Posts Tagged ‘Paul Proctor’

NEW BOOKLET: Three Vital Questions to Navigating Discernment

NEW BOOKLET: Three Vital Questions to Navigating Discernment by Harry Ironside, Paul Proctor, and the Editors at Lighthouse Trails is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract.  The Booklet is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Three Vital Questions to Navigating Discernment, click here. 

BKT-ex-er-3-sQuestion #1: Should Christians Expose Error?

By Harry A. Ironside

Objection is often raised—even by some sound in the faith—regarding the exposure of error as being entirely negative and of no real edification. Of late, the hue and cry has been against any and all negative teaching. But the brethren who assume this attitude forget that a large part of the New Testament, both of the teaching of our blessed Lord Himself and the writings of the apostles, is made up of this very character of ministry—namely, showing the Satanic origin and, therefore, the unsettling results of the propagation of erroneous systems which Peter, in his second epistle, so definitely refers to as “damnable heresies.”

Our Lord prophesied, “Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” Within our own day, how many false prophets have risen; and oh, how many are the deceived! Paul predicted:

I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch. (Acts 20:29-31)

My own observation is that these “grievous wolves,” alone and in packs, are not sparing even the most favored flocks. Undershepherds in these “perilous times” will do well to note the apostle’s warning:

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers. (vs. 28)

It is as important in these days as in Paul’s—in fact, it is increasingly important—to expose the many types of false teaching that, on every hand, abound more and more.

We are called upon to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3), while we hold the truth in love. The faith means the whole body of revealed truth, and to contend for all of God’s truth necessitates some negative teaching. The choice is not left with us. Jude said he preferred a different, a pleasanter theme:

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 3, 4)

Paul, likewise, admonishes us to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11).

This does not imply harsh treatment of those entrapped by error—quite the opposite. If it be objected that exposure to error necessitates unkind reflection upon others who do not see as we do, our answer is: it has always been the duty of every loyal servant of Christ to warn against any teaching that would make Him less precious or cast reflection upon His finished redemptive work and the all-sufficiency of His present service as our great High Priest and Advocate.

Every system of teaching can be judged by what it sets forth as to these fundamental truths of the faith. “What think ye of Christ?” is still the true test of every creed. The Christ of the Bible is certainly not the Christ of any false “-ism.” Each of the cults has its hideous caricature of our lovely Lord.

Let us who have been redeemed at the cost of His precious blood be “good soldiers of Jesus Christ.” As the battle against the forces of evil waxes ever more hot, we have need for God-given valour.

There is constant temptation to compromise. “Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach” (Hebrews 13:13). It is always right to stand firmly for what God has revealed concerning His blessed Son’s person and work. The “father of lies” deals in half-truths and specializes in most subtle fallacies concerning the Lord Jesus, our sole and sufficient Savior.

Error is like leaven of which we read, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (Galatians 5:9). Truth mixed with error is equivalent to all error, except that it is more innocent looking and, therefore, more dangerous. God hates such a mixture! Any error, or any truth-and-error mixture, calls for definite exposure and repudiation. To condone such is to be unfaithful to God and His Word and treacherous to imperiled souls for whom Christ died.

Exposing error is most unpopular work. But from every true standpoint it is worthwhile work. To our Savior, it means that He receives from us, His blood-bought ones, the loyalty that is His due. To ourselves, if we consider “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt,” it ensures future reward, a thousand-fold. And to souls “caught in the snare of the fowler,” how many of them God only knows, it may mean light and life, abundant and everlasting.

Question #2: What Does Matthew 18 Mean?

By Paul Proctor

Every now and then I get a terse e-mail from someone who has taken exception to my candid comments on Rick Warren, asking questions like: “Have you ever spoken with him personally about your objections and concerns and tried to work through your differences privately as scripture teaches, rather than attack him publicly as you do?”

The Scripture they usually cite is, of course, Matthew 18:15-17:

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

This is probably one of the more misunderstood and misapplied Scriptures quoted today. Because we have been inappropriately taught that unity and relationships are the most important things for Christians to pursue and protect in the church, the verses in Matthew 18 are often touted as the principal directive we should follow when addressing false teachers. But frankly, nothing could be any further from the truth and only ends up protecting, sustaining, and empowering those who bring these false teachings, which is probably why they teach it.

