Search Results for 'judge not'

Judge Not?

Our UK brother Alan Higgins has been really exploring some foundational topics over at his blog. Alan posted the video below regarding the “judge not” phenomenon, and I thought it would be appropriate to post it here as well:

In the video, John McArthur succinctly exegetes the foundation of Matthew 7, especially in light of how “judge not lest you be judged” gets hurled around (almost like an expletive) in response to the light of truth shining on any darkness. 

As I’ve stated on many occasions, I blog in defense of the faith. I have no personal agenda – except to proclaim and defend the Gospel of Jesus Christ…even if when the Gospel is hijacked by perpetrators within the church.

 Look at the scriptural reference in context:

1(A)Do not judge so that you will not be judged.

 2“For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and (B)by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.

 3“Why do you (C)look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

 4(D)Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?

 5“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Too me, the text clearly forbids hypocrisy. It is hypocritical for someone to condemn adultery if they’re tipping out on their spouse at the same time. Likewise, it’s hypocritical to claim the name of the Lord, yet live and teach the complete contrary.

2 Timothy 3:16 affirms the authority of God’s Word – and it’s proper use.

As long as the Word of God is used to refute false teachers and their false doctrine, then the only judgement going on is from God to His enemies.

Surprise, Surprise…Another Gay “Bishop” in Metro Atlanta

The man pictured above is Bishop Jim Earl Swilley (yes, that’s his real name) of the Church in the Now here in Metro-Atlanta (Conyers, GA to be exact). Jim Earl is the cousin of Pastor Donnie Earl Paulk (a/k/a D. E. Paulk), the neph-son of the deceased Archbishop Earl Paulk, one of Atlanta’s original pulpit pimps – literally & figuratively (learn more about how “Archbishop” Earl was Donnie Earl’s Unc-Dad).

A few years ago, Donnie Earl completely embraced gay inclusion theology, and lost what was left of his dwindling congregation (forcing him to sell Unc-Dad Earl’s cavernous edifice). Cousin Jim Earl loaned his congregation and his church building to Cousin Donnie Earl last year while Donnie was in-between buildings. Sure, some of Jim Earl’s sheeple were a bit put-off by Donnie’s affinity for unrepentant homosexuality – and they left – but Jim Earl seemed strangely committed to letting Cousin Donnie preach this wickedly false gospel.

Thanks to my brother over at the blog Gay Christian Movement Watch, we now know why: Jim Earl is gay himself:

Via video, a litany of lies from Bishop Jim Swilley

CONYERS, GA  – Bishop Jim Swilley, the nephew of  deceased sexual predator Earl Paulk,  has made his big announcement. There’s so much lying, inconsistencies, propaganda, half truths, false teaching and the likes in the video he released, its stunning.  One thing is sure: satan has planted ministers in the church and they are yoked with an irrevocable agenda to dismantle truth and preach another gospel in its place. The gospel of sensuality.

[…] It doesn’t take a prophetic anointing to know there are hordes of these false leaders like Swilley  just waiting for the right time. They are on satan’s time release program. They are watching and looking to see whether we will fight back or whether we will wax passive and play their deceitful game with them. And literally, lives and souls are in the balance if we stay quiet.

[…] And have you noticed that every time one of these false teachers make their move and publicly vomit out their blasphemy, their supporters immediately began the “love them and don’t judge them” campaign?

Click the title link above to view the video of Jim Earl’s “coming out” – and the love fest that ensued. Then, open your bible and read Jude 1 in entirety. Specifically, pay attention to Jude 1:4-16, because that is exactly what we are seeing today.

Paul was explicitly clear when he wrote:

2 Thessalonians 2:3-7 (New American Standard Bible)

 3Let no one in any way deceive you, for it [the return of the Lord] will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,

 4who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

 5Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things?

 6And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed.

 7For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.

Well folks, the Day of the Lord is coming soon.

Pray for the Lord’s sheep and those yet to know the saving grace of salvation through Christ alone. And pray that the wolves and hirelings continue to show themselves as true enemies of the Gospel of Christ

Yes, We ARE Suppposed To Judge

judge-jury

This post is an illustrative response to the often used refrain of the biblically ignorant:

“Who are you to judge anyone?”

Frankly, I’m tired of repeatedly typing the same response every time I read that sentence – and if I had a dollar for every time it has been hurled at me like an epithat, then I could retire and blog full-time. So, this post is for selfish reasons so that I can simply copy the url address to respond to my critics, but since it is biblically sound I pray that it educates once and for all.

Contrary to public opinion (which has no place being in the church in the first place), God calls His children to judge. He is the Ultimate Judge – He judges our eternal souls, and He also gives us the right – no, the responsibility to call it like we see it in accordance to His Word…especially when what we confront is NOT OF GOD.

Matthew 7:1 is where most of the biblically ignorant like to stay: “thou shalt not judge”. When we read in context, however, we see the totality of that statement:

Matthew 7:1-5 (New American Standard Bible) 

 1(A)Do not judge so that you will not be judged.

 2“For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and (B)by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.

 3“Why do you (C)look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

 4(D)Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?

 5“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Jesus set a pretty clear standard – don’t judge someone for something that you yourself are guilty of…that’s called hypocrisy. In fact, this particular passage of scripture is written specifically to admonish against rash judgement (judging a brother or sister without any ground or evidence). In other words, don’t call someone out on their foul mouth when you curse like a sailor yourself.

Using the “judge not” defense in any other situation is SCRIPTURALLY UNSOUND. It has become a knee-jerk reaction to calling sin sin. That same twisted logic means that we should stop prosecuting all criminals and we should NEVER speak out against ANY WRONGDOING because we would be judging…“and we’re not supposed to do that”.

Simply put, we are to judge righteously and use sound wisdom – specifically:

1 Corinthians 6:2-3 (New American Standard Bible) 

 2Or (A)do you not know that (B)the saints will judge (C)the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?

 3(D)Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?

Proverbs 3:21 (New American Standard Bible)

   21My son, (A)let them not vanish from your sight;
         Keep sound wisdom and discretion,

John 7:24 (New American Standard Bible) 

 24“Do not (A)judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

Jeremiah 22:3 (New American Standard Bible) 

 3‘Thus says the LORD, “(A)Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his (B)oppressor Also (C)do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not (D)shed innocent blood in this place.

Philippians 1:10 (New American Standard Bible) 

 10so that you may (A)approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until (B)the day of Christ;

James 5:19-20 (New American Standard Bible)

 19My brethren, (A)if any among you strays from (B)the truth and one turns him back,

 20let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will (C)save his soul from death and will (D)cover a multitude of sins.

As believers, it is our duty to confront sin (Matthew 18:15-17). This is not judging, this is pointing out the truth in order to bring repentance to the sinner and to restore them to the fellowship. A believers job is to proclaim what God’s Word says about sin. 2 Timothy 4:2 clearly states the intent of those who present God’s Word. Our purpose is to judge sin; not just to exercise biblical acumen, but to present the solution for sin and its consequences—the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6).

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“Stop Slandering God’s Leaders!”

“Stop slandering God’s leaders!”

That’s the typical edict that I get on average. Of course, some admonitions are a bit more…descriptive, but the message is still the same: “God said ‘touch not my anointed’, so get your mouth off the man of God!”.

My brother Independent Conservative edited an article written by GaryV on his site this past February that shines more light on the twisting of scripture used to protect pimps:

“Touch Not My Anointed”..The command of God or the cries of the misled??

Those who feel the call to be watchmen on the wall during this time of apostasy have heard this phrase repeated ad nauseum, by those who seek to defend their favorite “ministers” against the claims of Scripture. In fact, along with “Judge Not”, it’s probably among the most frequently used (though commonly misunderstood) texts in the entire Bible. Have any of them ever actually read the verse in question??

