Sunday Faith Blog

From time to time, I hear of Christian evangelists maligned by other Christians for not being rigid enough, not scriptural….for supposedly selling new Christians down the river with false proclamations, etc.

Some of those included in the list of ‘charlatans’ are Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Todd White….many, many others are on that list.   While I feel Joel Osteen is mostly fluff and ‘feel good,’ he and others do bring people to faith.    Should these people brought to faith limit themselves to the teachings of Joel and the others forever, limiting their own reading and study of scripture, limiting input from other good solid Christian thinkers/writers?   I think not, definitely NOT.  If that’s where people stay, they need enlightenment.

Even Hillsong, a church that started in Australia and is now all over the world and particularly compelling to young people who are reached through it’s fabulous praise music, encourages these same young people to get into Bible studies, go to Bible based churches, etc.   But Hillsong is maligned by many as well.

So I’d like to share this question with you…..if who you think is ‘lightweight’ brings people to Christian faith, is it our place to say whether that faith is true or not?  Is it their place to have to prove it to anybody?  

I was recently told T.D. Jakes, Obama’s supposed Christian mentor, doesn’t believe in the Trinity.  Now THAT kind of teaching I’d totally be against!  HOW can anybody actually deny what’s so clearly in the Bible and call himself a Christian pastor, mentor, expert?  Impossible!

I read yesterday, after Googling him, that Todd White doesn’t preach salvation or repentance ten minutes after I saw him on some Christian TV station talking about his life that had been completely  sinful…a daughter out of wedlock, a terrible cocaine addiction, never working, etc etc….until he found Christ.   He completely went off drugs, married his little girl’s mother and has remained married now for 11 years, during which they’ve had two more daughters.  He witnesses to thousands of people and some have come to faith…he spoke of submitting himself to God, of a hugely changed life because of that, etc etc., yet he is utterly maligned by those who “know better.”

I’m not slamming those ‘know better’ people but I’m curious about them.  I actually  get the feeling that talking about the deep love of God is anathema to many Christians.  If you’re interested in this subject, I’d like to hear your thoughts.  I hope my post is clear enough that I’ve imparted what ‘this subject’ is!

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  Matthew 7: 15

And then there is this:

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.    1 Corinthians 13:2

Blessings,
Zabelle

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23 Responses to Sunday Faith Blog

  1. Sparky says:

    Guess I’m kinda dumb ’cause I don’t know who any of those folks are that is mentioned above, except for O’Boy, and we won’t go there. I am trying to teach myself that judging others is never a good thing. It doesn’t edify them or me. Our mission, as Bible believing Christians, is to straighten our own lives out, walk closer to God, and witness so that others may also be saved.
    Someone just recently showed me one of my major flaws and she didn’t even know she did it. I am so appreciative of her instructions. So, I’ll get busy on my log jams and try not to worry about anyone else. 🙂 Hope that makes sense.
    By the way, I’m back blogging again. My hands are much improved! Praise the LORD Jesus for His mercy.
    And hope your day is blessed Z. May the goodness you impart come back to you 10 fold.

  2. geeez2014 says:

    Sparky, so SO happy to hear your hands are well enough for you to blog again! I’ve missed you!
    And I 100% agree with your comment….judging others isn’t a good thing.
    I can see the point of some Christians when they see downright unBiblical things being preached, or such wayward interpretations that most of us know are WRONG, but I do believe in a new statement I read “Sometimes it’s best to leave it where Jesus flings it.” If someone’s on the road, and was brought there by some of these more popular, less scholarly types, there’s a reason they’re there, we pray for them to get good study and good input, and worry about OURSELVES.
    Judging ….ugh. that’s God’s to give, “Judgment is mine, says the LORD”, not me.
    We need to stand by our friends and yes, reveal a major flaw like your friend did (can’t imagine you having a MAJOR flaw, but…okay!) but GIVE GRACE.
    LOVE is NOT a dirty word…GOD IS LOVE…He is so much more than that it boggles the mind but to take that trait away from Him is just WRONG.
    God bless you, too, and thank you for that amazing blessing…not deserved but TRULY appreciated 🙂

  3. Mustang says:
    1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
    2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
    3 And why beholds thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considers not the beam that is in thine own eye? —Matthew 7

    This is a particularly vexing passage because as human beings, we judge others all the time, and I think that we are wise to do so. Here is my example: we must decide which congregation we join, which is a critical decision in our search for the body of Christ. If we perceive that a church leader is a charlatan, then we would be well advised to avoid that person; following him or her may land us in perdition. We have seen these people throughout the past two thousand years and they do pose a clear danger to our souls. I agree, however, that our judgment should not become a public spectacle. If we render judgment, then we must do so for ourselves while allowing others to make up their own minds. This is my point of view.

