The last 10 days or so have been interesting, haven’t they? It’s amazing to me the lengths some of these so called and self appointed “discernment ministries” will go to when they have an agenda. Recently two misguided souls and one unaccountable “ministry” has decided to accuse me of “endorsing” Kenneth Copeland with a statement I made about Copeland, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen and Paula White. The statement?
I stated these folks are true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.
I can see some of you gasping for air right about now, and in that immediate context I’d be gasping as well…….
The only problem? That isn’t all I said but that doesn’t seem to matter much to folks that have an agenda. These types of folks only seem to exist to condemn and to tickle the itching ears of other people like them.
You know the type. The folks who demand accountability from others yet refuse to be held accountable…..the people who cry and pout when someone makes an accusation against them without citing their sources yet turn around and do the very same thing and call it “discernment”.
Let’s go back to that statement that was taken out of context before I get completely sidetracked……
“The Pilgrim” makes an interesting statement on his “bio”;
Left the apostate teachings of the word of faith movement (after leaving Roman Catholicism) and am now a Christian. If you still want an idea of my leanings, I must say I can be compared closest to that of the Reformed faith, although I don’t necessarily agree with everything it holds. My family and I also hope to one day be full time missionaries in the country of Liberia, Africa. (source)
During his time in the Roman Catholic Church as well as the Word of Faith movement I have to wonder if he felt, during those times, he was a “true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ”? I’m not talking about what he claims now but how he felt and what he believed then. If he was claiming then he was a Christian then I think its safe to assume that he believed he was a “true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ”, right?
What about Roderick Edwards? When he was a Hyper Preterist for 15 years did he believe he was a “true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ”? Forget about what he claims now but if he called himself a “Christian” during any part of that time, and he did, then I would think the answer would be yes, right? Edwards believed he was a “true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ” and supposedly left because he discovered the Jesus he was a “true believer in” wasn’t the Jesus he claims to be following now.
Brian Simmons is 35 years old and by his own admission he has spent 29 years in one heretical movement or another, specifically 27 years as a Roman Catholic and 2 years as a Hyper Preterist. During those years did he believe he was a “true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ”? I would think so and if he’s honest he would admit he believed as such if he identified himself as a Christian that is.
During the four year period (1988-1992) when I was putting 3John 2 on steroids I fully believed that I was a “true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ” and no one could convince me otherwise because I believed that I was following Him and like Copeland I was making big money which furthered my beliefs that I was not only following Jesus but that he was blessing me just like 3John 2 said it would (or what I wanted to believe it meant).
What about you reading this who may have been following some form of heresy. Did you believe you were a “true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ? Forget about what you know now but how and what did you believe then? If you identified yourself as a Christian during that time then you were probably convinced that you were a “true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ”, right?
Now, read what I said and I will highlight in bold the part some seem to want to ignore about Kenneth Copeland and the others;
Let me fill you guys in on a little somethin’ here. Ken Copeland is a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. So is Fred KC Price, so is Paula White, so is Joyce Meyer, so is Joel Osteen. They are all true believers in the lord Jesus Christ. For sure. They for sure are. . . . Their Jesus isn’t exactly the same Jesus as the one in the Bible, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t believe in their Jesus; especially Ken Copeland. Ken Copeland has almost a billion dollars. That tells you that he does believe in his Jesus. He has a strong belief in his Lord Jesus Christ. See, his Lord Jesus Christ gives him money. His Lord Jesus Christ has blessed him beyond all belief. . . . Now when he stands before the Lord Jesus Christ of the Bible, he might get a different—he might have a different opinion, he might learn something differently than what he’s been—what he’s believed in. And he might get a different idea of where his errors were and are, but to say that he’s not a true believer is just an asinine statement.
Why can’t Kenneth Copeland believe he is a “true believer in Lord the Jesus Christ”? The Pilgrim did. Edwards and Simmons did, I did and you who are reading this have probably all believed in a different Jesus like Copeland does. The difference between us and Copeland? Someone was able to reach us and demonstrate that the Jesus we thought we were “true believers” in wasn’t the Jesus of the Bible.
Somehow amidst the agendas and the condemning of Phil Naessens that point was missed as well as was the general them of that portion of the podcast.
Our job as Christian apologists isn’t to tell others what they believe. Our job as apologists isn’t to put words into others mouths or to twist statements to build our apologetic defenses. Our job as Christian apologists is to show people, with a Bible in hand, WHY the Jesus they are true believers in isn’t the Jesus of the Bible. Those who resort to tricks, assumptions, over-arching premises and placing words in others mouths as well as lying about others are not Christian apologists.
I’ll leave you with some Scripture to ponder……
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.