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A FINAL COMMENT ABOUT THE MARANATHA AD (Friday Church News Notes, March 30, 2012, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - I received a lot of feedback about the Maranatha Baptist College promotional ad that we mentioned in the March 16 edition of Friday Church News Notes. (The video is located at http://vimeo.com/37974789.) The responses can be divided into five categories: (1) those who think the ad is innocent fun and that I am making a mountain out of a molehill; (2) those who think the ad represents something more serious (the largest group, see “Comments about Maranatha Ad” and “More Comments” at the Way of Life web site); (3) those who focused on my mistake in regard to “the profanity”; (4) those who disagreed with my characterization of the video as Southern Gospel rap; and (5) those who took the opportunity to treat me like a fool, calling me a Pharisee, an Amish, a hypocrite, an ignoramus, more stupid than a block of wood, a man living in a fundamentalist bubble, a gossip, and even a couple of things I cannot print. As for the music being “Southern Gospel rap,” that was my attempt to describe it, and I see nothing wrong with the characterization. If you don’t agree, call it what you please! That’s not the real issue one way or the other, but if you want to strain at gnats and swallow camels, that is your business. As for the “profanity,” it was an innocent mistake that was made by dozens of other people that I heard from. The audio is not clear enough at that place and it should be corrected so there is no possibility of mistaking what the cool guy is saying. As it turns out, while there was not one particular profanity, the entire thing is profane. As for the ad being fun and not a big deal, it is true that the ad in itself is basically just silly. It is childish. In itself it is not a huge thing, but I am convinced that it represents something big. It certainly represents a different philosophy of Christian life and ministry than the one the school was founded on. Several people who knew the Cedarholms testified of this. For example, Pastor Dave Sorenson said he believed Dr. Cedarholm would roll over in his grave at this insult to the school. A woman who visited the school in 1968 wrote, “I remember going with my local church to the school to help clean it before they opened and having a private tour given by Mrs. Cedarholm. I think both she and Dr. Cedarholm would be horrified at the changes that have occurred. How sad that at 2:07 [of the video], where the faculty is using hand gestures for MBBC, that her portrait is hanging at the far left of the screen.” More importantly, the ad represents a different philosophy than the one the Word of God teaches. It does not represent a soberminded Christianity based on the fear of God. It does not represent a clear unconformity to the world. Those who think my warning was merely about one silly video are missing the point, and I am thankful to the Lord that many have the spiritual discernment to understand this. As for who is right on this, let’s give it ten years and the truth will be evident for all to see. But you see, my friends, by then it will be too late to sound a warning, for no matter what you think of me or how many names you call me, it is still true that “a little leaven leaventh the whole lump.”
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Over the past four decades, the charismatic movement has leavened evangelicalism with its mystical approach to the Christian life and its sensual contemporary worship music.
Prior to the 1970s, most evangelicals looked upon the Pentecostal-Charismatic movement as fanaticism and worse.
Arno Gaebelein said, “We are convinced that this movement is one which is not of God” (Our Hope, July 1907).
Harry Ironside called it “the disgusting tongues movement” and stated that “superstition and fanaticism of the grossest character find a ‘hotbed’ in their midst” (Ironside, Holiness: The False and the True, 1912).
Brethren minister Louis Bauman wrote in 1941 that “probably the most wide-spread of all satanic phenomena today is the demonic imitation of the apostolic gift of tongues.” He further asserted, “The first miracle that Satan ever wrought was to cause the serpent to speak in a tongue. It would appear he is still working his same original miracle.”
R.A. Torrey said Pentecostalism is “emphatically not of God, and founded by a sodomite.”
G. Campbell Morgan called Azusa Street Pentecostalism “the last vomit of Satan.”
Merrill Unger represented the predominant view in the 1960s when he called the Charismatic Movement “widespread confusion.” He said: “When the Word of God is given preeminence and when sound Bible doctrine, especially in the sphere of the theology of the Holy Spirit is stressed and made the test of experience, the claims of charismatic Christianity will be rejected.”
The following is excerpted from the new book The Two Jacks: Hyles and Schaap, which is available as a free eBook from the Way of Life web site -- www.wayoflife.org.
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The fruit of the Hyles model and methodology has often consisted of moral and spiritual shipwreck.
Multitudes of former members of Hyles-type churches, having witnessed so much error and hypocrisy, have abandoned church altogether. Or they have explored the contemporary emerging philosophy, having allegedly found more spiritual reality in those circles than they witnessed in “fundamentalism.”
