Fal$e Teaching: Rick Joyner goes to heaven

The apostle Paul couldn’t talk about seeing heaven in 2 Corinthians 12, but Rick Joyner can. Apparently he’s been several times.

A sermon I preached on purported visits to heaven may be helpful.

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The puzzling evangelical affinity for C.S. Lewis

C.S. LewisI have long wondered why evangelical Christians — and especially respected pastors and leaders of evangelical Christians — seem to have a love affair with all things C.S. Lewis. I remember reading some, if not all, of The Chronicles of Narnia as a child and liking them. In fact, my own son has the seven book series and enjoys them as well.

Even so, I believe there is more than enough cause for caution when reading Lewis, especially his non-fiction writings. He clearly had inclusivistic leanings, meaning he was more than a little iffy on the exclusivity and necessity of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Similar concerns exists for his beliefs about the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture, the doctrine of eternal punishment (hell), and even baptismal regeneration.

That’s why I encourage you to listen to this twenty-five minute interview from No Compromise Radio with Michael Beasley, author of Altar to an Unknown Love: Rob Bell, C.S. Lewis, and the Legacy of the Art and Thought of Man. I have not yet read his book, but I found this interview compelling.

Based upon my own readings of Lewis I’ve always wondered why other believers are so quick to recommend him and assume him to be orthodox, so easily looking past some pretty glaring doctrinal errors. This interview reaffirmed my thoughts. I hope it gives you something to think about.

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Updated [15 Sept 2014 - 11:30am]: And like clockwork I got an email from Lifeway this morning plugging this book. So see what I mean?

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Five questions on being a pastor

One of the high school students in my church is taking a class in which they were to interview someone they thought was successful, so they chose me. Stop laughing.

Seriously, I was glad to help out and the little exercise, which consisted of five questions sent to me, which I then filled out on Pages, turned out to be fun, interesting, and (I hope for you) beneficial. This is an edited version of what I sent. I’ve even made a couple of additions. Let me know what you think.

1. What made you decide to become a pastor?

Old School Me preaching at Pleasant View Baptist Church, where I was Pastor from 2007-2010.
Old School Me preaching at Pleasant View Baptist Church, where I was Pastor from 2007-2010.

Well, I could tell you that I heard the still small voice of God in my head “calling” me to do this, but that’s not really how it works. [Added note: That really isn't how it works. Show me the biblical precedent for being "called" as a pastor and it'll be a first. Read more about this here.]

In 1 Timothy 3:1 Paul writes, “If any man desires to be an overseer [a pastor], it is a fine work he desires to do.” I decided to do it because I wanted to. I desired it. The reason for that begins in the summer between ninth and tenth grade. Being a child of divorce, my youth minister had a great impact on my life. I looked up to him, I loved the Lord, I wanted to serve Him with my life, so I wanted to do what my youth minister did — have the kind of impact of others he had on me.

Fast forward a few years and I had not done anything in quite some time to act upon what I knew in my heart I was meant by God to do. I moved to a new town, started going to a new church, and the pastor there preached the word of God in such a way that things I had never even thought about in the past started making sense. “Of course that’s what the Bible is saying there… Of course that’s what it means” is what I’d say over and over again.

Going back to 1 Timothy 3:1, I desired to do this job because I wanted to have an impact on peoples’ live the way my youth minister affected me, and I wanted to open the word of God to people the way that pastor did for me as well. It all boils down to what the Bible says a pastor is to do — preach the word and shepherd (lead/care/guide/feed) the sheep. That’s what those men did for me. That’s the desire God gave me for others. I only pray, by God’s grace, I do that and will continue to do that. Continue reading

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Matt Privett on the Bible, church, culture, and how it applies to us for the glory of God