Category: Christian Poetry – Discernment


(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

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I came across some videos that revealed new information to me on something that I had never heard of before.  It’s called –Technocracy.  What I learned filled me with concern, and further investigation into the topic also prevented me from being able to fully concentrate on working on Part 3 of my testimony, entitled,  ‘FROM FEAR AND UNCERTAINTY, TO PEACE AND ASSURANCE – HOW GOD REVEALED THE TRUTH TO ME WHILE I WAS READING A CATHOLIC NEW TESTAMENT BIBLE’  So, in order to free my mind up from all of this information so that I can go back to working on Part 3, I decided to write the following poem, to, once again, warn many of you about what is taking place in many churches these days. 

Unless something happens to lead me to do otherwise, I decided that this will be my final poem that I will write that will be completely devoted to warning you about what is taking place in many churches today.  I will, however, continue to write about certain topics of importance that I think needs to be brought to your attention, and I will always emphasize the importance of testing what pastors and teachers say in light of Scripture as God’s Word shows us we are to do. (Acts 17:11) (1 Thessalonians 5:21,22)  I just find it very frustrating that some Christians continue to refuse to listen to some of us who are warning of the importance of only being followers of Jesus Christ and not a man and his ministry.  And some  also refuse to test the words and actions of pastors and teachers in light of Scripture, relying on the false belief that since these men have been faithful to preach God’s Word accurately in the past for so many years, then they couldn’t possibly be preaching or teaching something unbiblical now.  Sometimes I feel like I’m just wasting my time.  I have said all that needs to be said to warn many of you to wake up, and now it’s time for me to move on and write about other things.  

I am still learning, as well; I certainly don’t claim to know it all.  I’m realizing more and more just how quickly spiritual deception is growing; pastors and teachers I have never even heard of before are now coming to my attention, and they are misleading many Christians!  All because these Christians are seeking ‘something new‘ and do not treasure God’s Word or test what is being said and done in light of Scripture.  Therefore, I decided to end my poem by just coming right to the point, hoping to jolt some people into reality by the fact that what we believe has eternal consequences.  I know that only God’s Word can reveal truth to people, but a statement as well as information based on Biblical truth can also make an impact, and that’s what I am hoping to accomplish through my poem and all I posted below.

I’ll be praying about what to write in the days ahead, but for those of you who look to pastors and teachers as if they can do no wrong, as well as those of you who refuse to listen to all the warnings that many have given you concerning many pastors and teachers, I pray the day will soon comes when you will finally take the time to look into some of these things for yourselves.  You just might discover that what we have been saying all this time is actually true.

Now on to the actual topic of this post:

Many of you have had your eyes opened to the fact that there are pastors who no longer act like shepherds, but instead they act as if they are rulers of an empire or a corporation.  That’s what happens when men seek to build their church using worldly church-growth strategies of non-Christian, Peter Drucker, rather than trusting God alone to grow their churches (Acts 2:47) as they simply choose to faithfully preach the gospel and teach His Word verse by verse, Sunday after Sunday.

The following information I am going to be sharing with you is concerning ‘Dominionism’ and ‘Technocracy.’  Dominionism, simply put,  is a theology that says we, as followers of Jesus Christ, are to build the kingdom here on earth in order for Him to return.  This is not Biblical because it denies the imminent return of Jesus.  The King of kings and Lord of lords does not need our help to usher in His return!  However, it doesn’t stop groups such as IHOP (International House of Prayer…something I intend on writing about in the future –Lord willing) from telling thousands of young believers that they can be used to usher in the return of Jesus Christ, as Misty Edwards tells a large group of young people at a One Thing Conference.  I found these videos on YouTube back in 2009 and shared them with you on one of my other posts, but I thought it was fitting to share it with you here, as well.  Misty also goes into great detail to share her ‘dream’ with those in attendance.  Again I urge you all to test everything she says in light of Scripture.

 

DOMINIONISM

 

Below are the main videos with the information I came across that filled me with concern that I was referring to:  Meet Dr. Martin Erdmann.  A wonderful Christian man who was born in Germany, and who loves God and thoroughly researched the teachings of ‘Technocracy.’  In the following videos, Martin presents the information in such a way that it sheds even more light on what some of us are seeing take place in many mega-churches today.  If you don’t have a lot of free time at the moment, may I ask you then to please push the video forward to the 44:33 minute mark so that you can at least hear his explanation of what Technocracy is as it relates to mega-churches.  This will explain to you what to watch for at your church, as Martin Erdmann says… “if technocracy takes hold as a religion within a Christian church.”  Then, when time allows, please go back and listen to the whole message, as well as Part 2 below.

Here’s a short definition of ‘Technocracy’ given by Martin Erdmann in the interview he did with SAID RADIO that I posted for you under ‘RELATED INFORMATION’

“It’s a political and economic system a form of government in which experts in technology would be in control of all decision making.”   “It can be set up as a religion and is said to be, “The New Christianity.”

Here are just two quotes by Martin Erdmann from the video below to make you realize how relevant this information is to many of us!

“If technocracy takes hold of a church the senior pastor will exert his ultimate authority over against any elder board put in place.” 

“Getting rid of elders in some ways must be the highest objective of a pastor who has bought into technocracy.”  

 

 

In an interview I heard of Martin Erdmann discussing the subject of ‘Dominionism,’ he shared the three main points of this movement which will give you a good idea of  how cunningly deceptive and unbiblical it really is: 

1)Satan usurped man’s dominion over the earth through the temptation of Adam and Eve

2) The church is God’s instrument to take dominion back from Satan

3) Jesus cannot or will not return return until the church has taken dominion by gaining control of the earth’s government and social institutions

Here is a wonderful message by Martin Erdmann in which he focuses completely on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ:

 

RELATED VIDEOS

 

 

 

9/28/14 HERE’S THE NEWLY RELEASED UPDATED VERSION OF THE VIDEO ABOVE:

 

IN CLOSING

I truly hope you come to realize the seriousness of the information I have shared with you in this post.  I pray that it will not fill you with fear, but I do pray that it will cause you to become serious about your commitment to Jesus Christ and the study of His Word so that when you are confronted with a false teaching — in whatever form it may come before you —  you will know the truth of God’s Word so well that you will not be deceived by any false teaching no matter how appealing it may seem to be at first. 

Thank you 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

 

SCRIPTURES FOR YOU TO REFLECT ON

“My sheep listen to My voice; I know them and they follow Me.”                  (John 10:27)

Therefore I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men.  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 20:26-31)

“I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.  My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.  What I mean is this: One of you says,  “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”, another,  “I follow Cephas”; still another,  “I follow Christ.”  Is Christ divided?  Was Paul crucified for you?  Were you baptized into the name of Paul?” (1 Corinthians 1:10-13)

“The poor you will always have with you.” (–Jesus –Matthew 26:11)

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)

“The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs, and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing.  They perish because they refused to love the truth and be saved.  For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the worst.  But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Him and receive eternal life.  Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.  Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:15-17)

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.  The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.  Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?  You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.  That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.  But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.  So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless, and at peace with Him.” (2 Peter 3:8-14)

“For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.”            (Colossians 1:19,20)

 

heaven-13-2

 

 

VOICES

So many voices clamoring to be heard

Many are leading Christians away from the truth of God’s Holy Word

Some voices are calling out for ‘unity,’ some call to ‘build the Kingdom here on earth’

Voices presenting appealing messages, but in light of Scripture they have no worth

Does the timing of Christ’s return really depend upon you and me

Or is there a dark agenda infiltrating churches that we, at first, can’t clearly see

Caring for the poor and the earth are loving and responsible things to do

But the poor will always be with us, and this world is destined to be destroyed, God’s

Word shows these things to be true

Preaching the gospel to the lost is the church’s main command

Proclaiming Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection; sharing a message of hope to

sinners throughout every land

But now some voices are declaring ‘there’s no such thing as sin,’

Therefore there’s no need for a Savior, these voices say, “we’re divine within”

The only voice we should follow is the voice of the Shepherd of our soul

Not the voice of hirelings attempting to gain full control

Shepherds once guarded their flocks from false teachers who attempted to come

within

They now tell us what to think; to disagree is considered rebellion and sin

Even though we may at first not clearly realize…

This is all leading to a One World Religion; it’s Satan’s ultimate lie in full disguise

Those who now refuse to test the words of men against the truth of God’s Holy Word

Will be the ones who say this information is just crazy and absurd

But if you take the time to pray and seek to test all I have to share

Against God’s Word and history, you’ll see a neon sign that says,  “BEWARE!!”

In 2 Thessalonians God’s Word shows just how real deception is going to be

Those deceived will be the ones who refuse to love the truth, and will be lost

for all eternity

They love their sin, and are followers of men, regardless of what these men do or say

They reject the truth revealed in light of Scripture; their leaders they refuse to betray

The idolatry of men is preparing many for the final dictator who will rule

Satan will reign for a season; the Antichrist will be his ultimate tool

There will be no peace till the Prince of Peace returns and reigns for a thousand years

The day will come when wars will cease and He will wipe away all tears

If Jesus should return this very moment, will He find you as one who is faithful

and true

Or will you be found as a follower of one of many voices set only on deceiving you

Will you heed this final warning and return to your first love

Or will you be unprepared when the trumpet sounds and His call goes out to gather

His own above

Time is running out, no one knows when He’ll return

But all the signs are everywhere, don’t be deceived, or, to put it bluntly, for eternity

you will burn

Copyright© 2014 Mary K. Dalke/Living4HisGlory/Living For His Glory  All rights reserved.

Picture obtained from Photobucket – heaven 13-2.jpg

Scripture added by Mary K. Dalke on Photobucket

 

RELATED INFORMATION:

JANET MEFFERD — THE DRISCOLL CASE NOW IN THE JURY’S HANDS

HERESCOPE BLOG — WE ARE NOT ABANDONED

HERESCOPE BLOG — WHAT IS DOMINIONISM

SAID RADIO — EXCELLENT INTERVIEW WITH MARTIN ERDMANN ON TECHNOCRACY AND TRANSHUMANISM (Simply put, many well known mega-pastors are mentioned).

BOOK REVIEW BY PASTOR GILLEY OF SOUTHERN VIEW CHAPEL,OF — BUILDING THE KINGDOM OF GOD ON EARTH BY MARTIN ERDMANN

 

Capture I the LORD do not changeIf there’s one thing we can rely on these days in spite of the fact that our world is changing so drastically, it’s the ‘unchanging’ nature of God and the ‘unchanging’ truth of God’s Word –the Bible (though I must add that ‘The Message’ and ‘The Voice’ translations are excluded as being ‘God’s Word’ because of the ‘new age’ terminology and the distortions of Scriptures presented in these versions). 

Sadly, however, many of us who are true Christians — born of the Spirit of God —  are also seeing many of our once strong and committed pastors and teachers beginning to change, as well.  And these changes are not for the better!  Instead of a pastor focusing on the importance of his role to ‘preach the Word’ of God and to ‘equip the saints’ and trust God to grow the church as He has always been faithful to do in the past, they have been led into falling for worldly strategies of growing the church by non-Christians such as Peter Drucker.  Rather than ‘contending for the faith’ they now are not only uniting with some pastors and teachers  (who many have serious concerns about)  at conferences, but also they are placing some of these ‘pastors’ in their own pulpits! 

Some are even involving themselves with unbiblical, and even demonic, mystical, spiritual practices such as ‘breath prayers,’ ‘contemplative prayer,’ ‘visualization techniques,’ –occultic practices often cloaked in Christian terminology claiming to allow the ‘Christian’ to ‘hear from God‘ or to ‘connect with God on a deeper, more intimate level.’  (Much more on this in an upcoming post —Lord willing).  God’s Word is no longer seen as the way to hear from God…now it’s all about ‘experiences.’  But to those who are not cautious and who fail to continually test things in light of Scripture, these techniques will lure them in and lead them astray.

How could it be that so many pastors and teachers are going astray?  Is it for the love of money, position, or power?  A ‘mid-life crisis’ maybe? What sin is at the root of all these serious changes we are seeing? 

Is it pride that has caused many of them to close their ears to not only the pleadings of their people to disassociate with certain pastors, but also to the legitimate and serious concerns their people are expressing to them?

God’s Word gives us a picture of the condition  that this world will be in before the return of Christ, as well as Scriptures that give an alarmingly accurate picture of ‘Christianity’ today.  Here are just a few of them:

“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” (Luke 21:10,11)

“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming?  For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:3,4)

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there be a falling away first…”  (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”         (1 Timothy 4:1)

**UPDATED MON. 2-17-14 6:20p.m.** May I suggest to you that the reason many of us are seeing pastors and teachers who once strongly stood for Biblical truth without wavering, is because many are choosing to  –compromise.  Take for instance, Pastor Greg Laurie.  When he preached a sermon he always gave a clear gospel presentation complete with making each listener understand they must be willing to repent; to turn from sin and follow Christ, and I believe he still does.  However, there are other things Greg Laurie is doing that gives many of us valid reasons to be concerned.  I’ll share one example with you that I found out from speaking to a person I met on the Internet who left Greg Laurie’s church.  This person told me at the end of 2012 that they “saw signs of spiritual formation in junior high and up.” 

If you are not aware of what Spiritual Formation is, I highly recommend this article (and all the articles) by Pastor Gary Gilley SPIRITUAL FORMATION

Below is a portion of that article that explains the philosophy of Spiritual Formation:

“The Spiritual Formation Movement is concerned more about individual experience than biblical knowledge or truth.  This does not mean that adherents are totally uninterested in the Bible, and some would know it well.  But the emphasis is on what a person experiences through the Bible more so than what they learn.  Contemplatives, such as Dallas Willard and Richard Foster, will strongly encourage Bible reading and prayer but they mean something different from what most Christians mean when they reference the same terms.  As we will see in future articles, contemplative prayer is not the same as prayer defined biblically; “sacred reading” (also called “lectio divina” of Scripture is not the same as Bible study; meditation (mystically encountering God) is not the same as knowing God and so forth.  Many of the same terms are used, but as the classical liberals, and the more recent emergents, are fond of doing, they take our terms, including biblical ones, and give them new definitions and twists.” 

Now back to what I was saying about Greg Laurie: When I first became a Christian and didn’t yet have a full-time job, I would eagerly get up early every morning to hear him preach on the radio instead of sleeping for an extra hour or so.  Never did I think the day would come when he would give in to compromise!  However…one day when I got up in the morning and turned on my computer, I saw the following video on YouTube:

Here is the late Pastor Chuck Smith (who sadly, also gave in to compromise) introducing Rick Warren as his “good friend” at —Greg Laurie’s Harvest Crusade in 2009:

For those of you who are still unaware of the serious concerns that many of us have with Rick Warren, I urge you to watch this video that I added to many of my other posts, as well, because of the detailed and very important information this video contains on Rick Warren:

**ADDED 2-17-14** And then there’s Francis Chan.  I never heard of him before until my former pastor, James MacDonald, recommended his book ‘Crazy Love‘ one Sunday during his sermon.  I did a ‘search’ on him that day to find out who he was, and at first he just seemed like a very humble man who desired to wholeheartedly seek after God and live an extremely simple life in order to give to the poor.  However, as time went on he began to get involved in promoting the unbiblical practice of  ‘Lectio Divina‘ along with Lecrae, Beth Moore, Louie Giglio, and John Piper at the Passion 2012 Conference.  After reading portions of Ephesians, each speaker would stop and say things like this: 

Beth Moore: “Without any comment, please, let’s pause and be still and ask Jesus to speak His Word to us.”  Let’s pause, be still, and let God’s Word speak to us.” 

Lecrae: “Pause, reflect, and hear from the Lord.” 

John Piper: “Let’s be quiet and ask the Lord to speak.” 

You can’t see it in the video above, but at this conference they had a banner in the background that said “Jesus, speak to me.”  In my search to document that for you, I came across the following, thanks to Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries:

Capture Jesus Speak To Me - Passion 2012 Conference SOURCE :APPRISING MINISTRIES – BETH MOORE AND JOHN PIPER LEAD LECTIO DIVINA – LITE AT PASSION 2012

Didn’t God’s Word already speak to them? They just read the whole book of Ephesians out loud, so for them to say to “Be still, and let God’s Word speak” seems to imply they are desiring to hear more than what can be learned by examining the passage of Scripture in context to see what God already said to us through His Word in this particular book, this one being Ephesians. Though God may speak to someone on extremely rare occasions, they are presenting this as a normative practice to be embraced by all Christians.  Everything God wants us to know has already been recorded in His Word, the Bible, and Jesus was God’s final Word to us:

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom also He made the universe.  The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word.” (Hebrews 1:1-3a)

Also, I had heard that there were some who attended Passion 2012 who left there doubting their salvation because they didn’t hear Jesus personally speak to them.  It was mainly because of what Louie Giglio said to them at this conference.  Once again, in my search to find what Louie Giglio actually said so I could share it with you, I found that on the same post by Ken Silva.  These are the words of Louie Giglio at the close of session 5:

“How many of you heard the voice of God speak specifically, clearly, directly, and personally, to you? Can you just put a hand up?  I’d like you to share it.  Can you put a hand up for a minute? 

Just want you to look around; that’s people saying, “God Almighty (pause) the Maker of heaven (pause) the one Who’s sitting on the only throne (pause) that’s not under threat (long pause, audience cheers) –He spoke to me. He spoke to me.”

“God spoke to me.”  (long pause)  Don’t let the voice of the darkness, tell you that you are not (pause) worth (pause) that God would not speak to you.  (pause)  Don’t let him tell you, you don’t matter.  (pause) God spoke to you.” (SOURCE) Apprising Ministries

Then, to make matters even worse, on December 30, 2013, Francis Chan chose to take part in an event at IHOP (International House Of Prayer), where he openly praised its leader, Mike Bickle, thus giving credibility to Mike Bickle and IHOP.  If you are not aware of the unbiblical teachings of Mike Bickle, as well as the unscriptural manifestations and even deadly things that have taken place within this movement, I strongly urge you to watch this video and read the articles below it:

ARTICLE: LOVE AND DEATH IN THE INTERNATIONAL HOUSE OF PRAYER

**UPDATED 2-19-14** EXCELLENT AND THOROUGH ARTICLE FROM THE HERESCOPE BLOG: THE PASSION OF THE PRESENCE

When we as Christians — especially pastors — consider getting involved with another pastor, teacher, or a movement claiming to be ‘Christian,’ we have the God-given responsibility of testing everything in light of Scripture (Acts 17:11, 1 Thessalonians 5:21,22) and we also  need to seriously consider the warnings of those who know more than we may know about a certain person or movement, and check it out before choosing to get involved.  But sadly, as you can hear in the very beginning of the video I posted above, Francis Chan ignored the warnings he received and chose to publicly proclaim to those in attendance at that IHOP event,  the following:

“This is the first time I’ve ever been to an IHOP event.  Which is..it’s kinda crazy to me because I didn’t know that much, and, you know, so I kinda went on the Internet and started looking things up  and, I go ‘man there’s a lot of great things going on here. ‘ And today’s was the first time I ever met Mike Bickle, and, I love that guy.  I do.

There’s people that told me not to…hang out with him.  Like, you know, you know, words like creepy come up and yet I get to know this guy and I’m going,  “Man I love his heart.”  And I just want to publicly say, I love Mike Bickle.”

Then there’s Mega-pastors, Steven Furtick  of Elevation Church in Charlotte N. Carolina, and Perry Noble of Newspring Church in S. Carolina.  Both of whom my former pator, James MacDonald, is  deeply involved with.  I’ll start with Steven Furtick.

INFORMATION CONCERNING STEVEN FURTICK: 

As I shared with you in my >WARNING YOU WITH TEARS< post, Steven Furtick took James MacDonald’s place in the pulpit on August 14, 2011 when James was on his summer break.  Steven Furtick was also one of the pastors who took part in the ‘Elephant Room Conference,’  an idea that James MacDonald had that could have turned into something good, but instead ended in disaster.  (You can also read about that on the previously mentioned post).  I had never heard of Steven Furtick before all of that took place, so I cannot comment on how he was when he first started out, but I can share with you what is presently happening that many find rather disturbing.  Below is something I again found posted by someone on Twitter.  You can find this posted on Elevation Church’s Website.  Read all the points below and see if you find some of their reasons just a little bit disturbing as many other people do –including me:

Capture Reasons Elevation Church is the Best Place to Work

Capture ELEVATION CHURCH COLORING BOOK

Just now (1:47p.m. 2-19-14) I found the above picture through a tweet on Twitter by Stand Up For The Truth.’  This is an illustration from a coloring book at ‘Elevation Church‘ called ‘The Code,’ in which it appears that at a very early age, the children — along with the adults at ‘Elevation Church‘ — are learning that:

Elevation Church is built on the vision God gave Pastor Steven.”  And that Elevation Churchwill protect our unity in supporting his vision.”  

