False Religions

Why Yoga and Christianity Cannot Mix, Ever

Christianity and yoga goes together like, ice cream and beach sand, or corn flakes and brake fluid; The food becomes utterly uneatable.

What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 2 Corinthians 6:15

What would you say if you heard of a group of Hindu’s who were practicing biblical baptism for the purpose of ritual cleansing. This sounds confusing so you do some research and you find that a spokesman for the group has been quoted as saying that the group makes it a priority to always be as accurate to what the bible says on baptism as possible, however they were still very definitely completely Hindu and that the practice was an excellent way of cleaning themselves.

Say what?? Yeah exactly, what a ridiculous notion.

The idea of a Christian doing yoga is exactly the same. It is a Hindu rite, a salvific (equivalent) practice, the idea of a Christian participating in such a practice is utterly ridiculous, what part does Christ have with Belial? answer NONE. Any benefit in exercise is quite besides the point.

How is it then that so many (usually) left leaning professing Christians practice yoga? I can think of a number of reasons.

  1. Firstly out of ignorance. They don’t know any of the history behind it and because so many of their friends do it and because there is so little teaching from the bible.
  2. Second, its possible that the people doing it are unconverted. They are people who have always gone to church cause that’s what their parents made them do and it became habit. But they were never converted. Now the bible talks about false conversions and false believers being amongst the true believers (Matthew 7:22-23; Matthew 13:24-30; Luke 8:5-15 et al). And as an unbeliever, why wouldn’t they do something that in their mind is a good form of exercise.
  3. The third reason I can think of is that they are being disobedient to the teaching of scripture. This may be out of ignorance or not, and there could be a large variety of implications. Either they could be ignorant and hopefully a bit of teaching clarity would help bring them to their senses. Or they could be aware of the verses but for some reason not put two and two together between what they believe and what they do. Or they could be fully aware and determined to do it anyway. These people have decided that doing the yoga exercises for health sake is more important than obedience. In this case I would question the person’s salvation. I would have grounds on the basis of 1 John 2:3.

That all being said, I would identify ignorance in one form or another as being a primary cause, so its left for me to bring some clarity. For those who are not ignorant but wish to do it anyway, I call you to repent and to obey Christ and His written word, the bible. But for those who are in the dark, let me switch on a torch so that we can see.

Yoga, according to Wikipedia means to to join, to unite, or to attach. Join to what? according to the article it has several functions. At the lowest level there is a health component but as you move up the scale in the different schools there is meditation and mystical preparation for being filled by the Brahman so as to see the world outside of the pain and suffering caused by karma. (I may be using the wrong terminology here, apologies if so).

Buddha in yoga positionTwo quotes:

The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquillity while meditating on the Hindu concept of divinity or Brahman. – Wikipedia

Yoga’s metaphysics center around the quest to attain liberation from one’s conditioning caused by past karma – Rajiv Malhotra, the huffington post

So the idea of yoga is to get tranquillity by attaining liberation from life’s conditions and problems which are cause by (usually bad) karma. Where in any of this is there anything even remotely Christian? Yoga is a primary salvific practice (to use a Judaeo-Christian term)of the Hindu religion. There is also elements of empting one’s mind to allow possession, by Braham (as they would say) or demons (as we would say). Any potential health benefits are totally negated by these facts. To try and mix the two is insane. God has many many things to say on this is the bible, indeed half of the Old Testament is about God’s judgment because Israel sinned by either disregarding God for idols, or by trying to mix the two. One verse will suffice, the one I quoted in the beginning of this post.

What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 2 Corinthians 6:15

Nail in the coffin, watch this clip by the folks at Wretched Radio, as a Hindu gentleman disassociates Christianity from yoga

One final point. According to Wikipedia the literal meaning of the Sanskrit word translated ‘yoga’ literally means ‘yoke’. Another direct quote from Wikipedia:

This self-discipline is the ‘yoke’ that one puts upon oneself for the purpose of attaining moksha. – Wikipedia

Yoke

Jesus said:

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

 

I know that many may disagree with me, I have known enough professing Christians who also practice yoga to know that most of them defend this idea fiercely. Please note, I am not judging you by saying you are not saved if you do yoga. I cannot know this. I do know that a number of formally professing Christians who now a new-agers and the first step for them was yoga. What I am calling you to do is to examine the scriptures and consider the incompatibility of Christ and yoga.

