Showing posts with label words from god. Show all posts
Showing posts with label words from god. Show all posts

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Psalm 46:10 and Hearing God Speak

Posted by Christine Pack

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

Writes Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren in his Daily Hope blog (1/17/13):
"You say, 'I want to trust God, but I don't hear him.' To hear God, you have to get near God. You don't hear God when your mind is filled with a thousand other distractions. You've got to get alone with God and be quiet. The Bible says, 'Be still and know that I am God' (Psalm 46:10 NIV). That means sit down and shut up. That's how you hear God and get near to God. You have to sit alone and just be quiet with your Bible and say, 'God, is there anything you want to say to me?' You read God’s Word, and you talk to him about what's on your heart. Pray this today: 'God, I want to listen to you, not the voices of doubt. I want to hear you, and I promise to then obey you. I want to be one of the people that you can use and bless in the next 10 years. I want those years to be a decade of destiny for me and my family.'" (source)
Is this true? Do we need to get still and wait for God to "speak" to us, as Pastor Rick Warren teaches? Absolutely not, and Marcia Montenegro of Christian Answers For the New Age has written a great article in response to this now commonplace (but incorrect) teaching in today's church that Psalm 46:10 is about getting still and "hearing" God speak to you. Marcia, a former New Ager/professional astrologer, is now a born again Christian in full-time ministry, and is devoted to exposing how many of the things she once believed as a New Ager (such as the oft-misinterpreted Psalm 46:10) are coming into the church.

From Marcia's article:
"God's word teaches us to think and use our mind. Rational thinking and reason flow from the nature of God. We can be still or quiet, of course, in order to contemplate God and His perfect love, justice, and mercy. We can be still and appreciate His might. But we do not need to numb our brains or create a mystical experience to do so; in fact, these techniques will hinder us from practicing true contemplation."
Continue reading Marcia's article here.

photo credit: Connor Tarter via photopin cc

 Additional Resources 

Christian Answers For The New Age

What Is Mysticism?

Mysticism: Who Needs Crack?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Warning About Popular Book "Jesus Calling"

Posted by Christine Pack

In a recent interview, Pastor Justin Peters addressed his concerns about the best-selling book by Sarah Young, Jesus Calling. Peters carefully and biblically laid out the problems with this book, which has spawned many derivatives: devotionals, teen and children's versions, even a study Bible. The author of this book has talked about being influenced by a book written by two mystics. After she read their book, she decided to follow their example and sit, pen in hand, waiting to hear and record what God was "telling" her in audible words. Beware-beware-beware those who claim audible words from God today......this is NOT how God speaks to his people.

Justin Peters also does a great job of explaining the theological implications of the term "the sufficiency of Scripture." He also explains that many professing Christians today know enough to recognize that they should affirm this concept, but they then turn around and deny it by their actions (i.e., chasing after mystical, extra-biblical "words from God," such as those in this book by Sarah Young).
"Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world." Hebrews 1:1-2
In looking through Jesus Calling myself, the more appalled I am that this book is sweeping through the evangelical church. What Sarah Young describes, about taking pen in hand and waited for God to speak to her, is an occultic activity called "automatic writing." I learned to do this years ago before I was a Christian, and it's a very, very dark practice that opens the practitioner up to all sorts of spiritual evil and wickedness. And one thing I almost hesitate to mention, because I know how creepy it's going to sound, is that the messages supposedly given by the "Jesus" of the book Jesus Calling are eerily similar to messages I remember writing down from "spirit guides" I learned to contact through occultic means so many years ago. I almost can't emphasize that enough: the messages are very similar. I remember very well that "voice," with its message of easygoing love, with soothing exhortations to simply rest in the presence of God, to love others, to be at peace and know that God loves you. But this "voice," the one that is emanating from the pages of Jesus Calling, is NOT the authoritative voice of the God of the Bible. Yes, God does reveal through his word that born again believers are loved by him and reconciled to him, but his is a holy, purifying love. Believers are continually exhorted to holiness and purity, to put off sin and put on Christ, to be on guard for false teaching and false teachers, to study the Bible to show themselves approved, and of course, the gospel message is everywhere in the Bible. That is the overarching theme: man is sinful and without hope, and yet God, in his mercy, made a way for man to be reconciled to himself. This is not a small thing, this is the main thing. And yet, in Jesus Calling, there is nothing of God's pure holiness, his wrath against sin, man's inability to save himself, and thus his desperate need for a Savior, nothing of the Cross, and no call for repentance. That is a serious problem. After looking through this book, I am more convinced than ever that Sarah Young has indeed made contact with the spiritual realm with this book. Only, it's not the Jesus of the Bible she's talking to.
"And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light." (2 Cor 11:14)
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Eph 6:12)
It could be, as some have suggested, that this book was the result of an over-active imagination. I do think that is a possibility. However, because Young engaged in an occultic practice, and because she has clearly said that knowing God from the pages of the Bible was not "enough" for her, I am inclined to believe that she has gotten more than she bargained for, spiritually speaking. It appears that Young has gotten in touch with the demonic realm, all the while assuming (mistakenly so) that it is the true Jesus of the Bible communicating with her, when in all likelihood she is being toyed with by demonic beings.

