Saved in a cult and being a spiritual whistle-blower.

Saved in a cult and being a spiritual whistle-blower.

Before I jump into a heavy topic like spiritual abuse I want to be sure to clarify that these blogs are written with the hope that things mentioned (much of which is personal experience not just a random railing against people) would cause people to draw closer to Christ and for people who are not saved, that they would truly begin to ponder their eternities. I am just as wretched as the one who is an enemy of God. Apart from Christ we are all at enmity with God. I am no better of a person than someone who chooses to remain separated from God. I want to make sure this is well understood by the reader as I understand some of my blogs can appear quite harsh at times. The biblical model of Christ Himself and the Apostle Pauls words and actions were very harsh and they did not mince words when it came to the purity of the gospel and contending for the faith against wolves and false teaching. I do not speak these things as if I am “holier than thou” no very much the opposite and very much the reason I need Jesus daily in my life. If someone says they have no sin they are a liar and the truth is not in them. I write about my journey in Christ in real time, raw occurrences, and real experiences. Nevertheless these instances only serve to draw me closer to Christ and cause me to see the reality of my dependence on Him, and Him alone.

If people are fortunate enough to have access to an uncompromised bible believing/teaching church I would say praise the LORD as this is quite the rarity. It’s becoming more rare as the days go on. I want to be clear when I say compromise — I am not speaking of peripheral issues, like music tastes or the curriculum, the color of church walls, to tithe or not to tithe, to have a church membership list or not, to how many elders should a church have or not, etc. I am speaking about essential fundamental teachings that if these essentials are compromised, then you are believing a different gospel that cannot and will not save you. Some examples of a different gospel (s) can be found here, here, here, and here. The Gospel of Salvation is the only one that can save your soul and can be found here.

Now onto the topic of spiritual abuse. When you find yourself speaking up and standing for truth within your “own” just know you will be shunned. Also know, you are not alone. Spiritual abuse is real and it is not new it’s just wearing new more sophisticated masks. Remember the prophets own people killed them. Spiritual abuse is much like a sexual predator they don’t come right out and scream hey—- rather they will groom you. The “love bombing” and “flattery” will pour into your life that is until you speak up about serious doctrinal issues.

Love bombing and flattery” are probably the top two tactics used by people (people in spiritual leadership positions) other tactics such as withholding attention, affection, and outright threatening / intimidation generally occur after a person begins to ask too many questions. The retaliation against the “spiritual whistle-blower” with things of spiritual nature mimics the same within the secular world. This is very much like a grooming process that a sexual predator uses. So why are people who bear the name of Christ doing such things? Well, according to scripture we are to crucify our flesh and much of this is fleshly prideful behavior and sinful works of the flesh according to scripture. Then, as I’ve mentioned before we will talk about “heaven and God” but we are reluctant, afraid, or even unaware of the very real spiritual warfare and enemy we have. The very one Jesus Christ defeated. The very one who is after our souls of every human life. The father of lies who will do anything and everything to convince you Jesus Christ isn’t real, and should you realize Jesus is real, satan will surely try to find a way to have you believe in another jesus, or attempt to keep a true believer paralyzed and inoperative.  

Leaders will threaten the sheep that God will kill you and your family or strike you with sickness if you speak up about false teaching. One of the most misused scripture with spiritual abuse is “touch not Gods anointed!”

See my blog here about: “Exposing Error, is it worthwhile?”

Questionnaire- here: now obviously no man made “formula” can determine what is or isn’t happening in your life. These are just pieces to consider if you are experiencing these things — and if you are I urge you to seek the Lord in prayer and measure your experiences to the Word of God.

I truly thank the Lord for protecting me through my stumbling in and out of cults and cultic atmospheres. Already just using that word cult — raises the hair on the back of most peoples necks. And I get it, I really do, and I also “get” that cults are real they existed in biblical times and exist now. In the day and hour in which we live this is not the time to become ostriches. This is not the time to put blinders on and just “wait for it to all work out.” No…. No…..No…. to the church, WAKE UP!

I actually responded to Christ while in a cult church. This church was small, in a small farm town everyone knew everyone– and everyone knew the “pastors” of this church. The church was eventually shut down and on the news while the pastors had a stand off with the police. Harems of women at the married pastors house, allegations of suspected child abuse, and more. I want to pause here and say, so I responded to Christ while (unknowingly) in a cult church so am I not saved? Do I have to find some “real” pastor or “man of God” or a “prophet or apostle” to get “resaved”? Like I have to do a “redo” of calling out to Christ because the leaders were false teachers?

