A Howse Divided Against Itself

I want to offer up some comments on a long, ranting screed Brannon Howse recently wrote against Phil Johnson. The one ironic aspect of it is that many of Brannon’s fans will not necessarily see it because it is posted at an obscure Facebook page. I think this is intentional deceit, as I will explain in a moment.

Now. Before I begin, it may be helpful to provide a little background for those readers not up to speed on the latest evangelical kerfuffle. Earlier in June, Brannon Howse, who hosts Worldview Weekend, a daily radio show heard on the VCY America network, launched a “discernment” crusade against James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries. Brannon had two self-proclaimed Islamic experts on his program to critically discuss a dialog James had with Yasir Qadhi in Memphis this past January.

The dialog itself was two nights of informal discussion between James and Yasir as to the distinctions between Islam and Christianity. One was held at a church in the Memphis area, the second at a mosque also in the Memphis area. Both hour and a half discussions can be watched HERE and HERE.

Brannon and his two experts, however, smeared the discussions as an “interfaith dialog” of the compromising sort. They suggested that James was compromising the Christian faith in the same way one of those gummy bear evangelicals like Rick Warren embraces Roman Catholics, or any other false religion, in a Coexist fashion. Additionally, they questioned James’s motives in doing the dialog, giving the impression he was soft-peddling the Islamic agenda. They falsely labelled him a “dupe” and a “useful idiot” who was lied to by Yasir, because according to the two experts, he is really a terrorist sympathizing ISIS supporter who was playing James like a fiddle in order to make Islam more accepting among American evangelicals.

Brannon devoted three programs assailing James’s character and ministry. When he encountered strong push back from folks on social media, he spent another week of follow up episodes in which he dug in against his detractors. I’ll point readers to Phil Johnson’s public remarks summarizing the entire affair because they reflect what I think it about it as well. See HERE.

With that background in mind, let me lay down a second layer before addressing Brannon’s rant. The following week after his three programs attacking James White, Phil Johnson from Grace to You, the radio ministry of John MacArthur (and my big boss), tweeted out the following comment, “Is there any respectable Christian leader Brannon Howse HASN’T found fault with?”

Phil then followed that tweet up with another, recalling a program from 2008 on which Brannon went after John MacArthur for his views that said the Revolutionary War was biblically unjustified. On that program, Brannon had on Tim Wildmon from the AFA, and Marshall Foster from the American History Institute, to publicly scold John MacArthur and his so-called woefully ignorant position on the American Revolution.

It is at this point, after Phil’s second tweet, that Brannon’s campaign against James White becomes an even hotter dumpster fire than it was already.

The day before Phil tweeted about the radio program pillorying John MacArthur, Brannon had posted John’s opening general session from the 2010 Shepherd’s Conference on his Facebook page. The message John preached is called Separating from Unbelievers. Brannon links to the message and then adds this description, “Separating from Unbelievers by John MacArthur. Should we talk with a Muslim Imam in a church & find common ground?”

At first glance, his description gives the impression that John is going to address the idea of Christians talking with Muslim imams and finding common religious ground with them. However, the words “Muslim” or “imam” are no where mentioned in the talk. In fact, nothing John states in his message would condemn what James White did with that imam. John’s message was aimed at genuine theological compromise with unbelievers, something James never did when he spent two days interacting with Yasir.

In response to Phil’s tweet comments, Brannon left this obfuscating statement on Facebook. (He also read it on his Worldview Weekend program).

The reader will note a glaring omission. The one name he conspicuously left out of his statement: Phil Johnson. That raises an intriguing question, why?

I’ll venture an educated guess and say it is because he intentionally clouded who it was he was responding to. A lot of the folks who hear Grace to You also hear Brannon’s Worldview Weekend. It is uncomfortably awkward if the director at the ministry of the very pastor he cites in support of his position took him to task regarding his hamfisted accusations against James White.

But folks may pause here and say, “Fred, aren’t you being just a tad unfair? Maybe he wanted to protect his identity.” That brings me to Brannon’s long rant.

The weekend after Phil posted his final thoughts on Brannon’s ridiculous “James White’s Islamic Peril” (see my link above), he posted three audio files in which he interviewed Phil back in 2011 on the topic of dealing with false teachers in the church. He also wrote up his fuming tirade against Phil. He even brought up the stupid controversy he manufactured in February 2015 when he went after Todd Friel about how many people died during the Catholic Inquisitions. Without rehearsing that entire drama, I can just say that what Brannon presents is lopsided and only half-way accurate. In other words, he is intentionally misremembering what happened. I ought to know, because I was at the center of that entire storm.

So what does that all have to do with my accusation that Brannon is purposefully hiding his comments from his readers? Well, his withering screed is posted on Sam Shamoun’s Facebook page. See HERE. (Just in case it is removed, HERE’s the PDF)

Unless a person knows who Sam is, more than likely he isn’t gonna see it. Brannon’s fans are certainly not gonna see it. As of this writing, there are just 11 shares. I personally left a comment refuting Brannon’s claims, but of course Sam, probably out of ignorance of who I am, dismissed me as a buffoon. I left a second comment, but that got removed and now I am blocked from leaving any responses whatsoever. If Brannon was genuinely serious about responding to Phil, he’d do it on his website and his own personal Facebook page for all to see. He would not run to an obscure yes man who is simply using Brannon as a stick to beat James White.

Brannon’s clumsy, half-baked crusade to uncover imaginary collusion between a well-respected, rock solid Christian apologist with a 25 year track record of Gospel ministry and an accused Islamic terrorist sympathizer is bad enough. Compounding the problem is him mass blocking an entire online community of believers pleading with  him to step back and reevaluate the foolishness he has presented. Worse still is him hiding his dispute with a ministry that on the one hand he uses for his credibility, but on the other hand, disparages the men associated with that ministry. Such vacillating behavior reveals some troubling character issues that need to be addressed.

Defeating the Ostrich Spirit’s Cruel Kicks

ostrichDuring a deliverance session at Quickening House of Vision I heard the Lord say something I had never heard before: “Bind the ostrich spirit.”

I hesitated for a moment because I was not familiar with that demon, but I obeyed. I took authority over the ostrich spirit, commanded it to cease and desist its operations against the woman, told it to leave her home and stop its harassment in the name of Jesus.

That night, she wasn’t jarred awake at 3 a.m. like most other nights. She slept soundly for the first time in a long time. I decided to study out this ostrich spirit because I believe in attaining Scriptural backing for what I hear in the Spirit.

Since the spirit world is more real than the natural—and since spiritual things often manifest as natural things—I decided first to seek understanding on what an ostrich is. What I discovered intrigued me: an ostrich is a big, flightless bird. Although they are big, they’re flightless, which means they can’t fly because their wings are small and unable to lift their weight.

