Spiritual Warfare Prep

Spiritual Warfare Prep
We Are In The Lord's Army

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Deception of Deception - Fool Me Once, Shame On You - Fool Me Twice, Shame On Me!

You would think that after falling for computer viruses and scams, I would be on the alert when the next one would come. But, I fell for the scam.

It looked different. I didn't recognize it as a scam. It looked perfectly valid. Nevertheless, I was scammed.

It started when I was researching for some graphics on the Internet. I got this new toy called 'Cricut' and I was going to make some Christmas pictures with it. That is, until I got scammed.

While I was looking for this graphic, a message box came up saying that my computer was infected with a virus. It said I had to call such and such a number to fix it. I tried to close the browser, but a voice yelled at me and told me my computer had a virus. I figured that it was a valid warning at that point. So, I called the number.

Now, I could have called Apple, but I didn't. It seemed like so much of a hassle whenever I called before and I was afraid the virus was ruining my computer so I called the given number. A man named 'Alex' answered and seemed very kind. He explained to me that my computer did indeed have a virus, and that he would fix it.

Three hours later, my computer was 'fixed'. I was asked to buy a license for $499.99. It would give me a year of free technical service. He also installed an antivirus program on my computer.

"Alex' called me the next day making sure everything was working with my computer. He spoke very good English, but with an Indian dialect.

I asked some computer saavy people on my Mac emailing list about the antivirus program. And they gave me the bad news. "You were scammed" many of them told me. I posted a message about it on Facebook. They told me the same thing. I called Apple. They also confirmed that I had been scammed.

After all that, I contacted the credit card company. They told me if I wanted to dispute it, I should contact the scam company first. So, I did.

The scam company's name is 'Brainbro'. I talked again with Alex, and then with someone who had the same dialect, but said his name was 'Brian'. I told them of all the people who said that I was scammed by them. Of course, they did not agree. Alex said that he was disappointed that a reputable company like Apple would say such a thing. I told him that my computer really was not infected with a virus. He agreed with what I said. He explained that when I got the message that my computer was infected with a virus, it really meant that malware was found on my computer. He removed the malware that he found, according to him. They would refund $349.99 of the money I paid for the license.

Just before Christmas, before 8 am, I get a phone call. It was from someone who had the same dialect as Alex. He said his name was Albert. He mentioned something about a license and that within the past two weeks malware was found on my computer. I told him that my computer was working just fine. 'Albert' then hung up. The caller I.D. said 'Private Caller' so I don't know who it was from, but it sure sounded like it was from 'Brainbro'.

You might be wonder what all this has to do with anything spiritual. First, I want to warn all my friends about this scam. When I searched the Internet using keywords, others had been scammed by this company the same way I was. It is scary when you see an authentic message pop up on your computer saying that you have a virus. It can look very authentic, but it may be totally false. It would be easy for anyone to fall for.

But also, this, I believe is how the devil works with us. He doesn't come at us with things that would be obvious to us. He tries to get us to fall for his tricks with plausible arguments. His claims look authentic. We all have fallen at times, into his traps.

How can we not fall for the devil's tricks? The main way is to know the word of God. God's word is activated by His Holy Spirit. We also need to be filled with God's Holy Spirit. That way, we can become discerning.

Jesus said,

" If a son shall ask bread of any of you who is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them who ask him?"

We need to be discerning. We need to separate the truth from the lies. The devil's lies look like truth to us. We need to have our guards up at all times because we do not know when the next trick will come.

Hating And Being Hated By One Another - The Annoying Jeopardy Contestant

"For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another." Titus 3:3 ESV

I was intrigued by a Jeopardy contestant a couple of weeks ago by a woman who had an interesting dialect. In fact, her dialect sounded much like the dialect of my grandson! We enjoyed watching her as she answered the many questions on a Jeopardy program and actually won.

What was interesting was that this woman made an impact upon many who were watching Jeopardy those nights when she was on the program. She made such an impact that she ended up on Youtube as was dubbed as the most annoying Jeopardy contestant! I had to go to the videos that were made by others with her on the program.

What I saw in the comments was interesting and very sad. The words that were posted in some of those comments were unbelievable. "...id stab that bitch", "women are ****", "I would've told her to stfu", and a few choice others which I would not repeat. I found other comments under another Youtube video of her. A few did come to her defense.

My point is that we live in a world of darkness. We are so far away from the brilliance of the Gospel. What we see here in these comments is the fruit of lives which are apart from God. All of us would be living lives where we would be full of hate, at least toward someone or something, if it were not for His mercy to us. We would be hating others as well as being hated by others. That is just the nature of living in a world of darkness, without God. This will continue throughout eternity for those who have not responded to God's mercy by turning away from sin and turning to God in repentance and faith (trust) in Jesus Christ as the payment for our sins.

A while back, I learned that only 2% of the church actually engage in evangelism. I don't know why that is, but, if we have been radically changed by the power of the Gospel, it would seem like the desire to share the Gospel with others would be natural. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit to do the work of evangelism. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to overcome sin, and He also reveals Christ to people's hearts. He gives us the boldness to communicate Gospel truths and wisdom as we talk with people about the things of God.

Maybe we have just lost our awe of God? Maybe we have never seen God as awesome? We can have all our theological ducks in a row perfectly arranged, and still miss it.

Here is a quote from a young man who preached at our church last week. Maybe this is a clue as to why we are not impressed with God?

""Your willingness to be a disciple of Jesus is in direct proportion to your awe of Jesus". Seth Grier.

Anyway, as we intentionally bring the light of the Gospel to those who are lost, the light will cause the darkness to go away, and people will be able to clearly see God. Many will respond to the Gospel. Many will no longer live their lives hating and being hated by one another.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Good Admonitions For The Church Today

Here are some strong admonitions Paul had for the church at Thessalonica. At the end of this chapter, Paul tells the Thessalonians to read this letter to all the holy brotherhood.

1 Thessalonians 5:14-26 
Now we exhort you, brothers, warn them who are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

See that no one renders evil for evil unto anyone; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
 Rejoice evermore.

 Pray without ceasing.

 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

 Quench not the Spirit.

 Despise not prophesyings.

 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 Faithful is he that calls you, who also will do it.

 Brethren, pray for us.

 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Problems With Pelagianism

The problem with what Pelagians believe is that it is too light on sin. What I mean is something different than what you are probably thinking. Pelagians believe that a person must stop sinning before they can come to God in repentance and faith. They must therefore believe that they have stopped sinning since coming to Christ. They would have to believe that they are no longer sinners, because they have chosen to not sin anymore. But that thinking leads to a lot of problems.

First, we are all blind to our own sin until we allow God to reveal our own hearts to ourselves. We don't see our sin, but we can see the sin in others. Think about how easy it is to spot pride in someone's life, yet, we, too easily have our own pride to deal with, yet, we overlook it because we either don't see it as really that bad or serious, or, we don't think we have pride, even though it is definitely there.

Secondly, Pelagians do not believe people are born with a sinful nature. They think Reformed people are causing people that hear the Gospel to be irresponsible if they were to teach that. In other words, the power of sin is totally under our control. We can choose to be sinners or not. But that is not what the Bible teaches.

In Genesis 3, we see the first human beings God created, turning from good to evil. They chose to do evil when they listened to the voice of the devil instead of God's voice. The world has been under a curse ever since that time. People would now be born into a spiritually dark world. They would be ensnared by sin. They will now become slaves to sin and be imprisoned by sin. Sin is no respecter of persons. Everyone has their fair share and then some. When we are born, we are already subject to the kingdom of Darkness. We don't choose to be in there. That is our default.

