Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Accountability? Puhleaze. No Legalism Tolerated Here.

Accountability is a rare thing in our increasingly apostate day. It is an all too ignored work of community among people who are supposed to be committed to integrity in their public and private relationships. At it's core, accountability is the personal obligation or willingness to be answerable and accept responsibility for one's personal actions to the point of sanction and discipline in cases of moral or personal failure. This is easily apparent when you see how children are to be accountable to parents, students to teachers, public servants to the public trust and cashiers to the banks they work for .. all of course in a perfect world.

The ongoing mundanity of the end times apostasy has so thoroughly infected the minds of men, the spirit of the culture and fallen humanity itself that accountability for one's actions is one of the innumerable virtues of responsible lifestyle that have been effectively nullified in our day. To be seen as someone actually making someone accountable for what they do is subtly cast by the rebellious spirit of the age as an act of violation, an outrage against one's personal freedom, and even one of the most heinous of hate crimes in a politically correct pluralistic society. Nobody wants to be seen as "bigoted" or "intolerant" .. or, in religious contexts, as "quenching the spirit" or "touching the anointed."

For this reason, the toxicity of cultism's poisonous influence that squelches dissent and silences questions about something that is not just questionable but dangerous is able to insidiously work deep into the hearts and lives of those it enslaves. The power of cultism to deceive, defile and destroy is magnifed a hundred fold when cult members are systematically and ruthlessly conditioned to view their leaders as figures beyond accountability to anyone. If you alone hear from God and then speak directly for Him, how dare that be questioned? When such leaders become imparted with that kind of lofty and untouchable regard, they cease being anyone who can be called on the carpet or made accountable for their teaching, practice and lifestyle demands.

So when you see accountability handled carelessly, shoddily or incompletely in a situation in which a leader or authority figure is removed from their position either at their own hand or that of others, you'd better believe that's a real red flag. And it happens all the time in life all around us .. and the church is no different. In fact, it turbocharges the conviction that people can do what they want and get away with it in churches of all flavors as long as they are in charge, command the purse strings and the loyalty, and can muster up a modicum of contrition for any "misunderstandings" or "mistakes".

Such is the case of Dino Rizzo. He was, at one time, considered one of the many rising stars of evangelicalism at a megachurch organization he created in Louisiana, a well known megachurch pastor who knew how to make church "exciting" and "relevant". That is until it was discovered that, when in a supposedly "depleted" state, Rizzo entered into what has been called an "inappropriate friendship" with one Kaycee Smith, a video staff member at the church he pastored. The leadership in the organization he started,
the ARC (Association of Related Churches), stepped in to ostensibly shepherd the church through the shock and disruption it encountered as Rizzo left the pastorate in July 2012 for a time of "restoration".

in August, 2013, Chris Hodges, the pastor who assumed the reigns of Rizzo's church introduced him back at the church as a new associate pastor and called him an inspiration ..14 months later. This came about because of the belief at ARC that Rizzo was indeed "restored" and that, after a year away from active ministry, he could again enter ministry in a "supervised" role not only at the church but with the ARC itself, "in providing pastoral care for the hundreds of church planters that have planted through the ARC."

Throughout all of this time, according to the statement at the link above, a "list of personal benchmarks" was something that  "Dino was asked to fulfill (and) was thirty-one items long."  It was said that "over the past year, he and Delynn have accomplished each one of them."

I would hope so. I am a believer in restoration and rejoice to see how God's grace can touch fallen people and make them new again. That's what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is about. And yet, the factor of accountability still remains. Accountability makes it possible for the those who fail in life in some way or another to rise above and move ahead .. it's when what they supposedly have done is accounted for and action they take to demonstrate real repentance, sanctification and re-consecration to faith and then ministry itself.

So when I asked in the comments section 5 months ago in the same thread above what those 31 items were, no response was given. None. Nada. Zilch. Zero. 5 other people recognized the value of the question, but not the ARC.

This is almost the same kind of dissimulation heard from another Louisiana boy, one Jimmy Swaggart, who claimed to have made himself accountable to other preachers and ministers during his all too public deconstruction in 1988 and 1991 but who never identified them or mentioned any details of what he supposedly did.

