Are Christian bookstore owners responsible for what they sell?

Back in February I asked the question do you support your local Christian bookstore?

I now have a follow-up question:

Are the owners of Christian bookstores responsible to their fellow-Christians, the Church, and ultimately God, for the products they sell?

This past week I entered another one of these Christian book and paraphernalia bazaars. The first faces I saw staring back at me as soon as I entered were the prominently displayed faces of Joel Osteen, Juanita Bynum, TD Jakes, and Joyce Meyer (just to name a few) along with all the “Jesus junk” and trinkets that adorned the shelves and displays from wall to wall. A few more steps and I was struck with Rob Bell’s book Sex God and his Nooma videos

Another disturbing book I unexpectedly came across was a children’s book on the virgin Mary and praying the Rosary. In this book were Romanism’s false teaching of Mary being crowned Queen of Heaven and Queen of the universe. This was in a “Christian” bookstore!

I recall a brief conversation I had with the owner of one of these bookstore a few months back in which he provided me two excuses reasons why he sold the merchandise of such heretical teachers as Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, Brian McLaren and Rob Bell. He said he 1). cannot possibly read every book that he sells; and that he 2). does not want to promote censorship.

This was such a sad example of wiggling around his deeper responsibility to not lead people astray. First of all he can’t be accused of censorship for not carrying certain books anymore than he an be accused of censorship for not allowing these types of books into his home. He owns his home, he owns the bookstore. He–as a retailer–has the right to sell whatever he does or does not want on his shelves, which explains the absence of such material as the Book of Mormon, the Satanic Bible or pornography. Is the absence of these books considered “censorship?” Furthermore, in order for his refusal to carry certain books to qualify as “censorship” he would have to be a representative of the government.

Secondly, the “I can’t possibly read every book I sell” excuse is a cop-out. You don’t have to read every book by Brian McLaren, Rob Bell or Robert Schuller to know that they’re spreading heresy . . . it’s common knowledge! And if you’re not that aware of what’s going on or you lack discernment regarding the wolves among us, a quick internet search will tell you all you need to know.

Do you need to read every issue of the Awake! that the Watchtower organization produces to be able to confidently say that they are a cult and thus not carry their material? Of course not. So why do certain big name heretics and false teachers under the umbrella of evangelicalism get a pass by the guise of willful ignorance?

These bookstore owners are knowingly or unknowingly selling doctrines of demons; material that an impressionable undiscerning person could buy which would lead them on the primrose path to Hell. This leads me to ask, will these bookstore owners be held responsible before God for selling these heretical, apostate, and often times blasphemous doctrines of wolves in sheep’s clothing?

45 thoughts on “Are Christian bookstore owners responsible for what they sell?

  1. We are so lucky to have you protecting us dumb people! And protecing God himself! Well done. Hurrah!

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  2. Just because something doesn’t meet your criteria for being “Christian enough”…or your particular brand of Christianity, doesn’t give you the right to dictate to store owners, or other Christians, what reading materials are offered for purchase.

    Are store owners responsible for monitoring our reading habits? For “protecting” our innocent eyes from content you deem unworthy? No, they’re not. If you’re smart enough to decide for YOURSELF what is worthy of being Christian fare, please give the rest of us the same credit. I don’t need anyone telling me what I can/cannot, should/should not read in order to maintain my status as a “good” Christian.

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  3. Rich and Nina:

    The reason we are so upset about “Christian” bookstores selling stuff from heretics like Jakes, McLaren, Bell, etc is the fact that when a young Christian–one who is young in the faith, and perhaps easily influenced by big names with big followings (and big doctrinal problems)–it is easy for them to be swayed by these smooth talkers and their flowery words. That’s why Paul commanded us in Romans 16:17-18–“17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.” But, I guess Paul was just being a judgmental old Pharisee, huh?

    Now, before you accuse us of being the ones causing division, let me note one thing: The truth came first. And when someone attacks truth (see Bell, McLaren, Paggitt, Jakes), they are the ones who are causing division. And we are commanded to note them, to point them out, to avoid them so that others know to avoid them as well.

    As far as Rita’s question about whether “Christian” bookstore owners are “responsible for monitoring our reading habits”–if they claim the title Christian, they should be aware of what they are offering, and they should not be offering it. As I said before, a new Christian who may not know better will walk in there and be led astray by such heretics as BrianThere’s no such thing as truthMcLaren, or TDJesus was not GodJakes, or JoelGod is just a big ol’ piggy-bankOsteen.