The answer to all of the above is a resounding no. Why? Because Salvation is not contingent upon a third party, a person, a pastor, church attendance, works, a “holy persons” presence etc. Salvation is a gift from God to be received. No man can give it to you, no man can help you earn it, no man can take what God has given away because salvation does not come from man or the law it is a gift from God alone.

I also was on the fray of WOF/NAR movements not realizing that this is a different gospel (s). I was attending a church and while this concept of reading the bible is becoming a foreign one, I was reading the Word of God as I was attending. I was being a good obedient Christian and “doing whatever I was told” not questioning it. I was even tithing out of fear because I was told God would curse me and I would be excluded from things if I didn’t. SO….I didn’t want to be cursed by God!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will stop here and this hot button topic would take a whole series of blogs to speak about tithing but I will leave this short video here to help some folks who may be tithing under compulsion which is definitively not what God wants. God does not need money. As time went on, and I was praying and reading scripture on my own, I was realizing that what I was hearing from the pulpit was not what I was reading in scripture and it was a perversion of Scripture. And by the Spirit of God, The Holy Spirit just nagged me with discomfort about this church and the teachings. It was not merely a “different way of worshiping” or “minor peripheral issues” no this was a completely different Jesus. Only later while journeying through another abhorrent system would I understand “it” to have a name. Needless to say I left that church and never returned. I would like to pause here as well and say to the “pastors” out there who are so quick to paint everyone with a broad brush in the sense of “church hoppers” a derogatory label as I (and others who dare leave a church for another one) would come to have. Perhaps just perhaps a sheep is searching other pasture because they have spotted wolves in the one they came from, as scripture describes it would be. Pastors ought to be focused on protecting the flock of God, that is after all what a shepherd does, unless of course he is a hireling as Jesus describes.

I then found myself at a quaint church and decided to go to a mid week service. I remember walking in and discreetly sitting in the middle outer row. I heard the words “please open to Romans 5:1 we are talking about justification tonight.” I wanted to leap out of the chair I was so excited! I was so….so…. so ….excited to FINALLY hear the Gospel and about Jesus! I thought this is it …..finally I have found a Christ centered church! My whole being by this point literally ached to hear about the one who died for me! I hadn’t heard about Jesus from the pulpit in such a long time. I wanted to get involved with things and be a part of the family of God that I had finally found. I really wanted to be a part of ministries that helped spread the Gospel. I am by no means an evangelist, I do share my testimony and speak to people one on one when the Lord gives me the opportunity. I wanted (and still desire) to see people saved and coming to Christ. In my new found emotional excitement, I somewhere along the way stopped discerning and testing all things and it took a little while to realize Jesus was no longer being mentioned. He was being sprinkled on and around things like a condiment but that same nagging from the Holy Spirit started again. Especially after I brought a friend to a Sunday service and he pointed out “The pastor hasn’t mentioned Jesus, is it always that way?” It was that moment that my broken antenna was quickly restored and I once again started paying attention beyond what the eyes can see. I was praying and asking for wisdom and discernment, and well, the Lord opened my eyes. The altruistic ministries were very sweet and random acts of kindness are sweet too. The leaving Jesus out was “good” for the false unity of ecumenism if you want to toss out everything God has said and follow the false peace that is coming by way of false unity as scripture accurately predicts in the end times. I was faced with a choice of following Christ or man. We ALL are faced with that choice and most choose to follow man and the tradition of the elders.

The random acts of kindness make us feel good, the feeding the homeless makes us feel like we did a good deed. All the while God calls these self righteous acts “filthy rags” and anyone with access to the internet can look up what God means by a filthy rag it’s quite descriptive and for people with weak stomachs even more so. People within a works based mode of salvation will say and partially quote from the book James “faith without works is dead!” Once again, the context of James needs to be read and also God tells us exactly what good works are in James 1:27 “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”

Now, it’s a beautiful thing to house a widow or feed an orphanage of children. SO LONG as we are also feeding them spiritual food. It is a “filthy rag” to send a person to hell with a full belly. Widows are without a bridegroom and orphans are without a father. Jesus is described according to scripture as our bridegroom and we are according to scripture by the spirit of adoption no longer orphans. The point is (everyone) widows and orphans need to hear the Gospel, more than they need a hot plate of macaroni and cheese. They need the eternal Bread of Life more than a buttered dinner roll. We cannot rely on our altruistic methods to save us as sweet and kind as these works are, they are not what save you and a hot meal won’t save an orphan. This is what’s called the social gospel and it is a gospel that cannot save. It is a gospel that offers false assurance of salvation.

