Tuesday, May 19, 2015

"The Pharisee Card" by John VanCleve

This is a short and simple, but GREAT article!!

The Pharisee Card - Saint James Lutheran Church

"False Teaching About False Teaching from Rick Joyner" by Steven Kozar

News Flash! Subjective Personal Experience Leads Us to Truth! 

The following is an exact quote of three paragraphs from page 232 of "A Prophetic Vision for the 21st Century" by Rick Joyner (with my comments in parenthesis):
     False prophets and false prophecies are founded on deception. The most effective guise of the enemy is to come as "an angel of light" or "a messenger of truth." Just because a prophecy has some truth in it does not make it genuine. Unfortunately, Satan knows the Bible better than most Christians. He is so clever at perverting its message, he even tried it on Jesus, who is the Word Himself. Just knowing Scripture, and being able to bludgeon others into submission with it, does not make one a true messenger. We must ask if someone is "rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV). (Outside of his bizarre "bludgeoning" reference, this is a very straight-forward and orthodox Christian paragraph.)
     Who will know if the Word is being rightly divided? The One who wrote the Book. (Only God knows? Notice what Joyner leaves out? The ability of believers to rightly divide the Word based on the Word itself!) Doesn't that leave a lot of room for subjectivity? Yes, it does, and that is dangerous, but it is far more dangerous not to allow for subjectivity in the discernment of truth. Subjectivity is essential. (This is not a parody piece-he actually wrote this, and it gets worse...) The Lord must become our personal Savior, our personal Lord, and truth must be personal if we are really going to know it. (Notice that no Bible references are given to back up these claims about needing a personal Lord and Savior. I believe Jesus IS Lord. Period... regardless of my personal feelings or experience. And exactly when do we know for sure that truth has become personal? Isn't truth, by it's very definition, self-existing?) For this reason the Bible was meant to be relatively subjective in its interpretation. This was not to promote private interpretations, but to require each of us to be seekers of the Lord and His truth ourselves.(This is "double speak" of the most extreme order.) We will not keep from being deceived just because we know someone who knows the Bible. Every one of us must know the Spirit of Truth. (Amazingly, what is he leaving out??Knowing the Bible in order to avoid deception!! According to Rick Joyner, knowing the Bible ISN'T ENOUGH!) 
     Scholars have devised many systems of hermeneutics to remove subjectivity from biblical interpretation.(Joyner knows the motives behind every Bible scholar who has ever lived?) Many of these are excellent guidelines, but regardless of how good our hermeneutics, we will be subject increasingly to deception in the coming times if we do not know and follow the Spirit of Truth. We must recognize that some hermeneutic principles are an attempt to remove our need for the Holy Spirit, regardless of how much the developers give lip service to needing Him. (This is what deceivers often do: they project their own error onto their opposition. Joyner is the one giving lip service-only he's giving lip service to God's Word!  Also, he is promoting a false dichotomy that contrasts knowing God through His Word, and REALLY knowing God through an experience. This is very easy to refute: The Holy Spirit uses God's Word-THE BIBLE-to show us all we need to know of God. Period.) Many of those who react the most to what they perceive to be people's tendency toward "private interpretations" are really reacting to the ability of people to see things differently from the way they do. (Notice how Joyner can't come right out and call private interpretations what they really are: private interpretations. This is why there is so much chaos, confusion and defection in the "hyper-charismatic" church: everyone is just making it up as they go. Folks, PLEASE stay away from this man's teaching-and all the other "Super Apostles" like him! -Steven Kozar)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

"The Users Guide to Postmodern Christianity" by Steven Kozar

Step one is essential: "Get in the loop!" What does this mean, you ask? Well, this thought pattern is almost everything you'll need to stay clueless within the confines of Postmodern Christianity. Once you start thinking this way, you'll never get out of "the loop." It goes like this:

     "Mean, angry, narrow-minded and judgmental people are bad, and whatever they believe is instantly invalidated by the fact that they are judgmental, narrow-minded, angry and mean. I get to decide if, and when, they are mean, angry, narrow-minded and judgmental."