Even though they can’t fly, they can run really fast. Their strides can be anywhere from 10 to 16 feet when they move. And their legs can be formidable weapons, even killing an enemy with one blow of their foot.

Understanding Ostrich Motives

Are you getting the picture of how this spirit works? Let me break it down for you. A bird in Scripture is a symbol of a hateful religious spirit (Revelation 18:2). A fowl is a symbol of a fat lazy person (1 Kings 4:23). The Bible offers us clear warnings of both these evil doers, and the ostrich has characteristics of each.

The ostrich is flightless, so in its fat laziness, it has lost the ability to reach its full potential as a bird. It is easily angered, and strikes out against anything it perceives as threatening it. According to myth, ostriches stick their heads in the sand, believing they are hiding from danger when in reality they are not and remain fully exposed.

The ostrich is mentioned 10 times in Scripture and it’s almost never good.

In his distress, Job called himself a “brother of jackals and a companion of ostriches” (Job 30:29). Job 39:14,16, tells how ostriches are terrible mothers, abandoning their young and treating them cruelly. Isaiah 34:13 says that when God brings judgment, he turns houses into the “haunts of ostriches.” Jeremiah 50:39 speaks of how ostriches live in the desert and places that will never be inhabited again. And Lamentations 4:3 says that ostriches are cruel and mean.

An ostrich spirit, then, will usually attack at night and is associated with the spirit of desolation. It’s a fake bird spirit, in a sense, as it’s a big, stupid flightless bird. An ostrich spirit sets out to put you in a cage, operates in the realm laziness, and works to make you fat. The ostrich spirit wants to bring you into desert places, destruction and ultimately death. It assails you with its nocturnal attacks, constantly kicking you while you are down with its big meaty leg.

Overcoming the Ostrich Spirit

Ultimately, you overcome the ostrich spirit like you do any other spirit. You submit yourself to God, resist the devil and he will flee (James 4:7). In this case, you do that by pleading the blood of Jesus over your life, taking authority over ostrich operations.

You must be careful not to give heed to lying voices attacking your mind, not to isolate yourself in a wilderness place while you are under the ostrich’s attack, and stick your head in the hot sand. Beware the ostrich may chase you after an onslaught of other spirits that have left you wounded or left you for dead as the ostrich comes in and kicks you over and over again.

Pray this prayer to help overcome the ostrich spirit: Father, in the name of Jesus, I thank You for Your protection. I repent for any open doors in my life that allowed the ostrich spirit in. I was really, really dumb to leave that door open to let ostriches wander in from the outside. I thank you, Lord, that I am free from the kicking feet of the ostrich. I know who I am in Christ and He is in me. I submit myself to You and resist every manifestation and attack of the ostrich, in the name of Christ.

ostrich2In case you were wondering, this article is complete parody, taken from this ARTICLE which is regrettably not parody.

A Real Quick Book Review

rapture“17” REASONS Why The Rapture Will Be on September 22nd 2017
by No Man Knoweth
105 pgs., paper
lulu.com

One of the more fun perks I have with working for Grace to You is seeing the myriad of books people will send our ministry. A lot of the books come in manuscript form sent by the author or publisher asking if John would be willing to review the material and write an endorsement for the book. Others have already been published and either the author or publisher want to send a complimentary copy to John or Phil for some reason or another. Sometimes we get multiple copies and I get to snag them for myself.

The really fun ones are those books that clearly emanate from the outer fringes of the so-called Christian world. Generally, those books are sent to us by some well-meaning, but clearly undiscerning listener who believes the book in question just has to be read by John MacArthur because the truths contained therein are so profound and important, reading it will open his eyes to what is really going on in the church or the world or whatever.

For years after it was published, for instance, GTY received at least one to two copies of Gail Riplinger’s, New Age Bible Versions, almost on a monthly basis, with an attached note written by the sender begging John to, “read this book to see the truth of what was happening to our Bibles!” We had a small shelf filled with them until we had to dump them. Those kind of books provide a unique glimpse into the deep, dark bowels of American evangelicalism. Most of the folks here at GTY flip through them, get a laugh, and then toss them out. I however, because I am a fan of unusual and obscure curiosities and conspiracy theories, eat those books up like they are candy cigarettes.

thingSo last week, Phil received a little paperback in the mail entitled, “17” Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be On September 22nd, 2017. He tweeted out a picture of the book; I immediately had to go see it for myself. Thankfully, I was able get it away from Phil long enough so I could skim over the pages to see what those 17 reasons would be. I mean, who is to say the book could be wrong? After hundreds of prophetic date setting books being printed over the years, surely there has to be one that gets all the details right. I’d hate to be that guy who misses out on having all that inside info before the Antichrist and the spawns of hell are unleashed upon the earth.

The book is written by No Man Knoweth, or for my review purposes, Nomak. (I’m only assuming Nomak is a man’s name, so please forgive me if it’s Miss Nomak). The book is in a plain, glossy white cover, (or maybe it is egg shell white, I get my color swatches mixed up), with merely the title in candy apple red printed on the front. I appreciate the humble approach by the author. No fancy designs and pictures that distract from the importance of the information contained within.

Nomak lays out his case in a brief 105 pages as to why he thinks the rapture will happen on September 22, of 2017. With books like this, I believe brevity is the better way to go; get right to the point. Additionally, Nomak avoids all the screaming hysteria typical of the prophetic-date setting genre. That means there is no gratuitous over use of ALL CAPS and exclamation points. It is hard reading a book where I feel as though the author is yelling at me. Instead, Nomak has opted for a more conversational style, using the candy apple red lettering, along with bold italics, to emphasize significant information one should ponder. I appreciated that. He wants to persuade with his arguments, not shout down at people for being idiots.

According to Nomak, he was inspired to write his short book from one Edger Whisenant wrote called, 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will be in 1988. [17 Reasons, i]. The problem with Whisenant’s failed date-setting book was the fact that technology was not at the place in 1988 for the Antichrist to pull off what he needs to do technologically so to deceive the world in a short 3 and a half years of the tribulation. Whisenant did not realize this important point in the 1980s. [ibid].

After that brief introduction, Nomak outlines his 17 reasons and expounds a little bit on each one. I’ll review them in turn here,

#1 – The signs Jesus presents during His Olivet Discourse, Matthew 24, Mark 13. The phrase, know man knows the day and the hour, is really a Hebrew idiom speaking to when Rosh Hashanah will take place on the Hebrew festival calendar.

#2 – The astrological star chart that speaks to the Gospel in the Stars when interpreted correctly will give us the exact date of September 22-23 as the starting of the Jubilee of Jubilee’s fulfilling Daniel’s prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27.