I don’t know about you, but I find this rather creepy and downright disturbing!  SOURCE

There’s so much information coming out on Twitter concerning Steven Furtick and Elevation Church that I’m finding it hard to keep up!  Here’s something else for you to take a close look at; ‘The Code‘ for Elevation Kidz that Steven Furtick wants them all to learn:

Capture elevation kids - the code

(SOURCE) FOUND IN TWEET POSTED BY CHRIS ROSEBROUGH

1. We are a generation of honor

2. We act in audacious faith

3.We eat the fish and leave the bones

4. We are known for what we are for

5. We lead the way in generosity

Don’t you find it rather concerning that Jesus isn’t even mentioned in the Kidz Code?

STEVEN FURTICK ADDRESSING ELEVATION CHILDREN TO LEARN ‘THE CODE’

Just searched YouTube and found this precious little girl, Isabella, who seems to know ‘the code’ quite well:

Please pray for the children and families at Elevation Church.  One can only hope and pray that the children at ‘Elevation‘ are learning that our lives should be built upon Christ and His Word as our solid foundation!  (Matthew 7:24-27) (1 Corinthians 3:10,11)  Somehow by all this new information, I am finding it very hard to believe, because the focus clearly is more on Steven Furtick and Elevation Church rather than on Jesus Christ and His Word.

Here are two more“creepy,” things that I heard concerning Steven Furtick and Elevation Church while listening to Chris Rosebrough of Fighting For The Faith:

IN THE VIDEO BELOW, CHRIS ROSEBROUGH DISCUSSES ‘VISION CASTING’ WITH ‘ISSUES, ETC.’S,TODD WILKEN.  AT THE 29:10 MARK YOU WILL HEAR THE ‘CREEPY’ CODE FOR STEVEN FURTICK’S, ELEVATION CHURCH, AT 43:10 MINUTE MARK YOU WILL HEAR JAMES MACDONALD SPEAKING TO A GROUP OF PASTORS ABOUT WHAT TO DO WITH THE ‘DIVISIVE’ MAN, AND  AT THE 45:45 MINUTE MARK YOU WILL HEAR WHAT MARK DRISCOLL HAS TO SAY CONCERNING THOSE WHO WILL OPPOSE THE ‘VISION’ OF MARS HILL CHURCH.  NOTE THE EVIL IN HIS VOICE AS HE SPEAKS.  THOUGH I FIND ALL OF THESE CLIPS DISTURBING, MARK DRISCOLL’S CLIP IS THE MOST DISTURBING AND CLEARLY HIS ATTITUDE DOES NOT REFLECT CHRIST AT ALL!

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN TO CHRIS ROSEBROUGH’S DEC. 16th 2013 PROGRAM:

>>STEVEN FURTICK’S CREEEEEEEPY COMEDY<<

At the links below, you will read about some more disturbing information concerning Steven Furtick and Elevation Church that I also found today on Twitter.  More and more we are seeing manipulative tactics being used on people who attend mega-churches in order to bring about the results that only God can produce in a person’s heart.  Clearly and sadly, many ‘pastors’ today view the church simply as an organization or corporation, and they are using the strategies of men to produce growth and results.  May God bring all who participate in things similar to this to true repentance, for they will stand before a Holy God one day and give an account for all they have done and their motives for doing so, as will each and every one of us have to do. (1 Corinthians 3:12-16)

MORE REASONS TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT STEVEN FURTICK:

HOW ELEVATION CHURCH PASTOR FURTICK PRODUCE SPONTANEOUS BAPTISM – BY STUART WATSON<

HOW STEVEN FURTICK ENGINEERED A SPONTANEOUS MIRACLE – BY JAMES DUNCAN OF ‘PAJAMA PAGES’ BLOG

I must admit that over the 14 1/2 years that I attended Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows, Pastor James would frequently have ‘spontaneous baptisms’ as Steven Furtick does at Elevation Church.  Sadly, it wouldn’t surprise me if the same manipulative tactics that are clearly used at Elevation Church are also used at Harvest Bible Chapel.

AT THE 45 MINUTE MARK AT THE LINK BELOW, CHRIS ROSEBROUGH POINTS OUT THE SERIOUS AND EVEN BLASPHEMOUS THINGS STEVEN FURTICK SAYS IN AN INTERVIEW WITH SANDY KRAKOWSKI CONCERNING HIS NEW BOOK, ‘CRASH THE CHATTERBOX’

CHRIS ROSEBROUGH — FURTICK’S CHATTERBOX BLASPHEMY

STAND UP FOR THE TRUTH PODCAST – WHEN DOES A CHURCH CROSS INTO A CULT

**UPDATED 3-4-14** FINAL POINT WHY YOU SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT STEVEN FURTICK:

Last year at the ‘Holy Trinity Brompton  Leadership Conference,’ Steven Furtick said the following starting @4:15:

“I feel real strongly what God put in me to give to you tonight…”  “So I want to share with you…tonight from the Old Testament book of 2 Kings, and I want to share with you about a transitional moment in the life of Elisha the prophet.  And if you’ll stay with me in this sermon…I don’t know that you’ll take a lot of notes…usually when I come to a conference like this by this point I feel like I cannot write another thing…I have a notebook full of ideas, and…I feel like I don’t need another piece of information at this point.  So with that in mind, I thought I would get a little bit beyond the information realm, and…maybe we can move together tonight into a time of impartation (someone cheers at this point) and then maybe together we can see if  God would bring us into a… an encounter  with Him before we leave this place that…will change us and change our world.” (applause) SOURCE

In case you’re wondering why what Steven Furtick said should be very concerning, and in case you’re not aware of what ‘a time of impartation’ is to many leaders in the Charismatic Movement, please consider watching the following videos I posted below.  Briefly I will just say that since 1990 Nicky Gumbel has been the leader of the Alpha Course, and Holy Trinity Brompton Church is known for their promotion of the ‘Toronto Blessing‘ which includes ‘manifestations of animal noises,’ people being ‘slain in the spirit,’people acting ‘drunk in the spirit‘, and many other unbiblical manifestations as you will see in the second video that I posted below.

BENNY HINN HAVING A TIME OF IMPARTATION:

SHOCKING DOCUMENTARY BY ANDREW STROM:

ALPHA –  ATTEND OR AVOID – CECIL ANDREWS – PART 1 OF 2

Is it possible that Steven Furtick has gotten involved with these types of manifestations since he has become involved with Nicky Gumbel?  I am only speculating at this point, but it really makes you wonder why he used the term ‘a time of impartation‘ instead of ‘a time of prayer.’

**UPDATED 2-20-14** INFORMATION CONCERNING PERRY NOBLE:

Just as with Steven Furtick, I never heard of Perry Noble until information came out concerning the first ‘Elephant Room Conference‘ in which he took part in along with Steven Furtick and others.  As many in the ‘Church Growth Movement‘ do, Perry Noble chooses to use worldly methods to appeal to unbelievers in order to bring them into the church.  And in April of 2009 he chose to play AC DC’s song, ‘Highway To Hell‘ at his Easter Service at Newspring Church.  His reason for doing so, however, does not line up with what he declared during the ‘Elephant Room Conference.’  In the video below you will hear not only a short clip from ‘The Elephant Room Conference‘  in which Perry Noble explains his reason for doing so, but also you will hear him explain to his whole church congregation the reason why he played ‘Highway to Hell‘ for his Easter service.  His reason seems quite clear by what he says, but ultimately God will be the one who will judge his motives:

After listening to what he says in the video above, I encourage you to listen to the entire segment that took place during the Elephant Room Conference at the first link below where you can hear James MacDonald, Mark Driscoll, and Perry Noble discuss his decision to play that song in church:

SHOULD CHURCH LEADERS PLAY “HIGHWAY TO HELL” TO REACH UNBELIEVERS – CHURCHLEADERS WEBSITE

MORE RELATED ARTICLES

PERRY NOBLE MANGLES THE SCRIPTURES IN ORDER TO JUSTIFY PERFORMING HIGHWAY TO HELL IN CHURCH – CHRIS ROSEBROUGH OF ‘LETTER OF MARQUE’/’FIGHTING FOR THE FAITH’

ERIC YOUNG ‘HIGHWAY TO HELL’ BY PHIL JOHNSON VIS A VIS PERRY NOBLE JAMES MACDONALD AND THE DEMISE OF THE EVANGELICAL DISCERNMENT

A REVIEW OF PERRY NOBLE’S SERMON FROM AC/DC SUNDAY – IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT HE PLAYED THE SONG, ‘HIGHWAY TO HELL’ DID PERRY NOBLE AT LEAST PREACH THE GOSPEL ON EASTER OF 2009? READ HIS THOROUGH REVIEW AT THE LINK BELOW AND FIND OUT:

‘DEFENDING.CONTENDING.’BLOG – PERRY NOBLE’S MESSAGE FROM AC/DC SUNDAY

JAMES DUNCAN OF ‘PAJAMA PAGES’ – WHO KNEW YOU NEEDED AN EXCUSE NOT TO PLAY HIGHWAY TO HELL?

**UPDATED 2-28-14** INFORMATION CONCERNING JAMES MACDONALD:

Then there’s my former pastor, James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel, Rolling Meadows, whom I deeply appreciated because of his strong stand for Biblical truth and how he would preach God’s Word without apology.  After leaving my former Assembly of God Church of 16 years because the leadership was beginning to get involved with the ‘Pensacola revival,’ I was finally beginning to trust a pastor again, and felt assured that James would be a pastor who would never give in to compromise.  However, as many of us now know, sadly he did begin to change.  If I had to pinpoint exactly when he started to change, I can say without a doubt it was right after he came back from staying with Greg Laurie when he was having his cancer treatments.  And by reading some comments on The Elephant’s Debt and comments on some of the posts on Blood Stained Ink, I know that many other people who used to attend HBCRM (and some who still attend) have come to that same realization.  Whether Greg Laurie influenced him in some way, or someone else did, it was obvious to many of us that he was no longer the same James MacDonald that we once knew and looked forward to hearing when he preached almost every Saturday evening and Sunday morning.  He changed so much that one morning as I heard him preaching I actually had these thoughts: 

“Who are you, and where is the real James MacDonald?  Did someone clone him and replace the real James with his clone?” 

One day when I was doing a ‘search’ on the Internet, I came across the following article which made me laugh:

CAREFULLY SCRIPTED ELEPHANT AVOIDANCE — E R SAGA (PART 3) — BY CAMERON BUETTEL

It was rather comforting knowing now that I wasn’t the only one who had some outlandish thoughts about James because the changes in him were so obvious and rather concerning!  In the article above which was written on February 10th 2012, Cameron Buettel said the following:

“It would seem that my theory about the real James MacDonald being abducted by aliens some time last year is not as far fetched as my doubters first thought.  Of the multitudes of weird things James MacDonald has done over the last year or so, perhaps the most alarming was his invitation to TD Jakes to attend his Elephant Room Conference where “brothers” discuss their methodological differences.” (SOURCE)

Yes, Cameron, I am in total agreement!  And  because of what happen that night concerning T D Jakes   —  as I explained in detail in my WARNING YOU WITH TEARS post — I did not return to Harvest Bible Chapel, Rolling Meadows — my church of over 14 1/2 years — ever again.

**UPDATED 2-27-14** As previously mentioned, James came up with the idea of the ‘Elephant Room Conference.’  We then began to see James form a close bond (or should I say they formed a “tribe,” as they referred to it in these ‘Elephant Room’ conferences) with pastors that many of us have valid concerns about: Mark Driscoll, Steven Furtick, Perry Noble…and then in ER2 there was T D Jakes –a known Modalist.  An idea that could have been amazing if James would have firmly, but lovingly held each pastor accountable to God’s Word and challenged them in certain areas where they were compromising, sadly ER2 ended in disaster because of how TDJakes was basically declared as having embraced the Biblical understanding of the Trinity, when it was obvious to many Biblical scholars who examined all that he had said that night that he was still using the language of a Modalist.  (Please consider listening to the many videos I added on my ‘Warning You With Tears’ post that examine all that T D Jakes said at ‘ER2’ in light of Scripture and in light of how one who does not believe in the Doctrine of the Trinity describes God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit). And even though James did stand his ground concerning Perry Noble’s idea of playing ‘Highway To Hell’ and constantly and firmly said it “was a bad idea,” and said,  “”I just don’t get it at all,”  and “The message of ‘Highway To Hell’ is blatantly offensive,” if you listen to the link I posted above — ‘Should Church Leaders Play ‘Highway To Hell’ To Reach Unbelievers,’ —  after James continued to listen to Perry Noble justify his reasons for playing it, near the end you will sadly hear James suddenly begin to change his once firm stand on his strong opposition to it.  Towards the end of the video after listening to Perry Noble constantly defend his decision to play ‘HTH’, he asks Matt Chandler if he would play ‘HTH’ in his church, and then James says the following: 

“He’s really making me think.  I gotta say that.  I mean he’s really making me think… he has a strategy, it’s thought through…he believes it honors God, he doesn’t think he’s compromising in any way.” Like he is on it with a passion, and a reason, and defending it –toe to toe.” …”He’s thought it through very carefully” 

After Matt Chandler expresses concern about the possibility that pastors may fly into license; all things are permissible,’ James says:

“To me personally I would never allow something that so defames the glory of God and the reputation of Jesus.  I would not allow it in my service.  Unclean!  I would not allow it.” 

Concerning Perry Noble’s decision to play ‘Highway To Hell,’ Mark Driscoll asked James: 

“…do you think it was a sin against God?” 

James replied:

“…I don’t doubt his motives and I definitely don’t think it was sin for him to do it…” 

“Here’s my thought on the subject for what it’s worth:  I’m already being instructed by this.  Frankly I’m not surprised, but I’m blessed by the sincerity, and the intentionality with which you’re doing the things that you’re doing.  Like I’m instructed by that.  I’m going have to think about that –some more.  My perspective is this:  If it doesn’t adorn the gospel…it’s the beauty of Christ that’s at stake in everything we do.  The glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (Then quotes 2 Corinthians 3:18 )

“If it doesn’t adorn the beauty of God’s great Son, if it doesn’t display Him and show Him off…it’s the manifest presence  of God in the service which is the powerful life changing element.   I believe that if it doesn’t adorn the gospel it doesn’t advance the gospel.  We may see fruit…some fruit from it…we may draw people with it, we may draw decisions with it…and I’ll say it as simply as I know how in summary: I do think that if it doesn’t adorn the gospel, it doesn’t advance the gospel.”

Perry Noble says, in part:

…I think it was used to adore, and be used to advance the gospel because the song was redeemed.”

James replied:

“I’m gonna just say that I’m really blessed by you right now because your…your thinking is a lot different that I thought it was gonna to be.  I think you’re wrong about it.  But you really have thought it through…as you said, ‘we prayed on it’…”  “I’m just gonna stand on that point… if it doesn’t make Jesus more beautiful to people it’s not advancing our mission.”  ” If it’s not elevating God and God’s glory and God’s great Son then it’s not advancing the mission.  I really struggle with this idea that to be-in order to connect people  with Christ you have to be like them.  That ‘I gotta become like them to reach them’ is something that uh…I’m just not there yet.”

Perry: 

That’s what Jesus did.”

James: 

“Yeah?” (Silence for 3 seconds, and then James says:  “That would take another session.” 

James:

All right.  Fantastic.  Let’s wrap it up.” 

And then that particular ‘conversation’ came to an end.

These conferences seemed more like ‘Hegelian Dialectic‘ sessions where the goal is to wear down those with opposing views so they conform to the beliefs of the majority.  Did you notice how James would have his focus on Scripture, and yet notice how many times “I think”  was said instead of them keeping their focus on the truth of God’s Word and the Holiness of God and the reverence that we should have in our times of worship.  A shift began to take place where the belief of playing something so horrendous in a church as ‘Highway To Hell‘ was slowly becoming a possibility…at the very end it seemed that James might possibly consider trying to ‘be like them to reach them‘ with maybe a little more time and a little more thought.

We cannot be led by our feelings or our own ideas and justify something by simply saying, “We prayed about it.”  Our standard to judge what’s right and wrong must always be God’s Word, and we must never lose sight of the fact that God is pure and completely Holy and our worship we give to Him must be nothing less than that; pure and completely holy! 

“…worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”  (Hebrews 12:28,29)

If you are not aware of what the Hegelian Dialectic Process is, I highly encourage you to watch the following video: 

Just think of the many who attended ER2 in January 2012 or watched by live stream and walked away that night believing that TD Jakes indeed is a “brother-in-Christ.”  Think of those who bought the DVD’s, and those who are not firmly grounded in the truth of God’s Word who may even begin to  listen to his sermons and be caught up in his ‘Word of Faith‘ false teachings, which is another serious error in T D Jakes‘ teachings that James and the other pastors chose not to address and confront him on that night.  Those of us who are ‘born of the Spirit,’ must be Bereans and examine the Scriptures daily to see if what is being said (and done by those who claim to speak for God) is true,’  (Acts 17:11) so that we will not be deceived.  We are not to trust in men but in God alone.  Pastors and teachers are to follow Christ and His command to ‘preach the Word,’ and to ‘go and make disciples,’ and not be led astray by following the dictates of their deceitful hearts.

Not only have  some people lost sight of the Holiness of God, but also many have lost their fear of God.  Profanity in the pulpit is a common occurrence in many churches today, when God’s Word clearly says otherwise, concerning the speech and conversations of those who profess to be followers of Christ and leaders in the church, as you can see from some of the Scriptures I posted further down.

When friendships with certain people begin to eclipse our ability to discern, and if our acceptance by others slowly becomes more important that our desire to honor and please God, you can be sure that it will be the beginning of a continuous downward spiral.  And that is what I believe we are all witnessing concerning James and many pastors and teachers today –compromise for the sake of ‘unity’  and acceptance which not only causes one to harden their heart against the warnings and truth presented in God’s Word, but also hinders them from discerning truth from error. 

Here’s another example:  In January, James went away for some rest.  And by his tweet below you can see that on one of those days he attended Perry Noble’s Newspring Church.  And concerning Perry Noble’s new series on ‘CHANGE,’ he said the following:

Capture James MacDonald at New Spring Church Jan. 12, 2014

I haven’t yet listened to the actual sermon that James listened to on that particular Sunday, but it was entitled: Three Things That Must Happen For Change To Happen.’  If you’d like, you can go to Newspring Church’s website and listen to it in light of Scripture (Acts 17:11) and come to your own conclusion.

If you’d like to listen to a Biblical analysis of one of Perry Noble’s sermons in his series on Change, you can listen to Chris Rosebrough of Fighting For The Faith,’ at the link below.  That will give you a glimpse into how Perry Noble misapplies Scripture, and will also leave you wondering why James would publicly tell his followers on Twitter that one of Perry Noble’s sermons is “great.”  Maybe that particular one was, but by all the other ones I have heard him  ‘preach,’ I am sorry to say that it is highly unlikely that it was.

MISADVENTURES IN BAD HERMENEUTICS – PERRY NOBLE TURNS JOHN 3:16 INTO A TITHING TEXT

Here’s an example of how Perry Noble clearly takes  Scriptures out of context.  In this video Perry takes Scriptures that can only apply to Jesus and applies them to Steven Furtick!  It is not a stretch at all that Chris Rosebrough entitled the following video, THE BLASPHEMOUS GOSPEL OF STEVEN FURTICK BY PERRY NOBLE’

Another concern we should have with James and his involvement with — and promotion of — Perry Noble, is the fact that Perry Noble promotes the book, SACRED MARRIAGE by Gary Thomas.  In the following video Perry says:

It is the best book on marriage written,” and “…very excellent information that everybody needs to hear”

And in case you’re wondering why Perry Noble promoting that book by Gary Thomas is concerning to many, please consider reading the following articles at Lighthouse Trails at the link below this ‘quick capture‘ and you will understand why you should be concerned about Perry Noble or any pastor promoting a book by Gary Thomas.  Here’s an excerpt from one of those articles which clearly reveals why many are concerned about the unbiblical and even mystical teachings that Gary Thomas presents in his books:

Capture GARY THOMAS SACRED MARRIAGE AND MYSTICISMSOURCE

ARTICLES AT LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS-GARY THOMAS SACRED MARRIAGE AND MYSTICISM

 

SCRIPTURES FOR YOU TO REFLECT ON

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)

“He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change His mind; for He is not a human being, that He should change His mind.” (1 Samuel 15:29)

“I the LORD do not change.” (Malachi 3:6a)

“People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument.  Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of His purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, He confirmed it with an oath.  God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.  We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”                    (Hebrews 6:16-19a)

 

**2-9-14 ** PLEASE READ THESE SCRIPTURES WITH THIS QUESTION IN MIND: DO THE QUALITIES IN SOME OF THESE SCRIPTURES DESCRIBE MY PASTOR?