Agree or disagree? you are welcome to leave a comment.

Happy International Atheist Day

atheist_bumpersticker

Today is one of my favourite days of the year. It is celebrated by Christians all the world round. I even used to have the picture above as a bumper sticker on my car to show how much I liked the day.

International Atheist Day.

Funny thing though, the atheists almost never ever celebrate it.

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” Psalm 14:1

And as everybody knows, April 1st is well known as April fool’s day. ergo International Atheist Day. If any atheist gets to read this, I ask you to consider the verse. Why does the bible call you a fool? The answer is simple, you have denied the most plainly obvious thing in existence. You are like the fish, who denies that water exists. You have evidence after evidence, yet you deny all of it. Lets look at some of it:

  • You just know it. A person would never look at anything organised, a building, a car, a painting, you name it, and think that that object just randomly came together by itself. Look at the screen through which you are reading this paragraph, would you ever assume that it fell together in some factory somewhere, without some intelligent input? My screen was made by Acer, maybe yours by Apple, or Blackberry, or Dell. No one ever thought that their screen has no maker. And you are far more complex than any computer or mobile monitor/ screen. I read a while ago that a plant cell is more complex than the space shuttle. Yet Atheists look at a plant, an animal or a human and assume that it just randomly happened. Foolish, and totally illogical.
  • Nothing can come from nothing. It never could. While an atheist could argue (incorrectly) that things evolved, he still would have the monumental problem of origins. Something, simply cannot come from nothing. We’re not just talking about an absence of matter, but of time and space also. There is no place for the matter to not exist, nor any time for it to be so. Frankly, the idea of absolute nothing, makes our brains hurt. Yet it is an article of faith for the atheist that nothing one day, randomly and for no good reason, because something. Foolish, and totally illogical, not to mention impossible. No, there needs to be, what is known in philosophical circles, an unmoved mover or an uncaused cause. That is, something external, and infinite in nature, that creates everything ex nihiloni (Out of nothing). A creature beyond time, space and matter. We call this creature God. He is the creator and the fact that we exist demands that He exists. You may be one of those who would ask “who made God?” and immediately we hit a snag, because by definition God is eternal; which means He has no beginning or end. You may object and say that you don’t believe that. But hang on, I have never met a reasonable person, scientist or otherwise, who would argue that the universe is not infinite in size (or to rephrase it, eternally long). No scientist has ever found some kind of wall in the universe that has the words “the end” on them, and even if they did, it begs the question “what is on the other side?” so if an infinitely sized universe, why not an infinitely existing creator. It makes logical sense.
    Listen to the tag line of this song
  • The next evidence is that of God Himself. He says that He exists and after all, He would know. I, the author of this site, exist, I am sitting in front of my PC, typing this post, I am actually here doing it. No amount of arguments or for that matter, sceptical disbelief will change the fact that at this hour on this day, I sat down at my PC and typed up the post. In the same way, God exists, He created the world, He says so (read Genesis 1:1), He owns it (Isaiah 66:1), He makes the rules (Genesis; Exodus; Leviticus; Numbers; Deuteronomy), and has every right to judge anything according to His rules (He owns it, He makes the rules) and no human can object to His existence or ruling. Denying this is, as I said, like a fish denying the existence of water or a man about to be hung saying “I don’t believe in rope.” It denies the obvious but also your belief makes no difference, God exists whether you like it or not.

But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Romans 9:20

  • Next, There is the moral argument. How do you know something is right or wrong? From parents? teachers? books? probably all of those influenced you, but morality in general comes from something every human being knows instinctively, that certain actions are morally wrong. Every human being knows its wrong to lie, to steal, to commit adultery, or to murder. They know this instinctively, after all, its written on your heart. God set up what is right and what is wrong, and He wrote that on a person’s heart. And your conscience knows the difference. You know what I mean. That something in you that says, you probably shouldn’t be doing/ saying/ thinking such a thing. Now it is certainly true that we can bludgeon our consciences into silence and yet it doesn’t change the fact, you know certain actions are wrong

They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them Romans 2:15.