Click on the title to read the rest of that excellent article (one that I’ve emailed to countless friends, family, and foes). Why is it that those of us who blog God’s truth to expose deceit are always attacked, yet those who KNOWINGLY AND WILLFULLY distort, butcher, and assault God’s Word for selfish gain get protection?

These pimps rail against their detractors (i.e. mature bible reading Christians who dare take God’s Word over theirs), yet they (and their followers) get thin-skinned when the light of truth is shined on them. I pray that more sheep learn to defend the faith more than they defend their resident wolf, viper, false teacher, pulpit pimp, apostate, and heretic. I think those names sum it all up quite nicely.

So, why do I “call people names”? Simply because the names that I use aptly describe the pimps, heretics and apostates that stalk the “pulpit” today. I’m not “bitter” or “church hurt” – I’m just a former sheep of two skilled pimps (one Alpha Pimp, and one wanna be pimp) who decided to read my bible for myself and expose the doctrinal error that permeates Christ’s church today.

Since slander is defined as “a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report”, I clearly DON’T engage in slander when I provide links to videos and text of the pimps own words for validation.

The Apostle Peter called people “names” when he exposed them for their deceitful works against the Gospel (2 Peter 2 NASB) Even Jesus used “harsh language and tone” when calling out the Pharisee’s and corrupt religious leaders of the day (Matthew 23 NASB).

Now, I’m not comparing myself to Peter or Jesus…not in the least. I am, however, comfortable that I am operating in biblical order with sound precedence – and sound biblical doctrine.

So, I’ll keep “calling people names” and calling out the wolves, vipers, apostates, pimps, heretics, false teachers and their ilk until they simply go away.

There, that outta keep my inbox full for a while…

Erasing The Consequences of Sin?

erasing mistakes

Like many of you, I have often heard pastors say “I wouldn’t want to follow anybody who hasn’t been through something!”

The statement is intended to be a prerequisite to (and for some, a badge of honor in) ministry because of the presumption that the leader will appear to be more “human” to their followers if they exhibit culpability. Certainly God uses imperfect people (Moses, Noah, David, Paul, you, me…) to exercise His will in the earth, but one cannot expect to wallow in sin and expect to “pick up where they left off” when they have been restored. 

I recently read an interesting article by John MacArthur:

Should Fallen Pastors Be Restored

Gross sin among Christian leaders is a signal that something is seriously wrong with the church. But an even greater problem is the lowering of standards to accommodate a leader’s sin. That the church is so eager to bring these men back into leadership is a symptom of rottenness at the core.

Some have claimed that a leader’s failure makes him more effective in shepherding fallen people. That is ludicrous. Should we drag the bottom of sin’s cesspool for the most heinous sinners to lead the church? Are they better able to understand the sinner? Certainly not! Our pattern for ministry is the sinless Son of God. The church is to be like Him and her leaders are to be our models of Christlikeness.

We must recognize that leadership in the church cannot be regarded lightly. The foremost requirement of a church leader is that he be above reproach (1 Timothy 3:2, 10; Titus 1:7). That is a difficult prerequisite, and not everyone can meet it.

Neither John MacArthur nor the bible is suggesting that you can’t be restored from sin – that premise is the very core of the Gospel message. There should be a realism, however, in placing people back in areas of responsibility after they have shown ill-judgement in leadership.

This is one of the (many) reasons that I am continually irked by Jamal “The Prince Pimp of Baltimore” Bryant. Bryant is a notorious false teacher who has lied about his education credentials, marital fidelity, and his seemingly insatiable sexual appetite (click this link for an overview of his antics). When forced last year to admit an adulterous affair with a young woman in his congregation (suspected to be in her late teens) resulting in the birth of a child, Bryant tried to excuse his behavior by comparing himself to David and Bathsheba. He received little-to-no “counseling” and never relinquished the reigns of his church club.  

Should Bryant be forgiven? Certainly if he repents before the Lord (and his family) and seeks to right the wrongs he’s made. Should he have remained in leadership at his club? Certainly not – especially since he probably would’ve removed a Deacon or Minister guilty of similar transgressions if pressed to do so.

MacArthur sums up his article by saying:

What should you do in the current crisis? Pray for your church’s leaders. Keep them accountable. Encourage them. Let them know you are following their godly example. Understand that they are not perfect, but continue nonetheless to call them to the highest level of godliness and purity. The church must have leaders who are genuinely above reproach. Anything less is an abomination.

We must continue to hold our Pastors and leaders to a standard parallel to the charge they have in preaching and teaching the glorious Gospel. Anything less brings reproach upon the Name of the Lord. Are they perfect? No Should we just put them back behind the bookboard no matter what they’ve done? I don’t think so.

Confronting Error With Condemnation

lion lamb

The world is enamored with crafting a picture of Jesus as the Lamb of God (John 1:29) – the gentle, Teacher who instructs His followers in his philosophical teachings. You see, that “Jesus” is a safe, non-confrontational “guide” who makes “suggestions” regarding righteous living according to the “golden rule” and the “good book”. And many lukewarm, mealy mouth “Christians” – you know, those who act religious on Sunday’s and Wednesdays and justify all manner of apostasy & heresy because of their malaise in studying the Word of God – help perpetuate this lopsided view of Christ.

Thank God that His Word is complete AND replete with the accurate view of Jesus Christ – as both the Lamb of God AND the Lion of Judah (Revelation 5:4-6) our conquering King Who overcomes evil once and for all.

I must admit, I have been extremely frustrated lately with this blog. The Lord has blessed me through my repentance from embracing false doctrines to pour out my love of His Word through this blog. I have been driven to tears many times through the testimonies (both here and in my email box) from those who have been confronted with their complacency and returned to the True Word of God. I have painstakingly written as the Lord wills, applying His Word without prejudice and pointing all who seek His truth to Him.

The Lord has blessed me to share His message to unbelievers, and I am amazed at how most non-believers are well-reasoned and more reasonably interested in discovering the Gospel truth. I’ve considered shutting this thing down a lot lately, frankly because I’m tired of rehashing the same things over and over – WITH PEOPLE WHO CLAIM TO KNOW AND FOLLOW GOD! You can literally type terms (like tithe, apostasy, heresy, word of faith, prosperity gospel, and more) into the “search box” near the top right corner of this blog to find some of the over 250 articles the Lord has allowed me to write over the last almost 2 years – yet I continue having the same back-and-forth circular arguments with people who would rather (A)continue to believe lies over the CLEAR TRUTH that God presents in His Word – and subsequently remain in allegiance with the vast majority of popular wolves, vipers, and hirelings of the day; (B) not “kick up dust” by highlighting the “strife among the brothers” and “assassinate the character” of the liars who pervert the Gospel; (C) remain too lazy (or frankly, too stupid) to stir up a holy passion for God and His breathed Word; or (D) all of the above.

Which leads to a video presentation of “Confronthing Error with Condemnation, Not Conversation – Part 1” by John MacArthur, soundly exegeting Luke 20:45-47 (and Matthew 23 for larger context). MacArthur succinctly reminds us that Jesus did not mince words in confronting false teachers – and neither should we.

I thank God for godly mentors like John MacArthur (and one even closer to me geographically) who kicked me in my self-pitying butt last night and today, and I in turn will do the same for those who read this blog. As soldiers for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, our job is to present His truth and let Him appeal to the hearts of the hearer. Haters of truth are just that – haters. They faithfully execute their duties by finding any and every reason to object to the delivery and acceptance of sound doctrine.

Let’s continue to faithfully execute OUR duty to lift high the Blood-stained banner of our Lord

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Are “Armor Bearers” Biblical?

bodyguards

In a word, no…at least not the modern day “armor bearers” walking 2 steps ahead of and behind most pastors today, but that doesn’t mean that they’re un-biblical either. 

The word “armor bearer” appears multiple times in the Old Testament, mainly in describing the activity of men charged with protecting a king – literally those who bore armor for protection of others (see the entire book of 1 Samuel for reference). 

