1. Karen

    My husband and I came out of WOF/Charismatic after years of being fleeced. We walked away from ministry, studied the Bible, repented, then tossed every book and tape. As watchmen, we are grieved at the church in general, our local church inparticular. Recently we gave warning about The Passion Conference to the youth leader (who is also a minister at the church) about a specific speaker the young adults will be exposed to. We even used the very words, “it’s a trap.” We are grieved and mourn as the young people will still be attending. We know from personal experience how strong deception is – it took ahold of us for many years. We mourn over this issue. We constantly remind ourselves that the results are up to Him. Some plant, some water, but God gives the increase. Thank you for the article. We relate.

  2. Mo

    I’m really convinced that if a book/movie/song/pastor is really popular it is probably teaching the wrong gospel/Jesus! But why don’t people, especially leaders with Bible knowledge, stop and think, “Wow, it seems everyone is practicing contemplative prayer (fill in the latest fad), so maybe this is the great falling away talked about in scripture. I better investigate further instead of jumping on the band wagon.”?

  3. Lauren St. Vincent

    Looks like I am not alone! I have experienced exactly the same responses although just a very few agree with me. We formed a small group and keep informed about the false teachers, etc. but even more importantly we study the bible to make ourselves approved and to know sound doctrine. We read and study history too, which is helpful in understanding the truth as well. I thank God for all of you who courageously obey God and mark those who cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned; and avoid them.

  4. Ed

    The writer, MS, said it well… I would like to add that being a “watchman on the wall” is also not tolerated in the church.

  5. Chas

    One of the most unappreciated insights of real discernment these days is the warning a very few are giving about Lordship Salvation. A case in point is John MacArthur. He is the veritable poster boy for that false gospel. Bad as it might be, his appearance on the same stage as Rick Warren is among the least of his errors. It’s as much a problem for Warren as MacArthur. Sadly, there are many discernment ministries that give MacArthur and Lordship Salvation a free pass.

  6. T. I. Miller

    Nothing new under the sun. Just ask Jeremiah and the rest of the prophets. The spiritual and political leaders have always given grief to those who tell the truth. The love of money is the root of all sorts of evil and narcissism runs a close second. One or both of these may explain why so many pastors are so easily led astray. According to Eph. 4 having discernment and teaching discernment is their God given commission contrary to popular traditions. Four gifts are given their divine commission including pastors/teachers. In the Greek POIEMEN is translated shepherd every case except in this single passage, for absolutely no particular grammatical reason. ( perhaps a catholic tradition influenced the early translators) Shepherds should be the first to warn the laity and the last to object to being informed about wolves in the flock. In great exaggeration, most Christian leader act like the stoners of Stephen. They covered their ears and threw him into to the pit without a trial. Having discernment, be it a spiritual gift or maturity or a combination, it will never win you friends with the ill informed or the prideful or the works righteous crowds. Does your pastor love sitting in the seat on honor and respectful greetings? Don’t expect to be well received by such as these.

  7. John

    It’s interesting that it’s “discernment” when one points out obvious wolves, while it’s seen as “blasphemy” or “speaking against ” God’s supposed anointed when one points out wolves like MacArthur, Sproul, and others in the the various branches in Calvinism and Reformed ideas. There’s one mediator between God and man/woman: Jesus Christ alone.

  8. admin

    Gary Fennimore,
    The writer of this letter was using the word “curse” tongue in cheek. That is why he put the word in quotes. Clearly, this man does not think that Jesus was a curse.

  9. Julie mayes

    While I totally agree with all these comments are not ALL Christians to have discernment according to scripture at least discernment that goes by knowing His word which is seriously lacking too !!

  10. C. Read

    This message really touched my heart… I am reminded of “The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.” Ecclesiastes 1:17-18 “And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit. For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.” At times, the LORD Jesus was very sorrowful while He walked this earth, and I believe He still has sorrow in His heart for those who reject Him, and great compassion for those who have been led astray by the Wicked One. May we continue to stand for the true and living God, and His Holy Word; while we seek to have a closer walk with our LORD every day! Amen! Philippians 3:10-12 “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.” May God have mercy on His people who are walking in Darkness, but truly believe it is the Light! C. Read

  11. Anna Rosa

    Ugh, tell me about it! And I get so tired of them wanting to give anyone a free pass just because of something they supposedly did, like ‘leading people to the Lord.’ Just because per chance some come to the Lord by a wolf does not make the wolf a nice doggy! Period. And I think there is a subtle distinction here about the gifts. There is the special spiritual gift of discernment which runs more along the lines of discerning spirits (and I know how that one works, it’s truly supernatural), and the discernment that every believer should have. It’s all spiritual in one way or another as it all comes from the Holy Spirit. But every believer is supposed to have enough discernment to tell when one is a wolf or not at least over time. The Israelites were chastised by God for following after false gods despite the prophet’s warnings. It was not just because they lacked that “gift” and did not heed those who did. (Even though the gifts came later, the same is true today.) They were still held just as accountable, and so are we. It’s a matter of obeying the Holy Spirit and God’s Word, or not.

