Experts - Lifesavers from A Sinking Ship
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1Timothy 6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
Here we have a beautiful list for testing the teachings of the experts. Isn't the Bible a wonderful book?
2Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
The false teachers will be in the church as the false prophets were in Israel. They teach damnable heresies and will even deny the Lord Himself. Finding out an expert is a creep who is trying to sneak in and take our minds captive should not shock us. This is the way the Bible says it will be. We are to be watching for it. We are to be on guard against it, being fully assured that it will happen. This is not an "if"or "maybe" thing. It is happening at this very moment.
We are told that many shall follow them. These are the experts that are praised by the majority. These are the people whose "wisdom" we are shamed for questioning. These are the ones to whom Jesus Christ said, Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. Luke 6:26 The more famous the person is, the more we should examine them to see why they have achieved this fame. Luke 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
This is one reason why I am leery of C. H. Spurgeon. Everyone thinks he is wonderful - Laodicean fluff heads; rubber nosed Calvinists; potty mouthed experts; and KJV Only, Bible, believing Christians. How can that be? It is disturbing.
Elisabeth Elliot is another expert that has the approval of too many. So with Gothard, MacArthur, Billy Graham, Mary Pride, C. S. Lewis and many, many more. Max Lucado is a darling of Promise Keepers, and is praised and lauded by many Laodiceans.
Why do people listen to the false prophets?
2Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Do you realize there would be no "experts" and false teachers if nobody followed them? It is what the people want. So, they are getting it. Anybody with any sense would be insulted by a life preserver thrown to them from a sinking ship. But, people love the experts' ideas! Why? The Bible tells us they do not want the truth. They want their ears scratched.
Have you ever seen a dog that would sit and let someone just scratch and scratch his ears and not get tired of it? He will sit there and drink it up as long as the person is willing to keep scratching. That's what these people are like. The dog doesn't care if the person has fleas, or is an adulterer. He doesn't care if they keep the Old Testament Law or if they are an heretic. He absolutely is not interested in whether they believe the Bible or not. He doesn't care about their divorce and remarriage. He doesn't care if they drink or smoke or even shoot dope. It doesn't matter to him a bit if the person is even saved. All he wants is his ears scratched. If it feels good, they are O.K. with him. That's the way some of you are with the experts. That's the way some of your friends are with the experts. That's the way a whole lot of people are with the experts. It's just scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch. And if this expert just isn't doing a good enough job any more, then move on over to the next one that will scratch better.
So, who is really to blame? Ezekiel 14:4 Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;...9 And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel. 10 And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him; God says that the false prophets and their followers will all get the same punishment. Amen! So let it be.
Philippians 3:2 Beware of dogs...
Isaiah 56:10 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. 11 Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.
2Peter 2:22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
False teachers are spiritual dogs. There are plenty these days. There are also a number of sows (female false teachers). These men and women are useless watchmen. They cannot get enough gain. (They suppose that gain is godliness, 1 Tim. 6:5). They are greedy like a dog that will eat everything in sight. Our family had a dog that used to be jealous of our other dog. He would try to eat up all the food in both dishes so she wouldn't get more than he did. We had to supervise him strictly to keep him from gobbling up her treats. That is what these experts and shepherds are like. They will devour anything they can and yet they do not watch nor do they bark to warn people as they should. There are is a disappointingly large number of pastors these days that show these traits.
Example: We knew of pastor in Michigan who begged and brow beat his people for money, then he was upset with one man because he could not afford to buy the home school curriculum he needed for his kids. Yet that pastor did not give the large gift that man gave in the offering back to him with instructions to buy the curriculum. Rather, he kept it to consume in the church budget while judging the man for his alleged failure to provide for his children. What gross hypocrisy. If a man that provides not for his own hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel (1 Tim. 5:8), then what is the pastor that helps him do it?
These dogs are dumb. They don't bark to warn or to drive off the invader.
Examples: Those that pander to or do not mention the Charismatic confusion and heresies are falling down on their duty. Those that get soft on the Roman Catholic church, not mentioning it as wicked, are wimping out.
When Peter Lalond first went on TBN he was warned that he would have to stop exposing the Catholic church because Paul Crouch is a pope-hugger and would not tolerate it. He insisted that he would keep it in his magazine. He did not. He shut his mouth for money. Charles Stanley has avoid the controversy about Free Masonry. When a dog won't bark at a major enemy, it is pretty useless.