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  4. Please explain the heresy of Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, and Rick Warren. This is a serious question. I really would like to know. Maybe this information is not as “common knowledge” as you think.

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  5. bluelikeelvis,

    For starters, here are some quotes from McLaren:

    “Frankly, many of us don’t know what we should think about homosexuality. We’ve heard all sides but no position has yet won our confidence so that we can say “it seems good to the Holy Spirit and us.”
    –Brian McLaren on the Homosexual Question, Out of Ur, Jan. 2006
    —————–
    “What if Jesus’ secret message reveals a secret plan?”…. What if he didn’t come to start a new religion–but rather came to start a political, social, religious, artistic, economic, intellectual, and spiritual revolution that would give birth to a new world?”
    ––Brian McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus, p. 4
    —————–
    “…. Alan Jones is a pioneer in reimagining a Christian faith that emerges from authentic spirituality. His work stimulates and encourages me deeply.” (Brian McLaren’s comments on the back flap of Alan Jones’ book Reimagining Christianity where Alan Jones states the following about the Christ’s crucifixion: “The Church’s fixation on the death of Jesus as the universal saving act must end, and the place of the cross must be reimagined in Christian faith. Why? Because of the cult of suffering and the vindictive God behind it.” (p. 132)

    “The other thread of just criticism addresses the suggestion implicit in the cross that Jesus’ sacrifice was to appease an angry god. Penal substitution [the Cross] was the name of this vile doctrine.” (p. 168)
    —————–
    “I must add, though, that I don’t believe making disciples must equal making adherents to the Christian religion. It may be advisable in many circumstances to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist, Hindu, or Jewish contexts.”
    —Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 260

    For Doug Paggitt’s thoughts on the Bible, click here.

    For much about Rob Bell and his Emergent Friends, check out tempyro.blogspopt.com and type in “Rob Bell” in the search box on the right sidebar.

    Rick Warren is a devout ecumenical, and wants to help Mormon churches be better Mormon churches, and to help Catholic churches be better Catholic churches, etc. He has also shown himself to be quite hesitant to proclaim Jesus as the only way to salvation–at least in public, anyway.

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  6. Come on now, folks.

    Digital, no need for the sarcasm.

    Nina, it’s not Pilgrim’s view of “christian enough” that is the issue, it’s what actually is “christian enough” according to scripture. Teachers who teach a prosperity gospel are teaching another gospel. Period. They have no place in a Christian bookstore. Also, most of the prosperity teachers also hold to a form of modalism in regard to the trinity, which is another heresy… according to the BIBLE not just to Pilgrim. A denial of a Hell and the scriptural revealed nature of the atonement also are false teachings. These have no place in a CHRISTIAN bookstore.
    These are not opinions being expressed here. This is Pilgrim trying to express a point about a Christian Bookstore’s owner having a scriptural mandate to not be spreading false teachings. And YES, these are false teaching according to scripture, not according to Pilgrim’s opinion and what seems “right” to him.

    bluelikeelvis – Brian Mclaren denies the doctrine of Hell, and denies the penal substitution of Christ in the atonement. These are clear, scriptural doctrines that he is rejecting. Rob Bell doesn’t hold to Sola Scriptura, has a weak view of the importance of doctrine, has no problem promoting New Age writers and speakers, participates in ecumenical religious gatherings such as the Seeds of Compassion event and sucks up to who he calls “His Holiness” the Dalai Lama. Yes, Rob Bell called the Dalai Lama “His Holiness”. He has no backbone when it comes to sharing the Gospel at these events. Instead of using this platform to share the Gospel of Christ to a largely if not totally unregenerate group of people, he spends his time answering questions with New Age, liberal, mystic responses and figuratively patting lost people on the back because they are “compassionate” instead of loving them enough to tell them they are headed to HELL if they do not repent!!

    Rick Warren – master at twisting scripture to fit his agenda. He has an unscriptural view of the sinfulness of man, man’s roll in salvation, the purpose of the church, church membership. His approach to evangelism is pragmatic above anything else. He markets the church like it’s a business trying to make the biggest buck. To Warren, the church is nothing more than his prostitute that he can dress up however will best attract someone to come “try her on”. It’s sick, it is perverse, it is blasphemous.

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  7. Dear DigitalRich:
    Further comments of that nature will be deleted.