“To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s suffering who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them–not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” (1 Peter 5:1-3)

“Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task.  Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.  He must manage his own family well and see that his own family obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect.  (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.  He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.”  (1 Timothy 3:1-7) 

“An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.  Since an overseer manages God’s household, 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 he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” (Titus 1:6-9)

“The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.  For Scripture says,  “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.”  Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses.  But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning.  I charge you in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.” (1 Timothy 5:17-21)

“So Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip His people for works of service, so the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fulness of Christ.  Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-15)

“I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned.  Keep away from them.  For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites.  By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.” (Romans 16:17,18)

“Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you.  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 20:26-31)

“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)

“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.  For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:1-4)

“For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be.  I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.” (2 Corinthians 12:20)

“You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good.  For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.  The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.  But I tell you that man will have to give an account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.  For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:34-37)

“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children.  And live a life of love,just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.  Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or course joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.  For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure, or greedy person — such a man is an idolater — has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.  Therefore do not be partners with them.  For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.  Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.  For it is shameful to even mention what the disobedient do in secret.  But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible.  This is why it is said,  “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”  Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”  (Ephesians 5:1-16)

“But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.”  (Colossians 3:8)

“Let your conversations be always full of grace, …so that you may know how to answer everyone.”  (Colossians 4:6)

“Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by Him deeds are weighed.”                     (1 Samuel 2:3)

“To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.”  (Proverbs 8:13)

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”  (Proverbs 11:2)

“He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.” (Proverbs 13:3)

“Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advise.” (Proverbs 13:10)

“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”             (Proverbs 16:18)

“A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.” (Proverbs 29:23)

“The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.” (Isaiah 2:11)

“The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, ‘Who can bring me down to the ground?’  (Obadiah 1:3)

“The Word of the LORD came to me:  “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: “This is what the Sovereign LORD says,  “Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves!  Should not shepherds take care of the flock?  You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock.  You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured.  You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost.  You have ruled them harshly and brutally.  So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals.  My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every hill.  They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.  Therefore, you shepherds, hear the Word of the LORD:  As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because My shepherds did not search for My flock but cared for themselves rather than My flock, therefore, you shepherds, hear the Word of the LORD:  This is what the Sovereign LORD says:  I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for My flock.  I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves.  I will rescue My flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.  For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I Myself will search for My sheep and look after them.  As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them,  so will I look after My sheep.  I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.” (Ezekiel 34:1-12)

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.  A man reaps what he sows.  Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:7,8)

**UPDATE 2-9-14** If you have read all the Scriptures above, then please click HERE, and if your pastor is  JAMES MACDONALD OF HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL ROLLING MEADOWS, please take the next hour or so to listen to his message from the ‘ACT LIKE MEN’ CONFERENCE in its entirety. 

If you have been one of those who have ignored the serious concerns that many of us have tried to warn you about concerning James MacDonald’s character, and how much he has changed, after listening to his message can you now honestly say that his character and speech honors Christ and matches the Biblical description of an elder?If you are a man and you brought your son or a man you were sharing Christ’s love and the gospel with to this conference, would you be proud of the speech of your pastor, or cringe and feel ashamed?  Or more importantly, what do you think Jesus thought of his message?  Did James truly glorify God with his whole message, or did he compromise in order to please men? 

Since James has become very good friends with Mark Driscoll — who is sadly referred to by many as “the cussing pastor,” — maybe he has been wrongly influenced by his behavior.  However, there is no excuse for James speaking as he did at the ‘Act Like Men‘ conference.  He knows full well how our speech and our behavior as a follower of Christ is to reflect Christ and not reflect the behavior of the world.

James’ brother is in extremely critical condition after suffering a massive stroke, and I am deeply sorry to hear that and am praying for him, but this issue needs to be dealt with and not ignored!

SECOND ITEM OF CONCERN:

A long time former member of Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows informed me that HBCRM sent out a very lengthy letter to those who have recently left Harvest.  (I have not received one yet.  Maybe they are sending letters only to those who have not already let them know why they have left).  Below is a ‘quick capture‘ of a condensed summary giving just the main highlights in the letter that this person received from HBCRM and was nice enough to share with me by email:

Capture HBCRM LETTER MAILED TO THOSE WHO HAVE LEFT HARVEST

So, former Harvesters, what would it take for you to return?  Would you even consider returning?  Would you return if James sincerely repented for the reasons that caused you to leave?  Are you planning on responding to this letter?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

Someone who just read the recent HBCRMElder’s Update‘ informed me of the fact that James has agreed to take a pay cut and made many other commendable ‘lifestyle adjustments.’  But is this enough?  True change takes place in the heart when godly sorrow grips a person and they realize the wrong they have done and ask forgiveness from those they have offended and sinned against.  Are we seeing these changes take place in the heart and words of James?  Only God knows his heart, so we must not judge his intentions, but the evidence of true repentance must be more than superficial changes.

The elder update also speaks of “accountability between senior staff and Elder board,“and “the priority of seeking reconciliation in relationships with former church leaders.”  All good steps in the right direction, for sure!

But what about the ”ELDER VIDEO” in which the character of men were destroyed in front of all who attended Harvest that day?  What kind of impression did ‘first time visitors’ have if they attended that particular day? Below is a ‘quick capture’ of a review of HBCRM on ‘yelp,’ given by a person who attended HBCRM only a few times, and one of those times he attended was the day the ‘Elder Update‘ video was played for the entire congregation.  I accidentally came across this a couple of weeks ago:

Capture Review of HBC on yelp

The ‘elders video,’ incident  was bad enough, but what do you think a first time visitor thought if they came to HBCRM on Easter Sunday 2013 when James chose to preach on –money??!!  I never would have thought that James would have passed up an opportunity to preach the gospel on such a perfect day as the day we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  How utterly sad and even possibly blasphemous that he would choose to do such a thing!  Truly James has changed!

Personally, I would not return even if he had a sincere change of heart and repented and asked forgiveness from all the people he has hurt, although I am still continuing to pray that one day that will indeed happen. 

Even though I have forgiven James and long to be with some of my friends who are still there, I have found a church where the pastor has served faithfully for many years, and who preaches verse by verse without taking any verses out of context, or distorting it in order to add his own agenda.  My new pastor preaches every Sunday and does not get involved with pastors who distort the Word of God.  My new pastor knows me by name, and has talked with me almost every Sunday over the two years that I have now been there since leaving HBCRM.  I have even had lunch with my pastor and his wife and daughter, and he kindly and generously paid for my lunch.  Sadly, James would not even know me by name, even though I was a member for over 14 years and sat in the front of church within the first three or four rows, Sunday after Sunday.  A smaller, more intimate church where they sing hymns with lyrics that praise God, giving Him all the glory He is SO deserving of, and where people know one another and encourage one another has been the kind of church I have now found, and I am very happy and at peace there.  No more waiting for James to change and going home every Sunday feeling discouraged and righteously angry because of how he used certain Scriptures to insult those of us who have discernment and instead he labeled us as being “divisive.”

Please keep James and his brother in your prayers as I will be doing.  It is not my intent to “bash” James— it saddens me to post this, especially knowing his brother is now in such serious condition, but I found this audio from the ‘Act Like MenConference before I heard about his brother, and had been planning on updating this post with more information since I wrote it on Jan. 23, 2014.  My sole intention of adding the audio clip is that I am hoping and praying that God will use it to help those of you who are not only continuing to cling to the idea of “how much James has accomplished in the past,” but also to help those of you who are refusing to listen to the concerns that many have expressed on ‘The Elephant’s Debt,’ (especially on their latest and possibly last post —TO EVERY SEASON’ ).  It is my prayer that many of you will finally realize — after first reading the Scriptures I posted and then listening to his message — that indeed the character of James does not line up with the godly character traits that an elder must have according to God’s Word, and that all of you will begin to think and pray about what God would have you to do.

Scott and Ryan have shed light on many serious concerns regarding the conduct and character of James MacDonald.  Many godly men have come forward to give their statements concerning why they have left, and they have shared their personal stories of their experiences with James.  It’s time that all of us get our focus on Jesus, and not on any man and his ministry.  It’s time to examine the evidence and seek God in prayer for answers and wisdom as to what He would have you all to do.

Men, no matter who your pastor is, you are ordained by God to be the spiritual leader for your family.  You will have to stand before God one day and give an account for how you have led your wife and your children spiritually, so please make sure you are testing all the messages that your pastor is preaching against the Word of God, (Acts 17:11) and if necessary, find a new church home where the Word of God is accurately preached and the pastor’s character reflects the character of Christ Himself.

HBCRM members and attendees, spend time praying for God to change James’ heart, but seek God as to how much longer He would have you wait to see true repentance take place.  Or maybe in your time of prayer He will lead you to begin a search to find a new church where the pastor is accountable to godly men who have been appointed as elders by the votes of members of the church, and where the pastor will be faithful to preach God’s Word and will not give in to compromise.

**UPDATED 3-5-14** 7:05 p.m.** IN CLOSING

There was a time when most men of God were faithful to the call of God to go and preach the gospel and make disciples and correct and rebuke those who were in error.  But sadly today some pastors simply view the church as an ‘organization’ and some even go as far as saying, “I think that Jesus is the product” (that they attempt to sell) as T D Jakes stated in the following interview:

Many mega-pastors use worldly marketing strategies and some use feel-good messages that appeal to the desires of their ‘consumers’ to grow their church instead of preaching a gospel of sin and repentance and the glorious good news of the gospel of God’s mercy and grace.  Many may leave feeling good and many will probably even come back, but without hearing the truth that we are all sinners on the road to a real eternal lake of fire, their ‘best life’ will be only the good they experience here ‘now’ on this earth, and those who have ‘preached’ a ‘gospel’ that has no power to save will have to stand before God one day and answer for what they have done and failed to do.  The blood of their people will be upon their hands. 

And some pastors go to the other extreme and focus more on the law and make their people feel condemned because of their sins, and they do not share the ‘good news’ of the gospel that if they repent and receive what Jesus did when He not only took upon Himself the detestable sins  that we have committed, but also Jesus took upon Himself the full wrath of God that was intended for us because of our sins, and that we can be completely forgiven and clothed in the righteousness of Christ, and our sins will then be as far as the east is from the west, and cast into the depths of the sea.  

Presently we are seeing more and more pastors and teachers focusing on ‘unity’ and focusing less and less on Biblical truth.  Few today are men of God who have remained faithful to preach and to teach God’s Word to their congregations –all because they have not allowed the pressure to conform to the new standards to measure success as a church by, which seems to be,“It’s all about the numbers,” as mega-pastor Steven Furtick has been known to say.  More and more these types of pastors continue to lose sight of their mission of preaching the gospel and equipping the saints, and instead seek to build more and more churches which have become their empires destined to crumble if these pastors do not repent and return to Jesus, their first love.

The true gospel is about preaching sin and repentance to people to make them see their need for a Savior, and realizing that God alone has the power to convict someone of sin and to lead someone to repentance.  To use emotionally manipulating tactics — such as playing music when the pastor is preaching or about to give an altar call, or planting people in the service to come forward so as to motivate others to follow and come forward in an altar call — (as many of us have discovered is being done by seeing the latest news coming out concerning Steven Furtick, Elevation Church, and so-called ‘spontaneous baptisms‘), or to present sermons and music in a worship service that appeals to the sinful nature of men, implies that the good news of the gospel no longer has the power nor is it sufficient any longer to save someone.  And nothing could be further from the truth!

Many pastors and teachers — and all of us who are followers of Christ, for that matter — may start out with pure motives and a heart that desires to follow God without compromise, however, what really matters is how we finish on this road called ‘life.’  This thought came to mind towards the end February of this year as I was doing my daily Bible reading.  As I often do at the start of a new year, I began reading through the Old Testament.  On this one particular day as I was reading through 2 Chronicles, I began to reflect upon the many kings of Israel who started out serving God, but in the end they began to compromise and did not remain faithful to God.  Here are just a few of them:

“Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD.  He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones, and cut down the Asherah poles.  He commanded Judah to seek the LORD, the God of their fathers, and to obey His laws and commands.  He removed the high places and incense altars in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him.  Zerah the Cushite marched out against them with a vast army and three hundred chariots, and came as far as Mareshah.  Then Asa called to the LORD his God and said,  “LORD, there is no one like You to help the powerless against the mighty.  Help us, O LORD our God, for we rely on You, and in Your name we have come against this vast army.  O LORD, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You.”  The LORD struck down the Cushites before Asa and Judah.  The Cushites fled, and Asa and his army pursued them as far as Gerar.  “The Spirit of God came upon Azariah son of Oded.  He went out to meet Asa and said to him,  “Listen to me, Asa and all and all Judah and Benjamin.  The LORD is with you when you are with Him.  If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.  But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”  When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son of Oded the prophet, he took courage.  He removed the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns he had captured in the hills of Ephraim.  He repaired the altar of the LORD that was in front of the portico of the LORD’s temple.  They entered into a covenant to seek the LORD, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul.  All who would not seek the LORD, the God of Israel, were to be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman.  They took an oath to the LORD with loud acclamation, with shouting, and with trumpets and horns.  All Judah rejoiced about the oath because they had sworn it wholeheartedly.  They sought God eagerly, and He was found by them.  So the LORD gave them rest on every side.  King Asa also deposed his grandmother Maacah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive Asherah pole.  Asa cut the pole down, broke it up and burned it in the Kidron Valley.  Although he did not remove the high places from Israel, Asa’s heart was fully committed to the LORD all his life.  “At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa King of Judah and said to him,  “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand.  Were not the Cushites and the Libyans a mighty army with great number of chariots and horsemen?  Yet when you relied on the LORD, He delivered them into your hands.  For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.  You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.  Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was so enraged that he put him in prison.  At the same time Asa brutally oppressed some of the people.  The events of Asa’s reign, from beginning to end, are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.  In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet.  Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the physicians.  Then in the forty-first year of his reign Asa died and rested with his fathers.” (2 Chronicles 14:2-5,9-13a,15:1,2,8,9,12-17,16:7-13)

“Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years.  His mother’s name was Jehoaddin; she was from Jerusalem.  He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, but not wholeheartedly.  When Amaziah returned from slaughtering the Edomites, he brought back the gods of the people of Seir.  He set them up as his own gods, bowed down to them and burned sacrifices to them.  The anger of the LORD burned against Amaziah, and He sent a prophet to him, who said,  “Why do you consult this people’s gods, which could not save their own people from your hand?”  While he was still speaking, the king said to him,  “Have we appointed you as an adviser to the king?  Stop!  Why be struck down?”  So the prophet stopped but said,  “I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this and have not listened to my counsel.”  From the time that Amaziah turned away from following the LORD, they conspired against him in Jerusalem and he fled to Lachish, but they sent men after him to Lachish and killed him there.  He was brought back by horse and was buried with his fathers in the city of Judah.”              (2 Chronicles 25:1,2,14-16,27,28)

“Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years.  His mother’s name was Jecoliah; she was from Jerusalem.  He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father Amaziah had done.  He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God.  As  long as he sought the LORD, God gave him success.  God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabs who lived in Gur Baal, and against the Meunites.  The Ammonites brought tribute to Uzziah, and his fame spread as far as the border of Egypt, because he had become very powerful.  But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall.  He was unfaithful to the LORD his God, and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.  Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the LORD followed him in.  They confronted him and said,  “It is not right for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD.  That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense.  Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you will not be honored by the LORD God.”  Uzziah, who had a censer in his hand ready to burn incense, became angry.  While he was raging at the priests in their presence before the incense altar in the LORD’s temple, leprosy broke out on his forehead.  When Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests looked at him, they saw that he had leprosy on his forehead, so they hurried him out.  Indeed, he himself was eager to leave, because the LORD had afflicted him.  King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died.” (2 Chronicles 27:3-5,7,8,16-21)

After reading all the many accounts of the kings of Israel, suddenly I thought of many popular pastors and teachers who no longer serve God wholeheartedly and who began to change and who have given in to compromise.  These pastors no longer contend for the faith and no longer protect their sheep from false teachers as they once did.  Instead they invite them in to preach from their very own pulpits!  On the day they stand before a Holy God who alone knows their hearts and their motives, it won’t matter how many churches they planted, or how many people came forward in an altar call, or how many came forward to be baptized.  What will matter is did they really place their trust in Christ.  And, if so, were they faithful to preach the gospel without compromise?  Were they faithful to earnestly contend for the faith?  Were they faithful to preach His Word in season  and out of season and teach their people how to rightly divide His Word?  Did they bring correction when it was needed?  Did they expose error and protect their people lovingly and fervently as a shepherd protects his sheep from wolves whose main intent is to kill and destroy them?

Many pastors and teachers — and many ordinary followers of Christ, as well — need to have a fresh realization of the Holiness of God.  Because, sadly, many obviously have lost their fear of God, or they would not be doing some of the many things that they are doing these days and claiming that ‘God told them to do it.’  We all need to have our focus on Jesus Christ alone, and seek Him in His Word alone.

We also need to pray for our pastors and teachers, and pray for one another that God would fill our hearts with repentance and that we would seek Him wholeheartedly so that we will not change along with the culture of this world that is so obviously in rebellion against a Holy God.

A W TOZER – THE HOLINESS OF GOD

 

As always, God has a remnant of believers who will not give in to compromise and who will continue to earnestly contend for the faith.  Will you be one of them?

WHY I WROTE THE FOLLOWING POEM

I began writing this poem a few months ago out of concern because of what I see happening in mega-churches in general.  However, after listening to a video of a sermon from the weekend of January 4th and 5th 2014 preached by James MacDonald — my former pastor for over 14 1/2 years — and hearing how he enticed the people in his congregation by saying,“The biggest miracle that’s ever happened in the history of Harvest Bible Chapel is happening right now,” and how he went on to say that ‘he couldn’t tell everyone about it yet, but would in a few months,’ and upon learning from an ‘inside source‘  at the very end of December that “the [giving] “envelopes” were on every chair as people entered the auditorium,” and that “…the give stage was set from the beginning,” I was then strongly motivated to finish this poem so that I could warn people of not only the manipulative tactics that some pastors use to lure them in and to keep them there, but also I again realized the need to remind people of the importance of  looking to Jesus Christ alone and studying God’s Word so that people would not be deceived by  men and lured and  captivated by their ‘vision casting’ plans that are presented to them by these pastors. Therefore, the following poem has some verses that are much longer than the verses in most of my other poems because whenever I attempt to express my concerns about serious matters, I find it very difficult to condense my thoughts into short verses.  I apologize for how it appears, but I hope the message comes across without the lengthy verses being a distraction to you.

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

~Living4HisGlory

 

YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN THE FOLLOWING:

**ADDED 2-26-14** THE CULT OF THE VISIONEER – TODD PRUITT, REFORMATION 21 BLOG

**ADDED 3-5-14** PAUL PROCTOR – THE PEOPLE’S CHURCH WILLOWCREEK AND THE CHURCH GROWTH MOVEMENT

**ADDED 2-20-14** PASTOR RANDY WHITE – WHY I LEFT THE CHURCH GROWTH MOVEMENT

SAME INFORMATION AS ARTICLE ABOVE, BUT IN VIDEO FORM BELOW.  ARTICLE READ BY CHRIS ROSEBROUGH OF ‘FIGHTING FOR THE FAITH

19736917

UNCHANGING

I serve a God who is unchanging, His Word is living and complete

Yet some ignore this truth, to seek new revelations and experiences at His feet

Then there’s the mighty mega-pastor, who once lived in humble, simple ways

When asked the reason for his success, he would always give God the praise

A foundation once built on Christ and on His Word alone

Has given way to building using strategies of men, and God’s Word is twisted so his

own agenda can be shown

Many eyes are now being opened, discernment and knowledge are some reasons why

As God’s Spirit and godly men reveal what’s hidden in darkness, the truth is then

hard to deny

Rather than repent, these men seem to just continue to plan and to scheme

They hype up their sheep with hints of exciting things to come; the newest

mega-pastor’s dream

Their hope is to keep the devoted ones coming and giving, so as not to foil their

slightly revealed vision casted plan

Sadly these pastors have drifted far from their calling, to preach God’s Word and to

reveal a Holy God to sinful man

Shouldn’t it be enough to proclaim what Christ has done

To proclaim the unchanging glorious gospel; sin has been atoned for, it is finished,

Christ has won

Shouldn’t we simply bow in humble reverence, and praise His Holy name

And not continually praise how great our church is, and focus on its growth and its

fame

What about instructing their sheep in sound doctrine, and dying to self and turning

from sin

And warning of wolves in sheep’s clothing, instead they’re uniting and inviting them in

God’s Word is unchanging, His truth is what sets men free

But many pastors fail to teach God’s Word or to prepare their people for eternity

Caught up in being relevant and planting churches, many have strayed off the straight

and narrow path

They have changed their once powerful gospel message, without repentance these

pastors will sadly face God’s wrath

Abandoning their sheep, giving in to compromise, no longer faithful to love and to lead

These pastors leave a trail of wounded people, they have turned a deaf ear to the truth

when they plead

There is still hope for change through repentance, if they choose to surrender to

conviction and no longer rebel

If ignored, the cost to themselves and their hearers, will be none other than the

fires of hell

The methods and messages of some pastors truly are changing, but our God is

unchanging and His Word makes it clear

That we must contend for the faith, for deception is great, and proves Christ return is

indeed drawing near

Copyright© 2014 Mary K. Dalke/Living4HisGlory/Living For His Glory All rights reserved.

