(UPDATED 2:03 p.m. Monday 1/19/15)

INTRODUCTION

Do you have a favorite pastor or teacher who you have listened to for years? Do you trust him or her so completely that you would never even consider the possibility that they would ever say something unbiblical? Do you presently examine the Scriptures daily to see if what is being said by the pastors and teachers you listen to is true? (Acts 17:11) How would you respond to another Christian if they told you that your favorite pastor or teacher is actually teaching something unbiblical? Would you completely reject what they had to say? Or would you listen and examine the evidence? Most importantly, would you test what they were documented as having said in light of Scripture? Or would you simply reject the evidence and the warnings given to you along with the Scriptures, and continue to believe your favorite pastor or teacher would never say or do anything wrong?

God’s Word is filled with warnings about spiritual deception and false teachers, and it is quick to point out that ‘even from our own number men would arise and distort the truth.’ (Acts 20:30) Why then do so many Christians refuse to listen to those of us who warn them about certain pastors and teachers who are presenting unbiblical messages? Have many simply become mere followers of men (and women) and their ministries instead of solely being followers of Jesus Christ?

As I began writing the following poem, I had in mind those of us who ‘earnestly contend for the faith’ (Jude 3) by lovingly trying to warn other Christians about what certain pastors and teachers have said and done, and in the process of doing so we also share Scriptures in order to expose their errors with truth, and yet as hard as we pray and try to speak the truth in love, oftentimes our warnings go unheeded, and we only end up being labeled as “haters.”

A prime example of someone referring to those of us who speak out as “haters” would be Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church in North Carolina, as seen in the video below. (It’s interesting to note that as of 11:25a.m. today, it has been viewed 191,046 times with 876 ‘likes’ and 1,475 ‘dislikes.’ It looks like those who are discerning …I mean…it looks like ‘haters’ outnumber those who liked what Steven Furtick had to say). 

For those of you who do not yet know who Steven Furtick is, please watch his ‘Hey Haters’ video below,  (which I must admit is a high quality video in which he did a very good job at presenting his thoughts in) and keep these questions in mind as you watch: Does his behavior and words reflect that of a godly pastor/elder as seen in Scripture? Does his words line up with Scripture? Can you imagine the apostle Paul giving the people of his time this message? Is Steven Furtick’s message Biblically sound, or is he simply trying to be hip and cool and ‘culturally relevant,’ and in doing so, is he leading many to believe things that are not true? 

 

Just in case the above video gets taken down in the future, here’s a screenshot of Steven Furtick from the video, along with almost all of what he said:

Capture Hey Haters - Steven Furtick screenshot of video - 3

“Hey haters. I hate to break this to you, but…your day…is done. See, we’re done with the way you sling shame and blame in the face of anyone who doesn’t  say what you say, and, see what you see, read what you read, think what you think, and do what you do, how you do what you do. But it’s not about you. We’re sick and tired of your pervasive propensity to pick a fight and hide the light. Nitpicking every single pixel of God’s brilliant picture seeing only your side, in only black and white. So scared to death of different, shaking your fist in the face of change.

You’re full of opinions, but you’re low on the Spirit. ‘Cuz the Spirit is love, the Spirit is peace,  the Spirit is kindness. And the only kind of words you ever seem to speak bring death to the hearer and leave weakness in their way.

You look like a toddler. Drawing lines in the sand, talking about how you’re “defending the truth” and “taking a stand.” But for all your hating and pontificating  and stances and games…there’s no change. Fall back! It’s a new day! Cuz we’re not looking for approval from you who give no respect and never neglect the chance to complain. Are you going to criticize? Or create? Waste your time casting stones, breaking bones, belittling everyone you consider opposed? Are you going to exchange your hate, trade the pain of the same? Embrace a new way to change the world! Honor’s time has come, and a new light has dawned to still the tongue of the cynic and pierce the heart of the skeptic.  This generation is waiting to restore the hope of a nation.”

The real message of ‘Hey Haters’ in the words of Steven Furtick:

“We’ve got too much to do. Too many people to reach. Too much that God wants to do through us. Too much that we need to be known for.”

“To waste even one more nanosecond hating on other churches and pastors and being known for what we stand against.”

“That’s the real message of Hey Haters. Even if it’s ironic.”  SOURCE

Many find what Steven Furtick had to say in this video very troubing:

 

Some today who wear the title of ‘pastor,’ and thus the name of Christ, as well, sadly do not live up to the qualifications of an elder as presented in Scripture. Here is just one of many Scriptures to keep in mind as we continue on in this post:

“An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless — not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” (Titus 1:6-9)

Many of you will remember how we grieved as the controversy broke concerning two pastors who used church funds to buy their way onto the New York Times Best Sellers List; Perry Noble of NewSpring Church, as well as Mark Driscoll, former pastor of Mars Hill Church, which is now officially closed.

