If you know anything about my blog, I am hot on true doctrine and on rightly dividing the Word of Truth. But lately God has been working on my heart on how does that true doctrine work its way in real life. In my post ‘So what have I learned in 2013?‘. I stated:

People go through some really hard things in life and sometimes, it can be so comfortable to live in the church/christian bubble without ever really engaging in the culture or the real world with real people who have real problems. I don’t want to be so involved in churchianity that Christ is in the background and is not relevant at all to the man on the street. I want Christ to be seen in me IN ALL of my daily life and that may mean sometimes doing stuff that traditionally ‘church folk’ don’t do. God is interested in the whole man.

One of the reasons why I have not been posting as much as I personally would like to is because I have been going through my own difficulties. Its as if God is putting me the very things that I wrote about…….but in it all, I still have that joy in Christ that surpasses all understanding.

I mentioned my friends across the pond who host Real Talk Radio  in my post about Armor Bearers (if you are not afraid to have your thinking challenged, I would STRONGLY recommend you listen to some of these show discussions). One of the radio hosts is a guy called Elgin Bailey and on a couple of their shows, Elgin gave his testimony about where he is coming from and about his journey. Guys, this is where true Christianity is played out. Not just in church. Have a listen to where God has brought Elgin from

Part 1

Part 2 (from Elgin’s childhood)

Its so important that we remember where people are coming from and sometimes this may mean working with people THROUGH their struggles. There are so many people who have problems and guess what? They need the gospel too. Somehow we need to be able to bridge the gap between a hard life and a transformed life through Christ. Maybe they need to hear YOUR story.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. (Revelation 12:11)

 

Did you know that you make the bible say anything you want? One of the main problems that we see from the pulpit and from Christians in general is that we used eisegesis instead of exegesis. What do I mean? What many people do is start with THEIR thoughts and their views and then read that INTO scripture instead of starting with scripture and read OUT of it, not having any pre conceived thoughts or ideas and letting the scripture speak for itself, taking into account the historical context. A typical example of eisegesis is with Pastor Clarence McClendon in this clip at the 1:15 mark

Here he starts with a view of the prosperity gospel and then reads INTO 3 John 2 where it states that:

” Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”

But you only need to go back one verse to see who he was talking to

The Elder,

To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth:

John was not trying to make a doctrine about prosperity here. All he was doing was greeting Gaius. It would be the equivalent of us today writing a letter saying “I hope everything is going well with you”. That is all

However, if I told them that the White Camelia Knights of the Klu Klux Klan use the same process to justify doing what they do, I’m sure they would not agree. For example on their website which can be viewed here, they have started with their racist views and then use scriptures such as the below to justify their views

Exodus 33:16 “So shall we be separated: I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the Earth”

Leviticus 20:24 ” I am the Lord they God which have separated you from other people”

Now some may say that this is extreme but it really no different than what is preached Sunday after Sunday in many churches. It is so easy for us in the western world to imprint our western thoughts INTO scripture which is where many false doctrines begin.

Francis Chan explains the difference between eisegesis and exegesis below

I saw this video below which is mainly for those who are preaching sermons but the general princple here should be used by every Christian when interpreting the scriptures and I would encourage every Christian (not only preachers) to use these very useful tips and guidelines when studying the bible. It could put a lot of fasle teachers out of business.

So next time you hear your preacher talking of Blessings, Breakthroughs and Divine Favor and your destiny which seems to be the norm now, ask yourself, are they reading that stuff INTO the scripture or OUT of the scriptures?

One of the things that really frustrates me about Christians sometimes is that we sometimes believe that we above non-christians. We think that somehow that we are exempt from some of the troubles that life throws at us. Yes, we expect to ‘go through’ but there are some things that we don’t expect to go through because we are the ‘King’s kids’. And at one point early on in my Christian life, I used to think like that but then my check engine light came on. Things didnt ‘work’ as I was taught on the pulpit. I started to ask questions. I gave tithes but never saw blessings (in what I thought was blessing) happen to me that was any different to those who didn’t give. I saw those who didn’t give tithes who were getting ‘blessed’ above me. However, I looked at the scriptures and looked at the the life of the main person (apart from Jesus) in the New Testament and that was the apostle Paul. Did I see him being exempt from certain trials as a believer? On the contrary. This is what I saw in 2 Corinthians 11:

But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. 24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?