  12. Jo

    I agree so much with this! I too have warned people of teachers/teachings that do not align with the word of God. I have taken books that were given to me to read, read them, made notes with arguments written out and given them back noting the false info that was given in said books. Such as “Jesus Calling”, Beth Moore studies etc. to no avail. I have handed out the book by Warren B. Smith “Another Jesus Calling” and so many of them said they have the Jesus calling book and read it and it brought them so much comfort. I even have given out your little pamphlets that are written for this purpose, to warn them about all of the above but there is never a conversation about it. I have also discussed the “Message” bible with them but this last year people are using it in our bible study and they like it. My heart is breaking and I don’t know how to continue forward. JH

  13. Louise

    Bravo, and well said. I’ve had the same problem…I’ve been called unloving, judgemental and critical. Holy Ghost discerment is a treasure nonetheless! I’ve spoken out against the likes of Beth Moore, Priscilla Schirer, Ann Voscamp, Christine Cane, Joyce Meyer, Sarah Young…and others…boy did I catch major flack…from Christians! Still it’s worth it…watchmen on the wall!

  14. Victo

    While discerning of spirits is a gift (1 Cor 12:10) I do not believe that “discernment” in general is a gift as much as an acquired skill that comes from obtaining knowledge about a specific topic. In regards to biblical discernment we are told that it comes from studying and applying God’s Word “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, [even] those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Heb 5:14 KJV) The lack of discernment in the Body of Christ comes from the lack of use of God’s Word. It is a lack of maturity. The more you use it and study it the more mature and discerning you become. For me, I am much more concerned and curious about how established teachers who have a history of studying and applying God’s Word suddenly are unable or unwilling to “discern” what they are doing and the impact it has on others. Confronting others is both difficult and a blessing because there is always the chance we make a difference. “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.” (Jde 1:22-23 KJV)

  15. Crystal Johnson

    Hi MS, I think there are many of us who can absolutely identify with your experiences!!! And it seems to be getting worse AND affecting so many more, it’s truly shocking; it’s also distressing tho we know that Scripture has foretold such. I think definitely pride is an issue but also delusion/blindness. I do believe there are many who simply can’t see it! Also, wilful ‘blindness’ – they may not want to see it due to fear/anxiety or pride. Such days we are living in eh? May we remain strong and faithful to the only Wise God, the Saviour of mankind and the One who is to come soon! God bless you and keep standing in Him alone. 🙂

  16. Jen

    Thank you MS for your commentary regarding the gift of discernment which is a spiritual gift and broken down to its essence, it’s the willingingness and fortitude to search the scriptures like the Bereans. It’s the inner nudging of the Holy Spirit that impresses that something here is amiss and then our responsibility to test it! I went to Catholic school and I remember the nuns pointing to the little tabernacle that sat beside the altar ( where the host was stored) and proclaiming to us impressionable students that that’s where Jesus lived! I was in the 1st grade and instinctively knew that what she was saying was wrong! Discernment! Then as I got older and studied on my own, the Catholic Church is in my rear view mirror. We can gently warn our family and friends of things we’ve learned along the way but up to them to search the scriptures and dig deeper. Oswald Chambers ends one of his devotionals this way…’When we discern that people are not going on spiritually and allow the discernment to turn to criticism, we block our way to God. God never gives us discernment in order that we may criticize, but that we may intercede.’ These words have been helpful for me because Paul also warns that knowledge puffs up and with the gift of discernment, we have be humble.

  17. G j

    14 There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it: 15 Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man. 16 Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard. Ecclesiastes 9

  18. Nina

    I totally agree when you said that those who possess the gift of discernment have hearts they are in constant mourning. But, can born again Christians be totally lacking in any discernment. Is the born again believer really blinded to certain passages of scripture. If you sit in a Biblically based sound church preaching the True word of God, then you are without excuse. Maybe instead of making excuses for these people, let’s just say they are not walking in the Spirit, but feel more comfortable walking in the flesh.

  19. Gary Fennimore

    I do not agree. Discernment is given by the HOLY SPIRIT for the Body of Christ. To diminish that gift and the blessings is wrong. The problem is with those that respond to the discernment. JESUS had similar responses to His discernment and yet He was never a curse.

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