HT: The Reformation Resurgence
HT: The Reformation Resurgence
On Cross Encounters Radio, we have been setting up special broadcasts to address the false teachings of the Bethel “church” in Redding, California. Today, Tony Miano took to task the false gospel statements of senior associate pastor Chris Valloton. I highly recommend you check out the article Tony wrote in association with this broadcast, both of which can be found below:
“This article is the second in an ongoing series of articles looking at the false teaching and false practices of Bethel Church, in Redding, CA. In this article I will address the false gospel of false prophet and teacher, Kris Vallotton, Senior Associate Pastor at Bethel Church.
Here is Vallotton’s biography, posted on the Bethel Church website:
“Kris Vallotton is a noted prophetic voice in Northern California, and has trained prophetic teams in this region. He is a sought after speaker with a vision for equipping an “Elijah generation” for the end-time harvest. Kathy’s practical wisdom and prophetic insight combine to give her a unique and profound ministry as both an instructor and the school’s administrator. Kathy is also an anointed worship leader,assisting with the training of the worship teams at the school. Both Kris and his wife Kathy have a vision to raise up a company of warriors to impact this generation for Christ. Their goal is to see the fulfillment of Isaiah 61 with their own eyes. This prophecy begins with individual people getting delivered and healed–it ends with the ruined cities being restored. Kris says it is time for the fire of God to burn up His enemies and warm the hearts of the lost. This mandate has become their mission. God has instructed them to gather together warriors with like hearts, then train and equip them, and send them into the Harvest. Holy Spirit fortifications must be established in the midst of the darkest places of the planet earth. Kris is currently Senior Associate Pastor at Bethel Church in Redding, California and Kris and his wife Kathy are Overseers at Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry. They have four children and five grandchildren.”
Read the article here: Bethel Church: The False Gospel of Kris Vallotton
In light of some of the recent posts and comments, I would like to share a few thoughts from my heart, but I want to do so by beginning with a story.
Over five years ago, an unknown blogger started an unknown blog that would eventually become very well known with thousands of readers. The unknown blogger was The Pilgrim and he began a blog that was then called Reformation Nation. Five years later, the site has been visited almost 3 million times, has over 25,000 published comments, spams innumerable, and people who are either still with us or have left angry, mad, or upset.
In late 2007, I was pastoring a small mission work and the Pilgrim, along with his family, wandered in on a Wednesday evening and listened to an exposition from Psalm 1. That night began what has become a very close friendship that climaxed, in my estimation, with one of the best memories of my life. He decided to join my wife and I on a mission trip to Liberia, West Africa. This was not easy for him as he had never been outside the USA, much less having been on an airplane.
The blog quickly became Defending Contending and I was invited to be the first of several contributors that would join in the fight. The Pilgrim and his family became a very important part of our ministry and in various ways they became a huge encouragement to us and still are to this day. Those times as a mission pastor were not easy, and there were times that I wanted to quit. I wondered whether it was worth the fight. Yet through it all, the Pilgrim was one of the few who always sought to give encouragement no matter how he was feeling, and no matter what he and his family were going through.
One of his catchphrases was and still is, “Stay the course, Never Compromise!”
This little phrase encouraged me, as it has others, not to give up when the going was tough. It encouraged me when my health had declined to the point that I wondered whether I would make it back to the US. It encouraged me when we wrote blogs that seemed like they only garnered bad comments, or when we were concerned that the fight should be left to others, or when the thought that giving up was more than passing jumble of words. Yes, there were times when we both wondered if we were going overboard. In our minds, we thought at times that maybe it would be easier to follow the sage advice, “If you can’t beat ‘em, then join ‘em!”
But then, I would remember the phrase again, “Stay the course, Never Compromise!” Either the Pilgrim would have to remind me, or I would seek to remind him.
Was it necessary? Was it worth the fight? Have we stayed the course? Have we sought to compromise?
I believe the answer is and remains that it was necessary, it has been worth the fight, we have sought to stay the course, and to the best of our knowledge we have tried not to compromise.
The purpose of this post and the lengthy introduction and story is to talk about the Pilgrim’s little phrase that has meant so much to me and to others.
