Rev. Frank Hughes, Jr.

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Worship in the 21st Century

"The church that can’t worship must be entertained. And men who can’t lead a church to worship must provide the entertainment. 

That is why we have the great evangelical heresy here today--the heresy of religious entertainment." 

-A. W. Tozer

Several years after he retired, Dad and I often talked about the growing problem of the cheap and tawdry entertainment that was taking root in worship in the early 21st Century, all across the Southern Baptist Convention.

Rev. Frank Hughes, Jr., wrote the following
"Pastor's Pen" article about Music in the Church,
for the church paper,
"The Messenger," on August 24, 1979:


While attending seminary, my father advised me to be sure and study the correct theological methodology of Apologetics and Hermeneutics in order to properly interpret and preach the Bible correctly.  It is also important for those who attend a church to have Spiritual Discernment about what is being proclaimed from the pulpit.  For that to happen, it is imperative that pastors preach the Word as is, without adding or subtracting from it.

There used to be a day when, historically, you could walk into a Southern Baptist Church, South Norfolk Baptist in particular, and be assured that what was preached from the pulpit was sound doctrine.  That, sadly, is no longer the case.

After retiring from the military chaplaincy, I felt I had awaken from a bad dream: not just bad Bible teaching, but heresy in our Southern Baptist Churches was rampant, including the one I grew up in.  It was like the Washington Irving story of "Rip Van Winkle," awakening from a deep sleep, and discovering, in this case, much to my horror, the unthinkable occurring in many of our churches. Indeed, it was happening in the church I grew up in: South Norfolk Baptist.  Heresy, Vision Casting, Eisegetical and Narcigetical Sermons, Entertainment on a platform complete with "7-11" hymns and Praise Singers; Secular Dancing, Hip-Hop, Rap, and other sinful Entertainment; Seeker Sensitive nonsense, and the list goes on, ad nauseam.

It is probably good that my Father and Mother did not live to see what had happened in South Norfolk Baptist.....especially in the last several years while David Slayton was pastor; the lower attendance, lower finances, no large choir, no pipe organ in use, over-emphasis on minority youth recreation, and no real growth among the adult age group...... where they previously and faithfully followed the Lord and His Word, and ministered in His Name. 

-Rev. Joe Hughes,

Revised, April 2017

2022 update: After leaving South Norfolk, David Slayton went to Rocky Mount Baptist Church, Rocky Mount, VA and stayed only 5 years. While there, he emphasized 'praise singers' and social work. He left there in 2022 and went to Amelia Baptist Church, Amelia, VA where he had once been a youth pastor.
Introductory PDFs: based on sound, factual, Bible-based theology and doctrine, properly researched, and not personal opinion. All examples concerning SNBC, have been vetted for accuracy. Films/pictures referred to have been stored for electronic verification.

"Worship in the 21st Century" and "Musical Chairs"

"Churches Committing Suicide" was written by the Rev. Dr. H. Edgar Twine (pictured here to the right of Rev. Hughes), for his website blog, "Broadview Perspectives," before he went to be with the Lord. He and I had several conversations about the problems "contemporary worship" was creating in the church. He was one of the ministerial students ordained at South Norfolk Baptist Church.  (His biography is on the "Pictures" section of this website.) 

It is offered here without edit.
Why I have included information about heresy entering a church on this web page:

Because many years ago, sitting in a senior Oscar Smith High School English class, Miss Margaret West gave some timely advice to us: to watch who you associate with as young people; you tend to become like them, perhaps picking up bad habits you will later regret, and you tend to marry those you hang out with.  I never forgot that.

That admonition was later re-enforced by Dr. Delgado, Academic Dean at Bluefield College, when he addressed my freshman class in a chapel service, and stated that we as individuals, are constantly making a record of our lives, not only in the academic world, but in the social aspects as well.  He also stressed the importance of those we associated with.

I therefore consider it to be a serious matter when a pastor starts to associate himself with those who are theologically unsound.  It is a very serious matter when a pastor, who oversees a church website, has allowed endorsement of "Emergent Churches" and, therefore, the heretics (what else can you call those who don't follow the Bible) who lead them.  And what could be worse, than to preach and teach heresy?
Where you go to Church will say a lot about your personal relationship to Christ; your eternal destiny.

Dr. Steve Lawson preaches at the "Resolved 2012 Conference" on the subject
"Where should you go to Church?"

Dr. J. Ligon Duncan, preaches on "Worship in Word and Sacrament" at the 2005 Ligonier Ministries National Conference.

Scripture indicates that we are to worship God, yet much of what passes for worship today is merely a thinly veiled attempt to entertain men. In this message, Dr. J. Ligon Duncan will explain how a biblical understanding of the basic elements of Christian worship should inform the way in which we approach God.

Dr. Mark Dever preaches on: “Worship in Spirit and Truth”

What does it mean to worship the Father in spirit and truth? How do you understand that instruction from our Lord? In this message, Dr. Mark Dever gives us perspective on this important issue as he teaches us what it is to “Worship in Spirit and Truth.”

If you’re like most Christians, you probably have a consistent Sunday morning routine. Maybe you rush to church in time to greet your friends, grab some coffee, make your way to your regular seat, and settle in just in time for worship. Your pattern may look different, but it’s fairly certain you have one you stick to.

But when it comes to the routine of corporate worship in your local church, do you think much about your responsibility in your Sunday services? I’m not talking about stacking chairs and handing out bulletins—it’s a responsibility that every believer shares. And sadly, today, very few fulfill.

What is this responsibility? We’ll let John MacArthur explain:

(Courtesy/copyright by Grace to You; used with permission).

The Greatest Danger Facing the Church

By -- By James Hamilton, Professor of Biblical Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky:

The greatest danger facing the church is probably not what most of us expect. We expect some sort of direct challenge from without, but it probably comes from within. In our day, it may well come from well-meaning pastors.

How could well-meaning pastors pose the greatest threat to evangelical churches today? Do they deny the truth?

No, the pastors who pose the greatest threat to the church today will confess belief in the right things. They will confess the authority and inerrancy of the Bible, that Jesus saves, and that he is the only way of salvation.

So how can these guys who mean well and make the good confession pose such a threat to the church?


They are a threat because, in spite of their confession, their words and actions treat Christianity as nothing more than the best form of therapy. They treat it as self-help. They treat it as the path to better marriages, better parent-child relationships, better attitudes and performance at work, and on and on.

Christianity is about success here and now. That, at least, is what you might conclude by listening to their sermons and observing how they do church. What “works best” guides their decision-making.

But Christianity is not primarily about any of that. Christianity is primarily about the gospel—about a holy God, rebels who deserve his wrath, a divine Son who takes the punishment rebels deserve, and the promise of forgiveness for all who repent and believe.

Christianity is about telling this true story in the words of the Bible so that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, people come to see God, the world, and themselves correctly.

Christianity is about the triune God and the two natures of Christ.

Christianity is about the Holy Spirit supernaturally causing people to be born again so that they love this story and find in it their hope and joy.

Christianity is about trusting the Word of God with all our hearts and not leaning on our own understanding—or on our own ideas about what works or what is relevant.

Christianity is about longing for the return of Christ, who, when he comes, will set up his kingdom, which means that this is not our home.

Pastors who present Christianity as therapy and self-help do not present Christianity. They are like the liberals that J. Gresham Machen denounced. Machen said that people who don’t believe the Bible should be honest and stop calling themselves Christians, because they have in fact created a new religion that is not to be identified with Christianity. Similarly, the promoters of the American religion of self-help and therapeutic pop-psychology ought to be honest: they don’t believe the Bible is “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16).

If they believed that the Bible really does contain everything we need to be saved and to live lives that are pleasing to God, they would preach the Bible from their pulpits. Not only would they preach the Bible, trusting that God has revealed what he thinks his people need, trusting that God knows better than they do what is relevant, they would organize their churches according to the dictates of the Bible rather than the dictates of the market and the corporate world.


So how do churches avoid winding up with a pastor who will harm them by turning Christianity into the American religion of self-help therapy?

1) Look at the biblical qualifications for men in the ministry (1 Tim 3:1–7; Tit 1:5–9), and ask pastoral candidates direct questions about whether they meet these qualifications. Ask the man’s references whether he lives up to these statements. Do not assume that every candidate will meet these qualifications, and don’t assume that every candidate understands these qualifications. Ask him to explain the qualifications.

2) Since the feature that most distinguishes the qualifications for an elder (pastor) from the qualifications for a deacon is that the elder be “apt to teach” (1 Tim 3:2), pay close attention to his teaching. Seek to discern whether this man “holds firmly to the trustworthy word as taught,” whether he knows enough theology “to be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it” (Tit 1:9, ESV).

3) Based on what you have heard of his preaching, ask yourself these questions:

a. Was the main point of the text he was preaching the main point of his sermon? (If he did not preach a text, remove his name from consideration.)

b. Does God rest heavily upon this man? Is it evident that he fears God? Can you tell that he knows that “teachers will be judged more strictly” (James 3:1)? Does he “tremble at the Word of God” (Isa 66:2)? Is the Word of God like a burning in his bones that he cannot hold in (Jer 20:9)?

c. Does he think that his main task is the explanation of the Bible, which is useful and relevant (2 Tim 3:16), or does he think that he needs to organize the Bible according to his wisdom in order for it to be useful and relevant?

d. Is the man going to help the church understand and live on the great truths of Christianity?

e. Is the man a theologian, or is he a just a gifted speaker with a good heart?

f. Do you trust this man’s ability to interpret the Bible and tell you what it means?

4) Consider also what you understand the calling of pastoral ministry to be:

a. Is pastoral ministry about “the ministry of the Word and prayer” (Acts 6:4), or is it about building a large corporation successful by worldly standards?

b. Is pastoral ministry about the power of the Spirit of God through the Word of God, or is it about “persuasive speech” and slick presentations? (cf. 1 Cor 2:1–5).

c. Is the great commission (Matt 28:18–20) about notching “decisions” on our belts or about making disciples who have been taught all that Jesus commanded?

d. Are Jesus’ instructions about church discipline (Matt 18:15–18) to be taken seriously or is he not going to practice church discipline since it might be bad for business?

e. Is church membership mainly about a big number for us to report, or should church members really take the “one another’s” in the New Testament seriously?

f. Are the main tasks of pastoral ministry prayer, teaching, and shepherding souls, or is pastoral ministry more about growing the business and managing a conglomerate of campuses?

g. What are his plans for doing evangelism?

h. What are his plans for doing discipleship?

i. What are his plans for praying for the members of the church?

Paul told the elders (or pastors) of the church in Ephesus that wolves would arise from within their ranks to destroy the flock (Acts 20:29–30). Likewise, Jesus said that the false prophets would be like wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing (Matt 7:15). It might be hard to recognize these well-meaning pastors as wolves, but Jesus said we would know them by their fruits (Matt 7:16–20).

Let me add, not every pastor who doesn’t preach the Bible and who organizes the church according to a business model rather than a biblical model is intentionally trying to destroy the flock. Yes, some are evil. Some are in the ministry for their own advancement. But what do we say about well meaning pastors who propagate an un-Christian, un-biblical, worldly kind of Christianity? I think the words that Jesus spoke about those who corrupted the Old Covenant are fitting: “Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit” (Matt 15:14, ESV).


Let us therefore heed the words of Jesus about what a good shepherd does—”the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). Only Jesus can lay down his life for the sheep in the way he did at the cross. But his under-shepherds can lay down their lives for the sheep as they take up their crosses and follow in the footsteps of Jesus, loving, teaching, discipling, evangelizing, praying, and protecting the sheep from the wolves. No servant is greater than his master (John 15:20).

Rev. Greg Durel, spoke at the Berean Call 2006 Conference, on the state of today's church:

Is it Time to Bring Back the Black Robes?

By News Division, Pen & Pulpit· Published November 7, 2017 · Updated November 7, 2017

The vestment, robe, or cassock used to be all the rage in Protestant evangelicalism. Although associated with Catholicism in the minds of American Christians, the historical reality is that the garment was called the “Geneva Gown.” It developed among the Reformers of Western Europe who rejected the dress of the Papist clergy, but whose preachers often wore vestments associated with their status as academic scholars. The point, they presumed, is that people should not be focusing at all upon their dress, and so they developed the tradition of wearing the Geneva Gown to accentuate their message rather than accentuate the messenger.

Dr. Lloyd-Jones, posing in his Geneva (Pulpit) gown:

It wasn’t that long ago that Reformed ministers wore the Geneva Gown when they preached. Consider, for example, the late Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones. Jones said…

…I believe it is good and right for a preacher to wear a [Geneva] gown in the pulpit…The gown to me is a sign of the call, a sign of the fact that a man has been ‘set apart’ to do this work. It is no more than that, but it is that.