  4. Silverfiddle says:

    10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,[a] in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas[b]”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

    13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?
    –1 Corinthians, 1

    Many go into ministry to do good, and some do very well indeed. “By their fruits shall you know them”

    Reverend Billy Graham is the gold standard, imho.

  5. Silverfiddle says:

    Mustang,
    I recommend to you John Chrysostom’s Homily on Matthew 7

    It is very in-depth and require a peaceful place to read, ponder and comprehend, but worth it.

    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/200123.htm

  6. I don’t want to argue scripture but the Judgment thing is often misused.
    There’s a verse that says “Know you not that you shall judge angels?”.
    Almost the entire book of Jude is a warning against false teachers. So I think it’s fair to say that our Lord gave us some reason to watch out for them and in some cases to even mark them.
    There are some beliefs that some evangelists hold that are heretical, that most of their followers don’t believe or know are held. For example, you and I commonly believe that our Salvation was paid for on the cross yet there are some prominent televangelists know of who (unless they repented) believe our Salvation was bought in hell.
    There is a large megachurch about a half an hour away from my house which once was a large Baptist Church, but they went non denominational and Seeker friendly, so that to look at the church from the outside you would not even know it was a church. I had some problem with that concept, yet it was because of their stealth mode that my sister went to a Christian Comedy presentation there, heard the Salvation message and was saved.
    I believe their teaching is shallow, and so does my sister who has left there to find a smaller Church with a better Teaching Ministry.
    So I’m torn when I think of that church because it does lead many to Salvation and yet it doesn’t lead them to a deeper walk.
    That’s not quite the same as a heretical ministry that teaches Universal Salvation, salvation through works, etc.
    We must be and are expected to be discerning and able to warn others of danger.

  7. geeez2014 says:

    I met John MacArthur at someone’s home last Monday. It was a very difficult time for me as about 15 of us sat around and he talked. And talked. And talked. Of course, they were asking questions, too…he’s not a boor, he’s quite an affable fellow. He has done a lot of good in the Christian community here in California and otherwise…was on Larry King a LOT and (unlike Osteen who, when King asked “So you’re suggesting the only way to heaven is through Jesus?” said “Well, Larry………..!” (to which I think most Christians groaned audibly into their TV sets), would answer King’s question with “you BET, Larry!” ..
    BUT: Someone gave me a MacArthur CD on Catholicism once, which I listened to five minutes of and practically threw out my window. The Catholics I know are saved by faith in Christ, not faith in the Vatican, and so I am constantly outraged at the anti-Catholicism of the likes of him.

    He and everyone there did almost nothing but chide Catholics, sitting around tsk-tsk-ing, and other evangelists who don’t share his exact way of thinking; I think he’s the one who told me about TD Jakes and the Trinity, come to think of it….
    It was a tough day for me……It showed the DIVISION that SF wisely commented about above here…

    SF: Yes, I believe Billy Graham is the gold standard, too.

    For people to insult Joyce Meyers and others who do such good work is hard for me to see; she and others always discourage Bible study, etc.

    Yes, there ARE charlatans! My post isn’t saying there AREN’T any, that is FOR SURE, but I guess I’m saying that as long as they encourage Bible study and don’t teach WORKS, etc., I’d give grace to them because they DO bringing people to saving faith.

    Funny, because our pastor is covering Philippians and touched on this subject ….

    I think what I’m saying is there are so many rigid denominations which teach anything BUT LOVE…it’s as if LOVE was weak and excused all sin and brought Christians down the road to hell…..I would say it can’t be farther from the truth.

    Paul , if asked, would say “It’s ALL about JESUS”. Amen to that.

  8. Bob says:

    My Daddy always told me not to wrong a man of God. Because of this, I have always tried to be respectful of all the TV preachers and evangelists. Even so, I have been distrustful of Jim Bakker, Joel Osteen, Pat Robertson, and especially Jimmy Swaggart. I realize, like Z said, that lots of people are brought to Christ through these “bad” preachers.

    The strange thing is that in their old age, Mom and Dad watched these guys on TV faithfully, and probably sent them money. My folks were not stupid. I think they recognized God’s work when they saw it.

    My attitude is to leave the TV preachers alone. If asked about them I will say what I think.