God is explicitly clear about exposing false teachers and He is equally clear when a person knows the truth but continues to partake in unfruitful works of darkness. The choice one needs to make is choose this day whom you will serve. I choose to serve the Lord and continue to pray for those I have come across who are leading Gods people astray. I also pray for the sheep to hear Gods voice THE Good Shepherd and not listen to a stranger.  

Many folks will look upon exposing false teaching unfavorably. Interestingly enough usually the people who frown upon a blog like this are the very false teachers this blog speaks of. They will call me a “heresy hunter” or a “witch hunt” when in fact all I am doing is talking about my own life and it just so happens false teaching has been all I have encountered. Or other people have skipped a huge portion of Scripture and the travails of the Apostle Paul, the book of Jude, and Christ Himself which speaks of  false prophets and the commanding by God to expose such falsities, mark and avoid such people teaching such heresies, and the command from God to divide from those who persist in unrepentant false teaching. Then the next group would be unbelievers people who passively sit by committing spiritual suicide by “not making any decision” ….no decision is a decision, and unlike The Shacks theology —this is reality and all roads do not lead to heaven.

You see over many years Jesus has been reduced to a “pot smokin’ sandle wearing hippie” where “ all ya need is love dude!” and everything will just all work out. Or Jesus is reduced to a perpetual baby when actually He is seated at the right hand of the Father interceding on our behalf. And when He returns, and He is coming, He is not a baby, He is The King– there is no other. And every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess. We truly have fashioned gods after our own liking, the question is to examine yourself to see if you’re in the Faith. This examination of being in the Faith (once and for all delivered to the saints) is also a large part of James (“faith without works is dead”) tongue and cheek meaning are you in the Faith to begin with. Are you?

Tongues of angels…private prayer language…what!

Tongues of angels…private prayer language…what!

Search the scriptures daily to see if what you’ve been told is true.

Spiritual Gifts are given by God through the Holy Spirit. A person cannot help another “activate” a gift that is only given by God. If it is a true gift from God that gift (s) will be exercised decently, in order, and supernaturally as seen in the Scripture without human intervention, persuasion, or coaxing. You will not be able to find scripture where we are told the Apostles had “gift activation” classes as if The Holy Spirit is part of the curriculum at a “Harry Potter” school. You won’t read such a thing in scripture because that is not how the gifts operated then and God is the same yesterday, today and forever.

The Holy Spirit is not “a silly blue genie” as Bethel Church/Music worship leader Jenn Johnson irreverently described Him.

I want to pause for a moment…did you hear that @ 37 seconds in? “That’s who He is to me!” Not only is she speaking about the Spirit of the Lord irreverently, she has fashioned a god after her own making, not who God is as He has manifested Himself in His Word, rather who we like Him to be “to us.”

Some history of Corinth would be beneficial to discuss because the heavy pagan /polytheistic/gnostic culture influenced the Corinthians that Paul taught and had to write to in order to reteach them. Paul states:” But I, brethren, could not address you as spiritual men, but as men of the flesh, as babes in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food; for you were not ready for it; and even yet you are not ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving like ordinary men? For when one says, “I belong to Paul,” and another, “I belong to Apollos,” are you not merely men? “(1 Corinthians 3:1-4) Paul addressed the Corinthians out of order behavior regarding the misuse of the gifts and being surrounded (and participating with) by paganism and he clarifies about speaking in tongues and mentions tongues of angels.

Many interpret tongues of angels as “a private prayer language” each believer has and then others view it as a hyperbolic statement much like when Paul stated if I, or even an angel bring another gospel to you other than the one you’ve received let them be accursed.” Or another hyperbolic statement by Jesus Christ when He said if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out.” Paul appears to be contrasting and his emphasis is on the greatest of all, which is to pursue agape. Paul is not stating he does speak in tongues of angels, nor is he implying there is or is not an angelic language. Paul is saying “if I did speak in tongues of angels.”

