Friday, June 11, 2021

The Rotten Core of Abusive Church Leadership: A Study From Scripture


In public church settings, private interaction, and every place that deference to spiritual authority is actively given by trusting followers, not every exercise of this profoundly impactful influence is proper. In fact, it is routinely found that abusive church leadership exerts its most damaging and destructive impact in these kinds of settings. People look up to those who appear to them to be spiritual giants for mentoring, pastoral care and inspirational guidance and find themselves in a horrific quagmire of psychological and personal coercion leading them to obey and submit blindly to demands made on them which cost them dearly in so many ways

It is this infamous common ground that cultic churches warp and destroy the faith of far too many people in the world today. The late New Testament scholar Catherine Clark-Kroeger does an outstanding job in an older online helping show through a sound study of the Scriptures that this abusive church leadership is all too familiar practice shared with cultic movements:

The Corinthians had become the willing listeners of those who worked them ill (11:19). The “super apostles” had brought the credulous flock a cruel aftermath (2 Corinthians 11:3), a different spirit and a different gospel (11:4) and a spiritual servitude.

The stance of these leaders was not much different from leaders in some contemporary cults who exercise total control over their adherents. Under the cloak of supreme holiness and sanctification is hidden a terrifying pattern of abuse. There can be not only beatings and physical abuse but mind control, deprivation, vituperation, intimidation, public shaming and humiliation.

As one expert noted of such a group:

The breaking down, forcing people to do behaviors that are denigrating. The language, the control of behavior, that if you’re not doing what the group wants, you’re violating God’s will. It’s certainly abusive personality control.

Like Satan, the leaders (ancient or modern) may appear as shining angels of light, but there is an appalling exercise of absolute authority (2 Corinthians 11:14). As is so often true in cases of abusive mind control, the victims can no longer acknowledge the abuse or nor are they able to defend themselves. Whether the abuse is in a religious community or a family, victims can become pathologically conditioned into acceptance, as a director of a battered women’s project notes:

Victims of domestic violence are in an altered state. Up seems down. It’s important to understand that if someone is a victim all these years, it’s sort of like she’s been brainwashed. You are in essence a prisoner.

A woman at the shelter added, “They break you down. You feel less than human. They isolate you. They say, ‘No one cares about you. Only I love you.’ And you start to believe it. Then it builds to the physical. It’s worse for people with higher social status. Society puts more pressure on them. It’s more embarrassing."

Read more of this outstanding exposition of Scriptural truth and how it speaks to modern spiritual corruption today that energizes religious abuse everywhere. 

The story behind the photo above is unnerving and gruesome. It looks innocuously pious enough. There's a lot going on there which masked an abusive ministry in action. That's the problem indeed. It looks so normal. Highly disturbing images are at the article linked here. Viewer's discretion advised.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Finally .. The Five Fold Ministry And Spiritual Abuse Conference Video Online

This video is from the workshop our ministry produced, a March 2008 workshop held at the Kansas City Conference on Biblical Discernment held at the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Lord, forgive us for being so delayed by so much.

This was webbed as an article series quite a few years ago. But we finally found the time this past year to get it released and properly edited to include the slides and video of the workshop which we felt needed to be included so as to help illustrate our contention that the Pentecostal and Charismatic concept of Christian leadership by a "five fold ministry" has been largely invalidated by contemporary trends within it that lend themselves to heresy, false teaching and spiritual abuse. This is easily one of the greatest sources of spiritual deception hidden in plain sight.

Even though it is somewhat dated, the essential information found that shows how the five fold ministry, in some circles, actually has become quite cultic is still quite valid. We hope the video which you can find here is both a warning and an exhortation to correction of its errors. We are sorry the audio was not as good as we could have replicated, but we did the best we could. 

Friday, May 14, 2021

Cultism In Plain Sight And Not Exactly Hidden Part 1: The Places of the Past

 When alternative religions, eclectic spiritual tourists and sacred spaces intersect, their conjugation often leaves behind structural landmarks that get memorialized so visually that they become travelogues for future pilgrims to trip in and out over. They preserve the zealous passion by these individual cultic groups poured into their own unique expressions of what the divine was to them, where their faith strove for ideals at odds with the larger societal status quo.

Such sites can be seen in this British photospread depicting a few of the remaining relics of past sectarian spiritual ardor that can still be found in the grand hotel of all cults, California, U.S.A.

Enjoy the view. It's definitely easier to view than any footage from Waco, Jonestown or Rancho Santa Fe. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Principles Of Biblical Discernment Video Now Online

There's no doubt you've heard the saying "better late than never."
Well, here's our own take on that bit of wisdom.

Just in the last few months, we've found time to be able to finally, finally remastering our old videos of our past discernment conference workshops as well as that of others from far too many years ago. Here is one such rework, finally completed, from our old TVBSA conference held at the First Assembly of God in Janesville, Wisconsin.  This is my contribution to the controversial yet altogether needed discipline of spiritual discernment, a workshop on the essentials of Biblical discernment. 

Click here for our Vimeo channel version and get your Bible and notepad out to take notes. This is the clearest presentation on this subject we've ever been able to offer and no stone is left unturned. It's a summary of a life time of my study on this and I'm thankful to finally get this - and other videos - out to the masses.  We will be featuring other ones as time goes by. 

Monday, May 3, 2021

Martin Luther On Trial, April 1521: When You Can't Stand Down For What's Right

His words sparked a flame for truth that the darkness of deception never could put out. 

The Roman Catholic monk named Martin Luther was dragged into a heresy trial in the city of Worms, Germany in April 1521. He was compelled to appeared before the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V to defend what he had taught and written which directly challenged the apostate Roman religion of the day. His revolutionary thought that proclaimed that Scripture alone established Christian truth apart from church councils or tradition had caught the popular attention of medieval German society through the new printing press media.

It had caused a massive uproar in those days that is impossible to overstate. It shook the Papacy to its core and Luther was held in the city of Worms to answer for his "crimes" and this bit of cinema from the 1953 film dramatization is probably the most stirring version of his answer ever filmed.

Although those flames of zeal today are greatly tinged with the alien stink of colorful wild fire that is as just as damaging as Roman Catholic falsehood is, Martin Luther's iron commitment to Biblical truth from just over 600 years ago can't be forgotten. 


Saturday, February 13, 2021

Civility And Decency: Soft Skills Now Outdated

Yeah, this old post never saw the light of day but there's a point here. 

