Invalid reasons for staying in a church you know teaches false doctrine

By Rick Becker   22 March 2018

When the scales of deception are removed from their eyes, many find themselves in a dilemma.  They realise that the church that they love, attend, and where they were possibly even saved, teaches false doctrine.  False doctrines such as word of faith, the prosperity gospel, dominion theology and of course the unhealthy mixture of all three found in the New Apostolic Reformation are working their leaven in the visible church.  Furthermore, accompanying these false doctrines are false practices and manifestations.  Individuals are torn in two.  Should they leave? or should they stay and attempt to navigate the spiritual minefield that  they find themselves in?  This post looks at invalid reasons that some use to justify their refusal to walk away from a poisoned well.

If you are not familiar with the false doctrines mentioned above, here are some examples of people and ministries that teach them: Bethel church (Bill Johnson & Kris Vallotton), Hillsong (Brian & Bobbie Houston, Carl Lentz), Randy Clark, Lance Wallnau, Todd Bentley, Georgian Banov, Heidi Baker, Joyce Meyer, John & Lisa Bevere, Christine Caine, Rick Joyner, Patricia King, Cindy Jacobs, Chuck Pierce, Craig Groeschel, Rick Warren, Paula White, T D Jakes, Steven Furtick, Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Todd White, Beth Moore, Bill Hybels, Andy Stanley, Mike Bickle, Ann Voskamp, and many more. In South Africa – CRC churches (At Boshoff) Breakthru Life church (John Crumpton), Rivers church (André Olivier) River ministries (Andre Roebert) Oasis Christian Church (Sarel van der Merwe) Christian Family Church (Theo Wolmarans) and many more.  If your church uses material from any of these folk or promotes them in anyway, you should be concerned! 

The following  reasons are not legitimate reasons to stay in a church that teaches false doctrine:

1.  I’ll simply ignore the bad teaching – eat the meat and spit out the bones

To put it another way – don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.  There is no biblical mandate for this argument.  Those who teach contrary to the gospel need to be marked and avoided, not marked and ignored. “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them Romans 16:17
In his letter to Timothy, Paul explains that someone approved by God “rightly divides the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15)  He then gives an example, of two teachers who did not rightly divide God’s word: Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some.” (vs 18)
Finally, Paul tells us what our response should be: “But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.” (vs 19)

By sitting under a pastor who twists the word of God, you are submitting yourself to someone God has disqualified and submitting yourself to someone who is responsible for damaging the faith of their followers.  You pastor should in fact be the one rebuking those who teach false doctrine. He  must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it  Titus 1:9

The church at Thyatira was rebuked fortolerating that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants..” Revelation 2:20.
We must avoid the irreverent babble of those who distort the word of God to suit their own carnal appetites. False teachers need to be silenced, not supported:For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party.  They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach” Titus 1:10-11
A ravenous wolf has nothing to offer you:  they come to steal, kill and destroy.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking the situation is static in the sense that the current level of false doctrine will remain constant.  It begins with singing Hillsong or Jesus Culture songs, and before you can say “heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss” your pastor will be introducing the doctrines of Hillsong and Bethel.
Soon your leaders will find it necessary to attend a Bethel or Hillsong conference, and then new materials and courses such as sozo or a school of supernatural ministry will be introduced.  You will probably observe new terminology coming from your pulpit, as new teachings come with some catch phrases.  These words, for example, accompany NAR teachings: “shift, alignment, presence, atmosphere, impartation, acceleration”

God’s word is ignored or twisted beyond it’s original meaning, resulting in progressive error:while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.  But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom  you learned it  and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.   All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,  that the man of God  may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:13-17

2.  I’ll just stay and be a witness

That may work for a short while, but at some point you are going to be accused of “sowing division” and your “rebellious spirit” will be dealt with by your leaders.  Your first port of call in any case should be your leaders.  A meeting with them, explaining your concerns, will quickly determine whether your discernment is appreciated.  There were no undercover believers in the early church; they broke away from the various sects and teachings of the pharisees.  If you want to be a testimony then you need to leave and have no fellowship with darkness.  Those who are interested in truth, will come and ask you for the reasons you left and that will be your opportunity to present the truth.  