Mark Driscoll was accused of plagiarism, as well! You can read about that in an article entitled, On The Allegations of Plagiarism Against Mark Driscoll, which was written by Warren Throckmorton of Patheos, HERE.

Many of us also remember the following shocking video of the—> September 2013 brutal public excommunication of three elders at Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows, in which James MacDonald introduced the video of the elders speaking by saying in part:

“We believe that the Bible that the authority of the church is vested in the elders. And that when the elders speak collectively, in agreement, they speak for God to our church.“(Emphasis in red is mine).

A few months ago, James MacDonald publicly admitted that shortly after the video was played back in September 2013 he realized they were wrong for going about church discipline in that manner, and asked for forgiveness. (Here is an article on that story which was posted by Christianity Today on September 15, 2014, entitled, James MacDonald Asks Forgiveness for Unbiblical Discipline). Although it was commendable that he came forward and asked for forgiveness, can you see the danger and confusion that can come from first declaring that the elders “speak for God,” and then to admit that soon after his claim he realized they were wrong? Something is clearly wrong here! I will not judge his heart or his motive, because I have failed many a time, as well. We all have. However, we are talking about pastors who are even more accountable to God and who are supposed to be above reproach! He may have apologized, but, sadly, the damage has already been done to the reputation of these men.  

The behavior of Mark Driscoll, Perry Noble, and James MacDonald — just to name a few — is totally unbecoming of men who bear the name of Christ! And meanwhile an unbelieving world is watching, and many are being given more and more good reasons to justify their mistrust of pastors, and the name of Christ is dragged through the mud again and again!

No. It’s not men like these that we hate. It’s their behavior and their attitude! It’s sorrow for the many who are being led astray, and it’s for the love of Jesus Christ and for the gospel that we cry out and write about these things in order to bring attention to what is taking place, and to stress the importance to fellow believers to be followers of Jesus Christ alone, and not to be followers of a man (or woman) and their ministry! We cry out in prayer for godly sorrow to fill the hearts of pastors who seemed to have forgotten how to seek God for His wisdom, because they think that every idea in their head comes from God, when, at times, it’s obviously only the desires of their sinful hearts. How else could you explain a ‘pastor’ being able to justify his decision to use an exorbitant amount of money from his church funds to make sure his book gets on the New York Times Best Seller’s List? Or how a ‘pastor’ who was given a t.v. studio could decide to give that t.v. studio to Trinity Broadcasting Network when they are known for their many false teachers?

How can you explain a ‘pastor’ like Perry Noble who tells those in attendance at his Christmas Eve service to “Say Yes to Jesus,” when the message they heard that night was informing them that the Ten Commandments are simply just suggestions or promises? (Churchwatch Central wrote an article entitled, ‘Prophet Perry Noble’s Credibility Under Fire,’ and you can read it HERE). And even more concerning is the fact that Perry Noble told everyone that night that ‘it was God who put it on his heart to preach that message.’ How could unbelievers who attended that night have known that they were sinners in need of a Savior if they were not informed that the Ten Commandments are the laws of God given to us to show us what sin is (Romans 3:20) and to make us realize just how incapable we are to keep the law? They never came to realize just how good the ‘good news’ of the gospel really is; that Jesus lived the perfect, sinless life that we could never live, to become the perfect sacrifice by taking upon Himself the full wrath that God intended for us because of our sins, and that He died in our place and arose for our justification! (Romans 4:25)

The sad truth is that some pastors and teachers today seemed to have lost their first love and have forgotten to seek God for His wisdom, and therefore oftentimes when they claim to speak messages from God, they are simply doing and saying what seems right in their own eyes.

For those of us who earnestly contend for the faith and expose false teachers, and are branded as ‘haters’ for doing so, we need to remember that we stand with great men of God such as the apostle Paul, who confronted those in error and called false teachers out publicly, and by name. (See Galatians 2:11-14, 1 Timothy 1:18-20, 2 Timothy 2:17,18, and 2 Timothy 4:14,15 for examples).

