Psalm 150

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, December 30, 2019 2 comments

by Katie Erickson

“Praise the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.” (Psalm 150)

As we bring 2019 to a close, I’m also bringing to a close my study on the Psalms. As I started with Psalm 1 at the beginning of January, I’m ending with the last psalm here at the end of the year.

It is fitting for this marvelous and majestic book to end with a psalm that is totally and completely made up of praising God! I kept the psalm in the format I did above so you can see how basically every phrase starts with the word “praise.” It’s the same in the original Hebrew text; each phrase begins with a form of the verb for praise. Many begin with halleluhu which specifically means “praise him.”

We can break down the structure of this psalm further than just being praise. It starts with telling us who we should praise, then why we should praise Him, then how we should praise Him, then who should do the praising.

We find out who we are commanded to praise in verse 1: we are to praise God. Even though He is in His mighty heavens and we are on earth, we are to praise Him. There is no one else even remotely worthy of the praise that God deserves.

Why should we praise God? Verse 2 tells us that He has done mighty acts, and He is amazingly great. The Bible is full of stories of what God has done for His people throughout history, and even today we still see God doing amazing things in our lives and the lives of those around us. God is still working in the entire world today. He is the epitome of greatness; we don’t even have the words to describe Him. He is ever-deserving of all our praise!

How should we praise God? Verses 3-5 of this psalm gives us lots of ways. You may notice that the ways listed are musical in nature - playing instruments and dancing. Thankfully, we don’t have to be musically skilled to praise God. We can enjoy others using these skills and praise God along with them, or we can make a joyful noise to God even if it may not sound great in others’ ears! God knows our hearts, and any method that we use to praise Him with a right heart is good in His sight.

Who should do the praising of God? We see in verse 6 that it’s not limited to those who are musically skilled. The psalm calls for “everything that has breath” to praise God! That doesn’t even limit it to just humans. All living things were created by God, so all living things should praise God with the breath that He has given us.

As we look back on 2019, this journey through the psalms has gone through times of praise, times of lament, times of joy, and times of sorrow. The psalms are full of all of these emotions and more. Some of them have been a struggle for me to write, but overall it has been a journey led by God. God has given us emotions and free will so that we can better praise Him. He has given us language to express these emotions, whether it was a psalmist writing in Hebrew a few thousand years ago or a blogger writing in 2019.

The whole purpose of this book of psalms is to praise God, just as Psalm 150 tells us. What is the purpose of your life? Does your life line up with God’s Word and praising Him as He calls us to do? Maybe 2019 was a spectacular year for you, or maybe you’re happy it’s finally over. Either way, every day God gives us a new chance to praise Him and follow Him with our lives. Every day we can make the choice to praise God with our lives, whether we’re in a season of joy or a season of lament. I pray that all of us would make the choice to praise God today, and all throughout the upcoming year!

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One Message

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, December 27, 2019 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

“For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” ~Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:2

The Apostle Paul was deemed perhaps the most intellectual man of his day. He wasn’t just a Pharisee, but a Pharisee of the Pharisees. He was to be the leader of them all. He protected his religion with fervent zeal until the day he met Jesus Christ. Upon meeting Christ and being born again, Paul became the most zealous evangelist ever. Yet in all that, Paul pushed all his knowledge and all his zeal aside for one thing: to know Christ and to proclaim Him.

Jesus is not merely the Second Person of the Trinity of the Godhead. He is not merely the Savior of the world. He is the Message to the world. John called Him “the Word.” In the Greek, the word for “word” is “logos,” which is the complete expression or message which is to be given. Jesus did not merely come to save and seek the lost. He came as the Message itself.

Everything, and I mean everything, in Scripture is written for one primary purpose: to reveal Christ. Genesis is given to lay the setting of this grand story God is writing. It contains the origins of the universe (Genesis 1-2), the problem when sin entered the world (Genesis 3), and the establishment of the peoples which this Message, this Savior, would come to rescue (Genesis 10-11). It zooms in on one man (Abraham) through whom God’s Message would come. It’s critical to remember that God intended His Message to go to the entire world, not merely one people group. The one people group was to be the vessel through whom that Message would be spread.

Exodus through Deuteronomy covers God’s standards and establishes why Jesus would have to come and die to pay for sin. The history books establish not just the historical data but give us examples, pictures, and types of what Jesus would come and do. The imagery only works if it is history showing it. The writings showcase God’s wisdom. The prophets show God’s sovereignty over history and the nations while also revealing how seriously God takes sin. The four Gospels reveal the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Acts gives us the history of how and why God wanted his Message spread to the ends of the earth. The epistles (letters) reveal the teachings and doctrines we are to follow in Christ, giving us the proper interpretation of both the Old Testament and the rest of the New Testament. Revelation brings the entire epic together in the greatest climax ever where Christ will come for and claim that which is His.

The entire Bible showcases and reveals Jesus Christ. The reason we can trust Jesus is because the Bible is reliable. But also, we can find out what the Bible actually meant to say by looking at Jesus. We can do that because both are the Word of God. The Bible is the Message in textual form. Jesus is the Message in living flesh. When Paul met Christ, he realized that everything he learned had to point to Him or it was false. He went to Scripture to show the Jews who their Savior would be. He occasionally went to the Greek poets to appeal to their history in how God dealt with them to showcase the True God. But his starting point and ending point was Jesus Christ. He was hyper-focused on his Savior.

When Paul went to Mars Hill and preached to the intellectual elite of the world, he not only told them they were all wrong in how they worshiped the “unknown god,” but he took them back to who God was and how He established the universe. Paul went to Creation. He declared that all people are of one flesh. That can only make sense if Genesis and Noah’s Flood and the Tower of Babel are true history. But his end goal wasn’t to get people to believe Genesis; his goal was to get people to believe Christ.

Here at Worldview Warriors, several of us have heavily talked about origins, but the primary reason for doing so is two-fold: 1) because that is where the front line of the battle over the integrity and authority of Scripture is being fought, and 2) because if Genesis is true, the need for a Savior is obvious. When you read the atheists, who are being honest in their reason for believing Evolution, it is nearly universally for moral reasons. They KNOW that the science doesn’t support their position, but because if the universe was created by the God of the Bible as described, then the same God holds man accountable for his actions and man will face Him on Judgment Day. They refuse to consider that, so they will believe what they know is foolish just to keep blinders on from seeing that day coming. All their arguments about “science” is just a fa├žade to cover the true motivation, which is unbelief.

What I appreciate the most about the Young Earth Creation organizations is their focus on Christ. Origins is just their angle of approach, but their target is Christ. You cannot hear a presentation from Answers in Genesis without hearing some form of a Gospel message. Ken Ham is so clear that the Gospel is his focus. And while some of his apologetics can miss the mark, his aim is always heading the same direction. He purposed to share the Gospel three times with Bill Nye in his formal debate with him back in 2014. When I went to the Ark Encounter, while much of it was focused on defending the plausibility of the Genesis account, the central focus is clearly on Christ and the cross. I have not yet been to ICR’s new Discovery Center, but when they came to El Paso for a conference last year, again, the Gospel was the end goal.

As Christians, we must present one message: Jesus Christ. While we may speak about origins, the reason must be to get to Christ. While we may speak about politics, the reason must be that Christ be glorified and that His rule is supreme. While we may speak about sports, the reason should be to enjoy each other and Christ. While we may speak about science, the reason should be to pick the mind of Christ, the active Creating agent of creation and of Whom and for Whom it is all made. While we speak about history, the reason should be to see what Jesus Christ was doing through that time period. Everything should ultimately be about Christ.