Many have agreed with him over the ages.

French Calvinist, Richard Paquier, said the following in his book, “Dynamics of Worship”: It is natural that the man who officiates in the worship of the Church be clothed in a manner corresponding to the task assigned to him and expressing visibly what he does. Moreover, whoever leads in the act of worship does not perform as a private party but as a minister of the Church; he is the representative of the community and the spokesman of the Lord. Hence, an especially prescribed robe, a sort of ecclesiastical “uniform,” is useful for reminding both the faithful and himself that in this act he is not Mr. So-and-so, but a minister of the Church in the midst of a multitude of others.”

Why might a Geneva gown not be that bad of an idea? Not only does it recognize that the pastor is an officer of the organized church, it serves the purpose of hiding the preacher in a bond of modesty before the congregation. One thing is for sure; no one will go home talking about what the preacher was wearing.

I recognize the sensationalism and seemingly novelty of my suggestion that the clerical robe may not be that bad of an idea. But, consider what is common today:

The fellow above is Carl Lentz, Hillsong New York pastor. If you think he may dress more manly in the pulpit (to be fair, he doesn’t use a pulpit), this is a photo of him preaching:

And this is popular preacher, Steven Furtick, complete with skinny jeans with manufactured tears:

And this is Mark Driscoll, who apparently has little respect for the 2nd Commandment:

This is Nadia Bolz-Weber, a trans-gender former male student at Truett Seminary at Baylor, preaching, while showing off all of her tattoos:

Here’s Jeff Durbin and Luke Pierson, sporting their hipster bedazzle:

There is zero doubt that the more serious Christianity is on decline in culture, the less respect pastors have for decorum and respectability in their appearance. While we look at pastors who refuse to preach without a tie as being old, stuffy fuddy-duddies, pastors who preach while sporting their tattoos, face jewelry, glittered pants and gaudy costume jewelry should at least make us raise an eyebrow. Is this what has come of the pastorate? This?

Far have we come from when exposition was seen as so important and indeed, so sacred, that men tried their best not to stand out by taking upon themselves worldly style. They would rather hide behind a black cloak than having people talk about what they were wearing on the way home. Today, Ed Young actually has a website (see PDF below this article) to teach pastors how to be fashionable.

The magazine, Fashionista, says that Carl Lentz and Judah Smith are “reaching people” through fashion. They write, “With millennials leaving the American church in droves, how do these pastors continue to draw thousands of young, culturally aware people to their Sunday worship services? The answer is complex, of course, but there’s no doubt that fashion plays at least a supporting role.”

There is little doubt that this type of gimmickry is not quarantined to Arminians circles, as the YRR (Young, Restless, and Reformed) movement is steeped in “coolness,” as seen in the hipster fashion of its most prominent advocates. Even Reformed arch-Calvinist, James White, sports tattoos that endear him to the younger, bearded type of coolness that pervades New Calvinism.

Is it fair to say that days of respectable dress among clergy are behind us? Are ties now taboo? Can ministers just ink up their skin in a way that was once reserved for sailors, bikers, and felons? Should we just get used to ripped jeans in the pulpit? Does even asking these questions make us fundamentalist, legalist Pharisees? Does the Bible really have nothing to say about dress?

In fact, the Bible has much to say about dress and appearance, in both the Old and New Testaments. A few basic Scriptural tenets inform our understanding of dress and modesty.

First, the very invention of clothes demonstrates theological realities. Clothes exist to cover man’s shame, which is analogous to nakedness (Genesis 3). People with no shame wear few clothes. Likewise, people with conscientious shame are modest. Whether by nakedness or “peacocking” (drawing attention to oneself through appearance, like bedazzling the butt of your jeans, wearing clothes to get attention, inordinate jewelry, and so forth), the attempt to make how one adorns their body a focus of attention is inherently immodest. To engage in immodesty (whether flesh peddling or peacocking) is to act contradictory to God’s design.

Secondly, the Bible gives great detail to clothes, eradicating any notion that “God doesn’t care what you wear.” Exodus 28 and 39 both explain in detail what priests should wear, and calls their fashion, “with dignity and honor.” While certain aspects of Old Testament divinely-inspired clothing design were types and shadows fulfilled in the priesthood of Christ, there’s a definite indication that God is not altogether fashion-neutral. The tassels mandated for the end of their garments in Numbers 15:38 demonstrate that God desired his people to dress in a set-apart fashion from the world, and the general equity of that now-passed-away law still echoes to us the purpose of God in clothing. Detailed instructions are given in 1 Timothy 2:9-10 and 1 Peter 3:3-5 regarding limitations on our external adornment.

Third, setting standards of decency for laymen or expecting pastors to dress respectably is not bad, just because minute definitions of “decent” and “respectable” are hard to come by. Every Christian should acknowledge that the Bible demands modesty of us, but many are raving mad the moment you call something (or someone) immodest. Their defense is that modesty is impossible to define, therefore it’s practically futile to aim for it. On one hand, they believe in modesty, but on the other hand, they refuse to define it under the dreadful fear they’ll be accused of legalism. In fact, the definition is clear – that which needlessly draws undue attention to self and that which has clear association with worldliness is immodest.

Fourth, assuming that the way these pastors dress may not technically be sinful (if that’s your position), perhaps we could agree that it’s not helpful. It comes across, frankly, as a desperate attempt to look cool. They look like a 9th grader at an under-18 nightclub. If they don’t have a lack of respect for the pulpit, they certainly look like it. If you’re going to wear jeans you have to pry off with a shoe horn and draw all over your arms, perhaps those Geneva Gowns aren’t a bad idea after all.

Perhaps churches can give their pastors a warning. If they keep dressing like a primadonna teenage girl, the Geneva Gown will become mandatory. 

The Pastor's Robe in Worship
-Michael Brown
A page from Ed Young's
"Pastor's Fashion" webpage:

It’s time for the preachers to look and act like the adults in the room. Quit following the kids and start showing them proper respect for the Lord’s house, the Lord’s service, and the worship of the Lord.

Honestly, most teens are not “turned off” by the preacher wearing a coat and tie.  What they will think–and you may not be able to handle this–is that he is the adult in the room.

The problem, of course, is with the preachers.

Even a trained public school teacher knows that you cannot be a pal to the have to be above have to be the adult in the room.

Does it matter how the preacher dresses?

Pastor Joe McKeever answers the question..............

(I posted a paragraph on Facebook calling for pastors to dress “to inspire confidence”–and not look like they’d been out hitchhiking all night. It’s important to note that I did not say he should wear the uniform of the previous generation–a coat and tie–but merely to “dress one step in front of most of the men in the church,” whatever that means.  Twenty-four hours later, we had 245 comments. Clearly, people have strong feelings about this.)

“If I see you standing at the pulpit wearing a suit and a tie, I’m out of there.”

I smiled at that.  The fellow who said it is so dead-set on making sure the church does not put too much emphasis on appearance that he…well, puts too much emphasis on appearance.

As I write, the television set in this motel room is running the results of last night’s Iowa caucuses.  At some point I noticed something about the men candidates for nomination for president.

All were wearing suits and white shirts and ties.


Watch any newscast. The anchormen are wearing suits and ties.

How come?

This cannot be accidental.  It cannot be because they are stuck in a rut.  Nor can it be because they are trying to flaunt their wealth or impress the world.

These people never do anything–repeat, never do anything!–without good cause.

So, why do the candidates and the anchor people dress up when they go to work?

We will pause here while you consider your answer.

At the same time, drop in on the typical church and you may be stunned to see that the fellow who looks like a hitchhiker just in from a day on the highway turns out to be the preacher.  His jeans need pressing and the t-shirt he’s wearing looks like he has worn it all day.  His shoes? Sneakers with lots of miles on them.

Some in the congregation actually take pride in the sloppiness of the preacher’s attire.  They say the object is to make the outsider comfortable on entering the Lord’s House.  They say the preacher is making a statement against the overemphasis of the previous generation on externals, on “dressing up” for church.

Now, if you want to incite a holy reaction against your hypocrisy and superficiality, say something about how the preacher is dressed.  (You’re not even saying he should wear a coat and tie, but only that he should “dress up a little.” Watch the reaction to your simple suggestion.)

The comments will include:

–That’s why I don’t go to church any more, the emphasis on clothing!

–God doesn’t look on the outward appearance!

–A suit and tie would turn off the people we’re trying to reach!

–My jeans cost more than my grandpa’s entire outfit.

–Only the heart matters.

–We want outsiders to feel welcome here.

This “tempest in a teacup,” I suggest, is ridiculous.  We may as well be championing the outsiders’ lack of musical taste and installing heavy metal music lest we turn them off.  Oh, wait, we’re already doing that.

At one point, the call for pastors to “dress down” was well-intentioned, I will grant.

Rick Warren (with his Hawaiian shirts–remember those?) is probably as much to blame as anyone.

Because I am white-headed and in my 70s, I have no right to speak about such a thing.  Right?

There was a time–in the Jurassic past, I suppose–when the seniors among us were assumed to know a little and were given respect when they voiced their opinion.  Those days are a distant memory. This generation automatically dismisses the point of view of anyone older than their parents.

My last pastorate was from 1990 to 2004.  To show how completely things have changed in one decade, it was my practice to give up the necktie during August.  One month of the year, I did not wear a necktie.  At night.

Yep.  I wore a tie on Sunday morning every Sunday. But for the evening services one month of the year, we shucked our ties.

These days, the tieless preacher is the norm.  (In my itinerant ministry–what some might call “retirement”–host pastors usually send word ahead of time that no one wears ties. And frankly, I’m not unhappy about that.  And that, I guarantee, is going to make some think I’m contradicting myself here!)

From the beginning the casual look in the pulpit was a reaction against the emphasis on fashionable clothing, as people donned persona for Sunday church different from who we were during the week.  As I say, the change was well-intentioned.

But that trend has run its course in my judgment. In fact, it has flat run in the ditch.

I see preachers entering the pulpit wearing t-shirts that stretch to cover their paunch.  I wonder if they have any idea how ridiculous they look?

Anyone who knows the first thing about me is aware that I am completely committed to encouraging pastors.  (That was one of three vows I made to God during a difficult time in my minister over 25 years ago. I vowed to live simply, give generously, and encourage God’s shepherds.)

Not long ago, a young pastor friend where I was preaching confided in me that he would be open to moving to another church if the Lord so led.  That’s when I made a suggestion.  “The way you dress in the pulpit fits right in with your congregation,” I told him.  “But a pastor search committee is going to want a little more professionalism than what you are showing. If I were you, I’d dial it up a notch.”  He took that counsel in the manner in which it was given, and has since thanked me for it.

I will admit that finding a young pastor who is open to a suggestion about these things is refreshing.

The time has come to reverse the trend.

I urge preachers to turn up the dial a notch, to dress a little better than the sloppy hitchhiking model they’ve been giving the Lord’s people.

Some say, “Teens are turned off by overdressed preachers.”  My responses are several:

–No one is suggesting you “over dress.”  Just dial it up a notch. (In many cases, I suggest starched dress shirts–not necessarily white–and slacks or khakis, sometimes with a sport coat.)

–Since when do preachers alter their approach to suit the juveniles in the congregation?

–Since when do we let the unchurched or the immature set the direction for anything in the church?  (Answer: We do when we are lost and directionless ourselves.)

–It’s time for the preachers to look and act like the adults in the room. Quit following the kids and start showing them proper respect for the Lord’s house, the Lord’s service, and the worship of the Lord.

Honestly, most teens are not “turned off” by the preacher wearing a coat and tie.  What they will think–and you may not be able to handle this–is that he is the adult in the room.

The problem, of course, is with the preachers.

As it often does, this comes down to the preacher.

Many preacher tend to be followers, not leaders.  They make decisions out of fear and not faith.  Once they learn someone is criticizing them for preaching on tithing, that’s the last they’ll mention that subject for a year.  Hearing that someone is unhappy over his haircut or facial hair, the typical preacher will let it grow out or shave it off.

No one likes criticism, granted. No pastor enjoys hearing that he was the subject of discussion around a family’s dinner table.

No pastor who makes decisions from fear of criticism has a right to stand in God’s pulpit on Sunday.

“Be strong and of good courage.”

If clothes do not matter, why such a violent reaction to someone suggesting the preacher and worship leaders ought to dress up and not down?

A few years ago, one of the start-up cut-rate airlines had their cabin crew dressed in short pants and polo shirts. They made a lot of jokes and played games with the passengers.  They thought people wanted that.  They were wrong. What passengers in those death-defying pressurized aluminum tubes rocketing through the stratosphere want from the crew is competency and professionalism.

We do not want airline pilots wearing jeans and pullovers and sneakers.  We like seeing them in their uniforms. It inspires confidence.

