Category Archives: Cults

Top 5 Abused Bible Verses

In working on my sermon this week, I’ve come across one of the most abused verses in Scripture. It’s not as abused today as it was some 70 years ago, but it is still one of the most abused passages of Scripture. The passage is John 8:31-32  “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Only in it’s abuse, those using it only quote verse 32, without the first part of the conditional clause.

A conditional clause means that there is a condition to knowing the truth. Knowing the truth means that we are His disciples. Being His disciples mean that we follow Him and His word. Yet countless people use the old King James Version, Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free, in a manner to indicate that the truth is just floating about for anyone to find it. It is not, for truth to be know, we must know it in the light of Christ.

I’m reminded of my childhood growing up in the cult of Christian Science and see that portion of the passage on the inside cover to Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (Please note: she has no keys to Scripture. Her book is filled with senseless drivel. She doesn’t know Christ, God or the truth). The passage is used in such a way that it suggests that objective truth is just floating about and all we need to do is look for it. It’s not. The only true way to know real Truth is to know Christ and be known by Him (Matthew 7:21ff). Truth is not disconnected from Christ.

We also see this passage on the building of countless universities across the land. There too, it’s put forth as if truth is out there for anyone looking for it apart from Christ. I know the arch-rival of my own university, texas university, has the scripture emblazoned on one of the buildings. However I don’t think that school, or any other state-run school that has the passage emblazoned on campus is advocating their students become disciples and followers of Christ.

The point is that when Christ uttered those words, He was in a heated debate with the Jews about His identity and their need to be freed from sin. He wasn’t throwing up the idea that truth was to be known apart from Him. Knowing the truth means we must be “in Christ,” and by being “in Christ” we will know truth about who He is and who we are. We are sinners in need of a Savior, and the Truth is that He is that Savior. Being in Him means we are freed from one of our greatest foes: sin. We cannot be truly free unless sin is dealt with, and only through Christ is that sin dealt with. Otherwise we will die in our sins, as Jesus warned the Jews (John 8:21).

This is why this verse makes my Top 5 list of the most abused passages in history. People have abused it in an attempt to make themselves seem erudite in the pursuit of truth. Yet, truth pursued apart from Christ does us no good at all.

4. Number 4 on the list is Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. The reason this one makes the list is that far too many people use it as a quick fix to someone else’s problems. Your cousin just died in a car wreck? Romans 8:28. You have cancer? Romans 8:28. You just lost your home to foreclosure? Romans 8:28. Your cat had puppies? Romans 8:28.

It is abused because of the way that it is used in Christian circles. People use it in an attempt to belittle the struggles of others and this is unconscionable. It is thoughtless, and mean. Paul writes that we are to weep with those who weep in Romans 12:15, not throw Romans 8:28 in their faces.

To abuse this passage is to ignore the fact that Christians have been called to suffer just as Christ suffered. I know, suffering is one of those things that polite Christians do not talk about. But it is a reality of the Christian life. To deny it, is to deny the calling every Christian has in life. So when someone suffers, don’t throw up a quick passage so you can sooth your conscience and be on your way. Sit down with them, and be with them and weep with them.

3. Number 3 on the list is Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. This verse is abused because it is ripped out of context. The context is that Paul is saying he has learned to be content whether he has plenty or he is abased, both to abound and suffer need. He does not say that he can conquer the world because he has Philippians 4:13.

This verse should not be the foundation of every motivational speaker to come down the pike. That is not what Paul is saying. In fact, he would probably be aghast at the idea that so many are using this passage in such a manner, given that Jesus Christ conquers the world and our worlds, we do not. We are mere servants, not tiny gods out to conquer all that is before us.

2. Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged.” This passage is abused among the haters of Christianity. It’s not used to teach us to guard against being hypocritical, as Jesus intended it to be used, but used to silence anyone who would espouse any godly standard above that of being a dog. Jesus isn’t giving a blanket statement for not judging, but given a lesson on how to judge rightly.

I like what Paul Washer is reported to have said concerning this verse: “People always tell me, ‘Judge not, lest ye be judged.’ I reply, ‘Twist not Scripture, lest ye be like Satan.’”

1. John 3:16 For God so loved the world… You know my hatred of the abuse of this passage. Far too many use it to justify their ungodly behavior and lack of holiness because of God’s love. In other words, “For God so love the world, I can live and believe as I please, and Jesus is there to take care of everything for me.”

This passage is also the foundation of so much bad theology that I think we should stop quoting it, and quote all of John 3 to bring it back into light. Anything less than this is to abuse the fulness of what Christ was saying in John 3.

There you have it, my Top-5 abused passages of Scripture. What are yours?

King James Only?

Another round of arguments is being made for the King James version of the Bible by a man named Sam Gipps. I won’t post his message here, but give you Dr. James White’s response to the claims of Gipps.

The King James only people are quite interesting. What they are trying to claim is that the 1611 King James version of the Bible is the only “true” Bible we have left. What they mean to say is that the only true Bible is this particular translation into English. It’s not the Greek text that the translation was based upon, but the translation itself. This means that the only people who have the true Bible are English-speaking fundamentalist. I’m sure the appeal is made within these circles that the only true Christians left on the entire planet earth are those who have the King James Bible. In a sense, it makes these people almost cult like in their beliefs. I’ve also written about KJV only people here.

Here is Dr. White’s first response:

Here is Part 2:

Also Part 3:

From Pleasantville to Principia — The Journey of One Woman’s Life from the Cult of Christian Science to Christ

The following was written by Ashley. She shared this with me after she discovered my posts about Christian Science on the cults page. I’m sharing her testimony with you, and with permission.