#3 – The 6 Day war in 1967 restarted the prophetic time clock for Israel. 2017 will be the 50th year of the 6 Day war.

#4 – God’s Feasts point to the rapture in September 22, 2017.

#5 – Rosh Hashanah, 2017, will fall in year 5777 of the Jewish calendar. 777 is the number of completion.

#6 – The last ten historical years of Jubilee are all tied to significant events in Jewish history.

#7 – The blowing of the shofar trumpet will take place on September 22, 2017.

#8 – The fulfillment of Revelation 17:10-11, with the seven kings who are fallen being the last seven popes before the 8th, who is pope Francis.

#9 – The four blood moons point to a significant sign in the constellation of Leo the lion (a symbol for Christ), that will have exactly 12 stars in the year 2017.

#10 – The four horsemen of the apocalypse represent the totality of Islam which will rise in power before the rapture. The white, red, black, and green on the pan-Islamic flag.

#11 – Allah is a false god, who is called “the deity.” (he doesn’t really explain how this is a reason, sadly).

#12 – The Ottoman empire represented the feet of clay in the statue of Daniel’s vision, Daniel 2.

#13 – The Ottoman empire will rise again during the end-times before the rapture.

#14 – The rise of Islam’s influence throughout the world. (I think he could have combined #13 and #14 into one point, but I figure that would have wrecked his working title and he would had to have gone back and done a big re-edit).

#15 – Planet X will come to destroy the world. (Google it).

collide#16 – God will give humanity over to a strong delusion to accept an alien messiah. Alien, in the sense of little grey men like in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

#17 – Myles, Nomak’s guardian messenger, gave him the 17th reason, which has to do with how Satan is deceiving everyone about the true nature of grey aliens, who are really human/demon hybrids like in Noah’s day before the flood.

mylesNomak ends his book with an exhortation to stand fast in these final days. The end of the world is knocking on our doors, he passionately explains, and we need to go to Jesus to be saved before these events happen or you risk being left behind. He further recommends watching a video posted on the AV Biblebeliever’s youtube channel describing how Roman Catholicism and Islam are connected. In fact, he is so convinced that you will be blown away by the contents of that video, he highlights it several times throughout his book.

He closes his book with a model prayer you can pray, in sky blue font to offset it from the candy apple red font in other parts of his book, in order to be saved. He then signs off telling the reader how he loves us all.

The book is a quick read, and you can obtain a copy for $6.95 at the lulu.com, self-publishing website.

Peter Ruckman: The Crank as Artist

lifePeter Ruckman died. In a Chick tract-style nightmare, he was stripped naked and hauled by a gigantic angel to stand before a glowing outline of Jesus as the universe watched his entire life play out on a enormous drive-in movie screen.

Ruckman was the grandfather of 20th-century wild-eyed, kooksville KJV Onlyism. He was to KJVOlyism what Rousas Rushdoony was to modern theonomy and L.Ron Hubbard to Scientology. A despicable character who was both unfit for the pulpit and unqualified to be called a minister of God, Ruckman’s brawling rhetoric spawned at least two generations of worthless, pugnacious, “bad attitude” fighting Baptists whose doctrines have become a malignancy upon Christ’s Church.

He had an overheated type-writer from which his fevered mind birthed a number of his false doctrines he published in rambling, often times incoherent commentaries, so-called “Bible studies,” and of course his monthly Bible Believer’s Bulletin screeds.

I was first bewitched by Ruckman’s written materials when I was a stupid, untaught new Christian in college. As a recent convert to KJVOnlyism, I secured his book, Problem Texts, that attempts to provide an explanation for every apparent contradiction in the King James Bible. I thought it would help me answer skeptics on my school campus. It only helped to keep me mired in error and made Christianity a laughing stock. Probably the most bizarre of his books is called Black is Beautiful in which he writes about UFOs, government conspiracies, and other paranormal activity. A full review can be read here, Refuse Profane and Old Wives’ Fables.

A commenter on another blog reminded us how Ruckman illustrated all of his book covers. In fact, his crude chalk drawing style is copied for a lot of the lame, seizure-inducing KJVO websites that look like they were created using Windows ME “Paint,” we see on the internet today.

Here are some of his better gems,

liarslibraryhypercalvinismI think he is confusing garden variety, biblical Calvinism with hyper-Calvinism.
The donkey ears are a nice touch, though.

mythologicalmarkrapturesclownsvilleI think this is his take on the Brownsville Revival, which took place in Pensacola

masterpieceHere’s another version,

satanA number of years ago, one of his sons contacted me out of the blue to fill me in on a particularly aggressive KJVO opponent I had been tussling with on my blog. His son was an amiable fellow, and though he was not in agreement with a lot of his father’s ministry, he said that his dad was the real deal, believing everything that he taught and producing the volumes of printed material all on his own.

As “real” and sincere as he might have been, his stuff will only lead a person to spiritual disaster. I can only pray his wretched teachings will fade from the collective memory of the faithful in the Christian church.

Rachel Held Evans Then and Now

Sibylline Oracle, Rachel Held Evans, September 7, 2012,

God’s name is not something to use to score political points.  It’s not something to throw around lightly or to use as a weapon against a political opponent. God and Our Political Platforms.

God’s little sweetheart, Rachel Held Evans, November 19, 2012,

This, I believe, is the real evangelical disaster—not that Barack Obama is president and Mitt Romney is not, but that evangelicalism has gotten so enmeshed with politics, its success or failure can be gauged by an election. The Real “Evangelical Disaster”

Rachel Held Evans, January 30, 2016,

Rachel Held Evans, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Rachel Held Evans is a Christian blogger and the author of Faith Unraveled, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, and Searching for Sunday.In addition, Ms. Evans speaks at retreats, conferences, universities, and churches across the country. She has been featured on NPR, Slate, The BBC, The Washington Post,  The Huffington Post, CNN, The View, and The Today Show, and in 2012, she was named one ofChristianity Today’s “50 Women to Watch.”  Ms. Evans received a B.A. from Bryan College.

President Obama Announces Key Administration Posts

Remember kids, Christians and politics is bad and makes Jesus cry when conservative, evangelical Bible-believing Christians are involved. But enlightened, faith-building when leftist, pseudo-Christian bloggers are involved.

Religion in Star Wars

Star WarsSo. The latest Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, was finally released and it, shall we say, awakened the millions of fans who were enthralled with the original series back some 35 years ago. (I’m not counting the terrifically bad episodes 1-3 when I say “enthralled).

Latched onto all of the pop culture excitement for the new movie like mynocks sucking on power cables are Christian fundamentalist types wagging their fingers and earnestly lecturing us how Star Wars is nothing more than New Agey propaganda that is a Jim Bakker CERN particle accelerating portal to unleashing devil worshiping all over the world. If kids go watch Star Wars, by golly, the next step is Ouija boards, consuming Monster Energy drinks, and a spiraling descent into a hellish, Chick tract witch coven nightmare!