30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me, 33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.

A gospel full of Blessings, Breakthroughs and Divine Favor, is not a gospel at all. If this is all you are hearing in your church, then I would say that you need to run from such teachings and don’t be blinded by false promises. You cannot plead the blood out of a situation. Life is life. Here are some issues that Christians sadly have had to go through in life

- Rick Warren’s son committing suicide
Tedashii (the Christian rapper) losing his one year old son
Marvin Sapp’s wife dies of cancer
Rev David Wilkerson dies in car crash

Then Hebrews 11 goes on to talk about some who…

….were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.”

When we have a false view and expectations God and Christianity based on some of the rubbish that is perpetuated on many pulpits, when stuff happens, we have just set ourselves up for a fall.

So lets be real Christian and not give others this false impression. We will go through EXACTLY (and maybe more) problems than a non Christian but know we have Christ with us THROUGH the trial.

Taken from Wretched:

When I am married, then I will be happy…. until you tie the knot.

When I have children, then I will be happy…. until you have kids.

When my children are more self-sufficient, then I will be happy…. until they are out of diapers.

When my children are in school, then I will be happy…. until they ride off on the bus.

When my children leave the home, then I will be happy…. until you are an empty nester.

When I retire, then I will be happy….until you don’t have to wake up to your alarm clock.

Happy

A Syllogism

Here is a syllogism that is trustworthy and true: Satan is a liar and the father of lies. Satan is in control of the world system. Therefore, the world system is a lie.

The world system tells you that happiness lies just around the corner. Happiness is not where you are, but where you think you should be. Happiness is anything but this. That is a lie.

Perhaps you have purchased the lie. Perhaps you are in a funk because you are not living this God ordained moment with joy. Perhaps you have worked yourself into a state of frustration because today is not tomorrow. You need a Biblical re-orientation.

“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Ps.118:24) So how do we do that?

Good theology

Once again, our worries, problems, anxieties, frustrations and confusions have a solution in good theology.

1. The doctrine of sovereignty reminds you that the day you are living is exactly the day that God has ordained for you. (Ps.37:23). You are supposed to be in the season you are in. You will NEVER be content with any season until you realize that you are in the season that God has pre-arranged for you.

2. The two verses before Ps. 118:24 give us our reason to be glad today, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.” (Ps.118:23,24) Knowing that we have a Savior allows us to rejoice today, not tomorrow when we perceive that things will be easier or better.

If you have grown discontent because you perpetually long for tomorrow, re-orient your thinking. Today is the day God wants you to live, and He wants you to live it for Him because He has provided a cornerstone for you.

new-begin-2013-to-2014_72147488208

Happy New Year readers. As you may have noticed, I haven’t really blogged a lot lately. Why I hear you say? In a word….LIFE. I have been doing a lot of learning and self examination in recent months as well as going through some stuff personally in my life….but God is still on the throne and I love him for being faithful to me even when I haven’t been faithful to him. So what have I learned last year? Here are a few things.

