Monday, May 22, 2017

Unmasking the "Holy Ghost" Movie

Unmasking the fraudulent, demonic, deceptive Holy Ghost movie

This post could be subtitled, "Why Unbelievers Hate Christians, Part 4", and is another that will probably cost me some friends. Don't that just take the rag off the bush, standing up for truth and getting professing Christians into a lather? It happened before, and it'll happen again because I seek to please God, not men, which makes me think of Galatians 1:10.

Did you know that most Americans who call themselves Christians are actually functional heretics? While this kind of news is very sad, it is also not surprising. In my experience, especially online, there are many people who profess to be Christians but have a very low view of Scripture, and very little working knowledge of it. Yet, they claim to believe it. When people fall in to deception, disregard for scriptural authority as well as biblical illiteracy are key factors.

 I run across all sorts of people while administering The Question Evolution Project. I'll see some who claim to be Christians because they liked the Son of God miniseries, the Holy Ghost movie, and some other dubious religious things (including Pages run by cultists). If I say that people like Creflo Dollar, Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyere, and others preach a false gospel, they get on the prod. Well, if those folks had some spiritual knowledge and discernment, they wouldn't be following false teachers in the first place, would they? Also, I suspicion that TQEP loses followers because we uphold the inerrancy and authority of Scripture, which doesn't set well with modern churchians. They prefer feelings and experience over the written Word of God, and such things are a distraction from the truth.

Why would unbelievers hate us over the Holy Spirit? Because too many professing Christians are gullible and think that acting in an uncontrolled ecstatic manner is somehow the way God works (1 Cor. 14:33). Very often, hateful atheists will find instance of people being nutty for Jesus, and then overgeneralize that such behavior is typical of Christians.

I have to be direct here. Such people need to repent, get into the Word, and renounce false teachers. More importantly, they need to examine themselves and see if they are really saved. Don't be gambling eternity on the desire to have good feelings.

Which brings me to the purpose of this post. The Holy Ghost movie is something that should cause Christians to weep because of the deceptions involved. Instead, demonic activity is cheered by people who claim to believe the Bible. (It received high marks from the Dove Foundation, which detracts from their credibility in my eyes.) If you're willing to learn the truth about this spiritual thimblerig, I have a something well worth your time.

On the "Fighting for the Faith" podcast, Pastor Chris Rosebrough spent about an hour on the Holy Ghost movie. He also embedded a video on how someone can set up a con that has all the appearances of a modern "move of the Spirit" that have nothing to do with the real Holy Spirit. This video is not from a Christian source and contains a bit of profanity, but is extremely enlightening. For the podcast and link to the video (both are free, and the podcast can be downloaded), click on "Debunking the Holy Ghost Movie". Rosebrough's podcast set up in an audio-only video format is here. I pray that you will listen carefully, and get into the Word. This is not the time for Christians to be dallying and playing at spirituality when faithfulness to God's Word is essential — as is proper discernment.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Christian and Greek Mythology

Many people are fascinated by ancient Greek mythology, which can be seen by the numerous volumes about the subject and various works of fantasy fiction that make their way onto the big screen. Although it appears that few if any people still believe in what were called gods and goddesses of Greece, that culture is still represented in today's Western world.

Artemis (Roman: Diane) credit: Wikimedia Commons / Marie-Lan Nguyen
Some jaspers say that the Bible is just mythology, like the Greeks, Romans, and others had. I wonder if they've ever read the mythologies and seriously read the Bible. When I was younger, I thought maybe they were just representatives of principles, but no, people did worship them. Those tinhorns in mythology were capricious, petty, deceitful, cannibalistic, and just plain unpleasant in many ways. Powerful forces of nature were attributed to them, as were other facts of daily life. We get diluted mythology stories, but if you get into mythology that is more direct, well, some of that stuff is brutal. Those characters received fanatical devotion, as is seen in Acts 19:28, Acts 17:16-34, and other places. There's no valid comparison of mythology to the Bible, which is written as history.

Evolution is an ancient Greek philosophy. (Actually, many Greek philosophies and religious practices were taken from Egypt, India, and other places.) Their false deities are a part of creation and evolution, while God transcends his creation. The Christian needs to realize that what we believe about the one true God and creation are extremely important today.
Greek mythology—the story-rich religion of the ancient Greek people—is familiar to most of us today. The names and antics of its gods, demigods, heroes, and assorted mortals enrich our language, art, and culture. The Apollo space program was named for the Greek god of archery, light, poetry, and music. The entrance to the US Supreme Court building is adorned with Themis the Greek goddess of law and justice, often called by her Roman name Justicia (or Lady Justice). Nashville, Tennessee, the Athens of the South, boasts a full-scale replica of the Parthenon. The original Parthenon, the primary temple of Athena, is in the ancient Greek city Athens, which was named for its patron goddess. Pandora’s box, the Golden Fleece, Achilles’ heel, Zeus’s lightning bolts, Hermes the winged messenger, Prometheus with his gift of fire to man, Titans battling the Olympian gods, the heroic adventures of Heracles (Hercules), the Trojan horse, and Homer’s feuding gods and goddesses—these are just a few images, phrases, and well-known tales drawn from Greek myths and related stories.
To read the rest, click on "Greek Mythology and the Gospel of Jesus Christ: What Can We Learn?"
 