From Pleasantville to Principia

If you looked up my childhood in a dictionary, you would have found the word Pleasantville.  I was raised in Kansas City by two very loving, grounded, hard-working parents.  I had a brother 2 years older than me, and the four of us together were very close, loving and fun.  My brother and I were pretty good kids growing up.  Our parents ran an indoor sports complex, and so athletics were extremely important in our family.  We both grew up playing sports and hoped to someday see the fruit of our hard work through a College scholarship.

The Falsity of Fainting

We were members of the local Christian Science church.  I never really noticed that I was different from anyone else in school because of the church I attended.  I didn’t really notice there were other churches outside of Christian Science.  The first recollection of me realizing that Christian Science was different and so was I, was when I fainted for the first time.

It was on the day of Thanksgiving.  While getting ready for church, I made it very clear that my stomach was really hurting me and I didn’t feel capable of going and sitting for an hour in church.  As was custom, my mom or dad took me into a quiet room of the house and shared that I needed to “Know the Truth” about myself and to read from the Science and Health the Scientific Statement of Being.  I can to this day repeat it verbatim.

There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual.

Praying that my body was spiritual and not material, I tried to be a good Christian Scientist, and overcome my pain by changing my thought and aligning it with God’s thought and proceed to attend the morning church service.

It didn’t take but twenty minutes into the service and I looked at my brother and shook my head.  The rest I don’t remember up until I woke to throwing up in the bathroom.  I was told that I fell back on the pew, hit my head, slid under the seat and started to throw up.  My dad rushed me out of the church.  I went home and was sick the whole week.  We prayed and no medical attention was sought out for my stomach pains and dizziness.

Through this experience, what made me realize that something was different about Christian Science was the reaction of my church congregation; or lack thereof.  No one mentioned my faint when I came back the following Sunday.  And I was told not to discuss  it to any friends, neighbors or family members.  By sharing this “false belief” about me fainting, I was accepting it to be true about myself.  And it wasn’t true, because I was a perfect child of God.

My faints continued and so did my parents need help me KNOW THE TRUTH and not accept them.  I remember a time where my family drove to Florida and we had stopped at a gas station.  I had been sleeping in the back and woke up and no one was in the car.  I ran into the gas station in complete fear that I wouldn’t get my candy they usually would let us have on stops.  When I found my mom, I started to faint.  She quickly dragged me into the bathroom so that no one would see.  I remember vividly her trying to quietly wake me up and tell me that someone else was in the bathroom and to be quiet.  I didn’t understand why I couldn’t have the help of someone else besides my parents, but she definitely didn’t want my faint to be seen.  I have continued to have fainting issues to this day.  To be clear, I don’t want to dishonor my parents for what they thought was the right thing to do in those situations.  They always did their best to keep me safe and protected.  But what really stood out to me was the rejection of the belief that I was a “fainter”.  This rejection issue feeds into so many other areas of the Christian Science life.  There’s a sense of shame that comes with a Christian Scientist’s failure to have healing or physical health.  It is hard for me now to wrap my brain around.  If I couldn’t overcome my faints, I felt that it was something I wasn’t understanding in my own thought about God and my true being.  When in all reality, I’m a fainter and it’s okay.  To sum up, Christian Science is a works “religion” and teaches that IF we are praying rightly and “knowing the Truth”, healing will occur.  If no healing occurs; we aren’t where we need to be mentally.  Works.  And that is not how God works.  He is a God of GRACE.

The Principia Bubble

When my brother and I had gotten older, the reality that we were the only Christian Scientists in our school, started to settle in.  When our school had flu shots or required physicals, my parents handed in exemption forms from our local Church to our teachers, while all the other classmates were in the nurse’s office.  It became evident to my parents that we were slowly being opened up to the medical world quickly through our schooling and friendships we made.  So my parents did the right thing as Christian Scientists did, and they sold their business and home and moved us to St. Louis to attend the Principia Upper School-A School for Christian Scientists.

Principia offered everything my parents hoped and prayed for.  My brother and I had a strong education but more importantly, we both became extremely passionate for Christian Science.  We both were thorough in our studying of the Bible with its’ important Key- Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy.  Every morning I read my Bible lesson and let the Science and Health guide me throughout the Bible in it’s own specific way, and I made my parents extremely proud with my daily spiritual growth.

The Wrong Decision or my BEST Decision

When it came time to choose where to go to College, I had always known that softball would play a key role in my decision process.  Considering I loved the sport and my parents paid a lot of money so I could play at an elite level all throughout high school, I made getting a scholarship my main goal.  At the time, I was 4th generation Christian Scientist.  My brother was already attending Principia College, and so were my cousins.  I worked extremely hard to get my scholarship and fortunately was offered one.

My parents still begged me to apply for Principia College and this is first part of “my story” where I knew the Lord specifically directed me.

I was always so obedient to my parents, but in my heart I knew Principia was the wrong place for me.  My reasoning was that all my highschool friends would be there and I didn’t want to repeat highschool all over again.  But looking back, it seemed very unlike me to not even please my parents with applying as a back up plan.

From College to I Do’s

I had 4 great years of college.  I stayed true to being a Christian Scientist, but found myself around a lot of people who thought I was extremely different.  I laughed it off, and egotistically thought that I knew the Bible better and was more spiritual than them.  After all, I was a Christian Scientist and was capable of healing myself through prayer.  They were all “weak” in thought and needed medicine.

And this is the 2nd part of “my story” where I saw the Lord’s hand at work.  He brought me my sweetheart.

My husband was a blessing like no other.  He was raised Catholic and I was raised Christian Science.  What were we to do?  Knowing my temperament, if I had married a man who was extremely opinionated and impatient, I probably would have put my foot down and said there was no way I would leave Christian Science.  But my husband was and still is none of those qualities.  He’s patient, open-minded and always calm.

We decided to attend both each other’s churches.  We both had found we disliked different parts of each other’s denomination and decided that we would figure it out in time, instead of pushing to join a church.

“But I’m a Christian!”