A cursory look at scripture and when angels appeared to people we read they always spoke in intelligible languages to the people they appeared too. We do not read there were any linguistic barriers or interpretation needed when angels appeared. To assume such a thing would be a presupposition and exceeding the things which are written which we are told not to do. Reading Pauls correction to the Corinthians he uses conditional language as examples such as “if I pray in a tongue” not when I pray.

Paul states he thanks God he speaks in tongues (intelligible languages, the ability to speak fluently a language the speaker has never learned) more than all of us, and this would make sense, since Paul travelled extensively more so than any other recorded apostle.

Tracking only some of Pauls extensive geographic travels biblically:

  • Antioch (Acts 13:4)
  • Seleucia to Cyprus, to Salamis and Paphos (Acts 13:4-6)
  • Iconium, (Acts 14:3) Lystra
  • Paul and Barnabas went throughout Pisidia, Pamphylia, then to Perga, Attalia (Acts 14:24-26)
  • Paul takes Silas through Syria and Cilicia (now southeastern Turkey)
  • Then in Philippi, (Acts 16:14-34).
  • After teaching some in Berea, Paul departed ahead of Silas and Timothy, southward into Achaia (now southern Greece), to Athens.
  • Paul then makes his first visit to Corinth where he stays a year and a half (Acts 18:1, 5, 11). Paul left by boat with Aquila and Priscilla to Cenchrea and then across the Aegean Sea to Ephesus. Aquila and Priscilla stay there where they would later meet Apollos (Acts 18:19 and 26).
  • Paul sails on to Caesarea and then goes up to Antioch in Syria, Paul stayed a while (Acts 18:23).
  • Then off to Galatia (central region of Turkey) and then Phrygia (Acts 18:23).
  • Then Paul arrives at Ephesus (Acts 20:31) and he preached in the synagogue for 3 months (Acts 19:8). He disputed daily in the school of Tyrannus for 2 years (Acts 19:9-10), so that all that dwelt in Asia heard the word.
  • Paul had come to Troas and continued to Macedonia (2 Corinthians 2:12-13 and 7:5)
  • Then Paul went to Assos, Mitylene, Chios, Samos, Trogylium, and Miletus (now in southwestern Turkey). From here, Paul addresses Ephesian elders whom he had called to meet him (Acts 20:17-38)
  • Sailing to Coos, Rhodes, Patara, and passing on the south side of Cyprus, they came to Tyre (which is now in Lebanon) where they stayed one week. Then they went south to Ptolemais and to Caesarea where they stayed many days (Acts 21:10).
  • Paul is at Caesarea, “many years” (Acts 24:10) Paul then spends 2 years in prison in Caesarea in Judea.
  • Paul, still a prisoner, sails to Sidon with Luke and Aristarchus (Acts 27:1-2) on the way to Italy.
  • Sailed to Myra (now southern Turkey) and on to Lasea, on large island of Crete, 50 miles southeast of Greece, where much time was spent (Acts 27:7-13).

We need to read the scripture setting aside our indoctrinated beliefs, rituals, traditions, and experiences and read the scriptures as they are written plainly. The scripture read from 1 Corinthians 12-14 just does not support “two types” of the gift of tongues (i.e.) The Gift of Tongues and then a “second type” a sort of “private prayer language” or angelic tongues, often called a “heavenly language” and used interchangeably to mean that “every believer has” even though scripture is clear “not all have the gift of tongues.”

If we take the position that all have a “private prayer language” or as some will even hold (erroneously that if you don’t speak in tongues then you have “not received the baptism of the Holy Spirit” or “not saved at all” would be a direct contradiction of Gods Word regarding spiritual gifts. No where in Scripture does it indicate a person must posses a gift as evidence of being saved we know according to scripture that the Holy Spirit sanctifies a believer ongoing throughout their life and a true born again believer will produce fruit, fruit is not equivalent to gifts. We are not saved by “possessing a gift” we are saved by grace through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.

Many proponents of a “private prayer language” will cite only part of Romans 8:26 : …“the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us ….“The rest of that verse is “with groanings which cannot be uttered.” A language (a tongue) must be uttered and words come forth, so this verse is not teaching a private prayer language whereby the person initiates speech, nor is anything (speech) uttered.