Friday, May 5, 2017

Yes, Genesis is History

Something I keep stressing is that the Bible is God's Word, and true from the very first verse. There are people who, for various reasons, want to compromise and say that the Bible is true, but not the early chapters of Genesis — those have to be interpreted in light of the ever-changing whims of man-made science philosophies. Can't be believing in creation, can we? Yes, yes we can.

Sunset over clouds on Lake Superior, credit: Freeimages / Archbob
Why would they compromise? If you study on it, there are several possible reasons. One is that they are ashamed of God. Another is because they are more interested in what other people think of them rather than what God thinks. Many learn bad theology from liberal teachers. I reckon the most likely reason is that they have not really thought things through (which may stem from not being grounded in the Word). Capitulating on the opening chapters of Genesis leads to theological horse trading throughout the Bible, and undermines the gospel message. Genesis was written as history, old son, and the rest of Scripture treats it that way.
Ever had someone tell you, ‘You’re missing the whole point! The purpose of Genesis is to teach that God is our Creator. We should not be divisive over the small details. Genesis teaches the theological truth of “Who?” and “Why?” not about the “How?” and “When?”’ Or else they say that the Bible is a book for faith and morality, not history.

An obvious answer is, why should we trust Genesis when it says God created if we can’t trust it on the details? After all, Jesus told Nicodemus, ‘I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?’ (John 3:12). So if Genesis can’t be trusted on an earthly thing, such as Earth’s age, the sequence of creative acts upon it, or the Flood that covered it, then why trust it on a heavenly thing such as who the Creator was? Also, if Genesis 1 were merely meant to tell us that God is creator, then why simply not stop at verse 1, all that’s necessary to state this?

However, the critic has overlooked something even more important—Genesis is written as real history. This is why the rest of the Bible treats the events, people and time sequences as real history, not parables, poetry or allegory.
I hope you'll read the rest of this important article. Just click on "Genesis: Bible authors believed it to be history".

 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

People after the Genesis Flood

We are not given a great number of details about the post-Flood people in the Bible, but some were so impressive that they warranted special attention, especially the giants. (The writers used giant the way most of us do today, for very large people and not for the impossibly huge people of fantasy stories.) 

Gaius Plinius Secundus (Pliny the Elder)
Gaius Plinius Secundus (Pliny the Elder), from Wikimedia Commons

I remember a lecture that Ken Ham gave where he reasoned from accounts of people of great size, photographic memories, and other talents that very few people have, Adam would have been a composite of all of them. After all, he was made flawless and sin had not entered the world and begun genetic degradation. Some of those abilities must have lingered through the ages. In fact, Pliny and others have given some interesting historical accounts of people with not only strength, but mental agility, memory, endurance, vision, and more.
It has been over 6,000 years since God created Adam and Eve. Because of the Curse, we have suffered and changed greatly. We do not have detailed records concerning the abilities of man when God created Adam. However, the Romans were very accurate at recordkeeping and give us a glimpse at what a few men could do as little as two thousand years ago. Let’s take a look at some of the abilities of men at that time so that we can get a better idea of the fantastic abilities God bestowed on Adam and his descendants in the beginning.
To read the rest, click on "What Were Early Post-Flood People Like?" You may also be interested in Dr. Robert Carter's lecture on genetics, "The Non-Mythical Adam and Eve".
 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Non-Bible Answer Man

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Dr. Walter Martin was the original "Bible Answer Man" after he founded an organization called the Christian Research Institute (CRI). He was a noted authority on cults and religions, having written books on the subjects, had a radio ministry, was a guest on various programs, and more [1]. After his untimely death in 1989 at age 60, the leadership of CRI was given to Hank Hanegraaff. Dr. Martin's teachings were very helpful in the development of my own theology as well as my growing interest in apologetics.

The family of Dr. Martin has serious difficulties with Hanegraaff's demeanor, methods, lack of formal theological training, and in other areas [2]. They are not the only ones, either [3]. In addition, he has not been friendly to biblical creation science, preferring the "Framework Hypothesis" [4]. It seems that someone taking over such a position from Dr. Martin should have formal theological training and have less controversy.


Hank Hanegraaff left Christianity for the Eastern Orthodox religion
Christ the Saviour, Pantokrator, a 6th-century icon at St Catherine's Monastery
On April 9, 2017, Hanegraaff formally joined the Eastern Orthodox religion [5]. Some say that he has left the Christian faith because the Orthodox religion is diametrically opposed to some basic tenets of Christianity [6] [7] and this conversion caused a radio network to remove the "Bible Answer Man" from their lineup [8]. Hank says he has not left the faith, and his beliefs are codified in his books and nothing has changed. That is ridiculous, because of the huge differences between his new religion and Christianity (see "How Is Eastern Orthodoxy Different?" for more information).