**UPDATED 3-14-14 6:33 P.M. ADDED LINK TO PASTOR TOM PENNINGTON’S SERMON SERIES ‘WOLVES IN THE PULPIT’ (SEE UNDER ‘YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN THE FOLLOWING.’

**UPDATED AND COMPLETED WEDNESDAY, 3-5-14** 7:17 P.M.

**UPDATED WEDNESDAY 3-5-14 10:00 A.M.** ADDED ARTICLE ON THE CHURCH GROWTH MOVEMENT BY PAUL PROCTOR. SEE UNDER ‘FURTHER READING.’ DATED IN RED.

**UPDATED TUESDAY 3-4-14 6:02 P.M.**  ADDED INFORMATION CONCERNING STEVEN FURTICK.  SEE UNDER ‘FINAL POINT WHY YOU SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT STEVEN FURTICK,’ DATED IN RED.  WILL ADD CLOSING THOUGHTS WITHIN THE NEXT FEW DAYS WHICH WILL FINALLY COMPLETE THIS POST.

**UPDATED SATURDAY 3-1-14 3:30 P.M.**  ADDED SOME CLOSING THOUGHTS.  SEE UNDER ‘IN CLOSING’ AND ‘WHY I WROTE THIS POEM,’ DATED IN RED.  ALMOST FINISHED…JUST A LITTLE MORE TO GO.  LORD WILLING, SHOULD BE COMPLETED BY EARLY NEXT WEEK.

**UPDATED FRIDAY 2-28-14 10:10 P.M.** ADDED SOME ‘CONVERSATION’ BETWEEN JAMES MACDONALD, PERRY NOBLE, AND MARK DRISCOLL FROM ‘ELEPHANT ROOM 1’ CONCERNING PERRY N. PLAYING ‘HIGHWAY TO HELL.’  ( DATED IN RED – SEE UNDER ‘INFORMATION CONCERNING JAMES MACDONALD’)

**UPDATED THURSDAY 2-27-14  9:17 p.m.** ADDED MORE INFORMATION CONCERNING JAMES AND PERRY NOBLE (DATED IN RED) JUST NEED TO ADD MY CLOSING COMMENTS, BUT MAY NOT BE ABLE TO FINISH TOMORROW.  HAVE AN IMPORTANT FAMILY MATTER TO ATTEND TO THAT CAME UP.  LORD WILLING, I WILL COMPLETE THIS POST WITHIN THE NEXT FEW DAYS.  THANK YOU FOR STOPPING BY, AND THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR PATIENCE.

**UPDATED WEDNESDAY 2-26-14 9:00 p.m.**  ADDED ARTICLE ‘THE CULT OF THE VISIONEER’ BY TODD PRUITT UNDER ‘FURTHER READING,’  SOME INFORMATION CONCERNING JAMES MACDONALD, AND AN ARTICLE CONCERNING JAMES BY CAMERON BUETTEL.  (DATE IN RED).  LORD WILLING, I AM HOPING TO COMPLETE THIS POST BY THE END OF THIS WEEK.  THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR PATIENCE.

**UPDATED FRIDAY 2-21-14 12:00 P.M**. ADDED ‘STAND UP FOR THE TRUTH’ PODCAST CONCERNING STEVEN FURTICK -“WHEN DOES A CHURCH CROSS INTO A CULT” AND VIDEO OF STEVEN F. ENCOURAGING ‘ELEVATION CHILDREN’ TO LEARN ‘THE CODE.’

**UPDATED THURSDAY 2-20-14 9:13 P.M.** ADDED MANY LINKS TO INFORMATION ON PERRY NOBLE, PERRY NOBLE VIDEO, ARTICLE BY DR. RANDY WHITE CONCERNING THE ‘CHURCH GROWTH MOVEMENT.  (DATED IN RED).

**UPDATED WEDNESDAY, 2-19-2014** ADDED  INFORMATION ON STEVEN FURTICK AND ELEVATION CHURCH, AND MORE ON FRANCIS CHAN.  ALSO ADDED LINK (COLORED IN RED) TO THE ‘ELDER  VIDEO.’ ALL INFORMATION DATED AND COLORED IN RED.  THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR PATIENCE.

**UPDATED MONDAY, 2-17-14 6:20p.m.** ADDED MORE INFORMATION ABOUT GREG LAURIE AND INFORMATION ON FRANCIS CHAN.  SEE INFORMATION DATED 2-17-14

** UPDATE 2-15-14 9:26 P.M.**  I WAS HOPING TO FINISH THIS POST BY TODAY, BUT THERE WAS SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT I NEEDED TO TAKE CARE OF FIRST.  LORD WILLING, I HOPE TO FINALLY COMPLETE THIS POST BY WEDNESDAY.  ONCE AGAIN, I AM VERY SORRY, AND APPRECIATE YOUR PATIENCE.

**UPDATED 2-12-14**SEE UNDER THE FIRST SET OF SCRIPTURES. DATE IN RED.  LORD WILLING, HOPE TO HAVE THIS POST COMPLETED BY THE END OF THIS WEEK

**UPDATED 2-9-14 9:01 p.m.**  ADDED LINK TO JAMES MACDONALD’S MESSAGE FROM HIS ‘ACT LIKE MEN’ CONFERENCE WITH SOME THOUGHTS FOR YOU TO PRAYERFULLY PONDER, AS WELL AS A HBCRM REVIEW I CAME ACROSS ON ‘YELP,’ AND INFORMATION ON A LETTER RECENTLY SENT TO MANY WHO HAVE LEFT HBCRM.  (ALL UPDATES DATED IN RED

UPDATE 2-6-14  3:32P.M. ADDED MORE SCRIPTURES**  WILL TRY TO COMPLETE POST WHEN TIME ALLOWS…NEED TO CATCH UP ON SOME THINGS FIRST.  THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR PATIENCE.

UPDATE 1-31-14 11:38A.M.**  FOR THE PAST WEEK I HAVE BEEN GATHERING INFORMATION TO SUPPORT SOME OF THE COMMENTS I WILL BE ADDING TO FINALLY FINISH THIS POST.  LORD WILLING, I HOPE TO HAVE EVERYTHING I AM SEARCHING FOR — AND THIS POST COMPLETED — BY EARLY NEXT WEEK –MAYBE SOONER.  THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE.

 

Save

Capture Sheep in a field in Israel“The Word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel ; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves!  Should not  shepherds take care of the flock?  You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally.  So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals.  My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.  ” ‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the Word of the LORD:  As surely as I live, declared the Sovereign LORD, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because My shepherds did not search for My flock but cared for themselves rather than for My flock, therefore, you shepherds, hear the Word of the LORD:  This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for My flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue My flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.  ” ‘For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I Myself will search for My sheep and will look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after My sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.” (Ezekiel 34:1-12)

Even though the Scripture I posted above speaks of the rulers in Israel and their failure to care for their people, and how they instead chose to seek after the best of things in order to satisfy their own needs, this passage of Scripture still came to mind when I was reading some of the comments on THE ELEPHANT’S DEBT one day last month.  These comments were made by many who still attend Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows (my former church of almost 15 years), as well as by those who have left there.  So many of them were heart breaking, to say the least! 

The first words that came to my mind as I read one of the comments in particular, were, “Woe to the shepherds” because of the obvious hurt and devastation that James and his behavior has caused this person, and countless others.  Could it be that James MacDonald — among many other prominent pastors — has forgotten the responsibility he  has been given by God to not only love and care for his sheep, but also to be there to feed them His Word on a consistent basis, as well as how he is to set a good example for his congregation?  Maybe the fact that one day he will have to give an account to God for how he cared for them has somehow escaped his mind, as well.  Or maybe the pleasures and riches of this world have captivated his heart and caused him to wander, as 1 Timothy 6:6-10 clearly warns us can happen.  (Posted below).

I wondered about the recent Act Like Men Conference.  Was the focus on Christ and magnifying His name, and were the teachings based on sound Biblical theology?  Were men challenged to be strong in the faith and to ‘act like men‘ as God’s Word challenges and commands men to do? The video below seems to indicate that was the main intention of this conference:

However, I read one response by someone who writes on HUMBLE STUMBLE and who attended the ACT LIKE MEN CONFERENCE.’  And although he reports on the fact that he was beginning to “appreciate some solid teaching,” he follows that by giving a very sad and detailed account of the heartbreaking things that happened next that shows the conference — at this particular  location — to be anything but a conference that teaches men how to ‘act like men.’ At least not godly and mature men.  You can read his account, as well as the godly advice he gives, here: MY RESPONSE TO ACT LIKE MEN

And add to that the immature decision of James MacDonald and Mark Driscoll to show up at John MacArthur’s ‘STRANGE FIRE CONFERENCE’ on the way to James MacDonald’s ‘ACT LIKE MEN’ CONFERENCE, (as seen in the ‘quick capture’ below) and you can see that somewhere along the line, sadly, James seems to have lost the ability he once had to be a true reflection of Jesus Christ and to honor God with his life.  You can read more about what happened on that day, below, under ‘FURTHER READING.’

Capture James MacDonald and Mark Driscoll at 'Strange Fire Conference'The sadness that I feel concerning James MacDonald’s (among other pastor’s) behavior over the past five years or so, and the desire to see him once again be the man he once was — a man who powerfully preached God’s Word and never gave into the pressure to conform and use the tactics that so many modern day preachers use today to ‘grow the church’ — as well as the deep concern I have for all of you who still attend Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows, in spite of the fact that many of you have been harshly treated or ignored by James and those in leadership, and yet still cling to hope that James will change, –these are the things that prompted me to write the following poem.  I am still praying that James, and those in leadership at Harvest, will one day come to realize the downward spiral that they are going in, and that each of them will  truly repent and be restored so that God might once again be glorified at Harvest in every way.

Even though I have posted the following video on a few of my other posts, I am choosing to do it once again, because it clearly demonstrates the shift taking place in many churches today to water down the gospel and to make the church into an organization by using worldly methods and the philosophies of men to grow the church rather than depending on the Spirit of God:

“And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47b)

“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.  So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” (1 Corinthians 3:6,7)

If you have never watched this video before, I encourage you to do so in order that you may realize what is happening in many churches today.  The information will clearly help you understand the dangerous trends taking place today that are causing many to move away from solid Biblical doctrine, leaving many people in a state of confusion and sadly, causing many to leave churches permanently.

Below is the updated and longer version of the video above:

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 FOR YOU TO REFLECT ON

“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.  Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.  For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure, or greedy person–such a man is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.  Therefore do not be partners with them.” (Ephesians 5:1-7)

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.  Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.  Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Timothy 6:6-10)

“He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young.” (Isaiah 40:11)

“When He saw the crowds He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36)

“For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:17)

lightning1

WOE TO THE SHEPHERDS

Woe to the shepherds who lead their sheep astray

They seek to satisfy themselves, they’ve veered off the narrow way

Their sheep are bruised and broken, from the lack of their shepherd’s care

And God will hold them to account, of this truth they seem to be unaware

Often harsh and immature in word and in deed, and yet they speak of ‘love’ and how to ‘act like men’

Will they ever rend their hearts in grief, and return to Him again

Will they repent of their ways and stand for the truth, content to just preach His Word

Will their hearts turn back to their First Love once again, will they preach the gospel of grace

to those who have not heard

Or will they continue to run here and there, pursuing their own passions and dreams

Desiring instead to be pleasers of men, will they continue on with their fleshly schemes

God’s Word is filled with warnings to shepherds , who reject His firm command

He Himself will somehow remove them, and He will do so by His very own hand

His sheep He will not leave as prey to shepherds, who seek to satisfy their lusts

Their behavior must grieve the very heart of God, and fill Him with disgust

God Himself will rescue His sheep, He will gather them near to His heart

He will rescue the lost and bind up their wounds, and from Him they will never depart

This warning goes out to the shepherds, to fear God and to repent of your ways

For the way you now live brings shame to His name, a life that surely betrays

How many today are like Judas, they appear to follow Christ by all that they do

Tares among wheat who walk the broad path, those who walk the narrow way we are told will be few

Woe, woe to the shepherds, wake up before it’s too late

Repent and return, and give heed to His Words, if you don’t you will seal your own fate

Copyright© 2013 Mary K. Dalke/Living For His Glory/Living4HisGlory 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 INFORMATION

MATTHEW HENRY COMMENTARY ON EZEKIEL 34

‘DO NOT BE SURPRISED’ – ACTING LIKE MEN? MARK DRISCOLL CRASHES STRANGE FIRE, JAMES MACDONALD WATCHES

CHRIS ROSEBROUGH – FIGHTING FOR THE FAITH: RECAP OF ACT LIKE MEN –  INDIANAPOLIS CONFERENCE

YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN READING

LIKE SHEEP WITHOUT A SHEPHERD

WARNING YOU WITH TEARS

Tenth Avenue North – Worn

INTRODUCTION

I’m sure that many of you who are Christians can identify with the feeling of being ‘worn’ by the circumstances that life continues to bring, in spite of a deep and abiding faith in Christ and belief in His Sovereignty.  This poem sums up what I have been ‘feeling’ over the past few months, but we as Christians must not be led or controlled by our feelings.  If we have repented (turned from sin because of sincere sorrow in our hearts – 2 Corinthians 7:10) and have placed our complete trust in Christ providing full payment for our sins and satisfying God’s wrath that He has towards us because of  our sins,  and have submitted our lives to Him, then we must choose to trust Him and respond in the midst of trials in a way that seeks to honor and glorify God, and not in a way that satisfies our human sinful nature.  And, as those of us who are truly Christians know — as hard as we may try, in our own strength that is not always possible.  At times we may still try and take matters into our own hands and react in the flesh, instead of responding with self-control and relying upon God’s strength and out of a desire to glorify God.

For those of you who do not yet personally know Jesus Christ, but may just possibly have a head knowledge of who He may be, may I suggest to you that God may be using the difficult circumstances of your life right now to draw you to Himself?  Sometimes if the kindness He shows you does not draw you to Himself, the only way you may see your need for Him is if your whole world comes crumbling down around you.  I pray that if this is you, that you will consider reading His Word, the Bible, and allow Him to reveal Himself to you.  Lay your life down at the foot of the cross and accept the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on your behalf when He bore your sins and guilt when He hung upon the cross and died in your place.  Be willing to turn from your sins, and to learn of Him and His truth in His Word, the Bible.  I promise you, that even though your life will continue to be filled with sorrow and disappointment at times, you will have His peace that surpasses all human understanding, His grace and strength that is always sufficient to see you through, His love that will never end for you, and His wisdom to help you make the many decisions you will have to make as you continue to walk down this road we call ‘life.’

God bless you, and thank you for stopping by.   And thank you to those of you who take the time to read my posts and poems.  I pray that somehow God will bless and encourage you through what I write.  Above all, I pray God will reveal His truth to you and encourage you through the Scriptures I continue to post with each blog post I write.

SCRIPTURES FOR YOU TO REFLECT ON

“Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it.  Though I did regret it–I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while– yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance.  For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.  Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret but worldly sorrow brings death.”  (2 Corinthians 7:8-10)

“Or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, tolerance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you towards repentance?  But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath when His righteous judgment will be revealed.”  (Romans 2:4)

“Say to them,  ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.  Turn!  Turn from your evil ways!'”         (Ezekiel 33:11)  

Jesus said,  “I tell you, no!  But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”  (Luke 13:3)

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”  (Acts 3:19)

“The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.  The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.  Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?  You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.  That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.  But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.  So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless, and at peace with Him.”  (2 Peter 3: 9-14)

“For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in His flesh the law with its commandments and regulations.  His purpose was to create in Himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility.  He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.  For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.”  (Ephesians 2:14-18)

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”         (Romans 5:8)

“This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”  (1 John 4:9,10)

“You believe that there is one God.  Good!  Even the demons believe that — and shudder.”  (James 2:19)

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.  Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”  (John 3:16-21)

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”  (John 3:36)

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  (John 14:27)

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33)

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties, for when I am weak, then I am strong.”  (2 Corinthians 12:9,10)

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”  (Romans 8:28)

“If God is for us who can be against us?”  (Romans 8:31)

“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”  (1 Peter 3:9)

“It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good, than for doing evil.  For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.”      (1 Peter 3:17,18)

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  (James 1:2-4)

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade — kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes, even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”      (1 Peter 1:3-9)

“But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.  My feet have closely followed His steps; I have kept to His way without turning aside.  I have not departed from the commands of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread.”  (Job 23:10-12)

WORN BUT DETERMINED

Weary from life and from all the hurt and change it brings

And yet my heart cries out to You, O Lord, to You its praises sings

Sorrow upon sorrow, it seems that’s all that I endure

But in Christ’s strength I rest in knowing that in You I am secure

Desiring to bring You glory, and never to bring You shame

I choose to submit to every challenge, as I call upon Your name

In You I find my strength when I am so very weak

As well as words of  truth and wisdom when there is the need to speak

Lord, You see how I am wrongly accused and judged, there’s nothing more that I can do

All I ask is that You’d have Your way, I place all my trust in You

My worth has been diminished as my age begins to grow

Regardless of my faithfulness, it seems he’d rather see me go

I base my worth on Christ and all He did for me

And yet words still have a way of hurting, even though from the damage of verbal abuse

You healed and set me free

If it be Your will please clear my name, and give me favor in his eyes

Or lead me to another place, where there’s peace and no compromise

I may never understand why things turn out the way they do

But I know that You are Sovereign and Your Word is ever true

Yes, weary and worn from life, but never weary from living for You

Or contending for the faith and standing for what is true

I am worn but determined to finish this race

And will press on through the strength of Christ and by His all sufficient grace

Copyright©2013 Mary K. Dalke/Living4HisGlory/Living For His Glory All rights reserved.

COMING SOON:

POEM – ‘WOE TO THE SHEPHERDS’

POST – MY TESTIMONY: FROM FEAR AND UNCERTAINTY, TO PEACE AND ASSURANCE – HOW GOD REVEALED THE TRUTH TO ME AS I WAS READING A CATHOLIC NEW TESTAMENT BIBLE – PART 2

****UPDATED 10/20/13** ADDED LINK TO ANOTHER EXCELLENT POST AND SERMON BY TOM CHANTRY (SEE BELOW.  DATE HIGHLIGHTED IN RED)

**UPDATED 10/12/13** ADDED LINK TO TOM CHANTRY’S POST AND SERMON (SEE BELOW).

UPDATED 10/5/13** WELL, I WOULD LIKE ALL OF YOU TO KNOW THAT TWITTER’S FAMOUS ‘MEGACHURCHMOUSE’ WHO IS  “BOLD LIKE A LION” AND DEFINITELY NOT “TIMID AS A MOUSE,”  — AS THEY SAY — HAS BEEN TWEETING UP A STORM LATELY, TRYING TO GET THE ATTENTION OF PASTORS AND CERTAIN CHRISTIAN BLOGGERS HOPING FOR SOMEONE TO  GIVE A BIBLICAL ANALYSIS OF WHAT IS HAPPENING OVER AT HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL ROLLING MEADOWS, CONCERNING THE ATTEMPT AT CHANGING THEIR ELDER STRUCTURE.  AND AS YOU CAN SEE FROM THE QUICK CAPTURES BELOW, HE/SHE (NO ONE REALLY KNOWS FOR SURE) HAS BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL!

Capture HBC Attempting To Change Elder Structure

Capture The Mouse Made Me Do It

MEGACHURCHMOUSE’S LOUD SQUEAKS FINALLY CAPTURED THE ATTENTION OF TOM CHANTRY, PASTOR OF CHRIST REFORMED BAPTIST CHURCH IN MILWAUKEE.  AND YOU CAN READ  HIS EXCELLENT POST BELOW, APTLY ENTITLED, ‘THE MOUSE MADE ME DO IT’ UNDER ‘FURTHER READING.’  AS YOU CAN IMAGINE, MEGACHURCHMOUSE WAS GREATLY APPRECIATIVE:

Capture MegaChurchMouse Humbled And Honored

    

INTRODUCTION

I have been trying to finish writing ‘Part 2’ of my testimony, but in light of recent developments at my former church, Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows, especially concerning September’s Elder Update (that you can find at one of the links here) (UPDATE: 9/28/13 UNFORTUNATELY THAT VIDEO SEEMS TO NO LONGER BE AVAILABLE.  HOWEVER, I JUST FOUND IT ON A WEBSITE AS A VIDEO ON YOUTUBE, AND IT CAN BE SEEN BELOW IN ITS ENTIRETY.  **UPDATE** HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL HAD THAT REMOVED.  **UPDATE** 10/5/13** JUST FOUND THIS YESTERDAY.  SO FOR THE TIME BEING YOU CAN SEE SEPTEMBER’S ‘ELDER UPDATE’ >HERE< ) that focuses on former elders, Scott Phelps and Barry Slabaugh, as well as the statement given by well respected and loved former 20 year elder of Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows, David Corning, (that you can read at ‘The Elephant’s Debt’ website here) I decided to take time to write a poem as a way to express my support for all of them. 