There is absolutely no biblical record of Jesus or any of His disciples ever taking a heretic off to the side for coffee and donuts after they led someone astray by distorting the Word of God. They didn’t shake hands, exchange hugs, kisses, and phone numbers or set up appointments on their smartphones to dialog their doctrinal differences over lunch in the quiet corner of a favorite restaurant at a more convenient time.

No, Jesus dealt with heretics harshly, publicly, and immediately, as did Paul and the other disciples. God is very serious about His Word being rightly divided and properly proclaimed.

So, what was Jesus referring to in Matthew 18? Look again carefully at how he begins:

If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone.

You see, the Lord is referring here to a personal offense, grievance, and/or misunderstanding between two people—something that has broken their fellowship and has little or nothing to do with anyone else. Personal and private matters of wrongdoing should always be dealt with personally and privately first, so as not to unduly disrupt the unity of the body. That is indeed, biblical.

Now, as for wolves in sheep’s clothing that stand in pulpits and on stages before vast audiences with microphones and television cameras proclaiming demonic doctrines as the Word of God, the scriptural directive is altogether different:

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8)

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. (Ephesians 5:11)

(“Reprove” is another word for rebuke)

A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject. (Titus 3:10)

If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. (2 John 1:10-11)

Jesus didn’t request a closed-door session with the Scribes and Pharisees in order to find common ground, build relationships, and promote unity in Jerusalem. He condemned their blasphemy before one and all and repeatedly warned His disciples about their leaven. And when His disciple challenged Him about His own up and coming crucifixion, Jesus didn’t put His hand gently on Peter’s shoulder and softly whisper: “My friend, you just don’t understand.” No, He lashed back at him with power and authority in front of ALL the disciples saying:

Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. (Matthew 16:23)

Why? Because, Peter was publicly contradicting God’s Word and Divine plan, which is the equivalent of proclaiming Jesus to be a lunatic or a liar.

Did the religious leaders stone Stephen to death because of all the cute and cuddly things he had to say about them? I don’t think so. Stephen spoke the cold hard truth that day, and they hated him for it because God’s truth is always “evil” and intolerable in the ears of the unrepentant. He told them:

Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears . . . who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. (Acts 7:51,53)

Question #3: How Should the Christian Contender of the Faith Speak and Behave?

By the Editors at Lighthouse Trails

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

Lighthouse Trails has always made great efforts to speak the truth in love. We attempt to never be vitriolic or judge one’s motives, not even the “worst” of them. We leave that part up to God. We also attempt to make sure any article we link to by a fellow researcher is of the same caliber. While we do occasionally link to an article that might not fall perfectly into that criteria, our regular authors and writers are of the same mindset as us. So how does a believer rightfully and in a godly manner (following the example of Jesus, Paul, and the disciples) deal with those who are bringing false teachings into the church.

In thinking about following the example of Jesus, the disciples, and Paul, below are some Scripture verses that might help us outline some thoughts, for while we can show verses that talk about showing love and respect to others, we can also show many verses that talk about how to deal properly with those bringing heretical doctrines into the church.

While we don’t believe the New Testament condones cruel or hateful behavior to anyone, we do see a consistent pattern in Scripture that does not look lightly upon those who are teaching heretical doctrines or practices. Let us heed the whole counsel of God, which we believe tells us to remain humble and in an attitude of grace (knowing that we are no better than anyone else in that it is only by the grace of God that we can see these spiritual things), but also tells us to speak courageously, with confidence, honesty, and strength.

We are in a battle for the continuance of the Gospel message—souls are perishing—and words must be said. While we do care for the souls of the men and women who are bringing in dangerous false doctrine and practices, we cannot, in good conscience, take it lightly or have congenial “conversations” and futile private discussions.

The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. (Romans 13:12)

The Bible says that the message of the Cross is the power of God unto salvation (i.e., the doctrine of Christ—2 John 1:9-11). That is because it is the only way of salvation. When teachings such as contemplative spirituality, Spiritual Formation, and emerging ideology (which all have roots in panentheism, occultism, and interspirituality) threaten to diminish the “doctrine of Christ,” it creates a very serious situation that cannot be handled “sitting down.”

