Monday, November 19, 2012

God's design: Women should not preach in the churches

by Al Sabado

To this day, however, we find women pastors and preachers in the churches. And so we wonder, how are they in line with God's Word instructing that women keep silence in the churches? God's Word is clear:
34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. (1 Corinthians 14:34-35)
That is God's design, which does not say that the woman is an inferior being. But the man--by God's design--is the leader. So again, we find the following verses in the Bible:
11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. (1 Timothy 2:11-12)
The woman, whose unique tasks complement the role of the man, may share God's Word to another. But to preach God's Word to a congregation or a public assembly contradicts God's instruction for her to "keep silence in the churches" (1 Corinthians 14:34).

Should we then leave churches that ordain women to be pastors to preach in the pulpit? God's Word commands us to let our 'yes' be 'yes' and our 'no,' 'no' (Mt. 5:37). So the answer to that question is 'yes.'

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Response to a friend who has stayed in an emergent church: "But God says in His Word. . ."

by Al Sabado

Very few of us will agree that this is no longer new: responding to former church mates and friends who tell us to attend a local church. I've mentioned before that I've nothing against attending a local church, unless of course, if that church chooses the path that leads its members to compromise their faith, then its messenger is accursed (Galatians 1:9).

So how do we respond to people's anxiety about our not attending a local church and their other concerns?

Honestly, we have no control over people's anxiety and concern. Some are probably inclined to think we're losing or neglecting our faith, now that we're not attending a local church. What I was more concerned about was how to tell the people about the false church we used to attend "together." I was distraught when people I cared so much about wouldn't take heed of the warning that the church we both attended have finally become false, emergent churches. Warning them was like talking to the wind that wouldn't obey the Word of God. Yes, they've made such poor choice to stay there, and that was just heartbreaking. But God's Word brought me back my strength upon reading John 21:22.
Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. (John 21:22)
Accepting the indifference of people is also a process, and I've just gone through that like going into battle. But indeed, the battle is not ours but God's (2 Chronicles 20:15). This is nothing new indeed, for God has already told us in His Word:
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:12-17, emphases mine)
I can't help but notice that those who stay in emergent churches can give excuses for staying there--sans the Word of God. They say, "I'm staying for the sake of other people who don't know these things." Or they say, they heard God told them "No" when they asked God if they should leave these [emergent] churches. Their mission now for staying there is to intercede or pray for the emergent church. But we shouldn't do that, lest we too be deceived while being a part of it. Besides, we can pray while we're "out" of such congregation.

Worse, they say that they will only leave such church when it no longer mentions "Jesus." Well of course, such church will keep mentioning "Jesus." The Catholic Church does that, doesn't it? But see how its teachings and practices heavily contradict and malign God's Word.

Those who stay in emergent churches cannot even give a Scripture that supports their decision to stay. They will talk about "love" and "forgiveness," sure. But we know that God's sovereignty isn't limited by these two factors that the emergents propagate to win people. (An example of this is "Love Wins," a book authored by emergent leader Rob Bell.) And we also know that love without the Truth is a lie.

Brethren, be careful not to fall into such trap. God's Word is our guide in making decisions--not our thoughts, not our feelings, not the influence of people around us. What God says in His Word, that we shall do:
5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. (Proverbs 3:5-7, emphases mine)
Following is my response (with the subject line, "But God says in His Word . . .") to a friend who has chosen to stay in the once-Biblical-turned-emergent church we both attended. English translations follow parts written in Tagalog: 
. . . [Hindi] ako nasaktan sa sulat mo. Hindi na bago sa akin ang usapang ito. Isa ka sa mga taong nagsabi sa akin . . . kung bakit ka hindi umalis sa church mo ngayon. (. . . Your letter does not offend me. This conversation is no longer new. You’re among the people who told me such reasons for staying in your church.)

Totoo, walang perfect church . . . Pero tinagubilinan tayo ng Panginoon sa Kanyang Salita na humiwalay tayo at huwag makiisa sa mga maling gawi ng tao. Hindi natin sila kinukundina, ngunit hindi tayo nakikiisa sa kanila. (True, there is no perfect church. But God commands us to separate ourselves and not to be one with the erring deeds of men.) God is firm in His Word. He doesn't only talk about loving and forgiving people. He commands us to stand firm, but not in a way that compromises our faith. We do this by holding on to His Word:
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. (Ephesians 5:11-13, emphasis mine)
Sabi pa ng Panginoon (God has also said):
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. (2 Corinthians 6:17, emphases mine)
Because . . . we're commanded to contend for the faith, and not to compromise by taking part in what we know is in "error."
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (Jude, verse 3, emphasis mine)
I echo in the book what the apostles have also said in the Bible:
We ought to obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:29)
Kung tungkol sa pagpapatawad at pagmamahal, hindi sukatan niyan ang manatiling makipanayam sa mga taong iba sa atin. Sabi sa Bible (With regard to forgiveness and love, that’s not measured by keeping in touch with people who are not among us. The Bible says):
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:1-7, emphases mine)
Hindi na nakapagtataka kung bakit ganito ang nakikita natin sa churches ngayon. (It is no longer surprising why we find these traits in the churches.)