 Additional Resources 

Tim Challies Reviews Jesus Calling

Beth Moore Recommends Jesus Calling Book

False Teachings About Hearing Audible Words From God Taking Even Deeper Root in Today's Church

Bestseller "Experiencing God" Misleading Christians With "Soft" Mysticism?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dan Phillips Dismantles Charismatic Arguments

A brilliant post by Pastor Dan Phillips (author of The World Tilting Gospel and blogger at Pyromaniacs and Biblical Christianity) very neatly dismantles many of the Charismatic arguments I've heard. From the article, entitled Charismatic Lexicon - Part One:
Biblically-oriented Christian (BibC): Culmination of millennia of revelation in a completed, wholly sufficient and closed Canon.
Leaky Canon Charismatic equivalent (LC2): Whatever.
BibC: Feeling.
LC2: The Holy Spirit.
BibC: Hunch.
LC2: The Holy Spirit.
BibC: Silly passing thought.
LC2: The Holy Spirit.
BibC: Impulse, best to be rejected after a bit of wise and critical reflection.
LC2: The Holy Spirit.
BibC: Testing by Scripture and rational examination.
LC2: Unbelief.
BibC: Walking in gracious, faith-driven obedience, which definitionally and consciously rests on the written Word alone.
LC2: Deism.
BibC: Living impulsively and irresponsibly, eschewing Biblical analysis and responsible decision-making, and blaming the whole mess on God.
LC2: Moving in the Spirit.
BibC: Undocumented anecdote allegedly done in a corner thousands of miles away and transmitted through the world's longest game of "telephone."
LC2: Proof that "the gifts" continue.
LC2: A divine healing that undeniably proves all charismatic claims.
BibC: Answered prayer, God healing — which all Christians have always confirmed and distinguished from the gift of healing.
And getting into the spirit of the thing, we came up with our own additions to this list:
BibC: Opens Bible, reads it. Knows God is speaking to him through His Word.
LC2: Putting God in a box. 
LC2: Closes Bibles, waits to hear still, small voice of God.
BibC: Vain imaginations.
You can read Dan Phillips' post in full here.

 Additional Resources 

The World Tilting Gospel

God's Wisdom in Proverbs

Charismatic Chaos (book by John MacArthur)

Charismatic Chaos (sermon series)

Copperfield Bible Church (pastored by Dan Phillips)

Just Do Something: How to Make a Decision Without Dreams, Visions, Fleeces, Open Doors, Random Bible Verses, Casting Lots, Liver Shivers, Writing in the Sky, etc.  - by Kevin DeYoung

Biblical Silence vs. Mystical Silence

Secular Interview About What Mysticism Is - BBC Radio Program

What Is Mysticism? (Sola Sisters Article)

What Is Mysticism? (3-Part Series by Dr. Gary Gilley) - Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4 and Part 5

Testimony of a Former Mystic

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bestseller "Experiencing God" Misleading Christians With "Soft" Mysticism?

Posted by Christine Pack

Reverend Jack Hughes and Reverend Justin Peters recently gave an interview in which they discussed their concerns with bestseller Experiencing (by Henry Blackaby and Claude King). This is such an important topic because this book is HUGE - beyond huge, really - in evangelical circles. My sister has a theory that the soft mysticism as taught by Blackaby leads to the hardcore mysticism of Richard Foster, Dallas Willard and the Spiritual Disciplines so big in evangelicalism today. In other words, Blackaby's Experiencing God book has primed the pump, so to speak, in helping Christians become attuned to the idea that they should be "hearing from God." In fact, in this interview, Reverend Justin Peters makes the point that Blackaby goes so far as to say that if you are not hearing from God, then something is wrong with your Christian walk! This is terrible teaching for the Christian, and absolutely not true. But once Christians have become opened up to this idea that they can and should be hearing from God on a regular basis, then they will be all the more open to the techniques and practices offered up in the Spiritual Disciplines of the Spiritual Formation movement that is so popular today, and which will ensure some kind of spiritual experience. But please note that while the experiences achieved through these techniques will be spiritual in nature, the fact remains that the techniques themselves are pagan and occultic in origin, and are thus forbidden to Christians. And that means that God will not reveal himself to man through occultic means......therefore, any "spirit" encountered through these techniques will not be of God.

In fact, a general rule of thumb for the Christian is this: we don't need any techniques or tricks for getting to God. We already have access to God, knowing that we can go boldly before the throne of grace because of the shed blood of Jesus. We also are counseled by the book of Hebrews (and elsewhere) that we are a people who are to walk by faith, not by sight, and that we must guard against the human tendency to insist upon tangibility in our encounters with God.

 Additional Resources 

Unbiblical Teachings on Prayer and Experiencing God: How Mysticism Misleads Christians by Bob DeWaay

God's Will and Christian Liberty - Part 1 and Part 2

Pastor Gary Gilley Reviews Experiencing God - Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3