Dogs and hogs also have fleas - heresies and wrong teachings. Dogs eat their own vomit and the sows wallow in mire. If you hang around with this crowd you will also get fleas and mire on you, and you may get to eat with them as well. Happy thought. Yet, many people are doing just this. By following these false teachers and preachers, they are partaking of their diet and getting their heresies rubbed all over them. The bad thing is that when you get this stuff on you, those who do not have it on them can both see and smell it on you.
Dogs and hogs get the most disgusting smells about them. Dogs will roll in things and go out in the rain and they will come up and want to get all over you when they smell the absolute worst. So it is with the false teachers. The worse they stink, the more they want to rub on you.
My dad visited a hog farm once. He was preaching in the evening service at the folks' church and the farmer's wife warned her husband not to take my dad to the hog barn. Well, they went to look at it anyway, though they only stood in the door and looked in. They didn't go inside. This was a pretty clean operation, but when my dad got back to the house the farmer's wife exclaimed, "I told you not to take him to the barn!" You can't hide that smell. It will stick to you even if you try to stand back. So it is with the sows. It is hard to associate with them at all while keeping a clean and fresh smell about you. Others will notice even if you do not.
By the way, just because a person smells like a dog or a sow and has fleas, it does not mean they are not saved. They may have hung around with these creeps so long that they are covered with their errors. Some experts even are saved, but have been rubbing up against the wrong kind of critters. We may need to avoid them, but we do not always need to view them as hell-bound unless their teaching obviously shows that they are heretics and lost. Use some moderation in the thing.
As if this article was not long enough already, I am going to include some examples here of people that teach wrong things, or even heresy.
Direct contradictions of scripture:
Harold Camping of Family Life Radio has declared the church age is at an end, there are no good churches any more, and true Christians should get out of them and stay home or reorganize them removing all New Testament structure. Of course, he will be on the air with a wonderful message and programming, and to take their offerings as well, no doubt. The Bible says, And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25 So we see that Mr. Camping's teaching is a direct contradiction of what God commands us. Also see 1 John 2:18-19, Heb. 13:16-17. Also remember, most of the New Testament epistles are geared toward helping pastors and churches - bodies of believers. In other words, God expects us to be with saints, not loners.
Peter Ruckman teaches that it is perfectly fine to remarry after divorce. The Lord Jesus said, And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. Matthew 19:9 Also see Matt. 5:32, Mark 10:11-12. Ruckman contradicts the word of God by misinterpreting the word "fornication" and messing with the Greek in Rom. 7:1-3.
Texe Marrs is amillenial, and he declares the Jews are not God's people. He boldly renounces Bible prophecies to the Jews which are yet unfulfilled, claiming Jesus Christ will not reign over a Jewish Kingdom with His capitol in the earthly Jerusalem.
C. S. Lewis is honored as a great defender of Christianity, while in reality he denied the faith. He believed man is an animal, that "good" pagans and Buddhists could be saved through following the "good" parts of their religions, that salvation is a process, that there is a form of purgatory we must go through before entering heaven, and more.
John Calvin and Ulrich Zwingli were murders. They had Christians and/or professing Christians put to death for what they deemed "heresy." 1John 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
There was at one time a health expert whom I think was located in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He recommended all kinds of crazy dietary things. He was supposed to have taught that babies should not have milk or cereals till such and such and age, children should not have meat, and many other things that appeared to be geared more to the destruction of children's minds as they were developing than to good health. He made bizarre claims. One was that the heart does not pump the blood, but rather the lungs do. This is absurd. He also claimed that fasting often was good for the health and that we get our main nutrients from water and the sun. If this is the case, then there should be no malnutrition in Africa or India, and they certainly should not have famines there. When someone comes up with such totally ridiculous claims, it is unwise to take any information from them.
