Local Fundamentalist Pastor Heresy
The day and age in which we live is rapidly defining itself as the Laodicean age (Revelation 3:14-22). The Laodicean church was a lukewarm church, neither hot (representing fervour for God) nor cold (fervour for the world). God says that He would prefer it to at least come out in the open and proclaim just exactly what it believed in, either for or against Him. But the Laodicean church couldn’t commit itself one way or the other. No doubt, like many churches today, it regularly taught one thing and practised another, or held back on any controversial teachings because they might cause conflict, rock the boat so to speak. Getting along with your fellow Christian has become so important today that even truth must be sacrificed for the sake of keeping the peace! Community overrules truth! People these days are so afraid to rock the church boat that they will put up with borderline (or worse) heresy rather than create a disagreement with another “Christian”. Of course, that’s when they actually know that what’s being taught is not the complete truth of the Bible. However, all too often they trust their pastors and teachers so much that they are seemingly reluctant to test everything they say against the truth of the Bible. And ignorance is no excuse! “What you don’t know can’t hurt you” appears to be the catch-cry of so many “Christians” today. And they’re wrong!
It is essential that each genuine Christian ascertain the truth of what he believes directly from the Bible. To this end he is encouraged to make use of the experienced teaching of pastors and mature Christians, whether personally or via media such as books and DVDs, etc. However, never should Christians accept any teachings without also assessing them against the truth of the Bible.
Acts 17:10-12 – 10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming [thither] went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.
So, if you desire to see many around you believe in the truth of the Scriptures, then you must search the Scriptures daily to see if those things that you have been taught are actually true! By doing so, you may then declare yourself to be a fundamentalist believer, one who believes in the fundamental doctrines of the Bible, rightly dividing the word of truth as taught by the Bible.
But, many alleged fundamentalists are only that because they claim to be such. For instance, John MacArthur is often proclaimed to be a respected theologian and Bible teacher, therefore a fundamentalist. He has produced many books and other documents including a book called Fundamentals of the Faith which may be found in many church libraries and in the homes of many church-goers. However, MacArthur is far from being fundamentalist; in fact, his doctrines include many serious unacceptable heresies. Being a calvinist, MacArthur teaches a false gospel that is in conflict with the gospel of the Bible. Read MacArthur Teaches Works Salvation, The False Calvinist Gospel blog, The False Calvinist Gospel, Calvinism is the Non-gospel and Calvinists Born Again before they are Saved.
MacArthur claims to be a Christian, yet he has no testimony of when he was saved at the cross of Jesus. He appears to claim that he has never been lost!
PHIL: How old were you when you first recall sensing your need for Christ?
JOHN: Well I always believed the gospel. I don’t ever…I don’t ever remember a time when I didn’t believe the gospel.
(MacArthur’s Life Testimony Code 80-33)
Apparently MacArthur has been so good all his life that he’s never needed to be saved!
He claims his ministry to be the consequence of a godly heritage, yet his immediate ancestors were apparently more involved with freemasonry than Christianity. He claims that his spiritual fruit and harvest has come through from his great grandfather who was a Presbyterian minister and a Freemason Grand Master, both at the same time! Read Is MacArthur a Freemason?
MacArthur also teaches as if he is an expert scholar of Greek and Hebrew, yet he gets even basic interpretations wrong. Read MacArthur is Wrong where MacArthur misquotes a Greek rule to “prove” from Acts 2:23 that God’s foreknowledge is the same as God’s predetermined counsel. In MacArthur is Wrong – Again! MacArthur teaches that, because of Hebrew parallelism, “many” cannot mean the same as “many” if they are both used in the same verse (Romans 5:15), and that “all” cannot mean the same as “all” if they are both used in the same verse (Romans 5:18). Is MacArthur incompetent or is he a liar? Each of these documents has extra links to other calvinist documents for further reading.