  9. geeez2014 says:

    We can practice the beautiful liturgies, which I LOVE, and feel we’re reaching a higher level of faith through it…worshiping as a self effort to please God, or we can love God and then do things, worship, charity, etc., which come from His Love….

    Paul REJOICES throughout his letters…in the Gospel………the love..”we have a new way of living through Christ Jesus” is something I believe Paul would say.

    Mustang; I don’t judge the faith of others’ and I think we should discern….I struggle with the Scriptures sometimes because the translations are so different. I have a study about once every 6 weeks with a Rabbi friend and two other Christians (yes, we stay in the O.T.!!) and you would be amazed at what the words in Hebrew mean and how they’re translated into English. You might be disappointed as I have been.
    Yes, to say “Judge not” doesn’t mean “let everything get a pass..” but it does say “Judgement is MINE, sayeth the Lord” I go by that…I’ll discern, I’ll give advice when asked…I will try with all my human frailty not to judge them.

    YES! I don’t believe IN CHARLATANS, folks!!
    Ed, I don’t think my post went there….Let me say this to clarify after having come home from a church chock full, since our wonderful merger, of twenty-somethings.
    These kids are hip, cool, not ‘square’ kids….they love Christ. They are changed lives…they are living in a culture of sex, drugs and rock’n roll, greed, cheating, unkindness, etc….and they are anything but. They are amazing young people. If you would look at them, you’d think they’re probably on drugs, are total Bernie Sanders jerks, and are just typical stupid AMerican kids….

    WHAT MAKES THEM DIFFERENT? Because either their families did an amazing job and they raised them Christians and, uncharacteristically, they stayed CHristians (not always the situation, as we all know) OR (and this is the story I hear more often), one of their hip cool friends brought them to Jesus….was it through praise music? Maybe…was it through just turning them onto the Gospel? Of course…

    What I’m saying is BETTER THAT than NOT having better, cleaner lives, even if the pastor or group that brought them to Christ isn’t PERFECTLY what the more judgmental, fundamental Christians I mention in my post would like to have lead them to Christ.
    I am a fundamentalist; I believe the Bible is unerring and God-breathed….I hate that the word FUNDAMENTALIST has been incorrectly hijacked by lib secularists who mock it…
    And I welcome anybody who brings people to Jesus AND (and this is important) also ENCOURAGES BIBLE STUDY WITH A GOOD TEACHER, …etc.
    Ed, that church that’s shallow is a good example…there’s a time to join, fall in love with Jesus, and then the Holy Spirit moves most of us toward better, deeper learning.

    “Sometimes it’s best to leave it where Jesus flings it”

    My sister HATES that expression. I will be living my life by it in many, many instances… That person is THERE for a reason……..wait, watch……..hope and pray.

  10. geeez2014 says:

    Bob..>GREAT attitude.
    I CRINGE when a friend of mine who is quite patronizing about my faith (tho she doesn’t realize it it drives me crazy, or used to more than it does now)…tells me she sees TV pastors sometimes…GAD…have you ever SEEN some of them!?
    Hand on someone’s head, dropping that person backwards into someone’s arms “YOU ARE HEALED” as the black hair dye drips down his face?
    YIKES!
    Or pastors who scream and posture and beg for money and …she sees them as she’s clicking channels and do you think she’ll come to faith because of them? HELL NO!
    I had almost an argument with a friend once about that…we talked of, for example, lonely salesmen on a business trip clicking thru the channels in their hotel room….suddenly, there is a pink bubble-haired woman screaming about Jesus and whatever…..SHE said “that person could bring that salesmen to faith”..>I said “Only by a MIRACLE! Better they’re NOT on!” it was funny….

    By the way, why CAN’T Christian men JUST GO GREY? You will notice that 90% of the “SAY HALLELUJAH!” types on TV are dye jobs…yes, I’m being judgmental….but mostly just plain curious! YUCK!

  11. Imp says:

    “I have been distrustful of Jim Bakker, Joel Osteen, Pat Robertson, and especially Jimmy Swaggart…”

    I hope you have room in there for the “Reverend Al Sharpton” too. In no way do I believe he’s a man of God. He’s pure evil in my estimation.

