Context is Everything

In the comments section of one of the posts about the Richard Abanes/Ken Silva fiasco I stated that I learned quite a bit from that situation that would make me a more responsible blogger. One of the things that I started to notice, especially on blogs that are considered Online Discernment Ministries (ODMS) was how often Scripture was turned and twisted in order to make a case against their perceived “enemies”….or to validate their “methods” or give credibility to their agenda. Today I’m going to show you a comment that I received on another site that demonstrates clearly how easily it is to take Scripture out of context in an attempt to prove a point….

 

I received the following comment in regards to this article…..

 

Elijah, at one time, did seem to hate the players- “He mocked them (false prophets) saying, Cry aloud, for he is a god, either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened” 1Kings 18:27. That mocking caused the false prophets to begin cutting themselves with knives and lances (1 Kings 18:28). Why? Because they, by their actions, had mocked him, despised his words, and scoffed at his prophecies until the wrath of the Lord was arroused (2 Chronicles 36:16. “Till there was NO remedy”.

 

Here was my response;

 

Hi Darren,

 

Thanks for the comment.

 

The verses you have posted where you contend that Elijah “seemed” to be a player hater are part of a wonderful story that you neglected to share in your comment. I think if you backtrack a bit to lets say verse 21 you will learn a few things like;

 

1). The people Elijah was addressing were waffling between God and Baal (v21)

 

2). Elijah issued the false prophets a little challenge (22-26)

 

That wasn’t player hating Brother. I liken it to two kids on the playground “my dad can whip your dad”….moving on.

 

Nothing happened when the false prophets summoned Baal hence the reason for the mockery….the game was the worship of Baal….the mockery and challenge was hating the game Brother….the whole point of my article.

 

The blood of the bullock couldn’t summon Baal so they figured using their own blood would do the trick to get Baal to respond….after all human blood must certainly be worth more then the blood of an ox(or so they thought)……customary for people following that religion. They were merely following their own {false} religion Darren….it had more to do with Baal’s silence then Elijah’s mockery…..and that didn’t work either. I still don’t see the player hate yet….

 

Verses 37-40 describes for us the end result of this little competition…..God showed up and the people worshipped God again and the false prophets were put to death according to the law Darren. Elijah’s Dad whipped the false prophet’s dad….I skipped over a portion in the interest of brevity but I’m sure you get the point?

 

I still don’t see how the 2 Chronicles verse coincides with the 1 Kings text you provided…perhaps you will enlighten me?

 

Let’s move this forward a bit shall we?

 

I don’t see what we write as bloggers having any effect whatsoever on the false teachers we expose on our sites….do you? I don’t see them acting the way the false teachers that Elijah was mocking…..do you?

 

God showed up for Elijah the same way He shows up when we use sound doctrine to go along with our rebukes of the false teachers….and hopefully the people will stop worshipping Baal and start worshipping God. God will take care of the false teachers of today just like He did in Elijah’s day….after all He is the same God yesterday, today and also forever…..

 

Looking forward to your response….

 

Phil

 

 

I’m still waiting for a response but I doubt I’ll get one….

 

This is a perfect example of what I call “cherry picking”….plucking verses out of thin air trying to prove some point….but when the Scripture was closely examined we see how wrong this person was….and this is bad. The fact the commenter writes for what could be considered an ODM blog makes this even more alarming. As I stated before this happens all the time and it’s wrong.

 

Below are 10 rules of biblical interpretation taken from Tekton Apologetics Ministries.

  1. Pray! Pray! Pray! The Holy Spirit knows better then you do!
  2. Always know what the verse actually says, not what you think you remember it saying
  3. Take the verse in literary context, don’t just read what you want to read to prove your point and don’t forget the Bible is a mosaic of different kinds of literature meant to be read different ways.
  4. Take the verse in cultural context, just like you saying “it’s raining cats and dogs” is not what you literally meant
  5. Remember the Bible is a whole 66 books! Interpret all verses in relation the other 1000’s of verses
  6. Check the other translations, The variations are complimentary and show the whole picture
  7. The Bible was not originally written in English, go back to the sources
  8. Theological presuppositions are bad, scripture determines doctrine, not the other way around
  9. Check the Theologians’ opinions, The Ph.D, professor of heart surgery of Harvard is better then your uncle Ted’s heart removal service. Professional opinions matter! (but don’t assume they’re always right)
  10. Assume nothing, be ready to learn, don’t give up. Remember, only God knows everything.