Added to this, because they are God’s rules, we human beings like to ignore and rebel against them. We lie all the time and its very rare to meet a person who won’t admit to stealing something in their life. Jesus said that if you look with lust, that is adultery of the heart (Matthew 5:28) and also equates hatred with murder (1 John 4:20). We are all guilty of sinning (breaking God’s law) (Romans 3:23) Under the wrath of God for those actions (Romans 1:18). This includes atheists. Denying this is like that man denying rope as he is about to get hung. He can protest all he wants, but he will still get hanged. Now the bible describes that the punishment of those who break His law is death (Romans 3:23) and hell (Revelation 20:13-15)

but

God also provided a way for sinners to be forgiven of their sins, the punishment to be removed, and their consciences cleared. He sent His son, Jesus Christ, fully God, fully Man, born of a virgin, living under the law but never breaking it, He was perfect, He never sinned even once. Then, He was beaten and whipped, stripped naked and nailed to a rough Roman cross. While on that cross, the wrath of God was poured out on HIM in place of the sinner. Instead of you being punished for your sins in hell, Christ stood in your place and received the full cup of God’s wrath, and He drunk it dry. And when it was finished He died. Then on the third day, He was resurrected, He walked out of His own tomb. Death had been defeated, and His atonement for sin had been successful. We now can be reconciled to God. Oh foolish atheist, please repent of your atheism, it makes no sense whatever and denies the obvious. Also please repent of your other sins, turn to Christ, the God you despise and deny. Let Him forgive you of your sins, wash your conscience clean, and make you a new person. Put your faith in Christ, trust Him that He will keep His promises to save you. And He will.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

Thank you for reading, especially if you are an atheist. You are most welcome to comment, but understand that the rules of this blog will block any profanity or overt blasphemy. Please keep all comments civil.

A Minor Twitterish Skirmish

About a week ago I had a debate on Twitter with an atheist. Such a simple statement but it gave me a fresh insight into the mind of the atheist as well as putting Psalm 14:1 and Psalm 2 fresh before my eyes. I have left in the name of the atheist as Twitter is a public platform and I feel no obligation to protect his identity. I would not however, suggest you go look at his feed, as all you will find is one continuous screed against God and theists in general.

You may not be aware at how twitter works. Basically the lines that start with @EvangelTheology are those written by him and those which start with @orcman16 are written by me. I have highlighted his text in Red to make it easier to read and the few comments that I make are in italics. I am also compelled to censor out the swearing and sexual references, which abound ad nauseum. The Swear words are censored with *** and the sexual references with ###. Oh, and if I miss any of them, please let me know so I can get on it.

The context of this debate was when another random atheist, found and retweeted one of my tweets on the subject; that tweet was “Atheism: seeing the obvious and completely missing it”. A number of his followers immediately began replying with various “Theist:…” type comments, however one gentleman decided to ask a question. Hold onto your hats, this, for many reasons, is one rough ride.

@EvangelTheology question why do YOU believe in god
@orcman16 because He very obviously exists, its like asking, why do you believe in radio waves
@orcman16 why don’t you believe in God?
@EvangelTheology coz god don’t exist come on even kids know there is no god
@EvangelTheology yo ### are you gonna answer my question

@orcman16 I think you will have a hard time demonstrating that to be true. Question? what question
@EvangelTheology show me god if you can
@orcman16 sure, look at your hand, you have just seen proof of a Creator, to see how He describes Himself, read a bible
@EvangelTheology bible is a book just like harry potter show real factual evidence anyone can write a book
@orcman16 I already did, examine your hand, or your foot, investigate the amazing workings of a human eye, and you see proof of a Creator
@EvangelTheology bible is a book just like harry potter show real factual evidence anyone can write a book
@orcman16 anyone can write a book, and a book’s function is defined by its author, for the bible, it was written by men inspired be God
@EvangelTheology I did examine my foot and it shows that I have been evolved and has facts and evidence to back it. Where is your evidence
@orcman16 Thus you demonstrate how my original tweet about atheists not seeing what is plainly there is all about.
@orcman16 and don’t talk in generalities, be specific in your claims to evidence, but tomorrow, I’m going to bed

At this point I went to bed, the ‘conversation’ resumes the next morning

@EvangelTheology you said god made a book I say steve jobs made ipad who is better I wonder
@orcman16 In the long term, we shall see
@EvangelTheology okay show us god don’t tell me things from a book written by a human evolved from apes