It is also eerily similar to the kind of organizational chaos that elders at the now defunct Mars Hill megachurch organization are now confessing to, as ones who helped empower the authoritarianism of now disgraced megachurch "pastor" Mark Driscoll whose supposed passion for "the Kingdom of God" was more an insatiable and naked grab for power. The abusive "accountability" heaped on two elders there in an attempt to make them submit to Driscoll's consolidation of absolutist authority there was part of their sin, even as they resisted the groupthink pressure. It is a good illustration of how "accountability" in this context is simply abusive manipulation painted as holy discipline.If this dynamic could be extended to high level dissenting elders in their group, there's no doubt other more insidious and anonymous forms of spiritual abuse likely have occurred. Oh, wait ... there IS no doubt ...

As I have always taught, the essence behind cultism is the endless struggle for the unscrupulous for power and authority, for the ability to draw away leaders after their own desires (Acts 20:30). Religious abuse is always the result.

And the band played on.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Strange And Tragic Example of Michael Jackson: When Mama Wasn't Happy

The struggling metropolis of Gary, Indiana is just to the east of us here, and was recently in the news when President Obama's flight to Chicago to fund raise for Governor Pat Quinn there ended up having to land there this past week. It brought a bit of visibility and positive news for a city that's not had much to cheer about as it continues to seek recovery from the economic evaporation of business and revenue in the past 30 years.

Gary can pride itself on something no other city can - it was the land of nativity for the Jackson family entertainment clan whose best known members were the Jackson Five, Janet Jackson and of course her inimitable brother, the "King of Pop" Michael Jackson. Jackson, who died tragically of cardiac arrest in 2009, was perhaps one of the most well known and perhaps one of the most complex pop singers of all time. His public and personal lives were a surreal mixture of spectacle and ritual in which his passion for chimps, children and cutting blockbuster smash music hits were offered for the world to see and partake.

His eccentric tastes along with his obsessive bouts of plastic surgery and other extravagant lifestyle choices were the result of a famously and yet authentically conflicted life. It would lead him to becoming a figure of ridicule in the press as its notoriously fickle attention it paid to him turned with the wind, even earning him the unflattering term of "Wacko Jacko". He seemed at once a cultural colossus, astride the world with sequined feet of clay that often couldn't help but blunder into personal problem after problem.

But the tragic reality behind Jackson's persona and the fabric of his soul was perhaps most famously woven by the shadow of cultic spirituality that he and his family came to be dominated by. His mother Katherine became a Jehovah's Witness quite early in their life and what is not commonly known is just how zealously Jackson was brought up in this faith. It was the tension between Jackon's desire to entertain and enjoy his life and the authoritarian cultic movement's demand for blameless appearances of piety and purity that did more to psychologically oppress him.

Just how deeply that inner struggle tore at him has long been one of the great burdens he carried even as he sought to keep the masses happy.  A telling read of the story behind his involvement with the Watchtower Society is worth the mouse click to read. It illustrates perfectly how cultism poisons the soul and warps the mind and sensibility of all who fall prey to it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Halloween: Still Another Day In The Life of End Time Apostasy

One of the many old blog articles started yarrons ago in Cleveland, Tennessee which I'm completing now .. this one was from the fall of 2012 ..

Once again in coming home from work, I'm driving through this sleepy little Southern town in the glow of an autumn dusk, a quarter century after arriving here in a reflective mood.

There's so much on my heart and mind about just how really dark things are getting even here in Cleveland, Tennessee a veritable buckle in the Bible Belt, where churches dot every corner and evangelical piety colors almost everything and yet with so uneven a coating and even more unequal depth .. and quality.  While it's pleasant to encounter believers all around you in a polite, discreet and conservative social vibe, it's equally unsettling and sobering to see how thoroughly so many others hold faith at length, or cynically cite it in their lives as needed by dipping from a spiritual penny dish at the convenience store counters of their souls.

I remember that Jesus commands Christians to be salt and light to a darkened world but I witness too much daily showing how horribly that mark is missed and tonight is especially no exception.

Once again, the cultural obsession with an observance of what we like to call Halloween has swept over the area. Each year, the whole city joins in the bandwagon, and no one seems to actually care that Halloween is a holiday entirely derived from pagan occultism. Seemingly harmless revelry, costuming, partying and a bizarre obsession for nicely tamed objects of horror and terror pops out of nowhere. Schools host costume parties and workplaces blossom with faux-spooky decor like bats, jack o lanterns and other stuff. For a time, middle aged women dress like zombies and little kids like Luke Skywalker or teens like vampires
from the "Twilight" movies. New movies premiere all over the place with gory, sensual bloodfests stitched loosely together by some pop occultism. Delight is drawn from things like ghost stories, haunted houses, dabbling with ouija boards and giving our imaginations and fancies over to the things of darkness.  We rise up and make the dark, violent and grotesque our playfields and reckon that such attention is harmless, hurts no one is and is American as mom, apple pie and Maglites.