I don't know what's going on with the Christian Research Institute. They had someone who is controversial and unqualified in his position from the get-go, but now that Hank has jumped the corral fence and become a theological maverick, will it become the Orthodox Research Institute and have the "Orthodox Answer Man" program? I know it's asking a lot, but I hope you'll consider watching the video or downloading the audio from Dr. James White, "Can a Consistent Eastern Orthodox Believer Be the Bible Answer Man?"


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Authority, Personality, Familiarity

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Seems to be human nature to defer to someone in authority. Well, let me modify that: someone that seems to have authority. The scene of a traffic accident, a stranger stops, gives instructions, directs traffic, and takes charge overall until the police and EMTs arrive. (There is something that is called presence, where someone has authority and personality.) He or she may not have had any formal status, but people deferred to the air of authority. Atheists listen to Clinton Richard Dawkins, even though he is a lousy philosopher, and evolutionists believe his ridiculous claim that the human eye was "poorly designed". Unfortunately, Christians are often persuaded by people with what they perceive as authority.


Some teachers are good, but people succumb to perceived authority of bad ones.
Evangelist D.L. Moody, from J. Wilbur Chapman, 1900
As an illustration, allow me a personal anecdote. I was raised in the Untied Methodist Church (misspelling intentional), my father was a pastor. In an adult Sunday School class, I was allowed to give a presentation on why we can trust the Bible, which may have taken about twenty minutes. My father gave some closing remarks from his liberal perspective that essentially undermined my work. How could it happen? He was the pastor, so they were familiar with him. He also had authority and personality.

Some years later, I was giving talks in area churches on biblical creation science and theology. The pastors and churches had no reason to trust me aside from what I wrote to them and told them. Should I have done this? Should they have let me in? Looking back, I am uncertain. Sure, the pastor was usually there (I wanted them to hear the messages as well), and they could have corrected errors that a stranger could have presented, but that may not have been sufficient.

Don't be disunderstanding me, I'm not saying that a church should not have a teacher that they do not know personally. There are some established Bible teachers, those giving talks from respected creation science ministries, and others who can be welcomed. No matter who is invited, church leaders need to use prayer and discernment before allowing someone into the pulpit.

Taking this authority concern further, professing Christians are willingly deceived by false teachings, whether theistic evolution, liberalism, it's all about you instead of Jesus, the prosperity gospel, or other demonic doctrines. A major part of the problem is that too many of us are doctrinally weak, and do not know the Bible that we claim to believe. Then someone comes along that has a strong personality, a tremendous delivery, uses humor, presence . . . It's mighty difficult to speak against someone that people like, but is teaching things that are untrue. People like Paul Young's blasphemous book and movie The Shack, and he spews further heresy in his latest book.

There some professing Christians go, believing lies because they were gullible and uninformed. I'll be blunt, many are spiritually lazy, preferring to be like atheists who teach "truths" through "memes" that are suited to bumper sticker mentalities. Learning the Word is too much like work for some folks. Wonder if they ever noticed attitudes such as expressed in Psalm 1:1-2?

Now it's time for me to link to a lesson in discernment and how teachers can be deceptive — even demonic — while masquerading as teachers of righteousness. This takes a bit of effort, because the podcast is over two hours (!) long. I recommend downloading it so you can listen when it's more convenient. It's at Fighting for the Faith, and is called "The YOU Effect?" This message is done, but I still want to urge you to get into the Word, our final authority, and be discerning.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Creation and Crucifixion

A day called Good Friday is observed to some extent by most professing Christians around the world. Unbelievers ignore or even hate this day because there is no camouflaging it; no candy rabbits, baskets with shredded plastic grass, egg hunts, ham dinners or any other trappings like people do with Easter. The crucifixion of Jesus is plainly on display for all to see.


Jesus crucifixion resurrection Bible Genesis
Credit: Pixabay / congerdesign
The bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead followed on a Sunday. He defeated death to reconcile those who believe with God the Father, and enemies of God don't rightly cotton to hearing about that none too much. They also dislike being reminded that Jesus is the Creator (John 1:1-4, Colossians 1:16), and that both the crucifixion and resurrection were prophesied centuries before those events happened. Further, the first prophesy about redemption after sin was in Genesis 3:15. For those who belong to God through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9, John 1:12, Revelation 21:3-4), this long-foretold event gives us joy and meaning in our lives. Those who deny God have no hope, only blind, pitiless indifference before their terrible final Judgement (Matthew 16:27, Revelation 20:11-15).
It may seem odd for people to celebrate the humiliating defeat of their leader and hero. But the suffering, shame and death of Jesus Christ are a source of hope to Christians.

No one wants to live in a world where evil is ignored, or worse still, approved. Everyone yearns for justice when they have been mocked, insulted, betrayed or abused.

Who has not rebelled when they have been treated like an animal or a thing? We have a deep desire for our wrongs to be put right, for our suffering to have meaning.
To read the rest, click on "Genesis and the Cross". Also recommended, "Easter and Good Friday: questions and answers — Does Easter have a pagan derivation? Was Jesus really crucified on a Friday?"