Being the products of shallow evangelism, many of these have never been biblically converted. They have prayed a sinner’s prayer but haven’t been converted. Having never had a real and dynamic relationship with Christ, they are man-followers, and when the man fails, they are offended and quit, sometimes blaming Christ and the church for something that is man’s fault alone.
Even if they were truly saved, they were not properly discipled and grounded in the Scriptures and in solid truth. All too typically they have been used or neglected and sometimes abused, but not shepherded.
The solution to this problem is not to abandon church or to capitulate to a contemporary style of Christianity that is conformed to the world. The “newest” part of the true Christian faith is 2,000 years old; it isn’t going to be contemporary cool!
When I was saved in 1973 out of a “hippie” background, I was perfectly cool by the world’s standards. I was a real “dude.” I had my long hair; had my self-centered attitude and my New Age philosophy; had my sensual party music; had my drug-using, hitchhiking background. But after my conversion I didn’t search for a cool type of Christianity. I had truly repented of my foolish ways and my rebellion against God. I had drunk deeply of “this world” and I was fed up with it. I wanted something different: something eternal rather than temporal, solid rather than shallow, unbending rather than plastic.
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RICK WARREN’S MAN, TONY BLAIR, SUPPORTS HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGE (Friday Church News Notes, March 23, 2012, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143) - Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, a Roman Catholic, is supporting the British government’s plan to legalize homosexual “marriage” before 2015. The Independent newspaper reported on March 10 that Blair told friends that he “strongly supports the Prime Minister’s proposal.” Blair is pushing for a New Age global unity and world peace based on harmony among all religions. This is the man who was acclaimed by the Southern Baptist pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church. In March 2011 Warren and his congregation presented Blair with a peace prize. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).Continue reading this article……
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The biblical gift of tongues is a major emphasis of the Pentecostal-Charismatic movements, but the Bible teaches that this was a temporary practice limited to the first churches. Following are six important lessons on the doctrine of tongues:
1. Biblical tongues were real earthly languages (Acts 2:4-11).
A foundational fact about biblical tongues is that they were real languages, not some sort of unintelligible mutterings. The law of first mention is an important rule of Bible interpretation, and the first time we see the exercise of tongues in the New Testament is in Acts 2:6-11. Here we see that the gift of tongues was the miraculous ability to speak in a language that one had never learned. At least 14 or 15 different languages are mentioned here. These were normal earthly languages spoken by men in that day, and the Jewish disciples were able to speak in these languages even though they had never learned them. There is no reason to believe that the gift of tongues mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12-14 is different from that mentioned in the book of Acts. In both places the tongues consisted of speaking in earthly languages that one had never learned. The same Greek word “glossa” is used for both. This word refers to the tongue itself (Mk. 7:33) or to a language spoken by the tongue.
2. Biblical tongues were a sign to unbelieving Israel regarding the founding of the church and they ceased when this purpose was completed (1 Corinthians 14:20-22).
Another foundational truth about biblical tongues is that they were chiefly a sign to Israel that God was extending the gospel to all nations. The Corinthians were abusing the spiritual gifts and were particularly enamored with tongues. As spiritual infants (1 Cor. 3:1), they were “showing off” to one another. Paul tells them to stop being children and to be men, by understanding the true purpose of tongues. It was a fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 28:11-12 that was directed to the Jews.
The Friday Church News report from March 16 about the ad and two subsequent reports (“Comments about the Maranatha Ad” and “More Comments about the Maranatha Ad”) can be found at the Way of Life web site -- www.wayoflife.org
I have removed a couple of things from the following e-mail that aren’t relevant to the issue I want to address and to hide the man’s identity:
“I appreciate much of your study, insight, and warning. I've only recently left the american fundamentalist ‘camp’ because of all-powerful pastors pulling strings and not following Scripture but pragmatism instead. ... We thought [the video] was quite creative and winsome. My wife is a Maranatha grad, and though we've been disturbed by abuse cover-ups in recent years in fundamentalism, this video has us researching Maranatha again as a possibility for our child. One of the guys ‘jiving’ was a roommate when I was in Seminary, and he is a real level-headed, faithful, dependable guy.
“Here's the substantive question I have: When we talk of being ‘worldly’ and staying far away from any possible appearance that we could be ‘worldly,’ it seems we can get just like the Pharisees who wrote the Talmud. They put so many ‘hedges’ around what God actually said, that they followed their own super-conservative rules to the detriment of God's actual will for them. Jesus seemed to have more anger at religious leaders than anyone else. They put the commandments of men first - not consciously, but practically, and actually.