 

Now how many of these 10 rules do you follow when using Scripture to make your case Brethren? Do you consider the culture of the times? Do you read the Scriptures to validate your beliefs or do you allow Scripture to form your beliefs? How many translations do you use when researching a post? Do you use a commentary? Lexicon? Or, do you simply rely on your own understanding and claim the “spirit” is teaching you? Do you bloggers pray before you write a post? 

 

Do you write your thoughts and then scurry to your concordance looking for the perfect verse or two to “prove” your point or do you read Scripture first and then comment? That’s what it looks like the commenter above did and when called out on it looked mighty foolish…please don’t let that happen to you Brethren.

 

There are folks out there who have a huge mistrust for the ODMS and I really can’t blame them. There are bloggers who wouldn’t be allowed to teach a pre-school Sunday School class calling out false teachers using terms like “heretic” and “apostate” who don’t have a clue what they are talking about….and this needs to stop. I’m sure they have good intentions but they are doing a HUGE disservice to the Body of Christ.

 

I think one of the main reasons Richard Abanes has such a problem with so many of the so-called ODMS is that some are calling his friend Rick Warren a heretic and twisting Scripture to do so.  Rick Warren isn’t a heretic people. He isn’t teaching blasphemy. Warrens biggest problem is he speaks and writes in “sound bites”….short little spurts for maximum effect and sometimes he doesn’t correctly articulate himself….which gets him in a heap of trouble IMHO….certainly a case could be made for labeling Warren a false teacher in regards to The Purpose Driven Life….and you won’t get an argument from me on that one but being a false teacher doesn’t make Warren a heretic.

 

Ok I just got off the track a bit but you get my point. We need to be responsible when we call out false teachers by using sound doctrine and correct methods of interpretation and stop all the cherry picking and sloppy exegesis and we need to begin this today.

 

In my next post we will be discussing the difference between a false teacher and a heretic.

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

21 thoughts on “Context is Everything

  1. Hi Phil,

    I think you know my opinion on the removed link but I’ll share it here for others. A site that practices this activity of removing links and then contributors who point out problems, is no site to be involved with.

    You know, we all make mistatkes. I know I’ve misquoted scripture before when posting in haste. I try to be more diligent about that now, but the odds are, I’ll do it again. I always say if you make a mistake – fess up. It’s not the end of the world and people will be far more trusting when they see that attitude displayed, then one where errors are just removed or hidden.

    It would sure be nice to think we can do no wrong, but that’s not true.

    When I was raising my kids, they knew the wisdom of finding me fast & confessing when they messed up. Better I hear it from their lips than from others. Too bad, we as adults, can lose that wisdom.

  2. Nice post phil, you are exactly right. Warren is the King of Sound Bites, which is one of his weaknesses.

    BTW, I have listed several problems with Warren online that I see from my own perspective, but none of them are nearly as exciting or simple as just calling him a heretic or an apostate. Warren, like any other pastor/teacher, has weaknesses — that’s because he is a sinner, a flawed human being, with his own blindspots. But a heretic? LoL. Uhm…..no.

    Oddly, as closely as the ODMs monitor my online posts, not one of them has ever bothered relaying MY criticisms of Warren? Why not? Basically, because then they wouldn’t be able to keep labeling me a mere “yes”-man who is interested in doing nothing but defending all things Warren.

    This shows another tactic of ODMS — selective presentation of material/facts. You can make ANYONE look bad using this tactic because it’s not the full picture. It’s so sad that these so-called defenders of the faith have resorted to cult tactics under the guise of standing for truth.

    As for me, I’ve now been relegated to the trash heap of heretics and apostates. Why? Is it because of anything I live or believe or preach about God, Jesus, or Scripture? No, but rather because:

    1) I don’t think Warren is a heretic; and
    2) I have dared seek to bring both correction and accountability to the ODMs (two things they REALLY do not want).

    Not a single person has yet to raise one quote from my writings that would even hint at me not being a Christian, and yet that is what a fair number of people have stated — and not very kindly, I might add, especially for “Christians.” (Interestingly, the ODMs say nothing about such comments. Very interesting , indeed.)

