At times it seems as if Christians today have lost their ability to discern truth. We would never say the Holy Spirit is failing to guide and teach us the difference between right and wrong as stated in the Bible. But, some seem so desensitized by the culture that they are disregarding God-given perspicacity and partaking in obvious blasphemies. At the beginning of his letter to Philippians, the Apostle Paul prayed for them to grow “more and more in real knowledge and discernment” (Phil. 1:9). And in the following verse wrote; “so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;” (Phil. 1:10). So, why are Christians abandoning essential biblical discernment and recklessly partaking in what is abominable to God? Perhaps, the lack of discernment stems from being destitute of biblical study, thus void of biblical wisdom, which will severely cripple any believer, in numerous ways. For we are we are exhorted to renew our minds and perform what is pleasing to God. (Rom. 12:2). Therefore, it is imperative to daily read and study the word of God and obey His precepts as the Holy Spirit aids us.
At the risk of being accused of propagating legalism, ostracizing myself from many fellow believers, or jeopardizing some close frienships, I write this article. Currently, there are a myriad of movies, books, articles, blog articles, etc., appearing in the media making outrageous and erroneous claims, alleging “receiving new biblical revelation” or fraudulent and heretical revision of biblical history. Tragically, the Christian world is being inundated and attacked by these numerous unbiblical productions; Christian discernment must be at its pinnacle. All of these works have one thing in common, they are blasphemous or heretical, and ought not be considered. Such productions, remind me of a Greek word the Apostle Paul used to describe his life accomplishments and status prior to his conversion; he described them as, “skubalon” (refuse; dung; manure) (Phil. 3:8). I cannot restrain from applying that term to numerous alleged biblical productions, because it is so appropriate! That said, it is because of the rampant proliferation of this “skubalon“, that I can no longer remain silent and must defend the good Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Many brothers and sisters in Christ are forsaking their God-given discernment to read or view heretical productions. Regardless, if they are chosing to exercise liberties in Christ or are desirous of entertainment (Rom. 14), they are opting to partake in blasphemy; yes, blasphemy! There is no other way to identify it. How are they blaspheming, you may ask? According to Scripture, if Christians are willfully purchasing a book, or paying admission to view a movie produced by people who are committing obvious blasphemy, then he or she is partaking in that blasphemy as well. Read these sobering and alarming words written by the Apostle John: “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. (2 John 10-11). And that admonishment was given for only “greeting” a false prophet. How much more would God be offended, if a believer whole-heartedly partook (with time and money) of heresy? We are guilty of making these false prophets wealthy, thus funding them to produce future anti-Christ productions. Additionally, those who opt to pay/donate money to Satan’s causes (which always encompasses hindering God’s truth), diminishes their ability to support the advancement of God’s kingdom!
For instance, one fellow believer, God bless her, had the courage to warn others during a Bible study class to refrain from seeing the movie “Noah“. She stated “it blasphemed God“. Public exhortations, once proclaimed, ought to immediately spread throughout the Christian realm. On the note of the movie “Noah”, it was produced by an arrogant atheist, who vaingloriously declared, “My movie was the most unbiblical Bible movie ever produced!” And sadly, I recall another, who laid down money to see that rubbish; shame on you! I am sure that atheist is laughing all the way to the bank and with Christ’s money. In the future, we should consult with Scripture or from doctrinally sound fellow-believers before viewing such movies as “Noah“. Amazingly, one Christian told me she went to see Noah, just to see how unbiblical it really was; this was definitely shocking to hear, especially since Scripture forbids such a practice (2 John 10-11). Again I ask, where is discernment?
Another film which recently debuted, is called; “Heaven is for Real“. It’s about a three year old boy, who was allegedly ill, died, and went to Heaven. But, allegedly his miraculous excursion to heaven was only temporary, because he regained consciousness and returned to earth; he shared his fantastical story to Heaven with his father, describing our Lord Jesus Christ as a forty-foot tall person and the Holy Spirit being a blue fog. Obviously, this is another utterly bogus, trumped-up and unsubstantiated claim, mocking the true biblical revelation we have in our possession. Yet this boys’ father sold the story and then aligned himself with the false teacher, T.D. Jakes who financed the movie for personal monetary gain. The secular world gladly endorsed it, because they profited from it and mocked Christianity at the same time. Sadly, much of the lucre was and is supplied by Evangelical Christians! The Scripture states that unbelievers lack spiritual understanding (1 Cor. 2:14), but, professing Evangelicals should never partake in blatant chicanery. The Holy Spirit who indwells the believer, provides biblical clarity to all things pertaining to truth (John 14:26, 1 Cor. 2:15).
