double injury, I smart. The Church has many adversaries. Can my sword sleep, then, in my hand? Never!
THE CRAFTY VOICE
Calling into the Question the Obvious Truth, Beckoning a more Generous Understanding of the Clear Command.
Did God really say that?
Now the serpent was more subtle (cunning shrewd, and crafty) than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said?
Hath God said? – KJV
Has God indeed said? – NKJV
Did God really say? – NIV
Did God actually say? – ESV
Indeed, has God said? – NASB
Did God say? – RSV
Is it true that God hath said? – YNG
Now the serpent was more subtle (cunning shrewd, and crafty) than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said? Has God indeed said? Did God really say? Did God actually say? Indeed, has God said? Did God say? Is it true that God hath said?
Genesis 3:1 (expanded)
THE BASIS OF BELIEF
The Word of God is the Word of God and it CANNOT Lie
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually works also in you that believe.
1 Thessalonians 2:13
Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things (the great promises declared and an
oath given by God to seal the deal), in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and
God is not a man, that he should lie. . . hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
…the Strength of Israel will not lie…
1 Samuel 15:29
…Let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou might be justified in thy sayings, and might overcome when thou art judged.
If we believe not, yet
2 Timothy 2:13
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began
THE APPEAL OF THE OPEN MIND
It appears more reasonable, more generous, more accepting, more hospitable, more socially- correct
- The Closed Mind – a mind that ignorantly and belligerently dismisses and excludes actual facts from having any say in the formation of his/her reality. A mind not open to reasonable discussion, not open for the business of discussing truth.
- The Narrow Mind – a mind that strictly filters all fact and information through an individual’s or small group of individual’s small finite human worldview and experience. A mind unable to break out of traditional, religious, and/or cultural moorings to accept that truth is bigger than what can be comprehended by a singular person or closed-off group of people.
- The Open Mind – a mind that is reasonable and judicious with facts, desirous to learn, accepting of all, ever-ready to consider new and novel thoughts, a mind hospitable to all notions whether true or false. A mind open to anything and everything, eager to chew on ideas never before considered.
INTRODUCING THE CANON MIND
A mind given wholly to God, implicitly trusting God’s definition of reality, exclusively devoted to God’s opinion and command, closed to all thoughts, ideas, or philosophies that would lead the
mind to another take on reality. The Canon Mind is a mind built on God’s Word as if it were in fact, the Word of God. The Canon Mind is built upon the rock-like conviction that God’s Word is the perfect revelation of Fact – it cannot lie and is 100% Truth. And the Canon Mind knows that God intends His Word to be comprehended by His saints, understood by His saints, and lived out by His saints. The Canon Mind is not open to any thought, notion, or definition of reality that is not 100% concurrent with the Revelation of God’s Word.
These (those of Berea) were
THE NOOMA EFFECT
Christian ideas, Christian terminology, Packaged with Artistic Brilliance
FOLLOWING THE NOOMA SUCCESS
- Build Trust. Gain the Confidences of the Evangelical Church Leadership by Posing as a Stable Christian Voice
- Subtly Weaken the Old Moorings. Impose new philosophies into the modern stream of Christian thought via published books
- Repaint Truth. Leverage the confidences gained to sink the Church into error and the questioning of Biblical authority
THE GUSH OF POST-MODERN MUSH
A Pseudo-Intellectualism that Roosts high above the Bible looking down with a compassionate gaze upon the notions of the “Archaic” text
Your Position on the Word Defines Your Response to the Word
✦ Above it – Critique, Correct, Contour it to meet your sensibilities
✦ Equal to it – Esteem it as
✦ Below it – Believe it with unquestioning fervor, Reckon it with unwavering Faith, and Bend to it with loyal, worshipful devotion
The Bizarre Conclusions of those Roosting Above The Uncrucified Conclusions of Fleshly Reasoning
- Truth Stretches, it’s Springy
- The Keys to the Kingdom
- Evolution of Truth
- God A and God B, I choose God B
- I personally couldn’t serve a God who would do that
- The open mind is a more honest and humble mind
BELIEVING THE RECORD
He that believes on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believes not God hath made him a liar; because he believes not the record that God gave of his Son.
1 John 5:10
If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
1 John 1:10
THE RETURN OF THE CANON MIND
We have a choice. But it’s not a matter of who we will bow down to, but when.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him (Jesus), and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
WHERE IS THE FLAW? IS IT IN GOD, OR IN US?
Behold, in this thou art not just: I will answer thee, that God is greater than man. Why do thou strive against him?
Far be it from God, that he should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit
Job 34:10,12; Job 37:23-24
Is it our position to Critique God, to Question His Ways?
Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knows? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the
Job 38:1-8,16-18, 22-23, 31, 34-37, 41; Job 40:2, 8-14
Is Truth Evolving? Does God Adapt to the Culture, to the Political Correctness of our Times?
For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Is this all about our Choice, our wishes, our sensibilities? Do we Define God’s nature? Do we define the way we want
You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you . . .
1 John 4:19
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4:10
Is Truth Springy? Does Truth adapt and flex around us, or are we supposed to adapt and flex around God?
He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
The LORD is my rock … The God of my rock; in Him will I trust … who is a rock, save our God? … Exalted be the God of the rock of my
2 Samuel 22:2-3, 32, 47; 23:3
John 1:1-4, 14
Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of
And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock
1 Corinthians 10:4
What is the proper response of the Believer?
Then Job answered the LORD, and said, I know that thou canst do
Job 42:1-3, 5-6
HE WILL OVERCOME WHEN HE IS JUDGED
For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?.
Shall we Strike with the Sword