Right in the beginning of our marriage, my kind-hearted Mother in Law encouraged me to attend a Bible Study.  It is a 8 year study called Bible Study Fellowship.  This Bible Study didn’t allow you to speak about specific denominations.  It was a pure study of the Bible with application questions.   I thought it was great.  I had never studied the Bible without the Science and Health right next to me, and so I was very intrigued by this “new age” way to study.  Oh me.

The first year I really enjoyed the study.  But as any well-trained Christian Scientist would do, I ignored the parts of the Bible that were not “inspired by God’,  such as “we are sinners…”, “Christ is God”.  Obviously those were not inspired because Mary Baker Eddy told me that I am made perfect, sin does not exist and Christ is a great example-BUT DEFINITELY NOT GOD.

As I studied the Bible, the more clear it was to me that Mary Baker Eddy left out some extremely solid nuggets of TRUTH that I desperately needed to know about.  When I studied and realized that Jesus declared himself to be THE Savior, and that a final day of judgement was to come for all men, I was stumped.  I was told differently by my leader Mary Baker Eddy about my salvation.  That’s when my world began to crumble.  Is she calling Jesus a liar?  I couldn’t piece it all together without feeling a great deal of anxiety.  Nothing is more humbling than being passionate for one set of beliefs all your life and to one day find out that you are incredibly wrong.  But this is where the Lord really protected my broken-hardened heart.   At Bible Study Fellowship (bsfinternational.org) they would always ask us at the end of the lecture if we had accepted Christ.  That was what would qualify someone as being Christian.  I of course ignored that portion of the lecture because I was a Christian.  Right? Wrong.  The Lord continued to protect me.

The second year of this Bible Study feels like it was just yesterday; and I wish it was.  I would love to go back and repeat the feelings I had over and over.  It was my fourth week and we were studying the Book of Matthew.  One of the key principles shared was, “Repentance involves changed thinking and a changed life”.  That night, my life was changed.  I don’t even know how my legs walked me out of that church, but I somehow made it to my car and called my Mother in Law and started rambling off a bunch of questions.  Like always, she was calm, comforting, knowledgeable, and extremely helpful.  That night on the phone, I came to KNOW the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior.  22 years old.  I drove home, and looking back I’m surprised that I didn’t get a speeding ticket.  I found my husband and quickly told him the news.  The GOOD NEWS.   Together we worship the Lord and I can’t be more grateful for God’s hand in my life.

Can someone teach me to forget, not just forgive?

I will be honest and say that I am definitely a working progress throughout this amazing change in my life.  Although I now know the Lord as my Savior, the pain of knowing I’m the “black sheep” in my family and lost in a sea of Christian Science friends who don’t understand who I am anymore, is one big dark cloud over my head.  I am working on forgiveness and trying to understand what God wants out of me.  But the anger I have and grudges I hold are not mine to carry.  They are the Lord’s. I am taking a place that’s not really mine when I hold onto the way people have wronged me.

I think about Joseph and his darkest hours in prison, sold into slavery by his own family, and wonder what He thought about God.  God brought people into Joseph’s life in his darkest hours to comfort and help him.  I think about my darkest hours and look back at different people God brought into my life.  He was always there through the encouragement and comfort of others.

This is my lower story that will glorify God’s upper story.

“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
It’s all about the UPPER STORY.  Christian Science was my darkest hour, and I know there will be many stumbling blocks along the way-but I have the armor of Jesus Christ and cannot be shaken.  It’s all about the Upper Story.

The “Accident”

Written October 6, 1993 concerning the events in July 1970.

My mother was lying on the wooden board and the car was no longer making that screaming noise it did when I ran for help. The smell of burning rubber was still in the air. All around me was the commotion of ambulance drivers and state troopers checking out the scene. The paramedics were attending two of my brothers, but I could tell they would be all right. It was my mother who looked the worst. I went over to my mother and tried to clear the tears from my eyes.

“Mom, can you get up?” She just laid there and for a moment and I thought she didn’t hear me.

“Mom? Are you ok?” I asked.

“No” was her reply. That really scared me because I had never heard my mother say things were not OK. That was not like her at all. All my short life she always tried to be positive, but not now.

I tried to heal her like we had been taught in church. I though very clearly “Mommy is created in God’s image and likeness. She is not hurt, she is OK.” I said it over and over, but my mother just lay there on the stretcher.

“Mommy you are made in God’s image and likeness and you are OK,” I told her.

She said thanks, but kept on lying there. I didn’t know why. In church they told us that when we were sick or hurt that if we held to the truth we would be OK. But my mother wasn’t OK. Why did she not get up? It must have been some sort of failure on my part, because she continued to lie there on the side of the road.

I tried not to cry but I couldn’t help it. Tears welled up in my eyes and I knew I wasn’t supposed to cry. But my mother was still hurt. I wanted to hug her but they told me not to touch her.

Another ambulance came down the road and hit the breaks when the driver realized she was passing the accident. She tried to pull over and when she did, the ambulance flipped upside down, just as our own car had done.

We were traveling up to see Granny get married and on the way we took the wrong road. As was the habit of our family, whenever we got lost or took the wrong road, Dad or Mom would say “we’re taking a short cut. It’s longer, but bumpier.” This always seemed to make things better.

So on our “short cut” we were trying to make it to Highway 59. We had gone through Trinity, Texas, and as we did, I remember pointing out the hospital. Why I would do such a thing was beyond me. We didn’t believe there was a need for hospitals. After all, we were Christian Scientist and Christian Scientists know the truth. Hospitals are merely recognitions of error, and since we had the truth, we never acknowledged error.

I was sitting in the front seat in between my mother, who was driving and my father. David was in the back seat and Scooter and John were in the back, back seat of our 1969 Pontiac Station Wagon.

As we drove down the highway, I was playing copilot for Mom. Every speed limit sign we would pass, I would announce the speed so my mother would not drive too fast or slow. I had just told her the speed limit was 70 mph.

