Category Archives: Televangelists

My, My, Pastor. What Big Teeth You Have.

I was reading a post on a blog I enjoy reading from time to time, m’kayla’s korner, about someone in the UK whose church became ‘Bethelized”. Now, this isn’t a word you’ll find in any dictionary, but this isn’t the first place I’ve seen it used. For a church to become “Bethelized” is to adopt the ways and practices of Bethel Church in Redding, California.

For those who aren’t familiar with Bethel Church or their practices, they are a church in Redding, CA that’s pastored by a man named Bill Johnson. They started out as an Assemblies of God church but around a couple of years ago, they voted to withdraw from the Assemblies and go it on their own. They didn’t want the restraint of a denomination keeping them from promoting some of their heretical doctrines, as if the Assemblies of God are much of a restraint these days.

This blog post, here on m’kayla’s korner, got me to thinking further about some events that’s transpired this past few weeks in my own life. As I’ve stated here before, my wife and I have been on a search for a new church for over a year. As it turns out, I guess God led us to a church within a couple of months of our searching, but we were still too hurt to recognize it. We ended up moving on from that church and looked for another six months before we realized that was where we are supposed to be in the first place.

This church we’ve chosen isn’t perfect. We would wish for some other things if it was up to us, but one thing I’ve come to learn on our journey for a new church home is that there aren’t many pastors that open a Bible and teach extensively from scripture. This church we’ve chosen does. The pastor doesn’t sweat, he doesn’t yell, and he doesn’t “impart”. He simply teaches line by line and verse by verse through each book of the Bible, the way the Apostle Paul instructed Timothy to do. It’s done the same way in our children’s church……line by line, verse by verse so that as little of the pastor’s philosophies are woven into the teaching as possible.

Now back to what’s been on my mind the last couple of weeks. We still have some friends that attend our old Assembly of God church. Our old Assembly of God church along with all of the other Assemblies of God in the area have been at youth camp this past week. Each year the camp gets a themed name. This year’s themed name was “Supernatural Camp“. I thing it goes without saying just what the camp focused on this year, and it wasn’t preaching the Gospel (though I’m sure they thought that’s exactly what they were doing).

The focus was on imparting the “Fire of God” on the kids for them to take back to their local churches.

The focus of the camp wasn’t on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was on acquiring the “power” of God, the dreams, visions, the supernatural knowledge. In fact, I would go so far to say that most of these AG kids left camp and weren’t able to articulate the Gospel at all. You see, I know they can’t, because none of our former friends’ kids can.

The youth pastor of our former church was trained at another AG church who adored Bethel Church. If you was to go today to this church’s website in Irving, Texas it’s really nothing more than an idol to Bethel Church and Bill Johnson. There’s nearly as much on their website about Bethel as their own church. The sad part is that the pastor of this church in Irving, Texas is a Section Leader of the Assemblies of God while promoting a church that cast off it’s restraints from the Assemblies of God. Probably all done in a spirit of “interdenominational unity”, of course.

My wife posted on her Facebook this past Sunday something along the lines of “Something I love to hear in church on Sunday, ‘Church, open your Bibles to………’ “. I can’t count the amount of churches we went to that claimed to be Bible-centered, Gospel-preaching churches. These claims were made proudly on their websites and in their bulletins. But, you see, just because a pastor gives a 1-hour sermon on something and backs it up with several scriptures scattered from across the range of the books of the Bible, doesn’t mean it’s Bible centered. It only means they’ve used scripture to support their teaching. All those mis-contextualized scriptures makes the sermon sound so…..scriptural. But in all but one of these other churches, we never heard the Gospel presented. I’m not talking about an invitation to “receive Jesus”, but the actual death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, with a call to repentance.

In other words, there are more than 60 churches within a 5-mile radius of our house (this IS Texas, ya know) and of the 20 or so churches we tried, only two preached gospel centered preaching directly from scripture. Two. By the way, the other 40 or so churches were easily dismissed from their websites. It was obvious we weren’t going to hear the Gospel in those churches.

It’s a sad state of church affairs out there. I guess I was in for a shock just how complacent God’s people have become. Oh sure there’s a lot of hollering and screaming in churches all across America every Sunday, but that doesn’t equate to line by line, verse by verse Gospel centered preaching. The infection is only getting worse as churches like Bethel, and IHOP, and Morningstar among a growing tsunami of other self-promoting ministries take their heresies worldwide.

So if you’ve become a frog in a pan of water on a stove, I can’t advise you to run from your current church. What I can advise, however is to search your heart, search out God, and search out the whole council of God’s word, the Bible, and see if you’re sitting under a self-centered, empire-building wolf…….you might just have become so used to your surroundings that you’re failing to realize your about to be eaten.