3.  I have family members in the church; if I leave I will offend them

This is a difficult case, but one that Jesus warned about: Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.  For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”  Luke 12:51-53
You have the advantage of spending time with your family members and giving your reasons for leaving.  I realise there may be some complications, but ultimately your leaving may be the catalyst for their eyes to be opened.  You may offend them if you leave, but you won’t be offending God.  What is offensive, and indeed unloving, is to stay silent when doctrines that may shipwreck the faith of your family members are not addressed.

You have a duty to warn your family and friends.  They should not feel at ease among enemies of the cross.  “I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.  Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.”
Acts 20:29-31

4.  I stand to lose too much

The opposite is true; you stand to lose much by participating in any ministry that has swerved from the truth, and is deceiving people. Many are heavily invested in their churches.  Apart from the possible loss of friendships that are dear, there are other factors that may come into play. A church I attended had a “business directory” for church members.  We were encouraged to support the businesses of church members, nothing wrong with that.  Some may however find themselves in a situation where their business is largely dependent on the support of fellow church members, or even the church itself.  The choice then is simple – God or mammon. The same God who leads us out of deception, will provide for our needs and make a way when disaster seems imminent.  Your spiritual welfare must be prioritized above any earthly concern.  You can never lose when you obey the word of God.

5.  Despite some bad doctrine God still moves

We need to clarify what “God still moves” actually means.  By this argument, people are usually referring to signs and wonders, testimonies from people in the church, or perhaps their own experience.  I’m sure you have heard  similar expressions such as these: “the presence of the Lord was so strong during the service” or “there was such a powerful anointing during the meeting and Holy Spirit was present.”  When subjective experiences take precedence over the word of God, we are dealing with mysticism, not biblical Christianity.  People falling over backwards, gold dust appearing during services, rain falling during a prayer meeting, fire tunnels, goosebumps during worship, and even signs and wonders are not evidence of God moving.  These last days will include many signs and wonders, but they won’t be a result of God moving, but of deception:
 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” Matthew 24:24

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,  in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
2 Thessalonians 2:9-11

In another scenario, people may actually have been saved or even healed in the church they now realise teaches false doctrine. Perhaps the church started off well, but gradually succumbed to the ear tickling doctrines of demons, or perhaps the church has always been rooted in NAR and other false teachings. Be thankful God is his mercy and grace has saved or healed you in spite of people, not because of them. God saved you, God healed you, be faithful to God!  

6.  I will be without a spiritual covering

You have not been under a spiritual covering in the first place.  The “spiritual covering” that false teachers offer is nothing but a means to manipulate and control their followers.  There is no mutual submission to one another in their vocabulary.  False teachers serve their own appetites, and to get what they want, they will dominate if they have to. True shepherds lead by example with pure motives: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly;  not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock”
1 Peter 5:2-3

We are still experiencing the influence of the heavy shepherding movement of the seventies and eighties, and the fear instilled in many due to “covering” teaching remains.  Those who experienced this will know what I’m talking about.  In some cases leaders had such control over those under their authority, that they had the power to determine who your spouse should be, where to live, and what work to do.  If the leaders did not “have peace” or managed to find a scripture in Jeremiah for example (wrest out of context) contradicting your choice, you had little option but to submit to them.

Teachers like John Bevere, are still promoting this aberrant doctrine.  This is a long quote (from one of our previous blogs) but worth repeating: “Another book by Bevere – Under Cover, promotes a pyramid model or hierarchical leadership structure in the church, the very thing Jesus and Peter warned about.  It’s an abusive pastor’s dream reference book, as Bevere basically equates submitting to your pastor with submitting to God.  A far more appropriate title would have been “The Untouchables Manual For Ultimate Manipulation Of Sheep.”  Based on faulty exegesis of Romans 13 which applies to civil authority not church authority, Bevere exalts church authority to a level condemned in scripture itself.  Bevere believes that if we oppose God’s delegated authority, we oppose God Himself.  The consequences are severe: “Not only does it place us under the judgment of God, but it grants legal access to demonic powers. If we want to remain obedient to God and ,we have but one choice when it comes to delegated authority – submission and obedience.” p88
And it gets worse: “Our provision as well as protection could be blocked or even cut off as we disconnect ourselves from the Source of true life”