Over the weekend of the movie’s release, I got into a tussle with one of those finger-wagging religious moralists at a FaceBook group. He had posted a link to a lecture railing against Star Wars as New Age/Devil unleashing propaganda. The speaker is the pastor of a KJV Only church in MN (Of course!) who also has an audio catalog of sermons and podcasts crying out against the hidden evils of Christmas and CCM. The guy reminds me of a watered-down version of barefoot runner, Steven Anderson.

At any rate, my FB antagonist insisted that George Lucas had filled his movies with thematic elements pulled from a number of eastern, mystery religions and ignorant Christians gleefully lap up those hidden demonic messages all for the sake of entertainment. They are being duped by the devil into a life worldly compromise and devil worship.

Well of course I agree that “spiritual” themes exist in the Star Wars movies. I certainly don’t deny that. Obviously an universally transcendent “force” that a person can tap into and manipulate for either good or bad purposes is new agey. I mean, the whole idea of a Jedi order that demands a loveless commitment to a life of singleness and celibacy reeks of the monastic lifestyle promoted in many religious sects.

But do those religious themes mean that Lucas intended to make a series of movies filled with hidden spiritual undertones for the purpose of promoting a religion that the devil will use to bankrupt the Christian faith?

Good grief! Of course not. Do you seriously think that neck-bearded, flannel-wearing toy salesman created his cinematic universe for the purpose of introducing generations of children and then their children to religion? No! He wants to sell toys. Lots and lots of toys.

Sure, Lucas pulled from Joseph Campbell’s works regarding how hero journey myths weave themselves through various cultures, but to conclude it was for the purpose of creating a new religion in order to fool people into becoming New Agers is patently absurd. There was good reason Lucas insisted on maintaining the merchandising rights to his movies. It’s the reason why you can get a set of Dengar and Bossk plush toys,

dengarbosskBut let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Lucas has intended to make disciples for his oddball Jedi religion with his movies. Does it really matter? Seriously?

I asked my FB debater to tell me how many folks he knew who watched the movies and then left the theater thinking, “I really want to know more about that dark side of the force thing,” and before you know it the person has created the church of the Sith that is rapidly growing in popularity.

He had to say he knew of none, which is true. There aren’t any. Oh, I know somebody can maybe find a few anecdotal examples from around the world somewhere. But I bet genuine examples will prove as difficult at conjuring up than the stolen data plans of the Death Star.

Most normal people are like me. They grew up loving the movies. Perhaps collected the toys and action figures and replayed the various movie scenes with them. My kids currently do the same thing. They build the Lego ships and swing their plastic light sabers around at each other.

bibBut eventually they will grow out of the toys, and maybe they’ll be like me, a fan that maintains a nostalgia for the original movies so that I have a talking wampa on my desk sitting next to a Admiral Ackbar action figure caught in a mousetrap as part of my “geekosphere.”

Apart from the middle-aged weirdos who dress up like Bib Fortuna for Comic Con, I don’t know of anyone who even cares about alleged religious themes in Star Wars.

Honestly, the real hidden agenda of the devil, if we even want to call it that seeing that his agenda is clearly discernible, is to get conspiracy mongering Christians to obsess on silly things like demonic mysticism in the Star Wars movies, rather than focus upon those elements that do enslave the souls of men.

The biggest example being the shallow, spiritless preaching and fleshly entertainment that comes from the pulpits of the vast majority of Churches in the US that has only led to millions of false converts. 

Or what about the horrendous theology being taught, like the influence of the stealth atheism of Biologos in churches, or the man-centered apologetics that has created apostates to Catholicism. Worst of all is charismaticism that has been a devastating, negative force on Christians throughout the Church worldwide for the last 40-plus years.

That is where our attention should be focused regarding biblical purity, doctrine, and spiritual compromise. Not upon some misguided conspiratorial alarmism about a series of popular movies.

Thank You Mr. Atheist for Your Loving Concern

from the Hip&Thigh archives

 

Found in my in-box,

To: fred@fredsbibletalk.com
From: *****
Subject: RE: [QUAR][Barracuda] Bible inerrant

 

Fred,

I accidently [sic] ran into your internet site and read your article about an inerrant Bible.

I won’t go into the area of screwed up translations.I will copy and paste some of your statements and comment on them.

Paste from your site: Anything He does will be untainted with error, and because He has breathed out scripture, the scripture is then tied to His purity and holiness and can correctly said to be inerrant. 

From me>>To believe your bible in any translation(or original manuscripts) is inerrant & god breathed, here is what you must believe.

#1.A snake can talk(remember the snake was cursed to crawl on it’s belly & eat dust.

#2.A donkey can talk.

#3.That man was so stupid back then that he actually thought he could build a tower to heaven.

#4.You have to believe against any logical thinking that all those animals,incl,snakes & all different kinds of insects and enough food to feed all of them(different kinds of food)for almost one year would fit on an ark that size,which is impossible.

#5.You have to believe there was food for them to eat when they came off the ark even though the whole earth was supposedly covered in water.

#6.You have to believe in a flat earth because these supposedly inspired by god people said so back then.

#7.You have to believe the earth is 6 to 10,000 years old despite overwhelming proof it is much,much older,even if not 4.5 billion years old.

#8.You have to believe all those heavenly bodies out there that they are still finding were created in one literal day(morning & evening)that is despite the fact that even now they are finding suns,stars just now beginning to form.

#9.You have to believe god made the sun stand still when it already stands still or believe god stopped the rotation of the earth which anyone should know would be a disaster in many ways for earth.

#10.You have to believe Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt which is unbelievable.

#11.You have to believe Lot had intercourse with 2 of his daughters on 2 different nights and knew it not.

#12.You have to believe Jesus was concieved [sic] without human intercourse this despite the fact that at least 20 other dying & resurrecting savior sun gods had this claimed of them long,long before the supposed time of Jesus,you claim them a myth but the same tale about Jesus true.

I could go on about the impossibilities you claim to be inerrant in your bible.The names of authors of the whole Bible is unknown the names claimed to be the writters was guessed at by Hebrews(O.T.) and Christians(N.T.)no one ZERO knows who wrote one word in the bible.Only a brainwashed,mind controlled christian could ever believe the Bible inerrant,it’s to obvious that it is not for any thinking person.

Greetings ____,

I want you to know how much I appreciated your email. I was touched by the fact you took the time to express to me your concerns in writing. I am a rather obscure and unknown internet presence with a small time blog that maybe gets 250 visits a day, half of which are people looking for joint pain medication. I am no where in the league of a Steve Hays, or the guys at Creation Ministries Internationalor even that pseudonymous J.P Holding. In the grand scheme of things, I am a guppy in a big, big pond of much larger, more significant fish.

