Douglas Hamp and I have been trying to get a local prophecy conference going for about a year now. After being turned down by several churches, we finally found a church that was gracious enough to open up their space for us. So in about a month, LA Marzulli, Doug Hamp, and myself will be holding the first of what we hope to be many more local events that we named The Prophecy Forum. The event will be held at the Hosanna Chapel in Bellflower California on March 15-16, 2013. This will be my first public speaking venture. I’m anxious, excited, and nervous all at the same time. The great thing is, it has truly accelerated my research for Age of Deceit II, which I thought I had done about a month ago. I remembered that research never “ends” but that the production of a film like Age of Deceit only comes when I personally cannot contain the information any longer. I think this second film will be just the same. But let me get on to the real reason why I made this post.
The word discernment in the Biblical term simply means the ability to differentiate between Godly and ungodly things; good and bad; truth and false. For many who are called to be watchmen, it’s important to understand that part of our job description is to watch and warn. This requires a great deal of discernment because today, things that are Godly and things that are worldly are both packaged and sold in the same mold. A recent blog post by marc5solas titled “Top 10 Reasons Our Kids Leave Church” summarizes it best when Marc reveals the number 10 reason our kids leave church as “Being ‘Relevant’”. Quote;
“You didn’t misread that, I didn’t say irrelevant, I said RELEVANT. We’ve taken a historic, 2,000 year old faith, dressed it in plaid and skinny jeans and tried to sell it as “cool” to our kids. It’s not cool. It’s not modern. What we’re packaging is a cheap knockoff of the world we’re called to evangelize.”
I couldn’t agree more. The problem is that this glaring and obvious deficiency in the institution of church has not only helped bring about so much of the falling away, but it has also kept at bay those who study prophecy, who are genuinely concerned of the times and who are good Bereans. While the debate of “how to do church” will go on until Jesus returns, our current fallen state can’t help but build walls. Since we know that the love of money is the root of all evil, it’s no surprise that the bigger any given religious institutions gets, the more susceptible to corruption they become. So please don’t think I’m pointing the finger because I am not. I understand that we are all fallen. The scary thing is that this division doesn’t stop between Christians who are sounding the alarm about the current state of our world and the Christians buying into the current culture.
I’ve recently been faced with blogs and emails concerning the demonizing of several people I consider friends and colleagues. I don’t want to mentions names or the titles of the blogs here but I think it’s important to address the over arching issues. In a nutshell, within the community of watchmen have emerged a small bundle of folks who ironically call themselves “watchmen” warning against others of their very own community. At one level, I don’t mind this type of opposition since I believe in healthy debating, conversations, learning, and growing as a family in Christ; iron sharpening iron. However, when they begin to question one’s salvation, that’s when I feel the need to speak out.
I simply have to ask, where are these folks grounding their theology? When you read their beliefs and “abouts”, it seems pretty clear that they are fellow believers in Christ. I think a majority of the believers who read their statements of faith would agree. So what goes wrong? I believe it is a couple things. First, it’s the notion of challenging established orthodox doctrine as defined by this individual. Even within the institution and scholarly conduct of handling theology at the highest echelons, I don’t believe there are any doctrines other than the Gospel that have the complete and total agreement of all its peers. My point is that defending a view, especially when it’s non-essential to the Gospel of grace, and calling out a fellow believer as heretical does nothing good for the Lord. Then again, the Lord uses all things for good. So even the most vile comments towards a fellow brother will somehow by the grace of God have an end result of goodness.
Secondly, theology is a privilege for those of us who study the Word and are blessed to be re-presenters of His eternal wisdom. By default, we as believers all share an exclusive truth claim in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As I mentioned, anything outside of that should not be used as a point of contention to call someone a heretic or to shun them. Theology is a tradition that goes back as far as man can remember, and to assume you know someone’s heart based on something in their teaching is both divisive and unnecessary. To raise objection of a particular point in someone’s teaching and addressing that single issue alone would be, in my opinion, the better way to handle it.
The bottom line is that these bloggers are jumping from these particular points of contention and concluding that thus these teachers, researcher, authors are heretical; wolves in sheep’s clothing. This makes no logical sense, or Biblical sense to me. We don’t know a man’s heart. To declare that you do would be declaring yourself God and that’s the worst blasphemy of all. I’m afraid that this kind of “jumping to conclusions” thinking is a slippery slope that can cause these fellows who accuse to fall into the same pit they believe they are pointing out.
I think these bloggers should revisit some basic teachings of Jesus. Remember in the book of Matthew, chapter 7, Jesus says this:
“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”
I think it applies here. Oh, and what about this one from the book of John, chapter 8:
“He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone”
And then there’s Paul’s teaching in Philippians 4 when the two fellow believers were arguing over an issue, he told them:
“I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord.”
I simply would like to invite anyone reading this into prayer and ask God to give us the patience, wisdom, knowledge and comfort within the family of God so that we can work together to be salt and light unto the lost world. Because ultimately, that’s why we are here. If I can speak to them personally, I would say “I disagree with your methods and conclusions, but I respect your passion for the Lord, so keep doing what God is leading you to do because ultimately it’s His will that will be done.”