@orcman16 that’s like saying, "lets have a gunfight, but you can’t use a gun"
@EvangelTheology you are lost you are inside a box who need to get out and see reality and jesus is a arab not white know your facts
@orcman16 Jesus was a Jew not an Arab, and nobody ever said he was white, I certainly don’t. What has that got to do with anything
@EvangelTheology you were told to listen to your heart not your mind why is that reason why coz you will have ideas,imaginations
@orcman16 and the bible doesn’t call a person to not think or use their brain, and relying on the heart is the last thing I want to do
@EvangelTheology do one thing sit down close your eyes for once think with your mind not your heart open your door coz its your door open it
@orcman16 #strawman #adhominem
@EvangelTheology what is that
@orcman16 and he accuses me of being ignorant and not thinking? haven’t you learned your argument fallacies
@EvangelTheology can’t you talk for yourself instead using a book look you know there is no god cause you can’t prove it
@orcman16 I can, but you will not accept any proof I can offer. You are refusing to be reasonable
@EvangelTheology you are ignorant you can’t even listen to yourself you need a book to tell you wat to do I m helping humans not arguing
@orcman16 "you are ignorant" – #adhominem and "need a book…"#strawman
@EvangelTheology do you know wat we call humans that believe in something that doesn’t exist stupid or sheep I
@orcman16 We also have a word for people who rail and fight against a God whom they believe doesn’t exist

That word is fool Psalm 14:1

@EvangelTheology there is no proof I m an ex muslim and I know there is no proof of god. book is not evidence or proof of god
@EvangelTheology I don’t need no book to tell me what I want to do with my life

@orcman16 So you have said, I think you will find that that is not the case. Are you telling me you have never learned anything from a book?
@EvangelTheology listen I don’t debate with religion I destroy religion yes I m a atheist extremist not richard dawkins but worse
@orcman16 lol I know

At this point, he began making every kind of crude blasphemous reference you can (hopefully not) think of, you may wish to skip this bit, censored though it is

@EvangelTheology I m gonna rape god up his ### and make him ### and my *** and then god will worship me a human evolved from a single cell
@orcman16 well done for once again proving the bible true bit.ly/weUd2q
@EvangelTheology are you really stupid no writing anyone can write I want evidence of god go get me proof going back to raping god
@orcman16 define evidence
@EvangelTheology you are stupid I feel sorry for you one day you will get out from your shell. God is sucking my ### so *** OFF
@orcman16 I hope you have a nice day 🙂

And that concludes it, I will follow up this post with a few lessons learned, and all this to say, be careful out there, the internet can be a nasty place. Oh yes, and please pray for this individual, like me, he is a sinner, needing Christ, pray that God grants him repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

Bad! Bad! Bad!

Questionmark[3]Ok so I just got this email and it seems to be one of the circulars. But while it is apparently written in English it is entirely incomprehensible. I mean, I know those words, I use many of them but in this statement they seem to fog over with a different meanings. However the first problem I see with it is that it is titled: “Prophetic prayer for this day and in the introductory paragraph goes on about the content being prophetic declaration. I will tear this extremely bad piece of literature when I have understood it. Its all bad. I submit it for your consideration, if you understand  it, please let me know

Please pass on this prophetic declaration to anyone you know that are in need of a life-changing breakthrough from God. This is the season where things are shifting and moving to bring in what has been called out in previous seasons.  Read the full prophetic word on the mentioned website. Be blessed. Zelda-Lyn Haggard (Grace For All Nations Ministries)

I CALL FORTH A MASSIVE BREAKTHROUGH IN JESUS NAME FOR  US. A SUDDEN MOVE OF GOD THAT WILL SHAKE EVERY FOE AND EVERY ADVERSITY TO COME TO NOTHING, BECAUSE THE WORD OF GOD IS YE AND AMEN. HE IS THE GUARENTEE OF HIS WORD RELEASED, AND THE SANCTUARY OF SAFETY FOR HIS CHILDREN. LET HIS MIGHTY RIGHT ARM MOVE AND CONQUER ON OUR BEHALF. I CALL FORTH A NEW ANOINTING TO OVERTAKE US  and RELEASE NEW TERRITORY AND NEW VICTORIES TO US. WE LIVE TO CONQUER AND WIN. AMEN.!!!!
BE BLESSED WITH ALL MANNER OF HIS GRACE MANIFESTATION IN YOUR LIFE.

huh????

