Monday, September 30, 2013


II Pet.2: 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.And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
Oprah Winfrey interviewed Rob Bell which will air in November. About Bell’s views she said, "The ideas Rob sets forth in his books Love Wins and What We Talk About When We Talk About God opened my heart and my mind.”
That is probably the most revealing and accurate critique to date.

Beware. Sometimes friendly and winsome and intriguing are conduits for error. Many cults have adopted a hyper-friendly approach in proselytizing and many are very effective in so doing. People like Joel Osteen and Rob Bell and Rick Warren and Joyce Myers and others have leveraged their affable ways in order to draw people to themselves. Although a believer should not be quarrelsome and unfriendly, just a friendly and winsome approach does not always lead to truth. Personalities can be very powerful and often attract a large following, but strong and persuasive personalities also can lead people far astray.

You see, in these days where people demand more and more excitement and become quickly disinterested with almost everything, the old paths are not only unappealing, but they are now looked upon as the spiritual dark ages. So men like Rob Bell provide thought provoking philosophy which titillates the mind and makes people feel superior in their view of Christianity and Jesus as well. Instead of digging deeper into Biblical truth and what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ Biblically, we now have more and more people making their own path which accommodates their flesh and their intellect.

And one of the residual effects is that men like Bell and Warren and Osteen become extremely wealthy. One wonders just how energetic and perseverant these men would be if their ministries were overwhelmingly rejected and led them into poverty or worse yet nailed them to a cross. I believe we already know the answer to that question. But the three men I mentioned represent three distinct wings of the progressive movement which still calls itself Christian. Rob Bell leads the philosophical wing, Rick Warren leads the utilitarian wing, and Joel Osteen leads the hedonistic wing. Let me explain.

The philosophical wing of Christianity (the religion) loves to surmise and question any and all foundational truths, and in the end it presents a string of never ending thoughts with no absolute answers. In fact it suggests that absolutes evolve over time and within different cultures. It tears apart any and all doctrines that seem to be completely supported by Scripture because in the end this wing questions the Scriptures themselves. And when the eternality, validity, and immutable exclusivity of Scripture as it pertains to truth is compromised then truth becomes up for discussion and is at the whims and thoughts of each individual. Cultural reason is the prism through which this kind of theology arrives at truth.

This kind of approach to Christianity strips it of any power and renders it little more than a never ending revolving door of questions which make people feel intellectual. The cross is no longer the path to redemption and in fact the cross is almost ignored since men like Bell have a difficult time bringing such a violent act into these modern times. This growing phenomenon has become a cathedral of western intellectualism attempting to find a place for eastern mysticism. It is dark and poisonous but like Jonestown there are many thousands if not millions who swear by Rob Bell and all he stands or doesn’t stand for.

The utilitarian wing strives to make Christianity a religion which is designed as a tool in the hands of man that is like a Swiss knife with all the attachments needed to make your life a success. It makes friends with all other religions and seeks to build muddled bridges to other spiritual practices. In essence this kind of teaching is a western religion which accommodates democracy and capitalism and is a partner to patriotism. This kind of utilitarian religion eschews the deeper life and any hint of mystery.

Rick Warren is considered the champion of such teachings. And yet men like John Piper have had Warren speak at their conferences. Yes, men like Warren wear all kinds of hats and are adept at being camouflaged as to their true beliefs. It also helps to be friendly and affable and have very few enemies because you literally stand for very little and even what you do stand for you present in nebulous and smooth sounding words.

And the hedonistic wing is an open appeal to the greed of men. It makes no pretence and it does not hide its carnal appeal. In fact it changes the very nature of God and makes Him the servant of man and a cosmic Santa Claus. Behind designer suits and wide smiles this theology offers people a life of health and prosperity brought to you by the divine power and will. It is quite astonishing and revealing in these last days that we would even have to refute this kind of diabolical nonsense. This prosperity message used to be confined to very small corners of Pentecostalism but it is now mainstream in many churches and it permeates “Christian” television.

God Himself is a hedonist in this teaching and He exists to help sinners achieve a superior portfolio. New houses and new cars and growing bank accounts are supposedly gained by giving. Can there be any greater deception? And can the motivation for such a teaching be any more exposed? And yet the greedy heart of men is so strong that they, like a compulsive gambler, keep pouring money into the slot machine in hopes that God will hand them their pot of gold. And all the while men like Joel Osteen become extremely wealthy and present themselves as examples of what can be gained through faith and giving.