Paul concludes his admonition to the Corinthians with the most excellent way (contrasting the competition and pride in Corinth) and what is the most important to pursue which is agape. The problem in Corinth is very much the same today, spiritual pride. Paul was addressing that sin of pride and emphasizing the need for love amongst the brethren, Paul was not emphasizing an angelic tongue. God is not the author of confusion or chaos which was also an issue in Corinth that Paul was addressing. Paul was reestablishing the proper order of the spiritual gifts, calling the Corinthians out of their sinful lifestyle, (to be separate from the paganism around them) they had fallen into and exhorting them to love. These letters Paul wrote were not to make a doctrine of a “private prayer language” or “speaking angelic languages.”

“But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching?”

Primary Scripture Sources:

1 Corinthians 12

1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 14

Below is an example of what the gift of tongues is not.

The Lord is quite clear how not to pray and Jesus Christ Himself gives a very detailed structural way to pray:

“Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.” And He said to them, “When you pray, say:

“Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

If God intended for us to speak to Him in unknown tongues, angelic tongues, or “secret code” private prayer languages I have to wonder why God is then so specific on how not to pray and on how we ought to pray. Much scripture is written that calls us to be actively engaged in mind, speech, actions, etc. when speaking, praying, interacting with God and to have our minds be unfruitful just lends itself to much of what we are seeing in contemplative prayer and lectio divina.

Misuse/abuse and in some cases outright unbiblical use of the gifts are most often seen in these areas within Christendom: The Word of Faith Movement and The New Apostolic Reformation.

I wanted to write about this issue because I know people who have been made to feel less than and worse over this issue. So Pauls letter (s) to the Corinthians is alive and active today! Many people today hold this practice of speaking in tongues and elevating it to some sort of sign of maturity or spirituality. And if a person doesn’t have a “private prayer language” then something “is wrong with their relationship with Christ” or they are looked at as “less spiritual” and this sort of childish behavior is exactly what Paul was addressing with the Corinthians. Paul chided the Corinthians for their carnality.

Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

The Emerging Church….. and its sympathizers.

The Emerging Church….. and its sympathizers.

There is an elephant in the room.. it’s called the “Emergent/Emerging Church” (Postmodernism/Emergent-Liberalism)…. what is it?

It is deception by reidentification is what it is. “Hath God said” …. Genesis 3:1

The emergent church – we have some ‘leaders’ in that.

Just a few here:

  • Rick Warren
  • Dallas Willard
  • Dan Kimball
  • Andy Stanley

All of the above names,  an influential Christian youth apologist leader Sean McDowell has defended and /or given and receiving accolades to or from.

 Sean praises Dallas Willard

 Who is Dallas Willard?

Sean receives / gives accolades to Dan Kimball Calling him “insightful” —Praising Dan Kimball

Who is Dan Kimball and why is he accepting endorsements from Rick Warren from Rick Warren?  Who is Dan Kimball?

 

Rick Warren and the purpose driven “lie”

More Rick Warren

Yet, more Rick Warren

 

Why is Sean McDowell preaching at saddleback church  Rick Warrens church and then again in May 2019 preaching at Rick Warrens sister church? 

 

Sean McDowell ‘defends’ Andy Stanley regarding Andy Stanleys comments to unhitch  from the Old Testament” – Sean states “Andy Stanley has a remarkable history of preaching the gospel, being faithful to scriptures.”

🚨 ⁉️ Pause here for a moment, Andy Stanley has called himself an “apologist” or offers “apologetics” so tell me … how does one contend /defend the Word of God if one doesn’t hold to its inerrancy & authority to begin with 🚨 ⁉️

Andy Stanley “is remarkable at being faithful to scripture.”

One cannot be faithful and deny the Word of God at the same time.

 Andy Stanley promotes Enneagram after Sean praised his preaching if he is so “remarkable” at preaching the gospel?

 What is the enneagram anyway?

So the question needs to be asked, of a rising leader (SeanMcDowell) who has a great influence over the youth– does he know what he’s aligned with?  I have reached out to him, his colleagues, and Biola University, and no reply. He doesn’t appear to refute emergent teaching in his own blog post.

Biblical discernment is practically obsolete in the body of Christ and certainly wherever there is false teaching, anyone with discernment won’t be welcomed for long.

 

🚨 Be alert 1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walketh about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

🚨 Matthew 7:13-14 Enter through the narrow gate for wide is the gate and broad the way leading to destruction, and many are those entering through it. But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it.

🚨 The great apostasy being fulfilled 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3

If they do not repent they are sure to hear on that Day:

Jesus will say “And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”

 

Watch the trailer here for The Submerging Church Documentary 

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