Most of all, be a Berean and hold every minister of the Gospel accountable for every word that comes out of their mouth. Remember, Luke called the Bereans noble for holding the Apostle Paul accountable.

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Not That Kind of Rock

I ran across this article here about a church in Mill Creek, Washington that is coming under fire from its neighbors in the surrounding housing about the volume of its music during worship services. In yet another distorted witness to the world about the true character of Jesus, this church is choosing to demand their rights rather that take the high ground and make some modifications to the volume levels.

Over a year ago, I had written a blog post here about this same “church”, Gold Creek Community Church. The stunt they were using back then was to tattoo a person on stage as a means of some sort of sermon illustration.

Over the years, this church, using man-centered techniques to draw a largely young hip crowd, has grown significantly. The growth has been so large that during Sunday morning worship services the police are required to direct traffic. Strangely enough, the neighbors have no complaint about the traffic, just the loud music.

All the church has to do is turn down the bass, said neighbor Lou DeFranza. The bass is so loud and pulsing it rattles and vibrates their homes.

The neighbors aren’t complaining about such things as increased traffic from the church. It’s mostly the bass, not even the actual music, he said.

In a classical “Gawd Bless America” response from the church leadership their freedom of speech rights are held up rather the servant heart of Jesus Christ:

“Gold Creek is a Christian Church and we believe our First Amendment right is freedom of religion,” Ehoff wrote to Ronglien. “You have said ‘just turn it down,’ but I want to worship in the way I want to worship and I don’t want someone else to tell me how I can do it.”

According to the article, however, I guess Mr. Ehoff has a very loose definition of just what worship is:

On Sunday, Ehoff, dressed in black jeans, T-shirt and a hoodie, sang “Rope,” a rock hit by the Foo Fighters, and Kellogg based his sermon on hanging onto God as the ultimate rope. As he spoke, images of rock climbers played on the screen behind him.

I couldn’t sleep the other night so I got out of bed and went into the living room to watch some TV. As is always my habit on the mornings I can’t sleep, I first turn to the “christian” TV channels to see the “heretics on parade” at that time of the morning. I never watch it for long because it actually turns my stomach, but at 4:00 AM it’s a good time to watch the televangelists that are really “out there” beyond even the fringe of sound biblical teaching.

This particular morning there was a show on with Juanita Bynum, the self-proclaimed “prophetess”. She was screaming and prancing before a jam-packed stadium of some sort. It looked like it was as large as a football stadium. Juanita was screaming in tongues, prancing in a stance just like a prairie chicken, and wearing long white robes.

I watched as Juanita made a complete mockery of God for around 10 minutes or so without ever a bit of biblical teaching coming from her mouth. During this entire time, there were literally thousands thronging the stage, hands in the air. I was amazed that this woman could pack this huge stadium just like a rock star………then it hit me.

They weren’t worshipping Jesus. They were worshipping her and her image. They weren’t drawn together around the unity of the Holy Spirit, they were drawn to her showmanship.

I didn’t start this post out to go off on Juanita Bynum. That morning I was watching her I realized something, though

If she could draw 50,000 or 60,000 people to one event and there are literally hundreds just like her all across the world doing the same thing, and there are literally thousands of churches of just like Gold Creek CC in Mill Creek, WA playing their games without any understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ at all, this great apostasy the Bible speaks of is already here. America is already under a great delusion.

On any given Sunday there are millions in America thronging to watch a carefully orchestrated show put on by pastors who are under the delusion that they are somehow able to “convince” someone to follow Jesus Christ with their personal skills and talents rather than the Gospel. It’s a lie from the pit of Hell, and it’s here. It’s infiltrated and infected the overwhelming majority of churches in America, which is the media outlet to the rest of the world. This in turn is how the rest of the world is becoming infected. In other words, If satan can deceive America, the rest of the world follows suit.

We are at a time where we all need to understand the Gospel like never before. It’s not accepting Jesus into your heart. It’s not speaking in tongues. It’s not helping the poor or feeding the hungry. It’s the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the repentance and forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ. It’s God’s sovereignty in all things.

Search the scriptures. Put the latest Christian authors down and turn off  TBN. We each need to get back to the basics of the faith and what the first apostles taught. We need to hear it every Sunday.

I can assure you no staged tattoo session, guitar solo, or chicken dance ever ushered anyone into heaven. Only through the desperate realization of our sinfulness before a holy God through the preaching of the Gospel has anyone ever entered the Kingdom.