Third, Pelagians do not give room for spiritual growth or the process of sanctification. If the Pelagian doctrine is correct, then there is no sanctification process for we become perfected at salvation. But we have to be careful because we could lose this standing if we ever choose to sin. In fact, I am sure they would believe that if we choose to sin, then there is no more repentance available for that person. Once a true believer in Jesus Christ sins, it's over for him or her. (see Hebrews 6 and 10).

Finally, Pelagians do not appear to know anything about the love of God. They always focus on God's wrath and anger, and make it appear as if God is just waiting to destroy us. This passage from Isaiah shows something different though.

"Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him." Isaiah 30-18 ESV

Sadly, as I talk to many Christians or read their writings, I see Pelagianism in what they are trying to communicate. Pelagian evangelists will explain repentance as something equivalent to 'stop sinning'. Even Reformed believers can fall into this trap.

One time, a rich, young ruler came up to Jesus and asked Him, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?' to which Jesus replied 'You know the Commandments." Then Jesus named some of the Commandments. The rich, young ruler responded by saying that he had kept these Commandments from his youth. So, Jesus asked the rich young ruler to do something else. This revealed what was in his heart. Jesus asked him to sell everything he had and then give the money from that to the poor. The rich young ruler was not happy about this question and he went away very sad. What had happened was that this man thought he was a good person without sin. He thought that he kept the Commandments, until Jesus challenged him with a question. Then, when he realized he really was a sinner, he was sad. But his sadness was not over his sin. It was over the fact that he thought he was a good person, but now Jesus showed him that he really was not a good person.

I think this is how the Pelagians think about themselves. They really do think that they are not sinners. They may look at the sin in their past lives and believe that Jesus died for their sins, but now it is up to them to 'stop sinning' and if they don't, they will become toast.

How much 'Pelagianism' is in our own thinking? We need to pull it out if it is there. We also need to be patient with other believers, especially those who are weak. The doctrine of Pelagianism could destroy many. It could also be very discouraging and is certainly deceptive, for none of us can stand up against the power of sin in our own strength. It takes the power of God, and the blood of Christ to set us free from sin. No amount of human willpower will take away our sin, nor will it take the desire for sinning away. That can only come with a new heart.

When we come to Jesus in repentance and faith, we receive the forgiveness of sins. But there is so much more! We are also set free from sin. We can be delivered from sin and its snares. We have a new heart. Now we can obey God and grow in our love and affection for God and others. This is not something we can do on our own. Only God has the power to break sin in our lives. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

When "Your Truth" Hurts "My Truth" And Destroys My Dignity

If you have seen the news, you are aware that there were shootings near Paris that has hurt many and killed some people. Some are, at this moment, being held hostage. According to the NY Post, this is a Terrorist attack.

We live in a society where we value what we think is freedom. We certainly value, perhaps unknowingly, freedom from having to obey God. Many think that God has too many restrictions on our lives. So, we think we can do what we want and really be free. But are we really free to do what we want?

There is a group of people who have made up a logo that says, 'Coexist' meaning that we should all get together and work together in peace, no matter what religion we hold onto. But does that really work?

The Terrorists who killed dozens of people today are practicing their religion. They believe that the god they are trusting in has directed them to kill people who do not hold to their religious beliefs. How can we follow the belief system of those who hold to the slogan of 'Coexist' and practice a belief system that says to kill other people who don't believe in our religion?

This is the fallacy of those who believe that they can believe in whatever they think of as truth. What if you are a person who holds onto that belief system, and a Muslim comes to you to kill you because you will not submit to Allah? Will you submit in a superficial way just to save your neck, or will you stand up for what you actually believe in, or know is true? How do you feel about the Terrorist who wants to kill you, who believe that everyone should be practicing their own truth?

So, you who believe in my truth and your truth being what is prominent and what should be allowed to be practiced in everyone's life, how do you feel about Isis? Remember, your truth will end up backfiring on you when someone else's truth violates your truth.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

What Our World Looks Like Because We See Through a Glass Darkly

New insight into something I see in the body of Christ. I am on Facebook as well as on other social media and I continually see professing Christians tearing one another apart. There are even specialized groups with matching mottos that do this ('We Tear Wolves Up', etc.)

There are professing Christians who seem to rejoice when a famous Christian comes out of the closet, not because the person is trying to be restored to the church, but because now, the professing Christian is finally admitting to how evil he or she really is, which is what they want to emphasize. But even in other ways, Christians seem to delight in finding others who disagree with them doctrinally and call them 'heretics' as well.

Granted, we are not going to agree on everything. This is where we find confusion and arrogance. As one Christian pointed out, the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth, so when two Christians do not see something the same way, that means one of them is not following the Holy Spirit and is a heretic.

But is that true? Of course, the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth. But this is a gradual process. It doesn't mean that we become perfect in knowledge when we come to Christ. The moment we get saved, that is the beginning point of learning to live a new life in a new way, not the final outcome of our lives!

Here is the crux of it all: We see through a glass darkly. When we use the spiritual gifts, we only use them in part. We do not come to Christ, receiving immediate perfection. We have to go through the process of sanctification and we will become mature.

So, when you see a 'fallen' Christian (see Galatians 6) or someone in the body of Christ who you disagree with, please be patient with him or her. They may be struggling in their walk with God. They don't need to be knocked down or unfairly criticized because of their difficulties. They need someone to pray for them so they can repent and get back into the battle again.

Something to keep in mind; the Pharisees were in total opposition to God. There was a time when they saw God for who He is. They chose not to respond to Him as God. Jesus dealt sternly with these people. There are other people who are just in sin, like prostitutes, thieves, liars, pornographers, etc. These people are not usually in a place of spiritual authority like the Pharisees were. When they hear the Gospel, many of them do repent and come to Christ. Sometimes, they struggle though in their walk with God. They need to have someone walk along their side while they struggle. These groups are two different groups. Both have rebelled against God, but the latter group is not after opposing God because God is a threat to their authority and ability to control others. That is why Jesus dealt with the Pharisees the way He did in comparison to the way He treated the tax collectors and prostitutes.

We have to be careful to not treat people who we disagree with in the same way Jesus treated the Pharisees. We will disagree as long as we are living on this planet. Even when we are more mature in the Lord, we will still disagree with others in the Lord. We all see through a glass darkly. We need to respect others who also see through the glass darkly.

And if you do enjoy finding out who the latest false teacher is so you can expose him or her, please check your heart and try to find the reason you enjoy this so much. This may be the first step that will have a major impact on your life.

"I might have all my spiritual theological ducks in a row, but if I don't have the love of God in my heart, I have missed God."

Saturday, November 7, 2015

They Will Know We Are Christians By Our .....Back Stabbing?

I am so full of blog ideas that I don't know where to begin right now. I have had very little time for the internet and blogging, but, I will pick an idea and see where that one goes.

One idea I have was already started in my mind, but it was formulated by an email I received this week. Unfortunately, the person who wrote it does not want the email shared at this time. It put into words, everything I am thinking on this subject, which I will tell you about in a minute.

Ever since I came to Christ as a teenager, I have seen something very distressful in the body of Christ. I was raised in a loving home with moral parents who taught me very well when it came to manners and how to treat other people. We did not go to a Bible believing church, nor had any of us heard the Gospel yet. In spite of that, we knew the difference between right and wrong, and love and hate. We knew that we needed to treat people with respect, no matter who they were.