What Does Scripture Say About How the Christian Contender of the Faith Should Speak and Behave?

[B]e thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)

. . . that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ. (Ephesians 4:14-15)

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor. (Ephesians 4:25)

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (Ephesians 4:29)

I . . . beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love. (Ephesians 4:1-2)

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (Matthew 7:15)

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. (Galatians 6:1)

But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; how that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. (Jude 1:17-23)

A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject, knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself. (Titus 3:10-11)

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (2 Peter 2:1-2)

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)

Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. (2 John 1: 9-11)

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not . . . (Jude 1:3-5)

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:6-10)

I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: and hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. (Revelation 2: 2-3)

. . . and that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. (Galatians 2: 4-5)

[Instructions to the disciples from Jesus before his death and resurrection]: Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way. And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: and heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city. (Luke 10:3-12)

To order copies of Three Vital Questions to Navigating Discernment, click here. 

NEW MOVIE, CAPTIVE: The Stories Behind the Story and Another Plug for The Purpose Driven Movement

LTRP Note: On September 18th, a new movie will hit the theaters, Captive. The film is the story about Ashley Smith, the young woman who was held captive by an escaped murderer and how she convinced him to give himself up. When the incident happened in 2005, it came out in news reports that the woman had read excerpts from The Purpose Driven Life to her captor. Free-lance journalist Paul Proctor wrote three stories about this that year. Because the movie is coming out, we decided to re-post these insightful articles by Paul Proctor (two of the articles are links below the first article). We agree with Proctor, who said while he was “thrilled that Ashley escaped with her life and that no one else was killed,” he was sorry to see the incident turned into a marketing extravaganza for Rick Warren and The Purpose Driven Life. No doubt, the new movie will be another big plug for “America’s Pastor” and his “New” Spirituality-promoting Purpose Driven movement.

By Paul Proctor

March 26, 2005—A friend called me on my cell phone a couple of weeks ago to share some amazing quotes from the Purpose Driven hostage shortly after her story broke and shot to the top of the human-interest charts. Before he could even finish reading the pertinent excerpts from the article he found, we both agreed that those who stood to benefit the most from this “miracle of God” would exploit it to the very limits of believability and in doing so, further legitimize Rick Warren and his Purpose Driven products, now captivating and confusing the spiritually lame, biblically ignorant and ecclesiastically ambitious around the world.

Of course we all know that nothing sells books, tickets, movies, merchandise, programs, popcorn, cotton candy and Kleenex like a life and death drama with a happy ending. That’s why so many victims and perpetrators who come out of obscurity to suddenly find themselves before the TV cameras end up in some carnivalesque corner of the entertainment industry trying to capitalize on their newfound notoriety and turn it into a cash-producing and/or agenda-advancing career.

If history has taught us anything, it is that pop culture products, performances and personalities don’t have to be good, credible, accurate or even real as long as they stimulate and motivate the masses. That’s why the most popular household appliance sold in America today is not the dishwasher or the clothes washer, but the brainwasher; that big screen fantasy machine that talks you through the highs and lows of life each day like an electronic psychiatrist, while you recline on the couch for hours on end.

When you consider that five corporations control today’s mainstream media, it’s much easier to understand how a nation and even the world can be controlled into thinking, speaking and doing whatever the architects of illusion desire.

Things just don’t happen by chance, they happen by design; and the powers-that-be have carefully planned your future and mine from cradle to grave. By way of seduction and suggestion we are steered deeper into a socialized slavery each day while laughing and crying our way through the facts, feelings and fantasies of a perceived reality called “television.” Their slogan may be: “you decide” but rest assured, they’ve already decided FOR YOU what will and won’t be seen on TV and what commentary and captions will accompany the compelling images they provide.

I’d wager to say that very few, if any, Purpose Driven puppets ever really heard or understood what was being taught them in Ashley Smith’s emotionally charged interview as recorded by CNN. Most, I suspect, were just elated to learn that the “People’s Pastor” had finally been validated in secular society by a Purpose Driven “miracle.”

