Deadly Doctrines: Facing Evil Like Snakes and Doves

~ Challies

ince its earliest days, the church has been plagued by false teachers and deadly doctrine. Never has there been a period of rest, a time when Christians could relax their guard. Satan has opposed the church since the day of its founding, and he will continue to oppose her until the day of his destruction.

Naturally, then, Paul was seriously concerned about false teachers and deadly doctrine, warning of them in almost every one of his letters. As he comes to the end of his letter to the Romans, he reminds the church to be on guard, since false teachers are skilled at using flattery and smooth words to deceive even believers. Paul loves this church and wants them to be aware of the challenges they will face from predatory teachers. But his solution may strike us as surprising. He tells these Christians “to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil” (Romans 16:19b).

Read more: http://www.challies.com/articles/deadly-doctrines-facing-evil-likes-snakes-and-doves

Please Stop Saying — “God Told Me”

It happened again recently.  I was listening to a sermon online and the preacher said, “God told me.”  Apparently everyone in the congregation enjoyed it from the response I heard, but I immediately turned it off.  This type of communication is becoming more prevalent in Christian circles.  It’s showing up in conversations because people are hearing it from the pulpit and reading it in books they purchased from the local Christian bookstore.  Perhaps it sounds spiritual or is emotionally stirring to the congregation.

Although the “God told me” method of communicating makes for interesting, suspenseful, and entertaining stories, what people need most is to hear from God.  I would like to make a simple request.  Please stop saying “God told me” unless the phrase is immediately followed up with a text of Scripture.  Have you considered the connection between the “God told me” language and the sufficiency of Scripture?  What connection does the “God told me” phrase have with the third of the Ten Commandments?

The “God Told Me” Language Violates the Sufficiency of Scripture

Continue: http://www.deliveredbygrace.com/stop-saying-god-told-me/

What Are the Signs of an Emotionally Mature Christian?

Why do so many Christians make lousy human beings? Why are so many of us judgmental, unaware and defensive? Part of the answer lies in a failure to biblically integrate emotional health and spiritual maturity.

A vast industry exists around emotional intelligence that ignores spirituality. A vast amount of information also exists that defines a “mature” Christian. Rarely are the two integrated.

The following are 11 signs of an emotionally mature Christian:

  1. You anchor your life in the love of Jesus. You don’t divide your life into “secular” and “sacred” compartments. Instead, you rather enjoy communion with Him in all areas of your life—work, recreation, church and parenting. Toward that end, you regularly practice spiritual disciplines (e.g., meditation on Scripture, silence, solitude, community, confession, worship) to position yourself to practice His presence all throughout the day.

Find the rest at: http://churchleaders.com/outreach-missions/outreach-missions-articles/298849-what-are-the-signs-of-an-emotionally-mature-christian-pete-scazzero.html

Deadly Doctrines: The Pattern and Protection

We have learned that the church of every age is plagued by false teachers and their deadly doctrine. We have met seven of those false teachers and seen the devastation they bring. We have identified five tests we can apply to any doctrine to determine whether it is false or true. But this leaves us with some important questions: How does a church come to reject sound doctrine? How do we guard ourselves against false teachers and their deadly doctrines? How do we protect ourselves, our families, and our churches from their seductive lies? Thankfully, God has given us clear guidance in his Word, showing us how churches descend into deadly doctrine and how we may protect ourselves against it.

The Pattern of Deadly Doctrine

Read more: http://www.challies.com/articles/deadly-doctrine-the-pattern-and-protection

5 Ways to escape temptation

“With every temptation there will be a way of escape.”

– F.B. Meyer

CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDS

There are some things you can’t choose, but you can choose your friends, and if your friends are going places that you know are wrong, you may have to change friends. The Apostle Paul reminds us, “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals” (1st Cor 15:33) and he asks, “do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality” (1st Cor 6:9), so we have no business running with those who run with the Devil.

Read more: https://www.christianquotes.info/images/5-ways-to-escape-temptation/#ixzz4YIoANvWy

What Are the Signs of an Emotionally Mature Christian?

What Are The Signs of an Emotionally Mature Christian?

Why do so many Christians make lousy human beings? Why are so many of us judgmental, unaware and defensive? Part of the answer lies in a failure to biblically integrate emotional health and spiritual maturity.

A vast industry exists around emotional intelligence that ignores spirituality. A vast amount of information also exists that defines a “mature” Christian. Rarely are the two integrated.

The following are 11 signs of an emotionally mature Christian:

  1. You anchor your life in the love of Jesus. You don’t divide your life into “secular” and “sacred” compartments. Instead, you rather enjoy communion with Him in all areas of your life—work, recreation, church and parenting. Toward that end, you regularly practice spiritual disciplines (e.g., meditation on Scripture, silence, solitude, community, confession, worship) to position yourself to practice His presence all throughout the day.
  2. You break the power of the past. You can identify how issues from your family of origin (e.g., character flaws, ways of coping with pain) impact your current relationships and decisions. As a result, you are reflective and open to feedback from trustworthy sources in order to minimize the negative impact of your past and live freely in the new family of Jesus.

Find the rest at: http://churchleaders.com/outreach-missions/outreach-missions-articles/298849-what-are-the-signs-of-an-emotionally-mature-christian-pete-scazzero.html

The Five Tests of False Doctrine

~ Tim Challies

T.D. Jakes says that God eternally exists in three manifestations, not three persons. Greg Boyd says God knows some aspects of the future, but that other future events are outside of his knowledge. Creflo Dollar says because we are created in the image of God, we are little gods. Mormonism says God revealed new scripture to Joseph Smith that supersedes the Bible. Roman Catholicism says we are justified by faith, but not by faith alone. This world is a murky madness of true and false. For every doctrine we know to be true, there seems to be a hundred pretenders.

No wonder, then, that John tells us to “test the spirits” and Paul says, “test everything” (1 John 4:1, 1 Thessalonians 5:21). It is our sacred responsibility to examine every doctrine to determine if it is true or false. But how can we distinguish sound doctrine from false? How can we distinguish teachers of truth from teachers of error? In our opening article, I said that putting a doctrine to the test is the best way to determine if it is true or false. As we test the doctrine, we learn our responsibility toward it: We either hold to it or we reject it. I am returning to those tests today to explain them in greater detail. They provide a grid that is useful for testing any doctrine.

Test 1: The Test of Origin

The first test is the test of origin. Sound doctrine originates with God; false doctrine originates with someone or something created by God. The Apostle Paul went to great lengths to convince the church in Galatia that the gospel he taught was not his own, but God’s. “For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11-12). Even Jesus was clear that he taught only what God had instructed him to teach: “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me” (John 7:16). True doctrine originates with the God who is true (Titus 1:2).

Just as true doctrine is marked by its divine origin, false doctrine is marked by its worldly origin. Paul warned the Colossian church to avoid doctrine that is “according to human precepts and teachings” and told Timothy that some would “depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons” (Colossians 2:22, 1 Timothy 4:1). It is this simple: Sound teaching originates with God and false teaching originates with men or demons. When it comes to doctrine, if man made it, then we should not hold it. God is the Father of truth and Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44).

The test: Does this doctrine originate with God or has it been fabricated by someone or something else?

This leaves us with an obvious question: How can we know the origin of a doctrine? Sometimes its origin is obvious, but more often it is not. When we are uncertain, we can turn to our second test.

Read on: http://www.challies.com/articles/test-every-doctrine-test-every-teacher