The hot Texas sun had melted the tar that was holding down the road. When we hit the freshly paved road, it was similar to driving on marbles and the rocks began pounding the bottom of the car. It was loud.

“Velda, pull over,” my father yelled.

As she began to pull over, the front wheels dropped off the road. There was no shoulder to the road leaving an 18-inch drop. The car slid sideways and began to roll. I remember seeing a white fence just before I shut my eyes. The white fence turned on its side and we began pounding down the road. I thought it would never stop.

I could hear glass breaking and the sound of metal slamming against the pavement.

When I opened my eyes, the windshield was folded in and was only inches from my chest. One look at my mother and I knew she was hurt and that I should not touch her.

The car was screaming. The speedometer read 120 mph, but we were not moving. The car had landed in a ditch and the tires weren’t touching the ground. I didn’t know what to do. Mom was not moving, and neither was Dad. Why? Dad was supposed to take care of things, but he wasn’t doing anything at all.

I tried to move, but couldn’t. David was already out of the car. He seemed to be the only one awake other than myself. I released my seatbelt and climbed over my father.

“Dad, help,” we said. “We’ve got to get dad out.” We both grabbed a hold of his arm and pulled. Our hope was that if we could get him out of the car, he would wake up and tell us what to do. That had always been Dad’s role. He was the commander, the captain of our family. Yet, he wouldn’t wake up and because of his seatbelt, we couldn’t pull him free.

The seatbelts had been my idea. Mom had taught me that it was the rules to wear the seatbelts. That being the case, I made sure everyone had on their seatbelts when we got in the car. Now it seemed the seatbelt was working against us.

“We need to go for help,” David said. After looking at Scooter and John, who were both laying in a ditch. I knew that it was up to David and me. I didn’t know what to do. Providentially there were two houses right there where the car came to a stop. David ran for one, and I ran for the other. By now, I was in tears. I was scared like I had never been before. For some reason, David was cool and calm and at this point, he was calling the shots. David took the house on the right and I took the one on the left.

I ran as hard as my 9-year-old legs could and fell upon the door. I pounded hard as I could, but no one would answer. “Please help,” I cried. “Somebody please help.” But there was no one home. I began to panic. What if there was no one to help? What then? That fear was monstrous.

David had more success than I did. His house held a family. The father ran out and was heading towards our car. I couldn’t look. The man’s son came and took my hand and asked if I needed anything. He took me inside their home and gave me some water. I cried, even though I knew I should not, the tears came uncontrollably. I didn’t understand. I knew that I was supposed to be a little man but I couldn’t help it. The boy held my hand and said everything would be all right. But somehow, I knew it wouldn’t be.

His brother came in and told me my father wanted me outside.

I went back to the car. It was rumpled. The hood was smashed and the roof was pointed. The engine was no longer running and I could here my little brother, John, crying as he lay in the ditch. It was OK for him to cry, but I was older and wasn’t supposed to cry. I tried to be like Dad. Scooter was next to him holding a bandage to his ear. There was blood everywhere.

My father was now awake.

“Timmy, where is Stokely?” my father yelled at me.

“He’s not with us.”

“Timmy, where is he?” he shouted.

“He didn’t come with us. We left him with the Stouts.”

“Are you sure?” Why didn’t he believe me? Didn’t he remember that just a few hours ago, we dropped Stokely off with the Stouts? Stokely was the baby. Less than a year old, and my parents felt it would be better if he was left at home for the wedding.

“Are you sure?” my father yelled again. I told him I was sure and that he didn’t come with us.

Then I saw Mom.

Her body was lifeless as she lay on a board that the ambulance men had placed her on. I knew she was hurt. That is when I began to pray. In Sunday school, they taught us how to pray and how to heal and I knew God would listen to me if I prayed. But she just lay there and wouldn’t get up.

They finally loaded Mom, John and Scooter into an ambulance. I wanted to ride with them, but they wouldn’t let me. They closed the door and I felt like my family was leaving me behind.

John thought his back was hurt and Scooter almost lost an ear. Both of them had been thrown out the back window when the car rolled. Only David, Dad and I were uninjured.

A stranger took us to the hospital we had passed not 30 minutes before and left us in the waiting room. Dad immediately headed for the emergency room, leaving David and I alone.

I felt very scared and alone so I prayed some more that mommy and Scooter and John would all be OK. I asked David if he was scared and he said yes. But he didn’t feel like talking much. He never did. He was the quiet one and now he was even quieter than usual. I tried to get him to say something encouraging, but he wouldn’t. I wanted someone to just hold me and tell me everything would be all right. But no one did.

It seemed like I was in that waiting room for hours. Dad was with Mom, and Scooter was having his ears sewn up. John had to be X-rayed; because they thought his back might be injured. And Mom was undergoing all kinds of things I didn’t understand.

Dad finally came out to use the phone. I asked him how Mom was doing, but he didn’t know and had to call Granny and tell her we wouldn’t be there in time for the wedding.

I can remember him telling Uncle Bill that Granny should go on with the wedding, we wouldn’t be there, because he didn’t know how serious mother’s injuries were.

Then Dad left and went back to be with Mom, leaving David and me alone in the waiting room. Why did he have to leave us alone there? Why couldn’t we be with Mommy too? Why did he have to leave? I had all these questions, but there was no one who could answer them and no one to try.

There was a fish tank in the waiting room and I liked fish tanks. But this one didn’t seem to have the magic effects that most fish tanks do. So I just sat next to David and waited. It was an eternity.

After what seemed like an eternity and then some, my Uncle Bill came up from Houston to help. He was one of my favorite uncles and I was hoping that he would offer some encouraging words as well. But he didn’t.

We drove back out to the site of the wreck and I asked him if we could look for my glasses. They were a brand new pair. I had only had glasses for a couple of months and I thought they made me special, because not everyone got to wear glasses and I did. Now they were gone.