Once you're safely in this loop you won't need to carefully consider the truth claims of another believer with their precious little Bible verses. And, thankfully, you'll never have to learn anything about the theology and creeds that have been passed down for almost two thousand years. Remember, there are still old-fashioned Christians who believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, and they are mean, angry, narrow-minded and judgmental. These dinosaurs want to conduct church the same old way and cling to antiquated beliefs that are out of step with today's social climate. You can easily ignore these people if you're "in the loop." Before you know it, you will have completely dehumanized them and-best of all-you'll never even realize that you've been the judgmental one all along! 

To follow step two, say something like this: "That may be true for you, but it's not true for me." In days of old, this was only used for superficial matters, like one's preference of Mary Ann to Ginger. Nowadays this simplistic catch phrase serves a vital new purpose: it enables anyone to ignore God's Word with impunity. It used to be that a Christian couldn't just go around rearranging and reinterpreting the Bible, but now it's easy! You may substitute similar catch phrases like "I just feel like it's not wrong for me" or you can even quote the great Bible verse "What is truth? asked Pilate..."

Step three, in case you haven't already figured it out, is this: Don't read, quote or even think about the Bible. I know, I know, this sounds extreme, but remember this is Postmodern Christianity. Postmodernity is a belief system that says that no belief system is true. It's absolutely certain that nothing is absolutely certain. The Bible is full of absolute truth claims-that's why it's so exclusive and out-of-date. However, you will still need to make reference to it on occasion, so it's good to have some overly simplistic proof-texts handy. "Thou shall not judge" is the all-time most popular proof-text, so feel free to throw it around as often as you want. Just remember not to read the entire passage in the actual Bible, otherwise you'll see what Jesus really meant. You can even misquote it like this: "Who are we to judge?" or ""Only God can judge-that's not my job!"
      The Bible has clear rules about what is right and wrong, so you need to avoid all that. Remember, people generally hate God's rules, so you need to stay on their side; instead, make those Bible thumping "traditionalist" Christians seem like the real problem, i.e. they're bad because they think they're better than anyone else. You must ignore the fact that true Bible-believing Christians don't think they're better than anyone else-they are simply pointing to the unchangeable truth of God's Word as the only ultimate authority. Furthermore, the Gospel itself is only "Good News" because Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins... and we couldn't even have sins unless we were guilty of breaking God's commandments... and since God Himself gave us His commandments we are clearly guilty and in need of a Savior.... do you see how this all falls apart if you start reading the Bible? You'll just turn into a regular Christian-ugh! Instead of that, keep it simple and just say something like "I believe the way of Jesus is love" or "I believe God just wants everyone to be happy." Nobody's going to argue with that, right? For more ideas on how to misquote God's Word, just listen to any interview with Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, Tony Jones or any of the hip new emergent leaders. With a good dose of sincerity and direct eye contact (plus some emotional background music), you can say almost anything in the name of Jesus!

Finally, when in doubt, always prefer ambiguity over certainty and truth. Ambiguity is the magic glue that holds Postmodern Christianity together. What does this mean? I don't know, what do you think it means? Is it possible that the ambiguity of uncertainty is really just the context from within which our sense of community can emerge? I don't know, I'm just asking the question, because the beauty of relationship reveals itself through the self-discovery process, as we all find personal meaning together and individually. I'm not saying that anyone's version of truth is right or wrong; I'm just asking questions so that a dialogue can be established. Maybe there's a better way, a way where all of our collective imaginings can form a cohesive, yet multi-faceted story. Maybe this new story can lead us to a place where fear and hatred will be replaced by mystery, beauty and ongoing book sales. A place with well-attended conferences and substantial speaking fees, a place of extensive radio and T.V. interviews and, ultimately, a regular guest position with Oprah. We must dream. We must hope. We must never reach any conclusions.

See how easy this is?
Now get out there and confuse everyone! You can do it!!