Dear readers, first of all, I just realized that some of you have commented on some of my past posts, and I have not been getting the comments because I changed my email address. So if you didn’t see your comment displayed, I just “approved” them. So sorry. As writers, we love receiving your comments and responses. Please keep them coming.
And now, on to today’s topic:
But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons… (1 Timothy 4:1)
While in church last Sunday, our pastor made an announcement that a missionary which the church had been supporting financially would no longer be supported. This particular missionary is dealing with a large Muslim population and trying to win them to Christ. He and his wife are apparently trying to make the word more palatable to the Muslims, and so in their translations, they are changing all references to “the Son of God” to “the Messiah sent from God.” The pastors and elders of my church decided this was not an acceptable change, because it waters down the deity of Jesus, and changes the unchangeable word of God. It was a hard decision to make, but one which they felt unanimously was the right one.
Deceitful spirits abound and will lead each and every one of us astray if we are not vigilant and hold fast to the unchangeable word of God. We are all susceptible and must always be on the alert.
Then, a few days after my husband and I attended that worship service at our new church, we were at home, looking over the small Bible study groups they have for couples. We want to get involved in one of the groups. At this church, it seems that each small group is doing a different study. We came across one group that was doing the study of a very controversial well-known pastor who heads a very large church in Seattle. The church is growing rapidly and already has many “satellite” churches. We live within 45 minutes of Seattle, and I’ve heard various reports about this pastor.
As we tried to research this pastor to determine whether we wanted to join a study he has written, we came across a website dedicated solely to informing people of his misinformation, and disrespectful teachings regarding the Bible, and Jesus Himself. When we read some of the excerpts from his books, and watched some of his teachings on YouTube, our jaws dropped. Among other rather shocking things he has said, he tells people he “sees things” as though they are on a screen before him. He believes it is the gift of discernment, but as he recounts it in front of his congregation of 5,000, he describes a lewd hotel scene where he believes he has “seen” one of his church members having sex with someone in an adulterous affair. He goes so far as to describe what she was doing, how she was doing it, and what she was feeling. It’s disturbing, to say the least–both because this pastor feels that the Holy Spirit would give him a “vision” of something lewd, and that he would recount it in sickening detail. Here’s what one person had to say in a blog:
The salacious details he recounts are totally unnecessary. They serve only to reinforce the concern some of us have raised: Why does [this pastor] have such a fixation with obscene subject matter, ribald stories, and racy talk? The smutty particulars regarding a counselee’s tryst in a cheap hotel are not merely unnecessary; “it is disgraceful even to speak of [such] things” (Ephesians 5:12).
And let me add this:
and there must be no filthiness or silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. (Ephesians 5:4)
We must NOT water down the word of God. And we must stop making pastors into idols. Simply because this pastor is the head of a mega-church does not in any way guarantee that He is operating under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Celebrity does not equal God-given authority. Deception is the devil’s specialty, and only those tuned in to the leadership of the Holy Spirit will be able to keep to the right path.
I urge you to read your Bible every day and pray, pray, pray so that you are constantly renewing your mind.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)
Thousands are being led astray toward the doctrine of demons. And lest you think the “doctrine of demons” is something akin to a horror flick, think again. The doctrine of demons isn’t obvious. It isn’t “black” while the Bible is “white.” The doctrine of demons can seem “white” in a darkened world. It can seem like it’s “hip,” passionate, even “spiritually gifted.” But in actuality, the doctrine of demons is off-color, off-center and off the right path. However, the devil will do his darndest to try to represent his doctrine as from God and oftentimes the differences are subtle–but the results can be devastating.
Consider this. If you are the pilot of a plane, for every degree you fly off-course, you will be one mile off-target for every sixty miles flown. If you are flying from New York to Los Angeles, that will put you 40 miles out into the Pacific Ocean. One little deviance from the word of God can have a huge impact on where you end up. Tune in to the Holy Spirit, your heavenly Guide. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
Arm yourself with the sword of the Spirit–the word of God–so the next time the devil tries to lead you down the wrong path, you can cut him off at the knees.