These are three of the major wings of western evangelicalism. They are all illusions which bear the name of Christ and pretend to represent the faith but which ultimately are elaborate and appealing deceptions. They continue to lead millions astray.


Least Brother said...

Thanks brother for putting into words what many if not all who read this blog, see happening before their eyes. Living in the Bible belt, I have observed a similar phenomenon with combinations of these streams. There are 2 specific scripture portions that come to my remembrance when pondering what we see happening. The first is Jeremiah 6:15-17 [“Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done? They were not even ashamed at all; They did not even know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; At the time that I punish them, They shall be cast down,” says the LORD. Thus says the LORD, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ “And I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not listen]. And the second being 2nd Thessalonians 2:11-12 [For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.] Personally this causes my heart to tremble and cry out to the Lord for mercy and grace, lest I fall into a similar deception. Speak the truth in love brother, fight the good fight and fulfill this scripture each day “The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will".

Your brother in Christ

Cherie c. said...

Pastor Rick, You didn't finish.....

and those of the church who hold tight to orthodoxy of the True Gospel will continue to be perceived as haters and bigots and a hindrance.

Persecution is surely coming, and it will not be from governments.

Godly men like you Pastor Rick need to prepare the church for what is to come. You need to tell us what we will face in the near future.

As western Christianity continues to marginalize the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it will drag with it other countries still holding fast the Truth of Scripture.

As I see and hear and read all that is taking place, I am more certain every day that the Lord's return is very near. Although I have sent questions to many Godly men who's blogs and or web sites I frequently visit, still none have been willing, or think me a crazy person, to write me back or post any answers to my questions.

I feel like I have become a bothersome pest, but I am not. I am merely trying to find the truth as Scripture gives the answers, the answers seem to be correct for every view, but I am certain it can't be so.

I will continue to ask questions and hope that someone will answer them. They are not invalid because it pertains to Faith. The Bible does not just contain the Gospel, but the Epistles are also important as we wait upon the Lord.

One question I have can sum up all the other questions. How can people get so many different meanings out of Scripture when the words on the page almost speak for them selves? Calvinist, Lutheran, Arminianist, Predestination, Rapture before, during or after the Tribulation. Actual abomination of desolation or a spiritual version. Coming of the it spiritual or actual? I believe it to be an actual event like Jesus being hung on the cross. But different camps tell me different things. Even my sister who keeps the Sabbath tells me I am in error.

I have been looking and visiting all the camps these past few months and I have found one thing in common with all of them. They are all in some way shape or form in error. Based upon my opinion, no; based upon what the text says in the pages of Scripture. But that is not a completely bad thing. or is it? Since all subscribe to the Gospel, does how they treat the Epistles and Faith as a believer really matter?

I would think it a blessing to have these Godly men share with us.

And why are there denominations in the church when there is clearly none in Scripture? In fact Paul rebuked some who were contentious due to whom they followed, or was discipled by.

Exposing heresy is one of the responsibilities of church leaders like you Pastor Rick, but what about the subtle heresies seeping in. Does a little leaven still mean anything? Are my questions of no matter? Please let this sinner saved only by the Grace of God through Jesus know so that I do not go any further astray.

Jesus said to seek and I will find. I have, but many questions still remain. I am not so naive to think that anyone would know everything, but some insight would be a blessing. I am searching the Scriptures, but from what different camps are teaching, it is most difficult to completely know who is telling the truth and who is not.

May the Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our Father God be with all brothers and sisters in the Lord this day.

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Cherie c. said...

I invite all of my brothers and sisters in Christ to visit the following blogs and or web sites I have been visiting lately. All seem sincere in the preaching of the Gospel. It's the other parts of our faith I am not so sure about. But each makes a compelling argument. I am not endorsing any, just asking you for your view.