Yet you thought enough of me, someone who is a total stranger to you, to offer your help with straighten me out. Most atheists are not even as considerate as you, but instead lace their correspondence with rude, insulting remarks and scurrilous comments.

You far exceed the hacks from the Rational Response Squad. That is what I particularly like about your email. It contained none of the snarky arrogance common place among atheists. You even took the time to list some examples where you believe I have intellectually derailed.

First off, I must confess my overall dismay. Your email really shook me up. I mean, in the entire 2,000 years of church history since apologists have been answering critics with their polemics, I don’t believe I have read any biblio-skeptic offer the examples you provide here. You must be praised for originality and freshness with your criticisms. And certainly I haven’t read a Christian book attempting to answer them.

Take some of the Bible verses you pointed out.

You mean to tell me what I learned in 3rd grade Sunday school class,via a felt board, that the Tower of Babel was just a large temple and the expression “whose top reached to the heavens” a way of saying it was used for unifying humanity around a false religion, is truly mistaken? You mean to tell me it was a mythical story describing a structure designed to take men into heaven itself? Say, like a giant space elevator or something? Yes, I guess I can see how that is a bit silly and anti-science.

spaceelevator
Oh, and to think I just presupposed the fact that since God is God, then miraculous, one time events like a talking snake, or a talking donkey, or Lot’s wife turning into a pillar of salt (assuming the expression is not a way of saying she died in the judgment of sulfur and brimstone) could be expected to happen. Gosh, I had no idea I was suppose to look at all reality only through material naturalistic uniformitarianism as a philosophical filter. Thank you for clarifying that for me.

Then, I also am gladdened your email was devoid of any phony, educated condescending huff and puff. Many atheists I have encountered in the past carry on with their criticisms about the reliability of the biblical text as if they have genuinely studied history and textual criticism, but in reality, they are ignorantly repeating 3rd, maybe 4th hand sources as they type away in their mother’s basement.

But you are different. You seem to draw from a deep well of information and personal experience when you point out any belief in the inerrancy of Scripture has zero evidence and no thinking person would adhere to such a belief.

Golly, I have only been studying the Bible for more than 20 years, a good half of that time at a seminary. I learned just two years of Greek and a year and a half of Hebrew. You must have really studied those languages a lot. How long have you been a student of textual critical principles?

I’m guessing now, since reading your email, that I have wasted my time heavily immersing myself in the critical studies of many of the brilliant textual scholars the world has known. Men like Constantine Von Tischendorf, Johann Bengel, Robert Dick Wilson, E.J. Young, D.A. Carson and Daniel Wallace, a man who actually handles and documents the original texts often under consideration when we speak of inerrancy.

In fact, my church put on a conference attended by 5,000 plus men just on the subject of how the Bible is inerrant. Those guys all claim the historical documents are overwhelmingly trustworthy and reliable and provide for us an almost 100 percent accuracy when it comes to the veracity of the biblical text.

I reckon the same goes for biblical creationism. You really left me scratching my head, because I don’t believe I have read any one who has ever addressed the star light problems you raised in your email.

At any rate, you have really caused me to take a step back. I now have to return to evaluating what I have learned thanks to your thoughtful exposure of these non-thinking and brainwashed dolts.

So thank you for your loving concern. I am in your service, for you have saved me much embarrassment.

Fred

Proofs for the Non-Existence of God

argumentswonBack in October 2005, the first year I began my blogging adventure, I stumbled upon a list of so-called proofs for the existence of God. Oddly, the list had been created by an atheist group, and they had posted it as a means to mock Christianity.

Hundreds of Proofs for the Existence of God

A Christian blog, maintained by a handful of amateur BIOLA trained apologists, linked to the list. While shaking their heads and sighing heavily, they lamented how the “proofs” represented the sorrowful decline in reasonable Christian apologetics. The horrible arguments of those “proofs” demonstrates how church youth groups haven’t been taught apologetics correctly and are the prime reason why high school grads are leaving for college and becoming screeching You Tube atheists. They are also the reason why there is a need for amateur BIOLA trained apologists to lead youth apologetic seminars at your church.

The “proofs” are arranged as various sets of syllogisms with the conclusion always stating, “Therefore, God exists.” For example:

Cosmological Argument
(1) If I say something must have a cause, it has a cause.
(2) I say the universe must have a cause.
(3) Therefore, the universe has a cause.
(4) Therefore, God exists.

As I was looking over them, two things came to mind. First, they are helpful in noting how poorly Christians can at times argue for their faith. Yet, on the other hand, they reveal how illogical atheists become when arguing for their alleged non-faith.

The atheist website provides a good illustration of what I mean. Linking from the parody “proofs” is an article entitled Why Atheism? that actually attempts to debunk the classic theological arguments. The author lists the tools he uses when critiquing theological arguments: logic and verifiable evidence. Yet he seems to be oblivious to the fact that any evidence must be interpreted and interpretations require faith commitments a person brings to the evidence. He is just switching one faith for another faith.

Always on the look out for blog fodder, when I discovered the list I wanted to attempt a re-write of all of them and post my own list of “300 plus proof for the non-existence of God.”  However, as I glanced over them, the arguments quickly became simplistic as well as repetitive and it even got a little nasty at places.

Instead of the entire list, I posted the first 20 or so and then some of my favorites. I remembered the post recently when I was doing some clean up of my blog and so I thought I would freshen it up a bit and repost if for a newer generation of readers. First, I note the original argument as it appears in the list, and then I followed up with my response-re-write highlighted in blue.

TRANSCENDENTAL ARGUMENT
(1) If reason exists then God exists.
(2) Reason exists.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

TRANSCENDENTAL ARGUMENT
(1) Reason and God cannot exist together.
(2) Reason exists.
(3) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.

COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT
(1) If I say something must have a cause, it has a cause.
(2) I say the universe must have a cause.
(3) Therefore, the universe has a cause.
(4) Therefore, God exists.

COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT
(1) Who says something must have a cause?
(2) I say the universe didn’t have a specific cause.
(3) Therefore, the universe has no cause.
(4) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.

ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (I)
(1) I define God to be X.
(2) Since I can conceive of X, X must exist.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (I)
(1) I define God to be X.
(2) Since I have never experienced X, X must not exist.
(3) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.


ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (II)
(1) I can conceive of a perfect God.
(2) One of the qualities of perfection is existence.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (II)
(1) I can’t conceive of a perfect God.
(2) One of the qualities of perfection has to be existence.
(3) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.

MODAL ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT
(1) God is either necessary or unnecessary.
(2) God is not unnecessary, therefore God must be necessary.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

MODAL ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT
(1) God is neither necessary or unnecessary.
(2) God is not necessary, therefore God must be unnecessary.
(3) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.


TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (I)
(1) Check out the world/universe/giraffe. Isn’t it complex?
(2) Only God could have made them so complex.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (I)
(1) Check out the world/universe/giraffe. You call that complex?
(2) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.


ARGUMENT FROM BEAUTY, aka TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (II)
(1) Isn’t that baby/sunset/flower/tree beautiful?
(2) Only God could have made them so beautiful.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

ARGUMENT FROM BEAUTY, aka TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (II)
(1) Isn’t that baby/sunset/flower/tree beautiful?
(2) There doesn’t need to be a God to have made them so beautiful; besides beauty is relative.
(3) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.

ARGUMENT FROM MIRACLES
(1) My aunt had cancer.
(2) The doctors gave her all these horrible treatments.
(3) My aunt prayed to God and now she doesn’t have cancer.
(4) Therefore, God exists.

ARGUMENT FROM NON-MIRACLES
(1) My aunt had cancer.
(2) The doctors gave her all these horrible treatments.
(3) My aunt prayed to God and she wasn’t cured from her cancer, despite the horrible treatments.
(4) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.


MORAL ARGUMENT (I)
(1) Person X, a well-known Atheist, was morally inferior to the rest of us.
(2) Therefore, God exists.


MORAL ARGUMENT (I)
(1) Person X, a well-known Christian, was morally inferior to the rest of us.
(2) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.


MORAL ARGUMENT (II)
(1) In my younger days I was a cursing, drinking, smoking, gambling, child-molesting, thieving, murdering, bed-wetting bastard.
(2) That all changed once I became religious.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

MORAL ARGUMENT (II)
(1) In my younger days I was a church going, preacher loving, Bible-thumping, tongue-speaking, holy roller.
(2) That all changed when I became an atheist.
(3) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.

ARGUMENT FROM CREATION
(1) If evolution is false, then creationism is true, and therefore God exists.
(2) Evolution can’t be true, since I lack the mental capacity to understand it; moreover, to accept its truth would cause me to be
uncomfortable
(3) Therefore, God exists.

ARGUMENT FROM EVOLUTION
(1) If evolution is true, then creationism is false, and therefore God doesn’t exist.
(2) Evolution must be true, since I hate God and don’t care to represent the creationist viewpoint accurately; moreover, to accept its truth would cause me to be uncomfortable
(3) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.


ARGUMENT FROM FEAR
(1) If there is no God then we’re all going to die.
(2) Therefore, God exists.

ARGUMENT FROM FEAR
(1) If there is no God then we’re all going to die.
(2) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.

ARGUMENT FROM THE BIBLE
(1) [arbitrary passage from OT]
(2) [arbitrary passage from NT]
(3) Therefore, God exists.

ARGUMENT FROM THE BIBLE
(1) [arbitrary passage taken out of context from OT]
(2) [arbitrary passage taken out of context from NT]
(3) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.

ARGUMENT FROM INTELLIGENCE
(1) Look, there’s really no point in me trying to explain the whole thing to you stupid Atheists — it’s too complicated for you to understand. God exists whether you like it or not.
(2) Therefore, God exists.

ARGUMENT FROM INTELLIGENCE (AKA, The Bill Nye Explanation)
(1) Look, there’s really no point in me trying to explain the whole thing to you stupid Christians — it’s too complicated for you to understand. God doesn’t exists whether you like it or not.
(2) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.

ARGUMENT FROM UNINTELLIGENCE
(1) Okay, I don’t pretend to be as intelligent as you guys — you’re obviously very well read. But I read the Bible, and nothing you say can convince me that God does not exist. I feel him in my heart, and you can feel him too, if you’ll just ask him into your life. “For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son into the world, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish from the earth.” John 3:16.
(2) Therefore, God exists.

ARGUMENT FROM UNINTELLIGENCE
(1) Okay, I don’t pretend to be as intelligent as you guys — you’re obviously very well read. But I read the Bible, and nothing you say can convince me that God exist. I’ve never felt him in my heart, and I bet you can’t feel him either, I’ve asked him into my life dozens of times and nothing happened. “For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son into the world, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish from the earth?” John 3:16. Bah, nonsense!
(2) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.

ARGUMENT FROM BELIEF
(1) If God exists, then I should believe in Him.
(2) I believe in God.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

ARGUMENT FROM NON-BELIEF
(1) If God exists, then I should believe in Him.
(2) I hate God.
(3) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.

ARGUMENT FROM INTIMIDATION
(1) See this bonfire?
(2) Therefore, God exists.

ARGUMENT FROM INTIMIDATION
(1) See this bonfire? (or AK-47 for those in North Korea and China)
(2) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.

PARENTAL ARGUMENT
(1) My mommy and daddy told me that God exists.
(2) Therefore, God exists.

PARENTAL ARGUMENT
(1) My mommy and daddy told me that God doesn’t exist.
(2) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.


ARGUMENT FROM NUMBERS
(1) Millions and millions of people believe in God.
(2) They can’t all be wrong, can they?
(3) Therefore, God exists.

ARGUMENT FROM NUMBERS
(1) Hundreds and hundreds of people don’t believe in God, and some of them are intellectuals.
(2) They can’t all be wrong, can they?
(3) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.


ARGUMENT FROM ABSURDITY
(1) Maranathra!
(2) Therefore, God exists.

ARGUMENT FROM ABSURDITY
(1) Order from Chaos!
(2) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.


ARGUMENT FROM INTERNET AUTHORITY
(1) There is a website that successfully argues for the existence of God.
(2) Here is the URL.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

ARGUMENT FROM INTERNET AUTHORITY
(1) There is a website that successfully argues against the existence of God.
(2) Here is the URL.
(3) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.

ARGUMENT FROM INCOMPLETE DEVASTATION
(1) A plane crashed killing 143 passengers and crew.
(2) But one child survived with only third-degree burns.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

ARGUMENT FROM INCOMPLETE DEVASTATION
(1) A plane crashed killing 143 passengers and crew.
(2) But one child survived with only third-degree burns.
(3) If there was a God, he would have prevented it all.
(4) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.


ARGUMENT FROM PERFECTION
(1) If there are absolute moral standards, then God exists.
(2) Atheists say that there are no absolute moral standards.
(3) But that’s because they don’t want to admit to being sinners.
(4) Therefore, there are absolute moral standards.
(5) Therefore, God exists.

ARGUMENT FROM IMPERFECTION
(1) Atheists say that there are no absolute moral standards, even though they live life as if there are.

(2) If there are no absolute moral standards, even though reality says otherwise, then God can’t exist.
(3) Therefore, atheists who don’t believe in God are absolutely sure there are no absolute moral standards, except that God doesn’t exist.
(4) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.