2016 Indiana General Assembly Indiana House leaders commit to civility

>>"We will do everything in our power to be certain that no matter how difficult the discussions might get on any issue, that we're respectful of each other, that we talk about ideas and not personalities and that we work together to do what we believe is best for the state of Indiana," Bosma said.<<


Then the 2016 Presidential campaign and the rise of the Trumpocalypse in American politics arose. I was too busy to complete this post and I wondered how long that lasted in Indianapolis that year. I guess I could look it up and see how far the discussions on gay rights and incarceration went.

What we are immediately aware of is that on the national level, the arise of the  Trumpian political movement contributed in 2016 to the through the roof escalation of partisanship in America perhaps for all time. Democrats arose to combat the equally hardened Republican positions in the body politic and a culture war was renewed.

But it wasn't as usual. There's been long something entirely different the past few years. The hardening has moved from stone to tool steel. Civility is now viewed as a soft skill leading to targetting by an army of foul mouthed and feral contrarians who would rather, as the old cigarette commercial puts it, fight than switch.  4 years of scorched earth confrontation became the norm of American politics, not cooperation. America has turned a corner within itself that it's likely we will not be turning back from. Civility and decency are just not in anymore. 

And this year, the Indiana political scene has returned to this new norm most clearly seen in the second impeachment proceedings as acted upon by members of the Indiana congressional delegation:  there Republican Jim Banks, one of the newest and shiniest minted figures of the Republican machine in the Hoosier state just had to post a video where he stated flatly "Right now, I’m headed to the House floor to vote against impeachment. The Democrat party is dividing America when we should be doing everything we can to unite the country." So much for the civility. 

Oh well, that's to be expected, at a time in which the prophet Daniel warned that relationships between people and nations were going to be falling apart. Jesus said that the love of many would cool and dim to reinforce this sobering view of life in our fallen world.

So this old picture saved for this post back in 2016 really says it all. Ignore the Obama seal and things pretty much are the same. 

Monday, February 1, 2021

Quite The Contrary: A Kindler Gentler Pope Does Not A One True Religion Make

Some things never quite change. Some things do.

2013 saw the ascendancy of Argentina's Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio to the throne of the Papacy in the Vatican, as his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI retired. Bergoglio chose his pontifical title as that of Francis to intentionally identify himself with St. Francis of Assisi, the founder of the ancient Franciscan order noted for its focus on simplicity of lifestyle and service to the poor. And during the first several weeks after assuming the post, his personal charisma, lifestyle choices and pronouncements made it clear that Pope Francis would not be doing high church as usual. 

He forsook residency in the official papal palace in Rome, opting for a more modest suite in the Vatican guesthouse. Francis eschewed the usage of the the papacy's opulent vestments, mink stoles and bejeweled accoutrements for simple and plain ones. In his pastoral declarations, he has called for the Roman Catholic ministry to renew its focus upon compassionate service all around it, to even embrace vows of poverty to do so  and to forsake the aloof and often distant relations that are too widely the norm in churches globally. And his warmth and beatific presence radiates a human authenticity impossible to ignore and appreciate.

When you hear that Francis sneaks out of the Vatican anonymously to visit the sick, in the same way he did in Buenos Aires,  delighting the common and the ordinary of his flock with pastoral ministry, how can you fault it?  All of these are clear signs that that the pope is practicing what he preaches, that he prefers a church "
which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security" and that this is the new direction for Catholicism he's chosen. In short, Francis' personal example and passionate inclusiveness seems like a beacon of renewal that thrills a lot of Protestants who persist in believing that the prayer of Jesus is John 17 must inclued a renewed Protestant - Roman Catholic reapproachment. 

Seeing the head of the Catholic Church serve it notice that it is "off mission"  and out of touch with too many around it is refreshing .. and yet ultimately maddening to see. 

For at the same time Pope Francis seeks to reenergize his church with a new focus on grass roots values of sacrifice, compassion and tolerance, his revisioning of Catholic faith has shaken the church in far more profound ways. Already in deep crisis over ongoing pedophile scandals, the decelerating vitality and relevance of the church's influence globally, and it's own ancient factionalism at war with itself , his direction of the church has provoked longstanding resistence and even rebellion among those who would affirm his role as the Vicar of Christ leading the Only True Church, the Church of Rome.  At a time when the church's soul has been rent between liberal and conservative factions, it has become clear that Pope Francis' approach includes affirmations aimed at incorporating far more substantial change than just a call for return to ministry to the downtrodden.

The Pope's endorsement of universalism, a belief that all people, even atheists, are bound for eternal life was one such shot across the Church's bow.  Such a startling assertion, at odds with virtually all Protestant communities, also completely contradicts the Roman Catholic view that only those in full communion with it have any hope of such a thing .. a blow to the claim of it's objective exclusivity that outside the Roman Church, no salvation is possible which has long been the bulwark of Catholicism.

Another of his saucily proclaimed assertions was Francis' recent approval for same sex unions has been well established with his famously eye opening refusal to judge homosexuality as the grave and mortal sin that his predecessors have.  This total break from two millenia of Roman tradition holding to homosexuality as a grave and mortal sin sent even further shockwaves through the church. It has caused no end of feral debate among gay Roman Catholics and those of their brethren who would assert they are in sin, a state of affairs not lost upon the LGBTQ movement as it seeks to establish itself as a normative institution. 

Still another was the earthshaking willingness expressed by Francis in one of his "Apostolic Exhorations" a few years back to extend privileges in the Roman Mass to Roman Catholic divorcees who remarry and do not obtain formal release by church annulment from their past marriages. This has  caused a massive firestorm of debate among church leadership globally to the point that Francis has been officially approached by Roman bishops to clarify what he meant .. and he has refused to answer.

I could go on with more of this, but suffice it to say that this review of the example of Pope Francis shows us one thing very clearly.

For all of its historic posturing as the One True Holy Roman Catholic Church, as the One True Faith, the Roman Catholic church's very human dimension of its leadership has become a clearly established reality. Behind the pomp and prestige of its position, we are seeing once again how it is one filled with the contradiction of pragmatic idealism colliding with factionalism and cultural accommodation, set in the high stakes game of the control of the Church and its future in a world that is increasingly hostile and indifferent to this ancient institution.

Francis is a product of his times whose leadership has caused no end of controversy and division within his own church even as those outside it reckon him to be a really cool guy who's just like them, to the deep consternation of the Roman faithful. He's doing what he thinks he should to lead his church to the same kind of inclusive tolerance he has fostered .. and is finding himself under resistence by his own flock to the point that his name has now become a flashpoint among Catholics inspiring division and controversy, in a church where pride and faith in its being free from error and being unified is seen for what it is - the vain hope of the indoctrinated not understanding what kind of slaves to human tradition they have become. 

