Learning and Living the God-centered life

One Biblical Doctrine at a time…
False Teaching

The "dangerous" prosperity gospel

We started over a year ago in our class on the basic doctrines of the Bible. And one thing that has been consistent over this past year is an understanding of the gospel.

We even had “The Gospel” as the theme of our first retreat back in May 2009. There seems to be two distinct extremes when it comes to the gospel today in America. The one extreme you will hear most about on this video clip is that God wants to make everyone rich and successful. But the other extreme never mentions pain, suffering, tribulation, take up your cross daily, wrath of God, the blood of Christ, sin, judgment and condemnation.

Our goal it seems is to have a comfortable God and a comfortable gospel that will allow us to be healthy, wealthy and wise. For this reason I have decided to include this video by Dr. John Piper on the the dangers of the prosperity gospel. If you have fallen into this trap or know someone that has please send them to our site.

Put on your seat belts and watch this video. Just click on this LINK. (may take a minute or so to load)

The "almost" gospel

I was thinking about our ongoing discussion regarding Bible doctrine. There are at least two things that Biblical teaching should provide:
1. It should guard us from Bible error
2. The other is to move us into the truth of God's word for our daily living
The reason I am hyped about “false teaching" in the evangelical church is because there is much of it today and the people who sit under it are being deceived. This year when we read through the book of Job here is a heads up for you to notice. Job has three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar who provide what they think is Biblical counsel for Job in his time of need. I challenge you to read their advice and try to separate out the good theology from the bad. The reason it will be difficult is because there is the good mixed with the bad but it is so hard to distinguish. But when you arrive at the last chapter Job 42 here is what the writer of Job informs us in regard to these three friends of Job.

Job 42:7 ¶ It came about after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has.

On that day God's wrath will be kindled against those who have not spoken the true gospel. We may think that a church is preaching Christ, forgiveness and sin so this means that the gospel is being preached. However when one starts to pull back the onion it is a gospel of moral improvement and what you get when Jesus comes into your heart. By the way as you have heard me say Jesus doesn't come to earth to fix our self image and no where is Scripture will you find the expression to ask Jesus in your heart. The expression you will find is Jesus Himself replaces your heart of stone with a heart of flesh.

Evangelical Malpractice

I spent the majority of my years in the business world in sales and sales consulting. My boss used to say regarding salespeople “a prognosis without a proper diagnosis is malpractice.”

As you read this article written by William MacDonald, one can see that many times as evangelicals we have been guilty of spiritual malpractice.

There is a curious problem today in the evangelical [and fundamental] world — one that poses sobering questions for the church and for the individual believer. The problem in brief is this: a great army of personal soul-winners has been mobilized to reach the populace for Christ. They are earnest, zealous, enthusiastic, and persuasive. To their credit it must be said that they are on the job. And it is one of the phenomena of our times that they rack up an astounding number of conversions. Everything so far seems to be on the plus side.

But the problem is this: The conversions do not stick. The fruit does not remain. Six months later there is nothing to be seen for all the aggressive evangelism. The capsule technique of soul winning has produced stillbirths.

What lies at the back of all this malpractice in bringing souls to the birth? Strangely enough it begins with the valid determination to preach the pure gospel of the grace of God. We want to keep the message simple — uncluttered by any suggestion that man can ever earn or deserve eternal life. Justification is by faith alone, apart from the deeds of the law. Therefore, the message is “only believe.”

From there the message is reduced to a concise formula. For instance, the evangelistic process is cut down to a few basic questions and answers, as follows:

“Do you believe you are a sinner?”
“Do you believe Christ died for sinners?”
“Will you receive Him as your Savior?”
“Then you are saved!”
“I am?”
“Yes, the Bible says you are saved.”

At first blush the method and the message might seem above criticism. But on closer study we are forced to have second thoughts and to conclude that the gospel has been over-simplified. Read More...