Fighting Epicureanism

Ok, I’ll grant you, the name in the above title is probably not something you’ve ever heard of before, but for myself I have found that it is something that invokes foreboding and wariness. But first things first, what is Epicureanism?

Act 17:18  Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, "What does this babbler wish to say?" Others said, "He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities"–because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection

You know the context, Paul, after various trials had found himself in Athens. He was walking around, enjoying the sights but his ‘spirit was provoked’ (vs 16) because of the idolatry and idols that was rampant. So going to the nearest synagogue as well as to the market square on his soap box, he begins preaching the gospel to the people. Now before we have his famous “Men on Athens” sermon (vs 22) we get verse 18, which tells us that two groups of people, both philosophers. Now it is interesting, that of the many hundreds of philosophical systems that were around both before and after the only two mentioned in the bible are Stoicism and Epicureanism.
Epicurus_bust2[3]These two systems were opponents, and were markedly different from each other in many respects, but like almost every philosophical system ever invented by man, the ultimate goal was happiness. In Stoicism’s case, this was done through overcoming destructive emotions whereas Epicureans tried to achieve this by enjoying physical pleasures temperately.
Epicurus reasoned that while pleasure was to be had from such things as food, (thus making it a form of hedonism) over indulging in those pleasures lead to bad results later, for example stomach ache and dissatisfaction because the food just didn’t satisfy for long. And the same applied to other physical pleasure also. So, he decided that the best way to find happiness was to each only fine food, but in small quantities, drink only the best wine, but again, in small enough quantities so as to not get drunk, because after drunkenness is the hangover, and often more consequences than that. Now it often was taken further than that, resulting in asceticism, or the renunciation of physical pleasures altogether, to prevent, in the epicurean though, the bad consequences.
Now we know from Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes that while the desire to get pleasure is a very human on, There is no satisfaction to be found in any physical pleasure. There is nothing wrong with nice food, but whether taken in excess or in moderation, satisfaction will not be found in them. Only in God can satisfaction be found. Therefore this philosophy is dangerous, both to our Christian lives, and also generally to humanity. From this I have identified two dangers in particular that need to be identified and avoided.

  1. The first danger is fairly personal, and to my knowledge something not everyone struggles with. I have found in myself a tendency to want to get pleasure from many physical things in life, food and social interaction in particular. As a working bachelor I have both time and money to indulge these pleasures more or less to the extent I want. Again neither food nor social is bad, but taken to excess there can be a problem. I know this and so limit myself. Here is the danger, I am tempted to think that because I am not just indulging every pleasure of the flesh but rather enjoying the fine company of good friends doing wholesome and moral activities together (which is my particular point of temptation) I can find happiness and lasting pleasure in this. I have to remind myself that THIS IS NOT THE CASE. I need to revolt and fight against this kind of thinking. Satisfaction can only be found in God.
  2. The other danger is far more profound and rampant. It involves running from God. People can run from God in two ways. The most common way is for them to ignore Him in every way, ignore His laws and rules, by being immoral and rampantly ungodly, and ignore the consequences of those sins, ultimately ignoring the eternal consequences, death, judgment and hell. The other way is by obeying God. People think that by obeying God’s laws, living a moral life and possibly going through the actions of bible reading, church going and prayer, that God owes them heaven. The bible says that nobody gets to the Father, unless they have been born again (John 3:3) only through Jesus (John 14:6). However people think that they can get to the Father through, their efforts, their ‘good-doing’. They believe that if they do all these things for God, God somehow now owes them good things, in life and ultimately heaven. This is patently false. Today we would call this moralism and and self-righteousness. But I identify it as a semichristian form of epicureanism. This is why:
    The person reasons that they enjoy the fine, moral things in life; then things should be better for them. For example, if they don’t sleep around they won’t get an STD. To that extent, that is true, better behavior generally results in a better life. Generally, but its not guaranteed. They then extend the thinking all the way to heaven. “I live morally in this way, then I get the ultimate pleasure, heaven”

You can just imagine a person standing before the thrown, saying to God “But I did all these things for you, you owe me heaven” and God replies “depart from me, you worker of inequity, I never knew you” (Mat 7:22-23). Epicurean thought leads to hell, we need rather to believe the Gospel of grace which says, “you, a sinner, are forgiven by a just and holy God who, because of His love for you, poured out His wrath on His Son, Jesus Christ to take away all of your sins, then three days later rose from the dead, proving that His sacrifice had been a sufficient payment.” Don’t run from God, ‘repent and believe the Gospel I’ve just described above.
Solomon, in Ecclesiastes spends the duration of the book describing how he tried to find satisfaction and pleasure in actions ranging from the most extravagant to the most moderate. This is how he concludes that book:

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14  13The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.