In 2000, one of his predecessors, the late John Paul II agonized over the "sins of the church" in a public act of repentance over many of the Roman Catholic church's historical failures. Many lauded the Papacy for its "moral courage" but there was absolutely nothing said about it's greatest sin. He and no other Roman pontiff has dared to repent over the foundational sin of Romanism - that good works must be trusted in to save since faith is not enough, that the Roman Mass must replicate the sacrifice of Christ to give those good works something to be built upon and that all who would disagree with Roman tradition are under the curse of God.

If the Papacy is ever to be really trusted, and that's a proposition this ex-Catholic gave up over 40 years ago, its repentance from these dead works of religious tradition would be a great start. Giving up on its pronounced curses on those outside the Church who affirm faith alone in Christ would be swell too. I hope someone has a hot mike on when they find Francis in a Starbucks somewhere and ask them about these things. It would make for another interesting interview for a pope who likes to depart from his planned remarks. 

Read more about the unbiblical nature of the Roman church at our collection of the late Keith Green's articles called the Catholic Chronicles here

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Where Are We Going? Listen to our new podcast!

A big leg that people have used to stand on involves the expectation that as difficult things may be that they are in some manner predictible and one can expect such bad times to finally pass back to some level of normalcy.

However, for the past several years, it's finally dawning on our awareness that these are not normal times. Given that we are facing absolutely volcanic times of trial, sorrow, violence and deceit we've seen arise in the world, the new normal seems to be the abnormal, the new stability is actually instability at so many levels.

So more and more, we are asking the question .. "where are we going?"

We've been wanting to launch a blog to address this on a weekly basis for a lonnnng time. At last, it's here! We release our blog every Saturday to hear Biblical commentary on current events and other hot button issues that directly relate to Spiritwatch Ministries' most foundational presupposition: that we live in the end times and that that last day of the last days is finally upon us with the prophetically foretold panorama  of judgement and woe ready to dawn upon us.

Click on the image to go straight to our home page for our podcast to hear more. You can peruse the rest of our blog articles going back years and that will be our operative principle upon which our observations are offered to help you discern the times and "take heed that no man deceive you." Our website and Facebook page will have the same links. Spread the word and let others know! Find out where we actually are going. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Works Still Works : How Earning Heaven Is A Way of Human Life

One powerful inner spiritual prompting among people is one they are scarcely aware of and that is the compulsion to perform, to live out one's path in life by self-achieval, by one's drive to work, to do something to better themselves. 

That is the lot of life this side of Eden, on these rocky roads after the fall of man. Humanity is driven by the deeply personal conviction that we must earn our way through life, that we owe a debt of a tangible nature of almost any sort to someone, some entity or some institution to make progress in the world. Everyone, it seems, comes to believe that they need to pay their dues in someway to someone or something else to in order to "make it" in life. 

Even in the jaded and amoral life of the Millenials,  whose sense of entitlement helps them live a self-centered life reckoning themselves at the center of the upwardly mobile food chain,  there yet remains an inner core where this indebtedness, this owing something to someone stubbornly abides. A recent survey brought light upon a new social phenomenon known as "vacation shaming" as evidence of this. Millenials are more likely than any other generation to experience guilt when taking scheduled vacation, feeling quite literally shamed into staying on the job by an intense conviction that they should not let their managers down. They literally feel they owe their employers and coworkers their time so intensely, they will even forego it. This is just one part of the social pressures that they now face and even seek therapy for  , which has become a real burden that COVID-19's coming has contributed to.
To address this inner imbalance or the felt need to do something .. people will do what they need to do.

This video of a young and disillusioned anti war activist from the movie "The Experiment" shows this all too well. 

But millenials are hardly alone in dealing with the compulsions of demands made upon their lives by things they can't control, as we have said. All of us face an indebtedness of sorts in our daily lives that we do much to escape from in all manner of ways when the pursuit to achieve is too great. A rabbi's deft analysis of the ongoing American infatuation with British royalty  includes this observation:

The underlying attraction to royalty is the human desire for an effortless life, where all things are magical and where all beauty is innate. A meritocracy has its own rewards. It allows ordinary people to become extraordinary, but it always involves hard work: the entrepreneur who must burn the midnight oil to build his business. The rising politician who must travel around the country begging rich people for money to make his candidacy viable. Even human attraction involves such hard work. It means dieting and giving up the foods we love. It means exercising, running and weight lifting. But then there are people who are all those things—rich, beautiful, wonderful—without any effort at all. They are angels who live among us. They are magical. 

Such "angels" are those who seem to have "made" it and whom we want to be. They become the poster children for perfection, the pinnacle of our aspiration that appeals to us. And that's a tough path to follow, a bricked road painted bright yellow upon which we're to travel, following the many pied pipers calling us to join their quest. Legions of bright eyed, fast talking men and women who seem like they have it all together constantly look for new recruits for their programs of personal development creating armies of work gangs across America and the world. 

In short, Rabbi Boteach says, life is work for which we will do what it takes to achieve a respite from, which is why leisure activities - for which we often feel guilty for taking - are so sought after:

In giving us things like “Enchanted forests” and “Never Never Land” where no boys grow old, Disney tapped into our sense of tiredness and weariness at the constant struggle that life demands, the never-ending battles to make something of ourselves. The battle to feed our families. The struggle to be happily married. The demands of raising purposeful children. The struggle to sustain healthy self-esteem.After all that exertion, we need an escape, a place to which we can retreat where everything is wonderful without having to try. And royalty is fantasy in the flesh. An impossible, effortless, wealthy, magical existence that seemingly requires no effort or struggle.

The chase after life involves a longing for arriving. And if we can find a place where we can find refuge, we'll give it a shot. We'll listen. We'll consider. We'll mull over it. And when it comes to spirituality, millenials are no different from other age groups - whether younger or older - in exploring it in search of that freedom. Like all of humanity, they'll engage in it - as needed, in perfectly consumerist mindset - in the quest to come to grips with the struggles of life just as all people have in the past.

The ideal that one can strive, apply and gainfully labor in effort to achieve a self-understanding or mastery over your failings is a powerful one. It's a human quest that religion seeks to address .. and for which cultism and abusive religion claim to have found the answer. If there is any common thread among the bewildering diversity of spirituality's market share, it is this: that to seek God's favor, blessing and reality in your life, you've got to do something to earn His attention. There's work to do to gain grace from God. And in so doing, that universal weight of guilt and shame over your moral failures can be atoned for. You can bury that hatchet if you follow the rules, do the coursework, login for X amount of hours, put in that time, be accountable.. 