“So, can't we sing bouncy harmonies and have clever and winsome video effects AND STILL love God and His word with all of our heart, soul, mind, and obedience? I think we can. If the people have the right heart, and solid Bible knowledge, and a humble and contrite spirit before the Lord. And to think that the only way that we can stay ‘right’ is to build up additional hedges around God's Words -- isn't that like the Pharisees?”
REPLY FROM BROTHER CLOUD
Thank you for taking the time to write. I appreciate your attitude. So many of the e-mails I received supporting the college were not very gracious. I appreciate your desire to deal with the substance of my warning instead of using the occasion to launch a personal attack on the messenger.Continue reading this article……
This is one of the reasons why I predict that most IFB churches will be well down the emerging path within a generation. (See Why Most Independent Baptist Churches Will Be Emerging, which is available as a free eBook from Way of Life -- www.wayoflife.org).
The correction that is needed will not be received because reproof is not allowed in the context of these exalted men.
The Grand Poobah of poobahs among IFBaptists was the late Jack Hyles.
In the early 1990s, when a pile of evidence was published, including multiple eyewitness testimonies, exposing Hyles’ improper relationship with his secretary and the rampant immorality in the church that had been covered up and not disciplined (including the adulteries of Hyles’ son Dave when he was on staff), instead of a loud chorus of voices reproving the man, the largest chorus supported him unquestioningly and blacklisted the “critics.”
In fact, from coast to coast his fans donned buttons that announced “100% Hyles.” The very fact that he didn’t condemn that idolatrous practice in no uncertain terms, and allowed the buttons to be distributed at Hyles-Anderson College, proved that he was more akin to a cult leader than a biblical pastor.
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NOTE FROM BROTHER CLOUD ABOUT THE “PROFANITY”
I have been been browbeaten by some about the mistake regarding the profanity on the Maranatha video, but it was an innocent mistake that many others made made. I heard what I thought was a profanity after listening to it several times before I wrote the report. I have printed the testimony of many others who thought they heard a profanity on the video. One couple wrote, “Several couples listened to this repeatedly and we all heard the profanity. A pastor friend who has extensive recording equipment slowed it down and listened and he said there was no question as to what he said.”
It should, therefore, be obvious that it is easy to make this mistake for the simple fact that the audio is not clear in that place. To hear for sure that it is not a profanity you have to put headphones on and listen very carefully and sometimes repeatedly, which is not something that should have to be done.
Even if the school wants to stand behind the music and the cheap silliness and the worldly conformity of the video, to avoid any appearance of evil, that part of the audio should be cleared up, at the very least.
If I published a video and people reported to me that they heard a profanity, I would RUSH to correct that problem no matter what I had to do. Hopefully, I wouldn’t shoot the messenger.
MORE COMMENTS FROM READERS
Following are some more comments we have received about the Maranatha Baptist College promotional ad that we mentioned in Friday News Notes last week.
“I have watched many of these colleges go down the road of no return. I appreciate you standing up and naming names as you do.”
“Your article on Maranatha was straight on right. Ezekiel 22:30 still says that someone has to stand in the gap!”
“I watched the Maranatha promotional video and you are absolutely right about it. It's worldly and has no place in a Baptist college. This is a college that is supposed to be training leaders for Christian service, ministry, etc. Unfortunately, the fact that the school felt the need and the liberty to produce such a promotion reveals a deeper problem with what are supposed to be good churches. There is too much worldliness and compromise in good churches, and it is getting worse, even in my own church. Not in the leadership, but you can see it in the membership, which grieves me and my wife deeply. Brother Cloud, keep preaching what you're preaching. You are NOT nitpicking. I am of the opinion that how you preach and what you preach was pretty common back in the 40s and 50s and before, and, frankly, is the way preaching should be today. I say that because it's true, not because I am a ‘David Cloud disciple,’ which I am not. Keep preaching and don't change what you're doing. We're praying for you.”
Following are some comments we have received about the Maranatha Baptist College promotional ad that we mentioned in Friday News Notes this week.
Some people stated their opinion that it is just innocent fun and that I need to “lighten up” and stop being so “picky” and some of those (but not all) rebuked me for my “legalistic, hateful” comments. Those representing this opinion would probably form the majority view among IFBaptists today.