    Dear Nina:
    The question wasn’t whether or not I have the right to tell anyone what to read or not read. The question was whether or not God will hold Christian bookstore and paraphernalia owners responsible for what they sell. In your attack on me in which you offered all those opinions you failed to offer an opinion to the question at hand. A simple yes or no would have been sufficient.

    Dear bluelikeelvis:
    Here’s a quote of Rob Bell (author of the highly offensive titled book Sex God) on his view of the Bible. Here are some videos of Rob Bell put together by Chris from A Little Leaven.

    Here’s a quote from McLaren, here’s a video of McLaren and this edition of Crosstalk features Brian McLaren’s new heresy: the denial of the return of Jesus Christ.

    Ken Silva has a myriad of material on his blog Apprising. There you can check out more on Rob Bell and Brian McLaren along with Doug Pagitt, Rick Warren, TD Jakes, Robert Schuller, Dan Kimball and Tony Jones.

    I hope this helps.

    – The Pilgrim

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  8. The criteria isn’t whether something is “Christian enough” because every person has their own views as to what is “Christian enough.” The criteria is whether or not they are teaching and preaching what the Word of God says. Any false prophet can take one or two verses from the Bible and make up their own doctrine then feed a line to the general public!

    Too many times people get caught up in ’emotionalism’ and ‘experience’ when we cannot base what is happening on those things. A true believer must realize that the only thing he can base his/her life on is the Word of God. We can lie to ourselves and deceive ourselves in so many different ways so that we’re convinced that something happened when it really didn’t. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He won’t change simply because man changes.

    The sad thing is that people get so caught up in ‘their rights’ that they forget that true believers ARE supposed to be accountable to each other and they are supposed to demonstrate a humble attitude. The attitude of ‘I don’t need you or anyone else telling me what’s best for me’ is not the humility that the Bible tells us to have.

    1 Peter 5:1-5 says, “The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

    ALL true believers need each other because it is so easy to fall into sin. The Bible commands us (true believers) to be subject one to another and to help each other in our daily walk. The reason there is so much false teaching is because many people choose to live their lives separate from anyone else and so they fall into heresy.

    So the question is are store owners responsible for what they sell in their stores? Absolutely! That store owner will be held accountable, by God, for what is sold in the book store just as each preacher will be held accountable for what he teaches or preaches. This is to include the preachers on and off television! So it is very important that we read God’s Word AND follow it.

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  9. Is someone who does not believe in penal substitution (and follows a different atonement theory) a heretic to you guys?

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  10. Do you mean a “salvation by works” type of atonement? Saying that we humans are not depraved, that we are not separated from God by our sins? That we can somehow save ourselves through our “good” deeds? That there is another way to Heaven? If so, then yes that person is a heretic. Because they make Jesus a liar (see John 14:6, Romans 3).

    By saying that we can “earn” our salvation, we are saying that our works–the “good” deeds that we decide are the things that God will accept (see Isaiah 64:6 for an idea of what God thinks about our “good” deeds)–by saying that those are a better “sacrifice” (as if they are any kind of sacrifice) than the blood of Jesus, the person is counting the blood of Christ as a common thing, and despising the Spirit of Grace (See Hebrews 10:29). I posted about the heresy and futility of preaching “salvation by works” in this article.

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  11. I recently asked the manager of our local Lifeway Christian store a similar question as I noticed that in their most recent advertisement they featured a book by T. D. Jakes. Lifeway is a division of the Southern Baptist Convention, so I was rather startled to see that they were not only selling a Jakes book, but were promoting it. He said there had been more demand that they supply books by black authors.

    He told me that Lifeway has a committee of “scrubbers” that go through books before they are released to be sold. I don’t remember how many scrubbers they utilize, but they do have the authority to block the sale of a specific title at Lifeway. He told me in the past a book has been released only to be removed from the shelves, that Lifeway is very sensitive about what is sold under their name.

    Now, as far as Family Christian Store (ie Zondervan Store) – I won’t even darken the door!

    Blessings y’all
    Hab

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  12. Nina,

    You made a comment worth considering. You said, Just because something doesn’t meet your criteria for being “Christian enough”…or your particular brand of Christianity, doesn’t give you the right to dictate to store owners, or other Christians, what reading materials are offered for purchase.”

    CORRECT – We do NOT have the right to dictate what materials are offered by a store owner for purchase. However, the word “Christian” means to be like Christ. The very essence of the word has nothing to do with how religious a person can be or whether their brand of worship is like mine.