Inspiring confidence.

That’s what it’s all about. It’s why television networks require their male anchors to wear suits, white shirts, and ties.  Even sportscasters wear suits and ties.  Mike Carico and John Gruden do their Monday night games dressed better than 90 percent of the preachers in the land, all with a goal of inspiring confidence.

It’s why the presidential candidates are wearing suits and white shirts and ties.  (Sure, they will occasionally don khakis and polos for a quick bite at a Laconia, New Hampshire café. But before the day is out, they’re back in the uniform for a rally somewhere.  Inspiring confidence.)

At the New Orleans airport, I picked up a denominational leader who was to address our annual gathering that night.  It was a hot day and yet he was decked out in a suit and tie. I said, “Dr. Gary Frost, why are you wearing a suit? That has to be hot!” He laughed and said, “When the crew is looking for someone to upgrade to first class, they pick me.”  It happens quite a bit, he said.

Inspiring confidence.

Argue with it all you want. The truth is what it is.

4 misconceptions about worship music

Dr. John MacArthur cautions about preachers with “new takes” on the Bible

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"Discernment" by a church member can lead to being labeled "Troublemaker"

Dr. Thomas White,

Vice President for Student Services and


Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, has written a timely article: "Restoring Integrity in Baptist Churches":

PowerPoint comes to church.................
    another "Seeker Sensitive" distraction
            to the Christian, who has come to Worship God...........................................


By Debra Dean Murphy is director of Christian education at Fuquay-Varina United Methodist Church in suburban Raleigh, North Carolina, and is author of Teaching That Transforms: Worship as the Heart of Christian Education (Brazos):

PowerPoint In Church

From a British Pastor comes this insightful article:

PowerPoint and all it's Works

The Perils of PowerPoint Preaching:

Putting Scripture verses on a screen, instead of asking the congregation to turn in their Bibles, and read the text for themselves:
encourages them not to bring a Bible to church, 
not learn the location of various books of the Bible, and
interrupts the attention of the listener to the preacher.

Worship in Word and Sacrament (Lord's Supper & Baptism):

Scripture indicates that we are to worship God, yet much of what passes for worship today is merely a thinly veiled attempt to entertain men.  In this message, Dr. J. Ligon Duncan will explain how a biblical understanding of the basic elements of Christian worship should inform the way in which we approach God.

Worship in Spirit and Truth:

What does it mean to worship the Father in spirit and truth? How do you understand that instruction from our Lord? In this message, Dr. Mark Dever gives us perspective on this important issue as he teaches us what it is to “Worship in Spirit and Truth.”

There is a built-in offense to the Good News of Jesus Christ.
This message will explore the reasons for the tension between Christians and non-Christians. Why are Jews, Hindus, Catholics, and other religious groups offended by our attempts to evangelize them?

Doug Wilson also explores the flawed "Seeker Sensitive" and "Church Growth" methodology; why it is harming the work and Word of the Lord:

Are we fighting the right battles? Are we upsetting the world because we are Christians or because of our political positions? Political activism and social ministry are important, but they are not the Gospel. True reformation occurs only when hearts are changed. 

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary speaks on the subject:  Ashamed of the Gospel”:

Peter Jones: Paganism in Today’s Culture

Many consider paganism a dead religion that was practiced thousands of years ago. However, paganism’s ideas still affect us today. In this session, Dr. Peter Jones describes how paganism continues to be a force in today’s culture. He points out places where pagan thought affects the world’s way of thinking, and he describes how Christians can guard against that influence. He also explains ways that Christians can renew their minds and live as children of God among a twisted generation.

Sinclair Ferguson: Christ's Message to the Church


The Reformers warned us that darkness will once again overcome large portions of the church if the gospel is not proclaimed and defended in every generation. Through the Apostle John, our Savior issued a similar warning to the seven churches of Asia Minor, calling them to return to Him lest they fall into darkness and their lampstands be removed. Dr. Sinclair Ferguson considers what Christ might have said if one of the seven letters to the churches in Revelation 2:3 had been specifically addressed to the church in the modern West in this message.

The Southern Baptist Convention has historically had congregations brought up to believe that what their pastor proclaimed in the pulpit was Biblically true.  That, sadly, is no longer the case.

Dr. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, tells what happens to a church, when doctrine is not preached, and, I might add, when the people are fed a continuous diet of heresy as well as liberalism:

Dr. Alistair Begg, recently spoke at the 2015 Shepherd's Conference, on the Preacher and his responsibility to the Word
The Church is Changing....
What is Emerging
With Dr. Gary Gilley

A Layman in a church writes:  "A few weeks back, I learned that I have a brain tumor. As I was reflecting upon this, I asked the question, "What if an unsaved person with a brain tumor went into some of the more popular, influential, or notable churches in America today? What would they see and hear?" So, I did some basic searching on the web and found that some of these were some of the most viewed and / or commented videos out there.

"Here are the questions to us Christians: What image are we putting up for the lost? What are we saying to them? And how should they react when they see and hear this kind of stuff in our churches today?"

He explains what he found in the following video:
Willow Creek Church, the "flagship" seeker sensitive church.....where it all in trouble.  As it turns out, Bill Hybels, the pastor, admitted that the "Seeker Sensitive" methodology doesn't work!
This 3-Part Report tells why:

Re-defining the Church

The Church Growth Movement's Unbiblical Definition of the Church

by Bob DeWaay

The Problematic Church Growth Movement:



Purpose is NOT the Gospel
(Todd Friel explains):
"We don't preach doctrine...we preach Love":
Preaching "Selective Passages" of Scripture = False Converts
"Seeker Sensitive" "Church Growth" "Church Planter" pastors are trying to makeover the Church, for the Un-churched or Un-believers.
Yes, there are pastors who don't understand what worship is......and it should never be "marketed" for the unbeliever.....and here's why that
methodology is un-biblical:

"Church Growth" "Church Planter" pastors are being taught to be "leaders" and not "ministers or shepherds of the flock."
They are being tutored by, and inculcated with the idea of "Celebrity Pastor":
Rick Warren: "America's Pastor" who is the leading proponent of the flawed and unbiblical "Seeker Sensitive" and "Church Growth" methods
is exposed for the Heresy he teaches, and the Scripture he twists,
by Todd Friel on "The Way of the Master Radio":

Rick Warren – Master of Marketing

LifeWay, Rick Warren, 
and the Son of God
"Purpose-Driven Preaching"
a lecture given March 2015,
by Rev. Chris Rosebrough
Concerning the "Seeker Sensitive" Heretical methods
Dr. R. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Seminary, appears on a panel discussion and describes the "Seeker Sensitive" Problem
The Problem with Bringing Secular Music and
"7-11 Hymns" into the Church.......
"Knowing Vs. Believing"..........................
Is "Blended" worship the answer?  No it isn't, and there is a difference between the modernistic "Contemporary" and the true Worship of God.  Here is a recent article in "The American Organist" magazine that illustrates the point:
Dr. John MacArthur on the "Seeker Sensitive" Movement
(Courtesy of Grace to You, used with permission)
A pastor paying more attention to books like "Sticky Church," and "It," rather than to what Christ taught and commanded, is a formula for doctrinal and theological drift; it is transformed into a church that becomes a mad house of works, rather than a place where you can sit, rest, and be fed God's Word. 

No congregation should have it's own separate, unique mission vision statement; that vision has been given to the church as a whole.  Individual churches are tasked as a whole to baptize and disciple.  Rev. Rosebrough explains:
"Vision Casting" is Employed by
Seeker-Driven Pastors, and used by the "Growing Healthy Churches" movement.

Dr. John MacArthur answers the question of "What does it mean to cast a vision for your church?"
(Source: "Grace to You," go to their website to see the video).
Most "Seeker Sensitive" pastors use "Vision Casting" to 'lead' their congregations
If you listen carefully, at the beginning of the video, you will hear heretic Mark Batterson, endorse heretic David Yonggi Cho, disgraced 'pastor' of the world's largest megachurch, located in South Korea, (a former Buddhist, who claimed he had a vision from Jesus), and is now serving time in jail, along with his son (who was in collusion), for embezzling $12 million from the church.  You'll hear Batterson claim that he heard Cho speak, and got the idea for "Vision Casting" from him.
Perry Noble of NewSpring Church, S.C.  teaches the false doctrine of "Vision Casting"

Perry Noble, pastor at South Carolina’s NewSpring Church, the largest, so-called,  "Southern Baptist" church in America (32,000 people during weekend services at multiple campuses across the state), is in trouble.  On Christmas Eve, 2014,  Noble claimed that God spoke to him directly and commanded him to tell his congregation that the Ten Commandments aren’t commandments at all. Many objected and tried to correct the pastor, but he isn’t having it:

Southern Baptist Convention
response to
Perry Noble's
Perry Noble of NewSpring Church, SC, explains, in the sound file below, what true Christian selfishness is.  But it's not what you think.  Compare (on this page) with Dan Southerland's "Transitioning" methodology and his mantra, "It's so not about you!"

The Blueprint for a Vision Casting, Biblically Vacuous Message

By Rev. Anthony Wade

August 29, 2015

Dr. Peter Masters, Pastor, since 1971, of Metropolitan Tabernacle, London, England, since 1970,
preached a sermon, "A Church's Dangers and Aims" with the Scripture text Ephesians 4:14,

"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;"

 on the need for Discernment in the Church:
(Used with Permission)
Southern Baptist, Rev. J.D. Hall, and Reformed Lutheran, Rev. Chris Rosebrough, discuss the current problems with churches which do not preach the Gospel of Christ; including reference to heretical churches, the Eisegesis of Scripture, and entertaining worship:
The root of the problem
at many churches


Rev. Chris Rosebrough, who produced and narrates the program, writes: "Below is a Special Edition of the "Fighting for the Faith" radio program, that exposes the Cult-Like Hostile Takeover Tactics of Dan Southerland's Purpose-Driven Church Transitioning Seminar. The list of cult-like tactics employed by Southerland is long. They include:

1. Flat out lies and manipulative double speak

2. Blatant Scripture Twisting

3. New & Direct Extra Biblical Revelation and Visions from God

4. Flat out intolerance for anyone who questions or challenges these "new" Extra Biblical Revelations and Visions that are supposedly from God.

All of these cult-like tactics are exposed and discussed in this special edition of "Fighting for the Faith."  Furthermore, I cannot emphasize enough the fact that Dan Southerland's Church Transitions company has been the "go to" company used by Rick Warren's Purpose-Driven businesses to train pastors into Warren's Druckerite leadership methodologies. 

Pastors are taught to preach eisegetical and narcigetical sermons, that subtlety inculcate (to implant by repeated statement or admonition) his "vision" for where he wants to lead the church, and the methods he wants to use.  He will often berate the congregation with scripture taken out of context that seems to support his position.  Individuals, who do not agree with the pastor, will often find themselves as unnamed illustrations in those sermons. Sometimes he will use illustrations from his own past experience that remain "hot button" unresolved issues, and are verbally expressed with psychological anger and cynicism, in an attempt to admonish the congregation that he is correct about a certain matter.

Some pastors also learn methods  that bypass scriptural teaching on church discipline, especially when staff are found to be in serious sin, known among the congregation; with the pastor playing a CEO disciplinarian role.

How a church is "Transitioned," and the techniques used, are discussed in the following audio documentary:

 (Courtesy of "Fighting for the Faith" radio/podcast).

This is the book containing the methods which are studied in training conferences and courses, by those pastors who want to "transition" their churches into being "Seeker Sensitive" and "Purpose Driven." This is the program that lays the foundation for: "Contemporary Praise," "Praise Teams," "7-11 Hymns," "Doing church for the Un-churched Pagan," "Pastor's Vision," "Social Gospel," "Prosperity Gospel," and "Eisegetical Preaching."

A church doesn't need a "vision statement" or "mission statement" cast in stone at the sole direction of a pastor.
Long-range planning studied and agreed upon through pastor-church collaboration is fine, but it can be misused, when the document becomes a device used by a pastor to dictate what he wants the church to be.
It can be especially disconcerting when there is no document at all, and things move along at the pastor's whim.  Of course, the basic "mission statement" of the church has already been given to us; it's found in the Bible.
How Dan Southerland takes Scripture out of Context:

How to tell if your church is in the throes of Transformation    

(reprinted with permission)

“Transformation” is the end-goal of a process that moves from TRADITION through TRANSITION to TRANSFORMATION. This is sometimes called a “Paradigm Shift,” which means that Transformation shifts one’s worldview (paradigm) from the old to a new. This is a dialectically unfolding PROCESS in which the THESIS is continually challenged by ANTITHESIS, evolving into ever-unfolding SYNTHESES. Transformation is engineered, orchestrated and/or manipulated. Transformation involves changing over a person’s values, opinions, beliefs, attitudes, and even their behaviors to that of the new paradigm/worldview.