Fast-forward to the time when I am 18, and newly married. I used to order tracts from different companies and I guess my name got on a mailing list. Somehow, somebody got my name and started sending me a weekly paper called, 'The Sword of the Lord'. Sounds exciting doesn't it? Well, it was disappointing because in it these 'men of God' were tearing down everyone who was a well known Christian who they considered to be a 'false teacher'. That is what the whole paper was about. It was like a gossip paper about the other Christians they didn't like. Both my husband and I knew something was wrong with this paper, but didn't quite know what it was. Were they really trying to help people to detect false teachers or were they having a heyday with opportunities they took advantage of when flaws came up in other people who were more well known than they were?

I honestly thought that with maturity, as people grow in humility and sanctification, this kind of thing would diminish over time. Well, sadly, it didn't.

Today, I have gotten involved in many ministries as well as listening to Bible teachers and listening to radio programs and watching videos. I am sad to say that today, as well as many years ago, this same spirit is in the church. I see the mocking of people who they don't agree with. I see the focus on what other Christians are doing or not doing, or doing wrong (in their eyes), yet, I do not see much in the way of focusing on the Lord and His majesty.

Doesn't the Bible say that we should not rejoice when a brother falls? Oh yeah, that's right. We've decided who is in and who isn't. We have decided who is truly saved and who isn't, and those who we've decided who aren't in, we have also assigned motives to them.

I think of the recent movie, The War Room, which has a small part where Beth Moore plays in. I can't tell you how many people were reluctant to go to this movie because they deem Beth Moore as a false teacher because she is supposedly into something called, 'Contemplative prayer'. Contemplative prayer is also tied in with meditation, and those are supposed to be practices from some of the Eastern religions. We know that using mantras that are useless (like 'Say over and over to yourself 'I am awesome') are dangerous. When we use those kinds of mantras to try to convince ourselves of something false or opposed to Scripture, that is dangerous. I have actually heard teachings like this in one of the businesses that I am in. I have to admit though, that, even though I do not know a ton of stuff about Beth Moore, I seriously doubt that she is into Transcendental Meditation or anything of that sort. Those who oppose her on the Internet never really give examples of what she is accused of doing. All they say is that she is a false teacher because she does contemplative praying.

Friends, when we accuse people of something and we really don't have the backing for what we say, we are seriously sinning against someone in the body of Christ. We are picking people apart because we basically are arrogant and don't see our own sin. We use the term, 'exposing false teaching' when all we are doing is finding someone we disagree with and calling him or her a false teacher. Do you realize what kind of damage this does to the body of Christ?

Jesus said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34, 35 ESV

Will others see God's love in us for them and for those in the body of Christ, or will they see a group of people who are filled with jealousy and rivalry, which is no different than what the world has to offer?

Why do we pick on immature Christians or those who have fallen? Shouldn't we be praying for them? Is the God we profess to believe in big enough to change these people? If you had a son or daughter who was a 'false teacher' would you boot him or her out of your life or would you be praying for your child to come to his or her senses? How much more should we love one another in the body of Christ, and how much more should we be serving one another in weakness and in strengths?

One last word about false teachers or converts: Yes, they will be there. They will be in pulpits around the world. They will be in our church buildings whenever they are open. When do we warn others about them? Let me give you 2 quick examples from our own experiences in church.

My husband and I were leading a home group in someone else's house, years ago. I was sitting next to a new lady who seemed nice to me. I suspected nothing. The next week, we were having home group at our house. I got a call from one of our pastors. He told me to watch out for this woman. He asked if she ever came to our home group. She was planning on coming to home group that night. Our pastor told us that she would go from home group to home group and slander people wherever she went. He told me to be careful around her.

Another time, there was a man in our area who was starting a home church and it was flourishing. Many from the church I am in started going to this man's house. Some even left our church and joined this man's home church or whatever it was. We were listening to the tapes of this man's messages. He basically was a universalist. He taught free grace and no repentance. Our pastors became alarmed, and rightly so. On one Sunday morning, our pastor addressed the church on this issue and told the people that this man was teaching false doctrine. This had to be done to protect the church, not because we didn't want to lose members, but because people were being swept into a false belief system that would ultimately end up destroying them if they continued on that path.

So, if you have to expose a false teacher or heretic, please, make it clear (and give examples) of what he or she is doing that is heretical. Don't try to make a case out of suspicious activity that you don't have enough information about. Please be careful how this is handled. The world is watching, and they will not see an attractive Gospel when we are stabbing one another in the back.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Many Call God a "Bully" Because Of His Judgments On Earth and Mankind, But Why?

  The Reason why people get upset with God calling the shots, is simply because we tend to believe that man is the measure of all things.

   Recently, I was talking with a young man who didn't think it was fair that God would punish people who believed in other religions. Tonight, I talked with a woman who hinted out the idea that God was a bully, simply because God killed the firstborn sons in the Egyptian families during the night of the Passover.

   I keep mulling statements like these over and over again in my mind. I try to make sense of them and see what the people who make such statements are trying to say. But I fail to understand what they mean.

  The reason is simple. My starting point is different than theirs. Their starting point is based upon a belief system that says, 'man is the measure of all things'. That means, that out of all living beings that exist, man is the highest and gets to call the shots. If a person thinks that man is the measure of all things (the standard), if God is thrown in the picture, then God is subject to man. God is not all-powerful and certainly is unloving. This idea creates a weak God.

   Either God is the standard for everything or man is. If God doesn't exist, then man has to be at the top of the pole. But, what if God does exist? What if He is who He says He is in His word? Then man is not the measure of all things, and God is not a bully.

   It is hard to believe that people really do believe that 'man is the measure of all things', but many really do believe this lie. Their eyes are blinded to the true and living God. That is the reason we bring the light of the Gospel to them. Where there is light, the darkness disappears.

Sadly, our culture believes and teaches that man is the measure of all things. It teaches us that we evolved over billions of years and we finally reached the point of full humanity by the process of natural selection. Evolution is a theory which is made upon other theories. People don't even have to take a course in evolution to learn it. It is a commonly believed in fallacy that many have fallen prey to.

  We either start with the truth of who God is, or, we based our lives on the crumbling philosophies of the world. If we understand who God is, then we can rest in the fact that evolution is not true, and that there is a higher being whom we can turn to in repentance and faith. We all have to decide what our starting point will be. Whatever we choose to believe in will affect our eternal welfare.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Why So Many False Converts In The Church Harms The Gospel Message

Ever wonder why non-believers complain about hypocrites being in the church and using that as an excuse to not respond to the Gospel?

I have.

As I thought about this recently, I have a little insight. Although we all understand that no one can come to God by his or her own will, but the person can only come if God is drawing him or her to Himself, God can still create a searching heart in someone. He will do this in order for the person to search Him out and put his or her trust in the Savior.

I think people really are looking for reality. At least, some are. But what happens when a non-believer meets a professing Christian living in sin? The professing Christian is demonstrating a false Gospel.

Take, for example, a professing Christian who has loose morals. Let's say that he or she proudly talks about how God is all-loving and all-forgiving. The person may even make references to Christ or give God credit for doing a miracle in their life or answering prayer. But what if the person is still living in sin, and not concerned about dealing with his or her own sin?

Living in sin, while professing to believe in Jesus Christ as Savior is an oxymoron. Jesus did not die to allow us to stay in sin. He died so that we could be free from sin. We don't have to sleep around anymore. We don't have to try to manipulate others to get what we want. We don't have to take things that don't belong to us. God will help us with our anger problem. But if people profess Christ while continuing in sin, without even blinking an eye at their sin, something is seriously wrong.