Following is an example of this from a Maranatha graduate:
“There is so much that I could say to you right now about hurting the gospel with your site and the cutting words that you write. But all I will say right now is that I pray that you see what you're doing is wrong, that you realize our focus in life should be worshiping God not putting down those whom we don't agree with a hundred percent. Your words hurt. I'm a Maranatha grad. And my husband and I are trying to serve God with every ounce of our being. We read the ESV and we use contemporary music to worship our God. I didn't always believe like that, when I was growing up I was in a church that is very alike to the churches on your directory. But stepping away from that type of living showed me how much that type of Christianity lives in a ‘under the law’ type of way and how everything is done ‘the old fashioned way’ because that's the ‘right’ way. My husband and I have decided to stop living that way and just do simply and only what the bible says and what the bible communicates. I hope and pray from the bottom of my heart that you will stop this hating of other people who were saved by the same blood you were saved by and who are worshiping the same God you worship.”
If a school uses the critical Bible text, it is not surprising that its graduates use the English Standard Version, and if a school plays around with the music issue, treating it lightly, it is no wonder that its graduates love contemporary worship music.
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MARANATHA BAPTIST BIBLE COLLEGE GETTING REAL COOL (Friday Church News Notes, March 16, 2012, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - Maranatha Baptist Bible College’s (Wisconsin) new enrollment advertisement is done in a Southern Gospel rap style. The theme is that Maranatha is fun and cool and will guarantee success so that you can graduate and be a “big cheese” with your “accredited degree.” Along the way, you can have banana splits and even pick up some “theology” and meet a cool life partner. The lead male singer is decked out in his T-shirt and baseball cap cocked to the side in a very cool fashion, and his rap buddies are very cool in their shades and little rap hand moves. Even more disturbing is the fact that several faculty male members appear in the video “jiving” to the music. Compared to full-blown Christian rock, this video is fairly “innocent,” but the advertisement is obviously patterned after the world’s music videos and it reflects a shallow, carnal approach to Bible College. Pastor Dave Sorenson comments: “What bothered me was not only the attempt of a ‘punk’ appearance of the fellows in the video, but even more so the faculty members who were ‘jiving’ and literally swinging to the music. It is one thing for college kids to generate this sort of thing on their own, even in a fundamental college. But it is another thing for the college administration to officially put their imprimatur upon it which the head honchos at MBBC clearly did. I knew the Cedarholms personally on several levels. They would roll over in the graves if they saw that video.” Maranatha is playing with fire. It is on a slippery slope, and the worldliness won’t stop here. It is not that far from the stuff that Maranatha is playing with to the funky Jesus music that we describe in this same issue of Friday News.
Following are some of the lessons from these chapters:
(1) The leprosy signifies the sin that has corrupted man and that reveals itself in manifold ways and renders us unclean before God (Mark 7:20-23).
(2) Sin’s corruption has spread everywhere and touches everything man does, as signified by the leprosy in the body, the beard, the head, even in garments and houses (Lev. 13:2, 29, 42, 47; 14:34).
(3) Our great high priest, Jesus Christ, is always observing His people and interceding for them and reproving them and cleansing them, as signified by the priest who examined the people (Lev. 13:2-3; Heb. 2:17; 4:14-16; 7:24-27) We see Christ exercising this ministry in Revelation 2-3, where He walks among the churches and reproves sin (Rev. 2:1; 3:19).
(4) As priests in a holy priesthood, believers are to be skilled in discerning sin and its effects. We are to prove all things so as to abstain from all appearance of evil (1 Thess. 5:21-22). We are to exercise our senses to discern both good and evil (Heb. 5:14).
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(first published via FBIS September 30, 2009) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, email@example.com; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -
The following is excerpted from the book The Modern Bible Version Hall of Shame, which is available from Way of Life Literature in both book and ebook formats.
Having looked at the late 18th and the 19th centuries and seen the apostasy that swept into Christian churches in the same era that produced modern textual criticism, we will now show a timeline of 20th century apostasy to document what has happened within Christianity at large as the modern critical texts and modern English versions have become dominant. We will begin at the very end of the 19th century after the publication of the English Revised Version and the Westcott-Hort Greek New Testament and move through the 20th. We will see that the unbelief that had begun as a stream in the late 18th century and had become a river in the 19th century became “a veritable ocean of unbelief” in the 20th. Like ivy, the modernism that had slept in the late 18th century and crept in the 19th, leapt in the 20th.