In a conversation with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit said to Bevere:  “John, if I intended for every believer to get all his information, wisdom, and direction only from prayer and communion with Me, then I’d never have instituted authority in the church. I placed authorities in the church with the full intent that My children could not get all they needed just from their prayer life. They would have to learn to recognise and hear My voice through their leaders as well. p147

God did place leaders in the church; not to dominate people but to instruct them through rightly dividing the word of truth, and setting an example through servanthood.  Furthermore, we are commanded to test all things. The Bereans were commended for comparing Paul’s teaching with scripture (Acts 17:11)   Bevere makes no distinction between leadership under the old covenant with that of the new.  His frequent use of old testament authority examples are out of context and he comes to this shocking conclusion: “..when God places His authority on a person, no matter his private or personal behaviour, we may still receive if we look beyond it and honour him as sent from God” p116
This is in clear contradiction to scripture: “appoint elders in every town as I directed you –  if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination.  For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.  He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” Titus 1:5-9

According to Bevere’s teaching, if your pastor is a drunkard, abuses people in his congregation and teaches false doctrine, your job is to submit: “To resist delegated authority is to resist God’s authority. We should not take upon ourselves the pressure to discern beforehand whether leaders are right or not. Nor should we judge after the fact. This is not our burden, but God’s. He alone knows and can change hearts as He so desires.” p147″

The same teachers that want you to be accountable, are accountable to no one. They live in comfort, concoct a new revelation at will, and have established themselves as an intermediary between God and their followers.  Our head is Christ, and he has given his body gifts in the form of pastors and teachers to mature us in the faith.  These leaders need certain qualifications according to scripture.  Their lives need to be an example, and they need to rightly divide the word of truth (life and doctrine).  Jesus Christ is your covering, and while we need to be in fellowship, remain accountable and submit to one another, leaving a church that teaches false doctrine is being obedient to your head – Christ.

7.  I play a valuable role in the church

All the more reason for you to leave, especially if you are in leadership.  You may be the secretary, lead the worship, teach a bible study group, or as in my case even be one of the pastors.  You might think you will let people down, and the thought of leaving can cause a sense of guilt and betrayal.  This is when you need to step back, and examine the situation in the light of God’s word as well as from an eternal perspective.  When you leave a church that teaches false doctrine, you are playing a valuable role!  Your actions alone will be a powerful testimony.  You have made a stand for the faith and you are refusing to betray the word of God.  Rather be guilty in the eyes of carnal men and women, than stand before God and give an account for compromise.  Your choice  is between: contending for the faith, or remaining content with a distortion of the faith.

8.   There is no alternative nearby

This is a reality for some, and it’s not just a problem for those leaving a particular church.  People live in isolated areas all over the world and others live in communities with hardly any believers.  Using the “no alternative” argument to remain in a church that teaches false doctrine is choosing to support a false teacher.  At times, we are simply not aware of any alternative churches because we are still looking for a denomination or movement that we are familiar with.  It may take a while to find a fellowship with good sound expository teaching and a body of believers that will encourage you in the faith. God has not forsaken you;  you have forsaken false teaching.  Keep that in mind if you find yourself in limbo as far as finding a fellowship is concerned.  Many people I speak to in South Africa, have unfortunately at some point come under the spell of Bethel church.  Even though they are in a church, Bill Johnson has been teaching them. You know what I’m getting at:  modern technology.  There are literally thousands of good online resources at our disposal.  Not having a home church is not the same thing as not growing in your faith.  Study the word of God, pray, and if possible find fellowship with others who may be in the same predicament: “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25

In conclusion, if you know that your church is teaching false doctrine (NAR, word of faith, prosperity gospel, seeker sensitive and other forms of false doctrine) there is no valid reason to stay.  If your church has started introducing these doctrines and promotes any of the teachers mentioned,  you should set up a meeting with your pastor.  Be prepared and make sure you are able to articulate your concerns.  Prayer is part of preparation.  You are not going in to attack an individual, but are going to test their teachings. You should mention specific teachings that you find to be contradictory to the word of God, and give examples.  A pastor worth their weight in salt will want to hear what you have to say.  As an overseer they should be concerned for you, and as a teacher of God’s word, they should be only too happy to let God’s word in context be the arbitrator.  If they ignore your concerns, they will in all probability begin the slippery slope that leads to delusion.