But, now that the euphoria has subsided somewhat, look again and reconsider carefully what she actually said:

SMITH: “We went to my room. And I asked him if I could read. He said, ‘What do you want to read?’ ‘Well, I have a book in my room.’ So I went and got it. I got my Bible. And I got a book called The Purpose-Driven Life. I turned it to the chapter that I was on that day. It was Chapter 33. And I started to read the first paragraph of it. After I read it, he said, ‘Stop, will you read it again?’ I said, ‘Yeah. I’ll read it again.’ So I read it again to him. It mentioned something about what you thought your purpose in life was. What were you—what talents were you given? What gifts were you given to use? And I asked him what he thought. And he said, ‘I think it was to talk to people and tell them about you.’”

You see, Ashley made a significant choice that day between the Word of God and the words of Warren. Like millions of others who keep Bibles around the house for a second opinion, she chose to read to her captor from Warren’s book instead of God’s Word. And because she made that choice and is still alive today, Ashley is now a hero in the eyes of a nation; and the media has proudly declared hers to be a salvation story and a miracle of deliverance from Almighty God.

I dare say if she had read something Jesus Christ had said, quoting Scripture to Mr. Nichols from her Bible and lived to tell about it, the networks wouldn’t have even allowed her on the air, much less made a big deal out of it. What was the subtle message the architects were teaching us?

Be a hero! – Be Purpose Driven!

No wonder sales of the PDL book spiked! Who wouldn’t want to be a TV hero and a media darling?

When Brian Nichols told Ashley that he thought his purpose was “to talk to people and tell them about you,” I’m sure that made her feel very special; but the absurd implication of that statement seemed to escape most teary-eyed Christians I know; that God had four people shot dead at the courthouse that day in Atlanta just so Nichols could spend the rest of his life telling everyone about Ashley Smith. If it hasn’t registered yet, that’s horizontal worship, aka: idolatry; and THAT, my friends, is what the church growth movement is all about; worshiping one another and our collective achievements in the name of Jesus. That’s why the emphasis is always on relationships rather than righteousness.

SMITH: “But after we began to talk, he said he thought that I was an angel sent from God. And that I was his sister and he was my brother in Christ. And that he was lost and God led him right to me to tell him that he had hurt a lot of people.”

Well, in spite of Brian Nichols’ thoughts and feelings, Ashley is not “an angel sent from God.” She is quite human and has, as Warren admitted on Larry King Live, a less than angelic past. In addition, Mr. Nichols might consider himself to be a “lost brother in Christ,” but I assure you; THERE IS NO SUCH THING. He is either lost OR he is a brother in Christ. He cannot be both simultaneously. Furthermore, a brother in Christ does not gun down innocent people in a court of law, flee for his life, take hostages and threaten to kill them.

SMITH: “I said, ‘Do you believe in miracles? Because if you don’t believe in miracles—you are here for a reason. You’re here in my apartment for some reason. You got out of that courthouse with police everywhere, and you don’t think that’s a miracle? You don’t think you’re supposed to be sitting right here in front of me listening to me tell you, you know, your reason here?’ I said, ‘You know, your miracle could be that you need to—you need to be caught for this,’ Smith continued. ‘You need to go to prison and you need to share the Word of God with them, with all the prisoners there.'”

This is not the Gospel of Christ being shared, friends; this is a frightened woman appealing to a desperate man through his ego, using anything she can think of including God, sympathy, flattery, family, food and friendship to win his trust and just stay alive. Under the circumstances, I don’t fault her for any of this; but let’s just call it what it is. I also don’t fault either of them for their confusion about God, His miracles and His purpose for their lives, considering their obvious lack of biblical knowledge, discernment and understanding.

I do, however, find it absolutely outrageous that a degree-holding, seminary educated, mega-church pastor like Rick Warren would take advantage of this terrible tragedy and the gross ignorance and confusion of those involved and twist it into something he can use to plug his book, his programs, and his upcoming faith-based global socialist P.E.A.C.E. Plan! That is unacceptable behavior, and he ought to be ashamed!

The real travesty that day was this: The Gospel of Christ was not proclaimed, no one repented, and no one was saved; at least not spiritually, which would have been a miracle indeed. According to the reports and interviews I’ve read, Smith and Nichols discussed a lot of heartwarming things in their lives but not Jesus Christ, the cross, His death, burial, resurrection, shed blood or redemptive plan for mankind. From what I can ascertain, their focus was, like Warren’s, on a Purpose Driven Life, not eternal life in Christ.

