Categories
Bad Theology

The return of the super-apostles

For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.

The Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:4-6

The lights were turned down low and the music played softly.  The pastor entered majestically through the church doors and immediately all the beams of light were turned on maximum strength and focused on him.

There was an expectant hush in the crowd.  The anointed “Man of God” (as the pastor liked to call himself) had arrived.

His teeth sparkled and his eyes twinkled as he reached the golden pulpit.

God had revealed to the pastor the secret of walking in His favour and blessing. 

The pastor didn’t need a Bible as God revealed his Prophetic Word – sometimes contradicting the Bible – directly to the pastor; but that was no problem as the Spirit was clearly at work.

The pastor’s sermons were awesome: Jesus died for your sins, sickness and sorrow. No more suffering.  No more second-best.  No more sub-standard Christianity. You simply need to have enough faith.

This was real, victorious, triumphant Christianity!

God was clearly working through this Man of God and the church was growing.

Another man, known as the Apostle Paul, had started the church, but it turned out that he was a bit of a loser.  He was constantly suffering, continually facing hardships, not a great orator, not a rich man, always working, and he never even asked for money.

What kind of a church leader is that?  No thank you, not for us.

We want a super-sized Christianity. Not the weak, suffering, faith-without-sight Christianity the Apostle Paul had to offer.

Categories
Leadership

O leaders, this warning is for you!

Derby Cathedral

“And now, O priests, this command (warning) is for you. If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honour to my name, says the Lord of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings.

Malachi 2:1-2

Unfaithful leaders have continually harassed the church in South Africa and around the world.  

Locally, Pastor Mboro, from the Incredible Happenings Church, is a self-proclaimed prophet.  He owns a fleet of luxury cars, including a Bentley and BMW i8 (which costs an estimated R2 million).  Guards carrying AK47 assault rifles guard him.

In 2016, he claimed to have gone to heaven. He took a selfie with his Galaxy smartphone to prove it. For R5000 he will WhatsApp you the photo.

Many in his church are poor and struggling to make ends meet.

Further afield, in the Church of England there has been a huge turning away from the Bible by many ministers and bishops.

Recently, Melvin Tinker, an evangelical minister, was banned from preaching at a Carol’s service at Derby Cathedral.

Astonishingly, the Cathedral was willing to host the viewing of sexually explicit movies earlier this year.  The Dean of the Cathedral permits erotic films, but banned an evangelical preacher.

There are countless examples of leaders in the church falling far short of the standard God requires. 

Malachi teaches us that God holds leaders accountable.                                 

In Malachi 2:1 God singles out the leaders of God people, the priests, for rebuke.

Categories
False teachers

The dangerous theology of Spiritual Breakthrough

Many conferences and meetings, under the banner of Christianity, promise spiritual breakthroughs to take your faith to the next level.

There are books written about spiritual breakthroughs:

“Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough”

“Praying the Lord’s Prayer for Spiritual Breakthrough”

“Prayer Walking for Spiritual Breakthroughs”

“How to be patient while waiting for a Spiritual Breakthrough”

You can even buy anointed water for a spiritual breakthrough.

“Spiritual breakthrough” is a term that seems to have more in common with animism and African Traditional Religion, than Christianity.  ATR and animism teach that there are evil forces that constantly bind and oppose us and we need to break through these oppressive forces to access God’s favour.

Categories
False teachers

A call to Spiritual Discernment

I was visited recently by a lovely, Christian person who claimed to have received a message from God for me and our church.

The message was this,

“Your church will enter a time of unprecedented miracles, signs, wonders, blessings and conversions.  However, you shouldn’t limit God.  You need to open yourself to the work of the Spirit”

Apparently, the gospel about Jesus’ death and resurrection is good and essential, but it is not enough.  Seemingly, we need demonstrations of God’s power (like healing, prophecy, words of knowledge and miracles) to show people that God is real and the gospel is true.

I tried to persuade the person that, according to the New Testament, the gospel is enough for Christian conversion, Christian growth and Christian life; but I did not convince the person – after all, God had given them a vision.

It’s interesting that throughout the letter of 1 John, the Apostle John warns his readers not to be deceived by those who would undermine the sufficiency and power of the apostolic gospel.

In our world and country, we are inundated with people who claim to speak on behalf of God – Angus Buchan being one of them – claiming all kinds of visions, messages, warnings and prophecies.

What are we to do?  Fortunately, this is not a new phenomenon.

Categories
False teachers

4 signs you’re an antichrist

Modern spirituality claims that it is possible to know God through a variety of ways: whether it be a spiritual encounter, private conviction or an angelic spirit-guide.

God is like buying groceries – it doesn’t really matter which supermarket you shop at, as long as you get bare essentials.  Some people might prefer Spar,  or Woolworth’s, or Pick n Pay – different strokes for different folks.

This approach to spirituality is by no means new.  It’s as misguided today as when the Apostle John first wrote his letter of 1 John.

The trouble was that many of these false teachers or antichrists were promoting their opinions under the guise of Christianity.  The false teachers spoke about Jesus, the Spirit and God; but what they were saying was not true.  They sounded Christian, but they were antichrist.