God’s Word makes it clear that those who choose to follow Jesus would be hated and persecuted because of Him, (2 Timothy 3:12, Matthew 5:10, Luke 6:22, John 15:18, 1 Peter 3:17, 1 Peter 4:12-14), so, as long as our intentions are right, and our motives are pure, let us press on and continue to speak the truth, but in love. Above all, let’s continue to pray that those who are in leadership positions will be held accountable for the wrong they have done, and that they would either repent or be removed from their positions for the sake of the gospel, as well as to protect more people from being led astray.

I’d now like to share some encouraging news with you that I read in an article posted by ‘discern.org,’ entitled,‘President of South Carolina Baptist Convention Calls For Perry Noble and NewSpring To Correct Problematic Positions And Statements,’ which you can read HERE.

Pride can prevent a pastor or teacher from going in front of their congregation and admitting they were wrong, but God’s Word says that “pride comes before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18) God’s Word also says that “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”(1 Peter 5:5b)

Personally I believe that many of us who are Christians and have been labeled as ‘haters,’ ‘Pharisees,’ ‘consumer Christians,’ ‘divisive,’hindering unity,’ etc., would deeply respect and extend grace to any pastor or teacher who would truly repent before God and show it publicly by humbling themselves and expressing godly sorrow and deep regret for the things they have said and done, and make things right, where necessary. I know that God would be well pleased, which is all that should matter if you live to glorify God and not self.

Thank you very much for stopping by and taking time out of your busy day to read some of my posts and poems.

God Bless You

~Mary Dalke/Living4HisGlory

RELATED SCRIPTURES

“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you.”                (Jude 1:3-4a)

“For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which He bought with His own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.” (Acts 20:27-31)

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven. For in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11,12)

“The arrogant cannot stand in Your presence; you hate all who do wrong.” (Psalm 5:5)

“For he flatters himself in his own eyes too much to hate and detect his sin.” (Psalm 36:2)

“Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.” (Luke 6:26)

“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.”      (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16)

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in your name drive out demons, and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them — bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.”           (2 Peter 2:1-3)

“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11)

“Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (1 Timothy 4:16)

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”     (2 Timothy 2:15)

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you. wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn, and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will life you up.” (James 4:7-10)

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trials you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.” (1 Peter 4:12-19)

“To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers–not because you must, but because you are willing as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.  Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…” (1 Peter 5:1-9a)

 

CALL ME A HATER

Call me a hater if you think you must

But in God alone will I place my trust

I will not trust in, or be led by, vision casting men

Who claim to hear from God, yet ignore their guilt of sin

Some preach in ways that contradict the very words of God

And their people are so mesmerized, that down the path of destruction do they trod

They think their favorite pastor is above doing or saying something wrong

And they blindly choose to follow, as their Pied Piper leads them with a tantalizing,

deceptive song

Yes, call me a hater, but it’s not these men I hate

It’s their craftiness and rebellious ways, and the thought of what could be their fate

I hate the fact that they don’t seem to have an all consuming love

For the gospel, and a Holy God, whom they will one day give an account to, who is

watching from above

I hate the thought of hundreds, continually being led astray

Because they fail to be Bereans, they are deceived by much of what these men will say

I hate when men distort God’s Word, and claim their message was from the Lord

Truly this is something blasphemous, and something to be abhorred

I hate that men who claim to be of God, have lost sight of what they were called to do

To be shepherds and protectors of God’s flock, to expose deception, and to teach

what’s true

Instead they are yoking with the very ones who prevent true unity

Those who teach false doctrine bring division, only the truth of God’s word can set

men free

I hate when men who say they walk with God, claim to seek God to know His perfect

will

And then announce their vision casting plan based on worldly methods and their own

desires, in which they seek to fulfill

Call me a hater, but I am a Berean through and through

I have learned to discern, through the truth of God’s Word, and I pray the same for you

Jesus said, ‘Woe to those who men speak well of,’ and ‘Blessed are those who suffer

for the sake of His name’

I’d rather be hated for speaking the truth, than to be praised by men and stand before

Jesus with regret and shame

Call me a hater, say I’m divisive, and destroying unity, but there’s one thing you can

never say

That I failed to give you warnings, please know for you I will never cease to pray

Copyright©2015 Mary K. Dalke/Living4HisGlory/Living For His Glory All rights reserved.

Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible New International Version® 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society.  Used by permission of Zondervan.  All rights reserved.

FURTHER READING:

PAJAMA PAGES — JAMES DUNCAN — NEW SPRING AND PERRY NOBLE ARE ALSO RESULT SOURCE CLIENTS

WARREN THROCKMORTON OF PATHEOS BLOG — THE SIGNED CONTRACT THAT HELPED GET MARK DRISCOLL’S REAL MARRIAGE ON THE NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLERS LIST

Advertisements