Another example of recent heresy is from Sarah Young, whose book “Jesus Calling”, is currently a best-seller. A large portion of her sucess is due to Christians who are plopping down good money for a copy of her spurious literature. Young posits that Jesus Christ spoke to her in the first person, thus claiming new revelation. This claim, if it were true, would obliterate the closed Canon of Scripture! Thus needing to add to the New Testament?! Too many professing Christians are reading her book and are convinced that she confabulated with Jesus. How is this wise stewardship of money and time which comes from God?
At this juncture I wish to exhort all brothers and sisters who are in Christ, to be acutely discerning and ponder seriously what they chose to lay their eyes on. I implore you to contemplate your actions and ask yourself if your choices honor our Holy God. We need to examine ourselves and seek “accountability” from fellow believers. God commands believers to be sanctified; “but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy for I am holy.” (1 Pet. 1:15-16).
Furthermore, the Bible tells us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12) and to make are calling and election sure (2 Pet. 1:10). Additionally, Jesus instructed; “If you love me you will keep My commandments”. And, “This is how I know you love Me, if you keep My commandments. (John 14:15, 21). Therefore, we ought to seek obedience to His Word with zealous alacrity. Incidentally, a strict adherence to God’s commandments is by no means legalism; no human being could ever be too holy and fully obedient to the Word of God. So, we should not fear those who might call us a legalist because we choose to obey God’s commandments, for He is the one we are ultimately to please and must stand before at the Bema (judgment) seat. (2 Cor. 5:10).
Because of our fallen nature, we, like sheep, are easily led astray and need the guidance of a faithful shepherd. For this purpose God ordained elders and deacons to shepherd His flock; to constantly warn about the myriad of things which threaten the churches sanctification. But tragically, some church leaders fail to warn their flocks regarding the tsunami of heresy aimed directly at the church. Scripture exhorts church leaders to shepherd their flocks by alerting them of outside and inside threats. (Acts 20:28-29, 1 Tim. 6:20, Heb. 13:17, 1 Pet. 5:2, Jude 4),
Please keep in mind that Satan and his demons operate as angels of light (2 Cor. 11:14-15). Therefore, what may seem like an innocent book or movie, may be instruments of the Devil. You might think you are harmlessly dabbling with these things, not realizing that you are stumbling right into his snare. And one day will realize you have fallen far from being obedient to the Lord and possibly searing your conscience. So, please take the time to thoroughly investigate all activities you are deciding to engage with. Many of them are designed to derail fundamental Christian beliefs and replace it with ecumenical, secular, heretical theology, and even atheism, thus giving the enemy Satan inappropriate attention. Brothers and sisters please don’t rely solely on your church leadership to warn you of all insidious threats, because there are many. Be avid students of the Scriptures, so you can easily and consistently overcome temptation into sin. As the Scripture states, we should walk circumspectly redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Eph. 5:15-16).
Finally, we are firmly admonished not to add or take from Scripture (Deut. 4:2, Rev. 22:18); therefore we should take note of those doing so, and flee from them. Read this stern admonishment the Apostle Paul conveyed to the church of Galatia, because they were slipping back to their former religion of Judaism; “But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.” (Gal. 1:8-9). This is not a frivolous or flippant warning; we must obey God’s only Gospel. So in essence, let us discern all things, to see whether or not they coincide with what the word of God teaches. Let us all emulate the Bereans, who examined the Scriptures daily, to see if the Apostle Paul was teaching truth. (Acts 17:11). The Holy Spirit instructs, exhorts, admonishes, and commands us by the words of Scripture, to seek His essential instruction by examining our Bibles daily. Not simply just as a rote exercise. But, by ruminating on and heeding the word of God, thus saturating our minds with God’s wise instruction. By choosing to do so, you will reap incalculable amounts of knowledge, wisdom, discernment, and blessings thus enabling you to confidently make every decision to our King and Lord Jesus glory. Amen!