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Archive of ‘False Teaching’ category

The Interpretive Misuse and Logical Abuse of Matthew 7:1 “Thou Shall Not Judge!”

 

As you may know, Brittany Maynard took her life because of a painful disease. Three weeks before her suicide, I had written an open letter to her, which was mentioned in a CNN article. In response, a few chose to leave comments on this blog in support of Brittany and her cause, which is fine, as we are all entitled to our opinions. Since my audience is mainly Christian, it was interesting to get some non-Christian perspectives. However, a theme that reoccurred in these comments is also often found within the Christian community–the misuse of Matthew 7:1–both in its interpretation and the illogical use. Many people believe that this verse states that we are not to be critical, or that we are not to judge the opinions of others.

Matthew 7:1 – The Correct Interpretation

One commenter who accused me of judging wrote the following: “You’re essentially saying ‘I wouldn’t do what you’re doing, because I have faith in Jesus’, and then go on to accuse her [Brittany Maynard] of selling herself short and buying into lies. That’s a judgment.”

Yes, that’s a judgment. So is “I love rain”.

Is it the sort of judgment mentioned in Matthew 7:1? No.

Let’s look at that verse:

Judge not, that you be not judged.

Seems simple enough; let’s continue to verse 2:

For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

That also seems straightforward. Let’s read verses 3 and 4:

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’, when there is the log in your own eye?

Let’s stop here and unpack all this.

Jesus is addressing the religious influencers of that time, the scribes and Pharisees, who were judging the hearts of men and pronouncing final judgments on them.

In response to this, Jesus told them not to stop judging, but how to judge. He told them not to judge hypocritically or with wrong motives, and that they should deal with their sin issues first; and then help a brother or sister with their sin issues. We see this in verse 5:

You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

It is clear that we are to judge with the right motives and in love.

Let’s take a brief look at the remaining contents of this chapter. Included are:

  •  two gates – one leading to destruction and one leading to life
  •  false and true teaching
  •  the true way into the Kingdom

This tells us that further judging is needed–how else are we to distinguish between the opposites that are mentioned above?

Additional Scriptures support the call to judge between right and wrong: John 7:241 Corinthians 2:14-161 Thessalonians 5:21Romans 16:17John 4:1; etc.

Now that we know what kind of judging is wrong and what kind is biblically correct, let’s look at how this verse is further twisted and misinterpreted by many.

The Illogical Use of Matthew 7:1 – “Let Me Take a Moment and Judge You While I Tell You to Stop Judging”

I can hardly fault those outside the faith who do not study the Bible and who then go on to misinterpret Scripture; however, I can find error in the logical use of this verse. Due to the way that some commenters define judging–that I am judging simply because I voiced an opinion–they are “guilty” too of judging by telling me of their differing opinions.

Isn’t that like calling out a cheating card player, while you have an ace up your sleeve?

Or rather, isn’t this type of reasoning the hypocritical judging that Jesus told us not to do?

Friends, we are commanded to discern between right and wrong–so go on and continue to judge–biblically.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Pamela

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The False Christ of the Word of Faith Movement: Part 2

Preaching a False Jesus

(photos of Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn via Facebook)

In this blog post, I briefly discussed that the Word of Faith Movement denies Jesus’ deity by claiming the following: Jesus came to earth as a mere man, became God when He was baptized with the Holy Spirit, and stopped being God when He was on the cross. Jesus then went to hell for three days as a man to fight Satan and to pay for our sins that way; after that, He was born again when He rose at the end of those three days.

In that same post is a video in which Joyce Meyer teaches this ‘Jesus went to hell’ blasphemy.

Here are Jan Crouch, Kenneth Hagin, and Benny Hinn, teaching the same thing…and more.

(YouTube source)

Cults and aberrant movements have one thing in common: A false Christology (the study of the nature and person of Jesus Christ). For instance, Mormons believe Jesus and Satan are brothers, while Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Jesus is the archangel Michael.

Jesus said not only do we need to profess the name of the Lord, but also to follow Him if we are to enter Heaven. However, we must make sure we are following the right Jesus. We are warned in 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 that there would be false apostles who would preach a different Christ. Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

These teachers also proclaim Jesus stopped being God on the cross – that He died a spiritual death only. Scripture tells us He is divine. Jesus is eternal and eternally divine; He has never stopped being divine.