Sure, the minstrels will argue up and down that they “need an armor bearer, so that I can concentrate on getting a Word from the Lord!”. Of course, what they really mean is they need someone to carry their bibles, water glasses, briefcases, luggage, children, and more.

Gotquestions.org published a great article a few weeks ago (reprinted below in entirety, emphasis added):

Question: “What is an armor-bearer? Should there be a church position of armor-bearer?”

In Scripture, an armor-bearer (also spelled armorbearer and armor bearer) was a servant who carried additional weapons for commanders. Abimelech (Judges 9:54), Saul (1 Samuel 16:12), Jonathan (1 Samuel 14:6-17), and Joab (2 Samuel 18:15) had armor-bearers/armorbearers. Armor-bearers were also responsible for killing enemies wounded by their masters. After enemy soldiers were wounded with javelins or bows and arrows, armor-bearers finished the job with clubs and/or swords. After the time of David, armor-bearers are no longer mentioned, likely due to the fact that commanders began to fight from chariots (1 Kings 12:18; 20:33).

Some churches today have instituted a figurative position of armor-bearer. The duties range widely, but generally speaking, a church armor-bearer carries the “armor” of a church leader, such as the leader’s Bible “the sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12). In some instances, a church armor-bearer essentially serves as a church leader’s bodyguard. Is the idea of a church armor-bearer biblically-based? No, it is not. Does the concept of a church armor-bearer contradict anything in Scripture? Not necessarily. Any church considering such a position should prayerfully study God’s Word and make sure the responsibilities assigned in no way conflict with the New Testament’s teaching on the church. The fact that the New Testament nowhere mentions armor-bearers and nowhere describes any of the apostles/prophets/elders having a person in that role should give pause to any church considering instituting the role of armor-bearer.

Churches and ministries should pray and be sure to adhere to TRUE scripture and not traditions of man. Of course, if more churches did pray and adhere to scripture, then their pews would be empty.

Related Post:

“Holy Ghost Dance-Off”?

There certainly is liberty in Christ – through prayer, worship, and more. There is also common sense and overall reverence for the House of God, particularly because of the weight of the Gospel message that should emanate from the pulpit.

Believers should always rely on 1 Corinthians 14 (and sound judgement) where matters of church conduct are concerned.

That said, what do you do with a pulpit: Preach about the Doctrines of Grace? Expound on the state of unregenerate sin? Exhort believers in the hope only found through Christ?

Nah, you have a “Holy Ghost Dance Off”!:

A tip of the hat goes to Ann over at the blog The Old Black Church. Notice Gospel artist (and now “Bishop”)Hezekiah Walker getting jiggy with it at the 1:18 mark.

🙄

Ann gives a great commentary, so I won’t add anything else…I’ll turn the comment thread over to you folks. Personally, I’m grateful that God led me to historically biblical Christianity through Reformed Theology, and away from such theatrics.

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The Sin of Partiality

hat tip to Lavrai for the “pre-buzz” on this story

vip

When I was a member of Eddie Long’s churchclub, it never ceased to amaze me at how Eddie collected celebrities and athletes as “sons and daughters”. He loved to parade around with Usher, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Quincy Carter (former NFL quarterback), Brian Jordan (former Atlanta Brave), and various other local celebrities and politicians. These folks always got prime parking, front row seats AND a private meeting with “the bishop” every service – except Montell Jordan (you know…”this is how we do it…”). Jordan would always attend services with his wife and children and sit on the back row, shunning the ushers and Deacons who tried to get him to “come up front”. He would sit quietly and leave right after service was over – no fuss, no entourage, no drama.

I am reminded of those days because ESPN aired a very interesting story (with an accompanying article) exploring the relationships between pulpit pimps and their famous congregants. Specifically, the focus of inquiry was the law of the tithe that mega-pimps throw around the necks of star athletes – and their lust for the star’s cash. Below is the full video presentation in two parts (less than 12 minutes for both videos). The videos and the host commentary pretty much says it all, so there’s no need for a thesis from me. I have written extensively about the tithe and the unbiblical practice of using it to extort followers as well, so this is simply an illustration:

“Pulpit Pimpin’ + Rich Athletes = $$$!”

In all honesty, does any of this surprise you – especially coming from the likes of Creflo Dollar, TD Jakes and Randy White?

I am keenly aware of how the pimps watch their weekly cash grabs like you and I watch our 401K statements (or least how we used to watch them). The pimps are not stupid – blindly ignorant of the Word of God? yes – but smart enough to know that you rob a bank because that’s where all the cash is.

If the vipers read the Word of God as much as they read the Robb Report, they would see (yet again) that they are in direct violation of the Word of God:

James 2:1-9 (New American Standard Bible)

 1My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.

 2For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes,

 3and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,”

 4have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?

 5Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

 6But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court?

 7Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called?

 8If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well.

 9But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

If you are a member of a mega church and your pastor caters to the rich and famous, how does it feel to know that you can’t crawl on your belly over cut glass to get within spitting distance of your pastor, yet for a little cash you can summon a meeting – even a counseling session– with the mand of gawd?

And poor (literally), pitiful Evander Holyfield. This man has been taken advantage of by Don King AND Creflo Dollar – what a dubious distinction, indeed! Here is a man who has baby mamas and babies across the country (as a self-professed die-hard Christian, mind you) AND HE DOESN’T TAKE CARE OF THEM!…but he sure makes certain that Cashflow Dollar is well-fed and can fly across the country at his leisure.

It’s sad to see a grown man manipulated into giving by being told that everything in his life is in order EXCEPT his tithing – especially since he was fathering children out-of-wedlock during that same period. So if I’m to believe the pimps twisted tithe logic: sow a financial seed and you’ll be blessed with victory; sow your …um…personal seed (out of wedlock) then it doesn’t matter. A REAL pastor would’ve taken Evander to the side and read him directly from the Word of God:

1 Timothy 5:8 (New American Standard Bible) 

8But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.  

Stories like this ESPN piece continually throw back the curtains of the mega church pimps so that the sheep can see their REAL intentions.

Be certain, the wolves and vipers will still have their unfair share of apologists – and more stars and athletes are willing to line up to kiss the gold ring of “da bishop” so that God will bless them (i.e. excuse them for the wickedness in their lives). These donations are nothing more than the 2009 version of indulgences.

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More of the (False) Gospel According to John (Alvarado)

alvarado-grace-fellowship

Yesterday, I posted part 1 of “Bishop” Johnathon Alvarado’s personal philosophy regarding his affinity for spiritual fatherhood and his perception of the ministerial order of Jesus Christ. I specifically used the term “personal philosophy” because the more I researched scripture to disprove his “sermonette”, the more I realized that his was not an exegesis at all – and it went far beyond an eisegesis.

Yesterday’s post was to show the dangerous teaching that Jesus’ ministry was only legitimized because of His submission to John the Baptist. Alvarado’s advancement of the “ministerial legitimacy only through the anointing of a spiritual father” is clearly illustrated in most charismatic churches operating today – large and small. This contemptible thinking creates strife in the Body by purporting the false teaching that you are ineffective and impotent in ministering the Gospel UNLESS another man “launches you”.

In the previous video I posted, Alvarado clearly stated that you can only hear God through a spiritual covering! 

I gathered even more of Alvarado’s interview to post today, and I purposely posted the most egregious example yesterday so that today’s examination will only make you shake your head in pity, as opposed to yesterday’s offering that made you want to “reach out and touch” Alvarado directly:

“You’re NOT anointed UNLESS somebody over you says you’re anointed!”