How to tell if it is “Transformation” –

Characteristics of TRADITION:
1. Education (teaching) is didactic
2. Cognitive
3. Right and Wrong
4. Focus on “what is”
5. “I know” statements
6. Facts, TRUTH
7. Respond to change by standing on THESIS

Characteristics of TRANSITION:
1. Education is facilitation
2. Affective (feelings), psychological
3. Must “determine” right and wrong (up for grabs)
4. Experience (dialogue)
5. “I think” or “I feel” subjective statements
7. Respond to change by adapting to new SYNTHESIS

Characteristics of TRANSFORMATION:
1. Education is modeling, spiritual formation, mentoring
2. Esoteric (mystical)
3. No absolutes
4. Common ground, coevolution, collective unconscious
5. Intuitive, “I sense,” imagery, imagination
7. Continual, perpetual change

How to spot the PROCESS of “Transformation.” Look for:

A. New Language:
1. Newly coined words, terms, phrases, slogans
2. Old words given new meanings
3. Old definitions discarded
4. Intentional deception, misleading statements, half-truths, ambiguity

B. New Worldview/Paradigm
1. A new way of seeing or interpreting reality—events, circumstances, history, causes and effects, etc.
2. Creating a new reality using envisioning activities
3. Revisionist history: altering the facts, distorting prior events to fit new paradigm
4. Creating a new reality through psycho-social change mechanisms

C. New Structure
1. New authority structure, system of governance, new forms of accountability
2. New physical structure
3. New forms, formulas, formats, formations
4. New liturgies not based on doctrine or Scripture

D. New Mission/Vision
1. Subjective, constantly changing, relative
2. Strategic
3. Not tied to Biblical absolute Truth or Word of God
4. Subject to continual urgency, crisis, acceleration, etc.

E. New Values
1. Subjective, relational, situational, abstract
2. Irrational, illogical, irreverent, irrelevant
3. Tolerance for everything but absolute Truth
4. “The end justifies the means”

F. New Methods
1. Bait and switch, marketing, manipulation, machinations
2. Statistics, census-taking, databanking, assessing, monitoring
3. Orchestrated consensus, common ground, deceptions
4. Peer-driven, compulsive, coercive

G. New Doctrines
1. Man-oriented, culturally relative, contextualized, programmed
2. Anything that erodes the sovereignty of God
3. Utopian-sounding
4. Authoritarian in implementation

Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven Church" incorporates the basics of Dan Southerland's "Transitioning."  Warren shows how any pastor can use his "Church Growth" and "Church Health" principles, to increase numerical results, without real Christian followers of Christ.

How the Church Growth, "Growing Healthy Churches" Movement

Drives the Gospel and Bible truth,

out of Churches:


In the two articles that follow, listen to the pain of some Virginia Baptist church members who have experienced attempts, some successful, and some unsuccessful, by so-called "ultra-conservatives" to take over their churches and move them out of the Baptist General Association (BGAV) of Virginia. 

Today's Liberals, were yesterday's Conservatives; i.e., those who perpetrate all the "Seeker Sensitive/Purpose Driven/Pastoral Vision Casting" nonsense, (which is perpetrated by the Purpose Driven philosophy and "Growing Healthy Churches" Network) are Liberal; not Conservative Bible-believing, teaching Pastors. 

Many pastors are not telling Pulpit Committees the truth when they are interviewed; they cover up their true feelings, gloss over their theological beliefs, hide problems in their former pastorates, claim to be a Southern Baptist, but support a splinter group like the SBCV, instead of the real Virginia Southern Baptist state group, the BGAV; and what they plan to do in changing the direction of the church under consideration.  Many congregations are finding out, much to their sorrow, that they have called a man who has a hidden agenda.
Of all the Southern Baptist Seminary presidents I have heard speak on this subject, they have all roundly condemned this "Seeker Sensitive" and "Purpose Driven" nonsense.  Why?  Because it is not Biblical.

(for a full discussion, see the webpage: "Seeker Sensitive Heresy")

The following film clip (with Dr. R.C. Sproul, Dr. Douglas Wilson, Dr. John Piper, and Dr. R. Albert Mohler) describe the problem with "Seeker Sensitive" Methods:

The detrimental effect of the "Seeker Sensitive" methodology

on the church, is discussed by

Dr. R. Al Mohler, Jr., (President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), Dr. R.C. Sproul, and Dr. Ravi Zacharias:

It's not about
"Church Numbers and Growth"
(Mark Dever speaking at City North Baptist Church, Queensland, Australia
Dr. John MacArthur explains "What are the Marks of Real Church Growth?"
(from "Grace to You" used with permission)
True ministry is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit of God. As Pastors, we are not called to pander to the culture of the world, trying to be "relevant." The comfort and the admiration of the unchurched is not suppose to be our paramount concern. We are not called to engage the culture.  If we try to engage the culture, the result will be an adjustment of the Gospel. The greatness of God is not measured by the size of the crowd we accumulate.

Rev. Phil Johnson discusses this problem at the 2014 Shepherds' Conference in the following video:

(Courtesy of GTY, used with permission).

A WORD TO PASTORS...................................

“The ways of destroying the church are many and colorful. Raw factionalism will do it. Rank heresy will do it. Taking your eyes off the cross and letting other, more peripheral matters dominate the agenda will do it-admittedly more slowly than frank heresy, but just as effectively over the long haul. Building the church with superficial ‘conversions’ and wonderful programs that rarely bring people into a deepening knowledge of the living God will do it. 

Entertaining people to death but never fostering the beauty of holiness or the centrality of self-crucifying love will build an assembling of religious people, but it will destroy the church of the living God. Gossip, prayerlessness, bitterness, sustained biblical illiteracy, self-promotion, materialism-all of these things, and many more, can destroy a church. And to do so is dangerous: ‘If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple (1 Cor. 3:17).’ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

Dr. D.A. Carson, Professor of New Testament, Trinity International University; formerly Dean, Northwest Baptist Theological Seminary. A conservative theologian who was written more than 50 scholarly books for pastors and seminarians.


BSc, McGill University
MDiv, Central Baptist Seminary, Toronto
PhD, University of Cambridge

Ecclesia Immunodeficiency Heresy (EIH)

The Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is an absolutely terrifying pathogen. It’s almost as if this virus studied the human body and its defenses in order to find the Achilles heel. And it succeeded. HIV the virus that causes AIDS doesn’t attack the human body like other diseases, it destroys the human immune system so that its victims cannot ward of the most common diseases.  Those who die of AIDS don’t die from the HIV virus.  Instead, the HIV virus destroys the human body’s natural defenses and then lets other diseases like the common cold, or the flu finish off its victims. It’s a manically ingenious pathogen.


The great adversary of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His church has learned the lessons of HIV and has crafted an almost identical attack against the Body of Christ.  Since, I am one of the early discovers of this pathogen mimicking Satanic attack I have named it the “Ecclesia Immunodeficiency Heresy” (EIH).


EIH like the HIV virus works by attacking the immune system of the Body of Christ.  Once that immune system is effectively destroyed or rendered powerless then Satan destroys the host congregation by introducing ancient heresies and false doctrines. With no effective immune system in place to put down these heresies and false gospels, the host congregation comes under the control of the Devil.


In the final stages of this disease, the host congregation becomes the breeding ground for Satanic missionaries who are carriers of EIH.  These EIH missionaries are then sent out to other congregations in order to spread this disease around the world and thereby silence sound doctrine and the proclamation of the true good news of salvation by grace alone through faith alone by Christ's work alone.


Does your congregation test positive for EIH? Here are some tale-tell symptoms of EIH.

1.    The pastor has gone from preaching expository Bible sermons to giving relevant self-help informational lectures that meet the felt needs of unbelievers.

2.    You frequently hear the pastor or staff say things like “We do church for the unchurched”

3.    In depth Bible study and preaching are publicly mocked, ridiculed or attacked by the pastor and staff.

4.    Home Group Bible study leaders are unqualified to teach the Bible and end up resorting to asking subjective questions like “what does this passage mean to you”?

5.    Home Group Bible study leaders are instructed to value everyone’s ideas about the Bible and that no ideas are to be condemned or spoken of as if they are false or contrary to scripture.

6.    If you raise doctrinal concerns about what is being taught in the pulpit or in a Home Group Study you are branded a “pharisee” and escorted off the Church’s property by security.

7.    The only people disciplined in the congregation are those who do not give unquestioning allegiance to the pastor’s vision for the church.

8.    When you ask about doctrine the pastor says, “We’re into deeds not creeds.”

If your church has one or more of these symptoms then it has tested positive for EIH. 

Please, keep in mind that those pastors and teachers who are carriers of EIH may not personally be promoting or believing any heresies.  Instead, they are promoting new 'innovative' methodologies and church structures that eliminate and/or effectively neutralize the Body of Christ's immune system.  The heresies that will kill the congregation will be introduced after the immune system has been neutralized.  EIH's primary mission is to render the Body of Christ defenseless against the coming heretical attacks.

Heresy enters a church congregation when there is no discernment; and people refuse to judge false teaching.
"Heresy and Heretics"  -Dr. R.C. Sproul

Heresy and false teaching must be confronted, especially that which is being taught in the pulpit.  The people of God need to stand up to any pastor who does not preach the true Gospel of Jesus and the Bible.


Justin Peters, a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Th.D.) gives Biblical answers to those in the church, who are not open to discernment, and want to criticize those who are discerning:
While auditing Slayton's sermons and his endorsement of "The Circle Maker" concept, I thought about this:
From a sermon "The Preacher in his Pulpit," delivered on
May 21, 1957,
by Rev. Frank Hughes, Jr.
The Sermon, was based on Jonah, chapter 3.
He tells, in the above illustration, of a professor who told a group of young preachers: "Remember that you need to give to the lost person God's Word, not yours.  He has promised to bless His Word, not yours, and it is His Word, not yours that will not return void." 
For the life of me, I cannot understand why a pastor, who says publicly, that he is trying to win the lost to Christ, especially young people with all the youth recreation programs he's sponsoring; yet would teach heresy in the church.  That's Hypocrisy.

“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” (Genesis 3:1, KJV) (Above photo courtesy of "Museum of Idolatry")

"The Circle Maker"
(An example of Heretical teaching)
Dr. Randy White, a Southern Baptist pastor, gives an excellent review of "The Circle Maker" and tells why it is pure heresy:
Exposing "The Circle Maker"
with Principles of Spiritual Discernment
by Dr. Randy White
The following video concerning "The Circle Maker" book is instructive:
False Teaching in the book "The Circle Maker":

Dr. Charles Stanley tells why the "Name it, Claim it" is a false "Prosperity Gospel" theology, and has no place in the church.  This is the basic concept of "The Circle Maker" book.


Dr. Stanley responds to this popular view that a believer can name a need or desire, and expect God to deliver it, in the following video.

(Courtesy of In Touch Ministries, 2011)

More information about heretic Mark Batterson's
"The Circle Maker":

Author of "The Circle Maker" has changed the scripture:

"The Circle Maker"
an in-depth review:
"The Circle Maker" book: a form of
"The Prosperity Gospel" Heresy

More heresy from
Mark Batterson

(The "student edition" written with his son Parker Batterson)


 If you don’t know the dangerous deception that invented the words “Missional,” Transformational,” “Spiritual Formation,” "Community," "Having Passion," and the unbiblical Church Growth model, you need to hear the interview, with Sarah Leslie, who has done extensive research on this heretical movement:
Why I have included this information about heresies entering the church, the heretical Hillsong Church, and Rick Warren:

Because many years ago, sitting in a senior Oscar Smith High School English class, Miss Margaret West gave some timely advice to us: to watch who you associate with as young people; you tend to become like them, perhaps picking up bad habits you will later regret, and you tend to marry those you hang out with.  I never forgot that.

That admonition was later re-enforced by Dr. Delgado at Bluefield College, when he addressed my freshman class in a chapel service, and stated that we as individuals, are constantly making a record of our lives, not only in the academic world, but in the social aspects as well.  He also stressed the importance of those we associated with.

I therefore consider it to be a serious matter when a pastor starts to associate himself with those who are theologically unsound.  It is a very serious matter when a pastor, who oversees a church website, has allowed endorsement of "Emergent Churches" and, therefore, the heretics who lead them.  And what could be worse, than to preach and teach heresy?

The Heresy at Hillsong Church


First, we will examine a "sermon" by Judah Smith (who has "preached" at Hillsong, and whose wife is a co-pastor in his church) presented at a church in Florida; then we will look at Hillsong's pastor, Brian Houston; an insider's report on this heretical megachurch; a review of Brian Houston sermons, (one he delivered at Rick Warren's Saddleback church); and finally, an indepth look at the millions being made at Hillsong and the co-pastors' lavish lifestyle.