We stopped where we had the wreck and Uncle Bill began walking the site. He found that a construction sign that was intended to warn us had been knocked over. He pulled out his camera and began taking pictures. We walked the site again. All the while, I was trying to find my glasses.

He then drove us to where the car was kept.

“Maybe we can find my glasses here,” I said optimistically.

“Boy, give it up,” he said with the tone of disgust. “We’re not going to find your glasses. They’re not important.”

Maybe not, but they were to me.

We drove back to the hospital in silence. And then back to Houston where we spent the night in Pops’ house. Pops was a Christian Scientist as well and I really like Pops. But he wasn’t there. We were left to their dark house alone, with Grandma. I didn’t sleep very well and the next day they finally told us that my mother would probably never walk again. That was difficult to take, especially in view of our belief system. She should be healed by now, but she wasn’t. I didn’t know it at the time, but from that moment on, I don’t think I really believed in Christian Science anymore.

And then came the silence. Since the accident was an event full of error, and we were to deny error, we denied the existence of that error even though so many things in our lives screamed of its existence. That day became known as “the accident.” And it was never openly acknowledge.

Yet with every treatment that Mom underwent, with every new setback, the reality of that accident shouted its reality. It would not go away, no matter how many prayers, how many times we tried to “correct” our thinking, the accident lived with us.

That hot-summer day in June, God did hear my prayers. But I believe the answer was “no.” His very character would not let Him answer my request positively. To do so, would have allowed me to believe the very lie I had been taught in Sunday school. That being the case, and out of His love for me, He said “no.”

So I praise God that the answer to my prayer that day was no, even though my mother lived in a wheel chair for the second 35 years of her life. I don’t mean that in a spiteful way. I did pray that Jesus would heal my mother, I just didn’t want Christian Science to heal my mother. I wanted her to see Christian Science as it really is and see their leader as she truly was, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Christian Science is not of God, it is of Satan.

That day was a dark day in my life and still haunts me from time to time. I truly believe that God was in control on that day, and the He is still sovereign. What seemed like a tragic event so long ago, amidst the smell of burning rubber, broken glass, and a crumpled car, was God’s sovereign plan being unfolded in my life. And today, I am a Christian because of His sovereign plan, not a Christian Scientist. Amen and amen.

UPDATE: Just an explanatory note for those who don’t understand Christian Science. In Christian Science something is bad or sinful only as long as the “thought” of something bad and sinful continues to exist. Therefore the idea was to quit thinking about the “accident” and healing would quickly follow. This is why we never spoke of the “accident” and did our best to make it not real by not thinking about it. But the realness of it, lived with us every day and it was quite obvious that the truths of Christian Science, were lies.

Against Mormonism: For the Sake of the Gospel

Jerry Johnson does an excellent job in illustrating the reality that Mormonism is not Christian and that Joseph Smith created the entire religion in the video below. We need to restate this again and again with the ascendence of Mitt Romney to the GOP nomination. While many of us support Romney politically, we in no way support his religion or call him “brother.” Mormonism is not Christianity and we are not spiritual brothers in Christ. Mormonism is antithetical to Christianity and Smith was one of many antichrists that have existed throughout history (remember, an antichrist is anyone who puts themselves in the place of Christ, or adds to His gospel.) Remember what the Apostle John wrote in his first letter:

1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.

But the point is that we need to be clear that Mormonism is not Christianity, while at the same time, we can support Romney in his bid for the presidency. This is why Jerry Johnson and the Nicene Council have put together the website, For the Sake of the Gospel. They are encouraging evangelical pastors to sign the statement declaring this truth.
Here is their purpose:

The purpose of this call to evangelical Christians and leaders is two-fold:

  1. To protect the purity and integrity of the Biblical Gospel.
  2. To seize the opportunity to educate the America Public and Christians to the fundamental differences between historic Christian faith and that of the Latter-day Saints (Mormons).

While social and political causes are a vital and important part of the Church’s responsibilities, we believe that our primary function as Christians, both collectively and individually, is to preach and defend the Lord Jesus and His Gospel, as He is defined in the Bible, and has been affirmed in the historic Christian Church, its Councils and Creeds.

In our postmodern era, Christians are taught to believe that truth is relative and sincerity is more important than accuracy. However, we believe that the good news of the gospel – justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone – could be compromised if Mr. Romney receives unqualified public endorsements from Christian leaders, their ministries or organizations, thereby potentially confusing the evangelical Gospel with the soteriology (false gospel) of the Mormon Religion.

It is our contention that the general population should not be left with any uncertainty whether the theological cult1 of which Mitt Romney is a faithful member, namely The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), and historic evangelical Christianity are one and the same faith.

This we adamantly deny!

 As you can see, they are attempting to make it clear, despite what Joel Osteen may falsely teach, Mormonism and Christianity are not the same and are incompatible. Watch the video below, vote for Romney in the fall, worship in a true church this Sunday!

Roundup That Matters

I know this one is put out by Free Market America, but it makes the point. If we continue with the liberal policies of the Left, then America will fail as a country and we need do nothing to stop it. But I don’t want America to fail. I don’t want Liberals to win, or to pay for $10 a gallon gasoline. It shows the true nature of those behind the global warming movement. They are not people who are “for” the environment, but against the American way of life. They use guilt, lies and manipulation followed by regulation, regulation and more regulation in order to stop America from drilling more oil, being innovative, etc.

Watch the Video.

BTW, I had this posted in my Roundup before Rush Limbaugh featured it on his show. I always like to point that out.

Child Labor Laws are now being imposed on farmers and their children — if the above video didn’t make the point, you need to read this article as well. The American work ethic is under attack, as well as working-class farmers and their families. I didn’t grow up on a farm, but I know those who did and they always have excellent work ethics. This is more government meddling that needs to stop.