So when I drove past a church in Cleveland with this sign prominently erected as seen above, it simply was heartwarming to see someone directly challenging it - apart from the "hell houses" or fall festivals many churches will supply as alternatives to the Halloween spirit. God's Word does indeed have a thing or two to say to us about this abandonment to a festival based on pagan spirituality: things that really might make you lose a little sleep at night if such things like His Word matter to you. Most people don't have a clue and even if they did, it wouldn't matter.

But we try to let people know anyhoo. We've consistently observed how this seasonal descent of our culture into a dabbling with the spooky is far from just harmless autumn leisure time.

Check out our articles on why Halloween should be considered a very unsavory time of tricking, not treating here .. and download PDF file versions you can copy and distribute. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Rome, 1982: When Rome Could No Longer Be Home .. One Ex-Catholic's Remembrance

I will never forget the moment when it fully dawned on me, a newly born again believer, just how completely opposed the religion of Roman Catholicism actually is to Biblical truth. It was for me a turning point in my life.  

Raised a Roman Catholic, it was Baptist and then Church of God believers who began to break down my religious ignorance propped up by pride, carnality and ingrained tradition ... by simply sharing the Gospel of a loving God who wanted to save me from my own sinful self. I came to Jesus and begged him to be my Savior in 1981 while I was in the Navy.

Not having any mentors or believers to fully declare the truth to me, God's Spirit took me on a journey in which one by one all of the connections and revelations began to be made clear to me as to how hideously I'd been deceived into following purely human Roman tradition and not God's Word .. and I don't think it was an accident that the last one finally clicked while I was on a whirlwind 2 day tour of the Eternal City, Rome itself while my ship was anchored in the Bay of Naples in the summer of 1982. The burning into my soul of that moment still blazes in my heart, mind and spirit 32 years later.

I had been in the Vatican Museum and saw all of the unbelievable wealth, ostentation and artwork collected by the papacy over centuries of temporal power. Blow after blow of the truth kept kniving into me. Those who have not lived such a religiously blinded life completely dominated by religious programming can ever appreciate just what kind of white knuckled and soul-shattering agony it is to come to understand how wrong you've been led to live .. and all it means to you, your loved ones, your dead, your past and the present .. and all of the world itself.

This is why I feel the lonely and painful connection with those I minister to who are exiting or considering exiting leaving truly cultic organizations as they agonizedly share on how they have encountered the same kind horrific shock and the uglier consequences of losing faith. While Roman Catholicism is not a cult in the sense of the word as I have defined it, it's underlying culture at many levels can only exist by leveraging blind faith and the suspension of critical thinking the same way real cults actually do. To see this cloak finally slip and be seen for what it is provides a disillusionment like no other.

It took me, however, a quick side stop at some "famous" church in Rome to look at their own little collection of religious stuff when I came across a fresco in the ceiling of one of the church naves that froze my blood solid. Done with no expense spared, it was one of those massive works of stunningly painstaking public oil works that were meant to convey to the faithful an illustration of the faith they were to cling to.

To my old Roman Catholic sensibilities, it should have been absolutely stunning. It instead made me sick.


It showed Mary, standing in heaven with the masses of the world all turning their pained eyes to her with hands outstretched in papal benediction. Jesus Christ was not depicted - but Mary herself was carrying a cross, the symbol of redemption, and was illuminated in a great aura of what could only be heavenly glory in which the Spirit as a dove was hovering above her bestowing it. The painting itself was a magnificent and massive portrayal of the power of the painters of the Renaissance at their best when the papacy put them to work to create the imagery they've used ever since to plug this uniquely grotesque and decidedly unbiblical apostasy as "Christianity."

You simply cannot begin to relate to what I'm about to say until you've lived in a culture bent toward worship prompted by artistic props and images and icons and incense and darkened alcoves filled with candles and pews. I find it difficult to begin to describe the terrible shaking that gripped me momentarily there. A tension of heart, mind and soul that completely tore all of my illusions away made me actually tremble and a cold sweat start out. All of my religious training almost drove me to my knees to do a sign of the cross and genuflect .. I could almost feel myself being pulled down to do so (no, it wasn't demons .. it was only that tradition that I'd been steeped in). All I did, however, was stare at it and feel horror and revulsion fill me to the depths of my soul at what that picture really meant in light of the Bible's teaching on the exclusivity of Jesus as Savior alone.

