Thoughts on the Occasion of one Believer Accusing Another of Heresy
(Responding to an internet post by Rick Henderson) – http://churchismessy.com/2013/08/05/why-i-called-out-joel-osteen-and-joyce-meyer/
If you are reading this you must be a glutton for theological punishment. I deplore the fact that I find it necessary to rebut an ad hominem attack on Christian teachers at the pen of other Christian teachers. The overall tone strikes me as decidedly “ex cathedra”. We should rightly defend the faith and truth, but making it so personal changes the focus to personalities. On this subject, Jesus was quite clear.
Now John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side.” Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” Luke 9:49-56
The six points regarding Joyce Meyers would more accurately be described as accusations. His following “evidentiary” quotes are themselves theologically loose and disingenuous. Let me say that I have never met her or been to her meetings. I have seen her on TV and have read a small amount she has written. Therefore, I claim not to defend her, but to rebut his points made from a Biblical perspective.
I am puzzled by his endorsement of her advice and rejection of her doctrine. Doesn’t that sound a bit contradictory and thus disingenuous? “Furthermore, she gives spectacular advice. If my wife or if one of my daughters went to her in a moment of crisis, I believe they would return with magnificently helpful advice. If they went to her for teaching, they would return with deadly heresy.”
Deadly heresy? Really? Seriously? Let us look at the six doctrinal rejections mentioned. (You will need to refer to his article to compare our comments.)
- Jesus died. If He was not really dead, we are still in our sins. Our sins killed Him. Jesus did not raise Himself from the grave. If the Father, by the Holy Spirit, had not raised Him, He would still be dead. That is what Philippians 2 is all about. Jesus is perfect God, but He is also perfect man. Paul was quite clear about how Jesus was raised from the dead. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:11 I submit that her quote was simple hyperbole or poetic license making the point that “He became sin for us”. For He made Him who knew no sin [to be] sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 That sounds like the pure Gospel to me. I wonder how many people have been saved through her ministry over these many years. Only God knows. But I would be mighty careful to assume the place of her judge. Let’s leave that to God.
- Again, she is teaching about the blood sacrifice. How many teachers are faithful to that necessary part of the message? When we extract chosen quotes to parse and criticize there is probably some error to find in the best of us. Jesus was alive. He died. He is alive again. How bad is it that she called it being born again? And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, Revelation 1:5 With due respect to the author, my appeal is to lighten up. She is one of us. She is on our side.
- She talks about Jesus in hell likely because of this verse. Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Acts 2:27 We know that the KJV translation is now normally translated Hades, or the grave. Yet, her point is that Jesus took our place. If I do not receive Him, I most certainly would go to hell. He suffered the wrath of God in my place. Again, apart from parsing words, what is wrong with that message? For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, 1 Peter 3:18 He died in our place that we might live!
- Is he really saying words do not have power? Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21 By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, But it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked. Proverbs 11:11 Oh, and then there is this one. But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:8-10 Really?
- This one makes me think of the Pharisees whom Jesus said would “strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!” Matthew 23:24 I hope this brother devotes a lot of time preaching about the apostate church’s sins and leaves fellow evangelical “gnat” differences alone. The Bible is clear that we learn from revelation. We cannot come to Jesus or even understand the Bible without the Holy Spirit. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, Romans 8:16 This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. 1 John 5:6 Why didn’t the disciple know who Jesus really was and how did Peter know? What text did he read for the answer? Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 16:17
- Ok, we are all sinners saved by grace, but I suspect she was emphasizing the glorious release from the guilt of sin. Personally, I used to “practice sin” sort of like one might practice the piano. After Jesus saved me, I don’t practice sin anymore. Now I practice righteousness. But do I hit the wrong note occasionally? Certainly! Will the time come when I never ever sin again? Absolutely, but not one second before Jesus returns. Until then, we are all still corruptible. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 1 Corinthians 15:52-53
Aside from the six points, he painted a broad brush of unsubstantiated generalities. He gave no evidence of his claim that she was “severely disrupting the church in the third world. Her teachings are the unfortunate starting point for Christians in the third world and it is birthing even greater heresies.” This is an incredibly global extension of his condemnation without any sources. He ascribes to her “utter misuse of scripture, false teaching and blatant heresy, “ “lies that she teaches” “She is not at all concerned if people give to her instead of paying bills. This is intolerable!” It seems to me a leap too far to purport to know her heart. How would one be able to declare such an absolute about another person? Doesn’t the Bible say “no man knows another man’s heart”?