Nichols did not surrender to Jesus Christ or anyone else for that matter; he was turned in to the authorities by his hostage and taken into custody without incident a short time later.

It just blows my mind that the church today thinks they have a monopoly on kindness and generosity; that displaying such things to strangers somehow MEANS you’re an official “child of God! This is the counterfeit Christianity that the world is just wild about today; the new paradigm for the postmodern church: a religion of relationships, social service, and psychology, offered up in the name of our Homeboy, Jesus.

This kind of Christianity doesn’t even need a Divine Savior or the Word of God, and is replacing both at church with what amounts to religious volunteerism—a politically correct value system and service organization comprised of smiley-faced worker bees that embrace no real doctrine, theology or belief beyond a luv for fellow man.

For a kind word and a drink, you can get THAT at any bar in town! One of the most loyal, unpretentious, unselfish people I know in this life is an atheist. He would give you or me the shirt off his back and do almost anything for anyone, yet he claims no God exists. When is the dumbed-down church of horizontal worship and service going to wake up from this Purpose Driven delusion and realize that our good deeds and human relationships mean nothing without a knowledge of, belief in, and obedience to, the Word of God?

Larry King mentioned during his interview the other night with Warren that a copy of The Purpose Driven Life was found in the back seat of [wife-murderer] Scott Peterson’s car. They concluded that, in light of the outcome, he must not have read it. Here we have support from the LIBERAL media and its premier talk show host, an agnostic! That right there ought to tell you something’s askew! How do we know Scott Peterson DIDN’T read it? Maybe the absence of tears and remorse the media and their expert psychologists condemned him for was really Scott gracefully accepting his newfound purpose in life on death row? That killing his wife and unborn son is what made it all possible. Same logic.

Anyway, call the Purpose Driven hostage outcome anything you want; but it was not a miracle. It was only reported as such because the book she chose to read from that day is published by a subsidiary of one of those big five corporations I mentioned earlier. They have a vested interest in Warren’s success and none in Jesus Christ’s.

I am thrilled that Ashley escaped with her life and that no one else was killed, including Mr. Nichols; but don’t let the media hype this into something it was not. If I’ve learned anything about the “wide gate and the broad way,” it’s that the crowd is ALWAYS wrong.

I wish only the best for Ms. Smith and her little girl and sincerely hope that Brian Nichols confesses, repents, and surrenders to the One who works REAL miracles and doesn’t end up a Purpose Driven hostage himself.

Used with permission from Paul Proctor.

The other articles Paul Proctor wrote about the Purpose Driven hostage story:

Voices

A Story of Two Redemptions?

2014 LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS YEAR IN REVIEW—Part 2: Top Articles by Like-Minded Ministries

Matthew 18 – And Heretics and Hypocrites

By Paul Proctor
Free-lance writer
Used with permission.

Every now and then I get a terse email from someone who has taken exception to my candid comments on Rick Warren, asking questions like: “Have you ever spoken with him personally about your objections and concerns and tried to work through your differences privately as scripture teaches, rather than attack him publicly as you do?”

The scripture they usually cite is, of course, Matthew 18:15-17

“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”

This is probably one of the more misunderstood and misapplied Scriptures quoted today, especially among those who ingest Church Growth Carcinogens and Purpose Driven Lies. Because we have been inappropriately taught that unity and relationships are the most important things for Christians to pursue and protect in the church, these verses are often touted as the principal directive we should follow when addressing false teachers, which frankly, couldn’t be any further from the truth and only ends up protecting, sustaining and empowering them, which is probably why they teach it.

There is absolutely no biblical record of Jesus or any of His disciples ever taking a heretic off to the side for coffee and donuts after they led someone astray distorting the Word of God. They didn’t shake hands, exchange hugs, kisses and phone numbers or set up appointments on their PDAs to dialog their doctrinal differences over lunch in the quiet corner of a favorite restaurant at a more convenient time.