People are so confused about Christianity today because the organized churches are focused on just about anything except that which unifies the Church: Christ. Let us get back to Christ. In 2020, let Christ be our focus and our sole desire. If we get Christ, we get everything that comes with Him. While all His blessings come, so do all the sufferings. The sufferings are temporary, but the blessings are eternal. And the greatest blessing of all is to simply be with Him. Christ is the Message. Let us speak only that Message, and let Christ be who He said He was in our lives and in our world. Let 2020 be a glorious new year where Christ is more central than ever before.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


Psalm 146

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, December 23, 2019 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

Hallelujah! Today’s psalm, Psalm 146, begins the last collection of hallel psalms, named as such because they are full of praise to God and hallal is the verb for “praise” in Hebrew. It is likely that these praise psalms were used as part of the daily prayers for the people of Israel worshiping in the synagogue.

We do not know who wrote this psalm, though there are some theories. The Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) and the Latin Vulgate attribute Psalms 146 and 147 to Haggai and Zechariah, but most scholars believe there is not enough evidence for this authorship.

As expected, this praise psalm begins with simply praising God in verses 1-2. The psalmist both individually praises God and invites those around him to join in as well. He knows that his life is to be lived in praise to God at all times because God is the one who gives him life.

In verses 3-4 we see that committing to praise God means that we don’t trust in our fellow humans. While we should have some level of trust for other humans, they cannot save us as God can, and they are not as perfectly trustworthy as God is either. People may leave us or die at any time, while God is eternal and will be the same trustworthy God forever and ever.

Verse 5 shows us that we need to look to God, rather than people, as our true help if we want to be blessed by Him. Again, we need to put our hope in God who will never fail instead of people who can fail us.

So who is this that we should praise? Verse 6 tells us, “He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them — he remains faithful forever.” God is the creator, the one who made everything, just as the Bible tells us in Genesis 1 and Exodus 20:11. He will always remain faithful to us. He is truly worthy of our praise!

What does God do after the work of creation was completed? Verses 7-9 tell us that He sustains His people. The nature of God’s faithfulness is explained here. He upholds His people, feeds the hungry, sets prisoners free, gives sight to the blind, loves us, and watches over and sustains His people. The Hebrew text uses participles for all of these actions, which indicates that God continually does them. He is eternal, and He continues to sustain His people through all generations.

Finally, the psalm closes with another call to praise God in verse 10. We see that the Lord reigns forever. He will be our God for all generations of all people!

As we look forward to celebrating Christmas and the birth of Jesus this week, we need to continue to praise God for all that He has done in our lives. When this psalm was written, the world was still looking forward and waiting expectantly for the Savior who they knew was coming. Today, we can look back a couple of thousand years and see that the Savior has already come! He came in the person of Jesus as a baby, He grew up as both fully human and fully God, and He lived His life without one single sin so that we could be saved and live eternally with God. We live in a time where the promise of salvation has been fulfilled, and that is the best reason there is to praise God all the days of our lives.

Just as the people of Israel used this psalm and others in their daily worship, we can do that also. These psalms have a different meaning to us, being on the other side of the salvation event of Jesus’ death and resurrection, but we are still called to praise God in all that we do. As you’re gathering with family and friends this Christmas, remember the reason for all the celebrating - the birth of Jesus who fulfilled the promises that the psalmists were longing for. If they could praise God before, we can truly praise Him now!

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


I Came to Seek and Save the Lost

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, December 20, 2019 2 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Next week, many of us will be celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Last week, I wrapped up my series on characteristics of false teachings and tactics of false teachers. In between writing that series and working on a critique of an Old Earth Creation book in which the authors’ intention was to refute the possibility of a global flood (in my opinion, the 11 PhDs did a very poor job at it), I have been coming to realize something: exactly how lost the lost are.

We live in an academically charged society just as the Greeks were during the time of the early church. They are “educated” by the world’s standards, yet they truly know NOTHING. In this book I was reading, I noticed the authors directly quoting some Young Earth Creation comments and completely butcher them when analyzing them. As “educated” as these authors are, after all they have PhDs and have been working their fields for decades, I got the strong impression they literally cannot comprehend the Biblical Creation, even those among them who claim to be Christian.

I am not insulting these authors, though they typical response from them is to be insulted if anyone doesn’t believe them, but coming to the realization that they are lost. They don’t know any better. They are products of the world’s system, wise by the world’s standards, and God simply calls it foolishness. All their knowledge is not built upon the Word of God, even though a few of them attempt to give Him lip service credit after the fact. Their knowledge is built upon the world’s system and the world’s way of thinking which is naturalistic and anti-supernatural (being defined as not merely miraculous but also not having any input from God). In the process, God is instilling into me a pity for these people who were taught a methodology and worldview that is a complete lie. I have to ask myself: “Do I see these people as enemies who need to be removed, or as a harvest? Do I seek their judgment for their rebellion against God, or as prisoners of false teachings needing salvation?” That is part of what this Christmas season is all about.

Jesus had one mission while on this earth: to seek and to save the lost. He described himself as a physician coming to tend not the healthy but the sick. The problem is that so few of us recognize we are sick. Many who have any history in Christian circles knows that Jesus came to die for our sins, but so few of us really have a grasp of how wicked that sin really is. Sin is much more than just telling a lie, murdering someone with hatred, stealing from someone, or even having an idol in our hearts. It also includes any worldview that does not view things the way God defines them. If at any time we use the lens of man, be it on ourselves or our culture or whatnot to do something, it is not in agreement with God and that is sin. And no one, except Jesus Christ, ever had a completely 100% correct worldview. So that means every single person, except Jesus, has participated in sin, no matter how sincere they are or how “good” they are. Every person is not in complete agreement with God and that, by definition, is sin.

When a geologist looks at the rock layers in the Grand Canyon and proclaims that there was no global flood and this took place over millions of years, he is denying God the record He gave of our history and thus calling Him a liar. That is sin. It came from a sinful worldview, and no matter how sincere this geologist is and how honest he is being to his worldview, his sin in this matter is believing a lie instead of the Word of God. The same geologists get incensed when a Young Earth Creationist comes around and proclaims the Word of God as having the authority on ALL matters in which it speaks, including a historic record of a Global Flood. Why do they get mad? In a word: pride. Just like the Pharisees in Jesus’ time, the Greek philosophers whom Paul addressed on Mars’ Hill, and the idolaters who lost their business due to Paul’s preaching in Ephesus, these scientists get on the defensive because they cannot handle the idea that someone might believe God over them. Just listen to them. When you question their claims, they proclaim themselves to be the “experts” with a “How dare you question me?” tone.

If you know the truth, the truth shall set you free. Jesus came to rescue the lost, the sheep without a shepherd. He came to save us not merely from the fires of hell, but from the false, enslaving teachings, whether they come from the pulpits of the church, the pulpits of the classroom, or the science lab. Biblical Creationists have a singular goal in their apologetic purpose: to point people to the Savior. There is no point to believing in a 6000-year-old universe created in 6 days without also pointing to where it all leads: the cross. Jesus came to save the people and grant them true freedom – freedom to discern the clean from the unclean, the holy from the unholy, and freedom to live their lives as unto Christ instead of as unto the puppeteers of this world.

But Jesus came to do more than just to save the lost people from the false teachings. He also came to save those lost and teaching those false teachings. Jesus didn’t hang out with the Pharisees because He wanted to show Himself to be better than them and to prove them all wrong. He did prove them wrong on many occasions, but why? To save them, too. Nicodemus was one of them. But in order for Nicodemus to be saved, he had to be born again. For his case, he had to scrap everything he knew, start all over again, and start with one singular volume: Christ. Paul had to be born again too. While he was perhaps the most educated man of his era, he realized that everything he knew was useless, pointless, and no more valuable that dung, when he compared it all to Christ.