I had been worshipping a goddess and not God.

I had been deceived!

The Catholics I knew and loved all around me were deceived!

This was a blasphemy of the highest order I was staring at, just one lone man, in the vast, hushed marble-pillared opulence of an ancient Roman Catholic church in Rome itself. For the first time in my life, I understood what the term "seat of Satan" really meant and it filled me with a life-changing heaviness and sobriety I've never forgotten and never shaken since. A line had been crossed in my life from which I would never be the same.

Without really realizing it, still awash in the emotion and impact of the moment, I lifted my new Canon AE-1 with me and I had to snap a picture of the thing to remember this day. I still have it - as if I would forget that kind of abomination, which can be routinely seen in Roman Catholic settings globally.

So when my father, who forsook his pagan Catholic religiosity to become a Good Catholic pulled out in his home a few summers ago a vast 6 foot tall image of Our Lady of Guadelupe he's had brought to his Roman Catholic church home to have it venerated, I had to leave the room.

Roman Catholics are a harvest field of souls of unbelivable proportions that the Protestant Church has largely forsaken and almost abandoned .. but in this Laodicean age in which the church is slouching toward the end of times, why am I not surprised? 
With a Pope who has buffed off the Christ-figure mythos of his office more thoroughly than any other Pope in recent history, and who receives accolades from televangelists that include high fives, would I really expect the Protestant Church to look beyond Francis' mild image and the mad devotion it has inspired? 
And the band played on.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

How You Can Love Jesus, Hate Religion, And Still Miss Out With God

In 2012, a Christian poet named Jeff Bethke  released a video called "Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus." You can view the video and read the poem here.  It highlighted like never before in social media circles how profound the serious juncture is which the Christian faith is at,  a major crossroads of truth showing that like never before perhaps in the Church's history, there are those within it who still believe in God, Christ and the Gospel and yet are abandoning formal attendance or connection to the Christian Church in droves.

According to one online source, "
the four minute video had received 6 million views three days after its release on 10 January 2012, as well as 64,000 comments. By Saturday, 14 January 2012, the clip received 10.2 million views and over 100,000 comments.  As of today, August 10, 2014, YouTube shows it has had 27,866,608 views. 

A friend of mine decided to recommend it on their Facebook channel and I finally felt I needed to make a statement on it that is more an exhortation for those online who make clear, through their comments, that despite Bethke's apparent realization and subsequent statement that he wasn't making the video to condemn the Church, they apparently feel that way.

This is what I wrote:

This video has a lot of truth .. wrapped around one very serious assumption that is very WRONG ..

If religion = legalism, cultism and judgmentalism making Christian spirituality out to be a social club of rules, spiritual abuse and oppression, I can get where this kid comes from.

The problem is too many of you young in faith have never known what real Christian spirituality in a FELLOWSHIP based around glorifying Him and loving others in and OUT of it is really like.

You've been in a group of religious people who made a liveable faith out to be something it is NOT. You want to believe, but you don't want the bondage. I get that. I've been there. So understanding your turn off from "religion" is completely understandable.

But to despise the Christian church for the unreality, intolerance and abuse you suffered is a big, big BIG mistake.

Do you stop driving a car because you had a car accident?

Do you quit school and education because you didn't connect with people there or the teachers?

Do you stop going to doctors because you had a bad treatment with one?

The Bible teaches very plainly that you are just a member of a Body, the Church that Jesus has called out from the darkness of this world to live in heaven NOW. Jesus Christ died for the church. Jesus created the Church, Jesus passionately intercedes for the Church.

DO you hate what Jesus loved? Do you despise what He gave His life for? How deeply, authentically, honestly can the love of God dwell in you if you hate what He hung on the cross for, what His Blood was spilt for?

Think about it, my brothers .. my sisters .. those who my common faith in Christ with you makes us family.

This deeply concerns me when I see those of you who are my spiritual house hate something so precious out of misunderstanding you've been led into by those who were no doubt in horrible error. Hating religion is a passion I share .. but I know that to hate the Church is to hate what God loves. Please, please think about it.

