Monday, September 28, 2015

UPDATED: Lists of false (Christian) authors, churches, groups, leaders, practices, movement, teachers, etc.

by Al Sabado

Few days ago someone from a Baptist church wrote to me expressing his "concern" about my blog posts on non-church attendance. He said he wouldn’t contact me again because it seemed I’ve made up my mind not to attend church (and probably because I didn’t signify my interest attending his church here in the Philippines). He said he once left the Baptist Church, but returned to it when he was convicted. He admitted, however, that the Baptist Church has its flaws in that it claims to be the Bride of Christ, meaning the rest (other denominations) are doomed. But is that something new, when every denomination out there has similar (false) claims?

Nothing can separate a believer from the love of God. I no longer find the man’s message surprising because that isn’t the first time someone became "that" concerned, to the point of telling me I’m not worshipping God’s way. I responded briefly to his message saying I regret he has judged my way of worship as not God’s way. But I clarified that I’m a firm believer and that nothing can separate me from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). I'm saved by God's grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Then he wrote me back. Now that surprised me, because he said he wouldn’t contact me again. He clarified he wasn’t judging me and that he wrote to me because of the verse I’ve quoted, which says,
But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. (1 John 2:27)
He ended his message by saying, “you tell your readers there is no need to belong to a church, that is not what the Word of God teaches.”

But God is not any graven image and He doesn’t dwell in churches made with hands. I didn’t respond anymore to the man’s message because I can tell we’re not on the same page. The verse I quoted came from God’s Word in the Holy Bible, not from me. If anyone thinks the verse is irrelevant to one’s church attendance, then please read the entire Bible and see if God tells us to seek membership in any man-made church so that we can "possibly" abide in Him. God’s Word says,
God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. (Acts 17:24-29)
Please don't cite Hebrews 10:25 to say otherwise. Read that verse again if it means we ought not to abandon false and corruptible churches:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)
Believers can meet together. But we don’t attend church for the sake of belonging to a community. Because if that community is in error, we too become part of that error. Abiding in Christ is God’s enabling, not the enabling of any man-made churches. God's Word says,
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)
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (Matthew 7:15)
Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee. (Jeremiah 7:16
The believer’s anointing comes from God, NOT from church appointment, membership, or fellowship. Another reason I’ve stressed in my blogs is that we—believers in Christ Jesus—are the church of God. Our being believers is not dependent on any church building or structure but on God’s grace at work in our lives. God’s Word says,
For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. 
For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. (Romans 9:15-18)
Also, among other verses,
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
But yes, I will now say there’s no need to belong to your church if it does deceive you—without you knowing it! Why would we go to such churches (or listen to such pastors, read such books, hear such music, submit a journal article to so-called Biblical yet fearlessly compromising institution such as Liberty University, etc.) when we know they're exploiting and serving contaminated spiritual food to the flock? Why lack the plain understanding that we ought to have nothing to do with them? For what harmony is there between the Lord Jesus Christ and Belial (2 Corinthians 6:15)?

Doesn't God command us in His Word to come out from among them (2 Corinthians 6:17) and avoid them (Romans 16:17-18)? God's Word tells us we "should earnestly contend for the faith" (Jude 1:3-4). For this reason, I’m reposting the following list I initially posted on my freelance editorial website. The list has links to related readings via Google search.

UPDATED: Lists of false (Christian) authors, churches, groups, leaders, practices, movement, teachers, etc.

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (Romans 16:17-18)
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:22-23)



(Refer also to above list, e.g., Cultural redemptionEmergent churchGreat Commission MovementChurch Growth MovementPurpose-driven churchSeeker-sensitive church,
etc., as most Philippine churches are patterned after such churches.)

Updated: June 2021

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