While in my mind I constantly battle unbelievers’ arguments, one thing I am asking God for is the heart to seek and save the lost as Jesus had. As I battle false teachings, it is difficult to separate the enslaved person from the enslaved teachings. On the other side of the world in Africa and the Middle East, children are being captured and trained to be “soldiers” for the armies, and they will kill because that is all they know. They don’t know they are being used as pawns by generals who care more for their own ideas than their children’s lives. The same is true in the academic world. Satan plays dirty. He deceives people to not merely believe a lie, but to believe it so much that they will defend that which enslaves and destroys them. They don’t know they are lost and need saving.

I am reminded of Richard Wurmbrand whom in Tortured for Christ tells his readers that if the Communist could be saved from Communism, they would not be such evil people. I want that mentality. If those in academia today could be saved from the philosophical naturalism that dominates their minds and see the Truth, things would be so much better, and we would not be having the complete moral breakdown we are witnessing today. Paul is such a good example of this: the most zealous hunter of Christians became the most zealous hunter for souls for Christ. Imagine if Richard Dawkins became authentically born again. The entire academic world would not know what to do. It would be even worse to the political world still panicking over Trump’s election. It would shatter the world and the worldview it’s placing upon people. Just look at what’s happening with Kanye West; both the secular and Christian world are reeling trying to figure out what is happening with him. The same happened with Paul at his conversion: both sides didn’t know how to respond. May God use Kanye should his conversion truly be genuine (as the signs are currently pointing towards).

Jesus came to seek and save the lost, from the starving poor of Africa, to the jungle warrior of the Amazon, to the suburbia of the U.S., to the elite scientists, and even to the politicians. Let us not forget that every one of us was or still is lost. Jesus’ comment about being a physician were not to suggest that there are some healthy and some sick, but that all are sick and in need of a doctor. I still need that Doctor, because I’ve not experienced full freedom from sin yet and I won’t until my time comes. I have to remember that the only reason I have not been enslaved by the deceptions in this world is because of the grace of God. It’s not because I “got it figured out.” Anything God gives to me is meant to be shared and that includes the truth and how God has been training me to teach others to trust Him. We are called to rescue the lost as the physical body of Christ. Next week, I’ll address how we do that: by declaring the one singular message God gave to us, Jesus Christ.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


Psalm 144

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, December 16, 2019 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

Unlike the lament we saw last week in Psalm 142, in today’s psalm (Psalm 144), we see King David’s confidence in God as a warrior. In this psalm, David both praises God and prays for His involvement with the nation of Israel.

As they often do, this psalm begins in verses 1-2 with praising God. The language and some of the imagery are similar to that of Psalm 18. There is definitely a feeling of being a warrior in this psalm, with these verses containing words like rock, war, battle, fortress, stronghold, deliverer, shield, etc. Battle was a big part of David’s life, and he knows that his obedience to God is the only reason why he has had success in that area. God promised David that He would protect him, and we see that God has kept that promise by giving David military victories over surrounding nations. David knows who God is and therefore comes to Him with boldness.

Knowing who God is leads David to knowing who mankind is. Verses 3-4 show that David is still humble in approaching God, in spite of the boldness we saw in the previous verses. David knows that mankind is nowhere near being worthy of God’s love and protection. We are simply God’s creation. He is all strength and we are weak. He is eternal and we are simply a breath or a fleeting shadow. But in spite of that, God still cares for us and still thinks of us. For more on that, check out Psalm 139.

In verses 5-8, the psalm moves to David asking for God’s involvement in the lives of Israel. David asks for God to come down as He did on Mt. Sinai, with smoke and lightning. David brings up warrior imagery, referring to God as the greatest warrior, who is always able to defeat David’s enemies. We know that God has power over His entire creation, and David is asking God to use that power in Israel’s favor to help them defeat their enemies.

After that battle imagery, David again turns to a hymn of praise in verses 9-10. David has such confidence in God’s deliverance that he is already singing a new song of praise to God because of it. He is confident that God will deliver him and give him victory.

Verse 11 is a repetition of verses 7-8. Its purpose is likely for emphasis that God will help David and the nation of Israel defeat the enemies that are around them.

The psalm ends in verses 12-15 praying for God’s blessing to come on the people. David isn’t just praying for blessings on himself and his own family but for God to bless all of Israel. He prays that God would bless their children, their crops, and their livestock, and also for their safety as a nation. All of this is summed up in the last line of verse 15: “Blessed is the people whose God is the Lord.”

That line still rings true for us today - we will be blessed when our God is the Lord. We as sinful humans have a tendency to put many other people and things in the place of God in our lives. But when our God is the Lord, the one true God who saves us, then we will truly be blessed. That blessing doesn’t necessarily mean that we will have all the material things and possessions that we want; it means that God will bless us in His way and in His timing.

The difficulties that face our lives today are different than what David faced, but our God is the same. Most people who are reading this are not commanding armed forces or ruling over a kingdom, but we still need God to guide us in the battles that we do face. We face battles every day in all of the choices we make. We have constant internal battles of choosing God over choosing sin. God will help us be victorious in those battles, but we need to rely on Him and on His power in our lives.

As David says, who are we that God is mindful of us? The answer is that we are God’s creation and He loves us. He wants to fight our battles for us so that we will always be victorious. Put your trust in Him as David did, praise God for who He is, and you will be blessed.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


Responding to False Teachings

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, December 13, 2019 1 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Over the last seven weeks, I have shared different characteristics of false teachings and tactics that false teachers use to promote their doctrines of demons. Let me quickly summarize these.

A false teaching has these characteristics:
1. It is a counterfeit of the true teachings of Biblical Christianity. It will look very similar but will not be a match.
2. It never points toward nor glorifies God as the primary. It will always point towards man’s education, man’s discoveries, the “revelation” given to man, etc. God may be given credit, but only as an afterthought, hardly a footnote.
3. It will promote some immoral act as being okay, acceptable, or good. The promotion of self is the major drawing card, using carnal means to feed carnal people.
4. It will deny the deity of Christ, the person of Christ, the work of the cross, or replace Christ with something or someone else. It will appear spiritual, but it will be without Christ and if all Christian references were to be stripped away, the teaching would hardly change.
5. It will appeal to the flesh and have some mix of pagan or worldly ideologies. Many take the pagan, worldly ideology and merely decorate it in Christianese.

A false teacher will tend to practice the following tactics:
1. They will quickly identify themselves as Christian to insert themselves into Christian circles.
2. They will demand tolerance for their ideas but will not allow for their own ideas to be challenged.
3. They may sneak in through secondary doctrinal issues to keep under the radar but all the while infiltrating the climate and changing it.
4. They may not be in church leadership but could be among the laymen and the congregation, promoting the teachings through a small group or committee.
5. They will twist Scripture to fit their agenda, ignoring the actual context in which it is used.
6. They will seek the approval and praise of man, even from those they know hold the truth, to validate their teachings, rather than be concerned with preaching the truth regardless of how people receive it.

This is nowhere near comprehensive, but it’s a valuable starting point in practicing discernment. So now comes the question: “Okay, I know how to identify true from false teachings, what should I do with it now?” There is a right to get angry that such teachings have gotten into the church, but the response must still be Godly. If you go through the book of Ezekiel, you’ll find that God gets ticked at false teachers who stole away the hearts of His people. That part hasn’t changed. But God hates with a perfect hatred, which means He deals with it the correct way. We must too.