I have been in the ministry since 1983. I came out of dead religion into new life in Jesus in 1980. I've been helping people ripped off by abusive religion for years and I completely get why people leave religion off their checklist they draw up when they escape it. I do. And I totally understand the total disillusionment with the hypocrisy and horrid example that has ripped you off in places called churches and fellowships where God was supposed to have been known. I know that.

But the Bible teaches that your spiritual destiny and potential can never healthily grow in isolation from the very thing you must turn to .. the community and support of the Body of Christ found only in the Church, the same one Christ died for ..

I hope you'll think about this. You may feel you don't need the Church, but the truth is you do .. more badly then you can possibly believe. It's not screwy religion and scam piety I urge you to seek .. but the very real places of the Spirit where the people of God, in humility and obedience, truly seek to focus their walk with God as well as their service, that they might encourage you as much as you might encourage them. They are there. They are real. Seek them, They are real.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Just Another Day In The Apostasy: When Perps Blame Victims ..

There are like 640 posts here in the system I need to finish and actually post. Ay, chihuahua.

Alright, not quite that many. But life has truly been coming at me fast and I've ridden the crest of just now. So I'm going to attempt to start catching up on these long delayed works. I know, I know, I've been saying that off and on for the past few years but when reality in the present tense works on you, you have to go with it.

So in the next few days, we'll see how often I can get back into a daily discipline of blogging about the apostasy at hand which this blog is devoted to. But for now, let's reflect briefly on the recent loathesome chutzpah of convicted felon, sexual deviant and of course ex-pastor Jack Schaap shall we?

Schaap would be the former pastor of Hammond's First Baptist Church (FBHC), who was the heir to the Jack Hyles megachurch fundamentalist empire and who played his hand very badly. You see, when you become leader of one of the flagship churches of fundamentalism, a culture that makes branding itself more Christian than Christianity itself its obsessive self-focus, you simply shouldn't get caught doing what you castigate the world outside your immediate circle for doing. And that's to exploit and use young girls like play things while clutching the Superman cape about you .. certainly a "discipline"  learned at the knee of his mentor.

Hyles, while erecting a personal facade of ultraorthodox purity and fidelity to true Christianity, encouraged an idolatry around his fundamentalist vision and authoritarian control that turned the church into an abusive organization filled with secrecy, legalism and manipulation. His long-standing affair with a woman who attended FBCH has long been completely denied by Hyles to the day of his death in 2001. The sheer hypocrisy of Hyles was completely lost on his well-indoctrinated flock who were taught to look the other way and to continue to uphold "the man of God" as the center of their universe, never questioning his manufactured holiness and excoriating all who might question it as puppets of Satan.

But Schaap, found that he couldn't snap the whip to drive his followers as well as Hyles did, although his legendary demonstration of how to polish a shaft before his entire church as an object lesson of faith building certainly was an attempt to do so. When incriminating evidence came out that he was having decidedly unclerical relations with a teenage girl, it was discovered it had been an ongoing perpetration with her, and within a couple of years, he was defrocked, indicted and convicted for his crime and is now serving some hard time.

But, and we come to the really icky part, not if Reverend Jack Schaap's assertion is believed. That is to say, not unless we all learn that his victim was actually responsible for seducing him and this none of this was really his fault due to mitigating circumstances. That's if his recent filing is believed by the judge who put him away.

Incredible, but true. Following the modern evolution of scandal as played out by the deviants of our day, as we see it in this apostate age, the perpetrators brazenly and unashamedly will accuse their powerless victims of being responsible for their perversion.

You can't, as they say, make this stuff up. Here's the grotesque details.

I hope Judge Lozano gives him another 10 or 20 just to think about how pathetic his complaint is. He can polish his shaft all he wants to in the darkness of isolation there. Hopefully, he'll repent and not find outer darkness closing in on him. That kind separation is eternal, fiery and unending. Jack Schaap's disgusting defiance of the judgment on earth he's incurred will be rudely interrupted by an eternal one far more literally damning than any "hell" he's face in prison might be if he doesn't repent.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Why False Teaching Is To Be Called Out In The Church

Exclusion of false teaching from among the Christian congregation is a Biblical command when it comes to truth. You cannot get around it. We call it out because we are called to do so by Scripture.