    Once more I say, the litmus test for Christianity and loving God has been perverted by these people away from what scripture says see John 3:16; Romans 10:9; 1 John 5:11-13). Now, all issues — ALL ISSUES — are settled via an analysis that begins and ends with: “Is this person for, or against, Rick Warren.”

    It has gotten so bad that even a individual’s spiritual maturity (if they are accepted as a Christian) is now being judged by whether they do, or do not, see Warren as a heretic/false teacher.

    This is neither godly or biblical. There is a whole list of cult-like tactics, in fact, that are now being used by the ODMs to deceive their followers the same way cult leaders deceive their trusting devotees. It’s really heartbreaking to watch:

    use of out of context scripture
    partial presentation of facts/material
    use out of context quotes by “enemies”
    hypocritical condemnations (they condemn what they themselves do)
    full blown lies about “enemies”
    narrowly focusing attention to blur a more accurate, broader picture
    mocking, belittling, intimidation of dissenters
    ostracizing troublemakers
    declaring as unChristian those who do not go along with the group
    a closed network of information (e.g., not allowing posts by others)

    This has been truly grievous.

    RAbanes

  3. Brother Phil,
    I’ve concluded that some (not all, problably not most) of those involved in online discernment ministries are no better than some of the false teachers with whom they contend. For instance, if you read Christian Research Network (a site I read regularly because of the good research done there, and one I have on my blog roll) you will find that the author often promotes something that Ken Silva is doing. The disappointing thing is that the author writing about Ken Silva is actually Ken himself. This seems to be a trick to make it seem that someone else is promoting him. He is actually promoting himself. If he would be honest about it I’d respect that.

    And some of these folks refer to themselves as the president or head of So-and-So Ministries as of they are the big kahuna of a large organization. When you research them out, you may find that the head of S0-and-So Ministries IS So-and-So Ministries, and it is run out of their house or apartment. This is an extremely dishonest trick to puff up who they are and the internet makes it easy to lie like this. And the false teachers do this at times, too.

    And I’m afraid many in the discernment arena aren’t mentally equipped to properly do the job. Paul required that an elder be able to teach. That is to say smart enough and informed enough to do the job. This is often a glaring problem. Again, if you go back to Silva and Abanes, Silva (or perhaps his supporters) complained that Abanes didn’t use the Matthew 18 protocol. The problem here is two fold. 1.The Matthew 18 protocol doesn’t apply to public sins like false teaching. Any good Bible student knows this. 2.While Silva didn’t use the Matthew 18 protocol on Abanes, he was sore that Abanes didn’t use it one him. So he is either purposely inconsistent in order to win an argument, or he is not able to think logically in this instance. Someone who cannot think any better than this ought not be in a responsible position. If, on the other hand, he knew better, then there is a deep character problem. (If I remember right, Abanes did the same to Silva.)

    Finally, they often steal the work of others, presenting information in their articles as if they researched it. They fail to acknowledge the folks who did the hard work of researching it. Mr. Silva seems to have done this. He has posted things others have researched in out-of-the-way places, and Ken has posted his version of that same information within just a day or too. And he does so without any mention of who did the homework. pretending he did it. The unchurched world is better than that. If a news writer did that he’d be fired. How likely is it that Ken just happened to go to the same place and discover the same thing?

    My last cricism of some of the online discernment ministries is that they often hobnob with bloggers who are in deep sin, but do so because they promote each other. For instance, one blogger has an idol pictured right on the front of his website, yet some seeking to present themselves as those on the side of truth promote his site.

    That being sad (pun intended), those exposing false teachers are doing godly work, and ought to be supported spiritually, financially, and socially. And my hat is off to most of them. And they are doing God’s work on the net because they are not allowed to do so in their local “church” or denomination. So they are being the men their “leaders” ought to be, but aren’t.

    Now, Phil, I have said all that to say this: There is another side to what you have been saying. Yes, we are to love the wicked. God does. It’s biblcial.

    However, if we are to be Christ-like, we will have a very perplexing relationship with the wicked. We will both love them, because God does, and hate them, because God does. David commended himself to God by claiming that he hated the wicked with a “perfect hatred”. God hates the wicked every day. The Bible actually says these things. What are you going to do with that, Phil?

    You can’t just pretend it’s not there. Well, you could. Then you’d be an Evangelical pastor.