Some of the things you will hear being said, word for word, in September’s ‘Elder Update,’ are as follows:

James MacDonald: “I just want to remind you, uh, that God has entrusted, uh, spiritual authority, uh, to the local church.  And uh, every local church, um, has a an authority under God and we believe that the Bible teaches that the authority of the church is invested in the elders.  And that when the elders speak uh, collectively in agreement they speak uh, for God, uh, to our church.  That’s about as uh, serious as serious gets.  And uh, here are uh four of the elders in our church that have a message, uh, for us and we would do well to take heed to, so listen uh very carefully –these four men are speaking on behalf of the entire elder board of our church on every campus.  Listen now.”

Some of the many things you will hear the elders Paul Inserra, Steve Huston, Randy Williams, Jamie Harrison, say concerning former elders, Scott Phelps and Barry Slabaugh, are as follows:

“They refused to submit to elder consensus , choosing instead to sow discord and create division.”

“Please pray for their repentance and victory over a persistent spirit of superiority and self-righteousness.”

“Their goal is to discredit our pastor, divide this church.  And we call upon the people of Harvest family to make sure this does not happen.”

“Church matters are not to be tried in the court of public opinion.  Publicizing viewpoints rejected by the elder majority for any reason is Satanic to the core and must be dealt with very directly.”

“We warn the people of Harvest Bible Chapel to separate themselves from these false messengers.  Don’t stand in the middle, don’t seek to mediate.  Please avoid these former Harvest elders at all cost, lest you incur great detriment to your own soul.”

In part, the elders say the following to assure the people of Harvest that:

“We the elders of Harvest Bible Chapel are completely satisfied with Pastor James’ growth in grace.”

And that they:

“…stand behind his character and integrity without reservation.”

In closing, they have this to say:

  “Nothing is covered, nothing is unresolved, nothing is ongoing.  Only this attack from the enemy.”

Because of the serious concerns I had after viewing the Elder Update and hearing the above mentioned things that were said by the four elders in the video, I also wrote this poem as another warning (the first being WARNING YOU WITH TEARS) to all Harvest Bible Chapel attendees and members, (and every other Christian, as well) of not only how very important it is for you (and for all of us) to pray for discernment and to test all messages you (we) will hear by those in leadership (of any church) against the truth of God’s Word to make sure that what you (we) are hearing is true, (Acts 17:11, 1 Thessalonians 5:21,22) but also the importance of investigating any claims made so that you (we) will come to know what the truth really is. 

The following poem focuses on some of those concerns, and they are presented to you through many warnings.  I pray discernment and wisdom for all who have watched, and will watch the ‘Elder Update’ in the future. (Well, viewing the video of the ‘Elder Update’ may not be possible any longer, but I am sure it’s still on the Internet somewhere).

My final thoughts to all of you are as follows: Someone is being deceptive and manipulative, and someone is telling the truth.  Either the elders in the video are telling the truth, which would mean that Scott Phelps and Barry Slabaugh are trying to discredit James MacDonald.  But if not, that would mean that James MacDonald as well as some of the elders at Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows are attempting to destroy the reputations of Scott Phelps and Barry Slabaugh, as well as mislead all of you.  So be very cautious about coming to your own conclusion as to who is telling the truth.  Earnestly pray and ask God to reveal the truth to you.  Let God and His Word be the source for the truth that you seek, and pray for discernment concerning the information you find on the Internet.

Don’t allow anyone to manipulate your thinking if you have any valid concerns, even if you are told that “when the elders speak collectively in agreement they speak for God…”

Even though I left HBCRM over 1 1/2 years ago, I still continue to pray for all of you, as well as for James and all others in leadership.

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

God Bless You

~Mary Dalke/Living4HisGlory

 

UPDATE: 9/28/13 10:30p.m. JUST FOUND THIS ELDER UPDATE ON A WEBSITE, AND IT WAS UPLOADED ON YOUTUBE (UPDATE: 10/3/13 Harvest Bible Chapel had the video removed from the person’s channel who uploaded it on YouTube, so I have replaced it with this screenshot).

Capture HBC ELDERS

PLEASE CONSIDER WATCHING THE FOLLOWING VIDEO SERIES SO YOU ARE AWARE OF THE DANGER SIGNS OF:

TOXIC CHURCHES (Part 1 of 2)

SCRIPTURES FOR YOU TO REFLECT ON

“As for you, see what you have heard from the beginning remains in you.  If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.  And this is what He promised us–eternal life.  I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.  As for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you.  But as His anointing teaches you about all things, and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit–just as it has taught you, remain in Him.” (1 John 2:24-26)

But a prophet who presumes to speak in My name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.”  You may say to yourselves,  “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?”  If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken.  That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.” (Deuteronomy 18:20-22)

“Her prophets whitewash these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations.  They say,  ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says’–when the LORD has not spoken.” (Ezekiel 22:28)

“I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in My name.  They say,  ‘I had a dream!  I had a dream!’  How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds.  Let the prophet who has a dream recount the dream, but let the one who has My Word speak it faithfully .  For what has straw to do with grain?”  declares the LORD.  “Is not My Word like fire, declares the LORD, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?  “Therefore,” declares the LORD, “I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare,  ‘The LORD declares.’  Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,”  declares the LORD.  They tell them and lead My people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them.  They do not benefit these people in the least,”  declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 23:25-32)

“For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.  It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness.  Their end will be what their actions deserve.”       (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

“Consider how far you have fallen!  Repent and do the things you did at first.  If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” (Revelation 2:5)

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” (Acts 3:19)

LeighsPhotography2-1

LEARN TO DISCERN SO YOU WILL NOT BE DECEIVED

Learn to discern so you will not be deceived

Everything a church leader says is not always to be believed

Examine every Scripture concerning what is being said

Test the character of everyone, or you just might be misled

Truth is not always apparent by what you’re being told

You need to think quite carefully, or a lie you may be sold

Destructive labels are being placed upon godly men because it’s simply the truth

these men do seek

And they can paint quite a different picture; one that’s distorted, untrue, and bleak

Attempting to destroy someone’s reputation, possibly because of arrogance or pride

Would be clear evidence of a wayward, rebellious heart that’s forming deep inside

God’s Word warns that men will come and claim to speak for Him

Speaking the deceit of their own hearts, messages spoken not just on a whim

Discernment is truly needed to know who it is that really speaks the truth

But the evidence is very clear, so it doesn’t take a sleuth

A church divided can never stand, but please know that God is in control

Seek the truth in prayer and in His Word, and you will find healing for your soul

Keep your eyes on Christ alone, for by man many are led astray

May God have His way in the hearts of all, and for that we must truly pray

Kingdoms rise and many fall when a man takes his eyes off of the Lord

But through humbleness and true repentance, it all can be restored

This warning goes out to every one of us, for we are all sinners saved by grace

In reverent fear let’s search our hearts, for we will one day see Him face to face

Copyright© 2013 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.

RELATED POSTS

WARNING YOU WITH TEARS

WHOM DO YOU FOLLOW

LIKE SHEEP WITHOUT A SHEPHERD

OUT OF THE DARKNESS AND INTO THE LIGHT

FURTHER READING

HOW TO SPOT A MANIPULATIVE CHURCH LEADER

MIND CONTROL AT CHURCH: SIX TELL-TALE SIGNS OF ABUSIVE LEADERS

**ADDED 10/5/13** POSTS BY TOM CHANTRY, PASTOR OF CHRIST REFORMED BAPTIST CHURCH CONCERNING HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL

THE MOUSE MADE ME DO IT

TOUCH NOT THE LORD’S ANOINTED

**ADDED 10/12/13** 

WHAT DOES A FALSE MINISTRY LOOK LIKE?  READ AND LISTEN TO PASTOR TOM CHANTRY ON THIS SUBJECT AT THE LINKS BELOW:

 TEN MARKS OF A FALSE MINISTRY

TOM CHANTRY’S EXCELLENT SERMON >>HERE<<

**ADDED 10/20/13**

TOM CHANTRY SHOWS US THROUGH SCRIPTURE, THE PATTERN FOR A TRUE, BIBLICAL MINISTRY:

SEVEN MARKS OF A TRUE MINISTRY

ANOTHER EXCELLENT SERMON OF THE SAME TITLE BY TOM CHANTRY CAN BE FOUND >>HERE<<

ANY ADVERTISEMENTS THAT SHOW UP ON MY BLOG ARE COMPLETELY THE CHOICE OF WORDPRESS, AND I HAVE NO CONTROL OF WHAT THEY CHOOSE TO POST, NOR CAN I EVEN SEE WHAT THEY MAY CHOOSE TO POST ON MY SITE

RISE UP!

INTRODUCTION

As I watched the Passion 2013 Conference online, (which I wrote about here, and will update when time allows) and as I saw the reported 60,000 young people in attendance, and heard the sometimes disturbing messages they were being fed and how the gospel message was being diluted or even ignored at this conference, a deep concern began to rise up within me for all of these young people, and I am sure within the hearts of many other Christians as they watched, as well! 

As the cameras scanned the crowd, and I saw a close-up of some of their faces, the reality of the need to warn this generation and young believers  — as well as an urgency to sound the alarm to all Christians who have a passion to contend for the faith and to expose spiritual deception — began to stir within my heart, and the words for this poem began to come together. 

When those of us who are followers of Christ see young people being misled by those ‘preachers’/speakers who neglect to proclaim God’s Word and do not take the time to present the gospel, and instead twist God’s Word to make it about themselves or those in their audience, and plan so-called ‘revivals,’ such as the Code Orange Underground Revival that took place by ‘invitation only, ‘ and started on January 15th,  (and as many of us learned on Twitter through Steven Furtick, that it was ‘the first of 8 Code Orange Underground meetings in 2013′) as well as witnessing the twisting of God’s Word by those who spoke at the ‘Awakening Revival’ that took place at the end of January of this year and ended Saturday, February 2nd, that should be enough to fill our hearts with concern and compassion for this generation!

We as Christians who are grieved by what we see taking place in the name of Christianity, must first pray, and then ‘rise up’ and lovingly speak the truth whenever possible to all who are being led astray by those who are distorting the truth of God’s Word.  We must pray and ask God to open the hearts and minds of those who are being spiritually deceived, and pray for God to give us many opportunities to share with them the Biblical, soul saving, life-changing gospel, that is the power of God unto salvation! (Romans 1:16)

We must also gently point out to them how these speakers distort Scripture, in spite of how sincere they seem when they seek to raise awareness of — and money for — a cause that tugs at one’s heart — such as ‘sex trafficking’ — and how this can bring credibility to their ministry and cloud one’s ability to discern what is really being said. 

Above all, we must also help them realize the importance of seeking after God alone, and the need to test these men’s (and women’s) words against Scripture (Acts 17:11) so they will not be deceived.

When time allows, please take the time to listen to Chris Rosebrough of ‘Fighting For The Faith’ give his Biblical sermon review of Steven Furtick’s ‘Awakening Revival’ message. 

Here’s a Biblical analysis given by Bezel333 of a sermon ‘preached’ by  Sergio Delamora of Cornerstone Church, which is located in San Diego CA.  (Never heard of him before).  There are so many who twist God’s Word these days, that it’s impossible to keep up with them all!

And just to show you how absurd things are becoming in the name of Christianity today, and how important it is to read and study God’s Word, and to pray for discernment so you will not accept everything as being  from God, please consider watching the video below that I found on YouTube in 2009.  At the start of this video, Ramie Whalen, of MorningStar Ministries, claims that ’40 were healed during the Holy Ghost Hokey Pokey.’  I apologize ahead of time to those of you who may end up getting this song stuck in your head!  Ugh!

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/Living4HisGlory

 

RELATED SCRIPTURES

“Therefore, I declare to you today, that I am innocent of the blood of all men.  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 20:26-31)

“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and of His kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.  For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”  (2 Timothy 4:1-4)

“He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”  (Titus 1:9)

“You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine.”  (Titus 2:1)

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

PolurrianSunset1-1

RISE UP!

Rise up, O Christian with discernment, and let your voice be heard

By the many who are being led astray by those who distort the truth of God’s

Holy Word

A precious generation is being taken captive by men who simply entertain

Young Christians blindly follow faithfully, yet in their sin many still remain

Some preachers mention Jesus as the Savior, but the gospel is rarely made so clear

To cause this generation to repent and tremble, as we sense Christ’s return is indeed

drawing very near

Some preachers raise awareness of — and focus on — injustices that seems to validate

what they say

So please warn them to test their words in light of Scripture, and for discernment they

must truly pray

Many of us are grieved and overwhelmed by all we hear and see take place

Pastors bring shame to the name of Christ, as well as ignore sin and repentance, and

God’s amazing grace,

They twist God’s Word, preach about themselves, and one even used God’s name

in vain,

By their empty words and disrespect, they treat the gospel with disdain,

Revivals started not by a move of God, but produced by man’s efforts and entertain

instead,

Are causing this generation to not know the one true God; they’re being spiritually

misled,

Rise up and let your voice be heard, speak out in any way you can,

Make clear the sinful state of man, and God’s gracious redemptive plan,

Be bold in exposing these men’s errors, but let God’s love guide every word you say,

Be patient with those who disagree, and please be sure to pray,

For it’s only God who can help them see that they have been deceived,

Emotionally charged, flesh satisfying messages with no power to save, is what many

have received

Rise up and speak truth to the one who’s lost, to the one who has been led astray

Deceived by men who claim to know the risen Christ, allow God to use you to show

them the way…

The way to discern, the way to learn, so they can know if a message is Biblical

and true

If your heart breaks for them, rise up and speak out to them, the one God could use

could very well be…you

Copyright©2013 Mary K.Dalke/Living4HisGlory/LivingForHisGlory All Rights reserved. 

Photo obtained from Photobucket – Polurriansunset1-1.jpg

Scripture added by Mary K. Dalke on Photobucket

LORD WILLING, COMING BY EASTER:

MY TESTIMONY: FROM FEAR AND UNCERTAINTY, TO PEACE AND ASSURANCE – HOW GOD REVEALED THE TRUTH TO ME AS I WAS READING A CATHOLIC NEW TESTAMENT BIBLE

INTRODUCTION

This poem came about as the result of a request by a faithful and very encouraging reader of this blog — C. Curtis, who asked me to consider writing ‘a poem about how God leads His people out of the darkness and into the light,’  implying  in part, she’d like a poem about what it would be like for those of us who are presently attending a church where there has been a shift from expository preaching to a watered down, man-centered message (to say the least), to then finding a church where the gospel is clearly presented and Biblical truth is the focus.  I can tell you by personal experience that it’s like a breath of fresh air after a spring rain, or like breathing a sigh of relief after coming to the end of an extremely stressful ordeal.

When I first found the church I am now attending, tears of joy filled my eyes after I heard the pastor preach.  To hear the Word of God being preached without any manipulation or hidden agenda added, was like drinking a refreshing cold glass of water to my parched and thirsty spirit and soul.  Tears also filled my eyes to know that I had finally found a church where I could call my home.  I thanked God for leading me there after an exhausting search for a church that took over a month to find after leaving my former church of almost 15 years — Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows; a church I thought I’d never have to leave. (If you’d like, you can read all about it on my post>> WARNING YOU WITH TEARS).

In prayer, my heart continues to go out to all of you who are still hanging on, hoping and praying for things to one day change, but I just ask that you would examine your heart and test your motives against God’s Word to see if maybe it’s time for you to take a stand for Biblical truth, and to trust God and finally leave.

The following poem is divided into two parts — THE DARKNESS and THE LIGHT — so you can clearly see the contrast of how things are at a church that has given in to compromise, compared to a church where Christ is exalted and God’s Word is preached line upon line, precept upon precept.

Thank you very much to all who continue to check in now and then to read my posts!  God bless you and Happy New Year!

SCRIPTURES FOR YOU TO REFLECT ON

“Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God,”  (Psalm43:5)

“This is what the LORD says:  “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.  He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes.  He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.  “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.  The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it?  “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.”   (Jeremiah17:5-12)

“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”  (Psalm 118:8)

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.”  (Proverbs 29:25)

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower.  Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?  For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying,  ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’  “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king.  Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?  If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.  In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”  (Luke 14:28-33)

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  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.  “You are the salt of the earth.  But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?  It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.  “You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  (Matthew 5:10-15)

“Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”  (Deuteronomy 31:6)

“For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”  (Isaiah 41:13)

“Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few will find it.  Watch out for false prophets.  They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.  By their fruit you will recognize them.  Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Thus by their fruit you will recognize them.  “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!’ ” Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”  (Matthew 7:13-27)

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”  (Isaiah 43:18)

“Forgetting what is behind, and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 3:13,14)

“Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to know Him.  As surely as the sun rises, He will appear; He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.”  (Hosea 6:3)

scenery

OUT OF THE DARKNESS AND INTO THE LIGHT

THE DARKNESS

Many pastors who once stood for Biblical truth, are now following a dangerous path

Away from Christ, their once firm foundation, without repentance they will sadly face God’s wrath

Willingly led astray by those who preach a gospel that’s tainted with false doctrines and compromise

They ignore the clear truths presented in Scripture, some even allow the pleasures of this world

to be the focus of their eyes

Sermons are rarely centered on Christ, and the gospel of Your mercy and grace

But rather on their own dreams and endeavors, these things seem to constantly take their place

Some pastors even twist Your Word to wrongly justify the choices they have made

Attempting to manipulate our emotions, so we’ll go along with their latest charade

Our hearts break for new church attenders, for they are not aware of what many of us know

But we choose to place our trust in You, Lord, and pray the truth to them You will indeed show

We have fervently prayed for our pastor’s eyes to be opened, to repent and return to His first love

But there is not even a glimmer of hope yet to be seen, as we have sought You in prayer for him,

O Lord, our Father above

Our hearts are torn by discouragement and sorrow, hope for change seems to be coming to an end

Our choice to stand for Biblical truth is the reason many of us are without a friend

The blessing of discernment sometimes comes with a very high price to pay

For when we attempt to lovingly speak the truth to expose error, some pastors demand that we leave

and go our own way

Who would have thought that wrongly being branded ‘divisive’ by our pastor, could one day possibly

be part of ‘counting the cost’

We can’t help but wonder if they are truly saved, or is it possible that they are still helplessly lost

I’m ready now, Lord, just lead the way, out of this darkness and into the light

Guide me to where You want me to be, let Your will become clear within my mind and to my sight

THE LIGHT

Out of the darkness and into the light

All that I had hoped and prayed for, is now in plain sight:

A pastor who rightly divides Your Holy Word

Who preaches Scriptures in context; no hidden agenda or distortion of verses is ever heard

A body of believers woven together as one, for they seek not after an exalted man, but only after

Jesus Christ,Your only begotten Son

The songs we sing are hymns of praise that express what You have wrought

When You paid our debt to sin in full, with the blood of Your Son we have been bought

My heart is now free to worship You; all cynicism and bitterness are no longer there

For I have asked for Your forgiveness, and continue to lift my former pastor up to You in prayer

Through it all You’ve taught me to listen carefully to all that I will hear

For Your Word warns of mass deception when the return of Christ is drawing near

A good Berean I have become, so that I will never be deceived

For Your Word above all others, is what’s to be believed

I’ve discovered Your Word is so rich in truth, and so accurate in detail

That it doesn’t matter what man’s intentions are, the truth of Your Word and the gospel will prevail

Dear reader, joy and peace can once again be yours as you start this brand new year

He’ll guide your steps and light your path, and give you hope and courage instead of weariness and fear

To all who have ears to hear, and a heart to understand

He is waiting to lead you out of your spiritual darkness, if you will just trust Him and take His hand

Copyright©2012 Mary K.Dalke/Living4HisGlory/Living For His Glory All rights reserved.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any material on Living4HisGlory’s Blog without expressed permission from this blog’s author and/or owner, is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links to information may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mary K. Dalke and Living4HisGlory’s Blog, as well as the author of any of the information at any of the links posted, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible New International Version® 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society.  Used by permission of Zondervan.  All rights reserved.

Photo obtained from Photobucket – Suns rays

Definitions (Added for interest, because they not only accurately describe how many of us are feeling, but also what is taking place)

Wearinessexhausted in strength, endurance, vigor, or freshness; having one’s patience, tolerance, or pleasure exhausted –used with of <soon grew weary of waiting.

Charade – Latent pretense or deception, especially something so full of pretense as to be a travesty. 

Latent – Present and capable of emerging or developing, but not now visible, obvious, active or symptomatic.