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Thou Shalt Entertain Thee

My wife and I went to the movies last night on a “date”.

We saw the movie “Lincoln Lawyer” based on the novel of the same name. I had listened the novel on audio about a year ago and really enjoyed it, as I have all of Michael Connelly’s novels.

In the movie there were curse words, a couple of scenes of graphic violence, and a steamy love scene (no nudity) between the main character and his ex-wife, neither of whom had re-married. In other words, there were things about the movie that probably weren’t “God-honoring”.

During the previews before the movie, there was a movie advertised named “Jumping the Broom“. It’s a movie produced by TD Jakes. The same TD Jakes who’s a pastor of “The Potters House” church in Dallas, TX. The same TD Jakes who’s the televangelist seen all over Christian TV.

Obviously I haven’t seen the movie, as it isn’t released yet.  Based on the trailer at the movie I went to see last night and what I can derive from the internet, it’s a movie about a woman who was spending her life chasing after the wrong kind of men and engaging in premarital sex. After an embarrassing incident, she tells God that if He would help her meet “Mr. Right”, she would no longer share her “cookies” (the movie’s words, not mine) with another man until marriage.

Again, I haven’t seen the movie, but it doesn’t appear there is one drop of Gospel message attached to her “conversion”. It appears it was merely a moral decision on her part.

I guess I can’t understand the motivation of a pastor with the kind of influence TD Jakes has making a movie like this. Obviously, while it’s a good thing not to “share your cookies” with another until marriage, without the Gospel driving your life, it’s merely moralism. Decisions based on moralism are merely that. Moral decisions that don’t “get you into heaven”. Righteousness that’s filthy rags in God’s sight.

While I struggle with the decision to watch the kind of movies my wife and I saw last night, at least there isn’t a danger of confusing what we saw with Godly values. The danger in movies like “Jumping the Broom” is confusing moral decisions with Godly obedience to the Gospel.

While I could go on and on about TD Jakes theology and whether he’s even a Christian or not, that’s not my intention here. Making movies, even with a “morally positive” message is just something no church leader has any business putting his name on.

It does nothing more than confuse an already “Gospel hardened” America once again making it seen like Christians are more concerned with their prosperity rather than being “slaves of Christ”.

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Christianity with my Flapjacks

As I was cooking some of my chocolate chip pancakes for the kids this morning, I opened up the paper and laid it out on the counter and flipped through it in between my flipping of the pancakes on the griddle. As I did this, I came upon the Religion section in my local paper and read the two articles I’ve shown photographs here in this post.

A couple of years ago an elderly woman at the previous church I attended asked me if I had seen a particular televangelist’s show on a “Christian” network the previous evening.  I told her that I watched very little “Christian” TV because I felt like those pretenders did more to damage Christianity than any of the secular TV shows out there. She said “Well, I don’t know about that!” and walked off in a huff.

I do know about that, though. Whether we want to admit it or not, every time we identify ourselves as a Christian to the world, we are judged by what the world sees on Christian TV.

Through “Christian” television and many of the megachurches that are behaving in similar manner to the televangelists, the world has come to believe we are a bunch of sexually perverted, money-grubbing clowns.

There is literally an entire generation growing up in churches that just doesn’t know what the Gospel is….oh, they proclaim it means the “good news”, but they aren’t preaching just what the good news is.

The church shown in the first photograph above are having what is called “Blue Christmas” services. People can come and light candles, sing hymns, and write their thoughts on a banner that will be the “center of their worship”….Funny, I thought Jesus was to be the center of our worship…not our problems.

The churches in the second photograph aim to draw people to the Christmas services with cool technology. I guess the thought is that if we have the coolest sound, lights, music, and video displays that people will FINALLY bow before their Savior Jesus and repent…..funny thing is, they aren’t being told that repentance is necessary.

The Gospel…that all important message of eternal life is being left out. It hurts me that the lifelong church attending kids that are my daughter Emily’s age around 16 years old have never heard the gospel. Never.

Oh, they’ve heard that Jesus loves them, that Jesus can help them with their problems, that he can help them in school and similar “slogans”…..but never the gospel.

You see, the bible says in Romans 1:16:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

The gospel is what saves. No gospel, no salvation.

All of the other stuff is just fluff designed to inflate the egos of men, for pastors to get “attaboys” from the congregation, and worst of all, to fill the pews for the purposes of having “bragging rights” to your fellow ministers at the local “ministerial alliance” meeting.

I’m afraid the “foxes are watching the henhouse”, folks, and I truly believe it’s time to turn off the Christian television and dust off that bible…..you might just be in for a shock to see what’s really in there.

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