I’m a second-hand reader, who reads the LT Journal when I visit with friends. The May Journal had a short article titled, “LT Is Against Everything?” I, too, have the heart of an apologist, but my spiritual gift is exhortation – another one that most folks don’t like. They love the encouragement side but not the confrontational side. I know how the frontal attack of “negativity” gets hurled around at apologetics people. I wish to offer you and other contenders of the faith an encouraging word to stand strong and remain clear in your focus. Here’s how my confrontational side would answer those who pitch the “negativity” knuckle-ball at you. There are three things they should consider:
1) Consider – LT is not a ministry for toddlers; and it is not a ministry to supply clever youth activities for millennials who are addicted to their iPhones. LT is an apologetics ministry with people who are burdened for a dying church; they find themselves in a spiritual war that most people cannot fathom. Apologists today look around and see so much turning from the Truth of God’s Word and a turning toward the pagan, the obscene, the mystical, and toward ministries that are more worldly-wise than biblically sound. Their mission, their calling, their burden is not to add more entertainment to the American church and certainly not more sugar-coated candy nuggets. The church is already full of cavities and poor health from such a steady diet of that junk. LT’s goal is not more wit and humor to make someone’s day more enjoyable. They are dodging bullets and artillery shells to warn people of the enemy that has surrounded and infiltrated the American church at every level. A watchman on the wall must sound the alarm, or the watchman will be judged for failure to live up to his/her calling, (see Ezekiel 33:1-9). Every pastor should be a watchman – as shepherds, their primary responsibility to their Lord is to feed the flock and protect it.
2) Consider – American culture, highly influenced by Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and pornography, has come to the place where anyone who quotes a Bible verse is accepted as a true Christian believer. Pardon me, but HOGWASH! Satan quoted the Scriptures! Check out the Gospel record of Jesus vs. Satan during Christ’s temptations in the wilderness. And you better believe that the devil didn’t take the Bible verses out of context because he was talking with the Bible’s author – Jesus the very WORD of God, Himself. In that sense, Satan was far more accurate in his misuse of the Bible than his modern-day disciples. Satan’s messengers come as angels of light. Second Corinthians 11:14-15 states:
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
And this passage follows v.4:
For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
How? By being deceived! There are 2 different Greek words for “another.” There is allos which is another of a similar kind; then there is heteros which is another of a different kind. In the passage above it is, another Jesus of a similar kind . . . another spirit of a different kind . . . another Gospel of a different kind.
Many people today follow a Jesus who is similar to the true Jesus of the Bible, but the two are not the same. Then, preachers tweak the message into a completely different gospel powered by a completely different spirit. Thanks be to God for warning us about this in the 1st Century’s church in Corinth. And it is to that same 1st Century church in Corinth, that Paul said,
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? (2 Corinthians 13:5)
You see, mystical experiences deceive the heart, soul, and mind. And the modern American church is floating in a tsunami of mysticism in the name of another Jesus!
3) Consider – The prophet Isaiah faced the same situation that LT and so many contenders of the faith face. Isaiah’s opening salvo records God calling the heavens and earth to bear witness of His coming judgment on Israel. Isaiah 1:2-7:
Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.
The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.
God had chastened Israel; but it did no good! Their wounds were laid bare, but nobody took the time to clean, dress, and bandage the wounds! The LORD then lists His complaint against Israel; a complaint that covers everything from sexual perversion, neglect of widows and orphans, political corruption, stealing, lying, and even how the women dressed themselves for lusty appeal rather than godliness. He spends chapters letting them know exactly why they will be judged. And almost all of it has modern equivalents that can be found in our homes on the TV. By the time Isaiah gets to chapter 30:8-10, God tells him:
Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever: That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits.
“Preach positive things to us; don’t be so negative all the time,” the people cried. Just like some say, “Why is LT so negative all the time?” Well, the patient – the American church – is on the mortician’s slab, breathing its last few gasps of air. God’s remedy is not to find some motivational speaker, like Joel Osteen, to speak positive sounding things to the dying carcass. The death thralls won’t be fixed by hearing positive and sugar-coated slogans. The need is to recognize the current low view of God and His Word and find a genuine heart-felt repentance for chasing after all the worldliness that appeals to the flesh.
LT and other contenders of the faith have a very difficult task. With their gift of discernment and a calling to apologetics, they must stand against the onslaught of corrupt religious movements. As watchmen on the wall, they are accountable to God to warn His people. It takes an extremely strong commitment to stand against the constant opposition, most of which comes from so-called believers who don’t have a clue that a death battle is in progress.
Finally, Jesus said:
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)
Do you get it? Narrow is the way . . . few will find it . . . There are precious few today who truly see what is going on in the American religious realm. Much of it can be labeled as non-Christian and anti-Christian; yet it has fooled MANY. But again, thanks be to God for LT and its crucial and timely rescue ministry. ===================
So, to the editors and authors at Lighthouse Trails (and to all contenders of the faith), be faithful, be diligent, continue to be loving, and be kind. We are out here, and we appreciate all your research and detailed citations of popular errors. Shrug off the negativity germ! Stay faithful, and keep on warning those who have believed another Jesus with another gospel and another spirit. You never know who, or how many lives, you might rescue before the coming day of the Lord. And your reward for faithfulness will be an eternal blessing from the hand of the Lord Jesus. May God richly bless you as honor and serve Him.