  1. First I have learned more about myself. The more I learn about God and closer I get to him, the more of my sin comes to light and I recognize how unworthy I am of God’s grace. Paul said he was the chiefest of sinners. I am forever in debt Christ for the sacrifice that he made to bridge the gap between me and God and to take the punishment for my sins. On the surface, everything may seem OK, but we all struggle with something in our lives which may not always been seen externally. This can sometimes be something as subtle as pride or self righteousness. Romans 7: 15-25 statesFor I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! 
  2. I have learnt that for some reason, Christians are afraid to question things and reluctant to ask questions that are not normally asked in Church. Many are satisfied to follow the crowd without checking things out for themselves. This can be questions such as is Tithing biblical, why do we have Armor Bearers or where in scripture do we see anyone pleading the blood? I thank God for my friends Elgin Bailey and the twins John and Jonathan Bolton on Real Talk Radio who are not afraid to address this issues and questions head on. Check out their shows here.
  3. More and more I am learning that the hardships of life is no respect of persons and just because you are a Christian does not give us any special pass. No matter how many times you try to ‘speak those things’ or ‘decree and declare‘, you will go through EXACTLY the same things that a non believer goes through. Whether that be sickness, financial difficulties, relationship problems and the like. The difference is as Christians, we are going through it WITH Christ and that gives us hope unlike unbelievers. Even though I have always known this, this year has bought it to the forefront in my life
  4. Life is like a vapor. As I get older, I know that I am just on the conveyor belt of life. I saw last year that the older generation are now beginning to drop off like flies. And not only them, but people who are not far away from my age are dying as well. James 4:13-14 says  “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” I have to make this life matter, not just for now on earth but for eternal. I know that I wont be here forever, so I want to leave an eternal legacy, especially in the life of my children.
  5. I have to make the most of the ‘windows’ in my children’s’ life. What do I mean? Well last year, my son turned 16, my daughter turned 20 and my step daughter also turned 16. There are many windows in your children’s life that you have to make the most of because that window of  opportunity will not last for ever. For example, when they were younger, we used to do a lot of things together. As I stated on my Dear Daddy post, this could be swimming, going to the park. going to the cinema etc. Now they are at that age where I am no longer the person to go out with because they have their own friends and its not cool to be out with Dad all the time. I cannot get those old windows back. It makes it even harder that I do not live with my biological kids but I am still determined to be there for them, no matter what.
  6. People go through some really hard things in life and sometimes, it can be so comfortable to live in the church/christian bubble without ever really engaging in the culture or the real world with real people who have real problems. I don’t want to be so involved in churchianity that Christ is in the background and is not relevant at all to the man on the street. I want Christ to be seen in me IN ALL of my daily life and that may mean sometimes doing stuff that traditionally ‘church folk’ don’t do. God is interested in the whole man.

These are just a few of the things that I learnt last year. I know that I will learn more this year in this school called LIFE. The question is, what will I do with these lessons?

Apologies for taking so long from writing the next blog post in this series. Life has been busy. But below Mike Murdoch talks about the 7 Ingedients in the Prosperity Formula. Let’s measure up what he says to scripture.

Here are some things that I noticed

0.09 – So now there is a formula? The bible never talks about any formule to get things or money or prosperity. There may be some general guidance but never any guaranteed formula

0:28 “God equates poverty with rebellion”. Proverbs 13:18 is out of context. It is NOT saying that everyone who is poor is rebellious. That must mean a lot of Christians in other countries must be the most rebellious christians. This is the result of having a westernised view of Christianity

0:46 He quotes Deuteronomy 28 which is not for us as new testament believers today. Again taken out of context. It was speaking specifically to Israel not every christian today. You don’t believe me? You only have to look at the previous chapter in verse 14 where it states “And the Levites shall declare to all the men of Israel” Duet 27:14. What he says here is based on a false foundation and a false premise.

1:25 Malachi 3 – He uses that famous chapter in Malachi 3 to justify tithing. Just click here to see what the bible states

1:38 He quotes Isaiah 1:17 about ‘learning to do good’ but this has nothing to do with prosperity. He has just picked out that scripture and twisted it. He quotes verse 19 about eating the good of the land but again this is out of context. If he is going to use 19, he has to use 20 as well that if a person resists and rebel, they will be devoured by the sword. Also, who was this about? You only have to go to verse 1. “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem“. Again we cannot pick this scripture and use it as a promise for us

2.00 “You can only be promoted by someone who gave you an instruction” – As far as I know, there is no scripture to support this but if someone has one, I am willing to be corrected

2.23 “Believe a prophet to prosper”  But Heb.1:1-2 states “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophetshas in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.” I do not need to heed to a prophet in order to prosper

2:39 “Everytime you see rebellion, you see loss and pain”. That will give faithful people the impression that if they have experinced loss or pain, they have been in rebellion. This simply is not true

3.03 “It is Gods will for you to prosper”. Obviously the context that he is talking about is money but the bible gives us many warnings against seeking to be prosper financially (not that in and of itself means it is sinful). Just read 1 Timothy 6

4:34 “Where ever you find honor, you find favor and where you find favor you find money.” This is simply not in the bible and he made this up

What he says sounds so biblical and so appealing but the long and short of it is it is deceptive and the bible clearly talks about this

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8)

Related Post:

What does it mean to be a Berean in practice? – Part 1 (Paula White)

What does it mean to be a Berean in practice? – Part 2 (Bishop Tudor Bismark)

10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. (Acts 17:10-11)