Works still works. Earning heaven by the sweat of your brow is something we can take to the bank. We get it. That resonates with the guilt driven and the work orientation humanity has brought to its tables globally throughout history.  Religion seems to demand lot of spiritual busy work, philosophy an application of mental disciplines and reflection, social scenes drop hints that you should fake it until you make it. Etc. etc. 

Yet the Bible makes clear that our personal deliverance doesn't rely upon anything we can do ourselves. Scripture makes no appeal to that human vanity whatsoever. For there is nothing, it reveals, that anyone can do to address what is surely the main problem of mankind - our need of a Savior to rescue us from the inner evil and squalor called sin, which weighs us all down. Man's problem isn't more stuff, or fame, or means but our need of freedom from our evil and who can loose us from those debts?

The Bible shows that as he died upon the cross of Calvary over two millenia ago, Jesus laid his life down to pay that very price in the one greatest work any man could achieve, but one only God Himself could pay,  the price for the literal salvation of man. And the three greatest words for work-wearied people despairing over the costs of a life spent in those personal debts are what he declared there with his last breath:

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. 
John 19:30 

This wasn't the gasp of a dying man giving up to his mortality, but the judgment of a Savior whose life He declared was a work that ended for all time the struggle of mankind. He'd been saying so all of His life as He preached in ancient Israel:

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15

And the Gospel of Jesus always points back to what He did and how His completed work changes life:

For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. Romans 10:4

This is too amazing to be believed: that all we have to do is repent and believe on Jesus to get off the maddening treadmills we all run on. 

But it's that simple. Cults, false religions and human effort can't handle it. But that is the truth. Are you still working out, putting in your sweat, running after something that you'll never catch? Turn to Christ alone by faith alone now!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

A Hard Reign Is Falling; A Crash Course On Christian Dominionism

“Dominion has to do with control. Dominion has to do with rulership,” Wagner declared at an NAR conference in 2008. “Dominion has to do with authority and subduing, and it relates to society. In other words, what the values are in Heaven need to be made manifest here on earth. 

Dominion means being the head and not the tail. Dominion means ruling as kings. It says in Revelation Chapter 1:6 that He has made us kings and priests—and check the rest of that verse; it says for dominion. So we are kings for dominion.”

One of the regrettable things about time and energy is that everyone only has so much of it to expend on whatever passion or interest they have. You can only do so much and if you aren't careful, you can find yourself consumed.

Such is the unfortunate state this blog has been in. I love to think and I love to write and as we continue to see the world wobble down to ruin with absolutely no outrage, no outcry, no apparent concern, there's just so much to write of, to anguish over, to applaud, to question. The Facebook page has where much of my energy has been since opening it up a few months ago and you'd need to check it out to see what we have been digging up.

The writings I've done on the five fold ministry and spiritual abuse have yet to have the accompanying video I did on it almost 10 years ago finally get posted. So much life and struggle have consumed my life in other venues.  But the controversial five fold model of Christian church ministry which I've been grappling with almost since I was called to the ministry in 1983 has truly been, in the past, a significant investment in discernment ministry. My articles speak for themselves and I have never regretted it. They have helped, we believe, many people recognize a wicked extremism within it that has been squatting over the Body of Christ with a parasitical death grip of cultism, religious abuse and heresy.

However, one thing I seriously have regretted during all of that time is my failure to make the time to raise the discussion up to a level that it needs to be in. The whole five fold movement itself is only the tip of a far greater iceberg that I've barely touched on in all that time. It is an unholy and vastly more defiling idolatry that it has been embracing for decades that is far more insidious and subtle than is believable.

These  asherahs of five fold compromise have, if it can be believed, become far more monstrously erect and towering strongholds than ever before. They have effectively corrupted Christian faith into an unholy engine of religious oppression as cultic and as dangerous as the Watchtower Society or Remnant Fellowship. Hearing the tragic testimonies of those who've seen wolves in sheep's clothing hailed as mighty men and women of God by too many around them has been sobering.

These idols have been the real "Nephilim", the real giants of blasphemy, that certain self-described "watchmen" hiss about when referring to the dark conspiracies of the end times .. but who so totally fail to recognize. They have banded together into global associations, geopolitical action committees and mass movements of "reformation" with a sophisticated agenda plainly designed to ensnare many with a defilement as ruinous as sexual perversity, the love of money and sin for a season.

This idolatry is the rise of Christian Dominionism and the many hydra heads of its influence found in much of the Evangelical church today. I lament that I've had no time to bring that out more in my research, writing and teaching on the five fold ministry's abuses. But it can no longer be ignored. Hence my urgent blog tonight having to raise the issue. 

And for a crash course on what it is, what forms it has taken and how it has related to the five fold ministry, please check out this article . The author has posted in the past on this extensively and while I don't agree with every conclusion he makes about Dominionism, I believe him to be spot on in tracing how it has evolved and become the force it is today. Much of the five fold ministry is in the pocket and control of the self-styled "New Apostolic Reformation" (NAR), directly serving as beasts of burdens in energizing the longstanding ambition by the movers and shakers of five fold leaders to change culture by theocratic and economic means - not by the Gospel of Christ.

As we have said, it's not just the departure from balanced Scriptural truth and example that the NAR but it's the degeneration of Christian fellowship into cultic fiefdom that one too many churches around the world have fallen into. The church in the link here is hardly the only one that stands in this defilement. The religious abuse of the five fold ministry we've highlighted have echoed these abominations within their own domains, all the while declaring "words" of "power" that will bring manifestation of their own authority over kings, presidents, mayors and governors.  This is exactly what this article's beginning quote by the late C. Peter Wagner is asserting. He was instrumental in helping the NAR's apostasy become an exponentially growing exercise of power mongering with a platform meant to be shared by any recognizable "five fold" minister, but especially those "apostles" and "prophets" he legitimized as authentic. Human nature being what it is, however, as you can read in the link above, people drunk on religious authority jealously guard their spiritual sovereignty and the NAR's character bears this out. God help us. God. Help. US.

Lord Jesus, help me to do what I can to say what needs to be said here in this .. I know what I've seen and just been unable to lift that trumpet up due to the others you've had me bear. Please, dear God, help the Body of Christ flee fornication!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Ultimate Guides Of Supernatural Wisdom On Sale: Bibles Optional

Happy New Year, 2018.

Unfortunately, the same old age old lies can't be so easily dismissed.