Pagdating naman sa hindi pagdalo sa church, ito ang aking pinanghahawakan (When it comes to not attending a church, I hold on to these Scriptures):
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23-24)

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. (Proverbs 30:5)

But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. (Deuteronomy 4:29)

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)
. . . [The] Lord Jesus is never weak. There is no perfect church, true. I love to fellowship with the brethren, which I do from time to time. But God warns us of compromising churches that are certainly not His. For this reason, God is most able to nourish His own flock in the purity and power of His Word--not in a "pigpen" or in any place that serves spoils.

You take care . . .

Friday, June 15, 2012

So you left your home church too because it partakes of the emergent church movement? You're not alone.

Other Christians have shared their sad stories of leaving their home church after confirming its participation in the works of the emergent church movement. They too have taken a stand for the Gospel. Have you left your home church too for this same reason? You're not alone. Hang in there, brethren!

Read more, Divorced FROM Church? by Eric Barger of Take a Stand! Ministries

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Joel Osteen, another 'great' false teacher

Joel Osteen, author of Your Best Life Now, has been critiqued a number of times for his distorted interpretation of the Bible and his leanings toward false teachings and erring philosophies. The following videos are just a few to attest to these claims. Despite his frequent reference to himself as being endowed the "Lord's favor," Joel Osteen is considered among the many false teachers of this day.

Joel Osteen Cult Exposed

Related video

Joel Osteen Denies the Gospel (Embraces Mormonism)

  1. Joel Osteen Cult Exposed by posted via Time's almost up. Get saved and stay saved by thementalpatient2005
  2. Joel Osteen Denies the Gospel (Embraces Mormonism) from Got Thirst? by GotThirstDrinkFreely

Monday, May 21, 2012

Christ's Commission Fellowship defends Rick Warren

by Al Sabado


Update (November 2015): Few months ago, a CCF attendee excitedly narrated to me what she's learning from her Bible study group. I was alerted by her mention of Chuck Missler (into Bible codes and probably other forms of occultism) having a significant influence on their Bible study group facilitator, also from CCF. Another time this CCF attendee talked about the upcoming "blood moon" around September 2015. It dismayed her when I told her it's occult. CCF attendees seem to be lured, or are already, into occultism, with or without them realizing it.

But the Bible says,
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2 Peter 2:1)
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. (Ephesians 5:11-12)
But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. (Matthew 5:37)
Christ's Commission Fellowship (CCF), a purpose-driven church, maintains its stand and support for Rick Warren despite the latter's questionable and dangerous associations with strong proponents of the New Age movement and promotion of the PEACE plan. And whose peace is Warren representing? The God of the Bible or a different kind of god? The Bible clearly teaches,
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)
Only the peace that comes from the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) will bring true peace, not the peace that comes from "global unity."

CCF has started a category on its website's Q&A section where it has responded to the following message:
Good day! I just want to know your opinion about the involvement of Rick Warren in the New Age Movement, because I’ve read his book. Please comment on this to enlighten my mind. Thanks and God bless. – Bernadette M.
The response of CCF indicates its solid trust in the words of Rick Warren by quoting him as a reliable source instead of verifying his teachings vis-a-vis what the Bible says. From CCF's response, we can also glean that it has overlooked the traces of New Age movement in Warren's associations and activities. However, Warren's propensities for the New Age are indicated in the Purpose Driven Life (PDL) where he boldly makes reference to a number of people with "cloudy" origins: St. Irenaeus (p. 55), Brother Lawrence (p. 88), and Mother Theresa (p. 125), among others. Warren also teaches "breath prayers" in PDL (p. 89) which is rooted from eastern mysticism--a major doctrinal issue. With "breath prayers," Warren teaches that a person can choose a word or phrase that he can utter repetitively. Where is that found in the Bible? A breath prayer is certainly not "praying without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17) but a form of mantra (read more, "Breath Prayer--Not Biblical Prayer.") What we are taught in the Bible is The Lord's Prayer. The Bible is also clear in saying that we should not pray repetitiously:
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. (Matthew 6:7-8, KJV)
Reading PDL will also tell a discerning believer of Warren's pantheistic inclinations (p. 88, "He rules everything and is everywhere and is in everything"). CCF adheres to a principle: "In essentials, unity." Doesn't CCF find these alarming indications essential in warning the flock of deception inside the Church?

Now, note how CCF Pastor Joey Geronimo has responded to a comment posted on the Q&A section:
Hi Tricia! We don't believe that using 40 Days of Love is putting Rick Warren on a pedestal. The leaders of CCF studied the material and evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of the workbook and the video series. CCF adopted it for the use of the church as a bridging event tool.