Joel Osteen Declars Obama, Romney are Both Christians — Let’s face it, this guy thinks anyone who seems “nice” to him must be a Christian. What about the Dali Lama? I imagine he thinks he is a Christian too, along with David Koresh, etc.

What we are really need to realize is that Osteen has no authority to declare Obama or Romney as Christians. Given Romney’s beliefs, he is not. He is a mormon. Osteen cannot see the hearts of men and as Christ said, “narrow is the way…” Remember, the Jesus of Mormonism is not the Jesus of the Bible.

Roundup That Matters

“I Was Born in a Doomsday Cult” — Andie Redwine has written an excellent account of how she was raised in the Worldwide Church of God, which is a doomsday cult. She recounts of how she had to seek counseling in order to remove herself from the effects of spiritual abuse that came about from being in the cult. She has also help put together a movie called Paradise Recovered, which is about those who are in spiritual abuse. This movie has been very helpful to those who have seen it, since there seems to be so many who are in spiritual abuse by their church leaders. Here is a bit of what she wrote after her eyes were opened by the Spirit and she began reading the Bible:

I kept reading the Bible, but with different eyes and with a different voice in my head.
I started really liking the stories that Jesus told.  We didn’t spend so much time on these in the Worldwide Church of God.  When I read them, Jesus emerged for me as a character with a quick wit, who was cunning but not deceitful, and who was overwhelmingly compassionate.
In short, I found him miles more compelling that Herbert Armstrong.

Shai Linne Expository Preaching. “We need more expositors, not more comedians!” — I’m not much into rap, but this song is dead on for what the church needs today. It is about the need for more expository preachers, those who preach what the word of God says, not their opinions. You may not like rap, but please listen to the message. Make sure your church has a pastor that actually preaches the word of God, and not his own opinions.

What the World Truly Needs — From the department of the obvious, comes the following which I was unable to post this past Sunday:

In view of that, you can go here to listen to Sunday’s sermon, which I preached here at Redeemer Christian Fellowship of Roswell, NM. This was the first Sunday that we moved back into the sanctuary since my arrival. It was a truly wonderful service.

Roundup That Matters

Pastor Youcef still needs our prayers plus an UPDATE — as of today, Pastor Youcef is still thought to be alive in Iran even though he has been sentenced to death for converting from Islam to Christianity.

We know that God ultimately holds Pastor Youcef’s future in His hands, so we trust that whatever happens, God will be glorified and the gospel will go forward. But we still must pray for his deliverance and ask the LORD to have him spared from the radicals of Islam.

Here is the latest video on the case:

Not Afraid to Tell Her Story — Here is a post about Athena Dean who was involved in a terrible cult of mind control for the past 12 years. While in it, she lost her husband, family, home, business and car all because she fell under the Satanic control of cult-leader Tim Williams. Her business was running Wine Press, which was a successful small business until Williams and company showed up on the scene. Like many cults, Williams has left a long trail of broken Christians in his path.

Remember, we are to follow Christ, not men, especially when they twist Scripture to support their arguments. Whenever someone says that you should do something because God said so, and they point to the Bible to support their case, realize that this isn’t how Christianity operates. Athena also has a piece of the tactics of the cults.

Seven States File Lawuit over Obama Mandate — Good news. We see that seven states which include Texas, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Carolina, are filing a lawsuit in district court to stop the Obama mandate that would require religious institutions to provide health care that would provide abortions and contraceptions that are against their religious beliefs. As we saw in my post yesterday, the so-called compromise, was not a compromise at all and the mandate as it was written is still the mandate that is being required by Health and Human Services, which is a violation of our rights guaranteed under the First Amendment. The mandate demands that those who believe it is fundamentally wrong to kill a child would still have to pay for services that kill children. With this issue and the issue of Arizona’s immigration law, it’s sad to see that Americans greatest opponent to freedom and liberty is our own president. Alas, but we tried to warn our friends and families who were so ga-ga over this man, yet they would not listen.

Obama Confident He Has Another Five Years — not if we have anything to say about it. King Obama declared to Univision that he has another five years to set his plans in place. There he is quoted as saying the following:

“Well, first of all … my presidency is not over,” Obama, who just a few months ago described himself as an underdog in the presidential race, said in a telephone interview.  “I’ve got another five years coming up. We’re going to get this done,” he said.

“I would have only broken my promise if I hadn’t tried,” he said. “But ultimately, I’m one man. You know, we live in a democracy. We don’t live in a monarchy. I’m not the king. I’m the president. And so, I can only implement those laws that are passed through Congress.”

Given that we know he lies and actually believe and does the opposite of what he says in public, he really does see himself as king. Just given that he made that statement is quite telling. He has actually thought about it, desired it, wished it, so he could do away with that pesky Constitution that keeps him from implementing all his socialistic programs. Thank God we do have the Constitution and we have people who are still standing up for it.
Runaway Slave Still Working for Release — The movie Runaway Slave is still working to be released on a wide scale. The movie was shown in Washington for its premiere to about 200 blacks, all of which gave the movie a standing ovation at it’s conclusion. The movie focuses on how Democrat policies have actually enslaved black people to the Liberal agenda. As on commentator on the movie said… “the Democrats want the government to become our god.” I think the political cartoon at the top of the posts illustrates the point. The more people who are dependent upon government, the more government controls our lives, the more power they have. That is socialism. Every country that has tried it has failed. You can see the failures in Obama’s policies already.
I saw this comment over at Neil’s blog by Roxeanne De Luca, about the hypocrisy of the left. It captures what the movie is trying to say, and the cartoon above:

Amazing smackdown, Neil. Why does the Left never discuss how their own failed policies cause the poverty they are trying to prevent? They make housing obscenely expensive via “free” money and mandates, then cry about how the “free market” caused the housing bubble. They make it nearly impossible to commit mentally ill homeless people, then can’t figure out why we can’t get people off the streets. They undermine the dignity of an honest day’s work, then can’t figure out why people refuse to get off welfare. Then, when they’ve gotten the government and their twisted interpretation of the Constitution to really make a muck of things, the “solution” is more government intervention. As the Queen of Swords and I were saying today, it’s like people who ignore you when you tell them to not eat ten deep-fried Twinkies a day, then, when they turn into whales, say that the only solution to their problem is to eat more deep-fried Twinkies, because eating boosts the metabolism.