Flee from pastors and churches that do not preach the gospel.  You have nothing in common with an enemy of the cross.  You have no business fellowshipping with those who are “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.”

Come out from among them and contend earnestly for the faith!  Resist, rebuke and run from those who distort the faith.

 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel –  not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.  But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8-9

 

 

 

 

 

 

40 thoughts on “Invalid reasons for staying in a church you know teaches false doctrine

  1. I had to do this a few years ago, I fell into all the categories you listed. It was a very difficult thing, your words of advise are spot on! Thank you for your love of the body of Christ! I now have to drive nearly an hour away to church, but the timely tested ancient truths are taught.

  2. We witnessed our church sliding into the seeker-driven practices and New Apostolic practices. When we spoke with the pastors about it was as though our words were never considered. There was such a strong momentum by the church leaders to implement the new ideas and practices that any questions were ignored and anyone raising the questions were marginalized and eventually left the church.

    The church is now filled with those who like and agree with the changes. the spiritual depth of the congregation is now very shallow. Those with spiritual maturity and depth are no longer attending the church. It was amazing, painful and scary to witness the church leaders eagerly introduce the practices and doctrines, and then defend them as biblical. Equally amazing and painful was the way those who asked legitimate questions were ignored and pushed out of the church. It was a “it’s our way or the highway” mentality. Thankfully. many chose the highway over compromising their faith.

    • Hi Kevin, this is sadly a pattern being repeated all over the world. The fact that many came out in your case is encouraging! Thank you for warning your leaders, unfortunately for them they are going to be held accountable, unless they repent. Thanks for sharing your story!

  3. I was brough up on sound Baptist. Doctrine. My late parents were medical missionaries. In one of the dozens of moves I made between countries, I ended up at Durban Christian Centre with Fred and Nelly Roberts. In my forties I did three year full time bible college. But I was always uneasy about the name it, claim it and frame in doctrine. And also the if you have a chronic illness then there is something very wrong with you spiritually. I’m not back slidden, but since God got me out, I don’t go to church.

  4. Thankyou for this article. We have left four different churches in 38 years of marriage, as well as having lived in different towns and different countries. Today was our last day in a certain church, and next week, Good Friday, we will be in a new church – our fifth move from bad to hopefully better. I’m fed up with moving, but I’m even more fed up with bad teaching. Today’s church is, I believe, heading to charismania and having come out, I never intend to go back. It’s bad enough traveling the country and accidentally attending the wrong church! It can be hard for a visitor to find a good church, so, no doubt, locals will have the same task ahead. But we’ve also visited some faithful churches on our travels. They are out there!

  5. Wow. Well here’s a story…
    House of David in Oklahoma supports work in Isreal which is dear to God AND me.
    They also promote seed sowing for spiritual & financial breakthroughs where whealth transfer is concerned. The 7 faith ‘mountains’ are clearly preached and speaking in tounges is always encouraged as prophecy that completely contradicts 1 Cor. 14 commands from Paul. The foreign tounges in THAT day where used for communicating the truth of Jesus to the world with power. Since there’s no interpretation EVER given for the lost in the mix, it always sounds like crazy people going off. Perry Stone, Sid Roth are fans of Kurt Landry Ministries.
    Help me here. They support so many yet are missing the mark big time.

    • Hi Steven, if Curt Landry is not preaching the gospel, but some kind of a mixture (Hebrew roots movement/NAR) then you you need to mark and avoid his ministry, simple as that. If if they practice and teach what you have described, then any work they support in Israel will in all probability come with a measure of false doctrine, and will not benefit the kingdom of God. God is sovereign, he is able to build his church and fulfill his purposes and plans on earth prior to his return. Have nothing to do with those who pervert the gospel.