    What Ken Silva is doing right is exposing the false, and actually acting as if it was an outrage. (It IS an outrage and if we aren’t angry about it we aren’t like Christ.) Jesus call false teachers a pile of refuse; Paul called them dogs; John the Baptist called them snakes; Elijah DID mock the Baal crowd harshly, despite your efforts to elude that conclusion. And if I were to grant your point about Elijah for sake of argument, you still have to deal with a lot of others who did the same. Jesus mocked them. God seemed to make fun of Pharoah in Exodus.

    In addition, I believe false teachers represent a special class. They are always spoken of in the most perjorative terms in the Bible and there are no examples of any false teacher I know of in Scripture being converted. (If I am wrong on this please tell me where it is so that I may know.)

    If we love the wicked, we will DEFINITELY, fight the liars who keep the wicked from the gospel.

    Lastly, Phil, be careful what your friend wrote concerning hermeneutics.

    Your friend wrote, “Theological presuppositions are bad, scripture determines doctrine, not the other way around.”

    This is a glaring example of what Paul warned about. The logic here is appalling. He also said to compare Scripture with Scripture. That is both true and biblical. BUT you can’t do that unless you take the theology you learn in one Scripture to help interpret another. Not only that, but he has a theological presuppostion of his own. His theology presupposes that theological presuppositions are bad!!!!!

    Think about it.

    I come to Scripture with the THEOLOGICAL PRESUPPOSION THAT SCRIPTURE IS THE INERRANT WORD OF GOD. That is good, not bad, I think.

    Really alarming is his line about translations. He said other translations are “complimentary”. The correct spelling is compl*e*mentary. Compl*i*mentary means they say nice things about something or someone. Compl*e*mentary means that they work together to achieve something the individual ones cannot–like the complementarian view of the sexes.

    What is alarming about this is that most translations available on the shelves of book stores contradict one another. For instance, the Message is gender-altered and adds entire sentences that have nothing to do with the original. The NRSV, TNIV, and many others are gender-altered. The ESV is somewhat gender-altered, but not to the extent of the others. The NIV is unnecessarily sloppy. The ESV is sloppy in the Old Testament. Good ones are the NKJV, the KJV(if you don’t mind swimming through all that old English), the NASB, Young’s Literal, and some others.

    I appreciate some things he said, but don’t take what he has said carte blanche. (That would be a presupposition, wouldn’t it?)

    In Christ,
    Phil Perkins

  4. Phil,

    I’m glad that you are raising all this dust, so to speak – holding up a magnifying glass to those of us who are contending for the faith.

    I see this quoting out of context a lot. I am examining myself to see if I haven’t done it too at some point.

    The false teacher versus heretic bubble is one that really needs scrutiny. Do we really know the distinction between the two, and are we careful in using those terms?

    I’m looking forward to your article on the subject, brother! God bless you for the courage to scrutinise us.

  5. Great discussion! I’m enjoying the topics being bought up and agree with most of what has been said, however being the “one trick pony” that I am, I can’t let Mr. Perkins statement that those who expose error should be supported finiancially slip by. If he means we should feed them if they are hungry, clothe them if they are naked, or visit them in prison, then I agree, however if he means we should send them money because they are doing God’s work then let them work with their hands the same as the wolves they expose.

  6. PHil P: And some of these folks refer to themselves as the president or head of So-and-So Ministries as of they are the big kahuna of a large organization.

    RA: Just FYI for all, Ken Silva has stated in a number of places that he was “mentored” by Walter Martin. But through research done by several persons, it has now been discovered that Silva was never mentored by Walter Martin at all! He only listened to several old tapes by Walter Martin.

    RAbanes

  7. To all,
    One thing I forgot to mention yesterday: Rick Warren is a false teacher. He brings in mystics like Thomas Merton. The Scripture expressly forbids this. Thus he teaches by example that one can be saved and a leader and remain unrepentant about serious sin. This specific heresy is dealt with explicitly in Jude verse 4. AND as I quoted earlier from his Purpose Driven Life, he does encourage folks to stop studying their Bibles. This is in direct contradiction to Scripture. It is a lie and he teaches it. In fact, one of his latest bromides is “Deeds, not Creeds”. So my quote from the book isn’t an isolated statement of his that was not properly edited or was ripped out of context. It’s a big deal to him, despite Abanes’ protestations.

