Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

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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?

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)

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)

If you have been a follower of my blog, you will know that one of the things that I keep harpening on about is ‘be a Berean’. The scripture above states that the Bereans didn’t just take Paul’s word ‘as gospel’ when he spoke but they examined the scriptures to see if what he said lined up to it. They questioned the ‘man of God’. Even Paul wasn’t untouchable when it comes to scrutinizing what came of of his mouth.

I think the reason why many people dont like to ask questions and thus being a ripe candidate for deception is because they assume that the preacher is always right because he has a higher level of spirituality. They don’t read the bible themselves and don’t know HOW to study the bible and rightly divide the word or simply that they too lazy to open the bible……..until Sunday.

But what does being a Berean actually mean? Why is it so important? How is it done in practice? Why is it that Christians who choose to be Bereans are seen as the unloving ones but false teachers are defended?

When Shai Linne did his song Fal$e Teacher$, he got a lot of stick about it. So much so that Paula White’s son wrote an open letter to Shai which can be viewed here. However, in his response, he never really addressed the real issue at hand and that was ‘Did his mum, Paula White,teach things that did not line up with scripture?’ (This is the typical response that those who challenge a doctrine receive. They never really address the topic at hand but accuse the person of being things such as a heresy hunters or unloving). Shai Linne then addressed this topic head on whith his response which can be viewed in full here.

Now before anybody gets on my case, I am not saying that Paula White is not a believer and not going to heaven. I am am not in a position to say that. However, I am in a position to say that what she teaches is false. So lets get into it and view a portion of the letter to see why and what happens when a person listens to what is being taught, reads the scripture, and then measures up the two, being a Berean.

1. False View of the Atonement

Paula White did a series called 8 Promises of the Atonement, that at the time of my writing this, is currently featured on your ministry website. In it, she states that physical healing and financial abundance in this life are provided for in the atonement of Christ. See the following video at the 25:00 mark where Paula White teaches “salvation includes healing.” She says it again at 28:30. But then she goes even further. If you keep listening, she talks about commanding her body not to be sick because of the blood of Christ. She ends this section by boldly declaring around 29:40:

“You are not going to die of sickness. When you go, it’s going to be because of your appointed time of old age and full of life”

For Paula White to say this to a large crowd of people is both false and irresponsible. She has no idea how those people are going to die. The truth is that Christians do get sick. Many godly believers die at young ages from sickness and it is not due to their lack of faith or because they haven’t embraced what’s theirs through the atonement. It’s because God is sovereign.

As He says in Deut. 32:39, “‘See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.”

Psalm 139:14 says “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be”.

God sovereignly determines when we live and when we die. And if He appoints or allows a sickness to take our lives, it is because His infinite wisdom determined that it be so.

At the 2:00 mark of this video on your website, Paula White lists “financial abundance” as one of the promises of the atonement. This is false. It is also a slap in the face to the millions godly saints throughout the world today (and church history) who do not live in “financial abundance” like many of us live here in America. Jesus commends the church in Smyrna when He says:

“‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan” – Rev. 2:9

In His kindness and care, the risen Savior tells the church in Smyrna that He is aware of their poverty. What does He say after that? Does He tell them that they’re poor because they haven’t fully embraced the promise of His atonement? Does He say they’re poor because of a generational curse, as Paula White teaches at 13:20 in this video?  No. He reminds them that though they are materially poor in this world, they are actually rich in God’s eyes because of their union with Jesus Christ! Like C.S. Lewis once famously said, “He who has God and everything else has no more than He who has God only.”

In 1 Timothy 6:7-8, which is in the same context of a passage I mentioned in the song, it says “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” This is consistent with the New Testament emphasis on contentment, which is almost always mentioned in contrast to the love of money (Heb. 13:5). I’m encouraged to see that you try to put that into practice in your own life, Brad. But in doing so, you’re actually contradicting the teaching of Paula White, who says that the atonement promises your financial abundance. She obviously embraces this teaching herself. It is well documented that she, along with others mentioned in the song, was investigated by the U.S. Senate for financial impropriety due to their extravagant lifestyles.  Much more could be said about this, but let me get to the next false teaching.

2. False “Sow a Seed” Teaching

This is something that is common among the people I named in the song, including Paula White. The premise is that if you give a certain amount of money, God will multiply it and you’ll get more money back in return. As I studied the prosperity teachers, I noticed that they often used this tactic when taking an offering. But when you study the Scriptures, you find that the “sow a seed” passages that are usually referred to are not talking about money at all, but the knowledge of the kingdom of God, which leads to salvation (See Matthew 13:1-23). Even in 2 Cor. 9:6-15, where seed is used in connection with financial gifts, the emphasis is on generously supplying the needs of other churches (vs. 12) and having what you need to serve others effectively (vs. 8). Living out the American Dream is not in view there.

