The Problem With Messianic Judaism

Who Is Making Who Jealous?
By David Ravenhill

Saul of Tarsus was certainly no fan of the early Church. His zeal drove him to plunder, persecute, prosecute and imprison whomever he came across belonging to The Way. Entering house after house he destroyed God’s fledgling flock, causing them to be scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. His very name evoked fear in all who heard it.

Then it happened. Saul had an encounter with the Living God. This once proud Pharisee became the apostle to the very dogs he formally despised. Saul, their one-time arch adversary, became their chief advocate. » Read more

25 Reasons Abusive Church Leadership IS Disqualifying

In the previous post, Mars Hill Church “Investigators” Claim Driscoll’s Transgressions Not Disqualifying, I indicated my strong disagreement with the conclusions of the group of elders and an overseer who identified themselves as the “investigators” who conducted an investigation into the long train of abuses, misdeeds, and other allegations against the founding senior leader of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Mark Driscoll. Those men concluded that “While we believe Mark needs to continue to address these areas in his life, we do not believe him to be disqualified from pastoral ministry.” » Read more

Mars Hill Church “Investigators” Claim Driscoll’s Transgressions Not Disqualifying

In a statement on the website of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, the Board of Overseers, as they referred to themselves, stated: “On Tuesday, October 14, Pastor Mark Driscoll submitted his resignation as an elder and lead pastor of Mars Hill Church. The Board of Overseers has accepted that resignation and is moving forward with planning for pastoral transition….” The statement also stated that “for nearly two months…a group of elders investigated a series of formal charges brought against him (Driscoll)” and that the “investigation” conducted by “a group of seven elders plus one member of the Board of Overseers” consisted of “some 1,000 hours of research, interviewing more than 50 people and preparing 200 pages of information.” Their conclusion was:

“…that Pastor Mark has, at times, been guilty of arrogance, responding to conflict with a quick temper and harsh speech, and leading the staff and elders in a domineering manner. While we believe Mark needs to continue to address these areas in his life, we do not believe him to be disqualified from pastoral ministry.”

“Pastor Mark has never been charged with any immorality, illegality or heresy. Most of the charges involved attitudes and behaviors reflected by a domineering style of leadership.

Now let me see if I got this right. Driscoll, who they continue to honor by calling him “Pastor Mark,” “has at times been guilty of arrogance….” First of all, being “guilty of arrogance” is not an “at times” kind of thing. A person is either arrogant – which is a condition deriving from an attitude, not an act or action that one only does “at times” or from time to time – or they are not arrogant. Arrogance does not come and go; it’s a condition of the mind and heart that when present is constant and consistent. In speaking of the supreme humility of the Son of God, Jesus, which he manifested in humbling Himself, first to come to earth as a Human, and then to the point of death on a cross, Paul said, “Let this MIND (KJV) [‘attitude,’ NASB] be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…” (Php. 2:5-8). Humility – the diametrical opposite of arrogance – is a state of mind, as well as heart. It’s an attitude. Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, directed believers with unambiguous and clear language: “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Php. 2:3-4). » Read more

Nicolaitanism in the Modern Church

[Note: With the matter of authoritarian abuse by ministers surfacing in the news more than ever before, it is vital that the church and church leaders begin to look seriously (though such is not a popular or prevalent thing among the vast majority of ministers today) at the root causes underlying the above-the-surface produce of such sinful activities by those who assume the place of authority in churches today. It is also vital for the Body of Christ to know that God has been issuing prophetic warnings about this prevalent problem of hyper-authoritarianism, particularly in the Neo-Pentecostal movement, for decades, but mostly, as is typical of prophetic warnings, to little avail. Instead of heeding those warnings by the prophets God sends to each generation, the church by-and-large still ignores them, the message, and the Source of the message…until, that is, it affects them personally, and then they want to know why God didn’t warn them or keep the destructive consequences from happening to them. Unfortunately, the church still kills the prophets God sends to them, though today they “kill” them by ignoring, refusing to recognize and support, or in various ways marginalizing them and their ministries; this is particularly true of the ecclesio-politically-powerful elite, the de facto ecclesiastical aristocracies, and the Charismatic “La Cosa Nostra,” meaning those who by various means have seized the human thrones of power of the various streams of the earthly institutional church. The following is an excerpt from my book, Charismatic Captivation—Authoritarian Abuse & Psychological Enslavement in the Neo-Pentecostal Church, originally published in 1996. The sub-premise of the book is that the heretical hyper-authoritarian doctrines, dogmas, and practices proliferated during the Discipleship/Shepherding Movement were surreptitiously infused into the fabric, foundation and functions of the Neo-Pentecostal church, in particular, producing a plethora of problems that inhibits it from fully apprehending the purposes and plans that Jesus, the exclusive functional Head of the Church He is building, intended for it to apprehend.]