Soli Deo gloria

Note: picture and research on epicureanism taken from this Wikipedia article

Blaspheming The Glorious Ones

I mentioned a few posts ago that one of the characteristics of a false teacher is that, according to 2 Peter 2:10 and Jude 8 they blaspheme glorious ones. This is a rather strange phrase and confusing, because who are the glorious ones, and how exactly are they blasphemed?

Well lets take this step at a time. First the glorious ones? who are they. The Greek word here is δόξα pronounced doxa which, in biblical Greek literally means glory. Most scholars agree that the phrase ‘glorious ones’ refers to spiritual beings, the angels and possibly demons. This is further re-enforced by Jude 9 which talks about the arch-angel Michael, contending with Satan. This is also consistent with the Old Testament which uses the ‘sons of God’ to refer to angels and possibly demons.

Job 2:1  Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the LORD.

Job 38:7  when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

draft_lens2230467module13685107photo_1233169608angel_bowingFirst, from Job 38, we see that the sons of God, the angels sung for joy when God laid the foundations of the earth (vs 4). This obviously refers to a time when the angels, none seemingly had yet fallen.

So sons of God definitely refer to angels. In Job 2 the phrase ‘being among them’ could imply that there are demons among the angels. I’m inclined to think, taking all verses into consideration, that the phrase ‘sons of God’ refers to those spiritual beings who now are both angels and demons. The same applies to the phrase ‘glorious ones’, it refers to both angels and demons.

That being said, that means that a characteristic of a false teacher is that they will blaspheme angels and demons. Quite a scary thought, and something worth our consideration.

But how do they do it? The word blasphemy means to defame or to vilify, to drag the name and reputation of an object or person down. We usually use the word in regards to God, indeed the 3rd commandment is “you shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain” or to put it another way “do not blaspheme God”. However we can also use the word in different contexts. For example, if someone is spreading malicious rumours about you, you could say that they are blaspheming you. The word works in this context.

But how do false teachers blaspheme angels and demons? Jude 9 tells us what this means:

Jude 1:9  But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”

In this verse, the archangel, who we would have said, next to God, is probably the most powerful being in the universe, does not take it upon himself or his own authority to rebuke Satan. If he had, that would have been a ‘blasphemous judgement as the verse says. Instead, Michael says ‘The Lord (the Greek word translated Lord literally means the Authority) rebuke you.

Picture4We could take this a number of ways, all equally valid. For example, a false teacher is someone who blasphemes the glorious ones by rebuking Satan or a demon on his own authority, or judging the demon. Or we could take it that these people are those who miss teach about angels and demons, giving people false ideas about who they are, and how they function.

This plays out in a number of ways, I will cite one example, of how this could happen. I have heard many false teachers use a phrase like “I bind Satan and the power he had over you.” There are so many things wrong with this statement, not least of which it is a person taking authority over Satan or a demon to somehow suppress their ability or movement.

Thus to sum up. One aspect of a false teacher is that they regularly mislead people about angels and demons, often with a large focus on casting demons out, and having authority over them.

Characteristics Of A False Teacher

In studying this text, I have made a focused study on a number of texts, including 2 Peter 2 and 2 Timothy 4. I have made some interesting discoveries observations. I will be telling you of some of them now and some later, my focus today will be on “what is a false teacher like?”
The list below (which is not exhaustive) is primarily on the texts of 2 Peter 2, and when I reference a verse it will be from that chapter, unless otherwise stated.