In a Christian bookstore, I discovered that you can market dictionaries of presumptive "prophets" and can have them identified as the "Ultimate Guide To Supernatural Wisdom."

I guess 2 Timothy 3:16 doesn't mean much in these apostate days to those whom it should matter.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

I think I will just leave this right here ..

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Maybe Today ..

End Time Bible Prophecy Fulfillment, Part 3: Showing Them The Money

He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,  and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.  

Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.

Revelation 13:16-18

The end times, as we have been stating throughout the duration of this blog, are a period of time in which the rebellion of humanity against the knowledge and will of God as spelled out through the Gospel of His Son, Jesus Christ, will arise to lead global society towards a full blown apostacy from all that He has revealed about life, death and the future.  These cataclysmic seasons where mankind's rejection of His light for the darkness of its' sin and Satan's alternate reality in the fallen human world order have been described throughout the Old and the New Testaments by the prophets and apostles of Bible.  We've been talking about what are the prophetically foretold warning signs that the Scriptures plainly describe for us to understand these times.

The third end time Biblical prophecy we must examine is that of the warning of the "Mark of the Beast" in the book of Revelation written by John the apostle. Revelation 13's account of the emergence of a totalitarian super-power that dominates and controls global governance is ended by the plain truth of this prophecy. It has been the source of untold amounts of speculation throughout history and not a few bad Hollywood movies but just considering the minimal reading of it, in context with the rest of the book, is blood chilling enough.

That super-power is personified by the rise of a literal personage, a world leader whose influence will harness the known geo-political currents swirling on the earth in that future time on a blazing ascent to power - energized by the evil malevolence of Satan himself to establish his own antichristian agenda. He is called "the Beast" and his human charisma and well placed position in human events - in conjunction with the power of Satan's deceptive influence - will enable him to become the final world ruler in the end times as man's grotesque inability to lead itself gets worse and worse.

This ultimately is the final manifestation of fallen humanity's search for a lord, an authority under which it may seek refuge .. completely apart from God. This is what we've been talking about for years on this blog behind what cultism is and here we see the entirely secular emergence of this tragic dynamic of human existence. Let the video below give you a glimpse into the ongoing slide into anarchy the frightened nations, seeking a Hero, are looking for ..

It all sounds like a cheap horror story from Syfy or a ghost story to frighten little kids by, doesn't it?

I'm sorry to disappoint you, but this is the Gospel truth (as we've seen in Matthew 24) behind a future coming so fast at us, we're all largely ignorant of it and we would dismiss it readily as "extremism." But as we've said, it is the hard-hearted dullness of heart and mind that evil will readily slip around to establish it's new beachheads of horror among the nations.

And as part of the machinery this Beast will exploit, to gain the unimaginable and absolute control over humanity he will achieve, the economies and commerce of humanity will come under his power. His utter obsession is for the people of the world to literally worship of him as divine.  For the skeptical who might find worship of a demonically driven human being distasteful, they will immediately find that there's no greater way to compel their allegience by taking control of its banks, markets, payrolls and all other forms of digital infrastructure to the degree his rule will achieve.

The Scripture warns just what degree of sovereignty the Beast's control will pull off - that those who submit to his agenda must "receive a mark"  simply to live under that kind of new world order.  In a world where the love of money and self becomes underscored by self-preservation itself, the Scripture makes clear that the masses of dominated humanity will become nations of sheep bowing to the scepter of rule that tracks their coming and going, the operation of their online banking and their employer's ability to toe the new line of social orthodoxy.

The ability to marshal this kind of domination and make it as personal as a punch in the nose, as Robert Heinlein might have described it, has of late come up in the recent decision of a Wisconsin business to invite its employees to be given insertions of microchips in their left hands to facilitate operations there. Purely voluntary, the employer stated. No way personal identification or privacy breaches can occur, they informed us. Mm hmmm.  Just like the personal Social Security number is America's way to identify its workforce for benefits "securely."

In a not too distant future world devastated by the judgments of God that include plagues, wars, violence and destruction beyond belief, the longing of rebellious man for someone who will turn them around will arise to a religious fervor upon which the Beast will seize and ride for all he can .. and this won't be any dystopian novel to thrill bored readers with. It will be reality itself.

And the Beast's journey toward global control began long ago in the innovations of financial and social engineering we see all around us, things that we see frankly delight modern man in search of "convenience" .. remember, this is indeed a world wide phenomenon. We conclude this entry with a couple of recent news stories about how the cashless society and the "office of the future" have helped to drive man down its broadband road to perdition:

With our relinquishing of our independence with a trust and naivete that is beyond surreal, we can see how readily a world that increasingly desiring security and convenience is being primed for the emergence of a new world order, a social system upon which they think life will become better.

How rude this sign will shatter them with a surprise for the ages. And Jesus said it will be like this!

Anyone listening?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

End Time Bible Prophecy Fulfillment, Part 2: Signs In The Heavens, Not SFX ..

And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come ..

Acts 2:19-20

People in the last days live in such a way that the spectacular and the amazing is mundane. The eye popping special effects of popular entertainment, the thrills of theme parks, the jolt of extreme sports of all kinds and the on demand access to a blizzard of social media and personal photography originating on billions of smartphones and websites is an immersive reality that so permeates our life that even t
he materialization into our natural world order of natural phenomenon that is completely beyond our control gets readily viewed, downloaded, oohed over and then promptly forgotten. 

Eclipses, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and the like are predicted, observed and promptly filed away in the cultural POV as just another fireworks display in a perfectly predictable, orderly natural universe subject to human editing. "Natural phenomenon" seen in the skies are just light shows these days.

Yet it is this very thing that Christ said would be a herald of his Coming as the Scripture has said. And it has taken the past generation to develop the media machinery of mass communication that will shout it all down.

The coming total solar eclipse that will span our entire nation this August certainly qualifies. It's been turned into a teaching moment for kids in science classes and a cottage tourist industry. Skeptics of all varieties will snort mockingly that this stuff has been going on since this third rock from the sun came into existence .. just as the apostle Peter wrote in 2 Peter 3:3-6 prophetically almost two thousand years ago:

 .. knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”

Watch a great example of this kind of human laxity in a couple of news spots on the recent approach of asteroids within miles of the earth and the general spirit of the day.

It's breakfast time patter and fill in to the next segment. However, as we will see, it can get very real and very fast when a sign from heaven departs from the script .. 

And Jesus said it would be like this.

We're not ignorant of the very things He's warned us of. We're just bored with them. This is how the great "millenium" of human life is shaping up. The signs in the heavens are all around us. And we yawn as we talk about it.