1900--As a predecessor of the Pentecostal movement, John Alexander Dowie proclaimed that he was “Elijah the Restorer” who was to precede the Lord’s coming and that he was the first apostle of the renewed end time church. Dowie established Zion City north of Chicago, “where doctors, drugs, and devils were not allowed.” His own daughter died of serious burns when he refused medical assistance.
1901--The modern tongues movement was launched when on New Year’s day Agnes Ozman, a student at Charles Parham’s Bethel Bible School in Topeka, Kansas, allegedly began to speak in a language she had never learned.
1904--Sigmund Freud published his Psychopathology of Everyday Life, launching the movement of psychoanalysis that has brought such untold moral, spiritual, and psychological injury to modern society and that has permeated Christianity since the latter half of the century.
VOLUME 13 ISSUE 10
The Friday Church News Notes is designed for use in churches and is published by Way of Life Literature’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service. Unless otherwise stated, the Notes are written by David Cloud. Of necessity we quote from a wide variety of sources, but this does not imply an endorsement. For instructions on how to unsubscribe to this list or to change mailing addresses, please consult the information paragraph at the end.
FRANKLIN GRAHAM APOLOGIZES FOR QUESTIONING OBAMA’S CHRISTIANITY (Friday Church News Notes, March 9, 2012, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - Under pressure from a group of prominent black religious leaders and many others, Franklin Graham apologized for questioning President Barack Obama’s Christian faith. In an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program on February 21, Graham had made the very mild statement that he could not answer as to whether Obama was a Christian. After being excoriated from many directions, Graham apologized a week later for “any comments I have ever made which may have cast any doubt on the personal faith of our president.” This is a sad statement, but it is not surprising in light of the more than half-century of compromise and spiritual cowardice represented by the Grahams. The fact is that every Bible believer should question Obama’s Christian faith. We are instructed to beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15). We are taught by Christ that many who say “Lord, Lord” will be false Christians (Matthew 7:21-23). We are warned about those who profess Christ but deny Him in works (Titus 1:16) and those who have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof (2 Timothy 3:5). We are exhorted to mark those that profess Christ but teach contrary to God’s Word (Romans 16:17). All of these warnings fit Barack Obama. He boldly supports the murder of unborn children who are made in God’s image and formed by God in the womb (Psalm 139:15-16). He promotes the “rights” of homosexuals who practice that which God’s Word calls a moral abomination. In a 2004 interview with Cathleen Falsani published in part in the book The God Factor: Inside the Spiritual Lives of Public People and in full on the Sojourner’s web site, Obama defined Heaven as something that might exist in the present rather than the future. He defines sin humanisticly as “being out of alignment with my values” rather than the biblical definition of being out of alignment with God’s values or breaking God’s law. He says that he draws beliefs from all religions and that there are “many paths to the same place.” By his own testimony, Obama has a false christ and a false gospel.
The following is excerpted from 317-page illustrated THE PENTECOSTAL-CHARISMATIC MOVEMENTS: THE HISTORY AND ERROR, which is available in print and eBook editions from Way of Life Literature -- www.wayoflife.org
THE NEW ORDER OF THE LATTER RAIN
On February 12, 1948, a Pentecostal “revival” broke out in the Sharon Orphanage and Schools in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. The previous day, a female student had prophesied that a great worldwide revival was about to begin. There were alleged tongues, healings, prophecies, and many “fell under the spirit.”
The School was founded by Herrick Holt, pastor of the Church of the Foursquare Gospel in North Battleford, and he was joined in the fall of 1947 by George Hawtin and Percy Hunt, formerly pastors with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. Hawtin and Hunt brought 70 students from the Bethel Bible Institute where they had formerly taught.
Jack Hayford (b. 1934) is the influential Pentecostal pastor of Church on the Way in Van Nuys, California, and the author of many popular books and contemporary praise songs, including “Majesty.”
(The song “Majesty,” lovely though it is, promotes the unscriptural “kingdom now” philosophy, in which Christians are thought to be able to exercise kingdom authority over sickness and the devil in this present hour. This is what the words “kingdom authority” refer to in Hayford’s song.)
Hayford belongs to the Four Square Pentecostal Church, a denomination founded by Aimee Semple McPherson in direct disobedience to the Word of God. “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence” (1 Tim. 2:12).