So which Jesus is the Word of Faith Movement professing, following, and looking to for salvation? It is clear that it’s not the Jesus found in the Bible.

It is my prayer that if you follow the teachings or teachers of this movement that you recognize that they pray to a different Jesus and that they serve Satan (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). The standard for testing truth is not the size of the teachers’ audience or because these teachers “speak to you” (2 Timothy 4:3). Scripture is the only standard for truth (Acts 17:11).

Let us rejoice in the true Jesus who paid for our sins, so we can have eternal life; and let’s be thankful God has made truth known to us.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Pamela 

 

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Are You Experienced?

“But first, are you experienced? Have you ever been experienced? Well I have…” –singer and songwriter Jimi Hendrix.

Referencing Jimi Hendrix on a faith-based blog may seem odd, but since my writings center around warnings and dark matter (evilness, not the gravitational effect), this is par for the course in my small corner of the blog universe. 

It is not my intention to point a condemning finger; seriously, the only reason I didn’t fall down this ‘experience’ rabbit hole is that I was too busy wrongly using apologetics to argue unbelievers into the Kingdom. But that’s another story for another post.

It’s common to hear that we should share our experiences as testimonies, because “no one can argue with that” or “no one can take it away”. Well, I can argue with that, and I hope to take away this line of thinking. I don’t disagree with sharing experiences; I disagree with only sharing experiences as a testimony. Subjective observations are not the Gospel.

Experiences in today’s evangelical pagan circle are multiplying at the rate of Creflo’s dollars. Trips to heaven, personal revelations, The Holy Ghost Hokie Pokie, healing crusades, monastic practices … it’s not difficult to understand how the usurping of Christ’s sacrifice by one’s experiences occurs in a testimony. Both the “we are little gods” mentality and eisegesis have contributed to a me! me! me! frenzy resulting in a Selfie Seeker Movement.

Three Examples of How Using Only Experiences Can Backfire

1. Experiences are not unique to Christians. 

When I was a practicing New Ager and occultist, I had many experiences. I believe Satan wants worship, not only through believing in his various schemes, but also by participating in them. Seances, tarot card readings, transcendental meditation, casting spells, etc., usually result in some sort of experience. In fact, if mystical experiences had ceased during this period of my life, I probably would have given up the whole belief system on that basis alone. The peace and connection I felt to a “Cosmic Consciousness”, combined with supernatural experiences, trumped anything that traditional religion could offer. Satan hands out experiences like a pedophile doles out Smarties. He’s quick to reward an outstretched hand to those wanting more than the sure Word of God.

2. Truth has become subjective.

Have you heard “That might be true for you, but it isn’t true for me”? Others can’t take away your truth experiences; ipso facto, you can’t take away theirs. 

Or what about, “Well, God has given me comfort, and I’ve been through a lot of things.” It is such a blessing to experience God’s comfort and strength; however, people experience comfort through many things that do not involve Jesus; everyone worships something. If comfort is the means and the end, many already think they have that covered (Philippians 2:21). Additionally, if comfort is the carrot that is used to lead the horse, many may end up drinking out of the trough of the prosperity gospel.

3. Seeking an experience alone can lead to a false conversion.

Kendall Hobbs, a self-described former Christian, details his many Christian “experiences” within his testimony. There is much of his testimony that I experienced as well. I was granted the knowledge and truth of Jesus Christ and salvation, but it was not until many years later that I was granted repentance. Paul could have been talking about me when he wrote 2 Timothy 3:5. So while I cannot judge the state of Mr. Hobbs’ heart, I can certainly sympathize. From what I gather, he did all the “right stuff”, but the deep sorrow over sin and life-changing repentance are what’s missing. 

Are you experienced? Or are you saved from the wrath of God? When you are evangelizing, please remember to share the gospel along with your experience.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Pamela

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The Diva Deception

 

When you hear the name “diva”, what comes to mind? Demanding celebrities? Self-obsession? Unbecoming behavior?