No, Jesus dealt with heretics harshly, publicly, and immediately, as did Paul and the other disciples. And, keep in mind; we’re talking New Testament here friends. In the Old Testament, false prophets were simply taken out and stoned to death for their lies. That’s how serious God is about His Word being rightly divided and properly proclaimed.

So, what was Jesus referring to in Matthew 18? Look again carefully at how he begins:

“…If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone…”

You see, the Lord is referring here to a personal offense, grievance and/or misunderstanding between two people – something that has broken their fellowship and has little or nothing to do with anyone else. Personal and private matters of wrongdoing should always be dealt with personally and privately first, so as not to unduly disrupt the unity of the body. That is indeed, biblical.

Now, as for wolves in sheep’s clothing that stand in pulpits and on stages before vast audiences with microphones and television cameras proclaiming demonic doctrines as the Word of God, the scriptural directive is altogether different:

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” – Galatians 1:8

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” – Ephesians 5:11

(“Reprove” is another word for rebuke)

“A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject” – Titus 3:10

“If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” (2nd John 1:10)

Jesus didn’t request a closed-door session with the Scribes and Pharisees in order to find common ground, build relationships and promote unity in Jerusalem. He condemned their blasphemy before one and all and repeatedly warned His disciples about their leaven. And when His number-one disciple challenged Him about His own up and coming crucifixion, Jesus didn’t put His hand gently on Peter’s shoulder and softly whisper: “My friend, you just don’t understand.” No, He lashed back at him with power and authority in front of ALL the disciples saying:

“…Get thee behind me Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” – Matthew 16:23

Why? Because, Peter was publicly contradicting God’s Word and Divine plan, which is the equivalent of proclaiming Jesus to be a lunatic or a liar.

Did the religious leaders stone Stephen to death because of all the cute and cuddly things he had to say about them? I don’t THINK so. Stephen spoke the cold hard truth that day and they hated him for it because God’s Truth is always “evil” and intolerable in the ears of the unrepentant. He told them:

“Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears…who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.”

You see, defenders of today’s religious leaders almost always resort to calling their critics, among other things, “legalists,” for incessantly using scripture to rebuke unbiblical teachings and practices; comparing them to the Pharisees of Stephen’s day, when, in reality, Stephen might just as easily say to Rick Warren and others like him:

“Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears…who have received the Gospel, but have not proclaimed it.”

Of course, when someone reprimands today’s religious leaders for their unbiblical teachings, they are silenced, shamed, slandered, marginalized, isolated and/or asked to leave. But, isn’t that exactly what the religious leaders did to Jesus and His disciples?

The Pharisees were a lot of things but they were not “legalists.” They’ve merely been labeled as such by the religious liberals of OUR day in order to try and discount the importance of studying and obeying scripture. In fact the word “legalist’ does not even appear in any version of the Bible I searched. It is just another contemporary twisting of the truth to forward a corrupt agenda and steer people away from God’s Word to something more flexible, entertaining and endearing.

“Legalism” is defined in my dictionary as the “strict adherence to a literal interpretation of a law, rule, or religious moral code.” Under this definition, is not Jesus Himself a legalist? You see, without the law, there is no need for a cross; which probably explains why both are being expelled from the church and society today as outdated and offensive relics from the past.

So, according to Stephen’s own testimony, if the religious leaders indeed “received the law but have not kept it,” they don’t even QUALIFY as true “legalists” but only as lawbreakers; or, as Jesus repeatedly called them; “Hypocrites,” which is another word for “actor,” meaning, they only pretended to keep the law.

And THAT, my friends, is what today’s Purpose Driven Pastor is – an actor – a hypocrite and a pretender, because he CLAIMS the Word of God but does not actually believe it nor proclaim it. If he did, he would preach the Bible and nothing else; verse by verse, for the rest of his ministry; not The Purpose Driven Life, chapter by chapter for 40 days. He would quote The Almighty with power and conviction before a trembling and uneasy congregation, instead of quoting Rick Warren with purpose and ambition before a casual and comfortable constituency.