    To be CHRISTIAN means that we should be like Christ in every way possible within EVERY aspect of our lives. 1 Cor. 10:31, “Whether we eat or drink OR WHATSOEVER we do, DO ALL TO THE GLORY OF GOD!”

    Therefore, a store owner who chooses to “pimp and prostitute” his business JUST so that he can make a living is no better than a “minister” who is not really a shepherd but is an hireling! We do not really question the right for anybody to sell anything after all we expect the world to enjoy worldly things.

    However, we DO question when somebody chooses deliberately to misuse, trample under foot, and solely for material gain use the lovely name of the One Who died to save us from the depths of our depravity! We have the right to take offense as the apostles and the early church fathers who took a stand against heresy and false doctrine, and who stood for the faith once delivered to the saints.

    Let them sell all they want, but they should have the decency to take the name of Christ off the sign at the entrance for Christ will have nothing to do with heresy! Those for whom Christ died will be changed as 2 Cor. 5:17 makes very clear.

    Amazon.com sells Christian books but I don’t consider them Christian. They are in it solely for the material gains this world can afford instead of going after eternal values. More book owners would do well to remember that we will give account for all we did or could have done for Christ. Will be hard for them to stand in front of Him with clean hands that actually have only dripped with the venomous poison that heralds straight from the pits of hell, BUT also have sold it leading more souls astray!

    Worshiping the True Christ of Christianity,
    The Desert Pastor

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  13. By the way, you said, “I don’t need anyone telling me what I can/cannot, should/should not read in order to maintain my status as a “good” Christian.”

    Fair enough, Nina! You do not have to read these blogs, nor do you have to answer to us. However, with that kind of attitude, you sound a lot like people in congregations I have ministered to that said, “Pastor, we want you to preach from the Bible, but we didn’t call you to come to teach us how to live or to tell us what God actually thinks about our sins!”

    In other words, “preach the nice sounding, fluffy, ear-tickling stuff for then we won’t have to be convicted.”

    Pilgrim, an old country saying is throw a stone into a pack of dogs and the one that yelps the loudest is probably the one that got it! Never ceases to amaze me that the closer you get to the truth, the louder some people yelp!

    If you chose to use your website to promote the same wicked heresy and drivel from some of these same so-called “Christian” bookstores, your fans would come out of the woodwork and congratulate you for being so open-minded!!!

    Still tired of drivel,
    The Desert Pastor

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  14. All we have here in Vegas are the Family Christian stores… I walked in to help a friend get a study bible and stood stock still when I saw the top shelves were stacked with Osteen, Warren, Jakes and Lucado (something strikes me as fishy about a title that says “YOU! God’s Brand New Idea.”) One theology book (Grudem) and the “Classics” section is half a shelf long. And Jesus Junk to keep A Little Leaven going for a few more decades. May I provide free ad space now for Monergism Books at http://www.monergismbooks.com home of good reformed books.

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  15. I am not saying that I don’t agree with you on some issues but I do have some questions for you. You mention several writers as being heretics. What are their heresies?

    I do agree that a children’s book teaching that Mary is the queen of heaven is false.

    He as retailer does the have the right to have on his shelves whatever he wants but the reason you will not find the Book of Mormon, the Satanic Bible, or pornography is because for at least 2 reasons. First he is not receiving catalogs and phone calls to carry this on his shelf. 2. He is not an idiot.

    It’s common knowledge that McLaren, Bell, and Schuller are spreading heresies? I have not heard that they were. I have been in the loop for 20 years.

    Comparing the Awake magazine to these three authors is not a good argument. All three authors can have their books published by Thomas Nelson and T.N. will not publish for the Watchtower society or I should say that the JW’s wouldn’t want T.N publishing for them. If you really want to be upset at somebody it should be the publishers who will, I bet, publish some of your favorite authors along with these so called heretics.

    This is the first time to your site so I would be interested in knowing what type of authors he should carry on the shelves.

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  16. Hi David Knapp,

    I’d be curious to know what you have heard about McLaren, Bell, and Schuller given your 20 years of experience “in the loop”. And – my apologies for my ignorance – but what is “the loop”?

    In Christ,
    CD

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  17. The Desert Pastor said:

    “Fair enough, Nina! You do not have to read these blogs, nor do you have to answer to us. However, with that kind of attitude, you sound a lot like people in congregations I have ministered to that said, ‘Pastor, we want you to preach from the Bible, but we didn’t call you to come to teach us how to live or to tell us what God actually thinks about our sins!’