  6. What are the issues with Ann Voskamp and Rick Warren? I legit am asking not trying to start a battle. I was just wondering what put them on the list? Thanks

      • I am not Carol, but I personal can share my observation that even this post is causing division and is vague, leaving room for misunderstanding and contempt to brew. I have not seen one church that gets it all right all the time. Even biblically the Appostles had division and Paul was known for causing it, but also if you keep reading, the power of trurh is that it over comes the division. Be careful in what you create. One can become so bound by scripture that they walk in death and miss out on the life offered through the Spirit. Yes, all the spirits need to be tested, but even Paul cites in 2 Corinthians 3 that the pen leads to death, but the spirit leads to life. The early church missed the mark, and did not pursue the gentiles, so Jesus himself rasied up Paul to challenge the traditions that were growing and planting the church qith the Jews. Paul did not get his doctrine from the Appostles and had to fight to show himself approved, and it is thw same thing today. I just encourage you to carefully consider how in the end Peter eventually was able to hear what Paul had to say and came to support him. Consider spending time more with the Spirit leading you, and yes we have the Cannon to test with, but my bible says the Jesus is the word (logos) of God, and merely that all scripture (docume) is inspired and not word for word from the mouth pf God. If you get out of the miss use of words you will find that being too bent that all scripture written is absolutely correct, you will miss out that it is useful for rebuking and teaching. I have learned that the things we get wrong are where we learn the most, and in my bible, Jesus was the only one who got it right. Why not focus on him and walking like him, after all your own bible says that you should be walking just like him, and even greater.

        • Hi Brandon, thank you for your comment. The article addresses false doctrines such as “word of faith, the prosperity gospel, dominion theology and of course the unhealthy mixture of all three found in the New Apostolic Reformation.” These are not non essentials of the faith that we can agree to disagree over. Some brief thoughts regarding your comments:
          “I have not seen one church that gets it all right all the time” – Agreed, when it comes to non essentials that should not be an issue over which we divide, neither is it a reason to leave your church.
          ” Even biblically the Appostles had division and Paul was known for causing it” – Paul was the one who rebuked the Corinthians for following after leaders in the church. Paul also warned Titus to: “avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.” (3:8)
          Paul was however implicit concerning the division between true and false teachers, this is a healthy and necessary division.
          “One can become so bound by scripture that they walk in death and miss out on the life offered through the Spirit” – Agreed, but needs clarification. One can have knowledge and understanding of good doctrine and still fail to walk in the Spirit. Matthew Henry: “But even the New Testament will be a killing letter, if shown as a mere system or form, and without dependence on God the Holy Spirit, to give it a quickening power”

          The words of Christ are “spirit and life” and the word of God is “is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart”
          “even Paul cites in 2 Corinthians 3 that the pen leads to death, but the spirit leads to life.” In this text, Paul is contrasting the law with the gospel, Matthew Henry: “The Old Testament dispensation was the ministration of death, but the New Testament of life. The law made known sin, and the wrath and curse of God; it showed us a God above us, and a God against us; but the gospel makes known grace, and Emmanuel, God with us. Therein the righteousness of God by faith is revealed; and this shows us that the just shall live by his faith; this makes known the grace and mercy of God through Jesus Christ, for obtaining the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. The gospel so much exceeds the law in glory, that it eclipses the glory of the legal dispensation”
          “Paul did not get his doctrine from the Appostles and had to fight to show himself approved, and it is thw same thing today” – Paul got his doctrine in the form of a direct revelation from God: “For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” Galatians 1:12. Today we get our doctrine from scripture alone.
          “I just encourage you to carefully consider how in the end Peter eventually was able to hear what Paul had to say and came to support him” – Paul’s support included a rebuke: ” But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned…I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”
          “but my bible says the Jesus is the word (logos) of God, and merely that all scripture (docume) is inspired and not word for word from the mouth pf God.” – We believe in the “verbal plenary” inspiration of the scriptures, they are inerrant and authoritative. They are “from the mouth of God” in the sense that every single verse in scripture is there for a reason, inspired by God, and for our benefit as we rightly divide the word of God.
          “Why not focus on him and walking like him” – As you know this blog deals with discernment,and walking like Jesus cannot be separated from knowing what Jesus taught. Our goal is to expose teachings and movements that teach false doctrines, and contend for the faith.

          I will respond to you other comment shortly. Appreciate your thoughts!