  12. I had a friend, years ago, that tried to approach another co-worker (Bob) about salvation. My friend was somewhat scripturally illiterate.
    Bob then got into a debate over scripture with my friend and tore him up like the seven sons of Sheva were by the Demonic man. I asked Bob, who I was friends with, where he got all the scripture that he quoted since he was an atheist in fact a communist.
    He replied since we were on afternoon shift he spent a lot of the day watching televangelists, particularly the 700 Club, for entertainment value.
    Oddly enough I later met a missionary befriended who told me that in college he was a nanny for an atheist couple who were Jewish by race. As we talked I realized he was describing Bob and I was correct.

  13. geeez2014 says:

    Imp…good point … We don’t know his heart in relation to God but we can sure be assured that he’s evil politically!

    Ed…So this coworker Bob was an atheist Commie who happened to “know” Scripture from having watched the 700 Club for entertainment value? Is that right???

  14. Yep.
    Funny, huh?
    Edpecially to find out years later a missionary friend (Ben) lived in his house and watched his kids as Ben went to college.
    Bob interviewed Ben and found him to be the most trustworthy candidate.

  15. geeez2014 says:

    Ed,I’d trust a missionary 🙂 Surprised Bob let him in the door!!

  16. Baysider says:

    This is why it’s imperative to not just ‘follow’ the teachings of one person, or style. We all have mistakes, and disagree over interpretations. Think of how many people truly came to Christ in the Jesus Movement. And there was some goofy stuff then, too. Satan always wants to create confusion so he loves to join these ‘movements.’ Be a good Berean! Learn to go check it our yourself. Like Ed’s sister.

    I don’t follow the TV folks. I’ve studied ‘under’ John MacArthur (his book on discipleship is one of the finest Christian books written), Tim Keller, Alistair Begg, Dick Mayhue, J. Vernon McGee and of course our beloved Community Bible Study where I’ve both learned a lot and also learned to watch carefully. I’m drawn to expository preaching, yet I’ve been blown away by Rankin Wilbourne (a local pastor that probably only Z knows of) who is not an expo preacher. I’m not a charismatic, yet have taken an excellent prayer (yes PRAYER) seminar in a charismatic church, e.g.

    I did a group study on a Joyce Meyer course once. A charlatan? Not sure. I certainly found her a real mixed bag. Big picture – a lot of great material, and a weekly opportunity to examine myself and grow. Small picture – I found it full of sloppy logic and ‘bad’ theology. It seemed as much stuff was taken out of context as in context. She built her points over and over on the wrong foundations. But most points were so spot on that I searched and found ample scripture to build her case properly on that subject. While it was a blessing to me it made me wary of spending much time with her.

    Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, Matthew Vines or anyone else of the Reformation Project? Danger, danger, danger!

  17. geeez2014 says:

    Baysider, my lunch with MacArthur last week left me very cold and even scared. My niece went to Masters for one year and left. Not that he doesn’t teach well…but the rigidity isn’t pleasant for me, anyway.
    Rankin’s usually very good. He did a woefully lackluster ‘service’ at Dotty’s after she died 😦 I was astonished, all were, because he’s SO good on line when I’ve listened to him a few times…he seemed exhausted and like he hadn’t been briefed on her before delivering the homily on her passing.
    He’s speaking at the High School I’m associated with’s graduation next month. Tim Keller is excellent…Brook used his writings, as you know…

    Joyce Meyer has probably brought so many people to the Lord I’d say her good stuff is a blessing…which is the message I’m TRYING to give here!! And she has very encouraging uplifting messages that are absolutely on scripture. Totally. She also has a heck of a testimony, as you know, I’m sure.
    I’d be interested in what you found ‘bad theology’….I’m no big fan of hers but have heard nothing like that the times I’ve happened on her on TV giving lectures to HUUUGE crowds.

    I don’t recommend anybody “Follow the TV folks”…but I’ve run across pretty good ones, like Greg Koukl, etc. I don’t watch , I click by and, if interesting, I’ll watch a few minutes.

    I still say it’s better to bring people in than leave them in the cold due to a too-strict theology, too rigid, unloving, etc.
    That’s my point. Bring them IN, then give them the tools to deepen their faith.

  18. geeez2014 says:

    Baysider, i say I’d be interested…but not here, please….I don’t want to get specifically into theology, good OR bad here. Thanks! Sorry about that..xx

  19. Baysider says:

    Of course. It’s long ago. Specifics are lost in the mists of time. But it was a powerful lesson to not throw the baby out with the bathwater. I learned a lot from her.