That is a false Gospel. There is no reality in it. It basically says that Jesus is not powerful enough to help people out of their sin and all the ramifications that their sin brings to their lives. Who would want that kind of a Savior? A Savior who is truly God does not leave people in their sins, and at the same time give them a free pass to heaven. It is a powerless Gospel. It is a false Gospel. It misleads people because it misrepresents salvation and the Savior.

The Bible says that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. The true Gospel is the only one that provides remedy for our sins. If we try to tell people about a Savior from sin, while we are still operating in our fleshly desires, people will not see God for who He is. They will see an idol who may or may not be able to take care of them. This idol may or may not be able to remedy their sin problem and this false god will not provide true forgiveness for sins. A new heart and the power of the Holy Spirit are not given to people who believe this erroneous Gospel.

When Jesus died on the Cross, that death was powerful enough to not only cleanse us from sin, but also it is powerful enough to set us free from living lives in sin. Jesus broke the power of sin.

So, if you see anyone who is out there telling about an all-forgiving, all-loving God that is ok with our sin, you are seeing a person who has a false Gospel. It is possible that the person is in ignorance and needs correct teaching and discipleship. Also, some have reacted against legalism and want others to make sure that they are not promoting a Gospel of works, therefore going to the other end of the spectrum, which is lawlessness.

Whatever the reason is, if we don't come to Jesus in repentance and faith, we will end up being a false convert and deceived into thinking that we are on our way to heaven when in reality, we aren't. The best way to combat this is to make sure we deal with our own sin first, then present the Gospel to others so they will know how they can be forgiven and set free from the power of sin. We want to communicate the power of God to a lost a dying world. We want to communicate a powerful Savior to a lost and dying world. We want to communicate a powerful Gospel to this world which is in utter darkness and needs to be set free.

What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.  Romans 6:15-18

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Does Attacking People Groups Work In Representing Christ?

What is the best way to reach people with the Gospel? Many are skeptics. A lot are Catholics. Many, many are nominal Christians, at best. Some know the Gospel worded perfectly, but something is missing. Some are Muslims, while others are Jews. How do we reach them best?

According to the modern church, which professes Christianity, the best way seems to be to attack people groups, like Mormons, JWs, Catholics, and Seventh Day Adventists. But does attacking a group make the people in the group want to come to Christ?

Many are in denominations or groups because they were born into these groups. Take for example, Islam. If a person is born into an Islamic family, that person will likely stay Islam the rest of his or her life, simply because they have no reason to leave (that they are aware of) and belonging to Islam is part of their heritage. If they left Islam, they would lose part of their culture as well as their identity. So, how are they best reached for the Gospel?

The reason I am writing this is because I am on the Internet a lot and see what people are doing in order to try to 'reach' them with the Gospel. Reaching them, might be a stretch. Perhaps they have no intention of reaching these people groups with the Gospel. I don't know. I only know what I am reading.

Here is something that I believe is not right, and I doubt that it will work. There are people who stand outside a Catholic church, for example, and give out prepared tracts telling people why Catholicism is wrong. I don't know why these people don't just give out Gospel tracts to the people instead. Do you think people who come out of a Catholic church are going to eagerly read a tract telling them what is wrong with the Catholic church? Does this show kindness and respect for others?

I like what Ray Comfort does in this type of situation. He asks the question, "How do you share the Gospel with a Muslim?' or "How do you share the Gospel with a homosexual?" Whatever group he names, the answer is the same. The Gospel is the same for all.

You don't point a person to Christ by telling him or her what is wrong with their religion. You demonstrate Christ to them and declare the Gospel to them. Put yourself in their place. Let's say they never heard the Gospel before, and they come from a large denominational church. Pointing out to them the things wrong with their church will not bring them to Christ. Would you want someone coming up to you telling you the things wrong in your life? Would you listen to that person or would you become defensive because they were attacking something that is part of you?

We minister the Gospel to people. After they come to Christ, then God will help them separate the truth from the lies. This takes time. This is where we have to be careful. We try to do the work of the Holy Spirit in people's hearts. On top of that, we don't understand that God patiently works in all of our hearts, and we are not patient with people. Also, keep in mind that many professing Christians have incorrect ideas about what is right doctrine or wrong doctrine. For example, some believers do not believe in infant baptism. Others believe that infant baptism is part of a covenant. If we split hairs over this issue, we are going to end up dividing the Body of Christ. We are the division makers.

There are some professing Christians who have a very narrow understand/belief system of what makes up a true Christian, and therefore we have many who are preaching to other Christian groups and resorting to name calling and derogatory actions. Friends, this should never happen in the body of Christ. We have to agree to disagree.

The way we reach people with the Gospel is not by telling them what is wrong with the church they are part of (or whatever the group that they are in is). We lovingly, minister the Gospel to all. We teach people what God says about our sin. We teach people who God is and what He is like. We teach people that they are accountable to God, and we teach people what God has done to take care of our sin problem.

The way to reach people is not by attacking them or putting them down. The Bible says that others will know we are Christians by our love, not by our arrogance. Whenever we point out the wrong in others, we are being arrogant (I am not saying we should not stand up for the truth, especially when it is being challenged or violated). It would be a whole other topic for another day to talk about standing up for the truth. But I am afraid that we have not put our pride away, and that we, at times, are trying to do God's work in a person's heart. Instead of presenting the truth to the person, and leaving the work of the heart to God, we try to reach the person or group by attacking them and eventually humiliating them. Somehow, we feel like this is our responsibility. That is sad.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

God Is Not A Religion

I think it is interesting that many people think of God as just one of many religions. Many think that because there are so many religions in the world, no one can know which one is right, if there is only one that is right.

A few of the religions are Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity. Do we have to take those and try to figure out which one is the right one? Do all of them have a road that leads to heaven? What if there is something that can lead us to God, but it is not a religion? Would we be open to it?

God is not a religion. He is a supernatural being. He is the One who created us. Today people believe that man is the measure of all things. In other words, man is the highest being that exists. We got that way  because through the evolution process, we gradually became what we are today. We didn't stay like monkeys. We developed into highly intelligent beings that can make all kinds of decisions and create many things.

I saw something the other days indicating that man was on the upward progress of things. It made a statement of how bad we used to be, with wars, fighting, etc. and they showed pictures of how mankind was making progress toward peace, indicating that man is continuing to become better perfected through the continual process of evolution. I guess whoever did the video isn't seeing the whole picture though. If you look around the world today, it is not getting more and more peaceful and civilized. It is beginning to crumble because of the corruption of our sin. We are again going toward the type of beings we were in Genesis 6 when people were so corrupt that God destroyed the earth.

Man is not becoming better. Civilizations are not getting better. If we are not careful, our civilization will crumble right under our feet.

But, man wants to think he is the top of the pack. In spite of that, many are trying to find peace and fulfillment through a religion. But, the outcome is always the same. Religion doesn't change a person's heart. It just gives people something constructive to do while they think they are earning a way to get to heaven, if heaven really does exist.

If man thinks he is at the top of the pole, then there is no God over him. Because God has set eternity in our hearts, there is something deep down in us that wants more than just what is offered by mankind. But we can't quite figure out what that is. Religions are devised. Sometimes, authority is abused in these religions, and people want to stay away from anything 'religious'. Manipulation comes into play (think about Jehovah's Witnesses banging on your door). Leaders of religious groups tell people that they can't leave their group, and if they do, or if they try, there will be serious consequences. Some leaders end up getting arrested for fraudulent activity, while others are never caught, but people are victimized because of their actions.