  7. Rick, Andy Stanley does not teach word of faith, the prosperity gospel, or dominion theology. He often…as he did just a week or two ago…will cite verses and say, “That right there puts the nail in the coffin of the prosperity gospel,” for example. Your claim confuses discussion of any real issues that he might have, and unfortunately it reflects poorly on you for painting with such a broad brush.

    Does Bill Hybels really teach those things?! I’ve not kept up with him lately, but that seems a stretch. I am aware of the recent claims that women have made known (which are highly likely to be true), but that’s a separate issue.

    • Hi Jay, thanks for sharing your concerns. At the end of the article I wrote: “In conclusion, if you know that your church is teaching false doctrine (NAR, word of faith, prosperity gospel, seeker sensitive and other forms of false doctrine) there is no valid reason to stay”
      Andy Stanley falls into the seeker sensitive category. I first became aware of his ministry when I read “Deep and Wide:Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend” I then started watching his message and eventually had to stop. The fact that he condemns the prosperity gospel cannot excuse his views on scripture and his methods of teaching or the content thereof.
      Bill Hybels has moved away from the seeker sensitive model to some degree, but seems to be falling for the whole contemplative spirituality and mysticism deception. (“other forms of false doctrine”) I have personally seen the damage the Willowcreeks GLS has done here in South Africa. (the claims against Hybels have nothing to do with my critique in anyway, agree with you that’s a separate issue)

      I’d encourage you to dig a bit deeper when it comes to these two gentlemen, especially Andy Stanley. I have seen the fruits of both of their ministries, here in South Africa, and that is why I specifically included them. I’m glad you brought up your concerns though Jay, it’s always good to clarify matters, and from my side rectify them if needed.

      Some resources in case you are interested:
      https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/willowcreek.htm
      http://www.piratechristian.com/messedupchurch/2016/8/the-andy-stanley-cornucopia-of-false-teaching-postmodern-ambiguity-fast-talking
      http://www.deliveredbygrace.com/andy-stanleys-problem-with-the-bible/

      • Rick, thank you for your reply. First, it doesn’t make sense (to me) to refer to “seeker sensitive” as a doctrine. Years ago I helped plant what we considered a seeker sensitive church that was supported by the local So. Baptist associations. No change in doctrine. But certain aspects of our fellowship were more appealing to subsets of people who lived in the area.

        I reviewed the Stanley links you provided. They are poorly researched, and therefore poorly reasoned, and in fact at times actually argue Stanley’s point for him. Here is a better link: http://midwestoutreach.org/2016/09/22/andy-stanley-and-the-sound-of-music/ …from that article, you can reach their original article that calls Stanley to task.

        The difficulty, of course, is that we’re all busy and don’t have time to fully investigate every matter that comes our way.

        I’m also not discounting real issues that you have experienced in South Africa. I do not have any first hand knowledge of those.

        Thank you. -Jay

        • Thanks Jay, naturally one can change aspects of a fellowship without compromising doctrine, as you claim to have experienced in your case. I read the article you posted, it does provide clarity on one issue, but I don’t believe it justifies the rest. There were over 30 links I provided, from various authors, every single one of them is poorly researched? Chris Rosebrough has done many reviews on Stanley, breaking down his false doctrines in detail. One quote I remember from Andy Stanley is “If people are more interested in being happy, then play to that, Jesus did” (Deep & Wide) The result of this is a worship service at Northpoint singing “love the way you turn me on” and then of course another topical sermon by Stanley because according to him lazy preachers work through scriptures verse by verse. Seeker sensitive is a model (practice if you will) but all practice stems from a belief. There is no model in the early church of creating a church “unchurched people love to attend.” Furthermore, where did Paul teach Timothy for example to: “engage unchurched people in a weekend message that has more to do with approach and presentation than content” (Deep & Wide) Thanks for getting back to me Jay, clearly we disagree on Andy Stanley, but I’m glad you raised your point of view – Rick

  8. what about new covanent churches I have had many
    disputes .They come out of the shepherding movement and
    still try to control how what and where .There are also many
    instances of not only finance abuse , I should know as I
    was in leadership for a while and fought many battles about
    the abuse of finance and control of people.