INTRODUCTION **UPDATED 11/12/12** SEE NOTE BELOW

One day last year as I was reading in 1 Corinthians Chapter 3, I paused at verse 4, which I will put in context…  “Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly–mere infants in Christ.  I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it.  Indeed, you are still not ready.  You are still worldly.  For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly?  Are you not acting like mere men?  For when one says,  “I follow Paul,” and another,  “I follow Apollos,”  are you not mere men?  What, after all, is Apollos?  And what is Paul?  Only servants, through whom you came to believe–as the Lord has assigned to each his task.  I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.  So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.  The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor.  For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.  By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it.  But each one should be careful how he builds.  For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”  (1 Corinthians 3:1-11) 

What came to mind, was the thought of how many people today proclaim they are followers of Steven Furtick, Perry Noble, Mark Driscoll, James MacDonald, etc. Many today have placed their focus on man instead of on Christ where it belongs, and on these men’s messages instead of on the ‘gospel message.’  It has become a ‘cult of personality.’ And when any of us who ‘earnestly contend for the faith‘ (Jude 3) attempts to warn them of  how some preachers distort God’s Word and how they rip a verse completely out of context in a sermon, or to warn a pastor of our valid concerns, we are branded as being ‘divisive‘ or as being a ‘consumer Christian.’  They fail to see that God has given us discernment and that we are being  ‘Bereans’ and ‘examining the Scriptures daily to see if what they are saying is true,‘  (Acts 17:11) as God’s Word clearly tells us we are to do.

I  am going to try and keep this introduction short, and just share verses with you, which is more important that sharing what I have to say with you, but will be adding a few more thoughts in the future.  I think my poem expresses what I’d like to share with you clear enough, as you will see. 

Here are some videos for you to listen to so you can see how pastors — such as Perry Noble and Steven Furtick — twist Scriptures and give praises to one another, instead of preaching from the Bible, as well as clear examples of narcissistic eisegesis; making the Scriptures about themselves by reading themselves into the text, or how Steven Furtick ignores a clear opportunity to use a passage of Scripture to share the Biblical gospel, and chooses instead to preach about…himself .  Beginning at the 14:27 mark in the following video, you will hear Steven Furtick say in part (after just reading a portion from Genesis 22), “…so many things I’d love to say about it…and…we don’t have time today, just know that…as much as this disturbs you, it disturbs me even more I’ve been studying it..I do think it’s a type and shadow of the gospel…”  “So with that in mind, I…I want to talk with you for just a few moments today on the subject of audacious faith and the God who provides, about…different places in my life where God has provided for me.”  (Emphasis is mine).

In this video from the Code Orange ‘Revival’ that took place in January of 2012, you will hear Perry Noble use Matthew 13:16,17 — that clearly speaks of Jesus — to tell those at ‘Elevation Church‘  how “blessed” they are because of some of the things that God is doing at ‘Elevation Church,’ making that text about ‘Elevation Church‘ and Steven Furtick.

Starting at the 40:39 min. mark in the following video, you will hear T. D Jakes say,  “Oh are there any radical people in here tonight?”  “…”You’ll never get anything from God being passive and sitting back and folding your arms and saying,  “Well, if it’s the Lord’s will.”  True, we are to have an active faith and do what we can concerning our situation, but many ‘word of faith’ preachers mock those of us who express our deep concerns and desires to God and pray for His will to be done, all because we know that His ways are always higher and better than our own.  (Isaiah 55:8,9)

On a different subject, God’s Word tell us in Romans 12:2…”Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  Why then does the ‘worship band’ at Perry Noble’s church sing a KISS song to open the service, as you will see here: TO OPEN WORSHIP PERRY NOBLE’S NEW SPRING CHURCH ROCKS KISS

I share all of that with you to say the following… Please place your focus on Jesus Christ and let His Word be the main source of truth that you seek.  Do not seek after a man and his ministry no matter how many years he may have been in ministry, and no matter how Biblically solid he may have been in the past.  Test the words of every person whom you listen to in order to receive spiritual nourishment and Biblical truth.

**UPDATE 11/12/12** LORD WILLING, COMING AT THE END OF THIS WEEK OR NEXT, SOME INFORMATION THAT WILL SHED LIGHT ON THE DISTURBING THINGS THAT MANY OF US ARE SEEING TAKE PLACE WITHIN OUR CHURCHES, AND WILL POSSIBLY EXPLAIN THE BEHAVIOR OF THOSE IN LEADERSHIP AT THESE CHURCHES, AS WELL.  WILL DELAY WRITING  MY POST ON ‘MYSTICISM IN THE CHURCH’ IN ORDER TO WRITE AND SHARE THIS INFORMATION WITH YOU. LORD WILLING, I HOPE TO HAVE MY POST ON ‘MYSTICISM IN THE CHURCH’ DONE IN DECEMBER.  Here’s something to start you out with: Brannon Howse, with guest speaker, Jonathan Cousar, who spent twenty years attending Pastor Tim Keller’s church, shares his concerns with the theological and philosophical direction of Tim Keller:

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/worldview-radio/play.php?id=23073

SCRIPTURES FOR YOU TO THINK ABOUT

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14,15)

“Then He said to them all:  “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23)

“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.  For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:1-4)

“He must become greater, I must become less.” (John 3:30)

“Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13,14)

“Why do you call Me,  ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do as I say?  I will show you what he is like who comes to Me and hears My Words and puts them into practice.  He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock.  When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.  But the one who hears My words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation.  The moment that torrent struck that house , it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” (Luke 6:46-49)

“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance to the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.  The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God.  It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.  Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.  You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.  And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.  But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.  And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who lives in you.  Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation–but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.  For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received  the Spirit of sonship.  And by Him we cry “”Abba,” Father.”  The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  Now if we are God’s children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.” (Romans 8:5-17)

“Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you.  I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.  I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.  First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.  They will say,  “Where is this ‘coming’ He promised?  Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”  But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s Word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.  By these waters also theworld at that time  was deluged and destroyed.  By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.  But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come like a theif.  The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.  Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?  You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.  That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and  the elements will melt in the heat.  But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.  So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless, and at peace  with Him.” (2 Peter 3:1-14)

“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed–in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.  When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true:  “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”  “Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?”  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God!  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm.  Let nothing move you.  Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-58)

WHOM DO YOU FOLLOW

Whom do you follow, is it Jesus Christ the Lord

Or those who teach prosperity, promising you things you can’t afford

Manipulating Scriptures, they say things that are not there

Teaching you to boldly ‘ask and you will receive’ things from God in prayer

Some preachers ignore the fact that God answers ‘according to His will’

And crush the faith of many when their heart’s desire God does not fulfill

Or do you follow those who speak things that satisfy your itching ears

Those who motivate and flatter, and ignore talk of sin that leads to repentance

and remorseful tears

Or do you follow preachers who have become so well known by their name

A ‘cult of personality’ which cloaks the gospel and attempts to cover it with shame

Some seem to think these men could never speak a word untrue

And refuse to test their messages as God’s Word tells us we are to do

Instead of becoming less and raising Christ with all our praise

These pastors give praise to one another, a ‘life of humility’ an act like this betrays

They tell us we can become ‘greater’ and how to ‘unleash’ a life beyond the simple

and mundane

Some may begin to sing ‘how great we art’ instead of singing praises to His name

Some forget the fact we are to follow Christ and Him alone

So we won’t stray off the narrow path by those who have seemed to place themselves

upon the throne

Building their own empires upon what’s made of sinking sand

They slowly drift to compromise, no longer on the Rock do they stand

Some preachers have lost their focus; it’s no longer on the gospel that sets men free

They encourage us to live out our dreams; to become as ‘great as God desires us

to be’

We need to go beyond just ‘vertical,’ we need to fall upon our face

Falling prostrate in complete surrender, to seek His mercy and His grace

We all need to go back to the gospel message, so simple yet so profound

A call for men to repent of sin, to receive His grace by faith; this is the Gospel

that is Biblical and sound

To carry our cross, to die to self, to contend for the faith so true

To share the Gospel with those who are bound to a lie, this brings joy and a greater life

of purpose to me and you

The church at large has fallen, its message mimics that of the world

Sermons focus on ‘sex’ and ‘how to satisfy self,’ messages to ‘repent’ and to

‘die to self,’ these things are hurled

‘Worship’ bands sing the devil’s songs, this promotes a divided heart

God’s Word tells us we are to be holy, to be sanctified; from this world we are

to be set apart

Will you hear His Spirit warning you to return to your first love

To follow Christ and Him alone, and to set your mind on things above

His return may be very soon, much sooner than we think

Turn back to Him with all your heart, He may return before you even blink

Copyright©2012 Mary K. Dalke/Living For His Glory/Living4HisGlory 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

The picture added to this post was taken by my daughter.

Verse added by Mary K. Dalke on Photobucket

Save

Save

MY STORY — WHY I LEFT HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL ROLLING MEADOWS

If it wasn’t for the serious concerns I have — along with many other people — about some of the choices that Founding And Senior Pastor James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows  has been making over the past few years or so — which led me to finally leave at the end of January 2012 –I could be saying, ‘I have been attending Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows for 15 years now.’  But sadly, I am unable to do so.

For many years I was deeply blessed by James MacDonald’s solid Biblical teachings that flowed from a heart of love for God and His Word. There was such a passion in his preaching that I had only heard in a few other preachers in the 17 years that I had been a Christian at that point in my life when I first started attending Harvest.  And because of his firm stand against false teachers and how he clearly preached against the ‘prosperity gospel,’ I saw James MacDonald as a man who would never stray from Biblical truth…

I guess the saying is true,  “Never say, “Never.”  Sadly, now James MacDonald is involved with some of the very types of preachers he once strongly spoke out against…

SOME OF WHAT I WENT THROUGH IN THE PAST THAT GOD USED TO TEACH ME THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING DISCERNMENT, AND  THE NEED TO TEST EVERYTHING THAT IS SAID AND DONE IN LIGHT OF SCRIPTURE

When I first started attending  Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows near the end of June of 1997, I had just left an Assembly of God church that I had been attending for over 16 1/2 years, because the pastor began to get involved with the Pensacola “revival’ that started at the Brownsville Assembly of God church in Pensacola, Florida.   Unbiblical manifestations were taking place at this church, and my former pastor took time off to go there in hopes of bringing this so-called ‘revival’ back to our church… 

He begins talking about the Pensacola ‘revival’ at the 6:23 minute mark

I gave audio tapes to my former pastor that were not only filled with  comments made by pastors who called a Christian radio program to express their serious concerns about this ‘revival,’ but also comments made by those who had been emotionally and spiritually devastated by what they had experienced at the ‘Pensacola revival.’  I also gave my former pastors a letter I wrote that was filled with Scriptures — as well as my valid concerns about this ‘revival’ — believing that God would certainly use His Word — as well as all the information– to open their eyes so they could see that what was taking place at this revival was not of God.  However, things don’t always turn out the way we pray and believe they will turn out.  Instead, I was told that ‘if I did not agree with the direction the church was going in, then I could leave.’ 

One of my friends was the only other person I was aware of who realized the unbiblical nature of this revival, and she had expressed her valid concerns in written form — along with many Scriptures — and gave her letters to the pastors as well. We were then told that we could not tell the women in our Bible study (that she led, and I helped lead in the final year we were there) that we were leaving, or why. But you can be sure that I made the most of the time in our last Bible Study together with those women! Without coming out and telling them that the direction the pastor was heading in was unbiblical, I did the next best thing and played audio recordings of Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Morris Cerillo — and more — speaking the many heretical things they teach, telling them beforehand how important it is to pray for discernment, and how we always need to test the teachings of those who claim to speak for God, against the truth of God’s Word. (Acts 17:11) (1 Thessalonians 5:21,22) 

Many people at my former church followed these preachers, which was another reason why I chose to play those tapes for them.  Sadly, one woman (who attended my former church) had a three year old daughter who was dying from a brain tumor.  She would go to the hospital every day and pray for her daughter, pray Scripture over her daughter, and play Christian music in her daughter’s room; everything that a loving and desperate mom would do for her daughter was done in hopes that God would heal her.  She died a year or so later, and some people at the church told this woman that her daughter died because she didn’t have enough faith to believe for her daughter’s healing!  There is so much abuse, deception, and heartbreak going  on in churches today, mainly because people lack discernment and they do not read and study God’s Word to know what the truth is concerning many important issues!

As the women in our Bible study listened to the tape that I played for them, the looks on their faces almost made me laugh.  I saw at least one woman’s jaw drop in disbelief as she heard Benny Hinn say some of the things he teaches!  And I would have laughed, if it wasn’t for the fact of how so many people are being deceived by pastors who not only preach the ‘prosperity gospel,’ but also by those who are speaking the delusions of their own minds (Psalm 4:2, Jer. 14:14, Jer. 23:26) instead of first testing their ideas against the truth of God’s Word.  It’s one thing to tell someone that a certain pastor’s teachings are unbiblical, but if you truly know God’s Word, you can’t deny the truth when you hear these types of things coming from their own lips –unless of course, someone chooses to reject the truth that God is trying to reveal to them.

When time allows, please consider listening to the following video series.  You will hear some of the unbiblical —  and even outlandish — teachings of Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, and many other t.v. preachers.  It makes you realize just how important it is to test the teachings of men against Scripture, and the warning Jesus gave us in Luke 21:8…  “Watch out that you are not deceived.”

So, as you can now imagine, when I first began attending Harvest Bible Chapel I was extremely cautious, and listened very carefully to everything James MacDonald said, and tested everything against Scripture as we are all told to do in God’s Word. (Acts 17:11) (1 Thessalonians 5:21) 

During the week I would also listen to James preach on the radio.  I sensed such a witness in my spirit that he was Biblically solid: his preaching pointed us to Christ, he clearly and powerfully proclaimed the gospel, he spoke of repentance from sin, and he clearly spoke against those who preach a false gospel that focuses on ‘manifestations’ and ‘the blessings of God,’ instead of on the true gospel that sets men free from sin and fills them with a desire to turn from sin and live a life that is fully surrendered to Christ.  I was so thankful to my friend– who had left my former church with me — for telling me about Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows!

In 1999, God used the Scriptural truths James MacDonald presented in his series, ‘I Really Want To Change…So Help Me God,’ to convict me and make me realize that I had to finally deal with certain matters that I knew I had to make right with God –and I did.  There is true freedom and peace when we submit to God; then worry and fear can no longer  have a hold on us.

RED FLAGS

For many years, all was well — or so I thought.  I grew in my commitment to Christ under James MacDonald’s teachings every Sunday as he led us verse by verse through many books of the Bible, and I met many warm and wonderful people.  And yet, every now and then during all that time, something would happen that would cause me to be concerned.  First it was noticing that the women’s ‘Bible studies’ were mostly based on books written by man, instead of being on different books of the Bible.  Many of the books were written by Beth Moore, which is cause for alarm all by itself, as EBenz of Do Not Be Surprised  makes us realize through the information she posts on her website.

Below I have listed some of the many other concerns I had as time went by.  Lord willing, when time allows, I will elaborate on them, add more concerns, and add more links to information. 

(Added 7/16/12) In 2004 — if I remember correctly —  James MacDonald reveals to us that we will all be seated in church divided into ‘flocks’ according to age groups, and each ‘flock’ will have its own ‘flock leader.’  Though this plan was presented to us, it never came to pass –much to my relief!  Do any of you remember that??

(Added 10/14/12 On April 25, 2010, James, preaching through the Book of Revelation, shared how a Jehovah’s Witness man rang his door bell as he was preparing for his sermon on Chapter 14 — which ironically(?) speaks of the 144,000.  He shared with us how he chose to chase the Jehovah’s Witness man and his son away from his home, and away from his neighborhood.  I remember being deeply grieved at the thought of him passing up an opportunity to share the gospel with them, and also grieved when many people in church responded by choosing to laugh at what James chose to do, instead of being stunned into silence at his lack of compassion and desire to share the gospel with these sincere, but sincerely deceived people.  If you’d like, you can listen to this sermon here: MAKING THE GOSPEL MY OWN 

Finding Celebration Of Discipline by Richard Foster as well as Sacred Marriage by Gary L. Thomas and Practicing The Presence Of God by Brother Lawrence on Harvest’s Bible Chapel’s ‘Recommended Reading List

Finding Jesus Calling, a devotional book by Sarah Young  in Harvest’s Bookstore

Elephant Room Conference 1 – March 31, 2011

April 2nd and 3rd 2011 Mark Driscoll is guest speaker at Harvest   **(UPDATED 7/15/12) When I first heard that James was getting involved with Mark Driscoll, I wanted to find some information about him to know just what he stood for, and this is what I found that filled me with concern: SBC CONVENTIONFIVE MOTIONS INVOLVE MARK DRISCOLL and this… FROM THE LIGHTHOUSE BLOGMark Driscoll IS A Contemplative Proponent, (ADDED 7/24/12)>> MARK DRISCOLL RECOMMENDS MANY BOOKS PROMOTING CONTEMPLATIVE/CENTERING PRAYER

May 22, 2011 Pastor James gives an altar call…to join the church

August 14th 2011 – Steven Furtick is the guest speaker at Harvest

January 22, 2012 – James preaches at  Steven Furtick’s Code Orange Revival

January 25th 2012 – Elephant Room 2 T D Jakes,  presently known by many to be a Modalist, is one of the guest speakers

Wayne Cordeiro, who wrote The Dream Releasers is one of the guest speakers at the Elephant Room 2 Conference

Learning in 2011 that the book,  ‘Experiencing God: Knowing And Doing The Will Of God,’ by  Henry Blackaby that was used for a ‘Bible’ study at Harvest that I was part of in 1998, is unbiblical.

GOD CONFIRMS MY CONCERNS

On August 14th 2011, while James MacDonald was on his summer break — to rest and to seek God in the direction he was to lead his congregation when he returned — Steven Furtick, pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina was the guest speaker at Harvest Rolling Meadows.  I put aside all I had heard about him and the impression I received of him by watching the videos posted below, and prayed for God to give me discernment as he spoke.

 

I sat in my usual spot in church — which was the third row from the front — so I definitely was able to clearly hear everything he said.  He began by praising James MacDonald and telling us how blessed we were to have him as our pastor, and continued until he had many people at Harvest loudly cheering.  All around me people stood to their feet and clapped to express their thanks to James, and they filled the church sanctuary with loud cheers and thunderous applause.  

Even though I deeply appreciated James’ ministry for many years, I chose to remain  seated because I was no longer in agreement with the direction he seemed to be going in —  and leading us in as well;  I would not allow myself to be pressured into standing along with everyone else and applauding.  It was a matter of principle, no matter what others may have thought of me because I chose not to stand. 

As I looked all around, the only other people that I could see who remained seated were two people who sat in front of me.  Even my friends joined in the somewhat chaotic goings on!  I must admit the verses in Acts 12:21-23 about ‘Herod not giving praise to God and how he was struck down by an angel and eaten by worms and died’  came to mind.  That’s how out of control it was for at least 30 seconds — although it seemed much longer.  Only God deserves that level of praise!

Then I was shocked as Steven Furtick began to judge our hearts by loudly and arrogantly telling us that we were judging him because of how he was dressed and because he was so young!  I wasn’t thinking anything like that, and I am sure no one else was either!  We were there hoping to hear God’s Word preached!  Something we really didn’t hear, to be honest with you.  His message was based on 1 Samuel 14:1-7, which was taken out of context and he seemed to be using it to promote the message in his book, SUN STAND STILL.’   

He ended his message by telling us to send James a text message saying,  “I am with you heart and soul.” (1 Samuel 14:7)  I came home feeling shocked, sad, disgusted, discouraged, and so alone!  I couldn’t understand how James could have first allowed Mark Driscoll –and now Steven Furtick — to take his place and ‘preach’ to us when he is supposed to watch over us and protect us from those who twist and distort God’s Word!  (Acts 20:28-30)  ( (Lord willing, I will add more information to prove my valid concerns about Steven Furtick and Mark Driscoll in the near future. (Added information on M D above, under ‘Red Flags’).   In the mean time, watch the videos posted above on Steven Furtick, and please be sure to listen to the shocking things that Mark Driscoll says on the video posted at the link below, entitled ‘MARK DRISCOLL ADDRESSING A GROUP OF ACTS 29 PASTORS’ ).

Hoping to find some more information on Steven Furtick, I went online and did a ‘search’ using ‘Harvest Bible Chapel Steven Furtick,’  and found this: “THE STEVEN FURTICK SHOW” NOW PLAYING AT HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL  I found encouragement and comfort from EBenz, (as do all who have been devastated by what is happening at Harvest — and other churches, as well — when they find their way to her blog) and her Biblical analysis of Steven Furtick’s sermon (in which EBenz heard by going to the  Harvest Bible Chapel she once regularly attended) confirmed my thoughts as well. Since I have nothing to hide, I will tell you that I posted under the name of ‘No Longer Alone.’

REASONS WHY I LEFT HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL

In the final year or so before leaving, I noticed a difference in how James was preaching that filled me with concern.  It seemed as if he was using passages of Scripture to work in what he was really trying to say to us.  Pray for discernment, listen to the following sermon that James preached on May 6th 2012, and see what your conclusions are… (UPDATE 3-29-14 LAST NIGHT THIS VIDEO WAS TAKEN DOWN.  IT WAS CALLED ‘DRIVING CONSUMERS OUT OF THE CHURCH’).