Most frequently:
Following Judah's Lion
Fighting for the Faith
Do Not Be Surprised
Grace To You
Stand Up For The Truth
Thirsty Theologian

Often or at least twice a month:
Apostasy Watch
The Cripplegate
Ligonier Ministries Blog
World View Weekend
Prophecy Today
The Berean Call

Who I have heard sermons or commentaries:

Phil Johnson
Chris Roseborough
John MacArthur
Jimmy DeYoung
Chris Pinto
Justin Peters
Brannon Howse
Steve Lumley

Old Sermons:

Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones
Leonard Ravenhill
Gervase Nicholas E. Charmley (one or two only)

So I think I have covered most of the bases in the church. I have visited many more but not enough times to list them. Or I happened upon them by chance and cannot remember them.

Thanks brothers and sisters.

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

This post needs to be read in small doses for me. There's so much truth to grasp. But AMEN! anyway.

Not having been caught up in Rob Bell, or Joel Osteen, or Rick Warren, I'd say that I know they've influenced many denominational churches and it's made a dent in how people believe, which is not biblical.

This is part of the reason we, who want to stay away from this, can't make true christian friends anymore. We are not exciting enough. We refuse to grasp the 'best' for now. Any church in the West who teaches these 3 points (in Bro. Rick's post), never want to move away. They love where they are, and become controlling, even to the point where they feel they should be politically-controlling.

THen they prevent the poor from coming in their borders. They want Osteen's and the prosperity teaching, and realize that there's only so much to go around, so keep God's bounty in their hands only. Sure, they'll be generous with the big accounts and give to the poor. But they still don't want TOO many poor from the southern borders or from the by-ways to hone in on their spiritual pirate's treasure.

Then, they pick out verses that say, "if you don't work, you don't eat". Keep those unemployed depressed oppressed fatherless and struggling away from those food stamps. They don't deserve it, (the church says), because they clearly don't follow the bible's way. They want to believe they are all lazy. By keeping that government money away from 'abusers', they can now depend on that money to keep their churches and homes and families propped up with benefits, promised by their elected representatives. Their new God is the elected man they wish to prop up in the White House. And they think that the Lord God Almighty and our Savior Jesus Christ is all for this?

They use the secular world for their advantage, but then say, it's from God. They think they're being showered with gifts from on high; but what they're really doing is bewitching the saints into believing this and using carnal methods to make the goods come to them.

While I don't want to bring a political angle here, it's almost impossible not to see the political angle worming it's way into a christian's thinking. There's a spiritual battle going on and the enemy has made many in the church to think that evil is a political party and goodness is the 'right' party. He's turned christians eyes on Wall Street and the White House and the economy. He has drawn a line in the sand, where he deceptively divides the country into believing the political animosity is a spiritual war and certain men are good and other men are evil. It's almost as if the church in the US has become bewitched by pastoral wolves who say that God's hand is in the affairs of the USA's politics and if the people don't follow their orders and leanings, that the blessings will stop being poured onto them. Then they pull out the Armageddon prophecies and fear in order to get the church to over-react.

Just my musings for today. J.

Anonymous said...


It would be difficult to say it any better than that!


Anonymous said...

Thanks Cherie for the list of sites. Will check them out.

The Church of Jesus Christ is surely thirsty for truth and very few will say what needs to be said.


Cherie c. said...

Hi J, How are you sister?

I put the list so I could get feedback on these ministries. They all have the core Gospel, but in other areas I am afraid not so much. I have had the unfortunate experience to either be involved in some of the issues, or I have been attacked for pointing out error as described by the Bible. These men/women are dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I truly believe that, but some of their other ideas have me wondering and worried if I am in error not.

Thanks for any feedback you can give.

Pastor Rick's blog not included in my concern. With the exception that I wish he would start some kind of meeting/fellowship service. We all need good preachers/teachers.

Been listening to Martin Lloyd Jones. He died in 1981 but his sermons are so relevant today. If only he knew how right on he was and how bad it has gotten.

Thanks Pastor Rick for posting my comments. Sorry to be a thorn too. =D

Cherie c.

God bless.

Anonymous said...

Dear readers, I think it is so important to earnestly seek Lord Jesus. I think it so important to bring Jeremiah 29:11-13 to rememberance. What multitudes lack today worldwide is God's blessing on them to earnestly seek His Beloved Son. If God withholds this blessing from them multitides will never come to a right understanding of what our precious, pure hearted Lord has done for us whilst He was on earth. Without an earnest seeking of God there will be an abscence of biblical brokenness and contrition.
Many people still unsaved need to discover Isaiah 66:2 and need to put their faith in the author of these inspired words. Truly we need God's gift of brokenness and contrition to truly thank, praise and worship Lord Jesus for His perfect, atoning sacrifice on behalf of sinners.