It grieves me that a brother would take on the voice of the accuser. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. Revelation 12:10 The apostate church needs to be called out, but we should tremble to accuse the true brethren.
In his paragraph on finances, he drops the fact that she was investigated by the US Senate. But wait! He neglected to mention that they found no fault in her. He also left out the fact that her ministry meets the standards of ECFA: In 2009, Joyce Meyer Ministries received accreditation from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). In an announcement on March 12, 2009, the ECFA said that Joyce Meyer Ministries and Oral Roberts University had met their requirements of “‘responsible stewardship’, which involves ministries’ financial accountability, transparency, board governance and fund-raising practices.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joyce_Meyer#cite_note-22 )
Oops! I wonder if his readers can reach a reasoned conclusion without the full truth?
Ironically, one of his biggest judgments of Joyce Meyers is that her stories are mostly all about her. Yet in his own conclusion, it is all about him: his experience passing up on a house purchase (which he manages to make sound noble), his prowess in Bible knowledge and education, and his experience translating “large chunks” of the Bible. Yet, the Bible is so strong declaring that we in fact must use our testimony. That is the best evidence we have of the victory of Jesus’ life in us. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” Revelation 12:11 Jesus gave His blood, and we may end of giving our lives, but in between we should shout out our testimony: Look what the Lord has done!
Les Lawrence, Voice of Christian Zionists www.ElishaVision.wordpress.com
(This rebuttal only refers to Joyce Meyers because it is not directly intended as a defense, but rather as an exhortation on principle. My dear brothers and sisters, please stop attacking fellow believers.)
1) Encroachment at Golgotha
– Updated June 28, 2012
Muslims are building a mosque and minarets at the “place of the skull” in Jerusalem. The beautiful Garden Tomb area is under spiritual attack as Islam builds literally right above the Christian holy site. Please view this PDF presentation by Samuel Cravotta, Executive Director of Golgotha Foundation and a true friend of Israel: Case for Golgotha final 6-12
Please feel free to download, print and share this brochure; or share the link.
2) Wall Street Journal Full Page Ad (incl. ElishaVision)
3) Christian Zionist Predicts Psalm 83 War
The author of a new book, Generation Last, is predicting that the long prophesied Psalm 83 War between Israel and several of its neighboring countries will take place this summer.
Sandpoint, ID (PRWEB) March 1, 2010 — Les Lawrence, the author of a new book, Generation Last, says the seismic plates are shifting in the Middle East. “No peace plan,” he writes, “can touch the spiritual dimensions of the coming earthquake.”
In his blog, (www.elishavision.wordpress.com) Lawrence shows how several events currently taking place point to a likelihood of a small regional war occurring between Israel and its neighbors this summer.
Vadim Mikhaliov, site administrator for Debkafile (www.debka.com) posted two exclusive reports in February that corroborate the possibility of Lawrence’s suggestion.
Now in its tenth year on the Internet, DEBKAfile provides intelligence and security-related breaking news and analysis on world events.
The first report quotes Syria’s Foreign Minister, Walid Maullem, in Damascus as warning the Israelis against testing Syrian power, “since you know the war will move into your cities.”
The report alludes to possible preparations for attacks on Iran by both US and Israeli naval forces in the Persian Gulf.
The second DEBKAfile report quotes Israelis Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman saying Syria’s President Assad “must be told bluntly that in the next war, not only will Syria be beaten but he and his family will lose power.”
In an unrelated article dated February 11,2010, internationally acclaimed Reuters (www.reuters.com/article/idUSDAH12274820100211) reported Iran’s President Ahmadinejad warning Israel that if the Zionist state continues to make mistakes and initiates a military offensive, “it must be resisted with full force to put an end to it once and for all.”
Lawrence, in his book, writes that Psalm 83 clearly prophesies a war between Israel and all its adjacent countries with the one exception of Egypt. Currently, Egypt and Jordan both have peace treaties with Israel.