    If we believe in doing everything by the book, which I think we should, then we should know that from looking at scripture that the role of pastor cannot be found. Pastors yes, pastor no (Ephesians 4:11 NASB)

    In fact the idea of a single guy leading the church is looked down upon. “Diotrephes, who ‘loved to have the preeminence’ in the church, illegitimately took control of its affairs (3 John 9-10).”

    Desert Pastor I do not look to one guy standing behind a pagan pulpit to tell me how to live my life. I go to church but do not rely on the pastor to help me grow. I am a big boy and can do that on my own. I do believe that community is essential though and that we should grow together also.

    All I am saying is that if everybody believes that we should do everything by the Book then by all means figure out what is actually doing everything by the Book and what is our traditions. Grace and peace to everyone here.

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  18. Being in the loop was saying that I have been trying to follow Christ for the last 20 years of my life.

    That’s the thing, I have not heard anything about McLaren, Bell, or Schuller that is not from sources or straight from the horses mouth.

    The one I will speak on is McLaren. I have been reading two of his books. The secret Message of Jesus and now his follow up Everything must change. I have yet to find one single heresy in these two books.

    To just say that he is a heretic or to even give a quote without a source is not good enough. If I can’t get away with it when I write something for, let’s say school, then I shouldn’t be able to get away with even on a blog

    Thanks for the question. Grace and peace.

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  19. Thanks David,

    To be very frank with you I’ve both heard and read some really horrifically heretical – some would say blasphemous – statements by each of the aforementioned trio; but most recently and frequently from McLaren in particular (though Bell runs a really close second).

    I’ve personally read from numerous sources that cite McLaren’s works directly, comparing his stated positions and claims with straightforward scriptural exegesis (nothing fancy or tricky mind you, but plain, literal textual scripture) and in far too many cases the two simply don’t line up.

    Would you be interested if I listed some of the sources for your consideration? Also I noticed that you’ve used some common emergent/emerging buzzwords and of course McLaren and Bell are notable figures within the emergent/emerging movement – so would it be fair to say that you identify with the emergent/emerging church?

    In Christ,
    CD

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  20. What were these “buzzwords?”

    No I am not emergent or emerging.

    I consider myself a follower of Jesus. I follow the Jesus found in the four Gospels just for clarity.

    Thanks for the response.

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  21. Hi David,

    “Christ follower” is a common (though not exclusive) emergent/emerging theme and buzzword that is often employed over and against “Christian” as a descriptor for a born-again, regenerate, true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. On the surface the terms seem interchangeable, perhaps some people may even consider them to be synonyms. But methinks that’s a different subject for a different day. Also, as previously noted, Bell and McLaren are well known emergent/emerging figures so I thought I’d ask if you self-identify as emergent.

    At any rate, here are a few sources for your consideration, but be warned; whether or not you’ve realized it a battle for the truth – the objective truth of Christianity – is presently raging within the broader professing church and you probably won’t find these sources to be particularly “conversational” in tone – they’re not and they are not intended to be. Nor are those engaged in The Truth War interested in congenial dialogue or “finding common ground” with the other side. This is because there’s simply no room or excuse for compromise due to the nature of this spiritual battle.

    I might summarize the thinking something like this – “Biblically speaking the truth has nothing to learn from error and nothing to gain from entertaining error therefore error must be exposed in all its forms and rebuked by the unchanging Word of God.”

    I pray that you’ll find the following resources to be both edifying and eye opening and that you will receive them with a Berean attitude, checking the scriptures to see if such things are so.

    Rob Bell 1
    Rob Bell 2

    Brian McLaren 1
    Brian McLaren 2

    Brian McLaren 3

    Brian McLaren’s Everything Must Change examined

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  22. David,

    I tried to post a comment containing the links you requested, but it’s presently being held in the blog’s anti-spam queue. For some reason this frequently happens to my comments – and I’m a contributer to this blog! Go figure!

    Anyway once the Pilgrim clears out the spam queue the comment will show up. Thanks for your patience.

    In Christ,
    CD

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  23. Yea, I left a comment that never made it also. But seeing that I am new here and responding to everything in sight I should expect it every once in a while.

    Thanks. I will check back for your comment.