Book Review: Jesus Is_________, Find a New Way to Be Human, by Judah Smith:
Hillsong Pastor, Brian Houston, says that Muslims and Christians
believe in the SAME God !!
To dig deeper into the Hillsong movement, here is an insider's viewpoint:
Rick Warren
endorses Hillsong heresy:
he invited Brian Houston into his "supposedly" Southern Baptist Church.
"Only For a While,"

a sermon by Brian Houston at
Rick Warren's Saddleback Church:
Rick Warren is now in partnership
with "Word of Faith" heretic,
Joel Osteen

(Much of this music, and that from the heretical Bethel Church, Redding, California, is now being imported into some of our larger Southern Baptist Churches.
What an Irony: Christians trying to be "relevant" but using music that is:

the heretical music of Hillsong (Australia) and "Jesus Culture" and "Bethel Music" of Bethel Church, Redding, Calif.); which has infected many large (mostly "Seeker Sensitive") churches. And the church membership is none the wiser.
Bethel Music is, unfortunately, currently used by one prominent Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia; as the Chancel/Pulpit Platform is transformed for a "contemporary" night service during the week:

Being "relevant" and serving up worship "cafeteria style" at one Baptist Church in Richmond:  "From Rock to Bach!" or "Going from 'low church' to 'high church' in one day":

One Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia, announced in 2015, that they are going to offer a "Choral Evensong" program on Sunday evenings.   What???

For the un-initiated, here is the standard definition of "Choral Evensong":

Evening Prayer is a liturgy in use in the Anglican Communion (and other churches in the Anglican tradition, such as the Continuing Anglican Movement and the Anglican Use of the Roman Catholic Church) and celebrated in the late afternoon or evening. It is also commonly known as Evensong, especially (but not exclusively) when the office is rendered chorally (that is, when most of the service is sung). It is roughly the equivalent of Vespers in the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran churches, although it was originally formed by combining the monastic offices of Vespers and Compline. Although many churches now take their services from Common Worship or other modern prayer books, if a church has a choir, Choral Evensong from the Book of Common Prayer often remains in use because of the greater musical provision. Evening Prayer, like Morning Prayer (Matins) and in contrast to the Eucharist, may be led by a layperson, and is recited by some devout Anglicans daily in private (clergy in many Anglican jurisdictions are required to do so).

And if you want the Benny Hinn style of worship-mix, they also offer a "Healing Service."

"When Something's Done Don't Stop" - by Brian Houston, Hillsong Church  (Reviewed by Rev. Chris Rosebrough)

The Truth Concerning "Growing Healthy Churches" (GHC)

which has been endorsed by Lynn Hardaway (of the Norfolk Baptist Association, VA,  "Bridge Network of Churches") (who has connections with Paul D. Borden, one of his mentors while completing his D.Min. thesis at Liberty Seminary, November 2012). 

(Liberty is NOT connected with the Southern Baptist Convention).


Hardaway seems to have totally endorsed Borden's "GHC" model, to the point, that in his thesis (which can be found online), he stated that the pastor is NOT responsible for Pastoral Care to the Congregation; that the Congregation is!  What Southern Baptist seminary teaches that unbiblical concept?  That's news to me!  Southeastern Baptist where I attended didn't teach that nonsense!


He is also not in favor of using committees in the church.

I also discovered in that thesis, where Hardaway quotes Borden discussing a "crippling effect" that results from Sunday morning worship, because it doesn't focus on the "mission and vision" of the church, viz the pastor. (Whose "vision is being cast?")  Again, unbiblical:  the purpose of Worship is NOT for the unbeliever; it is for the Christian....look again at the articles on this page, and on the "Seeker Sensitive" Heresy webpage, that deal with that basic issue.


Hardaway even has "advice" in his thesis for changing the church's interior architecture to be conducive and relevant to the "target population."

(Full discussion of Lynn Hardaway's connection to SNBC is found in the introductory PDF: "Worship in the 21st Century in South Norfolk Baptist Church.")

(An analysis by Tim Matsis, Rev. Ken Silva, Rev. Ralph Elliott, and Rev. Bob DeWaay):


Lynn Hardaway (who was installed as head of the Norfolk Baptist Association), wrote a D.Min. thesis, which recommended the following, and I quote:

"There is a great need to train new leadership for the church.  The church will adopt the staff-led, accountable model of leadership recommended in John Kaiser's book "Winning on Purpose."

That raises the question, "Who is John Kaiser? and what does his book state?"

Keeping in mind the background previously discussed earlier on this page:
Dan Southerland's Church Transitions methodology and company, has been the "go to" company used by Rick Warren's Purpose-Driven businesses to train pastors into Warren's Druckerite leadership methodologies. 

Pastors are taught (although, not in a Southern Baptist seminary; they learned this in some "Growth" workshop, course, or from a mentor who doesn't know any better) to preach "Eisegetical" and "Narcigetical" sermons, that subtlety inculcate (to implant by repeated statement or admonition) his "vision" for where he wants to lead the church, and the methods he wants to use.  He will often berate the congregation with scripture taken out of context that seems to support his position.

Let me say frankly, that preaching heresy and tolerating liberalism in a church, should always be addressed...that is what the Bible says.   And preaching heresy always "grieves the Holy Spirit."

And may I say, that any pastor who openly preaches heresy......who "doubles down" on the same heresy with more endorsement of the same, will one day stand before the Lord and give an account of it!

When you, as a pastor say, "Thus saith the Lord," you had better make very sure that it is the Word of God.  Only Scripture is to give us Biblical and Christian doctrine.  Anything else is not on a par with Scripture, such as "The Circle Maker," heresy; and any pastor who pushes this, will, according to Scripture, stand before the Lord and give an account of that!  And Church Member? You need to stand up for what is true and only Biblical!  (Emphasis mine).
"Narcigesis" and "Eisegesis"

When the Bible becomes about you..........

When the pastor will force the Bible to mean that he is at the center of the story, and when the congregation are taught that every teaching, every command and everything God asks His people to do, becomes about the pastor's own personal faith journeys; that is what is known as narcissistic eisegesis, and it is a type of teaching prevalent in the Seeker Friendly movement sweeping the United States and the world.

Rev. Chris Rosebrough explains the technique that many “Seeker Sensitive” teachers and pastors use:  reading a few verses, then they launch into stories about themselves; life-stories that seem to be connected to the Bible; but connected in some torturous manner; usually with no connection at all.


Beth Moore is a good example of one who uses this method; and its good at hiding true exegesis of scripture.  These types of sermons are full of twists and turns.


Many of these so-called ‘sermons’ are allegorizing the biblical text; making the verses say things that they don’t say.  These preachers don’t pay any attention whatsoever as to what a scripture text really says.  They’re more interested in talking about themselves. 

And people who sit under this type of teaching think that they are being taught sound biblical doctrine; they think that they are being good disciples of Jesus and are learning what the Bible says.  But they’re not; they’re not learning what the Bible says at all.  They’re learning narcissistic nonsense; which is exactly what that is.  This is no way to learn God’s Word and know what it really says.  It works against the goal of teaching sound doctrine and what Christ really said and taught; what the Bible is really about and what it means.


By Rev. Ken Silva, Southern Baptist pastor-teacher, Feb 14, 2012

Discerning of spirits(v.10)—Satan is the great deceiver (John 8:44) and his demons counterfeit God’s message and work. Christians with the gift of discernment have the God-given ability to recognize lying spirits and to identify deceptive and erroneous doctrine (see Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1).


Paul illustrated the use of this gift in Acts 16:16-18, as Peter had exercised it in Acts 5:3. When it was not being exercised in the Corinthian church, grave distortion of the truth occurred (see v. 3; 14:29).


Though its operation has changed since apostolic times (because of the completion of Scripture) it is still essential to have people in the church who are discerning.  They are the guardians, the watchmen who protect the church from demonic lies, false doctrines, perverted cults, and fleshly elements. As it requires diligent study of the Word to exercise gifts of knowledge, wisdom, preaching, and teaching, so it does with discernment. [1]


An important gift for the protection of the church is that of discernment, the distinguishing of spirits. The basic meaning of distinguishing has to do with separating out for examination and judging in order to determine what is genuine and what is spurious. Satan is the great deceiver, “the father of lies” (John 8:44), and ever since the Fall he and his demons have counterfeited God’s message and God’s work. All Christians should judge carefully what they hear and read and “not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4:1).


That is what the God-fearing and “noble-minded” Jews of Berea did when they first heard the gospel from Paul (Acts 17:11). They tested Paul’s word against what they knew of God’s Word, and because the two words matched they believed that what he preached was from God and not from demons. That is what every believer should do with every message that claims to be from God. No preacher or teacher of the gospel should resent having what he says judged against Scripture.


Those to whom God has given the gift of discernment have a special ability to recognize lying spirits, and this gift is the Spirit’s watchdog. Some ideas that are given as scriptural and that on the surface seem scriptural actually are clever counterfeits that would deceive most believers. Those with the gift of discernment are the Holy Sprit’s inspectors, His counterfeit experts to whom He gives special insight and understanding. The gift was especially valuable in the early church because the New Testament had not been completed. Because of the difficulty and expense of copying, for many years after its completion the Bible was not widely available.


The Holy Spirit’s discerners were the church’s protectors.

The gift of discernment is also especially valuable when the church and the gospel are considered acceptable in society. When Christianity is persecuted, counterfeit teachers usually are scarce, because the price for being identified with the gospel is too high. They are much more likely to appear in times and in places where Christianity is considered respectable or at least is tolerated. In parts of the world today, evangelicalism is popular and often profitable. All sorts of teachers, preachers, writers, and counselors claim to be evangelical and biblical.


Although any thinking person realizes that all the ideas cannot be biblical, simply because many of them are so contradictory of each other, it is not always easy to know which are true and which are not. Most often they are a mixture. Counterfeit teachers used by Satan usually have some truth in what they say. Unfortunately, many basically sound teachers sometimes undiscerningly pick up ideas from psychology, philosophy, or popular thinking that seem biblical but are not. It is the ministry of those with the gift of discernment to help separate the wheat from the chaff.


The Corinthian believers who had that gift either were not using it or were being ignored. Otherwise the perverted ideas and practices that Paul deals with in this letter could not have flourished as they did. Discernment is the gift, along with prophecy, that the Apostle urges the Corinthians to use in relation to judging the use and interpretation of tongues. Those with discernment are to judge even those who prophesy (1 Cor. 14:29).

Obviously, the gift of discernment is valuable to the church in assisting Christians to settle disputes among themselves rather than going to court. That seems to be the gift needed by the person Paul speaks of in 1 Corinthians 6, the “wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren” (v. 5).


Even praise of the gospel can be deceitful and misleading. When Paul and Silas began to minister in Philippi, Luke reports that “a certain slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortunetelling. Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, ‘These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation’ ” (Acts 16:16-17). What the girl said not only was true but seemed to be favorable to the gospel and to those who were proclaiming it.


But the purpose and motivation of what she said was exactly the opposite. The demons who controlled her meant to attract the people and, gaining their trust, then ridicule and undercut God’s Word and the work of His ministers. In that case Paul could not judge by what was said, because the girl’s words were true. He knew she was a demonic instrument only because the Holy Spirit revealed the false spirit that controlled her.


False teaching can be judged by comparing it with Scripture, but false spirits can be judged only by the true Spirit’s gift of discernment. That gift may be called the Spirit’s gift on gifts, because God uses it to reveal to His church whether or not a manifestation of the other gifts is of Him. All imitation of the gifts is not demonic. Much of it is simply the work of the flesh, carnal Christians trying to serve the Lord in their own power and for their own benefit and glory. Summarizing, it can be said that the gift of discernment is given to tell if the other gifts are of the Holy Spirit, if they are merely natural imitations, or if they are demonic counterfeits.


I believe God still empowers some of His people to unmask false prophets and carnal hypocrites. He gives them insight to expose imitations and deceptions that most Christians would take as genuine. The gift of discernment, however, can easily deteriorate into a critical, proud, and self-righteous spirit. It can be judgmental instead of corrective when it is imitated in the flesh. But rightly used it is a great protection to God’s people.[2]

John MacArthur


End notes:

[1] John MacArthur. 1 Corinthians (MacArthur Bible Studies) (Kindle Locations 1144-1150). Kindle Edition.

[2] John MacArthur, MacArthur’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1996], 1 Corinthians 12:11.