However Lawrence explained in a telephone interview that “Jordan’s relationship with Israel could quickly turn negative. If Jordan politics change and Jordan joins the Iranian/Syrian camp, we could see a war matching the Biblical descriptions in Psalm 83 this summer.”
He said that some 70% of Jordan is Palestinian. Such a majority could easily influence or overwhelm and depose the ruling Jordanian family of King Abdullah.
Lawrence observed, “The sabers of an impending war are clashing.” In his book, Lawrence shows how Psalm 83 could very well be a prophecy for these times, noting that the countries named in the Psalm are the same countries existing today under formerly different national names.
This is important to note, he added, because “Psalm 83 describes a smaller regional war with Israel that precedes the epic final battles of the Apocalypse.” (READ MORE)
4) Christian Zionist Calls the Temple Mount Conflict a Warning Sign
Posted : Tue, 17 Nov 2009 08:54:55 GMT
Author : PRWeb
Category : Press Release
Recent events in Jerusalem are signs of coming conflict according to Christian Zionist Les Lawrence.
Sandpoint (PRWEB) November 17, 2009 — When violent confrontation between Muslims and Jews in late October reignited on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Les Lawrence of Elisha Vision (www.ElishaVision.wordpress.com), called the incident “a warning sign of the end times.” According to Robert Berger writing from Jerusalem (10/25/09), the conflict began when young Muslims, incited by senior members of the Islamic Movement, barricaded themselves inside the Al Aqsa Mosque in protest of Jews praying on the Temple Mount. Berger wrote that the “Israeli Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen blamed Islamic leaders in Israel for fomenting the violence.”
The Associated Press reported that Israeli police fired stun grenades in a face-off with “masked Palestinians hurling stones and chairs outside the Holy Land’s most volatile shrine.”
In all, 26 people were injured including 9 officers and 21 Palestinians were arrested.
“Virtually all Jews reject the concept that only Muslims can pray on the Mount because it is Holy to them,” Lawrence said in an interview. “For a Jew to be banned from praying on the site is like banning Catholics from praying at the Vatican.” In an analysis provided by Matthew Wagner to the Jerusalem Post (10/26/09) Israel’s sovereignty over the Temple Mount and east Jerusalem resulted from the Six Day War in 1967. The right to pray in the Al Aqsa Mosque was granted to Palestinians by then Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol. Wagner cited Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein, Director of Elijah Interfaith Institute as saying, “We are suffering today for the wrong policies we adopted after the Six Day War.”
Lawrence said, “Virtually all Jews reject the concept that only Muslims can pray on the Mount because it is Holy to them. For a Jew to be banned from praying on the site is like banning Catholics from praying at the Vatican.”
“Jerusalem is considered a Holy City by all 3 of the world’s monotheistic religions: Jews, Muslims and Christians,” he said. “Virtually all Palestinian Muslims believe East Jerusalem will be their capital once Israel is overcome and a majority [of Muslims] believes all of Jerusalem and all of Israel will one day be theirs.”
Lawrence pointed to a statement uttered 4 years ago by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that Israel should be wiped off the face of the earth, saying it was “because Israel sits in the middle of the face of Islam like a boil. Islam’s goal of world domination is contradicted by Israel’s very existence.”
Lawrence considers himself a voice of Christian Zionists worldwide. He is author of Prophesy to the Land, a book published in 1994 about the key role of Jerusalem in the last days. His newest book, Generation Last, is due in January 2010. Lawrence said that Isaiah centuries ago wrote that Satan’s ultimate goal would be to set up his throne on the Temple Mount and claim it as his own just before the end.”
That Old Testament prophecy is significant according to Lawrence because, “A series of last-day battles leading to Armageddon could be triggered by Israel attacking Iran’s nuclear reactors, by a Palestinian intifada on the Mount, by a blow-up in Gaza or the West Bank by Hamas, or by an attack from Hezbollah in Lebanon.
“The point is we’ve got to wake up. The bell has rung,” said Lawrence. “I believe the coming fight has already started and is unstoppable. We’re seeing many signs of the coming world conflict as prophesied by Isaiah nearly 2500 years ago.” (READ MORE)