God took false teachers so seriously that in Deuteronomy 13 He gave these instructions on how to deal with a false prophet. They are not to be listened to, not consoled, not housed, not pitied, not given mercy, not hidden nor protected. They were to be put to death. Makes you glad we live in New Testament times, right? But a caution – God is the same God. Jesus said it would be better for a false teacher to throw himself into the depth of the sea with a giant millstone tied to his neck then to lead a little one astray.

Another of the major false teachings in the American Church today is regarding the nature of God. Most people describe God as loving, soft, cuddly, but ultimately impotent. He’s only there to save them from their troubles, but not sovereign to take judgment over their sin. I did a whole series on “Another Jesus” earlier this year, and each one of these “other Jesus” models are false teachings that God will not take lightly.

But when we deal with these teachings, we must keep these things in mind:

1. Our battle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and principles, authorities of this world, and spiritual forces of darkness. Our battle is not against the men promoting these teachings, and that is NOT an easy thing to separate: the teaching from the teacher.

2. These people presenting these teachings have been deceived. They are being puppeted by the enemy to promote these things. We should seek to free them from the false teachings. Every time I talk with an ex-Evolutionist, an ex-Catholic, or an ex-Muslim, they don’t talk about getting educated or getting smarter to get out. They talk in terms of deliverance. So, I am preaching to myself, an intellectual type, to battle the spiritual forces blinding these people promoting false teachings, not the false teachers themselves. Because if they get saved, just like Paul did, they’ll turn around and preach Jesus and the truth.

3. While they are promoting false teachings, they must be treated as cohorts with the enemy. They cannot be trusted as friends. That doesn’t mean we hate them; it means we don’t trust them and we don’t let them into our circles. We witness to them. We share the truth with them. But we do not treat them as one of us, even if they claim to be Christian. Paul commands us to avoid them and have nothing to do with them. John told a widow to not show hospitality, something a Christian was commanded to do, to a false teacher because by embracing him, she effectively gave approval to the false teachings and thus would be partaking in his sin.

We will battle false teachings until Jesus returns and until the Deceiver finally meets his doom. We must stay vigilant and alert. Jesus warned that the false teachings would become more powerful and more deceptive as the end times approached. Some would be able to perform miraculous signs and do wonders (seen any TV preachers these days?). And if God did not shorten the days by intervening, the deception would be so powerful that even the elect, the truly saved, could be tripped up by them.

Apart from the grace of Jesus Christ, any of us could fall for these false teachings, so those of us who have some level of discernment must not get cocky. Romans 1 describes those being handed over to delusion for rejecting the truth. When any of God’s people interpreted a dream (Joseph, Daniel, etc.), they were quick to acknowledge that only God had the knowledge to interpret them. Likewise, only God has the full picture and knows the full truth. Therefore, only He can properly discern any true and false teaching. We MUST rely on Him daily, hourly, and even every second to protect us. This is life and death not just for you, but for all those around you. I pray through this series you learned the importance of knowing the truth, standing for it, and what happens when it is ignored. The Truth will never fail you, but a false teaching can send you to hell. Don’t be duped.

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Lead Me, Follow Me, or Get Out of My Way

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, December 11, 2019 0 comments

by Jason DeZurik

“There is only one thing God wants of us, and that is our unconditional surrender.” -Oswald Chambers

Please take time and read that quote again.

Truly pray, ask the Holy Spirit for guidance, and consider what this quote from Oswald Chambers really means in the big picture.

Admittedly, it can be hard to do this because instead of surrendering to God, so many people want to go their own way and do their own thing. Yet, in His actions toward us, there God is, being patient, grace filled, and being self-controlled. Since God is love(1 John 4:8), we can logically conclude that allowing people to go their own way, to make their own mistakes, to allow them to live out their God-given free will, and even to sin (though God does not want us to sin) and receive their own just natural law consequences (instituted by this loving God who is our Creator) is loving. Why? Because this is God’s example to us. It seems many people struggle with this idea, though, and seemingly some people want to take the place of God in others’ lives and they do not even realize it.

Think about it and please consider this.

Where in your life are you wanting others, who are adults, to surrender unconditionally to what you desire? Not to God’s desire but to your own. Do you know someone who tries to control others through their “offended” feelings, to manipulate another person to believe and do what they want that person to do? Friends, we need to understand that we are not God and that, more times than not, one’s feelings of offense really are nothing more than selfishness.

That brings to my mind another quote from someone I consider to be a great leader: “Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.” -General George S. Patton, Jr.

At first glance, this quote may seem rash or harsh, but it is really anything but harsh, in my opinion. It’s very honest and quite selfless if one is willing to consider the following.

This might be one of the toughest parts of the takeaway for me regarding this Patton quote: stay in your lane and know your role. If your leader (boss, employer, teacher, etc.) wants you to do something a certain way, do it without complaining. If you think you have a better way to do something and want to whine or complain or make excuses about their leadership, move on to other things and let that leader lead. As a follower (student, employee, etc.), you have a choice to make as well. You are not a slave in that relationship. You have a choice. Remember, if you choose to stay where you're at under someone's leadership, you are making that choice to follow, otherwise you're nothing more than a rebel and a problem. That stinks, I know.

But something else is on the horizon. If you are following Christ and doing your calling for Him, trust God! It’s not about you anyway.

One last thought: If a person chooses to not follow God, as long as their actions are not directly negatively impacting another person, I encourage you to let them go their way. Could another person be hurt indirectly? More than likely yes. But that is the result of living in a sinful world, is it not? Consider the rich young ruler: Jesus told him the truth and challenged him to go a certain way. The young man decided to do what he wanted to do and to go against God. Other than being selfish, why else would you or I or anyone try and force someone to follow God?

I will leave you with this question. If you really are about following Christ and His example, are you willing to follow His example with the rich young ruler, too? Are you willing to allow the natural law consequences that God has put into place to take effect?

More to consider:
1 John 5:1-5
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Mark 10:17-27

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Come Out of the Closet

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, December 10, 2019 1 comments

by Chad Koons

Someone has to say this: it’s time for you to come out.

You have been pushed around for too long; shame on them for making you hide in plain sight. The pressure is real, it’s been building, and I fear that it has changed us. It’s time to come out of the closet.

The Lie
The world has been lying to you. Hopefully, you haven’t believed it. Obscurely pointing to selective events within the life of Jesus, the world is trying to tell us that Jesus was universally accepting everyone and proclaiming a message of endless love without judgment. They are telling us that Jesus was also supportive of issues such as gay marriage, drug use, or other hot-button subjects of our day. And guess what? They are demanding that you believe this, too, and you are expected to adapt your beliefs accordingly. Their version of Jesus is a poorly constructed, easily unveiled lie. In under 2 hours you could read through the Gospels, and you would plainly read that Jesus had much to say on these issues, and that it’s quite clearly the opposite of what they are telling us.

There is enormous pressure to conform to their demands, however, and they will judge, slander, and persecute you if you do not do what they require. There is so much pressure in fact that we have created our own sect of Christianity just to accommodate them: the “Christian Left” is thriving now more than ever. Many Christians are facing persecution for the first time, which has made us uncomfortable and afraid. This fear has paralyzed the church and quite frankly has confused everyone. Who is the church anymore, and what should we believe?