The Accidental Wolves

By Rev. Anthony Wade

December 1, 2014

Heresy Hunting Is A Biblical Requirement

By Rev. Anthony Wade

Perry Noble Reveals the False Teacher's Playbook

By Rev. Anthony Wade

June 13, 2015

Dr. Mohler, discusses why so many churches hear so little of the Bible:

"Modeling Bible Study Through Preaching" with John MacArthur

"Years ago a reporter said to me, "Do you have a desire to build the church?" I said, "Not really because Christ said He would build the church and I'd rather not compete with Him." That's a losing enterprise. So we have been blessed to see the Lord continue to build His church. We're so greatly thankful for that.

"As you know, this is kind of a reflection, kind of an extended reflection of my recent trip to Europe where I visited with many of our missionaries. I think I was in seven, or eight, or nine countries, something like that, and had the opportunity to be with our missionaries. And everywhere I go, the same things essentially happen. They preach the Word of God in churches and then they train others to do the same thing. The emphasis of all of our missionaries around the world is to strengthen the church. And the church is only strengthened in so far as its leaders are doing what they should be doing. Strong leaders doing the right thing make for strong churches doing the right thing. And that all comes down to handling accurately the Word of God...."

At the "Liberate Conference," Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Feb 2015, Paul Tripp spoke on  “It is Finished: Good News for a Worn Out world,”  to a gathering of pastors about how we try to save ourselves by lying to ourselves, and deceiving ourselves.  And I think there is a lot of that going on here.  Rev. Chris Rosebrough introduces this segment from that message:

Where did Rick Warren get his idea for the book, "The Purpose Driven Life, 40 Days of Purpose," and the other 40 Days' programs he started? 
You will be shocked by the his own words, as presented on the "Fighting for the Faith" radio broadcast with Rev. Chris Rosebrough:

Rick Warren

and his Connections
to the ecumenical "Third Wave New Apostolic Reformation" (NAR) and "Positive Thinking" Movement:

What is the "New Apostolic Reformation"?

The "New Apostolic Reformation" Heresy was investigated on  National Public Radio:

C. Peter Wagner:

founder of the NAR: "New Apostolic Reformation"

C. Peter Wagner on the "Dominion Mandate" and the Government of the Church:

Rick Warren recommends you follow the top Heretics in the World:

"Death of the Mega Church" by Rev. Roger Oakland:
Rick Warren's Connection with Peter Drucker:

Rick Warren's key mentor was Peter Drucker, who stated: "I'm not a born-again Christian."


(Revealed by Southern Baptist Pastor,

Rev. Ken Silva):

Apprising Ministries wishes you to know that there’s absolutely no doubt about the effect of business guru Peter Drucker (1909-2005) upon Southern Baptist megapastor Rick Warren.

This is quite clear, e.g. in Rick Warren: Peter Drucker Changed My Life where you can see video of Warren absolutely fawning all over Drucker while making that particular admission.

While discussing this in Rick Warren, Manny Pacquiao, And The Influence Of Peter Drucker, which I posted last Saturday night, it apparently caught the attention of Rick Warren.

The reason I say this, and it possibly have been by mere coincidence, is the next day Warren would make what I consider to be a tactical error and tweeted:

Sarah Leslie wrote the article,  "Was Peter Drucker A Christian?" The Spin Versus The Truth, brings out some compelling evidence while asking the right questions:

This story that Rick Warren tweeted today is oft-repeated: “Rick Warren: I asked Peter Drucker how he was saved by Jesus. He said ‘When I fully understood GRACE, I knew I’d never get a better deal”

Leadership Network has repeated this story many times. The story, according to Bob Buford went like this:

[Ken] Blanchard, once in my presence, asked Peter Drucker, “Peter, why did you choose Christianity?” Peter said, “There’s no better deal.”

Many would question the fact that a well-known New Age business guru (Ken Blanchard), with a highly questionable Christian testimony himself, would attribute salvation to Drucker! Do these personal anecdotes from Rick Warren, Bob Buford and Ken Blanchard (all of whom have a vested interest in perpetuating the story?) indicate that Drucker was truly saved?

In a recorded interview at Claremont College in 2001, Drucker clearly denied he was a born-again Christian:

“I am not a born-again Christian.”

Well, now you’re about to see the late Peter Drucker, who’s had enormous influence upon the Seeker Driven/attractional camp, tell you this himself in an exclusive video clip from that 2001 interview.

Let me be clear; it’s not a joyful thing to do, this exposing a man—who by his own admission here—knew not God:

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” –John 3:3-7.

Here’s the critical point: Now just consider how much impact upon the professing Christian church this self-professed unbeliever has had through people like Rick Warren:

The Leadership Network has been a key organization that has now trained an entire generation of Christian pastors -- particularly the megachurch pastors -- to be "leaders" in the Peter Drucker corporate model.  (NOTE: This is NOT taught in Southern Baptist seminaries). 

Bob Buford was the chief mechanism by which Peter Drucker was able to gain access to the evangelical realm to implement his model of a "healthy society," particularly with his faith-based agenda (merging Church and State). This leadership training taught the men to be "change agents" using the most sophisticated psychological and sociological tools for manipulating groups to "transform."

It is noteworthy that the way leaders are being trained in Christendom today is not truly Scripturally based. However, Scriptures are taken and used to validate the new psycho-social management training for leaders. The methodologies may be cloaked in biblical sounding language, but they come straight out of the world's system of operating.

Who's Responsible for the Defects of the

"Knowledge Based Products"

of the Druckerite Companies?

by Rev. Chris Rosebrough

Rick Warren Evicts Jesus from Isaiah 49:
Is Rick Warren a False Teacher, and is 40 Days the Answer:

Eisegetical sermons are the standard fare of Rick Warren. Rev. Chris Rosebrough examines a sermon Warren preached recently:

"The Message"
a paraphrase (not a translation)
used by Rick Warren,
compromises some of the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith. 

Dr. Justin Peters, discusses the problems and heresy inherent in "The Message":

Pastor Rick Warren and Elton John hold hands In Congress, Joke about Kissing Each Other

The story:

Rick Warren Preaching Heresy at Hillsong 2015 Conference

In “The Pastor's Pen” by Jeff Maples (July 5, 2015)

At the Hillsong 2015 Conference in Sydney, Australia, where Rick Warren shared a stage with other heretics such as Joseph Prince, Warren teaches that he receives extra-biblical revelations through subconscious dreams. The theme of the Word of Faith conference that Rick is speaking at is “Speak Lord, I’m listening.” This is fitting since all of the speakers at this conference are heretical preachers that claim extra-biblical revelation from God.


He starts out by twisting Exodus 4:3 regarding Moses’ encounter with God, and God commanding Moses to throw down his staff while God miraculously turns it into a serpent, and then pick it back. He says that this passage represents that Christians today need to throw down their income and identity and let God do something miraculously with it. He says:

“Hearing the voice of God starts with a willingness to give up his identity, his income, and his influence, for the global Glory of God. When you do that, you are now in a position to hear God speak.”


He says that the prerequisites to hearing from God are “believing that he cares about the details of your life,” and that you must “believe that God wants to answer your questions, confusions, quandaries and problems.” He then reads Habakkuk Chapter 1 and 2 and says that this passage lays out a strategy for hearing from God. While reading, and holding up his counting fingers while reading, he says the following:

“In Habakkuk, we find the model for hearing the voice of God…These are the five things you do to hear the voice of God… [1] I will climb up in my watchtower, [2] and I will wait, [3] and I will look to see what the Lord will say, then the Lord gave me this answer [4] write down what I reveal to you, [5] so that you may read it.”


Watch, as he tells the audience that he often asks God questions before he goes to bed, the Holy Spirit works on him, then he wakes up with an answer.


While emotionally and repeatedly restating the conference theme, “Speak Lord, I’m listening,” in an effort to draw the crowd into an emotionally submissive state of mind, he goes on to say that these will become second nature to you if you practice all your life. “You must station yourself,” he says, “you don’t move… God speaks to those who wait on him.” “You calm your body, you calm your mind, and you calm your emotions… you relax your body.” He then recites Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God,” as a proof for this. He then teaches taking deep breaths while stretching and relaxing your muscles, and getting comfortable. His next statement says it all:

“Until you get comfortable with silence, you will never, ever, ever, hear the voice of God…the inner-calm gives me the intercom to God…the inner channel to hearing the voice of God.”

He goes on expounding on this for quite some time. Then, surprisingly he says that God speaks to us through his Word, however, he then contradicts himself by saying that in addition to this, God speaks to us through mental images and visions. This isn’t Christianity, this is mysticism. Rick Warren has been on a downhill path for a number of years, but this is outright heretical teaching.


And to the angel of the church in Sardis [Hillsong, Saddleback, Lakewood, etc.] write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.’ – Revelation 3:1


Rick Warren teaching charismatic, "Word of Faith," extra-biblical revelations, and mysticism at Hillsong 2015.  (FOR MORE INFORMATION about the "Word of Faith" heresy, see the webpage on this site by that name).

(Hillsong took down the entire video of Rick Warren, after this was exposed by several Apologetic websites)!

But here is a film clip of Warren claiming Extrabiblical Revelations and teaching Contemplative Prayer:

Here is Rick Warren at Hillsong 2015, 
the complete message in 2 parts:
Rick Warren's connection with MUSLIMS is EXTENSIVE,
and generally unknown to the average Southern Baptist pastor and parishioner.
(More information about Rick Warren's connections to Muslims, can be found on the webpages: "Seeker Sensitive Heresy" and in "Church of Tares" film).
Here are 2 short films about those connections:
Rick Warren promotes the heresy of "Centering Prayer"
(More information can be found about this on the webpage: "Contemplative Prayer Heresy")
the connection between:
(More information on the "Emergent Church" can be found on the webpage of that title).
and a Warning from the Bible:

“Sometimes the immature

Christian suffers bitter disappointment not because

God failed to keep His promises, but because well meaning Christians made promises “for” God that

God Himself never authorized.” – R.C. Sproul

Here is a review of Perry Noble speaking to pastors in a 2009 conference at his NewSpring Church,pushing the "Seeker Sensitive" agenda, and he is caught continually, in outright lies:
Some churches
cater to felt needs of the unsaved. 
The "Seeker Sensitive" & "Church Health/Growth" philosophy behind it, examined:

Endorsing Heresy
Once a pastor buys into Rick Warren and the "Church Health/Church Growth" movement, then he generally looks to, and endorses other anti-doctrinal 'pastors' (some who preside over mega-churches) instead of following Titus 1:9: "Holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict."
Bethel Church, Redding, CA. 
is an example of a church that teaches heresy and
which promotes "Grave Sucking" and "Tattoo Reading"

The following article by Bob De Waay and the two film clips explain why the "church growth movement" has adjusted worship and the Gospel message of Jesus:

Entertainment for "Worship"
Don't presume that your ideas of worship are more enlightened than God's.
(To see some of the crazy gimmicks being used by "Seeker Sensitive" pastors/churches, see the webpages: "Seeker Sensitive Heresy," "Contemporary Praise & Worship: The Lite Side," and "The Emergent Church.")
Heretical "Purpose Driven" methods have been used
to push "Contemporary Worship":

Do you think all the above fans with their hands in the air at this "Seeker Sensitive" style 'church'

care one iota about the doctrine of Christ?

Not a chance!

If it was announced that some of the top singers in the industry were going to meet for a big Bible study and everyone is invited for free, but NO MUSIC would be sung, they'd only have a handful of people show up. Many people would show up having misunderstood the announcement, angry when they find out there's no singing or music. However, it is not difficult to draw hundreds-of-thousands of fans to worldly, sensual entertainment with no preaching of God's Word.


The masses of American society and around the world have beentaught to respond this way to the stimuli of screeching guitars,driving drums, flashing strobe lights, female singers wearing pantsand swinging their hips, and the emotional appeal of the singer.One thing that is woefully lacking today is the gospel. You'll neverhear a plain and simple gospel presentation. The reason why isbecause the singers don't want to offend anyone's religious beliefs.


People come to Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant concerts to receive an "experience." Praise worship has become a multi-billion dollar entertainment industry in America alone. Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith are the top superstars in the religious world today. Few people understand the woeful spiritual danger of these two singers. By not witnessing the gospel and never making an issue of doctrine or truth, all of their fans are led by their apostate example to become the same way. Amy Grant's fans are enamored with music, music, music. The fans have been taught that through music God can be worshipped. But that is NOT what the Bible teaches. Jesus said in John 4:24 that the Father must be worshipped in spirit and in truth. You cannot worship God through vain traditions.

Let's take a second look at Michael W. Smith:

“I'm a singer, not a preacher, I'm not looking to convert anybody says Christian rock diva Amy Grant. (Los Angeles Times, 5/4/84, pg. 2-c).   Now that's sad!

Why Preach the Word without mixture of error or heresy?  Because it rightly informs our Worship and Walk with the Lord.