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

End Time Bible Prophecy Fulfillment, Part 1 : Where's The Love?

The bitter life of a hateful woman is a sign of Bible prophecy.

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Matthew 24:12
  1. Our ministry proceeds from the rock solid observation that we live in the final days before the return of Jesus for His church and the beginning of judgment on this sinful planet. Since time is so much at a premium here, I'll keep these as concise as blogging demands you to be. I'll be speaking on the ongoing fulfillment of Bible prophecy about His return .. 

Jesus' prophecy here was in response to the questions of his disciples about his return and the end of all things? " .. what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?"

He made it soberingly clear: the human faculty of love, the emotive state of mind that elevates, restrains and sacrificially gives of itself unto others,  will become worn down to a frozen, lifeless and ultimately worthless shadow in the lives of fallen humanity. And that will be as a direct result of the unimaginably poisonous influence of the sinfulness of that same rebellious race.  Love will turn to frigidity due to the wickedness of today.

I would dare say that the present state of affairs today very well qualifies.

From the ongoing bloodbath of people shooting each other over slights in Chicago to the vicious divide that politics has become in America at large, it's no secret. It's a no brainer when seeing how completely cold the world has become. Every human institution is breaking down and you have to be living under a rock to not see this breakdown in human society .. when ISIS fighters can butcher babies and stream it for their edification, kids are bullied to suicide, and corporate business uses the emotional triggers love has to market your dollars into their coffers. When churches can mushroom in a town while social problems mount, it's plain to see. It's all around.

The Black Eyed Peas in 2003 sang about this sad state of humanity .. and redid the song in 2016 since the times have gotten that much more savage. 

Where is the love? and his posse just don't get this: the only love that doesn't wax cold is the love of God burning out of the presence of His Spirit in the life of His children. His love is an undying fire for all to cling to. The problem is that humanity is so toxically bent toward itself and so ready to buy into the innumerable counterfeits for love all over that it never truly sees His love shown in His Cross and the faith it offers. They'd rather binge watch the Hallmark Channel (or Brazzers).

And Jesus said this is what would happen .. before His return.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

When Zeal Without Understanding Becomes The Road To Hell

And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinims, and all they that had separated themselves from the people of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, every one having knowledge, and having understanding;

They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God's law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord our Lord, and his judgments and his statutes ..   Nehemiah 10:28-29
Did you know you can go farther than you are supposed to go .. and that the road to hell still is paved with the best of intentions?

He who has ears to hear, let them hear ..

Our church has been reading through the Bible this year and a few weeks ago, we read through the book of Nehemiah, the book written by a servant of the Persian King who had essentially enslaved Israel as another captive class of servants in Persia. God used the Persian Empire to bring a renewal of the nation .. and in so doing, a genuine spiritual revival swept those whom the King allowed to return to destroyed Jerusalem, rebuild it and the Temple.

 And in so doing, the zeal and the passion for truth that went beyond what God's Word had said compelled these people into taking the first steps toward hell. It struck me as I studied this then and I'm only finding time to speak of it here. This is another Biblical illumination into the falling away that this blog comments on.

In their hunger for purity, the survivors of the captivity in Babylon and then Persia set forth the creation of a spiritual legalism by determining they would "cleave to" each other and bind curses upon themselves for not following the Law they had just re embraced. This effectively spelled their spiritual doom. They set forth their own religious customs that would metastasize into the innumerable Talmudic and rabbinical traditions that warped so much of the spiritual life of Israel since that day.

They meant well, but by turning to their own religious impulse and creating their own hierarchy of religious authority apart from what the Law had set forth, the seeds were sown for a harvest of hurt. Israel today still lives under that shadow, blinded to her Messiah, and chained into cultural traditions that powerfully bind it to religion and block them from trusting their Redeemer. Here in these verses, we see the nation throw itself wide open to religious innovations that would enforce with actual curses to indict and condemn those who didn't measure up to the level that they established was acceptable.

It is singularly telling that this was a movement among the people and not a direction from God. It would go on to become the foundations for cultural and social evolutions that would culminate in the creation of the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the scribes of the Law who would come to assume an autocratic power over Israel. And it would be their traditions that would become what the Lord Jesus Christ roundly condemned and what he would contend with them over during his earthly ministry in ancient Israel.

The spiritual bondage to these purely human traditions are what led the nation into its' Pharisee-orchestrated rejection of Christ's call for Israel to believe the Gospel that He preached. And it was this stubborn rebellion that Christ would weep over, even as crowds around him shouted his praises in the streets of Jerusalem only a week before His crucifixion.

Here we see the first steps of "the elect" barely back from one frying pan into the fire that would consume them and which has them completely bound today. They are a cautionary illustration of the nature of fallen nature as well as the apostasy around us.

Today, this same kind of legalism is what has been one of the greatest snares used by cults and false prophets of every shade. Cultic legalism is a powerful tool of manipulation that, when combined with the group dynamics of cultic mind control and the deceptive nature of cultic recruitment, turns the underestimated dogma of the Jehovah's Witness pioneer, the Remnant Fellowship weight loss "expert" and the La Luz del Mundo pastor into the most powerfully transformative and enslaving power of the heart mind and conscience the world has ever seen.

It hasn't stopped. The victim count continues to pile up.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Lindsey Factor: A Cautionary Episode Of The Internet Shame Game

Lindsay Stone is the young woman in the picture above who felt that going to a place where respect for those who died defending American freedom was still a place you could publicly act like a rebellious 13 year old. Her alleged impulse, as she would later insist, to be cute and contrary and make "funny pictures" came, of course, from that part of human nature that resists authority, despises and pushed set boundaries and does what it wants to. It's regrettable that what she characterizes as being "funny" became a moment that she and a friend needed to be documented for their amusement.

So when it hit Facebook, as the ancient books say, "it was written" that she would find Internet notoriety knocking on her inbox and voicemail. For the Internet made her famous, in all the ways you don't want to be immortalized for it.

This foolish young woman realized that the closest thing to sacred ground in even a secularized land like America is not a place you do such things. It goes to show you how ill advised people can be and the inevitable shaming she encountered for a private moment of stupidity becoming globally public for syndicated consumption was a lesson for us. It's what I call the "Lindsey Factor," something I'll be blogging on in the future. I want to take a look at how the power of the media and the phenomenon of mass personal outrage magnified by the Web is a potent source for change for both the good, evil and all points inbetween .. and how the essentially well intended sense of establishing right and wrong can go terribly yet predictably wrong.