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  24. David K,

    Without bothering to check, you made an assumption about the ministry in which I am currently involved based on one comment. I used the comment I did to refer to a specific situation in which I was involved. I believe in a plurality of elders and currently serve in such a plurality in the ministry where God has chosen to place me for the time being.

    That is good that you do not go to church for the purpose of somebody telling you how to live your life. However, the Bible does make it clear that the role of an elder/pastor/teacher is to teach and disciple believers. This includes the very necessary means of not only exhorting but edifying as and when necessary from the Word of God. Pastors/elders have a solemn responsibility to proclaim all the Word of God, not just the parts they like or the ones the people think they want to hear!

    Pastors/elders also have a responsibility to grow with the people to whom they minister. There is an accountability factor not just to God but before the congregation for preaching and teaching the undiluted Word of God.

    Now so that I understand a little more about a couple of your comments – 1) What do you believe the Biblical role of the local church is today (if any)? 2) You said you follow the Jesus found in the 4 Gospels – do you believe the epistles are just as inspired and that the believer AND local church is to follow the doctrine found throughout the entire New Testament?

    Sincerely,
    The Desert Pastor

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  25. “I don’t think anything has been done in the name of Christ and under the banner of Christianity that has proven more destructive to human personality and, hence, counterproductive to the evangelism enterprise than the often crude, uncouth, and unchristian strategy of attempting to make people aware of their lost and sinful condition.” – Robert Schuller, the self-esteem god of Crystal Cathedral

    That quote is more than enough to consider Robert as lost, sinful, totally depraved sinner who has never seen his own need of a Saviour, nor recognized the depth of his own wickedness before God. However, that is to be expected when you do not preach “Thus says God’s Word” but instead preach “Thus believes Robbie-boy about why you should love yourself and you too can become god in you!”

    Millions are headed down the broad road to destruction and wolves in sheep’s clothing like Schuller are helping drive them there!

    The Desert Pastor

    P.S. – The above quote from the Norman Vincent Peale disciple was from Time, March 1985.

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  26. One final quote for the night from this heretic –

    “The most serious sin is the one that causes me to say, ‘I am unworthy. I may have no claim to divine sonship if you examine me at my worst.'” “For once a person believes he is an ‘unworthy sinner,’ it is doubtful if he can really honestly accept the saving grace God offers in Jesus Christ.” (Self-Esteem, p. 98)

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  27. Robert Schuller also highly endorsed the “Course in Miracles,” sold the materials and even permitted the classes to be held in the Crystal Cathedral. Here are some quotes from the “Course in Miracles”:

    – A “slain Christ has no meaning.”

    – “The journey to the cross should be the last ‘useless journey.”

    – “Do not make the pathetic error of ‘clinging to the old rugged cross.’”

    – “The Name of Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol… It is a symbol that is safely used as a replacement for the many names of all the gods to which you pray.”

    – “God is in everything I see.”

    – “The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself.”

    – “The oneness of the Creator and the creation is your wholeness, your sanity and your limitless power.”

    – “The Atonement is the final lesson he [man] needs learn, for it teaches him that, never having sinned, he has no need of salvation.”

    For more on this, check out this link. I also recommend this episode of CrossTalk on Schuller’s Rethink Conference. Additionally I think this may be of interest as well.

    – The Pilgrim

    P.S. This is Rob Bell’s view of Scripture and this is McLaren’s view on homosexuality.

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  28. David Knapp,

    I’m very interested to know if you found the articles and quotes linked by myself and others here regarding the manifold heresies of Robert Schuller, Brian McLaren, and Rob Bell to be troublesome or problematic in the light of revealed scripture.

    I hope you’ll have time to provide feedback on these issues.

    In Christ,
    CD

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  29. Coram Deo,

    I have to say that you have been very respectful in your approach. Thank you. I am actually running out of time because my wife and I are leaving the country for 6 weeks in two days and I have to get ready for that. If you don’t mind could you please email the links at my email and I will check them when time allows?

    davidknapp1@gmail.com

    Take care.

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  30. What’s this all about? Much of what’s been posted here reads almost like something out of George Orwell, an encounter with the ‘Thought Police’ — and that’s most assuredly not what following Jesus is about: Jesus sets us free, he doesn’t enslave us or tell us what to think.

    I manage a Christian bookshop and yes, I accept full responsibility for my range of stock, which includes everything from the Bhagavad Gita through the Bible to the Qur’an; from Rob Bell through Don Carson, Steve Chalke and Brian McLaren to Jim Packer.

