Why Discernment Ministries Fail (and Succeed) (1)

Grant Swart

SHINY FAKE GOLD-PLATED COINS

Regrettable and diverse are the failures of an overabundance of internet based “discernment” ministries, websites, programs and blogs. Frequently, these self-titled so-called discernment ministries are highly visible, easily accessible and are presented to the world as being representative of the truth. These presentations are the creations of self-appointed “watchmen” who claim divine inspiration for their discernment ability over and above that which is available to the average Christian believer. In addition, these “watchmen” defend their position, which by the very nature of their “ministries” cannot be described as biblical, with an aggressive fervour which borders on occultic fanaticism.

Undeniably, there has always been a biblical imperative for true watchmen to guard against and warn the faithful in the church about attacks launched by the Evil one and his followers against the truth. Continue reading

Tim Challies and Ann Voskamp: The New Sensation Seekers

By Grant Swart

Thank you for forwarding the two links to me. I have read them and I still cannot fault Tim Challies’ original critique of Ann Voskamp’s rubbish, just as I could not do at my first reading of it.

Below are a few points I would like to make, although these do not represent all points which need to be made regarding this unsavoury matter.

1. I have never attached much value to what Tim Challies has written on previous occasions, although I have not read all of his work. I never felt the need to pay attention to his opinions, not because he is a bad author, which he is not, but simply because I have always found his work lacking in substance and based more on human reasoning and not particularly on Scripture. He seems to prefer being the modern man with modernised needs, slightly besotted with technology and the social media and less concerned with the reality of the Truth. Continue reading

Romantic Panentheism: A Review of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

If I have a joint of meat on my table of which the smell and the taste at once convince me that it is putrid and unwholesome, should I show discretion by eating the whole of it before giving my judgment that it is not fit for food?

One mouthful is quite enough, and one sentence of some books ought to suffice for a sensible man to reject the whole mass. Let those who can relish such meat feed on it, but I have a taste for better food.

Keep to the study of the Word of God. If it be your duty to expose those evils, encounter them bravely, with prayer to God to help you. But if not, as a humble believer in Jesus, what business have you to taste and best such noxious fare when it is exposed in the market?  ~C H Spurgeon (source)

I posted this article almost a year ago, well it is time for a re-post. Please also read An Open Letter To Tim Challies

Romantic Panentheism,

 a Review of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

By Bob DeWaay

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We live in a theological age (postmodern) where the rational and cognitive are questioned and replaced by the sensual and mysterious. Many churches promote the idea of worshipping God with all five senses. Feelings trump clear Biblical exegesis, systematic theology, statements of faith, and any other rational approach to Christian theology. Into this milieu comes a book that takes romanticism to a new level, using sensuality to invoke religious feelings and ostensibly true devotion. The book is One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, a Canadian farmer’s wife. Continue reading

Turning Away From False Teachers

John MacArthur – Bible Q & A New Testament Commentaries

“Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.” — Romans 16:17

The mature Christian is to keep his eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances. Paul is not talking about hair-splitting over minor interpretations, or about immature believers who are divisive because of personal preferences, as disruptive and damaging as things can be. We are to “shun foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless” (Titus 3:9). We are to “refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels” (2 Tim. 2:23). Paul is here talking about something immeasurably more serious. He is warning about those who challenge and undermine the teaching which you have learned, that is, the divinely-revealed apostolic teaching they had received.

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Always Ready (1 Peter 3 )

John MacArthur – Grace to You – Bible Q & A

Always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence. (1 Peter 3:15)

Christians must be ready to make a defense of the faith. The Greek term for defense (apologia) is the word from which the English terms apology and apologetics derive. It often means a formal defense in a judicial courtroom (cf. Acts 25:16; 2 Tim. 4:16), but Paul also used the word informally to denote his ability to answer those who questioned him (Phil. 1:16). Always indicates believers’ need for constant preparedness and readiness to respond, whether in a formal courtroom or informally, to everyone who asks them to give an account for why they live and believe the way they do. Account is simply logos, “word,” or “message,” and it calls saints to be able at the time someone asks (present tense) to give the right words in response to questions about the gospel.

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Handed Over to Satan?

John MacArthur – Grace to You – Bible Q & A

(1 Corinthians 5)

I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (1 Corinthians 5:5)

Paul makes clear the action that should have been taken to discipline the man who refused to repent of and forsake his blatant immorality. He should have been excommunicated, removed from your midst.

When the Corinthians were assembled to take disciplinary action Paul would be with them in spirit. The apostle had taught them as a pastor, was now writing them for the second time (1 Cor. 5:9), and intended to continue to give them his counsel and encouragement in doing the Lord’s will—even when he could not be with them in person.

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The Ruler of Hell

 

John MacArthur – Grace to You – Bible Q & A

(Matthew 10)

And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)

People, and even Satan himself, are unable to kill the soul. Physical death is the full extent of the harm they can bring us; they cannot touch the soul, the eternal person. Even the bodies they destroy will one day be resurrected and become imperishable (1 Cor. 15:42).

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