So, when you talk to people about the Gospel and they accuse you of shoving religion down their throats, the reasons above could be the reason why they are opposing you and falsely accusing you. I recently had such a discussion with a group of people on the Internet. Someone put out a post that had to do with Planned Parenthood. A few people commented. I mentioned that the post and the problems that were being brought about because of abortion was really a heart issue. Well, I was suddenly accused of pushing religion down the throats of the people. Interesting how just making a statement ends up being an action of 'shoving God down our throats'.

Anyway, the point is, religion is dead works. It is a group with a set of religious beliefs and probably beliefs in a higher power of some sort and how we are to relate to this higher power. Some religions use the Bible. Many use it out of context to fit their belief system, and possibly to take advantage of other people who are in ignorance. Even nominal Christianity is dead. It is like a person belongs to a group with other people who hold a religious belief, but that belief system does not change their heart or give them the power to live a life that glorifies God. Religion keeps us in bondage to ourselves. It does not set us free to love God and to know Him more.

 But knowing God is a different story. We were made to have a relationship with God, not a membership in a religious group. No matter how well we keep the standard of the doctrines of the religious group, we can never please God on our own. We have to have a Savior from sin. We need a new heart. Religion can't do that. Religion cannot give us the power to say 'no' to sin and 'yes' to righteousness. Only a right relationship with God, through His Son Jesus Christ, can provide us with the way to know God.

There is only one way to heaven. There is no religion that is right. Only God is right. He has revealed Himself to us through His word. We can debate about the Scriptures all we want to, but they either truly are God's word or they aren't. People argue about the Bible not being authentic. I would like to know if they have actually sat down and studied what it says, or if it is just wishful thinking on their parts because they do not like what it says.

Either Jesus really spoke the words of life or He didn't. What kind of harm can it do if we actually read what the Scriptures say and let it apply to our hearts? If a person is so convinced that the Bible is a fraud, then why is he reluctant to actually sit down and look at what it says?

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Me." It is either true or false. If it is true, then we need to listen to the rest of what Jesus says. If it is not true, then we can still be free to read the Scriptures and at least know what we are talking about if we are trying to disprove the Bible as being God's word.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

How Would You Respond If A Shooter Came Into Your Church Building On Sunday Morning?

I had often wondered if this would ever happen in our church, or in any church today in America. What would we do if someone came in unnoticed, carrying a gun, and during the message demands all those who truly believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, to stand up to be shot? What would you do? What would I do?

   Something like this took place this week in the state of Oregon, only it was not a Sunday morning church meeting. The shooter demanded answers from the students he was planning to shoot. If they were 'Christians', he informed them that that was good because they would go to be with the Lord in a few seconds. Then he shot them. Others who had some type of religion got shot in the foot.

  I'm sure those students were totally taken by surprise. While this is a tragic event, and we hope that it is not a continuing trend, something interesting is coming out of it.

   Today, there are many professing Christians who are on the fence, so to speak. I would say, probably a majority of professing Christians think it is o.k. to continue living in sin. They would tell you that they believe in Jesus Christ and are ready for heaven if they die, while they sleep around and live deceitful lives. We are not talking about professing Christians who are struggling with sin. We are talking about Christians who embrace sin, and at the same time, say they believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. What's missing?

   In the case of those in the above paragraph, they are missing the point of the Gospel, which is that Jesus died for our sins, and rose again the 3rd day, and that whoever puts his or her trust in Him, will be saved. To believe or trust in Jesus means that a person would have to repent of their sin. They would have to turn to God, and God would be the center of their lives, not themselves anymore. They would have to realize that sin is our enemy, not our friend. It is a trick of the devil to keep us away from God, and it is the lie of the devil to keep us under God's wrath and in darkness.

    But consider this; There are churches filled with professing Christians who say it is o.k. to have an abortion. At the abortion clinics, many there profess to believe in Jesus Christ. Even the workers pray for those who are going to be going through the procedure, and the workers encourage them to go through with the abortion because that is what God wants. Many who go for an abortion complain to the sidewalk counselors and say that they are not allowed to 'judge' them.

    But here is my question; Let's say, a church thinks abortions are a good idea. They may even take a stand for it or have people in their congregation who are influential. What if a shooter came into their midst and asked them to raise their hands if they were true believers in Jesus Christ, with the intention of shooting them?

   I think the shooting incident earlier in the week will do two things at the same time. I think it will define who truly is a Christian and who isn't. Those who love sin and hold onto sin will either repent at the last minute and stand up for their faith in Christ, or they will back off and continue in sin. Those who know the Lord will be more prepared for this kind of event, although we hope that it doesn't happen again.

   I have seen many people on Facebook openly making a profession of faith since the shooting incident. This is good. Those who genuinely don't have faith and have no intention of turning to the Lord will not make a bold stand.

   I would find it interesting to see how these false Christians will respond to actions like the shooting incident. I wonder if this will cause some of them to wake up and take a stand for Christ, or, if it will cause them to try to make their false pretenses even stronger. Either way, the dividing line will be more clear. And that is a good thing.

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Reason Why Sin Is So Successful And False Gospels Are Prevalent Today

I was reminded of the present condition of our country in the spiritual realm, a couple of days ago, when I was interacting with some young people about the Gospel.

   I was very saddened because I could tell that these young adults did not have a clue of what the Gospel was, nor did they know anything about the 'fear of the Lord'. They mocked God and laughed at the Scriptural points I was making. They truly did not fear God in any way, shape, or form. What went wrong? When did it go wrong?

   What went wrong had been what was going on wrong since the middle of the 19th century. The church somehow lost its hold on the Gospel message and the main focus of the church was diminished. It is hard to say when things happened, or whether things happened suddenly or over a long period of time. Or both.

  For example, according to what I learned in Biblical counseling, during the mid 1800s, the church began refusing to help those who were disturbed mentally. Eventually, the world created psychology and psychiatry because of that. Those who needed help in the world, never got it from the church. The church has always been the institution for helping people who needed counsel until that point.

   During this time period, the church was made up of rich people, middle class people, and the poor. Many who were poor got sick. Those who were wealthy and able to take better care of their bodies rejected those who were sick by saying that the cause of their sickness was due to sin in their lives. No wonder the church has gotten a bad name. Those who were poor were the ones who were sick more often then those who were able to buy good, nourishing food and have proper medicine when needed.

   During the turn of the century, the beginning of the 20th century, according to Ray Comfort, the church began watering down the message of the Gospel. This was probably done in order to allow the number of church members to grow. The message of the Gospel, in it's hardness to receive, was being renovated to accommodate those in the world and bring them in.

   Today, we have a rash of preachers trying to make the Scriptures applicable and practical for everyone to have and use for whatever the need may be. That way, everyone can use the Scriptures, not just those who know the Lord. We can have our best lives now. We can be winners in this life. Basically, what we can do is form God into an idol, and if we learn how to push the right buttons, God will give us what we want.

   Is it any wonder that people think the Bible is a book of fairy tales? There is no conviction of sin, nor is there any power from God in many of the false gospels we have being taught to us today.

   There are two big errors today in modern Christian thinking. One is, that a person can believe in Jesus, have all their sins forgiven, and do whatever they want to do. Could this be a reaction to the traditional, legalistic professing Christians we have today? The other error is that of believing we are really able to be good enough to receive eternal life. All we have to do is be intentional and we can do it. I think this is the message that the Pope tried to bring to us. The big problem with this is really simple to understand. None of us is capable of being good enough before God. We are all way too selfish. We all have some good points here and there and we focus on those, but we forget how far away from God we really are, and how sinful and selfish we are.

