Monday, April 03, 2006

Discernment in the Church by John MacArthur

This is an excellent article by John MacArthur on the lack of discernment in the Church

Discernment: Spiritual Survival for a Church in Crisis

Introduction


The conquering of the city of Troy is one of the famous stories of ancient history. Greek soldiers had laid siege to the city for over ten years, but were unable to conquer it. In exasperation Ulysses, a brilliant strategist, decided to have a large wooden horse built and left outside the city walls as a supposed gift to the unconquerable Trojans. The Greeks then sailed away in apparent defeat. The curious and proud Trojans brought the wooden horse inside their fortified walls. That night Greek soldiers hidden inside the horse crept out and opened the city gates to let their fellow soldiers into the city. The soldiers massacred the inhabitants, looted the city, and then burned it to the ground. Ever since, the Trojan horse has been a symbol of infiltration and deception.


Throughout its history, the church has embraced many Trojan horses. Satan has effectively used enemies disguised as gifts to lure people away from the truth of God into destructive error. Today's church is in a particularly severe state of confusion. That should be no surprise, for the apostle Paul said, "In the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power" (2 Tim. 3:1-5). The apostle Peter echoed that truth: "There will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words" (2 Pet. 2:1-3).


Today's church is like the religious leaders of Jesus' day, who could tell the difference between superficial things like pleasant and stormy weather, but not between truth and error (Matt. 16:1-3). So many churches have relinquished biblical ethics and doctrine, a deep reverence and worship of God, repentance over sin, humility toward God and fellow believers, and a profound understanding of God's character and work. All that has resulted in a low-level commitment to holy living.

Continue reading here

5 Comments:

At 10:23 AM, Blogger Homemanager said...

Hello Candy,
I saw a comment you made on "The Upward Call" and came over to visit. :o)

I read this article off Grace to You. It was very timely for us. Thank you for posting it.

I wanted to ask about the source of what you left on Kim's blog. Could you pass it along?

I also looked at your Dominionism in the Church link...I'm not sure what to think about all of that. My husband and I have had concerns about many of the people mentioned as "Key Leaders" in some of these "movements".

Anyway, Thanks for linking to both. I am really interested in the source of that "vision/prophesy" reference.
Thanks!
God Bless!

 
At 10:50 AM, Blogger candyinsierras said...

Here are some links for you that might be helpful. Please understand that I don't necessarily endorse all the theology in the articles blasting these movements, but to give you a better understanding of what the dominionists believe. You can google key words such as Joel's Army, Dominionism Theology, Rick Joyner, Paul Cain, and even the guy who started Promise Keepers. ApologeticsIndex.com is one of the best sites.

http://www.letusreason.org/Latrain10.htm

http://www.apologeticsindex.org/j09.html

http://www.pawcreek.org/articles/endtimes/DominionTheologyandJoelsArmy.htm

 
At 3:10 PM, Blogger Homemanager said...

Candy,
Thanks for taking the time to list out some links.
So you know where I'm coming from, our church is charismatic. Personally, my husband and I are reformed charismatics. The Lord has been showing us all sorts of things in the charismatic movement that don't line up with scripture.
From our perspective, it seems that the Lord is centering us "back" on Him and Him alone.
One of the major problems with the charismatic churches that we have been involved with and have encountered has been a very shallow biblical understanding and more of an emphasis on the experiential. In that place you don't have a strong foundation to discern truth from.
So that is where I'm at. Focusing heavily on scripture and enjoying books by RC Sproul, John Piper, CJ Mahaney, Spurgeon, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, JI Packer....
The Lord is so good!
Thank you again for those links.
God Bless!

 
At 5:00 PM, Blogger candyinsierras said...

The Lord has done similar things in my life. Centering me totally on Him and on His Word. Our background is charismatic as well. The more I go on, the more conservative I get, I am noticing. One of the books that was influential in my reformed understanding was Chosen by God by Sproul. Thanks for sharing. Candy

 
At 2:18 PM, Blogger Homemanager said...

Candy,
So glad we aren't alone! :o)
I left a comment on my blog for you, in response to yours!
God Bless!
Karen

 

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