The Coping Problem
How should a Christian cope with the pressure? While many of us have gone too far and become militant, many more of us have quietly gone the other way: straight into the closet. I hope that you catch my meaning here. To speak plainly, Christians are hiding who they really are while struggling to assimilate. We are hiding the hard truths of the Bible, seeking instead to portray a woefully altered, adapted lifestyle and message in hopes that they won’t exclude or offend anybody anymore. We have decided to agree with the ungodly culture surrounding us, sympathizing and figuring out ways to blend into it. We are listening to deceived teachers who claim to have progressive, “relevant” voices, boldly admonishing us to abandon old-fashioned Christianity with all of its dogmatic rules and antiquated 2,000-year-old notions.

Not wishing to offend anyone or to be judged as intolerant, much of the church has stopped proclaiming a message of repentance and has begun sharing this message of universal tolerance and acceptance, affirming sinful lifestyles without any of those judgmental bits. This “loving” message seems to be well accepted, so we continue to embrace it. If the Bible doesn’t agree with our new message, then we labor to reinterpret the Bible, twisting and manipulating it until it seems to affirm whatever sin we need it to. We are encouraging people to follow Jesus devoid of change, without the requirement to submit completely to His Lordship. Who needs rules, obedience, and struggle when all we need is universal love, right? If you stay in the closet, then this perverted message is what you are doomed to represent. Dear God, please wake up Your Church.

Coming Out
In this world full of confusion and fakes, people are starving for the real thing. Do you need some help coming out? The following will help you.

1. Realize that you’re not doing God any favors by adopting an acceptable message. God is making His appeal through you; don’t hide it. The Lord knows that His Word works. Simply present the Word of God and trust Him to work it out. He doesn’t need our help to make it acceptable.

2. Decide to be God’s first. You are not a puppet of this world. Loving God means doing as He has commanded 100%. You are His child, and He is to be obeyed before anything else.

3. Be proud of who you are as a Christian; it’s not a shameful thing. Own your faith and live it loudly and lovingly. People will respect you for standing up for your beliefs.

4. Come to terms with your own insecurities. You will be rejected, judged, and slandered. Expect it; Jesus was, too. Light will hurt the eyes of darkness. Please God and He will take care of you!

5. Understand that you’re not alone. Throughout history, the people of God have always stood out and have therefore endured persecution of various kinds. You are part of it.

6. Repent of your sin. Nothing can begin anew until the old has been broken off. If you are a closet Christian, repent before God and allow His newness to come!

7. Stay connected to other true believers. You will become like the crowd you hang out with, so find a group of Bible believing Christians and put down roots there.

Come out from among them and be separate, touch not the unclean thing, He will receive you!

What would happen if you came out of the closet? How would your world be different? Be bold. Be courageous. We are all waiting for you.

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Psalm 142

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, December 9, 2019 1 comments

by Katie Erickson

“I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble.
When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way. In the path where I walk people have hidden a snare for me. Look and see, there is no one at my right hand; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life.
I cry to you, Lord; I say, ‘You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.’
Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.” (Psalm 142)

Today’s psalm, Psalm 142, was written by King David “when he was in the cave” according to the introduction. This could refer to when he was pursued by Saul at Adullam (1 Samuel 22:1-4), or when he was at En Gedi (1 Samuel 24). Either way, it was not a happy time in David’s life, as evidenced by the lamenting nature of this psalm.

David’s lament begins in verses 1-2 with parallel statements showing David’s crying out to the Lord. The phrases of crying out to the Lord and lifting up one’s voice occur often in the lament psalms. These verses show us the tension between being in anguish and also depending on the Lord. We trust in God for His deliverance, but at the same time, we also experience the depressing emotions of being a human in this fallen world.

This idea continues at the beginning of verse 3 where we see that David is exhausted from the anguish he is experiencing. He knows that even when his body is weak, God will carry him through and sustain him. But even with God watching over David, that doesn’t mean everything will be great in life. He knows that people will still try to trap him - most likely referring to King Saul who was pursuing him and trying to kill him.

Even though he knows that God is with him and taking care of him, in verse 4 we see that David feels totally alone in this situation. He believes that there is no person who is standing with him and concerned for him. There is no refuge he can go to and be safe. The image of someone being at his right hand actually refers to a legal situation. To the right of a person would be where their legal council stood; David feels that he has no one to defend him or to fight for him in this situation.

But to contrast that, David recognizes in verse 5 that the Lord is his only refuge. God is the only one who is truly protecting and taking care of him in this situation.

In verses 6-7, David again cries out to God in his lament. He pleads for God to rescue him from this situation. The “prison” he asks to be set free from might refer to the cave David is in, or the spiritual anguish he’s going through, or more of a metaphor for our imprisonment to sin. Either way, he is experiencing anguish and knows that God can release him from it if He so chooses.

We may be in the midst of this holiday season where it feels like everything should be all happiness and joy. But, anyone who’s honest with themselves probably still has “down” times even in this holiday season - or maybe especially in this season.

Have you ever had a time of lament like David did in this psalm? As believers today, we too experience the tension between knowing that God can save us from any situation, yet He doesn’t always do that. We still have the effects of sin in this world, so bad things will happen to us and those around us.

No matter what happens in our lives, we know that God is watching over our way too, especially those of us who follow Him. That doesn’t mean that everything will always be jolly in our lives; we will still experience sadness, desperation, remorse, etc. But that’s why our faith in God is so important! When it looks like everything around us is failing, we can always trust in God to bring us through. The end result of any situation may or may not look like what we want or expect, but we know that it will be God’s plan and for His glory.

As we celebrate in this season leading up to Christmas, Jesus came into this world as a baby and He experienced all sorts of bad things so that He could ultimately give us eternal life away from everything negative! One day there will be no more lamenting but only pure joy when our faith in Jesus gives us the true and ultimate forgiveness that we need to spend the rest of eternity in God’s presence.

Whether you’re having a holly jolly Christmas season or if you’re experiencing sadness due to circumstances, be confident today in the joy that can only come from God.

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False Teachers: Tactics, Part 3

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, December 6, 2019 1 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Earlier in this series on false teachers, I warned that a false teaching will always seek the glory of man over the glory of God. That is another tactic of a false teacher: seeking the praise of his/her audience. When the Institute for Creation Research came to El Paso just over a year ago, speaker Randy Guiluzza closed out the conference with this statement in a Q&A session that I’ll never forget. He said this: “If I were on a pastoral selection committee, I would not ask about his stance on the Virgin Birth. I would ask about how he handles the fear of man. If he gets the fear of man part right, he’ll get the Virgin Birth part right.” I was like, AMEN!

But that gives another clue to the tactics and tips that false teachers use to sneak in and give themselves away. I had a PhD geology scientist approach me on this issue. This one was so good at showing me these tactics in this series. He started out by berating me for actually believing the Bible over secular scientific models (which are hardly scientific). I didn’t believe him, and then he started telling me he was a Christian and we were brothers in Christ. I have seen this man in secular groups talking just like an atheist and mocking his “brothers” right along with the God-haters. Then he wonders why I don’t believe a word he says.

He asked me this: “Do you know what the secular scientists think about you?” I knew his claim to be a Christian at that time. My response was, “Yes, I know what they think. I don’t care either. Welcome to Christianity.” He never responded to that and has reverted back to the same tactics and same game plan as though I never said a word. That’s typical of false teachers. They have a bag of tools they use to promote their false teaching. When they are refuted, they don’t toss the tool away. They just put it back in their bag and sometimes pull it out again in the same conversation. That’s the key with lies: you can’t be very creative and the story keeps changing. When you speak the truth, you have one story to work with and that’s all you need.