PEACOCK ARGUMENT FROM SELECTIVE MEMORY
(1) [Christian asks “stumper” question.]
(2) [Atheist answers question.]
(3) [A lapse of time]
(4) [Christian repeats question.]
(5) [Atheist repeats answer.]
(6) [A lapse of time]
(7) [Christian repeats question.]
(8) [Atheist repeats answer.]
(9) [A lapse of time]
(10) Atheist, you never answered my question.
(11) Therefore, God exists.

PEACOCK ARGUMENT FROM SELECTIVE MEMORY
(1) [Atheist asks “stumper” question.]
(2) [Christian answers question.]
(3) [A lapse of time]
(4) [Atheist makes grandiloquent “truth” claim about how he perceives reality.]
(5) [Christian points out Atheist’s unproven presupposition for such a claim.]
(6) [A lapse of time]
(7) [Atheist misconstrues a handful of biblical passages.]
(8) [Christian points out Atheist’s error.]
(9) [A lapse of time]
(10) Christian, you never answer my questions.
(11) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.

ARGUMENT FROM BRUTE FORCE
(1) [Christian tears Darwin Fish off car, breaks it in thirds, sticks it to driver’s side window.]
(2) Therefore, the theory of evolution is wrong.
(3) Therefore, creationism is right.
(4) Therefore, God exists.

(1) [Atheist tears “truth” fish eating “Darwin” fish sticker off car (along with the “support our troops” ribbon) and threatens Christian with profanity.]
(2) Christian grabs his children and runs for his life.
(3) Therefore, Creationism is wrong.
(4) Therefore, evolution is right.
(5) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.

ARGUMENT FROM APOLOGETICS WEBPAGES
(1) I was surfing the Net and came across this really cool webpage of apologetics.
(2) Their arguments were stunning. I couldn’t refute them.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

(1) I was surfing the Net and came across this really cool webpage of atheistic arguments.
(2) Their arguments were above my head and I couldn’t refute them.
(3) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.

ARGUMENT FROM SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN (II)
(1) Answers in Genesis copied the full text of an article from Scientific American.
(2) Scientific American sent one email to Answers in Genesis saying that they don’t necessarily want their articles distributed for free in [sic] the internet by just anyone.
(3) See? Scientific American persecutes Christians!
(4) Therefore, God exists.

ARGUMENT FROM SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN (II)
(1) Answers in Genesis copied the full text of an article from Scientific American
(2) Scientific American sent one email to Answers in Genesis saying they don’t necessarily want their articles distributed for free on the internet by just anyone.
(3) Answers in Genesis points out that Scientific American is woefully ignorant of copyright and fair use laws and tells them to go educate themselves.
(4) See? Answers in Genesis are dishonest hypocrites
(5) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.

ARGUMENT FROM THIS WONDERFUL HISTORIAN
(1) There’s this wonderful historian!
(2) His academic credentials are NEVER doubted by like-minded Christians!
(3) Now, this historian has proved conclusively, to his own satisfaction and to the satisfaction of like-minded Christians, that the Bible must be totally true.
(4) Therefore, both the Old Testament and the New Testament have been proven true.
(5) I hear the skeptic ask: If this is historically true, why do so many historians doubt the reliability of the Bible?
(6) The answer is, there is a conspiracy among the unfaithful to prevent this proof of Christianity being known.
(7) Naturally, the conspiracy must include powerful people like President Bush, or it could not succeed.
(8) Doubt not, O unbeliever, only have FAITH!
(9) Therefore, God exists.

ARGUMENT FROM THIS WONDERFUL HISTORIAN
(1) There’s this wonderful historian!
(2) His academic credentials are NEVER doubted by atheists everywhere!
(3) Now, this historian has proved conclusively, to his own satisfaction and to the satisfaction of atheists, that the Bible must be totally false.
(4) Therefore, both the Old Testament and the New Testament have been proven false.
(5) I hear Christians ask: If this atheist historian is correct, why do so many other historians believe the reliability of the Bible?
(6) The answer is, there is a bias among the faithful to prevent his research against the Bible from being known.
(7) Naturally, that bias must include powerful people, or it would succeed.
(8) Put away your bias, O believer, stop with your blind FAITH!
(9) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.

A Plea for Christian Parents to not be Idiots

frescojesusRecently on Facebook, I read this screaming head line,

Mom’s Angry Note to Teacher About Islam Assignment Goes Viral

It links to a story about a hysterical mother in Bakersfield, CA, (about a 90 min. drive north from where I live) who believes creeping sharia is overtaking the schools.

Troubled that her son had to do an assignment that appeared to be gratuitously too friendly toward the religion of Islam, she wrote a nasty missive across the homework page explaining in no uncertain terms – some of it in all CAPS – that her son was no longer going to continue with the assignment. She even included a smattering of Bible verses like Ephesians 6:10 and 1 Corinthians 12:9-10.

Oh boy.

Lookit. I sympathize with the mother. I understand completely her thinking that believes Christianity is being marginalized in America. It is also frustrating to witness the popular culture succumb to the Zeitgeist of dhimminitude that wants us all to pretend that the mass slaughter, butchery, rape, and destruction that has spread across the Middle East and into Europe has nothing to do with Islam. So that when the local school begins sending home assignments that favor Islam over all the other world religions and especially to the exclusion of Christianity, I know this mother’s rage.

But let’s take a step back, breathe in a deep breath, and think about this for a moment.

Lady, while I feel the heat of your passion regarding this matter, is the most productive, wiser course of action to stigmatize your son by writing an angry note across his homework page and posting it on Facebook so it can become viral and the Onion can write up a parody article mocking all Christians for reacting that way?  You seriously want to toss your son headlong through a gauntlet of ridicule and mockery by the hands of the media, his peers, and bloggers like me?

As of the writing of this post, my kids have spent the last couple of weeks or so preparing written assignments on Islam. We homeschool; so our kids aren’t just another brick in the wall for the postmodern leftist in charge of the American educational system to brainwash. You read that right: At least a couple of weeks.

In fact, the past weekend before my post here, I was helping one of them write a paragraph on the person of Mohammed and his flight to Mecca; because you know, he was a real, historical figure who founded a religion. Yet I honestly have no worries about any of them becoming ISIS soldiers, because you know what? I’M ACTUALLY INVOLVED WITH THEIR EDUCATION REGARDING ISLAM! Go figure.

Rather than scrawling an angry note across their homework assignment denouncing the teacher and thus subjecting my kids to embarrassment and the possibility of life crippling scorn, we discussed Islam. We discussed it’s founder, Mohammed, what Islam teaches, and the actions of Muslims in today’s world, framing it altogether in a biblical, Christian worldview.