    In Christ,
    Phil Perkins

  8. Boydmiller,
    You deny Scripture and disobey God when you want others to work for you for free. You are stealing. And you steal in a way that a farmer wouldn’t even steal from an animal. The Scripture describes your attitude this way:

    1 Timothy 5:17-18 17 ¶ Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”

    Jesus commanded His disciples to expect support for their spiritual work.

    Luke 10:7-12 7 “And stay in that house, eating and drinking what they give you; for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not keep moving from house to house. 8 “And whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat what is set before you; 9 and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 “But whatever city you enter and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you; yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 “I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.

    God condemns those who want others to do work for them without paying as folks well deserving of hell.

    James 5:1-6 ¶ Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. 2 Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure! 4 Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 5 You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you.

    In the Old Covenant the folks were commanded to support the clergy.

    2 Chronicles 31:4 4 Also he commanded the people who lived in Jerusalem to give the portion due to the priests and the Levites, that they might devote themselves to the law of the LORD.

    We live in a day when this teaching is abused and the OC priests who took more than was allotted them under the law were conmdemned by the prophets. However, that doesn’t give us an excuse to steal as you suggest.

    Paul dealt with those who would steal from him (as you advocate doing to others) in the Corinthian assembly this way:

    1 Corinthians 9:1-7  ¶ Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? 2 If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. 3 ¶ My defense to those who examine me is this: 4 Do we not have a right to eat and drink? 5 Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? 6 Or do only Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working? 7 Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard, and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock?

    And notice, too, that his teaching is preshadowed by the teaching to support workers already mentioned in the OC. Notice the very next verse:

    1 Corinthians 9:8-9 8 ¶ I am not speaking these things according to human judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing.” God is not concerned about oxen, is He?

    Tell us all, Boydmiller, just why is it okay to treat a faithful servant worse than you would treat your dog who doesn’t even do work for you?

    I am sorry to be so sharp with you, but you have said this sort of thing before and I and others have tried to gently tell you what the Scripture teaches and you have not listened.

    And I have one last question for you. I know that you don’t study the Bible full time. I do from time to time–probably about 1/3 of the time to be exact. If I went full time, I’d have no time to provide for my family. I have an odd occupation. I may be needed for a month and then have two weeks off. Here is the question:

    If a man is expected to devote himself full time to prayer, the word, and ministry, just how do you propose we tell his family to eat? To clothe themselves? To find shelter?

    Will you say, “Bless, you. Be warmed and be filled”? The Scripture has something to say about that, too.

    In Christ,
    Phil Perkins.

  9. You have said a lot brother Perkins and I agree with you.

    You said:

    That being sad (pun intended), those exposing false teachers are doing godly work, and ought to be supported spiritually, financially, and socially. And my hat is off to most of them. And they are doing God’s work on the net because they are not allowed to do so in their local “church” or denomination. So they are being the men their “leaders” ought to be, but aren’t.

    What I would like to ask is if these scrpitures apply to those exposing error online because they don’t have any direct people they pastor?

  10. Mr. Perkins

    I have heard and replied to all the agruements you have listed and would like to know who it is that I have stolen from? Have I stolen from you? You have judged me a theif because I don’t hold to your traditions? Are we under the old covenant? Why is it that all the scriptures you use, are talking about food and drink, and that has been equated to mean money? Does the Holy Spirit not know what money is? Can we also subitute the act of Holy communion with money. Do you know how many people I feed a week? Did the apostle Paul peddle the gospel? Does double honor mean money?
    It was not my intention to change the topic of this thread, and for that I will ask your forgiveness Phil, however my beliefs and that of the scripture, I will not repent of.

    Phil: No need of forgiveness here Brother….we allow differing opinions here….

  11. All,

    Phil P. is a perfect example of someone who doesn’t want to be confused by the facts. He doesn’t want to hear or accept anything other than Warren is a false teacher — no matter what the truth is. I’m not exactly sure where this obsession with nailing Warren comes from, or why it has possessed so many “Christians.”

    First, Warren does indeed quote various individuals who are either: a) non-Christian; or b) questionable in their overall faith. However, this does NOT, according to the Bible, make someone a false teacher — if the things they are quoting are NOT heretical (or if they sufficiently qualify their remarks). At best, it makes them a bit careless.

    The fact is that you can find all kinds of people — from politicians, to celebrities, to members of other religions, to atheists — saying things that make sense and are true observations about the world around us. Quoting them to make a point doesn’t mean you agree with everything they say, or embrace their world view.