Here is the point though: false teachers need the approval of their audience. It does them no good if no one believes them. False teachers need followers. It helps them justify what they are teaching. A cult leader is a particular type of false teacher in which EVERYTHING must go through the leader as though he were God Himself or His representative. Every cult also has a tendency of having a sexually immoral practice. In a number of them, the cult leader will claim to have the right to annul marriages so he can have the brides. A false teacher, let alone a cult leader, cannot afford to have anyone challenge him/her because they lose their power over their followers. That is why it is a severe thing for someone to leave the Mormon church or the Roman Catholic church; it’s total rejection by the entire society that person knew. That’s not easy to walk away from.

False teachers go after the praise of man. They seek approval for what they believe. That is why I find so many atheists, Old Earthers, and Theistic Evolutionists coming to Young Earth groups and so few of us going to theirs. It’s as though they need to validate their own beliefs. Some have told me they come to “correct us.” If we were half as crazy and in denial of reality as they claim, they’d have no reason to come do that, because all we’d need to do is keep speaking and we’d be killing ourselves in doing so. Yet, they obviously think we are a legitimate threat if they have to come to us to “challenge us.”

Jesus faced the same thing, as did every true teacher. Those who hold to false teachings will come to challenge the true teachers on their turf. And because everything they do depends upon the reception of those they teach, they consider themselves colossal failures if someone under their tutelage gets away from them. This is no different than the Pharisees when Jesus and the Apostles came around. Wolves don’t like it when their dinner is stolen from them, yet we are sent as sheep to rescue other sheep from them.

True teachers are not concerned about who receives their message other than that they weep for the souls who reject it who will be going to hell. True teachers are not in it for a popularity contest. False teachers are. True teachers are only concerned about preaching the correct message and grieving over those who reject the message. False teachers need the praise of men and get angry when their message is rejected. True teachers get mad when the truth is distorted and false teachings are proclaimed as true teachings. This is not for their own sake, but because they love the True God so much as to not allow His name to be blasphemed.

Do we love God more than we love the approval of men, even if those men are our bosses, our politicians, or an officer with a gun to our head? I myself am far more inclined to believe those who give their lives for what they believe no matter the cost than people-pleasers. False teachers and politicians speak what they think their audience wants to hear, and then they turn around and do whatever they want to do when others aren’t watching. They truly care nothing for the well-being of their followers, only for what their followers can give them. That is one of the reasons John told an elderly woman to not house a false teacher, despite the charge for Christians to offer hospitality. If she housed him, she would give a message that she approved his message and would be held guilty of his sins as well. And when he left, she would be just another victim of his Ponzi scheme as he sought out another person to rip off.

Next week, I’ll wrap up this series with a summary of the tactics described here as well as what should we do when we encounter false teachings. It’s one thing to identify them, but what to do with those presenting these teachings is another issue.

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Psalm 139

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, December 2, 2019 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

I believe that our relationship with God is the biggest paradox of the Christian faith. God is the all-powerful, all-knowing Creator of the entire universe, and He is, of course, infinitely better than us in every aspect. Based on that, He should be unknowable to us - and to some extent He definitely is. But at the same time, this almighty God also desires to have a personal relationship with Him. He knows us more intimately than any other person ever possibly could, and that’s not because He “has to” as our creator but that He wants to as the loving God He is. It’s quite a paradox!

Psalm 139, which we’re taking a look at today, highlights that personal relationship between God and us, and the intimate knowledge that God has of us. The words that the psalmist writes are personal between him and God, but they apply to us as well. I’d encourage you to go read the entire psalm here before continuing on reading this post because it’s important to have the context of the whole psalm in mind.

The theme of verses 1-6 is that God knows His people. That’s not a knowing like I know someone’s name or maybe a few facts about them. This knowing is the most intimate kind of knowing that there is. God knows both our thoughts and our actions. He knows the words we’ll say even before we speak them! All of this knowledge is too “wonderful” for us; it would make our human brains explode. We can’t even begin to comprehend knowing any one person in that intimate manner, yet God knows us all.

God alone is capable of having this knowledge not only about a few people, but about every person who has ever lived, who is currently living, or will ever live! Just that fact alone should blow your mind, not to mention actually knowing every word or action of every person ever. Wow.

That shows us the paradox of our relationship with God. He is so amazing that He can have all that knowledge, and yet He still knows each one of us on such a personal, individual level that it truly is amazing.

We see in verses 7-12 that we can never escape God’s presence. Whether we go high to the heavens or low to the depths of the oceans, God is there. It’s not that the psalmist is trying to escape from God for some reason, but he is showing us the amazing presence of this all-knowing God. This just further shows us that God is so far beyond our grasp in His amazing presence and knowledge. God is absolutely sovereign and in control over all of creation; even darkness cannot overpower Him because He is light.

Now that we have established how well God knows each of us and His presence throughout the entire world, we now ask, for what purpose? What does all this mean and why does it matter?

Verse 13 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” We can be confident in God’s ability to know us because of how He created us. He didn’t just throw each one of us together without any thought, or create us like a copy-and-paste job, but He created our inmost being and knit us together in our mother’s wombs. That is a very intentional creating, showing how much God knows, loves, and cares for each and every person - even before we’re born.

What should we do because of that? We should praise God! Verse 14 says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” We need no other reason than to praise God but that we are created by Him. We know that God only does wonderful things, and because one of His actions was to create each of us, we know that we are wonderfully made. We should praise Him because of that. We can be aware of God’s presence with us and the amazing knowledge that He has about us, and the fact that He still loves us; for that God is worthy of all praise.

Verses 15-16 go into more detail about how God made each one of us. Even when we were not yet born and God was creating each of us, He already had a purpose for our lives. He had already ordained all of our days - as many or as few as we get to live on this earth - before we even lived our very first day.

In verses 17-18, the psalmist is again amazed at God’s thoughts and how He is so knowable but yet completely unknowable. God’s thoughts are way too magnificent and wonderful for mankind to comprehend. They would outnumber the grains of sand if we were to try and count them - which, of course, is impossible.

In verses 19-22, the psalm’s tone changes from one of thanksgiving, praise, and amazement to one of anguish. The Lord has been good to the psalmist, but people in the world have not treated him in the same way. He knows that God is good, and he prays that God would remove all of the evil from this world that is messing up God’s perfect creation. The psalmist goes into detail about how he hates those who hate God; he cannot even be in relationship with them if they are against His God, the God who created him and knows every intimate detail about him.

It is only because of his love for God that the psalmist hates those who are evil. He knows that the goodness of God cannot be present around any evil at all. Coming off of accusations of those who hate God, the psalmist asks God in verses 23-24 to help discern his motivations. The psalmist wants to honor God by following His will no matter what, even if that makes him change how he feels about those who do evil in this world. He knows that there is an “offensive way” and a “way everlasting,” and he desires for God to lead him in the right way.

How does it make you feel that God knows every intimate detail about you? He loves you so much that He wants to know you that well. The amazing, all-powerful God who created everything wants to know every little detail about us!

Do you believe that God created you, and every human, so intentionally that He knit you together in your mother’s womb? What is your reaction to this? Do you praise God for it and live your life in a way that honors His creation? God has a purpose for you; are you living it out, or at least working on discerning what that purpose is?

Are you following the way of the world, or are you seeking God to lead you in the way everlasting? God knows us, God loves us, and God will lead us as much as we will follow Him and be obedient to Him. I pray that you will realize even a fraction of how much God loves you and that you would truly desire to live that out every single day that God has ordained for you.

If you want to dig deeper into Psalm 139, I encourage you to check out the devotional book Known: A Journey Through Psalm 139 written by my good friend Katie Wolfe. As a fun bonus, it's a coloring book too!