   In order for people to see the Gospel, and ultimately want to respond to God, there must be both a demonstration of the Gospel and a declaration of the Gospel. Those who preach the Gospel need to be effected by the Gospel themselves. Many do have a demonstration of the Gospel, but never give a declaration of it, while others seem to be declaring it, but their lives show very little, if any, evidence of a powerful God who has saved them.

 So, it begins with us being changed by God's power, and then declaring to others what God has done for us. That opens the door for sharing the Gospel. When we are all sharing the Gospel, the effects of that action will change the hearts of many, and I believe it would even change the spiritual landscape of our country. We can only give away what we have received? And if we have received from God spiritually, we should be giving that away to others.

"For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18 ESV
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." Romans 1:16 ESV

Thursday, October 1, 2015

What Does It Mean To 'Leave Everything Behind'?

  I'm trying to come up with a clear cut way to help people understand what the true meaning of repentance is, and what it means to leave everything behind. We know that repentance isn't just saying a prayer asking God to forgive you of your sins, although that action could be involved in the act of repentance. We have seen many, many people asking God to forgive them of their sins, yet, they turn around and continue to practice these same sins. These people sadly are 'happily on their way to hell'.

  Another thing we have tried to avoid is to make repentance sound like a work that a person has to do in order to receive salvation. From what the Bible says, we also know that repentance is necessary, if a person is to truly be converted.

   Repentance basically means to have a change of mind. We have to be careful here, because we know that having a change of mind does not necessarily result in having a change in our hearts. We can believe all the facts of the Bible as being true, yet still miss heaven.

   Maybe another way to help us understand repentance would be the act of 'leaving everything behind'. Although that is not in itself the act of repentance, I would think repentance involves leaving everything behind.

   Of course, we don't want to make that into a form of a good work that can enable us to achieve heaven. Some people are very pious and have taken a vow of poverty. It is hard to say whether a person who has done this action really understands repentance. There may be valid reasons for taking a vow of poverty, but earning salvation is not one of them.

   So, with that in mind, here is an example of what came to my mind this morning, concerning leaving everything behind:
   Think of a woman who grew up in a rich home. Her parents had wealth. She had plenty of clothes, food, toys, music, cars, etc. She never lacked or wanted for anything while she was growing up. Any medical care she needed, was available to her. She is indeed very blessed.
   When she is in her early 20s, she meets a man, and they fall in love. They decide, over a period of time, that they want to marry. There is a big problem though. The man makes very little money. It would be very little for them to live on, let alone when they have children.
   But they really love each other. Should this woman marry this man, knowing that she will never have the goods that she had growing up? Or, should she stay with her family until she is old, and have anything her heart would desire? If she marries this man, she will leave behind all the possibilities of having wealth and everything that goes with being rich. She will not have money to buy nice clothing anymore. She will not have money to buy a new car (or even a good used one) if her car breaks down. They might never even live in a house. What about medical care? Would she be able to continue to pay for the medical prescriptions she desperately needs?
   Will she leave her wealth behind for this man, or, will she choose to stay with her family, and live off the provisions she had all her life?

   I know this is a made up story and there are a lot of unfinished details that can be added. The point is simple though. We have to leave the world's goods behind us in order to receive the Pearl of Great Price. We don't 'stop sinning' so that we can go to heaven one day. But, we leave our lives of sin, whatever those sins are, to be part of another kingdom. We can't live a lifestyle of sleeping around and believe in our hearts that God is ok with that. If that is how we live our lives, we have to let that go in order to receive the kingdom of God.

   What about good things though? There are even good things we have to leave behind. Why? Because they are idols to us, even though we might not think so. Remember when Jesus was explaining how hard it was for rich people to enter the kingdom of God? Those who have wealth and material blessings will have a harder time letting go of their wealth than those who are poor. When you have something, it is hard to give it up. Whatever you give it up for, must be of highest importance.

    Jesus continued to explain that there is no one who has left house, wife, parents, children or brothers, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more, in this life, and in the life to come , eternal life (see Luke 18:28-30).

  In John chapter 8, we read about the woman who was caught in adultery. She was brought to Jesus by some self-righteous people in order to try to trick Jesus. They wanted to see how He would work through this one. And they found out. They brought the woman to Jesus because she was caught in the act of adultery and according to their law, she needed to be stoned to death. After they brought the woman to Jesus, He wrote in the sand, then, He asked the people there to throw the first stone, if they were without sin. No one was able to do that, so eventually, they all left. When the accusers were all gone, Jesus asked the woman where her accusers were. He also told her that He doesn't condemn her, but listen to the very last words He spoke to her: "Neither do I condemn you. Go and leave your life of sin". He was telling her to repent. Some versions say 'Go and sin no more'.

   What was the woman required to leave behind? Her life of sin. What are we required to leave behind? Our lives of sin. We leave our lives of sin behind, and we walk in the newness of life.

   Repentance isn't saying that you believe in Jesus, but you can do whatever you want. Repentance involves letting go, or leaving behind, our sins, and our idols. We must let go of anything that gets in the way of our relationship with God.

  Finally, what are we feeding on and holding onto? In Isaiah, we read about where the Israelites were feeding upon ashes and in their right hand, they were holding onto a lie. God was dealing with the Israelites about their idolatry. They were being fed the lies of the Enemy of their souls, and they were holding onto those lies, in their right hand. We are no different today. We hold onto many things that we think will make us happy and successful. Do we realize though, that these things get in the way of our relationship with God?

"He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”  Isaiah 44:20 ESV

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

War Room Critique - Could This Be The Reason The World Points Fingers At Christianity?

I don't know what to call this blog article, but I will come up with a name. The purpose of this article is not to divide the body of Christ, but to point out where and why divisions are taking place in the church, where we should be working together for the cause of Christ.

I am going to take an article found at http://the-end-time.blogspot.com/2015/09/why-i-do-not-recommend-kendrick.html  and edit it. I want to show the fallacies of this kind of thinking. It is not a matter of whether or not you agree or even like Beth Moore (many people do not even know who she is) or Priscilla Shirrer, but whether an article like this one even makes any sense.

There are a lot of blogs out there and a lot of differing opinions. When it comes to those who are born again and are part of the body of Christ, we are to grow together in love, even though there will be disagreements among us.

Basically, this was a concern I had when the 'Strange Fire' conference took place last year. I saw a group of people now calling Christians who believed in the spiritual gifts for today, as heretics and false believers. They point to those on television who are using the gifts in much the same way that the Corinthians did in the early church days. They claim that the spiritual gifts have ceased and now we have the word of God and don't need such gifts.

This article does not primarily have to do with the spiritual gifts or if you believe they are for today or not, but it has to do with taking a movie, criticizing it, disagreeing doctrinally with it, and condemning it. The authors of articles such as the one posted above, position themselves as critics and I have seen many times, where they are followers of John McArthur, as well as his teachings on 'Strange Fire', which include believing that the spiritual gifts do not operate any more. So, the movie is out because it supposedly is 'adding to Scripture' because the people in the movie supposedly hear God's voice. (In case you haven't figured this out yet, some Reformed Bible teachers believe that God does not speak to our hearts today. We only hear His voice through Scripture). So, if I understand this correctly, I guess God cannot reveal Himself to me because that would mean that I am receiving extra Biblical revelation. If I understand what these people are saying, this is what it sounds like to me.

Let's go on and edit this blog. My comments are in blue italics.