    We are responsible to evaluate teachers based on the word. To evaluate our OWN ideas based on the word. That’s what makes the Reformation Project so dangerous when they change the word. “Hath God said?? Noooo. He REALLY meant this.” I can adjust for bad logic, and things like that. But when you start telling me your calling came from a snake that came to you in a dream (I think this was Kathryn Kuhlman) and the like – RUN!!

    I’ve seen MacArthur as a tree firmly planted, and he’s carried the banner of good teaching and church order through perilous waters on the late 20th century. I heard another man on the radio similar to him, and I don’t believe one of his students. He was extremely precise and rigid on carefully taking apart false teachings & teachers and not in an ugly way btw. But what you described is just how I reacted to him. It lacked the grace and – yes – humility that John MacArthur had shown. Of course, they don’t call it Fortress MacArthur for nothing! 🙂

    I think your point is brought to life in our bible study. Ladies from all backgrounds, protestant and Roman Catholic too. I don’t always agree with the expression of ideas in our lessons. But overall we are together, in the word, moving in the right direction. And loving each other along the way. Boy! If you were God, wouldn’t you be smiling?

  20. geeez2014 says:

    Baysider! “it was a powerful lesson to not throw the baby out with the bathwater.”
    GREAT way to describe my post…thank you! XX

    “Fortress MacArthur”? PERFECT. I hadn’t heard that. My poor niece “ran for the hills!”
    There is no LOVE…no GRACE…and his church is GRACE Community; i sat there incredulous at the irony. God bless him, he has done SO MUCH GOOD, but the nodding heads at all he said, the lack of love, the exclusion of other Christians.
    And BOY, am I WISH HIM on wrong teaching and all….but the (literally) hate I heard for Catholics hurt my soul. At one point, I asked “What churches are you talking about which teach so differently than Scripture?” And his response made me realize he included Catholics in there. He needs to revisit Catholics, not the Vatican; BIG difference lately.

    Baysider, yes…I’d be smiling at our Bible Study! You describe it so well..and our Catholics are some of the most devout, Jesus-loving’ in the 200 of us, so I hurt so badly when the Protestants make a crack now and again and we Leaders have to ‘smooth things over’…”SO, thanks, Mary, how about #11?” (smile) And I WOULD LOVE to talk in person about your not agreeing with the expression of ideas…will look forward to that!!

    XXX

  21. Bob says:

    Imp: I have never considered Al Sharpton as a man of God. it may be my mistake but he is above all, a politician, and not very good at that, either.

    I will try to show some respect, however, in the event he is handcuffed and marched to jail.

  22. jean worland says:

    Hi, Zabelle, I can’t help but wonder if you had been a Roman Catholic if you would still feel the positivity towards R.C. that you have. I know that things have changed in Catholicism since I was brought up the church eons ago, but now, seems to have gone the opposite way. The pope now says anyone can go to heaven, even atheists, whereas I was raised on a steady diet of hell, fire and damnation. What a change from when I was in the system where only Catholics went to heaven. I loved Jesus then too, whatever I knew about Him, because I was mostly taught about “the Blessed Virgin Mary” and knew and loved her even more than Jesus. But my “love” for Him was so limited because I never read scripture and didn’t know the myriad of wrongs within R.C; i.e., calling a man “Father’ when scripture clearly says to never call a man Father in a spiritual way, preaching that Mary is the co-redemptrix with Christ, giving her equality with Jesus, stating that Jesus is fully present bodily in the communion wafer whereas Jesus clearly states He spoke the words, “This is my body” in a spiritual sense. I can hardly stand it when I see homage given to the pope through the bowing and scraping and kissing his ring, etc, worship which only belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ. And in other countries, the errors are much more egregious. When you see poor Mexicans crawling on their knees up the stairs to the image of “Our Lady of Guadalupe” and giving away their few pesetas, it makes me sad and mad! And there is a lot of mixture of Catholicism and paganism giving us Santoria in many South American countries. It bothers me to have the largest Catholic cathedral in Los Angeles dedicated to Mary via its name, Our Lady of the Angels. I know there are lovely people in the Catholic Church, like our dear French friend, but did I tell you that she didn’t even know that Jesus was God when I invited her over to my place along with a few other women and my pastor taught on “Who is Jesus”. I could go on and on, but perhaps we can talk more about this when we get together, hopefully in the near future. Love, Jean

  23. Mal says:

    “Beware of false prophets” was the first thing that came to mind, but also “Judge not lest ye be judged” so what are we suppose to do? It apparently worked for this guy because he did the right thing in the end by marrying and taking care of child’s mother. Discussion is the best tool, but even then not everyone will be convinced.

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