One of the hardest things for us to do as humans is to admit when we are wrong, or to entertain the possibility we could be wrong or even deceived.
We need to be teachable and realize we aren't always right, and that it is possible that we can be deceived and go around thinking we are right when we are in fact wrong. It is important for us to study, to examine the evidence and when we are wrong, we need to adjust.
There are somethings that are going on in the Church of America that are very saddening. I do not claim to have the perfect Theology, however, I have put in the time, effort and energy in studying the things I have found concerning; 1st, to see if I am wrong in my thinking and 2nd, if I am correct, too ask the question, how do we lovingly get about dealing with and drawing out the falsehoods that are being taught. This has resulted in much prayer, much study of the Word of God, and many conversations with people that agree and disagree "as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17
In bringing these things up I have been refereed to as a Pharisee, a Religious Zealot, or simply a religious leader who is offended when God moves, Yet, the more I pray and seek the Lord, the more I read His Word, the more I dive in deep and ask God by the power of His Spirit to reveal what is true as is represented in His Word, He has continued to bring peace and a desire to lovingly come alongside my brothers and sisters in Christ that have bought into some ideologies and philosophy's that are not presented in the Scripture. The Holy Spirit of God will always be in complete alignment with the Word of God, if what you are hearing does not find itself in compete agreement with the Word of God then it is not the Holy Spirit you are hearing from.
There are predominant teachers that are teaching that Jesus was not God in the flesh but a mere man during His time on the earth, and that after He died that He was tormented by satan in Hell until God rose Him from the grave, here is where they say was the moment that Jesus was reborn. They are teaching that the Holy Spirit moves subjectively and independently from the Word of God and that God is giving new revelation through the Spirit (implying that the canon of Scripture is not closed). They are teaching that prophecy is a learned gift and that you need to practice (try and get better) at it and that there is a difference between a false prophet and a bad prophet (a bad prophet from their perspective is one that simply got a bad word... where did this bad word come from?) That we are little gods (that when God made us in His image He made us little gods (to be clear this is not true)). They are teaching something known as the 7 mountain mandate (this is a view of the end times that is not presented in the Scripture). It is even being taught that God is the biggest failure in the Bible (the things used to justify this point from the Scripture are very saddening and this teaching seems to be isolated to Kennith Copeland but his influence on some of the heavy hitters is deeper than you may think.)
The enemy within is two fold, first, it is in the evil one preaching heresy and men buying the lie and preaching it to people, and the second is the enemy within ourselves as we refuse to listen to sound doctrine, consider we may be wrong or that we are being deceived. We so often don't or refuse to put the time in to examine the claims being made by either the preachers preaching false doctrine or examining the claims of those that are refuting the teachings. As believers in Jesus we are to test all things in accordance with the Word of God, we are to be teachable and we must find ourselves in full submission to God and His authoritative Word. The things I mentioned above are very much heretical and leading people astray. These false doctrines are being propagated by two of the more predominant names in the church today, Todd White, and Bill Johnson along with Shawn Bolz, Heidi Baker and several others. Now, I am not questioning their salvation as that is not my place, only God knows who is truly saved and who isn't, and my battle isn't with these people, it is with the ideologies and philosophies that are being taught.
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:10-12
What is most saddening to me is what seems to be an abandoning of the Word of God, either that or the manipulation, misinterpretations or the misapplications or a combination of all 4 of those things. I am not just speaking about the teachers preaching these things, I am also speaking to the hearers of what they are teaching. Because this movement is laced with experience and emotional connection people have a hard time separating their subjective emotional experience from what is objectively true. This is why it is vital to teach that the Holy Spirit of God will always be in complete alignment with the Word of God (which is the objective truth). When we separate the Holy Spirit from God's Word and make the Spirits movement subjective we enter into very dangerous ground, sadly most people are walking on this ground daily and don't realize it or they think someone who says other wise is wrong and either a Pharisee or Religious nut job. One of the other subtle things that happens with the teachings that Jesus was only a man during His time on earth is that it minimizes Jesus and elevates the Holy Spirit and the experience the Holy Spirit provides. This deception is subtle and probably one these teachers would deny if asked, however, their teachings promote this ideology whether they know it or not. I am sure people will be unhappy that I mentioned some names in this blog, and that is okay. If you follow the teachings of any of the people listed I challenge you to do some research, and if you don't know where to start I would love to provide some resources for you that demonstrate the claims I have made. Again, I do not wish to go against God and bear false witness, it is important to note that I am not the type to make blanket claims, I have made my claims biased on the evidence that they themselves have provided in their teachings. We should always be testing anything a Pastor or preacher says, as well as the things our brothers and sisters share, we need to put the things said up against God's Word, this is how we know that what is being shared is in fact true.
There is so much more conversation to be had, please feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts. As always, lets keep the conversation Christlike and friendly.