First, what does it mean to stay the course and what course are we meant to be taking? After all, there are many blogs out there. There are many paths that can be taken. Some would make us popular and the blog could probably have become very famous had we made some different decisions. So, what course are we to stay?
The apostle Paul never set out to be popular, and it was clear from his writings that he never had a mega-church. He never saw his letters become best-sellers. He never owned his own personal Learjet and was never chauffeured around in bullet-proof vehicles. His final days did not live up to the vague, empty promises made by the health, wealth, and prosperity proponents of the 21st century. In fact, his final days were not spent in luxury but in the damp, dank interior of the Mamertine Prison in Rome. Then for the sake of the Master for whom he was nothing but a slave, he became a martyr and was beheaded at the command of Nero.
Yet, he stayed the course. Listen to what he had to say in Acts 20:24, “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” Notice that his course was not to enjoy life. It was not to have his best life now. It was not to be fulfilled or to build his self-esteem so he could feel better about himself.
Paul was a servant. Actually, he was more than a servant; he was a bondslave. He was a doulos of Jesus Christ and of such had no control over what he could say or do or even how he could live. He recognized his position and rejoiced that he was even called upon to suffer just as the disciples of Christ had done when they were beaten for giving forth the precious words of life.
He actually notes about himself in 2 Cor. 10:10, “For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” It would appear that Paul never read the great Roman philosopher Dalius Carnegius scroll entitled, “How to Win Friends and Influence Senators!” If he did, it certainly did not make an impression on him.
History also reveals that he somehow overlooked another popular speaker’s scroll entitled, “The Power of Positive Thinking.” Listen to another passage from Paul’s writing from 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching [was] not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
Paul made it clear what the course was. It was to know NOTHING BUT Jesus Christ and him CRUCIFIED! That was definitely not a popular subject matter. Nobody liked crucifixion. I am sure that everybody did not want to be reminded that the Christian walk was not a bed of roses. There may have been some that thought that following Christ was easy as long as they could first go and bury their dead. Or, maybe it was necessary to first throw a party or to sell off the family business?
After the events of Acts 5 and the account of Ananias and Sapphira, there was no doubt that staying the course meant that people FEARED to join themselves unto the number of those who claimed to be followers of The Way. They were afraid to claim something that they were not just as Ananias and Sapphira had done. It cost that couple their lives when they lied to the Holy Spirit. God knew they were phonies and their lives did not match up what they claimed. There was no desire for forgiveness ever recorded, but the church remained pure and continued to grow.
Those who joined themselves to the church were not looking for fame or fortune. They didn’t come for the lattes, mochas, or cool, hip, relevant messages preached by a guy wearing a “Jesus is my homeboy” t-shirt. To join the early New Testament church meant you knew you might leave home for a church service and that you could be lion food that same night. They also knew what it meant to “stay the course.”
Staying the course meant being willing to take a stand when it is not popular. Staying the course means that you will gain the strength necessary to stare evil in the face, even if it means you must give your life for the testimony of Jesus Christ. When you stay the course, it means that you DO NOT QUIT doing what is right. A saying I heard all growing up is worth repeating, “Two wrongs NEVER make a right.”
Paul had only one desire and that was to finish the course. He did not start out well being a religious leader and putting believers to death. Although he did not start well, he wanted to finish well and with that in mind, he concludes his ministry with 2 Tim. 4:7, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”
Notice that he tells young Timothy that he “kept the faith.” This is where the rest of the Pilgrim’s favorite phrase comes in – “NEVER COMPROMISE!”
Today, as a blogger, it would be easy for us to stop telling the truth. It would be easy for us to join with others and seek to hold hands with all denominations and religions all for the sake of unity, but done at the expense of doctrinal purity.
But, it would be compromise!
At DefCon, we could openly embrace all those who claim to know Jesus simply because they know what His name is, yet have no evidence of fruit.
But, it would be compromise!
We could change from being a blog that takes a stand for truth and only give nice fluffy messages about how our readers could live their best lives now.
But, it would be compromise!