One of the common denominators of false cults, false religions, and the occult is that their doctrines and practices are predicated upon the “isms” of vain, humanly invented philosophies. The same is true of the heretical hyper-authoritarian Discipleship/Shepherding doctrines, dogmas, and practices that were infused into the fabric, foundation, and functions of the Neo-Pentecostal church, which fact is further corroboration that they are all of the aforementioned characterization: cultic, false, and occult. One of the most significant “isms” of the Discipleship heresy is one that is specifically mentioned and condemned in the Bible—Nicolaitanism. » Read more

14 Biblical Reasons Women are Precluded from Governmental Authority in the Church

[Note: The sole source of spiritual Truth is the Word of God (“sola scriptura”), i.e., the 66 Books of the Bible, rightly divided, which means entirely separate from human culture, and any other extrabiblical influence. The first requirement to understand the Bible and extract from it pure and unadulterated spiritual Truth from it is to know that every Word is “God-breathed” (2 Tim. 3:16), inspired by the Holy Spirit. While God chose to communicate His Word through human agents, nevertheless, the Source of the substance of the message conveyed is God Himself, not those human agents. The words Paul the apostle penned, for example, were not the words of Paul, but rather were the Words of the Holy Spirit, conveyed through Paul. The substance of the Word of God is founded solely on one, single, solitary “culture,” — the culture of the Kingdom of God, which is entirely separate and separated from any and all human culture. No part or portion of the Word of God is in any way associated with or affected by human culture of any kind or time. The Word of God is forever settled in Heaven , and is eternal and timeless (Psa. 119:89; Is. 40:8; 1 Pet. 1:25). The Word of God is a Person — the Son of God — and He changes not (Mal. 3:6) but is the same, yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8), and thus neither does the Word of God change, it is immutable for all times and is always the same in all times and all ages, and does not change with the cultures of men. To in any way apply human culture to the Word of God ostensibly to “interpret” it, is twisting, perverting, adulterating, and corrupting the Word of God! The Word of God cannot be interpreted by human culture; human culture is to be interpreted by the Word of God!]

14 SCRIPTURAL REASONS/PROOFS WOMEN ARE PRECLUDED FROM OFFICES AND POSITIONS OF GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITY IN THE CHURCH

1. God’s Word prohibits women from being in positions of authority or government over men, and even to teach men (1 Tim. 2:11-15). Therefore, any group, assemblage, assembly, organization, collection of people comprised of both genders that has a gynocratic leadership, i.e., ruled or governed by women or a woman, is spiritually illegitimate and does not bear or reflect the genuine authority of the Kingdom of God.