Reine Gnade

ChristopherV said...

Hi Cherie (and others),

In light of the original post and subsequent comments, there is a ministry that I have been blessed tremendously by, and I would like to share with you (and anyone else that would be interested). The name of the ministry is The Voice of Elijah, and their mission is simply to educate the public regarding orthodox Early Church beliefs. Search online for their website; they provide quite a bit of reading content for you to make your own determination whether God is working through their ministry. God bless you on your journey.

In Him,


ChristopherV said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cherie c. said...

Oh know, add another one:

Confessional Lutheran?

Would someone PLEASE,PLEASE show me where in Scripture is denominations? And is this right for a Christian to believe:

Book of Concord ???????

Chris Roseborough was a regular Christian (if you know what I mean) Evangelical if you would. Now he is a Confessional Lutheran Evangelical, I think. He is very strict on keeping to the Word of God, but is in error when it comes to being part of a denomination? Yes, it's a question. I am not attacking the guy. Just trying to understand. He says Calvinism is much more than election, but I could not understand what he meant. Please refer to the September 30 broadcast of Fighting for the Faith. I have emailed him to ask, he has not responded. Is a little error okay when it comes to our Christian life as long as we have the core doctrine of the Gospel?

Thanks - as I continue to find my way. I do not see anywhere in Scripture regarding denominations. The only sects of people of faith I see is Israel. The 12 tribes of Judah.

your sister in Christ Jesus
Cherie c.

jerry mcfarland said...

very good article brother. Another good site is Michael Boldea @

In these last hours we need to be aware of how much prayer the Body really needs. How mis-guided so many people are. I pray constantly for GOD to be merciful in His judgment.

Anonymous said...

Our need of compassion, mercy and love is answered by Jesus Christ's victory on the cross.

When we we wholeheartedly turn from sinful behaviour we will joyfully discover that our hope will never be disappointed and our need to be forgiven will be answered!

Let's willingly surrender and submit our will to God's perfect will and start blessing now and forever Our kind Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Truly, God Triune is able to save sinners enslaved by Satan.

Let's honour our incomparable Shepherd King, Jesus Christ, who is eternally Our author of salvation.

Truly God's beloved Son rose and conquered the grave.

Truly God's beloved Son rose and conquered Satan, sin and death.

Truly, as we welcome holy Jesus into our heart as shepherd of our soul, His transforming love will shine forth from us blessing our body, soul and spirit.

Blessed be the name of Our righteous, risen King of Kings and LORD of LORDS, Jesus, Our Immanuel!

Josef Sefton

Anonymous said...

How do we do it? What should we do to search for or look for God? Precious searchers for truth, my approach is to look for or search for God’s perspective on every matter pertaining to my life.

I want Him for example to teach me to honor my parents, rather for me to cling to my current performance which isn’t always so attentive.

I want Him to be my teacher for His thoughts are higher than mine. I want Him to be my guide, shepherd and wonderful advisor. I know additionally that I must be earnest and wholehearted in my looking for God, otherwise I will be easily overcome by the many other attractions that life has to offer.

May God reward our earnest wholehearted efforts to look for Him with His gift of increased purity.

Reine Gnade

Annette said...

Thank-You for this post Pastor Rick, as I must confess publicly that I was once a follower of these men and promoted their books/teachings to those around me. May our LORD forgive me as I elevated man's words above His Holy Word as they became my idols along with other women who penned their wares for mammon. I was searching for an answer to life with its trials and tribulations (problems of living), sprinkled with successes as labeled by man, and it was all emptiness.

The freedom and liberty I now have, to worship our Father in Spirit and Truth brings such joy to my soul, that one can survive beautifully on His Word alone by the teaching of God, the Holy Spirit, for He is the Author of true everlasting life.

Another public confession; all, I repeat, all of the books I purchased from the writers listed above, and then some, were marched to the garbage heap located in the back forty and burned, to my delight. And I believe it also pleased our LORD.

May God forgive me for seeking revelation outside of His written Word, for He is eternal.

May our Father in Heaven be glorified above all.

Anonymous said...

Joel Osteen represents not so much the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the "Gospel" of "Misterogers' Neighborhood".