Why I do not recommend Kendrick Brothers' new movie, "War Room", part 2

Part 1 here

For Christians seeking family friendly faith based movies either as entertainment or as ministry, the Kendrick Brothers movies from Sherwood Pictures have been the go-to series for many. Originally from Athens GA, the Kendrick Brothers are Shannon, Alex and Stephen. Alex and Stephen have been making full-length Christian movies since 2003, initially at Sherwood Baptist and now from their newly formed production company. Their first film was the independent release of Flywheel in 2003. After that came Facing The Giants (2006), Fireproof, (2008), and Courageous, (2011). Movie #5, War Room, came out Aug. 28, 2015. The opening weekend Box Office stunned Hollywood. It brought in 11 million dollars.

The films seem almost universally and uncritically adored, from patrons of them who flock to the screens to church pastors and leaders who show them in their sanctuaries. The films' showings are often accompanied with attendant paraphernalia such as curricula, studies, sermon outlines, resolutions, books, journals, devotionals and other merchandising. As a side note, translate the fervency and diligence some pastors promote and urge attendance at these movies to their fervency for preaching the Word expositionally and urging worship in their church. I wish. 

Whenever anything, and I mean anything, that is promoted from the pulpit it is wise to delve into whether the thing being promoted is consistent with the bible and thus edifying for the sheep. It is also wise to research the people behind writing these movies, books, devotionals, and study guides.

In Part 1, I mentioned that I do not like the movies the Kendrick Brothers have produced so far. I have seen three of them (not Courageous, and not War Room). The films do present a good storyline, engagingly developed. The films are based on biblical themes such as prayer, submission, fatherhood, etc. The films are written by pastors and are prayed over diligently, we hear. They're emotional and watchable. So what's not to like?

Discernment is not just looking at the surface. Discernment is not just accepting that a Christian thing is "close enough." Jesus did not come 'close enough' to sinlessness for the Father to accept His sacrifice.  The Apostles and Martyrs didn't preach and die a 'close enough' faith. We must be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Jesus said,

Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. (Matthew 10:16, commentary on what this means here)

In Part 1 I'd said I'd look more at the Kendrick Brothers' choice of casting. They had said in this Youtube interview from several months ago that for the movie War Room --
We pray over every single role. We want Christians playing Christians in these movies, we want to know they believe what they are speaking in these roles. We want no hypocrisy, [we hire Christians who show that] we believe what this movie is about then live it out, outside the credits. 
So, since they announced the basis for their casting decisions, let's look at them and compare to scripture to see if they hold up.

Priscilla Shirer dominates the movie, being its main cast member (TC Stallings plays her husband). Since the Kendricks deliberately choose Christians who live what they believe, then what does Shirer believe?

Shirer believes and teaches extra-biblical, personal revelation (This is a false belief about Shirer. This belief of extra-biblical personal revelation comes from a belief system that says the spiritual gifts have ceased and we do not need to hear God's voice today because we have His word instead.)

Unfortunately, Shirer is a proponent of hearing directly from God. Here in an interview in Charisma Magazine, Shirer explains her basis for launching her "Going Beyond" ministries. Charisma Magazine has the tale (and even being quoted in Charisma is another discernment red flag). In the article it states,
In her case, God was speaking to her about going to “the place of abundant living—an experiential relationship with God.” “He said: ‘Priscilla, you’ve been at this mountain long enough. There is a new place that I want to take you to,’” Shirer says. In light of God’s challenge, Shirer naturally desired to “go beyond” personally.
So God personally speaks to Shirer clearly enough that she can put His words in quotes? This is a problem. When one tells the world that God speaks personally to her (and this isn't the only instance of her recounting extra-biblical revelation from God) then she denies the sufficiency of the Bible.
(Again, we have a belief system here that believes that God is not a personal God. We cannot hear His voice because we have His word instead. Not sure what they believe the role of the Holy Spirit is in our lives today, but He must not have much to do with us since we have the canon of Scriptures available to us).

Shirer believes in and teaches an experiential faith (When we come to Christ, do we experience anything concerning a relationship with God, or is it just a mental acknowledgment that He died for our sins?)

Secondly, look at the phrase "she naturally wanted to go beyond..." Go beyond what, exactly? The bible tells us not to go beyond what is written (1 Corinthians 4:6) something Shirer has already done in speaking of direct revelation from God. (Revelation 22:18) (Really?? Are you for real? This has nothing to do with receiving 'extra Biblical' revelation equal to the Scriptures. You are making a very big stretch on this one). Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others, as we're told in 2 Corinthians 10:15. In Galatians 5:12 Paul cursed the Judaizers, wishing they would "go beyond" their circumcision and excise the entire appendage lol. (This verse has nothing to do with going beyond Scriptures as is stated here)But Shirer's basis for a ministry of 'going beyond' is really a basis to go beyond what is written and venture into the experiential, something she says all the time should be normal for Christians. (So, I guess again that our relationship with God is just mental, not experiential? Can we experience a deepening relationship with God or is that just 'pie in the sky?') For example she said, "A lot of the demonstrative gifts of the Spirit aren’t used all the time in my church—almost never—so I could easily box God in and say because that is not my experience, God must not operate in that way. We need to accept that the body of Christ is full of other believers who have experienced God in equally relevant, equally reliable ways."

What Shirer is saying here is that if another person who calls themselves a Christian is experiencing the sign gifts, we must accept their experience as valid, or we will be putting God in a box. (No, you are putting words into her mouth. The spiritual gifts need to be tested. Any good church will tell you that. Everything that is done by means of a spiritual gift has to be weighed and tested.)Notice she didn't have a biblical stance for her reasoning why she believes the sign gifts continue. Only that if the experience is happening it must be valid. (No, the spiritual gifts are for today and they are for edifying the body of Christ. They are tools we have to serve one another with and glorify God with).

She says this not because she has come to a concerted biblical conclusion, but because of "other believers who have experienced God in equally relevant, equally reliable ways." (yes, they have. Revelatory does not equal the canon of Scriptures). Again, she has come to this belief - and teaches it- because people EXPERIENCE the gifts, not because she has exegeted the text to prove it so. (The spiritual gifts have not ceased and using the verse that says, "When the perfect is come.." is taking the verse out of context to mean what you want it to, not what the intention of the Scriptures is).

Shirer believes in and promotes contemplative prayer

Third, in addition to receiving and promoting as normal the extra-biblical revelation from God, experiential approaches to teaching and believing God's word, Shirer also teaches and promotes Contemplative Prayer. (Also known as Centering Prayer) This is a Catholic/Occult/Mystical practice which is not based on the bible but on inner knowings and experiences that supposedly occur after emptying the mind and experiencing the presence of God. "We are to meditate actively, using our minds, based upon Scripture, not empty nothingness and waiting" as the writer at CARM explains. (I would agree with CARM on this. Beth Moore and Pricilla Shirer are not practicing occultic mystic praying. When it comes to meditation, we are told from Scriptures in many places to meditate upon the word).

Learn more herehere, and here on why this practice is not biblical.

Back to the Kendricks and their discernment

When the Kendricks say they pray over each role and take time selecting Christian When the Kendricks say they pray over each role and take time selecting Christians who are sound and non-hypocritical, this is the level of their discernment? Putting front and center a charismatic mystic who promotes extra-biblical revelation and the experiential method as the benchmark of affirming truth? It seems to me the discernment level of those making the decisions at Kendrick Brothers Productions is not what it should be.