In this episode of “The False Gospel According to John Alvarado”, we learn of Alvarado’s belief in infant evangelism:

“I started preaching when I was 12…I sat next to Jared Sawyer…y’all put that camera on that handsome young man right there. That young man is 11 years old, he’s a licensed minister, God’s gone use him in tremendous ways…”

So, God can’t use His Son unless and until He submitted to John the Baptist, and He won’t use someone who hasn’t been “launched out” by a pulpit pimp…but an 11 year old kid? Oh, God can use him! Riiiiight.

Jared Sawyer is a child preacher currently popular along the charismatic circuit. Sure, he’s cute in his Easter suit, and he’s an articulate and motivating speaker – but he’s not a pastor. As I wrote in a previous article on the importance of sound expository preaching, what does this child (or any child) know about regeneration and the work of the Holy Spirit in salvation? What does this or any other child preacher know about the doctrine of grace? Can this kid properly exegete the Book of Job and detail the complex posture and pattern of Godly suffering?

Nope. But he sure can sing – and he looks cute standing behind that big ol’ bookboard entertaining the sheep. This is not a personal attack on Jared Sawyer or any other child minister, but I believe that they need mature teachers to nourish the gift of God in them (because they are literally children) until they are able to lead others themselves. 

Interestingly, Alvarado next mentions leaders who are “jealous” of those in their care, and how many “spiritual fathers” misuse the leaders under their care, yet he saves his direct ire for those who flee the jealous and abusive “spiritual fathers”!:

“…[Timms: ‘the anointing can get you drunk’]…the first time somebody stands up and says ‘you know I don’t know why they don’t let you preach more often because every time you preach the anointing comes, revelation comes…listen when you go start a church I’m gon go with you…’ the devil is a lie! The anointing never flows from the feet up! The anointing flows from the head down! You’re not anointed unless somebody OVER YOU says you’re anointed”

At least now we see how Alvarado gets his twisted understanding of the ministry of Christ. In Alvarado-land, God only pronounced Jesus’ as His “beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17) because John the Baptist had already said that Jesus was anointed. Yup, that makes sense…in the false gospel according to John (Alvarado).

So now Timms and Alvarado take an ax to Psalm 133:

“…it came down his head, it didn’t say it ran over his face…it ran over his beard…immature boys don’t grow beards. The anointing only flows over a mature face. Everything that think they anointed [shakes his head no]…anointing comes over a face…that has had time and maturity.”

So why them would Alvarado say this after having just sent a “shout out” to an 11 year old preacher whom he just said was anointed? Now he’s contradicting himself as he goes along!

Psalm 133 is an exposition on brotherly love and unity, not a picture of submission to a spiritual father when “your time” has arrived. Psalm 133 correlates to Psalm 120. Both are “songs of ascents” – literally songs that Jewish pilgrims sang on their way to the 3 great feasts of their culture. Psalm 133 is a plea for spiritual unity (primarily fraternally, or in brotherhood). The oil metaphor is utilized to recognize the priesthood of Aaron, and the subsequent celebration of godly rule over the children of Israel – and it is used in that same reference in Psalm 133 as a plea for unity to replicate the same celebratory atmosphere that occurred during Aaron’s coronation and anointing with oil. It is not an ordinance or sacrament of the faith – necessary to confer “privileges” on someone who is “ready” to lead.

So now, Timms is starting to feel a bit overshadowed by the good Bishop, so he begins to click, twitch, and yell to prove that he too can move the crowd – and Alvarado let’s Timms have his moment…until it’s time to swoop in with more deep revelation about David’s anointing.

Alvarado contends that “immature leaders” must suffer under their maniacal “spiritual fathers” just as David suffered under Saul:

 “…David was brought because at various points in Saul’s life and ministry a distressing spirit would come and vex him, and David’s responsibility was to play and minister until Saul got healed. So the question now ‘what do I do if I have a jealous person that’s over me’? I duck the javelins, and I play until they get healed”

So no matter how sick and twisted your “spiritual father” is…no matter how they extort the sheep and you’re left to defend him against your will…no matter how much they beg for money and claim that the church is broke while they live in luxury…no matter how they take sexual advantage of the women (and men) in the church – your job is to stay and “play” (i.e. run cover for them and take their abusive condemnation when you attempt to reason and rebuke according to the Word) until they get healed?

What about fleeing false doctrine – and warning the other sheep on your way out the door – so that the “spiritual father” repents before the Lord for a healing? What about what the Word of God says in Romans 16:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; Proverbs 14:7; Titus 1:10-16 and so on? Oh I forgot, in the gospel according to John (Alvarado), the word of man trumps the Word of God, so ignore sound biblical doctrine – just listen to the pimp to whom you’ve submitted…you know, the one who is being vexed by all of those spirits in the first place.

The pimps create an atmosphere of paranoia by declaring you’re not ready to leave them – all the while their behavior becomes more and more troubling – and ungodly – to you. Then, they tell you that they’re protecting you by making you stay under their wicked authority – and that you are a rebellious son of the devil if you dare try to break away.

Then, Alvarado gives a bizarre eisegesis of David, beheading Goliath:

“…David was making sure, that anything that I face in my youth, I don’t want it to come back when I’m an old man. I’m not just gon’ kill it…I’ma…slap somebody high five and say ‘take his head off’…”

Here is the account of David and Goliath’s encounter as it appears in scripture:

1 Samuel 17:49-51 (New American Standard Bible) 

49And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground.

 50Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck the Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in David’s hand.

 51Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.

David killed Goliath because of Goliath’s blasphemy of the Living God, and David understood that Goliath challenged the Lord, not him, therefore the Lord was with him through his courage (Deuteronomy 31:6; Judges 7:18). This is not a story of victory in “waiting for your turn”, it is an example of God’s ever present protection for His children – and the ability to do the (seemingly) impossible through Him.

Folks, I’m no bible scholar, nor do I possess superior biblical intellect. I read the Word, I research in context, and the pieces of the puzzle fit together from there.

ANYBODY can rightly divide the Word if they sought to do so with the right posture: not for fame, adoration of men, or notoriety, but for the glory of God and for understanding His instructions for your life.

When more people take time to climb through the Word to see if their pastor is telling the WHOLE truth, then we’ll all become “dangerous Christians” – ones who can hear from God directly and challenge the false teachers on their heresy.

More Hack Exegesis…Courtesy of TBN

johnathan-alvarado

TBN (or The Baal Network, as I like to call it) is at it again.

The man pictured above is Bishop Johnathon Alvarado of Total Grace Christian Center here in Metro-Atlanta. Alvarado leads a congregation of over 5,000 members with various locations. Although Alvarado referred to himself as “an apostle” back in 2003 (because he was “planting churches”), he was consecrated as a Bishop within the past few years:

As the demand for covering and guidance from Bishop Alvarado grew, a collection of pastors wanted to further express their covenant relationship with him by forming an official fellowship.  In 2005, Bishop Alvarado was nominated by these pastors to the Office of Bishop for the newly founded Grace Fellowship of Churches and was officially consecrated for this office in June, 2006.

Alvarado is a very educated man, earning multiple degrees in Divinity and Theology from legitimate institutions. He and his wife (and co-pastor) Toni are candidates for Doctorates in Ministry, but both are officially classified as “ABD” – meaning they have completed all qualifications for their doctorates except the completion of dissertations, thus the term “All But Dissertation”. Interestingly, Alvarado’s wife refers to herself as “Dr. Toni”…not earthshattering, but an unnecessary half-truth nonetheless.

Alvarado graced the Atlanta studios of TBN April 14th, 2009 to expound on the importance of “spiritual fatherhood” in the Body of Christ. I find his “exegesis” to be so dangerous that I decided to inaugurate my Youtube page with my first video (please watch the entire video before commenting):

You’re “Dangerous” If You Only Hear From God?

Yes, you heard correctly: Alvarado asserts that Jesus’ ministry was only legitimized because He “submitted” to the “preeminent minister of the area” – John the Baptist. I know…I am equally as distressed as you should be right now. In fact, it has taken me 2 full days to write about it so that I could be sure that I am not speaking from my flesh, but by the Word of God. Please indulge me as I take a moment to seriously dissect this false teaching.