The modern evangelical quest for relevance has created several rifts in the church, perhaps none more visible than the divide over worship. Deep, biblical understanding of God’s Word and His character is routinely pitted against the euphoria of a vibrant musical experience. But that false dichotomy is a great injustice to the church, as it obscures the massive impact the Bible has on the reality and genuineness of true worship.

I often tell young pastors at the outset of their ministries, “You

have to go down if you’re going to lead your people up.” In other words, the degree to which your people will experience transcendent worship is directly related to the depth of their comprehension of divine truth. Those who understand the gospel the deepest are the ones who worship with the greatest exaltation and exhilaration. 

Sadly, most churches are content to live in the flat land. The preacher never goes deep in His preaching so the people never go high in their worship. As a result, churches cannot express real worship that rises from a soul filled with the glory of the truth, so they replace it with emotional manipulation, smarmy tunes, and superstition. They call it worship, but it’s really more an expression of feelings than an expression of true adoration rising from the mind that has grasped the depth of profound doctrine.

For me personally, the most important element in worship music is the lyrical content. The appropriate musical accompaniment should be suitable and memorable, but the words carry the truth.

When the words are teeming with rich theological life and biblical accuracy, they inform the mind, and that launches a legitimate experience of glorifying God. But your people will not appreciate that type of profundity without the biblical background needed to understand the depth of the great realities about which they are singing. They have to be taught if they are to enjoy and express the true worship which God seeks (John 4:24).

Teaching the Bible expositionally protects God’s people from the theological errors and the carnality so deadly to true worship, as well as guards the purity of their Christian walk. In some churches, pastors get up each week and do little “sermonettes for Christianettes,” which are essentially short God-talks about self-help and positive feeling. But they do nothing for their people to protect them from error, sin, or temptation.

The Bible speaks very pointedly about so-called shepherds who fail to protect their sheep from spiritual harm (cf. John 10:12–13). Those who leave their sheep vulnerable to wolves are unfaithful shepherds. They have failed to impart any true knowledge of God; no doctrinal foundations have been laid; no deep soul work has been accomplished. Their communication style may be enjoyable and their meetings may be full, but those pastors who do not faithfully proclaim the Word of God to their people are failing their sheep where it matters most. One day they will give an account to the Chief Shepherd for why they took such poor care of their flock (cf. 1 Peter 5:1–4).

-Dr. John MacArthur, adapted from "The Master's Plan for the Church" used with permission.
The power of the Holy Spirit is mediated through the Word of God.  It is a strategy of unbelief for a pastor to use "seeker sensitive" recreation, social work service programs, and entertaining worship, but never go over the bridge to get to the Word.  If you want power in your church, be an expository preacher; Preach the Word!
Rethinking "Worship Style," a "Worship Leader," and why the Hymn Book is Important:

Some churches continue to follow Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven" methodology of entertainment in the church:

I thought one pastor’s perspective on this issue was worth passing on, as it represents a significant corner of conservative Evangelical thinking on the subject.  He didn’t request anonymity when giving permission to share these thoughts, but I’ve chosen to keep it anonymous in order to keep the focus on the topic. So here is his perspective, as shared with his congregation:

"Why We Don’t Raise Our Hands in Our Church"

1.    It is not necessarily a bad practice.  I mean, after all, it is mentioned in the Bible so you wouldn’t think it could be a sin to raise your hands when praising God.  The only problem may be if somehow the raising of hands done today is done with a wrong motive or as a result of inappropriate motivation.  I have seen people in our church raise their hands at times and have never reprimanded them or lectured them on any perceived “evils of hand raising.”

2.    It’s contemporary reintroduction.  This is kind of interesting.  You won’t find too much about people raising their hands in the past 20 centuries.  As far as I know, John Calvin, Martin Luther, or any of the reformers never practiced hand raising.  The Puritans or Anabaptists, Baptists or any of the early mainline denominations didn’t practice this ancient tradition.  The only New Testament reference (that I can remember) about raising hands isn’t in worship but in prayer (1 Tim. 2:8) and it is for men only!  The emphasis in this text is more on their holiness than their posture.  So, a key question to ask is: If Jesus and the apostles do not mention it and we can’t find anything in recent history about it, then how did it suddenly become an issue?  The main reason, as I see it, is that the charismatic movement with its revamped culture has reintroduced it.  Of course they can claim it is because the Bible teaches it, but is it possible they started the practice … and then decided to find support for it from Scripture later?

3.    It may be more of a cultural practice than a command.  Apparently, in David’s era they lifted their hands in worship, but in later times (New Testament era) they didn’t.  When in Rome . . . (or in Jerusalem during ancient times).

4.    It seems to be properly categorized as a posture.  I would agree with the statement that it is a posture.  It should also be noted that it is not the only posture for worship.  A parallel may help to see this matter.  The command for prayer is given frequently in the Bible.  The exact posture for prayer may vary.  Kneeling is one such posture, laying prostrate is another.  But to say someone is wrong to pray without kneeling or prostrating themselves is wrong.  You may pray without ever kneeling and not sin.  I suspect the lifting of hands has a symbolic meaning of humility and begging, although that symbolism is not clarified in Scripture (to my knowledge).  But the key is in the heart.  One may lift their hands without having the least bit humility.  Furthermore, one may sing or pray without kneeling or raising their hands and yet have the most humble and begging heart possible.  God looks at our hearts more than our posture.

5.    It tends to be more of a distraction than a positive contribution to corporate worship.  Especially in our church where lifting the hands is not a common practice, it tends to be more of a distraction, a drawing attention to the worshipper, more than to God.  They may certainly be sincere and well meaning, but if it is not a normal practice in that worship setting, it is better not to practice it then.  It is my observation that some people actually do it more for show than for genuine worship.  I know that sounds SO JUDGMENTAL!  But if you took a poll to find out how many of those people do the same at home in their private worship, I am confident the numbers would be significantly decreased.  If someone only raises their hands in worship when other people are around, then who are they doing it for?  On the other side of the issue, I routinely kneel in my private prayer time at home but rarely kneel in a public worship service.  Why?  Because I do not want that particular posture to become a distraction in the public worship service.

Sardis: You Have a Reputation that You’re Alive, But You’re Dead (Rev. 3:1)

"And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead." (Revelation 3:1)

Christ describes himself to each church according to the message He is about to give them. In this case Christ says he hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars. This is supposed to convey the message to Sardis that He is full of the Spirit of God. He’s spiritually alive! Therefore the message is going to be related to that.

Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. This church had a reputation for being alive. Everyone thought they were full of the spirit. You probably would have heard them talking about the Holy Spirit all the time. Nevertheless, Christ said they were dead.

You know, there is a movement today often referred to as Pentecostalism and/or "Seeker Sensitive" "Contemporary Worship," that seems to fit this mold. Not all, but a great deal of what I’ve seen. Pentecostals/Charismatics, and "Seeker Sensitive-types" have a reputation for being the church that is full of the "spirit" of God. In their services they sing many simplistic songs, they wave their hands in the air, and they may even claim to speak in other tongues.   They listen to  "Eisegetical" feel-good, self-help-type-sermons, which have no substance.  They feel they are alive in the "Spirit!"

You might hear them say things like:

Are you saved? Are you born again? Have you prayed for the Spirit of God? And are you ready for the rapture?  What are you doing to reach out to the community?

But why is this church in Sardis dead?

Because they were caught up in emotionalism rather than studying God’s Word, they were playing church.

In order for us to truly be alive and full of the Spirit we must partake of the Word of God, book-by-book, chapter-by-chapter, and verse-by-verse, on a daily basis; and weekly, when Christians gather for Worship and Bible Study, or we risk dying like the church in Sardis. The Apostle John explains this principle of the life giving Word of God.

The Bible says:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men."  (John 1:1-4)

The overwhelming majority of Contemporary "Christian" Music is produced by Charismatics, and the Pentecostal-Charismatic movement is un-scriptural, and spiritually dangerous in the extreme.
In case you think I am being too harsh in my criticism about dancing or heresy in the church, consider the following article I found by Dr. John MacArthur in his commentary on Ephesians:

"When Silence Is Sinful"

Ephesians 5:11

by John MacArthur

Ignore it and it will go away. That seems to be the tactic the charismatic movement has adopted when it comes to false prophets, heretical theology, and phony miracles. Many charismatics simply turn a blind eye to the corruption in their midst, assuming that if it’s not happening in their church then it’s not their problem.

But that’s not the biblical pattern for dealing with sin in the church. In fact, it directly contradicts the apostle Paul’s instructions for dealing with false converts and professing believers whose sin is corrupting the church. To the church at Ephesus he wrote, “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them” (Ephesians 5:11).

Our Christian responsibility goes beyond abstaining from the “deeds of darkness.” We are also called to expose them. To ignore evil is to encourage it, and to keep quiet about it is to help promote it. The verb translated as “expose” (from elegchō) can also carry the idea of reproof, correction, punishment, or discipline. We are to confront sin with intolerance.

Sometimes such exposure and reproof will be direct and at other times indirect, but it should always be immediate. When we are living in obedience to God, that fact in itself will be a testimony against wrong. When those around us see us helping those in need rather than exploiting them, hear us talking with purity instead of profanity, and observe us speaking truthfully rather than deceitfully, our example will be a rebuke against selfishness, unwholesome talk, and lies. Simply refusing to participate in a dishonest business or social practice will sometimes be such a strong rebuke that it costs us our job or a friendship. Dishonesty is terribly uncomfortable in the presence of honesty, even when there is no verbal or other direct opposition.

Often, of course, open rebuke is necessary. Silent testimony will only go so far. Failure to speak out against and oppose evil is a failure to obey God. Believers are to expose the works of darkness with whatever legitimate, biblical means necessary.

Love that does not openly expose and oppose sin is not biblical love. Love not only “does not act unbecomingly” but it “does not rejoice in unrighteousness” wherever it might be found (1 Corinthians 13:5–6). Our Lord said, “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private. . . . If he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you. . . . If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church” (Matthew 18:15–17). This is the responsibility of every Christian (cf. 1 Timothy 5:1, 20; 2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:13; 2:15).

Unfortunately, many Christians are barely able to keep their own spiritual and moral houses in order that they do not have the discernment, inclination, or power to confront evil in the church or in society at large. We should be so mature in biblical truth, obedience, holiness, and love that the natural course of our life is to expose, rebuke, and offer the remedy for every kind of evil.

Sadly, many Christians do not confront evil because they do not take it seriously. They laugh and joke about unadulterated wickedness—things that are immoral and ungodly in the extreme. They recognize the sinfulness of those things and would likely never participate in them; but they enjoy them vicariously. In so doing, they not only fail to be an influence against evil but are instead influenced by it—contaminated to the extent that they think and talk about it without exposing and rebuking it.

Whether the sin is isolated to one small group or congregation, or it thrives on a global scale like the corruption in the charismatic movement, God’s people need to be faithful to expose and deal with it biblically.

All Things to All Men

1 Corinthians 9:19-23; Galatians 1:10

by John MacArthur

The notion that the church must become like the world to win the world has taken evangelicalism by storm. Virtually every modern worldly attraction has a “Christian” counterpart. We have Christian motorcycle gangs, Christian bodybuilding teams, Christian dance clubs, Christian amusement parks, and I even read about a Christian nudist colony.

Where did Christians ever get the idea we could win the world by imitating it? Is there a shred of biblical justification for that kind of thinking? Many church marketing specialists affirm that there is, and they have convinced a myriad of pastors. Ironically, they usually cite the apostle Paul as someone who advocated adapting the gospel to the tastes of the audience. One has written, “Paul provided what I feel is perhaps the single most insightful perspective on marketing communications, the principle we call contextualization (1 Corinthians 9:19–23). Paul … was willing to shape his communications according to their needs in order to receive the response he sought.” “The first marketeer was Paul,” another echoes.

After all, the apostle did write, “I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some. And I do all things for the sake of the gospel, that I may become a fellow partaker of it” (1 Cor. 9:22, 23). Is that a mandate for pragmatism in ministry? Was the apostle Paul suggesting that the gospel message can be made to appeal to people by accommodating their relish for certain amusements or by pampering their pet vices? How far do you suppose he would have been willing to go with the principle of “contextualization”?

The Great Non-Negotiable

This much is very clear: the apostle Paul was no people-pleaser. He wrote, “Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ” (Gal. 1:10). Paul did not amend or abridge his message to make people happy. He was utterly unwilling to try to remove the offense from the gospel (Gal. 5:11). He did not use methodology that catered to the lusts of his listeners. He certainly did not follow the pragmatic philosophy of modern market-driven ministers.