When church attendance and revenues are down, closet liberals, be they Purpose Driven or otherwise, often minimize, in varying degrees, the importance of the Bible in a Christian’s life, calling it “legalism” whenever one encourages the brethren to obey God’s Word or dares to chastise those who refuse. Well, THEY might call keeping God’s commandments “legalism,” but Jesus Christ calls it “love.” Don’t believe me? Read it for yourself:

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” – John 14:15

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” – John 14:21

“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.” – John 14:23-24

“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” – John 15:10

“He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” – 1st John 2:4

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” – 1st John 5:3

Keeping God’s commandments will not gain you entry into the Kingdom of Heaven anymore than attending church will make you a member. That only comes by faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross for our sins. (Ephesians 2:8-10) But for those of us who claim Him, there is no other way to exercise that faith and prove our discipleship.

Loving God is not having a hand-raising, hip-hopping, wave-making, emotional experience in a Hawaiian shirt and sandals before a rock band in some downtown arena full of shrieking Seekers, Creekers, Promise Keepers and Passionate Purposeites. The only true act of love, worship and service to God is obedience to His Word. Everything else is distortion, distraction, deception, delusion and destruction.

And, when you set your Bible aside for some other book or teacher or preacher, you are neither loving, nor following, nor obeying the One you claim as your Lord and Savior. Oh, you might be Purpose Driven or Seeker Sensitive; but more than anything else, you’re a hypocrite.

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” – Matthew 7:21-23

Related Articles:

Looking for Paul Proctor?

Are You Prepared? Something to Think About

By Paul Proctor
Used with permission.

There seem to be two kinds of people in our world today: those who are preparing for the inevitable and those who are, for whatever reason, ignoring it. The warnings are everywhere. They’re like blaring civil defense sirens that never shut off. You would think everyone could hear them – but only a few have responded. The rest just continue on as they always have, unaffected by the unrelenting sound of the sirens.

Have you ever considered what your life would be like without just one modern day element, like electricity? In the 1800s it wouldn’t have been a big deal; but here in 2010, it would be catastrophic.

Remember that strange missile that soared through the sky unannounced and undeterred off the coast of California a few years ago? If a small nuclear device had been aboard one of those and detonated high enough over Middle America, chances are most, if not all, of our country would have gone dark and stayed dark for months or years. And many of the things we take for granted every day that are powered by electricity would have been indefinitely shut down, having had the insides fried by an electromagnetic pulse generated from the explosion.

Forget the abrupt halt that would have come to Wall Street and Main Street, not to mention our out-of-service cell phones, telephones, televisions, radios, computers, traffic lights, streetlights, coffee makers, microwave ovens, hairdryers and all those plug-in appliances we rely on each day to keep and prepare food for our families.

What do you think powers all the pumps and filtering systems that keep “clean” water coming into your house, condominium or apartment? Imagine life without drinking water and running water for showers and flushing toilets. Guess you could build a little outhouse in the back yard or alleyway if you’re not the shy type and your neighbors don’t object. But, don’t build it around any nearby creeks or ditches because that may be where you have to go for water to drink – that is, if you don’t mind the taste of fertilizer, weed killer, and animal feces.

Think there will be plenty of bottled water for you to buy at the grocery store when the power goes out? Even if any are open for business or have anything left on the shelves, you’ll need lots of cash to make your purchases since today’s registers and payment card systems are all electronic and computerized. Remember, those ATM machines are electronic and computerized too, so if you don’t already have plenty of cash on hand, you’ll probably be without the means to purchase food, water or anything else when the grid goes down.

Maybe you have some non-electronic items around the house you could take with you to the store to barter with. Not really sure you’ll have many takers though. After all – it is food and water we’re talking about here and supplies would be limited. And, that’s assuming your highly computerized automobile will even start or run to get you there. I suppose you could ride your bicycle to the store if you have one – if it’s not freezing or icy outside. But, I really don’t think you’d be able to carry much back home with you on that bike anyway.

Logic suggests that when the power goes out for an extended period of time, desperation will eventually lead to growing violence and theft as a means to survive. Are you prepared for that? I’m not trying to frighten anyone here. I’m just trying to point out how easily, quickly and dramatically things can change under certain circumstances and how important it is that we all thoughtfully and carefully prepare ahead of time – not wait to see what happens.

And if you think the government will help you under these conditions, remember, they’re going to be without electricity too and many of the electronic and computerized systems, equipment and devices it runs.