Ephesians 5:11

11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

There are indeed false teachings delivered by false teachers that the Church is to discern and reject for the sake of the spiritual health of the congregation and the preservation of Biblical truth. It's done through the tough, unglamorous but vital discernment of unbiblical falsehood and a publicly revealing and refutation of it. Too many churches turn into authoritarian cults or havens of dead, frozen irrelevant orthdoxy when the errors of false teachers are not challenged and corrected by Scripture by the power of the Spirit of God.

The dialogue that should occur during discernment is actually an act of faith, not intolerance, hate or any of the foolish deprecation that those who are so questioned like to sling right back. Those laboring under error are to be admonished and if they choose to remain in their error, they are to be shown as such. The Bible makes clear that correction of error is to be done with longsuffering and doctrine, as well as reproval and rebuke (2 Timothy 4:2). It is meant to be redemptive and restorative and engaged in civil dialogue (2 Timothy 2:22-26) but when the admonitions are ignored, these who Scripture calls "HERETICAL" are to be put away from among the church (Titus 3:10)

My rocky relationships to those in the church I've called out over the years weren't made rocky overnight. I've contended with many professing Christian teachers for several years over their falsehood. They got ugly because they cannot handle being called out. This was not the case with them when I first met them in a variety of venues and tried to dialogue with them after coming to observe their unscriptural teaching. The heat expressed in their rancor increases with the additional light of Scriptural truth I've had to display. 

I don't hate any of them and in other instances we might be civil face to face, but I won't back down from what Scripture says about being exclusive with those who make truth a chess piece on their boards.

The New Testament's record on how this is done is plain, direct and unambiguous apostolic mandate. The language is indeed exclusionary. It may offend our inclusive Western mindset, and it doesn't seem to keep the heat level down, but that comes with the Biblical territory.

Read Jude 3-4. The verses described defending the faith as a full contact contention with the sneaky wiles stealthy men who slip into the church to distort and warp the Faith. An apostle commanded through an Epistle for the church to have that kind of passion. The sleeping church of today doesn't begin to come to grips with that kind of command. We don't do personal evangelism, tithe properly, pray and study as we should either, keep ourselves holy, so that's not surprising.

But boy do we want to be NICE and unoffensive. That's the new holiness of the age.

Acts 20:28-31

28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

Here is the great apostle Paul who, with tears, constantly warned the entire Ephesian church to "take heed" of those he called wolves who would enter in to divide them with speech of perversity and polarization around their own lust for leadership and authority. That Pharisee of the Pharisees wept "day and night" for 3 years over this. Don't tell me you aren't supposed to be passionate about truth and protecting the church! He used the very same expression Jesus used in Matthew 24:4 when he said to "take heed lest no man deceive you."

Years later, the apostle's admonition to watch out for these characters took a decidedly exclusive explication:

Romans 16:17-18

17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

Spiritual deception, division and offence coming by false doctrine spewed by false teachers is a spiritually destructive influence. The apostle begs the church to "mark" (or identify) those who labor under this malign spirit and to completely avoid them. In this Laodicean era of vast compromise, where backslidden churches, dangerous cults and deceptive claims are able to be media-magnified and replicated a thousand fold instantaneously, the need to address this is just as critical, crucial and necessary.

Don't look at me narrowly. It's what the Word says.

1 Timothy 4:1-7

1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5 for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. 6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. 7 But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.

The work of a minister is not just to preach the Gospel but to defend it against backslidden and errant men and women who, upon departing from the Faith, will preach doctrines of devils in hypocrisy that are to be refused (there's that exclusion again. How intolerant those apostles get). Putting the Church in remembrance of this end times peril is a testimony to the worthiness and integrity of a minister. Those who would rather just play this down are tools of the very devils they think they have underfoot. I could go on to cite other verses from the Bible about this, but we'll leave it at that.

Now, just why "others" choose to include among the flock of the Lord these wolves in sheep's clothing boils down to one of several reasons, which I list off the top of my head in no particular order.

They want to be 
1) Nice 
2) Open Minded 
3) Dont Want To Seem Intolerant 
4) Are Biblically illiterate or 
5) Delusional About Deception..

I don't think I need to unpack that any further other than to say one can be so open minded to the point of ventilation when their brains fall out, along with any semblance of discernment. You'll have to ask those who want to violate Scriptural precept on this why they choose to do it.

They will answer to God for their folly .. and I will answer to God for my attempt to keep the flocks of God warned. I think I'll sleep better at night for what I do. I may not please men, but that's not what I'm here for. I may not do it perfectly, but I do what I know the Spirit empowers me to do.

1 Timothy 4:16

16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.