  1. False teachers teach destructive heresy (vs 1)
  2. They deny Jesus Christ even as they claim to follow Him, usually from within the church (vs 1)
  3. They are usually are involved in unrepentant and ongoing sin, usually of a sexual or a covetous (i.e greed) nature. (vs 2; 10; 14 et. al)
  4. They lie and deceive for gain, or to put it another way, they deceive people into giving them money (vs 3)
  5. They despise authority. This applies primarily in the Church context, where there is no elders to keep them accountable – they do what they like (vs 10)
  6. They are arrogant and reckless with demons (vs 10; Jude 8-9)
  7. They blaspheme and cause others, both believers and unbelievers to do the same (vs 2, 11)
  8. They go on instinct rather that on scripture (vs 11, 12)

Ultimately, what a wolf will do to the flock is to tear a sheep away from the shepherd and devour it. This is the objective of a false teacher, sometime unwittingly. He or she will lead a person away from the real Jesus, often preventing a person from coming to genuine faith in Christ, their latter end becomes worse than their first and it would have been better if they had never heard. (2 Peter 2: 20 – 22)
Every false teacher has one other thing in common: God will squash them. (vs 1,3,4-8,17 et al) In these passages and others, God makes absolutely no bones about this. But can’t a false teacher repent? I hear you cry, short answer “yes.” I’ll be looking at that issue in a later post.
Soli Dei Gloria

Introduction: A look at False Teaching & Heresy

False teachers have been a plague on the church. They have been around since the days of the apostles, indeed, the writers of the New Testament mentions at least one by name. In 3 John verse 9, John writes: I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. Verse 10 goes on to describe how this false teacher slanders the apostles, and excommunicates anyone who disagrees with him. This description of a false teacher, is only one of many thousands who would come up against the church. In this post, and in further posts, I hope to show some common false teachings and heresies as well as draw up profiles of some historical as well as current false teachers and heretics. I will be naming some names which will not appeal to everyone, but considering what scripture has to say on the subject, I consider this very necessary.

But before we go on any further, there is a few things that need to be said. The first is that: naming names gives me no pleasure and my desire in doing so is twofold – 1. to warn people who may be deceived by false teachers, and 2. to, if possible, call these men and women to repentance, we love them and don’t want them harming the church any more, and in some cases, going to hell themselves.
The second thing that needs to be said is that in order to prevent myself from sinning or being snarky at such people, I will limit my descriptions of them to three terms, two biblical and one theological.

These terms are:

Mat 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

1. False teacher/ prophet – this phrase is used a large number of times in the bible, including by Jesus

wolfsheep2. Wolf – Bit of a strange term in today’s thinking but as any shepherd from most generations in the past will tell you (if you could talk to one) that wolves were not the “semi-friendly practically-a-dog” that we think of them as today. They were the sheep’s primary enemy, and thus the shepherd’s primary enemy. The wolf hunted the sheep to kill and consume it. This, is what Jesus is saying about the false prophets in our verse (Mat 7:15), as well as several others. Jesus would often use the analogy of Christians being sheep, and the wolves were out to get the sheep. Paul also makes use of this phrase in Acts 20:29.

Those are the two biblical terms, and I need to separate them from the theological term because the former is not the same as the latter.

3. Heretic – Heresy is a doctrine that, if believed, will demonstrate that you are not a believer in the true Christ, and thus can’t be saved, until the heresy is repented of. Heresy is different to false teaching in that (some) false teachers are still true believers, brothers and sisters in Christ, whereas no formal heretic is. I will illustrate the difference in the next post

That’s enough for now, in the next few posts (linked below) I will expand on the concepts, bringing in more scripture.

God bless

Don’t follow A Bad Leader

The following article is quoted verbatim from teampyro.blogspot.com, a blog which I highly commend to you. The article in question can be seen on their website here. It is a quote from CH Spurgeon.
ch-spurgeon[3]

When a man chooses a bad leader for his soul, at the end of all bad leadership there is a ditch.

A man teaches error which he declares he has drawn from Scripture, and he backs it up with texts perverted and abused. If you follow that error, and take its teacher for a leader, you may for a time be very pleased with yourself for knowing more than the poor plain people who keep to the good old way, but, mark my word, there is a ditch at the end of the error. You do not see it yet, but there it is, and into it you will fall if you continue to follow your leader.

At the end of error there is often a moral ditch, and men go down, down down, they scarce know why, till presently, having imbibed doctrinal error, their moral principles are poisoned, and like drunken men they find themselves rolling in the mire of sin.

At other times the ditch beyond a lesser error may be an altogether damnable doctrine. The first mistake was comparatively trifling, but, as it placed the mind on an inclined plane, the man descended almost as a matter of course, and almost before he knew it, found himself given over to a strong delusion to believe a lie.