Additionally, if I perceived a gross imbalance in the way my kids were being taught about Islam as compared to the other world religions, why I would take the initiative to contact the teacher, express my concerns, and address the need for them to modify the curriculum to have the kids read from the London Baptist Confession, or recite the Lord’s Prayer, or whatever.

The last thing you want to become is one of those Red State Evangelical activist types who take their marching orders from Todd Starnes’s imbalanced, handwringing opinion pieces supposedly reporting how Christians are suffering persecution in America. You are doing Christianity a disfavor if that’s the case.

A number of years ago, when my wife still taught elementary school, the kids in her grade where given an assignment to read a biography on a famous, historical person, build a doll of the individual, and prepare a brief presentation to give in class.  So for example, a kid might do a report on Benjamin Franklin and he builds a little figure out of popsicle sticks with a head that had cotton balls for hair and a tiny kite. Another one may dress up a Ken doll like FDR and have him sitting in a doll-sized wheel chair. You get the picture.

One kid, a girl if I recall, wanted to read the Bible as her biography and talk on Jesus. Her teacher, not knowing how to respond, (because honestly, the Bible is not technically a biography in the sense that these kids were learning), goes to my wife and asks if the Bible could be considered a biography. My wife is like, well, not in the way the assignment is asking the kids to read a biography. So the girl’s proposal was turned down. It was suggested she do one on a famous preacher or missionary.

Guess what? How do you think the parents reacted? Do you think they were like, maybe we can follow the teacher’s advice and do a biography on a famous preacher? Because what you are doing is beyond the parameters of the assignment and she is giving you an opportunity to write on a famous Christian.

Well of course not! They take this as godless persecution from the liberal communists at the state ran school. The parents demanded that she be allowed to exercise her first amendment rights, so the teacher relented and let her do her report.

When the kid submits the project, what she brought in was a hideous homemade doll nailed through the hands and feet to two boards fashioned into a cross. She had used her own hair to make the hair and beard of Jesus. It was like some freakish, Fundamentalist voodoo doll. If camera phones had been available at the time, I would have taken a picture and would post it in this article, but alas.

Come on now. That is the kind of crazy stuff the apostate anti-homeschoolers recount on their Patheos blog accounts. The worst thing about the whole ordeal is that a couple of teachers who were unbelievers could not believe Christians were such wackos. In the end, the Christian’s rights were “upheld” and “persecution” protected by free-speech, but the unintended consequences had a negative effect for the Gospel. Hopefully you will think of your reaction and future reactions with that in mind, because you aren’t helping Jesus out, but making His followers look like idiots.

About that lying “prophet” that rebuked John MacArthur

prophetIf you run in my social media circles, you know that Sunday, August 16th, a self-appoint, spiritual narcissist, by the name of John O’Neill, jumped up on the platform at Grace Community Church when John MacArthur was greeting the congregation and telling about his summer. I was so totally bummed that I was out of town and had to miss it.

Once he got on the platform, the prophetic crusader loudly shouted for John MacArthur to repent from his cessationist views. He himself was proof that cessationism is heresy, because He was a living prophet of God! or some such nonsense before security dragged him away.

Now we are in LA. We have our share of wack-a-doodles visiting our church. There are epic stories. From the guy brandishing a spear in John’s office to Mark Driscoll crashing a conference. There has always been times when folks are protesting out in front of our church, or wandering about the campus causing scenes in a Sunday school class, and on occasion, attempting to commandeer the pulpit. So the stunt our prophet crank pulled isn’t too unusual.

However, in our day and age, when lone wackos have shot people, including members of a church, what O’Neill did sort of put folks on edge. Being clad all in black and wearing a backpack also didn’t help convey his prophetic message to the congregation, either. Hence the reason there was all this nervous laughing from the audience after John made a crack about Scotland with an attempt to ease the tension in the worship center. His stunt displayed an woeful lack of self-awareness and overall discernment.

In spite of what really amounted to an embarrassingly stupid thing to do, in the last week or so, there have been genuine people defending this guy, likening him to a 21st century version of Jeremiah crying out against the religious establishment.

The first odd ball article came from a confused woman who praised the faux prophet for doing what he did and even suggesting it was the only way someone as big time as MacArthur could ever hear the truth about his heretical views of cessationism.

I say confused and odd ball, because last year the same lady rebuked the Mars Hill/Mark Driscoll protesters as ones disobeying the Word of God for attacking a pastor. They needed to heed Scripture’s admonition to touch not the Lord’s anointed. Disconnection much.

Then, Michael Brown chimed in with an editorial for Charisma News Online that wondered if God really sent a prophet to John MacArthur to tell him the truth and confront him for his divisive rhetoric against charismatics.

It’s amazingly unbelievable. But par for the course from charismatic lunacy that masquerades as “filled with the spirit.”

I happen to personally know John O’Neill wasn’t a prophet, because God’s prophets do not lie or misrepresent their true intentions and that is exactly what he did.

You see, I met him back in early June and had an extended conversation with him.

It was on a Sunday evening. The children’s ministries were hosting a plaza fellowship for the families of Grace Church. My wife and I were popping popcorn when he came strolling along with his backpack. We started chatting and immediately recognized he was Scottish. I asked if he was here to go to seminary. He said no; but that he was an open air preacher who had come to LA to evangelize. I asked if he knew about our church. He said yes he did, and get this, he told me HE LIKED JOHN MACARTHUR AND APPRECIATED HIS MINISTRY!

What was that? Yep, he emphatically stated he liked our pastor and his preaching ministry.

We spoke for nearly 30 minutes. Though I got weird vibes off him because he talked about God calling or telling him thus and such, never once did he mention anything about cessationism or that John was teaching heresy for saying the apostolic sign gifts had ceased.

In fact, he hung around Grace Church for the summer attending on Sundays. A lot of friends also met him and they never once had a conversation with him about cessationism or the sign gifts. Tony Miano, who does real street preaching, also went on visitation with him. He also didn’t hear any negatives against MacArthur when they were together.

But then on the 16th, when John returns from his summer sabbatical, he jumps up on stage and goes unhinged.

The guy was a deceptive liar, especially if he believed John MacArthur taught heresy. There are no double-minded prophets. A true prophet of God doesn’t ingratiate himself to a friendly church, telling everyone he likes the pastor in order to wait like a Trojan Horse that opens up to spring a trap. That is a lying spirit that does such things.

My take. I think he miscalculated his visit. He wasn’t expecting John to be gone so long during the summer. From what I understand, O’Neill’s visa ended the Tuesday following, so he barely made it.

Whatever the case, I know one thing for sure out of all this. John Oneill’s enabling cheerleaders again displays how sober-minded discernment is totally absent within charismatic circles. Makes me wonder if God has given them over to a deceiving spirit.