Many churches worldwide have taken MacArthur’s false doctrines on board, demonstrating a distinct lack of discernment in doing so. A local church, Grace West Bible Church, is a clone or franchise of MacArthur’s church, having almost identical doctrinal statements. Thus, it claims to teach the same false doctrines and heresies as MacArthur’s church, including the same false gospel. This false calvinist gospel states clearly that God has from the beginning unconditionally chosen a small group of people (the elect) to go to heaven, while also choosing the vast majority of the world’s population to go to hell. “Unconditionally” means that no-one has any say in the matter, whether they are going to heaven or (most likely) hell. For all people, it is your destiny to be chosen by God to go to either heaven or to hell! Read The Heresy of Calvinism Refuted Part 1.
In fact, MacArthur, being a calvinist, has to teach that Jesus only died for the sins of God’s chosen elect. The calvinist Jesus didn’t die for any of the sins of the vast majority of the world. Even if one of those not chosen by God wanted to be saved, the calvinist God would still reject them, because their sins were never paid for on the cross. They literally can’t be saved, ever! (Read The Big Lie of the Calvinists.) MacArthur says that it was never the intention of God to save everyone anyway! Read The False Calvinist Gospel blog and The False Calvinist Gospel. Also read The Calvinist God created most of Mankind for Torment in Hell and MacArthur Teaches Works Salvation.
Of course, God of the Bible does choose an elect group of people, the election. However, it is dependent upon Him knowing by foreknowledge who will call upon the name of the Lord to be saved (which is the true gospel of the Bible). (Which is why the calvinists cannot accept that God’s foreknowledge means His perfect knowledge of the future!)
If you want to get saved, don’t go to Grace West, for if their God doesn’t want to save you, then according to them you will remain lost, even if you wanted to be saved! In fact, they have to teach that if you prayed a prayer asking God to save you, then you are still lost, unless the calvinist God has already previously decided that he wants you on that list of elect, regardless of your goodness or evil! If you are not on that list, no prayer can, or ever will, save you! They are forced to teach that you do not choose God; God chooses you! You have no say in the matter at all! If God has chosen you to be saved, then you will be saved; nothing you can do will ever prevent you from being saved. And, if God has chosen you for hell, then you will go to hell! This is truly the Non-gospel of the calvinist. Read Calvinism is the Non-gospel.
Another local church, Living Springs Baptist, while pretending to be a fundamentalist church, claims on its website to be a like-minded sister church to Grace West Bible Church. Therefore Living Springs has, by their own admission, a false doctrine similar to Grace West, and thus they likewise teach the same heresies, including the same false gospel. Otherwise they could not be a like-minded sister church! Living Springs has used materials by calvinist Todd Friel (as advertised on the Living Springs Baptist website under Ministries/Small Groups), who teaches that if you prayed the sinners’ prayer, you are not saved and you are still going to hell. No Christian ministry should be teaching their members such heresy as Todd Friel teaches. Read The Heresy of Todd Friel.
But wait! That’s not all! Living Springs also apparently considers Gary Thomas to be a good Christian teacher. According to their website, they have been studying Thomas’ book “Sacred Marriage” which claims to be Christian. However, it quotes favourably from “Conjugal Spirituality” (by Mary Anne Oliver), a book that teaches how to use kundalini yoga and tantric sex, both involving demonism. Thomas also quotes from Friedrich Nietzsche (who teaches nihilism, and that God is dead). Gary Thomas elsewhere also advocates heresies such as contemplative and centering prayer (which is little more than crying out endless mantras to demons, a very un-Christian practice). Read Gary Thomas – New Age Teacher.
In both of these churches, it is the pastor who ultimately must take responsibility for the doctrines taught in his church. Pastors have an awesome responsibility to serve God by shepherding His flocks. This demands that they be called by God to do so, or else they will certainly fail. And if such pastors cause such heresy to be taught to their church members, then those pastors are guilty of offending those little ones of God as per Matthew 18:6 – But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and [that] he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
That is, it is better to not be a pastor than to pretend to be a pastor called by God and offend His little ones by teaching such heresies.