  9. Rich, I came out from the Independent Fundamental Baptist Church. Although they claim the Bible to be their sole authority of faith and practice, they hide behind the cloke of being Independent. The unethical and immoral behavior within my church caused me to withdraw my family and myself from that church. To no avail, I wrote to numerous pastors within the denomination testifying of the situation in an attempt to exhort the brethren, sadly, their lack of response spoke louder than words.
    I mention this because immoral and unethical behavior within the church has caused me to avoid congregating with most believers and study from scripture outside the church and pursue the true will of God on my own.
    Although I continue to challenge Christians with the Truth, I have also come to realize that the average Christian does not fear God. Most who profess Christ are ignorant of scripture and seem to think the church is the answer to the world’s problems but the Bible instructs the believer in numerous verses reasons to avoid church.Most of today’s churches are built around men and not the Word of God. (Romans 16:17-18)
    I was faithful to church for 30 years but unethical and immoral behavior among Christians, no matter what the denomination, continues to keep me from joining a church. As America falls headfirst into depravity, It is obvious that only a great and powerful God can fix the mess we are in but, before God acts, we must listen to Him. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

  10. Variation Of Church Teachings Indicates Loss Of Communal Sanity
    As the Church is made up of citizens, and as the character of the community decays from unselfish to selfish, then the teachings of the church will become corrupted; but by then the tradition that the church’s teachings are sacrosanct will also have been discarded, the church’s voice will be irrelevant and the community will be insane.

    God have mercy on his creatures.

  11. 1.If prosperity is wrong,what is the opposite ?poverty.Idont want my child to be hunger or not to be able to pay her rent.What does the word prosperity mean?These days everyone has a opinion what they think it mean instead of look what Gods word is saying.How can i support the ministries if i dont even have money for myself?Psalm 1,Joshua 1:8,Jeremia 15:16,Deut 28:1-2.
    2.Regarding healing,Jesus healed,the apostels healed,the early church healed,we are command to heal.They said Jesus has done healing through beelzebulb,today people still say signs and miracles are from the devil?False miracles are withcraft etc.Just because their are the false does not mean the real is not there.Jesus said He will CONFIRM HIS WORD THROUGH SIGNS AND MIRACLES.

    • The prosperity gospel is wrong. Do some believers prosper – yes (as well as the wicked), do some struggle financially – yes. Is poverty or prosperity a spiritual barometer to measure our faith, obedience – no. Notice your biblical references – all OT, all part of the law.
      Does God still heal – yes, are there people walking round with the gift of healing – no. If you know of any, they can meet me at the Children’s Red Cross hospital and I would arrange for them to walk through the wards with me and heal the terminal children. Do you think that will happen? Do a study on the reason for the apostolic and sign gifts, and the distinction between the law and the gospel, it will be of great benefit.

  12. I agree with alot of what you are saying. Unfortunately the wonder of the gospel has been abused. I do not agree with all of the people on your list but let’s leave it there.These movements do not refute or negate signs, wonder, Holy Spirit moving etc. they happen for sure especially in Africa where i come from. I believe the West has also influenced Africa in a bad way also with what you are saying.
    I heard somebody saying the other day that for example ‘Jesus Culture’s music is evil. Now for anybody to make such a statement is crazy and ridiculous. I believe their music is only bringing glory to Jesus Christ. Important thing is to have discernment and let God guide you. But that there is a big problem with the prosperity gospel is a fact.

  13. I am currently in a church that is doing the BSSM. I also did first year and then realized something was “fishy” and when I started to investigate this whole Bethel thing I actually could not believe what I was busy with….NAR, Gravesoaking, Kundulini….I mean the list goes on….I have been doing ALOT of research the past 6 months and I am so thankful that God brought me to this site….AMAZING!!! Cannot wait to learn more…

  14. I went to CRC last Sunday with a friend. I didn’t feel comfortable and it was 2 very long hours for me. At preached from Bloemfontein, we were at the Lynwood (Pretoria) “branch” I don’t feel comfortable to say Church. He judged all priests from other Churches and I felt offended. I know that the Lord will save the innocent people who are blinded by his preaching. I couldn’t say what his message was. He is extremely aggressive and loud.

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