Christianity Today magazine calls Hayford “The Pentecostal Gold Standard” (Christianity Today, July 2005), but when his theology and practice are examined we find that his position is not the untarnished gold of Scripture but the rust and corrosion of extra-biblical “revelation.”
Not only are there many Pentecostals who claim to have seen Jesus, some have even made trips to heaven.
Pentecostal evangelist John Lake claimed to have visited heaven. So did Percy Collett, Dudley Danielson, Marvin Ford, Aline Baxley, Kenneth Hagin, Sr., Benny Hinn, Roberts Lairdon, and many others.
In 1977 Richard Eby claimed that he died and went to heaven and he brought back the revelation that “the primary nerve in God’s cranium is the sense of smell.” He said that in heaven he could move anywhere at will and that he was visible yet transparent.
In the 1980s, Percy Collett built a large following based on his dramatic accounts of a five-day trip to heaven. He spoke face to face with the Holy Spirit and saw cats and (barkless) dogs. He saw the “Pity Department,” where aborted babies go to be trained for a period of time. He saw the “Garment Room,” where angels are sewing robes for believers. He even saw a “Holy Ghost elevator.”
VOLUME 13 ISSUE 9
ACT OF VALOR (Friday Church News Notes, March 2, 2012, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143) - The movie “Act of Valor” is being recommended by conservative pundits such as Rush Limbaugh and Michael Medved, and though I haven’t seen the movie I have read reviews and I want to make two comments about it. First, we don’t need the public airing of military tactics. I am glad for the brave, highly-trained special forces men who are on the front lines of America’s military, and it is too bad that their hands are so tied by lack of wisdom and self-serving on the part of the political leaders and by the lawyerized, feminized, homosexualized military itself, but that is a judgment of God on America because of her wickedness and apostasy. We can’t change those conditions, but we don’t need to help the enemy by airing military tactics. I thought that one of the mottos of the Seals is “never seen,” but they are anything but not seen lately. A slew of books and documentaries have been published, and though they are edited to withhold some secrets, they still give away tactics and there can be no doubt that they help the enemy. The airing of military secrets needs to stop! The world shouldn’t even know that the Seals were behind the killing of Bin Ladin. We shouldn’t know anything about their their tactics. Nothing! Second, God’s people don’t need to watch R-rated movies. We need to stop following in lock-step a few degrees behind the world. Just because something is patriotic and soul-stirring and has some redeeming features doesn’t make it right and acceptable before God. Christians are first and foremost citizens of a heavenly country, and we are to be a holy people unto the Lord. We are to be light and salt to this confused, sin-cursed society. We are to march to a different drummer. A love for the pop culture is at the very heart of the break-down in separation and holiness and the lack of spiritual discernment that is opening the door for worldly music and other things to enter the homes and churches. Pastors who watch R-rated movies are setting a terrible example for their families and their congregations and their neighbors. They are on a slippery slide toward ever-increasing worldliness and sensuality. The Word of God exhorts us to set NO wicked thing before our eyes (Psalm 101:3). We are to have NO fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness but rather to reprove them (Ephesians 5:11). We are to abstain from ALL appearance of evil (1 Thess. 5:22). We are to lay apart ALL filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness (James 1:21). There is not an R-rated movie that passes those tests. According to the reviews and ratings, this movie includes plenty of cursing and profanity as well as bikini-clad women. The Bible says that lusting after women is an act of fornication (Matthew 5:28). Further, God will hold those accountable who are guilty of taking His holy name in vain (Exodus 20:7). To hear cursing and not expose and condemn it is to be a partner with those who are guilty of this sin (Prov. 29:24).
Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
When I find a preacher who is playing games with Biblical separation and who is showing signs of rejecting it, I refuse to have anything to do with him as far as ministry goes. I am not going to join his church. I’m not going to preach in his church. I am not going to preach with him on the same platform in meetings. And I am not going to preach in churches that would have him!
Yea, that is narrow and strict and I sincerely and earnestly wish it weren’t necessary, but I believe it is necessary to cut off the effect of compromise.
Compromise is a communicable disease!
The old backslidden prophet in 1 Kings 13 taught the young prophet to disobey God by taking His commandments lightly. God told the young prophet to preach against the idolatrous altar at Bethel and then to leave and not even to eat there. The prophet obeyed for awhile. He ran a good race for a distance. He proclaimed God’s message against the altar boldly, refusing the king’s offer of a reward, and headed away from Bethel. But instead of getting away from there as fast as his donkey could carry him, he decided to take a rest under an oak tree.