In addition, their casting of Beth Moore leaves much to be desired, since Moore engages in occult channeling, receives visions and extra-biblical personal revelation, puts herself out as a prophetess, promotes pop-psychology, mysticism, contemplative prayer, and legalism, poor exegesis, teaches men, lives like a feminist, and much more. (Not true. Look up Beth Moore's ministry and find out for yourselves if she is really doing these things. This is a form of bearing false witness against your neighbor, in other words, lying about someone, or in another term, 'slandering').

Speaking of associations, the Kendrick Brothers' discernment on this front also leaves much to be desired. They associate with TD Jakes, an unsaved pastor who denies the Trinity. Back in March of this year, Alex Kendrick was a featured speaker at the “Missions and Marketplace Conference” in Chicago. Also speaking at that conference was Jakes. The #WarRoomMovie twitter stream recently published a thank you to Jakes for his support of the movie. Remember, Jakes produced the film version of the heaven tourism book Heaven is for Real.

So back to the Kendrick Brothers' discernment. It seems that each of their movies have promoted some aspects of Christian life that are not biblical. (Did you actually see the movie? What parts were 'unbiblical'?) It seems that each movie has gotten a bit more blatant and forward in the departure from biblical discernment and practices. It seems that it got worse after they left the oversight of Sherwood Baptist and began partnering with heretics and hiring false teachers for their movies.

  Accepting a favorable review from false prophetess Paula White is like a restaurant chef accepting a food review fromJeffrey Dahmer
Merchandising Merchandising Merchandising Merchandising

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. (2 Peter 2:3 KJV)

Make room, Ephesian silversmiths and idol makers. (Acts 19:19-20).  A new merchant is in town. Here are some examples:

Kerusso parthers with Kendrick Brothers for "War Room" film merchandise.
Kerusso, the leader in Christian apparel and gifts, has announced a new partnership with the Kendrick Brothers who recently produced their fifth film titled WAR ROOM releasing August 28, 2015 from Sony Pictures Entertainment’s TriStar Pictures, distributor of Soul Surfer, Courageous and last summer’s faith-based sensation Heaven is For Real. The partnership grants Kerusso rights to produce officially licensed merchandise and apparel for the upcoming film.
Books to accompany new Kendrick Brothers movie
Coming along with it is a line of books, including a novelization of the film, officials from the publishing companies say.

For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ. (2 Corinthians 2:17).
Don't forget your Battle Plan Prayer Cards! Buy now! (Is it wrong to make Bible reading and prayer aids and sell them? Would it be better to sell something else, even if it is good? The author is judging the motives of the movie makers and comparing them with those who sold doves, pigeons, etc. in the house of God which Jesus overturned.)

Should I buy the "Battle Plan for Prayer"? If I do, I'll have to move the Love Dare aside to make room on the shelf...And where will I put my Courageous Resolution? (Hmm. Why do you buy books that you don't plan on reading?)

He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.” (Matthew 21:13)

Remodeling, AKA the "Doing Something/Experiential" method of Christianity
(But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only. What a stretch!)

Most of the Kendrick Brothers movies blame the man. Here is one meme that pokes at this fact.

(I get the drift of this comment although it may not be the best choice of words used to express this concept).

Let's all remodel our closets!

(There is nothing wrong with these comments. They are spot on and Biblical).

This woman remodeled already ! Because it's the room that does it!
(I watched the movie twice and didn't see any evidence of the actresses saying that it is the 'room' that does it.)

Awww, so sad this lady didn't have a closet to donate to the cause. She made a nook. Her prayers will be nook sized instead of #powerful. (Really?? Do you know her motives when she prays and what faith level God has given her to pray with?)

Spot the missing resource!!

In conclusion...yes I have a heated righteous indignation at the lack of discernment evidenced here. I have a heated anger regarding churches that relentlessly promote these films yet when it comes to sharing the Gospel or even personally shepherding the flock they have they tolerate sin and compromise. I am very upset at all the merchandising. I really am.

I do understand the power of prayer and the wonder of prayers being answered. I am for prayer. I am against Hollywood films showing a pale and shallow Western Christianity where prayer gets you things. Where a remodeled closet is the answer and not the God who sees and hears.  (Not so. The room is just a vehicle. There is nothing in the movie that gives power to the room. The concept in the movie was taken from the Scriptures where Jesus tells us to go into our closets and pray. The Scripture taken in context has to do with not parading our prayer life before others to be seen by them. In the movie, it has a connotation that this is where I am going to take time to meet with God. Any 'war rooms' that we create can be anywhere. It doesn't have to be a closet and the movie doesn't say that it has to be a closet, but  closet is a good idea if it works out and aids the person in praying and listening (doing devotions, as we would say.))
Where the woman leads (subtly, because satan is crafty). Where prayers are to satan and not to Jesus. Where, despite all the Kendrick Brothers statements about prayerfully considering each person for each role, in another interview they decided that casting Black actors would be "more heart grabbing." And here I thought that there was no Greek or Jew, no slave or free, no male or female. (Galatians 3:28). But apparently using Black people in your movie brings the bucks. (The author assumes here that he knows the motive of those who did this movie. He is assuming that they are using God's word in order to make money rather than to communicate an important message from the word. I think this is called, 'judging'.). 
'War Room' Nearly Topples Gangsta Rap Blockbuster  
CBN News asked the Kendrick brothers about their decision to cast mostly blacks in the film. "When it came to 'War Room' there was a passionate flavor we wanted to present that really would have been different any other way," director Alex Kendrick said. "I felt like the Lord was saying it needs to be told through the African American perspective and the female perspective," he added. [emphasis mine]  (Again, this is an issue for this author because he does not believe people can personally hear from God.)
How did we get to this low point, of an undiscerning people buying merchandise at the temple and miss God, His Son and His Spirit so badly? It is all foretold, the time of apostasy, tickled ears, and lack of discernment is upon us. And yet there is a remnant strong and true, praying in whatever room they are, to a strong and mighty God.

(This article is a perfect example of someone who believes they have all their theological ducks in a row, but are missing the point of the Gospel message. Yes, we do want to be theologically astute. It is important to understand what the Scriptures say. But what we don't want to do is to take a concept, and find Scriptures to match our concept. Many of the verses used in this article are taken out of context. They have lost their original meaning in order to fit the presuppositions of the author as he appears to want to attack people and use Scripture against them. The man who wrote this article is using speculation and coming to conclusions. He is judging the hearts of those who made the movie. Really, only God knows the hearts of those who make movies and do other things. The author does not understand about Biblical ministry and God's call to the church to serve one another in love. One of the commandments says that we are not to bear false witness against our neighbor. From what little I know about Beth Moore and Pricilla Shirer, and the others who produced this movie, we can easily see that this author is bearing false witness against them. He is judging their hearts and motives and assuming his judgment is correct. 
It is not wise to assume things we hear about people as being true, necessarily. We need to check things out for ourselves and find out what the issues are really all about. I am not a fan of Beth Moore, but, I have heard her speak and I find nothing wrong with what she says. I doubt that she has people emptying their minds and then replacing the empty mind with lies of the devil. She is very big on using Scripture and has a very strong prayer ministry. But I would encourage all my readers to find for themselves what is true, but not by listening to what so and so says about people. Go directly to the source to find out. Never make a stretch by putting some assumed information together and coming up with a desired conclusion. Even going to the movie itself could be a good idea and then you will be able to see for yourself if this movie is really as harmful as the accusers are saying that it is. Does this author not realize that we are in a spiritual battle, or has he missed all the passages in Scripture that explain the battle we are in and the weapon of prayer that God gives us to use?)