The good news is that after the campaign it resulted in more than 500 new discipleship groups being added to the church. Now these same people can be discipled relationally in accordance with the discipleship principles of Jesus. We can now also establish them in the faith using the Biblical Foundation bible study series of CCF and train them to read and study the Bible just like the Bereans do.

I think you and I should rejoice over this fact!
From Pastor Joey's response, we can note that CCF, just like other purpose-driven churches, places so much importance on "church growth." But this seems to be a different kind of church growth from what the Bible teaches us. Moreover, how can church members be taught to be like the Bereans when the very foundation of teaching method is already erroneous?

Currently, CCF is among the churches whose programs are closely identical (if not patterned) with those of Saddleback Church, the congregation 'pastored' by Rick Warren. Examples of such similarities can be traced in the existence of small groups or discipleship groups, lecture series (Biblical Foundation 1 and 2, among others), the global leadership center or GLC, and a written "Covenant" with its members, among others. CCF has also held classes to study Warren's books such as the PDL. Numerous reviews of this book point to its failure to present the true Gospel in the light of God's Word. And of the many standard Bible versions, Warren has also used in the PDL many Scriptures taken from a questionable Bible translation, The Message by Eugene Peterson.

Sure, church memberships have grown. But what has happened to the genuine relationship of every Christian with Jesus Christ? What has happened to this thing called discernment? Countless modern-day Christians are made to believe that unless they are a member of a congregation, spiritual growth is impossible. But as Christians, we have to understand that the very source of spiritual growth is the Lord Jesus Christ through the purity and the power of His Word, the Holy Bible.

One's steadfast walk in the faith is not even supplemented by the fellowship of Christians or the reading of certain books recommended by many church leaders (who don't seem bothered when they endorse authors supporting and practicing contemplative spirituality). By saying this, we do not defy one's attendance in a church fellowship, certainly not. But if being a part of a fellowship or congregation misleads the members, compromises their faith in standing for the Gospel, or presents the only reason why members "can" walk efficiently as Christians, then we're missing the point. As Christians, we understand our position--whether or not we're surrounded by fellow Christians--based on what Jesus has taught us in the Bible:
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (John 15:4-5, KJV)
For fellow Christians who contend for the faith, be encouraged to read Warren Smith's Discernment Detractors: Calling Good Evil.

Read more:

  1. Rick Warren’s New Age Health Gurus by  Sarah Leslie, published by Kjos Ministries
  2. Rick Warren’s Global PEACE Plan versus the Great Commission by A Ministry in His Service, published by the Lighthouse Trails Research
  3. Q&A: Pastor Rick Warren in the New Age Movement? by Christ's Commission Fellowship
  4. The Spiritual Direction of Rick Warren by the Lighthouse Trails Research
  5. Breath Prayer--Not Biblical Prayer by  the Lighthouse Trails Research
  6. Faulty Premises of the Church Growth Movement: Rick Warren, Robert Schuller, Donald McGavran, and C. Peter Wagner Mislead the Church by Bob DeWaay
  7. Book Reviews by the Apologetics Coordination Team: Vital Information about Deception in the Church
  8. The Message Bible: A Mystic Mess by Dr. Terry Watkins, published by Dial the Truth Ministries
  9. Master list of Christian authors, books, and bookstores NOT recommended
  10. What is Contemplative Spirituality and Why Is It Dangerous? by John Caddock, published by Grace Evangelical Society
  11. Discernment Detractors: Calling Good Evil by Warren B. Smith, first published by Mountain Stream Press and later by The Submerging Church

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lee Strobel, one of the strong advocates of contemplative spirituality

Lee Strobel, author of The Case for Christ study Bible, is a teaching pastor of Willow Creek Church and a member/teaching pastor of Saddleback Church, both churches are proponents of contemplative spirituality. Strobel 'strongly' endorses Rick Warren's book, The Purpose Driven Life (see back cover of a PDL copy). His son is also the founder of a contemplative ministry. Strobel is just one of the many authors who accepts and supports contemplative spirituality, also known as the "spiritual formation movement." Zondervan, the publisher of The Case for Christ study Bible, PDL, and others, is also among the strong proponents of contemplative spirituality. To understand the dangers of contemplative spirituality, read more on the 1997 treatise of John Caddock, What is contemplative spirituality and why is it dangerous?

Related links:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Rick Warren's Occult Deception (Parts 1 to 4)

Ex-cultist Warren Smith, author of Deceived on Purpose, speaks out against Rick Warren's new age gospel, the "Purpose Driven Life."

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Related posts (list updated April 25, 2012):

Standing fast in the last days . . .

Standing fast in the last days

by Warren Smith

The global mind
by Warren Smith

Let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No,' 'No'...

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