Why Discernment Ministries Fail (and Succeed) (2)

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 Grant Swart

This is the second installment of “Why Discernment Ministries Fail (and Succeed)”, Part 1 of which I published a year ago, almost to the day. Rather than repeating much of that which I wrote before, may I suggest that you refer to Part 1 here: Why Discernment Ministries Fail (and Succeed) (1), if you are interested in this subject, and have not previously done so. In Part 1 I attempted to establish the groundwork for bringing this installment into perspective, and it should provide an evenhanded and fair approach to the subject. A modern phenomenon, few ministries which place themselves under the banner of “discernment” have Biblically principled intent or calling, and the trend has in a very short period of time, drifted completely out of alignment with Christianity.

Regrettable and diverse are the failures of an overabundance of internet based “discernment” ministries, websites and blogspots, radio and television programs, publications, documentary films, etc. Frequently, these self-appointed and so-called discernment ministries are highly visible, easily accessible and present themselves as representatives of the truth. Often they regard themselves as whistle-blowers tasked with identifying threats to their specific brand of religion, “exposing” perceived falsehoods and acting as guardians of the Christian faith. Many of these “ministries” are the creations of self-appointed “watchmen” who claim to possess divine inspiration for their fake discernment abilities, which purportedly surpass those of the average Christian. In addition, these “watchmen” defend their position, which by the very nature of their ministries cannot be regarded as biblical, with an aggressive fervour which resembles religious and occult fanaticism.

The all too evident failure of the vast majority of these so-called “discernment” ministries, is in no small measure due to the fact that they are not founded on biblical prescripts, neither do they consistently accept or proclaim biblical doctrines. The reason for the rare success of a small minority of others is simple: they are not “discernment” ministries per se, they are truly Christian ministries in as much as they are led by heaven sent shepherds, true servants of the church, watchmen who have been appointed by God. (link here to Heaven Sent Preachers and Man Made Preachers – There is a Difference )

Isa 52:7-8  How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” The voice of your watchmen–they lift up their voice; together they sing for joy; for eye to eye they see the return of the LORD to Zion.

From this passage in Isaiah, read in conjunction with Romans 10:15, we understand that it speaks of true Gospel preachers and teachers. The Spirit of God describes all true Gospel preachers as watchmen. Continue reading

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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

Testing the Spirits

 By Prof. Johan Malan

Christians should be able to test all doctrine in creeds, sermons, books, articles, as well as statements made during discussions, to determine if they are a true reflection of Scriptural truth: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).

Every religious message has a spiritual dimension to it – either the Spirit of truth who wants to guide us into all truth (John 16:13), or Satan’s spirit of error who is intent on deceiving as many people as possible, also within churches (1 John 4:6; 2 Pet. 2:1-2).
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What is the Church of Christ?

Grant Swart

Ever since I can remember, I have overheard people of varied Christian persuasions, discussing the merits and shortcomings of the myriad of , and some dubiously so, Christian denominations. For years before I had any real knowledge of, or interest in the subject, I listened with fascination to the enthusiastic and opinionated discussions of certain overly contentious religious people. More often than not they insisted on serving the Lord from within the confines of a specific church or denomination which, according to their perceptions, was the “right” or “correct” church.

I think back to the time when I was effectually called by the Lord to serve His Word and to His glorious purpose. The first year or two of my walk with the Lord was marked by a growing frustration in that I simply could not come to fully identify or encounter the Truth in all aspects of the Word. What I encountered in the local churches was fragmented truth at best, and total lies at worst. Continue reading

Not a Kingdom Now

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God: Is He? Who Is He?

John MacArthur – Grace to You

“The world is full of either philosophic or pragmatic atheists–they either don’t believe in God, or if they do, they live as if His existence had no effect on them. In sharing Christ with them, it’s helpful to know which kind of atheist they are. Determine how you might alter your presentation of God’s truth to match the type of person you’re sharing with. For some ideas, compare Stephen’s address to the Jewish religious leaders (Acts 7) and Paul’s address to Gentile philosophers (Acts 17:18-34).”

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Who’s to Blame

John MacArthur – Grace to you

Luke 19:10, John 1:29, Acts 2:23, John 10:17-18

An obscure Hindu holy man named Rao flirted with worldwide fame in 1966. An eccentric, pompous mystic, Rao became convinced he could walk on water. He was so confident in his own spiritual power that he announced he would perform the feat before a live audience-tickets sold for a hundred dollars apiece. Bombay’s elite turned out en masse to behold the spectacle.

The event was held in a large garden with a deep pool. More than six hundred of Rao’s faithful, along with curiosity seekers, assembled to watch. The white-bearded yogi appeared in flowing robes and stepped confidently to the edge of the pool. He paused to pray silently. A reverent hush fell on the crowd. Rao opened his eyes, looked heavenward and boldly stepped forward.

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