According to Wikipedia, the term entered the English Language in the late 19th century and is from the Italian noun diva, a female deity. UrbanDictionary.com has some unflattering definitions (that I won’t link to due to foul language, which I’ve omitted) that include:

   1. A female hustler.

   2. A (expletive) woman that must have her way exactly, or no way at all. Often rude and belittles people, believes that everyone is beneath her and thinks that she is so much more loved than what she really is. Selfish, spoiled, and overly dramatic.

   3. A diva is a female performer, usually an opera singer, who is extremely talented but very imperious and temperamental. But the distinguishing factor is that her talent permits somewhat uncouth behavior. A diva is not necessarily difficult to work with, she is just very professional and has a low tolerance for incompetence.

In the occult, a diva is a witch.

It’s not surprising in this celebrity-obsessed culture, saturated with self-entitlement, that those of the world would take pride in being described in these ways; however, that Christian women would willingly clothe themselves with this title of “goddess” and run after narcissistic identity are disappointing. This google search of Christian divas shows how popular this epidemic is.

Within the Christian arena of over-spiritualizing, waiting for God to talk to us personally, for God to talk to us personally, and personalizing God’s Word to change your life, this egomania is just one pathosis (a diseased state) along the slippery slope to proclaiming one’s own status as God.

This diva disease is not biblical. Can you imagine Mary or Ruth calling themselves divas?

Let’s stop glorifying the reflection in the mirror, and let’s rather reflect upon who God says we are:

       I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

Soli Deo Gloria,

Pamela

 

 

 

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“You’re Going the Wrong Way!”

Warnings to Christians about errant scripture interpretations

 

Yesterday, as I was driving to an appointment, I was on ‘automatic’ as I was praying to God, (ironically, about this blog), when I realized I was going the wrong way. Ninety-nine percent of my driving route takes me down three different roads to the highway, so this veering off in the wrong direction was no surprise.

Naturally, when I’m lost and up against time, Steve Martin and John Candy come to mind. This quote from the movie Trains, Planes and Automobiles resounded in my mind again yesterday. 

Indeed I was. I exited off the highway, which sent me into unfamiliar territory. I entered my destination on the GPS, and I was rewarded with “Turn right and stay on Kingston Road.” Yes, stay on Kingston Road. No veering to the right or the left. I eventually reached my destination with 10 minutes to spare.

This episode perfectly describes my experiences when I used to accept many errant Scripture interpretations. I blindly welcomed them from well-meaning Christians and those in leadership without examining the verses myself (1 Thessalonians 5:21). One example I misused was Matthew 18:18, “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven”*. I was binding and loosing everything. Who kept loosing Satan when I had just bound him? The nerve!

 

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Just as I was operating on automatic yesterday, how many sisters in Christ are also operating on automatic (as I did yesterday) when it comes to what they believe about Scripture? I too thought I didn’t need to examine and test what I thought was true. I assumed I had the correct meanings and was heading in the right direction.

My arm-waving warnings to some Christian women regarding the need for discernment has been met with no response at all or with, “Oh I know. I’m just doing my best to bring the kingdom of Heaven to earth”. If it’s not dominion theology, it’s another false doctrine; these dear women automatically assume they are going the right way.

Sometimes, some respond by saying that I am wrong to question teachings and that I am off-base.

 

 

During a discussion about false teachings and a woman whom I respect, a dear sister from Naomi’s Table reminded me of the importance of prayer. I am grateful for the reminder, or I might have jumped into the situation waving a sword in each hand. I would have been devoid of gentleness, kindness, and guidance. I needed the reminder that ultimately it is God who brings truth (John 16:13) and repentance (2 Timothy 2:25) and it is He who frees us from the lies of this guy:

 

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While I hope that every shout of “You’re going the wrong way!” results in an examination of beliefs, there comes a time when I simply need to lower my waving arms and bring them together in prayer.

Now that I’ve stretched the analogy to its breaking point and butchered the scene of this movie, here’s the full clip for you to enjoy.