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


False Teachers: Tactics, Part 2

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, November 29, 2019 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

I left off last week describing how a false teacher is going to insert himself into a Christian circle by declaring himself a Christian and doing everything he can to look the part. I’ve noticed that this tactic is sometimes used when the false teacher is challenged on what they are teaching. They start out by presenting their teachings by seeking a discussion and open floor session. But when called out when checked out with Scripture, they will be quick to say, “We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. This is just another way of looking at this secondary doctrine. Can’t we all just get along?”

Whenever you hear that type of thinking, you can be assured it is attached to a false teaching. It is extremely likely said person is not saved at all. I have seen this several times by the same person and then I have seen the tactic change. While in the same circle I am in, without realizing I am there, he starts out by first identifying himself as a Christian. It occurred to me the other day: How is it that people can blast me if I question the validity of someone’s claim to be a Christian when the teaching and fruit show anything but, but also expect me to believe without question their claim to be a Christian? A false teacher will seek to have it both ways. They MUST have their double-standards and they need us to be asleep so we don’t catch them on it.

These false teachers will demand open tolerance of differing opinions but will not let theirs be challenged. I had someone tell me she was open to hear differing opinions on her Facebook wall but to expect to be challenge on them. I asked if she was willing to have her opinions challenged and was met with total resistance. The door of tolerance is one way: their way. These people are just as dogmatic as they accuse us of being. But there is a difference between us and them: our dogmatism is based on a standard outside of us.

False teachers use a sneaky tactic by targeting “secondary doctrines.” The intended target is still Christ, but by attacking a secondary doctrine, it allows them to get in and then go after Christ. That is why the origins issue is so critical. In terms of salvation it is secondary, but as the tactic is to use a “less important” teaching to “allow grace in” all it takes is a little yeast to infiltrate the whole loaf. Cold air doesn’t need the front door to be open to chill a house, when an open bathroom window can do the same. Likewise, a false teaching doesn’t have to directly oppose Christ to be false and still deny Christ. It can come in through a secondary issue and affect how the whole thing works.

John Bevere in his book The Bait of Satan caught my attention on Jesus’ statement on being watchful for wolves in sheep’s clothing. It’s one thing to watch out for false teachers in the pulpit, but the far more dangerous ones are the wolves pretending not to be shepherds, but to be sheep. That is, in and among the laymen, among the congregation. The reason these wolves are more dangerous is because they are harder to detect and harder for the sound Christians to locate.

Because Biblical knowledge and discernment is rare to find in many churches today, these laymen wolves can infiltrate committees, small groups, and general discussions and slip in their false teachings while meeting little resistance. Frank Peretti showcased how this might show itself through his book Piercing the Darkness. A woman in the church was part of the prayer chain, so as the phone calls went through, this woman would start gossiping, all in the name of prayer, and got the church into a massive internal fight. This woman in the story was part of a Satanic group seeking to destroy this small church which was being used to establish a legal precedent against Christian schools. But this is an illustration of how this works. The false teacher will sneak in, plant themselves among a small group, and little by little work in false teachings through the small group, hoping it will spread like cancer. Once an unsuspecting member latches on to the false teaching, they began to spread it too. And without divine intervention, which comes when there is an intercessor on his/her knees in prayer, there will be little that can stop it once it gets going. Many church fights and splits take place because someone listened to a false teaching and it spread. And often the true culprit walks away without detection, only to repeat the process.

These false teachers, whether leaders or congregants, often will know Scripture, usually more than the average congregant in the church. But they will not use that knowledge properly. Some time ago, Worldview Warriors president Jason DeZurik was promoting the ministry on Facebook and showing people following how they could donate to the ministry. It wasn’t because we were in desperate need of funds per se but simply to show where to go to donate. We weren’t asking for money. But a woman approached us on Facebook and condemned us for our greed for doing that. She cited Acts 8 where Simon the Sorcerer asked to buy the Holy Spirit from the Apostles so he could do his show with more pizazz and power. Not joking. She seriously equated us presenting a method to donate to the ministry as asking to buy the Holy Spirit for our own selfish desires. Both Jason and I engaged her, and we didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Twisting Scripture is a staple tactic for false teachers. They will challenge the direct clear meaning, while inserting their own opinions about what the text should say. Among the clearest examples of this is in the Genesis “debate.” The Deep Time believers will always question the clear meaning of the word “day” and the clear genre of history of Genesis so they can insert their opinions about what the text says, when it says nothing of the sort. But they expect us to believe them without question because they have studied the topic.

That’s what a false teacher will do. They will come up with some kind of Scripture they twisted to use against us, when nothing of what we were doing as anything to do with the charges. One of my favorite uses of such Scriptures I’ve seen was when I read the book The Grand Canyon: Monument to an Ancient Earth. It’s written by eleven geologists, and a number of them claim to be Christian and in the endorsement page is the full quotation of Proverbs 18:17. They made the declaration that Young Earth models will sound good until someone else comes up and gives another testimony. I laughed HARD because when I read the book, I could not tell if they even had a remote understanding of what they were critiquing. In my opinion, it was terrible. And anyone who had any knowledge of Biblical truth and basic scientific knowledge would be able to read that book, apply that verse to these very authors and discover virtually none of it holds any water (pun intended). One of the authors confronted me on my Facebook page when I posted a not-so-pleasant ‘rapid-reaction’ to it and actually did more to make my case for me than refute me. This is another tactic by false teachers: they will demand one standard for you and not apply that standard to themselves. They are not willing to be held to their own expectations of us.

When we stand up to speak the truth, if we are going to preach it, we had best be living it. It’s hard for me to do that, because I know the theory so well, but it doesn’t mean I always know how to live it. I do not want to be a parrot of the true preachers, leeching off of them. I have to be pursuing God myself. If I am not, then I will be susceptible to a false teaching myself, because no person alive has 100% correct doctrine except Jesus Christ. Even the good preachers have something wrong with their teachings. But it will be clear if they are pursuing Christ or pursuing something else. This series is about how to discern between them. I’ll continue this more next week.

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Psalm 136

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, November 25, 2019 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

As we enter this week where we celebrate Thanksgiving, it’s quite appropriate that our psalm to dig into is one that focuses on being thankful to God. When I put together the list of psalms to write on this year, I didn’t intentionally put this psalm on this date with that in mind, so it still amazes me how God works in little things like this!

Psalm 136 is the last of the Hallel psalms (read more about those here) which focus on praise, from the Hebrew verb meaning praise, hallel. From a literary perspective, this psalm is clearly in the form of a hymn. It has a beautiful symmetry to it as well. It starts with an introduction, then moves to a creation hymn, then has two sections of a redemption hymn, then back to a creation hymn, then a conclusion. It focuses on how God continued to be involved in the lives of Israel, and how thankful they are because of that.

One of the great things about this psalm is the repetition throughout. After each phrase, it repeats, “His love endures forever” in the NIV. How’s that for emphasis! The phrasing of this repeated line is different in other English versions, however, In the NASB, it’s “For His lovingkindness is everlasting.” In the ESV, it’s “For his steadfast love endures forever.” In the NLT, it’s “His faithful love endures forever.” While these all have generally the same meaning, why is there such a difference in wording?

The reason, of course, is that this psalm (like all of them) was originally written in Hebrew, not English. The Hebrew phrase is literally, “ki leolam chasdo.” The ki is a preposition usually meaning for. The le on the next word is a preposition mean to or for, and olam is a noun meaning a long time, future, or eternity. These two words together gives the idea of “to the future” or “eternity.” The last noun is from the root chesed, which we don’t have a good English word for, but it conveys the idea of unconditional love, mercy, kindness, and goodness all wrapped up into one. The o on the end simply is a pronominal suffix meaning “his.” So all that to say, there’s some ambiguity when translating. All of our English translations are correct, even though they differ.