I was once borrowed a book exposing the Illuminati/Freemason. Basically the author was discussing the one worlders who try to run the nations through subtilty and subterfuge and have allegedly orchestrated history over the decades for their benefit. Some of the information was quite interesting and at the time I was looking for some specific information along those lines. I read here and there in the book; it was too long to read the entire volume. Then the Lord allowed me to stumble upon a particular section in which he was trying to claim that King James I brought Freemasonry to England. He boldly stated that King James I was a Roman Catholic. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mistakes are probably easy to make in a massive study, but it is a well known fact that King James I was Protestant. As a matter of fact, he was kidnapped from his Roman Catholic mother (Mary, Queen of Scots) and raised under the supervision of Presbyterians in Scotland. When I read that brash statement given out as if it were an absolute fact, I lost respect and trust for the author and gave the book back to the owner.
In the secular realm: My mom received in the mail an advertisement from a famous health magazine. The subject of the book was how to make yourself look and seem younger in just 21 days by following their wonderful plan. They were making claims without revealing their "secrets" by the usual method. You know the trick. They refer you to "page 53" for the herb that will remove every wrinkle (and dye your face green); "page 44" for that wonderful tip for perfect (plastic looking) makeup; and "page 5" for the secret food that will keep your heart healthy (and cause depression). Of course, you have to buy the book to find out what is on the pages. But seriously, on page 74 of this little booklet there is a picture of a skinny, elderly woman digging in her garden. She looks to be about 60 years old or possibly less, but we are lead to believe that she is 80 (true or not) by the caption next to her. It reads: "Ever see an obese 80-year old? Not likely! Over weight people don't live long. Being thin makes you look younger and live longer!" We were able to quickly think of at least 4 women we know that lived to 80 or over that were/are not thin! Also, we know a lady that worked extremely hard to "get in shape" (by the world's standards). When she got done she did not even recognize herself in a picture. She thought it was an old woman! She had attained thinness and she literally looked years OLDER! She wisely decided to gain some weight back and look her own age. So, these health experts' presupposition is purely manufactured. It is a lie they expect us to believe without thinking so they can get our money.
This is probably a good place to mention that there a lot of experts that are getting their information from other experts. Someone somewhere comes up with something and passes it out as truth. Someone quotes them, and someone quotes them. Eventually, many experts on the subject, or on varying subjects, are stating this "fact" and so it appears to be "true." This happens among Christian experts as well as secular ones. There is probably a lot more "urban legend" among Christians than most would care to admit.
If someone gets something somewhat off, makes a mistake in a difficult area, or were not in a position to find something out, I can forgive them. But when they claim to be wise and well researched on a subject, and the falsehood that they give out is contrary to well-known information, it is too much to ask people to accept that or overlook it. If an expert is dishonest on something so easily provable, how can we trust them to tell the truth about anything?
Mark 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Jesus had a lot to say about hypocrites. Most or all of it was directed at the religious elite. Crass hypocrisy is never admirable in those who have been lifted up to places of importance, especially spiritual importance. Ecclesiastes 10:1 Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.
Jack Hyles and his cult are a prime example of this. My dad met a lady once whose son was attending Hyles Anderson College. He was hired by the church to work maintenance on Sundays. Since it was against the rules for him to work on Sundays, he was rewarded for his job, not only by being paid, but also by receiving demerits for disobeying the rule. Yet, he was working for the very church that made the rule and hired him to break it. What a disgusting mess! No wonder Hyles could justify his adultery and his son's filthy lifestyle. Demerits (read, "sins") don't matter as long as you can counter balance them with something "good" according to this philosophy. (Happily the young man did not stay at that college. He finally quit and went home.)
A similar story came regarding Pensacola Christian College. A young man from a poor family was able to get together enough money to enroll there. Hoping to work his way through, he got a job at the bookstore on the college campus. He arrived at work with pants on that had a hole in them and/or had been patched. He was told he had to go put on better clothes. He did not have any better clothes, but they had no mercy on him. He went home having been humiliated because he was poor. None of the "great, godly Christians" there bothered to help him get better clothes so that he could get his "Christian education" at their "wonderful" college. James 2:15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Galatians 2:10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do. This kind of behavior is exactly what the Lord Jesus was referring to when he confronted the Pharisees and scribes of His day.