Through many of the sermons James preached  in 2011, I felt as if he was trying to manipulate us and use fear tactics to silence us into submission and make us think that any serious concern we had was actually rebellion.  Was I the only one sensing that?  None of my friends expressed any concern.  I was very close to leaving but chose first to sincerely pray for James, and I even took time many Sundays after church to pray for him.  I didn’t share any of the details with my friends, but simply told them ‘I was going to stay for a while and pray for Pastor James.’

Depending upon what happened during the Elephant Room Conference 2 on January 25, 2012 — concerning T D Jakes and his Modalistic beliefs and the ‘prosperity gospel’ he preaches — would determine if I would stay or leave. Would T D Jakes be questioned about his beliefs on the Trinity?  Would they use Scripture to try to help him see the truth concerning the Trinity? Because even though the word ‘Trinity’ is not in the Bible, and it is completely impossible to fully comprehend this truth with our human minds, the concept is clearly presented in Scripture and it is one of the basic doctrines of Orthodox Christianity. Would they lovingly confront him concerning the ‘prosperity gospel’ he preaches? 

Sadly, in spite of the fact that Mark Driscoll did question T D Jakes about his beliefs and asked him to explain how he now understood the Trinity, it is clear to hear by listening to many videos of the conversations with T D Jakes during E R 2, that at the end of the night he was declared as having embraced the Biblical understanding of the Trinity, in spite of the fact that he continued to use Modalistic language as he explained what he now believes.  (Please consider listening to the videos below and reading the information at the links below, as well).

Upon learning what happened — or should I say what didn’t happen — concerning T D Jakes, I decided not to return to Harvest.  These Scriptures in 3 John 1:3,4 spoke to me loud and clear:

“It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth.  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 

In spite of  the fact that I had no idea what church I would now go to, and the sadness I felt from leaving after so many years, and the close friends I would have to leave behind, I made the decision to leave and honor God by ‘walking in the truth. ‘ 

Even though it has been over five months since I left Harvest, I still pray for James, all those in leadership — as well as for all the people who attend Harvest — and I will continue to do so. 

I would like to sincerely say thank you and express my deep appreciation to the pastors who boldly took a stand for Biblical truth and disassociated from Harvest.  (See information posted below, under ‘SOME DEVASTATION CAUSED BY E R2’)  May God richly bless each of you and your ministries.  You acted in a Biblical manner by first going to him and personally expressing your concerns to James MacDonald and the elders, as well as warning James about the choices he has been making.  What a godly example each of you are to the people at your church as being a shepherd who watches over your flock and protects them from deception, false doctrine, and false teachers, (Acts 20:26-31) and who ‘earnestly contends for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.’  (Jude 3)  Each of you will definitely hear Jesus say to you,  “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”  (Matthew 25:21)  Something that all of us — who follow Jesus and have learned the importance of ‘contending for the faith,’ — long to hear one day.

I also want to personally express my thanks to some of the many in Christian ministry who have openly taken a stand for Biblical truth and continue to voice their concerns about what happened during E R 2: Thabiti Anyabwile,    SENIOR PASTOR OF FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, GRAND CAYMAN, James White of ALPHA AND OMEGA MINISTRIES, Carl Trueman, A CHRISTIAN THEOLOGIAN AND DEPARTMENTAL CHAIR OF CHURCH HISTORY AT WESTMINSTER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, Voddie Baucham, PASTOR OF GRACE FAMILY BAPTIST CHURCH who was invited to be a part of E R 2, but turned down his invitation after being invited when it was made known that Mark Dever,  SENIOR PASTOR OF CAPITAL HILL BAPTIST CHURCH chose to pull out of E R 2 shortly after it was announced that T D Jakes would also be a participant, . 

Many thanks also to EBenz of DO NOT BE SURPRISED and CHRISTIAN RESEARCH NETWORK, Ken Silva of APPRISING MINISTRIES and CHRISTIAN RESEARCH NETWORK, and Chris Rosebrough of FIGHTING FOR THE FAITH.  God bless all of you and your ministries, as you continue to take a stand for Biblical truth and use Scripture to expose the deception and chaos that is taking place in the church in so many ways today!

**UPDATED 10/13/12 ** Many thanks also to Scott William Bryant for his blog, BLOOD STAINED INK, where he has written and posted numerous articles shedding light on the valid reasons that many have because of the unbiblical direction that James MacDonald seems to be heading in.  In doing so, Scott has given many devastated attendees and members of Harvest Bible Chapel not only an opportunity to openly express their hurt and concerns, but also he has given them an opportunity to interact with, and to encourage one another, as well.

By now many of you are probably aware of the new website that was set up by Scott William Bryant, as well as by Ryan Mahoney, (who now also writes for ‘BLOOD STAINED INK’), called THE ELEPHANT’S DEBT.  Both of these men and their families formerly attended Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows. 

Briefly, here is part of the reason for their website: 

The Elephant’s Debt is a website dedicated to exploring some of the underlying reasons why many people have recently begun to both privately and publicly question the ministry of Pastor James MacDonald and Harvest Bible Chapel of Rolling Meadows, Illinois.”  SOURCE

I will not be commenting or writing about this.  I will, however, ask you to please pray for Scott, Ryan, and for their families, as well as discernment, wisdom, and courage for the many families who still attend Harvest. I also would like to ask you to please earnestly pray for Pastor James –as well as for all the other pastors and elders at this time —  for God to have His way in their hearts.

  *****************************************************************************

For those of you who have left a church — or who have been ‘catapulted’ out because you chose to take a stand for Biblical truth by expressing your concerns to those in leadership — this video is for you:

YOU MAY BE WONDERING 

Some of you may be wondering what my purpose is in writing and posting all of this, or if I have talked to any of the elders or pastors at Harvest about my concerns before leaving.  So to answer those who may have those questions, I will tell you:

My main purpose in writing this is to take a stand for Biblical truth; to ‘earnestly contend for the faith’ (Jude 3)  in a day when spiritual deception is increasingly invading many churches.  And sadly, many Christians are unaware of what is taking place right before their eyes!  We trust those in leadership, and many of us would never even consider the possibility that we could be led astray by any of them!  All of us need to remember that we are followers of Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ alone.  We are never to think so highly of a pastor or a preacher that we find ourselves at the point of thinking that their words can be completely trusted and that there is no need to test their words and actions in light of Scripture.  Remember the Bereans tested the words of Paul the apostle daily against Scripture to see if what he said was true, and God used him to record His words in most of the New Testament!  How much more then should we now test the words of men in a day when so much spiritual deception is taking place, to see if these things be so!

“Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” (Acts 17:11)

I urge you to test every sermon that James MacDonald preaches, as well as the messages of pastors that James MacDonald associates with, endorses, or allows to preach from his pulpit, and any other pastor or teacher you may listen to.  Read along in your Bible to make sure that the verses their sermons are based on are really saying what you are told they are saying.  Read the verses in context; you get a full understanding of the meaning of the verse by reading the surrounding verses.  Above all, pray for discernment!  There is so much spiritual deception entering churches everywhere today because people fail to test things in light of Scripture! (Read the information at the links I added to the ‘Introduction’  of my poem, AN ANCHOR FOR MY SOUL, to learn more).

Another purpose I have for writing this, is I am hoping that those of you who have serious concerns about the things that are happening at Harvest Bible Chapel — or any other church you may be attending — may be led here — as well as to many other sites where people stand for Biblical truth and express their valid concerns about what is happening there and elsewhere — so that you may have your thoughts and valid concerns confirmed by information and Scriptures. 

There was a time when I thought that I was the only one who had concerns about the direction that James MacDonald was going in.  That is, until I found comments on videos and other blogs that made me realize there were many others at Harvest who had concerns as well.  There was comfort in knowing that I was not alone as I sought God for wisdom to confirm my concerns and to reveal to me through the truth of His Word what He wanted me to do.  So now I am hoping that those of you who may feel sad, disconnected, confused, and alone — and can’t understand why no one else is concerned like you are — may be led here, as you pray and seek God concerning what He would have you to do.  I pray you will find comfort in knowing that you are definitely not alone.

And yes, I did express my concerns to someone at Harvest, Rolling Meadows.  When I received a form email that they send out to those who have not been in attendance for over a month — for one reason or another — I decided to reply.  I told them the reason why it had been over a month since I last attended, was due to the fact that I am no longer attending Harvest.  I explained some of the reasons why I left, but first I made sure they knew how blessed I was by the sermons that James preached for many years since I first started attending. 

I would have talked with an elder or a pastor in person before I left, but to be honest with you, I didn’t think there was anyone there who would take my concerns seriously.  And sadly, the replies I received from the email I sent expressing my concerns, clearly confirmed that. 

My prayer for James is — and will continue to be — for God to open his eyes and make him finally realize just how far he has drifted away from being the man he once was; a man who stood strong for Biblical truth and would never compromise.  I pray he will go back to focusing on preaching the gospel in all its beauty and simplicity.  The gospel was — and always will be — the power of God unto salvation.  (Romans 1:16)  We need no new plans or methods to grow the church.  God alone is the one who will do that, as we are faithful to preach His Word and pray…”They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  And the Lord added to their number daily those who are being saved.  (Acts 2:42,47)

SCRIPTURES TO REFLECT ON

“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.  For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:2-4)

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)

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

“A man of many companions may come to ruin.” (Proverbs 18:24)

“Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.  Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk, or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.  For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure, or greedy person — such a man is an idolater — has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.  Therefore do not be partners with them.  For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.  Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.  For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.  But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible.  This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”  Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (Ephesians 5:1-17)

“Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

“Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men.  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.  Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.” (Acts 20:26-31)

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED AT THE ELEPHANT ROOM 2 CONFERENCE

THABITI ANYABWILE, SENIOR PASTOR OF FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF GRAND CAYMAN AND A COUNCIL MEMBER WITH THE GOSPEL COALITION SHARES HIS THOUGHTS WITH US CONCERNING T D JAKES AND THE ELEPHANT ROOM 2 CONFERENCE

VODDIE BAUCHAM PASTOR OF GRACE FAMILY BAPTIST CHURCH SHARES HIS THOUGHTS ON THE ELEPHANT ROOM 2 CONFERENCE

DAVID NORMAN OF BLOG DOT COM SHARES WITH US WHY JAMES MACDONALD IS WRONG AND T D JAKES IS WRONGER

TREVIN WAX OF THE GOSPEL COALITION SHARES HIS THOUGHTS ABOUT THE ELEPHANT ROOM 2 CONFERENCE– PRO AND CON —

JAMES WHITE – REVIEWING T D JAKES’ COMMENTS IN THE ELEPHANT ROOM

JAMES WHITE ‘THE FORGOTTEN TRINITY’

**(ADDED 4/07/13)**JUST FOUND THE FOLLOWING VIDEOS CONCERNING JAMES MACDONALD, T D JAKES, AND ‘ELEPHANT ROOM 2’  Todd Friel points out the fact that James MacDonald is not the same, and plays clips of James at E R 2 to demonstrate how he no longer takes a firm stand on the importance of doctrine.  Sadly, there are many of us who strongly agree. 😦 

PART 1 OF 3

‘JAMES MACDONALD IS DEFENDING T D JAKE.  BAD NEWS’

‘IS T D JAKES ORTHODOX OR ANOTHER EVASIVE MODALIST?’  YOU BE THE JUDGE

‘HAS T D JAKES BROUGHT THE WORD OF FAITH INTO ORTHODOXY?’

‘WAITING FOR PUBLIC REPENTANCE FROM T D JAKES’

***********************************************************************

SOME DEVASTATION CAUSED BY THE ELEPHANT ROOM 2 CONFERENCE CONCERNING T D JAKES

#1 HARVEST BIBLE CHURCH IN DETROIT DISASSOCIATES FROM HARVEST BIBLE FELLOWSHIP

#2 HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL PRESCOTT AZ DISASSOCIATES WITH HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL

#3HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL NEW LENNOX DISASSOCIATES FROM HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL FELLOWSHIP

#4FOURTH CHURCH KICKED OUT FROM FELLOWSHIP VIA CATAPULT?

#5 **ADDED 4/7/13** FIFTH CHURCH SEPARATES FROM HARVEST BIBLE FELLOWSHIP

BE A BEREAN (ACTS 17:11) AND TEST THE

FOLLOWING MESSAGES IN LIGHT OF SCRIPTURE

1)CLICK HERE>>MARK DRISCOLL ADDRESSING A GROUP OF ACTS 29 PASTORS

2)CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE APRIL 25th 2012’s FULL VERSION OF >>PASTOR JAMES MACDONALD SPEAKING TO A GROUP OF PASTORS AT HARVEST U<<  His message is entitled, ‘FIVE THINGS YOUR PASTOR WANTS YOU TO KNOW BUT CAN’T TELL YOU’  This message is a ‘must listen to’ for all who attend Harvest and have not yet heard this!

Now please consider going to the following link and listen to a well done Biblical analysis by Chris Rosebrough that he did on May 16th 2012 of the above message by James MacDonald.  Again, pray for discernment, and test everything that is said–  by both Chris, as well as James — in light of Scripture: HERESY IS THE NEW ORTHODOXY

SOME FINAL QUESTIONS AND TIME TO USE OUR CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS:

In the ‘Purpose Statement’ for the E R, it says:

“The Elephant Room is more than an event.  It is the outgrowth of an idea.  The idea that the best way forward for the followers of Jesus lies not in crouching behind walls of disagreement but in conversation of all kinds of leaders about what the Scriptures actually teach.  We must insist on the Biblical Gospel, right doctrine and practice but not isolate ourselves from relationship even with those who believe much differently.

These are conversations about the most Christ honoring ways of building a church.  Our goal is unity, however a true unity cannot be fashioned in pretense or denial of truth nor can it be won among those who prefer sectarianism to the unity Jesus prayed for.  To advance Christ’s call to unity we must do what men have always done, we must push and prod and challenge and sharpen each other’s beliefs and methods.  Fidelity and fruitfulness, both matter.  No one has a corner on the truth and methods must do more than ‘work.’  (SOURCE)

Knowing that we will all stand before God one day and give an account for the things we have done with our time, will James MacDonald be able to confidently stand before God and say that he ‘earnestly contended for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints,’ (Jude 3) concerning the time he spent in the E R with T D Jakes?

Can James MacDonald confidently say that he is watching over the people who have been entrusted to his care at Harvest, when he is clearly blurring the line between truth and error by declaring T D Jakes as now having an Orthodox view of the Trinity, when so many Biblical scholars who have analyzed what T D Jakes said during the ‘Elephant Room Conference’ disagree?

If, as the E R ‘purpose statement’ clearly states, “We must insist on the Biblical Gospel, right doctrine and practice,” why then was T D Jakes not confronted on the ‘prosperity gospel’ that he preaches? 

Why wasn’t T D Jakes asked more direct questions concerning his belief on the Trinity? 

If T D Jakes no longer holds to the Modalistic view of the Trinity, why then has he not openly repented and made it clear verbally and in writing that he no longer holds to that view but now embraces the Biblical view of the Trinity?

Since God’s Word clearly shows us in 1 Peter 5:8 that ‘the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour,’ could it be possible that the ‘Elephant Room Conference’ — an idea that started out with so much potential for God to use James MacDonald to firmly but lovingly use Scripture in order to expose error in certain pastor’s ministries, and to encourage certain pastors to ‘insist on the Biblical Gospel’ — is now being used by Satan to distract and deceive James MacDonald in order to lead him astray?

Knowing that God’s Word tells us that ‘the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, who can know it,’ (Jer. 17:9)  how can James MacDonald be certain that the idea for the Elephant Room Conference was from God? 

If he will say it was not specifically an idea from God but just his own idea, does he not realize that he is still accountable to God for what he allows to take place in the E R? 

Does he not realize he is still responsible for the information he presents to the people at these conferences that will also be recorded on DVD’s for people to purchase and listen to? 

Knowing that we are to confront those who teach error, can James MacDonald really say that God is pleased with him when he failed to confront T D Jakes concerning his prosperity teachings; teachings that he once strongly spoke out against? 

SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

Knowing that God’s Word says in Ephesians 6:10-17, that we are to put on the full armor of God so we can take our stand against the devil’s schemes, and that we are fighting not against flesh and blood, but rather against the rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms,’ could it be possible that Satan is using some of the pastors that James is now involved with in order to silence or destroy his ability to discern truth from error? 

Knowing that God has used James and his ministry in powerful ways for so many years to reveal the true Gospel to many seeking truth, and leading a person to a true understanding  that ‘if the Gospel message hasn’t changed you, then it hasn’t saved you,’ and again remembering that ‘the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour,’ — could it be possible that Satan is leading James astray in an attempt to destroy not only his ministry but also James himself? 

IN CONCLUSION

Don’t ever give up or allow anyone to shut down the ability that God has given you to discern truth from error; don’t ever allow anyone to lead you to believe that what you may hear being said or what you see happening (in a church or elsewhere) that is giving you a strong sense of concern because it seems unbiblical — is actually rebellion.  If something does not line up with Scripture, you can be sure that it is God’s Holy Spirit revealing truth to you through God’s Word to expose errors and to protect you from being deceived. 

I assure you that my motive is not to tear down Pastor James MacDonald, his ministry, those in leadership at Harvest Bible Chapel, or any pastor he chooses to involve himself with.  I am not judging James MacDonald’s heart or his intentions, for God’s Word clearly says that He will be the one to do that  (John 12:48, Hebrews 4:13, 2 Peter 3:9-14)  My intent clearly is to make believers alert and aware of what is happening in many churches today, and the importance of praying for discernment and testing everything in light of Scripture, (Acts 17:11, 1 Thessalonians 5:21,22), so that you will not be deceived by anyone.

All of us need to be reminded that Jesus warns us many times in Scripture that spiritual deception will take place in the last days (Matthew 24, Luke 21).  One has only to look at the condition that our world is in today, and it won’t take long to realize that we are indeed living in the last days: same sex marriage being made legal, gender confusion, abortion, the destruction of the family as we once knew it, increase in the divorce rate even among Christian couples, famines, the increase and intensity of earthquakes worldwide, the attempt to destroy the nation of Israel, denial of Biblical truth as well as the many attempts to destroy Biblical truth and to reinvent Christianity.  Sadly, many Christians are being led into deception and even ‘departing from the faith’ by accepting ‘doctrines of demons’ ;  they are deceived into embracing unbiblical ‘new age’ practices, simply because they are ‘Christianized’ by being introduced now as ‘Contemplative Prayer,’ ‘Lectio Divina,’ ‘Ignatian practices,’ and ‘Christoga’ — an attempt to merge yoga, (a practice that seeks to yoke a person with the Hindu God Brahma) with Christianity, and still claim that it is an exercise).  I could go on and on. 

Please consider doing a ‘search’ on the above terms on some of the many Christian websites that seek to ‘contend for the faith’ and expose spiritual deception with solid Biblical truth, such as:APPRISING MINISTRIES,  CHRISTIAN RESEARCH NETWORK,  DECEPTION IN THE CHURCH, DO NOT BE SURPRISED, LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS RESEARCH, and SOUTHERN VIEW CHAPEL for detailed information on these unbiblical practices. 

(ADDED 7/16/12)  Here’s a link to some very good information by Gary Gilley, to start you off on your search for truth and help you realize how some people can use the reading of Scriptures — something that seems innocent and wonderful — to actually lead you into an unbiblical and dangerous occultic practice know as SACRED READING (LECTIO DIVINA) Is this happening at your church?  Please don’t allow yourself to be deceived!

Spiritual deception in different forms has been entering churches for a long time now, and many are being led into deception.  Don’t allow yourself to be deceived; pray for wisdom and discernment, read and study God’s Word, and be sure to test everything in light of Scripture.  Daily choose to walk in truth, and follow and obey Jesus and Him alone!

I could say so much more, but will allow the thoughts in my following poem that came together out of a heart filled with concern over what is happening at Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows speak for me.  May God give you eyes to see and ears to hear what He is revealing to you, and wisdom and courage to know and to do what He is showing you to do.

Please pray with me that God will give wisdom and a strong sense of discernment to James MacDonald, those in leadership at Harvest, and especially to the people who attend Harvest — and other churches — where the slow drift from Biblical truth to compromise is taking place.  Pray that God will give James MacDonald a heart of true repentance and that he would return to having his main focus be on preaching the gospel as he once did — in truth, in power, and without apology.

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”              (Colossians 4:2)

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…”  (Romans 1:16) 

Lord willing, I will be updating this post with more Scriptures, more for you to think about, and more information as well, when time allows.  