Lindsay, if you are still Googling to find out how far you've been able to move beyond your admittedly pathetically unfunny and insulting image you created, and you happen upon this blog, I want you to understand, as a veteran and a pastor, I am both infuriated and saddened still - how you could choose such a place to "mock-disrespect" and so completely ignore the national sanctity we hold for it. I am taking time to actually travel there this summer to pay respects at a memorial of a tragedy aboard my old ship, the U.S.S. Forrestal  that took place when I was only seven years old that cost the lives of many men serving our country. It matters enough to me that it should be remembered by all the country and Arlington is a timeless place it should be remembered at.  As a man old enough to be your father, I am sorry you now reap what you have sown but that is the nature of things.

You seem to be an intelligent and compassionate young woman who is mortified and trying to move on.  I've no interest in belittling you and believe in redemption and growth. So I am glad you are trying to still do good in a world that you've rightfully enraged over an act that didn't need to happen. I hope your help of the autistic goes well, for autism is a tragic dimension of reality in our world that you are trying to alleviate.  But your lapse has become a teachable moment to bring light upon the darkness in our world for which future writing will come. I'm just shaking my head that it had to be you .. or anyone else.

I'm certain you've now come to understand that our freedom .. and yours .. isn't free. It came at a price your example terribly mocked.

I truly hope that is the life lesson you had here.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

The End Time: Still On Schedule Even Though I Have Not Been There Myself

It is better to learn late than never at all.   Publilius Syrus

Life does come at you pretty fast sometimes. There's much in one's personal transitions during the ebb and flow of life that can consume you so very much that whatever you've set up before as a priority suddenly gets torn down again by a newer or greater one. Change is the one constant of life, from deaths to births, from revisioning to scrapping, from relationship to relationship. Whether you a believer or an atheist, whether rich or poor, whether Asian or African and no matter where you live in the great human continuum of existence, we all face the lightning strokes of personal change and the uncertainty it brings, followed by sometimes purposeful and often frantic scrambling to react and/or respond to it.

Such has been 2016 for me and my house. I am now an associate pastor at the Crossroads Church at first in Lynwood, then in Sauk Village, Illinois where I serve to help shepherd, care and grow the flock under the senior pastorate of James Schulker.  Last year was one of the greatest years of transition in both churches - while we were just starting to get our ministerial launch in Lynwood, the Sauk Village Church of God invited us to combine with them to create a new congregation. Both congregations agreed and the Crossroads Church of God was born in August, where my wife and I have served ever since and our first year anniversary is coming up. Since then our ministry has kept us quite engaged on a local church level and we anticipate deepening levels of it to come, to the glory of God in Christ by His Spirit. It would take a whole post in and of itself to discuss how I've gotten to this point .. but we know one thing. Elizabeth and I are here for this place, at this time, and for the building of the Kingdom of God.

This blog has been about discussing how the end times apostasy in our world spreads and continues to deepen and deceive.  You may now understand why I've not had time to do much with it at all for over a year, after repeated relaunching to keep it current over the years, despite my desire to keep blogging.  Time is now at an absolute premium. My calling as a pastor now is asserting itself, my long standing desire and passion, and while my calling to be also an apologist and countercult activist remains the same, it is the priorities that are now changing. This has been ongoing since 2013 and it is where He has been leading.

But Spiritwatch Ministries and this blog will continue and must remain. The ongoing rebellion of humanity against its Creator as its time is about to be overshadowed by prophetic judgment must be foremost in a truly informed person's mind when considering the days ahead. Somehow, someway, I will now continue to blog about this fallenness, about the dark days ahead because it is certain that the days are indeed getting more troublesome and uncertain. In such a time as this, the Gospel of Jesus and a living hope in Him that is an anchor of the soul are the eternal standards that will stand all change that chaos seeks to impose. Spiritwatch Ministries stands firmly upon that!

We're still going to do as we have, here in the Chicago metro area and Northwest Indiana. We're still counseling victims of spiritual abuse, still witnessing to cult members, still tracking apostacy, still consulting with pastors, still keeping the websites up and the prayers going on. Every Tuesday, at our church, I lead a weekly prayer meeting for our world with emphasis on the cultic groups and apostate elements in our culture that need prayer for conviction, for deliverance and for truth. We're not giving up .. just again reprioritizing again in the midst of change! Thanks for your patience and attention, folks! Pray for us! We'll be blogging more next week!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Of Cartridges And Things: The Latter Day Saint Legacy Of Divine Violence

The ongoing occupation of a Oregon federal wildlife refuge's grounds by dissident rancher activists again provides for us an opportunity to look beyond the headlines to the bigger picture behind their protest. The leader of the group, one Ammon Bundy, draws his moral high ground for his actions as much as from deep seated convictions that the federal government has disrupted his livelihood and that of his neighbors as well as an earnest appeal to several generations of Latter Day Saint political pietism in the Northwest. 

A recent Religion & Politics column written by Benjamin Park is well worth a read to grasp how such a seemingly harmless faith like Mormonism has provided for Bundy and many of his following a platform to become a rallying point for dissent, even armed conflict:

Even on an issue as crucial as violence, the LDS culture has enough tools at its disposal to construct various, and seemingly conflicting, idols. ..

Indeed, examining the relationship between Mormonism’s tradition and the current standoff in Oregon is a reminder that the construction of political theologies is always an exercise in creating religion after one’s own image.

It's an article well worth the read and shows how quickly the acquired absolutism drawn from one's lifetime in the thrall of an authoritarian group becomes both the potter and the clay in the cottage industry of good old fashioned cultism.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

ICSA 2016 in Dallas on Recovery From Cultism: Hope To See You There!

It is an honor to have been accepted as a speaker at the 2016 International Cultic Studies Association. I've not been at a conference in quite a good while outside those Spiritwatch Ministries has helped facilitate so some great friends have encouraged me to consider providing my own input there for a while and so I applied, and was accepted.

I've spoken in evangelism conferences (like the one above) about cultism for my movement, the Church of God (Cleveland) as well as in those operated by the Midwest Christian Outreach and EMNR coalition over the years.  Speaking at conferences has always been challenging and yet profoundly encouraging. I hope to someday get more of our conference audio and video online this year. So when this opportunity came, I felt I should offer my own interaction. I appreciate the recognition of the work and plan to be there.

The ICSA was at one time called the American Family Foundation and I have watched it from afar off and have been too absorbed in too many other things to go the next step up to be involved there. It has done a tremendous job in being one of the major resources on cultism and cultic abuses that victims and survivors can look to. I have been working to help people in cults in one way or another since 1983 and have been aware that people of like minds have been doing the same all over the world. The ICSA is a band of professionals, survivors, ministers, lawyers, therapists and genuinely caring people - although diverse and global in populace, it is dedicated to pretty much the same thing I have tried to address in the one small segment of the Cultworld I've tried to work with.

