A blasphemous church serves a generation of religious liars

upside-down-church 1

Grant Swart

We live in a generation which is certainly under God’s judgement, if you care to pause for a few moments and ponder the general state of the society in which we now live, I’m sure that much will become quite evident. Of course, those who are of the world, who are happy to be embroiled in pursuing wealth, health and prosperity and all kinds of ways to proving their own self-righteousness and personal value before God, will not recognize the fact that they are under that very same judgement.

Never before have materialism, humanism, pride and self-worth been so prominently at the forefront of man’s thinking and priorities. Almost every marketing strategy, campaign and advert appeals directly to the will, over-inflated importance and vain pride of man. No other singular concepts have ever been as sharply focused on, as human rights, vanity and the deceitful ideology of human democracy are, in our generation.

This same critique must be leveled at the marketing done by many “churches”, the bulk of which are at great pains to take their particular brand of will-worship or church tradition to the lost multitudes of the world. The grossly erroneous interpretation of true church growth, cleverly disguised as “spiritual revival”, is one which interprets that the greater the number of misguided people who respond to these highly effective sales ploys is, the greater the tacit approval of God must be for their brand of faith or for their particular efforts. It is God who adds to His church, not pastors, synods, committees, councils, conferences or the efforts of individuals or congregations. Continue reading

Discerning Discernment

Discerning Discernment

The Meaning and Significance of Hebrews 5:12-14 in the Christian’s Call of Discernment

By Ryan Habbena

“What is your spirtual gift ?” I have heard this question asked and answered many times. In my experience, the most common response to this inquiry is: “I have the gift of discernment. When asked what this means, the person often answers, “I can automatically tell when something is evil.”

The Scriptures speak to the subject of discernment in various ways. While the Bible indeed affirms “discernment” as a spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 12:10),1 the truth is that all Christians are called to be “discerners” (see 1 John 4:1, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22). The question then naturally follows: “How do we acquire the ability to discern?” There are those who would answer in unison with the above example, simply stating: “I just know it my heart! I just know.” Note, for instance, Neal Anderson’s take on this subject: “Spiritual discernment is our first line of defense against deception. The Holy Spirit has taken up residence in every believer, and He is not silent when we encounter the counterfeit. Discernment is that little ‘buzzer’ that goes off inside when something is wrong.”2 While the Holy Spirit has indeed taken up residence in every believer, rather than relying upon an automatic, subjective “buzzer” that is supposed to “go off inside,” we are informed in Hebrews that believers are equipped with discernment via different means. Hebrews 5:12-14 speaks directly to this subject. In what follows I will engage in some “basic exposition” on this central text regarding discernment. Following this I will apply its teaching to how we all are called to be trained discerners in order to avoid the deception that surrounds us.

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