What Mormons and Mitt Romney Really Believe

While the following is a bit archaic in its production level, the following is what Mormons truly believe. It shows that they are not the least bit Christian, are extremely racists and basically have adopted the same views of eternal life as those who believed in the mythical gods of Greece and Rome. In other words, Joseph Smith did nothing more than rehash the principles of mythology… that mankind can become gods themselves with enough work and effort. This shows that Mormonism is not anything close to true Christianity, in which man doesn’t become god, but God becomes man.

Watch the video for yourself:

A Third Response to a Christian Scientist

It is time to finally finish up my response to a Christian Scientist which I started several weeks ago. The point is not to win this CS to the true faith, but to help those who are in the true faith see through the arguments that these people make, be they part of Christian Science, Mormonism, liberal churches, etc. It would be nice to see this man turn from the heresies of his faith, to saving faith in Jesus Christ, but given that this man is a practitioner in his religion and makes his living as such, he has sold his soul to this falsehood. Instead of coming to Christ to be saved, he came to Christ to make his money off of healings and propagating a lie. He has a form of godliness but denies its true power (2 Timothy 3:1-9).

As believers in Christ, we are to shun those who are into idle babblings, as Paul warned Timothy (2 Timothy 2:14-26). If you look at my other posts dealing with this man, you can see that much of their belief system is based upon idle babblings. They are not grounded in the truth of God’s word, but whatever wind of doctrine the blows along. This is what is so sad about those who are stuck in this belief system. Instead of grabbing onto the truth, they heap up their error to their own destruction. It is truly sad and we can hope that some will turn away from it to Christ as was the case for me when I was 29. So it is not impossible that God’s Spirit will move in them. I just do not think it likely because they refused to accept even the smallest bit of light that is given to them (John 3:18-21).

I’m picking up on Don’s argument in midstream. He is trying to claim that the Apocrypha is made up of early Christian writings and that we need to look to these books for a deeper understanding of healing, even though the Apocrypha was written before the time of Christ, and was never regarded as Scripture by those who wrote it or read it. Remember that the entire premise of their faith is based upon the healings of Christ, thinking that He came to teach us how to heal ourselves. No where does Scripture ever say such a thing. We are told to preach and teach the truths of Scripture and Christ, but never go about healing the people of the world.

On to Don’s writings:

Within those books are records of regular healings as a part of practicing one’s religion. Healings abruptly ceased at the time Constantine (Roman emperor) gathered the bishops to “standardize Christianity” and to make his life easier by eliminating the important debates that had been going on–whether Jesus was God, or that God made matter, or that he punishes people for being evil were some of the issues of the time for which differences of opinion from the orthodox view were severely punished.

The healing ceased? Can you give us some proof of this? Even the debates you cite, need documentation. Yes, Constantine order the Council of Nicaea together to help settle the Arian controversy. The issue concerned what the church believed, based on Scripture, about Christ and what Arius was trying to say about Christ. It truly is an important issue, and you would do well not to side with Arius.

The Christian community was accustomed to saying the Jesus Chris was just as much God as the Father was and is. Arian suggested that He was merely a man, created just as we are and with a beginning.

Now, how about a bit of hypocrisy on your part Don. CSers believe that Jesus was just a man, but then point to Christ’s own claims about Himself in John 8:58 “Most assuredly I say to you, before Abraham was, ‘I Am.’” On the one hand, you claim that Jesus was just a man. Yet, on the other had you claim that Jesus always existed and that this truth is the same for you as it was for Him. Remember, this is why you don’t celebrate your birthdays?

However we are not equal to Christ. He is the only begotten of the Father. This means, from the Greek, He is the unique One of God. He is different than we are. He was born without sin and of a virgin. All this you deny to be true by bringing Christ down to your level, or worse, exalting yourself up to His level. What hubris.

Jesus could claim that before Abraham, “I Am” because He existed before all of creation. He was not created at a point in time as the Arians claim, but existed before creation and was there during creation (see Colossians 1:15-18 and note that the “He” in the text is referring to Christ.) Abraham did not always exist. If all mankind existed before creation than Jesus would not have said, “before Abraham was…” He would have said, “we all existed before time.” But He doesn’t. He is declaring His equality with the Father. This is why the Jews pick up stones to kill Him. If what He says is not true, then they are right in stoning Him for claiming equality with God is blasphemous. The reason they fail in their attempt to bring about justice is that they are wrong in their assumptions concerning Christ. He is equal to the Father and has a right to claim equality with the Father.

Paul goes on to tell us that Jesus was not committing robbery by claiming to be equal with the Father (Philippians 1:6). It is only robbery if what He claimed was not true. Since it is true, then His claim of equality is NOT robbery. He is the fulness of God, revealed to us, without sin and unique in that He was not created, but the Second Person of the Trinity.

This issue is vital for the salvation of mankind. The Lamb of God must be both fully Man and Fully God. Otherwise there is no acceptable sacrifice for our sins. He must be fully Man so that He represents us on the cross and fully God so that He pays the eternal debt we owe for our sin to and eternal God. He is eternal and makes the payment we cannot make.