    Because my job isn’t to tell my customers what to think: it’s to encourage them to think, to think outside the box, to think beyond the narrow confines of whatever tradition they come from, to think about why they believe what they believe, and to be prepared — as Peter had to be prepared, Acts 10 — to rethink their beliefs and attitudes.

    Grace: God’s radical action changes everything. There are no sacred cows in Christianity: following Jesus is about freedom, freedom to think, freedom to challenge, to question.

    Thought police? Just say no!

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  31. Phil,

    Do you have any idea how you are grieving the heart of God by encouraging people to be influenced by the doctrines of Satan? I pray that God grants you repentance, to follow the ONE TRUTH–The Lord Jesus Christ. If not, you will be condemned to the lowest Hell for leading people astray.

    Galatians 1:8-9–But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

    That word “accursed” means “damned.” If someone is spreading lies and encouraging others to follow anyone other than Christ, they are to be damned. Those aren’t my words–they come from God.

    I am not claiming to speak FOR God, I am just letting you know what His word already says. You can choose to believe it, or not. I can’t force you to do anything. All I can do is give you the truth. But remember what Jesus said in Mark 9:42–“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.”

    I pray that God’s mercy will find you and grant you repentance.

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  32. Of course they are responsible for what they sell. Everyone who owns any kind of business is responsible for what they sell. Additionally, if an owner feels it is his or her obligation to have several different viewpoints on what the Gospel is, he or she must no longer sell under the guise of a Christian bookstore. Just be a bookstore, or spirituality bookstore, or spiritual discussion bookstore. Facetious and drawn out for the reason that, if a person wants to know the One True Gospel of JESUS CHRIST every single book in the joint ought to and must point that person in the exact same way. The way is JESUS CHRIST.

    I’ll save you – anyone who wants to tell me that I am judgmental, and JESUS is all love, and no judgment – some time. Open your Holy Bible and read Matthew chapter 23.

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  33. James,

    Thank you. You have said what we have been trying to get across to people all this time. Jesus did not sit around and have a conversation about “What does God mean to you?” He said “I AM THE WAY…NO ONE comes to the Father BUT THROUGH ME.” To carry authors who lead people to, as Phil Groom said, “Think outside the box,” is to invite heresy and false belief. You are correct–these places should NOT be advertising as “Christian” bookstores.

    And yeah, kinda funny how all these “Warm and Fuzzy Jesus” types fail to mention Matthew 23. Or Jesus chasing out the moneychangers. Cursing the fig tree. “Go forth and sin no more.” “Woe to you, Chorazin and Bethsaida.”

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  34. Phil Groom,

    My suggestion is that you begin to police your thoughts right away. Because they are VERY illogical and harmfully deceptive to others as well.

    The whole notion that it is not your job to tell people what to think, well let’s just look at it rationally. First of all, we know that most people are intellectually lazy and don’t think. They prefer easy to read books on ‘current or relevant topics’ meaning they don’t really want to stretch themselves. That is not your fault to be sure, BUT. . .

    If you want real thinking to occur, you should begin with exposing people to worthy thoughts, not this fuzzy, lame, modern so called christian garbage. Sell the greatest thinkers from all different cultures and please at least sell a logic book or two! But, I doubt most of the books you carry are very weighty to begin with. Do you carry “Doctrines of Repentance” by Thomas Watson? Now there is a thoughtful tome. But repentance is not very marketable these days and those Puritans, well they were so verbose. My friend walked into a Christian Bookstore requesting that one and the clerk said, “You don’t need a book on repentance, just tell God you’re sorry.” I would roflol but it is a sad commentary on the biblical ignorance of Christian youth.

    The real issue here is should a CHRISTIAN bookstore carry heretical books? This is a VERY important question. The assumption of most people walking into a Christian bookstore is that the books will be CHRISTIAN. ( I should say it used to be, most of my friends now know better. But new, weak or non Christians all assume everything in there represents Christianity.) If you doubt that, do a survey of people walking in.

    I have no problem if you will just rename the store, BOOKSTORE.
    I think it is “safer” to sell the Satanic Bible, the Koran or texts of other religions because they are easily identified as such, but the problem begins when heresy with a thin veneer of Christianity is sold in an environment that is labeled Christian. It is misleading.

    What if I owned a Bakery and one of every five or six baked goods had hash, LSD or Pot baked inside? But they were properly labeled, if people would just READ it. Am I responsible if someone o.d.s or becomes a junkie? Shouldn’t they read the labels and use their brain?