    For example, Warren Smith, one of Rick Warren’s most vehement critics, during his lecture against Rick Warren (and his supposed connections to the New Age Movement, LoL) at Calvary Chapel Sacramento, quoted Bob Dylan! Does that turn Warren Smith into a Dylan-esk, confused, false born-again Christian, who has invented his own pesonal religion using snippets of Judaism, Christianity, and whatever else — like Bob Dylan? Of course not.

    The problem that people SHOULD be pointing out is Rick Warren’s lack of understanding about how many other Christians will not read/see/be able to pick apart the writings of people like Merton and some of the other individuals he quotes. I have found this lack of awareness to be prevalent among many high-end preachers, teachers, scholars — they don’t realize most people don’t read stuff the way they do.

    Second, as for “he teaches by example that one can be saved and a leader and remain unrepentant about serious sin,” I suggest you read above. Warren isn’t guilty of any serious sin except in your own head, Phil.

    Third, as for Jude 4, this passage is about defending “the faith” — i.e. the body of teachings that involve our identification of, and relationship to, God. Warren is completely orthodox in both is confession-profession and his life. STILL, after all of this, no one has yet produced a single statement (as hard as they’ve tried to find it) wherein Warren actively denies or perverts the essentials of Christianity.

    All we have are either: a) out of context statements (which anyone can be wonderfully creative with); and b) isolated fragments of statements, phrases, for passages from his teachings that IF taken in a manner opposite from his overall paradigm (then twisted and mangled beyond recognition) can be interpreted as problematic — but ONLY if everything else he has ever said is basically ignored.

    Fourth, Phill P stated: “he does encourage folks to stop studying their Bibles.” I have already showed in a previous thread at this very blog that such is NOT the case. You, sir, are lying. You are guilty of not only bearing false witness, but now defiantly rejecting the truth, and willfully choosing to continue bearing false witness. You, my friend, desperately need to repent.

    In your previous post on another thread you stated: “in his breakthrough book, The Purpose Driven Life, actually encourages folks to stop going to Bible Study, because they know enough already.”

    This is an absolute lie.

    On page 231 of PDL, Warren states: “The LAST thing many believers need today is to go to another Bible study. They already know far more than they are putting into practice. What they need are SERVING experiences in which they can exercise their spiritual muscles.”

    Anyone who really cares at all to read honestly, can see IN CONTEXT, that he is talking about people who just sit around and attend Bible study, after Bible study, after Bible study, after Bible study — and just keep getting fat fat fat on a lot of HEAD knowledge without actually doing/practicing anything they are learning!!!

    As James stated very clearly: “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” (James 1:22). Hence, the sub-heading of the section you quote: “You Are Commanded to Serve God.” In fact, the ENTIRE CHAPTER is about that very subject — serving God and putting into action what you have learned in all your Bible studies!!!

    Here are a few more statements from that same section that for some reason you FAILED to quote. They easily explain exactly what Warren is saying:

    – “Jesus taught that spiritual maturity is never an end in itself. Maturity is for ministry.”
    – “We must act on what we know, and practice what we claim to believe.”
    – “But as we mature in Christ, the focus of our lives should increasingly shift to living a life of service.”

    These passages are also from page 231. Did you miss them? Do you even have the book? Or, did you just find this quote on some “discernment” website? In fact, the very sentence you quote explains what Warren is really saying: “They already know far more than they are putting into practice. What they need are SERVING experiences in which they can exercise their spiritual muscles.”

    NOWHERE on this page is Warren encouraging “folks to stop going to Bible Study.”

    But you, like so many others, prefer the excitement and lies to truth. You prefer the stimulation of a good fight to peace. You see division as more stimulating than unity. You revel in sin, instead of godliness. And in your wake, you hurt, destroy, offend, confuse, deceive, and injure. Repent.

    You’ve also perverted Warren’s “Deeds, not Creeds” statement. I’ll explain that, too, if anyone wants to hear the truth.

    R. Abanes

  12. Naomi,
    I don’t know if you should support online ministries. That will be a case-by-case question. Make your local pastor and church first, that’s for sure. The rest is up to you, your conscience, and your best judgment. But your local folks first, then mission work, then others that you think are doing godly work in a godly way.

    Boyd,
    Jesus commended an old lady for giving money. Was He wrong?