Last year, I took considerable time in detailing the fallacy of what many pastors consider “spiritual fatherhood” in today’s church. Beyond a system of transparent accountability, many pastors (and pulpit pimps) have set-up faux “covering ministries” that create patronage systems that help one another grow financially and in marketability.

I believe that Alvarado’s “sermonette” was a shot across the bow to those who have left their “spiritual fathers” in order to start their own ministries…particularly a certain former father/son relationship here in Metro-Atlanta. Alvarado began this interview quite soundly by detailing the affinity for “spiritual fathers” here in the ATL (and other areas), and his dismay with how so many people “jump around from father to father”. He even goes on to detail his relationship with his “father in the faith”, and I don’t have a problem (per se) with his reasoning, considering he’s had a relationship with the man since he was a child.

Around the 2:39 second mark, Alvarado begins to veer off the rails by shifting the discussion to “sonship” – quoting Malachi 4:5-6 out of context by declaring:

“…some of us are cursed in our lives, marriages, ministries, families because we won’t let our hearts be turned”

As I stated in a previous article about the lie of the tithe, Malachi is often misquoted/misunderstood/misrepresented when taken out of context. The entire book of Malachi is a pronouncement of judgement from God on disobedient priests (specifically in reference to priests “robbing God” of sacrificial offerings) and a disobedient nation (Israel – specifically in their continued disobedience andabuse of God’s grace). Here is the text as it appears in the bible:

Malachi 4:5-6 (New American Standard Bible)

 5“Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD.

 6“He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”

Further study of this passage of scripture details that God was specifically speaking of societal repentance, returning the hearts of a disobedient remnant to their God through (a foretelling of) His Son. This IS NOT a pronouncement of a curse over “sons” because they have left or been otherwise disobedient to their “fathers” – in any context. It is allegorical language that illustrates a state of falling away from God through disobedience.

Oh if only Alvarado had stopped there…

“…in Atlanta, everybody wants God to be their father and nobody else”

That’s right – everyone wants “God to be their Father” because that’s what God’s Word tell us is true (emphasis added):

Matthew 23:8-12 (New American Standard Bible) 

 8“But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.

 9Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.

 10“Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ.

 11“But the greatest among you shall be your servant.

 12“Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

Of course, God wants you to call your biological father by his proper title, and He does not forbid us from even using titles as a sign of respect (1 Thessalonians 5:11-2; 1 Timothy 5:1). This scripture, however, specifically forbids us calling others by lofty spiritual titles that allows them to ascribe spiritual authority over us.

Alvarado goes on to dispute the rejection of “spiritual fathers” on the grounds that bastard “sons” will come and go as they please without a “fathers”:

“…because then, if they want to leave Bishop Alvarado’s church and go to Bishop Jackson’s church, then all they gotta say is ‘God told me’ (laughter)…I mean, come on, be fair with me – who can argue with that?”

Alvarado then goes on to use the story of Samuel and Eli as illustration that the young man wouldn’t have even known that God was speaking to him apart from his consultation with Eli (1 Samuel 3). Interestingly, Alvarado uses this portion of scripture to support his “sonship” theory, but he doesn’t use this book of scripture in validating why some “sons” flee the jealousy of their “fathers” in the first place.

God told Samuel of the judgement that would befall Eli (1 Samuel 31-35) because of Eli’s lack of fatherly oversight of his biological sons (1 Samuel 2:12-17). Samuel hesitated to reveal to Eli, his mentor, what God said concerning his fate – yet the old man reacted in a peculiar manner:

1 Samuel 3:16-18 (New American Standard Bible) 

 16Then Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” And he said, “Here I am.”

 17He said, “What is the word that He spoke to you? Please do not hide it from me. May God do so to you, and more also, if you hide anything from me of all the words that He spoke to you.”

 18So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, “It is the LORD; let Him do what seems good to Him.”

So rather than curse his “spiritual son” for daring to tell him about the God that he introduced Samuel to in the first place, Eli acknowledged God’s report through Eli, and awaited his fate. How many “spiritual fathers” operating in pimpistries today would not rebuke Samuel for “daring” to speak for God? Not many. 

At this point, Alvarado expresses his concern “…about people that God’s the only one that can speak to them.” This retort is a common one among pulpit pimps. They get absolutely beside themselves when you tell them that “God told me to do…” something, ESPECIALLY if it is contrary to what that pimp wants you to do. Now, the same people who tell you that “you can be like God” and “speak those things that be not as though they were”(commonly misused and miss-appropriated elements of scripture) claim that you don’t have the authority or spiritual maturity to hear from God – that you have to hear Him through them.

Wow – you’ve gone from a “little god” to an immature clod in less than 60 seconds! And this has absolutely nothing to do with how many people misconstrue Romans 10:14; and I have commented before on the true exegesis of Romans 10:14-15. The intent of the text is clear – Paul specifically speaks to the importance of the verbal sharing of the Gospel, NOT that God will not speak but by a “preacher” or “sent teacher” alone.

So “Bishop” Alvarado now has to show his complete ignorance of the ministry and order of Christ:

“…does Jesus say ‘God told Me to start a church’? No. He goes down to John the Baptist, he was the leader of the day (the Bishop of that region)…He goes down to John the Baptist…Jesus said ‘if I want a legitimate ministry, I’ve got to submit Myself to the legitimate ministry of the day…if I want to be legit, I gotta sit under somebody who’s legit’

So, if I am to understand Alvarado correctly (and I’ve watched this video at least 15 times), Jesus – God in the flesh – had an illegitimate ministry UNTIL HE SUBMITTED to John the Baptist?

Is Alavarado drunk, crazy, or both? 

May God have mercy on him for ever uttering such crap! Let’s take a look at Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist:

Matthew 3:13-17 (New American Standard Bible)

 13Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. 14But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?”

 15But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he permitted Him.

 16After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him,

 17and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

Maybe I missed something ACROSS ALL 4 SYNOPTIC GOSPELS, but did scripture record Jesus’ submission to John the Baptist…ANYWHERE? Further, why didn’t we see Jesus “submit His ministry” to John the Baptist after this “revelation” – since Jesus CLEARLY relinquished His Godliness in order to now become the “spiritual son” of John the Baptist.

In Luke 7, John (who is now imprisoned and awaiting a beheading) sought Christ for an escape, but Jesus admonished him to not be offended by His works:

Luke 7:18-23 (New American Standard Bible) 

 18The disciples of John reported to him about all these things. 19Summoning two of his disciples, John sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?”

 20When the men came to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, to ask, ‘Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?'”

 21At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He gave sight to many who were blind.

22And He answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM.  

23“Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”

 Why didn’t Jesus “save” His “spiritual father”? Isn’t this what “sons” are supposed to do, according to Alvarado and other proponents of a twisted “spiritual sonship”?

Alvarado goes on to describe the Ordo Salutis as a treaty of justifaction for the transfer of salvation through human hands:

“the Ordo Salutis…is the same translation from which we derive the word ‘order. It literally means the way in which our salvation is realized and fulfilled in the earth..and it’s always through the ministry and the hands of another human being”

Sorry to be so blunt, but that is a boldfaced lie! A study of the Ordo Salutis clearly shows that:

The ordo salutis is the theological doctrine that deals with the logical sequencing of the benefits of Salvation worked by Christ which are applied to us by the Spirit. This first thing to remember is that we must never seperate the benefits (regeneration, justification, sanctification) from the Benefactor (Jesus Christ). The entire process (election, redemption, regeneration, etc.) is the work of God in Christ and is by grace alone.