In the following video, Paula White gives an appeal for money at The Potter’s House, the church pastored by T.D. Jakes. Around 2:10 she says, “God is speaking to many”. She then tells them what God is supposedly saying, “Give a $126 dollar offering. For some it may be $1,260, for some it may be $12,600”.

Now if I’m sitting in that audience that day and Paula White says, “God is saying give $126 or $1,260 or $12,600”, what am I supposed to do? If God is saying it and I don’t do it, I’m being disobedient. But here’s the thing. I don’t have to wonder whether or not God is saying that through Paula White because God has already spoken in His Word, the Bible. And in the Bible, God said:

“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor. 9:7)

What Paula White does in that video absolutely qualifies as compulsion and it actually made me sad for her as I watched it. In this video at 25:08, in the middle of an appeal for money (Start it at 22:28 to get the full context), Paula White promises that “Your seed today is gonna turn everything around for your children, your grandchildren, your family, your spouse, everyone in relation to you. But you have to activate it. Call that toll-free number.” There is no way that that statement could be true for each of the thousands of Christians and non-Christians watching the show that day! What makes it worse is that she’s claiming to speak for God as she does it. And that brings me to the final and perhaps most serious falsehood.

3. Falsely Claiming to Speak For God

As I’m sure you know, Brad, God takes speaking in His name very seriously. To say that God said something that He didn’t say is to lie on God. God takes this sin so seriously that in the Old Testament, the person found guilty of this was to be executed. Check out Deuteronomy 18:20:

“But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’”

The verses following that one give the litmus test for how we can determine whether or not someone is speaking for God:

“And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the Lord has not spoken?’—when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously.” (Deut. 18:21-22)

There is nothing new under the sun. People have been falsely claiming to speak for God for thousands of years. Here’s what God said when it was happening in Jeremiah’s day.

“Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the Lord, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the Lord.” – Jeremiah 23:32

As sincere as Paula White may be, she is extremely reckless in the many false things that she says God told her to tell her listeners. The videos I provided are enough. Just go back and listen to how often she says God is saying something that He could not possibly be saying to everyone listening to her at the time. “You are not going to die of sickness” is just one of many examples I could give. Sadly, her teaching is characterized by this falsehood. She and the other people I mentioned in the song do this all the time.

By the response in the videos, you can tell that most of the congregation just swallowed up what she said and that is where the danger is in many congregations. Nobody really stops to say ‘Hold on a minute. That’s not correct. That’s contrary to scripture’. False teachers are very good at wrapping up their teaching in scripture and twisting it.

For some simple rules on how to read the bible correctly, rightly dividing the word of truth, see this post and this one

To hear Paula White being challenged about her divorce and her doctrine, you can also listen to a interview on this post.

Look out for Part 2 where I will be a Berean once again

Related Post:

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

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On my post of Blessings, Breakthroughs and Divine Favor, some of the questions asked were the following:

Are you frustrated that the Lord has not answered your prayers for the breakthroughs and divine favour which you seek?

Have you faithfully tithed but find that the “windows of heaven blessings” continue to elude you?

Have you diligently sown your seeds into “good soil” and confessed daily but you are still not receiving a harvest?

Do you “give to God” faithfully but feel like the Lord has abandoned you as you are not receiving anything in return?

For some reason, as per the cartoon above, some Christians seem to lose their brains and common sense and it frustrates me when I see believers blatantly being deceived left, right and center when they are blinded by false promises. So below are some basic questions that I really wish some Christians would take time to ask. I know a few do ask them already but for some reason, they choose to ignore it and put it to the back of their minds.