We could tell our readers how much God loves you that He has a wonderful plan for their lives that includes no hardships. That would be to join the mainstream of what passes for evangelical Christianity.
And, it would be compromise!
We could refrain from Paul’s admonition to warn others of the wolves that are desirous of eating the flock.
But, it would be compromise!
Yes, there are many things we could do differently that would please many of our former readers. There are areas of doctrine that could be ignored and whole passages of Scripture completely obliterated from our Bibles all for the sake of unity. We could refrain from warning others of the coming wrath of God. We could refrain from shedding tears at the apostasy that is so prevalent in modern churches. We could keep from warning others that it is only going to get worse.
But, it would be compromise!
To compromise is to give up on God! It is to give up on the Scriptures! It is to say to the world that the world is more important than the truth of God’s Holy infallible and inerrant words. To compromise means that we would have to stop telling people of the dangers of the cults and religions that are taking their people down to hell. To compromise does not necessarily mean huge changes overnight. Compromise takes shape just one small step at a time, but the end result is still the same! DESTRUCTION!
Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the Word of God is quick (alive) and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. It pierces down to the very core of our being. To compromise means that we would no longer believe in the regenerating power of God to break the dead heart of stone and make a new creation in Christ. You see to compromise means that we would be admitting that God is NOT the same yesterday, today or forever. It would mean that we believe that the message has to be different because of the changing times.
To compromise means that we will not have stayed the course. We must learn and pray that God will give us the grace, the strength, the humility AND the boldness to stand alongside the Martin Luther’s of the world who have come and gone. We must learn to re-echo those famous words with the same fervor and passion of those who were willing to DIE for their faith.
To compromise means that we do not count as dear that great cloud of witnesses who laid down their lives for the sake of the gospel. It means that we do not stand with our fellow brothers and sisters around the world who suffer today for their faith. It also means that we show to the world that our faith is only for when it is an easy walk, not a path wrought with difficulties, trials, and tribulations.
Listen again to the words of a man, who like Paul, refused to compromise.
“Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. Here I stand for I can do no other. May God help me. Amen.”
To my fellow contributors, nobody said it would ever be easy. There are far too many who have given up already, and I for one do not want to be just another web statistic. I do not want people to say, “DefCon used to stand for the truth, but they gave up. They quit! They compromised for the sake of getting more readers!”
With God as our helper, we will stay the course and we will never compromise. I would hope that if we ever veer from our path that somebody else would be granted the strength to call us on the carpet. If we ever cease to use the Word of God as our mainstay, then I hope that somebody will seek to remind us of our duty and our call to be obedient servants. Our goal should be not to gain or hear the praise of man but to hear those wonderful words one day in eternity, “Well done, you were a good and faithful servant!”
Soldiers have no recourse to change their orders like so many are doing today. 2 Timothy 2 tells us that we are called to be good soldiers of Jesus Christ. No soldier that goes to war entangles himself with the affairs of this world. Our Commander in Chief has not authorized easy deployments, nor has He changed the battle plan!
To conclude, we at Defending Contending make no apologies for our stand for truth. Our conscience is captive to the Word of God. Our prayer is that we will continue to walk the paths that have been walked before us. Our prayer is that our words will give strength and courage to those who follow us, and that they too will heed the words of our dear friend and brother, The Pilgrim,
“STAY THE COURSE, AND NEVER COMPROMISE!”
“The thing we kick against the most is the question of pain and suffering. We have naturally the idea that if we are happy and peaceful we are all right…Happiness is not a sign that we are right with God; happiness is a sign of satisfaction, that is all, and the majority of us can be satisfied on too low a level. Jesus Christ disturbs every kind of satisfaction that is less than delight in God. Every strand of sentimental satisfaction is an indication of how much farther we have to go before we understand the life of God, it is the satisfaction of a smug self-interest which God by circumstances and pain shocks us out of as we go in the discipline of life.”
How many times have we heard the arguments from those who teach that we, as Christians, are not under the Law, but we are still under the tithe? “You know, if don’t tithe you’re robbing God!” And we’ve heard the usual proof-texts. Have you ever wanted to know how to answer those folks? Well, Jim McClarty has gone through and answered these taken-out-of-context passages and put them in their proper context and has given us this response.