**UPDATED 10/24/12** IS IT BIBLICAL WHEN A PASTOR ‘CASTS A VISION’ FOR HIS CHURCH? CHRIS ROSEBROUGH FROM ‘FIGHTING FOR THE FAITH‘ /LETTER OF MARQUE  GIVES US A BIBLICAL ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION IN HIS HOUR LONG INTERVIEW ON THE ‘ISSUES ETC.’ RADIO PROGRAM>>‘IS VISION CASTING BIBLICAL?’     CONSIDER ALSO LISTENING TO THE VIDEO THAT FOLLOWS, WHERE CHRIS ANSWERS A LISTENER’S EMAIL CONCERNING VISION CASTING

**UPDATED 6/30/13** (Few final thoughts added).

By now I am sure that at least some of you are aware of the fact that three Elders have recently resigned from Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows: Scott Phelps, Dan Marquardt,  and Barry Slabaugh.  According to the Elders Update on Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows website, this is what they say:

Capture elders updateI just noticed — and find it quite interesting — that the final comment I originally saw in the above Elder’s update before I used ‘quick capture,’  has now been removed.  And that comment was:

“Cue the music. It’s time to sing, “We’re United.” 

The point I was going to make — and still will make — is this: How can the writer of this ‘update’ speak so often of  ‘unity’ when three — not just one Elder– has had concerns?   Or in their words, 

“These men have expressed dissatisfaction over many months with how compensation is set, how elder authority is shared, and whether Pastor James has truly owned his part in past conflict.” 

If there was just one Elder who had concerns — as valid as they could still be — it wouldn’t clearly signal a problem. However, three elders in ‘unity’ over concerns/’dissatisfaction over many months’ is something that should not be overlooked.

How also can they continue to speak of ‘unity’ knowing full well of the many — who attend, or who are members of Harvest — who have expressed their sadness and concerns to some of the Elders about the direction that James is now going in, only to have their concerns be ignored?  Or worse yet, how can they speak so much about ‘unity’ when some of these Elders — or even Pastors — have belittled, ridiculed, or even ‘catapulted’ some of these people out of Harvest?! 

How can they continue to speak of ‘unity’ when they are aware of the many who have left Harvest; some sharing their valid reasons for doing so, some choosing to let their absence speak for them instead of their words, letting Harvest leadership know that they are not ‘united’ with James and the direction he is leading the church?

They continue to speak of ‘unity’ and yet so many people at Harvest are discouraged and running out of hope after  praying and waiting for many years (just as I did before finally leaving) believing that James will repent and return to focusing on preaching the gospel, and that he would also distance himself from certain pastors who many of us have valid reasons to be concerned about.

The writer of this ‘Elders Update’ begins by saying, “The Elders are unanimously satisfied with his (James’) response to the criticism received,” and in doing so, they seem to downplay and disregard the fact that three Elders are not satisfied.  They report their “gratitude for the “unity” that has prevailed among our Elders during this season,” and speak of ‘God being gracious to consistently’ maintain our unity of purpose and spirit,” and then this person seems to just simply and casually interject and — dare I say — even tries to hide or blend into this update the most important  statement that clearly shows the truth that there is disunity among the Elders, by then following with,  “An isolated dissension among three elders, Scott Phelps, Dan Marquardt, and Barry Slabaugh, has come to a climax in recent weeks.  These men have expressed dissatisfaction over many months…” Note that they have been expressing their dissatisfaction over many months, and that these are not recent concerns they have had.  Concerns that must be so significant to them that they chose to stand strong and not come comfortably under their collective authority, (as mentioned in the update) but chose instead to resign.  Let’s be in prayer for these men and their families.

Many other questions come to mind when reading that update.  The most important one being that one is left to wonder –just how many other Elders might possibly have valid concerns, yet stay silent because of fear of losing their jobs?

Continue to pray, Harvesters.  Pray especially for discernment.  Continue to pray for James, Rick, the campus pastors and the Elders, and for those who attend and are members of Harvest.  Study and search the Scriptures, and think carefully about all that you are told from the pulpit. 

Please know that I am praying for all of you.  God bless you.

**UPDATE 10/7/13**

For those of you who have been wondering about Dave Corning, and why it is that no one has seen him around Harvest Bible Chapel for such a very long time, you don’t need to wonder any longer.  He has decided to come forward and release his statement concerning why he and his wife Betsy left Harvest so that he can not only address the character of James MacDonald, but also so he can defend the character of the two elders, Scott Phelps and Barry Slabaugh, who were the focus of a video played for the entire congregation during their church service (which you can hopefully still see >HERE

In this video the people of Harvest Bible Chapel were told by HBC Elders, Paul Inserra, Steve Huston, Randy Williams, and Jamie Harrison to: separate themselves from these false messengers,” — meaning, Scott and Barry — and to “avoid these former Harvest elders at all cost…” 

Scott and Barry were also accused by these elders when they stated: “Their goal is to discredit our pastor and divide this church.”

One of the most disturbing things that those at Harvest Bible Chapel heard were the words spoken by  James MacDonald right before the video was played.  And his words were:

“I just want to remind you that God has entrusted spiritual authority to the local church.  And every local church has an authority under God and we believe that the Bible teaches that the authority of the church is invested in the elders.  And that when the elders speak collectively in agreement they speak for God to our church.”

When I heard him say those words, it was as if I was “catapulted” (sorry for using that word in light of what many of us know concerning HBC) back in time to when I was a Roman Catholic.  Catholics are told that when the pope speaks “ex cathedra” (Literally “from the chair.”  When the pope speaks in matters of faith and doctrine, he is said to speak infallibly; speaking the very words of God, and therefore all Catholics must believe what he says) then they are to believe his words without question, because he is speaking directly from God.  So for James MacDonald to tell those at Harvest that “when the elders speak collectively in agreement they speak for God,” basically many who have their total trust in the leadership at Harvest may not pray for discernment and may not use the ability that God has given them to carefully think about what is being said and some may even choose not to test what is being said in light of Scripture as God’s Word clearly shows us we are to do in Acts 17:11 and 1 Thessalonians 5:21,22

“Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

“Test all things; hold fast to what is good, reject every kind of evil.”

With so much spiritual deception entering the church today, we must fix out eyes on Christ alone and never think so highly of a pastor or his ministry that we would think that there is no need to see if what they say or do lines up with Scripture.  There are devastating consequences, spiritually and emotionally, for all who choose to ignore the many warnings given in Scripture about false teachers and spiritual deception.  I pray you will not be one of the many who have been deeply hurt in these ways.  Please study God’s Word and be a Berean; test all that you hear and see in light of Scripture so that if something unbiblical is ever said or done you will be able to detect it immediately and not be led astray.

You can read Dave Corning’s statement at the link below, along with the other statements that were all originally posted on:  THE ELEPHANT’S DEBT

9/17/13 A FOURTH RECENTLY RESIGNED ELDER, RUSS BARNEY SPEAKS PUBICLY IN DEFENSE OF MARQUARDT, PHELPS, AND SLABAUGH

9/18/13 DAVID CORNING FORMER 20 YEAR CHAIRMAN OF THE HBC ELDER BOARD SPEAKS PUBLICLY FOR THE FIRST TIME

JIM JODREY, FORMER HBC ELDER NOW COMES FORWARD TO GIVE HIS STATEMENT AND CAN BE READ AT THE LINK BELOW:

10/2/13 YET ANOTHER FORMER HBC ELDER AND MEMBER OF THE VOID COMES FORWARD TO PUBLICLY SPEAK FOR THE FIRST TIME

NOW ANOTHER RECENT ELDER, FRED AGASE, HAS LEFT THE ELDER BOARD, AND YOU CAN READ HIS STATEMENT BELOW:

10/7/13 A FIFTH RECENT ELDER HAS LEFT THE ELDER BOARD AND LEFT HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL

**10/9/13**MIKE MEDOWS, FORMER HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL MEMBER, URGES THOSE AT HARVEST TO PRAYERFULLY AND CAREFULLY ASK THEMSELVES AN HONEST QUESTION.  AND YOU CAN FIND OUT WHAT THAT QUESTION IS AT THE LINK BELOW:

ONE PERSON’S STORY — MIKE MEDOWS — RINGS FAMILIAR

10/7/13 Ugh!  I wrote SO much more on this update, but Firefox crashed and I lost hours of writing! 😦  I will try again when time allows.  Next time I update a post I will have to hit the ‘Update’ button every few minutes so I don’t lose hours of writing again!

**UPDATE 10/7/13** 8:46 p.m.  I took some time to add most of the thoughts I wrote but lost earlier, and will add some more when time allows.

FURTHER READING:

**ADDED 3-7-14** SPIRITUAL ABUSE — WHEN IS IT TIME TO LEAVE – BY RICK THOMAS

 

*****************************************************************************

COMMENTS

Feel free to comment and to express your sorrow over what you may have gone through — and your concerns as well — but do not use your comments to attack one another or James MacDonald, etc. 

Comments based on facts will be posted, and comments that seek to expose error, as well, but make a ‘righteous judgment.’  (John 7:24)

When necessary, cite Scriptures to back up your reasons for what you choose to say, and keep your focus on the subject matter at hand. 

Any comments seeking only to draw people to your own site by using links, will not be published.

As much as I would like to, I may not be able to reply to each comment, but I appreciate every one of you who may choose to take the time to make one.

If you would like to make a comment, but do not want to reveal your identity, consider choosing a different name to post your comment under, or post your comment including the fact that you do not want your comment to be posted, and I will respect your request and not post your comment, but will respond to you directly.

Express yourself respectfully to me and to one another.

Keep in mind that comments using profanity will not be published. 

**(ADDED 7/24/12) QUESTIONS FOR YOU

Do you firmly believe that all is well at Harvest, and there’s no need for concern?

If not, what have you observed at Harvest that is causing you to be concerned? 

Have you tried to express your concerns to someone in leadership at Harvest?

If so, what was their response to you?

How many years have you been attending Harvest?

How long have you been concerned about what is happening at Harvest?

Would you all consider gathering together as a group and expressing your concerns to an elder or pastor?

What would be the ‘last straw’ so-to-speak, that would cause you to leave?

Are you at least warning your children and friends of your valid concerns based on Scripture; not to be divisive, but to protect them from being deceived?

If you are attending a church other than Harvest, and are strongly considering leaving, what is happening there that is causing you to be so concerned?

I hope to hear from some of you.

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

God Bless You

~Mary Dalke/Living4HisGlory

**UPDATED**   SATURDAY, 8/23/14

On Friday I received the following comment through the contact form that I added to this post.  And since I am unable to post comments that I receive through contact forms in the ‘comment section,’ I decided to ‘quick captured’ it and post it below. Lord willing, I’ll reply to Monika’s comment tomorrow or Monday.

Capture Comment made by Monika on 'Warning You With Tears'

**UPDATED 8-26-14 12:33 a.m.** MY REPLY:

Thank you for stopping by, Monika.  And thank you also for taking the time to send me your comment using the  ‘contact form‘ on this post which I now removed to avoid future problems replying to comments. 

Even though you assumed that I wouldn’t post your comment, believing, as you said, that I choose only to post “comments that will justify me,” you can now see that simply is not true.  If you will take time to read some other comments on this post, as well as comments on some of my other posts, you will see that I post comments by those who disagree with me, as well as those who agree with me. 

Even though I have been receiving many more views on my blog over the past couple of years, the reason that there aren’t many comments by those who disagree with me is simply because not many people take the time to make a comment, whether it’s a comment expressing agreement and encouragement, or complete disagreement. 

Concerning judging someone: I will not judge a person’s heart concerning their relationship with God, or their motive for doing what they do, but I will do what God’s Word tells us as Christians to do, and that is to: ‘examine the Scriptures daily to see if what teachers and pastors say is true’ (Acts 17:11),   “make a righteous judgment” (John 7:24), and how we are to ‘judge them by their fruits.’  (Matthew 7:15-20)  We are told to “earnestly contend for the faith,”  (Jude 3) therefore I will continue to be one of many voices warning and reminding believers that we are to “be alert, for our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour,” (1 Peter 5:8) and how we are to ‘keep our eyes on Jesus’ (Hebrews 12:2) and not on a man and his ministry. 

God’s Word clearly tells us that we are ‘not to judge those outside the church, but we are to judge those inside the church,’ (1 Corinthians 5:11-13).  And in verse 13 God’s Word even says to “expel the wicked man from among you.”  First we must always be certain to examine our own hearts (Matthew 7:5, 2 Corinthians 13:5), using God’s Word as our standard for absolute truth. 

Throughout the New Testament false teachers were called out by name.  (Some examples: 2 Timothy 1:15, 2:17, 3:8, 4:10, 14)  God’s Word makes it clear that “even from our own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after themselves” (Acts 20:25-31)  In Matthew 24 when Jesus replied to the question His disciples asked Him concerning ‘what would be the sign of His coming and of the end of the age,’  the first thing He was quick to say was,  “Watch out that no one deceives you,” making it very clear that spiritual deception will be prevalent in the days immediately preceding His return.  We must be on guard so that we will not be deceived by false teachers.  Studying God’s Word and warning others of false teachers is part of a believer’s responsibility so that we might protect ourselves and others. 

Many are now aware of how God is beginning to expose the sins and failures of certain men in ministry, and He will continue to do so.  A pastor is held to an even higher standard than we are, and he is to reflect the character of Christ , and to be holy as He is holy in word and in conduct  just as other believers are to be.  Sadly, though, many pastors these days fail in both of those areas and do not measure up to the qualifications for an elder listed in Titus 1:6-9 

I sin daily in many ways, and have never claimed to be perfect.  When I sin it is a constant reminder to me that I am a wretched sinner saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, and I will be forever grateful for what Jesus did for me, and so very thankful that God opened my eyes to the truth of His Word by His Holy Spirit. 

The sad truth is that many Christian leaders today have lost the “fear of the LORD.”  I can say that because a true God-fearing man would not do and say the things that some pastors have done and said if they had a reverent fear of God.  While I will admit there is definitely no such thing as a perfect church or a perfect pastor, God has clearly revealed in Scripture how a true man of God is to live, and how we are to trust God to grow the church (Acts 2:47) and not use worldly marketing strategies and present a watered-down gospel which will only succeed in producing  ‘false converts.

I am happy to say that for the past 2  1/2 years, I have been attending a church that is pastored by a very humble man.  And although he is not perfect, (for none of us are), he reflects the character of Christ, and also faithfully preaches God’s Word verse by verse, Sunday after Sunday without twisting Scripture in an attempt to use the text for his own purposes.  However, because of all the warnings in Scripture concerning false teachers and spiritual deception in the last days, I have learned the importance of being a Berean (Acts 17:11) and will continue to test everything in light of Scripture because I am a follower of Jesus Christ and not a follower of a man and his ministry.

And, no matter what others may say or think about me, I will continue to bring to light what needs to be exposed, always taking time first to examine the intentions of my heart, and pausing with reverence and fear before a Holy God whom I will one day stand before and have to give an account of my life to, as we will all have to do one day.  And, with that thought always on my mind, it becomes the other reason why I cannot remain silent when something needs to be exposed, because, regardless of what you may think, as long as our motives are pure, we as Christians do have the responsibility to warn others so that they would realize the importance of following Jesus Christ alone  so they will never be led astray.

God Bless You, Monika

Sincerely,

Mary (Just a simple woman who sincerely does spend time in prayer with our Redeemer).

 WARNING YOU WITH TEARS

He once stood strong and never wavered from all that’s Biblical and true,

But now my pastor’s slow drift to compromise has caused him to do things I

never thought he’d do,

So now I look around my church and wonder, as my eyes fill up with tears,

Lord, is it now time for me to leave, after all these years?

Who will warn them if I go, this concern weighs on my heart,

But I will choose to trust You, Lord, and ask that discernment to them

You will impart,

Twice now, men were placed in the pulpit, who told stories and twisted

Your Word,

They led many people to erupt with cheers and thunderous applause in

thanks for my pastor, but a Biblical teaching  was never given; never heard,

When following the crowd it’s so easy to be misled,

What we need to do is pray and be discerning, and think critically instead,

So many lack discernment, for they place their trust in these hi-profiled

Christian men,

They neglect to test these pastors words against Your Word, time and time

again,

How could he have allowed those certain men to take his place and

‘preach’ on days when he wasn’t here,

If these men reflect what my pastor now believes, the time for me to leave

indeed is near,

There was a time when I left my church but came back and continued to

pray for him to change,

Yet my pastor now seems to prefer having ‘conversations’ discussing the

‘elephant in the room,’ and my concern heightens over things that sound

quite strange:

Most pastors beckon people forward to repent and follow Christ, just as

Jesus said, “Repent” and “Follow Me,”

Yet my pastor once urged people to ‘come forward to become a member of

the church,’ and many came forward, how could this be?

I am warning you with tears, don’t be so quick to believe and respond to all

you are told and told to do,

Don’t allow emotions to rule and mislead you, only respond to things that

are Biblical and true,

Be alert and aware, and be sure to compare, the words of men with the

truth of God’s Word,

For the time is now here, and I warn you with tears, manipulation mixed

with truth is now heard,

Do not be deceived, only God’s Word must be believed, no matter what

others may say,

Discernment He will give you, and wisdom to know what is true, if you

choose to seek God and earnestly pray,

The lines have been blurred between truth and error, by what he has done

and continues to do,

But we must take time to examine the Scriptures, and in context see

if what is being said is really true,

Will you listen to God’s Spirit as He opens your ears and eyes,

To lead you into all His truth and out of confusion and compromise?

Deep in your heart some of you know the time has come, to take a stand

for truth and finally leave,

But first please express your valid concerns, even though their response

to you may cause you to grieve,

The time has come for all of us, to follow Christ, and Christ alone,

To test the words of everyone, and by His Spirit His truth we will be shown,

Will you respond to His call and choose to walk in truth, just as we are

clearly told to do?

Or will you stay and ignore God’s leading, and this prayerful, tear-filled

pleading, the choice is now completely up to you.

Copyright© 2012 Mary K. Dalke/Living For His Glory/Living4HisGlory All rights reserved.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any material on Living4HisGlory’s Blog without expressed permission by this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links to information may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mary K. Dalke and Living4HisGlory’s Blog, as well as the author of any of the information at any of the links posted, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Photo obtained from Photobucket – Tears- 2-1

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

You May Also Be Interested In Reading The Following Poems As Well As Some Added Information:

Like Sheep Without A Shepherd (Poem I wrote after leaving Harvest)

An Anchor For My Soul

There’s A Famine In The Land

‘There’s A Famine In The Land’ My Thoughts, Scriptures, And Information

What Happened To The Gospel

 

**UPDATED TUESDAY 8-26-14**  12:34 a.m.  ADDED MY REPLY TO COMMENT MENTIONED IN UPDATE BELOW.  (SEE DIRECTLY UNDER THE ‘QUICK CAPTURE’ OF THE COMMENT.  DATED 8-25-14)

SATURDAY 8-23-14**  ADDED COMMENT I RECEIVED THROUGH THE ‘CONTACT FORM.’ I ADDED TO THIS POST WHICH I NOW REMOVED TO AVOID NOT BEING ABLE TO POST THESE COMMENTS IN THE COMMENT SECTION AND REPLY TO THEM THERE, AS WELL.  (DATE IN RED).

**UPDATED FRIDAY 3-7-14 ** ADDED EXCELLENT ARTICLE ‘SPIRITUAL ABUSE – WHEN IS IT TIME TO LEAVE’ BY RICK THOMAS – SEE UNDER ‘FURTHER READING’

**UPDATED WEDNESDAY 10/9/13 ** — ANOTHER FORMER HARVEST MEMBER  — MIKE MEADOW — SPEAKS OUT AND WARNS THOSE OF YOU AT HARVEST TO PRAYERFULLY AND CAREFULLY CONSIDER JAMES MACDONALD’S CHARACTER IN LIGHT OF SCRIPTURE — DATE HIGHLIGHTED IN RED

**UPDATED MONDAY 10/7/13 **  DATE HIGHLIGHTED IN RED

UPDATED SUNDAY 6/30/13 2:19p.m.**  DATE HIGHLIGHTED IN RED

**UPDATED TUESDAY 6/25/13** IN LIGHT OF RECENT DEVELOPMENTS, I WILL BE BRIEFLY UPDATING THIS POST (LORD WILLING) TOMORROW, WITH NEW INFORMATION THAT YOU NEED TO BE AWARE OF.  UNTIL THEN, I ASK THAT YOU EARNESTLY PRAY FOR DISCERNMENT CONCERNING WHAT YOU ARE BEING TOLD AT HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL ROLLING MEADOWS, AND LOOK AT THE EVIDENCE TO SEE IF  ANY VALID QUESTIONS COME TO MIND.  THINK FOR YOURSELVES! 

PRAYING FOR ALL OF YOU.

**UPDATED 4/07/13** ADDED ‘WRETCHED RADIO’ VIDEOS I JUST FOUND CONCERNING ‘T D JAKES AND ER2,’ AS WELL AS ‘5th CHURCH SEPARATES FROM HARVEST BIBLE FELLOWSHIP’

TO AVOID FURTHER PROBLEMS, CONTACT FORM HAS NOW BEEN REMOVED FROM THIS POST.  IF YOU’D LIKE TO CONTACT ME, CLICK ON THE ‘IF YOU’D LIKE TO CONTACT ME‘ AT THE VERY TOP OF MY BLOG