  • Why is that that even though you have been are tithing for so long, your financial position has not really increased any different than an unbeliever? In fact, you may now be poorer as a result and in debt
  • Why is it that this ‘sowing a seed‘ prescription seems to always work with the ‘man of Gawd’ but not with you?
  • Why does it seem like a pyramid scheme where the ones at the top seem to benefit and the ones at the bottom seldom do?
  • What happened to the supernatural wealth transfer? How comes you are not benefitting from it?
  • If the seed faith doctrine really works, why doesn’t the church sow back into YOUR life so that they can receive a blessing and get that building or that auditorium?
  • Why do preachers have ‘testimonies’ from members of the congregation or themselves of blessings as proof that something works but it only seems to happen as an exception and not the norm for the majority?
  • In these healing crusades, why are the healers reluctant to have these independently verified?
  • Why doesn’t everyone get healed if they are such a powerhouse.
  • Why are these ‘healings’ normally done in crusades? Surely it would be more of a testimony if they went into the hospital and healed each patient
  • Why is it that every New Year, it has to be the Year of this and the Year of that giving users false hope? As I mentioned in this post when in my old church there was a ‘Year of the Open Door’ for example. Does that mean that in other years, doors would not be open? What about the sovereignty of God? Supposed God did not want a door to open that year because that person had not reached a certain level of maturity? What if doors were closed to build character in a person? Think about it really
  • What happens if after confessing healing that you or your family gets cancer or dies? Why is is that Christians who ‘speak things into being’ do not seem to be exempt from sickness and are no different than unbelievers when it comes to sickness and disease?
  • Why is tithing taught in many churches but if you look in the New Testament after Christ’s death, there is NOT ONE instance of a believer tithing?
  • Why do some pastors and their wives (who a lot of the time don’t need the money) always seem to get ‘love-offerings’ every birthday, Fathers/Mothers day, Christmas etc while you are left struggling to pay your bills every month?
  • Why is it that even though someone shows me from scripture that what my pastor is teaching is unbiblical, I still defend my pastor first instead of defending the scripture?
  • Why is it that the songs that are TOTALLY unbiblical are the ones that Christians seem to celebrate? For example, ‘The Best in Me by Marvin Sapp when the fact is Christ saw exactly the opposite in us and saw the worst in us, that is why he came to save us

Can I really challenge you to think about these questions and don’t just ignore it but act upon it and dont be blinded by loyalty. It is these kind of questions that caused me to question a lot of stuff that I was being taught as mentioned in the ‘About Me’ section above. It was also what prompted me to start this blog.

I hope I have provoked you to think about this.

As a father who does not live with my two biological kids, I am very mindful of the effect that my abscence could have on them. I could be like one of those dead beat Dads who are nothing more than a sperm donor, or I can do my best to try to be as active as I can in their lives even though I am not always physically there, to try and support them in every way but at the same time still trying to show boundaries. I have chosen the latter but admittedly when the boundaries are different in different homes, it can be hard to enforce and if anything, can be confusing for the child because those boundaries are not clear and consistent. Its especially hard when one is a Christian and the other is not.

For example, when my relationship with their mum broke down, my goal was to still to make sure that the children didn’t receive two different messages from us so that they could play one against the other or that the child felt justified in their actions because ‘Mum or Dad said so’. Even if we disagreed, I wanted us to talk about things ‘behind the scenes’ so that their was a consistent message in front of them.

The reality is things did not work out like that and as much as I wanted us to be at least amicable for the sake of the kids, for various reasons, it was not possible. The end result is that over the past few years, as I have mentioned in posts such as The Pursuit of Happyness and When your children don’t want to follow God, my relationship with my daughter has been, let’s say, less than perfect.

I love my daughter to bits and have always wanted to be there for her. I remember when she was young and I used to make sure that I consciously went out of my way to spend quality time with her, taking her swimming, going to the park as well as other places. I miss that quality time that can so easily be taken for granted when you live with your child.

However, when a father refuses to be in their child’s life, the consequences can be disastrous. Don’t believe me? Watch this video of a girl who wrote a letter to the man who left her behind

When I watched this, it tore at my heartstrings because I never want my daughter to ever feel like that. I will always make sure that I do as much as I can and what is in my power, to keep in contact with her on my side so that when she grows older, she could never say that I have never tried to remain in contact and mantain a relationship with her

If you are a father who has deserted your child for whatever reason, or maybe you are not active in their life, you probably dont realise how much psycholgical damage you may have inflicted on your child and they may justifably be angry with you. It may not always show on the outside but inside, they are hurting. Make a conscious decision today to do something to ‘kick things off’. Depending on the situation what you do will vary and it will be hard for some and easier for others but try something. That may mean a phone call, it may mean sending them a card, it may mean giving them flowers, it may mean taking your child out for a one to one talk, but whatever you do, don’t give up on them. They may not always say so or express it outwardly, but inside, a lot of them WANT a meaningful relationship with you. Sometimes the mother may have filled their mind with negativity so that they cannot see the positive things that you are trying to do but do what YOU have to do and whatever is in YOUR control. Show them that you love them and care for them and that they are always on your mind. Children need their Daddys in their life.

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. (Romans 12:18)

Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. (Col 3:21)

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)

If you are in your 30s or 40s and was into computer games (like myself), you will remember that one of the hottest games out there was Street Fighter II. What you probably didn’t know is that there was a Church Edition of the game. To see some of the best highlights, look at the video below. Enjoy

On a serious note, if you think I am mocking those who are being ‘slain in the spirit’, that’s because I don’t believe in it. To understand my views, click here