The topic of the conference deals with recovery from cultic groups and I will be giving a talk on the development of a Christian model of cult recovery that is non-coercive and yet faithful to Christian principles. I don't believe recovery from the abusive manipulation of cultism and compassionate Christian ministry to those who have experienced it are mutually exclusive whatsoever. That is what I will be sharing with, in a 30 minute paper presentation (with of course, the obligatory PowerPoint) and 15 minutes of questioning.

I'm not sure what the date for that will be but it will occur during the conference in Dallas, Texas from June 30 through July 2, 2016. We hope to see some of you then. More information will follow ... the latest conference into can be read here at the ICSA website.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Who Said There's No Free Lunches Anymore? When The Criminals Can Help Run The Land

 Most people think that your life ends when you are sentenced to a long term of incarceration. Au contraire.

In fact, for a fair number of convicts, the American prison system becomes the greatest thing to happen to them. They get room, board, medical care and the chance to earn privileges which they capitalize on to change their lifestyle and "mend their ways."  It's unlike jail time in much of the world anywhere else.

In fact, it's a proven fact that convicts can remain involved and connected with their former external lives in ways thought impossible. Imprisoned organized crime lords still get their underlings to run the show while they're gone. Embezzling businessmen can still buy, sell and trade, drug traffickers get their destructive product distributed, and rapists and other misanthropes like cult leaders Charles Manson and Warren Jeffs can live pretty well empowered lives. Manson's murderous cult was largely broken up when he was brought to justice, but he still writes books, charms women, and dispenses his warped thinking via a website. Jeffs still runs his LDS fundamentalist people group with an iron hand even after his child rape conviction and does so with an authoritarianism that would make Brigham Young proud.

So, if cult leaders and other organized miscreants can run their empires from prison, why can't we re-elect and swear in government officials while they are arrested for suspicions of murder and drug dealing? Right here in Northwest Indiana, such a spectacle continues. An East Chicago council man, Robert Battle, is about to be sworn in while awaiting a court date for suspicion of homicide and drug trafficking conspiracy. Before his arrest, he was running unopposed for the position, got 308 votes for the job during the election which took place and was arrested shortly after his victory. His trial won't be until next summer, but until then, he's likely going to continue to draw pay and be able to run government.. from jail.

Only in America do you see this kind of pandering to the criminal element of our fallen society go on.

As I've said before, you can't make this up. Click here for the latest sordid details.

What was that old saw about the inmates running the prison?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Meat The Press, part 2015: How Pop Apostacy Pops Up In The Media

There's nothing .. and I mean nothing .. so jaw droppingly amusing when the media takes to its massive networks of print, internet, TV and radio mediums to take to task those whom it feels the need to cut down to size. 

There's perhaps no more pathetically hilarious season then when certain talking heads, steered by their producers pulling their strings by earpiece, want to remind us what "real Christianity" is all about when Christians and Christian institutions refuse to compromise to the social conventions everyone demands of it.
With polls and the cultural pulse takers of the day telling us how disconnected the church has become from the foundational truths which it has upheld for over two millenia, it's easy to feel that maybe we need to "evolve" and "revision" a more "user friendly" faith that isn't so intolerant, archaic, and out of touch with modern sensibilities.

So G. Shane Morris' biting response to the gainsaying day we live in is a refreshing reminder of just how countercultural that the Christian faith is and must be and shall be.

What matters, and what the media can’t for the life of them seem to understand is this: We, as Christians, do not worship a generic God-of-the-philosophers, non-trinitarian, and infinitely customizable to various faiths. Our God insists on being known as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as revealed in the New Testament.

When a Christian or a journalist demands we act like Jesus and just get along with everybody, I remind them that Jesus wrecked the Kumbaya of first-century Jewish theology by making exactly the claim about himself I’m making now: He is God in human flesh.
Do Christians and Muslims worship the same god? Well, is Jesus Christ God? You can’t answer “yes” to both, no matter how loudly the theologians in the media insist otherwise.

His throwing down of the gauntlet can be read in full here.   I can only wish I'd written it first.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

If It Quacks Like A Duck, And Walks Like A Duck: The Ongoing Cultism Of Remnant Fellowship

Cultism to this day still gushes out of the filthy cisterns of the Remnant Fellowship's authoritarian leadership as inspired by the micromanaging orations of its self proclaimed "prophet" Gwen Shamblin. The underlying spiritual terrorism of Shamblin's religion isn't lost on observers not dazzled by its bling and zeal.  Suzanne Titkemeyer, a blogger and administrator of the No Longer Quivering  online support community dedicated to helping women who are spiritually abused, did not fail to note Remnant's aberrance in a blog post from last year:

Years later I heard that Gwen (Shamblin) had said most Christians weren’t very Christian or serious about their faith. At the time I was shocked by her statement but after eight years out I have to say I agree with her. Where I disagree is in the fact that she started her own church, The Remnant, which has more in common with Michael Pearl and other dangerous theology than any movement to free Christianity from legalism.

Click the link above for the complete article of Suzanne's painful reminiscence and discovery of the cultism of Remnant and it's leaders.  It's well worth the biting, irreverent read .

Monday, January 4, 2016

When Transmission Belts Fail: One Columnist's Minority Opinion

A civilized society's first line of defense is not the law, police and courts but customs, traditions, rules of etiquette and moral values. These behavioral norms — mostly transmitted by example, word of mouth and religious teachings — represent a body of wisdom distilled over the ages through experience and trial and error.

They include important thou-shalt-nots, such as thou shalt not murder, thou shalt not steal and thou shalt not cheat. They also include all those courtesies that have traditionally been associated with ladylike and gentlemanly conduct.

The failure to fully transmit these values and traditions to subsequent generations represents one of the failings of what journalist Tom Brokaw called "The Greatest Generation." People in this so-called great generation, who lived during the trauma of the Great Depression and fought World War II, not only failed to transmit the moral values of their parents but also are responsible for government programs that will deliver economic chaos.

And the United States pays for it daily, in both the ongoing moral and financial decay of our land. As much as we have to laud our forebears, there remains this stark truth: it failed us horrifically when it came to teaching and living out what it meant to live right from wrong. The apostasy today does indeed have roots and wings.

To read the rest of Walter Williams concise and brutally honest commentary piece, click here.