    No, I should rename the bakery Buzzin’ Brownies or Tokin’ Treats or Manic Munchies. It becomes even worse if I own a Dolly Madison chain bakery and some of the Dolly Madison goods are spiked. Then people really do NOT expect a trip with their treat.

    The word Christian has a specific meaning and my friend it cannot be redefined the way you have redefined grace. I REALLY CHALLENGE YOU TO REEXAMINE YOUR CUTE LITTLE UNBIBLICAL ACROSTIC.

    Grace is the fundamental element of Christianity. If you don’t get that right you have NOTHING right.

    Grace is God’s unmerited favor shown to the depraved sinner finalizing in the offering of the blood of Christ. (I say finalized because there was grace, through faith of Abraham and others before Christ.)

    The heart of this argument is contending for the faith itself.

    Regards,
    Journeyman

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  35. Dear Journeyman:

    Well said. Very well said indeed, but probably not well received. Tis’ a shame.

    And great analogy about the bakery. The law would hold you responsible if every 6th donut sold made someone ill or killed them. How much more should we expect that the true and supreme Judge of all the universe will hold man accountable for the books he sells in which caused many to fall away, shipwreck their faith, and destroyed their souls with heresy?

    The following are two quotes from Voddie Baucham on this matter:

    “When I first became a Christian, I thought all Christians were sold-out, fire-breathing, truth-telling, water-walking followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. I also believed that I could trust anything that was written by a Christian author and published by a Christian publisher. I soon discovered that I was wrong.”

    “Most Christians in our culture live like everyone else. There is little distinction between our lives and the lives of the pagans down the street. We wear the same clothes, watch the same movies, read the same books, send our children to the same schools, and sign the same divorce decrees as everyone else. Furthermore, there ought to be a sign posted in every Christian bookstore that reads, “The views expressed in these books do not necessarily express the views of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” I’m not saying, don’t read Christian books. I’m just saying, read them with discernment.”

    – The Pilgrim

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  36. Wow, I am truly happy to have stumbled upon this Blog. My husband and I are opening a bookstore in our town. We are praying for God’s direction,timing and blessings..Everyday the desire is stronger and stronger-and he is faithful to confirm our endeavor in others. ( we are only online as of now ) We think of our store as a ministry more than a retail opportunity. I am eager to read on! So Hello and I guess I will have to figure out how to subscribe to this blog 🙂

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  37. Dear secondchancechristianbookstore:

    Thanks for your comment. I am so glad that you guys enjoy the blog. I hope that it is an encouragement and a blessing to you.

    BTW, what say you? Are Christian bookstore owners responsible for what they sell?

    – The Pilgrim

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  38. Yes, and painstakingly do I go through my own inventory through my distributors. I will be happy when we open our storefront in our town and we can see daily the items in our store…Some of our warehouses online add products so quickly we cannot keep up. We are praying for God’s wisdom..

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  39. I’m concerned that we (Christians) are too quick to find “lies”. But God is in the good, he is good. Instead of pointing out what is not of God, let’s be in conversation of what IS of God. I think THAT is a conversation that would bless him.
    My prayer for myself and all of you is humility.
    God is good!

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  40. You’re absolutely right. We should just let people read whatever they want, even if it is heretical blasphemy that will lead them to Hell. Just so long as we all get along and don’t hurt anybody’s feelings and not interfere with people’s enjoyment of authors who curse God and blaspheme His name.

    Right?

    Romans 16:17-20–Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.

    And before you accuse us of being the ones causing division, remember one thing: God’s truth was here first. It is those who distort it and turn it into a lie that are the ones causing division.

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  41. He doesn’t want to promote censorship? That’s a laugh. So what … he has devil worshiping heavy metal and gangsta rap videos? Is not carrying those censorship?

    He should just admit the truth: he needs to make money in order to stay in business. He can even expand it by saying that he needs to sell the bad in order to make enough money to be able to offer the good, and if he were to limit his offerings to doctrinally sound, edifying, Biblically justified materials, he’d be out of business in a week, and so would every other bookstore – or at least every other bookstore run as a for profit enterprise – in the country, as would practically every Christian publishing/video company.

    So that begs the question: would getting rid of this Christian merchandising industry be a bad thing?

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  42. Pingback: EFCI church to host heretical David Crowder and David Crowder Band 09/18/11 « "Fighting Fundamentalist" Evangelicals

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