The Ordo Salutis is a Reformed tenet that affirms salvation, repentance, and regeneration are acts of the Holy Spirit on behalf of the elect – NOT SOME DOCTRINE OF TRANSFERENCE THROUGH THE LAYING ON OF HANDS! Either Alvarado is incredibly stupid, or cunning enough to think that no one could research this information! Since Alvarado likes Latin so much, why didn’t he research Sola Scriptura – the belief in the supremacy of scripture alone? I could go on, but you get the point – this is a clear case of hack exegesis to prove a personal philosophy.

Alvarado’s final declaration of his “fear” of Christians who “can’t hear from another person” is quite troubling, but nonetheless expected of an (apparently) false teacher. Why would he or any other pimp want you to read the Word for direction from God – apart from their counsel? They don’t want you wandering away from the plantation.

This is yet more evidence of the sad state of the Body of Christ these days. What could have been a clear and concise discussion on Alvarado’s interest/allegiance to spiritual fatherhood instead turned into a session of nothing short of lies propagated to advance a personal philosophy.

I call on Alvarado to repent of this false teaching publicly – just as he publicly espoused these false theories. I also call upon the sheep who submit to him to consider your allegiance as well. Perhaps we now know why Alvarado hasn’t completed his dissertation and is stil ABD – who would want to stand before a doctoral committee to defend such nonsense?

Related Post:

“…wandering from the fold of God”

 sheep-on-edge-of-cliff

The title of this article is taken from one of my favorite hymns, “Come Thou Fountain of Every Blessing”:

“Here I raise my Ebenezer, Here by Thy great help I’ve come.
And i hope by Thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God.
He to rescue me from danger, Interposed His precious blood
.”

Within that simple verse lies the crux of the impasse that the church finds itself today. My heart breaks daily when I see and hear scriptural molestation and murder at the hands of the minstrels and hirelings performing in pulpits on stage every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. First, we were told that we were “little gods” – able to command blessings, influence events by “binding and loosing”, and even controlling God Himself at the whim of our mortal words. We were sold the erroneous claim that we choose to “surrender our lives” to God – again, claiming our own power in the direction of our eternal souls.

Continuing in this misguided philosophy – after we “stopped running” and “surrendered” to Him, we were told that the only way to assuage His Righteous indignation was to pay him…heartily…so that His grace would be upon us, we’d walk in His divine favor, and we’d be spared from all manner of calamity.

The church has perilously wandered away from “the fold of God”, and they don’t even know it. Worse, we have rejected God’s Holy Word and accepted a distorted substitute from the mouths of liars – and God’s judgement is being poured out before our very eyes (emphasis added):

Romans 1:18-25 (New American Standard Bible)

18For (A)the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who (B)suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

 19because (C)that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

 20For (D)since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, (E)being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

 21For even though they knew God, they did not [a]honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became (F)futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

 22(G)Professing to be wise, they became fools,

 23and (H)exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and [b]crawling creatures.

 24Therefore (I)God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be (J)dishonored among them.

 25For they exchanged the truth of God for a (K)lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, (L)who is blessed forever. Amen.

Not only are the hirelings who purport this false gospel fools who profess to be wise, but the sheep (who are proving themselves to really be goats – Matthew 25:31-46) are eagerly joining them in their rejection of the Word of God, and defending the vile hirelings tooth and nail, all the while ignoring the TRUTH of the Gospel they profess to embrace. We might not worship animals and birds (yet), but man-worship is in full effect and expanding at every turn. Sheeple will quote their pimp hireling with far greater fervor than they will the Word of God – IF they quote the Word at all.

All of this is born out of our twisted view of our place in God’s soveriegn plan. When we stray from historical biblical Christianity, we stray from sound doctrine and God’s Word. As a Monergist, I recognize that the Holy Spirit is the ONLY agent who initiated and effected regeneration in me. Apart from the Blood of Christ, there is no good in me (Romans 7:17-19), so how can I – in my natural mind – make a decision to live for Christ and yield to Him?

John Hendryx wrote an article regarding Monergism that neatly explains the working of the Holy Spirit in regeneration (emphasis added):

The Work of the Trinity in Monergism – The Shepherd Knows His Sheep By Name

[…] Monergistic regeneration is a redemptive blessing purchased by Christ for those the Father has given Him (1 Pet 1:3, John 6:37, 39). This grace works independently of any human cooperation and conveys that power into the fallen soul whereby the person who is to be saved is effectually enabled to respond to the gospel call (Acts 2:39, 1 Cor 1:2, 9, 24, Rom 8:30 John 1:13, Acts 13:48). It is that supernatural power of God alone whereby we are granted the spiritual ability and desire to comply with the conditions of the covenant of grace; that is, to apprehend the Redeemer by a living faith, to come up to the terms of salvation, to repent of idols and to love God and the Mediator supremely. The Holy Spirit, in quickening the fallen soul, mercifully illumines the mind and renews the heart, giving God’s elect the capacity and inclination to exercise faith in Jesus Christ (John 6:44, 1 John 5:1). This instantaneous and intensely personal work of God is the means by which the Spirit brings us into living union with Him.

 In my not so humble opinion, one of the precipitating events to the downward spiral we see in Christianity today is the denial of the sovereignty and supremacy of God in all things. We have relegated God to the role of both Cosmic Slot Machine and Puppet, all at the same time. By degrading His sovereignty, we elevate our own foolish pride and knowledge, and we begin to tell the potter how we are to be fashioned (Isaiah 29:15-16). This task is made far more simple when we do so from the posture of “little gods” who can “decide” to step away from our sin-sick fate and “come to Jesus”. Of course, this logic makes it easier to vacillate back and forth between sin and holiness because after all, “it is our decision”, right?

I implore you by the power of the Holy Spirit – reject the men and women who puff themselves up as modern day idols. Reject any and all new-age philosophy that equates you with God in power and might. Abhor mockery of God’s Holy Word at the hands of pimps, vipers, wolves, et al. Flee false doctrine and wicked assemblies. Systematically READ GOD’S WORD FOR YOURSELF (page by page) and stop relying on 3rd and 4th hand hack exegesis from impostors. Don’t be afraid to sit on a wooden pew in a small church (full of people who are not the same race as you are) and listen to a preacher who rightly divides the Word just because they don’t entertain you like the minstrels do. Meditate on God’s Word – and buy credible reference material and books that help you dig even deeper for His truth. Learn to hear the Voice of God for yourself so that you don’t run from the arms of a wolf into the clutch of a viper.

Above all, I pray to God through His Precious Son that you would trust in Christ alone for your salvation and your hope, and that you will be built up in Him Who does not dissappoint (1 Peter 2:4-6).

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, And to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise, And to know, “Thus says the Lord!”

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him! How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! O for grace to trust Him more!

Oh Precious Father, humble us to return to Your fold.

Related Posts:

“…get me my money!”

*Brace yourselves, because this article is very lengthy. The subject, however is vitally important, and many need to hear it, confirm it with the Word of God, and flee false doctrine…

the-mack

Listen to me and listen good. I don’t give a s..t what happened to you. You hear me? Now get yourself together, get back out there and git me my money! “Goldie” from the 1973 classic “The Mack”

Goldie the pimp lashed out at his “employee” (which is what desperate pimps do) because his cash flow began to severely constrict. He didn’t care about competition, the economy, or lack of “customers” – Goldie wanted his money!

Well, those words might have also been uttered recently by the Senior Pastor Pimp at Higher Living Christian Church (formerly New Birth South). I have written extensively about The Pimp of Hampton (GA) and his club in the past – overtly and covertly. The club is leaking leaders and members like the Titanic, and people are finally growing weary of hearing lie heaped upon lie, amateurishly disguised as the Word of God. No matter how many trinkets are dangled in front of the lemmings sheep who are still there because they need “covering”, the money is beginning to only trickle in. Sure, people are losing their jobs, homes, and families – but they are also sick and tired of seeing The Pimp of Hampton driving a Bentley, living in a $1M home, and prospering (with their help, no doubt) as they continue to suffer hardship.