 

 

Soli Deo Gloria,

Pamela

*The correct interpretation of binding and loosing refers to church discipline

 

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A Cautionary Tale Arising Out of Mysticism

A Cautionary Tale Arising Out of the Ashes of Mysticism

Jane Doe

It wasn’t until her last breath that I knew her destruction was certain. You see, I can never be sure if my tenacity and hard labor will be rewarded. At times, my adversary intervenes and His people flourish, despite which arrow I shoot at them, while other times, He leaves them to their own devices. Why He does this perplexes me. After all, I’m not God. Well, I suppose you know that, hearing of my misadventure. I believe you refer to it as “The Fall”. Merely a mild setback, I assure you.

Now, where was I? Ah, yes, my latest victory. What was her name? Beth? Rachel? Joyce? Trivial matter, really. I’ve destroyed many Beths, and Rachels, and Joyces. And Emilys, Kellys, Annes, and Marys…I really should have kept a list of names. I’ll call this one Jane Doe for the time being.

I simply must tell you how I defeated Jane and how so very clever I am! The Holy book she babbled on about mentions my craftiness many times. So often in fact, you would think Jane would have kept alert to my various deceptions! I was privy to her numerous readings of the proverb which warns of turning to the right or the left. Indeed, a valid warning. Go off the narrow path and I will toss you to and fro and carry you about by every wind of doctrine.

You must understand that your race is never satisfied and always wants more. So, I grant you choice. Philosophies, cults, religions, and –isms; I offer clouds without water which promise much but deliver nothing.

Where was I? What a time I am having! Time is short and the end is near. There is still much work to be done! I fear I am appearing as confusing as my doctrines, swaying this way and that, swirling about with no foot hold in sight.

Ah, dear Jane. See, while she was regarded as a “Godly woman whose lips were always adorned with the name of Jesus”, I knew better. I knew her foundation was built on sand, and the seeds cast to her met stony ground. Biblically illiterate, theologically barren, and terribly undiscerning, she was an easy mark.

I’m sure you’ve heard my rumor that man cannot know truth. This one tickled Jane’s ear. This, truly, is one of my masterpieces. The world was done searching for truth outside of God. I needed a new lie. See, if you believe you cannot know truth, the logical end is ambiguity, uncertainty, tolerance, and acceptance of everything.

What surprised me most…oh this makes me giddy with excitement! What astounded even me was the eagerness with which this was welcomed by Jane’s Laodicean church, thereby resurrecting my all time, personal favorite, “Hath God said…?” I’ve led so many astray with that doubt. Jane began to believe the Word of God was no longer relevant, clear, sufficient, or complete. Never realizing the power of Christ, she gobbled up every man centered-self esteem-pop-psychology-self help fad out there! False doctrine laced with misapplied scripture verses were already thriving in the Christian marketplace. All I had to do was plant wolves in sheep’s clothing in her midst and let the inevitable happen.

Jane went right. Then she went left. Then back and forth so many times, the narrow path soon became a wide vista. The name of Jesus became a mystical chant with no personal importance or meaning. She glorified mystery over the sufficiency of scripture. I gloated as I watched her flounder from one pagan practice to another.

You might think this is much to do about nothing, but the warnings are clear. To my chagrin, the references to false teachers in the New Testament are plenty. But, I do have my victories.

You have been patient with my chattering, so I will offer you one last admonition – despite the fact I’ve already revealed too much. Eternal life will only be composed of what is left which will be right. That will not include my diversions. Be alert, as I do not concede defeat with you yet.

I have enjoyed my time with you and while I would love to stay and regale you further with my genius, I must go now. I am hosting a party which I have been anticipating for quite some time. Truthfully, it’s a celebration!

For you see, today saw the death of Jane.

 

Soli Deo Gloria

Pamela 

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Unhappily Ever After

 

A Cautionary Tale Arising out of the Ashes of the Word of Faith Movement:

Once upon a time, in the Garden of Gethsemane, a man named Jesus Christ fell on the ground to pray to his Father. He was greatly troubled about His death that was to happen the next day, and just as he was about to ask if there was a way out of it, he remembered hearing a sermon from leaders of the Word of Faith movement. They taught that people could create happiness and success because they are a god. Jesus, actually being God, decided He wanted to be happy. He walked away from the cross and nobody lived happily ever after. The end.

Soli Deo Gloria

Pamela

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