The psalm opens with an introduction of thankfulness in verses 1-3. In this introduction, we see that God is good, He is the God of gods, and He is the Lord of lords. While we as humans may think that there are other gods, or may place things in the position of God in our lives, He is truly the only one. He is the only one we should truly be thankful to!

In verses 4-9, we see the first hymn of creation. God is the only one who has done “great wonders” (verse 4). It then gives us a recap of the first 4 days of the creation narrative in Genesis 1, how God made the heavens, the earth, and the great lights. All the while discussing what God made, it keeps repeating that phrase - His love endures forever. He created everything out of love for us, His created people.

Verses 10-22 move on to the first redemption hymn. It starts out in verses 10-15 recounting some of the events of the Exodus, where God rescued and redeemed Israel from slavery in Egypt. It then moves on in verses 16-20 to discuss God leading Israel through the wilderness and striking down the kings of foreign peoples who stood in their way of the Promised Land. In verses 21-22, we see how that conquered land became Israel’s inheritance, their gift from God for being His people.

The psalm goes on to have another short redemption hymn in verses 23-24. Whenever Israel strayed from God, God remembered them and continued to redeem them. The Lord’s continually remembered Israel as a result of the covenant that He made with Abraham back in Genesis 15. God didn’t break His promise to them, even when they were continually disobedient to Him.

Verse 25 is another short creation hymn, sharing that God provides for His people. The psalm concludes with thanksgiving in verse 26 by saying, “Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.”

While those of us reading this psalm today did not experience the mighty works of God in the Exodus and are likely not biologically a part of the nation of Israel, this psalm helps us remember what God has done in our lives as well. What has God rescued you from in your life, like how He rescued Israel from slavery? Or, what are you praying for God to rescue you from? We need to remember that Israel was enslaved for many years before their rescue came, so God will not always rescue us in what we think is good timing.

This psalm also helps us remember that God is the one who created the whole world, including humans. He created us out of love, so we could live to worship, thank, and praise Him in all things. He gave us this world to live in and enjoy.

Most importantly, this psalm helps remind us that God’s love, His steadfast and faithful love, endures forever. His lovingkindness is everlasting. His love will never fail! Even when our lives may seem difficult (and maybe difficult is an understatement), remember that the writer of this psalm repeated that phrase about God’s love in every single verse. That’s how important it is to remember. Can you imagine telling a story, but every other sentence is reminding your listener of God’s love? That’s exactly what this psalmist did because everything that he wrote about God points to His love because God is love.

If you remember nothing else from this blog post, remember this one important thing all the days of your life: God’s love endures forever. We should always be thankful for that above all else.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


False Teachers: Tactics, Part 1

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, November 22, 2019 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

For any who are socially aware, who are able to read audiences and know what kind of reactions you will get, speaking the truth and calling out false teachings can be one of the most difficult things to do. That is an advantage and a disadvantage I have. I don’t pick up on social readings very easily, so as a result I will speak the truth even if it means being socially awkward. The downside is that can get me into trouble if I’m not watchful. Speaking truth requires tact, but not fear of how your message will be received.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve written about different false teachings and the characteristics they have. Over the new few weeks, I’ll be looking at the tactics that individual teachers use to get their doctrines across and into our circles. Now, I have purposed to avoid giving specific names in this series, but not out of fear. This series is meant to cover tactics and characteristics and I have only mentioned specific types of teachings and some examples to showcase how the tactics are being used. John Piper gives a good case for when to speak names and when not to. When addressing principles, there should not be a need to give names. But if a particular preacher is being an active threat to a given audience, then there is a time to address the name. That said, if you are going to name a name, you need to be familiar with what that name is saying by reading or listening firsthand to what is being said, so you can make direct comment on what is said.

For the next few posts, the tactics I am going to be addressing are predominately those I’ve seen being used, among a few others. Because the best deceptions are mostly true, they are going to look legit except there will be something off with them. If you are in tune with the Holy Spirit, He will let you know to be alert if something is off. It is not often the Holy Spirit will tell you exactly what is wrong with something, but He will give off that “Warning! Warning!” alarm that we know as our conscience. Whether you are listening to a sermon, reading a book, or talking with a friend, if you love the Truth and hear something that is false, you will have an alarm go off.

We are commanded to test the spirits behind every teaching that comes our way, not just the bad ones but the good ones too. We are to take every thought captive to the will of Christ Jesus, both good and bad. So, when we deal with any teaching, we must inspect it at the gate of the mind, frisk it, find out where its coming from, what its intentions are, and only allow in that which originates from God and will return back to God.

Jesus warned of wolves in sheep’s clothing coming to devour the people. We will know them by their fruit. A wolf may dress like sheep and attempt to talk like a sheep, but he can’t act like a sheep. He can’t help but drool when he sees his prey. Then he waits until the shepherd is away or distracted to pounce. As Christians, we are commanded to mark and identify who is speaking the truth and who isn’t. We are commanded not to listen to nor have anything to do with those who aren’t. We are not called to determine who is going to heaven or hell; we are only called to determine if the fruit is matching the claimed label of the tree.

We must first understand that false teachers are in our midst but they are not of us. They are not from within us. They are outsiders. When they leave us, it shows they never were of us. So, we must understand that false teachers are from an enemy camp. They are called spies. Sun-Tzu wrote a masterful book The Art of War and he devotes a whole chapter to the types and uses of spies. One type of spy is the double agent. A double agent is someone who pretends to work for one side when in actuality they are working for another. They have two primary jobs: to get information of enemy plans, positions, strengths, and weaknesses, and to plant false information amongst enemy troops so they think one thing while the enemy is plotting something else. The false teacher is a perfect fit for the double agent, someone who claims to be a Christian but works for the devil. Some of them started out from within us but were bought out with lucrative rewards. Others were sent in from the get-go. But when one works for the enemy, he has tell-tale signs giving himself away. That is part of what this series is for.

The easiest way for any spy and false teacher to get into the Christian ranks is through an open door. If a church is not being discerning and alert, letting just anyone in, a false teacher can get in undetected. If back doors are open or if there are side windows open, those make it easy for infiltration. But if there are security and guards are around, the false teacher must somehow convince the guards they are legit. How do they do this?

First, they identify themselves as Christians. They are quick to make sure we know they are among us and that we are brothers and sisters in Christ. Be watchful. This is not a game. I do not know a true, born-again Christian who has had need to announce himself as a Christian to a group of Christians. I will never meet one. Why? Because Christians can sense within each other a common spirit, bearing the fragrance of Christ. They have no need to announce to each other they are Christian. However, time and time again, I have seen false teachers declare themselves to be one of us and the tactic is to get us to lower our guard and let them in so they can start promoting their heretical teachings, poisoning and devouring the sheep.

You notice how true Christians have no need to go into non-Christian circles and declare themselves as a Muslim, or Hindu, or pagan, or drunkard, etc. While Hudson Taylor and C.T. Studd went to China and adopted the Chinese dress, they did not declare themselves to be Buddhist or atheist or Eastern mysticists to get into Chinese circles. We go into the darkness not to identify with darkness but to rescue people from the darkness. But the false teachers are hell-bent to get within our ranks to weaken the moorings and foundations so we will crumble from within. And most of the Christian church is sleeping at the watch. It’s a Trojan horse. The claim to be a Christian is a farce, a guise to get us to let them in. And as Judas did, they feign a friendship and intimacy with Christ all the while leading a mob to come crucify Him, betraying Him.

I’m out of space for now. We’ll continue this next week.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.