    Do you know how many older pastors and missionaries in this rich country are living in poverty because they have no retirement? My wife and I look after one. We give her money anonymolusly. Is that a sin? We even have discussed buying a larger house so we can take her in and still grant her privacy. We plan on using money to do so. Is that a sin?

    These days we buy food, drink, clothes, and shelter with money. Work the logic. If we were commanded to give in the exchange medium of the day then, why is it evil to use the exchange medium of this day and age? And, yes, if you make someone work for you without pay that’s called stealing or slavery. It is illegal even in the world. Why is okay in the assembly of our generous Father from Whom all good things come?

    I sympathize with the emotion you feel toward some who are nothing more than money-grabbers. Some national figures make millions from book contracts. This is evil and they ought to be defrocked. And in the South, I hear, many pastors are highly paid and very powerful in their communities. This, too, is evil. However, here in Montana a young guy taking a pastorate will often take such a small salary it almost violates wage laws. Which brings up another question: Do you realize you are asking the assembly to violate the law?

    I taught Greek, Hebrew, and hermeneutics at a small college for 5 years and always refused the pay. I was able to do so because I had other income. However, many teachers there couldn’t do that. They were paid so little that it would be illegal. The only way the college could do it was to pay $30 per student per semester hour as a contract, not a salary or wage. For a class of ten (a large class for that school) they got paid $900 for about four months work. If they taught 4 classes, they would get $3600 twice a year. Very few got that much.

    I suspect you don’t care about the suffering these families did for the sake of the gospel, but you ought to.

    These are the type of folks from whom you steal.

    I also believe this sort of thing adds to the temptation for many to compromise spiritually. Why stay straight and starve in a small church when one can get more support by broadening the appeal of one’s ministry? That’s easy to do, just preach for itching ears. Pastor are scared to break with apostate denominations because they may not be able to survive. Pastors who compromise this way are still responsible, but do we at times share in their sin by pushing them to go where they can support themselves?

    As to Paul peddling the gospel, read the passage. He said he had the right to financial support. He called it a right. You call it “peddling”. Who’s right?

    And, yes, “honor” in the passage quoted is evidenced by financial support. Look at the passage Paul quotes from the OC. It’s financial. “Honor”, of course, includes more than money. In fact, the money is a sign of the fact we honor them. Letting them starve is dishonor.

    As to the Old Covenant, Paul’s writings are in the New Covenant. And we are under the New Covenant. The OC says, “Thou shall not steal.”–a provision under which we still live, Boyd.

    And as to traditions, why do you forbid giving in the modern medium of exchange (money) when the Scripture does not? If you continue to say that the giving was in goods and services, not currency you have two problems. 1. That’s not true. Giving money was done and Jesus commended an old woman for doing so. Who’s wrong–you or Jesus? 2. Your hermeneutic is wildly off the mark. They didn’t go to assembly in cars, either. They walked or rode animals. Do you take your car to church? I’ll bet you don’t always wear sandals, like they did, either. They didn’t wear neck ties. Do you wear a neck tie? They didn’t use electricity. Do you worship by candles? They used a common cup for communion. Do you use individual cups? Or are obligated to get hepatitis together?

    And you still haven’t explained to us how a man is to minister full time and supply for his family? Nor have you told us what we are to tell his wife and children about why they are cold, hungry, and without shelter? Nor have you explained why it’s okay to treat the pastor worse than you treat your dog.

    You use money to feed your dog, don’t you? Or do you tell the grocer, “Here’s a sandwich and a pair of socks. I need a bag of dog food.”?

    In Christ,
    Phil Perkins.

  13. Boydmiller and all,
    You know, the other side to all this is that if a man refuses to minister without a promise to be paid, he isn’t fit to be in the pulpit.

    Phil

  14. Mr. Perkins

    It appears you are contradicting yourself. You talk about the widow and Jesus and money( this incident occurred during the period between the two covenants as an example of the hypocisy of the leaders at that time), yet the scripture you used(Luke 10) and quoted clearly is talking about food and drink not the medium of the day. Money was available during this time, yet Jesus told his disciples to take no money bag(why?) and to eat and drink what was set before them, which was their wages and gave no commandment about giving money or collecting. Your original comment was that ODM’s should be supported financially. Your response to Namoi was that you didn’t know if she should support them financially. The bible is very clear when it is talking about money and when it is talking about food and drink. I would be happy to discuss this issue with you on a different forum so as not to impose on this thread however I would ask you to give me the same respect you ask for on your site concerning name calling. You have said I am stealing and treating my pets better than ministers with no knowledge of me at all.

