Monday, July 18, 2011

Contrast between the genuine Gospel and a counterfeit: it doesen't get any clearer than this!

If I were to walk into a convenience store, grab a doughnut and cup of coffee, and then attempt to pay for my goodies with a fifty dollar bill from my kid's Monopoly game, what do you think would happen? It's obvious that the checkout clerk would laugh in my face and ask, "Is this a joke or what?" That's because the clerk would  immediately recognize that what I am offering as money is not real money.

But what if I tried to pay for the goods with a counterfeit fifty dollar bill that was printed by a professional in the art of making counterfeit money? At first glance, it looks like the real deal, but unless the clerk were paying close attention to what was being passed off as real money, he would probably just accept it without a second glance. He would be fooled into thinking that I was paying for my goods with real, legal tender. And, he might not ever know he was fooled.

That's why it is important for bank tellers to know what real money looks like; so if they ever come across counterfeit money, a red flag should go up that alerts them that something isn't right about that money. It looks so real, so authentic, at least at first glance. But when that money is carefully examined by someone who knows what real money looks like, and is familiar with recognizing counterfeit money, it is discovered to be counterfeit.

That's the problem with a false gospel being peddled by a false teacher. Just like the clerk who accepted the counterfeit fifty dollar bill without questioning it's authenticity, there are church buildings everywhere filled with people who are fooled into thinking that what they are being taught is true, when in actuality, they are being taught a damning lie.

False teachers talk about Jesus dying on the cross for sinners. They profess to preach from the Bible and that what they preach and teach is true. They have a mission and vision for their church. They quote the Bible and pray, and say God is at work and changing people in big ways at their church. They seem very religious and convincing, don't they?

And it's not like they teach lies 100% of the time either. Some of their theology is biblical. But they also twist the Truth into lies in subtle and deceptive ways. False teachers don't try to pass a Monoploy money gospel as the real thing. The gospel they peddle is more like the counterfeit money printed by expert counterfeiters.         

Well, the Bible is God's Word, it is Truth with a capital T. It says particular things that are True about God, creation, man, sin, redemption, heaven, hell, and on and on. If you don't know what real Christianity is, then how would you ever recognize false Christianity? That is why it is so, so important to get to know God's Word, and get the Gospel right.

If you are taught something that contradicts the Bible, or, if you believe something is true that is not supported by the Bible, then there is reason to be concerned. That's why I would encourage you to get aquainted with Truth as it is revealed in the Bible. I would also encourage you to watch, read, and listen to Christian pastors and thinkers who carefully and skillfully teach the Bible and the Gospel.

I will occasionally post a sermon that preaches the Gospel and contrast that with another sermon that is a false, deceptive non-gospel. Now I don't know Eric Dykstra's heart. I don't know if he is decieving people on purpose, or if he actually believes what he preaches is true, after all Satan is a great deciever! It doesn't matter. If he is preaching a false gospel and others are believing him, then both false teacher and churchgoers are in grave danger of eternal damnation.

Pastor R.W. Glenn of Redeemer Bible Church in Minnetonka is doing a short series on the book of Titus. This Sunday he preached a sermon that is the perfect contrast between what the Gospel really is, and the radical, legalistic, performance driven, cult-like garbage coming out of The Crossing Church.

Bob Glenn touches on so many areas pertinent to the Gospel; what a real church is, the mission of the Church, the character of church pastors, the message of the Gospel, and the signs of false teachers. He explains Imputation, Antinomianism, and Legalism.

And notice that throughout his entire sermon, he keeps the Gospel central. Gospel, gospel, gospel, gospel, gospel, gospel, gospel, gospel, and more gospel! He had reminded us Christians at Redeemer of the Gospel countless times! And, he backs up his theology of the Gospel with the Bible. They don't have videos of Pastor Bob's sermons, yet. But you can listen to the sermon on the link provided here.

Listen to that sermon if you want to. You don't have to do it all in one day, but listen to all of it, and then compare that with the video clip, "I love my church" . From The Crossing.  It is basically a discussion with four participants, including pastor Eric Dykstra, on the beliefs and values of The Crossing. This themes in this video parallel the themes in R.W. Glenn's sermon. Yet, it is like night and day in terms of Gospel content.

I have watched this entire video twice and they never, ever mentioned the Gospel, not even once! Their ten points on what The Crossing believes-their doctrinal statement- is fuzzy and confusing at best. Then you get to The Crossing's values, as expressed in "The Code"; let's just say that the material that they describe in The Code is patently unbiblical and appalling. Pay special attention to Kelly Dykstra's explanation of the Code point that states, "We are a generation of honor". The Code is junk. It's just one more legalistic burden that Crossing "partners" are commanded to obey as they work their way to Hell.

If you go to The Crossing or any other church, and you have questions concerning what they believe or the way they do things, I would encourage you to kindly ask them to explain their doctrinal position or church activity biblically, like, with specific Bible verses in mind. In the "I Love My Church" clip, Dykstra says that there are people who think that The Crossing is a cult (imagine that!). Then he declares, "We are not a cult" without any biblical support to defend his view.

Maybe someone ought to ask Eric Dykstra what the Bible has to say about cults, abusive churches, legalism, and false teachers? Or what what does the Bible say are the marks of a true Church and how that is manifested at The Crossing? Are there specific Bible verses that demonstrate that The Crossing is not a true church and that they preach a false gospel? Maybe someone ought to challenge Dykstra's views with the Bible. Does the Bible support "The Code"? What Bible verses, exactly, support each and every one of the eighteen points in The Code? And which Bible verses could you use to refute The Code?

Maybe someone ought to start asking Eric Dykstra some hard questions and see what kind of answers they get. Ask Dykstra to crack open a Bible and defend his views. You have every right to ask your pastor questions and they ought to provide verse by verse Bible answers. But be careful, because false teachers twist Scripture to fit their twisted theology, and they can be very convincing. Get to know your Bible so you can refute false teachings.          

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