So, the Pimp of Hampton has channeled his inner “Goldie” and resorted to doing what any self-respecting pimp would do…threaten to unleash his mafia on them if they don’t pay up.

I have been hearing (from multiple unrelated sources) about “the letter” – an intimidating correspondence sent out to anyonewho serves in leadership at The Pimp of Hampton’s club AND is in arrears on their “tithe payments” (from ministers and paid church staff all the way down to nursery volunteers). This correspondence is sent to put them on notice that “Daddy” isn’t happy with their inconsistent tithing, and he’s not going to take it anymore. 

“Dis-fellowshiping” church members for not “tithing” is nothing new, yet the threat is still surprising.

Even though I know how desperate The Pimp of Hampton has become recently, I would never have believed the tone of “the letter” – until someone sent a copy of it so that I could share it with the blogosphere (personal information redacted):

Hello (name redacted),

The 2008 End of Year Financials & contribution statements are closed and Pastor Landers has been provided with a view of the 2008 tithing records for ALL ministry leads and it’s CRITICAL that EVERYONE is operating in the order of the house as a member and LEADER of Higher Living Christian Church.

Consistency in tithing is not optional for LEADERS. It is a requirement. Any LEADERS experiencing tithing issues at the close of 2008 will be subject to a probationary warning letter and a quarterly review of their contributions, throughout year 2009. If tithing requirements are not met, LEADERS Will be subject to disciplinary action including suspension or being asked to step down from leadership. The next review of LEADER contributions is scheduled on April 1, 2009.

(personal information redacted – essentially stating that the recipient of the letter agreed to “submit to leadership” when they joined) adhering and following the leadership of the Senior Pastor and the leadership that has been appointed to the lead the ministry in which you are submitted and committed. Consistency in tithing is a condition of your submission and commitment to God and with the Higher Living Christian Church ministry. Failure to adhere to any HLCC governing policies can lead to probationary warnings, suspension or dismissal.

Are you interested in bi-weekly automatic debit drafts for your tithe and contributions?

Obtain a automatic draft form from Deacon (name redacted) or (name redacted) for processing.

Are you busy serving on Sunday and forget to drop your tithes in the offering basket?

Place your tithes on the altar, prior to service or make sure to utilize the brown receptacles in the main lobby or near the elevator, before or after service.

“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me in tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed me. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and try me now in this, says the Lord of hosts, If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sake, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground.” (Malachi 3:8-11)

Yup. The Pimp of Hampton is teetering on the edge of insanity – and this salvo sent even more contributors to the exits recently as well.

Rather than shaking my head in dismay and thanking God through Jesus Christ that I no longer subscribe to this foolish cult-like heresy, please indulge me for a moment as I succinctly present scriptural proof that tithing is an Old Testament law that modern day pulpit pimps, wolves, vipers, false teachers, money grubbers et al wield as a 10% tax and intimidation technique to take your money.

Let me be clear – we are commanded by God to give for the furtherance of the Gospel, the care of the Elder who preaches the Gospel, and the needs of those around us (from our household to the community and more). We are not commanded to contribute a fixed amount (a tax, if you will) under the duress of an imminent curse. In 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, Paul commends the Corinthian church to give generously and in joy – inside and outside of the church, and we should give according to our income (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). We should practice what I call “grace giving” – giving as the Lord leads to whomever He leads you to give – and in whatever amount. Many embrace the tithe (pastors and parishioners) because it is “lazy benevolence” – it’s easier to give “to the church” and hope that they will distribute money and aid throughout the community instead of bringing food, diapers, money, and other resources directly to those in need yourself.

The averageChristian would rather lay $100 at the alter and expect their “breakthrough” than to give that same $100 to a single mother scraping her change together in the Kroger supermarket, primarily because the average Christian has been convinced that God will curse them if they don’t lay that money at the alter, whereas ignoring the single mother in need won’t cause the “devourer” to “invade their storehouse”.

Tithing was a requirement of Old Testament law where the Israelites were told to give 10% of their earnings and crops to the Tabernacle. Since the priests lived in the Tabernacle, they were sustained by the tithes (or 10% “tax”) of their “congregation” (Deuteronomy 26:12-15). Numbers 18 details the ordinance of the priesthood, including tithing and its original intent, and Leviticus 27:30, Deuteronomy 14:24, and 2 Chronicles 31:5 all offer evidence of the requirement of tithing for Jews under the Old Covenant.

Aside from Paul’s admonitions to care for the needs of the Gospel, there is no reference under the New Covenant (through Jesus Christ) that Christians are required to pay any tithe or tax. There are countless mentions of giving for the sake of the saints, but no mention of a set percentage as a “minimum”. Even when Jesus mentions the tithe in the New Testament, it is in reference to Jews and their custom (Matthew 23:23). Paul even admonishes that saints pay for the care of good elders (1 Corinthians 9:9-14), but even Paul doesn’t advocate throwing good money after bad when you see that your money is being wasted on extravagant living and excess while those in need (in your own congregation)still go lacking. And just to be completely clear – The Pimp of Hampton does NOT live in his club – he has a $1M home surrounded by a gate to keep the great unwashed at bey. He should be well compensated for serving in Gospel ministry, but he should preach the TRUE Gospel, and he SHOULD NOT live in extravagance while the sheep under his care are suffering…AND HE SHOULD NOT KEEP BEGGING FOR MORE.

Having said all of that, the tithing legalists will talk about how tithing is applicable because it falls within the order of the priesthood of Melchizedek (or some other wishy-washy recounting of Abraham paying a tithe to Melchizedek). When you read Hebrews 7 in (entirety and in context) we see the true application of the Levitical priesthood AFTER the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and Hebrews 8 details our New Covenant under Jesus Christ. Further, Hebrews 7:12 explicitly details the shift from the Old to the New Covenant.

And for those of you who adhere to the admonition of your pimp to “give your tithe first before you give anything to anybody else!”, you would do well to heed 1 Timothy 5:8 (my emphasis in bold):

But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Rather than address “the letter” line by line, I’ll tackle it in whole. The Pimp of Hampton can hand down any edict that he wants – it’s his church (I know…it should be “God’s church”, but it’s not. The Pimp of Hampton has fashioned and designed a kingdom after his own heart, and he got it – so the Lord has nothing to do with that club). The staffers who work there who were threatened with being fired unless they got “caught up” on their tithes received a valid threat because Georgia is a right-to-work state, which means that you can quit your job for any reason, and you can be fired from your job for any reason.

Threatening people who volunteer in ministry is within the pimp’s right as well – again, it’s his club. When you submit to a pimp and his authority, then you are subject to the pimps rules (see Goldie’s quote above). It does not matter that you lost your job, are supporting family and friends with your “extra” money, or you’ve just decided to stop paying your tax to the club, the pimp has decreed that your service is useless unless you are “in good standing” with your giving. To him and his ilk, your giving is equal to or greater than your heart for the service of God.

Your first peek into the heart of the Pimp of Hampton should have been his lack of concern about why your money is tight right now…just the fact that your money is tight and he hasn’t seen it much lately.

Where I draw the line to separate the pimp’s rights and heresy is the continual intentional twisting of Malachi 3:10 (or in this case, Malachi 3:8-11). Please pay close attention – when you read the book of Malachi in entirety, you will see that God is pronouncing His judgement on disobedient priests who absconded the sacrificial offerings for themselves. In fact, Malachi 2 is subtitled “Priests to be Disciplined”. So, as you see, we have to go through 2 full books of scripture where God is “spanking” the priests before we get to Malachi 3, and specifically verses 8-11.

When you read the Word of God in context, you see just how far off base the pimps are when extorting your money. You are bound and intimidated into giving a tax for fear of eternal curse and damnation from God – yet His Word clearly states that He wasn’t even talking about you! But the pimps don’t want you to read the Word for yourself, because you’ll then have no need for his “covering”.