Should we be giving to the church? Of course! Is it a compulsory “Give your 10% or God will curse you” tithe (and is it even 10%? Hmmm…) No. Pastor McClarty explains why.
We here at DefCon (as well as our brothers and sisters at other sites, such as Ken Silva and Ingrid Schlueter) use the written Word of God as the rule and basis for everything we believe about God and how one is to worship Him. For that, we are constantly accused of being “Pharisees” by those who would lead the Body of Christ away from the clear teachings of Scripture, and into areas which are questionable (at best) and/or heretical (at worst).
Well, here’s my question–what exactly does it mean to be a “Pharisee”? Are we justly accused as Pharisees by the Seeker-Driven™/Purpose-Driven™, “Let’s all just get along in unity” church-goer who does not dare speak for fear that it may offend someone? Or is there a more accurate description of a Pharisee? Let us examine the issue.
The Pharisees were outraged at being called sinners.
Luke 18:9-12—Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.'”
If you deny that you are a sinner, and you think that your “good works” are enough to make you righteous in God’s eyes–YOU ARE A PHARISEE!
Romans 5:12—Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.
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“… We ask that everything we do would bring honor to you … and we just lift up especially Mayor Annise Parker. … Lord, we thank you just for raising her up and just for your goodness, your mercy in her life, and just for supernatural wisdom, Father. We honor her today and our other officials, and Lord, we count it a joy and honor to be here in your presence with all of our friends and we just thank you for this day. In Jesus name, amen.”
This is as mind boggling as the wolf who “blessed” an abortion mill, calling it “sacred ground.”
Ingrid Schlueter hits the nail on the head regarding Joel Osteen with this excerpt from her commentary:
We bring honor to God by asking Him to bless a woman who is living in conduct that He calls an “abomination”? Does Joel Osteen even possess a Bible?
As a follow-up to Unworthy 1’s post on the International House of Prayer (found here) I’ve decided to post the following eye-opening video I just discovered. The video is a news piece from CBN and is done in a favorable light (imagine that coming from false prophet Pat Robertson’s broadcasting network).
Not only does IHOP’s Mike Binkle have ties to Bob Jones, but in the beginning of the video the commentator claims that Binkle says that Christ’s return is dependent upon man.
If I had a nickle for every time one of these Charismatic Charlatans claimed that God was powerless or helpless to do what He wants, and He must rely on us for His will to be accomplished, I’d be a rich man.
If you notice, at the end of the title there is a period–not a question mark. It is not great secret that the prosperity “gospel” is heresy. But, how do we explain just how many levels of heresy are involved in the TBN crowd’s twisting and perverting of God’s word for their own financial gain? Well, I made these videos for just that purpose. To tear the prosperity “gospel” apart, and show, piece by piece, why this is such a perversion and blasphemy. I apologize for the little places where the audio is kinda choppy. I guess I should have “sown” into a video production ministry, eh?
NOTE: In the 4th video, there is a 5-second still from “The Passion of the Christ.” It is not meant to be an endorsement of the film by any means (and I do not recommend it whatsoever). However, I wanted a picture of Christ on the cross, and, unfortunately, this was the only one that doesn’t portray Him with, as one fellow said, “pretty blue eyes and curly brown hair and a clear complexion.”
A bad economy is never a good thing…….or is it? God used swarms of locusts to destroy the crops in Judah, in order that the people would stop depending on the sacrifices in the temple to cover their sins, and return to obedience to YHVH. Joel 1:13-14—“Gird yourselves and lament, you priests; wail, you who minister before the altar; come, lie all night in sackcloth, you who minister to my God; for the grain offering and the drink offering are withheld from the house of your God. Consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly; gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD.”
Well, now, all those who have “sown” into Rod Parsley’s “ministry” in order to get their “abundance” and their “breakthrough” may have to send their money elsewhere. Seems that things aren’t going so good in the Rod Parsley House of Heresy™ (from the Columbus [OH] Dispatch):
The headline of the appeal for donations reads: “Will you help me take back what the devil stole?”
