Thoughts to Ponder

Fad, Fiction or Revelations from God?

Have you noticed all of the fads going around the Christian community? There seems to be a new one almost every week. The thing that concerns me the most is the willingness of the churches and individual Christians to go for these things.

Here are just a few I have seen. Theophostic prayer, where the person regresses back in their memories looking for an incident which matches the feeling of emotional pain they are feeling today. Not too many years ago this would have been soundly denounce as New Age Mysticism but today people are paying money to learn it and teach it in their churches.

How about Bondage Breakers? Not too many years ago Christians would have laughed at the thought that demons could have control of a Christian, but today they are casting them out of each other. Not only that but not too long ago the church scoffed at the idea that alcoholics had a 'disease' or that homosexuals were born that way. Now the churches are casting out the demons of alcoholism, pornography, adulterous behavior, gambling, you name it. We are no longer sinners we are just Christians being controlled by demons, according to them.

Churches jumped on the Experiencing God bandwagon. But what God are these people experiencing? It is not the God of the Bible, not the Son whom He sent to die for our sins. This book gives a very low view of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you would like to read my full review of the book you can here. What makes me so sad is people will agree that the book has problems but they will use it anyway, because it helps so many people. Helps them how? Experience God? Like I said which God, the biblical one or the one in the book?

Then there is Search for Significance, which many churches also use to help their members. You can read my full review of this book here. The author of this book says this: "The principles and insights in this book have been gleaned from years of counseling experience and from the writings of many psychologist and Bible teachers." That is where the church has gone, not only listening to the world of psychology but teaching it in the church. God says: (Jeremiah 17:5-9 NIV) 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. {6} 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. {7} "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. {8} 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." {9} The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? God says that man cannot understand the human heart, so why does the author of this book not believe God? He must not if he is willing to counsel people with the wisdom of men gleaned from the writings of many psychologists.

Pastors are taught in seminaries now that they are not capable of counseling their members, that they should refer them to qualified counselors. Who are the qualified counselors to whom pastors are referring their flocks? People trained in man's wisdom of course; psychology! Maybe I am mistaken, maybe God has changed since Jeremiah's day, but I don't think so.

Go to most churches and you can attend a 12 Step Program right in the church. Some are purely secular and others have been dressed up in Christian clothes but they are all worldly and deny the power of God to forgive a sinner and enable them to live a righteous life all in one step.

There is the name it and claim it crowd. The only reason they weren't run out of town on a rail when they first started preaching their heresy was because of people's greed. People wanted to believe that they too could drive a BMW if they just had enough faith. No more worries about sickness if they just have enough faith. The laughable problem with this is where do we get faith from? According to the Bible it is from the Bible: (Romans 10:17 NIV) Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. This makes the whole name it and claim it theology laughable because anyone who has read the Bible will know instantly that this is false teaching!!

There are the signs and wonders heretics too, but most evangelical pastors will not speak out against this stuff because they are afraid. A Shepherd who is afraid is no Shepherd at all! How much is too much? People laughing uncontrollably? People making animal sounds? How about people being thrown across the stage by "the Spirit"? You have to ask whose spirit? Can you find one instance in the Bible where God acted in this manner? Of course not, but that does not deter these people, they just claim God is doing a new thing! They belittle God and His consistency, and His word with such teaching, but where is the out cry from the Christian community?

There is the blasphemous teaching that a person should forgive God of all the wrong they have felt that He has done to them. This goes right along with the teaching of self-esteem and the inner child. Teachings that also would not have been tolerated very many years ago in church.

One of the fads going around now is the Prayer of Jabez. Churches are offering studies on it and recommending it to their flocks. You can read my review of this book here. This author has found the magic words that will bring you good luck. Oh, I am sorry that is not exactly what he says, he says he has found the prayer which will bring you blessings. The whole books has its foundation on just two verses in scripture: (1 Chronicles 4:9-10 NIV) Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, "I gave birth to him in pain." {10} Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request. That is it, yet the author believes that he has found the secret. Here is what he says about finding these verses:

The next morning, I prayed Jabez's prayer word for word.

And the next.

And the next.

Thirty years later, I haven't stopped.

If you were to ask me what sentence--other than my prayer for salvation--has revolutionized my life and ministry the most, I would tell you that it was the cry of a gimper named Jabez, who is still remembered not for what he did, but for what he prayed--and for what happened next.

It amazes me that so many people think this is such a wonderful find. They seem to think that these words have to be accepted and acted on by God. I have to wonder what the author feels is the reason that when the disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray, He did not just refer them to 1 Chronicles 4? Instead He taught them to pray a prayer that was more about God then themselves. Well after all they were just poor ignorant fishermen, not sophisticated, intelligent people like we are today.

How can the Christian community be so blind? I must admit I wonder, yet I know the answer it is just not the answer I like. I don't like it because it means that things won't change anytime soon. Do you know what the answer is? It is right in God's word, the one book most Christians seldom read. (2 Timothy 4:3-4 NIV) 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. {4} They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

How can you protect yourself from fads and myths so that you won't turn away from the truth? The best way is to know the truth, read it and know it, hide it in your heart, think of it often and use it as a yard stick to judge everything you hear or read. Of course the truth I am speaking of is God's word the Bible.

E-Mail Ralph

These devotionals are written by Ralph Dettwiler, and reflect his views.

For more information on Theophostic go here.

You should read this page by a guest author whose life was ruined by "Christian" Counseling, including Theophostic prayer: Professional Counseling vs. The Spirit of truth

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