But the most important inevitability we should prepare for is our own demise. If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior – the One who gave His life on that cross 2000 years ago to pay for your sins and mine, then I encourage you to get on your knees right now in repentance and faith and confess that you are lost, dead in your sins and in desperate need of His salvation. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and receive the forgiveness of sins and the everlasting life only He can provide.

None of us know how much time we have left in this life or whether we will even survive another night – much less the difficult years ahead. Heed the call right now and surrender your heart and life over to the only begotten Son of God. Don’t wait for another time, another invitation or another opportunity, because it may not come.

Faith doesn’t procrastinate or panic – it prepares.

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – Romans 10:13

 

Jesus Christ Presented as the Son of Allah – A “New” Way of Doing Missions?

by Paul Proctor
Used with permission.

I have addressed, on numerous occasions, the Church’s ongoing efforts to reinvent Christianity into a global religion of Results & Relationships by using the powers of pragmatism and consensus to artificially grow itself into something more widely accepted by the world instead of faithfully proclaiming the Word of God “in season and out” as we are commanded to do in 2nd Timothy 4:2. The leaders of the new spirituality and its church growth movement have always had a hard time avoiding the “wide gate” and “broad way” choosing clever methods of “evangelism” that are not only incompatible with God’s Word, but also prove them unwilling to trust Him with the increase – ever looking for something more clever, spectacular and impressive to glory in and boast about to a watching world.

“…for men to search their own glory is not glory.” – Proverbs 25:27b

“So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” – 1st Corinthians 3:7

There’s no better example of this than a story from The Baptist Standard where Christians are encouraged by a “veteran missionary” to employ what’s called “The Camel Method” to evangelize, where the Quran is used, instead of the Bible, to share Christ with Muslims – a method that reportedly utilizes “selected verses” and “doesn’t teach or lecture, but asks questions.”

Isn’t this exactly what dialectically trained facilitators have done for years in many seeker-sensitive and Purpose Driven churches to draw and hold large and diverse crowds of potential converts with a lot of non-offensive opinion sharing and relationship building in order to find common ground and greater tolerance for one another through compromise and group dynamics? That may be the agenda of global socialists at the United Nations, but it’s not the Bible’s agenda for Christians or the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m sure the UN would have no problem with a program like this where sidelining biblical truths for a contrived unity is celebrated and syncretism is the spirituality of choice.

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” – Proverbs 14:12

According to the report, missionary Kevin Greeson, who “has served 16 years with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board,” is “working to start Christian movements among Muslims in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal…” adding that “his goal focuses less on individual conversions and more on starting spiritual movements that will result in thousands of Muslims becoming followers of Christ.”

Greeson: “Our generation can’t afford to be satisfied or happy with winning one lost person to Christ. There are so many lost people, we can’t be happy with that.”

“…I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” – Luke 15:10

Certainly most Christians would like to see more than one person they witness to repent and receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, but where in God’s Word are we commanded to “take up thy Quran” and “go ye into all the world and start a movement?” Sure it sounds lofty and high-minded in our Big Box culture where consumers like to impress each other and get the most for the least; but isn’t this more of an exercise in ecumenical egomania and spiritual sleight-of-hand than humble obedience to Jesus’ call to “take up thy cross” and “go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature?”

It’s alarming enough that the Bible is set aside with this method of “evangelism,” but it’s outright heresy that Jesus Christ is presented as the son of Allah, since Allah was widely recognized and worshipped as a pagan moon god even before there was a Mohammed.

How then can the truth set you free if it begins with a lie?

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9

Related Articles and Information:

 

 The New Missiology – Doing Missions Without the Gospel

A “New Evangelism” for the 21st Century” by Mike Oppenheimer (Let Us Reason)

Video on Common Core Curriculum Shows Indoctrination of Children in Public Schools

The following video is posted on Kjos Ministries website. Berit Kjos is the author of our new Booklet Tract: A “Common Core” for a Global Community. This video shows just a few examples of how children are being indoctrinated toward a socialistic global society through the Common Core curriculum. Also read, “‘Common Core’ is Brainwashing Mind Control, Propaganda & ‘Mental Health’ Psychological manipulation and human resource management” by Berit.

Other Information:

What’s Wrong With a More Social Gospel? by Paul Proctor


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