Continuing on from my last post, I watched Bishop Tudor Bismark preach in the video below, compared what he said to the scriptures and found that a lot of what he stated was unscriptural and basically tickled the followers ears. We would put so many of these ‘preachers’ unemployed if we just took the time out to study for ourselves. The bible instructs us to test EVERYTHING. The fact that after Tudor Bismark spoke, people would be ‘amening’ in agreement with what he was saying sadly speaks volumes that most Christians today lap up these teachings and dont question what he said and like to have their ears tickled

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. (1 Timothy 4:3-4)

So let’s watch the video, and then afterwards, we will look at what is said, look at scripture (whwnever it is used because he hardly uses any in this video) and then measure up the two

There so much here which isnt true but i will attempt to go through some of them

0:05  In the month of April and May all kind of options and blessings are coming into your life. – This is just blatantly not true and gives everyone in the congregation false hope. So you are trying to tell me that EVERYONE will get blessings coming into life in April and May. What about June? What is his definition of blessing?

0.31 He talks about the law of expectation. If you don’t know what you want, you get what you don’t want. What you expect God gives you. If you expect nothing, that’s what you get. The law of expectation means you always get more than you expect. - So does that mean that if I expect a large car, large house and lots of money that God will give it to me? There is no where in scripture (when taken in context) that states that God will always give us whatever we expect. Scripture also does not state that we get what we don’t want if we don’t know what we want. I’m sure when Paul suffered for the gospel, it was not something that he wanted but he got it anyway. There is nowhere in scripture that talks about a ‘law of expectation’ that always give you more than you expect. Again, this panders to the ears of the congregation and of course, who wouldn’t want more than they expect?

1.15 Don’t ask God for pair of shoes, ask for a shoe factory (gospel of you). Don’t ask God for a house, ask for the whole street. Dont ask God for a car, ask for shares in Mercedes Benz – The focus here is all about YOU. When preaching is man centered as this is, it focuses on earthly possessions which is exactly where the bible tells us NOT to set our minds (Colossians 3:2)

2:05 Revelation Knowledge comes in companies. If God does one thing ‘here’, he will do another thing in the same pattern over ‘here’. My question is where in scripture does it say any of this?

2.44 In next 21 days, God is going to give you access – Here is false hope once again. So what happens to a person if after 21 days, God doesn’t give you ‘access’? This stuff makes me mad because it deceives many but even after 21 days, many Christians will still not ask questions when nothing happens or if things get worse.
3:54 God said I cannot hide anything from Tudor, I’m about to give him access . RED FLAG, RED FLAG. Did God actually say that? Now if there is anything in this sermon that should have got your attention, this should have. God will NEVER say that he cannot hide anything from Tudor. That would put Tudor above God. You will see that after this God is telling Tudor a lot of things and there is also a lot of shouting but no substance

6.36 He compares himself to Stephen who was full of the Holy Spirit in Acts 7:54-59. However, if we look at that text, this was just before Stephen got stoned to death. But Tudor talks about how his life is full of blessing, of the anointing, of power and of money (it’s everywhere).

7:08 Don’t criticize what you don’t understand because what you criticize, you can never get. Don’t criticize rich people because you can never be ‘one of us’ and don’t criticize that Mercedes or Bentley because you will never drive it. This is simple manipulation where questioning the man of God or what he has, is discouraged.

7.46 Bless those who are being blessed. The more you bless, you get full of what they have – Again this is manipulation and encourages people to give money and to tithe thinking that God is like a slot machine and they will get back what they have given.

You can see in this video, how much (little) scripture was used versus how much of his own words and thinking was used. And any scripture that was used was basically butchered and eisegesis used instead of exegesis i.e reading THEIR OWN meaning INTO the text instead of letting the meaning come OUT of the text.

Now you can understand how important it is to listen to what you are being taught and not just swallow what you are being fed from the pulpit. Unfortunately, you can see from the video, it is so easy to just follow the crowd and not to follow scripture

There is very little understanding or desire for biblical truth and theology even among Christians. The Bible is not being expounded in many pulpits today. Christian radio saturates the airwaves with talk shows and psychology experts. Christian magazines aimed at the laymen are full of testimonies but devoid of solid spiritual food, and so few believers study the Word for themselves. As a result, we are a spiritually starved people who are no longer able to discern truth from error – Gary Gilly

Look out for Part 3

Related Post:

What does it mean to be a Berean in practice? – Part 1 (Paula White)