Yet another pastor of a supposedly fundamentalist church in our area has allegedly chosen to use Paul Tripp study materials. If this is true, he has shown a distinct lack of discernment. Paul Tripp, a calvinist, focuses upon what he would call Biblical Counselling, yet much of his teachings are far from Biblical. He teaches that when we become Christians we are infected with a terrible disease called identity amnesia. What’s worse, we don’t even know we have this disease until a friendly neighbourhood “Biblical Counsellor” comes along to tell us all about it and to be “healed” by this counsellor. It sounds far too much like snake-oil salesmanship to me! That is, you need to sell your snake-oil medicine, but no-one wants it, so you persuade them that they are actually sick and have need of your snake-oil. Consequently they buy it, thinking they’re now going to be healed of a sickness which they most likely don’t have, never had, or doesn’t even exist at all! These so-called Biblical Counsellors of the Paul Tripp type create the problem that they then try to “cure” for you! This creation of a problem in order to solve it is called the Hegelian Dialectic. Read Paul Trip – Heretic or Tare?
This same church now advertises Biblical Counselling as one of its ministries, which is quite interesting considering that Paul Tripp material is used extensively by Biblical Counselling Australia (BCA) – see https://www.biblicalcounselling.org.au/training-in-biblical-counselling/ where workbooks and DVDs produced by Tim Lane and Paul Tripp are advertised as part of their “biblical counselling” training. The four directors of BCA (as noted on their website) have all done courses through CCEF (Christian Counseling & Education Foundation) which is closely affiliated with Westminster Theological Seminary (USA) which is (and has been for many years) a training and resource centre for calvinism and reformed theology. Much of today’s aggressive marketing of “New Calvinism” (embraced by such as Piper, MacArthur, Mohler, Keller) has been initiated at Westminster Theological Seminary, including what is widely known today as “Biblical Counselling” (although much of its teachings are far from Biblical!). Biblical Counselling was for many years known as nouthetic counselling which was originally developed by Prof Jay Adams of Westminster Seminary through the writing of his book “Competent to Counsel” in 1970. Nouthetic counselling was developed further into Biblical Counselling by David Powlison along with others such as Tim Lane and Paul Tripp. For further information, please read Biblical Counselling & new calvinism today.
If this local supposedly fundamentalist church is using BCA materials to support its Biblical Counselling ministry, then such a ministry is based upon the corrupt calvinist (reformed) teachings of Westminster Theological Seminary. Such a counselling ministry cannot be acceptable to the God of the Bible, for calvinism itself is a doctrine without an effective gospel for mankind’s sin. Although, if they have chosen to use Paul Tripp materials in the past, then they would probably see no problem with continuing to use Tripp’s heresies under the pretense of calling it “Biblical” Counselling. And the use of Paul Tripp (and related) materials can only lead a church into apostasy.
I am told that when this supposedly fundamentalist pastor was challenged (in the past) regarding the use of Paul Tripp materials, he allegedly said that he took the material on the recommendation of another church pastor. This might be so, perhaps, although it does seem possible that it could have arisen from studies in Biblical Counselling. Of course, a genuine pastor should be very wary of following up the recommendations of another without firstly testing all things. He has a responsibility to shepherd his flock, which will always overrule making agreements with pastors of other churches!
However, the truth remains: that if he has taught heresy through the use of Tripp’s materials, whether or not on the advice of another pastor, he has offended those little ones of God. And, could the alleged “another pastor” be a friendly neighbourhood calvinist pastor who cannot see any conflict between his own calvinist heresies and Tripp’s false teaching, consequently recommending Paul Tripp to other local pastors? In any case, any pastor who cannot discern danger (such as Tripp’s heresies) for his church members should reassess his calling to be pastor. And God will hold all pastors responsible for their leadership of their flocks, and not for how well they get along with other pastors of other churches! For information on Paul Tripp, read Paul Tripp – Heretic or Tare? and The Gospel of New Calvinism.
And finally, it’s ironic that just a generation ago, fundamentalists were quite rightly condemnatory of the heresies taught via the Revised Standard Version of the Bible (RSV), yet today they use a revised version of the RSV in many supposedly fundamentalist churches. And what is that version called? Well, just to throw fundamentalists off the scent, they have renamed this version the English Standard Version (ESV).
The English Standard Version (ESV) is an English translation of the Christian Bible. It is a revision of the 1971 edition of the Revised Standard Version (Wikipedia)
With this name change and the backing of the calvinists (who had a significant input into the ESV), that which was rightly despised has now become highly desirable! Funny how views can change if you’re not doing your homework properly, isn’t it!