When asked to comment yesterday, Parsley’s World Harvest Church issued a statement saying the recession caused a decline in member giving in 2009, which has led to a fourth-quarter deficit of $3 million despite a 30 percent reduction in the budget.
This year, the church settled for $3.1 million with a family whose son was spanked at its day-care center in 2006, to the point his buttocks and legs were covered with welts and abrasions.
The boy, then 2, said he was spanked with a “knife” by a substitute teacher. His parents, Michael and Lacey Faieta, believe it was a ruler.
Yeah, the devil stole that money, alright. He used Rod Parsley to steal that money from people who could least deserve to lose it.
Perhaps Rod can put his money where his mouth is (pun intended), practice what he preaches, and “sow a seed” into a ministry that takes the gospel to the poor and the sick. And by “gospel” I mean the REAL gospel–the one that says we are dead sinners who need the blood of Christ to pay the debt we owe to God. Not the heretical “prosperity” gibberish that spews from Parsley’s mouth.
For those who have never suffered under the bondage of the Word of Faith extension of the Charasmatic movement (that I and many others have been delivered from) you need to know that it’s not all about naming it and claiming it, begging for money, speaking in tongues, being slain in the spirit, (fake) healings, (false) prophecies, and dancing in the aisles; sometimes they actually teach from the Bible . . . and that’s when it really gets scary.
In the following clip Jesse Duplantis shamelessly ‘twists‘ Scripture to make God look less knowledgeable and powerful than He is, and conversely makes man look more knowledgeable and powerful than he is. (Those who have come out of this heretical movement know all too well that these wolves are infamous for bringing God down and raising man up.)
In a nutshell this is four minutes of absolute foolishness and is a perfect example of awful hermeneutics and complete biblical illiteracy. But hey, he sure does tickle ears, doesn’t he?
Thanks to DefCon reader Shane for alerting me to this video clip.
Thanks to Phil Johnson for the heads up on this video. I know and have seen the true need in Africa for the pure, unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ to be preached to those who have never heard. So, I am disgusted when I see the likes of Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyers, Kenneth Hagin and all the other false professors of Christ exporting the heresy of prosperity gospel to Africa. The poor people in this video have still not heard the truth, but they are mixing their own animistic religions with a veneer of “Christianity” with the hopes of becoming much better off.
I have personally watched charlatans like these seen in this video asking their audience to “give $100 US dollars in order to receive $100 blessings, $50 US dollars to receive $50 blessings, etc.” Yes, in America we have been blessed with much in the way of material wealth, but if all we are exporting is a false gospel, a few Africans will wind up wealthy, but they and their followers will only find themselves in hell forever.
Albert Mohler discusses on his audio blog and radio show the false gospel of health and wealth, and those who preach this false gospel (e.g. Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Hagin, etc.) stemming from this New York Times article.
They’re worth a listen.
Audio blog (5 minutes):
Radio show (38 minutes):
Here’s a slideshow from the latest pulpit pimping extravaganza put on by Kenneth and Gloria Copeland.
Portfolio.com is reporting in this article that megachurch ear-tickler Joel Osteen, aka “Reverend Feelgood,” and his wife Victoria (whose new book Love Your Life which is in direct contradiction to Jesus’ command not to love your life) are reportedly taking in $75 million dollars a year through their Lakewood church (not counting his $13 million dollar advance for his latest book). Here’s a quote from the article:
We are a nation stumbling through our worst financial crisis in a generation and our worst housing market in a lifetime. And so we come, seeking gentle salvation, inspiring prayers, steadying words, soothing notions, and calming thoughts that will allow us to become, in Joel Osteen’s words, “victors, not victims.”
And Time.com is reporting that the prosperity “gospel” may have actually contributed to the current economic crisis. Read their article here.
Source: Slaughter of the Sheep
On this episode of The White Horse Inn, the guys discuss Joel Osteen – A Case Study in American Religion. Here’s the details:
Why is Joel Osteen so popular? Is he a faithful representative of the Christian faith, or is his message more about self-help and personal motivation? On this edition of the White Horse Inn, the hosts will examine the theology of this bestselling author as they continue their series “Christless Christianity.”