But since you do not believe in sin, your own sinfulness and a need for a sacrifice, I guess this all moot. This brings up another puzzlement I have with CSers. Why is it that they do not believe in the material world, saying that all matter is evil, yet they spend so much time focusing on the matter of their bodies which are bearing the marks of sin of mankind whenever sickness arise. CSers focus on saying matter is not real, in order to heal their material bodies, which are not real, all the while missing the very spiritual nature of Christ’s healings in the first place. I guess the blindness you suffer from is such that it leads to utter foolishness as well.

Back to your arguments.

What you wrote in your previous email reflects these beliefs.

All churches were classified as “cults” as a part of identifying a religious group during that period of time. There was nothing negative about it, then. “Cult” today is usually a derogatory term as used by orthodoxy meaning that any group who doesn’t follow the general guidelines established by the Nicean Creed is way off base and perhaps even evil.

Absolutely true and I do not shy away from this charge. Let’s play Paschal’s wager. If what you say is true, then what I say really doesn’t matter. However, if what I believe is true, then those who do not believe it spend eternity in hell. Seems like it would be pretty important to make sure one was right. Remember, the One who created hell, told us more about it than any other figure in the Bible, so you cannot dismiss it by saying it’s not real or doesn’t exist. Christ told us of hell and said that the way to destruction was the broad way. Given all your claims to broad appeals here and there, seems like you are on the broad way. After all, you keep appealing to the heretics, liberals and loonies for your support, ignoring God’s word and the One who gave us the guidelines for faith and salvation.

This is being played out today in evaluating Mitt Romney’s religion as well as in your emails to me. But none of these orthodox churches heal as a part of their focus, and that is what Jesus required to show proof of Christianity, accurately practiced. He used this to demonstrate to John (via John’s disciples) that he was the Messiah and told his followers to “go and do likewise”–that headings are demonstrations of true Christianity–the sign that Christians were on the right path.

No, again, this is the wrong assumption made by CSers. Your focus should be on preaching the gospel of Christ, which is the true power unto salvation, not the healings. Yet you do not preach the gospel at all. MBE preached another gospel all together and was unqualified to preach at all. The disciples did as they were directed and people were saved. Yes, there were healings. But the healings were not the focus of faith. Faith in Christ for salvation was and is the focus.

(Read works on early Christianity prior to the 4th century AD and don’t be blinded by theological historians who have recreated religion for their own purposes and established the orthodox paradigm over centuries of time).

That is quite a charge coming from one who follows Mary Baker Patterson Glover Eddy. She was a woman that suffered from illnesses her entire life and did whatever she could to over come them, even following P. Phineas Quimby and plagiarized his writings. She not only ignore those theologians, she ignored scripture as well and look at what you ended up with?

The Current Bible scholars (as found at Harvard, Yale, Chapel Hill) are not wed to particular religions or theologies but operate across a broad spectrum of disciplines. They are showing that primitive Christianity (Jesus’s Christianity) is not what has survived today under the orthodox theory which creates “clouds without rain.”

Again, the way to destruction is broad. These modern-theologians are off base because they are not letting Scripture be their guide.

While we are on this topic, Tim, is healing a regular part of your religion and your preaching. And how is it that there are thousands of recorded heaings in Christian Science–hundreds of them documented by the medical profession before and after the healing? If Christian Science is misguided and perhaps even evil how does it heal? And, I think of Jesus statement to those who hated him, “For which of my good works do ye stone me?”

Do you not think that even Satan has the power to heal? Simply because you have healings does not prove your point. It is the rest of your theology that show you are out of accord with the teachings of the apostles and prophets. See above… see the fact that MBE was not qualified to be a pastor (1 Timothy 2:12). See the fact that you deny sin even though the Scriptures declare it to be so.

As for what Jesus said, you are taking it out of context once again.  Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.” 

The signs, wonders and works authenticated who He was and is, not you. You are not God. You are not the Second Person of the Trinity. He did that showing that not only did He utter the words, “Let there be light,” but showed that with a word He could change the course of sin as it ravaged the bodies of His children. The gospels are about HIM, not you and your petty experiences. You think because you have healings that you are right in your beliefs. But Jesus warned even against such as yourself:

Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

He clearly teaches that even those who do all kinds of wonders have no hope unless they are known by Him and know Him. Since you believe the warp and woof of Christianity is about your own works, then take heed of Christ’s warning.

Paul will also go on to say that it is not by works, as you have pointed out, that show that we are saved, so that no man can boast in them (Ephesians 2:8-9). Our works are not the  determining factor of our salvation and acceptance by God. It is by faith alone in Christ alone that we are saved and made acceptable to Him. It is not works that get us into heaven or help us earn favor with Him. Yet, what have you done but boast in all your works?

So, who is to decide what is correct theology.

This is why orthodoxy is orthodoxy. We test what is taught according to Scriptures and if it doesn’t fit with Scripture, then it is not true. This is why we can punt MBE’s Science & Health with Keys to the Scriptures. First, does it correspond to Scriptures? Nope. Not even close. She seems like she is writing from a different planet all together. Secondly, if it does correspond, then is it necessary? Nope, since it doesn’t meet the first qualification, then it has nothing to add to our understanding. And yes, I have read it.

The only way I know is through proof of its utility. Paul said, “Show me your faith by your words, and I will show you my faith through my works.”

Again, you show your ignorance of Scripture once again. It is James who writes as such. We do believe in good works, but not works that is void of faith. We are saved by faith alone in Christ alone, but our faith is not alone. Yet, even the good works we do, Christ gets all the credit for we can only do good works by the power of the Holy Spirit.

So, I will continue on my spiritual journey to my highest sense of what is right in serving God and mankind. I wish you well on your journey, Tim.

Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because[a] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” I close with that verse because I am on the narrow way. Don, you have appealed to the broad way of the world. I appeal to you to jump off the broad road that you are on and to enter by the narrow gate, believing Him for salvation, not your own works or testimonies, etc. Count all that as dung, so that you may gain Christ (Philippians 3:8).

You can read my first response here, and my second response here.