  15. Phil,
    I’m very much learning from this post, as well as the comments.
    However when you will be doing your post on false teachers and heretics, please I’ll like you to consider 2 Peter 2:1.

    But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, [and] bring on themselves swift destruction.

    This is the NKJV rendering.

    But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there wil be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves.

    That’s the NLT version.

    Issues:
    (OT) false prophets equated with (NT) false teachers.
    Destructive heresies being attributed to false teachers.
    A further addition to that being the denial of Christ.

    I’m however concerned about the distinction between a false teacher and a heretic.

    Thanks.

  16. Phil:

    You say: “Rick Warren isn’t a heretic people. He isn’t teaching blasphemy.”

    Then you say: “certainly a case could be made for labeling Warren a false teacher in regards to The Purpose Driven Life….and you won’t get an argument from me on that one but being a false teacher doesn’t make Warren a heretic.”

    So … if he isn’t teaching blasphemy, then why is he not a false teacher?

    Second, it is not just “The Purpose Driven Life.” Rick Warren’s errors are many, broad, and deep. Check it out, from a respected and professional apologetics website, not just a weblog run by someone who shouldn’t even be teaching Sunday school, about how Warren A) peddles New Age syncretism and B) LIES ABOUT IT.

    http://www.apologeticsindex.org/214-why-rick-warren-has-critics

    And this is actually one of the mildest links. As a matter of fact, they even take the time to state at the end “This is not to say, of course, that Warren is the Devil incarnate or a raging heretic.” Well with all due respect to Apologetics Index, their conclusion did not match the evidence that they presented.

    Finally, going back to your own acknowledgment that Warren is a false teacher. Well this is what the Bible says about false teachers.

    2 Peter 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.

    Now that verse says plain as day that false preachers = damnable heresies. False preachers = heresies and heretics. Why? Because they are false. They are lying on God and His Word. If they were telling the truth about God and His Word, they would not be false teachers.

    Now it is true that I did not interpret 2 Peter 2:1 with other scriptures. And it is also true that I did not do an expositional commentary analysis on the verse, nor did I do a Greek word study. But my opinion is that the burden is on you and other Warren defenders to explain how and why a guy who is so willfully wrong on so many topics so often is not a false preacher who should be condemned and other Christians warned against. In other words, if Warren is not a false preacher, then who is?

    I honestly think that Warren escapes a ton of scrutiny merely because he is A) Southern Baptist as opposed to Pentecostal/charismatic and B) not a televangelist. Well false preachers and their heresies existed long before Azusa Street or the invention of the cathode ray tube.

  17. Boyd,
    You said, “…to eat and drink what was set before them, which was their wages…” That’s called a medium of exchange. Today the common medium is fiat money.

    No, they didn’t have today’s fiat money. Silver and gold coin were traded based on the weight and content of the coin, just like a sack of grain, a lamb, or a calf. They didn’t have paper money and the value of a coin wasn’t set by a bank or government. It was a commodity, just as and silver are today.

    You said, “…to eat and drink what was set before them, which was their wages …” If they received wages for their work, why do you say they ought to work with their hands like everyone else.

    You said, “…and gave no commandment about giving money or collecting.” Then are we not free if Scripture gives no commandment on the subject? We can choose the medium of exchange we wish, can’t we?

    You said, “…and gave no commandment about giving money or collecting.” And it gave no commandment on blog commenting either. Do you blog or comment on blogs?

    You said, “…I would ask you to give me the same respect you ask for on your site concerning name calling.” I’ve not called you any name but Boyd and Boydmiller. I simply said you are sinning and you encourage others to do so also. I give permission on my site to call me perjorative names if you can back them up with fact. That’s a biblical practice, by the way. Be honest.

    I don’t know if Naomi should support ODM’s. I don’t know if God wants her to support New Tribes Missions, either. I don’t know her situation or to what God is calling her. I know New Tribes is a great group. I support them. I send them money. Should I start sending them Koolaid and sandwiches? Does UPS take potroasts?

    In Christ,
    Phil Perkins. PS This is my last word to you on this subject here. You can crucify me on Al Tosap. I gave you an opening there.

Comments are closed.