Here is a useless lifesaver: Joshua Harris recently wrote a book on the subject of lust entitled Not Even a Hint. Harris' wife, Shannon, is female vocalist in the all-male, CCM rock group, New Attitude. "CCM Magazine" has called her voice "angelic" (Nov. 2000 issue). I know what kind of "angels" they were listening to - Satan's angels of light, 2 Cor. 11:14. If they were honest they would call it what it is - sexy. So, while her husband is supposedly instructing people in living a lust-free life of holiness, Shannon is wailing out "worship" music in a revolting voice/music style used by the world to incite lustful thoughts and behavior. The contrast can only really be appreciated by listening to the sound clips of this appalling music at their web site. (Link above.) Joshua promotes and encourages the group. Matthew 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. .......Hello? Is anybody home?
There are many more hypocrites. It is not uncommon for experts to overlook in their inner circle what they condemn in their followers. I am afraid this is all too common among Independent Baptists and Bible Believers too. It is lamentable that wickedness and sin are justified in those who are considered "necessary" or "useful" to experts and pastors. We should avoid this kind of attitude ourselves, and beware of those who exhibit it. Read 1 Kings 13. The Lord does not consider a man so valuable that he can get away with open disobedience to the word of God.
The borderline and questionable:
Oswald Chambers, in My Utmost for His Highest makes some odd statements. For example: "Either God or sin must die in my life. The New Testament brings us right down to this one issue. If sin rules in me, God's life in me will be killed; if God rules in me, sin in me will be killed. There is no possible ultimate but that." (June 23rd) Some other statements are also shaky. It seems that he may have believed that the old nature is eradicated, and we should now be sinlessly perfect if we are walking righteously before God. Also there is an implication that we can lose our salvation if we do not maintain it, and sin is reinterpreted to make it easier to maintain this spiritual life. These are false doctrines, but how far Mr. Chambers actually went with this I do not know. When we see this kind of thing, though, we should use caution and examine carefully what the person wrote. It does not mean that all they wrote is evil, but certainly we should be aware of tendencies and possible errors.
Kids learn early that it is fun to have a secret, and even to tantalize someone not "in the know" with it. "I have a secret! I have a secret!" The experts and their little followers put this to good use. They will hide some of their information in order to tempt you to investigate their teachings more closely. This method is a counterfeit of the truth (Ps. 91:1, Prv. 3:32, Rom. 16:25, and more) used by Satan's servants to deceive. Too often the "secret" is a false teaching; some unlikely, obscure idea; or simply the experts' private interpretation of something.
Madame Blavatsky, the Freemasons, the Latter Day Saints (Mormons), Jehovah's Witness, Seventh Day Adventists, Texe Marrs, Hindu gurus, conspiritorialists, the New Age movement, David Breece, health experts, tax rebels and many, many others use this plan. It may be one of the most common methods in use. If they can make us think they have some secret worth knowing, they can lure us into their following. This is the same method that Satan used on Eve in the garden of Eden when he insinuated that God had a secret He was keeping from her, which could be obtained by eating of the forbidden fruit.
Some will resort to threats to try to get you to agree with their secret. One pastor my dad met was convinced that there were yanis, greys and reptillians inside the earth and in UFOs. He claimed that people who didn't really believe the King James Bible were susceptible to the attack of these creatures. Bad Freemason were sent down to this empty space inside the earth as punishment. And, last but not least, the U.S. Government had offered to support him in going down to this hidden region to find out about these creatures, and a famous mission board had offered to send him as a missionary to these creatures in the earth so the gospel could be preached to every creature! He must have realized that my dad was highly skeptical because he assured my dad that every preacher that didn't believe him ended up being put out of the ministry. (Please feel free to laugh.) This is an off-the-wall example, though true; but some threats will be more sinister. They will question our salvation, spirituality, wisdom and so forth if we don't believe them. Be prepared for this type of tactic and resist it. 1Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
With some the use of the method is not so blatant or sinister perhaps, but the basis of it remains the same. This is true with the "deeper life" crowd. They are great ones for making others think they have some inside information of living a spiritual life and that they have "been with the Lord" in a way that us poor, common peons have never dreamed. Remember; they have no greater access to God than you or I do! Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. God is not respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).
These are just some examples to try help you see how to identify the experts by the useless lifesavers of false teaching.
1Peter 1:24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. Remember that people can make honest mistakes. No one is perfect. Every one of us has made mistakes, and some people may not realize what they have done or said. But open hypocrisy, obvious contradictions of scripture, and bold faced lies should make you either very cautious or lead you separate from the expert entirely.