It’s shameful, it’s despicable, and it is an affront to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the liberation we have through His Redeeming Blood. Ask yourself, why would God send His Son to free us from the bondage of sin and death yet require us to pay into a system of bondage that never applied to us?

If you are reading this article and you are still a member of the Pimp of Hampton’s club (and I know this blog is well read and discussed within the club), then you must repent of your allegiance to this false gospel, flee the cult that you have been involved in, and repent before the Lord Jesus Christ. Find yourself a bible believing pastor who preaches and teaches for the glory of God and not the fame and adoration of men (hint, you might have to find a church that does not have a television ministry, or a huge building).

The Lord Himself knows of your distress, and He will repay those who intentionally deceive you in His Name:

Jeremiah 23:11-12 (New American Standard Bible)

11“For (A)both prophet and priest are polluted;
         Even in My house I have found their wickedness,” declares the LORD. 
    12“Therefore their way will be like (B)slippery paths to them,
         They will be driven away into the (C)gloom and fall down in it;
         For I will bring (D)calamity upon them,
         The year of their punishment,” declares the LORD.

And since the Pimp of Hampton also reads this blog, pray for him. Pray that he repent before the Lord and return to his First Love, lest his false teaching continue to anger the Lord:

Jeremiah 23:1-4 (New American Standard Bible)

 1(A)Woe to the shepherds who are (B)destroying and scattering the (C)sheep of My pasture!” declares the LORD.

 2Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel concerning the shepherds who are tending My people: “You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not attended to them; behold, I am about to (D)attend to you for the (E)evil of your deeds,” declares the LORD.

 3“Then I Myself will (F)gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and bring them back to their pasture, and they will be fruitful and multiply.

 4“I will also raise up (G)shepherds over them and they will tend them; and they will (H)not be afraid any longer, nor be terrified, (I)nor will any be missing,” declares the LORD.

For more solid biblical exegesis of tithing, see these excellent resources:

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The Prayer of the Inclusionist

HT to Melvin over at Pulpit Pimps for this one…

coexist

Many of us in “blog minstry” know regular reader (and contributor) GaryV. He always brings sage wisdom to the comment threads, and he made the “touch not God’s anointed” crowd spin on their eyebrows and spit wooden nickles with his excellent exegesis scripture.

Well folks, GaryV is back at it. Since President King Obama decided to have openly gay “bishop” Vickie Gene Robinson offer an opening prayer during one of the inauguration events anointing and ascension services a few weeks ago, GaryV just had to offer his own version of an inclusionist prayer that would make the “can’t we all just get along” crowd warm and fuzzy (make sure you watch the video or read the original prayer’s text to get the context of GaryV’s version below):

Oh wonderful and merciful God/Godess/Divinity in transition from God to Godess through holy gender reassignment,

We humbly beseech Thee to bless us with the end of tears by removing the sting of body and eyebrow waxing.

Bless us with anger for the outrageous prices we are being charged to have Jennifer Lopez’s Grammy Award presentation gown reproduced in a men’s size XXL.

Bless us with discomfort whenever we hear the Bible, lest it penetrate our heart directly through our silicone implants.

Bless us with patience for hateful, bigoted, and sexually repressed Christians who want to keep us from legal and loving unions with the same sex. Or multiple partners. Or children under 3. Or different species.

Bless us with humility, that we might bow before any god….Allah, Vishnu, Xenu, President Obama….except the One in the Bible.

Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance, that we may warmly embrace and openly celebrate everything deemed an abomination in Scripture while still calling ourselves followers of Christ.

Bless us with compassion and generosity – remembering that every religion’s God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable in the human community rather than by some antiquated and repulsive acceptance of a Blood sacrifice for sins. And in Your relativism, let us ignore the 1.5 million vulnerable lives we destroy each year, offering them on our own bloody altar of selfishness.

And God, we give you thanks for your child Barack as he assumes the office of President of the United States. And we thank You that your Messiah Obama has already repealed the oppressive ban on funding abortions overseas, along with a promise to repeal any ban on abortions in these United States (including partial birth abortions).

Give him wisdom beyond his years, and inspire him with Lincoln’s reconciling leadership style (but not his love of Scripture), President Kennedy’s ability to enlist our best efforts (as well as his moral degeneracy), and Dr. King’s dream of a nation for ALL the people (along with his delicious denials of Christ’s Deity, the Atonement of the Cross, the Virgin Birth, and the Inspiration of Scripture).

Give him a quiet heart, lest he hear his own heart’s condemnation which The God of Scripture graciously sends to bring repentance and obedience to Christ. For that would truly suck, oh Amorphous And Non-Specific Deity.

AMEN.

Well, this time GaryV even left me speechless.

Priceless…oh, and I’ll forward all of your hatemail to GaryV directly – he enjoy’s dissecting that kind of stuff.

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What’s Going On With The COGIC?

cogic

My dear brother in Christ, Pastor DL Foster, has a very interesting discussion brewing over at his blog GCM Watch. Pastor Foster is calling for a class-action lawsuit of the Church of God In Christ(COGIC). 

Arguably, sexual perversion is consuming the once powerful denomination from the inside out, and Pastor Foster has been detailing the downward spiral for quite some time now.

Now he’s fed up – and he’s calling the degenerate ministers and bishops on the carpet:

GCM Watch calls for class action lawsuit against COGIC

In the wake of a string of sexual molestation cases perpetrated by Church of God in Christ clergy, GCM Watch is openly calling for victims to unite and file a class action lawsuit. Less than two weeks after news surfaced about the sordid case of COGIC pastor James Bell of Kentucky who possibly infected a teen boy with HIV, another shocking story of sexual abuse by COGIC clergy is unleashed upon us.

[…] If you or a family member have been sexually molested (or propositioned) within the last 10 years by a “credential holder” (licensed minister, ordained elder, bishop, et al)  in COGIC please contact gcmwatch@yahoo.com  GCM Watch immediately.

Click the article title to read in it’s entirety – it’s quite a doosey. I am on a tireless tirade against pulpit pimps of all persuasion, and after reading the many sordid details of allegation upon allegation of sexual abuse I am thoroughly convinced that COGIC harbors sexual pimps in addition to pulpit pimps.

That said, how does a class-action lawsuit (a civil matter) square with 1 Corinthians 6, specifically:

1 Corinthians 6:1-8 (New American Standard Bible)

1 Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous and (A)not before the saints?

2 Or (B)do you not know that (C)the saints will judge (D)the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?

3 (E)Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?

4 So if you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church?

5 (F)I say this to your shame Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his (G)brethren,

6 but brother goes to law with brother, and that before (H)unbelievers?

7 Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. (I)Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?

8 On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your (J)brethren.

So scripture forbids (or, Paul expressly discourages) lawsuits amongst saints. So, what then do we make of (my emphasis in bold):

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (New American Standard Bible)

9 Or (A)do you not know that the unrighteous will not (B)inherit the kingdom of God? (C)Do not be deceived; (D)neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [a]effeminate, nor homosexuals,

10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will (E)inherit the kingdom of God.

Should the victims of these horrible crimes be satisfied with levying just criminal charges while avoiding civil litigation against these degenerate predators?

Should the victims have the opportunity to hold COGIC civilly accountable for those who serve under their various jurisdictions around the world?

Should we just pray for the victims while continuing to look the other way as degenerate sexual deviants (in pulpits) continue to prey on the sheep – financially and sexually?

I am not one to shy away from biblical correction or rebuke – but I say hold COGIC accountable in court. They have ignored private pleas for decades so maybe they need to have the robes removed (so to speak).

Since Pastor Foster has a very interesting comment thread going on over there, I encourage you to post your comments there – but I’m always open to hearing what you have to say as well.

May God comfort the victims of these heinous crimes – and may His judgement fall upon those who mistreat His children.

Related Posts:

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