What made Paul effective was not marketing savvy, but a stubborn devotion to the truth. He was Christ’s ambassador, not His press secretary. Truth was something to be declared, not negotiated. Paul was not ashamed of the gospel (Rom. 1:16). He willingly suffered for the truth’s sake (2 Cor. 11:23–28). He did not back down in the face of opposition or rejection. He did not compromise with unbelievers or make friends with the enemies of God.

Paul’s message was always non-negotiable. In the same chapter where he spoke of becoming all things to all men, Paul wrote, “I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:16). His ministry was in response to a divine mandate. God had called him and commissioned him. Paul preached the gospel exactly as he had received it directly from the Lord, and he always delivered that message “as of first importance” (1 Cor. 15:3). He was not a salesman or marketer, but a divine emissary. He certainly was not “willing to shape his communications” to accommodate his listeners or produce a desirable response. The fact that he was stoned and left for dead (Acts 14:19), beaten, imprisoned, and finally killed for the truth’s sake ought to demonstrate that he didn’t adapt the message to make it pleasing to his hearers! And the personal suffering he bore because of his ministry did not indicate that something was wrong with his approach, but that everything had been right!

So what did Paul mean when he wrote, “I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some. And I do all things for the sake of the gospel”? As always, the context makes his meaning clear.

A primary "felt need" of unbelievers is
entertainment; and there are some pastors who feel that that is the only way to "entice" them into the church:
Let me see if I've got this correct.........
Rap and Hip Hop, which is lewd music with body shaking movements,
has been perpetrated on several
Baptist Church congregations.

Let's see what that means:
My Question
to any Pastor who is trying
to make the church "relevant" and "seeker friendly" for
young people:
Do you really know what HIP-HOP is?

  A Black Pastor, G. Craige Lewis answers the question:
Mixing the "Sacred" and the "Profane":
Who Enables Hip-Hop in the church?

Rapper Trip Lee said hip-hop is about provocation.  "It's a bold, in-your-face art form," he said. "It lends itself to movements—often rebellion against God and morality, but it can be used as a counter-rebellious force in society."

The Compromise of Lecrae

and those who promote him

"Unholy Hip-Hop: Satan in the Church"
Pastor G. Craige Lewis writes...................

"There is a new move in our nation called Holy Hip-hop. It’s a knock-off version of true Hip-hop but it is getting very popular among Youth Pastors and churches that do not effectively know how to reach the youth of their communities.

"Instead of fasting, praying, and seeking God for his Spirit to draw hearts that truly want to repent, they turn to Holy Hip-hop, which will speak the language, promote the look and appeal of the culture, and then add the message of Christ to it?  See, the Holy Hip-hopper believes that they can reach real Hip-hoppers by being Hip-hoppers–just Holy ones. They believe they are an alternative to the real Hip-hop, so that when you give your life to Christ, you can still be represented by a Holy version of Hip-hop. They also believe that Hip-hop can be Holy because God changed you or me from our sinful state into Holy people.

"Youth pastors and youth ministers wake up! If you need Hip-hop to reach your youth, then you are not an effective youth minister! If you need to give the youth what they want instead of what they need, then you are no better than an irresponsible parent that spoils their child.

"If you have to keep having Hip-hop lock-ins, Concerts and Praise Dance festivals, field trips, food and candy to keep your youth interested in your youth ministry, then you need to reevaluate whether or not God has truly called you to be a youth minister.

Maybe you missed your call of being an amusement park attendant, or a babysitter. A truly effective youth minister can preach the word of God and cause the youth to go out and win other youth. When a youth ministry is really effective, they are able to grow based on the Word of God being preached and not on gimmicks, fun times, or music.

"If you are not able to give them a true move of God in your youth ministry, then you have to compete with the world! You will have to give them what the world is giving them. If there are parties and dances happening at their schools, you will have to have one the same night, but stamp Jesus on it.

"If there are concerts and Hip-hop clubs happening around you, you will have to have concerts and clubs with a Jesus stamp. You will always be lead by the world and in direct competition with the world. Hip-hop will become your nemesis and rather than beating it by the power of the Holy Ghost transforming and moving through your youth ministry, you will have to join it because it’s easier than seeking a real move of God. The beats will take the place of the spirit of God. The Holy Hip-hoppers will come in and promote themselves by looking the part, acting the part, and promoting the real Hip-hoppers that they stole their style from. Then the kids will yell and scream, and come to the altar because of the beats. But they will leave the service, only to get into their cars or go home and listen to the real thing. And as long as they continue to listen to the real Hip-hoppers and secular artists, the Holy Hip-hop will be a fill in for them. Since they can’t have Usher and Lil’ Jon in the church, then they will take the Cross Movement or Lil’ Irocc for now.

"You better believe when they get home, they will desire the real deal. Do not get me wrong; if it is Christian Rap or Gospel Rap, then it does not compare itself with the world’s artists because there is no Hip-hop involved with it. If a person considers himself a Holy Hip-hoppers or say they are using Hip-hop, then they are comparing themselves to something that is in the world.

Hip-hop is not music

"Only the church considers Hip-hop a music style or genre. But to it’s creators and any real Hip-hopper, it is considered a religion, a belief system, a sub-culture, or a “way of life.”  P. Diddy stated on a talk show, when asked what the difference between Hip Hop and rap was, “Rap is the music, but Hip Hop is my life….as a matter of fact, Hip Hop is life! Christians only call hip-hop a music form in efforts to get it accepted in the church and the lives of believers.

"This mask is what the enemy is using to deceive the church into embracing this 'religion' and get it in the lives of our youth and accepted by the leadership of the church. Hip-hop was founded in the streets as a voice for the people that felt they had no voice. But when Christ comes in the picture, he becomes the voice, yet Holy Hip-hoppers still want to hang-on to the streets and the street behavior because they feel it legitimizes them and their efforts to prosper off the church. Many of their songs are still gangster oriented, thug promoting and carry the street mentality, which only further promotes the agenda of the Hip-hopper in its original form.

"Saying Hip-hop is Holy is like saying whatever you were before Christ is still who you are, just with salvation. Only a fundamentalist believer could buy into this. Anyone that is born of God and filled with the Holy Ghost knows that “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature!” Old things are past away. The old behaviors that reflected your negative upbringing are behind you and you begin to walk in the newness of life. The old gang related attire is thrown away and now you dress differently. The old gang signs and vulgar language you spoke is changed to a new way of talking. You don’t continue to mimic the demonic lifestyle you once lived when you were in the streets, but you begin to grow and change. And it’s this change that occurs when you are filled with the Spirit of God.

"So, why are Holy Hip-hoppers continually promoting the streets to reach the streets? Why don’t they show the real Hip-hoppers that God can produce change in you? Why don’t they show progress and promote the fact that they are no longer Hip-hoppers, but they are believers that are set apart and conformed into the image of Christ?"


Sho Baraka (who uses foul/lewd language) recently appeared
in San Antonio, TX and promoted by some SBC area churches:
Southern Baptist LifeWay bookstores, correctly removed all his music:
Harmful Entertainment:
The Truth Behind Hip-Hop:

Hip-Hop and Club Dancing
in the Church:

The Bible says in
Matthew 19:14..................

“But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (King James Version)  or as the New American Standard Version states:
“But Jesus said, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

May I say frankly, that bringing in sinful entertainment and preaching heresy in the church, will hinder children from coming to Him. Make no mistake about it.

Dr. Mark Dever,  preaches on: 

“Whatever Happened to Worldliness?”

This lecture will explore the strange contrast between the Bible’s warnings against worldliness, and the churches comparative unconcern. Why don’t we preach against this anymore, and do we even know what it is? The lecture should inform the listener that this is a serious issue, and one we cannot safely ignore.

Why Shallow Evangelicals are So Susceptible to Charismatic Frauds


The Death of Discernment and the Rise of the Lakeland "Revival"
by John Macarthur
(Adapted from Ashamed of the Gospel, 3rd ed., Crossway)

Some of the most popular and dangerous evangelical fads of the past fifteen years have involved waves of charismatic fervor that have sown confusion and discord in every culture where they have been embraced. I'm talking about the Toronto Blessing (where "holy laughter" and other forms of pseudo-drunkenness were declared to be signs the Holy Spirit was moving); the Kansas City Prophets (a movement led by a group of self-appointed seers whose prognostications were usually false and whose private morals were even worse); the Pensacola outpouring (whose major features were gold dust and gold tooth fillings that supposedly appeared miraculously, but the revival disbanded amid charges of fraud and embezzled funds). Then (most recently) those movements were all eclipsed by a supposed revival in Lakeland, Florida whose leader embodied all those errors and turned out to be twice as much a son of hell as all the religious scoundrels he imitated (cf. Matthew 23:15).

Here's how Charisma magazine summed up that debacle:

[Lakeland Revival founder Todd] Bentley's faith and exuberance impressed seasoned, prominent revivalists while his wild tactics often tempered the enthusiasm of other leaders. When praying for healing, the tattooed evangelist was known to hit the sick in the stomach with his knee in a move more common among wrestlers than preachers. Bentley even recounted kicking a woman in the face in an act of "obedience to the Lord."

Yet, with the exception of a few ministers, many charismatic leaders chose to overlook Bentley's peculiar methods for the sake of what they saw as "fruit." They claimed the revival stirred many Christians worldwide to pursue God with a renewed hunger.

"Personally, I believe that the Lakeland Outpouring was another wave of revival like Toronto and Brownsville," said Los Angeles-area pastor [Ché] Ahn, referring to the Toronto Blessing and the Pensacola Revival, both of which occurred during the 1990s. "Each wave has its own life span." [Paul Steven Ghiringhelli, "Lakeland Revival Officially Ends" Charisma (13 Oct. 2008).]

You might think the cumulative effect of so many "prophetic" movements, all of them being totally discredited in fairly rapid succession, would heighten a craving for more careful discernment among evangelicals. But every new charismatic tsunami seems to grow larger and confound more people than the previous ones. Each wave is considerably more bizarre and certainly more grossly unbiblical than all its predecessors, yet each one pulls in Christians who previously seemed fairly mainstream. Craving something more than the shallow fare they are force-fed in the average evangelical church, they are eager patsies for a charlatan who promises supernatural signs and wonders instead of the superficial skits and tomfoolery they have grown accustomed to.  (Empahsis mine).

The Charismatic Church Growth, Purpose Driven, Seeker Sensitive Movement (by which names it is variously known) is primarily the reason the church is in the mess its in today.


In virtually every area, that church life is unbiblical, you can attribute it to that movement.


Bad theology,  superficial worship,  unbiblical raising of hands,  ego,  prosperity gospel,  personality elevation,  worldly amusement....


….all of that, comes out of the charismatic "seeker sensitive" movement.

The Questionable Use of Short-Term Mission Trips for Youth, used by Seeker Sensitive Pastors:

The Myth of the "Mission Trip"
Experience has shown that once CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) is introduced (usually with the more moderate “door opener” songs and along with the overhead projector and the “Nashville” sound of a guitar) it does not remain static, but soon becomes a substantial part of a church’s music program. For many it has been a hotline back to the music of their pre-conversion days. And notably, a survey of the CCM music generally will show, that far less is said about the Sacrificial Death and Blood of Christ.
“I am now convinced that God will not accept our worship when it is offered with music styles that are
also used by pagans for their immoral practices. ... He is a jealous God. If you grasp this principle alone, it will change for ever the way you lead a worship service” (-Dan Lucarini, "Confessions of a Former Worship Leader," p. 57).

"When amusement is necessary to get people to listen to the gospel there will be failure.  This is not the method of Christ. To form an organization and provide all kinds of entertainment for young people, in order that they may come to the Bible classes, is to be foredoomed to failure." --G. Campbell Morgan

"Why So Many Churches Hear So Little of the Bible"
-Dr. R. Albert Mohler, President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Dr. J. Vernon McGee:
"Why the Gospel is Not Preached Today"
(Courtesy of Thru the Bible Radio Network)
"How I Preach"
-Dr. John MacArthur

(from "Grace to You" copyrighted; used with permission)

On Sunday morning, July 20, 2014, while driving to our church, I tuned into the Moody Church Hour on the car radio and heard Dr. Erwin Lutzer preaching from John 4:1-26, on "How to Adore God." He preached an excellent sermon exposition of what Worship is. He mentions the importance of reverence in a worship service, and explains why extraneous church growth programs, seeker sensitive seminars, and youth recreation, etc., which promise to do the job of church growth, will fail; producing more problems, not fruit; they are based on man's techniques and achievements, and not on God's power and glory. (My mother attended a summer session at Moody Bible Institute after graduation from Oklahoma University).

It's sad, but truth is sadly lacking in much preaching, worship, and discipleship training today.  I invite you to watch a short film: "The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception" with Dr. John MacArthur:
(Courtesy of Grace to You, used with permission)