2. God has ordained that the Church be governed (1 Tim. 5:17) and managed (1 Tim. 3:1-7) by elders/overseers. The church is the family expanded and the family is the church in miniscule. Families are “cells” of the church. The order/government for the church is the same as government for family, i.e., Christ (who is male, genderally; the SON of God and God the Son, not the daughter of God and God the daughter) is the head of the husband/man and the husband/man, is the head of the woman/wife (1 Cor. 11:3). [See #5 below for more on this aspect.] Elders “rule” or govern the local church, and administrate or manage all its affairs. Governmental authority in the Church is a matter and outflow of Divine Order, not gifting or ability, and without respect to same. In other words, ecclesiastical authority, like the matter of governmental authority in the Kingdom of God, is not determined based on gifting or capability, but on the principles intrinsic to Divine Order. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are all male; no member of the God-head is female. God is a He, not a she, and so identifies Himself thousands of times in His Word. Jesus is/was “the Word made flesh (Jn. 1:14),” and He was manifested in the incarnation as a Male Human. And, the Triune God is Himself ultimate authority (God Almighty) [Rom. 13:1], and thus the Source, or Fountain-head, of all authority. All genuine and legitimate authority emanates or flows from God Himself. “For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God” (Rom. 13:1).

3. “Elders,” “Overseers,” “Shepherds,” are all synonymous terms in the Bible referring to the role of Fivefold ministers (Ac. 20:17,28; 1 Pet. 5:1-2), which women are prohibited from functioning in (1 Tim. 2:11-12; 1 Cor. 14:34-35). » Read more

Bishops and Apostolic Succession

In the 1980s a spiritually perilous trend began developing in the Neo-Pentecostal realm, which was the human appointments of certain leaders into the supposed office of “bishop” by groups claiming ” Petrine apostolic succession.” This vogue has become especially popular and common in an increasing number of so-called Neo-Pentecostal “networks” that have emerged since the 1980s, comprised of affiliated though purportedly autonomous churches. One prominent Neo-Pentecostal organization1 in 1982 formed what it called “The International College of Bishops,” comprised of ecclesiastical leaders upon whom the organization had conferred the title of “Bishop,” which they purported positioned the conferees in the bimillenial hierarchical system of bishops of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) supposedly leading back in unbroken “succession” to the Apostle Peter, who the RCC regards as the first “Pope.”

This trend has developed despite the irrefutable fact that no such “office” or “position” is established anywhere in Holy Writ (The Bible), but rather in fact is undeniably antithetical and subversive to the governmental offices God has established in His Word, namely, the Fivefold Ministry Offices (Eph. 4:11). Nowhere does Scripture establish or even vaguely support the notion of a spiritually efficacious “office” of bishop or hierarchical lineage of ecclesiastical surrogates appointed by Christ, the supreme Head of the Church. » Read more

Confronting the Error of Hyper-Grace

Dr. Michael Brown

By Dr. Michael Brown

The biblical message of grace is wonderful, glorious and life-transforming. We can’t live without it for one second of our lives. But there is a message being preached today in the name of a new grace reformation, mixing powerful truth with dangerous error. I call it hyper-grace.

One of the foundational doctrines of the hyper-grace message is that God does not see the sins of His children, since we have already been made righteous by the blood of Jesus and since all of our sins, past, present and future, have already been forgiven. That means that the Holy Spirit never convicts believers of sin, that believers never need to confess their sins to God, and that believers never need to repent of their sins, since God sees them as perfect in his sight. » Read more

The Perilous Path of Doctrinal Deviation

Steven Lambert, ThD, DMin -- EFN Overseer

Doctrinal deviation, degeneration, and denigration is a perilous path leading not to genuine unity of the Spirit, as posited by its propagators, but rather disunity with the Spirit, apostasy, perdition, and ultimately hell itself!

Not All Unity is of the Spirit

Not all unity or unanimity is a good thing or a God-thing. The first would-be world dictator, Nimrod, exercising supernatural leadership abilities, was able to cajole the entire population of the world into coalescing under his rulership in complete unanimity and to participate in the building of a tower dedicated to his worship that would reach into heaven. But it wasn’t a God-thing, in fact it was an anti-God thing, and He personally came down and confused the language of the people, with the result that they could no longer be in unity, and thereby brought a halt to the building of the Tower of Babel.

King David also learned the hard way that unity/unanimity among the people is not always a God-thing, nor does it affirm God’s approval of your plans; rather God killed David’s chief armor-bearer, which cast him into a several month long cavernous depression and despondency. » Read more

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