The blind man and his guide, whatever else they miss, will be sure to find the ditch, they need no sight to obtain an abundant entrance into that. Alas! to fall into the ditch is easy, but how shall they be recovered? I would earnestly entreat especially professing Christians, when novelties of doctrine come up, to be very cautious how they give heed to them. I bid you remember the ditch.

A small turn of the switch on the railway is the means of taking the train to the far east or to the far west: the first turn is very little indeed, but the points arrived at are remote.

There are new errors which have lately come up which your fathers knew not, with which some are mightily busy, and I have noticed when men have fallen into them their usefulness ceased. I have seen ministers go only a little way in speculative theories, and gradually glide from latitudinarianism into Socinianism or Atheism. Into these ditches thousands fall. Others are precipitated into an equally horrible pit, namely, the holding nominally of all the doctrines in theory and none of them in fact.

Men hold truths nowadays with the bowels taken out of them, and the very life and meaning torn away. There are members and ministers of evangelical denominations who do not believe evangelical doctrine, or if they do believe it they attach but little importance to it; their sermons are essays on philosophy, tinged with the gospel. They put a quarter of a grain of gospel into an Atlantic of talk, and poor souls are drenched with words to no profit.

God save us from ever leaving the old gospel, or losing its spirit.

Note: emphasis mine

If Only They Had Read The Verse

May21[2]
In light of the recently come-and-gone apocalypse and rapture that failed to happen on May 21st (yesterday) it is relevant for me to address the issue with a post and with a clear verse in scripture.
Matthew 24:36 But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.
Let me put this into . Jesus was asked by his disciples when will His (Jesus’) prophecies be fulfilled and when will be the sign of His return and the closing of the age (vs 3). Jesus then begins telling them about events that will happen during the build up to His return, the ‘signs of the end of the age.’ It is interesting that He begins by warning His disciples (and us):
See that no one leads you astray” (vs 4)
He then goes on to describe a number of events that will happen during this time, leading up to Jesus’ return. This includes the statement:
Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. (23-26).
Jesus specifically warns us that in the last days, people will present false christs, and false apocalypses. This goes even further than Mr Camping does, saying Christ HAS ACTUALLY RETURNED. we are warned beforehand, these things will (and even already have happened)
However, Jesus then goes on to describe how He will actually return which brings us up to the verse in question (vs 36) where Jesus states that no one know when He will return. That no one includes us ordinary human beings, angels of heaven, demons & Satan, and even the Son, Jesus Himself, has laid aside in omniscience as a man such that He does not know the day or the hour. Only the Father knows, and that His return will be like a thief who comes in the night, and is obviously, totally unexpected (1 Thes 5:2).
If only the followers of Harold Camping had read and understood this very clear verse in scripture, we wouldn’t had the anti-climax of so many deceived people being disappointed. I pray God grants them an understanding of this scripture and that they would repent.
There is a few applications and further observations I would like to point out:
Firstly, for the Christian: be ready for Christ’s return, it could happen at any moment, the least expected moment. And don’t follow after the next deceived individual who decides on the next date of Jesus return. Also be ready to defend the true faith. Harold Camping positions himself (and is seen be the whole world to be) and evangelical Christian. This event has caused unbelievers to mock genuine Christians to scorn, one more time. We need to be able to distance ourselves from false prophets.
To the unbeliever: Just because some false prophet, claiming to be evangelical, is proved to be false, and that Jesus did not return as he said, this does not mean that Jesus Christ will not be returning. He (Jesus) has promised that He will, but that it will be unexpected. I beg you to repent and believe the gospel, to be ready for the day when the time is fulfilled and Christ returns. Also understand, we, the Christians, distance ourselves from Mr Camping and other false prophets who claim to know the hour of His return, we are not deceived by his prophecy and are not the same as them.
Finally to the Camping follower, Let Matthew 24:4 ring in your ears: “Do not be deceived”. I have sympathy for you, you are very disappointed. Many of you were very genuine in your desire to see Jesus. Nevertheless, you were deceived. Now I beg you, repent and return to the true Gospel, the only one that offers hope for eternal life. Also be weary, many of todays most popular and mainstream cults are formed out of groups of people who, in the past, believed in some other false prophet who said the world would end at such-in-such a time, on such-in-such a day. You are now in the position of being sucked into a new cult. I pray that this does not happen, and I beg you to flee from this.

In hopeful anticipation of Christ’s return…